Special Signet Rings

December 8, 2017

As Molly's 30th birthday was approaching, I wanted to think of something special to gift her that would always commemorate the big occasion. On top of wanting to make her feel really loved and celebrated, I also wanted a gift that would say "thank you" because with a 7 month old I quite literally would not be surviving without my sister/best friend living in the same city. Molly watches baby H for us every.single.day while I work out and my husband and I are forever grateful for every ounce of help she has given us over the past seven months - and beyond! This mama has yet to leave her baby at home with anyone other than family (I know, I know - it's time!) and even though no gift could equate the selfless generosity Molly's given me, I wanted to at try...keep reading to see what I gifted her and what makes it so special!

Those details aside, I felt that Molly deserved something fantastic from our little family. I’m a big believer in jewelry as a gift for special occasions – especially if it’s jewelry that is worn every day. You are constantly reminded of who gifted the piece to you and what it was for. I still to this day regularly wear the Van Cleef necklace that our mama gave me for my 21st birthday and a diamonds by the yard necklace that I received for my graduation. So many of my most treasured jewelry pieces are ones that were gifted to me and I wear nearly all of them daily. I like to think that if I have a daughter someday that I’ll definitely be passing a few on to her which makes them that much more meaningful. My Mimi passed down an incredible pair of Michael Good gold hoop earrings to me that I had always admired. I could keep going with my list of beloved jewels but basically, I love that these pieces have a story to them.

Shortly after baby H was born, Elizoebeth Jensen made me the most perfect gold signet ring (to wear on my pinky) with his initials. I’m still blown away by her thoughtfulness – it was one of the few gifts I received for myself to mark the occasion. I love having something so personal with my sweet baby boy’s little initials and ever since I slipped it on my pinky I’ve rarely taken it off.

Delicate signet rings have always been something I admire thanks to my mama. Growing up I remember pawing through her jewelry selection and noting that one of the few rings that fit my small fingers was a gold one engraved with her maiden name initials. She explained to me that it was called a signet ring and that was gifted to her back in high school. I had always admired the classic look of the ring and loved when my mom started wearing it regularly on her pinky several years ago. No matter what other rings she wore along side it, the signet ring always stood out as being classic, feminine and personal. And really, I just loved the look of it worn on her pinky. Since the days of trying on my mama’s ring I’ve always perked up when I saw other signet styles…I envisioned having something similar to hers for myself someday but I wasn’t totally on the hunt. Imagine my surprise and serious delight when Elizobeth reached out to me just after baby H was born and offered to make me one of her 14k gold classic signet rings! Elizoebeth’s design is so strikingly similar to the one my mom has and the hand engraving makes the ring unique and gives it a look and quality of an heirloom piece. I will forever cherish it!

With our mama and me both wearing our signet rings on our respective pinky fingers, I felt like Molly most definitely needed to join the club. No one loves jewelry more than her and she had been lusting after one for years (even more than I had!). Her 30th birthday seemed like the perfect excuse to have Elizoebeth Jensen make her a signet ring of her own. When October 21st rolled around and I got to give Molly her gift I was basically jumping out of my skin with excitement. To say that she was surprised and elated is an understatement…she was so shocked by the sentimental treasure that she got a little teary-eyed (which then made me cry). It was the most perfect 30th birthday surprise and I’m so thrilled that it made her feel so loved on her special day. She couldn’t be happier with her ring, and just like me, has been wearing it ever since.

You all know that Molly and I love any excuse to match (in good taste, of course), so matching sisterhood signet rings are just the cherry on top. I just love that mine and Molly’s knowledge and fondness for signet rings came from the one our mom has had since high school and that the three of us now each have one that we wear on our pinkys. I’m so grateful to Elizoebeth for bringing her classic signet ring into our lives!

P.S. Elizoebeth (who could not be sweeter) would love to help you celebrate the special people and occasions in your life – whether it’s a gift or a little self-gifting love – and she’s offering A Piece of Toast readers 20% off online purchases on her site through the month of December. Enter ToastToLove at checkout to redeem!

