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!

Travel Dreams (Part 2)

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 
Mark Twain

One of the items on my bucket list is it to visit every single state in the Unites States. So far I’ve been to 35. 15 more can’t be too hard, right? Especially Alaska and Hawaii. 😉 Loren traveled out west on a team during his undergrad and has most of the states I’ve never been to under his belt.
We have visions of us going hand-in-hand to see these sights below (and so many more!!) together.

San Antonio, TX

The San Antonio River Walk. I hear it’s perfect for a romantic stroll. And we were so close on our trip back from TX a few weeks ago! Alas, we didn’t have time to stop by. Someday.
Picture

Photo Credit: Loren Crisp
Picture

Photo Credit: Loren Crisp

Grand Canyon, AZ

We’ve both been here at different times, but why not experience this awesomeness together?
Picture

Photo Credit: Loren Crisp
Picture

Photo Credit: Loren Crisp

Garden of the Gods, CO

I just love this wild ruggedness and want to climb all of these rocks!

San Francisco, CA

Crazy hilly streets, historic streetcars, and of course the Golden Gate Bridge.
Picture

Photo Credit: Loren Crisp

Seattle, WA

Skylines. Also, the first Starbucks. ‘Nuff said.
Picture

Photo Credit: Loren Crisp
Picture

Photo Credit: Loren Crisp

Chicago, IL

Chicago is relatively close to us. Maybe this will be the first place we cross off the list.

New York City, NY

Because shouldn’t every American visit NYC at some point in their lives?
I have no idea how and when we are going to go on all these adventures, but they will all happen someday. Just wait and see! Contributions to our travel funds accepted and appreciated.

Happy Friday!

Travel Dreams (Part 1)

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” 
Jawaharial Nehru

Loren and I both love to travel and explore new places. Our many road trips can attest to this!
Since I grew up in Germany, I plan on someday taking him over to Europe to explore the familiar as well as new countries and places. Enjoy our list and be inspired to travel yourself!

Germany

Obviously, since I grew up here. As a matter of fact, just a short distance from the beautiful Heidelberg Castle.
Picture

Photo Credit: William Davis
Picture

Photo Credit: William Davis

Switzerland

Another country near and dear to my heart. We went skiing in Switzerland almost every year growing up. My family over in Germany still goes!
Picture

Photo Credit: Crystal McAllister

Italy

I’ve heard they have the best coffee here. And pizza. And old buildings.
Picture

Photo Credit: Crystal McAllister
Picture

Photo Credit: Crystal McAllister

France

Can’t go to Europe and be real tourists without a stop in Paris!
Picture

Photo Credit: Crystal McAllister
Picture

Photo Credit: Crystal McAllister

Iceland

Aspiring Kennedy has been to Iceland several times and has some great tips. In fact, she’s been pretty much everywhere and has great tips for every country she’s visited!

Ireland

I love breathtaking scenery. Can never get enough of God’s beautiful and perfect creation!
Picture

Giant’s Causeway

Greece

For the strikingly blue water, pristine white building and water caves.
So there you have it. Excuse me while I go dream of all of these destinations and check in tomorrow for the stateside travel dream aspirations!

Wedding: Ceremony

It’s Wedding Wednesday! We had the most lovely outdoor wedding ceremony & reception. I will let the pictures do most of the talking, but we were SO thankful that the Lord provided us with the most perfect weather we could ever have asked for. Because trust me, we did ask. Thanks to Aunt Cheryl & Uncle Scott for graciously letting us use their back pasture for our wedding, and for all the hours of planning, building, decorating, deal finding and everything else. This would not have happened without their help as well as the treasured help of all of our friends & family that so willingly pitched in. We could not have felt more loved!

Location: Uncle Scott & Aunt Cheryl’s Pasture, Greer, SC
Date: May 12, 2014, 7 p.m.

