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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Our Brooklyn apartment

Last August, we moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and we quickly fell in love with our new neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. There's a bakery and a cheese shop and a local pizzeria, and little old Italian ladies will sit on their stoops and chat with us—or call out grandmotherly advice like, "Your baby should be wearing socks!" I love how it feels like a quirky small town. So, I'm excited to share a few photos of our place, if you'd like to see...

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

What kind of texter are you?

Did you read Jessica Bennett's NYTimes article When Your Punctuation Says It All (!)? She talks about how texting has led to a kind of "micro-punctuation"—like how periods can sometimes seem aggressive, or how the absence of excessive punctuation can make it seem like something is wrong (!!!). Punctuation itself has even come to take on meanings (like how one guy types "..." to convey "deadpan straight-face").

We were talking in the office about how people have distinct texting styles. Here are three...

1. The Classicist. Grammar enthusiast (and former book editor) Caroline is old-school when it comes to texting: She capitalizes proper nouns and ends every sentence with a period, question mark or (single!) exclamation point, as appropriate. As Bennett says in the Times, "I went out with a guy based on his use of dashes once. Within moments of our first interaction—over text message—I was basically in love. He didn’t just use the lazy singular dash ("-") as a pause between his thoughts, or even the more time-consuming double-dash ("--"). Nope. This man used a proper em dash." Meanwhile, Caroline once agreed to go out with a guy based almost exclusively on his proper use of a colon.

2. The Emoji-Obsessive. Emojis!!! If you're like me, you use the thumbs ups instead of writing "okay," the running guy when you're late, and the kiss face when you're signing off. My friend Gemma can tell entire stories in emojis, and my sister will sometimes say, “Good emoji work," which is the ultimate praise. I even find myself craving emojis when they aren't available; for example, when writing a apologetic email, I might say, "(Insert cringing emoji here)".

3. The Savant. Our old nanny Brady takes it to the next level and uses Riffsy, which adds gifs to your keyboard. When I was running late one day (as always), she sent this. When she texted me her weekly hours, she sent this. When Anton pooped in the bath, she sent...this. They made me laugh out loud x a million.
(Brady, what a genius)

How do you write texts? Which style are you? Any quirks? Or most-used emojis? Please share below...

P.S. Do you sign emails "xoxo"? And how often do you check your phone?

Butter Cookies (with just three ingredients)

This month, we're featuring simple desserts—things you can whip up easily with just a few ingredients. These delicious butter cookies from Cara at Big Girls Small Kitchen can be made with just flour, butter and sugar. Here's how to make them...

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Ace & Jig

Ace & Jig, the Brooklyn-based clothing line run by two friends, just came out with their spring collection. The textiles are gorgeous! You can find the pieces at Barney's and Shopbop.

P.S. And Shopbop is actually having a sale today with the code BIGEVENT15. (I'm eyeing these and this.)

"My beauty uniform"

My friend Elizabeth Antonia lives in LA with her husband and two young daughters. Here, she shares her beauty secrets, including an offbeat shower ritual, the best hairbrush and an easy trick for looking good in photos...

Monday, March 02, 2015

How babies are made

The other day, I was at my friend Tina's house and spotted this amazing book...

Motherhood Mondays: A twist on family dinners

Over the past few years, we've tried to create rituals for our family. We've started watching half* of a movie together on Friday evenings (first up: Shrek! Then God Help the Girl because Toby's obsessed with Belle & Sebastian. Now I can't wait for Peter Pan). While Anton naps on Saturdays, Alex and Toby get tacos at a Mexican place down the block. And we go to a neighborhood community center on Sunday mornings to eat bagels and play in their gym.

So, we're doing all right! But family dinners are still all over the place. As I've mentioned before, we've typically fed the boys early (around 6pm) and then waited to have a grown-up dinner after they're asleep (around 8 or 9pm). We sit with them while they eat, but the other day, Toby said, "Mama, you guys have to eat! You have to eat, too!" And I realized that our eating at the same time also mattered to him. It wasn't enough to talk and laugh about our days, we also had to be chewing and digesting. :)

So when I saw this dinner post—by Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef—I sat up straight and listened. She talked about how their Friday pizza nights changed everything...

We made Fridays pizza night...Then we all took our plates to the living room and watched a movie together, eating pizza. It was lovely. It still is.

And then a funny thing happened. That ritual of pizza together every Friday night started, slowly, changing everything. We had a taco bar one Thursday and Lucy asked if we could have tacos the next Thursday. So we did. And Thursdays became taco Thursdays. After a few visits to a conveyor belt sushi place in Seattle, Lucy desperately wanted sushi every week, so we started making our own sushi (minus the raw fish for her) on Sundays. After Desmond arrived, and our lives were happily disrupted, we needed ritual and routine more than ever. So we chose a meal for every day of the week. And we’ve been doing that ever since.

Mondays are meat and potato night. Tuesdays are kid choice night (right now, Lu’s favorite choice is gluten-free corn dogs. so she is a kid after all). Wednesdays are soup and salad nights. Thursdays are tacos. Fridays are pizza night. Saturdays are pasta night. Sundays are sushi night.

To our surprise, we love this. We don’t have to think about what to make for dinner, in a panic at 5pm every night...

The one ritual of pizza night turned into a series of rituals that changed our lives. The kitchen is clean these days. The refrigerator is better organized. And mealtimes are a series of songs and happy chattering and sharing of gratitude instead of us cajoling Lucy to please eat more of her meal. Desmond claps his hands in his high chair when we all sit down because he knows something fun is about to begin.

Isn't that brilliant? It's like hearing the answer to a riddle—it's so obvious that you can't believe you hadn't already thought of it. A certain meal every day of the week: I'm looking forward to trying it out. Would you do it? What do you make for family dinners now? Any tips or recommendations?

P.S. How to get your kids to talk at dinner, and why French kids eat everything.

* We watch the other half the next morning, or Saturday or Sunday evening. A full movie has proven to be too much for their little attention spans, ha! :)

(Shauna post via The Wednesday Chef)
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