Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 225: On Juggling.

By: Jen Shoop

Happy Fourth of July weekend! Hope you are enjoying yourself somewhere sunny but not too hot, with lots of watermelon and rose.

My Latest Snag: My New Office Chair.

We are finally close enough to the move to order my new office chair for my new Magpie writing nook! I know many of you purchased and loved this chair and I cannot wait for it to arrive!

We have actually not yet ordered anything else (!) for the house. The last few weeks have been unbelievably busy — mainly with fun things, like completing final NYC bucket list items, celebrating my birthday, visiting our friends in East Hampton, etc., but also with so much admin. (Just the process of finding a new pediatrician, pediatric dentist, and pediatric ophthalmologist; transferring medical records; and lining up appointments to get the required school forms filled out by a certain date consumed an unbelievable amount of time. Yikes! Thanks to all my D.C. Magpies for referrals!) On top of it all (as is always the case), both of my children came down with a cold that turned into an ear infection for mini, and so there were a few days spent with my feverish children laying on top of me. (Side note: the pediatrician mentioned that there has been a huge influx in common colds and viruses since things have opened up again!)

We have found an interior decorator to help us with some aspects of outfitting the home and are going to get started after the move, once we’re in the space and things have settled down just a little. (There will still be so much — new nanny, buy a car, get new license, etc. — but at least we will be in the house.) Anyway, here’s to living in a vastly under-furnished home for the next six months…! Eh well. A small chapter in the grand scheme, and I want to take the time to make measured decisions for this house we hope to live in for a long time.

But. I did want a new desk chair! So that’s one lovely find to look forward to immediately!

P.S. Chic desk finds.

You’re Soooo Popular: A Perfect Wedding Guest Dress.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+Gorgeous wedding dress guest option.

+Wicker serving tray.

+The $65 blouse that has sold out about ten times this season.

+The best sippy cups for littles transitioning from bottles.

+Mermaid nap dress.

+Floral ballerina mules (on sale for $54!)

+Cute puff-sleeved dress.

+Pearl and straw bag. More great woven bags here!

+Well-priced indoor/outdoor rug.

+Q by Quincy Mae loungewear for littles.

+Hill’s Sesame Street alphabet toy.

+My favorite Etsy boutique for personalized stationery. More cute stationery picks here.

+Chic scooter for a little one.

+My favorite sunscreen for the entire family.

+Tailored-looking outdoor cushions!

Weekend Musings: The Juggle.

I have a theory: I am only capable of successfully, attentively juggling three parts of my life at a time. The first two categories are nearly always reserved for family and writing. The third category typically rotates between fitness, social life, and reading. At the moment, however, that third category has been co-opted by this unwieldy move and all its moving parts. I am straining to accommodate that reality. It pains me to say, for example, that I have only gone on a handful of runs since the week we closed in early June after working so hard to make it a non-negotiable part of my weekly routine for the many months prior. I can feel my body changing — runs are harder, even after only a few weeks of easing up! However. If there is anything I learned from reflecting on my son’s birth, it’s that I want myself to lean into these brief periods absent of “normalcy.” I simply do not have the time to run at the moment. That hour is now handily consumed by the million other more pressing to-dos related to the move, and (this week) by my sick children to boot! I must remind myself: That’s OK. I will get back into it. Life will resume its patterns. This is temporary. I know that it is extremely challenging for me to be operating well in more than three categories, and I’m not doing anyone a favor (least of all myself) by shoe-horning an extra into the mix. For now, I’m going to let myself enjoy the fact that I don’t need to scaffold the time to run and shower into my day, and I don’t need to give myself an informal pep talk when I’m not in the mood to run in 85 degree heat. I’m instead going to continue to make small, determined progress on this transition.

The other day, I posted the words: “Enjoy the now” on my Instastories. That’s it! This is my life at the moment, and I’m doing my best and attempting to enjoy the reprieve from running in this suffocating heat and the opportunity to get my family settled in our new home.

More to come!

P.S. I am never moving again.

Post-Scripts: Dresses + Mules.

+If I were going to a wedding this summer, this would be my top pick for a dress at the moment.

+These $25 pointed denim mules are so fun. I’m imagining them with a white midi or maxi dress.

+This is not usually my style, but I so love this knit pencil skirt and matching peplum top.

+Another top and skirt set I love, this one from SIR and on sale: this yellow top and this matching skirt.

+Ancient Greek vibes for under $50.

+Great acrylic and brass side table.

+SEA vibes for $30.

+Only a few sizes left in this darling Rhode dress!

+Discovered these adorable heart jammies ($24!) for littles after sharing this post on cute under-$30 finds for little ones.

+The cutest finds under $205.

+FUN gingham statement dress. This one is also super fun.

+These scalloped wicker chairs are really just so chic.

+Handsome table lamp.

+This clear bookstand would be such a chic way to display a favorite coffee table book.

+This super popular dress was restocked in a few sizes.

+Rattan vase/decorative urn!

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16 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 225: On Juggling.

