We are trying to prep for the start of school. The Philly school district finally made the call to go 100% virtual until Nov 17, and then…?? We’ll see. I suspect most (if not all) of the year will be virtual.

Prepping, for me, has involved the measuring out of various spaces around our house to create little study nooks. I am…not good at sitting…and trying to envision my active boys(!!) on a computer for most of the day is not something I can seem to wrap my brain around.

So I’m ordering a lapdesk for the couch, and looking for a lazy Susan to turn the coffee table into a mini school supply cabinet. We’ve ordered desks and school supplies for the other nooks, and are trying to figure out how to get power to each of them (old houses are THE WORST with outlets). 

And in between this ordering and measuring and planning (and keep in mind that this kind of advance planning literally Drains Me of All Joy, Planning Shana is a Joyless Shana)…I like to intersperse this reality-based planning with conversations like this:

Me: “Mike! Let’s just…rent a house in Utah for January & February! We’ll just ski all afternoon, once the kids are done with school. Should I book something on VRBO?”

Mike:

Me: “So there’s a ton of options..OOO THIS ONE. Oh shoot — once booked, it can’t be canceled. But they’ll give us credits. Should I do it?”

Mike:

Me: “Mike!! What if we rented a house in SEPTEMBER at THE SHORE…and the kids could just SURF ALL DAY? Should I book something on VRBO?”

Mike: 

Me: “Mike!! Should we go to Michigan for 6 months? Could we live at the lake house? I mean, they’ll turn off the plumbing at some point for winter but….”

Mike:

Me: “Mike!! Should we stay kind-of local? Stowe or Stratton? Which ski passes should we get? IKON or EPIC?”

Mike:

By now, the man knows me, and wisely stays quiet. There’s nothing that kills The Joy of Dreaming Big Dreams like your freaking husband with his Words of Quiet Reality. BOO MIKE, BOO.

Although, if I’m being 100% honest here, his complete lack of response wasn’t exactly gratifying, either. 

I started pestering Linzi with all of my “plans”. She is too much like Mike and told me to “stop trying to ruin her September of order and calm”…and to take a look at Canada. I was all “I would but Canada is closed to Ameri- ohhhhhh…“. That last bit was sarcasm, obviously. Well-played, Linzi. 

Annmarie was better. “Yes! You could totally do that!!!” she said.

I felt validated for approximately 12 seconds, before reality (and the thousands of tiny decisions associated) came crashing back down.

Truthfully, I can’t decide what is worse: dream-killers like Mike and Linzi…or dream supporters like A, who support me right into trying to juggle virtual school, work, and the added pressure of Taking Advantage of This Fun Spot from some rental house somewhere.  Sometimes, A and I both need to be saved from our exhausting selves.

Truthfully, there are no good answers.

But maybe…

…we can still surf. 😉

A few study nook essentials… We’re still working on these study nooks, but this magnetic glass whiteboard is getting mounted in the playroom, and I’m going to attach magnetic wall organizers (like this, this or this) to it. I’m also intrigued by these dry-erase, reusable sticky notes for keeping track of schedules (or meal planning), and this is the lapdesk we’ll be ordering for the living room.

How do we feel about black denim shorts? The reason I ask…is because my favorite pair of Good American shorts (first mentioned here) also comes in black. Is this a good way to feel more fall-ish in 90 degrees? TELL ME YOUR WAYS, SOUTHERNERS.  

Oh hiiiiii, Gap. Gap had fallen off my radar for a while, until Em’s recent collaboration: I promptly bought the (now sold out) baseball tee featured. While I was there, I also picked up this cute little red jacket (see it on our IG, here). Both the tee and the windbreaker are really good — perfectly cut and a much higher quality than I expected. So now I’m eyeing up this flashdance-esque pullover sweatshirt and this cute top with ’70s vibes. Also, if you missed out on the Vince t-shirt dress at the NSale, this Gap dress has a similar cut. Hunh.

I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS. NAADAM is having a sale, and that ribbed silk tank and ribbed silk midi skirt are both on sale for $50 each. I’m getting black because I’m boring. It’s final sale, but I’m sizing up in each piece to give myself some room (this style is really forgiving with sizes). Oh, and there’s a ribbed silk dress, too, complicating my life. (Everything by NAADAM is sustainably made, too.) 

I’m going with orange. After much deliberation, I’m going with the bright orange Arc’teryx jacket. Thanks to everyone who weighed in (actual post here). Of course, as I type this, I am immediately filled with indecision and regret and want to keep ALL THE JACKETS…but I will be strong. Orange it is.

Someone asked about hiking backpacks….I have Patagonia’s 26L backpack. It’s big(ish) for a daypack, but has compression features that can almost completely flatten it against your back if it’s not full. But for longer hikes, it can also carry a water reservoir inside (we love this one), as well as…basically allllllll of the food and layers I need for myself and the kids. I also love the Stasher pockets on the outside so I can easily grab my phone, sunscreen, rain shell, etc. For kids…I swear by just small women’s daypacks with a water reservoir (like this one – on sale). 

Easy weeknight dinner, on repeat. Inspiralized’s Shrimp Scampi recipe (with zucchini noodles) is a huge hit in our house. I’ve started doubling the recipe, and making it with half zucchini noodles and half Banza chickpea pasta. My kids go nuts for this stuff (and so do Mike and I). If you don’t have a spiralizer (to make your own zucchini noodles, etc.) I highly recommend — especially for warm-weather dinners. It’s one kitchen gadget we actually use.

