My Latest Snag: Party Tabletop Finds.
We will be having a very small dinner party at home for Mr. Magpie’s 40th birthday later this month. We had initially been planning a larger affair with lots of friends, but, in the shadow of omicron, have decided to instead have an intimate affair with just a handful of his closets high school/college buddies. I am going to have it catered (birria tacos! lots of tequila!) and wanted a festive tablescape, but one whose elements I knew I would repurpose for many future events. I went with pink, green, and red (yes, pink! real men wear pink) for a fiesta-esque theme: this tablecloth, red/pink scalloped napkins, serape cocktail napkins, taper candles in hot pink and bright green, mini pinatas, 40 pinata (which I will use as decor on table, not actually hang). I’m going to order a colorful centerpiece from a local florist and then do small bunches of bright bodega flowers elsewhere (hoping I can find spider mums in that great bright green they sometimes come in). Some of the other great fiesta-themed items I found and considered…
I am still on the fence about what to wear! I have this past-season Banjanan dress already in my closet (still available on eBay here) that would be actually perfect for the vibe I want, and I love the way it feels on. This brand is so good! They have two current-season styles that would be similarly well-suited to the occasion, this lime green and this hot pink, but it occurs to me that this style of dress might be a perfect dress to rent at Rent the Runway for a similar occasion in the future, as it’s a dress so bold you might only wear it a handful of times for specific festive occasions. Anyhow, I am inclined to go with the Banjanan but I also own a fabulous BRIGHT red jumpsuit with bows on the shoulders by Amanda Uprichard (similar to this, but with thicker straps and in a coca cola red) that brings me immense joy (you can get the BRIGHT jumpsuit vibe here). It might be fun to pair that with these statement earrings I mentioned earlier this week.
And then there is a piece of me that wants something NEW to celebrate! I think I shared these earlier this week, but I am salivating over this Borgo de Nor. I would also love this CHEERY Celia B, this splashy Alemais, this Love the Label (such a fun boidce!), and this Zimmermann. Cheerful dresses in a drab January!
You’re Soooo Popular: Fresh Basics for Home + Self.
The most popular items on le blog this week:
MILLE STRIPED DRESS (ONE OF MY PERSONAL FAVS — IN MY CLOSET!)
BEST FACIAL COTTON ON EARTH (TRUST ME, YOU DESERVE + WILL LOVE THIS UPGRADE)
EYE SHADOW — APPARENTLY THE LILAC COLOR IS GREAT ON BLUE EYES
KHAITE BAG (*MOUTH WATERS*)
Weekend Musings: Living Immediately.
“The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”
We’ve talked a lot about this theme on the blog the last two years as we have navigated living through a pandemic. Earlier, I found myself continuously punting things off and imagining life “post-COVID,” and then came to a point where I realized I did not want to live as though in a waiting room anymore. Sometimes this has been easier said than done, as COVID has put tremendous constraint on what we can and cannot do, and how easily it can be done.
But the quote above made me realize that even without COVID, there will always be uncertainties and question marks and that I must continue to cultivate the ability to live — as a Magpie put it in a comment not too long ago — “where my feet are.”
One small benefit of our protracted quarantine last month was a decision to slow down and move with more measure through my day. This was borne of the demands of parenting alone, inside, for 10 days while also maintaining my blog. But I have hung onto it. Even in the smallest, most insignificant corners of my morning, I hear myself: “Pause. Slow down.” As an example I’m sure many of you can relate to, most mornings are absolute mayhem. We descend to a pristine kitchen and in the span of ten minutes, the island is cluttered with jam jars, the milk jug, lunchboxes, a wet kitchen towel, the toaster, crumbs, miscellaneous toys, the thermometer, the children’s toothbrushes, stacks of clean plates waiting to be put away that were removed from the clean dishwasher but then interrupted in their transit to the cabinet, stacks of dirty ones waiting to be cleaned, a packet of bandaids, a stained pajama top, jam smudges, drawings, crayons. You get the drift. I am routinely overwhelmed when I survey this. It is such a small and manageable mess (I clean it every single morning!) but I often find myself wondering where to even begin. I have been looking at this, since our protracted quarantine, differently. I try to work in groups. Put all the fridge stuff away. Put all the dishes away. Return the toys to their homes. Etc. Somehow moving methodically in this way makes me feel better, and also affords the upside that if — when! — I am interrupted, I will at least feel I have accomplished something. It has the added benefit of focusing me on just what I’m doing now rather than the chaotic grab-this-shove-it-here-and-randomly-end-up-in-the-pantry-putting-the-children’s-backpacks-on-the-shelf-by-accident. (Which I did one morning, and then promptly went into a panic trying to find said backpacks. Oh my goodness! Jen! Slow down!)
It is such a trivial, ridiculous anecdote to share, but the mindset appears to be permeating into other areas of my life in ways I wouldn’t have anticipated. I am finding myself better able to cultivate calm and focus on the here-and-now when I am exercising, writing, running errands. I continue to find myself floating above my own body, reminding myself to slow down and live immediately.
P.S. Similar thoughts here.
+This spectacular Boden dress feels similar to the striped Mille above — I find this cut so dramatic but easy and flattering to wear! My favorite silhouette for entertaining at home with bare feet.
+My beloved No 6 clog boots are on sale in SUCH a great color!
+My current favorite pair of denim is on crazy sale right now in this great wash (only $56!). Size down a full size.
+These velvet mules are a dead ringer for Le Monde Beryl but under $80.
+In shopping for my husband’s dinner party decor, I came across this adorable swan pinata and these fabulous balloons to match, which are beginning to percolate as the basis for my daughter’s fifth birthday party…Meri Meri has some really cute plates and candles to continue the theme! And maybe the birthday girl can wear this?!
+These Gucci mules are absolutely fabulous. I often get the question of whether I think the Princetown mules are “out.” I don’t think they’re out. The shape is classic, and if you pair them with simple jeans (like the Khaites above) and a white button down, I MEAN. Unimpeachably chic. The patterned mules offer a fresh take.
+I am absolutely in love with this Liberty print shirtdress.
+Obsessed with these pearl hair ties!
+This little tote is SO happy.
+Horror Vacui vibes for under $100.
+This dress is totally my speed in every way — cut, length, silhouette, bows, pattern, etc!
+This adorable heart embroidered clutch!!!
+These murano glass tumblers are so chic! Would use as a pen cup/decor on a bookshelf.
+MEOW, this red dress!
+These tulle shoes speak to me.
+These Staud mules are fab! Pair with basics and let those shoes do the talking for you.
+These gorgeous scalloped napkins remind me of my mom! Would make such a gorgeous gift.