The Art of Autumn...
Autumn is one of the most exciting seasons of the year; it makes me feel like a kid again! The beautiful dappling of colors changing along the ridges & the crisp, cool mornings are soooo soothing snuggling on the porch sipping a hot cup of coffee. I feel fortunate to live in a place that is so beautiful. Arkansas is made for autumn; between hilltops & vistas, you can find arts & craft festivals that display the craftsmanship of artists' passions. Or just take a drive down any road that may lead over the river & through the woods, as well as, up a mountain to a cave, a waterfall, & hiking trails! It truly is the Natural State! County fairs are all in full swing and sportin' that southern carnival atmosphere...bring on the fried everything, mostly on a stick!!!
Pettit Jean Mountain offers one of the most beautiful & colorful Autumn displays. My family & I love to drive up on a cooler September/October morning to visit various places on top of the mountain, then we hike down to the falls to take pictures or splash in the water if it's not too cool. We pick up oddly shaped or brilliantly colored leaves. Some have spots & some have deep colored veins, but all represent a joyful experience. We meet lots of people along our journey that are from all over the world doing the same. After all that exercise, we always treat our family to a sit-down meal to discuss our adventure. The view from the restaurant of Mather's Lodge overlooks the valley as you dine & chat, what more can you ask for! It's a great family snap shot opportunity too! This year we'll pick somewhere new to explore, but I hope you enjoy pic's from the past 10 years!
Decorating for Fall
Start with a goal of what you would like to accomplish & make a plan. Next, figure out a budget to buy a few new pieces or to replace older pieces. Fresh flowers are a great addition & mums are a relatively cheap POW that you can keep in pots all year long til next fall! Look around for items that you can transform or reuse to create a new piece for your fall display! These items can be decorated easily, & then turned back into whatever they were before. Mason, Kerr, or Ball jars are excellent for adding colored ribbon to match your style or theme making it a quick pop of color anytime of year. Canning jars, new or recycled, can be used for anything like mini lanterns or color coordinated containers, & then easily turned back into grandma's cannin' jars!
Organizing in Autumn
Enjoy more of the season with your family!
Organizing when it's time to put everything up is a great time to organize, but you can start assessing what type of storage your items are going to need while you are decorating... & don't forget, where is all that stuff going to go when you're done packing it all up? So when you buy a new piece to add to the autumn decor, consider how & where you will store it.
Label the boxes/containers with specific descriptions to make it easier for you to get just the box you want next year, instead of pulling down every box in the attic that is labeled Fall/Autumn. Try buying containers in specific colors for each holiday, such as orange for autumn or black for Halloween. This system will help you visualize quickly which boxes to read the labels on & keep all like items together easily. This solution will help save you time & money; that's what it's all about, a more relaxed lifestyle!
Pumpkin Spiced Toffee Corn with Nuts
I just couldn't resist throwing in my favorite carnival craving...Toffee Corn & Candied Nuts...I can smell that pumpkin spice & buttery goodness now! I'd like to share what autumn should smell & taste like:
pumpkin pies with nuts.
*2 sticks Butter *4 pkgs. Popcorn
*2 Tbs. Vanilla *1 c. Corn Syrup
*2 1/3 c. Brown Sugar *1 tsp. Baking Soda (opt)
*Cooking Spray *Nuts of your choosing (opt)
*Cookie Sheet *Pumpkin Pie Spice (opt)
*Extra Large Mixing Bowel
Pour the popcorn into the mixing bowel & discard any seeds, then add as many nuts as you like & toss. Melt the butter & sugar in a saucepan on med-high heat. Bring it to a boil for about 3 minutes & turn off the heat. Add vanilla & optional baking soda; stir continuously so that the mixture doesn't boil over until it is completely dissolved. Immediately pour the toffee mixture over the popcorn & nut mixture, then coat evenly. Spread the mixture in a single layer on the sprayed cooking sheet. Bake on 325 for 45 minutes. Stir or flip the mixture every 15 minutes to help coat evenly & to create that melt in your mouth texture or candy toffee! Take it out & let it cool 5-10 minutes, then package it in an air tight container. Enjoy!
*The baking soda creates a different texture; more of a lighter, melt in your mouth texture, as apposed to the more candy, toffee texture without baking soda. Spray the spoon with cooking spray to prevent the spoon from sticking while stirring it in the bowel & on the cookie sheet later.
Art is an awesome thing when you have the right pieces. Aesthetic art is just to look at, but applied art is functional & good looking!
Being organized is a life skill that starts with knowing how to be organized & how to maintain that organization. It's your life, let's take it back!