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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Living room trapeze

My friend Sophie (of the children's brand Oeuf) might be the coolest mom ever, since she hung a trapeze in her Brooklyn living room. Her kids like to "swing really high and scare people," she says. "They love to triple-dog-dare our poor guests to do knee hangs." I interviewed her for Martha Stewart Living, and you can read the full interview here, if you'd like.

P.S. Alex and I took a trapeze class and bombed:)

(Photos by Stephanie Deleau)

Real actors read Yelp reviews

Do you ever read Yelp restaurant reviews? They can be really over the top. So, this actor doing a dramatic reading of a bad review made me laugh out loud.

(Via Eater. Thanks, Megan!)

Olympics photos

Have you been watching the Olympics? These photos show the crazy emotion of the games. I can't imagine how nervous the athletes must be the moment before their competition starts. See more here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from So Young Mother, a small company (owned by a mom) that makes amazing diaper bags. Each diaper bag has a rugged canvas exterior, lots of wipeable compartments, a cell-phone pocket and even backpack straps. Bonus: They're unisex, so dads will be happy to carry them. Diaper bags are typically not cute, and your keys and phone get lost in the cavernous interiors, so these great bags are a godsend for new moms.

(She also has the cutest toddler backpacks!)

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

Have you had that baby yet?

This website makes me laugh. Wouldn't it be great to send it to everyone you know (especially in-laws) as soon as you hit your ninth month of pregnancy?

(Old photo of me)

Motherhood Mondays: On being human

Motherhood can have ups and downs. Exhausting, beautiful, hilarious, frustrating, magical, overwhelming. I used to joke to Alex that new motherhood was like traveling abroad. You're tired and jetlagged, and you haven't showered and you have a cramp in your neck and you're sort of inexplicably sticky, but then you look around and the world feels beautiful and otherworldly and you're glad you came.

My friend Leigh wrote a fantastic post last week about how motherhood can sometimes feel tough to navigate, and it reminded me that everyone's life—no matter how effortless and polished it may look from the outside (when you see women on blogs, in magazines, even just on the street)—without a doubt includes the same tricky moments, worries, doubts, ups and downs. That's what it means to be human and real, and we should celebrate and love ourselves for that.

Recently, I came across this poem (excerpt below). I have such respect for all mothers, and women overall.

"The Lanyard" By Billy Collins (an excerpt)
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
(Top photo of Toby and me. Bottom photo from Nirrimi)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Have a fun weekend.

What are your plans for the weekend? We're going swimming this evening in a public pool in our neighborhood; hoping it's refreshing without too many floating Band-Aids:) Also, I'm psyched to share our bathroom makeover next week. Have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few fun links from around the web...

A song for your weekend.

An adventure print that would make a sweet wedding gift.

Murray's Cheese just opened a restaurant!!! Or, as they call it, a cheese bar.

A toddler speaks up about dinner.

Cheeky doormat.

Jemima, the mom.

Mason jar salads.

Who's up for cloud gazing?

Cool travel photos.

Michigan tees. (Thanks, Jennifer)

Instagram cookies.

Holy smokes, this is a subway station!

Finally, Lookmatic is giving Cup of Jo readers a great deal on glasses and sunglasses. Enjoy! xoxo
(Illustration by Gemma Correll)

Pinterest loves

A few things from Pinterest this week...
Rick Nunn's rad ampersand tattoo.
Chocolate-chip oatmeal pancakes.
Ombre nails.
Beautiful Rib & Hull leather bag.

Hope you're having a good week. And thank you SO much for all the feedback on the redesign yesterday!!! xo

(Flowers photo by With Style and Grace, ampersand tattoo of Rick Nunn, via Creative Bloq, nail polish photo by Ms. Renaissance, pancakes by Minimalist Baker, leather bag by Rib & Hull)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cup of Jo gets a makeover!

