this and that

This + That.

I have been a Tasmanian devil the past few weeks. Between our imminent move and the re-opening of, well, life thanks to the drop in COVID cases and the rollout of the vaccine (praise be), my days and nights are full of activity and emotion. A few random rivulets of thought and inquiry…

+Mr. Magpie and I have declared this year the year of yes. I spent quite a bit of time musing on things to say yes to a few weeks ago, and, well, we are in the YES mode, writ large. Yes to an unexpected lunch with friends after micro’s birthday party last weekend (! how deliciously unexpected after a year of isolation and over-planning, even if our children lived off of birthday party donuts and crunchy snacks for an entire day, and even if my home was in a state of disarray when we welcomed them in, impromptu — just say yes), yes to a baseball game this weekend (!), yes to enjoying a glass of champagne at just-reopened Bemelman’s Bar at 4 P.M. on a Monday because it’s the only reservation I can get, yes to the invitation of generous friends to stay at their home in the Hamptons in June despite the fact that June is going to be very busy on the eve of our move to D.C., yes to an invitation to travel with cousins later this year, yes to two upcoming weddings, yes to staying up too late watching “16 Candles” (had not seen in years!) and enjoying ice cream on the couch with Mr. Magpie on a Sunday night, yes to an unexpected lunch outside on a work day. Yes to everything. Yes, and again yes. Does anyone else feel as though the last year was one long and blurry bad dream? (How fortunate, I know, to be able to categorize the heaviness of the past many months as “a bad dream.” There are many mired in the very real aftermath.) I can hardly wrap my head around it. It just sits like a stone on my personal timeline, unmovable and dense and without feature. I crane my neck around it to see further into the past. Like an overstuffed trunk on a road trip, it obstructs glances in the rear-view mirror. I suppose I must instead look ahead, wait for more distance to process it.

+Speaking of cars. I mentioned not long ago that I was in the market for convertible carseats for our soon-to-be-purchased new car. I had always wanted Clek Foonfs but I ended up going with the Nuna Rava. So many of you raved about this carseat and what really sold me was the fact that you can entirely remove the carseat cover and throw it in the washing machine to clean. I mean, yes. Mini tends to get carsick (we now have a hunch that this happens when she’s wearing her eye patch and focusing on small travel toys — we are going to see how she fares on these upcoming trips without an eye patch) and so I say with some authority that having a cover that can be removed and cleaned will be a total game changer. I prefer the look of the Clek, but at the end of the day, I am slowly beginning to better balance function with aesthetics when it comes to gear (though I do like the look of Nuna products as well), and that’s how much I value having a washable carseat cover. Finally, we really liked our Nuna Pipa infant carseat (and their travel crib, too) and so I feel an affinity for the Nuna brand. Note that I linked to all of these Nuna products at Bloomingdale’s because (thanks to the reader who pointed this out!) now through May 31st, you can earn power points on the purchase of these items which more or less means you get like $100 in credit to Bloomingdale’s for purchasing these items. I’ll take that! I ordered my Rava with that promo!

+Further speaking of car travel: I will be shopping my own list of children’s activities for car trips in advance of the three car trips we have coming up in the next few weeks, and I wanted to also add a clever idea Bridget shared the other week. She filled this little medicine dispenser with one puff / snack / pretzel in each cavity and her 18-month-old son had a ball eating his snack in it. So clever! I could imagine it also preoccupying my son for a good while. It reminded me of something similar I did for mini last year: I filled up a little bead organizer with lots of different snacks, from freeze-dried fruit to raisins to goldfish. She loved the assortment and the fun little container! I also just ordered mini this set of superhero figures for one of the trips and she is going to totally lose her mind. She loves (!) superheroes and has been talking in long stretches about the superhero Lego set she wants for her birthday (in nine months — ha!) and I just know this will easily fill an hour of free play in her carseat. (She has a set of PJ Masks toys I keep in my bag in one of my handy-dandy pouches for when we are out or she is unhappy on the Subway and they always keep her busy.) I think I will give her half on the car trip there and the other half coming home.

+I always include a new book for my children on car trips — I just discovered this Cecily Cicada book which is just perfect for us as we head towards Brood X in the Mid-Atlantic.

+And speaking of cicadas: I positively wept while reading this beautiful essay on loss, motherhood, and cicadas while on the subway a week or two ago. My Dad sent it to me along with a brief disclaimer: “This is so powerful. Don’t read without tissues handy” but I read it in public nonetheless and just sobbed all over the uptown 1 train.

