Fall season finally arrived over the weekend — hurrah!

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But the week before, temperatures were still a toasty mid to high eighty degrees. Regardless, I planted mums and placed large pumpkins on either side of the front door and on the back porch. Because company was coming, I waited until the last minute, hoping they wouldn’t roast in the heat.

Hubby and his brother ran Pittsburgh’s annual Great Race. Mr. Buzz has run the 10K many times, but missed it the last two years because we were on vacation in Spain and Greece. It was his brother’s first time running the hometown race.

My sister-in-law and I took the trolley into town to cheer them on. Luckily it was a cloudy morning, which helped keep the temperatures from overheating runners . Afterwards, we walked into Market Square to enjoy brunch al fresco. Later that evening we ate outdoors again at a local brewing, enjoying seasonal flavor beers and delicious BBQ.

Despite the heat, I’ve been delving into fall season crafts, decorating the house, and cheering on our favorite football teams.

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Another Easy Fall Grapevine Wreath

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I started decorating by pulling out fall season pillows, throws, and linens. Next, I hung several wreaths on doors and over the fireplace mantle in the family room.

Several years ago, I made my first grapevine wreath. And, I went really big; measuring over 30″ around. Hanging the wreath means fall has arrived at the Buzz house. I usually leave it up from mid September through Thanksgiving weekend.

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Remember the DIY Festive Fall Grapevine Wreath I made for Sistah B’s home in Charleston? I used a very similar technique as my oversized mantle decoration.

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First, take a garland and wrap it around the grapevine wreath. B’s 18″ wreath used a unique fabric and felt garland (Michaels) that’s now on clearance sale.

For my fall season wreath, I used a thick stem garland with large leaves and acorns. It was a little expensive, but was worth the splurge.

I found the gorgeous garland at one of my Favorite Halloween and Fall Decor Shopping shops (Old Allegheny). It’s about six feet long. The large scale garland was just what I needed for impact on the 30″ grapevine wreath.

Rather than incorporating a central sign like Sistah’s flatbed truck, I added large faux florals (Michaels) to one side. They fill in where the garland didn’t reach all the way around.

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And, B’s wreath has a large central bow made of wide ribbon. For my fall season wreath, I used a more narrow check ribbon for a smaller, more subtle bow with its long tails weaved along the bottom.

Every year, I go back and forth trying to decide if I should replace it with a wider, much larger bow. What do you think?

More Fall Season Decor

To the left side of the mantle I also place these four indian corn candles. Because I’ve never lit them, they’ve been gracing the mantle for years.

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I know, candles are for lighting right? But I confess to having numerous seasonal candles that I display but don’t burn. Like the rabbit candles that are part of vignettes in Easter Home Decor Tour.

Do you have any candles you never burn?

I’ve also swapped out the arts and crafts for the fall season in the basement hallway Kid Keepsakes Gallery.

And, I’ve gone vertical; decorating the kitchen and dining room chandeliers with candy corn, grapevine, leaves, mums, acorns and pinecones.

See how in, Decorate a Chandelier for Fall in 3 Easy Steps, and How to Decorate a Dining Room Chandelier.

Flatbed Truck Parks in SC

I designed Sistah B’s wreath to go with the colors of a new fall season pillow.

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Turquoise and blue are the accent colors on her front porch. For the spring through summer DIY Nautical Sailboat Wreath: Raise Anchor hangs on the door instead.

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This is the second time my sister has purchased a welcome mat to coordinate with the wreath I made her. Sistah B isn’t usually matchy, matchy like me. But, I think she may being catching my theme tendencies?

Now that it’s cooled off some, she’ll also be putting some mums and pumpkins on the porch for a punch of color.

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Although I envisioned the truck straight, I like that my sister and niece decided to hang the wreath at an angle. It gives it a more whimsical quality; as if the truck is rumbling down the road.

Which way would you position the wreath?

Fall Flatbed Decor

Since I made the grapevine wreath with the flatbed truck sign for my sister, I see fall season decor with them everywhere!

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I couldn’t believe it when I walked into Bed, Bath and Beyond and saw this large flatbed truck as part of a fall season display. Have you seen them in your local store?

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It’s priced at two thousand dollars! What would you ever do with it? I can see a floral shop using it to display flowers I guess. Wonder if the 20% off coupon applies, LOL?!

Later that same day, a flatbed truck “Happy Fall” stake sign caught my eye at Kohls.

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I texted this picture to Sistah B right away, thinking the sign would look cute in a mum planter on her porch. Especially since the sign’s turquoise pumpkin would coordinate with her color scheme.

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She responded with a picture of this cute flag already on the front of the house. It goes great with the flatbed fall wreath I made her, don’t you think?

