So many wonderFALL ideas!

Posted by on Oct 30, 2012 in Fabulous & Free | 0 comments

Autumn is my favorite season.  I can’t get enough of the vibrant colors, crisp air, and pumpkin flavored anything!  I’ve just arrived home from a trip to Nashville and Chattanooga, TN with my friend, Claudette.  I repacked my suitcase the day after arriving home and headed up to our mountain home with my family.  (I cranked out 80 handstamped autumn cards – yay for  “relaxed”productivity!) Both trips were filled with the grandeur of God’s splendor with the fall leaves and autumnal moonlight (This may be TMI – but every autumn full moon, my husband sings the song to me “Harvest Moon” – mushy and adorable I know).  On the TN trip I was spoiled to visit so many of my Lifeway friends at work and at home.  What fun to go to Chattanooga (yes – I ate a Moon Pie and drank an RC Cola since Chattanooga is home of the Moon Pie and this is apparently what one does when visiting in Chattanooga).  We saw the smokey mountains in their full glory.  A hay ride was on our Chattanooga agenda at a farm that is right out of Country Living magazine (thanks to the hard work and  hospitality of the Stansell family). Additionally on our TN trip, Claudette and I also visited a model home tour, Lieper’s Fork, The Grand Ole Opry backstage tour, Carnton Plantation, Loveless Cafe’, The Country Music Hall of Fame, went to the Cupcake Connection, saw my friend Amy’s restored home (see her blog at Bradford Avenue),  ate breakfast with Miss Patty Cake, shopped in a lot of antique stores and adorable shops in Nashville & Franklin, ate pumpkin spice yogurt at Cece’s,  indulged in a a fried bologna sandwich, fried green tomatoes, fried pickles and a lot of grits.   Somehow, I lost two pounds on that trip.  Perhaps I need to move to Nashville?

I’m home for just another 24 hours before I take off for Maine (that is IF Hurricane Sandy will allow me to fly).  I had to quickly come up with a little fall treat  for my daughter’s teachers, neighbors, and the girls in Bible study.  I decided on Gatorades made to look like pumpkins.  I made 30 of these tonight.  They are a nice alternative to giving candy since at Halloween cavities are already flourishing.  Here’s a simple “how to” along with a few wonderful ideas I picked up on our trip…enjoy the photo tour:


Start with any size bottle of orange Gatorade.









basic pumpkin supplies

You will need one green pipecleaner per bottle, cut out green leaves, black triangles for eyes and the nose, a smiley face mouth, a glue stick, and hole punch.










Prepped bottle

Once you remove the label, cut 12x12" orange scrapbook paper into 12" wide x 4" high strips, wrap around the Gatorade bottle and use a glue stick on the overlap to adhere.











add the pumplin face

Wrap the green pipecleaner around the neck of the bottle. Hole punch two leaves and slip them onto the two ends of the pipecleaner. Wrap the ends of the pipecleaner around a pencil to give it a curled vine affect. Glue the black construction paper pieces onto the bottle for a "face".











add the tag

I typed a tag on my computer in orange and black fonts that reads: "There's no need to FEAR or wear a MASK. Jesus is the JACK of all trades. He knows your every need. Ps 62:8" I simply hole punched this tag and stuck it on the curly pipe cleaner "vine".











Claudette & I at the Grand Ole' Opry

Claudette & I couldn’t resist this picturesque spot outside the Grand Ole’ Opry.
On stage

Here we are on the stage of the Grand Ole' Opry...I felt like I should break out a banjo or start yodeling.













Piggly Wiggly

What's a trip to the South without a stop at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store?










Knitting Mill

If you are ever in Chattanooga - stop by The Knitting Mill - an old mill turned antique store. Nothing like the charm of creaky hardwood floors while you shop for wonderful treasures. We contributed to the local economy here.











Stansell Farm

Here's my buddy Amy = we are about ready to head out on the hay ride. We spotted several deer and many acres of colorful trees. It was dreamy! Can you tell I'm from AZ with my winter coat, scarf, and hot cocoa? Amy didn't even feel need to button her flannel!











Stansell Farm

Here I am at the entry to the farm...isn't her Mom over the top creative with her decor everywhere? Here are a few more snapshots.










tractor vignette

All over the farm were little vignettes of precious farm and autumn decor. Here are just a few more of the 167 photos I took.










By the barn door

Here is another vignette by the barn door.









Hayride wagon

Here is our hayride wagon all hitched up and ready to go. With my Iowa roots, I felt so at home on this farm.










