Professional in Pink – The Travel Edition

Travel for work reasons may not be in your regular job description (as it is in mine) but it’s something you may have to deal with.  I’ve mentioned before (in other “Professional” posts) that it’s important to find a balance between your style and being appropriate.  But that doesn’t mean you have to completely lose your identity.   Here are just a few words of advice from me to you about keeping your comfort and sanity when traveling for work.

1. Pack Light

This will be a laugh for anyone who knows and has traveled with me.  I can be a heavy packer.  I like to have options and outfits and shoes for every combination.  But that is only when I’m traveling for fun.  When it comes to work, I’m want to be dealing with as little as possible because usually I am with others and usually men.  So being able to keep mobile and keep up is important.

I can pack for overnight in a small duffel bag and for a week in a pilot case. And with all the hassles between security, luggage costs, limited space on the plane and the fact that everyone is trying to avoid the baggage claim area, it helps to have only a few bags.

This past trip to Atlanta I avoided a coat which made it way easier getting in and out of the security line, the plane and the group car.  I had just the small bag above so when the plane stopped letting pilot cases on, I was able to sail through.  If you do bring a pilot case, make it hard-sided, as small and light as possible and with 360-degree wheels.  I have a small case I never use because it actually weighs more than another pilot case I have that is twice the size.  And hard-sided is key.  Between baggage handlers and your suitcase sitting out in the rain, a cloth-sided case just won’t do.  And don’t forget the TSA approved lock!  I prefer combination ones so I don’t have to worry about a key.

But how do you pack so lightly? Well, take a hard look at every single thing you are bringing – I didn’t bring a curling iron or a bottle of shampoo. I even just brought my daily vitamin in a small piece of paper rather than bring the bottle. 

For clothes I did have another outfit but I only brought the one pair of shoes that I was wearing.  I wore a jacket and had new scarves and gloves to mix it up and keep warm.  I try to be somewhat neutrally professional with smaller personal style accents.

2. Skip the computer.

If you can avoid bringing your laptop, do so.  They’re fragile and expensive and, while you may need them for a week, if you are just going overnight you can probably avoid it, especially if your phone or iPad can access the web, your work email and more.  Laptops are so much heavier that this saved me tons of effort.

3. Collapsible water bottle

Cheaper and easier and lighter – enough said.

4. Bigger purse

I use an open tote style purse that can easily get into when it’s under the seat in front of you and that is big enough to carry your water, iPad (and or book), headphones, a wrap and whatever else you end up shoving in there as you move from gate to plane and back again.

5. Flexible shoes

I don’t mean folding flats (although I do throw a pair in my bag).  Instead I mean shoes that can take you from morning to night, airport to client dinner, in rain or not and won’t leave you a cripple by the end of the night. 

The shoe I pick 9 times out of 10?  My Aerosole buckle heel shoes.  I’ve worn these walking all over New York during Fashion Week and I just wore them last week.   I’ve had these shoes at least 12 years and they are still looking good.  I am not sure what I’m going to do if they ever have a major problem my cobbler can’t fix.  These heels look dressy enough for suits but fine with heels and have stood up to rainstorms and airport running.  They are around 3″ high so comfortable for walking.

If you have a pair that meets all of these criteria… buy two pairs!  I have this same heel in a claret color.  I wish I had second pair of the black.

6. Sleep on the plane

I don’t care what anyone else is doing.  If you can, sleep on the plane.  It can be awkward if you are sitting next to a co-worker to do this.  If you can, get in separate rows, ideally behind them.  I prefer the aisle too.

7. Entertain yourself

I always prefer to read on the plane and with book and game apps on phone and tablets, it’s easy to do so even while you seem to be working.  I find travel distracting and disconcerting enough, trying to work on a plane is next to impossible for me.  One thing to note: on the last flight I was on they made you turn off your phones completely, not just into airplane mode. I was very glad I had brought an actual book with me. My iPad battery was low and I wouldn’t have had music or movies to play either.

8. A good soak

Not all hotels have fluffy robes or great ambiance but almost all of them have a tub.  And a hot bath with a bath bomb is a great way to finally relax and unwind after a stressful trip.  Pack one or grab one in the hotel gift shop if you have that option.  It may even help you sleep when you are in the strange bed without your favorite spouse/pillows/pets.

