Design

Have a Wonderful Weekend.

Olivia Rae James

What are you up to this weekend? We’re having a family game night tonight, since the boys just learned how to play Uno and Go Fish. They usually drift away after about 10 minutes, but it’s fun while it lasts, haha! Hope you have a good one, and here are a few good links from around the web…

Why Rachel should have ended up with Joey on Friends. Yes!!!

A week without plastic.

How cool would it be to live in a turret?

My dermatologist recommended this sunscreen, and it has made my skin look so much better.

Toddler feelings helpline made me laugh out loud.

Silent snow.

How Finland chilled at the Olympics.

Ummmm, this brownie pudding.

My friend gave me this book for my birthday, and it’s fascinating in all ways — career, parenting, relationships, vacations, etc.

Oh my gosh, the cutest baby!

Plus, a great reader comment…

Says A. on a Trader Joe’s breakfast hack: “One afternoon, I was shopping at Trader Joe’s with my little boy, who had not yet spoken a word. Developmentally, he was behind in speech, and I was anxious about it. We entered the produce section when, from his seat in the shopping cart, he pointed to the bananas and said ‘Bana!’ I had been waiting for him to speak for so long and couldn’t believe my ears. Had he actually just said a word?! I gasped and turned to the other people in the aisle. All of these kind people excitedly said, ‘Yes! We heard it! Your son said banana!’ I had so much pent-up worry for my son and felt overcome by this moment and his first word. Suddenly, a Trader Joe’s employee appeared with flowers and gave them to me, saying, ‘These are banana flowers. Congratulations on the first word.’ I will never forget that moment of kindness.”

(Photo by Olivia Rae James. Turrets via Of a Kind. Finland via Ashley.)

  1. Robin says...

    Oh, so many tears over that banana comment. When big things happen around a bunch of strangers and they embrace you like family, I can’t think of anything better. I was broken up with very publicly once, on a street corner. Three ladies whom I did not know and did not know each other stopped, gave me tissue, hugs, and man-bashed with me until I felt confident enough to walk into work (I know). I never saw them again, but think of them fondly and often.

  2. Lara says...

    Bought the sunscreen and even after a few days- oh my goodness is it amazing. I don’t love the smell, but I feel like my skin is glowing!

  3. Rebecca says...

    A week without plastic – wow. Thanks for featuring that.

  4. Laura says...

    Omg the toddler hotline – I am DYING. 🤣

  5. Emmanuella says...

    I haven’t even read the first article yet (mostly because I feel like I don’t even have to- but I will!) and I shouted outloud in my kitchen “yes! Exactly!” I have Discussed with so many friends why Rachel should’ve ended up with Joey. And Ross was legitimately happy with Emily. They should’ve stayed together. Rachel and Ross made each other crazy. Ok rant over. Haha

  6. Cool so the touching reader comments are just going to make me cry every week.

  7. Emily says...

    My mom is now a retired teacher, but when she used to be required to attend in-service meetings she would knit while listening to speakers (she said the hand activity helped her brain focus). One day an administrator asked her to stop and she literally said “I knit or I quit”. Never had another issue.

    • Sasha says...

      I like your mom.

  8. Heather says...

    We’re making an effort to replace plastic single-use items too! Honestly it’s been much easier than I expected, once we got the supplies we needed (extra jars/stainless steel tins and some net and cloth bags for produce and flour). Even better has been the warm fuzzy side-effect of helping me to get to know my food suppliers–from the butcher to the fishmonger to our greengrocers and ice cream parlour, everyone has been really supportive. Some will even take my bags to the supply room to fill for me, if the produce on display is in plastic. My kids feel proud, too. Net bags for plastic produce bags is probably the easiest first swap.

  9. Jay says...

    Hi Joanna! Can you make a post talking about couples that work from home?! Some tips to keep the spark alive would be helpful :O)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a great idea! will start working on that… xo

    • Emmanuella says...

      I got you, jay! Dividing walls! Out of sight, out of mind. Haha. It works great for me and my boyfriend who both work from home.

    • Jay says...

      Haha Yes, doing that now! I’m talking more about having to be “together” all day long :$

  10. Christina says...

    Joanna, you ladies should do a compilation of heartwarming experiences in the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Based on all these amazing stories, it sounds like they have a policy of giving flowers to people who need it – either for celebration or for sympathy. And sometimes even lollipops! It makes me want to go to TJ’s when I’m having my next nervous breakdown or monthly cry-fest! <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      seriously!!!!!! :)

  11. Laura says...

    And Ross’s need to be right was proven when he faked reading her long letter (horrible move) then later, had to scream out that they were on a break. His need to be right was more of a priority than a relationship with her. I did love David Schwimmer as Ross and was annoyed his friends teased him so much for his passion (hello, DINOSAURS) but was also annoyed at his seeming belief that it was superior. Also I’ll always love him for getting Phoebe a bike and do think Rachel egged him on when he was happy (with Julie, Emily, etc), but that’s another point to show that they did have a conflicting dynamic.

