Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays, everyone! We're leaving today to do our annual Tour de Georgia. Perry, Oglethorpe, Montezuma, Canton, Jasper--just a few stops on our list. We'll probably drive about 400 miles and never leave the state!
P.S. This photo can be filed under "not so easy holiday:" cutting down our tree in the freezing rain at Ty-Lyn Plantation.

easy holiday (10): cookies

No time to decorate your freshly-baked (or freshly-bought) gingerbread men? Just sprinkle them with sugar crystals, like Sweet Paul did here (he also posted a gingerbread recipe, too).


easy holiday (9): paper

I try to keep my wrapping paper scheme simple--this year it was supposed to be red, brown, and white. But then of course I ran out and had to throw in some silver, too. I wrapped my special little gifts in the gorgeous hand-printed paper by Rifferaff.
P.S. Emily--that paper was one of my Etsy buys!
P.P.S. If you aren't wearing them, wellies make great wrapping paper stands.


easy holiday (8): ribbon

I think it's easiest when you choose a single ribbon and use it on all packages. I ordered two widths of red and white striped grosgrain ribbon from Ribbon Factory--good price and quick delivery. I'm sure I'll order from them again next year.


easy holiday (7): candy

Decorating with candy is always a good option. Eddie Ross does a great job, and I'd love to have a bowl of those beautiful mints from Sea and Jae (found via Simply Seleta). And how great would these lollipops look just all by themselves?


so sweet

Who knew sugar could be this pretty! If I had these, I'd probably actually use less sugar because I wouldn't want to mess them up. From Poudrier rose, via this is glamorous.


trey: i want this

Since we are tabling that trip to NYC, I'm just going to have to try theses fragrances by ordering online. Le Labo Fragances Discovery Set: Ambrette 9, Fleur d'Oranger 27, and Bergamote 22.
P.S. I love you and hope you get over your cold soon.
P.P.S. And don't forget the lululemon gift card.


easy holiday (6): table runner

I'm more of a table runner than a full-on tablecloth girl--less chance of having to do some serious stain removal if it doesn't have to be too close to the dinner plates. This one would be nice, and proivde a little modern contrast to the family silver and goblets. From amenity, via Design Crush.


holiday to-dos

  1. Make pomanders.
  2. Plant paperwhites.
  3. Buy holiday scented hand soap.
  4. Make a gingerbread house.
  5. Hang a wreath.
  6. Drink hot chocolate.

I'm a little behind this year--so far I'm 1/6. Looks like it's going to be a busy weekend, since all I've done from my annual list is drink hot chocolate. And that gingerbread house is probably not going to happen until I have some live-in help.

{image: better homes and gardens}

easy holiday (5): headband

Since I'm usually just a ponytail girl at night (especially when the static takes over in winter), slipping on a pretty headband like this one would certainly help to dress up my look.
{image: forever21}


easy holiday (4): centerpiece

It usually takes me about 45 seconds to put my red and white striped candles and ornaments in the big platter on my dining room table.


no. 30: gift card

So I'm all out of ideas. So the last one, a perennial favorite, the iTunes gift card. Buy it anywhere and wrap it in a big box.

no. 29: cosmetic bag

You can never have too many cosmetics bags, right? This cute one is $22.50, from Henry Road.

easy holiday (3): monograms

This idea (from Martha) looks pretty easy: use old cards to create monograms for packages. Probably would make passing out gifts on Christmas morning a little bit easier, too.

no. 28: tea towels

Tea towels are always a great hostess gift; I especially like these by Marimekko, set of 2, $25.


no. 27: wish necklace

This wear-it-until-the-string-breaks-and-your-wish-will-come-true necklace would make a sweet gift for a sweet friend. $26, by Dogeared Jewelry.


easy holiday (2): tags

These will be my package labelling tools: a red Sharpie, manila tags, and red and white twine. To make this even easier, you can buy a set of 100 tags and 15 yards of twine right here ($7.50), from Etsy seller Artful Images (that is where I got the pics).

no. 26: kolo album

My current favorite photo album is the Kolo Cortina Lux, available here for $24. Fill it with a few photos of Christmases past and it would make a very thoughtful gift.

no. 25: hable sachets

I have a thing for sachets, and a great gift would be a set of 3 lavender filled sachets from Hable Construction for $30. They have several shapes and colors available.

easy holiday (1): stamps

Instead of trying to get to the post office, I just ordered all of my Christmas Card stamps online. Seriously, it is worth the $1 shipping fee.

no. 24: tiny text bowl

A variety of these tiny bowls are available from Etsy seller Paloma's Nest for $18. Or personalize your own for $20.


happy birthday, trey!

