2017 Gift Guide
This isn't really a "gift guide" kind of blog, but my love of gift guides and online shopping knows no bounds. So, I decided to link to things that I personally own and love—things that have made my life a little easier or things that just make me smile. Happy shopping!
When I bought my first "nice" camera, I was determined to replace the Canon strap that it came with immediately so I didn't look like a dad on vacation (and those stock straps are not very comfortable). It was hard to choose which one I wanted from Couch—I love the vintage auto vinyl patterns—but I've never regretted going with my instincts and choosing the black and white cat face strap. I've had it for four years now and I still get compliments pretty much every time it's visible—I even once met someone with the same strap (at an anti-Trump rally) and we've since become Instagram friends. Also, I have that exact same shirt and that's my dream dog so the above image is basically me living my best life.
I spent years wasting money on pair, after pair of crappy no-show socks only to have them slip down, bunch up and generally ruin my day. I resisted the Bombas trend for a while because spending $14 on a pair of socks seemed ridiculous, and even though it still hurts to spend that much they're definitely worth it. I now have several pairs, and they literally stay up ALL DAY long. USE OFFER CODE HOLIDAY2017 at checkout to get 20% off (this is a huge deal because these almost NEVER go on sale).
Driven by sleep-deprived desperation, I took to Amazon to find a cat toy that would keep Mozart busy in hopes of curing the boredom that's apparently causing her to wail all night (and day) long. She loves this toy more than she's ever loved anything else in her eight years of life, and although she still bothers me, I feel a tiny bit better about her overall mental well-being. This does make noise (not horrible, just the sound of a ping pong ball rolling around a plastic track) so I hide it from her at night, but I've had it for months now and she's still just as interested.
I paid waaaaay too much on Amazon for Mrs. Meyer's apple cider scent for the fall, convinced that the New York Targets would be out of it, but it's the best-smelling soap I've ever had so it was definitely worth it. A few weeks ago, I found one bottle on clearance at the Harlem location, so I snatched it up to hoard for next year, along with their Peppermint scent for the winter. I never thought I'd get so excited about hand soap, but smells are super important to me and New York is a germ-infested cesspool, so here we are. FREE SHIPPING on any order over $30.
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
A Gentleman in Moscow
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays
The Road To Jonestown: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple
I've read 46 books so far this year (on track for my goal of 52!) and these were my top favorites.
When I moved in August, I realized I needed a clock for my bathroom. I like to know what time it is as I'm getting ready in the morning, but I wanted something vintage-looking. I love how this clock looks old, but uses batteries (no cord!) and it definitely looks more expensive than it is.
I've always loved the Yummy Breakfast line of plush pillows and keychains, but when I spotted these sausages I knew I had to have them. I put them on my Amazon wishlist for a while, trying not to be impulsive with my money but eventually I just had to buy them. The sausages snap together so you can display them individually or all together, and although they literally serve no purpose other than making me smile (they show them used as a neck pillow lolz), I've never regretted buying them—and I actually think I could use three more.
I am so picky when it comes to my clothing that sometimes dressing myself in something I don't hate feels like an impossible task. I bought this cocoon cardigan in navy at Target and I loved it so much I bought two more—in black and red—and I wear them constantly. They're dressier than my usual hoodies, but just as warm and cozy. At the risk of turning into a cartoon character with a closet full of the same shirt, I might have to buy the one in olive too. ON SALE now for $20.
When my Herschel backpack started falling apart, my friend Jim was nice enough to replace it for my birthday with this Fjallraven pack. These are super popular in New York and I see them everywhere, but now I know why—it's definitely the best backpack I've ever owned. It's surprisingly lightweight, super comfortable, durable and holds way more than it looks like it does. I use this whenever I'm carrying my camera, and it comfortably fits my camera case along with all of my other essentials. I do recommend buying the extra padded straps if you get the classic pack—the black ones were a pain to get and back-ordered for a long time, but they were worth the wait.
I wanted a new bedside reading lamp when I moved, and I love the vintage look of this one from IKEA. I had no idea that you could order IKEA merchandise (and their strange lightbulbs) on Amazon, which made this purchase a no-brainer. It's the perfect "institutional green" color, and it's cheaper than a lot of other similar styles I'd found elsewhere.
I had some time to kill recently and wandered into a shop in Brooklyn. They had tons of fun, non-essential things, but I knew I had to have this googly eye contact case the minute I saw it. When I went to use it that night, I realized that there is no distinction between the left and right eye, which is a little confusing if you have two different prescriptions, but I use it at home so I just make sure not to move it after putting in my lenses. It's silly, but it makes me smile at least two times a day.
David got this for me as a Christmas present two years ago, and I've been using it as my camera case ever since. That's not really what it's meant for, but it's sturdy, holds all of my gear and I can't think of a more appropriate case for me.
These are everywhere these days, but one day the image of an orange letterboard with the word "Boo!" on it popped into my head. I found this one on Amazon and it's exactly the size and color that I wanted (they come in other colors too), and cheaper than some of the others I've seen. These all come with a bag of letters, now I just have to come up with what it's going to say next.
There are few things I love more in life than art—my apartment walls are covered nearly floor to ceiling and it's still not enough for me. My lifelong struggle is too much art and not enough wall space, and my collection comes from different artists, Etsy shops and thrift stores. Three of my favorite places to look new art: Little Friends of Printmaking, Ryan Duggan (he's having a Black Friday mystery tube sale) and Madame Talbot (FREE SHIPPING always!).