Monday, December 27, 2010

Tidying Up...

I hope all of my dear blogfriends had a most wonderful Christmas weekend! We had an absolutely beautiful white Christmas here in Alabama! Unbelievable, huh? Pretty Little Bare Feet donned those Uggs I told you about & had a grand old time frolicking in the snow. We even built a little miniature snowman, & adorned him with a camouflage hat&scarf set that My Prince's funny boss had used to accessorize a bottle of champagne for his Christmas gift.

(Cute, clever idea!)

If I dedicated this post to all the loot that Pretty Little Bare Feet scored from Santa, you'd probably stop following the blog of a lady that could so excessively spoil a not-even-two-year-old. ;)

(& I'd probably have to spend a day & a half working on that blog entry.)

Anyway, Pretty Little Bare Feet more than made up for the fact that she doesn't get a new toy every day of the year, or even every week of the year. More importantly, we shared the story of Jesus' birth with her, in the simplest way that she could understand. We are all just blessed beyond measure, & it was so much fun sharing all the joys of Christmas as a family this year.

Now the New Year is on its way in. Honestly, although I do make them, I'm not all that into New Year's resolutions.

(I feel like you can just as easily decide to break a habit or implement a change on May 6th or December 4th...or whenever...)

But I guess I do tend to see the whole


as a good starting point for some random reorganization projects.

Since I haven't been the most ambitious blogger (or blog-follower) the last couple months, I felt like maybe I should reorganize some things to help get myself back into the blogging game. The first step has been reorganizing my

Google reader,

I'm trying to reorganize everything into a way that makes sense for me to

first read my most important blogs
(i.e. those written by my dearest blogfriends);
& lastly read the nonessential-but-lovely blogs
(i.e. my beloved design, fashion, & recipe blogs).

& honestly, I don't think it would be so overwhelming for me to keep up with all of the blogs I follow, if I could only let myself skim some of them some of the time.

(That goes for the books&magazines I read, as well.)

I just can't stand not to read every single word. Maybe it's the lawyer in me - though I was that way well before I went to law school.

I'm also filtering out blogs that should have been removed from my bookmarks&Reader ages ago. Like, uh, the ones that don't exist anymore...

So as a result, there will be some temporary dust here at a Note on the Screen Door. Most noticeably, my collection of blog buttons & my list of "blogs that I follow" may disappear for a couple days. Not to worry, friends...unless you haven't updated in something like eight months, you'll probably find yourself right back in your normal spot on my blog sidebar before 2011. ;)

While I'm rolling up my sleeves & getting back to blogging business (so to speak), I want to ask...

...what do *you* want to see at a Note on the Screen Door in 2011?

(via: Poppytalk)

I can't explain it, but I am on a bit of a design kick lately...just itching to undertake some decorating projects around the house.

I'm also, of course, a bit of a shopaholic, so I'm more than eager to tackle some "window-shopping" & share my finds with y'all.

We have a second birthday party coming up that I am already a few days behind on planning.

I've been falling asleep earlier, resulting in my getting less reading done lately, & I haven't shared a lot of books with y'all the last couple months.

& I haven't been sharing a lot of recipes with y'all the last couple months, though I have been plenty busy in the kitchen.

Of course I am always eager to delve into the world of preppy...whether it's the latest Lilly Pulitzer email in my inbox, the newest preppy clothing line I've discovered, or a new preppy blog I've found that has a great Linky I want to participate in.

Oh, & there is one other reason I've had a hard time getting around to getting everything done lately...

...we are going to be welcoming our second baby this June!

Even though this isn't a personal blog, I am sure that planning for a new baby is going to lend itself to some blog inspiration in the upcoming year. ;)

So while I'm

& updating

my MacBook & all its many bookmarks&lists...I'll also be on the lookout for blog inspiration for 2011!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ugh, I Admit I Love Uggs...

I know, I know, I know. Many preps think Uggs are decidedly un-preppy. & furthermore, every other freshman girl at the local high school has a ubiquitous pair of the classic short boots in chestnut, right? So Uggs cannot possibly still be okay to wear, right?

I vote wrong. Well, okay, so maybe I wouldn't wear a pair of that style of Uggs.

But first of all, I never owned that same old pair of boots that everybody else had/has. My first Ugg purchase was actually the old Thelma style of moccasins.

