Design

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

Cats by 3191 Miles Apart

What are you up to this weekend? We are throwing Anton’s birthday party tomorrow — it’s the first time he’s wanted a real one because he can feel a little shy! We made a shark cake (naturally) and are heading to the neighborhood playground. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

My new summer read. (It’s getting so much buzz!)

The simplest spaghetti al limone.

Loving this pretty work dress.

I look like a pencil.” (Can’t stop, won’t stop.)

Do what you love in front of the kids in your life. Says Mr. Rogers: “If you love to bicycle, if you love to repair things, do that in front of the children. Let them catch the attitude that that’s fun. Because you know, attitudes are caught, not taught.”

How to dig out a boob trench for your boobs at the beach.

Hahaha.

Dictionary.com is updating the definition of “black.” (“If you look on Dictionary.com today, the adjectival sense of Black that refers to people is the third sense on the page. Currently this definition sits right above a definition that reads ‘soiled or stained with dirt.’ While there are no semantic links between these two senses, their proximity on the page can be harmful. It can lead to unconscious associations between this word of identity and a negative term. These are not associations we want anyone to get from Dictionary.com, and so we will be swapping our second and third senses on the page… Another change we are making is that we will be capitalizing Black throughout the entry when it is used in reference to people. Why capitalize Black in this context? It is considered a mark of respect, recognition, and pride. This is common practice for many other terms used to describe a culture or ethnicity. Not capitalizing Black in this context can be seen as dismissive, disrespectful, and dehumanizing.”)

The joy of low-key dinner parties.

Are you sober curious? (Alex for the NYTimes)

Three things matter.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Madeleine on do you hug and kiss your friends: “Love the comment about how Brazilians hug. My best friend’s wife is Brazilian and we always joke about the contrast between British hugs (at arm’s length, lasting a nanosecond) and Brazilian ones (full body contact, from head to toe, lasting waaaay beyond the point where gets uncomfortable). It’s entered the family vernacular: ‘sending you Brazilian hugs.'”

Says Grace on do you hug and kiss your friends: “I’ve been thinking about the importance of physical touch, particularly for the elderly. My husband’s grandfather died several years ago, and I am close with his surviving grandmother. She and her husband were always very physically affectionate, and I recently noticed how much she enjoys appointments, like getting her nails done or her hair cut. I realized that these routines are not only about her appearance, but they’re also some of the only times she experiences physical touch – a hand massage or a long shampoo probably feels especially good. Now I make sure to give her extra long hugs when I see her, and make an effort to touch her arm or gently rub her shoulder while we’re talking.”

(Photo by 3191 Miles Apart.)

  1. Caroline says...

    We watched Fleabag and can’t stop either. Like literally cannot. I’ve watched series 2 three times. I think it has ruined me for all other shows. Forcing myself to watch something else, I finally started Peaky Blinders (that teacher summer tho…). I’m loving it in it’s own way however I keep expecting it it have a Fleabag moment. There are these beautiful, long shots of the characters often in profile or from behind and I am just waiting for them to turn around and give me a little smirk.

  2. Deni G says...

    From the boob-trench article — “Correction: A previous version of this post stated that Megan’s breasts were on your solar plexus. It is highly unlikely that this is true, unless they were, in which case it is none of our business. Jezebel regrets the error.” Laughed out loud!

    Also, thank you for creating such a respectful space–in your articles, in the reader comments’, and in how you respond to the very occasional criticism. Cupofjo and Designmom are the only blogs where I read the comments, which are usually as useful/insightful/helpful (and never ever nasty or mean even when disagreeing) as the actual articles.

  3. Margaret williams says...

    “Claire, it’s french!” BOOM. Sister love.

  4. justyna says...

    Re: sober curious… this spoke to me so much!

    I have recently been playing around with cutting down my booze intake and doing month-free sober curious trials. I still do love a glass of wine or small glass of scotch on some weekends, so I don’t want to write the sauce off forever, but it’s definitely a lovely spot to be in- that happy grey area. I am also in my early 40s, so cutting down has been essential in my being a good mom (no groggy wake ups… which by the way happen after only 2 glasses of red wine these days, damn these 40s).
    There is a great quote from an episode of Armchair Expert by Erin Lee Carr about sobriety, I will link to it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Byz-Hgcl-r0/

  5. Lisa says...

    That comment you shared from Grace is so perceptive and sweet. My father -in-law is on his own (divorced for 20 years) and never remarried or had another relationship. I always try to give him a hug when he comes and goes. Lord knows that man needs a hug.

