2020 Best Ornaments Round-Up

I had to! Each year I lean harder into my Crazy Christmas Lady identity and this year has been no exception. This is the first year I’ve really leaned into buying fun ornaments. In previous years, I’ve done simple trees with gold bulbs and a few sentimental ornaments, but now that I have my new white tree [similar here], I’m adding pops of color all over! What follows is a round-up of some of my favorite ornaments that I’ve seen online and in stores this year. I didn’t get around to including Joann’s, but apparently they have a huge selection.

  • Everything at Michael’s is wildly on sale all the time, so yesterday I made it out with easily over $100 worth of merchandise for $50. Their décor game is strong always, but here are a few of my favorite ornaments.

Stand Mixer / Retro Van / Avocado / Chinese Takeout / Ramen / Menorah / Candy Canes

  • I have long extolled the virtues of the Target Wondershop, and this year it really stepped up its game.

Lemon / Iced Coffee / Retro Deer / MetroCard / Dinosaur / Nutcracker / Pool Float / Butter / Martini / Retro Tree

  • Anthropologie is another reliable source for excellent ornaments.

Mushrooms / Caviar / Cosmo Cocktail

  • West Elm has a ton of cute stuff this year.

Monograms / Rainbow / Tassel

  • The selection at CB2 is small but doesn’t disappoint.

Cheetah Bulb / Cacti / Fortune Cookie / Marble Swirl Bulbs / Art Deco Bulbs

Week Links [8 November]

Well, we did it. Or, we didn’t do it, but organizers in swing states did it. Special shout out to Philly, Detroit, & Atlanta. I love Atlanta, and when we’re allowed to travel again, I’m definitely doing long weekends in Philly and Detroit and giving them all of my tourism money. I think we’ll always remember where we were when we found out the election had been called—I was washing dishes, and I got a text from my husband that said, “Is Biden President??” I immediately responded, “No,” but then I refreshed the ABC News live map on my phone and my heart stopped for a second. I kind of wish I’d gotten to see the news break in real time, but I’LL TAKE IT. Remember, remember the 7th of November, bitch!

I’ll be critical next week, but this weekend is for celebration. One less thing to worry about. We pop bottles when we vote out fascists.

  1. Never going to stop listening to this song for as long as I live! Let’s make it the most streamed rap song of all time. This is also in the running.
  2. Speaking of patriotism, Whitney Houston’s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” is the best version ever performed or recorded. It’s hard to find a decent video of it, but this one starts at 1:15.
  3. Really wishing I had these champagne coupes to toast this weekend. *theatre kid voice* Raise a glass to freedom, something they can never take away!
  4. The Target Wondershop is absolutely popping off this year. Can you even handle this lemon ornament? I’m trying to be deliberate about my decoration curation, because the ornaments we had in my house growing up were really special—some from my mom’s childhood, some from ours—and although I am an Aesthetic™ bitch, I do want to bring that happy energy to my own children’s lives, should I ever be lucky enough to have kids (waiting on that vaccine for sure). And if I’m being honest, I’m probably going to get this retro tree in both sizes. I love that shit that was old even 25 years ago when I was a kid is coming back into vogue. *cue “Landslide“*
  5. I finally bought this sweatshirt after weeks of waffling because I thought it might be a jinx. Proud of my vote! Should I get a set of pearls to go with?
  6. My friend Rachel made a playlist of showtunes to blast when Biden’s victory was declared. She is an icon and a national treasure.
  7. Did we know that MIZ Stacey Abrams writes romance novels? Gonna have to find a way to buy all of them.
  8. I’ve been compiling a list of recipes to make if I’m ever allowed to host a gathering again and this is a definite yes. P.S. Very excited to soon have a President who believes in science and will take whatever measures are possible to mitigate the spread of the virus!
  9. I rewatched the 1997 animated film Anastasia on HBO Max on Wednesday (because stress), and I have to say it’s wildly underrated. Name a better voice cast! There are FIVE musical numbers before the 30 minute mark.
  10. My husband sent me this video about the most important run in music history. I’ve been working on this since roughly 2011 and I don’t think I’ve ever successfully done it.
  11. And, like, no neolib, but it is actually a huge fucking deal that Kamala Harris is our first woman Vice President. She has some blemishes on her record that she needs to acknowledge and atone for, and she wasn’t my choice in the primaries, but a Black, South Asian daughter of immigrants and HBCU grad without children who didn’t take her husband’s last name being elected to the second-highest office in the land? Representation matters—in big ways (young black and brown girls in this country get to grow up with a leader that looks like them), and slightly less significant, but still remarkable ways (you don’t have to give birth or let your identity be subsumed by a man’s to make it in politics). Even Hillary Clinton reluctantly took her husband’s last name in the interest of political expediency. This is a bit of a pet issue for me, I’ll admit, but in 2021 we’re moisturizing, drinking water, and not participating in the patriarchy anymore.
it is with a heavy heart that i must admit that young joe biden was a snack

