Design

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

Emily Waterfield

What are you up to this weekend? We’re finishing up a wonderful week visiting relatives in California and will be heading home. I’ve also been reading this book on our trip and flagging almost every page. Have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web, if you’re in a reading mood…

How people spend sudden financial windfalls. Loved this.

A quick trick for making supermarket flowers look fancier.

My beauty editor friend swears by these foot peels. Would you try?

A chocolate cake worth crossing an ocean for.

“I’m 33 and just bought my first vibrator.”

Preschool pocket treasures.

How delicious does this appetizer look?

What I say when I don’t know what to say. (“I try never to ask what people do for a living in a conversation, but when I want to be polite after someone tells me what they do: ‘Wow. That sounds hard.'”

Two romantic essays: meeting my 84-year-old father’s new girlfriend (NYT) and the spouse with the short fuse.

There is no time for anything else.

Plus, two great reader comments:

Says KL on reader comments on beauty: “The best thing I ever did was tune in to my natural features. I wanted black mascara to work for me for so long. I wanted thick eyebrows to work for me forEVER. But I never got the look I was trying to achieve. Then, I turned 30 and I stopped trying to make black happen and got my first brown mascara. I now fill in my own brow shape and size instead of making them bigger. I’ve always been self-conscious about how I looked, and now I’m realizing that using what I already have works best. May not be for everyone (because damn, don’t some ladies just look killer with a dramatic cat eye), but for me, me is best.”

Says Em (and many others!) on workout apps: “Yoga with Adriene is the first exercise program I’ve ever stuck with, and it has been so good for my body and brain. I began it during a period of depression and acute stress and anxiety, and it made all the difference. She is loving and encouraging and has a great sense of humor. YWA all day, every day.”

(Top photo by Emily Waterfield. Preschool pocket treasures via Erin.)

  1. E says...

    Just finished the What to Say article. Does anyone have a tip for what to say when someone starts on an unsolicited political diatribe? Seems all too common lately, with close friends or strangers! I don’t want to debate or even discuss, and listening can be difficult when you wholeheartedly disagree. It can feel like a personal attack, and often it is without them realizing. “I don’t care to chat about politics,” seems a bit too harsh or direct for me. Anything else? Sometimes changing the subject doesn’t work and they get right back to it!

    • Julia says...

      This is an important topic!

      The struggle to me is that it depends on who’s in the conversation. I’m from a Latinx immigrant family, so I feel discarded when white people (especially white men), say that they don’t want to talk about politics, since my identity is political in the US today. But at the same time, and to what I think your point is, people often want to argue about politics for the sake of arguing, and they won’t listen to you defending what you think is right. Personally I HATE the saying “Let’s agree to disagree,” because my best learning has come from discussions with opposing viewpoints. But if I’m caught in an argument with someone with political views that I find harmful, I’ll try my best to defend what I think is morally right, and if that doesn’t go anywhere I’ll say something like, “We don’t agree with each other on this, and I don’t think we’re going to convince each other of anything” and then try to change the subject or leave the situation. It’s a way of honoring your own views without incensing someone who clearly won’t listen.

  2. Janet Newhall says...

    Those preschool treasures! My youngest, and our last, will turn 4 in a few months, and we are looking forward to the post-toddler phase for our family for the diaper free, stroller free, full nights of sleep we know are just around the corner. But seeing those bits of crumpled paper, and oh, the little sticks! In our busy lives, it’s hard to remember just how precious his 5 piece lego creation is to him, how amazing the leaf is he found on the sidewalk, and this was just the reminder I needed.

  3. Lexi says...

    Another here here for Yoga with Adriene! The best workout program that is also so loving and kind. This year I made a commitment to myself to practice yoga everyday, and that is the only “resolution” that made it out of the first week of January. She and he dog Benji are awesome, and so encouraging! Every morning I tell my boyfriend, okay, I’m going to hangout with Adriene and Benji. :)

    Cheers!

    • Stephanie says...