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Current Vibes

December 6, 2017

Does anyone have a dog who loves seeing other animals on TV? My little Rosebud can basically sense when an animal (dog, horse, etc.) shows up while I'm watching and she totally tunes in. I don't know how she knowns - it's not like these short animal clips in my Bravo and Law & Order: SVU watching involves much sound. But anyway, I just started feeding her animals on TV interest with Animal Planet and she is hypnotized. Not sure if this is a good thing (could help for me to leave it on when I leave the house so as to distract her from destroying my rug) or a bad thing (is screen time for dogs unhealthy?) but for now I love watching Rose watch other animals. My life is full of fascinating going ons like this. Just call me if you want more mundane stories. (and read on for the stuff I love this week!)

1. SPYING // JENNA LYONS’S LOFT: Remember when everyone (including me) freaked for Jenna Lyons’s brownstone that was published in domino? Dark bedroom…yellow couch…white and yellow striped nursery ceiling. It was nine years ago and I still see images from the feature on Pinterest. But I have to say that Jenna’s new SoHo loft that was recently showcased – along with a short video tour – for T Magazine blows the brownstone out of the water. There’s still splashes of color (a giant pink couch situation) and moody darks (a deep green/blue hallway and a dark-walled master bath) but it feels a lot more layered and dare I say, more Jenna-ish. Like most everything Jenna does, it’s both enviable and approachable. Love how the article notes how her “idiosyncratic genius for color and texture.” Truth.

2. BLOOMING // SISTER GOLDEN FLOWER ART: I stumbled upon the work of Vicki Rawlins and her “flower prints” the other week and felt like they were to fun not to share. Vicki and her daughter Brooke started Sister Golden, their online shop of curated artistic goods – including Vicki’s floral wonders and work by other independent artists all over the world – in 2014 and have been going strong ever since. Each flower piece that Vicki makes carefully arranged and layered (no tape, glue or pins!) then photographed before the temporary balanced beauty is gone. Though the 3D goodness can’t be framed and displayed, the prints are the next best thing! They literally look like they’re popping off the page. I think Iris might be my favorite…

3. WEARING // TIPPI: If you saw my post yesterday you saw me in one of my two J.Crew Tippi sweaters. I bought both around this time last year and am so glad I did…they’re soft, a basic shape (like a t-shirt but better?), and fitted just enough. I love the grey and ivory Tippi I have so much that I’m considering getting both black and heather flax this year. But then I saw that J.Crew made a very special Tippi sweater this season…one with a heart-eyed emoji. So good, right? I feel like I can’t totally justify getting the style for myself since I already have the style in grey but I really want to scoop it up for an emoji-loving friend. Who wouldn’t have hearts for eyes when getting this as a gift this year?!

4. UPGRADING // iPHONE X CASE: I did it. I ordered the iPhone X the other day. Though I have to wait a couple weeks to get the shiny new device in my greedy hands, I couldn’t be more excited to have an upgrade camera for all the dog and nephew photos I’m snapping on the reg. New phone = new case. I’m not one of those people who live on the edge and let their iPhones go naked…mine always needs a protective case. I’m recycling the Anya Hindmarch “Thumbs Up” leather sticker I used on an old iPhone case for whatever new case I get and I want something sold in color so that when I superglue the sticker on it stands out. I’m going to go super basic with either white or black. I’m torn between Apple’s silicone case or a Pela eco-friendly case. I recently learned about Pela and their plant-based cases that are BPA-free, eco-friendly, child-safe and designed to be 100% compostable. If you’re into clean products (I find myself switching out more and more things to be non-toxic/clean/eco-friendly thanks to Sally) then you should definitely check out the brand!

5. STUFFING // CHOCOLATE FOR THE STOCKINGS: Stockings are one of my favorite things when it come to Christmas. My parents are pretty great at stuffing mine and my siblings with a combination of sweet treats, things for the pups, and small surprises. Sally and I are doing stocking for each other this year in Dallas (a new tradition we’re starting) and I’m thinking that I might have to get a Compartés chocolate bar or two (sorry for spoiling some of your stocking surprise, Sal). If you haven’t tried yet the gourmet chocolate that is Compartés yet, I’ll tell you that the bars worth the hype. Besides the fact that each bar is handmade with all natural organic ingredients in Los Angeles, the crazy creative and delicious flavors are enough to have you intrigued. S’mores, anyone?

