Design

Four Great Things

Elizabeth Dunker winter swimming

Do you have any new hobbies? My friend Elisabeth Dunker, who lives in Sweden, has started winter bathing, which is basically jumping into freezing water. “I’ve been afraid of swimming in cold water all my life, even in the summer,” she told me. But, at 48, she is challenging herself to do more things she’s avoided. She can now stay in the ocean for a minute — and is working on slowing down her breathing to stay longer. Since the cold water gives a huge endorphin kick, she says, “You leave with rosy cheeks and a happy mind.”

Cloth napkins

Bon Appetit did a round-up of six cloth napkins. We use cloth napkins at dinner every night, and there’s something so homey about them — it’s like, don’t rush, just hang out, let’s eat for hours! Fog Linen makes pretty ones; Lewis burp cloths could double as napkins; and Ace & Jig has some amazing ones.

Depression advice

This post on how to help someone with depression has lots of great advice, including saying this wonderful line: “You feel really miserable right now, but you have to remember it will get better. I know that. I can promise you that.” (Similarly: How to write a condolence note, and why suicide isn’t selfish.)

Spring nail polish trends 2019

And on a much lighter note: Every spring, like clockwork, I get a text from my twin sister. “What nail polish is cool these days?” If you’re curious, the fun nail trend this year seems to be pinky-beige. (Or, as my BFF Gemma says, “I like a super groomed shiny pinky-nude, like the inside of a conch shell.”) Two great versions are Essie Spin the Bottle and Jin Soon Pixie.

P.S. More fun things, and 8 funny Instagram accounts.

(Cloth napkins photo by Chelsie Craig by Bon Appetit. Painting of girl by Alexej von Jawlensky, 1910. Nails photo of the wonderful Tracy Georgiou by Jessie Randall.)

  1. rach says...

    we also use cloth napkins! And almost every guest we have makes comments on them, like they’re so mysterious…. they really do set a meal apart though. Feels like you care more about the food with cloth napkins. <3

  2. Rachel says...

    I just started using Palate Polish, a one-woman-show nail polish company. Her polishes are 5-free, vegan, cruelty-free, AND she has the best colors.

  3. Jen says...

    For cloth napkins we use Marley’s Monsters unpaper towels. They come in a ton of fun, stain-hiding patterns (though there are grown up neutral solids too ;-)) and you can get a 24-pack for $54 so you can use a fresh one every day without running out too quickly. https://www.marleysmonsters.com/collections/unpaper-towels-napkins
    Gina’s Soft Cloth Shop on Etsy is another go-to for cloth wipes/towels that are affordable to buy in a big pack and use for everything! https://etsy.me/2Pwmbx8
    …someday I would love to learn how to see and make my own out of scrap fabric!

  4. Cora says...

    Every time you post a nail polish color I end up buying it. Every time. Today will be no exception.

  5. Emily R Hylden says...

    Also, Jinsoon’s “Nostalgia”! (#biased — wearing it right now, haha!)

  6. Winter bathing sounds terrifying to me because the cold is basically like my enemy, haha! But the photo look so much fun!

  7. Anna says...

    Great to see Elisabeth Dunker, one of my favourite Swedish women on Instagram, featured here (and hear she’s your friend, Joanna!). I would love to see an apartment tour of her beautiful, understated home in this space.

  8. Totally agree about cloth napkins!! We use them every night too (and try to re-use the ones that aren’t disgusting). Cloth napkins and lighting a candle are my family dinner MOOD setters. The little things really make such a difference! Could be (and sometimes is!) take-out on that dinner table, and it FEELS GREAT. :) xoxo, Liz

  9. Kay says...

    As a swimmer, I am so impressed by Elisabeth Dunker! Wish I lived in Sweden so I could join her!

  10. Sasha L says...

    Joanna, those beautiful cloth napkin reminded me that I think you posted about wanting to learn sewing? Napkins would be such a great beginner project. If you just want to have some fun with different fabrics, you can even do no sew. Just use pinking shears to cut the edges and call it good. I love using scrap fabric from other projects to make child sized napkins. You can make little cloths for children to wash their faces with flannel and little cloths that they can use to wrap up baby dolls and stuffies etc.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you! what a good point!

