The Fashion Magpie Preparations


Several weeks ago, Mr. Magpie invited me to join a “Reminders” checklist titled: “Thanksgiving Run of Show.” He had broken down all of the preparations for our first Thanksgiving hosting both of our parents, my sister and her family, my aunt, and my sister’s mother-in-law into detailed to-dos, organized by day and time, right down to when to peel the carrots (for Daniel Boulud carrots, recipe linked here) and bake the cornbread (an ingredient in the outrageously delicious and time-consuming recipe shared here).

We’ve spent the last few days drawing out our Christmas decorations and arranging our home for the holidays: stockings now on the mantel, nativity set on the coffee table, mini’s tiny tree ornamented and star-topped in her bedroom. We now light the candle(s) of our Advent Wreath nightly, singing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” in watchful wait.

Yesterday, my mother took me to Balanchine’s Nutcracker ballet at The Kennedy Center. I’ve seen this version of the Nutcracker at The Kennedy Center many times before but something new struck me this go around: I was moved, this time, by the performativity of the dancers. I sometimes feel this way watching Olympians, too: an awareness that I am in the presence of greatness unfolding, of people performing at their absolute peak, at the highest of stakes. It is a wonder and also — a gift. It occurred to me yesterday that I was the beneficiary of hours of rehearsal on the heels of years of hard work, competition, and commitment.

Last night, our neighbors invited us to their home to celebrate Hanukkah. Our neighbor had arisen at 4 a.m. to smoke a brisket so that it would be finished in time for dinner, and his wife had fried latkes (no small feat!), prepared matzoh ball soup, and arranged cheese boards and dessert plates and everything in between. Over Zoom, an uncle of our neighbors told six wide-eyed children the story behind the celebration of Hanukkah with enthusiasm and patience, his words smooth and easy by virtue of repetition.

I am, today, overwhelmed by the generosities of these preparations. They have reminded me, in this new season of Advent, to prepare the room.


Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing



+Another moving memory born of the holidays — this time in Manhattan.

+The silhouette of Christmas.

+Do you consider yourself creative?

+On recognizing the effort others put in.

Shopping Break.

+Don’t know how I’ve missed this on my thousands of visits to the site, but I LOVE THIS TOP.

+PSA: this chic fair isle sweater is almost 60% off. You know I LOVE a fair isle.

+This half-zip is so well-priced and comes in great colors.

+Cute gift for a little lady. Just ordered for a friend of mini’s.

+These semi-sheer tights are getting a lot of hype. The 80s are back again! I’m into it! Just ordered myself a pair.

+My kind of corduroys.

+More favorite corduroy finds.

+When in doubt with children, send magnetic tiles. Always a hit and parents love ’em because they are STEM-inspired.

+This coatigan is the kind of thing I would have invested in while pregnant/nursing – layer over a maternity/nursing tee and leggings for max comfort.

+You’ll never regret a pair of statement heels that speak to you. Trust me!

+A more demure heel but…not quite? Love! These shoes just wink at you!

+Tempted by the reduced price on this Barbour for mini — contemplating buying now and saving for next winter.

+These joggers are calling my name.

+Cable knit gloves for 50% off, plus free ship!

+Cute napkin rings for your holiday table.

+This story-telling device for children is on our radar for mini’s upcoming birthday. Love that it is a “screen-free” technology and can imagine it would be special for mini to operate on her own!

+CB2 has a really chic menorah and a fabulous tree topper, too!

+Don’t you love hot pink?

+Into sweater dresses ATM.

+Stark-inspired antelope rug for less.

+This eyelet blouse caught my eye.

+Chic cashmere throw, on sale.


  1. Just thought I’d mention that I highly recommend the Yoto player (similar to what you posted here). We purchased one for our son when he was having trouble staying in bed and it literally solved all our problems. He loves that he has control over it (very kid-friendly) and the stories are beautifully done.

    1. And PS – This is the exact scenario we’ve been imagining, too, where mini can listen during the thirty minutes she routinely gets out of bed before falling asleep!

    2. Yes! I had very low expectations going into it but it worked for us. It eliminated that bedtime struggle and he’s able to calm himself down while listening to a story of his choice.

  2. I think I’m just in an overly emotional state right now but this made me cry?? I think the overall subjunctive mood of the holiday season, like you described here, just makes me teary. Even if one isn’t particularly devout, one can really tap into to the hopeful, optimistic, “what if” feeling of December. The idea that something better than this is possible around the corner.

    1. I completely know what you’re talking about. It’s such a hopeful season, and I love the emphasis on family and community and serving others around us.


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