The gift

“… burn this candle to embrace your entire spectrum of identity and bloom like never before.” — Boy Smells

Just before my birthday last summer I was out shopping and eating with friends in LA, and I stumbled upon a candle in a little shop that I kept coming back to. The vessel was a bright, shiny gold, with an artful label of all text. The scent was deep and woody, and the name? “Polyamberous.” The quip made me smile, as I always love a good wordplay. It took me a bit to decide between it and another candle I liked as a little gift for myself — I was apprehensive about making it mine, to be honest, in more ways that one. I finally said “yes” to it in my head, and as soon as it found a home on my nightstand, I felt seen. Yes, I was – I am – polyamorous. I wasn’t out to anyone but myself, and I wasn’t seeing anyone yet. But I felt like I had finally embraced this part of me.

The smell of amber and tonka bean is heady and rich, much like my life these days. I’m grateful and scared and learning and growing every day. What I am not doing every day, though, is asking myself, “what’s wrong with me?” Not anymore. And that, more than anything, is the true gift — a gift to myself that was long overdue.

Wish list 2021

Welcome to December, land of colder weather, warmer sweaters, and visions of sugarplums. Here is my wish list for this year – lovely items to give that special someone on your list, or maybe even yourself! After all, YOU are definitely a special someone.

Coach”s new Studio bag in green is everything I’ve been craving – an evergreen shade that takes me right back to the 90s (in the best way) paired with a sleek shape and classic brass hardware. Love love love.

Speaking of love, Pamela Love’s designs hit just the right sweet spot between edgy and classic, with an undertone of mythos I adore. My favorites are these pomegranate studs and heart-in-hand huggies, each sold singly. They’d be the perfect additions to my earring mix right now, plus they are made from recycled (and recyclable) materials. Style AND substance!

And speaking of the 90s, I am fully on board with the the chunky loafer resurgence. These are well-priced, beautiful, and this Alpine green shade would go with just about anything.

If you have someone in your life you’d like to spoil with incredible sleep, may I suggest one of these gorgeous velvet weighted blankets from Bearaby? Their eco-velvet is 100% upcycled, GRS-, STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® and Fairtrade International certified, perfectly cozy, and oh-so-soothing to sleep under. Trust.

I couldn’t possibly do a December gift post without including my favorite winter candle of all time. This gilded white ceramic iteration of my beloved Frasier Fir candle is calling my name.

At the top of my list are gifts that do good, and you can’t go wrong with any of the gift items featured in the ACLU’s shop. My personal picks are this excellent civil rights calendar and this minty soft reproduction rights tee. Every purchase made supports the ACLU and allows the fight for our civil liberties to continue.

For the beauty lover in your life, a clean beauty set like this one from Ilia is oh-so-nice. I can’t get enough of their Balmy Tint hydrating lip balm these days, and this pretty set will have your mom or bestie looking glowy and holiday-festive in a flash.

Ideal as a stocking stuffer, cool-aunt gift for a teen (hello!), or hostess gift, these super-stylish bubble candles are scented with grapefruit – if you can bear to light them.

And finally, for the chocoholic in your life, this tasting set from San Francisco small-batch maker Dandelion Chocolate is everything. They visit each origin, work closely with their cocoa producers, and use only ethically sourced beans and organic cane sugar to make their confections. Indulgent deliciousness, beautifully packaged and ready for gifting.

Vintage inspiration

Lately I’ve gotten sucked into the addictive black hole that is Facebook Marketplace. There is a LOT of random stuff people have for sale! It’s like thrifting, with the ease of search terms and the comfort of your own couch. Sometimes you’ll find a gem, sometimes you’ll find something quirky that appeals, and sometimes… well, you never know what you’ll find!

Last week I drove down to La Jolla to acquire a set of Postmodern Italian white lacquer dining chairs for my mom’s apartment, a find that she said “gave her all the feels!” They are beautiful and look great in her space. I (unfortunately?) have no need for new dining chairs. What I do need is about 5 extra rooms in my own house to satisfy all the designing and decorating I’d like to do. Not exactly an option at present, so instead I’ll do it virtually here with you.

I had to fight myself for days to keep from buying this pair of leopard print chairs. I. Have. No. More. Room. I debated what I could move or get rid of. I strategized. I planned and moved furniture around. I conceptualized. Then I sighed with regret and a little relief once I saw they had sold. Goodbye, beautiful chairs. We would have been good together.

