What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

a podcast with Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

Month: September 2017

Episode 26: Pets- Worst Idea Ever?

Should your family get a pet? Heavens, no. Take it from two extremely reluctant pet owners of the cat, dog, and fish variety.

Okay, pets have upsides: their cute little faces. Their tolerating humiliating headdresses. But there are downsides as well, and in this episode we elaborate them for you in enough detail that you will vow never, ever to cave to your children’s demands for a pet.

Barring that, we hope you will at least consult our extremely useful Pet Matrix in order to balance your future pet’s fun-to-hassle ratio.

In this episode we discuss

  • why getting a pet will not, despite popular sentiment, make an animal lover out of you if you’re not one already
  • why you should or should not let your kids pick the pet’s name
  • how you, once you have a pet, will either travel less, travel differently, or have to find a relative with “pet bandwidth”
  • why you shouldn’t get a hamster cause you can’t handle a dog
  • why birds are an absolutely not

Here’s some useful links for further reading on the topic:

from Lifehacker: Where To Start When You’ve Decided You Want a Dog (first step: “Make sure you’re sure.”)

from PetFinder: How Much a Dog Costs Per Year

from The Orlando Sentinel: Study Says Cats Would Kill You If They Were Bigger

Are you a doting pet owner? A absolutely not-er? A slowly-being-beaten-down-by-clamoring-children holdout? Tell us in the comments!

Facebook photo book static  

This episode is brought to you by PastBook. With PastBook, you can make gorgeous hardcover photo books of your Facebook or Instagram feeds in seriously one click. (And you know that’s where you put all your best photos already.) PastBook does the photo arranging and can also include the captions from your feed as part of each photo. To get started, go to pastbook.com/fresh

Episode 25: Conquering Clutter

America has 3% of the world’s kids… and 40% of the world’s toys. We’ve got clutter, right here in River City.

In our opinion the best decluttering advice, from Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, is to “slow the accumulation of new possessions.” In other words, don’t let all that junk in the front door in the first place.

But assuming your household missed that memo— as ours both have— in this episode we discuss:

  • non-vehicular nonsense
  • our kids’ anxiety about purging toys, even long-forgotten ones
  • the personal blind spots we have when clutter-clearing (Margaret has T-shirts from HIGH SCHOOL)
  • the procrastination-enabling, problem-compounding reality of owning a storage unit
  • the great unused potential of the back of your closet doors
  • why the roasting pan you use once a year can become your toy room’s greatest strategy
  • the surprisingly plausible “super-fun cleaning party”

Amy organizes a little bit at a time; she thinks emptying a junk drawer a day is the key to a tidy home.  Margaret says her house is way beyond the help afforded by cleaning out her makeup bag on a Tuesday afternoon. But wherever you lie on the clutter continuum, this episode is full of ideas for eating that elephant. One delicious bite at a time.

Here’s some links to research and resources discussed in this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Blinkist, which distills the best takeaways of popular non-fiction into 15- minute “blinks” you can listen to or read while you’re on the go. Check out decluttering “blinks” like Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing from the Inside Out with our special code: http://bit.ly/freshblinkist

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