Monday, December 27, 2010

After Christmas Detox

Does anyone else feel like they need a week after Christmas to detox all of the food, sweets, and alcohol out of their system from the Christmas holiday? I sure do! I had one of the best Christmas weekends and loved spending time with family and induling in all of the great food and sweets and treats. We brought home so much candy, I think it will last all year. So... now the trick is to get back on track from straying from my diet and exercise for the past 4 days. I plan to drink loads of water this week, workout at least 4-5 times, and load up on fruits and veggies this week. I am making a pack with myself that there will be no alcohol this week until New Year's Eve where I am allowing myself 2 drinks, and I still want to indulge in the leftover sweets this week but I need to be careful. I had originally planned a weigh in day on Wednesday and we will see how I am feeling by then about stepping on the scale. Since I am currently at 171.0, I am shooting for the scale to read an even 170 by December 31st.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vegas Invite!

I just emailed my girlfriends the invite for the Vegas trip from March 24-27th, 2011! I am so excited to celebrate my 25th birthday in Vegas and I hope my closest girlfriends will be able to join me. We are planning on carpooling and driving to Vegas (way cheaper than flying) and then staying 3 nights at a hotel on the strip. I can't wait for some relaxing and fun girl time and we can shop, have a few cocktails, and lounge by the pool! I asked the girls to RSVP by January 10th and then we can start planning our girl's weekend in Vegas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gingerbread House Party Recap

Yesterday afternoon I had a great time with my co-workers decorating adorable gingerbread houses for the holidays. We spent about 2 hours icing our little houses and covering them with all kinds of holiday candy. It was amazing to see how creative we could get and everyone had a blast with the party. This party was a great way to kick off the holiday season and celebrate with my second family, which is my team at work. We spend so much time dealing with stressful issues and it was nice break to get away for the afternoon and relax and enjoy each others company. Decorating these gingerbread houses is definetly not just for kids because we all had a great time!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I have always been someone who sets my goals high and expects myself to reach them all. Well... when real life sets in, I tend to realize that priorities change and goals need to be adjusted. When I started my journey to complete these 25 challenges before my 25th birthday, I think I knew that not all could be achieved. Even with my energy and enthusiasm, every single challenge would not be 100% complete. When looking over my list of challenges to still complete I can already tell which ones I will fall short of completing. One of those challenges is saving $2500 for our Baby Savings Fund. If you would have asked me a year ago, or even 6 months ago what our baby plans were, then I would have said sooner rather than later. Well, after much discussion with my husband, we have decided to wait at least a year before we start trying to have a family. Since we have delayed this life event, I also plan on delaying the savings goal. We will still work on contributing money to our baby savings fund, but in the near future we will be focusing our finances on other priorities we have for our lives. I plan on leaving this challenge on my list, because even if I don't reach it by next March, I know I will hit the savings mark eventually. Life really is all about setting priorities and adjusting when needed... that is how I will look at this one... 'adjusting' instead of 'not completing' the challenge.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One Week Till Gingerbread Party!

Only one week to go until my coworkers and I get together for a gingerbread house decorating party. I just called the bakery today to order the adorable premade mini gingerbread houses for each of the ladies to decorate. We will be having cocktails and appetizers while using our crafting skills and decorating our gingerbread houses with lots of icing and candy! I can't wait to see what our creative minds come up with. I plan on picking up all the fixings for the party next week and before you know it, Wednesday will be here. Stay tuned for all the party details!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amazing Time in Ouray!

My husband and I just returned home from Ouray, where we had an incredible time! This relaxing getaway was just what we needed to unwind and relax and recharge our batteries. Last night we enjoyed window shopping on main street before enjoying an incredibly delicious dinner at a place called Bon Ton. We enjoyed delicious wine, an amazing smoked salmon appetizer and then we shared the scallops fettuccine and the stuffed carbonara tortellini and then finished off the evening with an incredible tiramisu. Then we headed back to our lodge and spent the evening enjoying the relaxing hot springs. This morning we slept in, enjoyed another round of hot springs, and then did some shopping and had lunch in town before coming home. This trip was amazing for us and so relaxing! I feel like we rested up, enjoyed our time together, and were able to appreciate all the blessings of life! If you plan on traveling to Ouray anytime soon, you have to stay at the Box Canyon Lodge and have dinner at Bon Ton. Hope you get a chance to enjoy this amazing getaway!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gingerbread House Party - December 1st

