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Happy Holidays From My Family And The EHD Team…And A Big THANK YOU.


WE MADE IT. Despite the fact that we started decorating November 1st the holidays once again FLEW so fast and here we are – with too many presents to wrap, meals to prep and movies to watch (I’m WAY behind and have a lot of catching up to do over break, thanks Caitlin for the movie roundup). Every woman/mom out there I know is dripping with exhaustion and ready for an excuse to watch good/bad movies, cuddle with literally anything and maybe just stare at a wall while, say, a 5 year old performs ‘salon’ on her head (it’s a pretty great manipulation tactic to get your kids to play with your hair for 1/2 hour). 2020 was transformative both personally and universally and my self reflection muscle is pulsing with excitement to analyze the year, but I’m staving it off, making it wait just a few more days so I can figure out how to zoom with Santa and make my own egg nog.

Christmas this year will be different for everyone – some being able to isolate and insulate, and others having to work hard to help our country heal, both preventatively and frantically. If you work in healthcare, THANK YOU.

I want to give a HUGE THANKS to my incredible team who adapted quickly and helped us survive in the digital world (and made working still fun). I’m talking to you Jess, Caitlin, Mal, Ryann for being here and working so hard with a positive attitude. And they weren’t alone – all of our contributors, both former EHD (that all still work together – I could cry – Sara, Julie, Veronica, Velinda, Orlando, Erik, Emily B. and Arlyn) and new contributors Lea, Albie, Rashida, Malcolm, Ajai and Key. Collectively they have really helped me transform this from an unsustainable personal blog to a more dynamic community supported site with a wide variety of daily content. My team and all our contributors have made this a place I truly look forward to coming every day to read, laugh, learn and get inspired and we have much more in store for 2021. THANK YOU EHD FAMILY.

And lastly THANK YOU, our readers who have hung with us loyally through what has been inarguably one of the most challenging years of your/our lives, perhaps in recorded history. I’m fully appreciating how much time I get with my family, while my kids are so young and actually WANT to hang out with me, but BOY are we excited to move to Portland and start school next year. Speaking of …

We closed on our property in Oregon this week (phew) and after some fun new years roundup posts (most popular blog posts, most pinned photos, etc) we’ll come back in 2021 with two big project launches (not immediately, but expect early January). Who knows what 2021 has in store for us all but with a vaccine and a new president the EHD team and my family are feeling very hopeful that things are looking up. Regardless we’ll be here to distract, relate, commune, and support you and each other. I might even try to entertain you with my ‘lash journey’ and Brian keeps threatening to write about his SIX NEW TATTOOS and ongoing hilarious midlife crisis that led him to tracking down his 1980’s high school truck, amongst design content of course.

Also y’all, I’m going to need some advice on chickens and alpacas and yes, that is a hint on where my family is headed next year. More to come in 2021 so for now, have a happy, happy, happy holiday and consider this one huge hug from my family and the EHD family to you and yours. Thank you for being here. Seriously. Thank you. xxxxxxxxxxx

Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Our Scandinavian (And Easy, Mess-Free) Holiday Living Room Reveal + How I Finally Figured Out My Biggest Styling Problem… And Solved It

Fin Mark


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Mary Beth

This blog is my first stop when I turn my computer on in the morning. You and your team always pull through to distract me from the news. All of your future plans sound exciting and I am looking forward to reading about them. Merry Christmas to all from Minnesota!

Kelli Smith

I’ve raised chickens. You need to keep in mind they only lay eggs for 2-3 years, but they live for about 10 years. If you get a large brood all at once, you will have more eggs than you can eat for 3 years, then no eggs and just chicken pets for the next seven. Also, chicken poop is a real mess to clean up, and they will poop in their coop, so you have to clean it up. They are fun to raise, to be sure, and can be great pets for kids, but please educate yourself before you jump in.


I grew up in the country. We had chickens (and cows over the back fence. Not ours. We were townies. But #96 came rushing to the fence when it was home-from-school-time. She was so like a dog. Fun fact, cows and dogs smell exactly the same when they’re wet!! lol)
The “girls” (aka: chooks) and #96 are why I became vegetarian at the age of 7… much to my parents’ dismay. I have been since and will remain such until my demise.

I. Could. Not. Eat. My. Pets.
Let’s just say, I became adept at going to bed instead of eating other beings, just because of how they tasted.
Everyone thpught it was a ‘sensitive’ passing phase.
Nope. Same. Same. And always will be. It just is. 😏

So, yeah, if you have chickens as pets, prepare yourselves to love them after they stop laying. They make fabulous pets and are quirky, individual characters when you get to know them.

