Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 93: The One on La Mer and Self-Care.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: La Mer Moisturizing Cream.

I shared some of my retail therapy scores just yesterday, but I also splurged on a tub of La Mer moisturizing cream.  I often toggle between La Mer and less expensive brands; recently, I have been loving Ole Henriksen’s C-Rush Brightening Gel Creme, which melts into your skin and leaves it plump and moisturized.  But.  The only facial cream I have ever used that has yielded actual results in terms of improving the texture of my skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles is La Mer.  And with my facial injury, I thought — you know, why not splurge on this aspect of skincare?  I used the Sephora $25 off promo that is running right now to soften the blow 🙂

You’re Sooooo Popular: Le Cashmere Sweater.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+My current favorite sweater.  I own it in the ivory and love how lightweight but warm it is.  Easy to layer beneath a vest or on top of a tee and surprisingly flattering!

+Fancy rinse-free handwash.

+My go-to evening jumpsuit.  Just wore this to the opera last weekend.  For those inquiring: I would say it runs slightly large, but intentionally so — it sort of grazes the body rather than clinging to it.  The effect is an elegant, fluid sachay through a party scene.  LOVE the bows on the shoulders!

+Cashmere joggers, now marked down to under $170 when added to cart!

+An elegant and versatile blouse for the winter party circuit.

+Lululemon lookalike — reviews are STRONG and comes in really good colors.

+My iPhone case!

+A cute Christmas book for Manhattanites with babies.

+The softest socks known to man.

+One of mini’s favorite “toys” of all time.

#Turbothot: True Self-Care.

The terms “self-care” and “wellness” have been overused to the point of meaninglessness in the last few years.  They’re marketing speak for “something that you can buy that will make you feel good about yourself — but not in an indulgent way; in a I’m-promoting-my-own-health-and-therefore-don’t-need-to-feel-guilty-about-the-expense kind of way.”  You could slap the term “wellness” onto products as disparate as quinoa, vitamin e oil, organic peanut butter, and jade eggs and I wouldn’t bat an eye.  “Yes, wellness,” I’d nod in hazey agreement.

But today I want to write about a different kind of self-care — the kind of self-care so many of you prescribed in your thoughtful emails and texts and comments in reaction to my injury post from earlier this week.  (I promise I won’t spend the next month talking about my accident — but it is fresh, and I am moved by your generous and helpful replies, and I cannot quite disentangle myself from its shock yet.)  So many of you urged me to give myself a little extra love this week, be it through manicures or retail therapy or permission to go to bed at 8 p.m.  More than one loved one told me to put my feet up and enjoy a cup of tea, which reminded me of yet another memorable line from an otherwise uneven movie: Rose Byrne’s character tells the son of Ethan Hawke’s character to “drink a cup of clever tea.”  “Why clever?” asks the boy.  “Because it always knows where to go — to your stomach, if you’re having a stomachache, to your head, if you’re having a headache.”  Or, in the case of this past week, straight to my overworked nerves.  I have been feeling skittish since the fall.  I find myself flinching, walking slowly and carefully around the apartment, jumping at sounds.  I had a horrible dream that a loved one died.  Mr. Magpie made a joke that I misinterpreted and I burst into tears.  When he asked me what was really going on, the truth emerged fully-formed, though I’d not been conscious of it until prompted: “I feel like something bad is going to happen at any moment.”

We talked through this for awhile.  He insisted that accidents happen.  He gestured to the long list of comments on my blog, where so many of you shared your own stories of various physical incidents that left you scarred or bruised or shaken.  And he also said that I can’t live my life in fear.  “Your body develops all kinds of mechanisms to prevent you from running into the same problems you’ve run into before.  Just think about it — how often did you skin your knee as a kid?  When was the last time you did it as an adult?  Granted, you aren’t running and sliding around like when you were a kid, but the point still stands: you learn, your body learns.”

