Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 222: On Pride of Ownership.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: The Everlane Shirred Mini Dress.

Everlane sent me the cutest mini dress ($78 — I got it in white but the black would also be fantastic) and it is a total dream. I feel like the proportions make it look higher-end than it is (Ganni?), and I love the voluminous body and balloon sleeves. It is supremely easy to wear on a hot day with slides and hair up in a top knot. I took it in the XXS and it is very generously cut, but that’s the style. I surprisingly did not have to have it hemmed — it hits me a few inches above the knee and feels comfortably demure/not too short. I think I will be living in this!

P.S. More white dresses here, and my most worn-at-home dresses here.

You’re Soooo Popular: Carrie Forbes Mules.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+Carrie Forbes x J. Crew mules.

+SZ Blockprints Jodhpur dress.

+My favorite racerback tank! (On sale!)

+These $20 slides are still tres popular.

+The best utility storage bins — great for under-sink area, utility closet, batteries, pet supplies, etc.

+Seriously fun napkins for your next game night gathering.

+A Birkin-like bag — woven, $115, free ship!

+Clever first day / last day school pennant for littles. Can be reused for every grade!

+Toddler water shoes.

+Round woven bowl.

+Cire Trudon candles!

Weekend Musings: Pride of Ownership.

The realtor representing the sellers from whom we are buying described our future home as “displaying pride of ownership.” The phrase couldn’t be more accurate. Everything about the house has been impeccably maintained, and the sellers even generously offered up a “guide” of sorts to the home, including tips, service history for appliances, paint colors, etc — the sheer existence of which demonstrates the loving care they have shown their home.

The phrase of “pride of ownership” has been percolating ever since. What a lovely thought, and not just within the context of real estate. Where do I demonstrate “pride of ownership”? What do I preen, nurture, maintain with devotion? In my 20s, Mr. Magpie once commented that I was “hard on my belongings.” I know what he meant. I was reckless with my clothes in particular — I did not take the time to separate colors in the laundry; I would wear an impractical white dress to a muddy outdoor event; I routinely disregarded laundering instructions; I strode satin shoes through the rain. I have come a long way over the last decade and a half. I have become increasingly dedicated to the admittedly annoying task of air drying items rather than running them through the drier to prolong their lives, and have become obsessive about stain removal. I wear sunscreen constantly. Since the start of the warmer weather this season, I have steamed my clothing daily. I blow-dry my hair every other day. Thanks to a Magpie tip, I launder performance fabrics separately. I run. I maintain all of my regular check-ups for dermatology, dentistry, general wellness, OBGYN, etc. I spend a fortune having items tailored– if I am wearing it, I want it to fit properly! I will not wear high heels if a long walk or cobblestones are involved. I keep bandaids in my purse. I keep my ring sparkling with this genius pen. I put jewelry back in their boxes or bags rather than letting them pile up in a dish on my bedside table. (This occasionally requires herculean effort on my behalf.) I check the weather. This last one is key: if there is even a remote chance of rain, or cooler temperatures, I completely change my planned outfit in the name of practicality. I am over wet feet and cold fingers and hemlines damaged by mud or wet grass. Just wear the anorak and rain boots, Jen! At some point in my 20s, I might have thought I was making a concession to practicality — “you’re forfeiting the perfect shoes because of a sprinkling of rain?!” Now, I am viewing it as something else: pride of ownership.

What do you think? Do you take care of yourself with something akin to “pride of ownership”?

Post-Scripts: Storage Solution.

+Such a clever and attractive solution for stowing spices in a small space! I used something very similar (but less attractive) in our old apartment to wedge alongside our washer/dryer. You’ll need to check the dimensions on this particular one, but it worked for stowing cleaning supplies and select laundry items (dryer sheets, etc) and was such a handy way to hide that stuff! (More great storage solutions here and here.)

+Monogrammed seersucker pouches for everything.

+A midi tee dress that will take you from Sweetgreen salads with a girlfriend to running after your mini at the park.

+These running shorts are on sale for $25 and get good reviews.

+More summer athletic wear here! Note that some of the new Tnuck Sport items have sold out or are low in stock, but this gingham athletic skirt is still available!

+Super fun top. (More statement tops here.)

+Still some good Nordstrom sale finds to be had — I love this distressed sweatshirt (40% off) styled over bike shorts; this is the best nursing bra ever; and I love the color and shape of this blue half-zip.

+So many items on my lust list from Emerson Fry at the moment – love this breezy white dress for everyday, this adorable floral top, and this blue block print maxi.

+I have a pair of white earring similar to these that I wear several times a week.

+Another fun pair of earrings and even more fun statement jewelry here.

+These denim shorts have been very popular on le blog! More sizes and washes here.

+A chic and packable straw hat!!!!

+Fun option for the FOJ. I like the maxi length!

+More FOJ outfits for the entire family.

+Seriously cute woven bag for $64.

+If you’re a fan of Birks, these are Birk-like floral beauties for a little lady — under $15!

+SUCH a gorgeous striped dress ($102!)

