Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Anniversary {to us!}

Two years ago today, I walked down the aisle and said "I do" to my sweet husband.

We hadn't even known each other two years, but I have never been so sure I was doing the right thing as I was the day I married him. Our marriage has had it's ups and downs, but there is no one I would rather have walked this road with over the past two years.

Our wedding day was a blur of activity and fun. I don't remember being nervous at all until we realized my flowers hadn't shown up yet (they finally did--several hours late. I still stick my tongue out every time I drive by that florist!) 

We've been through car accidents, emergency surgeries, starting a business, changing jobs, near evictions and a million other every day crisis. Looking back, I would've said our first year was great, and we were happy. And we were--but when I compare that to how much better our second year has been, it pales in comparison.

This past year we have learned how to communicate better, fight fairer, laugh harder, and love deeper. We have learned to seek God's best in our relationship.


I am so grateful to be married to a man who loves his family, wants to learn, desires to be more like Christ, is always willing to help others, and has a servant heart. I couldn't ask for a better husband.

This was our first dance song, and it still is a perfect song for us:

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Joshy! I love you more every day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Coupon Binder

I really thought I'd never be one of those crazy girls with a coupon binder. But the coupon system I had wasn't working for me. I would cut out some random coupons for stuff I normally bought, shove it in a plastic envelope I kept in my purse, and then desperately try to remember what coupons I had without pulling them all out in the grocery store. Not much of a system, and I was throwing away more coupons than I used. I knew it wasn't working, and I tried a few things to keep track of what I had--even going so far as creating an excel file on my computer with all the coupons I'd cut, which I updated a total of once.

When my sweet friend Becky showed me her coupon binder, I was hooked. Even though I'm not a fanatical couponer, I thought her binder was great and I thought it was a great solution to my organizational problems.

So the very next day, I headed to Office Depot and stocked up on coupon binder necessities.

Here it is in all it's glory! It's a little embarrassing how proud I am of this binder.

I started with a basic 1 1/2 inch binder. I could've gone a little bigger, but since it's just Josh & I, I don't have that many coupons, and I wanted something I could manage easily.

I bought tabs prenumbered from 1-31. These were about $8.

Then I added trading card protector sheets in between each tab. These were on sale for $3 for a pack of 10, I started with 30 of these (one between each tab) and that's working out well for now.

My only complaint is that not every coupon fits nicely in these slots--some are way too big and needed to be folded. I know there are other options out there for inserts, and I may look into those, but for now these work alright.

I used The Krazy Coupon Lady's binder Table of Contents as a jumping off point. Some of her categories weren't relevant to me, and there were a few I added (breads, meats, etc.) I printed a pretty list and used a plain sheet protector to place it at the front of the binder.

At the very front of the binder, I placed a plastic pocket to store a notepad, pen, and scissors.

I'm already feeling so much more inspired to cut and use coupons! I can't wait to get the Sunday paper and add to my stash.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Midweek Confessions {April 18}

Happy Wednesday! I've had some of these confessions floating around in my head for a few days, so I'm glad to get to finally share them.

*I'm getting to this late because we were without power for almost 48 hours. Let me say, I am currently not a fan of our utility company, and even less a fan of our apartment management company. The management company mistakenly switched our utilities to their name, didn't notice for three months, and then had them turned off. Without warning. I had no idea any of this was going on until yesterday when Josh & I came home from a funeral to no power. All that to say this: I dislike conflict with people I love, but man, when I am angry at someone I don't know, I lose my temper quickly. I can get nasty. As I made several phone calls today, I had to pray and take a deep breath before each one so that I would remain calm.

*I was shocked at how difficult it was to survive just 48 hours without power. Dealing with no TV or computer was relatively easy. It was the little things that started to drive me nuts--no coffee, no hot water for a shower, no hair straightener or blow dryer after I survived a cold shower... luckily the weather has been reasonable so we were okay without A/C, but a fan would've been nice.

*I have a really hard time staying awake in the car when I am a passenger. Yesterday on the way to said funeral, I fell asleep multiple times. I was trying to keep myself awake for Josh's sake but it was near impossible.

*Am I the only person who can remember people's birthdays only if they show up on Facebook? I have my immediate family's memorized, but outside of that...so sorry if I didn't send you a card!

*Every night before I go to bed, I feel really thirsty, so I pour a big glass of water and set it on the nightstand. I take two sips, and then the rest sits there until I have about four cups and no more room. Then I dump all the old water into the dog's dish. Then the cycle repeats itself.

Make sure you head over to E, Myself and I for more confessions!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

I found the Ultimate Blog Party this year through another blog I follow (ummm...I can't remember which one...oops!!) and thought it would be a great chance for me to meet other bloggers. I am always looking for new blogs to follow and new friends!