  12. I recently watched all episodes of Friends, again! I loved it like the first time but I got a it disappointed how it ended. Everyone seems to have reached some points or success but not Joey! xx

  13. Heather says...

    I teared up over the Trader Joe’s story!
    I’m also on the hunt for a new sunscreen and was looking at Elta MD. Glad to hear a good review. My derm recommended Zinc Oxide, but the amount does seem low in this product.

  14. I made an end-of-winter jollifer to post on Instagram inspired by the Winter Pick-me-up post from a couple weeks back. Find it here: instagram.com/p/BgKMrjFjqi2/?taken-by=laurazdesign

  15. Carrie says...

    Ok, the banana flowers made me cry. I love this community so much.

  16. Amy Cohen says...

    I too have been the recipient of Trader Joe’s kindness flowers! I had to stop in while I was in tears over something completely unrelated to my shopping trip and the employee at the register went and brought me flowers to cheer me up. I will always remember that thoughtful gesture. How wonderful that their company facilitates actions like this!

  17. Kelly says...

    I love Trader Joe’s just for things like this! I lost my grandmother in late January and was grocery shopping in TJ’s in northern NJ for things to sustain my family while we were together before the services. I go to pay and can’t find my wallet!!! I ran out to my car, thinking I just left it on my seat (I had thought I just stashed it in my jeans pocket) but no luck. I nearly start crying, explaining to the cashier what’s going on, when he calls the manager over, who has my wallet in his hand. It was found by someone in the parking lot and turned in…so not only are the staff wonderful, but also the customers. The cashier just held space for me, reassured me that I would get through the week (even with tears in my eyes!).

  18. Jeannie Kim says...

    that’s my sunscreen too. i have since also bought the body spray version and have a travel size too! it’s the best.

  19. This has been so great to read!
    Have a great week!

    -Daria

  20. Bannana flowers! That story is everything! In a world of school shootings, crazy politics, racism and chaos why can’t more people just celebrate the word bannana?

  21. Becky says...

    The Finnish Olympic Coach…. Knitting ! Gah! That just warms the heart!

  22. Nina says...

    Well that Trader Joe’s moment was lovely. thank you for sharing.

  23. Laura C. says...

    Well, the Joey-Rachel is an issue now. But altough it seems to me that yes, Ross was pretty selfish with Rachel, I like him, he made me laugh a lot.
    It’s a sit-com, it’s not reality.

  24. Rachel says...

    The banana flowers story really resonated with me. We are regulars at our local TJ’s, and my now 2 year old son has grown up walking the aisles and befriending the employees there. We’ve all become friends. One day, apropos of nothing, an employee found me at the check-out and handed me yellow roses “just because.” Little did she know that it was my late grandfather’s birthday, and he always presented each of us grandkids with yellow roses for all special occasions. I called my mom immediately, and I caught her on her way to Arlington National Cemetery to visit his grave. It was one of those synchronous moments that will forever stick with me (and keep me going back to TJ’s!).

    • Faith says...

      What a beautiful story!

  25. That Finnish coach is my craft hero! lol

  26. I always somehow end up scrolling through these posts of yours when I’m either trying to kill some time, completely bored or I should definitely be getting on with assignments haha x

  27. Heather says...

    My cousin’s only child, a beautiful 10-year-old girl, passed away and I was crushed. She left behind her best friend, Baxter, the family dog. I went to Trader Joe’s to buy a sympathy card for my cousin and some treats to mail to Baxter since I knew he was sad without his friend. I managed to keep it together until the cashier looked at the sympathy card and asked if I was okay. I started to cry as I explained what had happened and how I felt lost being so far away from family at that moment. I made it out to my car and the cashier chased me down with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and she gave me the biggest hug. I am tearing up as I type this remembering that simple act of kindness and how much I needed it that day. Trader Joe’s employees are the best!

  28. Nicole says...

    I am I the only one here who hated and still hates the Rachel and Joey combo? It felt so forced and just had writing to extend the plot line. And SOOO unbelievable! Joey is so superficial and shallow when it came to women, and despite the Twitter girl’s ideas, he remained so for the rest of the series (rewatching season ten now)

  29. I so very much agree that Ross is a terrible match for Rachel, almost as much as I think Mr. Big was a terrible match for Carrie! Burger, am I right?

  30. Ally says...

    That Trader Joe’s comment just made me blub into my morning coffee. So cute.

  31. Kate says...

    My worlds are all colliding! That brownie recipe was written by my very best friend since grade school :) So proud to see his work being featured and gaining notoriety!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s wonderful!!

  32. Kathleen says...

    Would love to see a post from all you cool ladies about what to know about moving to NYC for the first time! I’m starting a PhD program there in the fall, and I’m anxious for advice!! thank you xoxo

    • Agreed!