+Thank you to the reader who sent along this wearable rosary bracelet. The Hail Mary has seen me through more tough times than I care to think about. A sweet gift for a fellow novena enthusiast.

+How amazing would this custom house portrait be as a gift for a homeowner displaying “pride of ownership” or as a memento of a home that is about to be sold?

+These shades are epic.

+Must-haves for living in Manhattan.

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12 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 222: On Pride of Ownership.

  1. Congratulations on your new home! What a gift that owner’s manual must be — and I love your musings on pride of ownership. It’s funny to think about laundry — like some others, it’s an area in which I have always exhibited meticulous devotion (even in college!!) — but I only recently learned to wash activewear alone, and then hang dry! Haha. I would say that on the whole, I tend to take serious care of my possessions, but there’s a fine line between being careful and being TOO wrapped up in material things. I’m inspired by Allyson’s comment not to be a slave to her things!


    1. Thank you! Agree — Allyson’s comment really stirred something in me. Will be working to find a balance.


  2. I bet you are so relieved to be closed on your new house! Congrats. The previous owners of our house left a similar dated list of home improvements, which I have since lost (aaaaarr) and never added my own improvements to, anyway. Ten years in, that is now a significant regret as we contemplate selling in the near future.

    I have always been meticulous about laundry and just assumed everyone else was, too! I remember a male college friend asking, in wonder, “how are your socks so white?!?” And I was like, “I wash my whites with oxy clean” with a tone of “ obviously, doesn’t everybody?” Haha. My husband does his own laundry bc he has been known to throw a towel (!) in with his performance fabrics (!!) I recently had a fit when I found him about to wash our brand new all white towels in the same load with colorful beach towels from swim class. Eeek! He was like what’s the big deal?? So he clearly can’t be trusted lol.

    I’m seriously considering a caftan from Emerson Fry…have you ordered from them? How’s the sizing? The quality for the price?

    1. Hi! Thank you so much. Will do my best to keep all of their notes and documents safe and to keep our own records up to date. Which makes me wonder…does anyone have a good system for that besides just a Google Doc or a file folder?

      SO funny about the laundry with your husband. I guess it just clicks for some people at certain stages of their lives…and for others, not so much.

      I have not yet ordered anything from EF — I actually just added their Frances dress to my cart this morning. Will let you know if I pull the trigger and what I think!!!


  3. Dear Jen, congratulations on your new home! I laughed loud at your memory of washing all laundry together in one load. In my early twenties, I did not get, why one has to separate darks and whites. Now, in my thirties, I am on four different kinds of laundry loads – at least! You described perfectly a development that I went through, too. The older I get, the more I value the things I have (speaking entirely of material items). Just ask my husband about the *minor* (and completely out of proportion) crisis I have anytime my mum throws my T-shirt’s into the dryer when we visit!

    1. Hi Charlotte! Thank you!! So funny that several of us have the same experience w/r/t laundry…!!


  4. I aspire to this sentiment, but I honestly feel like I’m somewhere in the middle. I obviously don’t want to be reckless with my things. And yet, at the end of the day these items & spaces exist to serve me; I am not a slave to them. I’ll wear white somewhere impractical, but be sure to bleach it when I get home. Sometimes I lay my head on the decorative pillows, but I fluff them when I get up and replace the inserts often. I don’t ask my guests to remove their shoes cause carpets matter less than the people do and I can (and always do) scrub the carpets later. I find it a tricky balance, but generally worth it for me.

    1. Hi Allyson — This was such a great note and it left me introspective! You are so right that we should not let “things” govern us — and life is meant to be lived! I said this the other day actually when Mr. Magpie dripped a huge blob of salsa onto my just-washed ivory table linens. I just shrugged. I mean — life is meant to be lived!! Eat the salsa and worry about the stain later! It kind of reminds me of a totally adjacent/disconnected comment by Warren Buffett my dad quoted the other day: “If you can’t be in the stock market for ten years, don’t be in it for ten seconds.” Kind of a parallel thought: “If you can’t stand the sight of a stain on a nice garment, don’t buy the nice garment!” Like, don’t strain for something that you can’t accommodate. I’m probably like you, somewhere in the middle, but I have learned to take better care of my things, because not doing that now feels wasteful and even unethical sometimes.


  5. Congratulations on YOUR new home where you can keep displaying pride of ownership! What a great concept and I cannot think of a better place than your home sweet home!

  6. Oh I love that phrase. I have never really understood people living hard in their homes or with their belongings. Now that I am able to afford all the luxuries I desired as a child growing up in a home where even essentials were difficult to come by, I take pride in caring for my things. Of course I have to balance this with an innate urge to save everything for a “special” day and then never wear or use it at all! I have noticed my children also “live gently” and take care of their things too despite their upbringing being so different from my own. I take great pride knowing they understand things cost money and savor those they love.

    Congratulations on your new home and all the memories within those four walls yet to come!

    1. Hi Amy – Such a great note. I love the idea of “living gently.” Will be thinking on that phrase for awhile.

      Thank you also for the well wishes!! Seriously bursting with excitement and, well, “pride of ownership.”


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