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Into the 'Embers: The Haus Guerin Guided Practice for the Holiday Seasons

As a dynamic season of hosting and the onset of truly enjoying outdoor fun for most of the southern states, autumn is the end all be all for seasons--for me. But autumn also ushers in the start of what can quickly become a panicked holiday season. Read on to hear my thoughts on readying your home and life for the holidays!

Images by Angela Brown Photography

Without question, I am an autumn. After suffering the hellish season of summer in the Deep South, there is a collective sigh of relief for the cooler weather, lessened humidity and outright death of blood-sucking flying bugs. The ability to enjoy outdoor spaces and also turn on the oven without remorse is cause for celebration for any and all southern belles.

But the falling of the leaves also coincides with what can be the most stressful portion of the year. End of the year deadlines create additional pressures at work, travel is complicated by wintry weather and the overall schedule is ramped up with the razzle-dazzle of added holiday magic. For all its magic and splendor, you've entered the 'embers: September, October, November and December!

Make a List and Check it Twice

Preparing for the holidays often starts with hefty lists, particularly for gift giving. But the first step for anything that involves any planning is taking inventory of what you already have. As an avid serial-crafter, there is a never-ending hoard of supplies at the helm to prepare a quick hostess or teacher gift. After checking to see what is on hand, you can prepare a shopping list of what is needed for your own gift station. Some of my favorites quick and easy, no-fail items for seasonal gifting are beeswax candlesticks, luxury scented candles, nice bottles of wine and boxed treats like candies or chocolates. For more personalized gifts, overnight flowers or a favorite bottle of a specialty liquor drink are clear winners. Need more help? No worries, Haus-mates! Over the entire month of November, Haus Guerin will be publishing a weekly blog of gift-giving guides for you, your home and your loved ones! Stay tuned!

Act Natural | What with all the running around trying to accommodate typical schedules and the added stress of holiday events, this time of year will get hectic. Don't add to the visual clutter of the season by going overboard with faux additions in your home. Instead, layer in natural elements for a visually appealing and soothing touch to your decor.

Oversized branches are great in floor vases or perched on decked out mantels. Large bowls of fruit, dried or otherwise, appear elegant on streamlined tablescapes. A wide variety of gourds and pumpkins can take you away from the typical oranges of Halloween and serve you well through the New Years in pale greens or blush pinks.

The best part about decorating organically is you don't have to store anything when you're finished! Add fresh fruit and vegetables to compost piles and allow branches to decompose naturally when you're done for the season.

Newsflash: You're not angry, you're hungry

At the end of the busy day, week, or month, meal planning takes a hit with all the small bites we consume in the in-between. Make a note to create quality, no-fuss meals that provide the nutrients your body needs--not just the sweets and girl dinners its been forced to consume. Sweet Erica of Simple Garden Kitchen shares many delightful recipes on her site and most only require straightforward pantry-staple ingredients with instructions that can be prepared in under an hour. As someone that promises to make more soups that often never materialize, this recipe ticks all the boxes: It's fast, it's flavorful and it is a complete meal on a miserable day. I am sure that her Savory Italian Tomato Soup with Sourdough Croutons is sure to be an all-season hit.

Images courtesy of Tetiana Photography

A Word from Erica

My approach to food is that it shouldn't be overly fussy. Everyday dinners should be simple and approachable. Made with easy to find ingredients, clear instructions and recipes you would actually make on a regular basis! I gravitate towards recipes that use fresh whole food seasonal ingredients that are big on flavor. I call my recipes healthy-ish! Why? Because I believe most of us desire to eat healthy we just may find it overwhelming or boring. It's all about finding balance. Food should be delicious or why eat it? Healthy food doesn't have to be bland. Also, life without the occasional sweet or treat is boring!

More about Erica Erica is a wonderful cook and florist--my dream duo! Her drink of choice is a good gin cocktail or glass of rose. While Erica grew up in the Midwest, she has lived in the PNW for the last 12 years, splitting her time between Seattle and Milwaukee. Erica enjoys life with her friends, family, rescue Pup Luna, and her cut flower garden. Be sure to give her a follow here!

Stay tuned to read, see and explore more here on Haus Guerin as we lean into the chaos of the holidays this season!


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