  11. Kata says...

    I don’t understand the pricing of $15-20/napkin. For $10 or less you can buy about a yard of linen and have enough fabric for 16 napkins.

    • Kaitlin says...

      The Block Shop napkins are stamped, so what you’re paying for is not just the fabric but the artwork on the fabric. I’ve been coveting something from them for ages, and this feels like the just the right thing….

  12. i have lots of my grandma’s old cloth napkins! i love using them because i think of her… and some are vintage, though some are 80s. haha. they make meals – even leftovers – feel so much nicer!

  13. Rue says...

    I keep a cloth napkin, set of utensils (one fork, one knife, one spoon), and a kitchen sponge at my desk at work. I also use cloth napkins at home so when the work one is getting tired-looking, I bring in a fresh one and take the old one home to wash.

    I’ve seen some cutesy “eat at the office!” kits with tiny utensils or bento box setups or whatever but for me, just having my home stuff at work is the way to go.

  14. liz says...

    do not mean this as an insult or to be mean-spirited in any way but I never understand why people all want to wear the same colors as each other every season. Isn’t what’s “in” immediately boring and probably a little behind the curve anyway? When I hear that everyone is wearing [pink or whatever], I take that as a cue to wear something else. I don’t know why but I just find uniformity with things like style to be completely depressing — like it’s a sign that we are truly easily manipulated/don’t think for ourselves or something

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i hear you, liz, and i think that way about fashion/beauty trends sometimes. but other times i think of it as a group hang, like “you guys, i discovered this new thing that looks really pretty! let’s all try it and see what we think!” and then i think it’s fun to try, weigh in, and feel like part of a conversation :)

    • celeste says...

      I’ve never felt like a pale pink person but still enjoy reading! As a mom, I’m in love with Sally Hansen Inst-Dri and am wearing Peppy La Fushia. Straight into the “summer colors”!

    • liz says...

      Yeah! Sorry for my comment and I appreciate your insight and sharing what you are enjoying. I just get so bummed sometimes at seeing people looking for the next cool thing to copy when it comes to style of all things. Didn’t mean to take it out on you!

  15. My twin and I always share photos of nails/toes when we get them done :) Currently I’m wearing bright pink, but Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI and Russian Navy are forever favorites regardless of the season.

    • Adrienne says...

      Lincoln Park After Dark – yes! :)

    • Gemma says...

      Me three LPAD! Especially on toes.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      <3

  16. Irene says...

    Add one elemtnt to the cloth towels: napkin rings. You can get cheap new ones, but they are always available in antique or vintage stores. They help you hold over napkins for more meals when no one has to worry that they”ll use someone else’s. And kids get really attached to their rings.

    • Sasha L says...

      Oh gosh yes! I have this set of white porcelain animals, hen, goose, pig and rabbit, found at a thrift store. Children ADORE them so much. Thrift stores are excellent for *old lady* stuff like cloth napkins, rings, cake plates, pretty tea cups and saucers, metal cookie cutters.

  17. Tricia says...

    The best place to find cloth napkins is thrift stores!! I’ve gotten more than one almost-looks-brand-new set for less than $5 total. I just can’t justify spending $50 on something I’m going to use to wipe spaghetti sauce off my face….! :)

    • Carly says...

      Yes! And also on Etsy. Then you’re saving money, not using a disposable napkin, AND saving fabric from a landfill instead of buying new!

    • Jane says...

      I agree! I’d like to use cloth, but hesitate for the very reason you said….spaghetti sauce. How do you keep them from being ruined? I mean, i know you can nlesch white napkins, but what about other designs/colors? I guess we could use paper napkins for when I know it’s going to be a potentially staining meal.

  18. Em says...

    Yay for cloth napkins! Such an easy way to reduce waste. When I met my boyfriend he always used one instead of paper. It didn’t even cross my mind before I met him, but it makes so much sense. Now I always use one too.

