Holiday Wrap Up

Note to self: Must be more creative with wrapping next year, e.g., these packages found on my new favorite blog, ali loves curtis. She has some more great ones here.

Home From the Holidays

After criss-crossing the great state of Georgia for the past week, I think we're finally home to stay. I wanted to post these pictures of my Mom's beautiful mantel. She really took the oranges with cloves idea to the next level.

P.S. Brilliant Asylum--she was totally on top of the squirrel trend last Fall, too!


White Christmas

Back in December 2000, Martha did one of my favorite layouts ever, her White Christmas. It included my favorite wreath of all time, made with white gumdrops. I still love it, but have since given up my seven year quest for that many large white gumdrops.


Juliska Love

I have a bit of an obsession with Juliska. As a matter of fact, I'm hoping there is some waiting under the tree for me next Tuesday morning. Each piece is mouth blown, and incredibly delicate and unique (and supposedly dishwasher-safe, but I don't believe that for a second). So unique in fact, that I was afraid I'd received the wrong glasses as wedding gifts because of their varying heights. Whatever, I love it. The company is only six years old, and has quite a sense of humor.


Olive, The Other Reindeer

Olive is my favorite holiday book, ever. The illustrations make me smile, and parts of the story make me laugh out loud.

How to Avoid a Holiday Meltdown

Meltdowns are not just for two-year olds anymore. When I get down and (family-ed) out during the holidays, I find the only remedy is grilled cheese and tomato soup. Grilled cheese made from Kraft singles and white bread, and this tomato soup, which I promise, is the best ever.


Shabby Chic

A new Shabby Chic opened at Lenox Square not too long ago. While I haven't been in the store, those words came to mind while doing some holiday visiting in South Georgia last weekend. Oh, to think what those houses once were, and hopefully will be again.


Holiday To Do #6

I guess this is the last one. The tree is up, (most of) the gifts are wrapped, and the wreaths are hung. Now all that's left is to actually enjoy it. Maybe with a nice cup of hot chocolate and some really pretty marshmallows.
{images: marie belle, martha stewart, plum pudding}


A North Carolina Christmas, 1872

sorry it's a little blurry

Lee Smith is, absolutely, my favorite author. I've read everything she has ever written, and one time I even wrote her a letter telling her how much her work has meant to me. Her Southern Appalachian characters are real, flawed, and beautiful. I love this passage from her most recent, and one her darker novels, On Agate Hill. Set in North Carolina just after the Civil War, the story is told through the diaries and letters of the characters, a style of which Ms. Smith has achieved complete mastery.


Go Tell It On A Mountain

Episcopal Church

Presbyterian Church

Methodist Church

According to legend, in 1875 two developers drew lines from Chicago to Savannah, and from New Orleans to New York. At their intersection was one of my favorite places in the world, Highlands, North Carolina. While, as the developers hoped, major trade routes did not evolve along those routes, Highlands did become a wonderful summer resort for many southeastern families. A quick trip up there over the weekend reminded me that the Georgia and North Carolina mountains can be just as lovely in the winter. The town doesn't change much, and I'm always enchanted by the churches along Main Street.


Holiday To Do #5

This one is easy; just hang the wreath on the door. Maybe one made of less traditional materials that can hang around through January.
{images: martha stewart, vivaterra, williams sonoma}


Sweet Little Gifts: Pretty Paper

For my wedding, I was not even going to entertain the thought of having letterpress invitations. There were already way too many decisions. Now, however, I am obsessed with it. I especially love the calendars from little tree press and linda & harriet, and the cards from snow & graham, and again, linda & harriet.
P.S. By the way, "sweet little gifts" means under $30.


Keep Your Feet Dry

This may be the year I finally find a pair of wellies under the tree. Even though here in Atlanta we are currently experiencing a severe drought, I'm optimistic that the rain will fall again. Forget the dogs and critters, though, I want the real thing. From my mother's diligent research, tall girls will like Hunter, and the shorter ones (like me) should go for Barbour. I guess the adorable Keri Russell is a bit taller than me.
{images: shopbop, self, orvis}


But Not All Plaids Are Tartan

So I am completely sold on the whole plaid thing this year. Bought a blackwatch dress, now I probably need a little plaid clutch. Might as well wrap up this book, too. I must admit that last year I was tempted to buy a full length plaid taffeta skirt from J. Crew, but unfortunately, I do not own the English estate it needed to go with it.


Sweet Little Gifts: Stylish Books

Mom, Dad, Trey--they're easy. They give me lists. It's the friends, favorite cousins, nieces, that make Christmas shopping so, um, fun. So this year, stylish books for stylish friends: The Goddess Guide (fashion and beauty here and across the pond), The Little Black Book of Style (love the Ruben Toledo drawings), Slim (who doesn't love Cynthia?), and Put On Your Pearls, Girls! (is there any better advice?).
P.S. To those favorite cousins: don't worry, you're still getting silver ornaments.


Holiday To Do #4

Back in the day when I had two (high), four (undergrad), or six (graduate) weeks of school vacation, making a gingerbread house was one of my favorite holiday traditions. Mom and I made those suckers from scratch. Since those vacations are long gone, it's a good thing you can buy ready-to-assemble (or even already assembled) gingerbread houses that seriously cut down on the baking time (zero). Or just slap some graham crackers together with icing, and call it a day.
{images: martha stewart, red envelope}


Holiday To Do #3

New soap in the bathroom is one of my favorite things. These are perfect choices for the holidays, whether you like sweet, spicy, or citrus. Too bad I only have one bathroom.


Museum Quality

Somewhere along the way, holiday cookies went from being child's play to being a canvas of true artists.
{images: eleni's, epicurious, martha stewart}


Holiday To Do #2

Paperwhites have got to be one of the most elegant flowers around, and their heady scent can quickly fill up a room. Martha had a good idea: assemble all the items needed for growing (bulbs, pebbles, vase) and give as a gift.
{images: smith and hawken, martha stewart}


Holiday To Do #1

Want to keep an 8-year old busy during the holidays? Give her a bag of oranges and a box of whole cloves. That's what my mom used to do. I guess that's why today I cannot imagine the holidays without the scent of pomanders.
{images: martha stewart}