Weekend Vibes

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 91: The One On Furry Slippers + Tech Detoxes.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: The Fur Slippers.

I did some damage yesterday, but the random purchase I’m most excited about?  My ridiculous fluffy slippers.  I’m usually a classicist when it comes to slippers: either L.L. Bean Wicked Slippers or J. Crew Lodge Mocs.  But something about these trendy slide slippers caught my attention and would not let go.  There are tons and tons of variations on this theme (budget buy?  This $12 pair from Loft), but the Emu Mayberries are the O.G. style and get very strong reviews.  $39 was the cheapest I could find them online.  I got mine in the natural color.

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Top 10 This Season. 

The most popular items on Le Blog this SEASON (not just the past week — thought this would be helpful while we’re in full sales mode; these are the most-loved items on my blog):

1.  The Everlane Cashmere Crew.  A fantastic gift for yourself or a loved one.

2.  The Iris jumpsuit.  I own this in lipstick red and absolutely adore it.  It’s a super flattering and forgiving fit (loose but hugs the body in all the right spots).  The white would be dreamy for a bride, but navy or black is classic for anyone.  15% off right now!

3.  Cashmere joggers.  PSA: These have been marked down to 40% off and are stocked in ALL SIZES.  A mentioned this in a previous post, but a girlfriend of mine loves these joggers so much she bought them in triplicate (!!!) and keeps one pair with tags still on “just in case.”  She claims these are the absolute best thing she’s ever bought.

4.  Kid’s Play Chair.  Currently 20% off with code GATHER.  Not hard to see why these are so well-loved — um, the cutest things ever?!

5.  Savannah Dress.  Stunning winter formal dress — currently 30% off!

6.  Elodie Feather Mules.  These are now 50% off!  Such a fun way to dress up jeans and a simple blouse this season.

7.  The Kick Crop Jean.  People go nuts over these.

8.  Daily Ritual Leggings.  These $14 leggings have a legit cult following.

9.  Shiseido Facial Cotton.  I have gotten so many of you hooked on this facial cotton!  I swear by it.

10.  Corduroy Bib Dress.  Love a corduroy jumper over a peter pan collar blouse.  This is one of my go-to looks for mini this fall.

#Turbothot: How Do You Unplug?

Have you ever done a technology detox?  I’m normally something of a moderationist (#neologism) in all things, loathe to go to any one extreme and especially allergic to diets of any kind.  In fact, Mr. Magpie and I just listened to a news piece on the burgeoning “intuitive eating” approach to food, and we looked at each other and said: “That’s how we eat.”  Everything in moderation — and generally in small portions.  We eat red meat and butter and full-fat yogurt, but also a lot of fruit and vegetables.  And generally, in portions that seem bizarre to our restaurant standards: half a pound of steak will serve us both for a meal, and half a carton of yogurt suffices for breakfast.

All that said, I’m feeling like I need to be a bit more draconian when it comes to technology usage.  I find that as a mom, it’s impossible to do anything that requires my full attention when I’m looking after mini.  Reading?  Writing an email?  Drafting a blog post?  Forget about it.  But scrolling through Instagram?  Swiping through emails?  Skimming headlines?  They’re just the kind of mindless, easy-to-hop-into-and-out-of activities that can keep me entertained without preoccupying all my attention.  Further, mobile phones — and the social media apps installed on them in particular — tend to serve up morsel-sized content that fits the minuscule pockets of time I have to momentarily take in something else  between reading books, coloring, changing diapers, etc.  And so I’ve developed a bad habit over the past year of toggling between my phone and my baby.  In turn, I toggle between guilt and a sighing resignation: on the one hand, I hate that I turn to my phone with such regularity, and to consume such generally insignificant content; but on the other, a full day of caring for mini with no momentary escapes is unappealing.  I want to feel connected!  I live for the bite-sized read that captures my attention and energy and leaves me thinking!  And let me be honest: sometimes I need to take a break from reading Click, Clack, Moo and Pout Pout Fish and Little Blue Truck, all of whose rhymes clank and jangle around in mind all the live long day.

