It used to be, that Black Friday meant kicking off the Christmas season with shopping. I’m not talking about getting in line at 3am for a TV. The one time Mr. KK attempted to leave the house at the crack of dawn for a good price on a TV, he got up and dressed and when he got into the car, it wouldn’t start. So he came back upstairs to bed.
For me, the day after Thanksgiving was simply the start of the Christmas season: Christmas music, Christmas shopping and Christmas decorations. I loved going shopping and seeing everyone carrying bags and smiling. If I’m being honest, about the half the gifts I would buy would be for myself; I would shop with the “one for me, one for them” mantra.
When Mr. KK and were first married, we would make a day of Black Friday. We’d get up early – but not too early – and head to the mall, and then an outdoor shopping center. The whole day would be planned around where we’d go for lunch. So, basically, we’d go for lunch on Black Friday and maybe buy a gift or two in the process.
The first few years after Little Mister was born, we’d bring him with us. We’d strap him into his stroller as we perused Crate and Barrel and West Elm, stopping at the huge kids’ section in Barnes & Noble to feed him and let him play for a bit and stretch his legs.
Eventually, Little Mister reached the age when it was less productive and fun taking him with us on Black Friday. So I started shopping alone or with a friend. It was still all about the feeling of the holiday, and it put me in such a good mood. I still planned the entire day around lunch.
THIS year, however, like everything else in 2020, Black Friday was off. Instead, gifts were bought online. Movies were watched. Pajamas were worn until after lunchtime. Cupcakes were eaten for lunch. Cocktails were had before 5pm. Our Elf arrived.
Our house has been decorated for over a week, so Thanksgiving was a bit of ‘holidays colliding’. This weekend we’ll get the tree, and pray that the puppy doesn’t knock it down, eat the ornaments or pee on it.
The alarm to move the elf has been set, and the season has officially started!
(Perhaps the pajama-cupcake-eating part of Black Friday can become the new tradition, because I can totally get behind that!)
If you asked me 6 months ago what would be on my “favorite things” list, I likely would have told you a strong cocktail and some alone time.
(And, if I’m being honest, I would still take either one of those things, no gift wrap necessary).
But now, I’m in full holiday mode. In fact, today Little Mister and I decorated our house for Christmas. In a text to our family I told them: “The only turkeys you’ll see here on Thanksgiving are the ones ON the table and sitting AROUND the table.”
Christmas, I’m ready for ya!
And while I quickly learned this year that I literally need nothing, it wouldn’t be a month of blog posts without my favorite things. As a family we’ve decided that we’re not doing crazy gifts, so this list isn’t meant to make anyone go out shopping (I’m talking to you Mom and Mother-in-Law!). This is simply me, sharing things that I find comfort in during the craziest year I’ve ever been alive.
While I have a hat I love (and can pull off), I’d like to branch out a bit. I’m quite particular about hats: they need to fit snugly and not give me a weird-shaped head. This beanie from Banana Republic is a soft cream, and looks like it’s warm as well as fashionable. Also, I like having the option to pop on a hat for unexpected Zoom video calls.
Move over, Starbucks! We have perfected the vanilla iced coffee in the KK household! Now, I need a new tumbler to enjoy my tasty concoction in each morning! I love anything by S’well, and this tumbler will not only keep my coffee cool, it will look pretty while I sip from it on my video calls.
Let’s face it: who wears real pants anymore? Work from home chic plus a cold New England winter means warmth over everything. Feejays are pants AND socks, all in one. Put them on, you’ll never take them off.
While I don’t have a pair of Rothy’s, I know from friends that they ridiculously comfortable. And I am in dire need of a new pair of high top black sneakers. And since comfort is the name of the game. these are the perfect solve.
Do you think LL Bean is short for Ladies Love Bean? (LL Cool J joke…anyone?). Because kk LOVES all of their cozy tops. Plus, they come in petite, and beautiful colors like this teal…double win! Plus, thumb holes!
