Design

Have a Great Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We’re taking the boys to the carousel tonight, and tomorrow I’m taking myself to get a foot rub. Have you ever had one? It’s amazing how your whole body relaxes. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web…

Say her name: Nia Wilson.

People underestimate the power of thank-you notes.

“Congratulations: you no longer have adult acne, you have constellations,” wrote Amelia Diamond, in her wonderful re-branding project of so-called body “flaws.” Frizzy hairs are now “parties,” and stretch marks are “life lines.” What would you re-name?

Alex and I watched The Departed this week, and I forgot how heart-pounding it is.

Loving the 70s vibe of this fall top.

What a musical conductor actually does on stage. (I’ve always wondered!)

Made me laugh.

Totally smitten with One Fine Stay’s vacation rentals — like this, this and this.

Five-year-old Anton is excited to make this red fruit salad.

Awww, a child’s vacation photos.

How great is this table centerpiece?

An update: Separated families report trauma, lies and coercion, says Human Rights Watch. After one father was deported alone to Honduras without his four-year-old, he was finally able to speak to his son on the phone. ‘[My son] said he didn’t want to talk to me because he said I left him there,’ Pablo said. ‘I can’t speak. I just want to see him and hug him.'” If you’re able to help, here’s a good place to donate.

Plus, two great reader comments:

Says Mel on parenting in Hungary: “When my first child was a baby, I had been up all night and I was making a bowl of cereal for myself. I turned to my husband with teary eyes and said, ‘I want blueberries, but I don’t have the energy to cut them all in half.’ He just looked at me with confusion and said, ‘But you don’t have to cut them up for adults.'”

Says Lizzie on parenting in Hungary: “There’s an Anna Quindlen essay ‘Goodbye Dr. Spock,’ in which she writes, ‘Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay.’ This series is a wonderful reminder of the many different ways to raise children.”

(Photo by Laura Willems. Thank you notes via Jocelyn Glei.)

  1. Sanaa Murray says...

    Joanna, I live around the corner and have always wondered about 64 Bergen- THANK YOU! I’ve been looking for a good spot.

  2. Tawnie Bryant says...

    I watched The Departed this week too!!

  3. wow, nicely define the things.

  4. Tracy says...

    Wow – that “Goodbye Dr. Spock” essay is really something. I teared up near the end, realizing that I all too often make this same mistake: “But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”

  5. Heather says...

    On that conducting video – I have been a choral singer my whole life, and my parents and I still laugh about a family friend who came to see one of my college concerts and asked something along the lines of “so do you really need that person up there waving her arms?” Haha I was baffled at the time and didn’t know how to explain that yes…. yes we very much DO need her!

  6. Virginia says...

    It’s interesting because I think that while we’re easy to demonstrate gratitude and thankfulness in the moment, when there is time between a kind gesture and wanting to express our thanks, we don’t always follow through with that. And for me, it’s not necessarily because my feelings of gratitude has diminished over time, but because for whatever reason, somehow the paucity leads me to feel like the note might seem too much like an empty afterthought, a follow-up gesture that waited too long to come. So I put it off even longer and suddenly, it seems altogether irrelevant to send. It took us a year to send out our thank-you cards for our wedding, and when we neared the one-year mark, it felt awkward and I wanted to apologize for how late they were. The thank-you got lost in the apology, because I needed to preface how grateful we were with how sorry we were on how late this message was. For our son’s baptism, I decided to dispense with the cards and send out e-mails the next day. I sent out personalized messages, and it took so little of my time to write and send off these messages, but I was surprised by how many people responded to my thank-you e-mail with their own thank-yous and notes. It was so lovely, reminding me that it’s alway worth investing that little time in the aftermath of the event to reinforce your connections with your loved ones.

  7. Jonelle Forte says...

    Has anyone here used One Fine Stay with a positive result? I just had the WORST experience with them and strongly hesitate to use them again despite loving many of their properties. Or is there a better service for a curtated collection?

  8. Kim says...

    Love the “Home Truths” section of the Parisian rentals. What a poetic way to let people know that the home you’re swooning over has no AC!

  9. Harlie says...

    Hi Joanna and friends, I feel the need to leave a comment here about One Fine Stay. DO NOT STAY with them. Or at least do plenty of research/talk to people who have stayed at the specific property you’re looking at before you book. We stayed at a home in Los Angeles, CA last year (at a rate of $800/night!) and it was the worst vacation rental we have ever encountered: enormous urine stain on master bedroom carpet, hair on linens, thick mold covering the inside of the coffee maker, dirty floors and windows, used earplug on the master bedroom floor, no hot water, hair in bathtub, mildew all over bathroom. We had to leave after one night, we were charged for our full stay and no one ever returned our calls. Shady, all-around bad service. Sorry for the negative post, but I feel such a sense of community with everyone here and I would want to know this if I was looking to stay at one of their homes.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, harlie, i’m so sorry to hear that! that’s terrible. i’m so surprised, too. we’ve stayed at their properties in paris, rome and london, and we’ve always had really wonderful experiences. i’m really sorry to hear that.

