Design

Five Fun Things

Bridesmaids airplane scene

Over the past three decades, I’ve learned three truths about air travel: never get airport sushi, you will weep no matter what movie you watch, and the absolute #1 thing to carry in your bag is this rinse-free hand wash. I carry it on every trip, and it’s a lifesaver. Whenever I feel gross while traveling — dry skin, crumbs, the whole thing — it makes me feel instantly refreshed. Best of all is the scent — citrus, woody, herbaceous. (And don’t worry, it’s subtle enough not to bother other passengers.) — Joanna

Pink ribbon

Hair bows. Along with scrunchies, Topsy Tail and those flower hats everyone wore in the ’90s, I didn’t think we’d meet again. And yet, bows are cropping up everywhere. There are big bows, little bows, floppy bows, patterned bows, and understated bows an equestrian might wear. What are your feelings on bows? Would you wear one? Are you wearing one right now? Discuss. — Caroline

Roma movie

Oh. My. Gosh. Roma. Have you seen this exquisitely beautiful movie? I watched the first half last night, and I cannot wait to watch the second half tonight. The story — of a young maid working for a middle-class family in Mexico City during the political turmoil of the 1970s — captures everyday moments that feel so true to life, you almost feel like you shouldn’t be watching. So far, the luscious shots of Mexican rooftops, kids playing in the woods and a postcoital bedroom scene have taken my breath away. (Needless to say, critics are going bananas.) You can see it in a theater for the full impact, or watch it at home, since Netflix released it last Friday. — Joanna

Tinman

What have you been reading lately? My favorite book of the year was Tin Man. Sparsely written and achingly beautiful, Tin Man tells the story of two childhood friends, Ellis and Michael, and the winding path their relationship takes. It’s short (just over 200 pages!) but packs an emotional punch, and was the most powerful take on love, loss and vulnerability I’ve read in years. Warning: stay home if you’re not one for crying in public. I sobbed in Cobble Hill park! — Franny

I’m not a DIY girl, not even close. But quick-pickled red onions are the one thing I always make sure to have a stash of in the fridge. They take less than ten minutes to make, and they upgrade everything I’ll eat all week: tacos, salads, veggie bowls, sandwiches, pizzas. The how-to: In a small pot, set over high heat, bring the following to a boil: 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 cups water; add a large sliced red onion and lower heat to simmer for about 5 minutes; drain and cool without rinsing. — Jenny

P.S. The weird thing we always do on trips.

(Roma photo by Carlos Somonte. Onions photo by Mexican Please.)

  1. Meg says...

    Franny, dying to get your full list of favorite books. A Little Life, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, and Tin Man (just finished and…wow) are all some of the best books I’ve read over the last few years. Would love to get more recommendations from you!

  2. Emily says...

    Question about these onions. It says to “drain without rinsing.” The onions in the photo appear to be submerged in liquid in the jar. Do you not store them in the mixture they were cooked in? Or do the drained onions give off some of their own liquid? Thanks! Looking forward to making these!

    • Franny Eremin says...

      Hi Emily! Here’s what Jenny said:

      “I usually eat them so quickly that I don’t bother to store them in the liquid, but either is definitely fine. Just make sure you let the liquid cool completely before storing.”

      Hope that helps!

  3. wow you don’t realize how excited I am to have found a pickled red onion easy recipe!! Thank you! Can’t wait to try it.

  4. Emma says...

    I thought I was the only person who ALWAYS cried on airplanes. Every movie, every book I’ve ever finished. I feel very seen.

  5. “you will cry no matter what movie you watch” I agree because I yawn while watching every movie. Always go to the cinema or watch movie at home at night.

  6. FrankieDC says...

    I’m so happy to see that you highlighted Tin Man! What a tremendous book. Seriously has stayed with me. Shout out to the staff at East End Books in Capitol Hill for highlighting it.

  7. Kara says...

    This is all lovely, but as a scent-sensitive person, please, please don’t think there’s any perfume or cologne that is “subtle enough” for an airplane. I can’t tell you how awful it is to have my sinus cavity throbbing for hours because someone thought it was okay to put anything scented on in a space where we’re literally trapped in proximity.

