Game Night and the World’s Best Doughnuts

Friday evening we hosted a dessert & game night with two engaged couples from church. It was a blast playing all sorts of games, hearing their stories and getting to know those wonderful people better. Hopefully this is just the start of such gatherings!
Saturday rolled around and we headed out for several little stops. First up, the bank.
Long lines are obviously meant for this:
Then the highlight of the weekend…we’ve been told about the world’s best doughnuts at Long’s Bakery pretty much since we moved here. Like wait-hours-in-a-ridiculously-long-line-worth-the-wait good. They didn’t lie. Since we got to the bakery around noon, there wasn’t actually a line, but GUYS, they were seriously THE BEST DOUGHNUTS  I’VE EVER EATEN.
Our next stop was the local library so Loren could pick up some kids books he needed for his therapy sessions at the elementary school on Monday. We got to the library a few minutes before they actually opened, and the wait turned into a photoshoot on one of the bridges across from the library.
Picture

I adore this man. 🙂
We finally hustled back to the library to peruse the children’s section.
Picture

I love children’s books! So colorful and fun.
Picture

Rediscovering books I used to read as a kid. I forgot how awesome the library is!
And this is how the rest of Saturday & Sunday afternoon was spent:
Did we watch any football? Nope. See above. 😉

I hope you had a fantastic weekend and ate lots of delicious snacks yesterday if you watched the Super Bowl! Or even if you didn’t.
Happy Monday!

Meet Mr. Crisp

I mentioned the other day that I was interviewing Loren so you all could get to know him better!
So, without further ado, meet my man for life, Loren!

(thanks to Bailley for this idea)

H: First off, describe yourself in three words
L: Analytical, curious, friendly.

H: You’re going to Indiana University grad school for speech pathology. Why speech pathology?
L: Because I really like people, and speech pathology is one of the best professions for combining the ability to add value to somebody’s quality of life with creativity and a little bit of nerdiness. The more I learn in the field, the more I realize why I’m doing it. 

H: What is one thing you are currently learning about in grad school?
L: Right now we’re learning about stuttering: the effects on the person who stutters and more of the counseling side of things rather than treatment. I like that better because it’s more people-based.

H: What is your favorite aspect of grad school?
L: Probably just the hands-on experience we get, even though that’s also the most stressful. IU is good about hands-on. I also like giving presentations. But not preparing them.

H: You have an hour-long drive to and from IU. What do you in that time?
L: I usually listen to podcasts. It depends on each day what podcast keeps me awake. Sometimes the story telling ones like the MOTH are really good but then if I’m more curious about learning things that day, THIS AMERICAN LIFE and FREAKONOMICS are good. And I really like REPLY ALL and STARTUP. I’m not sure why. I think it’s because they delve into topics pretty deeply. Basically any podcast that looks at something in-depth then looks at it further. Then looks at it even further.

H: What is the hardest thing in school you have learned yet?
L: The anatomy of the brain. For some reason that detailed stuff doesn’t stick with me. I’m much more able to remember things that deal with interactions with people.

H: What is something you’ve learned about speech that you want to implement with our kids someday?
L: Not even related to speech, but actually behavior, one thing I’ve learned is that most behavior is generated from the desire to communicate something, but the inability to. Taking that into consideration when raising kids. Not spoiling them, but good to keep in mind when disciplining and communicating with a child.  

H: How do you handle stress during school?
L: Haha well I used to freak out a lot more, but right now I’m learning to step back and look at the things that are causing me stress and analyze and learn what is giving me stress.  Saying “Am I afraid about such-and-such?” and if so, what, and usually that it is a lot more inconsequential. So basically when I look at the cause of stress/fear, it’s a way smaller deal than if I keep it in the back of my mind. That empowers me to look and see how I can deal with the stress.

H: What is your current favorite hobby?
L: Drawing and sketching, mainly people. I think I’ve gotten out of practice, so right now a lot of it centers around basic practice and skill so it will flow more fluidly when I’m drawing.

H: Do you read my blog?
L: Haha yes!

H: Best post so far?
L: I don’t know. 
H: I haven’t written that one yet!
L: Maybe the “No TV” one because it’s more outward focused. It applies to people.

H: What is your favorite meal that I’ve made?
L: Haha probably your chicken alfredo. I was thinking about this on the bus the other day, “If I could eat anything right now, what would I eat,” and that was it!

