Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Day In the Life of Pipeline

Last Sunday, Judah and I shared a great day together celebrating our 3 month anniversary :D It was a gorgeous day too! 

We began the day watching Dr. Charles Stanley for home church while eating the delicious Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts I had made. Then we went to a local coffee shop my friend Lindsay had introduced me to earlier in the week. I tried their Frozen Mocha Frapuccino, which was 10x better than the ones at Starbucks! Judah was boring and got a plain cappuccino :P Then we went to check out Oglebay Park. I was able to show Judah the ducklings we saw on Tuesday, and we also saw about ten deer, some turtles in the pond, and had a great time walking around the park.

Such a beautiful day! After stopping by the AT&T store to dispute something on our bill, Judah asked if I wanted to see the right of way where they were working. He had never taken me to see it, so I said yes!

After spending 30 minutes driving back into the middle of nowhere...

(L) The hill they were currently working on
(R) That's his tractor, called a side boom. 

(R) The hill they had just come down
(L) Some joints of pipe behind him

(R) More pipe - they call it stockpile since they're all sitting together
(L) Standing at the foot of the hill in the first pic

We only climbed to the first ridge and this was the view from there
I told Judah he couldn't pay me enough to drive a tractor up and down that hill

(R) Looking up to the rest of that big hill. No thanks!
(L) The side view of Judah's side boom. He painted his skid basket pink :D

It was fun getting to see where he works everyday. Still can't believe the terrain they need to drive up and down! But that's why they get paid well. And it may be in the middle of nowhere, but he does get to see some pretty views too. 

All in all I thought it was a great day :D

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I am beyond excited to share something with you guys today! Those of you who know me personally, know that I am not a girly girl AT ALL. I wear makeup maybe once a month, the only earrings I wear regularly are my cartilage piercings because I never take them out, and my daily outfit is a tank top/unisex tshirt and shorts/capris/yoga pants. Dressing up for me consists wearing my cowboy boots,  jeans, and a form-fitted shirt ;P

So, when I am telling you about a beauty product that I have fallen in love with, it's a pretty big deal and you should listen!

Introducing: Jamberry!

They are adhesive nail wraps that you apply directly to your nails. Their website touts that these wraps last up to 2 weeks on nails and 4 weeks on toes. All you need is a cuticle pusher, scissors, nail file, and a heat source (hair dryer is perfect) to apply these nails!

These are the four wraps I ordered:

L to R: Take Aim, Glitz, Lotus, Puppy Love

I was invited by one of my mentors from college to her Jamberry Party on Facebook. I had never heard of this product, but the consultant, Caty, was sharing lots of posts and hosting games for us to participate in. I messaged her my address and she sent me a sample to try out myself!

You're asked to take the "seven day challenge", where you place the Jamberry sample on one nail and paint the rest. The concept is that within one week, the jam will hold up better than your regular nail polish. After just two days, the jamicure won out!

By day seven, half my polish was gone and my jams were still looking great! I didn't apply my left one very well and incessant picking at it had caused the edges to raise up, but it still held on and looked good the entire week!

Today I received my order in the mail (it took seven days) and I could not wait to try out a full jamicure! 

My mom suggested I try Glitz (top), but Puppy Love (bottom) was my favorite, so I combined the two. Start to finish, the process took me one hour to put these on. It was my second time applying these and I wanted to take my time to make sure they last! I've talked to people more experienced with the wraps and they say it usually takes them 40 minutes total. I was watching an hour long tv show so it was perfect for me :)

Ready for the best part? Each sheet costs $15 and since you only need to use half a strip, you can get two manis and pedis out of each sheet! Do keep in mind that your nails may fit only certain sizes, but still, how much do you pay for a mani/pedi? At least $30 usually and do they last two weeks? In my experience, the only manicure that lasted two weeks was the gel polish, and that cost an extra $20 anyways. Also, if you buy three sheets, you get the 4th free! So for about $50 bucks (tax + S&H), you can get up to eight mani/pedis! Yup, I was sold. I now have a list of about fifteen other designs I want to order! In case you were wondering, they have over 300 designs on their site. 

