Fall DIY Project

Fall DIY Project

Everyone loves a good DIY project – especially me! I whipped up this quick canvas project in less than 2 hours with materials I had laying around my apartment (can’t beat that, right?).


  • Canvas
  • Scrap fabric
  • Colored paper (I used orange scraps left over from my wedding crafts, but a mix of orange, red, brown, and yellow would look great, too)
  • Tacky glue
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Binder clips

Since I wanted to reuse my canvas (and because I didn’t plan on hanging it), I folded the fabric around it and secured it with binder clips. You could always secure with heavy-duty glue or staples if you don’t plan on reusing your canvas. This could also work on scrap paper and placed in a frame, too!

Next I drew a variety of leaf shapes on my scrap paper – a quick image search will give you plenty of inspiration. Because I wanted rough, jagged edges on my leaves, I stacked 5-6 sheets under the stencil and cut around my outline.

Once all my leaves were cut, I randomly glued the leaves down to the fabric. I chose this method because I wanted it to have a loose, handmade feel.

Voila! A quick, easy DIY that brought a little fall indoors.

Fall DIY Project Steps

A New Season

turning leaves by misty morning prints Changing your habits is never an easy task, even if those changes are forced upon you. Ask someone who is fighting an illness or disease and has to drastically change their eating habits. It is 100% a mental game. 

How many New Year’s resolutions have you made and not followed through on? Or maybe you’ve committed to cleaning more frequently around your house after a particularly grueling round of spring cleaning… only to fall back in your dust-when-company-is-coming ways just a few short weeks later.

Recently, I looked around my apartment with utter shock at the amount of gidgets, gadgets, knick-knacks, pairs of shoes, you-name-it laying around our 1,000-ish square foot, 1 bedroom/1 den apartment. Shirts I haven’t worn in over a year still hang in my closet. Pots and pans and kitchen tools I probably forgot how to use are taking up limited cabinet space. Books I’ll never read. Bottles of lotion and nail polish.

My initial reaction was annoyance. Look at all the money I had wasted buying (or asking for) things I didn’t need. At the time, the slightly pinkier pink nail polish brought me happiness. Now I just wanted to throw it out – the color didn’t work with my skin tone anyway. I imagined living in a tiny house set in the woods with a finite list of belongings. But then I glanced around at all the items I held onto for sentimental value and realized downsizing that much wasn’t really my style, either.

As I get closer to turning 30, I am making a conscience effort to become the woman I want to be – a checklist of how I want to be in my personal relationships, my career, my everyday life. Not that there’s anything wrong with me now, but I don’t see myself as a woman who watches TV more than reads books (even though at the moment I know more about ‘The Real Housewives’ than Shakespeare). Preparing to become a parent (we’re not really trying, but I know it’s not too far into the future) has also made me look at the choices I’ve made and those I need to make very differently.

#2: Limit TV watching to 1 hour each weekday. #5: Eat clean. #9: Find a signature scent. And now, #12: Edit belongings and change shopping habits. I had added another item to my transformational checklist.

Luckily, two back-to-back work trips prevented me from irrationally throwing out my non-necessities as a quick-solve for #12. As I was walking around in Boston during the beginning of my second event, I had the opportunity to walk through the Boston Public Garden. Although it was well into October, only a few trees had started to turn from green to red or gold – one in particular caught my eye. It was half red and half green. In the middle of its transformation.

Fall is a season of change and I am in a season of change myself. It’s okay that I don’t have it all figured out – I can be partly red and partly green and still okay with my progress. Change isn’t easy but it’s the one part of life that is constant. As long as I keep a positive and realistic outlook on what I am working toward, I think that will help make me the woman I want to be.

Tomato + Fennel Jam Recipe

Ashley is one amazing cook – she’s always finding recipes and tweaking to make them better or just coming up with some delicious meals and snacks on her own. Today she’s sharing her recipe for tomato + fennel jam, one of my all-time favorite foods. It’s great as a snack with some burrata or mozzarella cheese, as a topping for meatloaf or chicken, and even as a condiment on a fancy grilled cheese (all of which I’ve tried with much success)!

Tomato + Fennel Jam Recipe

I am NOT a fan of tomatoes, or raw fennel. Licorice, ew. *shivers* However, this past summer, Misty told me about one of her favorite appetizers from a local restaurant. After reluctantly trying it for myself (hey! it came with cheese and bread!), I attempted to create my own tomato and fennel jam. I checked out a few recipes online for inspiration and here’s what I came up with. Enjoy!

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 vidalia onion
1 fennel bulb
4-5 cloves garlic
2 pounds tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
5.5 oz (small can) tomato juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat a large saute pan on medium/high heat with olive oil (or your choice of fat). Slice the onion in to thin rings and add it to pan. You can try other kinds of onion, but I like the sweetness from vidalia. Dice the fennel bulb (not the stems) and add it to the pan with the onion. Add garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Saute 45-60 minutes on low/medium heat, stirring every 8-10 minutes while the onions caramelize. Turn down the heat if it begins to brown too quickly.

While the mixture cooks, cut your tomatoes in to halves or quarters. I did attempt to fire-roast mine since I have a gas stove, but after about finishing 3-4 tomatoes I decided it wasn’t worth my time. I used campari tomatoes. I’m planning to try this with roma and cherry tomatoes next time. Let me know if you try another kind!

