Design

Have a Fun Weekend.

Today, my twin sister and I are celebrating our birthday! Toby made a sponge cake from a children’s cookbook, and it looks delicious. Then my friend Sharon and her family are spending the night tomorrow! Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

Normal People will be a TV series. Here’s the trailer.

Cutest pajamas.

The chef’s kiss will soon be an emoji! *chefs kiss*

“Apparently, I’m too fat to ski.”

Smaht pahk!

Hahaha.

Love this parenting approach.

Finland’s female leaders.

A ‘why didn’t I think of that’ hack for longer lasting lettuce.

Snow art made by walking.

Crushing on Saul forever. (NYTimes)

And good news: Dame is offering 10% off your first order with code CUPOFJO. Love this sexy combination.

Plus, a reader comment:

Says Tess on dinner etiquette: “As an elementary school teacher, I host a class dinner at the end of the year. I tell the kids that it’s very fancy and important, and they LOVE it. The afternoon before, we decorate and set the tables together. At the dinner, the children dress up, bring homemade food and are beaming throughout. I always ask a few parents to be the waiters, and the dads show up in their wedding suits!”

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  1. I’m a week late but happy birthday!! 🎈

  2. Lyss says...

    Queer woman here – we view the “chef’s kiss” emoji as having a VERY different meaning ;)

  3. Y says...

    Joanna, is that pic of you girls on top of the Eiffel Tower? It’s adorable!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! i’m on the right :)

  4. Maclean Nash says...

    The reader comment on etiquette is so heartwarming! What a beautiful idea!

  5. Laura Senger says...

    Ba ha ha CTFD! Legit good advice. Wasn’t expecting it, totally needed to hear it.

  6. Angela says...

    Happy birthday to you and your sister! It’s wild how much you look like Toby and Lucy like Anton! It makes me really excited to think my boy girl twins may have children that favor their twin sibling.

  7. justyna says...

    hey! random question. around the holidays, you posted a favourite gift guide (or something like that) and included an oversized key ring… I can’t find it, I’ve tried various searched. can you link to it for me? thanks!

  8. Amanda says...

    Thank you for the post from the Cut by Marielle Elizabeth. This is a real issue! I’m an American 18 living in Switzerland trying to participate in everything and struggling with finding and fitting a men’s XXXL as everything is sized smaller and not findable even if a brand makes it! I’m 5’10”- sure I could lose a few pounds but I’m trying to do those healthy things and can’t find the gear to let me do it and stay active with my kids! This is ridiculous!

  9. Eliot says...

    I moved away from Boston last August and that Smaht Pahk commercial has made me incredibly (second-)homesick!

    Happy birthday, Joanna!

  10. Stephanie says...

    Sitting at a birthday party listening to the other moms detail *all*of the activities their kids do and the relative accomplishments therein. The CTFD article was just what I needed 👍🏻

  11. And happy Twins day today – that’ll hopefully make your birthday weekend even better! I have to say that I have always been a bit envious about the special bond twins seems to share <3

  12. Ali says...

    Ha! The Smaht Pahk ad is hilarious. I’m convinced that Bostonians are the only Americans that understand the Australian accent. We don’t like R’s either!

    • Emma says...

      Apparently American English is one of the only languages in the world that actually utilizes the “R” sound!

  13. Mal says...

    I’m glad someone is raising the issue of size in ski clothing/outdoor apparel. I wear a pretty standard US 6 and finding ski clothing is a nightmare. I ended up buying an XL. I don’t know how anyone larger than me can do outdoor activities? It’s not just size either, it’s the cut of the clothing. They just don’t make outdoor clothing for women’s bodies. It’s as though they smack some pink of men’s trousers and call it a day. I can’t find a single brand which caters to larger thighs and a smaller waist. It’s a though only women with athletic builds are allowed to pursue sports. It makes me want to explode! Anyone want to start up a size inclusive outdoor activity brand?

    • Amanda says...

      Not ready to start it but sign me up as a future customer and evangelist!

  14. I seriously need the CTFD method. Thank you! And I’m so jealous of your impending sleepover—love that idea! And the teacher who hosts the fancy dinner: wow. It gives me hope for humanity!

