Christmas House Tour.


I managed to get outside to take pictures just a day before the great snowfall of December 2013 hit my neck of the woods.

People automatically assume that if you’re in Canada you have a white Christmas, but where I am in Southern Ontario, there’s actually very little chance of a white Christmas, and if there is snow, it’s usually just a dusting.


This was not a dusting.  And it had me seriously regretting not making more of an effort to go and get my snowblower from where I store it at my mothers.  I experimented with making a snowblower out of 3 hairdryers, a pile of rope and a remote control Tonka truck.  It was an unsuccessful experiment.

Behold the pre-storm outdoor Christmas shots …



You can no longer see this wood pile.  This wood pile now resembles a ski hill.





You can also no longer see the chickens.



Back Door


Gathering Wood


That wood you see me gathering got me through the storm.  Well, not that single armful, many armfuls.  I’d go outside in the freezing cold, shovel, shovel, shovel … then come inside, strip my wet mitts and hat off and sit by the fire until I dried out.  Then an hour later, I’d do it all over again, punctuating every other trip with a hot dog roasted on the fire.  Come to think of it, it was actually the hot dogs that got me through the storm.

And my neighbour, who in fact, did all my shovelling as I stood playing with a Tonka truck.



  1. Lesley Williamson says:

    Your place looks beautiful! If you need some snow over Christmas let me know – be glad to ship some down from Midland. I have already run out of places to put it. Seriously. Just ask.

  2. Marti says:

    God bless that neighbor! Where are the mitts? I was about to ask if you had tan coloured (<—Ca spelling) gloves, but then you said "mitts" and I thought "Oh no! KB is shivering in the cold and probably got her fingers stuck on her Tonka truck."

    Thank heaven for that neighbor…

  3. Jebberjay says:

    Gorgeous decorations. You have mighty fine taste, Karen B. 🙂

  4. Jean Thomson says:

    Are you terrific or what! Love you! We store our wood in the garage…it’s a pain!…but we also have some in the cellar…for those nights when we just can’t face going out in the snow/wind/cold. Love from Maine!

  5. Grammy says:

    I’m not good with snow. Don’t like to be in it. But the amount of snow in your pictures is exactly the correct amount of snow everyone should get at Christmastime. Beautiful. Perfect. Your outdoor decorations are scrumptious. Instead of being jealous, I’ve decided to be magnanimous and wish you a Merry Christmas. Under all that new snow I don’t have to see or shovel. Ho ho ho!

  6. victoria says:

    It’s all beautiful!! What kind of tree is that in the last picture (with you pictured) ?

  7. Karen says:

    Hah! No. NO. I’m currently looking at about a foot of snow. And I too have nowhere to put it. Plus this weekend there are 2 storms coming in. Which will either be rain, snow, sleet or freezing rain. The weathermen won’t know until it has actually been falling for around 7 hours. ~ karen!

  8. Bernard Bryant says:

    Where are the pictures of the great Tonka Truck experiment?

    Or will that be the subject for tonight/tomorrow morning ???

  9. Karen says:

    LOL. It has been retired only to be resurrected under the most dire of circumstances. ~ karen

  10. Mike says:

    My outdoor Christmas decorations are a single gourd that got moved from dining table to stoop when I decided fall was over. I’m amazing.

  11. Stephbo says:

    Your place is gorgeous! I have to admit though I was very worried about the chickens. Are they okay in the snow? Feel free to send all of your extra snow to me here in Decatur, Georgia. We never get any

  12. Bernard Bryant says:

    Would 2 feet of fresh snowfall and record low temperatures be considered “dire” enough for said resurrection? I’m just looking for a glimmer of hope to see the big-yellow-truck- contraption-thing-a-ma-bob You devised.

    Perhapos I should just get a hobby.

  13. Jane says:

    Love all your natural decorations…beautiful!! It just looks so inviting! And that was just the right amount of snow in the pictures…..but a foot??? Not so much! Merry Christmas Karen !

  14. shuckclod says:

    The yard looks great. I can not have anything on the porch. The wind will take it away or the deer will eat it. Yes, they do walk on my porch.

  15. SK Farm Girl says:

    Living in the geographical center of Saskatchewan (which to many delusional folks is the far, far north where the Polar bears roam, Igloos are our digs and the preferred mode of transportation is dog-sled – NOT) I try my best to sympathize with you and your ON snow storm. There is a little, tiny bit of me that feels sorry for you and your snowy dilemma . . . Itsy, teeny, weeny, tiny bit – not a lick more! You see it’s been a bitch of a winter for SK thus far – temperatures plummeting in the minus 30 range, with a wind that blows up your skirt that equals anywhere from minus 40 to minus 50 and snowstorms dumping inches upon inches of snow – clearly not a good winter to go panty-less in my apron and Little-House-on-the-Prairie-style dress! I am so over winter – blech, blech, blech!!! S0 to console you and me – did I mention I was narcissistic – I have the ultimate solution! I will move to ON to be your roomy! I will haul the wood in the blustery snowstorm. I will shovel your driveway. I will dutifully “unsnow” the chickens after the storms. I would gladly do all that just to endure ON winter vs. SK winter! Yes! All that if you just let me sit on your front porch, swill wine with your Ma and occasionally let me roast hot dogs on the fire with you! Oh, and I promise to wear panties under my skirt! Cheers!

