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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

9 spring fashion trends (will you wear them?)

Last year was all about normcore—aka wearing stonewashed jeans, fleeces and sneakers like Seinfeld—but this spring, fashion is getting fun again! Here are 9 big trends this spring (what do you think of them?)...

1. Flared jeans. Think: 70's style icons Jane Birkin and Farrah Fawcett. Flared jeans are sultry, flattering and make your legs look miles long. Pair them with a striped shirt and a braid and you're good to go. Picks: These and these.

2. Maxi dresses. This year, they go ALL the way to your feet (no ankles allowed!), but have slits or bare backs that feel irresistibly sexy. Picks: This, this and this.

3. Swing tops. These effortlessly cool shirts cover up any belly and draw attention to your pretty shoulders. Plus, they look great with flared jeans. Picks: This and this.

4. Jumpsuits. One-piece wonders are gorgeous, current and as comfy as wearing pajamas. They're pretty fashion-forward but easier to pull off than you'd think (I tried one on a lark and was surprised). Thoughts? Would you wear one? Picks: This and this.

5. Shirt dresses. Not in a buttoned-up news-anchor-y kind of way, but instead relaxed and bedhead-dy, as if you pulled on his shirt that morning and forgot to wear pants. Picks: This and this.

6. Anoraks. These hooded jackets make you feel like you're walking on an English heath or through a small town in Maine. You can wear them almost year round—layered with jeans and sweaters, or pulled over dresses as spring rolls around. Picks: This and this.

7. Lace-up sandals. I'm not 100% sold on every shoe in this style (I mean, they can get crazy!), but the subtler styles can look really sexy. What do you guys think? Picks: These and these.

8. Flatforms. Walking in elevated sandals takes some practice, but they make you look tall and lanky, and they're so pretty with jeans or dresses. Picks: These and these. (I've also seen a ton of lovely women wearing the sneaker versions.)

9. Slides. When my friend Gemma bought these last summer, they reminded me of those sandals you wear into college communal showers so you don't get a foot fungus. But she looked so cute wearing them with slouchy pants, ripped jeans and even summer dresses. Then Jenna Lyons put them in the J.Crew catalog and Gemma's argument was forever won. Picks: These and of course these.

Thoughts? What do you like? Love? Loathe? I would love to hear!

(Photo by Angi Welsch for Madewell)

Monday, March 30, 2015

A great way to book babysitters

We're often scrambling to find sitters for date nights. It can be tough to find someone who's available on weekends, and texting a bunch of different sitters (and waiting for their replies) can take ages.

Recently we tried Date Night Now, the new on-demand service from Sittercity. The Date Night Now website helps you easily find a sitter for a Thursday to Sunday night. Before booking, you can view each sitter's experience and even watch video interviews. All sitters have gone through extensive screening and background checks, and you can read reviews from other parents.

A couple weekends ago, we booked Sheila. She arrived right on time and was lovely and playful. Anton, who tends to be very shy, warmed right up to her and showed her all of his favorite toys—bus, taxi, guitar and basketball—and didn't even notice when we left! (That's unprecedented.)

Date Night Now is a lifesaver for busy parents. There are no subscription fees, and I was really impressed by the caliber of their sitters online. (And you can book your favorite sitters again and again.) Another big bonus was paying online; Alex and I are usually hunting for cash after getting home from dinner, but with Date Night Now, your sitter just records her total hours and you get an email with your receipt. So. Easy.

Sittercity is available around the country, and Date Night Now is available in Chicago and New York, with other cities coming soon.
Bonus: Date Night Now is offering all first-time users a FREE night of babysitting—up to four hours—using the code CUPOFJOCHI (for Chicago) or CUPOFJONYC (for Manhattan and Brooklyn). For real! Can you believe it? Please enjoy! Thanks so much!

(This post is sponsored by Date Night Now, a service we're so glad to have discovered. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo)

An idea! How to teach kids to apologize

Four-year-old Toby is a sweetheart overall, but when he has hit a friend or thrown a toy at Anton or fill-in-the-blank-with-all-the-nutty-stuff-toddlers-can-do, we've always told him to apologize. Then he'll mutter, "Sorry," and it will be more or less over. It always felt a little misleading—as if we're teaching him that he could throw that word out without thinking of the other person, and everything would be excused.

So! We tried something different this year, and it has been kind of awesome, and even adorable.