The gingerbread house decorating party has been scheduled for December 1st and I have invited my team of co-workers to get together for a holiday celebration and spend the afternoon decorating adorable gingerbread houses. The adorable invitation is shown below.
I can't wait to organize this party and celebrate the holidays with my team. Now I need to get busy on ordering the premade gingerbread houses from the bakery and start buying all kinds of candy and frosting to us. This party is going to be a blast!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holidays - Right Around the Corner

I can't even believe that the holiday season is right around the corner. I love the holiday season for so many reasons, but mainly the holiday parties and the time spent with family and friends. This holiday season I will be planning a party to decorate gingerbread houses. I enjoy being crafty and what is more perfect that decorating with adorable and colorful candy and icing. I plan on putting this party together sometime in December and I even found the perfect invites to send out. I love using the website and you can see the invite I have chosen here. I can't wait to order these invites and start planning a festive and fun gingerbread house party. Stay tuned for the party planning details!

Monday, November 8, 2010

5 Days till Ouray!

Even though the week just started, I am already counting down till Saturday. On Saturday morning, my husband and I are leaving for a night away in Ouray. Life has been so hectic lately with us both working long hours and I can tell we really need a break. This quick trip away will be just what we need to relax and enjoy sometime together. We hope to get out of town on Saturday morning around 11am and plan to be back on Sunday around 3pm. I can't wait to relax in the hot springs and enjoy the breaktaking beauty of Ouray! Only 5 days to go...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Going to Ouray!

Last night my wonderful husband took me out to dinner and we started talking about taking a night away and going to Ouray. I have been really stressed and overwhelmed at work, and a night away in Ouray sounds perfect. We plan to head out on a Saturday morning, spend the afternoon in Ouray, go out for a nice dinner, and then soak in the hot springs for the rest of the evening. We have decided on the night of Saturday, November 13th for our little escape away from the crazyiness of life! We plan on staying at this quaint little lodge that has private hot springs tubs that are open all night long... I can't wait!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Adorable Invitations

I absolutely adore the website, tinyprints and I just ordered the invititations for my Pink Pajama Party next month. You can see what the invitations look like before personalizing here. These invites are pink and so perfect for this party! I love taking the printed invitation with me when picking out the favors and decorations for a party, that way everything is a perfect match! The invites should be here in a few days and then I can send them out to the girls and start planning the rest of the party!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Made It! $12,500 in Retirement

I made it to my mini-goal of $12,500 saved for retirement by the end of November! As of today, I have $8989.35 saved in my Roth IRA and $3719.90 saved in my 401k for a total of $12,709.25 saved. I am so thrilled to hit this mini-goal on my way to my ultimate goal of $15,000 saved by next March. I still can't believe that I have been able to get such an early start on saving for retirement and I look forward to be able to reach my next goal!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So Close to $12,500

Awhile back I set a mini-goal of $12,500 in retirement by the end of November. As of this morning, I am so close to that goal with a total of $12,374.29 saved between my Roth IRA and 401k. This means, that after my paycheck deduction to my 401k this Friday, I will be at my mini-goal! This just means I am one more step closer to $15,000 saved by next March!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Volleyball Starts Next Week!

I love the fall season for several reasons, but I love it even more because my two volleyball recreational teams start next week. I am playing on both a women's team and a coed team this year. The cost ($34 for each team) was not in the budget, but I still consider the money well spent because it will keep me active and it is an amazing stress relief! I can't wait to get back on the court and use my six feet tall frame to my advantage :)!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Party Planning Time

It has been two weeks since my last party and I am well rested and ready to start planning my next party. I am ready to start researching ideas and ordering supplies for my pink pajama party for my girlfriends. So far my plan is to pick a date for our evening of movies, goodies, and lounging in our pajamas and I need to order some adorable pink invitations. I also want to put together some pink themed goodie bags with things like lotion, nail polish, lip gloss, etc. I plan on serving several different bite size desserts and cocktails for the evening. And of course, we will throw in some delicious popcorn during the movie time. Stay tuned for more details on my next party for the girls!

