What a Mormon Girl Does on her 21st Birthday

Your 21st is just like any other birthday if you don’t plan on drinking or gambling. That doesn’t mean it’s any less cool, though. I think following my church’s standards is pretty cool. It just forces you to be more creative sometimes. This year I ate a lot of ice cream to celebrate and called it good. (I should do that every year. Oh, wait, I do. Yum).

My birthday was my salvation as far as financial guru-ism goes. After my post about “Going Cold Turkey” on unnecessary spending, I couldn’t bring myself to buy some things that I sort of almost needed but in the true sense of the word didn’t really need. So, I got them as birthday presents. Easy enough. It’s great when you’re older because no one plans on buying you surprise presents, but you can ask your parents for specific things and they just might oblige. My dad gave me money to buy myself some exercise pants. He said that would be my present to him as well; not making him to go Walmart or wrap the present. A classic Glazier win-win.

Then I sent my parents a link to a curling iron I wanted. Here’s where my dad’s sense of humor comes in: we went out to dinner the day before my birthday and when I thanked him for the meal, he said, “Well, since we couldn’t afford a curling iron for you, I figured this was the least we could do.”

I was shocked. “But, dad, it was like 20 bucks,” I said.

“What?! I thought it said $189.00!”

“What! No! Maybe 18.99 or something, you must have read it wrong.”

“Shoot. Oh well.”

I started laughing. My dad’s eyesight must really be getting bad, I thought. “Okay, when we get home we’ll look at the link I sent you,” I said, rolling my eyes.

The next day (my birthday) he brought out a Priority Mail box, wrapped elegantly in nothing but a stick-on bow. It was my curling iron!

“What?! I thought you didn’t get it because you thought it was $200!”

“Well, I called around this morning and I finally found a place in [some town I’ve never heard of] that had it.”

“Dad, you didn’t have to do all that!”

He started to chuckle. “GOTCHA! Of course I didn’t go all the way to [town I’ve never heard of] just for a curling iron, it’s hours away. I bought it within minutes of you sending me the link.”

I can’t believe I actually believed him. I can be so gullible. The good news is, now I have a brand new curling iron, so for the first time in approximately 3 years I actually curled my super-straight hair! If you have ridiculously straight hair like I do, and you’ve never been able to curl it, watch for my tutorial I’ll be posting soon.

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I decided to do it when I had some time after going for a lovely hike. If you live in Utah and you’ve never hiked Stewart Falls, you must must must go. YOU MUST. It’s a fun destination for a relatively easy hike. You can look at my photos, but none of them are as great as the real thing. My personal fave is this one:

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I like to call this one “when you try to take a jumping photo but you fail so you just party.”

IMG_6705  Going in…

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…and right back out very quickly. BRRRRRR.

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End.

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Pinterest Not-Quite Fails!

Everyone has to be a victim of a Pinterest fail at some point. Some things simply aren’t as easy as they are made to look on the Internet. Well, for Father’s day I tried two things that didn’t work out perfectly, but weren’t quite fails either, and will probably be perfect next time.

Mom asked me to make dessert for Father’s Day dinner, so I decided to try these lava cakes: Chocolate Lava Cake. They turned out pretty delicious, but they were slightly over-cooked. They weren’t runny in the middle, just gooey. I’m not sure if it’s because I made them too small or if they recipe says to cook them too long. Anyway they are actually pretty easy and dangerously yummy.

Then I decided to try this photo-to-wood transfer that I saw in this tutorial: DIY: Make Easy Photo Transfer. I used a photo of my dad and me, which worked okay. I messed up the edges a little bit, but for a first time attempt I was pretty impressed. I’ll definitely be using this idea again.

And if you’re not into cooking or crafting, here is a great list of “DIY” tips that are really just cool life hacks. Love it.

Remarkable DIY Life Hacks

And there you have it. Next time you hear from me, I’ll be a little bit older, and probably not much wiser since I’m a slow learner.

Good, Bad, Ugly, Awesome, Lame, Great, Stellar, Stinky, etc.

That’s how I would describe the last few days.

