Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

Have a Lovely Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? Tonight, we’re actually flying to Italy for a family vacation! We are so excited; Toby and Anton are bouncing off the walls. Thank you so much for the advice — we decided to go to Rome, Tuscany and Venice, and I can’t wait to just soak up the boys. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links around the web…

The first thing I packed for our trip.

Forty ounce rosé, dreams do come true ;)

Hasan Minhaj’s stand-up special was the best TV I’ve seen in ages. Highly recommended.

How to raise a reader. “Make reading a group activity. Just as younger children parallel play, older children parallel read. And reading together — separately — is a wonderful way to spend time in each other’s company. Instead of organizing family leisure time around TV, movies or video games, schedule a regular family reading time.”

Digging Bon Appetit’s rent week series.

Five times you thought you were sexually harassed. Worth reading.

The kind gesture that helps Elizabeth Gilbert find the light on her worst days.

This dress has such a pretty back.

My friend sent me this video and we laughed for like a half hour. (Chasing! Being chased!)

Cool new brand for petite ladies.

How to be mindful on vacation.

Plus, three reader comments:

Says Leanna on things that enchant children: “True story: I picked out my ‘grandma name’ before I even picked out names for my own kids, and it’s 100% going to be COOKIE! Where would you rather go? Granny’s house or Cookie’s house?!”

Says Layne on travel pillows: “The trick to using U-shaped pillows is to turn them around backwards. That way your head can rest all the way against the seat, and if your head nods forward, the pillow is there to catch you.”

Says Celeste on keeping the spark alive: “Keeping the spark alive is definitely a challenge, and we’ve been together only eight years! One thing we do is light role playing, which is so, so dorky, I know. My husband might say something like, ‘I’m an underwear model and I can’t believe I get to work with the esteemed photographer Celeste.’ The dumber the scenario the better, honestly. It usually devolves into fits of laughter at the reveal: ‘Oh my gosh, I never knew she was MY WIFE.’ Haha, it’s truly terrible theater, but telling those stories is a funny way of getting inside each other’s brains.”

(Photo by Yossy Arefi.)

  1. i loved tuscany so much, lucky you!
    hope you’ll have a wonderful time!
    s.

  2. Mrs Z says...

    The beginning of the video you laughed so hard watching mocks an old man’s gate. This is ageist & cruel.
    Your sister treated my husband once & she was very kind

    • t says...

      I don’t want to diminish your feelings but doesn’t the video mock almost everyone’s gate? That’s why it is amazing.

  3. Sarah says...

    Thanks so, so much for sharing the Elizabeth Gilbert piece. It resonates particularly strongly for me right now, as I live in a city that, while safe and charming, can be challenging. I was riding the bus home last week and had an experience that began with a crabby bus driver, a rider who was berating him about being re-routed due to fireworks display, several teenagers ignoring the driver’s requests to turn down their music, and four 60-ish Italians who had very limited English. Somehow I and two other Americans on the bus decided the Italians needed help with directions, and were attempting to use our limited Romance language skills (mine practically nil, the man’s limited to French, the young woman deploying a translate app on her phone) to assist them. They finally convinced us they were unconcerned with the detour as they were headed to a family member’s house (fils-a word I recognized!), and as we were all laughing (the Italians seemed charmed by our earnest bumbling, and we three Americans were self-deprecatingly congratulating ourselves for trying to solve a problem that didn’t exist) the bus rolled past the stadium at just the right moment for an enormous white starbust to explode above us. “Oooohh, aaaahhhh!” the Italians cried, and we all laughed at this mobile Fellini show we had found ourselves in. That evening, and Gilbert’s piece, remind me why I love American cities despite their (serious and petty) challenges: the interdependence, the diverse viewpoint I get just by living here requires me to look outside myself, and thank goodness for that.

  4. G says...

    My husband and I watched the Haden Minhaj special on Netflix tonight and loved it. Thank you for the recommendation.

  5. How absolutely delightful is the piece by Elizabeth Gilbert.

    Enjoy your holiday! xxx

  6. AJH says...

    The Kind Gesture just killed me! Smiling from ear to ear :)

  7. Scarlett says...

    I can’t wait to hear about how the boys are loving Italy!!

