Pretty Blue Rose

life musings and inspiration

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Wednesday Wisdom: Christmas Starts in July!

For many many years I got away with a last minute approach to Christmas. Although I love to be prepared and stuff, I was the girl who would do most of her Christmas shopping December 23rd-24th and come up with fabulous gifts!! (at least no one told me otherwise).

But now that I’m an adult (I do forget that sometimes…) being a procrastinator during the holidays makes doing adult things like sending Christmas cards, getting gifts for others, you know–being thoughtful, a source of stress.

So last year, we barely made the requested dress code for my daughter’s holiday play (I didn’t read the cover letter sent home) and I forgot to give the teachers cards with their gifts. Gifts weren’t wrapped until Christmas Eve, and…sigh you get it! Part of me says, just let it go Ms. Perfectionist, but there is another part of me that knows it’s about better planning.

We are stressed from back to school (which is August in Georgia–yuck!) through Halloween and through the New Year–but since we always manage to get through it. But do we do anything different the next year to make it easier?

My solution and my resolution for this year is to start thinking about and planning for Christmas in July. Yes July!

I’ve always had the mindset that Christmas shopping should be done year round, so I have a gift drawer but it’s kind random–I need to step it up a bit. There are always last minute things creep up in the holiday season (unexpected house guests, needing last minute gifts for people you just met, or parties you’ve been invited to).

So the solution to an easier holiday season is to do what you can do early. No one will know if you write your holiday cards in July (just don’t send them!!). No one would know if you took Christmas pics in July ( I’m more diligent about exercise in the summer, no holiday weight yet…hmmm that may be a great idea!!) just don’t send them. I can see my family traveling to some photography studio in Christmas sweaters in this heat to have our pictures taken? (well maybe we change into the Christmas garb at the studio…)

Christmas in July


Admittedly, July is almost over, but writing this has reminded me that the second half of the year goes quickly, so I am going to start planning. We are hosting Christmas this year so I can start working on and testing the menu. I can schedule for our pictures to be taken and start writing the list for gifts.  What can you start doing now?

I’m starting to wonder if this is where the term Christmas in July came from…


Well safe travels to everyone traveling. I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.


A. G.

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Go Fly a Kite!

Sunday was such a beautiful day in my neck of the woods. It felt like a balmy fall day. The sun shining, the sky was clear (you can see the moon in the first picture–my daughter loves that!) and the wind was perfect for flying a kite…so that’s just what we did.

I usually watch my hubby and daughter fly their kites, but on Sunday I joined in for quite a while. I felt such a freedom and peace flying my kite. (no judgement that we lost three kites to the trees!)

P.S. I didn’t wear my “fake uggs” with that outfit all day, I just wore them for play.

I actually wore my black knee high boots to church with my J. crew skirt, a 7-year old cotton shell from target, and a corduroy jacket from H&M. I call this look the “Purple People Eater”, but I think it worked:)

Keep Flying and Being Fly,

A. Genise

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Pretty Good Times: The Hayride and Lights

Most of yesterday was blah. I’ve been fighting this sore throat–not quite head cold thing for a few days. (Yuk!) And I had a lot on my agenda: early church service, Marshall’s for some gifts, Costco for bags and bows (Target’s prices are a too high), wrapping gifts, finish hanging ornaments, laundry, and then some good old blogging while everyone was napping. I always start my days with a long to do list and yesterday it went no where. (Wow, typing that list I see I always try to do too much–who doesn’t?!–but no excuse!)

So after missing church, and not being able to get it together enough to get myself dressed to head to the store, I started wrapping some gifts with the kid (that endeavor mostly sounded like: please stop!, don’t touch that, wait you’ll rip it! don’t cut there!, please put the tape ON the line…)

I also started some laundry (really just carried it to the basement), but I needed a do over. The more the day went on, the more that I didn’t do, the worse my mood became (my poor hubby!). My to-do list kept growing…

My kind husband nicely suggested that I go to bed and also that I should throw away the stupid to-do list. (so I did!)

Now the reason I was (more) conscious of time was because at 6pm my friend and I made plans to take our families’ on a hayride through our local lights display. So the prepping (getting everyone dressed in warm clothes–finding the warm clothes…) and dinner eating needed to start around 5. (which meant all of the things I wanted to get done needed to be done by like 4, so I could take a small nap too).

Fast forward to about 5 minutes before we were to leave, it started pouring. The storm was supposed to pass, so we loaded up and headed over to the park–worst case we would see the lights from our car.

Well we got there, the rain slowed down (and eventually stopped) and can I tell you, we all had a blast!

They kept the hay covered so it didn’t get wet!

The evening’s fresh air was enough to make any bad mood go away, but the lights were so fun and festive –it was just a great experience. The kids had a blast and we even stopped at the nature house for some pictures by the fire place and some warm apple cider (my hubby found out he loooves warm apple cider).

I kept thinking how my to-do list really ruined my day, but how happy I was to get out and just enjoy life. I’m already looking forward to next year!


A. Genise

PS: See for pictures!!!

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Pretty Good Time: Family Movie Night

This past Saturday, we had our first official family movie night.

After a late morning at the mall (with an unsuccessful sighting of Santa–good news my daughter doesn’t really know he should be there, so she wasn’t disappointed when we didn’t see him) some Costco shopping, some grocery shopping and a nap, we needed some way to fill the evening.

(Digression: I’m really starting not to like late fall/winter. As a child I loved the snow, as a single and even married but childless couple, I could deal with the 4 pm darkness–I could just nap, but with a child the short days in the winter are a challenge for things to do and quite frankly I don’t want be trolling around outside in the cold weather, putting her in and taking her out of the car seat. Ok now that’s out.)

At the grocery store we were forced to grab a movie (Santa Paws 2—yay us!). After dinner I decided I would knock out her bath and everyone would be in pjs by 6:30. Movie time was 7 pm. The kitchen was clean (yay again!), the popcorn was made, my tea water was boiled, and we were off to the basement.

We have a large grey sectional that actually was my aunt’s–it’s over 30 years old and I love it. It’s been in all of my apartments since grad school. We all cuddled up and had a great evening. I didn’t even bring my cell phone!

My daughter is really excited about next week’s movie night. She’s asking for the Princess and the Pop Star  movie. So long as redbox doesn’t let us down, we have movie night penciled in for next weekend.

Since I’m a lover of interiors, here’s a few of my dream media rooms:

I enjoy the sectional style seating in this room, a media room doesn’t always have to have stadium seating.

However, if I did want stadium seats, I wouldn’t be mad if this showed up in my house (the grey curtains are super dramatic):

I love libraries, I love books (I had a very hard time succumbing to digital books) and my dream home will have a library. The library won’t have a TV, but I saw this media room and had to give it a shout out.

stay inspired,
A. Genise