Week Links [4 November]

*I wrote this before the election, so please bear with me. I’m not ready to address it, but I did sob profusely for several hours last night, and I’m pretty sure I went through all of the stages of grief and have come out the other side a bit numb, but otherwise unscathed. We can do this.

Spooky season is over, suckas! Now is my time to shine. I actually love Thanksgiving (because food), but all those browns and earth tones? Just not my aesthetic. In my house, the second Halloween comes to pass (or in this case, the day before…) it’s all Christmas time all the time.

i don’t usually do anything for halloween, but this year since it was on a saturday and i had nothing else going on, i did a bargain-bin version of midge maisel. i even posted an impression on my instagram stories, so i believe i achieved full holiday cringe.

Apart from disassociating due to election stress, I’ve been re-reading Rebecca, drinking lots of water, and filling my entire home with winter-scented reed diffusers. My eyes are permanently dry and itchy from constant doom-scrolling. Not everyone has the privilege/luxury of leaning into self-care, so I’m extremely grateful that I have the flexibility and means to take care of myself right now. I encourage you to find little joyful moments wherever you can, because even if “we win” (as flimsy and hollow as that ultimately is), it’s going to be months or years more of the pandemic and a lifetime more of fighting to repair (or completely overhaul) the systems that brought us here in the first place. Wear a mask, stay home if you can, and please, always punch Nazis.

  1. I would be lying to you if I told you I hadn’t bought this sweatshirt and also this top.
  2. This is my new Christmas tree. I’m blessed with a high ceiling in my living room, so 7ft feels appropriate for my level of enthusiasm. It does not disappoint IRL…it kicks the ass of any tree I’ve ever had. Are you a real tree or a fake tree person? We had a real one maybe once when I was a kid, but I’m a fake tree gal for life. My skinny rose gold tree is no longer in stock, but this one is very similar.
  3. Okay, so the spending freeze has been going pretty well, with the slight exception of Christmas-related items. I figured that technically that’s my household budget, not my personal one, so I got a few little things at Target, one of which was this comforter set. Our current duvet set is blush pink and just doesn’t have the appropriate winter vibe! I feel like this one is just “holiday” enough, but not so obvious that we can’t use it until spring.
  4. This instrumental EP is all vibes.
  5. I love love love Ramy Youssef, so I’m 0% surprised that his special, Feelings on HBO Max, is amazing.
  6. I finally started watching Never Have I Ever on Netflix, and even though I usually don’t have much interest in shows revolving around kids, it’s really pulling at the ol’ heartstrings. I just sobbed to U2’s “Beautiful Day,” actually, so I’m doing great!
  7. On that notes, I’ve been listening to Mindy Kaling’s new short story collection, Nothing Like I Imagined, and it’s so much fun. She’s such a sweet, funny writer, in addition to being a style icon and comedy legend. Every time I try to quit Amazon, they put out something like this. I finally understand drug addiction.
  8. Random, but this is my favorite hot sauce ever. My friend Gilly sent it to me (Recess is one of my favorite coffee shops, so we look forward to her care packages all year). 10/10 perfect flavor. She also sent me this tank, which I wear constantly. It’s made with some miracle fabric that somehow makes me look extremely skinny. Can’t be explained by science.
  9. Anthro’s ornaments section will bankrupt me.
  10. I started watching Nora from Queens on HBO Max, and it’s honestly worth it just to watch Bowen Yang perform “Bubbly.”

