Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Falling for Fall!

Every year after July 24th (for those of you not familiar with Utah culture, the 24th is a holiday..why? Because Utah can...) I am over the dog days of summer (but not dogs...I love dogs...anytime of the year...) and I am ready for AUTUMN! I am ready for cooler weather (because these triple digits are getting OLD), crisp brightly colored leaves and hoodies! So in my anticipation for fall weather I am dedicating this post to all things fall! 

Before I get into my favorite fall decor let me sidetrack for a second and say...WE GOT A HOUSE! EEEEEEEKKKKK!!!! I am SO excited to be able to OWN a home. We close in like a month and I am stoked. 
Anywhos, since I will be able to decorate how I want to, here are a few decorating ideas I am excited to try out!
 I am in LOVE with this vase set up! Pine cones and twig branches with the sweet little lights just make a home feel cozy. And it can be SUPER inexpensive.
 I am sure there are many of you who have those holiday clingy things that you put on your windows. They look cute from the outside...not so cute on the inside. This combines 2 of my favorite things: Halloween and Practicality. Use some of those window clings to decorate the inside of your home, you can buy the frames at the dollar store and switch the holiday themes out. When there is a giant space between holidays use it as a memo board. Since i can HANG THINGS ON MY WALL NOW...I am definitely doing this!
 I found this SUPER easy and super cute ghost project here:
So excited to make these cuties for one of my favorite holidays!
 I'm all about dining table setups...however we had NO room in our apartment for a table but now, we finally get to have a dining room set! YAY! And you bet your sweet puppy that my dining room table is going to look cute anytime of the year. Combine your favorite fall scented candles (pumpkin spice anyone?) some fake autumn foliage and BAM! Really adorable centerpiece.

Like I said in the beginning, I love hoodie weather. And just hoodies...seriously who ever thought of that sweet little invention, thanks dude. Not only does cooler weather mean hoodie wearing means cute scarfs,boots, hats, jackets, get what I mean. Here's some of the fall fashions I am FALLING for (bwahahahaha I SO SO funny!)


This has everything a girl needs for fall weather. A cute blazer, a scarf and and adorable boots to go with it all.

 If you know me, you know that there is NO way I'm going anywhere in those booties. A girl like me likes her shoes like she like her running route: flat and non-existent. But when the weather gets chilly I have to wear I will compromise and wear flat heeled ones! But this sweater looks uber comfy!!!

Hoodies and comfy looking shoes. Gotta love it. I have a hoodie obsession. Sometimes in the summer I feel sad because it's too warm to wear them...true story.
Every time I see ponchos I think of 2 things: 1.) Super touristy people riding on Splash Mountain at Disneyland (because ya don't want to get yer fanny pack wet eh?) and 2.) Emperor's New Groove. But maybe I'll give it a whirl this fall. Knowing how crazy Utah's weather can be, the layers are perfect. 
One last favorite thing about fall: Time to dust off the Slow Cooker! YAY! Love my slow cooker. Nothing is better than coming home on along day and already having dinner ready for you. 
Are you excited for all? What is your favorite thing about Autumn?


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Learning To Dance in The Rain

We only have Top Ramen and Eggo Waffles for food in the house. I shed some tears thinking about how I am going to put gas in my car to get me to work...if the car would even start. We don't have any tv to watch as we are selling it for earnest money. Oh and the credit card company calling me today demanding I pay my balance or they'll pursue legal action, wasn't really a great add on to my day either. The apartment is cluttered and filthy and it seems like no matter how many times I clean a surface, it just gets dirty again. 
We had quite a few panic attacks today, going over the loan, paying for the earnest check and the appraisal, figuring out when we will be able to buy groceries. 
After an afternoon of freak out after freak out I finally came to a conclusion.
We have more food than a lot of people. I am lucky enough to have a car so I can get to work (hopefully), there are people that do not have a roof over their heads, yet, we are living under one AND we are buying one. We have more money than most people do. Did I make extremely stupid decisions with my money? For the most part. I couldn't help the part about the medical bills. 
It is OK to be stressed. It is OK to be over-whelmed. It is NOT OK to stay in that state forever. Own this feeling, be aware that you are feeling it, and then....let it go. 
We have no control over 90% of the things that happen in our life. Complaining over our lack of food choices isn't going to make food magically appear. Crying over not having money isn't going to make money appear either. We have to realize what is important and focus on the positive.

