A Little Fall Decor

Fall officially starts in just a couple of weeks. But you really wouldn’t know it if you stepped outside in Georgia right now. Today we are setting a record with temperatures in the mid-90s. I’m a little worried that we’ll be skipping fall and going straight to winter with the way things are looking. Please, don’t let it be so!

The heat hasn’t stopped me from adding just a little fall decor around our house, though. I like to wait until October 1st to put out Halloween decorations, but right after Labor Day I always get in the mood for my first Pumpkin Spice anything of the season and some fall decorations.

Do you decorate your house for fall? A lot of people I’ve talked to fall into one of two groups: They either decorate right after Labor Day like I do, or they wait until it is officially fall on the calendar before putting anything out.

Even though the air doesn’t feel cool, the leaves are starting to change and fall from the trees. Today I was thinking about autumn and how we can really relate this to life in general. Each one of us is going through changing seasons of lfie. The next seasons of life are coming whether it feels like it or not.

It reminds me that we all need to cheer for each other in life, even if we’re not in the same season. Some people are changing careers or moving to a new city. Some people are dealing with aging senior parents and changing roles with them. Some people are trying to make changes in weight or health. People are working on changing their lives in all sorts of ways. Our seasons are changing whether we want them to or not.

Friend, Whatever changes are happening in this season of your life, I just want you to know that I’m cheering for you.

Happy fall, y’all!

“You don’t have to understand someone’s dream in order to cheer them on.”

Belle Antiquarian

Patriotic Summer Decor

Patriotic Summer Decor

Red, white, and blue can carry you Memorial Day through Labor Day.

One of the reasons I love decorating for the summer is I know that once I have my home all decorated I can leave it up for a long time. If you break out all of your red, white, and blue patriotic decor in May for Memorial Day, you can have your home decorated for flag day in June, Fourth of July, and all the way until Labor Day in September.
I have one storage bin with some Fourth of July and patriotic decorations. I will also “shop” my home for some other red, white, or blue items. I also like to include seashells, because they remind me of summer. I like to think of seashells as a neutral color. I even use them to check off the “white” if I am missing that in a red, white, and blue vignette.
Layer china patterns for a patriotic look. How cute are these Allerton’s Blue Willow individual butter pat dishes?
I like to use red Coca-Cola crates, vintage Pyrex bowls, books, and napkins for “red”. Blue canning jars, picture frames, and Blue Willow china are perfect for “blue”. White seashells, milk glass dishes, and anything silver will make your “white”.
Use seashells you picked up on the beach for filler.

Another tip I have is one that I use for every holiday. Shop the after-holiday clearance sale. I’ve had this bunting and these “fans” for a couple of years in my storage bin. I found them on clearance at Target a few years back.
Everyday items grouped together in red, white, and blue combinations suddenly turn into patriotic decor. I used a Blue Willow teapot, a red transferware platter, and some red & white flowers to make this grouping.
Summer makes me so happy! I hope you find joy in this season as well.

Simple Fall Mantle

Wow, I haven’t posted in two whole years! Oops. 

I really wish there was a better app to blog post while on my phone. I spend a ton of time in my car waiting on my teens, and I could totally get some blogging done that way. Super quick update on Belle & Beau: Right now I am exclusively selling on Etsy. I have a lot of long-term goals that include a brick-and-mortar store at some point. But Etsy’s working for now. I tend to update and post the most (which still isn’t nearly enough) on Facebook. So if you’re missing me, look for me there. (Thanks for making the Pages Manager easy to use, Facebook.)
Onward! I recently found an over-sized Rubbermaid bin of fall decor that I hadn’t used or thought about in 2-3 years. I figured if I didn’t miss it, then I should just get rid of it. So, off to Goodwill it is ALL going. Buh-bye!
I decorated our fall mantle by just switching out a couple of things. The vintage blue books, the old window, the jar, and the wood art that I created years ago were all already there. The frame was already there with a verse, but I just switched out the verse to one with more fall colors.

Did you know that you can click on a picture to make it bigger?
Years ago I bought a set of Bible alphabet memory cards from She Reads Truth. They fit perfectly into an 8 x 10 frame. I never really liked the colors of this one, but when I was thinking about the mantle, I realized that it is perfect for fall. I don’t know if they still sell this particular set. Try clicking the link on their name above, and you can see what’s available. 
I picked up the 3 pumpkins and the Gather sign from the Target dollar spot. But other than that, I already had everything in the pictures. Total for everything was probably under $10.
The wall color is Danville Tan by Benjamin Moore. It looks different throughout the day depending on the sunlight. Our family room gets quite a bit of light. It is kind of hard to photograph this wall color, so I am sometimes reluctant to do so.
Thanks for reading! That’s all for now. Hopefully it won’t be two years again.