  19. Emily says...

    An additional case for cloth dinner napkins: On our honeymoon, my husband and I visited this incredible Batik factory in the Bahamas, started in the 70s by a woman whose goal was to empower Bahamian single mothers with jobs. Although I was tempted to buy every item of clothing in the boutique to support the decades-long mission, we decided to buy some brightly hued napkins instead. Now we try to buy some unique cloth napkins on all of our trips! It’s a small investment, helps us avoid spending money on regretful souvenirs, and serves as a daily reminder of some great memories! Highly recommend!

    • SarahE says...

      What a lovely idea! Truly useful souvenirs are hard to find. Love this! :)

    • kathy says...

      such a great idea! great easy-to-pack, practical souvenirs! totally stealing this idea.

    • Shelley says...

      I love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Sasha L says...

      Such a great idea. And I love the story behind your idea.

      There are several great charities out there doing similar work, Sak Saum is a wonderful one (and I think they sell cloth napkins). They help formerly exploited sex workers find new trades and skills.

  20. Grace says...

    Joanna, I’m not sure if this the place, but do you still struggle with anxiety? Since my baby girl was born six months ago, I worry more than ever. I am not depressed, but it’s a crushing anxiety of “what if something happens to her? What if I lose her?” I’ve traveled with her a lot, left her alone with trusted childcare providers, and have a job that I deeply love. I’m just so overwhelmed with love that I don’t know what I’d do without her. I guess that’s normal…maybe one day you can write about this type of “normal” anxiety. Thanks for reading.

    • Shelley says...

      I felt the exact same way. Over time it has lessened but I think it does seem to be a part of being a parent for some more anxiety prone people. I have a 17 month old son and a 2 week old son. I will tell you the second time around my anxiety is much much better! I find the phrase “just because _____ doesn’t mean _____, in fact ______.” Helpful. E.g. “just because my son has been sleeping for many hours tonight without waking, doesn’t mean there is a medical emergency, in fact it probably means he really wore himself out today with all the fun activities we did.”

    • Danielle says...

      Grace- having a baby changes your entire world. There are certainly new things to worry about and think about. That is very normal! However, if your anxiety is keeping you from enjoying your daughter or being able to do the things you need to do, please consider talking to a healthcare provider. Postpartum anxiety is a real thing for some women, just like depression can be. Don’t think you have to do it all alone. And congratulations on six months with a new baby! She certainly has a mother who loves her.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for these notes! i think regular day-to-day anxiety can happen when you care so much for someone, and that’s okay to some extent. but if it feels like it’s too much to handle or feels really crushing, it might make sense to talk to someone. after anton was born, my anxiety got so intense that i was having constant fears of my children dying and would wake up with a hot panicky feeling constantly throughout the night and i would cry all the time and feel on the verge of an anxiety attack, etc. —  so i spoke to a great psychologist and a wonderful psychiatrist who specializes in postpartum anxiety (which is different from PPD but can be just as intense). i learned calming mantras and CBD tools, which are great, but i also take celexa every day. it has been a true LIFESAVER and made me my regular self again. so i think it just depends on how severe vs. manageable your anxiety is. i’d love to write more about this! thank you so much, grace and shelley. hang in there, mamas xoxoxo

    • Sasha L says...

      Grace, since it seems to be bothering you, I think you should talk to a therapist. It can be so reassuring to hear “yes, that’s normal” and also for someone to affirm that it’s actually serious and treatable and you don’t have to suffer.

      My child is 22 and I only recently figured out that some of the feelings of anxiety that I had after she was born is actually harm OCD. I would get stuck thinking of things that could harm her. There is good reason I developed this- a family history, and a traumatic birth where she was born with a 1 on apgar and had to resuscitated. I wish I had understood all of it then, I wish someone had asked me how I was doing, recognized the trauma and referred me to a therapist. Instead I never told anyone, because my thoughts were scary and shameful. I feel better about all of it now. It’s amazing what happens when someone can affirm your reality and remove the shame. Best of luck Grace.