We only have a few weeks left of this mess. And then we will be more financially free. Not completely, but more than we have been. We will be OWNING a home. We won't have to listen to a landlord, we won't have to wait for approvals to do things. We won't be shelling out almost $1000 for something we can't say is ours. That's amazing!
And I have to say through everything we have been through with our finances, I am SO grateful for the relationship I have with Brody. Not many couples would have gotten this far. We don't blame each other for things that happen in the past, it won't solve anything. We work together to find a solution. We have respect for each other. I always knew that money is the #1 reason people end relationships and honestly, if we haven't ended things now, I don't think that we ever will. A lot of couples would have ended it and saw that as the easy way out. I don't want my relationship to be easy. I want it to be STRONG.
I have learned to let go of things a lot more. I have a conversation with God and say, "I have no idea what to do with this problem you gave me, I have tried looking at every angle. I trust in you enough to give this problem to you and you will show me the way to the solution." After saying this, I feel so much better. And I have noticed that I will find the perfect solution soon after.

I have choices in how I feel everyday. And I have choices in how I deal with problems. I choose to feel happy, positive, grateful and loving. I choose to deal with my problems full of love and positivity. I am not a Zen master so it does take some extra practice and reminders. But tonight I choose to be grateful for my wonderful partner in crime and the amazing new chapter that is being written for us and tomorrow I will choose to be grateful for the yummy Top Ramen in the pantry. And so it is!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Keep Moving Forward!

I have some awesome news....we are buying a house! YAY! No more renting! SO happy about it! However, we are on a major time crunch, so hopefully things go smoothly. 
Whether we buy a home on time or not, we HAVE to be out of the apartment on Aug. 31st. Just the thought of everything we have to accomplish between now and then made me anxious! But, having moved so many times, I know exactly what to do! Here's a few packing and moving tips to help you too!

Although we have a little less than 6 weeks to move out, I started packing LAST NIGHT. I packed about 4 boxes. Start packing things like knick knacks and decorations or things you know you can live without for a few weeks. Every weekend pack a few boxes, this way you are not spending hours and days packing . Pack up all your winter clothes first (with Utah's crazy weather, I left out 2 or 3 hoodies...). There is only 2 of us, so when it's time to start packing the kitchen I will just slowly start packing up dishes, (you can also start using paper plates for the week that you are moving). I know we are going to be so busy buying our first home, we won't have time to watch movies or read books, so I packed all of them. If we end up having time to sit down and watch a movie, we can go to the library. 
Packing doesn't need to be expensive. You shouldn't have to pay for cardboard boxes! Ask friends and family, go to your local grocer and ask them for boxes. When we had shipments, we kept the boxes. Also, use what you have for padding instead of going out and buying bubble wrap. I pulled out all my sweaters from my closet and wrapped fragile items in my clothes. I also started keeping all those ads we get in the mail.
With our move, not only are we going to be busy buying a home AND moving, but we have birthdays, trips, and a wedding! So I knew by spacing out the packing, and getting some done every week would cut down on stress and time. We won't be packing up anything but personal hygiene items and food on our moving day.

As I pack, I clean and organize. I throw away or donate a lot of stuff! If you don't want to pack it or move it, get rid of it! Yesterday we put items for sell on Craigslist and other local classified ad. Not only are you getting rid of stuff you don't use, but you are also making money! We are using the money we make on earnest money and for new furniture. 
Also, clean as you go. This is really important for renters! Once you clear out a room, deep clean. If you rent, you probably want that deposit back (which is also nice to use for furniture, or a new deposit if you are renting again). The cleaner your place is, the more you'll get back. 

 Our Living's a mess...

Other Important Things
Not only do you have to pack and unpack, but there are other things you have to take care of when you move:
  • Changing Your Address: UGH! I hate this one the MOST! Collect your mail over the course of 4 to 6 weeks, make note of who is sending you mail. Write down all important addresses that you need to notify. Bills, family and friends, etc. Don't forget to make sure you change your address on your Driver's License. Also put in an address change with the post office so any mail you miss can get forwarded.
  •  Utilities: Make sure you cancel them at your old place and set them up at your new place. This also includes the cable and internet company. 
  • Scheduling the Moving truck: You may need a truck or even a company to help with moving. Schedule 4 weeks out. Call around or do research to get estimates. Also, make sure your boxes are clearly labeled (I even number them.). That way you know what is in every box so if the movers just put them in one general area you know what goes where.
  • Cleaning: In every experience I have had in moving, when I move in somewhere it is disgusting and dirty! Even our brand new apartment was! I would feel bad if I left our old place a mess for the new occupants. If you clean as you pack, you won't have to do too much cleaning after you load up your stuff. As for the new place, if you can, try to get in one to two days before moving in and clean. If you have an air purifier I would suggest setting it up then, that way when you move in everything is clean and there is no dust floating around.
  • Making the new place look and feel like home: Get paint samples a few weeks ahead, look around your new home pretty thoroughly. Does it need new counter tops? New floors? What can you afford NOW and what can wait? 
I hope this is helpful! You will probably hear more from me as the weeks go by! Hopefully I have more good news to share soon! What are some of your favorite packing tips?  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!!

