Crisp Living: Budget Phone Plan (Ting Review)

Loren and I have both wanted to get smartphones for a while. Life really is fine without one, but they are also super convenient and helpful for SO many reasons. But we couldn’t afford them with our current phone plan. We were paying $60/month (for two phones) for talk & text, which isn’t bad, but we didn’t want to go over that in paying for data. 
A while back I had heard about this cell phone service called ting and about how great it was. I quickly forgot about it, since everyone has “the best” phone service plan. But then I came across it again on a “life on a budget” blog (Frugality Gal) and did a lot more research on it. After researching and convincing ourselves to try something new, we switched over to ting,  got smartphones and are now living happily ever after. 

It works like this:
Picture

From ting website
You can either bring your own device (must be Sprint) or buy one from ting or cheaper places (we used Swappa).

We’ve been using ting for about 3 months now and it has been wonderful. No problems with coverage, billing, etc., and the customer service is top-notch. We haven’t paid more than $50/month (mostly under $40) for two phones with talk/text/data.

If this is something you are interested in, use this referral code and get $25 credit (which goes a really long way) when you sign up!

Anniversary Trip: Chicago

It’s been a full week since our anniversary trip, so I guess it’s about time to blog about it before I forget everything. Better late than never, right? Loren and I went to Chicago for a couple days because it’s been calling our names for a long time and it’s not too far away from us. We had a wonderful time seeing the sights and eating delicious food and we will definitely be going back some time! 

Please enjoy this photo-filled post and don’t drool too much over the food. 
Late Sunday morning, we excitedly jumped in the car and headed north! Our first stop once we got to Chicago was for deep dish pizza. SO GOOD! After lunch, we wandered around downtown, saw some sights and got a little familiar with the area.
Picture

Gino’s East: first time eating deep-dish pizza. Definitely not the last time!
Picture

Super fuzzy, as the restaurant was pretty dark. But the writing on the walls was pretty cool!
Picture

Trump Tower getting lost in the clouds.
Picture

Chicago Cultural Center
Picture

Reminded me little bit of European architecture.
Picture

And of course the Cloud Gate. Or Bean. Or whatever you want to call it.
After wandering around, we headed to our hotel to take a nap and get ready for our fancy dinner date. Loren had made reservations at the Bohemian House and this was one of the highlights of our trip. The food was amazing melt-in-your-mouth-flavorful good. After we finished eating our main courses, our waitress brought out dessert as a surprise treat for our anniversary. Hands down the best coffee gelato and doughnut holes I’ve ever put in my mouth.
Picture

Knackwurst: braised sauerkraut, radish, mustard & special sauce
Picture

Grilled Chicken Paprikash: hot paprika, pickled sweet peppers, kale & Czech potato dumplings
Picture

Pork Schnitzel: dill potatoes, bacon, onions & charred lemon
Picture

Coffee & Doughnuts: bow truss coee gelato & hazelnut brittle
Monday we pulled out the camera and lugged it all around with us. I’m so glad we did! The clouds and fog partially cleared and we could finally see some more of the scenic skyline out our hotel window. After brunch at 3rd Coast Cafe, we walked down to North Avenue Beach and Lincoln Park, then headed back to Navy Pier, etc.
Picture

1 splendid year with this guy! 🙂
Picture

3rd Coast Cafe
Picture

North Avenue Beach
Picture

North Avenue Beach
Picture

Navy Pier
Picture

Navy Pier
Picture

Back downtown again taking a stroll down the Magnificent Mile.
Picture

A quick stop in the mall and we found this amazing lego display.
After all that walking, we were pretty tired and headed back home with full and happy hearts and empty wallets (those toll roads!). Can’t wait for our next adventure!

1st Anniversary

Chances are you’ve already seen most of these pictures. But today is our first wedding anniversary and that’s when one posts wedding pictures again, right? 
This first year of marriage, we’ve lived in 2 apartments, moved across the US, taken numerous trips, made it through one year of grad school and so much more. I can honestly say this has been the best year of my life, and it just keeps getting better. I’m so thankful to be married to a hardworking, loving, godly, honest, handsome, tall and adventurous man. No one else makes me laugh like he does. No one else gets my humor and weirdness like he does. I’m so blessed to be loved by him!

I love you, babe! Here’s to many more years together!

Thrifting and Sunshineing

It’s finally May! And what a full and wonderful month it will be with weddings, trips, summer school and hopefully lots of sun. This weekend was sunny and warm and it was amazing!!

Saturday morning I tried out this German Pancake recipe (it’s not really German) for breakfast and it turned out lovely puffy and delicious: 

Then I headed out for some thrift store shopping with Dawn and her boys!
Picture

Lunch break in the parking lot.
Picture

He’s a ham. 🙂
I came home to Loren studying for finals, and he took a little study break and we hit up Target with a gift card and some birthday money to see what we could find.
Picture

Pretty stoked we found a shirt that fit him perfectly!
Picture

The first icee of the year. It’s almost summer, people!!
Picture

And back to the grind, at Starbucks this time.
Sunday, after another refreshing morning at church, we did stuff at home, and then caught some late afternoon/early evening rays in a close by park.
I hope you had a happy, sunny weekend!