H: What do you value most in our marriage?
L: That we can burp together. haha But seriously, just that we’re completely…well, we can completely unwind when we’re with each other. Either be completely goofy or pretend to be grown up and interview each other. But I feel I can be completely me when I’m with you. And that’s big for me.

H: What is your idea of a perfect date night?
L: Something simple, but one where we go out somewhere, wherever, and can just talk instead of whatever. Not extremely specific, more that it includes certain things. Like us being able to sit and talk, goofing off a little bit, and maybe twirling around in the living room. And then maybe finishing the evening by watching something. 

H: Favorite date/dates so far?
L: The first time we did the stay-at-home fancy dinner date.
    That one where we, I think before we were married, went to Cheddar’s and then got frozen yogurt and people watched.

H: What is something you want my readers to know about me?
L: That there are two sides to you. The more quiet, reserved, public side and then the completely goofy crazy side when you laugh till tears stream from your eyes. Also that you need a massage constantly.

Picture

This stud. 🙂
Picture

He put up with all my craziness. 😉
And now you know all there is to know about him!

Crisp Living: Grocery Shopping

I hate shopping. I literally get exhausted after 5 minutes in the mall. But grocery shopping is a whole other story. I love it! Weird, I know. But I love going to the store clutching my precious list and pen while trying to navigate my cart and pretend I know what I’m doing. Since we’ve gotten married and I’ve been in charge of meal making and grocery shopping, I’ve learned some ways to help us save in the that department.
LISTS. I love whipping out my pen and writing down everything I need for the week, normally in order of the store aisles. I make this list my best shopping friend and stick to it like nobody else! I have my staples I pick up every week, but my list slightly varies every week, depending on if we need toilet paper or sugar or flour or sandwich bags. Occasionally, I find room to leave a couple dollars for a special treat.
ALDI. My little slice of Germany. Did you know they originated from there? They even sell German goodies sometimes. I love this place! It’s much smaller that Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, etc. (I hate big stores) and has almost everything I need at way cheaper prices.
CASH. ALDI only takes cash or debit cards, which brings me to my next point.
Grocery shop with cash. And take only the cash you know you will need. You can’t spend money you don’t have!
COUPON & SALES. Do you know how many people don’t pay attention to sales? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m one of those people who meticulously goes over the sales papers every week to aid my decision making. We have a fresh food market super close to us, and they normally have the cheapest & freshest fruit, but sometimes ALDI still beats their prices. If ALDI doesn’t have something I need (deodorant, body wash, dish soap), I check Kroger’s online coupons. Kroger always has coupons for something, and I especially like using theirs because I can just download the coupon onto my Kroger card and when I scan my card at the store, the coupon is instantly available. No paper hassle!
What are some ways you save money on grocery shopping? I would love to hear some of your tips and tricks!

Responsible Adults

This weekend we became better acquainted with the small town we live in just outside of Indy. Saturday morning we got up earlier than we normally would on the weekend and did some grownup stuff. Like buying stamps and mailing items and registering our car (aka standing in line forever at the BMV).
After our super important errands,  we finally went to this coffee shop we’ve been wanting to try out for several weeks. Coffeehouse Five is a “for-benefit” coffee shop, meaning they support the community with several programs and operations with their profits. And they serve  the most delicious coffee.
During our little coffee date, Loren let me interview him about grad school and life in general. So be looking for that in the next couple days!
The rest of the afternoon was spent helping Loren with a grad school project. It was fun learning a little more about his field! He is going to be the best speech pathologist. 🙂 Saturday night we headed over to one of our pastor’s houses for some much needed food & fellowship and met some new people around bowls of chili and jokes about how young we are…
Sunday afternoon after church and an amazing chicken dinner (found a new way to pan fry chicken without breading–soooo gooood!!!!), Loren was sucked back into prepping for Monday and I can’t really remember what I did, but I do remember Monday morning came rather quickly. And that was our exciting weekend!

Friday Faves: Jan 23

1. Sugar-topped blueberry muffins from Friday morning work breakfast.
2. Discovering other bloggers.
3. Finding an outfit on Pinterest that I actually have in my closet. Perfect cozy outfit for this dreary Friday!
4. Task manager Swipes app: simple, but exactly what I needed!
5. Winter coat–finally got one a few weeks ago just in time for that horrible cold weather. I actually have this one in navy blue.

Happy  weekend, friends!

