Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Keeping Facebook out of your relationship

I have noticed that a lot of people post really intimate things on Facebook. Stuff that people really don't need to know about. I have seen it happen a lot between friends who are talking about their boyfriends, or husbands, or whatever else on Facebook. This seems so odd to me.
I just like to keep social media out of my relationship. Zack and I don't really post on social media that much (besides this blog) and when I do I am always rooting for Zack, writing about how awesome he is. I just don't see how posting something negative on Facebook is going to help your situation. In my experience it tends to make things a lot worse. Looking back I wish I had kept Facebook guessing as to what was happening with Zack and I. When I had my first pregnancy we announced it on Facebook, a week later I miscarried. That was the WORST experience I have ever had. I had to take back what I said on Facebook, realizing that the only way I could take that back was by saying I had lost the baby. Reliving that awful experience online, in social media, was just awful. 
I have learned my lesson. I am going to keep Facebook out of it. When I get pregnant (in the future) I probably wont even put it online (the blog or Facebook) until I know what gender the baby is. That first experience was so horrible I don't want to risk that happening again. If Zack and I argue I don't announce it on Facebook just to get validation that I think my opinion is right. I have seen people do this and I feel that is not the way to go about a discussion in your personal life. Zack travels a lot, and when he is gone I never put that on Facebook, I'm too afraid of people coming and robbing my house or something, I will usually post that he is home and how happy I am to have him with me, because I truly am happy. When he is traveling it is no fun, being home alone all the time, sleeping in an empty bed. Its just not enjoyable. 
So my advice for everyone, just leave Facebook out of everything. 

This is what its all about! I love that man of mine!

Have a great week. I have finally got my living room coming together so I will do a post on it soon. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Frozen Hidden Agendas

I have recently come across a "Hot Topic" that I found on Facebook in regards to Frozen and its Hidden Agenda. I couldn't just let it sit there, I had to post about it. It bugged me to much. First read this article here it might make you crazy. I read two paragraphs and came to the conclusion that the lady is probably insane, I don't know her personally so I can't make that judgement but I couldn't read anymore. Then read this article here. Finally read the BEST article on the whole topic here.
My opinions:
Frozen is most likely not promoting secret agendas about Gay marriage/ homosexuality in general. 
No wonder people think Mormon's are nuts. I mean really, that doesn't really help anyone making conclusions on something in that nature and being so hysterical about it. 
I am Mormon. I LOVE FROZEN. 
When I first watched the movie I felt so empowered. I immediately thought about my own relationship with my 4 sisters. How each one is different and unique, but I would do what Anna did in the movie for Elsa, for anyone of them. I also related directly to Elsa. All my life I felt imprisoned. Not because I have secret powers (I totally wish I did) but because I related it to my depression. I could see myself and the point when I came to "Let it Go" and release the feelings of depression and doubt. Now, I have chronic depression, which means its not going away with me simply deciding one day to "Let it Go". I will always have depression, my brain chemicals just don't match up. It is what it is. I can still make a decision everyday on how I react to situations, and I can choose to be happy, although its a hard choice. Watching Elsa and her struggle in the movie, brought me back to my own feelings of struggling and self-doubt. Anna not turning away from her made me think of my family and how they did the same for me. Anna's act of love reminded me of my husband, and the incredible sacrifices that he has made to help me with my mental illness. 
After watching Frozen I was reminded of the things that are important in life, building strong relationships, that some people are "worth melting for" and that love can warm our souls and our cities and our hearts. I am sad that people in my faith are saying that the movie is against their teachings and values when I see the complete opposite. I guess that is how life works, everyone has their own opinions. 
I want to point out that not all Mormon's agree with the hidden agendas some LDS members are throwing out there. In fact I would say that most of them probably see what I see, love, friendship, family, self-awareness, trust, and strong relationships. 
I am proud to Mormon. I will buy Frozen when it comes out on Blu-Ray.
I understand that people have their own thoughts about it, and I respect that. I just wanted to share mine.

PS watch this awesome video HERE! I love the Piano Guys. 


