Thursday, February 2, 2012

get ready folks...yours truly and this one here to my right are teaming up for a grand adventure!

Friday, January 27, 2012


A few months ago, after being inspired by my "extreme couponing marathon" I went crazy for coupons, as seen here.  In doing so, I effectively cut our grocery budget in half, yes, but I also tripled or quadrupled the amount of stress and time that went into buying food.  I got to thinking over our break in it really worth it?

Any takers on guessing how much I just love the grocery store?  And for that much I just loooove making dinner?  Um, I'll give you a hint.  If cleaning the bathroom with a toothbrush was lined up with either of those tasks, it would be higher on the list of things I'd rather do most nights. much for couponing...the phase that didn't last.  Hello again, Costco!

In weighing the pros and cons of re-joining the $100 club, (seriously have never gotten out of there for less than $100) for our date tonight Brigham and I decided to take a stroll through the aisles and take a gander of what we may or may not have been missing these last 4 months.  And about 10 minutes later, we were back at the sign-up desk volunteering our fifty bucks for the year.

Hence, our Costco relapse.  I suppose not even student loans could keep us from the appeal of

  1. Buying in bulk (aka. grocery shopping LESS frequently)
  2. Better quality produce, in bulk
  3. Did I mention bulk?
  4. The wonderful way that no-matter where you are, when you're inside, it just feels like you're at home.
That leaves me with the only con:

  1. Finding room.

But...I'll take it.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

The One that Didn't Get Away

I'm not gonna lie...I absolutely love this song.  Not typically a huge fan of Katy Perry's music or lifestyle choices or even style, this song is a game changer.  Fortunately, when I drive to work or through Boston and Cambridge in my daily route, I hear it on the radio a couple of times a day. 

{ps I am equally digging the jack-johnson-ish acoustic vibe in the background}
Play. Now.

So what's a happily-married-to-her-best-friend-in-the-world lady obsessing over this song about long-lost love for?  Um, don't know really, except that every time Katy sings "In another life" I am silently, gleefully, counting the ways of how perfect my husband is, acknowledging to myself that I'm living in the other life where we do keep our promises, where I get to keep him, and where the irreplaceable memories we make will never have to be longed for, or recovered from.  It reminds me how great is to appreciate the moments of present joy of being given the gift of a very happy marriage.  Nothing like the confidence that I'll never have to sing the tune of a broken heart again.

Never in a million years did I ever anticipate the endless opportunities for happiness that could be derived by living the rest of my life with Brigham, and yet, they keep appearing day after wonderful day. 

On that, digging a little deeper here, I can acutely relate to the pain of the song, which makes my above-noted happiness even more gratifying.  Fortunately, I've been redeemed from the lackluster drudgery of the dating world and all of it's various perils...but not withstanding, it was, in fact, a close call.  Had Brigham not showed up when he had, I was about two inches away from joining the Navy and throwing in the towel altogether.  ON top of that, we only had a few months to make extremely life-altering decisions.  We thank the good Lord daily, and sometimes more often than that, that we made the right ones.

I should have had one look at this picture (below - note - both single and not dating eachother) and realized the opportunity at hand back in 2006, when I was a fresh college grad. 

{just look at those gorgeously genuine smiles on our faces!}
Picture taken at Emily's going-away party circa Summer 2006
4 years before our first date!
 However, dense as I am with matters involving men, I did not. Instead, I opted for 4 years of more fruitless dead-end relationships, sprinkled in with a few choice miserably confusing pickles (aka unfortunate situations), marinated in the prolonged awkwardness of literally trying to "keep up with the Jones's" as the last, youngest, childless daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jones.  Lest you think I am a pessimist, please don't.  Always one for the silver lining, I sarcastically embrace the best quote I've ever heard on the subject of finding silver lining: "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -(The Last Lecture) And, as Jane Eyre says, "The shadows are as important as the sunlight." 

What I got from those admittedly lonely and occasionally downtrodden years between 2006-2010 was an acute awareness of all the little things I absolutely need and cannot live without in my life.  Like someone who listens with understanding.  Like someone who is just exactly like him.  How lucky am I that he isn't the one who got away?  You don't have to tell me twice.  Thanks Katy.

Picture taken in our living room, date night out on the town last week!
1.5 years of marriage!
 {BTW...due to my new found pleasure in life in general, I plan to revamp the blog and become an official, full time (daily/weekly) blogger in coming months.  Stay tuned!}

It's on, 2012. It's on.

Things that WILL be happening this year!

