Fall Tour 2015 ~ Part 2

Happy Halloween! As promised in my post earlier this fall, here are some fun details of our Halloween decorations this year.

We’ll start outside. To begin, I’ll say that our cul-de-sac is a perfect fit for us. There are multiple reasons, and one is that Halloween is a big deal here. Two houses by us have large, glowing eyes in their upstairs windows, many houses have ghosts, tombstones, spiders, flags, and other yard decor, and everyone just seems to be in the spirit of spooky fun and candy!


My favorite piece outside is my light up cat that we put under the maple tree (which has turned to a beautiful orange-red color!).


Our porch is really the showstopper though, and it is almost 100% Matt’s doing… I occasionally get called in for a quick consult on placing something, and that’s about it! Halloween is Matt’s favorite holiday, so he goes all out and gets really geeky about it too. Our porch consists of electronics that he created and programmed that “perform” when triggered by the trick-or-treaters approaching the front door. These include flashes of light, sounds of thunder, a spider that moves across its web, and a ghost who rises up from behind tombstones. He even has a fog machine!


I will admit that I’m a big fan of the skeleton who’s been sitting in my basket chair all month. He’s pretty awesome.


If you survived the scares outside, we’ll welcome you and maybe even share some candy with you. Matt did the candy shopping this year, and he did well! Tonight we’ll have M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers, Twix and many others. Yum. I have mixed feelings between wanting so many kids to come and get a scare that we’ll have just enough candy, and having lots of left over candy for us to eat up later! ;-)

In our entry way I’ve slightly modified the table by the door… I added an adorable sign that says “Stop in for a spell” and also a few cats to the lower shelf! After all, what’s Halloween without a few black cats?



The Jane Austen room features my favorite Halloween display this year. In the window seat I added a spooky haunted house, a creepy tree, and a cute sign!


If you’re in the mood for an eerie read this Halloween, go pick up The Night Circus! (Pictured below) I just finished it this morning and it was fantastic: magical, mysterious, and even romantic. I loved it. Last year’s haunting Halloween read was Bellman & Black. It was also very good… very strange, but good!


In the living room, my mantel remains the same as it did in Part 1, but I have added my grandmother’s ceramic jack-o-lantern and a tray of Halloween books to the hearth!




Many of my Halloween books are from my childhood, but I have also added a few to my collection in the last few years. Here are a few of my favorites:

My last bit of Halloween fun is a few items on a side table in the living room! The print is from Rifle Paper Company; it’s a greeting card that I framed! I’ve had the little stuffed cat since I was a kid… I have to keep an eye on it though; for some reason my (real) cats love to pick on it!


I hope you have a very happy and haunted Halloween!

Spring Tour 2015

Happy spring, my friends!

Spring is always a fun time to pull out some decor that has been hiding all winter and freshen things up a bit. Here are a few pictures of spring and Easter at my house this year!

Here’s the entry. It’s complete with a little Easter bunny and a basket of glitter eggs! Also, we’re getting ready to paint our front door, inside and out. This will hopefully be looking different by tomorrow!

Spring entry 2015Easter Bunny & Books spring 2015

This cute little sign hangs by my front door, on the way into my Jane Austen Room. It makes me smile.

Today is going to be a great day

In the Jane Austen room I placed a few little bunnies! This one is a stuffed animal from my childhood. She’s such a cute little thing.

Bunny on piano spring 2015

This one is also a stuffed animal from my childhood. It’s so cute with my Beatrix Potter books!

Bunny & books spring 2015Spring tray 2015

I also put a few little bunnies in my book cases. Can you spot them? :)

Bookshelves spring 2015

In the living room I have lots of fun little spring things.

Spring living room corner 2015

Stairs Spring 2015

I also have sleepy kitties in the living room.

Living Room Spring 2015

Theo spring 2015

I made an arrangement on the mantel with ceramic bunnies and an Easter egg wreath.

Easter Mantel 2015

Here’s one more picture of the living room:

Living Room (2) Spring 2015One of these days we’ll get a new chair to live by the lonely side table..!

In the kitchen I have a pretty center piece on the table, a couple cheerful items on the counter top, and a little tiny bunny by my tea pot!

