June 30, 2011

Did I mention we like to go camping?

This was supposed to be
Sophie's bed
But she preferred our sleeping
pad area
Yes, I know I already posted about a summer camping trip this month but we went camping again! I love camping. It's a fun little "get-away," an inexpensive weekend, fun and it's still close enough to home that if it storms or something happens, we can leave quickly.

on Craig
(not the Peterson-plummer)
Sophie really enjoyed the
camp fire this time
We went to the same campground we did last time. I didn't really think we would need to get a site ahead of time since we'd be going up earlier in the day but as it turned out, we got the VERY last single site. We got there just a bit after 5, I believe, too. Next time, we'll reserve a spot earlier in the week.

Craig ate a TON of it. I think
I only had a bite. 
I seriously think that there were more
berries than anything else in that pot
Mom, did I mention there is running water and there are toilets available should you prefer that to digging your own latrine? Anyway- we got there, unpacked the very well-organized truck, got the fire going (yes, I did, Craig had some difficulties. I think the sparkly flip flops might have had something to do with that), cooked dinner, enjoyed dinner and attempted a dutch oven dessert. Dinner was chicken, potatoes, onions, zucchini, squish, onions and such. The dessert was... well, it was. Too many blueberries, not enough butter. Really, why is Paula Deen never around when you need more butter?

This tent is a whole lot
bigger than it looks
See? Lots of room!
We were a whole lot more comfortable this time (something about having two camping pads rather than one) and thoroughly enjoyed sleeping a long time, having delicious keilbasa, eggs & bacon for breakfast and taking our time getting packed up and heading home.

Until the next camping trip...

June 29, 2011

I HATE Wells Fargo

There is a reason we closed our Wells Fargo accounts planning to NEVER have to deal with them again when we got married. Then we bought a house. We did NOT go through them for our mortgage- on purpose. By some evilness, our loan was sold to them instead of US Bank. I HATE Wells Fargo. Have I mentioned that? They have a serious lack of basic customer service, cannot answer a single simple question without trying to sell me something I don't want and don't need and their stupid on-line bill pay won't let you do partial payments- what if I want to pay more principal once a month? Oh, I get to deal with their obnoxious phone people or wait in line forever in a branch.

Even more motivation to get this paid off sooner- I won't be able to handle them for 30 years. Grumble.

June 28, 2011

Dear Craig,



Herkimer & Kitty

PS BRING MORE CATNIP! Oh, and bacon, too! Yeah, we like bacon. yummmmmmy.
(and paper towels & carpet cleaner)

June 27, 2011

Here it comes.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone else and I know it isn't a surprise to me.  Sophie is the daughter of two highly-opinionated, head-strong and slightly stubborn parents. No, I'm really not surprised that at 6 1/2 months young she is starting to throw little baby tantrums when she can't do something, have something, be somewhere etc. RIGHT NOW. My mom has told me that as a teenager I could be a seriously obnoxious turd (not a direct quote, but you get the idea) so I guess I'm just getting a taste of what I put in.

I don't agree with the baby books that say to sit and calmly reason with a baby. They don't get it. They have no frame of reference for "angel, mommy & daddy don't like you to eat the cat food/want you throwing the remote/rolling down the stairs/playing with a hot pan full of oil." You'd have just as much luck telling that to a cat. I also don't agree with the parents that give in all the time. "Ooh, it's okay. Just let him/her have that chocolate milk on the white sofa. Kids just ruin things. Hahaha!" I don't think so.

No, I don't have the answers but here I go to try to find what works best for us and Miss Sophie.

June 24, 2011

Sharing the (Couponing) Love!

I follow some blogs of friends who are really great about sharing when & where things are on sale or great coupon offers. I figured it was my turn to maybe help a bit. There are many more (couponed) items available, these are just a highlight of what I would get. Here's what I've found for this week:


  • $.60 off Yoplait yogurt (8)- YES, Walmart will let you use this on the prepackaged 8 which are already cheaper than buying them individually 
  • $.75 off ANY brand of milk (including Great Value with is also already cheaper) 
  • $.75 off any Newmans Own Salad Dressing
  • $1 off vitamins (Mom, does dad still do fish oil?) 
  • $1 off a pound of Sara Lee deli meat 
  • $1 off ANY brand of cheese (2 lbs) 
  • $.55 off any Pillsbury cake/frosting item

  • $5 off Zyrtec 
  • $1 off Pickles
  • $1 off any package Gold-n-Plump Chicken 
  • $.55 on Kikkoman product (soy sauce etc.) 
  • $.40 on 6 Yoplait Yogurts
  • $1 off olive oil 
  • $.50 off pomeranian balsamic vinegar or glaze 

  • $.85 off Fiber One cereals 
  • $.60 off 8 Yoplait Yogurts
  • $.60 off 2 boxes of Suddenly Pasta Salad
  • $1.10 off Old El Paso taco kits
  • $1.10 off General Mills cereals (2) 
  • $.60 off Cherrios 
  • Run by the same people as coupons.com but you can print more of the same coupons from them. 

