My 2017 Christmas Season List

It’s time. It’s time. It’s time.

  1. Watch Christmas movies:
    1.  Elf.
    2. Miracle on 34th Street (original).
    3. Miracle on 34th Street (remake).
    4. White Christmas.
    5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original).
    6. Christmas Vacation.
    7. The Grinch.
    8. The Holiday.
    9. Love Actually.
    10. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer etc.
    11. A Christmas Story.
    12. Home Alone 1 & 2.
    13. It’s A Wonderful Life.
    14. Polar Express.
    15. Mr. Krueger’s Christmas.
    16. A Christmas Memory (1966 Truman Capote).
    17. A Christmas Carol.
    18. The Santa Clause.
    19. A Charlie Brown Christmas.
    20. Holiday Inn. Thoughts after watching: HOLY COW SO RACIALLY INSENSITIVE.
    21. The Shop Around The Corner.
    22. Scrooge.
    23. The Family Stone.
  2. Dress up and go see The Nutcracker.
  3. Go iceskating in Railroad Park.
  4. Bake Christmas cookies and decorate them.
  5. Bake Gingerbread cookies.
  6. Make a list of Christmas goodies to bake for Christmas Day.
  7. Have the cousins come stay for a few days and do all the Christmas things.
  8. Make a wreath.
  9. String garland up around the apartment.
  10. Fill a stocking for James.
  11. Fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, or get a Christmas Angel.
  12. Have friends over for Christmas movies, drinks, games, and treats.
  13. Dress up and attend a Christmas party.
  14. Go antiquing for Christmas decor.
  15. Buy annual ornament.
  16. Buy annual Christmas book.
  17. Frame Christmas art and vintage Christmas cards.
  18. Decorate a Christmas tree.
  19. Have a Snow Day!
  20. Take a drive to see Christmas lights.
  21. Make an ornament.
  22. Send Christmas cards.
  23. Make a holiday playlist.
  24. Eat peppermint ice-cream.
  25. Visit a Christmas tree farm.
  26. Learn something new about a December holiday that I’m unfamiliar with.
  27. Hang a wreath on the front door.
  28. See a Christmas movie at the Alabama Theater, then get dessert and coffee.
  29. Take a “family” picture with James.
  30. Make our annual anniversary video.
  31. Have Trey’s cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.
  32. Go for a winter walk or hike.
  33. Kiss Trey under mistletoe.
  34. Make mom’s hot chocolate.
  35. Read Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.
  36. Color Christmas pictures with Virginia.
  37. Leave goodies for the mailman in the mailbox.
  38. Have a cozy, do next-to-nothing day by the Christmas tree.

See my autumn list, and notice how I didn’t get it all done.

Mini Gift Guide: His Edition

This is a gift guide for brothers, fathers, male friends, cousins, male coworkers, and whoever else. It could be for husbands, too. But, not mine because then he would think that he is getting some of this good stuff and Christmas is a season for secrets and magic, so this is not a gift guide for my husband, though he would love all of this. What a sentence.  Here we go. Scroll over the photos for links.

  1. A fun sweatshirt and t-shirt. I love everything that Bitter Southerner does. Their apparel is perfect for the cool southerners in your life.
  2. Perfect wall art. I love vintage paint by numbers, and this Etsy account has so many options, and there’s something for everyone. This is perfect for that guy in your life that loves antique stores, and all things art.
  3. An educational book about cocktails. I think cookbooks are also always appropriate.
  4. A very, very fun flask.
  5. Socks from Little River Sock Mill. These socks are made in a small mill in Alabama, and are so soft and wonderful. They’re not just socks, they’re special socks.
  6. A perfect flannel. Because flannel is easy to throw on and go, and this is perfect for your brother who tends to wake up a little late, and needs something comfortable and easy to get him through the day.
  7. A dop kit. Perfect for YOUR husband or brother who keeps their toiletries a plastic bag when they travel. Get that fella what he needs.

 

Gift Guide (BFF Edition)

Scroll over the photos for links.

