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Have a beautiful weekend.

My darlings, what are your plans for the weekend? Alex and I are going out to a neighborhood French restaurant tomorrow and I'm thinking about wearing false eyelashes just for fun. Have you ever worn them? (Any tips?) Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few great posts from around the web...

Update: This. (Genius.)

Beautiful Royal Wedding photo. (How gorgeous was Pippa's dress?)

And a funny flowchart.

Ominous Manhattan weather this week.

New York City gets made under.

April showers.

Wedding sparkles.

All kinds of stripes.

Magritte coat hangers.

Aren't you glad this isn't your to-do list?

Basket backpack. (Jane Birkin would have approved.)

Adorable spring collection.

Three guys living in IKEA.

Pretty in pink.

Finally! A truly friendly bike shop in NYC.

Plus, three Cup of Jo posts you might have missed:
* Seahorse tails.
* How to look confident.
* Sea-salt brownies.

Have a good one, my lovelies! xoxo

(Photo by Sweet Eventide, via Poppytalk)

Mother's Day gift guide

My dolls, if you're still looking for a Mother's Day present, I put together a little gift guide here. xoxo P.S. And the present I got my own mom.

Three pretty things

How would you like to wear this...
read a book here...
and vacation here?

(Top photo by the Sartorialist, bottom photo by Papa Stour. Via TKOW)

Congratulations, Will and Kate!

What a romantic moment...
...although maybe a little too loud. :)

(Via Elle)

Aw, sad.

Don't google yourself tonight, Prince William!

The Royal Wedding

So excited for The Royal Wedding tomorrow!!! Are you going to wake up early and watch it? Kate must have serious butterflies.

Fun fact: Did you know that Royals tend not to use last names? I suddenly realized this morning that I had *no* idea what Prince William's last name was. (Apparently it's Mountbatten-Windsor.)

P.S. I can't wait to see all the wedding hats and fascinators.

Cheese pairings

My lovelies, here's our third (and final) cheese tutorial! If you're planning a romantic night at home, or a fun evening with friends, here are three cheese + drink pairings that will knock your socks off...
The stinky French cow's milk cheese Langres comes in a wooden container. The traditional way to eat it is to pour Champagne into the little dip (or "fountain") on the top of the cheese -- which makes it effervescent and delicious! (Confession: We used Prosecco to save some coin, but it was still fabulous.)
There are two types of people in the world: Those who love smoky flavors, and those who hate them. (Which are you?) This smoked goat cheese, Up in Smoke, packs a major punch--and almost tastes like bacon! The award-winning cheese is bright, tangy and smoky, since it's wrapped in smoked maple leaves spritzed with bourbon. Double the intensity by pairing it with a really smoky beer. (Alex was obsessed with this combo.)
I never drink coffee (which is ironic considering my blog's name), but I made an exception for this amazing cheese. Barely Buzzed is a cheddar-style cheese made by two brothers-in-law in Utah, and the rind is rubbed with espresso coffee grounds and lavender. The flavors permeate the milky cheese--it's incredible. Barely Buzzed won a Blue Ribbon at the American Cheese Society three years in a row. Pair it with a strong cup of coffee for a taste explosion...and a serious spring in your step. :)

What do you think? Which would you go for?

P.S. More cheese-y posts!

(Recommendations from Murray's Cheese. Photos by the amazing Jamie Beck for Cup of Jo)


Just 'cause.

Affordable art: 20x200

My darlings, I'd love to take a moment to highlight (and give thanks to) one of my favorite sponsors: 20x200, the amazing affordable art shop. The shop has artists' prints starting at just $20. (We have a bunch of their prints in our house and love them!)

Here are a few of my current favorites...

The sweetest bird.

Kite hill.

A baby tiger. (Ahh, those paws!)

The beach.


Browse more amazing prints here.

Thank you, 20x200!

Personalized wine bottles

How rad are these wine bottles? They would be great to bring to a dinner party or celebration.

