Friday, August 29, 2014

all quiet on the riley front/////utah giveaway week winners

Well kids, summer is officially over and that means I will hardly have any free time and that means my blog might get a little bit quiet, unfortunately. I finally was able to meet with my cooperating teacher for student teaching and he basically handed me the textbook and said, "plan the semester!" so my life just got really insanely busy and that's the way I like it!
This was after I dry heaved in the parking lot. I wasn't aware I would be interacting with students on my first day, I thought I was just meeting my teacher. I introduced myself as Riley. Hashtag face palm, or something.
Again, thanks for participating in my Giveaway Week, Utah Style! Here are the winners!
State Your Pride Necklaces- Laura Nelson
Print from 19letters- Robin Ficklin
Cicada Box- Samantha Gregson
And here are some pictures from the Arcade Fire concert to take you out!
First, a little background. I forgot to tell you guys I am seriously the best wife ever except for the small fact I am the worst. Even though I do nothing, ever, I did get Mark "The Best Present I've Ever Gotten"-Mark which was Arcade Fire tickets when they came to D.C. It was a pricey lil gig but they are Mark's favorite band and he has never seen them live. I have never seen Mark so surprised as when he opened up the tickets clear back in May and it was totally the light at the end of our summer sales tunnel so it was worth every penny. 
The dress code for the concert was formal, which was fun. We were boring and went with masquerade masks which we wore for this picture and then never again. I also spent about an hour making my hair into a mohawk which actually turned out to look like a rooster and you can't even see it at all in this picture. C'est La Vie. At least I wasn't the girl who showed up in the full-blown prom dress. I almost was that girl, you guys. It was way too freaking close for comfort. 

The only picture I got of the actual concert but it was probably the best concert I have ever been to. I keep thinking about how totally awesome it was. The videography that kept happening behind the stage was my favorite part. Man, it was a great way to end our time in Maryland.

Hopefully I won't get too busy that my lil space here will be neglected completely. Aren't Sunday's for writing blog posts? Oh and church. Always church.
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Brilliant Solution to Eating Out Too Much!

Shoutout to Chili's/Billisio Foods for sponsoring this campaign today! But all opinions are my own, obviously. 

The thing about Mark and I....we like to eat out. Date nights consist of going to dinner somewhere. I stopped looking for "unique date nights" on Pinterest because they all seemed the same. My creativity is totally just gone when it comes to date nights. So we do the dinner and the movie gig, we enjoy it quite a bit actually as Mark has a movie blog and I like to eat...always.  I wish we could tell you we are the cool hipster kids who go try a new restaurant every week, but we're not. We frequent the same places usually and one of those places is Chili's. We are addicted to the two for twenty deal. It's such a good deal for an appetizer and two meals! Hellllloooo Texas Cheese Fries. We can justify spending the money a lot more with a deal like this, however eating out and going to a movie still ends up being a really pricey date night.
Enter, stage right.
Chili's At Home Frozen Meals. They come with all the same flavor as actually going to Chili's and they are way cheaper! Here are some samples of the different entrees they have. Not only do they have single servings but they also have family size as well!

Mark and I went to the grocery store one night because we needed dinner but it was the night before I got paid (ya know how that goes) so we needed something cheap. We also wanted to have a date night because we hadn't really had any genuine time together for a few days. There were so many options of Chili's Meals to choose from, it took us quiiiiiiteee a while. The Walmart workers were making fun of us. Woops!

And then I found an end cap with even more options. It was nuts!

This is what I decided on and then Mark told me he wanted the Bacon Mac & Cheese so we had to reconfigure what was goin on...

So this is what we settled on.

So yay! We got to go on a date. That night, Mark ate the Bacon Mac & Cheese and I ate the Pepperjack Mac & Cheese. Here is a incredibly unattractive picture of Mark snarfing his meal since he had not eaten in over twelve hours.

After the first bite Mark said "Woah, I think this is better than the Mac & Cheese they actually have at Chili's

I ate my Pepperjack Mac and Cheese really fast because A. I was starving and B. It was so spicy! It was a great side dish to the chicken I made with it, but I don't know if it would fill me up if I just ate it alone.

