Design

Five Fun Things

J. Hannah Ring

My dad wears a gold signet ring on his little finger; it was passed down to him from my English grandfather. Nowadays I love seeing beautiful modern takes on signet rings — you can get an initial engraved on it, too, if you’d like. Here are four pretty ones: classic, mama, geometric and colorful.

Funny Insecurity Questions by Liana Finck

Instead of security questions to recover your password, what about insecurity questions? This list made me laugh: “Are you as successful as your parents thought you’d be when you were a kid?” “Will you ever be as happy as you were in your late twenties?”

Best Fudgey Brownie Recipe

At a friend’s house this weekend, we had brownies that were essentially gooey chocolate. Here’s how to make them.

Catastrophe Season 3

An argument for the quickie: “It’s unrealistic to always expect the mood to strike both of you at the same moment, and at a time when sex is even practical,” writes Sali Hughes about sex in long-term relationships. “What is realistic is to… squeeze in a swift one before the kids get home from LaserZone. There’s something bonding and actually pretty funny about saying, ‘We can’t be arsed to have sex, but we really need to’ and mucking in for the good of the relationship, even if it’s with an eye on the clock and an ear to the front door… Don’t underestimate the relationship-sustaining power of the routine rooting.”

Parisian Net Cotton Bag

Are you visiting anyone this summer? Slamdunk host/hostess gift: this $15 cotton bag, filled with yummy treats and flowers.

P.S. More fun things, and the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read.

(Top photo by Bennet Perez of J. Hannah’s signet. Couple in bed from Catastrophe.)

  1. Rebekah says...

    Love the quickie article. Of course no one should feel forced into sex–but it can be so damaging to wait until you’re in the exaaaaact right frame of mind.

    Personally, after I have a baby, I’m pretty uninterested in sex for about five months. But I still need the intimacy it brings to our relationship… plus, I get a kick out of giving my husband pleasure, even when I am not “feeling it” at first. Besides, once we start, I always have fun!! I know that I will be back to my normal self in a little while, and I don’t mind settling for less-than-amazing in the meantime.

  2. That. Chocolate.

  3. Claire Sexton says...

    I ordered a signet version of my class ring when I finished grad school. Looks way better than the bigger class-ring ones so I’m comfortable wearing it wherever.

  4. Sharon in Scotland says...

    I wear a russian wedding ring on my little finger. It is 30 years old (?) and was custom made in one colour gold because I could only find 3 colour gold ones, which I did not want. It has worn a groove in my finger and doesn’t fit on my other little finger. Most of the time I don’t notice it, but when I do……………..it gives me joy!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!!!

  5. Lana says...

    My husband wears a signet ring and for years has been trying to decide what to engrave on it. I always thought it was sort of machismo but apparently I am wrong?! LOL! He’s Italian and also keeps telling me he wants a gold chain to wear around his neck, but I have flashbacks to Andrew Dice Clay and just CAN NOT get on board.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i have to say, i love men wearing signet rings. not so sure about the gold chain, though, haha — alex wears a leather bracelet sometimes and that’s as far as i can go with that :)

    • Lauren E. says...

      Just saying, you know who wears a gold signet ring? Tommy Shelby.

    • My husband wore a ring on his little finger (not a signet) before we were married and I always thought it looked kind of exotic. I don’t mind that he doesn’t now though!

  6. Ah! Those brownies! I’m thinking these are needed tonight after a long day. Love the host gift too!!

  7. Analog House says...

    Lol. This list must have been written by someone young. I haaated my late twenties. Totally miserable. At 42, life has only gotten better and better. Youth is nothing compared to the gifts given to me in my 30s and the wisdom and joy I feel every day for lucky I am in my 40s.

    Analog House

  8. Cynthia says...

    I have a silver signet ring my youngest daughter gave me for my 50th birthday. It is an oval design, rather than round, and my 3 initials are engraved on it. I wear it almost every day, and by now, it looks like a family heirloom.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a beautiful gift, cynthia!

  9. Sarah-Jane says...

    Its great to see a link to the The Pool! A Cup of Jo and The Pool are my two go-to blogs for lunchtime reading.

    Oh… and those brownies!!

  10. Anna says...

    I have to admit, I’m still rather surprised and confused whenever I come across the term “hostess gift” in 2017. How about some gifts for the male host? ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good point, anna! i was thinking of visiting female friends, but you’re right that i should have used a more non-gendered term!

    • To be honest, even if it was for a male host, in my head I would still think ‘hostess gift!’

    • yogamom says...

      Honestly, do we all have to be so careful about using non-gendered terms for the most common everyday expressions? I get quite weary of everything having to be so PC these days.

    • Agnes says...

      Oh brother. (Wait, should that be sister? ;)

  11. Laura C. says...

    My grandad had a gold signet ring with an indigo blu stone on it. I was amazed by it, it was a sign of elegance to me.
    I really like de classic one ring, it would be very nice to have one with my initial on it. It could help when you have some identity issues, you know those times in which you don’t even recognize yourself when you look at you on a mirror…

  12. Lo says...

    My dad has worn a thin gold chain around his neck for as long as I can remember. His mother bought it for him for his 16th birthday, she saved for over a year for it. When he got married his wedding ring hung on there due to the type of job he does, but when he and my mum separated the chain was bare.

    I remember my mum buying another gold ring, imprinted with the letters spelling DAD, to replace it. I was six when I gave it to him, and he cried because even though they were separated, they were still best friends and I think he had been missing the weight of the ring.

    It’s hung there for the last 19 years, and although its gaudy and tarnished now, I wouldn’t swap it for the world!

    Lo
    http://www.themixtures.com

  13. Love that host gift idea! So gonna do that!

  14. Susan says...

    Thanks for the tip off on J.Hannah jewelry. They have several pieces that are just what I’ve been looking for! Thanks for being excellent hunters+sharers for cool classics.

  15. Sarah says...

    Can I just say that Catastrophe is the best? How does it manage to make me laugh out loud and break my heart a little at the same time? Sharon Horgan is a genius. That is all.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, i could not agree more. it’s the only show i’ve watched all the way through and then immediately went back to the beginning and watched it all the way through again. she is definitely a genius — and i love him, too!

  16. Giulia says...

    Hello, lovely people! (Feels like walking in a room full of your best friends’ cool friends). I dreamed about a signet ring all through Uni, and last year (at the end of my PhD, so it took me a while) I found one on Etsy that looks just like the first pic of this post and bought it, and I never ever take it off. The price is reasonable too (46 pounds at the time), and the maker was very nice and helpful. She does not have it on the shop (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NaturalAbstract?ref=l2-shopheader-name) right now, but I at least you could try and ask if she still makes it! It is such a little thing but it makes me so happy. I thought I’d share!

    PS: Cheers, Joanna, from my boyfriend Tom, who calls you affectionately “cupofjo” and asks me what you said each day :) (he also just proposed!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      aww, giulia, you are so cute!!! and congratulations on your engagement! :) :) :) PS hi tom!

    • Emma says...

      Haha! My husband likes hearing about this blog too! I always start out by saying, “I read on this blog today . . .” and one day my husband said, “You mean Joanna Goddard?” Lol I guess he pays attention more than I think!

  17. M says...

    I have a signet ring that I wear as my only piece of every-single-day jewelry. I bought it from a local artist when I graduated from university, and I truly treasure it. The ring is made handmade from bronze, dipped in black enamel and over the years the enamel has started to wear off, revealing the metal underneath. I see it as a reminder of growth and the passing of time and like to think that maybe someday I’ll have it re-enamelled to mark another milestone. I love this kind of sentimental jewelry!

  18. Auste says...

    I’m always game for a quickie (“the girls are watching “Moana”, nows our chance!!”) – more often than not that’s the only way we get any loving in our lives. But right now, all I want in my life is those BROWNIES!! Wowza.

    • Trisha says...

      Your rings are absolutely gorgeous! I think I have seen them on cup of jo before or maybe another blog?? not sure, but I am in love!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so beautiful, emily!

    • Aw, thank you Trisha and Joanna, you ladies just made my day!

  19. I have to try the brownies! Though TBH, my favorite brownies are chocolate mousse brownies (recipe found on the back of a bag of Jack Frost sugar ages ago), and I think they’ll be hard to beat! I also sometimes alter the recipe to be laced with espresso, which is always a crowd pleaser. But I’m always open to new chocolate treats! And these have FROSTING! :D

  20. Tamara says...

    One of the problems with the quickie argument, which I’ve seen a lot, is a lot women can’t orgasm either quickly or without foreplay or oral, or so I’ve heard. I personally need a zen master’s level of concentration for orgasm but I’m sometimes game for a quickie, mostly for my partner’s sake, and I still have fun with it, even if it doesn’t do much for me. I’m also wondering about this advice for people who experience pain if things are warmed up properly, or for survivors, who need a lot of safety. Just some thoughts.

    • Sarah says...

      Yes! This is such a good point about sex being defined as male orgasm as prereq for the quickie. Is this an idea we’ll ever get away from in hetero relationships? On the other hand, I have (female, heterosexual) friends who have a harder time reaching orgasm and they still very much enjoy having sex regardless. It’s an interesting topic!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is a good point! although i still really love a quickie? (TMI?) curious to hear from other women!

    • Meredith says...

      Advising women to have sex when they don’t want to just to ‘maintain’ a relationship makes me feel weird every time I see it. You are controlled by hormones. If you have a full plate of kids and can’t handle or don’t want anymore, your body adjusts, making you not want sex. If you are edging closer to menopause and can no longer support a pregnancy, your body doesn’t desire sex. If you have an illness or a condition that your body is concentrating on healing and a pregnancy would disrupt, your body will not desire sex. It is all hormones. It is not natural for women to want sex all of the time and we shouldn’t force ourselves to. We are not men. Men evolved to want sex all of the time for the most part. This icky notion that women have to engage in this behavior….going along to get along just needs to go away.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i hear you, meredith. that’s a great point.

      i figured this author’s point was more about knowing you’ll get into the mood once you’ve started kissing etc, which i think is a good thing to remember (since sometimes at the end of a long day, you’re not in the mood until you start). i liked this line: “One may not instinctively be in the mood but, within the confines of a loving, mutually respectful relationship, one rarely regrets having sex, only avoiding getting started.”

      but absolutely if you don’t want to have sex, you should never have to, ever, under any circumstances!

    • Sarah says...

      In response to Meredith, I certainly agree with your points! However, you say that men naturally want more sex, it is just their hormones. I’d say the majority of us still hope and plan to meet, fall in love and have a long term monogamous relationship, (despite the reality that often actually happens). I think it’s fair to say to men, don’t expect your female partner to always be up for sex, but also, it’s fair to say to women, go ahead and just try a quickie, you might find you enjoy it!

    • Isabelle says...

      I really enjoyed reading the quickie story and I think it would hold true for lots of couples. Often there are other issues at play of course, as several commenters have pointed out, and in my own relationship body insecurity is a big factor in not having more sex. But, I felt like the article was aimed not just at women. And I also feel like it’s a stereotype that men always want more sex. Has that been biologically proven? There are plenty of women with high libidos too.

    • Meredith says...

      Men can procreate pretty much until they die, so yes, it is a biological fact that they have a higher drive than women do. Women have limited reproductive years. There is to evolutionary advantage or purpose for a woman to have a desire for sex after her reproductive years are over or if her body is incapable of reproducing because of some disease or condition during her reproductive years. Yes, some women have higher libidos than others during their reproductive years. A woman’s libido is highest as she is just about to enter perimenopause, sort of the body’s last gasp at passing on the DNA via offspring.

  21. Ileana says...

    That essay on routine sex is EXACTLY how I feel. I can’t believe I hadn’t come across that one! Most of the time I feel like the biggest chore is getting started. I’m the one that initiates the majority of the time, (ok, maybe all the time), and he follows along, making the experience great for us both. What I usually do is start thinking about it early in the morning, ask him if he “wants to have some fun tonight” and send him cheeky text messages during the day. That way, we’re both thinking about it when we get home that night.

    Thanks for posting, Joanna!

  22. Trisha says...

    ughhhh I am all the time looking for an affordable signet ring! I really want to splurge for myself for Mother’s Day but can’t afford it! I love the first one and the Mama one!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      here’s a $17 one that you could get engraved! http://bit.ly/2q18tri

    • Trisha says...

      Omg! I feel like my celebrity crush just answered my fan mail or something! Ha! Seriously adore your site, have been reading for a few years and have just started taking the plunge on commenting! Thanks so much for the link, buying for myself stat!

    • Emily says...

      Hehe Trisha your reply is so cute, I felt the same way when Joanna responded to one of my comments recently. I’ve been reading CoJ for 8 (!?) years and just started getting in on this commenting action. ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww, thank you, trisha :)

  23. Lis says...

    I just had weird reverse insecurity reading that NYTimes cartoon. I’m in my late 20s right now and… uhh … are they implying this is as good as it gets?

    • Lis says...

      *New Yorker, whoops!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i assumed that was the author’s funny take on her own life. personally, i like my thirties WAY better than my twenties, and a lot of my friends feel the same!

    • Bobby says...

      Sweetie, let me tell you, your twenties are the worst!!! Trust me, it’s so much better later on!

    • Lis says...

      Thanks for your sweet replies Joanna and Bobby. I was having a rough day and you’ve cheered me up! I’m turning 29 next week and while the last few years have been challenging, I feel like the next decade is going to be GREAT (I’ll be getting married, buying a house, I am finally settling into my career and it’s going great, and am now financially able to make travelling a priority) Bring it on :)

    • No! I just turned 4-0 and have never been happier!! :)

  24. kayla says...

    i need those brownies ASAP. #whole30probs

    • Sarah says...

      Lol yup right there with you.

  25. What a sweet summer hostess gift idea! And that BROWNIE. Need.

  26. Lauren E. says...

    Oh… my… god that brownie.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s so, so good. like crazy good.