Lifestyle

Three Apps Both My Kids And I LOVE

I am not an app person (except for Doodlejump; goodness, I love it). So when my son started getting into them, I was both perplexed ("how does that...work?") and nervous (what if he spends too much money? what if he fills up my entire phone? what if I look away for a second, and all of a sudden he's being shown NRA ads during commercial breaks?). But it turns out that the apps my son gravitates towards are amazing - so amazing that we literally spend hours (!) every single weekend (and, ok, some mornings, before my daughter wakes up) laying in bed playing them.

Consider this a PSA. Your kids will love these, and so will you.

Super Brain. This app asks you to solve riddles that require abstract thinking and somehow are equally suited to an eight-year-old and...me. I can actually feel myself growing smarter with this thing (and the fact that my son is way better than me at it is both depressing and wonderful).

Lifestyle

I Have Unlocked The Riddle Of Cutting My Son’s Hair

Selfie

I have always, despite any supporting evidence whatsoever, been wholly convinced that - if put to the task - I'd be fully capable of giving someone a decent haircut. I mean, I've gotten my hair cut! A lot! Doesn't that qualify me to take on the role of a actual trained human whose actual profession is haircutting?!

Yeah, so the first real haircut (apart from the baby years) I gave my son didn't go so well. I thought it was okay, or at least okay-ish, but then he arrived at my house a few days later with markedly different hair. Kendrick, it appeared, had been a little bit horrified by the state of his son's head and had taken matters into his own (or, rather, a professional's) hands.

Lifestyle

5 Phenomenal Buys Under $20

Maybe shopping will make the feelings go away! 

Here's a sad fact for you: The actual most exciting moment in my day is when I hear the UPS or Amazon Prime delivery dude coming down the street. (Related: Yesterday my daughter whirled around, glared at me, and said "MOM. WHEN WILL THE CORONAVIRUS BE OVER?" ...Same, my love. Same.)

Anyway, here are some extremely affordable and truly wonderful purchases that I've discovered over the past few weeks (hooray for shopping-related dopamine hits! #whateverworks).

Eat

How To Make Takeout-Style Pad See Ew With Chicken & Asparagus

K and I have been each taking one kid a night each week for "special time." Which means the photo above is of my son and I spending a full night together, cooking and watching Thor Ragnarok and reading. It's lovely.

I am craving Thai food in a big, big way these days. Pad See Ew, specifically - it's one of my favorite dishes on the planet. But there's only one Thai restaurant nearby(ish) to me, and nearby(ish) means a 15 minute drive each way, and I do not have that kind of time (or, frankly, the funds for the volume of Pad See Ew that I would really like to eat; my kids consume SO MUCH FOOD that every time I get takeout the bill hovers around $60, nope nope nope).

But! I have discovered that this particular dish is quite replicate-able at home, thanks to my lovely friend Skyler Bouchard of Dining With Skyler, whose recipes are some of my all-time Internet favorites (besides the fact that she's adorable and just so much fun to follow on IG).

Shop My Favorites

Before & After Renovations

In Which We Reach The Limit Of My Abilities

I've gotten pretty handy over the years, mostly thanks to the presence in my life of a few Superwomen who have taught me how to do things like lay tile, resurface brick, and even demolish concrete (not the best idea for the old neck muscles, but surprisingly fun). And lord, do I wish those women lived near me still, because the house that I'm currently renting has alllllllll the project opportunities (yes, I fix up houses that I rent - you can read my rationale here).

In the course of my efforts to fix up certain elements of this house that I wasn't into, I've had some wins - painting my daughter's room, securing some maybe-going-to-fall-down ceiling panels, retiling my entryway step, suffocating weeds and replacing them with lavender and blueberry bushes, that sort of thing. But I've also had oh my god, some misses - like, for example, the linoleum kitchen floor that I covered (poorly) in stick-on tile that is MUCH better-suited to small spaces and apparently turns grey with any wear whatsoever.

