Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cozy, Small Fall Haul for the Home

Famous (or not so famous) words once wrote that fall is more than just pumpkin spice lattes.  But that doesn't mean you have to ignore all of the cozy decor, scents, and flavors associated with fall. You just shouldn't let them be the prime focus!

When you step foot inside your home, you should automatically feel comfortable and cozy because it is your shelter; your home should protect you and allow you to rest.  While owning a home certainly comes with responsibilities and the occasional unpleasant mishap, the aesthetic of your home should never cause you additional stress.  Instead, it should ease you from all the other stressors that you have.  You may not be able to take frequent vacations or relax everyday in a cozy little cabin nestled in the woods, but you can definitely make your home feel as if you are in paradise.   

Decorating your home in a style that you like is a wonderful way to help you escape to happiness.  One way to make your home feel like a getaway is by incorporating scents and decor associated with your favorite vacation spot.  If you love relaxing by the ocean, decorate your mantel with accents of the sea, such as sea shells or sail boat figurines.  If forests are your preference, mimic the woods by displaying images of trees.  Use decor associated with places that give you relaxation and you'll give yourself an opportunity to unwind every day. 

One way that I love to make my abode feel cozy is by decorating according to the season.  I feel  most comfortable when I am surrounded by nature.  Unfortunately, it is not very practical for me to sleep outside every night (nor do I wish to battle the skunks), so I like to bring natural seasonal touches into my home.  It is so easy for me to get carried away with buying decor each season; I practically walk into the seasonal aisles in my favorite stores palpitating because of all the cute decor that line the shelves!  However, because I am on a budget and because being materialistic and wasteful is not exactly the key to happiness, I limit myself to just a few, sensibly priced accents.  Two of my favorite stores to get reasonably priced seasonal decor are Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics.  Both of these stores offer wonderful sale prices and excellent coupons, especially if you subscribe to their e-mail blasts.  When buying decor, always check websites of your favorite stores for great coupons and deals.  Also, be sure to check out local events for festivals or markets because you can find great decorations there as well. 

Decorating your home does not have to be expensive; you can easily bring comforting touches to your home without plastering every square inch with pricey statues or paintings.  Today, I will share with you my small fall haul with cheap, yet cute touches that bring a little sense of fall coziness to my abode.

Yankee Candle:

I have an absolute weakness for candles.  I love them and admittedly have too many, but their scents easily help me relax in my home.  At Yankee Candle (or any shops that sell candles), I typically have a hard time choosing which scents to purchase since there are always a handful of new ones that just smell so good.  They have a vast assortment of different scents, so you are sure to find something that you like! Rather than buying the huge candles, which can get incredibly expensive, I like to get the little sample votives and wax melts for my wax melt burner.   This way, I can get a few different scents that bring comfort to my home.  Bonus points: one candle came free with my purchase!

The four fall scents that I recently purchased are Autumn Leaves, Autumn in the Park, Harvest, and Mountain Lodge.  I am not a fan of "thick", musky scents, so I went for these candles that have lighter, earthy scents.
Autumn Leaves - If there was a signature fall scent, this candle would emulate it.  Autumn Leaves has warm undertones without being too musky or heavy.  The hints of fruity sweetness are not overpowering, so it does not register that "food" smell that some candle scents have.  Instead, it smells like a pile of fresh fallen leaves that were tossed with just a hint of cinnamon.  This candle fragrance is light, refreshing, and still cozy.

Autumn in the Park - Out of the four, this one has the "sweetest" smell.  With obvious hints of apple, it is definitely on the fruity side, but like Autumn Leaves, Autumn in the Park is still light enough that it doesn't smell like an apple pie exploded in your house.  Instead, it has the same fragrance as an apple orchard on a cool day - crisp, refreshing, and sweet. 

Harvest - Harvest has the thickest fragrance out of the candles that I purchased.  Don't let the picture on the label turn you away - it does not smell like popcorn or buttery roasted corn.  This candle smells like a sweeter pumpkin pie.  You can definitely recognize traditional fall spices such as cinnamon and all spice.  Harvest is about as close to a musky scent that I'll go; it is warm without being "stuffy". 

