Big News.

By: Jen Shoop


SUCH big personal news to share today.

Mr. Magpie and I am expecting a mini magpie!

We are having a baby girl (!!!!), due in early March (!!!!).  I’m 7 months along.  To say that I am excited would be an understatement.  I feel so lucky, so happy, and so anxious.


I went back and forth on whether to share this news (clearly, since I’m now in the third trimester) because I don’t intend to make this blog a maternity/baby/family lifestyle blog.  And, I know so many dear friends (myself included — am I my own friend? haha) who have struggled to get pregnant, had a miscarriage, endured a problematic pregnancy, suffered a traumatic delivery, etc., etc., etc., that I am very sensitive to the feelings of those who have a hole the size of a baby in their hearts or who have not felt that life is all roses and daisies when it comes to this topic.  And I feel that so many bloggers out there romanticize or appear to take for granted this incredible blessing.  Suffice to say that I am deeply sympathetic.

On the other hand, it felt weird and dishonest not to share the news because, well, I put a lot of myself into this blog.  And Mini Magpie is taking up a lot of my mental and emotional (and physical) space these days–and will continue to do so forever and ever, come to think of it. Plus, I’ve learned SO much about maternity clothes, nurseries, and baby gear that it nearly feels selfish not to pass along the 1000000s of hours of research I’ve done.

So, here we are.  Mini Magpie!  I hope you don’t mind if I’m sprinkling in some baby/maternity/nursery posts from here on.  Today, thought I’d share just a few things I’ve bought for myself over the past few months.


+Smythson Baby Notes notebook ($60).  Once I got through the first trimester, I bought this elegant little pocket notebook to keep track of lists, questions, products, and other details as a little treat for myself.  I am a master list maker, and this has been such a great way to keep all my baby-related to dos and shopping lists and so forth in one place.  Plus, every time I see it tucked into my work tote, it gives me a happy sense of perspective.

+JBrand JMama maternity jeans ($211) and David Lerner maternity leggings ($110).  My strategy for maternity wear has been to invest in one pair of good jeans and one pair of really good leggings, because these two have been WORKHORSES, and then to sprinkle in less expensive pieces/make my existing wardrobe work.  I was willing to pay a little more for these pieces because I knew I’d wear them all the time and also I’d read some unpleasant things about cheaper maternity jeans/leggings (i.e., the elastic in the waist isn’t stretchy enough, it’s uncomfortable, etc.)

+I stocked up on Gap pure body cotton maternity tees in pretty much every color ($24 each) including a few striped ones ($24 each) when they were running a 40% off promo (which is like every third day of the week).

+Thank God ponchos and long cardigans are in right now, because I’ve been layering these over my maternity tees like crazy.  So comfortable and perfect.  I have especially loved this $118 Loft style in the “muted mocha” color — it looks high end in person, and great over a striped tee — and this $128 chunky duster cardigan from Gap.

+I made my shift and wrap dresses work for a long time, but I did invest in a handful of maternity dresses: this striped Monrow midi ($130), this Isabella Oliver dress ($209), and a Seraphine wrap dress (I couldn’t find the exact style I got, but Kate Middleton wore this brand throughout her pregnancies, so you know it’s good). I’ve also snagged a handful of inexpensive knit dresses from H+M and ASOS that have a ton of stretch/give and are working like a charm.

+I read a lot about stretch marks and even though most sources claim it’s largely genetic, I also learned that Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil ($60) has quite the cult following among pregnant women.  I’ve been slathering this on religiously.



And…that’s basically it!  Trying to keep things simple.  The rest of my shopping energy has been focused on Mini Magpie’s room, wardrobe, and registry.  (Who knew you could spend multiple hours talking about the pros and cons of strollers with your husband?!?)  A few other things that have been lifesavers:

  • David’s Tea and my electric tea kettle.  It’s such a soothing nightly ritual.
  • Mini saltines (I LOVE that Nabisco came out with this size!  They are delicious and so snackable.)  I had strong morning sickness during the first trimester, and I think there were a few days that I survived off of these and ginger ale.
  • LaCroix sparkling water.  I’d never been a huge fan of flavored water, but since the start of my pregnancy, I’ve been obsessed and LaCroix has the best flavors.  I like to pour it in a wine glass and drink it out of a striped straw at night to pretend it’s a cocktail/fun drink.  Mr. Magpie has also been making me mocktails–my favorite is one where he muddles strawberries, adds lemon juice and maple syrup and a ton of ice, and tops with ginger beer.  Yum.
  • Fruit, fruit, fruit x 1000.  It’s the only thing I’ve craved consistently the entire pregnancy.  (I’ll have other random, in-the-moment hankerings, though.  Mmm Sour Cream Ruffles.)  I have so much fruit.  And we go to this great Vietnamese restaurant that makes fruit smoothies and my mouth is watering just thinking about the mango one.  OMG.  I need it right now.  So, fruit.  That and one day I woke up dreaming about chicken salad on a sesame bagel.  Which is weird because I’m not a big chicken salad person.  And then my doctor said to avoid any pre-made chicken salad.  So that had to be nixed.
  • My sister, sister-in-law, and mother.  I have restrained myself from downloading pregnancy apps and overusing the Internet to look up symptoms and whatever.  I learned the hard way after googling “can I eat a hot dog while pregnant” that the Internet is a scary, weird place that will fuel your worst fears.  So, I just poll my sister, sister-in-law, and mother when I have a question or concern and go with their advice.  Between the three of them, they’ve had 8 babies, so I feel I’m in good hands.  My sister-in-law also made the point that women have been delivering healthy babies relying on their families’ word of mouth for centuries and centuries and I kind of liked the idea of relying on family wisdom for this stuff.
  • Lucie’s List.  This is my one exception to the avoid-the-internet-when-it-comes-to-babies rule.  I feel like baby gear research is a lot safer and less terrifying (though OMG there’s a lot to think about), so I’ve given myself quite a bit of latitude on the rule when it comes to researching mini magpie’s registry.  Lucie’s List is SUCH a great resource for all things baby gear related.  There was a stretch of a few nights where I read her entire blog from start to finish.
  • And — most important — Mr. Magpie.  O.M.G.  THE BEST.  I can’t even.  Not only has he indulged every random (typically fruit- or chip-related) craving, but he has put up with my anxieties and random sob fests and has just rolled with the punches.  I guess nesting settled in a little bit early (I mentioned this in a post a few weeks ago), but he’s been totally game for all of my projects and has been hanging things and moving things at my request and without complaint or raised eyebrow.  Total MVP.


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26 thoughts on “Big News.

  1. So I haven’t read a blog in months and months…years? This past weekend I moved my desk into the one room in the house that is toy/clutter/dirt free and feel like I can actually have a moment of peace. I decided to randomly open up the ol blog and I clicked on the link to yours. Ever since, I have been down the blog rabbit hole! Congratulations x 10 on your baby news! I, too, am due in Mar with a baby girl! I was also going with buffalo check, pale pink, and beige BUT then Serena and Lily Fiona bedding was on MAJOR sale and I changed up everything last minute. Blue & white baby girl nursery it is. Now all I have is the bedding, a khaki/white stripe glider, and khaki/white buffalo check fabric for cornices. I am struggling to pull it all together and still make it feminine. Pinterest hasn’t even been helping me much with this task. I have considered scrapping the cornice fabric and trying to find something else. And I need to paint the room. So much to do, so little time. Plus I have a potty training toddler! Anyway, sorry for the novel. I feel like I needed to catch up haha 🙂 It’s safe to say I’ll be glued in to your blog from now on!
    Which stroller did you go with?

    1. AH! Summer! Thanks for coming back to me — and congrats on baby no. 2! Sounds like we are in a similar headspace when it comes to designing the nurseries. I am also feeling as though I am suddenly overwhelmed with how much there is to do in the last two months. I ended up going with the Bugaboo Cameleon. What about you?? xoxo

  2. Congrats! If you aren’t already reading The Uphill blog by Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends, I highly recommend it. She had a hard time conceiving her first child, suffered at least one miscarriage, keeps it real about pregnancy symptoms and fears, and reviews everything from maternity wear (lookbooks!) to strollers.

  3. WOW this is so exciting!! Congratulations to you and your husband, that is such wonderful news 🙂 !! And you can sprinkle adorable baby clothes in any time you want, they are too cute!!

  4. So happy for you! Babies are the best, and one of my babies just got accepted to Yale yesterday! Enjoy this time too before baby! xoxo Gilli

  5. Congratulations! What happy news. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and I just love it … and I definitely don’t mind a few motherhood/baby posts mixed in. Happy holidays!

  6. Sooo happy for you! It’s such a fun yet overwhelming time! Did you decide on your stroller? Not that you need more advice, but I have been beyond happy with the Bugaboo Bee with all black errythang. Was perfect for the teeny tiny newborn stage with bassinet and still love it 8 months later with the normal seat.

    1. Thanks, Daphne!! We did decide on a stroller — we’re going with the Bugaboo Cameleon, black everything except the canvas, which is cream! I love how lightweight Bugaboos are for a weakling like myself!

  7. Jen-

    What exciting news! As a first time pregnant woman as well, I can honestly say the process is so crazy, tiring, uncomfortable, but rewarding all at the same time! I’m beyond ready to meet my son in 4 short weeks!

    I can’t wait to see pictures of your little girl! I bet Christina is thrilled! 🙂

    Congrats again!


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