Turning the Comments Option On!

When I first started writing my blog, I was hesitant to allow others to post comments. But after consideration and encouragement from friends, I have decided to turn the comments option on. So from now on any of you can leave comments, suggestions, or feedback on my journey to 25 and my blog posts along the way. Hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Budget Recap - Wine and Cheese Party

Awhile ago when I was planning my wine and cheese party, I set a budget and I think I did a pretty good job of sticking to it. These were the expenses for the party:

-Custom Invitations from - $30.35
-Set of 12 Plates from Crate and Barrel - $29.03
-4 Bottles of Wine - $61.32
-Cheese Selections, Salami, and Appetizers - $77.47

So for everything, I spent $198.17, which is just under the $200 that I wanted to spend. Although, this party was expensive, it was worth it! Now back to being budget conscious for the rest of the month....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Incredible Party

I don't even have words to describe how amazing the wine and cheese party was last night... it was a blast! We had some of the most amazing wine, cheeses, and appetizers and laughed until we cried and enjoyed an amazing evening with our girlfriends. We enjoyed four different wines paired up with unique cheeses and had a blast talking about the flavors and different tastes and textures. We ended up drinking wine till almost midnight and having a great time sharing stories and laughs. I am so relieved that the party was a huge success and so much fun! I can't wait to do this kind of party again!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Inspiring Discussion

I just got home from book club and the discussion about "The Last Song" was incredibly inspiring. All of the ladies had the opportunity to share their thoughts about the book and how it impacted their thoughts or related to their personal stories. I was amazed how deep our discussion went and how much we were able to discuss about this book. We also had the opportunity to each bring a suggestion for the next book club selection and after much discussion and a vote, we have decided on "Await Your Reply" by Dan Chaon. I don't know much about this book, but it is always exciting to start a new read. And I can't wait for book club again on October 14th. Stay tuned for updates on how the book is going once I start reading!

Friday, September 3, 2010

One Week Till Wine and Cheese Party!

I am so excited that only one more week needs to pass before my wine and cheese tasting party on the 10th. The invites were sent awhile ago and over half of the list has RSVP'd, so we should have about 6-8 of us for the party. The adorable loop plates (from Crate and Barrel) arrived this week and coordinate perfectly with my serving dishes. I plan on decorating the table with all white dishes and clear glasses with a touch of light blue color using cocktail napkins and irredescent pebbles on the table. I will be picking up the wine and cheese next Thursday or Friday (want to make sure it is fresh) and preparing the appetizers next Friday afternoon. I plan on serving bruschetta, artichoke dip, tomoto-mozarella salad, and anything else delicious that I can think of. I can't wait to post the recap of the party next weekend!

Monday, August 23, 2010

7 Months to Go

I am currently 7 months away from my 25th Birthday which means I only have 7 more months to complete my list of challenges. After looking at my list, I would have to say that I am on track or even ahead of the game and I definetly think there is time to finish the challenges by next March. I am looking forward to having the time to work on things like saving for retirement, losing weight, and planning some great parties for my family and friends. I am hoping to complete everything by my birthday and then be able to start a whole new chapter of my life after the big 25!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Successful Craft Swap!

I just got home from my all day scrapbooking retreat and our craft swap was a huge success! I was able to pick-up some great new papers, new calender rub-ons, some mini flower stickers, and a new stamp. I loved being able to share my old supplies with the other ladies and I was able to use some new supplies for free! The all-day scrapbooking retreat was a great way to catch up with the girls and I was able to get so many of my projects complete. I am thrilled that the craft swap was a huge success!

Friday, August 13, 2010

One Week Till Craft Swap!

Next Friday, I will be hosting a craft swap for my scrapbooking group and I can't wait. I have been gathering my old supplies and I have quite a stack of things to pass along to the next lucky crafter. I have over 100 sheets of paper, 5 stamps sets, 3 ink pads, loads of stickers and ribbon, and a set of flocking powder. I am looking forward to seeing what the other ladies bring for the swap and hopefully I will head home from scrapbooking with some new supplies in my stash. I will be sure to post on my lucky craft finds next Friday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Best Night!

