Weekend 8.22


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?”


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?”


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?”


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….”


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


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.  


Have a good (socially distant) weekend….