Because it’s Wednesday (“Hump Day”) and because I need a little mid-week pick-me-up, I thought I’d remind myself of all the things that make me smile by featuring the top ten Magpie Musts: the on-a-desert-island items I simply cannot live without.
Magpie Must #1: DiorShow mascara ($24, Sephora). I’m a mascara fiend and have probably tried every mascara on the market (even the gimmicky, over-priced ones, like Givenchy’s version with the “spiky ball” applicator — $27 and terrible). Even when I’m at my grungiest, I have to sport a couple coats of thick, dark mascara.
Magpie Must #2: Engagement Ring. Not much else to say except that I spend a lot of time staring happily at it. The image below is almost identical to my own except mine has four prongs rather than six — which I love. Shows off the stone even more!
Magpie must #3: A manicure. I’ve admitted in past posts that I’m a manicure addict — I get weekly (occasionally bi-weekly!) manicures and nearly always go for the same shade: Essie’s “Lollipop” red ($8, EssieShop). My go to girl? Vicky at Vicky’s Salon in Georgetown (202.342.0406) — she’s incredible.
Magpie must #4: Coke Zero. Ugh. My ultimate indulgence. And I know how bad the carbonation and coloring and chemicals and fake sugars are. But I just can’t live without it. (It made me feel a little better when I read an interview with Karl Lagerfeld, head designer and creative director for Chanel, and, in response to: “What do you eat for breakfast?”, KL responded: “Coke Zero.” Yes.)
Magpie must #5: My iPod shuffle ($59, Apple). I’ve posted about this in the past, but it’s the handiest little tool for a daily exerciser like myself. I’ll upload my favorite hits du jour, clip it onto my waist-band (it has a built-in clip), and head out the door on a jog.
Magpie must #6: Kicky pumps (below: “The Carly,” $298, Kate Spade). I know I should invest in the classics (a good camel peep toe, a few variations on the classic black pump, etc.), but when it comes down to it, I’d prefer the fanciful. I love to throw them on as the centerpiece in an otherwise straight-forward outfit. My uniform this past winter was: skinny jeans, blousey top, cardigan, and pumps. I have good luck at J. Crew although I’ve sneered at their lower-heeled options over the past season or two — they look frumpy and fuddy-duddy. I like a 3″ or higher option.
Magpie must #7: High quality kitchen gear (below: Breville “Ikon” Blender, $299, Williams Sonoma). My fiance and I cook…a lot. Our Sunday evening dinners are pretty much the pinnacle of my culinary week — we’re always trying out some involved new dish or setting up a huge themed feast for ourselves. (Gluttons.) Because we’re so into cooking, we really notice when our tools aren’t performing adequately (or excellently) and tend to splurge in Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table as a result. I’ll never forget when I told him I needed to buy a “good, high-quality blender” and, without batting an eyelash at the amount of money I was planning on spending on it, he insisted we split the cost and go in on it together. I was confused — who would keep it? Little did I know he was planning on popping the question a few weeks down the road.
Magpie must #8: Haribo candy. I have a major sweet tooth and love to have a little stash of Haribo at my desk (or in my car, at my apartment, etc.) In Europe, Haribo candy is all the rage and bulk shops pop up all over the place. When I lived in France, there were weeks where my dear friend Emily and I would pretty much subsist on French bread from our local boulangerie, fresh fruit from the open-air markets, and…candy. Back in D.C., I discovered that Wisemiller’s, the little sandwich-and-snack shop around the corner from my high school and down the street from Georgetown Univesrity, my graduate school alma mater, carries a whole wall of the stuff (1236 36th St, between N and Prospect).
Magpie must #9: a good book. After completing my M.A. in Literature last year, I felt burned out and simply could not pick up a book for weeks. Isn’t that embarrassing? Now that I’ve distanced myself from the experience of reading a couple books a week for my coursework, I miss the intellectual stimulation and discipline of the graduate school experience more than words can say. As a result, I’ve always got a new book on hand (and literally at my fingertips, now that I have an iPad). I’m currently making my way through Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers ($11.93, Amazon) — an entirely different sort of reading than I’m accustomed to. It’s easy-going and engaging, although his whole bit feels tired (“I’m going to take this truism and, through some seemingly-unrelated data and rhetorical finesse, turn everything on its head and explain your world differently”). While I’m partial to the classics, I do venture into some of the more contemporary lit now and then. I’ll go ahead and stake a bold claim: best book written in the last decade or so? Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things (as low as $3, Amazon). It’s achingly beautiful. Roy’s M.O. as an author is to reinstill beauty into the English canon. Now that’s a mission I can get behind.
Magpie must #10: champagne. Who can resist the bubbly, celebratory stuff? My girlfriend Miss Right on the Money and I went to Masa14 for dinner last weekend and decided, for no good reason, to share a bottle of Riondo prosecco. It was just the way to usher in an otherwise rainy and unimportant Saturday.
Magpie must #11: the sundress (below: Milly “Lemon Embroidered Dress,” $335, Heery’s). Now I know I said I’d stick to a “top ten” but…we’ll go for the baker’s dozen approach here (where bakers throw in 13 rather than 12). The sundress is the staple and centerpiece of my summer wardrobe. I literally live in dresses in the summer — they’re so easy breezy and feminine.
Now let’s turn the tables and find out what you value: