Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

Whimsy and Spice

What are you up to this weekend? We’re going to visit Alex’s mom, and the boys are looking forward to sneaking some candy (she always has candy) and showing her their new tricks (running very quickly, doing division!). Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web…

What is the nuttiest thing you’ve done in the name of love? (The comments are so compelling.)

What a pretty sweater.

Do or don’t: Eating off your date’s plate.

Some American kids are developing slight British accents from watching Peppa Pig.

Start with frozen beans.

On being a woman in America while trying to avoid being assaulted. “Sometimes, I’ll read a novel written by a man in which a woman walks home alone, late at night, in America, without having a single thought about her physical safety, and it’s so implausible that I’ll put the book down.”

Cool bowls for work lunches.

Remember this funny skit? I just re-watched it and laughed so much.

A married name that looks nothing like us.” (NYT)

Oh my gosh, this poem.

This Swiss building!

Plus, two reader comments:

Says C. on a poem that took my breath away: “Tracy K. Smith, the current poet laureate, has a beautiful daily podcast called The Slowdown that offers a window into some incredible poetry. The episodes are all super short — around five minutes a piece. Definitely worth a daily listen.”

Says Ceridwen on four fun things: “My 10-year-old daughter has been choosing my outfit every day, for five days. The criteria: must be work-appropriate, and she has to get it ready the night before. It has bought a sense of playfulness to my whole day. Others at my workplace have been excited too and comment on her choices of colors or fabrics. I get butterflies before each outfit reveal! But I’ve rolled with it and it has made me realize how I nitpick too much when I dress; it’s been so freeing to just go with it. For the last outfit, I was a bit concerned because I had a meeting (the top was really cropped but she switched it for a rainbow tee and blazer), but she said, ‘Well, if anyone comments, just tell them your daughter dressed you.’ Now she wants to do it every Valentine’s week. I’m in!”

P.S. We’re on Instagram, if you’d like to hang out there, too. xoxo

(Photo by Jenna Park. Mirage Gstaad via Tina.)

  1. Cait says...

    Holy wow to the waving/drowning. That’s the most profound thing I’ve read in a long time.

  2. Oh my! I’ve also noticed my friend’s five-year-old daughter developed a slight British accent. It’s like she spent a semester at Hogwarts. She must have gotten it from Peppa Pig. Ha! Children are such sponges.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha that is hilarious!

  3. nadege says...

    There is actually a type of speech impediment known as Rhotacism that sounds to Americans that a child is speaking with a British accent. I think it’s probably less likely that Peppa is affecting a young nations dialect, than it is that parents are (slowly) discovering a slight speech impediment :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      totally hear you — although kids really are using peppa-isms, like saying “mummy” and calling flashlights “torches.”

  4. Kathryn says...

    Totally experience the Peppa Pig effect! We now have rubbish in our house, get a trolly at the store, and recently had our first power cut!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha

  5. Kae says...

    I come from a family where everyone has chronic wandering fork syndrome. When we go out for dinner, we make a point not to order the same thing so we can maximize the sharing – it’s also not uncommon to be the last person to take a bite of your dish!

    With all this in mind – I have a special test for all of my sister’s new significant others. When they first come over for dinner, no matter what we’re eating (even if we’re eating the same thing), I try and sneak a bite off their plate. If they let me – they’re warmly welcomed (bonus points if they offer me a bite!). If not, they better have a great personality.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “chronic wandering fork syndrome” = hahaha!

  6. Mireille says...

    In the name of love, I left my city, Antibes, in the south of France to live on a boat and leave for the Indian Ocean. I must add that I warned my family a week before leaving, it was the best time of my life and even after several years after returning to France.
    Joanna i like your blog very very much !!

