Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wendy's Christmas Gift Guide for those for whom money is an object!

Taking a cue from my friend Tabs' recent Christmas list, I decided to take pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and share a list of things that I think would be fabulous to find under the tree* this holiday!

* editorial aside - this list is no hint to Barry.  I have already given him a list.  Be prepared, I say!

And since there are so many high end lists (Gwynnie will likely have hers up soon), I felt it might be fun to share what I consider to be um, more moderately priced gifts.

Unlike other gift lists, which categorize "things for her" "things for the pet", this list is best described as "things for yourself because dammit, you're worth it!"

1) The Book I want most for Christmas:

Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature

I have a serious girl crush on Lisa Borgnes Giramonti.  I discovered her blog, A Bloomsbury Life, several years ago and I have "be invited to Lisa's for supper" on my bucket list.  (she probably has "get a restraining order against Wendy" on hers).  She is fountain of amazing book, art and travel advice and her annual list of books to give or get is a must-read for me.

So you can imagine my excitement when she announced that she'd have a book coming out this fall.

And given that she is such a talented, interesting woman, I have no doubt this book is going to be divine!

Read the description:

For those who have ever lost themselves in the stylish worlds of novels like Sense and Sensibility, The Age of Innocence, Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray and countless others, this design book embraces the fantasy of time and place, showing you how to bring some of those elements into your own home.

Lisa Giramonti inspires a new approach to decorating: by teaching us through the lens of worlds we may already know and love. With gorgeous photographs by World of Interiors photographer Ivan Terestchenko, aspirational quotes, and tailored reading lists, Novel Interiors reveals the essence and details of interiors mentioned in great literary works. This is a stunning, photo-driven book that shares enchanting and timeless ways to live more elegantly.

I mean seriously, doesn't that sound amazing???  I see me, champagne, and chocolates all curled up together on Christmas afternoon with this book!

2) A cookbook

I was going to ask for the amazing A Kitchen in France for Christmas, but I know I can't wait that long!

A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse

I follow Mimi's blog, Manger, and always getting good ideas.  When I skimmed through this book at Chapters I was drooling.  

So because I can't wait, this is the cookbook I want to see under the tree this Christmas:

The Tucci Table

I adore Stanley Tucci.  Those of you who love movies about cooking will recall the eponymous Big Night, about the making of an italian feast.  Tucci wrote a cookbook after that movie that was full of family stories.

Now he is back, along with his new wife, Felicity Blunt (Emily's sister) serving a wonderful cookbook of family favourites.  Some of you may recall that Stanley's wife died tragically of cancer several years ago and he happily remarried this past year.  I like a happy ending, I like Stanley and I KNOW Stanley can cook, so I am all over this cookbook.  I always need new recipes for when y'all drop over.

3) Things you didn't know you needed until I told you about them...

Last year I left it too long to talk about the Unemployed Philosopher's Guild.  I won't make that mistake twice.

Because they have come out with the niftiest things that we MUST have!!!!

There is nothing so lovely as lighting a candle and having a meditative moment.  Ah, you say, but some of us do not believe in God, Buddha, Mohammed (insert your own God here), some of us believe in other powers.  Well folks, the Guild has you covered with their secular saint collection!!!

Secular Saints

Virginia Woolf, Einstein!  Frida!  Noam Chomsky!  Freud! Vonnegut!  Think of the inspiration you will find as you channel your own secular saint!

How about Betty Frieden? Darwin?

Betty Friedan CandleCharles Darwin Candle

They're all just waiting to impart their wisdom!

You know I adore their finger puppets!  My new favorites include Sylvia Plath, Rosa Parks and Andy Warhol:

Sylvia Plath Finger PuppetRosa Parks Finger PuppetAndy Warhol Finger Puppet

And how about the original Calvin and Hobbes, available on a T-shirt?

Calvin & Hobbes  T-shirt

4) Things to play with on Christmas Day

Sure, you are serious 364 days of the year, but a game or something of the same ilk is always a fun thing for Christmas afternoon.

How about table top tennis before you set the table for the big feast?

Vintage Table Tennis Set
Get yours here

 or Rock em Sock em Robots?

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

My personal favourite is always a racing set.  A crowd pleaser!

Hot Wheels Track Builder Total Turbo Takeover Track Set

5) Pretty things for Pretty girls

Because I am obsessed with cosmetics (the part of me who loves to play with pretty things, including myself!), how about something inexpensive but a good time?

Too Faced's Beauty Wishes and Kisses

or Under the mistletoe:

Or Urban Decay's Naked on the Run?

Limited-Edition, All-In-One Naked Palette.  Make It Yours >

Or Pixie's Fairy Dust?

Fairy Dust
I have the silver and I adore it!

6) Happiness

And finally, because this is my blog after all, I would like us all to be able to buy a little peace:

Peace LED Lights

An eclectic list for sure, but nothing fancy nor expensive.  Just a whole lot of fun!!!!

Hope this has given you a few ideas for your list!  HoHoHo!

xoxo wendy


  1. Thank you for this list! I am hopping over to manger to check out Mimi's blog...I love French Food well all food actually and new cookbooks are definitely on my wish list.

  2. Hey Wendy, this is a very nice list! For myself I usually make a big Amazon order, and, truth be told, I already have a pile of books that I've bought elsewhere waiting to be wrapped. However, I could certainly do with that Urban Decay palatte! This year we don't have so much to buy - we already delivered gifts to friends and family in the UK, plus hubby is off to Nova Scotia soon and will deliver gifts there. Now our boys mostly ask for books and clothes - so easy!