(Via Simplesong)

Two nerdy things

If you're designing a website or invoice or business card, how awesome are these hand-drawn icons? You can buy the set of 300+ icons for $30. I love that they include glasses, skateboards and toast.
And I haven't posted about typography in a while, but how genius is this llama font? So random and hilarious. He's so flexible! :)

(Via Swissmiss, naturally)

Perfect pleats

I've seen so many women around New York wearing bright pleated skirts. They're so breezy and beautiful! I just found one at Zara, and this one, above, is from Topshop. Isn't it cute how she wears it with a belt?

(Photo by Lucy, via Jennifer and Jennifer)

Motherhood Mondays: What baby names do you like?

My darlings, on this Motherhood Monday, I'd love to talk about baby names! Do you have favorites? When Alex and I first found out that we were expecting a child, we were so giddy (and, um, surprised:) that we couldn't sleep. So we found ourselves in our dark living room at 2 a.m. brainstorming names. Our top boy's names were Toby, Julian, Charlie, and Elliot (ahh, I still love Elliot). For girl's names, I liked Sophie, and he liked Samantha, but we couldn't decide on one that we both loved. (Girls names are surprisingly tough!)

My friend Nora told us a funny way to analyze names: The Blind Date Test. Pretend someone is setting up your college-aged child on a blind date. They'd ask, "Hey, want to meet my friend Toby?" Now think: How would you picture that person, just based on the name? Would you want to meet them? It's a surprisingly good way to get a feel for the name, don't you think? :)

There are also such cool unusual names these days. Toby's friends include Zelda, Quinn, Sailor, Elodie and Meriwether. (Aren't those all amazing?) The Baby Name Voyager shows you how popular every name has been since the 1880s. (Warning: It's totally addictive.)

So, I'd love to ask: What baby names do you like? Do you prefer offbeat names, or would you stay more traditional? Would you name your child after a relative? Do you like your own name? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

P.S. This baby name book looks great:
(Top photo by Raul Gutierrez)

Have an adventurous weekend!

My lovelies, happy Easter weekend! What are you up to? We're having two friends over tonight to watch a documentary, and my mom is coming for a surprise 24-hour visit tomorrow! Hope you have fun adventures this weekend and treat yourself to some chocolate bunnies. :) Meanwhile, here are a few great posts from around the web...

This Met exhibition looks lovely.

Oh, the '90s. Hilarious.

Sleeping in the air.

Awesome slideshow of wedding moments.

Life-size photos of whales.

Ten pretty things.

Daydreaming of Ireland.

What a romantic print.

Genius bike parking.

Great advertisement for reading books.

Traveler's notebook + striped backpacks.

Such a bright and airy living room.

Ooh la la, the loveliest flower cupcakes.

A few additions to my spring wishlist. (So many pretty things out there!)

And fellow bike lovers: Alex, Toby and I are going to the New Amsterdam Bike Show next weekend! See you there? xoxo

(Photo by Max Wanger)

Mother's Day gift

Mother's Day is less than three weeks away, so I wanted to share our gift (my mom is traveling so she won't see it!): We ordered her a framed photo from Pinhole Press, my friends' amazing company. You just upload a snapshot onto their website, and they print, frame and send it right to you or your mom. It's such an easy yet heartfelt gift. Thanks for inventing this, Pinhole! :)

Find more on Pinhole Press.

P.S. Photo notepads!

Breezy wedding dress

Brides-to-be! Do you remember this breezy Swedish island wedding? Well, I just saw the dress over on OnceWed's boutique. Ahhh, I want to get married again and wear it.

(Photos by Mikael Olsson)

Parisian potholes

Artist Juliana Santacruz Herrera walks around Paris and patches up cracks in the street with braids of colorful yarn. Aren't they lovely? See more here.

P.S. Remember these pothole gardens?

