Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Trader Joe's, Recipes & My First Ipsy Glam Bag

Since moving to the east coast, I have been introduced to new stores that I've never heard of. Such as Costco (Which I love now) and Safeway. But Trader Joe's has been my favorite of all. The first Trader Joe's I ever went to was in Federal Way, WA while we were visiting Matt's family before he deployed. I had never been to a store like it before. Where I grew up we only shopped at Wal-Mart because that's really the only store nearby, besides a Homeland (which I haven't seen since moving to the east coast). So I think I really loved TJ's because it was a new change and we have found some really great food that we now buy all the time. We are planning on going there this weekend and I will post pictures of  some of our favorite things from there. 

But I was wondering, do you shop at Trader Joe's? Are we missing out on some things from there? I ask because we recently went and I found some seasoning that we love now. 
I used this to season some turkey burgers the other night and it was delicous. So now I am wondering what else is at Trader Joe's that we are missing out on ; ) 

When Matt and I got married I didn't have much knowledge on cooking (besides basics) or recipes that I loved. I've just been learning on the job ; ). Over the past year though I've built up a large stack of recipes I want to write down instead of just having them saved on my computer. So I found this little journal at Wal-Mart the other day for $7 and thought it would be perfect for the job. 

Now I am just working on gathering all the recipes I want to have inside it before I start writing them in. At the same time I am trying to change up our usual food routine for something healthier. Which means I have a lot more research to do. I've been curious about people who cook with coconut oil but I don't know anything about it. I don't know what benefits you get from switching or if it effects the taste of the food. But I am definitely interested in it. Do you use coconut oil to cook? I'm wondering if I should make the change or not. A little tub of coconut oil at the store was pretty expensive, so I decided I would look into it more before I bought some. 

One more quick thing before I end this post...

I signed up for an Ipsy subscription last month


It is only $10 a month so I thought I would give it a try. I love makeup so why not : D
I just got my first bag yesterday and I am so excited to try all of the things out!

My package had..

A silver makeup bag
Lipgloss - Be A Bombshell in the color "Hot Mess"
Mirabella Prime - Primer for face & eyes
Urban Decay 24/7 glide on eyeliner in black
Mai Couture Highlighter Sheets 
NYX Ultra Pearl Mania - A loose powder eyeshadow

I am really excited about the primer. I've been looking for a better primer for my eyeshadow. I'm ready for my next bag already : ) 


PS I've literally had Ed Sheeran on repeat for like a week. Two of my favorites right now are "Small Bump" & "Lego House". I just love his voice. You should go check him out if you haven't heard of him. He has such a great voice. 

Christmas Decorations & Cards

Towards the end of November a friend on Facebook posted a link to cardstore.com with a coupon code for 70% off your order. Unfortunately it was a coupon only good for that day and I saw the link too late. But, I went to the website anyways and they had another deal going. If you spent $100 you got $75 off! I couldn't resist so I filled my cart with $100 worth of Christmas cards. At the checkout I applied the coupon code and after taxes and shipping was applied it was about $43. I paid for 3 day shipping, but I just got the package yesterday. They don't ship them until they have them made, so I am glad I paid for the faster shipping so they got here in time for me to send them out.

How cute are they!? I love them. Plus the box came with cute stuffing that I keep telling myself I will find a project to use them in. Probably not though. ; ) 

Anyways, I am working on filling out envelopes and thought since the cards do not have a place to write something to our family & friends that I would make a little card to insert into the envelopes. I went to pinterest once I had the idea and found some cute ideas.

I think I've decided on making the little wire snowman on tan paper then writing on the back of the card. But since I like so many ideas, I think I might go ahead and make 2 different kinds. I really love the Christmas tree in the first one, but I thought I would just make the tree bigger and not glue it to anything and write on the back of the tree. So many decisions! What do you think? Any suggestions?

