Thursday, August 25, 2011

Can your cat do this?

Thats right, she is using the toilet. Almost fully potty trained Epps is a genius cat. We have been using the citikitty training kit. You put a pan into the toilet and then remove a ring each week till there is nothing left. Epps is down to two rings and always runs to the toilet to do her thing.

Rosalie on the other hand is struggling. Our toilet always runs and makes noise and I don't think she likes it. Don't know what I'm going to do about that. But I'm about done cleaning up accidents.

But still pretty cool! My cat is as smart as Mr. Jinx!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3 Year Anniversary!

I LOVE celebrating our anniversary and valentines day. I try to do my best to do lots of little things that let the hubby know I love him. Typically about 2 weeks before I start searching the internet for great lovey ideas. My favorite website right now is The Dating Divas! AMAZING! There website is very well organized so you can quickly find ideas for different types of dates and special occasions. I get a lot of little date ideas from them as well. This year almost all of my ideas came from them, but I put my own touch to the ideas.

When Mike woke up in the morning he found this "TIME" magazine waiting for him in the bathroom. It was his invitation for our date that evening.

(I made that :) I am very proud! )

The inside gave him the important details for the evening.
While he was in the shower I snuck out of the house and put a CD that I made for him in the car. Along with a poem and some candy that went with the poem. When he left the house, I suck to the window to watch him find his treasure. I think he liked it, and now he had a romantic CD of songs to listen to on the way to and from work :)

1) At the Beginning with you - Anastasia Soundtrack

2) Keep Me Forever Falling - Carmen Rasmusen

3) You're the Inspiration - Chicago

4) Livin' Our Love Song - Jason Michael Carroll

5) Just Another Day in Paradise - Phil Vassar

6) When I Fall In Love - Celine Dion & Clive Griffin

7) Then - Brad Paisley

8) When you say you Love me - Josh Groban

9) Your Man- Josh Turner

10) So Close- Jon McLaughlin

11) You and I - Michael Buble

12) The Good Stuff - Kenny Chesney

13) Can't Help Falling in Love - Michael Buble

14) Somebody Like You - Keith Urban

15) Love Story - Taylor Swift

16) I'll Stand By You - Glee Cast

17) All My Life - K-Ci & JoJo

18) Don't - Billy Curington

19) It's Your Love - Tim McGraw

Mike had a little surprise up his sleeve as well. He sent me 3 flowers ( 3 = how many years we have been married + Past, Present & Future ) that were absolutely beautiful!!

I spent the morning with my friend amanda making these delicious cake balls. I have been dying to try them for quite a while now. I did red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I tried to dip them in white chocolate, but they looked awful! lol. So I opted to just decorate the tops. I liked them better that way though I think. Covered in chocolate they were way to rich. After they were done I headed over to Mikes work to give him a little afternoon treat. Word has it his co-workers really enjoyed them as well. Mike of course loved them and was surprised to see me :)

For our date we made a time capsule! How fun. I used a hat box and modge podged some cute scrapbook paper all over it. I think it turned out great! I had papers for us to fill out on the table.
What did we put in the time capsule? Well we answered some all about me questions. We wrote three goals for the next 10 years. Then we wrote down what our lives are like now and what we think they will be like in 10 years. It was pretty fun Mike thinks we will still be in CT and he will be working at PA. I just hope that if we are still living here in 10 years we can afford a house. I hate paying more for rent (that goes no where) then my parents pay for their mortgage (which goes to the principle of their home loan.)

We also took pictures of the cats, our house and favorite places around town. We of course had to print off some articles and jokes about the big east coast earthquake we felt yesterday. (Which by the way I was pretty excited to feel my first earthquake. At first I thought it was the wind then the shaking got stronger and I knew it was an earthquake and I just sat there thinking of what I should do if it got stronger, but not doing anything. lol. I would die if a real earthquake hit. lol)

We each took 15 minutes to write each other a love letter...
we didn't read them, but sealed them up and put them in the box...
Then it was off to dinner at the Capital Grille in Stamford. It is a lovely restaurant complete with valet parking.
They had our table set up with heart confetti and an anniversary card. What a great way to set the mood for a romantic dinner date.
We both had stake and it was AMAZING. I never get stake when we eat out but this was a great decision. Best stake ever.

For dessert we got ice cream, raspberry sorbet and an expresso cake on the house. It was delicious. All of it. I was surprised at how much I loved the raspberry sorbet, it melted in my mouth and was so full of flavor. UMMM...

When we got home I gave Mike his anniversary gift. I made him a vase filled with some of my favorite memories we have made together. I even left some space for the memories we will make in the coming months and years.
I think it turned out really well. He read a few of them and we decided to read a few more every night. I also made it to match the color scheme in our bedroom so it doubles as a decoration :) 2 in 1!
What a wonderful day! I am soglad to have Mike in my life and to celebrate our love and life together. What a beautiful life we are living together. We are so blessed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"In the end I want to be standing at the beginning with you"

Today is Mike and I's three year Anniversary. WOW! Time just keeps flying by. We had an excellent anniversary this year which I will blog about later. I wanted to devote this whole post on the best decision of my life. :)

I can't think of anything more beautiful for me than my wedding day. It really was a gorgeous day but even more beautiful to be in a house of God. To be kneeling across the alter from my best friend and having my grandfather who I loved so dearly be the officiator. To have my parents, both set of grandparents, YW leaders, seminary teachers, best friends and my new in-laws who I loved so dearly all there was perfect. From that moment on our lives changed forever.

