Design

Four Fun Things

reformation cardigan

What’s your go-to date look? On Alex and my first date, I wore a cream V-neck sweater, and it worked, haha. Ten years later, I still really like them. They’re so simple and sexy somehow. Here are three pretty ones: buttons, cashmere and ribbed.

best bar soap for washing dishes

PSA: You can wash your dishes with bar soap! Says Real Simple: “Most of us are so used to adding liquid dish soap to our shopping carts that we’ve never even considered an alternative. But an olive oil-based bar soap makes a great replacement for dish soap.” You can use a scrub brush, and “it’s sudsy, non-toxic, easy to use, gentle on the skin, and comes plastic-package free,” adds sustainable blogger Julia.

Madonna then and now

On the Instagram feed Then and Now, Ard Gelinck photoshops celebrities with their younger selves. They’re fascinating — and sort of moving, too, don’t you think?

jamie oliver green pasta

I’m really into the look of this pasta, which is made with just five ingredients: spaghetti, garlic, greens, parmesan and ricotta. Wouldn’t it be fun to bust out at a dinner party?

P.S. More fun things, and how to introduce people.

(Celebrity Instagram via Kottke.)

  1. Molly says...

    One of the most powerful things my therapist ever asked of me was to imagine talking to my younger self. I immediately burst into tears thinking about 9-year-old (and 15-year-old, and 21-year-old) me. I had no idea how much I was carrying around from how I felt about myself back then, or how empowering it could be to think of the woman I am now speaking truth and love to that little girl.

  2. Ro says...

    Thanks for the bar soap tip! It’s amazing how much plastic we use every day without even realizing it. I’ve been going through my daily routine looking for ways I can use less, from eventually switching to a bamboo toothbrush, a metal safety razor, of course reusable water bottles, and all that. I’m even about to switch to that bar shampoo from Lush. But I doubt I’d ever have thought about bar soap for dishes. If you guys can, I’d love an article about all the hidden plastic in our lives — from restaurants, groceries, beauty products, etc. — and what the other options might be.

  3. b says...

    Y’all are inspiring me to switch to bar soap for all the things. Joanna and co, could we get a roundup for plastic-free and zero waste beauty stuff?

    • Andrea says...

      yes please!

    • Sam says...

      I’d love to see this too!

    • MP says...

      Agreed! Would love to see more about getting rid of the plastic in our lives, especially at an affordable price point.

  4. Kay says...

    The Then&Now Instagram feed made me oddly emotional…I wish I could give my younger self a hug!

  5. Anna says...

    That pasta looks really good & it would be super easy to make vegan!

  6. Robin says...

    Love the bar soap idea! Not sure my husband would go for it though … I’ve just discovered a zero waste refill store here in Toronto that does delivery (!) so I’m pretty excited to try that to solve at least a few of my many many plastic waste problems. You can buy original containers or refills in mason jars. They boast zero emissions delivery (electric car? I hope they aren’t biking in the weather we’ve been having) to a fairly large area – https://www.saponetti.ca for my Toronto peeps. I haven’t put in an order yet but I hear it works well. Fingers crossed they start selling more things. Amazon guilt begone!

    • Kay says...

      This is amazing!!!

    • Tamar says...

      YES. I JUST did my first order from saponetti last week and i loved it. They also sell cute glass pump bottles – huge fan so far and so relieved to have a solution to shampoo/conditioner/hand soap (the Sapadilla soap is so good!)/ dish soap.

      Also hoping they start to carry more brands – and eliminate things with palm oil. Bonus – they just introduced a TerraCycle box that you can save up tubes and toothbrushes for – they’ll pick up when you order!

    • nadine says...

      I’m not in Toronto (hi from Montreal!) but I was thinking of bulk stores as well. I already bought rice, lentils, flour, etc and recently I started buying their laundry soap and I love the fact that I can bring my own containers and refill them without using more one use plastic. I’m always trying to find ways to be more careful, all tips are welcome!
      (A few months ago I swithced to a menstrual cup, after reading it on coj, I’m so happy i did that, it’s much more comfortable as well!)

  7. hali says...

    Ah! Long Live the Bar of Soap! There is something kind of primal (weird word choice, but it’s a FEELING) about using a bar of soap that I just LOVE. It seemed out of fashion for the last 20 years to use anything but shower gels and body washes but I think we’re slowly returning back to the humble, sweet, trusty bar. My mom started making insane sea salt soap 10 years ago and turned it into a business that pulled both her and my dad out of retirement, the demand is so high. She makes a creamy shaving bar too and my husband completely refuses to go back to traditional shaving cream now. He’ll stop shaving entirely and just grow a beard in between her once yearly batch of shave soap.

    I’m going to nudge her to set her sights on a good dish soap now! GENIUS!

    (We still use shampoo and conditioner though… there’s some things bars cannot do right, IMO)

    • Ellen says...

      Lush shampoo bars! So amazing and they last forever

    • Laura C. says...

      Yes! I stole the idea from my Scottish friend two years ago and now I’m using Dove Gentle Exfoliating Bar Soap on the shower since then. I love the scent and washing myself with the soap bar. No more shower gel for me.