  7. Katherine says...

    My husband’s Australian and I’m American & we live in California. My husband started teaching our three year old what are Daddy words vs what are Mama words – like nappy vs diaper (we have a newborn too!) It’s also adorable the words that my son says with an Aussie accent because of my in laws visiting from time to time – strawberries & schedule are two faves :)

  8. My daughter and I are blessed to be a part of a community where we dance every Sunday morning, then go to a crunchy, vegan cafe to eat afterwards. All the adults eat off each others plates, finish each others leftovers and help with the kids. It’s usually the highlight of the weekend!

  9. Kate says...

    And here I thought my three and a half year old was the only one experiencing the “Peppa effect.” It’s real. 🤣

  10. Erin says...

    Lol at the Peppa pig thing! A 4-year old I used to nanny for watched Peppa Pig and one day he asked me if I wanted to eat a “toe-mott-oh”. I was like were did this accent come from? Ohhhh yeah.

  11. Jenn Dreier says...

    My son when small loved Thomas the Train shows (the old original ones) and books. He developed a way of using British terms for things. To this day I say Cross when I’m angry!

  12. Justine says...

    Haha our son says “mend” instead of “fix” and “garden” instead of “yard”. It’s adorable. Thanks Peppa.

  13. Cynthia Miller says...

    Please have Ceridwen do a guest post of each outfit! With her daughter.

    • Sally Dalwood says...

      Yes please. This MUST be your next week of outfits x

    • Sarah Carter says...

      Whole-heartedly agree! This would be such an incredible week of outfits post.

  14. Nas says...

    Wow to the R.O. Kwon piece! I do almost all of those things without really realizing. As someone who has been through a few self-defense classes (and walks around with pepper spray in her hand always), I wanted to say that there were two things that were glaring at me that R.O. Kwon is doing that every self-defense instructor I have had advises against.

    1. Don’t talk on the phone (or text, or have the phone in your hand).
    This makes you vulnerable. Even if you’re fake talking and alert of your surroundings, you will LOOK like an easy target.

    2. Always make eye contact. Avoiding eye contact makes you appear weak. Looking someone in the eye lets them know that they have been seen. Being seen means if they try to do anything to you, you can describe them to the police. They’ll likely leave you alone and go for someone much more distracted.

    Stuff we have to think about.

  15. gfy says...

    On sharing plates – I just watched Dating Around on netflix and the first episode – which I LOVED – touches on this plus I just want to highly recommend that series, it was so good! I just fell in love with every single one of the people!

  16. Erin says...

    Eating off someone else’s plate: only with an invitation, unless you are my best friend from college… who, for complicated historical reasons involving Frosted Flakes and our dorm cafeteria, has permanent permission to eat off my plate when she wants to. (Said dorm cafeteria is more than 20 years in the rear view mirror; our friendship endures.)

  17. I loved the two comments you chose for this post! You have such a variety of readers its crazy! I’m currently scrolling through the Bloglovin’ feed and procrastinating haha, lovely post x

    Alexandra

  18. Tori says...

    Hahaha, Peppa Pig! My daughter says “potato” how they say Mr. Potato on the show, and calls elevators “lifts”. Love it.

  19. Callie Kurtz says...

    What a coincidence (or not!). I live in Australia and just this week on the morning news they had a story linked to an article about how Australian children are beginning to speak with American accents and spell with American spelling conventions because of so much Youtube video watching!

    • Allie says...

      I was in the Fish and Chip shop last week and a group of British children were talking in a California Disney voice. When my midwestern voice went to order their jaws dropped and their parents told me how they can’t get their kids to stop talking in an American accent when they “play or talk” together. I nodded and was trying to hold back apologies. Haha.

  20. Phoebe says...

    On the subject of Peppa Pig and accents: when my now-10-year-old (and very American) nephew was a toddler, he watched a lot of Kipper, a delightful British children’s show, and he developed the most adorable British accent as he learned to talk. It was the cutest thing. He would say things like “Can I have a go?” or “You gave me a fright!” We were all legitimately sad when he grew out of it!