  1. Everlane Giftcard – Something that she won’t buy for herself, but you know that she wants it. She can use it towards the Day Heel that she has been lusting over for months, or a cashmere sweater to warm her heart in January when the Christmas cheer is dwindling.
  2. Jewelry from a local, female maker. – Shop small, and support your lady neighbors. These diamond drop earrings are sexy, simple, and perfect for that friend that likes to keep things low key.
  3. Catbird’s Threadbare Rings. – Perfect for your single or married friends who have everything else. Get her a ring, and get yourself one to match. You both can wear it and think of each other.
  4. Boob Pot. – For your breast friends. She can use it as a planter, a place to hold toothbrushes, makeup brushes, pencils, paintbrushes, spare change, buttons, whatever. It has breasts, and breasts are beautiful. Perfect for your friend that truly doesn’t care what her houseguests think.
  5. A cozy, flattering sweater. – This sweater is so soft and wonderful. The colors are unique, and I guarantee she doesn’t already have one like it in her closet. It has a flattering fit, which will make sure that your girl feels as beautiful as you know her to be.
  6. Ilia Lip Conditioner. – The shade, Bang Bang is my personal favorite. It’s the perfect shade of red that isn’t scary and risky to wear. It’s lightweight, makes your lips feel silky smooth, and smells like cake. Win, win, win. Perfect for your friend that likes to keep things fresh faced.
  7. Incense Matches. – These are the coolest things, and they are so much fun to use. Perfect for stocking stuffers, or buy the whole bunch for a lifetime supply.
  8. Madewell Leather Bag. – As her best friend, you probably know what her handbag needs are. Maybe she is the friend that keeps her debit card and license in her back pocket when she leaves the house. Maybe she is the friend that never uses her wallet. Maybe she is the friend who dumps her bag contents out on the sidewalk when trying to find quarters for the parking meters. Maybe she is all three (like me). Get her a bag that is sure to fit her taste, that she needs, but for some reason isn’t buying for herself.
  9. A biography about a powerful woman. Our best friends are all complete power women, and we are inspired by them daily. Buy her a book that will surely inspire her.
  10. An essential oil diffuser. There are all sorts of different kinds that range in price. Perfect for your friend who has trouble sleeping, or is prone to anxiety, or who isn’t a fan of candles, etc. Perfect for everyone.
  11. A lightweight robe. Perfect for layering over pajamas when the temps turn cold, or perfect for warm summer days around the house. Perfect for homebodies or for your friend who watches makeup videos, has a full eyeshadow menagerie and needs something easy to throw on between the shower and show time.
  12. A perfect, simple gold flask. For your friend that you once sneaked sips with at that dry wedding, or at the family gathering.

Throw something in that online shopping cart for yourself, too. You deserve it.

 

Show and Tell

  1. I spent my entire Sunday baking goodies that I had been wanting to try. I baked these GF Chocolate Spinach Muffins. I believe that I added too much spinach, because they turned out well, looked pretty, but I just get this little twang with every bite. So, they’re just sitting in the fridge, going bad. I know that T won’t eat them if I won’t. So… bummer. I also baked this Paleo Apple Pie. I’ve made some goodies from The Bakerita before, and they are now regulars in our dinner line up. But, maybe I’m just so used to the Caramel Apple Pie that I make, that this one felt too dry to me. I know that it was my fault because I added some pizzazz instead of doing a lattice on top, and it resulted in a very bready, crusty top crust. And, the recipe calls for the remnants of the juices or liquids to be left out of the pie, but, I think I should have added them. So, T won’t mess around with Apple Pie because he hates the texture. SO. It’s all on me to eat this pie that was made with some v. expensive ingredients. So…another bummer. I also made this Zucchini Bread, which turned out so perfect, and rich, and it takes just like a very serious chocolate cake.  BUT, I’m so overwhelmed by all of the other goodies in my fridge that are going to waste, that I just feel guilty only eating this zucchini bread. And, to top it all off, as if baking three specialty treats wasn’t excessive enough for you, I made these Whole Wheat Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies. They looked nothing like the pictures, but T ate them all and raved about them.  There’s a lesson here: Don’t try four new recipes all at once, under any circumstances. Even if I had a lot of people around to eat them, it doesn’t mean that the dishes would actually get eaten. So, while it was fun, and I spent the day exactly how I wanted to spend it…I will be sticking to one recipe at a time from now on.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  2. I’m throwing a potluck Halloween party with a friend this year, and I cannot wait.
  3. Anthropologie’s holiday decor has made me very riled up, which you probably gathered from my last post. But, here are some of my favorites: the merry fishmas ornaments (I don’t understand them, but they make me giggle), this pom wreath (I would rather make my own, but this one is so much fun!), every single one of these pearly glass globe ornaments, all of these mini bulbs, these botanical globe ornaments (I’m planning on making my own), this Cardinal clip ornament. My mom always had bird ornaments clipped onto our Christmas tree, and I know that Papa would have loved this cardinal. This pumpkin pie ornament, and all the other food ornaments (but I don’t really want my Christmas tree covered in food).
  4. Trey and I have started watching Newsroom and we can’t get enough of it.F1F915C9-327F-49FD-8EAE-E6BB29C72EB5
  5. Some of my mornings are spent driving around my city, finding things that I haven’t seen before. A couple of days ago, Trey and I stumbled right up on this little Christmas store that has been around for thirty years. Trey had a long conversation with the sweet, elderly owner about Alabama’s football situation this year (that’s all I can tell you). But, the woman was as knowledgeable as he was, and they had fun together. And, we found this stunning home.

