gift guide

The Simple List: Holiday Hygge Edition + Mini-Gift Guide

Hello dear ones! I feel like I blinked the week before Thanksgiving, and now we're galloping towards Christmas. What happened?

Well one thing that happened was I won NaNoWriMo! It was my first time making it to the finish line, and I feel so good about completing a (very) rough draft of a fictional work for the first time. The plot holes are a mile wide, but that's what revision is for, right!?

Christmas at the Biltmore

I just rounded up some hygge holiday links and a mini-gift guide for my newsletter subscribers (are you on the list?), but since I haven’t had a chance to post here in a while, I thought I would share it in this space as well. First up is a short list of 5 cozy holiday favorites, including cookie baking tips, gorgeous Christmas lights, cozy bookish art freebies and a very hygge Pinterest board. Scroll a bit further down & I’ve also shared an assortment of highly giftable goodies for all of the people on your list. Enjoy!

1. The Biltmore at Christmas looks magical.

2. My recent writings on Houzz: 15 essentials for bakers24 simple pleasures + treats for your holiday countdown10 times to hire an architect.

3. The secrets to easier cookie baking. (Smitten Kitchen)

4. Freebie alert! Super cozy bookish art + bookmark printable. (The House That Lars Built)

5. Latest Pinterest board: Winter Hygge, oh yessss....

Pinecone Necklace

Mini-Gift Guide 2018

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed sharing it! 
xo Laura

Clutter-Free Mother's Day (Illustrated!) Gift Guide

Being a mother is so hard, and I hope that each and every one of you gets spoiled rotten this weekend, and at the very least, that you are able to steal away a few moments for yourself in the midst of this busy life. Since Mother's Day is coming right up on Sunday, and I decided to whip up a little last-minute gift guide.

Illustrated Gift Guide 2015

It's that time of December - the time when the highly organized among us have finished wrapping and mailing gifts, and the rest of us (myself included) are frantically shopping and making up a storm. I used to berate myself for not getting all of the shopping done earlier, but I've come to realize that I sort of enjoy the frenzy of picking out gifts close to the holidays. Mind you, I avoid big box stores and malls entirely after Thanksgiving (too stressful!), but I love checking out the holiday displays at local shops and online, and crafting things in my own home.

As I make my own Christmas gift list, I like to sketch the present ideas right in my journal. So, for something a little different this year, I decided to share a different sort of gift guide with you ... an illustrated gift guide! I am not a professional artist, but I hope you will enjoy it as a heartfelt addition to your seasonal gifting.

Most items in the Guide can be made in many different ways, or purchased from many different sources ... that was my idea, anyway, so you don't feel you have to track down exact items that may sell out, or are in the wrong price range. As far as DIY gifts go, with experience I have learned that simple is often best, and anything you can make in a big batch (I'm looking at you, granola!) is even better. I thought it would be helpful to include some further details, so here you go!


  • Gingerbread mittens, hand-dipped candles, felt ornaments, and forcing bulbs all come from the Winter issue of Sweet Paul Magazine
  • Instructions for teacup (or any vessel you like) candles can be found in Issue 8 of Taproot Magazine - but if you don't have the issue, there are also instruction on Amanda's blog Soule Mama
  • Recipes for homemade cocktail bitters - the Kitchn
  • Potato printing on fabric instructions on Childerhouse blog


  • Recently App (gift subscriptions should be available soon) that turns your phone's camera roll into a monthly print magazine - genius!
  • Heirloom cherry salad bowl from the Taproot Holiday Pop-up 
  • Anything by potter Frances Palmer is to-die-for gorgeous and perfect for a really splurgy gift for someone special

Well, I think that about covers it! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the Comments.

Happy gifting!

xo Laura