Your Handmade Home Magazine December 2017


This issue is packed with holiday design and decor, and an interview with Linda Phan from Property Brothers - Drew's Honeymoon House

December 2017

Home for the Holidays


Linda Phan






departm ents

Home for the Holidays

with Linda Phan

Last-Minute Gifts

How to Make Living on Base

Your Favorite Place

Health & Beauty

Hello Gorgeous!

Design and Decor

DIY Fireplace Makeover

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Holiday Cards and Decor

Shop the Look!

Fashion and Accessories

Warm Winter Fashion

Artisan Spotlight

Passion for the PNW

In the Kitchen

Kitchen Essentials

Christmas Desserts


Destination Disney

The Perfect Christmas

Littles Lifestyle

Your Handmade Home


Christy Winfrey

Publisher, Editor In Chief

Linda Phan

Property Brothers at Home:

Drew’s Honeymoon House

Creative Director/Editor

Jane Makransky

Special Projects Graphic Designer

Vanessa Offerman

Feature Writers

Jennifer Brown

Allison Yeager


Photo Courtesy of


Warm Winter Fashion

DIY Fireplace Makeover

Letter From

the Editor

Christmas is the time

when we all wish we

had the wonder and

excitement of a child.

The way their eyes light

up seeing the Christmas

tree, how they wake us

in the wee hours of the

morning on Christmas

day to discover what

presents lie under the

tree for them. This season,

let’s all step back

just a bit and let that wonder and excitment overtake



Christy Winfrey

Editor in Chief

Instagram @christylynwinfrey

Unto us a child is born

Unto us a son is given...

Merry Christmas


Your Handmade Home Magazine

It all started four years ago while walking the dog.

how to Make Living on Base

Your Favorite place

Erin Morris, a military wife, would walk her dog, and peek into homes for

decorating ideas. She needed a way to make her temporary housing feel

more like home. Moving to a new home every few years, some on base, and

some in rented homes can be daunting in itself. But making that temporary

house a home was her big vision. Erin enlisted the help of another military

spouse, Meg Smith, and together they formed the group White Walls. Although

they have never met in person, their enthusiasm for helping others

has made White Walls a much needed and much appreciated service.

White Walls is now a Facebook group for military families to come together

to inspire each other. But this is no ordinary group. White Walls’ main

group has over 82,000 members, with offshoot groups for different topics

like cooking, cleaning, real estate, fitness, sewing, and a few others, which

also have thousands of members.

Erin Morris

“I don’t think either of us had any idea how

quickly White Walls

would take off, “says

Erin. “We didn’t realize

how many others were

also wanting to find ways

to make their house more

comfortable and stylish

for their families. I think

we’re still kind of astonished

at how many people

are still wanting to join

on a daily basis.”

Meg Smith

Photos courtesy of Erin Morris and Meg Smith

“It’s pretty exciting for us! We started with just a few people, and have really

just spread through word of mouth. “ says Meg. “I think just having a place

to have a discussion is huge--- Having a community of people who understand

the nomadic lifestyle we often times live is extremely helpful. We

have thousands of eyes on our group at any given time, and people are willing

to help! Everyone wants to see the person with the design dilemma love

their home and be comfortable, and it’s really exciting to see the before and

after pictures people post. Having a place to bring your home problems, or

find a solution for that weird nook in your new place is so valuable when

you’re trying to make a house your home. I think when we see others with

similar circumstances get creative, that’s what is truly inspiring.”

“We love seeing families encouraged

to love their space,

and [be] empowered to get

creative. It’s daily in the group,

and it’s fantastic! There are

posts just about every day

that say something along the

lines of ‘thank you for inspiring

me!’ or posts showing off

what they’ve built, or a project

they tackled. That always

gives us the warm fuzzies, and

makes us feel like we’re really

doing something. We’re all

military families... Most of the

time we’re far away from the

place we consider home, family,

and often times on a pretty

tight budget. Many times,

the house we have to live in is

not the house we would have

chosen for ourselves. We have to play Tetris with our furniture over and

over again, and try to settle in wherever our families are stationed. It can

be challenging and discouraging, so when we see someone take the bull by

the horns, get crafty, and ‘bloom where they’re planted,’ it’s really awesome.

Beyond that, the community in White Walls is great for asking questions...

The responses can almost be overwhelming! People are

excited to help, and that’s really special. The internet can be a cold place

sometimes, so it’s great to see people helping one another, even on something

small like paint color, what to make for dinner, or how to get a stain

out of a sofa. It’s great to have a community of people who are in the same

boat, or at least truly understand the boat you’re in, who want to help, and

show you some love.”

Meg and Erin have some big ideas for giving back as well. They are considering

creating and selling a cookbook using recipes from their members,

with the proceeds going to help feed homeless veterans, and fund a scholarship

for military spouses.

“We’re all about giving back to the community that helped to build White

Walls. These things take time, but we’re excited!”

We asked Erin and Meg what advice they would give to new military

spouses who are just embarking on their journey.

“Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20. It can sometimes

be discouraging when, maybe you’re first starting out and have a

bunch of hand-me-down, mismatched furniture to see someone’s home

that is beautifully put together. Or maybe you’re at the stage in life where

your kids are little and your living room is overrun with toys--- it can be

frustrating when you scroll [Pinterest] and see pristine living rooms. You

don’t know which season of life people are in or where their priorities lie,

so stay encouraged, and positive! Enjoy the ride!”

Our hats are off to Erin and Meg for their enthusiasm and willingness to

help others. It is truly amazing that two women who have never met have

helped change the lives of so many.


by Vanessa Offerman


Disney by

Vanessa Offerman

Christmas is a magical time of year. It’s a time when children of all ages

experience pure joy and excitement at the sights and sounds of the holiday.

Our trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida brought a similar magical

feeling to our family, especially our children. It was an experience that I

will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life.