I hope I’m not alone in this?  Who has a cure or, more realistically, a palliative?  I wonder whether keeping my phone on a shelf except for during selected times will help?  That way, I can hear when a call is coming through but keep myself from the reflex of the Insta scroll.  Or maybe placing time-wasting apps into a specific folder labeled something cautionary like EXERCISE CAUTION so that I’m required to open the folder before accessing it?  Or…?

Please share your tips.

#Shopaholic: The Coat Hook.

+Later yesterday, I discovered that Anthro was offering 30% off all purchases — !!  I had to order these hooks for mini.  I’d been talking about buying a set of hooks and putting them at her eye level a week or two ago and when these went on sale, I pounced.  She’s going to flip over the animals and the letters in her name!

+Speaking of letters, I gave mini this set of letter/animal puzzles as a Thanksgiving gift and she *loves* them.  She’s young for them, but she is able to point out a few letters (she’s consistent with “e,” “d,” and “i”) and I’m finding them a good way to help connect the idea of letters with sounds.

+A lot of the items I featured in my ultimate gift guide are discounted thanks to cyber week/Black Friday sales.  (Actually, a ton of stuff in all of my holiday guides.)   I was especially excited to find this ring marked 20% off.  Bought immediately.  Also bought this beauty elixir for 30% off with code FRIDAY!  Great gifts, both.

+My favorite evening sandals are on sale in select colors!

+Hearts are THE shape for statement earrings R.N.  These are marked way down.  Love.

+I own this Saloni dress (now marked way down) in solid red and have gotten so so many compliments on it.  It is the most flattering shape — the way the collar-line works really highlights the decolletage, and that nipped waist and full skirt create the most feminine silhouette.

+Inslee’s gorgeous calendars and art work are 20% off with code OPHIE!  I bought a couple of calendars as gifts.

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21 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 91: The One On Furry Slippers + Tech Detoxes.

  1. The EMU slippers! Waaaaant, even though I have a perfectly lovely pair of Armor Lux slippers waiting to be unwrapped on my next trip. Haha!

    LOVE that Saloni dress, too, and am seriously considering it — I’d prefer a solid, but that print that Barneys has is really nice!

    Re: technology. Oh my. I can’t weigh in properly as I don’t have a little one, but I found HC’s comment, below, to be so interesting and aligns with how I feel about “screen time”. I regularly find myself putting my phone in another room to keep it out of mind, and I find that it works. I try my best to limit my time on it, and to engage with printed magazines/books/newspapers as much as possible, rather than mindlessly scrolling Instagram. When I’m in an Uber, I’ll try to look out the window and just daydream. I think my 21st-century brain craves this lack of stimuli! I’ll be interested to hear how you’ve been dealing with it, too. xo

  2. Thank you for the thoughtful reply. That makes sense!
    Oh man, I would love to join the book club! Sadly I live in LA but if you ever start a satellite branch… : )

  3. I think about the technology issue you raise constantly! I totally understand the feeling. I have two major concerns: One, am I modeling good behavior for my child? And two, is the phone browsing good for my mind?

    On the child front, I read a couple of books about “screen time” recently. I feel like it’s a new frontier, with no precedent, and I wanted to have at least an understanding of potential landmines before my kid was grabbing at my iPhone. (Like, what are people even doing? And what did the first wave of parents in the age of the smartphone learn?) I came away thinking that the screens are more akin to cocaine than candy for children. One thing the books raised was the fact that your child doesn’t understand what you are doing on your phone. In years past, a child could understand that a parent was browsing a magazine or reading a newspaper. But when you look at your phone/computer, your child has no idea what you are doing. He just sees your face staring into a screen. The books also mentioned these heartbreaking observational studies of parents in restaurants staring at their phones while their children desperately sought their attention. So … not sure we have a great strategy for how to do this, but when the baby is around my husband and I have tried to limit our screen time as much as possible. Of course we constantly fall short, but it is our goal to keep her early childhood as screen-lite as possible. And that includes what she sees us doing.