  33. Lauren says...

    The Trader Joe’s story made me cry. Sending love to you and your child. I read a related quote today that gave me chills: “Trust the Wait.”
    I have been nervously waiting for a few personal milestones to occur too and that quote and your story brought me so much peace.

    • Sarah says...

      Me too! So moving!

  34. Ann says...

    I also just finished reading The Power of Moments and I am reading it again and making notes this time! Such a great book full of really wonderful insights.

  35. Amy H says...

    Oh my goodness, the reader comment about the banana flowers… So much love for that beautiful story!

  36. Paula says...

    Umm.. anyone else tearing up from that Trader Joe’s comment?

    • Kaye says...

      Me me me! So glad that was shared!

  37. Did anyone else think the link to the cutest baby might link to a photo of their own baby? This was my first week back at work after maternity leave and I found myself just dying for people to ask to see pictures of my little girl so I could have an excuse to look at them myself.

    …I’m probably just crazy? I assume I’ll get over this?

    • Robin says...

      The need to show photos hasn’t gone away for me over a year later :) Congrats on getting through your first week back at work!

    • Sara says...

      What helped so much with my transition back to work was an appointment with a post baby transition coach from http://www.pre-conceive.com! Highly recommend.

  38. If y’all are interested in plastic reduction, maybe CoJ should featured a Erin Boyle from Reading My Tea Leaves! Her book Simple Matters helped me a lot just in terms of consuming less, but she also introduced me to so many alternatives to plastic in our home.

    • YES, PLEASE more posts about reducing waste, especially single use plastic. This has been one of my New Year goals for 2018. Let me tell you, once I started making an effort to reduce, I can’t help but see plastic EVERYWHERE. Bea Johnson and Lauren Singer are two interesting ladies in the #zerowaste movement as well!

  39. Amanda says...

    After talking for a while during th checkout process about my long week with my two little kids, a Trader Joes employee gave me a bouquet of flowers and it literally made my week! Love that they do this and are such friendly people.

  40. Megan says...

    Yay for TJ’s! I once got in a car accident and was grocery shopping there the next day. Noticing me wince when I picked up my tote, the cashier asked if I was ok and when I told him about the accident, he gave me a wheelie cart to take my groceries home in and keep — for free! I still have the cart and every time I use it I am reminded of that kindness.

    • Lauren says...

      Love this!!

  41. Mary says...

    I was shopping in Trader Joe’s right after my 1-yr-old had stitches in her face. I was really upset still and trying not to cry when an employee approached and offered my daughter a lollipop. Then he turned to me and said, “Do YOU want a lollipop? Looks like it was a tough day.” It was so thoughtful – I’ll never forget the kindness of that small gesture. I love the quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

    • Lauren says...

      How many readers are heading to Trader Joe’s right now?!? All these shared stories are beautiful

  42. Lisa says...

    Sunscreen is so tricky. It’s good to check the ingredient list and run the items you don’t know through EWG.

    The sunscreen you recommend has as the first ingredient octinoxate which is an endocrine disruptor, wreaks havoc on ecosystems when washed off, among other issues. Purely mineral based sunscreens are the only safe option, and there are brands that don’t leave a disturbing white film on your skin.

    https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/704203/OCTINOXATE/#.WqOZMnT6jqA

    • Esvee says...

      Thanks so much for this info! I checked EWG for this product but couldn’t find it, but found others in the same brand with pretty good ratings so assumed this product was ok too. Sunscreen is so tough. Titanium dioxide is the way to go I guess. Have to accept that it’s not going to go on perfectly though.

    • Kata says...

      Thanks Lisa, I have also been guided to physical sunblock products vs sunscreens. Cup of Jo: The word “sunscreen” is your first clue that it contains chemicals that can be problematic. Endocrine disrupting ingredients are found widely in many consumer products including plastics and cosmetics.

    • K says...

      Yes! I did the same thing! I’m always so disappointed when I see a new sunscreen I want to try and then it has one of these chemicals in it. I have to be especially careful since I’m still breastfeeding, but even if I weren’t I wouldn’t use a sunscreen with octinoxate. Ugh.

    • Kathy says...

      Can you recommend one that doesn’t leave the film?

    • Melaine says...

      If you’re looking for a fantastic sunscreen I use one that I recommend to everyone. It has made my skin so much better, and it doesn’t have any of the crappy ingredients everyone is talking about. It’s called Suntegrity. The 5 in 1 is the one I like. (I promise I don’t work for them.)

      http://www.suntegrityskincare.com/suntegrity-5-in-1-natural-moisturizing-face-sunscreen-tinted-broad-spectrum-spf-30/

      Joanna, if you ever want to do a piece on people switching to non-toxic beauty products I’d love to help. I’m obsessed.

