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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My phone call with Lena Dunham (!)

Yesterday, at 10:30am sharp, I dialed a fancy Manhattan hotel and asked to be connected to a publicist, who then connected me to...Lena Dunham! Dunham's collection of personal essays, Not That Kind of Girl, came out today, and I was curious to talk to her about sex, books and how she's changed over the years. Here's what she said...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Raising your first child vs. second child (so different)

Alex and I were laughing the other day about how differently we've approached parenting with our second child versus our first. You learn to be so much more relaxed! Comedian Jason Good wrote this pitch-perfect comparison in his book This is Ridiculous, This is Amazing...

Raising Your First vs. Your Second Child
By Jason Good, father of two

First Kid: All homemade in special baby-food processor. Quinoa! Spinach! Sweet potatoes!
Second Kid: Crackers.

First Kid: Crib that Daddy put together himself while Mommy yelled at him.
Second Kid: Mommy's bed. Daddy now has his own room with a mattress on the floor surrounded by dirty socks.

First Kid: One hundred percent organic cotton. Some even made of bamboo?
Second Kid: His brother's old clothes.

First Kid: In our backyard with a piñata hanging from the Japanese maple.
Second Kid: Pizza on the floor.

First Kid: Every night in a special bathtub that's just the right size. Hand-washed with a soft cloth or silky sponge.
Second Kid: Twice a week. Swimming pools count.

Nighttime Routine
First Kid: Swaddled in a Miracle Blanket. "Baby Beluga" sung to him. Asleep by 7:30pm.
Second Kid: Falls asleep on the sofa with mom's boob in his mouth at 10:30pm.

First Kid: Playgroups, mommy and baby get-togethers in the park!
Second Kid: His brother's friends.

First Kid: All handmade out of wood. Mostly Swedish.
Second Kid: The boxes his brother's toys came in.

TV Rules
First Kid: PBS/Sesame Street only. Two 23-minute shows per day.
Second Kid: Has his own Netflix account.

First Kid: Something European with an umlaut in its name.
Second Kid: Old muddy shoes with faded umlaut and missing sole insert.

Potty Training
First Kid: Diapers, then some kind of training underwear, then underwear.
Second Kid: Might crap in a diaper until college.

First Kid: A wonderful woman named Sarah, whom he loves and will cherish for the rest of his life.
Second Kid: Doesn't have one. We never go out.

P.S. The crazy things you do as a parent, and 20 surprising parenting tips.

(Top photo by Alpha Smoot of Kendra's adorable little ones; it was an outtake from this shoot. Book excerpt via Parents)

Shopping for maternity clothes

The other day, my friend and I went shopping for maternity clothes at Hatch in Soho...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Have a great weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We are having a little housewarming party tomorrow night (does anyone know any foolproof appetizers?), and I'm also going to spend lots of quiet time playing with the boys. Toby was a little overwhelmed at school this week—it's a lot for little dudes!—so we're going to play on the floor and just take it easy. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web...

Great tiny bathroom makeover.

The best way to reheat leftover pizza.

What a pretty wreath.

This new guidebook made me laugh.

Cozy sweaters for fall (I really love the blue one).

A day in the life of a ballerina.

Maps that will surprise you.

"Why I want my sons to see me naked."

Anthony Bourdain's brilliant travel tips.

How funny is this calendar?

At last! I got these fantastic tweezers and, after three decades, my brows finally look good.

What a touching story.

Iconic portraits recreated...with John Malkovich.

A baked potato party.

Finally, another BRAVO to the amazing women starting a revolution against campus sexual assault. (And what it's like to lug around that mattress.)

(Instagram photo by Seth Smoot)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Hello, Stranger!"

We've talked about taking vacations alone and living alone, but what about walking around town by yourself? When you're flying solo in public, do you talk to strangers or keep quiet? This week, just for fun, Cup of Jo editor Caroline—who generally stays mum—ventured outside of her comfort zone and chatted with various strangers around NYC. Here's Caroline's diary...

Three fall outfits

In the fall, as the air grows crisp and the days get shorter, it's always great to have those clothes you pull on again and again. We often spot our friend Gaby, a curator at Etsy, around Brooklyn wearing the most amazing outfits. When she came to our most recent photo shoot, we asked her to share the three looks she'll be wearing this fall...
Look #1: Mustard sweater, similar shirtdress, sneakers, similar tote

"My fall uniform usually includes a loose sweater; I like feeling comfortable. Even though I'm small, I typically avoid heels in favor of Vans or Converse. I'm always running around, and heels don't last very long on NYC concrete. I also kind of like being little in a city full of tall people."
Look #2: Plaid dress, sneakers, similar bag

"I love this dress because it's so easy. Dresses are great when you don't feel like coordinating an outfit in the morning. I'm not a morning person, so having to make decisions about my wardrobe can feel like a chore. Having a basic style formula has been really helpful for me."
Look #3: Skater skirt, sweatshirt, sneakers, necklace, similar bag

"I'm currently going through a skirt phase, but, specifically, I'm obsessed with this skirt. It's the perfect length and transitions from day to night. I'll usually add one of my favorite Academy necklaces and Young Frankk rings. I like neutral colors, like the stereotypical NYC girl. Think of Woody Allen movies before 1985: everything is either an earth tone or black. In fact, I'd say Diane Keaton is my style muse."

Thank you so much, Gaby! We love your style.

P.S. Six women's beauty uniforms, and how to tie a scarf.

(Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo. Interview by Caroline Donofrio)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lena Dunham gives great advice.

Lena Dunham's much-anticipated book, Not That Kind of Girl, comes out next Tuesday.

To celebrate the book's release, Lena made twelve short videos, in which she answers fans' personal questions. They're brilliant; she comes across as intelligent, empathetic and so, so kind.

1. On dressing provocatively:

2. On being plus size:

3. On toxic friends:

4. On sleeping with bad people:

5. On being an insecure writer:

6. On dealing with OCD:

7. On bullies:

8. On having bad sex:

9. On dating someone who doesn't make you laugh:

10. On a fear of death:

11. On jealousy:

12. On being too loud:

Will you read the book? The New York Times gave it a glowing review, and Lena, reflecting on her tumultuous past, says: “I can never be who I was...I can simply watch her with sympathy, understanding and some measure of awe. There she goes, backpack on, headed for the subway or the airport. She did her best with her eyeliner. She learned a new word she wants to try out on you. She is ambling along. She is looking for it."

P.S. A Q&A with the costume designer of Girls, and Mindy Kaling's friendship advice.

A little gift

My mom come to visit this past weekend—we miss her so much already!—and we wanted to send her a little gift for helping out so much with the boys, who absolutely adore her. For a thank you gift, I considered sending her flowers or brownies, but in the end, I stumbled on this baguette tray. Isn't it lovely? She and her husband love cooking, and I figured this is the perfect size for a baguette, or you could fill it with olives or nuts.
See the rest of the store here, if you'd like. We miss you, Mama!!

P.S. A mug to make her laugh.

Baked Apples with Hazelnuts

Fall is officially here! If you're in the mood for something warm and comforting, Giulia from Audrey's is sharing her recipe for baked apples with hazelnuts, which are great for kids and adults. (And so easy you don't even need to peel the apples!) Here's how to make your own...
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