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Holiday

wishlist fig + yarrowi have a confession to make: i have ugly heels. like, gross, cracked, totally fugly please get those away from me heels. if i had a dime for every time a nail salon attendee has said, “WHY IS YOUR SKIN SO DRY?!” i’d be a millionaire at age 28.

it’s no surprise, then, that i’ve tried nearly ever foot scrub and foot cream under the sun – because all a girl wants is some smooth feet, you know? unfortunately, nothing works like a good pedicure, and despite my very best efforts, my heels still don’t look their best.

enter fig+yarrow’s alpine foot butter: the newest item on my wishlist. the brand bills it as “a velvety smooth alpine fresh whipped butter blend to treat and nourish feet.” i can get on board with that. see, i have a thing for alpine/christmas scented things. specifically, i have a thing for holiday-scented candles, but pretty much anything that smells like a tree makes me happy.

hence, i’m pretty sure that fig+yarrow’s foot butter will be a home run in my book. and since i can’t resist anything with pretty packaging, nor can i get enough of at home spa treatments, i’m also thinking of splurging on the winter herbal steam (at home facial here i COME), coffee + cardamom body scrub, and of course, the alpine foot scrub. HELLLOOO, at home pedicure.

ps: friends, fam, there’s still time to order before hanukkah ends! just kidding. sort of.

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can i tell you how much i covet one of clare vivier’s positively perfect clutches? or how i’ve got my eye on the leather weekender that would take me to massachusetts and beyond on the regular? i’m a huge fan of vivier’s work (her silverlake flagship shop is to die for; i can’t wait to check it out in person when i take a trip to LA in april), and i’ve loved watching her line grow over the past few years. what started out as a few simple leather clutches has evolved into a full line of accessories. vivier pieces make for the perfect gift (i contemplated getting a foldover clutch as a non-traditional bridal shower gift earlier this summer), so it’s no surprise that she’s rolled out a little something special for our next giftable holiday: valentine’s day.

i should tell you right here and now that i am not a fan of v day. as a single lady in new york, where romance could be around every corner (but isn’t), there’s nothing like a holiday where every girl in your office except you gets a fresh bouquet of roses to make you feel sorry for yourself. pity party, table of 1! that being said, i do love the little treats that come along with cupid. HELLO, red and pink m&ms. HI, adorable little heart print bowls i scouted at west elm this weekend but did not purchase {thank you, self control}.

and most importantly, HEY GIRL HEY to vivier’s love shop, a new curated collection of clutches, coin purses and catchalls that are positively PERFECT for valentine’s day. to my imaginary boyfriend*, if you’re out there, and you’re reading this – i’ll take a coin purse in mon amour, please.

*these would also make great gifts for girlfriends. galentine’s day is a real thing, you guys. and it should not be celebrated lightly. if i had a million dollars, i’d be buying out this whole shop for my lady friends.

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to embrace my fears. i’ve been thinking a lot lately about how many things i don’t do not because i think i wouldn’t like them, not because i’m not interested in them, but because i am afraid of them. afraid that i won’t be able to do it. afraid that i won’t be good enough. afraid that people will point and laugh. how many moments have i missed out on in life because i was too afraid to participate? too many. this year, i hope to stare my fears down, acknowledge them and then keep going.

to trust my gut. as much as i often hold myself back because i am afraid, sometimes, i hold myself back for the right reason: because my gut tells me something is not right. and then i beat myself up for holding back, and i say, why didn’t you try that? maybe it was the right thing! you’re missing out. and sometimes, i am. but more often than not, i’ve made the right choice – though maybe not for others – for me.

write more. goodness, i make this resolution every year. here’s hoping this is the year in which i keep it. and here’s hoping this blog will help me do so. i’d also love to take a creative writing course at 92Y in the spring or summer, if my schedule allows. there’s something about knowing you’re on a deadline that helps.

get away. my recent trip to nicaragua was, hands down, one of the best things i could have done for myself. it involved, for starters, embracing my fear of traveling alone, but beyond that, it involved a week of being blissfully disconnected to my life in new york; of sharing and talking and laughing and crying with two of the best women i know (and am privileged to know). in my early twenties, i read a lot of articles about the importance of getting away when you work a stressful job. and now, i know those articles are right. to that end, i’ve got a mid-march 5-day trip down to florida with my mother planned, and i’m in the process of putting a weeklong escape to california on the books for april.

love my body. this is a big one for me. scratch that, the biggest one. it always has been, and, if i’m being honest, probably always will be. but i feel like i’m on the path to acceptance. i had this little epiphany while hiking in nica, sweating my ass off and thinking, wow, my body got me up this GINORMOUS hill. and just for that moment, i felt proud of my body, instead of how i usually feel, which generally involves the words ugly, disgusted, ashamed, and a whole slew of other not-so-pretty things. i truly believe in beauty from the inside out, but it’s always been a struggle for me to feel that way about myself. but i’d like to get there, and i think i’m finally making my way.

forgive myself. i’ve made a lot of mistakes in my past. some were big, some were small. i’ve also been through some pretty intense stuff with my family this past year. stuff that’s made me realize that even the people i put on a pedestal (like my parents) are far from perfect. that everyone has made mistakes. big ones. and little ones, too. and it’s okay. all that we can do is forgive both those around us, and more importantly, ourselves. only when we’ve done so can we move forward, and become better people in doing so.

and there you have it. my plans for this year. bring it on, 2014.

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everyone has that friend – the one who’s a mini martha in training, who can whip up a four course meal like it’s nothing, who can decorate for a dinner party without even thinking twice about her style choices. the gifts on this list are great for girlfriends, moms, and anyone who loves a good party. i mean, hello, who wouldn’t love those “pop fizz clink” balloons for a new year’s even party? and those bath salts…no one can resist a good relaxation moment. the nest holiday candle is my absolute favorite scent right now, and it makes a great present. there’s nothing like bottling up the scent of christmas and then releasing it wherever you so choose.

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ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE | THIRTEEN

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i haven’t had a ton of opportunities to shop for men over the holidays, mostly because my family is comprised of all women, and my guy friends have never been of the gift-exchanging sort. and of course, i’m single, and have been for quite a while. which means i basically only buy gifts for women. that being said, i had a fabulous time putting together this gift guide for gents. let’s just say i am doing some imaginary shopping for my imaginary boyfriend (who of course is the type to make fancy cocktails and use fancy beard oil). hey, if this is imaginary, he can be whoever i want him to be, right?

for those of you with actual men in your lives, godspeed. and here’s hoping you like this handy dandy gentleman’s gift guide.

happy shopping!

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ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE

shop other installments of the 2013 gift guide:

stocking stuffers

bits and bobs for besties

paper snob

beauty junkie

office space

gemstones

all that glitters