Adventures in Chaos

A peek into the life of busy working mom Kristin van Ogtrop, managing editor of Real Simple and author of Just Let Me Lie Down. Follow her on Twitter @kvanogtrop.


All I Want for Christmas

• Eight hours of sleep for five days in a row. • A pill for my dog to make him stop shedding. • A pill for me to make me stop caring about shedding. • Children who do not argue when I ask them to brush the shedding dog. • Children who do not argue. Scratch that, too much to […]

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Can There Be Such a Thing as a Trend in Clapping?

This week I went to the fall sports awards for Eldest, who just completed his first year of JV soccer. Never mind all of the existential-crisis thoughts brought on by the night (beginning with the fact that I have a kid in high school, even though in my head I am only 22 years old), or the perplexing realization that […]

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Finish This Line: “In the End, It All Comes Down To…”

This morning I was getting ready for work and thinking about a little career situation that might help my family’s bottom line. “In the end,” I thought to myself, “it all comes down to money.” Which is a thought that I have more often than I’d like. But there are other ways to finish that sentence. Such as, “In the […]

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Why Is It Actually Harder to Sign Up for Things Online? (Or: Isn’t Technology Supposed to Make Life Easier?)

Once upon a time, corporate America was filled with a number of wonderful benefits that no one ever talked about. Among them: You received your paycheck in the mail, and figured out raises by sitting with someone from human resources and crunching numbers on a calculator. Now both of those activities require going online and typing in a password that, […]

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Little Things That Can Ruin Your Day

I was in a meeting in my office last week and the topic of discussion was thongs. Yes, that’s right, thongs: When your coworkers are mostly women, and you work for a magazine that covers fashion, thongs are actually quite a legitimate subject of conversation. And thank God for that! It certainly makes the day more fun. Anyway, one of […]

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If Your Dog Came to Work With You

Two weeks ago I was in California on business and visited a super-cool advertising agency. The agency was so super-cool, in fact, that just walking through the place made me feel extremely uncool, old-fashioned, and anachronistic. Seriously, I might as well have been wearing a hoop skirt. One of the things that made this agency so super-cool was that you […]

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Movies That Make You Hate Your Life

While we’re on the subject of movies, do you have any movies that are so wonderful—even if they are sad, or badly done, or set in a time when women routinely died in childbirth—that give you a hangover? By that, I mean cast your whole life in gray and make you wish you were someone else altogether, making it nearly […]

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This Just In: Just Because a Movie Features Mr. Darcy Doesn’t Mean It’s Any Good

My very good friend Sharene lives up the street, and we have many things in common. Our kids are the same age, we both love to cook, we both are close to our sisters and are married to men who play too much Ultimate Frisbee. We also both carry the Pride and Prejudice gene. You know about the P and […]

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Why Does My 2-Year-Old Love iCarly?

Seriously, this is one of the current head-scratchers in our household. Now, a brief Web search informs me that iCarly is not appropriate for my son. To that I say, it is no less inappropriate than many other things he is exposed to as the youngest of three brothers, including but not limited to: Aerosmith songs; The Simpsons; and kids […]

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Things You Could Do in Your Spare Time, if You’re Not Writing a Book

• Try a new recipe that you may not be experienced enough to pull off • Clean out the garage • Plant perennials • Finally order slipcovers for the wing chairs that have been bothering you for 5 years • Buy a new dog bed • Follow a weight-training regimen • Visit old friends • Or you could write a […]

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