My Latest Snag: The Hatch Maternity Dress.
I have never ordered any maternity clothing from Hatch, though it’s been abuzz for a long time. I always presumed it was for tall, willowy types who could pull off the voluminous slouch of the label’s styling. But when this Sylvie dress (seen above, worn by the founder of Hatch) went on sale just in time for our vacation next month, I jumped on it. And now I’m down a dark hole and also have this and these in my cart, figuring I’ll get decent use out of warmer weather maternity clothing given that I’m delivering in late May and will need to wear pregnancy clothes for the month or so following. (And the genius of this label is that most of their pieces work while nursing, too!) I also love this maxi dress in the bisque color — it may be the only full-price article of maternity clothing I buy this go around. P.S. — If you’re also expecting/have just recent delivered, two other solid sources for maternity-wear: ASOS for inexpensive, trendy pieces when you’re desperate to get out of leggings and long striped tees (my uniform) — love this — and Shop Buru, which specializes in selecting clothes that are nursing friendly (you can sort all of their pieces by “easy access” for just this reason). I love this marigold number.
You’re Sooooo Popular: Le Stepstool.
The most popular items on le blog this week:
+This ultra chic stepstool. My bestie put hers in her shower because she doesn’t have anywhere to rest her leg while shaving. I bought mine to help mini access the toilet. But there are literally countless ways to use this stylish stepstool, which is such a step up — ehhhh?! get it?!? — in a kitchen or pantry for easier access to tall items, in a closet, at bedside when recovery from a c-section…
+Super stylish, minimalist white sneakers. Basically the grown-up and sophisticated version of Golden Goose sneakers.
+Heavily-discounted velvet mules for a winter affair. (People claim these are SO comfortable.)
+An affordable scallop-trim blouse to wear with everything. These are the kinds of basics I can get behind: a straight-forward white button down, but with a little interest at the trim.
+My secret organizational weapon when traveling. Planning on ordering another set for baby boy in a different colorway. Will be so convenient to have a green set for him and a pink set for mini to make their belongings easy to find.
#Turbothot: Speed Reading.
After finishing this meaty, worthwhile, and thoroughly depressing novel, I returned to Nine Perfect Strangers by the author of Big Little Lies. I enjoyed the first 70% or so of the book — especially the segments written in Frances’ voice, which I took to be a semi-autobiographical casting of the author herself — but the ending of the book is…a train wreck. I had written previously that Moriarty is one of the few “chick lit” writers who operates in a different stratosphere when it comes to the substance and craft of her work. The ending of this book proved me sadly wrong. I find that most good writers do more showing than telling, but the final third of her book is more or less a poorly written list of happenings designed to hastily tie up loose ends, with no art or passably interesting writing to be found. It is as though she handed off the book to her eighteen year old niece and told her to “finish things up neatly.” Ahh! I found myself speed reading to get to the finish-line, as I was around 80% through and determined to finish it in a thirty minute stretch before bed the other week.
Do you ever speed read?
My grandmother was trained as a speed reader; she actually took a class on the topic. And there’s a well-visited article that purports to teach you how to “read 300% faster in just 20 minutes.” I can imagine it might be useful if you are reading for trade or academia and don’t need to be particularly well-versed in the minutaie of an article but want to speak appreciably well about its thrust.
But most of the time, I return to the old-guard rejoinder I used to issue to my students, back when I was a teaching assistant: “Good readers are slow readers.” Because it’s true. The linked article above talks about “regression” (consciously re-reading portions of a book) and “back-skipping” (returning to a previous spot because you’ve lost your concentration in the intervening paragraphs) as though they are bad things, but I always extolled the virtues of these happenings to my students: when you are reading slowly and deliberately, you are attending to every nuance in the book. You are a more active agent in the construction of meaning. (And you tend to make better-situated observations.)
That said, there are times and places that call for speed-reading — i.e., when you are 3/4ths of the way through a book and it just feels wrong not to finish it in its entirety. But I realized the other day that I’ve developed an informal rubric around deciding whether or not I will put a book down: if I’m leaning towards speed-reading within the first fourth of the book, I’m going to cut bait.
What about you?
#Shopaholic: Les Travel Cups.
+How adorable are these for some sort of outdoor festivity involving hot beverages — for coffee at a a breakfast before a fundraising walk/run, for mulled wine at a potluck with the neighbors, for hot tea for all the parents at a kid’s soccer match?
+In love with the oversized bows on these tootsies.
+Hoping this dress ($70!) works with my pregnant figure!
+Love the oversized gingham on this nursing pillow cover.
+Drawn to the reasonable price on these chic minimalist vases. Would make for a good housewarming gift with a bunch of hydrangea!
+Love the pattern on this catch-all basket — perfect for an entryway for depositing keys and the like.
+Love this mismatched pattern blouse in the blue! Looks like SEA or Ulla.