Design

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

What are your plans for the weekend? Toby has been taking swimming lessons, and he is freaked out about putting his face underwater. I remember that exact feeling growing up! It’s hard to be little :) We’re also going here for dinner tonight, and I’m looking forward to a big bowl of cacio e pepe. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

Love this necklace.

In Germany, kids learn how to play with fire.

Leave it to Smitten Kitchen to make even broccoli pizza look delicious.

My friend gave me this perfume, and people on the street have been stopping me to ask about it!

Let’s go outside.

Loving these style hacks, especially the sailor cuff.

Have you heard of Stiltsville?

The jobs Americans do.

Spoiler alert: Why the new Bachelorette is a big deal. (And something to watch for.)

All avocados should have these stickers.

Would your children eat these lunches? I’m impressed.

What a fun interview format! Now I want to interview all my friends like this.

Plus, three fun reader comments on dining alone:

Sophie says: “One of my favorite memories was traveling to Portland, Oregon, for my first ever solo trip. The first day I went to Powell’s and bought a book by David Sedaris. I opened it as soon as I sat down in the burger restaurant I’d picked. The burger was delicious, and I still dream about the fries, but the best part was that the book was so funny I started laughing out loud — and soon after, actual tears were streaming down my face. I kept turning the pages with my greasy fingers and wiping my face with dirty napkins and trying not to laugh too loudly.”

Says Dot: “My favorite restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, gives solo diners some company — a fish swimming in a small glass bowl. I’ve always found that so charming.”

Says Tari: “I was out to dinner with a friend and our kids at a bustling restaurant recently, and there was an older woman, maybe 75, with her iPad and her Bose headphones watching her show and eating a full plate of ribs! She was an inspiration.”

(Photo by India Hobson/Instagram. Outside link via Jocelyn Glei.)

  1. Joanna says...

    The article about fire is fascinating!!! My family moved to Germany a few months ago. While touring Kindergartens (German pre-schools), one proudly pointed out the “fire play” station in a room for 3-5 year olds. I tried my best not to allow my shocked reaction to register on my face as the tour continued as if this was the most normal activity in the world for 3 year olds to perform at pre-school, and internally wondered about the actual practice of children playing with fire at school and what that looked like. In the next room, my questions were answered when I saw a little boy who looked to be roughly 4 years old sitting at this room’s fire station and safely lighting matches under supervision! I went home and laughed incredulously about it with my husband. However, I’ve noticed a number of German homes (including ours) have wood-fired stoves that assist in heating in the winter, so after that visit, we began allowing our 5 & 7 year old boys to assist in starting the fire. I keep the matches in a single common area of the house (kitchen cabinet) where they cannot be played with in secret and we have a firm rule that matches can only be used if Mommy & Daddy are present, but if there is anything to be lit (candle, fireplace) then I let the kids help and they do great!!

  2. Tiana says...

    I love that necklace too! Do you wear the long one or shorter one? So cute. Also I’ve heard of those perfumes, but I don’t like anything floral. What does Santal 33 smell like?

  3. Ashley says...

    My boyfriend says I smell like dill pickles when I wear that perfume. :(

  4. Carly says...

    Lighting candles is a part of the religious observance my family did as a kid, and I don’t remember a time when I was too young to be part of it. Until right now I never realized it was weird to be allowed to light candles as a young child. It’s definitely something I’ve been doing since forever, and last year at a family holidays my cousin’s pre-school age children were definitely invited to participate (but one of them was too afraid to, which was also fine).

  5. Maggie says...

    Thank you for sharing “The Jobs Americans Do”. The last essay in the piece was written by Carlo Rotella, a professor of mine at Boston College. He taught the best class I have ever taken, a dual Film/ English elective in which we studied “urbanness” by analyzing cities and the people that live in them. He is a smart man and an incredible professor, and he really cares about the things he writes about and works on. I am excited to see his work featured here.

  6. Shelby says...

    I love that they are teaching children how to be responsible with fire.

