Monday, November 1, 2010

Home Sweet Home

It has been quite some time since I have posted anything.  But life has been a bit crazy around here.  Since quitting our jobs, changing our minds about moving away for graduate school, and moving in with David's parents, a lot has changed.

For instance...we bought a house!  With some help from my wonderful in-laws and a lot of help from the failing housing market, we were able to find a home we could actually afford.  Surprisingly, we found a WONDERFUL home that costs us $100 a month more than our one bedroom apartment did!  We are so fortunate to have this opportunity and it is crazy to believe that we are home owners.

This is the outside of the house.  I don't dare show you the inside yet. I have yet to fully unpack and get everything settled.  But maybe if I am feeling brave I will post pictures of our mess new home in a bit.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


...ok well kind of.

Since we decided NOT to move to Texas, David and I had to quickly pull everything together.  It was too late to renew our lease with out apartment complex and they had already rented out our unit and all the others in the complex. **That's what you get for being spontaneous!** My in-laws were very gracious and offered us to live with them while we figured things out and my Aunt & Uncle let us borrow their storage unit for free in the mean time (we have the best family ever)!

So, at the end of July we packed up everything to move out.  OH MY GOSH we have a lot of stuff!  You would think that for an 850 sq ft apartment and 2 people who have been married only 9 months we wouldn't have much.  GEEZ!  We have a loaded kitchen and that is really what took up the most boxes.  My mom was an angel and spent the ENTIRE moving day packing the kitchen while David and I did the rest of the house.  After all 8 billion boxes were packed up, David and Maggie took a nap amongst all the boxes.  I managed to snap this picture.  They were exhausted!

My family, David's brother, my cousin Kayla and her husband, and David and I all loaded up our U-haul, which ended up being too small for all of our junk. I wish I would have taken a picture of the truck but alas I was too busy!  The storage unit was out in Apache Junction so we had a 30 mintue trek out and back.  We made 2 trips that day!  David and I didn't get to his parent's until around 12am.  We were so tired!

The next day David and I got up EARLY and went over to our apartment.  We packed up all the things that needed to go to his parents house and began cleaning.  My mom and cousin Kayla (who was 6 months pregnant at the time) helped us.  We couldn't have done it without them.  It started POURING when David and I crammed all of our junk into our 2 cars and headed over to his parents house. 

Then we went BACK to the apartment to make one last trip to the storage unit.  Then it was BACK to the apartment AGAIN to clean ALL of the carpets and do one last run through.  We got to David's parent's house LATE and crashed.

The next day we.... PACKED! But for a vacation and left with my parents to California.  It was a great way to get away after all that hard work. **more to come later on 2nd Cali trip of the year**

We are now living in one bedroom of David's parents' house.  It has been nice not to cook or buy groceries, or pay rent, or utilities, or internet bills.  Our bank account is thanking us!  We hope to be on to the next place very shortly.  I can't wait!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pizza Mania

This summer David and I both took on a few adventures in the kitchen.

David decided to tackle home-made pizza.  David served his mission in Italy and (obviously) enjoyed a lot of yummy food while he was there.  He is always interested in finding a good Italian meal.  He searched the internet and found a good recipe for pizza dough and we went for it!

David went back to his Italian days and began tossing the pizza and we both attempted to make the dough into circles.  We have made the dough several times now and have surrendered to rectangles!

The rest of the pizza we made up on our own.  We used a bit of tomato sauce, olive oil, real mozzarella, basil, garlic, oregano, and we garlic buttered the crust.

The pizza turned out DELICIOUS and talking about it right now is making my mouth water!

A leap of icing faith

My aunt asked me to make cupcakes for my baby cousin's blessing luncheon.  I knew exactly which recipe I wanted to use (remember this post?).  But I decided I really wanted to make CUTE cupcakes.

So I bought a Wilton 2D icing tip, an icing bag, and went to work.  I was terrified but seriously people icing cupcakes like this is a CINCH.  I even have to say it is easier than just smearing the icing on.  So go buy an icing tip for 2 dollars and disposable icing bags for 3 dollars and just do it!

The party was on the 4th of July so I iced the cupcakes in white icing and topped each with red sprinkles and a blueberry.  I was really happy with the way they turned out and I now have the confidence to try more!


