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How to Make Divinity

divinity (2)When I first started thinking about the recipe that I wanted to share with you in the Christmas in the Kitchen post, I remembered that we had divinity every year during the holidays as I was growing up, but… I didn’t know if all of you would even know what it was.  Boy was I mistaken!  I couldn’t believe how many of you said that you had also enjoyed it in your childhood.  From grandmothers to grandfathers to aunts, it seems that most of you had a fond memory of a relative preparing the sweet confection…and at Christmas!:)

recipe for divinity


My mother made it every year, but I had never tried out the recipe.  If I was going to share it with you, I wanted to know how to make it.  So my mother came over last week, and she showed me how to cook it. All I knew was that she always said you cannot make it if it is raining.  Humidity is bad bad bad for divinity.(We had planned to make it on a Saturday, but of course it rained.  So we had to wait until a sunny day.) There are quite a few variations of the recipe, but she calls this Twice Cooked Divinity because the sugar syrup is cooked twice.1 divinity ingredientsI mentioned in the last post that we increased the eggs to 3, the vanilla to 1 teaspoon, and the nuts to one cup (one heaping cup.:))  We started with 2 eggs, but they looked so small, we decided 3 would be better.

You begin by heating the sugar, syrup, and water over medium heat.  Stir it until it boils.  Then stop stirring, and let it heat to 240 degrees.

3 sugars cookingWhile the sugar is cooking, separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff.  (I had my mixer on the counter next to the stove.)

2 egg whites

Once the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees, keep the mixer going, and pour 1/3 of the hot sugar syrup over the egg whites.4 adding hot sugar mixPut the remainder of the sugar syrup back on the stove, and heat it to 265 degrees. Keep the mixer going (on medium speed), and pour the rest of the hot sugar over the egg whites when the mixture reaches 265.

5 adding hot sugar mixtureBeat it until the mixture is stiff and holds its shape.  Then mix in the vanilla.

6 mix egg whites and sugarsAt this point, my mother said, Now we have to use a wooden spoon instead of the mixer.  So take the bowl out from under the mixer, add the pecan pieces, and mix it all up with a wooden spoon.

7 add pecans and vanillaThen spread out parchment or waxed paper, and drop the stiff mixture by the teaspoonful.  It makes between 50 and 60 pieces.

divinityBoth of our boys love divinity, and since they are not living anywhere near here, my mother and I decided we would mail some to them.

divinity (2)So they will soon be getting a tin of the candy, a photo of the two of them from loooooong ago with Santa, and my mother’s handwritten divinity recipe…a taste of Christmas from home.:)

Christmas package of divinityAnd one of you will be getting the 2 cookbooks along with the $25 Williams-Sonoma gift card from last week’s giveaway.  There were 350 absolutely wonderful comments. Thank you all. I enjoyed reading them so much!  (A few of the comments got placed on the wrong posts thanks to my wonky comment form, but I included them in the pot as well.)  Here is the winning number…

winner number 9

Which belongs to this comment in the Talk of the Weekend #10 post.

winning comment Jennifer in VA

Congratulations Jennifer!  I will be getting in touch with you about your mailing address very soon.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week.  If you give the divinity recipe a try, I would love to hear how it turns out!

Until next time….

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Anne Boykin - December 15, 2014 - 6:22 am

Hi Kelly, Thanks for the recipe! I had divinity when I was a kid too – a long time ago, lol. Your kitchen is lovely and you photograph it so well. Love all the red and white.
You are more than welcome for the recipe Anne. Thank you for your compliments on the kitchen! This is the perfect time of year for all the red and white.

Arlene@Nanaland - December 15, 2014 - 7:53 am

Your divinity looks divine!!:) Believe it or not, that was one of the recipes I learned back in Home Economics!! And I did learn it is better to make any kind of candy on a day with low humidity! Thanks for that tip Miss Butler, Home Ec Teacher at Murray County High School!!
Wow that was a complicated one to tackle in Home Ec! Your teacher must have wanted you to practice reading a candy thermometer or trying out the stages of candy. :) (It’s a good one for that.)
You should be a pro if you learned it back in high school!

Garden, Home and Party - December 15, 2014 - 8:09 am

What a fun Christmas memory. I wish I had made divinity with my mom before she passed. I think this recipe looks delicious and relatively easy.
I’m happy that you are feeling better and hope the remaining week+ of the holiday season is filled with fun and magic.
P.S. I’m assuming your boys will be home for Christmas!
Oh Karen, I wish you had made it with your mom too. It is a delicious treat.
I am doing better and taking it slooow. No tree up nor much of anything else here other than the kitchen and dining area done. My to-do for the week is the outside, and I have done 2 windows and one door. It is progress!
The boys won’t be coming for Christmas because our oldest does not have any time off. Boo hoo. And we are not going there with all that needs to get done at our home. We are using Skype a lot!!

L J - December 15, 2014 - 10:13 am

My first taste of Divinity was at a Christmas party when I was in elementary school–and I loved it from first taste :}. My mother never attempted to make it :[ She did warn me though that it won’t work if there’s any humidity!
My plan had been to attempt it today but–it’s raining! And that’s good since here in northern CA we’ve been in a drought.
Kelly, l love all that red–makes me happy just looking at pics of your kitchen.
Tell your blog mates that I enjoyed the series on Christmas in the Kitchen. Y’all did a fun and fantastic job.
So glad you are getting rain, but it does make the candy making difficult. (But you all really needed the rain.) I am glad you are enjoying all the red. It is on major overdose here! LOL I will pass along your comments about the kitchen post to all the other bloggers involved. So glad you enjoyed it!

Kathy - December 15, 2014 - 10:23 am

What a fun thing to learn from your mom! It looks delicious! (And, are you surprised that I have your very same red mixer?) My dad just taught me how to make his chocolate peanut butter candy a few weeks ago. He never used a candy thermometer so we cook it until it forms little balls when dropped into a cup of cold water. It just has to “look right”. My college-aged son asked me if I would sometime write down his favorite recipes so I am making him a recipe book for Christmas. I am sending the link to it because it looks like something you would love….red with a little hounds-tooth napkin and plate/with utensils on the front.
Not surprised at all that you have the same red mixer! :) I am afraid math girl here has to have the thermometer…I can’t judge it in the cup of cold water. What you are making for your son is what I asked my mother-in-law for many years ago for a wedding present. One of my most used gifts! Your son better appreciate it. It will be a work of art! Love the cute cookbook!

Vicki - December 15, 2014 - 10:27 am

Thank you for the recipe and your beautiful photos! I think I’m one of the few with no divinity associations, so I guess it’s up to me to take up the slack for my family.
Have a great week, Kelly!
I hope you try it out Vicki. Be sure you have a good candy thermometer on hand, and it will easy for you!

Barbara (WA) - December 15, 2014 - 10:47 am

You have inspired me to hunt down my mom’s recipe (probably the same as your mom’s) and see if my DIL will make some. I’m thinking my 92 year old mom would enjoy tasting her favorite Christmas candy again. :) And I might need the source for those red & white striped measuring cups!
Oh I bet your mom WOULD love it Barbara! It’s yummy. The striped measuring cups were bought on sale around Valentine’s Day at Sur La Table. Love that store!

L J - December 15, 2014 - 10:49 am

Just had to say–Thank you for adding link to “The Piano Guys”. They’re new to me. And they’re absolutely Fabulous. After watching/listening to Waterfall I clicked on the link to video of Christmas hymn and just loved it. I think it was titled something like “Over 10,000 hours went into …”
Kelly, I really really appreciate you.
I am so glad you liked them. They are amazing!!! I appreciate you for reading and leaving sweet comments. :)

Julia G. - December 15, 2014 - 11:07 am

Kelly – I will be making divinity using your mother’s receipt this week. I don’t recall ever making it growing up.
I’d love to know how it turns out Julia. Good luck!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - December 15, 2014 - 12:38 pm

Well, I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of divinity, but not only does yours look beautiful, we have matching red mixers! Yippee!

