Just for Fun

I told Stan I can die happy now, because I have seen both a koala and a kangaroo (or a wallaby?). Last weekend we went to Belair National Park just outside of Adelaide. The weather was gorgeous, and it was hardly even crowded (except at the picnic sites and cricket ovals).

Here I am on a walkway:

And if you think THAT’s cute, wait till you see this guy:

I MEAN COME ON!! I was squealing (mostly silently, because I didn’t want to wake him).  We were actually pretty far away; all of these were taken with the zoom lens. Those little guys like to sleep waaaay up high.

Don’t worry, we didn’t make noise or be obnoxious hoping to elicit a response, we just let him snooze. However, we totally lucked out and caught this one in motion!

Since koalas spend most of the day sleeping and lazing about, I was pretty stoked to see one move. Then he noticed us.

He totally looks like he’s slightly annoyed and saying, “What.”

One more:


Have you guys ever been embarrassed by your thrift hunting, garage sale-ing, or side-of-the-road scavenging habits?

I have.

Sure, we all have to swallow a little gulp of pride when pulling junk off the side of the road or digging through someone else’s castoffs (well, I don’t think I have an overabundance of pride, so my gulp is pretty manageable).

But have you ever been really, truly embarrassed by it?

I have.

This happened a while ago, and for some reason I just thought of it recently. I was running, probably training for a race, when I ran by this awesome looking yard sale in the Avenues, which is a fancy, historic neighborhood where there are bound to be treasures. When I’m running hard to Daft Punk or Ratatat (or fine, I’ll admit it- Britney) there is little beyond oncoming cars and grossly protruding sidewalks that can break my concentration, but yard sales are up there.

Sweaty and panting like a malamute in Mississippi, tunes pumping in my ears, I stopped to admire all the fine wares. I was impressed at how nice all their stuff was, and spent some time wondering why the ratio of cool stuff to junk was so high.  I was about to look around for someone manning the sale, when I saw it.

A moving truck.

With people hauling stuff out of it.

This is not a yard sale! This is not a yard sale! RUN!

I had intruded on someone’s goods whilst they moved into their new probably awesome eclectic and historic apartment. Inspected. Gazed. Maybe even touched- I can’t remember.

To this day I don’t know if they said anything to me, thanks to my earphones and quick escape.

Does anyone else have such a story of mortification and woe? Do share!

You guys missing me yet? I’m missing you. I’m way behind on my blog reading and I just wish I never had to do such silly things as sleep.

But I’ve been having fun at least! This past weekend my besties and I rented a minivan and drove down to Las Vegas for my bachelorette party! Don’t worry, we didn’t go totes crazy. But we did totes have fun.

Our hotel was awesome:

And this was our view:

They dressed me up like a bachelorette:

And we owned the town.

Meanwhile back at home, Stan was taking Blanche on hikes, which she decided she’d like to turn into mud baths.

Mmm… firsty for mud.

I’s dirty.

He got her all cleaned up though. (Oh, and did you notice her new summer haircut?)

On an unrelated note, my friend’s brother got me totally coveting these shoes that last week I would have said looked like something from my grandpa’s closet:

But now I NEED them. Thanks a lot, Remmy!

Oh, and ALSO: wedding stuff. Dress fittings, suit tailorings, shoe shoppings, cupcake stand makings, etc. But this weekend we’re doing a walk-through of the place, and I have a feeling that’s when it’s going to hit me how much more there still is to do.

Stan the man showed me a cool site that I thought could possibly be life-changing for some of you out there.

It’s called This to That. Because people have a need to glue things to other things.

Cool, right?? I know that I’ve often faced the dilemma of how to attach two things (even though nothing comes immediately to mind…) so this site is going straight into my favorites. Now, I’m not sure if they guarantee their advice; you may not want to glue your wooden dining chair to your glass window just to test the theory and then sue the website when you fall- but it seems like a pretty good place to start if you’re clueless.

Happy gluing! And happy Friday!

Hello! I’ve been busy. Some things on my plate:

  • We bought all the supplies to make our invitations (so far we’re at $89, so I think it’s safe to say we’ll save some $$ even though I might have to pay for hair implants after I pull my hair out making them).
  • Still training for the half-marathon (less than two weeks away) and annoying everyone with my updates about running

  • TRYING to decide on a honeymoon…
  • Trying to find someone to marry us
  • Planning a surprise party for my brother (yes, the one who comments about diarrhea on my facebook status). This was actually a bigger project than I thought it would be. I made it a “redneck/white trash/buttrock (heavy metal)” theme, which I then realized was a bit too loose of a theme. But we had a wide range of awesome costumes! We told him we were going to Lone Star, which was cracking me up all week, because he doesn’t even like Lone Star. He was being a good sport about going there, though. Then when he came to “pick me up”, my house was full of people! And he said “Are we still going to Lone Star?” LOL. I was like “Uh, no Jonny, we’re grilling burgers and having a fire in the driveway and playing air hockey and eating this cake which I painstakingly made in the shape of an accordion so you better like it.”

