Ahhhhhhhhhh! I can't believe I'm 33! Where does the time go? I swear, just yesterday I was 27. I truly forget how old I am sometimes. Not that 33 is old, old but I know at some point in my younger years 33 seemed mighty old and now I'm there. I think my misperception of my age is because I sometimes compare myself with the girls I went to high school with and their bunches of children- because of this they somehow seem so much older than me. In my crazy head 4 kids must = older age. Weird- I know. This is obviously me reasoning with myself that I'm not that old.

Despite time flying right by me, I actually really enjoy birthdays. Who doesn't love being spoiled on their special day? I received so many nice phone calls, texts and facebook messages. They all really made me feel loved. Also, I make it a rule to not work on my birthday. Even if it's just taking the day off work to read and relax, no special plans, just a day for myself. This is exactly what I did yesterday {minus the reading part}. For my birthday, I slept in, snuggled with miss Zoe then I took her up to Tanner Park with our friends, Alex, Steve & Bentley. In the afternoon my mom visited- we made coffee and enjoyed some pastries. I ran a few errands {with Zoe, of course} and then Cardy surprised me by coming home from work a little early. We had reservations at Pago and I was super excited to finally go! I had been wanting to try Pago since they opened and it did not disappoint! We had a fabulous meal. We ordered an appetizer we had never tried before. Chicken live mousse with homemade pickles and dried cherries served with a baguette. I'm still not sure if I liked it {I didn't hate it} but it was fun to try something new. I loved the sweetness of the cherries with the acidity of the pickles- together with the mousse, not too bad. For dinner, I ordered the NY strip and Cardy ordered lamb. It was divine! Dessert was a must for the occasion and after having such a great meal, we wanted to try everything we could. We ordered the bread pudding with ice cream and salted caramel- also fabulous. I wish I had pictures of all of these dishes but Cardy made me promise I would not take any pictures in the restaurant. It embarrasses him to death, especially if the place has dim lighting and I need to use a flash. So, even though it was my birthday, I agreed. I was checking out Pago's brunch menu- amazeballs! I may be back sooner than planned!
Tanner Park is this lady's Disneyland. The water was cold, Zoe only gets in knee deep.
This is the only picture we took in Pago. Not my fave but I wanted to remember the evening.

The night before, my family met up at Copper Onion for dinner not only to celebrate my birthday but also my brother's. His birthday is the week before mine. Good God, I've eaten well this week! Copper Onion is delicious and probably one of my favorite new restaurants. I always suggest it to people wanting to try a new place for lunch or dinner.

Cast iron chicken & sweet potatoes. I rarely order chicken but this sounded amazing- it was!

Blippity, blah, blah, blah. Enough about food & detailed descriptions of everything I 've shoveled into my mouth this last week {or month if you've checked out my Instagram}, I really felt the love this week.  Despite feeling old{& pretty chubby}, I love my life. I'm surrounded by so many great people who influence me daily. I feel so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life who care about me so much. Thank you to everyone who not only made my birthday special but who make my life special. <3 p="">



One of my goals for 2013 was to manage our finances more closely and get a better grasp on where our money is going. A couple of weeks ago, I sat down and plugged in all of our regular expenses into a budgeting tool. Putting in our monthly expenses like our house payment, car payments and utilities was easy, but what seemed to be challenging me was all of our "other" expenses like money spent on groceries, shopping, and all other miscellaneous things- hence my need to comprehend our finances. I don't necessarily want to live by a strict budget or go to the extremes of the Dave Ramsey envelope method (yuck!) but I want a better understanding of how we are spending our money and what's a reasonable amount to put away into our savings.

I decided to start by looking at the money we spend on groceries. Food is a constant, we obviously have to eat and like utilities and our house payment, groceries are a routine monthly expense.  I'm not a regular shopper or a regular meal planner so grocery store trips can run me anywhere from $25-125. Sometimes I take big shopping trips and I buy food to last us a week or two but mostly I stop at the store a few times a week and pick up the necessities. Needless to say, I had no idea how much I was spending.

