Ashton Kutcher (yes…Ashton Kutcher) recently delivered an acceptance speech at a teeny bopper awards show that’s been making its way around the webisphere, and though I’m loath to quote from him, I have not been able to get one of his central messages out of my head: “Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially after reading Lean In (if you’ve not read it, please do; it’s garnered some serious criticism, but make up your own mind about it…I, for one, am I huge believer in all things Sheryl Sandberg), which makes the point that women are prone to attribute their successes to “being in the right place at the right time,” “a great team,” “strong leadership,” “good luck” — basically anything but themselves. In retrospect, though I have also unwittingly self-abnegated when explaining how I got to where I am right now (the director of a private foundation doing what I consider very important work), there is nothing that I have not earned the good and honest way — that is, I’ve earned everything through hard work, patience, and stick-to-it-iveness. (And the occasional sobfest on Mr. Magpie’s shoulder.) Now, where does this message fit into a blog about all things fanciful and inane? Good question. (Doubly good question because it’s led me to reflect on the three different personas in my life — the Magpie, the workhorse, and the private Jen who lives somewhere in-between. Perhaps personas is an imperfect conceptualization — maybe aspects or sides of the prism is a better basis for analogy. Regardless, I think you might be surprised to see me in my professional head space — a lot less fanfare, a lot more directness — but, I hope, the same level of empathy and thoughtfulness. But I digress.) I suppose I felt drawn to write this because I think it’s been the single most important discovery I’ve made in the last year, and it’s pushed me to be even more ambitious and even more confident. And I wish all of you lovely Magpies the same sense of awakening and self-reflection that this discovery has yielded for me.
Where do we go from here?
There’s only one place: ridiculously ambitious covets that I have no business coveting, let alone owning.
First: I’ve never been on a motorcycle and find the prospect unlikely. Still. Is there something wrong with owning one of these absolutely stunning moto helmets from Atelier Ruby? Don’t worry, they’re only $925. So, you know. A good use of a cool thousand bucks.
And, these Lanvin necklaces ($1,198) with scripted gold statements. “But that ain’t even yo style.” (Carrie Bradshaw quote. Anyone else still watch old Sex and the City episodes? My lovely sister in law admitted that after seeing the traumatic second to last episode of Game of Thrones last season — if you’re a nerd like me, you know what we’re referring to — she had to put on SATC to calm herself down.) Anyhoots, it’s true. These are NOT my style and I can’t imagine what I’d wear them with or how. But I like ‘em.
Now. Where and to what on God’s green earth would I wear this bombshell dress (Marchesa, $7500) to?
Before you conjecture, take a minute to breathe in the beauty in front of you:
Oh my. As an alternative to those of you out there less than interested in playing Barbie, this gown from Temperley is also flat out bananas. I mean, helloooo Jackie O.
These large format photographs by Leila Jeffreys are beyond. Funky and incredible.
Mwah mwah mwah, love love love. That little guy at the end is so fabulous — what a crotchety old man he looks like! Anyhoo, these go for $2500 and are purchasable here.
Who needs glamorous garden gear? No one. But that doesn’t keep me from strangely and unwarrantedly wanting one of these luxe hose sets from Scandi company Garden Glory ($105). No, I don’t yet have a backyard. And no, I’m not a green thumb.
This one might be more attainable in the not so distant future, but I would love to put up these Parisian house numbers ($10 apiece) on a future Magpie nest. Hey – even if I’ll never live in Paris, I can pretend…
Side note: I actually did purchase a vintage house number that was all battered up on Etsy, as shown below. I’m going to add it to our ever-growing gallery wall, which makes some use of blue and white elsewhere. I like it for two reasons: 1) 18 was Mr. Magpie’s number when he used to play baseball, and he remains superstitiously devoted to it — like all athletes; 2) it reminds me of France, and there’s a little Francophilia vibe radiating out of the gallery wall between a little Eiffel tower foil print and a vintage Napoleon portrait.
I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival. You can find lots of similar ones on Etsy, like this awesome 10. I like the ones with a little patina — a little wear and tear — a little story.
The glass slipper, by Louboutin. Only $3,295.
Sleep in the lap of luxury in a pair of silk pajamas ($500). Or, you know, pay for your groceries for a month.
What are your ridiculous covets?!