Thursday, June 3, 2010

Contentment.

Goodness... it's been a whole month since I have updated the blog... slacking... sorry.

So I gave myself a challenge for the month of May. I love clothes and accessories... I am a bargain hunter and love sales and coupons to my fav stories so it is not like I spend a lot of money. They are usually "little purchases." I am the kind of person that passing up a New York and Co. or Express Coupon I get in the mail seems wasteful... Its like free money... right? :) Ok.. so you have to spend money to save money... I guess not free. So we got down that I love to shop...
I challenged myself for the month of May that I would not buy one piece of clothes, no shoes, no jewelry, ect. At times it was hard. I even threw coupons away! GASP! I would see coupons or advertisements on Tv or from my email that talked about incredibles deals but I did not crack!!
The reason for the challenge:
1) To save some money - I don't think that I really spend THAT much on clothes - but how about not spending any one month?
2) To learn to be CONTENT with what is in my closet. That is hard. But I look at my closet and I have more that ENOUGH clothes that I need I have so much. When I watch commercials or see advertisements - its like it is telling me that I need more. But do I really NEED that tank or that pair of shorts? I don't NEED it. I WANT it.

So now I am trying to really filter through when I go shopping in the future if it is something that is more a need or just a want... and yes I have already bought something in June - a pair of $3 Capri Leggings. But that might be my only big splurge for the month... :)

I read a book in college and I am about halfway through it again. It is called Calm My Anxious Heart (by Linda Dillow). It is about worry and contentment. I haven't got to the worry part - I am just getting through the contentment portion.

One thing it talks about is being content in the stage of life you are in. This is hard for me to do sometimes... Since I have been little it has always been... well when I get a drivers license..., when I graduate High School ... When I go to College... when I get married... when I get my full time job... then I will be content. Still I have my drivers license, graduated High School, went to College, got married, have my full time job... and still am I content.. no. It is such a process. This book has just given me inspiration to be thankful where I am in life.... which is hard at times... but with the Lord's help... hopefully I will be more thankful.

It also talks about being content with what we have. Like talked about above... I always want more. My thinking is always "well if I have this... then I will be content." But I get that, then it is on to the next thing. I am trying to have a new perspective of this. It does not help that I live in America - basically the most wealthy nation... that constantly throws it in your mind that you need, need, need. Contentment is not part of their game. If Contentment was the popular thing, advertisers and marketing people would be out of jobs. I am sure that I will need to keep reading this book over and over to pound it in my head that I need to be Content....

Philippians 4: 11-13:

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. "(New Living)

I love this passage by Paul...who was truly content. Being content is something I can achieve through Christ who gives me strength... but only by HIS strength.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Entry Update...

A little Entryway update...

This is the "winter" look of the entryway...

In the winter we have to have the rug in the entryway, otherwise water gets everywhere... I hate the rug because it covers all the tile.. but practical. Since we moved in, we have always have the little shoe organizer in the entryway to stack shoes on. The bench has been there for a while... I snagged it for 75% off at Target about a year ago and it works great because it has some storage under the seat.

So here is the "AFTER"... more of a "summer" look....

The rug is gone, the tile is showing, you can actually see the brown rugs, I hung a picture and I got a plant!!


I love this print/art that my parents got me for Christmas that spells out "HOME" with cool photography and has a verse on the bottom. Then I got a little plant that fits perfectly in the corner the pot was a terra cotta pot but I painted it brown to go with the rugs.

This is the other corner of the entryway that has the bench which usually becomes a place to hold our mail and my purse... and of course the coat rack for coats, keys and dog leashes.
So where did the shoe bench go and all the shoes disappear to?

To the incredibly clean coat closet right up the stairs... This is seriously the cleanest this closet has ever been... pretty excited about this closet now! We'll see if we keep our shoes up in the closet from now on... :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Weekend Fun

The last couple weekends we have been busy!! Here are some of the things we have been up to:


Weekend Adventure #1: Twins at Target
So a few weekends ago Todd and I were able to go to a Twins game in their new ballpark Target Field with some of Todd's family. It is a beautiful new stadium! It was a gorgeous April afternoon... what a way to spend an afternoon!!
Here is a picture of the new stadium...


Todd and two of his brothers... with their matching shirts.

Part of the family...
us.

Weekend Adventure #2: Rhonda!!
Rhonda is one of my really good friends from College. We had alot of classes together because we were both going for Public Relations and then we were roommates for our senior year of college.. I always had fun with her! We now live 6 hours apart... but because of her new job, she was passing through Rochester last weekend!! It has been a year since we had seen each other so it was so fun to have Rhonda around!! We had a blast... but next time around we aren't going to wait another year to see each other again!