    • Sasha L says...

      Those are super cute!

  6. rach says...

    I feel the need to broach a subject I think people might not want to talk about when it comes to hosting dinners, (low key or not). I’m at a place in my life where I am tired of being the one to invite, and rarely ever being invited… does anyone else feel this way?? I’m really trying to get “out of myself” and realize that not everyone has a gift of hosting ( which i know is true, I’ve been to some pretty poorly planned parties that was very disappointing), so it is very selfish of me to think that way, when i know I’m a gifted hostess ( I think of every little detail that help people to feel cared for and loved)… i am busy, not an excuse, just a reason! And I work nights, so I’m trying to find alternative ways to host (ladies brunch anyone?, or play date picnic at the park for young families,etc) i just felt like this needed to be said/ subj needed to be broached, to shed some perspective on those who need to be pushed out of the rut :)

  7. S says...

    I’m sorry but I’m rolling my eyes hard at this line from Alex’s article: “Now it can also just be something cool and healthful to try, like going vegan, or taking an Iyengar yoga class.”

    I have been an avid Cup of Jo reader for about 10 years and recently have been finding myself getting upset/offended by some of the comments that CoJ supports around veganism/animal ethics/culture. I am vegan and an Indian who has married into an Iyengar family, and I can tell you that there is nothing more annoying than veganism or Iyengar yoga being diminished into things that are “cool” or “healthful to try”. Both of these terms are associated with very strong beliefs and should be respected as such.
    1) Veganism is not a fad. It is not a phase. It is not a trend. It is about respecting animals (who are sentient beings) and respecting the earth (which is suffering because of poor choices humans have made).
    2) Iyengars are a Hindu caste that have been around for HUNDREDS of years and is a HUGE PART of India’s culture and history. Iyengar yoga extends from that culture and is more than just yoga poses for you to try before brunch with your friends. It ties into our belief system and our religion. Once again, this is not a fad. It is not a phase. It is not a trend. Please stop making my culture a trend.

    I have written a couple comments like these before and have had them be blocked and not posted on the site, so I expect something similar to happen here as well. The reason I’m still choosing to write this comment anyway is because I’m hoping that whoever reads this will pass along these thoughts to Joanna, who can then pass them on to Alex. My hope is that they’ll both take these words to heart and stop diminishing cultures and beliefs. Cup of Jo has done and said a lot of things to show public support for culture/diversity/new beliefs, but those are all inadmissible if their leadership makes flippant remarks like this. Seriously, shame on you. If you had actual respect for veganism or Hinduism/the Indian culture, you wouldn’t just see it as the ‘cool new thing to do’.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh thank you so, so much. i will absolutely pass these onto alex, and he will be glad to read them. i really appreciate your thoughts.

  8. Brittany says...

    I am so glad you included the Dictionary link, the shift is a wonderful move. I can certainly attest to the pervasive negative connotations aligned with Blackness. To have that acknowledged and addressed in even a minor way is long overdue. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Yes to low-key dinner parties! Thank you for posting that article, Joanna! I try to host a Saturday Supper every month that is open to everyone and anyone. It’s potluck, so I put out one thing, as many plates/forks/napkins/cups as I have, and call it a day. I also started something new with one set of neighbors this year. We get together on a weeknight once a month (alternating houses). When it’s my turn, I serve Dominoes + kale cesar salad kit + brownies from a box. It’s super-fast and easy! Hooray for community and connection!

  10. CE says...

    Similar to the last reader comment about their grandmother, I remember the first haircut I had after having a baby. It was a religious experience. It was the first time in months someone was touching me without wanting or needing something from. It was a complete gift, this touch with no expectation of reciprocation. Highly recommend.

  11. Sarah E says...

    (Can’t stop, won’t stop.)
    Never stop! Ever! I’m a little late to the Fleabag season 2 party having just finished it last night, and I am now joining the masses that exist in a perpetual state of bereaved limbo!!(And developing an obsession with PWB) This morning on my run I lost myself in a deep Fleabag reverie, and suddenly “came to” feeling slightly disoriented and not knowing quite where I was for a minute! I might need to get a handle on this…

    • Lindsay R. says...

      This is me. Just finished season 2 last night and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m feeling a little aimless this morning. I can’t remember the last time a show got in my head this way!!