  21. Bethany says...

    We use cloth napkins every night for dinner too! I have lots of sets but hands down my favorite set is a set of six from Anthropologie (they’re called Nifty Napkins currently on their site). We’ve had them used our wedding six years ago and use them every time they’re clean and they’ve held up beautifully. They feel and look so much better than all my other cloth napkins- I love that the edges never curl and they never look like they need ironed!

  22. Anu says...

    Last year when boot weather started, I got a pedicure and asked them to only buff my nails. Have kept them free of polish for the last few months and they look so healthy now and like they are happy they got a break. Will go back to using nail color now that it’s sandals season again. I will be doing this every year now.

  23. Becky says...

    We all need more Gemma!! Love her!

  24. Rebecca says...

    How often do you all wash your cloth napkins? I’d love to use them, and have in the past. But, I stopped because I was either washing them CONSTANTLY, avoiding wiping my mouth on them, or we were using gross, dirty napkins (especially with kids).

    • mado says...

      We use only cloth napkins and I change them out about once a day (sometimes they go two days if we haven’t eaten messy things). I just throw a few dirty napkins in whatever load I’m washing (except delicates, etc.) We have a small washer in an apartment so laundry is more of an ongoing thing anyways. At first we had one set of 8 and we were always running out of clean napkins, I just bought another set so we’re always stocked!

  25. M says...

    We use cloth napkins too but I’m always unsure – do people wash them after every meal? That can get wasteful, right? We have napkins for each family member and wash every day or so or when dirty. But is that gross? Curious what others do!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      We use them for multiple nights and just wash them when they get crusty haha!

    • june2 says...

      Growing up my best friend’s family used cloth napkins and the way they did it was so smart: each person got their own napkin color and kept it for the week, (or until obviously soiled), when the napkins would be washed, then they’d choose again for the week ahead. If you want to use all the same color napkins then provide a mix of napkin rings and each person has their own napkin ring which holds their napkin between uses, making it easy for even children to know which one is theirs.

    • Heidi says...

      We use them for a few meals/days, too, unless they are used for a colossal mess. I keep a small bin next to the washer where I put soiled kitchen towels and our napkins, and at the end of the week I throw them all in their own load with hand towels from the bathrooms, too.

  26. C says...

    As someone who has cycled through depressive episodes her whole life, I like to go with “this is just one season.” I think it recognizes the difficulty of depression but provides a hopeful reminder that things can change. That the world around us won’t necessarily look this way in a month, three months, six months, however long it takes you to feel better. You can’t rush a season, but you can remain open to welcoming a new one whenever it chooses to arrive.

    • june2 says...

      I go micro with, “every day is my birthday” upon waking. Really helps me recognize in real time that each day, and sometimes each moment, is a brand new day/moment.

  27. Nicole says...

    Also, if I ever pass an Anthropologie I have to check to see if there are any fabric napkins in the sales bin.

    • Kate says...

      Yes! The ones we use are from Anthropologie about 6 years ago and I think I got them for like $2/each.

  28. Nicole says...

    I looked down and realized my toenails are so on point! A Millenial pink some would say :)

  29. Steph says...

    If you’re in to gel manicures – OPI Funny Bunny is the best. I always get complimented on it!

  30. Melissa Gordon says...

    As several other people have written, the promise that depression will get better is empty. You absolutely have no way of knowing that and are running the risk of making it unsafe for someone to return to you in the event that it actually gets worse (when arguably they would need you more). It’s really hard to stay present with someone in pain. Validate their feelings, that they are seen and that they deserve some peace. Help brainstorm things that would bring a little relief just to clear their head for the night. Let them lead. They are the expert in their lives, not you. And, if you are truly out of your depth or the situation is turning dangerous, another great resource is the Crisis Text Line (text 741741 in the US or 686868 in Canada).

  31. addy says...

    Do you have any idea where the sandals are from in the last image?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’ll ask!

    • Cal says...

      Loeffler Randall! They’re on her Instagram and she tagged them.

    • Anuja says...

      Yes please. I had the same question. Super cute!

    • jennifer says...

      Yes, need to know too. Thank you!!

