Top 5: Good Ideas

This is one of my most random boards. Here I've collected anything and everything that will either make my life easier or more interesting. I've got lots pinned, so go check it out. 

Disclaimer: I did not come up with these. Everything here is the result of someone else's brilliance. I linked to their respective websites below the photos. If there's a problem, let me know. 

1. Putting all your mementos from a trip into a jar. This keeps clutter to a minimum while protecting your souvenirs and displaying them at the same time. What's the point in bringing home awesome stuff if you never get to see it?

2. The William Sonoma I don't know what to call it. You simmer it on top of your stove, and it smells good. I haven't actually done this, but the internet says good things about it. 

3. An awesome way to store/display your scarves. Hang up a towel rod, then tie your scarves to it. I have a bunch of scarves, and would love to do this, if I wasn't worried about adding even more holes to a wall that I down own. 

4. Lazy Girl workouts. This girl has a bunch of easy ways to sneak in a little exercise throughout the day. I'm not super great at this, but hey, at least I'm trying. Go check out the other ones {link below the picture}. 

5. I've had kind of a hard time decorating our bedroom since we've been married. In our first apartment, that was okay, since it was a studio, and we didn't have a legit bedroom. I'm cutting myself a bit of slack in our current house, because we're super-poor, and can't afford anything nice. That's why this list so so great. Most of them are free, or really cheap, so I feel like I can finally have a nice bedroom. Anyway, here it is. 

And there you have it. Some of my favourite good ideas from around the web. If you have any "good ideas", leave them in the comments, I'd love to see!

I've Made a Terrible Mistake

Alternate title: I Think I Might Be Dying. 

Alternate alternate title: Well, That Backfired. 

It's been about 6 months since I last went on a run. Okay, that's not entirely true. I went on one in August, when I had really bad insomnia and couldn't sleep. So, it's been 5 months since my last run. And about 4 months since I did any kind of hard labour {we rearranged the living room. Moving large pieces of furniture counts as labour, in my book}.

A word of advice: don't surprise your body by going on a run in December, when it's been ages since you last did any kind of exercise. Coughing hurts. As does breathing. I did not think I was that much out of shape. As an added bonus, I thought it would help keep me awake and focused on doing a bit more work. Now I'm hungry and I want to take a nap. 

The Office

For the record, I didn't make this. I found it online somewhere. And I think it's really great. 

What I'm Doing

Well, I'm still here, having a hard time getting stuff done. On the bright side, I cleaned my living room. I still need to do some writing, go grocery shopping, and do some dishes. And all I want to do is sit here and watch The Office. 

Wasting Time

How did I ever waste time before Pinterest? Seriously. It's my go-to website when I'm not ready to get off the computer and do real things. 

Basically, I have not been productive tonight. 

Happy Monday

Last week was rough for me. But this week, things are looking to be a bit better. Why? Because of this. 

Not Quite Myself

Today has been one of those strange backwards days that feels like it doesn't really belong in your life. You know what I mean? Where you feel like you're living someone else's life.  Maybe it starts out with a small step outside of your comfort zone. You tried something new, and then things just spiraled out of control. 

It's just been a really weird day. And I can't get focused. 

Turns out, hot chocolate and a cupcake really help. 

"Live Blogging" My Workday

I should start with this: I have no idea what live blogging actually is. Do you sent out multiple posts in a day? An hour? Do you just write it all down, then publish it as one big bundle of thoughts? Who knows. With that being said, sometimes I think of clever things while I'm supposed to be working. This is good, except these thoughts never relate to what I'm writing about. For some reason, I've decided to write them here. 

*Writing about fences is too hard. Plus, now 'fence' is starting to not look like a real word. 

*Writing about sushi is a lot easier 

*I need a break. Let's go light the fall candle I just bought. 

*Fall, fall faaaaaallllll. Lovely fall. Oh it smells so good. 

*Now it just smells like the craft store. 

*I need a snack. 

*I've only done two articles today. I really need to do some more. At least two. Maybe just one. Or maybe I'll just be done for the day. Or forever. 

I Work Now, Like a Normal Person

I started a new job. I'm a contract writer for an SEO company. I write short articles to help websites boost their search engine results. I get paid to write. I would go on and on about how my dream has always been to work as a writer, but that would just be sappy. So yeah, I'm STOKED.  And I finally feel normal.  After months of doing absolutely nothing, working sure feels good. Especially since I can work from home, and I don't have to go out in the snow. 

