Weekend 11.28 (Happy Thanksgiving)

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I was grumpy on Thanksgiving. We had been quarantined for almost three solid weeks at this point (the first two a result of a potential COVID exposure, the last one because we’re heading home to see my mom), and our house was a mess.  

Correction: our house was a dirty mess. The cleaners haven’t come in three weeks, and Mike and I are long out of the habit of cleaning anything. Apparently, we’ll sit in filth before we’ll attempt to locate the vacuum cleaner.

I was also trying to pack for our trip aaaaand work. (Black Friday is kind of a big deal when your job involves shopping for a living.)

The boys — Mike included — had been given a list and were told to lay out their items for approval before packing their suitcases. I’m not typically this controlling, but have learned over the years that my husband, while good at other things, is a terrible packer. Like so epically bad…that it almost seems…willful? And yet he appears genuinely surprised, every time, when we reach our destination and his gaff is revealed. Like the time he packed for a Michigan winter and only brought t-shirts (no sweaters, no coat). Or the time he just completely omitted socks and underwear so we spent our first day — in France, no less — trying to figure out where/how to buy boring basics while jet-lagged. Or he’ll decide to randomly change it up and bring fancy dress shoes on a ski trip. (him, clad in athletic pants and shiny black shoes: “Does this look stupid?” me: “Yes.”)

A buddy of ours snapped a pic of Mike on a ski trip a couple of years ago. Mike had forgotten to pack shirts — like zero shirts — other than the sweaty base layers he wore skiing all day. So as we’re all lounging around the hotel fireplace having a few drinks, Mike is reclining as far from the fire as he can, clad only in sweatpants and an unzipped ski jacket.

We all make choices, bare-chested Mike. WE ALL MAKE CHOICES.

Anyway, I am eyeing Mike’s current choices to the sound of shenanigans coming from the boys’ room. This is nothing new — our boys seem to mess with each other like it’s their full-time job — but this time I Am In No Mood. I stomp downstairs and find their room draped with clothing (they must have been throwing things around) and see them whipping each other with shirts. “Guys!” I say. They ignore me. Pax whips his shirt at his brother’s head, then launches himself on the bed, clothing exploding up around him. Raines leaps—

“GUYS!” I say, louder. Raines ignores me and tackles Pax, pinning him down while pummeling him with — here his hand scrabbles around on the bed and finds, yes — a pair of pants, which he promptly stuffs into his brother’s face. Pax wriggles out, sucker-punches him in th—-

“AUGH!!” I yell, loudly (words are meaningless at this point, only volume is required), and both boys immediately freeze.  

“Mom, did you want something?” Pax asks. They blink at me, patiently, their expressions blank and innocent. 

I breathe in — deeply — through the nose.

Several minutes later — under strict supervision — they’ve re-grouped their clothes into piles for approval. I reject Pax’s too-small button-down (not even sure where he found that old thing) and the huge stack of jeans. “Pick one” I tell him. He informs me that it would be a “waste of time” to figure out which pair still fits, so instead, he’ll just pack them all. 

So yeah — by the time Thanksgiving dinner rolled around (just re-heated Whole Foods, thankyouverymuch), I was done.

Mike, amused that he was no longer my biggest packing problem, shooed me upstairs with a glass of champagne, promising that when I came back down, the kitchen would be…well…better. I heard him giving the boys tasks…his voice getting louder and louder as the boys continued wrestling.

I went upstairs and washed my face. Peering critically into the mirror, I prodded at my skin. Cupping my face in my hands,  I gently pulled up. A younger, but slightly-surprised-looking me stared back. Was this how I used to look? I turned my head from side-to-side, inspecting my temporary face lift. Would I look 5 years younger? 10? I could still hear sounds of scuffle (and the occasional boom of Mike’s voice) from two floors below.

Stalling, I turned on my curling iron. Why not? I carefully applied a dark, smokey eye and bright lipstick. Too much. I wiped the lipstick off, and added a few bends to my hair. Better.

Moodily, I stared outside. God, I hate being cooped up. I looked out at the darkening sky and envisioned myself as some sort of tragic figure. Lady Jane Grey, staring out of the bloody tower. Marie Antoinette. Feeling properly dramatic, I walked over to my closet. A gossamer gown, perhaps? Social Threads had just sent over a pair of sequin joggers, and while they didn’t match my chosen narrative, they did seem….sufficiently extra. So I pulled them on and — after discarding a handful of tops as ‘too pedestrian’ — I descended the stairs in head-to-toe sequins.

The boys — now wisely clad in suits (god my husband gets me) ooo’d and ahhh’d as I descended down the companionway to the kitchen. We quaffed champagne and root beer, partook of our reheatad repast, and excitement was had by all on this enviable evening.

We finished our night by curling up on the couch and watching a few episodes of Schitt’s Creek. There’s something about that Moira Rose, though…something about her seems vaguely familiar. Hmmm. I can’t quite place it. 


Those sequin joggers, tho. My entire Thanksgiving outfit can be seen on IG, here. And those sequin joggers? They’re from Social Threads (a small business we love), and the sequin top is Abercrombie.