    1. We are almost done as well. We are having a modest Christmas and focusing instead on the upcoming trip to NYC in March! I love a stack of books. Would be happy if that's mostly what I got!

  3. What a lovely list! I laughed so hard at the finger puppets - they'd be a perfect gift for my niece (who is 4). Her mother (my sister) would find it hilarious. Love the book choices - I always have a bunch on my list, and nothing makes me happier than having something new to read on Christmas afternoon while I wait for all the dinner and pudding to digest! xx

    1. Oh we have tons of them here, and Tabs is amassing a collection over there in Scotland thanks to me!

  4. I have already spoiled myself quite early that I think new underwear and chocolates will be my gifts this year. I do wish to get back to books after the holidays.

    1. You have spoiled yourself, haven't you! :-) I find the older I get the more likely I am to simply go buy the thing myself! A few books and baubles are all I really need! I am such a reading fiend, after finally getting the muscle and my attention span back, I have read SOOO many books this year, the number is astonishing even to me!

  5. Excellent list. Puts gwynnie's gold juicer to shame.

  6. I must be the only person the western world who knows nothing about Calvin and Hobbes! Everyone loves them, I wonder what was consuming me at that time?

  7. I need another cookbook like a need a hole in my head , but I cannot resist. I want another Nigel Slater because they are so gorgeous. I have to ask for a new food processor, too, as my original from the 70's Cuisinart has finally developed a problem I cannot find a replacement part for.

    Love playing games on holidays! Boggle is the current fav.

    1. I haven't played boggle in forever! now I am going to look for that!

  8. Wendy, Fab list!! I love it all especially the books. I've got to get Lisa's and I am crazy about her too. I think she should have all us bloggy women for tea, no? Anyhow I didn't know about the French book, looks lovely and how darling is Stanley? I think I may have to send some of these ideas to my husband too. Thanks for the Thanksgiving ideas of cooking sides before. Loved that and going to try. Have a good week!

    1. Have fun this week, Kim! Everything looks like it will be fab!

  9. What a wonderful list, Wendy! I hope Santa delivers.

    My Chapters Indigo list just grew. Table tennis? Never thought of it, but sounds like fun - definitely before the feast.

  10. Fun list Wendy! Stanley Tucci, what a cutie he is, I had no idea he was such a cook. I've just been putting together my nephew's Christmas box, I have to get it in the mail this week, it has a long way to travel (NWT). So much fun to buy toys for babies! I'm doing minimal shopping this year (with the exception of Baby Felix), we're not into it, going skiing instead of gifts.

    1. You will have fun! So long as santa brings me a fun stocking, a wee surprise and a couple of books, I am a happy girl! I am impressed that littlest rascal is good foregoing gifts - she's more mature than I am!

    2. Oh my gosh I wouldn't forego gifts to the Rascals completely, that would be terrible... just smaller things and not expensive, also a board game to play at the Chalet, we are Ticket to Ride fans and also Settlers of Catan. Chocolates, itunes gift cards, that sort of thing, no clothes and nothing big-ticket.
      I just had a look at that book on Amazon it looks beautiful, thanks for the link to her blog. :)

  11. Love your list, Wendy! I hope you get everything you're wishing for. :)

    I really don't have anything on my list right now. I am in need of a truly warm winter coat, so that will probably end up counting as my gift. I'm looking at several different options and would love to know your thoughts on which brands are best/warmest in the freezing temps. Dani has a coat from Canada Goose that she highly recommends, so there are two of those on my list, but I am also looking at one from Pajar, as well as a couple from The North Face. I have a blog post up today with a list of the ones I'm considering, and would love to know if you've tried any of the brands, and if not, then which one you would recommend. :)

    1. everybody and their dog has a Canada Goose coat here (except for me) - they are considered high winter fashion, but so everywhere that I'm avoiding getting one. I loved the Lands End down coat I have. as long as it goes down over your bottom towards your knees, I suspect you'll be fine. WHat I find is critical is warm mittens (the only ones I wear are Uggs, nothing else works for me) and warm high boots (again I have tall Uggs, the ones like LL Beans) and a hood. They are so expensive, but I am not sure the coat makes as much of a difference as the other things, to be honest.

    2. Thanks Wendy! The Lands' End parka I bought recently is really nice and seems as if it will be pretty warm. It does cover my bum, but not my thighs, so that is a concern to me, since my legs have been very cold whenever I go outside lately. I think I probably need a longer version, as well. Thanks for your thoughts on the mittens and boots. They are both items also on my winter shopping list. Do you know the name of the ones you own, or some that are similar?

    3. My boots are the Ugg Adirondack Tall (I also have the shorter version that goes above my ankles and which are 5 years old and look new) and the Ugg mittens are here:

      Get them in the original colourway as I find the tinted shearling runs. They are crazy expensive, but I have bought other nearly as expensive and they are nothing when compared to the uggs. They stand up pretty well when playing in snow and the last pair I bought I bought on ebay for about half the cost!

    4. Thanks! By original, you mean the chestnut color, correct? I have not worn mittens since I was a little girl (always gloves) so this will be a new experience for me. Do you find them cumbersome at all?

    5. Sorry, yes, I should have said chestnut! They are cumbersome in the beginning, but I never leave home without them from November onwards!

  12. "I have a serious girl crush on Lisa Borgnes Giramonti. I discovered her blog, A Bloomsbury Life, several years ago and I have "be invited to Lisa's for supper" on my bucket list. (she probably has "get a restraining order against Wendy" on hers)"
    You are hilarious!
    I am loving this list - as probably won't form my own, we're off to NZ and we only do one secret santa gift of below NZ $30 which is a relief, although there has been some hard feeling from the picks of years of late


Kindness is a virtue...