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Fall Stovetop Potpourri  {A Pretty Life}

Fall Stovetop Potpourri

With this Fall Stovetop Potpourri you are 5 minutes away from your home smelling like the coziness of fall baking!

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So what are your thoughts on home smells?  For me, having a home that smells good when you walk in is really important.  That may sound weird, but I wouldn’t be able to stand it if someone came into my home and hated the smell.  I mean, our home is busy…I have 3 busy kids with friends who are here all the time, we have a puppy and a cat, so needless to say I worry that things could get a little stinky.

I like to have the windows and doors open (that’s the country girl in me), but there are times when I just want to get the whole house smelling a little fresher.  But I don’t like to use home sprays and things like that because I’m bothered by their intense smell, so I prefer to use more natural ways to add scent.  This is where homemade stovetop potpourris are really nice.

Homemade potpourris are SO easy to make, and most of the time the ingredients you need to make them are right there in your own home already.  Really, if you have some cinnamon and vanilla on hand, you have an instant home deodorizer.

For fall, this simple potpourri is great…when it simmers it smells like you have an apple pie in the oven.  The only problem with that is you will suddenly crave a slice of apple pie, but you won’t actually have one.  Sad face.  But at least your home will smell delicious and cozy!

Fall Stovetop Potpourri {A Pretty Life}

Whisk

Place your potpourri pot on the back burner and let it simmer on the lowest setting.  Within minutes you will be enjoying the warm and comforting scents of vanilla and cinnamon. Potpourris are also great to make about a half hour before you have guests come over…your home will smell amazing.

Fall Stovetop Potpourri
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lemon, sliced thin
  • 1/2 an apple, sliced
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 2 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • water

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and top up with water.
  2. Simmer on the lowest setting and enjoy!
http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/fall-stovetop-potpourri/

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If you like this potpourri recipe, you might also like this recipe for a Christmas Stovetop Potpourri!

Happy Fall Y’all!

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Fall Grass Place Card Holders

Make pretty fall grass place card holders for your autumn table!  With just a few simple supplies, making a beautiful table setting is easy.

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With fall entertaining upon us, it’s fun to set a pretty and festive table for family and friends, whether it be a Thanksgiving table, or just a lovely weekend dinner with friends.  More and more I am buying into the notion that if I’m going to take the time to create a delicious dinner, I want to take the time to serve it on an equally lovely table setting.  I think it creates an overall wonderful dining experience…great company, pretty ambiance, and delicious food.

Earlier this week I shared my simple fall table setting with you, all in hopes of providing some decoration inspiration for your own table!  And one of my favourite features of the setting are the grass place card holders that I made.  When I was planning and thinking of ideas for the place cards I knew I wanted something homemade, and something really easy to put together.  I also wanted them to match the rest of the table, without being too overpowering.  While I was out looking for various things to use, I saw these fall grasses and knew they were perfect…everything about them screamed fall, and as a big bonus they match the glasses I had!  I love it when things come together!

Fall Grass Place Card Holders {A Pretty Life}

What’s great about these place card bouquets is that you can tailor them to your own decor!  Use grasses or feathers that match your dinner plates and napkins, use any tag you like, and tie them up with ribbon of your choice.  Just get creative and have fun with them!  Then once dinner is done, you can take them apart and put all the grass and feathers into one mini bouquet for display somewhere else in your home!

Fall Grass Place Card Holders {A Pretty Life}

I am really happy with how these turned out.  They are simple and tie many of the elements of my fall table together so nicely!  Plus, they they were SO easy to make…I’m all about the easy.

Supplies to make your own place card holders:

  • Fall grasses.  I like to use groupings of 3 for each place holder.
  • Feathers.  I used 2 brown goose feathers for each place holder.
  • Name tags.
  • Pretty ribbon to tie it all together.

