Confession time: I totally love to look at people’s holiday wish lists. I love this time of year in the blog world, because everyone is publishing posts with gift guides and wish lists, and I think it’s such a fun look into what folks are coveting, what they love, and what they hope Santa will bring them in a few weeks. I think it’s a great way to get an intimate look at a side of someone that maybe you never expected. You can tell a lot about someone by what they hope is under the tree on December 25th!
The irony of my wish list love is that presents aren’t really a big thing in our family. My family switched to stockings-only years ago (we have 17 people and stockings are totally the best part about gift-receiving anyway), and Craig and I are usually pretty reserved with how much we spend on each other at the holidays. Christmas just isn’t really about gifts for us, but it’s still fun to think about all the stuff you could buy if funds were unlimited. Plus, it’s like reliving my childhood letters to Santa. Instead of flipping through the Sears Toy Catalog and marking every single thing, I get to virtually window shopping at my favorite online stores. Fun!
Disclaimer: Starred items (*) are affiliate links. Which means that I get a small percentage of the sale if you buy through my link. If that makes you feel icky, feel free to click the non-affiliate link at the end of each item. Thanks for your support!
(1) Cloth Napkins :: We’re cloth napkin users in our house, and almost all of our sets are looks pretty shabby from years of daily use of and abuse. Now, I’m a somewhat skilled seamstress, and it’d take me no time to whip us up a new set of day-to-day napkins, but I’ve yet to find the time (and, let’s be honest, sewing napkins isn’t the most exciting project in the world). In my ideal world, a big pack of these beautiful, screenprinted napkins would just show up on my lap one day.
(2) Le Creuset Dutch Oven* :: I actually have a small Le Creuset that I snagged (of all places) at a thrift store, and it’s awesome, but I’d love a big brother for it. And this Caribbean blue makes my heart happy. (non-affiliate link)
(3) Remote Control Flameless Candles :: On a whim, I bought a set of these at Costco a few months back for $30, and I love them. Unlike most flameless candles, the batteries in these last forever (we use them nightly and I’m still on the original batteries). Plus, the remote means that we can put them up in all kinds of high fun places and turn them on just for a few minutes if we want. I’d love another set to put elsewhere in the house. Unfortunately, Costco is sold out, and all the other places are selling for $100+! Sadface.
(4) Indiana Throw Pillow :: We saw one of these state pillows while on vacation one year in Michigan, and I knew I wanted to have the Indiana version at some point. I didn’t know at the time that they cost $160! For a throw pillow! So I’ve just been coveting it from a far for years and years.
(5) Bar Decanters :: We have a bar set up out in the middle of our living room. We love having it accessible, we hate having the mismatch of booze bottles on display for everyone to see. I’d love a set of beautiful decanters to make it less mis-matchy. Too bad these suckers from Williams Sonoma run between $450-$550 each. A little (okay, a lot) rich for my blood. I’m kinda hoping we’ll just stumble onto a matching set at the Goodwill for $10.
(6) New Couch :: Okay, last time I checked, a new couch wouldn’t fit under the Christmas tree, but we’re suspending reality for a bit here. Back when we went through our first tornado, one of the few items we lost was our couch (water damage, mostly). We had renter’s insurance, but we figured we could find a decent couch for less than our deductible. And we did. It’s fine, but it’s also not the best quality ever. In hindsight, we should have just paid the deductible and probably got a nicer couch that would last us a while, but hey, you live, you learn. I’d love to replace our current cheapie with something classic that’ll last us through the next chunk of our life.
(7) Longtail Henleys :: Advertising works, kids. Have you seen the commercial for Duluth Trading Company’s longtail tees? As a tall woman who can pretty much never find shirts that are long enough I was sold. I’d love a few of these solid-color henleys for winter. So cozy.
