Ed. note: I updated the cover photo of this post after initial publication because the first was too blurry. I also updated the Black Friday sale section with fab finds!
Question for you — do you date your spouse? What does this look like?
I have friends all over the map on this front. A few tid-bits I’ve gathered over the years in discussing this with girlfriends:
“We take off work an hour early on Fridays so we can grab a happy hour drink together while our nanny is still with the children. This helps us head into the weekend feeling connected.”
“We arrive at the restaurant in different vehicles so it feels like a true “date”.”
“We go on dates to Costco — we have to squeeze “dates” in wherever we can.”
“We book a neighborhood sitter to come by so we can enjoy a cocktail at home, cloistered somewhere the children are not, but without any of the pomp/circumstance of finding a restaurant.”
“We calendar a monthly date so we have lots of time to find a restaurant/movie/activity and sitter. We always know exactly which date it’ll be, and we move mountains to maintain the commitment.”
“Once a year, my parents take the children for a full week. We catch up on dates during that time.”
Mr. Magpie and I prioritize time alone together and will go out once or twice a month in the evenings, just the two of us — usually for dinner, but sometimes for a musical or cultural performance. These are not pre-programmed (e.g., we don’t calendar them in ahead of time); I am instead opportunistic about keeping my ears open for cool happenings or interesting promotions at local restaurants and then pouncing when they materialize. We also take a lot of daytime dates, especially for lunch (and sometimes coffee). We both work from home so we’ll coordinate on a lunch date once or twice a month. I always feel like saying “it’s not a good day for this” when the lunch date day arrives, but invariably wind up feeling fulfilled and relaxed at the end of the hour. There’s a scene in “Wet Hot American Summer” where campers go on a wild bender in town that clearly seems to unfold over the course of many days, but one of the characters gets back to camp at the end of the scene and says: “It’s always fun to get away from camp, even for an hour.” That’s sort of how these midday dates feel — just an hour, but they contain several days’ worth of release. The topography of my daily stress changes.
We’ve also begun to conceive of “car dates.” Sometimes, Mr. Magpie will drive to pick up lunch and ask me to come along, just for a little square of twenty minutes to chat. More frequently, we are driving into D.C. for dinner with friends — a trek nearly always takes 30-45 minutes from Bethesda. For awhile, we begrudged these journeys, but now, we think of them “ante-dates.” Time to sit with each other and catch up. We put on good music and take turns holding hands and removing hands.
Last but not least, there have been a few nights this past year where we’ve mapped our romantic date nights at home. One recent one involved martinis, delivery burgers from Et Voila, and a scary movie. Pretty much perfect.
Looking across these “dates,” it seems to me that one through-line is simply announcing the occasion. Instead of: “do you want to run out and grab lunch?” it’s “want to have a lunch date with me tomorrow?”; instead of “should we watch a scary movie?” it’s “let’s have a date night at home and watch a scary movie.” There is something about marking off the time together as “dating” that puts me in the right head-space (and heart-space). It always makes me think about my husband from the outside in. Not the partner who fixes door handle and kills the spiders and pours the cereal for the children in the morning, but the handsome man who I am in love with!
Curious to hear your perspectives and advice on this front. How do you handle it?
+”I think, then, how a life led by love requires so little, and gives so much.”
+An interesting conversation on John Mayer (see comments). Such a polarizing figure, but generally beloved by us Magpies. John Mayer, the Gap kick fit jeans, and mobile ordering Starbucks at the airport: a Magpie starter kit.
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Everyone has started their BF/CM promotions early this year! Sharing my favorite promotions for the shopping super bowl this week below. I’m hoping you are sitting in your tartan nap dress with your Ugg slippers tucked beneath you, sipping a delicious oat milk latte, ready for some fun shopping.
First, I wanted to share a couple of one-off items that are great deals this week (most from “the big retailers” like Boden, J. Crew, etc whose promos seem to be changing every hour — but will generally be a good time to buy any day this week):
+this sparkle rib Boden top;
+this tartan blazer (!!!);
Onto a few sites running particularly good promos this week…
+Tuckernuck. 20% off sitewide, 25% off orders over $500, 30% off orders over $1000 with code CHEERS. I’d use this promotion to round out the holiday attire wardrobe. Love this black watch tartan top (ordered) for more casual holiday gatherings; these coated jeans; these mesh LR flats; this tweed jacket; this velvet Ulla J.
I’m traveling to Tulum this winter, and have begun somewhat passively looking for resort wear picks. If you’re in the same boat, you might consider snagging this Hunza G (the stripes!), this Fanm Mon, or this Hannah Artwear.
+Lake Pajamas. 25% off sitewide. You know how I feel about their Relax Set — one of my absolute favorite things in the world. Now’s the time! I also love this holiday pattern — mini and I both have a set!
+Doen has discounted a ton of their beautiful pieces (no code needed). You know I’m a major Doen fan girl! I have worn this top (you can size down, runs big — I took an XXS and it’s still roomy; I’m typically an XS) and this dress A TON this season. I’ll be wearing this dress on Thanksgiving! And this plaid top is in my cart.
+Minnow. 25% off sitewide with code MERRY25. One of their two sales per year, and Minnow is my favorite brand for swimwear and boy’s casual wear in the summer months. I always buy my children a few swimsuits using this promo. Love this rash guard, these swim trunks, their twill shorts, and of course their knitwear! (You can see Hill in his here.)
+Jenni Kayne. 25% off sitewide. No code needed. Treat yourself (or your sister) to a luxe sweater! My sister lives in their knitwear and always nails that “quiet luxury” vibe. These are sweaters made for living — she likes to layer hers over leggings to chase her toddler around at the park. Perfect weekend wear. The Cooper is my top pick but nearly sold out. I own and adore their everyday sweater — great midweight layering piece –and love these striped crewnecks, too.
+Petite Plume. 20% off site-wide with code BLACKFRIDAY. My children will be wearing these come Thanksgiving night (the pattern also available in a soft pima cotton if your children prefer that style, but the standard style ones are NOT itchy — very soft! My children have owned tons of pairs!). I also love these tartan nightgowns for little loves. If you’re at a loss for what to get a cute newborn in your life, go with one of these itty bitty tartan rompers. ICONIC!
+Mirth. 30% off sitewide, no code needed. My Mirth caftan ended up being one of my most-worn dresses last summer. The dresses are all thoughtfully designed with unexpected details and lightweight, comfortable fabrics. This looks equally dreamy. And I love the loose fit of this for throwing on over a swimsuit in Mexico.
+Merit. 20% off with code PRIVATE20. One of my absolute favorite beauty brands. I waxed poetic about several of their pieces a few days ago. Now is the time to outfit your makeup bag for the new year. I especially love their minimalist stick, angled brush, and flush balms, and I’m a new admirer of their mascara, which separates lashes like none other.
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