I went to Disney World with my husband Chris, eldest daughter, Olivia,

son, James, youngest daughter, Hailey, and my parents, who made this trip

possible. This was our first trip there.

Getting to experience this with

my family and my parents was

something extraordinary. We

chose to go to the Magic Kingdom

and we had two days to

enjoy and try to see everything,

which we soon learned was impossible!

On our first day, we all woke

up early, excitement in the air.

Driving up to the exit Olivia

was yelling out “Magic Kingdom

signs!”, James spotted

Mickey hands, Hailey saw the

“Welcome to Disney” sign and

the kids all wiggled with excitement.

We parked the car,

walked up to the transportation

hub, and had to choose between

the metro or ferry.

It didn’t take us long to all agree-- it would be the ferry! As we waited for

the next ferry to arrive, the staff blew bubbles for the kids waiting in line

and entertained them with stickers and secrets of Disney. Smiles were

HUGE as the ferry pulled up and we boarded. We could see Cinderella’s

Castle in the distance growing larger as the ferry got closer and closer.

When we arrived at the park, we walked down Main Street USA, taking in

all the shops and buildings with one of the most stunning features in front

of us --Cinderella’s Castle. In person, it is truly stunning. As we walked

through the castle we took in all of the pictures of the fairy tales on the

walls. The magnificent castle left the kids awe. To see their imaginations

brought to life was a treasure.

After touring the castle, we began the thrill of the rides. Our first ride was

Peter Pan’s Flight. As we waited in line we entered Wendy, John and Michael

Darling’s bedroom where Peter’s shadow was darting across the walls.

Tinker Bell was flitting about, hiding inside clothing chests where her glow

peeked out from the keyhole. She fluttered across the room, flying into a

picture frame, then into a toy ship, teasing the kids to try to find her. Every

time that Peter’s pesky

shadow appeared, enchanted

shadow butterflies would burst

into view flying in all directions.

We finally got through the line

and entered the ride, where we

flew in boats over Neverland.

Beneath us we saw the Lost

Boys, along with the Magical

Mermaids, Captain Hook and

Mr. Smee, as Tick Tock Croc

tried to capture them.

We ended up on Skull Island where my son was a Lost Boy for a moment,

with his hand in the air, ready to fight off Captain Hook and his pirates. We

left the ride with smiles, shouting out our favorite moments of the experience

to each other.

Next we experienced It’s A Small World, a classic ride where the adults

complain they won’t ever get that song out of their heads and the kids

find joy in singing it all day. The dolls from around the world in their native

attire were all on display. A must ride for all kids, big and small. We

walked and talked and tried to soak in all of the sights as the day wore on.

We knew we had to make our way back to the castle for the big parade, and

once we returned to there, we all waited anxiously for it to start. As the music

came over the speakers, Olivia was bursting with excitement. When she

saw the first float, she screamed out to the rest of us, recognizing the

characters on it. A woman standing nearby tapped my father on his shoulder

and said that seeing Olivia’s

excitement as the parade started

made her feel like a kid again! James

and Hailey waved so hard at all the

Disney characters and princesses,

I found myself waving just as hard.

As the parade ended, we all couldn’t

wait to get back to the rides and the

meet and greets.

Our first meet and greet was with

Princess Rapunzel, Hailey’s absolute

favorite princess of all time. Hailey

was so excited she could barely contain

herself. Star struck and jumping

up and down, she was too tongue

tied to answer any questions that

Rapunzel asked!

James could not wait to see Donald Duck, so we did a meet and greet.

Donald was so happy to see that James was wearing his Donald hat, he

took if off James’ head and walked over to

Goofy to show him that Donald was number

one in my little guy’s eyes. The kids got

a great laugh watching Donald and Goofy

teasing one another.

Our last stop was the Dumbo ride. What a

classic, rite of passage for any Disney visitor.

Of course, the kids loved making the ride go

up and down over and over and over again.

On our second day at the Magic Kingdom,

we went for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Not knowing what

to expect we were bubbling with anticipation. But before the Halloween

party, I had arranged for my daughters to get a mermaid makeover to celebrate

Olivia’s 7 th birthday. What an amazing job they did! First, the girls

entered a pirate ship boutique where

they put on mermaid costumes and had

their nails painted, and hair and makeup

done. Then, they were announced

to the ship as the newest mermaids

around! Next, we were all escorted

through a secret passageway to the captain’s

quarters ( luckily he was not in).

The girls were told that the pirate captain

had stolen the mermaids’ treasure

and the girls had to find the hidden

treasure. They searched and searched

and when they finally found it, it held

mermaid pearl necklaces that they were

allowed to keep.

While the girls were busy having their makeovers, my father, husband and

son went to Mickey’s Raceway and Tomorrowland. There they raced one

another and had an amazing time in the

People Mover as they took in everything that

Tomorrowland had to offer.

We all met back up in front of Aladdin’s Magic

Carpet Ride and made our way to the front gates

to finally start the Halloween festivities. The Disney

staff was dressed in festive attire and led us

through the Halloween trick or treating checkpoints

throughout the park. After we finished,

there was a dance party hosted by Monsters Inc.

where the kids danced the night away with Sully and Mike Wazowski.

Then we made our way to the castle for a special performance by the Sanderson

Sisters from Hocus Pocus. There, all the Disney villains joined in to

put a spell on us, and we danced in the crowd and sang along. After the

performance ended, the main event was about to begin -- Mickey’s Halloween

Parade. The grand marshal was the Headless Horseman, who gave us

all chills as he quietly rode his horse through the streets. The crowd went

silent and all you could hear was the clicking of his midnight black horse’s

hooves hitting the cobblestone ground, his pumpkin head glowing. All of

the the Halloween floats followed, ridden by our favorite characters.

