Monday, August 29, 2011

Little House on the Great Pond

So we bought a house. Or perhaps I should call it a 'nook', since it's all of 850 square feet.

We're very busy making it into a home, and our internet has not been hooked up yet. There's quite a lot to do, and we're rushing to get as much done as possible before I go back to school in a couple of weeks.

But I just need to share a few pictures, because that's only fair. I will try and post this week, but regular posting won't resume until I have internet at the new hopefully I'll be back soon.

Most people would pass this place up, because... in this place doesn't look so enjoyable.

And those dark walls are a bit dreary.

And these pictures just aren't showing all of the grime and grease and ick that was living on the counter tops and cabinets.

And this living room...just doesn't seem like a fun place to be. The cigarette yellow tint just wasn't calling our names...

Envisioning this as a master bedroom was pretty tricky. Raise your hand if you sense romance!

I was pretty sure that I wouldn't look forward to washing my face in the morning.

But's a house. It has a sturdy foundation, solid exterior framing, and a little bit of charm waiting to be uncovered and brought to life.

And we saw that...even through the pale pink carpeting. New England real estate (less than 30 minutes from the beach, and a 5 minute walk out my front door to a private lake association beach) is not cheap. If we wanted to stay in this area, we needed a fixer upper.

Anyone out there scratching their heads? Anyone out there thinking we've gone mad? My mother was nervous when she saw the house during the tear down/rip out phase. I knew she was worried for us.

But don't worry. Because with my late night pinterest/google image adventures, my husband's carpentry skills, and some amazing friends and family...we've come a LONG way in less than two weeks. I can't spoil it, because when I am back, there's going to be plenty of pictures and DIY posts. So you'll just have to sit with these before images.

I kid!

I will share just one. Because you deserve it for making it this far. So here's to believing in the underdog, the ratty house on the lake...with a bit of determination, most houses can absolutely be turned into a home:

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'll Be Right Back...

Well. The plan is that something big is happening Friday. We weren't quite sure of the date until recently, so I didn't know what to plan for. I've been rushing and staying up late to get ready for this day.

I'm sure you can guess what it is, and if you can't, well, once it happens, you'll know.

Most of our things are packed away.

I'm trying to finish my last summer course ahead of time...(I can do it, I can do it!)

It's quite an exciting time, and I can't wait to share more. But for now, I have a few more days until my computer is packed away. So.....I'll have to excuse myself (officially) for the next three weeks. I will be back on:
August 29th. Here. I will be.

Some blog info:
-She Got Married, Too posts will be going up on Wednesdays.
-Eating Well posts will be put on hold. (Why? Why? Well...I don't think we're going to be eating super well. I think breakfasts will be mainly toast, lunches mainly sandwiches and fruit/veggies, and dinners will be grilled pizza.)
-Fitness will be on hold. (To get through the next few weeks, I'm going to stick to stretching, Roo walks, and quick morning runs as I chart new routes.)
-I will be on hold in general...I hope you stick with me, because I love the blog world. I especially love some of these bloggers, and I want to share their links as a big Thank You for making the blog world a place that I love so very much. So check these blogs out if you haven't already!

And, as a parting gift for you- a snout:

Be back soon!

With lots of love,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

She Got Married, Too: Drea

I love reading about other couples. I love getting a
sneak peak into their lives and seeing how they make their situation work. Some would say that I'm nosy. Which I'm fine with. Because enough people were open enough to take me up on this guest poster series and answer with honesty, heart, and humor.
Enjoy :)

Names: Drea and Pax (the HOT one)

Ages: 22 and 25

I live in: Orem, UT

Do you blog? (Where can we find you?) About what? Of course! My blog is and I blog about art, love, God, and the journey! Oh, and we're having a baby in October so you might read a little about that, too!

What do YOU do? At the moment I'm pouring most of my time into my new Etsy shop ( I recently left working full time, which was kind of a surprise, but it's been really nice to just have some time to focus on me and things that I'm passionate about. I am looking for a part-time job, but I really look forward to stay-at-home-mommyhood.

What does HE/SHE do? My husband works for a company called Security Metrics. He's the head of their training department in Support and really loves the company. He's been there just over a year. He's also going to school which is crazy.

How long have you been married? Ummm.... 10 months? It'll be a year in August.

How did you meet? We met at church! Hah. Our church has special wards designed just for young single adults so we can mingle and date. I was just going to the ward because they had a missionary prep class which I was attending and my friends were in the ward. I was scheduled to leave on a mission for my church (for 18 months) in June and Pax worked his romancin' magic and that didn't happen. We got married in August instead.

What do you argue about the most? If we argue it's usually because one of us (usually me) is being stubborn and won't swallow our pride while discussing something. A lot of the time it's completely useless! There may be a tiff or two about the excess of video games in our home, too. But I'm learning. ;)

Do you have kids? If not, are you planning on them anytime soon? Weeellll, we weren't planning on having kids for a couple of years, but you know how that works out. I'm pregnant with our first and expect to see him/her in October. (We're finding out on the 13th of June whether it's  little man or lady!)

No kids? Dogs? Cats? They count. Names? I have been trying desperately to convince Pax that we need a dog/cat. He's more of a dog person, so hopefully we'll be able to get a puppy soon. We'll see.

Who cooks the most? It used to be solely his responsibility because we both worked full-time. I cleaned, did laundry, etc. He was the chef. He's an excellent cook. But now that I'm home more, I've been cooking more. Again, I'm learning!

