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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Serial parody: Sarah Koenig loses it

Oh my goodness, I just watched this on my walk to dinner and was literally crying with laughter on the streets of Brooklyn Heights. Serial fans, watch immediately! (Can't wait for tomorrow's episode.)

8 genius entertaining tips

Are you hosting any guests this holiday? As I mentioned in the gift guide, I've been loving the magazine Bon Appetit, and their entertaining advice is especially brilliant. After dog-earring a bunch of pages over the past few months, I thought I'd pull together my favorite tips and share them with you...

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies (with Pretzels!)

Are you making holiday cookies this year? (It's Toby's favorite thing to do.) Today, Monique from Ambitious Kitchen shares her killer recipe for chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies with salty pretzel and crunchy toffee. Here it is...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A great way to read books

We're excited for our annual trip to California for the holidays, and we've already started packing. The only catch? I always end up bringing a bunch of books on vacation, and they weigh down my bags and break my back.
So, I was THRILLED to hear about the book app, Oyster. For $9.95/month, you can read half a million titles, from New York Times bestsellers to Oprah's Book Club picks to children's books to cookbooks. You can read them on your smartphone, iPad, Kindle, Nook—wherever you can get apps. It's like Netflix for books.
These books would make great vacation reads:
The Glass Castle (one of my favorite memoirs)
Bobcat (gripping short stories)
Mansfield Park (a romantic classic)
Just Kids (I've been wanting to read this for ages)
This is Ridiculous This is Amazing (made me laugh out loud—a perfect plane read)
Once you choose a book, you can start reading it immediately. (And if you don't like it, you can just try a different book.) Such a brilliant idea, don't you think?

If you're intrigued, get a 30-day free trial by signing up here. Thank you so much, Oyster!

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Oyster. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo)

Gift Guide #7: Your Awesome Dad Who Still Calls You By Your Childhood Nickname and Always Fixes Your Bike When He Comes to Visit.

Rugged sweatshirt, $40, for his outdoor adventures. (This one is also nice.)
Bottle opener, $28, with a six-pack, for everything he's done over the years.
Eyes on the Prize documentary, $24, which was called one of the "essential documentary series of the 20th century," and although the events talked about happened 50 years ago, it still feels as relevant as ever today.
Chocolate Babka Pie, $49, because as Elaine Benes says, "You can't beat a babka."

Food: A Love Story, $16, with laugh-out-loud anecdotes by comedian (and father-of-five) Jim Gaffigan.
Whiskey wedge, a genius ice mold that keeps drinks cold without watering them down. $17.
Sriracha-to-Go Keychain, $7, because he won't eat anything unless it's on fire.
A crowd-pleasing game, $14, to play together during the holidays. (This game also got fantastic reviews; and I just ordered this nerdy one because I secretly think it looks fun.)
Crunch snow ball stress reliever, $32, to keep on his desk.
Shearling slippers, $88, because they're the Classic Dad Gift for a reason. (On sale here.)
Detroit tee, $28, plus a plane ticket home. Yes, Michigan! (These state tees are cool, too.)

P.S. More gifts for dads, and here's the COMPLETE 2014 gift guide.

(Sriracha via A Continuous Lean. Babka via NYMag. Documentary via Kottke)

Monday, December 15, 2014

What are your holiday traditions?

What are your holiday traditions? I just read about an awesome ritual that I'd love to adopt...

In Iceland, books are exchanged on Christmas Eve, and you spend the rest of the night reading. People generally take their books to bed along with some chocolate. How cozy and wonderful does that sound?

(More fun facts: Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country, and new books are typically published only during the Christmas season—the frenzy is called Jólabókaflóð, or the Christmas Book Flood.)
Wouldn't you love to do that? What other traditions do you have? I'd love to hear, we're trying to create a bunch! :)

P.S. Five holiday traditions, and decorating our first Christmas tree.

(Via Viewers Like You)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Have a wonderful weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We're going to our friends' house for pizza tonight, and Alex and I watched the Godfather this week—I forgot how good it was! Also my mom gave Toby this apron and now he's totally inspired, so I've been teaching him how to crack eggs, slice bananas and stir oatmeal:) Hope you have a great weekend, and here are a few fun links from around the web...

The random thing I'd love for Christmas.

The one word you should never say to guests in your home.

A trick for making perfectly domed muffins.

The rules for touching British royals.

Santa Claus is real. (No, really.)

This Dutch home sends prospective buyers on a roller coaster!

How do you make pasta even better? Like this.

Kate Middleton flipped out when she met Jenna Lyons.

Sexy dress for the holidays.

"I love men, but I'm thinking of having a baby without one."

A great appetizer for parties.

And here's the 2014 gift guide so far, if you need some ideas this weekend...

Have a good one. xoxo

(Photo via Kendra Smoot's Instagram)
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