  1. I think you are wise to go patiently into decorating – as hard as it is!
    After purchasing our home in January 2020 (a prescient decision to move from city to suburban life), we moved in May 2020 into our new home. A variety of factors (pandemic, of course, impending arrival of our second child, renovation budget, decision fatigue) led to us defer furnishing certain rooms. I have such fond memories of our son playing in nearly-empty rooms and of changing diapers in our unfurnished dining room. This year, we have furnished that dining room and our living room too. I enjoy the spaces so much, and I don’t wish that we’d done them any sooner. It also helped to have time to get to know the house and to see how we used it too.

    1. Hi Jean! Congrats to YOU on your home purchase! Your note here and that of Michelle made me feel a lot better about living in a largely unfurnished home for a period of time. Temporary, and all part of the adventure. Had not even thought about how much my kids will enjoy the free space!


  2. Okay so it’ll probably be annoying for you to have no furniture, but I promise- your kiddos will love it! I have such fun memories of being at my aunts house when she moved and it was nearly empty. The cousins had so much space to run around INSIDE with no chance to break anything. We did laps. You’ll have room for games like twister! You can make picnics on the floor inside when it rains! If you’re going to refinish the floors they can ride their bikes inside! Ok maybe that last one was just a weird thing as my house bc our basement had concrete floors. Anyway- they’ll see it as an adventure. I promise.

    1. Michelle! Thank you so much for putting a positive spin on this and reminding me to look at life through the eyes of my children. It will be SO fun for them to be able to camp out / run around / build forts in these empty rooms. You’ve made me very excited 🙂


  3. So exciting about the chair! Curious what color you went with. I’m in a similar boat with regards to living in a vastly unfurnished space, partially due to delivery times and also partially due to overall indecisiveness about what will coordinate with what. The lived in look is so hard to achieve in a short period of time. Love your mindset of taking your time 🙂

    1. Hi hi! I did end up with that saddle brown leather. It just spoke to me from the first moment I laid eyes on it and I’m super excited to have something a touch more masculine in what will otherwise be a very feminine space :).

      Sounds like we will be in the same boat for awhile now…but! I do think we will both look back and be happy we took our time to find that-console-from-the-carpenter-outside-of-NYC and that-vintage-piece-of-art and that-rug-we-saved-up-for. So excited.


    2. Beautiful choice! I strongly considered the grey version but ultimately decided I wanted a parsons chair. Looked into Ballard Designs but their chair was creaky. Now waiting to see if the society social piper chair comes back in stock anytime soon… we shall see! I don’t recall myself spending so much time furnishing the many homes that came before this one. Still have not quite put my finger on why!

      1. I get it! I think with age comes more experience in this category / patience to wait for the right piece and invest in what you know you will treasure. Keep me posted on where you land on the chair and other finds! I think we have similar taste!


  4. Lol at your P.S! I have been in this house for nearly 11 years now after moving roughly every year in my 20s. It’s glorious…but will be soooo much worse when we do finally move after so many years of accumulation.

    Good for you that you’re self aware enough to have the “three parts of life” rule! It’s hard to feel like you’re letting things slide but so great to avoid the burnout and meltdowns of taking on too much. You’ll be on the other side before you know it 🙂 And it is shocking how quickly endurance fades vs how long it took to build it in the first place!! That has always seemed unfair to me, ha. But I think having built this into your schedule successfully earlier this year will make it that much easier to get back into a routine when you can.

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement on all fronts!! Woohoo, I got this!!!

      Re: your note on accumulation. I am already having the same thought. New York living should have made it difficult to accrue to much of anything but Landon and I have been purging every closet, drawer, nook, and cranny, and we are appalled with ourselves. We were just chatting last night about how we should schedule a “faux move out clean” once a year, or maybe once every six months if we can get motivated after we move into this forever home. Pretend as if we are moving or the rooms in our house are going to be audited/assessed by movers or toured by potential buyers (seriously so intrusive to have movers looking through all our drawers! I mean, God bless them for the service they are providing, but…! Makes you think twice about what you keep where). It’s probably a pipe dream as there is nothing that can approximate the urgency of actually going through a move, but…a good thought maybe?


    2. SUCH a good idea in theory…but you’re right that the urgency of moving can’t be replicated. I’ve thought of doing a clean out (especially during lockdown when everyone else seemed to be cleaning out their houses but I had a newborn and could barely keep our heads above water) but so far it has not happened. Maybe we need to get childcare for a day and my husband can take the day off and just tackle as much as we can!

      1. Oof, and those days are SO hard to sacrifice to cleaning…you get a childcare for the day, and you’re like, “Let’s go OUT! DO LUNCH! I’LL DO THIS ANY OLD DAY!” Haha. Probably just inevitable…


  5. Ok, I cannot begin to tell you how many times in the last month I have read your blog and thought: How is she doing all of this? It keep thinking today will be the blog telling all your loyal readers that you’re taking a month off to move and get your family settled. As you said, you have to show up for yourself — no one else will!
    So please DO NOT put any more pressure of yourself during this difficult time. We understand and will still be here when you resurface. Focus on yourself and your family as this too shall pass.

    1. Daniel Tiger likes to say “enjoy the wow that is happening now.” I tell this to my children (and myself) often. ☺️

    2. Aw, thank you, Cynthia! Honestly, this blog keeps me ticking and sane! I consider it a lifeline when I’m frazzled — a place to focus my thoughts and connect with other people going through the same thing. Thank you, as always, for your graciousness and encouragement!!


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