Fall Decor

When you live in the south, you do not have a true fall season. Sure, we break out the pumpkins and mums, but it’s still 90 degrees outside! Football season is the start of fall in my opinion. It just puts you in the mood for all things cool weather related, even when it is still HOT.

I hung my fall door hangers the last weekend in August. I couldn’t wait any longer! Last year I asked my dear family friend, Gwinn Stitt, if she could make me some pretty door hangers. She made these using a paper umbrella as the holder. She is the BOMB! A good friend of mine gave me some pumpkins that she grew in her yard and I found the gourds at Naifeh’s Cash Saver.



Earrings: Loft | Bracelets: The Styled Collection |Sweater and Jeans: Available at Belle’s Boutique while supplies last

I don’t have a whole lot of fall decor, but I have a table runner for every season/occasion. Table runners are my thing for some reason. Therefore, I set my kitchen table with my fall table runner, orange dishes, gingham napkins, and cotton tumblers. My centerpiece is a glass vase I filled with wine corks and pumpkins. When Christmas comes, I fill it with wine corks and ornaments.

Table Runner: Home Goods| Napkins: Amazon Prime (color: natural) | Plates: Fiestaware | Placemats: Pottery Barn  | Pumpkins: Hobby Lobby

This table runner was actually a wedding gift, but I am positive I have seen it at Home Goods. I purchased the napkins back in the spring when I was getting ready to host Easter at my house. I drooled over some in the Pottery Barn catalog, but could not convince myself to spend that much on napkins. I decided to look for some on Amazon and ended up finding these. I have loved them so much and they wash well! I am not necessarily a fan of Fiestaware, but when my mother in law found a small set of orange at a yard sale, I had to have it. It works for Fall and for Tennessee football parties :). I bought the placemats several years ago from Pottery Barn, and they almost need replacing. The sun has faded them a lot over the years, but I am still holding on to them. The Cotton tumblers came from my granny’s house. My Pop was a manager for the Federal Compress, so my granny has accumulated a lot of cotton things over the years. I mentioned that I liked them one day and she let me have them.

My dining room decor was an after thought. I originally had not planned on decorating in there, but decided to throw something together. I may add more to it next year, but it will have to do for now.

China: Waterford, Lismore Lace Gold | Flatware: Lenox Vintage Jewel | Stemware: Waterford Colleen Encore | Pumpkins:  Amazon Prime

Our back patio is our favorite spot to be during the fall. We enjoy watching football and grilling out with friends. We are looking forward to using the outdoor fireplace as soon as this weather breaks! One day, I plan on adding a mantle to the outdoor fireplace. I will update you on that once we get one.

Patio Furniture: Best Choice Products

When did you start decorating for Fall? I would love to hear from you all!

Tennessee Tailgate | Knoxville, TN

Tennessee Tailgate | Knoxville, TN

Tennessee, what a love hate relationship we have! The last several years have been tough for Tennessee fans to say the least. My family and I are not fair weather fans though. We have endured the good and the bad together. This weekend was just a prime example of the BAD. The VERY BAD.

The Tennessee/Florida game has become a traditional game to attend in Knoxville ever since my brother started dating (and eventually marrying) a Gator (Melissa). It has also become a tradition to eat dinner together, on the Friday night preceding the game at The Chop House, in West Knoxville. We enjoyed our dinner Friday night, as always, and ended up meeting friends downtown afterwards. We met our Covington crew for libations in Market Square at Scruffy City Hall. If you ever make it to Knoxville, I highly recommend checking out the Market Square area. There are so many awesome restaurants and bars in downtown Knoxville!


Necklace: Kitzi from Patina | Clutch: HOBO (on sale) | Bracelets: The Styled Collection

When we go to Knoxville, we make a special trip to see Evan’s Granny. Since it was a late game this year, it gave us plenty of time to go visit with her Saturday morning. She had all three of her Covington grandkids in town, and you could tell how much that meant to her. We enjoyed sharing pictures and updating her on our busy lives.

My dad has owned season tickets and a parking pass for as long as I can remember. If you know us, you know this already, but my dad always parks in the same spot in the parking lot. Most years that’s true, but sometimes someone beats us to the spot. It makes it easier for people to find us when we park in the same spot year after year. This year someone beat us there, so we just parked a few spots away.

Tailgating in the south is pretty much an all day affair. We typically start the tailgate 4-5 hours before game time and sometimes stay for a while after the game too, waiting on the traffic to die down. Some of us just enjoy socializing and grazing over the food table, while others make a trip to the book store or Vol Walk.

Checkerboard Table Runner: Amazon Prime | Metal Utensil Holder: Party Swizzle

Believe it or not, the McGowan tailgate started out pretty small. In the early years, my parents would just bring a bucket of chicken and subs from a local sandwich shop. It has grown so much over the years. We always start our tailgate with the basics, but friends always end up bringing extra appetizers, so we have more than enough for everyone who stops by.

Tailgating Essentials:

  1. Grill (and grilling essentials such as utensils, tinfoil, lighters, charcoal, etc.)
  2. Tent(s)
  3. Table(s)
  4. Cooler(s)
  5. Hand Sanitizer
  6. Trash bags
  7. Chairs
  8. Food
  9. Sternos to keep your food warm
  10. Plates, Napkins/paper towels, Cups, Plastic Silverware
  11. Plenty of Ice

Our Menu:

  • Grilled Burgers and Balogna*
  • Hummus and Vegetables
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip and Pita Chips
  • Cheese Ball shaped as a Power T garnished with Grapes and Wheat Thins*
  • Captain Rodney’s Dip*
  • Tennessee Checkerboard Rice Krispies
  • A variety of cookies; including Melissa’s homemade decorated cookies
  • A variety of drinks and water

*McGowan tailgate staple


Game Day Purse: GiGi New York | Jeans and Top: Belle’s Boutique

Although the actual game was awful, we still had a great weekend with family and friends! Will we be going back this year? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be back next year! #VFL

Let me know if you are interested in buying tickets to any upcoming home games!