December 2012 Favorites

I love these little Christmas Trees ($8 from Home Depot) so much that I left them out when I put the Christmas Decor away. Seriously, they just make me so happy.

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I think it’s pretty true that the world tells you that you “should be happy with nothing” and “no one needs stuff” and “just be you” or whatever nonsensical motivational thing is the flavor of right now, but sometimes I think those people must have terrible stuff.  Just the other night I was sitting in my bedroom with my sheets that I love and my duvet cover that I love and my overpriced good smelling Anthropologie candle that I love, all cuddled up with my electric blanket that I love, and it was just such a happy contented feeling, this oasis of things that I love, this beautiful quiet lovely room that I adore.  It’s just such a nice feeling.  Stuff can be good, you know? Really really good.

I won a $50 credit to Minted from Mama Bub and I didn’t really want stationery, so I rooted around until I stumbled on these gorgeous cake stands. You may not know this about me, but if you sorted all the people in the world into two columns, I am in the “Strongly Pro Re: Cake Stands” column.  I did not have white ones and I have wanted some for so long and now I have two and they are gorgeous and I have already used them three times. See? Gorgeous.

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I bought myself this Anthropologie Rolling Pin while I was Christmas shopping with Miss Amy, and I just love it. It makes me happy every time I see it.

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For some reason I have broken all my casserole type dishes and I am having a hell of a time replacing them, but I bought this one from Sur La Table and look how pretty cinnamon rolls go in it! I love it when I debate buying something, and then after I buy it I use it all the time.  Best ever.

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I have, um, a lot of shoes. Please observe.

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Although nowhere near as many as my mother, who had to rent a STORAGE UNIT FOR HER SHOES. So you know, I come by it honestly.

Anyway, I used to have them stacked on three shelves above my clothes in the closet which meant I could barely reach the second row and had no hope of reaching the third row.  I tried to buy a shoe rack but it wouldn’t fit in the space, so my husband built me some custom shelves.  On his birthday. Yes, his. His birthday. Best human ever.

Every time I see these shelves, I feel pure elation. My shoes! Where I can get them! Looking so cute! Best ever.

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The lady at Sephora gave me a sample of this face lotion and I am SOLD. I used for a week ish  and right away I felt like my skin was so soft and glowy and I just wanted to pet my face all the time.  I haven’t been this thrilled with a face product in a looooong time, except it costs FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS. I do not…want to pay $55 for a tiny pot of face lotion, so now I’m wondering if there’s something else I can use that costs, like say, twelve dollars.

I don’t have a picture for the face lotion but just picture a used up Sephora sample pot, followed by dollar bills flying out my living room window.

I have a day planner, but somehow I lose track of appointments all the time.  I wanted a calendar that I could hang right by the front door that ALL APPOINTMENTS I MEAN EVERYTHING would be written on so no one ever had to be surprised that I was running out the door to brunch.  This one was just what I was looking for.

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Clean, neat, graphic, modern, with room to write things in. Perfect. I love it, it makes me happy every time I see it. (The shop owner is taking a break, but you could always try emailing.)

Let us not speak of how the red pencil is right there and my husband wrote his appointments on my new pretty calendar in blue ballpoint pen. He has been properly reprimanded.

And ok, yes, there are some things that are not possessions that make me happy.  Those things are…tv shows.  I am loving the pants off of both Homeland and Girls.  Season One of both shoes is out on DVD, and I watched them in lightning speed and then signed up for HBO and Showtime because seriously I haven’t liked very many tv shows (besides Downton) in YEARS. Really. I mostly hate all TV, and I love both of these shows. Nothing makes me happier than sitting around next to Mr. E and watching a few crazy pants episodes of Homeland, and how much do I love Lena Dunham? So much I can’t even hate her for living my dream career. Except not the acting part. I mean, I’m not kidding. I want to watch Girls, I want to email you about Girls, I want to hold viewing parties and follow all the actresses on Twitter and I am SOLD.

Now here’s the part where professional ish type bloggers would ask “What are you loving right now?” in bold, but that’s just not really my jam.  So instead I will just tell you that if you ever want to tell me about your favorite stuff, I would totally love to hear about it, in a non comment shilling way, but just in a “ain’t stuff grand sometimes?” kind of way. I love stuff. I really do.

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24 Responses

  1. I love this post an irrational amount. And will now spend the day thinking about favorite things, and how things are sometimes so so good. also, it reminded me of this post, specifically this part:

    “One of my favorite short stories is Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” about the literal and figurative things soldiers carried during the Vietnam War. There’s this line, early in the story: “The things they carried were largely determined by necessity.” That’s true for soldiers, who carry what they need on their backs for days and miles without rest. That’s true for what we collect over the course of our lives, even if we don’t know always the why of what we own. We acquire things because they satisfy some need, either literal or figurative.”

    http://roxanegay.tumblr.com/post/39515169454/the-things-we-carry

  2. I have an unnatural and ridiculous love of my iPhone, my flannel pajama pants (for which I paid $8 a pair at BIG LOTS), Coty airspun face powder, the TV show Portlandia, my new living room rug and I’m looking forward to falling in love with a new dishwasher soon. Because I seriously hate hand washing dishes.

