Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

Cookies

What are you up to this weekend? Alex and I are heading to Charleston today, so I’m signing off early, while the rest of the team works ahead on posts. I’m packing this sweater and jeans and bringing this old book for laughs. (It’s so good.) Hope you have a relaxing weekend, and, if you’re in a blog-reading mood, here are a few fun links from around the web…

The trailer for The Crown looks so good.

I convinced four women to get the haircuts they never thought they’d get.”

How you know if you’re reading the right book.

In the cutest news ever: Babies love talking to other babies.

Oooh, the coziest sweatshirt.

Jennifer Garner’s pretend cooking show makes me smile.

Mom’s burden, dad’s adorable hobby.

A French trick for getting rid of fruit flies.

How delicious does this meal look?

Great interviews with Rachel Weisz (New York Times) and Kate McKinnon.

Excited for this new cookbook.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says TC on what’s your sliding doors moment: “I wrote my name inside a book that I eventually sold to a used bookstore. My (eventual) husband, who lived in a completely different state at the time but was visiting friends, bought the book from that bookstore. I have a unique name and so he easily found me on MySpace. He was just curious about the person who had owned the book before him, as I had written a lot of notes throughout it. That was almost 13 years ago and now we have a kid and a dog and a house and a life together. I’m grateful for exactly where I am right now.”

Says Summer on what’s your sliding doors moment: “My most important ‘sliding doors’ moment is when I decided to accept that I was gay and stop making myself try to date men. I had been going on very awkward dates with a guy I met on a dating app. I kept thinking, ‘Oh, this will feel more natural soon.’ He invited me to come over one night and my heart just cried out because of how lost I felt. When I thought about being with a woman, I felt relief. I told the very nice guy ‘no’ and decided to date only women. In that moment, I felt like I watched a life of ‘what ifs’ slide away from me. A few weeks later, I met a woman who simultaneously makes my heart at peace and my body feel like its on fire. When I think about the life that I let go, all I feel is gratitude for choosing a hard, but true life. In that parallel world, a guy could propose to me — now, I’ll be proposing to the girl I love in just a few weeks.”

(Photo by Yossy Arefi. Babies via Storq. Dad’s hobby via Reading My Tea Leaves.)

  1. Beth says...

    Ok, I did get a little chuckle when I saw you packed a sweater for Charleston. My goodness, I only wish it was cool enough down south for sweaters already! Hope you had a fantastic weekend, and are already planning “things to do” on your next trip to the Holy City. Can’t wait to read all about it!

  2. Kate says...

    Love the reader comments!
    A random request in case anyone sees this – does anyone have any recommendations for dinner spots in Brooklyn? I’m visiting from London next weekend and looking for some inspo x

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! Romans is a perfect little spot with amazing pasta and Vinegar Hill House is cozy and beautiful.

    • ANDREA says...

      Our favorite restaurant in all of NYC is Noodle Pudding on Henry Street. Cash only.

  3. Mate says...

    I have a post request! Your blog has so many wonderful ideas both from your staff and your readers, I would love to hear about people’s experiences and advice when it comes to parenting away from your own parents.

    My son was born 6 months ago, and while I’ve loved being so close to all of my husband’s family, I feel very deeply the absence of my parents. My brothers and sister in law (including my niece, a year old) live in the area so we get together as often as we can especially now we have kids, but it is hard on all of us. My sister in law has her parents living in Iran, and my parents are serving at the Baha’i World Center in Israel, so we have a lot of this in our family. We all use technology to stay in touch. of course, but I would love to hear more about how other people deal with learning how to be a parent without your parents and be a family without grandparents nearby.

    I hope to see something about this in the future, I think this is very common these days!
    Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a great post idea, mate. we will think about this and get to work. thank you!

    • That’s my life, these past 8 weeks as a new mom. It’s impacted so many things and my experience is so different from anyone in the family. Also- my baby responds to a phone already (because grandmom calls). It’s been harder than ever, and I’ve intensely wanted to pack my bags and just go home.

  4. jeannie says...

    I would love to know what book TC sold to the used bookstore. :)

  5. Lindsay says...

    If you’re looking for an independent bookstore to support I’d love to give a shoutout to Interabang Books in Dallas that was completely devastated by the recent tornado that tore through the city. Online purchases are a great way to support them right now. This was my favorite local bookstore and had a wonderful children’s section. Hoping they rebuild soon!
    https://www.interabangbooks.com

    • Jess. says...