(8) Wrap Bracelets :: I don’t know if wrap bracelets are still trendy (are they?), but I love them. I’ve always loved big chunky bracelets, and wrap bracelets let you take that to the max. I don’t really have a lot of places to wear fun jewelry, but if I did, I’d totally rock these wrap bracelets.
(9) Mani/Pedi Gift Certificate :: I love, love, love getting my nails and toes done, but it’s something that I almost never pay for for myself (as in, I bought myself one pedicure in my entire life). I’d love to get a gift card for my very own day at the spa.
(10) Indiana Necklace :: This necklace has been on my wish list (and Pinterest) for at least the last four years. I love it.
(11) Smart Wool Boot Socks :: Smart Wool stuff is so friggin’ pricey, but for good reason—it’s wool that keeps your toes warm without being itchy or letting them overheat. It’s really time for me to overhaul my sock drawer, and I think these awesome boot socks would be a good start.
(12) Keen Brooklyn II Bag :: I have this bag. I love this bag. I use this bag every single day. But I have this bag in a bright orange, and while the bright orange is amazing for Spring and Summer, I wish I had this exact replica of my bag in gray for my slightly-more-muted cool weather wardrobe.
(13) Wallet :: I’ve been on the hunt for a new wallet for years (I’m still using a bright pink Coach wallet from college, which has seen better days). My current wallet is a biggie, but I really don’t need that much space because I never carry cash, my checkbook or very many cards. So right now, I’m kinda crushing on this cute little wallet/wristlet from Natural Life.
(14) iPad Mini :: I have absolutely no need for a tablet. At my old job, I had one, and it was really nice and convenient for taking notes and traveling and the such (oh, you know, watching movies on the treadmill), but a need? No way. But man, I’d be pretty stoked if one just showed up on my doorstep randomly.
(15) 100mm f/2.8L Macro Lens* :: This is going to sound ridiculous, but I actually want another one of these lenses. We own one, and it’s amazing. It’s perfect for food (it’s what my entire cookbook was shot with), but my husband is a photographer and also uses it all the time for his job and side portrait gigs. Which means there is a lot of, “Do you have the lens?” “Where is the lens?” “Can I have the lens today?” going on. A second lens would be amazing. (non-affiliate link)
(17) CamelBak Stainless Groove :: I’m a bit of water snob, so my CamelBak Groove is my savior whenever I’m traveling or filling up somewhere new. The filter makes almost any water crisp, clean and taste-free. After years of use, the plastic is starting to look a bit sad, and I don’t love the idea of my water being in plastic anyway. So I’d love to snag the stainless steel version of my favorite filtering water bottle. (Disclaimer: I got my original plastic CamelBak Groove years ago for free for review on this blog).
(18) Chunky Knitting Needles + Yarn :: I’m not much of a knitter, but about once a year, I get the urge to knit something, and I love using big chunky needles and yarn because projects go so fast! I have so many 1/2 finished knitting projects that I started on small needles. Chunky knitting is the key to my success!
(19) Staedtler Fineliner 20 Pack* :: I have a 10-pack of these pens that I got as conference swag a few years ago, and they are the best pens/markers on the planet. Unfortunately, I’ve used all of mine almost down to nothing. I’d love a new, bigger, more colorful set! (non-affiliate link)
(20) Books :: I love getting books for Christmas because it seems like, once the hub-bub of Christmas morning is over, curling up by the fire in cozy jammies with a good new book is pretty much the best way to spend the rest of the holiday. Right now, Eleanor & Park and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown are on my wish list.
What’s on your Christmas list?
Thinking…about getting a maid. Does anyone else have one? Is it worth it? We just want someone to come in and do the deep cleaning every month or so. We’re pretty decent about keeping things clutter-free, but deep-cleaning? Psh. Terrible. Who has the time to wipe baseboards?
Feeling…cold. Seriously, where did Fall go? It’s like we skipped right over it. We usually try not to turn on the furnace until December, but man, there was no getting around it this week. Brrrr.
