My Fall Decor Wish List

Fall is all about creating a cozy ambiance! So I attempt to add cozy lighting anywhere I can via twinkle lights, lighted pumpkins, or flickering (battery operated) candles.

Click on the image below for a FREE printable!

I’ve been eyeing these items for fall! With two holidays being part of fall (Halloween, Thanksgiving), I love decor that works for both! Also, I love that these items are also budget friendly…that wreath is 70% off right now! What have you been loving this fall?

Alternative Birthday Gift Ideas for Kids

Have you heard the saying that kids spell love T.I.M.E.? This year has been a bit crazy for our family and I felt like we were lacking quality one on one time with our children. So instead of spending a lot of money on toys that they love for only a week. We decided to gift them with time for their birthdays.

It just so happened to be our oldest two sons “golden” birthday (when you turn the same age as the date of your birthday). So we made “golden tickets,” that read…

this golden ticket is good for one outing of your choosing with me!

Here is what our kids chose to do:

7 year old boy

with Dad- went to play tennis for the first time, then the local crab shack and to the beach to play soccer (we live near the beach)

with Mom- went to a baseball game --we actually just chose a local high school baseball game to go to…he was the most excited about the refreshment stand!


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9 year old boy

with Dad- his first time go carting! He was finally tall enough to drive on his own!

with Mom- he had so much fun go carting with dad, he wanted to go again. So that’s what we did too…I dominated of course!

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This one on one time was so special. I loved getting to give them my focused attention for a few hours and to do something that they wanted to do. So if you are feeling overwhelmed by throwing the traditional birthday party or giving the traditional gifts, try something different this year! We may not do this every year, but it was certainly needed and valued for this time in our lives.


African Baskets as Wall Art

African Basket Wall Art

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Baskets are all the rage recently, and I am definitely a fan too!  I fell in love with these colorful handmade baskets on my first trip to Rwanda.  Rwanda is a tiny country (the size of New Jersey) in East Africa surrounded by Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

If you love these baskets too, they can be purchased by clicking on the photos below.  I made sure to link a company that uses fair trade practices.  It's truly impressive to see artisans hand weave these baskets, and I love supporting companies that give there artisans fair wages so that they can support their families!  It really is a win win to collect these!  

When I first laid eyes on these beauties I immediately knew they had to be displayed on a wall!  All the different colors and designs on them are so gorgeous, and I wanted to just sit and stare at them.  

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In arranging the baskets I knew I wanted them out of arms reach from my kids.  I also thought arranging them in an unexpected pattern would be fun too!  So I dreamed up...the wave.  

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In order to create "the wave" I laid out the baskets on the floor and created the pattern.  I soon realized in order to create a wave I would need baskets smaller in size as well (thank goodness I picked up some smaller baskets too!).  

Here is the finished product...

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I love sitting here and staring at all the baskets, I still can't decide on which basket is my favorite?!  Are you drawn to one in particular?  I'd love to hear!  Also, let me know if you think I should give one away on my instagram feed?!  I "might" have one to spare!  Maybe. Maybe. ;)

Farmhouse Basket Wall Decor

Farmhouse Basket Wall

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Am I officially basket lady if I have two basket walls in my home?   Recently I've noticed a new trend to hang those seemingly useless rattan baskets of olden days on the wall.  You know the baskets I'm talking about...the ones that are always at the thrift store and everyone walks by without a second glance?  

To my surprise I found that they actually look pretty!  So...I made it my mission to hit up the thrift stores in my area and to gather those unwanted/unloved baskets to give them new life.  At 99 cents a piece I could afford to try it out...and if I didn't love them, I could just donate them right back.  Turns out, I kind of dig them.  

The key is finding baskets that are fairly shallow so they won't stick out to far from the wall.  Also, if they are a similar shade/color than they look more cohesive hanging in a group.  Lastly, hang the baskets in an interesting way...like surrounding a piece of art, or clustered together, and always in groupings of odd numbers.  When you hang 3, 5, or 7 baskets it is easier to arrange in an interesting way, than if you have 2, 4, or 6.  

Here is some more thrift store basket inspiration:  

inspiration photos from bloglovin.com and simplestylings.com

School Photo Disasters

My kids cannot take a good school photo to save their lives.  Inevitably their hair is all messed up, they look so stiff and awkward, and the only good the photo will serve is  a good laugh for the yearbook when they look back on it in 10 years.  It is definitely not frame worthy or how I want to remember my children.  

Rather, my favorite portraits of children are caught when they are just being themselves and their personalities naturally shine through.  If you are not happy with the photos you have of your kids because noone can seem to capture their true personalities...i would be happy to help!  Click HERE for more info!