Reading, Listening, Watching, Doing, Thinking

by Katy on January 6, 2012 · 19 comments

I am reading Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy, by Martin Lindstrom.

I am listening to The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back, by Kevin Salwen and Hannah Selwen.

I am watching repeats of Big Bang Theory, as well as the movie The Joneses.

I am currently hosting two Japanese teenagers for five days. They’re both super outgoing, and one of them is even in an apparently successful band, and played us an amazing Chopin piece on our embarrassingly  atonal piano. We will soon be welcoming my older son’s Japanese tutor into our home for six months, which means that our TV will move to our living room. My husband is going to Ikea today to buy a not-room-overwhelming TV stand. (I would like to buy used, but was outvoted.)

I am thinking about my husband Dale, whose Facebook status yesterday was:

“‎24 years ago I dropped everything and ran off to England to chase the love of my life. I am the luckiest man in the world to be married to the kindest, honest, and most beautiful woman in the world. I love you Katy! I hope you had a great birthday.”

Yup. he loves me, even though I’m notoriously difficult to buy gifts for.

How about you? What are you doing now that the holidays have passed?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Dogs or Dollars January 6, 2012 at 9:53 am

Love the husband backstory, and that he chased you to England. Even if you were outvoted on the TV stand.


min hus January 6, 2012 at 10:08 am

Am curious to know what you thought of The Power of Half. I had mixed reactions but haven’t written a review yet.


Katy January 6, 2012 at 10:11 am

I just started listening to it. It is a bit hard to be super impressed by the act of going from a 6000 s.f. house to a 3000 s.f. house.



Lilypad January 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I agree. I struggled to get through that book and then kinda wished I hadn’t wasted any precious life hours (to quote “Your Money or Your Life”!) on it.


Jennifer January 6, 2012 at 10:17 am

Happy Birthday Katy! Your blog is one of a handful that I read every post. Thanks for sharing with us!

Since the holidays have passed I am on a mission to declutter and deep clean. I also hope to work on several sewing projects that were placed on the back burner with all the Christmas sewing I did. Looking at some room painting, garden planning and seed buying and hope to fit in a few good reads in along with all the day to day duties as a mom, wife and part time forestry employee……. Ok, my list just made me tired!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl January 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

Aww, that’s so sweet. I just love it when Mr. FG says stuff like that about me…totally makes my day!


Karen January 6, 2012 at 10:43 am

We had to have someone unassemble the wall in our laundry room to investigate some mold and other things that were happening with the dryer. Turns out that the house, built in 1969 only had about an inch or less of space between the concrete wall and the drywall. No wonder the dryer took forever, built up a ton of lint and wouldn’t run when it was too wet. Anyway, they had to basically saw out another inch of concrete so it could be properly ducted. That dust, is EVERYWHERE. So, as I clean up the dust, I’ll be doing some purging. Someone didn’t close the linen closet either. I have horrible allergies and a nose like a hound, so I can take one sniff and tell if there is concrete dust on a sheet or towel. I’ll be washing and purging, starting there, then hitting some hallway bookcases. I literally have 10 giant storage totes full of clothes that my kids have outgrown. I purged a few years ago for my daughter and have Hanna Andersson up the wa


Karen January 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

oops. I guess I’m continuing. Weird.
So, yeah, up the wazoo. I can’t imagine just donating it, so it’s just been sitting since I really want to get something out of it, especially those things are brand new with tags. Daunting really.


Laura's Last Ditch--Adventures in Thrift Land January 6, 2012 at 10:45 am

I wonder if Goodwill uses any tricks to get us to buy….

I will say, when I read “Why We Buy,” I found lots of information that was applicable to running a garage sale.


PigPennies January 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

What a fantastic husband you have 🙂 Happy belated birthday!


Katy January 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm

We went to Ikea, but the TV carts were such poor quality, they were already chipping and peeling while still on the showroom floor. We left empty handed, but full of cafeteria food and free Ikea Family coffee.



Katie January 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Aw, what a nice birthday wish from the husband!

Were you in Europe for long? I’d be interested in hearing about what it was like to live non-consumer style in Europe, if you’re interested in writing about it. Didn’t you live in New York for a while too?


Emma January 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Love that FB entry! You both sound very lucky to have each other!


Judy C January 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Happy frugal birthday!

I delight in reading your blog every single day and I can certainly relate to your gift-returning birthday tradition.

We don’t exchange gifts at Christmas (although cash is usually distributed to the young adult daughters); however, Daughter #2, on Christmas, handed me a bag with miscellaneous “stuff” of which she had “tired”. Part of the “stash” were two pairs of large, hoop earrings – something that I had wanted for YEARS but would never buy myself, nor ask someone else to buy them for me. Okay…It took years, but FINALLY I have them – and, boy, do they look fabulous on me! 😉

Again, Happy Birthday! By the way, I have six years on you (50), and, I have to say that it’s not that bad. Fun can be had at any age!


Bauunny January 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Assess. I Love what your husband said about you. That was better than any purchased gift by far. Just thinking about Europe. My experience was that they did far more with less than most Americans could ever conceive…..lots of reasons for that, but it made me almost ashamed of our consumerism on steroids culture (especially before the economic downturn that forced many to reconsider the sustainability of their lifestyles).


Maureen January 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm

My neighbors and I are fighting off a massive 1 million sq ft trucking distribution center that will butt up to our backyards. And it’s one of those cheapo dollar stores that wants to plant it there running 24/7. Not good at all. I’ve seen first hand how they are trying to “sell” themselves to the taxpaying public. And how the town is buying it hook, line and sinker. UGH!


Katy January 7, 2012 at 9:02 am

So sorry to hear that. 🙁



Shelley January 7, 2012 at 3:17 am

Yeah, I guess he’s a keeper! I’ve been trying to DO more, less reading, etc. Priorities: exercise, sewing, un-cluttering. Must . shut . down . this . computer . sooner.


Sarah January 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I love that movie! (The Joneses) I actually found it on netfilx one day. I always find it interesting that the premise of the movie is that “stuff” doesn’t make you happy…but the movie prominently features several real life name brands. Seriously it is an anti commercial vehicle for product placement.

My Hubby and I like to play “spot the paid for product placement” in movies, it is a fun little game.

Love your blog.


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