Friday, December 30, 2011

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy (almost) New Year! This was a light week on the blog, but next week we'll be back to our regular scheduled programming. Do you have any fun plans for tomorrow night? Alex and I will be heading to our friends' apartment for blinis and Champagne, while Toby will sleep in his travel crib in their bedroom. Quiet New Year's Eves are my favorite. Have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few fun posts from around the web...

The world's best new affordable hotels.

A sweet take on a bedtime story.

Fun shoe clips to jazz up black flats.

Fashion from a book.

Three years.

The world according to Michigan. (Fellow Michiganders will chuckle:)

Inspiring tomboy style.

How to host house guests.

Did you see this insane pie in Oprah magazine?

Louis C.K. makes me laugh.

Remember A Very Young Dancer?

Plus, three Cup of Jo posts you may have missed:
* Winter bicyclists.
* Chop onions without crying.
* Adorable families.

(Photo of Hitchcock as a grandpa)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Year's Eve hair

My very first post on Cup of Jo talked about how I was staying in for New Year's Eve. But! If you're heading out this year, how cute would it be to wear something sparkly? Loving this gift bow, jumbo bobbi, heart headband and star headband. xoxo

P.S. Also! Look at this skirt! It's like a mermaid:)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wine etiquette

Today I'd love to share 8 fun tips for drinking wine! It's nerdy, but I like learning etiquette tips (do you?) and thought you might like to hear these fascinating wine dos and don'ts before heading out to holiday parties and romantic dinners. Below, I wrote out the tips, and the genius Gemma Correll illustrated them. Here goes...
1. Fill red wine glasses 1/3 full, white wine glasses 1/2 full, and sparkling wine 3/4 full.
2. Twist the bottle at the end of pouring a glass of wine, to prevent drips (and to give it a flourish!).
3. Cheers! When clinking glasses, make eye contact with the other person. Otherwise, according to French superstition, you'll risk seven years of bad luck (read: bad sex). You also should clink glasses individually with each person at the table without crossing anyone's arms.
4. If someone is toasting you (your wedding, your birthday, your general awesomeness), don't take a sip. Just smile and look humble.
5. Always hold your wine glass by the stem. Many people mistakenly think you only need to hold white wine by the stem (so you don't warm up the wine), but experts say you should hold red wine by the stem, too, so you can see its color and clarity, as well as to avoid smudging the glass with your fingerprints. Otherwise, wine snobs might call you a "bowl grabber"! :)
6. On the table, your wine glass goes to the right of your water glass.
7. While taking a sip, you should politely look into your glass. (And not at another person, if you're in the middle of a conversation.)
8. The host's duty is to make sure glasses stay filled. "My eyes go to empty glasses immediately," wine expert John Thoreen says. "It's a real radar thing for me."
9. Or happily forget all the tips above, and just eat, drink and be merry!

Hope you enjoyed these! Thanks again to Gemma for the awesome illustrations. xoxo

P.S. A lipstick trick with wine, and the #1 etiquette tip to remember for the holidays.

(Illustrations by Gemma Correll for A Cup of Jo. Thanks to Shoko for research help. Tips via Primer, SFGate and years of drinking experience:)

Monday, December 19, 2011

How long did you believe in Santa?

How long did you believe in Santa? The website lets you upload a photo of your living room and then add a stock image of Santa into the scene. Voila! Proof for your little ones that Santa exists. How cute is that?!

Did you believe in Santa when you were growing up? Did you leave out cookies and notes?

Holiday hair tutorials

My lovelies, for parties and holiday dinners, feel free to look back through Caroline's 8 hair tutorials. It would be fun to wear a braided crown or three twisted buns with a little black dress! Find all eight tutorials here... xoxoxo

* Pretzel braid
* Gibson roll
* Chestnut bun
* Braided crown
* Braided top bun
* Three twisted buns
* Side ponytail
* Messy French bun

P.S. And the complete Cup of Jo 2011 Holiday Gift Guide.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Have a lovely weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We're heading to L.A. and Palm Springs, as I mentioned earlier, and I'm psyched for ripe avocados. Please wish us luck on the flight tonight (Toby is not loving the whole sitting-still thing these days), and I'm hoping our beloved sling will help. Have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few fun posts from around the web....

