Wednesday, December 31, 2014

year end review---2014

I know, I know. Everyone does these. However, I like to think I have done it equally as long, or longer, as anyone else has. In fact, I logged into my Myspace last month and though 99% of the content had been deleted due to inactivity, there were 2 or 3 year end reviews in my blog section from 2006, 2007 and 2008. So boo ya, here we go. 
You can see 2013,  2011, and 2010, holy wowza. Not sure what happened to 2012. I know it's out in the universe somewhere haha. Also, looking back at those reminds me of why I hate the app "Timehop" so much. Anyway, let's begin.
Well, apparently this was an extremely dull month because well...nothing happened except that I quit the job I had for four years and it actually wasn't emotional at all. Haha, moving on to more exciting things.

Woo hoo! Mark and I got engaged! Which explains why nothing went down in January, we were busy trying to figure out our lives. Haha
Another month that went silently because I was busy trying not to fail school/plan a wedding/ I bought Sims 3 so what do you expect? 


Things started to pick up! We got our engagements done, I had my bacherlorette party and I went through the temple. 

I walked in graduation, Mark's birthday, we got married and moved to Maryland. All in the span of four days. We went to Chicago, the Bahamas and I went to New York to visit Codi while she did her reality show. I got a nanny job and Mark started selling and made over $2,000 his first week. It was freakin AWESOME.

We explored the world around us! Lots of trips to Baltimore and D.C, including an Orioles vs. Red Sox game!

I went home to Utah for my Grandpa's funeral, and then a few weeks later my Mom and Aunt came and visited. We also celebrated the 4th of July in D.C, not something I will ever forget!

We went to another Orioles game, we went to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. My birthday! The same day we packed up and drove the looonng drive back to Utah. We moved into our cute little cottage and I began student teaching at Lehi Jr High.

I was trying to survive student teaching! It took me this entire month and well into the next to get the hang of things. I was able to take a break and go to Island Park in Idaho with Mark's family. It was a good little break. I also had a lot of fun blogger events this month, working with Tag's Thrift, Salt of the Earth and going to a tea party at Dear Lizzie!

HALLOWEEN! This is the first year I let myself have 0 expectations for Halloween. We just hung out with my family and it was actually the best!
Mark and I were able to go to Snowbird for our 6 month anniversary. We also had our first Thanksgiving as grown up married people! It was interesting and I ate two whole meals so.....woof. I also studied my butt off for two Praxis tests and passed them BOTH, which is one of my biggest blessings of 2014. If I had not taken them when I did and passed them, I wouldn't have gotten a job.

I ended student teaching and on my last week of student teaching, I got a job! 
We had a lovely little friend party where I got to see friends we hadn't seen since we got married..
and our first Christmas.

2014 was the best year of my life and also the hardest/scariest. We made so many life changing decisions this year, getting married, obviously, but also our huge move, Mark transferring schools, Mark not going to school full time (just this year, he will be back full time in the fall!), moving to Lehi, deciding if my job was right for me, it's crazy. I honestly don't think that when I ended 2013 I expected what was coming in 2014. I thought Mark and I maybe would get married but I wasn't sure. I was pretttty sure I was gonna graduate but I wasn't sure where I would student teach or if I would get a job. I just really had no ideas or plans which makes me so curious about what 2015 will be like. We have no big plans, no huge expectations, we really have nothing on our agenda. So i'm excited to see what happens! 

As for tonight, we are staying in. I finally went to the doctor to find out I have a double ear AND a sinus infection. I'm feeling prettttty sorry for myself over here. Haha so I guess we will just lay around and maybe play Life and Jenga... 

Happy New Year!

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Monday, December 29, 2014

almost positive government experiences

Yesterday and today has been spent nursing what is turning into a sinus infection and it's nooooot the best time I have ever had in my life. I have been working my way through the Harry Potters while sleeping, such is life. This morning I decided I was making myself feel crappier by laying around so I got up and finished all those random little things that have been on my to do list like "Buy a loofah..." haha, really though! But my day started off at 6:45 AM with the DMV. Let's chat about that.
So about two weeks ago it became very apparent that my last name needed to be changed due to my work. Unless I wanted to confuse the heck out of my kids with two names, I just needed to do it. So I started off in the social security office. 
Man, that was a treat. It reeked like smoke in there SO BADLY that my eyes were literally watering. I kept thinking "It's almost 2015, how are people still smoking?" Really though, h o w? The social security office was packed when I got there so I was really worried. However they had all six windows open for about fifteen minutes so I was like "I am gonna get out of here Q U I C K." Like an idiot, I went at lunchtime so about twenty minutes after I got there, all the windows closed but one! I was so frustrated...but even there was only one very old man working the window, he was quick and I was only there exactly one hour. So that was somewhat impressive. I also was very nosy, I wanted to know everyone's story, why they were there, where did they come from. I started attempting to talk to this girl from France and from what I gathered, she had just gotten married to the guy next to her who was from Italy but moved here a long time ago and dudes, he was like 45 and she looked like she just turned 18 maybe yesterday. It creeped me out. She was gorgeous though so, go him. Then a little cute old guy was called and I was sitting right by the window he was called to and he started explaining his wife died last week and he started tearing up and I almost lost it. It was so sad. Anyway, so there was that about the social security office. Everything went way smoothly and I got my new SS card in like two days.
So I was wrongly very optimistic about government when I went to the DMV last week. My optimism continued when I was only waiting for maybe...3 minutes? Before being seen. Then things took a turn for the worse! The DMV lady basically told me that I forged a marriage certificate and that she wouldn't grant me a new license. I was like wahhh!? She hmmd and hawwwd for like twenty minutes about whether it was "real" or "fake" and then refused it saying "she just didn't feel right about it" uhhh ok lady, what am I supposed to do!? So she told me that all marriage certificates were held in a building downtown. So I drove from Draper to downtown in rush hour, it was ultra pleasant. Then I get to the marriage place and they are closed for another hour. So I wait the hour. Then they open and the lady cannot find my marriage certificate. So i'm absolutely freaking out that for six months, Mark and I actually haven't been married.. haha! Then I realized that Mark and I filed for marriage in Logan, aka Cache County. So the office I had waited an hour to get into wouldn't have my certificate. Haha! Oh man. I was actually in tears at this point. Crying in the marriage license office. I had to call Cache County to get our license mailed to us and the place in Logan was closed until after Christmas. That basically set me off all over again because I NEEDED to get my name change before my district office closed for Christmas. I left them a message and just prayed. 
Then I went to Trader Joes to get peppermint joe-joes and they were sold out. Kind of off topic but I just wanted to tell you that I cried in Trader Joes. Haha
Ok, so miraculously, someone from Logan called me back and mailed my marriage license, it got here in one day and so today I went back to the DMV. It only took about ten minutes and I had my new license. Funny story, they were doing the vision test on me and the guy asked me to read the line to my right and I couldn't see anything!! I was freaking out thinking I was blind! Then I realized I had closed my right eye for some reason?? I bust out laughing so loud and explained what had happened to the guy and he was SO not amused hahahahhahahaha
Anyway, then everything else went smoothly. I sent my passport in to get the name changed, I changed my name at the bank, with paypal, all my online accounts, even my Smiths loyalty card! Haha! So I am officially, to everyone except Utah State (working on it), I am not longer a Justesen! Woo! 
Then since I was so proud of myself for finally getting it done after almost 8 months of marriage that I went and blew all my Christmas money at H&M. As you do.
I requested that you guys take a survey on my last blog post and all of the options are literally even right now and I CANNOT DECIDE. Pleaaaase vote for an option. It takes ten seconds. 
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Saturday, December 27, 2014

christmas! christmas! christmas!

We are trying to recover from Christmas over here. I got in a very rare mood and organized all of our cupboards, drawers and closets. We took down our Christmas decorations which actually felt really amazing, weird how excited I was to put it up but now I am happy to have things back in order. 

an ode to the greatest hits of Christmas food

Our first Christmas married! It was one of the better ones I have had! Starting on Christmas Eve, we went to Tsunami for dinner with Mark's family. It was INCREDIBLE. I have never realized the difference between the cheap sushi I usually eat and reallllly good (expensive) sushi. Oh and their ribs! Don't even get me started about their ribs. I am foaming at the mouth just thinking about it...haha. Then we ran to my family's annual Christmas eve party where we had quite the white elephant exchange. What do you guys think about white elephants? We brought adult diapers but there were several Starbucks and Cafe Rio cards floating around. Should they be funny or something more useful? 
Then Christmas morning, Mark and I woke up and opened our presents. I was so excited for Mark to open his gifts! We agreed on one surprise but I went overboard...woops. He got two pairs of shoes, two video games, a set of totally plain white plates (he hates ours, he says food doesn't look good on them...haha) and a gshock watch. His old one got all busted when he got in a bicycle accident so he needed a new one! He got plenty in his stocking as well. A one pound bag of beef jerky, a water bottle, a lego set...haha and tons of candy! I loved watching him open presents and I am reallllly glad I don't have to keep any secrets from him anymore. 
I also got spoiled! Mark got me a pair of beauuuutiful red hunter boots. They are so pretty. I also got a lot of clothes, perfume and candy! Woo woo!
We spent Christmas day hanging out with family. Then we got home and I started watching the first Harry Potter! I haven't seen it since it came out! It was great. 

