Sunday Snippets: September 21st Edition

It was a big week! One week ago today we did not have a cat. We've very quickly become the sorts of people who text each other pictures of their cat. I can't help myself! I promise I did some things other than my pet my cat this week, though! We're just back from a backpacking trip on the Pine Mountain Trail, our favorite nearby camping destination. We placed second in our weekly pub trivia bout. I did some good work projects and balanced it out with some time at home. All around a good week.

Now for the links!

Millennials, like each generation that was young before them, tend to attract all kinds of ire from their elders for being superficial, self-obsessed, anti-intellectuals. But a study out today from the Pew Research Center offers some vindication for the younger set. Millennials are reading more books than the over-30 crowd, Pew found in a survey of more than 6,000 Americans.

My book club and I are certainly helping out those numbers! (Although, my mom--not a Millennial--reads a lot, too.)

Catbook is a community of over one million cat lovers on Facebook and the iPhone, so if you fancy hooking up online with fellow feline fanciers for some meows and more, then this free download will likely prove more addictive than cat nip.

I seriously can't tell if this Mashable article of the 9 essential iPhone apps for your cat is tongue in cheek or not...

If you lack a compelling reason to ask your donors for help – don’t mail. If you keep that in mind, you never have to worry about fatiguing them.

I'm not in the non-profit world anymore, but I still thought this blurb made a good point. If you focus on sending targeted communications, with actionable points, then people won't get tired of hearing from you!

It’s important to remember that when you’re first starting out (SNAP or no SNAP), that building a kitchen takes time. You don’t have to buy everything at once. You’ll have a narrow range of recipes to choose from in the beginning, but as you build your kitchen you’ll have more options.

One of the food bloggers I follow is doing the SNAP Challenge, where she lives on the amount of money per week she would have if she were on food stamps. This awareness campaign has been done by several others, including the CEO of Panera. I love seeing what Budget Bytes comes up with, as her main modus operandi for her blog even on usual weeks is inexpensive and healthy. Plus I so respect what she stands for by taking on this challenge!

  • How amazing are these bookshelf prints?! I love the idea of doing a custom book club print. I may just need at least one of these...I see a perfect spot for it on my wall...

  • Chocolate cobbler. Yes please.

What are you reading or cooking this week? Any window-shopping finds worth sharing?

Gilmore Girls + Netflix = Happy Laura

Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix! I'm not normally one to geek out over a TV show, but Gilmore Girls holds a very fond place in my heart.

When I was a teenager, my mom and I watched it together. Lorelai and Rory's life was nothing like ours, and our relationship wasn't much like their either, but we so enjoyed their witty reparte. I was charmed by Stars Hollow and could never quite decide which boy I wanted Rory to be with. I think my mom liked it for its teachable moments, times when the show got us talking about Big Deal Life Stuff.

My college roommate and BBFFL Kimmie was even more obsessed than I was and owned all the seasons on DVD. Occasionally I would be feeling socially maxed out and would grab my lunch from the caf to-go and sneak off to my dorm room to eat in between classes. More times than one might expect, I found Kimmie there, her lunch in hand, too, and we would take one look at each other and say, "Gilmore Girls?!" We would enjoy a quiet lunch hour break with an episode of our show. We were never too socially maxed out for each other, Lorelai, and Rory.

One of our favorite episodes was the one where Logan invited Rory to a secret society event and they end up doing a crazy umbrella jump together:

This sentiment gets echoed at the end of the series when Rory has a big decision to make. I won't spoil it, but let's just say Kimmie and I had dramatically differing opinions on whether she made the right one!

Anywho, I must have talked about it enough that Andy heard me. We actually broke up for a short time one summer in college. I somehow had an overwhelming feeling that it wasn't really the end for us, but we went several days without talking. When we eventually did get in touch again, Andy referenced that line in our conversation. You could say he had me at, "You jump, I jump, Jack." It was sweet, and we jumped.

There are literally not enough free hours in my life to sit down and re-watch every. single. episode, but I'm excited that it will be available. Sometimes I just want a comfort show--you know, the TV version of a bowl of macaroni and cheese or chicken noodle soup. And I'd say Gilmore Girls is that and more for me.

What's your comfort show? Are you a fan of Gilmore Girls?

letting it go

The other day I hired someone to come clean my house. I have no shame in admitting that. There are seasons in life where your time is extremely short and, as a result, extremely valuable. Seasons where you are fortunate to have financial flexibility and a enough disposable income to buy yourself conveniences. It's not like I've ever loved cleaning the house. In fact, hah!, mostly all I really do is clean the bathroom, and the kitchen (but mostly the dishes). Andy has always vacuumed, and I very, very occasionally would dust. We're not dirty people and we take our shoes off at the door. I mostly did reactionary cleaning when something look gross.

I kind of meant to try and have someone clean our loft when it was empty, before we even moved in, to give a deep clean to all those empty corners and wide open floors.

That didn't happen.

Since then, every month, we've budgeted money for a housecleaner, and I've said this is the month I'm going to do it. I said this is the last time I'm going to clean my own bathroom. It took me 4 months, but this month, I finally did!

