What You’re Shopping For: December Edition, Part II.

By: Jen Shoop

Q: A chic pom beanie for my mom.

A: This one is so cute, a great price, and comes in great colors. For something more high-end/luxury, this black one from Mackage is fantastic, Moncler is flashy, and you know I can’t resist a pearl

Q: Presents for my mother!

A: Parents can be so tough to shop for. My top picks for loved ones here, but I will say I have yet to find a woman who doesn’t love a new pair of nice pajamas for Christmas (have personally suggested these to about half a dozen close friends looking for gifts for MILs/moms/step-moms — and they can still guarantee delivery by Christmas) or slippers (Other slipper options: I have been living in these, but these look like heaven, I’m personally desperate for a pair of these, and I bought a loved one a pair of these, which are wildly popular. I should note that my sister and I were almost allergic to the Ugg brand after wearing them in our teen/college years and looking back with chagrin at how we paired them with denim mini skirts but…now? I totally get them. Bought mini her first pair this year! They are warm, easy to slip-on, and good for most weather. Oh, and if you want to spend more, these Gucci slippers are…to die.)

Alternately, this heart bracelet is just so perfect for a mom.

Finally, just about anything on this shopping list is something I personally am eyeing/have bought…

Q: An outfit for myself to wear home with my new baby, due in February.

A: Ooh! Congratulations! Depending on temperature, I would go with a new Hill House nap dress in an opaque fabric (most are nursing-friendly — I would probably do the navy check in the Ellie style) and treat myself to a new cardigan (a bunch of chic ones here) with a pair of slip-on mules/slides (would be dreamy and extra to wear these Guccis or a pair of timeless Manolo maysales). Easy, loose-fitting, no buckles or ties or anything complicated.

If the dress is not your vibe or it’s too cold in your parts, a fun new long-line statement cardigan (also love this — perfect for a mom and baby girl pick if daughter is wearing pink to leave the hospital) is perfect for celebrating in — I’d layer over a nursing tank and my maternity leggings!

P.S. What was in my hospital bag for baby two.

Q: The best dustbuster.

A: Honestly, I’d skip the dustbuster and invest in a Miele C1 classic canister vacuum. I wish I’d done this years ago. One of the best purchases I’ve made, and the attachments can accommodate nearly any circumstance where you’d need a dustbuster.

That said, we did buy this for our car back when we had one (we sold ours a year into living in Manhattan) and — pre-Miele — I did find I used it quite a bit at home. It’s a great, sturdy, surprisingly powerful handheld vacuum.

Q: Interesting detailed tops for zoom calls.

A: Love this! So 2020. Some of the patterned turtlenecks I shared here would be fun, as would be anything from the statement collar microtrend (this and this are amazing and both under $100). A couple of other specific finds:





Q: A gift for my five-month-old son.

A: Aw – sweetest! My first thought was a Love Every subscription. People love these kits because they send you beautiful (think non-plastic/non-blinking) age appropriate toys. I wish I’d done this for Hill, to be honest — I bought him so few new toys (lots of hand-me-downs) and I think this would have been a special little treat for my second baby.

Otherwise, a few classics for tiny ones: wooden stacking rings, Cuddle + Kind stuffed animals, or Rubbabu velvet toys (great sensory toys for small hands – lightweight, interesting texture; Hill loved these).

Q: Affordable (under $30) stocking stuffers for 30-something ladies.

A: Lots of my thoughts on this exact subject here, but I really love the idea of sending a beautiful set of playing cards (also love these and these) for a future game night (Fauci says this summer?!), some pretty personalized stationery/notepads, or personalized airpods cases.

Some of the gourmet gifts here or the gifts for book lovers here would also fit the bill!

Q: Christmas gift for boyfriend’s parents! Something the whole family could enjoy?

A: Gourmet gifts — I have lots of really fun ideas from fantastic sources (i.e., not just your standard box of fruit or popcorn tin). Also love the idea of a chess set (so trendy RN thanks to Queen’s Gambit) or this luxe set of classic board games.

