Pick Six: Christmas Countdown

Dec 21, 2016

Tomorrow, my boyfriend and I are leaving for our Christmas holidays.  This year, we’re taking my parents and his parents to Phoenix for a dose of mild weather.  You bet I refilled my Xanax prescription.  Haven’t needed that since my first set of law school finals, but the Erie Doctrine has nothing on this holiday vacation.

He thinks it will be fine, I’m not nearly so optimistic.  Ask me tomorrow after my second airport cocktail how I feel.  But until those vodka gimlets come to the rescue, let me drown my sorrows in these lovely items.  Glug, glug.

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I am all about a decorative cuff sleeve right now.  From tie-cuffs to ruffles, these delicate details make even the most staid tops and dresses airy and feminine.  Though I wouldn’t suggest trying to eat any kind of dip while wearing them.  I speak from experience when I say that explaining to your dry cleaner how the guacamole got inside the shirt sleeve is a little uncomfortable.

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Topshop Tie Cuff Sweater ($75)

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Whistles Frill Cuff Knit Dress ($181)

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For years, I saw Jo Malone candles in the stores and thought, “Who spends $65 on a candle?  It’s wax, and fragrance, and a 3-cent wick!”  Then, I smelled the Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey candle and become one of those silly betches who spends $65 on candles.  I’ve never begged for a sponsorship, but if the Jo Malone people came calling, I’d be all c/o on this blog.  (Or I could just take the Coco + Kelley route and start making my own.)  

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I own two fold-over clutches, and they are lifesavers.  I use them as work-bag organizers.  I keep trinkets in them when I travel.  And they’re the first purses I reach for when I’m not sure which bag will go with my outfit.  They’re the best.

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Everlane The Foldover Pouch ($98)

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Folder Snow Leopard Clutch ($79)

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When traveling to stay with relatives over the holidays, having a good pair of PJs is essential.  These Eberjey Slouchy Pajamas ($138) are a cozy, loungewear choice.  For something more affordable, I like these festive PJs from Honeydew Intimates and these striped pajamas from Jennifer Moore.  If you need a robe for travel, I bought this inexpensive short robe at Nordstrom Rack.

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You wouldn’t typically think about West Elm for holiday gifts.  But the furniture and home store, has some lovely pieces this holiday season.  I love these 42 Pressed maps of Washington, D.C. and other cities.  They’re modern, chic, and perfect for sprucing up your office.  These sleek leather card cases would make great stocking stuffers.

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We started today’s pick six talking about tie cuff sweaters, and we’ll finish it talking about tie cuff bracelets.  I love the delicate, feminine look of these Paris Bracelets ($44).  They come in five gorgeous colors from this pretty pale rose to a cool all black.  You can dress them up or wear them casually.  They also make a thinner FineRocks bracelet ($44) that is equally gorgeous.

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  1. Meghan says:

    I hope you love Phoenix! It’s my hometown and I just moved back from DC. AMAZING restaurant scene. Happy to provide recommendations if you need any. 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    Given this post and your post about your brother’s wedding, I sincerely hope your family doesn’t read your blog. Family gatherings can be tough — I can certainly relate — but putting yourself in a positive frame of mind and projecting optimism could go a long way in making it a more pleasant experience for everyone.

    • Belle says:

      I’m a sarcastic person. Everyone in my family reads this blog, as do most of the people in my boyfriend’s family. They know that this is my sense of humor, and at least he and my parents find it funny.

    • Belle says:

      Also, my sister in law, brother, and her parents all found the wedding post hysterical. By the comments at the reception, they emailed it to the majority of her relatives who also saw the humor in it. So while you might not find that funny, I wouldn’t be dumb enough to make jokes on the Internet that I wasn’t sure the people involved would find amusing.

      • JNick says:

        I’m flabbergasted and slightly fascinated by people who find it appropriate and needful to admonish digital strangers about family dynamics. Bizarre.

      • Amanda says:

        Per your comment below, which is it? Is this a hilarious inside joke, or something so legitimately scary and anxiety-inducing that you need prescription medication to get through it? If everyone’s in on it, I stand corrected. I didn’t pick up on the sarcasm and would suggest that some of your loved ones may not either (there’s no font for it, after all). Either way, I really do wish you and your families a happy holiday, and hope all goes well.

        • Belle says:

          While it’s true that there is no font for sarcasm, and there should be, (comic sans perhaps?), this situation is both. We all feel the same anxiety, and most of us are sublimating with sarcasm.

