Friday Things #328
1. This is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of the boys, and it was totally candid. These two can bicker and fight like nobody’s business, but they’re each also always looking for the other one to play with, make up games with, or just have a partner in crime. I love watching them together.
2. And this little lady appears to be one with no fear, as she’s been trying her hardest to climb on anything and everything she can get her hands on. Apparently, paddleboard lessons will be in her future? She’s still not walking yet, but appears to be getting closer and closer every day!
3. Dominic is 2.5 and I love him at this age, he is such a fun, sweet kid :)
4. Has anyone given the Aquis hair system a try? I’m totally intrigued and thinking about it.
5. I’ve never used Chewy.com, but after reading this story I’m totally checking it out to see if there’s anything we get for the dogs that we can buy through them. I love when people and companies show genuine compassion.
6. Trending like crazy this week is my coconut cake with coconut meringue buttercream – a perfect summer dessert.
7. Fantastic, thoughtful read –> How to Be a Better Conversationalist by ‘Supporting’ Instead of Shifting’
8. How do you cut a round cake? Love this hack of using a cutting board to assist, but I would totally cut those pieces at least 2 to 3 times bigger ;-)
9. I shopped at Trader Joe’s for the first time yesterday! I got a handful of frozen and pantry items that everyone always talks about, but what I’d really love to know from anyone who shops there regularly, is how is their produce? How would you say it compares to Whole Foods or maybe even Costco? I always have good luck at those places with my produce, but my regular grocery store can be hit or miss.
10. TGIF! These two wish you a great weekend!
Trader Joe’s is just so random in terms of product quality but as a long time user (I went to the one in East Liberty before it opened in the North Hills), I think the best value is with unprocessed foods – nuts, dried fruits, pasta, etc. Most people seem to love their prepared and processed items but they’re, well, processed. I think that their produce is declining a bit in quality. Our big grocery store is certainly comprehensive but the produce, particularly organic, is limited. Huge bins of a few things. Whole Foods is really the best of the lot but an increasing number of products are their own 365 brand and they can be mediocre. Frankly, I stick to my CSA and Butcher Box, your recommendation from a few years ago.
Love the cutting cake hack. I’m going to try this, but the super small cake pieces must be for some super weight conscious group or they had more people show up for the party than cake. I’m getting in line with you BEB!! Bigger pieces.
P.S. LOVE your posts and especially those photos of your 2 goldens!!!
Trader Joe’s – try their coconut hair mask if you haven’t already done so. It is $2.99 or $3.99 and it is one of the single best hair products I’ve ever used. I replace my regular conditioner once a week with the mask. I color my hair every 6 weeks and the mask fixes the dry, frizzies that come with coloring. Love it!
I too am going to start ordering through Chewy.com after watching the Netflix special “Life in the Doghouse.” Chewy gives some sort of discount to this amazing rescue!
Another positive review from Chewy here. They have always been so responsive and completely understand when something you buy for your pup doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped. They’ve sent a couple of people I know flowers after their dog passed and they refunded me the cost of the last bag of dog food I bought just a couple of weeks before my Smokey passed. They also sent me a gorgeous little canvas painting of him from a photo I had sent them in the course of communicating with their customer service team too.
I’m always looking for the most cost-efficient way to buy all the dog necessities, but I feel really good about giving Chewy my business. They are pet people who get it.
TJ’s produce is as good as Costco in terms of price and quality, without having to buy in bulk. Depending on which WF you go to, TJ’s is as good a quality, but workout the high price. WF always has more selection than either. The WFs here in Hawaii are way overpriced, and there are local stores with much better local produce. We have three on Oahu and I seldom shop there. We do not have TJ’s in Hawaii at all, but we Hawaiians LOVE to shop there evidenced by all the blue TJ stay cool bags in baggage claim. And speaking of bags, at $1 each for the regular reusable shopping bags, this is the best bang for your buck in the entire store. They last forever.
We love Chewy. If you use Autoship you get a discount and free shipping if you spend over $49. We get The Real Meat Company 90% Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food in the 10 pound bag, but we use them as treats and it lasts a long time! It’s almost all meat and highly recommended. We also use Virbac C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Dental Dog Chews, X-Large. Our vet recommends them for keeping teeth clean. I don’t brush my dogs teeth very often, but he gets one of these a day and loves them and his teeth look great!
4. I have the Aquis towel and it is ok. I’m not super convinced it has helped my hair dry any faster or be any smoother than a regular towel. However, I have very long hair and it covers all of my hair and keeps it wrapped tightly, much better than a normal towel. It is also very lightweight so it is great for travel!