    Growing up it was always stressed to me how DANGEROUS fire was. I’m now 23 and utterly terrified of using matches because I’m worried I’ll set the house on fire. When I was in Europe and had to light my own gas stove, I would get anxiety remembering what I was told when I was younger to keep me away – that I could burn myself, drop the match and set a dish towel on fire, that if I didn’t turn on the gas properly I could explode! While it definitely made me stay away from fire, I come from the opposite end where even now as an adult I’m STILL scared. Koodos to Germany yet again.

  7. E says...

    People can’t tell if an avocado is ripe without the sticker?? How about bananas? Seems easy enough to me! Greener = less ripe. : )

  8. I just had to comment and say THAT’S MY PERFUME TOO! Oh I feel special now because you have such good taste. :)

  9. I bought the large size of Santal 33 after seeing EVERYONE talking about it online and was shocked when I tried it (for the first time) and thought it smelled like celery & pickles! Wondering if I got a bad bottle! It’s awful!

  10. Lyn says...

    When my kids are in the bath- we always count 1,2,3 and then pour water over their heads. We did the same thing when we were about to dunk their heads in the swimming pool. They were able to connect the idea that they had to hold their breath for this action. Fun times!

  11. yael steren says...

    Hope you had a great time at dinner!! I’ve been taking advantage of the amazing weather this weekend and went to the Brooklyn Bridge to shoot some photos for the blog. I love when the weather gets warm like this and NYC takes on a new level of energy!! xx yael

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

  12. Sandalwood is always a head-turner, i have a sandalwood infused scent myself and I get asked about it too :)

    Shruthi
    http://nyambura.co

  13. Thank you for the links!
    I really love the interview piece too.

    • E says...

      They thought it was ubiquitous before… now Nordstrom sells it!! Doesn’t stop it from smelling great though!

  14. shannon says...

    The article about working-class jobs was really well done. I am from the small Ohio town that has the meat packing factory and was happy to see it portrayed positively in the article. It is a huge boon to my hometown. I was also excited about the stats on the refugee and immigrant contributions to the central Ohio area – my father-in-law was born and raised in Turkey and now runs his own IT business in Columbus, so he is part of those stats! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Lisen says...

    Love all the comments about kids and water. :) But please please please NO, how can you think it is charming to confine animals in tiny spaces? Fish are living beings, not artwork. Makes me cry, it’s so cruel. The fish do suffer. Please everyone, boycott establishments that are cruel to animals. http://www.peta.org/issues/companion-animal-issues/cruel-practices/fish-tanks/

    • Tania says...

      I agree. Don’t put a fish in a tank–just eat it!

  16. Linda says...

    1986 cuff… haha! Back in the day we called that pegging your jeans. :)

    • Sadie says...

      We called it “tight-rolling.” I was so humiliated the day a girl in my fifth-grade class said, “Oh my god. Are you still tight-rolling your jeans?!”

  17. Emily says...

    Sophie! You’re my spirit twin! I took my first solo work trip in Portland, too, and enjoyed a nice dining experience out in the Pearl District at a patio table. I didn’t have a David Sedaris book, but I enjoy his work greatly. Yay!

    • Aaah I’d missed this somehow but it makes me so happy to read! You sound awesome, Emily :) x

  18. Carly says...

    LOVE the get outside article!! I’ve always felt like that since a child about the outdoors. And now with a four year old I know he feels the same way. Outside is magic.

    Also- the fish for diners eating solo is the sweetest thing ever.

  19. Jules says...

    our swimming school did a wet washcloth trick. They’d put a wet wash clothe in the kid’s face. Then the kid would put their face into the teachers hands with wet washcloth in them. Then the teacher would keep making the wash cloth wetter and brining it lower toward the water until the wash cloth touched the water and the teacher would remove their hands and the kid’s face would essentially be in the water.
    I was looking up where isodi is and made me think – why don’t they list the borough in the address? For ppl that are not familiar with New Yorker – it’s so hard to know where the places are!

