Holiday Gifts for Brian

Brian and I kinda promised each other no gifts this year – what with the baby and the house and the lack of really needing anything … but then i got to pinning gifts for him and well, this happened. Unfortunately he is still refusing to let me buy these for him despite the fact that he would actually love all of these.

Emily Henderson Gift Guide

1. Hedley & Bennett Apron  – he likes to cook, but be kinda macho about it. | 2. Whale Stapler  – for his desk, obviously | 3. Shoe Shine Kit  – because real men shine their own shoes | 4. Sphere Ice Mould – for those whisky nights especially in the winter | 5. Seersucker Classic Tie | 6. Leather Adjustable File – ‘dude’ office accessories will make him psyched to sit down for work | 7. Cashmere Hat – a luxury he would NEVER buy himself | 8. Leather Pencil Case 0k, he won’t get this but i love it. | 9. Nylon Cordura Bag for an ‘dude’ diaper bag?

Emily Henderson Gift Guide

10. Stanley Thermos – we love coffee very much, in the car or not. | 11. Tool Kit  – because he is sooo sick of me never knowing where mine are so these would be just his. | 12. Slim Sweatpant – because we are super cozy around the house these days and he needs more comfy clothes | 13. Bookweight  – he can hold/rock Charlie while reading | 14. Leather Handle Utility Scissors  – yeah, another one he won’t ‘get’ but I love.| 15. Ducks Coffee Traveller  – again with the coffee | 16. Waxed Canvas Camp Stool |17. Ducks Hoodie Don’t mention the ducks year this year, but he’s still a massive fan | 18. Wood & Leather Ice Bucket – Yeah, so dude and so great. 

Emily Henderson Gift Guide

19. CPO Chambray Button-Down Work Shirt – He could wear this every day – work or play | 20. Lavett & Chin Pomade – the man loves his hair cream | 21. The Encyclopedia of Morrissey and The Smiths – because his teenage self really indulged in this music | 22. Galaxy Rocks Glasses – I’ve never met a man who appreciates a heavy rocks glass as much as that man | 23. AV Room Portable USB Turntable By Crosley  – because he’s a man and therefore by definition he wants a turn table | 24. Notebook – so he can retire his lame drugstore versions | 25. JBL Voyager  – so he can play his music via wifi anywhere in the new house | 26. iPhone Case  – because he’s been eyeing this for a long time and loves Star Wars very much | 27. Dopp Kit – he refuses to admit that he needs one, but the man needs somewhere to put his dopps.

So those are all of the things that i want to get him. Unfortunately he won’t let me. So what I’m going to get him instead is a day off of daddyhood some time this year – with probably two rounds of golf for him and a friend, and an uber ride there and back. Now THAT, he can’t argue with.

My holiday wishlist … Gifts that I really want

Like any other upstanding, self-respecting blogger on the interweb i’ve been working on my gift guides all weekend for y’all. And like any upstanding, self-respecting shopaholic my picks tend to be things that I want for myself. Sure, it starts out as specific things for specific types of people – ‘For the college student’, ‘For the homemaker’, ‘For the tech lover’ – but ultimately unless I really want it I don’t really bother putting it on any list. I think If I were a 22 year old dude would I want this? And the answer has to be ‘Yes.’ in order for me to include it.

This first gift list is full of things that I just really want. Some of them are fantasy (that awesome $1400 lamp) but many are things that would make me really happy – things that I probably wouldn’t buy myself … or maybe I would (and will). I do very sneaky things when i’m alone with my business card. My ability to rationalize purchases is totally magical.

While I am still categorizing them in posts for you, I decided to put them all under a general gift guide on which is like Pinterest except just for purchases. You can follow people, boards and they all link to the actual stores and then BOOM, you just done checked Uncle Sandy’s gift off your list.

So, Brian, while a new house and a baby are probably sufficient/life changing ‘every day feels like christmas’ kinda gifts, if you feel so inclined to spoil your lady i’m pretty much putting some keys to my superficial happiness on a gold (brass) platter right here for you.