Last but not least, no matter how annoying everyone is, remember to smile and say thank you.  I get a way easier time when I give people a smile. 

Professional in Pink at Work

A while back I had talked about how you need to be willing to be brave and maintain your personality and sense of fun in your work space. I thought I would show you that I really put that into practice in my own work space.

Here’s my desk at work right now:

Taupe walls are a neutral backdrop for my fun stuff, all of which cheers me up during the day. My laptop and blackberry are there on the left. Then we get into the pink. Going from left to right I have Carrie & Danielle’s Manifesto of Style tacked up (3, 7, 11, 15 and 19 are highlighted) with a few magic wands, a Hello Kitty, and a Waterford letter opener stacked in a pink FredFlare smiley face cup.

Next in line is the Domino calendar tacked up next to fuzzy Princess heart car dice with my ShoeDaydreams business card tucked in. Below them is the Andy Warhol Shoes book behind a vintage owl statue. Next to that is a picture of a dear friend, my doggies and a pink luck cat.
Next on the wall is a picture of my rooster Napoleon with more pet pictures, a FredFlare mushroom timer and another small vintage owl (yes, I still love the owls). Tucked in are a piece of pyrite, a photo I took at Biltmore of St. Francis, a pink luck cat phone charm and a caledar of insprational quotes. You can see actual piles of work stuff there but behind that I have a cute pink knitted cupcake on a giant pad of paper.

Of course there are family and friends photos throughout. It’s all me and all mine.

The rest of my desk is filled with a mix of work stuff and fun items. I’ll have to take more photos!
So as you can see, my life spills over into my work because they are both a part of who I am. They should appreciate that side of you as well. And have fun!

Professional in Pink

In my previous post a lovely lady made the following comment giving me some props for wearing pink but expressing her own concern with it:

I must confess I’ve been phasing it out of my wardrobe because as an administrative person at my job and pretty new in my career I worry that I won’t be taken as seriously. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. When I get to be an executive I’ll wear pink all I want.

This made me kind of sad because it is something that I’ve seen being beaten into the employees in a number of companies over the years. It’s the incorrect assumption that the workplace cannot be both fun and productive. That anything but neutral cannot be tolerated and that you come off as unprofessional if you do branch out.

I’ve been in business for a while now. But it still surprises me how unimaginative companies can be. I understand the cost efficiencies that can come from buying the pre-packaged “cube farm” but geez! Talk about a lack of vision. How can you expect innovation from such a sterile environment.

I actually worked as a Senior Advertising Account Manager for 5 years at what is probably considered one of the world’s most creative and innovative companies. So there I was in a creative department in a creative company and guess what it looked like.

Yeah, pretty much like that (except my walls were higher and I had a door, such luxury). And we were “encouraged” to not do anything externally to our offices or office doors. I was pretty much appalled. It was stifling.

So instead of trying to spend 10 hours a day in a big grey box, I decided I needed a little color. And you know what, pink goes perfectly with grey. Luckily, I was already a Hello Kitty fan, and once all that started coming in there was all kinds of pink and Princess Poochie accessories to be incorporated.

The two that I used the most were my Hello Kitty clipboard, which was used in every meeting and presentation, and my Hello Kitty calculator, used to add up many a multi-million dollar budget. And you know what, they functioned just as well as boring, bland, generic clipboards and calculators.

Now, you may be thinking that, I work in a “creative” industry and can get away with such things. And to some degree, that’s true. Especially when you’re in an independent agency. But actually many agencies can be kind of stuffy and corporate themselves, for fear of pushing clients outside of their comfort zone. And at this particular company we were given, day 1, a “Look Book” telling us how to look, dress, act, etc. Even if we were solely working internally.

But, this is why it’s so important to wear that pink if you want to. I like the fun and sometimes quirky shoes. Shoes 99% of the people in my office would never even consider wearing. And sometimes I think they just didn’t get me. But it soon became my trademark. And they loved it. That’s actually one of the reason I started this blog, because I had people from my old job still asking what shoes I was wearing now that I’ve moved.

I always was a professional. I always worked my butt off. But I had some fun doing it too.

