Monday, September 1, 2014

a challenge: blog every day in september

I'm excited, you guys! I have a brand new name and design for this blog and I've been trying to blog over here more consistently. So, I am happy to announce that I'm going to participate in this "blog everyday in September" challenge that my friend Whitney is hosting! She has come up with a prompt for each day - which makes it easy for me. I even got to add one of the ideas to the mix (Monday, Sept. 15!)

So, a re-introduction:

I'm Sarah. I'm 26, am approaching my five-year wedding anniversary and expecting my first baby in or around two months from now. I am a blogger both for fun, and for work. Yes, I am lucky enough to get to make a part-time income blogging at and running Pretty Providence, so that's my current gig. I get asked all the time "but how is a blog your job??" so I'll have to write an entire post on that another time. It's a lot to explain to those unfamiliar with the idea!

I love pop culture - movies, music, celebrity gossip, etc. and I am constantly quoting funny movies or TV shows. If you get my references, we're automatic friends! I even make an effort to fill up my house with funny references, like adding this "Live Every Week Like It's Shark Week" poster to my living room. It's from 30 Rock, but I also like that it's a nod to Shark Week and to my friend Adrienne whose art I've been collecting since we were tweens.

I also come from a really interesting family background... my parents were divorced when I was in 4th grade - but it was a good divorce. They co-parented me and my brother like champs, moved into the same neighborhood so we could see each parent as much as we wanted, and made it basically as if nothing had changed. They both were remarried to awesome, more compatible people who had two kids each, so I went from having a family of 4 to a family of 10 within about a year. It was the best thing that could have happened to me! I am so glad to have all the siblings, four awesome parents, and the perspectives I learned from each of them. When people looked from the outside and considered my home "broken" they were wrong. I come from a fixed home (or two fixed homes, however you look at it.)

I'm also a Mormon. Y'all might know all about mormons, or maybe you just think you do? I have realized lately that just saying I'm a Mormon could still explain pretty much nothing to someone so here's a little about me and my faith. The church is actually called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" - you might have heard us called Mormons, but we usually refer to ourselves as LDS. I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I worship Him and try to be more like Him every day. I'm conservative in that I've never had a drink of alcohol and saved myself for marriage. I also don't drink coffee or tea (gasp!) but I do drink Dr. Pepper like it's going out of style and listen to rap music so... I'm somewhat liberal in my church. I have lots of gay friends and family and wish for them the same rights that I have. This perspective is shared by a good chunk of LDS people but not that many on the outside know that. It's an important difference for me to bring up, because I want to be understood. Jesus taught us to love everyone, so I choose love. First, and always.

As I mentioned before my favorite person ever and I are coming up on our 5th anniversary! Jacob is really smart, a talented musician, and is always making a joke. ALWAYS. I love him, and I will leave it at that because I don't need to get super gushy. Y'all can believe we have fun and I can't wait to see him a dad to our little girl, who I'm sure will have him wrapped around her tiny finger.

That's a little bit about me in a nutshell. I can't promise I'll be perfect at blogging here every single day in September, but I'm going to try, and am excited to read along with everyone else participating!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

to snoogle or not to snoogle.

Is the Snoogle worth the cost?

Yes, this is a post dedicated to a big, ridiculous pregnancy pillow. It may seem pointless, but earlier in my pregnancy I did a ton of research on these pillows. I was looking for a post like this. I wanted to know "Is the snoogle worth it?" but there was nothing. I started having trouble sleeping and had heard good things about these from friends who were pregnant before me. When I looked at them in stores and online though, I could not bring myself to pay $50-$75 for a pillow. A PILLOW. And not even a pretty one. I mean, look at the thing.

Buzz, your pillow. Woof.

I proceeded to cope with my sleep problems creatively. The pillow fortress began. I was using six pillows every night, yes, six, which is one less pillow than we own. There were two nights that we had guests and I had to sleep without four of the pillows (in the name of being a hostess) and I barely slept. I was so uncomfortable. I am normally a back sleeper and sleeping on my side is still super uncomfortable. I found myself waking up flat on my back (which you're not really supposed to do after the first trimester) so even on the days when my back didn't hurt I couldn't sleep because I was so paranoid about that. Every day I would look at Snoogles online and go back and forth. Was it worth it? Was it really worth it?! Maybe it was!

Then I remembered that my friend had said she bought one on craigslist.

Wait. A used pillow? Yes. I started looking on craigslist too, but was not interested in a used one unless it was pretty much new, would require little driving to pick up and $25 or less. After a few weeks, it happened. The perfect Snoogle was listed, and I texted the girl. It was still available. She said she had tried it once and it took up too much of their bed so she never used it again. $25 cash and a ten minute drive and it was mine!

I picked it up, sprayed it up and down with lysol, washed the cover, and never looked back. Judge me! It honestly did look like it had never been used. It's amazing, and has helped me sleep better ever since. Pardon her french, but even the non-pregnant can appreciate this pillow.

best pregnancy pillow, the snoogle

Sure, it's a luxury and not necessary. My pillow fortress was doing okay for me, but every time I woke up in the night I was rearranging pillows. Turning from side to side was a nightmare because I had to once again arrange them *just so.* Maybe this all seems like I'm a spoiled brat? Maybe I am? But sleep is a big deal for me and I'm a monster if I don't get enough. The answer is yes, the Snoogle is worth it. I have no experience with other brands but I'm guessing they are similarly worth it. And there are plenty of these, like-new, floating around on craigslist if anyone is cheap like me and wants to buy one secondhand. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

a fresh kitchen.

Well, we basically have a new kitchen, kids! It has been kind of a saga because, well, re-doing cabinets and counter tops is expensive. We're pretty proud of the progress we were able to make on this in less than a year's time. A quick reminder to what it looked like upon move-in. Some parts of the cabinets were rotten on the inside. I couldn't even unpack into them, so we ripped them out instead.

We took it from this:

To this:

Here is a little post about the cabinet switcheroo. As you can see, we laid to original counter tops back on top of the new cabinets. They didn't fit perfectly but they did the job for the next six months as we saved up for the counter top project. We knew we needed to hurry because since they weren't exactly attached there was a risk that water/moisture could get behind our new cabinets and start to mold. We were super careful about keeping things clean and dry.

Now here is the kitchen with our new counter tops: 

I'd say the only bad thing about these is that they are so shiny that taking good pics of them is difficult! They really are white and not yellowish, I promise. 

Yay! We originally thought it would be cool to do concrete counter tops but after much research realized that although they look really cool, they take quite a bit of maintenance to stay looking nice so we decided against. Low maintenance for me, please! We didn't have a big budget either so real stone was out of the question (someday I will have quartz!) The final decision? We went with white Formica Solid Surface. I didn't even know what that was before my husband filled me in, but it's basically acrylic material. It's a step above laminate but below stone. The cool thing about it is that it is still one piece so there are no seams anywhere. It is easy to clean and it can be sanded back smooth if it gets blemished with a stain or scratch.

I was nervous but am actually really happy with them. This is a kitchen I can enjoy hanging out in. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

five booty anthems you should be listening to.

Y'all know I'm up always up for a booty anthem. They make me feel... validated. (In case it isn't obvious, some of these videos are NSFW.)

1. This song is great - but the video is better!