Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 230: The Relief of Moving.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: New Art.

We had a virtual extended family trivia session a few weeks ago, and the prize was a framed piece of artwork from Art Enables, a D.C.-area non-profit art gallery and vocational arts program “dedicated to creating opportunities for artists with disabilities to make, market, and earn income from their original and compelling artwork.” I was so struck by the masterpieces these artists are producing and, after considerable deliberation, selected a stirring floral by Helen Lewis, whose artwork is described as “steady and calm, much like her spirit.” I also loved the pieces by Charles Meissner and Charmaine Jones. Amazing source for beautiful, affordable artwork produced by artists with disabilities.

You’re Soooo Popular: A Petite Desk.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+Y’all loved this petite and unfussy writing desk! (More great home finds here.)

+Stunning fall-ready top.

+My new mama necklace.

+Gorgeous pearl hoops. Look for less with these, an extra 20% off this weekend with code SEMI20!

+My favorite sheets, ever.

+Toddler sweatshirt in great prints.

+Sweet $100 floral dress.

+This dress is a celebration.

+Free-standing towel rack.

+Bottega-inspired dumpling bag.

+Craft caddy.

+Chic fall crossbody.

+Well-priced counter stools in a great hazy blue color.

+Just love the color of this pink sweater.

+Sleek trash can.

Weekend Musings: Moving Relief.

One of the biggest surprises of moving to Bethesda has been realizing how isolated we were in Manhattan, which, on the surface of it, seems impossible. Marooned in Manhattan? One of the most densely-populated cities in the world, with many close friends living there alongside us? How?

Well, COVID. Our move here synchronized with the easing of restrictions (which are now, sadly, being rolled back). It has been much easier to see people and do things the past few weeks on that count.

Even without COVID, though, I have a hunch I’d be clocking a similar sensation. I don’t know that I fully realized how readily I would lean into life with a car and how much simpler it feels to strap my children into carseats and go, most often to places with ample parking right out front, an amenity that still shocks and delights me. (“You mean, we want to go to a playground, and we drive there, and we park right out front, and we get out, and we go?” The equation is joyfully free of unanticipated logistical trap doors.) The simplicity of these outings spirits us on, and we find ourselves doing a lot more a lot more often with a lot more people. I know there are many parents in NYC who manage to bop up and down the city all week long with little ones in tow, but we were not those people. We tended to live by the “one thing a day” mantra in Manhattan, deterred from doing more by the challenge of maneuvering several outings around naps, subway trips, strollers, elevators, bathroom emergencies, etc. This is not to say raising children in NYC didn’t have its own magic, or to in any way suggest a certain way of life is better than another, but more to say — the logistics of life hang much looser in these parts. And I like it.

I also know this sensation is informed by the fact that our network is much deeper here. There are four grandparents and three cousins within short driving distance. I love (!) to drop by my parents’ house — poke my head in, chat with them on the second floor landing, steal La Croix from their fridge. I had anticipated missing the spontaneity that NYC-living invites, but had not given any thought to the unique deliciousness of popping by to see my mom, or texting my father-in-law at 3 p.m. on a Sunday and having him materialize on our doorstep for happy hour an hour or two later, or watching all the children on our street congregate around 5 p.m. every night to scoot and play hide-and-go-seek in the neighbors’ yards, or discovering that my neighbor a few doors down knows a few of my schoolmates from Visitation.

I cannot measure it —

After cloistering in a small space owing to COVID and the unique challenges of moving through the city with two little ones —

The relief of it all.

Post-Scripts: A Feathered Top.

+This $98 feathered top is SO fun.

+Just discovered a new source for gently-used designer items, including Chanel shoes. Love their slingbacks in beige and pink.

+Liking the new copper brown color in the Lululemon Aligns.

+Just got these floral hoop earrings.

+Cute crewnecks for little ones in great colors: this lavender and these pastel stripes.

+Nursing mamas: these were my favorite nursing nightgowns, and they are currently on sale for $22. So incredibly soft, and I love the two colors/prints they have on offer right now.

+Sweet and quick-selling $128 dress.

+I actually get a lot of questions about stain removal — ha! I still swear (!) by applying Palmolive and hot water with this tiny brush immediately after staining occurs. Stains literally disappear before your eyes! Then I launder immediately after pre-treating. I also hear good things about this “stain-eating” spray.

+This alphabet matching set looks right up my son’s alley. He still loves this Elmo alphabet set, too!

+Shared some of our favorite toys here.

+Not usually into a lug sole…I don’t think…but these are pretty chic.

+This gorgeous Saloni bow-front dress is back in a new color combo!

+This printed maxi is such a chic statement!

+These navy rainboots for a little boy! Love the details!

+Adore this sweatshirt in the navy.

+Love these $35 neutral heels! Go with anything!

+Rhode vibes for $50.

+Cute floor cushions.

+Great children’s books.

+This bag…!!!!!

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6 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 230: The Relief of Moving.

  1. So so happy for you!!! Your perspective is so interesting! New York is so exciting to me (as a tourist) but you’re reminding me how nice it is to be close to family, neighbors, and to have space!!!

  2. I too am thrilled to hear you are loving your new home! Congratulations!
    I was blown away with the Art Enables concept and website! What a wonderful gift!!! I’m going to purchase these as birthday gifts for my friends. May have to be through a gift card, but still it is such a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I’m so thrilled that you’re finding life in MD like a big, satisfying exhale after spending so much time constrained to your apartment! I imagine it must be the biggest gift to be around family. I’m hoping for more of that one day!

    I have & love that Laundress brush as well. I discovered a new stain treatment that works like magic β€” Amodex. Have you heard of it? I think I heard about it on Andrea Linett’s blog but it’s AMAZING. It’s helped me get ink out of cotton, ketchup out of (white) linen, etc. β€” worth considering for your stain-fighting arsenal πŸ™‚

    Loving those suede lug-sole boots … right up my alley for colder temps!


    1. Thanks for the Amodex! Have not heard of it but very intrigued! A lot of stain-fighting happening over here…and I am also tempted by the lug sole boots, I have to say!


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