A few other items...
  • In order to actually save money, you really should only buy things you were going to buy or need. Don't get something JUST because you have a coupon for it. You're still spending money. 
  • I've also found that going directly to manufacturers sites and looking up items is a good way to get coupons (Pillsbury above is an example of that.)  
  • Have a coupon for something on sale? Double points! 
  • Try eBates.com. You just click on a store you like to shop at (including walmart.com!) and go ahead and shop like normal. The good thing about this extra step is you can get anywhere from 3%-40% cash back on your purchases. You get a check once a quarter. I'm going to be doing site-to-store orders on diapers, wipes, lightbulbs etc. this way.
  • The Springville Walmart is doing Double Coupon Tuesdays (I believe it's up to $1 but hey, that's a dollar!) 
  • If you find a coupon for an item that you get sometimes but don't necessarily need this shopping trip, print it anyway. Print as many as it will let you (usually 2 or 3) and then just save them for when you want them. I keep most of my coupons in the center consul of my car. Perhaps not the most organized, but I know where they are! 
  • Know the ad matching/coupon policy before you go to the store. Here is a link to Walmart's Policy. I ad-matched on string cheese, tomatoes and juice earlier this week in addition to using my coupons. Don't underestimate the power of ad matching. I saved about $5 doing this. Between that and the coupons I used, I spent about $15 less than I would have if I had gone in not having glanced at other ads or printing a few measly coupons. I understand it might not be a big deal to most people to spend a little more, but it is to me. Go ahead and call me stingy but if I don't have to spend $15 more on the same food, then I won't! 

p.s I gladly accept inserts from Sunday papers :)

p.p.s Items that can be used for multiple meals get double "points." That Sunday roast chicken? You can get 3 meals out of it, easily. (Obviously the roast chicken, some of the left over meat for chicken tacos or spaghetti and then boil down the carcass for a delicious, low-sodium chicken stock for soups.) 

p.p.p.s I am NOT going to be one of those nutty "extreme couponers" who spend tons of time each week couponing. Craig works hard and I just like to save $$ where I can so we're not throwing away his hard-earned funds. 

What other coupon/money-saving things do you do? 
Share in the comments and I'll add them here so others can save, too! 

June 23, 2011

Must be Thursday

List of things I would love to have accomplished today: 
Folding 4 loads of laundry
Put laundry away
Clean main floor bathroom
Clean master bath
Clean Sophie & cat bath
Scrub kitchen floor (cats, baby food, a shoe... mopping just won't cut it)
Weed the garden
Transplant lettuce & carrots to real garden from pots
Weed a friends garden (she's having an exceptionally difficult week- the kind we never want to have)
Empty dishwasher, reload & handwash knives (they're all dirty :/) 
Write fall show choreography
Continue getting information together 
Scan/Email Purchase order to Band Shoppe so our new items can get shipped

What will likely get accomplished today: 
Move laundry baskets upstairs
Mop kitchen floor
Empty dishwasher 
Weed friends garden

Oh, well. A little at a time. This list wouldn't be so stinking long if I'd just keep up with things instead of having two lazy days in a week. (Yes, I am blogging to justify sitting with both kitties on my lap instead of figuring out how to scan on our printer/scanner) 

Off I go! 

June 21, 2011

Worldly Frustration

What is the first thing you see in
this picture? Sell the product,
not sex. 
I am quite sick of the Electrolux commercials. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones with Kelly Ripa running from work to cooking dinner, hosting a party, catering a slumber party & looking for monsters under the bed or the birthday party or the "juggling more in your day" one. What are they really trying to sell in this series of commercials? What we see is not the fabulous appliances but an attractive, fit super woman who caters to the every need & desire of her family in addition to be a working mom. And really, how many of you do laundry in heels? One of the most disturbing and offensive parts of this whole series of advertisements is the fact that they actually want the consumers to believe that this lifestyle is not only desirable but possible.

I read an article lately that was a critique of the current cultural trends. This was written by a UC Davis law professor about this campaign:

"...Expect women to be everything: the perfect worker, the perfect wife, the perfect mother, et al., but those are the main three.  The perfect worker keeps everything professional despite the emotional ups-and-downs that are part of everyday life.  The perfect mother is always around to provide a hearty meal and comfort from a bad dream.  The perfect wife, well, that part's not in the commercial, but lord knows how she would fit anything else into her schedule and still get time for rest....  Everyone's needs are taken care of, and the implication is that's what a woman is like.  Doing all the work in the household and her part on the job - taking cares of everyone else's needs - satisfies her."

What kind of work is she dressed for?
I find it very difficult to believe that anyone could find complete happiness in all service all the time. All these commercials say to me are "you're not doing enough. You're not perfect until you have the perfect home, the perfect children, perfect job, perfect body and are everything for everyone." Sorry, I'm just not buying what you're selling. 