The good: the day Fabio was dying, I made myself a lovely salad. Something most people probably don’t know about me is that I am crazy about salads. I love them I love them I love them. Anyway, I wanted to try this salad I saw on Pinterest: BLT Chopped Salad. When I got home I discovered that we had basically none of the ingredients I needed, so I just made my own with whatever I could find. I ended up with this:

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It was a somewhat random mix but ended up being pretty tasty, in case anyone wants to try it. I used:

Lettuce
Spinach
Cucumbers
Jícama
Cilantro
Green onion
White onion
Bacon (because we don’t want it to be too healthy) (but mostly because bacon is amazing)
Cottage cheese
Then as dressing I used lime juice and olive oil, with a little salt and pepper on top.

I also made natural blueberry juice, something I drank a lot of while I was in Chile. You just take a cup or 2 of blueberries, add a little water and sugar, a little ice if you want, and blend. Wonderfully refreshing for people like me who ride their bikes all the way from campus on a summer afternoon.

Then, the bad: Fabio’s passing, of course.

The ugly: when I spilled blueberry juice all over myself. I had some left over that I took with me to work. I brought it in a plastic bottle I always use for smoothies, which I thought was pretty spill-proof. I didn’t notice that it was leaking all over me until I went to the restroom and saw myself in the mirror with purple spots all over one of my favorite shirts.

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Because of the pattern of my shirt, you can’t really tell how much is spilled ALL OVER. It was also all over my pants but luckily you can’t see that at all.

I’ve never felt like such a slob. And I couldn’t just go home and change, I had to go straight from work to a doctor’s appointment. I was worried they might not take me too seriously like that at my new doctor’s office – what kind of weirdo just doesn’t notice or care that they have juice all over their shirt??? So I decided to go pick up a Tide-to-go pen at the campus store.

That was the awesome: I got the last one! There was only one left when I got there and I felt so relieved to be such a lucky woman.

The lame was: I learned that Tide-to-go pens don’t work too well on blueberry juice. The best I could do was turn the biggest purple splotches into expanded, faded-blue smeary splotches. At that point I really couldn’t go home and change, so I hoped they wouldn’t notice or care at my doctor’s office.

The great was: no one said anything about my shirt. And the doctor didn’t seem to take me any less seriously (whew).

Then, the STELLAR!!!

Last night I fulfilled one of my life-long (well since like 10th grade) dreams of seeing Ingrid Michaelson in concert. It. Was. Absolutely. AMAZING. She is UNREAL live. And she has been my favorite (if I say someone else is my “favorite” don’t judge me, I just have several favorites) for years and I am in love with practically every song she’s ever written. I am ESPECIALLY obsessed with this performance:

I know it’s terrible quality but just listen to her! AH. My only complaint about this concert was that it was over way too soon. I hope to see her again.

Anyway, I’ll finish with the stinky: us after the concert because it was so hot! It’s been really hot lately and I don’t love it, I’ll be honest. Summer’s great when you’re a kid and you just stay in your swim suit all day and eat popsicles. But when you still have real life to deal with (work and school, particularly), all summer means is just having more places to go and getting nice and sweaty by the time you get there. It’s okay though – at least today we have air-conditioned cars. If you haven’t taken a moment to appreciate that today, please do so now.

And then before you go just watch one more little Ingrid video 🙂

Okay just one more…


Have a great Father’s Day, everyone!

Goodbye, Fabio :(

As you can guess by the title, today has been a very, very sad day. I, the crazy fish lady, don’t even know how to keep a fish alive.

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Yesterday I came home feeling exhausted and relieved – I had just finished my finals for spring classes. It had been a stressful couple of weeks and I was looking forward to having some down time before starting my next class. I walked in and noticed that Fabio, my beautiful, a little-over-a-month-old Betta fish was looking extremely sluggish. Okay, so sluggish is how he was the day before. Yesterday he was just floating up on his side, barely hanging on. I frantically did whatever I could think of to keep him alive. I rushed to the sink and dumped out his water, scooped him out, filled it again, put the dechlorinator in, and put him back in, then gave him some food. Now that I think about it, that was probably the worst thing I could have done. I probably just agitated him more and sped up the shut-down process. But when you’re freaking out, like I always am, you don’t really think about that sort of thing.

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Me

All the while I was saying “HANG ON BUDDY!!! NO, FABIO! DON’T DIE! YOU CAN’T DIE!!!” Man, you can imagine how I was when my dog died.

