A brief word about this gift guide: Some of these items are things I can honestly recommend, some are things that I honestly want for myself, one is something that I've written, and one is a Tesla.
1. This new line of clothing from textile designers Jen Garrido and Lena Corwin is exactly what I want to wear everyday and exactly how I want to dress Teddy.
2. One can never have enough good-looking baskets. I would love a couple of these for the new baby's room.
3. Heidi Swanson's cookbooks are very calming for me. And while I sometimes find her recipes a bit too healthy, I feel like she has a weakness for good bread and I like that a lot. There are two bread recipes in particular in here that I want to make: one from Morocco called beghrir and one from India called paratha.
4. I've been wanting to read this book ever since it came out last year. Here's what Rachel Cusk (whose book Outline I really enjoyed) said about it: "...its deeper purpose is to define the artist's relationship to truth and to demonstrate how, from within the correctness of the artistic process, life can be meaningfully understood.”
5. I was already super into Glen Hansard's latest album, Didn't He Ramble, and then Matt scored us free tickets to see him live at the Disney Concert Hall, and now I'm a mega fan. If you're not familiar with his music, let me describe him for you: he's part Van Morrison and part Bruce Springsteen with just a touch of Leonard Cohen. For real!
6. At first, I found this tome intimidating. Am I really that interested in Nordic cooking? But it turns out: I am! Even the recipes that call for seal or reindeer meat (that I know I'll never make) are intriguing. I think a lot of this is because, despite its immensity, it's still written personally, specifically from Magnus Nilsson's point of view, which makes it much more accessible.
7. If you have a kid or were a kid, you’re probably familiar with the books of Richard Scarry. But are you familiar with this particular one: Cars and Trucks and Things That Go? Teddy’s hand-me-down copy is falling apart, but he doesn’t care. There’s this character called Goldbug who is hiding (or possibly just very small) on each page and he loved finding him and pointing him out. And now that he knows where Goldbug is without even thinking, he loves pointing out all the other cool things, e.g., a bananamobile, pumpkin car, bug bus, alligator car, etc.
8. Coffee! When I worked at Heath Ceramics, we got ten or twelve bags of Blue Bottle shipped to us weekly—just after the beans had been roasted. Opening up that box and inhaling was always a highlight of my day.
9. I checked this book out from the library earlier this year and found myself upset that I couldn't take to it with a pen and start marking it up. Meghan Daum writes bravely and honestly about many topics, including her relationship with her dying mother and also her decision not to have kids.
10. Josh Ritter’s new album! The problem with this digital age is that I rarely listen to a full album anymore. Lamenting this fact, I bought this CD—a physical, actual CD—and have thoroughly enjoyed driving around town playing it loud, like a teenager in the late nineties.
11. Just like last year, I’m going to make a giant batch of pizzelle to give as gifts. I know my mom would like a box and think that everyone at Teddy’s daycare might too.
12. I’ve been a fan of Kate Christensen’s fiction for a long time. I’m reading her first food memoir Blue Plate Special now, and would love to follow it up with her follow-up, How to Cook a Moose.
13. Who doesn’t love playing memory? Especially around the holidays? OK, I know a lot of people. (Many of our family members won’t play with Matt and me at all.) But Matt and I love it. We already have the Charley Harper version but I think we could use another board to mix it up.
14. As long as I make gift guides, I can guarantee you that this book will be on it.
15. I adored Eleanor and Park and so will trust Rainbow Rowell with whatever else she writes.
16. This brings us to Matt’s pick! In past gift guides Matt has added things like a jar of pickles and an Opinel pocket knife. This year, it’s a Tesla Model S! I love Matt for many reasons but one is that ever since Teddy was born (and we put his carseat in our newer, safer car), Matt’s been driving around my ever-so-slightly-banged-up, clunky, eleven-year-old Scion Xa without complaint. (Note: we cannot afford a Tesla, but hey if Tesla wanted to send us a car, we would be happy to shoot a bunch of cooking videos during which we have to constantly drive to the store to pick up one more ingredient.)
17. These are the ideal shoe for a pregnant person living in Southern California in winter.