Hay Pop-in Shop at Nordstrom

What do you know? I am still alive! During a weekend of sanding and staining my deck, the meditative activity inspired me to start this DIY-ish blog again. But before I talk about the deck, I am going to talk about a favorite Danish store called Hay. Nordstrom had been running a Hay “pop-in” shop in their brick-and-mortar stores for a couple of weeks, and I stopped in this morning to see that everything was pad-wrapped and boxed up. Ugh! Missed it. Fortunately, one of the lovely Nordstrom associates offered to help me get some of the Gym Hooks I’d been eyeing, and bonus, they were marked for to $5.97 (some of them were as much as $38 originally). Needless to say, I cleaned up on Gym Hooks. Here they are in all their styled glory.


You can still buy some of the HEAVILY marked down Hay collection at Nordstrom right now. Otherwise, I’m told the rest of the stock is heading to Nordstrom Rack, so be on the lookout for some fantastically designed items. Here are my favorites from the collection that are still available as of this moment, so hurry!


  1. ‘Pinorama – Large’ Cork Shelf – was $62.00 – now $14.97
  2. Wrong for Hay ‘Got This Licked’ Tongue Print Canvas Tote – was $24.00 – now $7.97
  3. ‘Bits and Bobs – Mini’ Trinket Tray & Lid – was $11.00 – now $2.97 (this is very tiny but made of glass)
  4. ‘Bits and Bobs – Large’ Trinket Tray & Lid – was $18.00 – now $3.97 (this is much larger and would be good for jewelry)
  5. Wrong for Hay ‘Tela’ Glass Carafe – was $42.00 – now $9.97 (this is a delicate glass with a texture like something made in a high school ceramics class)
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I Did All Your Christmas Shopping For You

I have thousands and thousands of rules about gift giving, and I am going to tell you about every single one.

First, the gift should be extremely thoughtful. Duh, of course, right? But that’s why you can’t just go off an Amazon wishlist, or even what the person has told you she wanted. Instead, you have to listen all year round for hints as to what he/she is truly wishing for. The goal is to give a gift the person has never seen before, didn’t even know she wanted, and yet—now that it’s unwrapped—can’t imagine life without it ever again.

Second: the goodness of the gift is directly proportional to the difficulty of obtaining it. This means that the best gift is something you made in secret over several months, such as a needlepoint portrait pillow of your best friend’s cat. Failing that, however, you might order it from Australia, or from a bakery in Ohio where the owner speaks pidgin English, or at the very least, off Etsy. The gifts in my gift guide generally break this rule, as they are mostly easily obtainable, and many of them qualify for Amazon Prime shipping. (The links below are not, however, affiliate ones.) A corollary to this rule, though: price does NOT count toward the difficulty quotient. Extravagantly expensive gifts mean you’re throwing money at the problem, and that’s just vulgar.

Third: the gift should ideally be under $50. Ideally, it should be something that was originally exorbitantly priced, but you miraculously managed to get for a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost. The reason for this is a two-parter: (a) it’s no good to make the other person feel uncomfortable by spending far more on him than he did on your gift, and (b) a tight budgetary framework inspires creativity. This rule can of course be broken on any whim, but it is only broken once in this list, and even then you can easily get a less expensive version.

As you can probably imagine, my fervor for explaining these rules is only increasing, so I must stop somewhere, or else we’ll spend all night discussing grosgrain ribbon and the abomination that is the gift bag. So, on to the gift guides.

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Hey Girl

Hello, old blog! I have not forgotten about you; I just had major, major surgery. The kind of surgery with titanium. I am almost released to pick up things that weigh more than 10 pounds, but in the meantime the bathroom renovation has been put on hold.

Meanwhile, my husband has (obviously) been picking up everything that weighs more than 10 pounds, not to mention doing all the laundry and cleaning. All while looking ridiculously handsome. You’re familiar with the Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” meme? I did my own version of “Hey Girl” with photos of Richard, and I think it works at least as well.

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From Russia with Love

So, this happened.

Thanks to my very dear friend Michael Tole, who also happens to be a serious Artist with a capital A, this is my new view upon waking and falling asleep. I love it. Love is not the word.

This beast is 5 feet by 4 feet of vertiginous, riotous wonder. I generally like my art kind of dark and miserable, and this is most certainly not.

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Things I Love: Dansk Edition

We had been limping along with disposable pepper grinders from Aldi for a few years, but after the plastic mechanisms kept getting ground up and dumped into our food, I thought it was time for a grown-up one. Whenever I need to buy something practical and/or boring like this, I ask myself if there is a classic version of it. Then I consider whether I like that classic version. It works a bit better than the process of going to Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, thinking everything looks like junk, and then buying something anyway out of desperation.

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