I used my Mint account to help me out. Mint tracks and categorizes spending habits, so I updated my account and looked at my spending for February. $350 in groceries- probably not 100% accurate but good enough. At first I was in shock. Then I started asking my co-workers & friends how much they spend in groceries per month and I realized Cardy and I are on the lower to average end of things. Only one person I asked knew exactly how much she spends per week but she shops once a week and plans every meal. In the end, I was relieved that we aren't extravagant spenders at the store but I know I also need to take into account our meals outside the home which adds another huge expense to our monthly finances.

I'm happy to have a baseline to gauge my spending at the store. What I'm hoping to come away with in all of this is being more conscious. My end goal is to understand how we are spending our money and to put more money away in our savings account and other investments- this task is much more difficult if you don't know where all of your extra money is going.


As of late...

I've been inspired to blog again. I'm not even sure how many people check my blog anymore because of my extended hiatus. Recently, a friend started a new blog and Caroline began blogging more frequently. I realized how much I enjoy reading their blogs and getting small glimpses into their thoughts and daily activities. I also realized I don't need major life milestones just to create a post- Sometimes a short blurb or quick thoughts are the best. It's truly amazing how quickly time flies by. It sounds so cliche to say that but it's true! Eight months have gone by since my last blogging session {which wasn't much} and I can hardly recall everything that's happened since then.

Last year was pretty crazy. The last six months of 2012 were incredibly busy with weddings and other celebrations that 2013 has been pleasantly relaxing. To give you an idea of all the festivities I hosted and/or attended- here's a list:
- Baby shower for Julieanne & baby Joseph.
- Three wedding showers: Tara, Jenessa, & Caroline.
- Bachelorette party for Caroline.
- Wedding planning with Caroline.
- Four Weddings: The Bitners, The Carters, The Cooks & The Hargraves.
- One Quinceanera for my niece, Chile.
- Our Five year anniversary.

Our five year anniversary came and went. I always pictured us doing something so big and special for this milestone {think trip to Hawaii} but September was the busiest & craziest month we've had since planning our own wedding. Not only did we have a ton of events but Cardy was just starting a new job at a new company. Our anniversary was on a Saturday and wouldn't you know it, we spent it attending a wedding! We actually had two weddings that weekend, both Friday & Saturday. Luckily, the wedding we attended on our special day took place at Deer Valley and my mom & dad were so thoughtful and booked Cardy and I a room at the lodge. We spent the night with family and friends, a full, open bar and a cozy room in a beautiful hotel. We just pretended the whole event was a celebration for us.

During the holidays, I took almost a full two weeks off and it was lovely!!!!! Cardy was able to take some time off too and I enjoyed spending some much needed quality time together. Zoe was so spoiled having us home, she was really sad in January when we all had to get back to reality and go back to work{I think I was more sad}.

Now that you're semi caught up. Here's what I've been up to lately:
~Hitting up Tanner Park with Zoe. She loves the snow and Tanner Park is one of her favorite places on Earth. We love dog dates too and luckily Caroline & Owen love the park just as much as we do!

 ~Trader Joe's. Need I say more? Since opening in November, I've been frequenting this place on the regular. The store is small and doesn't have any wine but I'm definitely loving having TJs around.
{Grand opening of Trader Joe's. Complete madness!}
~New Restaurants in the SLC. Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria in Sugar House. Amazeballs! We went on Valentine's Day and I'm so glad we did. Not only did we run into Devon & Caroline but the pizza was awesome! I'm dying to go back and try some other menu items.

~Sewing. I love to sew. I'm a novice and I'm itching to make something other than burp cloths for babies so my goal this year to attempt some new projects. First up: Pillows. I'm meeting up with my mom's friend next weekend so she can show me the tricks of the trade when it comes to pillows. She a master when it comes to pillows and I want to learn how to make pillow covers with zippers and everything. The whole she-bang. This little guy was something I worked on in February in an attempt to decorate my house for Valentine's Day. I love how the buttons turned out but the pillow was struggling. Very Kindergarten. Luckily most of my hand stitching was on the bottom and easily hidden. Bring on the pillows!

Welp. Here's to more blogging and many more posts to come. Now, I'm off to Target to pick up a few essentials for my trip this week to Boston.