Pumpkin decor table

In the barn there was a table for the kids to decorate mini pumpkins. Stickers, paint, Mr. Potato head parts, waxed lips, lollipops, and small trinkets/toys were available for the kids. They had a ball!











Pumpkin pinata

After sitting around the campfire, eating BBQ & smores (and a LOT of other food), we ended the night with a pinata. This was the first time I saw one where you pull out one string at a time. One of the strings (no one knows which one) is the magic string that breaks open the pinata. This is a great idea when the children are quite young. Here is Max doing his first pinata. He couldn't have been cuter!













Kids on the farm

Here are some of the young kids that attended the hay ride. No doubt they all slept well after a fun, active day on the farm.










Amy's house

You wouldn't even believe what my other friend Amy's house looked like before she turned it into this beauty. Go to her blog at Bradford Avenue at Word Press. You will be impressed with this home makeover!











Amy's kitchen

Here is Amy's cool kitchen. She did a great job restoring this old home into a jewel. She has an eye for warmth and potential. But that is so Amy. Her home will be featured in Better Homes & Gardens in the spring. You won't want to miss that issue!












Home tour

While I know it is very "vogue" right now to have a tv on the isn't my favorite. My husband and I are putting on an addition to our home. The new master has no other place for a tv but the fireplace. I knew this idea I spotted on the home tour was my answer. Isn't it cool how those barn doors slide over the TV? You will be seeing this feature in my home - it ties in my farm roots and gives me a solution to cover the TV. Not to mention I have old barn hardware from my Grandparents' farm. Love it! (I have no idea who the man was sitting in this model home - but he makes the picture look homey. Maybe he was tired of waiting on his wife and made himself "at home"?)
















cool airplane mural

This was part of an airplane mural on the model home tour. The artist painted the mural on the wall (not the ceiling but I'm thinking it would be cool on the ceiling too - if you were a little boy wouldn't you love to lay in bed and look up and dream about flying?). If you look closely - despite my poor photography - you will see the blades are actually a ceiling fan blade kit with only two blades on it to give it a dimensional affect. They have been painted to look like a metal propellor.













window towel rack

I loved this old architectural window turned into a towel rack in the powder bath on the model home tour. Great feature and a wonderful way to add charm to a new home.













Liepers Fork

Lieper's Fork, TN: I couldn't resist this wonderful studio and chairs...they overlook a bluff filled with trees. Serene isn't it? Notice the great orange doors on the studio. A perfect autumn resting spot.











Wagon outside an antique store

We got stuck in traffic by a train...and we just happen to be right by this antique store. So what's a girl to do while waiting but shop? Yes - we both found treasures and contributed to the local Franklin economy.













What's a trip to Nashville without eating at the historic Loveless Cafe? My sweet friends Amy S. and Susan joined Claudette and I for some grits and the world famous Loveless biscuits. You can't resist them as they are served warm with butter and pear, blackberry, or strawberry jam. YUMMO!











Miss Patty Cake

My girls have grown up on Miss Patty Cake videos. I had the joy of eating breakfast (at Puckett's in Franklin - yum!) with Miss Patty Cake herself, Jean Thomason. I was beyond delighted that she gifted me with a Miss Patty Cake signed doll. My daughter thought I was the coolest for bringing this home for her. Jean is so lovely and has a heart for Jesus and children. Pick up Miss Patty Cake's dvds and CDs for any preschooler you know - I know they will love it!













God's grandeur

We were blessed to be in TN at peak season to see incredible color. Here is just one photo I took of the autumn splendor!











Claudette and I spotted several "shut" signs. We got so tickled with sounds so southern. Not "closed" but "shut". When we asked our local area friends about them - they had never noticed them. This one is from Lieper's Fork at the antique store there as it was closed, I mean, SHUT on Monday. Then we found one at The Factory in Franklin, and one at a shop on the way to Chattanooga. I think it is my new favorite word. When my mind isn't on high function...I'm just "shut". I've said it a few times with my best attempt at sounding like I'm from TN and people look at me like I'm cussing. So I may have to revise my accent. But I do love its simplicity. I wish I had this when my girls were little when I would put myself in Mommy would be perhaps more affective to say, "I'm sh-ut" (I've learned from my Southern friends, most one syllable words get turned into two).

















So this completes, rather, SH-UTs this blog.  I hope you have enjoyed this wonderFALL tour and found some of your own inspiration!



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