Emily’s Black Friday Wishlist: Elevated Everyday Essentials


Ah, Black Friday. How are we already here!? OK, admittedly, we’re not there quite yet, but since actual Black Friday is falling a little later this year, I have a feeling that getting my faves together now will leave me in much better shape when the time comes. The second advantage of getting this list together now? It concretely solidifies that these are pieces I truly want/need — and not just more ‘stuff’ I’ll find myself getting riled up about once it’s on sale. Put another way, there’s no guarantee any of these items will drop below their current prices, and yet I still really, really want them.

Even more exciting? There’s a bit of a theme here! Thanks to the deep discounts surrounding Black Friday, I always find myself searching out deals on luxe or pricier items that will stand the test of time. In my closet, that translates to a buttery leather jacket that is both timeless and interesting, and wear-anywhere ballet flats from a new (to me) brand that’s doing really cool things in the footwear space. And throughout our home, a military-grade cooler that would have been tremendously convenient throughout these past few power outages and, sexiest of all household electrics, slick new smoke detectors. Rrrrrrrawr…?

I’m calling the whole lot Elevated Everyday Essentials because, well, Pinterest, but really, these are a dozen better-than-basics that I know would be well worth their investment, now and later. Happy shopping!

(Psst…for a peek at our other wishlists and keep an eye on our upcoming posts, head over to Black Friday/Cyber Monday central here.)

Elevated Everyday Essentials: Emily’s Black Friday Shopping Wishlist

We're searching out Black Friday deals on luxe or pricier items that will stand the test of time. Think travel, home & fashion essentials. Here's hopin'.

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1 // FRAME Le Original High Rise Straight Jean (also here) — Once upon a time (college, hello disposable income), I was a true denim snob, but in recent years (hello, postpartum body) it’s taken more convincing for me to invest in pieces when I’m not always feeling like the fittest version of myself. That said, the one piece of denim my closet is missing is a high-rise, cropped straight leg jean, ideally in a lighter wash, and based on everyone at TME’s favorable review of FRAME denim, I’m feeling optimistic about this pair.

2 // Vintage Tumbled Italian Flatware — As both a persnickety food stylist and a human being who really likes to eat, finding the perfect flatware — something that is both aesthetically pleasing, the right scale for photos, having character without being overly kitschy and yet comfortable in the hand, durable enough for everyday use and practically shaped for stacking neatly into a kitchen drawer, *breathe!* — has proven near impossible. Which is why Chris and I have been using the same hand-me-down silverware since college. *facepalm* SO. I have ditched the idea of trying to combine the two and have since resigned myself to having a small collection of (mostly thrifted) flatware dedicated to food photography — and then, hopefully, upgrading our everyday flatware to this set. It’s weighty in the hand, easy to dress up or down, flat enough to stack satisfyingly into a drawer organizer and never requires polishing. (As if that was ever really a concern of mine.) And, if it happens to make it into the occasional food photo, it’s got a non-reflective surface. As good as it’s gonna get!

3 // Pink Floyd Graphic T — I tried this on in my recent Anthro #dressingroomselfies post, and it’s the one thing I’m pining after that I couldn’t quite commit to in the store, pricewise. The fit is so dang flattering — just oversized enough not to cling, and a neckline that breathes a little more than a basic crew, so it’s even a little, dare I say, sexy.

4 // SMEG Milk Frother — We’ve used our tried-and-true milk frother almost daily for six years (this one, if you’re curious), and it’s finally starting to take just a liiiiitle too long to get the milk up to temperature. Not complaining — it’s had an exceptionally good run! At the same time, though, I’ve always been more than a little smitten with the appearance of SMEG appliances, but we keep nearly all of our small electrics tucked away, so purchasing them for the stellar design, alone, hasn’t been justified. Our frother, however, has earned a permanent spot on our counter, so this little guy is the perfect opportunity to splurge. Something we need that just happens to be complete eye-candy? Yes please.

