me and art

Anna Valdez

|  My first grown-up art purchase, by the insanely-talented Anna Valdez  |

We don’t talk about it enough here, but I’m what you might call an aspiring art collector. I’ve always secretly wanted to be a Collector (yes, with a capital “C”). You know, one of those obnoxious people who “acquires pieces” at a pretentious gallery opening instead of buying posters in the museum gift shop. Yep, I aspire to snobbery. I admit it.

Alas, I probably won’t be making off with a Picasso from a Sotheby’s auction any time soon. And for most of my life, that seemed like the only way to collect. You had to be a high roller. But then, the Internet happened. And after that, 20×200 happened. And the world of collecting art suddenly became…possible.

20×200 was the first time I realized that mere mortals could, in fact, learn about art, be knowledgeable about up-and-coming artists, and even collect art – all without a seven-figure bank account or a loft in Manhattan. I was in love pretty much from Day One.

So, it’s safe to say that it makes my entire week to tell you that I’m teaming up with them on a series of Q&As with their incredibly smart and savvy founder, Jen Bekman. I’m pumping her for the skinny on everything there is to know about being a grown-up art collector (without a Silicon Valley art-buying budget).

The first one launched today, and I won’t lie…my feathers are pretty fluffed up about the whole thing. I hope you’ll love it.

 

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instant update: the easiest denim DIY ever

frayed denim jacket

| Buy it at Mango, or handle this easy denim DIY with a pair of shears and a deft hand |

I don’t know about you, but this little number has me dying to take a pair of scissors to my favorite denim jacket.

In fact, the internet seems hellbent on my taking shears to just about all of the denim in my closet. I could unpick the hems of some tired old straight-leg jeans…

raw-hem-denim

Or just lop the bottoms off a pair of washed-up skinnies…

diy-raw-hem-denim

What I particularly love about this of-the-moment trend is that it’s virtually consequence-free. Hate it? You were probably ready to part with those jeans anyway, or you wouldn’t have been willing to chop them up in the first place. So either it’s a genius reinvention or a cosmic justification for a quick closet purge.

So, what do you think? Ready to bust out the sewing scissors this summer?

 |  All images via my Pinterest page…but yes, I’m still pissed at them. |

 

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postcard: etsy binge

|  via Instagram  |
Since they’re so darn photogenic, I thought I’d show off the spoils from last week’s Etsy binge. I’d forgotten how satisfying these are (not to mention considerably cheaper than my Net-A-Porter sale binge). So many fun boxes arriving in the mail, and all of the lovely packaging and handwritten notes that come from buying handmade. Highly recommend.

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the memorial day sales that are actually worth your time

Because your inbox is probably as insane as mine this morning, I thought we could all use a cheat sheet. And so, your Great Big List of all of the Memorial Day sales worth mentioning is right here, but I’m starting it off with my faves – aka, the ones I’ll actually be shopping and which you might not have heard about yet. Read on

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hug a mom

mom and me

|  Me and my adorable mom. How lucky am I to have those genes?  |

A dear friend of mine, who also happens to be a new mom, is having A Week. By which I mean, a week that would make me – any normal human, really – just curl up into a ball and give in to your darkest thoughts.

Luckily, this friend of mine is not a normal human – she’s a superhero. I’ve known this for some time, but the simple fact that she has not completely lost her mind this week, or resorted to sticking a bendy straw directly into a bottle of tequila seals the deal. I’ve been doing my level best to pitch in and be a friend, but let me say this: I spent a handful of days this week walking in her shoes, cuddling her adorable newborn munchkin for a handful of caffeinated, showered, daylight hours, and all I know is that I adore the heck out of that baby, but if somebody doesn’t put me on a plane to Bora-Bora, and I mean immediately, I’m not sure I’ll last the week.

Watching my friend bring it in such a profoundly impressive way has left me thinking about my own superhero of a mom, who did all of it with one more kid to juggle and one less co-parent to lean on. Who worked three jobs to pay our rent, who didn’t own a new car until I was in high school, and who went without more often than I’ll probably ever know. Oh, and put herself through college and law school while she was at it. I think she knows by now that I’m in awe of all that – I talk her up all the time, to everyone – but I’m pretty sure she also knows that because I am a contentedly kidless person, I have no fucking clue how hard it actually was for her. I can’t begin to know.

I texted my mom earlier this week and commented that babies were harder than they look. “I remember,” she said. Sometimes I think about having kids just so that she could be a grandmother. She’s earned it.

All this rambling to say: hug a mom this weekend. It doesn’t have to be yours – I know things are complicated. Mine happens to be utterly amazing, but it’s not always so. There are issues and heartbreaks and regrets and distances we can’t always cross. Life is messy. But I promise you, this weekend you’ll see a mom out there in the world who needs an encouraging smile and a reminder that she’s doing it right, because she’s clinging to her grip on sanity with two very tired, very sticky fingers. When you spot her, hold the door open. Pay for her coffee, bite your tongue when her toddler pitches a fit, or leave her a note telling her she’s a superhero. Just take a moment and acknowledge that, my God, she is doing the hardest job I know. And she’s doing it for free. No vacation days, no time-outs, just for the sake of that little bundle of milk and poop she’s stewarding through the world, one spit-up-covered day at a time.

{PS: While you’re at it, you might keep your eyes open for a non-mom who could use a hug too. This Mother’s Day business is tough for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, and a little bit of kindness goes a long, long way.}

 

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how to pick the perfect gift: a Q&A with half hitch goods

half hitch goods

|  Carrie of Half Hitch Goods, showing off her amazing Rolling Shoppe! |

Friends, I have been so excited to share this Q&A! Carrie Caillouette is the mastermind behind Half Hitch Goods: quite simply the most beautiful, creative, perfectly-curated gifting shop I have ever encountered. (And trust me, I don’t give out that title lightly.) Every single item is carefully considered, lovingly made, and somehow utterly and completely perfect. It’s an absolute treasure trove of gift ideas – for yourself, your spouse, your mom or your crazy Aunt Edna. I promise you, no matter how hard they are to buy for, and no matter what your budget, Carrie’s got the perfect gift…and it’s something you’d absolutely never have come up with on your own.

With Mother’s Day coming up, I asked her to share a few of her tips and tricks for tracking down the perfect gift for absolutely everyone…especially yourself!

{PS: Carrie is also one of my very favorite Instagrammers, and she’s taking over SMC’s Instagram feed all day today! Head over for a peek into her gorgeous world (and a few more fab gift ideas) – you’re not going to want to miss it.} Read on

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postcard

|  via Instagram  |
Whenever I wear jewelry from a friend, it feels like a big ol’ hug from them. And this pearly tasseled number from my friends at Grayling Jewelry has been giving me LOTS of hugs – I can’t seem to stop wearing it.
Nab the Cleo right here – and for the rest of the look:

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