Design

Five Fun Things

Amanda Hesser's plane picnic

Food52’s Amanda Hesser brought these snacks on a flight. Now I’m inspired to bring much better plane picnics.

Function of Beauty shampoo

Function of Beauty lets you take a quiz to figure out the best shampoo for your hair (whether you need volume, strength or deep conditioning; whether you’d prefer the scent of cucumber mint, grapefruit hibiscus or sandalwood violet; and even which color you want). Plus, the bottles look so pretty in the shower.

Aidy Bryant on Girls

Did you see Girls this week? Aidy Bryant’s scenes were beautiful and hilarious and like a cherry on top of a great season. Love-love-loved her expressions at the very end. (No spoilers!)

Mara Hoffman swimsuits 2017

Mara Hoffman’s new collection of swimsuits feels fresher than ever. (This might be my favorite.)

Dog in a bike basket

Intuition is more powerful than intellect. (“Have you ever made a decision and immediately started to feel sick, maybe even kind of clammy? Well, that affective experience is the body’s way of informing you that the decision your analytic mind came to is at odds with your instinct.”) Trust your gut!

P.S. More fun things, including awesome podcasts and a Q&A with the costume designer of Girls.

(Dog photo by Marnie Hawson.)

  1. Sue says...

    The bathing suits are nice, for flat-chested girls. What about those of us with C cups – where are we supposed to put our breasts?

  2. Who are these foodies on planes and their picnics? Are they really like the rest of us? I would love to do this but the best I can do is a sandwich. The craziness of getting to the airport leaves no time for prep, let alone making sure the kitchen is orderly, and where do they find the room in their luggage? Dream worthy but not a reality for me.

  3. Acting classes in college taught me to trust my gut explicitly! It’s definitely been a life lesson because now I always listen to that instinct that tells me what’s right.

    Love Mara Hoffman too! I have a simple black one piece with side cutouts that is so flattering. I also have an amazing Southwestern inspired knitted poncho by her. Who would have thought a designer could do such different designs so well!

    P.S. Joanna, I’m not sure how often you guys post about technology stuff, but I would love if you to check out a recent post on my blog about using a VPN to protect yourself on the internet. A lot of us bloggers and creative women use café and coffee shop Wifi and I think it’s important that everyone know the privacy risks! Link here:
    http://shessobright.com/2017/04/05/why-you-should-start-using-a-vpn/

  4. My favorite thing about Amanda’s spread is that she brought a jar of mustard. #hero

  5. Sarah says...

    I also love the cute photo of the dog in the bike basket. BUT please don’t ever let your dog ride in a bike basket. My husband tried this once (with our long haired dachshund who is every bit as adorable as the one in the photo) and of course the dog saw a squirrel while riding through central park, tried to jump out, and then had two broken legs. Don’t do it!!!!

  6. Eva says...

    Wait does she buy a whole jar of mustard in the airport? No way that thing got through security … otherwise, yes, #airplanegoals

  7. Jessica says...

    I love you, but a $225 swimsuit and $36 bottle of shampoo make me wonder if you could relate to anyone in my corner of North Carolina.

  8. Tay says...

    I am so insanely happy for Ray. I didn’t think they’d be a great match at first as I thought she’d be a bit too cheery for him, but they balance each other out so well. I’m glad to see him not so bitter for like, one second. Jessa on the other hand, OOF. I love her and that was heartbreaking.

  9. That airplane meal looks so gourmet. I haven’t traveled by plane in a while but I will keep this in mind for next time. It all looks so delicious and really special. I can also relate 100% to making a decision and feeling nauseous after. It’s the worst feeling. I usually high-tale a fix for that decision and do not feel better until the decision is reversed. Sigh.

    x Tali

  10. Julie says...

    I had a really stressful morning at work and needed a break so I started reading through your blog…next thing I know I’ve ordered custom shampoo and conditioner! I needed that today, thank you!

  11. The plane picnic thing is genius. LOVED that scene with her and Ray on he merry go round – so sweet. And uhm, those swimsuits are TOO GOOD.

    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  12. Pamela says...

    The dachshund photo!! So sweet.

    • Ha! I thought it was a golden retriever… I’m sitting here asking where is the rest of the dog? Now that I know what it is, cute dog!

      x Tali

  13. Even though the Mara Hoffman suits are out of my price range I love seeing them featured here because I’ve been low-key stalking them for a while, lol. The high waisted bikini in the white or black colorful fern print is basically perfect. All of her prints are so, so great and I feel like I’ve been having the hardest time finding nice, modern prints lately!