      Hey, I had some books that I needed to order for my kids. Had them in my Amazon cart. Bought them from Interbang instead. Boom! Thanks for the recommendation. Need to do this more often. Or, you know, actually go to a bookstore in my town and buy actual books and “deliver” them to my house myself. :)

  6. Lindsay says...

    Hey COJ readers, I’m not sure this is the best place to post a random question. (Maybe I will find a different venue or re-post my comment on a different COJ blog post next week?) but I’m trying to figure out a new work schedule after having a baby in March. I work from home, and some of my hours are flexible. I’m thinking about doing two crazy 16 hour days and then squeezing in additional hours throughout the week (would mostly be phone calls and meetings). Is there anyone else who has a schedule like this? Do you like it?! I need some advice, and I don’t know who to ask!

    • Ana D says...

      Some suggestions:
      1. Whatever plan you create, ensure it includes at least 7 hours uninterrupted sleep/time in bed for yourself each night. Your body and brain will suffer immensely if you ask them to take up the slack. Your health and well-being need to be the underpinning of any plan. Everything falls apart when you fall apart, and our bodies can only take self-imposed deprivation and abuse for so long.

      2. Treat your return to work decision as a time-bound experiment. Determine when you’ll reassess, and get buy-in from your stakeholders (partner, caregivers, clients, employers) ahead of time so they’re less taken aback when your exquisitely defined return to-work strategy gets tweaked/reinvented in month two. It would be an amazing stroke of luck if you landed on the precisely right approach for yourself right out of the gate. This way, you’re an explorer, appreciating what works well and what turns out to look good on paper but ineffective/unlivable in practice.

      3. Pay attention to the caliber/quality of your work output in hours 10, 12, 14, etc. – both historically and when you undertake your experiment. Are you able to take care of essential but less-taxing activities when your brain power is winding down? Or do you find that your work calls for your sparkling energetic self and you have to work twice as hard to do half as much after hour 11? It’s not a personal failing to have peaks and valleys in your creativity and productivity – it’s a natural part of being a badass professional. Work with your flow as much as possible and don’t expect superhero capacity from yourself. Your normal self is super as it is, and appreciating and caring for your humanity in this transitional period / new stage of life is so worthwhile.

    • rachel says...

      Sounds like that wouldn’t be a wise choice… you will be utterly exhausted and not be able to be present with your baby… you cannot forget about your well being, you cannot be a good partner, mother, daughter, etc when you neglect basic needs…

    • celeste says...

      Hi Lindsay – I’ve been part time since my second was born in 2010. My husband works 50-60 hours a week and it was just too much with the kids and trying to be his parachute too. Plus, he didn’t like the idea of hiring a cleaning person, my parents are dead and we have no family nearby. I just dropped from 35 to 25 hrs./week in the office and side-gig writing for my local paper at home and it’s great to have time to clean, grocery shop and run the kids places. I do know several nurses who worked long shifts 2-3 days a week like you’re proposing and it worked for them. Good luck! Try to find/create your village for daycare. Good luck. Snuggle that little one and try to get some sleep.

    • Lindsay says...

      Thanks so much for the advice, guys! I really appreciate it!

    • Sasha L says...

      Lindsay, congrats on a new baby ☺️

      If you do FB, join the Forever 35 group, and there’s a sub group for working at home. That would be a fantastic place to ask this question. Best of luck!

    • Angela says...

      Hi Lindsay. I think the advice you’ve gotten so far is fantastic. I just want to add that the first year I returned to work was really hard, even with a supportive family. I felt ripped in half and had a lot of guilt over someone else “raising my children.” I discussed moving to a part-time role, and a wise friend told me to consider how that may change the dynamic in my marriage and my sense of self-worth. For me, being independent and having a professional outlet are so key to my happiness, and money does mean more to me than I’d like to admit. It was such a gentle reminder of who I really am, when I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Now, I still bristle frequently at all the invisible work I am responsible for, in addition to my career but I am so glad that I kept this part of myself, for myself. There are Mondays that I RUN into work, excited to leave motherhood behind for 8+ hours. You sound like such a considerate and thoughtful mother to be considering a schedule like that. Wishing you the best of luck!

  7. Betty says...

    I saw “Mom’s burden, dad’s adorable hobby” and thought “what, parenting?” Then I felt bad. Now I feel vindicated lol

  8. I’m French, and I knew nothing about the cork trick for fruit flies. Thanks for that, corks are definitely something that are not hard to find in France ;-)
    I’ll be trying this asap.

