A Night of Music, Rides, and Food!

It’s taken me a little bit to get around to blogging about it, but back during the first weekend of September, the annual Coconino County Fair rolled into town.  I have attended this fair every year for as long as I can remember and this year was my second year going with my husband!  (See this post for our first year at the fair together.)

Last year, we made the mistake of going on Labor Day, which was the last day of the fair.  Most of the vendors were already packed up and even though we still had fun together, it was a bit of a let down.  This year, we intentionally planned to go on the second day, and at night instead of daytime!  I had never gone to the fair at night before, but I’d heard it was much more exciting with all the lights and music.  I can now say I didn’t hear wrong. 🙂  It was fairly sizzling with energy and excitement!  We had such a blast with the nightlife, and it was hands-down the best fair experience we’ve ever had!

The only downside for going on Saturday night was the sheer amount of people there.  That was definitely part of what contributed to the energy and made it so exciting, but at times it felt slightly claustrophobic when we were elbow to elbow with everyone as we walked around.  Joshua and I are introverts and we both felt a little overwhelmed at times with all the people.  Still, it was totally worth it!

We saw the band Snake Oil, who were absolutely phenomenal.  I mostly took videos with Snapchat, which I have yet to figure out how to embed onto the blog.  If anyone has suggestions for how to embed Snapchat videos on WordPress, I’d love to hear them!  🙂  Snake Oil is an 80s rock cover band, and incredibly talented at that.  The lead singer dresses up as various people, such as Ozzy Osborne, Steve Perry, Freddie Mercury, and more.  They were absolutely mind blowing with their talent and how they completely embodied all the bands’ sounds and style.  Joshua and I are both huge fans of 80s rock bands, so naturally, we had the time of our lives.

After the concert, we headed off to the rides.  Both Joshua and I aren’t super great with rides, as we both didn’t have the greatest experiences as kids with them.  Still, we had quite a bit of fun and mostly just enjoyed the experience and the memories we were making by spending this time together.  Every moment with him is my favorite moment, no matter what we’re doing. ❤

When we finished up the rides, we decided it was time for food, which was probably what both of us were most excited for.  There’s just something about fair food that can’t compare–it’s totally the best!  We’d been saving most of our money for fair food, so we definitely didn’t hold back.  I got a hotdog, and Joshua got a chili dog, and we split a large carton of fries with ketchup and mayo.  (You probably think that’s gross, but that’s okay, we love it, lol.)  We also split a funnel cake with powdered sugar, chocolate, and whipped cream, and then before we headed out for the night, we picked up a bag of cotton candy and a chocolate dipped marshmallow on a stick.

Like I said, we didn’t hold back on the food and we loved every bit of it.  It’s not that often we can indulge in treats like this!

All in all, it was such a wonderful night and always a fun precursor to my birthday on September 13th.  A post soon to come on that!

Do you attend a county fair?  If so, what is your favorite part of it?

Until next time,

Tialla ❤

 

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Introducing Princess Zelda Newman

I realized something just a few days ago: I never shared on here about how my husband and I adopted a kitten back in November!  At that time, I was pretty involved in writing my book for NaNoWriMo, so I guess it just slipped my mind to share about her adoption.  I did share about it on my socials, so that probably also contributed to it!  So without further ado….

Before my husband and I even got married, we both knew that we would be adopting a pet as soon as we could.  We both grew up with pets and we love dogs and cats alike, so we knew we’d adopt a pet before too long.  When we first got married, we decided to push it off a while because our apartment required a $500 pet deposit and $30 monthly pet rent.  However, only four months into our marriage, both of us found ourselves really wanting a pet.  We are both huge animal lovers, so it was really hard to not have a lovable pet at home.  At that point, we realized we couldn’t get a dog since both of us were gone nearly all day, six days a week.  Also, I’m not so eager to housebreak a puppy at this moment, lol.  With that, we decided a cat would be our first pet.

Still, we pushed it off because we just didn’t know if we could afford the pet deposit.  However, one night when I was scrolling through Facebook, I saw that a friend of mine needed to find a new home for her cat.  I shared this with my husband (who, I must say, is the one out of the two of us who will jump on any opportunity if he can, haha), and before we knew it, we were considering adopting this cat.  We soon realized we definitely couldn’t afford the pet deposit combined with getting this cat since this particular furry friend was in Colorado and that would be an expensive drive for us.  That one kitty sparked our desire to adopt a cat, though, and we soon began searching the local shelter websites.  (We very strongly believe in “adopt don’t shop.”  There are so many sweet animals just waiting for homes in the shelters!)  We did some research on which shelter was best (in Flagstaff, Second Chance won out slightly over the Humane Society).

