Design

Four Fun Things

babysitters club

Ten-year-old Toby has a new obsession: The Babysitters Club. First, he devoured the TV series (it’s excellent), and now he’s tearing through the graphic novels. The middle school characters are super smart, funny and kind, and Toby says, “I’d want them to be my friends.” — Joanna

window swap

Tired of staring through your own window day after day? I love Window Swap, where you can instantly see the view through someone else’s window around the world, from India to Chile to Austria (above). — Joanna

jcrew chambray shirt

All the clothes I want to wear right now are loose and breezy, so this (perfect fitting) chambray shirt and drawstring linen pants feel like the ideal outfit. You could wear it all day — talking on zoom, walking around the neighborhood, and sitting on the stoop having an Aperol Spritz. — Joanna

Black Frasier

Phoebe Robinson — of 2 Dope Queens fame — is launching an interview-advice hybrid podcast called Black Frasier on August 11th. Phoebe (who has never seen an episode of Frasier) will interview a new celebrity guest every week and dole out helpful, hilarious life advice. Hear a sneak peek here! – Kim

P.S. More fun things, and TV shows to watch as a couple.

(Window swap via Swissmiss.)

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  1. Carrie says...

    The Baby Sitters Club is the best thing about 2020.

  2. Cheryl says...

    The Babysitter’s Club was the first book series I ever read. I was six and I loved Stacey and Claudia (who had me at telephone earrings).
    Now I have a seven year old daughter, Zoey, who is a Type 1 Diabetic, like Stacey. She was in awe to see a character like her depicted on a TV show and would watch the episodes on the edge of her seat with excitement. I thought my heart would burst.
    The absolute best part is recently, when a girl Zoey’s age was swimming at the pool asked her about her insulin pump, my daughter replied she’s Type 1. Usually this explanation is met with a vacant stare because it’s a pretty rare disease and not easy for kids to grasp.
    “Oh,” the girl replied, with a big smile. “Like Stacey from the Babysitter’s Club! Cool!”
    Zoey was overjoyed.
    Needless to say, Stacey is her favorite character too.

    • Judith Read says...

      Thank you for this. I am storing this knowledge for when my 4 yr old type 1 diabetic granddaughter starts to read. So important to find characters you can identify with.

    • Kristian Olson says...

      As a fellow Type 1 this made me smile so much!

  3. Jodie says...

    Just looked at Window Swap during my lunch break. Wonderful. Even saw a cute big black cat staring back at me in Kansas. LOVE!

  4. I didn’t read the books, but my 18-year-old and I have been watching and it’s so cute and calming and just what we need right now. Very well done and all the accolades are well deserved.

  5. Nicole says...

    I cannot wait for Black Frasier!! 2 Dope Queens is my all-time favorite podcast, and I am so excited to hear Phoebe again. 2020 is looking up! (Ever, ever so slightly.)

  6. Diana K says...

    I’ve been a Claudia since 1998.

  7. Jennifer says...

    Has Toby tried, “The Inbestigators” on Netflix? It’s an Australia TV show and my son loves loves loves it.

    • Alissa M says...

      Thank you for this recommendation I saw your comment last week and my nine-year-old twins and I have watched most of season one of The InBESTigators” since then. What a sweet, funny, and kind show! We completely love it.

    • Jennifer says...

      Alyssa M- oh I’m so glad! My son and I probably say the phrase, “aloe Vera, how you doing, Vera” every few days, we’ve watched certain episodes more than once!

  8. K says...

    I’ve been looking out my window so much this quarantine, it’s so soothing and replenishing! Definitely lots of stuff going on out there, Definitely took lots of video, feels like my own little Sofia Coppola movie. I can’t remember people hanging out on their roofs so often during pre-covid summers!

  9. K says...

    i loved babysitters club! it is bittersweet to enjoy a show about middle schoolers, what a special time! I love how they portray it with such purity, the girls are down to be friends with nearly everyone without self-consciousness or judgement, that often creeps in in just a couple years. Whereas usually high school shows are a guilty pleasure in a different way, since they usually still revolve around romance plots or “adult” issues, just with teenage protagonists.

