Style

Four Fun Things

Grace Kelly in Jamaica

After three decades of experimenting with self-tanners (and varying levels of streakiness), I just discovered a favorite: Tan Towels. You wipe them over your face and body for a warm, natural, sunkissed glow, like you spent the day at the beach — and miraculously you don’t look at all orange.

1970's kids

How to give kids a 1970s summer, including playing outside all day and watching a boatload of TV.

Food52 Rotisserie Chicken

10 times rotisserie chicken gets you halfway to dinner. Because it’s summer, and it’s so nice to stay outside until the last possible second.

Baggu circle bag

In past summers, I’ve gone hands-free (with keys and $20 in a pocket), but the catch is that I can’t bring along a lipstick or sunglasses or book. So, I recently got this circle bag and it has become a beloved sidekick. How cute is the shape?

Happy summer! It’s really happening! xoxo

(Top photo of Grace Kelly by Howell Conant. Lower East Side NYC in the 1970s by Camilo José Vergara. Chicken photo by James Ransom for Food52.)

  1. Linda says...

    I’ve been eyeing that circle bag for a while now. Can you actually fit a book in there?…

  2. Kelley says...

    Love James Ransom’s work! He’s a photography genius. So glad to see one of his Food52 photos here.

  3. Alina says...

    ALWAYS HANDS-FREE! Well, I use a little wristlet wallet that contains essentials but only when my husband isn’t with me. I saw that Baggu bag recently and loved it, but now I’m serious about it.

    Also, just read your newsletter and clicked on the Sheryl Sandberg link and found the article to be frustrating but the comments great.

    Food for thought. Thank you!

  4. Jessie says...

    Thank you for posting this article about the 1970’s summer. I am so tired and exhausted of entertaining them 24/7 so they won’t watch TV. This article gives me hope. I am starting tomorrow

  5. yael steren says...

    Hmm – I might have to give that self-tanner a try. My last attempt at using one, well let’s just say it didn’t go as planned. Lol. Which would be fine, except for the fact that I’m a style blogger and can’t really hide from photos!!! If anyone has any other self-tanners they recommend I would love to hear!! xx yael

    http://www.yaelsteren.com/blog/

  6. Jeannie says...

    Being a yellow skinned asian lady, and one who tans easily (and it looks golden)….I laugh so much at tanning products. I’m sorry you all need to use this!

  7. Nina says...

    I think a rotisserie chicken gets your more than halfway to dinner. I usually buy a bagged salad (Cesar for me so it even has the dressing) and rolls (not for me but if I’m getting it for others) and the voila dinner. then i do buy ice cream or another dessert (this is my go to dinner to bring to sick and new baby families)

  8. heather says...

    I would love to see a Cup of Jo roundup/road test of rash guards/swim tees. I know this is where I need to go next; my 36 year old shoulders can’t take another burn. But do you get overheated in them? Do they stick to your skin? Is it possible to get one that won’t make me look frumpy? Athleta? J Crew? Lands End? Coolibar?

    I was surfing the web yesterday to find some kind of review of the best rash guard options, and happened upon this dermatologist’s page, where she claims that you can get a beautiful, healthy glow from EATING FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES! I guess I should have known that?

    See:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2737569/You-really-ARE-eat-Forget-sunbathing-munching-just-two-extra-portions-fruit-beg-day-gives-better-skin-glow-suntan.html

    • Sasha says...

      I was on vacation in Costa Rica this spring and out of desperation bought a long sleeved high necked swim shirt. It saved me from even more sun burn. Equatorial sun is a whole other ball game…. I’d never worn one. I love that it truly was burn proof, kept sand out and kept me really cool, WHILE WET. Once it dried, which was pretty fast in CR heat, it was really hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. I hope this helps :)

    • Sasha says...

      Oh, and I don’t know if this was just the brand or universal with these shirts, but I bought a women’s xl, because it’s the only one they sold in the resort gift shop and I was desperate, but I’m normally an xs or small and it fit just fine. Apparently they are supposed to be super tight? I wouldn’t have been comfortable with it tighter at all, especially with it dry in the heat.

  9. Lauren E. says...

    That 1970s summer article is INCREDIBLE! I was born in 1985 so not quite the 70s but so much of this had me grinning. My mom never ever let us have sweets but in the summer it was Kool Aid and freezer pops all day. We had a strict bed time during the school year but in the summer my parents would let us go swimming at midnight (because of course, no AC). And the one that really got me (TV land!) was that my mom would let me stay up late on Saturday nights to watch the old beach movies on TV. Those are some of my absolute favorite memories.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so sweet! my mom would let me stay up late in high school to watch Nic at Nite with her — like mary tyler moore, etc. one of my favorite memories!

  10. Alice Quin says...

    the circle bag is great!

  11. emily says...

    I just discovered a new rotisserie chicken dinner trick last night. I worked late and had to run errands after work, so instead of takeout I picked up a chicken and this Sesame Sriracha “nourish bowl” (http://nourishbowls.com/) at the grocery store. We shredded the chicken and threw the bowl in the microwave for 3 minutes, mixed them all together and opened a bottle of wine. Dinner was on the table in 5 minutes and was relatively healthy!

    I got my other favorite rotisserie chicken dinner idea from Mindy Kaling. She does a kind of faux banh mi that is super easy and delicious!! theconcernsofmindykaling.tumblr.com/post/11868460502/things-i-bought-that-i-love-chicken-banh-mi

    • Lynn says...

      I am just sad that Mindy’s tumblr stopped in 2012! But plenty of back-reading to do to get through my Wednesday I guess

  12. Sasha says...

    Am I the only one who has a for real tan? Is it ok to admit that? I live in the far north so tan season is darn short, I wear a hat and call it good. Vitamin d good, chemicals bad. Don’t throw me off the island please.