Christmas Wish List

1. Woodstock Pintuck Top | 2. LED Flashlight | 3. Gold Make-up Brush Set | 4. Turner Side Table | 5. Wooden Candles | 6. Leather Dopp Kit | 7. Loeffler Randall Grace Oxford Flats | 8. Tina Frey Ice Bucket | 9. Aureux Carving Knife Christmas Wish List

10. Cashmere Sweatpants | 11. F/K/A Table Lamp | 12. Glass Water Bottle | 13. Spherical Ice Tray Set | 14. Polaroid Camera | 15. Wool Striped Pillow | 16. Gold Hairbrush | 17. Flash Bobby Pin Set | 18. Cashmere Socks Christmas Wish List

19. Brass Ballpoint Pen | 20. Leather Kirigami Hanging Planter | 21. Sole The ADMIRAL Bike | 22. GROWTH No. 1 Art Collage | 23. Lacquer Playing Card Box | 24. Striped Cup and Bowl | 25. Kork-Ease Shawna Boots | 26. Alhambra Throw | 27. Muuto Gloria Multi-Candle Holder

That’s really just the beginning of what I wouldn’t mind having someone buy me. I don’t really plan or expect anyone to buy these for me, and instead i’ll probably just put these in different gift guides for others. But meanwhile all y’all can check out (and follow) all my gift giving ideas at HERE.

This post was in partnership with but all words, thoughts and hidden motives are mine. :)

Happy Mother’s Day, to both of my moms

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, from your six kids. That’s right SIX KIDS. Thanks for the natural births, piano lessons since we were three, 4-H where we learned to sew our own clothes, and most importantly instilling a moral compass that is at times annoyingly unshakeable.

the starke family

Here are the six kids without significant others (Brian didn’t get in ’til later that day) at my little sis’s wedding. I don’t know why we posed like that. I’ll go ahead and blame it on our mother for raising us to be total weirdos.

starke family

And there we are with all the little adorable grandkids in tow at our family reunion in Wyoming, two years ago. She now has eight grandkids who adore the heck out of her.

I know I JUST posted this photo (below) last week, but I do love it so much, and my mom looks so pretty and happy in it, with her all matching, dressed-up kids. (I’m the baby on the lap.)

starke family

May I give my children the childhood that I was lucky enough to have thanks to my parents. Thanks Mom, for raising me to be incredibly productive, if not obsessive — I know I got that from her. Meanwhile, I’m not as empathetic, charitable, or as selfless as she is, but I’m hoping that maybe I will be some day. Love you, Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day to Brian’s mom, Suz. I couldn’t possibly have asked for a better mother-in-law. I’ve been in their family since I was 21 (four years now :)) and couldn’t feel more at home in their home and with them, where I am right now. :)

Brian Henderson and parents

Off to brunch where we’ll toast to how wonderfully she (and Bob) raised Brian. I would have married him strictly for his looks and chest hair, but the fact that he is crazy nice, respectful, considerate, and charming is probably all due to his mom, Suz. So thank you. I truly won the parents-in-law lottery. Totally priceless.

30 Best Easter Egg DIYs

best easter egg DIY

If aliens were looking down on earth this week they might think that human beings were certifiably disgusting creatures. I mean, we take the shells of unborn babies, which came from the chicken’s special parts, and force our children to blow them empty, dip them in colorful water, and play hide and go seek with them. Luckily for us, though, there are a lot of even more insane Easter options out there — all of which I want to do, none of which I probably will … until I have kids. Here are my top 30 DIY Easter egg ideas. Thank you so much Tessa for doing the research and putting this post together. And thank you all you Easter egg DIY genius’ out there. Nice job, friends.