    It reminded me of of being that age sooooo long ago and yes having crushes but having so many more innocent interests. Enough independence to be a big kid to little kids, but still innocent enough to simply wanna craft and play in the backyard.

    Made me think of the kids I used to babysit who are just slightly younger than the BSC girls, and how much they would enjoy the show!

  10. Kristy Lin says...

    i actually usually don’t like that kind of thing (except as a kid in the 90s obsessed with adidas!) but thought it was a nice touch on these!

  11. Kat O says...

    Oh man, for anyone who grew up with the original Baby-Sitters Club – the new series is AMAZING! I know I’m way too old but I watched the entire thing, and it really blew me away how well done it is. It stays true to the important parts of the series but it’s updated in really seamless, meaningful ways. Highly recommend.

  12. Julia says...

    I read all the babysitter clubs books growing up and was so excited for the TV show! It was so great and I loved it! Glad to see a new generation of children enjoying the books and I cannot wait to share them with my future children.

  13. Angel says...

    Window Swap is so fun! I especially like when there are cats in the window!

  14. C. says...

    I always love the 4 fun things post.
    Love the Babysitters and the window thing is kind of a wonder.
    Those are v. cute pants too- they are out of my size but I will check back and maybe luck out.
    My four fun things this week are a ghost key ring from Laurien Stern, Derry Girls on Netflix, re-reading Tiny Beautiful Things, and smoothies made with lots of berries and almond butter.

    • Agnès says...

      Nice that you’re sharing your 4 things. It’s a good exercise! for me, it would be: watching “les vacances de monsieur Hulot” by Jacques Tati, with my 6 y-old -he found it hilarious and weird; summer fruits (strawberries, cantaloupe); “La tête dans les nuages” an amazing book by a french cow-boy Brice Delsouiller -probably not translated but for the french readers-, and going to the pool every morning and watch my boy be excited about swimming (we are in Paris, France, not confined anymore).

    • C. says...

      Hi, Agnes- the pool! oh, I so want to be at the pool swimming laps! Pools are all shut down here. Enjoy – I am sending happy swimming vibes from Austin, Tx.
      I will look for the book and see if there is an English translation.

    • Agnès says...

      C. here is a link to a documentary about this french cowboy, Brice Delsouiller, the images are beautiful. Thanks for the good vibes, I’m off to the pool now, I will be thinking of you in Texas, I promise. You’re brave and strong!

    • Olivia says...

      Derry girls is on my top 3 of all time shows list, I come back to it again and again, it’s brilliant!

  15. Maria says...

    Oh, I love Window Swap! Thanks for sharing 🌻

  16. TM says...

    I will check out the Black Frasier podcast. Thank you

    • Lia says...

      I was so nervous about the BSC show on Netflix being terrible because I was a huge fan of the books for pretty much my entire childhood – I had the whole collection and still remember the thrill of rolling up to a Waldenbooks to get the latest book or mystery or super special or whatever. But! I have been watching it with my daughter who is, at 7, roughly the same age as I was when I started reading the books in the 90’s, and I LOVE IT. It is so well done. I think I have cried in almost every episode and in general I am not big on nostalgic resurrections of things and crying. It is just THAT good and so well adapted to modern issues! My daughter loves it, too, and it is a nice thing to bond over. She is also obsessed with Raina Telgemeier’s books so the fact that she did the graphic novels has her hugely excited and she has started devouring them. Glad to see this has aged well! Now I just need to figure out what my parents did with all my old books. TREASURE!!!

  17. Jen says...

    Slooowly getting used to the phrase ’10-year-old Toby’.

    • Ashley says...

      Came here to comment the same thing.

      Feels like a typo, Jo. He was just born.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha me too!

  18. Lisa says...

    Love the link to the graphic novels. My daughter has been watching the show on Netflix and didn’t seem too interested in the novels, but she has loved Raina Telgemeier’s other graphic novels. Adding this to our library wishlist now!

  19. jane says...

    Welp I just invested an hour into window-swap: it’s genius. Loved the Rochester NY one where we hear the woman tell her partner:
    “I need you to do two things for me: write down that we need boullion.
    Response: “done”
    “and subtract 80grams from the red lentils”.
    Response: “ok”.
    “Thank you.”
    I don’t know why that exchange was so sweet, I guess because we got two windows into their world for the price of one : )

    • Tania says...

