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NYC staycation

Our staycation in New York last week was really refreshing and relaxing. (Thanks again to Miss Moss for guest posting!) While my mom took care of Toby, Alex and I met up with friends, rode bikes to Williamsburg, went bowling (for real), got massages, sipped gin cocktails at this rad bar, saw The King's Speech, hit up the Guggenheim, and went ice skating in Central Park. It was so great to just be together and "knock around," as Alex says. We felt like tourists in our own city.

We also chilled with my mom and Toby, including brunch at a Mexican place in our neighborhood, where Toby thought the tablecloth was delicious. :) We miss you already, Mama!

God of Love

Yahoo!!! Our friend Luke Matheny's short film God of Love won an Oscar last night! (Well, he's actually a friend of a friend; but we've met him at parties:) I almost fell off the sofa when he got to go up on stage and accept his award.

God of Love is an amazing 18-minute comedy about a lounge-singing darts champ who receives a mysterious package of passion-inducing darts. Here's the trailer, below; you can download it (for $2!) on iTunes or watch it on the big screen at this New York theatre. Huge congratulations, Luke!

Guest Post: Six ingredients for a good weekend

1. Go for a bike ride. Unless it's snowing wherever you are, in which case you're excused.
2. Watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. One of the funniest and most underrated movies of all time.
3. Make a gin cocktail. Gin is for grown-ups--so pass on those froofy drinks with the umbrellas.
4. Eat quality Camembert. Need I say more?
5. Drive a vintage car. Preferably slowly and through the countryside.
6. Dance to ABBA. You know you love them! Don't deny it.

Have a lovely weekend, everybody.

-- By Miss Moss

Guest Post: Things I Like Right Now

Here are six things I like right now...

1. Short hair & strong brows. I envy girls who can pull off this look.
2. Michelle. One of my favourite Beatles songs, it has been on repeat lately.
3. Odilon Redon. Seeing his work in person is something that has to be experienced.
4. Crumpets. Served hot with raspberry butter, mmm...
5. Steven Alan Fall 2011. Very ready for South Africa's winter to start--if only for the opportunity to dress like this.
6. Bicycle Portraits. A beautifully photographed and incredibly worthwhile project that hopes to promote cycling as a means of independent transport in South Africa.

-- By Miss Moss

Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Tastes Orangey, a gorgeous shop of original paintings and sewn prints by artist Clare Elsaesser. I'm in love with her romantic artwork with such beautiful figures. I'm daydreaming about painting our bedroom white and hanging a bunch of her paintings (especially these two). She's offering a lucky winner a $100 gift certificate to choose a few favorite pieces from the shop. Which would you choose?

For a chance to win, please visit Tastes Orangey and leave a comment below with your favorite print. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo

Update: Lauren A. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Guest Post: Sophia's Palette

One of the many things I love about vintage Sophia Loren (besides the fact that she's such a babe) is that she's almost always in colourful outfits that perfectly reflect her wonderful character. Her palettes remind me of the work of Gustav Klimt.

Paintings, top to bottom: Houses at Unterach on the Attersee; Ria Munk On Her Deathbed; Fruit Trees; Flower Garden

-- By Miss Moss

Guest Post: Svpply Wishlist

Have you guys checked out Svpply yet? It's one of my favourite places to discover products online. The website recommends items that have been saved by people who you choose to follow, and also features handy gift guides depending on your theme or budget. You can follow my Svpply here.

Here are some things I've been coveting lately...

1. Q&A Journal / 2. Provençal Bag / 3. A.P.C Pullover / 4. Sailing Belt / 5. Serving Tray / 6. Naviglow Tape / 7. Chloë Sevigny Platforms / 8. Desk Organizer / 9. Etta James: Love Songs

-- By Miss Moss

Guest Post: Then & Now

Hey Cup of Jo readers! I'm so pleased to be guest blogging here while Joanna is on holiday, and I'm excited to share some of my favourite things with you this week.

