Update on the Budget pt. 2

Although we started back in October, one of our New Years Resolutions was to work on our budget.  I'm proud to announce that with the changes we've made so far by reducing our fixed monthly expenses, Doug and I will be saving $4000 this year! 
**Shout out to Doug's employer for paying for his MBA so that he could perform that complex calculation for me.

Next, we've decided to tackle another area of our personal finances.  Shopping.  I have always loved fashion, clothing, and personal style.  While my shopping (or Doug's for that matter, haha, my little fashionisto husband) has never been a huge drain on our budget, it's an area of my life where I always find myself "wanting more."   I often feel like I'm not quite fashionable enough, not accessorized quite right, or missing some mysterious key wardrobe component.  I have a closet (and let's face it, half of Doug's closet) bursting with clothes, and I fairly regularly throw myself on the floor and sigh dramatically until I get Doug's attention.  "What's wrong lady?" he asks me.  "I. have. nothing. to. wear." I croak out as if this could be the end.

And so, I've decided to participate in a little challenge developed by Kendi that is known as the 30 for 30

The Rules:

1. Pick 30 items or less from your closet. Shoes are included, but accessories and jewelry are not.
2. Remix the 30 items into 30 different outfits.
3. Don't shop for 30 days.

I am excited about being forced to be creative with the 30 items and finding new ways to wear my favorite pieces.  I am hoping that this challenge will help train me to go shopping in my closet before I rush off to the mall.

Most days at work, you will find me in this, so I my outfits will mostly be after work and weekend ensembles.

Wish me luck!

Be Mine

I've been feeling very Valentines Day-y lately.  Big news: Doug and I have decided to actually celebrate Valentines Day this year (something that we haven't done since the first year that we were dating).  I've never been a big fan of Valentines Day.  Maybe it's a result of all the years I spent experiencing it as "Singles Awareness Day."  Maybe it's because Valentines Day candy sucks.  Conversation Hearts?  Really?  But why not spend an evening celebrating our marriage?  God has blessed me with a man that I love and admire.  Often times, we take our awesome marriage for granted, and don't take the time to recognize and rejoice in the gift that we have.

Also, I am really into pink and red as a color combination right now.  It's just amazing.  And hearts!  Aren't they just the cutest shape ever?  So here I sit, in front of my computer, wearing my new red pajama pants with hearts on them with a pink tank top, wishing that Doug would come home so that we could pick a restaurant for our first married Valentines Day (or 4th, depending on how you look at it.)

My lover is mine, and I am his.
Song of Solomon 2:16

A new toy and some other new-s.

Well, hello there.

Check out the new piece of hardware that I'm holding.  You see, my mother got a new camera for Christmas, so I am having lots of fun playing with her old one...and hoping that she will never ask for it back.  So far, I have to say, the pictures look worse than they do with my trusty old point and shoot.  I think that I might need to take a class.

In other news or "new-s" as I like to call it, I had to find a way to tie the two topics of my post together.  Wasn't I clever?  Ahem... in other news:

Two of our best friends are getting married this year!

Brent and Jamie got engaged over New Years weekend!

And Mallory and Josh got engaged this weekend!

Doug and I are so thrilled for both of them and are hoping that they will follow a little verse found in Genesis (1:22, to be exact) as soon as possible.

15 Minutes in Heaven

I came up with a new game this morning when I was in the shower.  It's called 15 Minutes in Heaven.  Here's how you play:
  • Gather up all of your cleaning supplies.
  • Make an action plan with your husband that details what needs to be cleaned.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  • Vigorously clean without stopping for 15 minutes straight.
You will be surprised by how much you can clean with 15 minutes of non-stop action.  Spotlessly clean house?  Heaven. And why did I decide to create this game, you ask?  So that I can debut our lovely new apartment on the internet! 

As I mentioned before, we moved next door to Rachel.  I've been trying to convince her that we need to come up with a secret flashlight sign language or at least some tin can telephones, but Rachel, always the practical one, reminded me that we have cell phones and no curfew.

We are also 4 blocks away from the beach now, so it's not quite as easy for Doug to go outside and check the surf, but we are loving our new nest anyway.  The rent $300 cheaper per month, AND we received 1 month FREE for signing a year lease!

So without further delay, our new pad:

 And what is that messy room with the surfboards and musical instruments in it?  That, my friends, is our SPARE BEDROOM.  That's right.  For $300 less a month, we gained an extra room.  Doug calls it "The Board Room," because it is home to his surfboard collection.  Get it?  Boards?  Haha, I think he's funny.

 And last but not least, what really sold us on this place was the huge, enclosed, and totally awesome patio.  At this very moment, Doug is cleaning up out there so that we can see about getting some patio furniture. 