Limonata Rosa

I’m sure there are already 19,000 cocktails named this, but given my use of not one but two Italian liqueurs, I feel that it’s appropriate. I couldn’t tell you why, but the other day at Trader Joe’s I was struck with the desire to get a bottle of Aperol, something I’ve never actually owned before. I’ve had a few Aperol Spritzes before, and Negronis (I know, technically that’s Campari), but I’m not really super familiar with Aperol. I had to Google to even figure out what it was made of (gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona, if you’re wondering). The touch of Aperol gives this cocktail a really pretty pink/peach-y color that is piuttosto adorabile, if I do say so myself.

This drink tastes like heaven. It’s sweet without being too cloying—like a melted lemon popsicle on a summer day. I don’t know if this is just a regional thing, but it’s like getting Richie’s Italian Ice from a cart in Boston Common. You can tweak the proportions however you like to make it more or less sweet (or potent). I never measure anything, so the recipe is actually just approximations, but it was roughly equal parts of all 4 ingredients, maybe a little heavy on the limoncello.

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forgive my unpainted hobbit nails and my half-removed tattoo…

La ricetta:

1/2 oz. Aperol*

1/2 oz. limoncello*

1/2 oz. vodka*

1/2 oz. lemonade*

*or just equal parts of each, depending on how much you want to make

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain the liquid into a martini glass. Top with a club soda float (if desired) and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Happy summer sipping!

(My martini glass is from Anthropologie. I got it right before my wedding in 2016, but there’s similar here and here. Also these coupe glasses are to die for.)

Shout Out Sunday 9.22.19

Last week was rushed and short so this will be a mega-post! Or should I say a “Mega Thee Stallion” post? A lot of cool shit is going on this week, or in some cases, has been going on for ages and my dumb ass is just discovering it! Without further ado, let’s get into it!

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source: the atlantic

  1. Cameron Esposito wrote a beautiful piece for Modern Love, and also her book is now available for pre-order!
  2. Speaking of books I can’t wait to read, JOSH GONDELMAN’S BOOK IS OUT.
  3. I’m currently reading A Visit from the Goon Squad and just finished The Wedding Party.
  4. MANDY MOORE PUT OUT A NEW SONG. Listen to “When I Wasn’t Watching.”
  5. Also, Brittany Freaking Howard put out a solo album!
  6. I’m going to a quinceañera today and I’m wearing this dress.
  7. 100% making this bag. I already have the supplies in my Amazon cart.
  8. I started listening to the Reply Guys podcast and Julia & Kate are a joy! Everyone needs more feminist, leftist talk in their lives. I also finally started listening to Las Culturistas (I run a Bowen Yang Stan Household) and it has quickly become my favorite podcast. Also, CONGRATS to Bowen on joining the cast of SNL!
  9. Betty Gilpin on WTF with Marc Maron goes deep.
  10. I am undone by this popsicle mold. Everything should be daisies.
  11. I know this is a WEIRD one, but I’m team cottage cheese > yogurt every day. This brand is delicious and the strawberry chia is extremely my shit.
  12. Of course I started watching Derry Girls.
  13. Did you read the Lauren Duca takedown piece? Honestly a bummer. Here’s the rebuttal. Is it bad that I still want to read her book?
  14. I wanna see Hustlers.
  15. Someone PLEASE buy me this coat, for the love of god.
  16. My therapist keeps recommending meditation before bed…should I try Calm or is that too podcast-y?
  17. How did I…just…get into Megan Thee Stallion? “W.A.B” ruined me.
  18. Have I introduced you to my Twitter crush?
  19. I’m tutoring “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” today and, honestly, when’s the last time you read a late medieval poem? Get on that.
  20. It’s Bi Visibility Day/Week/Month (depending on your source) and it’s really, really important. Here’s some reading material to get you prepped! (Also, I’ve been wearing this necklace a little bit extra lately…)