By the end of the week, we were inquiring with Second Chance on their spayed female kittens (we knew female was a better bet considering my husband’s crazy stories of the messes made from his boy cat years ago).  We also had to look for a certain age because our apartment requires kittens already be litter box trained.  There was a particular gorgeous kitten online that caught our eye, but we learned she was in quarantine because there was some kind of breakout in the kitten room.  A week later, though, she was free to visit and she’d never actually been sick–just protected from it.  The moment I first petted her, she snuggled in closer to my hand, melted our hearts, and we knew she was the kitten for us.  We walked out of the shelter with her and it’s been a crazy adventure ever since!

We named her Princess Zelda Newman.  (For those of you who don’t know, my married name is Newman, but I’ve already published under the name Tialla Rising, so I decided to keep it on the blog.)  She came with the name Lady Lannister, but we aren’t fans of Game of Thrones and especially not Lady Lannister (just…eew).  We settled on Zelda, though, because we are both huge nerds and The Legend of Zelda was my husband’s favorite game growing up.  Plus, we knew undoubtedly that this cat would be a princess.  😉

To be honest, it has been more frustrating than I realized to have a cat (I never had one growing up, only dogs).  She has ripped up our carpet–post on that coming soon–chewed through many things, including the Christmas tree lights, my husband’s headphones, and our decorative fairy lights.  Still, puppies damage lots of things too, so I’ve reminded myself that it’s just part of having a pet.  However, it’s also been more enjoyable than I ever anticipated!  She is so funny, always has us laughing, and I’ve come to realize that cats just have the greatest personalities.  She talks to us all the time, especially if we get up “too early” for her.  She’s adorable and melts my heart when she shows us she loves us.  Whoever said cats don’t show love has definitely never owned one!  Our little girl cries until we pick her up and cuddle her, she always has to have attention when we come home, she cuddles with us every night in bed, and she routinely follows us wherever we go in the apartment, just because she wants to be close.  She is just the cutest and most adorable little cuddly thing ever.

We just celebrated her first birthday in July, so our baby girl is no longer a kitten.  She’s bigger than we expected with weighing in at twelve pounds now!  I’m not sure how she’s gotten so big, considering she doesn’t eat more than 1/2 cup of food a day, and it’s not an auto-feeder.  In fact, she chooses to eat less than what the bag says to feed her, yet she’s still grown into a pretty large cat!  As with most cats, she panics when her food bowl is nearing empty.  The moment she can see the bottom of her bowl, no matter how many pieces of food are still left, she starts crying until we fill it.  Sometimes she is so convinced she’s starving that our drama queen even rolls on the floor.

Yep, she keeps us laughing.

Apparently she already has a boyfriend.  😉  The neighborhood boy cat likes to visit her at the window. Feline Romeo & Juliet ❤

Anyway, now you know all about our Princess and so if I mention her in future posts, you won’t be lost on the fact that we adopted a furbaby. ❤

Obviously we love her lots and can’t help but take pictures of all her cuteness. ❤

New Website Domain!

For those of you new followers who perhaps don’t know, I’m a writer.  Writing and everything bookish in general is my passion and has been for as long as I can remember.  I published my debut novel at age seventeen and then published its sequel at age nineteen.  I wrote a third novel for NaNoWriMo in November, and I’m working on editing it.  It’s been a slow process since I’ve been either working (and subsequently exhausted at the end of the day–not a good state for editing) or job hunting (and therefore distracted, which is also not a good state for editing).  I am dying to edit through this third book, craft it further, polish it, and let my husband read it to see what he thinks.  Hopefully soon I’ll be able to seriously get into it.  I’m honestly stoked about this story and I can’t wait to do more with it!

I’m feeling it 😉

On that writerly note, I wanted to let you all know that I have updated my website domain.  You can now find my website at http://www.tiallarising.com.  You might (or might not) recall it used to be TheRubyVial.com, which is playing off a significant magical object from my first book.  While it wasn’t an issue when I published my first book, once I published my second book, it started to feel off.  This is due to even though the second book is a sequel, the Ruby Vial isn’t present in the story.  Now that I’m working on a third book which is completely unconnected with the first two, I felt like a change was in order.

