Friday, September 27, 2013

7 Quick Takes {16}

Linking up with Conversion Diary. 

1. I bought my first blogging ebook this week, How to Blog for Profit (Without selling your soul) by Ruth Soukup. (Ruth blogs over at Living Well Spending Less.) I've read a little over half of it and have highlighted a bunch of information I hope to go back and use on my blog sooner rather than later. Hopefully by next week I'll be making millions from this little blogging space. Kidding!

(Ruth, if you read this, know that I really am going to take some of your advice:)

2. Pretty sure I'm the only person who still hasn't downloaded the ios7 update. I've heard it's pretty nifty though so I should probably get on that asap. Any one want to share how they feel about it? Love it? Hate it?

3. The parentals house is getting super close to being finished! Thank goodness because I think they have both had enough of the whole building process. They finally got their cabinets in this week and now it's just the flooring, countertops and touch up painting type stuff. 
Hello house!
LOVE these bookcases that are built in to either side of the fireplace.
The kitchen is huge with tons of counter space.
This picture does zero justice to the fireplace. 
After watching them stress, Seth said we're never building a house because I'm too indecisive, and he's right, but I still really want to at some point. We'll see who wins that one. 

4. It's almost been a whole month that Seth and I have been living together and we don't hate each other. Yay, go us! I will say upgrading to a king size bed definitely wouldn't hurt the relationship though. Queen beds are kinda a joke. #iwantakingbed

5. I'm really in the mood to go Christmas shopping and get a few presents scratched off of my non-existent lists. I love love love shopping for other people but when I do it all in a one month time period it really kills the ole budget. Thinking I need to start my lists now so I can start shopping next month which is only a few days away. Do people do this? Does it help you stick to a budget or do you end up buying more because you shop now AND later? That's what I'm a little worried about. 

6. Day 5 of not drinking pop and I haven't died yet. I tried this a little while back and was doing okay until I went on vacation and fell off the wagon harder than an alcoholic at a beer convention. As of right now, so far so good. My goal is to drink only one a week and the rest of the time stick to water or tea (not sweet cause that's disgusting). If you want to encourage this good habit it will be greatly appreciated because sometimes I just want to throw a tantrum and have a Pepsi, ya know?! Plus I wouldn't mind dropping 10 15 pounds. Just saying.

7. Since it was Seth's birthday yesterday we had a little birthday dinner at home last night. Grilled BBQ chicken with over the top unhealthy twice baked poh-taw-tohs and fresh garden tow-mah-toes. Seth grilled the chicken while I sliced the toms and tried to kill us with fat in the potatoes. Maybe I should post the non-recipe here sometime....anybody feel like having a heart attack?

Act like you don't want to lick those potatoes right off your screen!
Gosh I just read this and it's a little d-d-dull. Do you wanna slap me for wasting your time? Maybe I'll ride a unicorn through a waterfall or something this weekend so I can bring you a little more excitement next week. 

Peace out girl scout. 
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Seth!

Happy Birthday to the boy that swept me off my feet when I was only 15 and to the man that he has become.

The one that works hard to give me everything I've ever wanted and more. 

The one that makes me laugh everyday with his silly faces and random sayings.

The one who can do just about anything and everything.

The one who will someday be a father to our children.

The one who is always respectful.

The one that is slow to argue and quick to end it. 

The one that said "I Do" almost two years ago and never makes me doubt that he meant it. 

The one that makes every day of my life better, because he's in it. 

I love you Seth and can't wait to celebrate many many more birthdays with you!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Everybody's Doing It!

(please excuse bloggers formatting issues, apparently it's mad at me)

Should I jump on the bandwagon? Obviously.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy another rendition of fall favorites according to a blogger. 

Are you ready? Okay, here we go.

The Festivals 

I'm a sucker for all those fall festivals with their yummy foods, homemade crafts and burlap out the wahzoo. Everybody's out and about soaking in the gorgeous weather before winter rears it's ugly head and we are pelted in the face by snow and ice and regretting our decision to live in Kansas. The best one close to me is the Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin City. 

Hell-o Maple trees! via

The Louisburg Cider Mill 

If you live anywhere near Louisburg, Kansas I highly suggest a trip to this little place. It's about an hour from my house and I'm always begging my husband to go. If you want the full fall experience, this place has got it. They've got a Pumpkin Patch, a country store with homemade goods (mostly food related), hot cider, cold cider and hot apple cider cinnamon sugar donuts that will make you want to eat a dozen. Somebody bring me one now! 
(p.s. this isn't a sponsored post I just really love them)


Can I just say that I liked scarfs back before they were cool? Cause I did. I bet I have 20 or so, in every color of the rainbow, hanging in my closet right now just begging to be warn. And I'm happy to oblige!
I really want this one! via

The Smell in the Air

Walking outside on a fall morning (not too early obviously) and breathing in the fresh air is pretty much amazing. As is the smell of all the deliciously scented pumpkin and caramel and cinnamon spiced candles. Ugh, I need a new candle stat!

