Summer Uniform: Greek goddess

My sweets, do you have a favorite summer outfit? I'm excited to announce a new series on Cup of Jo, where I'll feature photos of stylish friends and show how to put together the look (mostly because I want to copy them myself!).

First up: My friend Kendra Smoot always looks gorgeous, but I especially love this ensemble (above) she wore on vacation in Greece. Relaxed, easy and beautiful, don't you think?

Here's how to get the look:
Polka-dot scarf: The Hill-Side, $50.
Round sunglasses: Halogen, $68.
Gray tee: LNA, $48.
Boyfriend shorts: Victoria's Secret, $44.50.
Gladiator sandals: Juicy Couture, $151, or Steve Madden, $42.
Pink nail polish: Essie, $8.

Do you have a summer uniform? xo

(Photo by Akira Ruiz)

Summer love.

The weather in New York is hot and sunny, and it finally feels like summer. Where do you live, and what's the weather like? Have you pulled out your shorts and sunscreen yet? xo

(Photo credits unknown, via Erin Dermody)

Have a sexy weekend.

My lovelies, what are you doing this weekend? Alex and I went out for Japanese food tonight, and tomorrow we're throwing a birthday picnic for Toby! I also *finally* finished the Tina Fey book (yeah! only took me two months) and laughed out loud probably fifty times (when's the last time a book has made you do that?:) Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and meanwhile here are a few fun links from around the web...

Cute outfit.

A DIY chandelier?! Jenny, I bow down.

The raddest bubbles!!!

Raising a genderless baby? Fascinating...

Dating in Brooklyn. :)

Breastfeeding in public.

Mason jar meals.

Loving this blue shirt.

Great Lakes design. (Yeah, Michigan!)

Matchmaking with New York Magazine.

Chalkboard state maps.

How to make your own striped shirt.

Remember these funny thank-you notes? Well, now there's a book!

I just read a glowing review of the new movie Midnight in Paris. Have you seen it?

Plus, three Cup of Jo posts you might have missed:
* Summer love.
* Crumpled maps.
* Floating houses.

Have a great one. xo

Greeting cards

These graphic greeting cards look just like old-school quilts.

(Via Design is Mine)

Summer nail polish

Refinery29 just wrote about the six coolest nail polish trends, and I'd love to try baby blue and very, very pale pink (I actually wore this exact pink at our wedding). Wouldn't they look pretty peeking out of sandals?

Do you have a nail-polish color you swear by?

Annoying words

When Kurt Andersen took over as editor of New York Magazine, he wrote a list of all the words he found annoying and told his staff not to use them during his tenure. They made me laugh out loud.

Do you agree with this list? What other words do you find annoying? (I hate triangulate and moist:)

(Via Swissmiss, via The New York Times)

Kim Kardashian's Engagement Ring Details!


Kim Kardashian's engagement ring is the perfect fit for the uber-reality starlet's personal style. It's bold. It's beautiful. And (good gracious) is it BIG!

New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries popped the question after dating Kim for only 6 months with a whopping 20.5-carat Lorraine Schwartz stunner, People reports!  (Schwartz is a longtime friend of the Kardashian clan and is known for her 'bigger means better' bling on all the important red carpet events.)


“It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” Kardashian told People. “It’s perfect.”

And TMZ is reporting the stone is valued at over $2 million smackers! (someone get me a chair....)

The 16.5-carat emerald-cut center stone is flanked by a pair of 2-carat trapezoids, for a total weight of 20.5 carats! Humphries even managed to work with Schwartz on the design behind Kim's back.


“[Lorraine] always listened to what I would want and the shapes I love. I had said I loved an emerald cut and they were scheming and plotting for a while,” she explained.

No wedding date is set yet, and while Humphries isn't keen on a big celebration he joked with Kim's momager, Kris Jenner, that he'd be "fine if there were mini-horses there."


Careful what you wish for,  sport...

Click here to see the other recently engaged star who's flashing an emerald-cut sparkler on her ring finger! And remember sister Khloe Kardashian's basketball-bought bling? She too dated her basketball beau, Lamar Odom, for a mere six months before gettin' hitched. Way to take your time, ladies.

Remember her carat count? Re-live all the Kardashian diamond details with me here!


Wednesday giveaway!

Glasses are an amazing way to change up your look, but having more than one pair can be crazy expensive. Luckily, today's giveaway is from Spex Club, an amazing and affordable online eyewear boutique. All their glasses are $88 or less--including your prescription. (Seriously!) Wouldn't it be fun to have a cute new pair for the summer?

They're offering THREE lucky readers a pair of glasses of their choice -- sunglasses, readers, or prescription frames. (My favorites are these. I love the nerdy glasses look.)

For a chance to win, please visit Spex Club and leave a comment below. (If you want, virtually try on glasses with Spex Vision.) A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! Update: MacKenna K., Natalie F., and Jessi D. are our lucky winners. Thanks for playing. xo
(Top photo by Style Sightings)

Happy Birthday, Toby!

Happy 1st Birthday, Toby! Today we can do all your favorite things, including walking up stairs, going to the playground, eating hummus and not taking a bath under any circumstances. We absolutely adore you.

P.S. I can't believe this was a year ago today.

Do you heart New York....or not so much?

Some people (read: New Yorkers) often get into a frenzy about how amazing New York is, but this new book takes the middleground. "New York is a pretty okay city!" they say, "Have you ever loved something, but also totally not loved it at the same time? Obviously, we realize that there are some cool elements to the place, like some statues and stuff, but we also recognize that New York just seems like kind of a hassle."
Hilarious.

P.S. Remember this?

Emerald Tiara Smashes Auction Record


LOWER JAW DROP ALERT! Everything's coming up emeralds these days - from the couture at the Cannes Film Festival to fashion frenzy at The Met Gala.

So it comes as no surprise that one heckofa crown jewel - an emerald and diamond tiara - sold at Sotheby's Geneva auction last week for a price-busting $12.76 million - the highest price ever achieved for an emerald jewel.

Model, Bianca Balti, wears emerald jewelry at the Cannes Film Festival
"It is needless to say a world record price at auction for a tiara," said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's Europe and Middle East jewelry department.

The bauble originally belonged to German prince Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck, who commissioned it for his second wife Katharina around 1900.  (With a name like that, you better have a budget for bling. Yikes.)

An anonymous bidder from North America is the lucky owner of the royal green gem. Oprah's got some down time coming her way. Maybe she wanted a crown to go with her Queen of Daytime moniker?


Rihanna wears emerald earrings to The Met's Costume Institute Gala

But who needs Oprah (sorry, Gayle) when you've got me to bring you buckets of bling on a budget, right? To that end, I give you one of my favorite emerald styles on the NEW Jewelry.com. I like it because it could be a great fashion piece - OR - an alternative bridal look.

And at just over $200 for real emeralds and 1/4ct of diamond ice? Well, let's just say you don't have to marry a prince to bring one home for your own collection.

Not your style? Check out Jewelry.com's entire emerald jewelry treasure chest here. Go green or go home, jewelry hounds!

Do you have a phobia?

I'm going on 20/20 today to talk about my elevator phobia. Funnily enough, I'm way more nervous about taking the elevator up to the studio than being on TV. Wish me luck!!! :)

P.S. If you don't hear from me later today, it means I'm stuck on the elevator and you must come save me. Update: I made it, whew! The taping was really fun, although I definitely sounded like a bit of a nut. :) The show is slated to air on Friday, June 3rd an upcoming Friday, to be determined; I'll keep you posted!

(Illustration by Garance Dore)

Bicycle wedding

Pam and Joe are teachers in Brooklyn and didn't have a huge budget, but they put together the most gorgeous, heartfelt wedding. First they tied the knot at a neighborhood park, then rode bikes to a Brooklyn bar, where they'd had their first date. (Pam's biking secret? She wore denim cutoffs under her dress! Can you spot them, above?:)
Everyone drank beers and smashed a pinata...
...and they had whoopie pies instead of wedding cake.
Doesn't it look great? Sometimes the simplest weddings look the most relaxed and fun, don't you think? Congratulations, Pam and Joe! (See many more photos here.)

(Photos by Inbal Sivan, via Perfect Bound)

Motherhood Mondays: Ten tips for traveling with a baby

For today's Motherhood Monday post, I'd love to talk about traveling with a baby (and hear your tips). We just got back from a week in San Francisco, and we also took Toby to California last Christmas. During those long trips, we learned a few things (on the fly!) that helped us travel more smoothly and with fewer freak-outs. :) Here are 10 things that we discovered make traveling with a baby much easier...

On the plane:

1. If you're traveling domestically within the U.S., babies fly free until they're two. They just sit in your lap. (Note: Be sure to give the airline a head's up when you book your flight.) If you're flying internationally, you have to pay some extra taxes for the baby, but it's much less expensive than buying a full ticket, of course. (Note: You can also purchase a full ticket for your baby and have them sit in a car seat next to you, which would be an awesome option, if you have a bigger budget.)

2. Fly during naps or at bedtime. Flying with a sleeping baby is exactly 1 million times easier than flying with a baby who wants to bounce, walk, crawl, sing, screech, and play for the entire flight. We try to book flights leaving around 7:30 p.m. (Toby's bedtime), or, if it's a short flight, around lunchtime, and then cross our fingers that he'll curl up on our shoulders and nap.

3. Feed during take-off and landing. Babies don't know how to pop their ears, so it's helpful to offer a bottle (or boob:) when the plane takes off + just as the plane begins to descend (which is when you'll notice your own ears popping), to help ease the ear pressure.

4. Sit apart on the plane. This is a random tip (and sounds counterintuitive), but we swear by it: If you’re traveling with your husband/wife/partner, don't sit together; instead, get two aisle seats far apart on the plane. Here's our story: When we arrived at the airport for our San Francisco flight, Alex and I realized that we weren't sitting together on the flight. It was too late to change our seats, and I was bummed at first, since I figured it would make the flight more difficult. But we were actually surprised to find that it made things MUCH easier for all three of us. Alex and I agreed to switch off with Toby every hour. It was GREAT for us (we each got frequent breaks to sleep/read/eat/watch TV/etc. and weren't on co-baby-duty for the entire flight) and GREAT for the baby (it was fun and refreshing to see mom/dad each time we switched and kept things interesting throughout the long flight).

During your stay:

5. Consider renting an apartment/house. Hotels have their perks (indoor pools! room service! ice machines!) but the rooms are often quite small, and with a baby, you need space. Our friends went to L.A. a few years ago and stayed in a beautiful hotel, but they laughed afterwards about how, once the baby went to bed, they were stuck eating sandwiches in the bathroom. :) Renting a apartment or house lets you watch movies, cook dinner and even invite friends over after the baby is asleep. And house rentals are usually really budget-friendly! Check out homeaway, airbnb or vrbo for great options.

6. Skype babysitters. When we were planning our trips to California, we asked friends and relatives for babysitter recommendations. Then, before we left, I interviewed the potential babysitters on Skype from our New York apartment; I would even hold Toby up to the computer to say hello! It was a nice way to "meet" them and feel comfortable about them before leaving on our trip. And it was GREAT to have babysitters for a few evenings during our vacations. We loved spending the days with Toby, of course, but at night, Alex and I were excited to go out to romantic dinners without a baby in tow (and it really helped make the vacation feel like a true break). Toby was fast asleep anyway, so we felt fine leaving him, and the babysitter would just hang out and guard the fort. :)

What to pack:

7. Car seat + stroller frame. We've had a great experience with a Graco car seat and a Graco stroller frame. (The stroller frame lets you turn the car seat into a stroller.) In the airport, you can load the stroller up with both your baby and your bags, and then you can check the car seat and base for free* right at the gate. During your trip, you can use the car seat in taxis and rental cars; and then you can turn it into a stroller for walking around parks and museums. (P.S. For older babies and young kids, the GoGo Babyz Travelmate looks awesome.) * You typically can check 1-2 baby items for free on flights, in addition to your regular bags.

8. Baby Bjorn travel crib. I've mentioned this before, but the Baby Bjorn travel crib is amazing. It's comfy, light and incredibly easy to pack/unpack, and Toby sleeps comfortably and soundly. We initially hesitated to splurge on it, but now we're so glad we did; it's so helpful and easy when traveling. (A side note: We also use it in New York when going to friends' houses for dinner or movies, so we can take Toby with us and put him to bed while we're there.) I'd highly recommend it.

9. White noise for your computer (or phone). Toby is used to sleeping with white noise, but we didn't want to schlep our heavy noise machine along on our trip. So Alex was psyched to find this awesome white noise CD. We just downloaded it on our laptop and played it in the bedroom. Bonus: You won't have to tiptoe around at night, since the white noise will block out any noise you make, as well as any startling street noise or house creakings that your baby isn't used to. (P.S. This made me laugh:)

10. Order Diapers.com to your destination. We typically order a box of diapers, wipes, whatever we might need during our trip from Diapers.com. Bonus: Delivery is free, and the box always magically arrives the next morning. (I don't know how they do it:) That way, you don’t have to carry everything on the flight with you (and can avoid trekking to a grocery store as soon as you land).

I hope this is helpful (and doesn't seem overwhelming when it's written out)! Traveling with a baby definitely has its crazy moments, but it can be wonderful, magical and revitalizing, and I usually find that the handful of things I'm most worried about (chaotic flights; crying in the car seat)...don't actually happen. Overall, I've found traveling with a baby to be easier than I had expected, which was a nice surprise! :)

Do you have any favorite family-friendly destinations? Do you have any advice about flying or traveling with little ones? Baby items you swear by? Any major travel triumphs or disasters? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts...

Happy travels!
(Top photo from Playsam; the bottom photo is of Toby in the morning:)

My favorite baby carrier

My sweets, hope you had a wonderful weekend! We're back in New York now, but already missing San Francisco (and shrimp tacos). Photos coming up!

Meanwhile, I'd love to do two Motherhood Monday posts today. First up, have you ever worn a baby carrier? The comfiest one I've found (by far) is the Ergo, $135, which is really easy to put on. It's great to walk around the city (and into stores) while wearing Toby; I wear him on the front, so we can chit-chat, and he's always more mellow than when he's in the stroller.

So I was psyched to see that the Ergo just got a makeover. I have the sea green color (which I like), but they're now offering it in beautiful fabrics, like this lovely one above. Wouldn't it add such a pretty touch to an outfit? I'm trying to rationalize buying one for the summer. :)

P.S. 10 things to wear as a nursing mother.

(Via Stroller Traffic)

Have a fun weekend!

Hope you had a wonderful week, my lovelies! We're heading home from chilly San Francisco tomorrow, and I'm excited to catch up with you on Monday. Have a good one! xoxo

(Photo by James Jean)

Guest Post: Rachel's summer wishlist

Summer is calling. Here's my wishlist...

1. The Flavour Thesaurus (a cookbook).

2. Beverage dispenser.

3. Bright pink flats.

4: An Alexander album.

5: A zigzag bag.

-- By Rachel from Black Eiffel

Guest Post: Chelsea's summer dreams

Bicycle rides + strawberry picking. (Find a farm here.)
Fentimans ginger beer + lawn games.
Tent camping!

These are my dreams for this summer. What are yours?

-- By Chelsea from Frolic!

Thursday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is from Freshly Picked, a Utah-based shop with pillows, shoes, wallets and bags. The designer Susan is offering one lucky reader a pair of children's moccasins. The shoes are handmade and buttery soft. Any child would be comfy (and look rad) walking around in these, and they'd make a wonderful baby shower gift. I LOVE them.

For a chance to win, please visit Freshly Picked and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo

Update: Stephanie R. is our winner. Thanks for playing.

Guest Post: Tomboy traveler

Sometimes the best part of traveling comes when the plan falls apart. I have a handful of crazy travel stories—from being temporarily trapped on a Swiss ski lift for hours during a wind storm, to being stranded at the Cairo International Airport for days. These experiences have taught me to pack smart while staying true to my style, knowing "adventure" may be lurking. Here are some items you can pack with you on your next one!

1. Lavender Essential Oil. I don't wear perfume, but I am a major fan of essential oils. Lavender is ideal for traveling because it calms, treats minor cuts or bites, helps induce sleep, and can act as a room fragrance. Plus, the bottles are always TSA-friendly.

2. Striped Linen Bandana. Easily packed and exceptionally versatile, bandanas always seem to come in handy when on an adventure.

3. Straw Hat. Practical and fashionable. This hat goes with everything in my closet—from bikinis to cocktail dresses.

4. Swatch Originals "New Gent." This is a great travel watch, because not only is it affordable and inconspicuous, but it's rubber—you don't have to take it off in the security line or the ocean, and I love an men's-sized watch on a woman.

5. Madewell Perfect Chambray Shirt. I know these shirts have been covered every way to Sunday, but they are so great and can be dressed up with a skirt or worn simply as a beach cover-up.

6. Bass Slip-on Saddle Shoes. I wore these in grade school and now I wear them wherever I travel. They're easy on and off, comfortable and really smart looking with shorts, jeans and trousers.

7. The Gentlewoman Magazine. Required tomboy reading!

8. Trussardi iPad Case. Hardcore luxury.

9. Tampico Cotton Tote. This French brand is so simple, functional and chic. The top zipper and detachable shoulder strap are key for travel.

-- By Lizzie Garrett from Tomboy Style

Angelina Jolie's Diamond Disappointment



The most anticipated star to walk the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival this year, hands down, was Angelina Jolie. Always elegant, always gorgeous - and often with nary a jewel to the naked eye - this A-lister has it well within her power to make every jewelry gawker and diamond diva quiver in our boots with a jaw-dropping jewelry choice (Exhibit A: The Oscar emeralds).

However.

She ususally just doesn't go there. And Monday night was no exception. Her chocolate Atelier Versace gown was pure perfection - but instead of a creative couture jewelry choice from festival sponsor, Chopard, for example, she went with the tried and true stud (and I'm not talking about Brad).

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....