Design

Have a Lovely (Long) Weekend.

California by Nicki Sebastian

What are you up to this weekend? We’re going to visit Alex’s mom, sister and brother-in-law in Atlanta. The boys are excited to swim, and we’re heading to our go-to spot, Kimball House. ATL is such a fun town! Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web…

The Downton Abbey movie trailer!

Also, critics are saying Booksmart is “a goddamn delight” and “the most fun I’ve had at the movies in years.”

A trick to help kids put their shoes on the right feet.

Oh my gosh, this stunning garden.

Allow me to convince you to take a lunch break today.”

Jennifer Garner’s pitch-perfect graduation advice.

A cow got a blow dry, and the internet fell in love.

Tiny love stories, including “my husband is not my son.” (NYTimes)

Do you know your enneagram number?

The coolest restaurant totes, of all things.

A crowd-pleasing dish for summer dinner parties.

Made me laugh.

Five big sales this weekend:
* Nordstrom is having a huge sale. (Including this pretty top.)
* J.Crew is up to 50% off with code WEEKEND.
* Shopbop is having a huge sale. (Love these shoes.)
* Loft is 40% off with code FINALLY.
* Dermstore is up to 20% off with code SUMMER. (I’m getting this magical exfoliator!)

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Caitlin on should we get a dog: “I’m a huge Gretchen Rubin fan, and she had similar reservations when her two daughters asked for a dog. Ultimately, she chose to go for it, and I think often about her decision in my own life. She said, ‘Have trouble deciding whether or not to choose a course of action? Like — whether or not to get a dog? Try this: Choose the bigger life.’ I already have a dog, but ‘choose the bigger life’ is still so powerful for me. It applies to everything — going on that run you’re dreading, moving to a new city. Choose the bigger life, Joanna!”

Says Katie on what makes you come alive: “Little girls walking belly-forward. Going to sleep when its raining outside. Drinking morning coffee with loved ones, the day after Thanksgiving or on vacation. Kids starting sentences with, “When I was little…'”

Have a good one. xoxo .

(Photo by Nicki Sebastian for Midland Shop. Cow blow dry via Of a Kind.)

  1. Caraline says...

    OMG, FLEABAG. I watched it. Then I started from the top of Season 1 and watched it all the way through. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and I’m just in love with the characters and the sweet complex humanity of it all. Just watch it, people!!

  2. P says...

    i was liking the nacho link until reading: “our elevated take on a low-brow classic” and “these aren’t the average nachos you’d find at at the back of a creepy convenience store” what??

    what makes them more elevated than what is served in a Mexican restaurant? and what makes them low-brow?

    sorry – i know this not on you, Jo! just an annoyed Chicana here.

    • kelly says...

      I thought the same thing! Like she has “re-discovered” nachos. The whole thing made my eyes roll.

  3. Love the shoe idea. I did that with my daughter a few months ago and it has worked wonderfully!

    Kristyn

  4. Amy says...

    I remember being in middle school and telling my mom that a friend had “grown up” in some other state (meaning she’d moved to our state in 4th grade or something). My mom laughed *so* hard and told me that the friend was still growing up and was doing it right here. When you’re a kid those early years seem so long! :)

  5. Ellie says...

    One of my favorite singers, Sleeping At Last, has put out a series of songs based off of the enneagram types! I think the last one still hasn’t been released but the others are all on youtube, and he has such a beautiful voice. Highly recommend!!

    • Tara T says...

      Thank you for the recommendation! As a one (w9), emotions are not the easiest (except rage!). He really has a way of opening up those feelings so far beneath the surface.

  6. Mims says...

    I would like to add an addendum to the Gretchin Rubin advice “Choose the bigger life” . and that is “with the smaller carbon footprint”. Humans wanting the best life have conflated it oftentimes with the bigger, extractive, more is more choices. We can still have full, satisfying lives consuming/doing less/fewer things and that includes living souls.

