Create a Holiday Baking Schedule

The holidays are a literal feast for the senses, and one of the best parts is indulging in the goodies that spring from stovetops and ovens this time of year. If you love to bake, you might find it helpful to follow a schedule so you’re sure you create all of your favorite sweets.

First, make a list of everything you’d like to make, from cookies to cakes to breads and bars. If your list is long, choose your favorites and make those first, so if you run out of time, you’ll be happy with what you have.

Then pull out your recipes and make a list of all of the ingredients you need. Take inventory of your pantry and cross off the items you already have. Be sure to check inside spice jars and extract bottles to measure how much you have.

Identify the items on your list that can be made in advance. Most cookie dough can be frozen as long as you wrap it well.

If you’re gifting your goodies, consider the containers you’ll use to wrap them, such as boxes, trays, tins and bags. Stock up if needed.

Then choose an official baking day and circle it on your calendar. If you bake with friends or family, make sure to coordinate the timing. Then let the flour and the fun fly.  

One Mantel + Three Styles = Holiday Magic

If your home has a mantel, you’ve got a design opportunity just waiting to happen. The best part is that it can be changed out to reflect the season or just your mood. We selected a white fireplace as the perfect way to show off what can happen depending on your selection of accessories. Take a look at these three district holiday looks:




The Magic of Christmas: Create a sense of whimsy when you use bright colors and Seuss-ified shapes. Two tall elves (if there are such a thing!) capture the imagination and provide a playful, childlike feel. Fill in the spaces with a more sophisticated touch, using greenery and white twigs. The result is a fireplace mantel that feels fresh and fun, brightening your home as well as your spirit.




Northern Lights: Decorate your mantel in silver and white for a look that was inspired by the northern lights. The beauty of winter will shine through when you choose embellishments like Christmas trees, owls and ice skates. Put tall candlesticks on one side, and balance the display with a lantern on the other side. The icy cold colors will make your home feel like a haven from the elements.




Woodland Escape: Decorate your mantel with the beauty of nature by choosing handcrafted pieces and organic details. This collection of accents looks like a glimpse into the forest, with a delightful display of deer and owls as well as visit from an Old World Santa. Bring a sense of balance and light with copper lanterns, and enjoy bringing the outside in.

Create Your Winter Bucket List

Photo credit: Pinterest / Attagirlsays
Photo credit: Pinterest / Attagirlsays

When the temperatures drop, it can be very tempting to hibernate in your home, but don’t let the season get away without making memories. Create a winter bucket list of fun activities that are best done at this time of year, and start checking things off. Here are 10 ideas to get you going:


  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Make peppermint bark
  • Hold a snowball fight
  • Go on a horse-drawn carriage ride
  • Participate in a secret Santa gift exchange
  • Go for a drive and look at the Christmas lights
  • Volunteer at a local food bank or shelter
  • Bake cookies
  • Toast marshmallows in your fireplace and make s’mores
  • Go skating on an outdoor rink or pond


What are your favorite wintertime activities?


Be Inspired by Celebrity Holiday Décor

Looking for a little holiday inspiration when it comes to your Christmas décor? Why not take some hints from the glitter of Tinsel Town itself. Here are five celebrity trees that might spark your holiday decorating imagination.


Photo credit: Pinterest / HGTV

Former NFL player and current sports announcer Tiki Barber has his New Jersey home decorated in glamor and glitz. His palette of gold and white is stunning and bright.


Photo credit: Pinterest / HGTV
Photo credit: Pinterest / HGTV

Actress Joely Fisher gives her Los Angeles home a warm, woodland feel with traditional green and red, and simple touches like handmade bows and plaid-wrapped packages.


Photo credit: Pinterest
Photo credit: Pinterest

Elvis Presley wasn’t known for his simple taste, and his Graceland estate keeps his spirit alive with original holiday decorations from the King. This room features a white Christmas tree with beautiful red and gold trimming.


Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

Another celebrity who likes a display is Kris Jenner. This tree is decked out in white lights and red ribbons, to coordinate with the garland and bows that drape the staircase.


Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

Actress and singer Lucy Hale has her living room all aglow with this pretty little tree dressed in red and gold. An abundance of lights creates a captivating mood, setting the tone for something special.