Oh, sweet Toile. If anyone else is a McSweeneys fan, you may remember Toile and her mother’s preschool application letter. Well…now there’s a 2020 version, We’d Love To Get Into Your Learning Pod, and it’s cringe-worthy gold.

Math is hard. And Math Problems For 2020 is, uh, impossible? But a funny read in that 2020 way where you’ve gotta laugh or cry. Or both. Probs both. (Thanks, E!). 

Calling all designers…anyone have ideas for turning outdoor spaces into classrooms? DesignAID is having a competition. The focus is on Philadelphia schools, but they are looking for ideas that can be used in schools across the country.

Nothing Stops the Mail.  In case you missed it…the Post Office is Trump’s latest target. If you want to see a rundown of how the heck we got here…here’s a timeline of Trump v. Post Office, here’s another good reason to care about saving the Post Office (besides mail-in voting — something Trump is currently obsessing over), and a petition calling for the removal of Louis DeJoy, the current postmaster general (he’s never worked at USPS, is a major funder to GOP candidates including Trump, and currently owns $30M of stock in XP Logistics, a competitor to the Post Office). Lastly, if you haven’t yet seen USPS’s unofficial new sign…it’s AWESOME.

In case anyone has forgotten about COVID…har har (as if) – STAT News just came out with an article, Seven Months Later, What We Know About COVID – and the pressing questions that remain.  

Oof.

Have a good (socially distant) weekend….

xo,

S

23 COMMENTS

  1. Agreed. Keep it coming. It’s absolutely necessary. Also, my husband is rewriting my bedroom for new sconces and a ceiling fan. This morning there was a total of two outlets in the room. And while laying under this ceiling fan is glorious right now, I kind of want to set fire to the room and never step foot in it again because of the mess that is created when doing electrical work in 100 year old homes. Finally, September is THE. BEST. MONTH at the shore. I say go for it!

  2. I suggested we rent an RV and take the kids out West where the kids could do school on the road. When will we ever be able to do this in our lives I said?? I quickly was told ummm no!! I get ya Shana, exactly where my brain went first, where could we go and turn this into an adventure!!!

  3. I have absolutely thrown out more than a few “what if we…” ideas for this unusual fall. At the same time I’m setting up appointments with tutors and measuring space in our house for a desk for my 7 yr old. Also, keep the commentary coming. And make a plan to vote this fall everyone!

  4. Shana I love your site…I appreciate your passion, being a girl that’s passionate too; however we have differences of opinion in some areas…and I would love to come to Sunday morning post without all the political commentary. Frankly I am so tired of the conflict I see everywhere and would love a break when I come here.

  5. Along with SS and JeansGirl, I absolutely love your Weekend posts. Every time. Speak whatever you want—you all have been a godsend during the past months, particularly during quarantine and following George Floyd’s murder. I do not see it as political commentary; I see it as perspective, truth and information.
    Thank you for the rec on the laptop desk! Much appreciated—and ordered! Oh CRAP. I sent the link from you to my husband to order—but now that I’m thinking about it, that did probably work (to support you guys, I mean, with the link from your site). Gah and that Nadaam skirt Was literally in my dream last night. Time to order. You made the right choice on the orange, methinks—I should have commented on that post itself, but the orange one both instantly just popped and it looked great on you. And the McSweeney’s article slayed. I had to read it slowly bc it was so damn good. Thanks for all you do.

  6. S-Just Yes-to your words, your ideas, and your heart-Always. We’ll beg forgiveness after the fact (or not) and call it all #worthit xoxo A

  7. I think this is the first time I’ve clicked on every link in a weekend post- got like 27 tabs over here! If you find a good Lazy Susan please show us. I can’t find one that’s quite right. Finally, it’s her blog, and politics is a relatively small part that is easy to skip if you’re so inclined.

  8. Thank you for your voice! While your style is often out of my price range, I still enjoy reading these for your other contributions, especially this year throughout the mess we find ourselves in. I signed the petition and shared with friends/family – saving USPS should be a no-brainer!!!

  9. Keep it up with your brilliant connections from the personal to the political! This is not the time to be “apolitical” – to say nothing is to side with oppressive forces. So glad you’re speaking your mind! And dying over the McSweeney’s pod piece 🙂

  10. YES to the black-shorts-to-make-things-feel-different hack! I have felt ridiculous buying any new jeans or cutoffs since the shutdown, so when I have felt the need to wear Actual Clothing this summer I have reached for two pairs that have been lying fallow in my closet for two years now–my white Lucky turn-ups and my black highwaisted Madewells. Because I mostly wear blue denim in the summer, these feel entirely new–the black ones are great for feeling more urban and are AWESOME with my new Doc Marten sandals, and the white ones are more beachy and work for going to the beach or the river. Both have completely precluded the need for new cutoffs.

  11. Thanks for sharing the COVID-19 article. It was a simple read that gathered up the current science and lined it up in a way that makes sense and helps me sift through all the noise to see if what I’m gleaning out of all this noise is along the right path.

  12. Shana, keep up the information based on science and facts. How wonderful that you have a source at home that can help educate all of us. THANK YOU!

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