Christmas cooking

Carol ImageWelcome to Always the Holidays! My name is Carol Speake, and I’m the founder of Always the Holidays, a place to learn about all of the holidays that happen each year, as well as the National Days that happen each day.

At Always the Holidays, it is really my hope that I can help others to discover what is so special about each day of the year.  I will show you how to cook so that holiday entertaining is a special time for you and your family and friends.

I have loved holidays since I was a little girl. I am happiest when I am recycling something into a holiday craft, cooking a recipe to share with friends for a special day and finding ways to incorporate garden projects in a holiday styled way.

I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures. Upon returning to the USA, I started a series of blog that now occupy my time.

I am a full time blogger, a self taught cook, a long time creator of fun holiday projects and a family taught gardener.

About Always the Holidays

This blog started late in 2013 as a hobby, and is the third of my blogs to hit the internet. Initially, I used it as a way to share my holiday creations and recipes with my family and friends. At the time, I had an online jewelry store and wanted a more creative outlet.  

Little did I know then, how much I would love to photograph and work with photo editing, creating recipes and giving holiday advice to a growing following of like minded readers.

As my photography skills improved, so did my readership.  Now, just a few years later, I have turned Always the Holidays and two other blogs into my full time occupation.

Crafting for the holidays

My first love is making Christmas projects to decorate our home.   I watched my mother, who was always busy with a family of six children and a husband most often working away. It seemed she was always creating something for the holidays.This Christmas ornament door hanger is perfect for front doors that have an oval glass panel in them. This type of door makes a round wreath look odd.

Her love of creativity was addictive to me and I was soon doing my own versions along side her. We crafted our way through a dozen years of holidays and I continued this love after leaving home.

My own daughter loves to see what I have come up with for a new creation when she returns home for the holidays each year!

Holiday Cooking

Another of my loves is cooking for the holidays.  Once again, this love formed when I was young.  I have always loved experimenting with new recipes.  I’m not a person who cooks with recipes, even though I provide them all here on my blog. 

I love to add a bit of this and a bit of that and see how it works out.  Some are successful and some, well, not so much, but it’s all fun.  I told my daughter the other day “the way you learn to cook, is to cook!”

Many of my recipes have been featured on both Food Gawker and Taste Spotting.  Recipes made especially for the holidays are always a hit with readers of this blog and with my family and friends, as well.

I have many recipes on Always the Holidays, but one of my other sites – Recipes Just 4U – focuses only on recipes. 

Holiday Gardening

My third, and main, love is gardening.  Basically, anything to do with making the outside of my home interests me.  I especially love to transform areas of my home in need of some loving TLC. 

Combining holidays and gardening takes thinking outside of the box, particularly during the last part of the year when it it is so cold. But where there is a will, there is a way!

pointsettia and candy canesWhile you will find some gardening posts on Always the Holidays, particularly those related to National Days, my main gardening posts can be found on The Gardening Cook, my main website.

National Days of the Year

One thing that I discovered early on is that when the holidays end after Christmas, it’s a long time before they come again. What to do with all those days of the year?

It didn’t take me long to figure out a way to incorporate them into my love of writing. National Days of the Year was the answer. There are close to 2000 of them each year, and every day of the year has several associated with them.

Managing three blogs is so much of a full time job that I had little time for other areas in my life. When my daughter joined the writing team at Always the Holidays, she became the main writer for Always the Holidays.

About the Author

Like mother, like daughter! My daughter, Jess Speake, works as a proofreader and main author of posts on Always the Holidays. Jess is an accomplished writer and brings a more youthful touch to the articles on this site.

Jess author photoAbout the author

Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food drink and film industry topics. Jess also owns and operates the website Jess Explains It All.

Be sure to visit Jess’ website to find out more about her. She talks about many of the same topics that I do, but also has her own interests as well, and it’s a great blog.  You can also find her on Facebook at Jess Explains it all.

Find me on Social Media.

I am very active on social media, where I have a very engaged following of over 120,000 fans. These are my four major social media channels.

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram

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Get the best of Always The Holidays delivered straight to your email! When ever I write a new post I will give you a few paragraphs telling you what the post is about and send it directly to your email inbox. It arrives only when I have added something new to my site and as always, you can opt out if you find you do not wish to keep receiving it.

Always The Holidays Newsletter

Always The Holidays will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates on website posts.  The newsletter will allow you to catch up on the best of a huge variety of seasonal recipes, DIY projects, information about national days, and fun decor ideas.

Looking for something to decorate for the holidays, or just to have some fun for the weekend?  This email will give you some inspiration.

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