Design

Four Fun Things

Oscar-Nominated Film Mudbound

Mudbound is hands-down one of the best movies I’ve seen in ages. The film, which takes place in the segregated Mississippi Delta during World War II, is impossible to get through without tissues. This morning, it picked up a bunch of Academy Award nominations (here’s the full list), including one for Rachel Morrison in the Cinematography category — the first woman in Oscar history to be nominated. Luckily, it’s streaming on Netflix, so I could do my ugly cry from my sofa.

Affordable Dish Ware From Year & Day

Random question: Where do you buy your dishes? After seeing them at a dinner party, I’ve been eyeing the beautiful, simple dishware from online source Year & Day. Their ceramic pieces are made in Portugal and come in colors inspired by the California coastline (midnight, fog, daybreak and moon).

How to Maintain Friendships

Seven strategies for maintaining friendships, like running errands with friends or taking a walk around the block at lunch with co-workers. “The more things you can do together… the more often you’ll be able to see each other,” says Miriam Kirmayer, a therapist specializing in friendship. “These repeated interactions are so important for keeping a friendship going.”

Forever35 Podcast

My new favorite podcast, Forever35, is focused on all the ways women take care of their skin, health and personal style. Each week, longtime friends — comedian Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir of Buzzfeed — invite a guest to chat with them about night creams and skincare gadgets. It’s so funny and full of smart tips; it feels like spending an hour with besties.

P.S. More fun things, and eight amazing podcasts.

  1. Yes!! I went to college w Kate and have her book, but haven’t brought myself to read it yet. Listened to the first Forever35 episode today. Love it!

  2. Jessie says...

    My step dad actually bought our dishes. They are from the Navy with an anchor on them. White with a blue trim. They are VERY heavy and made to withstand lots of use without chipping. They are perfect with three young kids. He got all of them from buyers on Ebay. We have had plates from William Sonoma and Crate and Barrel and ALL of them chipped.

  3. While ceramic dishes are beautiful and I used to own some, they are so impractical. They do not microwave at all unless you’re wanting to reach in with potholders. They aren’t that hard to chip. So I’ve really been all about the Corelle dinnerware because they are so durable. Also you can get lids for your bowls so you don’t have to use additional tupperware. It’s amazing! But they could do better with some of their designs.

    • Steph says...

      I have a set of Corelle dishes I’ve used since my very first apartment. So they are over 25 years old and I’ve only broken one bowl. Amazing. They are white with a simple black border so pretty timeless as far as design.

  4. Ally says...

    We registered for the Marin dishes from Crate and Barrel last summer for our wedding love them! Also, made in Portugal! They are just the right weight but have a delicate look due to the light gray edging and imperfect shapes. Way more beautiful in person than the photos do justice. https://www.crateandbarrel.com/marin-white-20-piece-dinnerware-set/s308684?localedetail=US&ps_cid=14174&a=1552&campaignid=657519289&adgroupid=34201459355&targetid=pla-182215912136&pla_sku=308684&scid=scplp308684&sc_intid=308684&scid=scplp308684&sc_intid=308684&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIv4SM7rfz2AIV0V5-Ch3X3wMvEAQYASABEgIDkPD_BwE

  5. Filipa says...

    Oh the dishes!! Good to know they are made in my country, the next time I’ll go to Portugal, I will def. look for them, I’m sure they much more cheap there!

  6. Those dishes! Ordering them immediately. Exactly what I’ve been looking for. I love your website!

  7. Alison says...

    on maintaining friendships – some of my best friends live far away so we talk during our commutes (before or after work). Sometimes it doesn’t work and it may be only for 15 minutes once a week – but its the best! It really helps us stay connected. Then as soon as we get to our destination (work, picking up kids from school, etc) we hang up, knowing we will have another chance to catch up next week.

  8. LB says...

    My dinnerware set looks like it could be from Heath Ceramics or any of the trendy (and PRICEY) shops but it’s from Bed Bath & Beyond. It’s called Gibson “Paradiso” and I have it in linen and black (there’s now a dark grey line). It looks chic stacked on our open shelves and has lasted two cross-country moves and over ten years. I always assume it will be discontinued one day but it’s still there. Every time I drool over Heath ceramics (boy is it beautiful) I remind myself that my bowls and plates are just fine.

  9. Annie says...

    Another vote for Heath Ceramics! We LOVE our dishes and are obsessed with everything they make. Love that they are made in the US (you can tour the factory and buy seconds in Sausalito). I heard they are partnering with the only US silverware company to make a line of Heath silverware, too!

