Design

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

Bob Dylan

What are you up to this weekend? Toby and Anton started school this week, so we’ll be just relaxing at home, maybe listening to a little Bob Dylan. (Side note: On the first day of school, Anton didn’t cry, which is a lifetime first!) Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

The Catherine the Great trailer looks excellent.

How I spent $60 on a dinner party for five people.”

Nine things a woman couldn’t do in 1971 in America. (Kind of shocking.)

What a beautiful living room makeover!

Yum yum yum yum yum.

Nordstrom is having a huge sale. Into these shoes, boots and pajamas.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s 10 tips for writing. “Tell your story TO someone. Pick one person you love or admire or want to connect with, and write the whole thing directly to them —like you’re writing a letter. This will bring forth your natural voice. Whatever you do, do NOT write to a demographic. Ugh.”

A sweet idea for school jitters.

Existential dread in the animal kingdom, haha. (New Yorker)

Excited to read this new book about talking to strangers.

Three Trader Joe’s employees danced to cheer up a melting down toddler.

And the cult of TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi. Have you tried it?

Plus, a reader comment:

Says Emily on a romantic $5 gift: “For all my husband’s strengths, gift giving is not one. For the Christmas after my son was born, I asked for lingerie (I so badly wanted to feel sexy again) – I even emailed him my size. Imagine my surprise when I opened… a coffee mug… that says ‘Pittsburgh Mom.’ Could anything be less sexy?!?! We still laugh about the Most Disappointing Christmas. Whenever he wants to flirt, he’ll bring me coffee in the ‘lingerie mug’ and ask if I’m in the mood for a hot drink.”

xoxo

(Photo of Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo by Don Hunstein.)

  1. Courtney says...

    I’m shocked there has been no mention of Dorian anywhere on this blog. Maybe I’m wrong? I hope I am!

  2. Andrea says...

    I had a fantastic Home Depot employee sing nursery rhymes to my toddler while I wrestled him into the child seat on my cart. She was so nice and patient and I would never have gotten out of there alive without her! The people who help out a melting-down toddler’s parents are angels!

  3. Haha the coffee in the lingerie mug really mad me laugh. Sometimes men really get it so wrong! At least it is a story to remember.

  4. Denise says...

    I was enraged by the things women weren’t allowed in 1971! As if we aren’t even people! Geez, nothing like a full rage first thing in the morning. Also, I feel lucky I was born in the late 70’s and that things have gotten better and my sense of feminism is reinvigorated. There’s still & again so much to fight for. And then those Trader Joe’s employees, who deserve a week’s paid vacation for that dance & also people being nice makes me tear up instantly these days. So this post was literally all the feels.

    • Joaquina says...

      Women AND people of color!
      My father and his siblings, who are Mexican, had to swim in the “coloreds only” pool and were reprimanded for speaking Spanish at school. This was Arizona in the late 60s and early 70s.

  5. The reader comment!!! Brilliant, really made me smile.
    As for my weekend, it was rough, Daddy was sick and in bed the whole time, so mommy had no break or adult company … boo. I did have some nice snuggles from my Little guy and some nice wine though :) always a silver lining!

  6. Elizabeth_K says...

    I love that comment! Are you ready for a hot drink indeed — one of the joys of marriage is how long term it is, so the things that really hurt/irritate you today can be a tender memory (or even more irritating, but you know, bright side) in the future.

  7. Caitlin Hussey says...

    CAULIFLOWER GNOCCHI PSA: the ideal way to cook it (which makes it far more edible than any directions i’ve read about it thus far) is to actually bake it in the oven for 12 minutes at 350 degrees drizzled in olive oil, flip them all, bake for another 12 minutes, and then quickly saute them (like 1-2 min) on the skillet with the leftover oil from the baking pan with whatever else you’re adding to them. I know it may take longer than every other way but I promise you will not get mushy, half-frozen gnocchi. They’re fully cooked, crispy and flavorful every time.

    • Danielle says...

      I’ve never roasted it this way but I will confirm that you should definitely not follow the package directions. I just cook in oil in a skillet and skip all the add water instructions. I have heard that roasting them and tossing them in buffalo sauce is a delicious snack.

  8. Such a great blog! It was a great photo of Bob Dylan that caught my attention at first.

  9. Love this!
    The links are really cool too.
    I was so shocked when I read the ‘things women couldn’t do in 1971 America! Imagine getting fired for being pregnant :/
    Crazy how times have changed now, baring in mind that wasn’t that long ago.

