Stop to Smell the Roses…But Not for Too Long.

Sorry for the radio silence over the last few days!  I was in D.C. for a wedding and we extended the trip to spend time with our families.  I had thought I might have some time to squirrel away and write a few posts, but ended up spending a lot of Sunday and Monday snuggled in my parents’ beautiful home, chatting with my mom and sister and cooing over mini on the sofa.  I don’t think I left their living room for like six hours straight one day.  It was the absolute best.  We also enjoyed a crab feast (#oldbayfingers), paraded mini up and down my parents-in-law block to meet neighbors, had a lovely lunch with friends and fam at Surfside, and enjoyed oysters at Black Salt (my favorite restaurant in D.C.) with one of Mr. Magpie’s oldest buddies (incidentally, a very famous and accomplished political photographer — and you should follow him on Instagram; he brought mini a gift: a napkin from Air Force One!)

But, more on D.C. later, because I learned a lot on this trip — a lot about traveling with an infant, a lot from a few new friends I made, and a lot about how much I miss home.

For today, though: a musing.

Mr. Magpie and I have recently adopted a new ritual of taking an hourlong walk in the early mornings.  We pick up coffee and stroll with Tilly and mini, talking about this, that, and the other thing.  Recent topics have included the S Town podcast (have you listened?), how Blue Apron went public (but really, how?!  The plural of anecdote is not data, but it seems like everyone “tries” these meal subscription services, but who uses it over the long haul?  And there are about a trillion competitors in the market!), agtech as an industry, and, of course, lots of musings on parenthood.

This morning, however, Mr. Magpie had an early meeting so I took mini by myself.  It was lonely at first.  But I started to enjoy letting my mind wander, admiring the houses in the Wicker Park neighborhood, taking in the passersby.  At one point, I walked by a stunning backyard with several rose bushes in bloom.  I literally stopped to smell the roses.  As I stood there admiring the flowers, mind floating around in la la land, a middle-aged woman stopped and said: “I love those shoes!”, gesturing to my neon green Nike Flyknits.  (As an aside, I’m obsessed with my Flyknits — they are incredible running shoes.  Featherlight, but with enough support for your knees.  I’ve tried running with my APL Techlooms, which I favor for their styling, but my joints ache afterwards.  The Flyknits are where it’s at.)  I thanked her, and then she started cooing over mini.  And then–and I have no idea how–this woman became my admittedly unwelcome walking companion for the better part of a half hour.  I heard about her beloved niece, the acrimonious divorce between her sister and brother-in-law, her disdain for gated communities, her recent firing from a job of twenty years, her opinions on The Chicago Public School system.

I’m all about neighborly chatter, but this was getting extreme and long-winded, and at some point I started to wonder if I shouldn’t lead her back in the direction of my house.  (Paranoid city girl over here.)  My opinion of her fluctuated from kindly neighbor to lonely soul needing some company to mentally unstable stranger.

At some point I was able to peel off by telling her I needed to get home to feed mini (#whitelies).  After a rush of relief, I was tickled by the incident, by the almost comedic irony of my stopping just a little too long to smell the roses.  It struck me because I have been grappling with living in the present with mini around, but I also know I can’t just lollygag around, watching her for hours (and it sounds like a lot of you new mamas relate to this struggle — check out the comments!).  It was as if God was demonstrating this need for balance in high relief in the microcosm of this interaction: “Yes, stop to enjoy the moment, but don’t linger too long, girl!”  It was just the message I needed, just the affirmation I was looking for.  Everything in moderation.

Here’s to moderation as we head into the second half of this week!  And, some beautiful new picks for you on this beautiful Wednesday.

Pick No. 1: The New Skin Mask

I feel like my skin has been looking pretty dull thanks to limited sleep (more thought on how to veil exhaustion here), and I just heard good things about these Peach + Lily masks ($6 each).

The Fashion Magpie Peach and Lily Mask 2 The Fashion Magpie Peachy and Lily Mask

Pick No. 2: The Embroidered Blouse

Love this affordable tropical-inspired embroidered blouse ($38).  I want to wear it with white skinnies or shorts.  (I’ve been into all white everything.)