Watching…not much. I got a little movie and TV-ed out last week with my sickness. I reached into the depths of Netflix and watched some seriously horrible shows and movies. Ha! I need a break. Although, we are (slowly) catching up on How I Met Your Mother.
Reading…nothing, really. I need to get to the library.
Excited…to be heading to Canada next week! Craig’s brother eloped earlier in the month, and we’re headed up to his hometown next week to go to their big celebration party. We’re road-tripping it (which we haven’t done in years), and we love road trips! Plus, it’ll be so fun to see all of Craig’s family.
Missing…the blissful, uninterrupted, easy sleep of youth. Everyone mentions wrinkles and aches and pains when they talk about getting older, but no one tells you that sleeping get harder and harder each year you get older. Yawn.
Wondering…why the leaves are so weird this year. Even though it’s almost November, and we’ve already had a hard freeze, most of the trees in this area still have leaves on them. And most of them are even still green. Usually by this time, almost all of the leaves are gone, and if not gone, they have at least turned into bright, brilliant colors.
Working…on a bunch of recipes for my friends at Anytime Fitness, the interior designs for a few cookbooks, a few website redesigns, and holiday card designs for my new online stationery store (exciting!).
Stressed…about how much I have to accomplish this week. Between being sick last week, and heading out of the country next week, the next seven days are all about extreme productivity.
Wanting…someone to come here and process all the green peppers I have sitting in my kitchen. We rescued a full bushel of green peppers from our garden before the freeze came, and now, I have to chop ‘em and freeze ‘em. Ugh. So tedious. But, then again, so nice having green peppers stashed in the freezer for the winter.
Wishing…I could completely shake this cold. I feel so (SO) much better than I did, but I’m still not 100%. I really hope it’s not one of those sicknesses that sticks around all winter long.
Eating…Italian food! Cold weather means comfort food, and I’m all about the pasta and red sauce and pizza and other yummy, heavy Italian-inspired dishes. Also, I recently rekindled my love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yum.
Drinking…lots of ice water. Trying to stay as healthy as possible, so I’m chugging the H20, and laying off all the other stuff. Although, in the depths of my sickness, I did have a Sprite or two. I rarely have soft drinks, but man, carbonation is the best when your throat feels like it’s made of sand paper.
Loving…the Standards/Vocal Jazz Pandora station. My fireplace. Not having a real job. Hoodies.
What are you currently feeling, loving, thinking, eating, etc.?
1I have been M.I.A. because I have the COLD OF DEATH. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I’ve been pretty sick recently. I think it was only a few weeks ago that was running my mouth and bragging about how I hadn’t been sick in over a year. Well, I’m making up for it with this one. It just won’t go away. I keep thinking I’m recovering, but it just comes back with a vengeance. I guess that’s just the time of year, right?
2 With my sickness, I’ve been able to explore the deep reaches of the Netflix romantic comedy library. My favorite movies (on Netflix) to fall asleep to: Maid in Manhattan, She’s All That and Runaway Bride. I’ve seen each no less that 20 times, and they are just barely interesting enough to keep me distracted from the mucus factory that has set up shop in my noggin, but boring enough for me to fall asleep to. And none of them have any super loud scenes that might wake me up after I’ve drifted off (a definite plus). How did we do sick days before Netflix?
3 They are forecasting the first hard freeze of the season for tomorrow night, and we’re not ready yet. We’ve been scrambling to get the garden “closed” for the season for weeks now. A few weekends ago, we got a lot done. And Craig did a lot last night to temporarily protect our winter crops, but we still need to get some work done on more permanent solutions. We’re hoping to be able to overwinter a lot of produce (kale, swiss chard, kolhrabi, carrots, radishes, and lots more!), but it ain’t gonna happen if we don’t get to gettin’. It’s like winter just surprised us.
4 I definitely cried when they did the tribute to Peyton Manning at the Colts/Broncos game this weekend. Oh, Peyton. I love you, forever. (But I also love that we beat you.)