    Michelle x

  10. Dee Nargi says...

    OMG the reader comment on her Christmas gift brought me back.
    The Christmas after our third child was born. We had two boys and this year we had a daughter. He handed me a gift from “her” and I thought it would be something sweet or feminine. I opened up a raiders coffee mug and a pair of athletic socks!!! I am not athletic and actually more of a girly girl!! We still to this day laugh at what would have ever made him think to buy that!!!

  11. Becca says...

    Yeah I wasn’t blown away by the cauliflower gnocchi. I LOVE regular gnocchi though, yum!

  12. Lee says...

    That video of the Trader Joe’s cashiers made my day. People that are willing to go above and beyond – and do it with such joy – make the world a better place.

  13. Kay says...

    There is a great biography in Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie. It is so juicy and scandalous I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!

  14. Ann says...

    TJs is the best. They always lighten my load weather it’s what I’ve been thinking about all day or the tons of groceries I just purchased. The best people!

  15. Amy says...

    The article about what women couldn’t do in 1971. IS. INFURIATING.

  16. MissEm says...

    When my daughter went to daycare for the first time, I made a little heart out of felt for her and sewed a tiny x in the center of it, for a kiss. She kept it in her pocket and could squeeze it whenever she needed “mama love.” Now she’s almost 9 and still takes it with her when she’s going somewhere new and needs that extra connection. She calls it her mama-love-heart.

    • Mary says...

      Awwwww <3 Love this!

  17. Lisa says...

    When my mother fell pregnant with my brother in 1974, she was fired from her job. She told them she would be going on leave in six months and they said “why not just leave now?” She also always wanted to work in a lab, but became a teacher instead, because they didn’t hire women to work in labs as they would get married and have babies. Today, my brother (the one she got fired over) dropped his daughter off at university to start a degree in medicine. Thank goodness we have come such a long way in those 45 years!

    • E says...

      Except…I think it still sadly happens. I was “let go” from my job (in architecture) when I became pregnant. Something about restructuring the firm… I took it as motivation to start my own office.

  18. Molly says...

    I tried the cauliflower gnocchi & thought it was so terrible. So did my husband. And I eat ANYTHING. That night I got sick & if I even think about that gnocchi, I can taste it all over again & it makes me gag. I do not get the hype.

    • Kay says...

      I tried the gnocchi too and did not like it at ALL. And I like both gnocchi and cauliflower.

    • Audrey says...

      YES thank you!! I even tried it cooked in a pan with oil to brown because I heard it tastes much better than boiling it and added a pasta sauce. My family all thought it was disgusting as well. I don’t get it…

    • Johanna Chambers says...

      TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi is a disgusting, gummy disaster. I gave it two tries. Love the sweet potato gnocchi, though.

  19. Danielle says...

    Trader Joe’s is the grocery store of the people. When I was 39 weeks pregnant and grocery shopping, a TJ’s cashier asked me how long I had left. When I told him I was due to deliver next week, he and the other cashiers around him all gave me a round of applause. Then he ran over to the flower section to give me a free bouquet! I felt so seen. (Also: imagine my horror when I was a week overdue and had to go back there for milk the next week!)

  20. Hanna says...

    OMG! Pittsburgh Mom! I have never laughed harder at a COJ comment. I read it to my boyfriend and couldn’t get through it because I was laughing so hard.

  21. Celeste says...

    My mom was a teacher and pregnant in 1971. She couldn’t teach until after she had the baby – you couldn’t show students the bump.

  22. Hooray for Anton! I’m imagining those drop-offs have been painful for a lot of years.

    So many good links this week! I have never heard of cauliflower gnocchi, which I think is more evidence that I live under some kind of rock. I’m so sad that I read this post one hour after getting home from Trader Joe’s!

    And now I’m inspired to throw a $60 dinner party. Thanks for sharing all these, Joanna. I hope you have a great weekend!

  23. debbie says...

    my mom` received a small inheritance from her aunt, but she could not claim it unless her husband signed for it. this was the mid-sixties. i’m sure that’s why she had me set up a savings account when i was in elementary school, and i had a checking account not long after. she was striving for my financial independence, doing what she could to make that happen.

  24. Emily says...

    I’ve tried the TJ cauliflower gnocchi, and I think it’s yuck. But I did read the other day it’s good when you prepare in an air fryer. I’m not willing to invest in an air fryer, but thought I would mention it here if someone else has one and wants to try it!

