Y’all, I read some great stuff this week, so my Friday Five is all about some of these great reads.


Sweets and I have tried to slash our use of plastic bags. We bring reusable bags to the grocery store and request paper bags when we forget. I often forgo bags at checkout when I’m at the pharmacy (preferring to place purchased items straight into my purse). And, I cringe when Target sends me home with too many plastic bags (really, I should cringe at myself when I forget to bring reusable bags with me). So, imagine my delight when I learned that the Chicago City Council voted to ban plastic bags. The deadline for big box stores and chains is 2015 with smaller chain stores following one year later. Small businesses are exempt, for now. Baby steps, right?! Do you bring your own reusable bags to the store or do you rely on whatever bags they provide?


Does your dream job exist? It’s a good question to ponder. Amber writes openly about her belief dream jobs don’t exist. I echo her thoughts and would add that if the dream job means turning our passions into a career, then there’s the very real possibility that the chase will dull our passions. If we don’t like the business side of our passion or don’t like pursuing our passion on other people’s terms (as, say, a photographer might have to in order to please a client), then our dream job might not turn out to be the dream we thought it might be. Interesting stuff. Does your dream job exist? Are you working it right now?


What would you do if some extra money came your way? Say, $100 or $1,000 or $100,000 or $1,000,000? Feisty Harriet provides a fun post considering how she’d spend that extra money. Me?

  • $100: Buy running clothes, I need ‘em
  • $1,000: Plan a domestic vacation getaway for my family
  • $100,000: Pay off debts, buy a new car (our 17-year old truck is hanging in there, but wishes to retire soon), plan an international vacation for my family
  • $1,000,000: Buy a home; buy an RV; take a few months off from work (Sweets, too) to go on an international excursion

What would you do if $100, $1,000, $100,000 and $1,000,000 fell into your lap?


I recently saw the best little Mother’s Day tradition, which I might have already informed Sweets that he needs to start. It involves a journal and annual entries from Sweets and Gavin. And it’s housed in the same place, so that 20 years from now, I can look back at all the wonderful ways my boys decided to celebrate the mama in their life. Do you enjoy DIY/handmade gifts? Do you prefer tangible or intangible gifts (say, beautiful stationary vs. tickets to the theater)?


Sometime last year, a girlfriend told me about a Chicago street photographer, name Vivian Maier. Then, last week, we went to see a new documentary about her called Finding Vivian Maier. She was an unknown photographer (and most people in her life knew very little about Vivian Maier the person) until sometime after her death, when a young man uncovered some of her negatives at an auction. One thing led to another and he began uncovering her life through her photographs. We often think of photographers as story tellers: their work tells the stories of their subjects. What was amazing about Vivian Maier’s story is that her photographs actually had a compelling story to tell about her as well. Also, she took selfies before the term even existed! Have any documentaries had a profound effect on your life (or do you have any favorites you’d like to recommend)?


In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past week, forever-a-bachelor George Clooney got engaged to be married! Not only is he engaged, but his fiancée is a super accomplished British attorney (who also happens to be gorgeous). This is a big win for the smart-is-sexy crowd (!) and there’s a great letter to Ms. Alamuddin in the NY Post on this very topic.


I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts this past week sharing Jimmy Fallon’s Lip Sync Battle with Emma Stone. I watched it. Thought it was cute. But, I’m not totally buying the hype that it was THAT worthy of so many re-posts. (Attention Target shoppers, there is a lost sense of humor in search of her mom. Nilsa, if you are in the store, please report to customer service.) But, never fear. I think Jimmy Fallon’s series of photo bombing segments are hilarious. Last month, Fallon joined forces with Jon Hamm. This month, Cameron Diaz. Everyone wins!

What articles or posts or websites would you recommend today?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

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11 thoughts on “Five

  • May 2, 2014 at 6:00 am

    I agree with you that turning passion into a business could make it less of a passion. It definitely would for me! Even blogging is an example of that. I love blogging but thats because there is no pressure in it for me, it’s just fun.

    I really need to improve my plastic bag use. I often get them… I have reuseable bags but usually forget them. All I can say is, I do bring my lunch in plastic bags, and now store a bunch of my pumping stuff and bring it back and forth in plastic bags so at least I am reusing them? I know, I know, something I need to work on!

  • May 2, 2014 at 8:38 am

    One: shops in our county are required to charge 5 cents for every plastic bag you need/buy. It was an inconvenience when they first did that — forgetting bags, having to buy trash bags for our little trash cans. But I think it all works out. Those trash bags are probably less than 5 cents a bag and some large stores (grocery, Target) will credit you 5 cents for every bag you use. Also, I find I can put more stuff in a reusable bag, which makes for fewer trips from car to house :).

    Two: From a practical standpoint, I agree. If our passion turns into a job, and jobs come with more responsibility than just doing what makes us passionate, then no, there is no dream job. However, I am VERY satisfied with my job because I do what I like and I have a lot of flexibility. That’s pretty dreamy to me. It also suits me better than other jobs people in my field typically get.

    (This is going to be a looooong comment!)

