Ariana Grande’s album “Sweetener” is delightful. Apparently she set out to create something sweet, light, and happy in the wake of the horrible shooting that happened at her concert last year. A lot (though not all) of the album sounds like throwback Ariana — more Mariah Carey than uberpop2018. Love.
On the podcast front — well, you know what I’ve been up to. But I also listened to most of this Forever35 podcast featuring Angela Garbes, author of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy and was completely in love with something Garbes said. She noted that she has trained herself to always assume that mothers are doing the best they can. I love that, especially in a world where strangers will offer unsolicited advice: “your daughter must be cold without gloves on!” (I know, thank you, we just went through a battle of the wills for ten blocks and then she threw them in the gutter…) and “she’s already drinking formula?” (oh God, if you only knew the struggle it took to get here) and so on. I am going to adopt this slogan and, whenever I find myself judging or even sizing up another parent (not just mother!), interrupt myself with: we’re all doing the best we can.
Well, when am I not shopping? Ha. I did find an $8 broken-in white tee that fits OH SO WELL from one of J. Crew’s sales and have been wearing it constantly — with simple denim, underneath my favorite joveralls, etc. (Speaking of joveralls, I know it’s the end of summer, but I love THESE — on sale in limited sizes here! Imagine paired with this blouse?!) Anyway, my new white tee: it looks so fresh when ironed. (I had been trying to hold out for the white tee from the SomethingNavy collection because I love the interest of that bold collar situation, but this will tide me over…) I also found this Ulla Johnson-lookalike blouse at Madewell and HAD TO HAVE IT.
For mini: I made a huge haul of all the gorgeous fall goodness at Cecil & Lou. I like a lot of their stuff but some of it is a little too frou-frou for my tastes, so I’m pretty choosy. I had to have this and this and got a couple of things from their pumpkin patch collection in anticipation of Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I just binge-watched the last season of Southern Charm (I’m woefully behind on TV) and OH.MY.GOD. Epic! My girlfriend Mackenzie and I legitimately spent a third of our dinner the other night attempting to understand why we were so sucked in and what makes this franchise superior to so much of the rest of the dross we call reality TV. I must spend some more time thinking about this because it surely reflects something about me and this cultural moment. Maybe its the outright old-fashioned-ness of the society depicted that sort of highlights or calls into high relief gender roles and norms? Maybe it’s because everyone on that cast is so damned beautiful, it’s impossible to avert the eyes? Maybe it’s because this show feels “realer” than the others — with Kathryn and Thomas actually having TWO CHILDREN TOGETHER and the gals seeming to genuinely have one another’s backs?
Mr. Magpie and I have also been watching Barry, an uber-dark comedy on HBO starring Bill Hader, and are laboriously making our way through Better Call Saul, which is excellent but painfully slow-moving, and we can’t tell whether the pace is intentional or not. Or maybe it is intentional but we can’t tell whether it’s effective or not.
Finally, I’m going to write a more expansive post on this I think, but The Rider was one of the best movies we’ve seen this year. It called to mind a lot of my thinking in this post.
You know what I’m reading book-wise, but on the web — I appreciated this post, “Preparing for Dealing with Death: A Practical Checklist.” I don’t mean to go morbid on you, but I’ve been thinking about this topic recently. Death is a reality and, as the author contends: “Planning for your death is one of the most selfless things you can do; it means that your loved ones can mourn you without scrambling to guess your passwords and try to come up with the places you might have a bank account.” Heart-wrenching, yes. But also smart and generous to loved ones. I followed the author’s instructions on setting an inactive account manager for my gmail account — basically, you set it up so that if something happens, a loved one will be able to access your account — and at one point, as I was designating Mr. Magpie, they presented me with the option to leave him a personalized note. That was a bridge too far. I swallowed, hard, blinked back tears, and went on with my day.
We have been a pasta house this summer. I think we’ve made about 90% of the recipes from the “summer” section of Flour + Water, but when we’re less inclined to roll out fresh pasta, we like the dried pasta recipes from Sauces + Shapes — a book we simply refer to as “Oretta’s book,” as though we know the old Italian woman who wrote it personally! Ha. We also made pozole out of our new Nopalito cookbook and it was delicious although a bit suspect given how darn hot it was over the weekend. (“You know what will taste good when it’s 100 degrees out?” “SOUP!”) More great cookbooks here.
I love how many of you are into organization. My mom called me the other day to say how in love she is with these and one of you sent me a picture of your closet after you’d used these tubs (my favorite for utility/spices/laundry/undersink/etc) and my beloved labelmaker. YAS. With the imminent arrival of cooler weather, I have begun to put together a craft corner in our home for mini that I plan to stock with tons of paper, crayons, fingerpaint, stickers, pipe cleaners, pom poms, etc. There are so many cute art projects I’ve found on Pinterest that I’ll be undertaking with mini on many a cool day. I’m considering these darling organizational cubbies for crayons/markers/brushes/etc and this mint green caddy for the rest.
Totally unrelated, but I am dying to upgrade my vacuum to this Miele. We have no space for a full-size, so we use this one, and it’s both awesome and just OK. On the awesome front: I like that it stands upright and has such a tiny footprint that it can be tucked into even the smallest nook of a closet. It also does not have a bulky charger that takes up extra space — instead, you remove the battery in the front and can charge that by plugging it into a wall outlet. It’s also super flexible so you can swivel to reach under couches/consoles and around corners. Those are the amazing pros. On the just so-so side, I don’t think it has great suction and the bag fills up in about 1.1 seconds, so I’m constantly emptying it. I also find that hair/lint/dust bunnies can easily clog the machine so Mr. Magpie has had to entirely dissemble it to clean it on multiple occasions. I’d love to own a powerful full-size vacuum but we simply do not have the space to house one. Sigh.
Dog Parenting //
I was running into an issue where Tilly would grab mini’s toys and not let go of them in a desperate play for attention, and it was making me SO frustrated. I finally decided to dog-mom HARD and read up on clicker training. It’s completely changed the game. I have taught her the command “give it” (full instructions here) and she actually listens. We use these. I’ve also bought her a few new toys — we love Fluff N Tuff stuffies, and this one had to happen. I also find that these practice tennis balls tend to last a little longer than the other brands we tried! (She’s a heavy chewer…)
Embarrassingly exciting-to-me utility orders currently in my Amazon cart: Mrs. Meyers’ Apple Cider Counter Spray (I am such a geek but I look forward to their seasonal scents…); this Makeup Eraser washcloth, which gets really good reviews and reportedly does not need anything but water to remove all traces of makeup! — has anyone else used these?; velcro wrap ties to help with cord management around the house (who else hates the look of long dangling cords?); and — my most favorite thing — this compact outlet block, which I’ll be using on my bedside table, where I routinely would like to charge the monitor, my apple watch, my Kindle, and my iPhone.