Love this one in the mason jar! via

The Anticipation 

With fall comes the realization that the best Holidays are right around the corner. I'm looking at you Thanksgiving and Christmas. (I won't shove a Christmas photo on you just yet. You're welcome.)

And would I be a real blogger if I didn't at least mention the words "Pumpkin Spice Latte" in a post about fall? Well, now I've mentioned it but I've still never had one and I don't even care. Plus they seem to be getting a lot of hate this year so it must not be the cool thing anymore. 

I guess that's all for now so pull out that ugly sweater vest and enjoy the season.

Happy Fall Y'all!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Ballgames and Lumberjacks and Groceries, OH MY!

I need another weekend to rest up and relax from the weekend. Luckily, it was a good one and we got a lot of stuff done that needed to be done. 

On Friday I had a terrible day at work so I was excited to be able to sneak out a little early to meet some of our friends at the Royals game. First winning game I have been to in a long time and it was tons of fun. Plus it was buck night so I got to eat my fill of ballpark hot dogs. I swear they taste extra delish at the ballpark. 

I would estimate 9 out of 10 photos of "us" look like the photo on the left.
Seth loves photos!
(check out the photobombers)
After staying up late Friday we both slept in until after 10:00. I feel like that never happens anymore but it was amazing. Once we got up we headed into town for an early lunch and to get fuel for the lawn mower. Seth ended up mowing the lawn while I put down shelf liner and cleaned out or pantry cabinets in the kitchen. Glamorous, I know. Turns out we have a lot of food and I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I'm a food hoarder as well as paper hoarder...

Yikes! That's only two cabinets...
Since I had so much I was able to pull out a big bag of groceries to drop off at the church for the local food pantry. I hope someone (besides my shelves) gets to enjoy it that way. 

Once I ran out shelf liner and had cleaned out a good portion of cabinets I went outside to help Seth a bit. He had apparently turned into a lumberjack and was busy chopping down dead tree limbs and limbs that were hanging way too low. It's pretty amazing how much better everything looks in the front yard now.

Before - Where are you little house??

After - THERE you are

We finished the night off with some grilled steaks and potatoes and watched the movie Mud which I would highly recommend even though I passed out before it was over. 

Sunday we went to Church as usual and then stopped by to check on the progress on my parents new house. It's looking really good and hopefully they will be able to move in in the next couple of weeks. The rest of our afternoon was filled with me cleaning out the laundry cabinets (after watching the rest of Mud) while Seth dominated a few more trees and limbs in the back yard. We now have a better view of our pond and everything doesn't look so much like a jungle. 

After working another long day Seth helped me make up some fajitas and nachos for dinner. So so yummy and I'm hungry again now just thinking about it. We settled in for a quiet evening and I finally got the chance to watch Zero Dark Thirty. Also a good movie. 

And now we're back to Monday. I hope everyone else had a fantastic and productive weekend!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm a Hoarder

I tend to be a bit of a hoarder. Not in the creepy disgusting kind of way that get's you your own episode on the tv show. More in the way that I hate throwing old papers and things from school away. I have tubs upon tubs of school assignments, paperwork, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, receipts and other such junk organized away in closets and the attic over our garage. 

I think I hang on to it all because it's sort of like my life's history. It tells the story of who I am, what I did and how it turned out. Honestly, I don't think I even keep these things for me. I love looking back at my mom's old stuff like report cards and school papers. It helps me to know who she was and is besides just being my mother. I think in some sort of unconscious, or maybe conscious, way I think my future kids will think that's kinda cool to see my stuff too.

However, I don't think they will think it's so cool when they see how much of it there is. Especially if I die and they are left to go through it all. I should probably try to go through it all again and narrow down what's the most important. I gotta get over the fact that I feel like I'm throwing my history away because I know I'm not.

Plus, I just want to clear the clutter. 

Just one of many closets.

Help! Okay, it doesn't really look like this anymore but there's still a lot of paper!

Anybody else have this problem? Any good ways to clear it all out?! I'm desperate....

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Better Than a Thrift Shop Shopping

I realize it's Wednesday already so I'm not going to recap my weekend but I do want to recap some amazing bargains I got! 