    • Erin says...

      I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people in my area seem to use tea tree oil on planes, and holy does it burn my nose as another scent-sensitive person. I know air travel is crummy for everyone and I try to empathize, but a strong essential oil smell will have me spending the whole flight dreaming up polite ways to ask the flight attendant to change seats.

  8. jen says...

    always have these pickled onions in my fridge: 3/4 c white distilled vinegar, 1 bay leaf, 4 whole cloves, 2 tsp sea salt, 2-3 TB sugar/maple syrup. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat and stir in 1 thinly sliced red onion. pour in a mason jar and refrigerate and then put on EVERYTHING. :) I actually give these away as part of gifts and it’s always very well received.

  9. Eloen says...

    Shortcut for the pickled onions: Leave out the water, just put everything in a bowl/jar and put in the fridge for an hour.

  10. patricia blaettler says...

    I wore bows in the 80’s, so I wouldn’t wear them now. I think they would work for my 20 yr. old, tho.

  11. I’m looking forward to watching Roma this weekend. Thanks for the recommendation.

  12. Ruth says...

    Sushi in the airport in Tokyo is THE BOMB!

    • LJG says...

      Yep, I was just coming here to say that there are exceptions. Tokyo airport sushi will pretty much outrank sushi in most actual restaurants elsewhere in the world.

    • Jenn J. says...

      Couldn’t agree more! Highly recommend the sushi in the Tokyo airport :D Glad I’m not the only one!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oooh, i would definitely make an exception for airport sushi in tokyo :) it’s more the pre-made warm ones at JFK that i’m scared of, haha.

    • Monica says...

      Yes! Second this!

  13. Julie says...

    “you will cry no matter what movie you watch” was about to disagree then remembered just recently watching crazy rich asians on my flight to san diego and I definitely teared up at the wedding scene.

  14. Carolyn says...

    I loved Roma and it is my movie of the year .

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, me too. i watched the second half last night. just phenomenal.

  15. Lauryn says...

    Yes to any movie making me cry on a plane! I thought I was the only one in the corner trying to stifle my sniffling and dripping nose! Why does this happen?!

  16. MissEm says...

    I love bows – I’d do a Puritanically simple, cotton, black bow or a floppy floral silk scarf or a simple, thick string if the color is right – they feel sweet and fun and give a touch of interest and femininity to a really simple or masculine look. Right now, I have a relaxed, curry colored velvet bow that is currently moonlighting as a tree topper.

  17. Amy O says...

    A while back I was making Jenny’s pickled red onions to go in her black bean burritos. My husband called them “quickles.” Still makes me giggle.

  18. Alex says...

    Having worn hair bows as a child that made people not want to sit behind me in church for fear of obstructed view, I never imagined I could get into bows again. However I already have half a dozen sweet bows for my little daughter. History is repeating itself, except hopefully nobody’s view will be blocked this time! I might have to add a sweet bow for myself to the mix.

    • Heather says...

      This comment made me laugh outloud! I can relate! The late 80’s/ early 90’s smaller, more fashion forward version of myself wore all sorts of fabulous bows. Bows made of metallic fabric, looped and looped for days, plastic animals attached, shiny disco balls; all larger than life! My mom still has most of the ones my sister and I shared.

      JoJo’s got nothin’ on my collection!

  19. jac says...

    I love a droopy velvet or satin bow. I feel like a socialite. One that reads books.

    • Meg says...

      Love this

  20. kate says...

    I’ve been wearing scrunchies (from a pack I found at my parents’ house, circa 2001) for a couple years now (and am wearing one right now!) and am THRILLED that they’ve made a comeback. They’re so comfortable!!

  21. Kate says...

    Can’t wait to watch Roma (!), bows are dumb af, and Jenny, you are a true Renaissance woman… <3

    • Sasha L says...