      Me too, Lexi! One of my goals for this new year was to become a better “morning person” and to use that time to do something for myself. So each morning I wake up to my alarm an hour before my boyfriend and quietly move to the living room where I hang out with Adriene and Benji to start my day. It’s hard to have a bad day when I start start out with “finding what feels good” with them!

      Note to the COJ Team: I would love to see a Beauty Uniform post with Adriene! Seems like a lot of readers, including me, admire her for her kind and loving nature!

  4. Sarah says...

    Love your friday links:)
    The vibrator article made me think of my own (slightly inappropriate, mostly hilarious) vibrator story.
    Earlier this year I threw out my back at the beginning of a new job and I was TERRIFIED of asking for any time off. I called my ma to complain and she asked me if I ever tried using a hitachi magic wand…. on my back. I told her no, and please DO NOT send me a vibrator. But caring Jewish mother syndrome prevailed and a day later I opened up an Amazon Prime package to find a “back massager.” It came with lube.

    I am 26 and have never bought a vibrator, but my mother sure has bought me one

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha i love this!

  5. Alice says...

    This is a very random comment, but could COJ post new content every Monday morning in time for the morning commute to work? I’d love to start my week with a boost of fresh COJ insights — Monday afternoon is too long to wait!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for your note! we typically post at 12 and 4, but we can try to move earlier!

  6. RB says...

    I am a mom of two boys—one three and one four months old. My three year old is constantly collecting bits of things from outside, tiny rolled up balls of foil, crumpled stickers, etc. I’ve gotten grumpy this winter and thrown all of these small items away when I find them on the floor or in the corners of his desk. I think now, after crying while looking at “preschool treasures,” I will start respecting his collection!

  7. Sarah says...

    Um, yes to Baby Foot! My old roommate and I use them every time we visit each other (I’m in MD and she’s in CO). They work and it’s disgustingly satisfying :)

  8. Liz C says...

    Please do a feature on Adrienne from Yoga with Adrienne! I take her classes online all the time!

  9. Shira says...

    My son learned two things in preschool when you don’t like what someone else is eating. The first is, “you don’t ‘yuck’ someone else’s ‘yum’,” and the second one (related to the first) is to say instead, “It’s not my taste.” I love both of those statements and try to reinforce them at home daily!

    • celeste says...

      Totally using this!

    • stephanie says...

      Yes! My daughter’s great Uncle taught her to say, “that looks delicious, but it is not to my taste.” Great tip and extra cute coming from a three year old.

  10. I’ve been doing Yoga with Adrienne for the last 4 years. She’s changed my life!

  11. Sara C. says...

    My mom thought it’d be fun to try one of those foot peels over the holidays. At first I thought it didn’t work. But on about day 6 post mask, I was in the middle of yoga class, and was horrified to see basically all of my foot skin peeling off onto my mat. It was completely mortifying, and there was nothing I could do! I rolled my grody mat up as quick as I could after savasana and hoped everyone else was in their own little world.

    Were my feet soft? Yes. Was it worth it? Oh goodness no.

  12. N says...

    I baked the flourless chocolate cake for a dessert competition at my church this weekend and I won so I had to come her and brag/thank you for the recipe ha ha!

  13. Anita says...

    I want to weigh in on “wow, that sounds hard.” I am not a conversation expert but it seems to me that you should not say “wow that sounds hard” unless you mean it sincerely, and/or unless you sense that the other person is seeking sympathy or recognition and validation for some kind of difficulty in their life, which may or may not be job related. It just doesn’t seem like a good go-to response otherwise. I am also curious about the point of not asking people about their jobs in the first place. Well yes it seems s little gauche to ask someone point blank: “what do you do for a living?” but I certainly don’t go out of my way to avoid the topic in conversation. Would you? Is there a reason to avoid it?

    • Hannie says...

