Kitchen frenzy

It was a kitchen weekend for sure in between TV shows, date night, work, babysitting, errands, duck games and movies, I managed to make sandwiches & green/yellow white chocolate dipped oreos for our friend’s tailgater, a cheesy ranch potato casserole and pumpkin cupcakes with homemade salted caramel buttercream frosting!

Thanks to highly addictive, procrastination yet motivational Pinterest, I found the idea for the oroes and the recipes for the casserole and cupcakes! Seriously if you are not on it and like to bake/craft/save money on DYI projects/get inspirations for your home/organize your internet findings/dream about things you will never have GET IT aka ask me for an invite!

I will post pics of my cupcakes later, but they looked a little something like this only miniature!

The cupcakes and casserole are for Shaun’s 1st big work party tomorrow, he was so cute last week when he came home and asked me to make things, and he even helped by peeling all the potatoes! The buttercream frosting was a 1st for me as well as making caramel, so fun and yummy!

I seriously love to bake/cook and am loving all the blogs out there for it. I am going to try and make something new every week (I have so many things stacked up on Pinterest to try)… and the hubby is NOT complaining! 🙂

But seriously, try this recipe!

A new hobby…

I am starting to get into extreme couponing and other deal sites and am loving it! I got some great deals so far, and can’t wait to have more time to spend on it! It is funny because a year ago I laughed at the idea, but now I am thinking why the hell not? Seriously, if you search you never have to pay full price for anything! I can always find coupons to every store, or special promo discounts to use on top of coupons! There are also so many helpful blogs/websites out there that direct you to some amazing steals – but the best thing so far has been the apps on my iPad, seriously love them!

I will continue to post about great deals, and may even start a blog for it once I have more time. For now, I will mention one great site I am loving – nomorerack! I found a promo gift card for $10 and decided to check it out, and they have great deals everyday! Yesterday I got an amazing pink iPad cover (with portions donated to breast cancer) for $7 and a pair of $130 Ailin stretch leggings for free! Today, I went on and sadly the iPad dock for $7 was sold out, but I did get this awesome cord wrapper for FREE (99 cents shipping).

I also got yogurt, juice, shaving cream and razor blade packs (the spendy ones) at Target for a total of $2.13 and Walmart paid me $1.37 to take batteries, juice and cat treats home!

I am also huge into store rewards, I get at least $50 back every 3 months for Fred Meyer, $10 a month from Old Navy, $5-$20 a month from Best Buy and coupons galore from Target!

Just thought I would share my new hobby!

Escrow!

We are in escrow!!!

We found out Saturday morning! Tuesday we had inspections done and the report came back super clean and great – just a few minor things, but both our realtor and the inspection guy said this was the cleanest report they have seen this year! We are so happy, I was so worried something would be wrong that would make us not want the house.

Our next step is hoping it gets appraised at the sale price, if not, we either have to walk or add the difference out of our pockets up front, so we are crossing our fingers this step goes smoothly too! This is such an exciting but stressful process!

House Hunting

It began as a notion in the back of our heads, why pay $1100 for rent for a 2bed when we could be investing in a home that is 3-4 beds. But it was just that, a notion, but it has become our reality to get into a nice home. Once a week or so we would check the listings because as everyone knows, this is a major buyers market and there are some amazing homes out there for wayyyyyyy under market value, the problem – they get snatched up quickly by investors with tons of cash who are able to make a high enough offer that it gets accepted without any other conditions considered. Last week we fell in love with a beautiful 2 story home out in the Barger area on a 1/4 acre lot, but in just two days there were 10 offers and they picked the first one that came in.

So it was back to the drawing board…. on Tuesday, we met with our realtor (who is wonderful) and looked at more homes, and fell in LOVE with one in Santa Clara, 3 levels and 4beds. There were a couple other great ones, but we knew this was it…. one problem it is in the “flood” zone so that is adding to the costs, but the sellers really want to work with us as they didn’t know it was located in the zone when they bought it to flip. Long story short, we are counter offering and hoping we can make it work, it is a perfect first house for us and we now see why we didn’t get the Barger one, things really do happen for a reason – and by that same logic, I am telling myself if this one falls through, there is another better one out there for us and so on.

People ask, why 4 beds – well we want 2 kids soon & with both our jobs being “hobby” jobs as well, we need technically each need an office and we want a guest room, with a boy & girl that could be 5 rooms. So we have gone into with that in mind, and that I need a craft room, which luckily I have an amazing and supporting hubby who puts that first in his mind when looking at these places. He is so cute and will say, but this one has no crafting space! Awww! I grew up in a giant 5 bed 3 story home with an additional den and family room, we had a pool table room, my mom had a craft room and my dad a hobby/toy room and in addition to my room upstairs I had a big play area at the top of the stairs, I loved every minute of it and would buy that house back if I could!

