Heirloom tomatoes by Ben Wagner

What are you up to this weekend? My mom is visiting, and we’re all so happy she’s here. We’re planning to watch Toy Story 3 tonight with popcorn! Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

The trailer for The Crown’s season two.

A pretty sweater for fall days.

An awesome podcast episode about things you shouldn’t talk about.

What a dreamy little beach house!

I want Jennifer Garner to be my BFF.

Why being near water really does make us happier.

An ode to the untouched food on the Bachelorette. Made me laugh out loud.

How lovely is this Ikea lamp?

The subtle art of not giving a f*ck.

LOVE the concept of Loving Lion books, which let you choose the main characters who most reflect your family. Would be amazing to see same-sex couples, single parents and other family structures in the future, too.

Would you buy oysters from a vending machine?

Plus, three reader comments:

Says Laura on bad family vacations: “Every summer our family of five loaded into the car and set off to explore national parks. My dad is of the ‘drive straight through’ variety and would sometimes bite off more than he could chew. Once, he wearily pulled off the road in rural Colorado at 1:00 a.m. at the only available, affordable motel within miles. Sure there were some questionable-looking characters hanging around outside in the dead of night. But the place was a child’s dream! A heart-shaped tub in THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM! A huge waterbed that WOULD SHAKE LIKE A RIDE IF YOU PUT QUARTERS IN IT. And when you looked up there were MIRRORS ON THE CEILING! We’d never seen anything like it. My poor mom wouldn’t even let our golden retriever sleep on the floor that night. We hightailed it out of there as soon as the sun started to rise.”

Says Stef on couples with separate bedrooms: “My (happily married) parents haven’t lived together in 22 years. They live about 30 minutes away from each other, have keys to the other’s houses, go out for dinners, travel together… I really think that not living together saved their marriage.”

Says Maddy on caprese salad: “Two years ago, in an effort to eliminate some frustration and being a new mom, I started picking one cookbook each week and cooking dinner exclusively from that cookbook. It cut down on the options on what to cook for dinner, and I was able to use cookbooks that had been collecting dust. For my birthday this year, my mom gave me Melissa Clark’s Dinner, and I cannot say enough good things about it. It’s easy yet interesting and makes me go back for more. Follow my progress at @letscookthebook.”

(Photo by Ben Wagner/Instagram. Oysters via Kottke.)