Our Easter Mantel

//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.jsI thought I’d share a few photos of our Easter mantel this year. If you’ve read my past posts then you know that I like to decorate by “shopping” my house for items I can use. I always gravitate towards shopping for items of specific color. This time I was on the hunt for blue.

To see the photo larger, just click on it!

I can’t for the life of me remember where I bought the banner, but I am certain that it was one year after Easter and on discount. Then it sat in a Rubbermaid bin for a couple of years before Samantha and I put it together last year. We stamped “Hoppy Easter” on it.

The blue books on the mantel were easy to collect throughout the house. And well, Ball mason jars are pretty common around here. Let’s just say that I’ve hoarded passionately collected them. I regret every one of them that I’ve sold!

You might recognize the little bunnies from this post HERE. They’re from World Market.

I keep meaning to spray paint that candle holder. Warmer temps are here, so now may be the time!

I am pretty sure the bunnies (one piece) came from Hobby Lobby. The wall color is Danville Tan by Benjamin Moore. It’s been our wall color since we moved in ten years ago, and I still love it as much as I did the first day. It looks different at night than in the day. It’s very calming in person. (P.S. This color looks great in person. It looks totally wonky on my cellphone screen, so keep an open mind!)

Do you remember the barn wood that Ken and I got off of a an old barn/army building HERE? And also used to make THIS?

We used some our favorite pieces to make some free wall art for our mantel. The color is all natural and original. All we did was cut it and attach it together.

The “S” is for our last name. 😉 The window was picked up on one of our Craig’s List adventures.

I had fun pulling everything together. Everything other than the fresh tulips and the tiny bunnies on top of the books are things we already had. My favorite kind of decorating…FREE!

If you want to save any of these pictures, just click on the Pin It button and you can save it to Pinterest.


Natural Christmas Decorations

Christmas decorations inspired by nature can be very beautiful! Whether simple or extravagant, using natural elements is something easily done. Some materials that you may want to consider are fruit, pine cones, acorns, nuts, raw cotton, twine, jute, burlap, wood, berries, branches, feathers, and dried or fresh flowers. Here are just a few examples to inspire your holiday decorating. Tip: You can link back to all of the sources by clicking on the names.

This one from Better Homes & Gardens (click for link) looks very doable! Apples, pine cones, and evergreen branches. Did you know that most Christmas tree retailers will give you the cuttings for free? If you wanted to add a little something extra to those apples, try spraying them with a sheer glitter spray paint. Red apples would create a completely different feel, too.

There are so many ways to use pine cones in Christmas decorating.

One of ours:

 From Make It & Love It:

Over on the The Lettered Cottage you can see how a poinsettia gets updated in a metal bin and the raw cotton looks marvelous nestled into Layla’s Christmas tree:

Another example of using raw cotton from Sophia’s Decor. Her whole post is a great example of using natural elements such as pine cones, branches, birds, and cotton.


Classic and beautiful, check out this garland of dried oranges from Buckets of Burlap:

Here’s an example of a more detailed and sophisticated use of natural elements from Southern Living. 

Look around at what’s available outdoors (for free!) in your area. Simply filling a large clear vase with pecans, acorns, cranberries, or even evergreen stems will make a big impact.


Easter Mantle Ideas

 I’ve decorated our mantle for Easter. And, as always, I’ve used a mixture of new and old. That’s the best way, don’t you think? If everything was vintage or antique, we’d be missing out on some of the great new decorative items out there. And I love shopping way too much to do that. 😉

I like how effortless it looks. A lot of it was pulled from “shopping” in other rooms in the house. The only things that are always on the mantle are the antique mirror and the clock, everything else was borrowed from other places in the house.

Here you can see how I combined new and old.
What’s “old?” The Fire King hobnail milk glass vase, the Brush-McCoy robin’s egg blue egg & dart dish, the picture of my great-grandparents.
What’s “new?” The garland, the eggs, the rabbit plaque, and the picture frame.

Sometimes when I am putting together a vignette or mantle, I simply walk around the house looking for certain colors. These old books were the perfect spring time color for the mantle.

Here are some other mantles that I found on Pinterest. I think they’re lovely, don’t you?

This one is from marthastewart.com. I like that it uses different shades of just pink and blue. 

This one is from Tattered & Inked. I love the mix of natural wood and burlap with the bright colors of the eggs.

Here is another one from Emerald Interior Design. It’s fresh, simple, not too busy, and it will definitely carry past Easter and through Spring.

Finally, this was was too bright and cheerful to leave out. It’s from Positively Splendid, and it is. Positively Splendid.

I hope you’ve been inspired to create a beautiful Easter mantle of your own. I found all of these lovely ideas on Pinterest. Join me there!