Gina - December 15, 2014 - 1:59 pm

Thank you for such a detailed recipe! How special to make it with your mom. I hope I get a chance to make it later this week. Time seems to be running out on me to get everything done (haha, I keep seeing more things to make on blogs and Pinterest.) :P My husband is planning to take candy to people he works with so I need to finish all of it first. :) My daughter and son-in-law will be here Saturday so I want everything perfect…well, as perfect as can be!! ;) I know that you know what I am talking about. :) Thank you for all your inspiration! :)

DiAnn - December 15, 2014 - 2:05 pm

I have to make this! Your photos are just perfect.
I already see the books coming from your blog and I will be rushing out to buy them. I can see Talk of the Kitchen cookbook. I have several titles for you in my head.
I know how happy your boys will be to get that divi you from home.

Dawn - December 15, 2014 - 5:42 pm


I will be trying your Divinity recipe but I will have to buy a candy thermometer first. I have been wanting to buy one for my kitchen any way. I will let you know how it goes. My Mom will be so delighted if I can get it to turn out. She has tried many times but she says its is always too humid here in Missouri to get it to turn out correctly. Thanks for sharing the recipe and how to pictures. they will help me greatly!
Yes, definitely get a candy thermometer Dawn. Your mother’s must not firm up. Perhaps beating it longer would help? Not sure about that – could be the temperature not getting hot enough. I hope yours turns out perfectly!

Susan - December 15, 2014 - 6:30 pm

Ok…just finished making your divinity recipe. I am not sure if it is a success or a flop!?! It is sticky but manageable. What is the final texture? I think I need your mom or better I need your mom in your kitchen!!!
It is sticky to start with – but it should not be runny. You leave it out on the paper (not covered) to firm up for a few hours – or even a day. It should firm up to the texture of nougat candy.
Good luck!

Carmen - December 16, 2014 - 3:21 am

Thanks for sharing the recipe!!! Have to try it!

Debra - December 16, 2014 - 7:12 am

My mother in law always made divinity, but it was not always my favorite to indulge in during the holidays. I would always go for my Aunt’s nut cups, while eyeing the cookie tray. Oh, my mouth is watering as I think of them. Hers were the best I had ever tasted. Unfortunately, she just pasted from cancer this last year. I was able to obtain her recipe, though I don’t feel I could do it justice. How nice that you and your Mom spent a wonderful afternoon in the kitchen and that your boys will have a taste of Christmas past. Love from the heart. The best kind… P. S. I am also drooling over your red Kitchen Aid. Almost bought one this last holiday season. Still contemplating. Are they worth the investment??

DiAnne - December 16, 2014 - 11:36 pm

Forgot to mention, I too have the same mixer. Funny story, I have always wanted a Kitchen Aide mixer but for some reason rationalized that I shouldn’t get one because I probably wouldn’t use it that much. Anyway, so this fall I attended a bridal shower where a young twenty something received a mixer. I left that shower thinking, why does a twenty something own a Kitchen Aide mixer and I don’t. Soon after I bought myself one. It is so easy to use and I have used it sooo much. The lesson here is Life is short so don’t wait around to get yourself a Kitchen Aiide Mixer.

Angela - December 19, 2014 - 5:57 pm

Hi Kelly, I fell in love with your picture frames and am now on the hunt to buy them locally. I have seen some at Walmart and Michaels but can you please tell me what size you frame is and the size of the picture used inside. The large ones seem to be a common size. I may attempt to cut my own matts out of very thin paper. Thank you so much. Your house is just beautiful.

Christmas in the Kitchen

TThe kitchen gets major glory at Thanksgiving with its over the top turkey-and-all-the-trimmings dinner, but Christmas in the kitchen? In my mind, Thanksgiving doesn’t hold a candle to the wonders of Christmas in the kitchen!  That is why I am sooo excited to be a part of a group of bloggers who are sharing their holiday kitchen and a recipe or two with you today.  I think you are really going to enjoy this.:)

Christmas in the Kitchen

kitchen corner for Christmas

Christmas in the kitchen brings to mind dozens of happy moments…

Teenagers making whipped cream topped hot cocoa after attending a holiday concert …

kitchen for Christmas red buffalo check drapes wreaths in window with jute bows

Popcorn popping for a Christmas movie-watching marathon.

(The Santa Clause and Home Alone are usually among the first we watch.:))

 Peppermint ice cream pie for dessert (just because we love peppermint at this time of year!) served with cappuccino made by a group of giggling nieces.

Christmas coffee tray

Then there are all those cookies and cakes that get prepared in the kitchen during the holidays for our friends and family (and Santa.:))

kitchen Christmas desk

kitchen Christmas chalkboard

And don’t forget the delicious smells that come out of that room at Christmas…ginger and spices in Swedish gingerbread baked for a treat to enjoy by the fire on a cold winter’s night…the cinnamon and clove scents from hot Christmas punch that’s made for every single party of the season here, or the fruity smell of oranges mixed with those same spices for a cup of hot Christmas tea to sip while reading a holiday novel. (Have any of you read Shepherds Abiding this year?)

Christmas beverage trayYes, I dearly love Christmas in the kitchen, and I love love love decorating it for the season.  From the fresh greenery wreaths in the windows to the little bottle brush trees sitting about, it is a fun space to fill with holiday touches.

plate rack with sleigh bellsAnd since our kitchen and dining area are one long room, I want to share what is on the other side of the island with you as well.  For the last few years, I have decorated our kitchen and dining area with gingerbread houses to accompany our Christmas china,  (Williams Sonoma Christmas Icons) but this year I wanted something different – something with even more of the childlike magic of the holiday.  So what better place to find inspiration than a memory from my own childhood.  I don’t have many specific memories of school from my childhood, but I do remember some of our Christmas decorating from way back then.  (Pretty sad for an elementary school teacher to admit, right? LOL) I’ve mentioned before my love for this cracked and worn Santa mug that I have enjoyed for many Christmases since I was a little girl.

Santa mug and Christmas teaSo when I saw these on sale at the Pottery Barn Outlet, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the kitchen and dining area this year.

PB Outlet Christmas table with candy cane dishesSanta Claus, the North Pole, reindeer, and sleigh bells from his sleigh all came together for the dining table.

Christmas tableI even carried the whimsy to reindeer names on tags with sleigh bells tied to the napkins.:)bell and nametag

Christmas table place setting

Dining room table for ChristmasThe centerpiece is Santa’s red sleigh (thanks Louvina:)) filled with holly from our yard.  It is sitting on a red platter (from Target) in a layer of snow  sugar.

sled centerpieceThe built in cabinet has a wreath that matches those in the window.

dining room for ChristmasSanta cookies are in the jar.

dining room cabinet for ChristmasI did not use the gingerbread houses in jars this year.  Instead I found a sparkly red Santa and two reindeer ornaments at Target to stand in the sugar snow.

dining room cabinet with Christmas vignetteLet me turn on the light so you can see them better.:)

(Santa came holding a white tree, but I changed it out for one of the green ones I had.)

Christmas vignette in dining roomAnd now for another childhood memory.:)

A few weeks ago I shared with you that I grew up in a home that sat in a pecan orchard, and each fall we would pick up the nuts that fell from those trees.  After selling bags and bags full of them, my father would always save out some that he would crack for our family, and then my mother would use some of those nuts at Christmas.  The one food I clearly remember my mother making at Christmas was divinity.  I do not remember her making it at any other time of the year – it was a Christmas-only treat.  But even though she made it every year, I never learned how to prepare it. (Yes, I know…shameful.) But the other day, she graciously came over to teach me how to make it. (Thanks Mom!)  Here is her recipe with a few tweaks. We increased the eggs to 3, the vanilla to 1 teaspoon, and doubled the pecans to 1 full cup.

recipe for divinity

I wanted to show you photographs of all the steps involved in making it, but this post is already toooooo long.

So here is a photo of the finished candy…


and next week I will do the post on how to prepare it.:)

dining room and kitchenAnd that wraps up my Christmas in the Kitchen. If you have come from one of the other blogs participating today, welcome to our home! I am so happy you are here!:) And if you are one of the regular readers here, I thank you for your frequent visits. I know you will find some delightful things at the other blogs on our tour today.  So hop over to them and enjoy!

Christmas in the Kitchen

Click on the banners below for a link to their Christmas kitchens.

Forever Cottage

Jenny Steffens Everyday Occasions

Nine and Sixteen

We hope our Christmas kitchens have given you a little holiday cheer, some decorating ideas, and perhaps a new recipe to try out this weekend.

