Weekend Happenings

I had such a great weekend! There was a while there that I thought my weekends would never be fun again. So often I have to work at least one of the weekend days, if not both, and I just dread it. Don't get me wrong, I have about the best (& easiest) part time job repping fragrance for a great company but the downside is I end up working lots of weekends & holidays. I feel like I miss out on so much. This summer will be so much different. My last work day for the rest of the summer was Father's Day and I don't go back until the fall. I am so excited!!!

This weekend we saw two movies- World War Z (omg. Brad Pitt for life!) & The Fast & the Furious 6. I have been anticipating WWZ for a while now and it didn't disappoint- I really liked it. I didn't read the book first like I wanted but I've heard they are very different so I think I'll still keep it on my list. Cardy & I have a thing for the Fast & Furious movies. We love them! They're so cheesy & ridiculous but entertaining as hell! We went to a late night showing and ended up having the entire theater to ourselves. I never had that happen before. I kept whispering to Cardy and then I would realize I didn't need to be quite but it felt really weird talking out loud in a dark theater.

We also hit up the downtown farmer's market on Saturday and came home with some delicious cherries. We love walking through the market on Saturday mornings. It's one of our favorite things to do in the summer. The rest of our Saturday was spent running errands, napping, and planting some veggie plants Cardy had picked up. It was lovely.

On Sunday, Caroline & I headed up to Park City to check out the Park Silly Market. This was my first time and I didn't know what to expect. It was almost like a local mini Arts Festival. Lots of great vendors, music, food booths and a beer garden. Caroline & I were excited when we spotted a Bloody Mary bar so, of course, we had to stop for one. This was one of the raddest bars I had ever seen & I hope to duplicate it (on a smaller scale) for future parties. We had our choice of three Bloody Mary mixes and then an entire set up of garnishes. In the end our drinks looked more like a salad than a cocktail! It was awesome!

Afterwards, we walked up & down Main Street checking out the shops and running into another small farmer's market. I'll definitely be making the drive to Park City several more times this summer.

The only thing I didn't get to do this weekend was get Zoe out of the house. I do feel really bad that the hot weather has kept her in doors a lot lately. With temperatures over 100 degrees, it's just way too hot to do anything with her. The evenings are even unpleasantly hot but that's when we take her on some walks so the sidewalk doesn't burn her little paws. I can tell she is so bored being indoors. I'm off for a long four day weekend this week so I'm going to make it a point to get up early in the morning on Friday and take her on a nice hike. She'll love it!
{cutest girl ever!}


Life Without A Phone

Last week as I was heading down to Lake Powell with my family, I realized I'd misplaced my phone. I realized this as our entire group was departing from some random parking lot in Draper- not even 15 miles from my parent's house- the last place I'd remembered seeing my phone. Of course, I was in a dead panic and began dumping everything from my purse and my beach bag and stuffing my hands into every nook and cranny in my dad's truck. Nope. No luck. "No problem." I thought. We'll just turn around and head back to the house where I was sure it was. Nope again. My dad was not about to turn around and abandon the rest of our group for my phone. I wanted to cry. How was I going to survive the next five days of my trip? No phone, no camera, no Spotify, no Instagram & Facebook. I was already upset, 20 minutes into our family trip. Not to mention the fact that I was going to have to admit to Cardy that I had actually lost my phone. Sure, I'd misplaced it before, mostly in my house but I'd never lost, lost a phone.

After some quick thinking, I called my friend, Ashley, and pretty much begged her to stop by my parent's house to see if I had left the phone sitting on the counter or to check if it was laying in the street where we had been loading the truck and boat. She was awesome and ran right over, despite her and her family trying to leave for the same boating trip. Unfortunately, she didn't find anything.

I must have re-traced my steps in my head a hundred times. I could remember the last time I looked at my phone (to check a text message) but I could not remember what I did after that. I tried calling the phone, I tried calling Verizon to see if they could locate it with GPS (they can't...whatever.) but I didn't know what else I could do from Lake Powell.

At some point that first day I had to let it go. There was nothing I could do about it so I wasn't going to spend the rest of my trip sulking. It was hard. I felt very disconnected and it made me realize just how much I rely on my phone for everything. I use it as my camera, alarm clock, calendar, organizer, music device, social media connection, email, etc. This sucked. I had to rely on my family to let me borrow their phone to call home & I was forced to listen the only 10 songs my brother had on his phone. I even went so far as to put the Instagram app on my mom's iPhone so I could try not to miss out from afar. For you Sprint users, I'm sorry. You're service sucks. My mom's phone could barely function in Page, AZ so checking Instagram regularly was a bust.

