It’s fall. Which means, when the temperatures and leaves change, so do my tastes in home décor and fashion. Many of you are just like me, I’m sure. I long for my cowboy boots and favorite sweater, and wonder to myself if it’s cool enough yet to pull them out of the closet. (We are talking Memphis, after all, where warm temperatures hang on until the bitter end, sometime through November!) In the end, I slip them on anyway, and then hit the shops and Internet in search of great fall trends. What follows are a few standouts:  

My Top Fall Trends

1. White pumpkins. Never mind that I think of a Dreamsicle whenever I see them next to an orange pumpkin, white pumpkins add a fresh pop to any arrangement, especially when paired with the dark-greens of gourds or the rough browns of woods. 

Pumpkins and Gourds DisplayImage Courtesy of North Jersey 

I came across this beautiful inspiration board of ways to use white pumpkins as wedding décor. Maybe it’s a little late for this year’s Bella Vita brides—maybe not if you’re a wedding-planning maven—but save this idea palette, because I’m sure white pumpkins will be equally big same time next year.

Green Bride Guide - Ideas for using white pumpkins at a weddingImage Courtesy of Green Bride Guide

For those of us who’ve already fallen for the guy and now find ourselves planning Thanksgiving for his family, think white pumpkins for a table centerpiece. (They’ll be too wowed by the tablescape to even think about commenting on the menu!) Mix up the sizes, put them in bowls or atop cake plates and use white candles to lighten things up. A burlap runner will work equally well, better in my opinion, because spills won’t be so obvious. 

White Pumpkins Table Display with Burlap Table RunnerImage Courtesy of NewsOK

2. Frye boots. How I love thee, let me count the pairs of boots … I mean, ways. You won’t get me to confess how many pairs I own. All I will say is that it’s fall in my book as soon as I step into a pair and hear the crunch of dry leaves underfoot. They’re amazingly comfortable, sturdy and so well-crafted. And let’s talk about these fall beauties below: Wouldn't you love to reach in and pick a pair? Complete your look with Bella Vita's new boot socks.

Frye Boot DisplayImage Courtesy of Chic Memphis

3. Any pumpkin food. I’m from up North. Seattle to be exact. And we love pumpkin, anything pumpkin. Raised on pumpkin pie, I still don’t grasp the Southerner’s bond with pecan pie. While I will give you it’s sweet deliciousness, my fork and I will always head for the pumpkin if the two are sharing a table. Have you heard about the pumpkin pie ice cream at Baskin Robbins or Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte? They’re a slice—rather scoop and sip—of pumpkin heaven.  

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice LatteImage Courtesy of ifood.TV

4. Scarves. Year-round they tie together any outfit, but in fall and winter, they keep you feeling warm and looking cool. Our ruffled knitted scarves in oatmeal cream, green and brick red, are especially hot this year, adding a fanciful touch even on the days when you're bu’re bundled up. 

Bella Vita Scarves

5. OPI nail polish. Girl, you don’t know a thing if You Don’t Know Jacques. OPI nail polish, that is. It’s the new neutral for fall, ladies. Now if only my nails looked like that! 

OPI Nail Polish You Don't Know JacquesImage Courtesy of Cilucia.blogspot.com

6. Cotton & burlap. Burlap is back. This woven, neutral cloth sets a beautiful backdrop for fall colors, especially snow-white cotton. To me, it’s like bringing nature’s fall inside. Mini centerpieces, like these, dress your home with little bits of the season. Just use mason jars—or any bud vase you might have on hand for that matter—and drop in a cotton branch with fluffy buds. Set upon burlap and it’s your singular décor statement. 

Cotton and Burlap CenterpiecesImage Courtesy of Love and Lavender

Smashing Pumpkin Cocktail

While your primping and decorating, don’t forget to pause and savor the season—literally. Here’s a rich, yummy cocktail that’ll warm you on those colder fall days. Is it any surprise that it’s pumpkin flavored? My husband will love it. 

from William Hamrick, Hot and Hot Fish Club

Birmingham, Alabama

Ingredients:
1 ½ oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz. pumpkin reduction (see recipe below)
1 dash of celery bitters (Hamrick recommends Bitter Truth or you can also substitute Angostura)

Preparation:
Pour bourbon, pumpkin reduction, and bitters into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir generously. Strain into an old-fashioned glass with one large ice cube.

Pumpkin Reduction Ingredients:
1 ½ quarts chopped Cinderella pumpkin
2 quarts water
3 cups sugar
10 cloves
7 whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise

Preparation:
Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and pulp, then peel and chop the pumpkin flesh into small one-inch cubes. Add all ingredients in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes until reduced. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and place in an ice bath to cool.

