Making A List

Every holiday season I get a least a few emails from friends and blog readers asking me for holiday gift ideas for either their loved ones or for their own personal list. I think it is becasue people know I like to read catalogs in the bathtub (what? it doesn’t matter if they get wet, I’m just window shopping and it is mindless which means I get out of the tub relaxed) so they figure I might have seen some great gift idea that they have not. This year in particular though it would appear a lot of my friends are struggling with what to put on their list to share with family friends. So I’m sharing what is on my list, both big and small, in case you are in the same “I don’t really need anything and can’t think of something to ask for” boat.


More specifically I’d love Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook and the Blackberry Farm Cookbook. The Julia Child cookbook is a home chef staple, I love Smitten Kitchen recipes and the Blackberry Farm cookbook Southern food from a farm to table resort and I’m told that not a single recipe inside is a dud. Yes please!

Fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection

Around the holidays every beauty brand and then some creates a gift box or gift set for giving. Most of them contain things I wouldn’t love or use, but this set? Is amazing. Fresh Sugar lip balms/tints are fantastic and I’m obsessed with this little box of all the tints and and the lip treatment balm. Perfect for any beauty junkie.

Floating Fish Water Bottle

I know it sounds a little silly, but I really want a hot water bottle for my back (they do a nice job in the winter of pre-warming the spot in the bed where you feet go as well….) and this one makes me laugh- it has floating fish in it!


A few years ago for Christmas, B bought me a pair of leather Cole Haan slippers with fuzzy sheepskin lining. To say I have worn them into the ground would be an understatement. Chilly Chicago winters + hardwood floors means I wear them constantly in the house, and the pair I own is falling apart- I’ve worn most of the lining out and I’m starting to get holes in them. I am in love with this pair from Ugg, that look like they’ll do an equally good job of keeping my feet warm all winter long. I also love slippers that have a rubber bottom so I can dash down to our lobby to grab the mail or let someone in without slipping all over the place.


Toaster Oven


This is definitely the largest/most expensive thing on my wish-list this year. I bought a small toaster oven when I moved into my first apartment in Chicago and I use it all the time. It is starting to get a little worn and the heat elements are not as even as they were in the beginning so I’d love to upgrade to a new toaster oven with more features. Why people own conventional toasters when you can have a toaster oven that does SO MUCH MORE is beyond me. I use mine to toast bread, heat up leftovers, bake rolls, toast nuts and more.

Kate Spade Earrings – I’m not a big jewelry person (I used to wear a lot more) but I do wear earrings every day and I love special occasional earrings to wear to parties or for a night out with friends. I love that these are studs- most “fancy” earrings are dangly which often get caught up in my curly hair when I’m wearing it down. I love that Kate Spade jewelry isn’t horribly expensive either- sure, it isn’t cheap, but no one has to save their whole paycheck for one box of sparkly fun. (And this pair is fun as well, if you prefer more symmetrical jewelry.)

12 Days of Christmas Ornaments

Every year I admire these ornaments at Crate and Barrel but never buy them- so this year I put them on my list. I imagine them on an ornament tree all together and I think they’d be the perfect addition to my holiday decorating (or yours).

Illinois Purple Violet

I love artwork that has special meaning or significance, and this letterpress print of the state of Illinois with the state flower fits the bill. (The Etsy seller has a limited number of other states available as well.) It would look great on my gallery wall and I’m sure you could find a place for it as well.

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3 Responses to Making A List

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  • Just a heads up – I bought that Breville toaster oven when we moved into our new house based on the great reviews, and returned it a week later. We may have just had two lemons in a row, but the first one never reached above 380 degrees, and the second one had a VERY hot spot in the back left corner – everything back there was burnt to a crisp before anything else started to heat. After returning the second one, we bought a cheapy $30 toaster oven until we decided what we wanted… and it turns out we love it. Best toaster oven either of us has ever had!

  • If that’s the Breville smart oven (or whatever it’s called), it’s AMAZING! We got it for our wedding and someone didn’t understand what it was or why we would ever use it. That someone now recognizes that the spouse that registered for it is wise, wonderful, and far superior when it comes to knowing about things we must own.

  • Sidenote: I love that your two comments are people saying completely different things about the same item! ha!

    I have those Ugg slippers and I love them. I have them with navy trim, I think (it has been a looooooooong day).

    Fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection – amazing. I have it and I love it!

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