  21. Rachel R. says...

    The unfortunate side effect of Peppa Pig around our house is all of the fake laughter!

  22. Vicky says...

    When I was a sophomore in college, I took a literature course taught by an instructor who became a mentor to me, and one of the pieces we studied was Stevie Smith’s “Not Waving but Drowning.” I adored it, as did most of the class, as I remember, and the two of us often found ourselves discussing the poem outside of class — the idea of being totally overwhelmed by life, while the rest of the world carries on believing you’re doing fine, was sometimes tragic, sometimes hysterical, and sometimes an accurate depiction of our lives. Later, when I became the student editor of the campus literary magazine (of which she was the faculty advisor) and had a dozen spinning plates in the air at all times, we took to closing emails to one another with “not waving, but drowning.”

  23. Elise says...

    I am so delighted by the Peppa Pig phenomenon. I desperately want my child to have a British accent, which I thought was unlikely to happen since we live in the US (and we’re not British). But I will definitely be playing Peppa Pig once baby is old enough!

    • Lisa says...

      Hate to burst your bubble but the accent will not last and will be very short lived. You take on the accent of your peers, so even if you and your significant other had accents, unless you live in Britain, your children would still have American accents.

    • Rebecca says...

      I think you have a good shot! My friend has a British accent, but is married to an American. They have a 4-year old daughter who is in preschool. This is all in the midwest, btw. And, guess what??? The 4-year old has a British accent! You should start speaking with a British accent too, give it a go!

  24. Jemma says...

    On changing your last name, I struggled with a similar situation but in my case, I am Chinese while my husband is not. I’d already changed my first name to an easy to digest white-sounding name – changing my last name as well felt like erasing my Chinese identity altogether.
    Having a child and trying to decide on her last name brought up all those feelings again. Therefore we came to a compromise. Our daughter was given two names: an English one which allowed her to take my husband’s last name, and a Chinese one, so that my surname, and her Chinese identity, would never be lost.

    • Katherine says...

      That’s beautiful! What a sweet way to honor both of you and give your daughter something special from each of you :)

  25. TT says...

    Oh my gosh Joanna you and your readers need to check out Stasia Savasuk- she’s a stylist I follow on Instagram (and she also recently did a TED talk). She does that with her daughter, see #styledbymychild. Even though it’s not her bread and butter I actually mostly follow her because I LOVE her insights on parenting. (More rare recently, but scroll back for some good wisdom.)

    • Katherine says...

      I was coming here to say the same thing about Stacia! I adore her and her style philosophies. She is friends with a friend of mine and I’ve been following her on Instagram for a few years now, and she is so refreshing and joyful. CoJ and readers, y’all will love Stacia!

    • Sasha L says...

      I love Stasia too! She has such a beautiful outlook on life, being authentic, making your own happiness, feeling free to express yourself and you what you love. She would be so fun to see on COJ, week of outfits, beauty routines, also her really interesting and meaningful work, and life as a mom.

  26. Ashley says...

    On Peppa Pig – My niece watches the cartoon so I sent the article to my sister, and my sister replied: “Emily says ‘Mommy, can you mend it?’ Instead of ‘fixing’.” Lol.

  27. OMG that Swiss building!!

  28. boy, am I not envy of the poor person who needs to wipe clean those swiss buildings’ mirror walls! just imagine that!

  29. Cait says...

    I’m coming to NYC for the week!!!!!! We leave our city in Canada on Sunday :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Have the best time!!!