My apologies everyone!  I have been HORRIBLE at updating my blog.  It has been 2 MONTHS, yikes!  Well we have been pretty busy and I have lots that I can share with you.  So slowly I will keep updating what we have been up to this past summer.  They may be random and completely out of order but we will get to everything eventually :)  Here we go. . .

In May David's family had a trip to New Port Beach, CA planned.  We both wanted to go so bad but our jobs just weren't permitting it.  We mourned over it for days.  We hadn't seen some of the family since our wedding.

Well one day while I was working I texted David and said, "I can't stand it anymore, we are going to go for just 2 days this weekend.  I guess you will have to get sick tomorrow!"  And we did it!  When we both got off work that night we packed, dropped Maggie off at my parents, and headed to Cali.  We got there at 1 AM, stayed for 2 days, and then left on a Sunday back for home.

It was so much fun to spend time with all our nieces and nephews.  We spent one day at Disneyland and the next day at the beach.   I snapped a lot of fun photos of the kiddos at the beach and a few at Disneyland.  Here they are:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh my... things change!?

Sometimes I think I am crazy.  Sometimes my husband thinks I am crazy.  Sometimes we are crazy together.

Well, for the few of you that read this, I thought I would keep you updated. . . we are NOT moving.

Before any of you think I am too crazy, here's how the story goes:

A few days ago, while looking through thousands of rental home listings, I stopped and for the first time faced the gnawing feeling my stomach kept having.   Why was I so reluctant to move to Dallas?  I just kept telling myself it was because I was afraid.  Afraid of the cost, afraid of leaving my comfort zone, etc.  But I consider myself pretty acquainted with fear and this just didn't seem the same.

I told my sweet hubster what I was feeling.  I expected him to just reassure me that everything would be fine but he replied, that he was feeling the same way.  So, with careful & prayerful thought and consideration, we both concluded that as odd as it may seem, Dallas is not the right place for us.  We needed to stay here for whatever reason unseen and unknown to us right now. 

I felt a HUGE sense of I could breathe again.  BUT then I started to worry... what in the world am I going to do?!  I want to get my Master's in something!!! I began looking into online Speech Pathology programs.  In a round about way I realized, while I am changing things up, why don't I change my degree?!

You think I'm crazy don't you?  I think I am crazy!  In the end I found a career path that I feel is PERFECT for me.  So I am going to start applying to online programs to get my Master's in Applied Behavioral Analysis with an emphasis in Autism.  I am going to be a Behavioral Specialist and work with families and children who have autism or other behavioral/challenging disorders.  I can't wait.

It is funny how things can change so quickly but be so right all at the same time.  I am just grateful for the wonderful man in my life who is so supportive of me and anything I do.  I love make decisions together.  I love being supported.

Needless to say my family (mom especially) is very happy to have us stay.  Now all we have to do is find a place to live! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

1 month...

1 month left under the Arizona sun.

1 month to find a place to live

1 month until I sign my life away to student loans

1 month left with family close by

1 month left of familiarity

1 month left of zero humidity

1 month left in my comfort zone


P.S.  if you haven't guessed by now. . . I made my final decision and will be going to graduate school regardless of how much I will owe in the end.  Thanks everyone for all of your love and support, you're all amazing.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fact: I am indecisive

Today it all started to hit me....

Life is way too expensive.

I began crunching the numbers in order to figure out just how much we needed for school and living expenses over the next two years.  I hit the equals button and the tears welled up.  How does anyone ever go to school and then live a normal life preceding?!

Students loans might be the saving grace for most but right now I think they are the devil.

I just see the final amount due and I can't breathe.  So today, I sat in front of my computer torn between two possible futures.  Could I really jeopardize our future finances for a graduate degree that I don't plan on using full time?  But would I be able to give up my ambitions and future goals in order to save money?

There are too many decisions to make... go to school, don't go to school . . . work after graduate school, start a family after graduate school . . . be a full time mom, work and be a mom . . . spend more on rent, sacrifice gas and safety . . . spend more and eat healthy, spend less and eat macaroni & cheese . . .

I hate making decisions....especially ones that involve money.