I used a service called Hux. They're a startup in Atlanta and actually work out of the same building I do, so I've met several of them (my housecleaner included!). The website made it super simple to book. It's kind of like Uber for house cleaning! You can see all of the available cleaners, read about them, check out reviews, and find out their availability. Then you just click, add a few notes, and voila! It charges your credit card through the site and sends you texts as confirmation, reminders, and follow up. (Can I just say how much I liked that feature?) Also, the cleaner has access to your information, so we were able to text directly about details on getting into my complex and such.

Yet as cleaning day drew closer, I realized I was having a hard time letting go. When I booked the appointment I had to stop myself from writing a bajillion notes! "Clean this thing this way. Oh, don't miss this other thing. Can you do this thing?" I was going to be at work when he came, so Andy asked me the night before if I had any specific things I wanted to make sure got done. Y'all, I made a list. I don't know if that's what you're supposed to do for cleaners. I kind of wish I could've just let him do his thing. I'm sure he's extremely competent and, you know, knows a thing or two about cleaning houses. I'M SO SORRY. I'm a little neurotic.

But you know what? It all went well. Things that used to be dusty are not dusty anymore. The rugs are vacuumed. He even found my watch, which I thought was long gone, lost in our move! So next month, I'm ditching the list. He knows what he's doing, and there's no reason for me to exert mental energy over whether it's being done "right." If I'm going to outsource, I need to trust in the system a little better (unless, of course, there's something specific and more out of the ordinary than "mop the bathroom floors").

I just need to let it go, if you will.


What's your housecleaning style? Are there tasks you outsource that make your life a lot easier?

P.S. If you're interested in Hux, I think I have a referral link somewhere that will give us both a credit, so let me know!

Meet Kira

On Sunday, we went and adopted a cat from the humane society!


Yeah, I wore an Octocat shirt to adopt a cat. SO SUE ME.

She's acclimating pretty well, I'd say. She's very sweet when you come up to her, though she hasn't necessarily started seeking out our company yet.

She's fascinated by little noises and sensations, like the air coming from the air conditioning vent.


She likes her bed a lot and goes to town kneading on it (which is good, rather than kneading the furniture!)


She likes trying to see under doors (especially at the vet, when she heard dogs) and hiding behind the curtains.


She gets playful every night at around 9:30 but so far has been too shy to actually approach any of her toys!


We had our first vet visit today and she did very well. She walked right into the carrier when I put a treat in there, and then did the same for the vet. The vet said she is "food motivated." Sounds about right to be a cat of mine!


We'd been talking about bringing home a cat for a long time, and I'm very content with our decision! Something about having a little creature to take care of just brings me joy. I know we're going to have a lot of fun with Kira in our lives.

arbitrary timelines

I have a tendency to make mental timelines for my day, especially when I'm left to my own devices. If Andy happens to be out of town on a weekend, I'll have my day all mapped out in my head, even though I'm not answering to anyone but myself.

In some ways this is good, because it helps me make sure I do everything I want and need to do. Actually, more often than not, my timeline is really of fun stuff, not necessary stuff. The necessary stuff I write down or type onto a physical list. It's the fun stuff that just stays in my head.

An example of a lazy Saturday timeline:

  • Wake up
  • Make a cup of tea and get back in bed to read
  • I've been reading for about half an hour, so it's time to get up and move on to the next thing.
  • Hmmm, I think I'll go to the pool at 11:30 and stay for an hour.
  • Now I will watch 2 and only 2 episodes of this show I'm enjoying.
  • I'd better start cooking dinner at 6:30.

I do something similar on weekday mornings. My work is fairly casual, and unless I have something on the calendar, it is mostly up to me as to what time I need to arrive. And yet, I still give myself a timeline.

Again, mostly a good thing: it keeps me accountable and makes sure I don't put work on the backburner.

But where I run into trouble with it is when my personally-imposed, arbitrary timelines start stressing me out! If I have nothing else to do on a given Saturday, why do I have to stop myself from reading after half an hour? If I'm having a good time at the pool, why should I feel like I have to leave after an hour (as long as I have more sunscreen to apply)? If no one is waiting to meet with me at work, why shouldn't I spend ten extra minutes at home to wash two dishes that are in the sink and pet my new cat?

Another arena where my timeline gets me into trouble is when I'm imposing it onto myself and I'm not home alone. Apparently I am not the only partner who does this! We were talking with some new friends who had us over a drink about one of their tendencies to have planned out a day and not communicated it to the other. Whoops! Guilty as charged. If I've mentally decided that at 5:30 I'm going to drink a beer and watch an episode of The Little Couple, but haven't told Andy that, and then get irked when he suggests we go for a walk at that time, that's silly! I should either communicate it (and perhaps he'd want to join) or be flexible enough to realize that I can relinquish my weird control over my leisure to enjoy a different leisure activity with a person I love!

I think I'm mellowing a lot as I get older and as I spend more time in the real world, and I'm glad. I think it makes me more pleasant to be around, an easier person to get along with, and more relaxed. There's no reason to be so uptight that I plan my own days to the hour when it's not necessary.

This morning I dawdled juuuust a little at home, washing the aformentioned dishes and petting my cat. I got to work about 20 minutes later than I was "supposed to" (in my own mind). The world didn't end. The office building didn't burn down. And I was in a great mood.

Case in point.