  16. I used to believe that snow, like paint, could cover a multitude of sins. Now I’ve reached the venerable age when I start to shudder at mere photos of the white stuff. Thank goodness for neighbours (and the fact that our region of the Maritimes was spared the worst of the last three storms 🙂 Merry Everything to you and all your readers, Karen, from northeastern New Brunswick!

  17. molly says:

    I love the earthiness of your decor, so welcoming and warm. Even the front porch looks inviting to stop & sit a spell, except that I know it’s bloody cold. From what sort of establishment do you acquire your burlap? Surely not an expensive crafty spot targeting interior designers. Farm or garden supply? Thanks. Merry Christmas, Karen!

  18. Bre says:

    Beautiful, inside and out. You and your Christmas house! Our fireplace has been on bust for the last week with the weather we’ve been having. Snow and then rain. It’s like shovelling porridge or cement, depending on how long you wait to go out and shovel.

  19. Carol says:

    I want to live at your house 🙂 but only for Christmas. It’s so beautiful, with and without Christmas magic. After that, I’d have to come back to Florida because my thin blood can’t take the cold. Can’t wait for the magazine spread.

  20. Laura Bee says:

    Lovely, your front porch is always my favourite. From the trees down to your floor mat!
    I have the weekend off and all my shopping done – hunkering down & crocheting a few last gifts and building a fort with my kid. Did you stock up on potato chips yet?

  21. mia pratt says:

    Beautiful home, Karen. Stay warm and merry on this Christmas, surrounded by friends and loved ones. Rest up good honey, because spring is just around the corner and the local men have just been biding the appropriate period of civility before they start dropping courtship gifts off on your front porch…bird houses, bottles of homemade wine, photos of himself without a shirt on…a shawl mommy made for his new intended…er, you may need to install some electronic devices, nothing too extreme, perhaps a video cam just for a little help differentiating the hunky well intended from the borderline nuts. Cuz you’re a beautiful woman and an exceptional human being…Cheers!

  22. Rondina says:

    This is the great snowstorm of 2013? I’m in North Texas and got 2.5 inches of ICE. Not snow—ICE. I stocked up on food while the storm began and we were trapped inside for five days. As far as my memory recollects, we have never experienced such a thing. And no pictures of the house. It was a skating rink out there. On day four I took a flat-edged shovel and broke a foot-wide path to the garage and the car. It think it odd that you are in Canada and your normal winter looks very much like mine most of the time.

    The front porch is beautiful, especially the chair. I’ve decided that I need to plant holly. Down here pine wreaths, cedar branches, and holly for decorating are wildly expensive. Two branches of birch wood for $20? No way. Did you make the pillars to hold up the pine garland yourself? Those can be very expensive also.

    It was good to see our friends, the chickens. That gate is still one of my favorite ideas that you have had. Good luck during the shoot.

  23. Jody says:

    Everything looks so festive. I love when people/you decorate the public areas of a home and the private areas that only the home owners get to enjoy. (that kinda sounds weird, but I’m sure you know what I mean)
    What do you do with your pond and fish over the winter? From the photo it looks like the water is still water and not ice.

  24. Reg says:

    Beautiful. I love the elegant simplicity of the displays.

    About that last snow fall. After the driveway is cleared, sometime in the middle of the night the snow plough comes by and leaves an enormous pile worthy of being dubbed a glacier. A pickaxe comes in handy.

  25. Ruth says:


  26. KimC says:

    You have a beautiful outdoor oasis there. From your photos it really looks like a country Christmas scene not an urban neighbouhood! I need you to come out to our little acre in the woods and make it as peacefully festive. Just gorgeous. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas Karen.

  27. says:

    what’s that black shade like thing hanging from a tree in the last pic?

  28. Maggie V says:

    Your place looks lovely Karen. Great job. We have tons of snow here on Buckhorn Lake. Heading to Fundas for Christmas sure hope your snow lasts. I love a white Christmas.

  29. korrine says:

    Love it. Love you. Love it all!

  30. Rose says:

    Your place looks so beautiful. Lovely vignettes all over the place! That’s gotta be fake snow on the window panes of the shed. Should be in a magazine.

  31. Kelly says:

    we live in London On, where we had a 73 cm dump on the last Sunday in November followed by another 20 or so the following Wed. What was fun about that one was hearing from coworkers who live 20 minutes to the south or west that they got NOTHING. After that, the regular 25 cm seems like, well, chicken feed even if you can’t see the chickens. And I suspect Victoria thinking the snow is beautiful means she LIVES in Victoria and doesn’t have to shove.

  32. Deb J says:

    I was surprised to see your wood pile all willy-nilly. Waaaay back when I first discovered you I made my first ever comment on ANY blog to your post about stacking wood. You had just bought some plastic forms that hold 2×4’s. Where did they go? Or did the kitchen reno overtake the wood stacking? Certainly would in my house! Love the decorations by the way. I’m pretty good inside but get lazy outside. Front door/step, some lights – and here in Ottawa – often feet and feet of snow!

