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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The #1 item you need for house guests

Caroline and I were chatting the other day about having guests visit during the summer, and after we covered the basics—clean sheets, the Sunday paper, extra eggs—we suddenly realized there's one MAJOR thing you need when hosting out-of-towners...

Rigatoni with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola

This month, we're featuring three-ingredient pastas to whip together for friends and family. (Just add wine!) Today, Lindsay from The Live-In Kitchen shares her recipe for this rich, melty combination of onions, garlic and cheese. Here's how she does it...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Do or Don't: The front tuck

A couple years ago, everyone was half-tucking their shirts (like this), but nowadays the funny thing I've been noticing on Madewell models (and women on the street) is that they're front-tucking their shirts. The trick is to tuck in just a tiny bit. Thoughts? Will you do it?
P.S. Here's a third lovely version.

(Photos from Madewell)

"Do I Smell Funny?" Natural Deodorant Challenge


This week, intrepid Cup of Jo editor Caroline was tasked with trying five natural deodorants and rating them on a scale of one to five. Here's her diary...
Let's face it: "Awesome Natural Deodorant" is basically an oxymoron. But many standard formulas contain harsh chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients. So this past week, I slathered on five natural formulas, then went about my life—in hot, humid NYC—to see what worked and what didn't...

Day 1: Tom's of Maine Wild Lavender
This doesn't work. It's a shame because the wild lavender scent smells so good. But after an hour, the lavender part goes away and it just smells wild. "Hi-don't-hug-me," I greeted my friend at dinner, taking great care not to get too close. Throughout the meal, I kept my upper arms glued to my sides, wielding cutlery with just forearms, like a tiny T-Rex. Oh, well. Now we know. Rating: One out of five stars

Day 2: Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
Pros: One salt crystal can last up to a year, which means less money spent on deodorant and less waste for the environment. Cons: The part where it doesn't actually deodorize. I've heard that salt crystals have legions of fans...who are you? (Really, I'd love to know.) I suspect this stuff may work for people who naturally smell fine. If that sounds like you, you're lucky! If not, you probably shouldn't buy this. Rating: Stars? What stars?

Day 3: Dr. Hauschka Deodorant Fresh
The label says it's "refreshing and long-lasting." Only half of that is true. The roll-on liquid does indeed smell fresh, but only for an hour or two. I usually love Dr. Hauschka products, but this didn't stand up to a sweltering day. "Don't worry," said the boyfriend, "I like the way you smell." That was sweet, but I doubt anyone else would have agreed. While this might be fine for a chillier season, I wouldn't recommended it, unless you're willing to carry it everywhere and frequently reapply. Rating: Two out of five stars

Day 4: Nourish Organic Deodorant
When I was a freshman in college, I learned a new word: frowzy, which was how my roommate described her underarm condition when it was less than fresh. I thought of that word many times while sporting this deodorant. It didn't completely fail me, but I always felt, well, frowzy. I would wear this deodorant to read a book. I would not wear it on a run. Final verdict: Just okay. Rating: Three out of five stars

Day 5: LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant
By this point, I was about ready to reach for the clinical-strength Secret. Luckily, LaVanila swooped in to change my mind. It isn't 100% perfect, but let's be honest: what deodorant is? This was the winner of the pack, by far. I applied it in the morning and made it through the ENTIRE workday scent-free. I did need a quick touch-up before heading out in the evening, but this is New York in the summertime, so that's to be expected. So happy to say: Recommended! Rating: Four out of five stars

Do you wear natural deodorant? Do you have a great recommendation that we didn't try? If so, we'd love to hear!

P.S. How to get beachy waves and how to feel gorgeous on a date.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Secret sprinklers on the roof of the Natural History Museum

I've lived in New York for 13 years, and I only just discovered the secret sprinklers on top of the Natural History Museum...

20 Surprising Things about Parenting in Germany

For our tenth Motherhood Around the World interview, we're thrilled to feature Luisa Weiss, author of the blog The Wednesday Chef and book My Berlin Kitchen. Luisa lives in Berlin with her husband, Max, and two-year-old son, Hugo. Here are twenty things she found surprising about being a mom in Germany...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Have a wonderful weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? Our friends are having a party tonight, and tomorrow we're taking the boys to the Natural History Museum to see the whale. Also, thank you so much for your phobia comments—it made me feel less crazy and alone! Hope you have a great weekend, and here are a few fun posts from around the web...

Nordstrom's anniversary sale starts today. (I just ordered these.)

How When Harry Met Sally used physical spacing to tell its love story.

Why you should sleep in a cold bedroom.

What Jane Austen really looked like.

Tiny flower arrangements.

Cute way to wrap small gifts.

Clever stationery.

Two bizarre reality shows. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

The perfect picnic.

An easy way to say no.

Amy and Tina on the set of their new show.

The Grand Budapest Hotel actually has reviews on TripAdvisor.

Simplifying bath time.

Have a good one. xoxo

Romantic getaways

Years ago, before we were married, Alex and I took a trip to The Standard hotel in Miami for his birthday. It was amazing—quiet and romantic, with fire pits, a spa and a hot tub under a waterfall.
(We were such babies!) Here's a deal from the Standard, if you'd like to stay...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Do you have a phobia?

Do you have a phobia? This is crazy/embarrassing, but I...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A great way to frame art

Now that we're moving apartments (again!), I've been thinking about home decor. We have a bunch of family photos and artwork in our apartment, and those pieces of art immediately help a new place feel familiar and cozy. Framing artwork always makes it look a million times better, but custom frames can be expensive, especially if you have an oddly shaped piece of art. (Not to mention the hassle of schlepping to the framer.) But! Here's an easier way...
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