My Latest Snags: Madewell + J. Crew Scores for Spring.
I am mainly excited at the moment for a couple of pieces to arrive in the mail from Madewell (gifted) and J. Crew (purchased myself). From Madewell, I selected this floaty pintuck dress, these sneakers, these white jeans, these wavy hoops, and this coverall dress. Note that if you are a Madewell Insider (free to join), you can get 20% off all of these items (and site-wide)!
You’re Soooo Popular: Spring Patterns.
The most popular items on Magpie this week:
SERENA & LILY DRIFTWAY MIRROR — THE LINEN FRAME IS STUNNING
BLUE BIKINI WITH STATEMENT RUFFLE
UTILITY COVERALL DRESS…SO MANY POCKETS!
CLASSIC BLACK ONE-PIECE SWIMSUIT
PRINTED MAXI DRESS FROM EMERSON FRY
PERFECT EVERYDAY FACIAL SUNSCREEN
BRAIDED BLOCK HEELED SLIP ON SANDAL
ROMAN SHADES IN CHINA BLUE, OR REALLY, ANY COLOR YOU CAN IMAGINE
HANDMADE FLORAL CLAY EARRINGS
SUPERHERO PARTY FAVORS FOR GIRLS
PRINTED RECIPE BOOK BINDER
WHITE FLORAL PRINT SHAM FROM TARGET
FLORAL SILK MIDI DRESS
CANVAS SLIP-ON TENNIS SHOES — THIS ONE IS FOR THE LITTLES!
PINSTRIPED OFF-THE-SHOULDER TUNIC
TIERED FLORAL MIDI SKIRT…WITH A SLIT!
Weekend Musings: Optimization Fatigue.
I have been mulling over a strange reaction to James Clear’s Atomic Habits, which I am currently listening to as an audiobook. (I’m about 2/3 of the way done — it goes fast.) I went in with what I thought was an open mind and found myself immediately resisting the writing. It’s bizarre because I believe a lot of what he writes, and in fact practice many of his advised tactics with rigor. I am a rule-following, list-making, habit-worshipping lady. And so why do I find myself put-off by the book’s hygienic tack?
I think I have grown fatigued by the notion of optimization. Especially in my late 20s and early 30s, I consumed so much in the way of “hacks,” “tools,” “mnemonics,” and “models” for entrepreneurship, parenting, and wellness in general. Gratitude journals! Daily diaries! Drink a full glass of water right when you wake up! Set a timer and spend 20 minutes on the floor with your children without a phone! Write 90 day plans! One screen at a time rule! If you think you’re at your limit, your only 40% of the way there! Quick, iterative sprints in all matters! Etc!
And now I find myself wanting to respond to the book with things like: Aren’t there some pockets of life where you can just play things fast and loose? Where you can do what feels right, right now? Permit yourself a little slack? Dip your feet in the water, then change your mind and rest in the sunshine for a minute? Does everything need to be engineered?
I’m sure that exercising good habits can coexist with a laissez faire attitude elsewhere, and I also think Clear does a good job qualifying what he preaches in healthy ways (no beef with Clear, truly — I admire his ethic). He makes an interesting point that in fact having good habit hygiene frees you up in different ways by relieving some of the mental load we carry. In this way, rather than keeping us in lockstep formation, being tidy about certain habits means we have more bandwidth to hang out and have fun.
Still. Something about the crisp athleticism of Clear’s writing was difficult for me to swallow. I am sure this is in part contextual, coming off of a strange and tense few years of pandemic living with two young children and a lot of transition. During this time, I have had more than my fair share of “that’s good enough for now” type bargaining. Maybe it’s also intersecting with a phase of my adult life where I think: ‘I’m not sure that the path to self-improvement, for me, is here. I think it might be somewhere else, in the quiet and still of downtime and the rare moment where I let myself wander.’
Perhaps I will feel differently on this subject in another five or ten years. I know for certain I would have cottoned to this book with zeal in my 20s. But for now, I think, I’m OK with being under-optimized or — put differently — I’m accepting of the wobbly balance of disciplined and undisciplined I am right now.
P.S. I know many of you Magpies will be thrilled to hear that the next audiobook in my queue is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic! Cannot wait to share thoughts with my Gilbert-loving ladies.
+I am seriously tempted by the 20% off sale (use code HOME) at Serena and Lily right now that I mentioned yesterday or the day before — I am contemplating snagging one of these table lamps for our guest room and I’ve been wanting a floor mirror in my office (which has much better light than my closet and would therefore make it much easier to dress in the morning). That particular mirror also comes in a more standard size for hanging on a wall and while we’re talking mirrors, ahem!
+This Tonies box has been SUCH a big hit with my daughter. We gave it to her for her fifth birthday (lots of other gift ideas for this age range here) and have been delighted by how much she enjoys it. I think there’s something about the independence of being able to select her own music/stories? If you’re unfamiliar, this is a digital storytelling cube and you can buy different “pieces” that your children can place on top (they attach magnetically) in order to have them start telling a story or singing songs. We have a bunch of the Disney ones and she adores them. She usually puts them on while she’s working on her Legos, Playmobils, stickers, etc, in her room. Can’t recommend enough! Great alternative to screentime.
+Speaking of toys, just saw mini’s highly coveted Encanto lego set was restocked here! Run! It’s been very difficult to come by. (Anyone else ONLY listening to ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ all day everyday?)
+Another great white top. Would go with everything. Comes in tons of other colors if you want something more interesting, and some of them are on sale!
+Such an elegant bag for under $125!
+These coupes are so fabulous (and well-priced!). I love sparkling wine and enjoy drinking out of a coupe! Sparks major joy for me.
+I’ve written about Replay so many times I’ve lost count but I really like their mealtime gear for little ones, especially these divided plates. We recently retired sippy cups in our home and I just stocked up on their cups. We also have a bunch of the melamine children’s cups from Sophie Allport, which are pricey (and very small — note that they hold maybe a few ounces) but these have been fantastic for mini for years. They are beyond adorable. I’m tempted to go back to pick up some of their newer designs, especially these cars and this woodland theme.
+Also like these straw-top tumblers. Think I’ll buy a set for when my son (still learning to drink tidily from an open cup) is more in the mood to roam around.
+Can you EVEN with these Aquazzura platforms?! Like YES. These make me want to go out for cocktails with girlfriends.
+Just love everything about this cardigan. Tip: can be worn backwards as more of a classic crewneck style too!
+Ann Taylor score.
+FUN pattern on this dress.
+Bottega-inspired slides for $20.
+I adore this Peter Rabbit theme for Easter or a spring birthday. We did this theme a few years ago for mini’s birthday and it was so sweet.
+This inexpensive patio set comes in tons of great colors! Great for a small patio off an apartment or a tiny backyard area.
+Easy everyday black dress — would work with bump!
+A great spring half-zip in the perfect sage green color. More green finds here.+A random update: I mentioned we bought a Saatva king sized mattress for our primary bedroom a few months ago after doing a *ton* of research. (Some bedroom refresh ideas here, BTW.). It was a bit firmer than our previous mattress but I have since grown to absolutely love it. One of the main issues we’d been having was that Mr. Magpie and I would frequently wake up with “cricks” in our necks or a pinched back. Since having the Saatva, we’ve had none of those issues. I think it promotes better sleeping/alignment in some way. And Mr. Magpie LOVES how cool it runs — much, much cooler than our previous mattress. Very impressed!