(Not the less-attractive newer perforated version.)

& I still wear my oldest Uggs because they are perhaps the comfiest pair of cute shoes I've ever slid my feet into. They pretty much carried me through a winter of grad school classes, & another three winters of law school classes.

Sheepskin Dakota in Tobacco by Ugg Australia

The closest thing they seem to be carrying now is the Dakota. My old Thelmas, however, are not slippers; they are outdoor shoes with outdoor soles. & they look like penny loafers - more tailored, no ties.

(& as for tall, furry boots? Well, several years ago, I opted for the Coach Kimberly boots in black. They held up so nicely that the following year I got a pair of Coach Juniper boots in winter white. I haven't felt a need to buy any winter boots since, although I have bought ankle boots, cowgirl boots, equestrian boots, rain boots, etc. It is Alabama, so it's not like my "snow boots" get very much time out&about each year. ;))

So although I didn't really jump onto the Ugg trend, in the sense that I didn't buy the pair of Uggs that were actually trendy...I did fall in love with my Uggs.

Infant's Erin Sheepskin Boots in Soft Gold by Ugg Australia

& when it came time for Pretty Little Bare Feet's first pair of shoes, I bought her a pair of Erin baby sheepskin boots in soft gold. & her little growing pair of feet have gotten three seasons' worth of wear out of them...& numerous compliments. ;) & most importantly, she loves them!

So now that I've admitted my love for Uggs; at the risk of your criticism, I have to share some of my favorite Uggs of the season.

Mandah in Black by Jimmy Choo & Ugg Australia

(See, Jimmy Choo thinks Ugg is cool enough to collaborate with! So there! ;))

Classic Short Sparkles Sequin Boots in Gold by Ugg Australia

(I know, these are crazy, right?! But I like them. They'd be even cuter on Pretty Little Bare Feet, I'm sure. But I *think* I'm still cute&young enough to pull them off...maybe with a basic black sweater&leggings ensemble. Anyway, I *know* they'd look better on me than icky Oprah.)

Kid's Pilar Jacket in Blackberry Wine by Ugg Australia

(Love this coat for Pretty Little Bare Feet! She'd be swimming in it now, even in the 2T. But I have hope that maybe she'll be able to wear a 2T by next summer winter?)

(I think this is a cuter & much more tailored look for the "classic" style of Ugg. I think the buttons make them look more like boots & less like houseshoes. So more appropriate for wearing out&about with jeans, etc. I just don't think I can ever condone Uggs with dresses&skirts...)

Scuffette Suede Slippers in Chestnut by Ugg Australia

(Speaking of houseshoes, as we call 'em in the South...since I am aware of how delightfully cozy all of these sheepskin Ugg babies are, I think I would actually *wear* houseshoes more often if I had a pair of these. I always get cute flimsy little houseshoes, & then never wear them because socks are more comfortable&practical - especially the fuzzy ones! But our house is all hardwood floors in the downstairs, where I'm at most of the day, & these floors do get pretty cold in the winter. It'd also be nice to have something to slip on my feet - other than whatever heels I've worn that day & haven't put back in the closet yet - to run out to the mailbox or take the White Dog out.)

So, alright, out with it...if you hate Uggs, at least give me the credit that I don't love the same pair of Uggs that everybody in the world has.

(& has had for years.)

& if *you* love Uggs, are you willing to announce it? ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year... where did the time go this year?!

Dear readers, I have learned my lesson. Never again do I travel for Thanksgiving without doing all of my Christmas preparations beforehand! Last year we had Thanksgiving here at our house, & I was able to get pretty much all of my Christmas to-do list taken care of by December 1st. This year we were out of town until late on the Monday night following Thanksgiving. Pretty Little Bare Feet missed her first day back at nursery school to catch up on sleep, & I feel like I missed the whole first week of December to catch up after travel!

(I did manage to make it to the places I was supposed to be & uphold most of my time-sensitive commitments...I think...)

Then I realized at some point during the middle of last week that I was entirely unprepared for the Christmas season! Not only were we not listening to my carefully prepared annual CD mixes of old Christmas classics & new Christmas renditions...I hadn't even put up our Christmas trees! No wonder I didn't feel "in the Christmas spirit" yet.