We took a walk downtown Rochester and got some cake from Chester's.... there were these beautiful tulips! They were too pretty not to take a picture of...

Then we got a little artisitic and found a mirrored building to take a picture...

More weekend adventures to come soon! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Springtime...

I can't believe how nice it has been outside lately! Todd and I have had a few nights of grilling out and we still can't believe we are eating outside in the beginning/middle of April. It has been just such beautiful weather!!
With the beautiful weather comes spring cleaning!! One thing that was desperately calling out to us was our dirty garage!! We just got new carpet in our guest bedroom downstairs so by doing that we were able to get the bed, mattress and nightstands out of the garage. Pictures to come soon of that room - once we do a little more work on it!
So this is a sad before of our garage. In the almost 2 years of living in our house we have never parked two cars in our garage... because of junk...

I took an after picture ... but there is still alot of junk!! We still have a couple trips to haul the junk away... so I will post when that is done... I am so excited about being able to park two cars in our garage!

In the last year and a half of living in our house - I have discovered a new love: Decorating!
I LOVE being creative and figuring out ways to redo something without spending tons of money. I only fuel this love by perusing blogs and recording HGTV shows to watch later. My head constantly is swimming with ideas...a couple rooms have become done on my list Alot of projects have gotten done but there is still alot more to do. Our house is coming out of the 70s... step by step. I would like to start to slowly show projects I have done so far and show some before and after pictures so you can see where our house has come....along way!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from Bella and Brandi!!



I know this is a little crazy - bunny ears on my dogs, but I don't have kids to dress up so I dress them up for fun... haha. I found these ears at Target for $1 a couple months ago so I grabbed a pair because I thought it would be fun to catch a few pictures of them... They sat around until I remembered about them today. With a pepperoni in one hand and the camara in the other I snapped a few snapshots that just cracked me up! If you are wondering why the dogs are looking up in the pictures - it is the tempting treat of pepperoni above their heads.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter! Remember the true reason for this holiday - that Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we can go to Heaven with him - and then he rose again! We are so thankful for this wonderful Gift of Jesus and our salvation!

HE IS RISEN!

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Madness

Goodness it has been a while since I blogged... So here are a couple highlights of our March... March Madness :)

1) Aaron Shust Concert - My in-laws got tickets for Todd and I (and the whole family) to go to this great concert...it was a fun! :)

This is a picture of my sis-in-law, Hilary, my brother-in-law's girlfriend, Kristen, and me... we all kinda look alike...haha :)

2) Todd's Birthday

Happy Birthday Todd! Todd turned 26 on March 12. Can't believe he is already 26! We went to Twiggs for dinner...



We got this Hot Rock and grilled our food on it.... yum.

3) Colorado

My family LOVES to ski - so Todd and I were blessed to be able to join my family on their vacation. We flew into Denver late on Saturday night and then rode on a shuttle to Keystone to stay at a condo with my family... all except Skyller :( I absolutely love this state! The mountains are absolutely breathtaking - and it always reminds me of how great and mighty God is. It is so awesome to be immersed in his creation with the incredible mountains, snow, trees and even creatures (we saw a mouse and a porcupine while skiing... which it is wierd to see an animal). The only downside about going into the mountain is altitude sickness... so for a few days we all felt a little icky getting used to being way above sea level. So we spent the week skiing (and snowboarding for Todd and my sis Dakota).


Here is a view... but pictures don't do it justice... it is just BREATHTAKING!!!

There is my little snowboarder! We have actually never been skiing/snowboarding together... so this was really fun to do this together!
Skier and snowboarder unite....


My sissy, Dakota
The other snowboarder :)


The family... missing Skyller :( We went out to Ruby Tuesday's to celebrate Todd's Birthday.

Everytime we go to Keystone, my mom, sister and I have to head over to Breckenridge and do some shopping. We always have to go to a little cookie shop and get our cookie.. they are incredible... :)

It was a really fun trip!
So that was a our March... hopefully I will get back to blogging better.... I have some projects I have been working on... so I will probably be blogging about that....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

23.



So it has been a couple weeks since I wrote... but I am back...
So last Sunday I celebrated my 23 birthday. 23! Sometimes I can't believe I am this old!
I had fun celebrating my birthday last weekend with Todd in the Cities.

So we went up to Minneapolis after Todd was done with work on Saturday night. We had it planned that we wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory - but when we got there at 8pm - there was still a 2 1/2 hour wait. 2 1/2 wait? Crazy... We found a California Pizza Kitchen which was only a 15 minute wait. It was good. I got this Chicken Piccata Dinner- it was really yummy...

