Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 190: Shopping Scores + The Best Time to Plant a Tree.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: Stock-Up on Children’s Cold-Weather Staples.

The weather is suddenly full-on autumn (borderline winter?) and I scrambled to stock up on cold-weather staples for the children this week. My favorite purchases for them:







*I have been looking high and low for a good pair of everyday, warm boots for micro — there were so few attractive styles out there! These are selling out everywhere so jump if you can still find them in your boy’s size.

Though I usually stick with white socks for the children (prevents inevitable problem of one sock missing from a pair), I had to buy micro these fun printed train/vehicle socks. Good colors and fun prints. The only items left on my current winter shopping staples list are a puffer coat for micro, snowsuit for micro, snow mittens/gloves for both, and some Sperry snowboots. For puffer coat, I’ll probably go with Patagonia’s Hi-Loft in the yellow color — mini has owned in the past and they are warm but not super thick/heavy (can stuff into a bag if needed), and I love that they come with the built-in hood. And for snow gear, will probably circle back to Polarn O. Pyret!

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Crochet Trim Sweater-Jacket.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+This chic sweater jacket.

+Chic cookbook stand. (Under $15 — we own and love this. The price is incomprehensible for the quality.)

+Elegant gift enclosures. (‘Tis the season!)

+Standing iPhone charger.

+My current favorite black skinny jeans.

+Snakeskin bag strap.

+Caran d’ache pens (le best, and so chic!)

+Crazy chic and affordable everyday python flat.

+These wide leg crops are SO chic! I own in ivory frost and now, I think, about half of you do, too. #magpietwinning

+On-trend chunky cardigan for $35.

Weekend Musings: The Best Time to Plant a Tree.

A reader shared this quote on a post I wrote not too long ago:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Thank you for that, Brooke — it has been on my mind since. Sharing it again here, prominently, in case one of my Magpies needs a “giddy up!” this morning.

I’ve found it personally resonant while clipping back into a running routine over the past few months. I now run every other day for 2.5-3.5 miles, without fail. (My goal is to get to 3-4 miles per run, but I’m easing into it.) I am, frankly, astonished at my ongoing capacity for commitment to this somewhat aggressive routine given that just a few months ago, I would have told you: “I have no time! It will cut into xyz! Maybe next year! I have other higher priorities right now! I’ll get back to it at some point!” I have fallen in and out of running for most of my adult life, and I think one reason I’ve been able to stick with it this go around is that my understanding of goal-setting and goal attainment has matured in the past few years thanks to my experiences as a mother and an entrepreneur. Jen of 30 years would set out to do something and throw her hands up in frustration if results did not materialize close to immediately. Jen of 36 understood that it would take weeks to get to a place where I could consistently run without fatigue and muscle pain, and months to get to a place where running 3-4 miles per session was realistic. I knew that it was going to be rough starting from scratch this time, and my expectations were on-target. But that quote about “the second best time being today” rang true to me: start now, Jen, and understand that it might take a long while for the roots to form and the trees to blossom.

(Other things that have helped me remain committed: building it into the architecture of my day, new infusions of running gear (my latest snag: this running jacket), and my serious intentions to take better care of myself after a kind of intense year of illnesses.)

Does this ring true for you? Any other galvanizing words of encouragement that have helped you step into action?

Post-Scripts: The Sequin Duster.

+ICYMI earlier this week, this sequin duster sweater is EVERYTHING for the holiday season, and it selling out quickly.

+This toddler sherpa jacket in plaid!!!

+Love these baskets for underneath a console or toy corraling in a living space.

+Most elegant blouse for a bride…or for me, in winter, looking for a reason to dress up.

+The Vampire’s Wife is enjoying major cult brand status at the moment, and The Webster marked a few of its near-iconic dresses down 50% off: here and here!

+Sherpa bomber!!! Wow. Sherpa is just IT this year.

+2020 is the year of athleisure. I can’t stop buying sweatshirt — haaaalp! I am currently obsessing over this one.

+Another day, another great Target sweater (in ivory especially).

+Houndstooth gloves!!! J’adore a good houndstooth moment.