The Fashion Magpie Embroidered Blouse

Pick No. 3: The Statement Flat

I am DYING over these flamingo-print needlepoint flats from Charlotte Olympia ($465).  They’d actually look incredible with the blouse and white jeans/shorts outfit mentioned just above.  I had been eyeing these similar J. Crew ones ($268), but they sold out in my size, so these have now ascended to the top of my shoe lustlist.

The Fashion Magpie Charlotte Olympia Loafers

Pick No. 4: The Shirtdress

Have you heard about the label HVN?  The founder wrote: “My goal was to make easy and incredibly wearable dresses that were inspired by my collection of vintage silhouettes and playful prints, but I wanted to give them a modern flair. I wanted to design the perfect dress you throw on when you have 5 minutes to get ready. These dresses are the ones I have always envisioned.”  Sign me up.  I LOVE the retro housewife vibe, not to mention the fact that they are nursing-friendly, flattering, and easy-to-wear.  Love this pink print ($675), but the star print one is on sale!

The Fashion Magpie HVN Shirtdress


The Fashion Magpie HVN Star Dress

Pick No. 5: The Scarf

UGH, I am obsessed with this Gucci scarf ($465).  Talk about age-less, time-less fashion.  You could wear this just as easily as a teenager around your wrist / tied on your bag as you could as a 70-year-old thrown over your shoulders.  It kind of reminds me of the De Gournay for Aquazzura collection I drooled over.  But also, if you like the look but not the pricetag, Ann Taylor has some well-priced and chic scarves on offer — I love this one (the giraffes!!!)

The Fashion Magpie Gucci Tian Scarf

Pick No. 6: The Garden Implements

These Kikkerland garden implements ($15) would make such a lovely gift for a hostess with a green thumb, especially with a big black and white grosgrain bow tied around them.  The watering can ($40) is equally fetching, and would also make a lovely accent piece to a shelfie.

The Fashion Magpie Kikkerland Garden Implements The Fashion Magpie Kikkerland Garden Watering Can

Pick No. 7: The Straw Bag

A few of you asked about a monogrammed straw tote I had in a recent Instastory — it was this one by Kayu ($84), but in black and white.  I am also eyeballing this Muun lovely ($165).  Love the mini size!

The Fashion Magpie Muun Straw Bag




Pick No. 8: The Tassel Top

I mentioned this adorable little jacket ($71) in a recent Weekend Vibes post — it is SO cute, and it reminds me of the far pricier pieces from Dodo Bar Or, like this (on sale, plus extra 25% off with code SCORE17!!!) I also just came across this similar top at a great price point ($65).

The Fashion Magpie TOpShop Embroidered Top

Pick No. 9: The Tassel Top

In a similar vein, this striped bow-shouldered top is everything ($35).  Perfect for us mamas recovering from pregnancy…ya feel me?

The Fashion Magpie Flounced Bow Top

Pick No. 10: The Pleated Skirt

I was just singing the midi skirt’s praises, but this knee-length pleated find ($118) ain’t bad, either.  Love it with that round bag, which looks like the v. popular Clare Vivier Petite Alice bag.

The Fashion Magpie Anthropologie Chambray Skirt 1

The Fashion Magpie Anthropologie Chambray Skirt 2








  1. Funnily enough, because I feel like it’s marketed towards child-less urban working professionals, I know so many moms that have a regular blue apron delivery. As a SAHM or for friends who are working moms, grocery shopping is literally the bane of my existence. Grocery shopping with a toddler, or maybe just mine, is just dreadful. Thinking of things to cook and figuring out what we need to get, it’s all so much harder than actual cooking for me as a depleted mom. There are a million other things I need and want to do more. I am so envious for the time in my life when I loved researching and planning meals. I could go on about this because I hate it so much, but I’ll stop. But, yeah… I see why Blue Apron has been so successful.

    1. AHA! That actually makes a lot of sense. Odd that they market as they do — but maybe they know moms are their bread-and-butter and are trying to acquire a different market segment, or maybe its an *aspirational* subscription, and they know they’ll attract more of their mom target market by positioning it as a glamorous, foodie choice for young professionals? Interesting!

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