  10. “Parties” love that – my barnet is a real party animal.

    Thanks for the lovely post. Cute kid photos too.

    Sian x

  11. I am so sad for the death of Nia Wilson. She was such a beautiful girl with a bright future ahead of her, and it makes me so sad to know her sister had to witness and go through such a horror. I don’t think people have talked about this as much, but the man that committed this act was one of the reasons I left San Francisco. It is not a popular topic by any means, but it is a serious one that has plagued SF for the 7 years I lived there. I don’t know if this person was racist, mentally ill, a psychopath, or all of the above, but what I can say is that I was constantly afraid of the vagrant white men that seemed to be all over the place. I had them follow me down streets, try to get into buildings after me, break into my apartment, and yell at me. I witnessed them on drugs outside my place in Nob Hill (one of the nicer neighborhoods in SF) and when I called the police to tell them he was running up to my car when I was pulling into the garage, they showed up only to tell me: “He’s only tripping out,” and shrugged at me. Thanks, it was still terrifying. I saw them peeing everywhere on the side walk, touching the wheels of cars while passing slowly through intersections, and yelling/beating up the doors of Mr. Bings (a local dive bar). I feared going out without my boyfriend, walking home (even in the daytime), and hated running errands alone. The city has a MAJOR problem with guys like this who hang around everywhere, and it was the single most reason I wanted to move away. I was scared it was only a matter of time something would happen. Yes, I do think it’s important to look at the individual case, but having lived in that city, it is no surprise to me that this type of random violence happened. They need to really deal with the men in that city that are abusive, scaring people, up to no good, and murderers.

  12. Emily says...

    I loved the conductor video. Thanks for adding some culture to my day.

  13. Foot rubs are my absolutely favorite! I can usually talk my boyfriend into rubbing my feet… thank god for his ADD- he always has to be doing something with his hands :)

  14. Caitlin says...

    Stretch marks = tiger stripes!! Learned that one from Salma Hayek.

  15. Karen says...

    Hudson’s vacation photos are awesome!

  16. sara says...

    really enjoyed the “what does a conductor do” link (i’m a classical musician and enjoyed seeing it explained) but was disappointed james gaffigan didn’t allude to any conductors that are women! check out barbara hannigan (who even sings while she conducts!), marin alsop, jane glover, emmanuelle haim and alondra de la parra for examples of women rocking it in a historically male-oriented profession.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, sara!!

  17. Kate says...

    I’ve renamed those lonesome long, black hairs that absolutely, positively, horrifyingly should NOT be in the location you discover them to be (looking at you nipples, lower tummy) “pioneers”.

    • Amanda G says...

      Haha I have some “pioneers” of my own. Love this!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      pioneers!!!! love that so much :)

  18. Anneka Gould says...

    I’m 27 and got my first grey hair at 16. When I was a swim coach in college I was teaching this little 3 year old how to swim and he used to call my grey hair sparkles. He almost cried when I told him I was going to get rid of them, ever since then I’ve learned to love my sparkles.

    Funny how something you can see as flaws can be something treasured by someone else.

  19. Mac says...

    I’m interested in these comments about The Departed because I just tried to rewatch and could not believe the language—crazy degrading toward women. I couldn’t stand it and turned it off, and had the thought that a mainstream movie with dialogue like that wouldn’t be made today (I hope!)

  20. Cynthia says...

    The fruit salad looks delicious. Anton is at a good age to become interested in cooking. Our girls cooked from around Anton’s age. My husband and our girls would cook together on Sunday afternoons.

  21. Susan M. says...

    Thank you for the link about donating to help reunite families. This situation has been heartbreaking to witness second-hand and basically helplessly. My bit will help, but hopefully some big donations can kick in here, too. How to speed up the process, a process that should have never had to happen….?

  22. Lara says...

    I’ve always called my gray hairs “sparklies” and I think it’s why I like them so much!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sparklies!!!

  23. Julie says...

    I love those vacation pictures taken by that child. Such a different perspective on what they think is interesting. I love all those smiling faces of the strangers he encountered. I think my 5 year old needs a camera now!

  24. Laura says...

    I majored in classical music performance in college, and when I took a class in conducting I just barely passed – it was so much more difficult than anything I had to do playing an instrument! Conducting is like speaking in sign language, but with each hand, your body movement and facial gestures all sending different messages independently of one another AT THE SAME TIME.

    A great conductor can completely change the sound of an orchestra, even with exactly the same musicians. I once experienced a very accomplished guest conductor taking over the podium during a rehearsal in college and our sound was so powerfully transformed the room went silent for about 10 seconds after the last note, broken by uproarious applause from the orchestra itself. It was truly one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced.

