Thursday, April 14, 2011

This and that

I haven’t blogged for awhile and unfortunately I don’t have tons going on, but this might be a long post. I thought I would give some updates on various things I have mentioned I was working on and also just some updates about us.

Digital Scrapbooking

Remember here, here and here when I was loving digital scrapbooking? I still love it, but I haven’t done it forever and I’m kind of sad about it.

I just don’t have as much time now with my new job and everything else. But we did get a big computer monitor for our laptop that will help me when I start doing it again!


I was really super gung-ho about couponing for awhile (again, when my last job was winding down and I had more time) and I got a ton of great deals and stocked our shelves. But I have backed off a lot and I still coupon (using mostly online coupons), price match, and look for good deals. I’m happy with how I’m doing although I’m not doing it nearly as much as before. I’m also super bugged by the TLC show, “Extreme Couponing” because I hate when couponers clear the shelves and take everything and don’t leave anything for people like me who just want a few things. I feel like the people on the show are demonstrating hoarding and excessive behavior and it’s completely unrealistic and unfair to so many people.

I think it’s very wasteful and one woman on the show is using coupons fraudulently, which is infuriating to those of us who are honest.

Food Storage/Emergency Prep:

This is something I have really been focusing on since the fire in Herriman and everything in Japan and all over the world! Our food storage is coming along really well and I have approximately 3-6 months of basic food storage right now for Dan and I. There are still things I’m working on and want to do, but I’m weirdly excited about it so it’s something I’m constantly thinking about. I’m also about 90% finished with our 72 hour kits. I made them myself instead of buying them and I got some brand new backpacks from D.I . that work great. I also made a kit for me to bring to work since chances are good I won’t be home if there was an emergency. I had a dream about a fire threatening our home and we had to leave really quickly and it reminded me how important this is. I may post some pictures of our food storage and 72 hour kits once I’m finished and more organized.


Dan and I are training for the Wasatch Back again this year. The race is in June and we did it last year. It’s a team relay race from Logan to Park City and it’s intense. We had a blast last year and can’t wait to do it this year. My sister is going to run with us too so I’m pumped! I’ve noticed a huge change this year compared to last year with my training and how much more I’m already able to do.

I also signed up for the Top of Utah half marathon in August and Dan signed up for the full in September. Running is weirdly addicting and I love feeling strong and proud of myself for doing something hard. Running is not my forte but I’m enjoying it most of the time. I’ve been running a few days a week with some women at my work during our lunch break and it has been awesome to get out of the office and be outside (even if we are sweaty when we get back!).

A piano!

I love to play the piano and have always wanted one. I started watching KSL obsessively and looking for a used piano. Every time I called about a good deal I saw, the piano was already sold! Finally I got a break and we got a great deal on a cute little piano and I love it! I will post some pics soon. We also got a box spring and mattress from the same person we bought the piano from and now we actually have a guest bed. Dan made a log bed in high school so we set that up in the extra bedroom for guests and I will get around to decorating it at some point.


Dan will graduate with his Bachelor’s in Business Administration this summer from Weber! Woo hoo! Then he will start his MBA program through Utah State in the fall. That should take about 1.5-2 years but he will only have class two nights a week, so he will start looking for a full time job in the next month or two. I’m so proud of all his hard work and even though he despises school, he knows how important it is and he keeps plowing through it.


Carbonite is online data backup software. I have done some research and this is the option that I want to go with. I highly recommend backing up all your important files/music/pictures on an external hard drive as well as with an online company like Carbonite or Mozy. If your computer crashes, you will easily lose everything, so an external hard drive will save your pictures. But if your house burns down or floods, an external hard drive won’t help. This software backs up your files periodically to a secure offsite facility and you can restore your files any time. It’s only $55 for a year, $100 for 2 years, and $130 for 3 years. I plan on purchasing it in the next few days when I get around to it.

Blog Book:

I have been wanting to print my blog to a book for each year but I haven’t done it yet and I’m going to now! I need some tips for the best software to do this. What have you used? How did you like it? Was it easy/hard to use? Pricing? Thanks!


My sister and I are going to go see this pretty lady in Vegas in June and I can’t wait!
We have always loved Celine and she has come back to Vegas and so we’re all over it. We had a sister trip to Vegas last year and loved it so maybe it will become a yearly thing!


As I mentioned before, we’re going to NYC next week and we wanted to stay in the city for one night but hotels are so expensive! Long story short, after doing some research, I decided to try out Priceline’s “name your price” and I scored us a Marriott 5 minutes away from Times Square for $125 a night! Still pricey, but hotels are usually $250 and up in that area so I’m so excited. If people are interested in specifics, let me know and I’ll do a post about the details. I plan using this a lot in the future and for my Vegas trip!

Debt free:

Awhile ago I posted about how we have started listening to Dave Ramsey and reading his books and we are still loving what he teaches. We have gotten really intense about saving money and being completely debt free. I know a lot of people think we’re crazy, but we got rid of our credit card (we only had 1 and usually paid it off) and don’t plan on using credit or borrowing money except to buy a house in the future.

I believe having good credit is a myth because your credit score isn’t even based on your income! It’s based on absurd things and if you pay cash for things, you don’t need a good credit score! A home loan can be manually underwritten (based on your income among other things) if you put 20% down and do a 15 year loan and that’s what we plan to do. No millionaire will tell you he/she got rich from credit card rewards! Plus we use perkstreet and still get awesome rewards! We don’t want debt in our lives at all. It’s not for everyone, but we feel like we’re doing the right thing for us and we’re excited about it.We plan on paying the last of our car loan off by the end of this year and then we will only pay cash to buy cars and keep saving and trading up so we will eventually end up with a nicer car (even if it takes awhile and we have crappy cars for awhile). Being debt free and having a comfortable retirement is really important to us and a goal that we share. Plus, by living frugally, it allows us to do things we love, like go on fun vacations!

We are also working on establishing a good emergency fund and my work has a 401k match that we contribute to as well. So many people don’t even think about retirement right now, but we want to live the good life when we retire so we’re already thinking about it. Luckily Dan is great with money and helps keep me on track, even though it’s hard sometimes. So many people don’t live within their means (including the GOVERNMENT sheesh) and it just makes life harder and brings more stress into your life to live like that. This is a great youtube video called “don’t buy stuff you cannot afford”:

I love it and I encourage you to look at your finances, make and follow a budget, and live within your means. It will bring a lot of peace and happiness to your life.

Whoa. That was long.