The day after Christmas was also a very good day. We FINALLY have become a two car family after EIGHT MONTHS. Eight freakin months. Mark got the car back that he used throughout college from his sister. We keep remembering we have two cars now and we get really happy! Another cool thing is that we got a new dryer! We had to turn ours on with a wrench and it was annoying. Then my parents washer broke so they just bought a new set, so we got the dryer! 

The cool thing about being married over Christmas is people just give you money. I can hopefully get my DSLR camera soon, I just have to save a little bit more....and decide which one I want. Ahhh, choices.
Anyway, I also got myself a domain name for Christmas but tragically, was taken. So if you wouldn't mind taking this survey about which option you like the most, it would help with my indecisive ways. 

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Sunday, December 21, 2014

and a vuhry muhry christmas to you. (scentsy winners announced)

I have started and ditched about twenty blog posts this month. It's true. My drafts are overflowing. I write a few things and then I'm like "I can't publish this, it's all over the place" so it is left deserted in the drafts. However I am finally going to pull the trigger on this post. Here we go! Bam bam!

1/// I wish I could say my time away from tha blog has been spent preparing to teach my very own class, but nah. It's been spent planning a big Christmas potluck party with all of our friends. We tried very hard to throw a grown up party, very hard. However our parents stepped in for the really important parts and honestly, we couldn't have done it without them!

2/// I found this black dress at Old Navy and realllly wanted it despite Mark's skepticism. I won't throw the big knitted cardi over it again, but it's so comfy and so I will try other ways to make it work. 

3/// I have been mega stressing lately about how I am going to afford the things I need for my classroom to function. I am so surprised at how much people don't realize goes into making a classroom work and how I get no assistance from the district or the state. My Mom saw my woes and since she is also a sixth grade teacher, she put together a pack of essentials for me for Christmas. She gave it to me early so I could have it when I go in tomorrow to set up my room. I almost cried. It has everything! My favorite is the rolly cart. Those things are a pretty penny! But how else am I supposed to haul my junk back and forth? 

4/// My friend Ashley is the florist for Bottles & Blooms and she hooks me up occasionally! She made this gorgeous baby's breath crown and I was able to take pictures in it! It was raining really bad so Mark didn't have much patience. It's ok, it was about time I jumped on the selfie train I guess. 

5/// This goes back with the Christmas party, I decided to do mashed potatoes...for 30 I got a 20 lb bag of potatoes. I am laughing so hard that we didn't think there would be enough potatoes! Currently in my fridge is two gallon ziplock bags FULL of potatoes. It was the hardest thing to mash all of those, I thought for sure we were going to break the little mixer. 

Anyway, this will probably be my last post until New Years. I'm just not really feeling bloggy lately, which is ok. I am, however, feelin Christmasy. If you didn't know, my love language is gifts, so my heart almost explodes every Christmas. On Christmas Eve we are eating at Tsunami with Mark's family (yuuuummm) and then going to my family's annual Christmas Eve party. Then on Christmas day we are just hanging out! I just love love loveee Christmas. Plus, it's the first Christmas that Mark and I are married! So that's neat. I kind of went overboard with his present(s?) woops! I cannot wait for him to open them. I was talking to my sister who just got re-married and she said that she has a really hard time buying gifts for her new husband because he is not materialistic at all. I was like "huh..." because Mark and I as well as my sister are all extremely materialistic haha! We love things! It doesn't matter what you give us, we will pretty much love it because it's a thing! Anyway, i'm super grateful that I love things around this time of year...hahahahah and on that note, Merry Christmas! 

 Winners of the Scentsy Giveaway are....
$15.00: Kiana Probst
$10.00: Paige Stewart!

Email me at by Tuesday at noon to claim your prize or it will go to the next person. 

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Friday, December 12, 2014

happy list///1

Why do I do happy lists? Check Emily's blog for the info. 