Who cleans the most? Me. Me. Me. Pax's office is very neat and organized, but when it comes to general cleaning and organizing, he doesn't help out much. lol. He generally comes home straight from work and starts on his heinous load of homework. 

Where do you see yourselves in five years? Hopefully in a bigger house and hopefully with only one or two kids. Haha. I'm really crossing my fingers on that.

If you could give an engaged couple any advice (assuming they asked for it), what would it be?
Be patient with yourself and your significant other. The first year is or can be rough. Learn to swallow your pride and love learning together. The incredible growth you will experience if you can do those things together will make you far better friends/companions than you ever imagined.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Living Well on Less v2

Think of one skill your mother (or father/grandmother/father/guardian/aunt, etc) taught you that you are most thankful for. Go!

I'm most thankful that my momma taught me how to cook.

I did not know until the age of 18 that you could purchase garlic pre-chopped in a jar. Seriously. When I did find out, I was beyond baffled. No matter what anyone tells you, there is nothing like fresh garlic.

So when I say she taught me to cook, I mean really cook. Not only did she show us how to create healthy meals, but she also inadvertently taught us how to save a lot of money.

Many households have both parents working outside the home. It's now the norm. And as such, a lot of people are too darn tired to cook a healthy meal when they get home after a day at work. I get it. But if you're serious about saving money (and being healthy), learning to cook is pretty important.  Try prepping meals on the weekend and freezing them if you're short on time. If you have kids, you will be teaching them an invaluable lesson by showing them how to prepare their own healthy meals. They WILL thank you later on (maybe even via a blog post like this one!).

You do not need to be a chef to cook tasty meals. You don't need fancy equipment or expensive gadgets to get you through meal prep. Really, the extent of what I use in my kitchen is here:

two sets of measuring cups, measuring spoons, grater, ice cream scoop, and a yellow mud knife (stole from Brett) to scrape the counters after kneading dough

spatulas, french rolling pin, wooden spoons, olive oil ready to be poured, and a dish of sea salt

utensils, can openers, peelers, etc.

 cleaning supplies, bella blender (the poor girl's food processor!), a mini chopper, a hand mixer, and an ice cream maker

dish towels, dish cloths (for rising doughs), dish rags, pot holders, and a cool dark space for potatoes and such

A wood cutting board, a block of knives, a saute pan, a frying pan, a large pot for boiling water, pyrex, loaf pans, cookie sheets, a dutch oven, a pizza stone, a sink, a fridge, and a stove are not pictured...but are things that I use very frequently.

Most people will probably have quiet a few of the things I've mentioned, if you don't- check out thrift stores and yard sales to get a good deal.

I take it for granted that I know how to cook. I do. I often forget that not everyone knows how to make brown rice, or how to make a basic pasta sauce. If you're looking for resources on how to become a better cook, I would start with a cookbook. If while reading through a recipe you find yourself wondering what it means to roast, braise, saute, someone. Leave a message on my blog. I'll help! If you're shy, Google it. YouTube it. Take the time to learn. It will be well worth it. For healthy recipes and inexpensive menu ideas, check out my food posts!

Anyone out there with me on this? Let me know if you have time- saving tricks for meal prep, favorite make-ahead dishes, or if you want to share how much money you've saved since starting to cook.  I would REALLY love to hear from you guys on this one, because I think it's a big part of staying on budget. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Eating Well on Sixty: 7/31-8/6

I could easily spend an entire paycheck at the store each week. Sometimes I make excuses to go to Whole Foods when I really don't need to. Luckily, Brett is quite good at knowing when we really do need to, and when I'm just having WF hallucinations. (That alone probably saves us close to $1000 each year).But now that new school bills are looming in the very near future, it's time to get serious. And since I couldn't find many $60 meal plans that were healthy, delicious and vegetarian, I decided that I would create my own. Armed with three $20 bills, we will eat. And we will eat well.

Before we begin! I would really appreciate anyone who stumbles across this blog regularly/not so regularly participating in my little poll at the top of the blog. It's on the left hand side, and it's asking readers/lurkers (if you lurk, please vote! And then come say hi!) to answer ''which DIY post would you most like to see?'' Thank you!

Kitchen Confessions:
  • Sometimes, I'll cut a slice of bread and then I'll put the knife back into the block without washing it.
  • If I pile dirty dishes into the sink neatly, I feel slightly better than if they were hanging around the counters/tables/bar top. 
  • I lick the maple syrup bottle after I pour it.
Just sayin'. Any confessions? Anyone? Or is everyone neater/more sanitary than myself?

If you come over for breakfast, I will not serve you something that requires syrup (unless there's a fresh, unlicked bottle). I promise.

This week:

-protein smoothies with frozen fruits
-toast with peanut butter and fruit
-banana pancakes


Most days, leftovers from dinner will be eaten the next day as lunch. Other days, these are what I rotate in:
-veggie burger veggie wrap with veggies and slice of cheese
-baby green salad with green peppers, tofu
-brown rice, broccoli, spinach, and tofu

-Family gathering 

-Quesadillas with salad

-Pasta with roasted garden veggies and salad

I don't think there's anything quite as satisfying as eating vegetables out of your own garden.

-Black bean chili with baked potatoes 

-Tomato/basil/mozzarella grilled sandwiches on rustic with salad and raw veggies

-Pizza on homemade dough

-mini smoothies with frozen fruit
-cheddar and apple melt
-chocolate chip banana bread


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