5 I’ve been having some insane dreams lately (being sick does that to me). My favorite: Craig and I were on House Hunters, but we would only look at houses that were made of lunchmeat. Giada deLaurentis was our realtor. Ooooookkaaaayyyyy.
Do you have any confessions to share?
1 Freaker one-size-fits-all koozies. It’s been a while since I’ve done a Things I’m Digging post (almost two months, in fact), but if you follow me on social media, you’ve heard me sing the praises of these knitted koozies for months now. They fit everything. Everything! They work on cans. They work on water bottles. They work on wine bottles. They work on beer bottles. And they keep the temps regulated and your hands dry from condensation. And they’re adorable. I got mine at Whole Foods, and it lives on my 1L Klean Kanteen.
2 Yoga Studio app. A few weeks ago, Starbucks was handing out free codes for this iPhone app (I got one from a friend) and man, I love this app. Not only does it come packed with lots of premade yoga workouts, but it also allows you to make your own. You just pick your poses and drag and drop them into a practice that you love. You then export it and it saves it to your iPhone. If you’re into yoga, it’s totally worth the $3.
3 Leafy greens. We didn’t grow a whole lot of greens in the garden in the spring, but we planted quite a few for the fall, and I’m loving having such an awesome resource of veggies! Swiss Chard, spinach (four kinds!), kale (two kinds!), bok choi, cress, escarole, vit mache. It’s all so easy to grow and so tasty and so healthy.
4 Costco leggings. If you have a Costco near you and are a legging fan, you have to stop by and pick up some of their Matty M brand leggings. They are super thick, really stretchy, not-see-through, have a wide waistband, and are way comfortable. Plus, they’re made in the U.S.A., which makes me happy. They’re the best leggings I’ve found (and I don’t remember the exact price, but they’re less than $20). I picked up two pairs—black and gray—and I’m kinda kicking myself for not getting more. Edit: OH! Costco has them online. Off to order more…
5 Persimmons. We are fortunate enough to have a handful of mature persimmon trees on our property, and we’ve been loving them. They are nature’s candy! And we’re stashing all the extra pulp in the freezer for lots of delicious batches of persimmon pudding and persimmon cookies for the holidays.
What are you digging lately?
Thinking…that I’m really looking forward to winter—for probably the first time in my life. I cannot wait for the quiet and slowness that comes with the short, cold days of January. I cannot wait to sit in front of the fireplace with a comfy sweater, mug of tea, and a good book and not feel like I’m wasting time. Having so much land to take care of has taught me to love the built-in break that is winter. Plus, snow is pretty.
Feeling…excited about Craig’s birthday next week! Does anyone else get more excited for other people’s birthdays than their own? I’m so excited for the (surprise) plans and his (surprise) gifts.
Watching…hockey, right this second (go Blackhawks!). Right now is sports busy season, so we’re mostly attached to the TV watching grown men play games, but we’re also playing catch up on The Walking Dead, and I’m watching Ally McBeal as entertainment while I work.
Reading…Partials by Dan Wells. And I just can’t get into it. I’m a few chapters in, and I’m not really all that hooked. Anyone else read it? Should I power through?
Excited…for the kick-off of the college basketball season! Games aren’t for a few more weeks, but the kickoff of the season is this week (and most schools have a big kickoff event). This makes my basketball-loving heart very, very happy. For the first time in a few years, I’m actually headed to Hoosier Hysteria in Bloomington on Friday. I can’t wait to wear my stripes and cheer the boys on.
Missing…the feeling of having absolutely nothing to do. I guess when you buy a house and run your own business, there is always something to do. You have to decide to take a break and do nothing (even if stuff is looming in the back of your mind). I miss the my-last-final-is-over feeling from college.