    The article on intuition is amazing. I tend to split the difference between research and gut, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my my current decision-making track record…perhaps my intuition is better than I thought!

    • I LOVE Mara Hoffman patterns as well. They are out of my price range too but I hope to own something of her’s someday. They are so beautiful and I stalk the site every season – for her dresses! :)

      x Tali

    • Ugh YES!!!! That same colorful fern pattern in the dress is equally amazing. Glad I’m not the only one wistfully stalking the Mara Hoffman website ?

  14. gt says...

    Tiny crew caps for shampoo and conditioner while you are wet and your hands are slippery… I can already see myself swearing in the shower every single time.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahah they actually come with pumps that you put onto them! :)

    • Beck says...

      I have one, it definitely did not come with a pump…I would love to get one though.

  15. I really want to try the personalized shampoo but I’m afraid I won’t love it! There are so many choices to pick from, I just can’t decide!

    http://objectsicantafford.com

  16. MA says...

    Holy smokes, if I sat next to Amanda Hesser on the plane with that spread, I think I would be MAD! Because you know all I’ve brought to munch on are some suspect almonds from the bottom of my bag. That are covered in poppy seeds. Wait…that’s not poppy seeds, that’s dirt. So my spread would be dirty almonds on a nice white napkin. Which I would chase down with whatever alcohol I can purchase in-flight, because alcohol kills germs. I’m actually feeling pretty good about my spread now.

    • Jbhat says...

      Haha! I think you have MY purse!

    • You wrote what I wanted to say better than I did – thank you! Glad I am not the only one.

  17. Amy says...

    Couldn’t agree more about the last episode of Girls!! I felt like I was on that carousal, bursting with all those giddy feelings! I’m glad I stuck it out through a couple rough seasons to get here :)

  18. Leanne says...

    Girls was sooooo good this week. I think it’s the best season so far.

  19. Lauren E. says...

    I, too, cannot often trust my gut. For example, my rational mind says, “You locked the door” and my gut says, “THE DOOR IS OPEN SOMEONE IS ABOUT TO COME IN AND MURDER YOU.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahahah

  20. I love the last one, never thought about it seriously but you are right, trusting your gut instinct is often the best way to go about things.

  21. Gaby says...

    Mara’s collection is absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Teresa says...

    Well, the scenes with Aidy Bryant were great but… Team Ray and Shosh!

    The scenes with Hannah and Adam sent me to some (needed?) reflection about my relationship with my ex. The moment they shared really resonated with me. I wish i had the same sense of closure they had, sad as it is. It’s been years, we moved on apparently (I got married, ffs…) and we still indulge in the “what ifs” everytime we speak. We still have the “out of the world” feeling everytime we are together. It is such a strong connection.
    As a couple our relationship was not healthy and i decided to cut it, it seemed so mature at the time… but i guess feelings are not that easy to domesticate and so i live with this doubt/regret for not having tried harder.

    sorry for the mistakes, english is not my 1st language

    • Anna says...

      Don’t apologize, your English was perfect!

      That’s an interesting dynamic you have with your ex. I think with such a strong connection you’ll always have those doubts about whether you tried hard enough. My take is that it isn’t just about the connection; it’s about timing too!

  23. The Mara Hoffman rash guards are so divine… and the patchwork midi skirt!

  24. Marie says...

    I love Cup of Jo. I’ve been a reader for 3 years. I’m a single 30 year old woman with a job I love. I live in the Midwest and I have student loan debt. I contribute heftily to my 401k equivalent and am saving as much as I can. I couldn’t help but comment tonight because who spends $200+ on a bathing suit?! I feel like I relate to a lot of the blog’s non-product stories, but when I look at the price of items the blog recommends, it makes me feel like I’m definitely living in another world than the writers. I do wonder the socioeconomic demographic of your readers, and if I’m in the minority. My two cents, no pun intended.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note, marie! i really appreciate the feedback, and we actually have a personal finance column coming up that you might really like (i’m really excited about it and hope you like it).

      as for fashion stories, we try to showcase a range of price points on the site, but i agree with you, we can often skew high (especially when it comes to inspirational things like mara hoffman — i love knowing what the top designers are doing even if i end up buying something less expensive elsewhere, or just wearing my old bathing suit from years past:). we will DEFINITELY keep your feedback in mind as we work on spring and summer posts. i want everyone to be able to find pretty things and not have to feel frustrated because of price!

      i know you’re talking about fashion overall, but if you’re looking specifically for swimsuits, Old Navy has a great high-waisted bikini that feels like mara hoffman’s style: http://bit.ly/2oIspfN

      and i love this one from target: http://bit.ly/2oBzXnt

      hope that helps, and again thank you so much for your note! joannaxoxo

    • Christy says...

      You are not alone or in the minority, Marie. I save up my money to buy certain things (skincare) and I love the nicer things in life. I also have lots of student loan debt, a hefty mortgage and a 2 year old. So a $200 bathing suit isn’t in the cards. I just imagine getting sunscreen on it or snagging it on a barnacle and having buyer’s remorse, like forever. Some people are able to drop that cash easily and without a second thought, but most can’t.

      I also like to see a variety of prices when certain items are showcased so thanks for taking the feedback Jo!

    • Mandy says...

      Hey Midwest Marie!
      Love your comment. I get really frustrated when people use “Midwestern” as almost a curse word or slur, and your comment highlights midwestern values in an awesome way. You sound like you’re doing everything right! (I’m from Iowa, live in Minnesota now, spent four great years in Oregon where people constantly apologized to me that I was from the midwest…huh???).

      I like Joanna’s reply about finding inspiration then finding actual items elsewhere.

      I also like finding local or ethical suppliers. Might cost a little more up front but hopefully last longer than something from fast (disposable) fashion.

      Here’s a Minneapolis maker with gorgeous swimwear and real models. No photoshopped thigh gaps or pubescent girls with aggressive shaving/waxing/laser.
      http://hackwithdesignhouse.com/product-category/apparel/swim/

      (OMG to the keyhole one piece.) And the have sales and seconds.

      Patagonia has great swimwear that lasts and is ethically produced.
      http://www.patagonia.com/shop/womens-swimwear?start=0&sz=24#tile-0

    • For what it’s worth I think y’all do a good job of sharing different brands and prices. I love seeing the nicer stuff, even though it’s not my everyday wear I like knowing about splurge worthy items.

    • Laura C. says...

      THIS. Thank you Marie, and thank you Joanna for your kind response.

  25. Savannah says...

    This episode of Girls made me cry the hardest. I haven’t been pregnant, but I’ve been in Hannah’s position and it stirred up so many still-hurt feelings.

    • heather says...

      SPOILER ALERTS – Don’t read if you haven’t seen this week’s episode!
      I was really surprised by this week’s episode. I think one of the misses for me on the show all along has been that I do not pick up on the chemistry between Adam and Hannah, and maybe if I did, this week’s episode would have made more sense to me or felt good. Or maybe it’s not supposed to? Maybe I’m supposed to find it crazy, and see this as Hannah’s character consistently making bad decisions? The acting this week was phenomenal. Jessa. Wow. And Hannah crying at the diner. I want to understand those tears more. Were those tears like Elinor Dashwood’s at the end of Sense and Sensibility when Edward finally proposes? Or were those tears of hurt and frustration at how bizarre and emotional that moment was?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      such a good question! i thought they were tears because she realizes the things they’re talking about aren’t really going to happen.

    • heather says...

      Oh interesting. So when he goes back to his apartment, he’s going back to Jessa? Also: how are they making Lena Dunham look so realistically pregnant?

    • Christy says...

      I was also completely torn about what *will* happen with this love triangle! That little smirk Jessa gives seems to suggest he’s back for good. Adam really wanted to want it with Hannah but that just seems unlikely. Maybe Laird will save the day after all?! LOL

    • Savannah says...

      I think the tears were “we’re talking about these big, beautiful things, but this is never going to happen.” I know, for me, my ex was saying everything I wanted to hear – house, kids, playfully fighting over who they would like more – and there was this moment when the excitement of our plans just stopped. So when she started to cry, when she had that moment of just “no, this isn’t real.” Speaking from experience, that’s a really painful moment.

    • Nectar says...

      I felt like it was the moment that the words sounded so right, but it was just so wrong at the same time. I think it was tears of realizing it just won’t happen for you two.

  26. Girls have been stellar this season. The last episode was both sad when it came to one couple and also made my heart swell when it came to another couple. (Trying to spoil anything!) Just all the emotions!

  27. Susan M. says...

    Wow, that kind of picnic. I can barely get raspberries home intact, let alone get them on a plane. Looks divine. And that Mara Hoffman collection is killing it. Loved the 2 piece suits, too — so many charming cuts.

  28. The puppy in the basket is amazing.

    -Kirsten

  29. Carly Travis says...

    Never knew you guys did a interview with the costume designer for Girls, and I’ve been a loyal follower for SEVEN YEARS! Love a good throw back post.

  30. Cynthia says...

    The dog in the bicycle basket is so cute! I like the colors of the bathing suits, but obviously there is no support in the bust. Why should those
    yummy snacks be only for plane trips? They look good for any time.

  31. Brittany says...

    As a breastfeeding mama I need more padding than those suits offer. Yikes. #hugenipples

    • Amy says...

      Haha me too! I looked at that and felt nostalgic for my little pencil erasers.

    • Aya says...

      I’m right there with you, Mama! My tiny nipple days are over!

  32. Joy says...

    Well, I guess my analytic mind always comes to the conclusion that I should be brave and embrace change and try new things, while my gut always screams, “Stay safe!!” Nevertheless, I persist, and have had some amazing, wonderful opportunities and experiences by ignoring my gut :)

  33. Did you watch “Inside the Episode” afterward? The creators were basically like, “How can we use Aidy Bryant again before the show ends? Oh, let’s have her fall in love with Ray!”

    Anyway, I agree. Her scenes were just lovely.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so awesome. love her so much.

  34. these swimsuits are really cool! <3

  35. Kate says...

    Because I have anxiety, trusting my intuition is a tricky thing. My anxiety lies to my body and my emotions constantly, and it clouds my reality, and while that has all kinds of issues, it always means I no longer feel like I can trust my intuition. I meditate, which helps me sort through the noise of my anxiety, and that helps, but it’s a constant struggle. I read these articles and think “Oh wouldn’t that be nice?”

    • Hillary says...

      YES, thank you for bringing this up. I’m the exact same way, and it’s really difficult.

    • Laura C. says...

      Kate, I suffer from anxiety too, and now I’m gonna do some meditation (there is an awesome YouTube channel that I would like to recommend you), but, do trust your intuition. Sometimes I feel like I’m fed up with all those positivism and rainbows and unicorns and “smile to life and life will smile you back” and I feel like that “shut up, mug” than Joanna showed us some time ago, but believe me, intuition wins over anxiety.
      Ok I’ll leave here this wonderful video for feeling better.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyy0ra2WcQQ

    • Katie says...

      This was my exact reaction to that article as well… I feel like I could have written this comment myself! I can’t currently separate actual intuition from my irrational anxiety.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is smart and self-aware to know that about yourselves!

  36. clare says...

    Girls was SO GOOD this week. Aidy was great & this episode made me realize Ray is the star of the show for me. Such a great character.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Ray is totally the star of the show <3

    • Heather says...

      Agree. Old Man Ray is my fave, and has kept me watching through some of the other seasons I wasn’t as into as this one, which is the best.

  37. Meg says...

    Oh man, as if I needed to spend more money…I couldn’t resist the Function of Beauty siren song!!!! They’re just so pretty!!!

  38. Colleen says...

    I’m about 3 years behind on Girls.

  39. heather says...

    I have been so curious about the function of beauty shampoos/conditioners. Has anyone used them? Reviews?

    • Hannah says...

      I would like to know of some reviews as well!

    • Lynda says...

      i 2nd the reviews question ;)

    • Brooke says...

      I’ve been using their products for about a month and do enjoy it. I tried the “straightening” ingredients (i have wavy hair) and it does make my hair slightly straighter, but its still wavy. I plan on taking that out for the next set I get. I also selected oil control as a hair goal, and I don’t think its helped that. In fact sometimes I think my hair has more oil, so I’ll making a change there. I do think my hair is less frizzy and softer, so I’ve really enjoyed that. I’m going to give it another go after I’m done with this set. I do love the scents, colors, and the bottles.

    • Andrea says...

      I saw a piece years ago about how all shampoos and conditioners did the same thing, despite claims. I have been an ardent user of Suave since! $2.19 for a large bottle.

      It also made me look askance at things that had a huge price difference. Is X item really 10 times better than what I can get more cheaply?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! i’ve tried them and really really like them. also, the bottles are HUGE and last forever.

    • Lily says...

      Andrea, I’m with you. It’s hard for me to stomach paying that much for shampoo/conditioner–I feel like I’m literally watching money wash down the drain.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i used drugstore shampoos and conditioners for decades (and we still always have tresemme or something similar in our shower), but one complaint is that they smell SO strongly. it can make me queasy. have you guys found a shampoo/conditioner with a light, clean smell?