Financial Read

So... in the mess that is our economy, the only real comfort I have found, is that I have control over our finances. And, in an effort to learn all I can and to be smart about my money, I'd really like to read more about finances.

A couple of months ago I read Jean Chatzky's "Pay it Down" for work. I really like Chatzky's approach, and to boot, she's really, really nice. (I got to meet her a couple of weeks ago.)

However, I'd love to know if any of you recommend a financial read that is both informative and motivational. If so, please leave your recommendation in the comments below.

Thank you. Thank you.


A Quote for Your Monday...

I really like this:

"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. Right now I'm living in that hope, running down its hallway, and touching the walls on both sides."

-Barbara Kingsolver


I'm in love...

with this song. Ben + Regina? Sooo good.

I've really missed you Ben.



Guilty Pleasure #14

I love to wear Jeff's t-shirts- they're so very comfortable.

Jeff cleaned out his closet last night, and look what's now mine:

his t-shirt



Little One

A couple weekends ago, I went to take pictures of my good friend's new baby girl. The lil' one was sooo sweet and was awake the entire time. She's a beautiful baby.


(I wanted keep the baby's beautiful face hidden on this post, as her mom is getting ready to send the baby's photo and announcement.)

Morning Pick-me-up

If you needed a pick-me-up like I did this morning, I suggest listening to The Morning Benders. Their sound reminds me (a little) of Vampire Weekend- very poppy.

Be sure to listen to their cover of "Lovefool" too.

Stream their Myspace page here.



We're finally starting to decorate. Here are a couple pieces we've recently added to our walls:


Top: Wilco print
Bottom: Portraits of us painted by my talented husband

(Oh... I tried to take a portrait with my new glasses to show you, but let's just say the results weren't leaving me too thrilled. You can see the actual frames here- pretend they're on the above painting!)

Guilty Pleasure: The Time Traveler's Wife

My sister let me borrow this book. I read probably four years ago and totally fell for Claire and Henry's story. So... I'm reading it again, and was up until 2:00 AM, as I couldn't put it down.

I think its the love story that makes me fall for this book. Henry and Claire's love is not perfect, but there's a lot of passion and such commitment to each other. Plus, the whole time traveling thing? It's totally believable in this book.

Also... the film version comes out 12/25, so if you're going to see the movie, I'd recommend you read it first. However, I know a handful of people who couldn't get through the book... (Don't really understand that.)

Are there any books that you've read twice? For me, it'll be this book and a few of my favorite classics, including "Pride and Prejudice" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." Guess I'm sorta obsessed with this book. Just a little.

(Disclaimer: For those of you who haven't read "Time Traveler's Wife" just know if the book were a movie, it would be rated R, due to some dicey content and some curse words. Just so ya know.)


New Specs

Love my new case

I picked up my new specs today, and already knew I'd love the frames, but I was surprised as to how much I'd LOVE the new case and cloth too.


Utah Fair

Jeff and I visited the Utah Fair over the weekend. Suprisingly, it was very hot and too bright to take any of the "artsy" pictures I was hoping to get.

Instead- a collage of our favorite sights:


1. HUGE Big Red
2. Giant Gator that Jeff really wanted to pay a visit to
3. Some of our favorite kitty t-shirts
4. Jeff's favorite t-shirt (hint: it's the barely-dressed woman in front of the husky.)
5. Lots-o-chicken
6. Chance to see an elephant-pig, 5-legged sheep, or Misty the Mermaid, unfortunately, we didn't have enough cash to get in.

Maybe next year...


County Cup

Our Saturday was filled with soccer, being around babies and friends, while eating lots of yummy food.




Thanks Jesse and Natalie for hosting yet again. It was a perfect Saturday to be outside and play!

More pics here.


Brian + Zooey

Jeremy just blogged about Ms. Zooey Deschanel. (I think I too have a Hollywood crush on her. Well... I gotta say her role in "Failure to Launch" wasn't my favorite. Glad she's stepped into the music world.)

It seems she's everywhere these days. This is one of my favorite features she's been in lately:

Artist on Artist: Brian Wilson & Zooey Deschanel

Thought it was very entertaining to hear her speak to Brian Wilson. Sounds like she was influenced a lot by him.

(Found via.)


Jenny Lewis' Acid Tongue

Jenny Lewis' first solo album, "Rabbit Fur Coat" quickly became one of my favorite albums in 2006. I absolutely loved it, and still do.

She now has a new solo album called "Acid Tongue." The teaser-self-titled track they released early, is a terrific song. Catchy melody, interesting lyrics, Jenny's voice sounds flawless, and the choir instantly makes you want to sing. It's exactly where she left off with "Rabbit Fur Coat."

Yesterday, the rest of the tracks for the new album showed up on her Myspace page. Rumors of collaborations with Elvis Costello, Jonathan Rice, Chris Robinson, M. Ward, and Zooey Deschanel on the new album kept me very curious. I wanted her to fall back into the characters she created on her first album.

And, I hate to say it; I think she really tried to do it again, but I'm extremely disappointed in the new album.