  8. Parrish McWhorter says...

    Where are you going in Tuscany?! I’m studying abroad in the cutest little town in Tuscany called Cortona and I would be thrilled to show your family around!
    -Parrish McWhorter

  9. Hope you have a wonderfull trip to Italy, and thank you for the weekly inspo.

  10. shopgirl says...

    If you are in architecture, they just opened a tribute exhibition of Zaha Hadid work at the Maxxi Museum.

  11. shopgirl says...

    I wonder why are Americans so obsessed with Italy ?? :-) :-) … always the classic choice for a European holiday.

  12. Elena says...

    I`d love to wear a dress with an open back (although I have an ugly surgery scar, but hey, who cares?) A much bigger problem for me is, that I don´t know what bra to wear with it. I have cup c, so I can´t and don´t want to do without a bra. Does someone has a good idea? thx <3

    • L says...

      I have one that has a really long band that wraps around your waist and crosses in the back that works well.

  13. Great choice of cities Joanna! How luck your boys are to experience other another culture at such a young age :D Enjoy your trip!

  14. Clara says...

    Did anyone else notice that the top review for The Bright Hour on Amazon is by the writer’s husband? “Totally 100% unbiased” – so adorable!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so cute!

  15. Have a wonderful time in Italy. Just visited Venice last week and it was magical. A couple of things I would recommend:
    – Dine at Al Covo (lunch or dinner). It was AMAZING.
    – Listen to Radio Lab’s recent podcast on Venetian gondolier’s and then contact Alex Hai Tours via Facebook. But listen first. A reluctant lightning rod (2x over!)
    – See Damien Hirst’s Venice Biennale sculptures (spans two locations)
    – Go to the roof at the top of the department store T Fondaco dei Tedeschi (right near the Rialto bridge) for an amazing view of the Grand Canal. It sits much higher than the other buildings so you get a bird’s eye view
    – Go see the outdoor sculpture of the hands holding up the Ca Sagredo Hotel (it’s a statement on climate change).
    – Go to the Piazza San Marco after 9:30pm as it may start to flood and wear a skirt and sandals. Then you and the boys can splash around in the rising tide.

    • One additional thought about the gondola experience. The boys may like to experience a singing gondolier and Alex doesn’t sing for you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, isabel!!!

  16. Raeleen Redzuan says...

    Thank you, thank you for posting about Hasan Minhaj! I live in Malaysia and would’ve never heard of him otherwise, me in my “mom bubble” in Asia. His show made me laugh and cry. So good. Nerdy & slick? My perfect combo.

  17. Katie says...

    Enjoy your time in Italy! My husband and I are currently in Venice. I can hardly walk more than five feet without stopping to take a picture of some beautiful or surprising thing. It’s lovely!

  18. T says...

    I just finished the Hasan minhaj special – thank you for the recommendation. So, so good!!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad you enjoyed it!!! i want to watch it again :)

  19. The parallel reading bit brought me back to when I was little, my younger sis and I would do *perpendicular* reading. It started when our mom only brought one Harry Potter home from the library, and obviously we weren’t going to take turns, so we just read it at the same time. One of us would get a head start, and then we’d read from either side of the middle block of pages (held upright). Now wishing I had a perpendicular reading partner these days!

    • maggie says...

      Late commenter, but this is awesome! Wish my sister and I had thought of it growing up!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg that is so so cute, lauren.

  20. Lisa says...

    Is there a link to the recipe for that yummy looking blueberry cobbler?

  21. Gina says...

    I can’t wait to read that book – maybe I’ll do so while sipping some rose ;) Enjoy your Italian adventure!!

  22. Growing up, one of my favorite treats was a READING DINNER! I got to prop up my book on a cookbook holder (ah, the days before Kindles!) and read to my heart’s content while eating dinner. Looking back, I’m sure part of it was to ease a bit of the exhaustion of being a single mom with a very chatty daughter. But it was so much fun! Even now, I sometimes suggest to my husband that we have “reading breakfasts” when we’re on vacation and both in the middle of good books :)

    • Kim says...

