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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Do you ever get freaked out at night?

We've talked about living alone and seeing movies alone, but what about sleeping alone...

Wes Anderson movies

Our friends saw Wes Anderson's new movie Moonrise Kingdom this week and said it was wonderful. (It has also been getting rave reviews.) Have you seen it yet? But my favorite Wes Anderson film was...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is a BIG one! Beso is my favorite shopping website, where you can shop thousands of stores and brands, all in one place. Beso also has an awesome collections feature, where you can create wishlists of items you love.

My summer wishlist features the items above, plus many more. See it here.

Beso is giving away a whopping $500 cash for any items on their site (even this diamond ring!). To enter, please create your own collection and leave a comment below *with a link to your collection*. It takes a minute, but it's fun. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday, so you have five days. Good luck! xoxo Update: Lori M. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

NYC Date Idea: Fire Escape Drinks

Alex and I are always lamenting the fact that we don't have a garden or balcony or any outdoor space. Once Toby goes to bed, we're pretty much stuck inside for the night. But then! We had a lightbulb moment...
We could hang out on our fire escape. So we've started a little ritual of climbing out there on random warm evenings, and last night, we decided to snap some photos. First, we dress up to make it feel more like a real date. (I usually wear jeans and a T-shirt at home...or, let's be honest...pajamas:)
Then we climb out our bedroom window. (Whoot, whoot! Nice legs!)
We sip and chat, three stories up. We can hear the street noise (cars honking), the trees (leaves rustling), and a restaurant garden nearby (people murmuring, glasses clinking)...
Do you ever drink rose? Sometimes it gets a bad rap, but it's the perfect refreshing drink for a warm evening. And I love the bright pink hue; it just feels like summer. (Side note: You can spot the restaurant garden below us, to the left of Alex.)
Our fire escape looks across a courtyard onto another apartment building, just like Rear Window.
We love our little outdoor drinks, and I'm glad, after six years of living here, that we finally thought of it!

Do you have a fire escape? Or a balcony? Or (gasp) an actual garden? Be still my heart.

(Update: I'm wearing this silk polka-dot skirt and these Swedish Hasbeen sandals.)

The Best Chicken Cutlets You'll Ever Have (with Corn Flakes!)

Jenny Rosenstrach writes the fantastic food blog Dinner: A Love Story and has a brilliant cookbook memoir of the same name coming out next week (yay!). She and her husband Andy are passionate about nightly family dinners with their two daughters--and swear it's possible, if you keep things simple and fun. (Fun fact: Jenny has a diary listing every single dinner she's made since 1998!) Here, she reveals her secret family recipe for the best chicken cutlets ever...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Glow-in-the-dark driveway

How beautiful is this driveway? It's actually doable: It's made of glowstones mixed with gravel. Imagine driving home after a long day at work--awesome.

(Via Pinterest)

Summer Essential #6: Beach Blanket

A few years ago, we picked up one of these beach blankets. They're thin and lightweight, so you can carry them easily (or stuff one into a bag), and then spread them out for a grassy picnic or napping on the sand. We've used it a million times; I'd highly recommend them!

P.S. Five more summer essentials...

Summer Essential #5: A One-Piece Swimsuit

A swimsuit can say a lot about a woman, don't you think? Maybe it says she's laid back, or silly, or feminine, or in love with a past era. Whatever her personality, there always seems to be a swimsuit to match. Here are seven pretty one-pieces for the summer... --Rachel from Elephantine

1. Patchwork Maillot, $218.
2. Natalie One-Piece, $148.
3. Purple Bandeau Tank, $82.
4. Red Polka-Dot, $86.
5. Red Striped Halter, $208.
6. Blue Bandeau Swimsuit, $30.
7. Bustier One-Piece, $253. (So cute on the model.)

Which would you choose? (I also love this striped one and this seersucker one in yellow.)

P.S. More round-ups...

(Layout by Rachel from Elephantine, a new Cup of Jo contributor)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Have a relaxing long weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We're celebrating my mom's sixtieth birthday and crossing our fingers for clear skies. Also, Alex and I watched The Firm this week (he'd never seen it); I forgot how fun and gripping that movie is. Tom Cruise doesn't age! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few great posts from around the web...

A song to kick off your weekend.

Mick and Paul, eating apples.

Coolest photo of Obama.

Pretty Parisian.

Pink neon sandals.

Who wants a wine spritzer?

Two adorable dogs.

10 Olympic sports that are ripe for a comeback.

Colored flame birthday candles.

A slinky on a treadmill. Weirdly suspenseful:)

These are such realistic newborn dolls. Creepy?

(Remember these actual newborns?)

Sweet NYC break-up story.

A baby thinks this magazine is a broken iPad.

(Photo of a rooftop picnic by Jamie Beck)

Happy 2nd birthday, Toby!

