OK, you all know me well. Maybe a little too well? But below are some fun questions that I thought I’d answer that might add a little contour or color to the portrait you have of me (maybe the one who is empathic but occasionally fussy over unimportant things?) and – would you respond to all or several of them in the comments? I want to know you, too.
Dream dinner guests (dead or alive). Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, Gertrude Stein, Joan Didion, my sisters, and Mr. Magpie.
Pen or Pencil. Pen, but only if with ultra-fine tip.
Go-to cocktail order. Tom Collins with Hendricks gin.
Go-to coffee order. Latte with oat milk, preferably from Blue Bottle.
First thing I do in the morning. Gauge how urgently mini/micro need me and attempt to squeeze in one or two extra minutes of sleep.
Last thing I do at night. Say a prayer and turn on the TV sleep timer.
Favorite vegetable. Broccoli rabe.
Least favorite vegetable. This will ruffle some feathers: asparagus. I tolerate it.
Favorite fruit. Mango.
Least favorite fruit. Orange. Love it in cocktails, but would never sit down and peel an orange to eat.
Favorite time of day. Morning — always streaked with promise, and usually highly conducive to creativity.
Inspired by… People who can communicate an opinion without stepping on those of others. People who are open-minded. People who know themselves.
Desert island book. Circe. It has everything: romance, motherhood, power struggles, character development, black magic, family drama, and – it is extraordinarily beautifully written. Much of it also takes place in exile, so I might relate to that tangent were I marooned on an island.
Favorite movie. When Harry Met Sally, Sabrina (the new one with Harrison Ford – I know that’s a hot take, but it is perfect), As Good As It Gets (best script ever), Best in Show.
Biggest bugaboo. Rudeness of any kind.
Daily uniform. Don’t have one! I dress for my mood. But! I shared my current favorites here.
Superpower. I have incredible focus. But if we’re talking a superpower I’d like – time travel. Not so much to go back/forth in history but so that I could pop down to D.C. to see my mom whenever I’d like to without the hassle of traveling.
Mantra. One step at a time. When I’m frenzied: Focus on me, not on the storm. When I’m playing the dangerous game of comparing myself to other moms: good for you, not for me (filched from Amy Poehler). When I’m losing patience as a mother: “power through with love” (quote from a Magpie reader). With regards to everything else, the potentially apocryphal quote attributed to Michael Jordan: “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t make.” (In other words, just do the thing. Try.)
Proudest achievement. My marriage with my husband. Achievement’s not the right word, but — it’s what I’m most proud of in this life, followed immediately after by my children. On a more tangible note, I’m deeply proud of a 20 minute “Ted-talk” I gave in front of 400 people back when I was Chief Innovation Officer at a start-up non-profit focused on improving the financial wellness of low-income youth in Chicago. I was scared to death, but I worked with a speech coach to design a killer presentation. Just two days before I was set to deliver it, I suffered a tremendous personal loss and was sick with grief. I didn’t know if I’d be able to pony up the strength to give the talk I needed to give. But I walked out on that stage and nailed it. Mr. Magpie was in the audience and had a hard time keeping it together when I saw him just after — that’s how I knew I’d done a good job.
Guilty pleasure. Weekly manicures and gummy candy.
What I wish I could tell myself ten years ago. Hang on to your hat. And also: God is good.
What I wish I could tell myself twenty years ago. Travel, explore, tinker. Have faith. Also, wear a bikini as often as possible. Your body will never look this good again.
Happy place. Aspen, Colorado.
Go-to Chinese order. Dan-dan noodles and dry pepper style chicken.
Favorite quote. Far too many. But I have been returning lately to this quote from Teddy Roosevelt after hearing an excerpt of it in the Brene Brown special a couple months back:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Please, Magpies, pick one or several or all of the questions above and share your responses! I’m especially curious to hear about your mantras.
+This elegant Gucci scarf is on my wishlist for fall.
+Just bought this.
+Another great snakeskin boot option (under $200).
+It’s been a minute since I raved about my favorite joggers: these. Have been living in them at home. SO SOFT. And they have pockets — a mother’s best friend.
+Have been leaning hard into this magical tincture during this busy and exhausting time in our lives. It’s like applying an Instagram filter to your face! I’ve gotten a couple of questions about how I use this — I usually apply it on top of my tinted moisturizer to my under-eye/cheekbone area and down my nose. It brightens and softens and blurs everything.
+Love these precious Halloween treat tags. Mini’s school does not permit sweets of any kind so my dreams of sending her in with these have been dashed. Should I just send little baggies of goldfish or pretzels!? Now I’m scared!
+Love this sweater.
+This is just the best brush. I’ve used it for myself for years and now use it for mini. It grabs all her fine little hairs and detangles like a dream. A splurge, but she’ll have it for life.
+Love this dresser for a little boy’s room.
+The best shampoo and conditioner, in my humble opinion.