The Fashion Magpie Kayu Straw Bag

Magpie Q+A: Shopping Secrets.

It’s Thursday morning, and as you’re reading this, I’m likely en route to D.C. for a family reunion.  It will be our second time flying with minimagpie (see my packing list here, and my reflections on traveling with an infant here) and I’m feeling bullish and elated and I JUST CANNOT WAIT to see my family and I just know it will fly by in the blink of an eye—-

So I need to take a minute and prepare myself to enjoy every second of it, to truly live in the present, which is–as you know–a challenge for me.

Hoping you’re heading into the weekend with equally exciting prospects.

But anyway, I thought, today, I’d share some inquiries I’ve received in recent weeks.  I loveeee hearing from you and I am exceptionally good at spending other people’s money (ha!), so please feel free to ping me with questions.  Mr. Magpie and I often joke that we are both “jacks of all trades, masters of none” — perhaps this is the entrepreneurial condition?! — but I consider myself an expert shopper, and this bloglet stands as a testament.  It’s my one domain of expertise, as unfortunate as that is for my wallet.

At any rate, a few questions I’ve received recently:

Q: Where is that floral bedding from in the Instastory you posted recently?

A: The floral print is actually a nursing pillow cover from Etsy store IvieBaby (this one, to be exact).  However, if you’re after something similar for your bed, I *love* the prints from Biscuit Home, especially the Jenny print and the Bloomsbury.  Alternately, consider a fun printed sheet set — Serena + Lily has some AMAZING prints, like this tiny fern print set or this ADORABLE ship print one for a boy’s room or the guest room of a beach house?! — underneath a classic Greek Key duvet like this one.  Or, go with a straight-forward white duvet and white sheeting set (we have Restoration Hardware’s Italian Hotel bedding, though I’m considering changing out the pillows for Hill House Home) and swap in funky throw pillows every now and then.  I love these Caitlin Wilson Design chinoiserie-inspired ones, or these loud otomi-inspired ones.

The Fashion Magpie Mini Magpie IvieBaby

P.S. — Another way to liven up your bed situation?  A custom upholstered headboard, like this one!  Love!  Great price, too.

Q: Where did you get that little straw monogrammed bag in your Instastory?

A: It’s this one from Kayu Design.  If you want to forgo the monogram, J. Crew has the bag on sale for 40% off!  I also received a bunch of inquiries about the embroidered shirt I’m wearing in that snap, and it’s this one (on sale!), as well as the nail polish color — OPI’s I Stop for Red.

The Fashion Magpie Kayu Straw Bag

Q: Where do you get your nails done? 

Salon Zazazoo.  It’s super clean and well-decorated (everything is white and chrome, with lots of glass and mirror! — it sort of feels like you’re inside a Tesla or something), they give you free LaCroix, and they always have chick flicks on the TVs.  I love gel manicures, and I usually wear OPI’s Let’s Be Friends (a faint pinkish-white color) or a bright and loud red color, like the OPI I mentioned in the previous answer.  When I occasionally do my own nails, I absolutely swear by these nail polish removing wipes.  They are THE BEST.

Q: How do you find time to blog and care after minimagpie?

A: I am super fortunate to have a loving nanny come by three days a week for a few hours at a time.  I use that time very efficiently, whether to work on my business with my husband, run errands, exercise, or work on the blog.  I recently picked up this day planner and it has been life-changing: I now plan out exactly how I’m going to use each hour she’s around, and keep a check-list of todos for every day of the week.  I also spend a lot of my day nursing minimagpie, which affords me a ton of time to collect the inspiration for posts.

Q: What kind of formula do you feed minimagpie?