We just finished our first book club meeting and it was a huge success! I had six of my closest friends over for wine and snacks and we laid out the plans for our book club. We are planning on meeting the 2nd Thursday night of each month from 7-9pm. We are going to rotate houses each time so that everyone has a chance to host. We also chose our first book club selection which will be "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks. I am excited to read this book and be able to chat and share at our next book club meeting. I am so glad I decided to start this book club, I can already tell we are going to have a fantastic time!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Planning Anniversary Trip

My husband and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary on August 31st, and we are tossing around the idea of going to Ouray, CO for a night. We visited there in 2007 and loved it and we would love to go again. The last time we visited we stayed at the Box Canyon Lodge and enjoyed their private hot springs... the best part of Ouray! I have looked into rates and it is about $150 per night and then we figure it would cost about $100 for gas and food. This potential night away is currently not fitting in the budget this month, so we are trying to get creative on how we can get away for a night and not blow the budget. I am hoping that if we book closer to the date, the lodge will give us a discount on the room. We have also talked about cutting out gifts for each other for our anniversary and instead just counting the night away as a gift to each other. I hope we can make a decision about the trip within the next week or so, so stay tuned...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

No Baby... For Now...

The past few months have been full of lots of baby showers, babysitting, and overall questions about when we are having a baby. For awhile there I was almost ready to start trying to have a baby and now I am in a totally different space. After babysitting for 2 days straight (a couple of weeks ago) and planning 3 baby showers in  the past 6 months, I am quite exhausted by the whole idea of a baby right now. I have also had to realize that I am only 24 years old and have plenty of time to have a baby. I don't want to come across as negative but I am really not interested in having a baby right now. Instead I want to spend time alone with my husband, spend time with my friends, travel, and enjoy this time in my life. I am trying to live in the present instead of 5 years down the road and just enjoy my current life. I know that someday we will make great parents and I have no doubt that the time will come, just not right now. So as far as my challenges, I am currently putting the challenge of "Saving $2500 in Baby Savings Fund" on hold. I want to focus my financial efforts on paying down debt, enjoying life, and saving for retirement. Who knows what the next couple of years may bring us, but for now I am working on living in the present... which currently means I do not have a baby nor am I trying to have one!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ranch Picnic Potato Salad

My husband and I have been invited to our friend's house tomorrow night for a BBQ and we are bringing this delicious potato salad recipe. I put together the recipe tonight, so that it could chill overnight in the fridge. This recipe is easy and delicious (I tasted a bit tonight). 

Here is the recipe:
6 medium potatoes (cooked, peeled, and sliced)
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup of sliced green onions
2 tablespoons of chopped parsely
1 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of black pepper
1 cup of ranch dressing
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
2 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped

Combine the potatoes, celery, green onions, parsely, chopped eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir together dressing and mustard in a small bowl. Pour mixture over potato mixture and toss lightly. Sprinkle with paprika and cover and refrigerate for several hours.

I hope you make this recipe for your next BBQ or potluck and hope you enjoy!

Book Club Email Invites

Today I sent out the email invites for my first book club meeting on August 9th! I have invited nine of my close friends to join me for a fun ladies book club. I am hoping we have a great group of ladies to choose some fantastic books to read and have a great time. Stay tuned for more details about starting my very own book club!

Huge Milestone - $10,000 in Retirement

As of this morning, my retirement accounts have reached my mini goal of a $10,000 balance. I currently have $7,719.52 in my Roth IRA and $2,368.26 in my 401k for a total of $10,087.78 saved. This is a huge milestone for me and I am so blessed to be able to save for retirement at such a young age. Reaching this milestone has motivated me even more to reach the $15,000 mark by next March. In order to reach this goal, I will need to save an average of $625 for the next 8 months. That number does not factor in any market gains, so I may only need to contribute about $500 or so. I am planning on trimming the fat out of my budget and increasing my contributions to my 401k in order to reach this goal!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Budget for Wine and Cheese Party

