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During this season of the year, when the temperature begins to drop and things start to show down a bit, I am able to reflect on the year and all the friends and family that I am so blessed to have in my life. We are so thankful to have so many wonderful individuals in our life who are always willing to offer a helping hand. In celebration of cooler days ahead, I love to host small get-togethers to thank those that have blessed me with being a part of my life. When preparing for parties, I love to search Pinterest for ideas and DIY projects that are quick, but will add that personalized touch to my fall festivities. Here are some ideas that I have decided to incorporate for my next bash.

The entry way to your home is extremely important to decorate when having a party. When guests arrive, they will be totally wowed by your curb appeal and know they are headed to a classy party to celebrate the arrival of fall. Here is a beautiful example of a gorgeous front door and what a couple pumpkins and potted mums can do to bring your front entrance from dab to fab in seconds.

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Image Credit: Pinterest

I love when fall rolls around because pumpkins are as far as the eye can see coming in colors from your classic orange to ghostly white and gothic gray. Pumpkins can be used for an array of serving trays from using them as an ice chest for drinks, a punch bowl, a chip bowl and even a vase for flower arrangements.

Pumpkin vessel

Image Credit: Martha Stewart

Small pumpkins and gourds serve as wonderful elements to include in tablescapes as candlestick holders, fillers in hurricanes and a range of other clever ideas. The centerpiece on your dining room table can be as fancy or simple as you like it depending on the theme of your party.

Pumpkin centerpieces

Image Credit: Lauren Liess

For a simple centerpiece, try filling a beautiful antique crystal bowl with apples and let it be the star of the table. Or use apples as the seating cards for the party and simply lay them above the forks in the place setting.

Image Credit:

Image Credit: Pinterest

For dessert have something as simple and fun as these chocolate acorns!

The recipe is really easy:

1 pkg. of plain Hershey Kisses

1 pkg. of Nabisco Nutter Butter Bite Size

¼ cup of miniature Chocolate Chips

Gently twist the Nutter Butter cookie to expose the filling. Take the flat end of a butter knife and scrape off the filling to smooth on both halves. Once done, press a Hershey kiss to stick. Place your miniature chocolate chips in the microwave for a couple seconds so the bottoms get soft, but aren’t totally melted. This will be your stem. Press the chip to the top of the Nutter Butter cookie! Presto! You have an extremely cute dessert or fun snack to greet guests at the door with when they arrive with a nice, warm glass of apple cider.

To a fall full of festivities!

Cheers,

Carmen

Whether it is your in-laws or your friends coming over for a visit this weekend, there are several quick and simple ideas to put a little pizzazz in your place before they arrive. Guess what! They all come from your garden. By adding special touches here and there, your guests will embrace your hospitality and enjoy their stay.

Nate Berkus, designer, TV Host and frequent past guest on Oprah states this: “There’s got to be some natural element (in a tablescape). A glass vase filled with sand and a candle, seashells that you picked up on the beach, and one framed photograph is a tablescape – and it’s not something you need to spend a lot of money on. Bring God’s work in, and make it your work.”

Let’s follow Nate’s lead and add some natural elements from our gardens to our interior décor. Here are 5 gorgeous ways from the garden to glam up for guests:

SIMPLE IDEA #1

Take small bud vases and disperse them around your house – in the guest bed and bathroom as well as the common areas of your home such as the living and dining rooms. Place small flowers such as Pinks (Dianthus) which is one of my favorites because it lasts so long as a cut flower. Sweet Peas, Azure Skies™ Heliotrope, Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), Shasta Daisies (Leucentheum), ‘Stars & Stripes’ Pentas, Lupine, Bee Balm (Monarda), Gaillardia or October Magic™ Camellia would all make excellent choices. A couple of the choices above would also add a sweet fragrance to your space. The idea is to just pick flowers that would be proportional to your vase. Typically, the bud vase will only be able to hold two to three flowers at the most, but it will make a big difference. Picking unique flowers like this ‘Chomley Farran’ Dianthus will draw attention to its beauty.

Beautiful 'Chomley Farran' Carnation in a bud vase in the living room.

Beautiful ‘Chomley Farran’ Carnation in a bud vase in the living room.

SIMPLE IDEA #2

This was a great idea that I saw on Pinterest and why no one hasn’t thought of it before is beyond me as it is so elegant and simple. Say you don’t have coasters, well the solution for your problem is simple. Go out to your garden and pick a couple beautiful Hosta leaves. The leaves have a waxy coating causing water to pearl up and acts as a perfect coaster, however at the same time adding sophistication to your living space. There are several varieties of Hostas that have gorgeous variegated leaves such as ‘Autumn Frost’, ‘Blue Ivory’, ‘Captain Kirk’ and many more.

'Autumn Frost' Hosta leaves make for perfect coasters.

‘Autumn Frost’ Hosta leaves make for perfect coasters.

SIMPLE IDEA #3

Pick out recipes that highlight herbs from your garden such as something as simple as roasted redskin potatoes with rosemary, a caprese salad using basil and tomatoes freshly picked or lavender lemonade to cool off on a hot day. Herbs are perfect to enhance a dishes flavors as well as garnish. Remember we always eat with our eyes first and by adding something fresh at the end just gives it that final touch. Plus serving friends and family the harvest from your garden is one of the best feelings in the world. Sharing the taste of freshly picked herbs, vegetables and fruits is a moment to be cherished.

Use herbs to garnish dishes where that herb is included in the recipe.

Use herbs to garnish dishes where that herb is included in the recipe.

SIMPLE IDEA #4

Creating a stunning centerpiece for the dining room table can be as simple as going out to your garden and picking some Camellia, Dahlia or any flowers that have star quality. When selecting which flowers to use, those that have a flat back float more gracefully. Feel free to mix and match the flowers to have a vibrant color assortment. Coordinating the colors with your table linens will add a polished look.

Float Roses, Shasta Daisies and Dahlias for a fresh and fragrant decoration.

Float Roses, Shasta Daisies and Dahlias for a fresh and fragrant decoration.

SIMPLE IDEA #5

Why not get some garden chores done at the same time as decorating for your upcoming guests? Do your Hydrangeas need a shear after they have bloomed or maybe that tree out front needs to have some branches pruned away? Make sure to not throw those garden trimmings away! Hydrangeas make absolutely gorgeous cut flowers and they dry perfectly while being in a vase. Simple cut your Hydrangea blooms at the height that would compliment your vase, add a small amount of water that will evaporate during the drying process and place in whatever room needs a pop of color. They will dry beautifully. Those branches from your tree out front will add a wonderful vertical element in floor vases that will last for years to come.

Hydrangeas add a pop of color to any room and make lovely dried flowers.

Hydrangeas add a pop of color to any room and make lovely dried flowers.

Like Nate Berkus said “Decorating is not something you need to spend a lot of money on.” It is as simple as going for a walk in the garden and collecting some color along the way. Here’s to celebrating the outdoors inside with our family and friends. Cheers!

Carmen

Source: Quote from Nate Berkus: http://yourdecoratinghotline.com/style-quotes/