DIARY

Until Next Year (A Poem)

My (single, with no children) friend Billy posted the best rant on Facebook the other day. "Dear All Parents with 'Elf On The Shelf,'" he wrote, "Make that shit a priority. I don't want to hear any more whining about 'I forgot...' or 'I'm a bad parent.' Pretty soon your kids won't believe in Santa Claus and his annoying little elves, and it's your job to make them wonder. It's like 24 days. Suck it up. I still believe in Santa, and I'm 35."

FIIIIIIINE.

I mean, don't get me wrong: I love Elf on the Shelf season. But I also have a tendency to pass out in my daughter's toddler-sized bed while "snuggling for a minute" and then wake up three hours later with my eyelids mascara-ed shut, at which point I commence the shuffle towards my own bed only to be shaken awake by my brain, who is yelling at me to MOVE THE ELF SO YOU DON'T DESTROY THE MAGIC.

Lifestyle

Eleventh Hour (Addendum Number Two)

Hi, most terrifying Christmas photo ever #badsanta

Kendrick and I are really going to have to have a chat about how this whole "putting together a gift guide for publication on the Internet" thing works. Below are his (very) last-minute (and presumably final) gift picks, both of which you can still order in time for Christmas. Check out his *actual* gift guide here, and his first addendum here

Just to add to the below, if you need a last-minute gift for a 2-6 year old, get them this; for a 4-8 year old, this; for a woman or a man or a human: this. - Jordan 

HOMEDECOR

The Sputnik Solution

Look way up at the top there. See that big light fixture? Did not like. 

Over the weekend my parents came to visit for an early Christmas celebration, and one night my dad and I were sitting at my dining room table talking about how unfortunately cavelike the lighting in my dining room/kitchen area is. The two primary problems: I had recently moved my dining room table from the center of the room over to one wall, and the pendant light that had previously hung over the center of the table now hung in the center of the dining room. Like, at head level.

The second problem I discovered on the day we moved in: the only light in our kitchen comes from one of those big, square 1960s-era fluorescent monstrosities. It's huge and ugly and casts a sort of sickly half-glow over the room, but I've always been nervous to pry it off because god knows what's underneath.

Lifestyle

An Addendum, By Kendrick

wait, there's one more thing. (ok, three. maybe four.)

Kendrick was super annoyed that he forgot to include some of his very favorite picks on his original gift list, so here is an addendum. If you're still trying to find an unusual gift for anyone who is even marginally interested in music and/or history: here you go. (All of these picks arrive before Christmas if you order ASAP. As in right now.)

P.S. Everything below was written by Kendrick. I henceforth absolve myself of responsibility for spelling errors and/or links to stunningly inappropriate websites.

ENTREES

Chicken Thighs with Capers & Artichoke Hearts

Hmmmmmmmm.

My favorite meal on the planet is the "Trust Me" menu at Sugarfish, a sushi place with a couple of locations around the Southern California area. The menu has some a la carte options, but really you have three choices: the "Trust Me," the "Trust Me Lite," and the "Nozawa" (a.k.a. "Trust Me Mega"). You tell your server how hungry you are, and then you sit back, trust, and allow the joy to happen.

That is what I need you to do here. Trust, and allow the joy to happen.

Lifestyle

A Pretty Thing With An Unpretty Name

Francesca at Body Electric Tattoo | Los Angeles, CA

You may have noticed that I no longer have a nose ring. It's because of the show I was filming over the summer - the network called on Day 1 and said "errmmmmmmm can she lose the nose ring please?" And unfortunately the answer was "well...no." Because when that request was made it was made via cell phone while I was in the middle of nowhere. And I was set to be on camera about five seconds later. And the only way to take out one of those continuous rings is to use pliers. My feeling was that taking pliers to my face moments before shooting a network television show had the potential to create less-than-desirable results, and so I did something I almost never do: I said "Sorry, but no way."

And then, just before I headed back to St. Louis for the second time, I went ahead and took it out per the network's request...which means that in the final cut, I have the nose ring in some shots and not in others. So when (one day in the far-distant future, because TV is weird like that) you see this thing, please make sure to watch it with a beer in hand and drink every time you spot my nose ring. (Is it terrible that I think it would be amazing to have my very own drinking game?)

SWEETS

It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like…

I always have a little trouble accessing my Christmas Spirit. It was easier when I lived in New York City, I think, because I was always out in the world, wandering through subway stations filled with shoppers and down streets past Santa after Santa. I actually left the house at night, and saw Christmas lights everywhere I turned.

Leaving the house after dark isn’t a thing I do very often these days; once we get back from our afternoon activity and start dinner, that’s usually it for me. And it’s for a good reason: there is literally nowhere in the world I’d rather be than in my own living room (which is usually the case, but especially at this time of year). We’ve been decorating, and cooking, and lighting a fire every single night, and watching Christmas movies and making forts and baking cookies. And with each night that passes, I get just a little bit more into that lovely-but-elusive holiday state of mind.

Did I mention that my efforts to make our home feel all Christmassy are also resulting in considerable cookie consumption? Oh my goodness so many cookies. The problem, of course, is that one type of cookie just won’t do: we have to make sugar cookies so that they can be decorated, and we have to make chocolate chip cookies because obviously, and we have to make Santa’s Favorite Cookies because even though Santa may not technically be on his way yet, practice makes perfect, right?

Lifestyle

Want To Play Secret Santa? (You’re Going To Love This)

My friend Kelly Van Halen - whom I've written about here before - makes the coziest, softest, most adorable baby blankets on the planet...and she's giving them away. Like, a lot of them. For free.

If you know a baby or a mom-to-be who could use a little extra love this holiday season, just go over to KellyVanHalen, enter the recipient's information, let them know whether you'd like to send the gift anonymously or sign it, and they'll send over a blanket valued at $100...free of charge (while supplies last, of course). Really; there is virtually no catch - and I know this sounds too good to be true, but Kelly just wanted to do something really special this holiday season.

Happy Holidays. Go play Secret Santa for someone who needs it.