Design

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

Toby Goddard-Williams

What are your plans for the weekend? We’re visiting my mom, and I’m so excited to squeeze her! It always seems like ages between visits. She’s making salmon and mashed potatoes, per the boys’ request:) Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

This warm salad.

Would you have a deconstructed wedding reception? (NYT)

Things I wish my therapist would say to me but she never does, haha.

Gratitude.

I’ve been seeing these cute sneakers all over New York.

Oh my gosh, the sweetest year in the life.

Stop calling Asian women adorable. (NYT)

Great title for a cookbook.

Cooking keeps me sober.”

I’ve always loved Abbey’s daily dose of green.

Also, this epic garden!

Plus, three reader comments:

Says Meaghan on dad texts: “My dad always ends phone calls by saying, ‘Stay in trouble.’ Even as a kid, when I’d head out the door to play with friends or go to the pool, he’d call out, ‘Stay in trouble!’ I really missed an opportunity to get into trouble with him and tell him I was just doing what he said.”

Says Meg on how to be a better listener: “When I want my husband to just listen, instead of problem solving, I’ll just tell him, ‘It’s not about the nail.’

Says H on dad texts: “I was having a rough week at work, and my mom sent me the salad emoji, no explanation. I asked her why and she said it was to cheer me up. After some back and forth, it came out that she thought it was a bouquet of roses. Now we send salads all the time. Spread the salad!”

(Photo of Toby from Instagram.)

  1. Anon says...

    Regarding compliments at work: I am confused why some people are saying complimenting people about their looks at work is inappropriate? (Obviously if the compliment is innocent and sincere, NOT something like: “Your a** looks great in those jeans”. Or something patronizing like: “You are so cute, I want to keep you”). But just a nice standard compliment noticing a nice colour vest, or lovely hair, or just that you look nice that day. I’m sorry, but why would that be inappropriate? I mean, you put effort into looking nice, why be offended if someone notices? To me, it’s warm. It’s friendly. It honestly worries me… I like naturally warm interactions. Are we going to stop asking people about their family because it’s personal? Can’t ask about their weekends next? Human warmth is how colleagues often become friends. I could never put so much energy into finding ways to be offended by nice people. I try to save my energy for all the real problems out there – the Trumps and the climate change.

  2. Jessica says...

    Can you tell me about the window treatments behind Toby? They look great, and look like they can be pushed to the sides?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh they are the built-in wooden shutters that came with our apt! i wish i knew where they came from!

  3. Gilli Treiman says...

    Speaking of texts with parents. My daughter and I send random emojis like just saying ‘hi’ with a goat and a ice cream cone. Always makes us laugh!!

  4. S says...

    The deconstructed wedding is my dream! I totally relate to Stephen in that I like the idea of marriage, but I’m not so into the idea of weddings. I’ve thought of doing something similar before, but this article just totally reaffirmed that this is what I would want!

  5. Liz says...

    Wow! I religiously read, but rarely comment but I have to give a major [hands clapping emoji] to the deconstructed wedding reception. Brilliant! My partner and I, after a decade together, two kids, a recent year we took apart, followed by a home and yard renovation, we are working on throwing a “Still Married!” party. I hope it will be like our wedding reception in that everyone and the baker are invited for tons of dancing, drinks and delicious food (was thinking I might keep it simple and do Trump-style fast food catering ;)), but I hope it’s sans the stress, the expectations on what we are supposed to do and say while at the event, and the complicated gift component. Finding new ways to celebrate love in all it’s complicated dimensions are so perfect. <3 <3

  6. Meghan Brendon Stellman says...

    I REALLY want to send that list to my therapist. hahaha

  7. G says...

    Hello Toby! It is so lovely to see you.

  8. Tilly says...

    Hey Joanna,
    I was just wondering if yourself and your sister heard that her husband was the answer to a question on University Challenge last week? Quite the honour! The contestants were asked to name the author of When Breath becomes Air. The students didn’t know the answer, but I did! Unfortunately my husband still beat me by miles in our weekly head-to-head. Anyway, just wanted to let you know in case it passed your family in the UK by.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!!! my uncle told us!!!!! so, so awesome. he was the answer on jeopardy once too! amazing and makes us so happy :)

  9. Stacy says...

    Hi! I love your blog and all of your insights! Also I love the rug :) where did you get it?
    Thanks!
    Stacy

  10. Nora Frank-Cisneros says...

    Oh my gosh Toby is your twin these days! And his haircut with those pjs? Heartbreaker.