  20. Sally says...

    The lunches look awesome! I think my kids would eat them as shown on the picture, but not after get all tossed around and mixed up in the container. I guess that is when bento boxes or divided containers come in handy.

  21. Sally says...

    In Brazil, brocolli is a common topping on pizzas. There brocoli with garlic and olive oil, and brocoli with catupiry (a type of cream cheese). It’s so good!

  22. Oh my gosh-Tari’s comment about the older woman in the restaurant doing her thing! Retirement goals for sure!!!

  23. I need to know what book sophie was reading!

    • Julia says...

      Yes, please – I’m craving for something funny since my life is quite dull at the moment.

    • Lilian says...

      I came here for the same reason!!

    • Sophie says...

      Hi Jennifer (and Julia, and Lillian !)
      It was “Me talk pretty one day”. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      One of my all-time favs, Sophie!!!

  24. Carly Travis says...

    I absolutely adore the reader comments that you choose. I consistently smile as nearly every post on this site, but the carefully selected reader comments get me every time.
    Xx

  25. That interview format is SO fun!!!

  26. Jeanne says...

    To encourage my reluctant daughter to put her face in the water we put coins on the pool step and she would dive for them so she could collect enough for a popsicle from the snack bar.

  27. Em says...

    Cup of Jo is obsessed with cacio e pepe! I feel like it’s mentioned at least once per month on the blog haha

  28. Santal 33 is the best! I can recognize it a mile away! g

  29. Making up for doing (literally) nothing last weekend by jam packing this one! Going to happy hour and the Pop Up Magazine event at the Ace Hotel tonight // hiking, photo shoot, and board game night with friends Saturday // shooting with a drone (hopefully!) and watching the Oscars Sunday. Oh, and my husband comes back from a work trip – good weekend indeed. :)
    Also, can I just say I LOVE reading your readers’ comments (including those three you included from dining alone..so lovely)? <3
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  30. Charli says...

    I’m surprised you didn’t post the Nordstrom Winter Sale happening this weekend! :)

  31. Lauren says...

    Get the Tiramisu at I Sodi! The best.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!!!

  32. Jessica says...

    The American in the article about fire re 6 year olds: “They are just not developmentally able to handle that responsibility,” he said. “They don’t have the intellectual ability to understand what’s going to happen or how quickly it can get out of control.”

    I so believe we underestimate our children in this country. Makes me mad!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree! toby now and again asks me if he could walk to school on his own, and i WISH i could let him — he absolutely could handle it, and it’s only 7 short blocks away on quiet streets, but i think it may be illegal?

    • Emily says...

      So agree! My daughters go to a once a week forest school (they’re 3 and 6) and my oldest’s group has worked with knives and lighting matches for a campfire – they just make sure the kids can repeat back the 3 or 4 safety rules before they’re allowed to do it, and if they can’t they wait until the next time (I think to underline the importance of really knowing the rules). But the kids (4-7yo) are so proud and capable when they do it.

    • Alex says...

      There’s a tv show in Japan that follows kids as they learn to complete errands for the first time (apparently it’s normal to send children out to the shops to involve them in the community and to teach them to participate). It works at least in part because the crime rate in Japan is so low, and community participation is so prevalent.

      Children are so capable! Joanna, maybe you could follow Toby from a safe distance but let him try it on his own?

      Here’s a link to the tv show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5k5XTZy0rA.

  33. Dorrit says...

    My son had that problem too, he freaked out over even the slightest drop of water in his face…then his teacher had a quite funny approach to that: he would let the kids yell swearwords under water. They could not resist :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is SO funny!

    • Emily says...

      Oh I’m dying, that is amazing!