      It’s truly wonderful (both windowswap, and that exchange!) I didn’t hear anyone talking in my 20 minutes of scrolling, but it was a wonderful to
      “see” the world when I can’t otherwise go anywhere!

    • Joyce says...

      I am loving Window Swap!! That exchange is precious. I am obsessed with all the cats!

  20. Emily L says...

    I love that outfit, BUT I really hate stripes down the side of pants! It reminds me of the late 90s trend and I just can’t see any instance where I think it looks good outside of running pants. So I guess I mostly love the outfit!

    • Tania says...

      Agree! I thought maybe it was a trick of light but nope, they’re stripes. I actually kind dug it in the 90s, but you know, I’m almost 40 now…

  21. K says...

    Toby, I love the new Baby-sitters club show too!

    Such a sweet nostalgic show – good for these times. :)

  22. Lauren E. says...

    The window view made me crack up, as my current window view is out my apartment which is at eye level with the elevated subway tracks where construction workers regularly pee off the edge of the platform! So fun, right?! I wonder if anybody wants to see that view?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha I kind of do!

    • liz says...

      me too (kinda)! lol

    • Brooke says...

      hahaha, that’s hilarious, Lauren!! ;p

  23. Ana D says...

    I’m so so so so so glad Phoebe Robinson has a new podcast, and that you were kind enough to tell us about it! Shudder to think I could’ve missed it. Can’t wait to listen to her new podcast episodes before all the other episodes in my podcast queue again.

  24. Maryn says...

    SO SO SO happy to see the Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix featured here! I watched it way too fast—something about it was so healing for me (and I didn’t read the books growing up). I love how they included complex themes in a kid-appropriate way.

    • Susan says...

      As a 34 year old, I DEEPLY enjoyed this show. It is so pure hearted. I love love loved the books growing up and they followed the storylines pretty well, while making it a little more up to date. I love/hate that Alicia Silverstone is the mom, while she’s lovely, it makes me feel even more like the mom that I am. LOL

    • Brooke says...

      Susan and Maryn, I devoured the show too and am so ready for the next season. I found it really healing! Something about seeing girls in that pre-highschool stage, full of life, strength, courage, opinions, insight, tenderness, and tackling tough real personal and social and political things felt really validating. I felt my 12 year old me inside shoulders relax and feel seen. What a gift this show is and how dear that 10 year old Toby is soaking it in, that makes me so happy to think of him interested in these girls’ complexity and wanting to know them and be friends.

  25. Ellen says...

    Okay, Window Swap is awesome! I just spent some time looking out at snippets of Copenhagen, Glasgow, and Istanbul! :) thanks for sharing the link, I never would’ve found it otherwise.

  26. Denise says...

    I loved The babysitter’s Club. I watched it between episodes of Queen of the South and before bedtime to cleanse my mental pallet. I loved the books as a kid.

  27. My husband is tutoring an eight year old boy this summer, and he is obsessed with the BSC graphic novels, too! I was about that age when I started reading the chapter books, so I am really glad the series is reaching new audiences!

  28. Lauren says...

    So excited for Phoebe’s podcast!!
    Also, grown ass woman who loved the baby sitters club. Felt like a warm blanket or Annie’s mac & cheese – comfort food thats good(ish) for you.

    • Brooke says...

      Lauren, the Annie’s mac n’ cheese is the PERFECT metaphor….hippie yummy nourishment!!

  29. Emily says...

    I’m an 80s kid, so I read the Babysitters Club right from the beginning! The new series is SO great (I’ve already shed a few tears!!) I love how they’ve modernized it and made it even more representative – so important for young kids.

  30. Colleen S says...

    How can people walk around in long-sleeve shirts? It’s always 100+ degrees where I live, and even tank tops and shorts are too much clothing sometimes. I know fabric makes a lot of difference, but long sleeves sound awful.

    • liz says...

      i normally hate sleeves in the summer (even short sleeves), but unfortunately I live with and work with (when I used to go into the office) folks who like to blast the AC so I wear long sleeves basically everyday while indoors : (

    • Gretchen says...

