When I pulled together the Coffee Table Books post, it really had me reflecting on this past year and the one ahead. I was shorter on words because the visual images speak for themselves — but the reflection went deep in my heart.
This has been a year unlike any other that many of us have lived through. Thinking about and feeling the whole thing in full, is overwhelming. It’s one thing to remind ourselves to count our blessings and do the doable things every day; to be intentional, to do better….It’s quite another thing to sustain momentum, joy, genuine happiness, and to thrive when our eyes have been opened to things we didn’t realize that we didn’t even realize. Where even the smallest things feel risky, and when even under the best of circumstances — each day, work, even when we are lucky to have it, is different; school, when we have it, is different; relationships, when we have them, are different — different in that we do these seemingly everyday things, apart, and that they are all at risk.
That was a real life lesson for many of us this year — that genuinely, nothing can be taken for granted. OK #2020, lesson learned — take nothing for granted. And #2021, as you pull closer and closer, I’m looking at you — with a whole new level of hope, with wiser eyes, and a heart that needs a hug.
Weekly Favorite Finds: Tried & True Home Organization + Black Girl Baking
Reflecting on things in our own home, my Favorite Finds this week are all ones that we actually own and appreciate more as a result of this past year and will well into the new one. It’s basically a the best of our own home decor recap — things we can live without, but that make it a little more efficient, a little comfier, a little cozier, a little more fun — even just a little more doable.
In my holiday season shopping, I happened upon a cook book by a Black author that I ordered as a gift for my littlest, and an inspirational food blog to follow — check it out below. That and some more fun home decor (and face masks up to 30% off from Nordstrom) on sale this weekend too, because that’s what we do.
These are the most expensive candles on earth. That’s actually not at all true. But they are a small fortune. So every year I try all the other candles, and while I enjoy many of them, I always come home to this one. It’s just my forever favorite.
Another not small purchase that we never regret, (once I figure out a new creative way to fund it, and reframe it for myself as an investment rather than an expense.) Each year for the past several, my LEGO-head son asks for one huge LEGO set. Last year it was the Star Wars Death Star, which now sits proudly on the center of our coffee table. This year, with wishes for travel to Australia and New Zealand on his mind, he asked for the Sydney Opera House. These LEGO sets will eventually take over our whole home, and they are a HUGE investment, but for the hours and hours of love he puts into them (and because he keeps it simple,) at least with his one-and-done ask for the year — well, we did the thing again.
We were interested in chess, and then after watching The Queen’s Gambit, we became obsessed! And now we can’t take our eyes off all the gorgeous chess boards and have them strewn all over the house. It’s our quarantine thing…rounds and rounds of chess.
These aren’t our exact poufs, but they are similar. We love them for feet up and also as stools for chess, and LEGO building, and in truth, snacks and binge-watching, too.
**Hello sustainable. They are made from recycled plastic, here in the USA. The hardware is all hidden, they last forever, and they come in all the fun styles and colors. Loll chairs and outdoor furniture in general are an investment; they aren’t inexpensive and they take many weeks to be delivered, but they will in fact last forever. That said, once you’ve gone Loll, you’ll never go back. We have two of this exact chair in grey on our back patio and wouldn’t trade them for anything.
This thing has become my own personal 3X daily therapy session #2020. It’s heavy, in the best of ways, and calming, when almost nothing else is. Wouldn’t trade it. Would love a few more for the whole family. Hoping for a sale on them, someday (I will share if that ever happens.) As of this moment, there’s a waitlist for velvet nappers. Cotton nappers are still available, though, come in plenty of pretty colors, and are also super-soft and comfy-cozy!
These come in two sizes, a few other shapes, in so many colors, and you can always add a tray. You’ve seen them in Shana’s Playroom, and I promise you they are in many, many homes we’ve touched in the best of versatile, functional, fun, well-styled decor — including our own.
My youngest is a storm of creativity in the best of ways, and the one for whom I’m always searching new tricks to keep just a tiny little bit organized. This thing has been a gem for virtual school all year. It sits in front of her eyes, but off the desk, the one that seemingly requires a wipe-down 3X/day.
For hats and scarves, coats and bags, dog leashes, and this year…for all the masks. ‘Hang your stuff on the cute hooks’ is a way of life around here.
My son chose this, and then my daughters were jealous, and now there are three of them. They are arguably super-comfy, they glide well, adjust well, are an easy enough assembly, and you can’t beat their price point!
The Humanscale Freedom Stool is my super-expensive favorite ergo task tool, but with a budget in mind and for a kid’s room, we went with this, and it’s worked out perfectly! Saddle-up for a change of scenery for school-from-home; we’re not going back anytime soon around here, so we may as well just enjoy the comforts. Grey might be out of stock, but black and camel appear to be stocked — the stool is legitimately comfy, and the casters I might even prefer to the expensive ones.
These have saved us in this space-constrained city house. We tucked one in the kitchen, one in the living room, and one in each of two kid rooms. They come in two heights; the taller one has an extra shelf which is nice. They basically serve their purpose and otherwise disappear in a good way. Truth be told, when Grace’s (the youngest — who is a storm of a mess) was first installed, she wasn’t happy, rolled her eyes, and said, “Great. Now where am I supposed to make a mess, because it won’t fit here?” I smiled and quietly backed out of the room. Mess 0: Mom 1.
That same sweet messy kid – Grace, age 8, has a giant sweet tooth, and bakes incessantly. She has a few go-to recipes under her apron and a huge following of friends and family fans, but is also in forever search of new baking fun in the kitchen. I feel like I struck GOLD, while trying to find something really wonderful, something super-inspiring and new and fresh for Grace for the holidays, when I happened upon Jerrelle Guy. Her beautiful book and her amazing blog are the perfect next step in baking studies and all the yummy food recipes too! She seems to speak a language all her own about food and baking; it’s one that I feel like Grace will instantly connect with! Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired By A Soulful Upbringing is a book whose recipes are organized by Sight, Smell and Sound! Guy sections, by sense. And my mind is blown in the best of fun-with-words-and-writing ways! This is genius, and a system Grace can get with, full heart, and all her senses! Jerrelle Guy is my new food super hero! Read more about her here...and Jerrelle…if you ever feel like you need company in the form of a young child under your feet, but one who is actually a fantastic mini-sous chef in your kitchen, Grace will come running to you in a hot minute!
Shop Home Decor On Sale
I’m stuffing stockings with a face mask refresh for everyone, and loving these, on sale, and which will *theoretically arrive before Xmas…or be great gifts in the New Year when, if there’s one thing we know for sure, they’ll get use.
You know you won’t be able to help but to add get organized to your New Year resolutions list — again. Start here, now, with these:
Sustainably sourced and fairly traded boards, blankets that cuddle like teddy bears, the faux fur and a little candle set-small joys!
Here’s to looking back with appreciation and ahead with hope. And my own wish that your week had a little magic in it too!
PS: Follow along with me on Pinterest for more Home Inspiration and other random distractions via pretty visuals.