Since the invitations have been ordered, it is time to start planning and budgeting for my wine and cheese party. I want this to be a nice party for my guests, but I would also like to stay within a reasonable budget. My plan is to buy 5 different types of wine and set them up with different cheese selections as well as a few appetizers. I would also like to put together some wine themed favors for my guests to take home. I am planning on a budget of $125 for the wine, cheese, and the food to make the appetizers and then $75 for the paper products and the favors. I tend to get carried away with my party planning so it will be a challenge to stay on budget!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wine and Cheese Party Invites

I just completed the order from for the invitations for my wine and cheese party in September. You can see a proof of the invites here. I am excited to start planning this relaxing wine and cheese tasting party for my close family and friends. Even though the invites were a bit pricey ($30.35 for 15 custom invites, envelopes, address labels, and shipping), the money is well worth how adorable the invites are and the quality that comes from this website. I will be posting party planning details as the date gets closer!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cheesy Artichoke Cups

This afternoon I hosted a lunch and movie afternoon for some of my girlfriends and I made this delicious appetizer recipe called Cheesy Artichoke Cups, from Pampered Chef's website. This recipe was easy to make, delicious, and the presentation was beautiful! I made a few modifications to the recipe (as I often do), and instead of olives I used sliced green onions. I also added a bit of whipped cream cheese in addition to the mayo to give the recipe some extra creaminess. I hope you make this recipe for your next get together with friends and family and I can assure you that it will be a hit!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Insightful and Intriguing

I just finished the book, "Women, Food, and God" by Geneen Roth and the 2 words that best describe this book are insightful and intriguing. I found this book to be both comforting and also helpful in bringing awareness to food addiction and dieting. I learned a great deal about myself in reading this book and even though I am far from having it all figured out, I do feel closer to being able to listen to what my body needs instead of just doing what my emotions want. I will think about food in new ways and hopefully treat my body the way it deserves and use food as nourishment instead of eating when I am bored, stressed, tired, and so on. I hope to refer back to this book when I need a refresher and a reminder to treat my body with kindness, especially when dealing with food.

Friday, June 18, 2010

7 Hour Long Project

Today, my husband and I decided to tackle the project of organizing our garage and putting up shelving. After 7 hours of long and hard work, the project is done! We found some great shelves at Home Depot for under $200 and then we took everything out of the garage, put up the shelving, and dug right in. We were able to consolidate over 10 boxes of stuff, had a huge pile of trash, and two boxes full of stuff to take to goodwill. The garage has so much more room and we will now be able to actually find the stuff we need and want. I am completely exhausted but it feels very rewarding to have such a huge project done!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Four Cheese Pasta Florentine

Last night, my friend Lisa and I cooked an amazing recipe for girl's night. I found this recipe on one of the blogs I watch, called Growing Up Gardner. This blog always has great ideas and recipes and this one was definitely a huge hit! Who doesn't love lots of pasta, spinach, and four different kinds of cheese. This recipe only took about 30 minutes to put together, so it was easy to make after a long day at work. Hope you try making this recipe for you and your family!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spanish Shrimp and Chorizo with Sweet Pea Couscous

Tonight, I cooked a delicious recipe from Rachael Ray. This recipe was full of flavor and spice and was a very filling meal. If you are looking to cook something new and unusual, this recipe would do the trick. The best part about Rachael Ray recipes are that they are easy to cook and come together in less than an hour. If you would like to try cooking this recipe for your family or friends, you can find the recipe here. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Amazing New Book

Last night I began reading the book, "Women, Food, and God" by Geneen Roth. I read only about 30 pages but I am already hooked! This book is so insightful and empowering! I have always had a difficult relationship with food and can now call myself a food addict. As hard as it is to write those words, I know it is the truth. I have always treated food as a way to comfort and sooth myself instead of using it for its purpose, which is to nourish my body. This book is helping me gain the insight and understanding into why I eat and why I use food for almost every emotion under the sun. I look forward to reading this book over and over again and I will post more updates as I continue reading this amazing book!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The 80/20 Rule