I started my humble little blog here a few months ago. I have been reading blogs for a few years now, and love to write, so it seemed like a good combination! I've enjoyed it so far and look forward to continuing to grow as a blogger and build relationships with fellow bloggers. If you're wondering about the title of my blog, here's a little explanation.

My husband Josh and I are still what I consider "newlyweds" and we'll celebrate two years in just a few days.

We have two dogs who are our kids for now, one of these days we may get around to having some real kids!

I'm a follower of Christ, wife, daughter, sister, office manager, crafter, wannabe extreme couponer, Pinterest addict, and more. You can read a little bit more about me here. Those are the things I blog about--whatever's on my heart! But more than anything, I want you to see a real, genuine relationship with God through everything I do and say.

Thanks for stopping by--I look forward to getting to know you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Style Obsession: Coral & Aqua

It all started when I found this nail polish and fell in love:

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear "Coral Reef"
Please excuse my chewed off nails! I'm trying to stop!
I love the color--it's so spring-y and bright! It's currently on my toes and it makes me happy every time I look at it. 

Then I found this dress in Target and fell in love. I have the same style dress in two colors from last year's line and they're so comfortable (I ♥ Target!) A perfect addition to my spring wardrobe! (Honestly, the only addition. We're saving for more important things so no more clothes for me!) 
Mossimo Supply Co. Kimono Dress in Blue

When I saw the aqua dress with my coral nails, inspiration struck. I added a similar coral necklace to my dress and was pretty proud of how my outfit turned out!

I'll admit I'm not very fashionable so I was pretty impressed that I had managed to stumble upon what appears to be a pretty popular color combination (Thanks, Pinterest, for helping me make lifelong fashion choices).

I'm loving these colors together and will definitely be looking for more ways to use them in my wardrobe! What about you? Any favorite color combinations for spring and summer?

Friday, April 13, 2012

*Humble Bow*

Casey over @First Time Wife  nominated me for this fancy Versatile Blogger award, and I couldn't be more honored! I love Casey's blog--she is really funny and down to earth and I always enjoy her posts. You should definitely go visit!

So now that I'm a recipient of this fancy blog award, I get to follow these fun rules:

1. Nominate 15 Fellow Bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
2. Add an image of the Versatile Blogger Award
3. Thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link to their site.
4. Share 7 completely random facts about yourself.
5. Include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination.

Here's my randomness:

1-When I eat colored candy (M&M's or Skittles) I always eat them so that I have equal amounts of each color left.

2-My current TV addiction is Cold Case. Yes, this is so old school, but it's what on when I get home from work & am cooking dinner.

3-Speaking of dinner, I have cooked a total of ZERO nights this week. We had Easter leftovers Monday, Subway on Tuesday, church dinner on Wednesday, pizza last night and tonight we have Stouffer's frozen dinner in the oven. Loving it!

4- I hate getting pedicures because my feet are so ticklish that it's like torture for me.

5- When I was growing up my parents owned a franchised pet store. I know it's not politically correct now, but we sold live animals (puppies, kittens, etc). It was such a fun experience for a kid.

6- Because of said pet store, we owned a wide variety of animals as kids-- a skunk named Elliot, a pig named Petunia, a rat named Lucy, plus an ever changing assortment of birds, dogs and fish.

7- There's this documentary called Spellbound that my friends and I discovered in college and watched regularly (it's like Toddlers and Tiaras for spelling bee kids!).  You should definitely watch--it's heartwarming and hysterical!

...And the nominees are...

Meghan @ All Things Harrigan
Lundi @ Welcome to Lundiwood
Crys @ A Life in Ordinary
Angela @ More Ketchup Please!
Catie @ Tales of a Real Housewife
Mrs. Pancakes @ Adventures of Team Pancakes!
Ashley @ A Recipe for Sanity
Beth @ Like a Day Off
Tori @ Little Miss Muffins
Chelsey @ Wojcik Woman
Jamie @ Raising a Family in Asia

Saturday, April 7, 2012

30 Before 30: Saving More than I Spend

Yesterday I went to Publix without much of a plan, which is a huge no-no in the couponing world. I needed some things to make this ridiculously delicious Oreo dessert for Easter and some mustard to make this delicious baked corned beef. I hadn't really bothered with coupon matching because I wasn't planning on buying anything else.

Lo and behold, I got to Publix and found a ton of great sales to match coupons I had, and I completed one of my 30 before 30 goals: #23 Save more than I spend at the grocery store! I didn't even realize it until the cashier handed me my reciept, and then I had to restrain myself from jumping up and down. It's the little things, people.

