The Fashion Magpie Little Normalcies

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 115: Statement Earrings, Brene Brown, and Little Normalcies.

My Latest Snag: The Statement Earring.

I just picked up these loud earrings in the tan color and intend to wear them all summer long. I love that the style is so dramatic — and yet the fabric and color are so muted. Perfect with an LWD.

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Caftan.

The most popular items on the blog this week:

+This chic caftan.

+My earrings (above!) — the most popular accessory I think I’ve ever featured on this blog, full stop!

+This easy polka dotted dress (under $100), which I also ordered.

+A gorgeous frame for my bedside table. Leaving this vacant for one of baby boy’s first pictures.

+Vintage Hermes scarf. I keep linking to variations on this and people always go crazy over them. One of my friends just snagged one and had it framed! Such a clever way to create a piece of statement art.

+Ruffle maxi dress.

+The cutest kids’ chair ever?

+On-trend heart earrings.

+Chic sunnies.

#Turbothot: Brene Brown + Little Normalcies.

Has anyone else watched the Brene Brown special on Netflix? I will admit that I was highly skeptical when I sat down to watch it last weekend — “A motivational speaker? On a Friday night? What is happening…?” — but Mackenzie recommended it and my reservations quickly evaporated as I tuned into her compelling research and often poignant anecdotes on the subject of vulnerability and its relationship to courage. There is much to comment on, but one bit that left me swiping tears from my eyes touched on the fact that people who have suffered loss or are enduring tragedy say that they miss “the everyday,” the little normalcies that pass by unremarked but weave the fabric of our daily existence. One family who had lost their four-year-old son to cancer mentioned that their boy used to slam the screen door multiple times a day — and it drove them crazy. Now, in the wake of his absence, they will occasionally stand by the back door and slam it closed just to remember the sound.

I mean.

I can hardly write that without weeping.

Though there is much to unpack in her talk, I clung to this: what are the little nothings that mark my days right now that I will one day miss? I have been looking for these petits riens over the past week, marking them, burnishing them.

From mini’s crib most mornings, when she is waiting for me to lift her out: “Mommeeeee, where ahhh you?”

The explosion of noise when mini dumps her toys or crayons on the ground for the fifteenth, or fiftieth, time in a given day. Cringe-inducing to this tired and very pregnant mom, but also the lintel frame to her indulging in some quiet play by herself–and so, a happy sound.

The whistle of the tea kettle and the buzz of the burr grinder as Mr. Magpie prepares my morning pourover and measures — to the sixteenth of an ounce — the appropriate amount of sugar for my coffee. These are the sounds of his devotion to me.

The thump of mini’s feet and her inevitable cry: “come on, mommy! come on, daddy!” as she skips up and down our foyer, dancing to the Frozen soundtrack for the twenty-ninth time today, begging us to drop what we are doing and join her.

The jingle of Tilly’s collar as she trots around the apartment, looking to get into trouble. She is a handful but she colors our days and keeps us on our toes.

The eternal rumble of the dryer — a reminder of messy and happy afternoons spent in Central Park, spilled yogurt and smears of peanut butter from the good fortune of an earlier meal, dirty kitchen towels from all of the happy cooking that takes place in our kitchen. And also: of our incredible luck in finding an apartment with a washer/dryer in-unit. (Not a given in Manhattan.)

The jarring PING of the doorbell, and the inevitable follow-up of Tilly’s shrill and furious bark, as packages, groceries, dry cleaning, wine are delivered by our building’s porters–reminding me of the convenience of living in New York, where anything can be delivered within a few hours.

The occasional blare of a horn, the rise and fall of voices in conversation, the sporadic yell, the vroom of engines outside my window as I drift off to sleep at night–all markers of the fact that we live in MANHATTAN and I still pinch myself thinking about it.

What are the everyday normalcies that you will one day miss?

Blast from the Past: On a Split-Second Parenting Decision.

A propos of the previous blurb: I have never felt so “rooted for” as I did when I shared this story:

“…I knew I shouldn’t have done it: I can hardly lift her while in her stroller when I’m not six months pregnant and not wearing a backpack, but there I was, shakily teetering down the two steps.

As I ordered our treats, an elderly gentleman stopped me.