  34. Siobhan says...

    Thanks for making the change! :)

  35. Marla says...

    My 5 year old nephew (who lives in Florida and has a lot of time in the pool) was loathe to get his face wet. A really well fitting mask (not little goggles, think scuba mask) got him to put his face in finally. Almost overnight he went from not swimming (because you can’t swim if your face ain’t in) to deciding the mask was OK and swimming like a fish. Maybe just ask him what he thinks might make it easier to put his face in and try to accommodate whatever it is that he suggests. Mask, towel at the edge of the pool for a little face drying action, ?

    • K says...

      Totally – my eldest is a total water-phobe (still wears goggles in the shower at age 8), but got a mask and snorkel on and went to town. He spent an entire summer cruising around our neighborhood wading pool with that snorkel and mask on and then was able to transition to regular goggles in lessons. I love a mask/snorkel for a birthday gift too – always a hit. Target has a great Speedo one that fits small kids.

  36. Kate says...

    That lunch post makes me howl!

    My daughter was born I. The Middle East and we came back to North America when she was 18 months old. She’s now two, and would HOOVER all the foods pictured there and some. Mujadara, kibbeh, manakeesh, zaatar, etc.

    But hand the kid a piece of pear or blueberries and we have a meltdown on our hands!

  37. Elizabeth says...

    Fun fact: Al Capone used to run gambling rings at Stiltsville. :)

  38. Allegra Liu says...

    Forget the kids, I want those lunches for myself! The style hacks video was great and the avocado sticker genius.

  39. Joyce says...

    Hello Joanna! Our little boy had a huge fear of putting his face in the water when it came time to do so in swim lessons. We wound up giving him lots of play time in the bathtub and mixed in some of the techniques they were going over in class ( blowing bubbles with your face in the water) with his play time in the tub and it made a world of difference. He was able to get past that scary part in a safe, small, warm, familiar environment where he didn’t feel so pressured or exposed. Just a thought if you haven’t already tried it:) Our little guys loved wearing his goggles in the bath:):) Blessings on your swimming journey with your sweet one!

  40. Noelle says...

    I want friends who give me perfume! :)

    • Eve says...

      I want friends who can dish out $90 gifts. How does that happen?!

  41. nooooo you didn’t give a spoiler alert warning re the bachelorette! I had been avoiding finding out :( sad day.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, emi, i’m so so sorry! i thought everyone knew! just put a spoiler alert up!

    • Jamie says...

      I clicked on your website Emi I love your illustrations!

  42. Carmen B. says...

    The Jobs Americans Do, wow. What a great insight into the working class. Reading their stories was a lot like reading parents’ story. Thank you for sharing it.

    Also, those avocado stickers are genius.

  43. Sandra says...

    Ha…I actually did the 1986 cuff back in 1986. :-)
    But those high-waisted mom jeans don’t look great even on the attractive woman from J. Crew…I can’t believe they are back!

    • Rachel says...

      Ditto.
      Ditto.

      Another GenX-er

    • Lisa says...

      Yes and yes from another Gen X-er. There’s a reason some things went out of style!

    • Emily says...

      I’m a gen y-er (or whatever we’re called between gen x and millenials – maybe I’m a mature millennial??) and I love the look!

    • Sadie says...

      I love the high-waisted look of the first caller’s jeans in the J.Crew video. What I can never get past is heels and jeans. Maybe I’m too literal, but where do you even go wearing heels and jeans? An ironic yacht party? A restaurant that can’t come to terms with how posh it is? Even more mystifying when it’s extremely distressed jeans. Make up your mind!

  44. kristen says...

    I tried the Smitten Kitchen broccoli pizza recipe…it is fantastic!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good to know!

    • Amanda says...

      Just came here to say the same. Please remove the quote with that language, Jo.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for the feedback. we just changed it!

  45. My kids would eat those lunches! One of my biggest things as a mom is not raising picky eaters, and I worked so hard at it! From the time they started solids I gave them everything…olives, dirty rice, oysters, stinky cheeses, etc. and now as preschoolers they eat pretty much anything! Of course there are exceptions, my son WILL NOT eat tomatoes or avocado, and my daughter doesn’t like Brussels sprouts, because they’re human. I don’t force feed them anything. I just think it’s our responsibility to encourage them to eat a fun and varied (and healthy…i’m looking at you chicken nuggets and mac and cheese) diet. Good food is one of the great pleasures of life!

