Holiday Gift Guide - Books

by Kelsi in ,


The one thing I'd love most on my xmas list is this book.

Out of print for more than a decade, it has just been reissued. The breadth and scope of Grace's work is such that I'm surprised the book is only 408 pages...


I added these three cookbooks to my collection this year and am very happy that I did...

Gluten-Free Girl American Classics Reinvented - I have followed Shauna's blog for many years. Her latest book is worth having just for her gluten-free and grain free flour mixes alone. Her pancakes and several other recipes from this book have become staples in our home. Side note: if you're the type that would rather buy a really good gluten-free AP flour than mix up your own, you can buy it directly from Shauna here!

Date Night In from Ashley Rodriguez (another Seattle local) 

And 5 stars(!!!) for Genius Recipes from the folks at Food52.

Almost a year after reading this book and the subsequent whole house purge that ensued, my home has been forever changed. If you didn't jump on the bandwagon last year, now is as good a time as ever. She also has a new book coming out just after the first of the year for those of you already drinking the Kondo Kool-Aid...

A perfect book for my architectural photographer husband...

Or this one.

Piet Oudolf.jpg

I first saw the genius work of Piet Oudolf when we visited NYC last summer and saw The High Line for the first time. I came home and promptly ordered this book so I could set about recreating the same vibe in my own backyard (our ambitious spring 2016 project). I would also love his new book Hummelo.

And I am currently reading Tiny Beautiful Things and want to give it to everyone I know. 


Holiday Gift Guide - For Your Leading Lady

by Kelsi in


This insanely beautiful bronze tray.

I'm addicted to these lovely and effective essential oil remedies from Hope Gillerman. It's hard to pick a favorite but I am partial to this one and this one

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This Hori Hori is my most favorite and useful garden tool. If you're local, go grab one at Niche Outside, the gorgeous shop run by Nisha Klein (of Fleurish fame). And then take a holiday shopping break with an ice cream from Kurt's next door, or venture one block over and grab a coffee or glass of sparkling wine at General Porpoise...

A subscription to Porter.

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I personally have my eye on these ceramic bangles from Ginette NY (available locally at Baby & Co.) I also love this necklace.

This splurge of a face oil from Vintner's Daughter is liquid gold and truly "the face oil to end all face oils." 

And of course, from Everlane...

This cardigan. This and also this.


Holiday Gift Guide - For the Kiddos

by Kelsi in ,


Full Disclosure, there will be something from Everlane on pretty much every gift guide (yes, now even the little ones). My obsession continues. 

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I bought this adorable and super soft merino wool hat for my son and nephews.

Like Everlane, you can find something for everyone at Uniqlo

I love this jacket...

And this Star Wars parka.

My son has this sweet little kid-sized backpack (just like his Daddy's) adorned with this rad patch.

Prismacolor Art Stix (which I would also like to buy for myself)...

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My music loving son asked for a guitar this year...and a microphone to go with it. 

And these Lego building plates are essential for any young Lego lover.





Holiday Gift Guide - For the Man of the House

by Kelsi in

Best Made Crossbow.jpg

This crossbow with suction cup darts from Best Made is super cool.

A new tie from Everlane.

I can't imagine not having Sonos speakers in our house. The sound quality is fantastic and they are a breeze to set up. This starter kit is great, or even just start with one.

A perfect toolbox

A pair of fowl weather boots to survive the coming months of seemingly endless Seattle rain. 

A timeless Noguchi Akari lamp for his side of the bed.

This tech down coat or this one from Uniqlo.

I already wrote about this blanket here, but I had to mention it again. We have it at home and it is awesome.

More gift guides to come!

p.s. unrelated to gifts but timely as I know many of us send out more correspondence during this time of year than any other...a helpful (and hilarious) guide to pluralizing last names.