      I think in the US especially, people tend to define themselves by their career. This is not reflected across the world – I have heard it can even be impolite to ask what someone does for work, when conversely people in the US will mention it when they introduce themselves or not long after. After considering this, I know that I have become more aware of how much outside of work conversation turns quickly into discussing work. I graduated college two years ago and I try to keep in mind that my career doesn’t define me – now, when I’m not where I want to be, and later, when I may be where I want to be. There are much more interesting things about me!

  14. “For me, me is best” is now my new mantra! Thanks, KL. :)

  15. Sam says...

    Instead of saying, “that sounds hard”, maybe ASK, “what’s that like?”. And if someone says to you, “wow, that sounds hard”. you might say, “at times yes, but mostly it’s like this or that.” Most people just don’t know what to say or can’t relate so I think that’s why they say “that sounds hard”. Just take it as an opportunity to clarify or explain more about it to them!

    • YES YES YES!

      I work as an Oncology Social Worker, and it makes me feel so uncomfortable to have people say “that sounds hard,” or “that sounds like a sad job.” It immediately puts the person on the defensive.

      I would much rather feel empowered to clarify the role of a social worker- which usually ends up with me talking about why I love my job, too :)

      Thank you for this suggestion!

  16. Katie Larissa says...

    Please please see about doing a beauty uniform or week of outfits with Adriene! She is amazing!

  17. Laura C. says...

    I’m going through a “lazy” period of my life, I’m finding difficult to move or doing some exercise. YouTube yoga is not very appealing to me, but you ladies seem so excited about Adrienne that I am going to give her a chance. I warn you, I am like a piece of wood. 😂

  18. Rachael says...

    I support the Yoga with Adriene comment!!

  19. Robin says...

    Made that olive appetizer for New Year’s Eve, it tastes as amazing as it looks. A good briney feta is totally worth the splurge,

  20. Jennifer says...

    I think what she’s saying about the “technical” understanding of that commandment is that if you have sex with someone to whom you are not married, even if they aren’t married either, you’re not having sex with your spouse, therefore you’re committing adultery. That’s often how that commandment is interpreted to preclude premarital sex.

    • mb says...

      If neither person is married the term is “fornication”–there’s no adultery committed in that case.

  21. M says...

    Whenever I mention my career in small talk to relative strangers that aren’t in my field i get the “that sounds hard” response. (I’m a chemist). What I need is a response for the “that sounds hard” response. Any ideas?

    • S says...

      I’m a biochemist and get that too. I don’t particularly like it when people say it. My typical response is something to the effect of “I enjoy what I do, and I’m glad that we all have different strengths that lead us to different jobs. We need that to make the world go around!” That’s really what I believe. :) I’ll take on the biochemistry, and you can do something else that I would find difficult/unenjoyable!

    • Alex says...

      My friend once said something like : “Everything is actually easy once you learn (or know) how to do it.” Maybe it helps :)

    • Emily says...

      I agree, despite the anecdote accompanying the advice this seems like it could also be a conversation killer. I have no idea what I would say if someone said that to me.

    • E says...

      It DOES sound hard. So could you say: “Yes, it is and I really enjoy it” (if true).

    • Caitlin says...

      I’m a chemical engineer and I also get this a lot. I feel very privileged to have had the access to the education I’ve received and the support of many mentors/my parents to reach this point in my career. That’s what I try to share in response, but I’m still working on the best wording.

    • M says...

      M, I was thinking about your comment this weekend. I am also a chemist. It never ceases to amaze me that when I tell health care professionals what I do, I inevitably get, oh, that’s the class that almost stopped me from getting here (or some variation on this theme). This makes me wonder if people aren’t just commenting on their experience in the classroom. In my opinion, being a practicing chemist is very different from being in a chemistry classroom. I think the lecture style of teaching and the way some instructors keep the subject static instead of connecting to everyday experiences is a problem, which I believe is slowly changing. Anyway, I often times will tell people that chemistry is all around and there are so many things we don’t yet understand. It is an exciting, interesting, and fulfilling career.

  22. Jessica Cingel says...

    I’m addicted to Baby Foot peels. I probably use them way more than I should. It actually works! For a beauty product, that’s saying a lot!