6. INSPIRED BY // BOBBI BROWN: I’m such a nerd for Bobbi Brown. I love her, her products and her whole approach to makeup (no contour palettes, whatttt?!). Last week I was on The CUT and liked reading this feature on how she “gets it done” – really cool to see a day-in-the-life of – but it was a link to an older Bobbi feature from March that I really loved. “Bobbi Brown on Why She Really Left Her Brand and Resisted Making a Contour Palette, and Her Next Moves.” If you’re also a fellow Bobbi lover you’ll probably really enjoy this read…she touches on her start her career (as a make-up artist, how her signature style came about, how she got into making her own make-up and was the first makeup artist to do so!), and more personal topics (like why she left the brand and what she’s doing now). Bobbi, you’re a boss.

7. WANTING // URBAN SPIKES: Hi, my name is Molly and I do not have a green thumb. I love the idea of having pretty plants in my home but have a very hard time keeping them alive. I’ve been told that succulents, cacti and orchids will be my best friend and require little to no maintenance…but I don’t just want to plop a succulent on my coffee table and call it a day. Ideally, I’d like some sort of arrangement that’s less “I picked up this resilient plant at Home Depot” and more “Oh this living piece of art? I consider it my flora spirit animal.” If you’re feeling a similar desire for something green that won’t be instantly killed and you live in the DFW area, then you need to check out Urban Spikes. Sorry for everyone who doesn’t reside in Dallas/Fort Worth…but this company is based in Dallas and Courtney Goldberg is the artful genius behind the creative arrangements. Love how Courtney uses so many elements – from sand art, stones, geodes, branches, petrified wood, quills, crystals, and more. Head to the @urbanspikes Instagram and site to see more eye candy and find out how to order your own “inventive, modern, botanical décor”!

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Current Vibes

November 29, 2017

Its no surprise that over half of this week's Current Vibes are holiday/Christmas related. December is mere days away and Thanksgiving is behind us, which means that its completely socially acceptable to become obsessive about the next holiday - right? Christmas feels that much more fun with a baby this year, so I just can't help myself! Read on for this week's vibes...

1. GOOP GUIDING // FOR GIFTS: To be honest, I get a little OD’d on gift guides this time of year. They seem to be everywhere I turn – I think it just gives me flashbacks to when Molly and I would slave over them. But, I’ve got to say that the Gift Guides from goop feel different. They’re perfectly curated with a little something for everyone without seeming overwhelming. Obviously, in true goop fashion, there are some larger ticket items, but some other really great things, too. Because guys are nearly impossible to buy for (dads included), I particularly liked the Guys recommendations. I need to track this down for a stocking stuffer! Also, am I allowed to put this on my own list? This is another great stocking stuffer! Thanks, goop!

2. ORNAMENTING // 12 DAYS SET: Thanks to our mama, we have a pretty full Christmas tree which makes decorating it each year that much more fun. Years ago our mom gave me a set of the Crate and Barrel 12 Days of Christmas ornaments and I just love them. The set is perfect when trying to fill a tree and I’m even considering buying this years version since they’re different from what we already have. They would be darling on a small tree in a child’s room, too.

3. UNIFORMING // BURU SWING SHIRT: White shirts are my uniform. In all varieties. Tees, button downs, blouses – you name it, I love it. Years ago, Molly and I bought some tunic-style button downs from J.Crew – also known as the “Endless” button down, that I have literally worn to death. Its a miracle the shirt is still white. Its definitely had its fair share of Oxy Clean. To this day, I still regret not buying a second one of these shirts because I wear mine that much and its always nice to have multiples in something white that can’t keep clean for long. That’s why when I found my new favorite button down in a swing style from BURU, I ordered a second one as soon as I decided that I was in love. The Sandra Dee Swing Shirt is a mom/girl’s best friend. Literally. The longer length and swing style take it up a notch from your typical button down and are also super practical. Not to mention that the shirt has pockets, which is an actual game changer when juggling 15,000 things at once. I’ve already worn the shirt multiple times and plan to make it my mom-uniform with jeans and my favorite sneakers. I guess I should apologize now for wearing the same thing every day?

