Category Archives: K-couple
This time of year has become marked by a whirlwind of birthdays, graduations, holidays and anniversaries.
There is a lot in my life to celebrate… especially today.
Two years ago today, I woke up in a hotel room with one of my best friends. It was chilly and cloudy, and there were butterflies in my stomach. My friend drove us to Starbucks while I prayed it didn’t rain. The moment that we arrived at the church, time sped up and seemed to fly by until I was sitting with my father and some of my closest friends, with a church full of people upstairs. My father prayed for me, for the man who would be standing at the alter and for the marriage that we would have.
One year ago today, I woke up in a hotel room with my husband. It was sunny and warm, and we were amazed that
365 366 days (2012 was a Leap Year) had passed so quickly. We ate year-old cake and celebrated surviving and thriving through a very tough first year of marriage (tough in this sense) .
This morning, I woke up next to my husband, in our own bed. In the house that we bought together and I honestly couldn’t be happier.
After dating for 3 years, being engaged for nearly 2 and 2 years of marriage, it’s no surprise that we’ve have been through a lot of ups and downs together, but I can honestly say that year 2 of marriage was more ups than downs. We have a lot to celebrate from this past year!
Happy second anniversary Brad! I love you and I love being your wife.
Here’s [what in my head is the long-awaited] part two post on our Seattle trip…
We had amazing weather for the entire time we were in Seattle. Every local person we talked to commented on how clear and warm it was. It was enough to make you doubt the rain-all-the-time stereotype!
Anyway, we spent a couple of days at a family member’s cabin on Mt. Rainier. Everything was beautiful… and disconnected. It was kind of nice to be away from TV, internet and cell service for a bit and actually unplug (as opposed to saying you’re going to unplug but then not really doing it).
On our first full day in the mountains, we headed up to Crystal Mountain ski resort. Even though the temps were in the 60s and 70s during the day, the ski resort was buzzing with spring skiers. Not being a skier myself, it was interesting to watch. There were people skiing and snowboard in shorts. It was also interesting to be standing on natural snow and be able to wear short sleeves.
We rode the new gondola up to Summit House to have a delicious lunch and possibly the most amazing view. Pictures honestly can’t capture what it was like up there, but we tried! Standing at the highest point at Crystal Mountain, we could clearly see Mt. Rainier. The clear views aren’t that common so we really had a treat. Even though I’m calling it a mountain, it’s important to remember that it’s really a volcano… as is Mt. Saint Helen, which we could also see. We had a nice view of the Olympic Mountains and could see Mt. Hood (part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc in Oregon) in the distance. It’s nice to have seasoned tour guides who can point those things out, otherwise we wouldn’t have known how much awesome stuff was in front of us. Read the rest of this entry
I’m taking a break from D-Blog Week (possibly rounding out my participation since I don’t normally blog on the weekends) to talk about an adventure in home ownership.
One of the things that we loved about this house when we put our offer on it more than a year ago was that it was updated within the previous 5 years (new furnace, air conditioning, new water heater) and had current code wiring, which isn’t that common in houses built when ours was.
On Mother’s Day, about two minutes into my morning shower it felt like the hot water had dropped off so I turned the cold off completely and took a luke-warm shower. Brad hopped in the shower after me and scolded me for using up all of the hot water. When I told him I’d had barely any for mine, he went downstairs to check on the water heater.
What he found was the beginning of a new Great Lake forming in our basement. Our GE water heater, manufacture date of 12/2011, had burst. We could still hear water running into the tank when he shut off the valve to the heater. So Brad shut off water to our whole house. We spent the rest of the morning with a garden hose running from the heater to the utility sink to drain, mopping up the water (that thankfully hadn’t damaged anything) in the basement, Brad called the company then called a plumber. Read the rest of this entry
I got back from Seattle a few days ago and am still kind of digging out. The time zone adjustment seemed like it’s be easy the first day back, but we were just exhausted from the trip home. It was a bit rougher this morning… I will share about my trip soon, but for now some tips for preparing for going away in case you need them.
