Design

Four Fun Things

Fleabag

If you liked Catastrophe, you’ll love the new dark comedy Fleabag. In the six-part series, a London woman — played by award-winning playwright Phoebe Waller-Bridge — tackles friendship, dating, work, family and grief. There have been a bunch of shows in the past few years (Girls, Master of None, Broad City, Catastrophe, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, etc.) about people dating; we’ve loved them all in their own right. But this one is totally fresh and surprising. I watched the whole thing this week and can’t stop thinking about it.

The easiest way to make popcorn

This might seem random, but do you know the easiest way to make popcorn? Put plain kernels into a brown paper lunch bag, toss it in the microwave, and there you go! Now we never buy the plastic microwave packs anymore.

Le Labo

Fall calls for woodsy tomboy perfumes, and our go-to fragrance brand is Le Labo, which has a serious cult following. Santal 33 is universally beloved (sandalwood, cedar), but our current favorite is Thé Noir 29, which has notes of black tea, fig, bay leaf, tobacco, cedarwood, vetiver and musk. So sexy.

Good Thing candlestick

For family dinners, the boys love having candles on the table and taking turns blowing them out. This candlestick would be so pretty (and comes in playful colors).

P.S. Beautiful earrings, and seven great podcasts.

  1. Leigh says...

    I love your blog and ideas, but I did read somewhere that popping popcorn in a paper bag could cause a fire in the microwave!

  2. Kat says...

    I loved fleabag and watched in one sitting! It was so good I wished I never watched it so I could watch it again anew. Thanks so much for recommending it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      agreed! i actually watched the first two episodes again bc i was so sad it was over!

  3. Lily says...

    Just finished binging Fleabag. I can’t get over how great this show is. I also did not expect to be a weepy, sobbing mess at the end of the series. The way that it handles grief, depression, and self-worth is both so poignant and realistic.

    I didn’t find the character unlikeable at all (maybe I’m swayed by the British accent?). I think that her breaking the fourth wall was a way for audiences to connect with her and better humanize her character too.

  4. Thank you for the recommendation for Fleabag! I just added it to my watch list. I love Catastrophe by the way. : )

  5. Jessica says...

    Joanna, I just watched all of Fleabag after this post and wow – I can’t get over it. So moving and fresh. Thank you so much xx

  6. Lucy B says...

    Fleabag is great. Was originally a one woman show also written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and I think she did a great job turning it into a series. Great acting all round. Her sister Isobel is a friend of ours (she plays in a band with my husband) and she composed all the music. LOVE that these fab women are getting noticed for their amazing talents!

  7. Ashley says...

    My boyfriend says I smell like dill pickles when I wear Santal. :'(

  8. Sally White says...

    You just sparked (no pun intended) such a childhood memory about candles at the dinner table! They made any dinner seem so much more special and I loooooved blowing them out. We had a gold candelabra named “Table Mabel” who now lives in my house. I should start using her!!

    • Nora says...

      Sally, I love this memory. I’m moved to go find a “Table Mabel” and start a tradition with my kids.

  9. I always love your tv show recommendations. I definitely need a new show to watch. It will give me a nice break from the presidential election coverage… I’m also a huge fan of earthy/woodsy/tomboy fragrances. Thanks for the recommendations!!

    xo,
    Anika Yael Natori, aka, “The Josie Girl”
    http://josiegirlblog.com/

  10. I want to like Fleabag, I really do, but I could not get past 2 shows mainly because I hate how she talks to the camera. Sex and the City and House of Cards started out that way, and there is a reason they quickly changed that format!

    • Laura says...

      Yes! Same. It was a huge turn-off for me.

  11. Oh I can’t wait to watch Fleabag! I just decided to watch the show Crashing on netflix (also with Phoebe Waller-Bridge) the other day and ended up watching all six episodes in one sitting while I knitted. Ha! I loved it. And her. Perfect timing with the Fleabag recommendation!

  12. tunie says...

    Thanks for the “fleabag” recommendation, haha. Watching now and the lead actress is soooo good!

  13. Mairéad says...

    Loved Fleabag. If you can check out ‘Motherland’ by the same writer as Catastrophe. Just a pilot episode made so far but a full series is on the way – soooo funny and so accurate. It’s on BBC.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, i would love to see it!!

  14. Ronny says...

    I love Lebo. Ever since they opened a store in Hong Kong, I am using it. I love floral scent so I love Rose31 and Neroli36. It’s a total splurge but I can’t even finish a bottle in a year. So I save up for it and buy it for myself on my birthday every year.

  15. Those perfumes look so nice, I love the packaging
    xo

  16. Rebecca says...

    I watched all of Fleabag and when I was done I really didn’t like her as a character, but the acting was good.

