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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yoobi giveaway

Now that we've moved to Brooklyn, Toby will be going to a new school this fall. To get him ready and excited, we've been doing more art projects at home.

While reading The Artful Parent a few weeks, I came across five ideas:
* Draw to music. Listen to different types of music and have kids draw what they interpret. Try everything from Bach to the Beatles to Frozen.

* Fill in faces. Draw a few circles on a piece of paper and have children fill them in with faces.

* Trace shapes. Have your child trace various objects—kitchen tools, stuffed animals—then fill them in.

* Create your own connect-the-dots. Draw a shape out of dots, which your child can then trace.

* Draw on different things. Instead of paper, have kids draw or paint other things, like leaves, newspapers, rocks or any other interesting items you can find.
To celebrate back-to-school, today's giveaway is from Yoobi, a new school supply brand. They have fun, bright art tools that are perfect for little hands. We especially love their non-toxic crayons, washable markers and pretzel erasers.

And Yoobi's mission "One for You, One for Me" is amazing. Many kids in the U.S. don't have school supplies unless teachers pay for them out of pocket, so for every item you purchase, Yoobi will donate an item to a classroom in need. (You can read more about their story here.)

Today, Yoobi is offering one reader a giant box of school supplies, filled with everything you'd need for school (or your office). To enter, please visit Yoobi and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck!

P.S. Toby's first-ever day of school—he was so teeny!

(Photos by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Yoobi, a brand whose products and mission I love)

Do you exercise? (On purpose?)

Do you exercise?

For years, I've just biked and walked around town, but now that I'm 35 with two babies, it's not cutting it anymore. I feel creaky and achy, and my back always hurts. (It takes me like 30 seconds to straighten my back after standing up, no joke.) I'd love to get more toned and flexible and maybe take an exercise class. So, I'd really like to know: What kind of exercise do you do?

My history of exercise:

Childhood: Running around.

Teenage years: Daily ballet classes. Riding my mom's NordiTrack in our foyer.

College: Tae Bo on VHS with my roommates. (It was actually kind of amazing.)

One summer in my early twenties: WALKING on the treadmill at the gym every night while watching Felicity reruns. (Team Ben, btw.)

One day in my late twenties: I took a yoga class and was so inflexible that I felt embarrassed and didn't go back.

Twenties, early thirties: Biking and walking everywhere and hoping it adds up to a decent amount. Taking stairs instead of elevators (see: phobia).

So, now that I'm an old lady, I need to bolster my routine. When Jessie raved about SoulCycle yesterday, I was really intrigued. I'm also wondering if I should give yoga another chance? Or pilates, Pure Barre, Zumba? Brazilian Butt Lift?! I would LOVE to hear what you do! Please send any and all suggestions my way :) Thank you so much!
P.S. Seeing movies alone, and riding bikes with babies.

(Photos: International pupils at an outdoor physical education class at the English-Scandinavian Summer School by William Vanderson. Aerobics class at the Helena Rubinstein Salon, 1958, by Inge Morath)

Breakfast Salad

What do you eat for breakfast? I know it's the most important meal of the day, but I'm the worst at it. I either skip it or eat leftovers while standing next to the fridge. But this breakfast salad might change my ways. It's easy and delicious (and would also make a great dinner). Erin of Yummy Supper shows us how it's done...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Honest Slogans

Have you seen the site Honest Slogans? It's hilarious. Here are 13 that made us laugh out loud...

"My beauty uniform"

For years, I've had a girl crush on Jessie Randall, the creative director of shoe and handbag brand Loeffler Randall. A mom of three boys, Jessie lives with her family in Brooklyn; and in addition to having amazing taste, she's also incredibly warm and down to earth. Here, she shares her secrets, including a life-changing serum and a book that made her cry...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gift idea: Puzzle with your child's lovey

Over the past year, Toby has fallen in love with a stuffed animal named Mr. Fox. They cuddle together at night and, according to Toby, Mr. Fox tells really funny jokes.
So, as a back-to-school present, we gave him a puzzle with a photo of Mr. Fox. The puzzle has 12 big pieces—perfect for a just-turned-four-year-old.
We made the puzzle through Pinhole Press, the company that makes beautiful photo gifts. They have amazing and fun photo products for kids, including a personalized memory game, drawing pad, and book of names and faces.
I'd love to make more puzzles with family photos, and the more intricate puzzles would make great gifts for grandparents, too.
Which photo would you feature in a family puzzle? Does your child have a lovey?

Bonus for all readers: Get 15% off all Pinhole Press products with the code CUPOFJOLOVE, good until next Monday. (I'm planning to make some magnets for our new apartment, and how cute are these photo notepads?)

(Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo. Pinhole Press is one of my beloved long-term sponsors. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Cup of Jo possible.)

13 Surprising Things about Parenting in Turkey

Diane Zhang moved from Brooklyn to Istanbul with her husband, Josh, and 11-month-old son, Aaron. Here are 13 things that surprised her about being a mother in Turkey…

Friday, August 15, 2014

Have a beautiful weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We're moving to Brooklyn today and unpacking all weekend. Exciting! Please wish us luck (as Deb says: "moving out is the easy part! Moving in, hoo boy"), and thanks for all your tips and suggestions. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web...

How to do a double knot ponytail.

What your ponytail says about you.

Humans of New York is traveling around the world.

How to get a good night's sleep.

Statue selfies.

A chef's good advice.

LOVE this fall nail polish.

Women listening to men in Western Art. Made me laugh.

45 ways to avoid the word "very."

Confessions of a Magnolia Bakery cupcake bouncer.

Toby needs this T-shirt.

Awesome bus stop.

Finally reading this book and loving it.

Hello, stranger on the street, could you please tell me how to take care of my baby?

Have a good one. xoxo

(Photo by Meghan Kay Sadler for OnceWed. Stranger advice post via Storq)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Our England vacation

As I've mentioned, we just got back from visiting family in England, and I'd love to share a few photos, if you'd like to see...

Do or Don't: Sweatshirts

My brother brought his French girlfriend on our family vacation last week. She was fun and beautiful with shiny brown hair and thick bangs, and she taught us French phrases, like the term of endearment "mon petit chou," or "my little cabbage."

But what stood out to me was that, during the trip, her uniform was skinny jeans, brown flat sandals and...a grey sweatshirt. She looked effortlessly cool. I had always categorized sweatshirts as workout clothes, but hers was fitted, cropped and flattering. Naturally, as soon as we got home to New York, I googled said sweatshirts. Here are cool ones from J.Crew, Current Elliott, BP and Everlane.

Thoughts? Would you wear one? Might be the perfect thing to pull on every day this fall.

P.S. England photos are coming right up!
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