My Latest Snag: Le Maternity Swimsuit.
I am currently in sunny FL, making heavy use of my go-to SZ Blockprint caftan collection (and several of the other pieces mentioned here), which — UM CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THEIR NEW COLLECTION?! I have this in my basket right now and am also loving this (shown above) and am wondering how many SZ Blockprint caftans will transform into a weirdo. Like, I can’t only wear caftans in the summer, can I? I guess everyone has a uniform? Ugh, they are the best. I had thought I might be able to squeeze by with non-maternity swim, but I am 26 weeks pregnant with my second child, which is basically the equivalent of 40 weeks pregnant with a first child. (Seriously, I can’t get over how much more quickly I showed this time around and how much bigger I am at an earlier stage!) I narrowed down the maternity swim options to either this, this (in the blue gingham), this, or this, the latter of which a reader recommended but which was sold out in my size when I went to order it (now fully restocked!) I ended up with the hot pink Target number. I went for inexpensive but fun because this is probably the only time I will wear a swimsuit this pregnancy. If you’ll be making greater use of a swimsuit while expecting, I also love this!
You’re Sooooo Popular: Snakeskin Boots.
The most popular items on le blog this week:
+These epic snakeskin boots. I am so envious of the chic peas who snagged these!
+Still dying over this skirt.
+A great everyday coat. Would wear with white jeans for a fresh spin.
+People lose their minds over these pens.
+A sweet corduroy jumper for a mini.
#Turbothot: On Self-Advocating.
Around Christmas, my father sent a check in my daughter’s name as a gift. Though we have a brokerage account set up in her name that we regularly invest in, at the time, we did not have a traditional checking account set up for her at our everyday bank. I came in with her birth certificate, social security card, and my ID, and asked whether I could deposit the money into our own account for the time being, thinking that we would re-route the money into her brokerage account or open a savings account for her as her guardians and deposit it in there, but knew I’d need Mr. Magpie present for the transaction. The teller called over a manager and I explained the situation, presenting my various forms of identification.
“Well, you really should set up an account for her,” replied the teller, looking down at me. He drew in an impatient breath and exhaled slowly, sizing me up. I felt as though I was a teenager that had been nabbed for pocketing bubblegum or something. I swallowed, and then I said:
“Thank you, but I’m asking a question with a yes or no answer. Can I deposit this or not?”
Maybe I was over-prickly in the interaction, but I have to tell you something: living in New York, I often find my shoulders hunched and my elbows out, against my own will. At yoga class a few weeks ago, the instructor told the entire room: “Relax your tongue from the roof of your mouth.” A band of laughter erupted across the room as we collectively realized that we had all been sitting there with our tongues glued to the roofs of our mouths (was yours just now, too?!), in a kind of perennial state of friction. A few days later, a friend of mine who had moved to New York from Italy said: “Some days I realize I am literally sprinting down the street on the way to work. And I have to stop and say, ‘Why am I running?’ And then I realize it’s the only way to keep pace.” New York is a daunting, fast-moving city with plenty of weirdos and aggressive salespeople and angry foot traffic, and you’ve got to stay on your toes and look out for yourself or you will be trampled in one way or another. In this particular occasion, I felt I’d been pushed all day long (physically and otherwise) and simply did not want to stand there and let a random person shame me into submission over something that was completely above board. I did not want his opinion on our financial decision-making. I simply wanted to know if it was possible to deposit the check or not. If it wasn’t — fine. I’d open an account at our next convenience.
As it turned out, the manager reluctantly permitted me to deposit the check. When I got home, I called Mr. Magpie, a bit flustered from the entire interaction. His response?
“Jen — good for you. You advocated for yourself. You are a paying customer at that bank and you don’t need a straight-forward inquiry to be returned with self-righteousness.”
I share this because self-advocating is not a strength of mine and I would venture to guess that many other women struggle with it, too. It’s been hard-earned over the years, and not without heartburn and ample coaching — mainly, if I am giving credit where it is due, from the strong men in my life. The bank account incident was a trivial matter but it proved that I have come a long, long way from the more timid version of myself at 22, who would have sheepishly shrugged and left, face burning with frustration and shame. And yet I still have miles to go.
The interaction reminded me of a rule I set for myself when I was in the traditional workforce: never accept the first offer you receive when it comes to salary. This was insanely difficult for me at the outset of my career, but once I made it a hard-and-fast rule, I found it easier to abide by. It wasn’t “should I ask for more?” but “I owe it to myself to ask for more. I must.” My typical formula was: “I am so grateful for and flattered by the offer, but I would be doing myself a disservice by not asking whether you can increase the compensation package.” I’d often accompany the request with research on the “market rate” for the position (sometimes difficult to come by) or by my earnings in a previous role. I was stunned to find that more often than not, the HR team would circle back with a higher offer.
At any rate, some food for thought when it comes to advocating for yourself in matters big and small.
Do you have any tips on self-advocacy?
#Shopaholic: Le Camo Leggings.
+I am so in love with these leggings that I think I’ve got to order them now for post-baby Jen. So chic!
+I’ve never given mini play-doh before and I bought her this fun little Minnie set for our trip to FL. (More of the travel surprises I packed for her here.) Do any other parents get freakishly excited about introducing these classic toys to their children!? I’m probably going to flip out more than she will. Ha!
+I am so drawn to these cord boots. I have no idea why! They aren’t even my style! But I LOVE.
+These are on-trend and comfy for a vacation wardrobe.
+One of my readers (heyooo MK) mentioned that Amazon is a great source for finding discounted Loeffler Randall. Um, these are as low as $55 in select sizes and could be worn errrryday of the summer, and who doesn’t love a gussied-up espadrille?!
+Mini has nearly outgrown her current raincoat. I love this pink one with its navy striped interior but stopped in my tracks when I saw this cute (and super affordable?!) one on Amazon. I love those little striped grosgrain loop details and the contrasting-colored trim. The red or yellow are timeless — and I should really be thinking about gender-neutral colors with micro on the way! (Gap also has a good rain coat on offer.)
+Love this shirt from Sezane’s new collection!