Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register Online Editor. Follow her misadventures as a 30-something finding her way through life in Simple & Sassy, which runs every other Sunday in the Napa Valley Register.

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After several years of careful consideration, my husband and I have become paw-rents. We recently adopted two four-month-old kittens from a local animal rescue, and now share our home with Tigger and Chase.

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Despite what the calendar says, I’m having trouble believing that it’s August. It seems like the year is speeding by. Where did 2019 go? Halloween decorations are populating store shelves. I even saw Christmas ribbon at Michaels.

I like going out. I’m always looking for new things for my husband and I to do to get us out of our homebody rut. The Bay Area is an amazing place to explore, and there is never a lack of things to discover.

Every time I cut my hair short, my girlfriends say they wish they could do the same. I always tell them the same thing: “Do it! It’s super easy. Just go to the salon and have them chop it off.”

I always thought when it came time to defend myself, I would tap into my inner warrior princess and roar like a lioness. Instead, when I found myself in a potentially dangerous situation, my brain opted for sarcasm. Rather than scream from the mountain tops, I let out a pitiful “Ummmmm….”

Sick days used to be simple. When I was a kid (circa. 1990), staying home sick from school meant commandeering the couch and starting your reign as couch commander with an hour of “The Price is Right”. This would be followed up with a combination of other game shows, cartoons and possibly a …

The running joke between me and my Mom is that she should have named me Grace. If there is a way to trip, tumble, stumble or flat-out fall down, I will find it. Testing gravity has been a lifelong endeavor.

April is a pretty intense month if you are a pop culture junkie such as myself. This weekend, the final season of “Game of Thrones” debuts on HBO, and at the end of the month Marvel Studios’ Infinity saga concludes with the release of “Avengers: Endgame”.

Hip hop beats of Usher’s “My Boo” leak from ceiling speakers as the “Friends” episode “The One with the ‘Cuffs” plays on the television. I’m trying to read a profile about actor Zachary Levi published in “Men’s Journal” on my cellphone when I hear fighter jets overhead. What kind of Bizarro …

I tend not to fret too much about my appearance, but I do enjoy a few indulgences. I like to get the occasional pedicure, and I treat myself to facials every few months, but I am pretty regular about getting my eyebrows threaded.

I knew I wanted a change, but change is easier said than done. I bought Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” a year ago. I’d heard Kondo’s book had inspired thousands of people to conquer their clutter, and I was ready to…

Couch shopping is surprisingly exhausting. In an effort to find an ideal piece of furniture, there are a lot of factors to consider. Are the cushions too soft? Too firm? Does the fabric have an appealing texture? Is the fabric stain resistant? Can I pour a pail of red sauce on it and wipe it…

I never thought I’d see a lion walking arm in fin with a shark, but those kinds of things are the norm at the NHL Mascot Showdown. Why else would I be watching a rousing game of musical chairs in the first place?

I try not to give into social media fads, but when Facebook users were asked to dig up their first profile photos and post them next to their current profile photos, I couldn’t help it. I try not to go digging into past too often, but I’ll admit I was curious.

I love decorating for the holidays. Some of my favorite memories involve decorating the house with my Mom. We decorated for every holiday, but Christmas was our specialty. We decked every hall with touches of Christmas, both new and old.

I think an apology might be in order. I have silently cursed at the men in my life for years for their failure to point out the obvious when it comes to my fashion faux pas, makeup messes and hair blunders. Women in my life never spare me from their observations, so I have to single out the guys.

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I know you don’t typically see my column in the Arts section, but this installment of “Simple & Sassy” is a bit of a departure from my usual schtick. See, when I was younger, I wanted to be film critic. It was the only job I could think of that would allow me to get paid to watch movies,…

Napa Valley Register online editor and Simple & Sassy columnist Samie Hartley is blogging about her experiences at this year's Napa Valley Film Festival. She will be checking in throughout the festival to share her thoughts about the festival and the films she sees. She's bringing her hu…

With all the walking Chuck and I did at Disney World, I was hoping I’d come home at least a pound or two lighter. Chuck’s phone reports we walked close to 70 miles on our trip, and my calves haven’t been this firm since college, but my middle is still Winnie the Pooh soft.

