Sunday, December 19, 2010

The scent of pining.

The way I see it, we have two options:

a) We can pretend like all I want for Christmas is world peace, or

b) We can collectively swoon over the pretty things on my wish list.

Which sounds like more fun to you?

The Scent of Pining

Clockwise from top left:

Michael Kors Bel Aire Chronograph watch. The nontraditional femininity of rose gold juxtaposed against the classic, masculine shape of this watch makes it an absolute must. I've always considered a two-tone Rolex oyster watch to be my ultimate "I've made it" purchase, but until the day arrives that I can drop a year's worth of rent on a piece of jewelry without batting a Dior-lacquered eyelash, I'd be thrilled to have this madam-gone-military timepiece on my wrist.

Wolford Velvet de Luxe 66 opaque tights. The idea of spending $45 on tights still makes my head spin, but I have it on good authority that Wolfords are worth every penny. Shockingly, my father (who is wont to roll his eyes at my love of everything unnecessarily expensive) didn't laugh in my face when I half-jokingly threw these on my list this year. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a Christmas miracle.

Prada "Prada" perfume. Every perfume I've ever worn with any longevity has been some combination of orange and spice, be it the Demeter "Orange Cream Pop" I donned back in middle school, the Betsey Johnson tangerine/amber concoction I graduated to next, the bitter orange/cinnamon/vanilla blend of "L de Lolita Lempicka" that saw me through the better part of college or the YSL "Opium" I've been wearing since I "borrowed" it from the SELF beauty closet in July. Prada's original scent is the grown-up incarnation of my preferred citrus-Oriental flavor, with Bergamot and orange oils creating a power play in the forefront while undertones of vanilla, patchouli, sandalwood and musk awaken a baser human sensuality beneath.

(Did I fool you? Do you think I know anything whatsoever about perfume? This shit smells good; you should try it sometime.)

3.1 Phillip Lim printed silk bralette and boyshorts. Forgot the usual implications of lingerie. All I desire of this watercolor floral set is that it provide a much-needed pick-me-up from the bitter wasteland that will be raging outside my window for the next six months. (P.S. If you haven't, check out the interview I did with Phillip for CS magazine last spring. He's a gem.)

Farouk CHI 1" ceramic flat iron. The Holy Grail of hair straighteners. I try to give my battered strands a rest from heat styling when I can, but if I'm going to subject them to frying on a semi-regular basis, I might as well use the best damn destruction tools available.

Miu Miu booties. I'll keep this brief: these are my dream shoes, and I would do despicable things to get my hands on them.

Nespresso machine. While I did ask Santa for a coffee maker, it's unlikely that the extremely highbrow Nespresso will be making a cameo in my kitchen any time soon. I'll settle for a French press and some World Market Texas Turtle blend for now, but I eagerly await the day when I can steam my own lattes using the most unapologetically snobbish appliance on the market. I'm fairly confident that with the money I'd save on Starbucks/Peet's/Panera (shut up, I love Panera coffee. I'm crazelnut for hazelnut. Don't judge), it would pay for itself in about three weeks.

Saint James sweater. Breton stripes made my top ten list of wardrobe musts back in April, but I'd trade my whole stack of H&M cotton tees for just one of these perfect sweaters. Saint James is the originator of the Breton stripe (or at least its most famous producer), and I adore the coquettish buttons, low-maintenance crewneck and perfect ecru/navy combination of this particular style.

Have you had the good fortune to get your hands on any of the above? What's on your holiday wish list this year?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Deck the halls with hearts and cupcakes.

The holidays have a way of amplifying whatever you're feeling by about a hundredfold. That's all well and good if you're happy and in love, but if your season is shaping up to bring more silent nights than joy to the world, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer, magnanimous euphoria of it all. Some grow embittered by the bastardization of a religious holiday into a commercially-driven circus. Personally, I adore Christmas and the entire season leading up to it. The year's first holiday Starbucks cup brings a tear to my eye. I pull out my Hanson Christmas album (wait, there must be something wrong with my keyboard...I don't own that) the day after Halloween. I do, in fact, own a sparkly Santa hat. Fine, the *NSYNC Christmas album, too.

I'm a little sad, however, to be spending this December away from my family. I grew up in two households that take Christmas extremely seriously. We have more traditions than we can even remember to complete each year. I'll be home a few days before Christmas, so I won't miss out on the best ones: driving around to admire neighborhood lights on Christmas Eve; enjoying treats like cinnamon twists, eggs benedict and our chocolate Yule log cake/giant HoHo known as the "HoHoHo" on Christmas morning; sleeping in the same bed with my three siblings on Santa's big night (to facilitate our 6am wake-up call) (okay, that last one doesn't happen anymore). But without my mom's angel collection and my dad's holiday 3D glasses, I can't help but worry that the next few weeks are going to feel a little flat.

Which is why I have taken the liberty of erecting The Girliest Tree Ever To Exist Anywhere atop my space heater nightstand.

Why yes, that is a glittery fake tree trimmed with glittery hearts and glittery cupcakes standing next to a glittery snow family! Casual. Practical. Delightful. My hat/scarf/purse stand also got a holiday makeover, in the form of a bedazzled tree-topper.

By the way, if the wide shot above piqued your interest, this is how I display what I affectionately refer to as my "varsity jewelry":

Brings a whole new meaning to the term "cocktail ring," no? My makeup brushes are stashed in a wine glass. I'm aiming for a full bar someday.

This holiday season, do what you need to do to feel joy. Maybe that means one-stop shopping on Amazon instead of putting yourself through the trauma of mall parking. Maybe it means letting yourself gain a little bit of cookie weight. Maybe it means watching A Christmas Story for the eighty-seventh time (really just the best Christmas movie on the planet). Maybe it means swallowing your pride, smothering your fierce independence and surrounding yourself with people who love you. Maybe it means a putting up a sparkly tree on your space heater. And if all else fails, maybe this little guy can lend a hand.

Whatever the solution, seek out your holiday style and find a way to sing auld lang syne. After's the most wonderful time of the year.