+I also recently mentioned that we are having family portraits done in Central Park before we leave. I cannot tell you the wild goose chase I’ve been on nailing down our outfits. I thought I had it all down pat — this dress for me, this shirt with these shorts for Mr. Magpie, this dress for mini, and these shorts with a white oxford for micro. A fun little confetti of blue and green — nothing exactly matching, just lots of harmonious colors are complementary prints. Well. Then I got word my dress would not be arriving in time and do you know how hard it is to backfill the piece that started the whole vibe for me?! I spent hours in pursuit! I finally snagged this gorgeous Jonathan Simkhai which is currently en route to me. I feel a bit like it was kismet because I had seen the dress a few weeks ago and loved it and mentioned it in a post here but it was sold out in my size everywhere when I went back to find it again, and then — one afternoon — I just happened to click over and there was ONE size 0 left. I ordered it immediately! It looks to be the perfect shade of periwinkle blue to go with the blues in the rest of the outfits and the dress is just so me — I love a bow shoulder, a could wear blue dresses until the end of eternity, and the bustier neckline is flattering on my build! I also considered an all-white dress — maybe this one, which was just reduced in price — to pair with blue and white mules, and I adore this Shoshanna but felt like the scale of the floral might compete too much with mini. If the Simkhai doesn’t work, my backups are this solid blue or this Juliet Dunn, though I think the latter might look too dressed-down/beachy compared to the rest of my family.

+While on the hunt for the perfect dress, I decided to organize all my current favorite dress picks — from everyday dresses to special occasion wear — in a separate section of Le Shop. I figured it might be a good way for you to get some options/ideas in case you’re closing in on a particular occasion and need some input STAT!

+I don’t know where this came from but all of the sudden I just became “over” wearing an underwire bra. I mean, I love and stand behind the Natori Feathers bra as the most comfortable and flattering underwire I’ve ever worn but — one day I woke up and thought how much I wanted to wear a seamless racerback, something I wouldn’t ever have to adjust the straps of, something that would wear like a sports bra. (Maybe running for the past year put this thought in my head?). I have to rave about this four-pack I found on Amazon for $32. They are so, so comfortable and you can remove the padding or leave it in and oh my GOSH I feel like a new woman?! I like the v style so you can layer it under things like SZ Blockprints dresses and even shirtdresses without it showing. I also polled my Instagram community for similar options and two styles that came up a bunch were Gap and True & Co. I added a few of the Gap ones to my cart for my next order — I’m always adding basics for my children to the cart and then pulling the trigger when the promo is too good to be true!

+Have you guys heard about (or tried) Few Moda? This is a new shopping site that requires a subscription to join but then you can purchase on-trend pieces made by the same manufacturers of high-end labels without any markup. As an example, this on-trend nap-dress-like smocked dress (in 100% cotton) would be $54, and they compare it style and fabric wise to pieces from Reformation and Zimmermann. I’m not totally clear on how they come up with those comparisons (do Reformation and Zimmermann manufacture their pieces in the same site using the same fabric as the smocked dress?) but it’s intriguing to me and I think you could easily justify the membership fee in just a few purchases.

+I mentioned we were going to try an OK-to-wake clock with mini. We’re on day five of using this as of the time of writing this post and…it’s working?! We are pleasantly surprised/shocked? Mini now stays in her bedroom until the clock turns green and then will usually fly out of her room to let us know “it’s morning time!!!”, which is both sweet and impressive. She loves (!) to check to see if Mella is asleep or not. Could not be happier about this purchase. Even if there is a regression or she stops caring, at least we have secured a stretch of time where we are able to sleep in past 5:45 a.m.! Worth a shot if you’re on the fence…

+Finally, on the sleep note: I was totally shocked and bowled over when Lake Pajamas sent me this tank short set in the spritz colorway out of the blue. (Thank you so much for the incredible gift, Lake!). I know I’ve mentioned their pajamas a ton but they are beautifully made and I love the styles and colors they come in. I have now gifted their pajamas to at least six women in my life — they are a wonderful luxury at the end of a long day, but not so precious you can’t wear them around sticky syrup fingers in the mornings. I also appreciate the free (and fast!) shipping over $50 and the beautiful gift boxes you can send them in — they really thought through gift-a-bility! Will continue to build my collection and help others start theirs.

A couple of other fun shopping finds…

+A cute $7 everyday tee for your little lady to pair with shorts.

+My mom would yell at me for even looking at this distressed sweatshirt (I’ll never forget when I wore this distressed-cuff sweater to her house and she asked me to roll up the sleeves so she wouldn’t have to look at the distressing…haha!), but it’s so cool…!

+OK. This $29 dress may be the CUTEST dress for a honeymooner. Or just you, ready to celebrate summer.

+Two other amazing white dresses: this Faithfull and this Khaite. Wow.