5. LOVE Chewy! They are the best pet website and I haven’t noticed a change since they were purchased by Petsmart. They ship so quickly, their auto ships are easy to manage, and the one time I wrote a bad review for a product, they contacted me, gave me a refund, and apologized for it not working out! I’ve also heard they ask you to donate returns instead of shipping it back. Amazing customer service!
9. I have had a good experience with TJ produce. Not Whole Foods but decent for the price. They have some unique produce, a great selection, and quality seems better or as good as the market. However, I can’t get over their excessive packaging. Everything is prepackaged so you can’t pick your own and soooo much extra plastic. I have heard they are working on the plastic waste issue though.
I like Tj’s for there frozen fruits, nuts, salsas, organic corn tortillas chips, Asian frozen rice, and there flowers. Pretty good prices for all that stuff here in Novi MI. I have looked at there produce but have not been impressed. I have other markets that I go to for produce, and cost for those fresh things really doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s great quality, preferably local or at least within in the US is more important to me! Boys are getting so big! So is the “little miss thing”, she looks like she is testing her limits!!! God Speed💛💙
I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy Trader Joe’s fresh produce, BUT there are 2 vegetable-related things that I have gone out of my way to get there – pre-packaged Mirepoix and Vegetable Stir Fry Mix
The Mirepoix is minced onion, carrots & celery. Yes, it is a lazy solution and I almost always mince or chop my own. BUT SOMETIMES you just can’t/won’t. This is excellent for soups, stews, etc etc. There is also a recipe at Trader Joe’s website for Potsticker Soup that uses Mirepoix and a few other things you can get at TJ’s and my (now grown) kids adore this soup. https://www.traderjoes.com/recipes/dinner/potsticker-soups-on
The other is the Asian Vegetable Stir Fry Mix. Onions, peppers, snap AND snow peas, bamboo, water chestnuts, baby corn!!! This is sooo good for stir fry recipes, soups, etc. Again, things that you can chop & assemble on your own but I love not having to buy the separate bamboo, water chestnuts, baby corn.
These 2 items have always been fresh and very useful – worth stopping in for.
I so enjoyed reading so many wonderful chewy.com stories. I have tears down my face from reading about the pet losses, but I’m so happy to hear chewy might be linked with petsmart. I felt bad about not supporting petsmart too as they do so much for petsmart charities. I adopted my sophie kittie when she was 2 from petsmart. She lived to be 23, yes you read that right. I also enjoyed the t.j. stories again. We did it before but it never gets old for me. Whoop whoop to their body butters and honey. I’ll keep buying from chewy. They do sell many kinds of kitty food n treats. My furries love love lobster mac n cheese treats and chicken n waffles treats and they always have them. I’d love an oil painting of one of my black kittie girls lol.
I’ve been using Chewy.com since they first started. I love, love, love Chewy! You can order prescriptions, flea and tick medications and so much more at a considerable discount.
There are some tips and tricks to using Chewy.com so look for them or start a post asking for those. You can also get cash back from Rakuten ( formerly Ebates) . Check out Today’s Deals on their home page. You can find some great savings there.
I think Trader Joe’s produce varies by store. My old ones in the Boston area were hit or miss, as others have said. But my new store here in Philly tends to be really good – the biggest produce selection by far that I’ve ever seen in a TJ’s, and the store is always mobbed so the turnover is always quick and the stuff is fresh.
Hi! I am not a fan of Whole Foods…Whole Paycheck. (LOL) At least in Las Vegas, very pricey and snooty. Costco wins in produce for me as most is organic, and more recently a chain called Sprouts. Great variety and prices, nice customer service. Trader Joe’s has good cheeses, and some quirky, good snack items. Also lots of vegan options if worried about dairy allergies, which is nice. My daughter has 3 young boys and Costco is her go to for quantity and quality. Happy summer!
Don’t waste your time/money with TJ produce – they have no particular commitment to supporting local producers, a lot of their packaging is wasteful, and their stuff is very hit or miss. Mostly miss, in my experience. I go to TJ’s for other things previously mentioned.
Trader Joe’s is my go-to for dried fruit and nuts. They are more reasonably priced than anywhere else. They also have a great selection. I like their organic dairy products as well.
I used chewy and always loved how quick they delivered. When my last dog died at the end of January, I called and cancelled my dog food subscription. A couple of days later I received a big bunch of tulips, and a nice note. That was so sweet of them, I recommend them to everyone I can.