It makes more sense to focus on my website as a place for readers to find the books I’ve written (and therefore giving me ample flexibility for adding more books of all genres and worlds), rather than a website based on the first book.  My interests go far beyond the plot of my first book, so changing the URL to TiallaRising.com feels just so much more write! (Ha, I’m so punny.) 😉  I also feel like it gives me more freedom to grow beyond my first book, which is always something I’m striving for.

Anyway, that’s the update!  I think I’ve changed all my links on my blog to the new URL, but if you happen to catch one that doesn’t work in your perusing, please let me know.

Have a great weekend, friends!  I have no idea what’s in store for us this weekend, but I hope it includes lots of rain and thunderstorms. ❤

-Tialla

Our One-Year Anniversary

I cannot believe we have already been married for a whole year!  Where has the time gone?  It seems like we just got home from our honeymoon a couple of weeks ago, and here we are, a full year of wedded bliss under our belts.  It’s amazing me to think we have already experienced all seasons and holidays of the year together as a married couple.  Hot and dry Arizona summers, brisk, colorful, exciting, but short autumn, bitter cold, snowy, and too short winter, and windy but barely noticeable spring.  I always feel like spring here in Flagstaff is kind of a mixture of winter hanging on for longer than it should and summer starting too early.  Basically cold snaps and hot flashes.

Anyway, enough about the weather.  Funny how my mind comprehends time past by reviewing the seasons.

As I posted on Facebook for our anniversary: One year ago, I married my best friend and we began this journey of wedded bliss. We have grown so much closer through this year of marriage and it’s pretty incredible to me to look back at all the experiences we have had, both wonderful and difficult. People say the first year is the hardest, but they also say it’s still the honeymoon phase. All I know is that, yes, marriage is a challenge, but it’s also incredibly fun. So perhaps we are still undeniably in the honeymoon phase, but I can say with full assurance that despite the challenges of marriage, it’s the best thing ever to be married to my best friend, it’s fun, and I wouldn’t want to experience life any other way. I’m beyond grateful that we exchanged vows one year ago.  He truly is my other half, my soulmate. He completes me. 💖 

To celebrate our one-year anniversary, we booked an Airbnb for a weekend getaway in Sedona.  Like I’ve said before, we love Sedona since we spent our honeymoon there (and I think it’s the prettiest place in Arizona), so we wanted to spend a few days there for our anniversary!  Did you know, I hadn’t heard about Airbnb until this year?  I’m hooked now!  I can’t get over how much cheaper they are than hotels and in our experience, it’s a lot nicer because you’re just dealing with people, not a business.  It’s the best!

(Warning: This is going to be a very long post with lots of pictures ahead. 😉 )

Our trip down to Sedona started out with Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee!

We absolutely adored our little Airbnb cottage.  It was honestly barely smaller than our apartment and the setup was just so cute.  Another perk of this Airbnb was that the kitchen was fully stocked with dishes, cookware, and even some food!  I truly loved that it had a tiny little dining table because we don’t have room for one in our apartment–so it was wonderful to have one for a couple of days!

Since we got in later than we expected, our vacation started with amazing pizza from a place there called Hideaway House.  Joshua and I decided that we wanted three specific styles of food for our time in Sedona: pizza (good, local pizza, not a chain or takeout), sushi, and dinner at The Golden Goose, which was the restaurant we went to on our honeymoon so now it’s a thing for us. 😉  We ordered the margarita pizza and it was fabulous!  We like our pizza with a thinner crust, lots of sauce, and very cheesy and this soared beyond our standards!  I also decided to try one of their alcoholic beverages since I’m still exploring what I like in alcohol.  I know I like vodka, so this sounded good and it was pretty great!  It was stronger in vodka than I expected, but I didn’t feel any buzz from it so they made it well.

We sat outside with poor lighting so please excuse the dark photos!

One thing we did on our honeymoon was watch the Harry Potter series, which was my first time watching the movies EVER after just finishing the books.  Due to Harry Potter being as amazing as it is, we wanted to continue that memory and experience, so we decided to spend our down time starting on the series again.  This has quickly turned into the beginning of “Harry Potter week” for us, which I’m sure will be a yearly tradition now. 😉  We are such nerds, lol.

The next day, we picked up the ATV we rented to go four-wheeling.  They went over a map with us for the four-hour trail they would send us on, confirming that it was indeed a great trail for beginners and sent us off!

