I prop my phone up on our steps and hit the video button. Mike starts the music. We get into position and begin. “One, two, three” I count aloud. “FOUR!! AUGH!!! Stop forgetting the FOUR, MIKE!!” We square off, both breathing hard. Mike looks flustered; I am pissed.

“When you step in like that I can’t even finish the turn! See where my feet are? LET ME FINISH THE STEP.”

We try again. One, two, three—Mike steps in again, on the four. “GAH!!” I pace, Mike stares off into space, counting silently in his head. He steps slowly through the moves again. “Oh riiiiiight,” he says. No stepping on four.

We start yet again. We are both game-faced, grimly marching through the moves, stepping over Pax who is lying on the floor, whining about bedtime or stories or needing water or whatever the hell.

Welcome to late night Wednesday at the Draugelis’.

Later we will watch this video and dissolve in laughter, the clutching-your-stomach kind. It’s…brutal. Literally one of the most unflattering, embarrassing things I’ve ever stored on my phone. I’m still in my sweaty workout clothes, no makeup, and dancing with barely concealed disgust, Mike is 100% completely annoyed and this dance — which is supposed to be sensual bachata — looks more like a Marriage Death March.

Early on, when these classes first started, Mike threatened to back out. The point of this special bachata series is to learn choreography for Laurel’s student showcase, coming up in March.

You may or may not know that Mike has no desire to dance on a stage. Literally zero.

“Fine,” I said. “YOU tell Laurel we’re not doing it.”

Spoiler: we’re totally doing it.

In truth, it’s been a ton of fun. Yes, there have been plenty of Marriage Death March Moments, and our Sensual Bachata has dipped a toe or two into Snippy Bachata territory, but if you can’t snippy bachata with the love of your life, then what does marriage even mean anymore? I mean WHAT.

So every Thursday, we head over to the studio for the next installment of our own personal version of Silver Linings Playbook. Occasionally, I even try the leap onto his back #notajoke (I wish I was joking), Mike has *mostly* has stopped stepping on the four, and our dips are looking…alright.  

At least I think they are. It might be time for another video session.

THE WORLD WILL NEVER SEE THEM.

Sidenote (for Philly readers): Laurel’s classes have really taken off this year. If you’ve ever been interested in learning salsa, bachata, reggaeton, or latin house classes (seriously, latin house is the BEST) check out her schedule here. She’s now teaching both solo and partnering classes, and they are a blast. She’s exactly the right sort of crazy to push us all into getting SO much better. The pic above is actually from our show “rehearsal” with the kids — we’re going to be doing a dance battle, haha. Oh, and hey!! A new partnering series is actually starting this Sunday. You can sign up for that here (scroll down until you see Laurel’s cute self).

And the warmest sweater for damp, early Spring cold is…Everlane’s Oversized Alpaca Crew. I have it in size XS (in the pink and the charcoal gray), and it’s been just the thing for that really insidious, damp cold that’s been infecting Philly lately. It’s odd, because the sweater feels very light and airy, but layered over a long-sleeve tee (typically this one — more colors/sizes on eBay) it’s the warmest, most comfortable combo. The alpaca must trap the air really well (yet still breathes, so I don’t overheat either). This sweater has been so clutch that I’m tempted to pick up the Almond color, too. Gorg.

Annoyingly good. Do you know the brand Monrow? They typically make drool-worthy sweatpants and sweatshirts that are also EXPENSIVE. But they have the cutest matching sets with sporty stripes or even thermal textures and I’m always like “Ooooo…” [clicks furiously] and then “NOOOO…” when I see that the sweatpants alone are $140. Anyway, Backcountry currently has a bunch of cute Monrow pieces 40% off so I just ordered this sweatshirt (and matching pants) just to see. (I actually ordered the light gray, too — not yet sure which I like better. If you are also waffling between the dark and light grays…the light gray sweatpants can be found here.)

Three affordable white tops. I was strolling by LOFT the other day and was struck by how cute this white eyelet top was. Would be amazing for work tucked into these trousers, or for weekends with destroyed denim. Comes in regular, petite and plus sizes, too. While you’re there…snag this seriously perfect tomboyish white tee…or this sweet, romantic one with eyelet detail.