    As for my own mind — I definitely find myself wanting to just passively browse on my phone (and I do!) toward the end of long days. I find, however, that I always feel worse after this. Like it just drains my brain even further. I wonder what this is doing to my attention span, my memory, my creativity. Should I just be daydreaming in those moments? Or closing my eyes and giving my brain a rest, instead of filling it with more content? What did my grandmothers do when they were feeling the same feelings?

    Anyway, a bunch of jumbled thoughts with not many solutions. I’m sort of an alarmist when it comes to technology, but of course I have no judgment for parents who desperately need a break!

    1. This is so well-put and thoughtful. That’s an interesting insight about the opacity of screentime — kids have no idea what we could be doing! Reading? Emailing? Etc. It’s also interesting to think about what our parents and grandparents did when they were raising babies and needed a break. I know my mom has always said that your job as a mom is NOT to entertain your child all day, and so I am confident she was not playing with us 100% of the time. She always had a book nearby, but what else? Maybe our moms spent a lot more time in comfortable silence, musing over the day. Maybe they were busy with house work. I don’t know! I’ll have to ask my mom…


  4. You are so not alone! Struggle with the same thought every day. My boys are still at a phase where they want to mouth everything so I keep the phone away also to keep away the germs! I usually keep the phone in the kitchen and every time I take a trip to the kitchen for water, snack etc. I take a 30 sec sneak peek. The occasional trips to the kitchen also seems to help deal with their recent separation anxiety. I just tell them “Mumma needs to get some water and will be right back”. They used to whine before but have slowly started understanding and trusting me on this. Did you experience separation anxiety with Minnie? How did you deal with it?

    1. Hi Bhavna! Thanks for chiming in — that’s such a good idea. I like the idea of apportioning your time with your phone by keeping it in a separate room. I’m going to try something similar this week: keeping it on the top shelf of a bookshelf or at the console in our foyer.

      And for separation anxiety: oof, that’s a tough one. I bet other, more tenured, moms will have some thoughts on this one. My experience has been that mini has gone in and out of phases of clinginess, so maybe it will be reassuring to know that they will outgrow this. But more to your point: mini wasn’t like this when I’d leave the room, but she has definitely been like this around strangers and sitters in the past, and especially when we go to her ballet/music classes. She is usually pretty anxious unless she is physically touching me / sitting in my lap until maybe twenty or thirty minutes have passed. I have done something similar, simply saying: “I’m right here! I’m just a few steps away.” One of our nannies always said: “Mommies always come back” when mini would get upset at my departure. I think verbally reassuring them seems like a logical place to start. We just enrolled mini in a twos program that starts next fall and one thing the head of academics said that has stuck with me is that they do not advocate that parents “slip out the back” when their child is engaged. They insist that parents stand at the door, say a proper goodbye with a big hug, and reassure them that they will return in a few hours. This was undergirded by various fancy philosophies but it seemed logical and apropos of what we’re discussing here: being clear, and occasionally firm, that we will be back.

      Whew! That was probably more than you bargained for when you wrote in! Ha. Don’t know if that helps but just saying I’m on your same wavelength and I say trust your instinct!


    2. Thank you for your thoughtful response! Totally agree with not following the “slip out the back” approach. I like to give the boys a hug and tell them I’ll be back soon – short and quick. They always have a smile for me when I am back!

      1. Bhavna! Ah. I am in the midst of training a new nanny and my heart is aching as I write this because I just left my daughter with her (it’s only the nanny’s second day) and she was going ballistic. I did what we both said here — said calmly I loved her and I’d be back soon — but it can still rip your heart right out of your body. That’s something I didn’t really address in my first note: the rocky emotional terrain and the unwieldy and honestly misplaced guilt I felt leaving her. Sometimes it’s super hard from an emotional wellbeing standpoint being a mom….xo

    3. Yes, yes, yes! The mom guilt and the emotional strain! I am so lucky to live in Canada where we get an year long Maternity leave but i am still hurting at the thought of getting back to work come Jan. I mean i would love to get back to work – i think it is a very important part of who i am and does define me to some extent (i struggle at with work being just means to an end), but i feel so torn between my work that defines me and motherhood that also defines me! Ugh, i hear you – motherhood is so hard from an emotional wellbeing standpoint!!