Can I just say that they totally lied about it being for beginners??  There were parts of that trail that were absolutely TERRIFYING with nearly vertical drops of rock cliffs and vertical climbs of pure jutting rock.  I was so upset with them that they said it was for beginners.  I thought we were for sure going to die at places, that’s how scary it got at times.  Not gonna lie, I even broke down and cried a few times because it was so freaking scary.  I had to get out of the ATV and walk a couple of times while my husband maneuvered certain dangerous parts since he wasn’t sure how my weight would affect the balance of the vehicle being a passenger and all.

In the end, though, we made it.  I need to give a HUGE shoutout to my husband for being absolutely incredible with driving the ATV.  We said we were beginners because I thought I would drive at times (didn’t happen), and because it’s been a few years since four-wheeling for my husband.  However, he grew up doing this kind of thing in Alaska, and I guess it was like second nature to him because he handled it beautifully.  There were times when I thought it was the end and all I could do was close my eyes and pray.  And then he would say, “We made it,” without a tire slipping once.  There were huge ruts that I thought would make us go sideways, but he urged the vehicle onto just the right incline and angle to keep us straight.  He was careful and cautious and considered my fears before anything else.  Oh how I love him!

It was a huge test of faith and trust in my husband and I can honestly say I learned so much in those four hours.  I thought that I already trusted my husband, but it’s grown exponentially now.

During our four-wheeling, unfortunately, my husband’s phone fell out of his pocket, and went flying from the tire, effectively cracking the whole screen.  Thankfully it still works, so he just has a new screen protector on it until we figure out what to do (and when we have the money to do something about it).  Also, somehow my car keys disappeared from my bag.  I really don’t know how, but they are gone.  I never heard them fall or saw them slide out of my bag, but we can’t find them anywhere and I specifically put them in my bag before we went four-wheeling just in case something happened to my husband’s keys.  It’s not devastating because he still has his and we only have one car, but it’s just kind of scary because if those get lost, we’re stuck.  It’s no good worrying about what might happen and being paranoid, so we’re just making sure to be extra careful now.  We didn’t let us get those two things down!  We realized it is what it is and we moved on so we could still enjoy our weekend. 🙂

I should add here that I did have a super fun time.  The dangerous, terrifying parts stand out to me, but I had enough fun to do it again–just not on that trail!  It was fun to do something different than our norm and to spend a lot of time outside on a four-wheeler.  It was a great choice for our weekend.  I truly did enjoy it…even though it probably sounded like I didn’t.  I just didn’t like certain parts of that trail, that’s all.  🙂

That night, we headed out for sushi, which was admittedly the night I was most excited for!  What can I say, it’s sushi!  Unfortunately, the chef was super slow on making my roll.  By the time I got mine, it was thirty minutes after closing and probably about five-ten minutes after I would have been done eating if I’d gotten mine at the same time as my husband.  I don’t know what took the chef so long, but it really was ridiculous.  Still, it tasted amazing as always and was worth it!

My husband ordered the volcano roll, which was stuffed with lots of crab and had crab piled on top.  He loves it, lol.  I ordered the caterpillar roll, which has avocado, eel sauce and some kind of fish, and then we split a dragon roll.  I ended up liking the dragon roll more than anything else because it had shrimp tempura, so I’ll be getting that next time!

We headed to the movies afterward to see Wonder Woman!  I’d been wanting to see that so I was very excited, and even better, we had almost the whole theater to ourselves.

The next day was our anniversary!  We went out for breakfast at a place called Nick’s and it was delicious.  It wasn’t much different than a typical diner, but our waitress was superb in making sure we had everything we could possibly ask for.  I even ordered chocolate milk (yep, what can I say, I still love it, lol) and she wanted to make sure there was enough chocolate in it for me.  I got the Eggs Benedict which was delicious, my hubby ordered a breakfast sandwich, and we split a huge cinnamon roll.  The food was the quality I’d expect from a mom & pop diner, which was exactly what we were looking for.

After we digested from breakfast, we headed out hiking!  It was actually later in the day than we planned on, but it worked out because it was still hot outside and it would have been unbearable if we went any earlier.  Sedona is most known for its trails and hiking spots, so we really wanted to experience that this time.  Our Airbnb host recommended the Sugar Loaf trail, which was fantastic!  It was easy and scenic.

I couldn’t believe how much cacti there was at the trailhead!  It lined either side of the trail.  Even though I have lived in Arizona for seventeen years, it still made me a little nervous because I could just see myself tripping and falling into one.  It didn’t happen, though, thankfully!

The views in Sedona are so gorgeous with all the rock formations and layers of colors within the rocks.

If you don’t know, the residents of Sedona are typically very spiritual people.  They are all about the vortexes (high-energy locations for a spiritual awakening, apparently) found throughout Sedona, and anything New Age or spiritual that you can think of.  I find it intriguing to listen to them and hear how they truly believe.

When we got back from hiking, we showered and had dinner at The Golden Goose.  I forgot to take pictures, unfortunately, but it was fantastic.  The restaurant is more on the upscale side of things, so Joshua and I always feel like it’s a little too fancy for us, but we enjoy it anyway.  It’s expensive, but that’s what we saved up for.  I had the shrimp scampi and Caesar salad, and Joshua had a salmon special that was the best salmon either of us had ever tried!  We also order an appetizer of coconut shrimp with Pina Colada dipping sauce, and it was phenomenal.  I’m sure it wasn’t difficult for our waiter to realize how much we love seafood. 😉

Later that night, we opened a bottle of wine and celebrated our one-year anniversary officially with our wedding glasses, and eating slices from the top of our wedding cake.

The next morning we had to check out by noon, so we packed up and headed to breakfast at Pump House Station, which was also recommended by our host.  It was quite fantastic and I’ll definitely want to go back.  It had great prices for the food, and the food was delicious. The whole place had very urban vibes, with super cute decorations–like license plate markers to take to your table and mugs for the sugar packets.  I especially liked that even though it had more of a hipster atmosphere–which normally makes me feel a little out of place–we felt completely comfortable because there were all kinds of people there.  Families, younger people, older people, and everyone in between.  We headed outside since I love outdoor seating if it’s available, and it was a little crowded inside.  There was a beautiful view and it was just a very relaxing way to end our time in Sedona.

On our way out of Sedona, we stopped at Starbucks.  We had planned on making a trip to Starbucks at least once a day on our weekend, but it didn’t happen, so we made sure to swing by before climbing back up to Flagstaff.  I ordered the iced caramel macchiato, which is my favorite summer drink when we have some extra money, and my hubby ordered their peach citrus white tea, which was also delicious!

We headed home to a rainy Flagstaff, which made us happy because thunderstorms are our favorite weather of all time, and it hadn’t rained yet this summer.  It was a great way to come home!  That night we just had an easy dinner of leftovers from our trip and then headed to the theater to see the new Pirates.  Pirates 5 is amazing!  I wouldn’t say it’s better than the others, but I do think it’s just as good.  They continued to do such a great job coming up with completely unique Captain Jack moments, which is saying something since they are five movies in now.  It’s amazing to me that I saw the first one in theaters years ago and now during our one-year wedding anniversary we watched the fifth one in theaters!  Have you seen it?

The next day threw us back into regular work schedule, so I’m very happy it’s Friday night now!  It hasn’t been as hard adjusting back to this schedule as I thought, but I’ve been exhausted by the end of every day, so I’m glad we have the weekend to recover before starting the five-day week.  Also, I hit the gym every morning since we’ve been back (I don’t even want to think about what damage that food-filled weekend caused), so I think that has helped.

In this year of marriage, a lot has changed for us.  Difficult personal things have changed that I never would have imagined.  We have trekked a very hard path with certain things this year–not between the two of us, but in other areas of life.  What’s most important though, is that these difficult situations have grown us closer and stronger together as a couple!

Aside from that, though, we’ve hit some pretty big “landmarks”:

–At the beginning of our marriage, I worked twenty hours a week for a work at home job.

–I wrote a full novel from start to finish in three weeks.  (Still to be edited!)

–We celebrated my 21st birthday and my husband’s 25th birthday.

–I started a second work at home job, bumping me up to 40 hours a week and matching my husband.

–We spent the first 11 months of our marriage with me coming to work with him since he was the only one there.  I worked on my computer, and he worked at the shop.  His boss even encouraged it.  Basically that meant we were blessed to be together 24/7–and it truly was a wonderful blessing for us.

–Joshua got his wisdom teeth out.

–He also got his dream job last month and started on a new career adventure!

–I had to quit my first work at home job last month.

–He’s now working a typical job–in which I can’t be with him, imagine that–so my work at home job is truly work at home now.  Anytime I’m not working, I’m job hunting.

–We’re loving his new hours of 7-4, because he gets an hour lunch break, so he can come home and eat with me (he didn’t have any lunch break at his previous job and worked 9-6 so it was really hard to get any errands or anything done), and then 4 PM feels SO EARLY compared to 6 PM!

Lots of changes, but mostly good!  If you stuck around to the end of this very long post, I’m super impressed.  I had a lot to share but that’s because we had an amazingly wonderful and packed weekend.  Until next time!