We left that night with our hearts full. As we went to our car we turned to

watch the fireworks and knew without saying that this was a vacation that

will stay with us forever. After all, our children are young for such a short

time. To be able to give them a place where their imaginations could run

free and where they could believe that anything was possible was worth

more than anything else in this world.

Vanessa Offerman is the Special Projects Graphic Designer for Your Handmade Home

magazine and the owner of Bash Boutique. She and her husband Chris live in New York

with their three children.






w a r m up with winter accessories




winter wear and accessories


ra-pom-pom- pom-pom beanies










10 17



7 8


1. Buffalo Check Leggings - Stitched Stars and More

2. Denim Crossbody Bag - Tumbletree Lane

6. Scripture Necklace - The Crafty Shelf

7. Sweater Weather Sweatshirt - Dee Marie Design Co

11. Goldstone Butterfly Earrings - The Bird and the Beads

12. Leather Wrap Bracelet - Serene Bayside Jewelry

16. Agate Necklace - Pure Lisa Jewelry

17. Druzy Bar Necklaces - Mack and Jane Jewelry

3. Crochet Scarf - Shevelkin Designs

4. Slouchy Beanie - I Need It Crochet

8. Origami Rose Pendant - Gillis Flowers

9. Amethyst Pendant - K8tie Sparkles

13. Cable Knit Pom Pom Hat - Jula Custom Crochet

14. Two-Tone Crochet Hat - Magic Crochet World

18. Dichroic Glass Pendant - 4 the Love of Silver

19. Swarovski Crystal Bracelet - Shop Dayle

5. Monogram Bangle - Southern Ways Decals

10. Upcycled Designer Purse - Bellesa by Bethany

15. Floral Infinity Scarf - Breast Friends Connect


Hello Gorgeous!

Yes, it’s the holidays, and a time for gift-giving; but sometimes you

have to get just a little something for yourself!

Check out these holiday must-haves.

A Spa Gift Box makes the perfect gift! A Ball

Heritage Collection Pint Jar filled with handmade

lotion, two herbal bath teas, a bar of

natural handmade soap, a handmade wash

cloth and herbal drinking detox tea. Enjoy!

Available from The Chocolate Chicken.

Dry matcha green tea and charcoal

mask powder is wonderful for improving

your skin with a boost of vitamin

goodness, and it’s fun to apply, which

makes it the perfect gift or stocking

stuffer this year. Grab a friend or two

and give yourself a reason to just have

some fun. From The Remedy of Life.

This cute holiday bath bomb comes in a

Christmas ornament container! You can

hang it on your Christmas tree as decor

or add it as stocking stuffer for your kids,

budget friendly gifts to co-workers, and

friends. From Naturalle Solutions .

This bath bomb set is a combination of

bath fizzy, bath melt, and milk bath in one!

Packed with cocoa and shea butters, in addition

to avocado oil, goat’s milk, and colloidal

oatmeal, it’s a true skin-loving treat!

Available from Skyline Soapworks.

Handmade soap from Kay’s Creative Soaps is

made with with goat’s milk and heavy cream

for that luxurious feel your body loves.

This Christmasy soap makes a beautiful gift!

Escape on a first-class trip to the island

of your choice with this effervescent

sea salt soak. When released

into a warm bath, coconut milk and

mango butter softens your skin, while

the scents of mango, guava, pineapple

and coconut relax and refresh. Exclusively

from Places.

Achy sore muscles are no fun! This microwavable

heating pad from Lost My

Marbles Sewing is just the thing to relieve

your pain. Available in many colors

and styles.

All Photos Courtesy of Pretend Farm Girl


Items for all needs,

styles and occasions!

DIY Fireplace


by Jennifer Brown

When my husband and I first looked at our house, we thought we’d just

take down a dividing wall between the kitchen and living room. No big

deal. Only you don’t just take down a wall. You move electrical and plumbing,

replace flooring, etc. and in our case, you replace a fireplace as well.

Oh, and while we were at it, we decided to put in all new kitchen cabinets.

That’s all.

The logical place to start was with the fireplace, since we were hoping to

be reclaim some floor space in the process. The original fireplace was large

and awkward and stuck out like a sore thumb in the room. It wasn’t centered,

and there was a cubby next to it with some sort of inexplicable purpose

(although our daughter decided to use it as her stage).

The columns around the original fireplace housed the venting and gas. In

order for the fireplace insert to be centered on the wall and the columns to

be removed, the insert needed to be moved. We hired a professional to do

this, as well as the portion relating to the gas for the fireplace. One of the

contractors we spoke to recommended that we change out the insert for

larger one to fit with the scale of the new surround and built-ins. Although

we weren’t sure if we wanted to add to our expense this early in the renovation,

we decided that this wasn’t something that we should skip on. We bit

the bullet and installed the larger one and we are so glad that we did.

The experts left and we then took over the project. If you look closely at the

pictures, you can see the plywood sub-floor where the old surround was.

We gained about 12 inches of floor space, meaning that the new fireplace

could be centered between two symmetrical built-in bookcases.

I knew I wanted a chunky mantle made out of reclaimed wood, and hubby,

of course, wanted the largest television he could fit above the mantle.

So, we needed to engineer the framing of the mantle to make sure it would

hold the weight of both.

My husband used scrap blocks of wood to provide additional structure

and threaded the electrical outlet through the new structure for the television.

Since we knew we wanted TV components to sit within the bookshelves

surrounding the new mantle, rather than on the mantle itself, my

husband created a little tube

within the new bookshelves

to house the cable lines for

the television.

Even though we had measured

where we wanted

the television to be hung,

we neglected to look at the

mounting system we purchased

until a bit later. We

realized we would have to

move the outlet and box to

accommodate the mounting

brackets. Oops! Luckily, it

was only a minor setback,

which we discovered before

we had enclosed the shelving.

