Alaska On My Mind

July 29, 2009 at 7:07 PM (Food, Nature, Travel, Wedding)

I’m sorry to disappoint you Ray Charles, but Alaska is on my mind.

Do you ever have cravings? For the beach, for sand between your toes, for sunsets, for sunrises, for art, for travel, for food?  I had been told that after our wedding I would experience a sense of sadness or loss, if you will.  I’m happy to report that is definitely not the case.  However, today I have been having some serious “cravings” for Alaska–the drop dead gorgeous scenery, the fresh air, the wonderful people, the unusual lifestyles, the salmon, the halibut, the great outdoors, the wildlife, the rainforests, the glaciers.  I want it so bad that I can taste it.  I look forward to our next visit even though I have no idea when we will go back.

– Stephanie

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Cutting Corners

July 29, 2009 at 12:34 PM (Pets, Saving Money, Simplifying Life)

Today’s post on I Will Teach You To Be Rich got me thinking about things that Ben and I don’t splurge on (and do splurge on).

Things we REFUSE to splurge on:

  • Toilet paper — If you come to our house, I’ll go ahead and warn you, we buy the cheap 1-ply toilet paper.
  • Cable TV — We have lived without cable for over a year now.  Do we miss it?  Yes, sometimes.  Do we miss paying the bill?  Heck no!
  • Utilities — Our house is a decent size and is over 20 years old (i.e., probably not the most energy efficient).  Our electricity and/or gas bill can easily be $300 if we aren’t strict about the thermostat.  Our house is cooler in the winter and hotter in the summer than we prefer, but it really isn’t that bad.

Things we DO splurge on:

  • Pet food and vet care —  We know we can buy cheaper dog food and probably even find a cheaper vet, but we haven’t and probably won’t.  We do use coupons though. 🙂
  • CFL light bulbs — We could easily buy cheaper light bulbs, but the cheap ones are worse for the environment and would end up costing us more in the long run.
  • Car maintenance — Ben and I are both fans of having our cars serviced at dealerships.  Some may criticize this belief, but it’s one that we stand by for multiple reasons.  We also purchase the best tires for our cars that we can afford.
  • Groceries — We don’t splurge a lot in this area but we do try to purchase healthier foods when possible (e.g., produce, organic) rather than buying the 99 cent boxes of macaroni and cheese that is ten times cheaper.

Of course these are just a few examples.  What do you refuse to splurge on and what things are important to you no matter the cost?

– Stephanie

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Custom Photo Canvas

July 28, 2009 at 6:20 PM (Wedding)

For our wedding gifts, my co-workers all pitched in together and gave us money towards a custom photo canvas. Ben and I decided which photo to use and also decided that we wanted the lyrics of our first dance song (“So Amazing” by Luther Vandross) to be part of the canvas.

We spent the past few weeks working with Stephanie Morris at GeeZees Custom Canvas. The entire process was handled via email. Stephanie was incredibly easy to work with and very attentive. We are thrilled with the results. Check out the photos below!

– Stephanie

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Random Happenings

July 28, 2009 at 5:00 PM (Career, Family, Food, Friends, Humor, Travel)

Life has been anything but boring lately. We have had a lot of stuff going on in almost every area of our life.

Work and school-wise, things have been very hectic. Ben and I have both been very busy at work. I have also been working on my dissertation when possible although it feels like I’m crawling. I am making progress though so that is what counts.

House-wise we are proud of the number of “responsible home owner” activities that we have accomplished lately. We have had a termite treatment, insect treatment, and we had our roof and gutters cleaned. We hope to get our duct work cleaned in the near future as well.

I went to NC this weekend for our friend Heather’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. I am a bridesmaid along with Donna and Blair so we coordinated everything. It was an awesome weekend. It was great seeing my mom and my friends. A few select photos are below. Her wedding is in 2 weeks so Ben and I will be headed back to NC soon. We can’t wait!

What is happening in your world? Keep us posted!

– Stephanie

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Weekend Happenings

July 12, 2009 at 8:22 PM (Career, Friends, Gaming, Wedding)

This weekend was unique in the sense that I only left the house once. Most of my time was spent reading about statistics and analyzing dissertation data. Ben went to Jen and Jesse’s last night for a night of gaming while I cranked away. Admittedly, it was nice being home all weekend with a clear goal in mind. When I wasn’t working on my dissertation, I knocked out a couple of little projects like ordering a couple of poster-sized wedding prints and a little bit of housework. How was your weekend?

– Stephanie

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