Happy Sunday! I’m here with a weekend dose of reading that includes some of my favorite links from around the internet this week + some can’t miss shopping & sales (specifically two really fantastic sales!). My Weekend Reads, No.155 features an interview with one of Charleston’s best interior designers, the new über designed place to stay in Palm Beach, Ina Garten’s divine looking breakfast cake, a wonderful ranked book roundup divided by genre, the lip oil that sold out instantly, 20% off our blue and white scalloped bedding, an aphrodisiac for your smoothies, a glimpse into the private homes and gardens of Charleston during this festival, healthy weeknight dinners, and much more. Before we dive into all the wonderful links, some musings from the week about adult friendships and where my head is at with the kind of friend I feel I’ve been lately…
This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of friend I am and the capacity I have to be the friend I want to be. The other day, I read a mother say on a blog that her kids are 6 and 4 years old respectively and she suddenly feels like she has time for her friends in a way that she hasn’t in years. This resonated with me because, as much as I hate to play the “I have 2 kids + one on the way” card, it is true for me right now. I feel like I am much more connected with friends that live in Charleston right now than with my friends who live in other places and I also feel/know that that is my doing.
Even so, I’ve found myself not be able to keep up with all my local friends to the extent that I would like to. Specifically, since I found out I was pregnant last July, I feel like I’ve fallen off the friend bandwagon. My first trimester was so horrendous, I could hardly look at my phone to call or text a friend. And then, from there, I’ve just been on overdrive with my kids. I find myself not answering calls or missing calls during the 2.5 days a week that we have our nanny because I tell myself “this is my time to get things done. I have to use it wisely and productively.” What does that even mean, “wisely”?
Of course, I have to get my kids signed up for school next year, I have to book their swim lessons, I have to write the holiday thank you notes, I have to coordinate the childcare, I have to financially contribute to our family but, don’t I want to keep up with my friends too? Is it wiser to send the emails I could crank out in an hour or to catch up with the girlfriend on the other side of the country? One will cause me less stress at the end of the day (being on top of my inbox) but the other will fill my cup and make life richer (keeping up with a dear friend).
I’m playing phone tag right now with some of my very best friends. Playing catch-up on their lives. Two of my besties, one in Colorado and one in Texas. And I have children that are relatively linked up in ages and we’ve said multiple times in the past few months/year that we don’t want to wish away any time with our babies but that we are looking forward to being done with our childbirth years. The thinking is that we can then plan the trips to see each other instead of always responding to each other with “we have to wait to see if we’re pregnant or not because a ski trip might not make sense for us this year.” or “It might be too hard for us to travel this year with two toddlers and a newborn. Can we pivot to the following summer?”
Time slips away so quickly when we’re kicking getting together down the road by months or a year at a time but it also feels like the responsible/realistic thing to do right now. I’m so torn on the matter. At the same time, our kids get older and their lives get more involved. Are we “freer” as mothers when we don’t have young babies and toddlers (as the blog I read this week implied) or is that when life gets really seriously busy?
The friends I have in Charleston are truly dear to me but I have known them for such a shorter amount of time than my childhood, high school, and college friends. Yet, our proximity makes us closer in a way. Can you relate? I think a lot of my recent reflections on my friendships boil down to the fact that I know I’m about to have another baby this spring and will feel even more disconnected from my life outside of my little family bubble for months, even a year. I think I have some anxiety around that. So I need to flip the coin and feel excited about that and the opportunity there (don’t get me wrong, a large part of me does!) but I also don’t want to let other relationships that are important to me slip through my fingers.
Close friends will always be there and know that certain periods of time provide us with less availability for them (no doubt, they have these same periods of time in their lives) but I still go back to thinking about the type of friend I want to be. I have a bit of unpacking to do here and a bit of acceptance to embrace here. I also have some phone calls to make that I am due for in our games of phone tag. Babies come first but friends should never be forgotten.
