In the winter of 2013 I moved into a two-bedroom apartment with three other girls. You can imagine that under those circumstances, you’d get to know someone pretty well. I shared a room with Natalie, and it didn’t take long for us to get close. We’ve lived together since then until just about a week ago. We’ve grown, and as we’ve grown, life has changed. Natalie met Aaron. Aaron is smart so he proposed. (: They’re getting married this summer and Nat asked me to be a bridesmaid. A bridal shower was in order. Baylee and Kaycee, two other bridesmaids, and myself, with the help of Nat’s future mother-in-law threw her a fun shower, to match her wedding.
It was a hit, so I thought I’d share some of the details on here.
The invitations came from oneswellstudio on Etsy. Y’all, Cara is amazing. She sent the invite proof quickly and even included a little something extra. She was so great to work with, and seriously- how cute are these?!
Once we had the people, we just needed the setting. Natalie’s mother-in-law-to-be generously offered her home, and we gathered decorations. Hobby Lobby was my friend. They had a whole display up with lemonade decor, so I snagged a cute frame, and a bucket for favors. I had pink patterned fans from a party I had thrown previously (also purchased from Hobby Lobby) and I picked up the yellow disk hangers, and the tablecloth from there too.
Baylee made some super cute cupcakes in the shape of umbrellas and Kaycee made pink lemonade that we drank from mason jars with striped paper straws.
Erin, another bridesmaid and a roommate, and Katelyn, the last of the four roommates, helped stuff favor bags with lemon-heads. I stamped the tags (also from HL) with my favorite “thank you” stamp the night before.
We ate, and then Kaycee facilitated a “how well do you know the bride” game, and a newspaper wedding dress game, both of which were so fun. We ate some more, we talked, Nat opened gifts, we visited. We laughed. A lot.
It was a good way to celebrate this exciting time for Natalie (in blue stripes below), and a good reminder of just how sweet life really is.
So excited for you and this big adventure you’re going on. We love you girl!
When you ask Klara what their names are she introduces you to Orange and Black goldfish, her very own first pets! Creative little girl that she is. ;) While we were visiting for Mother’s Day Klara was enthralled with her Nana’s beta fish. So she gave Klara her old fish bowl with orders that when we got home we buy her, her very own fish.
So of course, when Nana makes a request, we all do as we’re told. ;) When we got home we promptly made a trip to Wal-Mart, the only place in our small town that sells fish. The lady there told us gold fish were going to be the easiest and most suited to a fish bowl without temperature regulation, etc. So Klara picked out one with black on it’s back and we got an orange one for it’s friend.
Those 28 cent goldfish and a free fish bowl have provided hours of entertainment for one happy little girl! She checks on her fish and helps feed them every day. So thank you Nana for making Miss Klara’s day, over and over again!
What was your first pet? Or what first pet did you get for your children?
We are currently in the process of purchasing a home for the second time. Granted, we are not professionals in this area, but having gone through the first time and now the second time buying process we feel like we have a good handle on the situation. So here are Capital One’s Tips for First-Time Home buyers along with a little of my personal insight.
1. BEFORE you start looking at houses figure out exactly what you can afford. It is SUCH a downer to find your dream home then figure out that incredible place is incredibly out of your budget. Whether it’s a small cabin or a mansion find out prior whether you can manage the monthly payments before you get your hopes up.
2. Start saving for that down payment NOW. When we started looking for our first and now second homes we put every single extra penny into a savings account starting months before hand so we could build up a decent down payment. Almost all conventional loans require at least 5 percent of the home’s purchase price down. However, the traditional estimate for a down payment is 20 percent of the purchase price of the house, which can lower your monthly payments and avoid mortgage insurance better than a lower down payment.
3. Research closing costs before deciding on your lender. They can be a huge hit to your overall budget and are required up front before you can actually take possession of your new home. You can relax knowing you found the best deal from the best lender. ;)
4. While you’re researching closing costs, research mortgage types. Mortgages come in all shapes and sizes, and which one you choose depends on a lot of variables, including your budget, the amount you can afford to put down, the interest you’ll pay and the term length. All mortgages have pros and cons, but starting with at least a top-line understanding of what’s available is important as you save for this major purchase.
5. Check out Capital One’s Home Loans Online Neighborhood, a free online resource where you can learn all about home buying. There you will find several easy-to-understand articles and helpful videos, as well as information about Capital One’s Home Loans offerings.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Disclaimer: No porcupines were harmed in the making of this blog post. They’re only called porcupine meatballs because they have rice, and when they cook, the rice pops out and makes each one look like it has little porcupine needles. Cute, no?
This recipe is super easy and inexpensive (college students rejoice!).
Porcupine meatballs (we just call them porcupines, because let’s be real, the word “meatballs” is terrible) are super good and come off as fancy without the work.
What you’ll need:
1 lb of hamburger
1/2 cup of long grain white rice (not instant rice)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 package of dry onion-soup mix
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup of water
1 tbsp olive oil (or if you’ve got vegetable oil, that’ll do)
Start by putting the hamburger, half of the package of soup mix (you can do the whole package if you want, it just depends on how much you love that onion flavor), and the half cup of long grain white rice into a bowl. Get your hands in there and mix it up. No spoons. It just ain’t the same.
Heat the oil in a skillet, form the meat and rice mixture into balls, and put them into the skillet, turning them over after a few minutes to brown. Drain the oil.
**Here’s a tip- don’t pour oil down your sink. Our dad knows plumbing. It’s not good for your pipes but I see people do it all of the time. You can save the can from the diced tomatoes and pour it into there instead, OR you can put foil into a bowl, pour the oil into the foil, and after it hardens, ball the foil up and throw it away. No mess.**
In another bowl, mix the can of diced tomatoes, the Worcestershire sauce, and the half cup of water. With the meatballs still in the skillet, pour this new mixture over the top. Turn the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 1 hr. I usually turn the porcupines over after 30 minutes so that the rice on both sides gets cooked in the sauce. Check on the pan occasionally to make sure that it’s not getting too dry and add more water if necessary.
After the hour, the rice in the porcupines should be tender. That’s it!
We ate them with salad and dinner rolls. So good and sooo easy.
Let me know if you try them, and happy cooking!
So if you’ve been hanging around our old blog for any period of time or even here at the new place you might’ve noticed my life has been a little crazy as of late. The one thing I haven’t had to worry about? Replacing razorblades! ShaveMOB is the best, you guys! I was given the opportunity awhile back to test out and review their razors and I can honestly say I am incredibly pleased with them!
I was sent a razor handle, a set of the Perfectionist blades and a set of the Purist blades. Both sets were better than any razor blade I’ve ever tried before. And they last SO much longer. I feel like with other brands I was replacing blades at least once a week where the ShaveMOB blades last at least two-three weeks for a single blade before getting dull!
They have different razors for men and women, three different blades to choose from in each group all at different price points. Oh and did I mention how affordable they are!? I paid about $18 for a box of my old razor blades at least once a month. With ShaveMOB it’s that cost for a SIX MONTH supply of the Purist blades!!! Who doesn’t love savings?! And for a little more savings, use the code INTHEMOB, for $1 off your purchase!
Seriously, if you haven’t tried them you should. I’m off to order another six month supply and not worry about buying razorblades for a long time, cause really what momma has time for another thing to worry about!? ;)
Disclosure: I was offered a set of ShaveMOB razorblades and a razor handle in exchange for my honest opinion. As always though, my opinion is 100% honest and 100% my own!
Sometimes life gets hard.
I’m all about optimism, don’t mistake me, but I’m all about being real too, and that means admitting that some days are just more difficult than others.
I’ve thought about adversity a lot lately. I’ve been struck by how much we all go through, and how no one’s trials are the same, but we all have them. More than that though, I’ve thought a lot about the purpose of trials— not just the what, but the why— and regardless of how hard life gets, I believe that everything we experience is ultimately for our good.
Think of the Gila Valley Temple.
If you’ve been inside, imagine yourself there again. Think about the details you remember. If you haven’t been inside, look at the detail of the outside, look up some pictures of the inside from the open house if you like, and take 30 seconds and just take it all in.
It’s a beautiful building. right?
