So let's talk registries for a moment, because there's hard emotional stuff about registries. It took me time to accept and appreciate them because I hate feeling like we're asking for gifts, or that gifts are expected. I find all the gift-value calculations about weddings really crass (if they spent $X per head, I should get them a gift of $X). I hate making less financially stable guests feel obligated to give a gift when I'd be just as happy with a thoughtful card and simple gesture.
However, I'm also finding that weddings bring out true generosity. I got teary at both my showers, not because of the gifts, but because the gifts were a tangible expression of such incredible love from our community. Registries provide a signpost for gifts that will matter to us for the long-term, for gifts that are valuable and meaningful to us, for gifts that contribute the emotional and physical home Jason and I are building together. Otherwise, our friends are shopping blindly, without knowing whether you already have a blender (we do) or might really love a crystal bowl (we wouldn't.)
And so, we made the decision to register for high-quality items that honor our friends' and families' generosity. We included durable items in a range of price points. And we can honestly say that the new gifts have already improved our lives. Although we've been too busy to unpack everything (!!) the items below highlight some of the squee-worthy, life-improving gifts we've received so far.
I didn't realize how easy chopping could be until we received our new Shun knife. I am now far less grumpy about cooking prep.
We like wine. Unfortunately, our cats like wine glasses, meaning they knock them over and break them. So we especially love our stemless glasses. And the decanter nicely aerates the inexpensive wines we've been favoring lately as we save for the wedding.
Our immersion blender has transformed soup-making. We can now make hearty, creamy soups without a blender mess. Added bonus: herb chopping attachment.
Le Crueset blue stockpot. Oh my, I love this thing and the delicious slow-cooked food it produces. Color shouldn't matter, but somehow it does. It really does.
Brownie tin with a lid! So I can indulge in baking (and eating) but also take the leftovers to the office!
Excellent Non-Essential Gift
We both put one item on the registry that was a fun non-essential. Something we actually desperately want, but didn't fit into the "lifetime durable" item category. We both agreed that, if no one decided to buy us these items, we're buying them for ourselves after the wedding. My splurge gift was a Sodastream machine to make sparking water at home and we received it (Jason's still waiting on his wireless speakers)! This machine means I never have to pay for store-bought, chemical-flavored, plastic bottle sparkling water again.
The Little Things Can Be Huge
Lemon juice, lemon zest, and parmesan. I don't really need to say any more, because those tiny details can help transform a dish from okay to amazing, and these tools help me extract those flavors.
The "I'm Happy I Caved" Gift
I didn't think I wanted a KitchenAid Stand mixer. We have limited counter space. We do just fine making our pizza dough by hand. But I'm happy I listened to my mother and grandmother and caved. I'm looking froward to making my mother's trifle recipe with homemade whipped cream, in addition to exploring all the pasta and ice cream maker attachments I will eventually buy.
I feel so lucky to have received gifts like this, which is why I'm thrilled to offer one reader the chance to win $150 from Williams-Sonoma. You could buy any of the items listed above from Williams-Sonoma, your own personal non-essential must-have, or an overlooked everyday essential you'd been hoping for. To enter, all you need to do is:
1. Visit Williams-Sonoma here and create a registry. If you already have a registry, you can still enter by adding another item to your existing Williams-Sonoma registry.
2. Leave a comment saying that you registered and letting me know your favorite registry non-essential.
3. You can get an extra entry if you leave another comment with your registry link.
The contest closes at 6pm PST on Tuesday, March 8. The randomly selected winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 9. So head on over here to start exploring and dreaming about your registry possibilities...