First let me say, I'm not trendy, not in the slightest actually. I prefer tennis shoes and my KU hoodie to just about any clothing options out there. It's comfy and it keeps me warm in the antarctic temperatures my work environment so kindly provides me with. Plus I work in a place were you better wear tennies and hoodies because your clothes have a potential to get dirty. 

That being said I found some pretty great deals at JcPenney's on Sunday. I had two "$10 off any $10 purchase" coupons so I decided to go in to see if there was something I could use them on. 

By the time I left I had a pair of denim shorts, hot pink shorts, a blue belt, a plain pink scoop neck tee, a fitted black tank top, a dressy-er black tank top shirt (I'm sure it has a special name but I don't know what) and a light weight black scarf with blue polka dots. 

Add caption

When checking out the cashier scanned a 15% off coupon for me and took my two $10 off coupons and I spent a grand total of .25 cents! Um, yes please! That's my kind of shopping right there people. 

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Friday, September 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes {15}

1. Well it's Friday and in a small town that means Friday Night Football! We rarely go to the football games because let's face it, it's kinda weird to be in your 20's with no kids and go cheer on the high school football team, but tonight we're going to make an exception. My Aunt is having a party after the game so we figured we should probably go for a little while. Plus, I'm sure they will have some yummy concessions stand food at the game. 

Plastic cheese? Yes, please!

2. Pretty sure I have been an emotional disaster this week, so to my dear husband, I apologize. A few extra hours of sleep tomorrow morning and I should be good to go:)
3. It's free lunch day at the bank today! Just another perk of living in a small town. Free dogs and burgers to all!

4. My house is the disaster of all disasters right now and it's seriously wearing my out! I just want everything to be put away and sparkly clean. I don't think we have caught up yet from vacation and it's kinda depressing to know that I'll be cleaning my whole weekend. Bleh. 

5. Earlier this week I found an amazing debt snowball calculator online and it currently has me motivated to spend zero unnecessary dollars. According to the calculator, if we keep paying what we are paying every month (on all debts) and roll it using the snowball method (the hard part), we could be completely debt free, including the house, in 7 years! Holy bananas that would make my life! Unfortunately that doesn't factor in lots of extras, like vacations or kids so we will see how long it really takes. 

6. It's been almost two weeks that my husband has lived in the same house as me and I must say I'm enjoying it. It's nice to have someone there when I get home and that helps with the dishes or cleans the pain in the butt wood floors for me. Or maybe he just knows that the floors would never get dusted if he didn't do it. Either way, I'm glad he's home. Plus he's pretty cute:)

7. Thinking the rest of my day will be spent making lists. Since I'm stuck at work and can't actually accomplish anything on my lists at least I will have a plan of attack for the weekend. 

Happy Weekend Blogiverse!

Linking up over at Conversion Diary.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Something 'bout a truck

Well, it's official. My husband has a new truck. Not just any truck either. A fancy one!

After spending countless (literally) hours of looking online and driving to every dealership within 50 miles and stopping at every dealership, from home to Texas and back, he has finally found one that he loved. And I should think so. 

Bad photo, I realize, but I only see it when it's dark
so those photos would be worse. 
I'm pretty sure there is nothing that this fancy schmancy piece of metal on wheels doesn't have. Including but not limited to a sunroof, mini coolers in the back seat, usb  plugins, sd card plugins, an actual plugin (now I can straighten my hair on the road???), navigation, two glove boxes and five million and one other random things you never knew you HAD TO HAVE in a vehicle. 

With over 230k miles on his old truck it was time for a new one but holy smokes I'm not looking forward to paying for that darn thing. 

Update: As I write this post for tomorrow (Wednesday) we have owned the truck for less than 24 hours. I just received this text from Seth. 
not a joke btw

Fortunately it was a flat tire due to his job, so his work will pay for it. But, seriously? Let's recap some of Seth's past vehicles and their adventures.

The red Saturn he drove in high school - the driver seat would constantly recline if you leaned back at all. The door leaked and you would get rained on whether you were inside or outside the car. Hit a deer. 

The silver Saturn he bought brand spankin' new in college. If I remember correctly he owned it for approximately 7 days before he was in a multi-car accident and the whole front end was crushed. 

The silver Ford he bought after the saturn. Something really huge and expensive broke not long after buying it. (don't remember what it's called....)

The white Ford F150 that has been his truck for the past couple years. 3 new windshields and multiple other issues that are probably actually pretty minor considering the 230k miles. 

Now, let's knock on wood, and go over my driving record. 

1990 Honda Accord I drove from high school, all through college until September of last year. It was old, ugly, paid for and I loved it. It may have killed a bunny every now and then but other than that it was a champ.

