Weekend Vibes

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 86: The One on Blooming Where You Are Planted.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: Shiseido Facial Cotton.

For months now I have been dissatisfied by one element of my skincare routine: the micellar water step.  Not because of the micellar solution itself, but because of the application experience.  Those cotton round pads are the worst.  They’re either not absorbent enough or too absorbent and I feel like half of the micellar water spills onto my counter or seeps through to my fingers.  And cotton balls aren’t any better — they’re too small and soggy.  It dawned on me one day as I grumped my way through this step of my bedtime routine that I am probably not the first Nobel Laureate to make such a dazzling observation, and that there was probably a solution out there.  Enter Shiseido’s Facial Cotton.  Is this one of those secrets everyone else knows about?!  Over 1000 five star reviews?!  It can’t be true.  I debated between Shiseido and Koh Gen Do’s variation (epic reviews as well) but went with Shiseido because it costs less but seems just as well-loved.  Anyone else on board to up her beauty regimen in the smallest but loveliest of ways?  (FYI: more recent beauty snags here, along with super honest reviews.)

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Feathered Dress.

The most popular items on Le Blog this week:

+Feathered dress OMG OMG.  (A major trend this season!)  But get this: I found the dress on sale here!

+A turtleneck sweatshirt?  Yes pls.  Love the way this novel neckline elevates a standard sweatshirt.

+It’s sweater dress season.

+This sweater keeps almost selling out.  Love this or this as an alternative.

+A perfect holiday dress (maternity friendly too?)

+The prettiest sweater.

+Our new toothbrushes.

#Turbothot: Bloom Where You Are Planted.

I attended an alumni event for my high school a few nights ago and, when my headmaster from days of yore stood and addressed us, he shared that the theme for this academic year, a quote from St. Francis de Sales: “Bloom where you are planted.”

Amidst polite applause and genteel nods, I felt something tighten inside.  My knee-jerk reaction to the quote was: “I don’t like that.”  Are we meant to passively accept the conditions of our lives and “make do”?  I wondered.  What about initiative?  What about planting ourselves where we know we will bloom?  I was startled by the angst of my own reaction.  Where was this coming from?  Blurry impressions of the events of the last five or ten years floated, mirage-like, through my mind — our decision to  move to Chicago, our decision to leave our jobs, our decision to start a business, our decision to buy a home, our decision to start a family, our decision to move to New York.  I realized I was adopting a gesture of defense in running through the zig zag of professional and personal decisions I have made.  I wasn’t planted anywhere, I was thinking, dangling halfway between guilt and haughtiness. I feel a tremendous responsibility for the decisions I have made, for the seeming missteps and also the triumphs.  I am accountable for what I have done in my life.

A meaty breakthrough amidst the clinking of glasses of chardonnay and the trays of crab cakes: this is how I see myself in relation to my life at thirty-four.  There have been other times in my life where I have more strongly sensed God’s hand in all things, big and small, where I have welcomed the prospect of fate: Will I go to graduate school?  Where?  Will we live in D.C. or move?  And it’s not that I don’t believe God is shaping my life now; it’s that, at this time in my life, for whatever reason, I have a powerful conviction that I am an agent of change in my life and that I must own what I do.

Once I had relaxed into this observation, I found the St. Francis quote far more palatable, cottoning to its half-full mentality, to its optimistic emphasis on the adaptability of the human spirit.  And, wouldn’t you know it, I replayed the quote to myself just yesterday, as I found myself inwardly whining about the afternoon walks I take three days a week with mini and Tilly in tow.  I have come to dread these walks because mini has just woken up from her nap and is not in the mood to go straight into her stroller, and so we spend ten minutes wandering around the apartment, me trailing her with snacks and shoes and cajoling words while she putters around, refusing to comply, until an unseemly battle of the wills takes place as I strap her into her stroller.  Meanwhile, Tilly’s whining so much she’s worked herself up into a tizzy that inevitably boils over into a barking session at — who knows, the wind? the sound of wheels down the hallway? a leaf against the window? — and dozens of lunges at the squirrels currently overpopulating Central Park.  As I mentally indexed all of the reasons why I dislike this afternoon walk, I thought about the quote and my cheeks burned.  I realized St. Francis’ quote actually does have a lot to do with owning the conditions of our lives: I have the opportunity to thrive, to mature, to enjoy the circumstances my life if I put my mind to it.

