My birthday is in a few days. When it comes to gifts, I prefer food and/or services over things.
This year, I asked to have someone else clean our home. After over a year of doing it ourselves, I wanted a month where everything got cleaned by someone who is not me. So, on Tuesday, we have a team coming in. I am more excited about that than I am about the vacation days I'm using this week.
We hired this team once (right after our kiddo was born) and they cleaned things I didn't know were included - our oven, the light fixtures, under the carpets. If they could reach it, it got cleaned. I had never seen our place look so amazing. The results lasted over a month. It was wonderful not having to worry about cleaning when we had a new baby.
This cleaning team is only part of my gift this year. A few days ago, we had another crew come in and do the windows - inside and out. Since we live on an upper floor, cleaning the outside is not the easiest thing. Our windows do all that flippy-opening stuff that helps, but it's still hard to clean the outsides. We did it ourselves last year and our five (large) windows took nearly two hours. There were still streaks and smears on the outside that we couldn't get off. This crew did the same task (panes, gutters, sills, and all) in 15 minutes and the windows sparkle. I mean sparkle. I'm actually terrified birds might fly into them.
What is one chore you'd prefer to pay someone else to do?
This is the 17th edition of The Weekly Wrap. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I love putting it together. As a shameless birthday request, I ask that you share this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested in subscribing. I’d love to have a new subscriber (or two) .
A few days ago, I started reading The Sunfire King by Sylvia Mercedes. It’s the sequel to The Moonfire Bride. I am pleased that I decided to purchase both titles at once because the first book ended on a cliffhanger and I didn’t have to wait. These are delightful, high fantasy YA novels. Perfect for summer reading.
Last week, I signed up for a new newsletter. The author plans to eat through every country, A to Z, in New York City. I am here for it! [Food for Thought]
You should consider creating an annual professional development plan. [Infobase]
Breaking down the costs in your Comcast bill. [WaPo]
Why do we buy competitively? [Vox]
There is more than one type of rest. [TED]
Petition to attend this amazing kindergarten in China. [Colossal]
One town's process to paying reparations. [The Daily]
All the ways you can use less plastic. [Life Kit]
Why you can suddenly watch more foreign films and series. [The Indicator]
The heat waves are worse because of us, and they aren't going anywhere. [The Daily]
Butter and inflation. [The Indicator]
Frederick Douglass was a man for the ages. [Throughline]
The science of ice cream. [Short Wave]
A mesmerizing video of sheep herds from overhead. [Colossal]
Your too cute TikTok of the week. [@stonebear369]
We've got one episode left in Peter Capaldi's tenure as Doctor Who. I am still blown away by his take on the role. He brought a seriousness that elevated the whole show. [HBO Max]
We also snuck in a few more episodes of our Outlander rewatch. Sometimes, in shows like this, I just wish the characters would sit down and talk. It would solve a lot of problems and clear up misunderstandings. But, I also totally watch for the heightened drama. [Netflix]
Snakes on a Plane. We watched it. It's kinda like one of those bad SyFy disaster movies but we better production values and Samuel L. Jackson. [HBO Max]
I love breakfast food. The kid loves quesadillas. I have no idea why it took me this long to think of making breakfast quesadillas for dinner. I cooked up some egg, green pepper, and breakfast sausage, then added it as the filling to a regular cheese quesadilla. Pretty darn tasty.
For some reason, it has been nearly impossible to find frozen, Asian stir fry vegetables at our supermarket. So, I was taking a gamble when I put peanut soba stir fry on our menu. I lucked out! There was one bag left and I snagged it. I used only about half the sauce and froze the leftovers for another day. [Budget Bytes]
Our new recipe of the week was kung pao chicken with cauliflower rice. It was a bit heavy on the bell peppers but otherwise tasty. I love the ways cashews come out in dishes like this. [Eat Good 4 Life]
I have been in the mood to listen to music from middle and high school. Someone did me a solid and put together this playlist of summer in the 90s on Spotify.
Friends accuse me of turning my birthday into a week of events. I’m just going to lean into it.