Anyway, I finally realized: Okay, I’m being crazy. He’s just a little fish. And he’s obviously dying. There’s only so much you can do, ya know? So I started the first phase of mourning (complete denial) and went to take a nap.

Let me just interject something here. Taking a nap instead of facing my problems is  classic me. Why do you think I did so well in high school? I just napped away my problems and everything somehow turned out fine. Although, yes, being a (sort of) adult has helped me realize that I should actually handle things instead of avoiding them. I was getting pretty good at this until Fabio’s…Fabio’s what? Who’s Fabio? Oh, right, my fish, that…*swallow*…died. (Look at me, moving on to the acceptance phase!)

After going through the phases of frantic emotional, denial, etc…I’ve accepted it now. It was pretty hard to deny the dead fish smell that was beginning to fill the room where his tank was, too…

Fabio will be missed, but I got over it surprisingly quickly. My friend helped me bury him (he was too important to just be flushed down the toilet). He was a good fish. A beaut. A keeper. See ya in heaven I guess (I have questions about that, actually, but we’ll talk about it some other day).

Going Cold Turkey!

You guys. I’m quitting splurge/unnecessary spending cold turkey. I’m writing about this for you all to see so that I will be held accountable.

Why the sudden decision to change my habits? Well. Yesterday I was reading through my credit card statement, feeling like a Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic when she painstakingly reads each item in her statement, trying to justify it all. She avoids it as long as possible because she knows it’s going to be a lot more than she should have spent.

That’s when I knew I had a problem and decided it was time to quit. Hopefully I won’t have withdrawals.

Okay so I’m exaggerating a bit, I didn’t spend that much, and my splurges weren’t on extravagant designer clothes and perfumes like Ms. Bloomwood. And my spending “problem” isn’t so far advanced that I expect to experience actual symptoms. I never spend more money than I actually have, not even close. I just hate the idea that I’m trading in cash for things I don’t need when I might need the cash more in the future, you know what I mean?

One thing that contributed to the problem was that I went on a road trip with a few friends to California. The plan was to make it as inexpensive as possible – which we did pretty well at. Except, I did buy some clothes. But it was after walking around in a mall full of stores like Versace and Saks Fifth Avenue and ending up at H&M. After looking at dresses valued at $11,000, a $15 pair of crop printed pants seems like a humble, yet necessary, investment.

This is the kind of logic that leads to unnecessary spending, I’m here to tell you. Buying something purely because it’s cheap. How does that make sense?

And yet, how many of us do it?

“These shirts are 2 for $20! A steal! I need to get some!”

need to get some. Not because I need shirts, but because I can give them a $20 bill and get twice as many shirts that I don’t need for the same amount of money. Money that I wasn’t going to give them. If I had never seen these shirts or this sale, I would never, ever have said the words, “I need [x] kind of shirt!” and I would be $20 richer. Two of those instances avoided and I have enough to fill up my gas tank for a couple more weeks.

This is the logic that gets me every time, and I’m finally accepting it. I’m turning over a new leaf. (My dad will be rolling his eyes at this point because he’s heard me say that who knows how many times).

The other thing that’ll get you is emotional shopping. I always knew women did this, but I didn’t think I would ever be such a woman. The other day I was having a bad morning so I decided to order myself some new sandals to make myself feel better. Well, it worked, I felt much better. BUT HOW CRAZY IS THAT?! Why couldn’t I call a friend or write some great book (or at least blog post) about it? That’s where all the classic literature comes from anyway, people’s hardships. Anyway it means I definitely didn’t need these sandals (though now that I have them I’m pretty sure they’re one of the best investments I’ve made. They’re like Nike Free Runs in Sandal form. And they were marked down like a billion percent on Amazon. You could pretty much say I’m obsessed. Okay, not pretty much – I AM obsessed).

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Since I’m so so so obsessed with these sandals, I think they should tide me over for a while so I can keep up with my goals to stop needless spending. Here’s my plan: stop buying food on campus (I live with my parents and have unlimited free food for crying out loud), don’t buy any clothes or shoes that are not deemed “a need” by my financial advisement panel (which doesn’t exist yet, but will soon – any volunteers?), and not buy things I didn’t know I needed until I saw them.

I’ll be letting you know how it goes, what I end up eating, how I find more ways to save on dumb stuff I shouldn’t be buying, etc. In fact I already have one success story.