Since I have my work authorization card, I can travel now, too. So I get to home during Christmas break. Which is awesome. It's been almost a year and a half (since before my wedding), and I'm looking forward to every moment I get to be home. Except the moments when Ruby eats all my stuff and sheds on everything. Love you, Rubes. 

I guess that's all I really have to say. Mostly I just wanted to talk about my job. Cause it's pretty awesome. 


I went on a walk in the leaves today.  It was warm out, and the weather was perfect. 

Also, I think I might have a job.

My Life for the Past 10 Months

I haven't written a lot about the Green Card process here on the blog for one main reason: I wasn't sure if the government was spying on me or not. I didn't want to jinx anything, or give myself away. Yes, I suppose I am a paranoid person. But now that things are moving along, I feel like I can share the whole ordeal {at least, the parts of it I've dealt with up to this point}. 

Let's start at the very beginning, the whole reason I'm in this mess in the first place. I got married in August last year. I still had my student visa, so I was able to finish up school without worry. Once January came around, I was done with school, and thus the visa. I couldn't work on campus anymore. So I sat at home and waited and tried to help save as much money as I could so that we could eventually start the paperwork to get me a GC. They're pretty pricey. 

I sat at home, filling out paperwork and trying to not spend so much money. Luke worked hard, and eventually we had enough to continue with the process. 

We filled out more paperwork. Pages and pages of addresses, marriage dates, how much money we made, and so on.  We took passport photos. And then more passport photos, because they can't get enough of my beautiful face.  I had a physical exam. The exam consisted mostly of whether I was a risk for communicable diseases {HIV, STDs, tuberculosis, drug addictions, etc}. I'm clean, by the way. I also have a healthy set of tonsils. 

Once we had the results from some blood work back from the doctor's office, we sent off our LARGE packet of paperwork. 

Then we waited. 

And waited. 

A letter showed up, wanting even more paperwork. We sent that off, and waited. 

I had a biometrics appointment last week, where I got both my fingerprints and my face put in the system.

Finally, yesterday afternoon I got my "Employment Authorization Card" in the mail. The card itself looks more like a driver's licence than anything; it's pretty legit.  Now, I can work{yay!!!!} and travel out of the country without abandoning the rest of my application {yay!!!!}. I don't have any immediate plans to go home, but I'm working that out. 

I still have to wait for the rest of my application to be approved, before I will receive the actual Green Card. I also still have to have an appointment with an immigration agent to determine the legitimacy of my marriage {that sounds so technical, doesn't it? Basically, they just want to make sure I married Luke because I love him, and not so that he would get me a GC}. So I'm not quite out of the woods yet. But the end is approaching, and I no longer have to sit at home, doing nothing all day. I get to look for jobs!

That was a long post, so as a reward for reading through all this, here's some Dwight and Jim. 

In The System

I went and got my fingerprints taken on Monday. As part of the Green Card application, they need to put me in the system {yes, I'm applying for a GC. That's why I haven't had a job in 10 months}. 

I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say, but I will say this: it was like going through airport security. That is one tight government building. There wasn't much of a wait, although I did feel a bit out of place, as I don't look particularly "foreign". 

Getting scanned was quick and easy, although they did do each finger several times. And they took a picture of my upper half. Good thing I wore my furry vest. 

Now, it's just a matter of time until I'm either approved or denied {although I am expecting to get approved. They probably don't take fingerprints for people who get denied. Right?}

Which To Choose

Well, I worked out today. That's all I had planned. Now I could go scrub down my bathroom {because parts of still need to be deep cleaned, despite all my hard work when we first moved in}, or I could sit and watch TV and work on my embroidery project. 

That's a tough one. 

Obvious Changes...

I switched up the blog again. I like this look. It's rather classy, don't you think? 

Other Fall Things I Love

Like I said, here's a post about other autumn things I love. 

1. Cozy blankets...

2.  Cozy fall clothes 

3. More fall clothes 

4. Pumpkin Steamer 

Top 5: Autumn

So, since it's October, I thought I'd share my favourite pictures from my Pinterest board, Autumn.  Tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I'll share the fall recipes I want to try, and/or the fall fashions I wish I had. 