(Via Honestly...WTF)

Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Terrain, the amazing home & garden lifestyle shop based in Pennsylvania. Their beautifully curated store is all about life's simple pleasures, from cooking to reading to gardening--and I love that you can order flowering plants to decorate your home! In honor of Mother's Day, they're offering one lucky reader a whopping $200 gift certificate. What would you pick? (I'd go for this antiqued bird mirror, salted caramels and a lavender plant!)

For a chance to win, please visit Terrain and leave a comment telling us your favorite things from the store. A winner will be randomly selected tomorrow. Good luck! xo Update: Lesley Z. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Bonus for all readers: Enter the discount code CUPOFJO for 15% off your entire order, plus free standard shipping. Good until May 8th.

Do or don't: Maxi skirts

Maxi skirts are everywhere this spring. I'm in love with this green striped number. What do you think about this trend, my lovelies? Would you wear a maxi skirt? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Heart brownies

How sweet is this idea for brownies? (You could do it with letters, too.)

P.S. And thank you so much for all your amazingly honest and touching comments on Monday's post. xoxo

(Photos by Smitten Kitchen, via Somewhere North)

Tuesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Coatt, the beautiful collection of Morse Code necklaces. For Mother's Day, designer Rebecca is giving away this necklace, which spells "love" in Morse code. Wouldn't it make a lovely present for your mom--or for you? :)

For a chance to win, please visit Coatt (she has so many amazing necklaces!) and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo

Update: Kristin Mc is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Motherhood Mondays: On having a boy

My darlings, sorry for the late post today! I've been thinking about this one all day, and finally had a chance to write it out.

So, I'd love to ask: When you think of having children, do you ever secretly hope for a boy or a girl? Even though people don't really talk about it, I actually think it's really common to wish for one or the other.

When you're pregnant, the most important thing on your mind, of course, is having a healthy baby. Anyone who is given that gift is blessed beyond belief. I definitely did not take that for granted and felt hugely lucky to be having a baby.

But also, in my heart of hearts, when we found out we were going to have a baby, I secretly hoped that we would have a girl. I had always imagined having a daughter and doing all those fun girly things together--playing with dolls, going to ballet lessons, having heart-to-heart mother/daughter conversations, and doing all the classic (and cliched) things that are part of girlhood. I loved being a girl (and am really close to my own mom); and thought it would be such fun to raise one.

So when we found out that we were expecting a boy, I was so excited and couldn't wait to meet the little man. But part of me couldn't help secretly feeling a little disappointed. I felt really guilty for feeling that way (was I a terrible person? the gender shouldn't matter as long as the baby is healthy, right?), but the feeling remained. I had always pictured having a daughter...and now we weren't.

Plus, I kept thinking about how didn't know a single thing about boy stuff. The guys in my family are really male--they all are obsessed with motorcycles and pranks and windsurfing and whisky. Would Alex and our baby bond over sports, while I wouldn't be able to share that with them, I wondered? When we were growing up, my brother and dad talked endlessly about motorcycle parts and car racing; what if my baby boy wanted to talk about cars? I didn't know a thing about them--or care! And I'm a wuss about rollercoasters and swimming in the ocean and those types of boy-ish rough-and-tumble activities. What if he were into those things? Would I be the lame mom sitting nervously on the bench while my son bonded with all the more adventurous types?

I really worried that I wouldn't be able to connect to a boy...or, more aptly, that he wouldn't connect to me.

But then.

Toby arrived.

Once the doctor put my red-faced, wrinkly, sweet, beautiful baby boy into my arms, EVERYTHING changed.

I can tell you with all my heart, now that Toby has entered our lives, it is the most incredible, moony experience, and now I CANNOT imagine having anything other than my delicious baby boy. When he was brand new, he was so tiny, vulnerable and sweet. When I breastfed him, and he'd snuggle up and put his little hand on my chest and look into my eyes, I would just swoon.