All is well in the world now. This week I was able to use the insurance I had on my phone and I now have a new phone. It's the same brand I had before- Samsung Galaxy S3 (yes, I'm an Android girl). Who knows what happened to my lost phone. It was probably smashed to smithereens on the road somewhere near my parent's house.

Here's what I learned in the whole week I was without a phone:
*I'm glad I have insurance on my phone- & one that covers lost/stolen phones (not all do).
*I'm thankful I didn't have any bank info or financial information on my phone- even though I don't think it was stolen, you never know.
*I'm thankful I didn't have any nudie pics currently on my phone.
*I don't give as big of a crap about Facebook as I thought. However, Instagram is another story!
*Always put a tracking app on your phone. You have to be proactive about it because once it's lost, you're screwed.
*Verizon can sell your info to the NSA and social media apps can use the GPS on your phone to track your location but if you lose your phone, your sources are mute. No one can help you.
*Back up Assistance is a bust. Thank you BUA for only saving my contacts in the most ridiculous order imaginable. It was weird discovering Cardy's phone number was now listed as "Email" in my backed up contents. It's a mess. I lost pics, videos, calendar, and other organization trackers I had on my phone. I was so sad. iPhone users have the iCloud but it's no good unless you save things to it. I'm thinking about using DropBox.
*Who knew the police will actually write up a case report for a lost/stolen phone? My insurance required this and I was totally embarrassed calling the police department to report my lost/stolen phone (saying stolen made me feel better about). What a waste of their time!
*I actually survived. I wasn't as disconnected to the world as I thought- I just didn't have all my guilty pleasures at the tip of my fingers. Living without social media, Google and a personal phone is possible.



We just did something we haven't done in a very long time! We booked a vacation! Hooray! 'I've been dying to plan a vacation and this week we did it! We will be going to St. Croix in August and I am "pee my pants" excited!!!

I have been nagging Cardy about a vacation- and one that doesn't revolve around work or consist of attending conferences. He's a real home body and traveling is not top on his list of priorities but after a little persuasion and lots of Google images of the island and resort, he agreed- we deserve a vacation.

I had been doing lots of thinking of places I'd like to travel to. Obviously there are so many on my list and between Cardy and I, we just couldn't decide. A few weeks ago I happened to be searching the Groupon website and I was looking through their deals on travel. I was hoping this would help me narrow things down a bit and low & behold I discovered a great deal to St. Croix. I started researching the island and loved what I saw. I shared my discovery with Cardy and we decided to go ahead and book it. Hallelujah! My husband's taking a vacation!

St. Croix is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, located just East of Puerto Rico. It's tropical and beautiful and romantic. I can't wait to visit! Our hotel is on the beach and close to the main town on the island. This vacation has been a long time coming and I will be so happy to relax and spend some much needed down time with Cardy.
Yes, Please!


Book Club

Last fall, my mom and some friends put together a book club. I've always wanted to be part of a book club so I was so excited when they included me. I asked my friend, Alex, to join as well. She's the biggest book nerd I know and it's nothing for her to read several books a month. She's the only person I know who browses the library, checks out numerous books she knows nothing about and reads them all. She was an English Lit major in college, but still, who does that?

I wanted to join because reading is one of my favorite hobbies. And who doesn't love getting together with friends for dinner and wine to discuss a great book? Sign me up! I'm the exact opposite to Alex when it comes to picking books. I prefer recommendations from friends and even then, I check Amazon and Good Reads for the reviews before I commit to anything. I feel like being part of a book club will give me the opportunity to read books I might otherwise not hear about or read.

Our group meets about every 4-6 weeks and each person takes a turn to host. The host serves dinner and drinks, provides a group discussion based on the book we just finished and presents the group with a few recommendations for the next read. We vote as a group on our next book.

Last week was my turn to host. It was so much fun. I stressed for weeks over what to serve and what books to recommend. I ended up choosing four books that have been on my list "to read" for a while now. They are:
*The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (this is the book we chose)
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I have truly enjoyed the books we have read so far. Some more than others. So far we have read:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach
The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
The Things That Keep Us Here by Clara Buckley
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Gone Girl has been my favorite so far. I can't say much because this book is full of unexpected turns and twists but it's definitely one I could not put down.

I love my book club group- It's a fun mix of ladies!

alex, my mom {joyce}, brittany, janet, susan, jane, lynne
book club: april 2013
hosted by: jenn



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.