  7. FGB says...

    “When I was little” – I love that. When my son was a toddler and he was trying to say something had happened in the past, he’d say “yesterday a long time ago.” Goodness he was adorable and we still use the saying as a family. On putting shoes on the right feet, my mom drew a heart on each of the sides and told me one was mine and one was hers and our hearts are always together. I work with kids and have taught so many kids this trick. I lost my mom too soon and thinking of her drawing hearts on all my shoes as a kid makes me smile every time

  8. Suzanne says...

    Hi Jo and everyone else. I’m in the UK and the weather here is very mixed.
    This weekend there is a super Tall Ships display in Gloucester Docks, in the South West of the Country.All sails are up to show off the boats in all their grandeur.
    My hubby and me are having a quiet time enjoying the beginning of our retirement.
    Have a lovely time everyone. xx

  9. Kate says...

    I’m a 36-year-old woman who spent a very long time being completely single, being career-focused, and being in charge of her own decisions and plans. And then I met a wonderful, handsome, kind man two years ago who just completely opened up my entire world. (I am the walking, talking Kelly Clarkson Miss Independent song. Ooh, she fell in love!) We’re engaged and planning a fall courthouse wedding so we can apply for a green card for him, we’re moving in together this August, and in 2020, we’re throwing a big party to celebrate the marriage and possibly even trying to have a baby.

    To go from being all by myself and making my own plans for the future to creating a new life and a new plan for the future with someone else has been both the most wonderful and terrifying thing. I can’t imagine any other future for myself, but especially as I start packing up my place, it’s creating a lot of emotions. Choosing a Bigger Life is definitely the concept I needed to read about at this particular point :D Thank you Caitlin (and Joanna! And Gretchen Rubin!)

    • Kay says...

      Kate, you could’ve been telling my own story! I’ve been independent for 35 years, met a guy last year in May, moved in together in July, got married in September and had a baby this April. It was a huge transition from being on my own to having my own little family I’m responsible for. It’s challenging but do gratifying!

  10. M says...

    Hard. “Choose the bigger life” seems directly opposite the self-care mantra, “Learn to say ‘No’.”

  11. Sarah says...

    The fluffy cow pictures made my day. Love it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you!!

  12. Maria says...

    Im not the type of person that post comments, Im the one that reads all the blogs, laughs and cries reading, that relates to things and think back to her own memories connected to the stories I read, but doesnt really comments on blog posts (or instagram posts).
    Well, I decided to go against my “introspect rules” and comment here. I love a Cup of Jo, I actually have been reading it for years. It is simply my favorite blog!
    Part of my Saturday routine is to sit on the couch with a cup of coffee, while my husband plays xbox, and just catch up on a Cup of Jo.
    So, I suppose all this rambling is to say: thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That means so much to me, Maria! You made my day. Thank you so much for commenting, and I’m so happy to have you here Xoxoxoxo

  13. G says...

    Katie’s comment and this lineup just made my Saturday morning. Thanks COJ!

  14. Laura C. says...

    ‘Choose the bigger life’ is a great piece of advice.
    Have a nice weekend, enjoy your family! ❤️

  15. Beepee says...

    The “how to teach a toddler to put their shoes on the right feet” trick reminded me of the trick to teach little kids left from right. If you make a fish, then hold up the pointer finger and stick out your thumb, the left hand makes an L shape (L for Left! the right hand makes a backwards L shape).

    I actually saw my 17 year old do this the other day as she still sometimes gets a little confused haha!!

    • Beepee says...

      Oops, FIST…not fish!!

    • Eloise says...

      I STILL have issues with this, but imagining picking up a pencil helps!

    • Jen says...

      Haha! I paused for a while, looking at my hands trying to figure out how to make a fish, before reading on!

    • Rebecca says...

      I truly sat here in front of my laptop trying to make a fish from each hand! Thank you for the laugh!