Song of the week:Never Really Over” by Katy Perry

Okay, actually this has been the song of my WHOLE SUMMER. A truly underappreciated bop!

 

And with that, I leave you, my dearest loves. Until next week!

 

Christmas Kind of Love

So, full disclosure—while I don’t identify as Christian (my dad’s fam is totally secular and my mother’s is lapsed Catholic AF), I L O V E Christmas. The opportunity to decorate my home with even more white and gold? Sign me up! I have two pre-lit trees—one I inherited from my mom (it’s green with colored lights) and one skinny 6′ rose gold tree that I got at Target before the 2016 election (that year was dark, so I decorated very early). I didn’t decorate last year because our house was under construction, so this year I went ham. But this is just a dry-run for next year, which will be over the freakin’ top. I’m already depressed about January coming and having to take down all my glitz. As long as it’s down by Valentine’s Day, I’m fine, right?

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That said, here are some holiday faves!

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Best Ways to Give Back

Around the holidays I go beyond my usual small monthly donations! Here are some of my fave charities and ways to give!

Planned Parenthood, International Refugee Assistance ProjectACLU, KINDNAACP, SPLC, Support the Girls, RIP Medical Debt, The Trevor Project, It Gets Better, ITMFA, and so many more!

Best Christmas Songs

My husband, the sweet angel of earth that he is, made me a curated playlist for Christmas called FIG for CHELS—Christmas Edition, because he is perfect. There are quite a number of songs on here I’d never heard before. “You’re a Gift” by The Both is my new favorite! And we can’t forget Holiday Soul Party!

I started compiling a Christmas album playlist for myself, but I got very, very lazy. Also, I work in a store that plays nonstop Christmas music (which I’m actually very here for) so I got my fill this year!

What’s your favorite Christmas song? Mine is “Father Christmas” by The Kinks!

Best Presents

  1. Gift a subscription! FabFitFun & Oui Fresh are my go-tos, but there’s also Birchbox, Ipsy, Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s (great for guys!), quip, graze, LOLA (because practical), Book of the Month Club, or Bark Box (for those weirdo dog people in your life!) I’d suggest streaming services, but tbh just give a friend your password if they don’t already have Netflix.
  2. Gift Cards to Amazon or Target—these will never not get used.
  3. What I call “The Cornucopia”—hone in on one interest and make a gift basket out of tiny items! If your friend is a writer, buy them fancy versions of everything they need—a journal, pens, notepads, sticky notes, stickers, washi tape, paper clips, you name it! Most people (not me, obviously), but most people won’t indulge themselves in that gold stapler or adorable jar of wooden pushpins because function > fashion. Useful gifts are always the best gifts, and tons of little gifts, imo, are better than one. I did one of these for my husband for our first Christmas together and those items are still floating around the house.
  4. A memory. This might sound dumb, but this is the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Example: I’m gifting my favorite professor a framed photo I took of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, because I first heard of it in his class and his support was the reason I got the opportunity to go there. I hope that, for years to come, he can glance over and think warmly about one of his favorite places.
  5. And finally, a free idea, since not everyone in the world spends money like a millionaire (guilty!)—a hand-written card or letter. Literally who writes letters anymore?! I’ve done this a couple of times for various events (sometimes accompanying a gift, sometimes not), and it always gets a great response. Not everyone needs external validation all the time (guilty!) but people love knowing how special they are to you!

