*Image above from Emilia Wickstead, part of her “This Woman’s Work” series, in which she features eight brilliant female entrepreneurs wearing her Matches Fashion holiday capsule collection. Emilia writes: “Like many of us, I have spent three months of this year at home, trying to keep a business and home-life alive. This collection, designed for the summer holiday season ahead of us, I felt, needed to capture this particular moment in time. These are the women of our time and this is their remarkable work.”
Also, I own this dress of hers in this exact print and it is on sale for 70% off.
My Latest Snag: Mini’s First Day of School Outfit.
We are currently planning to send mini back to school in-person in a few weeks, though I am still mentally preparing for every possible eventuality. Regardless of whether she’ll be sitting behind a screen or walking into the school building, she’ll be wearing this dress on her first day. (Sadly, several of the options I’d rounded up here have since sold out in her size!!! I should have acted faster!*) It is absolutely perfect. I’ll probably pair it with navy Elephantito Mary Janes (note that they are on sale in the prettiest periwinkle shade here) and a big navy bow (on sale currently). I have also been starting to plan out what she needs for her fall wardrobe (will share more later), and went ahead and ordered her these Vejas in the navy and red!
*I also wish I had acted faster on this dress — beyond adorable and now sold out in mini’s size!
You’re Sooooo Popular: The Ric Rac Trim Dress.
The most popular items on the blog this past week:
+Fantastic lip scrub — I swear by this.
+Chic under-$35 dress (I own in the blue and white pattern, which reminds me of Delft china).
Weekend Musings: A Woman Has a Center, Is a Center.
I stumbled upon this quote by Ursula K. LeGuin (an author with a considerable cult following — any LeGuin lovers out there?) earlier this week and carried it around with me all afternoon:
“A woman has a center, is a center. But a man isn’t, he’s a reaching out.” – Ursula LeGuin
I don’t care for the gendered reductiveness of the quote, but something about the concept of absorbing and centering, in conjunction with a Magpie comment earlier this week about the difference between activities that involve “taking in” versus “letting out,” struck a chord.
Do you feel as though you are constantly taking things in and on? Carrying things, absorbing things, piling them on your back, pressing them to your chest, lingering over them in the still of the night? Does it ever feel like the life you have created is only in orbit so long as you are able to keep things moving? Put differently: when was the last time you let something go?
After four months without childcare and without close-enough family to help with the children, we started with a lovely new nanny earlier this week.* We were anxious about the decision, but we also felt as though we had been treading water for four consecutive months: we were exhausted, and breathless, and barely making ends meet with our respective jobs. After the first day with her on board, after the children were tucked into their beds, I sat down at our dining room table and cried. I felt profound relief.
It has seemed, this week, as though I have been on a spacewalk: things feel lighter and looser. I am able to actually work for a string of consecutive hours, to conceive of a full and interrupted thought and to chase it to its very end, to avoid the heartburn-like guilt I experienced any time I was working behind a closed door while Mr. Magpie looked after the children. At the same time, I have felt a creeping sense of embarrassment and the compulsion to asterisk our decision by adding that we sustained four months of working full-time and caring for children full-time when I have shared information of our new caregiver with other friends. I know that not everyone has this option and that some do not feel it is safe, and there is also the bizarre sensation that I in some way “gave up” on something by employing help.
But mainly, I have been awash with relief and gratitude. I thank God for this wonderful woman we now have in our lives. It feels as though the center of our family has expanded, and it’s suddenly a lot less constricting here at the very heart.
*I want to quickly caveat this and say that what felt right for us may not feel right for you — and that is OK. The same goes for whatever you decide with regards to sending your children to school this fall: many of us are going to land in different places because we have different inputs, constraints, careers, health issues, financial situations. It is OK, in the words of Amy Poehler, to say “good for you, not for me.”
+Gap just released the coolest dress — it’s sort of a hybrid between my beloved blockprint caftans and my beloved nap dresses! YES.
+Cutest little seersucker dress on sale. I love this style (mini has owned this in multiple sizes) because it’s a cute short length that hits around the knee. The proportions feel sort of retro to me in a good way.
+Smitten with this dress, both in the solid blue and the stripe. Smocking and puffed sleeves and a midi length? Yes pls.
+Pretty, fluffy scallop trim towels (on sale in select sizes).