Last Gift Guide 2017

Sorry, my little friends, for being a bad bloggess this month. Does bloggess have two g’s or one? I have been terribly overwhelmed for the past couple of weeks, and when that happens, I can only handle the crisis that is immediately in front of me.

I have also been a terrible holiday shopper this month, so I have just a few recommendations for you. I’m sure that you are all much better parents and friends and aunts and cousins than myself this month, but just in case you are late, too, here’s what I’ve found or am thinking about or touched in the store or ogled in a magazine:

Teenager and Tweens — Bob Ross socks, Laptop, speaker, Exploding Kittens game, Alex and Ani college bracelets, Adidas hoodie, games for the Nintendo switch,

Technology – battery pack, travel charger, Charging Station, IMac,

Kitchen — Le Souk platter, alright, alright an Instant Pot, a Le Creuset dutch oven (much better), appetizer plates,

Hostess gift of the month — a gold and white planter with a succulent from IKEA

And now I must run off to handle the next crisis in front of me. I never ordered Christmas cards and now I’m feeling guilty about it. So, off to put out that fire. Maybe we’ll get them before the holidays. Maybe not.

I’ll be back later this afternoon, after the hair salon covers up the white streaks at my temple that make me look like Dr. Strange. Still need to answer two or three urgent work e-mails… Ugh.


Gift Guide 2017 – Girlie Shit

My work-at-home uniform is a pair of skinny jeans, ankle boots, layers on top. If I go out, I’ll swap out the flannel shirt with something lacy.

Ankle boots are super important. Seychelles ankle boots are seriously the most comfortable pair of shoes that I have ever owned. I bought another pair last week; these ones will look good with a mini skirt. More good boots here, here, and here.

Lacy tops are easy. Ann Taylor has 50% off right now. I’m waiting for this one and this one to arrive in the mail.

I tried StitchFix this month. I was just alright. I’ll give it one more try.

Purses are important. I like crossbody bags and totes.

Jewelry this year has to be very, very simple and quality. No more big clunky jewelry from J. Crew or massive bracelets. It’s all very feminine right now. Long necklaces with very small gems like this one,  or bar necklaces like this one from Shinola or this one on Etsy. Longer pendants with a gem stones work, too.

And a good girlie romance novel? Something from Christine Milan — her characters are always super damaged, so it’s amusing — or Eloisa James — she’s an English professor, so it fits with the academic theme of this blog.

I’m loving this Zara coat.

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Gift Guide 2017 – Workout Gear

I go to the gym every morning. My commute is about 50 feet to my computer, so if I don’t work out, bad things happen. Not every day is super productive; today, I did a mile and a half while watching Oceans 11. But it’s better than nothing.

Here’s what I’m wearing and using:

Unknown.jpeg71ZjV1vN9-L._SX522_.jpgrunning pants.pngrunning jacket.png



Gift Guide 2017 – Random Things, Gadgets, and Whatnots #1

When doing Gift Guides, it always best to organize them by person or by purpose. But that’s not happening this year. Instead you are going to get a fried rice of gift guides – a little of this and a little of that throughout the week.

The other change this year is that the items are a bit more costly than usual. I’m starting to look more for investment pieces, rather than crap that lasts a year or two. We’ve got enough crap in our lives.

Alright, here are a few things that are for the dude of the house. I’m loving Thursday Boot Company boots; they are slightly edgy, but not too much. They look extremely solid.

Barbour coats are solid. And it helps that the guy from Outlander is one of the models.

You can’t go wrong with a Nike sweatshirt.

I just started Roddy Doyle’s Smile and can’t put it down. It’s a dude’s book.

Makers Mark baseball cap. Or better yet, a bottle.

Well, that was organized, wasn’t it? Alright, no more of that. Unknown.jpegbarbour.pngmakers_mark-300x300.jpgboots.png

Gift Guides 2017 – Intro

So, at this time every year, we (the royal we, because we here at Apt. 11D are making a subtle reference to Harry’s engagement) put forth the Gift Guides. You click on the Amazon links and purchase that  item or any item, and this blogger gets 8% of the purchase. Then, we goes out and buys some badass boots.