High-fives, us. Gang, I’m pretty proud of our small business coverage this year. Not only did we include a bunch of small businesses in our Black Friday/Cyber Monday cheat sheet, but I’m especially excited about the gift guide I put together (it can hang with any gift guide I’ve ever published, small business or no), and Abby pulled together a directory of TME-approved small businesses. You can find all of our small business coverage (including some recent try-ons for Social Threads and NINOBrand) under the Shopping dropdown menu. Look for Shop Small.

What have I actually bought this Black Friday? I always get this question and, as a blogger, I’m never sure how helpful my answer will be. The Absolute Best Stuff I typically buy before Black Friday (ie — not on sale), so by the time Black Friday rolls around, I’ve already worn and tested out key pieces, and am better able to let you guys know which pieces are worth snapping up. I constantly joke about doing “research” but it’s actually true. (That faux-leather Abercrombie puffer is a perfect example.) That said…I have splurged on a few fun items. So, FWIW:

From Nordstrom: My black JSlides (seen here, in Detroit) were such a hit last year that I snapped them up in taupe (at 47% off). I also bought these understated-yet-edgy earrings in the gray and gold, and this romantic-punk top by my longtime fav French brand, Maje.

A word of warning: I also bought and returned a bunch of rag & bone skinny jeans from Nordstrom. Nothing was wrong, I just realized my closet is already well stocked with rag & bone skinny jeans. If interested, this wash looks NOTHING like the photo (it’s a dark blue), but is actually sweatpants-jean comfortable (highly recommend), this wash is by far the coolest, and this ‘clear foil’ wash is actually denim covered by some weird holographic coating — steer clear.

From Bloomies: That faux-leather Abercrombie puffer I love so much is almost sold out…but I saw this oversized faux-leather puffer on a blogger somewhere and was blown away by how good it looked. So I ordered it to try — it’s currently 25% off.

From NAADAM: I have all of the Naadam a girl could ever need, but I did get two blue sweaters for Mike (he can pick one): This waffle-knit cashmere sweater in navy, or this blue marled knit cashmere sweater. SO GOOD (and 40% off).

From Abercrombie: I am wearing their high-rise denim leggings as I type this from Day 1 of our 17-hour car ride…and they’re the perfect travel jeans. Also, if you can get your hands on a pair of their classic sweatpants OH MY GOD I love the fit. I’ve been wearing mine at night with a silk cami.

From CAMI NYC: I always go right to the source on Black Friday, and, sure enough, not only is their sale the highest (30% off everything), but they have the best size and color selection of my most-worn top year-round: Cami NYC’s racerback 100% silk cami. I picked up another black one, a buffalo plaid one, and a pecan-colored one with matching sweatpants (for ‘research’— we’ll see).

Parachute Home: Someone is getting new linen sheets for Christmas this year. That’s all I can say (I don’t want to give it away).

Debating the Always Pan: Em can basically get me to buy anything with her gorgeous food photos and her annoyingly spot-on, persuasive writing…but this article was one of her best. Dammit.

Feedback on our Black Friday coverage….There are two times per year that our coverage starts to border on obnoxious: the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and…Black Friday. I KNOW. We’re constantly trying to find that balance of being helpful, without overwhelming everyone. How did we do? I’d love some feedback for next year. Personally, I’m a fan of our cheat sheet — basically just a big list of the sales we care about. But beyond that…what’s helpful? Do you like the contributor-based roundups — Em’s Picks for Black Friday, Laura’s Picks For Black Friday (we did this last year — here’s my old one as a sample)? Or did you prefer what we did this year: Best sweaters on sale, the best boots on sale, etc. Another option? A post for each brand/retailer (best of Abercrombie, best of Nordstrom, etc)? Were our daily sales reports leading up to Black Friday helpful…or annoying? Trying to organize all of this information is the toughest part — so please, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Does BST mean anything to you? I couldn’t be more thankful for this little community, and yet another example of why is our new BST group. A few enterprising readers reached out and asked if we would start a buy-sell-trade group on Facebook, open only to readers of The Mom Edit. My response? Sure…but…HELP. And they did. Thanks to them, we now have a thriving Facebook BST group where you can sell used clothes to sartorially like-minded folks. One rule is that you must be a newsletter subscriber, so if you haven’t yet done so, sign up here.

Whew!! Gold star to anyone who made it this freaking far. And despite this tough year (and my Thanksgiving grumpiness), one thing I’ve been consistently thankful for is this amazing community. You guys continue to blow us away with your passion, your thoughtful comments, and your willingness to spend a few minutes of your weeks with us. We know how busy everyone is, and feel so honored by your time.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

xoxo,

S

20 COMMENTS

  1. Black Friday feedback: love the by-category (best sweaters, best boots) and by-retailer posts! Being able to see/jump to contributor picks within those articles is enough for me. I wasn’t wild about the pre-sale “wishlist” posts–I find will-it-be-on-sale prognosticating to be of limited value. The earliest post you did, though, talking about your approach and the likelihood that sales would last all November? More useful, (and just generally interesting to me to learn about retailers’ strategies).