  5. Ugh i LOVE those slippers, and if I wasn’t positive that my dog would eat them I would buy them immediately.
    I do not have children but I also jump on Instagram etc. when I am bored for even 30 seconds minute– in LA traffic, a doctor’s office, waiting for a friend– and I really wish that I didn’t. So I am eager to hear any strategies you come up with.
    I have the smallest note– which I hope you will take as more of a compliment because I believe it is one. I am a semi-new reader to your blog, and when you link to old posts I would love to be able to open that post in a new window so that I remember to read it, while staying on the current page to finish the post I’m reading. Is that possible?
    Anyway, I am a huge fan of your writing. You’ve quickly become on of my favorite bloggers! I believe that we overlapped at UVA (CLAS ’08) and I’m sorry that I didn’t know you then! x Alex

    1. Alex — GOOD POINT. Going to have to hide these slippers somewhere safe because they do look an awful lot like Tilly’s chew toys…

      And thanks for writing in with this feedback! I really appreciate this. You know, I’ve spent a lot of time going back and forth on how to handle internal links. For now, my convention has been any external links open a new browser tab/page and any internal links (i.e., links to other pages on my blog) stay in the same browser. I’ve polled friends on this front and there’s an even split. Half of us want all pages to open in the same tab and half prefer your way. AH! I’m definitely taking this under advisement. Just know I take the feedback seriously and give a lot of thought to these nuances! You are heard! xoxo

    2. And PS – WAHOOWA! Where do you live now?! If you’re local to NY, please consider joining our in-person book club! Thank you so much for the kind words. And so glad we’ve found each other. xo

  6. I struggle with exactly the same issue re: technology and watching the baby. I agree with a previous commenter regarding not thinking it’s healthy for her to be the center of my attention all the time – but picking up a book/magazine is nearly impossible (and she’ll likely just crawl into my lap to see what I’m reading). If such momentary escapes help your sanity, and they don’t interfere with caring for your child, then I’m all for them. Plus, sometimes it’s fun to scroll through Instagram with her and see her light up when she recognizes certain people/pets. So, I guess choose your battles?

    1. Hi Jennifer! So true, and I really appreciated Stefanie for writing that in. It’s a good reminder to me not to feel guilty about spending time doing my own thing, too. It’s healthy for my daughter to see me engaged in other things, attending to other matters. And I think you’re right, too, that sometimes we need to go easy on ourselves on this front. Why is there so much guilt associated with…well, everything related to parenting?! AH. Thanks for keeping my thoughts in check. I appreciate your emphasis on the pragmatic. xoxox

  7. You’re SO not alone! I struggle with this daily. I don’t want all her early memories to feature me looking down at my phone. Nor do I think it is healthy for her to be the center of my attention at all times. I have tried sitting nearby and reading a book or magazine, but you’re right that it is very hard to get into a book while baby minding! It has been helpful to take Instagram off my phone for a few days…but it always ends up reinstalled. Ah, well. If you find a better solution, please share!

    1. “Nor do I think it is healthy for her to be the center of my attention at all times” — yes! So much yes. Landon and I talk about this all the time. We try our best to read to her any time she asks for it, but beyond that, we want her to be able to play by herself and entertain herself. It’s not feasible or healthy for us to be on our hands and knees playing with her all the livelong day. I think alone time teaches a number of good lessons — self-reliance, imagination, and also — not sure how to put this — the concept that she is not the center of the universe, i.e., sometimes we have to attend to other things, and that’s OK.

      Anyway, thanks for writing in. I am so on your wavelength!


  8. Just ordered those slippers. They look so comfy! Thanks for the recommendation.
    For mini, I love those coat hooks! When I read about her identifying her letters, it immediately reminded me of my own toddlers going through that stage. So cute! I cannot (CANNOT) recommend the “Bob Books”. They come in sets (Set 1, set2, etc) and are wonderful in helping children discover letters and then how those letters to into words. All done in a coloring book that is so easy for them to hold and use ANYWHERE. Like waiting rooms, restaurants, planes, etc. They were amazing and I have not talked to anyone who did not love them! Just an fyi

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