I left the conversation reassured but have nevertheless been cocooning myself from threats.  One of you wrote that I should “treat myself like I would a loved one.”  And it brought to mind the time my sister underwent oral surgery and came to my apartment after because our parents were out of town.  I remember folding down the sheets of my bed for her, which I’d just cleaned that morning in anticipation of her visit.  Blending her a smoothie, garnishing it with a straw I’d purchased just for the occasion.  Smoothing down her hair, sitting beside her with my portable DVD player on my lap.  Quietly creeping from the bedroom in an exaggerated tiptoe when she dozed off, still bleary from the sedatives and drugs she’d been given.  I have been trying to channel that kind of sisterliness toward myself.  I have cleared my schedule, permitted myself grace in getting through my to-dos, and fastidiously avoided any kind of precarious behavior.  For example — and I will get into trouble with Mr. Magpie for admitting this — I am wont to leap up onto the countertops and stand on my tiptoes rooting around for spices and lifting heavy Staub pots down when I need them.  It’s dangerous and I shouldn’t do it.  (Mr. Magpie yells at me when he catches me mid-Mission-Impossible-esque catwalking around on the counters.)  And so this week, when Mr. Magpie was still at work and I needed panko from the top shelf, I demurred.  I got creative, using crushed-up corn flakes in lieu of the panko required.  Why take the risk?

I took something else away from Mr. Magpie’s encouraging pep talk: the discovery that I had been unwittingly positioning myself as a helpless victim, about to fall prey to some insidious threat not yet seen.  I didn’t like that.  I’d never seen myself in that light before.  I actually wrote an entire post on how deeply responsible I feel for everything that happens in my life.  Incidentally, one of the main things I kept saying after I fell was: “I am so sorry.”  Mr. Magpie was baffled by the apologies, but I know why I was saying it: because I felt responsible for the horror of the fall, because I felt I was to blame for it.  At any rate, the day after Mr. Magpie’s chat, I turned proactive.  I tracked down and made an appointment with a plastic surgeon to help me ensure I am doing everything in my power to heal with minimal scarring.  I added four potential treatments to my Amazon cart (bio oil, vitamin e oil, silicon pads — all of the things you suggested!) in case the doctor suggested any of them.  I wanted to be prepared.  I set up my annual wellness exam with my general internist.  I scheduled an eye doctor appointment.  And I even made appointments to see two potential orthodontists about Invisalign, which I have been thinking about doing for the last two years.  I ordered La Mer face cream.  In short, I said: “I can languish under the shock of what happened, or I can take action and try to make sure I look and feel my best in short order.”

And so this is where I am these days, in a mode of determined — though gentle — self-care, forgiving myself for putting mini in front of The Grinch movie two afternoons in a row, loosening the valves on my pressure gauge, and yet still ticking through personal to-dos in a way that makes me feel as though I am owning the situation.  It’s not a bad place to be, if I’m honest.  I feel cushioned.  I’d prescribe the same for you, with or (preferably) without the head injury.

#Shopaholic: The Must-Have Tote (On Sale!).

+My Theresa has marked down some of its Staud Shirley totes, which I have been dying over for the past few weeks — torn between this mini size in Barbie doll pink and this larger size in stark white.  Or do I just go for the (full-priced) colorway I originally intended to buy!?  Decisions, decisions.  The latter (croc-effect) would look insane with my new Ganni dress.

+This sequined beauty looks like a Rixo but costs under $100!

+This throw reminded me so much of my sister, who is an avid knitter.  I can just imagine her cozying up under it.  (But the problem with an avid knitter is that she’d probably look at this and think – “I could make that!”)  Would be a cute housewarming pillow tied up with a big green grosgrain bow.  (I’m never without a spool on hand.)

+Speaking of iconic green — if you live in New York, you’ve probably been to the famous Ralph’s Coffee Bar, known most of all for its Instagrammability.  Just discovered you can order a cup and saucer to recreate the experience at home.  So fun!  I have a cup of tea every night after dinner — would be fun to upgrade my nightly ritual with one of these.

+These rollers were all the rage last year.  Do people still use them?!  I’ve heard good things.

+LOVE the styling on this jewelry case — looks like something I’d take on safari if I were European royalty.  Would look super elegant displayed on a dresser or even disguised as decor, sitting on a shelf!