  15. Caroline_Wadad says...

    That “chef’s kiss” emoji means a totally different thing to Arabs (and probably other societies). We use it as a warning, like “watch out” or “you’ll see what’s coming for you”. It’s particularly a source of terror to kids, who usually get it from an adult when they’re been caught doing something forbidden (e.g. that time you found and wolfed down a hidden stash of chocolates). Can’t wait to use it our way!

    • I absolutely love this. Hand gestures are so different in other cultures, and I never thought about how that translates with emojis!

      Thank you!

      Sandra

  16. Sasha l says...

    I love Patagonia.’s activism, but their sizing is obnoxious. I’m a size 4 and their clothes are often cut so close/tight that they don’t fit. Shoulders, biceps, butt, thighs…. Sigh. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for large sizes. I think an XL couldn’t fit much bigger than a 12 or 14, and you better have very skinny limbs. Ugh. It’s just ridiculous.

    On a more inclusive note though, LL Bean has a much larger range of sizes, and their clothes are cut more generously, like you can move in them if you have muscles. Wal Mart and Target also have affordable winter clothes in a bigger range of sizes and I’ve been pleasantly pleased with the quality for such low prices.

    • celeste says...

      Thanks for the recs! I am a big fan of Target, Walmart & OId Navy!

    • Steph says...

      Columbia Sportswear, Obermeyer, REI’s house brand, and Lands End carry sizes up to 3x in many of their winter sport outerwear and base layer styles. Worth taking a look.

      As far as Patagonia, I literally can’t bend my arms in some of their shirts, and I’m a straight size 10. And don’t get me started on their pants; I have to size up two sizes to get them over my thighs and then they gap at the waist like no other.

    • Kristen says...

      Also – Lands End has very size inclusive winter clothes and coats!

  17. Nigerian Girl says...

    Happy Birthday to you and Lucy, Joanna. Here’s to tons and tons of terrific years ahead for you two. Thank you for creating this wonderful space.

  18. Thea says...

    Hi! I loved the article about being to fat for winter! I would like to recommend Norwegian clothing brand Stormberg (I think it is possible to shop from them online, even from the US). I am short, but chubby, and they do sports apparel and snow clothes (we do live winter here in the north) in petite lengths up to XL. AND they make winter outerwear up to 5XL! And sizes generally run normal-to-large. They are my saviour when all other sports brand end at L or tiny XL.

  19. Rashmi says...

    Wish both you sisters a lovely day and a fabulous year ahead. May you be happy, peaceful and healthy the coming year!

  20. Lela says...

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy!

  21. Happy belated birthday! Having a twin must be so much fun. I really enjoyed this post!

    -Nakiesia | getintheglow.com

  22. Claire says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna! Hope you have a wonderful celebration with your family and Toby’s cake. :) (And happy birthday, Lucy!)

  23. Abbey says...

    Happy happy birthday to you and Lucy!

    I’m dying at the new emoji 😂 After spending a lot of time in Italy this past year and learning Italian I now can’t see that hand gesture as anything other than “WTF??” Can’t wait to send it to my Roman boyfriend.

  24. cew says...

    Okay, CTFD bugged me. The internet always makes it seem like there’s a contest on to see who’s The Most Chill Parent. Not into it.

    • Sara says...

      I am not a chill parent at all, in fact I’m a pretty high-strung, anxious, worried parent and I loved the CTFD article.

      Sometimes when I find myself in a stress spiral about some minor thing like “Is my kindergartener’s handwriting sloppier than her classmates? Do I not spend enough time writing with her at home? Am I a terrible parent because I let her watch an hour of tv after school yesterday instead of doing some kind of enriching activity, and would her handwriting be better if I had??!” its good to reminded to CTFD. She’s fine. Her handwriting is fine. We do many enriching activities. I don’t need to be a perfect mom, just a mom who tries her best most of the time.

  25. Susan says...

    Happy birthday!

  26. Erin says...

    Hi, Cup of Jo team, could you please spell it out if an embedded link in this type of round-up post goes to a sex-toy website? I sometimes read your site from my work computer and would like to be able to identify such links without clicking them, as my employer has specific rules about content that should never be accessed from work machines. (And yes, you did say “sexy combination” — but I really liked your recent date-night-outfit post and assumed you must be referring here to a combination of CLOTHES. LOL.) Thank you!