This floral armchair is being sold as a pair, and while the print might seem a little dated, how cute and fresh would it be paired with a modern checkered pillow? And that funky table and chairs gave me pause as a set (and not in a good way), but how gorgeous would the table be painted glossy white? Major Kara Mann for CB2 vibes. It would make for a beautiful desk.

I also stumbled upon an L.A. listing for ten (!) William Morris dining chairs. At first glance, the cobalt and yellow with the ornate two-tone wood seemed like a lot of look, if you know what I mean. But if I had a big, stately dining room (and infinite money)? Green lacquered walls, a graphic Jonathan Adler rug, a modern/glam chandelier paired with a Milo Baughman burlwood table, and some abstract floral art with a sleek Danish vase? Now we are talking! This combination makes for a striking, bold, and eclectic dining room setup I’m swooning over.

art chandelier xl vase vintage table rug

It just goes to show you that a little imagination and a little bit of digging can yield some beautifully unique pieces for your home. Happy hunting/thrifting/digging/shopping, friends, and good luck!

Mint julep

It’s April, the month of spring sunshine and mint juleps, and right now I am super inspired by soft minty hues with pops of orange. It is such an invigorating color combination, don’t you think? The grounded calm of mint green with an energetic little (or big!) zing of orange, bronze, tangerine, rust, or terracotta is just what I’m craving. These gorgeous interiors do it so well! Swoon, sigh, yes and please.

If you’re as inspired as I am, here are some beautiful picks for your home to get you going, from total bargain to splurge-tastic. Helle Mardahl’s Bon Bon vessels had me at hello, but a poppy orange tray on your coffee table would have the same visual impact. Of course, Rothko’s color juxtapositions are spot-on, and how cute is that microwave? (I have it so I’ll answer — it is adorable.) Happy shopping, and enjoy!

Loving right now

You know when the stars align and there are just tons of things out there making want to open your wallet? Here is a mismash of items I’m loving right now:

I’ve had all the heart eyes for Jonathan Adler’s Ripple mirror for ages, and as of yesterday it is HANGING IN MY HOUSE. Guys, I am so excited. It is exactly what I wanted for our space – fun and modern, a little quirky, and the perfect foil for some of the more traditional elements I’ve incorporated into our decor. Here is a little peek at how I styled it, if you’d like to see. I couldn’t love it more!

Right now Kate Spade is knocking it out of the park with playful, beautiful summer accessories — exactly the kind we need after such a dismal year. I kind of want one of everything. The Catch bag in that perfectly brilliant shade of blue came home with me, but I am equally smitten with the sweet Buoy wicker bucket bag. And how perfect would that ocean-inspired wave card holder be paired with Shelly crab crossbody? Adorable! We can all use a little kitsch right now, no?

I haven’t talked about it here on the blog much, but coffee is a pretty serious undertaking in my household. My husband used to be a barista, so he (and now I) really appreciate a good cup of coffee. Enter: the Fellow Ode brew grinder. I can absolutely see why the Specialty Coffee Association named it their best new product of 2021 — it is just that good. Super quiet, super stylish, and by far the most consistent, even grinds we have gotten on a home grinder. If you love coffee and like to brew it at home, I highly recommend putting your dollars toward a good grinder. It makes all the difference.

Of course, the pandemic is still on my mind these days. Please allow me to also share some great reads on it as related to women, expectations, and realities:

I have long admired LaTonya Yvette and her feminine, resonant representation of Black womanhood and community. Her blog series Sex Stories is an honest, raw, heartfelt look at sex and relationships (or lack thereof) during COVID times. Savor them individually or binge them all right now. Trust.

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women. Some info on why and how to help women rejoin the workforce after the devastation of the pandemic, right this way.

And finally, “Celebrating the beauty of motherhood and failing to acknowledge the significant work mothers do every day without any meaningful systemic support (while their bodies and reproductive rights are still treated as debate fodder) is not a benign action.”

Happy Friday, friends!

Five fun things: treat yo’ self edition

Thanks to COVID-19 and perpetual working-from-home-in-sweats days, it’s been a hot minute since we talked about, well, wearing real clothes. Nordstrom Rack is having their Clear the Rack sale this weekend, though, so I decided perhaps enough was enough. (Not a sponsored post, I just love a deal.) Here are a few excellently-priced pieces to get the ideas flowing if you, too, think maybe real clothes on occasion might be a fun change of pace. I’m not talking about too high a bar — just some easy pieces that might be a tiny step up from a sweatshirt. And if you decide to wear any or all of these with sweatpants? Zero judgement here! Lunar New Year or Valentine’s Day make fine excuses reasons to treat yourself.