And actually would you rather work with someone all boring and stuffy or someone who enjoys being there? Who knows how to make the job fun for them and fun for their team?

“Who has more fun than me under pressure???? NO ONE!”

So I say, find what you have fun with and incorporate it into your work life too. You may not even have an office but you could have a fun screensaver. And share the Cute with some folks to get them to crack a smile.

And the most important thing is to be comfortable with it. Own it. If you are office-appropriate and don’t think it’s crazy no else will think it is either. They’ll think it’s just “so you”.

Photo credits to Flickr:
DrHaggis, The Marmot, LiquidBlaque, Clockwork Panda, Ntisocl

Preferring Pink

Is it even worth writing about pink? Pink has always been popular but now it’s ubiquitous. Its staying power shocks even more so than an iteration of shocking pink.

Growing up with Hello Kitty in the 80s, pink was always there but it was never my thing (outside of work) but now there is no escaping it. And it’s amusing me to see it surge even higher than the last 10 years of living with Millennial Pink would have led you to expect.

Funny Face, 1957

People are passionate about pink.

I was even following a Twitter poll about the best shade of pink

I was hoping it would be #fc0fc0 or #ff1ddcf

Alas the winner, somehow was Baker-Miller pink, a yawn-worthy pink with a troublesome history

But strong pink (aka Barbie Pink) is back. And if you thought Millennial Pink was everywhere, there will be no escaping it. Whether it’s actual Barbie movie fashion and collaborations, Valentino’s PP Pink for Fall 2022 RTW or Oscar de la Renta’s French Pink, Pantone’s 2022 Very Peri or 2023’s Digital Lavender never had a real chance to outshine the REAL winning color… PINK.

Valentino, Fall 2022 RTW
Oscar de la Renta French Pink, 2022

I have plenty of pink but even I’m ready for a brighter dose of fun. Zara got in the game with some flower flats in the hot shade.

Ready for Fall. Ready for Spring 2023. Will this vibrant pink last or burn away?

Find Me on Facebook…and 4 More Things

I’ve been having to get all introspective over here.

Dear Reader Robo tagged me with the task of revealing “4 things” about me, so here we go –

4 Things I Did Today:

  1. Let the chickens out to play in the yard
  2. Watched the feel good movie of the year, Sweeny Todd
  3. Got on the Interwebs
  4. I don’t think I did anything productive after that. Slacker!

4 Things on My To Do List:

  1. Consolidate my work To Do Lists
  2. Consolidate my “personal” To Do Lists
  3. Consolidate my To Buy, To Read, To Write To Do Lists
  4. Do some of these things

4 Guilty Pleasures:

  1. Cupcakes
  2. Chocolate
  3. Fancy Shoes
  4. Not feeling guilty about any of the above

4 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I have a Rooster who is in love with me
  2. I once thought Bailey was a really original name for a dog
  3. I currently have 17 kinds of honey, 11 kinds of oil, 9 kinds of vinegar, 10 kinds of sugar, & 11 kinds of salt in my cabinets
  4. I like to read 3+ books at the same time.

And after much harassment from my friends, I filled out my Facebook page. At first I just went and added some folks but then I linked in my Flicker and Twitter and You Tube accounts, so I’m all connected.

The best part was thinking about my “Info” page. Once I started thinking of things I liked or I felt were “me” it was hard to stop. I hope that’s a good thing. I ended up with:

Smooches & Schmoopies
Bailey, Talus, Astra, Badger, Grimalkin, Napoleon, Meg, Gertie, Agni
Ghosts of Ginger, Ghosts of Curry
Sophisticated Precious
Constant Contact
Causing no harm
Limited edition
More icing than cake
Porange kittens
Falling leaves
Embellishment & excess
Bubblegum pink
Dachshund Mohawks
Photographic memories
Ile Saint-Louis
Spooky Trees
Good framing
Shoe boxes
Jellybean toes
Professional in pink
Heart-shaped lockets
Bed & Breakfasts; breakfast in bed
Flirtatious winks
Through the lens
Satin & Swarovski
Fall over Spring
Shade over sun
Evil over stupidity
Rapier wit
Rainbow sprinkles
Pick-up perfumes
Children’s books
Dreamy illustrations
User-centric design
Honest enthusiasm
Waiting for the unexpected
Feather eyelashes
Hedge mazes
Saville Row suits
Red mustang convertibles
Cherry red nail polish
Creatures of the night
Secret thoughts
Never stop learning
Tortured souls
Warm laundry
Well made beds
Vintage linens
Victorian silver
Century old farmhouses
Grey mice
Whistles made from blades of grass
Miles to go before I sleep
Pocket watches
Underwood No. 5s
Wide satin ribbons
Orange lacquer
Vintage botanicals
Cold noses, warm hearts
Early Grey hot
S/S France
Street level
First Class
“Dear Reader, I married him”
Tea & gossip
Laudrée macarons
Chocolat noir
Kitchen sorcery
Glittering Avenues
Fountain pens
Kir Royales
Black hair & blue eyes
Chicken purrs
Harper blue
Warm blankets in a cold room
Old books
Women who run with the wolves
Emerald isles
Fairy tales, myths, legends & fables
Yellow eyes in the dark

What’s the 411 on you?

Start Daydreaming

I want to give a warm welcome to any new folks who are visiting today. Some of you may have been pointed in my direction because today I was featured in an article in the News & Record (Do I come off sounding a little bit crazy and snobby and spendy? I hope not!). I hope you’ll come back and I look forward to hearing from all of you! Every post has a link to submit comments, so please feel free to talk back. And my email address is just over there to the right.

You will also see that there are embedded links with some of the text. These will take you to additional or related info. Click on them but be sure to come back because we aren’t done yet!

What is this blog all about and where did the name come from?

Well, the site does seem to have two names. “Hello, Lover…” is from SATC, Episode 66 “I Heart NY” where Carrie looks into the Louboutin store window and sighs those words to her newest infatuation. I too have felt this urge to coo at many of the shoes out there, some of which are in my closet.

The raison d’être of the site, and the Shoe Daydreams, is predominantly because I like to talk about shoes. Shoes I like, shoes I don’t like, shoes I have or want, etc. I started this blog just over a year ago to help keep in touch with distant friends and to give my husband and co-workers a break. They just didn’t seem to want to talk shoes and clothes all the time! I don’t know why?

I like to mix high and low fashion and I don’t feel anything is too precious to wear with anything else. Because I get bored with clothes easily, you’ll see a lot of Target and Old Navy items in my wardrobe. But I love classic styles done in a unique way, so I tend to “invest” in some designer shoes and quirky clothing choices.

I think you can find something cute in almost any store, so one day I’ll wear a pair of shoes from Payless and the next may be a pair of Manolo Blahniks. As long as I like them and the feel good, I don’t care what their pedigree is.

One thing you may find a little silly is my pen name – Poochie. Where did that come from anyway?

Well, Poochie is a nickname between me and a good friend. Since Poochie was an adorable dog who went on adventures and loved pink, I thought it would make sense to keep using it for the blog. You can’t resist a pup with pink paws and fuzzy pink ears. And don’t forget her purple sunglasses!

In addition to talking about shoes, I like to write about all the other things I love – travel, vintage, Etsy, afternoon tea and crazy funny singers. Along the way we’ll cover shoe searches and shoe luck; I’ll probably ask for your advice and I’m happy to help track down some answers or options for you.

I also write Bubblegum Plastic, which is about jewelry, accessories and more, and The Daily Coop, which is about what happens when a city girl and guy try to raise some chickens!

Some of the big themes you’ll see are:

Ensemble du Jour – The outfit I wear for the day. I hope they’ll inspire you to try a new combination or look at something in a new light. Most of the collages are created on Polyvore which is a fun site to play around with.

Lots and lots of shoe pictures – often mine or on me or ones I just admire and pine for.

The Eeeewwws!!! – some times good designers go bad. We have to let them know we won’t just let it slide.

Store and Designer Focus – There are lots of amazing designers, big and small, and some great stores out there. We can check them out together.

Imitation = Flattery? – Being inspired by a design and interpreting it is one thing. Blatent knocking-off sucks! Get some originality, people!

House Tour – And if you can’t make it by for Tea, I’ll still invite you in for a house tour.