  10. never saw those dishes before. love them

  11. Lee says...

    I have these gorgeous floral plates I picked up for 3$ each at the local second hand shop and beautiful deep bowls by Rachel Saunders Ceramics. If I wasn’t so in love with them, I would go with East Fork Pottery all the way. Someday…

  12. Adrienne H. says...

    Like others who have commented, I LOVE Heath Ceramics!! Serene colors, lovely textures, durable but delicate pieces… My happy place is the Heath store in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. It’s a can’t-miss stop whenever we visit family there.

  13. Alice says...

    Okay, I ADORE Emma Bridgewater crockery. I have a ridiculous collection of plates/ pasta bowls/ bowls/ teapot/ mugs/ etc etc and they’re all in different prints but they all just *work* together! I LOVE having friends over for dinner and the fact that we all have the same-but-different plates- it’s just really fun. Would definitely recommend!

  14. Mags says...

    That’s Jane Marie! I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time- she’d be an amazing interview subject for the blog. I’d listen to, or read, anything that includes her voice- off to download the podcast!

  15. Tobey says...

    Ah! The friendship bit is so lovely, and I love Miriam Kirmayer’s work, so I’m so psyched to see it featured here! She’s a writer that I follow closely because her posts are all grounded in sound research, AND give such useful tips for forming adult friendships!! check out more of her stuff if you’d like to get even more tips!: https://www.miriamkirmayer.com/writing/

  16. HEATH here. Love them so. I live in Marin and they have a factory store in Sausalito, where each morning they put out their seconds and even thirds which are way marked down, and only means they aren’t perfect….. like life…. perfectly imperfect. Which, in fact, is why we love them, I buy whatever strikes my fancy and our “set” is completely mismatched and quite colorful all with teeny tiny little imperfections. We call them our Wabi- Sabi Heath.

    Our son and his girlfriend are now putting together a collection as well.

    I agree with everyone who commented, they literally evoke happy feelings More fun than therapy.

  17. Mudbound! Loved it and am making childless time to watch it again.

  18. Annika says...

    I ordered my dishes from Heath Ceramics years ago and I still love them so much! They are hand made in San Francisco and very substantial so I don’t worry about destroying them. I love the simple but perfect design just like the ones you are eyeing.

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Some of mine are from Heath too, and I do love them!

    • Elizabeth says...

      YAHSSSS to Heath Ceramics!! I registered for dinnerware from Heath for my wedding 3 years ago, having never seen them in person but I was so smitten with the company’s story (Edith Heath, queen bosslady! CA midcentury design! Sustainable local manufacturing!) that I went for it sight unseen. They are some of my most joyful possessions and I honestly just quietly pet the dishes sometimes, I love them so much. <3 <3

    • Addie says...

      Like Elizabeth, below, I also registered at Heath for our wedding almost seven years ago

      We have moved cross-country since and my Heath items are the ONLY things we label as high value when we move. We have no more than 4 of any given item so we can mix and match. Since we lived in San Francisco after getting married, we were able to add to our collection piece by piece.

      I look forward to checking out Year & Day. I will be purchasing some mugs and bowls from East Fork Pottery soon!

  19. Alisa says...

    Dishes and skincare: my kryptonite!

    I’ve become that person, who keeps a running list of skincare recommendations or reviews… off to listen to the podcast!

  20. Tanith says...

    Currently most of my plates are all from Ikea or roommates from 8+ years ago, BUT my favorite thing has been building an eclectic selection of simple plates and bowls based on finding a few that I like, especially while traveling. I try to stay within a certain color scheme, but it’s fun to mix up textures!

  21. Emily C says...

    I’ve been looking for beautiful black dinner plates and serving pieces for AGES and haven’t been able to find anything to my liking. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of year & day. Took me all of 5 seconds to order it all!

  22. Eddie says...

    I’m one of 6, and when were small my mum’s friend would leave her 5 with their dad and head over to our place with her laundry basket full of odd socks. My mum would make coffee and we’d be banished while they chatted and paired up their odd socks. When they’d each made their pairs they’d combine their leftover odd socks and divide the spoils, the rest would go in the bin.
    Voila! A job was done, laundry was reduced and two souls were fed.

    • J says...

      LOVE this.

  23. anna says...

    I think I’ve mentioned this before in the comments, but I can’t tell enough people about it! Jono Pandolfi (makes handmade stoneware for high end restaurants all over NYC) has “seconds sales” all the time at their studio if you don’t mind great pieces – but some might be mismatched. I’ve found some great stuff in the past. https://www.instagram.com/jonopandolfi/?hl=en

    • anna says...