Wondering…how people who live in high cost-of-living areas do it. We were chatting a little bit about it at the Healthy Living Summit (because we had so many people from different parts of the country in one room), and it’s unbelievable to me how expensive it is to live in certain places. For the amount of a small apartment on one of the coasts, you can have a mini-mansion with lots of acres in Southern Indiana. Granted, you then have to live in Indiana (which, I hear, isn’t for everyone). It’s just crazy how it’s the same money in the same country, but it is worth something so different depending on where you live. Our income level would probably be considered poverty in a lot of areas of the country, but here, we live very comfortably. Money is weird.
Working…on a few blog redesigns for friends, the interiors of a few other cookbooks for my publisher, a proposal for my second cookbook (yup, already!), my personal graphic design website (which, at this pace, might be finished before I retire).
Stressed…about telling people “no”. I’m not good at turning people down, but I’m really learning that I have to be an assertive guardian of my time now that I’m my own boss—there isn’t anyone else to do it for me. Which means that I’ve lost out on a few new projects because I couldn’t squeeze them in. I supposed it’s a good problem to have, but I hate telling folks “no”.
Proud…that my book is going to the printer this week. Dude, such a huge weight off my shoulders.
Wanting…a long weekend to head to Chicago. I’m not a big city girl, but Chicago is one of my favorite places on the planet. And this time of year, with the cool weather and the start of hockey season, I always get the itch to spend a weekend shopping, eating, drinking beer, and watching some Blackhawks.
Wishing…there was an a la carte satellite/cable service. We pay (a lot) for satellite literally only for sports (we watch our TV shows on Netflix). We only actually watch probably 3-4 channels on our satellite. I really wish someone would come out with an a la carte service where I can just pay for the channels I want.
Eating…a ton of apples. We went apple picking yesterday, and came home with about 120 pounds of apples (many for storage and preserving). They are so yummy. And HUGE. We also stocked up on locally grown winter squash and pie pumpkins (because squash beetles all-but destroyed our plants)—we’ll be eating lots of roasted squash over the next few weeks.
Drinking…apple cider! Yum.
Loving…iOS7, fall, roasted veggies, chai lattes, scarves, boots, candy corn, bok choy.
What are you currently feeling, loving, thinking, eating, etc.?
1I am terrible—TERRIBLE—about closing things on my computer. I’ll leave files and programs open for weeks (and maybe even months) at a time. Eventually, my computer just gets so slow that I have to spend an hour closing everything and restarting. And then I have a clean slate to start the whole process over again. It drives Craig bonkers when he has to get on my computer. What, it’s not normal to have 20 programs open and 39 tabs in Chrome? No?
2 I think it has something to do with the cooler weather (and the amount of work around the Plow dwindling), but lately I’ve been craving the structure of having some sort of race or walk to train for. I don’t actually have any desire to get back into running, but I do want some sort of fun fitness-y goal like that to strive for. Suggestions are welcome.
3 I couldn’t tell you the last time I really went grocery shopping (like, made a menu and a list). It’s been months. Between our bi-weekly meat and dairy CSA and our garden, we’ve got just enough food coming in to scrape by without needing to hit up the grocery store. The situation is getting kinda dire though. We’re out of so many staples (olive oil, cocoa powder, cinnamon). It’s time to just bite the bullet and go grocery shopping like a big girl. It’s been a good run.
4 I made some pumpkin cake balls last October, and for some reason, they popped into my head the other day, and now I cannot stop thinking about them. They were so insanely delicious and addictive that I can’t make a full batch because I’ll eat them all in one sitting. I just want one. I just want it to magically show up in three…two…one…BAM.
5 I’m surprised by how much I’m missing my friends from the Healthy Living Summit. I don’t think I quite realized how isolating my work-for-myself-live-in-the-middle-of-nowhere lifestyle was until I showed up in a room with 150 like-minded ladies. I’m, by nature, a pretty introverted homebody who seriously craves alone-time, but I’ve also found myself, surprisingly, craving some more silly giggles with friends, too. As much as I love them, Puppyface and Kittyface are not the most social of day-to-day companions. Methinks I need to find some local blog buddies!