Tagged: fall

Halloween and Early Fall Decorating

Hey, there!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Since the days are ticking away to Halloween, I thought I would share some of my simple decorations with you today!  I was so excited when I pulled out my Fall decor last month because I had just enough to sort of ease my way into the season — here in Arizona temperatures don’t really start to drop until right about now.  I’m looking forward to doing some more decorating when my Halloween things come down, but for now, this is what I’ve got!

Halloween and Early Fall Decorating  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Our dining area got a fun splash of Halloween with our Halloween Town up on the top of the bookshelf.  This always sort of acts as our mantle, and I love having it in lieu of a fireplace mantle for now.  I zhushed up some black spooky netting, and my husband and I nestled the Halloween Town on top.  It lights up at night, which is really fun, but is also really difficult to take good pictures of.  ;-)

Halloween and Early Fall Decorating  {Inspiration Affirmation}
This is just an easy little centerpiece I threw together for the top of our dining table.  The bowl is vintage Waterford, and the leaves are just a couple of garlands from the Dollar Store strategically wrapped around a candle from Hob Lob.

Halloween and Early Fall Decorating  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Don’t worry — I never light this particular arrangement.  I don’t think that would be a good idea, lol.

Halloween and Early Fall Decorating  {Inspiration Affirmation}
I bought that pumpkin candle from Target a couple of weeks ago and have already burned through it.  It’s pretty orange mercury glass, and I am probably going to buy another one because I miss it already.  The rope candlesticks are from Anthropologie and usually look really nautical but I think with the orange pumpkin, they add a pretty natural element.  And of course I had to bring out my super-cozy faux fur throw from Restoration Hardware that my mother- and father-in-law bought for us last Christmas.  We love snuggling underneath it — it’s so warm!

Halloween and Early Fall Decorating  {Inspiration Affirmation}

And then there’s my fun DIY mummy wreath hanging on our door.  :-)  Greyson loves Halloween so I really made an effort to decorate for him this year.  This wreath was pretty simple, I just used a tutorial from Bower Power Blog (http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/) and hung it on a Command Hanger, then Velcro’d the arm of the wreath to the door.  The worms are glow-in-the-dark and you can find packs of them at the Dollar Store!

Halloween and Early Fall Decorating  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Halloween and Early Fall Decorating  {Inspiration Affirmation}
I had to include these.  How sweet is he?!  :-)  I love my baby.

Have you done any Halloween decorating yet?  I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to Halloween — it has been so much fun finding projects and recipes to try out.  What would we do without Pinterest?  ;-)

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52 Mantels


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Butternut Squash Skillet Mac & Cheese

Yesterday was the first day since Fall has begun that it was actually pretty chilly!  I found myself layering my clothes, burning my favorite pumpkin candle, and feeling the urge to make a heavy Fall meal for my hubby and I.  So, to my Pinterest boards I went, and I found this recipe for a Butternut Squash Skillet Mac and Cheese that did not disappoint.

Butternut Squash Skillet Mad and Cheese - Inspiration Affirmation
Thankfully, my husband did all of the butternut squash prep for me while I took care of the other ingredients for this recipe.  Cutting, peeling, cubing — I was lucky to have him around because, sheesh, the toughness of a butternut squash is no joke!

Butternut Squash Skillet Mac and Cheese - Inspiration Affirmation
This particular recipe that we followed is supposed to be a “lightened up” version.  But ours was not so light.  I added quite a bit more of the fontina cheese, a tad more Parmesan, and double the breadcrumbs.  We try to eat healthily most nights of the week so we splurged a bit last night.  ;-)  And you know what?  It was worth it.  The base of the sauce is the butternut squash that is simmered in the pan and then mashed.  I was pleasantly surprised that the taste was not sweet, but nutty and full-bodied.

Butternut Squash Skillet Mac and Cheese - Inspiration Affirmation
At the very end of the sauce preparation, a drizzle of a couple tablespoons of browned butter adds so much flavor!  This was my first time making browned butter, and I loved watching the frothy color change from light yellow to golden.  Like magic!  :-)

Butternut Squash Skillet Mac and Cheese - Inspiration Affirmation
Topped with a little extra cheese and the breadcrumbs, baked for 15 minutes, and broiled for 2, this was positively delicious.  I served my husband those extra crispy parts — he loves crunchy cheese.  ;-)  Happy Friday!

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52 Mantels


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