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It's Fall, Y'all!

I will admit…fall arrangements and wreaths are not that easy. They can fall into the tacky category rather fast. To have a great autumn arrangement and a great autumn wreath you need to be clever. Not that you need me to tell you how to do this but… I thought I would anyway. I’ve broken it down into two categories: tacky and good ideas.

artificial pumpkins
artificial flowers
suburban bows
artificial fall leaves
using a pumpkin as a vase
anything “Pilgrim-y”
artificial fruit (unless it is very very very good faux fruit)
dried roses
dried hydrangeas
pussy willows

Good ideas:
pheasant feathers
crab apples
magnolia leaves
fall leaves and branches (real)
autumn colored bows/ribbon… Copper, mustard, brown, olive, maroon, chestnut, sage, persimmon
fall berries
pumpkin pods
pine cones
eucalyptus leaves
cornucopia (they are totally back in style if done well)
Take a look at these wonderful fall/autumn arrangements and wreaths…

I always think it is best to make your own arrangements and wreaths (find the time). I once took a wreath making class… Swear to God I did (I’m so lame) but it really taught me how easy it is to make a great wreath and fall floral arrangements. The trick is to stick with nature…

However, if you must, there are a few good sources of where to buy autumn wreaths:

For more inspiration, you can also check out my Fall Arrangements and Wreaths Pinterest board HERE.
The next blog will be all about Thanksgiving centerpieces and Thanksgiving table settings.
A toute!

 *Something you don’t know about me? I would kill for a Taco Bell bean burrito right now. Sometimes I hate Paris. I don’t want a croque monsieur, I don’t want chocolate mousse, I don’t want potato dauphineoise, I don’t want poached salmon, I don’t want an omelette with a salad for lunch, and I don’t want any foie gras or coq au vin. I want an In-N-Out Burger, chocolate pudding, regular mashed potatoes, pancakes, a salad with bac-o bits and Thousand Island dressing, a regular iced tea, and a turkey sandwich with a 7-Up. Is that so much to ask? As I was forcing my French husband to drive clear over to the ninth arrondissement to get me a Chipotle burrito I asked him, “Don’t you miss American food?” In his French accent he says, “Non.” I wanted to just smother him like I did when he called a quesadilla a “Mexican crêpe” the other day. How could you not miss American food!!?? What is wrong with you? Don’t you want a Shake Shack hamburger, a Pastrami Queen ruben on rye, a powdered doughnut, a Jamba Juice smoothie, an everything bagel, a California Pizza Kitchen barbecue chicken pizza, a Pinkberry frozen yogurt, or at the very least a bag of fucking Cheetos! His answer? “Non, I want a cornichon.” Yeah, I think I’ll smother him.


  1. Your list of AMERICAN FOOD makes me smile from EAR to EAR. Makes me think there really is something to MISS!..........REALLY he called a quesadilla a MEXICAN CREPE?I like that!!!Of course, they do not like the AMERICAN FOOD...............mine calls STARBUCKS coffee MUDDY WATER!He takes his own coffee machine with him when we travel......the coffee too!The machine with the little man.......BIAGELLETI something like that........Now if you step into our kitchen the coffee machine is one you would find at THE BAR in ITALIA..........the BIG thing that is NEVER turned off.An espresso within seconds........a cappuccino a tad longer as we need to froth the milk!Thats something you NEED To know about ME!I have an industrial coffee machine that I have now named ELLIE.............XOXO

  2. He did NOT say that he wanted a cornichon...did he? Of course, I am right there with you. When I got back from my last extended trip to the States (due to the *¨$%ù Air France strike) what did I miss most? Well, besides my wonderful Mom and Sister who make me laugh until I cry? Two things: chicken and waffles and an appetizer from Boneheads BBQ of housemade potato chips topped with bbq sauce, ranch dressing and...bacon. Take that, sole meuniere...

  3. Ellie, So agree with you about the wreaths and what's tacky/not! Hate all that artificial stuff. I agree that there is nothing like good old American crap food sometimes to satisfy and as much as I appreciate good food, that includes Taco Bell! Laughing out loud about the husband calling a quesadilla being a crepe! x Kim

  4. I am totally cracking up here, a mexican Crepe, I am still laughing this is so Hilarious! Really, in my opinion, 1 day of all that you really would be sick….sometimes though, a hangover food is a Krystal, all bread, mystery meat, onion, mustard, grease seemed to help in the day, or Waffle House here in the south….I am so laughing right now….cheetos, too too funny ! Love the wreaths and choices, we have lots of the long pine needles so I incorporate what I find on my walk and a fabulous velvet ribbon…..NOW a good Pulled pork BBQ sandwish would be good right now and a Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale (can typically only buy in the south) puts Seagrams to shame….it is fabulous to me! CHeers Ellie ~ Xo