My Favorite Posts

You’ll see a lot of posts over there in the archive, so there is lots of reading you can catch up on. But here are a few of my favorite posts to give you a quick snapshot of what this site is all about:

How Do You Wear Those All Day?

You’re Worth the Good Stuff

Professional in Pink

Professional in Pink at Work

On a Scale of 1 to 10… They’re a 20! – Limited edition Louboutins

They’re Here! They’re Here! – The adorable Miu Miu Tea Cup heels

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Back to Bespoke – You can also learn more about Hetty Rose here.

Now, go and read some more and then let me know what you think. If you have something you’re excited about or a great pair of shoes that you just adore, drop me an email. I love to hear about the things you’re excited about too.

Stop by everyday or add me to your RSS feed. I publish new content at least daily if not even more often.

And if you want even more Poochie-ness, especially on those in-between times, make sure to follow me on Twitter – click here then click the “Follow” button. Are you not on Twitter??? You should be! I could give you a whole slew of reasons, but I’ll let another advocate tell you all about it. Check out what the CEO of has to say and get started.

Also, while I try to add lots of pictures to my posts, I have even more on Flickr. If you add me as a contact you’ll see the latest and greatest as soon as they’re added. Or just stop by and leave a note.

On the right there, you’ll see some other great, smart and funny bloggers, check them out as well!

Hope to see you soon!


Breaking Boundries

As you may know from my Instagrams and Tweets, I’ve just started a new job.  Among all the moving office stuff and learning who everyone is and what they do, I’m also contending with a big shift in workplace style.

It’s funny how different each new company is.  They each have a unique personality, character and (not withstanding a few outliers) style.

I’ve worked at many different extremes along the “professional dress” scale.  At Disney, we had a full Look Book of rules and regulations that applied to office staff as well as those “On Stage”. While our creative team had a dispensation and could dress however, the rest of the department was required to at least adhere to the spirit of the law, if not the letter.  Some groups were really picky and some less so, but over all, it was pretty toned down and conservative. On a personal note, I didn’t break any rules (I actually kept a copy with me all then time) but I did raise some eyebrows at times.

My now former company was towards the other end.  We did dress up for presentations but on the day to day it was pretty casual.  Let’s say that flip-flops, shorts and tees were common year round.  I can’t say that I fell fully into this camp either.  I tended to be a bit dressier but I also felt comfortable being a bit experimental too.  One day would be a conservative look but another would be a sequin skeleton dress with laced-up boots, a vintage band jacket or a big pink gingham poofy skirt. 

I can’t peg myself as casual or conservative… I’m…. hmmm… whimsical, I guess would capture it best.

But my new place is leaning more towards the conservative side.  We don’t have to wear hose as a mandatory, like at Disney but I’m not sure how a crazy glitter sneakers are going to go down.  So I’m starting out with some of my favorite interesting-yet-fun outfits.  A grey belted shirt dress with bright green accents at the collar and cuffs, a lace print shift and a bow sweater top and great patterned tights.

I was really keen to see how others have showcased their style as well.  One lady was wearing the most striking mangenta-y purple nail polish.  Another has great style with perfect tailoring and some of the guys dress quite snazzy with a real eye for pattern, color and detail.  The spirit seems to be all about playing with the parameters not worrying about any boundries.

So I’m doing the same.  Great polish. Great accessories. Great shoes, of course. 

Going forward I’ll probably be weeding out some pieces that I liked and hung on to, despite the fact that I only wore them once or twice. I know I’ll be making a few purchases that support those I already have.  I’ve found a great red pencil skirt.  I want cardigan in a good black and white pattern.  And I really have been on the perfect pointed black pump to wear with skirts and jeans and at a height to wear all day.  Jimm Choo has two options but I’m still considering options.
I have a new office to decorate and a new me to decorate too.  I better start shopping my closet with a new eye!