1. Fall Leaves 

2. Autumn Brights 

3. Cozy Autumn Decor 

4. Fall flowers 

5.  A scene in Idaho

Forget, Forgot

Last night I fell asleep thinking about the many different things I would like to write about. I wrote out letters, essays, blog posts, all in my head. I told myself I would remember them. That I would write about them today. 

But that is not the case. 

I forgot most of it while I was sleeping. 

Now I have a post about how I can't remember things. That's not quite what I was going for. 

Oh well. Maybe as I spend the day cleaning my house, things will come back to me. 

Fall, Autumn, and so on...

It was cold today. Tonight, at least, when I went on a walk. I needed a sweater, and at some points I'd wished I'd worn shoes rather than sandals. 

I think it's time to accept that our indian summer is coming to a close, and that fall is descending on us. 

Of course, it doesn't seem like fall, really. That might be due in part to our bomb-shelter basement. No really, it is. With some very small windows and the low ceilings. 

I finished three books in the last week or so. They were all very sad. So then I started reading another book, but it's an autobiography, so I'm hoping it's not as sad. It's not as funny as Bossypants, though. 

This week seems to be dragging on. Monday was a good day. I got out and got some things done. Yesterday was rough. I didn't get anything done. 

Today I got things done. I faxed some things and deposited a cheque. Then {and this is the most important part} I bought a cupcake and an italian soda. I love italian sodas. Nothing bad can happen when you're drinking one.  And the best part is, I just found a place downtown that sells them. Now I have sodas within walking distance. 

I started embroidering things lately. For a while I wanted to make friendship bracelets, which I did for a while, but then I turned to stitching. I used to do it when I was younger, and I really liked it. It feels good to be doing something with my hands again. 

Now if only I was writing as much as I was stitching. But my life is so boring now, it's hard to come up with new inspiration or really be motivated to do things. 


Yesterday was great. I finished things that really needed to be finished. I took books back to the library. I mailed some important letters. I made dinner. 

Today, though, hasn't been nearly as productive.  At least it's Friday, and I have a good excuse for not doing anything. 

Let's Go to the Mall!

Luke and I went for a walk around the mall tonight. We do that sometimes - go to the mall to go on a walk.  We usually do a few laps, maybe go in to a store or two, and then get a snack at the food court. 

Tonight, as we were on our second lap, we stopped in a home decor store. We found some excellent wall art (hint: OWLS!).  Then we doubled back to the candle store.  I love candles and other similar things that make my house smell good. But they are usually kind of pricey.  So when I realized they were having a sale, I picked up a few new candles. 

Now my house smells like fall.  For the first time since moving in, I feel cozy here. It's not perfect, but boy, does it smell delicious.  I've been sad to see summer slowly turning in to fall, but I'm not so sad now. 

P.S. Bonus points to those who know where I got my title. 

Good Reads

I started using Goodreads today.  Well, that's not totally true. Technically, I started using it 4 years ago, but I didn't really know what I was doing. I still don't know what I'm doing, but I added a bunch of books to my profile, and poked around. I'm not sure I'm using it right, but I like it so far. 

You can check out my profile here. I hope to keep it fairly updated. Between my wishlist, and the list I've got on my library's website, and Pinterest, and the list here on the blog , I've got quite a few book lists. But I like books, so I'm alright with that. 

Speaking of so many books, I have quite a few book reviews I need to write up. I shall do that next week. 

Women's Expo

Katie and I went to the Women's Expo last weekend.  I love a good expo! There were free samples! And swag {Stuff We All Get}. And contests to enter.  Turns out I really love chocolate covered cocoa beans. 

I had a chiropractor analyse my posture. I guess my posture isn't so great, and now I'm super self conscious about it. If any of you comment negatively about it, I will give you the stink eye.  To make myself feel better, I found a booth with free mini-massages.  And possibly made me consider spending money on a real massage. 

The last few days I've been getting calls from vendors at the expo, telling me I've won a prize. Oh, my excitement! Then I found out that their idea of a prize doesn't match what my idea of a prize is. One lady offered me 50% off one piece of jewelry from her shop. But she had to come to my house so I could claim it.  I don't like having strangers in my house to sell things. 