4. GNOMING // HUDSON GRACE: Another Christmas, another year with our Hudson Grace golden gnome. My husband and I splurged on the gold guy when we were living in San Francisco a few years ago and he has spent every Christmas (I think 4 of them!) with us since. It was the first piece of Christmas decor that we bought and picked out together which brings back all of the feels each year when we bring him out. This year he is sitting front and center on our console table and you can see him from the window. My husband is dying to get two red guys to go on either side of the gold one, which would be pretty cute and kind of fun to represent our family of three. Give me alll the gnomes.

5. WEARING // HOLIDAY JAMMIES: One of the ways in which I am fully embracing Christmas with a little one is in the form of lots and lots of Christmas jammies. I jokingly told my husband that baby H would be wearing them every night from now until Christmas. But I’m kind of not kidding. As long as I can keep up with the laundry! I have a few pairs at home and a few more en route to us. Thesethese (which we got for the whole family!), and these. We will obviously be packing all of them when we go to Kansas City for the holidays so that we can be super festive. Can’t. Get. Enough.

6. BURNING // UMA INCENSE: I’m a big fan of all things UMA. We swear by the Baby Oil – its amazing for eczema and the smell is unreal. A little goes a long way, too so our bottle has lasted us quite awhile! I also can’t live without their Ultimate Brightening Oil. Its the perfect “primer” to apply before foundation and is great for this time of year when my skin is dryer. I have noticed a dramatic difference ever since I started using it regularly. Definitely a holy grail product for me. I use the Pure Calm Oil every night before bed and lovee it. With how much I love UMA’s products, I jumped at the chance to try their new Wellness Incense Sticks from West Elm. I am constantly worried that our house smells like dogs – two big dogs will do that to you. Ugh. Love the dogs, but not so much their smells! Trying to stay away from synthetic fragrances in the home, while also keeping things smelling nice can be a bit of a challenge. Thank goodness for UMAbecause our house now smells beyond amazing and we’ve been burning the incense in every room. We have the Pure Calm which I’m going to buy more of (with the great price!), but I also want to try the Pure Bliss. Since it works so well I am going to keep a back stock – I’m slightly obsessive about keeping our house smelling nice.

7. WATCHING // THE ROYAL ENGAGEMENT: Did you hear? Yea, I know you did. I’m pretty excited as I know it will be a fun spectacle! I love keeping up with the royal family just as much as the next person, so I’m pretty excited to follow along with the engagement and upcoming wedding.

. Goop Gift Guides // 2. Crate & Barrel 12 Days of Christmas Ornament Set ($50) // 3. Buru Sandra Dee Swing Shirt ($88) // 4. Hudson Grace Gnomes ($95-195 each) // 5. Roberta Roller Rabbit Sno Global Holiday Jammies ($65) // 6. UMA Incense Sticks ($16 per pack) // 7. Image via the google

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Current Vibes

November 22, 2017

I made it to Kansas City last night and it feels so good to be home! I've been dreaming of my mom's Thanksgiving meal for weeks now and can't wait to spend all day eating, drinking and being thankful with my family (minus Sally) tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll be sharing an outfit post - because I'm been dying to share a Mirth top that I packed for my trip and have been wearing a ton - then get ready for a big, long, glorious Black Friday sales & steals list. (now, on to today's feature and my vibes, vibes, vibes!)