  16. Amy says...

    “Choose the bigger life” had been my motto for years. But maybe it’s as I’m approaching my 40s or that I’ve finally grown tired of doing ALL the things, that I’m actively trying to choose the smaller life, the peaceful life. The life that has time to listen to my kids ramble on about their days, and cook dinner from scratch, and grow a garden, and take a leisurely walk. There is something about our society the keeps pushing us to do it all and have it all and take the job, move to that new city, build that house, etc. It’s exhausting! Of course, this doesn’t have much to do with getting a dog, but I will say from experience I’ve found them to be as much work as a child!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I think choosing the bigger life can means those things you mentioned! It’s a big life to lean into your family and cook a beautiful dinner from scratch. It’s like this Mary Oliver poem about taking a walk in nature and seeing a grasshopper:
      https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/133.html

      A bigger life doesn’t mean a busier or more hectic or louder life. Instead, I think it means a more profound and meaningful life for you — at least, that’s how I interpreted it.

      And it’s funny, you mentioned wanting a more peaceful life as you reach your 40s. And I really resonate with that. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about success and what it means. For so long it felt like the societal goal was status and money and growth and networking etc, and now I really just want to do work I enjoy and spend time with my children. I want success for me to mean freedom of my own time and evenings outside and mental space.

      Anyway! All so interesting to think about. Thank you so much for your insightful comment xoxo

    • Claudia says...

      This is exactly what I needed to read! This past weekend I have been thinking a lot about letting go work related commitments to focus more on my family. To me this is definitely choosing the bigger life.

    • Genevieve says...

      Ah Joanna that’s exactly how I think of it :) I think of this advice often. And with a dog, the bigger life could be the joy and fun of a dog OR the bigger life could be the ability to be spontaneous and take more weekend trips and stay out late with friends after work that having a dog might take away from your life, so it’s a great piece of advice and one you can only apply after really thinking through what’s bigger for YOU.
      Amy, those things sound like a big life to me :)

  17. Megan Rowlinson says...

    Wow, “choose the bigger life.” What beautiful advice. This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. My husband & I are moving to NYC from our small town of Wilmington, DE in a few months. Moving our entire lives to chase a dream we have had for over 10 years now has been stressful, but I know it will be worth it. We will definitely have a bigger life soon. :)

  18. Jess says...

    “Choose the bigger life” has become a steady drum beat for me. I’m thinking through major career transitions, grad school, a dog for my three boys, my husband’s career transitions, aging parents, navigating a still new city, and all that comes with the layers of life. “Choose the bigger life” led me to
    ask, “What is essential?”. This has become a natural filter for so many decisions and now I more easily see the next right step toward the bigger life.

  19. From my newly minted two year old…”Cow!…Sheep?”

    Thank you for that one.

  20. Sasha L says...

    We’re traveling to Missoula Montana for the weekend. Loads of beautiful trails and parks, may just hit the carousel, absolutely are getting ice cream at Sweet Peaks or Big Dipper (maybe both!), and even with a very late spring I think the city will be abloom in apple blossoms. Butterfly herbs for a cup of tea and our favorite co-op salad bar at the Good Food Store. The downtown public free art museum is always amazing too! And French pastries at Le Petite on Sunday morning is just heaven.
    Happy weekend everyone!

    • Andrea says...

      Great old bars, too! Sounds like you have already hiked the M. Love Missoula!

  21. Emily says...

    LOVE Kimball House. Revival, White Bull, Taqueria del Sol and Butter & Cream are my other Decatur favorites. It’s going to be a steamy weekend in ATL!

  22. Cara says...

    Enneagram tests results (along with other personality tests) have always depended on what mindset I’m in- am I “teacher Cara”, “mom Cara”, “wife Cara”, or “weekend Cara (which is all of those rolled into one)”? I have too many roles to be anyone thing. I cannot be teacher Cara while being wife Cara, but all of these things are very important to me and make up who I am. Some will probably say this makes me a number, but I do t think these tests are fair assessments of varied humans.

    • Cait says...

      The enneagram is actually so much more than that! It doesn’t peg you into one role, and the tests are not the ultimate authority. It’s better, if you’re interested, to read a book like The Road Back to You, and find out for yourself what number you are. It’s based mostly on what your core beliefs are, what motivates you, what lies you might be believing, etc. I highly recommend it because I’m only just diving in but finding it such a helpful framework to work on myself, see who I am and grow.

  23. Cynthia says...

    Homemade nachos are always a hit. Keeping parties simple makes it easy for everyone.

  24. MJ says...

    Booksmart was an absolute goddamn delight.