After talking with friends and family, I learned that buying a house can be hard, some of our friends had to go through four or five before they got one – so here we are learning new things and going through this together. It has been stressful, but also fun and exciting – even though we have been together going on 6 years and married 4, own a home that we use as a rental property and have lived in many apartments together, this is all new to us & it is so exciting to be starting this next chapter of our lives! I am so lucky to have such a great hubby who is on the same page as me and wants the same things in life as I do! ❤

One day.......

But for right now, we are really hoping for this one!

Future Duck

My mom bought her 1st future grandkid (with us) an outfit today (NO, WE ARE NOT PREGGO, NOT YET).

My mom has always been the kind to stock up on trinkets, gifts and other randoms for people’s bdays/other occasions years in advance. She has an entire cupboard thing stocked full of random kids toys, clothes and more. It was so cute for her to buy this in hopes of our future duck! If we don’t get preggo in the next few years, I am sure it will go as a gift to someone else, but in the meantime, it is our future baby’s first thing! Yes, I know I told ya, my baby fever is uncontrollable!

&& trust me, if they had these in my size, well I would be so happy! I am so jealous!

Life Rambles

This post is more for me to just ramble on about life as of now… so happy reading for those who are bored or really love me!

I have so many thoughts running through my head lately, and while I am not going to share too much at this point, I will share something. As I have said before, we currently live with my parents, due to Shaun finding out he got his dream job on a Friday and having to be to work on a Monday while living in PDX, job in Eugene and oh ya, we were in Vegas and flew in at 11pm Sunday night to PDX. Also, we are still paying *gasp* $1205 a month for our 1 bedroom pdx apartment until December. Anyway, our plan was to stay with my parents until at least January, maybe longer depending on the housing market/3 bed modern apartments available, or until a baby comes along. We have some bills/student loans we would love to pay off, but we also are not at a point where they are drowning us, and we can make payments too.

What we really both want is to start our family!! We have been married 4 years, together 6 going on 7, I graduated and I have a job I love that would allow for me to be a stay at home mom, and Shaun has a great job (salary & benefits). We are both beyond ready – it is getting a little ridiculous, I buy things for our future kids, I head to the baby aisle before I shop for myself (those who know me, know that things must have changed) and we find ourselves watching family movies more and more and talking about how great it will be to do everything as a family. We have had a good 7 years together, and while we still want to travel the world, everything we do lately, we know we would enjoy more if we were sharing it with kids! In addition to my online business, I babysit for a close friend four days a week (her girls are 2 and almost 4) and it has made this whole baby thing even worse, I love every moment with them!

As of a few days ago, we had found a couple 3 bedroom townhouse apartments in the $1200 price range to move into early next year, but since Shaun has the VA housing loan and a good job we also keep our eye out for homes to buy. While we own a 3 bedroom house in Springfield, we are keeping that as a rental, and we never bought it with the intentions of living in it, it was a great college house. Several things have been preventing us from really looking though, but mostly the fact that we were told Shaun needed to be in his career for at least 2 years. Today I found the perfect house listing, but on a short sale. I emailed the realtor not really expecting to hear anything back other than that we don’t qualify, but she called back and said she talked to the mortgage advisor and he said that Shaun’s school counts towards his time in career, this was seriously a relief!!!! Even if we don’t get this house, it is great to know that we aren’t tied to waiting 2+ years, I really don’t want to raise a baby in an apartment unless it is 3 bedrooms, and for that price we could pay a mortgage – we are tired of paying the same for rent as we could be a mortgage, so over it!

Anyway, tomorrow we have a meeting with the mortgage advisor and although I am not expecting anything, I am excited. Either way, it is a great learning experience and practice talking with realtors and getting everything set, and also knowing where we stand and what our limits are.

Right now might not be the right time, but it feels good to be making some progress towards buying our family home. With everything lately, I have just been letting things work themselves out, if it is meant to be right now, it will be. If not, something better at a different time is in store. As for the baby thing…. we are currently trying so stay tuned!

The story behind the waterfall….

For years, Shaun and I have heard about, seen others photos and even gone searching for Salt Creek Falls near Willamette Pass and Odell Lake. We were first taken there by Shaun’s cousin, but we couldn’t find/make it to the falls, it was January and snow levels were high so we just played in the recreation area near it. Next, on the way to Willamette Pass two years ago, Shaun and I tried again, with no luck. Then again this past March on the way to Crater Lake, we tried yet again, and again with no luck. Seriously!

I have been watching friends post pictures of it during the winter and summer, and that only made us wonder what the hell is going on! We get there, we see the sign, but all we see is snow and more snow. So our goal was to find it before the snow hit this year, it has seriously been bugging us! Normally our weekends are all full with football, but our game was Thursday, my bday was Friday and while we were going to lay around Saturday and veg/watch other football games, Saturday turned out to be a GORGEOUS fall day, so away we went & FINALLY found it!!

Salt Creek Falls

so pretty

We had a great day/mini getaway – it was a beautiful fall day and we both love to be out in nature. It is the little moments in life like this lately that make me so happy. I would much rather be doing things like this than partying and wasting more of my life away, things truly have changed for the better! I also got to play around with my good camera, a rarity for things other than work!