This sweet short-sleeved sweater looks as easy as a tee, but with just a little something extra. I went with the “marled oreo” grey, but this oatmeal-ish olive is just as cute.

Also super easy: this striped crewneck sweater has a classic shape, and the heathered stripes give just enough visual interest. Also, stripes, so I had to!

For a nice little Valentine for yourself, you could definitely do worse than this ridiculously well-priced diamond eternity band. It would be lovey balanced out with a chunky, slightly tough-girl curb chain bracelet like this one.

I’ve been dying over these ultra-cool loafers by Freda Salvador for ages, so imagine my delight at finding them on sale! Slip on and go, but you know, in a stylish look-how-I-great-I-look-with-zero real effort kind of way.

Five fun things: stripes edition

Striped boatneck tee

There is very little I find easier or more chic than a perfectly Parisian striped shirt. Black and white stripes are graphic, sophisticated, fun, and besides being easy to wear, they are an excellent pattern for layering with your home decor to get that certain je ne sais quoi. Even a small pop of black and white stripes can bring the most considered interior to the next level. With that in mind, here are five fun ways to incorporate stripes into your home inspired by my favorite basic, the striped Breton shirt.

I haven’t been able to get this beautiful inlay side table out of my head for months. It would be a great punch of pattern in an otherwise minimal room, or equally good layered into a more maximal design, with some jewel-toned velvets and bold florals. Yes, please!

For a similar look with way less commitment, this just-funky-enough graphic pillow cover by Margo Selby is a real winner — and it’s on sale!

I love the subtle narrow stripes on this beautiful handmade box. Use it to stow keepsakes or photos within easy reach on your bookshelf, and stack it on top of a few art books. (May I suggest this and this?) Boom! Functional, easy AND stylish.

These classic serving bowls by Danish design duo Stilleben are just perfection. Inspired by a talented woman painter? Check! Free carbon offsetting on all deliveries? Check! On sale for a whopping 50% off? Check! Are they on their way to my house as we speak? Ummm…. check! Mix and match these with your existing dinnerware for an “oh, I just threw this together, *wink wink*” level of sophistication.

Last but not least, this cotton and chenille throw blanket is gorgeous. Lightweight enough to use year-round, neutral yet graphic, with cute chunky tassels to make you smile. I’d drape this over the end of my couch and cozy up with it every evening.

Shop small, do good, give love

Welcome to this year’s holiday gift list! This year more than ever, I have been working hard to support small businesses, and to find great products that give back. Here is a curated guide of items I’m giving, would love to receive, or both!

Bloomist‘s aesthetic is stunning, minimal, and inspired by nature. Their aim is to help artists, artisans, and makers flourish, and they do so with panache. From their beautiful selection of gifts, I am especially partial to the Bright Black Koi candle and the handcrafted pale wood chain. 50% of the proceeds from the Koi candle by Bright Black go to 100 MALES TO COLLEGE, a Massachusetts-based initiative dedicated to college readiness and retention among young Black and Latinx men. And the beautiful wood chains? They are made by the Atuto group in Honduras! The group not only creates opportunities for skilled employment in the region, but they also support the Ambos Foundation, improving the lives of the people of rural Honduras at all stages of life — from providing children with school supplies to securing housing for the elderly.

Next, I am proud to announce the Pink&Green Musings shop at Bookshop.org! Here you can find all of the books I’ve discussed here on the blog, plus I’ll be adding more all the time for your perusing (and purchasing!) pleasure. Bookshop.org is a new online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Keep local book shops thriving while easily finding anything you’re looking for! Orders placed by tomorrow, Dec. 5, will arrive by Christmas with standard shipping. Hint, hint. May I suggest the sumptuous Francois Halard: A Visual Diary for the creative in your life, Kate McDermott’s Pie Camp for your favorite baker, or perhaps a copy of What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer for all of your closest girlfriends?

For the design-minded, fun-loving, or have-everything-else people in your life, a keytag by small company Various Projects may be just the thing. There are hundreds of options in dozens of color combinations — something for literally anyone and everyone — in a smart, unfussy little package. At only $15, what’s not to like?