  23. Em says...

    YWA!!! THE BEST.

    • Alex says...

      YES YES YES :D

    • Ditto!

    • Amanda says...

      I recently discovered YWA as well…. LOVE it and her approach!

  24. Jackie says...

    Baby feet is good but expensive. There are less expensive options that do the trick. I use it in place of a pricey pedicure so try to find one that is 10-20 dollars and soak your feet before and each day after!

    • Sarah says...

      Honestly, I haven’t found any by another brand that work as well for me! Which ones do you use?

  25. Wendy says...

    Am I mis-reading that yummy-sounding olive appetizer recipe? It calls for unpitted olives…nothing is mentioned about removing the pits when you smash them, but it seems like you should…

  26. Rebecca says...

    Preschool pocket treasures made me giggle! I teach 3rd grade and by the end of the week my coat pockets look similar to those preschoolers’! Little treasures either I’ve been given or had to take away from a distracted little student. Each bit reminding me of the small moments from my week :)

    • Diana L. Tisdale says...

      I first wondered if it was a teacher’s or a student’s pocket, Haha.

  27. Sheila says...

    About those pre-school pocket treasures…We found out recently, from our 4 year old, that there is a super secretive underground sock treasure thing at her pre-school. The kids know that if they put the random bits of pipe cleaners and puff balls in their pockets Ms. Brenda finds them out. So they hide that stuff in their socks!! It’s hilarious! I’m cracking up even writing this because she’s so serious about it. When my daughter gets in the car at pick-up, she’s so excited to show me her weird crazy treasures from her socks.

    • agnes says...

      <3 love that Sheila! How adventurous and funny is your little girl!!

    • Hita says...

      How adorably precious!! I love preschoolers’ seriousness.

    • Ha! One of my most embarrassing moments was in 3rd grade. My friends and I had been playing on the baseball field and were obsessed with how soft the sand was, so we decided to take it back inside to our classroom. We all put a handful in our sweater sleeves (so awkward!) and then once inside dumped it in our desks. Our teacher called me out, and I was mortified! It was a weird thing to do, but I didn’t think I would get in trouble for it. #neveragain lol.

  28. Calla says...

    I love yoga with Adriene! It really is the most welcoming, meet-you-where-you-are kind of yoga I’ve ever done.

  29. mb says...

    I usually enjoy Man Repeller but could not get past the first three sentences of the article–the author is referring to having sex as adultery. Those are two totally different things! Adultery by definition is sleeping with someone else’s spouse! Argh! I know I’m neurotic because stuff like that drives me crazy.

    • Tori says...

      I don’t think she’s referring to sex as adultery. It says “I was raised in a Southern Baptist household where the only word on sex was, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”” She’s just saying that growing up, no one in her household talked about sex except to say don’t do it with someone else’s spouse. That doesn’t mean they are the same thing.

    • Tori says...

      Oh never mind, I just read further, haha!

  30. Suz says...

    My husband just finished Yoga with Adriene and it was a really beautiful experience for him. In the middle of the month he was so stoked to finally ‘find his breath’. He also really appreciated the way she builds on little by little.

  31. Helena says...

    15 years ago I started studying to become a teacher. In my country (depending on level of teaching) it was five years before I could earn my degree. So, a huge investment in many ways, financial and emotional.

    When people asked me: “so what do you do/work with?”, I answered “I study to become a teacher”, to which they, never failing, answered “wow! That sounds hard”. The first few times it didn’t get to me, but three years into my education it started wearing on me and I started to dread the question, hoping not to get that comment. It took another year, but after four years of studies and maybe 350 “wow! That sounds hard” I cracked and broke down emotionally. Was teaching right for me? Was I really made of that stern stuff seemingly necessary to work in a profession everyone seemed to deem so difficult?

    I ended up changing careers, and I now have a degree in Human Resources. When I tell people what I do they never say “wow! That sounds hard”, but if I mention my foray into teaching they immediately do. It still saddens me that people are so negative towards the profession.