I love this publicity photo of actress Joan Bennett in a casual menswear inspired outfit, taking a cue from her contemporary Katharine Hepburn (they starred in Little Women together) and of course echoed by a more modern day Annie Hall. Can you believe this was back in 1938? The high-waisted flared pants are especially great--if you're looking for a pair, make sure they sweep the top of your foot even when wearing platforms.

Top: Topshop / Pants: ASOS / Belt: Zara / Lips: MAC Dark Side / Shoes: Rachel Comey / Necklace: The Vamoose / Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren

-- By Miss Moss

(Joan photo via Dr. Macro)

Have an adventurous weekend!

My sweets, what are you doing this weekend? My mom is coming from Michigan to visit tomorrow, and Alex and I are taking a staycation in New York next week! Alex is staying home from work, and my mom will hang out with Toby while Alex and I go on adventures, like taking snowy bike rides, going to a speakeasy in Queens and having long dinners with friends. We're even considering staying in a hotel for a night (is that crazy?). I'm so excited for a breather and want to give my mom a huge kiss for letting us galavant around the city!

Meanwhile, one of my favorite bloggers will be guest posting next week. And here are a few fun posts from around the web...

Adorable family frame wall.

Tightrope walking sculptures.

Remember this pitch-perfect wedding? Well, Emma wrote a book!

A lovely way to spend a rainy day with a little dude.

How to look like Bonnie and Clyde.

Have you ever tried milk soap? It's on my wishlist.

Pixel pour = rad street art.

A treehouse bed.

Have a great weekend, and a big hug to you all!

(Photo of seriously brave painters on the Brooklyn Bridge.)

Pregnant belly and fruit

Photographer Carolee Beckham is expecting a baby and is doing a fun photo series: She takes a snapshot of her growing belly and the piece of fruit that corresponds to the size of her baby that week. Huge congratulations, Carolee!

P.S. Crazy to think that in the final photo she'll be holding a watermelon!

(Via Marvelous Kiddo)

Back to the future

For her Back to the Future project, photographer Irina Werning, where she invites people to reenact their childhood photos. Awesome.

(Thanks, Raj)

Gifts for guys

Partners & Spade has the best stuff for dudes, especially these hand-painted ties and rolling salt-and-pepper shakers.

Tuesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Future:Standard, an online boutique that curates ethical clothing and accessories. They focus on fair trade and sustainable materials, and the shop is beautifully curated (I love these necklaces). They're offering one lucky winner this silk-cotton shirt dress by dace, which would be perfect for springtime adventures.

For a chance to win, please visit Future:Standard and leave a comment below. A winner will be selected at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo

Update: Meg C. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

DIY headband

Loving Jenny's heart headband. So pretty!

Our grandparents

My mom sent over these old photos of my grandparents, who met on Valentine's Day back in 1945. My grandfather was an American pilot stationed in England, and my grandmother was an English girl living with her parents. They were set up on a blind date (to a Valentine's Day dance), hit it off, and got married in August of that same year. I love these photos of them right before they got married and on their honeymoon.

Thanks for sending these, Mama!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, my sweets! What are you doing tonight? On this day four years ago, I was feeling sad and lonely....and had no idea that I was only two weeks from meeting Alex. It goes to show that you never know what's right around the corner!

(Adorable card by Rifle Design)

Have a romantic weekend.

My lovelies, what are you up to this weekend? Alex and I are going to the movies! We're seeing Somewhere, the new Sofia Coppola movie. Have you seen it? (Thoughts?) Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few great links from around the web this week...

Alex interviewed the fabulous Garance Dore!

Now that is a sexy bra.

Also, smoking hot swimsuits.

DIY smooch!

Lovely little shop.

A Valentine to your town.

Do you remember this book? What a funny flashback.

Lauren Fleishman's touching photo series of couples who have been married fifty years or more.

