I’ll admit, when Joanna asked for “no pinks” in this year’s Thanksgiving arrangement, I was a little disappointed. I LOVE autumn pinks and use them ubiquitously this time of year. Our Thanksgiving centerpiece and tablescape last year is a great example of how you can use pink to decorate for this holiday. However, as is usually the case when I’m pushed outside my comfort zone a little, I had so much fun not using pinks in this arrangement. Instead we embraced golden-yellows, shades of ivory, and some pretty dried tidbits like dried baptisia pods and dried branches. It was really fun to mix together traditional fall flowers (like the mums) with unexpected elements — and all in a modern vase!
So I know that spring cleaning is a thing, but what about fall freshening? There’s something about the changing of seasons that makes me want to refresh my life — my closet, my home, my mind. It’s a great time of year to clean out your closet, wash those flannel sheets that have been hanging out in your linen closet all summer and generally make your house a little cleaner and a little cozier. (Joanna’s note: This is especially true when your closet is as tiny as ours!)
For me, this process always involves scent. At night, I love to light some fall-scented candles and during the day, I love to spritz a bit of DIY essential oil room spray around my house. I keep a stash of a few different scents so I can use the one that best suits my mood. Right now I can’t get enough of eucalyptus essential oil spray since it smells so peaceful and has the added benefit of boosting immunity due to its antimicrobial properties (stay away, flu season!).
Making Shampoo Bars Is Easier Than You Think!
I’ll admit, when Joanna asked me to try my hand at making some shampoo bars, I was intimidated. Soap making always seemed like a big undertaking done by the likes of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other sturdy prairie women who had to make do with what they had. But once I started researching the process, I realized how incredibly easy (and satisfying!) it is. After a little bit of math and some crazy scientist-style mixing, you’re left with wonderful-smelling shampoo bars that are way better than store-bought liquid shampoo. Today we’re sharing our customizable shampoo bar recipe made with rose essential oil, shea butter, coconut oil, and other good stuff!
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The more I work with all sorts of flora, the more I love the entire life span of the ingredients I work with, including their death phase. In autumn, plants begin to die, producing seed pods and dried crunchy leaves. The texture alone is dreamy. I also love how the colors of the foliage shift and change as it begins to dry. In this low, dramatic Halloween centerpiece arrangement, I combine these dried floral elements with freshly bloomed dahlias to create an effect that reminds us all of the circle of life and how these seed pods will result in new flowers next year… plus, it is the perfect way to bring a floral element into your next Halloween-themed gathering!
If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that Joanna has a pretty darn impressive urban garden in her yard. Alongside the broccoli and kale and Brussels sprouts, she had a bumper crop of herbs this year, which I myself have benefited from (thanks Joanna!). But even after giving away herbs to friends and neighbors, she had a bunch of herbs left on her hands and, she didn’t want them to go bad. She also couldn’t find an herb drying rack online that she liked the look of, so we put our heads together and brainstormed our own chic, modern take on an old-school herb drying rack. Now she’ll have seasonings from her herb garden to use in her new kitchen all winter long!
Don’t get me wrong, I love a traditional jack-o’-lantern as much as the next girl, but there’s something so fun about coming up with a new way to decorate pumpkins each year. You could go the goofy route or the macabre route or the artistic route, but I personally like to decorate my front porch with pieces inspired by the trends I love for the interior. And this year, that’s terrazzo. The traditional Italian material is peppered with haphazard flecks of color and can infuse a bit of cheery chicness into virtually any space (which is much more up my alley that spooky scary Halloween decor). Meet our painted and carved terrazzo pumpkin! This treat of a pumpkin doesn’t require any tricks — it’s super easy to put together and looks great on a well-styled front porch.