  30. Olivia says...

    I felt compelled to come here and comment on the Being a Woman in America article. While I respect her point of view and acknowledge that there are unique challenges and considerations to being a woman and avoiding an assault or less serious yet still very comfortable situations, I think this author takes it to an extreme. I also live in San Francisco and I do not feel unsafe walking the streets of the Mission and Market Street (save for a little area near Civic Center where there is a population of individuals who have severe mental health issues, and my husband equally does not feel great about walking there because the fear is ANY erratic behavior, not sexual assault). It has never occurred to me to avoid a bathroom in a bar because it is down a long hallway. I don’t see a need to fake phone calls while walking around popular neighborhoods. I would not think twice about entering an elevator with a single man inside it, and will not suddenly do so after reading this piece. A catcall or random DM is annoying and gross, but not dangerous. It is good to be cautious and the writer should do what she feels is best for her, but this extreme response seems unusual to me and does not reflect the “everywoman” experience – at least, not mine.

    • Jenn says...

      Thank you. I live in Atlanta and never fear for my personal safety in this urban environment. Everyone has their own perspective, but mine does not include this fear.

    • b says...

      Olivia, you articulated this much more beautifully than I ever could have. I’m a single woman and am often out and about by myself. I take Ubers alone, I walk alone, I eat alone. I use common sense and if something feels uncomfortable from my perspective, I avoid it. I always make sure I have a fully charged phone. But I refuse to be fearful of all the dark shadows.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      But I think that’s what she means, b. Not that she’s scared of every shadow that but that she might always have a fully charged phone.

    • Natasha says...

      Feel lucky, then, but acknowledge that a lot of us have qualms about those long, dark hallways. Especially when lurkers have grabbed you on your way to the ladies room before. Strangers try to hit me up on Mission — I’ve faked many a phone call in various parts of town. Catcalls are one thing — people grabbing you or harassing you because “you’re not with your other half” (i.e., a guy) is another (also, being chased around by someone in a car while walking alone is exceptionally creepy). Again, if it hasn’t been your experience, feel happy. But this article probably speaks to more women than you’d imagine.

    • michaela says...

      I had this thought at first too, that this perspective felt extreme and even suffocating, but I realized the more I read it that I also make these same calculations whenever I’m out and about in the world by myself—they aren’t starkly present in the way the R.O. Kwon writes about them in this piece, but subconsciously I know they’re there. (It reminded me of a time when my husband, a female friend, and I were walking back to our car after leaving a bar late at night. My husband took a direct path through the parking lot, while my friend and I headed around the edge of the lot even though it was less direct. When my husband asked us why we didn’t just take the shortcut, we both realized we were avoiding walking between the cars, potentially avoiding someone hiding out of sight. We hadn’t made a conscious choice to do this, it was ingrained the same way my husband didn’t even question if walking between the parked cars was okay.)

      Additionally, the author also described in the piece several instances in which she has previously experienced assaults, so I don’t think it’s fair to imply that her thought processes are rooted in paranoia.

    • Kathleen says...

      I agree! I think this quote is very parochial. I have lived all over America ( and overseas) and only felt worried about my physical safety in a few locations (usually urban areas). And the same places I have felt the need to be “on alert” are the same places my husband feels the same way (and he is a beast of a man who would surely prevail against any assailants). In contrast, I currently live in Kentucky, where I have more than once felt completely at ease walking my baby at 2am when fresh air is the only thing that soothes her. I feel bad for the author, who has clearly had a limited experience of the US.

    • Meredith says...

      I found this article incredibly compelling. I can resonate with so much of it, and especially with her emphasis (like you’re pointing out, too, Joanna) on the little, everyday parts of life. I don’t see this as an extreme response at all. I see it as much more realistic than I wish it were. That’s nice that you don’t see your own experience in this article, but I think these kinds of protective measures women take are very, very common. And I think Michaela is spot on: we don’t always realize we’re doing it! Thank you for posting this article, CupofJo, I appreciate the willingness to name this reality.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, meredith and michaela — i agree that we don’t always realize we’re doing it. for example, i avoid quiet streets by i’m walking alone at night, i never park in parking garages when i’m alone, i always look in the backseat of my parked car before getting in to make sure no one is back there (i learned about this in a self-defense unit in high school), i sometimes fake wave at a window when walking down an empty street at night just in case someone is hiding by a parked car so they’ll think someone can see me (i know this sounds insane to write out but feels very normal to me as a woman who walks around alone at night in quiet brooklyn, and someone who has been mugged twice before, years ago0 so many things. i could make the longest list.

