Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 219: Lessons from Claude Monet.

By: Jen Shoop

*Image above via Abby Capalbo.

My Latest Snag: An OK-to-Wake Clock.

Mini has been coming into our bedroom most mornings between 5:45 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. Usually these visits have only the vaguest of intentions: “Hi Mama, hi. I made a pink bracelet.” Or: “Dada, what’s that sound?” It’s not so much the early wake-up call as it is the persistent repetition of these visits over the course of the following hour until one or the other of us gets up for the day, as her noisy entrances, chatter, and slammed-door exits ensure that everyone in the house is wide awake from the stroke of six a.m. We have tried everything from setting out activities on her table the night before to having long conversations about why she has to wait in her bedroom until we come get her, and nothing seems to resonate. We decided we will give one of these OK-to-wake clocks a try. (I considered multiple models, but this one was well-reviewed and specifically recommended by Lucie’s List, whose rubric I trust.) I am wrapping it up like a gift and we will cloak it as a special clock for her bedroom, but we are hoping this will help us regain that extra 30-45 minutes of sleep every morning…

You’re Soooo Popular: $32 Earrings.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+$32 woven earrings to wear all summer long.

+This breezy blockprint dress.

+Hill has been wearing these sneakers in red every day. I love that they can be worn without socks and look just as cute with jon jons as they do with a polo and shorts.

+This Alexis x Target dress — still some sizes available! Many of my other favorites from this recent launch have sold out.

+These bubble wands will make you the most popular mom at the playground.

+Chic and simple end tables.

+Elegant everyday sandals.

+$20 dress — crazy chic for the price! I bought this, too!

+Fun $5 inner tube for the pool!

+This outdoor rug is SO chic. Reminds me of a Mark D. Sikes.

+Everyday shorts.

+My children love these catch and toss crabs.

Weekend Musings: Lessons from Monet.

Many of the artworks for which Claude Monet is best known were painted after he moved to Giverny, France, in 1883, midway through his life. Once settled there, Monet planted an elaborate garden that then became the focal point of the bulk of his most famous impressionist pieces, including his lily pond series. So if you ever feel stuck, or hemmed-in, or regretful that you missed out on some opportunity in your life, consider the ambition of Claude Monet, who not only arrived at masterpieces of artistic genius after designing and nurturing their subject with his own bare hands (!), but did so in the second half of his life.

There is more, too, that I find compelling in the arc of his story:

Monet moved around quite a bit before settling in Giverny, where he remained until his death, continuously painting his gardens. There is something exquisite about the idea of a jumpy artist angling this way and that, moving from town to town, all question marks and inquisitive glances over the fence next door, before stumbling upon Giverny, where he stopped and dug into the earth and stayed. He was transfixed by his home in Giverny, called away from his vagrancy, arrested by its beauty. I love that: the near-magnetic pull between the right subject matter and the hands of the right artist, one so evident in the biography of Claude Monet that it is difficult to not see the entire thing as preordained, or kismet, or whatever you feel comfortable calling it. I also love this: the way sometimes we feel compelled to travel the globe over in pursuit of adventure or satisfaction or beauty when it turns out that the best of the best is sitting in our backyard, waiting to be watered.

Post-Scripts: J. Crew Mules.

+Aren’t these J. Crew mules fun?!

+This dress is incredible — the navy and yellow are so unexpected!

+This mirror is gorgeous. I’m imagining it in a wallpapered powder room.

+Fun gingham top. I like the idea of pairing it with a white midi or maxi skirt.

+Just the happiest tee. (And for some reason their adorable kids’ tees are 40% off here!)

+Affordable chinoiserie panels.

+The kind of book that keeps my son busy for long stretches of time. (All those flaps!)

+I want to live in this jumpsuit all summer long — so chic and comfortable and airy!

+Hill looks so cute in these throwback-style shorts from Petits Vilains (I pair with a Lacoste polo), but you can also get the look for less with these from Gap!

+OK, y’all know how I feel about my Mason Pearson brush, but I’ve heard this is nearly is good and it’s under $15?!

+These painted food storage containers make me want to pack a picnic and head to Central Park.

+Great everyday dress for work, Zoom, school pick up, errands!

+In love with this peplum top — under $50!

+High-waisted fitness skort in a great blue color.

+These $20 sandals are very chic.

+Fun ride-on toy for even tiny children.

+I just love a bow shoulder — this Loretta Caponi is beyond, this Shoshanna is a dream, and oh this sweet linen dress for a mini!

+This floral print robe! Another amazing find from this epic sale.

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6 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 219: Lessons from Claude Monet.

  1. Does mini like Daniel Tiger? I remember you writing about her watching Mr Rogers, and Daniel Tiger is a cartoon spin-off! There is an episode about staying in your room until it’s time to get up 🙂

    1. Oo thank you!!! That show is a treasure trove for situations like this. Will definitely look this up!

  2. Will be waiting with bated breath for your review of the ok to wake clock! I’ve been on the fence about getting one for a while…can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    1. Hi! The short answer is — four days in — it is working!!! We can’t believe it but she actually pays attention to when the light turns green and will not come out of her room until after it does! It’s like a miracle! I’m always a little bit circumspect when things go this well and am waiting for a regression or something but…it seems to be working well. It might be her age! 4 years and change and she is suddenly much easier to reason with.


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