So, I have some exciting news (to me, at least). After almost six years with the same look, A Cup of Jo is getting a long overdue makeover. The Brooklyn-based design firm Apartment One came highly recommended, and I was thrilled to collaborate with their uber-talented team, Liza and Spencer. The new design will launch in a couple weeks.

Meanwhile, I'd love to ask you a question! After our first meeting, the designers presented me with four potential looks. Please tell me your favorite look (and, if you'd like, guess which one we ended up choosing). Here are the four options...

Option #1—Blue:

Option #2—Ivory:

Option #3—Sky:
Option #4—Handwritten:
Let me know your favorite below! I'd love to hear your thoughts... xoxo

(Top photo of Alex and me by Max Wanger)

Summer Do or Don't: Dark red nail polish

This past weekend, we spent a few hours at Coney Island, and my friend Shirim had dark red polish on her toes. I was really into that color last November, but never would have thought of it for a sunny day. But she paired it with a white swimsuit and gray dress and looked totally gorgeous.

Thoughts? Would you wear a sexy dark red in the summer?

P.S. More dos or don'ts.

(Photo by the Gore Princess)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Bridge & Burn, a clothing line based in Portland and inspired by life in the northwest. I love their easy, laid-back style. Today they're letting one lucky reader choose her favorite between the Grebe dress with navy pinstripes and the Rae linen shirtdress. Which would you choose?

For a chance to win, please visit Bridge & Burn and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: Samantha T. from Vancouver is our winner. Thanks for playing.

Movie posters

The tumblr FuckYeahMoviePosters features movie posters, both real and reimagined. Love the Annie Hall one: "A nervous romance." Spot on.

P.S. Remember this?
P.P.S. Old loves and cool dads.

The Best Peach Tart You'll Ever Have

Food photographer Erin Gleeson wanted a change from New York City, so she moved to a cabin in the woods of Northern California. Inspired by seasonal ingredients, she now creates her own delicious recipes, mostly vegetarian. Today, lucky for us, she's sharing her favorite peach tart (with ricotta), which would be perfect for a lazy summer evening, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Which color should we paint our bathroom?

If you come over to our apartment, you might notice me wince if you ask where the bathroom is. Our bathroom has always been an eyesore. The tile is chipping, nothing matches, and the walls are a drab white. We want to fix it up, but since we'd like to move to Brooklyn next spring, we don't want to do anything too major. So, we've decided to give it a quick makeover with...a coat of paint!

Valspar Paint was sweet enough to offer the paint (thank you, Valspar!), so now the question is: Which color should we choose? Valspar offers a "Love Your Color" Guarantee, where if you don't love the first paint color you choose, they'll let you pick out a second color for free, so we feel emboldened when it comes to picking richer colors. I'm usually pretty bad at picking out paint (it's so hard to envision on the walls!), but here are our three favorites, inspired by the rooms above...
Do you like any of these? Or would you pick a totally different color? Please weigh in below...we'll share the before-and-after photos next week. (You'll die when you see the before:)

P.S. My inspiration board.

(This post is sponsored by Valspar Paint. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make Cup of Jo possible. Interior photos, in order, by Seth Smoot, Patrick Cline/Lonny and Domino)

Fall trend: Polka dots

For the past couple years, we've talked about the fall trends, and first up this year: Polka dots! They're everywhere these days and look so cute, especially when mixed with tomboyish pieces, like jeans and sneakers. (This cozy sweater is my favorite.) Here a few pretty things...
1. Black belted dress, $55.
2. Cashmere sweater, $268.
3. Honeydew bralette, $34, and boyshort, $16.
4. Classic ballet flats, $135. (Or fancy heels.)
5. Clutch, $45.
6. Black jeans, $189.
7. Silk blouse, $70. (I also love this and this.)

Thoughts? Will you be wearing polka-dots on crisp fall days? Do they fit your style?

(Top photo by Stockholm Street Style. Post by Joanna; graphic design by Rachel/Elephantine for Cup of Jo)
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