    • Kaitlin says...

      I did not stop laughing. It was SO GOOD. Everyone must grab a friend and go see it. As soon as possible. Beware of taking sips of liquid while watching. You might laugh and choke / snarf / spit it out on unsuspecting strangers.

  25. Jenn says...

    After Kimball House, head over to my fave Butter & Cream. Truly wonderful ice cream. 😍

  26. Daria says...

    Yay! So happy someone mentioned Gretchen Rubin, I love her podcast and I remember this advice, too!

  27. Anna says...

    I thought the same thing – for me, choosing the bigger life means frequent travel and far-flung adventures, and that’s precisely why we can’t have a dog (for now).

  28. DC says...

    I adore this blog, love a fluffy cow as much as anyone, and maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I find it just the tiiiiniest bit hypocritical that this same post actively promotes leather. (The shoes you link to at Shopbop are made of cowhide.) I very much appreciate the abundance of vegetarian recipes on this site, but honestly–I don’t understand how you can admire a truly fluffy cow (SO fluffy!) and then turn around and buy leather shoes or a hamburger, unless you’re in flat-out denial about what leather and beef really are. (They’re… fluffy cows. All of it is fluffy cows.)

    • Sasha L says...

      🙌

    • Denise says...

      Death and hamburger are not the worst things that could happen to a cow, fluffy or otherwise. Living horribly in suffering is. Choose to support humanely raised and slaughtered animals and go ahead and love your consciously sourced hamburger & leather shoes. Or choose to be vegan, what I’m saying is there’s more than one way to be respectful of animals.

    • Katie says...

      Well said! :)
      Thank you!

  29. Lais says...

    OMG I love these 2 comments! Choose the bigger life is such great advice. Kids starting sentences with “when I was little” made me melt <3
    Happy weekend, guys :)

  30. CJ says...

    And please while you enjoy your long weekend, remember that Memorial Day weekend is in honor of those military members that have died in service to our country. There are plenty of military families and friends who know this is a weekend not just of sales and days off, but also mourning and remembering. In honor of those that have given their lives, you may want to read this moving WWII essay : http://www.pbs.org/weta/reportingamericaatwar/reporters/pyle/waskow.html?fbclid=IwAR1OcN0AAvsZv_ZB44nUQ1ra-m8P9zkwyvput55lEzyYNu02lbt0It8oljA

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you for sharing that piece.
      Incredibly moving way to honor Memorial day.

      “I sure am sorry, sir.”

    • Ana says...

      Thank you for sharing CJ!

  31. Angela says...

    I love the enneagram and it has been such an important tool for me in understanding differences with my friends and family. Also, it helped me feel less shame about certain not-so-lovely parts of my personality. Suzanne Stabile is a wonderful teacher, author and podcaster on the enneagram. For what it’s worth, she does not advocate taking any sort of quiz – rather reading through the types and discovering your number that way. She also teaches that the enneagram is just ONE tool to learn more about yourself – which is refreshing too. Hope it can help some of you lovely Internet friends too!

  32. Katie Larissa says...

    My 11 year old nephew told me this morning that “Meet the Robinsons” was his favorite movie “from childhood.”

    • C says...

      When I was teaching English in Japan I taught an 8 year old boy whose English was really good as he had previously lived in Hawaii. When I asked him whether he still went back to Hawaii he said in his American accent ‘I used to when I was younger but you know… these days I’m kinda busy.’ I had to hold back tears of laughter. Primary school life is busy indeed.

  33. Mel says...

    Choose the bigger life might be the absolute best piece of advice i’ve heard in awhile. Gosh I love this little corner of the (internet) world.

    • Tess says...

      I love the reader comment about kids saying, “when I was little…” My three year old daughter has taken to telling me stories that begin with, ” When I was a tiny girl my Mommy…,” did this and that, as if I was a recent addition to her life. Makes me smile every time. I always end up asking her at some point if she realizes that I was also her mom when she was a tiny girl.

    • Sasha L says...

