Autumn Birthday Decorations

I know we are fully into the Christmas season but if you’ve been following my blog, Instagram page or Instagram Stories in particular, you’ve seen a few photos of our family’s big celebration for the birthday of our matriarch! We called this special day the “Jean-a-palooza 95” because Jean turned 95! My mother-in-love is an amazing woman who is active, is on Facebook, sends emails, prints out her own photos and is the founder of a knitting group at her residence. You’ll see why I mention this in a future post. 🙂

Due to location logistics we hosted the event at our home so I started planning in September. I always start with colors and themes because it’s the most fun and it’s my jumping off point for everything else. The birthday girl’s favorite color is aqua which is very pretty with the golden and orange colors of fall. At this point in the photo below, I was gathering colors and textures to see what I liked together. The blue votives were mercury glass. I loved them!

fall sunflower arrangement

I had the idea to combine the theme of autumn and birthday and thought “sprinkles on pumpkins” would be the perfect blending of happiness that would bring them together. I planned for these decorated mini pumpkins to be placed on the main dining table on mini cupcake pedestals. When I added a tag it became a special invitation. I wrote a post about the decorated pumpkins with sprinkles but here’s a photo just for you before you click over. I can’t tell you how much I love these sprinkles by Sweetapolita. I found them on her Etsy page.

Thanksgiving Birthday

I bought dozens of pumpkins before Halloween knowing they wouldn’t be available after the 31st. I found a great variety at Trader Joe’s and Pavilions, our local market. I decorated our mantel with about a dozen. I added little warm-colored fairy lights which can’t be seen here but they added such a magical touch.

fall mantel decorations

 I also grouped pumpkins in our color beds in our front and back yard amid 35 flats of color that we planted. I wish I had taken photos of the back yard but you know how that goes when you’re busy prepping in other areas.

Totally unrelated, but we’re going to be painting the house. What do you think of black doors and black trim around the windows?

fall color beds

I ultimately decided on yellow-centered sunflowers with eucalyptus in Mason jars tied with raffia. To bring some aqua into the flowers because there were no aqua colored flowers to be found, I placed pieces of blue, green and white beach glass that I had on hand in the bottoms of the jars. At first I thought using beach glass would be too summery but the shapes were diffused in the water and you could only see the color which worked perfectly.

sunflower arrangement

I decorated our curved staircase with a base of holiday greenery with lights to save time in the scope of holiday decorating but topped it with raffia bundles, silk colored leaves and Indian corn. The green base showing here and there among the more fall textures really made the fall colors pop. The autumn decorations were a snap to remove to put up the more glittery Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving.

autumn stair banister

More on this crazy, wonderful group and the official birthday cake in the next post!

family photos

I hope you had a wonderful holiday with plenty to be thankful for. xoxo

A Thanksgiving Day Birthday – Jeanapalooza #95!

Thanksgiving Birthday Pumpkin with Sprinkles

We have a big celebration happening in our family on Thanksgiving Day! The matriarch of our family, my mother-in-love, turns 95! I’ve written about her before as 5 years ago we hosted her 90th “Jeanapalooza”. She’s pretty incredible and her birthday is a big deal for our family as all her children, grand children and great-grand children will be here for her. What makes the day even more fun is that her birthday is actually on Thanksgiving this year so… [Read More]

Succulent Pumpkin Arrangement DIY

succulent pumpkin arrangementDIY

If you’re a guest this Thanksgiving and the host or hostess has got the menu covered, I’ve got a different idea for you as a special gift to give. Flowers are lovely and always welcome but how about making a succulent pumpkin arrangement for something a little more unique? I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to put together. Things you’ll need: Pumpkin (grocery store, home improvement store or nursery) Sheet Moss (home improvement store – I found… [Read More]


succulent pumpkin arrangement

Hello! You might or might not have noticed but I’ve been MIA from blogging for quite awhile. There’s been a lot of reasons – all varied from family life, a desired break and a strong desire to lead a healthier, less-stress lifestyle. The latter means there’s been a detour from sweets and confections from my favored drug of choice – sugar. I know. A tad ironic and possibly problematic for a blog with “sweets” prominently featured in its title. I’ve… [Read More]

18 Mini Reasons You’ll Love This Zucchini-Pumpkin Bread Recipe!

With summer still going strong here in Southern California our garden continues to reward us with a bounty of zucchini. Yay! But I still want to usher in the festive feeling of fall even with our hot temps. By this time of year, I’m ready for earthy colors, and fragrances of warm spice with pumpkin flavors so I came up with an idea to incorporate the best of both seasons for a tasty transition into fall with a Zucchini-Pumpkin Bread… [Read More]

Pretty Painted Pie Crusts

With pie making taking center stage on Wednesday along with all my other prep work for Thursday’s dinner, I’ve planned ahead and taken some steps to make the day less hectic and more organized with “pretty” still in mind. Truth be told, I cannot make a pie without a decorative crust finish.  When I won the blue ribbon for my Dutch apple pie at the Orange County Fair, one of the judge’s comments was how pretty the single painted apple… [Read More]

Fall Treats Greatest Hits

decorated bat cookiesa

To be the best nurse and interim CEO for our business I can be while my husband recovers from hip surgery, I’ll be taking a short blogging break but I wanted to post for you my favorite fall treat tutorial links for easy reference.  I hope you enjoy them! Click on the links or on the photos. Decorated Fall Leaf Cookies The Best Pecan Pie and Decorated Pie Crust Autumn Mini Cupcake Tower Decorated Bat Cookies Sugar Cookie Recipe Decorated… [Read More]

Mini Cupcake Spiral Tower (Autumn, Fall)

Mini chocolate cupcakes decorated with over-sized dragees and fall themed fondant cut-outs literally reached new heights in my kitchen for a fall open house party this past weekend. We’ll get ‘up close and personal’ so I can show how you how I made this. It’s not as complicated as it looks. Trust me. They’re just a bunch of little ol’ chocolate cupcakes dressed up all fancy like. The number of cupcakes needed depends on the size styrofoam cone that is… [Read More]

Staircase Decorations – Two Holidays In One

stair bannister decorated for thanksgiving and christmas

I love my winding staircase and I particularly love it all lit up and decorated for the holidays but it always seems to be a scramble to get it up right after Thanksgiving so we have more time to enjoy it. With both boys making a limited appearance for T-day before they return to school, I rather be enjoying our time together instead of fussing with decorations especially in the other room.Thanks to a friend I saw at the high… [Read More]

Williams-Sonoma Specials

Feeling incomplete from my mall snafu on Friday and obsessively needing to try on the Steve Madden shoes with the zipper on the back of the heal, I went back and made a wrong turn into Williams-Sonoma. I say wrong turn only because I haven’t been there for a long time and I went there first and left with 2 heavy bags to cart around with me but it was worth it. They were doing something I have never seen… [Read More]