We asked and God answered.  This place is cheaper and nicer than we were even hoping for.

This just in:
         Apparently, the name of my new game is very similar to another game, popular among junior highers, so I've decided to change the name to "Fif-Cleen Minutes in Heaven".  Has a nice ring to it, huh?

Cinnamon Rolls: an easy peasy recipe

Step 1: Move next door to this Little Lady:

Step 2: Stop by her house after work. Flip admiringly through the new cookbook that she bought at Costco.  Exclaim how delicious the cinnamon rolls look.

Step 3: Encourage her to bake said cinnamon rolls.

Step 4: Leave her house.  On the way out, break the oven.

Step 5: Go home.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step 6: Graciously allow her to use your oven when she calls and tells you that hers is broken.

 Step 7: Have 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 cup of milk on hand for glaze.

Step 8: Enjoy your delicious treat.  You earned it.

Too cool

I was really excited to see little Addy when we went up to Santa Cruz for New Yers, but she's going through  "too cool for grownups" stage.  All she wants to do is go on Facebook and talk to her friends on the phone.

Addy and Jess with their "grown up" cousins.

Making us look good

Don't you just love our new header and Christmas card photo?  They were taken by South Bay wedding photographer Casey Figlewicz at Figlewicz Photography. I absolutely love his style and the vivid colors in his photographs.  The Figlewicz family are friends from church and Casey is one of Doug's surf buddies. Check out the Figlewicz Photography blog.

Who am I?

Check out my sweet tights. Yep.  They are green.  My beauutiful mother bought them for me for my birthday after I told her that I would like some colorful tights to add spunk to my mostly neutral winter attire.  These babies took their first spin on my legs while we were up in Oregon.  When I put them on in the morning, I looked down on my legs and thought, "These really remind me of something."

Throughout the day, whenever I looked down, I could not shake a feeling that these tights represented something that I could not put my finger on.  Suddenly that evening, it came to me.  I stood up and asked, "Doug, who am I?" He just looked confused.  I guess I didn't really give him much guidance as to what kind of answer I was looking for.  He could have said, "Lizzie", "my wife", "a princess", "the most amazing woman in the world."  All would have been true.

Then I said, "I'll never grow up, not me!"  Silly Lizzie, you are Peter. (Said in my best British accent so that it sounds like "Pea-tah."

Christmas in Oregon

On December 23rd, we flew up to Boise, Idaho to spend our Christmas in Oregon.  At the airport, Doug and I experienced our first "flash mob" dance at the Boise Airport to the tune of DJ's Got Us Falling in Love Again.  And yes, they are country dancing to Usher.

Doug's brothers rented a car and drove up from New Mexico.  Check out their sweet licence plate:

  We got to spend time with cousins that we don't get to see very often (I met some of them for the first time!)

We hiked up to the tops of hills on the family property so that we could sled and snowboard down:

 The boys shot their guns.

Doug and I wandered and explored all over the property .  Well, not ALL OVER.  The farm is around 1,000 acres.
 It was the first Christmas in seven years that all six of the Hulse brothers have been together!

I'm back!

Did you miss me? 

Our move has been totally crazy.  When I was in college, I moved into a new apartment every year, no.big.deal.  Man, oh man, it sure is different when you have an entire house full of treasures.  I am not a pack rat.  At all.  In fact, I would call myself the opposite.  I tend to throw things away and then wish I had them.  Doug's favorite story about this is when we were on vacation last October in Europe.  I brought a purple sweater dress with me that was starting to get "bally."  That's what I call it anyway.  Most people would call it "pilled," but what?  Ball-y.  Those little bumps on the sweater?  Balls.

So, the first time on the trip that I wore the sweater, I could not get over the beginnings of those little balls.  By the time we went back to our hotel to get ready for dinner, I just couldn't take it anymore. I ripped off my sweater dress and threw it in the garbage can.  "Away with you!" I yelled.  Doug looked at my like I was crazy and asked if I was SURE that I wanted to throw my dress away.  "Positive!" I answered.

A few days passed and I was trying to figure out what to wear with the limited wardrobe that I had packed.  I rifled through my bag, looked up at Doug, and said, "I wish I wouldn't have thrown away my sweater dress."  Boo.  He wins that round.

Point of this story: We're almost done moving, but I don't say we're done until we're done.  My arms are ridiculously sore from scrubbing everything from floor to ceiling at our old place, but we are finished over there and should be getting our full deposit back.  We need to hang a few pictures, find homes for the last few things in the guest room, and then, all will be peaceful.
RIP Purple Princess Dress.  We had some good times together.