One final thing before I go…don’t forget the giveaway going on here for 2 wonderful cookbooks and a $25 gift card for you to spend at Williams Sonoma.  (More ways to enjoy Christmas in your kitchen!)  You can find out all the details here. Just leave a comment to be entered, and remember the entry period closes at midnight Eastern time, Saturday December 13, 2014.

Talk of the House Christmas 2014

place setting

Thank you so much for visiting today.

Merry Christmas!

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Sandy - December 12, 2014 - 7:01 am

Kelly, you always set the cutest tables. Love your hanging wreaths in the kitchen windows. Just added small wreaths, burlap ribbon, and bottle brush trees to my shopping list. Hope your school days are filled with Christmas plays, choirs, and a Christmas movie or two. Loved teaching the primary grades this time of year.

Katrina - December 12, 2014 - 7:07 am

Oh thank you for these inspiring pictures to start my day. I love the ribbon and bells used on your napkins with the reindeer tags…. You are so clever! I want to eat a yummy meal in your pretty dining room!
Merry Christmas, Kelly!

Arlene@Nanaland - December 12, 2014 - 7:42 am

Love the Santa theme in your kitchen this year!! So cute and red is my favorite color!!

donna - December 12, 2014 - 7:42 am

Your table setting is absolutely gorgeous! I wish I had a Pottery Barn outlet nearby but we do not in Savannah. Thank you for your wonderful giveaway.

Jenny Martin - December 12, 2014 - 7:56 am

Hi Kelly!
Your kitchen and dining area are beautiful! I love the red and white/Santa theme!! Always fun to see what you do in your home for the holidays!! Wishing we had a Pottery Barn outlet close by!! LOL I am enjoying the first book in the Mitford Series, thank you for your tips on reading them in order!! Hope you and your family enjoy the holidays and I am looking forward to making divinity with my mother this weekend!!
Blessings to you!

Barbara Hinske - December 12, 2014 - 8:03 am

Your kitchen looks lovely, warm, and inviting. I can picture the happy times to come with your family. Love the name tags on the napkins–I’m copying that. Merry Christmas!!

Joyce - December 12, 2014 - 8:07 am

WOW! Absolutely beautiful and fun. My mother used to make divinity too….but it had to be on a cold sunny dry day. if there was too much humidity, the divinity would be sticky. I think I will try it. Thanks for sharing recipe.

Judy - December 12, 2014 - 8:13 am

kelly, your Christmas kitchen is simply wonderful! I must try your Christmas punch and tea recipes…the last couple of years I’ve made my hot spiced cider so it will be nice to have some different drinks to try.

I hung some wreaths off my kitchen cabinets this year…something new to me but I love it! I’m hoping (against hope) to get a post up this week of my Christmas decorating since I haven’t even posted this month! But with the new baby due 12/30; spending time with my mama and just being busy, it’s been hard to even think about blogging.

I have to tell you….I was in a local $$Tree a few weeks ago and they had those Santa mugs along with Snowman mugs for $1.00 each! So I bought 3 of each for me and the same for my daughter….probably not the quality of PB but they look really cute!

I’m going to go ahead and wish you a wonderful and blessed Christmas season in the event I don’t get to visit with you beforehand.


Judy - December 12, 2014 - 8:21 am

I had to come back and say I just read your Christmas tea recipe….it’s the one my mom made every year! She would make it and give it as gifts along with her wonderful homemade cookies (that I never got the recipe for)! I’m going to ask her today if she remembers how to make those cookies so I can keep that recipe in the family. My daughter loves to cook/bake and now Taylor is taking an interest in it too, which is about the age Shannon (daughter) was when SHE developed a love of cooking/baking.

I had forgot about that tea recipe so I’m glad I “found” it again…it made me think of how much love my mom put into making her tea and cookies for family and friends every year.

Lynne - December 12, 2014 - 8:24 am

I can’t wait to hear how your divinity turned out. It sure looks delicious! My grandmother always made it at Christmas and we never learned how either. I am so glad you and your Mother got together and made it. A new tradition!

lissy parker - December 12, 2014 - 8:26 am

Kelly, I am loving all of the red and white. Everything looks truly amazing! I grew up with 8 pecan trees in the yard and fondly remember selling pecans with my brothers too.
xo, lissy

Cheryl M. - December 12, 2014 - 8:33 am

Hi Kelly, your kitchen is gorgeous, I love red in the kitchen!! I have had my eye on the Pottery Barn Santa Mugs for my grandchildren, I think I need to go ahead and get them! I made your peppermint ice cream dessert last year and my family LOVED it, I will be making it again this year!

Lisa K - December 12, 2014 - 8:54 am

Merry Christmas Kelly!
I love your kitchen with all the touches of red; it is so festive. Red is my favorite color. The wreaths hanging on your windows are wonderful! Did you use burlap ribbon or chair webbing to hang them with?
I’m inspired! :-)

LUCIE S. - December 12, 2014 - 8:55 am

Kelly, everything about your house is warm and welcoming. What a talent you have!!
I have several sets of those Santa mugs that my grandmother had back in the 1930’s and 40’s. You have inspired me to pull them out of the attic! Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

Diane@InMyOwnStyle - December 12, 2014 - 9:01 am

Hi Kelly –

Your home always looks beautiful and even more so now that you added your holiday style. I love the ribbon garland with the jingle bells over the plate rack and can’t wait to make one for my own home now. I love the sound and can never have too many to jingle my way through the season.

Barb - December 12, 2014 - 9:02 am

Oh such a happy, homey room. I love the little details. The “naughty” and “nice” tags on the coffee cracked me up. I always love the silver and red you use. The silver sugar bowl with the candy canes and the red candles in the silver candlesticks…love them. Now, on to visit the other sites!!

Victoria - December 12, 2014 - 9:05 am

Just finished listening to “Sheperds Abiding” yesterday. There is something so enchanting about this book and listening while I bake for Christmas seems to heighten my experience.
I love how you change out your windows to the red and white checks at this time of year. I love your wood countertops that add such farmhouse warmth to the space as well. The red and white is merry and bright and makes me smile just to look at it. Love, love, love the table setting with those napkins and the reindeer tags are perfection. One of my favorite things are the glass canisters with the sugar snow and filled to the brim with Christmas vignettes. Merry Christmas!

Barbara (WA) - December 12, 2014 - 9:05 am

What a fun find to go with your treasured mug ~ and since I’ve gotta have red, I think your home looks beautiful! I have a red putz house in one of “our” jars on my kitchen counter. :)

Jean from Georgia - December 12, 2014 - 9:12 am

Your home décor is such an inspiration to me, all your rooms are decorated to perfection and so enjoyable. Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

Kathy - December 12, 2014 - 9:12 am

Kelly you are so talented. I love how all spaces work together and not compete with each other. Love the clean freshness of the table scape. The bells on the napkins are perfect. Lastly the jars with a deer & Santa are precious! Thanks for sharing your talent.

Kathy - December 12, 2014 - 9:14 am

Those napkins tied with jingle bells and reindeer names! You are just too clever!

Debra - December 12, 2014 - 9:24 am

Oh Kelly, I love it all. Hope you don’t mind while I sit a spell in your kitchen at the breakfast counter and sip a cuppa and gaze around some for awhile…… Your home just exudes love, comfort, and care. May you be blessed with a wonderful holiday ahead, even though I know this one will be difficult not having your boys under roof now. I finally got our tree up yesterday. I chickened out on the flocking for our indoor tree. I think I will still do a small one this weekend though, for the outbuilding porch. Decorating continues here too. Ha, maybe I will be complete by a day or two before Christmas?? Ugh! Thanks again for all your fun inspiring posts. Merry….Merry…..

Barbara (WA) - December 12, 2014 - 9:28 am

PS: we got hit with one of our infamous wind storms over night & it sounds like the Eastside (Renton, Bellevue) got hammered! Your sons will probably have a few stories to tell. We have our power back this a.m. Whew!

Stacey - December 12, 2014 - 9:33 am

Simply gorgeous!

L J - December 12, 2014 - 9:36 am

You’ve set just the right tone–elegantly casual. Things I love: the bottlebrush trees, the red sleigh, reindeer name tags, the bells, your desk. And you’ve something for our senses: sight, sound, and smell. I’ve never made Divinity but will do so this year.