I shop mostly at Wegman’s and love their produce. We don’t have Whole Foods or Costco. Haven’t been overly impressed with Trader Joe’s produce. However, I buy their avocados all the time! They seem to keep well, whereas the ones from Wegman’s are typically hard as a rock and go bad as soon as they’re ripe enough to eat.
We use Chewy for all our dog food, shampoo, treats, toys and also RX. Just order what RX you need, supply your vet name and Chewy will contact the vet for the prescription and you are all set. Bigger savings with auto ship, and you can cancel anytime. Love them. I LOVE Trader Joes, but not so much for veggies. Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes are ok, but other stuff not so good. They have great bananas and apples at a great price. Other things I always buy at TJ’s are: chocolate chips, pickles, nuts, seasonings, tea, coffee, caramels, meringues, dog treats, soaps, snacks and turkey burgers. They have great frozen grilled corn, frozen brown rice and awesome frozen sweet potato fries. LOVE TRADER JOES!!!
I LOVE Chewy.com. I’ve used them for several years now because I cannot find (easily) the food my old kitties need. They have separate diets with separate medical conditions. Banana just turned 17 years old and Boo will be 19 in a couple weeks. I’ve had to contact Chewy regarding damaged cans of food and they sent an entire case to me. For FREE. If you speak with them on the phone, they are SO nice. SO wonderful. I called one time after surgery (forgot to order before surgery and needed the food ASAP). Not only did they send the food immediately, they sent me flowers!
They get high marks from me. Hope the doggies like them too!
Most of Trader Joe’s produce definitely does not compare to Whole Foods in my opinion, and depending how much you’re buying, the prices are either a good value or better found elsewhere. (i.e. they sell things like onions, peppers, and potatoes at a set cost per unit, not by weight). Produce that IS very good and well-priced at TJ’s is mostly anything packaged. The salad greens, pre-cut veggies, and even vacuum-sealed beets and Brussels. Bananas and watermelon are usually great, too! Things like fresh berries, grapes, and tomatoes are typically a little sad.
Ok, two things: First thing – Trader Joe’s produce can be hit or miss. BUT, they always have a good deal on the bags of baby avocados, which I love. My husband loves their sliced sharp cheddar cheese, too. I love their body butter, too. And I hope you picked up Hold The Cone! ??? Second thing – I read some of the reviews on that Aquis and some were scary! Hair getting brittle and snapping off? No thank you! I have given in to my curls and find that if I wash my hair at night and let it dry (yes, I often go to bed with wet/damp hair), then the next day it is less frizzy. I’ve also found that Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine does a pretty good job of keeping my frizzies at bay. If I do straighten it, it stays sleek, whereas in the past, it would often pouf back up. I have also found that the best product for curly hair is Infusium 23 Leave In Treatment. It saves my sanity!!
I had a special Chewy experience also! I called them to cancel my autoships because I had to send my sweet Gracie to Rainbow Bridge a week ago. A couple days later, I received the most beautiful arrangement of flowers and a refund for her prescription food that she had just received. I can not recommend this company enough. They truly have big hearts. I’m grieving everyday.
I’m so sorry for the loss of Gracie. It is so hard when we lose a furry family member.
Thanks for the great read about being a better conversationalist. I follow your blog for your great recipes, but I also really enjoy your Friday Things because you offer up such great articles and interesting links on so much more than just food! As a Hospice volunteer, this topic is part of our training and I am going to send this along to my supervisor. I think it would be a great read for the training program and just in general. I wish more people communicated or at least tried to communicate in this manner. Have a great weekend!
I’m a frequent shopper at both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Produce is a crap shoot at TJ’s–some stuff is OK and some stuff not so great and it’s not really consistent. Sometime TJ’s has some seasonal produce that’s not bad (back in the fall, they had these beautiful purple brussel sprouts that were wonderful). Whole Foods by far has the best produce; it can be pricey sometimes but definitely worth it (and I love their pre-cut vegetables/fruits). TJ’s has a great wine selection (I live in the DC area)–lots of different wines and great prices (much better than Harris Teeter or Giant or the other major supermarkets here). I don’t shop at Costco as I don’t need a ton of stuff, but my mother shops at Costco in the Pittsburgh area and she seems to like the produce there as much as she likes Whole Foods.
Chewy.com is OUTSTANDING! We have been using them for several years and have never been disappointed. Once, we had an order that the delivery company totally busted up the box..it was terrible (thanks a bunch FedEx!!). After talking to FedEx, I called Chewy and explained what happened. Not only did they replace those items in 2 days at no cost, they asked me to donate anything that was salvageable. Their customer service is honest and caring. You won’t be disappointed!