Week In Review Again

Over the weekend we went to Asheville and it was an amazingly lovely day. Because it was a bit chilly but still warm and sunny, I only needed a light jacket. My favorite is a light blue corduroy one from American Eagle that I’ve worn for years. I love the sky blue color and I paired it with my favorite color with it – lavender. The color combo was sky blue, lavender and off white with touches of black

I had a lavender Gap tee, Gap Classic jeans, vintage off white leather gloves, my pink/lavender cameo from Etsy, a lavender pashmina wrap as a scarf and my Paraphernalia “Story” pin. I also had a silly little dog in a doggie sling wrapped around me because he was cold and doesn’t like to walk!

10-13-08 Asheville by Princess Poochie

I was trying to remember what I wore this week because I was all over the board. While the henna tattoo on my hand finally raised some interest in folks my other crazy accessories didn’t. I think I’ve exceeded the shock value limits here.

We had a Dio de los Muertos-themed lunch at the office so I wore my skull tattoo necklace and Sourpuss skull striped socks from SockDreams. I paired that up with a blue JCrew sweater (since there is blue in the necklace) over a base of a black cami and skirt.

The next day I was a bit more professional in my cute black jacket and pencil skirt from Target with my bright blue Manolo Butterflo heels.

Week of 10-13-08 by Princess Poochie

Isn’t this cool?


Yesterday I wore a dark grey deep v-neck from Gap over a khaki pencil skirt. But it needed a bit of shine so I paired it with these brocade Estrella slingbacks from Manolo Blahnik. They are soooo gorgeous.

I love wearing a fancy shoe in a more toned down way. If I waited for an event for these they’d never see the light of day.

Today I wasn’t even supposed to go into to work but we had a huge project so I did. In spite of feeling crummy. In spite of being cold. In spite of it raining all day. I’m a trooper!

Anyway, I didn’t even blow-dry my hair – just put it up into to buns on the side of my head. I wore a simple black jersey top, my polka-dot Old Navy flippy skirt and grey canvas flats. Pretty comfy and basic. Now I’m going home to loaf and read one of the fifteen books I’ve got going!

Happy Weekend!

New York, New York – Day 2

Sooo, where did we leave off? Here’s Day One to check out.

On Wednesday morning (Day Two) I was off for my main reason to come to New York – a conference for work. I figured it might be chilly in the Times Center all day so I wore a denim skirt, my JCrew tee with the sequined crest and a dark brown corduroy blazer. For shoes I wore my Franco Sarto heeled sandals.

They actually ended up being pretty comfortable because I walked for blocks in them and they didn’t bother me. Plus I got quite a few compliments on them.

The conference ended at 5pm so I was able to hit a few other stores that I had not been able to the day before. One of the main places I wanted to go was to Town Shop. After reading reviews of the service there, I decided to see what advice they gave me. This place has been around since 1888 and many of the sales people have been there for decades.

Well, I walked in ready for anything and was helped by a lovely woman who made me feel instantly at ease with her professionalism. And she told me, like most women, I was wearing the totally wrong size. I’d always gone for a larger band size and a smaller cup. When I was the opposite, a bigger cup was needed and smaller back! Imagine that! I tried on one of the bras she brought me and then put my shirt over it to see. The change was amazing. I felt plumped in a good way! I was so happy I bought two bras on the spot. And they’re elegant womanly bras, not saccharine pink Victoria’s Secret garbage either. I’ve decided I’m totally done with them.

If you get the chance to go, I obviously recommend the store!

From there, I wasn’t far from an actual Manolo Blahnik store. Now, granted, given the other day I should not have gone there. But I couldn’t not go, even just to look.

Yeah, I’ll admit it. That was a mistake.

The store is a tiny boutique and very simply designed. I saw a few shoes I knew but there were many not carried by the major department stores.

I tried on a few adorable pairs but ended up getting these brown linen Toluk mary janes with dark brown edges. Very very comfortable as well. And, seriously, I don’t have a ton of brown shoes. These I did end up taking with me since I figured I could fit one shoe box into my bags somehow.

After that I took a cab through the park and went over to the Maison du Chocolat store on Madison.

I’d been dying to get some macarons and I succeeded. I got a big variety pack and am still eating them. I also got a bunch of dark chocolate pieces mainly with ingredients like ginger, tea and honey. They were also delish!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day so I walked from Maison all the way to the subway pick-up down by The Plaza. I then returned to the apartment to order an Indian feast to be delivered to my door.

