Design

Four Fun Things for Summer

A Caprese salad with fruit

Fellow raw-tomato-haters, you’re in luck! A Caprese salad with fruit might be the summer appetizer you’ve been waiting for. “Just aim for something juicy and fresh,” says Bon Appetit. These figs look amazing, and peaches and plums are also on my to-try list.

Best Black Denim Shorts

I am not a person who enjoys wearing shorts. But after a recent miserably humid day, I stumbled across the perfect pair. Now, I never want to take them off. The length is adjustable (you can roll the hems or leave them down); there’s a bit of stretch; and they have a magic amount of high rise (in a vintage-y cool, but actually comfortable way). Turns out, more than 50 reviewers agree with me, with comments ranging from “these are the BEST SHORTS I’VE EVER OWNED” to “the denim short you’ve been dreaming of.”

Are You Going on a Vacation or Trip?

The handy guide for parents — Are You Going on a Vacation or Trip? — made us laugh out loud. “If you are traveling by car, there is a good chance it’s a trip. If you have packed one or more ‘throw-up bags,’ clearly, it’s a trip. If you packed a training potty, not a vacation. A trip if ever there was one.”

Samantha Irby

On the subway last week, a fellow passenger was reading Samantha Irby’s new book of personal essays and laughing so hysterically that other passengers couldn’t help joining in. My friend, whose roommate was halfway through it, said she could hear laughter through the apartment walls. Joanna devoured the first chapter last night — about why Irby thinks she should be the next Bachelorette — and told me it was smart, sardonic and (needless to say) totally hilarious. Sounds like the perfect summer book.

P.S. The #1 item you need for house guests, and nine tips for nervous fliers.

  1. That Huff Post piece about vacations versus trips is funny, but jaded. Joanna’s recent trip to Italy is a testament to how slow travel with kiddos might be different to traveling with just your spouse, but equally rewarding in different ways. I have traveled with my daughter since she was around 7 weeks old, and have adored having her as my co-adventurer.

    Of course there are sleepless nights, diaper disasters, exploding yoghurt cups, airport tantrums, and Sirius other mishaps… but the good always outweighs the bad. We all just need to stop expecting these picture-perfect vacations and start enjoying the trip! Then the trip becomes the vacation :-)

  2. That books sounds so good! I might just buy it! xx

  3. Lanette says...

    Listened to the audio book of Irby, herself, reading it. Hilarious! Highly recommend.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, what a great tip! my friend listened to amy peohler’s book that way and said it made it even funnier. good call! xo

  4. Jenna says...

    Love the fun things this week! I’ve been struggling to find shorts I like and am so excited to go try those on at Madewell. And added that book to me Good Reads. I recently tried reading a book that I heard was funny, and it just didn’t do it for me, so I’m hopeful this one will give me a few laughs. Thank you!

  5. Jen says...

    Samantha Irby’s book is even better as an audiobook. Hilarious.

  6. I’m not much of a non-fiction girl, but if this can make a subway car full of strangers laugh I’m in!

    Nicolette

  7. Amanda says...

    At a restaurant earlier this week I ordered a caprese with burratta, a balsamic reduction, green and purple basil leaves, and watermelon with big, yummy flakes of sea salt on it…. I’ve been dreaming about it since! I love tomatoes but this was real. good.

  8. omg the trip vs vacation had me dying.
    last summer i went to Colombia (where my family is from) for two weeks with: my toddler, my husband, my sister, my parents, my in-laws. we also met with a lot of family, some which went with us on a lego of of it. it was amazing, but it was A LOT. a friend from work texted me when i was telling her about my son catching a stomach bug while we were away – “remember, it’s not a vacation, it’s a trip.”

  9. Who doesn’t like raw tomatoes? I didn’t even know that was a thing!!

    I have to repeat a comment I made on a previous post: when you’ve got Long Butt, as I do, high-rise shorts are NEVER the answer. Unless the question is: How can I make my butt look even bigger AND be miserably uncomfortable while doing it?

    (Total side note – I used to really enjoy finding new blogs by reading comments on your posts – can you go back to displaying the website when someone leaves a comment? And while I’m on the topic: http://www.mydearsabrina.com)

  10. Caroline says...

    Those Madewell shorts ARE the BEST I have ever owned. I’m 5’7″ and always feel Madewell shorts are way too short. These I wear totally unrolled and they are perfect. Highly recommend!

  11. jeannie says...

    Those markers making it a trip not a vacation are cracking me up!

  12. Lana says...

    I love that burrata had basically taken over where, just a year ago, fresh mozzarella would have been just fine. Hahaha!

  13. Linda says...

    Wow! All these years I thought I was taking vacations, I was only taking trips. Money seems to be a big factor between a vacation and a trip. For me, I’ll keep taking trips. That seems to be where memories are made.

  14. Lynn-Holly Wielenga says...

    I 100% agree. I have the same pair of black Madewell shorts and I LOVE them. In the beginning of the summer, I tried on a pair of shorts I had been holding onto for a couple summers hoping that THIS summer would be the summer that they fit. (Does anyone else do that?? Such a demoralizing habit. I’m switching to team donate to goodwill.) And, unsurprisingly, they did not fit. I was a bit sad about it, and when I told my husband, he just said- “Well, it looks like it’s time to buy you some new shorts.” And we went to Madewell that weekend where I found the perfect pair. So, if you need shorts this summer, definitely recommend going to Madewell.

    • Jenna says...

      I do that too!! It’s the worst. And I usually end up trying them on before I leave for a trip and then I’m sad. I need to switch to team donate too! And I’m so excited to go try on these shorts!

  15. shannon says...

    We don’t even have kids, and the vacation vs. trip article is still so relevant. We visit/travel with my in-laws quite a bit and often take our dog, so … is it possible we haven’t “vacationed” in years???! Hilarious!