Picture

My sister Crystal did ALL the flowers for the wedding. She’s quite amazing!
Picture

These ushers did an outstanding job.
Picture

Loren and his beautiful mom.
Picture

William and my beautiful mama.
Picture

And my favorite little people. They stole the show. 🙂
Picture

He took his job of carrying the rings down the aisle VERY seriously.
Picture

This face though. 🙂
Picture

It was so special to have my dad do the vows & exchange of rings.
Picture

Signing the marriage license.
Picture

Praying together for the first time as a married couple.
Picture

And finally the KISS.
Picture

MR. and MRS. LOREN CRISP! 🙂
And that was our lovely ceremony! I hope you didn’t get too overwhelmed by the amount of pictures and that you stop by next week for the next series!

Missed previous Wedding posts? Check them out here:
Part I: First Look
Part II: Bridal Party
Part IV: Reception

All photos courtesy of Cleland Studios

Busier than Weekdays

With all the Christmas & birthday traveling lately, the past few weekends have been busier than usual. This weekend was no different. It’s a good thing Loren and I love to travel together!
Actually the whole past week was busy in the best way. Wednesday after I got off work, we drove an hour towards Cincinnati to meet up with some friends from Cincy for dinner. We had a blast catching up with Caleb and Chelsea swapping engagement stories, stuffing ourselves at Chili’s and sipping posh drinks at Starbucks. Can’t wait to celebrate their wedding with them in May!
Thursday afternoon, Joanna and Jeffrey graced our tiny abode with their presence. Nothing better than sitting at dinner for forever because SIBLINGS.
Picture

We do our best to make life awkward.
Friday I left work a bit early so we could head over to Columbus, OH to finally meet sweet baby niece Alyssa! And, of course, get plenty of playing time in with Timothy.
Picture

She was only unhappy because we stole her from dinner time.
Picture

He’s going to make a great daddy someday. 🙂
We came back form Columbus late Saturday night so we could have a full day at home before Loren started classes again. After a refreshing message & fellowship at church, we had a relaxing dinner and afternoon gearing up for this next semester.

If You Love to Shop…

…then stop on by the little Etsy shop, Urban Poor, that Loren and I opened. Now this isn’t just any shop, but one that currently specializes in wire or twine wrapped  bead necklaces. We have listed several samples, but if you prefer a different color or amount of beads, send us your custom order!
Who knows what else will soon appear. Possibly arm knits scarves, hiring Loren as a caricature artist (check this one out) and whatever else tickles our fancy. Feel free to send us any and all ideas!
We look forward to your purchases to achieve our millionaire status within a week.

Wedding: Bridal Party

The best bunch of people to have around on your wedding day is your bridal party. I mean, that’s why you asked them, right? Naturally, we had the best of the bunch. Each one of these special people are so much more than sisters, brothers and friends and we were honored that they agreed to celebrate this special day with us.

The Girls:

Picture

My beautiful girls. They all looked gorgeous!!
Picture

Yellow shoes are the best.
Picture

Carolina: youngest sister
Picture

Crystal: sister and matron of honor
Picture

Joanna: sister-in-law
Picture

Joy: pretend sister
Picture

Anna: sister
Picture

Dennae: cousin and maid of honor

The Guys:

Picture

Don’t they look dapper!
Picture

William: my brother
Picture

Michael: good buddy
Picture

Crawford: other good buddy
Picture

Ricky: yet another good buddy
Picture

Dad: best man
Picture

Jonathan: brother
Picture

Got caught taking a selfie!
Picture

And then another selfie with the professional camera.
This day would not have been the same without these amazing people. I would love to go back and do it all again!
Missed other Wedding posts? Check them out here:
Part I: First Look
Part III: Ceremony
Part IV: Reception

All photos courtesy of Cleland Studios

2015 Resolutions

I’ve never really been inclined to make New Year’s Resolutions because I like to be flexible, but mainly, let’s just face it: I’m forgetful and lazy. But this year I am determined to make just a few resolutions and stick to them. I’ve heard from various sources that the secret (if there is one) to keeping resolutions is to not make an overwhelmingly large amount of them. You can only truly handle so many!