See that sign back there with the gun? It says "Nevermind the dog. Beware of owner." and was a gift from Jonny. I "haven't gotten around to" hanging it up outside... because I totally plan to. Totally. 😀

I wish I had a better picture, because it was awesome. I made the shape, but Stan decorated it. The back of it had Reese’s pieces buttons. It was especially difficult because I chose a cake that I knew would be delicious, complete with peanut butter filling, rather than one that was stiff and easy to work with, so it was really crumbly and soft. But delicious it was. Oh and the black keys are Kit-Kats. I seriously love my bro. We’re like, BFFs. That’s why I made him this cake. He’s playing the accordion at our wedding.

  • We spent over half of Saturday getting engagement pictures taken (yep, a little late on that one). My dear, dear friend Ingrid did them, and despite our squinting and extreme awkwardness, she managed to get quite a few good ones.  I’ll probably share them here tomorrow.
  • Then we helped my friend Carrie move into her awesome new apartment! It’s in an old mansion so it’s oozing character, and she has a balcony with an sweet view of downtown Salt Lake! I’m going to make some grow boxes for her to put on her balcony, and I’ll try to blog about it. I’m open to tips on such a project…

So yeah, we’ve been busy. As always, the house projects loom, but I’m okay with the rest of life taking charge for a bit. And thank you all so so much for your lovely comments and opinions on the invitations, etc. I love it.

Does anyone out there use mint.com? Anyone? Bueller?

Well I gotta say, I think it’s pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’ve tried to budget before using Excel, and I always get really excited about it at first, but then I realize that it’s not fun to look at all your transactions from your bank statement, decide which category they all belong in, then type the amounts manually into the spreadsheet.

Mint does it for you! It knows what most of your transactions are for; if you go to Mae’s Diner, it automatically puts in it “Restaurants”. If you go to Shmo’s Market, it automatically puts it in “Groceries”. How smart! (Sometimes I do have to go in and manually correct it- since I get my gas at Smith’s it thinks it’s Groceries, but I can easily change it to Gas/Fuel, for example.) And if you’re not organized enough to make separate budgets for “Personal Care Items” and “Random Crap I Want To Buy” and “Oil Changes”, you can totally make a budget for “Everything Else”- Mint won’t scold you for it!

I feel a little weird sharing how much I spend on stuff with the whole Internets, but I really want you guys to see how easy it is. And besides- what would blogging be without a little oversharing?

Green = Yay! You can still spend money on this this month!

Yellow = It’s okay, you haven’t gone over yet. But no more spending!

Red = Bad Manda! You spent too much on this! Cut back in other ways and try harder next month.

And since it syncs automatically, you never have to bounce back and forth between your statement and your Excel spreadsheet. You can see where you are with your spending in real-time! You can create budgets for anything you want, and if you go over, they let you know (if you want). They also alert you when those sneaky banks try to pull a fast one on you by charging some ridiculous “Account Management fee” or something.

I have every account on there- my mortgage, 401(k), student loan, checking/savings, credit card…  anything you have a log-in for, Mint can sync with it. It’s pretty cool to be able to see it all in one place.

Some people are worried about security, but honestly, I’m not any more worried about it than I am with my Amazon account, or my regular ol’ bank log-ins. I just chose an extra super tricky password for Mint, and this is pretty comforting.

No, I’m not being compensated by Mint for this tout- I just wanted to share because it really has been life-changing. I can log in so easily to check my budgets, and being able to see everything in real-time has really altered my spending habits. I just wish I’d had it sooner- I’d probably be richer!

PS- I can’t not mention how awesome you guys are for being understanding about my being in a blogrut (that is now a word). You really helped take the pressure off! And just as I predicted, after posting that I we finished a couple of projects. Ain’t that life?

Dear readers, how I love you so. And dear other bloggers, I truly heart you so. I apologize that I’ve been baaaad at reading your blogs lately.

Can I try to make it up to you by offering you a giveaway?

I know how you bloggers are. You’ll blog anywhere- the kitchen table, the front steps, the ledge of the bathtub… And you blog readers are the same way. It’s a sickness.

Well I’m here to help. I’m here to help you afford one of CSN’s lovely computer desks for home. Or maybe you just want a new chair to sit in while you peruse all of us crazies. Or maybe you want some new kitchen equipment so you can make delicious treats to eat while you’re blogging. Or maybe you want some outdoor patio furniture so you can escape from your computer!

The choice is yours. If you win, you’ll get a $45 coupon code to use on any of CSN‘s bazillion sites. Let the commenting begin!


  • Leave a comment to be entered
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