Best Holiday Decorations

Anthropologie, West Elm, Target, Pier One, CB2, and Cost Plus World Market have reliably fantastic stuff, although you know ya girl got every damn thing from Target.

Best Christmas Movies

I am about to seriously out myself right now, but I’ve never seen Die Hard or Home Alone. I know. I suck. Truth be told, I’ve never actually even watched A Christmas Story from start to finish. I am not a movie girl (I blame the ADHD). I’m a TV addict—hit me with a Doctor Who or Downton Christmas special any day.

My personal favorite holiday films: It’s A Wonderful Life (true life: I was in a stage production of this when I was 16), the Mickey Mouse & Muppet versions of A Christmas Carol, the Jim Carrey Grinch, and of course, ELF, the best Christmas movie of all time.

P.S. Love, Actually isn’t actually that good, which is insane, because THAT CAST. And liking The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t the same thing as having a personality.

Best Shows to Binge-Watch on Christmas Break

You probably only have a week off, so these are some shows you can absolutely finish before the new year! Snuggle up with your cats and watch these masterpieces!

Amazon: Catastrophe, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Netflix: Great NewsSchitt’s Creek, The Good Place

Hulu: Difficult PeopleThe Handmaid’s Tale

Best Audiobooks for Your Drive Home

Becoming by Michelle Obama, Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle, This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps, Feminasty! by Erin Gibson, Shrill by Lindy West, So Close to Being the Shit, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta

Bonus Content: Chag Chanukah Sameach!

So, Hanukkah has been over for a minute, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t attempt to observe. I was too lazy to make actual latkes, but I did a run of potato soups as an homage to the culinary concept.

I didn’t buy a menorah because I kept thinking that cashiers would judge me for adding one to a cart full of sparkly Christmas garlands, but I have my eye on a few for next year—this one, this mod one, this gorgeous gold one, and this colorful one.

And good on SJ to give us a Hanukkah song that’s way better than Adam Sandler’s.

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I hope anything on this list is helpful to your holiday season!

P.S. Michael’s Christmas stuff is all 50%-60% off right now, so get thee gone.

P.P.S Send me #thoughtsandprayers that it doesn’t snow anytime soon.

Sunday Kind of Love

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i truly cannot believe this is a thing. it is the exact intersection of all of my interests.

February’s in full swing! And on this Sunday morning, I’m in full pajamas with a full glass of cold brew. At least for the moment, I’m pretending that I don’t have chores to do and hundreds of pages of reading #gradschoolproblems. Here’s some of the stuff that made me smile this week.

P.S. This entire week is dedicated to The Purple One, in honor of Sheila E. shutting down Timberlake over the stupid hologram. This is my sole comment on the Super Bowl.

  1. Valentine’s Day is so not my jam, but novelty pajamas absolutely are. I saw these at Target the other day and almost caved and bought them (there’s still time…) Also, tacos are life, and I need this shirt to add to my obnoxious collection of Francophile clothing items.
  2. I am so excited about SOLO that I could scream. Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian is, I think, my exact number on the Kinsey Scale?! Summer can’t come fast enough!
  3. Okay, okay. I’m like, the last person on earth to see this, but I finally watched Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy video and just about died from the sweetness. I’ve never actually seen KUWTK, and to me, Kylie Jenner is just “the lipstick girl,” but I have to give the whole fam (Kris) mad props for their marketing finesse. Also, we got to see Chicago West for the first time!
  4. I have got to make this DIY. I’m obsessed with macarons (I know, basic), and this would look so cute on my bar cart! My bar cart apparently isn’t available from Target anymore, but maybe I should get a second one for coffee because this beautiful cart exists? I needed to lie down when I saw this one…gorgeous.
  5. Speaking of my Oh Joy! bar cart, please give me EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF THIS FURNITURE. Plz and thank you.
  6. Guess I’m on a furniture kick, because look at this thing I must have for my kitchen! Venmo me $1,000 that I can spend on furnishings I don’t need?
  7. Can I get married again so I can wear this, or this, or frankly any of these?
  8. Should I listen to the new Timberlake? The internet (and my moral compass) has totally turned on him, but 20/20 was wicked good, so…?
  9. These glasses are amazing and I need them yesterday. Also these sunnies. Alternately, I need to re-lens the glasses I already have (these, these, these, these, these—some in different colors), or, y’know, get contacts.
  10. Should I do Whole30? As I proved last month, I can give up alcohol, but all bread? I feel like that’s disrespectful to Oprah.