  17. Maria says...

    Fleabag is awesome…I have been cracking up. I planned to watch just one but…I almost finished the series. I may even re-watch the episodes with my husband. However I am not sure if a guy would think it is as funny. I am very curious to see.

  18. Sarah says...

    Hey! Thanks for the awesome television recommendation. Love Catastrophe. I was really upset when I watched it all too fast. I have a crush on Sharon :)

    *As for the use of tomboy, I think we really need to take back that term! Perhaps take a moment to read this article.
    http://fashionmagazine.com/fashion/why-im-banning-the-word-tomboy/
    There’s a ton of great writing about “tomboy” and how it’s a problematic term.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s really interesting, sarah — off to read now, thank you so much!

  19. Jess west says...

    This year I discovered Aesops Moroccan perfume its gorgeous…everyone comments on it… also a masculine scent.

  20. lynda says...

    This week I was committed to finding new scent- thanks for the suggestions. As with most COJ suggestions I acted on it and ordered a few samples from Le Labo!

  21. Teresa says...

    Has anyone watched WestWorld on HBO?

    Anthony Hopkins,Ed Harris, Luke Hemsworth are some of the cast of this scifi mystery/ thriller centered around artificial intelligence gone rogue. Super well done.

    First episode aired last Sunday. I’m hooked!

  22. April says...

    just watched the first two episodes of fleabag. so hilarious! dying!!
    what a great series! thanks for the rec!

  23. I had never heard of Fleabag and now I’m spending my entire day off watching it! Thanks for the brilliant recommendation.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad! you’re going to love it!

    • Sarah says...

      The lead actress (and all of them, really) is just brilliant, isn’t she! I watched them all in a weekend.

  24. The candlestick is so pretty.

  25. I loved Fleabag. I watched the whole season the night it debuted and then looked for any other works Phoebe Waller-Bridge played in and it turns out she plays in Crashing on Netflix – also came out this year. Brilliant. You should watch that one as well. I, again, watch the whole season in one night – I, obviously, have a problem or too much time on my hands … or maybe both. I’ve been trying to get my sister to watch it. She’s a psychologist, so I think she’d find the mental health issues quite realistic, which at times make Fleabag so hard to watch … I wanted to comfort her so bad. Great series, can’t wait for the next season.

    Her character in Crashing is almost similar, but with a more carefree approach, definitely less malaise. My only issue is everyone’s inability to say what they want, almost at a juvenile level (so nerve wracking). Still a good watch with more laughs than shock-value.

    • Kate says...

      Thank you for this!

      I LOVED Fleabag–I watched the first three minutes (you know the ones!), paused it, and texted all my girlfriends that they’d love it too. Anyway, I watched ALL of Crashing last night on your recommendation. Thank you!

  26. Shilo says...

    GAH! Its not avail in CANADA! WHYYYY lol I watched the trailer and a few other little “clip” and I am dying! Need this in my life right now! …please, please come to Canada..on Itunes,Amazon CA, Google Play … anything!

  27. Yay for fall masculine scents! And double yay for a new series- my husband and I have been searching desperately!

  28. As a wedding present some friends of ours from Brooklyn just got us an enormous Le Labo candle! It’s so fragrant you smell it everytime you walk near it, its musky and amazing!

    • Elizabeth says...

      Which scent?

  29. Clarissa says...

    Fleabag looks like a serie I would like seeing as I loved Catastrophe! Thanks for the suggestion.

  30. I watched Fleabag on cold meds as I recovered from an upper chest infection. I kept saying to myself ‘ just one more episode’ and before i knew it I had watched the entirety. The story arc was wonderful and how she, her sister, and dad dealt with their mom’s passing really resonated with me. It was the first time I’d been able to cry after my dad’s passing a year ago. Powerfully funny and moving in unexpectedly bittersweet ways. I second your recommnedation!

  31. Sarah says...

    Absolutely loved Fleabag, loved the sisters relationship, pure gold.

  32. Tyler says...

    My wintry woodsy scent of choice is MCMC Hunter-mmmm just picked up a new bottle for fall! Of course, I found out about MCMC thru cup of jo :):)

  33. Elizabeth R says...

    Did not know about that amazing popcorn trick! Thanks for the tip! :). Also, I need to watch that show. I hate scented candles on the dining table (the dining table is for unscented, imho) but love scented candles elsewhere. My favorite candelbra is a gold one from Target. My current favorite candle brand for scented candles is East Creek Candle Co. I LOVE Le Labo Rose 31. I supplement for more day to day situations with Tocca Collette since Le Labo is expensive but I love Rose 31 for more special occasions. Santal smells great on other people but does not work great with my chemistry. Love this post.