  32. Alexandra says...

    I would love recommendations from the community on cloth napkins for everyday (read: messy) use that don’t break the bank. My husbands #1 complaint about using cloth is that they’re not absorbent – and honestly, he’s not wrong there – most are completely inefficient at wiping up after a toddler eats dinner. Recommendations welcome!

    • Kate says...

      Try the linen napkins from sur la table. They are more absorbant and also wash easily. You can usually find them in clearance in the back of the store too!

    • Ky says...

      Mine are from world market. It’s what my 3 1/2 year old has grown up with and they still look great. Pick a natural material and remember that they get more absorbent after several washings. The polyester napkins at restaurants are always going to be slick because they’re made of yucky fabric.

    • Maria says...

      I am wondering the same thing. I remember seeing ikea dish towels as a recommendation once but I’m thinking they might be too big.

    • Wendy says...

      I bought a stack of basic cotton washcloths for more serious more clean up needs – these have been great around the house with a preschooler in general. But regular 100% cotton napkins should be absorbent enough, particularly after you wash them a few times.

      Crate & Barrel has some in their outlet for 8 for $28.
      Target has a bunch for 4 for $10.
      West Elm seems to have a lot on sale, including a ton of prints.

    • Elizabeth says...

      We use cloth napkins for adults and old washcloths for the toddler. I just tell her they’re special kid napkins and she goes for it.

    • Chiara says...

      I get my cloth napkins at thrift stores! They’re inexpensive and not too precious if the kids decide to wipe their mess on them. For cleaning the kids after supper, I keep a stack of bar mops in the drawer and run one under the sink to clean hands and wipe down the table.

    • Amanda says...

      When I was a pretty little kid, my mom (who probably had 3-4 kids at the time, ultimately there were 6 of us!) took us to the store and we each picked out a few wash cloths in patterns we liked, and those were our napkins for dinner. Obviously not as beautiful as some of the other suggestions, but for the under 10 crowd, it was a practical solution that was fun for us.

    • C says...

      I use the 79 cent Tekla dish towels from IKEA as cloth napkins. I set the table with them for Easter and my mom said she felt like she was in a French bistro!

    • Bailey says...

      Cotton dish towels work great. Cut them in half and sew the raw edge and they make a perfect napkin size.

      Also, in our house we reuse cloth napkins for a few days if they aren’t too dirty. Everyone has their own folding technique so we can tell them each apart.

    • Molly says...

      I have 100% cotton napkins from Anthropologie that are fun, soft, and absorbent. I actually have several kitchen linen items from Anthropologie (dish rags and dish cloths) and I’ve been really impressed with their quality. And they’re cute!

    • Ann says...

      https://www.etsy.com/listing/33416015/everyday-napkins-eco-alternative-to?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1

      I cannot recommend these simple cloth napkins highly enough. I think they are the perfect size (not so huge), for the price you can buy a lot, and they can be bleached if need be. We have enough to use for meals and I send them in my kids lunch boxes every day as well. When they get to that point where they’ve seen better days, they make great rags too. We LOVE them!

    • Kathryn says...

      I would recommend the dish towels from Ikea, as Maria mentioned. I don’t think they’re too big! I got a four pack of green and white ones for next to nothing. They’re my favorite because they’re so absorbent. I also got a four pack of grey and white striped cotton ones at Target that are lovely as well.

    • shelley says...

      For my super messy toddler we actually use microfiber cloths that come in a big pack from Home Depot haha! Not pretty but they do the job very well and are super soft. They aren’t for display and we can use our cloth napkins but at the end of his meal the warm water microfiber cloth comes out for him!

    • Kim says...

      IKEA! Or secondhand.

  33. Claire says...

    I am so intrigued with this idea of doing things that you’ve always avoided. It sounds liberating!

  34. Megan says...

    Thanks for mentioning someone facing their fears so soon after the piece on the irrational fears. The timing is poignant. That was the most stressful thing I’ve read yet on Cup of Jo!

  35. Claire says...

    I was wondering if you would be interested in doing a post on how different folks define “friend”? I notice you use it a lot on the blog, and I always think it’s so interesting to hear how different people define the threshold between “acquaintance” and “friend”! I love your blog! Thank you all for always brightening my day :)

    • M says...