On the bright side, I still have lots of coupons, two tubes of lip gloss, a nail file, a few pens, some stickers, and a granola bar. I had some cotton candy, but I ate that already. 


My favourite mother-in-law got me a sewing machine for my birthday. It's nothing fancy, but I'm not a fancy seamstress, so it works out well. It can make some cute stitches though, and we had fun testing it out. 

So now that I have one, I'll probably do a bit more crafting. I've always been a crafty person, but I haven't been into it as much as I wish I was. Probably because craft supplies take up space, and I don't usually have a lot of space for supplies. Now, though, I have an excuse! 

This means that I might start sharing my projects here, online. Probably not to a huge extent. I'm not going to become a crafty blog. But I like having a space where I can proudly show off the things I make. 

I bought fabric so I can make a little pillow. We'll see how it goes, considering I've had the materials since Wednesday, and haven't done a thing with them. 


You know that feeling when you just don't quite feel like yourself? 

Yeah, me too. 

I've been feeling that way for awhile. 

And it seems like no matter what I do, I'm not getting back to the way I used to be. 


School has started. But not for me. I still feel the winds of change, though. There's just something in the air. And I can feel it. 

Yesterday I was reading through my church notebook. A few months ago, I'd written about moving. How I was nervous to pack everything and start somewhere new. I'd also listed all the good things about moving - how we'd be closer to school and friends, and have more space, and a washing machine...

Reading back over what I'd written, I was struck with a new appreciation for our place. Sure, it's a bit dark and basement-y. But it's bigger, and in a nice part of town. And close to the library. I really stopped and thought about the great things that I have. 

In turn, this new way of thinking has branched over into the way I think about a lot of things. I feel more energized, more willing to be the person I used to be. More excited about things. More drive. For the first time in a while, I feel motivated. 

So, thanks, past self for your motivating words. When you wrote them, you probably didn't think you'd be reading them again. But you did. And it's stretching you into a better person. 

Good Things to Know About Living in Provo

With the start of the school year almost upon us, and thousands of students moving back to town, I thought I'd do a little write up about the best things to be found in Provo. 

There's not a whole lot of order to this, so take it or leave it. 

The best places for dessert are  The Cocoa Bean (for cupcakes, hot chocolate, italian soda) and the Malt Shoppe (for milkshakes). 

If you're going to be out late, there aren't a lot of options. I prefer Denny's. They're open 24 hours, and have pancakes. And unlimited hot chocolate refills. Some people like IHOP, but it's far from campus, and I just don't like it as much. 

If you're going to be on BYU campus and need something to eat, the CougarEat is your best bet. For something healthy, try L&T. The best burgers {in the county, in my opinion} are at Scoreboard. Note that their fries are not as good as the burgers. 

Also on campus, the cafe at the MOA is fantastic, but only open for lunch. And Sugar and Spice is the best place for treats. I love the brownies, but I hear good things about the rice krispy treats, as well. 

Brick Oven is good pizza and great root beer. But you'll want to go on Monday's. Root beer is free {and unlimited}!

Frozen yogurt seems to be pretty popular here in P-town. I haven't been to very many places, but I've noticed that the cheaper the place seems, the better the yogurt is. 

The best Chinese food used to be from the booth at Smith's {the grocery store}. But they've been disappointing lately. So, it's probably a tie between Panda Express and @12, a local place. 

Drivers are kind of crazy. Pedestrians are crazy. But cyclists are the worst. Watch out for them. 

Walmart is cheapest for groceries, but far away from campus.  There's also Fresh Market, but I find it's more expensive. Smiths and Macey's are tied, and I switch between the two based on what's closer. It used to be Macey's. Now it's Smiths. In case anyone cared where I do my shopping. 

I'm pretty sure the DI here puts new things out on for Wednesday. So that's the day for thrifting. 

That's about all I can think of for now.  Any suggestions from you, dear readers? Or questions about anything? 

A Year Ago, Part I

So, this happened a year ago....

Yep, it's already been a year since our first reception. It was perfect and lovely. 

Thank you, family, for working so hard to make it so nice. 

Thank you, Rachel for doing my hair and being my maid of honour. 