Betty - December 12, 2014 - 9:39 am

Love the Christmas kitchen posts. I waited all week for them. Lovely!

Lynda Lamon - December 12, 2014 - 9:52 am

Perfectly lovely kitchen!!! Lots of inspiration!!! I always enjoy your blog posts!!
Thanks for the chance to win. Merry Christmas!!!

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - December 12, 2014 - 10:04 am

Yes, the kitchen is the place to be at Christmas – and yours is just gorgeous! I love all the red and all your pretty pieces!

lisa - December 12, 2014 - 10:07 am

Hi Kelly,

I’ve always wanted to learn how to make divinity. I also try every year to make old fashioned fudge. I like the hard break apart kind that cooks on the stove but I can never make it like my mom. Wonderful to learn these things from our moms. This Christmas will be really difficult for our family. We lost my Dad Nov. 24. The holidays will be sad but we’ll try to fill them with the memories shared with him.


Louvina - December 12, 2014 - 10:40 am

SWEET!! So much fun to come into your kitchen! LOVE the table setting with the holly berries in the RED sleigh! Going to try that candy recipe– wish me luck– have never mastered candy making. So stepping out of my comfort area– but that’s how we grow, right? Will visit the other blogs during the weekend– what a great collaboration! Happy Friday– :)

Pat Peele - December 12, 2014 - 11:28 am

Lovely kitchen! Sometimes a change gives a big Ahhh!.
You put so much in your home for the family. This is bright and colorful yet simple. The decorations have a real purpose.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Carmen - December 12, 2014 - 11:32 am

Always love your decorations!

Julia G. - December 12, 2014 - 11:52 am

I remember having a santa cup when I was a little girl, but have no idea what happened to it. Your santa cups made me smile. I also love the idea with your reindeer name tags, very cute!

Merry Christmas!

Gina - December 12, 2014 - 12:27 pm

I always love all of your red touches!! It looks so festive. I always add red to my kitchen during the holidays. I love the sleigh used as your centerpiece too. I have an old brass Home Interior sleigh I need to spray paint and use this way too! thanks for the inspiration. Also, thanks for the divinity recipe. I have wanted to make some and have been looking at recipes this week. I think I’ll use yours since it is tried and true!! Now, to watch the weather report next week. ;) And your post! :D

Vicki - December 12, 2014 - 12:32 pm

So glad you did the Christmas in the Kitchen post! As much as I’ll enjoy seeing your home in the Christmas Ideas magazine, that’s a whole year away! :)
I love re-reading Shepherd’s Abiding this month, and I always squeeze in Rosamunde Pilcher’s Winter Solstice, too. Have a great weekend!

Marsha - December 12, 2014 - 12:41 pm

Ooooohh!! I want to come to your house for Christmas, but I guess I could settle for the cookbooks. Hope you and your family have a very blessed Christmas.

Joy Jenkins - December 12, 2014 - 1:06 pm

I can’t wait to head over and tour the next homes on the list! Love this idea!

Sherry Myers - December 12, 2014 - 1:29 pm

Mrs. Claus could not have a more inviting kitchen. The wreaths on the built-in, over the kitchen windows, the tablescape, sugar for snow, now that’s a great idea for the kitchen..sugarplums dancing in my head now with inspiration. My decorating is done except for the kitchen. I always save it for last and now I am glad I did! Please don’t tire of the oooohs, and aaaahs, because we, your readers, can’t help but SWOOOOOON! Thank you for including those little special touches..ribbon of bells on the plate rack. I love it! Have a holly jolly weekend!

Anne Boykin - December 12, 2014 - 1:32 pm

Hi Kelly, Your kitchen is lovely and I’m so glad you have so many lovely traditions that center around such a welcoming room. Thank you for sharing your wonderful home with us. Happy Holidays!

Joan - December 12, 2014 - 2:22 pm

Kelly, Your red and white theme never fails to lift my spirits.
You have a way of coupling new and old and natural things in a way that is fresh and functional. Holidays at your home must be wonderful.

JenniferfromVA - December 12, 2014 - 2:23 pm

pure and lovely………nothing more needed to be said!

Anne from Atlanta - December 12, 2014 - 2:35 pm

Hi Kelly, Love, Love, Love everything! Thanks for sharing your decoration with us. You are so talented. Where did you find the little sleigh? It is too cute. Thanks for a great blog, Anne

Melanie - December 12, 2014 - 3:07 pm

First time on your blog! Beautiful decor–loved it.

Jackie - December 12, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Love, love, love Christmas in the Kitchen. I can come over anytime to sit at your table and enjoy some hot chocolate and visit with you:)

DeeDee - December 12, 2014 - 3:46 pm

I am so glad you like to decorate your kitchen, because I LOVE this post as well as all of your decorating! You’re a gifted & talented lady as well as an inspiration. Merry Christmas in the Kitchen!

Darla - December 12, 2014 - 4:32 pm

Great job, Kelly. I don’t normally go for red in decorating, but it all looks fantastic and fresh.

Patty in Michigan - December 12, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Kelly, love your Christmas kitchen. So many cute touches. I love cute sleigh. Great idea with the sugar. I have a small sled I may have to add some sugar! The holly from your yard is incredible. It is so perfect, I thought it was artificial. Beautiful!

Lidy@FrenchGardeHouse - December 12, 2014 - 5:56 pm

Kelly, I am totally in love with your red checked curtains! Everything looks so bright and cheery, totally in the spirit of Christmas. I’ve really enjoyed your tour, and may have to go add more red to our own kitchen over here. Merry Christmas! xo Lidy

Joan - December 12, 2014 - 6:15 pm

Your kitchen is beautiful. Your photos inspire me, as in I should get up off my behind, stop ogling blogs and do some decorating!!

Garden, Home and Party - December 12, 2014 - 6:26 pm

Your kitchen is so warm and welcoming everyday, but it is magazine worthy at Christmas! I loved everything you’ve shared. My grandpa used to make divinity when I was growing up. What a fond memory.

PATTI - December 12, 2014 - 6:44 pm

My favorite part is the Santa sleigh with greenery for the centerpiece. The Santa and the reindeer in the jars with “sugar snow” are pretty cool too!

liz piccione-volger - December 12, 2014 - 7:00 pm

So Pretty! The red and white looks great. I have a question I’ve wanted to ask for a while. Where did you learn to do your beautiful lettering on all your chalk boards or is that just a natural talent? Beacuase I am always in awe!

Maureen - December 12, 2014 - 7:16 pm

Will you please come to my house and spin your Christmas magic? PRETTY PLEASE!! I am blown away by your creativity!!

Benita - December 12, 2014 - 8:04 pm

I love the Santa cups. We had similar ones when I was a child and there were always candy canes in them. When I first got married, I found some at a store to put on my mantel, along with garland, lights, etc. We had just had our fireplace installed and we didn’t know that the builder did not securely secure the mantel. We found out one evening. While washing dishes after dinner, we heard a loud crash…ran to the living room to see the mantel and all of our Christmas decorations smashed on the floor. I was in tears over losing those little Santa cups. I was so hurt I’ve never been able to bring myself to purchase any replacements….but looking at yours makes me smile! :-) Thank you.

Martha - December 12, 2014 - 9:04 pm

Kelly!!! As always, absolutely beautiful! Like many others have said, the Santa mug made me smile. I love the jars with Santa and “snow” I am going to try to replicate that. I had to laugh when I saw the snow (sugar) on the platter with the sleigh…..try that in a few years when your grandchildren are around. My grandmother always made divinity and I have a sister-in-law who is a pro at it, but I have not had much success and have not tried to make it in years. I am always so impressed with all you accomplish, I hope you are feeling better and not overdoing.

Barbara P from Ma - December 12, 2014 - 9:53 pm

Your kitchen / dining area looks so warm and welcoming! I’m always pleasantly surprised at all of your different ideas and takes on setting such gorgeous tables! Everything looks wonderful!

Susan - December 12, 2014 - 10:08 pm

I’m going to have to give that divinity recipe a try. It is making my mouth water!

Dawn - December 12, 2014 - 10:11 pm


Divinity is my Mom’s number one remember Christmas treat too! Thanks you for the wonderful recipe. I am going to have to make it for her using your modified recipe! I never learned how to make it before my Grandmother passed on. Your kitchen looks wonderful as usual. Thanks for sharing it with us. My favorite part is the naughty/nice caffeinated/decaffeinated tags on the coffee.