          • Kelly says:

            You’re making me want a xanax just reading this!

            Belle, have fun! Do what it takes to get you through (…I’m pretty sure I’m smuggling a flask to my teetotaling mother in law’s house for Xmas morning, so…)

    • Sara says:

      As her sister-in-law, I can vouch for the fact that I absolutely LOVED the wedding post. I had an amazing day, and the humor this post provided made it that much better. My mom wants a signed copy of it to put in my wedding scrapbook, and I fully support that.

      Family gatherings are intimidating, especially when all parties have not met yet. That being said, I know half of the people involved here, and Belle’s sarcastic approach is fully warranted and fully appreciated. We love and support one another in our family, and we tend to do so in a joking and sarcastic manner.

    • Kate says:

      Oh jeeze, I immediately got that Belle was being sarcastic/exaggerating for effect and quickly sent the link to a friend who makes similar jokes about and *with* her own family. Lots of us show love through sarcasm and teasing 🙂

  3. Erica says:

    Dying at the xanax comment, and then the Erie comment. Even better. The anxiety I had over that thing last year was REAL. I also suggest, with the warmer, take a walk to get a break when necessary!

  4. Monica T says:

    I feel you. The more people present the more I am overwhelmed by trying to moderate everyone else’s experience. Where in-laws or future in-laws are concerned I’ve learned to just let it go. Good luck!

    • Belle says:

      And they’ve never met before, which is extra scary. I’m just one of those people who gets anxious about stuff like this. That’s not going to change.

      • Monica T says:

        Ha! I honestly didn’t introduce my parents to my in-laws until we were engaged, 6 years in to the relationship. I felt like George Costanza with my worlds colliding! My mom and my mother-in-law still don’t gel, 5 years later. I still get anxious about it, but have accepted that I can’t make them have a good time (or even like each other). I hope your experience is more fun of course, and at least you will be warm!

  5. Allison says:

    I do a blended Thanksgiving with my in laws every year, it goes really well even though our families are very different. It can work. 🙂 Love the fancy sleeves, that’s a trend I love but I laughed at the post because I haven’t pulled the trigger on bell or embellished sleeves because I think I’d get them in my food!

    • Belle says:

      It’s interesting when eating guacamole becomes a two handed job: one for the chip, one to keep your sleeve out of the dip.

  6. Sarah says:

    Several mentions of your boyfriend on the blog lately. You risk alienating some single people by doing this because all singles already have a friend IRL that finds ways to weave her bf into every story–not sure they need the same from the blog they read as well.

    • Belle says:

      Well, I should definitely keep quiet about my boyfriend, people might start to get the idea that I like him…

      This strikes me as more than a bit silly. When I mention my bf, because he’s a part of my life, I’m oversharing and making people uncomfortable. When I don’t talk about my personal life, a handful of readers complain that they don’t like reading here because I don’t share enough.

      Whether it’s work or relationships or family, my life carries over into this blog occasionally. I’m not going to make apologies for it. And I give my single readers way too much credit to believe that they would be chased away by a few mentions of my boyfriend. We shouldn’t expect people to hide their lives away out of fear of alienating others, nor should we assume that their motivations are anything other than that they want their conversations to reflect the things and people that they care about.

      • Chloe says:

        Belle, you are a great mix of personal and professional on this blog. Don’t change a thing. Happy that you’re happy!

    • Jenn S. says:

      This is preposterous. No content creator needs to cater and tailor every post to every individual special snowflake reader out there. Good heavens.

    • JNick says:

      By that logic we ought not to be friends with (or readers of blogs by) anyone who is not exactly like ourselves in terms of preferences or life seasons. If your friend or favorite blogger “alienate” you by living their lives, move on to others who you are not bothered by. I for one think homogeneity sounds terribly boring, if not downright isolating.

      Belle, hope you take all reader nitpicking with a fat grain of salt. You do you; those who are interested will stick, those who aren’t, won’t.

  7. CLF says:

    Hi! Love the blog! Will you go into a bit more detail about how you use a fold over clutch as a work bag organizer?
    Thx!

    • Belle says:

      Absolutely, I have two or three clutches and pouches in my bag. I keep business receipts in one. I keep business cards from other people and notes I need in another. I also organize any small items (chapstick, lotion, etc.) in a third. If I’m traveling, I add a fourth for my headphones, charger, etc. I just find it’s easier than searching for things.

  8. JNick says:

    Also, that Rosamund bag is perfection.

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