Welcome Cactus


This is a blog for the curious. I'm happy you stopped by. 

Favorite Things: Chatbooks

Have you ever come to a realization about yourself shockingly late in life? Something that, once you put a name to it, was blatantly obvious that before went unnoticed? I often worry that I don’t have enough hobbies. “All I do is read and watch reruns of The Office,” I’ll fret to my husband.

But it recently hit me that I do have a hobby outside of books and binge watching Netflix. In fact, I’ve had this hobby for as long as I can remember. Since I was a child, I’ve gotten a deep sense of satisfaction from curating.

Of course the thing I curate most often is books, but that obsession aside, I’ve always loved a carefully thought out collection. I’d dig through rocks at he north shore and collect only the worn glass pebbles. Once my collection grew, I decided to only keep the pearly white pieces. Then only the most beautifully worn and shaped. This citation of north shore sea glass continues to this day, and they sit on a silver dish in our office. I find them beautiful even now.

I think I inherited a love of curating photos from my Grandma. She has many albums of sorted and labels photos that cover people and events spanning decades. I’ve always admired those albums. But like many, my photos live in multitudes on my smart phone. Most are never printed and the best ones get lost in the deluge. I always found this sad.

Enter Chatbooks.


Chatbooks prints your photos in a cute little book for cheap. Like less than $20 cheap. You can connect your account to your Instagram feed, a certain hashtag, your favorites roll on your smartphone, or you can add photos manually from your phone or computer. I can’t believe how easy it is! You can “subscribe” to a series, and Chatbooks will mail you a book every 60 photos. Doesn’t that sound a little too good to be true?

I was skeptical when I subscribed to my 2017 Instagram project #happier2017. Would it be worth it? Would it actually work? Would he photos be decent quality?


Totally worth it! It works like a charm – so so simple. And the photos are decent quality. After getting my first 60 photos in a sweet little 6x6 book, I started putting my quotations into a book. I also used Chatbooks to document our photos from a recent trip to Savannah in a hardcover 8x8 book. I’m happy with everything! Beautiful, convenient, and a very satisfying way to nurture my curating habit. 


I’m happy to have my photos off my phone and on my shelves where I can look at them. Part of being happy in the present is remembering happy memories from the past. Chatbooks has helped me curate those sweet times, and I’m so grateful!

A Weekend in Sunny Savannah

National Pet Day