Merri Jo - December 12, 2014 - 10:37 pm

Oh, your Christmas kitchen is delightful!! The red sleigh and red sparkly Santa are just fabulous…any chance you can tell me a source for them?? Your jar-fillers combined with your endless creativity never cease to amaze me.
Praying you’re continuing to regain your strength at this busy time…hope you have a pleasant weekend, Kelly.

Mary - December 12, 2014 - 10:49 pm

I want to copy your kitchen and dining room… every single detail. Your house has to be my fave of all the blogs I read!

Theresa in Nebraska - December 13, 2014 - 12:01 am

So fun! I loved all of the kitchen decorations. Vintage Santa mugs are my favorites. I also still have a small one from my first grade teacher.

Nona - December 13, 2014 - 12:29 am

Boy, does Divinity bring back memories of Christmases past. My great aunt used to make this every Christmas and I had the privilege of helping her. Of course, there wasn’t much a 6 year old could do, but I tried. Unfortunately, I have never been able to make good Divinity and now that Aunt Lena is gone, I doubt I ever will. It must have been the love she put in it that made it so special to everyone in our family. Can’t wait to see the photos you post about making this treat. I love Divinity.

Courtney - December 13, 2014 - 12:55 am

I love love love your kitchen! The touches of red are just gorgeous and so cozy. Thanks for the chance to win! Merry Christmas!

Sharon - December 13, 2014 - 12:56 am

I too love the kitchen at Christmas. I do so much baking that there always seems to be a cloud of flour dust in the air. Your kitchen is so beautiful and I love your table arrangement. Can’t wait to check out the other blogs.

Bobbie Allgood - December 13, 2014 - 1:24 am

Hi Kelly,

This year my kitchen time is limited since we are moving into a different house. I am interested in the wicker chair you have in your living room. Has it been comfortable? Is it the small or the larger size? I am considering purchasing one or two for the new house. Would you recommend them? Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Bobbie Allgood
Omaha, Nebraska

Jill - December 13, 2014 - 9:43 am

Your kitchen looks wonderful and I love your Santa table. I’ve been crushing on Santa mugs….old and new….for years! And your little reindeer name cards….too cute! My heart sunk when you said no gingerbread houses this year, but I love the Santa and reindeer too!
I tried your Christmas punch last year and I’m making it for a party again tonight.
I didn’t get a chance to comment on your last post, but congratulations on being chosen for the BH&G Christmas magazine. That is so exciting. I will wait anxiously to see your house in print. And hopefully you will be feeling 100% again by the time the shoot rolls around in January. Things always work out the way they’re supposed to even though it’s not always planned that way.
Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us Kelly!

Susan - December 13, 2014 - 12:18 pm

Thank you for letting us spend Christmas in your kitchen. Everything is so perfect! I can’t wait for the divinity details. I plan to give your recipe a try next week. The give away items are terrific and so generous, just like you are with your decorating ideas and recipes. I must say that your photos are terrific, much better than those in magazines and so inspirational. I agree with the other comments that your blog is truly one of the best.

Robin Nikkel - December 13, 2014 - 5:09 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I’ve always wanted to make Divinity. We use to have an elderly lady who brought it to a sewing group for years. Unfortunaltely she has passed now. We miss her and none of us know how to make it! It will be like she’s there with us again. Merry Christmas!

Bonnie Bryant - December 13, 2014 - 8:57 pm

I love divinity but have never mad it, either. Maybe after your divinity post I’ll give it a try,

Donnamae - December 13, 2014 - 9:40 pm

Your kitchen looks so festive! ;)

Marianne in Mo. - December 14, 2014 - 11:46 am

Kelly, as always, you make me smile! Love the traditions, my favorite part of the holiday! While you had divinity, we had Potitcia, from my grandmother’s Yugoslav history. Kind of bread, filled with pecans (or walnuts), honey, cream and butter, then rolled into a log, shaped into a wreath and baked. It was HUGE, and wouldn’t be Christmas without it. I had planned to make it this year, but guess what – I too got pneumonia, so rest is all I can do. Boo! Haven’t even got the tree up yet, it will wait until Sat. when my daughter arrives from Texas. She doesn’t know how much work I have planned for her!
Have a very Merry Christmas!

Joan in Warwick - December 14, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Your kitchen looks lovely – I can’t imagine where you find the time and the energy to accomplish all of this! Hope you are feeling better.

DiAnne - December 14, 2014 - 9:25 pm

What a beautiful kitchen! I love the Santa mugs and the wrapped napkins. I alo would like to try making the candy.
Merry Christmas, Kelly

A Christmas Tour from the Ghost of Christmas Past

Christmas Traditions Greenery 2012It seems that my Christmas posts are always one room at a time, and there is never a whole house tour.  So today, I want to put together some of the decorating from the last two years into one post.

Christmas Traditions Books 2012I am calling this my Ghost of Christmas Past post, but I also need to tell you that unfortunately,  you are not going to be able to enjoy the Ghost of Christmas Present until Christmas Future. Have I thoroughly confused you?  (I see you shaking your head yes.)  Okay, let me explain.

Christmas Traditions Books 2012 Christmas TeaWay back in October, Ann Blevins, the Senior Editor at Better Homes and Gardens, contacted me to ask if we would be interested in having our home photographed for their 2015 Christmas Ideas magazine if we were chosen.  (We were one of 12 homes that they were considering.)

I thought long and hard about it.

Christmas Traditions Kitchen Sweets 2012 kitchen windowA few years ago, I would have immediately said yes, yes, and yes!  But after last year’s photo shoot that still has not materialized into print and knowing how much work we put into something like that, I was a little leary. Additionally, someone who worked freelance with Meredith Corporation had contacted me this summer about doing a photo shoot, and it did not materialize either.

Christmas Traditions Kitchen Sweets 2012And more than that,  I had already committed to the December 12th blogging event with several bloggers that I highly respect.  I knew that magazines don’t like you to show the spaces they photograph before they are published, and I wasn’t going to back out on that upcoming Christmas in the Kitchen post- magazine photo shoot or not.

Christmas Traditions Kitchen SweetsDo you see why I didn’t immediately jump on the opportunity?  Ann had wanted me to call her, but before I did, I sent her an email (a lengthy one) explaining all these concerns. In less than an hour, she emailed back and we set up a time for a phone conference.

Christmas Traditions photographs and chalkboardWhen we finally had that phone conversation, she assured me that if we were chosen for the final selection, it would indeed be published and we could work out the kitchen post issue.

Christmas Traditions snow 2012I did not hear from her for quite awhile.  In fact, I assumed we had not been chosen.

Christmas Traditions stockings 2012Near the middle of November, I sent another email to Ann that said something like,

Have you made your final selection for the homes you are using for the magazine? I assume that we have not been chosen as one of them.

(I was already starting to think about this year’s holiday decorating and needed to know if they might be coming.)

Christmas Traditions the nativity 2012

In less than 45 minutes, I received this reply from her:

Yes! We Are!  :)Our process went much more slowly than anticipated. Can you give me a call?

Christmas in the foyerSo we spoke, and she explained the whole process and later sent me the contract that spells out all the expectations.  (It was all very professional.:))

Christmas Favorites Our Christmas tree 2013Then over the following few weeks the art director contacted me, and she let me know that she will be coming along with the photographer(s).  We emailed back and forth and finally settled on 2 days that work with both of our schedules.

Christmas Favorites our Christmas treeThose 2 days are in January.  At first I was disappointed that it was after Christmas.

Christmas Favorites a Christmas table 2013We use sooooo much fresh greenery here that I knew there was no way it would look fresh in January…that basically meant doing it all twice – a tree twice – which is a TON of work.  But then….

Christmas Favorites a Christmas table in the dining roomI came down with pneumonia the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and if you have been reading here in the last few weeks, you know it has really killed my schedule and my energy.  So now I am super thankful that the date is not until January.

Christmas Favorites red in the kitchen deskI am taking it slow.  The Christmas trees are still waiting outside and will probably remain there at least another week.

Christmas Favorites red in the kitchen 2013 If I put up everything late, I think we can keep it fresh until the photoshoot.  So perhaps this pneumonia has been a blessing in disguise.:)

Christmas hall 2013Now what does all of this mean for the blog during the month of December?  Well…I have the kitchen ready for the post for this Friday.

