Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 241: Ends and Beginnings.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: Hill House Velvet Dress.

I snagged one of Hill House’s new Jasmine velvet nap dresses and am going to wear it to Thanksgiving — WHEE! They still have a bunch of the velvet Ellies left in case you’re still in the market. More thoughts on what to wear to Thanksgiving here. Based on DMs and emails from a lot of you, I think many of us will be wearing either Hill House tartan or velvet or this chic tiered cord dress (I own in figgy pudding) for the occasion.

You’re Soooo Popular: Le Clog Boot.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

the fashion magpie best sellers

+Target clog boots — super similar to my beloved No. 6 boots.

+Veronica Beard maxi (swoon).

+Cord baby romper.

+J. Crew half-zip sweater.

+Amazon turtleneck!

+Osh Kosh overalls.

+Floral exaggerated collar blouse (under $100!)

+Wide-leg corduroys.

+Bee door knocker.

+Hill House Caroline nap dress.

+Personalized, laminated placemat.

+Vibi Venezia slippers.

+Fountain pen.

+Little English car sweater.

+Mock-neck sweater.

+Striped turtleneck for mini.

+Ruffle blouse.

Weekend Musings: The Beginning.

I read the first few pages of Louis L’Amour’s Lonely on the Mountain the other day, and the opening line is a knock-out:

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

Even without context, the line rings true. I thought immediately of how I paced back and forth in anxiety waiting to hear whether the offer on our house was accepted last May. I was so nervous, I left the apartment to run errands and I remember walking a stretch of Columbus between 87th and 88th Streets on my way to the Trader Joe’s praying to Mary and promising that I’d want for nothing if we could just have this offer accepted. It sounds absurd, even frivolous, now, but we had been down to look for houses nearly every Friday for six weeks and our entire world seemed to be spinning along an axis defined by the real estate market in Washington, D.C. It was all we talked about. Our parents were generously and deeply involved, scouting houses and taking inspectors by properties and the whole nine yards, and so much of the logistics of our lives hung on whether this particular offer would be accepted. We had the sense that we were running out of time — April, May, June were peak selling months, and if we didn’t find anything then, it’d be unlikely we’d find anything that summer. I was beginning to fret about whether we should start looking at rentals instead? Or defer the move an entire year? But what to do about the school spots we’d declined in NYC and the ones we’d accepted in DC? Anyhow, I had the feeling that day that if we could just mount this crest, we’d be home free. We would have no plans to move from that house for — possibly forever. We’d finally settle in somewhere for the long haul. The rest was details.

Thankfully, our offer was accepted, but that milestone proved to be the start of a marathon we’re still running. We are happily settled here now, but it seems absurd that I had thought getting the house would be the final hurdle. There have been months and months of endless admin and follow-through. L’Amour was right: the “finish line” I saw was just the beginning.

There are other applications of this phrase, too, that readily spring to mind, especially in the arenas of work and parenting. In both cases, every new “leveling up” has coincided with a cascade of new concerns, considerations, complexities. Mr. Magpie and I keep lying to ourselves by talking about some vague future state “when things calm down,” by which I think we mean — when we will suddenly find ourselves in a steady routine and no big projects on the horizon. I am now realizing that day will not come. Even after we have fully furnished the home, selected a grade school for the children, met the career ambitions on our immediate horizons, we will find ourselves at a new dawn. And truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are industrious people with big goals for ourselves and our family. In any case, it is true, what I wrote a few months ago, that things must end to begin again, but L’Amour approaches the same observation from a different vantage, with less wistfulness and more matter-of-factness. One door closes, another opens, whether we want it to or not.

What are you beginning?


+These floral sneakers are so cute.

+ICYMI: this is one of my best Etsy finds ever.

+I have a cakestand almost identical to this one and I love it, even for just styling a tablescape — you can use it to arrange a cluster of pillar candles or figurines on top of!

+The scalloped/tied cuffs on this blouse remind me of Horror Vacui!

+This ruffled corduroy dress would be so cute with a white turtleneck beneath on your little lady.

+Hermes-inspired wrap — can’t believe the price!

+Fun letterpress gift enclosures for every occasion.

+This tartan puffer coat is fabulous.

+Smitten with this cardigan.

+This popular floral mini is now on sale for $100.

+Someone asked me earlier this week for statement tights and I suggested Gucci, but I also love these ones from Sezane!

+OMG! This chair reminds of the Jonathan Adler I shared a few weeks ago, but only $225!

+These pink and blue candlesticks are terribly chic.

+My sister has been asking me for nursing-friendly outfits. Just came across this Staud dress, which would be perfect while pregnant and then nursing! Pair with mules.

+Love this pair of double gourd lamps at a great price.

+WOW this Anna Mason blouse and/or dress.

+Another adorable cord find for a little lady. (More picks here.)

+Have adored the print of this pillow for a long time. More here!

+Adore the color of this maxi shirtdress.

+Chic slouchy ecru overalls to pair with brown gingham.

+These chic woven sandals are $40!

+Love the colors this Bodum French press comes in — great gift for a coffee enthusiast colleague/friend/sibling.

+Ooo I love this olive dish!

+Darling Liberty floral dress for a little lady.

+These chic sheets remind me of a well-dressed man’s ascot. Pair with these shams for a tailored look.

+Mini MUST have this bow-print nightgown!

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