gold easter eggs

1.By Kelly of Fabulous K   2.  She Knows    3.  Studio and Charm Blog   4. By Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen  5. Oleander and Palm  6.  Studio DIY  7.  Oh Happy Day

easter egg diy

9. By Chelsea of Lovely Indeed: One & Two   10. The Alison Show  11. Lovely Indeed  12. La Papier Studio 13.  14. By Chelsea of Lovely Indeed: One & Two  15. VK 16. By Teri & Jenny of Spoon Fork Bacon

black/white easter egg

18. Obviously Sweet  19. Bon Appetit  21. Paper & Stitch  22. Martha Stewart  23. Decor 8  24. B for Bel

diy easter

26. Design Sponge  27. A Daily Something 28. Joy Ever After  29. The Alison Show  30. Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Which one is your favorite? I’m tied between 7, 16, 18 and 26. I need children immediately because Brian and The Bear certainly aren’t lining up to get their Martha on this weekend, and after trying to choose my favorite I realized how much in fact I want to make some of these. I Dye.

Holiday Mantel Contest Winners!!!

I know, I know. Looking at holiday mantels on January 1st is like celebrating Halloween on November 11th; what is normally fun and festive turns to just kinda weird almost overnight. But stare at mantels we must for one more day because soooo many people entered so many amazing mantels in the holiday mantel styling contest on my facebook page. The contest ended New Years Eve at 11:59 pm (last night) so it’s time to announce the winners and send them their prizes, which include my favorite brass trunk side table as well as four other great vintage pieces.

Congratulations Kristen Russell Jackson, your beautiful mantel won the mantel challenge with the most popular votes. I love how bright, fresh, and modern it is, but totally warm and inviting at the same time. And clearly the mirror, chandelier, and the wood cuts in your fireplace didn’t hurt.

But there was more than one winner, my friends.  Kristen won the popular vote, but then I got to pick my other favorites and there were a ton that I really liked for different reasons.

This one below, by Trisha Olsen Phillips, is such a great modern traditional mantel. I love the wire Christmas tree ornament situation and the sweet pearls. When country/traditional is done right it is just so warm and inviting.

I love this one below from Brianna. So clean, fresh and bright with a great simple color palette of white, gold, and pops of red. Nice nice job Brianna Webb.

This one below is the best traditional color palette, totally pretty and modern, but with a trad/country bent. Nice job Laurie Chattin Jones.

Best DIY/inexpensive mantel by Melissa Lee:

I love how Melissa thought outside of the box, and created a mantel that is fresh and young and totally approachable. The composition is great and its festive and fun. I think that was a cotton ball garland, which is just so simple and kinda “why not?”

Kate Riley from Centsational Girl totally killed it. It might be my favorite, but I don’t want people to think that she is my favorite because we have worked together and I’m a fan of hers. But CLEARLY her mantel and living room was SOOOO beautiful.

Alice Patterson’s mantel, below, is such a sweet, simple, and well executed mix of vintage glam and rustic.

Last but not least, I love this “moment” below if you will. It’s not a mantel, but as you know it didn’t have to be because Emily Henderson does not discriminate against mantel-less people. So Dabney Frake did a great job of mixing some very stylish pieces together to create a very festive little photo. Nice job.


Sorry I didn’t properly finish this post. Had an emergency room run that lasted the WHOLE day today, so I published it on the way out the door — and yes, it’s still up in the air whether I have Appendicitis or just bad gas. I’m not kidding. I know that I should hope it’s just gas, but man that is intensely embarrassing. :)

Anyway, yes there are seven winners and all seven will get prizes. I’m still picking out the prizes and buying some in Portland, but meanwhile I need addresses emailed to emilyhenderson at me dot com and I’ll pop them all in the mail next week when I get back!

Congratulations to everyone, and thank you sooooo much EVERYONE, every single participant, for styling your mantels all pretty and entering the contest.  I’m definitely curious what your feedback was and what contest you would love to do next or what giveaways you would love it win.

Happy happy happy new year.  Thank you so much for reading along, supporting, watching and commenting. You have no idea what it means to me.