Boys bedroom treeI plan on keeping it like it is for our Christmas but will redo it a different way for the photo shoot.  (I actually had 3 different ideas in mind for decorating it for this Christmas anyway, so I get to use 2 of the ideas.:))

Christmas Favorites our daughters bedroomUnfortunately, I will not be able to show you the rest of the house decorated this Christmas.  That is my Ghost of Christmas Present that you won’t get to see until next winter when the magazine is on the newsstands – my Ghost of Christmas Future.  

Christmas bedroom 2103I hate that I can’t share it with you this year, but knowing my low energy level, I probably won’t have it all finished until almost Christmas Day anyway.

Christmas Favorites master bathroomBut that does not mean that I won’t have Christmas posts for you to enjoy this month.  I already have 4 planned out in my head for you right now, and there will be a couple more after that.  So you will still find some holiday delights here this month.:)

Christmas centerpiece

Again, I am so sorry that I cannot share much of the house with you this season, but I know you will enjoy this Friday’s Christmas in the kitchen post.

Christmas in the KitchenAnd don’t forget about the giveaway of the two cookbooks and the $25 Williams Sonoma gift card.  Details can be found here. To enter, just leave a comment here on the blog (not on email)  on any/all posts that publish between 12/6/2014 and Saturday 12/13/2014 (only one comment per post please.)  It will close at midnight Eastern time on 12/13/14.

Talk of the House Christmas 2014I hope to see you back here on Friday morning.:)

Until next time…

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Anne from Atlanta - December 9, 2014 - 6:14 am

Things always work out! How exciting! I’ll be looking forward to seeing your home in the magazine next year!

DeAnne - December 9, 2014 - 6:32 am

I have always noticed how beautiful the writing is on the chalkboards around the house. Do you write this yourself? I absolutely love it!

Sally - December 9, 2014 - 6:34 am

Your Christmas tours are magical — no matter when you post them. Can’t wait to see what you have planned!

Lynn - December 9, 2014 - 6:53 am

Squeals of excitement here! So delighted that you were chosen by Southern Living! I already noted in my planner to be looking out for that issue. Love your beautiful posts Kelly. Merry Christmas!!!

Linda Evans - December 9, 2014 - 6:58 am

a well deserved honor for sure !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! your home is always a treat, now I can’t wait until next year !!!!

Vicki - December 9, 2014 - 7:12 am

Triple good news today! 1. So excited about all of my favorite bloggers joining forces on Friday. 2. Can’t wait to see the photo shoot next year in one of my favorite magazines. 3. But best of all there is someone else in the world besides me who doesn’t have their Christmas tree up….but at least you have a good excuse!

linda strickler - December 9, 2014 - 7:23 am

First of all please take care of yourself, and your home is gorgeous! Congragulations on the magazine shoot, looking forward to it.

ginni wren wells - December 9, 2014 - 7:29 am

Hope you are feeling better.looking forward to new posts.I just found you on this site.Merry Christmas.

Jayne - December 9, 2014 - 7:32 am

The important thing is that you are feeling better! So glad you are! I enjoyed the visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past. So many good ideas! Congrats on the photo shoot! The wait to see it will be as slow as Christmas!

Theresa in Nebraska - December 9, 2014 - 7:38 am

Heal and enjoy the process! What fun and I can’t wait to see the photos!

Barbara Hinske - December 9, 2014 - 7:46 am

How exciting! Can’t wait to see your home in next year’s BH&G. And isn’t it funny how things always seem to work out for the best? Congratulations to you!

Anne Boykin - December 9, 2014 - 7:55 am

Hi Kelly, Congratulations! Your home is so magazine worthy all the time but especially at Christmas!

Lynne - December 9, 2014 - 7:57 am

I’m glad to hear you are feeling better, even if your energy level hasn’t returned to normal. I think maybe someone wanted you to slow down for a reason. I’m excited about your upcoming photo shoot. I think you should be offered a book deal because your house is charming in all seasons! Maybe that should be the book title?! I have to say we have had a rough month and my Chrisrmas cheer is running rather low, but it certainly brightened my spirit seeing your cute house! I hope your low energy level helps you take things slow and really enjoy the process! Be Well!

Joan - December 9, 2014 - 8:00 am

Congratulations on the photo shoot! Your photos are inspiration to me, I need to get busy!

Design Chic - December 9, 2014 - 8:00 am

How exciting, Kelly and I am absolutely THRILLED for you!!! So well deserved and can hardly wait to see it all in print!! I have had pneumonia before and just make sure you don’t try to do too much too soon – relapses are no fun…take care of yourself. I loved studying every single room…beautiful!!

Betty - December 9, 2014 - 8:00 am

How exciting! Sounds like everything will work out. I can’t wait for your new blogs.

Mary B - December 9, 2014 - 8:02 am

Wow!! How exciting for you!!! Cant wait to see your home in print!! Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!!!

Dorene - December 9, 2014 - 8:13 am

beautiful, after seeing your beautiful tablescapes I asked my sons for the red plates from Pier One for Christmas, sure hope I get them, absolutely love your decor

Amy C - December 9, 2014 - 8:20 am

Congratulations! So happy for you! I love your house and style. Feel better!

Debbie w - December 9, 2014 - 8:25 am

Beautiful! A fun post…..let the decorating begin…it will look lovely!

Cheryl M. - December 9, 2014 - 8:58 am

What an honor to be chosen by Better Homes and Gardens, you deserve it, your home is absolutely beautiful!

Lynne - December 9, 2014 - 9:05 am

Kelly, I do hope you are feeling better by now. I think the shoot after Christmas will work out perfect for you! And I love BH&G magazine. I love the decorating articles, and the gardening articles in each issue. I enjoyed seeing your old Christmas pics again and look forward to next year when we will see this years!

Garden, Home and Party - December 9, 2014 - 9:14 am

I’m so excited for you, congratulations! I love your home and showing us past Christmases works for me. I still get wonderful ideas from each of your beautifully decorated rooms to use in my own.

Joy Daugherty - December 9, 2014 - 9:16 am

Love your decorating style. Feel free to come to my home and decorate. Beautiful. You have given me lots if ideas.

Arlene@Nanaland - December 9, 2014 - 9:20 am

I will look forward to seeing your house in PRINT!! How exciting and I only have to wait til next November!! I am very happy for you Kelly…your house deserves to be showcased! Of all the blogs about houses that I read, yours is my favorite because it is not overdone! And you use COLOR!! So tired of all the blah blah blah neutrals!! And yes, that pneumonia was a blessing in disguise!

Sharon Heinzel - December 9, 2014 - 9:27 am

Congratulations! Your house is decorated in a timeless, beautiful way! It should be in Better Homes and Gardens!

Louvina - December 9, 2014 - 9:28 am

This is WAY too exciting!! What great news– I wanted to see your home again in a magazine!! So I will just review the Past Christmases, enjoy the Present Christmas ( oh joy!) and will soo look forward to seeing Christmas in the Future with that magazine!! All the while, waiting and planning, hopefully my delayed trip to NC mountains!! Remember what I said about half the fun is the planning and dreaming!? I, too, am running way behind this year and will not get my decorations up until this weekend. You take care and pace yourself so to not overdo– you hear? I know you are MORE than excited! I just feel you really have a future in the making that will use your down home decorating talents. May God bless you with health and all happiness this season of His birth!!:)

Darla - December 9, 2014 - 9:39 am

I’m sorry your energy is so slow in returning. When we are sick, we sure learn to appreciate how well we usually feel. Thanks for sharing!

Sandy - December 9, 2014 - 9:42 am

Congrats on your magazine spread and anxious to hear all about your January shooting. I once again enjoyed the pics from Ghost of Christmas Past. I’m waiting for our library to call to take out the William-Sonoma Christmas Entertaining book.

Bonnie Bee - December 9, 2014 - 9:43 am

wishing you a VERY speedy recovery for the Christmas Holidays… always LOVE your porch no matter what season you are posting !!!!

Nancy H - December 9, 2014 - 9:44 am

I cannot wait to see your “Ghost of Christmas Future” post!

Mary Ellen - December 9, 2014 - 9:47 am

I’m so glad that you are feeling better! Love your “Christmas Past” photos….your decorating style is an inspiration to me.