  43. Thank you for the links! You are such an inspiration! Have a wonderful weekend!

  44. Kristen says...

    Man, your reader comments are the actual best! xo

  45. Sarah says...

    Wow, Trader Joe’s man. I’m honestly so unashamed when declaring my love for the store. My brother calls me Trader Joe’s queen and we joke about me camping outside so I’m the first customer in the store. The employees are generally so friendly and pleasant.

    Johanna,

    I also wanted to mention that I moved to TX this year and we’re two hours ahead of y’all. When I first moved, I kept checking back in the morning/evening but your posts were never updated. I thought something was off. And then I later realized it’s because of the time difference. Life felt a little weird and it took time to adjust, but I’m now adjusted to the new schedule. Just wanted to share that little piece of information to demonstrate how big of a role your blog plays in my life :-)

  46. Sandra says...

    That Trader Joe’s story is so sweet.

    As for our weekend, we’re getting checked/treated for lice since my son got it from a recent outbreak at school. We’re also vacuuming our whole house, drying everything on high in our dryer, and bagging the rest of our soft stuff that can’t handle high heat and keeping it stored away for a few weeks to avoid reinfection. Parenting can be pretty non-glamorous some days….

    • Eliza says...

      Dealing with pinworms over here and it’s the same (we had lice last year and I think worms might be worse maybe because you never actually know if you get rid of it! My doctor says “don’t worry about it. Dogs get fleas, kids get worms” but this is too disturbing for my neuroses to deal with!) I was so relieved to see Kristen Bell post on instagram about her family with worms right after I debated posting (and ultimately couldn’t bring myself to) about the comical tragedy of worms. Good luck with the lice! I feel your pain!

  47. Gina says...

    Aw, banana flowers had me tearing up! Also, that book sounds very interesting, am adding it to my huge list to read…
    My son and I are big Uno players (we have a Diary of a Wimpy Kid version!) and now I’m also enjoying endless Uno games with my niece’s daughters :) So much fun!

  48. Taylor says...

    I second the best grocery store comment. I had just moved to a new city the night before when I went to Trader Joe’s to stock up on groceries. It was a really hard move for me – I was moving to a city where I knew nobody, and leaving behind people and a city I loved. As I was checking out, I told the cashier it was my first day in my new city and how I didn’t know a soul. After he bagged my groceries, he walked me over to the floral section and gave me a bouquet and said, “Welcome to your new home!” It was the sweetest, kindest, gesture and I immediately went to my car and started crying. I had been having such a hard time accepting my move, and that small gesture meant the absolute world to me. Such a great store.

    • Kat says...

      I love this so much! Thanks for sharing, what a beautiful memory.

  49. Stephanie says...

    I am loving that you posted a link about plastic! I have two boys (your same ages!) and am always considering the condition that we are leaving the earth for them. Plastic takes 500 + years to break down, so we haven’t even seen the toll that plastic has taken on our planet. This past year I have eliminated the following: paper towels, plastic bags, plastic water bottles, plastic bags for bagging produce (why, oh why, do people put bananas into plastic produce bags!?). I’ve been making simple swaps ( buying in bulk, making our own soap/ body wash, laundry detergent) and have seen the reduction of waste in our household. I wish more bloggers would recognize what a platform they have to spread the word about reducing our plastic waste for ourselves and future generations.

  50. Katharine says...

    Excited to see so many people in the comments working on reducing plastic! It’s been a major goal of mine for a few years and now I cringe so hard when my coworkers use and throw out plastic utensils EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’d love to see more written about reducing waste especially single use plastic. Lauren Singer ( https://www.instagram.com/trashisfortossers/ ) is an inspiration for me and it would be awesome to see a profile or something on her and other awesome people leading the way and living so beautifully!

  51. Carina says...

    It would be great if one of your upcoming challenges was to reduce the amount of plastic we use. It’s so hard to do, but I think a fun challenge would motivate me to try and perhaps form a few good habits. I’m thinking small things that each of us can do – like pass on the straw or unnecessary plastic fork, or take our own bags to the grocery or our own reusable cup for coffee. Just a thought! 👍

  52. Stacey says...

    I still consider Friends one of my favorite TV shows ever, but I will NEVER forgive them for not keeping Rachel and Joey together. They were so much better together than Ross and Rachel ever were. Ugh!

  53. Nilu says...

    I agree Trader Joe’s has yummy food and the nicest folks working there. My 6 yr old daughter was in an arm cast for the summer which she wasn’t thrilled about. The employee who was checking us out was making small talk with her. He was telling her a story of his daughter who also was in a cast. To make her feel better said she could pick out anything in the store-his treat! My daughter ended up picking up some chocolate peanut butter cups. It was really sweet for him to do. She loves reminiscing about this story all the time!! Kindness is Everything!

    • Sarah says...

      Their PB cups are THE BEST! I can’t have them in the house.

