The Pages of Our Lives

The Pages of Our Lives

 

A couple of years ago for Christmas, my sister, Whitney, took all my grandmother and grandfather’s love letters and made them into a book.

It was called Letters from Box 54.

There, in print, were all the everyday, the simple, the overlooked and the ordinary of our grandparent’s lives.

But in those moments–shared from letters written long ago with paper and ink, you could catch a glimpse of the overwhelming, incredible, amazing love they shared for each other….

…and see the extraordinary written in every line.

We all loved the book so much that we begged her for more history.  “Make a family tree,” we’d say. “History would come alive under your watch,” we’d encourage.  “You are the perfect family-treeer.  No one could make a family tree like you,” we’d implore.

But to no avail.

She would smile and laugh roll her eyes and shake her head and explain that family trees were a challenge she didn’t really want to take on.

Until this year.Continue reading

Farmhouse Christmas Lights Tour

Farmhouse Christmas Lights Tour

 

I’m so excited you are here for the Christmas lights tour hosted by my friend Rachel from Maison De Pax.

She’s invited dozens of bloggers to show off their Christmas lights at home after the sun goes down.

If you are visiting from Rooms for Rent, it’s nice to meet you.

I thought I’d start the tour with a little before.

Here’s the farmhouse in the snow.

During the day.

And now?Continue reading

Chocolate Covered Candy Cane Pretzels (With a Twist)

Chocolate Covered Candy Cane Pretzels (With a Twist)

 

I am cookie swapping it today with five other bloggers.

(total aside: technically I am pretzel swapping today on my blog, but let’s not split chocolate covered carbohydrates)

If you are visiting from Tamara at Citrine Living, welcome.

Her Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies look like something out of magazine.

If you stopped by here yesterday for hot chocolate you’d find this on our kitchen island:

Chocolate Covered Candy Cane Pretzels.

With a twist.Continue reading

Santa’s Workshop Before and After (and a Giveaway)

Santa’s Workshop Before and After (and a Giveaway)

 

This post is sponsored by Endust.

I know this looks like the office at the Gatehouse.

It’s not.

It’s actually Santa’s workshop.

I’ve been sitting at that desk for four hours straight surrounded by wrapping paper and ribbon and tags and baker’s twine.

And a reindeer named Buddy.Continue reading

Christmas Decorating in the Kitchen

Christmas Decorating in the Kitchen

 

I’m so happy you are here.

Truly.

More happy than the time I found an entire congregation of tiny paper birds with glitter wings on sale after Christmas for .19 each.

And that’s happy with sprinkles on top.

Today is the day for Deck the Halls Christmas Home Tour–the kitchen edition.

If you stopped by from A Thoughtful Place it is super nice to meet you.

I’m KariAnne and I live in the middle of nowhere with a farmhouse as my best friend and….

…. I’d like to introduce you to my kitchen.

It got its floor polished just for you.

Continue reading

The Best Cookie Candle Scents of the Season

The Best Cookie Candle Scents of the Season

 

I love candles that smell like cookies.

It’s like baking them without the calories.

Fresh, hot sugar cookies right out of the oven with extra sprinkles.

Spicy cinnamon.  Buttery crust.  Hot gingerbread. Crunchy pistachio cookies with almonds and vanilla.

I wish you could smell my kitchen.  It’s almost like Santa’s elves are making an eight-course meal entirely made up of cookies.

I put together a fun photo shoot for Yankee Candle that helps to illustrate the smells of their yummy new candle line called Cookie Swap.  The scents are inspired by holiday cookie classics with six new fragrances that smell like a whole lot of wonderful.Continue reading

Christmas Decor, a New Lens and the Mannequin Challenge

Christmas Decor, a New Lens and the Mannequin Challenge

 

Have you seen the mannequin challenge, yet?

You know.

The one where someone yells freeze and everyone holds their place and no one moves and every single person in the scene stays exactly where they are.

Just like mannequins.

There are scenes of restaurant mannequins and basketball game mannequins and party going mannequins…

…and even Santa scene mannequins.

But around here?

We’re a little different.  We have house mannequins instead.Continue reading

Thistlekeeping

Thistlekeeping

 

Random thoughts on a freezing morning:

1. Mark your calendars. I have the best surprise for all of you on January 2.  I’ll give you a hint.  It rhymes with mocked curlap burtains.  It also rhymes with shimithaway.

2. I’m almost done with all of the edits to the book and I hope you love it as much as I do. One chapter and some change to go.

3. The twins and are are no-baking this Saturday.  As in no-bake cookieing it.

4. The news just mentioned two words I never want to hear again….

….polar vortex.

Should we all tell Santa we want warmer weather for Christmas?Continue reading