Tuesday, March 31, 2015

summer on my mind

Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, lovetaza, I found this super cute suit for only $13! Thank you, Old Navy! It was originally $20 for the suit but there was a deal going where the suit came down to $13 then $20 EVEN all together with shipping! I got it in the mail today (isn't it just the best getting something in the mail?!) and was so excited to try it on. My verdict: super cheap, way cute AND actually flattering! I love love love when a suit is flattering as well as being cute! SCORE.

I'm super excited to wear my suite as much as possible this summer! After this winter semester ends (TWO WEEKS!), I have a little over of a month before summer terms starts. That time will be filled with: a road trip to 1. California for my cousins wedding + our ONE YEAR wedding anniversary 2. Seattle to visit Zach's sister and her family for a fun little vacation, Zach starts his much anticipated internship with Zion's bank in SLC, I get to take another vacation to stay with Z + I's sis-in-law in Southern California for a week to play and hang out with the coolest nephews, Netflix, training for my 2nd half-marathon and much, much more. I am so excited for this long-awaited break then to be back at it for Summer term, Fall semester then my student teaching next Winter semester. I can't believe this is all in my near future, it seems like I've been waiting forever! All I have to say to life is... Bring it!

Friday, March 27, 2015

11 months

Yesterday was Zach + my 11 months of being married! WHAAAAT. Crazy, I know. Sometimes I'm sitting in our little place looking around at what we've built in our short almost-a-year of marriage and I get all these butterflies! Those same butterflies I did when I met + started dating, those same butterflies I get every time I think of or see or kiss my Zachary. It's quite a wonderful feeling.

Last night for our usual Thursday date night, we went to one of the yummiest places thus making it one of our favorites: Art City Trolley. YUM YUM YUM! It's this little restaurant on Main street in Springville, Utah. It's got this cool, old trolley car attached to it and it has the best steak+gorgonzola quesadilla you will ever have in your life! That's what Z has gotten every time (without fail, I might add. He doesn't even consider anything else!) we have eaten there.

On behalf of 11 months of marriage to my best friend, here are 11 reasons why Zach is the greatest man I have ever known:

  1. He is hilarious. He's always making me laugh, especially when I'm least likely to do it. It amazes me that he has that ability because I'd like to think I can stay grumpy as long as I'd like but... Not with Zach around.
  2. Homeboy can eat! With his thin frame you would never guess that Zach actually has a rather large (ginormous) appetite and can put it away like nobody's business. It's rather impressive to me that he can do it!
  3. He is patient. He is always willing to wait for me, to hear me out and to work with me. I cannot express how grateful I am for that.
  4. He listens. You know when you have good intentions but things go wrong or don't happen the way you would like? Well for me when that happens, I just want to talk about it/cry about it. Zach always listens. Whether or not we agree, he lets me know my voice is heard.
  5. He works hard. Zach is an incredibly hard worker; he is a student also working on research and has a job. He works hard for our family and his work ethic is sexy!
  6. He's so smart! Zach works hard in school which is incredibly important but it's not just that. Zach is the smartest person I know. He can help me with any of my homework needs (of course Stats is his specialty) and so much more. 
  7. He shares many of the same loves/interests I do. The Big Al from Swig, Netflix, homemade popcorn, Chicken Tikka Masala, reading, Eggs Benedict, sports, snuggling, the Ingrid Michaelson Pandora station, road trips and so much more. It's fun being together when you love who you're with and what you're doing!
  8. He can be serious but he can also be really silly! Zach balances seriousness and silliness extremely well. We have so much fun when we're silly. I especially love when we get on those silly-highs and can't stop laughing! 
  9. He is a dedicated servant of The Lord. Zach served a 2 year mission to Paraguay before we met and continues to serve The Lord every day. I am grateful for a husband who inspires me to be a better person and who dedicates his life to serving The Lord, me + his family and others. 
  10. He's athletic! Zach played all kinds of sports growing up and has stuck with running. It's great because I love to play all sports + so does he! We can play sports together and have the best time.
  11. He is my safe place. Zach is my best friend, my sweetheart, my everything. With him, I can fully be myself. He loves me and I know he would do anything for me, as I would him.