Today is Toby's second birthday!!! Hurray!!! (I cannot believe this happened two years ago, it feels like yesterday.) To celebrate, we threw a birthday picnic for him last Sunday. Here are some photos, below, if you'd like to see....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Couverture and The Garbstore, a rad boutique in Notting Hill, London. They have beautiful dresses, jewelry, shoes, everything, from designers like A.P.C. and Steven Alan. (And I love this tee.) One lucky winner will receive this chambray smock dress with patchwork panels by A Détacher ($610). Wouldn't you love to wear this all summer with peach lipstick and a ponytail?

For a chance to win, please visit Couverture and The Garbstore and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday (so you have four days). Good luck! Update: Vanessa G. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Bonus for all readers: Get a 30% discount on any order with the code Wa9at6fB from now until Monday.

Cheese wedding cake

Speaking of offbeat weddings, this Australian couple served a cheese wedding cake. Be still my heart.

What kind of dessert will (or did) you serve at your wedding? We went with chocolate-chip cookies.

P.S. More on cheese:)

(Photos by Jonas Peterson)

Do or Don't: Colorful wedding dresses

Thursday pop quiz! What color wedding dress would you wear, if white weren't an option? Here are your choices...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Curator, a San-Francisco-based clothing line with sexy, comfy pieces you can wear everyday. Today they're giving away their pleated Mari skirt ($110), which comes in a bunch of colors. Wouldn't you just live in this skirt all summer?

For a chance to win, please visit Curator (and feel free to check them out on Facebook) and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: Lauren C. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Bonus for all readers: Get a 15% discount off all Curator clothing with the code CUPOFJO for the next seven days.

Garden cake

Speaking of birthdays, how pretty is this garden cake? You could whip up any basic cake and just cover it with berries, leaves and teeny flowers.

(Photo and cake by Manger)

The Best Party Cocktail You'll Ever Have

My mom turned sixty last February (!), and we're throwing her a long-awaited family party this coming weekend. My brother, sister and I have been brainstorming surprises for her party, which I'll keep secret until next week--and I'm also in charge of drinks. Happily, my friend Anna suggested this incredible cocktail, which we're definitely whipping up this weekend...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Colored chalk tips

Today I'm excited to share another hair tutorial! My genius friend Caroline used chalk (yes, plain old chalk) to color the ends of her hair like a rainbow, and you could also do ombre or just your favorite color. Don't you love this sexy rocker look? Here's how to do it...

What makes you happy?

Yesterday was one of those stressful days, so today I'd love to ask you: What are three things that make you happy? When I asked you years ago, your answers included baby cheeks, the cool side of the pillow and a good fudgy brownie. (Also, "pee shivers." Ha!) My list right now is: clean sheets with freshly shaven legs, a new episode of Mad Men, Belgian beer. And you?

P.S. Also, peonies. And baby swans that ride on their mother's back.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Motherhood Monday: How much did the tooth fairy leave for you? Your kids?

When we were kids, we left our lost teeth under our pillows and got a whopping...

Motherhood Mondays: Scrapboxes

Last year, for his first birthday, Toby got a toy bus as a gift, and since then, he played with it so much that we lost the passengers inside, and then the wheels fell off, and then the whole bottom fell off. In the end, it was just a yellow shell. We ended up throwing it away this past weekend, which was surprisingly heartbreaking for Alex and me. (As a parent, you become so sentimental!)

So, these scrapboxes by Darcy Miller, below, really appeal to me. You frame a photo and an actual item. We could have framed this photo of Toby along with part of his beloved bus. This kind of thing could come off as cheesy, but Darcy handles them so beautifully. How sweet to have a photo of your child's birthday with the actual candle she blew out, or a newborn photo along with that sweet striped hospital cap.

Thoughts? How sweet are these? I'm turning into such a sap!
P.S. Remember this couple's idea?

(Photo of Toby by our wonderful photographer friend Kelsey Foster)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Have a lovely weekend!

What are you up to this weekend? Toby turns two on May 25th (here's a photo of him as a newborn!), but we've having his birthday party this weekend. It's an afternoon picnic with pizza, and strawberries on popsicle sticks. I'm excited, and he definitely knows something's up. Have a great one, and here are a few fun posts from around the web...

A nine-year-old writes a blog about school lunches.

Whoa. Now those are high-waisted pants.

Pinup style is back.

Biking to the supermarket!

Ice eggs for little dudes.

How common is your birthday? (Apparently people have more sex in the winter:)

Rad home makeover.

Just got this red colorblock bag for the summer.

This lion is part of the family.

How to photograph a newborn.

Moist chicken every time.

Salads for dinner.

Make your own colorblock flats.

A beautifully honest post about struggling with infertility.