      I just read your bow comment in Susie Myerson’s voice from Mrs Maisel 😂😂😂

  22. jeannie says...

    i also just watched the first half of “Roma” last night. The sweet, loving relationship between the CLeo and the children she cares for is heartbreakingly beautiful. Then there is the relationship between the parents of the children… It is a slow paced movie as foreshadowed by the repeated buckets of water washing over the driveway in the opening sequence, but promises to be many layered. I am loving it so far.

  23. Sherry Peace says...

    I love quick pickled red onions! But here is a secret: you can make them in under a minute with no heating or fuss.

    Just thin slice the onions and throw them in a glass jar or bowl, add a little salt and maybe ground pepper, then pour in red wine vinegar, cover, and refrigerate. In less than an hour they are acceptable, but better a few hours later.

    • g solon says...

      was going to say the same thing!

    • Anna says...

      YES! Do not bother boiling your pickled onions. Just do 1/4 c water and 1/4 white wine vinegar.

  24. Jay Anna says...

    have not seen ROMA but adored his film CHILDREN OF MEN.

  25. Thank you for featuring Roma here!
    Also so excited to see the star of the film, Yalitza Aparicio, on the cover of Vogue Mexico. “Una estrella ha nacido.”

  26. Betsie says...

    The best sushi I’ve ever had was at the Tokyo Narita airport! But I suppose Tokyo sushi would be the exception.

    • Calee Yoe says...

      Same with Dubai airport! We still talk about the airport sushi ten years later!

  27. Julie says...

    Tin Man was my favorite book of the year too!!! And I’m a diehard non-fiction reader, convinced my book club to read it for our January discussion!!

  28. Joaquina says...

    ROMA is indeed exquisite!
    I was fortunate to watch on the big screen and highly recommend your readers to see this.
    Cuarón is a fabulous storyteller and this one is unique in its portrayal of an indigenous woman (along with a light-skinned, middle class Mexican woman) that is based on his childhood.
    I’m so thrilled to see Cup of Jo recognize this movie!

  29. elizabeth says...

    Love these picks! One thought… clicked on the link to learn more about Tin Man and wondered why the link to Amazon and not to an independent bookstore (like your local awesome Books Are Magic) or to Indiebound.org so people find their own for, well, ALL the reasons.

    • E says...

      I thought the same thing when I clicked on a different link earlier. I don’t think Amazon needs more support than they already have.

  30. Hadassah E. says...

    Pickled Red Onions over Rice and beans is delicious! It is also great over boiled yucca. Definitely going to try and watch Roma tonight.

  31. Kelly P says...

    I’m here for bows! I loved a J Crew one, but did not wish to spend $20 on it so I bought some velvet ribbon from JoAnn Fabrics for $1.50 and made one in about 15 minutes. I love it!

    • shannon says...

      Same! $8 for a whole spool of black velvet ribbon from Target and I can make more bows than I’ll need. FYI, free people has a sale going on their scrunchies (some of which have bows attached) – 3/$12.

      As a child of the 90s I was there for scrunchies the first time around but had short hair so I couldn’t use them! Totally feeling it now: tucked around a messy bun or a smaller one with a bow for dressy ponytails. Am I wearing one at work right now? Yes, and I love it. 🎀

  32. A says...

    My company took us to Mexico this year – putting Roma on the list!

    Those quick pickled onions are great in salad, tacos, and with pork katsu (my favorite)

  33. Sasha L says...

    Putting Tin Man on my reading list. Could we have a post of great books to read in the new year, by women and particularly WOC authors?

    Hair bows, good for you, super cute! But not for me. I up and down and pony and free and bun/knot on top all day long. My hair accessory is the sad little black pony holder that lives on my wrist.

    Making those picked onions this weekend! Yum! We have been fancying up green salads lately and those would be a great addition. Garbanzos, kidneys, red peppers, roasted red peppers, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, green peas, lentils, carrots, raisins, what else can we try?

    • Anna says...

      My goal for this year was to read more books by WOC and I read some wonderful books! I absolutely loved A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I also really enjoyed The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

    • Joaquina says...

