Design

Have a Beautiful Weekend.

Flowers by Kelsey McClellan

What are you up to this weekend? We’re going to a holiday party tonight, and I’m planning to wear this velvet dress. We’re also deciding on our bedroom paint color once and for all! We actually started painting it dark gray and then panicked and are now switching back to pink, haha. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

This dog cake.

How to throw a dinner party without a kitchen table.

The secret to marriage, work and life: turn toward instead of away.

Does Larry David never age? This made me laugh.

Found! The prettiest lipstick.

Realistic birth announcements. “On September 8th, my wife brought baby Jax into the world. I love him more than I have ever loved anything, but if you subbed him out with any baby from the nursery I honestly would not notice.”

23 parents say whether they have a favorite child.

Digging these scented tattoos.

Did you know that if you text 741741 when you are feeling depressed or suicidal, a crisis worker will text with you?

10 smart pieces of work advice.

This English home has such pretty paint colors.

Plus two reader comments…

Says Hilary on birthday rituals: “When I was growing up, on our half birthdays, my mom would give us half a small gift – like one sock – which made us laugh, and she sang half the ‘Happy Birthday’ song by singing every other syllable (‘Hap-[silence] Birth-[silence] to [silence]’). The singing part is tough, which I realize now that I’m a mom and the one responsible for this particular tradition. She was a pro! There’s value in celebrating the in-between times.”

Says Olivia on birthday rituals: “I have an identical twin sister and we were born 31 minutes apart — a long time compared to most twins! Without fail, every year on our birthday, my parents would light candles and sing for me at 7:35 p.m., and then do it again for my sister at 8:06 p.m. It was a small but meaningful way to let us each have our own moment of celebration — and cake twice.”

(Photo by Kelsey McClellan . Secret via Jocelyn. Crisis text via Swissmiss)

  1. Ro says...

    I used that text crisis line last holiday season and it is real and such a nice option for when even talking to someone you don’t know feels overwhelming. I’m not sure what the organization is, but I’m grateful for it.

  2. Missy says...

    Just wanted to say that I appreciate this blog and what it brings to the conversation. I’ve followed a number of blogs over the years but find its this one I keep coming back to on a daily basis. I love the perspective and diversity. Thank you so much for the continued consideration. Xo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good call, melissa!!

  3. Jan says...

    In regards to fav child.. there’s this quote:
    “I was dad’s favorite.”
    “No sorry you’re wrong I was.”
    What a sweet and lucky arguement to have!

  4. Amy says...

    These were all so fun! I could definitely relate to the “favorite child” article…none of my four are The Favorite, but the dynamic is definitely easier with some than others. I was a little confused with the Turning Towards article, tho. I agree with the idea; definitely turn towards each other! But this idea of recognizing Bids from your partner…yes, pay attention, be aware of their needs, but why not promote just saying straight out what you need? My husband and I have been together 15 years, married 10, and if I need attention I just say so. If I need to vent? I just say so. If I need him to help? Yep. I just say so. And he does the same – it’s so much easier, and it’s rare for either of us to feel that the other isn’t meeting a need. Tuning in to subtext is a valuable skill, but so is a loving transparency ❤️

    • Yulia says...

      I completely agree. I found the article underwhelming and its being described as the “secret” to marriage, work, and life (when the article was really only about marriage) was a little over the top.

      On the other hand, I think recognizing bids must be really useful to a lot of people. Sometimes we don’t always know our own motives, and having a partner who can read you is surely helpful. My relationship is like yours, but even so I can think of lots of instances when my actions or words had a subtext I didn’t know I needed my partner to read. Perhaps I could use more self-awareness. :)

    • Andrea says...

      Not all communication can be or should be verbal. The bid framework in Gottman is to recognize the range of bids for attention and to respond to them. We express needs in a range of ways.

  5. Carrie says...

    I think I may have discovered a Larry David quiz hack: look at the eyebrows! (Not a perfect science, but it did yield a 10/10.)

  6. Lydia says...

    Oh my gosh, am I pregnant? I started crying when I read Olivia’s comment about what her parents did for her and her sister’s birthdays!

  7. Oh, velvet! It’s so delicious for winter and the holidays. And I love the idea of dark gray walls — if it’s too much, could you do three pink and one gray? (Or three gray and one pink?)

    This weekend I made a Christmas tree. I’m temporarily living abroad, so I can’t really justify buying a bunch of decorations. But it feels so sad without any holiday stuff in my apartment. So I used an empty wine bottle and bought some cheap garlands and made a mini tree. I felt like Martha Stewart ;)

  8. Jaime says...

    Re: paint colors—you could always paint just one accent wall & live with it for a while before you commit to the whole room! We have a black accent wall behind our bed. It adds some moodiness, without making the entire room a cave.

  9. Susan M. says...

    The pink is going to offer a lot of comforting and uplifting moods in all kinds of times and lights of day and night. The gray can be lovely and dramatic, but I’ve been in a lot of gray rooms, and the lighting and outdoor light have to be right to make them work. If you’re feeling at all down, the gray can be too much for some people. Also in the NE, you just don’t get much natural light in winter. You can always indulge in the color later if it really really feels necessary! (another thing — the dark paint interior colors swallow light; we moved into a place with a mocha brown bedroom and even when I used double the lighting I could barely see or find anything. Obviously we had to rescue the room with a light color). Hope you love it!