Show and Tell

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  1. I got my biannual haircut, and it’s the exact same haircut that I’ve gotten since I was 12. I haven’t had truly long hair since junior year of college, and no matter what I do, I always go back to this style. It’s my thing. I like it. If only I could master the effortless beachy wave technique.
  2. Andy is in Africa, and I’m ready for him to come home. I plan to go home that weekend, hopefully visit an apple orchard, and really soak up some Florence time. A visit home this time of year always means a trip to Old Baker Farm, a cuppa cider at Coldwater Books, and lots of strolls downtown.
  3. The latest Madewell collection is just so good. I’m not really feeling all the velvet, just because velvet was everywhere last year, but there are plenty of other gorgeous gems. My favorites are the Oversized Jean Jacket with Sherpa Lining. It reminds me of the one my mom wears in the winter. I can practically see her throwing it on to run outside and bring in some firewood. The Plaid Tie-Neck Shirt is beautiful, and very Christmas 1977. It screams Stranger Things and I love it for that. This sweater is fantastic. It drapes just the way you want a sweater to, and it’s perfect for the sweaty, early autumn days. I already bought one.
  4. Paperless Post is one of my all time favorite online shops. I’ve never sent online invites with it, because I’m a true blue snail mail gal. BUT, I used them for my wedding invitations, and I loved them. I love everything that they do, and Trey and I are very serious about planning our children’s birthdays AROUND Halloween, so that we can throw Halloween themed parties. You bet your butt that I’ll be using Paperless Post. Until then, give me any reason to buy things from them and I’ll do it. Go ahead, give me a reason.
  5. I’ve been eyeing this children’s book since it was released, and I love this illustrator!!
  6. I’ve blogged about Kelle Hampton before when I read her book, Bloom, but she is future me, and I love it. She has three precious kids, and I love watching from afar as she raises them. She is a Holiday QUEEN. When I lived in Florida, I had fantasies of her strolling into my store with her kids, and I had a whole spiel that I was going to say to her about how she is such an inspiring, strong, bad ass mom. BUT, she never came in and that’s probably for the best because I would have cried AT her, in her face, and so…yeah, it’s for the best. BUT, I just went deep into her blog’s past and scrounged up some old Christmas posts, and oh me. It’ll be here before we know it and I will be screaming carols in everyone’s faces.