And a bonus for all readers who need glasses or sunglasses: Get 20% off at Lookmatic. xoxo

(Photograph by Billy Kidd)

Do or Don't: Eyelash curler

Last night, I hung out with my gorgeous friend Susan from Glamour, and as we chatted, I couldn't stop staring at her eyelashes. They were so thick and swoopy and gorgeous. Her eyes looked beautiful and wide awake. Her big secret? An eyelash curler. I've never had one, since I figured it wouldn't do much. But after last night, I'm sold. (Bonus: Susan said the cheap ones are just as good). Thoughts? Do you use an eyelash curler? Am I the last one to the party?
(Top photo of Audrey Hepburn, although I wish I could have taken a photo of Susan's perfect lashes!)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

NYC Date Idea: Trapeze class

So. Last Saturday, Alex and I took a trapeze class, and it was wild...

Mindy Kaling's new sitcom

Have you guys heard that Mindy Kaling will star in a new sitcom this fall? "The Mindy Project" is all about a quirky OB/GYN who's trying to figure out her messy dating life. As Salon points out, the premise sounds pretty typical, but Kaling is so awesome and funny (and Emmy-nominated) that the show sounds promising. Here's the trailer. Will you be watching the show?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Petitor, a jewelry shop with lovely pieces that are surprisingly affordable. The California-based designer is offering these teardrop earrings, which would look beautiful with a simple braid or twisted bun. Wouldn't they be perfect for a date night or even a wedding?

For a chance to win, please visit Petitor and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: Elizabeth L. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Bonus for all readers: Get 10% off your order with the code ACUPOFJO, until this Sunday.

Summer Essential #4: Floppy sun hat

Three years ago, before our honeymoon, Alex gave me a giant sun hat. He insisted that I wear it at the beach to shield my (very) pale skin. Every summer since then, I've worn my trusty hat everywhere: at the water, on boats, on hikes and just hanging out with friends outside. Not only does it protect your face from the sun (which is SO important), it also feels glamorous and feminine.

If you want to go for a plain straw hat, like Brigitte Bardot or the gorgeous lady above, you can find lovely ones here, here and here. Here are six more pretty hats...
1. Orange-tipped hat, 2. Yellow striped hat, 3. Floral hat, 4. Blue hat, 5. Red hat, 6. Silk-scarf fedora.
This is my hat. What I love about this particular hat is that it's big and floppy but also structured, so you can shape it however you'd like when you put it on. (Alex chose well! And my sister now has one, too.) You could also go for large stripes or even larger stripes. And here's a really fancy version!

Do you have a floppy summer hat? Which of these would you choose?

(Round-up layout by Alyson/Unruly Things for Cup of Jo. Top photo of Pina Bausch by Walter Vogel)

The Best Meatballs You'll Ever Have

Eating meatballs while drinking red wine instantly makes you feel like all is right with the world. Something about meatballs--rich, luscious meatballs--makes you feel warm and cozy to your core (not to overdramatize it or anything:). Luckily, Faith Durand, the executive editor of The Kitchn, agreed to reveal the two secrets to making the world's best meatballs. "My husband was quite thrilled that I made these last night," she says. Here goes...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dates with your child

Do you guys ever take your little ones on dates? Now that he's (almost!) two, Toby and I are starting a new tradition...

Cocktail style

A few years ago, for a dear friend's bachelorette party, I set up a "make your own mojito" table. Maybe the cocktails weren't so perfect, but playing bartender was half the fun. Ever since then, I've been fascinated with all the different tools and accessories out there for mixing drinks at home. These are on the top of my wishlist. -- By Rachel from Elephantine

1. Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, $13.
2. Dizzy Cocktail Glass, $2.50.
3. Bar Whisk, $5.
4. Wood Lemon Reamer, $9.
5. 101 Mojitos and Other Muddled Drinks, $11.38.
6. Formosa Tray Table, $49.95.
7. Elderflower Presse, $8.
8. Shake Rattle & Roll Cocktail Shaker, $38.
9. Canine Coasters Set, $18.

What's your "drink"? Do you make cocktails at home? Plus, more round-ups...

(Post by Rachel from Elephantine, a new Cup of Jo contributor, who will be posting every couple weeks. Thank you, Rachel!)

Rosemary in jam jars

We don't have a backyard, but I love the idea of a home that smells like greenery. How cool would it be to place jars around the house filled with rosemary? The lovely strong scent would make you feel like you were walking through a garden. (Afterward you could put the rosemary in roast chicken or potatoes.)

P.S. How to buy houseplants, and four amazing backyards.

(Photo by Apples & Onions)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Do or Don’t: Neon nail polish

How rad is this bright yellow nail polish? Neon is a big trend this spring, and nail polish would be a fun way to be part of it without breaking the bank. My friend Abbey had neon yellow toes peeking out from her sandals the other day. Would you go for it?

P.S. The other five colors are great, too.

(Photo by Vanessa Jackman)
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