Monthly Archives: October 2013

how-to: add touches of fall-ness

There’s hardly anything better than walking around the house in December and thinking “it smells just like Christmas”. I absolutely love this feeling when you can smell the tree, scented candles and baked goods all throughout the house. Well, the same can be said for fall and yesterday morning, as I walked down my own stairs to the kitchen, I literally thought “it smells just like fall in here!”.

How is this so? By adding just the right touches of fall-ness to the place you call home. Don’t worry, these are all super simple and no fancy decorating required.

1. Pumpkin Scented Candles – Sprinkle the house with these and light often (kitchen + living room are most important for seasonal candles). Try also adding a complimentary hand soap in the kitchen or bathroom (I use this one).

      Spiced Pumpkin – Yankee Candle

        Pumpkin Candles  – World Market

Mexican Pumpkin – World Maket

Boulangerie Jar Pumpkin Soufflé Candle – Anthropologie

2. Autumn Air Freshner – There is only one freshner listed here because this is hands down the only one you’ll ever need! Place by an entry way or in a front room and your entire house will smell just like fall.

Autumn Wallflower  – Bath & Body Works

3. Baked Goods – You can make from scratch or try the one below for same great results.

Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix by Trader Joe’s – Just add eggs, oil & water. Some chocolate chips don’t hurt either. This is the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever tasted via mix and it’s the easiest too!

4. Fall Treats – Bowls of candy on coffee tables and by entry ways (think candy corn, kisses and anything bite sized for guests and yourself to enjoy all month long).

5. Fall Decor – Mini pumpkins, large pumpkins, wreaths, odds and ends by Pottery Barn (HALLOWEEN SALE).  This is where you can add as little or as much as you want (detailed tablescapes aren’t for everyone, I know). I tend to go for more of a “fall pumpkin” theme as opposed to solely Halloween themed.

{Home Sweet Home}

How do you get your house ready for fall?

swoozies + kate spade: office & party

So I was absolutely “that girl” in grade school (and high school, for that matter) who loved loved loved shopping for “school supplies”. When the list was finally mailed to my house at the end of summer (because no, we didn’t email with teachers then), I was beyond excited to head to the nearest Target or the like to get my list and then some. This normally meant just about everything was pink and somehow ended up with my monogram on it.

Well, not much has changed since then…now it’s just office supplies that I have far too much of. This is also why I was super excited when I learned that one of my favorite party and paper goods stores, Swoozies, was teaming up with none other than Kate Spade to create a special line of desk accessories, gifts and party supplies. And what do I love even more than office supplies? Yep, party supplies.

I have been so lucky to have shopped at two Swoozies locations (Palm Beach Gardens & Atlanta), which are both stores that I should be never allowed into (kidding!). Fortunately, anyone can shop Swoozies products online and this Kate Spade collection is one that shouldn’t be missed!

{Image via Swoozies}

Here are a few of my favorites from the newly released line:

 1. Bow Paper Clips + Bow Push Pins – I mean, do I have to even explain these first two? Bows.

2. Pencil Set – I love the so-called “modern charm” and phrases that were added to these.

3. Gold Dots Notebook – I have one of these notebooks and it’s full of lists that are much prettier to look at.

4. Coasters (THESE and THESE and fine, these glitter ones too!) –  There is no need to discriminate here; the more, the merrier.

5. “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” Thermal Mug – I find this mug quite appropriate for colder months ahead and office commutes.

6. Treat Yourself Favor Bags  – These could be used at fun birthday or Christmas party in green.

7.  Gold Dots Cocktail Napkins  – These napkins are made for a New Year’s Eve soirée.

8. All Occasions Card Set  – I love to have a set of cards on deck for just about any occasion and these do just the trick.

What are your faves? Do you still get just as excited as I do over office + school supplies? I think I’ll take one of each, please!

fall finds: quilted jackets under $200

The temperatures have started to drop here in DC and it’s certainly beginning to feel like fall.  In fact, I wore out two of my go-to quilted jackets this past week  (Barbour Burberry).

While I love these darling quilted staples, I’ve gathered up a few other picks to help keep you warm in the months to come.

The best part? They’re all UNDER $200? Amaze!