“Please don’t do that again,” he said, gesturing to the stairs. “I watched you, and was horrified. That woman on the news…!”

I felt a range of emotions that ran from righteous rage to lip-biting embarrassment. A part of me wanted to snap back at him: “Well, why didn’t you help then?” And another part of me recoiled at his patronizing tone. But the biggest part of me wanted to wail: “I know, I know. I know I shouldn’t have done it, and I did it. And I could have injured myself — or, worse — my baby, or the unborn baby I’m carrying. And for what?! A coffee? Saving a few minutes? Pre-empting a tantrum?” And so I just said:

“You’re right. Thank you.” He looked back at me and said:

“You remind me of my daughter-in-law. I would say the same thing to her. Please take care.”

Ugh.

I’m awash in gratitude and heartburn…”

Read the comments! So much more than I anticipated to unpack in this split-second parenting decision to carry mini in her stroller down a few steps…

Post-Scripts: The Rhode Resort Lookalike.

+If you’ve lusted after the Rhode Resort Ella dress but balked at the price, you might consider this $65 steal instead.

+In anticipation of needing a more complete nursing-friendly wardrobe, I’ve started stocking up on button-down pieces like this. I especially love this one because it looks friendly to a post-partem paunch.

+Love the racer stripes/monograms on these darling pouches! I am a pouch hoarder. I use them constantly in all of my bags to keep things organized.

+This hat reminds me of a style by the far more expensive Gigi Burris!

+I’ve written about this in the past, but I love giving these collapsible tote bags as gifts to fellow moms. They are THE BEST for travel — pack easily in a suitcase and can be used to tote groceries, stow laundry, stand in as a beach bag, keep toys off the ground, etc, etc. I find infinite uses for them any time I travel. I just sent one to my sister, who celebrated her birthday this week.

+Love the floral print on this tunic/cover-up.

+If you liked this floral Steele blouse, you might like this style even more (under $100).

+Absolutely adore this scallop-edged letterpress stationery.

+I’ve purchased and inherited a few traditional pieces by Feltman Brothers, a childrenswear brand that has been around for a century (!), and was astounded to find that Dillard’s carries the label — and that many pieces are on sale, like this sweet score for mini! This would be a perfect christening gown and I seriously cannot believe the price.

8 Comments

  1. Great article!! The sweet little moments. It’s so easy to get caught up in life’s stress and all the hustle and fuss and the million things we need to do that we sometimes forget what is really important. It’s important to take advantage of the little moments.

  2. I’m glad you wound up enjoying the Brené Brown special! Will and I often think into the future and imagine what we’d pay then to repeat everyday moments from our present — how much we’ll pine for feeling our first baby’s kicks when he’s off to college, for instance, or even how differently we’ll recall the frantic search for our first home once we’ve settled into our older years and possibly have fewer milestones to look forward to. I love hearing about the petits riens in your day-to-day with Emory — I’ll admit that I screenshotted your nighttime ritual with her so I can shamelessly adopt it when our little one arrives in a few months!

    1. Ahh so sweet! I love all of this, especially thinking about these little nothings through the frame of future years of calm/quiet. xx

  3. I love that you try to linger on these petits riens … a reminder that we would all do well to reflect on the beautiful tiny blessings of our lives. I try to do this regularly but sometimes stress/busy-ness gets in the way.

    Love that Roller Rabbit tunic! xx

    P.S. Anna — that New Yorker article sounds so moving! Off to look it up…

    1. Yes — tiny blessings! And I agree with you on that tunic. I am dying over it! xx

  4. Beautifully written. There was a terrific New Yorker article a few years back about what they called the worst club in the world- the parents of Westerners whose children had been captured and held hostage by ISIS and Al Qaeda overseas. (Stay with me, I have a related point, I promise!) They gathered together semi-regularly to share their stories- ones so unique and horrible that no one else could begin to relate to unless they had experienced the exact same thing. One thing they discovered was that many of their children had written about these same little normalcies in diaries and letters during their captivity. That going to the store with mom and fishing with dad and playing ball in the backyard was what their minds fixated on. The things that kept them alive and from going insane were not the big marquee moments of their lives, it was all the minutiae of daily their existences. All the more evidence to support the fact that these little thing matter, perhaps more than anything else, at the end of the day.

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