    Three: ($100) Put it in the bank. I know, not fun. Ok ok, maybe buy LR5 and a cameraphone lens. ($1000) Put it towards a new lens. ($100000) Definitely toward down payment on a house. ($1 million) All of the above + overseas trip as well. Full frame camera. Another lens.

    Four: Sounds great. Not sure it’s easy to convince all husbands to do such DIY craft things ;). Hope Sweets does this for you!

    Five: I can’t wait to watch that documentary! And YES about the selfies.

    And let’s just say Jimmy Fallon is killing it. All the time. Good for him!

  • May 2, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Thanks for the shout out! I’m off to read some more of these posts!!


  • May 2, 2014 at 10:58 am

    So much to answer!
    1. I have reusable bags. I’m horrible at remembering them. HORRIBLE. I do turn down bags for a lot of items, though, and really don’t mind just hand carrying things. I need to remember my reusable bags!

    2. the lottery! $100- i’d probably sign the girls up for another camp I have my eye on (bonus: it’s not crazy expensive). $1,000: I’d definitely take Knight away for a long weekend. $100,000: pay down the mortgage, save some, put some in a fund for the kidlets for college.

    3. My mom took tons of pictures, all the time. My brother texted me a few weeks back (he has mom’s computer) and said he found a TON of selfies of mom. Makes me smiles. One of the neatest things about pictures, now that mom is gone: I love knowing that she took that picture from her POV, having some particular thought or idea. Sometimes it breaks me down (a la our wedding photos) even though it’s neat, and other times it makes me wonder what she was thinking that she wanted to capture that particular moment.

    4. I love Jimmy Fallon; I think his Paul Rudd lip sync was better than the Emma Stone one (I’m not a huge Emma fan… let people yell at me). I haven’t seen the photo bombs but that IS awesome.

    Happy Friday!

  • May 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Oh we use reusable bags the majority of the time. Otherwise we get paper bags, but unfortunately that’s not always an option in stores. Boy do I hate it when they don’t have the paper bag option (WEGMENS I’M LOOKING AT YOU.)

    I’d hands down pay down our debt if we ever won or came into a good amount of money. Then put the majority into savings. If there’s anything left, I would plan a trip for us somewhere.

    Actually Amal Alumaddin is originally Lebanese. :) She’s as much British as I am American in that we’re immigrants. It cracks me up that the media makes such a big deal out of it. The way I look at her is that she’s one Lebanese woman who didn’t succumb to our culture of grow up, get married and make babies. She has a very impressive professional background. Anyway, media is laughable, especially how most are all about her “taming” Clooney. Ugh.

    I think I’m going to wait until the Vivian Maier movie is on dvd. It’s funny, I use to love going to the movies. But it’s become so much more expensive and well, I’d rather spend that money on a Saturday night hanging out with close friends and having fun. Definitely waiting for it to go on DVD/online streaming though.

    I loved the Jimmy Fallon video! Actually I fell into a Jimmy Fallon YouTube hole for a while and kept watching one after the other….

  • May 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I hadn’t seen the photobombs yet. Way cool!

  • May 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    I am really good about remembering to bring my reusable bags when I grocery shop on foot/bike in Minneapolis but not so good when I am in my car for some reason? But I do re-use the plastic bags for my garbage bags so at least they serve 2 purposes?

    If I got $100, I would buy something from Banana Republic (ha, surprise surprise), with $1,000 I would put it towards my student loans (boring, but they are a thorn in my side), with $100,000 I would pay off my student loans and condo and put the rest in my travel savings account. With $1,000,000 I would pay off debt, invest half of it, and use the remainder to take an epic trip through France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Oh and I’d take the bike tour of Croatia. But maybe as a separate trip from the France/Italy/Spain/Portugal trip.

  • May 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I’m glad you liked my post! I agree that I think a lot of the things I’m passionate about would not become as fun if I did them for work. I also think it’s so so important to have passions outside of work! It’s what makes life fun!

    $100 would be put aside for our upcoming trip to Ireland/Scotland (5 sleeps!), $1,000 would go into savings for after our trip since we’re depleting the majority of our savings on this trip, $100,000 would buy a second vehicle, use some for a down payment on a house, and probably set some aside for a future trip, $1,000,000 would pay off any and all debt, put a big chunk away for retirement and take a massive around the world trip. What is the theme here? TRAVEL! haha.

  • May 5, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I pretty much always have a reusable bag with me, but I need to work on breaking Chris of his paper bag habit.

    $100: I’d probably just use it for groceries and stuff. $1,000: I’d probably take Chris out for a special dinner and then use the rest on groceries and things again (I’m practical like that). $100,000: Get a nose job, take a fabulous trip and put the rest away in savings. $1,000,000: Take a fabulous trip then buy a place in one of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn that Chris and I would ideally like to end up in.

  • May 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I try to always remember my reusable bags. Sometimes I still forget, but I’m all for a bag ban. I think there are studies that show once you start getting paid for your passions, a lot of times you lose interest in them. This kind of leads me to think there are no dream jobs. Although there could be…like ice cream taster or sun screen tester. I think I have long had dream-ish jobs. But the grass is always greener. DIY gifts? Absolutely. Documentaries? Any about the food industry (Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is the reason we started trying to juice fast). Clooney getting married? Heart broken (but I’m psyched she’s such a smartie).

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