What are you doing New Year's Eve?

So tell me? What are you doing tonight?

Currently Obsessing Over...

This is my third (and hopefully final) attempt at a weekly Saturday post. I just wasn't that happy with my first two tries, and I think this format allows for pretty much anything I am currently interested in. :) So here we go. I am currently obsessing over....

1. The Guild - I am not much of a "fangirl" when it comes to tv shows and movies. I like what I like and I enjoy promoting them, but other than that, I don't stalk shows. This may change all of that. I finally watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog with my husband about a week ago and I think he might have developed a bit of a crush on Felicia Day (but who can blame him? She's adorable). That led us to The Guild. Now I don't game online, but my husband spent many hours this last summer playing World of Warcraft, so I understand enough of those references for it to be funny. But beyond that, this little web series is just hilarious! All of the characters are pretty selfish, but still manage to be likable. Plus, it is just refreshing to see a spoof on something so prominent in the nerding culture. :) I kind of want Justin and myself to be Fawkes and Codex for Halloween, but since he will probably be a youth minister by then, it will just have to remain a dream. :( Here is the first episode just to give you a taste:

2. LitLift - I mentioned in a previous post that I want to write the first draft of a novel in 2012. I have tried using free novel writing software before, but the free stuff just isn't up to par and I have a difficult time justifying spending money on a program that may not bring me money in return. Then, a few days ago, I stumbled across LitLift. It is a free online novel writing software, but rather than storing everything on your computer, it stores it online. This may be inconvenient for those with limited access to the internet, but it is perfect for me. The way the website is structured works perfectly for my writing style. And once I actually move beyond just character development to writing the story, I will probably back up a copy of it on my wordprocessor. Anyway, if you are looking for a basic program to jump start your novel, definitely give it a try!

3. Felt - This is my new favorite medium. It's soft, colorful, and doesn't fray when you leave a raw edge. My sister gave me a ton for Christmas and I can't wait to get back to my sewing machine and craft supplies to start making stuff! Here are a few simple felt projects I have pinned recently:

Felt Bows (via here)

Felt flowers (via here)

Scalloped felt wreath (via here)

4. Ginger Beer and Ginger Tea - Ginger has kind of been the theme of this break. Not long before Justin and I got to Newport, my parents discovered Reed's Ginger Beer. We stopped at Trader Joe's on the way back from the airport and they picked up 8 bottles. I tried one and I was sold! Ginger is a bit of an acquired taste, but it is both good for you and tastes good! Before I was married (back when I could afford it) I used to drink Ginger Tea to help with my digestive problems. I mentioned this to my parents, and on Christmas morning, I found two boxes of Ginger Tea in my stocking! So I have a bit of ginger drinks to take home with me. :) I plan on occasionally buying Ginger Beer as a treat back in Boise, but at more than $1 per bottle, it will just be once and a while. 

(via here)

What kind of stuff are you currently obsessing over?


Best New Year's Eve Games

My husband and I are quite the board game connoisseurs. Even before we were married we owned a few board games together and loved to play them with others. We had a few classics on our registry and have since continued to fill in the gaps in our collection. One of our favorite things about holidays and other social gatherings is that we have an excuse to play our games. :)

New Year's Eve is one of the best times to break out the games, even if it is just your family or a few friends. Here, in no particular order, are some of my personal favorite games for New Year's Eve:

Quelf is the most recent addition to our board game collection. We picked it up at Walmart a few days ago for about $20 (much cheaper than Amazon has it listed for). Be warned: this game is ridiculous. Justin and I played it last night with my mom and the exchange student staying with my parents and I spent most of the game with the box under my shirt and a straw in my mouth. But if randomness is your thing, than definitely give this game a try!

(via here)

This Barnes and Noble game is as crazy as it looks. Containing over 100 dice, the various cards have everything from general trivia, to spelling challenges, to physical challenges. You may have to do push ups, name current seated government officials, or answering what the first music video on MTV was. There is something for everyone in this game, so don't pass it up!

(via here)

If you have never played Balderdash, you are missing out. This is definitely a game to stretch your creativity. Full of words that most people do not know, each player must make up a definition for the word in play. The goal is to write a definition that sounds realistic and to get people to vote for it. If someone votes for it, then you get points. Not everyone loves these kinds of games, but I am definitely a fan. :) Justin and I prefer the older version that we got at a garage sale to the new version that has added rules. 

