Design

Have a Fun Weekend.

Have a Fun Weekend

What are your plans for the weekend? New York is rainy, so we’ll be magna-tiling it up, I’m sure:) We’re also going to our friends’ apartment for cocktails. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

Wow, this kitchen makeover!

Comedian Chris Gethard’s important, incredible show about “depression, alcoholism and the other funniest parts of life” premieres on HBO this Saturday. I saw his off-Broadway play and loved it.

Changing my mind about having toast for dinner.

Why Americans smile so much.

12 food writers share what they order at questionable bars.

This makes me want to take vitamins.

It’s insane that anyone goes camping.” Haha.

Love the idea of rain perfume.

How sweet that French kids memorize poems.

10 things people don’t talk about in business (but should).

Plus, three great comments from readers:

Says Joanna on pets: “Every morning as I leave the house, I tell my husband I love him, my dog I love him more, and my cat I love him most. It’s accurate. Having pets is possibly my favorite part of life.”

Says Clay on Ashley Ford’s outfits: “Ashley, you so inspire me. You took your ‘too fat, too black, too poor’ feelings and threw them in the dumpster of life regrets, where they will die, while you FLOURISH! This 64-year-old, never-pretty-enough gal with homely legs and about 20 pounds over ‘ideal’ weight… well, I’m tearing about 50 pages outta your life lesson book and I’m gonna have good times with what I have. Goooooo, Ashley, and look out, New York!”

From Susanne on reader questions: “When we had our daughter, the best part of the day was when our neighbors brought freshly squeezed juice every morning. They took turns bringing it over and got a glimpse of the baby without disturbing for too long. Heaven!”

(Photo by Britt Fabello/Instagram. Bar link via Joy.)

  1. Madlen says...

    Dear Joanna, I am reading your blog for some years and finally, there IS ale foto from the city I live! Thank you, my life is sometimes different and sometimes so similar. ….
    Madlen from Czech republic

  2. Rachel says...

    My 2nd grade students used to memorize a monthly poem. We would practice every day & they would recite it in front of their classmates. This was before the wave of state testing that, unfortunately, took over our instructional day :/
    I hope they still remember their monthly poem & the happiness it brought to our classroom.

    • Jess. says...

      The state testing hysteria makes me so, so sad.

  3. asia says...

    Camping IS insane! Ha.

  4. ES says...

    Re: the fresh juice comment – wow.

    That is a great idea. Sounds lovely.

  5. Cassie Fields says...

    Chris Gethard’s podcast, Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, is amazing! It is so funny and candid.

  6. That article about smiling – totally true. I am Canadian and moved to Germany about nine months ago… I feel like a complete loon because I laugh too much and too loud, and smile too much at random people. I’m pretty sure some people around town think I’m unhinged.

    The Walmart thing in that article made me laugh, though. I worked at Best Buy Canada head office when they opened their first stores up north, and they sent us their training videos. It had people smiling, introducing themselves to customers and offering the shake their hand – that is so not the way we expect to interact with store staff in Canada. I remember being on the conference call when we were explaining we had to reshoot them, or something, because that would scare the crap out of people.

  7. I can totally relate to the pets comment!

  8. Emily says...

    Gah! You’re so lucky you get to see that apartment in real life.

  9. kb says...

    I went to a small elementary school in northern CA that was fairly old-timey in a lot of its philosophies. Every month we had to memorize a poem and recite it to the class – this was called declamation. With each grade the length of the poems became longer, but they were always our choice. We also had to write and deliver a monthly speech to the class, with a different assigned topic each time – maybe a how-to speech, or an explanation of an experience, etc. Such good life skills…I wish these things were regular assignments in my kids’ school.

  10. Susanne says...

    dear Joanna, thank you for “featuring” my comment! what an honor. made my day

  11. Oh my, we had to memorize poems in German school and I hated it. It was fine for the first few years when we could choose our own but then we started having to memorise classics and they got longer and longer.
    It took the fun out of poetry for me. I don’t want to overanalyse art if I choose not to.
    I am however loving the kitchen makeover and the camping post – ha! :D

  12. Alli says...

    Ha, camping! I love it. I think there’s a misconception about car camping- which is far different from backpacking. With car camping, you can bring the luxuries from home and eat, drink, and sleep well in the campsite. For example, I always bring a slightly precooked meal (like a braised chicken dish, which we then just reheat and dump over couscous or polenta), and we pack a nice bottle of wine and Govino wine glasses (check them out- they’re amazing). If we’re going for only one night, I won’t even do the dishes in the evening and just toss them in bus tub in the truck to do at home. My husband and I have a super, super cozy set up, complete with a double sleeping pad and a double sleeping bag, so even though I’m a cold sleeper I still can get cozy and warm right next to him and we’re not slipping and sliding on individual sleeping pads all night. Plus, bring pillows from home. Why not? The car is big enough to pack them. The set up makes all the difference in enjoying the experience. Now that we’ve “got the gear” and are in the habit of it, camping is so enjoyable.

  13. Nina says...

    Not just French kids, all around Europe (from west to east) children have to learn poetry and then recite it in class. It’s normal practice. I still remember the poems I have learnt and I’m 39, as do my parents who will soon be 70. There are also a kind of book clubs, where every year children can get an award for reading at least 7 books, and on special appointed hours (usually before regular school hours), children are asked various questions by the teacher to prove that they have actually read the assigned book. Some little bookworms read even more. My daughter has already read 10 books this school year.

  14. Bee says...

    The smiling article reminded me of how I used to feel stressed about interactions in the US because I always felt I needed to measure up to the friendliness and energy level so as not to appear rude/curt/cold. For someone from a less expressive culture, it was quite exhausting!

  15. Raissomat says...

    Don’t kids memorize poems in america?! They do here in switzerland and all surrounding countries in primary scool as well. Brain training and familiarity with the varied language and all..it’s the only reason I know some very rarely used words.
    On camping: most families do it for lack of funds, for kids it’s the coolest!! Making pasta and soup on the fire is the best activity, running around free all day..and about the rain..well, you don’t go if they announce bad wearher, and if you get surprised by rain you walk to the next bar and play cards, drink tea and get dry. I have a sensitive back and skin: just pack a rolled foam mattress and real pillow, and put lavender oil or other essential oils in your lotion before bed to protect from bugs. Also, tents have bug nets, so you sleep bug free..what’s the problem. Just kill the five bugs that got in with you, and sleep tight.
    pooping in the woods is great, I don’t know what you mean. Also i like camping near rivers or lakes, so I get to jump in the cold morning water and feel fresher than fresh. You know what keeps the bugs away, makes you sleep tight and relax your back?!? Smoking a little weed. I don’t now, but I remember back in art scool it was key to a fantastic camping trip.

  16. I grew up in France and I remember memorizing these poems every week too because it was such a pain!! I teach French as a foreign language today and honestly, I would never impose that to my students. Memorizing a song or a poem once in a while it’s fun, but every week, it’s torture! ;)
    xx

  17. Magna tiles! I hope you get to build some fun things!

    The smiling bit is fascinating. I’ve never thought about that and often smile purposefully, even while I’m just sitting, in yoga, or at strangers here in the city. I am one of those people! I think appearing friendly, at least in my community, makes you the type of person many people will talk to. I find I am often asked for directions, or about my kid’s biking gear, etc. I love to help and connect with others in any way, so I’ll probably just keep on smiling like a crazy American. ;)

  18. Martina says...

    Just wanted to say that the photo you posted is one of my favourite spots in Prague. Even though I am from Prague, this place still makes me feel like I am in a fairy tale – every single time. :)

  19. Vee says...

    I love camping! I just got back from an eight day trip camping at the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Lake Powell. I was so sad to come home and have to sleep inside again. I think having good gear helps, keeping the meals super simple so it doesn’t feel like a lot of work (hot dogs cooked on the fire for us, soup cooked on a small stove and hot chocolate too, bagels with avocado and smoked cheese in the mornings…) We had a car with us which made it easier; we didn’t have to carry our gear with us and could throw it in the car on the drive between places.

    It also depends where you are and the weather! I’m from Canada and camping is often damp, humid, in the forest or along the beach so you wake up not exactly feeling fresh. This trip, it was warm and dry, and we actually only showered a couple of times but didn’t feel grimy at all. That was a blessing. Plus the huge bonus of hiking and being outside 23 hours a day made for incredible deep and restful sleeps, and it didn’t take either of us more than five minutes to fall asleep. I can’t wait to go back…

  20. Es says...

    How nice to see a picture from my lovely city! Thank you!
    (I just prepared a mini guide for a friend who is visiting Prague for the first time this spring and this was one of the must-see places on my list!)

    As for camping, I love taking long hikes and sleep in a tent wherever I happen to be at the end of the day when I’m too tired to walk anymore. A passion my husband doesn’t share: why would you wreck your back sleeping in a tent after you’ve destroyed your feet by walking?

  21. Wow, I love this post. I really love your way of writing, it’s the main thing that draws me to your blog. I think a can just sense kindness and loveliness within your character :) Thank you for all of these links, they are going to make my weekend great.

    Chloe

  22. shannon says...

    Does anyone remember the freshwater cucumber scent from bath and body works back in 2009-2010? It really did smell like rain! They have discontinued it (whyyyy!?) which still makes me sad. It was delicious.

  23. Katie says...

    I (homeschooled, from the South) memorized poems in elementary school, too! Lots of Robert Louis Stevenson, from what I recall…

    I’m also excited to find that a lot of adult vitamins come in gummy form! I’m gleefully eating Biotin gummies for my weak fingernails now.

    • Katie Larissa says...

      Katie, I’m a homeschooler (from the south) too, and I memorized loads of poems from the time I was 6 years old. (Including Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott — all 20 long stanzas –when I was 11.) I may not homeschool my boys, but I *will* be ensuring that they memorize poetry. I still break into random passages from time to time; my husband rolls his eyes but secretly I think he loves it. ;)

  24. Ana says...

    Smiling! I had to learn to stop smiling in Germany. Made people nervous. They think you want something from them. Funny to see that article about it.

  25. Marie says...

    What, don’t all children memorise poems at school? This French girl is feeling very confused right now.

    • Marielle says...

      They do but not every week. :)

  26. I am so curious about the rain perfume now. It sounds so calming.

  27. Emily says...

    I’d love to hear more about that supplement company. I recently started taking supplements to help manage depression, but I’m pretty sure I’m peeing out most of what I’m taking in :/, and it’s also exhausting and confusing looking for all the different items and sorting out what’s legit and what isn’t. This looks so nice, but I wish it didn’t generate so much trash…

    • Kristin says...

      I meant the vitamins are beautiful, not the ingredients, haha.

  28. Joanna – would love to see a post on beautiful poetry for kids. I love the idea of introducing children to poetry early, but have found it hard getting a good collection together. I would think some of your readers would have some beauties that they could share….

    Cheerio,
    Laura
    Tasmania, Australia

    • Katie says...

      ‘The Harp and the Laurel Wreath’ is a collection of poems of different lengths from many classic authors. My siblings and I memorized these poems as part of our education.

    • Lovely Katie! Thank you so much. Googling now. :-)

    • Jess. says...

      Talking Like the Rain is a lovely collection, as well. xox

  29. Robin says...

    When I lived in Japan, my husband and I took a number of car camping trips. It was perfect! I will happily sleep in a tent if I’m clean and hot from the local hot spring and had GREAT ramen for dinner (never far away no matter where you go). And the hiking was gorgeous, as long as I accepted that seniors would be passing me all day ;).

  30. Robin says...

    Yes to that juice idea! So brilliant!! Fresh, healthy and instant energy you can consume one handed = perfect.

  31. Amy P says...

    I loved that smiling article! My husband spent a year in Lithuania in college and since he’s a pretty cheerful fellow even by Canadian standards, he was told he looked rather “simple” and was told to smile less because occasionally his Lithuanian friends were embarrassed to be seen with him. Haha! It’s true though – whenever I’m with someone and we have a language barrier, I feel like I’m grinning my face off to help compensate!

  32. The camping article was so perfect! My husband and I feel the same way…him even more so. Although I have friends with large families who love and do it well – perhaps because it’s one of the most affordable ways to ‘vacation’ with a larger family. But then they have all the gear to make it easier, like folding tables and a camp stove, which feels luxurious! My experience camping growing up was in the desert in Dubai. That really was magical. One time we slept outside of the tent, and though we joked late into the night about being stepped on by camels, waking up in the air was so special. A separate time, I went to bed wet from a water fight (youth camp out ;) and was so cold all night…miserable!
    The poetry memorization is still a quite common thing for certain types of Charlotte Mason homeschoolers or unschoolers! Such a lovely tradition and something I hope to do with my kids.

  33. I love the fact that Americans smile so much! It’s one of the most endearing aspects of American culture. Who could begrudge people for smiling too much?!

  34. Ally says...

    Love your links, but the Design Sponge ones keep kicking up spammy-looking pop-ups lately…

  35. Sarah says...

    ugh. camping. (shudder)

    although, to be fair, I can barely even tolerate the beach anymore so…. I might not have an objective opinion. haha!

  36. Erin says...

    We bought a 1974 VW Westfalia bus last summer just for camping (since I despise tents). We haven’t actually gotten it out of the driveway yet. LOL. Needs some work – perhaps some suburban driveway camping is in order?

  37. LOL about the camping! I think it’s all about who you go with. Just me and my fiancé = always a fun time and if something goes wrong we just laugh and it becomes a funny memory. Me, my fiancé and his entire family = me hiding from everyone in the tent, purposely straying away on hikes, and begging him to not make me go fishing (because I hate watching fish die right in front of me) and having to avoid that one creepy uncle all day/night. No thanks!

  38. Brianna says...

    Give me all the camping things right up until it’s time to go bed, then please take me to a lovely cabin in the woods with indoor plumbing and a cozy bed. I will happily hike with plenty of water and snacks and proper gear. I will even eat my dinner outdoors cooked over a fire sitting on the ground without complaint. We can stay up late and tell ghost stories. We can play Go Fish by firelight. We can stare at the stars and look for the Big Dipper. I will wash my dishes in the river. But I will not sleep in a tent. I will not go for days without showering. This feels like a foolproof recipe for a several day long migraine. We can even go back out and cook our breakfast over the fire. But please, for the love of all that is good in this world, let me sleep inside, in a bed.

    • Erin says...

      I hate sleeping in a tent. When you wake up and your face is smooshed up against a tent wall full of condensation. Ugh. So gross.

    • Charli says...

      YES YES YES this exactly. This is exactly how I feel.

  39. plch says...

    BTW: that’s a picture of Prague, that’s the smallest and cutest house in the city.
    Thank you for that smiling article, very interestin! It always seemed wierd to me when my friends in the US complained that someone in the street would invite them to smile, something like that would never happen in Europe!

  40. Rhonda says...

    My husband and I camped for six weeks together right after college graduation. I loved it! We had so much fun and had the whole packing, cooking, hiking, etc…thing down to a science. Wyoming, Montana, Canada, Washington, Oregon and Northern California! It was amazing! Now, twenty two years of marriage and three kids later….I HATE camping with the passion of a thousand suns. It’s so much work and equipment and dirty! And my morning coffee is not the same and takes so long! My multiple trips to the bathroom (three kids) in the middle of the night are so far away! And BUGS! I’ve become so soft, such a disappointment to my husband who feels duped. But I feel like it’s everything I do at home, but a lot less convenient and a whole lot dirtier and buggier. No thank you. So much work before, during and after. The views are usually pretty nice, but you can get those from a coffee table book or a day hike if you’re really ambitious.

  41. Katie says...

    Gah-I LOVE that reader quote about Ashley Ford. Amazing!

    • Katherine says...

      Me too! So glad it was highlighted.

  42. cate says...

    I’m intrigued by the care/of supplements, but wouldn’t taking a multivitamin cover all your bases?

    • L says...

      They have supplements other than vitamins, like probiotics, that aren’t covered in a multivitamin. I haven’t actually tried care/of but I do like the idea of personalizing your supplements because obviously not everyone is going to need the same things. With a multivitamin the idea is basically to flood your body with water soluble vitamins so, if your body is deficient you get them, and if not you pee them out. I really wish there was more regulation around supplements and that people actually talked to medical professionals about them, but I do like that care/of will actually tell you how much science there is backing up the use of different supplements.

  43. Ha! My husband and I are going on a 10 week camping trip, beginning on Monday. The camping article made me laugh!

    • ES says...

      Have fun out there!