  1. Get my sewing machine fixed
  2. make curtains
  3. alter existing clothes in my closet
  4. buy an apple computer w/ adobe programs
  5. buy a new camera (a really good one)
  6. blog more
  7. compare outfits with inspiration on pinterest
  8. take pictures of my cute apartment for memories
  9. write reviews of good books
  10. interesting observations about boston
  11. go on a cruise in the carribean
  12. work less, play more
  13. get knocked up (at some point.  OK, its no secret - we both are baby crazy)
  14. pay student loans (get started!)
  15. go to the temple every month (or more i used to)
  16. read the entire book of mormon again
  17. listen to gc in the car
  18. make a playlist for songs that remind me of being newlywed
  19. (I love listening to tunes that remind me of nostalgic college times with bff's)
  20. keep a clean and tidy house
  21. start writing a book (for reals this time)
  22. get on a simple, consistent daily/weekly routine (exercise included)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011. Accomplished.

It's about that time of year to look at the past 12 months to see what has been accomplished in my life.  Actually, now that I think of it, it'd be great to outline what has happened in the past 24 months...beCausE, things have definitely changed!

In 2010, I accomplished many things on my life bucket list (just to set the scene):
  • Became 100% Financially Independent (meaning I pay for everything I need by myself, a longstanding goal of mine)
  • Got Married, to an old friend (Surprise*!)
  • Moved into a "loft" in a big city.
  • Road Trip across the entire United States
  • Weekend get-away to NYC (& saw the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person)
  • Epic-ly quit a horrible job (Told em' whats up, and then just simply walked out.  Followed by my similarly fed-up coworker days later.  Something I am genuinely proud of myself for, to this day.)
On New Year's Eve 2010, it was out with the old and in with the new.  My feminine intuition never fails to disappoint, and for as many years (about 5 to be exact) as I just knew that things were not going to get better anytime soon, that night, I just KNEW that my patience would finally meet its promised hopes - on one condition...that I must let go of everyone and everything in the past never ever look back!  It worked.

Central Park, NYC

In 2011, onward pressing onward, this is how things went down...Not exactly bucket list worthy, but nevertheless, of note:
  • Upgraded to a fabulous job as an executive assistant to nationally recognized health care executives.  Can you tell I love my job?  I do.  I'm in career-heaven.
  • Started babysitting a little boy (he's 7) from India on a regular basis.  It's fun to learn about their culture, and fun to have spending money :)
  • Wrote out our first family budget, thanks to Dave Ramsey.
  • Went on our first couple diet (we both lost 5 pounds!)
  • Learned how to use Coupons, thanks to my Labor Day weekend in San Diego & TLC's Extreme Couponing marathon.
  • Moved into a newer apartment, with a non-psycho police officer landlord (aka a very respectful and nice grandma of 2 named Mary Ellen), in house laundry (free), and a built in dishwasher!  Heaven.
  • Brigham played and performed at his debut Fireside!
  • Brigham and Mike produced their 2nd CD (Spirit of Christmas), and are currently promoting it...if you want a copy let me's on itunes too.
  • Escaped to New Hampshire for a birthday getaway...ahhh, I relax just remembering that incredible weekend!
  • Enjoyed a wonderful weekend in NYC again this year with Megan, Job and Rachel, and Aunt Kay!
  • Quietly quit some toxic people and decided to never talk to them or think about them or talk about them again.  And I the more time that goes by, ironically, the more happy I am.  Strange, huh, but this is a big breakthrough for me.  JFK said, "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their last names."  Sometimes the only way to forgive is to forget, and the only way to forget is to say goodbye - for good.  
Like I said, my upgrade to a new job has been a real game changer.  Less hours, more income, and more time with my hubs with less stress.  More time to be domestic = happy Emily.  I am glad that I worked at Enterprise, though, as grinding as it was at times, because I was constantly sharing the gospel and answering questions about being Mormon, and I made really great friends (who I never get to see because they are always working), and lets be honest, I was loved and cherished for who I am, and the example I set by just being me.  I'll admit it, I shed a few tears when I decided to change jobs, and I wasn't the only one.  But as much as I love being with people who LOVE me, I had to get my priorities in order, and in the end, family will always come first.

Looking down the pipeline to 2012, here are some of our hopes:
  • Road trip to Georgia (to see Brigham's friend Kat Graham tape Vampire Diaries), North Carolina (to revisit Brig's mission), and Washington DC (to see Jessica and McKay)...uhm to be continued
  • Go on a Church History Tour with Welch family visitors
  • Celebrate Brigham's Graduation!!!  (whaaa?  already!  I know right?)
  • Go camping.  Anywhere!  I miss it so much :(
  • Go on a Cruise!
  • Fly to Hawaii to visit my mission :)
  • Do some kind of scripture/bom challenge
  • maybe welcome a little one into the family? We'll see ;)
  • Start paying back those torturous student loans...early.
  • Enjoy family, friends, the accomplishment of our goals, and then just Chillax!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Extreme Couponing 2.0: 70% Off Grocery Adventure!

My extreme couponing adventures continue!

This week, if you buy select items at Shaw's, they will give you back $10 toward your next purchase, AND, it just so happened that I had multiple coupons for each item on my list!  You have to spend a minimum of $25 post-coupons to get the $10 gift coupon, so that was tricky and took some planning...but it worked out!  Although my goal was to only spend $25 and call it a day, I did pick up a few extra items, and there were some things I planned on buying but weren't there so that threw me off, but FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, I saved more than I spent!