(via here)

I am terrible at this game, yet I still love it. I think that is a testament to the excitement of this game. The concept is simple: using pre-selected categories, write words that fit into those categories that all start with the same letter. There is a time limit, which adds to the intensity. While the game may sound easy, the pressure to come up with creative answers that no one else will have within the time limit makes thinking straight very difficult. It is really fun to see what other people come up with, and it provides the challenge of completing the task, so there are aspects of the game that most people will like. 

(via here)

This is what I usually think of when I hear the words "Party Game." Mad Gab is a very popular game, but its for a reason. Best played with at least two teams of 4, this game is hard to play without almost peeing your pants. The best part is listening to the other team trying to figure out the phrase while your team can clearly hear it! Warning though: this game may frustrate some people. It seems there are some who have a very difficult time playing this game, so if it is causing problems, just choose another! 

(via here)

Honorable mention goes to both Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase. Both are extremely well done games and are very easy to pull out for larger groups of people. However, due to their popularity, I (and other people I know) have tired of them. Each one is fun when played occasionally, but these seem to be games that people want to play over and over again. I'm sorry if you are one of those people, but some of us need a break. :)

What are your favorite games? I would love to find some new ones that I haven't heard of!


#WEverb11 - Spend (Day Twenty-Seven)

When I first saw this  #WEverb topic, I had mixed feelings about it. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to take a look at how we spent our money this last year, but I thought that if I did, maybe it will help me for this next year. So, I'm going for it.

Day Twenty-Seven:

Where did your money go this year? Where do you want it to go in 2012?

This year:

Living Expenses, Xbox, iPhones, hobbies.

This year, Justin and I did not have much of a set budget. In June, we moved out of the trailer we were renting into an apartment and our rent increased by about $250 per month. We were spending about the same amount on groceries (about $400-500 per month) but we had to buy furniture and other necessities that were provided for us in the trailer. Luckily we had quite a bit saved up for this, so it wasn't too big of a blow for us. 

In January of last year, I bought my first sewing machine for about $75 and got a bunch of fabric and other notions for free from some family friends who no longer sewed as much as they once had. 
Later in the year, my husband somehow talked me into letting him buy a rifle (which was a brand-new hobby of his) and an Xbox. And along with that Xbox comes games. So there is another expense that we splurged on this year. Last but not least, a few months ago, Justin and I decided to upgrade to iPhones. Neither of us had had a smart phone before, so the data plan price kind of surprised us. But we love the phones and only plan on getting rid of the data plan if we cannot pay our other bills.

In hindsight, we might have been a little smarter with our money when it came to splurges, but we have still had no problem making ends meet, so I'm not complaining. :)

Where the money will go in 2012:

Living Expenses, Moving, Disneyland, Hobbies. 

This next year, we already have plans for our money. The amazing college that we attend pays for the last semester of all 4-year students who make it and have a B-average. We also still qualify for the FAFSA and for another scholarship not provided through the school. So we will be getting back a chunk of money from the school in late January. This money will be such a blessing to us! 

The first major thing we are planning on doing with it is purchasing tickets to Disneyland. Justin and I went there for our honeymoon and would like to go back one more time before we have real-world jobs. It may be a long time before we get to go again. In fact, this may be the last time before we go with kids! So even though this is a major non-necessary expense, it is kind of an important "last hurrah" before grown-up life. 

(via here)

A few other things (mainly paid for by Christmas money but also a little bit of school money) that we want to buy are a new camera for me and another rifle for the husband. We aren't exactly sure when either of these will take place, although we both think we have found the specific things we want to purchase.
(via here)

One other financial blessing that we have is that Justin has money set aside to pay off the small amount of school loans he still has. I have managed to make it all the way through college without loans and he just has a few small ones. But, as long as we don't have an emergency where we need to tap into that money, we should pretty much graduate debt free! 

Anyway, this may have been a pretty boring post, but it is just another glimpse into life as I know it. 

How are you planning to spend your money in 2012? Anything exciting planned for it?


An Instagram Christmas

I decided to document Christmas Eve and Christmas Day using the Instagram app on my iPhone. So, here is my Christmas via Instagram!