Dear Trey,
Yes, your birthday wish came true. The Jackets are #1 in the state of Georgia (and ahead of the Dawgs in the BCS, too).
Your UGA wife
{image: Johnny Crawford for ajc}


no. 23: personalized playing cards

I've been thinking it might be fun to learn how to play bridge, and maybe I'll give these as a gift to some friends to entice them to join me. These personalized cards are $35 at Horchow, and they are by far the cutest. There are also some monogrammed playing cards available at American Stationery for $24.

no. 22: tocca

Take your pick of these lovelies from Tocca: the Laundry Delicate is $15, the Solid Perfume is $30, and the small Candelina is $16. Or mix and match for a very sweet gift.


no. 21: kiehl's lip balm

For the Kiehl's lip balm addict, a set of three flavored lip balms, $25.50.

no. 20: ana candles

Well, you had to know this one was coming. I think a pair of Ana Candles would be an excellent housewarming gift, as they are the easiest decoration around. At Paper-Source, $22.


no. 19: honey

I remember seeing Bee Raw Honey all over the place last year, and I still can't get it out my head. While the 4 vials/$45 does not adhere to the "30 gifts for $30" policy (but sure does look pretty), you can get a duo for $29, and it would probably be just as (you knew it was coming) sweet.

no. 18: letterpress calendar

Linda and Harriet's letterpress calendar ($24) was my favorite last year, and she's done another great one this year. This is one of those gifts I usually buy in multiples, and make sure to include one for me.

no. 17: personalized spatulas

A thoughtful stocking stuffer for the chef, personalized spatulas, $14 for two at Williams-Sonoma.


no. 16: keepsake box

I've loved the look of sliced timber ever since I saw some little tables like this at Saks one day. And now I'm going to have to up the price limit for these 30 gifts to $35 to include this box, at Cerulean for $35. I think it's worth the extra fiver.


no. 15: jonathan adler ornament

I bought one of these Jonathan Adler ornaments at Pieces last year, and I'm sure I'll buy another this year. They are also available on his website, $24-$28.

no. 14: snail's pace race game

This game is one of my favorites to play with kids, and they really seem to like it, too. Like all Ravesnburger games, it's very durable. $24.95 at Fat Brain Toys.

no. 13: tinkertoys

Don't you think every kid should have a set of these? And the beautiful thing is you don't even have to buy any batteries. At Back to Basics Toys, for $25.99.


no. 12: personalized notepad

These personalized notepads are about as cute as it gets. Four notepads for $30, by Erin Condren.

no. 11: bathing suit bag

This cute little bag lets you get one more swim in the morning before you have you leave the beach after lunch. At Basic French for $20.


lunch at joel

Joel Restaurant (I do not know how to add the accent trema to the "e" in blogger) is one of Atlanta's finer dining establishments. I was reading Eat It, Atlanta (the fun food blog of a friend of a friend) and discovered they are now offering a bistro lunch. I have been salivating over the menu ever since.
P.S. Mom--click on the menu to be able to read it without your glasses.


no. 10: the one hundred

I cannot imagine a better gift for one of your college roommates, the who used to let you borrow all of her clothes without asking (and how lucky that you even wore the same show size?!?). With great illustrations, The One Hundred by Nina Garcia is $17.56 at Barnes and Noble.

no. 9: gien dish

I keep a little Gien dish by my bed for rings, chapstick, quarters, etc. I think this small cake plate, in one of my favorite patterns Oiseaux de Paradis, could serve that same purpose for a friend. I found it at Manor Home and Gifts for $27.

no. 8: l.l. bean tote

It really is hard to beat this bag, the classic boat and tote bag from L.L. Bean. I love that it was originally designed to carry blocks of ice. The large version is $24, plus $6 for monogramming.


your own house of cards

What a great idea, to make your own Eames inspired house of cards. Perfect for photos from a favorite trip. Full instructions over at design*sponge.


no. 7: onion goggles

Some might think this gift sounds a bit silly, but I think it's brilliant. Especially for someone like me, who ends up chopping onions with my eyes closed (not exactly safe, with my ER history). From Violet, these onion goggles come in a couple of other colors for $20.

no. 6: bookplates

Great looking self-adhesive bookplates from Pink Loves Brown. $21 for a set of 24.