How to assemble your place card holders:

These are so simple to make.  All you have to do is tie the grass and feathers in a little bunch, almost like a mini-bouquet.  But first I wrote the names of all of my guests onto little kraft paper tags I found at the dollar store (in the scrapbooking aisle).  Then I pulled a string through the eyelet of the tag.  Once I had the grass and feathers in a little bunch, I just tied them up with the ribbon.  That’s it.

Fall Grass Place Card Holders {A Pretty Life}

If you want to see how they look on my fall table, head on over to my Fall Table Setting post!  And I hope you have some ideas for your own table!

Have an inspired day!
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A Fall Table Setting

Tastemakers Table Wayfair

Create a beautiful fall table setting with seasonal touches inspired by nature!

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After the weirdo weather of our summer this year, fall has actually been a warm welcome.  I always look forward to fall, but this year especially so because I was hoping it would come with the nice soft weather that is typical of our autumn.  And so far fall hasn’t disappointed, the sun is shining, skies are blue and the air is warm.  Brightly coloured leaves are crunching underfoot, spiced tea is being poured, fall baking is in the oven, soup’s on the stove and homes are being decorated to celebrate the season.  I love fall.

Feeling inspired I have turned my attention to my home and I am enjoying decorating it for the season, and I can’t wait to share it with you!  My hope is that by sharing what I’m doing, you will feel inspired to decorate in your own home.  Plus, I’m going to share a tonne of tips to decorate within a small budget!  There’s no need to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful space.

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A Fall Table Setting

Today I’m sharing a fall table setting that would be lovely for Thanksgiving, or any special dinner you have planned during the fall season.  It’s always a nice to have a beautifully set table for special dinners.  I figure since you spent so much time planning and cooking a nice dinner for everyone, you may as well have an equally nice table setting to serve it on!

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

Finding Inspiration

A beautiful fall table setting can come together so easily with just a few simple elements.  Take a walk around your yard or hit the ditches in search of fall grasses or twigs with fall coloured leaves.  Buy a few mini white or orange pumpkins from the market and use them to fill decorative bowls, or to use as place markers.  These are all easy, inexpensive and accessible ways to decorate!

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For my fall table this year I wanted a very earthy autumn feel, with a lot of natural elements like grasses, wood, and fall colours.  The older I get, and the more comfortable I become with my style, the easier I find it is to decorate.  I have realized that I really love a rustic natural look, so I’m embracing it.

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

Putting a Table Setting Together

Right now I am really loving this muted shade of green, so I used it as the colour inspiration for my table setting.  It’s a great colour and matches well with fall shades of orange, red, and brown.

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

Once I had my colour scheme picked out it was time to set the rest of the table!  I used a simple linen table cloth as the base of the table setting.  Then I added a rustic wooden bowl full of mini white pumpkins in the centre of the table as the anchor.  As far as centrepieces go, this really doesn’t get any easier.  Plus, I love love the look of white pumpkins so I really like how this came together.

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

For the plate settings I used my circular woven grass placemats then layered the dishes at each place setting.  I like the cohesive look of the circle mats with the dishes.  That, and rectangle placemats don’t work on our circle table!

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

After years of setting festive tables, I have found that once you have a great neutral set of dishes, you can pretty much decorate your table any way that you like.  I prefer simple white dishes because they go with everything, and as a bonus I can use them at Christmas, Easter or any time of the year, and I just change the napkins, and centrepiece to match the season.

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

And because of the simplicity of these dishes, I layered a set of napkins that added a really nice pop of pattern and colour to the table.  Wayfair has a tonne of great linens that would look beautiful on a fall table.

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

Pretty Place Card Holders

One of my favourite elements of this table are the place card holders that I made with the most simple supplies: fall grass, goose feathers, kraft paper tags and some pretty ribbon to tie them together.  I’m going to share the full tutorial for how to make them (and where I got the supplies) this week, so make sure to come back!  As a bonus, when you’re done with these little ‘bouquets’ you can take them apart and make a little fall arrangement for display.

