September 9, 2021

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picasso, the million dollar napkin and live painting
I create timeless heirloom paintings for couples looking for an original and intentional way to capture their wedding day, and I do it live.

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If you’ve followed me for long, you know that I love reading.  It’s one of my favorite things to do — you can catch me daydreaming about my latest read in the pockets of the day.

Well, a few years ago I picked up Myquillyn Smith’s The Cozy Minimalist Home, and I’m not exaggerating when I say 


I opened it at a time when the budget was tight, the needs were many, and I felt incredibly unequipped to make my home look and feel the way I wanted it to.

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, and yes, YOU CAN create the home of your metaphorical dreams on a budget.  Also, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful” is the motto of my life (thanks Myquillyn).

Whether you’ve spent ages battling perfectionism and trying to make things “just so,” or you’re feeling totally overwhelmed with everything and don’t know where to start, or anywhere in between, you’re in the right place, friend. Welcome, I mean it when I say I’m so glad you’re here.

I’m spelling out five creative ways to make your home cozy and inviting for fall (and how you can make a big impression no matter your budget.


Ahhhh, the smells of fall.  The crisp air, the breeze, the leaves falling.  When it’s just beginning, it’s like the whole world changes. (Can you tell it’s my favorite season?!)  

I don’t know about you, but when I think of fall, I immediately think of soups. I’m talking chilis of all kinds, hearty stews of all kinds, each full of flavor and entirely different from the last.

I’m not a pumpkin spice girl, but soup season? That’s something I think is worth celebrating.  

And y’all, you can’t forget pie. NEVER forget the pie.


Tip #1: Our sense of smell connects to our memories. Use that to your advantage by making your home SMELL like fall.

Think of the smells that remind you of fall.  Maybe it’s a candle, maybe it’s a pumpkin spice latte.  Maybe it’s a special pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookie you only make once a year because you’ll eat the whole double batch in one sitting… (just me?) Whatever it is? USE IT.  Burn that candle.  Diffuse those oils.  Make your home SMELL like fall. 

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I’ll walk outside and think, “Oh my, it smells like Kanakuk” or how cooking my mom’s Tiffany’s Bean Pot Soup brings me right back to my childhood waiting anxiously for dinner…

Bonus if you see what you have (like keeping some frozen batter of cookies in the freezer that you can just throw in the oven at a moment’s notice) and use it without spending a dime…


The tastes of fall goes so well with what I wrote above, I couldn’t WAIT to share it with you.

What tastes make you feel all warm and cozy inside? For me, it’s SOUPS and COFFEE.  For my kids, it’s hot chocolate with Lucky Charms marshmallow.  

Think of a “menu” that reminds you of fall (much like we did above with the smells) — you’ve probably already got some ideas stewing, so write them down and then make them!  Fill your home with the tastes of fall.

Tip #2: Even now when all the things are available all the time, use seasonal fruits, vegetables, etc to make your tastes totally different for the fall season.  I think this adds a LOT of cozy — especially in soups — because I love how soups change based on the seasonal vegetables you choose.

**Works for cookies too (and also why I make the pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!)


Sound is a little harder for me.  I personally get overwhelmed by a lot of sounds, so I try to tune it out. (gasp!)

BUT — think of it this way — is there any sound that makes you feel cozy? Maybe it’s a playlist on Apple music, maybe it’s the Coldplay Fix You album from long ago, whatever it is, play it!  When you’re home, when you invite people over, play the songs!

Another sound I LOVE (but don’t necessarily get to enjoy in the fall in Oklahoma) is the crackling of the fire (in the fireplace or in the chiminea).  

Tip #3: Think of the SOUNDS that make you feel cozy.  Use those.

A great thing about this one, is it rarely costs anything because most everyone has something to play music with.  If you don’t, Pandora has a free option (I think!).


What can you touch that makes you cozy? Maybe it’s a soft blanket or a sweater.  Hang a sweater or sweatshirt somewhere easily accessible so you can pull it on first thing in the morning! (Hey cozy!) My favorite sweatshirts are here and here.

Put a cozy blanket on your couch.  Your kids will thank you — mine LOVE to run their hands over the soft blankets we have, and it makes our (albeit messy) living room feel so much more inviting.  It’s like saying, Hey friend, come in and snuggle up with us.  There’s room for you!

And isn’t that the goal of getting our home ready for fall anyway? Inviting others in so we can love them well? Yup, me too.

Tip #4: Soft blankets, pillows, textures, add a creative touch of cozy to your home for fall.


Saved this one for last.  Did you notice that not ONCE did I talk about going out and buying out Hobby Lobby’s fall fake pumpkins or all the fall decor that clutters up your space?

And you know what? I still stand by that.  If you want some pumpkins, get a couple big pumpkins from the farmer’s market or the pumpkin patch. Bonus that it can turn into a family adventure!

You don’t need a sign that says “hello fall” to welcome fall in your home. You don’t need 12932 pumpkins on every surface of your home to see that it’s fall.

Bring in some fall branches.  Put them in a vase. Use ART, for crying out loud. 

Maybe you paint a wreath garland with your kids and hang it up on your mantle.

Maybe you add a special art piece to your wall that helps your room feel inviting (and it doesn’t have to leave at the end of the season).

Don’t feel guilty for spending your hard-earned dollars on all the pumpkin crap (yup, I said it), and instead use that money in a more meaningful way to buy something that will truly make your home welcoming.

Tip #5: Save your money for art that will invite others into your home — and lasts more than just a season.

I recommend art (obviously).

We’ve talked about five creative ways to make your home cozy and inviting for fall, and NOT ONE of them included going to your local box store and stocking up on pumpkins.

So, what’s your plan to make your home cozy and inviting for fall? I’d love to hear in the comments.

And if you don’t know where to start, here’s my signature DREAMHOME WORKBOOK to get you thinking about what you want (and need) in your home.

And if you’re ready to add to your budding art collection for free, drop your email to get some fine art sent straight to your inbox for free (what’s better than free fine art?!)

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Bringing your wedding day to life, thrilling your guests with a show-stopping live wedding painting experience, and creating a timeless keepsake that honors your sacred bond and will warm your heart every time you look at it – it’s what I do best.

Hey, I'm Courtney.

From behind the easel, I serve timeless brides who still embrace the unexpected by creating heirloom painting experiences that are immersive, one-of-a-kind, and thrilling to watch.

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With a slightly abstract Impressionist live painting experience that captures the love and joy of your story, shows off the beauty of your wedding day, and helps everyone who enters your future home to feel your wedding day, you’ll finally have THE THING that makes your wedding day unforgettable.

And your guests? They'll talk about your wedding forever because of the experience you gave them.


Simply put? This is way more than just a wedding painting.