EXCLUSIVE: Ten Things We Can’t Live Without

Cat and Danielle teamed up again for this week’s Thursday Top Ten. What are some things you can’t possibly live without? These are ours.



BooksA world without books is a world that I do not wish to live in. Nothing beats opening up a book (none of this e-Reader nonsense), smelling the pages, physically turning each page, being able to visibly see your progress into the book, and diving head first into a story and getting totally and completely engulfed to the point where it’s physically impossible to set the book down. I always get excited to go to libraries and bookstores, anywhere where I’ll be surrounded by books. When I am surrounded by books, I feel home. I think it is so important for kids to grow up with books in their lives and for everyone to be voracious readers. Reading enhances your vocabulary and grammar and just takes you to another world for a little while; everyone should get to experience that privilege through books.—CS


DaisyMy world revolves around a three-year-old cocker spaniel named Daisy. Her hobbies include giving kisses, snuggling, listlessly staring out the window, barking at absolutely nothing, wagging her tail in a hula-dancer fashion, and her full time job which entails napping and being adorable. Her long, beautiful, cascading, curly ears are all the better for not listening to instructions and commands and her perfect, cute-as-a-button face excels at getting endless attention. She is the most pathetic baby you will ever meet and that is specifically her goal. It’s impossible for anyone to meet her and not fall in love. I mean, look at those eyes! She’s literally carrying a pacifier around in her mouth! Yep, I’m a goner. She’s the light of my life and I feel so lucky to get to come home to her wagging tail everyday.—CS

The Beach

BeachSome people just aren’t beach people and I guess we need to respect the whole “to each his own” thing, but I’m just not one of those people, nor do I understand those people. Put me on a beach with my feet in the sand and the ocean’s salty mist blowing through my hair and the sunrays kissing me and then everything will be right in the world. Why do we feel such a profound, deep pull towards the ocean, and subsequently, the beach? Maybe because the sound of the waves crashing and seagulls squawking is literally the most peaceful sound and satisfying therapy there is? Maybe each crash and wave pulls a little bit of one’s anxiety away with it, leaving us just a little bit more at peace than when we came? Each summer I have to get to the beach at least once; this summer I made out pretty well and was collectively there about two weeks. But it’s never enough. It will never be enough. My “beach” is an actual beach and always will be.—CS

Playing House

PH“Playing House” is the best show on TV right now that nobody knows about. Every Tuesday, USA makes TV watchers’ weeks a little bit better by premiering a new episode of “Playing House.” It is such a fantastic, light-hearted, heart-warming, hilarious show. One of the reasons it’s so incredibly good is the fact that the main characters, Emma and Maggie, who play on-screen lifelong best friends, are actually lifelong best friends in real life. The relationships between every character are so wonderful and each episode is written with intelligence, class, love, and hilarity. Another great, refreshing thing about “Playing House” is that it’s not all about sex, violence, and/or crime! It sends such an empowering message to women and stresses that all you need in life is one important thing: your best friend. Take my word for it and go watch this show; Playing House be bangin’.—CS 


CameraI absolutely need a camera in my life. It doesn’t matter what kind; it can be digital, manual, or just my smartphone, I need to be able to capture anything and everything. I do understand the importance in sitting back and just enjoying a moment without having to photo-document everything, but maniacally snapping pictures in the background to hopefully capture just one perfect shot will shortly ensue. Whether it’s a beautiful sunset/sunrise, a funny moment, my dog being unbearably cute, an awe-inspiring plate of food, (yep, I’m one of THOSE people), a little fleck of dew positioned ever-so-perfectly on a piece of grass, a gross bug doing something gross, it doesn’t matter; it’s all imperative to capture. Thank you, cameras, for being the love of my life and allowing me to use you whenever I see fit as the best creative outlet ever.—CS



Yep, I’m one of those people. I’ve been drinking coffee regularly since high school, a dependency that reached frightening levels in college. I once tried to cut back and suffered debilitating headaches. In 2012-13, when I was working crazy hours as a freelance reporter and writing long into the early morning hours, I started getting migraines—turned out I was basically overdosing on caffeine. I’ve since managed to find a balance that gets me through the day fairly painlessly, but it’s funny to me that I literally can’t live without a big ol’ cup o’ joe in the morning and an afternoon jolt, without subjecting myself to some rather unpleasant side effects. But aside from its wondrous superpowers, I love coffee for the taste. The smell. The warmth that spreads throughout my entire body with that first sip. Coffee’s not a drink. It’s a religion.—DT

My Body Pillow

Newpoint-International-Inc-Microsuede-Body-Pillow-Cover-With-Double-Sided-Zippers-Navy-0This is a weird thing to admit publicly, but I stopped sleeping on regular bed pillows around 2007 or 8. I was having an oddly restless night and had to get up for an early class. Fed up with flipping to the cold side, I tossed my pillow off my bed and reached instead for the squashy, velvety body pillow that had been a Christmas gift from my grandmother. I plumped it up, rolled to one side and put one end under my head and hugged the rest of it. It was like sleeping with a cloud and I knocked right out. I guess it’s sort of become an addiction now, because I haven’t slept on any other pillow ever since. I don’t hug it anymore (let’s hear the single jokes roll in with that one, if that were the case), but it still lays across the top of my bed and going to sleep each night is like laying my head on a cushy cloud. Don’t knock the body pillow, man. It’s dang comfy. I went through a phase where I even brought it with me to people’s houses … I try not to do that anymore.—DT

Pop Culture

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 3.44.42 PMIt’s a well-known fact at this point that I’m a total entertainment junkie. I like to think that it’s making me a more empathetic, thoughtful member of society and not just rotting my brain. But my god, do I love to immerse myself in a powerhouse novel or riveting television drama. I can’t imagine trying to go a day, let alone a week or longer, without some form of pop culture. It links us, even though it’s fiction. I’ve formed entire friendships based on nothing but the fact that they’re as obsessed as I am with The Walking Dead or Harry Potter. I love it all and can never get enough: Movies, TV, music, theatre, musical theatre, literature, art. Anything that evokes creativity through expression and tells a story.—DT

The Ocean

Lounging in Labadee on my summer 2015 family vacation.
Lounging in Labadee on my summer 2015 family vacation.

Even though I have to live without it for way too many days out of the year, when I finally find myself reunited with the big blue, it’s like my soul exhales a sigh of relief. It’s cleansing. And I do mean the ocean itself, not just the beach, though obviously relaxing on the sand with the salty sea air washing over me is heaven in itself. But if you put me on a boat or an island and surround me with seriously nothing but that wide expanse of water, I feel like a new person. More than once, I’ve toyed with the idea of just moving my entire life to an island. People do it. I’ve met many folks on my modest travels who vacationed to a certain spot and just never went home. The prospect is all too tempting. I came incredibly close to working for Norwegian Cruise Line a few years ago, on a ship that would’ve been sailing the Hawaiian islands over and over again. The setting sounded perfect, but the job did not, so I turned it down. If I didn’t like writing so much and didn’t have my heart set on reporting on entertainment for the rest of my life, I’d probably be living in a beach hut somewhere. Eh, maybe I will anyway someday.—DT


Give me cheese or give me death. It’s my only food weakness. And it’s found in all my favorite things. It’s stupid how much I love cheese.—DT



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