  9. Emily says...

    I sure hope TC and her husband have kept that book. I would buy one of those acrylic book holders cases and put it somewhere special in your home. Swoon worthy!

  10. Sasha says...

    Such a fun round up this week! I look forward to this every Friday!

  11. I really want those cookies right now! My weekend is consisting of getting rid of this Fall crud and then working on Sunday.

  12. VP says...

    Enjoy Charleston!!! We lived there for 1 year and just moved this past summer. I miss it dearly. While there, it was always a temporary place for us which made me not entrench myself emotionally there. But by the end of the year, we had created some of the most beautiful and special memories there. I wrote about my year here! https://penpaperstorm.com/2019/05/25/one-year-in-charleston/

  13. Laura Greenwood says...

    Both these reader comments made my heart break open and sing.
    XOXO

    • Em says...

      Ohh, how lovely!

  14. Em says...

    Oh my gosh! That sliding doors moment with the book is like a modern day message in a bottle. So romantic! Ugh! <3

  15. AL says...

    I need more people to internalize Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s article. I had the same diatribe with my husband last night, whilst sitting on the toilet, having a breakdown, though obviously much less eloquently. I woke up thinking that a sister-wife sounds pretty reasonable. How do working moms do it? This week alone- I worked from home on Monday because my son just decided to be awake from 3am-6:30am, and then slept until 10. Thankful that I have a job that allows for that, but I’m sure it is a mark against my commitment to someone, somewhere. High school babysitter is now involved in school play- good for her, but now I have NO HELP in the afternoons, after half day preschool (why does this exist), after running around and dropping and picking up, you know, while actually trying to hold down a job. I was laid off a year and a half ago, and I distinctly remember telling my husband a few months before that, that if I ever lost my job it was because “I wasn’t allowed to be a professional, I HAD to be a mother first.” That came true and now I can’t help but look at all the ways being a mother is not conducive to working. The flu shots, the dentist appointments, printing out photos to bring in for Family Day at school, soccer practice at 5pm, a random fever that means staying home, etc, etc, etc. I know my husband really does his best, I know a lot of this is a society that isn’t designed around families with 2 working parents, I know that they are only little once, but I am failing at everything because I am not fully committed to any thing. I can’t even finish my online grocery order because no one will go the fuck to sleep. I need more than equal pay and extra parental leave. I need a world that values the work being done to raise children and manage a household. There is a quantifiable cost to taking time away from work and a loss of opportunity that comes with being seen as less committed to being a worker. Something’s gotta give.

    • M says...

      Al !!!! I hear you!!!!! There is anger reverberating through my bones all the time and they are playing these exact notes. I feel like screaming these exact things at every person I meet and shaking them and asking do you feel this way too?!?! Thank you for sharing.

    • Akc says...

      I feel you. It’s really difficult. I have to tell myself: everything in its season. I think I have a great professional potential- but I’m not getting there or even getting all credit for what I already do achieve professionally- because at least 70% of my mental capacity is family organization, cooking, cleaning, school, baby growing, etc. My spouse doesn’t have the resilience for the stress of kid’s defiance and mess, and is not one for complimenting my work in or outside of home. So- every time I get frustrated that I have to “quantify” what I get — the smiles from my kids, the fact that I can work 35 hr/week while some have to work much more and at a much lower pay, that I am there to tuck kids in bed and not working an overnight shift. You know, that annoying advice to be grateful for what you have. And the praise has to come from within….I have to learn to be kind to myself, because most days it feels like no one notices ( and remember how many people feel this way– so compliment the lady that scans your groceries, your garbage collector, or the teacher, or the receptionist…)

    • Holly says...

      I feel the same way. The image that comes into my head is my husband flying up above it all at 40,000 feet with nothing (fevers, bad moods, loss of childcare, etc.) really affecting him and his job; while My life is down on ground level and every little thing impacts it

    • AMK says...

      it is so important as moms to practice self-love. I’m not talking about self-care. Deep deep self-love. I recently realized that my partner, family and especially society will not take care of me. Self-love is a solo sport. Self-love can be as simple as not judging yourself for spending a long time in social media. Looking at yourself in the mirror and smile. Unleash the same love on ourselves that just oozes out for our kids. We are so amazing. Mothers are awe inspiring. But there is no safeguard in place in our society or our relationships that will encourage us to prioritize ourselves with this deep self love. Like Lizzo said in her NPR Tiny Desk concert, “If you can love me, you can love yourself.” Self love is an act of rebellion. An act of defiance. So many people benefit from us not loving ourselves. Go in a one-woman self-love revolution and ask others to start their own 💕