If you are interested in trying Chili's at home, HERE is a really great coupon making the meal even cheaper!

It was a great, simple and cheap date night! Thanks to Chili's and Linqia for sponsoring this campaign and to my readers for supporting the sponsors that pays for my blog!

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Friday, August 22, 2014


I hope you guys have enjoyed this giveaway week as much as I have! I had a lot of fun putting it together. Today is the last day of our giveaway and it's a pretty freaking awesome prize, if I do say so myself.  I am so happy to introduce you to Studio Cicada! First of all, I love this company and they are going to be huge soon. We bonded over our love for Dr. Pepper so you know, they will have me as a customer for life. 
A few of my favorite phone was so hard to pick!
However, let me tell you a sad story which involves the unique tale of someone getting angry at the Post Office. So, Studio Cicada was so nice to send me a phone case just like THIS ONE (except it had Utah and said "HOME") so I could take pictures with the cute thang. So she sent it off in the mail like a normal person. Ok, so we were moving away from MD so I needed to forward my mail. I knew the package would arrive last Friday so I purposely put the forwarding mail date on Monday. But guess when the lovely post office decided to start forwarding my mail? You guessed it, Friday. So I went to the post office to see if maybe they had the package. Not only did they not have it, they had no clue where it was. I assumed it would come to my Murray house but it was lost in some sort of limbo. Long story short, (I guess this was already a long story...darn.) I had a friend that was still in Maryland check my mail yesterday and the package was in my mailbox! Unfortunately, she won't be back in Utah till Sunday. Ugh, so the point is that I don't have my own pictures for you but I think you guys are smart enough to get the idea. 

Today, Studio Cicada is giving my readers the chance to win a Cicada Box! This thing is awesome, you guys. Let me tell you what it includes.
One of Studio Cicada's super sturdy phone case that comes with the print of your choice on the back! You can choose either silicone or plastic and whatever phone you have, they can make a case for it!
A 4x4 print of your choice! Such a cute little addition.
My personal favorite items in the box, two bracelets! They have a variety of bracelets that come with this box and they are all really, really cute! 
You guys, this is such an awesome prize I can't even deal. I wish I could win it! 

Alright, you know the drill! Happy entering, winner will be announced next week!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And a huge thanks to all the companies and YOU GUYS for making this week possible. Oh, and Mark as well. I had a lot of breakdowns about being too fat in the pictures for this giveaway week. Never take pictures while you are PMSing. Just.... never do it. Anyway he took me to the mall and we worked it out thankfully. What a guy. 
The winner for the necklaces will be announced Monday, the print on Wednesday and this AWESOME Cicada box on Friday. Good luck!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


The fun continues! The party don't stop till we get to Utah! Or something!

Today's giveway is another awesome one, of course. When I first found 19letters on Etsy I was like "Wow, her prints are the cutest." Then I started communicating with Amanda, the owner of 19letters I was like "Ok, you're the cutest." So basically now I  am convinced I found the cutest print shop on Etsy. She has all sorts of prints but I immediately fell in love with her "Home" prints! 
You can pick whatever color you want! I picked a teal color.

Entering is the same rules as on Monday. 
To enter, all you have to do is complete the RaffleCopter below! You can tweet about the giveaway every day to give yourself extra entries. Another way to get bonus entries is to either tag your friends in my Instagram photo (@rileyjothehoe) and/or repost the photo at the top of this post onto Instagram with the hashtag #UtahGiveawayWeek. 

Awkwardly jumping for joy and looking like Satan because we are going home!