Thank you, dear friends, for coming. Thank you Whit, for your words of wisdom. Thank you Cathy and Jake, for all your help setting up.  Thank you Susan, for being so delightful. 

Thank you, Wayne and Kathy, for driving all the way to Canada, and being the best in-laws ever. 

 And thank you me, for taking this one nice picture, where I'm not making a face, or trying to be too model-ish.

Thursday, a.m.

So it's now 9:15. I've been up since.........7:30? And today is a gloomy day, so it hasn't gotten brighter yet. And it probably won't as the day goes on. 

Also, I'm feeling like updating the look of this page. So that will be fun. 

Oh. And I really want to go shopping today. It's my birthday month, so I can, right? 

Quick Updates

I haven't been posting a lot lately. Mostly because it's summer, and things move slower.  Plus, I'm pretty boring, so there's nothing to update on. But I think I can scrounge up a few things. 

We have a washer/dryer in this new place. So I use it sometimes. However, the dryer isn't the best, so it usually takes a cycle or two for clothes to become properly dry. I often forget to turn it on again. And then my clothes sit around wet, and they start to smell bad. So then I have to wash them all over again.  

I've been working on my reading list a little bit.  There's actually a really great post about it that I need to finish up and edit a bit. In the mean time, I've been trying to read The Sound and the Fury. It's a Faulkner, and I'm finding it very hard to read. There's no introduction of characters, or situations. It just kind of launches in. And everything is dialoge, so you kind of have to piece it together yourself. This does make for a faster read, though. I'll write about it once I'm done. 

That's about it, I suppose.  

A Simple Monday

I don't write very much about my day-to-day life. Mostly because it kind of bores me, and so I can only imagine that it would bore everyone else even more. But today had some pretty good things. 

My friend J. is up from Australia, and K. and I got to go shopping with her. Sometimes, I feel like I have no style, especially when I walk around the mall. But every once in a while, I come across a window display that looks truly heinous, and I know I'll never look that awful. 

Then, this afternoon, we went swimming. It's been so hot here, that a dip in the pool feels amazing. We bought pool toys, which makes everything twice as fun. 

This evening I made (MADE! With my own two hands!) roasted red pepper pasta. Seriously, my favourite thing in the world. But it takes forever, and it makes my hands look like I dipped them in iodine. 

The package that I sent away for finally arrived. I bought myself and early birthday present, from The Body Shop, of course.  

Now as I sit here, I smell like flowers, and I can smell dinner simmering. I'm tired from being busy all day. 

I think I'll finish the night with a round of Gilmore Girls and a Dr. Pepper. Italian soda style. 

Sunday Thoughts

If I lived in a big city, I would go to souvenir shops all the time and buy little replicas of famous monuments. Then I would decorate my home with my growing collection. 

If I lived above ground, I would buy long gauzy curtains and always have my windows open. 

But, because I live in neither of those places, I keep repeating....

Our House, Is a Very Very Very Fine House

There's a chocolate cake on the stove, cooling, and waiting to be frosted. 

There is a whole cabinet in the kitchen waiting to be reorganized. 

There's a living room that needs to be straightened. 

Pictures to hang. 

A dresser to clean and set up in the bedroom. 

Laundry to do. 

But the feeling that this is our space now,  it is filled with our things, it it where we live, is a feeling that I didn't think would come around so soon.  It is cozy. I like it here. 

Four Years Ago

I was in London four years ago. By this time in July, we'd been all through Ireland, and had settled ourselves in the city.  

By this point, I'd already managed to get kind of lost trying to find the Old Vic theatre, and found an awesome bookshop instead. Ashley and I had also managed to work out just how to ride the Underground. 

I'd been shopping at an English market. And had pastries from the Queen's grocery store. 

I'd been late to class {probably twice} 

I'd been to Oxford, where I heard a lecture about the creation and upkeep of the Oxford English Dictionary. 

I'd only been in the city for 4 days at this point, so I hadn't seen very many places or done very many things. 

But already, it had captured my heart.  I long to go back. 

Happy Monday!

There's some more work to be done before this place really starts to feel like home. I'm trying to muster up some energy. I wish I had Loralei to sing me songs. 

And then I found this. And it is awesome. One of my favourite scenes. Really. 

Is That My Voice?