  25. A Martin says...

    Yes yes!!! Say her name!! Nia Wilson ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  26. Amie says...

    That fruit salad looks so good! I have an unfortunate allergy to a lot of fruit in regular fruit salad so I’m totally making that to bring to the next bbq!

  27. Your note about going to get a foot rub made me wonder if you would ever consider posting about mom guilt? Or have you already? I’m a working (outside the home) mom of a 2.5-year-old and I am in desperate need of some alone time for self care (#introvert), but I feel so guilty about not being with my daughter every waking second that I’m not at work! This Sunday I’m thinking about staying home from a birthday party and having my husband and my daughter go without me, but I’m racked with guilt about it! Any advice would be appreciated!

    • Colleen says...

      You’re not alone, I just got a new job and my kids are 8 and 10 and I felt so guilty sending them to summer daycare. I don’t know why. The food’s better than I make and their friends are there! Ask your husband if he can go alone and even just go to Cvs and get a face mask and new nail polish.

    • Stephanie says...

      I personally don’t understand the mom guilt thing.
      When I am away from my daughter because I am at work or at school I miss her terribly, but then I remind myself by working I am helping take of her now and I’m going to class to help advance my career so my family has a bigger future with less financial stress.
      I enjoy our time together in the evening and our days off together. I will say it is very hard to be away when I don’t “have to” be because I miss her so. That being said we all need time for ourselves to recharge to be the people we want to be. So ask for help and take it. Guilt free. You’re doing it for your daughter; not just yourself.

    • Amanda says...

      I am in the exact same boat! I volunteered yesterday to walk our dog while my husband gave our 2.5 year old a bath because I just needed a break and I felt so bad because I see him so little during the week. I don’t have any great advice. But, solidarity working mama, it’s so hard!

    • T says...

      I’m not a Mum but I do have a lot of guilt that I need to keep in check. For me, a change in perspective helps. I’ll feel guilty about accepting help for example but then it was pointed out to me by a friend that my guilt stripped them of the joy of giving. I was ruining their experience of being generous. For you, maybe consider what you’d like to model to your daughter. If she one day has her own child will you hope that she sees the importance in self-care? If yes, then modeling that now goes further than lectures will when she’s grown.

      Also, if you can afford it, consider therapy, it can do wonders for well-worn thought pathways.

    • Angela says...

      Try it! See how it feels to say “no”. If you like it, and you feel refreshed then it was a good choice. If not, then next time go. Also, it’s important for kids to have experiences with just dad. It took me a while to get to that point ( I have 3 kids) but once I figured that out it was a game changer for Mommy guilt.

    • Kate says...

      Do it, Joy. Taking care of yourself makes you an even better mom. It may take a few tries before the guilt goes away, but I promise it is beneficial for your whole family. The doctor has to be healthy to treat the patient after all.

    • Amy says...

      Joy, I don’t have any advice, I just wanted to say I hear you – it’s SO, so hard to find a balance between family and work and getting actual time to recharge so you can do both as well as possible. For what it’s worth, I think taking care of your loved ones also means taking care of yourself, so that you can be your best for them. If you need someone to tell you not to feel guilty about taking alone time, this is a fellow introvert and mom saying: you’re doing great, Mama. Take your alone time, and don’t feel bad. You’ll be able to feel more present for your daughter after you get a little quiet. Love and best wishes from someone in the trenches with you!

    • Laura C. says...

      Joy, I read yesterday an article about moms and guilty and yes, that exists in every nation of the world I believe. I stay at home with my daughters and I am currently studying to get a job after a decade without it. Every time they go to the pool with my husband I feel bad for ot being with them. If I go, I feel bad for wasting study time (exams are due for December).
      Try to be indulgent and not to overthink about it and, whether you decide to be with your girl or not, do it consciously and enjoy your decision. Send you a hug!

    • Madi says...

      Stay home! My mom always tells me that one of the greatest gifts I can give my daughter is to show her what self-care looks like. Your daughter will have a wonderful time at the party with your husband & you will be a more centered, happier mother to her after having some time to yourself.

    • Sasha L says...

      I love these supportive comments. Just adding my voice to the chorus of TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. You matter. Your example of respecting and caring for yourself, and expecting the adults around you to do the same, is so important for your daughter. You are a better mom when you are not ragged.

  28. Annie says...

    If you like Departed then you might like to check out the HK original – It’s excellent

    • Vanessa says...

      Came here to say the exact same thing! Check out Infernal Affairs, the original Cantonese version. There’s a song that becomes a recurring motif, and whenever I sing it in my head, I channel the character’s reaction to it and just… relax.

    • Hannah says...

      I came to write this exact same thing! Highly recommended. It’s called Infernal Affairs (there are 2 sequels, but I have not seen them).