What happened at Target last week is the closest I’ve come to channeling my inner Clint Eastwood. Not the stoic, heroic Dirty Harry, though. It was more in line with “Get off my lawn!” Clint from “Gran Torino”.

What kind of office has an antique popcorn cart that looks like it would be more at home in Disneyland than down the hall from a maze of cubicles? A Silicon Valley office – that’s what.

My reality feels splintered. I’ve hit that age where more and more things I assumed would be around forever are slowly beginning to dissolve away. I’m still coming to terms with the closing of Toys R Us, my childhood haven – second only to Chuck E Cheese, but now I’ve learned that Best Buy i…

As my plane pulled into the gate, a wave of boiling animosity flooded the cabin. People rose to their feet, muttering and cursing to themselves and each other as they grabbed for their bags and began to storm off the plane.

I’ve been heavy into my spring cleaning rituals these past few weeks. It’s amazing what you find when you dig into every corner of your home – even when you went through the same motions a year ago.

I was sitting at a table sandwiched between conversations about crown molding and the pros and cons of homeowners associations. I felt myself zoning out. I felt like a girl waiting to step into a game of Double Dutch jump rope, only there were no opportunities for me to join either conversation.

I was surprised when I entered the movie theater to find it nearly full. I figured by now, anyone who’d wanted to see “The Post” had already seen it. It came and left theaters in what little of a year we’ve already had. I was only catching it at the end of February because it was being scree…

I’m sure, sooner or later, I will be struck down with a cold in the coming weeks. It’s only a matter of time. I can feel it in the air. I can hear it in the muffled coughs of my coworkers.

Santa comes in many forms. For many, Santa is the jolly man in red with a grand, fluffy snow-white beard who delivers hope and good tidings. For me, Santa wears a puffy blue ski jacket.

A coworker put his hand on my shoulder in a playful manner the other day. It was a brief moment – almost like a “Hey, how about those Warriors?” shoulder pat. In the past, this type of interaction wouldn’t bother me, and it still doesn’t. But given the climate of things, when you have a Dirt…

Coming out of a turkey coma is disorienting. My husband and I hosted Thanksgiving this year, and for the first time, we managed the entire menu ourselves. I’m pleased to say we pulled it off.

Napa Valley Register online editor and Simple & Sassy columnist Samie Hartley is blogging about her experiences at this year's Napa Valley Film Festival. She will be checking in throughout the festival to share her thoughts about the festival and the films she sees. She's bringing her hu…

I decided I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself in front of 17,000 people. Free movie tickets just aren’t worth that kind of humiliation no matter how brief or forgettable the experience may be.

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The first Olympic Games I remember is the 1994 winter contest in Lilllehammer. I remember it mostly because I had to do a school project about the sports, but I also remember it because it was the year Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan squared off on the ice in the most epic figure skating ba…

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Film Fest fans aren’t letting rain stop them from traveling the Napa Valley in search of something that will entertain and inspire. Chuck and I left two hours early this morning to make sure we had enough time to make to St. Helena (We live in Solano County), find our venue and find parking …

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Sometimes the title says it all. “A Happening of Monumental Proportions” -- that’s a title that intrigues me. The synopsis sold me. The story is about a man who gets fired right before he is about to give a presentation at career day at his daughter’s school. Oh and there was a dead body fou…

Maybe it’s because it is a Wednesday morning or because this is a screening of three documentary shorts, but Chuck and I are easily the youngest people at the Copia Theater. No matter. Our Napa Valley Film Festival experience has officially begun.

To say it’s been a stressful week would be the understatement of the year. I live in Solano County, away from the threats of the wildfire, but I have family in Napa, and of course, I work here and a majority of my Register family is in Napa County.

To the casual observer, I probably seem like I have a tic, a ceaseless need to wipe down sink areas in public restrooms. Ladies, you might have seen me. I wash my hands and then proceed to use my paper towel to clean up around the sink I’ve been using. If there is time, I will tidy nearby si…

Dear Internet, what’s happened to you? You used to be a source of information, quality information, but now, you just fill my head with useless factoids and random nothings. I’ve known this for some time, but I have to draw the line at squiggle eyebrows.

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