Q: Hosting Christmas! Pretty tablecloths and tablesetting things!
A: I love everything from Mrs. Alice’s holiday collection. To keep things from getting too expensive, I would invest in her napkins and a tabletop accessory or two and pair with an inexpensive tartan tablecloth (<<we own this exact style and I don’t know how it’s so inexpensive right now; it’s actually a nice, thick quality — originally $50, now $15?). Alternately, invest in her tablecloth and pair with less expensive napkins like these. I love the idea of mixing in some festive taper candles, like these peppermint ones, these evergreen ones, or these painted holly ones — or you could go more traditional with these forest green ones. I love the green ones — that’s the exact set I bought and used for Thanksgiving — because they worked with both a fall tablescape (browns, oranges, taupes, greens) and will now transition perfectly to a tartan one.
A few other fun finds you might consider…
Q: How to wear Stuart Weitzman Reserve boots hiding in my closet.
A: You got this! I think you have to wear with leggings or skinny pants/jeans. Try these stirrup style ones that are creating quite the stir (trending) or these Emerson Fry ones (have heard good first-hand reviews from Magpies who own them). Both have a ponte material that makes them look more like daytime wear than, say, black spandex fitness leggings. I would pair with a slouchy/oversized sweater on top. My mind runs to this Jenni Kayne one that people worship, but a few other options for less:
Q: Purse in the photo above.
Q: Festive holiday statement earrings.
A: These are the dream, and would incidentally work year-round for any festive affair (weddings, anniversaries, birthdays…!). You can get the vibe for less with these. I also love these double emerald drops, these flowers, these $20 bow earrings (which a few Magpies have purchased and shared photos of themselves wearing — adorable!), these pink stone ones (would be fun with black velvet!), these sparkly drops, these oversized crystal ones, and these stars.
Q: Christmas for my 2-year-old daughter with more toys than she knows what to do with.
A: Art supplies and sensory play materials! I feel a lot less guilty giving my children materials that they will use for creativity vs. stuff that may sit in desuetude. For art supplies at that age, try an easel (<<the exact one we have, very sturdy!), a few rolls of paper, and gel crayons or paint sticks. Paint tends to make me nervous / requires more supervision in our home, but the gel crayons and paint sticks glide just like paint and are much less nerve-wracking in the hands of a two year old. My children also love to dig into boxes of art supplies like these to make completely random little doodads and doohickies out of pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and felt. Giant coloring posters like this (customizable with her name!) or this are fun rainy day activities. You can also pin up to a play room wall for coloring over a series of days/weeks.
On the sensory play front, I have a whole guide here, but Amazon has some cute pre-fabbed ones here in different themes, and this Etsy shop always puts together the sweetest themed bundles that use a play-doh base, which is probably the best at a two year old’s age unless you are comfortable with a bit more mess.
Q: A holiday gift for the SIL who keeps the whole family running and has everything.
A: What a sweet thing to say about her — wow! This gift guide for sisters might be a good starting point — all things I would love to receive / that are great quality / that women might not buy themselves. A few other ideas:
PERSONALIZED COSMETICS POUCHES — HAVE GIVEN THESE AS GIFTS A FEW TIMES AND THEY ARE ALWAYS A HIT
GIFT CARD FOR MANICURE/PEDICURE OR BLOWOUT AT DRYBAR
Q: Engagement ring. Love to know about your preferences – style, color, etc.
A: Mr. Magpie did it all on his own, though I did loudly mention on many occasions that I liked a solitaire with minimal prong/metalwork. He nailed it. Mine is a round cut set very low in platinum with only four prongs holding it in place. I love the look — almost like a diamond floating on my finger. He went to Steve at Pampillonia Jewelers, who has done many pieces of beautiful jewelry for my mother over the years.
Q: Christmas presents for ME. Jewelry? Bag?
A: Shoes are on my personal lust list — would love a pair of Kirkwood Casati boots in either the riding style or combat style, or a pair of fun Loewe sneaks. For a bigger splurge, I’ve been eyeing the Celine Sangle bag for several years now. I’m waiting for a big personal milestone to buy it for myself, but maybe Santa will hear and treat me to it first. Hehe. On the jewelry front, I would love a new pair of everyday earrings. I wear pearls nearly every day, but would be fabulous to have something to mix in — would love Van Cleef and Arpels quatrefoils or something fabulous and wild from Brent Neale. I have also been eyeing the heirloom-quality pieces from Aurelia Demark for awhile now — an engraved charm bracelet or heart pendant would be so lovely to mix into my daily jewelry wardrobe.
Q: Metallic/festive flats.
Q: Coffee table.
A: A few that turned my head:
THIS WOVEN STYLE (INDOOR/OUTDOOR – WOULD BE GOOD FOR A FAMILY ROOM WITH LOTS OF USE) IS 80% OFF
Q: Chic office chair with arms.
A: Could not love my Laura Davidson more.
Q: Nice classic lingerie – I dress conservatively so looking for quality, fun underthings.
A: I really love the Natori feather bra — so comfortable; the only wire bra I wear — and they are on sale here. These last forever and are beautiful but wearable on a daily basis. These bralettes from Cosabella are also beautiful, and coordinate with my favorite boyshorts. A bit racier but I love these bralettes from Negative, too — they are UNBELIEVABLY comfortable (!). I doubted it because of the material but reach for them just as often as I do my seamless racerbacks. And then of course there is the creme de la creme, La Perla (how gorgeous is this?). I invested in a few sets years ago and they are just like wearable art. If you’re on the flatter side (like me), I just discovered this brand that caters to us and am intrigued by this style.