Sweet dreams print.

Great news: Our girl Chelsea is now doing wedding flowers.

And just for some added cuteness, raining cats. (Their little feet!)

(Photo from Breathless, via Kissssing)

Valentines print

What a sweet print.

Sneak peek: Wedding line from Anthropologie!

My darlings, remember how the people behind Anthropologie announced they were going to start a bridal line? Well, the time has come! BHLDN (pronounced "Beholden") launches their online shop on Valentine's Day (this Monday!) with wedding gowns, party dresses, shoes and accessories. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to go to Philadelphia, along with a small group of lovely bloggers, to see a little sneak peek, and everything was stunning. The dresses in the debut collection range from $1000 to $4000; they have the same feminine and whimsical feel of Anthropologie, with lots of beautiful details. I'd love to share my three favorites, above and below...
Aren't they exquisite? The little number above is my favorite; it would be perfect for an outdoor wedding.
They have adorable shoes, too!
And then we were able to try on some of the dresses. Here I am with the lovely Joy and Emily. It was such a fun, girly day, and I can't wait to see everything at Bhldn on February 14th.

What do you think, my darlings? Do you like these dresses? If you're engaged, would you consider one of them for your big day? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

(Last photo from Emily)

Messy side ponytail

My lovelies, you know the messy side ponytail from J. Crew's spring lookbook? Well, I really wanted to learn how to do it myself, so I invited over my friend Caroline (who is a hair genius) to explain how to get the look, and the fabulous Jamie Beck took a few photographs. (What I love love love about this style is how the top looks like a beehive!)

Here are Caroline's steps, if you'd like to try it out....
1. Start with day-old hair...meaning it's been a day since you've washed it. (If you must wash your hair, then use a volumizing spray to add oomf; and if your hair is oily, use a French dry shampoo to build body and texture.) Now make a deep side part on one side of your hair. You can use a rat-tail comb to get an extra straight part.

2. Backcomb the top quarter of your hair. Basically, brush the hair downwards toward your scalp so it's sort of frizzy and can stand on its own.

3. Gently brush the very top layer of your hair to make it smooth on the top. That way, all the backcombing will be hidden under the layer that you brushed. Still, don't brush too much, you want it a little messy.

4. Take the entire backcombed section and pin it behind your head. To make it secure, place the bobby pins in an "X."

5. Now take all your hair and put it in a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. Tighten the rubber band as tight as you can. This will help "push" your hair up, creating more volume at the top.

5. You can either leave the rubber band exposed, or hide it by taking a small half-inch section of hair from the ponytail and wrapping it around the rubber band. Take a small bobby pin and pin the hair to the rubber band.

6. Rough up the ponytail with your fingers to match the texture at the top of your hair. Use the same motion as you did to back comb, but use your fingers instead, since this will create a messy texture but will be softer and gentler than using a comb. Remember, this look isn't about perfection; it looks best slightly messy.

Let's do it! Thank you so much, Jamie and Caroline! xoxo

(Photos by the wonderful Jamie Beck. Caroline's lip color is Covergirl Outlast Lipstain in Plum Pout.)

Travel fantasy: The Hudson Valley

Crikey, how rad is this rental house in the Hudson Valley? It's only 2.5 hours from New York City, and the property has three bedrooms, a claw-foot tub, heated towel racks (!), an apple orchard, and a sauna. It would be such a fun weekend escape.

Baby food

Now that Toby is eight months old, he has been eating more solid foods. We've given him pretty basic foods so far (carrots, bananas), and I'm not loving the baby-food jars. Then yesterday I flipped through this inspiring book, which encouraged a surprisingly wide range of real foods for young babies, including pork chops to teeth on and egg yolks with salt.

Fellow mamas, I'd love to ask you: What did you feed your babies? I would be so grateful for tips!

(Clip-on high chair by Phil & Teds; kerchief bib from Bink & Boo)