J.CREW Quilted Tack Jacket – $158 (select colors $148) // Love the corduroy collar
C. Wonder Quilted Nylon Barn Jacket – $128 // Love all the colors +  elbow patches
Barbour Eskdale Quilted Jacket – $160 // Navy on SALE HERE

London Fog Fly Front Quilted Jacket – $148 // Love the red

ASOS – Vero Moda Quilted Gilet Jacket – $88 // Love the sleeves


ASOS – Vila Quilted Jacket – $39 // Love the pocket trim

Which ones are your faves? Let me know!

P.S. – DON’T FORGET – Today is the last day to use H&T’s special discount code on ALL Blair Ritchey bags! Check out the post from earlier this week & use HOSTING15 before midnight!

Happy Friday!

fall paws: by essie & opi

We all have our go-to polishes that we fancy when indulging in a mani + pedi.  Some of the names we know by heart while others we just, well, like what we see. My paws (or nails) like my closet, change with the seasons. Summer & Spring months call for shades of pink.
Fall and Winter generally bring shades of purples, browns and reds.
Alas, here are my top picks by Essie and OPI for this fall.
1. Ballet Slippers // 2. Mauves // 3. Smokin Hot // 4. In Stiches //

1. Dulce de Leche // 2. Chocolate Moose // 3. You Don’t Know Jacques! //4. Get in the Expresso Lane // 5.  OPI Red // 6. Kennebunk-Port


(current #fallpaws: You Don’t Know Jacques! by OPI)

P.S. While I do love a good manicure, I wish I could be more like my little sister, Megan, and paint my own nails just as good. I know my friend Nichole of Vanilla Extract feels my pain, ha!

What favorite colors are you wearing this season?

Share on instagram with #fallpaws !

pumpkin pickin’ & wine sippin’

For those of you who haven’t noticed, I love to plan. Dinners, events, trips, you name it. I guess this goes hand-in-hand with “hosting”.

One of the great things about the fall season is that there are so many “activities”; from apple picking to pumpkin patches, Halloween festivities, Thanksgiving and everything else in between, there is always something to plan and do!  And with that, a journey to a pumpkin patch and vineyard are totally necessary.

Below is how I spent my weekend and a guide to planning the perfect fall outing.

1. Indulge in brunch (read: mimosas). 

 Whether you decide to host a brunch (I did this last year) or make reservations for one, make sure everyone is well fed before venturing out for the day. We all did breakfast on our own and then enjoyed mimosas (as seen below) at my house. Nothing like a little Florida OJ and Schramsberg bubbly to get the day started!

Mimosa Details: Mason Jars // Bows // Straws (Similar) // Bubbly // OJ Carafe

2. Visit a nearby pumpkin patch.

The most important part of the trip is finding the perfect pumpkin patch. I have visited Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Virginia the past two years. It is the perfect spot just outside of DC and there is so much to do, see and purchase! My girlfriends and I loved their country store, hayrides to the patches, giant apple dumplings and kettlecorn for the ride home. I walked away with two bags full of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes to cover our front steps and windowsills.

If you don’t live near a farm pumpkin patch, this is more of an excuse to get creative (hello, I went to church/school parking lots in Florida growing up for pumpkins). One idea would be to purchase pumpkins and host a carving + decorating party. Hopsy from Monograms and Manicures has an adorable tutorial on glitter pumpkins that I love!

Found my pumpkin! 

3. Spend the afternoon wine tasting. 

To end our day, we concluded with wine tasting at Bluemont Vineyard. Bluemont is  located just across the street from Great Country Farms and its views are beautiful.  In fact, it’s hard to believe it’s only an hour outside of DC!

We reserved a table on the top deck overlooking the gorgeous Virginia landscape and popped open a few bottles of Rose after enjoying a complimentary tasting (included in the farm entry free). There’s no shortage of food at Bluemont either, charcuterie and cheese boards, bruschetta, hummus, truffled parmesan white bean dip (#bestthingever), baguettes galore and gluten free crackers (for yours truly). They have it all and so did we.

After sipping, we walked the grounds and enjoyed live music before heading back to city life.

Have you bought your pumpkins yet? What do you do to kickoff fall? Let me know!