Spring Centerpiece

Kitchen corner spring 2015

Even things outside are starting to look like spring!

Spring 2015

What kind of spring cheer is at your house?

Christmas Tour 2014

Since it’s our first Christmas season at our new house, I had a lot of work to do in the decorating department this year! I had to find places for all of my items. And I’m loving how things turned out. Here’s a quick little tour!

We’ll start in the entryway. I put together this adorable arrangement that makes me smile every time I pass it. :-)

Christmas Entry Way

From the front door you can see our Christmas tree! But before we go into the living room, we’ll visit the Jane Austen Room. I love how this room’s Christmas decor came together.

Jane Austen Christmas 2014

My grandmother made the ceramic angels on the piano.

Christmas Piano 2014

Inspiration for the tray came from The Fancy Shack.

Christmas Tray 2014

Jane Austen Christmas 2014 - tray and chairs

Christmas Bookshelves 2014

Let’s move on to the living room… It turned out really nicely too! I really wanted a bigger tree this year, but I couldn’t get Matt on board… I’ll try again next year. ;-) This living room definitely wants a taller tree! But even with the small tree, my living room is so pretty!

Christmas Living Room 2014

Christmas Living Room-2 2014

My favorite arrangement this year is above the fireplace. It’s so pretty. I really love the wreath on the window — it’s making me think I should do seasonal wreaths there more often!  Here’s a close up:

Christmas Mantel 2014

The kitties really like it when we have the fire going. Here’s Theo being adorable.

Christmas Theo 2014

I put some garland on the stairs. I started with really simple (i.e., cheap) garland, added some picks with pine cones and berries, some bells with red bows that used to be my grandmother’s, some beaded garland and some ornaments. Pretty!

Garland on Stairs 2014

And last, but not least, here’s an overview of the living room from the stairs:

Christmas Living Room

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Hide the TV

When we moved into our new house earlier this year we gained a lot of space, but it was a very different use of space than what we had at our old house… At our old house we had a living room and a family room. At our new house we only have a living room; there is no family room (yet!). So, even though this house is bigger, suddenly we were short a living space. And this means that our TV is now in our living room.

Now… some people like having TVs in multiple rooms for easy TV viewing… but not me. I thoroughly enjoyed having only one TV in the house, and having it not in my primary living space. And others did too — I received multiple compliments on my not having a TV in my old living room. In that space we were able to enjoy conversation, parties, games, reading, and music without having a big TV there to distract us (even if it’s off, it’s still not pretty to look at). But, as I said, in this new house we don’t have the luxury of two living spaces any more.

Shortly after we moved in, and before my TV was “hidden”, we had some friends over who noticed right away that there was now a TV in my living room. They commented that it felt strange to have a TV in my living room… but I had a plan. I wanted to “HIDE THE TV” with a wall arrangement!

With the help of pinterest and my mom, I began to pull together ideas and pieces for my new arrangement. Some things were from arrangements at the old house, a couple things are family pieces (an old skeleton key from my great-grandmother’s house, an old key-shaped thermometer from my grandmother’s house), some were new, and some Matt and I made. The pieces all focus on home, love and beauty. (Who doesn’t want those messages portrayed in their living room?)  :-)

Here are a few boards and pins from pinterest that were especially inspiring:

When I felt like we’d collected enough materials, my mom and I arranged the pieces on the floor and then convinced my dad to help us hang everything up! (Thanks, Dad!)

Hide the TV - tv wall arrangementUS chalkboard mapNow we have a beautiful arrangement around our TV that I love to admire and my guests like to look at too. And it’s fun to talk about — Matt and I have colored in the states that we have visited together (it doesn’t count if we didn’t go there together!) and we put special markers on cities that have special meaning to us: we have a heart on Fort Collins (where we live), a heart on Muskegon (where we met), and a block M on Ann Arbor (where we went to school). And there are pictures of us in Muskegon at Lake Michigan, and on Horsetooth Mountain, overlooking Fort Collins.

Now this room feels cozy and comfortable, and it’s so much more interesting to look at!  (And soon we’ll even have some curtains too!)

Living room - hide the tv