Home Decor Recipes

Budget Fall Updates

On my last post, I shared my minimal and FREE fall kitchen decor update.  The great room is the other recipient of a seasonal update. As much as I really want new stuff, I’m restraining myself and here are my budget fall updates.

The great room is my she-shed.  I hang out there and read most evenings and weekends while John watches whatever nonsense he likes in the family room.  When we ordered our sectional, we added the chaise and it’s my dream come true.  Yes, I have small dreams.

Here is what I did to warm up the great room on the smallest budget ever.

Entry Rug

Reusing an Old Area Rug

This earth-tone area rug has been used in various places in our home for years.  It’s so old I don’t even remember where I got it.  It’s lovely, but I wanted something lighter for the entryway.  I got the cream and gray rug we’ve been using there for a while.  It’s probably ready to change that one out, but one naughty kitty uses rugs as scratching material, so I’ll probably wait on that.

I took this rug out of storage and instantly warmed the area.

Entry Table

Reusing Old Olive Jars with Budget Foliage

I loved the citrus décor I purchased this summer, but it really screams summer.  I got all of my very old olive jars out and am using them.  They are beautiful and I never get tired of them.  Especially when I don’t see them every day.

We did purchase a bundle of foliage from Home Goods for less than $20 and I used it in several places.  That’s the entire amount I’ve spent.

Fairy Lights

Fairy lights on one of the jars looks so pretty and now that it’s dark before I conk out for the night, I enjoy the room all the more.

New England Water Color

My sister Monique gave me the water color she bought when she lived in New England.  Hands down New England wins all autumn prizes and I love having this memento out during fall.

Dining Table

Dining Table

Glass pumpkins, mercury glass and candles on an autumn runner graced with a few colored eucalyptus leaves give me another nice evening look.


Olive Jar, Homemade Velvet Pumpkins and Flameless Autumn Candle

Using part of the foliage bundle I filled one of my olive jars and placed some velvet pumpkins on my beverage tray.

The flameless candle and leaf candy dish above were gifts I gave to my mother and she loved them. After she died, I took them back and I think of her every year when I put them out.


Pottery Barn Pillow Covers and Homemade Velvet Pumpkins

I’ve had these Pottery Barn pillow covers for around 100 years, but I still love bringing them out for fall.  I paired them with the denim-look pillows and like the warm and casual feeling in here.

What I’m Reading

Almost finished with a book by a new author – update next week – standby!

What I’m Eating

Pot Roast and Gravy

Hub bought an Instapot (6 quart capacity) recently and has enjoyed being responsible for some of that cooking.  Works for me.  We made pot roast, potatoes and carrots for the first time in the new doohickey. 

New Instapot


  • Super Fast
  • Easy
  • Delish
  • I got to use my gravy boat (!)


  • The potatoes and carrots got a bit overdone

We need to do some adjusting on cooking time, but bottom line the meal was a success and we’ll do it again. 

Pot Roast Ingredients

Insta Pot Pot Roast and Gravy Dinner

  • Approx. 3 pound chuck roast
  • 1 Tbs cooking oil (I use avocado)
  • 4 potatoes halved
  • 6 carrots, halved
  • 1 ½ cup beef bouillon
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Splash of wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt, Pepper and thyme to taste
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1/3 cup water, disolved
Searing Pot Roast
  1. Season chuck roast with salt and pepper on all sides. Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTÉ mode and add 1 tbsp oil. Once hot, sear the beef on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer beef to a plate.
  2. To the pot add the onion and sauté about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and tomato paste and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the splash of wine and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze and remove any browned bits stuck on the bottom. 
  3. Pour in the beef stock, potatoes and carrots. Top with the beef chunks, thyme and bay leaves. Place on the lid and make sure the valve is in the SEALED position. Cook on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. Once done, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then turn the valve to allow the pressure to finish releasing. 
  4. Discard bay leaves. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef, potatoes and carrots to a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm. 
  5. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or large measuring cup and keep one or two cups. Reserve the onions if desired. Skim any fat off the liquid and set aside.
  6. Return the instant pot liner to Instant Pot and turn to Sauté mode. Add a tbsp butter and let melt. Whisk in a mixture of corn starch and water and cook about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in beef drippings and cook until desired thickness of gravy is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I hope you’re enjoying family and friends. Cheers to a good weekend.