Monday, March 23, 2015

have courage + be kind

This past weekend Zach and I drove down to Vegas to meet up with my parents, younger brother Mason and (surprise!) my grandparents! It was so great to get to spend time with some of my most favorite people that I often miss having so close to me. Although my first trip to Vegas taught me that the parts that we visited + stayed were pretty icky, I also was able to be with family and learn a valuable lesson. 
My family are huge movie-goers and Zach + I are always more than happy to go out to the theatre with them because we almost never do. We are RedBox people, but we do love going to the actual movie theatre. Over the weekend we saw Cinderella! I wasn't expecting much going in but loved it! One thing I especially loved was that even though it was a remake of a great film, there were no curve balls or unexpected turns. When remaking a classic movie such as Cinderella, I think it is smart to stick to the story line which is exactly what happened. The famous quote that Cinderella's mother tells her is that she should always "have courage and be kind". What wonderful advice, don't you think? I try to be as kind as I can and always look for the good in people. Sometimes it can be pretty dang hard but it is always possible. Obviously, Cinderella had some rough times put upon her by some pretty nasty people (women, ha go figure amirite?) yet she remained positive and kind. It gives me some perspective about life and how it will never go perfectly but we can always find the strength to "have courage and be kind". So, I invite all who read this to try to be a little kinder and have a little more courage because wonderful things will happen. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

chicken tikka masala

Before I met Zach, I had never tried Indian food. How dull my life was before him, for more reasons than one. But, MAN, Indian food is some of the most flavorful, vibrant food I have ever had! The first time I tried Indian food was at the local hot spot Bombay House (which is a favorite of ours) and it was on the night Zachary and I got engaged, over a year ago now. You can read more about that spectacular night here!

Basically, Z + I are major lovers of Indian cuisine and enjoy the chance to go out + eat when we get the chance. Zach has been wanting to make some of our own Chicken Tikka Masala for quite some time now and tonight we found time to do it! It was such a fun date night cooking and enjoying this meal together! If you are looking for a pretty easy, SUPER yummy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe... This one is for you! We referred to one of our favorite cookbooks, Favorite Family Recipes, that Zach's mom uses often and we have come to love. Here is their website and the recipe! We looooved it!

Not that Zach is hard to please with food but he really, really loved this stuff. He had two helpings and then ate some straight out of the tupperware before it made it into the fridge. Ha! I also really enjoyed this stuff and it made it all the more delicious knowing that WE made it! It was fun cooking together and then chatting over our accomplishment. Date night at home success!

Monday, March 9, 2015

cheesecake factory date

Aren't wedding gift cards just the best? Thanks to my Morris family down in Houston, TX we were given a gift card to one of my faaaaavorite restaurants: The Cheesecake Factory! Yuuuum, I just love it there. Good food, amazing dessert, but unfortunately some pretty pricey prices. Luckily on top of the gift card from the Morris', my sweet parents sent us a little care package/card in the mail a few weeks back that happened to include some awesome gift cards one of which was the cheesecake factory! Yes! So obviously, this was a sign for us to go take a little trip to the nearest Cheesecake factory.
Look how happy with his first piece of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake! ^^

Since Zach had never been (I KNOW, RIGHT? Poor guy), we decided that we wanted to go soon but had no deadline or specific date in mind. Today we got home from school and Zach paused before getting out of the car, looked at me and said, "Let's go to the Cheesecake factory for dinner." We then debated as to wether we wanted to go today or another day. Ultimately, we ended up playing that game where Zach holds a finger up behind his back and I choose either 0 or 1 to decide wether we should stay or go. Well, we won the game and within minutes were off!

The closest C.F. restaurant is in Murray which is a nice 40-45 minute drive away but it seemed like a short drive with my best friend. We talked and whistled songs with each other which caused the time to just fly by. We got there and for a Monday it was pretty busy! We waited for about 15 minutes and were seated. Our appetizer? Fried Macaroni and Cheese. What. Yes, you read that right. Here is the picture from their website (all pictures of the food are form the Cheesecake Factory website):
HEAVENLY. They were sooo yummy and that creamy marinara sauce could not have been creamier or yummier. For my meal, I got their Chicken and Biscuits meal which was chicken and their homemade secret recipe for dang good biscuits with gravy, mashed potatoes and veggies. What the delicious?! MAN! It was aaaamazing and I was very happy with my decision. I even got to bring a lot of it home! That's the best. 
Chicken and Biscuits ^^

Zachary ordered the Chicken Madiera which is basically chicken with mozzarella cheese melted on top and mushrooms with mashed potatoes and asparagus. His was really yummy too, but I mean what isn't yummy at that place?? He loved his meal and almost ate all of it but decided he really wanted to save a little for later. Smart man. 
Chicken Madeira ^^

We were really really reeeeaaaally happy! The service was awesome and the food was incredible. Of course, for dessert we took some cheesecake to-go. I chose Snicker's Bar Chunks and Zach chose Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Galore. Oh my yum. We were so full that we walked around the mall a bit, admiring the lego sculptures which were pretty amazing. They were all of historical sites in America and Zach loved walking around and studying them. Once we got home, we enjoyed our Cheesecake. I normally am NOT a fan of Mondays but date night + my main man + delicious food + cheesecake = a pretty dang good Monday.