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Dear IdeAlchemy friends and clients -


This past summer, my husband, Mark, and our cat, Tippi Hedren, and I traded the hustle of LA for the easy-going, lakeside charm of Madison, Wisconsin – and let me tell you, it's been a snow globe full of delightful surprises. We're soaking up the cheesy holiday vibes by the fire and can't wait to share IdeAlchemy's Winter 2023 Wishlist below with you – it's a hoot!


If you're inclined, check out my new workplace - the gorgeous Overture Center for the Arts. If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods, please reach out, and I'll give you a behind-the-scenes tour!


I wish you a Merry Holiday filled with laughter, love, and perhaps a touch of Midwest magic.





Founder & Chief IdeAlchemist




Movie stars, summer-stock memories, and cherry orchards. This novel hits all my soft spots - and takes place in my home state of Michigan. Be prepared to cry and laugh as you read Patchett's pandemic novel, Tom Lake—my favorite book of 2023.

Record producer Rick Rubin - one of Time Magazine's most influential people in the world - gives us access to his uber-creative brain and meditative process. Anyone who's loved David Lynch's Catching the Big Fish will vibe with this guide. I gifted it to my team!



I love listening to the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour - a review of the buzziest movies, TV, music, books, and more - every morning during my 20-minute commute to work. NPR's Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Stephen Thompson, and Aisha Harris are fabulous pop culture aficionados I'd love to have as real friends. They often bring special guests to weigh in on what you should be watching, reading, or listening to.

Slow Horses on Apple TV is a witty spy drama about MI5 agents relegated to "Slough House" due to their mistakes. Led by the irascible Jackson Lamb (Oscar winner Gary Oldman), the show's dark humor pairs well with their blunders and brilliance. You'll laugh out loud at Oldman's often flatulent-clouded exchanges with his impatient and power-hungry boss (Oscar winner Kristin Scott Thomas).



I fangirled Grammy Artist of the Year Samara Joy when I met her backstage in Los Angeles last year. This Christmas, her EP of six songs, A Joyful Holiday, is on repeat. Best track? The duet of A Christmas Song she sings with her father, Antonio McClendon.

The old-fashioned holiday variety special returns merrily with Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas. The big-voiced British bombshell known for her Emmy-winning portrayal of Rebecca in Ted Lasso - does not scrimp on the glitter or

the glamour! 



London's venerable department store, Fortnum & Mason, has been known for its Christmas Hampers since 1707. This year, I made one for friends with a wealth of Trader Joe's goodies. These British hampers will inspire your own creation!

My daughter Georgia gifted me Joyus recently - the only sober-and woman-owned non-alcoholic winery in the country. Their n/a wines are award-winning for a reason. As a teetotaler (for 8 years!) I love celebrating with this bubbly, joyous, n/a option!

The three kings gifted baby Jesus Frankincense. Why? Its spicy aroma is calming and benefits the immune system and circulation. My husband uses it for knee pain, combining it with jojoba oil and massaging it into the painful area. It’s also a natural remedy for acne and wrinkles! Gold (a natural anti-inflammatory) and Myrrh (a natural pain reliever) - make the perfect trio for a new mom (like Mary?)! Ask your doctor about how you might use them.

Finest Nürnberger Lebkuchen gingerbread cookies are perfect for a holiday treat, winter entertainment, or for Santa himself. Made today for Trader Joe's by a German bakery, these treats go back 600 years! They remind me of a fruitcake paired with a traditional molasses cookie, are great dipped in tea or cocoa, and are perfect for inclusion in a Christmas hamper (see above!) They put a smile on even the Scroogiest of Holiday guests.

First brought to my attention by actress Mickey Sumner, these Pampa Hi Sahara boots by Palladium are my very favorite kickers. Originally designed in 1947 to protect paratroopers in action, 70 years later, not much has changed, and modern-day explorers can enjoy the same smooth landing when pounding the pavement. Lightweight, stylish, and comfy - they work at the office, hiking, or downtown. Snowbird? Trade in this canvas version for the weatherproof Pampa Shield or others.

My closet combines classic capsule wardrobe pieces and fast, fun, affordable fashion. Last year, I discovered Cider - an online fashion retailer founded in 2020 "inspired by the vibrant and diverse street styles of New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Shanghai, and Seoul." I love mixing their colorful accessories and an occasional sweater (this Pear vest is a favorite) into my otherwise monochromatic closet. At under $15, this whimsical scarf is one of my favorite gifts to give this year!

Designed by veterinarians and cat lovers, the Wiggly Ball cat toy is one of our cat Tippi's favorite toys. We found hers at a stall at Bryant Park's Winter Village in New York. It ingeniously combines realistic "prey" movement and an irresistible bouncy ball that challenges her for hours of fun and frolicking.

It's the gift I didn't know I needed, but I'm so glad my cousin Karleen gifted me these Toaster Tongs for my September birthday. Who knew I would never again have to burn my fingertips on a crusty crumpet? It's a perfect stocking stuffer for the person who has everything. Pair it with a homemade or bakery-bought loaf.



LGBTQ+ young people with at least one accepting adult in their lives report significantly lower rates of attempting suicide. Let’s end this year by ensuring young people always have that adult. Learn more about or donate to The Trevor Project's life-saving work and be the one for LGBTQ young people this year. 


IdeAlchemy would love to catch up with you!

Email me at to share what you're up to! 


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