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Show and Tell

  1. I’ve been listening to Dolly Parton’s album “Hello, I’m Dolly” this week, and she is just such an incredible legend. Her voice just makes me feel like I’ll float away like a big orange balloon, and I love it.
  2. I’ve fallen out of every single one of my healthy habits for the last month, but starting tomorrow… I’m back in it. Its absolutely unbelievable how different you feel when you’re doing everything right.
  3. Did I say that Trey shaved his beard? And cut his hair? He did. He looks like he is fresh out of the army in 1960. Clean shaven, and that jawline just knocks me down. I wanted him to keep his long hair because he looked very 1980’s Paperback Erotic Novel handsome, but he refused.
  4. I talked to my cousin Sam yesterday about how we miss the house smelling like Papa’s tobacco smoke. We talked about how we always loved packing his pipe for him, and he told me about why Papa recently switched from Half and Half tobacco to Prince Albert. But, I still want some Half and Half to have around. He told me about how he has one of Papa’s pipes, and he knows it’s the one that Papa was using when he was born. Apparently, one day it fell out of Papa’s pocket in the yard somewhere and he lost it. Months and months passed and he didn’t find it. The yard had been mowed countless times, seasons changed and one day Sam was walking around outside and he stepped on it. He found Papa’s pipe, and Papa let him keep it. We shared a laugh over it and you could tell that he was just so proud, and he should be. I told him about how I have one of Papa’s chambray shirts, and it still has a white lighter in the pocket. Sam’s eyes sparkled and he had this happy smile on his face. He said, “that’s a good find.” Andy is the oldest grandson, and he always admired Papa just as much as Sam, maybe more. But Sam is a small town boy. He loves Red Bay and he never wants to leave it. He has acted like a 65 year old man since he was 6, and I don’t see it stopping. He has red hair and freckles that span across his nose, and then scatter all over is face. He’s in 8th grade now, and he likes to make up stories, most of which are comedies that would make hilarious comic books. When he was two, I sat him on my lap and shared a Hershey bar with him, and he has been by my side ever since. I would bounce him on my hip and gallop through the house with him. He’s brilliant, and I’m so proud of him.
  5. I’m still in the process of decorating my home for fall and Halloween. I started a couple of days ago and once I start, I don’t stop until I start decorating for Christmas.
  6. Since Bar Taco opened their location in Homewood a couple of weeks ago, I think I’ve been seven times. I went last night with two married couple friends that work with Trey, and we got to blow them away with the Bar Taco experience. If you’ve never been to Bar Taco, go go go go go!
  7. My friend Abbey is getting married in less than two months, and there are other exciting things in the works with some other friends, and I’m so happy to be able to be alongside these gals as they go forward.
  8. Madewell’s fall collection is beautiful, and there’s a particular sweater that launches tomorrow that I am ALL ABOUT. But of their current pieces, these are the ones I can’t stop thinking about: I haven’t tried these jeans yet, but I want them in my life. This sweater in kale, heather brick, and heather baltic. THIS SWEATSHIRT. The red is perfect for Alabama game days, and I know the ivory is beautiful. The fit is exactly what you would want in a retro sweatshirt, and it’s soft like the one your dad wore when he would rake the leaves up in your backyard. These loafers are on my wish list, and they are just as comfortable as they are gorgeous.
  9. My mantra for the week is: “If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.” I think that applies to everything. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you can’t possibly do a perfect job. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you can’t possibly be giving all that you need to give to your relationships. So, here’s to finding the fun!

Show and Tell

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  1. Trey’s family is almost completely settled in Alabama, and we could not be happier about it. His dad will move back this fall, and they are moving into a house next week. I am so ready for the Jeff W breakfasts, the grill outs, and the late night talks by the fire pit. I’m ready for Trey and his dad to have boy time, listening to Styx, and waxing their cars and what not. It will be so good, in so many ways, for so many reasons.
  2. We moved into our current apartment with the expectation that we would stay here for a couple years, but with every maintenance request that we have, I kind of love the idea of moving. I’m keeping a running list of the requirements for our next place – because THAT will be the one that we stay in for more than one year. OPEN KITCHEN, is on the top of that list. Our kitchen is small, lacking ventilation, and gets very, very hot when you cook. There also isn’t anywhere for me to perch and chit chat with Trey while he cooks.
  3. I think that this peach and plum pie is the next pie I’ll be making – whenever I feel like the time is right for it.
  4. My top five favorite things from Madewell’s August line up: this denim with a chewed hem, this striped t-shirt in that oh, so perfect blush colorthis slinky, breezy dress, the medium transport tote in this gorgeous color, and this bandana that I can’t stop looking at.
  5. People have said that Trey and I should start vlogging, which I don’t even know what that would mean or what that would be like. BUT, I welcome any thoughts on it.
  6. This song by The Secret Sisters is in my head at the moment, and I’d be happy if it stayed there. Everything they do is magic. Oh, and look at that. There’s Brandi Carlile (insert heart eyes emoji here).