P.S.  Oh yeah, I graduated . . .hooray

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cuppercake Secrets

The other day David and I watched a few episodes of The Cake Boss that were recently put on Netflix's "Instant Cue"(BTW I highly recommend a Netflix worth it).  David turned to me and asked if I could make cupcakes.

So since I had time on my hands I went ahead and made the most delicious cupcakes you will ever eat!  I am not kidding... these cupcakes are delicious!  My mom made these cupcakes for the my wedding and since then I have realized how much everyone wanted the recipe.  So here it is...nice and simple!

Go to the store and buy a cake mix.  I like Duncan Hines "Moist Deluxe".  You also need to buy an instant pudding cheesecake flavor mix (one box/cake mix box).  Then you go home make the cake mix exactly as directed except toss in the pudding mix as well.  Mix it all up and voila you have the perfect cupcake mix.  Bake as the box directs :)

I guess technically you could make a cake with this recipe but I haven't tried it.  All I know is it makes the PERFECT cupcakes.  But with every perfect cupcake you need good icing.  I hate sugary grainy tasting frosting so I found a delicious whipped cream-like frosting on this blog I follow called Best Bites.  Here is the recipe

You are going to look at it and think YIKES that looks difficult!  But I promise you, it is not and I am not a cook by any means!  The frosting was actually really delicious and went really nicely with the cup cakes. 

I wish I had a picture of the end result for you but I don't.  But here is a picture of the cupcakes at the wedding.  Gotta love cupcakes!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

6 Months of Bliss

I can't believe David and I have been married for 6 months.  It seems like it has only been a week.  It has been a blissful 6 months and I look forward to the rest.  So for the 6 months we have been married...

6 Reasons I LOVE David: (there are plenty more by the way ;) )
  1. He makes me laugh!...... It doesn't matter what mood I am in or where we are, David always makes me manage to laugh harder then anyone else.
  2. He makes me a better person......the longer I am married, the more I realize that David truly is my other half.  He completes me in every way.
  3. I never have to worry about where he is or what he is doing.....David is so faithful and so honest.  He has given me the greatest gift.  I will never have to wonder where he is, what he is doing, or who he is with.  What a blessing!
  4. He never forgets to tell me how much he loves me, how beautiful he thinks I am, and how much he appreciates what I do for him.  It makes the stressful and downer days so much easier.
  5. He is incredibly supportive!.......David is always behind me 100% in everything I do.  He is constantly encouraging me to chase after my dreams.  Without him, I wouldn't be accomplishing all that I am aiming for.  Thanks babe for following me all the way to Texas too!
  6. He always listens.......If I ever say anything or ask for anything he listens and remembers!  I never have to bug him to get off the x-box or to help me with the dishes.  I ask, he does it.  I tell him something, he hears me.  I love his willingness.  I love his understanding.
I love him like crazy and I am the luckiest girl in the whole wide world!  

It has been 6 months and sooo.... HERE ARE SOME WEDDING PICTURES!  For a TON more go to....   

Thanks to Katie Joy Photography (first 5 pictures) & Savvy Photos (last 3 pictures).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Housewife's Best Friends

I never thought I would ENJOY cleaning my shower.  But something happens when you suddenly pay a monthly rent to use your shower.   So on Saturday I spent an hour scrubbing my shower which then turned into a full fledged cleaning adventure. 

I started the laundry and threw in load 6.  The washing beeped and I began switching the load over to the dryer.   But then I saw what looked like dog poo pellets and thought to myself 'how in the world did the dog poop in my washer?!'

Oh no, it wasn't poop (thankfully, I guess).  It was gum, black gum.  Black gum?  Who buys black gum.  Apparently the Easter Bunny buys black gum for my husband.  Somehow the pack went through the dryer.  (Side note:  This is one major difference between men and women.  Women do not put things in their pockets, men do.)  This black gum and balled itself up in a little pieces all through the dryer.  Thankfully only a few articles of clothing had been stained.  My hubby and I picked out ALL the gum we could find and put everything into the wash.  Crisis AVERTED!

WRONG!  Somehow a LARGE portion of the gum remained in the laundry and went through the dryer.  There was little black gum pieces and stains all over the clothes and not to mention stuck ALL over the inside of my dryer.  BLACK GUM FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!