We have been blessed beyond measure in our marriage. Most people warned us that the 1st few years would be hard but it never was to me. I do have to say I think a lot of that was because we weren't in school and we were (for the most part) financially stable. At any rate we have very few disagreements (like the time I forgot to mention to Mike that our 2nd cat, that he didn't really want, would cost $100. I made the Johnson's saty at our house till 2am playing games so that maybe when they left he would be to tire to tell me how upset he was... wrong. He had plenty of energy to tell me just how he felt about that. Luckily, we are good at working out our differences and moving on. Now we just laugh about it.) Mike had become my best friend, confidant, travel companion, lover, therapist, guidance councilor, comforter and companion and I wouldn't have it any other way. These are a few of my favorite wedding pictures. They all remind me of song lyrics that describes the way I feel about Mike.

We were strangers starting out on our journey
Never dreaming what we'd have to go through
Now here we are and I'm suddenly standing
At the beginning with you

We were strangers on a crazy adventure
Never dreaming how our dreams would come true
Now here we stand unafraid of the future
At the beginning with you

In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

And now you're my whole life
now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl
Like a river meets the sea,
stronger than it's ever been.
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then

Well, it's ok. It's so nice
It's just another day in paradise
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise

I feel so blessed that we can be living our {fairytale} love song together every day. It really does feel like just another day in paradise with my forever love :)

Happy three year anniversary Mikes! I love you!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


So this weekend I wanted to do something fun. I didn't want to sit around the house all day or run errands. I've spent all week doing that. I wanted to get out of town. I have to teach on Sunday so we had to stay kind of close to home. We had so much fun in FL at the pool /lazy river, I thought maybe a water park would be fun. There is one located an hour and a half from our house. Perfect, right? No. Mike's coworker who grew up around here said it was kind of trashy and to keep driving about a half hour past that and go to 6 flags in MA. Not a bad idea. It was a water park with REAL rides. So I have been looking forward to it all week.

Friday night (at 11:15 when we got home from the temple) we start talking about our trip the next morning. Mike starts to show some hesitations about the cost. We don't really have a budget, we just try to get good deals and not buy things we don't need. And after some recent looses in the stock market (gag) I think he is just playing it a little more conservative. He noted that we have a trip to VT planned in a few weeks, I am planning on buying new work clothes, I just had to have my car fixed and we still have to pay for the rest of our Costa Rica trip soon. With all that coming up he couldn't justify spending $100+ to go to the water park, especially one without a lazy river. I agreed it probably would be wise to just stay home and do some errands together.

So where do we go? Costco. Mistake. Luckily there were no blender, mattress, sunglass or knife companies there doing road shows, but they did have some nice things. Coats, vests, pants, jeans, shirts, shorts, food, thankfully the samples are free. We go to the check out and our bill was over $200. We would have saved more money going to 6 flags. lol.

I think we need some help. Three years of marriage and still no budget. What will happen when we have kids? We need to figure this whole thing out. Maybe I should pay more attention to my alerts telling me I have gone over my "budget" in certain areas.

Any suggestions on your favorite ways to save? How do you manage your budgets? Are you good about sticking to them? I need some suggestions that are practical & easy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Home in Aug

I was home for 8 days and somehow these are the only 2 pictures I took. Shame on me!

Some of the highlights of the trip home were:

*Having my good friend Mike from high school come over on Sunday for dinner and games. It was fun to catch up with him and spend Sunday with my family like we did when I was in high school.

*Spending time with a newer family in my ward. My family has become good friends with them, as they are neighbors as well. What is funny is that the husband and wife served their mission with my sister-in-law Maryle and they all lived in Provo together.

*Going to dinner with my whole family (that is a very rare occasion.)
* Helping my mom organize the basement

*Sorting all my families DVD's (400+) by category, then typing out the titles and organizing them all in some DVD storage boxes. That task took 6-8 hours.

*Helping my mom organize her closet. Nate Burkus would be proud.

*Going to the pool

*Having a Harry Potter marathon (again) with my brother Bryant.

*Going to dinner with my brother Andrew

*The stray cat that kept coming around the house to play with me.

*Going for 5 mile walks with my mom in the morning

*Having my dad give me some good fitness instruction and running with him.

*Long walks with my brother B at night (the bug bites all over my feet were NOT a highlight)

*Seeing Harry Potter 7.2 again

*Seeing people from church @ a purse party hosted by my moms good friend Sheryl

*making homemade key lime pie

*Eating delicious homemade chocolate cake from Lisa

*Eating tons of fresh veggies from my parents garden.

*The visit from my grandma and grandpa

*My grandpa (for the 1st time) asking me when I was going to give him great-grand babies. He has been waiting a while I guess :)

*Being at home with my whole family!