This is the retail price, pre-sale, pre-coupon, pre double-coupon cost: $92.10

2 Boxes of Kix
2 Boxes of Cheerios
2 Boxes of Total
1 Box of MultiGrain Cheerios
4 Boxes of Gogurt (Yoplait)
10 Yoplait cups
2 Pillsbury Grands rolls
2 FiberOne granola bar boxes
3 Green Giant Veggie Boxes
2 Totinos Pizza Rolls
2 Bags of Bugles
2 Bags of Chex Mix
1 Gallon of Milk
2 Colgate Toothpastes
2 Dr. Pepper's

This is what I paid for everything: $38.07 - ($10.00 gift card) = $28.07


Thats a total savings of 70% Off

So lets do the math here:
I bought 39 items
I paid $28
That means each item was an average of $.71 each
Thats better than the dollar store!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Things to do this fall

101 Things to Do This Fall
1. Go apple picking
2. Visit the country

3. Bake apple pie
4. Carve or decorate pumpkins
5. Bake pumpkin pie
6. Decorate turkey pinecones for Thanksgiving placesettings
7. Go for a hike

8. Make turkey handprint placemats
9. Knit or crochet something
10. Make something handmade for a Christmas present

11. See Disneyland’s Halloween decorations (the Haunted Mansion is a must!)
12. Go trick-or-treating at a theme park (Sea World has a great trick-or-treat party)
13. Play in fall leaves
14. Make a quilt (must fix sewing machine first!)

15. Visit someone in a nursing home
16. Write a letter to someone

17. Donate a turkey to a homeless shelter
18. Make a collection of your family’s Thanksgiving recipes to pass down to your children
19. Scrapbook
20. Go to the Drive-In Movie Theater
21. Visit the beach during a storm to see giant waves
22. Read a book

23. Make or hang a fall wreath on your door
24. Visit a pumpkin patch

25. Go on a hayride
26. Go horseback riding

27. Go to a football game
28. Make hot apple cider
29. Start Christmas shopping

30. Attend a parade
31. Visit a fire station’s open house
32. Attend a church’s Fall Festival

33. Host spaghetti night at your house
34. “BOO!” a friend (leave candy on their doorstep and doorbell ditch them … make sure they know that they’ve been “Boo’d” and that the candy is from you so they know it’s safe)
35. Host a football party at your house
36. Host a chili cook-off
37. Learn a new card game, like Canasta
38. Visit a farm
39. Shop at your local farmer’s market

40. Complete a large puzzle
41. Decorate for Halloween
42. Bake bread43. Attend your Alma Mater’s Homecoming
44. Attend an Oktoberfest
45. Take a train ride somewhere new

46. Watch a sunrise after a stormy day
47. Color
48. Make leaf rubbings
49. Go ice skating
50. Take a history tour of your city, preferably a haunted one!

51. Donate books to your local library
52. Read a Classic

53. Watch a foreign film
54. Visit a haunted house
55. Attend a carnival
56. Volunteer at your child’s school carnival or festival
57. Bake a cake or cookies for nurses to say thank you
58. Go ziplining among the fall foliage

59. Tell a ghost story
60. Send a care package to a friend that’s far away

61. Make cake pops
62. Put on or attend a puppet show
63. Write a story64. Take your dogs for a walk someplace new
65. Write down 10 things you’re thankful for and share them at Thanksgiving
66. Do something extra special for your child’s teacher
67. Read something inspirational or motivational
68. Play hopscotch in the garage on a rainy or cold day
69. Play Chinese Jumprope in the garage on a rainy or cold day
70. Do a crossword puzzle
71. Learn Sudoku
72. Make candles
73. Drink hot cocoa
74. Have brunch at a restaurant you’ve never tried before

75. Plant bulbs that will bloom in the Spring
76. Make something messy with clay or papier-mache
77. Make caramel apples
78. Play soccer

79. Go to a petting zoo
80. Make friendship bracelets
81. Paint or draw a picture you can frame

82. Build a fort
83. Have a campfire and roast marshmallows
84. Visit a museum

85. Take a carousel ride
86. Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
87. Attend a local theater performance
88. Make Apple Brown Betty and serve it with homemade ice cream
89. Take your kids out to “coffee:” Pumpkin Spice Latte for you, hot cocoa for them!
90. Take an art class

91. Paint something ceramic, like at a Ceramic Cafe
92. Frame school portraits
93. Play touch football in the front yard
94. Invite a relative you haven’t seen in awhile over for dinner
95. Create a new, healthy habit

96. Attend a craft faire
97. Decorate a spooky tree for Halloween
98. Make Christmas ornaments
99. Try pumpkin ice cream
100. Take lessons to learn something new, like how to play an instrument
101. Make a “Day in the Life” photo album with snapshots

(courtesy of