Fall Season Welcomes Family Pet

Although it’s a yellow lab depicted on the flag, he reminds me of Sistah B’s new pup, Jack. They drove nearly twelve hours round trip to Georgia to rescue him. Isn’t he a cutie?

rescue-dog-Jack

Jack is part Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, or toller for short. Have you ever heard of them? Sistah B had two pure-bred tollers until recently. Their 16-year old Puzzle passed over the rainbow bridge in May. Although Puzzle was elderly and had been in declining health, it was still hard on our entire extended family.

You see, it happened immediately after my sister and her husband returned home from Pittsburgh. We had all been gathered together here to grieve my dad’s passing. They had also lost young Nike, not too long before. Nike was one of Puzzle’s puppies from two litters they had raised. Then, a few months ago, Mom’s Wheaten Terrier, Lacey passed too.

With my Sweet Scottie Dog Fibber’s major surgery and continual health issues, it’s been a hard year for the family pets.

So, we are very happy to have boisterous Jack join the family.

Fall Football Season

My favorite fall season activity is our annual trip to attend a football game at my alma mater, with fellow alum B and his wife M.

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Thanks to their long-time generosity, we have the thrill of nearly front-row seats — right in the center of the action. Football recruits and their families are all that separate us from the Penn State bench and field. It was a “stripe-out” game, dressing either in blue or white; depending on which section your tickets were.

We’ve been going to games together for decades — back to when my youngest was only three years old. Many times it’s to watch Penn State play my husband’s alma mater, or for homecoming. But this game we were all cheering for the Nittany Lions in the 100th meeting of Pitt vs PSU.

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Joining us were over 109,000 fans in Beaver Stadium, the fourth highest attendance ever!

Although the weather wasn’t so great; with intermittent rain and possible lightning that caused a 45-minute delay of game. That’s never happened before. We were about to head in from tailgating, when everyone was directed to shelter in place. In our case, that meant going inside the nearby Jordan Center.

Return to Happy Valley

We had a great time though, as the teams battled back and forth, with Penn State victorious. I do, however, have a soft spot for our hometown Pitt.

My favorite part of Penn State football is all the pomp and circumstance. I can never get enough Blue Band, Nittany Lion mascot (bee still my heart), or singing the alma mater en masse. At this matchup, we got the treat of seeing both marching bands take the field.

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And, I love pre and post game tailgates in the shadow of the stadium. Over the years, B and M have amassed a collection of Penn State theme tailgating gear like a tent, chairs, tables and grill.

I’ve enjoyed contributing to their tableware and serving pieces. See links below that will take you to items carrying the school logo, mascot and colors of your choice. Shop early for Christmas gifts and bowl season parties!

Back in our day, both Pitt and PSU played annually; the day after Thanksgiving. It was a huge rivalry. Since the schools later joined different conferences, there’s been years between matchups. Sadly, it likely won’t be until 2030 — at the earliest— before the teams play each other again. End of an era I guess. Apparently, a lot of other football rivalries aren’t being scheduled for the same reason.

Do you have a favorite college team? If so, do you attend or host game-watching parties, or tailgate and cheer on from the stands?

Weekend Getaway

Going back to Happy Valley for a game usually includes a two-night stay. Previously, we always economized by staying in a mediocre but overpriced chain hotel. But this year, we splurged on a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in nearby Boalsburg.

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It’s a charming town dating back to colonial times that claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. Across the street from the inn is old Duffy’s Tavern, a great place to eat. I hadn’t been back there since senior year!

After our lovely stay, the four of us agreed it was worth splurging again next year.

Besides attending the football game, a visit back to Happy Valley includes walking around my old stomping grounds on the leafy campus. I also enjoy going into town and strolling up and down College Avenue; loaded with great shops, restaurants and bars. It never gets old for me.

And, I try to make a stop at what we Penn Staters call, “the shrine.” It’s a beloved statue of the Nittany Lion. There’s always a long line of alumni and students taking photos.

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Back in the heyday of its rivalry, Penn State students would stay up all night to guard against Pitt pranksters trying to deface the statue with paint. I always give the statue a hug and a kiss.

Notice that retro style sweater I’m wearing? It’s older than my adult sons! But the Dooney and Bourke PSU logo purse is new this year. Ever and always the Queen of Theme!

Setting Fall Season Tables

In addition decorating the house for the fall season, I’ve also been creating new tablescapes.

HALLOWEEN TABLESCAPE HOP

Next Wednesday, I’ll be participating in the Halloween Tablescape Blog Hop. I hope you’ll stop by to see what 20 talented stylists have conjured up.

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