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

Decorating Off the Table

Once the table was set I turned my attention to the spaces around the table, like my china cabinet, the linen chest of drawers and my new cookbook cabinet.  These spaces are perfect for a little extra fall decorating!  In the background of the picture above, you can see where I hung the Simple Fall Grass Wreath that I made.  I love hanging wreaths on this cabinet!  I also tucked a few pumpkins into the cabinet to carry over the look.

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

I also placed a few little green pumpkins on my linen chest which you can see in the background of the photo above.  They match the glasses on the table perfectly!  Now the whole look is coming together.

A Fall Table Setting {A Pretty Life}

I really love how this fall table setting came together.  It’s simple, yet it has all of the rustic fall elements that I was looking for.  I hope you got some ideas for your own fall table!

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Now all that’s missing is your favourite fall food.  Pass the pumpkin delight please!

Have an inspired day!

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This post has been sponsored by Wayfair Canada!  But as always all thoughts, ideas, opinions and such are my own.

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Simple Fall Grass Wreath

With just a few supplies and less than 10 minutes, you can put together this Simple Fall Grass Wreath for your home!

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I’m feeling so inspired this fall.  Maybe it’s the crisp fall air and sunny skies, or the markets full of fall produce, or the fact that the kids are back at school…I’m not really sure what the reason for it is, but I’m just going with it.  I’ve been busy shopping farmers marketsmeal prepping, baking and decorating my home and loving every second.

Simple Fall Grass Wreath {A Pretty Life}

One of the things I enjoy the most about fall is being able to decorate my home for this gorgeous season.  I haul out pillows with pops of fall colours for our couch, add fall leaves into existing twig arrangements, place pumpkins on the mantel and front porch.  And this year I’ve really tried to embrace natural elements in my fall home decor by using natural grasses, a lot of wood, earth tone colours and real fruit and pumpkins for display.  Because really, what’s nicer than what Mother Nature offers us?  It feels nice to bring fall elements into my home to make it cozy.

But most importantly, I want (and need) to keep it simple…I don’t want to spend a lot of money, or overcomplicate decorating in my home, but at the same time I will always be that person who has a wreath on the door, or the mantel decorated.  I’m always trying to balance my need to decorate, with my need to keep it simple and on budget, as I know many of you are as well!  Well fret not, we can have a beautiful fall home that doesn’t cost a lot or take much time to do.  This Simple Fall Grass Wreath that I made is the perfect example.

Simple Fall Grass Wreath {A Pretty Life}

This year I wanted to make a new fall wreath that will hang in our eating nook (I’ll show you where I hung it in my fall home tour which is coming soon).  I kept this wreath super simple so that it fits in nicely with what I had going on in this space already.  All I wanted was a natural looking wreath with fall grasses so that’s what I created.  And it took me about 10 minutes to put together!  It’s simple and I love it.

Creating your own Simple Fall Grass Wreath (for less than $10 and 10 minutes)

Supplies:  1 grapevine wreath vase, grasses of your choice, and matching ribbon

How To:  All you have to do is stuff the grasses into the wreath base, trim the ends and hang the wreath using the ribbon of your choice!  It’s so simple, but that’s what is so great about it!  Have fun with it, choose your favourite fall grass or leaves, use a plaid, burlap or simple cotton ribbon.  So many possibilities!

Simple Fall Grass Wreath {A Pretty Life}

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be sharing a tonne of fall recipes, fall tablescape ideas, and finally my fall home tour!  I can’t wait, so I hope you stick around to gather some inspiration for your own home!

Have an inspired day!

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9 Delicious Zucchini Recipes To Try

9 Delicious Zucchini Recipes To Try

Have more zucchini than you know what to do with?  Here are 9 Delicious Zucchini Recipes To Try!

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Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables available!  Zucchini is technically a fruit, but for all intents and purpose it’s treated like a vegetable.  No matter, what a zucchini is, is delicious.  If you’re one of the lucky ones you have a huge summer crop, with more zucchini than you know what to do with.  But if you’re like me and you don’t have a personal crop, you can buy plenty of zucchini from your local farmers markets or grocery store, and that is exactly what I do all summer long.  All zucchini all the time.

