Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

This year I wrote a brand new book called Dwelling. Dwelling (due to release in April) reflects my desire to create a home that takes good care of the people who live inside. It’s about considering how you feel in your own dwellings: both home and body.

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

Dwelling is about creating a sanctuary that nurtures you in home and body, so you experience a greater sense of well-being, peace, comfort, and belonging. I believe that feeling well where you dwell involves becoming more aware of what you do or don’t need around you and then making the intentional changes that better support your well-being.

Even with the holidays upon us, I can see how I’m consciously rejecting what feels expected so I can focus on nurturing what I know matters more.

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

Case in point, there are 7 days remaining before Christmas. I have a Christmas tree with lights, but my ornaments are still in the bin. No garland or stockings are hung from my mantel. We have magical paper snowflakes hanging from the ceiling in our kitchen, but there is still a pumpkin wreath on my front door. Oh, and I just realized I haven’t yet removed gourds from my other porch!

There’s still time to ditch the pumpkins, right? I might be evolving my home slowly though the seasons, but I’ve got this. With that said, I will probably still do some sort of mini-Christmas tour here on the blog as I enjoy that (and it is a fun blogging tradition), but I am not making any promises :).

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

After 12 Christmases online (and as one of the original home bloggers), I think it’s safe to say if nothing else, I am consistent about one thing! I seem to default to a gentle collision of simplicity, imperfection and magic in the season. That’s what seems to feel right to me every year. I don’t seem to know how to do this any other way. You’re welcome. Or I’m sorry. This is how I roll.

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

Slipcovered Sofa Source / Specific Sofa Details / Rug / Battery Candles

I don’t know about you, but scrolling through too many images of staged decor or perfect settings online tends to leave me longing to slow down and enjoy the real and tangible already in front of me.

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

That sense of home and reflecting on what this season is all about is what feels sacred and right to me right now.

It’s my son’s last Christmas living under our roof before he officially becomes a college student (how!!!) next fall. It’s amazing how the milestones of the seasons remind you how fleeting time is. I know I will never regret slowing down to focus on what really matters to our family and letting go of the rest.

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

I cannot wait to share my new book with you all! Dwelling is a lovely hardback with inspiration, practical tips, action steps and journal prompts, surrounded by simple illustrations and beautiful hand lettered quotes. I’ll tell you more about it after the holidays!

Dwelling will be released on April 2, but you can actually preorder it right now on Amazon (without charge and lowest price-guaranteed!).

It would actually be a HUGE help to me as an author if you would take a moment to preorder it right now, you won’t be charged for it until it releases. Dwelling will ship when it releases, and note that any preorder gifts or incentives we offer in the new year will apply to your order retroactively. 

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

As long as you are preordering the book, grab yourself another book with Amazon’s limited time save $5 offer! All the details are below.

  • Use promo code GIFTBOOK18 to save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on Books shipped and sold by Amazon.com. Enter code GIFTBOOK18 at checkout. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) December 21, 2018.
  • Pre-order Price Guarantee! Order Dwelling now and if the Amazon.com price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you’ll receive the lowest price.

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

Slow Christmas + announcing my new book Dwelling

How are you savoring what matters most to you in this season, and letting go of the rest? 

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

This post is in partnership with World Market

‘Tis the season to be in the kitchen. Or is that every season? Ha! It’s been two years since we completed our kitchen remodel (well, actually it’s coming up on two years! Our contractor was installing our Dutch door on Christmas eve and the whole space was completed after the new year).

So this will be our second December actually having our kitchen available and ready to use (and decorate!) prior to the holidays. Now it’s the room I look forward to making festive and enjoying the most. One of the first things we did to prepare for our kitchen for winter this year is to go out in search of new Christmas cookie cutters! Priorities, right? We grabbed a few really pretty copper ones in the baking area of World Market. We love collecting cookie cutters, but the real reason we collect them is we love baking (and eating) adorable cookies.

With various gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan family members, our baking habits have changed a wee bit over the years (hahah!) but we’re making it work! We don’t eat many sweets, anyway, but it’s fun to bake together and enjoy an occasional treat.

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Last weekend we had set aside a festive family day. After coffee at one of our favorite coffee shops (Storyville), we visited our local garden center because they are all set up this time of year with so many pretty holiday things (and REINDEER!). Then we came home to bake, decorate the kitchen and watch a movie together!

We had picked up some fun measuring spoons and cups at World Market, too, because most of our old sets were missing parts, so it was time to upgrade our baking tools! Actually, World Market had SO many cute things. A few of them somehow found their way to our cart. ;)

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Green measuring spoons / cookie cutters: one, two, three / Similar rolling pin

We found a gluten-free gingerbread cookie recipe online and then made a few modifications to make them dairy and vegan, too. (I’ll post our version and the link to the original below). They turned out cute. We frosted some of the cookies, so those were extra tasty and everyone in our house was happy to indulge.

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Paper Snowflakes

We intended to decorate our kitchen that day, too, but we ran out of time before our movie! We always think we can do more in a day than we are actually able to do. Anyone else? But we had bought some new jumbo paper stars at World Market so the next day we decided to have some fun with them and create a whimsical star (or snowflake) scene by hanging them above counters. Such a simple idea, but and I have to say they make the kitchen feel quite magical!

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Gluten Free | Dairy Free | Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

We found the original recipe here but modified it, the version we used is below.

Bake 350 degrees for 9 – 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 stick vegan alternative butter (we used 1 ‘Earth Balance vegan buttery stick’ in this recipe)
  • ⅔ cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy.
  3. Add coconut sugar to the butter and beat until fluffy. Then mix in molasses and applesauce until creamy.
  4. Slowly add flour to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat until dough until combined and dough is no longer tacky (or continue to add a tablespoon of flour at a time to the dough until it’s no longer tacky.)
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Roll dough to ⅛”-1/4″ thick between two pieces of parchment paper, or dust surface with a little extra flour.
  7. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet (use parchment paper or coat pan with vegan butter), about an inch or two apart.
  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes (until edges are set).
  9. Let cool and then add icing to decorate!
  10. Icing: Mix powdered sugar + a little non-dairy milk and a little vanilla to make a glue-like consistency.

Decorate: We used a sandwich bag with a small hole to squeeze icing onto our cookies!

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread CookiesCopper Leaf Patterned Boxes

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread CookiesMugs / Plates

The plates and mugs are new, too (all from World Market). I love having adorable plates and cups to use myself, or for special family times or get togethers.

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread CookiesMerry & Bright Cookie Tin

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

World Market had some fun holiday tins and boxes, so we got a few for packing up goodies to give away or send home with guests.

All in all, it was a very festive and tasty couple of days at our house!

What’s your favorite treat to bake around the holidays?

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Winter Kitchen + Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
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