I also experimented with some washi tape frames the other day, here are my results! The best part about washi tape frames is that they peel off super easily so it's great for renters!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, August 18, 2014


Well you guys, today is a really exciting day for a lot of reasons!
1. It's my birthday. Happy birthday, me!
2. We left for Utah early this morning! Let me tell you, it was like waiting for Christmas. 
Shout out to Trent Morrison for saving my bum with this awesome graphic. I was drowning in stress from the move, put a call out on twitter and he answered! 
When I realized that the first two things on my list were happening on the same day I thought that it needed to be celebrated! Let me tell you, I think everyone living in Utah should leave for a little while so you can understand and appreciate how amazing and unique Utah really is. I know I never realized how lucky I am to live here until we moved! So to honor this, I came up with the idea of a Giveaway Week, Utah Style and ran with it. I found some amazing companies putting this together and there is no way it could be possible without their generosity. 
Three days. Three different Utah themed products. Three different giveaways. You could win one or you could win them all! Either way, this is going to be awesome.
Today I am so excited to introduce POSH AND TIP. I found Rachel on Etsy and immediately fell in love with her cute State Your Pride necklace. It came in the mail and I wished I had bought it right when I left Utah! I put it on immediately and when about my daily errands. I had a lot of people asking about it throughout the day.  Rachel is being extremely generous so if you win you not only get a gorgeous necklace for yourself, you get one for someone else in your life as well! 
To enter, all you have to do is complete the RaffleCopter below! You can tweet about the giveaway every day to give yourself extra entries. Another way to get bonus entries is to either tag your friends in my Instagram photo (@rileyjothehoe) and/or repost the photo at the top of this post onto Instagram with the hashtag #UtahGiveawayWeek. 
I think it's so cute and dainty. Love it!

Clearly not a fashion blogger..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back on Wednesday for another great giveaway with an awesome company!
If you are not from Utah, you can choose which state to get on your necklace!
We will be in Utah in a matter of days and I am so anxious! Things went a little too well on the drive out to Maryland so I am a little worried that they won't be as smooth on the way back. Knock on wood!

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Friday, August 15, 2014

do I come on a little too strong for ya?

Hi guys. I have been feeling a little rambly right now I am sitting on my couch, looking at how shambly my apartment is, wondering how we are going to fit it all in my car and sad about the fact that I just ate two pieces of garlic bread for dinner because we don't want to go grocery shopping for like two days worth of food. Not even that. Like a day. 
Then I started stalking this girls twitter, cause...I dunno, it happened. It lead me to think about something so I kind of want to talk about my thoughts right now, so here I am.

Ok, first, let me show you a picture of my bridesmaids. 

Alright, I would like to recap here. Three of these eight women I have known my entire life. One since birth, one since preschool and one since I was nine which is basically my whole life, ya know. Two of these girls are my "littles" from my sorority and I don't really know a nicer way to say this other than I basically forced them to be my friends and somehow convinced them to like me. One of these girls is Mark's sister so, you know. One of these girls I hated from the first moment I met her and then somehow we stumbled onto a friendship. The last girl was the only person I feel like I had to truly like go through the friendship process with.

Ok, back to my point. All of my close friends are either from my sorority which ya know, we paid for each other so we are just trying to get our money's worth OR I have known them my entire life. Ok so I am just sitting here, stalking this girl's twitter and here is the dialogue in my head:
  • Wow man, I want to be best friends with her but how do I go about that? 
  • Do I just like say... "Can we be best friends?!" Ugh, but I hate girls that say that. 
  • Ok, maybe I will just like meet her in a group setting somehow and suggest we hang out later in another group setting. 
  • But then how do you transition from group setting friends to individual BFFS? 
  • I already follow her on like every social media. What more do you want from me, girl!?
  • I'm starting to sound lesbian. I just want some friends, k!
  • That friend tinder (Finder, TM) is starting to sound like a really good idea right now.
  • Oh crap, I just remembered how awkward I am.
Honestly, I think finding a solid friend is way harder than dating. I never was any good at dating so I wouldn't really know, but I assume it's harder. Girls tend to want to stick in their friend group. They will be acquaintances with other girls but I feel like no one is going out of their way to find their new BFF. 
I also feel like I am one of those "acquired taste" people? Like my humor is really strange, I am sarcastic all the time, and mostly I feel like I have no filter until I start feeling more comfortable around someone. That seems backwards but alas, it's true. 

For example, I have been in college for almost six years after this next semester and I only started making friends with the people in my program a year ago. A YEAR AGO! That is so pathetic and now that I know how awesome they are it makes me sad I didn't open up sooner.