"will my husband ever return from war?" 
getting an amazing parking space at Walgreens/Mark bringing home a ten pound bucket of cheerios from work/getting to sew for the first time in a long time/trying to sew a pencil skirt and my butt bursting the seams hahaha/sitting lower bowl at the Jazz game/ the aquarium lit up at night/ finishing student teaching/a kid telling me I should be a God, not a teacher/ a kid telling me I need to work on my people skills, gave me a good laugh/getting final confirmation I passed every Praxis test, done with those mutha effahs/taking my chihuahuas on a walk in the amazing weather/ learning how to curl my hair in a new way/getting my hair done/getting $100 in store credit from Twice because of you guys! Not my intention but awesome nonethless. Bought a gorgeous Zara tassel purse, amazing Nikes and Sperry boots. Still have about $40.00 in credit, too!/spending my days watching Gilmore Girls and baking/ finishing an amazing book (Sarah's Key, haunting, beautiful, read it.)/putting new scents in my Scentsy and having my house smell delicious/a large dr pepper from McDonalds/a bath in my parents huge tub

Some funny quotes from people....aka Mark.
Said randomly after a long silence while driving: "Being a bird would suck because you can fly but you don't have arms???" 

While cuddling: "You have so many arms!"

Again, said randomly as we were both reading before bed and in the most serious tone I have ever heard : Mark: "I need more time..." Me: "What?" Mark" "More time to live to make stuff like this..." in reference to the Jurassic Park video I posted on www.wednesdays post.

"What did people do before the internet....did they even LAUGH!?!"

And my favorite, we were talking about some actors in a movie and he told me Eddie Murphy was in this certain movie. Then he paused and said, completely serious, "You know Eddie Murphy, right?" Maybe it wasn't that funny but oh MAN I keep laughing every time I think about it. 

Ok, I have to go visiting teaching in five minutes so I will end with this exciting news. I got a job! A real life teaching job! I will be teaching 6th grade Social Studies! I went to the school today to look at my classroom, get my badge, etc. Mark and I have been so blessed in about one thousand ways lately, I am not sure what we did to deserve it. This job was a miracle from start to finish. I randomly decided to go to the screening interview in Logan the day before, I got a second interview that went absolutely terribly (or so I thought) and then I got a call that I got the job. I'm so nervous, this school has so many challenges that my previous school did not. However I am excited to start working and really give it a go. Also, can we talk about social media for a second? Man, I love social media so much. I know everyone has their own issues with it and i'll admit, sometimes i'm like "K Facebook, you can go shave your back now." However I think it's really cool that girls who I had this kind of relationship with in high school like my good news and I like theirs. I dunno, I just felt super supported today. Maybe that is a dumb thing to say, but that stuff helps me when ya know, I "hypothetically" start crying because i'm scared of teaching. It's good to know that a lot of people support me.

Related, I will be home doing 1000)% nothing these next three weeks so if anyone wants to hang out, I mean.....I wouldn't say no....since this is what my day looked like...

Someone entertain me, or volunteer to help me do bulletin boards for my classroom. 

Have a good weekend!

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Thursday, December 11, 2014

my health woes (+ a Target giveaway)

Today I went and met my kiddos for the first time. The first thing I noticed was how LITTLE they were. After working with ninth graders who some could honestly pull off being in college, I was so shocked at how tiny these little guys were! The next thing I noticed was how they were really....gross. Haha! I mean they were coughing, sniffing, wiping their nose with their hands, it was like my classroom was a walking germ. It was pretty gross. I pumped like six pumps of hand sanitzer on my way out. 

Something to know about me, I am a huge baby when it comes to sickness. The minute I feel myself getting sick, I run to instacare. It all stems from the fact that I had Scarlet Fever when I was younger because I had strep for so long and I didn't take care of it, so I always make sure that I take care of any sickness right away. Once my friend asked how many times I go to instacare per year and I would have to say between 8 and 15 times a year. Now that my co-pay is higher I haven't gone as much, but I still am there quite often. I can just imagine how I will be as a Mother, yikes.
So since I am at the Instacare what seems to be half of my life, I was really excited when I heard about Intermountain Health Care's new app called the Health Hub App! It's really cool! It tells you a lot of cool things. 

One of my favorite things is the GermWatch which tells you how prevalent different germs are in Utah. So I can follow if a certain strain of stomach flu is happening around my school. I can read about the symptoms and most importantly for me and my bank account, I can learn when it is time for me to go to the instacare. Haha! Another cool feature is that you can look at all the urgent care centers and see what the wait time is. I know that the instacare by our house is always hit or miss. Sometimes I wait ten minutes, sometimes I wait three hours. Now I can know before I go. Not only that but I can HOLD MY PLACE IN LINE! Isn't that cool!? Another thing I love is that you can use it to look at your lab results. Another story, in Maryland Mark got extremely sick. For weeks, we had no idea what it was and what to do. Since he was doing summer sales every day he felt terrible we were losing money and it was very stressful. We thought since he worked around bugs that it was Lyme's Disease. So we went to the urgent care center in Maryland and it was a MESS. It felt like a third world country. We were there for six hours. SIX HOURS. He had a blood test done and they told us they would call us in a week. We never got a call, ever! We tried calling so many times and never got an answer. It turned out mold had been growing in his camelback! We had no idea for so long. He thought he was dehydrated so he would drink more water and get more sick. So strange! Anyway, we would have been able to stop worrying a lot sooner if we had this app and were able to get his blood tests saying "Hey, you aren't dying from Lyme's Disease so, congrats!" 
There are tons more things this app can do. I was looking it over and I was like "MARK THIS IS SO COOL" and he thought I was lame but it's ok! 
Anyway, in honor of this new launch Intermountain Health Care is doing a ton of giveaways. I will be sharing three of them on my Facebook page when they go live, but they are also doing big giveaway using Rafflecopter. You can enter below! 