    • E says...

      I’m happy, although a little surprised, that this article totally missed the mark for some women.
      On the other hand, it didn’t feel extreme to me. I lived in SF for six years and did everything that R.O. Kwon mentions, and more: removing/hiding my jewelry before walking through sketchy neighborhoods on my way home, circling around to my building’s second entrance if someone was lurking in front of the first doorway, choosing my shoes based on whether I thought I’d be able to run in them if I needed to, carrying pepper spray. It didn’t feel like living in fear, or being paranoid.
      Listed all together, as in the article, it seems like a lot, but so many of those choices stop being conscious calculations and just become habit.

    • D.M. says...

      While I never felt super unsafe before, I suddenly became afraid after having someone follow me home late at night walking from the train. It was incredibly scary and more importantly, really made me angry. How dare this man take away my sense of security in my neighborhood. While I know I can handle myself and I don’t limit myself to where I go or do, but I just feel a bit more scared in the world and worried for my safety at night.

    • Sasha L says...

      I live in a small city in Montana. Men here by and large don’t catcall, are much more reserved about aggressively hitting on women etc. We don’t have muggings. But I still do a million things that until recently I filled under *common sense*. I realize now that I do it because I’m a woman, living in a patriarchy where men are violent toward women. I lock my car doors immediately when I get in. I very rarely go out at night. I don’t walk my dogs alone at night, or if I see scary looking men around at trailheads I call my husband, take pictures, make sure he knows where I am. Despite my having pepper spray and large dogs with me. I don’t smile or look at men I pass (on trails, at the grocery store, at the library). Once a strange man followed me and my children in a museum, then to the parking lot, then by car, until I drove to the police station. I could go on…… My husband who was raised in a much more dangerous urban environment does none of these things. The point of the article is that we don’t even realize exactly why we are doing so many of the *safety* procedures we do, and men don’t do them. Whether any of us *choose* to *let fear* do whatever, is beside the point.

    • Tricia says...

      I live in an urban environment and sometimes I forget how cautious and aware I need to be. I get reminded when things happen like a guy trailing me on a bicycle muttering things at me as I’m just walking around the block in full daylight. I told him to back off (in a less polite phrase) he aggressively yelled at me as he rode away.

      I’ve never known a man to have to deal with this sort of thing. My husband included. When I’ve told him about all the things women have to deal with, based on my own and friends’ experiences, he is horrified and angry. The notion that our daughter will have to deal with this as well as she grows up makes y stomach churn. Society needs to do better.

    • Tmer says...

      Olivia, thank you. You much more beautiful put into words what I was thinking. I’ve had incidents and situations where I acutely aware or nervous, but generally speaking I’m not fearful. In all honesty, my husband is equally aware of dangerous/fearful individuals/situation and crosses the street, moves out from a doorway no less than myself. I don’t discredit the authors experience, yet feel this being the ‘everywoman experience’ isn’t genuine either.

    • shannon says...

      I’m glad you felt that the actions taken by Ms. Kwon are extreme. You are fortunate to have had a life that allows her actions to be interpreted as extreme rather than reasonable or required.

      I felt a strong connection to her stance and share many of the same behaviors. A catcall or DM itself is not a huge threat, but for me it’s always a question of if he will choose to escalate: when will that catcall turn into following me down the street, or watching me enter my house so he knows where I live, or memorizing my schedule?

    • t says...

      I am sorry that so many women relate to this article but I too don’t feel that it is an “everywoman” experience. As a fat woman living in an urban neighborhood I have never really had to worry about these things. Or maybe societal judgement has made me think I don’t need to think about these things as I am not desirable enough.

      Either way, I couldn’t relate.

    • Michelle says...