Talia - December 9, 2014 - 10:09 am

Your house tour is once again – amazing! Beautiful decorating and the best part is it doesn’t feel staged – just warm and welcoming!

Carolyn - December 9, 2014 - 10:15 am

Congratulations for being selected and that you had other interest as well. It must be flattering to know that those magazine field editors consider your home photo shoot worthy. These Christmas past photos are very cheery. I’m glad you didn’t have to push yourself while recovering and without your normal energy level. It’s daunting enough if you were feeling well – on top of everything else to do that goes along with Christmas. I admire all the work you put into it. For myself, I am not a red person (never have been since a little girl), so I don’t use the traditional Christmas color. I love green, though, and lots of natural elements, and have found for me that white is a good contrast against it. No, I’m not one of those all-white decor types, either. Our home is a log cabin with pine walls, which is a nice contrast to the green. But you won’t see red!

cindy hattersley - December 9, 2014 - 10:17 am

I wish i lived closer I would come and be your Christmas slave. I am in the same position. Our house is coming out the end of this month so I could only do sneak peeks as well. Be well and don’t worry they will send a stylist!!

donna - December 9, 2014 - 10:29 am

Love,love,love your home! You have such a flair for decorating, everything looks so inviting. I hope you feel better and get your energy back soon. Congratulations on being selected for the magazine shoot. Happy holidays!

Barb - December 9, 2014 - 10:32 am

Better Homes & Gardens!!! Oh my goodness, that is so exciting and so well deserved. The pictures might be Christmas Past, but I’m loving them just the same. I forgot about your nativity with the hand drawn stable (love it) and the gingerbread houses in the jars (love them too). Shepherd’s Abiding is on my nightstand and waiting to be read this weekend. Wishing you joy this Christmas Season!

Debbie - December 9, 2014 - 10:33 am

Congratulations on the magazine shoot! I am so HAPPY for you, Kelly!! I can’t wait to see the issue next November. In the meantime, I have thoroughly studied and enjoyed this post … as I do ALL of your posts. Always so much inspiration! Hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas! And healthy!

Dawn - December 9, 2014 - 10:37 am


I love this post just as is! I enjoy looking back at Christmas past photos. I think the Christmas season comes and goes too quickly as it is and will look forward to seeing your post in January. I hope you have enough time to get well, decorate and appreciate it all as well. I wish you all the best in all of your endeavors. Thanks for keeping us posted and in the loop.

Dee - December 9, 2014 - 10:45 am

I am thoroughly enjoying your tour of Christmas Past and look forward to present and future. I’m amazed you can do any of it. I had pneumonia last December and my only decorations last year were a premade wreath slapped on the front door and a little tabletop Charlie Brown tree with one ornament someone gave me. The kids/grandkids came here on Christmas Day and we had spaghetti because I just didn’t feel up to cooking. It was a messed up Christmas! It took about three months before I got my full strength back. Pneumonia is nothing to play around with…rest when you need it.

kathy - December 9, 2014 - 10:51 am

How very exciting!!! Your home is so magazine-worthy! And, what about pneumonia being a happy accident/positive thing! I love the Christmas Past and look forward to the Christmas Future!

L J - December 9, 2014 - 10:55 am

WOW! I am thrilled for you and very happy that your talent and creativity are being recognized. Of course, we, your readers, love you and your style and it’s nice to know that others will see it. Kelly, you’ve earned this through much effort and talent. We’re pleased for you that others will appreciate it as well.Hurray for you (though yes, it’s got to be a ton of extra work!)
It’s quite OK for us to wait till next Dec to see the current decor scheme. I enjoy reviewing what you did in the past. It’s like what I do with my older magazines. I frequently pick up those older issues and review my favorite articles and look for tips I missed the first or second time through.
And another plus for us in waiting till next Dec–this gives us all something extra to look forward to. Anticipation adds to the excitement.
I’m trusting your full energy level will soon return.

Caitlin - December 9, 2014 - 10:58 am

You are sweet! Don’t worry about us…that is such an amazing opportunity! Best of luck and can’t wait to see the spread in print!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - December 9, 2014 - 10:59 am

I love all of your decor each year, so gorgeous. Congrats, I can’t wait to see all the pics from the shoot. How fabulous and exciting.

Shelley - December 9, 2014 - 11:21 am

Your blog is refreshing! I struggle to embrace the gray, white and beige color schems and white wood and in a lot of decorating-i love the pops of red and natural wood wood in your home. It makes me realize how much color adds to the warmth and interest in making a house a home!

Paula B. - December 9, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Kelly, I hope you are feeling stronger every day, and a huge congrats on the upcoming photo shoot. How exciting, you are getting well known beyond the blog for your decorating skills! It was fun going down memory lane to see the house in holidays past, you sure do have a love of red. We were darn cold here, yesterday, in the mid-twenties, a crisp December day. But, now, things have warmed a bit and we have steady rain with high winds predicted for later on. A perfect day to stay in, finish decorating, and wrap some presents. Alas, I can do some of that and then must trek out on some errands. Don’t overdo, your health is your top priority at the moment (no matter what the calendar says).

Dawn R. - December 9, 2014 - 12:18 pm

Congratulations Kelly! I can’t wait to see the magazine next winter. Everything always seems to work out for a reason, so don’t overdo and be glad that you can decorate late. I know it will be beautiful!
Take care.

Shar - December 9, 2014 - 12:24 pm

Awesome! So thrilled for you & happy that your creative talent gets recognition.

Kathy P. - December 9, 2014 - 12:57 pm

How exciting! Glad you are feeling better.

Nona - December 9, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Love the wreath on the shelves. Is that in your dining room? Take it easy, pneumonia is something you don’t want to mess around with.

Patty in Michigan - December 9, 2014 - 1:32 pm

So exciting, Kelly! I will be looking for that magazine when it comes out for sure. Congrats!

Kaye Ann - December 9, 2014 - 1:45 pm

I love your home. I’ve asked before about your red checked curtains and to bring you up to date…..I now have my living room decorated with them. I bought mine.

The curtains in your bathroom are so nice. Did you make them?

Hope and pray for your recovery from your pneumonia. Take it easy.

Katie - December 9, 2014 - 1:55 pm

Everything you do is perfection! I can see why so many publications contact you. Your home always looks so inviting and cozy.

Benita - December 9, 2014 - 2:17 pm

Congratulations on the photo shoot! And what a great magazine! While I know it is alot of work for the event, it will be so worth it!! Can’t wait to see it all!!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - December 9, 2014 - 2:56 pm

Kelly….congrats, congrats on the magazine feature…your home is always so beautiful for all seasons!!!

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - December 9, 2014 - 3:43 pm

Kelly, warm congratulations on the upcoming photo shoot for Better Homes and Gardens! No one is more deserving! You do such a wonderful job decorating your home and put so much thought into your posts. Take good care of yourself…will so look forward to seeing the magazine next year!

Marken - December 9, 2014 - 3:55 pm

My goodness, I enjoyed that tour. I think it will serve as inspiration to me for the items I still need to finish. Will be looking forward to seeing your home in print next year.

Joan in Warwick - December 9, 2014 - 4:34 pm

I am glad that the timing worked out for you. Best wishes for your recovery – pneumonia really knocks you for a loop! The old pictures are lovely and are giving me some much needed inspiration. ( the tree isn’t up yet at my house either :)).

Liz Piccione-Volger - December 9, 2014 - 5:03 pm

Well… we’ll just have to wait for this years. But Christmas Past pictures are fabulous! Cookbooks and William Sonoma? Can’t go wrong with that. Congrats on BH&G and hope you get well soon. Thanks.

Susan - December 9, 2014 - 5:09 pm

Congratulations Kelly! I’m so happy for you. Thank you for sharing the photos from the past. I’m looking forward to seeing your home in next years magazine.
Take care of yourself!

Carmen - December 9, 2014 - 5:38 pm

How exciting! Can’t wait to see your home in next year’s BH&G. Congratulations to you!!

Kim - December 9, 2014 - 6:08 pm

I’m so excited for you, Kelly. Can’t wait to see it in print next fall.

