Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let's Save Money!

Do you get the Sunday Paper?
yes



Do you use coupons?
yes



Do you like to SAVE MONEY??
Yes






Now…if you answered YES to all of the above (like me)….did you know you could save even more money by purchasing MULTIPLE Sunday papers???
YES!!!





Well you can.
Ask your local paper if you can receive more papers and possibly get a discount.



Nik and I are signed up to get FIVE
(yes, 5 from the same company)
Newspapers EVERY Sunday!




It is like Christmas morning every Sunday Morning.
We look outside our front door and see 5 red plastic baggies
with Newspapers in them.


Inside those Newspapers are COUPONS!
Oh….what happiness!!





See….
Before November I had NO idea you could order multiple papers to get multiple coupons for the same product.
I had NO IDEA! You know what that means…MULTIPLE opportunities to save on one item and stock up. Can you say AWESOME?!
I can!





So…
Now when there is a good deal on something that I have a coupon for…
I can now get 5 of that item and start storing more in my Food Storage!





Let me tell you a story:


Nik and I got married in the summer and after a few months of grocery bills…we realized that other than Rent Payments, those receipts for groceries were our biggest monthly expense.

One of two things needed to happen:
1) Starve
or
B) Save Money





We decided that starving wouldn’t be the best of ideas…so we went and bought a 3-ring zipper binder, baseball card pages, and dividers.
We then subscribed to the newspaper and started getting one Sunday paper each week.
That was great and we saved $13 (out of $127) on our first majorly-focused trip to the grocery store.
We were excited!
$13 is like a movie and popcorn
or
half-a-shirt!
(lol)





This went on for a few months and we would save a few bucks here and there…then in November came the BEST Relief Society Activity EVERRRRR
How to Clip Coupons and Budget!
I was SOOO excited to go there and learn how to save us some money!





WHO wants to spend all their money on food??
I’d rather spend money on 
home d├ęcor
or
clothing
or
shoes
or
movies
or
go on a FANCY DATE with Nikolas!
Food??
All you do is buy food, eat it, and buy some more.
DUMB but important, I guess.





Becky, the Coupon Genius in my ward that taught the class, gave us some great tips and to go check out our local newspaper’s Savvy Shopper, Amy. I went home that night and looked her up online. It showed Amy having a seminar at the hotel right next to our apartment that upcoming Tuesday.
I was STOKED!
I signed up and that night the two of us went to learn how to save money!!!






The Savvy Shopper, Amy, was GREAT!
She was funny and kept the class alive.
Everyone in the class was so shocked by her money-saving stories and techniques.
With our eyes wide open and jaws dropped to the floor in disbelief/excitement we all scribbled down notes and vowed to never pay full price for an item again!
Going to that class allowed us to get a discount when we order up to 5 Sunday papers.
We pay $18.75 each month to get 20-25 newspapers
(depending on the number of Sundays in the month).
It is AWESOME!






So…we have had many great weeks with our grocery bills.
I get excited for Wednesdays when the new grocery ads come in the mail
and
Sundays when the retail stores and coupons come in the paper.





This is how my week goes –
Sunday: new coupons come to my doorstep for me to clip and organize in my binder.
Wednesday: new grocery ads come in the mail for me to browse and circle with a permanent marker what deals are good for us to buy.
Saturday: I make my shopping list of what he need for meals the next week and what we can stock up and put away in our Food Storage.
Nik and I then go shopping
(it’s always great as a team that way we don’t over spend or get something we don’t need or so we don’t overlook a great un-advertised deal)
and we try to get the most we can with our $25 Grocery Budget.
It has been a ton of fun…especially because we make such a great team!





Now, the best week we have had so far was this last Saturday.
Let me lay out my savings and maybe you will join me in the
Coupon Clipping Fun.





Toiletries (we bought Shampoo, Conditioner, Toilet Paper, and Hairspray):

Pre-savings Total: $43.76

Spent: $27.52

Saved: $17.08

Percent Saved: 39%

# Items Purchased: 20





Groceries (Too many to list…oh and some name brand stuff for FREE):

Pre-savings Total: $99.65

Spent: $34.59

Saved: $68.22

Percent Saved: 68%

# Items Purchased: 52

*Now,
we DID go over our budget for the week
but the prices were
too good
to not get the items at that time.
ESPECIALLY since they were name brand…
and cheaper than the Store brand.




Let me lay out some of the best deals from that day.

 Honey Bunches of Oats (Family Size).
Originally $4.50
Purchased for $1.18
(We got 12 boxes. Heck yes! Some for Food Storage and some for every day use.)

Bumblebee Tuna Cans.
Originally $0.69
Purchased for $0.33
(We got a few stacks of those. Tuna is a cheap staple food for us right now.)

Pasta
(Don’t remember the name but it WAS name brand and not generic. BONUS!)
Originally $0.99
Purchased for $0.50
(Another easy and cheap staple we both love!)
(THE BEST DEAL!)...
Bumblebee Single Serve Tuna Pouch
FREE!!!







I was/still am SOO HAPPY with our shopping trip!
We saved sooo much money and stocked up our pantries really well.
All that money we saved could go to bigger and better things.

LOATHE spending money on food because it feels like it’s ALWAYS GONE!

This makes me feel better about spending money on food.
Yay!

Anybody can do this and save money just like me!

*Call me CRAZY...
but saving money is
AWESOME!
I'm sure if you tried it...you'd be hooked.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Daylight Savings...

...is KICKING our TRASH!!!

It has been over a week now since we jumped forward an hour...and it IS getting better

BUT STILL!

Arizona is smart.
WHO wants to screw up their internal clock for a bit JUST to be able to get out of bed earlier???
Make any sense?
Didn't think so.

Why don't we just wake up when we want to?
I like that idea.
Who seconds it?

We wake up when it is still dark.
NOT A FAN!
And go to bed when it is still light.
What the HECK?

My perfect day would start at 8am when I wake up
WITHOUT
an alarm clock...
Open my office at 10am...
Close the office between 1pm-3pm for naps
(Hey! Other countries have a rest time each day! Let's do that!
And then I will be okay with the idea of saving daylight.)
And leave at 5pm...
Then go to bed...around....I don't know when....
Sounds like the perfect day for me!
=]

I remember last summer, just after arriving here in Utah,
we ran to Sam's Club for some shopping after work.
We entered just after 8pm.
The sun was still out...
At 9:15pm we left...and when we walked outside, the SUN was STILL UP!
I looked at Nik and then my watch.
We were so confused!



Anywho...Nik and I only have to deal with this for another 3.5 weeks.
Then we go to California which is the same time as Arizona right now...and what we were used to just 2 weeks ago.
Then we will go to the wonderful Desert Land....and stay the same time allllll year long!
We like that idea!

Loves!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy 280th Day!

Let me start out by saying...No I have not personally counted down how many days Nik and I have been married.

One of my friends blog - Kimber & Casey - posted something about Googling your name. She suggested we go and Google our names and let her know what we found. Well Kimber, I hope you are reading this!

When I Googled Dawna Berry I found a wedding website for a Dawna Berry and Michael Tousignant. I searched through and they got married in NH on June 13, 2009. Nik and I got married June 10, 2009! Crazy! She gave up her last name and I received it. I'm happy to be a Berry.

Short story shorter...on their website was a countUP for how many days they have been married...and it said 277 days. Well Nik and I got married 3 days prior...so that makes us being married 280 days!!!

So....I am not a silly little Counter-Upper....I just Countdown! Which brings me to the next thing.....150 days til we are back in ARIZONA for GOOD!!! Now THAT I did countdown. haha. No, I did not use a calendar and count it (like how Nik said would be the smarter thing to do)...I used an online website to count it down for me! lol. Much easier! Heck, I would get lost in the 70's and have to start all over again. haha.

Thank you Mr. Internet!

How many days have you been married??

And Happy St. Patty's day! I can't wait to show you what I have done to celebrate. Nik thinks it has been fun too! Can't wait to show him the yummy cake I made for tonight's dessert. YUMMM!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Texas Roadhouse is Special to Me.

April 28, 2009
8:45 pm
Me, Rach, and Katie Jean sitting in a booth at Texas Roadhouse.
The 2 of them were so giddy as I just sat there.


Just.Sat.


I could barely do anything.

I could barely eat.

Nothing.


They were all smiles and laughs and excitement.
You wanna know why we were this way???


At that EXACT moment, Nik was in an airplane over the ocean heading back home to the U.S.A from Japan.


This was the moment I had waited over 3.5 years for.
I was so excited but didn't know how to act or think.
It was an out-of-body experience....like I was standing off to the side watching myself go through this.
For the next 12 hours....I was so out of it.
I slept just fine...WHEN I finally went to sleep.
Rach and Katie Jean kept me company while I made my Welcome Home banner to hold at the airport...and then they went home around 12:30 in the morning. 
It was so weird to think that Nik was coming home.
I finally went to sleep and slept just fine.
Around 6am I started having difficulty sleeping cuz I knew Nik was going to call me from the airport and I didn't want to miss his call.
He finally called and I sat there in my jammies on the couch for quite some time talking to him.
It all felt like a dream. Felt like another out-of-body experience. 
I didn't know if what I was seeing was even real. It felt like it shouldn't have been.
After our conversation on the phone, I got ready for the day.
I was suppose to be at his parent's house by 4:30 so we could get to the airport before his plane landed at 5:20.
We pulled into the parking garage at 5:23. Amy (his sis) and I RAN through the airport to get to his terminal before he showed up.
With all Nik's friends and family and my family standing around, he finally appeared and it was wonderful.
 Look at that Handsome MAN!

He gave everyone hugs and then he gave me a huge huge, lifting me off the ground and squeezing me so tight!
I was on cloud 9.

Showing off pictures.


I couldn't believe this was real...like, was he REALLY home?? Home to stay?? 


IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!


The rest of the night was great....but that will be for another post.


I didn't mean to give you this huge long story..I really just wanted to relive the Texas Roadhouse experience.
That night was so good...to have my girlfriends with me at my favorite restaurant on a wonderful night.

I hadnt been to that restaurant again until last weekend.
Terri and her friend, Justin, went with us and it was so fun!
It was so cool to have those strong memories that meant so much to me and share them with Nik as we drove to the restaurant. I was able to explain exactly how I felt in that last 24 hours of "single-ness".
Gosh...I love Nikolas James SOOOO much!
I am so lucky to have these wonderful memories and to me ABLE to remember them so clearly.

 Terri and Justin

The Berry's!

Some nice guy took this picture for us.

Yay for Texas Roadhouse! We had so much fun with Terri and Justin and Nik LOVED the food....we went there last night with another couple. That place ROCKS!


Arizona...Here We Come!!!

Nik and I have made the decision that it is time for us to come HOME! We have enjoyed this adventure of being newlyweds in Utah...but our journey up here has come to an end. 

Maybe it is more me than him....but we want to be home with friends and family. We want to be home with the desert. We want to be home to the place we have lived our whole lives. 

But there is one little pit stop on the way...San Diego!

Next month we will be heading to San Diego for a summer job. Nik will be selling Pest Control and I will be working in the office taking care of the appointments and paperwork for that company. I am excited for a change but to still be working in an office. I love the office job. I am excited to be working with Nik. Nik's best friend Josh got him an interview with the company and luckily we were hired on. Now we get to spend the summer with friends! Josh and Kylee did this same thing last year and enjoyed it. We look forward to the great opportunities it can bring. Living in San Diego in the summer is going to be AWESOME!

Then in August we will leave San Diego and head back to ARIZONA! I couldn't be happier. Sometimes you just have to go with what feels right...and this totally does!

There is one thing Nik and I will not agree on.....being sad about leaving our jobs up here. Yes, he has been so blessed to have a Full Time job but it was just one of "those" J.O.B.s. = Just Over Broke. He is happy to get out of there and do something he WANTS to do. As for me...I am going to miss my boss and his awesome family. They really took us in under their wings. I felt immediately like family. They had us over for their family Independence Day party, an Office Christmas Party (which was only Nik and I and their kids all playing RockBand 2. It was so FUN!), and then they had us over for The Superbowl. It was so fun to be around little kids. Their 2 youngest are the same ages as my 2 youngest sisters. They are so cute. Paul also helped Nik and I move into our 2nd apartment, helped us after the deer accident with towing, and picking me up at home for work when Nik was at school with the car. I am going to miss Paul (my boss) and Mary (his wife). They were so nice. It helps when you love your job to have a great boss. Thank you Paul and Mary.

Well....now the word is out. Hopefully you are all as excited as we are! We can't wait to COME HOME!!!! 

Let's have a party when we get there! K? K!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Letters to Eternity

Letters to Eternity - This is what Nik titled my Christmas/Valentine's Day gift...and no I am not posting this SUPER late, he really did just give it to me tonight.
The thing is...Nik is very very thoughtful and a natural romantic.
It takes him time to think up a gift to give and lots of time to make it....so that is why it is late.
I'm just so happy I have it now.
We have been together for 4.5 years now and every time we exchange gifts for the many different holidays, his is ALWAYS BETTER! I told him tonight that we are not allowed to exchange gifts anymore because my gifts are never as cool/thoughtful/original as his are.
So let me now move on to what he gave me...but I have to explain a little.
Nik went on his mission to Tokyo, Japan from April 2007-April 2009.
All that time we wrote back and forth.
Even the 15 months prior to him leaving on his mission we wrote letters back and forth.
I have kept every single letter.
The originals are in 4 3-inch binders in sheet protectors. That is 1 whole foot of letters!
Well, Nik being the awesome husband he is, decided to make a book with those.
He would sneak out to the local Geneology center and scan every single last letter.
He then had them bound in a book.
Actually in 2 books.
1 book from January 2006-March 2007.
1 book from April 2007-April 2009.
Let me show them to you now.


When I opened this gift, I could feel all his love and effort put into this project.
This definitely came from the heart.
I can't even BEGIN to describe how much this means to me!
These are going to stay around for years and years and hopefully through generations.
This is a great story of our lives together before marriage.
We keep writing letters to each other.
I have a little mailbox I made back in YW's and it sits on our bookshelf.
When we write a letter we stick it in there and then the other person sees it and takes it out to read it and reply to it.
I hope that in future years we can do this same thing and make another book.
This made me smile.
Isn't he an awesome gift giver?
But how is he ever going to top this one?? For reals!

Friday, March 5, 2010

WHAT the HECK!!!

As this is mine and Nik's first winter with snow, many have warned us about Spring Fever.

Spring Fever is when the weather starts getting warmer and the snow melts away, you get really excited for the new season. New season of windows being left open, flip flops popping out, and short sleeved shirts.

This last week has been in the high 40's and low 50's.

BEAUTIFUL!

Then out of NOWHERE comes this storm.

Let me describe this GLORIOUS day for you....and hopefully you could catch the eye-rollage I just gave.

Thursday March 4, 2010.
Wake up at 6am.
Turn on the news at 6:30am.
Weather is at 32degrees.
I thought to myself "Oh what a wonderful day this will be!"
The weather man lays out the temps for the day...
Morning: 32. Noon: 50. Afternoon: 46.
Grant - KSL's weather man, says that in the afternoon there will be rain with a chance that it turns to snow.
Now, just so you know, Grant has not been the most accurate when it has come to these storms.
I didn't believe him...or maybe just didn't WANT to believe him.
Nik and I went to work with short sleeves (mainly because we were going to be inside all day) and I brought a light "Arizona" jacket to ride home in.
We leave for work at 9am and it is a beautiful morning.
The sun is out, people are jogging, and I am happy!
Nik comes over to my office for lunch at 1pm and there is a little cloud cover.
He leaves from lunch at 2pm to go back to work and there is a slight drizzle.
Now the fun begins...3pm hits and the rain comes down harder.
In my office, I have a glass wall and door ahead of me, so I can see everything going on outside.
The rain begins acting strange.
The rain comes down casually, then hard, then casually, then SNOW, then hard rain, then BIG SNOW, then a drizzle, then a spray, then SNOW, then hard rain...over and over again.
All of this goes on and each new change lasts only a few seconds to a minute of two and then it is on to the next change....snow, rain, barely anything, rain, snow, etc.
Well, 4pm rolls around and Nik needs me to run to BYU's Surplus Sale right down the street.
They sell their used electronics and he wanted a new flat screen monitor.
I told my boss about it and he wanted to check it out too since he has never been before.
At this point it is snowing but not sticking...Hallelujah!
This was good.
So I took a picture of what my office parking lot looked like before my boss, Paul, and I went to the sale.
Paul and I stood outside for at least 20 minutes at this sale waiting in line to get in.
We got in, I found Nik a used, but in very good condition, flat screen monitor for $50.
Paul wasn't impressed with anything he saw...but for poor college students, these sales are awesome!
Paul and I went back to the office.
5pm rolls around and this is what the parking lot looks like.
CRAZY!
When we were standing in line, I was catching HUGE snowflakes. The size of quarters!
It was awesome but so freezing because I was in my "Arizona" jacket...i.e. a thin hoodie.
When Paul and I were driving back, you couldn't see a quarter mile ahead of you because of how hard and fast it was coming down.
I was so scared because I knew that in an hour I would have to drive down and pick Nik up from work.
Luckily the snow slowed down to where I could drive when I got off work at 6.
Here is a picture of the top of my car when I was leaving.
That is at least an inch. Maybe 1.25 inches.
I should have put something up in the picture to give reference. sorry.
Anywho....here is a pretty tree right in front of where I parked.
Remember, 3 hours earlier this was a brown tree and completely green grass.
Pretty, huh?
See, I can handle the snow if I can be inside my house.
It is very pretty to look at when wrapped in a blanket, watching a movie inside, and having a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for dinner.
I was able to pick Nik up safely and return home with both of us in one piece.
I was lucky the snow had slowed down and so it wasn't difficult at all to drive.
It was just very weird that EVERYTHING was white when only hours before it was green and brown.
He is a panoramic shot of the front of the building Nik and I live in. Cambridge Court.
 
And here is the shot of what we see outside our window every day. Glenwood Apartments.
It is very pretty....and cold.

Now this morning I woke up to the cars slushing outside on the streets.
Snow has covered even more of the roads and sidewalks and trees.
I wish I could stay home with Nik and we could cuddle up with The Office, lol, and some hot chocolate.
We can't wait for Spring and to be done with this white STUFF.

Here is a picture Nik sent me (sorry it is from a phone) this morning as he was headed to class. This is our parking lot...and it didn't look like this last night. Thank goodness we were able to find a spot in the parking garage.


Now, don't think this is a "downer" post. We are very happy to have to opportunity to live up here and go to school and have all these learning experiences. Neither of us have lived outside of AZ, except for the 2 years Nik was on an LDS Mission in Japan. We have learned so much about ourselves and what we want in our future.
Thank you Utah for being so pretty, but please cut it out with the snow.

The End.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The In-Laws

I married into a wonderful family.
 I am so happy that my Mother-In-Law is not the "typical" MIL in most jokes.
 She is so nice and sweet and I can tell she genuinely cares about me.