      Sasha,
      Put “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones at the top of your must-read list.

    • Claire says...

      Sasha, agreed! In the meantime, one of my favorite books of last year was Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado – I will shout from the rooftops forever about how much I love these short stories! Just wanted to recommend it if you need a little something to read over the holidays. :)

    • b says...

      I second Anna’s request. Angie Thomas has a new book coming out in February, On the Come Up. I *think* it’s set in the same world as The Hate U Give, but don’t quote me. It stands alone, though. I know that for sure.

    • Raquel says...

      Sasha, how long have you been in my head??
      I seriously was filling my library queue with holds on books for the holidays and as soon as I saw this post all I could think of was “I really want to read more books by WOC this upcoming year though” and came to the comment section to write the exact same thing!
      Thank you Anna, Joaquina and Claire for the recs – already placed holds on those as well! Can’t wait to cozy up to a good book for hours!

    • Kate says...

      Here are a few I loved this year:
      American Street – Ibi Zoboi (OMG so so so so amazing – a girl coming from Haiti gets separated from her mother at the airport and has to navigate life in America with her cousins and aunt, and it is breathtaking the whole way through)
      Severence – Ling Ma
      Things to Make and Break – May-Lan Tan (short stories, some I can’t stop thinking about two months later)
      My Sister, The Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite (finished this in a night, couldn’t put it down!!!)

    • Valeria says...

      I’ve read a lot of books written by women this year, and in particular I’ve loved:
      – Educated, by Tara Westover
      – Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
      – Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
      – Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
      At the moment, I am reading Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (after reading An American Marriage, but I think I’m enjoying even more this one) and the graphic novel Smile, by Raina Telgemeier, in order to decide to give it as a Christmas present to a 12 years old.

    • Julie says...

      the IG account @booksfightback is committed to reading books by WOC and she has a lot of great recommendations. Also recommend Well Read Black Girl for more titles (and she just released a new book).

    • Libbie says...

      One of my 2018 goals was to read more books by WOC, too! Anything by Roxane Gay is fantastic, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, Swing Time and On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Don’t forget Alice Walker. Happy reading :)

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      Some great books by WOC that I read and loved this year:
      1) Ponti by Sharlene Teo: Brilliant and hypnotic, set in Singapore and features three female protagonists.
      2)Halsey Street by Naima Costa: Portrays a thought-provoking mother-daughter relationship.
      3) Kindred by Octavia Butler: Believe the hype.
      4)My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Engrossing noir thriller set in Lagos, Nigeria.
      5) Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: I can’t recommend this enough. It’s still the best book I’ve read this year hands down.

  34. I’m very intrigued by the pickled onions and I’m adding Roma to my queue!

    As for bows, I’m very on board! I recently bought myself a 20 pack of different color 1-yard strips of velvet ribbon on Amazon (both 1/4 and 1/2 inch sizes) and I’ve been using them as bows to polish up my long, low ponytails.

    I’m also draping them under the collar of my button-down shirts or tying them like bows at the front of my collar to add some rich velvet-y color to my boring black and white basics that I wear to the office all the time. I like how they make my outfit look more interesting and thoughtful.

  35. Gina says...

    How do you store the onions once you drain them?

    • Franny Eremin says...

      Hi Gina!

      From Jenny: “In a jar for up to a week.”

      Hope that helps xo

    • Danielle says...

      I was curious about this as well because in the photo they appear to be in a jar of liquid.

    • MissEm says...

      I store mine in the liquid – they last a bit longer that way, I find.

  36. I wore a velvet hair bow to my husband’s work holiday party last year, and lately I have been feeling very cool and ahead of the curve for being one year early to the bow party. Ha.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! < virtual high five >

    • Kelly says...

      I’m sure Elizabeth joining CoJ means you’re all Team Hairbow now!

    • Nicola Adam says...

      Yes! I have totally been rocking the velvet hair bow for a year or so tool! I love them. And then thought it was funny how it was a big deal that Kate Middleton rocked one a month or so ago, was feeling pretty proud of myself as well haha!