I just reread all of my previous July posts. Only the July posts.  I wanted a reminder of what I've been doing in the past. It's fun to look back and see where I've been and how I've been functioning. Sometimes I function better than others. 

A year ago, I was panicked about moving and excited to get married.  The year before that was me, realizing I'd made a mistake. And the year before that? I was just goofing around, being young and silly and writing it out for the world to see. 

Sometimes I feel lightyears away from the person I was when I started this blog. And then I read old posts where I've complained about things that I still complain about, and I read old posts where I can look back and see that I've grown, and I can read old posts and just marvel at my ability to be utterly ridiculous sometimes. 

Going back and reading some old posts has been kind of awesome. Sure, I've changed a little. But I think I'm starting to find my voice. Is that something that you can say about yourself? Or is that something a critic has to say about your work? 

P.S. I don't know what it is about where I'm sitting, but my computer keeps turning the screen brightness up and down. It's starting to make me dizzy. 

P.P.S. Perhaps I should do a "best of" section. I've got some pretty decent posts.  Honestly, more people should read this blog. I'm amazing. 

A Moving Post, Day 293745

Okay, I admit, it hasn't been that many days. But I feel like has. I am worn out, tired, and frustrated.  Last Saturday, we went and got the keys to the new apartment, and brought over two loads {even though we weren't technically supposed to move in until Sunday, so said the previous rentors, even though we had discussed moving in earlier, such as Wednesday}.  Luke's parents came down with their truck, to bring us some furniture, as well as move our bigger things. Having them come and help took a load off my mind. 

So on Sunday, with our helpful friends, we moved the rest of our things. I'm pretty sure we had about 6 carloads of stuff. Where did all this stuff come from? I am so confused. We had a small apartment, and not a lot of places to put things. But as we were packing, there just kept being more and more stuff. 

Once things were moved out {mostly}, I left Luke to be in charge of the moving shenanigans, and turned my attention to cleaning. Perhaps it's because I've been dealing with BYU cleaning checks for the last 6 years, but MAN, did I leave that house in good condition. Sink scrubbed out, oven cleaned, shower wiped down. I even did the baseboards!   And by me, I mean me, with a little LOT of help from K. and M. I couldn't have done it without them. 

At this point, things are moved out, and things are mostly clean. So I head over to the "new" apartment. Let me paint a picture for you. 

It's muggy and hot, because the carpets were cleaned the day before, and hadn't dried yet, plus the air conditioner wasn't on. There are boxes everywhere. One corner of the living room has been stripped down to drywall, and there's a large hole, exposing the brick wall that this room was built around. Why? Because there's a leak, and the best way to find a leak is to put a hole in the wall. {UPDATE: we think it's because the sprinkler system is leaking. There's only water in our house when the sprinklers are going} . Besides all that, the people who moved out didn't clean a blessed thing. Nope. Goo on the front of the stove. Stuff still in the garburator. The bathroom sink crusted over with ... I don't even know. 

There are plus sides to living here, I promise. We are close to campus, downtown, friends, and the library. There are about 10 restaurants within walking distance. It's much larger than our previous place, for the same rent. And I'll find more positives. For now, when things are in boxes, and I'm cleaning other people's mess, I'm gonna be a little frustrated. 

The point of this post was to let you know that we're here in the new house, we have unpacked our dishes, and hung things up in the closet. We're here to stay. For a little while longer, at least. 

A Moving Post, Day 2

Sometimes, dealing with other people is really, really hard. 

Like, when they tell you that you can move in on one day, and then suddenly, they tell you that you can't move on that day. 

And when they tell you that you will have fancy brand new carpet when you move in. And then they tell you that the carpet is all torn out, but no new carpet is in sight. 

I would be much more eager to move, despite these setbacks, if the new place looked anything like this: 

Unfortunately, it does not. Not even a little bit. 

P.S. I would give credit for the picture, but for some reason, the internets tell me that the original page no longer exists. 

A Moving Post

We are moving on Saturday. 

So far, we packed up all our books, blankets, and everything in our huge dresser. Seriously, huge. It stores a lot of stuff. It took a while to get it empty. 

Today, I changed all of our addresses. Except on Amazon. Shoot. 

But I'm getting stuff done. And feeling pretty good about myself.  

Next up: non-essential bathroom stuff.