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.


The Anti-Stress Holiday Vow

A few years back I made, with my husband, perhaps my best new year’s resolution ever:  that I would no longer say “I’m so tired.”  Really, with three kids, constant Sisyphean house projects, a full-time job, and lots of self-generated internal anxiety (am I the only woman in the world who wakes up at 5:35 a.m. and cannot fall back […]

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Boys Are Wild Animals, and 10 Other Truths the Parenting Books Won’t Tell You

Random observations from a mother of three boys who grew up with two sisters, and so was wholly unprepared. 1. Boys are wild animals. Just watch any nature documentary footage of lion cubs wrestling, and imagine human bodies instead of cat bodies. Really, there’s very little difference. 2. They never get tired of having their hands down their pants; they just eventually grow […]

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Someone Sends You Food in the Mail. You Don’t Know Who it’s From. To Eat or Not to Eat?

Last Friday night I was in New York with three friends, getting punched in the stomach for 3 hours straight (a.k.a. attending the excellent production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? currently playing at the Booth Theater). Right before the play started, I got a text from my husband with a photo of a box of Goo Goo Clusters in UPS […]

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Post-Hurricane Sandy: Real Value v. Monetary Value

This is a photo of my backyard, post-hurricane.  What you see is a big tree—who knows how many years old; 50 maybe?—that cracked and fell toward our back door as the storm picked up in intensity on Monday night.  My eldest son, our resident tree aficionado, could tell you that this is a Norway maple, more or less the weed […]

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Sleep Versus Exercise: Which Do You Choose?

Last week I had the humbling experience of attending the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA. Humbling because the conference is swarming with CEOs and fancy women from the financial world…and then there’s me. The girl who got a D+ in economics in college and drank a beer before the final exam because my friend Megan told […]

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Thoughts from the Magazine: October 2012

My assistant, Ann Savarino, saves my life a little bit every day. She knows how to tell an entire story with just a look; how to find me when one of my children issues an SOS; how to intervene gracefully when my computer and I are having a fight to the death. She knows that no matter what I get […]

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Are You Running a Bed-and-Breakfast Without Knowing It?

On Saturday morning I went to the gym and, while I was there, it started to rain. The rain was quite dramatic, coming down in sheets. Pouring, I guess you would say. Anyway, when I got home I saw that both of our Saturday papers were on the front walk, exactly where they were when I left for the gym […]

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Thoughts from the Magazine: September 2012

There is a line in this month’s story “Women & Money: Why You Need to Take Control Now” that made me laugh out loud: “Money information just bounces off my brain. It’s like I have a force field that won’t let it in.” So says Amy, a 42-year-old senior manager interviewed by writer Geraldine Sealey for our story. Ah, Amy. […]

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“Where Have All the Tape Measures Gone?”

To be sung to the tune of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”  Deep, sincere apologies to Pete Seeger. Where have all the tape measures gone? I have no idea. Where have all the tape measures gone? It’s been weeks. Where have all the tape measures gone? I know they were in that drawer. When will my kids fess up? […]

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Why Don’t Men Wear White Pants? (And Other Summer Head-Scratchers)

Why is the air conditioning turned up so high in so many stores and restaurants? Why do boys need bathing suits when they can just swim in shorts? Why do so many people have tattoos?  Didn’t their parents teach them about regret? Why are raspberries so expensive, even in the summer? Why is it unacceptable to wear a bike helmet once […]

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