  33. Ev says:

    Nice that you gave the girls their own wreath! Maybe hung lower and made out of field corn on the cob would be nice for Christmas morn. Don’t forget to be with them at midnight on Christmas eve-that’s when animals talk, you know. ‘Course, your girls prob talk with you a lot already! Nice pics, thanks.

  34. I love your yard. When I get my own chickens, I am going to decorate their pen too. I just get tired of all the skunks that seem to go hand in hand with chickens here…..which makes me rethink my decision of getting chickens again 🙁 Anyways glad you fared your storm okay. We had another burst yesterday here in southern Alberta. I love winter but come on!!

  35. Sally A. says:

    I am in Green Bay, Wisconsin…supposed to be flying to Texas on Monday…right in the middle of the storm you’re probably talking about! Yippee.

    Your home is GEORGEOUS! I love it!!

  36. Sherri Hanigan says:

    Here in eastern Nebraska we’re scheduled for some freezing rain tonight, which is my least favorite form of winter weather. Give me 6-12″ of snow instead with gale force winds instead and I would be a happy woman. Icy rain collects on the power lines and when they grow heavy we have power outages. We live in a rural area and have our own well. No electricity means no running water and no forced air heat. That means I have to pee in a bucket holding layers of clothing out of the way and poop under a low-hanging branch on one of our trees. I don’t like pooping outside so I tend to avoid it as long as possible, which means I have a tendency to get “backed up” until the power goes back on. We’ve been without power for as long as three days. That’s a long time with no pooping. The aftermath is not pleasant and, at my age, it takes days to get the old plumbing moving freely (I’m still talking about pooping, folks). So…take this icy weather and shove it! Not you, Karen. I don’t want you to shove anything. In fact, forget I used that phrase at all. I’ve read your blog long enough to know that once an idea is planted in your head, you will eventually bring it to fruition. No shoving anything, please. I don’t want you to get hurt. If you get hurt, you might have to skip writing your blog posts for a while and I couldn’t take that. Not with this impending freezing rain. Really.

  37. Anna Starner says:

    I love your outdoor decor. How about a little info on the trellis with the greens and lights? I would also take a visit next November and you could show me how in person. I guess out figured out I love the trellis with the lights and garland (is that what you used?) and will be copying them here in Central PA next year.

  38. Lynn says:

    Unbelievably gorgeous… (quite like you). Please tell me you “painted” the snow on the windows of the coop. If not, Jack Frost has a crush on you.

  39. Karen says:

    You really are. ~ karen

  40. Karen says:

    Hah! Oh I know. Saskatchewan winters are gross. On the upside, they’re only 8 months long. ~ karen!

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Molly – The burlap is from my local garden store. 50 cents a foot or something like that … and it’s really wide. Good deal. ~ karen!

  42. Karen says:

    I hope to get out today for potato chips before the next storms come in, lol. ~ karen!

  43. Karen says:

    Aw, well thanks Mia! But I’m liking this being alone for now. 🙂 Unless of course the shawl is REALLY nice. ~ karen

  44. Karen says:

    Rondina – Oh no … these pictures were taken well before the storm hit. 🙂 There’s currently a foot of snow outside and another few inches coming, just ahead of ANOTHER storm which apparently is going to bring 2 days of freezing rain. So don’t worry, lol. I heard about YOUR storm on the news by the way. It was terrible! ~ karen

  45. Karen says:

    Hi Jody – I keep a pump running in the pond so the constant swirling water keeps it from freezing, so the fish just go into their weird little fish hibernation thing at the bottom of the pond and they’re fine. ~ karen!

  46. Karen says:

    Thanks Rose! And yup. That’s fake snow. I put it on the panes for fun and I actually really like it. I’m not sure if you’re kidding about the magazine spread or not, lol. You see, I did a post on Monday announcing that Canadian Living magazine was coming to shoot the inside and outside of my house for their December 2014 Christmas issue. ~ karen!

  47. Karen says:

    Yeah. London is in a bit of a funny location isn’t it. It’s at the centre of all systems. They call this general area the snow belt, so I guess London would be the snow belt buckle. ~ karen

  48. Karen says:

    Hi Deb J – The wood had only been delivered a day earlier. I got it moved from the road to the backyard and the next step was stacking it. It’s almost stacked now, and more is arriving on the weekend. 🙂 ~ karen!

  49. Karen says:

    Hmmm … shove it … that’s got me to thinking … Yup! It seems dangerous but I’M GONNA TRY IT! Thanks Sherri! Wish me luck! ~ karen

  50. Amy Watson says:

    Karen, I have not followed you for very long, and have NEVER been a ” blog” person, but I just love your blog, your sense of humor is very much like mine, and l love….love… your house and chickens and chicken coop, being a South Georgia gal transplanted here in Fl. for a few years, I have met a few Canadians, and l think you are really a Southerner underneath, l mean with the chickens and bacon and cussing like a sailor, you would fit right in, just sayin’. 🙂

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