      Oh, Christine, my kids and I have the same thing when my husband is not going to be home for dinner. And we call it the same thing, a Reading Dinner. They always request it. It’s such a nice change. I thought we were the only ones who did this!

  23. Lou says...

    I recently had the revelation that wondering whether an uncomfortable moment would qualify as sexual harassment or not is irrelevant to my feelings. Even though it is hard to stop wondering if my memories were accurate or not, it shouldn’t matter. My boarders were crossed, my lines overstepped. And they are my feelings that need to be taken care of. I am more important than my memories.

    • Lou says...

      Of course sexual harassment should not be ignored on a legal basis. But moments that happened years ago I cannot change. I can stand up for myself in the future, for I have decided to not let anyone intentionally make me uncomfortable in any way. For those that struggle with memories and (past) emotions, it will get better and seeking professional help will benefit anyone.

  24. Fourty ounce rose!!! Wow, dreams most certainly do come true hahaha :) Thank you for sharing this list, I’ll be sure to make my way through it over the weekend as I always find it so fun to do so! Have an amazing time in Italy, the country looks incredible – From the buildings, to the culture; Everything about it seems amazing. I can’t wait to see the pictures :)

    Chloe

  25. Anna Martini says...

    Ciao! That sounds like a GREAT trip! I am one of your readers, and an American living in Porto Ercole, Italy ( tuscany). I recommend stopping here and taking a swim on GIglio island! The kids would love it !! Stop by our pizzeria “Grano” in porto Ercole and say hi! :-)

  26. Abesha1 says...

    Maybe it’s just me…? But I don’t get the point of the harassment article? Maybe it’s just totally obvious sarcasm, because all those situations are wrong.

    Someone explain?

    • Abby says...

      It’s not sarcasm exactly; it’s commentary on how we as women get told that all of those situations (which are, 100%, totally harassment and abuse) are no big deal or maybe even our fault or something we encouraged. And showing how we all have those small or large incidents add up in our lives and then we’re adults in a society where we all partially believe (or once believed) that these things aren’t clear harassment and unequivocally wrong. Which they definitely are.

    • marie says...

      yes it’s sarcasm

    • Marta says...

      it made me mad as well, it should be labeled as so, it should include some punch line or something. Every man reading it will get it wrong, and many women will too. Disgusting, to be honest!

    • Suzanne says...

      TOTALLY AGREED. This article should /minimally/ have a witty retort at the end…

    • Aya says...

      I’m glad to see some confirmation that those situations were indeed sexual harassment and that I’m not the only dense one in getting the joke-y article.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES, the article is definitely saying that ALL of these are wrong and trying to get across how we’re told by society to minimize them in our own minds and doubt ourselves when we feel uncomfortable. it’s DEFINITELY satire. I thought that came across clearly, but I can see how it could be confusing, too!

  27. Julia says...

    Really keen to hear your travelling and packing tips with young children, please!
    My husband and I and our 2 and 4 year old sons are soon to head off on a six week trip around South East Asia. The goal is to take only one large pack and two small day bags (one doubles as a carrier for the two year old) away with us, so as to stay as hands-free and mobile as possible (which I’m hoping should be doable given the hot hot climate: with no heavy boots, jackets, gloves, etc needed, and drying times being quick so we should be able to wash clothes in the evening easily).
    Although I remain hopeful that this will work, I have NO idea how to pack for myself for six weeks in what will need to fit in less than a 1/4 of a pack (and still want to look a little trendy and fun and not tooo much like a tech-fabric-multi-function-practical-explosion), and also what to take for the boys when toy/entertainment space will be at a premium.
    Also tips for two 13 hour and multiple 1 hour flights with two little guys, please!!

    Thanks :)

    • Julia says...

      oh! and have a wonderful time in Italy, we had a blast there a few years ago and I cannot wait to go back one day!! wonderful places to experience.

    • Rachel says...