  34. Francesca says...

    Love fleabag. She’s so talented. Hope there’ll be a second series.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      agreed. i googled her to try to watch everything else she’s ever done. such a huge talent.

  35. Jules says...

    The West Bend Stir Crazy has been the popcorn popper of choice in my family for at least the last 30 years! It’s by far the best (not an air popper, ew) and I pop it with coconut oil, which makes it a bit sweet and salty. Just the best!

    • Becky says...

      Yes! Nothing beats the Stir Crazy! When I was a kid (in the mid-80s) my parents pulled it out every Friday night for family movie watching, along with the Hide-a-Bed couch. It was my favorite part of the week. When I got married I told my mom all I wanted from her was a Stir Crazy of my own. Now my husband, our two kids and I follow the same Friday night tradition. Happy to see some Stir Crazy love, and I will have to try your coconut oil trick:)

  36. Susan says...

    Have you tried Demeter’s black pepper? I rarely wear fragrance but I don’t mind smelling like the kitchen. :)

  37. Beth says...

    FYI about the microwave popcorn: Alton Brown actually recommends using two staples to secure the bag, since such tiny slivers of metal are shorter than the length of the microwaves. I’m sure you can easily secure the bag without them, but always staple my bags without any problem!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we always just fold the top of the bag down a little, and it seems to work, too!

  38. Jenn P. says...

    I’m not a fan of microwaves, so my go-to recipe to make popcorn is put olive or grapeseed oil to cover the bottom of a saucepan, put heat to medium, put a couple kernels in there and cover the top. As soon as you hear them pop the oil is hot enough to put the rest of the kernels in. Cover the top again and shake the saucepan here and there to cook evenly. Once you hear the popping pretty much stop, it’s ready!

    • I actually just finished watching “Easy” with my husband last night. He’s a homebrewer, and there are two episodes dedicated to that topic, among other things. I watched “Fleabag” recently and enjoyed it, but it made me so sad at the end. It’s based on a play written by the actress who plays Fleabag.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, adriana!! going to check out now.

    • Nectar says...

      I just recently watched “Easy” and was born and raised in Chicago.Literally every episode made me miss Chicago so much, that I have probably known every character sometime in my life there.

      I’m curious to see if they 2nd season (if they do one) will go back to certain characters or not. Dying to find out about what happens to the couple where their “friend” came for a visit.

  39. Alex says...

    Popcorn in a paperbag got me through a lot of late nights at the office during grad school!

  40. Katherine says...

    Only slightly more work than the brown paper bag is just making popcorn in a pot–and then you can add things to flavour the popcorn! I like to add some dried rosemary and sea salt to the oil or whatever you use to pop the kernels.

    Also, I was going to type out my mom’s tips for making stovetop popcorn, but then I did a quick google and found the IDENTICAL TIPs from somone ELSE’S mom. What!! Is this a conspiracy!!

    (either way, this method works really well)

    http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_popcorn/

  41. We always make stovetop popcorn. It’s so easy and so good…it was our Sunday dinner growing up :) Still is sometimes…

  42. Clare says...

    Fleabag is excellent – seconding that recommendation! I can’t stop thinking about the titular character, the show really surprised me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, it was so moving, and i didn’t expect that at all. i really really loved her.

    • meredith says...

      don’t want to post too much for fear of being a spoiler, but the look of disappointment on her face when she is outside talking to impossibly handsome guy is so heartbreaking. such a good actress.

      it’s so good to live in the age of all of this amazing content! loving bon iver’s new album so much too.

    • Jennifer says...

      Fleabag is an amazing series. A main character who seems so incredibly flawed and unlikeable and then as series moves on to see what an emotional turmoil is happening for her – and Olivia Coleman as the step-mother is AMAZING. I can’t wait to see more.

  43. Jess says...

    Oh how i love this section! It’s always fun and refreshing for this “almost friday”! xoxo

  44. We make popcorn in a pan. Pretty simple, too. And we add LOTS of butter. Can’t go wrong with butter.

    • I meant a pot! ha. Brain fart.

  45. Yes to masculine scents, unscented candlesticks for the table, and a new show to watch! (I did know the popcorn thing, but yes to that as well!)

    A bookish request; I just posted my list of spooky October reads and would love to hear yours (in case you need a post idea, which you probably don’t :)

  46. Lisa says...

    Thank you for the fleabag suggestion! Also, I love le labo – its crazy expensive, but its the only perfume I wear consistently. I usually buy perfume and stop wearing it after a month, but not le labo!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree! it’s a total splurge, but so, so, so good. and since you don’t need to put on much, it lasts forever (or at least I tell myself that:)