  11. Monica says...

    Toby and those legs!! My son is 9.5YO, and he comes down in the morning in his PJs and I swear he’s grown two inches. He basically has “capri” pajamas now, haha. I’ve been a COJ reader for many, many years, and you and I have two kids of similar age, so it’s been great to see your kids grow up along mine!! ;)

  12. Sasha L says...

    Thank you for “cooking keeps me sober.” I especially liked the part about all of the things she now does, since she’s free of drinking. Thank you Joanna and team for posting more about alcohol recently, you have a huge influence and it’s way past time we all had a really big discussion about alcohol.

    Alcohol causes cancer (any alcohol consumption whatsoever ups the risk). Almost no one knows this, including many doctors. Alcohol kills 90,000 Americans every year. For reference, opioids kill 70,000, guns kill 37,000. Do you hear anyone talking about the alcohol death epidemic? Is there a push for safer alcohol laws, for treatment, any sense of urgency at all, that 90,000 preventable avoidable deaths a year are even a problem?? Mostly I notice recipes for cocktails and memes about how difficult it is to parent without a few drinks. Because even those who condemn guns and opioid addiction want to believe that the bottle of wine on their table is just harmless.

  13. Lilian Fields says...

    Joanna (or longtime readers), I’m sure you’ve posted about this before, but where did you find your beautiful sofa? Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      article! xo

  14. I’m a therapist, and the list of “Things I Wish My Therapist Would Say To Me” was hilarious! I totally think those things and don’t say them! (actually, some of them I probably have).

  15. Sarah says...

    The things I wish my therapist would say to me had me chuckling inside. So true. “I’m not supposed to say this but you’re my favorite patient.” hahaha.

  16. Awww, so glad you appreciate my husband’s yearly passion project!! :)

  17. So happy that you’re featuring Veja. I had my first pair for over a year and wore them almost every day. My second pair is proving to be just as durable. I’m so glad to see Cup of Jo is supporting a company with strong ethics. Cudos! I would love to see a post on people who choose to live a more ethical lifestyle. I find it is an important cause but price sometimes makes it is unattainable.

  18. Nathalie says...

    I hope the ladies that gave stick to Hana earlier in the week for buying the infamous winter jacket are not going to feel the same with the Veja sneakers that Joanna has shared here. Now that they are on Cup of Jo they will probably become a hit. But that is ok, because Veja are ecological and all about fair trade conditions and work with cooperatives of small producers and social associations in Brazil and France. Go Veja!

    • Eloise says...

      “Gave stick,” I love that (the phrase, not the action.

  19. Ariana says...

    Made the chicken salad this afternoon–so delicious!

  20. Gillian says...

    Johanna, it was great to hear you on Forever 35 this week. As the mother of 3 boys, I like Doree, live in fear of “raising douchebags.” I so appreciate when you talk about the everyday things you are trying to do to raise them to be kind. Please, keep discussing this topic!

    • Sasha L says...

      I just listened today! It was lovely to hear your voice Joanna, I hadn’t before. And I too loved what you said about raising kind boys, and also about your struggle with ppd, about how you cope with and even learn from negative comments, everything really! You nailed it. Are Dorie and Kate as much fun as they sound like?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, you guys! thank you so much. that means a lot to me. and doree and kate are hilarious and wonderful.

    • Melinda says...

      I thoroughly enjoyed your appearance on Forever35 too! I had a kind of shitty day at work today, and in my mind I was like “right, Michelle Obama / probably their pet died / one constructive thing” 💁🏻‍♀️

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg melinda, haha, i love you!

    • Anu says...

      Have never listened to Forever35 before but couldn’t pass up the chance to hear Joanna’s voice! Really loved the tips on raising an enlightened man as the mom of a little boy. The period thing really struck me as important. My mom raised me not to be ashamed of talking about that stuff and telling people that I have my period. I remember asking my first teenage boyfriend in high school to go out and get pads for me when I unexpectedly got my period at his place – I felt a bit awkward but it wasn’t so bad, and he did well too. Only now looking back do I think that that was so great and honestly, so unusual – especially for where we were – in India, in the early 2000s. I really hope to normalize women’s bodies and how they work for my son too.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s wonderful, anu. love that story. xoxo

    • Marion says...