  12. Kaylie says...

    Hi CoJ team,

    I know people have mentioned this before, but it would be great if book links could be through a resource that isn’t Amazon, like indiebound, Powell’s, or even Books Are Magic! I’ve worked at both an indie publisher and am now a bookseller at one of the few indie + feminists bookstores remaining in the US (!!) and every extra bit of support helps. I’m not sure how affiliate links and Amazon work for CoJ revenue, but this would be a small but impactful change, because even if it people don’t purchase the book online, hopefully it gets us thinking about supporting smaller and local businesses. Thanks!!

    • R says...

      Thanks, Kaylie. I have wondered about this for so long and have seen others comment to a similar effect (with no response). It’s clear that the COJ team loves independent bookstores in their daily lives – but then book links are ALWAYS to Amazon. The disconnect really rubs me the wrong way (though, to your point, I am not familiar with the revenue/business side of blogging). But for a team of vocal book lovers, this feels like such an obvious and meaningful change!

    • Erika Marie Cornelison says...

      I buy most of my books used through consignment shops or websites. I don’t mind the link to Amazon because they give a great detail of what the book is about that other sites don’t. So I read about it on Amazon and then purchase it from where I want to. Just because it links there doesn’t mean you have to buy it from there.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes! we have started doing a mix of links to other bookstores (indiebound, powells, books are magic, etc.) and will continue to increase these. thank you! xo

  13. Ellen says...

    I guess I can understand why some people take issue with the term “sober curious” and with the way the article makes the act of drinking less seem like something people do only for social media likes….. But to the actual fact that people are rethinking the idea that only wierdos don’t drink all the time, I can only say thank god! it is amazing how many things revolve around drinking and how many horrified looks you get when you just don’t feel like drinking on a particular night. Anything that normalizes, or even trend-ifies it seems to me to be a step in the right direction.

  14. Sarah says...

    How many times can you watch Fleabag s2e5 before you become Fleabag?!?!

    Thanks for introducing me to the obsession.

  15. M says...

    Low-key dinner parties are the BEST. No need for anything fancy — just come over and hang out and share some food!

  16. Three things matter–I needed to read this quote. I began fertility treatment last week and resigned from a very toxic job this week. Thank you. xo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Sending all the love to you!

  17. Kim says...

    Glad to see the dictionary update. Good on them.

  18. Megan Winters says...

    I love that Wash Post article. Such a great reminder that we all need to let go of the perfectionism.

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Ali says...

    I live for Friday links!
    Going to try the Spaghetti al Limone, although my perfected once-a-week-pretend-its-takeout is pretty much that recipe with the addition of some crushed garlic and half a grated tomato (more Spanish really, but hey it tastes great). Honestly, sometimes its actually easier to make simple spaghetti than order takeout. Italy for the win!

  20. R says...

    I’m an alcoholic in recovery and not at all offended by the “sober-curious” article. I think it’s great that other people can experience a full life without alcohol even if it’s not a life-or-death issue for them (as it is for me).
    12-step recovery saved my life but I don’t imagine it would be as useful for someone who is not alcoholic/addicted. If someone feels they may be alcoholic I would recommend reading Alcoholics Anonymous and checking out a meeting! :)

  21. Sandra says...

    Would it be possible to include the mention that Alex wrote the NYT article when it is the case ? Even if the subject is interesting, it does seem a bit dishonest not to mention it with the link. After all, Joanna is married to him and it could seem like low key advertising?
    Hope it’s no trouble !

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh it’s not advertising anything at all! i typically link to alex’s stories about 2-3 times a year (he writes a story every other week or so) when i think they’re relevant to our readers, and it’s not because i’m married to him — just bc he writes for the nytimes styles section and their stories are often relevant to our readers. but i’ll add his name here if you’d like! thank you!! xoxo

    • Annie says...

      Why would it be bad to ‘advertise’ your spouse’s writing?
      And for what it’s worth, while I’m sure it’s great when a piece of journalism goes viral or gets extra attention, it doesn’t result in anyone getting additional pay.
      Whereas, if someone authors a book and it was being “pushed” (without being clear how the writer was personally related to CoJ) it *might* result in financial gain for their family.
      I guess either way transparency is good, but I’ve never felt there was any shadiness in linking – but not citing – a piece written by Joanna’s spouse :)

    • Naseem says...