Every now and again, when we have a playdate and he has a rougher time than usual (and hits or offends), we will ask him to dictate a letter for his friend afterward. I ask him to think about how his friend might have felt, and what he might say to make them feel better.

Here are a few examples...
Dear Violet, I’m sorry I said, "You are not nice." I am sorry because you were sad when I said, "You are not nice." You are nice. Remember when we ate chocolate-covered cherries? You are so great. Love, Toby
Or the more concise:
Dear Olana, Sorry I hit you. Sorry I hit the mama. Love, Toby
I like the process because it gives him time to think, makes him feel empowered and shows him how you can turn a situation around. He has been really proud when we've given letters to his friends. And they've been so excited to get a letter!

Anyway, just wanted to share! Thoughts? How do you teach your kids to apologize? I'm probably overthinking it, but oh well, ha!

P.S. We have also been dictating thank-you notes, which are equally entertaining (and so funny to see what they remember! Food mostly?)
P.S. 5 ways to avoid sibling rivalry, and 20+ surprising parenting tips.

(Photo from my Instagram)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Have a great weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We are hoping to hit up a Brooklyn beer hall tomorrow night. (Any suggestions? We're out of the loop!) Also, I'm going to dust off my bike and take it out for a spin now that the weather is slightly warmer. I'm so excited to ride again, it has been ages. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web...

Just ordered this for April Fools' Day. (Toby, get psyched.)

The best travel dress. (I wore it every night of our Jamaica trip.)

Where to see fields of spring flowers.

Finnish schools teach topics, not subjects.

The women in Pixar movies all have the same face.

Food cinemagraphs are mesmerizing.

The cutest thing I've seen all week.

The thought process of ordering lunch. Made me laugh.

What it looks like when men are allowed to take 480 days of paternity leave.

My inner California girl loves this shirt.

Are you brave enough to try this app?

Three genius April Fool's ideas, ha!

How to layer jewelry.

Watch Elizabeth Banks solve all your problems in 68 seconds.

(Photo of the Brady Bunch meeting the Jackson Five, via Awesome People Hanging Out Together)

Looking for a summer intern

We're searching for an awesome summer intern. Here are the details, if you're interested...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How to drive your partner crazy in bed

It's funny 'cause it's true.

(By Gemma Correll for the Nib)

A weekend getaway

A few weeks ago, Alex and I escaped the New York winter and took a weekend trip to Jamaica. My mom took care of the boys (we were so grateful!), and it was such a treat to spend a couple days relaxing. Here are a few photos, if you'd like to see...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bario Neal giveaway

Today's giveaway is from Philadelphia-based jewelry brand Bario Neal, which creates handcrafted jewelry with ethically sourced stones and environmentally conscious practices. They make beautiful engagement rings and wedding bands, as well as earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Aren't they lovely? (Those black diamonds are stunning!)
Today, they're giving away these 14K gold cross studs ($185 value). Wouldn't you love to wear them every day this spring? To enter, please visit Bario Neal and leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: The winner has been emailed. Thanks for playing. xo

Thank you so much, Bario Neal!

How to take a romantic walk


New York Magazine just did an issue on nightlife, in which they interviewed a bunch of celebrities about late-night anecdotes. I liked this one from Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick...

Sarah Jessica Parker: Before we were married, we used to walk a lot because time didn't matter.
Matthew Broderick: If we had a fancy outing in midtown, we'd walk all the way home to Tribeca.
SJP: One thing that Matthew used to do to me, he used to walk me with my hand over my eyes...
MB: I led you, and the rule was you had to keep your eyes covered.
SJP: And he would walk me into completely random places and take my hand off my eyes and I would be in the most strange, unconnected-to-the-previous-spot places. I would be in the lobby of a residential apartment complex, or a Starbucks, or at the very door of a tenement that I obviously couldn't get into.
MB: You're like listening and trying to figure out where you are, and then when your eyes finally open, boom, you're two inches from a lamppost.
SJP: He would spin me and sort of make me lose my bearings.
MB: The first time it happened, we were somewhere near Union Square, and...
SJP: We ended up in the lobby of Zeckendorf Towers. I was very delighted by it. I think the reason we remember it is that it paints a portrait of a time that, for many couples, they don't have anymore. There's a sort of leisure, before more grown-up responsibilities dictate your life.
MB: New York has so many close-together, completely different, crazy things you can suddenly be staring at after a five-minute walk from one spot to the next. You're in a totally new environment.

Sweet, don't you think? (Don't you want to try it?)

P.S. 9 crazy things about NYC.
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