How to prepare for a trip K-couple style:
- Make plans in advance to have your pets cared for. (a big, huge thanks to our friends who are fed, watered, scooped and pet for us).
- Make plans for the house. Our friends are also taking care of bringing in the mail for us.. otherwise there isn’t much that needs done.
- Clean the house. I know that some people don’t get why it matters to clean the house before you go away, but a clean house makes returning from vacation a bit more pleasant. No dirty dishes, no overflowing hampers, swept floors… it’s nice.
- Pack. Our bags flew for free (whoo hoo!) so packing was not a stress. We’ve gone on week-long cruises sharing one roller bag before so having our own suitcases was a treat! Even though we each had a bag, we split up our clothing so some of Brad’s was in my bag and some of mine was in his, so that if one bag gets lost in transit we at least had a change of clothes. (Packing is easier if you make a list too.)
- Eat all of the food in the fridge. The last thing you want to do when you return home from a trip is have expired food sitting around. We plan out meals to use anything that will be bad by the time we get back. Before our trip out o Seattle, I accidentally bought milk that we didn’t need so I gave the new half-gallon to our kitty caretakers.
When I started writing this list, I thought it would be longer… but honestly the hardest part of preparing for a trip is figuring out where you’re going, how you’re getting there and wrapping things up at work before vacation (that proved to require more effort than I originally thought it would).
How do you prepare for a trip?
My birthday was Friday so I got to spend the whole weekend celebrating it!
Friday evening, armed with our Foodie Cleveland cards, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Lock Keepers in Valley View with our good friends. Afterward we all came back to our house for a movie on the big screen and Main Street Cupcakes (that I had decorated myself at a work event).
I’m back on the customer service, good communication, former car dealership employee platform.
In late December, I traded in my car for a newer model. It wasn’t a stellar experience, but it also wasn’t horrible. Our salesman and the mangers knew that we were buying the car for me. My name was in the computer already because I’d taken my old car there for maintenance. Me, me, me! (Do I sound whiney?)
The new car is in both of our names. My information was first on all of the paperwork. I drive the car every day. I keep the car clean. I will take the car in for scheduled maintenance.
So imagine my surprise, when thank you emails arrived in my inbox, at an email address that is my name, that were addressed to Brad. I got phone calls on my cell number for Brad from the dealership. The card in the mail, the calendar, the junk they send…. all addressed to Brad (and only Brad). When we picked up my plates and registration, Brad’s name was first. (And they called him to report that the plates were in.)
Then to add insult to injury, I got “Happy Birthday!” emails for Brad, all throughout February. I have no idea why I’m surprised that with my birthday in two days I haven’t received anything addressed to me for my own car.
It’s probably something alphabetical, but it feels pretty sexist. I made the buying decision for this vehicle. I’m also the one deciding whether or not to return to that auto group for future vehicle needs and frankly, it’s not looking good.
The bottom line: Read the rest of this entry
My husband is officially older than me for the next week and a half. We had a whirlwind couple of days in celebration.
On Friday, we unexpectedly received tickets to the Cleveland Auto Show preview night. So we got some Mexican food and margaritas (Did you know Friday was National Margarita Day?) with our friends before heading to the IX Center. We had a good time checking out the cars and I got to do the Jeep Experience.
Here’s Brad’s video from the 2012 Jeep Experience (it didn’t change much… just the years of the vehicles)
I also rode the IX Center Ferris wheel for the first (and last) time. The view of the airport at night is pretty cool, but the gondola-style seating freaked me out. We were up very high and there aren’t seat belts!
On Saturday (Brad’s actual birthday) the guys went back to the auto show to do the ride and drive events. They got to drive a Cadillac CTS-V, which was the main event as far as the guys were concerned. That evening we introduced my in-laws to the Great Lakes Brewing Company and their amazing food (and beer, but that’s a given).
We capped off a wonderful evening with birthday cheesecake.
– – –
When given my Pinterest board of recipes last year, Brad decided that he’d like the Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake. This year he requested it again and I’ve gotten the recipe tweaked to where I like it finally!
