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Monday, April 20, 2015

Conversations With a Four-Year-Old

Four-year-old Toby has always been a chatterbox, and one-year-old Anton is starting to follow suit. It makes my heart swell to overhear them chatting away while playing. So far, Anton's conversation mostly revolves around "Tibby!" (Toby) and "big cados" (big tractors), and here are a few things Toby has said recently...

"Are dinosaurs real?"
"Are princesses real?"
"Are monsters real?"
"Are bears real?"
"Is Stuart Murdoch real?"

"I'm four and a half and three quarters."

"Can I turn seven for my next birthday?"

Toby has started picking up some of my valley-girl inflection. The other day, Anton was walking slowly down the sidewalk, when a mom pushing a stroller came up behind him. Toby hurried over and asked, "I'm sorry! Is my brother, like, totally in your way?"

"Can I wear just my underwear and belly like daddy?"

Toby: "Am I allowed to drive a car?"
Me: "Not until you're 16 years old."
Toby, after a worried pause. "But I can drive a toy car??"
Me: "Yes."

Toby still has his imaginary family: his wife, Bo, and their two kids, Matt (6) and Janna (2). But he also has another alter-ego, Peter Dachman, a bachelor who works at the newspaper with Alex. He comes over for breakfast before work sometimes.

Toby's birthday wishlist:
1) Toy house
2) Toy motorcycle
3) Toy tree
4) A little doll to snuggle with
5) Blue sports jacket, size 5

Nana: "I like the new ceiling light in your bedroom."
Toby: "It's new."
Nana: "Who got it for you?"
Toby: "Oh, the handyman gave it to me."

Me: "Toby, stop growing up so quickly!"
Toby: "But, Mama, I can't help it, it's my body."

What about your little ones? What sweet things are they saying and doing?

P.S. Toby in conversation as a little kid, and a how to teach your child not to interrupt.

(Photo from our Instagram)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Have a Great Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? Alex and I are going to a wedding tomorrow night, and I'm excited to dress up and dance awkwardly. Also, thank you so much for your podcast recs. I listened to The Living Room this week and was so moved. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web...

Great news: Loeffler Randall is having a friends and family sale.

Why is your millennial crying?

Behind-the-scenes of While We're Young. (Have you seen the movie? I really liked it.)

The funniest kitchen tool.

How to arrange...weeds.

A genius trick for serving cheese and meat.

Why Deb from Smitten Kitchen hates packing lunch.

The case for creating a moral bucket list. (Worth reading.)

How to get rid of songs that get stuck in your head.

Google sent a reporter this GIF instead of "no comment."

What? This invention is insane.

Pretty Mother's Day gifts.

How to find affordable Broadway tickets.

Ha! A great bachelorette party banner.

Made me laugh.

(Photo of the Richard Serra exhibit "Promenade," Paris 2008. Nessie ladle via Kottke, bachelorette banner via Swissmiss, millennials via Miss Moss)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Found! The Best Foundation

Cup of Jo editor Caroline has a long and complicated relationship with foundation. Complicated meaning: For years she didn't like it. So this month, she tried five of the top formulas out there, to find a winner, once and for all...

Do or Don't: A Work Uniform

Have you seen Matilda Kahl's article about wearing the same thing to work every day? The piece has been shared 86,400 times, likely because we all face this daily. At my old job, I used to wobble into meetings in uncomfortable heels and worry if my skirts were too short when I was sitting down. And not just with work — we have a wedding this weekend, and I'm already stressed about what to wear, while of course Alex will wear his standard gray suit. Here, Kahl explains why a work uniform has changed her life:

About three years ago, I had one of those typical Monday mornings that many women have experienced. With a fairly important meeting on the horizon, I started to try on different outfits, lacking any real direction or plan. As an art director at one of the leading creative advertising agencies in New York, I'm given complete freedom over what I wear to the office, but that still left me questioning each piece that I added or subtracted from my outfit. "Is this too formal? Is that too out there? Is this dress too short?" I finally chose something I regretted as soon as I hit the subway platform.

As I arrived at work, my stress level only increased as I saw my male creative partner and other male co-workers having a "brodown" with the new boss as they entered the meeting room — a room I was supposed to already be inside. I just stood there — paralyzed by the fact that I was not only late, but unprepared... This was not the first morning I'd felt this unnecessary panic, but that day I decided it would be the last.

So Kahl came up with a work uniform — a silk shirt and black pants she wore every day from then on. Although colleagues questioned her choice, teased her and even worried about her well-being, she points out, "A work uniform is not an original idea. There's a group of people that have embraced this way of dressing for years — they call it a suit."

And it's true. Men not only have the easy option of suits, they can also get more specific without anyone caring. As discussed in the new Men's Style section in the New York Times, powerful men often have a signature ensemble: Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg wears a gray T-shirt and blue jeans, designer Georgio Armani wears a navy cashmere sweater and navy drawstring pants, and architect Daniel Libeskind wears a black leather blazer, jeans and cowboy boots. In 2012, Obama told Vanity Fair, "You'll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make."

Even crazier: Australian TV anchor Karl Stefanovic wore the same blue suit every day for a year — but nobody even noticed. He explained that he was trying to reveal the double standard against the female anchors, whose clothing was regularly critiqued and criticized. Needless to say, his experiment worked.

Would you wear the same ensemble to work every day? Our shared workspace in Brooklyn is super casual, but we still want to look professional should we have a meeting or someone drop by. These days, I often wear this exact pair of black jeans, a button-down shirt (like this incredibly silky and flattering chambray shirt), plus nice flats (these are my current favorite).

For a more formal office, a pretty dress like this or this could fit the bill. But if you don't want to worry about short hemlines (or shaving in the winter), these cool slouchy pants and a shirt with rolled sleeves would look great with rosy blush and middle part.

Thoughts? What do you wear to work right now? Would you consider wearing the same thing every day? So freeing, right? If you were putting together a uniform, what would it be?

P.S. Best spring nail polish and 15 career tips from smart women.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

7 Best Podcasts to Try

This past fall, along with the rest of the world, I got hooked on the podcast Serial. I loved walking around the neighborhood listening to Sarah and Adnan (he was framed!), and once it ended, I wanted another podcast but didn't know which were good. So, we asked my friend Kim Fusaro — an obsessive podcast enthusiast — to recommend seven of her favorites...

Pasta With Sausage, Mushrooms and Lemon

Today, our month of easy pasta continues with this simple, flavorful dish. The lovely MAV from More & Co. shares the recipe for her favorite decadent lunch. Here's how to make it...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Adorable Narrow House for Sale

Browsing real estate listings, even when you're not moving, is totally addictive, don't you think? In a recent late-night session, we came across the listing for this very skinny Brooklyn house...

Our Favorite Hillary Clinton Reactions

Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters have landed in Cup of Jo's backyard – a six-minute bike ride from our office (we've clocked it). We're feeling huge excitement about her big announcement. "I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century," Clinton says. Bravo.

But it's not all serious. We've been reading the chatter on twitter, and here are a few of the reactions that are making us laugh...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Crafts for Kids (Even for Uncrafty Moms)

I am hopelessly uncrafty. My boys have a box of crayons and will casually doodle sometimes, but we don't really do art projects at home. (I wouldn't know where to begin.) So when Seedling asked if we wanted to try one of their activity kits, we jumped at the chance...
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