  5. CHEETOS, my secret indulgence! The original kind, not the crunchy version. I once had a cat who loved them, too. She would jump to the top of the refrigerator, open the upper cabinet door, and slink through the cabinets until she found the bag. Then she would hide it behind the sofa and and nibble on her private stash over a few days, usually leaving me scratching my had as to whether or not I'd actually bought a bag of them..
    Love all your photos of fall arrangements, BUT - the first photo has dried hydrangeas. So is that an example of tacky or good? :-)

    1. Dear Catherine, good eye on the hydrangea! I looked at it and looked at it before I posted it and decided well, the rest of the wreath is so beautiful, I'll let the hydrangea pass. I also decided it was okay because it's beige and small. Not the big purple or green ones. I like you! I think I like your cat too!

  6. ok are so funny!! I never really think about these things b/c I always thing french food,wine, well french everything trumps everything else but, yes, I do love CPK BBQ chicken pizza, everything bagels, hell, I even have my favorites at trader joe's..( caramelized onion dip...yum) but then you yearn for better stuff so you go to Ina...and then you don't want to make it yourself so dream you are in Paris ...see what i mean- you can't win ;)

  7. I hear you! My major American fast food craving is Taco Bell's BEAN BURRITO, NO ONION. It's the first stop we make when my parents pick me up from OHare (drive thru only), and my "one-a-day" while I'm in the U.S. Exquisite crapfood to be loved. Michelle

  8. Thank you for these glorious images as my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and after living in China for eight years I do still celebrate it - but it's all about the four day weekend which often included a trip to Europe... this is the one time of year I miss Texas!

  9. Dear Ellie, You hit the nail on the head with your lists of dos and don'ts of Fall decorations.
    I bought your book the other day...just in time so that I can add a few of your recipes to my traditional Thanksgiving celebration. Wishing you good days ahead. ox, Gina

  10. Cornichon!? Sounds like hubby got himself into a pickle (Freudian slip?).
    A compromise may be in the Cronut! You know that half American doughnut, half French croissant invented by the NYC based French pastry chef, Dominique Ansel. It might not be tacky American enough, but hey, that's what compromise is all about. Can you get Cronut's in Paris? Sacrilege?

    *Something you don't know about me? I once listened to French chef Michel Richard wax poetic about his love for KFC! Yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken...c'est magnifique, non?!

  11. What the heck is a suburban bow?

  12. awww...damn it...I'm looking at my mantle and I have 3 glass pumpkins with some fake leaves. one minute I think it looks great- next tacky....well shitters. I live on the beach - there are NO leaves anywhere around nature to pluck. I could do shells with the dead palm fronds....??? joking really - I'm content with it. BUT.... I totally agree with you. Nature always does it best. - Pam Atk

  13. Damn you, now I need to throw out my entry hall arrangement because it includes too many of your "tacky" items listed above.

  14. I learn a lot from you and completely agree about using that which nature provides for autumn arrangements and wreaths. Please educate me, though, regarding what is tacky about an arrangement of long, real pussy willow branches, with their velvety nubs, or the slightly-dried, light rose lacy hydrangea blooms from my garden?

    1. Dear Leslie, who am I to judge? If you like pussy willows and dried light rose-colored hydrangeas that make you happy, I'm all for it. XOXO

  15. Love the use of antlers and feathers in some of the arrangements!

  16. Before returning to Provence for a 3 month stay, I loaded my suitcases with the following not to be without items: a 7 pound box of brownie mix from Costco, several bags of chocolate chips, canned pumpkin for pies, 1 can of Pam, a bag of marshmallows, Good Earth tea, 1 box of Bisquick, a package of corn tortillas, a small bottle of pepto Bismol, a box of lactade pills, and a bottle of Bayer aspirin. I could have left most of these things out, but decided they were essential. I decided against the peanut butter and maple syrup from Trader Joe's. I can buy those here. It seems that my thinking is a bit skewed.

    And when we return to California, I bring mustard and cornichon pickles.

  17. Thank you for being so fucking funny!!! And a mexican crepe... god, that is good.

  18. I notice I'm far from being alone in missing Cheetos, snack food of the gods. Sadly, a friend in the States recently took the time to send me a lovely care package of junk food which included the crunchy ones instead of the original ones....nearly broke my heart.

  19. See....everything you mentioned in Paris sounds yummy. My son and I just had Chipolte after we saw the movie Interstellar last night. And then went to Menchie's yogurt.

  20. Please please please: What is a "suburban bow?" I have decorated hastily, and not much at all this year, and with the help of a local florist/garden center, and I'm in fear now ...