  16. Iris says...

    Luv what you do but jeeze louise if I see another article about how the French have it all figured out I think I might scream. As an American living here for the past 10 years, I can assure you that people are just as lame here as they are in the US, they just have better PR. I met my first American friend a couple years ago and it was like a breath of fresh air; I finally had someone with whom I could rant to about how crazy these mofos are. Also, I have never ONCE seen a French person use this cork technique, not even a grandmother. They, like us, spend their summer months frantically swapping away our tiny, fruit loving friends.

  17. Kristin says...

    Regarding amazon links: please keep in mind you are currently consuming FREE (amazing quality) content that is supported in part by affiliate links. While buying from amazon doesn’t support an indie bookstore, it supports CoJ. I think CoJ does a great job balancing links to both amazon and indie bookstore sites to spread the love!

    • Emily says...

      Thank you for saying this Kristin. I’ve said something similar on here before as well. If you don’t like Amazon links, grow up and lay off this wonderful blog. It’s easy to go search and buy on websites you love after learning something new on Cup of Jo.

  18. Kim Marsden says...

    You forgot to mention that the Rachel Weisz link was the NYT….I really appreciate that heads up you provide.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh yes so sorry! Will add now!

  19. Jill says...

    I love this site and it’s community, but I have to say there is something vaguely racist about its preoccupation with all things French. I don’t think you’d ever post “A Mexican Trick for getting rid of fruit flies.” Or, “A Latvian Bra trick.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you for your note! We actually have talked about Scandinavian twin duvets and parenting all around the world (mexico, Kenya, Abu Dhabi, etc) and turkish breakfasts and much more. I hope this helps!

    • mb says...

      It’s okay to point out that being enamored with all things French might flatten or exoticize French culture. But 1) “French” isn’t a race 2) French people don’t carry the burden of having to deal with a historical legacy of being negatively stereotyped, judged, or fetishized in any way comparable to problematic racial narratives.

    • Lee says...

      Amazon and indie bookstore don’t need the same amount of “love” one is a David and the other is Goliath

  20. Shanna says...

    I came in to comment specifically on why the books are always linked to Amazon, and then saw someone else had as well!! ? It seems as if the physical world where we all live, shop and work is disregarded when it comes to these recommendations. Since many products have been capitalized by the Amazon market..let’s try for leaving books to the indie’s!

    • Joaquina says...

      Hear hear! Why not create a link to various indy bookstores throughout the country (“Catapult” in San Diego, “Changing Hands” in Tempe, “Lighthouse” in Boulder, or even “Powell’s” in PDX)? Or just listing the book title and author? I’ve completely stopped ordering from Amazon, the packaging alone is atrocious, but we need to advocate for supporting locally-owned/small businesses!

    • Kate says...

      Or you can just order the book from an indie store.

    • Cait says...

      They do vary what they link to for books, it is not always Amazon. Joanna’s friend owns the store Books Are Magic, so I’m sure she understands the importance of them. But she also has salaries to pay.

  21. Hello TC, totally random and maybe creeeeepy but what is your name???? :) So curious!

  22. Chrissie says...

    “I met a woman who simultaneously makes my heart at peace and my body feel like its on fire. “

    Damn!

  23. Mouse says...

    Fruit flies: an inch of apple cider vinegar in a juice glass with a drop of dish detergent in it to break the surface. It works.

    • Sasha L says...

      This totally works!

  24. Alex says...

    You’re going to be hot in Charleston in that sweater!! Have a great time, maybe throw in a sundress too?

    • Abbie says...

      I was thinking the same thing. We are miserable in the south right now.

  25. Emily says...

    Omg those sliding doors moments!

  26. Natalie T. says...

    Can I just say that the comments you posted this week are outstanding? I love how truthful, honest, and real they are. So grateful for this blog and community of smart, engaged, and thoughtful readers.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That means so much to us, Natalie. Thank you <3

  27. Nicole says...

    Thank you for posting Jennifer Siebel Newsome’s essay. I have a wonderful partner in parenthood, but we still struggle with distribution of labor (like many M/F couples). Since I lack the vocabulary to put it so eloquently, I can just forward this right along:)

    • Phoebe says...