Rachel’s Coffee Bailey’s Cheesecake (adapted from this recipe)
Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry
Brad was recently asked why we shop at Costco when we’re only two people. A lot of single people and couples don’t even consider warehouse club memberships because they don’t think there is any possible way that purchasing things in bulk makes sense for them. Even as a family of two, we’ve found some excellent reasons to buy in bulk.
We joined Costco when Brad started working at his old company, there was an employee perk available so we checked it out and decided that it was worth the membership, and still is. Here’s what we get at Costco, and why.
- Most often Costco’s gas is significantly less expensive. The last time we filled up it was 8 cents a gallon less than the gas stations on my way home and 12 cents a gallon cheaper than the one across the street. The gas savings that we experience each year make up for our annual membership.
- We purchase tissues, toilet paper, papertowels and napkins when they’re in the Costco coupon book and they last the two of us for a very long time.
- Diswasher tablets, laundry detergent, fabric softener and Lysol wipes. These things don’t really expire and we don’t have to buy them very often. The wipes came with 3 containers packaged together which is perfect for keeping one in each bathroom and one under the kitchen sink.
- Garbage and recycling bags.
It was especially nice having all of the home products in large quantities when we were painting and pulling up carpet in the house before we moved in.
- Vitamins and OTC allergy medication. We found our vitamins and allergy medication like Zyrtec were significantly less expensive when bought in bulk.
- We buy my contacts through Costco and received big rebates for buying a six month supply. Name-brand frames were also less expensive.
- I hate running out of juice boxes for low treatments, so we get them by the flat for less.
After doing some research we did find that alcohol wipes and glucose tablets were not a deal at the warehouse club.
- Glucerna and V8 juice are much more affordable in bulk (also juice boxes). Since diabetes especially hates me in the mornings, I drink a Glucerna for breakfast at least 5 days a week. It’s the only thing that works. Brad enjoys V8 fusion juice as a way to up fruit and vegetable intake, plus it’s convenient.
- When we’re having people over for anything, we usually get the refreshments at Costco. Whether it’s bakery muffins, wine, crackers, chips, fresh ground beef for the grill or fruit/vegetable trays it makes entertaining more affordable.
- I’m always impressed at the produce section in our Costco. They consistently have excellent asparagus and green beans.
- Soup, cereal, salsa and frozen items.
That list doesn’t include the non-bulk items like electronics, gifts and books that we’ve saved on there as well.
I wish I could give you a dollar amount or percent of our budget that we’ve saved by purchasing certain items in bulk, but I can’t. We joined Costco when we still lived in an apartment so we had to figure out some storage space for the paper towels, toilet paper and tissues, but it worked out just fine. There are still some things that a family of two shouldn’t buy in bulk, highly perishable things like fruit, eggs and most dairy products will expire long before we’re able to finish them… if we had a family of five, that might be a different story.
What items do you save the most on by buying in bulk?
I shared our Valentine’s Day menu with you last week before we even got a chance to taste what we were going to make.
Brad marinated our filet in an herbed balsamic vinegar before grilling it to perfection. Sorry no recipe for that!
The red potato bite recipe that I used was definitely a keeper! I replaced the garlic salt with just plain garlic and added only one twist on the salt grinder instead of a whole teaspoon. No one had bad breath though!
Despite what Brad said on the questionnaire, roasted asparagus might be his favorite thing that I make. It’s incredibly easy… so I’ll share the recipe. Read the rest of this entry
Happy Valentine’s Day dear readers!
I’m loving Valentine’s Day this year! It started off not so great but definitely improved. I have to say that I’m a completely spoiled little wife. Last year on our first married Valentine’s Day, Brad delivered roses to me at work. This year, I wasn’t expecting anything and in a strange repeat of last year, I was in my boss’ office when he shows up with roses again and Starbucks! He knows me so well.
I’m really excited about our dinner this evening, the menu is:
- Grilled filet
- Roasted asparagus
- Baby red potato bites with garlic sour cream
- Red wine
- Peanut butter hearts that I made last night