fall favorites

IMG_5704This past weekend, Connor and I celebrated our sixth anniversary! I feel so blessed to have someone like him by my side each and every day, and I am always amazed by how much we have done and accomplished together — being in love with my best friend is truly something special. We have shared so many memories and milestones over the years, and our anniversary is the perfect excuse to celebrate all of that!

IMG_5706In the past, we have always tried to travel somewhere new for our anniversary, but this year, we chose to do something different. Life has been pretty busy these days, and our work schedules are completely opposite, so we decided to take a step back and have a relaxing, fun weekend at home. 

From pumpkin picking and carving to dinner and a movie, we spent the weekend doing some of our favorite things together. 
We had such a great weekend, and in the spirit of celebrating, I wanted to share some fun activities that you can add to your fall bucket list. Grab your significant other or a group of friends and hit up some of my favorite spots before the season ends!


Processed with VSCO with a5 presetDemarest Farms
Demarest Farms is the perfect place to spend a crisp fall day. Hop on a hayride to search for the perfect pumpkins to carve for Halloween, and on the way back, grab a bite to eat. Make sure to pick up some apple cider donuts before you leave, and heat them before you eat them! They are so delicious!

Tip: if you visit Demarest Farms earlier in the season, you can also go apple picking there! Connor and I have some apples that we are planning on baking into a pie this weekend!

Angry Orchard
This is a great place to go with a group of friends! From cider tastings and treehouse tours to live entertainment and lawn games, Angry Orchard has a great property for all-day entertainment.

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Warwick Winery
Warwick offers wine and cider tastings, as well as a distillery tour and live music. In the cooler months, there is an indoor tasting room complete with a wood-burning stove; when the weather is warmer, there is plenty of outdoor space to enjoy drinks and food with friends!

Pennings Farm Cidery
There is a variety of ciders on tap here, offering a variety for all palettes. Pair your favorite with lunch or dinner and enjoy! Starting in November, the tasting room is only open on the weekends and for adults 21 and over.

BE5945FC-8B6C-417D-85EE-B65B78C09FDE.JPGBear Mountain Oktoberfest
This is your last weekend to visit Bear Mountain for Oktoberfest (it closes Oct. 28). Grab a stein, fill it with beer or cider and snack on some pretzels while hanging out with friends!

Brownstone Pancake Factory
Brownstone is great any time of year, but it offers amazing fall-themed dishes! From Pumpkin Cheesecake Nutella Pancakes to a Halloween Ultimate Shake, you will be drooling over all of the options!

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Movie Night
Halloween is the perfect movie to get you into the fall spirit this season. Michael Meyers makes his chilling return to the big screen in this classic series, and it is definitely worth the watch. Movie theater popcorn is always an added bonus!

Netflix & Chills
Netflix has several Halloween movies available for binging, but this season, give your full attention to The Haunting of Hill House. This show may have given me nightmares for days, but it is so good. Cuddle up with some hot cocoa and light a few candles, because you will not want to watch this one in the dark!

Almost all of my suggestions are for locations that are open throughout the year, but I do love visiting these places in the fall! Let me know if you have visited any of these spots or have any suggestions of your own in the comments below or on Instagram by tagging @ livingsimplygray!

decorating for fall

Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. The crisp, cool air, red-orange leaves scattered across the ground, pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters are just some of my top reasons for loving this season. While the weather in New Jersey has not fully transitioned into fall just yet, our apartment certainly has!

I love decorating for fall because there are so many different looks that can be chosen for a space. It is easy to feel overwhelmed while walking through the aisles of stores like Home Goods, Hobby Lobby and Michaels at this time of year, but focusing on a few key design elements will narrow down your search for the perfect fall decorations and help you create a cozy environment for all to enjoy.

When I am shopping for decorations, I look for pieces that will reflect the season and fit seamlessly into my year-round design style. I love the welcoming atmosphere that is created by utilizing the warm reds and oranges of fall, but to blend it better with the color scheme of my apartment, I added in some neutral colors and some blues. Using a more neutral color palette provides more options for you as a decorator, and a few pops of color can really help bring the look all together.

I also look for decorations that will get me through an entire season. I picked up classic fall staples like pumpkins and candles, but I also found a few items that will transition our apartment from the start of fall all the way through the end of November. As tempting as it can be to buy new decorations each month, pieces like these help me create a more cohesive design and save money in the long run.

Focusing on smaller details and unique pieces is also important to me when I am decorating a space. I like the idea of incorporating something into my design style that cannot be bought “as is” in a store. To get that unique element for fall, I picked up a bunch of separate flower stems and combined different styles and colors together to create an arrangement for our standing vase. I utilized some of the fall colors I found for my decorations, but I also kept the majority of it neutral so that it could tie together the look of the warm, cozy atmosphere I set out to design.

No matter what season it is, my goal is to create a space where our family and friends always feel welcome in our home. I hope these tips help you create and decorate your own space for fall!