After dinner we made our way back to the Cheesecake Factory for some dessert. By that time our name had come up and we only had to wait a few minutes to get a seat. I got my AWESOME cheesecake. They even decorated the plate for the birthday girl. When I was in College - my family would come up and take me out to dinner and we went to Cheesecake Factory for the 20th and 21st birthdays. I have a picture like this for each of these birthdays as well. It may have to continue to be a tradition...




I love how they decorate the plates for your birthday! So fun!!
Me and the Hubs... what a fun time!


We then stayed at the Ramada Plaza Hotel for night... since I work for a hotel - I get a little discount which makes it nice. It was a really nice hotel - we would recommend it.

The next day - my birthday - we went to the "Valentine's Day" movie. We thought it was OK- but not great... but we had some free movie tickets to that was a bonus. Then we went out to lunch to Potbellies with my brother Skyller and his girlfriend Kiki and went shopping with them for a bit. We said hi to a college friend then headed home to pick up my babies.

It was so nice to get away... even though we drove an hour to the cities - it felt like we were alot farther away. Maybe something we should do more often... :)

So then tonight we got to celebrate my birthday again... my family came into town. My brother, Skye, didn't come down but my cousin Walker was along. We went to my all time favorite Rochester Restaurant: Chesters.

They have great food but my FAVORITE thing about Chesters is their chocolate cake. It is the BEST chocolate cake I have ever had. I really wanted some as my birthday cake. It was so fun to see my family and get to celebrate with them.

With my Birthday Cake... don't be fooled - I split this with everyone... I didn't eat it all myself!

We celebrated my dad's birthday too. He just had a birthday on Wednesday. Happy Birthday Daddy!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Good Deals & Good Eats

So last Sunday I went out run a couple errands. I saw a scarf online that I wanted from Old Navy... Little did I know that AWESOME deals I would get sucked into! :) So the things below... I got all these for $10!! Each item was about $2. I got a nice black shirt, the gray striped long sleeved tee, green tank, teal tank, and yoga pants! What a Steal!! I love bargains like this!! I did buy the scarf... but it was the same price as the 5 items!

So then I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I got a coupon and saw a vacuum online. We have problems with our vacuums - we have two sitting in our house... and of course they both kind of have their own issues. So I got a new one... This one was normally an $80 vacuum and it was marked down to $50 and then I had a 20% off coupon so I got this for $40!! It looks a little strange...but it has awesome suction.. which I need with the two dogs running around!!So in the last week I have making alot of new recipes! Here is what I have been busy making! :)
Last Saturday night - Ranch Pork Roast and Potatoes

Monday Night - Egg Bake and Muffins Friday Night - Pesto Chicken, Salad and Breadsticks

Saturday Night - Penne and Sausage Bake


My hungry looking dogs looking on... they are giving me the faces for they could get some scraps!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gimpy Limpy

Brandi - or Gimpy Limpy - as we have been calling her the past week because she is having alot of problems with BOTH paws. So last weekend I looked outside and saw blood all over the snow. I kinda freaked out - but we finally found the cause - Brandi had a broken nail. So after stopping the bleeding we put on a little make shift bandage with a sock. She hated it but it worked...


So a few days ago I looked outside and saw blood again.... It was her other paw now.
It wouldn't stop bleeding so we took her into the vet the next day and found that this time she had a growth on her paw that split open - so now we have to keep her paw protected. Brandi hates her sock and she has chewed through many socks already. She is funny to watch because she just hobbles around... Poor doggie :(

So Todd brought home some beautiful roses for me... I thought this was a cute picture of Bella smelling the roses.


This is another cute one of Bella... She is just such a cute dog!!! :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy 2010!

Happy 2010 to Everyone! It is a new year, and with a new year always comes resolutions. Resolutions that never stick... but I am determined to make my many resolutions stick this year... so instead I am calling them "goals."
I think goals has a better ring to it. One of the goals that I want to have this year is to blog once a week. I don't know if this will stick but it is a good way to keep up my writing skills. I used want to be an author when I was in third grade... and though I have no desire to be an author, I think its good to keep up writing...

Other goals that I have for the year?

* Learn to cook! I want to put all the cook books I got for our wedding to good use! I have it my head that I want to try a new recipe each week. I have a dozen cook books sitting in my kitchen... so let's see how that works!

* Keep a budget! Eek! I HATE budgets... but it is a good way to see where all our hard earned money goes and to Save!

* Exercise! Todd got a Wii for Christmas so we went out and got a Wii fit. They make so many games out there to help you work out... and it doesn't feel like you are working out when you are playing a video game.

Maybe by putting this out in cyberspace I will ACTUALLY fulfill some or all of these goals for the year... so far so good... but then again it is 3 days into the new year!

Well off I go to make French Toast... Todd and I got two FREE loaves of bread at a local bakery on New Year's Day. I thought I should put it to good use... so off I go!