Mary - December 9, 2014 - 6:52 pm

Kelly, I just LOVED seeing last year’s Christmas decor in your house. I just discovered your house and blog a few months ago so all the Christmas Past look was brand new to me. You are one of my fave bloggers now… I just LOVE your style!!!! Perfect the way things worked out with the January shoot instead of you working yourself to death in December.

Liz - December 9, 2014 - 6:55 pm

Just glad you are recovering! Take your time and don’t worry – we can wait until the magazine comes out to see this year’s decorating!

DiAnne - December 9, 2014 - 7:07 pm

How very exciting for you with the magazine shoot! Congratulations! I know it will be a lot of work. I hope you will get your strength back after the pneumonia.

Jackie M. - December 9, 2014 - 7:37 pm

How exciting to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens Christmas issue!!! I will look forward to seeing the full house next year, and assorted fun Christmas posts this year!

Anne in NH - December 9, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Just lovely. So now I must really get to work on finishing all my decorations. So many great ideas to ponder!

Sharon - December 9, 2014 - 8:07 pm

I never tire of looking at past photos of your home. I can’t wait until next year to see your home in BH&G. They have good taste in picking you.

Cindy - December 9, 2014 - 8:09 pm

How wonderful and so exciting! Sorry you were sick but glad things worked out. Can’t wait to see you in print next year!
Are you back at work? Don’t overdo.
Merry Christmas.

PATTI - December 9, 2014 - 8:28 pm

Yep-I can TOTALLY see it-your house in BH & G. I think it’s called a “no-brainer”??! So happy for you & can’t wait to see it in the magazine! :-)

Susan - December 9, 2014 - 8:48 pm

It will be worth the wait. So glad you are feeling better. Its crazy how with todays technology that they can’t show current photos. Merry Christmas and take time to enjoy the little things, like hot cocoa and a good book.

Sherry Myers - December 9, 2014 - 8:49 pm

No complaints here! Never! This post is lovely. If I love it, I can look at something over and over. Your home is lovely, your style is timeless, and your creativity is captivating. It will be exciting as Christmas approaches next year, to anticipate the photo shoot results. No one is more deserving. I am so glad you are feeling better, but take it slow and easy. North Carolina has an unfinished decorated house too. It has been so cool and rainy for the last few days, we have not finished the outside decorating yet. It will be finished when it is, but it will not steal our Christmas cheer. You have certainly been partly responsible for that! Thank you!
Christmas Blessings,

Debra - December 9, 2014 - 9:10 pm

It will be torture to wait Kelly, but I am sure it will be worth it. Congrats on being chosen. I just love your home and going over the “Kelly Archives”. I don’t know how you do it, especially with your teaching job too. Some cookies did get made here, but the indoor tree is still missing in action :( I think the reason I am dragging my feet, is that I am thinking of just doing a small tree (4ft) on a table top? It is an older one I have had for years and I was thinking of flocking it. Maybe lightly spraying it with that fake snow? Hmm… Well, I did buy and decorate a live 7ft balsam that is just outside our kitchen bay window by the deck. One down and one more to go. Please take care of yourself. Happy Holidays and Happy Decorating!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - December 9, 2014 - 9:39 pm

This is happy-happy news! You are such a Southern Belle charmer to put a positive spin on pneumonia! Instead of a magazine spread, you need to have your own book!

Judy - December 9, 2014 - 9:58 pm

So glad you are feeling better. House looks wonderful! Glad you were chosen
for the Christmas special issue. No one deserves it more.

Pam Jenkins - December 9, 2014 - 10:02 pm

Especially enjoyed this post since I wasn’t aware of your blog until a few months ago. Looking forward to seeing your house in the magazine!

Linda - December 9, 2014 - 10:06 pm

I’ve given several Williams-Sonoma cookbooks as gifts, most recently Two in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Newlyweds but I don’t own one myself!
Just recently found your blog and am enjoying it.

Bobbie Grassel - December 9, 2014 - 11:01 pm

Sending you healing thoughts and prayers. Your Christmas home has given me inspiration to take my red furniture from my sunroom and put it in the living room for Christmas! I love it!
Merry Christmas from North Dakota.

DeeDee - December 9, 2014 - 11:29 pm

Congrats on being featured in the BH&G magazine! I can’t think of anyone more deserving!

Joan - December 10, 2014 - 12:09 am

No matter when you post it is always inspiring and cheerful. Since I didn’t see your Christmas from last year anything is new to me anyway. Thanks for all your great ideas, Kelly.
Where do you get the energy to teach, be a wife and Mom, and post, too? Amazing.

Pat in Georgia - December 10, 2014 - 6:12 am

Congratulations! I could look ay your house over and over again, it is absolutely stunning!!! enjoy the holidays, school will be out soon so you can get your strength back. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Joyce - December 10, 2014 - 1:50 pm

Exciting news! What an honor! Good things come to those who wait.

Nona - December 10, 2014 - 6:38 pm

Love the berries and greenery in the basket. They look like Nandina which hold up well for the holiday period.

Kathy - December 11, 2014 - 12:02 am

Your posts always amaze me! Your home is lovely and inviting always. I would love an opportunity to win! Thanks for sharing. I had pneumonia last December while trying to teach 5th grade, I understand plus know it takes a long while to feel better.

Katrina - December 11, 2014 - 5:31 am

Well who would have ever thought some good would have come from your pneumonia! I am over the moon excited for you and think the recognition is so deserved! I love BetterHomes publications and your house is the perfect one for them to showcase! You are so talented and they are lucky to have had you agree to have your house featured! The only downside is we have to wait until next year to see what new and creative things you do this Christmas!
I so understand your worries about your greenery being fresh! It is just about time for me to replace all the fresh greenery I have placed on our mantle and in other spots BUT it is so worth it! I am just not a fan of artificial trees or greenery… Kinda makes me think of a mall decoration.
Hope you are officially on the mend! Merry Christmas, Kelly!

Jill - December 11, 2014 - 8:30 am

Funny how the Lord works in mysterious ways! Congratulations on being chosen, I take BH&G magazine and am excited to get to see your decor in print. Your home is lovely and this post has given me a few ideas I might use this year. I tend to decorate month long, so know you are not behind at all. Again may you have a lovely Christmas, Kelly and don’t fret…enjoy the magic :-)

Mary Jane Cooper - December 11, 2014 - 9:21 am

I love your blog. I love everything you do. My husband and I went to Blowing Rock a few weeks ago and I had read your posts on it before I went. made the trip so much better. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas !

Bobbie Allgood - December 11, 2014 - 10:24 am


How do you feel about your wicker chair? Is it comfortable? Do you have the large size? Would you recommend it? I am considering purchasing one and would like your opinion on how you feel about yours. Thanks so much.

Bobbie Allgood
Omaha, Nebraska

Julia G. - December 11, 2014 - 10:52 am

Congratulations on the magazine photo shoot. It will be worth waiting until next year to see your Christmas present! And I loved looking at your Christmas past post!

Debi - December 11, 2014 - 3:07 pm

I hope you are recovering it is a slowprocess, in spite of that, your home is just lovely, enjoy your blog very much. Bets wishes for happy holidays but most of all a speedy recovery your home is lovely

Peggy - December 11, 2014 - 9:04 pm

I love your decorating no matter what year!

Lynne - December 11, 2014 - 10:25 pm

Congratulations on being chosen! Your home is beautiful…warm and inviting! I am inspired by your decorating style and will look forward to seeing your home featured in BH&G magazine.
I hope you are feeling better and that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Pat Peele - December 12, 2014 - 11:34 am

Tha chalkboards are always a lovely touch especially as I was a teacher for many years with chalkboard before we had whiteboards. The ‘ghosts’ of years past are still an inspiration. I will be using blue and white this year with many ornaments we purchased in New Zealand and our travels around the world.
Merry Christmas.

JenniferfromVA - December 12, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Past, present or future…doesn’t matter to me I ADORE your house and style!!! Merry Christmas!

Maureen - December 12, 2014 - 7:21 pm

You can post these same pictures EVERY year and I would still enjoy them….there’s so much detail in each picture…it’s eye candy just savoring the prettiness!

Courtney - December 13, 2014 - 12:53 am

Congratulations! How exciting! I love your holiday photos– your home is so warm and inspirational! I adore the cozy touches that you have put throughout your home. Merry Christmas!

Kelly - December 14, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Kelly, no matter what year, past, present, or future, I love your house best of all.


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