I almost lost it.  But then some housewife button was pushed and I went into full gear.   I got out rags, a bucket of water and my favorite, Goo Gone spray.   I "Goo goned"  my entire dryer for about an hour until it was spotless.    The clothing was thankfully saved due to my other favorite, Zout, a stain removal spray. 

So in light of those sticky situations you always find yourself in (hopefully in your case it won't be black gum), I have included some of my favorite products and tricks I have learned from my mother and my grandmother, The Spot Queens!

Goo Gone -- this thing is great for anything sticky stuck in fabric or on just about anything.  Like when you remove a sticker or label and the gunk is still there... use goo gone!  ( I sound like a commercial hah)

Zout -- this is my BEST friend when it comes to laundry.  I swear it can get out just about anything.  I use it all the time and it has saved some of my favorite clothes!

Hairspray -- Surprisingly, hairspray gets out ink!  I had this phase where I kept getting ink on all my clothes and I used hairspray to lift the stain, then "zouted" it and it came out of the wash spotless!

Ice -- I love this one.  Ice gets out BLOOD!  Grab an ice cube lay your garment flat over a counter or sink (don't overlap the clothes, the blood will bleed through to the other side).  Rub the ice cube over and over into the blood stain.... then Zout it and throw it in the wash!

Bar Keeper's Friend -- This is my friend.  I burn things on the stove and on my pans ALL the time.  A friend of mine recently got water stains off her shower with Bar Keeper's Friend!  It's easy and odor free!  Wet the surface, sprinkle the Bar Keeper's Friend, let sit, and rub off.  Works beautifully!

Woolite Pet Stain & Odor Remover -- This is for if you have a pet that pees.  Check and check for me!  It makes cleaning those messes a lot easier.  You get a paper towel, blot up the pee, spray the stuff, walk away for a minute or two, and blot again!  Not only does it remove the stain and the odor, but it helps prevent your dog from peeing there again!  Hallelujah!

Well, that is all I have learned so far.  But I have to say, not too bad for only 5 1/2 months of marriage.  I hope you all find this helpful!  I sure did!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ice Cream Cones

I like ice cream on a cake cone, not a waffle cone.  This is not a crime.
My Dilemma: they are extremely fragile &  I prefer to pull them out of the box intact.

Dear Manufacturer,

Please package your ice cream cake cones with bubble wrap to prevent breaking.  Thank You.

Dear Bagger Boy,

Please don't place the cans of soup on top of my box of ice cream cones.  They are just as fragile as the eggs. Thank You.

Sincerely, Me :)

That's all.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sooner or Later...

Can I just say, I love designing things. 

It had been far too long since I had done some designing so I decided to make a new blog layout and header. (p.s. yes, that picture is a wedding picture, YAY!  More to come soon!)

One day I am going to design something like invitations and cards or blogs or who knows, something! :)

Project #1:  Currently I am on a hunt for a chair that I can refurnish.  Unfortunately I have this VERY specific image in my head of what I am looking for & this making things more difficult.   It's all about the "bones" of the chair.  Something like this....

My plan is to paint the wood, of whatever chair I get, black & possibly with a distressed look.  Then recover the fabric (with the wonderful help of my momma) a beautiful black and white damask, like the one on my blog background.  I have recently become obsessed with damask!

I hope to use the chair for future photo-shoots and, as an added bonus, to actually have something decorative in my house!  If anyone sees a cheap chair like this, I would love the heads up!

Project #2:  Decorate the apartment.  I have all these picture frames and signs that I really need to put up.  I also need to figure out something to do with these BEAUTIFUL green couches I have (my eyes are rolling).  If you have come over and see them, you will understand me when I say they NEED to be covered :)  David doesn't really care but he is male, so it's not all that surprising.

One day I will post pictures of our apartment.  I am not brave enough to show the world (or okay my small group of readers) what it looks like.  Plus it needs a really good spring cleaning first!

Hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather, I know I am!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Dinner Fiasco

Last night the plan was to cook Hamburger Stroganoff over rice.   I put the rice in the rice cooker and knew that it would take 30 minutes to cook (I knew this because I read the manual & became very informed about my rice cooker).  In the meantime I did the dishes and planned on starting the sauce with 15 minutes left to go on the rice. 