Where it is now, there used to be a beautiful field, and that field was surely content with how beautiful it was, but Heavenly Father had bigger plans for it.
That ground was beautiful yes, but He wanted it to be sacred, and that transition between beautiful field and holy temple was ugly. The field was torn up, the dirt was turned over, the plants and grass were removed, and left in their wake was broken ground. It was muddy in the rain and dusty the rest of the time. Construction was loud and messy as materials stood in piles.
I’m sure it seemed like it was never going to be a gorgeous building with gorgeous flower beds and trees. It was just a wreck of un-level dirt.
But day by day, things got done. Tasks were accomplished.
The dirt was leveled. Concrete was poured. A wall went up here, and another there. Things were sanded, straightened, hammered down. Angel Moroni found his way to the top of the building. Stained glass windows went in, paint was applied and wallpaper was put up. The font, altars, pews, and records desks were installed. Soft carpet was put in. Chairs were placed in the sealing room, mirrors hung up across from one another. Chandeliers were placed and polished. Flowers were arranged on tables. Things were swept and vacuumed and wiped down. Snapdragons were planted, trees placed in the ground, and suddenly, there it was.
Sometimes we might feel like that field under construction: broken, ripped apart, turned upside down, removed, but the temple was not built in a day.
We have to give Heavenly Father time to work.
We might be confused about why things happen, why life changes. We don’t understand why we would be rearranged when we were beautiful, but like the field,
Heavenly Father does not just need us to be beautiful, He needs us to be sacred.
I hope we’ll all give time a chance to prove that the trials we experience aren’t for nothing.
How do you cope with the changes life throws you?
This little girl.
On days where we don’t go out of the house she has bangs in her eyes (we’re working on growing them out and the barrettes just fall out!), she spends a lot of time in just a pull up because she’s learning to change her own clothes, and I tell her she looks like a little ragamuffin. She doesn’t know what that means but just laughs because momma thinks it’s funny.
She loves her doggies. The doggies tend to run when she comes because she loves them too much sometimes. ;)
If she thinks you’re sad or hurt she runs over to give you hugs and kisses.
Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony have taken over pretty much all of our TV time. Even daddy knows the names of some of the ponies… ;) Rainbow Dash is her favorite right now.
Everything I do she tries to copy… She saw me shaving my legs one day and the next she was “shaving” her legs with her little toothbrush.
She wakes up and asks where daddy is every single morning. Realizing he’s gone to work has become a morning ritual. Weekend mornings when she wakes up and daddy is there are her favorite.
Klara is my most cherished blessing and she made me a mommy.
On that note, here’s to my mommy. I wouldn’t be able to love this little girl like I do if it weren’t for my momma, Klara’s nana, that loves me and Klara just as much or more! We love you mom!!!!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas!
The last few months in the Mortensen household have been in a word, crazy. Long story short we decided to move for the hub’s job to a town a few hours away. We packed up our house, rented it out to some family and moved. After living there for a total of four months the hubs got a promotion back at home so we moved back. Our house was rented for another several months so we had to rent a place in our original town.
We’ve since toyed with the idea of building a new home here, buying another place here, moving back into our old house once the lease there is up… But we have finally decided on a completely different and much more exciting option!
We are going to purchase and renovate the home that my husband grew up in and hope to call that our forever home!!
So there it is in all of it’s pre-renovated glory! This house is a special place for my husband for obvious reasons. He grew up there. His childhood was spent there. But it’s a special place for me too. It’s the first place we lived together after college. We spent a few months living there with his dad before buying the house we own now (and currently have rented out.)
It’s in a small town, just 45 minutes from where we live now. When I told a friend of mine we would be moving there she gaffed at the thought of no Wal-Mart. ;) This town is actually bigger than where I grew up so it’s no big deal for me. Just an adjustment from what we’re used to now. It’s a place we are excited to raise our daughter and a place we are excited to call HOME.
My life for the last few and probably several future months has just about revolved around getting this going. Our plans include renovating the entire inside of the home and the exterior as well! I am really excited to share our home buying and renovation story with you here. Hope you’ll stop by often and follow along with us on the road to our dream home!