Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Archive for 'Christmas'

Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Four

Day 22: Harry Potter Bookmarks (And a book!)
Since moving to the island two years ago, we needed to come up with new traditions of our own. One of the traditions we adopted is the Icelandic ritual of giving books and chocolate on Christmas Eve. But you could give out books a couple days early. Especially […]


Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Three

We’ve just finished the Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Two, so now it’s on to Week Three.
Day 15: Levitating Lemon Drops
I bought a good-sized bag of lemon drops on Amazon and made simple “Levitating Lemon Drops” print-outs. And then I just filled four of the incredibly useful clear cellophane bags that I keep on hand, […]


Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Two

We’re picking up right from where we left off in the Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week One.
Day 8: Apparating Game
Ask your kids: “If you could apparate to anywhere in the world, where would it be?” You can use a map, books, or go online to find ideas or do some exploring. Or, if you have […]


Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week One

Our Advent Box has been at the heart of our Christmas celebrations since the kids were small. They’d take turns opening the doors to reveal Hershey’s Kisses and a little slip of paper with anything from a joke to directions for a Christmas project or the announcement of a fun outing or party taking place […]


Christmas Favorites

Happy Epiphany! Since it’s still officially the Christmas season (for a few more minutes, anyway), is it all right if I share some of our favorite things from Christmas this year?
First up are these Gingerbread Cities from Better Homes and Gardens. We made one for ourselves and a few to give away. They took some […]


Snowman Gum

There’s so much to talk about and an entire year to plan for and think about, but before launching into any of that I have to show you the Snowman Gum. A young lady in Will’s class gave these to everyone for Christmas and I think they’re the cutest things ever. We only had time […]


DIY Pinecone Fire Starters

I spotted these pinecone fire starters in Hallmark’s The Christmas Book by Heidi Tyline King. Even though they looked simple enough (there was just a photo and some loose instructions), it took me awhile to get everything together. Which is why I’m posting about the fire starters after Christmas instead of before. But now we […]


Holiday Fun / Games for Groups

“Were there Uncles like in our house?” “There are always Uncles at Christmas. The same Uncles.”
—from A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
My favorite holidays are a combination of the old and the new. There are traditions I can’t imagine doing without, like the Advent Box and Grandma’s cornflake cookies. But at the same time […]


Christmas Bliss / KitchenAid Mixer

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve wanted a KitchenAid stand mixer for as long as I can remember. Something about that solid hunk of metal says “Serious Cook” to me like nothing else. And this year I finally got one, thanks to my sweet husband and a well-planned strategy using a pre-Christmas sale, […]


Merry Christmas from the Taylors!

It’s evening on Christmas Day and I’m feeling thankful for so many things. For friends who bring fun and excitement to every occasion. For family who can always be counted on to make the season bright. For children who gasp with excitement at beautiful Christmas lights and stockings filled to the brim. For a husband […]

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