My heart is both heavy & racing. Heavy because it is Friday, my last day as guest mom. I was soooo scared (read: intimidated) to do this, feeling in the presence of greatness each time I read Design Mom. But once I started, it felt like a window was opened, with the best cool wind breezing through. My mind flooded with all sorts of things I wanted to share. But would anyone care to read them? Can’t stop — it felt so great to write, and post, and rush home from “regular” work to see my post on a real live blog. With real live comments. From real live wonderful people. I might just have to keep writing. Funny how you can fit things in when they truly feed your soul.

So for my last post, I’ve collected a sort of “favorite things” list (I love reading lists!) Things that are essential in my world. Things that in common, share a sort of beauty, comfort, & simplicity.

1. Gap boyfriend jeans. Please believe, after 17 years, I have amassed quite a collection of jeans. And I have donated many of those. My definition of a great pair of jeans are any pair I can wear on my day off — because I WANT to. And these are the best pair Gap has ever ever made. I actually have 2 pairs, as does my friend Jen. We nearly sold out of them before they hit the sales floor because so many associates bought them. They are that good!

2. Waldorf mobiles. My best friend from college first discovered these at a Waldorf school in new york. She hung one in her daughter’s room, and I have been smitten ever since. Wool roving is such an amazing material. Paired with stars — unmatched in its beauty.

3. Ruth Krauss & Maurice Sendak. I first discovered the book A Hole Is to Dig at an Anthropologie store a few years ago. I was captivated by the tiny drawings & brilliant definitions of everyday things. A couple years later, I happened upon Charlotte and The White Horse and I’ll Be You and You Be Me. Again, the sweet line drawings coupled with moving words written by an adult yet echoing the true sentiment of childhood proved that the collaboration of these two was nothing short of magical. Whether you have children or not, little or grown, I promise you will love these books. They’ll make you smile, they’ll bring a tear to your eye, because that special optimism & innocence of childhood never ever leaves you. Thank goodness.

4. Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. When I was little, I thought it was so special to have chocolate chips in the house (my mom did not care to bake, so when chips were around, it was something!) I vowed that “when I grow up…” I will always have chocolate chips on hand. And I do. And these are the best. I truly eat them every day. We (I) go through a bag a week. At least. They are good mixed with cereal (no milk). They are good on ice cream. And they are good alone. Go buy some now. You won’t be sorry. (Oh—they are good for baking, too. But I don’t very often because as a grown-up I am responsible enough to know that I will eat the lion’s share of the cookies. And my kids will get mad.)

5. Robert Ryan. In a way, Rob Ryan is not about simplicity. Or comfort. But beauty — for days! I recently discovered his work and cannot stop looking at it. Rob is an artist in London who creates exquisite works with scissors & paper — which I guess at its heart is simple, but oh, the detail! I gave his book This Is for You to my husband for father’s day, and pray that someday we can own one of Rob’s breathtaking works of art.

I know I could go on, but I will stop here. 5 is a tidy list.

Thank you Gabrielle. For blindly believing that I could be a guest mom in the footsteps of so many other great ones before me. For your kind readers and their kind comments. For the joy I have felt writing and sharing this week I wish I could wrap it all up in a bow and send it to you. You’re the best!