      **if you don’t mind some pieces being mismatched**

  24. brianna says...

    Okay, you sold me on Mudbound and Forever35. I’m trying to watch all the best picture nominees before the Oscars, but only a couple are available. Everything else is up for pre-order on iTunes. Such a bummer.

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Yes! That is the beauty of a Netflix-produced featured film. :)

  25. Sara says...

    Yes, please to more ideas for podcasts. I live in LA and my job has me driving way more than I would like. Podcasts are my lifeline and I’m always looking for new ideas. Can’t wait to check out Forever35. I

    • brianna says...

      If you enjoy history, American History Tellers is great. I’m also listening to a podcast about the Heaven’s Gate cult.

    • Courtney says...

      My commute in San Diego is brutal too and I’ve been listening to:

      -A Few Things with Claire and Erica (friends of CoJ)
      -Dirty John (sooooo good!)
      -Heaven’s Gate
      -How I Built This
      -My Favorite Murder
      -Someone Knows Something

  26. Anna says...

    I am OBSESSED with mud crockery. It is made in Sydney, AU and comes in the loveliest range of colours. They’re an investment but they do have seconds sales and they look just lovely – the porcelain is thin but durable and everything is dishwasher proof (!!).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      there’s a MUD store by our office, and it’s so so beautiful!

  27. Melanie says...

    Dishes- must be from a store where I can actually pick up every piece and get a ‘feel’ for them

  28. Lana says...

    I love Polish Pottery and try to pick up pieces whenever I see them. It can get expensive if you buy it all at once but every once in awhile you’ll find some really good prices. I love how the patterns don’t have to match to look good together!

  29. C says...

    Those dishes are so lovely!!!

  30. Oh wow, a podcast about skincare! That’s one of my favorite topics, lol. I will have to check it out. And I read Mudbound but haven’t yet watched the movie. It’s such a sad story.

  31. ariane says...

    I buy vintage fine china off craigslist. It’s always in great shape because people rarely actually used it, costs less than buying new, and usually has pretty nice designs.

  32. Such great shares – I had no idea about Mudbound am excited to watch it with my husband. Also SO excited about the first female cinematographer to be nominated! A childhood friend of mine has been working in the film industry to nearly 10 years as a crew member, and she aspires to be a cinematographer. It’s a tough rode, but glad to see they’re breaking glass ceilings! I loved that friendship article – was great advice, so I immediately sent my oldest friend a text message to let her know I was thinking of her.

    http://www.shessobright.com

  33. Lauren says...

    Heath Ceramics dishes are a serious investment, but so worth it. They are so durable and lovely. No exaggeration, I think about how much I love my dishes every single time I empty the dishwasher or set the table.

    • Jill says...

      Agreed! I have my 98 year old grandmother’s set from the 1970s, which is still made today! For my wedding registry, we got matches piece to complete the set. They make me happy every day!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I already commented once on my love for my Heath dishes, but just had to say omg yes, I get a little “hnnngh so purtyyy” moment whenever I do the dishes or set the table too, haha. :)

  34. Diana says...

    I have tried to do mix-and-match plates ever since I saw Betsey Johnson’s house tour. My vision was all mismatching vintage patterns but it has mostly become a mix of plain hand-me-downs and street finds that look very odd together. Meh.

  35. Anna says...

    I couldn’t finish mudbound. It was so hard. The part about the War was especially interesting to me. The parts I did watch were thought provoking.

    • Glad to hear that. My husband and I found Mudbound hard to watch too.

  36. Rachael says...

    What a coincidence–I turned 35 last year, and I now find myself obsessed with serums, night creams, and the whole lot! Obviously I will have to add Forever35 to my podcast rotation :)

  37. Mia says...

    i’m obsessed with dishes and glasses! I have a set from world market that I use most days, and then another random stack of fun vintage ones I’ve collected from yard sales and on etsy. I love to use all my mismatched favorites for casual dinner parties. it makes the table look fun!

  38. Kathy says...

    I’m absolutely loving the Forever35 podcast! I’m a big fan of Doree and her infertility podcast (I learned about her from you guys – thank you!!), so I knew I had to check it out. It’s so fun to listen to them chat and laugh at each other and I’ve been loving all their suggestions.

  39. Celeste says...

    Fiestaware forever! My mom bought some of that very same pink in the early 1990s, so it cracks me up that it’s back. We broke very few of those dishes, despite the many times us kids unloaded the dishwasher. I love the quality and infinite color options! For my own dishes, I’ve stuck with classic white Feistaware dishes, then mixed and match brands/ceramicists for serving dishes in various shades of blue.