+Guilty pleasure admission: Mr. Magpie and I both love instant mi goreng noodles, especially as a late night snack, particularly after a night out on the town (we got home from the opera last Friday and whined that it was all we wanted — but we were out).  They’re like instant ramen but SO much better — though I will admit they’re still bad in a good kind of way.  I just ordered a full 30-pack box of them and am going to wrap it up like a proper gift and put it under the tree for Mr. Magpie 🙂  Hope he’s not reading this RN.  But if he is: you’re welcome.

+A VERY chic, petite armchair at a great price.  These would be great for a small apartment or could even be used as dining table chairs in the right situation.  Love.

+This facial kit has gotten a lot of buzz.

+Well this would be a fun family alternative to puzzles for dog-lovers!

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9 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 93: The One on La Mer and Self-Care.

  1. This post really resonated with me. I am sometimes leery of the “woo woo” aspects of Goop culture (like Amanda Chantal Bacon’s ‘dusts’, especially after reading unflattering profiles of her), but I am 100% on board with this type of self-care.

    I am particularly intrigued about your potential Invisalign journey! I’m likely going to have my wisdom teeth removed this year, which will hopefully, fingers-crossed, resolve some of my teeth-crowding issue, but I’ve been curious about this. Let me know how it goes! And good for you for meeting with a plastic surgeon. I hope you are able to lessen the appearance of the scar. Still can’t imagine how scary that fall must have been. xo

    1. Thanks! Yes, I actually went to see two different dentists/orthodontists to compare and I strongly recommend doing the same. It was a good reminder that you need to advocate for yourself and comparison shop (at least when you have the time and flexibility to do so) when it comes to medical practices. I hated one and loved the other, and the prices were also vastly different! Anyway, it turns out I won’t be able to start until after the baby is born in May as I have out-of-date x-rays and the orthodontist feels she needs a new set to fully design the trays. So — will update you when I eventually get started! xo

  2. I was just about to leave you a comment on your other post about why your head injury means you NEED a new jar of La Mer ha. I burned my hand today in a tragic pretzel making accident and immediately turned to the La Mer–it actually works wonders on scars and burns!

    Also, obsessing over all things Everlane cashmere lately. I owe you a thank you for turning me onto the cashmere sweatpant + shrunken sweater combo. Just ordered it for my ungodly long flight from Honolulu to Reagan National.

    1. The PERFECT long travel day outfit. So chic! You made me realize I have a drive to DC coming up in two weeks and will be pulling out my cashmere joggers for the occasion 🙂 xo

  3. I understand how you are feeling. A few years back woke in middle night with pain, difficulty breathing, unable to walk standing straight or lift my leg to get in shower. After 10 hours in the er with many tests, emergency surgery was needed and ovarian cancer suspected. My entire family was out of state for my sister’s birthday but couldn’t go because of work commitments. I was alone and terrified. It turned out to be a benign situation, but left me with sadness for weeks. I had identical emotions, wondering what bad thing would happen next and blaming myself for not being in tune with my body to know something was so wrong. At my post op appt, my surgeon recognized this and reassured me that everything was ok and what happened was over. Give yourself time to heal physically and emotionally. You went through a traumatic experience. You’re going to be ok too and what happened is over. Hugs.

    1. Betsie! Oh my God — you poor thing. I am so sorry you had to experience that, and alone! What a testament to your strength of character (and resilience) that you navigated the situation on your own so well and are able to write about it with such perspective and self-awareness. Wow. You are so right. And you have made me realize how petty and cosmetic my woes are compared to the many worse horror stories that could have taken place / that can take place. But most particularly, I appreciate you writing this: “Give yourself time. You’re going to be ok too and what happened is over.” Hug back — thank you for that. xoxoxoxo

  4. Oof…standing on counters. Same. #short girlproblems
    I keep checking on that Everlane sweater in my size. Hope it’s restocked soon!

    1. Haha, you are so right. I’m 5’0 flat.

      Everlane is usually pretty good about restocking! Fingers crossed. xo

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