  54. Suzi says...

    This is the third time I have heard about Trader Joe’s giving mommy’s flowers! It happened to me when my then one year old had stitches in his lip and the kind cashier gave me a bouquet because he could see we had a rough week. They must have empathy training they go through :)

  55. Leslie says...

    That Trader Joe’s story just made my weekend. Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming and beautiful comment!

  56. Lady T says...

    That gorgeous pudding recipe is known as a Self Saucing Pudding here in Aus. It is the best, quickest, easiest dessert and the butterscotch variety is even better than the chocolate! We made it A LOT growing up and it’s still a firm favourite.

    • Kate says...

      Yes! Self Saucing Pudding piping hot with vanilla ice cream. So good! Mums’ recipe was written in the back of CWA book.

    • Katherine says...

      Yes! I went to look, all keen to see about brownie pudding, and then part way through the big excited lead up, I realised, this is self saucing pudding! How is this only just news in the States?! It’s been a regular feature for decades here for good reason. And yes, butterscotch for the win. Now I want pudding…

    • Anathea Ruys says...

      Ahhh. Made choccy self saucing pudding on Saturday night. A gloomy, rainy day in LA was the perfect excuse. I always pull out my old home economics book for the recipe – Cookery the Australian Way. Certain pages are so stained it is clear to see what I cook from it – lemon meringue pie, pancakes cupcakes….

  57. Britney says...

    Crazy timing about the Friends rant!! I SO AGREE. My husband and I are re-watching Friends right now and last night we got to the Joey has a crush on Rachel episode! I turned and looked at my husband and said, “this is my least favorite story line because it’s just so sad that it doesn’t work out”

    I think when I was in high school I was all about Ross&Rachel. Now watching it in my 30s and married, I CANNOT STAND ROSS.

    • Anna says...

      Agreed!! I loved Ross and Rachel when I was in high school/college, but now that I’m older I can’t handle him!!

  58. Lorange says...

    RE: the sunscreen, what kind of skin do y’all have and how have you seen improvements with this? Does it have a scent? Any white cast?

    • Julie says...

      Yeah I’d like to know if it has a scent too

    • Rose says...

      I’ve recently just started using another sunscreen called Naked Zinc by Naked Bee Which also has aloe, apricot oil, and sunflower seed oil in it. I had been meaning to get on the sunscreen train for so long but the idea of another step in the process of getting ready seemed like too much. But this was on clearance at a local shop. Honestly I believe it has been making my skin so much better. It does have a slight white cast but I’m already pale so it’s not too much of a big deal. Also it works well as like a primer underneath makeup. Sometimes I’ll just dust on some light bronzer around my face just to brighten things up. But I read sunscreen is a great barrier from environmental pollutants in general and I fly a lot so maybe that’s why it’s been helping. The back of the tube says it is “almost disappearing (we don’t want those zinc particles too small!)” Which makes me think you kind of want the white cast. And it evens out my skin tone. I think any sunscreen probably has similar benefits but COJ always knows what’s up when it comes to products so I’d go for it!

    • I have sensitive rosacea skin, and my derm recommended EltaMD sunscreen to me as well (I use the tinted SPF 41 version). I LOVE it. I started using it when my skin was more inflamed, and it was one of very few products that didn’t irritate my skin. The derm even used it on my skin immediately after a Laser Genesis treatment, and there were no problems. I haven’t noticed a scent. The tinted version works for when I need light coverage, and I have no problems putting foundation over it when I need more.

  59. Caroline says...

    Back in college, I was on my way to Trader Joe”s and got in a fender bender on the way. I was shaken up, but decided to continue on to the store anyway because I love it so much. When I got there, the store was out of almond milk, a key item for me. A staff member named Allison even checked in the back, but no luck. I must have looked unusually distraught, because she asked if I was okay. “I’m fine, I just got in a car accident and am still calming down,” I told her.

    And then I started to cry! I could never have explained this at the time, but my dad had passed away several months earlier and I was so sad I’d physically been unable to cry since it happened. So there I was, sobbing in the almond milk aisle in a packed Trader Joe’s on a Sunday afternoon, releasing months of grief and fear and sorrow, when Allison came back. She handed me a bouquet of flowers, and told me how sorry they all were about my car and that they hoped I could get it fixed soon. I’ve never forgotten that gesture, and I wish I could tell Allison all these years later that I remember her name and her kindness like it was yesterday.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Caroline, this made me cry. So, so, so sweet. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sarah says...

      Ah, what a tear jerker. Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie says...

      Crying here too, sweet gesture!

  60. Kathleen says...

    Tears for banana flowers!

    • Amanda says...