The Force

by Kelsi in , ,


Many of us that grew up in the 1980s with Star Wars and who now have kids of our own wait for the opportunity when we can first watch the movies together. We buy our kids cool Lego sets (which, let's face it are as much fun for us as they are for them). The bottom line - Star Wars is rad. And as we have grown up, our sensibilities have matured, our style has refined and so have the ways to pay homage to the humble little space opera that helped shape a generation.

I bookmarked these graphic posters several years ago on the off chance I'd ever need a cool poster for a kid's room. But to be honest, these are grown-up enough that'd they'd be equally cool framed in the main part of the house.

Dev has worn Hanna Andersson pajamas since he was a baby. They are organic cotton, always have classic stripes in tasteful colors, and they are sized generously so I only buy three or so once a year. I just ordered a few pairs of the usual striped ones but also these ridiculously cool "holiday" Fair Isle Star Wars ones. I may have also added these slippers to my cart. See the whole collection (adult sizes included) here.

And my personal favorite by far is this blanket from Pendelton. I was on the Pendelton site this week ordering another one of my favorite washable wool blankets when I saw it...

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This one is so graphic and subtle and perfect. I couldn't resist. And just for fun, watch these guys dance. I immediately started researching hip-hop classes...


Happy Birthday! (A Gift Guide For the Girls)

by Kelsi in , ,


All three of my sister-in-laws (and my mother) celebrated their birthdays in August. They are some of my favorite people to shop for. Here are a few gifts worthy of a special sister-in-law or dear friend...

A canvas tote from My Other Bag. I love mine (pictured below) and have both the classic and carry-all sizes.

Or a beautiful leather one from Cuyana whose motto is "fewer, better things." Can't argue with that.

A universally flattering lip sheer from Beautycounter in Nude or Twig. I'm personally sort of obsessed with their whole line of non-toxic but high performing products.

A good cookbook.

A wallet clutch from Clare V.

Or this military jacket (another gem from the Uniqlo + IDLF collaboration).


Making Progress

by Kelsi in , ,


I'm getting my groove back. Our basement remodel is shaping up. The drywall is hung and the concrete floors have been sanded.

There is a new washer and dryer sitting in the garage just waiting. I can hardly wait for it to finish up. This remodel is a real game-changer for us. Since Dev arrived and took over the second bedroom, Aaron has been relegated to the basement, creating his beautiful photographs in an uninsulated cold, dark, cob-webbed space surrounded by lacquered pine wood-paneling from the 50s. And in the winter, when the heavy rains fall here in Seattle, water would seep up through the concrete. Needless to say, I'm excited for him to have a proper workspace. 

We're also getting the exterior prepped for a new coat of paint. We're going all white, freshened up with new house numbers and a new porch light. It's going to be sweet.

I've been a bit all-consumed by house related stuff, but here are a few other things I've been loving lately...

I already have a dutch oven and don't need another one, but I can't stop thinking about this beautiful pine Staub cocotte.

I've still been ordering my coffee from Blue Bottle (Bella Donovan is my current favorite), but I just picked up some beans from Elm Coffee Roasters in Pioneer Square. It's much lighter than what I'm used to from Blue Bottle but really lovely. Especially for an afternoon cup.

I've long been searching for the perfect tiny gold hoop earrings and I finally found them...

I will be wearing these indefinitely.

During the holidays last year, one of my amazing clients (who also shares a love for Heath Ceramics) gave me a set of scented candles poured into Heath tumblers (like these current season ones below)...

The scent was incredible and I promptly burned through both of them. They are made by Scents of San Francisco and are unlike any other candle I've ever burned. The scents are only made with essential oils so they smell fresh and are never cloying like the vast majority of other scented candles. The scent I loved so much over the holidays was The Castro and I just bought Golden Gate Park and Muir Woods which are equally amazing. Now I'm addicted and won't light anything else.

My most favorite recent addition to the kitchen is our stainless steel Dinuba water container.

I saw it when we were actually visiting Heath last fall. I loved it so much I even took a photo...