Michelle, I wholeheartedly support using Chewy.com. For the last 2-3 months of our dog’s life, he was on prescription dog food that I was able to get thru them. You are able to get a discount if you have auto-ship but we didn’t do that as we didn’t know how long we would have Oscar with us. When I would call, I would always get an actual person who answered, no automation there! After he passed away, I continued to get email and snail mail offers; took me awhile to be able to call them asking them to stop sending the mailers and why. The woman I spoke with was so compassionate and sympathetic and let me cry as I told her about Oscar. A few days later, we received flowers and a heartfelt note from Sasha and the Chewy family expressing their sympathy regarding our loss of Oscar. This was November-ish and we still have the note on the fridge. I feel that Chewy is a company that truly does care about pets and views them as family members.
Our McCandless Trader Joe’s seems very small compared to others in which I’ve shopped. I prefer Whole Foods for produce, and even Costco for variety (although I don’t usually need the qty.).
I have bought cosequin chewables and other treats from Chewy. It’s a great company. My sister orders every month from them, for special dog foods, toys, and treats for her 3 dogs.
If you’re looking for a fun place to take all three kiddos, Richland Park in Gibsonia just opened their new playground and attached splash pad.
We’ve used Chewy when we’re running low on dog & cat food & know we’ll be too busy to run to PetSmart, or running low & there’s potential ice or snow coming during winter.
Someone I know who works for PetSmart told me that PetSmart bought Chewy,. You get your shipment in 2 days & it’s definitely convenient.
As a regular customer of Chewy.com , I loved reading the story you linked to. I know they regularly suggest donating food while offer refunds to customers. They also make very large monetary and product donations to shelters of all types…including the shelters featured on the Animal Planet programs like PitBulls & Parolees, My Cat From Hell and Amanda to the Rescue.
Your boys are getting so big so quickly. Where does the time go??
Finally, great cake hack but those cake slices are ridiculously small. Seriously, who serves such tiny pieces at a party??
Good morning. I have been dealing with Chewy.com for almost 6 years now as my dog has to eat prescription food only due to his allergies. One day his order arrived and I didn’t have time to open the box right away and he sat staring at the box until I did. I took a photo of the pose and emailed it to Chewy. I got an email thanking me for the laugh they all got from it. Then I also got one of the little oil paintings of him as a gift from them. Also, I have had friends who have received flowers from them upon the death of their pets. Great company.
I find the produce at Trader a Joe’s to be hit or miss. They have some veggies I can’t find at Costco, but overall, I find the produce Costco to be higher quality and a better price. I can’t comment on the produce at Whole Foods, as I do not shop there that often. I echo another reader’s comments about the cheese selection at Trader Joe’s. It is fabulous and extensive.
Chewy.com is the best! I have used them for years and they are great on every level! Happy Friday! I love your blog!
Being a peanut butter fan, did you get the Bambas from TJ? I highly recommend!
Loved the article about conversation. I refer to it “hijacking” the conversation and it drives me crazy!!!
Hi Susan, I didn’t; my oldest has a peanut allergy, so we don’t keep any peanut products in the house.
Thank you for sharing the story about Chewy! We do use them for all of our pet needs. It makes me happy to know I am supporting such a caring organization. I love reading your posts and trying your recipes, too!
I don’t think Trader Joe’s produce is any better than Costco or aldi. I do find special fruits there when they are in season like the cotton candy grapes. But I’ve had mealy watermelon and tasteless bananas there just as often as other places. I love them and always will…but produce isn’t their sweet spot! Cheeses though? That’s the ticket!
I have heard good things about Chewy.com.
As for Trader Joe’s produce….everything I have ever bought there has been great. Whole Foods annoys me with their ridiculous prices.
I LOVE Chewy.com! I get my dog food on autoship, pill pockets, etc. great service!
TJ’s produce is fantastic, great prices and quality. Also love their cheese section and nuts, wine selection.
Happy Friday. I’ve been using chewy for my last 2 big purchases. Not only do they have a huge selection that I cannot find in any other single location, but their prices are very reasonable with free shipping on purchases over 49.oo. I can very easily spend that. Just the other day I got a follow up thank you post card from a chewy employee, handwritten…imagine that. Your babies all look so adorable and so loved. Doggies are both so happy too. You can see it all over their happy doggie smiles, both of them😊