      YEs, I’m actually crying after a hard day, at the beauty and kindness of this. THANK YOU CofJ for sharing simplicity and beauty and values and empathy. It means a lot

  61. Lindsay says...

    This post, with the story about Trader Joe’s and the link to the guardian story about plastic use, brought up a really important pain point for me…I, like many, love me some TJ’s (the unexpected cheddar, amirite?) but I am SO DISTURBED by the amount of plastic waste that a single trip to Trader Joe’s yields. I recently read a story in the Washington Post about a grocery story in Amsterdam that wraps food in biodegradable plastic (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/02/28/a-supermarket-in-amsterdam-has-an-aisle-with-more-than-700-grocery-items-and-no-plastic/) and I thought, “How I wish Trader Joe’s would do this!” Could you imagine the impact? I’m one of those crazy people who rinsed out all the plastic baggies that my salad and nuts come in and then bring them to target or their grocery stores to recycle. I wish, at the very least, they would take the recycling! After a cursory google search, there are a few online petitions to get TJ’s to reduce plastic packaging, but they have only a few signatures. I’ve thought about writing letters myself because I really feel like TJ’s could be such a leader in this area if they wanted to invest the money, but I don’t know how powerful it would be. Anyway, I write all this to say that you clearly have a love for TJ’s as well, and a much bigger platform than I (a stay at home mom), so perhaps you could use your influence to raise the issue in some way to your followers?

    • Anna says...

      I so second this! The amount of plastic that comes out of a TJs shopping trip makes me feel a bit sick – so much of it is unnecessary! I won’t shop there because of the huge amount of waste involved. It would be so amazing if they took the lead of lowering plastic use.

    • Sam says...

      Yes! I love some of their products but I can’t stand the plastic especially on the produce. I can’t bring myself to buy lettuce, beans, etc there when most other stores sell them plastic free. And so much of their plastic isn’t recyclable! Come on Trader Joe’s!

    • MJ says...

      My local TJs in Los Angeles now uses compostable plastic bags for the fruit veggie aisles. They are fragile but get the job done for corralling the apples etc

    • This phrase has been repeating in my head: “There is absolutely no logic in wrapping something as fleeting as food in something as indestructible as plastic.” My husband and I have really committed to reducing our plastic consumption.

      I do also want to mention the facets of this issue, though. People always seem to want to come for pre-diced veggies or peeled oranges in plastic or plastic straws. Those are all accessibility products, and it would be ableist to ignore their impact for folks.

    • Jeannie says...

      I work in the environmental field, specializing in waste reduction/recycling, and YOU are a champion for not just your efforts but your attitude!!! YES, our country (state laws, most reasonably) needs legislation to alter the kinds of plastic packaging that’s used and/or ban certain parts altogether (plastic straws, utensils, etc). :)

  62. Esther says...

    Tearing up at work while reading the Trader Joe’s story. I know where I’m getting my groceries tonight.

  63. Madie says...

    Between the ballet dancing baby and the banana flowers, I’m all filled up. Thanks!!

  64. Elizabeth says...

    My husband is the king of chocolate cake mixes. Once he made a mistake and added too much water, and big, messy, gooey cake/pudding resulted. He still cringes when I remind him, but it was the most delicious dessert ever! Thanks so much for giving me a recipe so I can replicate that fantastic error!

  65. Sonja says...

    Ok, the Rachel & Joey tweet storm might be the most thoughtful thing I’ve read all year. And now I demand a remake!

    • Faith says...

      I second this!

  66. Emily says...

    I knew the sunscreen would be Elta MD before clicking – it’s the best! I also recently discovered Marie Veronique – their tinted sunscreen is amazing – not at all greasy or pore-clogging, and organic. Caveats are that it is pricey and they carry a narrow range of skin tones.

    • MM says...

      Me too!! I do the sport -higher spf for my dreaded melasma and no weirdness if you workout later!

    • I like Juice Beauty sunscreen!

    • Sammy says...

      I’ve been using Marie Veronique for years…they are what True Botanicals branched off from. I found the sunscreen to be a little greasy on top of their face oil but still use their face oil. Much better price point than True Botanicals, though still pricey.

    • Darcy says...

      EltaMD UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 made my skin red, dry and caused the top layer of my skin to have a crumbly appearance after two days of use. OUCH. It took a week of heavy moisturizer day + night to get it back to normal.

      And I don’t even have sensitive skin.

  67. Susan says...

    What a sweet Trader Joe’s story. I loved it!

  68. Funny! I had the same experience after having my baby. My first solo outing after 6 weeks and it really made my day!

  69. Jessica says...

    Always looking for a better (not outrageously priced) sunscreen…trying this out, thank you! And as if Trader Joe’s couldn’t get any better…sweetest story.

  70. Katie says...

    Joey + Rachel Forever! I have never stopped shipping those two.

  71. Loved the banana flower story :) What a touching read to start the weekend.

  72. Patty says...

    Toddler feeling helpline – the best!

