Weekend Vibes: A Word I’ve Eliminated from My Vocabulary.

By: Jen Shoop

*I don’t know why, but lately, I’ve been revisiting a lot of my photos from my time in New York, specifically the summer during which my son was born there. That time in my life felt exhausting and constrained by small spaces and small intervals in which to accomplish things, but I also felt so proud of myself: I was doing it! Raising two little kids in the city! I look back now and of course remember mainly the sweet, tender moments. The magic of strolling through Central Park with an iced coffee in one hand and a baby strapped to my chest. The ebullience of successfully getting two children to a music class on time! The way we made our tiny apartment a true center. It feels good to sit with those memories and remind myself that I can do hard things, and that everything turns out OK. Which reminds me that one time I asked my Magpies: “What do you wish you could tell your 20 year old self?” and about half of the answers were permutations of: “It’s all going to turn out fine.” If you’re in it this weekend — in whatever phase of life you are in — know that the wisdom of an enormous community of Magpies are here to tell you it’s going to be OK.

My Latest Snag: Ecru Denim Skirt + Makeup!

My favorite purchases this week were this ecru denim skirt (also available in a great denim wash; some styling inspo here) and a mini Sephora haul, that included two clean beauty products for brow recommended by Magpies over on Instagram: this Westman Atelier pencil and this brow gel. The impetus for these brow purchases? I really like the way my makeup looked last weekend when I went to a party with my college friends, and I realized after the fact it was because I’d applied brow gel — which I rarely do! — because I feel like my face looked better-defined, or better-framed? I was really feeling myself — ha! Anyway, the tube I’d used was pretty dry and cakey so I wanted to upgrade and pick up some new clean products. Both of the ones I got came highly recommended, though one Magpie noted that the Kosas one really does expire within six months — FYI.

I also picked up this blush that went viral on TikTok (I’d been eyeing for months) in the happy color — note that reviews claim this is hyper-pigmented, and you barely need a drop to see color! It’s not clean but I really did want to try it.

I also picked up this make-up setting spray (clean!), recommended by a few Magpies, after my two girlfriends both INSISTED that makeup setting spray is crucial to having your makeup last a full night!

This Week’s Bestsellers.

magpie blog bestsellers


*These are really a fantastic product. The elastic strap is so much better than the rubber one! Little ones can pull them on/off themselves (!!) — even my four year old son! — and they don’t snag in hair as easily.

Weekend Musings: A Word I’ve Eliminated from My Vocabulary.

Back when I was leading a team, what feels like four lifetimes ago — before my start-up days, before my babies, before NYC or Bethesda — a mentor told me: “Eliminate the word ‘just’ from your vocabulary.” She said this pointedly, as a woman-to-woman confidence. Ever since, when I feel my fingers itching to type “I’m just checking in on –” or “Just wondering if –” or even “It’s just a blog,” I think of her and I remember her point: that “just” undermines the seriousness with which I approach my work. It implies a fluttering kind of marginality. “Just” suggests that whatever follows is caveated by smallness. Now imagine the same inquiries without “just,” and reform them to communicate crispness and the absence of apology:

“Would up update me on the status of…?”

“Where are we with regards to…?”

These changes are more than mere semantics. They are small, actionable, relatively low-lift ways to stand up for yourself in a professional or personal setting.

Do you have any similar words or phrases you avoid?

Shopping Break.

+I ordered this $21 tank in the chocolate brown. Thinking it will cute with my ecru midi skirt!

+A dress that does it all. Can’t think of an occasion it wouldn’t work for!

+These inexpensive huggies are enjoying a moment — I keep seeing them pop up! I’ve had good luck with this brand of jewelry, BTW. I wear these hoops alll the time.

+This knit top would be cute with the Old Navy shorts we all bought!

+The striped trousers caught my eye. Also been seeing some buzz about the brand LMND, who does even bolder striped knit pants.

+This caftan has SUCH great colors.

+Love this linen maxi – such an unusual color and great details, too.

+Adore this sun hat from HHH’s high summer launch!

+How cute are these gingham biker shorts? Would pair with my new Vuori tank!

+Sweetest floral bubble for baby girl.

+This lace caftan really brings to mind the pricier styles from La Vie Stylehouse.

+The teachers at my son’s new preschool (where he’ll wear a uniform) suggested we order a bunch of these inexpensive Cat and Jack shorts in navy because they have a drawstring waist but look like uniform shorts! Genius for little boys still getting the hang of buttons, zippers, etc!

+This Khaite bag…SO good.

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9 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes: A Word I’ve Eliminated from My Vocabulary.

  1. I try my best to eliminate the word “should” from my vocabulary. Especially when talking about others! If it’s not my business, I’m not giving opinions. And also when talking to/about myself…it’s just so imprecise and there are often better, clearer, and kinder ways to talk to yourself. “I should go for a run” vs “going on a run will make me feel really good for the rest of the day.”

  2. I noticed a few weeks ago how frequently I use “just” in my work emails, so this post is apropos. I’m trying to be more cognizant of this going forward!

    Another word I’ve essentially eliminated from my vocabulary is “very.” My AP English teacher said that whenever you want to use the word very (e.g., very happy, very sad, very tired, etc.), you can (and should!) use a word like ecstatic, sorrowful, exhausted, etc. instead.

  3. perfect recap, roundup, and sentiment – could comment on everything, but will limit myself…

    -i’ve been playing with the rare beauty blush too! definitely was a bit inadvertently heavy handed at first, but now it’s *chef’s kiss* – i got the peachy “joy” shade, which is so summery and fun

    -SO identify with trying to eliminate “just” from my professional vocab, esp as a woman. that and my propensity towards at least one exclamation per email (conveying tone can be such a challenge). it’s hard, but working on it (!).

    ooh and lastly: i’m 2/3 of the way through “foster dade explores the cosmos” and heavily rec adding to your reading list. the prose is a tad overdone in parts, but the (accurate) use of so many unusual words is poetic and beautiful. it’s described as a blend of “the secret history” and “prep” which feels exceedingly accurate (i’d add a tiny dash of gossip girl, too, though it’s heavier subject matter). it veers from similar texts in that the perspective is male, which i find interesting. the author captures the earnestness, immaturity, privilege, and yearning of adolescence (in this case, at a fictional boarding school) incredibly well. + the mid 2000s cultural references (esp. music) viscerally transport me right back to that time period. i just bought it for a friend, it’s that good!

    1. Hi! Yay, so glad this felt like the right kind of potpourri post 🙂 What brush do you use for the Rare Beauty? I’ve been using my Merit one (which I adore) but feel like the bristles are picking up too much of the Rare Beauty product? Any tips?

      THANK YOU for the book rec. Honestly downloaded immediately even though I have a TBR list a million miles long. Thank you! Will report back!


      1. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the book (!!). I use a damp beauty blender + lots of stippling dabs for the rare beauty blush – seems to work well!

  4. I bought the Rhode dress in Navy a few months ago, it is the best dress. I love that the fabric is sort of weighty but light, hugs my chest perfectly and has pockets!! I am thrilled with this purchase!

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