I know many people have heard of the 80/20 Rule when it comes to many things in life, but I am referring to this rule when it comes to dieting. The 80/20 Rule means that if you can follow your diet and exercise 80% of the time, then you can slip up on your diet or not exercise 20% of the time. The theory behind this rule is that you are following your plan 80% of the time, which is far more realistic than 100% of the time. We all know that when we are trying to lose weight, there will be slip-ups, bad days, and stretches of time we find ourselves in a rut. We have to allow ourselves to have the 20% of the time to not be perfect and to make mistakes. Dieting and Exercise are both very challenging for me to stay on track and committed to... so therefore I am focusing more on the 80/20 Rule and following my plan most of the time!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Craft Swap Party

On Saturday, June 5th, I am hosting a craft swap for all of my crafting friends. The idea behind a craft swap is that everyone brings their unwanted craft supplies (paper, embellishments, tools, stamps, ribbon, etc) and then you swap supplies with the other ladies. It gives everyone a chance to get rid of their old or unwanted craft supplies and pick up some new supplies to use when crafting. I am planning on about 5-7 ladies joining us for the party and I plan on serving refreshments and having a great time swapping craft supplies!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Never Feels Like Enough

I have always been a frugal person and a super saver. I was able to save over $15,000 before the age of 22 and purchased our first home at the age of 23.... all things I am proud of! I also started saving for retirement at age 18 and have consistently been contributing to retirement since then. Even though I have over $8,000 saved in retirement, it never feels like enough! I set a very high goal of $15,000 saved in retirement before the age of 25, and I feel like that goal may be out of reach. I plan on continuing my savings plan but I also have a small amount of debt to pay off and an emergency savings fund to fully fund to a year of expenses. Even though I never feel like there will be enough money saved in retirement, I just have to keep trucking away at meeting my savings goals!

Thrill of a Lifetime

Just under 24 hours ago, I jumped out of a plane at about 10,000 feet above the ground... and it was the most amazing and thrilling adventure I have ever been on! It was a beautiful day in Moab and the view was amazing. The plane ride up took about 20 minutes and the scenery was breathtaking. Then they open the door of the plan and all of my nerves shot through the roof and I realized that we were jumping out of this plane in about 10 seconds. The most exciting part of the whole adventure is the first 10-20 seconds that you are leaving the plane and beginning the free-fall to ground. The 30 seconds of free-fall felt like it went by so fast but also lasted forever all at the same time! Then the shoot opened and we experienced about 5-7 minutes of breathtaking beauty as we descended to the ground. Then came the landing, which I not so gracefully landed on my butt, but all in all it was a safe and successful landing. 

What an experience to have! I can't believe I actually went skydiving and the feelings afterward are so empowering and make you feel like you can tackle anything!

Friday, May 14, 2010

So Nervous!

In less than 24 hours, I will be headed to Moab, Utah to experience my very first skydive! I am so nervous I could pee my pants! :) I am hoping for a thrill of a lifetime and of course a safe skydive! Wish me luck and I will be sure to post tomorrow once I get home!

Monday, May 10, 2010

5 Days Till Skydiving!

This Saturday at approximately 9:30am, I will be jumping out of an airplane over the skies of Moab, Utah and I could not be more excited! I will be jumping with my great girlfriend Krista and we are counting down the days till the most exciting and crazy thing we have ever done! Now that the day is booked, my nerves are building and I will be in countdown mode this week. Saturday will be here before I know it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Complete Bliss!

Yesterday, my spa day was complete bliss! My massage was wonderful and my manicure and pedicure turned out great. The day of pampering was just what I needed and I was so relaxed afterwards! I enjoyed my day of bliss and hope to have many more spa days in the future!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Raspberry Fool

Since we were entertaining last night, I also made dessert in addition to a delicious dinner. This recipe is great for anyone that loves raspberries! The only changes I made, were to leave the cookies out and just have the raspberry fool. It was easy to make and beautiful to present in little dishes for our guests. I hope you try making this for your friends and family!

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

Last night I cooked the most amazing dinner and this recipe is to die for! It was much easier to make than expected and our dinner guests loved it! There was even enough for leftovers which will be delicious for lunch today! If you love pasta, you will love this recipe! Hope you try it!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Picked Up My Framed College Diploma

I just picked up my custom framed college diploma and it turned out great! The black and gold frame with the double mats really makes the diploma stand out. I am so excited to hang this beautiful frame in my office and display my accomplishment of a college degree!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I Did It!

