Musings + Essays

Things I Like Today: Bangs + Bags + Other Thangs.

By: Jen Shoop

I’m living life in bullet-point these days: staccato, disjointed, neither here nor there.  So below, true to form, a miscellany of observations and obsessions:

+Maybe it’s because I’m not super pleased with my hair R.N. (although I do enjoy the abbreviated blow-dry time with my “thinned out” hair), but I’ve been swooning over a wide range of hairstyles lately, including the adorable short bob-with-bangs situation on the chic pea above.  Could I pull this off?  BRB, buying a linen-shirt-and-shorts combo and digging out some gold hoops, too…(Basically, can I be her?!)

+I shared some reflections cultivated while listening to the What It Takes podcast from the American Academy of Achievement recently — and now I am aware of two things: 1) I need these because my wired earbuds keep getting yanked out of my ears when Tilly chases a squirrel or caught in the 34 layers of clothing I’m sporting, and 2) I’m also adding these NPR podcasts to my queue — they seem like they’re of the same cloth as my What It Takes podcast.

+I had coffee with the sharp, energetic, and accomplished Hitha (she has a published book, reads about 100 books a year, runs a pharmaceutical start-up, and writes a thoughtful blog — all with a three-year-old son…um.  Superwoman.), and we are coordinating an in-person book club in NYC together!  So, for all of my lovely readers who wrote me a month or so ago when I first debuted the concept to say you were interesting in taking part, STAY TUNED!  Details to come.  We spent a good bit of time swapping book reviews and recommendations, and I have about 3498 new entrants into my unwieldily-long book wishlist, which brings me to…

+I’m currently halfway through Jenna and Barbara Bush’s co-memoir, Sisters First.  I’m something of an omnivore when it comes to memoir; it’s my absolute favorite genre–a special form of fiction, mediated as it is by the frailties of memory, ego, and wishful revisionism.  I found it interesting to read the Bush sister book because I’m struck, now, by the revisionist moment in which we live: back in the Bush 43 era, everyone was gloom and doom about the state of the presidency.  Now many of us look back on those years as “the good old days” contrasted to the here-and-now.  So, a curious and perhaps genius time for this book to arrive on the scene, in a moment where many Americans’ sentiments have shifted.  Plus, it offers a true insider’s look at the personalities of one of America’s major political dynasties, and captures one of the most memorable presidential moments I can recall in recent history: when Bush threw the first pitch at the third game of the World Series, just a month after 9/11.  Do you remember that?  The intensity and emotion of that moment, as he bravely walked out into the middle of an open ball field at a time where everything seemed insecure and precarious, gave the thumbs up, and threw a pitch right down the center of the plate?  As if to say: “Play ball; life goes on — we’re not afraid.”  Incredible — it still sends shivers down my spine.  Two other memoirs on my list: Hitha recommended Diane Keaton’s Then Again, and my cousin — who works in the restaurant industry — recommended Alice Waters’ Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook, which I think both Mr. Magpie and I will enjoy, fans as we are of the Chez Panisse style of cooking.

+I recently attended an event put on by ScoutBags, and they generously gifted me a few of their products.  I am OBSESSED!  I had not known that they had expanded beyond their reusable grocery tote-type bags, which I remember seeing all over DC a few years ago.  Now they have EVERYTHING.  I’m especially into this tote which folds up into a small pouch — perfect for travel!  I’m bringing it to Florida with us in our suitcase, as I can imagine throwing all of our pool/beach stuff in it once we’re there.  I also love this little cosmetics bag, which wipes down easily.  My favorite piece, though, is a tech clutch/pouch that’s not yet up on their site (I believe it launches in the next week) that Inslee hand-painted at the event for me — I’ve been carrying it EVERYWHERE.  It fits my Kindle (#must), phone, and a few other essentials, like one of these (link is for a pack of 4), which I am legitimately NEVER without.  It’s the easiest way to quickly clean my paws after a subway ride, trip to the library, etc.

+These stunning shoes are back in stock and I’m in love.  The perfect statement flat for spring.

+I recently visited my friend Jen, who just gave birth to the most adorable baby girl, and while visiting her gorgeously appointed apartment, I realized I have a long way to go in finishing mine.  Her nursery is #goalzzzz.  I specifically am in the market for an area rug for minimagpie’s nursery now that she’s crawling everywhere.  Up until recently, I’ve just been fine with a little decorative rug situation in there, but now the hardwood is no bueno.  Any suggestions?  Jen had a broadloom from Georgetown Carpet cut into an area rug which is basically beyond my pay grade in terms of complexity of coordination.  I’m wondering about something simple and inexpensive like this or this.

+My bestie and I get together for wine + snacks about once a week, alternating who hosts (it’s glorious: I put mini down, hop on the Subway, and am at her door in 15 minutes — #ilovenewyork).  I recently suggested we also test out some beauty products during these lovely girls’ nights, and at the top of my list is this black mask, which apparently REALLY hurts to peel off but REALLY works.  Speaking of new beauty products, what’s the deal with these?  I keep hearing buzz about them but am lost.  Has anyone tried it?

P.S.  10 products I can’t live without and things I never travel without.

P.P.S.  The most popular thing I featured on my blog so far this year.  And for your mini?  This.

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6 thoughts on “Things I Like Today: Bangs + Bags + Other Thangs.

  1. So much to comment on here! I looooove that haircut in the first pic – I could n.e.v.e.r. pull it off (I feel I don’t have the right bone structure!) but I think it would be so cute on the right person!

    I recently spent $105 on a pair of Beats wired headphones and I like them, but I kiiind of regret it because I feel like AirPods would be so much more seamless. I AM a little nervous that I’d lose one or both, but generally I am good about not losing things…

    I love that you & Hitha are starting a NYC-based book club! Wish I hadn’t moved to Boston!! Also, you just reminded me that I bought a copy of Sisters First and half forgot that I have it to read … might start it this week when I’m done with Too Much and Not the Mood.

    I’ve tried that Boscia mask before and liked it, but this was about 7 years ago (!) so my memory of it is slightly fuzzy around the edges. Would definitely try it again, though! I used 3/4 of the tube and gave the rest to my sister and she loved it and raved about it.

    I am so curious about the jade roller! The other commenter here has me wanting to run out & get one (or two!) Haha!

    1. TOTES on the bangs. I worry I’d look like a misdirected schoolgirl instead of French chic. The hair length combined with the straight bang means you NEED to wear cool clothes tout le temps…

      I still have not yet purchased the airpods; I keep finding other, more urgent, ways to spend money, like on the headband trend (har har har — I do think I’ll snag them soon, though, and will then write a review…

      JADE ROLLER! My mom sprinted out to get one, too!

    2. You are spot on about the bangs and having to wear cool clothes all the time! Too right.

      Headband trend! Eeee! I wore a black turban-ish headband (basically just a thicker – maybe 1.5″ wide – headband with a large knot in the center) to a recent rehearsal dinner and I daresay it was kind of chic. (If one can humbly say that about their own outfit!) I’ll read that post soon & comment on it, I’m sure!

  2. Yes to the jade roller! I’m a recent convert, introduced by my fabulous new facialist in NY. It feels amazing to give myself a mini face massage at the end of a long day – there are lots of videos on YouTube about how to use it for lymphatic drainage. FYI I bought an inexpensive one (that probably isn’t even 100% jade) on Amazon and have been very happy with it (debating buying a second one so I can use two at once).

    1. OO. My interest just sky-rocketed after this little note — you like it so much you want TWO! This is on my list.

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