  10. Amie says...

    I picked up my Christmas tree today! Then my roommate and I struggled with the tree stand for about 45 minutes. I love both colours you were choosing between for your bedroom, my teenage bedroom was a medium-dark grey and I loved it but the pink is so pretty and elegant too!

  11. My husband and I read a John Gottman book at the advice of a marriage counselor early in our marriage. It made a HUGE difference (also, our counselor was amazing and we were heartbroken when he died of cancer a few years back – we had no one to recommend to other married people for sane, practical, loving help!).

    Thank you to linking to the bid article – so many helpful insights there.

  12. Lara says...

    I picked the wrong Larry David for the first four choices. Then I started basing it on how white his eyebrows are and got it right every time :D

  13. Tanith says...

    Soooo I noticed the parents in the “do you have a favorite?” article all completely avoided the question and said, “i love them all equally… but I like one more than the others sometimes”. The question wasn’t about love, the question was about favoritism which they almost all clearly said they had!

  14. Laura C. says...

    “Meet the newest member of the family, Charlotte! My eyes say she’s so tiny but my vagina strongly disagrees.” HAHAHAHA

  15. Mary says...

    Thanks for the links. I look forward to some Friday reading. As an aside, I saw an interview with Jo’s sister on PBS and was moved. I intend to read When Breath Becomes Air, but I just keep waiting for a better time. Maybe I should stop waiting.

  16. Jen says...

    Silver Lake by Benjamin Moore! We just painted our bedroom this color, in the matte finish which is in between flat and eggshell. I love it so much that I’m trying to convince my husband that we should repaint other newly painted rooms this color. It is the perfect grayish blue, so relaxing and pairs really well with just about everything!

  17. Those realistic birth announcements! ROFL.

  18. The Crisis Text Line tweet was taken down, but it’s caused our traffic to shoot up to our 4th heaviest traffic day ever! Please change the link in your post to http://www.crisistextline.org/faq so that people’s questions can be answered easily.

    Thanks from a Crisis Text Line counselor!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thank you!

  19. Ahh gorgeous velvet dress! Also, frantically deciding and switching up paint colors sounds like something I would totally end up doing as an adult homeowner someday.
    I LOVE the interiors of that English home. The paint indeed looks gorgeous, but I’m wondering if that’s just coming from the filtered photo though?
    Anyway, have a lovely weekend!

    Joanne

  20. Thank you for the Gottman Institute piece…and love this line: “There’s value in celebrating the in-between times.” In my own life, those two go hand-in-hand right now.

  21. Jennifer says...

    Thank you SO much for sharing the text number for depression/suicide. My 17-year-old son has been suffering from severe depression for a few months and my husband and I have been trying so hard to help him. I gave the number to my son if he ever needs it. He immediately saved it to his cell phone. It’s so hard to watch your own child suffer from depression.

    • Nikki B says...

      Thinking of you and your family. ::hugs::

    • Jo says...

      Jennifer, you sound like the most loving mother to your son xx

  22. shannon says...

    I got a 10/10 on the Larry David quiz. ¯\_(‘ ‘)_/¯

    • Natasha says...

      Me too, I realized the trick was to see which eyebrows had more white hair!

  23. Becky says...

    Great to see that you included a mention of Crisis Text Line (741741). They are an amazing org. The twitter link in the post didn’t work, but you can always link to their website to help readers learn more about them. https://www.crisistextline.org/ The New Yorker article from a couple years ago is pretty informative as well https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/r-u

    I also highly recommend looking into their founder Nancy Lublin. She would be a fascinating interview for your website! I don’t work for CTL, but my company has been supporting them for a few years. They are great.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thanks, Becky!

  24. I’m giving birth these weekend! (maybe LOL) Eeeeeeeeek!!!! Due today, but we will see!

    • Laura C. says...

      C’mon sister, good luck, you’ll do it very well!

    • Kim says...

      Congratulations, Joann- so exciting!

    • Kate says...

      Me too!!! I didn’t know if the weekend plans would include labor, but she came tonight! (Sunday) Hope it all went well for you!

  25. Beth says...

    Wow – am I the first comment?!

    Regarding the secret to marriage – turning TOWARDS – is totally right on. But with one caveat.

    My husband and I thought we were pretty well-prepared for marriage –
    we went to a 2-day Gottmann class before we got married, have three of his books (including Bringing Baby Home) and all of the tools, and were pretty smug about our relationship compared to those of our friends who ended up divorced. But, even with all of those tools, we are at the 6 year mark and not doing well…it’s really, really hard. We are both working on being better at turning towards – which can be really painful especially when it means acknowledging your role in turning away in the past – and hopeful for our marriage. But we wouldn’t be going through this now if it weren’t for not doing it the whole time…I think it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking you’re prepared and not truly heed the advice and put that advice into action until it’s time…Just my take…

  26. Elizabeth says...

    Please update the link for the suicide hotline text number. It goes to a non-working page.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thanks, Elizabeth!

  27. Cory says...

    My bedroom is dark gray and I LOVE IT SO MUCH I CANNOT EVEN. It is so calming, I sleep really well in there. Also it makes my red headboard look baller.