      I also loved what you said about raising boys on Forever35! I have 2 boys, 6 and 2, and I often find myself saying to the youngest “please give me a kiss” and teasing him if he doesn’t. What you said really resonated with me and I stopped doing this.

  21. Kristin says...

    A word of warning… I own a beautiful pair of those Vejas and they are a b*tch to break in. The leather tongue is too long and cuts painfully into your ankle for the first 2+ weeks. Good looking, terrible design.

  22. Kay says...

    I absolutely love the idea of the deconstructed wedding, I could happily get into the idea of small groups instead of a bigger do. I don’t really do stress and socialising so this would be perfect for me.

    • Completely agree. So few weddings are all that enjoyable. You don’t get much quality time with the betrothed, and they don’t get it with you. This is so much more personal.

  23. Christy says...

    Not to invalidate Ms. Kwon’s (and others) opinion on the matter, but as an Asian American, I really don’t mind being called cute or adorable. I see it as a compliment and not condescending at all. There are so many worse things for which people could judge me. Even when I was young, people would assume that I was good at math. It might be stereotyping, but I hardly felt it was racist. I certainly set the record straight when I proved I was just average at math! I have also been on the receiving end of rude, ignorant remarks based on my race, but I have tried to use those times to practice kindness (when I didn’t want to) and hopefully change someone’s perspective. Anyway, I wouldn’t want Ms. Kwon’s article to dissuade someone from paying a compliment when it is made with good intentions. I know I need to hear those things from time to time, especially when I am feeling like a ragged mess!

    • Km says...

      As a south Asian American I agree with you. If we choose to be a part of mixed cultural and religious society unless we ourselves are so informed of every culture’s pet peev we should have a little tolerance to people’s ignorance.
      How else are we suppose to move on as mixed race country.
      I often read articles on what to say and how to say and not say things to people to offend them and wonder what happened to our emotional intelligence and tolerance as a human towards other people’s ignorance and what could be just an attempt to strike a communication. This extreme sensitivity may lead us to a more divided, aloof and disconnected society.

    • Emily says...

      I understood the article to address this very idea that what she’s describing might be mere stereotyping and not racist: “[this] is a racism of flattening and erasure, a continuing unwillingness to recognize Asian people as full human beings. It’s also, in even the most progressive corners of this country, an acceptable variety of racism, one that dresses up its violence in praise.”

      Isn’t stereotyping a form of flattening? Just because it could be worse does not mean it’s not psychically harmful, because these interactions don’t occur in a vacuum. Intent, while meaningful, is not the same as impact, and I would not want to get in the business of determining whether someone else’s feelings are too extreme simply because I do not share them.

    • C says...

      Thanks for adding this perspective. As a strongly visual/ artistic person, I can’t help but notice people’s best features, and I often compliment people. Who knew that a sincere and kind compliment would offend? I don’t know. It’s getting hard to be authentic. I think we can put a negative spin on just about anything, if that’s how we want to view the world. Or we can choose to appreciate and identify positive intentions. Sure, some people may say compliments with a patronizing attitude, but most people who are like that probably wouldn’t even bother complimenting you. Some people just want you to know there is something special and striking about you..
      I prefer to see it that way, at least. Anyhow, thanks for all the amazing articles and conversations… I love this blog! (… No offence intended!!! Lol!)

    • C says...

      Ps – My comment was intended as a response and in appreciation of Christy’s comment.

    • lindsay says...

      At first I was confused why anyone would be offended by being complimented on their looks, but I guess many Asian women are extremely tiny, like a child. So it could get annoying to be called cute all the time. Also comments on looks while in a work setting feels inappropriate. I am starting to feel that most comments regarding anyone’s looks is immature and superficial. My family always talks about how people look and it really bothers me. It just feels so trivial. My husband’s family never talks about looks. It used to bother me that he would never really tell me I looked beautiful etc. but now I actually like it. He treats me the same no matter how I am looking and I love that!

  24. Mimi says...

    Thank you for posting the article about Asian women. I am a white mom, raising a little girl we adopted from Korea last year. She is the apple of my eye and as cute as can be, but this is such a helpful perspective to have as she gets older.