AHHHHH my beloved mules, back in stock! My favorite Loeffler Randall mules (in leopard) were just restocked AND 20% off!!! I wore them all last summer (even walking around Italy…at least at night) and they’ve proven to be well worth the cost. They’re the lower-heel, walkable version and sold out almost immediately last summer. They’re a statement shoe, yet go with virtually everything. I’ll do a bigger review later (once it warms up a bit), but you can see them on, here. (Oooo…new for this year? A flat version, too.)

Edgy EILEEN FISHER????? Eileen Fisher just came out with a unisex line (sustainable, per usual) and it’s…good. My favorite pieces are this striped tee and this tie-dyed sweater. The vibe is very much a ‘borrowed my from boyfriend’ kind of look (and would probably be perfect for tall mamas). Love it.

Speaking of tie-dye….this gorgeous Voloshin top is 15% off for TME readers only. To get the code, be sure you’re signed up for our newsletter. The code will be coming out in our Sunday night special edition newsletter. This week’s theme? The 5 Spring Tops We’re Wearing Right Now (selfies and everything).

Should’ve checked my shopping star chart. I keep trying to order this darn suit, but it keeps selling out between my hitting “add to cart” and “checkout” (I’m talking Nordstrom, Shopbop AND Anthro OMG) — seriously WTH? Of course, that just makes me want it more. I’ve decided that brown (or bronzy-brown) is going to be THE swim color of summer, so I’ve tracked it down to Everything But Water or Backcountry (which…hunh…I didn’t realize had swim). In any case, it’s delightfully textured and gorgeous and I have HIGH HOPES. Revolve has a matching jumpsuit, which…I…don’t…hate? Is this a thing now? (Oooo…it might be: check out this other cute L*Space suit and matching dress.) L*Space swimsuits are sustainable, too, so there’s that.

Take note, Yeti. A cooler disguised as a straw tote? Genius.

Coronavirus articles that are actually helpful. Popular Science created an insanely helpful chart to help illustrate how relatively contagious the Cornoavirus is (or is not) compared to other diseases (the common cold, flu, measles, smallpox, etc.,). If you’re wondering why we can’t seem to get clear answers on how dangerous this virus actually is, start there. And if you are worried about your kids (I was too), this article might help calm some fears. In short, the current reported death rate (2%) is an average of all affected. The death rate in kids is currently 0%, and is only .2% in healthy adults. (Grandparents, however, are another story.)

Powerful photos. Canadian journalist Kiana Hayeri spent two weeks visiting an all-women prison in Afghanistan, and her resulting story (and photos) literally took my breath away. All of the women inmates are serving sentences of 16-20 years for murdering their husbands. Their stories of abuse are so horrifying that prison was literally the better option. Heartbreakingly, many are raising their children inside these walls. While Afghanistan passed a Violence Against Women act a while ago, it has yet to really be enforced. This story was a further reminder of how insanely lucky I am simply to be born when and where I was. That fact — my dumb luck of just being born here — boggles my mind.

Well I never learned THIS in school. I was blown away by this IG, How America *Almost* Fixed Its Race Problem, covering Reconstruction (which initially was going OK), and yet how the heck we ended up here, facing so many race issues, more than 100 years later. It’s fascinating and thought-provoking (and only 4 minutes long so seriously go watch).

Happy birthday to all of you special Leap-Year babies!! (Heather, I’m talking about you, you babe.) How exciting that you actually get a real birthday this year. Hope it’s a good one.

xo,

S

3 COMMENTS

  1. Please post your videos, because as I read this you were 100% Baby and Johnny Castle in my mind! Haha! I love that eyelet blouse from Loft. So cute! And I’m definitely going to read up more on Coronavirus. As a nurse, I tend to not freak out about these things. But, as a mother who put her son on a flight to California last night (the only place with community acquired cases at this point), I have to admit I’m freaking out a little. I definitely need to do more research. Thanks for sharing these links!

  2. thank you for the link to the photo story/article. i just had to stop everything and was drawn into this glimpse at another life. what awaits these women when they get out?

  3. Love that your weekend post falls on Leap Day. And love hearing about fun things to do in Philadelphia for whenever I get a chance to visit from DC! Voloshin! Walking! Dancing! With that in mind I keep hearing from our local go to date night about a new place near you that’s seems like your perfect intersection of cool and nerd. The Board and Brew! Hope you guys have fun.

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