  37. Cicely says...

    Airport sushi is usually awful, BUT you must try One Flew South in the Atlanta Airport. Some of the best sushi I’ve ever had.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh wow!! i’ll make a note of this the next time we visit alex’s sister in atlanta! :) thank you, cicely!

    • Virginia says...

      Yes!!!!! I have a friend who says it his favorite restaurant inside or outside of an airport! My layovers have not yet allowed me time to eat there, but I’m dying to try it with a review like that. And now that you’ve said it, I guess it’s confirmed he doesn’t just have bad taste.

    • Abigail says...

      I second the recommendation! This restaurant transformed a long, tiring layover into a pleasant experience (the two glasses of wine may’ve helped . . .).

  38. Roma was amazing.
    If you can see it in a theater it is worth it!

    Going to try that pickle recipe during my winter break…

  39. Claire says...

    Jenny- those quick-pickled red onions look great and I will be making them! What kind of veggie bowl do you make where you use the onions?

    • Franny Eremin says...

      Hi Claire! Here’s what Jenny said: “Any kind of veggie bowl – quinoa, kale, avocado!” Hope this helps.

    • Claire says...

      Thank you Franny and Jenny!!

  40. Megan L. says...

    The “funny postcoital bedroom scene” becomes a lot less funny when you see the second half of the movie 😬. Roma’s great, though.

    • Joaquina says...

      Very few in the audience laughed. For myself, the scene captured the all-too relatable sense of vulnerability that Cleo felt.

  41. stacey says...

    I heat the pickling mixture in a wide mouth canning jar in the microwave, whisk to dissolve the salt and sugar, add the sliced onion, cap and store in the fridge. No clean up!

  42. SJ says...

    I love that hair bows are coming back (Or have they always been here?). They elevate any half-up/down look and adds a cute, feminine touch. You look more pulled together. I love wearing it with something more casual or boyish to balance it out like a jean button-down.

  43. AN says...

    Bows: no, no, no, NO. I can’t and I won’t.

    • Joaquina says...

      Ha! This child of the 80s agrees with you.

    • Sandra says...

      LOL…I was reading the comments and starting to feel like I was the only one. As discussed last time this came up on COJ, they are way too Bunny Mcdougal for me. If you are out of elementary school I’m a big no.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Haha I see your point. But they’re growing on me after seeing my friend Tracy wearing them. Here’s one peeking out from behind her hair: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqw8L8TgVWx/

      How cute is that?

  44. Hannah G says...

    I wear bows, I love the all the bows! I’m in that awkward growing out a bob stage and a bow headband (like the one Ashley Streicher did for Mandy Moore) makes my stubby ponytail look almost chic.

  45. Brooke says...

    say “quick-pickled red onions” 5 times fast

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

  46. Heather says...

    Does pickling onions make them easier on your tummy? Raw onions hate my guts (literally), but I want to be with them so much!!

    • Andrea says...

      Try macerating onions.

    • Franny Eremin says...

      Hi Heather!

      From Jenny: “Not sure, but assume yes since they are cooked, not raw when you pickle them.”

      Hope this helps! xo

    • Mickie says...

      Heather- yes. I have the same problem with raw red onions- love them but they don’t love my tummy.
      Pickled onions are no problem! Can eat them without any stomach upset. I think the acid inactivates whatever is irritating and raw onions to my stomach.

    • Heather says...

      Thanks everyone!! I’ll try it. =)

  47. Justine says...

    Roma sounds incredible! Do I really have to mess with my TV though?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i watched it the regular way and it was still SO BEAUTIFUL.

    • b says...

      That guide for watching Roma might as well be in Italian. I’m not even sure my TV has those capabilities, let alone how I might adjust them. Regardless, I will watch. I am a sucker for all the beautiful things that sweep me out of real life right now.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha i took out the link of the post — it was too confusing. you don’t really have to do any of those adjustments (i didn’t!); it’s just how the directors think the cinematography will look best. here’s the link if anyone wants it!
      https://myromamovie.com/best-viewing-practices