1. DONNI LOVING // ALYSSA WASKO: Formerly known as Donni Charm, DONNI is a brand that specializes in scarves and other upgraded accessory essentials. As someone who owns a couple DONNI pieces I can attest to their versatility and coziness. The woman behind the simplistic and special designs is Alyssa Wasko. The whole brand came about after she lost her father Donald in 2009 – creating scarves was a way for her to cope and the hobby quickly turned into a business that’s been gaining recognition and traction ever since. I really loved getting to read Alyssa’s business profile and Q+A on Create & Cultivate…very impressed by her authenticity and drive. And can I just take a minute to call out some of my current DONNI faves from this season: this looks like the coziest things ever, the colors of this make it the ideal wear-with-everything neutral, and I love the oversized scale and texture of this guy!

2. MAKEUP-ING // BURT’S BEES: How did I miss that Burt’s Bees launched a full line of makeup? I only realized it after reading this feature on Emmy Rossum via The Coveteur. Had no idea she was an ambassador for Burt’s Bees or that they now had a makeup collection. Oops? Now I know, and now you know! Like all Burt’s Bees products, the makeup is made with natural ingredients and without any unnatural and/or synthetic chemicals. What I’m liking about the line is how curated it is. There’s just three face products (a liquid foundation, a powder foundation and a powder blush), one mascara, eyeshadow trio palates, an eyeliner pencil and a brow pencil, and a few new lip formulas (including two lipsticks, lip crayons and a lip oil). Kind of nice to not be overwhelmed by a ton of offerings, IMHO. So far the reviews I’ve been reading are good…and I’m pretty intrigued by the liquid foundation (I just love testing different formulas) and tinted lip oil (the caramel cloud color looks perfect). Anyone tried and tested something from the collection yet?

3. ADORING // CUYANA MINI BOW BAG: I don’t really know what to say about this precious Mini Bow Bag other than that I love it. Cuyana recently released the bag as part of their holiday catalog and I got immediate hearts for eyes. I’ve been trying to find a small handbag that’s not a clutch for a while and I just love the design so much. It’s small! It has a chain strap! It’s got a bow that’s not a full-on girly bow! So sweet and simple. Basically, I want it in both the red and black.

4. SLIDING // EYELOVE MULE: We should just change “holiday season” to “collaboration season.” I feel like everywhere I look there’s another collab happening and each is better than the next. Case in point with Stuart Weitzman’s limited edition EYELOVEMORE Mules they designed in collaboration with Gigi Hadid. I’m a big mule-wearing-gal so I liked these right off the bat. The slides are lined in shearling (cozy!), available in three suede colors (black, pale grey, and tan – my fave). The black and tan pairs features a single leather eye talisman appliqué on the right shoe while the grey features a grouping of evil eyes on each shoe (thus the higher price tag). The final touch is the metallic detailing on the heel. Aside from the fact that this is a fashion pairing made in heaven, Stuart Weitzman and Gigi Hadid created the style as a representation to their commitment to build three additional schools with Pencils of Promise. Gigi notes that “The evil eye is a powerful symbol meant to protect those who wear it from negative energies. It’s emotionally comforting and beautiful and captivating to look at. The bright colors are fun and remind me why we designed these shoes – they represent our commitment to build three additional schools with Pencils of Promise.” Looking good while doing good!

5. GROWING // HUDSON GRACE: I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow (so. freaking. excited.) but I’m just gonna talk about the next holiday (Christmas) for a second. Each year Hudson Grace sets off the season with their signature gnome and a selection of other home pieces. Everything HG does slays me but the holiday stuff is just so clean, classic and unfussy – I always want it all. Since I’m trying to be better about buying for others than for myself this year (so far, not super successful) I have been eyeing the red amaryllis and paperwhite bulb vases. Both flowers always remind me of my mom – she forces some each year – and they would make such an elegant, pretty gift that would keep giving once the bulbs bloom.

