My Cozy Christmas Home

Welcome my friends to my cozy, imperfect, and simple Christmas Home. I’ve had a few people ask for some cozy Christmas styling tips and so I thought I would share how I’m decorating this year.

Disclaimer, my home is far from perfect but it’s full of love and memories. If you look closely you might see pine needles on the floor, wrinkled cushions, or dust on the cabinets. My hope is that by sharing my home in it’s every day, lived in state you will be encouraged that creating a beautiful home is attainable.

Christmas Wreath That Welcomes all to my home.

Let Nature Be Your Guide:

My number one tip for a cozy Christmas home is to use what God has given us. Bring the beauty and color of nature inside your home. Adding evergreen garland, a few pinecones, or branches of winterberry are a simple way to spruce up your home without spending a lot of money.

I look forward to my traditional Winterberry Hunt each November. This year’s harvest was smaller than years past, so I’m treasuring the branches that I do have and putting them on display proudly. As a bonus, getting outside on a sunny Winter day can be invigorating and inspiring. If you can’t find Winterberry near you, check out your backyard (or a friends…just ask permission first) and gather a basket of pinecones, evergreen, dogwood, dried flowers or whatever looks lovely to you!

Create A Cozy Hosting Station:

I’m convinced that everything is better with a hot drink in hand. This month while out adventuring, I discovered a sign I just “had” to have that states my sentiments exactly

“Would you like an adventure now, or would you rather have tea first”

J.M. Barry

Creating a cozy drink or hosting station in your home is a great way to not only bring some festive cheer to your every day rituals, but be ready for those last minute visitors.

I have a quirky little cabinet that I store linens, cookbooks, baking supplies, and my mug collection. This year I gave it a holiday make over popping my nespresso capsules in a red tin, adding Christmas cookie books, stocking it with a tin of Swedish Pepparkor, gathering dried oranges to add to mulled cider, & purchasing some festive cocktail napkins.

Shop Your Home:

2020 Chalkboard (in my kitchen)

There was a time when I would hit up the Target dollar section each holiday season and buy them out. I would stock up on all things trendy and fill my cart with items that were cheaply made and honestly just didn’t bring me joy. These days, I tend to make a few wise choices from local shops or small businesses and walk quickly past the “dollar spot” or holiday isle at Hobby Lobby.

Each year I look for ways to repurpose an item and use it in a different way. This year I’m hanging a felt wreath on my chalkboard. Last year I used the same chalkboard and decorated it with a German Glass Glitter Garland.

Do a quick walk through of your home. Is there a plaid blanket scarf you could repurpose as a table cloth. Do you have a pair of old ice skates you can place by the fireside? Is there a treasured ornament you can display on a beloved cake stand?

By finding new ways to use what we already have, there is less stress and more JOY to decorating for the Season.

2019 Chalkboard (in my living room)

When in Doubt, Add Twinkle Lights

To be honest, this is my true Christmas Decorating style…twinkle lights everywhere. I love the coziness of reading by the Christmas tree or the extra sparkle of lights on a shelf or in a mason jar. My favorite twinkle lights are relatively inexpensive and bring so much joy.

There you go friends, a few ideas to spark a simple and beautiful holiday home. May your Christmas by Cozy and Bright!


Flourishing Friday – September 18th, 2020

Nourish: Rhythms for Soul-Care

One of my favorite soul-care rhythms is visiting our local salt room with a cup of hot tea and either an inspiring podcast or playlist of worship music. It’s my go-to way to relax & build immunity during cold and flu season or after a particularly stressful week. The first time I heard of a halotherapy, I was pretty skeptical. Then a persistent sinus infection and stressful week won out.

My mamma graciously treated me to my first salt session and I was hooked. The combination of a beautiful environment, zero gravity chair, essential oils, and salt-therapy refreshed my body and spirit. My local space for salt (and sauna) is Breathe. You can check out their website to find out more about halotherapy and the science behind it!

Grow: Encouragement for your Heart

Have you heard of Eden & Vine Magazine? I’ve been following Terrica for the past several years and am so encouraged by her passionate heart for the Lord, faith, simplicity, and love of all things vintage!

A few years ago she launched a new project, Eden & Vine magazine, and as their vision shares it’s “One part magazine, one part coffee table book, equal parts beauty and truth. Garden themed and faith based, it’s full to the brim of inspiration and hope, …”

Their Fall/Winter 2020 magazine just arrived in my mailbox and I’m currently soaking up the articles. This isn’t simply a magazine to flip through, rather one to savor with a cup of tea in hand 😉

Bloom: Beauty in the Everyday

September is the season of abundance in the garden. I’m currently up to my eyeballs in tomatoes. Speckled romas, heirloom, cherry tomatoes, slicing, and san marzano. A basket full of tomatoes mean one thing…time to put up some jars of sauce. It’s hard work, especially after a long day in the garden, but always worth it. When I crack open a jar of fresh tomato basil sauce on a cold day in February, I’m instantly transported back to the garden. If you have an abundance of tomatoes or are looking for a simple hearty sauce, I’m sharing my go-to below.

