Look what made it into the pages of BHG Christmas Ideas Magazine! (and free gift tags)

I’m so pleased to share that our home is featured in the 2015 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine (on newsstands now).

The photos were taken last January.

I know, forever ago. We did our family Christmas like normal last year and then I started fresh with a new tree in a different spot and new greens and decorations created and put out the first week of January.

This is the third time BHG has come to our house to photograph (so crazy) and I love this spread most of all. They sent a photographer and stylist from Iowa all the way to the Pacific Northwest for one day of shooting. The kids were off at ski school with Ryan (until they returned for our family portrait – hence the ruddy faces and messy hairdo on Audrey!) so it was just me and the BHG team.

I always thought that a magazine brought in tons of props and actually styled a house for photos. Perhaps this is true some of the time, but in our experience, the props are minimal. In fact, for this christmas shoot, they didn’t bring a thing. It’s nerve-wracking and affirming all at once to know that magazine people think your style is good enough to publish without the major re-styling by a real stylist.

Molly, the stylist, was there to take care of all the details – moving a pillow or gift or picture just so. I would love her job. She and the photographer work together to get just the right shot (moving the couch at a slight angle, for example, which isn’t detectible in the photo, but makes it look much more open).

At one point we needed to style the center of the dining room table and she asked me to put something together because she wanted it to look like us. See? Super flattering, but also a little stressful. (We went with clear glass apothecary jars filled with sparkly ornaments).

We moved fairly quickly from room to room trying to beat the sun going down in late afternoon. I wasn’t sure what rooms would make it into the magazine and was so excited to see how many photos did make it. I’m sure my style will change over time, so its really fun to have these pictures in print to look back on and remember how things used to look. And also, my grandma is really proud to show her retirement-home friends that her granddaughter’s home is in a magazine :).

As part of the feature, BHG asked me to create printable christmas tags. Of course I said YES and painted these watercolor illustrations.

The tags make the perfect topper for gifts and, best of all, they are free!
tags lights-tag
wreath-tag zig-tag

The tags are now in THE ARCHIVE in a new Christmas section along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!


So here’s to the start of the Holiday Season … CHEERS!

64 Responses to Look what made it into the pages of BHG Christmas Ideas Magazine! (and free gift tags)

  1. Terrell December 1, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    I adore these gift tags – anything watercolor is right up my alley!!! I am over the moon happy for you and your amazing spread in BHG!!!! I cannot wait to pick up a copy of have it as a memento to my FAV blog! You’re so talented and I love how you share your work with your fans!! Have a great one!! and thanks again for these amazing tags!!!

    • emily December 1, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  2. PL Lim November 24, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Congrats! Emily well done; always look forward and enjoy your post. Keep up the good work! Best wishes to you and your family.

  3. Carly November 13, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    Love! Just downloaded the tags. Would you mind sharing the links to the green ribbon you used? I love the color!

    • emily November 23, 2015 at 11:10 am #

      I adore pretty ribbon and these are a few from my collection :) My favorite sources for ribbon are May Arts, Midori and Petersham grosgrain from Ribbon Connections.

  4. Rachel Serene November 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    I love everything you do and always think “what would Emily do?” as I decorate. I live in Iowa right by Meredith Corp. I wish I worked for them so I could fly out and do a shoot of your place :) I agree that your Christmas spread is my favorite BHG shoot so far… I LOVE the living room shot with all the greenery on the mantle.

    • emily November 13, 2015 at 10:27 am #

      Thank you Rachel!

    • Kerri Pape November 23, 2015 at 10:19 am #

      Hi Emily! God has blessed you with such a creative gift and you have such a generous heart! Thank you for the gift tags. Love them. I tried printing mine and the colors didn’t come out right- do you have any suggestions?

  5. Bethany November 11, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    So exciting!! It looks amazing and I’m going to have to pick this issue up!!!

  6. Tay Cutchin Satterfield November 10, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    Congratulations !! How very exciting !! Your home looks wonderful and so inviting. How did BHG find out about you in the first place?

    • emily November 11, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

      We did two other photo shoots with them a few years ago. They initially contacted me from my blog. Super fun!

  7. Katrina Kubo November 10, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    LOVE this!!! So beautiful, and I’m ALL about that fresh cedar garland. May I ask the source for your stockings? Thanks for the tags!

    • emily November 12, 2015 at 10:06 am #

      The stockings are from west elm.

  8. Estela November 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    I am going to try and make the pom poms this holiday, but what do you do with yours? I’m short on storage.
    the layout looks great! congrats!

  9. Jenna November 10, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    That’s awesome!! Congrats, Emily!

  10. Kimberley November 10, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    Hi Emily,
    How exciting! The photos are beautiful and I have added that magazine to my list of things to pick up this week! Your style is amazing and I can see why they did not need props!
    Thank you so much for the tags, they are beautiful too!

  11. Sarah November 9, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

    So exciting!! Everything looks absolutely beautiful! So, will this years Christmas decorations look like this or do you have a completely new plan?

    • emily November 10, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      I’ll probably switch it up a little. I loved how it looked with greens and white and metallics. I try to like red, but it just does’t work for my neutral-loving self! I’d love to do all whites and metallics. We’ll see if my kids will let me get away with having no color!

  12. Heather November 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    Can I just say that I have been looking forward to this magazine for a whole year?! Ever since my two favorite blogs (JDC and City Farmhouse) had to keep their Christmas decor secret for BHG last year. ;) Worth the wait. Thanks for the inspiration. You’ve got talent.

