Second Findings.

By: Jen Shoop
"I've discovered in my 30s entire worlds I missed while hopscotching."

When I was little, my father used to slow his car on the curving drive up to our house, gesturing with admiration to the flocks of forsythia in early spring bloom, or the snowfall of apple blossom petals in June, or the clutter of oranges and browns in the maple trees in autumn. I’d begrudge the decelerations, looking stonily at the branches through half-lidded eyes, my mind trotting ahead to homework, or play, or calling my friend Ellie on the gray cordless telephone hanging above my mother’s desk in the kitchen. I knew nothing of the march of time, its cycling cruelties and kindnesses, the way a yellow blossom carried thaw of all kinds on its petals after a long winter.

A gift of age: second findings. What I overlooked in my youth blooms wondrous in my 30s. Petrichor after storm, the lightning bugs that constellate our July twilights, the first frost glistening across fall grass, the confetti of Mexican sunflowers my husband grew from seed right next to Elizabeth’s roses.

What was unremarkable then turns out to be great now.

What I mean to say is —

It can feel sometimes that life unfolds like a string of losses. I think of Elizabeth Bishop, her art of losing, the way time took, with increasing greed, her door keys, misspent hours, her mother’s watch, “two cities, lovely ones,” and then her beloved.

But there is recompense in lingering on the small details we overlooked as children.

I’ve discovered in my 30s entire worlds I missed while hopscotching.

Do not postpone the joy of their second finding.


+Similar sentiments here.

+More of my “onward!” philosophy.

+Life takes root around the perimeter.

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Shopping Break.

+My mother recently asked me for recs for “an upgraded morning walk wardrobe.” I pointed her in the direction of Frank & Eileen’s Aspen set (how fab is my Internet friend Cheryl in hers?) and Gap’s coordinated sets.

+I’ve been using Ilia’s liquid powder eye shadow lately — it’s AMAZING. Love to apply with my finger just to add a touch of evenness/dimension. I have in the matte cork color but want to try others!

+How cute is this blue and white patterned lamp?! Can’t believe it’s only $50.

+These look just like my Loeffler Randall Leonies — but are $70!

+One of my Magpies was raving about this Naghedi crossbody for everyday mom life (big enough to hold more than just the essentials in case you need to stow a pair of soccer socks, some snacks, a library book, a handful of cars or LOL Surprise dolls, etc), but mentioned that she swaps out the strap for more colorful options from Amazon. Cute way to personalize!

+We recently designated a section of our fridge for healthy snacks the children can grab on their own — yogurt pouches, string cheese, apples, cut fruit and veg. We use the bottom door shelves of our fridge for this but this turnstile would be another good option (and a clear visual way to indicate where kids can pull their snacks from!).

+A fabulous camel wrap coat for under $375.

+These beaded phone cases are trending. Have been seeing them all over! Intrigued…

+How great are these silky trousers? On sale for under $50!

+Swooning over this Parterre dress for Thanksgiving.

+A skincare expert recently advised against overspending on face wash / face cleansers because they’re on the skin for such a short period of time. She said to instead invest in the serums and creams that stay on your skin for hours. Mind blown! Two cleansers I’ve used and liked recently: Youth to the People (currently 25% off!) and Biossance. Neither are crazy expensive (both much less expensive than the Tata Harper I was hooked on for years!), but might try La Roche Posay’s inexpensive (but well reviewed and well respected) formula next.

+Sweetest pointelle footie for a baby.

+Don’t hate me for thinking so far ahead, but this dress will be long gone come holiday season and it is SO good.

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6 thoughts on “Second Findings.

  1. An upvote for the La Roche Posay cleanser! My 13-y-o stepdaughter turned our whole house onto it and now we buy it in bulk. The advice about spending less on cleanser and more on serums/moisturizers really rings true, esp. in light of reliable evergreen options from Cerave and LRP!

    Also, that Ganni dress … ::mouthwatering emoji::!!

    You’re 100% right — would be so perfect for the holidays!


  2. I’d like to say my favorite face cleanser is by Lancome, the Creme Radiance (blue label). I’ve used it for years and it makes my skin feel so clean, soft and hydrated.
    I’m totally baffled why I never see people talking about this cleanser. Oh well, their loss and my gain I guess.

  3. I bought the Aspen set and it’s an outrageous price for what it is. Just MHO. Loved today’s column. Let’s all stop and smell the roses in these crazy times!

    1. Hi Patti! Appreciate the honest review — thank you!

      And glad this post resonated this morning. A good energy for me to start the week with.

      Have a good day!


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