Black, White and Shades of Gray – M’s Christmas Wish List


We all know this: when it rains it pours.  It wouldn't be a cliche if it weren't just so dang true.  Indeed, it has been a bit of a deluge at my house.  So I'm feeling like I just sort of want to keep my head down and sneak out of 2010 and into 2011 nice and slow, without. . . making. . . any. . . waves.  I didn't realize my mood had permeated even my fashion sensibilities until I started clipping my picks for this post and I saw that everything was black, white and gray, hence my Christmas/Holiday 2010 wish list, a collection of drool-worthy if monochromatic gift ideas for mamas.   

So what's been going on?  Well, there was the health scare in August/September–a lump that turned out to be a complication from quitting breastfeeding, but with all the fun of palpations, ultrasounds and needle biopsies and waiting for results stretched over a few weeks. 

Then my beloved Gram got sick.  Then better.  Then sick again.  Then somewhat better, and then finally very sick.  The day she entered hospice, my dear Pop, her husband of more than 60 years, fell ill too.  He joined her in her room a few days later and they ended up passing within 14 hours of each other.  So sad.  So wrenching, but a great love story through and through–one that seems almost unbelievable, even to me, and leaves me in awe of the power of love and the potency of our minds and spirits.

Thrown in there for dramatic effect was a sewer line break (apparently 101 years is about all a clay pipe can take), precipitating a $10K repair job that left our backyard as a pile of dirt/mud and a smattering of no less than five illnesses that ran through all four members of our family, including coughing, vomiting and other ahem, "stomach" maladies. 

So, while I do so loathe to wish a year away, 2010 leaves me feeling more thankful than ever for my health, my family and my friends, and very, very ready for New Year 2011. 

But a bit of holiday cheer, a few shiny baubles, and a cozy sweater or two sure won't hurt.

I am ob.sessed. with Fair Isle sweaters right now. I'm watching and bidding on three fair isle turtlenecks on eBay as we speak and I am dying for this cozy chic and really kinda sexy snap/funnelneck sweater.  Perfect with leggings, jeans and this cute little tweed mini in the back of my closet. . . also looks nursing-friendly! 


I don't know why I haven't bought this sweater yet.  I've had my eye on one form or another of J.Crew's cashmere short sleeve tee forever.  Literally forever, probably before J.Crew had retail stores.  It's an uber classic piece perfect for places like Colorado that have 60 degree days smattered with flurries throughout winter and spring.  Layer it under a blazer with cuffed jeans and lace up boots, dress it up with a midi skirt and a corset belt, wear it straight up with your fav denim on a warmish early spring day.  I might even want to go uber preppy with a tone-on-tone monogram, especially since I just changed my name after eight years of marriage.  I'm still practicing my signature. . .


Neo-Refinement Pullover
$88 -
Pullover tops »
This slouchy wool blend pullover is perfect for said 60 degree winter days, or layered over a slinky turtleneck (you'll need something with some slip, or it won't move right). 


I just need these jeans.  They are so hot on.  Let go of your 1992 Girbaud Jeans hang up and go with it, sister.  You looked hot in your paper-bag-belted, colored denim then and you'll look hot in your skinny colored denim now : )


This freakishly hot tote combines my love of bird motifs with a versatile black and white graphic pattern.  This isn't available now, only for pre-order, delivering in late January 2011, but it is worth.  the.  wait.  This is an all winter getaway, all spring, all summer, into early fall go-to piece that will add instant polish to your hubby beater and cutoffs warm weather uniform and little black sundresses alike.


Fairy Tale Jewelry Holder
$128 -
Holder jewelry »
Maybe this beautiful, fantastical jewelry stand could help me clean up my vanity, honey. . .


Clearly 2011 is going to require the big guns.  I want some serious "Evil Eye" protection in the new year, but I want it pretty.


These may look familiar.  Last year's versions were in my holiday post last year, too.  I guess it was an oversight?


These babies are back-ordered until after Christmas, but Mamas, they'd be worth the wait.  This set of three silver bangles is a fabulous alternative to the crazy pricey Ipolita bangle I wrote up in another Christmas/Holiday gift guide last year.