Here's my pull:

Yes, that is a lot of yogurt--it was on sale for more than 50% off, which is cheaper than I've ever seen it. Josh eats it every morning, so I stocked up. I'm proud because I met my goal, got what I needed, and only bought stuff we will actually use.

Here's my proof:

I know many people save much more than this every week, but this is a big deal for me! Usually I manage to save about the same as what I spend, or a little bit less. I'm so excited I finally broke that 50% barrier!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday Thoughts

This song does a much better job explaining Good Friday than I ever could..

Today, we mourn the death of Jesus. Of our savior who hung on a tree for my sins--because He knew I would never be able to keep from screwing up. And not only did He die for us, He continues to pursue us because He longs for a relationship with us. That's beautiful and scandalous, all right.

The good news is that we mourn with hope, because we have the knowledge that Sunday will change things. We know that the tomb will be empty come Sunday.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rules for Fighting Fair

As mentioned when I talked about my hate/hate relationship with conflict, one of the things we did recently in our marriage Bible study was to come up with some ground rules for fighting fair.

Here's a few that we came up with. If you have any more to share, I'd love to hear!

1. Take Turns. Each person gets a turn to explain their point of view, without interruptions.

2. Don't Get Historical. Keep the past in the past. If you have forgiven them for past mistakes, they need not to be rehashed every time you argue.

3. Don't Get Hysterical, Either. Stay calm. Yelling and screaming don't help you get your point across.

4. Try Not to Take it Personally. Remember that conflict is normal, and healthy. One of you doesn't have to be right, and one wrong--you can just have different opinions.

5. Be Picky. Ask yourself if what you're arguing about is really worth arguing about. If you're arguing just for the sake of being right, stop.

I struggle most with number four. What about you?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Midweek Confessions: April 4

Love me some Midweek Confessions! If you haven't yet, you should really check out some of the other posts linked up. It's both therapeutic and hysterical!

  • I am a full fledged adult, and I still have yet to master the art of using an umbrella. It was pouring last weekend when I left the grocery store, and I luckily had my handy-dandy umbrella in my purse. I made it to the car dry, but by the time I got into the car, I was soaking wet and so was my car door. How the heck does that work?
  • I decided this week what the most annoying sound in the world is my dogs licking themselves. Ick! Our little one likes to lay in our bed and lick her paws in the middle of the night and it drives me insane. Good thing she is so cute to make up for the annoyingness: 

  •  My aunt's family owns a beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine; for the past 15 years we have been have family reunions there. Josh and I haven't been since 2009 but we are going this year! It's not until the end of July/begninng of August. My confession is that I am not sure I can wait that long. Here's what I've got to look forward to:
  • As soon as I get this posted I am heading to the grocery store. I finally figured out when our local Winn Dixie puts their meats on clearance and I have scored some really great deals. I am ridiculously excited to see what I will find today!
Happy Wednesday, Friends!

On Conflict

Let me really honest here: I do not like conflict. Not at all. I would rather just pretend everything is okay than deal with any issues in any of my relationships.

What usually happens when Josh and I disagree is that I just give in and let it go, because that is easier to me than dealing with a disagreement. And if that doesn't solve the problem, then I get upset and cry and go to bed.

Yeah. Not the healthiest strategy.

Fortunately for Josh and I, we have been growing through Chip Ingram's "Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage" with another couple from our church. We are almost through the study and have learned some really great things about what marriage is designed to look like, intimacy, and communication. But I'll admit, when I found out last night's topic was "Conflict Resolution: How to Fight Fair", I got a little squirmy.  I don't even like to talk about conflict. Ugh.

I am so glad we did, though. We discussed some ground rules for fighting fair and why we each react to conflict differently.

What stood out for me more than anything else is that conflict is normal. I guess this might be a "duh" moment for a lot of people, but it really resonated with me. Conflict is normal, it is healthy, and it is a necessary part of marriage.

Chip gave the example of Paul and Barnabas in the Bible. We don't know all the juicy details, but basically, these two amazing missionaries parted ways because they couldn't agree on what to do with John Mark. Two of the Godliest guys in history had conflict. In the end, their conflict actually allowed them to spread the Gospel to more places individually than if they had gone together.

This isn't the first time I've heard "conflict is healthy" but it was the first time I really was able to see the truth in that statement. I'm hoping that this revelation will help lessen my dislike for conflict, and help me learn to deal with it constructively.

What about ya'll? Do you do conflict well, or does it scare the heck out of you too? I'm planning another post on Ground Rule for Fighting Fair, so I'd love suggestions!