I now drive a 2009 Honda Accord and so far so good:)

The End.

Maybe I should have got the brand new vehicle, huh?!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

100th Post AND 30 Before 30!

I've been trying to write this dang post for the last 3 days now but in order to prevent myself from further annoyance I have decided to post incomplete. 

This is my 100th post! While that's nothing to many bloggers, it's a lot to me because I assumed I would have gotten bored or distracted with blogging by now and quit. Instead, I actually still enjoy it:) 

Since it's my 100th post, and it happened to fall pretty close to my birthday, I decided to create a list of 30 things I want to do before turning 30. (In 3 short years, yikes.) 

How about if I just pretend I'm 3 again instead? (maybe 2)
It turns out that when you try to create a list with a certain amount of numbered items it's impossible to think of that exact number of things. So, for now I give you 21 things I want to do before turning 30 and I will add on to the list as I think of things that I have always wanted to do, but have never done. Feel free to suggest things below but don't be offended if I don't use them. I'm trying to put stuff that is important to me or that I have wanted to do and that are realistic. There's plenty of other things I could add to the list if it was a "before I die list" but I don't think will be realistic in the next 3 years. Also, I don't want to add stuff to the list just for the sake of adding things. Know what I mean?

Mkay. Without further ado, I give you...

 30 (*ahem* 21) things to do before turning 30!

1. Have a baby
2. Throw someone a surprise party
3. Meet a blog friend in real life
4. Be debt free besides the mortgage
5. Toss 365 "things"
6. Organize all my photos
7. Do photography as an LLC
8. Create a way to not forget birthdays/anniversaries etc.
9. Read one book a month (36 total)
10. Travel somewhere I've never been.
11. Do at least one random act of kindness each month (36 total)
12. Learn to play golf
13. Learn to bake bread like Grandma
14. Build some type of furniture using real tools
15. Be able to sew, knit, crochet, or quilt (at least) something easy.
16. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
17. Write a cookbook
18. Send a handwritten letter at least once a month
19. Go hunting with my husband at least once
20. Sell design work on Etsy
21. Start a tradition for our family

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Friday, September 6, 2013

7 Quick Takes {14} Vacation Edition

Going to do this a little differently this week and recap our vacation. Might be boring (and LOOONG) for others to read but I want to write it down before I forget. Feel free to skip the wordiness and just look at the photos:) 

(don't say I didn't warn ya!)

1. The day before and day 1 of the cruise. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale and were checked into our hotel by 11:30 am. Conveniently enough there was a Chipotle right across the parking lot were we managed to scarf down our burrito (bowl) quickly before heading back to our room for a nap. Since we left our house at 3:15 am (!) that morning a nap was definitely needed. Once our nap was over we walked down the street and boarded a water taxi that gave us a nice little tour of some of the rich and famous' homes that sit right on the water. We stopped by the mall to pick up a new pair of shorts for Seth and then headed down to an area that had lots of restaurants. Yum!

Heading out for the evening in Ft. Lauderdale 
Water taxi - a great way to travel

Delish burger and fries at 11pm. Yes, please!
We made it to the port by 11:00am the next morning and we were on the ship and headed to our first meal by 11:45. The ship was gorgeous and the food was yummy as usual. While exploring the ship we stumbled upon a tour of the spa. The tour ended by having a  lady give you a neck and shoulder massage for about 5 minutes. That's all it took to sell us on a couples massage. And it was AMAZING! Keep in mind they do automatically add in a huge gratuity and we probably wouldn't do this again because it was super pricey but I definitely enjoyed. 

Just watching a little titanic before heading to the port. A bad sign??

The boardwalk. Complete with a carousel and donut shop:)
Happy happy happy!

At dinner that night we met two of our table mates for the first time. A super sweet couple named Russ and Julie (name twins) who are about our parents age and from Utah. After gorging on food we went to the the middle of the ship to watch an ice skating show that was pretty impressive considering how small the rink was. We swung through the ships casino for a bit of gambling before heading to bed at a decent hour since we had our first island stop the next day.

We may or may not have contributed a lot of quarters to this machine.

2. Day 2 of the trip. Sunday we woke up and got dressed for touring the island of Nassau, Bahamas. We walked around the island for a bit before taking a taxi over to the huge Atlantis resort. The casino stole a bit of our money before we headed out to the beach where we swam in the crystal clear blue water before heading back to the ship for another meal. Since we were only at the island until 1:30 we wanted to be sure that we made it safely back to the ship before it left. Being on time has never been my strong suit and those ships don't wait!

