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Falling for fall

It's finally fall!

Ok - I do realize that Autumn doesn't actually begin until September 22nd but for me personally, I mark it as September 1st. Therefore...'s finally fall!

I believe in the "if you build it they will come" principle. And temps have been below 100 since I brought out the pumpkins so...coincidence?

How do you decorate for fall? Or should I start with do you decorate for fall and if so, when do you start?

Currently my fall decor consists primarily of pumpkins I have collected over the years. I have a lovely collection of glass pumpkins and I promise to not buy anymore. And so far I haven't this year.

So far.

Just kidding. I really do think I am full up on pumpkins.

I also have quite a selection of other assorted pumpkins that I generally use to fill my apothecary jars.

If you recall back in 2019 when I was trying to decorate my apartment and was on a limited budget I discovered a new found appreciation for throw pillows. Throw pillows are a fun and easy way to add seasonal decor, but they can run $15 or more so not especially affordable if you want a lot (which I always do).

I also tend to concentrate on just my most public areas for decor - meaning living room and dining room. Which is nice but since those are also probably my least used rooms, I wanted to spread things out a bit more this year.

Surprisingly, things did not go as planned.

I first tried placing my glass pumpkins around the house. Some locations worked better than others, but I mostly came to the conclusion that they were better off as a grouping. And what better place to put a grouping of glass pumpkins than on the dining table?

This is where I should confess that I spent FAR too much time setting the dining table. Particularly when you consider I was just setting it for decorative purposes.

Last year - or maybe even the year before? - I found some cute fall plates at Dollar Tree. And this was back when everything was still $1.00. This year I happened to see some new fall plates at DT that while still fall, perfectly complimented my dining room.

I need you to know that I did not immediately buy them.

But then they showed up in my Facebook feed and I showed Rob and he thought we needed them so thus began my quest. I immediately went out and went to 4 different Dollar Trees in my area but none had 8 plates so I didn't get any. I figured it was the universe's way of keeping me in check.

Until one day I went in and they did have 8 plates and 8 bowls and I bought them (thanks universe!). So for $20 I got a lovely new set of fall dishes and now I have some old ones I need to get rid of...DM me if you want them.

Also I'm going to have to do a separate DT post later.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. So I also have these placemats that I've used in years past but I alternate between white and a mustard yellow (not French's mustard but more of a stone ground mustard). And I also bought an owl runner last year on clearance that I was looking forward to using.

It was all a bit much. The placemats, the pumpkins, the plates, the runner...too many things competing for attention. I even reached out to a Facebook group I'm in - Beautiful Table Settings - for advice. And I received a lot of advice.

First, napkins go on the LEFT! So many people yelled at me for that. <insert eye roll> They were evidently so focused on the napkin being on the right (wrong) side that they couldn't even see the rest of the table.

There was also a whole lot of buy new napkins/tablecloth/accessory comments - so much that I had to edit my post to add that I was not looking to spend any additional money, I needed to work with what I have.

And finally I settled on the plates needed to be the star of the show and they were competing too much with the placemats and runner. So those are removed and gold chargers (which I already had) went back under the plates. I still needed a runner to ground the pumpkins so I am reusing the green velvet that lives on the table every day.

Et voila! I don't know if it is magnifique, but it's pretty and it makes me smile when I walk past the dining room.

As for me and my house, fall has arrived.

I placed the other pumpkins in their usual apothecary jars and a few in some silver trays we have in the movie room (see also the aforementioned table runner - it's on top of the fireplace console). And then you have the original throw pillows in the living room.

But I really wanted to bring more fall into the movie room. Obviously I am not financially in a position to buy more throw pillows. So instead I found some throw pillow covers that fit my existing pillows in that room! I think they are really pretty, coordinate well with the sofa, and I spent less than $20 on what was essentially 4 new pillows. As a bonus, they will take up a lot less room to store when I am done with them. I love them - what do you think?

This is not a sponsored post, I sourced and paid for all items out of pocket - but if you like what you see and use one of my links, I may receive some financial compensation.

And yes, we have 2 blankets on the couch because this room gets COLD when the AC turns on. Also Mister Manfred likes to snuggle on my lap under a blanket.

Anyway - I have been looking for some affordable fall decor - and I've found a lot at DT - but I'm not super into decor with words on it. At least not for fall. I have one pillow that says Hello Autumn and even that makes me pause every time I bring it out but it looks really pretty on the living room sofa so I allow it.

I'm just not a "It's Fall Y'all" kind of person. I'm not judging you if you are...but if you are you should really check out DT because they have some really cute stuff.

I just don't know what else to use for fall decor other than pumpkins. I might supplement with some cute acorns I saw, and Magan suggested a hedgehog or two (and I do think they are cute). Maybe I can try to make some?

I know some fall foliage would be nice but I don't think the quality at the DT is what I am comfortable with and that's all my current budget will allow. Any other suggestions I'm not thinking of?

And for the record, we do eat at the table maybe once a week. I'd love to do it every night because it really is one of my favorite rooms, but the truth is more often than not we grab a plate and sit in front of the TV. Rob has been working so hard (and late) that if we want to watch a movie we almost have to do it that way. But often when the boys are over - or if it is a messier meal - we do sit at the table. In that case, I will do a quick rinse of the plates and glassware - the flatware does not stay on the table daily.

If you didn't already know, we've been having dinner with my mother-in-law every other Wednesday for a few months now. I think it is safe to say it is something we all look forward to.

Sidebar: I've been very lucky with my mothers-in-law, at least while I was married to their sons. I am still friendly with hubby1's mom and step-dad. We may not talk often but we definitely touch base a couple times a year. She may have taken a while to get used to me, but we got there eventually.

Hubby2 came with 2 mothers-in-law - both of whom I at least thought "got" me and loved me straight away. I was evidently wrong about his mom - which was definitely lemon juice on the paper cut that was 2019 - but his step-mom still loves me. We messaged each other just last week.

But Hubby3 also came with 2 mothers-in-law. Susan is his mom and I adore her and I know she loves me. She often refers to me as her daughter from another mother and whenever we have something in common she will say "you get that from me". She is delightful and lovely and I am so happy to spend time with her.

Mickey is his step-mom and while I haven't spent as much time with her - because she lives in Oklahoma - I adore her too. And based on a recent text exchange, I'd say it's mutual. We really do need to plan a visit to her soon.

Anyway, back to my story. So we were at an Italian restaurant and Susan wanted to order the Chicken Piccata. So I told her about how my first husband learned to make Chicken Piccata for me because it was my favorite meal and when we had twins our going out budget dwindled to nothing. And it was the BEST Chicken Piccata I ever had and that I've been chasing down that flavor ever since.

Last Friday I asked the boys what they wanted for dinner (Xander was in town visiting) and Zach asked for a casserole I haven't even thought about in years. I told him I wasn't sure I even had the recipe anymore but I would look for it. The only place I could think to look was this beat up recipe book I have where you write down your recipes - in theory it was a good idea but in practice I maybe put 5 recipes in it.

I didn't find the recipe I was looking for, but I did find something better!

Rather than retype it, I thought you should see it the way he put it in the cookbook. He wasn't wrong, it is PERFECT.

I apologized to Zach because this was what I was making for dinner. I followed his directions exactly but we did have capers on hand for anyone that wanted to add them. And O. M. G. It was just as good as I remembered. Maybe even better.

It's definitely being added to the rotation.

I served it with fresh green beans and a side salad. And don't forget bread because you definitely will want to sop up any left over sauce.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Before I make another post too long that no one reads it to the end, I'll leave you here. Have a great week, and happy fall y'all!

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