The middle of the semester is the worst! Seriously. I am dying over here. Midterms have just hit and luckily I am done for the time being. I still have three papers I have to write before the end of the semester, and a bunch of other things to do. It is busy. Which is why I haven't been blogging lately.
We went to Zions over the three day weekend and it was lovely. 75 degrees lovely to be exact. I wasn't looking forward to coming home, especially because I had to leave Zack down in St. George for the week. He is working on the LDS temple there for his job. I had a test this morning which I am almost positive I messed up on, so I have that score to look forward to now.
I am in the middle of decorating my apartment. I am trying really hard to make it look less newly wed and more us. Well more me. Zack really doesn't care what it looks like, as long as I am happy. He is awesome that way.
Well I am ditching my 1:00 class as I am writing this blog post so now you really know what kind of a week it has been.
Right now all I really want to do is drive down south somewhere and I find some Petroglyphs and take cool pictures. I can't wait for April to come.

Okay I know, I am a nerd when it comes to ancient Indians and not everyone is as into this stuff as I am. But check out the guy on the right in the picture right above us. Notice how they add a feature so us archaeologists can tell that it is a man? Ha ha ha, I think they had a sense of humor. Maybe? Who knows. 
All pictures come from Nine Mile Canyon near Price, Utah. Check it out sometime. They have lots of neat stuff down that way. 

I will post more about my living room decorating adventure when it is finished. I will be heading to IKEA today to pick up a few items to help it along the way. IKEA stresses me out sometimes so I only go when I have specific things in mind and can be in and out super quick. Hopefully I can do that today. Until next time. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why We Work

One of the blogs I regularly follow is doing a link up either tomorrow or Friday titled Why We Work. Explaining why they work as a couple and giving advice for fellow bloggers on their relationships. I decided to post my "Why We Work" page now because Zack and I are headed to St. George Friday for a little vacation getaway. I really need it, so I am looking forward to sun, hiking and some good food.

This photo describes our relationship perfectly! Not even joking. Zack is always doing crazy things and I am just calm and happy and content with it. This makes me laugh. Here's another one:

Again with the faces! He is always making faces, its hilarious. 

Why we work:
1. Communication: This is a big deal! Seriously. When we were first married I was always getting mad at Zack because he never understood exactly what I wanted. It would make me really angry. Finally I learned how to Communicate better. I learned to describe to him, in exact detail what I needed him to do. He would do it following my instructions and there was no more arguments. If I want him to bring home flowers I will tell him, hey you should bring home flowers some day this week. And he does it! Sometimes I don't want to have to tell him every little thing, but when I do, I am happy and he is happy. No guessing games over here at our house, and that has really been a big life saver for us. 

2. Down Time. Just as important as communication every one needs there downtime. That time when you come home from work/school at the end of a long day and all you want to do is watch an episode of the office or read your current Nora Roberts novel. I have come to the realization that both of us need that downtime, so I set aside the time where I don't nag Zack about anything, let him do his thing for an hour and then at dinner time and beyond get the chores done. It has made the biggest difference in the world. 

3. Pray for the other person. I know this probably seems obvious, but I have never been good at saying personal prayers and we aren't good at saying couples prayers. We always say a prayer over dinner and Zack always mentions me in his prayer. Every time I hear him pray for me, out loud, it makes me feel like he truly does care and want the best for me. 

4. Have hobbies together. Its great to do things separately and to have your own hobby that your husband or spouse or partner doesn't do but you also need hobbies together. Zack and I both love Nintendo games so we both have a 3DS and sometimes we will sit and play games together for an hour. Its fun, I will pass him my gaming console when I can't beat a level (happens all the time) and he completes it for me. We also love movies so we are always looking out for new movies to watch and play those together. 

5. Listen. Just like communication, listening is a key part in making our marriage work. I love it when Zack listens to me and shows signs that he is. He loves it when I listen to him and do things for him he needed done. Listening is a big part of a relationship and that phrase that goes "God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason" is very true when it comes to understanding your partner. 

Well there you have it, some of the reasons why Zack and I work together as a couple. I love our marriage and our relationship. He truly is my best friend and he always puts a smile on my face everyday. 
Thanks for reading

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

All you need is LOVE

The Beatles taught me this lesson when I first started listening to music. When I was younger my sister and I loved the Beatles. We had their top 20 hits album and All You Need Is Love is one of my favorites. Valentine's Day is on Friday and it got me thinking about love, friendship, marriage, family, etc. Basically all the things one associates with when you think about February 14.

