Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gifts in Review

Allow me to disingenuously apologize for the photos and bragging to follow. I got good loot this Xmas, all the more appreciated for the crap-ass time I've been having lately.

My gifts fell into 3 categories: delightfully practical (some of my fave kinds of gifts are these), deliciously luxe (some of my other fave kinds of gifts are these) and those that span the gap between the two.

For starters, here's a gap spanner:

iPhone 6
Yeah, I've had the same iPhone (4, in case you're wondering) for half a decade. My husband couldn't stand listening to me complain about how the battery charge had waned to 4 hours - after charging time of 4 hours. To complement and protect it, I got myself a lovely leather fold-over case and this thing is charming. So effective! Next up, Scottie's going to buy me a blue-tooth head set so I don't have to spend 5 minutes trying to put on those stupid earbuds every time the phone rings.

Equally beloved is a totally practical gift - the non-sexy likes of which most ladies might be miffed to receive at the holidays. Not I, mind you. This thing has saved me from refilling a hot water bottle exactly 12 times every evening:

Battle Creek Thermophore Heating Pad
Laugh if you will. I LOVE this thing... It's doing yeoman's work (along with other gizmos) to keep pain at bay.

While we're on the practical track, I asked my parents to buy me these:
ProKinetics Orthotic Insoles
I've had orthotics in the past (as recently as this summer), which worked well enough, but I read about the ProKinetics insoles in one of the more-respected myofascial pain books I've now got on my shelf. Moreover, the woman at the shop spent 30 minutes (long-distance phone call) getting me to do all kinds of assessments and asking me about my gait and step patterns before she'd recommend them to me. Talk about great service. They are working quite well to keep that foot pain I mentioned a while ago in check. FYI, after a lot of research and body work, it seems I've been dealing with the beginnings of Morton's neuroma, which is happily reversible with appropriate treatment. I walked 10 miles on Friday with nary a concern. Alas, walking to work in heels is a thing of the past...

Admittedly, they don't have the luxe cache of my new haul from ├ža va de soi:


I actually own this sweater already, in navy, and I've worn it to bits. Between hell freezing over last winter and my urge for an elegant - but casual - topper, I got way more use from the first one than I ever thought I would. The new one, however, is a gorgeous shade of ecru with pink undertones. It's made of the same Italian wool as the blue one, but it feels much softer. That's the whack nature of natural fibers...

The blue crew neck sweater below is made from very fine merino and it fits like a glove. It is so gorgeous - and, dare I say, flattering on me, that my mother also had to buy it.


I really do wish that Ca Va would post stock photos of its catalogue. It would seem that they really don't care if you see their wares or not. Of course, they have quite a following, web-presence notwithstanding. This stuff NEVER goes on sale and, let me assure you, it's never affordable. Thing is, when you live in fucking Canada, you can always justify a sweater that costs a zillion bucks. On a very fun note, this time the SA did give me an Egyptian cotton, rather chic, thermal t-shirt as a gift with purchase. (The t-shirt costs 100 bucks.)

What's the moral of this story, besides presents are awesome and I want them all!: You'll note that I was well in the loop on all of these purchases - except for the iPhone (which I truly didn't expect). That's because I hate surprises and I love getting what I want.

But enough of me... What was your fave gift this holiday season? Was it practical? Entirely impractical?? Do you orchestrate these things or do you find that kind of tacky? Let's talk!

16 comments:

  1. Fabulous (and, might I add, entirely deserved) gifts. Mine were all practical but much wanted to. Hot pink filofax! Sewing books! Amazon voucher that has promptly been spent on new hair straighteners. Bliss! The aquamarine drop earrings that colour match my engagement/eternity rings were completely unexpected and totally wonderful. We are lucky!

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    1. Why thank you! I love a hot pink filofax - LOVE! Sounds like you got great stuff...

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  2. I love surprises but I also do a fair bit of orchestrating. I want to see those sweaters in real life! Also, with your new fancy iPhone, you can go on Instagram and see my fave gift, handmade by my mom.

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    1. I want you to see the sweaters in real life... I'm signing up for instagram today. Promise.

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  3. I like your heating pad best, because I grew up in Battle Creek!! And I never even heard of this company! Your cardigan is darn nice too :-)

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    1. How fun! I don't even know where Battle Creek is. Will check it out... The cardigan really is perfection. I couldn't make one as nice because, as a home knitter, I can't access the textiles. Not to mention that it is BEAUTIFULLY constructed in weird ways I've never seen before. They've done something to attach the placket and I cannot figure it out.

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    2. I'm from MI, too, Gail. I grew up in Detroit but have spent time on the Lake Michigan side (South Haven, etc.).

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    1. Thanks Faye! HOpe you're having excellent holidays.

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  5. I prefer gifts to be a surprise, although I did ask for a Lululemon running shirt and a white dress shirt, both of which I received, My favourite gifts were the earrings and necklace my son picked out and a necklace from my favourite bead store in Carmel, CA from my mother.

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    1. Ah, a surprise lover! I don't get you people :-) Sounds like your son really knows you well. I wonder when and if my kid will ever realize that Xmas isn't only about her getting presents from us...

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  6. Oooh I just added another place to stop at in Toronto- that sweater looks amazingly warm and soft! My husband bought me another watch- since the one he bought me last year was lost. Nothing fancy, but one with a funny back story.

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    1. You must go to the store in Yorkville! It's delicious - though the most gorgeous location is undoubtedly the one on Laurier in Mtl. You must let me know if you get a new sweater :-) What kind of watch did you get?

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  7. Yeah, I'd love a surprise too IF it were exactly the surprise I wanted, which is pretty much impossible for my husband to manage (although we've had some expensive near misses I faked enthusiasm for). I got smart years and years ago and learned to hint (does it count as hinting if you put a list on the fridge....). My gift wSs going to be the iPhone 6 this year as well, but I wanted to think about it a bit first, so instead he got me a TomTom running watch. I've hesitated for years about buying such a beast, not Able to decide which brand or model with what features, so at least part of the gift was the research and the decision-making. . . And I'm such a baby about gifts that he made sure to round out with a supporting cast of appropriate packages....

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    1. That's the thing! I'm too picky! I don't even like things to be wrapped. It makes me anxious :-) One day I'll tell you about the year we got a flat screen TV. I had a total panic attack. And it's a good TV of a reasonable size (that doesn't take over a room).

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  8. We ended up with a rather well appointed (from a geek perspective) ensuite bathroom this Christmas. The whole house is essentially Sera-space and I painted our bedroom purple and dark grey. Kinda felt that my husband needed a little more "space". My brother and his family bought us a Star Trek transformer room bathroom curtain and bath mat, a poster of the Enterprise in purple for the wall, and my husband bought me a double headed shower head. Although somehow I ended up with the installation bill when it got too complicated...

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