What was on your mind this week?

xoxo,

c

Wishlist Wednesday

Alright, it’s Thursday. Get off my back! As that garbage Christina Perry song goes, “I’m Only Human”!

Now that I’m (officially) on track to be a broke grad student, I can’t shop with the reckless abandon that I have been lately. I’ve long been a practitioner of retail therapy, but it might be time to hang up my hat. I don’t think I’ll ever truly free myself from the shackles of capitalism, but it can’t hurt to window-shop…right?

With that in mind, here’s some of my current wishlist!

RINGLY

I heard about RINGLY a few years back, but stumbled upon the company again while I was whiling away the hours on Amazon recently (a dangerous pastime, I know).

Side note: I am NOT responsible enough to have discounted Student Amazon Prime. Last night I bought 11 nose rings, a magnet, and a retro kitchen timer. O brave new world, with such gadgets in it!

But anyway, despite the fact that I cannot justify spending $165 on a ring that does not a. contain diamonds or b. alert the world to my marital status, I still want one so badly! They’re so pretty, and I’m dying to find an excuse to disconnect from my phone for a while. First Date, Daydream, or Dive Bar would all be perfect complements to any outfit. The bracelets, which I believe are a newer addition, are just as adorable, and way more fashion-forward than the FitBit I’ve been rocking. And I do have a birthday coming up in August…

All of the Lights, All of the Lights!

I’ve recently been tasked with a joyous assignment—picking out a new light fixture for my husband’s office! After years of waiting for this to be “his idea” he finally asked me to upgrade his situation, and I am only too happy to comply. As you may or may not know, I have a mild obsession with light fixtures, but have never had the budget to swap out all the ceiling lights in my house (saving that for home ownership, bby!)

To get an idea of my true style, check these babies from Anthropologie: Brass-Capped Spinning Pendant, Villier Chandelier, Anchored Ord Chandelier. As indulgent as my husband often is in my flights of fancy, there is no way in Hell that he’ll let me spend a grand of his $$$ on a light, so here are some far more reasonable options I’m going to throw at him.

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Bell White Flush Mount Lamp, CB2

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Alchemist Pendant in Gold, Anthropologie

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Mid Century Sputnik in Modern Brass, Lucent Lightshop

S’cute!

Madewell Denim

I’ve only ever snagged Madewell denim on sale, but in my aspirational life where I have upwards of $120 to spend on a single pair of jeans, I will live in it. The few pieces I own are the most beautiful, buttery-soft, perfect jeans known to man. Fun fact: I actually like my Madewells over my Citizens of Humanity, so, do with that information what you will.

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this triptych of denim perfection is literally what I imagine Paris looks like

Gimme all the pairs! The fit of Madewell pants is actual perfection. The same can’t be said about sister brand, J.Crew, unfortunately, or at least not for me and my disproportionately massive butt. I don’t know if it’s vanity sizing or what, but stepping into a pair of Madewells is like the Sisterhood of the damn Traveling Pants. Booty for days.

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I’m also super-feeling the wide-leg trend. I guess all these years of reading Man Repeller has finally gotten to me. I resisted wide-legs for years because I assumed they’d make me look, well, wider. I was wrong, bbs! I have this amazing velvet pair of cropped flares and pair similar to this gorgeous J.Crew pair and they are serving me LIFE on a silver platter.

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These are just a few selections from the abandoned shopping carts that I have littered the internet with lately. What have you been salivating over lately?

—DellaBites