a change of scenery.

Some favourite moments from Camp Arnes in October. 

Not Pictured:
  • Backpacks and garbage bags piled up to the ceiling on The Little Bus Who (barely) Could
  • Boys jumping in the lake. In the minus twenty. At night. For the last cookie. 
  • S'mores in the dining hall. 
  • Girl talk in Room Seven.
  • Evenings for courage and crying together.
  • Dutch Blitz madness.
Summers at Arnes are summers from my childhood. This year we came at the root of winter. Old friends, new friends, and old friends who became new friends once more; they fuelled the weeks to come. I feel like when we 'just need to get away', it's not the people we need to get away from. Sometimes we just need a change of scenery to change our perspectives. 



a German Christmas market

Does it get more Christmassy than the Christmas market in Munich, with the smells of gluhwein and lebkuchen, and the soft glow of Christmas lights, and the light flurries of snow that sticks? They are such a festive treat. On Sundays, all the shops are closed in the city, and there's such a relaxed and truly joyful feel in the air. Families wander around markets with hot pancakes to warm up their cold hands, and everyone is ready to chat to you. There is something beautiful everywhere you look, and rich colours that look even better against the bleak December landscape. It's everything December ought to be.



campfire bars (in jars)

'Tis the season for indulging in sweets, right? This recipe isn't very healthy per se but I can confirm it is one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted and that it makes a great, easy holiday gift. You can put it all together in a jar, make it look pretty, and deliver it to someone you're thankful for and they can make it whenever they want.


Campfire Bars

1 cup (3 full sheets) graham crackers pieces, each about 1 inch square
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

To make the mix: In a 1 quart jar, layer the graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate and peanut butter chips, and brown sugar, pressing down gently, as needed, to fit all the ingredients. Seal with a lid, decorate if desired (we used a festive cupcake liner here), and add a label with the following instructions:

To make the bars: You will need 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C. Very lightly coat the sides of an 8 inch square pan with cooking spray.

Pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl, mixing them up a bit. Add the melted butter, and stir until everything is evenly coated and distributed. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars and serving. This makes 9 to 18 bars, depending on how big you cut them.


Of course, if you don't want to give it to anyone, you could always just forgo the jar, throw all the ingredients in the pan and bake it straight away. I'd definitely be understanding.

Happy holidays!



a winter mixtape.

This month's playlist is one of my favorites- and not because I like Christmas music. In fact, I shy away from Christmas music as long as I can. The reason I like this mixtape so much is because it's such a clear picture of the different personalities of the six of us who run this website. We have the more traditional Christmas music. The typical Mariah Carey can't-get-it-out-of-your-head songs. The songs that aren't Christmas songs, but fit the theme perfectly. While I was preparing this playlist, I realized how thankful I am for the five other girls who sent me songs for this playlist. Thanksgiving is over and it's Christmas season now, but we never did do a thankful type post on here. So here it is: I'm thankful for Libby and Kendall and Hannah and Abbey and Carlotta. Thankful for their friendship, and their impeccable taste in music. You can listen to the mixtape here

EDITED: Katie is going to put the playlist on grooveshark later, but until then, here's a list of the songs. --Carlotta

+ Silent Night//Stevie Nicks
+ White Christmas//Bing Crosby
+ Hallelujah//Handel's Messiah
+ Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas//Sarah McLachlan
+ You Make Me Feel So Young//Frank Sinatra
+ Santa Claus is Coming to Town//Nat King Cole
+ All I Want for Christmas is You//Mariah Carey
+ Barcarola (You Must be a Christmas Tree)//Sufjan Stevens
+ Baby, It's Cold Outside//She & Him
+ Christmas Day (I Wish I Was Surfing)//Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler
+ Coldest Days//The Rural Alberta Advantage
+ I'll Be Home for Christmas//She & Him
+ White Winter Hymnal//Fleet Foxes
+ All That I Want//The Weepies
+ Stubborn Love//The Lumineers
+ Winter Song//Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
+ Blood Bank//Bon Iver
+ Horchata//Vampire Weekend
+ Zombie Christmas//Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler


christmas waves a magic wand

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." Norman Vincent Peale

Wave a magic wand over your Christmas season: Drink some hot chocolate with copious amounts of marshmallow, turn up Christmas tunes extra loud and sing along, do a random act of kindness, hang up a string of lights in your room, bake Christmas cookies, watch The Grinch, decorate your home, listen to Handel's Messiah, and drive around town looking at Christmas lights.

Hope your season is off to a lovely start!



december poems

It's been a long time since I've written poetry, but something about this season makes me want to write every story in some kind of poetry.


"make a wish,"
you told me, imagining
that the lights meant something more.

"they're just lights,"
i told you, wondering
why you were such a foolish dreamer.

"wish anyway,"
you told me, looking
up into the dark night sky.

"wish on everything,"
you told me, listing
candles and feathers and falling tinsel.

"it doesn't work though,"
i told you, sighing
and thinking you crazy and confused.

"who says it doesn't?"
you told me, saying
that at christmas anything was possible.


someone once told me
that coco cola changed christmas,
i didn't want to believe that
and i couldn't believe that.
how could one company have all the power?

i put on red lipstick to meet you,
and told you it wasn't for christmas,
not really
and you said christmas wasn't just red and green.
because you had golden decorations, and
how could you define a season by a colour anyway?

this was something i remembered
when i was decorating my house
red and green,
and in the place of a green wreaths and red baubles,
i told stories of family and shared hot chocolate.
isn't this a better way to celebrate?


i have dragon smoke breath,
red woollen mittens,
and a christmas carol stuck in my head.

you have dragon smoke breath too,
but you forgot your gloves,
and you prefer the nutcracker.

our dragon smoke breath
blurred the winter landscape
as we walked home.