My husband installed huge lag bolts to hold the mantle in place, and then

carefully measured the rear of the mantle to drill the holes so they lined

up with the bolts. The test fit was a success! (I’m so glad I was just the apprentice

on this job – my husband is very good at the whole “measure

twice, cut once” thing!)

Then, finally, it was time to make the mantle pretty! I had researched the

heck out of our preferred mantle surface, which was stone. I found a manufactured

stone which was a favorite of pro contractors. It was lighter and

less expensive than real stone but looked like the real thing. One of our

local stores had a huge selection in stock, and also had beautiful displays

set up so that I could see what I was really getting instead of relying on a

Google image. Win, win!

There were several different colors, styles and installation types of the

stone, and we ultimately decided on the stacked stone “panel” version. This

product gave us the look of stacked stone without the need for a professional

stone mason to actually fit the stone together. There were different

lengths of stone pieces and different configurations so we tried to randomly

place the stones as much as possible to get that perfectly imperfect look.

Before we started to set the stone, we installed cement board and taped

and put mud on all the seams and screws. These are boring and tedious but

important parts of the project that I might’ve rushed through. That’s why I

couldn’t be trusted to do this project on my own!

After using a spacer along the bottom of the fireplace which would allow

the flooring to be installed underneath the stone, we finally began placing

the stones. I was excited to get those first few rows up, and finally felt like

we were making progress! After a lot of research, here’s the method we

used and a few tips and tricks:

* We laid out several of each type of stone on the floor (corners, short

lengths, medium lengths, and long lengths) and then preassembled the

rows two to three at a time. That way, we could make sure that we were

staggering joints and using a variety of patterns of the stones. There was

only one spot where we didn’t notice that several of the same size stones

were stacked on top of each other. But we got lucky because the TV covers

most of that area.

* We prepped two rows of stone at a time. We wet the cement board, spread

the mortar and notched the entire length of the row. Then we would butter

each stone as we placed them. Since we had all of our rows laid out on the

floor, it made the process go very quickly.

* We stopped after every few rows to make sure that the stones were adhering

properly. To test for this, the stones should give quite a bit of resistance

if you try to take them off. We also checked for leveling. We found out that

paint sticks make great shims!

* After placing four to five rows, we allowed them to cure for at least a day.

At this pace, it took us approximately two weeks to finish. But, we were

concerned about the weight of the stone and wanted to do it right. Plus, it

worked out well for our part-time DIY schedule and allowed us to work on

this project in little chunks at a time.

* We used a grinder to make cuts in the stone and then used a wet but

wrung out sponge to wet down the stone and remove the dust. My cuts got

much better as I moved through the project. I learned to angle the cut into

the back of the stone so that the front almost overlapped the neighboring

stone. It contoured stone and made it look a bit

more natural than a flat straight cut.

As you can see in this picture, the front of the

fireplace is finished. But truth be told, the sides

still look like this today. When we install the

built-in shelving, we will finish off the sides.

We reinforced the area where the TV will be

mounted with plywood. We painted it black to

make it less noticeable. We had previously added

2 x 4 supports behind the cement board for

additional helping in holding the weight of the


Along the very top row

where the stones met the

ceiling, we used a liberal

amount of Liquid Nails

to secure the stones. It

would’ve been nearly impossible

to trowel that area--and

I’m sure a huge

mess on the ceiling and the

neighboring stones.

We did run into two small

issues when we went to fit

the mantle on the stone.

We hadn’t drilled holes

in the mantle quite deep

enough. But that was an

easy enough fix. We also

hadn’t accounted for the

varying levels of the stone

to keep the mantle from

sitting flush against the

stone. After a small and

careful amount of chiseling, it was done!

We love it! The mantle is everything! This was by far the better biggest

project we’ve tackle together, and we came out alive! Now that we started

this whole home reno thing, next up will be replacing all the flooring in the

great room and kitchen, taking out a few walls, and completely gutting our

kitchen. And we can’t wait!

Jennifer Brown is a mom to three littles, lover of all things DIY and upcycled. She and her husband

are renovating their home on an acre. You can follow her home renovating adventures at

Pretend Farm Girl.

There’s always someone that you need a last-minute

gift for -- a teacher, the neighbor who brings you

cookies every year, or maybe you haven’t found just

the right gift for someone already on your list.

It’s okay -- we’re here to help.

Love Grows Here vintage spoon for

that gardening friend in your life.

Available from Shop Lemon Tree.

You know that photographer friend of

yours? Bet she would love this camera

lens bag from Lucky Elefant Designs.

Last Minute


A handmade macrame plant hanger

adds color and life to any room!

Available at Mainly Macrame.

Marble coasters are such an elegant

gift! From Luka Marble Designs.

Who doesn’t need a darling cactus pot? We

thought we’d “plant” that idea in your head.

From Sara Hoque Art.

Make doing laundry a little more fun with

this clever laundry room sign from TCB

Designs Florida.

Farmhouse friends unite! This is the Mom

of all kitchen signs! Order yours today from

Oak Ridge Prims.

Samantha Fox Designs wins the glitz and

glam award! Get these druzy tassel keyrings

for everyone!

Shelves made from shutters? What will Step

Free Designs think up next? A perfect accent

to your farmhouse decor!

We just love this tote from Tilly & Type! Gift

this canvas tote to any girl or woman on your


Don’t forget your futty best friend! Willowberry

Pet gives you and your dog goodies in

this adorable gift set!

Gift your pet this designer collar from Pet

Afique. Adorned with a flower and metal

hardware, she will be a puppy fashionista!

This unique chrysocolla gemstone and

silver mala necklace is hand-knotted

with 108 beads on grey silk thread.

from Mulka Arts.

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

home for the holidays

with Linda Phan

You know Linda Phan from starring on HGTV’s Property Brothers -

Drew’s Honeymoon House, and you’ve probably seen her with fiance Drew

Scott on Dancing with the Stars. But did you know she is also the Creative

Director for Scott Brothers Entertainment, a skilled renovator and an avid


With the holidays upon us, we thought it was the perfect time to interview

her for her thoughts on decorating for the holiday season, her Honeymoon

House craft room renovation, and creating a handmade home.