      Long sleeves, but you’re cooled off because the shirt is unbuttoned to the waist.

    • Colleen S says...

      I’ve worked in that kind of office environment. I’ve also lived with my dad, who believes running the AC at 70 is ideal, while everyone else is freezing.

    • Lisa says...

      Same. So hot here that my kids basically lounge in underwear all day, only to change into swimsuits, and then pjs. It’s linen house dresses and shorts from May until at least September for me.

    • Elizabeth says...

      I have that question about wearing tights or leggings in the summer. It’s hot where I live yet I see so many women wearing these. I don’t wear pants, of any fabric from May into September — skirts are so much cooler. Are there warm weather tights/leggings I don’t know about?

    • Lilly says...

      Personally I find it keeps the sun off me! If they’re loose/breathable enough, I actually find them cooler than sleeveless sometimes depending how much of the heat you’re getting is from sun exposure. White or light blue especially will reflect away a lot of sunshine.

  31. Allie says...

    I second/third the Babysitter’s Club recommendation. My boys, 12 and 10, both loved it (they also loved the graphic novels) and I enjoyed reminiscing about the books I loved as a kid. They did a great job of updating/modernizing the story and characters without losing the heart. Claudia will always be my spirit sister.

    • K says...

      Seriously, Claudia Kishi club! And Alicia Silverstone as a mom! I teared up on some parts.

    • Lily says...

      Did y’all watch the mini documentary “The Claudia Kishi Club”? It’s about the impact that the character of Claudia Kishi had on the Asian American community. It resonated with me so much. I think I enjoyed it even more than the actual BSC show!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh wow, I’m going to watch it, lily! thank you!

  32. Frédérique Poirier-Patenaude says...

    Hi Jo! Where can we buy those pants? Xx

  33. Louisa says...

    Just opened a window and saw people in Amsterdam enjoying coffee! while others walked by! and no masks! And then saw a green hillside in Wales and googled Glanamman.

    I picked up my 6-year-old daughter yesterday to walk 1.5 miles home from the park, and she said “can we get lost and have an adventure on the way home?” and so we did. 3 hours later we finally got home for a late, cold dinner. At some point on our walk she said something like “this is fun but I really like adventures in new places.” Me, too, my traveling sidekick.

    • Louisa says...

      … wait a minute! It’s also daytime in Amsterdam, and raining in a window into NYC. So I’m guessing these aren’t in real time!

    • Bonnie says...

      Nope, Louisa – Window Swap is not live. They’re recorded 10-minute spots that folks can upload.

  34. Maya says...

    I love how NORMAL it is for a boy to enjoy stories driven by girls. Rock on, Toby!

    • Louisa says...

      Totally my thought, too!- our neighbor and good friend (a 6 year old boy) thinks of watching “girl movies” as a punishment – it’s a running joke in his family but it hurts my heart. Nice job, Toby.

    • Alexandra says...

      Yes! I was thinking the same thing. It shouldn’t be a big deal but I know so many young boys who wouldn’t watch “a girl show.” Love to hear that Toby loves this show and would want to have the girls as friends!

    • liz says...

      yes! Rock on, Toby, AND great job, Joanna + Alex :)

    • Jessica says...

      It may be regional, but every single boy in my son’s 4th grade class (in Chicago) loved the BSC graphic novels. It didn’t even dawn on them that this was a girls’ book. I also don’t know a single teenager who actually identifies as “boy/man” or “girl/woman,” they all identify as some iteration of gender queer. I think this generation of kids has vastly healthier and more advanced views of sex and gender. Thank goodness, toxic masculinity is so dangerous.

  35. G says...

    Ooo I love the window website! I’m looking out at the ocean from inside my tiny office in Minnesota. <3

  36. Samantha says...

    I. LOVE. WINDOWSWAP!!!!!!

  37. b says...

    The window site is very cool. Also, v. excited for Black Frasier.

  38. Amy says...

    Thanks for the suggestion about Baby-Sitters Club! My 9yo LOVED Raina Telgemeier’s other books and will probably consume these equally. I didn’t even know there was a show – we’ll get on that too. Yay!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the show is so great and very faithful to the books!