    • Emily says...

      Totally agree – BUT we did the same with both our kids and the oldest will eat anything (she was so excited to try octopus, for example), but my youngest is pretty picky. We keep trying though and at 3 she’s already more adventurous, whereas I think if we’d responded to her pickiness by giving her “kid food” she wouldn’t be.

  46. Caroline says...

    Your dinner plans look delicious Joanna. I’ve had the kind of week where all I want to do is to go home, eat a grilled cheese, and chase it down with a glass of red wine:)

  47. Amy says...

    I was terrified of going under water when I was Toby’s age. My mom pulled me out of group lessons, and asked a friend to give me private lessons in our neighborhood pool. She made me put my head underwater 10 times each lesson (no holding my nose!). I thought it was torture at first, but after a week or two, I was so proud of myself! I turned into a little fish after that. I think the 1:1 attention helped.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for the advice!

    • Geny says...

      We did the same with my daughter: private lessons. Some pool offer them. They are so worth it! She went from scarred of the water, can’t put her head under to swimming on her own in a couple of months!

  48. BB says...

    My father is a fire investigator and growing up I was not allowed to burn candles and engaging with fire was strictly forbidden. In my adult life, I don’t disagree. You can teach a child how to properly light a match but how do we teach them to not forget to blow out the candle? Even as a mature twenty-something (I have it mostly together!!!), I once left the house without blowing a candle out. It’s human error and cannot be avoided. Even just one time can have a devastating consequence.
    xo, a big fan of battery-powered “candles”

    • Miriam says...

      That’s funny BB I have the same experience. My Dad was a Fire Safety Officer so he still reminds me to be careful every time I light a candle & I’m 35! “Yes Dad, I won’t leave the candle unattended & I won’t fall asleep before putting it out!” It’s kind of a family joke at this stage that he just can’t help reminding us of the fire safety rules but I also think it’s sweet because he is so aware of how quickly things can get out of control & he just wants to protect us.

  49. I love the avocado stickers.

  50. Sara says...

    le labo roll-ons are so good – expensive, but i bought one that i use for travel only (it lasts longer and adds a little gloss to the trip). i have the bergamotte 22, but the rose is also exquisite.

    and thank you for the NYT article on workers – i can’t tell you how good it is to see fancy perfumes and social issues on one page. brava

  51. Diana says...

    Haha! That ribs lady will be me one day. For sure.

  52. Brooke says...

    Dot-what is the name of the restaurant in Alexandria? That’s such a cute idea!

    • It’s called Asian Bistro. Such a not-creative name for a great little restaurant. It’s right on King Street, if you know the area. :)

  53. So funny! I picked up a sample of that perfume last week. :) I’m loving all these links. They’re inspiring so many thoughts and ideas. Thank you for sharing. xoxoxo

    • Rose says...

      The article on children’s lunches seems so unrealistic. Having read Bringing Up Bebe and articles on BLW l, I felt confident my child would be a fearless eater straight away. Couldn’t have been more wrong. The list of what she won’t eat and places she won’t eat became overwhelming. At 27 months, she’s finally starting to at least take a few nibbles at every meal and willing to try veggies as I chop them for dinner. Articles like the one linked just make me blanche in shame a little. I just hope that parent knows how very fortunate they are.

    • Rose says...

      Apologies didn’t mean to reply to the original poster. Please feel free to disregard.

  54. Ramona says...

    Love that photo from India Hobson…the colors are soft and warm and remind me of my favorite time of year.

  55. Robyn Cutler says...

    My daughter has been really scared to put her face in the water too. We’ve been practing at home in the bathtub with goggles she picked out. I think it’s working, last week she put her face in. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so sweet, robyn! thank you for the tip!!!