My Latest Non-Score: The Pot/Pan Wall Hook.
OK, I’ve not yet made the score, but I had to take you on this semi-boring journey with me: among the many questionable items Mr. Magpie and I schlepped from Chicago to New York are two paella pans. A paella pan is not meant to live in a small New York City apartment — it’s large and flat but does not play well with other pans (it doesn’t lay totally flat and its diameter is just small enough to preclude stacking beneath other pans/serving dishes), and, above all, it’s a single-use tool, which is a major no-no when space is a premium.
But did I mention we have TWO paella pans?! Nuts. Nuts, I tell you! What were we thinking?
We’re overly sentimental about these pans, though. They represent a part of our not-so-recent past when we were young(er), just married, and still doing adventurous things like traveling to Spain together and staying at ridiculous hotels like this one, as we did while visiting San Sebastian, which is, quite possibly, my favorite place on the planet besides the basement of my parents’-in-law home after a holiday meal, when Mr. Magpie and I curl up on the flip-out sofa and drink wine and watch Christmas movies until late at night.
Those pans, though — they hearken back to a time when we were excitedly learning about a new culture and hosting dinner parties with friends, dazzling them with our recently acquired worldly knowledge of the delicacies of Spain, paella included. Mr. Magpie once made an outrageous chicken and mushroom paella and I supplemented it with a frisee, marcona-almond, and orange salad with a citrus vinaigrette, patatas bravas, and shishito peppers sprinkled with flakes of sea salt. We drank cava, we laughed, we loved our happy little lives.
So the paella pans remind us of a simpler time, a more decadent time, a more youthful and carefree time. And we cannot part with them.
But now we need to store them somewhere and it occurred to me that these two paella pans are actually rather pretty — oversized, slightly rusted with wear, and a rather unique homage to a passion we share — and that they might do well hanging on a wall near our kitchen. But we can’t just hang them on a nail — they need proper framing. I have spent far too much time seeking a solution (thoughts, my friends?!) and my issues are these: pretty ones like this and this are intended for towels and hats and may not be able to withstand their 4 lb weight, but a lot of the other options I found on Amazon, at Home Depot, etc. are super boring and utility-looking. I love the simple, industrial look of the hooks on the pot-and-pan wall shown above, but those are special hooks for a magnetic wall you can purchase (super cool solution to a small kitchen!!!) I guess I could land on something simple like this…or maybe something like these, but are they too cutesy?!
P.S. While searching, I also came across these precious, whimsical knobs for minimagpie’s dresser and this amazing curtain tieback! Epic!
You’re Sooooo Popular: The Pillow Spray.
The most popular items on Le Blog this week:
+An adorable moody floral dress for under $100.
+This under-$150-IT-bag was just restocked and apparently many of you flocked to it!
#Turbothot: Seeing the Present.
I’ve written a lot about the odd, elastic experience of time as a new mom (and have repeatedly set and broken intentions around living in the present more often) and have recently reflected on how much time I spend reflecting on the past, so I was fascinated when, while listening to an interview with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on the podcast I’ve been obsessing over, he shared a fascinating insight into our perception of the past, the present, and the future. He explained that he was visiting Thailand shortly after the tsunami and he met with a priest who had been working with children who had lost their homes, their families, their worlds (!) in the tragedy. The priest had been giving the children four sheets of paper and asking them to draw the following: on the first, a picture of the past; on the second, a picture of the tsunami; on the third, a picture of the present; and on the fourth, a picture of the future. The priest noted how much difficulty the children had portraying the present — a world new but painfully real to them. Kennedy notes that the present is probably the hardest for any of us to capture. We might get things wrong about the future, but at least we have conviction in what we wish it to look like, what it should look like. The past, while mediated through memory, seems clear to us as well. It’s the present that’s impossible to paint; how do we capture something mid-movement? We lack the vantage.
Something clicked and I felt a strange falling-off feeling, a zooming out: could it be that in the years to come I look back on those early days in our life in New York, where we are excessively happy with our sassy and sweet baby girl and our wild but loving puppy and our petite but charming apartment and our healthy and spirited family, and think: “those were The Days”?
Am I adequately cherishing these moments? Even the messy, crazy bits, like Tilden yanking the leash and nearly pulling me into an ice-plated pond in Central Park this morning? And panting while lugging minimagpie up and down the subway stairs as we explore Manhattan together? And opening our closets and having to wade through what feels like the seven layers of hell to get to the lightbulbs buried in the back?
Because when I took a moment to mentally sketch myself in the past, and in the present, and in the future, I lingered extra-long over the present diorama and found that, net-net, life is being pretty kind right now and I’m not sure that I’ve ever been more at peace.
#Shopaholic: The Ladylike Dress.
+This is the number one item on my lust list right now. The prettiest blouse for spring. I need it.
+I can’t think of a body shape this ladylike, work-appropriate dress (under $120!) won’t flatter. So elegant and timeless. Wear it when you’re 22, 42, 62, or 82, and you’ll look just as chic.
+In the same vein as the Acne Velocite shearling coat I was obsessing over — this Veronica Beard cropped jacket is EVERYTHING and is currently 50% off! Or, try this darling steal for $60!
+In my cart for summer. This is the kind of thing I will wear CONSTANTLY.
+These were in Mr. Magpie’s stocking this Christmas, and I love them — for a household of cooks low on space, they’re extremely handy: we do all of our mise en place in advance and store them on the counter in these so that the cutting board / countertop can then be cleared for other activities. When not in use, they stack! I also love that they’re semi-sheer (easy to see what’s what) and have measurements on the side.