Not sure why it took me so long to finally order one but it is really beautiful and I only wish I thought of it sooner. No more Brita! I fill up a large jug of filtered water at PCC and refill as necessary. I just ordered another one for the studio.



For Dad

by Kelsi in , , ,


We have a leisurely Father's Day planned for tomorrow, though I know for sure there will be a solid breakfast with lots of bacon (my son's request). Here are a few things on my short list this year to celebrate the dad in our house...

Judd Apatow's new book is a collection of interviews he's conducted with pretty much every comedian you know of over the last thirty years. And fitting for Father's Day, there are quite a few discussions on being dads.

Photo from Food52

Photo from Food52

Another book, called Lunch at the Shop. Peter Miller Books is an architecture and design bookshop here in Seattle. If you've never been, surely take the time to pay them a visit. Peter cooks lunch at the shop every day. You can see how the daily ritual came to be here

Lunch at the Shop demonstrates "how to embrace a lifestyle that places importance on every single meal we have and values lunch as a moment of nourishment and pleasure." Something I think a lot of us could get behind.

My in-laws gave me a Thermapen for my birthday this year and that same week my friend Omar wrote about how amazing this little instant read thermometer is. It had been on my wishlist for a long time and my only regret is that I didn't have one sooner. You'll be cooking burgers to order like a pro, along with everything else.

A growler of Rachel's Ginger Beer. Visit her shop in the Pike Market (or now open on 12th Ave on Capitol Hill). Or even get it delivered to your door via Amazon Fresh...

A Blue Bottle coffee subscription.

Or maybe a Sonos speaker for the kitchen.  Happy Father's Day to all of you great dads I know.


The Holidays

by Kelsi in ,


Unlike the usual expected craziness of the holiday season, this time of year is calm and peaceful in our house. Aaron's shooting schedule is quieter and he's home quite a lot which is wonderful. And I take more days off as my clients are traveling and involved with their own holiday celebrations. There has been lots of time for leisurely cooking, hosting friends and family and just enjoying our home life. 

With the many meals shared and gifts purchased over the last two weeks, I have a few favorite things to share...

photo from Food52

photo from Food52

I made this pretty amazing kale gratin from Renee Erickson's beautiful new cookbook (which is just as perfect, thoughtful but seemingly effortless, as her restaurants). The gratin is a breeze to prepare and so delicious. I served it alongside a braised pork shoulder and polenta. (We also served this rather perfect punch which I think I could make a tradition.)

I love our local Theo Chocolate and I think these caramels would make a sweet hostess gift.

And my love affair with Uniqlo continues. I bought this great down jacket as a gift and a smaller one for my nephew. And while I was at it I added a sweater for myself. I ordered up a size so it would be a little bit looser fit which ended up being perfect.

Still my all time favorite candle

I could eat a whole jar of this amazing almond butter with a spoon if left to my own devices. Thankfully you can get a much larger 16oz jar at Thrive Market so that you might actually share with your family and not hide the jar for yourself.  If you don't know about Thrive, it's like Costco meets Whole Foods AND they ship directly to your house! 

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While you're adding things to your cart pick up some of this Weleda Hand Cream.  It's the best I've ever found. It smells great, absorbs quickly and really does the trick especially during this season of constant hand washing. You can also find it at Pharmaca, PCC or Whole Foods.

I bought a gift subscription to Bean Box for my father-in-law and a few coffee loving friends. There are so many wonderful small independent coffee roasters in Seattle and Bean Box makes it easy to try them all, shipped free right to your door. And if you find something you really like you can order a pound directly from them. 

Lastly, I love listening to StoryCorps every Friday on NPR which honors and celebrates the stories and triumphs of our everyday lives. Without fail it always brings tears to my eyes. Being Christmas Eve, listen here how the Santa Tracker came to be in 1955.

Wishing you peace and joy through the holiday season.