    • bonnie says...

      Hear, hear! Did the same and closed it faster than if I were playing whack-a-mole. The company’s name meant nothing to me, so…

    • Colleen S says...

      Yes, it does.

    • Irene says...

      Agreed! (as a student with Uni WiFi at home with VERY strict rules…)

    • Caitrin says...

      I also wasn’t sure where it was leading hahaha

    • lori says...

      Ha! I thought it was referring to clothing as well!

    • Renee says...

      It would be so helpful and most appreciated if you included the link source so we know ahead of time where we’re clicking to. e.g., “Apparently, I’m too fat to ski.” (The Cut)

    • Ann says...

      Another time a link for a vibe opened up straight to my shared amazon prime acct w my brother!! It was mortifying bc I wasn’t sure if it would be saved in my searches lol

    • Christina says...

      Agree! A little “NSFW” tag at the end would be so helpful in this and even some of the articles.

    • CAITLIN says...

      Totally agree with this suggestion-I only read from work, too!

  27. Anna says...

    Happy birthday!! Hope it’s a wonderful day and year ahead.

    The teacher comment brought tears to my eyes. What a way to make littles feel proud, big and important. You are such a thoughtful teacher, Tess.

    And the CTFD method – amen. Yes, yes, yes.

  28. Alexis says...

    Every week just the loveliest round up. Things I was thinking about, things I wasn’t and now am glad I’ve seen, things I quickly and compulsively forward on to my sister/tribe/raft. Thanks for doing great work keeping all of us interested and afloat in the world.

  29. C.N.B. says...

    OMG, thanks so much for Smaht Pahk!!! I am a long time reader and also work on the team that created and produced it, so it makes me SO happy to see it here!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      It was hilarious!!

    • bonnie says...

      Love it!! But what happens when the other car’s driver returns and it’s too tight to fit into?

    • Emily says...

      It was so good to see David Ortiz!

  30. AM says...

    Happy Happy Birthday to you and your sister!🎂
    Enjoy your birthday weekend!
    Love love love your blog ❤️

  31. Denise says...

    A very Happy Birthday to you & your sister! I agree that it’s so difficult to find plus size winter wear but luckily Columbia Sportswear has some basics and it’s quality stuff. Thank you Columbia. Plus Finland’s women leaders are amazing & Snow Art is also stunning. Thanks for the fun links.

  32. Laura says...

    Random lettuce tip. If you buy heads of lettuce instead of bags, wrap a dry paper towel around them before you stick back in the fridge. I’ve had lettuce last weeks this way!

    • Rae says...

      Or a clean tea towel! Or wash it all, spin it dry, wrap in tea towel and put in a glass bowl or plastic bag . It stays so fresh and crisp and is ready to eat. Future you will thank you ; )

  33. joy says...

    happy birthdays to you joanna and lucy!!!

    • Happy birthday Joanna!
      I’m confused with the « chef’s kiss » emoji – having lived in Italy for a while, it means « WTF are you talking about », never saw it in other countries and assumed it only had one meaning!
      Btw, how are new emojis selected? Every year, they add seemingly random items (Swiss fondue, really?) yet some areas have none (like ballet and opera have zero emojis for them!)

  34. GOBLUEMOM says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna! Hope it’s your best year yet.

  35. Emma says...

    I just got chills realizing your connection to Paul (his book is powerful) and loved seeing that you know Jenny Komenda as well. This world is really so small and that thought makes the Internet seem so cozy today. Happy birthday to you and Lucy!

  36. Sally K says...

    CTFD sounds great. My kids are about your age. When they were in middle school I read an article in Reader’s Digest. It said that when your kids weren’t behaving the way you wanted them to behave, to ask yourself this question: “Is this going to matter in 5 years?” It is amazing how few times it will matter in 5 years and sometimes not even in 5 months, weeks or days.

    I’ll have to say that it made raising teens less stressful. It’s still useful when dealing with them as adults (so is remembering that my way isn’t the only way).

    • Sally K says...

      Happy Birthday!

  37. Taylor says...

    Trying to use the CUPOFJO code on Dame to no success! First order! Please advise!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      We are looking into it!

