Beautiful things inspire me everyday. I see them and often ache to own them and then feel guilty for wanting such a cache of material things. For this reason, none of the things I really dream of owning ever actually make it on one of my Christmas lists and I certainly rarely splurge on these kinds of things for myself. I also happen to have chosen the hardest working and loving man I've known in my life and I just never want to put pressure on him to spend money on things that, at the end of the day, are really just stuff. Heartbreakingly beautiful stuff, but stuff all the same. However, after he asked me recently for my yearly Christmas list I thought to myself...darn't, why not! And even if none of these items ends up under the tree this year, at least I can now say I've actually put it out there and he can reference this list at his leisure any year he likes. Or not. Cause either way, I'm happy just the same.
So, here, in order of my level of yearning, is my one TRUE list:
1. Big city designers forgive me. I may be the last of us to still not own a Ghost Chair. I have pined for one for going on 8 years now, but there always seems to be other, more pressing things to spend money on. Typically going for $400/each and more, I found a link that gives you a pair of them for $245! Oh, dare I dream?
2. Cameroon JuJu hats were all over the big decor mags about five years ago and before I knew what the heck I was looking at, I just fell in love. Hard. To find out that these are handmade headdresses from Africa...Cameroon to be exact...just made them even more special and unique. I'd love one in a pinky/red. But white would run a close second. Not cheap, but so worth every penny, I found one that is just a bit over $300 which is a bargain compared to what they normally go for.
3. What is my issue with not just spending more money to get the thing I really want instead of trying to save a buck ALL THE TIME and ending up regretting my purchase with every fiber of my being?! I always do this and then tell myself it won't happen again. Until, that is, that I have to make a big purchase at the same time I also have to pay for 20 other things. Ugh. Anyhoo, I did this most recently with the purchase of a new camera. My old Powershot was great...loved it. But, it wasn't so good for professional purposes for me because I take so many interior pictures in low light. So, I researched and researched and decided I just needed to suck it up and get a dslr. Except, I didn't get a dslr. I got a crappy version with a wide angle lens that takes just about the worst pictures ever. And thanks to Best Buy's two week return policy, I'm stuck with the darn thing. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. So, someday I'd love to open a box with a heavily researched dslr camera perfect for interior/real estate shots and an additional lens.
Throw in a photography class and I'd be one happy girl.
4. Jo Malone Candles
Lime Basil and Mandarin and Red Roses scents
These little gems of all things great smelling are not cheap at $65/each, which is why I've never owned one. It seems silly, really, to spend that kind of money on something you're literally going to burn, but I've been yearning to see one of these sitting next to my favorite reading chair for years and years. It's not the kind of thing you put on a normal list because people will think you're insane. But here it is...I put it out there.
Diptyque has a great fig scented candle that would make me equally as happy.
5. I have been searching for the last decade for what I call a "signature necklace". Not necessarily a one-of-a-kind, but one that you aren't going to find on every neck walking by. I keep hoping I'll receive one from mdh that comes with a story and a beautifully wrapped package. "Babe, when I was in Nantucket I was walking by this little jewelery shop and saw the most beautiful necklace and it reminded me of you. I just knew you'd love it." Anything he found like that would be wonderful. But, if ideas are needed bumble bees and quatrefoils are two solid choices. Bumble bees because that's one of my nicknames for Shawn and quatrefoils because they are seen in so many of the most beautiful architectural wonders across the world.
(slane and slane)
6. Large Scale Equestrian Artwork
If you've been ready my blog for a while...and I hope you have!...you know that I have a thing for huge horse art. I can't explain it, nor do I feel like I need to. Sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants and, brother, does my heart want this. It's nearly impossible to find this kind of thing at a manageable price, but I recently saw this one at Zgallerie.com and thought, yep, that'll do. At $699, but 20% right now, it's no steal, but for the statement it would make I think it's worth every penny. Now, if I can just convince some kind gift giver of that before I die...well, I might just die! Ok...this could easily be my number one pick. As I'm redoing my dining room and have the perfect spot for it AND think it would be a great inspiration piece for the Designer Showcase I'm doing early next year. I'm just sayin'.