When I was little, I slept with an electric blanket on my bed. Then, there were stories of electric blankets catching on fire while people slept, and then electric blankets disappeared for a while. So between when I was 8 and right now, I would just a fleece to bed to keep warm. BUT, electric blankets are everywhere again…and one needs to be on my bed, pronto.
Let’s be real, the minute we all started working from home, our wardrobe went downhill. If you had previously worked from home pre-pandemic like I did, you likely had already developed comfortable work from home attire. However, it’s possible even your casual WFH clothing started to deteriorate, along with your sanity.
There are 3 stages to the WFH Wardrobe:
Newly Working From Home. At this stage, you are putting in some effort! Possibly jeans or casual dress, a nicer top with statement jewelry for the ladies or a button down for the men. Daily shower. Perfume or cologne.
Working from Home, 3 Months In. You are up and dressed today! Still casual, but leggings have replaced the jeans (buttons? on your waist? this isn’t a prom, people!) Gone are the jewelry and cute/button down tops, replaced with t-shirts and athleisure (I love that this is a term!). Hair is in a ponytail and you likely showered within the last 36 hours.
Working from Home, 6 Months In. Do I have any video meetings today? No? Feejays and a fleece it is! Or possibly your workout gear from the morning, sweat included. Bonus points if you change out of both your pajama tops AND bottoms.
If nothing else, you likely saved some money on your spring/summer/fall wardrobes this year. I know that when I changed over my closet to my summer clothes 80% of them went unworn. Oh, well, there’s always 2022.
If you’re like me, you needed to buy a few key pieces – not because you needed them, but because having new clothes for a new season just makes you feel good. And who couldn’t use a little more “feel good” this year?
I’m very public about my love affair with Target. And this year, when it came to my casual WFH wardrobe, Target didn’t disappoint. With every retailer shifting their summer and fall lines to have more “cozy chic” options (let’s face it, no one is putting on a rayon dress or stilettos right now), Target was on point with their wardrobe staples.
7 Items You Need to Buy From Target Right Now
I love every one of these items and could not recommend them more. I also think I have a slight addiction to camouflage. (NOTE: camouflage items should NOT be worn together. Ever.)
This camo sweatshirt can be dressed up or down! (Hahahaha, who am I kidding? Who is dressing up a sweatshirt right now?) This literally goes with anything. Your jeans and Uggs need this sweatshirt.
Hey, what do you know, more camo! These joggers are perfect for those days that you don’t have any clean leggings, and you’re feeling like you’re better than pajama bottoms.
When you need a break from camo, this flannel shirt is perfect. I love it with leggings and tall boots. Warning: you might feel you need to hit up a brewery for some outside drinking when you wear this, so plan for a day of no meetings!
A girl can never have too many ponchos, that’s what I always say. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a black one (though I have about 3 cream colored ones), so this black turtleneck poncho was perfect. It goes with jeans, leggings and everything in between.
Bring on the camo footwear! These little slip on sneakers go with anything (except more camo). But, if you’re like me and your entire wardrobe is black and gray, you’re golden!
As much as I detest the phrase coatigan, that’s essential what this little number is. This cardigan is part coat, part cardigan and 100% cozy. It’s the perfect thing to throw on when it’s chilly out and you’re too cheap it’s too early to turn on the heat. If you live in a city and you have to run to corner bodegas or down to get your mail, this is what you would wear.
(Please – for all that is holy – pretend this model isn’t wearing these shoes with these pants.) Back to camo! I used to think I hated high wasted jeans and couldn’t wear skinny jeans. Well, these high rise jeans proved me wrong. They are SO comfy and stretchy and fit perfectly. And, these jeans are suitable for those WFH days when you’re feeling a little too fancy for yoga pants.
Each one of these items is in rotation in my WFH wardrobe. Paired with my other wardrobe staples: dark denim, black leggings, high top sneakers, tall boots and gray long sleeved tops, I can mix and match until my heart’s content. Plus, I can be incognito on my video calls wearing my camo!