Once your mixture has caramelized, add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and tomato juice to the pan. Bring everything to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer until it thickens. This should take 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Voila! You now have an awesome tomato and fennel jam that fills a regular mason jar. Can you believe all of those veggies fit in one jar?

Please share any comments, suggestions, or reviews of this recipe!

Tomato + Fennel Jam Recipe

Tomato + Fennel Jam Recipe

Tomato + Fennel Jam Recipe

Tomato + Fennel Jam Recipe

Tomato + Fennel Jam Recipe

Tomato + Fennel Jam Recipe

My Favorite Fall Fashion

I don’t consider myself a fashionista. The last time I picked up a Vogue was when Jennifer Lawrence was on the cover and I wanted to see her gorgeous photos with the glossy shine of a magazine slick.

I do, however, love to spruce up my wardrobe each fall. Maybe it’s residual excitement from back-to-school shopping, but I find myself adding a few chunky sweaters, a dark pair of jeans, and a few accessories to the mix every season.

This year I will need to do a little more damage to our bottom line… I accidentally donated all my sweaters to Goodwill when getting rid of my chubby clothes. (Note to self: label everything!) Here are some of the items on my wishlist, along with what I consider to be fall’s best trends.


Leather jacket (faux, of course). While robe coats were all over the runway this season, my go-to outerwear choice for the crisp fall months is a sleek faux leather jacket. The right one will look good with anything underneath it, from jeans and a flannel to a LBD. I love sleek styles, like this one from Wilsons Leather in black.

Layers. When done right, this is my favorite fall look. Try a patterned oxford under a solid sweater or a chambray top and heavy tights under your favorite summer dress. It’s so fun to mix and match different patterns and styles!

Scarves. The most versatile accessory a girl can have, in my opinion – have you seen this video with all the different ways to tie a scarf? I’m on the hunt for a great skull patterned scarf, like this one from Etsy.

Chunky sweaters. It could be because I work from home, but I find myself drawn more to comfy clothes that are slightly too big and feature expanding waistlines. Thick, large-knit sweaters are definitely my bag.

Boots. Tall, short, casual, dressy… doesn’t matter for this fall staple. I have my tall pair of brown and black boots that can easily be dressed up or down. I’ve had my eyes on these casual boots from Target. A nice pair of booties for professional trips would be great, too.

Flannel + flashy necklace. Something new for me this year, and a trend that’s popping up on my Pinterest feed. Pairing a fancy necklace with a more casual flannel top is a fun way to dress up for fall outings.

October 2014 Edition // Fall Fun


October tends to be the most exciting and fun month of the year for me. There’s something about the leaves changing from green to golden yellow, bright red, and orange rust that beckons me to play outside a little more, before the snow keeps me bundled up for the winter. My calendar is packed with more trips, visits to a pumpkin patches and cider mills, and (if I’m lucky) a bonfire or two.

Halloween also happens to be my husband’s birthday/favorite holiday, so we decorate early with skulls, ghosts, and generally creepy things throughout our place. The month isn’t complete if we don’t make it to at least one haunted house. Halloween costumes are picked out with more care than our wedding attire.

This month I’m excited to share my favorite fall fashion, recipes, and activities, including tips on how to throw your own pumpkin carving party for friends!

I know I wrapped up the travel edition last month, but I wanted to share some of my favorite shots from our trip to Gatlinburg. I felt so at home in the Smokies and the whole group of us had a fantastic time exploring, sampling moonshine, and spending time at the gorgeous cabin.


Swoon-Worthy Destinations

Jamaica and Canada are as far out of the United States as I’ve ever gone, but I do have grand plans for future world travel. While I dream of sipping café au lait at a posh French bistro and sailing along the shores of Greece, there are plenty of swoon-worthy destinations to explore here in United States. Here is my bucket list for US travel…Who’s ready for a road trip?

1. Blue Ridge Parkway
Up in the Appalachian Mountains is a 469-mile stretch of gorgeous scenic overlooks, hiking trails, campsites, and old homesteads. The Blue Ridge Parkway connects the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and is one of the most visited area of our National Park System. I’m hoping we can check out a stretch on our trip to the Smoky Mountains at the end of the month!

image source: Blue Ridge Parkway

2. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
While the Grand Canyon should be on everyone’s US travel bucket list, there are plenty of other beautiful natural sights that are worth a trip out West. The Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness is more than 100,000 acres of smooth cliffs, red rock amphitheaters, and hiking trails. It’s known for being a great place for solitude – I can’t image a better place for a hike to clear your mind.

image source: Wikipedia

3. Sequoia National Park
There’s a powerful beauty in the redwoods in California – they’ve been growing for thousands(!) of years. I want to take in the awesomeness that is General Sherman – the largest single stem tree in the world. The park spans more than 400,000 acres and reaches up to 13,000 vertical feet. The park also boasts the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States: Mount Whitney rises to 14,505 feet above sea level.

image source: National Park Service

4. Northern Lights in Alaska
If I could pick one thing to see before I die, it would be the Northern Lights. According to Wikipedia, the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) are caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere. According to me, they are a magnificent display of the cosmos. To each their own, I suppose.

image source: Alaska.org

5. Savannah, GA
The only urban center on my list, and I chose it because of the lovely Spanish moss trees and southern charm of Georgia’s oldest city. It could also be because Gone With the Wind is my favorite movie of all time. Savannah has it all – beaches, historic landmarks, five-star food, ghost tours, early American architecture, gardens, and more!

image source: J. Meirs//WikiTravel

Tell me about some of your favorite places to visit in the States!