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Feeling festive for fall

Use natural decorations in a variety of colors to decorate your home for the fall season.

Use natural decorations in a variety of colors to decorate your home for the fall season.

It’s still pretty hot outdoors, so the Southwest Georgia’s weather hasn’t quite cooperated yet. Nevertheless, it’s that time of year again.

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Laura Williams

Pumpkins, gourds and those lovely-smelling cinnamon brooms are beginning to appear and, in Maine and Vermont, tree leaves are beginning to change color.

You know what that means.

Fall is approaching.

I shamelessly admit that I felt a little giddy when I saw apple cider on the shelves at Walmart the other day. But I’m holding off for just a bit — it’s just doesn’t have the same effect when it’s 90-plus degrees outside.

Without a doubt, the fall season is my favorite of the year. A welcome respite from summer heat, fall also brings with it Thanksgiving and Christmas, the state fair, the return of my favorite television shows and, of course, football.

So, maybe that does sound a little shallow, but hey — I’m not the only one who appreciates them.

Fall also brings another unique aspect to please the eye.

Beautiful decorations.

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Swet potatoes are a seasonal favorite food.

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DIY crafting is popular when the weather starts to cool.

From tree leaves, to hay bales, pumpkins and multicolored gourds, there is no shortage of ways to decorate your front porches. And it’s a versatile season. You can convert that pumpkin into a Jack-o-Lantern at Halloween, or cook those squash for an autumn meal. And if those scarecrows pull double duty and actually keep critters away, that’s just an added bonus.

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Apple cider captures the taste of autumn.

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Paint a pumpkin the color of your choice and add a monogram to create a unique and festive look.

While most doors in the Southwest Georgia are probably boasting the colors of favorite football teams right now, there are other options available. Gourds, pumpkins, hay bales and mums all create a classic, inexpensive and gorgeous way to decorate, inside or out. Accent with a simple pinecone or burlap wreath. Decorations don’t have to cost you and arm and a leg to be beautiful. In fact, with fall, a naturalistic approach is always the best.

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Burlap and seasonal floral decorations make this outdoor urn stand out.

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A simple pinecone wreath is classic and easy to make.

But fall decorations aren’t the only fun thing about the season. Don’t forget all of that yummy food!

From hot drinks to fresh-baked breads, rich soups and, of course, pumpkin pie, autumn brings a fresh variety of tastes sure to please any palate. For a well-balanced meal, pair a hearty autumn soup with a light salad garnished with cranberries and pear slices.

Visit your local farmer’s markets and see what’s in season. Chances are, you’ll walk away with a bag full of fresh produce and new ideas about how to use them. Fall is a time for new beginnings, and taking a chance by doing something different than you’ve done before is the perfect way to celebrate that.

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For an easy update, use thumbtacks to create designs on pumpkins.

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Layer various colored beans and peas for a different way of updating indoor votives.

Take a moment to relax, breathe that fresh air, and think about what you like. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Whether it’s by sight, smell or taste, you can never go wrong with autumn celebrations if you stick to what you like best.

Email Laura Williams at laura.williams@albanyherald.com.