      I don’t see anything wrong or dishonest about linking to Alex’s writing at all. Just putting in my two cents. I can’t wait to read the article!

  22. Claire says...

    Nice list, as usual.
    I want to see a pic of the shark cake.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll put on instagram! :)

  23. M says...

    Can not get enough of Fleabag Season 2. Watched it twice. I love how they apologize and say ‘see you next week!’. Adorable.

  24. K says...

    I agree with Katie’s comment regarding the “sober curious” article. This article is very offensive to me as someone whose husband died suffering from alcoholism. Those that walk around with the pain and daily struggles of this disease do not have a choice to be “curious” about trying yet another fad with a supposedly kitschy name. Please do not down play the reality of this disease it destroys families and lives each and everyday.

  25. L.G says...

    Yesh. I have complicated feelings about Alex’s “The New Sobriety” article. While I can appreciate the sentiment and interesting story angle — and do applaud anyone that seeks out personal wellness efforts of any variety — as someone that has loved an alcoholic for 15+ years it smacks of lack of perspective and even insensitivity. My sister can not “dabble” with sobriety any more than a cancer patient can flirt with treatment. I wish I could more surgically identify why this piece rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it’s the cavalier use of the word sobriety. Or the choice in stock photography? Or the breezy references to A.A. meetings and people like “sloppy Sammy in accounting?” What I do know is this: Sobriety is absolutely life or death for many people. My vivacious, beautiful, funny, college-educated, loved loved loved sister takes a pill every day that will make her violently ill if she consumes alcohol. And yet. Here we are facing down another relapse and bracing for impact. Incremental drinking as a wellness and dietary choice — ok, I can meet you there. But for those in recovery, or approaching that paradigm shift, and/or the often battle-worn people that love alcoholics, sobriety is a sacred word that deserves more reverence than this piece utters.

    • K says...

      L.G, I echo everything that you have written. Thankyou for sharing your wise words.

    • B.E. says...

      I wholeheartedly agree as someone who lost my mom to alcoholism. “Sober curious” discounts the realities of the disease. And I fear that fads like it support people minimizing the seriousnesss of red flags about their behavior. My mom was so many things— highly educated, deeply loved, generous, compassionate, the list could go on. She also was an alcoholic. She worked extremely hard to get sober. After a year and a half of sobriety she had a relapse that killed her. This article is insensitive to the pain of millions of families who have grappled with addiction. And we certainty don’t benefit from articles featuring fads with the implicit message that if addicts just have enough will power, they too can “dabble” in alcohol.

      L.G, Sending you love, compassion and hope.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      This is so good to hear and I totally understand — thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences and helping us learn.

    • Kat says...

      I agree as well. I am the child of alcoholic parents and married to someone who’s just about one year sober (!!!!). While I LOVE that people are writing about being more mindful drinkers for those NOT struggling with severe alcohol dependence, I would have preferred the article be written by a substance abuse specialist or someone who has more direct experience (and if Alex does, then maybe citing it in some way). The tone towards AA in the article felt really condescending and disrespectful, perpetuating stereotypes that many who aren’t familiar will unknowingly absorb. I truly wish it was more balanced instead of AA being referred to as an aside, negatively, or relegated to parentheses. I think it could have been a really thoughtful article if it took the tone of: “decisions about drinking are complicated — here are some options and avenues people are taking based on their circumstances (AA being one of them). Because we’re unique humans, not everything will work for every mone.” Even with my intensive personal involvement with people who struggle with alcoholism, I am the first to say AA doesn’t work for everyone. But it DOES work for many (and for those who it doesn’t, alternatives are important!) and their experience doesn’t deserve to get boiled down to a few quips at their expense.

    • Jennifer says...

      Upvoting all of this! My husband is 3 years sober, and watching him navigate the challenges of that has been simultaneously humbling and uplifting. There’s something about “sober curious” that pushes into performative sobriety, without the acknowledgment of how devastating of a disease alcoholism and/or addiction truly is. I’m all about celebrating doing good things for your health and wellness. But there is an inherent privilege in being able to choose to do these things vs. needing to do them because alcohol is destroying your life and those of your loved ones.