This picture is super granulated I know! It was taken on my iPhone and doesn't do well when it gets blown up. Keeping the love going in your marriage can be a hard thing. I did not honestly think it was possible that I could love Zack more than I did the day I married him, and yet somehow I do. Marrying Zack was the best thing I could have ever done for myself, he has been there for me through countless ups and downs. He has helped me with so many hard things in life and has been my constant rock.
When we first were married my mom gave me a book: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura. At first I would get mad at the book thinking that I should be the center of attention not Zack. Dr. Laura's method states that if you take care of your man he will take care of you without being asked. This is so true. The days I clean the house are the days Zack is more willing to do chores. When I show him love by making his dinner or lunch, he randomly brings me flowers or other gifts. I have learned to be more relaxed about video games, and other things and he gives me more time to do what I love. In the end, when Zack is the center of attention I also become the center of attention. Win Win! I highly recommend that you read her book, it really helped me navigate our first few months of marriage together. I didn't really know what was normal for a marriage but reading her book helped me feel that I was doing alright.
Marriage is a wonderful adventure. And after all these years I am glad that the Beatles can still teach me some life lessons along the way.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Erin Condren Life Planner Review 2014> How I use it for college

Today I am so excited to share with you my planner system. It has been working great now for a couple of weeks and I finally have it perfected enough where I want to share it. I have been watching Erin Condren Planner reviews on YouTube for the past month now. I had never heard of the Erin Condren planner until now and I am in love with it. She has such a great eye for detail and the planner is worth the money, I promise. They are a little pricey but its well worth the money. I know I said I would do this review on Wednesday, but the week just got away from me so here it is:

First I want to go over all my supplies. I got the keep it together bands for $6.95. Such a great add on. It makes it easy to stick the planner in my back pack and I don't have to worry about the pages being bent or anything. I highly recommend picking up some when you order your planner. 
I also got the customized notepads. I bought two of them and they stick into the back of the planner. I made sure they were customized with my name and the saying I chose for my planner this year. I use them for random notes and ideas, as well as shopping lists. I can tear out the pages so I don't have to bring my entire planner into the store which is nice. I also ordered the customized stickers for $5.00 a sheet. I will explain more about those in a minute. 
The planner comes with a set of gift labels which you see in the photo above. 
The bag to the left holds my pens that I use for the planner. Lately I have been loving the sharpie pens you can find at staples, however I have been using the paper mate flair pens and I love those as well. Both can be found on amazon. My only criteria with pens is to make sure they don't bleed through the paper and both of these brands pass that test. 
So lets take a look at the planner itself shall we.

First off the planner is pretty thick when you put the notepad in the back. As you can see. The band does a great job of keeping it all together so it doesn't get damaged or ruined. 

I chose the paisley cover. It was such a hard decision. I couldn't decide which cover to choose but I really like this one. You can customize it to say whatever you like. Most people did the Holladay family or something like that and for the second line they did 2014. I really like the quote and its my motto for this year. It helps me to keep in perspective what I am trying to accomplish for 2014. 

When you open it up you see the title page of the planner. Here I put my color coding system. For each class I have a different pen color, it helps me to know what assignments are due when. I also have highlighting colors set out which I use in my binders. This system has been great to keep me organized.

The next thing you see is a spread of birthdays and anniversaries. I have already filled this out (thanks to Facebook for making it easy). There are four months on each page and it goes all the way to December

Next you get this 18 month spread. Which is really helpful, her new planner designs come out in June so if you order in June you can actually get the 18 month planner. I think that is a great idea, I really like the 12 month planner and it makes a great Christmas present so my husband knows what to get me each year. 

This is the month at a glance page. As you can see everything is color codded. I love that. I put all of our bills in black and that way I know when a bill is do. Pink is blog post ideas and I try and post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The stickers help me know when Birthdays are and assignments are due. Here is the other side of February.

As you can see its really busy this month. I block out church activity days, Exams (this is super helpful because then I can see what days I am going to have to study for tests), Family Parties, and Temple Trips. All of these stickers I customized and ordered through her site. The Exam stickers are the best idea. 
Here is a look at March:

I marked off spring break with Vacation stickers. I have a conference that month I am attending so I used the extra stickers in the back to mark that. I have an exam and an assignment due. Its really helpful to plan the month out when I can see what is happening when. 
Here is what a weekly spread looks like:

As you can see I have everything planned out. The colors help me see when assignments are due and its easy to check things off when I complete them. 