This year, I’d like to skip right over Thanksgiving and dive antlers first into Christmas. I mentioned this constantly casually to Mr. KK who replied, “It’s not even the middle of November.” Well, seems the Grinch came early this year at least!
It goes without saying that this year is unlike any other year we’ve experienced. I remember being on a neighborhood walk in April and a house was decked out in holiday decor, with 3 different Christmas trees in the windows. Everyone’s mantra is basically, “Because, 2020.” And I’m totally down with that.
As COVID cases continue to rise, schools move to remote learning and states threaten to shut down, I saw my opportunity for one last hurrah before the sh*t really hits the fan. I took the day off from work to run a few errands on a weekday to avoid the crowds. And, in true KK style, I made sure I was at the stores waiting for them to unlock their doors for the day.
My agenda for the day included Target, Homegoods and TJ Maxx. I broke my Target hiatus in the summer, but I haven’t been to Homegoods or TJ Maxx since before last Christmas. I was looking forward to a day of me, wandering down empty aisles with a highly-sanitized cart.
Before I left the house this morning, Mr. KK lovingly said, ” Have a great day off today! Buy everything you want, but remember that we already don’t have any room for more Christmas stuff in the basement! Love you!”
Talk about a pep talk.
I spent the morning in my glory, wandering aisles and perfecting my anti-social behavior of avoiding all other humans (except for the cleaning aisle at Target, where they were restocking Clorox Wipes; you’d have though they were handing out winning lottery tickets). I wasn’t even there to Christmas shop – as a family we talked about not really going crazy with gifts this year (what do you get for the person who doesn’t leave the house?) – but instead to hoard bottle brush trees and wooden houses from Bullseye’s Playground. Mission accomplished!
And, because Mr. KK has so wonderfully reminded me that we didn’t have any storage room for additional Christmas decor, I smartly purchased a nice red bin to store all of my new Christmas! Problem solved!
While it felt good to be out, between my hat, mask, glasses and Airpods, I’ve never been so decorated from the neck up. I got my fix of Christmas Inspo (and a few small gifts) and headed home. I spent the rest of my rainy day off on the couch with Mr. KK, Little Mister, Rocco and Bruno watching a movie. Which was better than any shopping trip.
The busy season got the best of me. I swore I would never do it. It’s just not my style. I know others enjoy doing it, but I’m a little bit of a nerd. A grocery store nerd.
I ordered groceries online.
As I took stock of the weekend today, I realized that going to grocery store was going to cut into the little bit of time I wanted to set aside to start holiday shopping. I could go and bring the Little Mister with me, but I’m much more efficient in the store when I’m alone. I zoom around the aisles, hand select my groceries, and lay them out in order of how I’d like them packed on the belt for the cashier.
But the allure of not leaving the house at 7am in the freezing cold tomorrow morning was too tempting. And so was the $20 off your groceries and free delivery offers. If you’re new to PeaPod, you can use the code 60DAYSFREE for the same offer!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE online shopper. The Amazon delivery people drop something at our house almost daily. But there was just something about ordered my groceries – not household products, but meats and produce – that I couldn’t wrap my head around. What if they sent me bruised apples? What if the bananas are banged up? What if the lettuce is wilted?
I know I’m likely to last person on the plant to place her first online grocery order, but it’s the one thing I was holding onto, that I enjoyed doing in person.
I hesitate to say this is going to be my new normal….but we’ll see.
Speaking of gray, I love the shade of this backpack, perfect for my trips to Boston. This compact size will make it easy for the train rides, and the outer pockets made it easy to reach water, my phone or kindle.
I haven’t had a lap desk since college, when I would write my papers on my Brother word processor on my bed. This lap desk would be perfect for the times I’m writing blog posts on the couch, trying to balance my lap top…like right now.