One Pan Cheesy Sausage Pasta

It’s no secret that I love to cook. Even after a long day at work. There’s just something about pulling out the pots & pans and throwing something together that is therapeutic for me.
Usually, I start out following a recipe, then end up putting my own spin on things, depending on what ingredients I have on hand. As long as it turns out and Loren likes it, we’re all good. I normally stay within my familiar comfort zone when it comes to cooking, but this year I want to branch out and try at least one new recipe a week. Think of it as a Pinterest success/fail series.

Today’s post is dedicated to this oh-so-easy-and-cheesy deliciousness that I made tonight.

One Pan Cheesy Sausage Pasta 
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Smoked  Sausage, sliced
1 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
8 oz dry pasta (any small pasta works)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese

Instructions:
Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic and sausage and cook until lightly browned.
Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt.
Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.

Wedding: Reception

Today is (sadly) the last Wedding Wednesday!

Our reception was a bit different than most weddings I’ve been to. We wanted to make sure that we personally greeted every friend and family member that took the time to come celebrate with us. I don’t especially like receiving lines, so we figured out a different way of greeting everyone. After the ceremony, we came back in and “dismissed” each row, greeting every guest. This was actually one of my favorite parts of the day because it meant so much to have these people there! I love looking back and seeing who came. 🙂

Since I’m not a huge fan of wedding cake, we went with a cookie, ice cream and popcorn bar with Aunt Cheryl’s to-die-for coffee punch. Once again, it was such a blessing to have family and friends bake cookies, make & set up decorations and just pitch in wherever needed. All this would not have happened without them!
Picture

The wedding cake went on that wood chip.
Picture

The setup before the ceremony & before the ice cream.
Picture

Our talented violinist who was also my roommate freshman year.
Picture

We were nice to each other. 😉
Picture

Summer camp counselor friends! They predicted this wedding a while ago. 😉
And there you have our wedding in pictures. I hope you enjoyed them as much as we often do and reminisce about that day.
Missed previous Wedding posts? Check them out here:
Part I: First Look
Part II: Bridal Party
Part III: Ceremony

All photos courtesy of Cleland Studios 

Crisp Living: No TV

There are so many suggestions out there in the big world on how to save money.  During this grad school season of life, living on our budget pretty much means we only buy the essentials (food, rent, electricity, grad school bills…you get the picture), so it makes spending unnecessary money a bit easier–because there’s nothing left to spend on unnecessary purchases. We could pile up all kinds of bills onto our credit card, but have decided to stay away from that because debt isn’t healthy. Anyway, I’m going to start a series on how we survive quite well on our limited budget.

Today’s topic: TV/cable.

Whenever I get asked about having seen something on TV, the conversation generally goes like this:

“Well, we actually don’t have a TV or cable.”

I get two one of two answers in return.

“What??!! You don’t have cable? How do you survive?”
or
“That’s probably a good thing. Don’t get hooked. There’s nothing really worth watching and it’s way too expensive.”

We survive quite well, thank you very much. I agree with the second statement. We do currently have Netflix. With tons of shows at our fingertips and at $8 a month, we decided this was something we could handle as our entertainment source. And as far as keeping up with the news and weather reports, that what weather and news apps are for, right?

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was just what we needed after all the weekend traveling we’ve done over the past couple of months.
Some highlights: Dawn & her boys finally came to visit us Saturday afternoon! They live here in Indy, but it’s still hard to get together as often as we would like. But we made it happen this weekend! Between pulling Cayden (toddler) out of everything (our apartment is hardly child proof) and cuddling Jackson (newborn), we wedged in some white chicken chili eating, Quelf playing, snickerdoodle bar indulging and coffee drinking and it was all just grand.
Picture

Those baby blues! <3
Picture

Mr. Potato Head was clearly more entertaining than picture taking.
Picture

And this one because Cayden’s face…love it!
Saturday night we took it easy and ordered (instead of making) pizza for the first time since we’ve gotten married! It was so good. So good, in fact, that we didn’t stop to take pictures and commemorate the occasion.

Sunday after church, one of the sweet couples at church took us out for Chinese. The fellowship was encouraging and invigorating and we ate the best Chinese food I’ve had yet, I would say. That night instead of watching the football game, we ate our nachos while watching Netflix shows and enjoying each other’s company .

I hope you had somewhat of a relaxing weekend as well and are recharged for another week!