So now that I've learned my lesson, & have had to work into the wee hours of the nights...

(Like Santa's elves, naturally!)

...I'll share with y'all what generally goes into my Christmas preparations.

& do let me know what I'm forgetting, or what you just have to do at your own home to get ready for the Holiday season!

1. I bake, bake, & bake some more. In addition to...

...baking&cooking for the actual Holiday dinners themselves...
(Thanksgiving & Christmas, respectively)
...I also participate in an annual cookie exchange with my momfriends,
& I bake something for our special Christmas playgroup.

I enjoy baking so much, & I always see so many great recipes to try this time of year. I often end up baking

while we're putting up Christmas trees,
while we're watching Christmas movies,

Those wonderful smells from the oven just seem to add to the festive feel of the season!

2. Usually sooner, rather than later, I update my Christmas card list. Last year I had the list finished & most of the addresses updated before the end of Thanksgiving weekend. This year I absolutely panicked when I received our first two Christmas cards in the mail.

(Last Thursday, I think.)

I had already ordered our Christmas cards, thank God, but the actual


Yikes, I still needed to update the list! I got started on it this weekend, though, & I'm hoping to get most, if not all, of our Christmas cards mailed out by the end of this week. Please tell me I'm not the only one who's a bit behind on this!

3. Last year, being on top of my game as I was, I had ordered our first batch of Christmas photo cards before Thanksgiving. They went out the first week after Thanksgiving. I ordered a second batch of photo cards (Really!) during Thanksgiving weekend & sent those out about a week afterward. I did a final batch of Christmas photo cards by taking advantage of a great sale at our Target portrait studio, & distributed all of those throughout the rest of the days leading up to Christmas.

I know that sounds excessive, but I also do photo cards for

Valentine's Day,
the 4th of July,
& Halloween.

I don't scrapbook, so it's a way for me to share updates with our closest family&friends, while also nicely preserving our memories of our growing girl for ourselves. Since I only do a small batch of cards for each of these occasions, I tend to go all out for Christmas.

(I invest in the more expensive, professional photo cards for our family & closest friends...but I must say that if you make sure to print your cards in a 5x7 size, with a matte finish, on cardstock if you can! can make less-expensive prints from your local drugstore or Target look so much nicer! That's how I keep our Christmas card list so long. =))

I was so proud of the family My Prince & I became when we I've embraced photo cards ever since the year we were married. Of course now I'm also so proud of Pretty Little Bare Feet, so I feel it's worth the extra dollars&cents to invest in photo cards for everybody.

(Even though there are some perfectly lovely boxed cards out there to be had!)

I'm also not always the best in the world at keeping in touch throughout the year, so I make an extra effort at Christmastime to reach out to all of my dearest friends to let them know I still think of them & wish them the best. Technically, it's bad etiquette not to at least sign a photo card, although that seems to be the norm these days. I always enclose a handwritten note - even if it's just a short one - to personalize the correspondence. This may be why the whole Christmas card thing is such a huge undertaking for me each year; but I enjoy doing it, however much time it consumes!

(& of course it never fails that somebody that you elected not to send a Christmas card to, since you hadn't heard anything from them in years, will decide to send a card this year - so it never hurts to have an extra stack of cards on hand!)

4. Of course, choosing the actual Christmas card - & the photo to grace it - can easily take a whole evening for me. I have several favorite places that I order stationery from online, & I can spend (& have spent) hours perusing the new designs each year. I'm also much more impressed with the designs that can be found on Etsy, than the standard fare that is offered from the local printers; so I'll be using a custom design from an Etsy seller for the cards that I'll be printing locally this year.

5. I buy Christmas stamps at the last possible minute every year, & I admit it. Sorry! I put the effort&time into other things (see #3), & I just don't pay a whole lot of attention to what seasonal stamp I get left with by the time I get around to buying them!

6. I wish I could say that like my mama, I start buying Christmas gifts for the following year on the day after Christmas. But I do not. However, I do usually start shopping for My Prince & Pretty Little Bare Feet as early as October.

Most years I have my Christmas shopping list made out well before Thanksgiving. Then, whatever gifts I haven't gotten yet, I keep an eye out for during my annual Black Friday madness. For any gifts I haven't found after that, I start shopping around every day until the list is finished. I'm usually able to avoid last-minute Christmas shopping.

