5.26.2016

Mr. Money Mustache







Greg and I are really pumped on a new blog. Our brother-in-law, Aaron, introduced us to this blog called Mr. Money Mustache. And we are really, really loving it. I've always been super into saving money, but I haven't been very good about retirement plans. Greg's never really been a saver, but he is very responsible with retirement planning and always planning his max contribution and employer match. Mr. Money Mustache has really helped us combine the things we're good at and work together on our financial goals. 

One of the biggest reminders we've had while reading the blog is that it doesn't really matter how much money you make, you should always try to live on the smallest amount possible. That way when you do make more money, it just bulks up your savings instead of drastically changing your lifestyle. 

Luckily for us, a lot of the lifestyle changes he recommends are things that are very natural for us. Doing a lot of DIY type things, cooking most of our food at home, etc. But we have a new resolve to be a bit tougher on ourselves and make sure that when we do spend money, it's with intention. 

The first, hardest, and biggest change was selling the truck. It was in great condition and we both loved it but we knew something cheaper could efficiently meet our needs. So we sold it and bought a 4-runner in excellent condition. It's kind of funny to see them side by side up there in the pictures, because both cars have so many similarities. The weekend after we got it, we wanted to clean it. We planned to take it to be detailed and shampooed. But as we were adding up how much it would cost vs. the cost of renting a shampooer, we made the smart call! We spent all day scrubbing down both of our cars (exterior and interior), Greg changed the oil in the Matrix, and waxed the Matrix as well. A success indeed! 

I've also had a renewed motivation to start making more of my own clothes. It's not always cost efficient when you consider how much the fabric and pattern costs and how much time goes into it, but I would prefer to spend that money on one dress that fits me perfectly, than buying several cheap dresses that I just end up tossing. This one I'm wearing took so so much time, but I'm really happy about it and I love wearing it. 

We're also trying to up our lunch and snacks game. Buying more bulk and freezing contents individually so that our food is more cost effective. We're trying to spend more time on the weekends to have our meals planned, purchased, and somewhat prepared so that our meals during the week are not a cause of stress. 

Slowly but surely, we're trying to figure things out! 

Temple Square Sunday: Love Where You Live








 





 

I used to read this blog, called Design Mom. She had a featured called "Love Where You Live" and she would go out and do some sort of touristy type thing in her own town. She encouraged other bloggers to do the same and it was cool to see what people were experiencing that they might not usually take time for. 

Greg and I met in the month of April and one of our first dates was at Temple Square. He had asked me on a couple dates but I wanted to return the favor. My mom had gotten some tickets to a concert at the tabernacle of Handel's Messiah. So I asked Greg to go with me. He came to my apartment and then we walked to Temple Square. About 20 minutes into the performance, he held my hand for the first time!! It was absolutely magical. Then he held my hand on the walk home. So I guess you could say our love blossomed around the same time the flowers at Temple Square were blossoming. 

We went back last year to see the tulips and it was lovely, as expected. 

This year has been a bit crazy for us, and a little overwhelming emotionally. We had a free Sunday afternoon and I had mentioned that we ought to go to Temple Square sometime while the flowers are in beautiful bloom. 
Greg said, "Well let's go right now." 
And I said, "Well I don't know, we probably have other stuff we should get done."
But he convinced me. He's the sweetest. So we drove over and took some fun pictures of the flowers. He wore my purse and the camera bag across his body and said, "Bec, take a picture. And then caption it "Instagram Husband." :)

I was crouching down in a flower bed to take some pictures and there was a woman who is a senior missionary there, and she said, "Your skirt matches those flowers too perfectly! Let me take a picture of you!" It was really sweet. 

On our way home, Greg played Salt Lake tour guide barbie and stopped at the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. I had never heard of this place, but he said that there was a sphinx with Joseph Smith's face at the top. Ha! So we thought we ought to check it out. It was a little bizarre but these are the little quirks that make Salt Lake City what it is! 

This Sunday was one of the best ones we've had in awhile. We came home and made BLT's for dinner and prepped some lunches and snacks for the week, and made some cookies for dessert. Yum! We love this stage of our life and having so much time to be together. 




5.17.2016

Texas Trip: Beatrix Blessing and Matilda's Birthday!

For my birthday, Greg surprised me with plane tickets to Dallas to visit my sister and her family. He had arranged it all with my sister for us to go 2 weeks after my birthday. I was ecstatic! We got in a Thursday afternoon and stayed until Monday afternoon, so it was a nice, long weekend. 

A few of the highlights: watching Aaron and Greg race in go-karts, eating Tex-Mex for every meal, walks to the park, snuggling my newborn niece Beatrix, playing legos with the kids, meeting up with my friend Katherine in Dallas, seeing the new Richards Group building that I would have been working at if I still lived there, visiting Central Market, helping Aaron finish up the melimba online shop, stopping by Klyde Warren Park, coming up with new games on the trampoline, making yummy food, listening to Greg read the boys Star Wars books, lots of playing outside, visiting the kids at elementary school, and going their volleyball games. 

The best part of the whole trip though, was on Sunday. It was Matilda's birthday and she turned 8 and she chose to share her special day with Beatrix, who was blessed at church. It was so fun to be there on this special day for the Wood family. 


 
  
   


















5.16.2016

Rebecca's Birthday 2016




I had a really nice birthday this year. Greg has learned that I like to open up presents first thing in the morning! So he had a few gifts for me waiting at the foot of our bed. I got to wear a new shirt and come to work. My office had been decorated so nicely by my co-workers and they had brought me flowers. 

For lunch, I brought a quilt and took a bunch of my co-workers up to a nearby park where we ate our lunches we brought from home. Greg had made me a nice, hearty, cobb salad. I made oreo cake bites the night before so we could have a little treat afterwards. 

Then after dinner, Greg and I met with up my parents at this cute little Italian restaurant in Sugarhouse. We tried so many delicious things and ended the night with a cannoli. Divino! 

Spring Cooking 2016











  

  


One of the big perks of finally getting to the spring season and starting Daylight Savings time is that I can take pictures of our dinner before we eat! Woot woot! We made so many delicious things in the winter that I wanted to take pictures of, but the light was just off and it didn't work. I LOVE talking about food and so it's really nice to have my instagram account that's just dedicated to food chats with my friends. And Greg doesn't mind too much that I make him wait to eat so I can take pictures. :)

In general, we've gotten real into Asian foods this spring. We've made lettuce wraps and stir fries, and we figured out a new ramen pack that we buy online. We've been making our own ramen with toppings and roasted pork belly and it's really fun. We still love to get pho take out on rainy days, but it's nice to be able to make some of those things ourselves. So this spring, I finally went and bought all those Asian ingredients that pretty much go in every recipe: rice vinegar, hoisin, green curry paste, fish sauce, sesame oil, etc. It's crazy how many new things we can make now that we have the staples!

We're also trying to eat a few more meals that are meat-free, so vegetarian fajitas are always a hit. And then we put the toppings on salads throughout the week. I made the smitten kitchen recipe for homemade meatballs and they were incredible! Next time I'll have to half the recipe because we ate meatballs for days and now it's probably going to be another year until I will want them again. We've also been buying Harmon's sourdough artisan bread pretty much every week when we go to the grocery store. I really love bread, but ever since Greg did the paleo diet a few years ago, he's been less into the bread world. But now that we've found a bread that we both really love, it's fun to have more meals surrounding it.