5 // Paddywax Yosemite Candle — Our whole family has a soft spot for Yosemite — and woodsy scented candles. I’ve been stalking this candle for more than a year, and it seems every time I remember how much I want it, it goes out of stock. And for good reason. It’s soy based, poured in the USA, and totally upcycleable into a chic container for a countertop succulent plant, makeup brushes, etc., I think it’s about time.

6 // Nisolo Ava Ballerina Flats — Lana and I gifted Chris a pair of Nisolo Chelsea boots for Father’s Day, and he’s been raving about them ever since. Not only are they extremely comfortable (he admitted there was about a week or so of a break-in period), the brand is doing such admirable things in the footwear space. They partner with artisans who are paid beyond fair trade wages (they’re exceptionally transparent about those specific wages, too), make every attempt to keep clothing and shoes out of landfills and offset their carbon emissions — which, I know, can be a bit of a cop-out, but everything else about Nisolo leads me to believe they are earnestly doing their best and not just greenwashing. As for the flats, themselves, they would complement the vast majority of my wardrobe and replace the current pair of neutral-colored flats that I have worn so often, there are literal holes in the soles. In short, I’m so close to pulling the trigger on these, they’re pretty much a guaranteed purchase no matter the discount come Black Friday.

7 // Adidas Superstars — These aren’t break-the-bank expensive by any means (in fact, they’re price-matched at Nordstrom right now for a steal!), but I wouldn’t complain if I snagged them at a discount. I wear my Stan Smiths at least a few times a week, and these are more or less interchangeable, but they’re a little more iconic with the striping, and the classic black and white is hard to beat.

8 // Nest Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm — We’ve upgraded two of the seven smoke detectors in our house to these guys, and after the power outages we’ve seen this month, I’m definitely looking toward Black Friday sales as an excuse to change out the rest. Not only does it boast a verbal warning before the alarm goes off (and in a calm and soothing voice that can only be described as…Nordstromy), the unobtrusive blue night lights actually came in super handy when we were completely without light.

9 // ALLSAINTS Bales Leather Biker Jacket — I’ve been ping-ponging back and forth over a few leather jackets this season, and after much hemming and hawing, I’m putting my money on this one. I’m always drawn to a more drapey silhouette, so the buttery lambskin is clearly winning points with me. And the double buckle collar makes this such a cool statement piece when it’s all zipped up, and it lends a bit of asymmetry that softens the whole look when it’s worn open. Aside from that, the styling is perfectly timeless and classic — something that would far outlive much of my wardrobe. Even tempted to size up a bit for a more boyfriend-y fit.

10 // Double Piercing Huggie Earring — Lana is obsessed with the idea of piercing her ears, and even though we haven’t landed on when or how that’s going to happen, all her talk has started to make me appreciate my own piercings more (I’m even tempted to add a couple of piercings to my lobes/cartilage if and when she takes the plunge). In the meantime, this dainty little piece makes the most of the double piercing I do have. It’s dainty enough for everyday wear and is simultaneously pretty and just a wee bit edgy.

11 // The North Face Rolling Thunder 22″ Carry-On Bag — I have a previous iteration of this bag, and it’s the most robust piece of luggage I’ve ever owned. It’s not fancy, mind you, but the construction is phenomenal, you can easily wipe the surface clean, and the roomy interior compartment — which I initially turned up my nose at, because hello, pockets… — allows for so much customization. With a little strategy (and a couple of packing cubes) this can take me through a week or more of international travel. And travel companions are constantly impressed when they learn where this suitcase has been because it practically looks brand new. Black Friday would be the perfect opportunity to add a second one for Chris’ business travel or as we begin to venture out on longer family trips with Lana. Stellar gift, too.

12 // Yeti Cooler — When I first saw these at REI a few years ago, I scoffed. How much for a cooler? And then this season we dealt with a series of (somewhat) planned power outages, and after four solid days of moving things around between three good-but-not-great coolers, I’m convinced that a high-quality cooler is key — both to my sanity and my carefully curated selection of frozen food. Add in one conversation with friends in Texas, who all confirmed that their Yeti coolers live up to the hype during hurricane season, and the investment seems wholly worthwhile.

Shop My Black Friday Shopping Wishlist


Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!

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