The rest of the time my mom and sisters were here we basically just hung out. We went to Stew Leonard's, costco, the mall, a movie and the pool. We played games and watched movies and laughed. The girls had a lot of fun playing with the cats. They would make beds for them and play games with them. I think little Rosalie was sad when they left.

On the last night they were visiting my sisters requested that we go to Lucky's for dinner. Cynda came with us since both our husbands were participating in a guys game night (where they played risk.) The restaurant was playing "Gone With the Wind" on the TV and the girls really enjoyed that. They wants to stay till it was over. We said, no way!

We packed up the car that night and headed back to Ohio first thing in the morning.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beach Picnic Date Night

Since I had kind of neglected Mike while I had company and I knew I was going to be going back to Ohio with them for over a week I wanted to go on a date night with Mike before I left. I also wanted to make it a little more fun than the regular date night. So I wrote him a poem and indicated what time he should be home for our date and that he would have to wear a blind fold. I dropped the poem off to him at work that day with his lunch. When he got home that night I let him change then I stuck him in the car and off we went.
I took him to the beach. The sand at this beach is a little nicer than at the other beach in Stamford so we laid out a blanket and I began to unpack out dinner. I spent a good 30 minutes getting everything put together and in the car before he got home so he wouldn't see anything. I was so proud. I packed chicken salad (from Stew Leonards which is the best ever,) cheese & crackers, salad, fruit, water and sparkling cider with 2 champagne glasses. The only thing I forgot was the bottel opener and crackers. Since I was planing on eating the crackers with the cheese and chicken salad... that basically left us with water, salad and fruit.
We still had a lot of fun though. It was a lovey night and I brought speakers to listen to some music with. We just laid on the blanket and talked. I also printed off some funny questions we could ask each other, first date style. It was one of the best dates we have had in the past few months.

For dessert I made chocolate covered strawberries which I did NOT forget. They were sooo delicious. I can convinced the only type of chocolate to melt is ghirardelli's chocolate chips. DELICIOUS!! The perfect ending to a great night!

Secret Admirer

One night while my family was here we had a knock at the door. I told Mike he had to answer it because it was 9:30 at night and I was to scared. When he opened the door he started to laugh, then came back inside with this little treasure.

"Roses are red
Violets are blue.
I love cats
and so do you."


Your Secret

We both took turns guessing who it could have been and if it was my friend or one of his friends. But I'm a pretty good detective. I know what to look for in cases like these (I watch a lot of CSI.) I looked at the handwriting and determined right away that the gift was for me and it was from.....

....Cynda. I later got a full confession out of her. We got a good laugh about it and have been respectfully displaying our gift out in the open. However, I think our duty of displaying it is up now that it has been 2 weeks or so.

Girls Only Trip to NYC

The last week of July my mom and sisters came to stay with me. I was really excited for their visit but even more excited that I could give my sisters there own room to keep all of there stuff in verses my living room. The last 2 times they came we lived in my 700 sq ft apartment and shoving 5 people into that was messy! So having 2 bedrooms and 2 floors to my house really made the stay much more enjoyable for everyone.

We of course had to spend at least one day in NYC. We took the train in and navigated the subway all around the city.

We went to the Museum of Natural History First. They both love "Night At The Museum" so they had fun trying to see some of the same things from the movie. I was really struggling though. Three stories of things I have sen numerous times, not my personal idea of fun. I would have preferred some interesting art pieces.
We left the museum and headed to central park. My mom has been dying to spend a good chunk of time there. We found 3 benches in the shade over looking a lake with some skyline as a backdrop. There we had out lunch and took a nap. It was the perfect place to rest before walking around for the next few hours.

One of my favorite sites in central park is bow bridge.

On our way out of the park we passes a Dip & Dots stand. I couldn't help myself. I love them to much to say no any time I see them.
After our long walk in central park the girls were exhausted but we took the down to canal st in china town. We walked around and looked at all the little shops and they got a few little souvenirs. Then we started walking through little Italy. It was dinner time and all the little Italian restaurants were starting to smell very, very good. We stopped at one and shared a pizza and a calzone. So delicious! Then it was off to time square (which is my #1 least favorite place in the city.)

We went into the time square information center and I was mesmerized by this wall. It had tons of little notes with people from all overs the worlds hopes and dreams for 201l. They said people wrote them on new years eve. Some of them were pretty silly but others kind of touching.
"I dream to become someone that will make a difference in the world."
"A year of love, laughs and happiness. xoxo"
They also had "the ball" on display in there. It was pretty cool to see it up close and all the detail in in.
Our main reason for coming to time square was to get a picture of the big billboard the church put out that says "I'm a Mormon." It was hard for us to find. They have some TV's with advertisements on them and we say a 15 second Mormon add. Which was pretty neat. Then we were about to give up and go home when I spotted it (corner of 47th & Broadway.) We were so excited to see it. Pretty cool I think.

After that we took a cab to grand central (mom was about to die over how awful this guys driving was.) We were home before 10pm with dirty feet and a lot of good memories.