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.


How Do You Handle a Determined Lip Kisser?

As far as I’m concerned, there are two kinds of people in life: those who kiss you on the lips, and those who kiss you on the cheek. ACCEPTABLE LIP KISSERS Your spouse/romantic partner Your toddler Your grandfather Your former boyfriend QUESTIONABLE LIP KISSERS Your teenage child Your siblings Your best friend UNACCEPTABLE LIP KISSERS Your neighbor Your coworker Anyone […]

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Thoughts from the Magazine: April 2012

Picture this: You come home at the end of a long day. Maybe you’ve been at the office, or shuttling the kids from one activity to another, or running a series of tedious errands. But now you’re home. Ah, home. Doesn’t just reading that word make you feel relaxed? No? Well, I suppose it is dinnertime. The cat is aggressively […]

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How I Spend My Day: the Dream vs. the Reality

Do you ever get to the end of the day and ask yourself, “OK, where did that one go?”  I feel like I do frequently, and not just when I’m particularly sleep deprived or overwhelmed by meetings and emails and dog hair.  It’s more that the array of things we have to accomplish on any given Wednesday is just so […]

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Let’s Put an End to This

Ellen Seidman is a woman I worked with years ago when we were both editors at Glamour. While we were working together (well, not actually during work hours, but during the years we were colleagues) Ellen gave birth to a son, Max, who had a stroke when he was born. Max has cerebral palsy, is both a challenge and a […]

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Thoughts from the Magazine: March 2012

One of the very, very best things about working at Real Simple is that so much of the content we discuss and present to you makes our own lives easier and better, too. Just ask my husband, my children, my parents, and countless unwitting acquaintances whom I have enlightened with useful tidbits I learned on the job. Just the other […]

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Wanted: “He Is Such a Role Model for Men”

Over the weekend I was reading a story in the New York Times about Sheryl Sandberg, she of Facebook fame, Silicon Valley royalty, and—soon—more than a billion dollars. The article was about how Sandberg is much more than Facebook’s COO; she has become a role model for women everywhere, in the world of technology and beyond. She has two young children […]

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The Hardest Decade in a Woman’s Life

The other week I had dinner with a dear friend and her daughter, who is 13. My friend’s daughter is interesting and sweet and charmingly quirky, and I’ve known her since she was born. As we were eating, I asked her how she felt about entering high school in September, which led to a conversation on age. “Eight and nine […]

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Thoughts from the Magazine: February 2012

By the time you reach a certain age, you know that you are not supposed to love things. Oh, sure, you can admire a masterful sculpture or a gorgeous piece of jewelry or a beautifully crafted table or lamp or chair; you can admire—uh, even rely on—particular over-the-counter medications or types of wine. But you don’t love those things. You […]

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The Drum Teacher Says I Remind Him of the Mother on “Modern Family.” Is This an Insult?

My middle son has a wonderful drum teacher. His name is Josh and he is a musician and seems to have boundless energy. He is also a lot of fun, and really appreciates Middle’s sense of humor—always a plus where Middle and his mom are concerned. When the lessons began a couple of years ago, I said to my son, […]

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Five Battles That Aren’t Worth Fighting With Teenagers, and Five That Are

A highly subjective list, from this mother of three boys: It is not worth fighting over… 1) Wearing a winter coat instead of that flimsy springlike thing, even though it is 25 degrees. 2) Rearranging his room so it’s more aesthetically pleasing to you. 3) Cutting his hair in a way that’s more aesthetically pleasing to you. 4) The ability […]

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