+Have been seeing more and more of these Onitsuka Tiger shoes on the streets of NYC, including in pick up line this week! Sort of a Loewe-for-less vibe.

+The prettiest print on a round ottoman.

+More great ottomans, benches, and the like here.

+Love this runner.

+My latest activewear acquisition: Girlfriend Collective high-rise run shorts. I like the bike short look on other people but since I am so short, they often look too long on my legs — these seem like they might hit just the right length. Would be chic also with that distressed sweatshirt, Loewe sneakers, and black shades for a self-aware coffee run on a Saturday morning.

+This Brock top is sitting in my cart. It’s on sale and still such a splurge but my future self will thank me come October when I am looking for a statement top for dinner.

+Another great smocked blockprint dress from J. Crew.

+A great dress if you are expecting or nursing, and on sale! — love the dimensions and would be so easy to wear post-partum.

+This pima birthday dress for a little one is flying off the shelf — buy now and be happy you have it on hand! Pretty good price for a sweet dress!

+Have mentioned these a lot but just love the sky blue color of these Natives for my son this year!

+Truly in love with this floral bucket hat after seeing it on Nell Diamond.

+Another really cute summer dress.

10 Comments

  1. I tried Few Moda and I’m NOT impressed. I ordered two dresses and the first is awful quality (loose threads and messy seams everywhere, not 100% cotton as advertised, black knotted thread holding the tag onto the white dress). The second dress hasn’t arrived.

    Items can be returned but I wish I hadn’t paid a (nonrefundable) quarterly membership fee.

    This kind of feels like a scam given that they don’t publish customers’ negative reviews of items on their site, and they have disabled comments on Instagram so that customers can’t share their experiences. Ugh.

    1. Oo, yuck! I’m so sorry for your experience! I have heard mixed reviews. I had a friend who was super excited about it, but your review makes me more nervous. I do think it’s a high barrier to entry — not many reviews, new kid on the block, plus the membership fee…anyway, sorry for your experience! Thanks for reporting back here.

      xx

  2. So funny about the bra runners-up — I own a bunch of the True & Co. convertible bras (my absolute FAVES — I take the cups out) and I have 2 of the Gap racerback ones en route in the mail! Haha.

    My mom’s birthday is at the end of July and this year I’m giving her a pair of the Lake pajamas in the hydrangea blue stripe — still deciding on silhouette, but they are sooo nice! I have a few poplin pieces from a couple of years ago (pretty sure you turned me onto them 🙂 ) and also a long/short set from the Julia Berolzheimer collab … the pieces hold up so nicely! Big thumbs up.

    xx

    1. Yay! Lake Pajamas are my go-to gift now. I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve given them to…who doesn’t love new, wonderful pajamas?

      xx

  3. Sixteen Candles — love that! Feels so retro now compared to when I watched it the first time! It still is so fun to watch decades later.

    +1 for Nuna Rava! We love ours. Interestingly my daughter cried pretty much ALL.THE.TIME when she was in her infant seat from about 6-12 months and when we switched her to the Rava at age 1 she just miraculously stopped crying in the car. It was like night and day. For that alone, it was well worth the money to us! We kept her rear facing in the Rava up until age 3 (though I wanted to go longer).

    I have also started to really dislike underwires. I also had a couple of those Natori Feathers bras and I realized over the past year that I used them very minimally. My go-to the past few years has been Uniqlo’s “beauty soft wireless bra” which sadly have been discontinued (I really hope they bring them back because they are SO comfortable, even for sleep — I never feel overheated in them). In the front they look like a regular bra, but they are a pull on style. I love that the cups were built in as I hate having to either reposition them/smooth them out after washing. They do currently have a “relax wireless bra” which is also a pull-on kind but it has more of a sports bra shape. They feel very lightweight and are about $25 (sometimes on sale for $20). Their “3D hold wireless bra” is a great everyday bra too, in my opinion.

    1. Thanks, Mia! Will keep my eye out for that Uniqlo styles in case it’s ever brought back. And so glad for another Rava fan!

      xx

  4. I tried Few moda because they had a dress that was out of stock everywhere else. I ordered it along with a couple other things but they took fooooorever to arrive so I decided I would rather just pay full price. Maybe that’s how they get you with the quarterly fee — order something in one quarter and receive it in another? 🙂

  5. The “Cecily Cicada” book is the best and my daughter has really enjoyed reading it. Luckily, we haven’t been too inundated (….yet), but she’s more curious when she encounters them right now as opposed to completely freaked out (her usual reaction to bugs).

    1. I love it! We FaceTimed with Mr. Magpie’s parents last night and they showed Emory the cicadas and cicada exoskeletons in their yard and she was RAPT. We have now been talking about cicadas nonstop…!

      xx

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