  73. Joaquina says...

    Elta MD sunscreen is the best! Word is out because it’s now pretty much selling out at our local shops. I seriously love this product; non greasy, goes on so smoothly, and seems to be effective in its protection. Thank you for mentioning it.

    Also, the “week without plastic” is so incredibly powerful. My hometown of San Diego is looking to follow Seattle’s and Malibu’s lead in banning straws. Please, everyone, consider ordering drinks with a “no straw please” request. Together we can really lead to incredible change in minimizing our use of plastic!

    • Reducing plastic is an admirable goal, but people often go after things that are easy to give up for them specifically, like pre-peeled and chopped produce in plastic or straws, without considering the impact on folks living with disability. Straws aren’t just a common use of plastic, they’re also an accessibility device.

    • A says...

      Kelly’s point is a good one. My grandpa needed straws near the end of his life in order to ingest his liquids, he was a very independent man and it helped him keep some of that independence. That being said, if most people that don’t need straws did away with them, I imagine it would have a significant impact on the environment and the health of marine wildlife. There is no reason that we can’t encourage reduced straw use while still making space for and acknowledging that there are people who need them. The rest of us can pick up the slack.

      Side note: I love drinking out of straws but am giving up plastic ones. I am going to purchase some stainless steel reusable straws. There are also biodegradable straws available.

    • Eliza says...

      Kelly, I don’t know if this is possible and I know pretty much anything that’s not free when it usually is can be hard, but I actually bought stainless steel straws and I carry them with me in my purse and keep some in my car for our fast food outings and restaurants – I have enough that I can rotate and I can wash them and it’s fine. They’re not terribly expensive and since they’re infinitely reusable it’s a great option…as long as they don’t get lost or stolen or forgotten!

    • Heather says...

      There are silicone straws as well, if you’re worried about injury from a metal one–they’re squishy and easy to keep in your bag (I stick mine inside a little cloth pencil case). My kids prefer them to disposables–they feel nicer in your mouth, they’re a bit more generous, the colours are fun.

  74. Kari says...

    OH my heart – that Trader Joe’s story is simply the sweetest! The comments here always make me cry the best tears. I love this little community.

  75. Michelle says...

    Banana flowers = best comment of all time! So incredibly sweet!

  76. Stephanie says...

    If you’re looking for an “Uno-like” game that travels well – try “Sushi Go”. It’s fun for most ages and the card art is adorable!

    • Annie says...

      Yes! I second the adorable fun that is Sushi Go!

  77. melissa says...

    I knit every day and it soothes my soul. I am especially fascinated by Finnish knitting culture.

    I recommend the game Rat a Tat Cat. I never tired of playing it with my kids when they were young.

  78. OMG, even though I have SO MUCH grad school homework to do right now I had to read every word about Ross and Rachel and Joey and YES YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ON ALL COUNTS, CLAIRE!!!!!!!! Rachel and Joey Forver. Xoxoxo

  79. sarah says...

    Wow, “banana flowers” just made me straight up cry. So sweet.

  80. Julie says...

    Mancala!! My 7 year old loves it

  81. Wendy L says...

    Good God, that IS the best grocery store story ever!

  82. Shanna says...

    I clicked on the Trader Joe’s link earlier this week and immediately closed out….myy thoughts.. “wow check out all that plastic!”. So it is ironic that the link about plastic is up today. I am beginning with noticing, and then slowly trying to change my plastic use. Bulk and re-usable bags and slow changes.

    • Lindsey says...

      yeah, I love TJ’s for a lot of things but their practice of wrapping everything in plastic is a huge turn-off. I won’t buy produce or things from there that are unnecessarily wrapped.

  83. Jenna says...

    Do you go to Spring Street Dermatology? Because they got me hooked on that stuff too – it’s the best feeling face sunscreen ever and works so well!

  84. That story about the first word is so sweet. Makes me wish we had Trader Joe’s in Canada even more.

  85. Carrie says...

    Love the FRIENDS thing. Rachel and Ross have the least believable tv chemistry ever and it’s because of their story, NOT the acting! There’s no depth there!

    Oh and BTW “we were on a break” RACHEL>>>>>ROSS

  86. Amanda says...

    I don’t think you can get any better than banana flowers.

    • DIANA says...

      MY HEART!

  87. Sara says...

    Agreed that Joey and Rachel should have been endgame! I know I was in the vast minority of people who thought so, but I never got why it was such an unpopular pairing with fans of the show. For me, seeing those rich and complex relationships that start out as friendships and grow to “something more” in media, are always much more interesting and fulfilling to watch than those that start off with an immediate romantic connection.

  88. Christy says...

    Our family plays epic games. Over Christmas break we do marathons of rummikub. And tonight is the first night of spring break so I imagine we will play lots of Catan and Munchkin. Both are our family favs!