Aaaaannnnnywaaaaays my point is I am not a loser, not in super dire need of friends, but I wouldn't hate some fresh blood in my life, ya know?
Ok, that was probably the creepiest thing I have ever said. I'm done. Have a good night people!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

a tale of yesterday

I feel like I need to chat about my day yesterday. We're all friends here, right? Ok, good. Here we go.
So to start out with, it was my first day of "normal hours" aka ten hours a day at work. I get to work and the eight year old I nanny basically decides that it was a pretty good day to be satanic. Literally. However, I didn't find this out until we had left the house for the day. We had to go shopping for uniforms for their private school which, let's talk about that for a second. This uniform store is apparently the only one in the whole state of Maryland and was clear in College Park which is quite a ways from where we were.  I walked in the store and it was seriously some Gossip Girl stuff. Like plaid EVERYWHERE. Jumpers EVERYWHERE. It was crazy! I learned that 81% of kids in MD go to a private school, that is just nuts to me. This uniform store was absolutely blowing my mind. Especially when I went to check out. $400.00 for three sets of uniforms for each boy. That is literally disgusting to me...but I guess if I am a NANNY going to a store to get uniforms for the kids PRIVATE school, people can probably afford uniforms. Anyway, the Uniform Store was a total nightmare with the eight year old. At one point I locked him in his dressing room just so I could give myself some headspace. 

So the day pretty much went like that. It was just a rough day with kids who wouldn't listen. I was beat after work, just totally obliterated. I went home and decided to check KSL to see if any new houses had popped up in Orem/Provo. I didn't see much. I decided to look at the listings in Lehi which is usually always pointless because in the two months I have been looking for housing, there has never been anything close to the middle school I am teaching at. With only one car, we either need to be close to the middle school I will be at or UVU for Mark. Anyway, I found a picture of a "cottage" in our price range but it had no pictures of the inside which is pretty much always a bad sign. However I thought I would look at the address and map it to the middle school anyway. YOU GUYS, this house is literally right around the corner from the middle school!! However, I still didn't want to get my hopes up because there were no pictures of the inside, so I sent my Mom to look at the house. PEOPLE, It was gorgeous on the inside. Everything was pretty much brand new. 
In a matter of hours, we were signed, sealed and delivered! 

As I was trying to get this housing thing figured out, hopping on and off the phone with our new landlady, my Mom and Mark, I was also playing the game "Why Does Our Fridge Smell Like That?" I opened a drawer of the fridge we don't use and there was a tupperware sitting there. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. 
It was like a scene from a horror movie because I knew exactly what was in that tupperware and exactly how long it had been there. I opened the tupperware of black beans and saw the mold and immediately, gagging ensued. I, stupidly, dumped the crap down the disposal instead of the garbage. THE SMELL GOT WORSE! I grabbed the dish soap to try and drown out the smell and we were OUT of dish soap. My survival instincts kicked in and I grabbed a rag and tied it around my face and ran into the bathroom and got bleach, my body wash and my lotion for good measure. I made a little cocktail of all of that and dumped it down the drain. I realized there was no hope for the tupperware and practically catapulted it into the garbage bin outside. I was still gagging, so I threw open all the doors and windows in our house while dancing around like a little spaz with my body spray. I tried calling 911 Mark to tell him I was lighting a match to our house. It was better this way. Luckily he got home and intervened and we just left while the house aired out. When we got back he claimed he smelled nothing but I still could smell it PTSD maybe.

To recap this post....I have one more day of nannying and I am beyond ready to be done. 

We have a house! A perfect house! However the one un-perfect thing is that it has carpet in the kitchen, any suggestions on where I can get a mat or something to put over the carpet? Also, I do not fundamentally understand why someone would carpet a kitchen.

I was totally traumatized by a tupperware full of black beans.

Here are some pictures of the Orioles game we went to last Saturday to take you out. 
This picture is so funny to me. Looks like Mark is the third wheel..

We took the lightrail which is basically trax to get to the game and it was kind of a huge mistake. First of all, the closest station to us was like twenty minutes away which was as far as Baltimore. The train took forever getting there and then we got on the wrong train going home! We were all super hangry by the time we got on the right train and got to the station. And by "we" I mean me. 