      After reading Rubin’s The Happiness Project, I decided to stop letting money worries stand in the way of happiness and loving a bigger life. Our family bought a little popup camper, named it Poppy, and have spent so many wonderful adventures in it over the years. This advice, basically to live bigger and allow more fun, has opened me to a mother daughter trip to Costa Rica when my youngest was a teenager, adopting a 16 year old lab from a shelter, and countless other small but significant jollifiers, like buying at least one fun thing every week at the grocery store. I LOVE Gretchen Rubin, and I super duper love that she changed her mind about having a dog.

    • Jenn says...

      Gretchen is my guru!

  34. Gabrielle says...

    A note to say: I am always a huge CoJ fan but this week especially your posts seemed to be just what I needed. Thanks for always supporting an amazing community and raising thoughtful topics. x

    • Lauren H says...

      YES to this!!! Exactly what my heart & soul needed. Ive spent many hours reading and re-reading all of the comments on the friendship & drinking article. So grateful for this completely special place! Thank you CupOfJo!

  35. Regan says...

    Booksmart is my new favorite film!!! I can’t get it out of my head and can’t wait to see it again. Run don’t walk to see it this weekend!

  36. Lori says...

    Choose the bigger life is such terrific advice when it comes to decision making. Wow! Makes me feel better about getting our black lab Sunny who destroyed my daughters sandals yesterday :) Really, it does!

  37. Jess says...

    Have an awesome weekend in my city! Your post about cool playgrounds popped up in the suggested posts this week. Did you know Atlanta has a Noguchi playground in Piedmont Park? It’s an amazing place for kids and adults to play, it’s never crowded and it’s the best place to take photos. You should check it out on one of your trips here!

  38. Gina says...

    I think that dogs are the best and I love having one. But, I don’t think that having a dog is the same thing as having a “bigger life.” Travel, for example, requires more planning and expense, and you can’t be away from the house for more than a few hours at a time.

    Like kids or marriage or everything else. It’s the same size of life, just a different way to spend it.

    • Kristen says...

      Ah Gina, thanks for adding more nuance to this! Appreciated!

    • Meg says...

      Well said, Gina! I’m a pet lover but I think sometimes my pet makes me have a smaller life!! Because I have to leave happy hour early to go feed him, and plan my travels around the pet sitter, etc. To me, he is very worth it that, but I have to point out that it’s a reality.

    • agnes says...

      I think she meant more something like “choose your bigger life”, the life that makes you dream (a dog would be the absolute opposite of a bigger life for me, but not for her!). The thing that makes your life expand. Great advice by the way!

    • celeste says...

      More love :)

    • RobberSoup says...

      Love this! “A bigger life” means different things for each of us.

    • Madi says...

      This is a really good perspective and helps ease my guilt about not wanting a dog! I want to be the sort of person who chooses a bigger life… but I don’t want the hard things that come along with pet ownership, at least right now. Thanks for re-framing this.

    • Anita says...

      Hi Gina, I read that Gretchen Rubin piece on tough decisions and she says the exact same thing as you: a bigger life means different things for different people. When she brings up her example of the dog she says right away that a dog wouldn’t mean a “bigger life” for everyone. In fact a bigger life needs to be considered alongside other questions like “Is this decision likely to strengthen my relationships?” Or does this allow me to “Be Gretchen [or insert your name here]”? Or I am considering a course of action “because I want to impress other people, please someone else, pretend that I am different from the person I actually am, or deny a truth about myself.” So, to follow Gretchen, a “bigger life” is really about whether something will add meaning and substance to your life, something that you really want. Link to blog post:
      https://gretchenrubin.com/2018/05/faq-making-tough-decisions

  39. Hannah says...

    Sounds like you’re getting that dog! ;)

  40. Jill says...

    Welcome to Atlanta! Hope your family has a fantastic time. If you haven’t already, check out the aquarium – it will be crowded but go early and it’s worth it!

  41. Jennifer O. says...

    I love Kimball House! I’m from Atlanta and went to college practically across the street at Agnes Scott.

    • Jennifer! I’m an Agnes grad too! Hi! :)

  42. Bindi says...

    You’ll be in my neighborhood! There is an art festival in Decatur this weekend as well. How sweet it would be to run into your family!