Zucchini is great to have on hand because there are so many delicious ways to cook and bake with it without getting bored.  Over the years here on my blog, I’ve shared a few of my favourite zucchini recipes, so I thought I would share them with you again, all in one easy to access place!

Here are 9 Delicious Zucchini Recipes To Try!

Zucchini, Cheddar & Chive Buttermilk Quick Bread

Zucchini, Cheddar Cheese & Chive Buttermilk Quick Bread:  Quick bread recipes are fantastic, and this particular recipe is one of my favourites.  Aside from the delicious flavour, one of the best things about this bread is that you can have it made, baked and on the table in just over an hour.  Fresh bread for dinner?  Yes please.

Zucchini Bake {A Pretty Life}

Zucchini Bake I have been making and enjoying this Zucchini Bake recipe for many, many years because my Mom made it for us when I was a kid, and now I make it for my family.  It is a great side dish recipe that pairs well with chicken and BBQ’d meats.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake {A Pretty Life}

Chocolate Zucchini Cake:  You can’t have a zucchini recipe round up without a sweet zucchini loaf or cake!  This Chocolate Zucchini Cake is so tender and chocolatey that it would even make a great birthday cake!

Best Ever Zucchini Bread {A Pretty Life}

Best Ever Zucchini Bread:  I may be biased because this recipe comes from my Mom, but I really do think this is the best ever zucchini bread.  I make many, many loaves of this bread over the summer!  This is a great recipe because it makes 2 loaves, so you can freeze one for later.  Bonus!

Zucchini Muffins {A Pretty Life}

Zucchini Muffins:  Zucchini muffins are a nice way to use up zucchini.  This is basically the same recipe as my zucchini loaf, but instead I made it into muffins.  These are great because they are easy to pack into lunches or served as snacks.

Zucchini Bread Pancakes {A Pretty Life}

Zucchini Bread Pancakes: Zucchini pancakes are SO delicious.  They’re sweet, cinnamon-y and perfect for breakfast.  My kids love them.

Zucchini Fritters {A Pretty Life}

Zucchini Fritters:  Zucchini Fritters are a great summer side dish or snack idea.  They’re excellent served with Tzatziki sauce for dipping.  So good.

Tomato, Basil & Zucchini Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato, Basil & Zucchini Goat Cheese Tart:  Tarts are always a big hit around here!  A savoury tart such as this one is a great light dinner idea or summer appetizer.

Tomato Zucchini Skillet {A Pretty Life}

Tomato Zucchini Skillet:  I think this skillet just might be my most made dish of all time.  During the summer I likely make it once a week because it’s an excellent way to use up a tonne of zucchini, and it pairs wonderfully with any type of BBQ.  The flavour is great and it’s loaded with vegetable goodness!

I hope you found some zucchini recipe inspiration for your home!  What are your favourite ways to enjoy zucchini?

Have a delicious day!

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Tips for Backyard Camping with Kids {A Pretty Life}

Tips for Backyard Camping with Kids!

Camping in your own backyard can be so much fun for your family!  To make sure it’s a great time, here are some Tips for Backyard Camping with Kids!

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Our family loves to camp, in fact camping is the way we holiday over the summer months.  It’s such a great way to spend quality time as a family, and not only that, it is a really affordable holiday.  If time permitted we would camp every weekend of the summer, but that’s not always possible, so the next best thing is camping out in the backyard!  Kids love camping in the backyard…it’s endless hours of fun from set up to sun down!

Here are some tips so you can have a great time camping out with your kids!

Tips for Backyard Camping with Kids {A Pretty Life}

Get the kids involved in the set up!

When kids are involved in the planning and set up of any activity, the more likely it is that they will enjoy it!  If they’re old enough they can set up the tent (woohoo!), then fill it up with all of their blankets, pillows and comfort items.  Including the dog.

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Make it comfortable!