Happy weekend!

-Tialla ❤

Our Fourth of July!

I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend!  Joshua and I certainly did.  We try to soak up every moment we have together outside of work and that especially holds true for long weekends!  Unfortunately I still had to work on Sunday, but it was only for four hours, so not too bad. 😉

On Saturday, Joshua and I decided to check on the fluids in our car because we had taken a nine hour trip for his new job training.  As fate would have it, we needed to fill the washer fluid, so we got the bottle out and washer fluid was all over the outside of the bottle.  It got on our hands from that and when I poured it in the car, it splashed on my hands again.  We made a mental note to wash our hands, finished up with the fluids, and decided to check the mail while we were out.  (This story does have a point, I promise.)

After getting the mail, we took it back to our apartment and since it was so hot, I suggested we walk down to Dairy Queen to get ice cream cones.  It was a quick jaunt and soon we had chocolate-dipped ice cream cones in our hands.  It did not take us more than half a second to realize that hardened, chocolate-dipped ice cream cones were a bad idea as it did not hold the ice cream in, it just pushed down on it so it started dripping EVERYWHERE.  As we were walking back home, they started dripping so much that we decided to stop and sit on a wall to finish them.  It was also windy, so imagine hair in my face, trying to walk and hold together this quickly falling apart and melting cone, chocolate getting everywhere, my hands covered in ice cream….

I decided to lick the ice cream off my hand.

You may notice that I never said we washed our hands for which we made that mental note, and oh my goodness, that was the most vile taste I’ve ever had in my mouth.  It immediately made me nauseated and I gagged.  I made sure at that point to just hold the cone at where the paper covered it, hoping that would make a difference.  Before long, hubby had the same reaction when he bit into a piece of cone that he had touched with his hand.  Unfortunately, the paper was not enough on my cone because it was still vile when I got to it.

Such a disappointing experience, lol.

Anyway, that was our funny story for Saturday.

Come Monday, hubby and I decided to kick off the Independence Day celebrations with making double chocolate cookies!  You can find the recipe here if you want!  I loved how easy it was to put together and the cookies truly taste wonderful!  I thought it was interesting how different the recipe was from others I’ve used, and the dough was so soft it couldn’t even be rolled into balls–just blobs, haha!  I have a tendency to over bake cookies because I’m so paranoid about them being undercooked (even though they totally taste better), so ours turned out crunchier than they should have been.

Also, making cookies with my husband as a team was one of the most fun things we’ve done!  I don’t like to cook or bake very much, so it was much more enjoyable doing it together for fun.  I can also tell how over this year of marriage (almost one year–July 10th!), we’ve gotten so much better about working together.  When we first got married, I know I wouldn’t have let him make these with me because he didn’t know much about cooking/baking, and I wasn’t patient enough to deal with it.  Being in the kitchen together was frustrating for both of us.  I was amazed at how well we worked together to make these cookies and truly had a blast–which was one of the first times we’d collaborated in the kitchen for a long while.  Now he’s learned a little bit more and I’m more laid back.  We’ve both learned in different ways.  If we could grow with each other this much in one year, I can’t wait to see what more years bring us. ❤

While the cookies were baking, hubby tackled the dishes and I made us some chicken salad sandwiches for dinner.  As soon as the cookies were out and cooling, we sat down to watch Independence Day, which is now our July 3rd tradition.  It started last year when Joshua’s best man, Donald, was in town for our wedding.  He wanted to take us to Resurgence on July 4th, but we had to go in the morning since we had a BBQ to get to, so we naturally watched the first one the night before.  It was the most fantastic experience watching the first one on July 3rd and the new one on July 4th, that we decided it needed to be repeated.  Have you guys watched Resurgence?  We love it!  Then again, we love both of the movies and we are sci-fi geeks.

(I did take a Snapchat video of us watching it, but apparently we can’t upload those?  So here’s the trailer, lol.)

Our Fourth of July started off with sleeping in and homemade crepes!  I wanted to make us a nice breakfast but we’d had a lot of scrambled or fried eggs lately, so I wanted something different.  We’d also recently had pancakes and oatmeal, and I didn’t want to make something with bread because we don’t have much for a grocery budget right now and we were running low.  So I did a Pinterest search and I was reminded of how great crepes are!  They turned out super delicious and were probably the easiest crepes I’ve ever made.