(& if I receive a gift from somebody that I hadn't considered exchanging gifts with, I send a sweet thank you card with an invitation to supper or an offer to babysit or something.)

My card list is long, but my shopping list is pretty short. Of course we exchange gifts with one another at home, & with our closest family. But other than that, we only buy gifts for my best friend & her husband, & My Prince's best friend. I also put together smaller gifts for:

classroom/playgroup exchanges,
My Prince's office staff,
the nursery ladies at church,

(& sometimes those are the hardest to shop for!)

7. Although I do avoid last-minute shopping, I am awful about last-minute wrapping! Last year having a child in the house spurred me to get gifts wrapped much earlier, so they could be around&under the tree for most of the month of December. This year...well, yes, I'm behind on this one, too. =(

8. Last year I was able to decorate the house for Christmas & put trees up over Thanksgiving weekend. This year I didn't get around to it until this past week. But it's done!

What all do you decorate?

Until I got married...

(& really the first year or two that we were married, before we had a child...)

...I didn't put up a tree because I went home to my mama's house for Christmas, & usually several days before&after. So we've only been accumulating our own collection of Christmas decorations for a couple years, but I think we're well on our way to a festively decorated (but, um, not overdone&tacky) home for the Holidays.

This year I was able to hang a beautiful, huge red wreath that my mama bought for me last year after I lamented the sad excuse for a cheap wreath I had hung at the last minute. Now I need to find the perfect doormat!

We haven't really done anything in the way of front lawn decor. It's so easy to go overboard with it, I think, & most of our neighbors are very understated. Traditionally in our neighborhood, you only see ribbons on mailbox posts, & maybe one small tree strung with lights. If there are any decorations beyond that, they are generally just done with white lights, & not much of anybody actually strings lights on the houses in our neighborhood.

(I think that inflatables are banned by our homeowners' association. Thank God, I say.)

I also put up two Christmas trees.

Last year my white one went up in the kitchen. But My Prince bought me a stellar piece of exercise equipment to run to my heart's content on, which has taken up residence in the empty room at the end of the kitchen, formerly known as a "breakfast nook."

(Breakfast nooks, good grief. I am perfectly content eating all of our meals in our dining room! ;))

So now the white tree is in the front entryway. It is my "fun tree." I put

colorful ornaments,
fun ornaments,
& all of my many, many candy-&gingerbread-themed ornaments

on the white tree.

The larger, more traditional green tree goes up in the dining room, by the window. It has more classic ornaments, mostly in golds&reds. It also has My Prince's nicer University of Alabama ornaments, as well as my nicer Raggedy Ann ornaments.

Both trees are strung with solid white lights.

I also have several special Christmas accent pieces that I place throughout the

guest bathroom&bedroom,
& living room.

& I have a pretty great collection of Christmas plush that I add to Pretty Little Bare Feet's "downstairs" toys.

(The ones that get played with the most, & thus get to take up residence in our downstairs main rooms.)

A few Christmas essentials I still really need to get are:

suitable tree toppers,
(I am *so* picky about these!)
& tree skirts;
(Last year I borrowed extras from my mama.)
Christmas dishes;
(I have a few - just not a fine set...)
& Christmas linens.
(Currently it doesn't look seasonal in our master bathroom&bedroom at all.)

I also need to replace Pretty Little Bare Feet's stocking, as a local monogramming place mangled it last year.

(Thank God I found an absolutely wonderful place that has done beautiful work for me all year this year.)

We just love, love, love when our house is decorated for Christmas!

We also love attending local Christmas events&parties. & as Pretty Little Bare Feet is getting older, we enjoy the activities for children so much more than anything else. The delight&wonder in her eyes at every little thing -

the Christmas trees,
& her favorite this year, the Grinch! -

it is just magical! My heart literally fills to the brim every time I see her little eyes twinkle at some new discovery.

Now that I've finally caught back up on the everyday things, & prepared most of the Christmas things...I hope to be able to blog, & catch up on reading blogs, with a bit more regularity...

...but if I disappear for a few days again, just know it's because that precious little girl of mine is taking up every bit of my

& time...

...& I'll be back to blogging as soon as I feel caught up on all of the commitments I have to my beautiful family&friends.

'Tis the season!