Design

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

the north fork

What are you up to this weekend? We are going to the North Fork for a little getaway. I’m looking forward to sitting on the rocks and being a wuss about the cold water. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

Which TV beard do you like best?

The TV show Search Party is so much fun to watch.

I swear by these for at-home workouts.

Will you listen to the new podcast Nice White Parents? (New York Times)

Peanut butter and jelly pie.

An invisible house in Joshua Tree.

Would you go to couples therapy with a friend?

Wow, these designer cakes.

The tiniest animal sculptures.

How pretty is this pizza (of all things)?

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Sarah on what are your family rituals: “When my mom is too tired or too busy to make dinner she always declares, ‘Mermaids only eat hors d’oeuvres!’ and we eat chips and salsa or finger foods for dinner. She was 100% influenced by Cher in Mermaids, so it always made me feel spontaneous and cinematic. Now that I’m an adult and live alone, I still find myself loudly announcing it on nights I don’t plan on cooking.”

Says L. on what are your family rituals: “When my (very adult now) kids were smaller, I began asking for their self-portraits as my birthday gift. Many years later, I enjoy the most incredible archive of their growing artistic skills, evolving concepts of self, and interests at the time. It’s still what I ask for, and they happily explore new media, formats and methods each year — often their portraits coordinate incredibly well with no overt communication. Can’t recommend this enough. Only wish we’d begun even earlier!”

(Photo by Sasha Maslov.)

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  1. Ashley says...

    As far as travel is concerned … we live in the US and our condo flooded a week before lockdown in our city started, so we were already at at Airbnb when it began. We quarantined at a combo of two Airbnb’s and a family lake house for 19 weeks before being able to return home. The Airbnb we moved to during the lockdown definitely worked with us on cleaning prior to arrival and felt safe. The move to the (empty) family home also felt safe and we were very careful on the drive there and back.

    So I do think that travel can happen safely if you’re careful about it. And it’s nice to get a change of environment if you’re able to!

  2. Raleigh says...

    Jo & friends, this weekend post was exactly what I needed. As much as I want to be passionate 24 hours day 7 days week about every single issue, my “safe space” to start the weekend used to be your Friday post, and lately I’ve just felt so overwhelmed by guilt for not having more energy and pizzaz and excitement for every valuable and important topic link on Friday night after diligently advocating and fighting and working healthcare all week (plus school nights, lunch breaks, and weekends for another degree). This was the first post in a long time that felt like “coming home” to the CoJ I fell in love with many years ago, and one that I didn’t feel terrible guilt about opening on Friday night. This literally ushered me into the weekend with some positive, mellow, nice links. For all the pain in the world and angry family and friends, there are still sunset beach pictures, peanut butter & jelly pies, and pretty pizzas. Deep sigh. Thank you. <3<3<3<3

  3. Jordan G says...

    Love the self portrait idea! We did a version of this growing up – our elementary art teacher had us do self portraits on the first and last day of each school year. When we graduated elementary school, we got all of the portraits in a book. I still have my portrait book and I’m 34! My kids are starting Pre-K this year and I’ve already decided we will continue this annual tradition at home.

  4. Neile says...

    I hope you have a wonderful getaway!

  5. Julie says...

    I’m genuinely curious with the covid19 situation how many readers are able to go on getaways from home? I’ve seen other bloggers talk about getaways too but even here in Australia where our case numbers are lower we have restrictions on leaving home or our suburbs. for those who are still at home and can’t get away, what are your strategies for coping right now?

    • Sara says...

      My family rented an AirBnB cabin that was in a forest, along a river, but only about 45 minutes from home.

      We stayed at the house, made s’mores in the fire pit, threw rocks in the river, and went on a nearby hike.

      It was nice to get away for two nights, and also made returning home seem welcome.

      We have been very cautious about going anywhere since the pandemic started, but this felt safe. I’m grateful we were able to make it happen.

    • Andrea says...

      There are no real restrictions on travel within the US. Some states require a quarantine of people coming from other places, but that’s not really enforced.

      We’ve been mainly in our apartment for five months in NYC. We get out and walk or ride bikes in our area. We don’t own a car and haven’t taken a bus, subway or cab.

