Holiday Ornament Guide 2015

Deck the halls with dogs and rose gold, fa la la la la, la la la la!
‘Tis the season for some faux fur, fa la la la la, la la la la!

Our holiday ornaments stay packed up in plastic bins and cardboard boxes for 11 months out of the year. Every November or December, we open the boxes and look with wonder (and sometimes disgust) at the ornaments we put on our tree year after year. This, combined with my newfound appreciation for really spectacularly girly things, has left me grinning and baring it as we put the same-old ornaments onto a seven-foot needle-dropper. So here’s my declaration: It’s time for an update!

Lucky for me, this season’s ornament trends are numerous and vastly different–and thus highly accessible for everyone! Check out some beauties I found, most with equally lovely price points.

It is so strange to me that there are people on this planet who do not like dogs, which is why the tons of dog-themed ornaments please me so–and I’m not talking about the breed-specific “I have a Golden Retriever, So Here is an Ornament That Looks Like Him” kind. Here are some cuties:


West Elm’s ASPCA French Bulldog
Pier 1’s Poodle
Target’s Gentleman Lab


What’s so special about rose gold? It isn’t yellow, and it isn’t white. The third hue adds a little something special to decorations, and I personally love how feminine yet fierce it feels against lush pine needles.


Target’s Metallic Pine Cones
Pier 1’s Onion
West Elm’s Blush Peacock


A hit with both the country chic and the vacation cabin set, these dandies are made with natural fibers and have a woodsy look about them. Plus, they come in LLAMA shapes. LLAMAS, you guys!


West Elm’s Bottlebrush Llama
Pier 1’s Hedgehog


Faux fur, with rose gold, joins the rank of luxe holiday decor. The great thing is you can dress it up (think fur paired with sparkly, beaded ornaments on a tree dressed from trunk to tip with velvets, satins, and silks) or dress it down (pair it with natural ornaments like the sweet baby hedgehog you see above).


Pier 1’s Furry Natural Baby Penguin
West Elm’s Furry Ball
Pier 1’s Furry Sphere

And then, if you aren’t into any of these trends, perhaps this burrito, complete with foil wrapper, will strike your fancy? Let your freak flag fly, I say.


Target’s Burrito



The Things They Bought

From the Big Box Hardware Store:
Three bags of organic mulch (smells putrid)
One pack of plant markers for the garden (because all baby plants look the same — all babies look the same)
Two two-by-two boards (Noah’s ark?)
Pruners, for cutting back plants and pruning them for reasons I still don’t understand
Shop light and fluorescent bulbs, because who knew plants needed that much light
77-cent work apron (a very generous gift)

From the Overpriced Home Decorating Store:
A tiny owl stuffed animal, dubbed “Schnoingle” to keep its larger, similar-looking counterpart company (because we’re three years old?)

Lavender-scented car air freshener, on sale!
Two espresso mugs with matching saucers
Ceramic dish to put next to the sink to hold wedding rings so you don’t lose them and then cry
Two mismatched fabric napkins

From the Grocery Store Across the Street:
A 16-ounce bottle of Pepsi (yum)

Two cans of corned beef hash (canned meat, yum)
One slice of pound cake (yum)

From the Big Box Discount Store:
Yogurt (two kinds, because yogurt isn’t exactly the same?)

Gushers fruit snacks (again, three years old)
Ham and cheese
Convenience dinners (lazy)
Convenience lunches (lazy)
Giant can of coffee
Gift bag that the intended gift does not fit in (incompetent at understanding sizes)
Tissue paper (at least this works for the gift)
Oogled purses, but did not purchase (good job)

From the Gas Station With the Weird Entrances:
Gas, enough to fill car’s tank (a necessity)

Deli sandwich (it was good)
Two lottery scratchers tickets (worthless)

From the Internet:
Baby’s onesie with a tomato on it (for the non-existent baby)

Two books (duh)
Soil test kit (science-y stuff I don’t understand)
$65-worth of makeup from a company that probably tests on animals (shame on us and them)

From the “Corner” Drugstore Next to the Competing Drugstore:
Wedding card ($1.99, because I’m spending $1,000 just to attend)

Contact lens solution (with a coupon, because I’m not rich or anything)
Candy (duh)
Photo printout of an attempt at making a photograph look like a watercolor (only mildly successful)


Post-Marital Mattress Stress

Mattress shopping is more stressful than getting married.

This was my conclusion after what felt like a lifetime of trying out mattresses in four different stores and still being unsatisfied and/or anxious about making a purchase. I mean, this really expensive thing is the one item in my whole apartment I will use for at least eight hours per day on weekdays, and then 10+ hours on weekends. It affects your entire skeletal system. It has the power to render you immobile if it’s bad for you, or super cheery and bouncy if it’s good for you. Also, to be considered a civilized member of society, you should probably have a mattress, so it’s almost a requirement of adulthood.

And I don’t know about you, but the Mister and I don’t have a lot of cash to drop on a mattress. Enter even more anxiety.

I bought a $200 mattress when I started graduate school. Six years later (oh my god, I’m so old), we’re still sleeping on it, despite it sagging nearly completely across it in all directions. What if this happens again? What if we spend even more money ($700?!) on a mattress, and it happens again, only faster? As I lay on a mattress I was considering falling in love with, I looked at its online reviews. One couple, who reported they were of normal weight — even fit — had to send back this particular make and model of mattress six times because it sank down within a week of use. After six pricey exchanges, they were like, “We give up.” Cue panic attack.

In case you’ve never had the pleasure  felt the pain of mattress shopping, let me tell you a few things to make you at the very least empathize with our plight:

  • Stores have models of mattresses made “exclusively” for them. They’re the exact same mattresses you’ll find as made “exclusively” for  every other freaking store on the planet. You’re laying on the same mattress, at various pricepoints, at every store you visit. Macy’s, Penneys, Sears, etc. The same. Serta, Sealy and Simmons are wasting your time.
  • Salesmen who work on commission will “work with you” on price. This is kind of a joke because if you go online, sometimes things like fancy pillows you fall in love with while flopping around from mattress to mattress are actually cheaper online on the store’s website than they’re selling in the store. Mattresses, too! Highway robbery at its finest.
  • Unless you’re some kind of fortune teller or some other kind of entity who can predict the future, you don’t know how this giant pad of metal springs and fabric and foam is going to hold up, or even what it will look like after five days of sleeping on it. It feels super awesome on your sore back on the store, but maybe it’s going to make you feel even more horrible. You just don’t know. (Side note: If anyone reading this truly can predict the future, get at me. I’ll pay you money to predict mattress satisfaction.)

And so, after looking at what feels like bazillions (but really is probably more like the same five, over and over) of mattresses, we haven’t made a decision and are toying with the idea of buying another cheap-o to get us by or doctoring our existing Grand Canyon-esque mattress with some kind of mattress pad so I don’t feel like I’m 90 years old every day.

And as for mattress shopping being more stressful than getting married? I was pretty sure Mister wasn’t going to cave in after a week of marriage. So far, I’ve been right. But with mattresses, though? That’s living dangerously.