It’s tradition. And traditions must be observed. (I have been reading too many historical romance novels lately, because my crap insomnia wakes me up at 1am, which is too late for proper fiction.)

I’m not quite ready yet. So, check out previous years’ Gift Guides in the meantime.

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Super Lame Gift Guide 2016

So, I’m just getting over a week-long bug. According the local doc-in-the-box, there’s a weird ten day, flu-like virus going around and, of course, I got it. So, I’ve been limping around at at half capacity for a week. I don’t have an article in the works. I don’t have a Christmas tree. I just started shopping for reals yesterday. Life fail.

Anyways. Here’s what I’ve just started to do. It’s not organized or pretty, but if you want to steal some ideas. We have a week to go.

(OK. Today suddenly got very busy. I’ll come back to this post throughout the day. This will be the last gift guide of the month.)


Gift Guide 2016 – Book Picks from Steve, the Blog Husband

by Steve

I admit it, for the past few years I’ve been slacking with this whole book-gift-giving-recommendation thing.  It’s not that I haven’t been reading anything, heavens no.  This year I read “Riddley Walker,” “The Road,” “Underground Airlines,”  “Cloud Atlas,  “A Canticle for Leibowitz” (which I really enjoyed).  And a bunch of other stuff.

From the above you can see that this year I became obsessed with good ole’ fashioned apocalyptic dystopian fantasies.  End times stuff, it must have been in the air.  Lord, I could have just looked out the window.   Anyway, reader beware, for beyond this paragraph here be monsters.

 J.G. Ballard.  “High-Rise” and “Concrete Island”.  This summer I went on a Ballard bender.  Whoo boy.  Thought it important to better understand the influences behind the Punk and New Wave movements; those guys and gals have a thing for technology, isolation, and violence.  Clockwork Orange with fast cars.  One book, notoriously famous, was absolutely unreadable. I’ve never experienced anything like it, it was so appalling.  I was embarrassed to hand it back to the librarian.  Another famous book was disappointing.

But there are two worth looking at.  “Concrete Island” is a modern Robinson Crusoe tale of a man trapped on a traffic island under a highway overpass. After some initial struggles he decides to remain on the island, becoming the lord and master of his tiny kingdom.  Great idea, could do with a little more work.  “High-Rise” is the better of the two.  The inhabitants of a 40-story apartment building slowly descend into savagery when the power goes spotty and routine maintenance is forgotten.  The symbolism, of course, is obvious.  No subtlety here.  And now it’s a motion picture starring all of your favorites:  Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, and Elizabeth Moss.  Sorry honey, I know you are quite fond of these actors, but this movie will certainly make you squirm.  Nevertheless, in the queue!

Michel Houllebecq.  “Submission”.  One of the best things I read this year.  An indifferent and disillusioned French academic.  A quirky French election.  An Islamic regime in power.  With a Gallic shrug the academic adapts and carries on, realizing that all he really cares about are his bourgeois pleasures.  An intriguing piece of work.  Could be worth a second read.

Victor Klemperer.  “I Will Bear Witness”.  I don’t know why I went back to these two books.  I haven’t read anything Nazi-related in years.  After all, as a famously handsome man once said, “Nazis.  I hate these guys.”  And they are loathsome.  So, at a subconscious level may there is a reason why I returned to Klemperer.  This is his diary chronicling increasing degradation as his life as a thoroughly unreligious Jewish German is slowly circumscribed under the Nazi regime.  Each day, each week brings another indignity to Klemperer, and as the months progress the screw tightens.  At which point does a person say “enough”?  At which point is it too late?  What is tolerable?  Like the frog in the pot of water gradually coming to a boil, can any of us recognize when it’s time to hop out?

Ugh, sorry to be such a downer, but I feel that mentally we have to steel ourselves against some sort of unpredictable future unpleasantness.  Be prepared, so to speak.  But who cares?!  Here’s a bourgeois pug in a top hat!


LOL, but as Jonah says:  “Real Talk”.  I don’t mean to be flippant because one could argue that a lack of seriousness got us into our present predicament.  Keep your eyes open.  Happy Holidays.