6. COLLAB LOVING // JPJ x SKB: Another collaboration! And this one is super special because it’s between two very talented artists I’ve always loved and admired: Jane Pope and Sally King Benedict. Jane’s fine jewelry line is known for its imperfect and organic lines, unique stone settings, and everyday wearability. Sally’s “faces” paintings are instantly recognizable and highly coveted by fans and collectors alike. Two lovely artists who happen to be long-time friends – two different mediums – brought together in the form of a really beautiful small jewelry collection. Since Jane did such a great job describing the collaboration and inspiration for the collection, I’m borrowing from her site: “Friends for years, Jane Pope and Sally King Benedict have always admired each other’s craft. During Jane’s travel to Portugal inspiration sparked when she came across roman coins with raised faces. These coins instantly reminded her of Sally’s work. They have come together to create a collection of fine jewelry inspired by roman coins, old-world crests, and the nature of a wax seal. With Jane’s delicately imperfect shapes and Sally’s abstract figures, a collection of truly special pieces was created. Like the patron saint of Christopher, these pieces are meant to represent any child or person and remind one of home when away. These 14 kt gold pieces can be worn every day and never taken off. This special collaboration is the perfect marriage of fine art and jewelry.” So sweet, right? The collection includes the sweetest little pinky ring, a pendant necklace on a delicate chain and one on a ball chain, medium sized stud earrings and small size studs. Love, love, love.

7. DECORATING // ARIANNA BELLE PILLOWS: Need new pillows? I do. For my couch. The new couch I need but haven’t yet bought. Anyway, Arianna Belle has a lot of options and I love the mix of fabrics and the ability to do custom sizes. Just thought I would pass it along for anyone else looking for pillows that aren’t from a big box store. Some of my favorites: this, this (have always loved the Les Touches print), this, this (Sally has this fabric on pillows on her couch!), this, and this (the famed Kelly Wearstler Bengal Bazaar!).

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Getting Gifty with West Elm

November 16, 2017

When it comes to the holiday season, there are certain beliefs that I hold dear: 1) Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas is You" cannot be overplayed. Ever. 2) Peppermint ice cream can and should be consumed the entire month of December, and last but not least, 3) It's never too early to start the gift shopping. Even better if you can be strategic about said shopping. For me, that means doing a little "one-stop-shopping" - scooping up gifts all in one place. West Elm is the ultimate gift destination during the holiday season...they truly have something for everyone and each option is more perfect, fun, beautiful than the next! Being the organized gift-giver that I am (humble brag), I scooped up some perfect presents while at West Elm the other week and thought I would share. I will say that even though I love everything I got (and feel that they're perfect for all types of people on my list) West Elm has even more gift goodness online - all in one spot and broken down into multiple categories - and I've got more a cart started with more great things I can't wait to wrap up and give!

 

FOR: the Entertainer: Some people are naturals when it comes to having gatherings and hosting parties. These entertainers make the impossible look effortless and I love them for it. If there’s one thing I know about people that love playing host, it’s that they appreciate pieces that they can put to good use. West Elm has so many good things any entertainer would love. As soon as I laid eyes on this painter’s palette-inspired cheese tray by Fishs Eddy Cheese Tray (on sale!) I knew it would be perfect for my bestie that puts together the most delicious cheese boards. It’s fun and playful – ideal for someone that likes getting to switch things up with each gathering. I also love this 2-tier cake stand, this pineapple trivet (something every hosts needs!), and this set of marble & brass cheese knives.

FOR: the White Elephant Party: I loooove holiday parties. Especially annual ugly sweater parties (I have a solid sweater I always wear) and white elephant parties (where the goal is to entertain with a silly gift). Getting to pick out a random and hilarious gifts for a white elephant party brings me so much joy. I could not get over the perfection of West Elm’s snow globes this year…though there were some great options (a unicorn, a llama, and more) I could not pass up the Merman Snow Globe. Is he not incredible?! Who wouldn’t want to take him home and find a special spot to show him off? I also felt like the fancy dog figurine and felt cacti would make for lovely white elephant gifts.

FOR: the Mixologist: Bar carts will probably never not be having a moment. I think every person I know has some sort of bar set up and some live the art of cocktail making more than others. For the friend (or friends) who are at home mixologists, West Elm has great accessories and tools that any cocktail connoisseur will love. I picked up a Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker while in the store (it’s sadly sold out online) for my friends that always mix drinks from the “Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails” since the book authors also created the shaker. For the mixer who prefers to stir and not shake, this mixing pitcher & strainer is gorgeous. And I love this bar tools set – equal parts form and function that will look super glam out on display.