  16. I have such a hard time with shorts. Unless your legs are little sticks I feel like it’s normal to hesitate in buying them, but they can be so comfortable. I’ll have to check these out! This book looks amazing, anything with a cat cover is good for me!

    P.S. Caprese with grilled peaches is also the bee’s knees! My wedding caterer made this for our big day and it was exceptional!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg grilled peaches = that sounds AMAZING.

  17. brianna says...

    I find the key to raw tomatoes is to use cherry or grape tomatoes. They are still raw, but it’s less tomato real estate to manage. I cut them in quarters and up the cheese ratio and add avocado. I mostly like raw tomatoes, but definitely prefer cherry or grape tomatoes when consuming them raw.

  18. Tara says...

    I love that vacation or trip guide. We are going on a trip this weekend with extended family. Maybe I can pick up that book before we leave.

  19. I’m checking out those shorts right now. Also that scene of someone laughing hysterically on the subway kills me. This book is next on my list.

    x Tali

  20. I concer with the assessment of “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life”. It is hilarious, authentic and well written. The Chicago urban setting was perfect because I live in the city and know exactly how some of her experiences of life here actually feel.

  21. Paula says...

    OMG raw tomato haters unite!! I get such weird looks when I tell people I can’t stand them.

    • Linda says...

      I’m with you! I hate raw tomatoes. It is the mouth feel of them I can’t handle.

    • Olivia says...

      Totally agree. Would have so many more food choices if I didn’t find them so awful!

    • Lana says...

      I understand the hate, but I do have to ask: even summer tomatoes??

  22. Trisha says...

    oh my god. the trip vs. vacation is so my life right now. husband and I fought the entire damn time at our beach “vacation” last month. He has actually opted out of our Gatlinburg “vacation” that I am leaving for tonight with an almost 2 year old. by myself. driving through the mountains. at night. after an entire day of work. sigh. to say I’m pissed is an understatement but I get it I guess. maybe the break will be good. he is the “default” stay at home parent, and this article actually did make me feel for him. but just a little. ;-)
    thanks for the laugh this morning! I needed it!

  23. That book has been on my list for a while but now I’m going to take action and purchase it!

  24. Cait says...

    Caprese with peaches and burrata is amazing!

    • Sounds delicious! I’m trying it this summer. Thanks! :)

  25. Those shorts seem stunning and perfect for the summer time. I’m not a big fan of shorts either but the weather forces me to wear them at times. And gah, sounds like a really hilarious and witty book, I love books that can make you laugh. Totally will keep an eye out for that!

    Joanne

  26. May says...

    “Last night Joanna devoured the first chapter last night ”

    Sorry, the editor in me :)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Oops, thank you, May!

  27. Beth says...

    I’ve never been a big shorts fan, mostly because I don’t like my legs – they’re “athletic”, if you will. They are also long, so most shorts are just too short and revealing on me. But this year I decided I’m going to rock shorts (4″ inseam and longer) and I don’t care what anyone thinks of my “mom” legs with varicose veins, a little extra muscle/flesh around the thighs and calves, etc. I have a few fun pairs that I LOVE and am so happy I stopped caring what other people thought. I don’t wear shorts to work, but on the weekends my go to pairs are these adorable corduroy cutoffs from Carve Designs – https://www.carvedesigns.com/collections/pants-and-shorts/products/oahu-short, old Madewell army shorts like these – https://www.madewell.com/madewell_category/PANTSSHORTS/shorts/PRDOVR~A0169/A0169.jsp, and some jean cutoffs from the Loft (my favorite affordable “mom” store). Yay for shorts!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      You are awesome, Beth! Love those shorts, too!

  28. JessicaD says...

    We Are Never Meeting In Real Life is the read of the summer. Not only is it hilarious, it is insightful and interesting and very well written. I didn’t want it to end! (And would secretly love to meet Sam in real life…)

    • Christine says...

      SAME!! I adore her on a level that is bordering on fangirl.

  29. Sarah K says...

    My husband and I are currently on a TRIP with four kiddos and my extended family. We just cry-laughed our way through that first link. I think it takes us an hour to sunscreen everyone every morning…😉

  30. That book is now on my Amazon wish list. Sounds like an awesome read :)

  31. Beth says...

    It’s so nice to hear that I’m not the only one who dislikes raw tomatoes! I love a good Tomato + basil + mozzarella – tomato sandwich (I had an open faced one for lunch in fact). I get the strangest looks when asking if they’ll hold the tomato! I love the idea of adding a fruit. Peach will be my first try.

  32. Lily says...

    Laughing so hard at that first one!

  33. I hate raw tomatoes too, EXCEPT in caprese salad. And a feta-heavy greek salad. Something about good salty cheese makes the tomatoes bearable.

  34. I just bought that book! It’s so funny, whenever books are mentioned here on A Cup Of Jo, I’ve either read them, are currently reading them, or they’re on my to be read list! We must have good taste ;)

  35. Awesome read! thanks for the share! Love checking out your blog.

  36. Michelle says...

    FINALLY! I come from a wildly Italian family, and it is pretty much considered a crime when I peel the raw tomatoes off my mozzarella and just eat the cheese. They are gross. the texture, the look, the way the juice gets everywhere and makes everything else taste like raw tomato… yuck! I will definitely be bringing a tomato-less caprese to my next family dinner :-)

  37. Lisa says...

    I bought those shorts last year (in blue denim) and they have definitely grown on me! I like that they are durable and don’t feel flimsy. Also love the high waist because they hold everything in, and I can wear crop tops with them!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Yes, Lisa!! I feel they exact same way. I’ll keep my eye out for the blue denim pair. Thank you :)