As happy as I am to be back in Berlin, I wish I could have spent just a few more days at home, loafing around in my pjs, watching
old home videos with my family, and eating way too many Candle79 frozen dinners (despite my general anti-microwave policy), ordering American Chinese food on multiple occasions, and stuffing my face with all the Mexican food I could get my hands on. The other major highlight of my trip home was, of course, being able to spend quality time with family.

During part of my visit, my mom and I planned some extra mother-daughter time together at a hotel in the Virginia countryside. Escaping for mini-holidays when I am home to visit has sort of become a tradition for us. We arrived the day after Christmas – which is where I found this little gingerbread village created by a local elementary school, still on display in the library. The Tolbert elementary school teachers should definitely be winning teacher-of-the-year awards, because this thing was pretty damn impressive.

I’ve kind of always had a soft spot in my sentimental heart for gingerbread houses. It must be the combination of their amazing aroma and charm. I mean, have you ever seen a gingerbread home that wasn’t charming in some way or another? I’m willing to bet it has a lot to do with them being hand crafted and full of little home-made imperfections. The whole activity of crafting everything together also really appeals to me.

I can already feel myself getting all excited about having a family of my own one day and sitting around the kitchen table building gingerbread houses in the winter with the fire burning and Kenny G’s christmas album obviously playing in the background. Which has got me thinking of an even more immediate plan of action. And this one which doesn’t involve having to get pregnant, experience labor, and raise a my child until he or she is old enough to know not to stick gum drops up his or her nose. A gingerbread bake-off in 2015. Here’s hoping that my friends will be just as enthusiastic about food in the shape of houses as I am.

Photography: Rae Tashman

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Stay conscious, Rae


Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • This whole thing brings back memories of one year when both my brother and I had gingerbread houses for our birthdays, except mine was this huge little cottage and my brother got the best castle ever, with turrets and a portcullis. I was jealous.

    I cannot wait to see what you make gingerbread wise, I love looking at them!

  • Your gingerbread houses are adorable, and I completely agree with you about their aroma and charm. There’s definitely something about the smell that reminds me of my childhood!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

  • Sounds like a nice time with your mum :) I’ve never actually built a gingerbread house myself, are you supposed to eat them afterwards?

  • Stephanie Louise

    Perfect time is spending time with your family! I’m so happy you got to visit home Rae :)
    Happy New Year! x

  • How lovely! It sounds like a charming time spent with your mum and family. I always love to see gingerbread houses made, and this is such a cute one. Some people can make them quite complex too. Happy New Year! xx/Madison

  • Akvile

    beautiful! Would like to do something like that

    • rae

      You should def. try to make one next year! :)

  • How lovely that you got to spend time with family and fill up on Mexican food. Sounds like a wonderful holiday to me.
    Texas Jak

    • rae

      Thanks so much Jak, and yep – Mexican food and family, what could be better?

  • These are beautiful! Although it makes me feel a little bit silly given my gingerbread house disaster earlier in December. I tried to make one with a friend and the whole thing just fell apart – we couldn’t even get it to stand and so we ended up just covering the pieces in candy and eating them separately.

    So glad to hear you had a wonderful time at home with family and food!

    xx Kathryn

    • rae

      I think just the whole nature of building gingerbread houses – creating something with someone you care about and making great memories – is the best part, so the fact that your gingerbread houses didn’t turn out is hardly a problem :) I am sure you guys had an amazing time making them!

      And I really hope you had a lovely new years, lady!

  • Joanne

    These are gorgeous photos! <3

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Joanne!