February 27, 2015

LIFE LATELY

Little things happening recently that are worth documenting: 

^^Provo weather has been very pleasant lately and we love to take walks around the block^^
 ^^We went to DI to find something for a school project. I was looking around and Scott walks up with this old school camera. He then proceeded to "film" me for the rest of our time there. He's fun to have around.^^
^^I made a batch of Gramee's cinnamon rolls. They were delicious!!^^
 ^^We celebrated my friend Morgan's birthday at Classic Skating.^^
^^One of our favorite things, The Provo Food Truck Round Up, is still in full swing even with the freezing temps. We were so excited when we found out and had our friend Lex join us for the night^^
^^I am trying to master a hymn a week. Its hard but I know it will pay off in the long run^^
^^My cutest friend, Emily, is getting married!! I am so excited. She also threw herself an engagement party and I love that.^^
^^Mr. Grady turned 4 years old!! We celebrated by watching the Oscars^^
^^Scott somehow got free tickets to the Lakers vs. Jazz game. We went with the Zylsta's and had a really good time. We had nice seats and it was a close game which made the night extra fun^^

February 24, 2015

A SPENDING FAST

When Scott and I came home after the holidays, we realized we were a little depressed and bored. We decided we needed a challenging goal to make being home a little more interesting. We threw out ideas like Whole30, an intense work-out plan, or something service oriented. All of which are great challenges that I hope we take on one day, but we decided on going 30 days without spending any money. And guess what, we really did it! I am so proud of us. It was hard but we saved so much money and we both got out of the habit of spending money places that wasn't necessary.

This challenge really wasn't easy (for me) especially because some nights I was bored to tears. We aren't people who just buy unnecessary things constantly, but I am always up for going to get a treat, seeing a movie, or sometimes going out for dinner. This spending fast helped kicked the habit of always wanting to spend for entertainment, which is exactly what we needed! Here are some tips to make a spending fast a little easier for you.

+PLAN YOUR EXCEPTIONS BEFORE YOU START: Obviously there are going to be exceptions when going 30 days without spending. Make sure you plan out what you are going to spend on. Make sure to limit your list to only necessary things. If you don't limit yourself to that list, you'll find yourself thinking "we should make this an exception because..." and come up with why you need to spend your money. Our exception list included: rent, bills, gas for our cars (we only had to fill up once in the month!!), and milk. I also knew I needed to pay for our Valentine cards to be printed, so that was also on our list. We made sure to stick to that list and it made it easier when we wanted to cave.

+PLAN WHAT & HOW YOU ARE GOING TO EAT: My biggest anxiety about going 30 days without spending was if we were going to make it 30 days and still have food to eat. We did, easily, and it's because I took time to plan it all out. This really helped us clean out our pantry, as well. We will be moving soon and it helped us get rid of that random stuff you don't want to throw away, but you don't want to pack up either. I made sure whatever meals I planned, I made extra to freeze or have for left overs. I made sure to go through our pantry and figure out what meals I could come up with with the ingredients I had. I also made sure not to spend a fortune on groceries right before we started our spending fast. For us, that was going against the point of the spending fast. Scott's parents were in town before we started so they helped us get a few bulk items from Costco. Items that were really helpful to get from Costco: a box of cereal, bread (which comes in a pack of two so we froze one while we ate the first loaf) frozen chicken tenderloins, apples and carrots (these last a little longer than most produce so we were eating them up until the end) eggs, and one or two frozen meals.

+STAY BUSY: This was the hardest thing for me. I would get bored after doing homework and the only activities I could think of consisted of spending money. We were also cutting out a lot of social activities with friends because a lot of them consisted of spending. We found that we had a lot of time on our hands. About one week in, I decided to make a list of house chores that need to be done. I used my free time to organize my bedroom, closet, 2nd bedroom, and my computer. I made time to sit and practice the piano 30-45 minutes a day and went to the gym a lot more. Having a list of things to do helps keep you busy and your mind off of other activities you could be doing.

+GO OUT AND HAVE FUN: We had to keep reminding ourselves that we weren't being punished, we just accepted a challenge! We had to be creative when it came to date nights and weekends. What we found is if we wanted to do something with our friends, we would have to plan something that fit within our goal. We hosted game nights & dinner parties, played bocce ball in a nearby park, went on walks and explored main street. For date nights, we would have a movie night with popcorn and a homemade treat, attended a few sessions at the temple, or challenge each other in a card game. If we got desperate, we would go and visit family. They always are happy to hang out and usually have a treat hanging around :)

+SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO "CHEAT": And to us, it wasn't really cheating...but you can call it what you want. Some examples: A new friend invited us to get ice cream. We were flattered and didn't want to turn them down. So, Scott gathered all of our random change and we went to ice cream! My girlfriends came into town and wanted to go to breakfast. I really wanted to go, so I decided to use some of my Christmas money. And, one day I was having a really bad day. Nothing was going right and I messed up dinner. So, Scott and I used a gift card and went out to eat. Do what you think is helping you strive towards your goal. If you keep finding ways to "cheat" then, once again, your missing the point of the spending fast.