      Yes, please!

    • yes please! I just heard a podcast this morning (called Forties Stories) where the guest, Nina Badzin, said she strongly believes in strong acquaintances and I’m also fascinated by this topic.

      is everyone a friend? Or are some really very lovely acquaintances?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! i’d love to talk more about this — what a good question! for me, i consider friend to be a wide-ranging category. if i really like someone, and we have a good rapport, i consider them a friend. so, for elisabeth, we were bloggers in the early days of blogging and i’ve emailed with her a ton and we’ve supported each other’s work over the past 12 years, but we’ve never met in real life — yet, still, i consider her a friend. (so maybe i am loosey goosey with the term, but i also really believe that we are friends:) then there are female friends i have in real life — like gemma, lina, gisela, liz libre, tracy georgiou, etc. — who i mention on the site a lot, and i hang out with them very regularly and we text regularly, etc. so i guess that’s a different category. but i love all these women! i also consider blog readers friends! curious to think about how other people use the term. xoxo

    • t says...

      I totally came here to ask Joanna if any of her other friends get jealous when she calls out Gemma as her BFF?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      T, I don’t think so. We have known each other forever and specifically helped each other through some major life things, so I think people who know us understand. (Also, I think other friends have their BFFs, too, so they aren’t jealous.)

    • t says...

      Thanks Joanna! We have been trying to teach our kids not to use the term best friend so their other friends don’t feel less than but maybe that is founded on my own insecurity. I have a friend with whom I am really close but she always refers to another of her friends as her best friend and it stings a little. I have other best friends but when introducing them I always say “one of my best friends” so people don’t feel excluded.

      It doesn’t sound like this is an issue with your friend group dynamic. Thanks for your response (which makes me giddy like I am talking to my favorite celebrity).

    • Quinn says...

      Oh I love those! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Esther says...

    As someone who has been going through a very tough time lately, I have to disagree with promising depressed friends that life will get better. I know people mean well, but when people say that to me I get annoyed and defensive. I find it to be an empty and condescending thing to say. It sounds like “You’ll be fine, stop complaining because I know best and I know you’ll get better”. How can they know and promise that things will get better? Sometimes things get worse and never better. A nicer way to approach this is to validate your friend’s feelings. “You’re right, that IS shitty!” is so much nicer to hear.

    • Erin says...

      I absolutely agree, Esther. I was going to write a comment mirroring your thoughts. To assure and promise to someone that “it will get better” lacks empathy and is based on assumptions. I agree that validating the other’s feelings, offering support and listening is a more appropriate approach. Despite this particular suggestion, I did find the posted article to be incredibly worthwhile and important.

    • I agree. “It will get better” is not a far cry from “It could be worse” which, in my opinion, was the last thing I wanted to hear when I was going through depression in college. I know people often say these things to attempt provide some perspective—but when I was depressed (in hindsight), I was seeing things through a very narrow lens, so when people would try to provide perspective I COULDN’T see it that way, which made me more frustrated/upset than anything.

      Things I did like hearing:
      I’m here for you.
      You matter to me.
      It’s okay to feel ____. (whatever negative emotion I was experiencing.)
      I love you.
      Do you want to do X? (I always liked being invited places, even if I didn’t feel up for going.)

      Obviously this is just me personally.

      Ester – sending you love through your very tough time. Thank you for leaving this comment. xo.

    • Liz says...

      Interesting! When I go through depressive episodes I NEED to hear that it will be better so I can keep my head above water.

    • Hannah says...

      Yes, I agree that “it will get better” may be well intentioned but is often not a helpful response. As a therapist, I really caution against this as a person with depression may (and I acknowledge that people are unique with their own needs) find this to be invalidating of their pain and experience. My clients often tell me that people seem to want to force a happy perspective or “silver lining” what is happening, which makes them internalise their problems out of shame. Things may not get better. Depression may be a lifelong struggle. And things may also get better, we do not know so we should probably not promise that. “I’m here, I see your pain, I’m for you, I will not leave, thank you for telling me, I will support you in this” are better responses.