What are your three top tips for decorating for the holidays?

“Make [your Christmas decorating] personal and don’t be afraid to have

fun with it! Not everything has to match. With this being our first holiday

in our new home, Drew and I are going to be making a lot of our Christmas

tree ornaments and we’re also asking friends and family to bring

something to add to the tree when they

visit, too!

What are your holiday decoration pet peeves?

Tangled lights!!! Agh! I spent many hours as a kid unraveling string lights!

Thank goodness for pre-lit trees now. And unfinished tree business! I

HAVE to decorate the entirety of the tree. Even though you don’t always

see the back of the tree, I can’t leave any part of it bare – that’s just unfair to

that part of the tree lol.

Do you use any unexpected ideas or materials to decorate your homes

for the holidays?

I once filled a tree with Ferrero Rocher chocolates… needless to say, the

decorations didn’t even last until Christmas. Other than that, I dig into my

craft materials – so anything from pompoms to paint chips become fair


Decorating isn’t just about the pretty

visuals – you have to be ALL in! That

includes Christmas music, cookies baking

in the oven to fill the house with deliciousness,

and of course, ugly Christmas

sweaters on the ready.

I know you don’t even want to think

about the sad day when you have to

take down all the decorations, but if

you’re prepared with proper storage

bins, it’ll make decorating for the following

year that much easier. It’s so

nice to have everything organized so

nothing gets damaged or lost.”

Photo Courtesy of Scott Brothers Entertainment

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Do you have any holiday family traditions that you would like to share

with our readers?

Drew and I have started the tradition of making our holiday cards a fun

themed photoshoot! Last year, we pulled together a vintage Hawaiian

postcard look. For this year’s I’m feeling the cosmic vibes – so whatever

we choose will be out of this world!

What is your funniest holiday family story?

The time I used one of my sisters as a human ramp while snowboarding.

I wasn’t an experienced boarder (and I’m sure I’ve only gotten worse

over the years!) but for some reason felt ambitious and decided to tackle

a black diamond hill. She went ahead of me and as I flew down the slope

at full speed, I recognized her coat and hat, this figure stumbling and

trying to get back on its feet. I then realized I was going way too fast and

yelled ‘Get out of the way!!!! I. CAN’T. STOP!’ By the time she saw what

was coming her way, it was too late – I pummeled into her, using her as

my human ramp. Our gloves, hats, goggles flew everywhere and we were

both seeing stars. We slid on our bums the rest of the way down…

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Linda is an avid crafter. When the wallpaper came down in the home

that she and Drew renovated on Property Brothers - Drew’s Honeymoon

House, she took photos of the old wallpaper and turned the design into

throw pillows. Also, rumor has it that she and Drew will be handcrafting

many of the items for their May wedding in Italy, including their Save the


Linda has a keen eye for design, as well. The room below was designated

as her craft room, and boy did she hit it out of the park!

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

When the wallpaper came down and Linda’s creativity was sparked, she

filled the room with color and style! There are so many elements in this

room that we adore! That lemon wallpaper (!!!), the black and white

checked rug, and all the little details that make her space both personal and

functional. We would love to spend a fun “crafternoon” with you, Linda!

This talented couple no doubt has many more amazing projects ahead of

them and we can’t wait to see the results of their creativity. We wish them

both much love and happiness in their new home.



Shop this Look

Hearth and Hand with Magnolia is HUGE!

We help you shop this look from Target

Letters to Santa Mailbox $39.99 Plaid Holiday Stocking $12.99

Galvanuzed Metal Tree Collar $34.99 Patterned Ornament Set $12.99

Artificial Sage/Pine Garland $19.99

Wish you Love, Joy and Peace

20% off

Gift glamour

Gift elegance

Gift marble


Kitchen Essentials







1. These soft and thick Christmas kitchen

towels from Fern Lake Cabin are festive

and functional! These large high-quality

towels will last for years!

2. Spice up your holiday dishes with these

tasty olive oil blends from Spice Expressions.

Each one adds flavor and the goodness

of olive oil to every meal!

3. You don’t ever have to sit in the car

with a hot casserole dish on your lap

again! Get this darling casserole tote from

Krause Kreation.

4. Silver and white snowflakes dance

across this festive red tea towel! Perfect

for holiday decorating! Available from

Donna’s Little Stitches.

5. This Christmas-themed microwavable

bowl holder keeps your food hot and

your fingers cool! From Serendipity Sewn.

6. A natural disinfectant will leave your

home germ-free with a fresh, invigorating

rosemary - lemon scent. Get yours

at Charming Shoppes.


Passion in

the PNW

Jessica McDaniel had always wanted her own business. “I’ve always had an

entrepreneurial heart since I can remember. Trying many at-home businesses

in the past didn’t work out for me, and they didn’t give me the ability

to exercise my creativity,” she says. That’s when fate intervened.

Jessica had always been sucker for beautifully scented candles, and she had

built quite a collection of store bought candles. When she was about to

order more, her fiancé said, “Why don’t we start a business making them?”

Within a week they had ordered

their first batch of supplies

to start testing.

Jessica knew that she wanted

to set herself apart from other

candle makers and create

something more natural. She

used organic products for

her children and as a natural

minded mama, wanted similar

products for her candle

customers . That’s when she

decided to produce 100% soy

based candles.


And that’s also when she decided to

create candles that evoke the scents

of the Pacific Northwest where she

was raised. So began her business,

Scents of the Northwest.

Jessica’s candles represent popular

cities, landmarks, and events around

the Pacific Northwest. She meticulously

chooses phthalate-free scents

that best represent the name of the

particular candle. With scents like

Frosty Crater Lake, Hillsboro Bakery

and Washington Rain, Jessica’s

candles bring back memories of

family and friends. Jessica knows

the importance of maintaining a

high quality product.