Picture

Designed by Loren C
  1. Get out of my comfort zone. Being the introvert that I am, I don’t especially fancy going out of my way to make conversation with people I don’t really know. However, this is rather selfish and I need to actively reach out to those around me. I’ve actually started working on this at work, and it’s not so bad! 😉
  2. Work out. Cliché, but necessary and especially hard in the winter when I would rather curl up under a blanket with coffee and watch Gilmore Girls. I do have a ten minute walk from my parking lot to work, but 20 minutes of walking a day doesn’t really cut it. I do have some equipment (when you have bookshelves, and big heavy textbooks, why use weights?) and our apartment complex has a nice workout room, so no excuses.
  3. Try a new recipe every week. Kind of an easier one for me since I love to cook & bake, but I tend to fall back on the same recipes every week. Or just make something up. Thankfully, Loren is pretty easy to please in this department, so I don’t think he will mind if he gets new dishes thrown at him once in a while. And what else is Pinterest for?
  4. Expand my blogger audience. I’m still new to this blogger world, so part of this task is researching and connecting to other bloggers.
  5. Take more pictures. I missed several precious moments towards the end of last year, and I don’t want that to happen again.

A Trip to Texas

As promised, here is finally my post on our recent trip to Texas. This story actually goes back to a couple months ago. My car was having several major issues. We took it in to get evaluated, and it was going to be an exorbitant amount to fix, so we started looking for a cheaper, reliable shop to possibly have the car repaired at. (Side note, if you’d like to buy a fabulous little gray Volkswagen Beetle, I could probably make that dream come true for you.)

Fast forward a couple days. Loren called me on his way home from school saying that his car was making horrible noises and he hoped he would make it home. We knew it needed an oil change, so I went ahead and scheduled that appointment for him first thing the next morning, knowing that we would also get a diagnostic on what else was wrong. Turns out, he needed some immediate work done so that the car was even driveable. He went ahead and had the necessary fix done and we were set back a little further with the repairs my car needed (his car still needed other repairs). Since we both require cars to drive our separate ways to work/school, we prayed and discussed several possible solutions that would be the wisest. In the end we decided to sell my car and find a good, cheap car in the area. We didn’t really know what to look for and who to trust, but we slowly started into that process anyway.

Then, a few weeks ago, my sister in Mexico messaged and asked if any of us sisters stateside needed a car, as they had to buy a new one in Mexico and wanted to give away their current one. All we had to do was buy one-way flights to Texas to pick up the car, and it was ours! Talk about perfect timing! So long story short, Heather found some amazingly cheap one-way flights to TX and the next week, we found ourselves on a plane. And since we were picking up the car from Heather & Jason, naturally we got to see them and the niece and nephew. 🙂

I was super excited for several reasons, but especially because I love flying and this was the first time I got to fly with Loren AND we were getting to see family AND we were going to take a very long road trip.

Unfortunately, Heather & the kids were sick, and I didn’t get very many pictures of our time with them (I really need to work on this. New Year’s Resolution?), but we still had a fantastic time seeing them.

We flew down the Monday before Christmas and wanted to be back in Indy for Christmas. This meant a 23 hour road trip to get back by Christmas Eve morning. But armed with snacks, audio books, music, water, a German book for Loren to read and me to translate, and fun car games, we were up for the trip. And we made it in exactly 23 hours. The trip was actually not as hard as I thought it would be. Between the clear traffic, driver switching every 1-3 hours and activities we brought (or made up), the time flew by pretty quickly.

One way we stayed motivated was taking a selfie and a picture of the road [almost] every hour. To your relief, we didn’t get a picture every hour, as we didn’t start till about 2 hours in and kind of tapered off when it got dark. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will let these pictures do the talking.

Picture

Finally home!!!
And that pretty sums it all up! There is so much more I could write about this, but we are SO grateful for the Lord’s provision, timing and safety, as well as the generosity of family!

**I do apologize for the lower quality of pictures, courtesy of my iPad.**