Needless to say, I am sold on this product. So much so that I signed up to host my own Jamberry party next month! :) Feel free to check out Caty's online store, but try not to order anything until my party. I plan to invite most of my female Facebook friends to check them out. I will definitely be purchasing some as Christmas gifts :D

Readers: Have you heard of/tried Jamberry nails? Check out Caty's site, click on "shop", and share which Jams are your favorite!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

So we had some excitement here on Sunday. Brownie kept making this "rumbling" sound, and I've always been a little concerned that "her" private parts didn't quite match Cocoa's.... If you haven't figured it out by now, our little Brownie is actually a boy!! :-O Dang it. So we had to move him into our pet store cage, which I feel terrible about because it is literally 1/4 the size of their regular cage :( Poor guy!

He LOVES hiding in the makeshift hay container I made him
I guess the hay tastes better when you sit with it ;P

Of course Judah has to be Mr. Tough Guy and told me we can't keep two separate cages. So either we neuter him for less than $100 or bring him back to the pet store and trade him for another girl. I can't give up Brownie. He is too cute!! So I contacted the vet referred to me by a local rescue and he can do the surgery for $100. Yay!!! Granted the pre-op exam is $50 but Judah didn't say anything about that :D But truthfully, Judah said that that price is fine.

So in three weeks we will bring him in to the vet and if he's mature enough, they will do the surgery that day! If he's not ready, I will bring him back in a couple more weeks. That makes me happy because none of the pigs are particularly happy that he is now in a separate cage and if he can have surgery on the day he is scheduled, then they will all be reunited in six weeks. Granted that is half of his life at that point, but for the long term, it's not bad :)

There is a chance that he impregnated either of the two girls, but I am praying God shows us some favor on that mistake. From what I have read online, guinea pigs sexually mature at three weeks for boys and four weeks for girls. Since we found out he was a boy on his fifth week birthday, that means we only had him in there for two weeks when he should not have been. Hopefully Cocoa is safe because she only would have been mature last week. Guinea pigs go into heat for just a few short hours every 15-17 days so there is a chance we missed Maple's opportunity to get pregnant (hopefully!!). Also, I have noticed that she will nip at him if he rumbles at her so I think even if he did try to mount her, she woulda kicked his butt haha. And finally, I read that boys tend not to figure out "how to do it" until they are a little older, so even though he was rumbling, he may still be too young to get either of them pregnant. So fingers crossed!

Now that you know entirely WAY too much about guinea pig mating habits, let's talk about homemade laundry detergent.

I've seen this recipe around for nearly two years now, but have never bothered to try it. I knew we were getting low on ours and I love trying homemade cleaning products, so figured why not give it a go! You can see the original post here.

These are the ingredients you need:

- 5 gallon bucket and lid ($4.14)
- 3 bars Fels-naptha soap (0.97 cents each, $2.91 total)
- 3 lb Oxiclean Stain Remover ($7.52)
- 4 lbs pure baking soda ($2.24)
- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($3.97)
- Purex Crystals ($4.76)
- 20 Mule Team Borax (not entirely sure what it cost because I already had a box here, but I'll use $3.38 from the original post)

So that's a total of $24.78 for product plus $4.14 for the container for a grand total of $28.92.

Want to know the best part? All you need is one tablespoon of this stuff per load of laundry! The original article states that this makes 575 loads, so if you do 10 loads of laundry per week, this detergent will last you nearly 12 months!!! If you choose to add an extra tablespoon for more heavily soiled clothes, it may be closer to six months, but still! Less than $30 for six months worth of laundry detergent. That is crazy.

And this detergent is so simple to make! All you have to do is grate the Fels-Naptha soap with a cheese grater. The soap is pretty hard, making it super easy to grate.

It kind of looks like cheese, doesn't it? Haha

Then all you do is add the ingredients together and mix! They recommend you do it in smaller batches, so I broke the ingredients down into thirds since there are three bars of the soap. Then when I was finished, I firmly placed the top on the container and rolled it around the floor to mix everything real good! Start to finish this took me 30 minutes, and that included me being distracted and stopping to do some other tasks in between.

The yellow is the Fels-Naptha and the blue are the Purex Crystals!

I tested it out this morning and this stuff works! Some people who have tried it complained that although the detergent worked, their clothes weren't scented after washing, but that wasn't the case for me. I washed the guinea pig fleece and the tshirts they have in their cage and although the fleece didn't pick up the soap smell, the tshirts did! I haven't done a regular load of laundry yet, but I feel confident that if it can do a great job of cleaning the guinea pig bedding, it can handle anything!