This morning I completed a 31.9 mile bike race in just under 2 hours and 45 minutes ride time! I am so excited and yet so exhausted at the same time. The course was great but the weather was cold and windy with a little bit of rain. This road bike race was both my first race and the longest stretch of road that I have rode in a single ride. I am excited that I finished this race under my goal time of 3 hours and I am looking forward to an afternoon of relaxation and resting my legs. For more information about this ride and the charity it supported, please click here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Spinach and Artichokes

Tonight I cooked a delicious pasta recipe from Real Simple magazine. You can find the complete recipe here. The only changes I made to this recipe was I added chicken breast and sliced mushrooms. The extra ingredients really made this dish fantastic! Hope you cook this for your family and enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Great New Blog

I came across a great blog today that will be a great resource for saving money! This blog has great ideas on how to save money at the grocery story and the best way to use coupons. I even posted a button for this blog on my page so that other bloggers can use this site as a resource. I am looking forward to reading through this blog and coming away with some great money saving tips!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Custom Framing

Today I dropped off my diploma to have it custom framed. I picked out a great frame that is black and gold and looks great with my college diploma. Even though this challenge turned out to be a bit expensive ($96.62), I feel the custom framing is worth the money! And that amount is not even close to the thousands of dollars spent on tuition, books, room, and board while going to college. The framing should be done in about 2 weeks and then I can proudly hang my accomplishment on the wall!

Friday, April 16, 2010


I found this great website for free invitations! There are hundreds of different invites for all types of occasions. I found some great invites for book club and wine parties and so much more! I plan on using this website for invites in the future because the designs are adorable and the price is perfect... free!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Can't Wait for My Spa Day!

I am planning on enjoying an afternoon at the spa on May 8th, while I am in Salt Lake visiting for Mother's Day weekend. I have a gift certficate from Christmas that I have yet to use and I am looking forward to having a few spa treatments done and relaxing! The hardest part will be deciding which treatments to splurge on. I am thinking massage, facial, and possibily a pedicure! Oh... that all sounds amazing! I am going to make my appointments this week and then count down the days till spa time!

Great Link

In my research of starting a book club, I found this great link of information about how to start a book club and keep it going. This website offers great tips and tools on starting a book club, setting ground rules, ideas for discussion questions, and general information on book clubs. I plan on using this information to start my book club this summer. I am hoping to set the first book club date in late May or early June. Stay tuned for details in the coming months! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Think I Need a Day Off

I think I need to take a day off from work and focus on completing some of my challenges. I always have the best intentions about working on challenges over the weekends, but usually life gets in the way! The weekends seem to be full of sleeping in, laundry, dishes, cleaning house, and spending time with family. I would love to take a Monday off and bake bread, read my current book, start planning one of my parties, and ride my road bike. I am going to look at my calendar and schedule myself a day to just focus on doing the things I love to do!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One Year to Go!

Today is my 24th Birthday! So, one year from today, my challenge will be complete! I hope to be able to finish all 25 challenges before my 25th birthday on March 23, 2011! The time will go by fast so I better get busy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Great Budgeting Website:

I have been using this great budgeting and money management website for about 3 months and I definitely recommend it! You can add all of your accounts into one place to have easy access to viewing your account balances, loan balances, and spending patterns. My favorite feature is the Net Worth calculator that takes all of your accounts, assets, and debts and calculates your net worth. I am pleased to report that we currently have a net worth of just over $22,000. For me being 23 and my husband being 27, I would say we are off to a good start financially and I hope we can only go up from here. Be sure to check out!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Skydiving Trip: May 1st

So... I have tentatively scheduled my skydiving trip for Saturday, May 1st! I am so freaking excited! I called the skydiving company today and they said it would be no problem scheduling a Saturday dive and that I only need to call about a week ahead of time to make the final reservation. I have also priced out this challenge: the jump will be $225, the fuel surcharge is $10, and the videotaping is $85... total price of skydiving jump: $320! Gulp! That seems like a lot of money but I have wanted to do this for at least 3 years and I am going to finally do it! I guess I could leave the videotaping out and save some money but I would really like to have a keepsake of this exciting day and event! I also want to see myself on film freaking out as I jump out of a plane! So the countdown has begun, I have a little over 2 months till jump day! I can't wait!