I’ll probably still grumble from time to time when my arm is nearly ripped from its socket for the fourth time in our loop around the ballfields as Tilly lunges after a squirrel, but I also pledge to appreciate this part of our day, squirrels and stroller battles and all.  With applications to twos programs in full swing, I am realizing that my days with just the three of us girls at home are numbered, and that one day I will look back with heady nostalgia about our cozy and slightly chaotic walks through the Park.  Oh, life was crazy and fun, I’ll think as I look over at a graying pooch and a school-aged mini.  And I will regret not having bloomed where I was planted, here right on Central Park in 2018 in an apartment I love with a family I adore.

#Shopaholic: New Must-Have Toy.

+Apparently these are a new craze among the kiddos.

+Gave my mother-in-law a pair of these along with a few other goodies for her birthday this year.  Another great go-to gift if you’re really up a creek.  They are the best, coziest slippers ever.

+Have had a need for “everyday” dresses to wear to various events where the occasion is nothing too fancy, but calls for something nicer than jeans and a sweater.  I love this, this, and this.

+Ordered this.  I’m always looking for soft knits to slip in/pair with my dreamy joggers.

+How chic are these monogrammable notebooks?  I’m normally a devotee of Moleskine cahiers because they have no spine and I’m a lefty or Leuchtterms because I like the hard cover for when I’m schlepping them around in my bag.  But those monogrammable ones have my eye — love their size!  I always like a slightly larger space to write on.

+OK, this is stunning.  Saloni does it again.

+This eucalyptus wreath is amazing.

+How adorable are these ornaments?!

+OMG this coat for a little lass.

P.S. — Had a lot of questions about the faux Goyard laptop case I found on Amazon.  I ordered it in the large because it indicated that its dimensions would fit my 15″ Macbook.  I was impressed with the quality (the zipper was maybe the only part of it that looked cheap) but my laptop would NOT fit!  What a bummer.  On the fence about whether to keep and use as a pouch/clutch situation or return…BUT if you have a smaller laptop, I would definitely recommend it!


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4 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 86: The One on Blooming Where You Are Planted.

  1. Oh how your blog resonates with me! And your writing is beautiful. I’m in “bloom where you are planted” season after owning my decisions in my adult life. But this changed with marriage (in a good way!) as my husband’s job recently took us to Raleigh from our beloved Georgetown. A move .. to the south … to a smaller city… almost the opposite of where we thought we’d go if we had to leave D.C. So we’re relishing all of the positives and owning the current condition of our lives, as you describe above. One day, when life may seem settled and mundane, I want to look back with nostalgia at this uprooting.

    I catch up on your blog in doses and adore your stories, style picks, and glimpse in to motherhood. And can relate to your fear of losing my arm socket to a squirrel-obsessed pup!

    1. Hi Ann! So glad to meet you and glad we’ve found one another. Sounds like we are kindred spirits! And — I love your attitude! It is ultra-reassuring to fast-forward to my golden years (?) and imagine what I will think about my current phase of life. Willing to bet, as you have, all of the minor frustrations will be forgotten. We actually just watched a “Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee” featuring Louie C.K. and at one point Louie says: “This year’s going to be rough getting all the kids off to school — but then I thought: And one day I won’t get to do this, and I’ll miss it.” His poignant observation caught me off guard; I was expecting a punch-line but handed a heart-wrencher. So right.


  2. I just starting using the Shisheido last month and I found them via an Into the Gloss article! Do you ever read it? If not, I highly recommend it. Their “Open Thread” posts are JACKPOTs for finding tip, tricks, and new solutions to old problems.

    1. I need to check that out — I’ve flitted through Into the Gloss from time to time (love their series — TOP SHELF or something?) where celebrities share their (occasionally eye-roll-worthy) beauty routines, but I’ve not yet read this column! Thanks for the tip 🙂 Thoughts on the Shiseido cotton though?!

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