      We have been renting cars some weekends to go out locally to hike or go to the beach. These are safe and distanced activities, just not near our home. We start the weekend by disinfecting the rental and airing it out thoroughly.

      One weekend we went and stayed at a home rental an hour away. Again, we disinfected all surfaces and opened all windows and doors to air it out. We went hiking locally and to a drive in theater.

      Our emphasis has been on what we can do safely and not go stir crazy. I did see groups of unmasked 20 year olds out and mixing together last night. They made me want to scream.

    • Kate says...

      I’m in the US and most people I know who are doing summer getaways are renting a house that’s within driving distance and bringing all of their food and cooking at the house. My husband and I did this last week. Felt really low-risk because we only had to stop for gas and otherwise just stayed at the cabin we rented. We went hiking in the woods, swimming in the lake, etc. This isn’t against the rules where I live.

    • b says...

      I haven’t been anywhere since this all started, of course, but prior to COVID, my last vacation was in October 2018. I’m long overdue for something, but am staying put. I have a long-term goal that I’m hoping to accomplish by the time I turn 40 in August 2022, so I’m focusing on that. It’s going to mean a move (that will either involve a 12 hour drive or a 2 hour flight) to another state. My goal is that it will be my last move and end up being my forever home and I’m willing to forgo a lot of things to make this happen.

      I guess my strategy is making my dream come true and working toward financial freedom via my full-time job and my side hustle (both of which are remote and can be done anywhere there’s a strong internet connection).

      Am I disappointed that I may never get to be a nomad and travel the world? A little, but it’s okay. A LOT can happen in a short amount of time.

  6. Ellen says...

    Definitely adding Nice White Parents to my list!

  7. A says...

    I made the pb&j ice cream pie last night for my pb&j-obsessed family, 3 year old and husband! We opted for the potato chip crust(!) version. It tastes heavenly and eating it feels like such a celebration of summer, an unexpected highlight in this strange time. Highly recommend, even as a non-pb&j enthusiast!

  8. Amber says...

    Oh I love the self portrait idea! I am asking for this on my next birthday from my 2 sons!

    • Hita says...

      I am stealing this too! How lovely!

  9. Samantha Proctor says...

    We’ve been on the NOFO since June 28th and it’s been a dream. So good to be out of Brooklyn for a while. We all definitely earned this little reprieve.

    • Susannah says...

      We all did earn it, too bad only those with income thru this pandemic can be “out of Brooklyn” for a while. How did you earn it? Did you protest? Did you dismantle systemic racism? How did everyone else still stuck in Brooklyn in this infectious mess *not* earn it? Why aren’t we all at the north fork? Racism, income inequality, etc. people the color of my husband are racially harassed in Long Island. You don’t think it’s your neighbors because it’s not happening to you. Check your privilege.

    • liz says...

      I just can’t with all this. First, YES to everything Susannah said. Second, I have a handful of family, including senior citizens, who have lived there for 4 decades, before the area was a tourist destination. The fact that rich New Yorkers are now flocking there from literally where the virus is most prevalent in the WORLD to “get a little r&r” is so cruel. I really hope you packed a month’s worth of groceries with you and are not going out anywhere but the house you’re renting so you don’t keep spreading this thing and risking people’s lives. In my opinion, we haven’t earned the right to travel until the numbers stop rising.

    • Dorothy A Garcia says...

      Susanna- is “dismantling systemic racism” really the threshold for deciding whether or not we’re allowed to take a break? I hope not, because I’m enough of a realist to know that it’s never going to happen. Not in any of our lifetimes anyway. I’m a tired brown immigrant woman with a disability, whose soul has aged about two decades during this administration. Sometimes I need a damn break. I can’t begrudge other people what I would like more of for myself, especially if they are able to do it responsibly in a pandemic. You have no idea what kind of inner battles someone may be fighting when they only show a small sliver of their life online.

    • liz says...

      Dorothy — yeah, I think if anyone deserves a break, it’s those folks. Being a “realist” should make you realize that there are more cases in this country right now than ever. Trust me, I understand the quarantine fatigue! But we haven’t, as a country, earned a vacation yet. It seems to me that people are very happy to be chill about it until it’s their grandparents/parents/children who are in danger. Consider that when you travel, the people are residents to your destination may not have an option to leave. Containment is still important.