I keep track of meal plans and scripture reading at the bottom. School work is up in the top, I usually put homework in the night section. I always put boxes next to my assignments so when I complete one I can check it off. I just love checking things off, it means I actually did something that day. 

I have loved using the Erin Condren Planner to help me keep track of assignments and daily tasks. In a way, my planners become my journals for the year because I can look back and see what exactly I did that day. Although this planner is expensive, it is well worth the investment for how it keeps me organize. Plus it is so colorful and bright it makes me smile everyday when I open it. 
I hope you enjoyed this planner review. Monday I will be doing a post on tips for studying so stay tuned for that. I know everyone can use more help on how to study for those college finals and pass your exams. 
Have a great weekend. Happy Friday.

XO Caitlin

Monday, February 3, 2014

Finance Binder Set Up > An Inside Look

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great Superbowl weekend and had fun watching the Seahawks kill the Broncos in Sundays game. I was rooting for the Seahawks so I am glad they won. Two former Utah State University players are on their team so I naturally had to cheer them on, since I attended USU for 2.5 years.  Glad it ended well.
Zack also came home from his work trip on Friday. He has been in Canada all month long (seriously he left Jan 4th!) and I was very happy to have him home in my arms Friday night. We spent that day relaxing at home, enjoying some one on one time with our giant bean bag (more on that later) and watching Netflix. It was a very good weekend for me.
On Saturday Zack had to go get his car registration all taken care of, so while he did that I put together our very first Finance Binder.
We have been struggling with organizing our finances and I haven't been able to find a system that would work for us. At the start of this month I synced up our iPhone calendars and I put our bills in the monthly calendar, that way we both know when a bill is due. We also had two separate accounts, one for me and one for Zack. This wasn't working as well as we had hoped. It was getting confusing as to what account was paying for what bill. We both work so we have two separate incomes that pay separate bills. It was making our finances a huge disaster and it was not working at all.
On Saturday we went to our bank and opened up a joint account, I know its going to make a huge difference. That way both of our direct deposit from work can go to the joint account and we can transfer personal money over to our already existing accounts. It will be so much easier.
Because of all this, I also set up our finance binder so that we can keep track of all the account information we need.
I went to Target and picked up most of my supplies for the binder there.

I am loving Target's new line of recycle friendly binders and this gold/orange dot binder fits my needs perfectly. The color at first wasn't my favorite but it has since grown on me. The book plate label holder comes from staples, in the Martha Stewart line and I typed up the finances label on my computer in an orange font to match the binder. So cute. 

Inside the first pocket you find all the essentials one could need with a finance binder. A calculator, stamps, checkbooks, and pens. 

After the first tab you find the Holladay family monthly budget sheet that I made up using excel on my computer. 

Every month Zack and I will sit down and go over our budget. Most of these items (like rent) is a fixed budget which makes it easier, I have three pages of the monthly budget and categories for transportation, debts, Union fees, entertainment, education, and personal. This will help me keep track of all of our finances in the long run. 

Next you find our finance checklist. This is a running checklist that we use every month for our fixed expenses. We can write the amount next to the box and then check it off when its paid. It will help me see and visualize how everything may be different from month to month. This is especially applicable for our utility bills that change with the season. 

Next is our checking account register. I have a bad habit of not looking at my account every day. Now I scheduled in time in my planner to look at my finances every night. I keep receipts for the day in the orange pocket and then I can balance out my account. I can put an X in the comments section when it cleared to make sure that everything is being paid when it is supposed to. 

Next is our account information printable. This lets me have all of our account numbers and the website for each account on one sheet. Its really handy, instead of having to use our social security numbers to look up the account we can just turn to this page have it all on hand. 

Our passwords to all of our accounts are kept in this little notebook I found at staples. When Zack is out traveling he doesn't always have cell service or internet so I have to pay the bills, one time I went to pay the bills and couldn't get into an account because I didn't have all the password information. We keep this notebook in the binder only when we are home, when we are out of town we lock it up safely along with the entire binder. That way our information stays safe, yet its all in one place. This is really a nice system and I am starting on it today. 
I am excited to get our finances back on track because we have really been lacking in that area. 
Well I hope you all have a great Monday. 
Stay tuned for Wednesday where I am going to do an Erin Condren Planner review. I am so excited about this and to show you how I use it to keep track of my entire life.