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Thursday, October 23, 2014

My sister's awesome dating tip

Now that Caroline is dating again, I figured I'd share a little dating tip. When we were in high school, my sister said something that changed the way I approached dating forevermore...

Lovely bags

The weather has suddenly gotten much cooler, the leaves are falling off the trees, and it suddenly feels like fall. For fall pieces, we're loving Cuyana, the San-Francisco-based brand of handcrafted leather bags and accessories. The founders, Karla and Shilpa, believe in buying only what you love and will wear for years. Their philosophy is "fewer, better things."
My favorites are the alpaca scarves, leather totes and wallets. Looking ahead to the holidays, I was thinking they'd also make beautiful gifts for moms, sisters, bosses, mothers-in-law—all the wonderful women who you adore but can be hard to shop for. And Cuyana offers monogramming, so you can make the gift feel especially thoughtful.
What do you think? Are you already looking forward to the holidays? I can't believe it's almost November! See Cuyana's full collection here, if you'd like.

(Photos by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Cuyana, a brand whose products and mission I love. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10 pretty wallpapers

Our new apartment has two tiny bathrooms—they're super bare bones, and only one person can squeeze in at a time. To jazz them up a little, I was thinking we could wallpaper them. But is that crazy in a rental? Here are a few pretty patterns...
1. Feathers 2. Sailboats 3. Mountains 4. Azurite 5. Flowers 6. Birds 7. Safari 8. Cities 9. Stripes 10. Marble.

Which do you like best? (I also love these 10 wallpapers for kids, especially the London gentlemen:)

(Top wallpaper by Calico)

What quick dinners do you make at home?

What do you make on those nights when you're tired, starving and just want something yummy before watching Homeland? We're super basic cooks, so we've come up with a rotation of quick meals. We usually turn to Real Simple, since their recipes are legitimately easy with only a few ingredients. Then Alex will cook while I lean against the counter, drink white wine and chat:) Here are the 10 dinners we've made a million times at home, and I'd love to hear yours...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Madewell's French collaboration

Madewell just launched a collaboration with the cult French label Sézane, and needless to say, all the pieces are effortlessly cool. I'd love to wear that black dress on dinner dates, and how great is the sweatshirt? See everything here.

What books are you reading this fall?

Two years ago, my friend Kendra texted me saying I had to read Gone Girl. But when I heard the basic premise—wife dies, husband is suspected, chaos, twists, suspense—I wasn't sure it was up my alley. I'm more of a Jane-Austen-comedy-of-errors-don't-look-at-my-ankle kind of girl.

But finally, finally, this fall I picked up a copy and OH MY GOODNESS I AM SO SUCKED IN!!! I cannot express how gripping and compelling the book is. I cannot put it down. I think about it all day long—during work, during the boys' bathtime, during dinner—until FINALLY I can climb into bed and crack it open. I know I'm the last to the party here, but if there's anyone left out there who hasn't read it, you have to. :)
What about you? What are you reading this fall? Any recommendations? I would LOVE to hear.

P.S. The scariest movie.

(Book photo by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo)

Monday, October 20, 2014

8 questions to ask a new babysitter

When Toby was a newborn, I felt totally overwhelmed by the process of finding a nanny. How do you even begin? I wondered. Thankfully, over the past four years, we've figured out how to find wonderful babysitters, including 8 questions to ask...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Have a great weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? Alex's mom is visiting, so we'll be showing her around our new neighborhood. Every building is draped in fake spider webs and glow-in-the-dark spiders; and the crisp air and fall foliage are bolstering. As Anne of Green Gables said, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." Have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few fun links from around the web...

Can you spot the dog?

Drunk J.Crew models made me laugh.

How to chop onions without crying.

(Or you could wear these.)

Happiness tip: Buy experiences, not things.

10 words to ban from your emails.

The surprising clothing item you should stock up on this fall.

Life with a pet lion.

Crazy fact: If you rub garlic on your feet, you'll taste it thirty minutes later!

How to estimate when people will arrive at a party.

Made me laugh. I'm old!

The 70 Percent Rule—when to delegate.

We've baked these cookies THREE times in the past two weeks. Highly recommended.

(Photo of Diane Keaton and Al Pacino in The Godfather. Email words via Swissmiss)

Flower pun bouquets

My friend Erin just co-wrote an awesome craft book, Make & Give. A former art director for Martha Stewart Living and Esquire, Erin always has brilliant ideas. One of my favorite tutorials was these flower pun bouquets...
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