A: We use Hipp’s organic formula — the Dutch version, not the UK one.  It’s gentler on minimagpie’s stomach than any of the other American brands we tried (less gas!), and it doesn’t have that horrible foul smell that most powder formulas do.  It also has less synthetic acids in it.  I’ve had to supplement minimagpie with formula since day 1, and it’s made me feel better to give her the highest quality formula I could find.  Also, I often store a few portions worth of formula powder in this OXO formula dispenser so it’s ready to go when we’re out and about, or even when I’m in bed in the middle of the night.

Q: I’m having an engagement shoot and want to wear something that won’t look too trendy.  Suggestions?

A: I hear you.  Asymmetric tops and OTS dresses may look super dated in about a decade’s time.  My first thought is to go with an LWD, not only because it’s your wedding, but also because there are SO many great LWDs out there right now!

On the affordable end of the spectrum, I think this is lovely and flattering.
Depending on how casual your shoot is, I love this beachy Mara Hoffman dress and think it would flatter a range of body types.
This is simple and elegant and romantical.
I’m obsessed with this.
If you’re not into the white dress look…
This is timeless.
This is ladylike, frothy goodness.
On the more formal end of the spectrum.  Feels appropriately “bridal.”
Less formal, but just a pretty dress.  Very Diane Lane traveling Europe or something.
The bow back on this dress is ridiculous — I can just see a cool engagement shot featuring its big bow!
Finally, I know I said NO off the shoulder stuff, but…THIS SALONI!!!!

Q: Where do you get minimagpie’s bows?

A: PoppyBows on Etsy!  I’ve ordered dozens.  It’s a problem.  (Below: mini in an oversized PoppyBows headband and her PixieLily cat sunsuit — on sale!)

The Fashion Magpie Mini Magpie PixieLily

Q: What can I give as a gift for the woman who has everything?

A: I immediately think of my mom when asked this question.  She literally has everything.  Recently, I gifted her one of these beautiful vintage Herend baby shoes I found on Etsy.  My mom has one for each of her kids in her living room and I ordered a new one to add to her collection for minimagpie as a sort of “thank you for flying out to take care of us.”  (Herend is a well-known Hungarian china maker with pretty, dainty patterns.)  You might do the same — scout Etsy for a cool vintage Herend piece like this or this, or a pretty vintage Limoges trinket box, like this one.  My grandmother gave me several Limoges trinket boxes and they’re so special to me.
More generic but welcome gifts for the classy set:
+Flowers from a reputable florist (I say reputable because I once used Bouqs, a flower delivery startup, and it was a hot mess);
+Something monogrammed from The Loveliest Company (obsessed with them) — they have the most GORGEOUS monograms.  Maybe cocktail napkins?;
+I recently ordered these pretty personalized cards.  I feel like you can never go wrong with personalized stationery–who doesn’t need it and love it?
+This linen monogrammed jewelry case is surprisingly affordable.
+One of my favorite thank you gifts I ever received was a box of treats from MilkBar, including their cake truffles.  It was so unexpected and indulgent and DELICIOUS.  I’ve also ordered boxes of treats/snacks as gifts through GoldBely in case MilkBar isn’t the right vibe. (Ummm buttermilk biscuits?!?!)  I’ve also gifted Jeni’s ice creams multiple times, and they’re always a big hit.
+A book she might like — not sure what her interests are, but maybe a cookbook (this one is amazinggg, and looks pretty), or a home decor book (love this one and this one, and this one is on my list), or maybe one of those Assoulin books about a fancy place to travel (i.e., maybe she loves Capri or St Barths?)
+Maybe you could accompany the book with some of these personalized book plates.
+Recent discovery: these scented terracotta clays from an old Italian perfumery are supposed to be amazing.
Send me your questions, dolls!





  1. Love these suggestions, especially for the gifts and also the engagement shoot dresses. Co-sign on the high quality of Cuyana goods — I’m always impressed by them — and I ALSO had a horrible Bouqs experience … glad I’m not the only one!

    1. MK! We are not alone in this — several readers have said they’ve had the same issue with Bouqs! Womp womp. Better to use someone local and reputable…

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