  3. Have you read Happier at Home? She spends a whole chapter talking about how the RIGHT stuff makes us happy – just not clutter we don’t use. I totally agree! Candles and my KitchenAid mixer and new cereal bowls and my favorite coffee mug make my days infinitely more enjoyable! 🙂

    In December…I loved my pine soy candle from Target. My new iPod touch. And everything in Puerto Rico. Heh. 🙂

  4. As the owner of very sensitive skin, I have happily paid loads of money for facial lotion for something, anything, my skin would tolerate. However, I recently discovered Burt’s Bees Radiance Day Cream. It’s more lotion-y than creamy and it keeps my skin soft and moisturized without all the goo and feelings of wearing a mask. It’s about $15 for a small pot. Thanks for sharing your likes!

  5. I recently tried another product from Miracle Skin Transformer (the tinted moisturizer) and it is AMAZING. I can’t believe the way it makes my skin feel. For a lower-priced alternative, I can only suggest sidling up to another Sephora employee and getting another sample pot.

  6. I am also a lover of Stuff. It makes me happy. My recent acquisitions that I love include a jewelry tree from Target (I can see all of my jewelry at the same time!), new kitchen towels in bright aqua, and a fuzzy black scarf I got from Old Navy for less than 10 bucks. It is super long and soft and so so cozy. Such good stuff.

  7. Things I currently love: the book City of Thieves, my new stainless steel pots and pans, the expensive sunglasses that I bought with birthday money, and the amazing candle from Anthropologie that cost $25 but I don’t even care because it smells so good and I love it SO THERE.

  8. Enjoying your blog! And do love favorite “stuff” – books, tea and teapots and more….. I am sixty-one and just love “Girls” too! Lena D is so good. I have got to get my 37 year old daughter to see it, so we can discuss.

  9. How refreshing! You’re right! Stuff is good! The right stuff really makes me so happy. I feel like I’m learning over and over again that you need to spend a little money on things… and when you do, you end up spending less on other things to make up for the so-so stuff you bought cheaply.
    I’m loving a fuzzy blanket my grandmother-in-law gave me for Christmas, and a gray Land’s End dress (with pockets!) that I am SO proud of myself for buying *before* it went on crazy sale and sold out while I hemmed and hawed. (obvs. that’s happened a few too many times…)

  10. Yay, Stuff! I’m loving the earrings (from Matt) and ring (from parents) I got for Christmas. I’m SUPER into Girls, too, and basically want to be BFFs with Lena Dunham. She’s living my dream career, too.

  11. I am loving microdermabrasion and have turned ridiculous enough to make it something I want to spend money on every month.

  12. Oh this is so funny! We are clearly on the same wavelength today and I’m telling you, I am *this close* to signing up for HBO and Showtime for BOTH OF THOSE SHOWS. It was so great to just devour them over my vacation and I really seriously need to find myself a paying career where all I do is watch television and read books and then sometimes tell people about them. Craigslist seems to be low on those job postings and I am upset about it. And I totally agree about stuff! I am not really into stuff for stuff’s sake, but come on! THE RIGHT STUFF??? Is totally worth it. (And now I hope that I have gotten a horrible New Kids on the Block earworm in your head.) Sorry about that.

  13. I like my stuff. Recently I A) bought expensive new nursing tops and B) made myself a necklace out of Swarovski crystals that was more expensive than I usually spend on myself. And I am like reveling in both. Nice stuff is nice.

  14. I’m in love with Benefit Total Moisture. Which, okay, it’s like $38, which isn’t a LOT better than $55, but you can use the 20% off Ulta coupons on it, and one jar lasts a REALLY long time (I’ve had it for about 4 months now and I’m about halfway through the jar, with twice-daily use, so I’d say a jar will probably last about 8 months or so). It’s a heavy cream that I was skeptical of as a day moisturizer because I have oily-combination skin, but even in the summer it doesn’t make me greasy. It seems to actually SINK INTO my skin, unlike the cheap Neutrogena-type stuff I used to buy, which always felt like it was sitting on TOP of the oil slick on my nose.

  15. I got a fancy pants (for me) camera for Christmas and love it. Also, some YSL expensive lipstick that I had never tried but now love…love the color, love the taste, love the smell…love! I may not ever be able to go back. Sigh.