Playing catch-up

Craig set up our new tent
Last week, we decided to take a little break and get "out of town." We sort of left town. Craig came home from work, we prepped our camp fire dinners and then the Relief Society Presidency came over for a visit (can we say amazing networking visit? One of the counselors is a dental assistant. Yes- I'm still looking for an office to work at. Let me know if you know of anyone hiring!) After they took off, we headed up Mapleton Canyon.
Dinner on the fire

Sophie fell asleep in the car on the long drive (7 miles from our house...) to the campsite. When we got there we picked our spot and got our fun evening going. I built the fire and started cooking dinner while Craig set up the tent. He may have put the top cover on backwards but whatever. We could see the tree tops, moon & stars while inside.
The obligatory marshmallow roasting

For dinner we had roasted potatoes, zucchini, crookneck squash, onions and roasted marshmallows. Neither one of us really like s'mores or marshmallows but it seemed like a necessity while camping. And I hear they pretty much last forever so whatever.
The pretty river that had flooded
 two land bridges

We had a nice evening getting away just enough. Craig might have been cold, the one person sleeping pad might have been just a touch too small but at least we got to have some fun, go to bed early and fall asleep listening to the (flooded) river running near our site. I love camping and hope we can get back soon!

June 11, 2011

We made it through the week!

Do you ever have a week where you are just glad to have made it through alive? It has certainly been one of those weeks in the Nas-ter-son house this week.

Just a week ago we were in Tremonton putting on a reception for more than 150 people. Something like that requires more than one day of rest to recover from.  Then, bright & early (7:15) Monday morning started another week of band. And uniform alterations. And teaching of choreography (to the awesome assistant band director & friend of mine, Kirsten). And planning another (thankfully small) event. Shopping for it. Unpacking the last of the non-book boxes. Catching up on laundry, dishes & gardening. Marching in the parade with 2 of my 9 -soon to be 10- students who were in town. Coming home and cleaning up -again- so our home would be somewhat presentable for company.  I've also gotten my twirling site going, updated my catering site and created a new MMHS Color Guard site since our old one was having issues. To those who have referred people to me for catering, thank you! I do appreciate it very much.There. I posted. In case you can't tell, I'm pretty tired today.

Up this week...

*Get my official catering license
*Get my EIN stuffs so I can hire an employee or two soon (the events are getting larger and now I'm getting clients that I haven't met before)
*Begin serious choreography for MMHS fall
*Hopefully some sleep

See you in a week~

June 8, 2011

A Wednesday in June

I started a post yesterday about trying to be more positive about life in general, then I fell asleep. Sleep is great. I fully appreciate a good sleep (I think most people do, actually.) Then I went to work this morning. I love what I do, I love doing it and it helps me stay active, healthy and creative. I do not love the administrative side of things. I also don't appreciate it when people don't follow through with their promises or I have to fight for something that I shouldn't have to fight for. I won't go into anymore detail but let's just say I'm frustrated again.

In other somewhat related news, there may not be a winter guard next year. (Yes, by my choosing.) Instead, we may join with the winter drumline and compete together. I was discussing color guard items with the band director when one of the drumline instructors popped in and said to join them. Benefits of being one giant team:

  • We'd be one giant team
  • More visual for the drumline
  • More awesome music for the guard
  • Lower fees all around
  • More social interactions for the student
  • Awesome combination of staff

Next step: get through summer and fall seasons. :) 

Actually, next step is fit into one of the high school uniforms. The assistant band director, Kirsten, and I are going to be performing in the Springville parade this Saturday with the two members of my nine member guard who will be there. Want a good laugh? Come watch! 

June 5, 2011

Oh. My. Gosh. (For Serious Sophie Fans Only)

So, in the last 10 days, Sophie has cut not one, but two teeth, gotten a kitten named Herkimer (very entertaining to watch the babies try to understand why they can't really play together) and discovered that being mobile (and FAST) is both fun and has the added bonus of making mommy and daddy really uptight about silly things. "NO, Sophie. Don't get into the cat food!" "Sophie, grass is not for eating!" "Didn't we put you on your back on your playmat in the other room 2 minutes ago?" "Sophie, please stop trying to pull chairs over on yourself. Thanks." 

To recap: 

Sophie can bite
Sophie can army crawl (two arms and a pushing leg)
Sophie enjoys putting EVERYTHING in her mouth
Sophie is not the smallest (welcome) living thing in the house anymore
Sophie LOVES to squeal, say "mamamama" and "a-bah" and the occassional "uh-boo" 
Sophie has discovered that playing peek-a-boo with your skirt is oh-s--fun
Sophie loves to video chat with The Connecticut Grandparents and show off her new skills
Sophie is all smiles almost all the time and is the cutest baby we've ever had. Oh, and we love her a lot. 

Below you can enjoy the Sunday Morning Funnies (compliments of Sophie and Herkimer.) Sophie's daddy was asleep the whole time. Extra points for spotting the sleeping daddy! 

"I see you!" 
"I'm getting closer"
"I got you!"
"No, I got you!"
"Oh, no! She caught us again!"
"I'm gettin' outta here!" "Hey!" 
"Maybe if I look cute, I won't get in trouble."