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Friday, January 30, 2015

Have a wonderful weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? I'll be wishing my twin sister a happy birthday tomorrow—unfortunately, from 2,600 miles away. But I'm looking forward to having cake with the boys and I've been hinting to Alex about this recipe;) Hope you have a fun weekend, and here are a few fun links from around the web...

Goodbye, Mom and Dad!

A better way to make pizza.

The cost of things in the U.S. after being away for 14 years.

The best thing about winter. (Made me laugh.)

A French girl's trick for getting dressed.

Why the world seems quieter when it snows.

Whoa, what a fascinating quote about children playing.

How awesome is this living room makeover?

A genius way to organize your workweek.

Late person vocabulary.

Love these beautiful prints.

The funniest invention I've seen in a while.

(Cost of things link via via Miss Moss)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lacy black dress

This past fall, we went to a meet-the-parents cocktail party for Toby's preschool, and, assuming that it probably wasn't that dressy, I wore black jeans and a black shirt and heels.

When we arrived, we got glasses of wine, nabbed some cheese cubes and said hello to friends. Then I surreptitiously scanned the room. The attire was mixed—some pants, some dresses—but my friend Jenny stood out in the most beautiful black lace dress with her hair tied up and barely any makeup except rosy dewy cheeks. I suddenly regretted being so casual! She looked lovely, and I promised myself that on the next occasion, I'd do it up.

So! Here we are: Alex and I are going out to dinner for my birthday this weekend. Inspired by Jenny's black lace, I scouted a few dresses, and liked this short one and midi dress, but at the end of the day, this beauty stole my heart. I'm excited to wear it on Saturday!

Have you dressed up lately? I do it so rarely, it's always such a treat.

P.S. How to keep the sparks alive.

Transparent

Have you watched Transparent, the Golden-Globe-winning Amazon series? After a few of you recommended it last Friday, I started watching it and find it incredibly real, funny and poignant. Jeffrey Tambor plays Mort Pfefferman, a divorced 70-year-old father of three grown children, who has a secret he has always wanted to share: He's actually a transgender woman named Maura. All three kids are completely self-involved in their own messy lives, which are equally compelling.

Vulture calls it "damn near perfect," saying:
The plot has a very small footprint—it's just this family, really—but the ideas it covers are really huge. Stories about people who are trans feel newsy and timely, but the stories about not truly knowing your parents until you grow up, and even then just barely, are completely familiar. Transparent is a crystalline bird's nest, beautiful and fragile and a little bit dreamy and magical, where you hatched and from whence you're obligated to fly away.
Here's the trailer, if you'd like to see:
Thoughts? Have you watched it? I'd highly, highly recommend it.

P.S. 25+ best documentaries, and a moving speech about the word "gay."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Are you chronically late?

Are you chronically late? I am. I don't want to be late, but I somehow end up being ten minutes late every single time, even on my first date with Alex. You'd think the solution would be, "Just don't be late." But even when I try my best, I'm still running down the street, ten minutes behind. Determined to get better, I did some research and discovered seven common reasons why people are late...

Winter Survival Guide: Play games

How are you doing this winter so far? Any winter blues setting in? Did everyone survive the snowstorm? We went to our friends' house for pancakes and then spent the rest of the day straight chilling.

One thing we always find helpful in the winter is games. They're great for taking your mind off any worries and just nerding out a little.

Here are six fun ones:
5 Second Rule
Farkle Party
Set
Taboo
The Settlers of Catan
Head's Up (Bonus: Only a dollar!)

And, to make you smile, here are four bored games (get it?)...
Thoughts? Any games you're loving these days?

P.S. 15 games you can play with just two people, and six fun challenges.

(Comic by Gemma Correll via Medium)

Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Today, we're rounding out our month of vegetarian dinners with a crowd favorite: grilled cheese. Balsamic roasted veggies make this feel decidedly grown-up. Here, Kate from Cookie & Kate shares her recipe...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A trick for choosing wine

Wine shops can be overwhelming. So many bottles, so many pretty labels—but what do they actually taste like? We spoke to Michele Pravda, owner of Brooklyn wine shop Smith & Vine, who taught us this fun way to choose wine...
If you like BUTTERED TOAST, try a California Chardonnay. "Chardonnay has buttery undertones," Michele explains, "especially when it's aged in American oak, which gives it a rich flavor."

If you like TROPICAL FRUITS, go for a Viognier. "It has tropical notes, especially mango," she says. "Tropical fruits are strong, big and intense, and so is Viognier."

If you like APPLES AND PEARS, you'll love Pinot Grigio's crisp, fresh flavor.

If you're a fan of CITRUS, you want a wine with more acidity. Gruner Veltliner is a good bet, and Michele recommends a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: "It's got a definite fruity flavor to it, but with more acidity."

If you like the SMELL OF FRESHLY-CUT GRASS, try a white Bourdeaux, which has "a grassy, herbaceous flavor profile."
If you always pick out the RED CANDIES, you'd like a wine with notes of sweet red fruits. Try a Rioja, which tastes like sour cherries.

If you like DARK CHOCOLATE, try Malbec. Michele recommends choosing one from Chile or Argentina for notes of rich, dark chocolate.

If you can't get enough BACON, choose a smoky Pinot Noir from Oregon. (In wine vernacular, "smoky bacon" is a prized flavor for pinot noir.)

If you like SPICY THINGS, go for a Syrah. Michele's favorites are from Northern Rhone, which have an especially bold, spicy flavor profile.

If you're a STEAK fan, you'll love Bandol from Provence. "It has almost a bloody, gamey meat flavor," says Michele. Bonus: Bandol also pairs well with steak!

And the best tip of all? Just drink. "Regular consumption is the single most important characteristic of the confident wine lover," says New York Times food critic Eric Asimov.

Which would you choose? What do you normally drink? Thank you, Michele!

P.S. 8 etiquette tips for drinking wine, and a trick for keeping lipstick off your wine glass.

(Illustrations by Caitlin McGauley for Cup of Jo. Interview by Caroline Donofrio)

Winter nail polish

The other day, I bumped into my friend Sandra at the playground, and she was wearing the coolest nail polish color: Wicked. Although it reads black, it's actually a very, very dark red. So you get the dramatic look of black polish (a huge trend this winter) without feeling too goth or severe. Beautiful, don't you think?
Thoughts? Would you wear it? What color are you wearing right now?

P.S. Another favorite nail polish and how to create the perfect ponytail.

(Photos by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Motherhood Mondays: Talking to kids about sex

The other day, I was putting four-year-old Toby to bed, when he turned to me and asked...
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