Since you probably don't want such a big bucket near your washer, you can hold on to the Oxiclean container, since the measuring cup inside it is the perfect size. Fill to line one for a regular load and to line two for a heavily soiled load!

Readers: Have you tried your own homemade laundry detergent? Will you give this recipe a try?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Baking Saturday

Usually I wait until Sundays to make things in large batches, since that seems like the day you should! But Sunday is Judah's only day off, so I decided I should try to do that on Saturdays instead.

It also helped that I wanted to make Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts for our anniversary tomorrow morning! By the way, check out that link. They take a bit of effort, but these homemade pop tarts are SO worth it. Once I make them a few times, I will probably post the recipe step by step myself, but for now refer to Sally's Baking Addiction's original post. SO GOOD!

I also have been lacking with stand-by lunch items, though I am incredibly proud to say that Judah takes a salad nearly everyday now :D So I decided to make a big batch of pizza dough and make my spinach calzones. I figure with 1/3 whole wheat flour in the dough and putting spinach in them makes them healthier ;)  They also taste great, freeze easily, and work well for Judah to bring to work.

I still want to make waffles today and I accidentally mixed the egg wash with the pop tart filling, so I need to make some oatmeal muffins to use that up. My bad...

I'm glad that I have finally been able to keep our food bill down this month! We've been spending nearly $500/month, which is ridiculous for two people, especially when vegetables only cost me about $80 for the month, including what I buy for the guinea pigs. To be fair, last month a lot of the grocery bill went towards stocking up on canned goods, which has helped lower this month, but I know we are way lower than we usually are! We've been eating many more vegetables too, which has been great. Dinner typically consists of a meat or beans and then two or three types of veggies. I am also making everything homemade. Bread, ice cream, tortillas, cookies/desserts, pizza dough. I would love to make my own pasta, but I haven't been that adventurous yet! Plus we have about five pounds of it laying around.. That makes me feel great. My only wish would be to have my own garden so I can control my own produce, but unfortunately that won't happen until we settle down or at least know we will be in a place long enough to have one. If I had planned it out, I think I could have had a garden here. Maybe next year :)

I'm nervous for my interview tonight. I almost wanted to cancel it, but I figure the worst that happens is I don't get the job or I get it and don't want it so I tell them no. But I do seriously need to find something to take up more of my time while we are here so I might as well go interview tonight and see if I like it.

I can't give much detail at this time, but we found out the other night that Judah's mom has cancer. It does appear to be advanced and the prognosis is not good, but I am sure there are lots more tests and discussions that need to take place before anything is finalized. Please if you could include her and Judah's family in your prayers as we navigate through this difficult time.

I hate cancer. I've been incredibly fortunate that it has not affected my life until two months ago when my mom was diagnosed, but I feel its presence now and it is an evil, devastating disease. Having another loved one stricken with this terrible ailment makes me wish I had the right degree to go into cancer research and find a cure for it. I really like the image I found above.

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still"
- Exodus 14:14

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Cookie Day!

Happy Friday everyone! What are your exciting plans for the weekend!?!

I wish I could say Judah and I planned an amazing, awesome, action-packed anniversary weekend (three months on Sunday!!)... BUT we didn't. First, he's been working crazy hours at work for the past three weeks and there have been rumors of working Sundays. With our luck, we would plan something and then we'd have to cancel because he has to work! Then we found out that his roommate from last summer, who I got to know pretty well from spending so much time with Judah, is back in the area working for a different company and we told him to join us for dinner this weekend if he can (that was our fault, haha). And finally, we are putting a lot of money towards the truck still, so it's not really in the bank account for us to spend money on hotel rooms and other stuff. We enjoy our company enough that we don't HAVE to go somewhere else to have fun :) We decided since we earn about $30-40 in credit card rewards each month, when we have enough money for a hotel room, we will use those rewards towards it. So probably next month we will get away for a night. Also, it seems Judah may get some time off after this job and we'll go on our honeymoon finally, so we can save money up for that instead if we want :D

**edit - while writing this post I received a phone call from the Old Navy store I applied to and I have an interview tomorrow night! I guess it was best that Judah and I don't have serious plans :D

Anyways... it has been a while since I posted a recipe! Sorry about that. I've come across some good ones so I will be sure to post them throughout the month. Today's recipe share is fantastic. Remember way back in an earlier post I said that I usually will try recipes that are on product bags? Well that's exactly where this one comes from. My friend Lindsay claims she is a horrible baker and so I invited her over to help me bake cookies and hopefully learn a thing or two! For me, baking is incredibly easy and I feel like I have a pretty good handle on it.