  13. Kukla says...

    Tan Towels are amazing, especially when you’ve been sick and you need that “I’m really *not dead” glow. They’re my go-to.

  14. First. I have heard so many things about those tan towels! I will have to try them now. Secondly, that bag is to die for. It’s amazing what the right accessory will do for an outfit!

    Cheers!
    http://www.bynicolegeorge.com

  15. NKM says...

    I want a summer like that!

  16. Laura C says...

    Oh what a cute bag. You are right, that circle shape makes it look chic every outfit.
    DIdn’t the self tanner St. Tropez work, Joanna?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! i really like st tropez too. it’s a great color and lasts for a while. but i didn’t love the application process as much — you have to use a glove and it can get messy. the towels are so much easier in that way!

  17. Geraldine says...

    Grace Kelly was so so beautiful. Love that photo.

  18. I have always had such a tough time finding a sunless tanner, the smell always gets me. I recently tried rodanfields tanner and love it but now I’m heading to ultra to order some of these towels for an upcoming wedding. Thanks for the heads up:.) Samantha@thesekidsmom.com

  19. beth says...

    Excited to try tanning towels. Thanks Joanna!

  20. Genna says...

    Obsessed with tan towels! Anytime I’m feeling a little too blah I get my eyebrows threaded and wipe myself down with a tan towel and voila: an instant confidence boost! After using the tan towel brand I ended up testing out the much cheaper Loreal ones and I can actually say I like them much better!

  21. Jenny says...

    Question: do the tan towels leave you with that fake tan lotion smell?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, they do have a very faint smell, but they’re definitely better than other lotions i’ve used.

  22. shopgirl says...

    My favourite this year instead of self tanner (I really do not like the smell, nor orange) is BB body cream Magica from Collistar. It evens out the skin tone and imperfections very nice, gives you a bit of summer colour, is waterproof and smells good. Very happy with it…
    Other one to recommend from last year is Spray on Leg Foundation from Artdeco. Just don’t know if those are available in USA …..

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for this recommendation!

  23. shopgirl says...

    Grace Kelly, forever beautiful.

  24. Shari says...

    Ha ! I always tell people my parenting philosophy is the 80’s childhood model. I like to lock the kids out of the house while I clean it and if they find way in they have to help. My 8 year old likes to play ‘Titanic Lifeboat’ which involves a getting a friend to sit on the other side of the wheelbarrow while they use a stilt each for an oar…is that cruel?

  25. Evelyn says...

    That Huff Post article – LOL! So good. Sorrynotsorry kids.

  26. Nicole says...

    I wonder if they’ll ever come up with a natural self tanner. Probably never. Whatever chemicals color your skin currently have got to be some sort of bad for you right? And your skin is you biggest organ!

  27. Yes to summer fun! We’re outside all day everyday whether we like it or not. Kiddy pool, swings, tag!, playground, going for ice cream. We’re all filthy by the end of the day!

  28. Natalie says...

    I’ve used a spray self-tanner a few times but hate breathing it in during application, so I’m looking to try something else. Saw Tan Towels recommended on Cupcakes & Cashmere too, so they must be great if they can work on both a New Yorker and a California girl. :)

    Also, those 70’s childhood summers sound exactly like my 90’s childhood summers. It was amazing and such a different life.

  29. What a fun read after the bedtime routine with my twins. Grace Kelly- just gorgeous! I’m a child of the 70s so I had a real laugh and longing for the good old days. I could always use more chicken recipes- especially those with the fabulous rotisserie chicken shortcut. And that circle bag- I never saw one before but I love it. Thanks for sharing!

    XOXO, Amy @ Jeans and a Tea
    http://www.jeansandatea.com

  30. Circle bags are so pretty. Plus they look extra good because it’s summer.

  31. Great list of fun summer things! I’m going to need to try those self-tanning towelettes. Self-tanning lotions always freak me out a little bit. There just seems to be so many things that can go wrong!

    xo, Joanna
    http://www.cutandchic.com

  32. Natalie Brennan says...

    Love the bag!

  33. Lauren says...

    Gosh, Grace Kelly is stunning

    But I came here to say that your link to the dinners with rotisserie chicken just brings you to the general Food 52 site, which is a bummer because that article sounds genius!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      just updated, sorry about that!

  34. Sally says...

    What a glorious time the 1970’s were! I scratched my mosquito bites till blood ran down my leg. I rode my bike in the gutters after the rain and flash flood waters passed. We stayed outside and played until my dad whistled for us to come in. We slept in the car over night, or in a friends back yard (or front yard and there might have been streaking involved too, just once. Once was enough…). Those were truly the glory days.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! agreed. i was born in 1979, but my parents (and aunts/uncles/grandparents) were very chill and let us kind of run rampant! i feel so grateful for that.

  35. Amy says...

    I love 70’s summer article- I’m howling at #2! But seriously. I’m taking her advice with my kids this summer!

  36. Brittany says...

    I love, love, love the kids summer from the 1970’s. It also sounds like my childhood from the 90’s except we watched Nickelodeon and some kids had gameboys.

  37. Caitlin says...

    I LOVE tan towels. Work well on my fair skin, not sticky, don’t smell too bad, easily to pack on vacation, affordable and available in Ricky’s across NYC. My one piece of advice is to do a nice exfoliation before reapplying additional towels. I’ve found that after a few weeks of “building” a tan with multiple applications, the color sets in in certain places and gets spotty.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      they are really the best!

  38. Tonight I’m making rotisserie chicken nachos, because – summer! We’re busy packing for a trip and a quick and easy (and delicious) dinner with no complaints sounds like heaven after a long day to me!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com