hygge living room

Calm + Bright.

*Image above via Jenni Kayne, showcasing their covetable shearling slides.

Hyvää uutta vuotta! Buon anno! Bonne Année! Happy New Year!

Sending you the absolute best wishes for this new year, on whose advent many of us have pinned high hopes for a measurable improvement in fate compared to what we collectively endured in 2020. To quote Emily Dickinson:

I wish you a kinder sea.

And to borrow from an old Irish blessing that my first grade teacher, Sister Teresa, had us recite daily in the narrow first-floor classroom of my small parochial grade school:

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

I often think of this generously-spirited couplet while running, when its material aims would afford considerable physical relief, but it’s just dawned on me now, as I peck out this note to you on my laptop, that perhaps those words materialized by divine intervention during this year in which I have often yearned for felicitation, grasping at the slenderest of victories, angling for respite, clawing for good.

So, yes — in 2021, I wish you kinder seas, gentler winds, and a rising tide that will lift all boats…

Cheers Magpies!

Post-Scripts.

+A spiriting post to send us into the new year.

+2020 was definitely a year in which I celebrated the normal days of yore.

+I am currently watching the Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel, “Normal People,” and whew! Did somebody turn on the heat?! Yowza!

+In advance of more snow, ordering this inflatable snow innertube. We just don’t have the space to stow another bulky seasonal item like a sled, but this can collapse…genius!

+If you staring into the face of an interminably long winter with children, a few thoughts on basement activities that might provide some indoor exercise and/or distraction:

FORT BUILDING KIT (MY SIBS AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL OVER THIS)

BALL PIT

CARDBOARD PLAYHOUSE (EMORY WOULD FLIP, ESPECIALLY AT THE OPPORTUNITY TO COLOR/DECORATE!)

SIT AND SPIN

TWISTER OR, FOR LITTLER ONES, THIS BALANCING GAME

SUPERHERO CAPE SET OR PRINCESS DRESS UP KIT

KARAOKE MICROPHONE SET

ENORMOUS PLAY DOH SET WITH CUTTERS

MORE INDOOR ACTIVITIES HERE

+Still on a puzzle kick. I find it so relaxing to work on a puzzle while listening to an audiobook and drinking a cup of tea (this is my all-time favorite flavor) while the children are napping/having quiet time. I used to feel guilty — “I could be doing so much more productive things!” — but now I recognize these little pockets of an hour or so as an opportunity to recharge the batteries in a meaningful way.

+Oof. A little tough to revisit this post on what I learned in 2019. I mean, can we all agree that we aged and matured about two decades in 2020? I don’t even know where to begin with what I learned this year. In some ways, it feels like we’re too close-up to draw any meaningful conclusions. (More on this idea here.)

+I still love the UWS. Not much has changed in that description despite this past year’s strangenesses.

+On that point: NYC is still a shock.

+What are you cooking this year? Any new cookbook recommendations? I could use some inspo — let’s swap ideas? Here are a few beloved recipes you might want to try:

INDOOR BBQ SHRIMP

DELICIOUS COUSCOUS SALAD — IT’S SUMMERY, BUT I EAT IT YEAR ROUND

STEAK + PENNE

+My favorite cookbooks here. (Still love and use all of these routinely.)

+Why is it that certain things pertaining to aging happen in dribs and drabs?

+OK, OK, I’m assuming most of us have already purchased (or over-purchased) winter coats for this season, but this sherpa puffer is excellent. (Still into sherpa, HBU?)

+Do you have an artificial tree? Mr. Magpie has been begging me to switch to artificial for years, and I think I might be waffling finally. I found this clever storage bag in case you need a better place to stow it than free-form in the eaves of your garage (or in a decaying box). (They also have one for wreaths!)

+On the subject of Christmas trees: I’m guessing many of the ornaments I was obsessing about this year will be on sale soon! Post-Christmas is always such a good time to score deals on holiday decor for the next season. And now’s a good time to buy a better storage solution for ornaments.

+Gap has some cute fitness pieces in a great shade of ice blue I’m drawn to — eyeing this shirt and this tie-dyed strappy sports bra.

+Speaking of ice blue, these joggers and this matching sweatshirt are in my cart at the moment. I am trying to hold out until I can legitimize the purchase of a fancier Le Set loungewear situation but the blue is calling my name! And you know j’adore a funnelneck.

+Yes to this striped tee in all the colors.

+More of my shopping list here.

6 Comments

  1. A few recipes I made in 2020 that I will definitely repeat for 2021:

    Simple cacio e Pepe- the closest I’ve gotten to my favorite in Italy
    https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-cacio-e-pepe-recipes-from-the-kitchn-215600

    Our holiday cinnamon rolls. I prep them in the evening and let them proof overnight In the oven (turned off). They have A LOT of frosting, so I normally only apply the first portion and leave the rest separate for those who love it. It is cloyingly sweet if you don’t.
    https://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/christmas-morning-breakfast/

    My best friend is a dietitian; she introduced me to this recipe. It’s delicious if you follow all the steps and is still pretty tasty if you use jarred/pre-made enchilada sauce. I’m a pescatarian, but this is a super heart vegetarian dish (vegan if you skip the cheese).
    https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/sweet-potato-black-bean-enchiladas/

    I’ve made this challah recipe several times for my family and as gifts. It’s tasty on its own, but works fantastically for grilled cheese and other warm sandwiches.
    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/challah-with-a-chinese-twist-2/

    Even my brother, the non-chef, was able to wow us with this French toast.
    https://basicswithbabish.co/basicsepisodes/french-toast

    These shrimp & pineapple sheet pan tacos are delicious!
    https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/sheet-pan-hawaiian-pineapple-shrimp-tacos/

    I also made fantastic grilled fish tacos, but I am struggling to find the recipe. I’ll share if I do!

  2. Hi,
    Thank you for your great posts.
    I noticed Walmart has 1 ounce of the Clarins double serum for $55.90.
    Also, have you watched Stylish with Jenna Lyons on HBO Max yet? It was kind of scattered. Not sure if she knows where to go next career-wise. Still, I appreciate her and she has a great eye for interior design.
    Best to you and the family magpie. Bonne Annee!

    1. Hi Karyn! Thanks for the tip on Clarins! I’ve bought a few beauty items from Walmart at a great price, one of them being my first Artis brush, but then Artis reached out and said that they are not an authorized seller and that the product could be counterfeit. It really startled me! I think they’ve now moved to sort of an Amazon model where they have products sold by tons of different retailers on their platform. I’m sure many of them are totally legit but some are not (just like on Amazon). Anyway, it’s made me a little skittish when I see a deal there that feels too good to be true…not to say the Clarins falls into that category, but just wanted to share my hesitation on that front.

      Anyway – have not yet watched the Lyons show but it’s DEFINITELY on my radar — maybe I’ll watch tonight?? Will report back with thoughts. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Happiest new year to you, too, Karyn!!

      xx

  3. I have fully embraced the Vuori joggers. They are as good as everyone says they are. I am not a loungewear all day kind of person. Come 6pm, I alternate between the Vuori joggers and a cozy sweatshirt or my Lake Pajamas. All this to say, I own the joggers in that same shade of blue and absolutely love them. Happy New Year!

    1. Good to know — thanks, Erica! I’ve had a few friends rave about Vuori too…intrigued!

      xx

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