It doesn't feel fluid, and the songs aren't as interesting to me. My favorite track is still "Acid Tongue," which I highly suggest you listen to... but, all the other songs feel over-produced.

I will say, however, that Jenny's voice shines- this album really shows off her range. (Unfortunately, the song "Black Sand" sort of hurts my ears. It sounds like she's staying on a high C-note the entire song. A bit too high for me.)

If you've listened, let me know what you think. You can listen here. (I'm giving it another go this morning since I really wanna like it.)


Bon Iver Live + Music Guide

This is really pretty. (I've already listened to it twice.):

Also... there are a lot of fantastic bands visiting Utah this month. Check it. Here.


Seattle Eats

(I've decided this week is all about food on my blog. Guess I'm hungry.)

In Seattle, these were some of my favorite eats... of course! they're all sweets:


1. Crumpet at the Crumpet Shop 2. One of the best donuts I have ever eaten at Top Pot (The peppermint tea was also very delightful.) 3. More donuts at Top Pot (This was the following morning- if we had one of these in SLC, I would be in t-r-o-u-b-l-e!) 4. Fabulous Tiramisu at The Pink Door (Yes, we ate it all gone.)

Cool Southwestern Salad

I made the yummiest salad last night...


The dressing is so lime-y and light. It was perfect with fresh cheese quesadillas. Here's the recipe.

It's definitely a new favorite of ours.


Baking in the Morning

Yesterday morning, I realized just how messy I am while I bake:


However, that's part of why I like it so much. You can throw all of these ingredients around to try and create something delicious.

I also don't think I've ever baked early on a Sunday morning, and I really enjoyed it. (We forgot it was Fast Sunday yesterday.) Jeff and I had an early appointment, so rather than climb back in bed, I made Caroline's blueberry muffins.

They were really yummy. (Jeff would've preferred them without the whole wheat flour- but, this way they're so much healthier for you!)

Picture 013

Are you a messy baker? Don't think you should feel guilty about it. I sure don't.


Streaming This Morning + '80's Music

I can't remember how I heard about this band, but I've been streaming their Myspace page, and really am drawn to the melodious songs. The band: Fredrik. (I really like the track "1986.")

Also, I listened to NPR's All Songs Considered Podcast yesterday where they discussed if '80's music was really that bad. I think the first twenty minutes of the podcast are really entertaining. Their points about the majority of '80's songs:

+ Too much synthesizer, and not enough bass
+ The producing was horrible.

It's a pretty entertaining topic, which I have to agree on. (Though, I was fairly young during the '80's and thought New Kids on the Block were maestros in their own right.)

Listen to the podcast here.


90210 Part II

I'm currently half-way through the premiere of "90210," and it is horrible. Seriously. The opening scene while they're walking into school... what in the world?

And, I agree with Ali's comment- aren't the girls much too thin? I agree. I definitely noticed.

Reanna's story-line is the most entertaining. We also enjoyed that a "skater" boy gave her the drugs. Dang those skaters!

Anyone else watch? Am I so sheltered that I don't realize what's going on with other teen shows? Are they this bad?

My Sleepless Weekend

For whatever reason(s), I can no longer fall asleep when I am camping. And, tent-sleeping is what I look forward to the most when camping. I usually fall into a nice, deep sleep while sleeping in the outdoors, in our cozy little tent.

However, the past few camping trips have led to long sleepless weekends for me.

We trekked up high into the mountains for the Labor Day weekend with my family. The spot was beautiful:


We were so high- we could almost touch the clouds.

But, do you see those grey clouds in the above pic? Those clouds were looming over us the entire weekend. At night, our tent was pounded by rain all night long. I was telling my sister that it sounded like popcorn popping, or bubble wrap being popped, or, better yet, thousands and thousands of people spitting spit-wads at us. I was miserable.

But, in the morning and during the day, I was good. We played on four-wheelers:


Took in the beautiful scenery:


Shot guns (Okay, clarification. I took pictures of people taking guns. I will not shoot.):


(That's my little sister; she had pretty good aim.)

Ate lots of treats and sipped on hot cocoa.

I usually am a good camper, but for some reason, I was longing for my comfortable bed this weekend. We, however, made it three days and two nights. On the third day, we attempted to drive our Subaru down the mountain, but we soon realized we could fall off that mountain with the amount of mud on the roads.

So, we headed back to camp. And waited. While we waited, it snowed. Really snowed. (My twin-sister took really beautiful pictures of this blizzard. I, on the other hand, was too cold.)

Luckily, my brother-in-laws, who I now refer to as heroes, helped us navigate down the mountain.

And... we were soon back onto paved roads and on our way home.

Yes- I do realize; I'm sounding like such a wimp.

Maybe I just needed more s'mores.

All in all, I'm very glad we went. (I'll just be checking the weather forecast before I trek outdoors next time.)

More pics here.

Guilty Pleasure: 90210

After a camping weekend full of rain (lots of it) and snow, after Hip-Hop tonight, I'm ready to settle in with a guilty pleasure.

To refresh your memory:

Or, remember this? I could've sworn it broke my heart:

I don't remember Dylan being so dramatic.

Anyhow... you bet I'm tuning in tonight!

(Clips found via.)