The Power of Snail Mail

I didn’t send any holiday cards this past year. What with hosting the family, the inevitable rush of work in December, and the daunting task of getting cards personalized, addressed and mailed, it wasn’t in the cards (literally) for 2016. I did have a thought that when I could spare some time in the early part of the quarter, I would sit down and write old fashioned letters to the friends I really wanted to reconnect with. Friends from high school or college that don’t live here, and too-often fall into the category of “well overdue to receive a phone call from me.” I can remember my parents receiving these types of holiday letters from old friends when I was a little girl — long letters detailing family updates, career changes, happy times, and struggles too. I remember thinking it was such an adult thing, to correspond in this way and maintain a connection over a simple piece of paper, amazed that it actually worked. As a “grown up” myself now (at least in theory), I find myself understanding it more and more.

Anyway, I was thinking a lot about those letters this morning and how meaningful they were, primarily on the heels of reading this absolutely excellent article in the Times magazine about the Office of Presidential Correspondence, or O.P.C. Did you know there was such an office, staffed with scores of individuals who read the thousands of letters and emails that come to the White House each month? I must say, I felt this piece deserved its own shoutout, because it was one of my favorite pieces of journalism I’ve read in a long time. Not only was I fascinated to read about how this office works (so organized!), but it was incredibly powerful to hear from the staffers, interns, and volunteers who are tasked with reading, digesting, categorizing, and filing these missives. I had long heard about the President’s program to read 10 letters per day (shorthanded to 10LAD in the O.P.C.) when he is at the White House, but to hear first hand about how those letters are picked, how their responses are generated, and even how the 10LAD spread to other parts of the administration was really moving. Some of these letters…well, I teared up. Can you imagine being part of an office that must filter through the voice of the nation everyday? It’s incredible. Like the snail mail my parents would send and receive, it’s clear these letters can forge an important connection not only between leaders and constituents, but between everyday citizens too. The power of the pen, indeed.

You should give it a read here. And I need to make a trip to a stationery shop, stat. Time to get writing.

 

I’m Loving…

A very motley mix to kick off 2017. But you don't mind, do you?

loeffler randall ALESSA PLATFORM SANDAL

Hi there and happy 2017! I hope you don’t mind that I took last week to settle back into the work flow. The year is already off to a fast and furious pace in the studio, but I’m kinda digging it. Thought I’d pop in to share some recent loves in my own life, and a couple things I’ve been eyeing.

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MY CHRISTMAS GIFT TO YOU

Among other things, my grandmother gifted me a few different serving bowls and platters from Crate & Barrel this year. She knew I’d been wanting larger pieces for dinner parties, buffets, that type of thing! Anyway, she got me the small and medium version of the Mallorca serving bowl, and I have to sing their praises. I like entertaining pieces that are super versatile, and these fit the bill — simple white, with a small amount of detail on the edge (that feels interesting, but not over the top, and like it’ll be in style in another 10 years). Both bowls are shallow enough to do double duty as a platter (I used one as a crudité platter, and nested a bowl of hummus in it alongside other veggies), but are deep enough that you can easily pile up pasta, potato salad, or items off a grill (barbecue chicken, corn on the cob, that type of thing). They’ve really amazed me with their versatility, and given that the small is $25 and the medium is $35…well, if you’re in need of some good serving pieces, these are the ticket. Trust.

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Top image via Loeffler Randall (shoes here, too).

VMS Digest: Vol. V

The stories, articles, and links I loved this month.

Here it is, my last Digest of the year! I made it extra long for a long (New Year’s!) weekend. Read on for my fave articles, sales, and news of the moment.

must reads

A MARRIAGE AS MODERN AS IT IS OLD FASHIONED // I loved this piece on the relationship and dynamics between Ina and Jeffrey Garten, on the heels of her latest cookbook.

SXSW X ATX // I grew up in Austin, but haven’t lived there since the early aughts. Since that time, South by Southwest has grown into something very different — and it was interesting to read about the challenges and changes Austin’s experiencing because of it.

HOW TO RAISE A CREATIVE CHILD // Leave them alone, apparently.

BEHIND L’APPARTEMENT // I loved this behind the scenes tour of Sézane founder Morgane Sézalory’s Paris apartment.

DRINKING FOR THE RIGHT REASONS // OMG, The Bachelor partnered with winemakers to make Bachelor and Bachelorette themed wines. They’re under $16 each. Watch NY Mag writers and a NY somm taste them. Surprised?

A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY // I was smitten with this gorgeous Martha’s Vineyard home tour. The older I get, the more I just want to live in the countryside with peace and quiet in a place like this! View more