    I understand that some people may appreciate someone thinking their job is difficult, but I never say those words anymore.

    • Tori says...

      I agree with your sentiment that “Wow, that sounds hard” isn’t exactly what would make me feel flattered. I didn’t pick a career because it was hard, or hoped people would think it was hard. But it seems like that’s really valued in society today. Not for me!

    • anne says...

      I feel exactly the same. I am a research scientist, and people always respond with something like “Wow! that sounds hard!” and there’s just no where to go with that… Either you say, “yes, it is hard” , which kind of sounds horrid, or you say “nahhhh, not that hard” which seems to make the other person feel horrid.

    • Michelle says...

      Agreed. I just returned to work from maternity leave, and people often say something along the lines of “that must be so hard.” They’re not wrong, but I find it grating.

    • S says...

      I’m in the same boat and completely agree, Anne! There’s no good response to “That sounds hard.” Wouldn’t something like, “Oh, tell me more.” or “What’s it like being a ___?” be better? If the goal is to be complimentary, you could just say “That’s interesting/great”.

    • Cynthia says...

      I’m a recently retired high school Latin teacher. When people found out I taught Latin, I often got comments such as, “They’re still teaching it?”, or people thought I was a genius or I had antennae coming out of the top of my head. Like all jobs, there are easy and difficult parts of teaching. When I find out that someone is becoming a teacher, I am very supportive. Teaching is not for everyone.

  32. Lisa says...

    Who ever would have imagined that Keanu Reeves said what I most needed to hear today? #billandted4lyfe

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Haha felt the same!

    • Sasha L says...

      I think Keanu may have said it as well (along with several others), but the original quote is Nanea Hoffman. It’s been corrected on swiss-miss.

  33. Joanna says...

    I love the quote from Keanu Reeves. Completely feel the point of “we are not getting out of here alive”

    Also absolutely love Adriene Mischler (YWA). She’s incredible!
    I fell in love with yoga bc of her.

  34. Yoga with Adriene was one of my main inspirations for doing Yoga Teacher Training!! I just completed YTT and teach my first class next week in Manhattan! :) [And have started offering private lessons… and giving them to my husband!]

    She is truly amazing. Could not recommend her more highly. Namaste!!

  35. Rb says...

    How funny about the rose petal trick. When I worked as a florist on high-end weddings in Los Angeles we refused to reflex them because it looks cheap. It’s been a trick budget florists would use to stretch their few roses to take up more real estate in an arrangement. To each their own!

  36. ekbnyc says...

    Preschool pocket treasures! So good. Wish I’d thought of that series.

  37. Kelley says...

    Omg! Yoga with Adrienne has been a lifesaver for me. I too started it in a period of depression (postpartum) and I really credit her yoga with helping me work through it without medication. Would love to see her on cup of jo one day!

    • Angela Thompson says...

      Yes! That’s a great idea!!

    • Alex says...

      OMG yes please! Beauty uniform with Adriene!

    • Third this! I lover her videos. Could we do a beauty post on her? Or just an interview!

  38. emma says...

    Laughing because I have babyfoot on as I’m reading this- they truly work and are disgustingly awesome to witness! But make sure to soak first & leave on for longer…. and do it a few weeks before you need to do anything fancy :)

  39. Samantha says...

    I also LOVE yoga with Adrienne. I also do it (almost) everyday for the last 6 months or so and I have never stuck with anything this long. I am so much stronger and more flexible, and I feel kinder towards myself and more grounded. Highly recommend!

  40. Ally says...

    Yoga with Adriene is such a wonderful resource! She is incredibly body positive and focussed on the true values of yoga as opposed to changing body shape and size which many yoga studios have sadly bought into as the main focus.

  41. Radically Candid-ish says...

    I laughed when I saw your book. Someone in leadership at my (Canadian-based) company must have read that and now we have a ‘policy’ of radical candor, which I think just means ‘stop having hallway meetings after attending a meeting where no one spoke’. 🤣

  42. t says...