For something a little more luxurious, Missoma jewelry has a beautiful selection of of classic yet of-the-moment baubles that are responsibly produced, environmentally packaged, and give back via a variety of charitable partners, including Treesisters, Akshaya Patra, and Magic Breakfast. Perhaps a pretty Victorian-ish necklace set, an edgy pair of claw earrings, or a bold signet ring might catch your fancy? Ahem, for someone on your list, of course. They offered a truly covetable 12-day advent calendar that has since sold out, but I also love these lux festive table favors. Bonus: you get a free pair of mini hoops right now with any purchase over $200. Gift them or keep them, I won’t tell!

Designed in London and handcrafted in Spain, leather collars from small brand Supakit are the purrfect choice for a spoiled feline. My kitty may or may not be getting a mint green collar this year. *whistles innocently* These beautiful comfort collars from House Dogge are a great choice if your tastes run more towards the canine.

I love everything they are doing over at Fur. Redefining definitions of beauty, supporting freedoms of choice and from systemic oppression, and standing up for inclusivity and body positivity? Yes, yes, and YES. All their products are made from facial-grade, vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic ingredients and are free of mineral oil, silicones, parabens, synthetic fragrances, or artificial dyes. Their now-classic Fur Oil is ideal for soft skin, silky hair, and preventing ingrowns — pubic area, legs, underarms, chin, wherever. Perfect.

One of the cooler items I came across this season is the tiny but mighty Flikr fireplace created by husband and wife team Travis and Haley Seera. It is a chunky cement vessel with a quartz-like base, and is ingeniously fueled by rubbing alcohol. Brilliant, adorable, unique. I love it. Set on a tabletop and enjoy a warm glow. Bonus points if you also gift the makings for some s’mores, amirite?

And finally, any Schitt’s Creek fans out there? Please meet Beekman 1802, the real-life equivalent of Rose Apothecary. When Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell lost their jobs in the recession of 2008, they moved out to Sharon Springs in rural upstate New York, population 532. They took in a neighbor who was losing his farm AND his herd of 100 goats, started creating their goat milk soaps using fresh milk from the farm, and the rest is history. They sell a variety of natural face and body care as well as tons of great mercantile items from local farms and artisans. Pure goat milk soap, ylang-ylang tuberose body cream, or lavender creamed honey spread are A+ picks for the beauty buff or foodie in your life. They even partnered with the show on a limited run of Rose Apothecary-themed items. I love this for you.

One of the joys of the season for me is finding just the right gifts for my loved ones, so I hope this guide inspires you as well. Shop small, give back, and happy gifting!

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Casual Friday: Voter Edition

Today my sartorial choices are skewing slightly fall-ish and decidedly voter-ish.

A printed dress is still easier than easy for pandemic staying-at-home working and lounging — while still looking polished if you venture out.

This snappy tote and black and white I Am A Voter strap make for a stylish and comfortable way to schlep your ballot to the nearest polling station or post office.

Don’t forget to wear your mask when you go! Stripes with a heart are as cheery as can be.

Pink ankle socks paired with a classic flat loafer are a fun nod to fall while still being comfy to wear, just in case there is a line at the voting booth.

A beautiful pen makes filling out your mail-in ballot a pleasure. Plus it is refillable, so you can use it for years to come.

This terracotta-meets-poppy nail polish feels perfect for early autumn — and the name Yes, I Can(yon) is just the inspiration we need to carry us through this election.

For voting resources, visit I Will Vote.com. Let’s make our voices heard!

Best of: Makers I ❤️

Some of the makers I love have been up to fun new somethings, and I just had to share!

Block Shop is offering a free VOTE pin with every order shipped from their studio this month, and it is seriously the cutest version of this hugely important message I have seen so far. Also, if their Instagram is any indication, they will have masks back in stock next week! All mask profits go directly to support meals for garment workers in LA, plus they are super stylish and adorable. Win-win.

Heath Ceramics just debuted their 2020 Winter Seasonal Collection, and I couldn’t love it more. Dubbed “The Season of Hope & Love,” it is full of stunning icy whites and greys along with the happiest buttery yellows and a hint of wildflower purple. Gradations in glazes are meant to signify transition, which I find beautifully poetic for this tumultuous time. I think we can all use some hope and love right about now, and the gradient yellow trays and vases in particular are perfectly sunny and delightful.

Finally, Baleen Jewelry has some beautiful new arrivals to peruse. I am in love with the organic simplicity of the pebble necklace, and want to add the sweet little XYZ studs to my rotation immediately. As always, all of their pieces are sustainably handmade in the USA, with zero-waste manufacturing and recycled materials.

Enjoy!