Hey, awkward!
I wish Kansas had a beach.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool where we met a super fun couple from Indiana, Jack and Deb. They had purchased the all you can drink package and were super nice to keep ordering us extra drinks. Let's just say it turned into a pretty fun afternoon and a nap was needed before dinner:) 

Another couple, old enough to be our grandparents, joined us for dinner that night, George and Ida. They had moved to the U.S., from Hungary, 56 years ago but still had an accent like they got off the boat yesterday. They were a nice enough couple but always seemed to find something to complain about. Our show after dinner that night was a comedy show that was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen. All 3 comedians were spectacular and didn't seem to care one bit about being politically correct. The highlight had to be when the very round comedian danced just like the snowman on the old school version of Rudolph. Pretty sure people peed their pants laughing so hard. 

Hey mr. crocodile....
....and eskimo??
3. Day 3 was a sea day so we slept in, ate tons and spent more time at the pool. I went to go see the show Hairspray at 2:30 which was absolutely incredible. I told Seth he would probably hate it since he's not much into musicals so he took a nap. Once the show was over I decided to go on a run. Probably because all I had done up to that point was eat. I managed to run the 2.4 laps around the ship that equaled a mile and then speed-walked a few more for good measure. 

The motivating signs as you ran. 
Our show that night was before dinner and it was a dive show at the aqua theatre. Basically a cast of super talented and past olympian divers did a show where they dove into a tiny pool from heights up to 57 feet! They also included some synchronized swimming and pretty cool trampoline skills. This show was pretty awesome. Then we ate dinner:)

Seth LOVES taking photos and I told him if he didn't
take another one I was using this. You're welcome Love:)

4. Day 4 we stopped at the beautiful island of St. Thomas. We took a taxi over to Megan's Bay which is supposedly one of the Top 10 beaches in the world. I have been there several times before but it is still gorgeous even if it crowded with tons of people. We ran into Jack and Deb again so we hung with them a bit. There's a nice little bar right on the beach that makes the strongest drinks in the world. My long island iced tea was basically straight alcohol so I enjoyed laying on my towel soaking up the sun for awhile:) On our way back to the ship we stopped at an overlook to snap a photo with the beach in the background. 

Apparently people take photos with donkey's?
Megan's Bay
Once we made it back to the ship we made a giant plate of nachos and then jumped in the pool for awhile. More dinner and another show with different comedians that night. 

5. Day 5 was spent at St. Maarten. One of our favorite islands. You leave the ship and walk to the pier where you take a water taxi over to the beach and shopping area. Somehow while weaving our way through the throng of people trying to rent us jeeps and braid my hair we got suckered into a timeshare presentation. The lady promised it would only be an hour, we could tour a beautiful resort, and then we could hang out on the private resorts beaches for the afternoon. Plus you would get a $150 credit to a jewelry store were Seth was going to get a watch. Lies. We went on the tour which took 2 hours and 15 minutes! Then when we went to the jewelry store you couldn't use the credit on a watch and they basically just gave us a necklace I will never wear. To drown our sorrows we hit up the beach where Seth had a few beers, we were offered drugs and we negotiated a better deal on riding a jet-ski for an hour. They let us ride for a little over an hour before motioning us back in to the beach where we soaked up some more sun and dug for shells in the ocean. 

Gorgeous infinity pool I wanted while touring the resort.
This is where we jet-skied. Pure amazingness! 

Approximately 12 photos later and this is the best photo. 
After returning to the ship we again gorged ourselves on nachos and hotdogs before taking a nap before dinner. #fatkids. We had no show that night so we explored the ship more and played the "Deal or No Deal" slot machine in the casino. 

Before dinner. Sad it's fuzzy since it's a normal smile from Seth. 
We can just pretend I ate salads for every meal. 

6. Day 6 was another sea day where we literally spent hours at the pool soaking up the glorious sunshine and planning our next couple of meals. Not much else to report besides going to see a show where people went flying through the air everywhere you look. We also went to a fun game show called The Quest where we enjoyed watching a drunk lady be one of the contestants.   

Dancing with balloon man.
The diving pool.

7. Day 7 and our last day floating out on the ocean. We spent our last day much like day 6 soaking up the sun and dreading leaving our floating paradise. At dinner our waiter, along with a few others came over with a (3rd) dessert to sing me Happy Birthday since my Birthday was in less than 2 hours. I have no idea what the dessert was and it honestly didn't taste that great but it sure was pretty:)

We left the ship at 8:30 the next morning and headed to the airport where we got delayed in Chicago for awhile before returning home. Since it was my birthday (and we had no food at home that didn't require cooking) we stopped to pick up some good ole' Kansas BBQ and a redbox movie. Hello 27!

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary.

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