Christmas Eve sugar cookie decorating.

Check out my zombie cookie on the right! :)

Oddly enough, the weather was beautiful, so my husband, mom, sister, their exchange student, and myself took the dog for a walk down to the beach.

My mom and Justin silhouetted in the sun. 


An upstairs view of the Christmas tree.

Christmas Eve service at church, remembering what it's all about!

Walmart was selling adult footie pajamas this year, so my sister was one of many who got them as a present this year (from my parents).

A gift from my sister. Can't wait to start using it!

Christmas morning stocking, the one that my mom cross-stitched when I was little.

The contents of that stocking, and my foot. :)

Christmas dinner!

My plate. :)

That evening, we went to see a house in Newport that had the lights programmed to songs. It was pretty cool! But the exchange student staying with my parents got motion sick from it. :)

That is just a taste of my Christmas! I'm saving pictures of the gifts I made for my mom, sister, and mother-in-law for a future post. :) 

How was your Christmas? I hope it was filled with quality family times and other blessings!


Merry Christmas!

(source unknown)

Merry Christmas everyone! Have fun, enjoy time with your family, watch Elf and A Christmas Story many times, but most of all, remember that amazing day when our Savior was born! I'll be back in a few days to update you all on my Christmas!


iPhone Personalization

I stumbled across this adorable etsy shop when someone posted one of their iPhone covers on Pinterest. When I followed the link, I found a ton more fun covers! Unfortunately, they are $39.99 each and I can't afford one right now. But, if I decide to buy another one in the future, it will probably be one of these. :)

(all images via here)


#WEverb11 - Plug In/Unplug (Day Twenty)

Well we made it! My husband and I flew into PDX yesterday and are now in Newport, relaxing and enjoying our break! Oddly enough, right now, we aren't doing anything that we wouldn't normally do at home (he is playing Battlefield because we brought our Xbox and I am on my laptop). Just that little snippet from our life shows how much we use technology in our life, which brings me to today's #WEverb topic.

Day Twenty:

How has technology affected your life (positively or negatively) in 2011? Do you want this to continue for 2012?

This can be summed up in just a few words:

Blogging, Pinterest, Facebook.

Technology has been a major part of my life this last year. My husband has occasionally suggested that I am addicted to social networking, but it hasn't seemed to cause a problem so I discredit this claim. I have plenty of real life friends, I give 100% at work, and I am doing well in school. So if anything, I think that technology has influenced my life in a positive way this year.

Pinterest. Seriously. This thing has been such a fun way to explore ideas! When I first got my account, it was a little lonely because I was mainly just following bloggers I liked. However, when it took off, a ton of my friends got accounts and it has been so awesome to see what kinds of projects they do or the tastes they have. Pinterest has also inspired me to do so many things. Recipes, DIY projects, and household tips abound on this website. Unfortunately I haven't been able to do a lot of these things because of time contraints, but here are a few I really want to accomplish over Christmas break:

Facebook. I mostly love facebook because I can kind of keep in contact with people. Acquaintances I need to get ahold of? Facebook. Stalking old friends from high school? Facebook. Finding out that one of my bridesmaids is going to be in Newport the same time I am? Facebook. It is pretty great. And way less visually obnoxious than Myspace. Ugh. So glad that stage of social networking is done.

And last but not least: Blogging. This has been one of the biggest positive influences in my life this year. I had a different blog over the summer, but it just never felt right. The name was too long, the content not personal enough, etc. So when I started this one, I left it open-ended so I could pretty much right about whatever I wanted. This format seems to be paying off. Out of the 8 followers I have, I only know 2 of them in real life! That may seem like an odd accomplishment, but that is the reason I want to blog: to share my life with others and to get to know them through their blogs. I want to take this section of the blog to acknowledge those who have encouraged me within the last month or so to keep blogging because people are reading!

Thank you all so much for reading! I appreciate it. :)


#WEverb11 - Discover (Day Seventeen)

Here is yesterday's prompt from #WEverb11. I feel that the answer to this one kind of sets the stage for what I hope 2012 will look like.

Day Seventeen:

What did you discover (big or small) in 2011?

I will be perfectly fine if I don't end up being a teacher.