    • emily November 10, 2015 at 10:18 am #

      Thank you Heather! I loved seeing Jennifer’s house too!

  13. Debbie November 9, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

    Emily, I picked up the magazine last week while waiting in line at the fabric store, loved reading the article and all the great pics. Now it makes it even better reading your blog today about the behind the scene details! Thank you for being so generous with the free printout tags, awesome!
    Your style is so clean, fresh, warm, with so many wonderful idea’s to think about using… thank you!
    Hugs, Debbie

  14. Auntie November 9, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    So awesome Emily!! Can’t wait to see the magazine and brag to all my friends! Proud of you. ?

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

      Thanks Auntie :)

  15. jane November 9, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    I will pick this up tomorrow – congrats!
    I have to add that I so enjoy your blog.
    Thanks for sharing your talents!!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

      Thank you so much Jane!

  16. jane November 9, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    I will pick this up tomorrow. Congrats! I love the tags.
    I have to add that I really enjoy your blog – thanks for sharing your talents.

  17. Elise November 9, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    The snowflake wall barely made it in!! ? Congratulations on your feature!

  18. Judy H. November 9, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    Emily! Guess what! Just today I was on Pinterest and pinned your Advent board from last year, I love it! Everything with you and your creatvity just keeps getting better!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

      So kind of you. Thank you!

  19. Monica November 9, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    Looks so beautiful, festive, warm and inviting! Congratulations on your third time in BHG!!

  20. Jessica November 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    It’s funny that we have never met but I have been following your blog since the beginning and seeing the success you are having makes me feel proud…proud like a sister or a good friend would be. All of your hard work and dedication has paid off and I’m happy to see you running such a successful business. You are an inspiration!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

      Thank you Jessica! I love how this blog has impacted our lives and opened doors for our family. And that I get to meet fun friends like you!

  21. Jackie November 9, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    How exciting! I love reading your blog and was happy (but not surprised) to see BHG had the good taste to choose your home…Happy day!

  22. Margo November 9, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    Thank you. The tags a lovely, soft and mellow water colour, just gorgeous.

  23. Lorrie Everitt November 9, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    I bought this magazine last week. I picked it up while I was in line at the grocery store and ended up buying it because I loved the pictures of your home. I realized when I got home and read the magazine that it was YOUR home – I have been following your blog for a long time and now following you on Instagram. Love your style and your art. Cong!rats

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      How funny! Thanks for reading.

  24. Jeanne November 9, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

    Congratulations! What an exciting and beautiful home. The home across the street from me growing up was a feature in Better Homes and Gardens…brings back memories. Thank you again for sharing your home and design ideas. You are an inspiration to so many!

  25. debra myrick November 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Gorgeous!!! Congrats. I don’t see the new tags on the website.

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you!

      Try clicking control R or cmmd R on your keyboard to refresh the page. Sometimes there is a caching issue.

  26. Nina November 9, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    Giiirrrllll. So proud of you! Can’t wait to go buy the magazine and proudly display/copy everything. xo

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      Thanks Nina :)

  27. Jenn November 9, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    Emily, such beautiful photos! I love seeing your house evolve over time and love your style! Good work :)

  28. Brianna November 9, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Beautiful article and home! I have so enjoyed your blog…so many inspirations!! May I ask where the gsrland above your fireplace is from? Looking for something more natural. Thank you!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      Thanks Brianna!

      The garland is fresh cedar garland from costco (or maybe the tree farm? I can’t remember!)

  29. Leslie November 9, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    What a wonderful spread of your beautiful style and talent. Such joy and delight shines through you using your gifts. So happy for you!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      Thank you Leslie

  30. Shelley @ Calypso in the Country November 9, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    Congratulations! I just bought the magazine last week and was so inspired by all the beautiful Christmas decor. You did an amazing job and your house looks gorgeous!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      It’s a great issue filled with so many different ideas and styles.

  31. Laurie November 9, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Congratulations! Thank you for making the gift tags available – i love them!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      Aren’t they cute?!! Glad you like them.

  32. Nicole November 9, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    Congratulations! So well deserved! You have fabulous style and I adore keeping up with your blog!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 10:30 am #

      Thank you Nicole!

  33. paige November 9, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    i just absolutely LOVE it all!!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 10:30 am #

      Thanks Paige :)

  34. Megab November 9, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    …..and to believe we can say we knew you when…..you were a simple blogger writing about your loves both people and things!! So not surprised by your success Emily!! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer girl!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 10:31 am #

      Ah, that is so sweet. Still that same simple blogger writing about my favorites :) Thanks for being a wonderful reader-friend!

  35. Colette November 9, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Congratulations Emily! Love, love, love your style!

  36. Jen @ RamblingRenovators November 9, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    The spread looks wonderful! How flattering to not only have your home style but your artwork in the magazine. Congratulations!

  37. Ardith November 9, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    What a beautiful layout! Congratulations on the article, Emily. And thank you for sharing your gorgeous Christmas tags. I love the water color technique. Cheers and Happy Holiday season, Ardith

  38. Julia November 9, 2015 at 7:08 am #

    Emily, you are so deserving of this feature! I love, love your style! You are uber talented! Congratulations!!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 9:28 am #

      Thank you Julia!

  39. pamela November 9, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    gorgeous! congratulations and merriest of wishes for this holiday season!

  40. Alicia @ Investing Love November 9, 2015 at 5:45 am #

    This is gorgeous, Emily! Your style is impeccable. Congrats on the huge spread!!

    • emily November 9, 2015 at 9:28 am #

      Thank you :)

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