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Falling Into Fall

Crisp, colorful leaves, sweet apples, a simmering crockpot of warm soup, pumpkins, special gatherings and community events. This is what I think of when I think of Fall. Football games, soccer team victories, pumpkin-carving parties, trick-or-treating and Back-To-School nights. Before we head into the Holiday Season, where we tend to spend time with family, Fall can be a special season to connect with our communities. Even if you don't have children or they are grown and there are no more "Back-To-School" nights or "Trick-or-Treating" there is a sense of warmth in taking part in a community event. Community can be the town you live in, people you have something in common with or your neighbors. How do you connect with your community?

Three Neighborhood Gathering Ideas.

1. Fall "Pot-Luck". Send out an invite to your neighbors for a casual pot-luck on a late Sunday afternoon/evening. Maybe there is a favorite football game going on at this time? It doesn't have to be about the game but can serve as a nice backdrop. As the host/hostess perhaps you make a big pot of soup and then ask everyone to bring a favorite appetizer, bread, bottle of wine or favorite drink. It can be as simple as you like. It's about getting together.

2. Neighborhood Book Club. I did this 15 years ago in my old neighborhood and although I have moved out of state since, I believe it is still going strong. The age range spanned over 20 years. I intimately got to know many of my neighbors through this club and believe me no matter what we read there was a variety of viewpoints! If a book club doesn't interest you think of something else. Bunco, Trivia, Wine-Tasting, Game Night. Again, it's about creating a group and connecting.

3. Invite Someone Over. If the first two ideas are to overwhelming then make it a goal to invite one neighbor you want to get to know over for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. It's about connecting. The more we connect the better we feel.

Amusing The Senses.

Here are some simple ideas to welcome Fall into your home.

1. Start with the front door. This is your entry, your welcoming space. Create a container filled with fall-colored flowers such as Chrysanthemums or Cornflowers. Organic twigs and a few interesting gourds or pumpkins could be another idea. Perhaps you have a small round table on a porch? Loosely pile 3 or 5 variety size pumpkins in different shades for a casual centerpiece. Don't overdue. Keep it natural. There are so many unusual shades of pumpkins and gourds that have come out in the past few years. I tend to go with the softer muted greens, whites and very soft, pale oranges. If you don't have a place for a planter or a table, there are many beautiful organic fall wreaths available as well or gather some interesting pieces and make your own.

2. Bring it Inside. Change the energy inside by creating simple vignettes from nature. It's not just about your dining room table centerpiece or changing out your bathroom towels. It's about creating harmony with our interior and our exterior environments. A bowl of pinecones on a side table or an interesting branch with a few small, white pumpkins placed on a shelf or mantle are a few ideas. Copper is a great finish to use in the Fall when mixing in accessories like candleholders or serving pieces at a get-together.

3. The purposeful crockpot. As we retreat indoors the crockpot comes out. There is nothing like coming home to the scent of a home-cooked meal already prepared after a long, busy day. The crockpot also becomes extremely useful for your neighborhood gathering, your book club or even to create a simple fondu appetier to share when a neighbor comes by. With the crockpot everything can be prepared ahead of time allowing a casual environment of ease, warmth and time to genuinely connect.

For more inspiration and ideas visit my "Falling Into Fall" Pinterest Page at https://www.pinterest.com/arrangespace/falling-into-fall/


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