    • Yes, rummikub is soooo good! I’m the youngest in my family and I think we started playing when I was maybe 5? Young enough that I had a calculator on hand to make sure I had thirty points for my initial play lol

  89. Lis says...

    TJ’s mind/body/soul edition! Have to add this one-I was just waiting in the weaving line (DC TJ’s lines are marathons!), moving through another day during a very dark time. Making chit-chat with the cashier, she just blurted out, ‘You have such a positive presence, if no ones told you that today,’ and gave me a squeeze.

    Her small kindness, while I was getting peanut butter filled pretzels, is something I think back to so often-and made me take clearer note of the people around me. I cried the whole walk home.

  90. Melanie says...

    Thank you for posting Why Rachel should have ended up with Joey. I can’t watch reruns because Ross is SO aggravating! When he went to her office with a picnic basket and started the fire. If a woman did that to a man, she would have been called crazy; but he does it and he’s supposed to be romantic. I don’t think so! Respect her and her job!
    Same thing bothers me about The Devil Wears Prada. The scene when Andy’s friends take her work cell phone and throw it around to each other…what the heck? It’s her job and is it so wrong that she ends up respecting people there?! It’s called growth.

    • Same re: The Devil Wears Prada! Also when her bf is all mopey about his birthday.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Yes, Nora!!!

    • edie says...

      My parents and I think think Andy’s friends (and BF) were the worst. I love to hatewatch scenes with her BF because he’s such a loser.

  91. Lauren E. says...

    What a sweet story about Trader Joe’s!

  92. Elizabeth says...

    I had a similar experience at Trader Joe’s. About 8 weeks after my twins were born, I made a rare trip out of our home to run a few errands by myself. I stopped in Trader Joe’s and the cashier asked me how I was doing, and I told her I’d had twins a few weeks ago and this one one of my first solo trips since our babies arrived. She whispered something to the person who was bagging my groceries, and a few minutes later they were handing me a bouquet of flowers, telling me I was doing a great job as a new mom and giving me hugs. It was such a sweet gesture and meant a lot as I was so unsure I was doing anything right as a new mama.

    • lauren says...

      oh gosh, no big deal just sitting her SOBBING at my desk now. This is so sweet.

    • Megan says...

      So cool! These stories are making me cry too. I love when companies empower their employees to do awesome stuff like this – talk about making someone’s day.

  93. tears over the first word story. love trader joes!!!

  94. ROSS WAS THE WORST. I never understood how they could even be friends with him.

    And that first word at TJ’s story has me all teared up my desk.

    • K says...

      I hear you about Ross… but… I always felt that the main point of the show was their committment to each other as Friends… they were all hard to deal with in their own ways but they loved each other anyway. It’s so easy to drop a friend becusse they’re difficult/ obnoxious etc and I’m not saying you shouldn’t… but sometimes I think about all my annoying habits and am grateful that anyone likes me. Maybe this is a step too far but I also think about all the bullies and potential school shooters who were dropped as friends because they were weird or awkward or made mistakes…. and how differently many lives would turn out if we could be a little kinder, more understanding, and accept that not everyone knows how to be the way that people want them to be, but they still have inherent worth.

    • Emmanuella says...

      Here here, K! I didn’t watch Friends much as a kid when it was on because I found all the characters a bit whiny but watching the show as an adult, I feel similarly to you. So many people dismiss Ross but the writers gave him some pretty endearing qualities as well. I mean they are all annoying and flawed in their own part but also have redeeming qualities.

  95. Tania says...

    I second that sunscreen! I’m allergic to all conventional chemical sunscreens (even the baby ones, ugh) but a friend introduced me to eltaMD and it’s all I wear now. It’s theeeee best.

    • K says...

      Actually it is also a chemical sunscreen. Octinoxate. Endocrine disrupter. Another person commented with details.

  96. Susan says...

    I actually lived in a turret in my freshman year at university. It was an old church that had been rebuild into student housing, and we’ll I got the old bell tower. I had kitchen and bathroom in the bottom, then TV and dining, then bedroom. All very small rooms, there weren’t place for a stove. And it was cold as you wouldn’t believe it. Could keep the heat in any room, so during winter I showered a lot! And then straight to bed. Good times.

  97. C says...

    Oh my gosh, that story about the first word made me tear up!

    TJ’s really is the best. We were in the US for 5 years and I miss TJ’s so much now we’re back in Australia. The staff always made it such a treat for us to shop there and were especially kind to my daughter.

    • Akc says...

      That story made tears spring to my eyes too. So often stories I read on my phone ( the news) leave me feeling depressed or worried… Yet I know there are so many good people in this world! Thank you for sharing your happy moments.

    • Ally says...

      Yes! I wish there was a news app which featured positive new ONLY.

  98. Sussi says...

    If your boys are into Uno you really, really (really!) need to buy the Uno Extreme Machine. Right now.

  99. Rose says...

    Trader Joe’s IS the best grocery store ever.