(Oh yeah, and don’t Alpacas spit? Hahaha 🤣)


Chickens are the easiest animal I’ve ever taken care of. But you have to be careful with kids – they have to wash hands after holding them, etc. or risk salmonella/other illness. We free range ours (we have a lot of acreage), which on the plus side means they eat our ticks (big concern here in the northeast where lyme is everywhere and is the main reason we got them – they are remarkable on this front), but on the downside means they’re susceptible to predation and poop everywhere. The predation thing is both good and bad. Bad because it’s hard losing an animal – emotionally and on time/money investment. But on the plus side, we’ve never had a flock past their laying years, they live great lives while they’re around, and the kids learn about the circle of life (which has ended up being my surprise #2 reason for liking having chickens! Death is an incredibly difficult thing for kids to understand but after losing a few chickens they understand much better and have remarkable perspective). Don’t think you’ll be saving any money or that eggs taste better. Chickens also don’t lay in the winter nearly as well –… Read more »


Also – forgot to say! – if you get a rooster it can be rough for kids. We got an ‘accidental’ rooster. They try to sex the chicks but sometimes it happens. “Mister Rooster” was a real problem with our kids – jumped on my daughter’s back, very aggressive. Hilariously he always attacked men. We thought it was because he was weirdly protective against all males, only to discover it was because when we told people “avoid the rooster, he’s aggressive,” women would be like, “cool, cool, I won’t mess with the rooster.” Men, though, would immediately go to “check” how aggressive the rooster was, rile him up, and get attacked. Oh, men. Anyway, Mister Rooster went out in a blaze of glory protecting his ladies from a fox. RIP, Mister Rooster.


Alpacas protect other animals from foxes. They literally run them down, and attack them, kicking and biting, not to mention the spitting!
Put the Alpaca pen right next to the chicken coop… or chicken coop inside Alpaca enclosure/run.


Our neighbors out at our land (which we haven’t built on yet, but will soon) have geese, chickens, alpacas, etc. In our area coyotes are pretty common, even the occasional mountain lion, so they have two guard dogs that live with the alpacas to keep the coyotes away. It’s sort of a hilarious “we got the alpacas to guard the chickens, then we got dogs to guard the alpacas…” But I was so pleasantly surprised how clean the alpacas are – the horses across the street smell more than the alpacas even when youre right next to their pen. We love to refer to our neighbors’ house as the petting zoo. Can’t wait to live out there and enjoy it all the time!


Merry Christmas from Texas! I have been following forever and can’t wait for your exciting 2021 content. Have a great holiday season, EHD Team!


We live in Portland and often visited Stoneberg Alpaca Farm located in Hillsboro. It’s such a wonderful place for kids and adults to see and feed alpacas, they might have tips for you. I have been told that you would need 2-3 alpacas and not just one because they are social creatures. Good luck with your move!


CANNOT wait to read more from Brian


Meeeeeee Tooooooo!!!!!!!!😁


Oh, Emily…you have no idea (really!) how much you, your team your blog, has helped me through this year! Beyond Covid, this has been #Shiteyear+. As if the pandemic wasn’t enough, try ending amore than 30 year very unhealthy relationship at the same time.😳 I am massively grateful to be in Australia, for if I was in the US, I don’t think I’d gave been able to say “Finito!” and have the gumption to carry it through, while having to cohabit for 11…more…months. Eich! Anyway, the light is at the end of this protracted, dark, stinky tunnel… and this place has made it easier. It might sound like, ‘Oh yeah, she had some stuff to distract her’. Nope! I dunno what it is exactly…a connection? But I’ve found comfort, solace, like-mindedness (and okay, eye candy) that’ve helped me cope. The social commentary has been astounding… brave, passionate, real, intelligent and compassionate debate about the most important topics. All followed up by you and your (bluddy amazing team) following through and walking your talk. May 2021 be a year of positive change at every level, with a special wish that humanity prevails and diligently focuses on healing our home, Earth. There… Read more »


Merry Christmas Emily & team!!! I’ve read this blog every single day for almost 9 years, and this year especially it has been such a safe haven and something I’ve looked forward to every single solitary day. This whole team, site, and place are magical, and thank YOU (all!) for every single word, photo, and thing you’ve created and shared this year. I hope you know how much of a bright light you/this place are. Sending big hugs back and merry Christmas!! xx


Happy holidays! And THANK YOU and your team for continuing to post on a daily basis. So many home/ lifestyle bloggers have posted less frequently in 2020 (probably because there is less to post about). But, as someone who feels both starved for new content and connections, it’s been refreshing to turn to your blog. I’ve rarely commented on online content prior to this year. But I’ve found that it feels good to have some sense of community, when I can no longer participate in the ways that I’m used to (in person). Looking forward to hopefully more design content in 2021, once we’ve reached a critical mass of vaccinations (here’s hoping, at least).