“I want my customers to get a great quality candle that’s as close to natural

as possible when using fragrance. They’re going to get what they pay

for and nothing less.” says Jessica. She listens closely to her customers and

their requests for custom scents. If she doesn’t have them at the time, she’ll

launch the new scent when the time is right.

Scents of the Northwest is based out of Port Orchard, Washington. Customers

can find these beautiful candles in local stores and markets across

the Kitsap peninsula. Upcoming events for Scents of the Northwest include

Winterfest in Gig Harbor, Hometown Holiday Benefit in Port Orchard, and

a few others right before Christmas. Be sure to check their Facebook and

Instagram accounts for specifics of these and other upcoming events.

Indoors or out, large or small,

we love Christmas trees! We

scrolled through some gorgeous

Instagram accounts and found

these festive trees!

Oh Christmas Tree

Photo Courtesy of Cherry Nelson

Cherrys Jubilee Home

Photo Courtesy of Casey Helton

The Chippy Farmhouse

Photo Courtesy of Tammy Groethe

Our Burlap Bungalow

Photo Courtesy of Stacey Rosetti

Farmhouse Chic 4 Sure

Photo Courtesy of Nan Lindesmith

Nan Lindy

Photo Courtesy of Naella McLaughlin

The Country Barn

Photo courtesy of Jenny Caspers

A Clean Prism Life

Photo Courtesy of Monique

The Thankful Farmhouse

Bring the joy of Christmas to your home

with this set from Artworks by Rufino..

This will look gorgeous on your mantel!

Hurry! This is one of a kind!

Place this wreath from House Fancy Crafts

on your door and your guests will receive a

sweet welcome into your home. The wreath

is adorned with evergreen boughs, berries,

and a Merry Christmas sign.


Cards Decor


This elegant Christmas shadow box from

Created Just 4 U is sure to enhance your holiday

decorating! It will look equally stunning

whether hung on the wall, sitting on a shelf,

mantel or side table. The rich red and gold

metallic color scheme showcases the beautiful

die cut frame and candle design.

This darling customized downloadable

Christmas sign is perfect for your holiday

photo shoot! Get yours today from

Bash Paper Boutique!

The cutest little Christmas cactus adds

just the right touch to your holiday

decorating! This original drawing from

Lumisa Design has been printed on a

pillow just for you!

Your Christmas ornaments are Dunn! Add

some farmhouse charm to your tree with these

darling baubles from Sweet Creations by Lee.

This farmhouse wood sign made by

Northern Rustic Retreat is a perfect

addition to your farmhouse Christmas

decor. Display it in your living room to

add a warm welcome for all who enter.

Buffalo plaid is trending and this

adorable sign from Sweet Baboo Fam

adds a splash of Christmas red to your

holiday decor. Comes in three sizes to

fit every space.

Your home will smell like Christmas with

this festive candy cane candle from Sweet

Sarah’s Candle Co. Makes a lovely hostess

gift for that Christmas party coming up!

For many of us who have lost a

loved one, the holidays are the hardest.

Have that special place on the

tree for that person you never want

to forget. Available from Charming


This handpainted sign from Hey

Sweetly Designed adds a colorful

touch to any room! It is made from

solid wood, so it will last for years of

holiday decorating.

These 10 vintage Christmas light reflectors/covers

from the 1960’s are exactly

what you need for your retro tree. From

Bohemian Ginger Kitsch.

Wrap those presents in style with

these personalized Santa sacks

from Georgia Yankee Designs!

This unique farmhouse serving tray

has a chalkboard insert for reminders

or sweet messages. Available from

Rustic Reflections.

If you and your family love to count

down the days until Christmas, this

sign from White Crayon Creations

is a perfect addition to your holiday


This funny christmas poster from

Emilie Gets Crafty is 100% handmade

and has a unique red watercolor background.

It’s the perfect gift for a wine


This darling handpainted Christmas

card from Button Farm Designs will

definitely put a smile on the recipient’s

face. That cute little mouse is


Adorn your wall or door with this

lovely candle wreath from Majestic

Silk Flowers. Created with a white

glittered poinsettia and white pine

cones, this beautiful wreath casts a

warm glow to the holiday season.

A Christmas Advent Calendar from

La Design Boutique is the perfect

way to get ready for Christmas and

get in the spirit. And the best part

is that it is a printable so you get it


This amazing full color print of a train

in the snow would look gorgeous in any

room! Exclusively from Ed Warick Fine


The theme of this beautiful seasonal

wreath is centered around the stunning

gold sleigh brooch that is loaded

with gifts from Santa! Available from

Unique Jewelry Decor.

A set of 10 different DIY Christmas Tags

from Santa Claus is genius! You fill out your

child’s name, whether they were naughty or

nice and where the presents were delivered!

Get yours from Mary’s Design House.

Have your “selfie” a merry little

Christmas with customized printable

Christmas cards from Kreative


This sweet and simple little Hanukkah card

is the perfect way to wish your friends and

family the blessings of the holiday. Available

from The Paper Pickle.

Don’t forget that New Years is just around the

corner! Get these gorgeous invitations from

La Design Boutique.



Christmas baking is an age old tradition.

We thought we would share some amazing

Christmas desserts to wow your guests!

Christmas Berry Pavlova

Cake Recipe

1. 4 eggs whites (at room temperature)

2. Pinch of salt

3. 1 cup castor sugar (baking sugar)

4. 2 tsp of cornflour (sifted)

5. 1 tsp white wine vinegar

Raspberry Coulis

1. 1 cup fresh raspberries

2. Juice 1/2 lemon

3. 1/4 cup castor sugar

4. 1/2 tsp of brandy (optional)


1. 1 1/4 cups fresh cream – whipped

2. 1 pomegranate

3. Raspberries, cherries and strawberries to decorate

4. Bunch of holly or fresh mint

1. Preheat oven to 250°. Line a tray with baking paper. Use a round baking tin to draw one large

circle (8 1/2”) then draw another circle inside it approximately 5” wide.

2. Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, a little at time until meringue is

stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over sifted cornflour, vinegar and fold in lightly.

You should be able to up end the bowl at this stage with no fear of anything coming out.

3. Grab a dessert spoon and scoop a dollop of meringue. Place this dollop between the outside

and inside line. Repeat until a ring of meringue is complete. Create a second layer of meringue

on top of the first until second ring is complete. Flatten the top by smoothing the meringue.

4. Place meringue in oven for 2 hours at 250°. When time is complete, turn off the oven and

leave meringue in the oven until completely cool. This is very important as there will be less risk

of the meringue cracking and collapsing.

5. When cool, spread with whipped cream, drizzle on raspberry coulis then decorate with cherries,

pomegranates, strawberries, raspberries and holly or mint.

Submitted by Jodi Latham

Raspberry Coulis

1. Blend fresh raspberries, lemon juice and sugar together until sugar has completely dissolved.

Set aside until required.

(Adapted from Stephanie Alexanders master pavlova and coulis recipes)

Black Forest Cake


1 Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Cake Mix

1 4oz pkg INSTANT chocolate pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 1/4 cup water

Add pudding mix to cake mix and stir together.

Add rest of the ingredients.

Mix as you would a regular cake. Pour into two 8“

round cake pans. Bake as directed on cake package.

This recipe for cake will produce a denser,

and moister cake than regular cake mixes. It can

be used anytime you make cakes.

After cake is baked and cooled sprinkle with

maraschino cherry juice if desired. Wrap in saran

wrap, or foil, and freeze. Freezing helps add

moisture to the cake. Freeze at least overnight or

longer. Bring cake out at least an hour before you

want to decorate it. Important: leave wrapping on

the cake layers until it thaws. This will ensure that

the moisture created when thawing will collect on

the outside of the wrapper and not on the top of

the cake layers, making them soggy.

Submitted by Karen Smith


1 jar Hersheys, Mrs. Richardsons, or other name

brand hot chocolate fudge ice cream sauce.

Spread jar of chocolate sauce over the first layer.

Warm jar slightly in microwave to make it easier to

spread. You should not need the entire jar. Top with

second layer of cake.

Topping ;

1 can of Cherry Pie Filling

Starting from center spoon cherries onto cake.

Continue filling up top layer to 1/2 inch of edge.

Put in as many cherries as you can fit in without

them running off the cake. Try to use less of the gel

and more of the cherries.

Whipped Cream Icing:

2- 1/2 pints heavy whipping cream

powdered sugar (to taste)

Whip heavy cream to soft peaks, add powdered

sugar a spoon at a time until whipped cream is

sweetened to your liking. Usually 1 to 2 tablespoons.

Continue to beat until it is at a spreadable


Frost sides of cake. Using a large star tip pipe rosettes

around top of cake and base. Refrigerate

until time to serve. Whipped cream sweetened with

powdered sugar will remain stable for several days.

Blackberry Champagne

French Macarons

Submitted by Shelby Farage

This is the simplest most versatile recipe

for one of the most complicated desserts

3 large egg whites

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup dry almond flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

and about 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Take eggs out of the fridge a few hours prior to baking.

They must be at room temperature. Separate the whites

from the yolks. Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer on

low until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and food coloring

(optional). Do not use liquid food coloring. Only use

gel food coloring. Continue beating the eggs, gradually

increasing the speed, adding the granulated sugar 1/3 at

a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Sift together the powdered

sugar and almond flour until well combined. Make

sure there aren’t any lumps. Slowly add dry ingredients

to the egg whites and fold together. Keep mixing until batter becomes like thick cake batter. The goal is to

remove air from the mixture. It should ribbon off of the spatula. Let them rest before you put them in the

oven. Wait until they form a skin and you can lightly touch the tops without disrupting the cookie. Preheat

oven to 375° but decrease heat to 325° immediately after putting macarons in oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Fill with any jam or frosting.



fashion illustrations, custom prints

& original art


A darling headband that’s warm and cozy

for cold winter days. Cute and stylish for

Christmas also. From Janey Laughs.

Eeeks! This personalized little

monster is made just for you!

From Renee’s Embroidery.

Could this be any cuter?? This personalized

newborn Santa set from

Cute N Cuddly Outfits is the ultimate

Christmas card outfit!

It’s sleepover season! Send your littles

to Grandma and Grandpa’s in style

with this bag from Stitch Crafty 4 U!

Wrap your baby or toddler’s feet feet in

warm, soft, plush fleece lined with cozy cotton

knit jersey. Multiple snap settings allow

for a custom fit and flexibility for growing

feet. The stay-on design keeps the booties

on little feet. From Berry Bug Shop.

No Christmas baby shower is complete

without a gift from Tosh Creations!

This bouquet is made with

adorable, quality baby clothes, each

clothing item can be unrolled for

baby to wear.

‘Tis the season to sparkle! Dress

up your little in this adorable baby

bodysuit that gets all the heart eyes!

From Madeline and Me.

Christmas is a time for family fun!

Why not keep your board game

pieces organized in this dice bag

from Geek Crafts Boutique.

Need to find that

special gift for your

mom, wife, sister,

or friend?

Hand knit luxurious scarves

that are sure to be treasured

The Perfect


because we all deserve a little luxury….

A story by Allison Yeager

It was Christmas Eve, and the snow fell heavily outside, coating everything

with a thick blanket of powdery, frozen fluff. The big, beautiful snowflakes

were creating a scene straight out of a Thomas Kinkade painting, I swear. A

fire burned within the fireplace, crackling fiercely, as if fighting to stave off

the entirety of winter by itself. The smell of our Christmas dinner wafted

through the house, though the smell of freshly baked cookies was slowly

taking over.