The degree that I will graduate with in May is a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Teaching. The goal of this degree is to go on to graduate school and get a Masters in whatever area of teaching you want to pursue. My plan, up until this year, has been to go to graduate school (maybe not right away) and get the schooling and certificate to teach high school English/Language Arts. And while I still think that this might be a fun job someday, it is not something that I can't live without.

This past year, I have discovered many other things I would like to do with my life. In January, I got my first sewing machine and discovered how much I love to make things with my own hands. This year I have also re-discovered my love of writing and realized how much I would like to finish the first draft of a novel. But more than all of those, I want to be a mother. And I don't know if I want to wait until after grad school to do that! 

There are plenty of other things I can do with my degree though, even if I don't go onto teaching. Some options I have thought about are doing an afterschool program/hang out place for teens in the community to go to. This would dovetail very nicely with my husband's future ministry. I could even teach a few classes or do some tutoring. I have also developed a passion for teaching young girls the basics of running their own home. I would love to do a series of classes for them that show them things like cooking, sewing, budgeting, etc. These are both things that I can do as a ministry that utilize my degree.

As nerve-wracking as it is to not really know what I will be doing after graduation, it is just mostly exciting. I have some direction and I know how to do a lot of stuff. In a sense, "the world is my oyster." And I'm ready to go out and discover the plans that God has for me. :)

(via here)

Who Lives Here? Danish Apartment

In keeping with the Danish theme, I decided to do a Who Lives Here? I haven't done one in awhile and I love speculating about what kind of people might live in these unique homes. Today's comes from A Diary of Lovely.

Here is my guess: This apartment is home to a single woman in her late 20's - early 30's. She loves to travel and her job requires it. Therefore, she doesn't spend a whole lot of time at home. But when she is there, she loves to host parties with her trendy and somewhat high society friends. She has no pets because she doesn't have time to care for them. She has a bit of a classic side to her and occasionally wishes she were more of a homebody. She dates the occasional man, usually met at a gallery opening or an album release party, but in general she is proud to be a single woman living life in various hot spots around the world. She is considering settling down one day, but she is not adverse to the idea of remaining dedicated to no one.

(all images via here)

That is my guess. Any other ideas? I would love to hear your creativity!


Justin and I celebrated the first "Christmas celebration" of the year yesterday with his parents and grandparents. We got the traditional Danish butter cookies (which are impossible to duplicate at home!), travel mugs, t-shirts, money, and other clothes. But my favorite thing we received was our very own Julenisse.

My father-in-law's heritage is Danish and they have held on to a few traditions from that part of the world. Having a Julenisse is one of those. Julenisse are elves that sit on a shelf and watch over the presents under the tree. Justin's grandmother keeps hers up all year and it supposedly protects their house. I wouldn't be surprised if Elf On The Shelf is derived from this tradition.

Ours is adorable and pretty much looks like a mini-Santa. He was my husband's great-grandmother's originally and is actually from Denmark! I love having a tradition from my husband's side of the family that will continue on in our own family. So fun!

Cute, right? Now I just need a good name for him. Any suggestions?


{Doll}house Love

I only have one final left! And I have already studied for it. I can taste freedom, it's so close! Then I get to celebrate Christmas with my husband's family on Saturday, work one more day on Monday, and on Tuesday, it is off to Oregon to see my family for the first time since August and be at the house I still call "home" for the first time since March. :) I'm excited, if you can't tell.

For this post, I really want to share this beautiful dollhouse from Making It Lovely. I have followed Nicole's blog for a long time now and have enjoyed watching her create the little details for this dollhouse. She is participating in the I'm A Giant dollhouse challenge and today was the goal finish date.

I have always had a thing for miniatures. I had a handmade dollhouse when I was little that wasn't nearly as polished as this one. It had linoleum, 70s wallpaper, and sample carpet squares, just to give you a little insight. However, I loved the little furniture and have always wanted to decorate a dollhouse myself. Someday, when I have a daughter, I want to purchase an unfinished one when she is a baby and slowly finish it over the next few years so she can play with it when she is a little older. How fun would that be?

Anyway, enough about me. Here are the amazing pictures of Nicole's dollhouse.

Have you ever decorated a dollhouse? Or wanted to? If you have, put a link in the comments. I would love to see it!

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