After working at various magazines for years and years, I moved to San Francisco in a fit of pique at the end of my 30s -- and almost immediately found myself married, pregnant, and pregnant again. Must be something in the water. Now I spend my time complaining loudly about how much I miss New York, but secretly enjoying the shoeless, gorgeous, kid-friendly vibe more and more each day. I live with my husband Randy, our daughters Penelope (2) and Abby (almost 1), and on weekends, we also have The Big Kids, Max and Eli. Most days, I can't believe life can be this much fun.
It seems like we women still like to take control of home décor, and our husbands are often glad to let us take the reins. But we can’t let the power go to our heads, ladies. The bedroom is an oasis, sure – it’s a cliché because it’s true. But that goes for both of you. Take a look around your bedroom. Do a throw-pillow count. Conduct a hue check. Use a floral detector. Do you think of your bedroom as "mine," or "ours"? In the wake of Valentine’s Day, let’s make sure we’re not driving our husbands into man-caves by making our shared sanctuary into a lady-orchard. (Wait, what?) Take the master bedroom quiz and find out whether yours is a his, a hers, or an ours!
A prototype for a new type of zero-energy-consuming house is on display in Los Angeles, and of course it’s very impressive. But you know what I love about it? It’s poofy! Blah blah blah zero footprint, yadda yadda solar energy. Did I mention it’s poofy?They also modified an X-Box Kinect so that all you have to do is wave at lights to turn them on and off. It’s like the clapper, but silent. It’s an award-winning design from students at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and it’s actually an amazing design that I wish I could implement today. Here, let me show you around.
I was looking for sheets at Bed, Bath and Beyonce when I came across a line of home decor products called K by Keaton, designed by Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton. How did I not hear of this before? Everyone talks about Paltrow and Remodelista and Courteney Cox. When it comes to style, I thought I might be more partial to the real-girl glamour of Ms Keaton. So I took a look.
Keaton was a style icon in the '70s, her Annie Hall days: adorable, boyish, casual, chic. Unfortch, she spawned a generation of women who thought throwing a floppy hat on over a horrible outfit = style. And her own choices were often less than perfect -- see her infamous Oscar outfit. Blech. So is she great or horrible? She’s both! Just last year she appeared simultaneously in a Vogue article (photographed by Annie Leibovitz!) and ads for that apex of sparkly-granny non-style, Chico’s. Great! Horrible! So what’s the verdict? Great? Horrible? Annie Hall ... or Mama’s Boy?
My sister and I used to share a car, and I was always amazed at the panache with which she would do car maintenance and repairs, like top off the oil and windshield-wiper fluid."Oh my God, you’re like a mechanic," I’d say, watching from our stoop as she strode purposefully from trunk to engine with mysterious bottles. "It’s not hard," she’d inform me. Maybe not. But despite the fact that I can negotiate a car purchase with terrifying efficiency, cook amazing meals that'd make Emeril Lagasse say "BAM!", and share the stage with male improvisers without fear, I was convinced that if I'd attempt such tasks, I’d somehow end up with oil spurting across my windshield on the New Jersey Turnpike. But when I got a fix-it ticket last week and looked at our dwindling bank account, I knew I had to try a few simple car fixes, including fixing my broken tail light. And you know what? It wasn't hard. My sister’s right.I hate when that happens.
My daughter has developed a fear of dogs. I don’t know why: I adore dogs, and the day care where she spent a glorious, happy year had two wonderful pups she would hug and pat with joy. But even the smallest strange dog on the street makes her stiffen with terror and, more often than not, leap up into my arms with a grunt of alarm. This, however, doesn’t stop people from announcing that their often off-leash dogs are “totally friendly” and allowing them to leap upon my children without warning. Which is why I was gratified to read a great blog post from dog walker Jessica Dolce about "MDIFs," and why it’s a bad idea to sic them on other dogs -- and, I’d like to add, children.