ENTERTAINING

10 Ideas For An Oceanside Baby Shower

I spent 45% of my weekend on the phone with Apple Care, trying to figure out why my computer will not stop giving me the rainbow wheel of death (the answer is that it's officially time for a new one, which is obviously fabulous news), and 45% trying to restore our yard to something resembling its pre-bombogenesis condition (including the construction of a new fence and the removal of many, many sad-looking plants), but I did manage to escape for a minute to head over to my friend Brianna's baby shower, which was so lovely and full of adorable ideas that I thought I'd share some shots here (with her permission, of course), plus a few more oceanside-inspired party ideas.

My friend Erin - Brianna's sister-in-law - made these cupcake toppers out of fondant and swears they're totally do-able. I think "totally doable" is probably a relative term here, but still: they're so cute they're worth the effort.

HOMEDECOR

Suburban Problems, Volume IXVII

These women definitely have great park strips.

When you grow up living in a New York City apartment, you do not think about things like the care and cultivation of of the "park strip" outside your front door (the part that isn't the sidewalk and isn't the street), as it is a spot most likely decorated with things like Diet Coke cans, and a stack of empty Chinese food cartons, and somebody's broken TV. You probably haven't even noticed it's there. You almost certainly have no idea who's taking care of it. And you definitely don't know the term "park strip."

As of two months ago, I know what a park strip is, because it turns out that in the suburbs, you own yours, and when it must be dealt with, it is you who must do the dealing. My park strip, for example, no longer really exists, as it was torn up by the city while they fixed the sewer line running down our street, and then they never came back. And charged me $3,500 for the pleasure. (Mmmmhmm you read that right. Apparently when the sewage from your entire street overflows into your driveway and you call the city to have them come fix it, they won't work on it unless the sewer access point for your property is within five feet of the street. So unless you want to continue accessorizing your front yard with your neighbors' poop, you will have to pay to relocate it. Home ownership, WHEE.)

DIY

So Fishy: A(nother) Valentine’s Day Solution For Last-Minute Moms

Remember Monday's post about potato-stamp Valentine's Day cards? The ones you can make with your kids minus the miserable stroll through the craft-store aisles? The inspiration behind it was what you see here: my daughter was napping and all of a sudden my son announced that he was willing to make Valentines for his classmates, and I had exactly two seconds to conceive of a doable plan before losing him to the living room rug, where the epic battle between Mini Cons and random dragon figurines that my mother bought at the Met had finally been put on pause for a moment.

And so this is what I decided to do: help him make school (of fish! whee, puns!)-themed Valentines that ticked all of my personal boxes: inexpensive (check), easy (check), witty (eh, sort of), and (seemingly) original (checkity check check check).

(It is not lost on me that I have an addiction to parentheticals. Moving on.)

DIY

Potato-Stamp Valentines: A DIY For Procrastinators (Like Me)

What's more fun than painting potatoes? NOTHING.

My feeling about Valentine's Day, in a nutshell: I want to be all "Ooh! A teachable moment wherein my child can learn the value of giving and receiving love, albeit via paper cutouts!" But I also do not want to put any real effort into the Valentine's Day-celebrating process, because few things are less fun than dragging two children through Rite Aid in search of something - anything - that doesn't have a picture of a Minion and "You're One In A Minion!" written on it.

Regardless of your personal attitude towards Valentine's Day, here is a fact: When you have a kindergartener, you have to help him or her make and distribute Valentines, because that's in the contract you sign when you procreate. Fortunately for the begrudgingly-participatory Valentine's Day celebrators among us, I have a friend named Mollie who is about as interested in fussy DIYs as I am...and yet seems to be always creating beautiful things. When I want to look like a crafty genius (but don't want to, you know, try too hard), it is Mollie to whom I turn - and so it only made sense to ask her to start publishing her (actually completely for-real accessible) ideas to RG.

HOMEDECOR

The Throw Pillow Problem (And Ten Spectacular Finds To Instantly Refresh Your Home)

Spring has sprung! (In my bedroom, anyway.)

The other day, Kendrick walked out of our garage and into our kitchen, all wide-eyed and horrified. In his hands were two (extremely cute, just saying) pillows, still all bundled up in plastic wrap.

"...Why?" he asked, holding them out at me like (electric orange, stunningly hand-stitched) sacrificial lambs.