We were three rows up from the field!

Ok, off to finish my week out.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

love story, part one.

So I mentioned in my vlog that I was debating on publishing our "love *puke* story" but I got a lot of encouragement that it wouldn't be totally puke worthy, so we are going forward with it. Mostly because my nanny kids were driving me nuts so I took them to a lazer tag place that also has free wifi. Win, win. 
Apparently the world wanting to know your "love story" is a thing.  Maybe it's just a blog world thing, but regardless, love stories are some sort of thing. So here is ours. I think I am going to call this the "Smile, Smile, Puke, Puke" series. Because that is exactly what it makes me do. 
Alright, let's go!
I met Mark on August 8th, 2008. I remember that day so clearly, but I wish I could remember it differently. Let me back up.
About a month before this day, my friend Codi went to EFY. One night they had a dance. Codi got asked to dance by a lot of guys because well, she is gorgeous. This guy named Nate came up and asked her to dance. Guys, Nate was super hot from what I have been told. Super swoon worthy, or whatever. Of course he got Codi's number! Later on in the night, another guy asked Codi to dance. His name was also Nate. Don't get me wrong, this Nate has a great butt and everything but he wasn't like Nate #1. This Nate was pretty creepy and somehow got Codi's number as well.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. Hot Nate texted Codi and wanted to hang out sometime! We got it all planned out and we were so excited. The night of this hang out, Codi, Ashley and I were all huddled in the front window of Codi's house while Hot Nate drove into the driveway. As soon as he got out of his car, we realized it wasn't hot Nate at all. It was not-hot-Nate! (now that Nate is one of my closest friends, I cringe at this identifier. He has a heck of a butt, you guys! And he really is attractive. And he is in a relationship now so, he wins ultimately.) So, in case you weren't familiar with teenage Riley....brace yourself.

Ok, I couldn't find any really bad pictures but bottom line is I loved messy buns that were actually just rats nests, loved swearing and I loved anything Fall out Boy related.  Anyway, because I thought I was hardcore....
 I responded with, "Oh Shi*" when Codi said "IT'S NOT HOT NATE. WE GOT THE WRONG NATE!" We moved into crisis management mode. We tried to hide and not answer the door but Codi's Mom was not having that behavior. So next we scoped out the two friends Nate had brought with him.
Actual picture from that night, I think?? Nate is top right!
 One was really tall and lanky but pretty cute. Of course, Ashley called him right away. Seeing as the other friend Nate had brought was Asian and looked straight up pissed off, Codi called Nate to which I responded, "I sure as hell am not taking the Asian."
A snapshot of high school Mark that describes the situation completely.
So we hung out that night. I hated all of them. With a passion.They were so rude! They told us that Cobra Starship was the worst band which was highly offensive to teenage Codi and Riley. Anyway, after they left that night I said syanara to them and just went on my merry way.
Then my friend Ashley and that tall and lanky boy Chandler started ~*~CruShIn~*~ on each other, so inevitably we kept hanging out. We started to think these guys were kind of funny, we started to see that we all had the same strange sense of humor. It was a slowly, then at all once situation. I spent my entire senior year absolutely obsessed with them. It was actually sick at some points. I was trying to convince my parents to transfer me to Jordan High School. Then I realized they never went to school so I pretty much stopped going as well. At least, I stopped going to seminary. They took me to all my dances senior year. I loved every second of my friendship with them. 

 This whole time I was definitely falling in love with Mark as well, I just wasn't totally aware of it and/or wasn't ready to come to terms with it yet. One of my favorite memories was when I went to a school dance and after the night activity I dropped off my date and then went to Mark's house and he snuck out. We just laid in my car for hours and talked and talked! I really wanted him to kiss me that night and I thought he was going to! But the next day I was so embarrassed that I wanted to kiss him in the first place that I shoved it in the back of my mind and told no one. We stayed friends and incidentally both ended up going to Utah State for our freshman year of college.
Stay tuned for part two, though I am pretty convinced no one cares about this. I don't really even care about it. All I care about is we are together now! Hooray!
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