  25. Jennifer says...

    The store in the video is MY Trader Joe’s! It’s right around the corner from my home. The woman in the video with the glasses is wonderful, she has known my son since infancy. They are best buddies, and she is one of my favorite people.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, that’s amazing!!!

    • Cassidy says...

      It’s my Trader Joe’s too! I get star struck whenever I see these employees now!!

  26. Tanis says...

    My friend teaches kindergarten and was just telling me how she asked a mom to send her a picture of the mom with her daughter. My friend printed the picture and gave it to her student who immediately smiled and lost her jitters.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is really sweet :)

  27. Dana says...

    I made the cauliflower gnocchi for dinner tonight. First I toasted them in a little olive oil and butter in a non stick skillet, then I topped it with a spicy tomato sauce with olives, onions and peppers and served it on arugula with some crusty bread.

  28. Mimi says...

    My husband got me qtips for our 2nd year anniversary because “it’s the year of cotton” and “I thought you liked qtips.” I could have killed him at the time, but we laugh about it at almost every holiday now.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha so classic!

    • One Christmas my husband gave me a small square box nicely wrapped. Inside was…. a gas cap! Mine had blown away after not securing it correctly. The replacement we got didn’t have a cord to attach it to the car, so every time you got gas you had to find somewhere to put the gas cap, since it wouldn’t just hang from the cord, and he knew how much it bugged me. I thought it was very thoughtful – but would have been a great gift for a RANDOM DAY, not using part of my Christmas money for it! Ugh, men – gotta love ’em.

  29. OMG. The Christmas after my son was born, my husband got me an exercise ball and “Sex At Dawn,” a book about how monogamy doesn’t make anthropological sense. He was totally clueless, and I’ve mostly forgiven him haha!

  30. Lynn says...

    This was the best roundup yet!

  31. Chelsea says...

    Trader Joe’s employees are saints! Once I was shopping at Trader Joe’s wearing my son in a sling when he was just a few weeks old. A Trader Joe’s employee asked if I needed help taking my cart full of groceries to my car. I hesitated and told him I could do it on my own, then he said, “I know you don’t NEED help, moms can do amazing things, but would you like some help?”

    • Amy says...

      Aww…loved that story, Chelsea!

  32. Lisa says...

    That comment from the $5 gift post!!! I couldn’t read the post due to my woe at my own husband’s lack of excellent gift giving skills; being able to laugh about this with an online stranger was a lovely surprise :) thank you!

  33. c says...

    As a woman and small business owner I really struggle with the current laws surrounding jobs and pregnancies (as it relates to your women in 1971 america link).

    In my business it is just 6 of us (I run the company, have an assistant, have two main people doing the job of our business and two accounting people). Over the past two years we have had 3 people go out on maternity leave. It is NEARLY impossible for us to survive while holding their positions. We are too small to afford and train a temp and too small to cover the missing employee’s job for months at a time. At the end of the leave two of the three people told us they weren’t coming back (wish I had known that at the beginning).

    I am certainly glad this isn’t 1971 and I am a mother so I get it but I wonder if we can come up with a solution that doesn’t punish businesses and/or nearly encourage illegal discrimination?

    • Ana D says...

      Business models need to incorporate the reality that all those employed will be mammals. It may be helpful to move away from thinking of it as a “punishment” for businesses to respect the rights of pregnant people.

    • Rolo says...

      I totally agree! I work for a very small independent community acupuncture clinic that provides low cost service to people in need (just three employees) and I’m at the point where I’m hoping for a family of my own in the next five years. I don’t know how my clinic could possibly afford to keep me. It’s easier for larger companies to absorb this cost but I wish they would change the laws so companies would feel more confident about hiring women in their reproductive years. I know someone who was hiring for a position and it was between a 30something and a 50something who were equally qualified but he chose the older woman because she was done having children. Frustrating all around.

    • Sasha L says...

      I’m sure a socialized safety net would be a start.

      Why don’t women come back after maternity leave? The high cost of day care for one, we could fix that with govt funded universal childcare.

      And in socialist countries maternity leave isn’t only shouldered by companies, the burden is shared by the govt so it’s more manageable.

      Our current system hurts everyone, but no one more than moms.

    • Jessica says...

      This is an area where government has to get involved and make things easier for both businesses and families. For example, something like extra funds/resources for small businesses to use to hire and train a temp for the duration of the leave. The US is woefully behind the times in parental leave policy.

  34. Amy says...

    Emily’s comment about the mug brought tears to my eyes laughing!

  35. Erin says...

    Have not tried TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi. Too busy obsessively stuffing my face with their sweet potato gnocchi instead. :)