POPSUGAR Moms

The Only Unsolicited Parenting Advice We've Ever Appreciated

Jul 15 2014 - 7:52am

We're all living in an age of extreme parenting, and it's a rare day when there isn't a new article, book, or study that increases the divide amongst moms and dads. Breast-feeding vs. formula feeding; vaccinating vs. not; working vs. staying home with the kids . . . the often-judgment-packed dialogue can become exhausting. That's why we get such a kick out of the comic relief that comes in the form of things like Tiffany Beveridge's "My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter" Pinterest board [1], which chronicles the fictional adventures of the elitist, designer-clad, all-organic (and all-fictional) "Quinoa." A freelance writer, Tiffany's way with words (and wit) is evident in her quippy, one- or two-line captions — to the tune of garnering her board close to 93,000 followers. So it was to our delight (but not necessarily surprise) that Quinoa and Tiffany scored a book deal [2] that details — tongue-in-cheek — exactly how to embrace the "Quinoa lifestyle" for your very own child.

All it took was a brief phone conversation with the author (and very proud imaginary mom) to confirm that her deeper message in this endeavor is completely nonexistent, and the entire concept is all in the name of fun (thank you, Tiffany!). "My intention from the beginning has always just been for a laugh. I definitely see Quinoa as a really great social lens and way to maybe have us look at things in a different light and maybe not take ourselves quite so seriously. But at the end of the day, I have no agenda other than just to make people laugh," she told us.

Source: Ashley Haag via Running Press [3]

"I’m a working mom of two great boys. I always thought it would be really fun to dress a little girl. When I realized, 'I’m probably not going to have any more kids,' I would be on Pinterest, and I would see little girl clothes. They were so cute that I started a board and named it with this long, clunky title: 'My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter.'

That was right around the same time that quinoa (the grain) had became the most popular grain in the world. I would see all these recipes every day. Like, 20 recipes a day for quinoa. I couldn’t believe a grain was getting this much attention! So I thought, 'Oh my gosh, someone is going to name their kid Quinoa.' And then I was like, 'Oh my gosh, it’s going to be me!' It’s kind of how it came together," Tiffany told us.

Source: Running Press [4]

Quinoa doesn't like being put on display. She prefers a formal, museum-quality exhibit with paid admission.

When asked about Quinoa's quick spiral to fame, Tiffany said, "I tried to backtrack to see exactly what happened, and the closest I can tell is that Jenny Lawson ("The Bloggess" [5]) retweeted a tweet about it. Someone that she follows tweeted something about the board, she retweeted it, and as far as I can tell that’s how it all began. Within two weeks, it was being written about all over the world. New Zealand, Australia, London, all throughout the US. It was pretty crazy!"

Source: Lee Clower [6]

One time, Quinoa earned after-school detention for being obscenely precious.

But Tiffany has real kids, too! Her sons, Christian and Max, are 16 and 11 respectively. "For the longest time, they were just kind of delightfully detached. They just wanted to know if they could go hang out with their friends or what was for dinner. It’s funny, as time has gone by and the book came about, how much Quinoa has become a character in our household! Quinoa is now this strange figure in our family.

I had this moment, I was standing out in our driveway at the bus stop with my son a few months ago. I was looking at the house and I was telling him, 'We have to get the house painted. It really needs it.' And he said, 'Does insurance cover that?' I laughed and said, 'No, no, but hopefully Quinoa can pay for that.' And he put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Mom. Quinoa can’t pay for everything.' I think he was really looking out for her!"

Source: Alix Martinez For Petite Parade [7]

Quinoa says you don't really know someone until you've sat in their drawers and worn their accessories.

Quinoa's not just imaginary, she's open to interpretation. "She is very intentionally ambiguous and I love that about it," Tiffany said. "To me, it’s more about the personality and the character rather than any one look. That’s been fun. To me, it’s a little abstract because it is all these different girls of all these different ages and all these different ethnicities." That's just a part of the brilliance that is Quinoa.

How to Quinoa: Life Lessons from My Imaginary Well-Dressed Daughter [8] can be yours for $15, and be sure to follow her bitingly funny Pinterest account [9], too (that's free!).

Source: Lee Clower [10]


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