My Latest Score: The Tree Stand.
What a glamorous life I live over here, featuring a tree stand as my favorite score of the week. #THATBLOGGERLIFE #BLESSED. But, seriously: let me tell you about this tree stand.
First, I won the seasonal debate over whether or not we should buy a live Christmas tree or invest in a good faux one that we can bring out year after year. (Jen: 1. Landon: 349898.)
Second, every year of our married life, we get into a terse and temporarily cranky mood after the jovial experience of selecting our Christmas tree, and it’s all owing to those damn cheap tree stands with the metal pegs you screw into the base of the tree. Let me share a typical Christmas tree mounting experience:
Mr. Magpie: [Panting heavily, having dragged his 12 foot tree from the car to our living room] Where do you want it? [Exasperated sigh.]
Me: Right here by the window. I put down the tree mat and the stand where it should go.
Mr. Magpie: [Pants, wipes brow, as he pauses to survey the location] OK. Can you kneel down and guide the tree into the stand?
[Several minutes of awkward maneuvers follow.]
Me: A little to the left — no, it’s crooked, take it back out. Wait, the tree netting is stuck on the peg…wait wait wait wait, now it’s lifting the whole stand. LANDON! WAIT! OK, there. No, now it’s tilting too far towards you. OK, let me screw it in a little further….wait, it’s stuck on a branch. Can you twist the tree clockwise?
Mr. Magpie: This &*%$% tree!
We then consume hearty portions of eggnog and promise to buy a better tree stand the following year.
And promptly forget.
This year, the elephant did not forget. We upgraded big time to the Krinner XXL Deluxe tree stand. Yes, it costs a pretty penny for a tree stand. But it’s sturdy and lasts a lifetime and has enabled us to entirely avoid those holiday grouch sessions for the remainder of our lives. Also, I don’t hate how it looks right now, while I’m waiting for our tree skirt to arrive…
If this story resonates with you, I advise you to purchase it yourself. A little Christmas magic right there.
*PS — I’m starting to give my weekend vibes subtitles so they’re a little easier to find. I’ve had a few people email me asking, “Where did you write about such-and-such?” And it’s almost always in my Weekend Vibes posts, which aren’t very descriptively titled.
You’re Sooooo Popular: The Bento Box
The most popular items on Le Blog this week:
+The best solution to packing your lunch. (Read the reviews!)
+VERY CHIC HOLIDAY FOOTWEAR. And they won’t ruin your budget.
#Turbothot: Heavier Things.
I shared a few thoughts on body image just after mini was born, and I think it’s the single most-commented upon post I’ve ever written — though you’ll notice that very few comments actually show up on the post. Rather, I received a flurry of texts and emails about the post from different people at all different life stages — new moms, recent college grads, even women of a certain age, who — you might think — would be at home in their own bodies. Few women felt comfortable sharing their experiences in the public comments section of my blog, but so many of them related to the emotions and reached out to let me know they felt similarly. We live in a culture with strange and impossible beauty norms and taboos, and everyone — everyone — I know has her own related baggage. The post and its sentiments have been floating in and out of my mind owing to a twin set of experiences:
+Visiting my Mom during the ordeal of the move to NYC, she turned to me and said, sharply, in that Mom way that actually means “do something about this”: “Jennifer, you look thin.” I did, in fact, look haggard. I had just endured a stressful couple of weeks eating random snacks out of minibars and tossing and turning over whether we’d ever move into an apartment, and my heart was racing for two weeks straight. When I got on the scale at home, I weighed 5 pounds less than I did before I was pregnant with mini. 5 pounds! I was shocked. I haven’t worked out in about a century, and I’ve been way too busy to worry about dieting — stress at work on the body, I suppose.
+Sitting with a dear friend, commiserating over our eerily similar moving experiences to NYC, I told her: “I’m a stress ball — I’ve even lost weight.” She sighed, and said, “Hey, there’s a silver lining — the NYC Moving Diet. Maybe I should go through it again for that reason.” Her thinly disguised envy shocked me a little because this particular friend is tall and slender and very self-confident. It called to mind that line in Devil Wears Prada, “I’m one stomach flu away from my ideal weight.”
It’s odd, you know — I spent the better part of my teens and twenties counting calories and beating myself up over the occasional hamburger splurge. And that wasn’t healthy. But here I am at the other end of the spectrum — and I wouldn’t say I’m healthy now, either.
I wish I could share a set of optimistic resolutions right now: “I resolve from today forward to get an extra two hours of sleep, to eat quinoa and kale and drink healthy broth in the morning, to do sun salutations when I rise, etc etc etc” — but the truth is, those things won’t happen. Just being real here. But I’ll make some small changes. I’ll go to bed 15 minutes earlier instead of staying up for an extra chapter of reading. I’ll drink more water. (Actually, I not only keep this bedside, but also at my desk, and it truly encourages me to drink more water!)
Anyway, that’s where I stand today. Thought I’d check in with you — how are you doing these many months later, with the holidays (and New Year) just around the corner?
#Shopaholic: The New Jammies
+I can’t help myself when it comes to loungewear and sleepwear. Mr. Magpie has a strict no-PJs-before-8-pm rule that I basically ignore 100% of the time (OK, OK, maybe he’s more of a purist than a pragmatist after all?) — if it were up to me, I’d change into sweats after 6. (I LOVE my Monrow sweats!!!) But anyway — these look right up my alley as a new jammie addition.
+How do you keep your lipsticks organized? Mine are currently in a big makeup bag — I have separate bags for eye shadows and lipsticks. It works, but it’s not exactly the simplest way to find things. I’m thinking about ordering one of these instead.
+These are supposed to be the best oven mitts. I ordered a pair for Mr. Magpie’s stocking.
+These, with the bees!!!
+This foundation brush is supposed to be amazing.
+GUYS, a whole gift set of my favorite lip balm ever (featured above!!!)