The leaves have begun to change.
I always struggle with seasonal transitions. Changing focus from outdoors to in, or vice versa. The other part that is challenging for me, is not decorating for fall TOO soon. It's hard to not. It's hard to look away from the pumpkins and the cinnamon branches, and apple themed decor that all of the stores put out far too early.
This leads me to decorating and redecorating multiple times as the urge hits. Here's what I've learned: look to nature.
Also - I'm not a professional decorator.... Just messing around here. You may look at these photos and find me very silly. That is okay... we're all a little silly, after all.
At the end of August, all of the stores were suddenly filled to the brim with pumpkin spice. It was still nearly 90 degrees some days though, so I couldn't bring myself to break out the cozy knit throws, and the corn stalks. Instead, I opted to decorate with sunflowers. They bloom best at the end of summer, and go through part of September. So for the couple months that the weather dips and soars, I use garlands of sunflowers, and fresh bouquets of them when I can (spare funds...).
I also still have a boat load of produce coming in from the garden, so I utilize pretty baskets (bought at Goodwill for no more than a few bucks) and carefully place the produce that can stay out (specifically the yellow squash to match the sunflowers or apples after picking WAY too many at the local orchard... oops...) in them as table centerpieces. It becomes that of a "harvest" theme.
Come the beginning of October, as the leaves really start showing off, I break into Autumn in full swing. The ceramic pumpkins come out of storage, and I pick up fresh ones each trip to the grocery store or market to place on the front porch steps - these may end up as jack-o-lanterns but I have also written on them, or hot glued jewels to them in the past as we get closer to Halloween night! A few pots of mums add some color, too, while our summer plants are dying down.
The corn that we grew has all been plucked, so now it's a good time to utilize the left over stalks as well. Those end up attached to porch posts, as a welcome sign of cooler weather. I have also invested in outdoor pillows that I simply change the cases on when the season changes instead of having to invest in more pillows, and having to store more pillows. The covers can be purchased inexpensively on Amazon (trust me, I'm cheap and given that if I have to replace them it's not that big of a deal).
My favorite part is the scent. I look forward to all of the fall candles, oils, or any other fragrance producers you might like to use, in varieties of apple, pumpkin, cinnamon, and clove. I find that the best deals I get are from Yankee Candle (sign up for the emails, the coupons are solid). However, TJ Maxx usually has some good steals, too. I always try to hit multiple senses - sight (decor), touch (cozy throws and textures), smell (breath in PSL, breathe out PSL) to really get into the mood.
Onward to sense of taste - we have just begun a new batch of hard cider! Woot woot! The yeast was pitched last night, and the cider should be ready in time for Thanksgiving! The cider was pressed the same day we picked it up, special order from King Tut Cider Mill in Eliot, Maine. There's a special place in our hearts for hard cider - one of the Homestead Husband's first tactics in getting us to spend some time together, was showing off his cider making skills back in his dorm..... Even then, he was a DIY-er. Looks like it worked.
Patiently waiting for the champagne yeast to do its thang in the cider!
*Disclaimer: Do not try this at home unless you have done some research first... There's a little bit of science to understand, and it's a good thing the Homestead Husband is here to retain it all because my brain does not work that way. With a little reading and practice though, anyone is capable, even me.