+More good non-denim pants for those of us seeking more style diversity in our closets.

+A pearl hat!

+This lounge set with these sneakers under this topcoat = major model off-duty vibes.

+Currently testing this inexpensive retinoid (on the suggestion of TONS of Magpies and at the encouragement of my dermatologist) and can’t wait to give a full review in a few weeks…

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12 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 190: Shopping Scores + The Best Time to Plant a Tree.

  1. I think this is great advice.
    On the flip side, I have a mantra for doing things I dread: “what’s the worst that could happen?” I was really dreading calling voter this past weekend. What if they yelled at me? Then I thought, buck up! So they yell and you both hang up? So what? That’s the worst that could happen. Helps with social situations, big life moves, everything…I build things up in my mind but then I talk myself down. What’s the worst that could happen?

  2. I love your commitment to running! This is very inspiring to me … I had been a regular gym-goer before COVID hit, but have let intentional exercise really slide during this year. I do make sure to get out for a couple of power walks every day, but I need to do more … running in particular is something I’ve never enjoyed, but have felt like I have to try (being the daughter of a marathoner!) Its solitary nature does appeal to me, though. I just have to make sure I’m getting enough cardio, since my instinct is to concentrate on yoga and other gentle exercises. 🙂


    1. I’m impressed with YOUR yoga practice! I find it so hard to commit to that type of exercise — I find I get bored with the same routines but then am intimidated/overwhelmed trying to find new ones. Landon is signing us up for the new Apple Fitness Plus program so am hoping I find that helpful in whittling down the options…?


    2. Oooh, have not heard of Apple Fitness Plus! Putting in a request that you please write about it once you have a chance to evaluate it 🙂


  3. Love this! I agree about building running into your day. I aim for the same time every morning and go so far as to put it on the calendar with reminders ten and five minutes before I should be heading out. This makes it harder to find an excuse to skip it, even if I don’t feel like going!

    I am an achiever, so what helped me most with getting started was setting a daily consecutive mileage goal and giving myself a check mark each day I reached the goal, kindergarten style. The physical act of marking the day off and the reminder hanging on the fridge kept me motivated. I also focused on consistency with the Jerry Seinfeld don’t break the chain method of going every day. This helped me build the habit and again, I could see a physical reminder of my progress.

    1. Ooh this is SUCH a good idea, Annie! I would respond well to that, too. Maybe it will help me get to my goal of routinely running 3+ miles a day sooner…


  4. “The second best time is now” — that is a powerful statement, Jen!

    I’m so inspired by your running routine! I love that idea of “building it into the architecture of your day”, so that it is no longer up for debate, it just IS part of the day. I had a reality check recently when I caught myself huffing and puffing chasing after my very active toddler. And I thought of my mother, cancer survivor, who was afraid of the water all her life and learned to swim at age 70, and is now swimming at least 15 laps. I have no excuse! I think part of my problem is that I just have to learn to let go of certain things. My home is not spotless by any stretch of the imagination, but for some reason when I start doing a yoga practice in our living room I start seeing all the dust bunnies I missed, or this thing or that thing that needs to be put away, or smudges on the patio sliding door, or or or…. Something’s gotta give! Then I remember how much better I feel after even a short yoga session. Dust bunnies be damned.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one struggling with shoe shopping for a little one. Mine is incredibly picky too (and has wide feet), and I have bought and returned more than a few pairs. I did just order a pair from Ten Littles and I’m feeling hopeful that this pair will work. I bought the low-tops as our winters are relatively mild in CA, but I thought these high-tops looked promising too:

    1. Yes, Mia – 100% “Something has got to give” when you’re introducing a new habit. For me, that means ceding about an hour of work time every other day of the week and re-couping it elsewhere. Usually that’s in the evenings or on the weekends. But UGH on the housekeeping bit. I am so tidy and disciplined in general but I still find it difficult to keep on top of, especially during this pandemic, when we spend SO much time inside. xx

  5. I’m loving the Jcrew snakeskin bag strap! I plan on putting it on a small LV bag. I also love the python flats, great color combo. My head is spinning with all the great fall trends!
    Cheers to Fall vibes!

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