Also, we went out and bought our Christmas tree at the start of December, but I am just now getting around to posting pictures. Last Christmas, Matt had just returned from a 10 month deployment, and we  were finding an apartment to move into, and traveling across the states moving all my things, so needless to say we didn't get to celebrate Christmas like we would have wanted to. I think we spent the day watching movies and eating on our single piece of furniture, a leather couch, but I was so thankful to have him home that it was such a great Christmas. 
With that being said, my family always bought artificial trees to go in our house while I was growing up because my Mom is allergic to the real trees. But, Matt's family always had a real tree, so I wanted to give it a try this year because I knew it had a special meaning to him. He loves the house smelling like a Christmas tree, and I have to say I love it too! We got our tree from a little stand on base. It's about 6 feet tall and I love it. Here are some pictures...

I made the tree skirt after seeing some pictures on pinterest of some DIY ruffle tree skirts. I originally wanted to do some burlap, lace & muslin. But when we got to Hobby Lobby I saw some green burlap and I thought it was festive so I used that instead. 
I also added some life to the wreath sitting in the closet waiting to be used. Bought some ribbon at the dollar tree and used some of the trimming off the tree and put it on the front door. What do you think? 

With this being our first year, we had to buy all new decorations which was pricey, but I loved finding new ornaments, especially at Hobby Lobby. The ornament section there was almost overwhelming. We had already bought so much that I only left there with one ornament that only cost me about .75 cents! 

It's so simple, but one of my favorite. I love it. 

We also have these ornaments..

Even though we didn't have a tree last year, we went out and bought an ornament together for our first Christmas as a married couple. 

Then this year we went to the same ornament store in a local mall and I didn't like any of the couple ornaments, so I found this one with a big "M" on it. Then I had the sweet lady at the store put our last name on it and write "2012" above our name. Once we were leaving the store we noticed the ornament we picked had a small crack in it, but I told Matt it just adds some character to it ; )
I'm really enjoying the holidays with Matt, and getting ready to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary. 

On the topic of holidays, Matt and I have been thinking about traditions we can start during the holidays. All I have right now is christmas pajama pants with a movie (The Christmas Story) and our  favorite snacks for a Christmas Eve gift for both of us. I thought it would be fun to snuggle up in some new pajamasand drink some hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie together. 

What does your family do at Christmas every year? Anything special?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our New Puppy

Matt surprised me with a puppy for my Christmas present, he just came a few weeks before Christmas! : ) I fell in love with him right away. He is just so cute! We spent a few days talking about  names we liked. First we thought Ollie was such a cute name, then suddenly realized it was way to similar to Molly and we would just get frustrated with that. We talked about Oliver instead of Ollie but finally decided on Jax. Anyone know what show that name came from? ; )
Jax is a miniature dachshund and he is about 12 weeks old now. Here are some pictures of him..

His little santa hat just killed me
Oh those ears flipped back haha!

Bentley just didn't want to look at the camera
He is so small that it has been an adjustment around our house. We have to be extra careful not to step on him, and when I am cooking dinner he likes to be right by my feet and  I have accidentally kicked him a few times.  It has been an experience bringing home a second dog and having Bentley get adjusted to the change. He is doing a lot better with him now and they even play around with each other (even though Bentley is way too rough with Jax). We have been faced with a few issues that we didn't have when we brought Bentley home as a puppy. First of all, Jax would eat until he couldn't walk if we let him. We have to take his food bowl away after each bite so that he will swallow the food and take a breath. I have no idea how to get him to slow down and the vet didn't really have any suggestions either, except for a food bowl with a little bone inside. We went to look at the bowl at Petsmart and we honestly don't think it would help slow him down at all. He's a little beast!

The other problem we have been having is potty training. Every time we try to get him to go potty on his pee pad, he just won't go! He pees on it, but then when we decide he probably doesn't have to go potty and let him roam the house, he will go poop somewhere else. Yesterday I sat with him at the pee pad for an hour because I just knew he had to go, and when I gave up because I was so frustrated, he walked and pooped by the door. I'm hoping the reason why it is so difficult is because he is so young, but we didn't have this much trouble with Bentley. He caught on pretty quick, but he was also twice as old as Jax. 

Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on potty training? Or how to keep Jax from eating so fast?