The spending fast isn't helping anyone but yourself. If you keep that perspective, it helps you really work towards your goal. You won't be finding ways to "cheat" and you'll be finding more creative ways to have fun with not spending at all. Looking back, Scott and I are really happy we pulled through and completed the fast. It helped us out financially and we got out of the habit of spending. If you're up for the challenge, we highly recommend it!

February 20, 2015

MOAB, UT

Scott & I have been wanting to visit Moab, UT for a while now. When I came across a Groupon for a discounted hotel room, I knew it was our time to go. We invited our neighbors/good friends, the Miner's, and we had ourselves a really good time! If you missed the video recap that I posted, you can watch it here!

We left Friday afternoon and arrived in Moab in the early evening. We got settled into our hotel and then headed to the Moab Diner for a late dinner. That was a really fun night. We were all so excited and giddy about the weekend that was in store for us. We joked and laughed in that diner booth eating some pretty delicious comfort food. When we got back to our hotel, we went to the hot tub and had it all to ourselves. We fell asleep to a movie, all snuggled up in our beds.

Saturday morning we woke up early and started our day in Arches National Park. The National Parks offer free entrance some weekends throughout the year and we just happened to be visiting on a weekend that it was! Talk about some good luck. Our first hike of the day was to Delicate Arch. The whole hike was so beautiful and then when you made it to the arch, you couldn't help but be amazed. We stayed at the Delicate Arch for a couple hours. There was lots to explore around there and we even just sat for a bit and relaxed while we ate our lunch. It was a perfect morning.
^^That arch is a beauty!!^^
^^Couldn't wait to take a picture next to the Delicate Arch. I'm glad we did because it got more crowded the longer we stayed there. I have about one million more pictures in different poses we did in front of that thing, but I will spare you!^^
^^Scott has been loving our new GoPro^^
^^Cute love birds^^
 ^^My favorite picture from the trip^^
 ^^The sun was just too nice for Scott not to take advantage of it!^^
From the Delicate Arch, we headed to the Double Arch. This hike wasn't long and was easy. It had gorgeous view from whichever angle you looked, whether you were walking towards it, away from it, or looking from the top of it. It was fun to climb around and hang out up there.
From the Double Arch, we headed to the Balanced Rock. By the time we got there we were pretty tired, so we just admired it's beauty from a distance.
Saturday was Valentine's Day so we got all ready and went downtown. We walked around, visiting shops, and had a nice dinner together. After, we headed back to the hotel to relax and then ended up having some late night s'mores at the fire pit at our hotel.
Sunday we were rudely awaken by the fire alarm going off early in the morning. It stayed on for a while so we started getting ready to walk outside! Luckily it shut off and we got a couple more hours of sleep. We attended church-which was nice and packed! We went back to the hotel and got ready to check out, then relaxed a little. From there we went to Dead Horse Point. I have never heard of this place before doing research on Moab. It was gorgeous. It was also super windy up there and we about froze. We explored around for a bit and then headed back to Provo. This trip was so fun and easy going. Plus we loved having the Miners with us. Can't wait for our next adventure!

February 19, 2015

MOAB, UT: A VIDEO

This past weekend we went on a little adventure to Moab, UT with the Miners. Here's a little video recap. It's my first video, so please be a gentle critic. Full post of our fun trip coming soon!!


February 14, 2015

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

I decided to start the tradition of sending out Valentine cards to our loved ones. This is our 2015 card.

Happy Valentine's Day!! 

February 13, 2015

LOVE

I have always had a thing for Valentine's Day. I love the pinks & reds, the hearts & XO's, treats & flowers. I even love the fru-fru & cheesey stuff...I eat it all up. I am such a sucker for romance and love, it's actually quite embarrassing. I've always loved Valentine's Day. I love the meaning of it...celebrating love. Up until Scott, I've never had a Valentine, but I had my family and my friends that I loved and I would love expressing that to them. All those years without a "special someone" I would imagine what it would be like when I finally did have that special someone. 

Never did I imagine how good my life would be when my "special someone" came along. Scott is the best, best thing to happen to me. He is good to the core and the best husband a girl could have. He is selfless and patient, two qualities I love and admire most about him. I am so in love with him and couldn't imagine a life without him. Scott took me out last night for an early Valentine's date. I had been looking forward to it all week and he did the best job of making me feel loved and special. There was one point in the night when I was sitting alone and I got to thinking about how blessed I was to be the wife of such a great man. I then started to get teary and it quickly turned into an ugly cry. I've got a good one and I will not once take him for granted. 

February 6, 2015

EVERYDAY UNIFORM

This week has been a little rough and when it came to dressing in the mornings, I just wanted something comfy but presentable. I ended up wearing an oversized sweater with an Olive Lane tee almost everyday this week. Olive Lane tees are so cute and look good layered or on their own. They are definitely a staple in my wardrobe. This week they launched their Spring line and it is darling. It's so hard to choose, think my favorites are Roll With Me tee & Excusez Moi. Which one is your favorite? All tees from the Spring line are available now for pre-order and others can be purchased, such as the Home tee I'm wearing above. Happy shopping!