  25. Eloise says...

    I’m so sorry. Sending you strength and courage of your own.

  26. Erin says...

    You’ve probably been seeing the Vejas all over NY because Duchess Meghan wore them. ; )

  27. Lisa says...

    The deconstructed reception seems like pure genius. Having been married 10 years, I’d love to steal the idea for a big anniversary someday if we are lucky enough to make it there.

  28. Thank you for the warm chicken salad recipe. I prefer all my food warm, even potato salad…people think I’m weird for that one but I’ve actually found one other person that likes it too.

  29. Rebecca says...

    That video of the two little boys brought me to tear and I don’t even know those kids. So, so sweet.

  30. Maywyn says...

    Neat links, thank you
    Garden at Middlefield is stunning, eerie almost.

  31. Marisa V. says...

    WHEN DID TOBY BECOME A SWEET LITTLE TEENAGER? He looks so much older than the last couple photos you have posted!

  32. Lindsey says...

    Thank you so much for the NYT article on Asian women. I live and work in a predominantly Caucasian city. Every day I am addressed as the “cute, little oriental girl” or “the Asian” or people are always trying to touch my hair or skin. It’s amazing what people feel comfortable saying, especially in the workplace. Thank you Cup of Jo for posting a very important and necessary article!

  33. t says...

    I love the adorable article. I agree this is racism and it is also sexism. If you want to compliment someone in the context of their work then compliment their work.

    • Emily says...

      The last lines of the article reminded me of something I first read on Cup of Jo–that we should do our best to compliment young girls on their talents and interests and not their appearance!

  34. Meg L says...

    When my husband and I got married, we had a very small wedding reception with about 30 guests. We had four courses and four tables, and we moved to a different table for each course. It was such a lovely way to actually celebrate and spend quality time with all of our nearest and dearest xo

    • Laura says...

      What a great wedding idea!

  35. Amber Grady says...

    I truly wish I thought a warm chicken salad sounded delicious. (I started a diet this week so I’m just grumpy and bitter).

  36. I love that gratitude quote so much. <3

  37. Kelsey says...

    I am so sorry for your loss, Annette. Thinking of you.

    • K says...

      Could we have your sweet mom share her salmon recipe? Always looking for kid approved fish recipes! Thanks :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      K, thanks for your note. It’s jusy grilled salmon — that’s it :) with salt and pepper. She also had mashed potatoes and green beans and it was a hit!

    • K says...

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

  38. Jo says...

    Thank you for posting that NYT article on comments about asian appearances and the toxicity of “model minority”. The article articulates everything that I could not be able to since I am not blessed with being great with words. So grateful!

  39. Aurora says...

    My mum once text us all to say Dad was in bed with the flu and included the bento box emoji. Turns out she thought it was a picture of a bed! So funny! Even now we all use it when we’re not feeling well!

  40. agnes says...

    The deconstructed wedding is so so clever. I did one reception of that kind for my wedding, never thought I could repeat it as much as needed. Sometimes, it’s just simple and these guys totally got it. Love that.

  41. Carly says...

    Hi Joanna and CoJ team, happy Friday! I just wanted to say thank you so much for all you do. This community provides me with such joy and a sense of solidarity on a daily basis. I feel so grateful to have found it. I’ve been a reader for several years (but rarely comment), and just felt the need to express my appreciation today. Anyway! Thanks again, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

  42. Annette says...

    My Mom passed away Sunday after a 7 year battle with colon cancer. She was the bravest most courageous person I knew. I wish I could squeeze her once more…

    • Kelsey says...

      I am so sorry for your loss, Annette. Thinking of you.

    • Stephanie says...

      I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my father unexpectedly in January. Hellish. Hugs to you.

    • Laura C. says...

      Sorry for your loss Annette. I send you a big hug.💗

    • Sasha L says...

      Hugs Annette and Stephanie. Thinking of you both.

  43. Eliza says...

    I love “H’s” comment on dad texts! It reminds me of texts with my mom. On her old phone she would sign off with xoxo (for hugs and kisses), but when she got her new phone it autocorrected to “Coco”. So now we always say goodbye with “Coco!”. It makes me smile and warms my heart. :-)