      I appreciate the diversity of opinions on this topic. I too feel the article represents an extreme, borderline paranoid view (from my perspective without knowing Kwon’s experience with assault incidences). I’ve lived all over the country, from the south to the west coast, big cities and small, and have never felt the need to be on constant high alert as she describes, let alone debilitating rage. To presume that all women have this experience and insinuate that all men don’t have a clue how hard we women have it, is a lot for me to take in without rolling my eyes.

    • B says...

      Everyone has to be alert and aware of their surroundings when out in public, more so in big cities and certain countries. We can’t be paranoid though, do what you have to do and think positive. Sometimes unfortunately it’s just the fact of life that women shouldn’t be walking alone at night if possible. Men can have the same issue in certain areas where they might be mugged. Religious Jews have rules that also help with some of these issues, they won’t be in a closed room with a man who is not immediate family. They won’t touch or shake hands with them, there is an awareness that there is a separation and privacy to their body that is reserved only for certain people in their life. It keeps many of the unfortunate situations from happening.

  31. Joanie O says...

    How funny about the accents- here in Australia is the reverse! So much of our tv is imported from America, that my daughter and her friends slip on American accents as soon as they begin imaginative play. We’re a family that barely has screen time, but that what the friends do, so she joins in as if it’s completely normal :)

    • Jeanne says...

      This is so cute. I think we all find each others’ accents fun and interesting and cool.

  32. cgw says...

    The nuttiest thing I ever did in the name of “love” was in undergrad, (over the course of two weeks) I slipped little hand written notes with lyrics from songs about smiles into the art locker of a guy that I wanted to get to know well. Finally we went to see a movie together. It was supposed to be in a larger group but one by one they either begged out (to “study”), or just didn’t show up, so it was just the two of us, this was right before winter break. With little to lose (since I wouldn’t see him for two weeks) after the movie, I dropped him off, when he got out of the car, I rolled the window down and threw a cassette tape at him with clips from all the songs that I used lyrics and drove off. Two weeks later we started the spring semester and we’ve been together ever since… happily married for 22 years, together for 27.

  33. Mandy says...

    You know else develops an accent? The parents! My husband and I can not stop It’s so catchy!

  34. caity says...

    CAN WE PLEASE SEE A WEEK OF OUTFITS from the woman whose daughter dressed her?!!!

    • Allyn says...

      Uh, yea!

    • Robin says...

      Yes please! Also, I think I want to see what the boys would choose for you!

    • Kate says...

      YES, I beg!!

  35. Leah says...

    Am I alone in *needing * to see the outfits Ceridwen got to wear?! 💗

    • Mandy says...

      Agreed!

    • Sarah says...

      Yes please!!

  36. Hali says...

    Did anyone else feel marginally hungover from Valentine’s day? Is this what growing up feels like? Can I no longer drink champagne without a twinge of fear?

    Also, I forgot it was Friday til I saw this headline and all of a sudden the world seems so much more FUN. Maybe the excedrine kicked in.

    • Breamons says...

      The champagne fear is real!! It used to be like drinking pure effervescence – now there are consequences!!

  37. Hani says...

    When my (now 5) 2 year old daughter became enamored with Peppa Pig, she started speaking with a British accent, some of which lingers to this day! The way she says ‘Daddy’, and ‘Susie’, lol oh man, it charmed us like crazy + confused many people as well.

  38. Laura says...

    Okay, my son totally got a slight accent from Peppa and he only watched it once a week! He also still uses British-isms like “mended” and “wellies.” I know he’ll outgrow it, but I’ve come to realize if he’s going to imitate a show, Peppa is the best option. (My brother and I use to say things like “go-go gadget arm!” and my mom thought we were so clever, and made things up…but then she realized they were from Inspector Gadget on Nickelodeon. Haha!)

    • Olivia says...

      Holy shit. I need to log into my work computer (hospital) so I can read the rest of this. How gosh darn funny