The perfect Chambray shirt (if money were no object).

Little Paris paintings.

The Home Alone house is for sale!


This cookbook cover made me laugh.

I just got this puffy coat for the winter. Bad weather, bring it on.

Glow-in-the-dark bathroom.

What a gorgeous print of the Met's rooftop exhibit.

The Hovey sisters are now designing apartments!

Curious to try a pair of clear glasses. Have you ever worn them?

This sweater made me LOL.

And the complete 2011 Cup of Jo Holiday Gift Guide.

(Photo of Anna Karina by Lennart Green, via Kate)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Lauren Haupt Jewelry, a studio in New York City. The handmade pieces have clean, elegant lines so you can wear them everyday. Today, Lauren is offering one lucky reader her Points Earrings, which are a little edgy and would be beautiful to wear all winter.

For a chance to win, please visit Lauren Haupt Jewelry and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: Deirdre is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing. xo

NYC Dates: Guggenheim and Meatballs

Since I did my Guide to New York City, a few readers have asked for more New York recommendations, and I'd love to share some ideas. So! I'm thinking of starting a new series of NYC dates, featuring activities to do with friends or crushes around town. What do you think? Does that sound fun/interesting/relevant to you? I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommendations, too. (We're always looking for offbeat date nights.) First up...
Have you ever been to the Guggenheim? Alex and I went...
Read more »

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Los-Angeles-based Future:Standard, an online boutique that curates ethical clothing and accessories. The shop is beautifully curated (I love these astrology necklaces). Today they're offering one lucky winner this Aztec-print blouse, which is made with 100% eco-friendly silk and would be perfect for wintertime dinners out. Don't you love the print?

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: Major Gal is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Bonus for all readers: Get a 15% with code CUPOFJO. Good until December 31st.

Haiku traffic signs

New York City has launched a new set of traffic signs--written in haiku poems. They're designed to encourage people to be more sensitive and share the street. Genius.

P.S. Bike rush hour, and 10 ways not to look like a tourist.

(Via NPR)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from MCMC, an amazing fragrance shop based in Brooklyn. The designer, Anne, is offering one lucky reader a full-sized eau de parfum of her choice from The Stories Collection, fragrances based on people, places and experiences from her life. For example, Hunter is inspired by her friend building maple sugar cabins in Vermont, and Maine conveys the scent of sage, roses, the sea, air, sun and pine. Also, wouldn't you love to smell the fragrance of Love?

For a chance to win, please visit MCMC and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: Abigail from Philly is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.
Bonus for all readers: Get a 20% discount and free shipping with code CUPOFJO. Good until Monday, December 19th.

Gift Guide Part #7: Your Handsome Husband Who Looks Dashing in a Beard and Suit and Puts His Hand on the Small of Your Back at Parties.

A photographic print of one of his icons. $75 to $259.
Back-to-the-Future trilogy, since he's never seen it and it's awesome, $33.99...
...and a vest inspired by Marty McFly, here for $70; here for $175.
Monster socks, because he can't keep wearing those white ones with holes. $12 for three.
Tabletop foosball table, for rip-roaring games every night before dinner. $79.
Guts and Glory photography book, a slam-dunk gift for football lovers. $25.
Chambray tie, made in Brooklyn, $83.
Round ice-ball maker for impressive cocktails, $9.99.
SPF face cream that will make him "smell like a man." Kind of random, but AMAZINGLY sexy. Alex wears it everyday, and I l-o-v-e it. $7.19.
Sharon Montrose's fantastic new animal photography book for your coffee table, $16.99.
Copenhagen bell. A little piece of modern art for your bike (that rings beautifully). $65.
Twelve-hour hand warmer, $13, to keep his hands warm on long winter bike rides, ice-skating and romantic walks around the neighborhood.
Illuminated dog leash, $25. (Plus a dog.)
A book you know he'd find fascinating. $18.
A bright shiny Corvette rental car for a day (plus rental insurance).
A kiss and a promise to love him forever, since that's all he really wants anyway.

P.S. More gifts for husbands, and the complete 2011 gift guide.

(Zippo photo from Cool Material. Orange vest via GQ)

Folding money

If you're giving money as gifts, here are some funny folding techniques. I love the too-cool-for-school Abe Lincoln.

(Via Nick Cannon)