7. Fireside Chairs or just "ah" chair.
There's something about these stunning chairs that speak to me way down deep in my design core. I have loved them since the first time I laid eyes on them and can't keep them out of my mind. If I could marry a chair, this would be it. If I could have babies with a chair, they would look like little miniature versions of this with a mini-me sitting in it.
Restoration Hardware is the maker of this particular one and I feel like Hagrid and I could sit for hours in his little hut in these chairs talking about those kooky kids and all the trouble they got into over a spot of tea. Love me some Harry. And these chairs.
8. Rosetta Stone in French and Italian
After taking seven years of French and having been to France twice, I know one thing for sure...I still have ALOT to learn. It's my every intention to go back to France (and visit Quebec!) many, many more times while I'm on this earth. I love it so much...I love the people so much...I just know I'm missing out on so much because of the communication gap. So, though terribly expensive, I'd love to spend a few hours a week working with Rosetta Stone and mastering the language to the best of my ability. As a close second, someday I'd love to get to Italy and it's so important to me to be able to at least have basic communication skills when traveling to another country. So, someday I'll be asking for Italian as well.
Anywhere. Anytime. A long weekend in Chicago? Super. A transcontinental cruise to Italy where we stay for a week and take a train to Paris for two? Even better. (I mean who can't take 5 weeks off?) I'd also love to see Barcelona, Prague, Turkey, Istanbul, Quebec, Bali, Tahiti, Maine in the Fall. I just want to pick and go. Don't you?
10. Peace on Earth
And how about few ideas that don't break the bank?
1. Ballard Designs Personalized Large Tote Bag
For only $25 these tote bags are a surefire hit for anyone and I love them. I wore mine out a couple of years ago and just haven't bought another one. Their perfect for a designer on the go or for anyone who schleps stuff around all day and would like a stylish, inexpensive tote bag to carry it all.
I'd love a black bag with this personalization:
Thread Color: Cream
This is style #16
2. Uggs Sparkle boots in gold.
I'm such a sucker for Oprah's favorite things show. I sit and cry with excitement for the audience and though, yes, it's a Saturday Night Live skit waiting to happen, I think it would be so thrilling to be there. So, it's with great anticipation every year I wait to see if one of her items will grace my Christmas tree. This year one of the more reasonably priced items I loved were these darn Ugg Boots in gold. Still not a steal at $170, but cute all the same. I have a feeling these will be hard to get and I don't even think they're available yet, but I did find a link for free shipping for anyone interested. http://www.fabuloussavings.com/online/ugg-classic-short-sparkle/
3. Gift cards I love:
Home Goods ( My Favorite Place In the World!)/TJ Maxx, Sephora, Z Gallerie, Nordstroms.
Gift cards are no fun to give usually because they often seem like an after thought or a cop out. But, I happen to love getting them. It's like winning a mini-shopping spree with no guilt attached. You can go and splurge on something that you normally wouldn't buy for yourself. Unlike cash, which I always seem to spend on gas, or unmemorable lunches in bad delis or on bills...the worst. I'd love to be able to take a drive to the burbs of Chicago and bounce from one Home Goods to the next filling our SUV with little gems and fabulous deals. Ahhh, a girl can dream.
So much of what you see here was purchased at Home Goods. Love that darn place.
4. A personalized bedside water carafe.
I've become a darn camel lately and am missing my old bedside carafe that broke a couple of years ago. This one by Williams Sonoma is perfect at only $30.
5. I love to get a collection...say 3 or so stacked and tied with a pretty bow...of some one's favorite books. It's such a personal gift in the truest sense of the word and you're really sharing something dear with someone you love. Winter is my favorite reading time and I seem to go through a book every couple of days, so this kind of gift is always a hit at my house. What's my favorite book?
It's called Paint the Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman. Hard to find because it's out of print, but worth the effort. I also really loved One Thousand White Women, These is My Words and Devil in the White City. Picture them all tied up with a bow and consider that my gift to you. :)
Well, that's all the wishing I can do for one day. What's on your secret Christmas list?