On to these amazing cookies:

Photo cred to Lindsay since I didn't think to take any pics (again!)

Toll House Nestle Chocolate Chunk Cookies
    2 sticks butter
    3/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    11.5 oz package (1 3/4 cups) semi sweet chocolate chunks

Cream together the butter and sugars, then add the eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Finally, add the flour and chocolate chunks. Spoon tablespoon sized dough onto baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown (the top may still be slightly underdone).

This is a simple, straightforward recipe, but it tasted SO GOOD! I have seriously eaten three cookies a day since we baked them, and it required a lot of self control to stop at 3 ;)

Here are a few of my baking hints that I shared with Lindsay:
- Let the butter sit out for a couple hours before baking - I usually take it out the night before
- Cream the butter and sugar first (unless otherwise instructed) - it's easier to combine these ingredients first
- Next, add in your smallest ingredients (less than a cup) - I feel that it ensures they mix in evenly with the rest of the dough
- It is better to take your cookies out of the oven early than let them sit in too long - cookies will continue to bake on the pan once out of the oven
- freeze cookies for ultimate lasting freshness! We made these cookies on Wednesday, but when I take them out of the freezer and let them come to room temperature, they taste exactly the same as they did that day!

Finally, I'm excited to show you guys the decorating I have done around the house! With Labor Day passing, it seems everyone said goodbye to summer and hello to fall (even though we still have a week and a half technically), but I couldn't bring myself to get into fall mode when it was nearly 85 degrees outside! This past storm we had though brought in a cold front and the high for the next week is 73 so I decided now would be a good time to get in the fall spirit. :D

Everything is courtesy of Walmart. I absolutely love the owl sign :D My favorite change has been the candles and new tarts for the wall plug ins I bought though! The house smells so good now :)

I have lots I want to share with you guys, including the new logo on my page for Sweat Pink, Jamberry nails, and more recipes! Be sure to keep coming back :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's been a while!

Sorry for the lack of posting (if I even have any followers out there ;P)

It's been a busy couple of weeks around here. Judah and I went back to WI to visit. I was there for five days, while he was only able to stay for one. But I completed the paperwork for my new license!! :D It should arrive in the mail by the start of next week. We also were able to get Judah's new truck, which weirdly enough I haven't taken a picture of... but it's pretty much like this:

She drives nice and Judah now gets free fuel from work so that will save a couple hundred dollars each month :D Can't complain about that!

I had a pretty good time while I was out there visiting with the in-laws and Judah's friends. WI is pretty gorgeous in the summertime it seems. Too bad it has too many months of winter for my liking :P I told Judah we can live there between October and December for hunting season and the holidays, but the rest of the year we better live somewhere in the south!

Here are a few pics from when I went to the zoo with my sister-in-law and our drive back from WI.

I am loving the fact that now I have a vehicle. I didn't entirely mind walking everywhere, but I definitely don't miss it now! It makes me so happy that I don't spend three hours going to the gym and back and my workouts actually feel better too because I'm not tired from walking four miles (go figure). I also can go grocery shopping on my own, which allows Judah and I to spend more time together doing other things. He absolutely hates shopping and frankly, I don't need him there, so it's easier all around to be able to do it myself.

I also get to drive myself other places! Yesterday morning I met up with my friend Lindsay and we got coffee and visited a park nearby. We had an awesome time! We saw lots of deer (nearly twenty total!) and a group of ducklings with momma duck.

And can you believe that the McNuggets are one month old today??

They're not as big as I thought they'd be by now, but to be honest, I have no idea how fast they grow! But they are doing very well and they make my day go by much faster :)

So there's a pretty good update on the past three weeks... I will post a bit more often now that all the excitement of traveling has died down. I have started a new workout program (Lean & Lovely) and have found a new obsession that I want to share (Jamberry), so keep coming back!