Sending you a hug from Aussieland x

Roberta Davis

Merry Christmas! Looking forward to all the new things form you in 2021!

Molly Hill

Dipped in over here to read a bit. HI, Roberta!!! 😎

Thank you Emily and team (abundant, awesome commenters too!!!)! As others have stated, this site and the voices who make it the delight that it is, have been a comfort. You all have continually demonstrated how to adapt to changing circumstances. There has been so much change, and while there has been loss, too much loss for too many people, this has been a time to change course (or at least lay the plans for changing course) for the better and for growth.
I am super excited for all the new content, new voices, and new adventures EDH and Co will be serving in the (blessedly ) new year.
Happy, safe, healthy, Holidays to all. XO


Go for the chickens! I love Polish Frizzies, because they lay colored eggs. Some hens have feathers on their heads that look like little hats, and my rooster had crazy mad professor feathers on his head. Alpaca and llamas do spit…..when annoyed, as do goats, but they’re great hiking companions. I guess all the pet animals have quirks…so happy humans don’t(eye roll there)!


Hahaha 🤣
Alpacas make great guard….um…..Alpacas too!
They can be kept with sheep, etc. and chase off foxes, etc.
So, maybe fend off foxes from the chickens(chooks in Aussie)?!
Hilariously, Oscar and Buttercup look juuuuuust a little Alpaca-ish!


Happy Christmas to you all. May 2021 be a better year for all of us.


Congratulations on your new home. When you are ready, you may find this link useful. Many alpaca farms listed. I don’t have alpacas, but have had llamas for 30 years.


Ooooh, Rescue Alpacas?! Hhhmmmm….


Glad you closed on your Portland-ish house. Assuming it’s not Portland proper if you’re going to have alpacas! West Linn?
At any rate, when you build your chicken coop just be sure to try to make it rat-proof. Everyone I know who has chickens also has a massive rat problem because chicken coops = free rat food.
Good luck!


Merry Christmas Emily, Brian & team!!! I’m usually too shy to comment, but I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for you. I’ve read this blog every single day for 8 years. I am the same age as Emily and I also have a young boy and girl so I often feel like your words are exactly what my heart is feeling but can’t find the words to express, especially this year. Thank you for everything you have shared and for bringing so much light and joy to my life. You have helped me so much. I hope you know how special you are. Sending you big hugs and love.

Natalie T.

Dear Emily, your family and EHD team past and present, THANK YOU for creating one of my most favorite places to visit. I’ve been a reader for years, and this year especially has made me an even bigger fan of your work and just who you are as people. Thank you for being good humans even in the face of a pandemic and a very divided nation. You’ve brought so much honesty, joy, thoughtfulness and love to your posts which makes me, in particular, feel so welcome and at peace. It feels like I’m enjoying my morning coffee with friends, instead of feeling pushed into buying the next thing. Especially now when so many of us have been impacted by this pandemic financially, as well as emotionally. Your site provides so much inspiration, and gives us something to enjoy and participate in, and maybe bring a few thoughtful things into our homes to make them cozy as well. Love it. Keep up the amazing work! Happy Holidays and a VERY happy New Year!


Thank you all for helping make 2020 tolerable. I so appreciated the thirty minutes of daily beauty I could look forward to. Have a peaceful, safe, and hopeful holiday.

Pamela Turner

Merry Christmas and thank you to you, your family and the EHD Team! Like many have commented, it has been a virtual shelter to come here emotionally and visually. Best wishes to all for the promise the new year holds. Can’t wait to say “so long, farewell” to 2020.


We just visited our local alpaca farm. The owner has 32 of them. He said they are a herd animal, and a lone alpaca will die within 6 months because they need each other. He said you need a minimum of 3. I know nothing about chickens- we only raised rabbits. But the daily grind of keeping them watered fed, safe from critters, warm from the cold etc etc was much less rewarding than owning our dog who needs the same care but offers love and snuggles in return. Excited to see the new property!


Watch all the amazing instagram videos on @velvetandlinen and soon you’ll be getting pygmy goats, sheep, highland heifers etc… They are all so cute.

We at Ratin digital advertising say happy Christmas to you and your team. and wish you luck for new years.

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