I snuggled on the couch next to my husband, Michael, smiling to myself

as our girls, Macy and Teagan, raced about, laughing and shrieking, more

than ready for Santa to come visit. We listened to them eagerly chattering

about what they thought they would wake up to the next morning, and argued

about who would get the most gifts, or the best gifts, or who could

open all the presents the fastest.

In an attempt to avoid too much drama or a major meltdown before the

night was over, we somehow managed to wrangle the girls into the living

room. We played a variety of board games, watched one of the classic

Christmas movies – you know the one, where no Christmas is complete

until it’s been seen at least once during the season. We played some charades

and watched the NORAD Santa Tracker to help wile away the hours.

Finally, as the night wore on, I managed to convince

the kids that it was time for bed.

“You know Santa won’t come if you're still up, right?”

They put out the cookies and milk with the utmost

care. I shook my head in amusement as they wondered

aloud if the reindeer ever joined in the feasting, and

how it was possible for Santa to eat that many cookies

in one night. My husband responded with some terrible

dad joke, and I just rolled my eyes as he raced them

up the stairs.

Once the kids were all tucked in, and I no longer heard the giggles and the

pitter-patter of tiny feet running up and down the hall, I went to check on

them. Once I was sure – absolutely positive – that they were asleep, it was

time for Michael and I to work our magic.

Doing my best to be careful and quiet at the same time, I visited all of

my fantastic gift-hiding spots as Michael cleared a place for us to wrap

presents. I pulled out hidden gifts from above the closet, in the attic, in

the dresser, under the bed, and found a few things hidden in some boxes

marked “old books.”

I resisted the urge to cry out as one of the boxes I had so carefully stashed

high up in the closet came crashing down on my head. Maybe I should

have gotten a step-ladder to help me reach it, or asked for help, but it was a

little late for that!

I’m pretty sure the entire neighborhood heard the crash, but I stood there,

with my face in a frozen wince (as if that was going to prevent anyone from

having heard the package fall in the first place), and waited for the dreaded

sound of waking little ones. Finally, when no sound or movement was

heard, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Carrying the various gifts I’d pulled out, the small calamities continued.

I stepped on a LEGO that was left haphazardly on the floor and hopped

around on one foot, biting back a cry of pain. Then, as if that was not

enough, I stumbled into the table I had forgotten was right behind me.

Michael just sat there and laughed hysterically as I jumped around like a

crazy person, trying so hard to stay quiet to avoid waking up the kids.

Oh, the lengths I would go to make Christmas morning perfect for the kids

--full of magic, just like I remember my Christmas mornings.

We wrapped every present carefully, perfectly, making sure each one

looked like a present wrapped personally by Santa. After all, wouldn’t

the kids expect Santa to be an expert present wrapper? Every edge of

the wrapped boxes was sharp and crisp, every bow placed just so, every

“From: Santa” tag looking anything but like my own handwriting. We

made sure to use wrapping paper that looked different than any of the

paper we used for the already wrapped presents tucked under the tree--

special paper that was hidden deep in my favorite gift-hiding locations,

far away from prying eyes.

Michael and I managed to carry all the wrapped gifts to the tree without

further incident, having told that LEGO exactly what I thought about it

(in no uncertain terms, and definitely not for the kids’ ears!). I moved the

offending toy out of my way before carrying boxes this time, and neatly

stacked the gifts under the tree and in front of the gifts the kids had already

seen and been speculating about for the last several weeks. I spent

a few extra moments to make sure the presents were all situated perfectly

under the tree. It just wouldn’t do for anything to be out of place, for anything

to ruin the magic that was only a few short hours away.

The kids came running in at, oh, 4, 5, 6am, laughing and yelling and jumping

on our bed as they entered, and it was impossible to be mad at them. I

gave them big ol’ bear hugs, holding them close and laughing at their joy

and excitement. I remembered to treasure that moment, brief and fleeting

though it was. They would never be this small again, and I needed to bask

in their innocence and youthful energy.

We headed downstairs to our Christmas tree, and Michael and I watched

with delight as the kids read out the names written on the gifts and sorted

them into piles. Once the presents were passed out to their correct recipients,

the wrapping paper flew into the air, torn in the rush to see what was

treasures lay inside. As I sat there quietly, watching the girls and sipping on

a steaming cup of hot cocoa, I realized that it was all worth it -- scrimping

and saving; cooking the kids’ favorite dinner even though I hate it and it

takes forever to cook; playing a board game the night before that I absolutely

cannot stand; fighting the Black Friday crowds and finding the very

last of that popular, hard to find toy they wanted; and yes, even stepping on

the LEGO and nursing of my bruised and swollen foot.

I crawled into bed beside Michael and grinned in happy exhaustion. Macy

and Teagan had been bouncing off the walls for days in anticipation, but

what they didn’t realize is how excited I was about tomorrow morning…

or was it today? It was so very hard to sleep with the suspense, and I ended

up staring at the ceiling, lost in thought, instead of getting any rest.

It felt like it was only yesterday that I was just like my kids-- excited and enthralled

by the magic of the day. . And really, I still am – just for a different

reason. Now, my excitement and joy comes from doing for them. Everything

we did for this holiday was done with the sole intent of making them

happy, and seeing them happy is the best feeling in the world. We spent the

last few months planning and organizing to give them a wonderful Christmas

like those our parents once gave us. We worked so hard to make sure

they got their heart’s desire. And, even though they don’t know how much

effort we put into this, we saw the happiness and joy on their faces. And

that, in turn, gave us joy.

And you know what? It was perfect.

Allison Yeager is a storyteller, travel writer, and professional photographer. You can follow her

adventures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @bitofadventure, or on the web at

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