Slow Down, Relax & Enjoy the Season

So to wrap, I think fall is a magical time of year—transformative, really. To me, it’s a time for reflection and relaxation before the hustle of the holiday season begins— and very soon I might add.  I love the gorgeous fall foliage, comfy-home crockpot cooking (that Brent does of course!), college football and cooler temps. I love finding new fall favorites and pulling out long-time keepsakes.  Hope the season brings you a renewed spirit, too, that carries you well into the holiday season. 

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Emily Ozier, or EMYO as most of you know her by, has truly become a local and regional favorite over the years. 

EMYO Canvas Art - Side by Side - Central Park, NYC"Side by Side - Central Park, NYC"

With her unique and identifiable scenes, EMYO continues to wow us with her artistic creations. 

EMYO Canvas Art Up Ducks, Up"Up Ducks, Up"

From elements of nature to recognizable locales visited during her travels, she always finds the perfect way to create an unforgettable masterpiece.

Emily Ozier Canvas Art" Life Is Full, Bright and Lovely"

Emily studied in Italy with an impressionist master, focusing on a method passed down from the impressionist painter John Singer Sargent. The daughter of a Cuban American, Emily's expressive style and bold strokes may find their origins in her Spanish roots.

EMYO with Her Six ChildrenEmily Ozier With Her Beautiful Children / Photography by Allison Rodgers

Not only is Emily Ozier a very talented artist, but she is a wonderful mother. Emily and her husband John reside on a five acre farm in Germantown, TN with their six children. Emily is very passionate;about children's education. She teachers her children at home using a classical education model with much emphasis on Literature and the Arts. 

Emily has stated that if you step into their home, you might find violins being played, The Secret Garden being read aloud, the Greek Olympics being acted out, and of course, paintings being created by all members of the family. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall?

EMYO Life on the Greenline Trunk ShowEMYO Trunk Show Featuring Shelby County's Greenways - Saturday, October 26

We hope you will join us on Saturday, October 26 and meet Emily as she shares her personal experiences and visions behind her works. Bring the Greenline straight to your door with Emily's colorful new collection. Inspired by adventures along  Shelby County's lush greenways, her new series is a reminder to take a moment to soak up the scenery, naturally.

-The Girls at Bella Vita

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To get into the Halloween spirit this year, we thought it would be fun to carve a pumpkin for Bella Vita. Up until now, we've never really carved a pumpkin. I mean there was that one year that Brent and I attempted with the kitchen butcher knife, but poor "Charlie" didn't turn out very cute. 

So this year when I asked Brent to pick us up one for the store, he went all out! Have you guys seen the pumpkin carving kits? I hadn't! Yes, I'm sure you're thinking, what rock has she been hiding under?!

Needless to say, these little guys made it much easier...for Hope, that is! You didn't think I was going to do the carving did you? Hope is our Visuals Girl and is super creative. I knew she would be the perfect person to help us out.

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

First, she cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin and scraped out all of the insides. Hope said that her dad taught her a little trick a long time ago to cut out one side a little different so you always knew how the top fit on. Brilliant!

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

Secondly, we had to figure out what we wanted to carve. Well that didn't take long. The olive branch, of course! So we printed off a copy and taped it onto the pumpkin.

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

Then she used a handy dandy little tool in the carving kit (I told you this thing was neat!) to trace the outline of our logo. Much easier than free handing the crooked tooth design, right Brent?

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

Next all Hope had to do was cut between the lines. It definitely sounds a lot easier than it looks. Very meticulous!

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

Slowly, but surely she cut...and cut...

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

And cut a little more....

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

And a little more....

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

But soon we had our beautiful little pumpkin. Meet Olive! Isn't she lovely?! Hopefully she lives to see Halloween.

Bella Vita Pumpkin Carving

Enter Your Pumpkin

Don't worry, we aren't leaving you out of the fun! Submit your best pumpkin carvings to customercare@shopbellavita.com by Friday, October 25 for a chance to win a $100 Bella Vita gift-card! All pictures will be posted on Facebook, shared and liked. The person with the most votes, wins! 

Good luck!
-Stephanie and the Girls at Bella Vita

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Stephanie

Hi, my name is Stephanie. Like you, I love all things beautiful. The word. The life. The way it makes your soul feel warm and cozy. So curl up with the Girls at Bella Vita as we share our lives with you- our families and friends, our inspirations and ideas, our homes and nests- quite simply, our take on creating a beautiful life.
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