Home for the Holidays
DREW’S HONEYMOON HOUSE
Home for the Holidays
with Linda Phan
How to Make Living on Base
Your Favorite Place
Health & Beauty
Design and Decor
DIY Fireplace Makeover
Oh, Christmas Tree!
Holiday Cards and Decor
Shop the Look!
Fashion and Accessories
Warm Winter Fashion
Passion for the PNW
In the Kitchen
The Perfect Christmas
Your Handmade Home
Publisher, Editor In Chief
Property Brothers at Home:
Drew’s Honeymoon House
Special Projects Graphic Designer
ON THE COVER
Photo Courtesy of
Warm Winter Fashion
DIY Fireplace Makeover
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
Editor in Chief
Unto us a child is born
Unto us a son is given...
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.
“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.”
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
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
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
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
HEALTH & BEAUTY
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
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
All Photos Courtesy of Pretend Farm Girl
DESIGN & DECOR
Items for all needs,
styles and occasions!
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
DESIGN & DECOR
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
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Wish you Love, Joy and Peace
IN THE KITCHEN
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
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.
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
SCENTS OF THE NORTHWEST
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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,
Hand knit luxurious scarves
that are sure to be treasured
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
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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