Another fail: I used that same tile to cover a gross wall in the bathroom. I discovered that its stick-on powers did not extend to use on bathroom walls (or at least not somewhat uneven ones) around 2AM later that night, when I was awoken by the huge "bang" made by twenty tiles all falling off the wall and into my bathtub simultaneously. But was I to be deterred?!

-->
Lifestyle

Brace Yourselves

Claire Zulkey, creator of the only newsletter I never, ever fail to open, Evil Witches, talks to teachers and administrators to get some answers to the questions on every parent's mind (spoiler: There aren't any good ones).

This weekend I had a socially distant backyard BYOB hangout with a middle school teacher friend of mine, and I asked her what she wishes parents knew about return-to-school. She said:

Lifestyle

Some Words For My Pregnant Self

My heart.

When we found out we were expecting our first child nearly nine years ago (!) I was unprepared to the point of near-lunacy. I ended my club-girl partying days approximately one second before we decided to try for a baby, lived in a one-bedroom fourth-story walkup with holes in the floor and an oven that wanted to kill us, and had exactly zero friends with children (in addition to having no siblings or immediate, close-by family members with kids).

The second time around, I was better prepared. I knew to advocate for myself. I knew that PPD was a real thing, and that I was likely to have it. I knew what I needed (diapers) and what I did not (10,000 newborn-sized onesies).

DIARY

Teenage Boys Are The Worst: A Refresher Course

This whole post is basically an ad for my next book

Ohhhhkay, so today? Was one big reminder why I am so super glad I am not a teenage girl anymore. Because teenage boys are the fucking worst. And they're so adorably charming-when-they-want-to-be that you forget! But then you remember. Because they do something that's the fucking worst, and they could have really just HAD A LITTLE FORESIGHT or DISPLAYED A MODICUM OF RESPONSIBILITY, but NOPE.

I have this couch. Or rather my landlord has this couch, and when I moved in he asked if he could leave it in the family room because it was apparently a twelve thousand dollar couch when it was new (!!) and one day he might want to recover it. And I said sure, fine, because a) it wasn't terrible, and b) I'm not in the business of buying anything that I don't absolutely need to buy these days. I had it steam-cleaned when I moved in, and I tried to be okay with it, I swear...but what it came down to was that perhaps it was worth 12 thousand dollars in, oh, I dunno, 1981, but it is now the same age as me and neither of us are quite as sprightly as we were back in the day.

Decor

The Most Calming Living Room I Ever Did See

Our Home Editor, Audrey, takes us on a tour of her gorgeous living room, decorated in calming neutral tones and textures.

Welcome to our living room! While it’s the least-utilized space in our house, it's certainly my favorite from a design perspective. The living room was a huge selling point when we first saw the house back in February of 2019 – I knew there was potential the second I saw the large windows and vaulted ceiling. I also quickly realized that the layout of the room would be tricky.

The living room is long and narrow, with a fireplace in the middle of one wall, a large, arched window in the middle of another, and the entrance to the dining room dominating a third. There was only one wall that could possibly be used for a television, and it took us months to figure out a seating configuration that made sense based on the location of the TV. To make things easier, we chose a television that doubles as art when you aren’t using it. 

During renovations, we did several things to the living room that made it feel more updated and workable: we painted everything white (including the vaulted ceiling beams!), removed all of the track lighting, added 4 wall sconces, laid new hard wood floors, and updated the tile in front of the fireplace. This gave us a fresh start as we started to bring in furniture and décor.

Before & After Renovations

This Preteen’s Bedroom Got A MAJOR Makeover

Before

When I was 9 or so, I decided that I wanted my bedroom to be painted in shades of purple and teal (it was 1990; I have no other excuse for this) - and my parents, to their immense credit, let me actually do it. Which is great! Everyone should have a regrettably painted preteen room; it's a rite of passage.

But another rite of passage is when you age out of that room, and suddenly find yourself wanting something a bit more...peaceful. The teenage years can be rough ones, and I think having your own space to retreat to is an absolute essential. So when my friend Margo's daughter Claire told me that she didn't like her room anymore and wanted something that felt more "her"....

powered by chloédigital