  38. Sadie says...

    Wishing you a very happy birthday! xx

  39. Angela says...

    Which one are you in the picture??!? I keep second guessing myself!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m on the right!

    • A says...

      Happy Birthday, Joanna and Lucy! Do I spy a Monchichi in the picture? Boy, does that ever take me back!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes!!

  40. Loesie says...

    Happy birthday to you both!
    Hope your sister and her daughter are well.
    Happy celebrating 😊

  41. Libby says...

    I’m so looking forward to Normal People!!!

  42. maywyn says...

    Happy Happy Birthday To You & You!

    Smaht pahk!
    Makes me laugh and miss my MA homeland…and accent.

  43. Amber Grady says...

    Happy birthday!!! I love the reader comment; what a wonderful teacher!

    • Stephanie says...

      Happy Birthday! 🎈

  44. Mimi says...

    I SO agree with Marielle’s article. It simply doesn’t make sense that I cannot find snow pants that fit me, even though I’m just a 1X–a regular middle aged chubby mom! I have finally found that LL Bean has sporty clothes for me, and they’ve become my go-to for everything.

    • Sally K says...

      LL Bean is also my go-to for most things.

    • t says...

      Hi Mimi, I came here to say that LL Bean and Land’s End both have winter sportswear for plus sizes. They aren’t super extended sizes (only up to 3x I believe) but the author’s article makes it sound as though they don’t exist.

      Just like you can’t walk into patagonia, REI, Burton, etc and find affordable winter gear, you can’t walk in and find plus size winter gear. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I wish the author would have given a nice shout out to those companies that do offer options for us plus sized winter activity enthusiasts.

  45. agnes says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! Having your children cook for you or just express their love on that special occasion is such a fantastic gift! Enjoy and please be on the picture! Thank you so much for your great writing and ideas, the world is better with you!
    (Tess, you’re a great teacher!)

  46. Soleil says...

    Did anyone else find reading Normal People very depressing? I just felt so sad for her. I kept wishing she would just get over him. I don’t think I can watch the series.

    • Sarah says...

      I totally agree, Soleil. I also thought it glorified trauma. Several friends felt the same way.

      I’m enjoying Caroline’s recommendation from the other day: “The Course of Love.”

    • CB says...

      Definitely very depressing. Also unpopular opinion: boring. I can’t even conceptualize how they’d make a tv series out of the book since not that much happens…

    • Olivia says...

      Agree re both depressing and boring. Really did not understand the hype at all.

    • Kara says...

      Same, I couldn’t even finish it. I loved the exploration of the friendship and wish it could’ve just focused on that. I tried watching the trailer and cringed so much I had to stop haha!

  47. marie says...

    OH how I love Saul. I didn’t know he was a musician too, I will check his music out! I am re watching the entire series, my husband’s first time. We are finishing the 5th season right now. I sure love Peter Quinn too. Last night I was with a friend from Pakistan and she said, please don’t think it is really like that there! She said the show makes it looks way worse than it is. It was so interesting to hear her thoughts.

  48. Rachel Roberts Powell says...

    Happy Birthday, Jo! Just laughed hysterically at the CTFD Parenting Method, and immediately sent it to 3 people. Thanks for the laugh! xo

  49. Kay says...

    The happiest birthdays to you and your sister Joanna! xx

  50. EliseB says...

    Saul Oh, my! Another thing about him and his wife (in real life) is how much great humanitarian work they do. More of a crush, I know. He is a talented, kind, thoughtful human being. Bravo!

  51. Meredith says...

    Wishing you and your twin the happiest birthday! (I’m a twin, too! It’s the best!) Thanks for this awesome community!
    XOXO

  52. Brittani says...

    Happy birthday! Is that your sister that looks like the spitting image of Anton??

  53. Marie-Eve says...

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy!! I wish you both a wonderful birthday weekend!!

  54. Natalie says...

    Thank you so much for featuring the article by Marielle Elizabeth! She is amazing!

  55. Laura says...

    That photo! Totally Anton’s face on the left and Toby’s on the right.

  56. Jenn says...

    Happy birthday! You two are the cutest, I love all the pictures of your childhood!