      Rolls of blue tape are my little kid travel secret. They come in handy for taping up an art gallery on the back of the seat in front of you. Use them as a drawing template for circles. Who doesn’t love to make things with tape? And, it’s super fun to “race” them while waiting around in the airport. Have a great trip!

  28. We just booked a trip to France and are swinging through Italy for a few days! I AM SO excited. I’ll be sure to check out all the suggestions from your previous post – I haven’t been since I was 16 and don’t want to miss anything, even if it’s only 3 days!

    P.S. Oprah.com wont let me on their website because I use an adblocker, but I really want to read that article! Help!

  29. Emily says...

    Really loved the Elizabeth Gilbert piece you shared.
    Wish I had Italy recs, but alas I do not. Maybe some day.
    Ciao and safe travels!

  30. Libbynan says...

    Thanks for the Elizabeth Gilbert piece. It really isn’t that difficult to be nice to the people around you….even when you are having a bad day…..or year. I can’t see how being cranky or hateful can possibly make any situation better. I’m seventy years old and would never sit while a pregnant woman stood. Maybe I just respect myself too much to act badly to others just because I had a bad day.

  31. Chelsey says...

    My two kids and I also leave tomorrow for Italy (my husband is already there lucky guy)! Maybe we will see you in Tuscany! Hope you have a wonderful vacation! xx

  32. Catherine says...

    Hasan Minhaj’s first joke is your classic sexist wife joke. It saddens me that this material still has currency in this day and age. It also saddens me that a pro feminist blog then promotes it as funny.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh! i don’t remember that joke — i’ll go back and watch it again, thank you, catherine. the rest of the special is SO good, talking about growing up with personal stories about religion, his parents, racism, dating, prom night horrors, etc. it’s really, really good.

    • T says...

      Catherine I just watched the opening monologue for the hasan minhaj’s special (for the second time) and I am not grasping your idea of sexism. I do recognize the joke on marriage but it didn’t at all seem sexist. As a married lesbian jokes about marriage and commitment are hilarious and not gender specific. That’s the beauty about marriage in our country at this time.

  33. Thank you for sharing the piece by Elizabeth Gilbert. I love her so much! She is always so encouraging & inspiring :) Enjoy your time in Italy!

  34. Jen says...

    Hasan Minhaj, YES!

  35. Sarah says...

    Feeling totally inspired by the rent week recipes! Have an amazing time in Italy!

  36. MA says...

    Have a lovely vacation!!!

    Thanks for the petite clothing link.

    And raising a reader – we do this and it totally works. We enjoy watching movies and playing games together, etc, but we all really enjoy reading with each other.

  37. Olivia says...

    Not for nothing, but the rosé is called 40 ounce rosé and the size is listed on the main page as 33.82 ounces. Drives me crazy! haha

  38. Allison says...

    Once when I was feeling stupid about a mix up due to language barrier on a holiday, my husband pointed out what a great, funny anecdote it would make and that reframing totally changed my mood. Now whenever part of a holiday doesn’t go as planned I try to think of what a good part of the holiday story it will make later. This is especially useful when travelling with small children. We just look at each other and say “hilarious adventure!”.

  39. Alice says...

    Have a beautiful stay in Italy :) If you’re in Rome and need a little help or anything, I’d be glad to help. I’ve always loved the blog and I’d be happy to lend a hand or any kind of suggestions, from food to places( I’m a 25 years old architecture student and I live just outside the city centre ). Have a pleasant flight! :)

  40. Jenny says...

    In case you are flying back from VCE on July 9….encourage the boys to peek in the flight deck. It may be my flight and it’s so great for kids to meet a woman pilot! We are working our way up from women making up just a tiny 4% of pilots (breaking stereotypes starts with the littlest potential future pilots both boys and girls!).

    • Rebecca says...

      This is one of the best comments I’ve ever read!

    • Drew says...

      Yes! Whenever I see a female pilot, I point her out to my daughter (now 3) and say “she flies airplanes”. It’s so important for me to make sure she sees women, and people of color, in professional roles and in charge!

    • Klara says...