Em’s Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce

tomatoes, stems chopped off


fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, garlic…)

lemon juice

  • Gather as many tomatoes as can fit in your largest stainless steel pot. scrub your tomatoes & chop off the stems. 
  • Put your tomatoes in the pot, skin & seeds included (we are breaking all the rules, folks!) 
  • Put the stove on low, place the lid over your pot of tomatoes & allow your tomatoes to simmer for 8-12 hrs.  (you can also do this step overnight in the crock-pot)
  • Wake up in the morning, check the tomatoes, stir a bit & crack the lid on the pot. this will allow moisture to escape. 
  • Allow the tomatoes to cook until most of the moisture is gone – about 24 hours – & the tomatoes are a mushy consistency. Using your immersion blender or food processor, process your tomatoes to your desired consistency. Once a tomato sauce-like consistency is reached, add salt & dried herbs to taste.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to your pint size jars & 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to your quart size jars. The amount of jars you need is based on how many tomatoes you process.
  • Fill your jars with tomato sauce & process in the water bath canner.  (35 minutes for pint & 40 for quart jars). Visit Ball for canning 101 tips…
  • Label & store until winter.

Flourishing Fridays – Rhythms & Routines

This week I made my first batch of applesauce (in 90 degree weather), bought a new fall candle, and floated in the lake. A beautiful mix of Summer & Fall. While I want to hold on to Summer sunshine & weather as long as possible, I’m craving the fresh rhythms and routines that Fall brings.

Fall is my favorite season, there is something about back to school that has me longing for bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils and a crisp new planner (nerd alert!).

In honor of the beginning of a new month & season, I wanted to share my favorite resources for prioritizing, organizing, and fall rhythms. I hope they encourage you to take a few moments to spend some time to reflect, refresh, and cutivate a life you love.

  1. Powersheets Intentional Goal Planner
Powersheets at home on my desk. Summer goals are the best!

If you have known me for any length of time, you know I’m a huge believer in Powersheets and the mission of Cultivate What Matters. Not only are the products fun, bright, and intentional, but the women who are apart of team Cultivate are some of the most powerful & purposeful ladies I know. I have been doing Powersheets for 7 years now and they have have allowed me to define and be focused on what matters and let go of the rest.

My Powersheets have helped me set big goals like saving for my first home and smaller ones like getting back in the pool and swimming for 30 minutes non-stop. Even if you aren’t into traditional “goal setting” I encourage you to look into Powersheets or check out the Cultivate Blog for encouragement.

Their new collection launches in October, and I can’t wait to see what their team has dreamed up!

2. Get Your Life Back Guide by Diana Kerr

My amazing friend Diana is a Certified Life Coach and such a gift to me (and so many others). I worked with her several years ago during a season where there was much uncertainty and doubt in my life. Her wisdom and encouragement helped me to refocus on where God was calling me and make space to dream of a different way of life. While I know that coaching isn’t in everyone’s budget, one of my favorite resources is her weekly routine guide. I will typically revisit mine twice a year (Spring and Late Fall) or whenever I need a reset.

3. Daily/Weekly Paper Pad by Cultivate What Matters

Tackling my weekly prep at a new coffee shop and bakery in Oconomowoc (Ginger Ovens)

I have always been a “planner person”. I love the crisp new pages of a day planner and would count down to my favorite designer’s launch day. Last year my schedule was in complete flux and changed on a daily basis. My planner became full of appointments, scribbles, and honestly so much confusion. I’m all for making a mess in your planner, but when you miss an appointment because you can’t read your own writing something needs to change!

I made the switch last year to keeping my life/work schedule through google cal. That way when someone calls me and I’m in the garden or when I’m on the go, I can pull out my phone and give them a quick answer.

I also know there is power in the written word. So, I have a hybrid system with keeping all my work/life appointments in google cal and then on Friday afternoon I break out my weekly planner sticky pad, reflect on the past week, catch up on todos, and write out proposed week to come.

What I LOVE about this one from Cultivate is there is a place to write my top three priorities for the week. I try to write one vocational, spiritual, and physical priority each week. A reminder that life is more than just work 🙂

4. Creative Calender by Lindsay Letters

My home office and command central.

The office wall behind my desk displays a large calendar by Lindsay Letters. On the last Friday of each month I wipe it clean and refresh for the coming month. I’ve used it for writing out schedules, goals, tasks, and even during Safer at Home my gratitude for the day.

I’m a highly visual person, so having a big calendar that gives me a snapshot of life, helps tremendously when I’m working from my home office.

The regular rhythm of wiping down the previous month’s activities is oddly therapeutic. It also gives me a chance to evaluate my schedule and ensure I have made time for what really matters and haven’t overbooked my weeks or days.

5. Work and Play with Nancy Ray Podcast

I met Nancy through Making Things Happen and Return to Rest Retreat. She is a kindred spirit and a powerhouse when it comes to working hard and resting well. Her shows are intentional, well thought out, and overflowing with helpful information. I love listening to podcasts when I’m taking a walk, doing the dishes, or just sitting on the back deck relaxing.

Some of my favorite episodes are:

Episode 2: Rule of Life

Episode 7: You were Made for Hard Things

Episode 25: Work Hard, Sabbath Hard