Now that he's eleven months old, he is so lovely and has such a sweet, open demeanor. He giggles, he coos, he stands on full tippy-toe. He touches my face with serious concentration. He loves reading books and eating pears and looking out the window. Sometimes when he's asleep at night, I'll tiptoe into the nursery just to lean down and put my head near his; I love seeing his out-of-proportion body sleeping there: his big head, small shoulders, big diaper butt, and short legs. I pat his back and smell his sweet milky breath. I am totally enamored and enchanted by him. He is my little man, my lovely little boy.

Having a son has turned out to be the most amazing thing, and my apprehensions and fears seem so silly now. I'm so excited to bring him up, and previously boring things like baseball and water pistols are suddenly super thrilling, since I see them through his sweet little eyes. The other day, I was riding my bike downtown and saw a dinosaur-shaped balloon and couldn't stop thinking about how cool it was. :)

Oh, how Toby has opened my eyes!

Anyway, I thought I'd tell you, my sweet readers, since people don't often talk about their preferences for a boy or a girl (it seems like it shouldn't matter) but I think it's very normal to initially crave one over the other. And I wanted to be honest and share how needlessly worried I had been. I'm curious: Do you secretly hope for a boy or girl? How have your thoughts changed, if you've had a baby? I'm so curious to hear -- from everyone from mamas and mamas-to-be! Leave your comment anonymously, if you'd like!

(Photo credit unknown, via Abby Sharp)

Have a lovely weekend!

My darlings, what are you up to this weekend? Alex, Toby and I are going to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to see the cherry blossoms on Sunday. I'm also going to try to find time to sneak away and do some spring shopping. I can't keep wearing jeans and Converse, eeks! And I've been reading Tina Fey's book and loving it. She's hilarious. I'd highly recommend it if you want something fun to read. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few great posts from around the web...

The genius of cooking onions.

These balloons would be awesome for a wedding!

Tomboy uniforms.

50 ways to cope with stress.

What a colorful home.

Lessons in typography.

Beer on a bike.

How women see color versus men.

15 jobs you never knew existed.

Love these tunics.

Adorable vintage shop for little ones.

What a rad dude!

Have a good one, my lovelies. xoxo
(Top photo by Mads Teglers, via Darling Dexter; bottom photo by Roman Lysenko, via Swissmiss)

Bicycle riding pants

How amazing are these Daily Riding Pants for bicyclists? Made locally in New York, they shed rain and dirt and resist wear and tear. (Also, they're super sexy.) Thumbs up. Update: Outlier sweetly told me that they'd like to offer Cup of Jo readers 11% off their order with the code LadiesBike2. Thanks, Outlier!

Also, have you guys heard of Ride the City? The rad navigation website gives you the choice of the fastest or safest bike route to your destination. I used it this morning, and it told me the best bike paths all the way to Brooklyn!

(Via Tomboy Style)

Perfect nails

My friend Leigh always has pretty nail polish, but my jaw dropped when I saw her glittery gold manicure. They're actually Sally Hansen nail strips, which you apply like stickers! So they never smudge and don't need drying time. Aren't they amazing?

(Photo by Marvelous Kiddo)

Steven Alan for kids

Steven Alan, one of my all-time favorite New York designers, just launched a kids' collection! (How sweet are these little bloomers?!)

P.S. This is the women's outfit I want to wear to the playground:)

Wednesday Giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Felt & Wire, the fabulous paper goods marketplace. They're offering one lucky reader a personal address stamp from Brooklyn calligrapher Paperfinger. (You get to choose the exact style.) It would make all your letters and envelopes look beautiful, like real handwritten calligraphy! And wouldn't it make a pretty Mother's Day gift?

For a chance to win, please visit Felt & Wire's online shop (with these funny postcards and fabric wrapping paper) and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo

Update: Karen Beth is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Three pretty things

The beautiful Susan Cernek in a blue shirt with ripped jeans and sky-high heels. She gets it right every time.
This gorgeous room makes me want to get brighter lightbulbs and more plants for our apartment.
How genius is this? I have an elevator phobia, but I'd at least press the button for this one (and then take the stairs.)

(Photo credits unknown, anyone know? Third image via The Bean and the Bear)