    • liz says...

      Not to mention that the medical facilities in those smaller towns often have much less resources to deal with outbreaks when residents do get sick

    • Dorothy says...

      Liz- yep, I’m a realist, AND in a high-risk category. And yet! We chose to rent a “cabin” (read: no amenities) in a rural county because we needed a break. We brought our own food and bedding, kept to ourselves, and enjoyed every minute. I think it’s crucial to note that there is a spectrum of risk involved in traveling. For example, there is no way I or any of my other family members would board a plane right now, stay in a hotel, or even drive to a hotspot right now. But we need to be more careful about how we communicate the level of risk associated with daily activities. If we limit the messaging to “absolutely no travel at all for anyone,” we run the risk of people choosing to clam up about where they’ve been, what they did while they were there, and who they were with. And that makes contact tracing and containment incredibly difficult.

  10. Meghan says...

    I read Big Friendship in two days last weekend and highly recommend it!!

  11. Joanna Schoff says...

    Im going to see my dad in the Hamptons (traveling from upstate NY) and will definitely hit the North fork too. Have fun!

  12. Amanda says...

    In the midst of all this COVID crazy, we’ve been undertaking an international move. I’ve been asking my kids to draw pictures of our family as often as possible, in part because I love to see what/how they draw and in part because I think that having pictures of our family hanging up in unfamiliar places reinforces the notion that home is where we’re together.

  13. katie says...

    I haven’t read Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman’s book yet, but I am totally going to purchase several copies for very close friends, write inscriptions telling each of them what they mean to me and send with love. I heart CYG and I enjoy their relationship.

    • Alison says...

      My copy from the library just came in! I’ve wanted to read it first before mailing copies to friends, but completely plan on doing the same thing. Love this <3

    • Marisa says...

      Hi Ryan- thanks so much for this link- I am trying to distract myself from being sad because my husband just left to visit his mom in Florida for 2 weeks. (he’s driving, bringing all his own food, etc.) and I really miss him. This blog is fantastic and really helping!

    • Bonnie says...

      Thank you for sharing the link,
      Ryan! I never would have seen this and am thoroughly enjoying the creativity and talent on this!

    • b says...

      You might love @pieladybooks on IG, too. She makes pies and designs the crusts based on whatever book she’s reading.

  14. Liz says...

    I would definitely go to friend therapy and am sad that most people would think it is totally bonkers.

    I also love the self portrait idea and second the commenter above that I would love to have my friends do this!

    • liz says...

      same! I honestly wish that was more normal because I have some friends I’ve known most of my life and who are like family, but we could reallly use some therapy to make our relationship better.

  15. LKB says...

    Oh! My birthday is on Sunday–plenty of time to start this with my 5 and 8 year olds. Thank you for the idea; I love it!

  16. Allie says...

    Big Sohla fan over here! Thank you for sharing that pie recipe I’m excited to try it :)

  17. As a therapist, I totally recommend going into friendship therapy! I’ve seen so many missed opportunities to save a friendship just because someone was afraid to say how they are feeling.

  18. Christie says...

    What a wonderful idea, re the self-portraits! I’m going to start asking for that as well.

    Meanwhile… it’s so weird to me to see people who are going on holidays right now. My entire city is locked down and no one is allowed to leave their home unless it’s for essential reasons. Nobody is even going to work or school much less on little getaways. Our borders are currently patrolled by police who will fine you for trying to leave the city.
    It’s really bizarre to see how different cities around the world are responding to coronavirus, and what is an acceptable level of risk different governments are all willing to take.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I hear you Christie! We were on lockdown for months and now have reached phase four of reopening so we feel okay taking a weekend away (just a couple hours away, still in ny). But it still feels a little strange to travel!

    • Laura says...

      Yes! This is totally going to be what I ask for. I can’t wait to see how my kids’ perception of themselves changes as they grow. Love this idea!

      Also not leaving our city. Vacation would be so fun, but I just keep savoring my plans for the future and knowing that if we’re careful now it’ll actual happen?

    • Lisa says...