  26. It’s funny timing that today CoJ is posting the NYTimes article about being “sober curious” – I just listened to a podcast today about the growing prevalence of this term. As someone who has struggled with addiction – which is an illness – the term sober ‘curious’ is a bit unthoughtful to those of us who work hard to maintain sobriety. Being truly sober due to a mental illness is not only necessary, but requires constant commitment, recovery, and hard work; it’s not something that we can flit in and out of for fun or for dietary health trends. Similar to how we wouldn’t want to say we’re “OCD” for being organized, call the weather patterns “bipolar,” or jokingly use the term “triggered,” I would shy away from using the term “sober curious.” My take? We live in a culture that is constantly trying to give everything a name. Not everything needs a label.

    • Anne says...

      I understand your point (as someone who lives with an addict), but there is really nothing wrong with drinking less. Nor is there anything wrong with articulating these thoughts – as AA mentioned in the article.

      This is not a trend for the addicts, but for people who simply want to change their personal relationship with alcohol – and that is what the article is about. You take offence to the term “curious” as though it refers to your situation personally or your condition, but it is not.

      It guess I take offence to problematising good trends in society.

  27. jan says...

    I need a boob trench for my massages – seriously is has become a glaring peeve for me that the massage tables do not automatically accommodate breasts! A rolled up towel does not work and surely more women then men receive massages – why are the tables not built with an empty space for boobs??

    • Catherine says...

      I get regular massages and found it uncomfortable to have my face mashed against the weird pillow. Like, I’d spend so much time thinking about my face hurting that I couldn’t relax. My massage therapist suggested I try the side-lying position used in pregnancy massage, and this works perfectly. I’m propped up with pillows and extremely comfortable. For a 90 minute massage, I do 30 minutes on each side and then 30 minutes on my back. It might work for breasts, too.

  28. Anna says...

    We made the lemon spaghetti tonight and I’ll be making it again for sure! I was moved by Grace’s comment.

  29. Marissa Biddle says...

    Love the Brazilian hugs comments. Brazilian here! Hi! Well — we also are trowing a birthday party tomorrow. Ethan is turning 11 years old. Big hugs ( Brazilian style) to Anton. Happy birthday dude!

  30. Katie says...

    I notice that Alex wrote the piece about sober curiosity. I’m curious to know if his research has changed his or your relationship with alcohol. Y’all have talked much about that personally, which is totally cool, of course! I’m a fan of boundaries! But I am curious!

    • Katie says...

      Oops. Haven’t. You haven’t talked much about it. Autocorrect fail.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes!! We are drinking so much less. For a while we were like, “we drink 2 glasses every night! We’re euro!” And now it just feels like time to take a break. Alex now drinks Budweiser beers instead of martinis, and I take lots of nights off and just have wine when we are out to dinner. It feels so good! Esp the mornings! Anyway curious to hear how others feel xoxoxo

    • j says...

      For years I never drank then I moved in with someone who drinks a glass of wine every night and I joined in. For the last couple years I’ve found I only want one or two glasses a week. Haven’t had hard liquor since college – it’s too harsh, even in cocktails. Even wine is losing it’s appeal though and I think I’m heading towards light drinks like vermouth and sparkling water type mixes of the previous post a couple days ago.

    • Sean says...

      Long story short: I was pregnant, miscarried, and then decided not to resume drinking again because it felt like something that would be easy to use as a crutch during a difficult time.
      I still occasionally have a class of wine, but rarely more than one. I guess I’m sober-curious, which is a term I don’t mind, because I don’t have to be sober – it’s truly a choice for me. And I can also see there will be times, when I will inevitably drink a bit more (vacation, for example) and that’s ok too.

  31. alice says...

    The pencil! I knew the line! Hair is everything.
    The fear, the righteousness, the truth, the guilt. So good. And the scene in the salon is equally ace. I know the priest rocks, but the sisters ruled this season for me.

    • Christine says...

      Or the boyfriend saying, “You sexy plank!”

  32. Rebecca says...

    Love the reader comments this week! Those are my favorite part of these posts. I am totally and completely a Brazilian hugger! And I am not ashamed. My sister is the opposite and hates my hugs. Last time I saw her she let me give her a nice long hug and said it was her birthday gift to me. I love to show love to those I love! I don’t see a problem with it at all!! :)

  33. Anna says...

    Hahaha, I knew exactly what the boob trench would be, I did that for my belly when I was pregnant. It felt so good to let my back curve like that! Plus it was hilarious when I got up.

    • Akc says...

      I was going to say the same thing. Going to the beach at the end of my pregnancies was amazing….floating in the sea and then the belly /boob trench (boobs got massive too ) … swimming is so great