    • Laura says...

      I completely agree. Sometimes crappy times really DO get crappier, whether you are suffering with depression, an illness, or grief.
      My best friend died after having her third baby in August, her beloved stepmother in October. In many conversations with her family around the New Year, we cautiously joked “Statistically, 2019 has to be better, right? There can’t be any more immediate loss, right?” And I know so many people told her husband, “oh when the baby sleeps through the night it will get better.” “When you get past the first year it will be better.” People were trying to reach him while he was in a dark place.
      Then in January, their baby died. When I think of promising someone things will get better, this situation is all I can think about. Sometimes things get much worse (emotionally or otherwise) before they get better. I wish we had never assumed that we were at the bottom of his pain or of their family’s pain. The loss of his child made all of our hopeful, well meaning assumptions seem painfully hollow. But I think we can promise to stay by that person’s side no matter what the process looks like or where that bottom truly is.

    • Cait says...

      Agree, I like to go with “depression lies.” Even if I don’t know someone well enough to know if things will get better, I do know that the terrible things depression tells someone (you aren’t enough, you deserve the bad things that are happening, only bad things will ever happen to you) are a lie.

    • Mame says...

      Thank you! I’ve commented in other spots about the very difficult time I am having, and I have to 100% agree with you — I’d much rather have someone say “I hear you/THIS is terrible/It’s ok that this is upsetting to you — you SHOULD be sad …” than “You’ll get over it/You’re stronger than this/It will get better.” How do you know it will get better? I don’t feel better because you said I should …

      The latter makes me feel like I’m not being heard when I speak about what I am experiencing; it tells me the other person does’n’t want to hear about my pain — it feels dismissive. I know people mean well, but honestly, it shuts me down and makes me think twice about asking for help when someone say these things.

    • Lauren says...

      @Laura, I’m so sorry to hear about your best friend and her family – that is just so so sad. Sometimes life is almost unbearably horrible and unfair. I’m thinking of you all.

    • Laura says...

      Thank you Lauren ❤️

  37. Cynthia says...

    I have been using cotton napkins exclusively for three plus decades. I don’t buy paper towels either…I just simply retire worn napkins and dish towels to a rag basket for spills and cleaning and wipe my hands on a dish towel. Years ago I discovered the Ikea red stripe dish towel which makes a perfect everyday napkin. Washes beautifully and while the label says no bleach, feel free to bleach those stains right out. I kind of love having all the same napkins for everyday use b/c some people can go a full day without a new one and some of us need a new one every meal. For anyone wanting to make the environmentally friendly switch to cotton napkins, the Ikea dish towel is sized perfectly (generous for all and can be tied around a toddler’s neck for a bib). And for seventy-nine cents a piece, they are a STEAL!
    https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10100909/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwkoDmBRCcARIsAG3xzl8C24Jfue6OqBQ7gDaBvM9Tvud-Aq-8j7GrOCXb6TdILXp9t2jaaPYaAj2pEALw_wcB

    • Danielle says...

      We use these for napkins too!

    • AH says...

      It says “Do not tumble dry”. I’m assuming you DO tumble dry???

    • Kim says...

      We use these, too! They are absorbent, and we bleach and tumble dry them. I’ve had them for over a year and they look great.

  38. christine says...

    Love cloth napkins, we use them every night too! My all time favorites are made by Elson & Company. Their designs are gorgeous and the dye batch range allows them to be easily mixed and matched. They launder beautifully too, I never need to iron them and they fold back into perfect squares every single time – no wonky or frayed hems!

  39. Anna Guenther says...

    I love how her last name is Dunker.

  40. K says...

    I can’t help but think your friend found her hobby through her last name. Dunker takes a dunk. Which has me thinking… my last name is Fisher.
    Here fishy fishy

    • Ann-Marie says...

      Hahaha! Good observation. Time to go fishing.

    • Colleen says...

      Mine has a bevy of meanings. Son of a farmer, an Anglicized version of a French word meaning “baker,” or boy/servant. Sweeney is just a fun name.