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UPDATE: The winner of the generous Concierge Couture giveaway for these adorable arrow necklaces to ANDREA F., who said she would give the spare necklace to her sister after a rather difficult year.  ANDREA — email me ASAP so I can send these pretty pieces your way! 

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This past weekend, I felt so exhausted and worn-out, I decided to stay in on a Saturday night.  I felt a little badly/jealous when I received texts from Mr. Magpie while he was out enjoying a chili cook-off with some of our friends, but that R&R was so badly needed that I couldn’t conceal my relief and delight at having an evening to myself.  {OK, on a scale of 1-10, how old womanish is this introduction?  Am I divulging a secret inner-Cathy?  Remember Cathy from the comic strips we read while growing up?  Even at a young age, I hoped I’d never turn out like her.  So whiny.}  Anyway, if you’re on my level, I highly advocate that you do the same some evening in the future — I hadn’t realized how much I needed a night off and alone!  So follow my lead with the following steps…

And I mean dress down.  I wore a tattered old UVA tee of Mr. Magpie’s {oh so soft, oh so hole-filled} comparable to this Rebel Yell style (on super sale for $22, Karmaloop) and some boy shorts (Hanky Panky — $29, Bloomingdale’s):

 

I completed the look with a snuggly robe (Eberjey, on sale for $89, Journelle) and my glasses (I hate wearing them, but need ’em to see the boob tube — I have the same pair of tortoise shell specs I’ve had since high school, but these geek chic Warby Parkers are pretty rad — $95, Warby Parker):

 

Finally, a pair of trusty ol slippers (Minnetonka, $36, Zappos):

 

Once outfitted in sufficiently cozy threads {slightly man-repelling, eh?}, I moved onto step 2.

Remember when we were little and used to build forts?!  I pretty much did that this past Saturday.  I essentially sat in a massive pile of pillows and blankets and loved every second of it.  Build your own with this retro back pillow ($340, Chic Shop), the classic ultra-covet Hermes Avalon blanket (ha — $2,575, Hermes), and some fluffy pillows (TOP: $55, Caitlin Wilson; BOTTOM: $110, Everything Begins):

 

Scent your pillow palace with your favorite candle.  My go-tos are Tocca’s “Florence” and Diptyque’s “Baies,” but on this particular day, I felt like I needed a change and was really loving Jo Malone’s “Pomegranate Noir” ($65, Saks):

Crocker or Draper — either works, depending on how happy you want to be about spending time in the kitchen.  I baked some snackeroos for myself, donning my classic apron (yes, Charlotte did wear this in Sex and the City — $32, Jessie Steele):

 

 

I made these little cornflake-based treats called “Honey Crackles” — you basically melt butter with sugar and honey, pour it over cornflakes, and bake for 10 minutes.  So crunchy and delicious.  And fun to make when you have fun new kitchen implements, like these heart-shaped measuring spoons ($6.95, PaperSource), pink mixing bowls ($24.99, Amazon), and a cherry red whisk (Le Creuset, $24, Amazon):

 

 

Don’t forget the cute cupcake liners (on sale for $9.49, Linens N Things):

Handle with care by virtue of these darling oven mitts ($8.95, Paper Source):

All of that Couch Potato time was the perfect opportunity to read, make lists, and plan future blog posts — three things that constitute ultimate relaxation for me.  I’m reading Jonathan Foer’s “Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close” for a book club I just joined, but I took a break for the night to revisit one of my favorite books of all time — Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse.”  My version is tattered, dog-eared, and cluttered with notes, but Pentagram just released versions of all of Woolf’s classics with the loveliest cover designs:

I kept notes on future blog posts in a little Smythson notebook that my maid of honor gave me just before my wedding (love that this style says “OMG!” on the front — $60, Smythson) and updated my planner (I own this pink croc personalized Graphic Image style, but this fun little Sarah Pinto version caught my eye — $20, Sarah Pinto).  I of course used my Le Pens for these activities.  I swear by their razor-like tip.  Perfect for my freakishly neat handwriting.

I’ll admit it.  I’m a chick flick fan.  I feel abashed at this because so many of my good girlfriends are the types who scrunch up their nose and want to punch the screen when they watch this trash.  But I love it, and will continue to watch it on the sly when I have nights to myself.  Saturday night’s matinee showing?  “No Strings Attached.”  Not outta this world, but it did the trick — and I died when Ashton Kutcher called Natalie Portman “a female Rick Moranis.”  Best reference ever.  This viewing required popcorn ($11.99, Target — I make mine on the stovetop — so cheap, so easy, and you can adjust the flavor, salt, and butter levels to your liking.  I sometimes sprinkle mine with parmesan cheese or, when I’m feeling indulgent, truffle oil):

— served in a retro popcorn box ($9.95, Sur La Table) —

— and a large Coke Zero, enjoyed through a straw ($3.50 for 15, In the Clear).

It felt sorta wrong to be home for so long without doing something productive around the house, so I did about 3498 loads of laundry.  Mr. Magpie and I have the tiniest washer/dryer known to man.  I swear that it fits one sock, one teeshirt, and one washcloth at a time, and it still takes 23 hours to fully dry.  I had a stockpile of sheets and towels from recent house-guests that needed laundering, so I accomplished quite a bit.  I use this lovely Tocca scent for my delicates ($15, Beauty Bar):

I don’t own this retro laundry cart ($185, Old Faithful Shop), but for some reason I want it and imagine that laundry time would be better with it.  If for nothing else, it’s on wheels.  So there’s that.

I also used a little trick I learned from a salesclerk at Blue Mercury — I stop the dryer when my clothes are still a touch damp and spray a little Diptyque Room Spray in the Baies scent ($60, Aedes).  It gives my clothes and linens a nice little scent.

Enough said.  I was snuggled up, lights out, by around 11.  That’s early for me, but I’m something of a night owl.

OK, so this last step wasn’t part of my 7-part stress-relief night in.  And I’ll admit to a little grouchiness when he called me up around midnight requesting a ride home, in turn requiring that I drag my sleepy little self out of my nest and brace myself for the freezing January air.  But then — totally worth it to have Mr. Magpie back in bed!

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