We filled some with apple butter and others with Nutella.  I topped the Nutella ones with whipped cream and I had this idea that chocolate syrup would also be good.  I don’t know why I thought that, because it definitely was not.  The Nutella was great, though!  I can’t wait to make crepes again and try them with more savory than sweet toppings, like ricotta and spinach.

During breakfast, we watched Resurgence, which was just as fantastic as before.  I’m definitely looking forward to repeating this tradition each year–it’s such a fun way to spend Independence Day!

We were initially planning on going on a picnic at Lake Mary with sandwiches and Hot Cheetos (our fave, my goodness, we are so addicted), but we cancelled on that since we wanted hot dogs instead, and we realized that it would probably be super crowded at Lake Mary.  Being the introverts that we are, we try to avoid crowds, especially rowdy intoxicated ones, so….  We stayed home, watched Silicon Valley, and enjoyed hot dogs and Hot Cheetos with each other.

We slightly hurried through eating because it was getting late by then and we wanted to get a good spot by the fireworks.  Despite the fact that Arizona has a huge fire ban right now with several raging wildfires currently, the reservation still put on a fireworks show.  I guess it’s pretty risky and kind of dumb since it could have turned into another fire with how dry it is, but I’m personally glad they did!  I pretty much grew up not having fireworks in Arizona on Independence Day due to the dryness, so it’s always disappointing to miss it–and conversely, always exciting to see them!

We got out there at about 8:15 PM, which was perfect timing because we got an awesome spot to watch from the car and about five minutes later, cars were crowded around us.  Perfect timing, I say!

For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I own one car, and it has eight seats.  This means that when we put the seats down, we have ample room in the back to lay down and stretch out.  We put down the seats when we parked, pulled out a blanket, and cuddled up to watch the fireworks.  We actually still had about thirty minutes before the show, which was fine by us because at least we got there early enough!

Love him so much. ❤

The fireworks show was the longest I’ve ever seen here in Arizona, and it’s honestly pretty amazing when it’s a long show, considering all the fireworks they have to purchase to keep a thirty minute show going.  There were times I thought it was starting to finish up with the Grand Finale, but it still went on for fifteen-twenty minutes more.   Turned out, they just liked to be fancy and we loved it!

(Again, I took a Snapchat video.  Now I know that doesn’t work for the blog!)

We finished the night with more Silicon Valley because we’re definitely addicted to that show!  What can I say…it’s hilarious!

Going back to work schedule on Wednesday was hard, but hey, we made it and it’s Friday night!  Joshua and I are super excited for this weekend because it’s our anniversary weekend!  We will be spending our anniversary at an Airbnb in Sedona, which is super fun for us because the first few days of our honeymoon were spent in Sedona.  We saved up a lot for this to make sure we could have a great time, so we rented an ATV to go four-wheeling, we plan on a hiking trip, fancy dinners, ice cream, the movie theater, Starbucks, and Harry Potter movies.  I also wanted a couple’s massage but my mister wasn’t too keen on that so maybe next year, haha.  And of course, reminiscing on this year of marriage, eating our wedding cake, and toasting to the future.

Happy weekend!

-Tialla ❤

Apartment Hack: Damage-Free Curtains

Hello friends!

Long time no talk. 😉 My absence has mostly been because my life has been both overwhelming with job and medical stuff right now while also not giving me anything particularly interesting to blog about.  Here’s what’s gone on recently in a nutshell (aka bullet points):

  • My husband got a new job (yay! It’s his dream job!). He’ll be working as the IT Coordinator at a charter school here in town.
  • I had some seriously intense dental work done two weeks ago.  We’re talking $2k, eleven shots, and 2 1/2 hours of trauma.  We’d saved up for this treatment for seven months.  I still have to go back to fix it a little.  Not at all excited!
  • Two weeks ago as well, the maintenance required light came on in our car, so we had to take it to the mechanic which wasn’t exactly best timing budget-wise the day after the dentist.
  • I had to quit my remote job one week ago (not the one I just got in February; the one I’ve had since 2013).
  • I’m job-hunting hard core and praying somebody calls me in time before our bills are due.
  • On the same day I had to quit, I ended up in the E.R. that night due to a weird reaction connected with a herpes simplex 1 virus breakout I got in reaction to the intense dental treatment I had done.
  • If you didn’t catch that, it means an E.R. bill was generated on the same day I quit my job.  Exactly one week after we spent our savings of $2k.  Oh and it was also the day of our eleven-month wedding anniversary.
  • On Sunday, the back door of our car stopped latching.  That meant, whenever we drove, the door would just clunk open and shut randomly on curves and bumps.  We had to take it to the mechanic again and just got that fixed today, which, you know, is more $$$.