FOR: the Adventurer: I’m not a “bucket list” type person but several of my friends are and I couldn’t help but think of them when I spotted this DOIY Poster of 100 Things You Must Do Before You Die. I think it’s really fun that it’s interactive – with little windows that peel off similar to an advent calendar – and that the design makes it worthy of actually hanging somewhere. And hey, the adventurous person might also need the 100 Places You Must See Before You Die poster. And I bet I know the perfect person to give the 100 Movies You Must See Before You Die poster to. So glad that West Elm included these posters in their gift section…I think they’ll be fun to give again and again.

FOR: the Ornament Exchange: If you haven’t been to an ornament exchange you either need to host one for your crew or find one to get in on. Every person brings and ornament and draws a number, going in order of the numbers, each person picks from the pile of wrapped ornaments OR “steals” an ornament that’s already been opened. If you’re someone who gets an ornament stolen you can steal or pick again from the pile. It turns into a really fun event when the ornaments are as fun as the guests! Each year West Elm has an incredible selection of ornaments – ranging from traditional and classic, to ornate and/or handmade, with some whimsical and playful goodness mixed it. I plan on bringing the Glass Cactus Terrarium Ornament (I can’t pass up something that feels Texas related) to my upcoming exchange but I might just have to get the ski bunny and candy cane shark for my own tree!

FOR: the Lover of Luxe: Sometimes people with excellent taste can be tricky to buy for. When I’m shopping for these people I like to look for things that are beautiful – ideally something that can be displayed – and interesting enough that the person getting the gift wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy it for themselves. Not many items fall into this category West Elm manages to always curate a handful of pieces that fit the bill. I love the Glass Knot objects because they’re simple but beautiful (and great to give along with a coffee table book or two that could sit beneath!). Other items that caught my eye are all upgraded ordinary things – these enamel & copper vases, agate bookends, a copper watering can – that any love of luxe would appreciate

FOR: the Chef: Friends and family who love all things cooking and kitchen related are among my favorite to shop for. I like trying to find things that they probably don’t have but would definitely use and love. West Elm broke out groupings of gifts by recipient and the “cooks + kitchen enthusiasts” was so fun to look through. While I was in store I found a little Marble Mortar & Pestle and thought it was such a nice tool for a favorite chef in my life. That said, there were a lot of other foodie things that caught my eye…how fun are the colors of this SMEG Espresso Machine and Dash Mini Waffle Maker?! I’m also a big fan of this oil & vinegar set and this butter dish.

FOR: the Person Who Has Everything: We all have this person on our gift list…they are notoriously difficult to buy for. Mainly because you feel like they have everything. Every year there’s one particular family member that I get stuck on…how to you find something they will love but don’t already have?! Well, you spy something like the acrylic Deco Stacking Game and think, “bingo.” It’s like a fancier version of Jenga – fun, elegant, and has equal parts form and function. I’m a little too excited to give this baby away! And hey, if all else fails, pick out a pretty frame or two from West Elm’s selection and print pictures your “person who has everything” would love (bonus points if you and them are in the picture together). I love these acrylic and metal frames!

FOR: the Zen Master: So I don’t totally love that I used the term “zen master” but I didn’t know how else to describe the person that’s all about relaxing, minimalism, and pretty but practical. They’re like lovers of serene (re: zen). An obvious choice for a friend like this would be a pretty blanket or candle but there’s way more interesting ways to give scent that’s not a candle. Like incredible incense! West elm carries Uma Incense Sticks – if you haven’t smelled them before, they are pretty major – and I thought that a case of the “pure calm” with an simplistic but elegant Incense Burner would be the ideal combo.

Feeling the itch to get started (early) on your own glorious gift list? Do yourself a favor and head to West Elm. They have even more great stuff than what I talked about here…I just didn’t want to go nuts and list every single thing that caught my attention! Ho, ho, ho and happy shopping!

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