I finished the dishes and plopped the hamburger meat I had thawed earlier onto the pan and my nose curled a bit.  It didn't smell quite right.  I may not be a chef but I knew that meat should not be ingested (I also "googled" was a no go).  Wonderful!  I had 5 cups of cooked white rice sitting in the rice cooker with NOTHING to be put over it.  Needless to say, I was frustrated.   I flopped myself on the couch and announced that I had NO idea what to make for dinner!

My husband, being the wonderful man he is and knowing that my perfectionism was about to bring on a breakdown, got up from the computer and exclaimed that he would make a MISSIONARY SPECIAL! I raised my eyebrows and he put it in layman's terms, "We're going to WING IT!"

Ok, so if you know me, I never wing it!  I can't. I just can't and I refuse to do it.  I have to have control and I need to make everything perfect.  This quality is annoying, I am working on it.

David pulled out some chicken we had, cut it up and grilled it.  In a pan he put the chicken with garlic, taco seasoning, olive oil, and pepper.  After mixing that all together he threw in the rice to let it "brown".  I was skeptical.  I didn't know much about cooking but I did know that taco seasoning and garlic don't go together.  I also knew that, most of the time, rice needs a sauce or you will be left with a very dry meal. 

I kept looking at the pan with my eyes wide and arms folded.  He served the "mixture" in a bowl and we both took a bite.  

It was horrible.  BUT we both laughed and suddenly my husband had made my evening go from frustration and hopelessness to hilarity and spontaneity.  Needless to say, we went out to dinner :)

I love my husband.  Thank you David for putting up with my perfectionism and lack of desire to cook big, fabulous meals.   Thank you for making me laugh and for reminding me of what is really important in life.  I love you.

P.S.  We have been married for 5 months today. Yay for us! :D

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Official!

WE'RE MOVING TO TEXAS!!!! this not an April Fools joke :).  As of this afternoon, we made our final decision, Dallas, TX here we come!

I applied to 7 graduate schools at the end of last year and prayed I would get in to at least one!  Surprisingly we ended up having a few options.

ASU, UofA, and BU (Boston University) were a no-go.  UofU & NAU were options but they fell last on my list so we ended up crossing them off.

Gallaudet University in Washington, DC was a big contender so we decided to visit the area.  During spring break we headed out there and I was able to meet the president elect of ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) and visit the National Rehabilitation Hospital to see follow Speech Language Pathologists around all day.  It was an amazing experience and it only made me more excited to get going on my graduate degree.  Thank heavens because I am soooo sick of school!  However, we ended up deciding that DC was not the right place for us.  The Gallaudet campus would have been a really difficult transition so we crossed it off the list.

My second pick was University of Texas-Dallas. Thankfully, I was accepted and offered a scholarship.  They made it ever so difficult to turn down the admission.  David's cousin Anna is currently getting her PhD there and after talking to her about the campus and it's program, she pretty much sealed the deal. 

We thought it over for a few days and finally decided to stop moseying around and just commit to it.  Ok, that was really my problem not David's.  So I got online, logged into my UTD account, and clicked the accept button! AHHH!  I did it.  I am going to graduate school....weird, I still feel 13.

We are really excited about the move and we can't wait to see what the next two years has in store for us!  ADIOS ARIZONA!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Distracting Ambitions

My husband sent me this in an email from work.  Neither of us could stop laughing.  I haven't yet caught the dinner-making bug.

Satan has REALLY gotten to me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poor Maggie

Recently Maggie has become a little too friendly with her favorite toy, the purple people eater as we call it.  Its a purple stuffed bear she loves more than any other toy, and believe me she has lots of toys!

In an effort to end her recent friendliness to the bear we took her to get spayed.  The poor girl is not really a girl any more :(

While she was under the knife we had the vet remove her back dew claws (extra toes hanging by skin, kinda weird I know).  Poor Maggie was full of stitches and had to wear a cone on her head for about 2 weeks!

We just HAD to take pictures of her.  She was pitiful and hilarious all at the same time.  She ran into EVERYTHING with the cone on but she never let it slow her down.