I am going to get my flu shot this week and I am putting my tissues clearrrrrr across my room so I don't get germy hands on my desk, but ya know, pray for me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

www. wednesdays

I am kind of starting a new "series" that will probably fizzle out in the next two weeks, but it's called www. wednesdays. Things I (or more likely, Mark, that little reader!) found on the internet this week and that I think are cool, funny, weird, etc. Here we go!
1. Mark was excited to tell me about these gloves that tweet for you. Plz Santa,  I need them in my stocking.
2. Does anyone have one or two Facebook friends that actually post meaningful things instead of racist b.s :) :)? I am lucky that I have a few, but there are only a few. One of my friends posted this article about Volunteerism doing more harm than good and it is INCREDIBLE. What are your thoughts?
3. I introduced someone to the Motherhood Around The World series this week which then led into me re-reading all of it and I love it just as much as the first time.
4. Man, Tumblr has been SO GOOD lately that it is hard for me to pick the best thing from this week. I think I have to settle on THIS. I watched Jurassic Park for the first time this weekend (I know, right?) and then Mark showed me this on Tumblr and I haven't stopped watching it for so long. IT IS SO FUNNY.
5.  This bag is gorgeous. I can picture one specific friend wearing it. If you guessed Kelsey Devaney, hey! You are right!
6. Can you say white freakin elephant?! 
7. This whole site = are you kidding me? In the best way.
8. Have you guys seen this fashion collaboration going down today in the blog world? I love the idea. How do I get in on it? I think Aubrey's is my favorite look. 
9. Guess what song has been in my head for two weeks? :):(:)_()_): _)
10. And lastly, I cannot even believe that I spent 11 minutes of my life on this but I am both happy and sad that I did. This woman was so mad at Bath and Body Works for not having candles she wanted in stock that she made an entire video about how pissed she was. It does contain some language, so if that bothers you then skip this one. Anyway, Tumblr ran wild with it, as Tumblr tends to do. There are memes, spin off videos and so much more that I wasted so much time laughing at. Oh well! 
If you hate swearing or people from Wisconsin, press pause now!

Have a good week!

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Monday, December 1, 2014


I am OVER THE MOON excited to be talking about Sven Clogs today. I got my first pair of Sven Clogs when I won a giveaway, just like this, on Gentri Lee's Blog. I got them in the mail a few weeks later and I freaked. They were so comfortable! I could wear them for my twelve hour days and have no pain. They are super light so it feels like you aren't wearing anything at all on your feet. I was insane about them and I wish I could wear them every freaking day.
So since I was so excited about how great these shoes are, I reached out to Svens asking if I could give away a pair to one of my readers so they can experience the amazing-ness of Svens. They graciously said yes! 
I present to you, my newest pair of clogs!

I love them so much. They go with everything. I put them on when they came in the mail and haven't really taken them off since. You know I really care about them since most of my shoes I just throw in the depths of my closet but when I take these off I put them in the little baggies they came with and put them nicely in their box. They are amazing! 
Also, these pictures make me lol. I have been putting off taking these pictures for WEEKS now and finally I was like "LET'S DO THIS THING" even if that meant our front yard with those weird little twigs all over and my hair hasn't been colored since August which is a personal record for me. Mark has this artistic "vision" when he takes my blog pictures aka he just snaps a billion pictures and maybe 4 or 5 turn out. I am actually in the market for a really nice DSLR so let me know what kind you use! Anyway, back to the clogs! 
Without further ado, here is the way to enter to win your own pair of Sven Clogs! 
This giveaway excludes Sven Boots.


****I was going to extend the giveaway but it would have messed rafflecopter up. Giveaway ends Sunday, Dec 7th at midnight. I WILL be verifying entries, so be honest.****
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Aside from the two pairs I already have, I really like this pair, this pair and this pair
This giveaway will close next Monday, the 1st of December at midnight. There are two options in the Rafflecopter that you can do every day for more entries. 
Good luck!
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg