Kristin van Ogtrop
Kristin van Ogtrop was named Managing Editor of Real Simple magazine in 2003. Since that time, Real Simple has grown to include books, special issues, products, international editions, television shows, mobile apps and, of course, Kristin began her career in magazines at Vogue, and has also worked at Glamour, Premiere, and Travel and Leisure. As the editor of Real Simple, she does a lot of things that don't look like editing: going on professional panels, making speeches, going on t.v. very early in the morning. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in English from Columbia University. She also wrote a book, Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom, which was published in 2010 and is now available in paperback.

Kristin lives in the New York suburbs with her husband, who is also a magazine editor, their three sons, a shedding dog, a hamster and a handful of fish which, unfortunately, never last long.

Recent Posts By Kristin van Ogtrop

The Most Addictive Computer Game Ever, and It’s Not Even Fun

Last Thursday my husband and I accompanied Eldest on what was meant to be an innocent trip to his guidance counselor to discuss which classes he should take next year. Eldest is now a sophomore in high school and since—to quote my wise friend Chrissie—”high school is no longer about just being in high school but is all about getting […]

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Vitamin D: Do I Need to Care? Really?

Oh, so much has been keeping me from blogging over the last couple of months: the holidays; trying to find two gloves that actually match; shoveling all the snow that NY has gotten; trying to be a good parent to a 12-year-old who won an Xbox 360 at a camp reunion and now just wants to play video games all […]

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What Do You Do to Cope on Sunday Night? A Quiz

Last night as I was madly vacuuming my kitchen floor, in a (no doubt) vain attempt to exert a bit of control over the beginning of my week, I realized that all across America, there were probably women who were looking at their calendars with something approaching dread and finding their own special ways to cope. What, I wondered, do […]

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The Older I Get, the Less I Am Interested In. . .

• junk food   • show-offs   • movies with depressing endings   • mediocre books   • whether people who don’t know me think I’m a good parent   • trying to turn my hair into something it’s not   • cats   • people who just want to talk about themselves   • nagging my kids to clean […]

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Which Will Kill You Faster, Artificial Sweetener or Chewing Gum or Both?

One of the tackiest things about me and some of the people I love most in the world is that we really like to chew gum. It is without question an awful, nonsensical, slightly bovine habit that I’m just not willing to break. I think chewing gum is in my top 25 of enjoyable things I do on a regular basis. Which is either sad or wonderful, depending on how you look at it.


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Wanted: The Ability to Fall Asleep Wherever, Whenever, However

I am writing this post while sitting on a plane. I am going to California and have been up since 4:18 a.m. I got five hours of sleep last night (not nearly enough for me, not by a long shot) after staying up to pack and then being awakened by a 3-year-old who needed his mother to turn on his […]

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Canine Heroics and Other Everyday Miracles

Not that I don’t love my kids, but perhaps the most starry-eyed, worshipful section of my book is devoted to our dog Uki. Uki is a 7-year-old yellow lab, a reject from Guiding Eyes for the Blind who is the most perfect pet I have ever had and possibly ever will have. And he is constantly raising the bar of perfect petdom, making it now nearly impossible for any other canine to ever fill his shoes (or paws, as it were).



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Out of Control PDA From Bizarro Adults? Or Two People Who Are Just Really in…Love?

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been on vacation and am now in my vacation mourning period, which may last for some time. Don’t you think returning from vacation should involve some sort of decompression phase, like a slow ascent from deep waters to avoid the bends? You know, a few extra days “vacation” at home, time to adjust to the dog hair and the bored kids and the fact that you get so much junk mail?

Anyway, a dear colleague is leaving our company and last night I took him out to dinner to thank, congratulate, and celebrate with him. At the table next to us was a good-looking couple who appeared to be in their 40s, or thereabouts. I couldn’t hear anything they were saying and couldn’t really see her because she was sitting on my side of the table and had a whole lot of fluffy hair that sort of blocked her face.

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Buying a Car: The Upshot

First of all, many thanks to those of you who offered advice to get me through the hideous car buying journey of last week. The bad news is that Immature Kristin (IK) is still mad at the first dealer, despite the efforts of Mature Kristin (MK) to get her to forgive, let it go, release the anger, drop that rock, […]

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Do Car Dealers Just Not Want to Sell You a Car?

This week has been such a disorganized mess on the home transportation front, I hardly know where to begin. We have two cars. One has 104,000 miles on it, and the other has 105,000 miles. No, we did not plan it that way. But the expense of fixing the cars has really begun to look like some sort of signal; […]

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