Simple Fall Home Tour (And Decorating As A Parent)


It is starting to feel a bit more like fall around here and I cannot wait for the leaves and weather to turn.  It truly is a beautiful time of year and I love making our home feel cozy for the season. 

This year feels a little different as my energy level is so low due to pregnancy.  We also decided to forego our usual October vacation due to illness and season of life.  So as we hunker down at home this year, small touches around the house remind me that fall always keeps it promise in coming around each year.


I have learned in my short time as a parent that while I still desire to make my house feel a certain way, I want less stuff around.  The past few years have been small steps to more minimalism but as my duties at home have increased with a child, this desire has grown even more.  Yet there is a part of me that goes into stores and wants all the things!  So it is a delicate balance I play with myself each year to figure out what feels like just enough - without completely going overboard but also not donating everything because I didn't use it THIS year.


Our two year old is starting to notice that things are "scary".  And so pretty much every Halloween thing we see in stores scares him.  So this year there will not be any paper bats or tennis ball ghosts hanging. 

But I still plan to hold on to them for when things can be a bit more spooky.  Because these things bring me joy.  So while I don't love having storage bins full of decorations I am not using, I also want to hold on to the special pieces that I know will continue to put a smile on my face when we are past this sweet but different baby/toddler stage of parenting.


And while I love to sometimes change things up, I also want to know a good thing when I see it.  This year's porch is pretty much exactly the same as last years because I love it's natural simplicity.


I was happy to find that some of my favorite large retailers (Target and T.J. Maxx!) have a large selection of white and neutral pumpkins this year.  I picked up a few little ones and they are killing me with cuteness.


This lone mustard pumpkin I got from a craft fair back home continues to add whimsy in such a simple way.


While the house was tidy for photos, I thought I would share our television side of the living room.  After two years of living here, I finally found a configuration that I liked.  And my husband had gotten around to hiding all of our television chords. 

Our Blue-ray player died not too long ago so we got a Playstation Slim to replace it.  My husband made a small ledge behind the television to hold it.  Now it is hidden but still accessible from the side. 


And I had to chuckle to myself over the irony that we literally had a new piece of furniture en route to our house to go under our TV.  So even if I enjoyed this little set up for just a week - I still got to enjoy it.  It is just a reminder that sometimes getting things right decorating wise takes time. 

When our new piece arrives, I will still use this setup as inspiration when I move the table somewhere else.


It looks so good from this angle.  A truly proud moment.  ;)


We have a pretty good sized collection of fake white pumpkins from our wedding from nine years ago!  They are still going strong but are showing some signs of outdoor wear. 

I would say that I would not necessarily buy them again now, yet they continue to find a place in our home year after year.  And not in a - just make it work because I have it way.  But in a - I really like this here way.  Our cultural obsession with wanting stuff and then not wanting stuff continues to boggle my mind! Either way, these pumpkins are here to stay.


I just love these pumpkins perched on our son's Ikea play kitchen.  It is like all my parenting dreams have come true.


Again, that small little pumpkin on that chair is stealing the show.  Wouldn't buy it again yet I love it SO MUCH.  I need seasonal decorating therapy.

We also finally took down those hooks hanging from the ceiling that held our pot rack for about a month.  The hooks have been there for about a year with no pot rack!  #reallife


And back to our front porch, here is my clothes-less child playing with the hose in questionably not hot weather.  Whatever keeps him happy people.


These pumpkins almost went back into it's storage box until I decided to put them on our bench.  These ones are flipped around - wedding monograms can be found on the other side.  Even though no one else will see them, seeing these sweet wedding pumpkins warm my heart.  


And a garden selfie with the baby bump was in order.


Here is what remained in my storage bin that didn't get put out.  This is probably the third year that I thought about donating those red plush pumpkins.  While they are beautiful, they just don't fit in with my current decor colors.  But just as I am ready to let go - I remember that these pumpkins got used last year for an outdoor fall dinner we hosted for my husband's work and I also used them as table decorations when I ran the moms group back home. 


I am trying to know myself better when it comes to the stuff I keep around.  I love to decorate and I love to entertain.  And even though I am doing less in this current season, having a few extra things around come in handy for when the opportunity arises.  We live out in the country, so running to the store isn't always easy and really, I still like the stuff I have even if I am not using it. 

If it can serve me in other ways, it may be worth keeping around for awhile.  To me, it is better than buying new stuff when the old stuff works perfectly well.  And I want to buy things when I see them and love them - versus buying what I may need in the moment but may not love.

Again, it is our current circumstances- country life and early years of parenting.  But it is helping me sift through the chatter I hear - to completely minimize or to buy more.  It is a constant battle when you are a lover of beautiful things!  But I am learning to find a balance that works for me in this season of life.

It's A...


GIRL!!!


It is with great joy that I get to share with you all today that we will be having a sweet baby girl!  Big brother is already calling her baby girl and baby sister and we are all quite smitten.


We took a bunch of photos to commemorate this special announcement.  They are pretty sweet and special to this mama's heart.  I will give some more details or tips at the end of the post about how we took the photos.  So if you are interested in that, make sure to scroll all the way through.  Because there are A LOT of pictures!


My baby boy is looking so grown up these days!  I can't even believe it.


 Here are a few outtakes that I found sweet or a little silly...


This would be us fighting sharing the balloons!  I was so afraid of losing the balloons to the sky!


About the photos:

// We took the photos ourselves setting up our camera on a tripod.  One of the benefits of living in the middle of nowhere tucked away in the woods is that we can go right into our front yard to take photos.  When I was pregnant with our son we drove to a different destination for each commemorative photo.  There is no way that was happening this time around with how far away we live from everything and having a wild two year old to wrangle.

// Now that we are taking photos with a wiggly child involved, we set the timer on the camera and set it to take multiple pictures.  This allows us to get more than one photo each set up or pose.  If you are having someone else take your photo - have them get all set up and then take a bunch of photos.  This will hopefully give a greater chance that everyone is looking and/or smiling. 


// Candid photos are your friend.  It is a lot easier for us to get good candid photos when we are playing and interacting with our son.  He occasionally is cooperative at smiling.  But seeing us interact with each other makes for some really sweet photos. 

// I always like to take a few photos and then check our posing.  Sometimes someone needs to adjust the way they are standing to make the photo look more flattering or natural (though ironically this is unnatural!).  I set up the camera while my husband holds our son and as I approach them I will direct my husband to look at me, look at our son, etc to change up poses.

// Photos with our son are fast.  To take all these photos, it probably lasted no more then ten minutes.  And then when we were done he got free rein with the balloons.  I try to keep the photo taking process light hearted.  I try to remind myself that I only need one good picture.  So once our son starts getting fussy and I know we have at least one good shot, I have learned to be okay with just being done.


// For special photos like these, I try to plan a little ahead of time.  I will search for posing ideas on Pinterest and refresh my memory of them right before we take the photos.  They don't always come out quite like the inspiration, but it gives me something to work with a lot more quickly.  When we had our photography business I would print out a cheat sheet of poses I liked and bring it to shoots with me.  It made posing so much easier - plus I could physically show my clients how to pose without having to act it all out myself!

// For the balloons, since we live so far from town, I just ended up buying a Balloon Time helium tank (which I usually get at Walmart or Target and it comes with balloons and string).  We found that it has been a lot easier to just blow up the balloons at home when most convenient.  We previously had a tank that we used for our son's first and second birthday parties.  So I plan with the expectation that the helium tank will last me two events each.  The balloons don't keep the air by the next day so I try to blow up the balloons just an hour or so before we need to use them.

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