This weekend my mom and I took a much needed vacation to Vegas. I had some major success in sales and was able to get tickets to Celine Dion.
We left Friday afternoon and we were pretty stoked. We drove since it was only a 6 hour drive and SO much cheaper than flying.
 We were pretty stoked...

The drive was nice and fast because my mom doesn't know how to drive under 80 mph....just saying.

We arrived at the Embassy Suites by the Las Vegas Convention Center. We got a deal on for $199 for two nights. And we LOVED our experience. 
First of all the location is convenient, it's on Paradise Blvd, so it's not right on the strip, which I think is better. It's walking distance to the monorail so you can easily get to the strip without the pain of driving and trying to find a place to park. The room was clean and was really nice. The bed was super comfy and we had an awesome view:
This is from our balcony. We were on the 7th floor. It was even more stunning at night!!

They also have a complimentary breakfast that isn't just yogurt and toast, they have omelets and french toast and bacon and other cooked items. Their home fries are SO GOOD! 
And between 5:30-7:30 (I think) they have a Manager's Reception, which I think was the best deal. Free drinks and snacks. Yeah, where else can you get that besides the casinos?
Some people will not like the fact that there is no casino but with my chronic bronchitis, I can't be in a casino for very long which brings me to my next thing:
I brought my Breathe oil from DoTerra, I could feel my lungs were getting very irritated by the end of day one because we walked through some casinos, I just rubbed some of the oils on my chest, on the back of my neck where my lymph nodes are, and the bottom of my feet and I was breathing much better.
When we were done getting settled into the room we went to New York New York via monorail,
  New York New York has a very special place in our hearts since my mom is from new York AND it's my 2 favorite places in one place! Well...the real New York is waaaaaay better than the Hotel/Casino is but I'll take what I can get..
We walked the strip and and looked in some shops. And then after being in a car all day and being in 115 degree heat we were pretty tired. I feel really old for going to bed at like 11pm and waking up before 7. Usually 23 year old people are just getting back from the clubs before 7am. Whatevs.
Since we woke up early on Saturday we hit Fremont street pretty early. I had never been to Fremont street before and I loved it! It was more laid back than the Strip. After that we went to pick up the tickets for the concert!! I was SO excited to finally have the tickets in my hands! We hung out at the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace and then drove over to the Fashion Show Mall.
Vegas is definitely a different world. $90 for a friggin face cream. We walked around Jimmy Choo and they had shoes on clearance and their clearance prices for shoes were like $300! FOR SHOES! That's like 2 car payments! And when I found out the regular price for a pair of shoes I could hear the children of Africa crying. For reals. Why would you spend that much?! It better be like walking on clouds made from fluffy gold. I better have insurance included in that price. They better be dirt resistant. 
We went back to the room to get ready for the concert. It was our one night to get dressed up in Vegas.

I felt super weird in such a short dress but it's Vegas not Provo so whatever.
The concert was AMAZING!!!! I pretty much cried during the whole thing. Not even kidding. And not like just teary eyed crying, like full on bawling. 
I am so happy I was able to share it with my mom. Some people would have rather taken a friend or a spouse but not me, I am so happy that I got to share this experience with my mom. She works so hard and hasn't had a vacation in forever. It is something I will remember forever. I am glad that I was the one who was able to fulfill a dream that we had for years. At the concert I remembered how I used to lay on the floor listening to Celine's records and how I used to rewind our tape of Beauty and the Beast just to listen to the end credits song over and over. It was amazing to finally see the singer who I used to just listen to through speakers, sing in person. 
On that note I have one major learning lesson from this trip. I feel like it is important for anyone traveling to Vegas...Strawberry Daiquiri's + Cheese Corn= no bueno. Don't mix the matter how hungry you are. Bad news bears.