    My absolute favorite posts of the entire period were the small-business and sustainable shop roundups! It’s probably a feature of small-biz-Saturday that we can’t see that info any sooner, but the sooner the better–I admit I am less likely to hit small companies first just because they aren’t top of my mind, but I’d RATHER give them my money…it’s just not always feasible after I’ve gotten caught up in the whirlwind of the usual suspects.

    Thank you to everyone at TME for all the hard work covering this. I hope your time at home is as relaxing as the lead-up was stressful, Shana!

  2. Ugh- not cool. Shana and her hubs are smart people and have by all appearances made responsible choices. They don’t deserve to be shamed by commenters.

  3. As someone who has griped about the overwhelming anni sale coverage, I don’t really care which way you do the coverage (by contributor, by store, by category). I mean, I take it back, my preference is by contributor, but I can see the merit of of all the ways. But actually doing it all the ways just makes my brains leak out my ears a little

    Also, right there with you on the T-day grumpiness, and felt much better after I had a mimosa and changed into my velvet joggers and sparkly sweater.

  4. I liked the new by-category coverage this year, and I also like by-store. The cheat sheet didn’t work that well for me because it was just an overwhelming long scroll of text+links — e.g. I would have liked to know more about *what* each retailer’s top pick was, rather than a mysterious “top pick” link repeated over and over.

  5. Loved the contributed based roundups this year. I always appreciate everything you all do thigh – I can’t get enough, ha! I’m even in the super savings mode this Black Friday, so didn’t participate that much, but still enjoy looking.

    • Online window shopping is seriously so fun for me that I turned it into a job. Ha! Buying or looking – we’re glad you’re here either way. (And I TOTALLY get it.)

  6. I too have a hubby who has lost his ability to pack over 10+ years of marriage. When left to his own devices important wardrobe staples end up being left out. I blame myself for doing most of our packing most of the time. He’s simply out of practice. I loved reading your stories about only packing dress shoes and no shirts. Too funny! And could totally see this happening in my world as well.
    I enjoy the sales coverage! Thank you for the introduction and sales info about Naadam. I have a cashmere hoodie coming for my hubby.
    I personally like the sales broken down by store/ retailers. It’s helpful and nice to look at curated versions of the sales as opposed to sifting through what can be way too much stuff. But, frankly I look forward to all the posts. They always feel like a fun treat!
    Safe travels !

    • Thank you Valerie!! The feedback is much appreciated. (And I keep thinking that mayyyybe I made my husband this way, too…but then I see Raines, who is EXACTLY like him. Pax could pack for all four of us, but I wouldn’t trust Raines to pack for a dog.) xoxo

  7. Your Black Friday coverage has been awesome and helpful. I do like the contributor round-ups more than the long list of sales; I identify with particular styles (or find them similar to my giftees), and they home in on cool finds, while the list is overwhelming to me. The categories have been great, too.

    Also, did not know about the BST, but am excited to join!

    Finally, thank you for all you do. I run my own website and know how much work it takes on the back end (and mine is not nearly as robust as yours). You all do an amazing job, from your fashion picks to the fresh site design and easy navigation to conveying everyone’s distinct and fun personalities.

    Bravo! And Happy holiday season to all!

    • Oh wow, Linda – thank you for this comment. And thank YOU for reading! We know everyone’s time is so freaking limited…which is why we spend so much time trying to figure out what is the most helpful. xoxo

  8. This all makes sense now. The number of people that joined the BST group skyrocketed over night! Now we know why! Welcome everyone! Shana, I’m cracking up about the packing situation. In the 20 years we’ve been together, my husband has never packed a bathing suit for vacation. 99% of our vacations have taken place at the shore. Srsly?! How is that even possible? I’m a fan of the by retailer and by item posts for Black Friday. Your coverage is so comprehensive and appreciated! When I need to order something I just find that post and go from there. Thank you! And enjoy your time with your family! I’m sure you are all so excited to be together.
    Look

    • Thanks, Babe. I am – quite literally – jumping up and down to see everyone. And we’re here for a MONTH. I haven’t been home that long in the winter since…I was 18 years old?? OMG.

  9. She has been home for 3 weeks. The ONLY way to safely visit with family is for both/all households to stay home (no grocery stores, onsite jobs, etc. ) for 14 days, to get to the destination without any contacts (ideally by driving and avoiding restaurants), and then, once the two families are together, to STAY there and not go out again until the visit is over. The issue is that most people won’t (or can’t) commit to this sort of protocol and still want to visit relatives. If Shana has truly not left the house in 3 weeks and is proceeding directly to her relatives’, she’s one of the safest out there.

  10. personally prefer the contributor-sorted picks. but found the white elephant gifts post extremely annoying — especially given your purported emphasis on sustainability. what’s with all the JUNK in that post???? most of that stuff might get a giggle from the giftee, then will sit there collecting dust. what a waste.

  11. Confession: I hate shopping. But I appreciate all that you at the Mom Edit do; I am inspired by all the great advice and it makes the whole experience a little less painful 🙂 And thank you for curating a Shop Small section! My aim this holiday season is to shop small (and locally, if possible) to help support all of the struggling businesses out there.

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