So I got an Amazon gift card that I was really excited to use – I started skimming my Amazon wishlist, looking at records and shoes I wanted…and then it hit me. HELLO, I still have to buy textbooks for next term! So I used the money towards a text book that, yes, I would have needed to buy anyway. Success! Happy bank account, happy professors, happy me. The end. (Of the beginning of becoming a millionaire).

Crazy Fish Lady

In my first post I alluded to myself being a “crazy fish lady” instead of a crazy cat lady. Well, here’s why.

As a child I was taught many things. One of the lessons most ingrained deep into my bones was a strict no-cats policy. My dad despises them, my mom dislikes them, and I like a few cats I have met personally but dislike most of them. I always knew having a cat would never be an option at my house.

Dogs, on the other hand, were more acceptable. Both of my parents had dogs growing up and loved them. But they also knew that no matter who claims they will take care of the dog, there’s one person who ends up doing all the work: Mom. That’s why it took me about 12 years to convince her that it was time for a puppy.

What a good looking guy

He was a Hungarian Vizsla, a beautiful short-haired purebred used for bird hunting. We couldn’t stop playing with him for the first week we had him. Because of his energy we decided to name him “Trigger.” I did my best to take care of him – walking him, feeding him, bathing him, etc. I loved that dog more than I had ever loved any of our Betta or Goldfish. Surprise, surprise.

always so happy

Then, about 2 years later, when I was about to enter 8th grade, we were all playing outside as a family. My brother went riding his bike with Trigger running along beside him. Then, unexpectedly, he darted into the road and was struck by an oncoming vehicle. He had to be put down and it was one of the saddest moments of my life to that point. I bawled like I hadn’t in years because of the trauma. I wasn’t the only one who cried, either.

what are you looking at

Because of how much work he had been and how traumatic his death was for us kids, my mother vowed then and there (or at least we assume so) to never let us have another dog again. Since that time I have been striving, to no avail, to convince her that it’s time for another puppy. Once you’ve had a dog you feel a void in your life without one.

So, since after returning from my missionary service in Chile about 3 months ago, she still wouldn’t be convinced, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands. I needed a pet. Someone/thing to just “listen” to me and be my friend because I didn’t have any real friends (at least that’s what you start to feel like when you want a puppy badly enough). But since I knew that getting a canine pet would most likely get me disowned, I decided to go for something smaller – a Betta fish to be exact.

I hopped on over to the Walmart with a friend and my brother (okay so I actually did still have friends, just most of them are my siblings) and bought a lovely-looking male fish, a small tank for him to live in, and some lovely colorful pebbles for the bottom of his habitat. We named him while still in the checkout line – Fabio. Fabio instantly became my new best friend and my adopted child all at the same time.

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Now I talk to Fabio every day (though sometimes I forget to feed him, I admit…I fear that I’ll be a terrible mother) and we are like life-long pals. At least, that’s how I see it. I can tell by how crazily he swims around that he feels the same way, of course. The only bad part is that when my sister catches me talking to him. It goes something like this.

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Me: See, Fabio? That’s why I always say, I don’t need to worry so much about studying.

Sister: Um, are you talking to your fish again?

I turn around to see my sister’s very skeptical look.

Me: No. Maybe.

Sister: You really need to stop talking to your fish.

Me: Why?! He needs someone to talk to him! He needs love and attention!

Sister: You are CRAZY.

Me: No I’m not. Everyone talks to their pets.

Sister: Seriously, you need help.

Me: Whatever. See, Fabio? You’re the only one around here who appreciates me.

And then my sister leaves because she’s too weirded out to continue the conversation.

Well, so what if I’m crazy? Fabio and I are so happy as best friends. Ha. I know. I’m a little bit crazy-obsessed. BUT some people are like that with real-life actual babies, and they understand just about as much…and Betta food is way cheaper than baby food. (Side note: before anyone gets offended, I talk to babies too. All of them. Even when I don’t know who they are. think this would be a good time to publicly apologize to any parents who have been creeped out by me talking to your baby. I promise I am not a creep, your kids are just really cute. So actually this is THEIR fault for being cute, when you think about it).

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Anyway that’s the story of me and Fabio. I highly recommend getting a fish if you’re lonely. Low-maintenance, high loyalty. At least, he hasn’t run away yet.