    The Keanu Reeves quote brought me to tears (something I never thought I would say).

  43. On “what I say”–I love that a man has to train himself to say, “I don’t know” when he doesn’t know something. ;)

  44. Erica says...

    I’m doing a baby foot peel tonight while watching Live PD.

    I LOVE my Friday nights :)

  45. Josie says...

    Adriene is the BEST!!

  46. Louisa says...

    Re: What I say when I don’t know what to say
    I learned this one from a colleague. When someone asks for something you really have no intention of doing: “You can want that!” Used judiciously, it can be a life saver.

  47. Caucus says...

    Short fuse spouse link doesn’t work, pl correct?

    • Rachel says...

      Joanna, it looks like that site isn’t available to those of us in Europe. It doesn’t work for me, either, unless I use my VPN and set the location to somewhere else like the US.

    • Laurence says...

      still not working even with the new link :(

    • Lili says...

      It doesn’t seem to work in Europe… Unfortunately. Is it possible to copy/paste the article here?

  48. jane says...

    Your book reminds me of one I read called, Don’t Be Nice Be Real by Kelly Bryson. Super supportive.

  49. I just finished Why Religion? by Elaine Pagels and she talks about how her MacArthur Grant was given to her just as her son was diagnosed with an incurable illness. She was able to spend her time with him (while also working on a book) and not teaching until he died. It is so interesting when timing and the universe (and, in her case, God?) work out like that. :'(

  50. lindsay says...

    I tried that baby soft feet thing, and it did not get to the deepest layers for me. But I HAVE learned how to keep a very baby soft and smooth heel/foot! Get a coarse foot scraper, I got mine on amazon and use it both when dry and wet. Use it often. Sluff it all away. Then either while lounging around or while in bed at night, where socks after applying a bunch of vaseline to your feet. I am happy to finally share this with someone.

    • Caro says...

      Agreed on Baby Foot peel. It was kind of fun, but only marginally effective.

      Abandon all that foot scrapering though! Discover the magic of a mini Dremel. A lifelong problem with heel calluses has been entirely eliminated. I used it once or twice a week initially for a couple months to resolve the decades of skin growth and now buff up my feet maybe once every six weeks.

    • Lillie says...

      You have to soak your feet before the treatment and multiple times after.

    • Emily says...

      Lindsey, I agree. Baby feet does nothing for me. I’ve tried it twice now, followed all instructions, soaked my feet first, and kept on longer than directions state. My feet just flake a bit, but no big baby soft peel. I have found Lavilin products work best. Buy online thru Amazon or Walmart.

  51. Bill says...

    I’ll be honest, I LIVE for these Friday links! I just reflexed a rose leftover from Valentine’s Day and will now do that for the rest of my life.

  52. Amanda says...

    Can I put in a request for a Beauty Uniform on Adriene from YWA? She is so adorable and I feel like we all need more of her positivity :)

    • Meg says...

      Agreed! She feels like an old friend. Love her yoga- “find what feels good.”

    • Anne says...

      Yes! I love this idea!

    • Megan says...

      I second that!

    • Jules says...

      I second this! I hated exercising my whole life (I’m 35!) and I look forward to yoga with Adriene every day now. She has the cutest workout looks, I would love to see her daily uniform!:)

    • Jenica says...

      I second this!

    • Angela Thompson says...

      Yep, I third, fourth and fifth this idea.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Love this idea!

  53. Sarah says...

    So. Many. Pipe cleaners!

    (re: preschool pocket treasures)

  54. Lillie says...

    1. Baby Feet. Just do it. It’s fabulous.
    2. My mom grows those pink lemons in her Florida yard.
    3. Flowers. Worked in my family’s flower business for years. Duh. You can also gently open other flowers, and always remove the pesky petal-staining stamens from lilies.

  55. Faviola says...

    Baby Feet are a true treasure. I use them twice a year. It is so satisfying to peel away that dead skin, reminds why Dr. Pimple Popper is also so interesting to watch. Nothing like seeing and feeling baby soft feet.