Weekend Reads, No.155
1. If you live in Charleston or are visiting our beautiful city this spring, have you bought any tickets to Charleston Festival events yet? Home tours, garden tours, lectures, and more events – it’s going to be really special. (thecharlestonfestivalsc.org)
2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this interview with my girlfriend, Chelsea Handegan. She makes Charleston better + I’d like to live in her dream interiors project. (maisoncarlyle.com)
3. The Chairish x The Colony Hotel’s new villa looks like an absolute blast to stay in! Designed to the nines. I’m coveting a trip here. (fredericmagazine.)
4. Before reading this article last weekend while traveling, I knew absolutely nothing about Marella Agnelli and boy is she fascinating. What an incredible tastemaker she was and her houses! My goodness I don’t even know where to begin. I promptly added this coffee table book to my cart. It’s one I want to actually read cover to cover. (cabanamagazine.com)
5. The ultimate guide to Instagram analytics for 2024. (later.com)
6. In a reading rut? This ranked book roundup post should help! (thestripe.com)
7. I love following along with all of Mackenzie’s home renovation projects. She has some fun ones coming up for 2024. (mackenziehoran.com)
8. Healthy weeknight dinners to make… I need this kitchen inspiration! (cooking.nytimes.com)
9. If you are a garden aficionado, then you’ll love this quick read on America’s most visited private garden, right here in Charleston. The magic really is there. (postandcourier.com)
10. This Ina Garten blueberry breakfast cake looks divine! I’m making it next weekend.
Shopping & Sales
1. This lip oil just made its grand debut and sold out absolutely everywhere on the internet except for on the brand’s own retail site. I ordered and can’t wait to try it as, like so many, I love a few products from the brand (namely the Jet Lag Mask).
3. I also love the dusty blue stripe on this sweater. It’s the easiest layer to wear now through spring (I know because I have this sweater with the red stripe).
4. Oh la la! Frederic Magazine is releasing its first ever book: Decorate Like A Decorator. The book shares pro-level tricks of the trade including what it takes to transform a room from standard to sensational – it also covers everything from pelmets and valances, trim, upholstery ideas, slipcovers, folding screens, and fabric-covered walls, to accent paints, bedspreads, decorative lampshades, scenic wallpaper, and more.
5. This limited edition Valentine candle duo is too cute! Gift one to yourself and one to your sister or bestie.
6. Introducing the silliest item you didn’t know you needed: this fantastic lace bottle apron. What a cheerful hostess gift (it can also be personalized!).
7. Over The moon is bringing it this weekend with not one but two unreal sales: 20% off Matouk and 20% off warm weather styles. Matouk favorites: scalloped bedding (we alternate between this bedding in ‘Azure’ and Boll & Branch bedding), scalloped bath towels, cocktail napkins, and this shower curtain (it’s not everyday you find a great shower curtain!). Warm weather style favorites: tote (the green handles!), leather sandals, floral pareo, wildflower swimsuit (in love!), kaftan (obsessed!), shell necklace, and the chicest woven bag (Hunting Season on sale!).
8. One of my favorite health brands, Blender Bombs, just released their limited edition “Love Bomb” for your smoothies with aphrodisiac ingredients. FUN.
9. As a thank you to my aunt and uncle for letting us stay at their apartment last weekend, Edwin and I sent High Camp Gardenias. Since then, I saw that Moda picked up High Camp Supply as a new brand! Love this as they are a favorite business of mine.
10. I really like these beauties. Elegant but fun.
11. The sweetest Valentines sweater.
With Love From JE.Com
. All about our New York City babymoon.
2. Five life updates for January 2024: a pregnancy update, house projects, two trips, and more.
3. Classroom Valentines for your littles.
5. Giving my baby bump a little sun!
6. Last week’s Weekend Reads: winter horoscopes for every sign (mine was pretty spot on), two incredibly easy yet delicious meals to make this week for dinner, a huge children’s clothing sale, the new podcast I devoured, Harbour Island outfit inspiration, journaling prompts for a transformative year, the most popular baby names, the interiors coffee table book you need to preorder, the fitness item I’m ordering as soon as I have our baby, and more.