      That’s great to point out Jenny! I used to skydive and once when I was walking back to the hangar after landing, there was a little girl watching with her dad. When she noticed me, her jaw dropped, she pointed and said “Look daddy, a girl with a parachute!!”. It’s still one of my favourite moments from my skydiving years: I felt like she would always remember that girls can do extraordinary things as well.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg yes jenny!!!!!! you are awesome!!!

  41. joanna ference says...

    Great choice of cities Joanna! How luck your boys are to experience other another culture at such a young age :) Enjoy your trip!

    Loving the rent week dinner recipes too.

    As a petite woman I was so excited to see that clothing line link — but I have to say I am very disappointed to see that their sizes only range from xxs to small. Petite women are short in stature but not always so small all around. I personally fluctuate between smalls and mediums so probably wouldn’t even fit in this line. Sigh. Still waiting on a fashionable petite line for ALL petite ladies

    • Andrea says...

      Maybe they meant REALLY petite ladies?!? ;)

      I am nowhere near petite, but I feel your pain. My Mom is a Petite XL and it’s hard finding clothes for her when I buy gifts.

    • YES! I came here to comment exactly this. I wish the fashion industry would settle on what they mean by petite. Usually it means short (ie: in pants, its always a shorter inseam, and goes up to size large+++, just like in regular and tall) but sometimes it just means small sizes like 00/XXS. It’s so frustrating. I’m 5′ tall, and typically a size 6 (which is usually medium). Curvy short girls exist!! Ugh. I was so excited about this brand (short trousers!? the dream.), then felt super deflated when I looked at their size chart.

  42. Lily says...

    Have a wonderful trip!

  43. Erin says...

    Wow – thanks for including the “rent week” recipes. At first, I had NO IDEA what the hell “rent week” was (chalk it up to being either too old, I suppose). Side note: googling “rent week” does not help, I actually had to utilize deductive reasoning. But, this is super exciting for me, as my husband is a teacher and well, he’s on a 10-month pay schedule. This means, the next two months we’re going to be relying on my income alone to pay all the bills (including the mortgage) and these recipes will really come in handy!

  44. lisa says...

    On the raising a reader, my daughter (almost 6) has plunged into chapter books. As I soaked in the tub the other night, I could see her under her covers, silently reading to herself, all while listening to Taylor Swift on an ipod. She’s been staying up later and later so she can finish her book. All I can think is “Oh my reader, you have arrived!” while I climb into bed next to her and read my own book. It is my greatest joy to see her really learning to love reading.

  45. The comment about u-shaped travel-size pillows JUST BLEW MY MIND.

    • AJH says...

      RIGHT?!

  46. amy says...

    Have a great trip to Italy. I LOVED the bright hour (book). So many lessons from Nina and from your wonderful BIL Paul, in his lovely book. I wondered if Lucy had read The Bright Hour?

    Safe travels.

  47. Laura says...

    How hard is it to make larger sizes along with the petit ones? Only xxs, xs, and s? You’ve got to be kidding.

    • Hannah says...

      I know, I was really bummed when I saw that because their clothes are gorgeous. I’m short, but definitely not skinny.

  48. OH MY GOD THANK YOU for the petite clothing site! I am 5’1″, a small size, but with curves, and it’s so hard to find stuff that fits. I thought I’d be stuck shopping Ann Taylor loft petites for the rest of my life if I wanted clothes I didn’t need to alter. SO WONDERFUL. Thank you again!

  49. Claire says...

    Just returned from 10 days in Venice and Florence with my 3 and almost 6 year old boys. Boat rides everyday were the best! If you fly in to Venice, highly recommend you take a speedboat taxi in from the airport- it’s an incredible first view and the kids love it! (and Burano, one of the Venetian islands is gorgeous with pastel houses, delicious bakeries (they have a special local s shape cookie) and restaurants. Have a great time!

  50. brianna says...

    Have the best time in Italy! Can’t wait to see your photos when you return.

  51. Sam says...

    I hope you have a wonderful time in Italy! I went to Rome and Sorrento this spring as a sort of babymoon as I’m due with my first this September, and I want to be able to share adventures like that with my little one someday. I’m sure I was about as excited as your boys are :)