    • Em says...

      What is the name of your mom’s company?

    • Laura Melnik says...

      Please share the name if allowed

    • Kelseu says...

      I second Lush shampoo bars. They are my favorite! Your mom’s soap sounds wonderful, by the way :)

    • I stopped using conditioner a few months ago – and honestly don’t notice a difference (I have thick, wavy, tangle-prone hair). And I’ve moved onto bar shampoo too…. :)

  8. Melissa says...

    A similar but different note on washing dishes—Being eco and $$ conscientious, I found sustainably harvested Gulf Coast sea sponges to work amazingly for this. They are anti-microbial, compostable, and last a long time. (Btw, we don’t have a dishwasher in our rental.) A second wool or stainless steel scrubbie is still warranted for more difficult tasks. I also have separate face/body sea sponges lasting nearly 3 years with daily rinsing and 1x week sanitation with tea tree oil.

    • Maria says...

      Sounds interesting. Where do you buy them?

    • Thanks for that fantastic tip, Melissa!

  9. Kate says...

    I love that you linked to a sustainability blogger! I’m now totally obsessed with her Instagram.

  10. Laura says...

    When I lived with a family in France, they used a large bar of Savon de Marseille for everything–from dishes to a clothing stain remover to bathing. It’s simple and lasts forever if you let it thoroughly dry out between uses.

  11. Wow – that photo of Madonna – so very interesting. Thanks for sharing that link. And pasta? Always a good idea!

  12. Morgan says...

    I know what you mean (I’m not even 30 yet but already self-conscious of the laugh-lines around my eyes!) But I was so moved by those Then & Now photos. The older versions looked so proud of and yet protective of their younger selves. I imagined what the older version would tell their younger self – probably things like “Don’t be self-conscious of your laugh lines!”

  13. t says...

    Am I the only one grossed out by bar soap?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I used to be until I realized it was self cleaning. So if someone uses it right before you, it’s still clean!

    • Nina says...

      No. I am. I hate it. Especially because hairs get on it, and stick to it, and are very difficult to remove from it. I hate loose hair and picking one off makes me gag.

    • Courtney says...

      Well cleaning the beach today I was pretty grossed out by the amount of tiny plastics there, knowing it could go into the food we eat… hopefully thinking of that can help change your attitude towards the temporary icky-ness versus the infinite existence of disposable plastics :)

  14. Carrie says...

    Boy, that Tom Selleck… what a fox.

  15. Sasha L says...

    I love all of the cream sweaters, they seem classic to me, also 90s which has so many of the looks I like best, but those two slightly different colors of cream in the photo make my eyes hurt. It’s the just barely not matching that does it for me.

    In an effort to buy less plastic, I just ordered some eco friendly shampoo and conditioner bars today (a sampler!), I think I’ll try bar soap for dishes when our bottle of Planet runs out. We’ve already been bar soap users for hands and for showers forever, that’s a pretty easy way to save plastic too.

  16. Bethany says...

    I do a similar pasta where you cook frozen spinach along with the pasta (spaghetti or linguine) for the last few minutes of cooking time. Serve the strained pasta/spinach over a big scoop of fresh ricotta and sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top. Super easy. Italian husband approved if that makes a difference.

  17. Emily says...

    That pasta! What a great way to get extra greens—especially into your kid’s diet!

  18. Nadine Lindstrom says...

    When I was growing up intne ‘50s and ‘60s, we always used a bar of Sunlight soap to wash dishes (by hand – dishwashers not yet on the scene).

    I am so apalled by the amount of plastic in dish soap bottles, plus the additional fossil fuels to transport the heavier, diluted liquid soaps, that I switched back to the bar soap last year. Every little bit helps.

    • Edwina says...

      Yes Nadine, I was about to say the same thing! I remember being intrigued by the bar of yellow Sunlight soap in a little metal holder near the sink at my Grandpa’s house when I was growing up. You would use it to shake the soap vigorously in the water to create suds (which we took great delight in). Grandpa is now 96, still living at home though my Mum does his groceries. She buys him liquid detergent because she thinks it’s more convenient — but he always goes back to using the bar of soap and I think he will be delighted to know things have come full circle and he’s back on trend

  19. Lesley says...

    The celebrity feed is fascinating. Got sucked in. Some people like Tom Hanks and Cindy Crawford look basically the same!

  20. Joaquina says...

    The white sweater is so pretty and sexy, I love the Reformation one best.
    Pairs so well with white jeans too!

    The ‘then and now’ Insta made me think and while the creator is certainly good at what they do, I have some mixed feelings. Women are so harshly judged about aging; it’s why we spend billions/year on the ‘anti aging’ bullshit (I fall prey too by buying retinol). Society puts so much emphasis on youth, particularly for women. So looking at a side-by-side depiction of younger vs older kind seems triggering for me. I embrace getting older, learning to appreciate my wrinkles and less fuller face. I just don’t think I can look at something that invites even more judgment by others, especially men. Perhaps I am being too sensitive.