Links & Love & Stuff

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You should always brake for rainbows.

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:) Alright, it’s officially getting cold out. I cannot tell you how much better a pair of these will make your life (speaking from experience).

:) Oh. My. God. (Fast Food Employees Confess What Menu Items You Should Never Order.)

:) This is totally my favorite sunglasses style at the moment. Do not own, but would very much like to.

:) Some of my favorite tricks for getting party-ready in just minutes, on GoodHousekeeping.com.

:) I have no idea where one might wear something like this, but think that if you can pull it off (I cannot), it would be pretty spectacular.

:) I may need to be Mike Wazowski next year. (10 Unconventional Disney Halloween Costumes That Adults Can Pull Off…although I’m quite certain that Monsters Inc is Pixar, but no matter.)

:) Ticking off another Bucket List item with tickets to The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Yeee! (Get your own tickets here.)

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:) Who knew camera straps could be cool? Check out Cinta’s gorgeous styles – made by a talented photographer friend of mine, Ari Moshayedi - here (I’m torn between which is my favorite: the gold pictured above or the technicolor Artista).

:) Starbucks has a new holiday drink. I am not excited about this because I don’t get excited about holiday drinks, but apparently everyone else on the planet is.

:) If you’re looking for a faux fur vest to add to your fall wardrobe, you can’t beat the price of this one.

:) Bucket bags for everyone, whee!

:) Oh, dear. I like a lot of these tattoos (mostly the heart, because it’s adorable and I can’t help it). Apparently that means that MTV thinks I’m “basic.” (Ah, well.)

:) Related: 20 ThingsTattoo Artists Wish You Knew, with some excellent advice in there like not being a cheapie about things that are being permanently affixed to your body.

:) I cannot take these off my feet lately. They’re AMAZING. Seriously, you need them.

:) According to US Weeklymy son’s Halloween costume is the number one costume for boys this year. So much for originality. (I still think I get points for the fact that I am painting myself green, and that I ordered my daughter a raccoon hat from Etsy.)

:) Speaking of Etsy hats: here is a candy corn hat for newborns (or adults). Enjoy.

:) Mother Nature really knows what she’s doing. This video about what happened to Yellowstone Park after wolves were reintroduced after a 70-year absence is mind-blowing.

:) Looking for a sparkly jacket to wear over absolutely everything all holiday season long…but don’t want to spend a lot? Done.

Really Good Fall Bags Under $200

Bags are always fun to look at, no? And the arrival of autumn is an excellent time to upgrade your years-old tote.

Above, some really good fall bags: all very work-to-weekend-y, and all under two hundred bucks (some way, way under). Enjoy!

(My personal favorites: the black-and-white Pour La Victorie and the structured Madewell.)

P.S. In the not-under-$200 (but potentially worth the investment, because it’s 40% off and also because it’s SPECTACULAR), allow me to present this Alexander Wang. Yarrr.

Traveling With Kids

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The Colonnade Hotel, Boston, 7AM

Well, there you go: our first vacation as a family of four is under our belts. (Photos from the Boston leg are coming up on The Cut in a few days.)

Not gonna lie: I thought that taking a six-hour (each way) road trip and sharing a room with a newborn and a toddler (in Boston; we had separate rooms in Maine) would be sort of seventh-circle-of-hell-ish…but it turned out to be not just okay, but great.

Great!

Weird.

The major reason I think it was so much fun was that we were super-prepared…and then flexible when we had to be. So: here’s what worked for us…and what didn’t.

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- Provide morning sustenance. Getting out of a hotel room with two children is difficult; getting out of a hotel room with two hungry children is a nightmare. Keep some simple breakfast food (single-serving yogurts, orange juice, et cetera) in the mini fridge to buy yourself some time to get ready for the day.

- Know where you’re headed. You know how you used to go on meandering walks through new towns in search of a cute little cafe to stop at? When you have kids, you’re doing all that meandering with a thirty-pound person on your shoulders. Playing it by ear is fun, but it’s best to always know a spot or two in the area you’re visiting that you can hit up in a hurry if a food (or bathroom) break is needed ASAP.

- Keep the itinerary loose. The reality is that children have a limited lifespan when it comes to outings, so it’s best to have a general idea of what your plans for the day are…but even more important to bend your schedule when you need to. Sure, you may not want to skip seeing a particular site or eating at a special restaurant, but if your kids are exhausted or otherwise seriously not in the mood, it’s probably not going to be fun for anyone. Focus on the experience that you’re having together, not the experience you “expected” to have.

- Relax the rules. Our son isn’t allowed to watch TV during the day. Guess what? On vacation, that iPad buys mom and dad an extra hour of sleep, so AM cartoons it is. It’s vacation; it’s a good time to chill out and let everyone be a little bad.

- Make time for naptime. When you’re having fun discovering a new town you may not want to put the whole deal on hold so you can run back and sit in a hotel room for two hours…but in my experience, taking that break to let your children have their regular nap at (more or less) their regular time makes everyone worlds happier. Look for ways to make it fun for you and your partner, too: one of you can take your own nap in the hotel room while the other goes to the gym, or shopping, or to the lobby bar (just saying), and then switch off the next day so you each get some alone time.

- Roll with the punches. There will be things that do not go as planned – dinners that are cried through, outings that have to be cancelled because someone throws up, whatever. So this is the most important thing to remember: what matters is not that everything goes “perfectly,” but that you’re together. Because those little disasters, those afternoons when it rains and you end up stuck in the hotel room together watching bad TV or those mornings when you stop to eat at a terrible diner because the restaurant you really want to go to is closed…they don’t ruin your vacation. They’re just one little piece of something much larger, and they only ruin a trip if you’re focused on how things “should be” rather than enjoying what is. The point isn’t to orchestrate a trip that looks great on paper, but rather to launch an experience that’s uniquely your family’s…and then to let what happens happen.

Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark

pumpkin bark

I love candy corn as much as the next girl, but sometimes you want something a little less sugar-saturated on Halloween. Maybe even – dare I say it? – a tiny bit healthy (and no, I’m not advising you to hand out boxes of raisins to trick o’ treaters instead of Snickers bars – I’m not that much of a Scrooge).

Presenting: a festive – and at least semi-good-for-you – twist on a seasonal favorite. The dark chocolate contains antioxidants that help to protect your skin from UV damage and fight free radicals, and the pumpkin seeds contain zinc and selenium to help boost your skin’s collagen production and protect against environmental pollution. To get even more skin protection (yes, even in the cool weather), don’t forget to moisturize with an SPF-containing product like Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15.

A dessert that’s addictively delicious and phenomenal for your face? Win.

chocolate pumpkin bark

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What You Need:

2 cups good-quality dark (or semi-sweet, if you prefer) chocolate chips

1 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds

1 handful dried cherries

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ teaspoon good-quality coarse sea salt

What You Do:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments (stirring in between) until smooth, then stir in the dried cherries, the cinnamon and most of the pumpkin seeds (set about 2 tsp aside for later).
  2. Pour the mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it around with the back of the spoon so it forms a sheet approximately ¼” thick, then sprinkle the remaining pumpkin seeds and the sea salt on top.
  3. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set, break into pieces, and serve.

chocolate sea salt bark

P.S. This also makes a fantastic hostess gift during the holiday season; just put a few pieces into a clear bag and tie with some twine or holiday-themed ribbon.

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