    • YES! Infernal Affairs! (and even Infernal Affairs 2, but I never saw 3).
      There was a Chinese video rental place near my house for years and they had the best movie posters in the windows. I always made up my own plots for the movies and swooned over the dreamy actors. When I was finally able to get Infernal Affairs from them I was so happy. It was great, not as crazy as I’d envisioned.
      The Departed – Depaaaahted – was okay but I cringe at the awful Boston accents and they make me want to scream.

  29. Thank you for sharing Hudson’s snapshots! It’s such an honor and nice surprise! xo

  30. Celina Kirchner says...

    I have been calling my gray hairs “unicorn hairs” because they’re bright and shiny like a unicorn’s mane and tail. Confuses the heck out of my boyfriend, but it eradicated the blue mood I would develop when a new one would pop up.

    • Love this! Such a cute name :)

    • Robin says...

      Love! So perfect.

  31. I rewatched The Departed last month and it really holds up! Tho my controversial opinion is that DiCaprio & Damon should have swapped roles!!!

    • Laura C. says...

      I thought that too!

  32. Eliza says...

    I wish all my red-haired well-freckled friends believed me when I tell them how much I love their complexion and hair. I even think freckles is already a cute word (doesn’t everyone love freckled lemonade? and FRECKLES?) but I guess after years of negative associations/mean-spirited jokes, freckles might need to be renamed to something like….amber flecks?

    In the words of ‘Brother Ali’
    To everyone out there who’s a little different,
    I say damn a magazine, these is God’s fingerprints.

    • Amber says...

      <3 I have dark brown (almost black) hair, brown eyes, and olive-toned skin but am covered in freckles… and my name is Amber! So I accept Amber flecks! :) The best part of having a face full of freckles is they cover up blemishes and breakouts! The only bad part of having freckles is other people (no, I don't have sun damage, this has always been my face).

  33. On parenting. Once I was so tired with my newborn, that I seriously turned to my husband one night in bed and said: “Who are YOU?”

    • Kirsten says...

      Hahaha this! When my daughter was a newborn we were in bed one morning when my husband suddenly sat up and started pawing the bottom of the bed in a frenzy. I asked him what he was doing and he said “I’m looking for the baby!!”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, haha, jennifer and kirsten, that’s hilarious/so relatable!! new parents are so incredible, just to get through the day. xoxo

  34. So funny to see the role of conductor explained. As a musician, I always forget how foreign some elements must seem to everybody else! Of course everyone must feel that way about their job or main interest.

    • Lyn says...

      I’m also a professional musician, and I had the same thought!

  35. Dajana says...

    I’ve called my grey hairs ‘sparklies’ for as long as I can remember. (Have been trying for years to pass them off as highlights, haha.)

    • Julie C. says...

      I have a friend that calls her gray hairs “tinsel”, which I love.

  36. Sarah Beth says...

    I love, love love the video about conducting! We recently bought a house near a music venue where our local symphony plays all summer, and I’ve been lucky to see the symphony 4 times in the past few weeks, with three different conductors. It was especially interesting to see the bit about Leonard Bernstein, because so many orchestras (this one included!) are celebrating his 100th birthday with festivals this summer. I do wish they’d included a female conductor– the regular conductor of the symphony I go to is a woman, and like seeing a female pilot, it’s a treat to see a woman doing a job that’s so traditionally male! I never expected to become such a fan of the symphony, but here at very nearly 35, I’ve found it’s been the highlight of my summer!

  37. OMG the wine and paint night hits home for me for the opposite reason! I majored in art, and I refuse to go in case my painting sucks! It would be mortifying!

    • Zoe says...

      I also majored in art and went on a team outing with coworkers to one of those painting places. It definitely was a lot of pressure because everyone expected me to be good! I spent a lot of time figuring out to paint so I didn’t make a cheesy painting and then I was the last one finishing up with everyone waiting for me…haha! I’d honestly never pay to go to something like that…I can do that for FREE!

    • Sarah says...

      Same thought! As an art teacher/artist the paint nights have NO appeal!

  38. Ha! My three year old overheard me a couple of months ago lamenting my newly-formed wrinkles around my eyes. And he said in that perfect tone of toddler wonder, “Mommy! You have SPRINKLES on your face?!?”

    So of course now I adore my sprinkles.

    • Lesley says...

      Sweet!

  39. Sam says...

    My 14 year old, who enviably has no body issues like I did, has named a cowlick in her bangs Fred. Some days Fred comes to visit and she welcomes him and some days he’s being shy. Maybe there is something to giving “flaws” better names.

  40. Cat says...

    I would rename my armpit fat “bonus boob.”

    • T says...

      This made me laugh out loud! Much needed chuckle on a Friday. Thanks, Cat!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha yes!

    • Dajana says...

      I so needed that, haha!