Farewell Autumn

I know, I know. Technically Autumn ends on December 20, but after Thanksgiving my mind has completely moved on to all things Christmas. Fall is my favorite season. Between my birthday, my daughter’s birthday, Halloween, the return of warm drinks, hot pie, and cold nights, my love for all things cozy rejoices.


When you add in the glorious beauty of a New England autumn it’s almost too much to take. The foliage this year was just spectacular, and now that most of the leaves have fallen (and I keep hearing whispers of snow) it is almost time to move on. But not before we celebrate Thanksgiving with family this week.

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Giving Thanks and Thanksgiving Holiday Decor

Thanksgiving Holiday Decor - DesignLively

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?
– Oscar Wilde

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was my first time hosting and (hallelujah) the turkey turned out just fine. We have much to be thankful for and were able to host wonderful family and grandparents at our house this year on Thanksgiving, celebrated a Friendsgiving feast with new friends earlier this month, and have our 5th annual Thanksmas feast with our college gang next week. Again, we have much to be thankful for!

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This week kicks off the holiday season, one of my favorite times of the year.

Soon our mornings will be greeted with snow-dusted sidewalks, frost-speckled window panes and that fresh smell that only frozen earth can bring to your nostrils.

We will start to get cards in the mail and they will start to pile up on the mantle. We will feverishly research online Christmas card coupon codes. Will this be the year we finally send them?

Subconsciously, we will drive 5 miles out of our way to avoid the mall or any road that goes near one.

Bright red ribbons and silver glitter will sudden adorn everything in sight.

No matter how far away we are from civilization we will hear that resonating dong-dong-dong from the Salvation Army bell ringers.

We will pay absurd amounts of money for strangely flavored cups of coffee (gingerbread? really?) to be handed to us by baristas in red aprons as we listen to indie-pop Christmas carols.



It’s a great time of year. It is also an easy this time of year to get overwhelmed, especially as a creative-type.

The need to find the “right” ribbon and the “right” wrapping paper and the “most-unique-ever” nametags is ever-present.

Martha Stewart taunts us from her holiday issue cover in the grocery aisle as she hangs her hand-painted reclaimed barnwood sled on the front porch next to her homemade icicle hand-etched lanterns.

“Are you actually buying pre-made pie crust?” she questions from the cover. “But I have this amazing recipe on page 87. You only need crushed almonds from Switzerland and unpasteurized buttermilk and paste from a Peruvian vanilla bean.”

I am glad that we have Thanksgiving to begin this joyous time of year. It’s a push in the right direction as we set our course for the holiday season.

Too soon we are swept away into the whirlwind of Black Friday – the antithesis of Thanksgiving. Be thankful for what I have? But I can get everything I want for 75% off!

Today I will be thankful.

I will be thankful that we dedicate a day just to remember all that we are grateful for.

Because, after all, “gratitude turns what we have into enough”.

(source unknown)


Happy Thanksgiving!

Coffee Can Thanksgiving Centerpiece

As many good projects begin these days, I was perusing Pinterest and came across a photo of a twig vase. Lightbulbs flashed before my eyes and this project was born.

I saved a coffee can and went outside for some free twigs that are scattered all over our yard.

I tried to find twigs that were relatively straight and thin.

(While searching for twigs, you may come across a stick that strongly resembles Voldemort’s Elder Wand. You consider keeping it, but then think better of it and put it back down.)

Step 1.

Use gardening shears to cut the twigs all the same length. I used the height of the coffee can plus a centimeter or two. I also broke off any nodules or mini-twigs.

Step 2.

Like any good crafter, I went hot glue gun crazy.

First I removed the coffee can label and then I just started gluing on twigs as flat as possible. Some fit next to certain twigs better than others. It does NOT have to be perfect. Imperfection is charming.

Step 3.

After the glue was dry, I wrapped some twine and ribbon around the can a few times and tied a bow.

(I had purchased a fall-ribbon pack from the Target Dollar Spot earlier in the season.)

Step 4.

Fill ‘er up!

I opted to use some of my trusty rhododendron branches since I knew they lasted forever. I put a drinking glass in the can and filled it with water since I didn’t trust the coffee can not to leak or rust. Then I rubber banded my branches together and stuck them in the glass.

There are endless options – you could fill it with a potted plant, a chunky candle or even candy!


And that’s all! One hour and one dollar (ribbon) later, here we are.

Also, I can change out the ribbons and can stretch this project to last through Christmastime.

Hot glue guns are the best thing ever!


A few year’s ago I started attending my now-husband’s family reunions, where they served the most delicious coffee! After several of these reunions I had to ask them what type of beans they used. They just laughed at me and said they buy Chock-Full-O-Nuts Original. I have been buying it ever since.

What kind of coffee do you drink?

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor

Like millions of other people this week, we are traveling to be with family on Thanksgiving day. However, that doesn’t mean I was going to let a holiday-related decorating opportunity to pass us by!

With the exception of Christmas, I tend to be a seasonal decorator rather than for specific holidays. I’ve had a bit of fall decor up for a while.

Per usual, I begin with what I have, like this orange book, black wire cake stand and white ceramic apples. Once I added a few fresh gourds, voila. Instant fall centerpiece. I actually bought these gourds before Halloween and they are still going strong.

My fall mantle, which I forgot to share with you (shame on me), consisted of the tin apple sign (Christmas tree shop), pumpkins and a wooden witch and ghost (castoffs from my Mom). I just traded them our for Mr. Scarecrow (another castoff from my Mom) and insta-Turkeyified the living room.

The greens in the middle are from our rhododendron in the front yard. The clippings last forever! I had them inside for a month before they started to turn yellow.

We still have up the Nearly No-Sew Autumn Bunting I shared with you earlier this fall.

Lastly, I put together a centerpiece that I will share with you next!

Like I said before, I like to use things that I already have.

For my fall decorations I spent $15 on pumpkins and gourds (highway robbery!) and the tin apple sign was $3 from Christmas Tree Shoppe.

I usually really like decorating for the fall, but lately I just want to get all my Christmas decorations out! One more week!!