It’s officially fall, but as I write this, it’s 86 degrees in Ohio. 86! Regardless, that’s not stopping our porch from beaming with the colors of the season. Truth be told, I purchased these pumpkins in August! 😉 Can you tell it’s my favorite season yet?
There’s something about Fall that brings us out of our air conditioning (though we might have to wait for that a few more weeks here in Ohio), into our yards, to the field, out on our front porches, and around a table or a fire (more about that in a minute).
I was browsing Michaels in August when I came across an entire patch of very realistic faux pumpkins! I immediately envisioned my front porch sprinkled with faux along with a few of the real deal. They were priced right and even on sale for buy one get one free! I picked up my only two real pumpkins at Aldi for $2.49! The true test of my faux pumpkins is whether or not you can guess which ones they are.
Side note: I should be partnering with Michaels on this post, because I’m such a big fan right now (but I’m not)! In that list includes the menu chalkboard, straw bale, and the galvanized buckets!
I added the wreath I found a few years ago at HomeGoods along with a few lanterns and voila: my first ever very fall porch!
This was my first time trying the layered rug look and I love the added texture it brings with both the welcome mat and buffalo check rug! Sitting on our patio chair set is a pop of color: the Sunbrella orange outdoor pillows. I found them on Amazon, but saw this similar style for $20 less!
Originally I purchased white mums because I love a white flower! But after a few weeks, they were turning purple and I called Lowe’s to ask if this was typical. They let me return them in really rough shape and I’m so thankful. Did you know that they do that?! Here’s to hoping the yellow mums don’t transform into brown mums. 😉
I love an inviting front porch – or just a front porch in general! Mike and I love sitting out there, watching people walk by, or getting in impromptu conversations with our neighbors. It’s certainly a treat! If you want to see the before and after of our little porch, I share about it in one of my very first blog posts.
Do you decorate your front porch for fall? What are your favorite elements to add?
Simple Hospitality for the Fall
I think fall and spring are made for neighbors. Either we’re experiencing a slow roll into the winter or experiencing the new life that comes with spring. After being holed up in the air conditioning and away from the bugs or cozied up in the heat, people begin to emerge from their homes – working in the yard, raking leaves, planting flowers, sitting on their front porches, and taking walks.
With this in mind, I wanted to share some of the simple ideas for hospitality that Mike and I have been brainstorming for this season. Before we go further, I just want to hit on the idea of hospitality verses entertaining. This is not an area we’re experts in, but rather one where we’re seeking to grow.
Hospitality and entertaining can look the exact same but the heart behind it is different. Entertaining mainly focuses on self, whereas hospitality mainly focuses on others. Just as your home does not have to be perfect to welcome people in, the process of cultivating hospitality does not either. This is an area I wrestle with a lot and I’m fighting for the good. Often, it’s not until after a gathering when I see what my heart was really after: creating a place where I’m glorified instead of a safe place for people.
We can practice hospitality with our closest friends and family, by inviting a new neighbor, or the person at church that doesn’t seem to know many people. Invite them in to the real you. Be present with your guests. Just know the pressure is off. The goal is not to impress people – just love them.
Hospitality is something we can create, no matter how great of a “homemaker” we are, how epic we are at carrying a conversation, or how divine our pumpkin pie recipe comes out (Bob Evans pick-up, all day)! Let’s just squash this idea right now: you don’t even have to have a house to welcome people in! Hospitality can be shown in any setting – school, church, work … the list goes on.
For some, this may look like inviting one person over; for others, it may be an open invitation to everyone on their block. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own, invite a friend in and share your vision with them.
Friends, a giant asterisk here is to say: cleaning your home isn’t bad, preparing a beautiful meal isn’t bad; it’s the freedom to NOT that we’re looking at. Give them you. Imperfection isn’t something worth hiding (it’s not repelling). It makes us real and it’s refreshing.
If you’re desiring to show hospitality this fall, it doesn’t have to be complicated! I gave 5 Ideas for Simple Summer Hospitality earlier this summer and every single idea transcends seasons!
- Plan to be generous and create margins – In our budget and in our time
- Stock up on the essentials – I love having all the things needed for delicious s’mores, since they’re simple and a fan favorite!
- Don’t overcomplicate it – Pull out the plastic silverware and paper plates you had left over from your kid’s birthday party or the last holiday. Planning a special event can be fun, but just inviting people into what you’re already doing keeps it simple and sustainable!
- Create balance – I’m all about cultivating community, but I also need to make space for me and Mike. One of our goals is to be intentional in planning both: time together and time with people.
- Favorite easy ideas:
- Backyard bonfires with s’mores
- Make a big ol’ pot of chili and invite your neighbors over
- Meet up at a park or go to a game (professional or your kids’ games)
- Hit up a local pumpkin farm or corn maze (I’m not going to even suggest a haunted house, because they freak me out)
- Sit out on your front porch or hand out candy to the neighborhood kids on Halloween! If you want to go a step further, host a cookout or bonfire and invite people over after Trick or Treat.
- Go for a walk with a friend (This is a two-bird situation: exercise & friend)
- In addition to gathering with your family on Thanksgiving, host a Friendsgiving potluck with your framily (friend family)!
So, here’s to a fall full of simple moments and bringing joy and presence to those around us! Does the hospitality talk interest you? This is an area I’m passionate about growing in and talking through with others and my hope is to weave this theme throughout the blog. Join my mailing list so you don’t miss out!
What are your favorite fall gathering ideas?