Fall Favorites

The leaves of the sugar maple in my backyard are just beginning to turn orange and red at the very top. The morning walks to drop my kids off at school are cold and crisp and halted often to fill our pockets with acorns and baby pinecones. The evening air is permeated with the faint scent of burning wood. It’s autumn in earnest.

Alexa, play the You’ve Got Mail soundtrack.

In honor of cozy season, we’re highlighting our favorite Des Moines Mercantile products to start your hygge off right.

The darker mornings and evenings mean I have my signature woodwick candles burning to mark the beginning and ending of each day. The glow and slight crackle of the woodwick mimic a woodburning fire that eases my sadness that our fireplace does not actually work. With scents like, Pumpkin Chai, Apple Harvest, Autumn Fig and Dusk, they also give my home that warm, inviting smell. Mallory is hard at work at her candle cauldron in the back of the shop several days a week to continuously replenish the candles in the shop.

cozy blankets

My favorite way to start the day is with a good book cozied up on the couch (if I somehow manage to wake up before the kids without them knowing). The Little Book of Cottagecore will give you even more ideas about how to hygge it up this season while you snuggle under one of our Amana blankets. The Amana wool blankets are so warm and heavy. They start off a bit scratchy but get softer and softer over time with use and are made to last a lifetime if taken care of right. We also have Amana cotton throws for anyone averse to wool.

cozy blankets

We’ve started our day off right. Now let’s get ready to throw a dinner party. Get inspired with one of our new cookbooks. My personal favorites in the shop right now are Fresh Midwest: Modern Recipes from the Heartland by Maren Ellingboe King and Homage: Recipes and Stories from an Amish Soul Food Kitchen. Homage blends author Christ Scott’s Southern soul food roots with the Amish food of the community he was surrounded by growing up, and the result is lots of warm, comforting recipes with a new take on the familiar. I personally can’t wait to try the “Crispy Deviled Eggs with Cracklin’ Collard Greens (p. 173).”

Our herb strippers are a favorite for any season, but, let’s be real, I don’t actually cook or bake in the summers. It’s pretty much cheese and raw fruits and veggies on a platter from June through August. Now that our family is home and inside more, I’m getting more inspired in the kitchen again. And, for me, that means lots of thyme, sage and oregano in all the soups, roasted veggies and biscuits. The herb stripper might be one of my favorite kitchen tools. While separating thyme leaves by hand is a great meditative practice, I think I’ll use the stripper and save my meditation for meditation.


I had the most fun creating this fall tablescape with some of my favorite pieces from the makers at Des Moines Mercantile. I don’t know if I love anything so much as a bowl of gourds and mini pumpkins as a centerpiece. We have a variety of wood bowls handmade by Brian Peterson, Mallory’s dad, in all shapes, sizes and woods around our shop, and we still have some gourds and pumpkins as well. Pro tip, be sure if you have children that you keep an accurate count of how many gourds you put in the bowl in the first place. Otherwise, your kids, who love to play “hide and seek” with the gourds, will hide them too well, and you will find a rotting gourd under the couch in February. No? Just me?

dining table

Hand embroidered Turkish linen table runner by Nida Handcrafts, available in store.


Naturally dyed linen napkins by Fischer Goods, available in store.


Beeswax candles by Honey Hollow Apiary, available in store and online. Candle holder by Concrete Days, available in store.

fall feast

Also, tricking the people you live with into helping you drag your dining room table outside is always worth it. The situation that is not improved by eating outside does not exist (except, you know, storms and cold and blah, blah, blah).

What are your favorite ways to mark the season and get ready for winter? We hope you come visit us in the shop this fall and treat yourself to something cozy.


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