Q: A super-soft long sleeved tee (athleisure/loungewear) for my mother-in-law.

A: I love this one from Lululemon. (And I think a lot of us love that brand.) If that’s too sporty, I like almost every basic I buy from Everlane, and this tee is made from pima cotton (the softest).

Q: A classic gold signet ring that will last a lifetime.

A: Check out Stone and Strand! One of my chicest girlfriends wears a vintage, personalized signet ring on her pinky and she looks amazing. Upgrade pick: Tiffany.

Q: My friend is pregnant and going through a rough time (unrelated to pregnancy). $50-ish gift idea?

A: Shoot – sorry to hear that. Honestly, the most amazing and out of the blue gift I received when I was going through a tough time was a bundle of cookies and cake balls from MilkBar, and, a few years later, a big box of Levain cookies. These and other gourmet treats here. Not suggesting to eat your feelings but…haha! Sometimes it just feels good to treat yourself to something fun and frivolous and indulgent when you’re feeling blue.

Otherwise, a luxe face mask (who else loves receiving skincare/cosmetics as gifts? So fun!). I personally love this Origins clay mask and use it at least once a week — maybe bundle with the much-buzzed-about La Neige lip mask?

P.S. More of what you’re shopping for right now here.

P.P.S. Are you expecting your first baby?

P.P.P.S. How do you handle interruptions?

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10 thoughts on “What You’re Shopping For: December Edition, Part II.

  1. I need to send you a belated thank-you for answering my question (the last one) — I sent my friend a package of gourmet treats, plus a few beauty treatments for just her (since I know her husband & kids will also enjoy the gourmet stuff!) Thank you for such a thoughtful response 🙂 I always love reading your answers to everyone’s questions, and now I have a signet ring atop my wishlist again! I have one in white gold from my university but never wear it … would love a chic, personalized upgrade in yellow gold 🙂

    Also, laughing at that article Sofia posted! I definitely fell out of the habit of wearing UGGs for a good number of years (say, from 2007-2017) but a couple of years ago, I acquired a new pair of mini boots in the classic chestnut color, and I must say: they’re heavenly to wear! Hahaha. They definitely do still remind me of freshman year of college, though … and probably always will!


    1. Totally! The vision of myself wearing a pair with a Juicy tracksuit leaves me shuddering but you can’t deny the cozy factor…xx

  2. I had to do a double-take when I saw the question abt gifts for a 5mo son and wondered whether I’d written in, ha. So hard to find something for a second child who, right now, is only interested in chewing on his fingers and being held. I’ll have to see if I can find those Rubbabu toys in a store near me. (I wish the Lovevery stuff had been around for the first child – crazy how many new things have come on the market in the past 3 years.)

    1. I so relate to this, Jen, because they really are too young for much *but* it feels wrong not to give them a toy gift! I am always feeling like Hill gets short shrift of things…another good gift idea I should have mentioned is a new set of board books and lift the flap books *just* for the second child. My sister (the literacy expert who has posted several times on this blog!) gave Hill a parcel of 10 board books we did not own for his first birthday and it was kind of perfect because I had barely bought him a new book! His were all grimy, ripped up hand-me-downs. Haha. Poor second children…


    2. That’s a great idea too! My husband was initially all, it’s okay, the baby doesn’t need toys… then he saw the growing pile under the tree for our first (sent mainly by relatives – I haven’t even started wrapping yet), and he backtracked. Soo, there may also be some sippy cups and puffs under the tree, ha. It’s also partially so my older doesn’t think that all presents are only for her.

  3. I really appreciate how thoughtful you are in these shopping posts. Most of the items aren’t ones I see on other blogs. Thank you for taking the time to do this for your readers!

    1. !! What a compliment – thank you for taking the time to write this. This is such fun for me! I love shopping for you guys. xx

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