Now you’re all caught up.  Like I said, it’s been overwhelming.  But in other news, my husband and I recently put up curtains in our apartment and I want to blog about that!

For those of you who don’t know, we rent a tiny, 450 sq. ft. studio apartment, and as with most rentals, we can’t really put holes in the walls.  Because of that, living in an apartment isn’t necessarily the easiest when it comes to decorating and making the space feel like home.  However, when we realized that curtains would not only make our windows with vertical blind slats a whole lot more private, but cozy as well, we found a way to still put them up without any drilling or screws.

Command hooks are one of my favorite things ever.

I think we got the inspiration originally from Pinterest, but I honestly can’t remember.  I do know for certain, though, that we headed to Walmart and picked up black-out curtain panels (my husband is from Alaska so he likes it really dark), curtain rods, and three command hooks per window.  As with traditional curtains, it’s important to have a center command hook to hold the rod up so it doesn’t bow with the weight of the curtains.

The process was a little tricky for us to get the command hooks positioned right (we are so not naturally gifted DIYers), which meant we actually had to position this center one on the blinds itself because we didn’t really know what we were doing and put up the edge hooks first without measuring how low it was.  We don’t mind, though…I’m just glad to have the curtains and I think they make our apartment look so much more home-like!  Overall it was a simple process (and probably a walk in a park for those who do home projects and DIY all the time).  We love how they turned out!

For those of you who rent or have rented, what kind of damage-free apartment hacks have you discovered?  I’d love to know!

Until next time,

Tialla ❤

Giving hubby a haircut!

Back when I got my haircut a few weeks ago, I was talking with my hairstylist about different places around town to get haircuts, and she said something that at first made me laugh and then ponder later on.

She asked, “And where does your husband go for his haircuts?  Or do you cut it for him?”

I laughed because, as I told her, “I would be absolutely terrified to cut his hair.”  I had these images in my head of cutting way too short or jagged/unblended and I greatly dislike buzz cuts, so I didn’t want to chance it.  However, what she told me next got me thinking it just might be possible.

She first asked what kind of haircut he got, and when I answered, “An 8-blade all over,” she insisted that I could totally do it myself.  She let me know that you can’t go any shorter than the guard on the trimmer, so it’s totally safe and easy especially since it’s just the one blade!  There wouldn’t be anything to blend.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was possible.  And boy, would it save us money!  My husband gets his hair cut far more often than I do (which is natural, considering he keeps his hair short), and we always get his beard trimmed at the same time.  Though it’s only $13.95 for the cut & $5 for the beard trim, when you add a tip and go back month after month, it starts adding up.  I’ve mentioned before that we have a tight budget, so any chance to save money is a win for us!  Thus…

We ordered this men’s hair trimmer on Amazon.  $50 for all those blades AND a cape to keep off all the itchy hair (and a bunch of other tools, plus instructions & tips)?  I think YES.

It’s basically salon quality and we love it!  We did the math and realized that within two haircuts, we would pay off the trimmer and start saving money.  Not only will this replace haircuts, but also the beard trims because this kit came with all the short blades also.  Joshua was definitely in need of a haircut by the time it arrived, so I sat him down in the middle of the kitchen (as our bathroom is too small) on a step ladder that night, fastened the cape, poured over the instructions, and with a few nervous chuckles, got started.

The instructions actually made it way more complicated than it was, but I’m sure they are more accurate for doing multiple lengths and blending and such.  With just one length, I didn’t really need to concern myself with going by sections, just paying attention to hair growth direction.  It was slow, but we got it done, including the beard trim, which was probably the scariest part for me because it could have so easily gone wrong when I was cleaning up the neck beard and mustache!

I think next time I’ll go shorter with the beard trim, but it was great for a start!  I think I’m mostly excited about this because we no longer have to wait to have the money for his haircut and trim; as soon as he starts looking scruffy, we can clean it all up!  Previously, he would get scruffy before we could afford to get it cut, so he’d just have to wait.  This will be so nice, I’m sure!  (Oh and there’s only hair on his shirt at the end because we took off the cape after the haircut so he could look in the mirror and forgot to put it back on before doing the beard trim.  There wasn’t anything on his shirt after the haircut, so he would have been hair-free if we remembered it!)

Anyway, that was our adventure lately!  Have you non-hairdressers ever cut someone’s hair?  Do you cut your boyfriend’s/husband’s hair?

Until next time, friends!