Pomegranate Wine

Tonight I had the pleasure of drinking a bottle of Pomegranate Wine by Colorado Cellars with my friend Krista. We enjoyed watching the movie "Marley and Me" while enjoying a few glasses of this fruity and delicious wine. This was the first Pomegranate Wine I have tasted and it was great! I love enjoying local Colorado wines and this one is a definite repeat!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Salmon With Lemon-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Tonight I cooked Recipe #3 in my challenge and it was amazing! So easy and really healthy! Salmon is one of my favorites and I love finding new ways to prepare it. The recipe only took about 20 minutes total to cook and the clean-up was easy as well. You can find the recipe here. Hope you try it and enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Corn & Shrimp Chowder with Bacon

Tonight I tried Recipe #2 in my cooking new recipes part of the challenge. This recipe came out of the Everyday Food Magazine from Martha Stewart and it was so delicious! We made a double batch so I have plenty of leftovers for my lunches next week, which should save me some money, something I always like! Here is the recipe if you would like to try this out! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Planning my SkyDiving Adventure

I have wanted to go skydiving for years and I am finally going to do it! There is a company about an hour and half from where I live that offers tandem skydiving for an affordable price. They also have an option where you can have your experience videotaped. Once Spring arrives and the weather is warmer, I will be headed to Moab to jump out of a plane. To check out the skydiving website, click here. I can't wait to go on this crazy adventure and experience!

Renaissance of Tuna Casserole

Part of my challenge is to cook 10 new recipes and last night was Recipe #1. I tried a great new recipe with my best friend Lisa. It was an easy and delicious recipe by Rachael Ray and I would recommend it for anyone that enjoys pasta and tuna casserole. You can find the recipe here! Enjoy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Using Restriant While Shopping

During my shopping trip yesterday, I spent about an hour in Target. I had about $40 to use up on a gift card so I was trying to get as close to that amount as possible. While browsing through the clothing department, I found so many things I wanted! I was so close to putting about $50-100 worth of clothes in my shopping cart, but then I thought about my other goals of saving money. I thought about how many clothes I have at home and that I really did not need anymore. So, I passed on the clothes and instead bought the things on my list that were needs for the house and for a birthday gift. I ended up only spending $7.36 from my own money, so all in all, it was a very successful trip and I am proud of myself for not buying the clothes. I should learn to practice this restraint more often!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Planning a Wine and Cheese Party

I have been wanting to throw a wine and cheese party for my girlfriends for years and this year I am finally going to do it! I found this great website that features a whole selection of wine and cheese party invites. The hardest decision will be choosing an invite from the amazing selection this website has. I am pretty sure I have decided to theme the party with local wines. I live in Colorado, where we have lots of great wineries, and finding local and affordable wines should be no problem! I think 4-5 different wines should be enough and then I plan on serving cheese, fruit, and some specialty breads! I am looking forward to picking out invites and getting started on the planning for this fabulous party to be!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Budgeting for These Challenges

So I have been thinking a lot tonight about how I can complete all of my challenges and still be reasonable as far as costs go. Some of the things I have listed, such as the trip to New York City, professional pictures, skydiving, and the savings goals will all require money and proper budgeting. I am preparing myself for splurging on some things while saving money on other things. I have been cutting back my discretionary spending by almost half and that extra money will be going towards either savings or paying for my challenges and goals throughout the next 13 months. I plan on being smart with money and spending, so that I can fully enjoy the challenges I am about to embark upon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Planning a Weekend Getaway

I spent some time tonight researching a weekend trip to either Glenwood Springs or Ouray and I am trying to decide when the best time of year is to go. I would love to get away for a weekend soon, but my schedule is going to be crazy until at least June. I was also thinking it would be a nice getaway for my husband and I to celebrate our anniversary at the end of August. I am going to research some options and prices and hopefully have a date nailed down by the end of March.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Beginning of a Challenge

I will be turning 25 years old in approximately 13 months. I wanted to start a challenge for myself of several things I would like to accomplish before this milestone. My list of challenges and things to do will appear on the right, and I will update this blog throughout the coming months on my progress through these challenges. I am looking forward to a full year of new things to try and accomplish!