  16. I love that you’re not afraid to buck the trend of simplifying and purging: you’re just like, “Hell yeah, look at all my shoes!” I’m meaning that seriously, because I’m like you, and stuff DOES make me happy, quite often. I can think of two specific times when new stuff actually jolted me out of a near-depression. Once it was new canvas art for my kitchen, the exact thing I had been imagining and searching for in vain for FOUR YEARS, and another time it was a pile of gorgeous taffeta dresses for Talia to wear next year on an amazing clearance.
    The stuff doesn’t have to be, like, LUXURIOUS or expensive stuff either. The new kind of tea Jim gave me in my stocking cheered me up immeasurably, for gosh sakes. It’s just fun to have new stuff, and I think people should take it down a notch with the money doesn’t buy happiness talk. Because everyone knows that’s a little white lie. It doesn’t buy, like, soul-deep JOY, obviously. But happiness? Yes, it does. And there’s science to back it up. Somewhere. I forget where I read it. But SCIENCE! STUDIES!

  17. So, this is silly, but I remember how excited I was when we got married to have a full set of nice silverware. When we lived together before we were married (scandalous!), we literally had three spoons and six forks. We would use a utensil and immediately have to rewash it. Now, every time I open the silverware drawer, I smile because it’s so nice to have a full, matching set. Plus, soft towels. And flannel sheets. These are all things I would never have bought for myself, but damn if I’m not super grateful that someone gave them to use as gifts!!

    (And just another example of how we are different. I will not ever use red pen or pencil. Ever. It comes from being in graduate school for so long and every assignment or paper that was handed back to me with red ink spilled on every centimeter of white space wounded my soul. So no red ink.)

  18. I have moving on my mind, which makes we want to get rid of EVERYTHING. But then I look around and see favorite things — things that give me such pleasure — and I realize I don’t want nothing, I just want what I want, and not all the other crap. Many of my most favorite things can be found in my kitchen, and they make me smile, so they stay.

  19. Things I love:
    1) my new hairbrush, purchased after the Great Lice Incident.
    2) baked apples, which I eat for dessert, and then put the leftovers on my oatmeal the next morning for breakfast. This is sort of like eating an apple pie with your oatmeal, but its delicious, if highly caloric.
    3) my bed. I put a 5 inch memory foam topper on the mattress and it is FABULOUS.
    4) my foyer vignette of honeycomb mirror, Athena bust, and chest with lionhead pulls with it. If only I could get the rest of the house to look as lovely.

  20. This is the first Christmas that I supplied ideas to my husband and mother and in-laws for gifts that I wanted – I’ve always been SO uncomfortable doing that…I’m not sure why. Needless to say, this was the first Christmas that I also LOVED my gifts. Coincidence? Probably not. So right now I’m enjoying my new Kindle Fire (I actually asked for the lowest version but my MIL decided to treat me), some beautiful new jewelry that I had my eye on forever, and the best gift ever? My husband did tons of research and purchased a wireless Bose speaker that we can play all our music through (laptop, computers, phones, iPad, etc.). Given the price, I’m happy that we can both use it, but it has made cooking in the kitchen SO much better. I’m in love.

  21. I love Miracle Skin Transformer. I use their concealer and it’s the BEST. I can’t remember how much it cost, but it’s concealer! It lasts forever! (In six months or so I’ve used half of the tube. And I have a lot to conceal.)

  22. You probably know if you have the kind of skin that can be flexible about face cream or not. I know that I don’t, because I’ve tried to cheap out, on and off, for the last twenty years or so. It is a failure every time, although it takes some time to go well and truly downhill. I spend…more than $50 on my face cream. (sigh) Not because I’m a rich lady, but because it’s one of my splurges. Anyway, if you decided to splurge, I am one person who would cheer for you! Yay! Pretty skin!

    I make things, and sometimes when I look at my materials: a stash of truly gorgeous (in my opinion) yarn and lovely fabrics, I feel so blessed. Like, blessed beyond what I ever could have imagined. Also loved, because I’ve gotten it all as gifts over the years.

  23. I am unapologetic about my love of stuff. Stuff can be great!

    Right now, I’m a big fan of the Naked palette eyeshadows, my Nook glow, this awesome pair of fuzzy purple socks a friend sent me, the jewelry organizer I have, the makeup organizer my husband made me, and the two new towels I got for Christmas. Yay stuff!

  24. I am also staunchly Pro Cake Stand – there is something about a lovely, clean, white cake stand that elevates your dessert to the next level. You know. Literally AND figuratively.

    And I can totally understand your love of the casserole dish. I get my serving ware (mostly – I’m not made of money) from Crate and Barrel and it is clean and white and it makes me SO HAPPY to see some delicious food showcased in those things. SO HAPPY. I would fill my entire house with white serveware if I could.

    And ALSO. If you ever want to talk about Girls, please. I am READY to talk about Girls. I watched the first season for free one weekend when whatever channel it’s on was doing a promotion, and loved it. Then my husband got it for me for Christmas and I watched the whole first season AGAIN, all at once, and I loved it MORE. It’s a show that makes me think a lot – about writing and being a young woman and friendships and relationships and that internal voice that won’t shut up and all sorts of things. SUCH A GOOD SHOW.

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