Set up air mattresses, have sleeping bags, pillows and plenty of extra blankets available in case it is cold at night!  The biggest thing that will ruin any camping trip is an uncomfortable tent and sleeping situation.  We have learned this the hard way over the years!  The biggest tip I can share about sleeping in a tent, is to make sure you roll out a thick blanket underneath the air mattresses (so between the ground and the mattress), that way no one will get cold from the air coming up from the ground.  I remember one night camping with friends, and my daughter and I were on an air mattress directly on the tent floor…oh my word.  We have never had a more uncomfortable and cold night camping EVER.  Ever.  I had to get up in the middle of the night and lay out every towel and piece of clothing I could find…good times.

Tips for Backyard Camping with Kids {A Pretty Life}

Make sure the kids have access to good night lighting!

I think the biggest fear with any kind of camping with kids, is the fear of the dark.  To combat this, our kids have the Energizer® Vision HD Headlights that I bought at Walmart.  These are great because the adjustable head bands fit comfortably, and they have 3 light settings.  Headlamps are perfect for late night reading and trips to the bathroom!  I also got them an Energizer Portable Lantern to have set up inside the tent for comfort…and I love that it won’t get hot.

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Tips for Backyard Camping with Kids {A Pretty Life}

Do the things you would do if you were in a campground, like having a campfire!

It almost seems impossible not to have a campfire if you’re going to be spending the night in a tent, even if it is in your backyard.  Break out those marshmallows and get roasting!  You can even make dinner over the fire…fire roasted hot dogs are the best!  When you think about it, backyard camping is a lot easier because you’ve got the kitchen right at your fingertips, plus you don’t have to worry about coolers and ice!

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Have fun!

Most importantly have fun!  Don’t stress about the details because really, if you forget something you can just go get it.  The whole point is to embrace summer holidays and have fun!

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Now It’s Time to WIN!

One Canadian A Pretty Life reader will win a $500 Walmart Gift Card!  To enter, leave a blog post comment telling me what you would buy for your own backyard campout!  Good luck!

 

Happy camping!

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Disclosure:  Thank you to Energizer Canada for sponsoring this post.  As always all thoughts, text, and opinions are my own.  We enjoy a good campout!  🙂

Easy DIY Patio Lights  {A Pretty Life}

Easy DIY Patio Lights

String patio lights around your deck or patio space to make a magical nighttime garden retreat!

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For as long as I can remember I have wanted to string patio lights around my deck but just never got around to making it happen.  I decided to change that this year, and get it done.  And now that the lights are up, I’m sad that I took so long to do it!  I love how my deck looks all lit up at night, SO SO much.  So much.

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This really is the easiest project I have ever tackled.  It’s almost too easy and embarrassing to share here, but I’m going to because if you have ever considered doing this to your deck space I want you to know you should.  Don’t wait another second because you’ll love the outcome.

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This is not a fancy project by any stretch, but then again I’m not fancy.  Sometimes I just want things done in a simplistic way, and that’s what I got with this light project.  To string the lights I used 2x2x8 treated lumber poles and stainless steel screw eye rings.  I screwed the eye rings into the centres of the tops of the poles.  Then we secured the poles to the corners of our deck by screwing them into the sides of our deck base.  Then I strung 4 sets of outdoor lights from eye ring to eye ring.

Done.  Really simple.

To recap, here are the supplies I used:

  • The lights are from Lowe’s and you can see them here.  They are a 2.4 watt indoor/outdoor 13.4 feet, 10 bulb LED light string.
  • 2x2x8 treated lumber poles
  • stainless steel screw eye rings

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And look how pretty they look!  Whimsical like a rustic garden party.  The whole deck is softly lit up…sigh.  I could sit out here all night long…the lights, the evening scented stock…I love it so much.

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So if you have waited to do this for your deck, don’t wait any longer!

Have an inspired day!

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Disclosure:  The lights and supplies I used for this project were gifted to me by Lowe’s Canada. As always, all thoughts, ideas, opinions and such are my own.  I really really love this project!