Well this is certainly funny.  Here's another shiny thing I still like a whole lot.  Michael Aram's clean, modern, organic designs make my heart skip a beat.

I hope all is well and good in your homes and in your lives, Mamas.  Kiss your babies more than they want (Gram always did : ) and don't go to bed mad (Pop's advice) this holiday season!
– M



  1. So sorry about your difficult year, but so glad you are able to see the other side of it too. Sometimes we all need a reminder of how good we have it…just wish we didn’t need to go through this to remember.
    Black and white creeps into my wardrobe a lot! Thanks for the great fashion ideas! I sooo need them!

  2. I can so relate to how you feel! I am more than ready for 2011 as well!
    Love the jewelery you picked and I really think you deserve to get it from Santa!

  3. I just bought the Michael Aram ice bucket from that same line for our holiday party–I’m a bit obsessed with his stuff (I also have a pitcher…and a tray…and a trivet…). So wintery and classy!
    I’m sorry to hear about your troubled past few months. Here’s to 2010, and the peace of the holiday season.

  4. I am sorry to hear about your grandparents. So, so heartbreaking.
    I also lost my last grandparent in 2010 and am feeling really ready for 2011.
    Great picks (as usual) especially the devi bangles – 1st thing I bought from Beck…then I got so hooked that now I sell it too!

  5. Ooooh, can I sympathize! Our yard was torn up mere days ago for the same reason. Goodbye to hours of landscaping, hundreds of dollars worth of carefully placed mulch, and our beautifully manicured lawn. *sigh*
    I am totally feeling the Fair Isle as well, but can’t seem to find the right piece just yet. I don’t really do fitted sweaters, as they accentuate my post-baby belly just a bit too much, so I’m looking for something loose and drapey to work over my skinnies. Love the Anthro pullover!
    Best wishes for a wonderful 2011. Hang in there Mama… we’re almost through. 😉

  6. Why don’t I have the Jcrew cashmere short sleeve t, either? I flag it every year..It may be time…love your anthro sweater, too. I like Fair isle but I have a rule that it should only be on the chest, not the hips because it makes me feel bigger than I am. Is that nuts?

  7. Thank you wonderful mamas for all your stellar comments–a nice welcome back since I’m so rusty!
    Amy, I’ve been drooling over the Michael Aram bark ice bucket but have been putting it off since we seem to be more of a beer & wine crowd. Have you seen his mushroom snack dish?
    I fill it with two adult snacks and one with Annie’s Bunnies for the kiddos–always a huge hit.
    Maria, I’ve had my eye on this RL mock neck fair isle for week and it just went on sale: I love the colors and while not drapey, that black bodice may do the trick.
    No, not crazy, Nell–you’re totally right, that band could go very wrong, but if you polay with the sizes, I think it’s going to have a more skirted/apron feel if it hits right. . .

  8. M — Wow. I obviously knew about all of this craziness, but it is really something reading it all in black and white. Especially since I know you left some things out (weaning L, H starting preschool, one of your BFFs accidentally spoiling the surprise part of your hubs surprise party…) It’s actually been quite amazing – how you handled it all so gracefully, and have still managed to be such a good friend.
    BTW – was the Girbaud jean shout out for me? Did I confess to you my hangup with colored denim???? You’re right of course (time to let it go…) but wow. I feel 13 years old again each time I try. Maybe I need to do something drastic to get over it. Like hot pink pants. Or yellow. Bright, bright yellow.
    In any case, am loving all of your picks. As always.
    DAVE – you reading this, buddy?? Do I need to send you this link???? Your girl needs her some Havisham hoops!!

  9. Hahah – I just had to comment on the name change after eight years as I am doing the same thing. LOL Glad I’m not the only weirdo. 😉

  10. Love this look! Love the sweater and leggings look! I am also weaning off nursing and it looks promising. I’ve been looking for nice white tees so the J Crews will be perfect my own holiday gifting to MYSELF! hah ha! Thanks for this post!

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