The Christmas Recap

As everyone knows, the days after the holidays are all about doing the “Present Recap” (also known as the “Present Scorecard” in some circles).

We have tons of lovely friends who gave us delicious treats and sent some beautiful cards. Our gifts out were one of our favorite cookies – Lavender Sables – which are kind of a French shortbread and so so yummy. If you want the recipe, just drop me a line.

We have out gifts to other co-workers and family members, most of which we had to ship because they all live far away. As for the husband and I, we don’t do a huge bunch of gifts for each other usually because we get stuff all year long. Plus we just had our amazing trip to the Grove Park Inn, so it was pretty sparse beneath the tree this year.

We also don’t like to buy a lot of “stuff”, so we try to get consumable or services. In his stocking this year he got a grapefruit knife,

and spoons (four of them).

He also got 2lbs of thick cut peppered gourmet bacon from Nueskes. (Who the heck gives someone bacon for Christmas??? I mean, seriously? Yeah, we do. We’re weird like that)

He also got these amazing organic really sweet grapefruits from South Tex Organics. Now the knife and spoons make sense, right?

We had some delicious bruleed grapefruits when we stayed at our friends’ bed & breakfast (the Adora Inn) in Mount Dora for the wedding we were both in. They were so delicious, I wanted to recreate the meal. And they are really good. And I don’t even typically like grapefruit.

I also bought some Meyer’s lemons, which I’m going to make into delicious lemon gelato and lemon curd.

The hubby also wears a lot of t-shirts since he works from home and he also loves funky fun shirts. Threadless is a wonderful resource for unique shirts, and they aren’t that much either.

I got him this shirt which is per-fect for him. He kind of likes the creepy stuff. This one is called “Ad Noctum” You can click on the images to see them bigger.

He also got this shirt which I think is weird yet adorable. It’s called “Star Men in Moon’s Milk“. How cute is that????

His “big” gift was this book. It’s the iconic Albertus SebaCabinet of Natural Curiosities“.

This is, yes, a reproduction but it’s still amazing and filled with the best illustrations. We have some actual vintage illustrations like these throughout our house, so this is perfect. It’s also a book you will see in many professionally decorated homes because the colors are just so great. It’s a perfect book for us and our house.

Here’s a little bit about the book:
Albertus Seba’s “Cabinet of Curiosities” is one of the 18th century’s greatest natural history achievements and remains one of the most prized natural history books of all time.

Though it was common for men of his profession to collect natural specimens for research purposes, Amsterdam-based pharmacist Albertus Seba (1665-1736) had a passion that led him far beyond the call of duty. His amazing, unprecedented collection of animals, plants and insects from all around the world gained international fame during his lifetime. In 1731, after decades of collecting, Seba commissioned illustrations of each and every specimen and arranged the publication of a four-volume catalog detailing his entire collection – from strange and exotic plants to snakes, frogs, crocodiles, shellfish, corals, insects, butterflies and more, as well as fantastic beasts, such as a hydra and a dragon.

So that was kind of it. I got lovely and fun things as well. My parents gave some $$$, which I’ve totally spent already, and a new picture of them which I need for my office. One of my co-workers gave me this adorable mushroom timer from FredFlare (you have to see my office to know why this fits in – I have a ton of pink in there to liven up the boring grey cube).


My in-laws gave me a big ‘ol Target gift card, because, ya know I love the Tar-get!

In my stocking from the hubby I got some treats – single serve Nutellas!


I also got an iTunes gift card – furthering my iPod library investment.

My “big” gift was a necklace from Ananda Khalsa necklace. When we were at Grove Park Inn, they have a store featuring all kinds of goods from local artists. Ananda does these amazing jewelry pieces which are made from little paintings that are then set in silver or 22kt gold with hand-ground glass. My three-strand necklace is in the “Bluebirds with Plum Blossoms” series and has aquamarine briolettes under the pendant and at the clasp.

It’s so lovely and perfect because I love unique jewelry, as well as supporting local artists. It will be perfect to wear in the Spring.

As you can see, we all do a lot of shopping online but we also supported a lot of artists and artesianal companies. Not only do we get unique gifts but we support the hand-made, small scale movement.

I can’t wait to see what gifts other folks got and what they gave.