Mountain Lodge - If you like the scent of incense, this candle is for you.  Mountain Lodge is definitely woodsy and almost has a faint hint of cologne.   Overall, it has a more masculine scent, but it is warmer and cozier than the "chemical" fragrance that cologne has.   

JoAnn Fabrics:

Before every season, I look forward to seeing the new seasonal decor that JoAnn's has.  They have cute decorations for both indoor and outdoor use, and this store has the most coupons available (be sure to give them your mailing address for frequent savings!).  One of the few negative points about JoAnn's is that like many hobby stores, they tend to transition to the upcoming seasonal decor super early before the season actually starts.  During the actual season, the items go on sale, but many of them get snatched up beforehand.  As soon as you notice the sale starting, I recommend going ASAP to grab any items that you REALLY want. 
Hand Towel - This season, I had to stop myself from buying an incredibly pretty, whimsical fall garland and flowers for a wreath because I literally just bought some last year, but I did snatch up this "Live Simply" hand towel.  Yes, it is soft, but I honestly bought it because of the message and stitching, not because I truly cared about quality use.  It has a soft, buttery cream color and simple imagery, matching the saying perfectly.  On sale, this towel came out to $3.99 before the percentage off coupon, so it was definitely a cheap find!  Hanging in my kitchen, this towel serves as a lovely reminder to appreciate and focus on the things that truly matter.

A Homespun Heart:

A cute, unique specialty store nestled along the Wisconsin Dells shopping strip, A Homespun Heart is located in a beautiful, craftsmen-style house turned into an adorable decor store.  With everything from flower arrangements and wall signs to curtains and table cloths, A Homespun Heart has a huge amount of seasonal decor and baubles to choose from.  The items have a "homemade" feel, making them a perfect addition to "cozify" your home.  If you are ever visiting Wisconsin Dells, I definitely recommend checking out this shop, even if just for the architecture!   
Mini Cinnamon-scented Pumpkin Potpourri - When you open this bag, the spicy cinnamon aroma sends you in fall heaven immediately.  This potpourri is made of cute, tiny little pods that literally resemble pumpkins.  The deep, dark red and robust orange hues blend beautifully to create a delightful fall assortment.  While I did purchase this potpourri at this Wisconsin Dells shop, I have seen them sold online using a little reconnaissance work.  Use this potpourri alone as I did (see below), or combine this spicy, cinnamon scent with your other favorite potpourri.  As these "pumpkins" are tiny, I would use them with other smaller potpourri, such as acorns or tiny pinecones, so that you don't lose them within the mix. 

Hobby Lobby:

Like JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby also has lovely seasonal decor that basically is put out two months before the season starts.  The items get picked over rather quickly during the actual season, so I do recommend checking out the decor early on, as soon as the sales start.  Typically, the sale percent stays the same until the very, very end of the season, so if you really like something, get it right away.  Otherwise, it may not be there later on.
Jar and Ribbon - I bought this cute, plump jar and fall themed ribbon to use along with the pumpkin potpourri that I found.  I wanted something pretty, "fall-y", yet still simple to hold my potpourri.  There were a ton of jars and glasses to choose from, but I liked the "country jam" feel of this particularly plump jar, and I personally always associate fall with the countryside.  The ribbon has deep burgundy and orange checks; like the jar, it has a country-fall feel, and the size of the checks are just small enough where they aren't overwhelming to the eyes.  The ribbon is a cute accent for smaller decorations.
Leaf Candle Holder - Although it is meant for candles, when I placed the glass jar into this candle holder, I had a Cinderella moment - it just fit perfectly and I knew that it was the final addition to my fall potpourri craft.  This holder is made of thin metal shaped like autumn leaves.  Each leaf is painted with rusty yellow, green, and orange undertones, mimicking the colors of fall.  On sale for just over $4, it is a lovely accent piece that can be used with your favorite candle scents or as a finishing piece on small arrangements.     

My final mini DIY: 

Local Grocery Store:
Mini Pumpkin - Because nothing is cuter than a real, mini pumpkin during fall.  :)

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