    Also! someone mentioned the gray marks from silverware. A quick tip that cleans it right up in almost no time? Just put a little bit of Bar Keepers Friend on your sponge while you’re rinsing dishes before they go in the dishwasher. Those scratches come right up! This also works wonders on coffee mug stains.

    • Lucy says...

      Yes to this. We have red and blue (scarlet and peacock, I think) fiestaware basic dinner service, then various colors of serving ware (some vintage, some new). I keep meaning to also stock basic white, but the colors are just too tempting.

    • Sara says...

      Just last year I ditched all of my white plain Pottery Barn dishes from our wedding registry in 2001 to upgrade to the fun Fiestaware that I’d been salivating over. I collect 5 different colors and my open-front cabinets in the kitchen look so colorful and eating off of them makes me so happy.

  40. becs says...

    I was just in the market for new dishes; after twelve years, most of my dinner plates were still intact, but I had only 4 salad bowls & plates left – I’d dropped or cracked the rest of them while dishwashing!

    After a long hunt, I ended up with C&B’s Mercer collection. I love that they are clean-yet-not-precious looking. Also, they are porcelain, which I learned does NOT react with stainless utensils, so no unsightly gray marks from knives and forks!

    https://www.crateandbarrel.com/dinnerware-collections/mercer-dinnerware/

  41. Lisa says...

    Omg mudbound is a movie now?! I read the book last year and it was such a page-turner.

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Yes! And an Oscar-nominated one at that!

  42. This might be a little tangental, but the pic of Lily Tomlin, Dollie Parton, and Jane Fonda in 9-to-5 made me smile and remember how much I adore that movie. Your list of 4 fun things should really by 5 fun things, if you include that. ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      :) :) :)

  43. Mama says...

    Heads up, someone in England was lusting after pink plates just this week and someone sent them to Ikea…?!

  44. Suzanne says...

    I’m totally here for Forever 35! I just started listening on my commute this AM and I’m already hooked. A place to talk serums and friendship? SIGN ME UP! (JK I’ve already subscribed…) :)

  45. Carrie says...

    I would love to see a post with some good book recommendations! My parent’s are going through the messiest divorce of all time and I’m looking for something funny and light-hearted to escape into. I just finished Is Everyone Hanging out Without me? by Mindy Kaling and enjoyed how simple and easy it was. A perfect mind cleanser!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so sorry to hear that, carrie! we have some book posts coming up, but in the meantime one good escape-ist book is You’ll Grow Out of It by jessi klein. i also really enjoyed Blackout, a funny and smart memoir. it tackles the writers’ alcoholism, so there are dark moments and heavy themes but it moves along quickly and is really fantastic.

      hope that helps! sending love your way. xooxoxo

    • Amy says...

      Carrie, I’m sorry to hear about your parents. I totally understand the pull of a lighthearted story. Here are a few suggestions:
      Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
      The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Blau
      My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
      One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
      The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

    • Sorry about your parents, Carrie. <3 I just finished reading "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman – it was a really good distraction the weekend that I learned devastating news about a friend's marriage ending. And right now I'm reading "This Is How It Always Is" by Laurie Frankel, and loving it.

    • Can I jump in and ask for any books that helped you all get through a breakup? I recently had my heartbroken by my boyfriend of over a year and am seeking any and all distractions.

    • Kirsten says...

      I read A Gentleman in Moscow this summer – it was like a grown up Eloise with the addition of an interesting historical backdrop. I felt transported every time I picked up my Kindle.

    • Katie says...

      Hannah! If you want a fun book about a badass woman taking care of business, I recommend Maestra by L.S. Hinton. Also The Passenger by Lisa Lutz. Both are fun and might be good to take your mind off of things :)

    • Katie says...

      I dove into all of Rainbow Rowell’s novels and the Inspector Gamache mystery series that Spring and Summer when I needed distraction and they worked great. A mystery series really helps you dive into the next book without needing to figure out what you’re up for.

    • Carrie says...

      Hannah, from one heavy heart to another, I’m so sorry about your break up. I keep reminding myself that life happens in seasons, sometimes long, sometimes short. I have been though many seasons in life. The hard times will pass for us both :) Sending you a big hug.

      And I want to recommend A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It is my all time favorite! There is no literary character I love more so this book is really dear to me.

    • Kelly says...

      Hope it gets better. I recommend The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People. Quick read but fascinating! And a friend recommended the Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*#k, which I ordered and can’t wait to read!

    • Carrie, thank you for the encouragement!

      and thank you everyone for the suggestions! starting looking if theyre available at my local library in Chicago