      We live in London and have gone to France to stay with my in laws (and get a reprieve from childcare!). We had a tough lockdown from mid March until i can’t even remember when. Same for France (they started a few weeks before the U.K.). We booked to go stay with them the day they announced that people going between the U.K. and France dont have to quarantine. However, we are conscious that this may change. The foreign and commonwealth office have now said that if you travel back to the U.K. from Spain you have to quarantine, and France has had outbreaks in some areas. We flew – it was weird and stressful but actually ultimately ok (masks on the whole time, booking seats so we have rows to ourselves, avoiding other people). There’s most likely going to be a second wave in Europe in September, so we are seeing family while we can. I have family in one of the hotspots in the USA, and I have found it really odd to see them complain about the virus and the risk it poses to them (immuno disorder) and also complaining about having to wear masks at the same time. What is up with people?

  19. ellen e says...

    Thank you for sharing Sarah’s comment! I’m a singleton who’s just returned home from the market – with a taste testing of bbq potato chips for my i’m-too-hot-and-tired-to-cook supper. Mermaid food is a much better name for this entree!

    • Kristen says...

      This comment makes my morning. :)) That is all. Thank you, Ellen.

    • Erin says...

      For dinner last night, I made some guacamole and ate it with chips, followed by various odds and ends of leftovers from the fridge. It was very satisfying. Mermaid food FTW!

  20. Charlotte says...

    Ugh. All I can see when I look at that invisible house is all of the poor birds that must hit the windows! Birds fly right into those reflective surfaces :/

    On the other hand, Idris Elba’s TV beard? Pure and utter perfection. I don’t think there’s a more handsome man anywhere.

    • Charlotte says...

      I just read the owner says the birds aren’t harmed by the glass but that doesn’t at all seem likely.

    • Hayley says...

      I thought the same thing, imagine the number of dead or injured birds! The article does mention the birds aren’t harmed by the glass…but that has to be a bald-faced lie. Birds very often die by flying into windows and that’s even when the glass has other markers on it like muntins.

    • Jeannie says...

      I feel you, Charlotte! As soon as I saw all that mirror glass I was aghast. I also cannot imagine how that doesn’t harm the local birds.

    • GG says...

      For what it’s worth, birds are more impacted by clear glass facades where you can see into the interior bc it’s truly invisible, especially if it’s got trees and plants right up next to it. With mirror glass, they would see a bird flying directly at them (their reflection) and change course.

  21. Elise says...

    “Mermaids only eat h’orderves” is new life mantra

  22. Mbentley says...

    The self portrait for every birthday is insanely genius and something I will absolutely ask my boys to do.

  23. Maryann says...

    I love that suggestion about self-portraits from your kids as birthday presents. What a great idea – totally going to use it. My 11-year-old daughter is participating (thanks to her aunt) in the Memory Project and paints portraits of kids from all over the world. This year for birthday presents, she painted portraits of my husband and I. Seeing us through her eyes is so interesting and the best gift I’ve received in a long while.

    • A good post at a good time! Hey, it’s weekend! Thanks for the post. 🙃

  24. Requesting self portraits from your kids for your birthday is a genius idea! I wonder if it’s too pushy to ccasionally request this from friends too? How amazing would it be to have a hand drawn gallery of all of the people you love?

    • Louisa says...

      Totally doing this!!! Genius idea, Naomi.

  25. TINA says...

    Live the self portrait idea and curious to find out what the Nike-product is?

    • TINA says...

      LOVE!

  26. Susan says...

    I am looking forward to the podcast Nice White Parents, but it hasn’t started yet (1st episode is July 30). I have it on my calendar for sure!

  27. Ellen says...

    Nice White Parents isn’t available yet — not till July 30.

    • Tata says...

      Yeah. Definitely missed the caption on that one. Pay attention!

  28. Maryn says...

    Admittedly, the only thing on my radar right now is Taylor Swift’s new surprise album folklore. Anyone else obsessed with it? Or is my age showing? IT’S SO WELL DONE.

    • Britt says...

      Me too! I’ve listened to her since the early Nashville days and love this new sound.

    • b says...

      It’s so good. I don’t stan for Taylor Swift, but this new direction is perfection right now. I hope she keeps it up.

    • Maryn says...

      I’m a pretty new Taylor fan myself (I resisted for years and years), but if she keeps going this direction, I’ll be a fan for life!