As a late Christmas present/Vday gift, my Mother and Father-In-Law
 sent Nik and I a gift card to Carrabba's.
 We love that place!
Randee (my Mother-In-Law)
 always talks about how much she loves this specific dish...
and I believe it is the Pollo Rosa Maria. I think that is it.
 I decided to take her word on it and ordered it....
AND IT WAS AMAZING!
 I thought I wouldn't like it when I saw there was no red sauce in the dish...
but it was so delicious.
 It is a chicken breast stuffed with cheese and then a mushroom sauce over it.
Whether that is the dish she loves or not, it was so good!
You all should try it the next time you are there.

Then...Nik's Grandma - Nanu - is so sweet and makes me smile and laugh all the time.
 I am so blessed to have another awesome grandma in my family.
Every...and I mean EVERY holiday
she sends out a holiday card with some little goodie inside.
For Vday she sent a cute card with a gift card to the theatres so Nik and I could have a night out.
And she always personalizes the cards.

L.O.V.E

THEN....we get another card last week and so I thought
 She must have forgotten she already sent us a card
 becuase it was in a red envelope.
 I open it up...and it is a card for the Chinese New Year with her wishing us a
Happy Chinese New Year.
SO CUTE!
And I guess it is good luck to give people a dollar...
so she sent both Nik and I one.
How stinkin adorable is that?!?!
 I love getting random cards.
 They let Nik and I know that people are thinking about us and they love us.

There are many more examples
 but these are a few that really brightened our days recently.

Thank you, my wonderful family I married into!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nikolas!

To continue on my mushy post from last night, I found this little survey to do on my handsome man.
So without further ado:

1. Where did you meet?
Officially – EFY 2005 (Thanks Josh and Kylee for being the connecting piece), but I had my eye on him back at Red Mountain that semester prior where we were both going to school.

2. How long did you date before you got married?
Almost 4 Years!!! (There were 2 years of waiting for him while he was on his mission in that 4 years)

3. How long have you been married?
Just about 9 months.

4. What does he do that surprises you?
He wakes up early on Saturday mornings to take the laundry down to the laundry room. =]

5. What is your favorite feature of his?
His eyes are such a handsome hazel color…and his hair, when gelled, is the kicker!

6. What is your favorite quality of his?
He always opens up the door for me…in any situation. So lucky to have him treat me like such a lady!

7. Does he have a nickname for you?
Babe.
Or when I feel like being super cheesy/funny I will call him my Stud Muffin (cuz I think that is silly but cute still) and he will reply "Yes, my Studette Pastry". Not even sure if Studette is a word, but it makes me laugh when he says it.

8. What is his favorite color?
Red and Black.

9. What is his favorite food?
Anything Japanese…or Pizza.

10. What is his favorite sport?
He likes to play football but isn’t big into watching it (thank heavens!)

11. When and where was your first kiss?
On the bench at Falcon Hill Park the night of September 24, 2005. Right after an awesome D-Back’s game and a trip to Cold Stone. =]

12. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
As cliche as this may sound...we love spending time together. Whether it is a simple walk along the Provo River, having dinner AT the dinner table with no distractions, or catching up on our favorite TV Series.

13. Do you have any children?
Nope.....someday though...

14. Does he have a hidden talent?
He is a great cook. He can look in the pantry and put things together (that I wouldn't think of) to make a meal and it always tastes good!
He also has an amazing talent at calming me down when we take different chances in life together.

15. How old is he?
23

16. Who said I love you first?
Me

17. What's his favorite music?
Pretty much Alternative. He will listen to Country but it isn’t something he would pick on his own.

18. What do you admire most about him?
He has a great way of taking chances and making it work out in his favor. I am a big planner and he likes to just take things as they go. That is something I need to be better at.

19. Do you think he will read this?
Only if I tell him I posted it.