      Ditto! I’m so glad this article is getting shared and read by lots of people. I also so prefer “invisible work”, rather than “emotional labor”, which always rubbed me the wrong way since it immediately gives the impression that it was soft or womanly work. (And the fact that I get that impression from the word emotion is a whole other bag to unpack.)

    • Longtime CoJ fan says...

      I wonder if you would consider using IndieBound (or other retailers besides Amazon) when linking books? Would be great to support local bookstores in this way!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes for sure! We typically are now doing a mix and will definitely keep doing more. Reader feedback is always super important to us. thank you!

    • Katie says...

      I asked my husband what size shoes the kids wear last night. He had no idea, so I said ‘okay, easy one, what size clothes do they wear?’ ‘Uh, not sure on the boy, 3T or 4T for the girl?’… You literally just have to say their ages… He got the 3T/4T from the diaper size, so I’ll give him a partial, but 4T clothes would swallow her. I almost felt bad for putting him on the spot out of nowhere, but it is so exhausting. When’s the last time he worried about when he would be able to get to Target after a school day before a camping weekend because there wouldn’t be time the next week (without being asked) to drop $130 on very needed socks, underwear and pajamas and a few other odds and ends to get through this winter? I have one of the good ones too. He actually keeps up with the soccer schedule stuff better than me, but that’s only because I put his email first when I signed the kid up. They don’t even realize what they don’t know.

  28. lomavistagirl says...

    What I’d like to know is…..what is the book that TC sold to the used bookstore???

    • Andrea says...

      Those chocolate chip cookies look amazing!!! Recipe?

    • TC says...

      Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys! When my husband first messaged me, he told me the book/author and bookstore where he bought it, so there was no doubt he was telling the truth. :)

    • K says...

      I wanted to know the same thing about the book title! And what did her husband write her? What a story…

    • agnes says...

      Thank you TC, what a book and what a beautiful and mysteriou story! You guys must be quite a great couple!

  29. Eve says...

    You can’t fool me, J Crew. That’s not a sweatshirt. That’s my fleece jacket from 1998.

    • celeste says...

      My thoughts exactly :)

  30. Julie says...

    K the first commenter’s experience somehow syncs with the movie Serendipity, which is wonderful and silly and stars John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale and should not be missed.

    • karla says...

      Agreed! I love that movie!

  31. Kara says...

    Sobbing over the second reader’s comment (and was ready to post about how incredible the first one was!). Gosh life is incredible!

  32. jackie says...

    But it’s only Thursday??

    • Jackie says...

      Have a great time on your mini-vacay and don’t think of us sitting at our computers pining for this weekly highlight :)

  33. Reign says...

    I saw the photo credit as Yossy Arefi. Is there any chance we could get a Beauty Uniform or Week of Outfits from Yossy Arefi?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’ll ask her!

    • Michaela says...

      Yes, would love to see one of these posts from Yossy! Her dessert book is my go-to whenever I have an abundance of beautiful seasonal fruit, and she seems like such a thoughtful person. My mother-in-law saw the beautiful raspberry cake in Sweeter Off the Vine and requested it for her birthday…in November…when raspberries are definitely not in season. I DM’d Yossy on Instagram asking if I could make it with frozen raspberries instead, not really expecting a reply, but she wrote back right away assuring me that the recipe had been tested using both fresh and frozen berries! And the cake was a huge hit. :)

  34. Amy says...

    Joanna, will you please tell TC that she needs to read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”? That is exactly how the two main characters met!

    • Cynthia says...

      I’ve read and it’s a wonderful book!

    • Rosemary says...

      The movie is incredibly good.

  35. Laura says...

    Oh my gosh can we get a movie version of TC’s story?? That gave me chills! xx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Same!!

    • jade lees says...

      I know right?
      Just about the most romantic meet cute.
      Swoon.

  36. Heather says...

    Jaw is DROPPED from these reader comments, holy cow

  37. agnes says...

    The quote about the right book is so true! I would add: You know it’s the right book when your real world is just a break of food and sleep before you can happily return to this book.
    Have a great well deserved long week-end! Forget all about us!

  38. I just had a panic attack that it was Friday and I missed a meeting. (read the intro, Rachel.)

    happy Friday Jr. everyone!

    • Jenna says...

      Right?! I did the same thing! haha.

    • Michaela says...

      Meanwhile, I’m taking tomorrow off work so today is technically my Friday, and I didn’t even bat an eye! Ha ha.

  39. omg both of the reader comments are giving me chills and tears! life is beautiful <3