Friday, July 31, 2009

Getting the most from your credit card?

I actually think i am.

When i started working remotely for ACSI, i started being responsible for buying every single thing that i needed for my job (stamps, internet, ink, plane tickets, parking, etc...) myself (of course i get reimbursed eventually). I very quickly realized that it was not going to work to use my debit card for these expenses (when we got married, we did away with credit cards). So i succumbed to find myself a credit card. After much research, i decided upon a Chase Freedom card and i have no regrets.

Today i checked my credit card statement online and got a glimpse of my rewards and i was thinking that i was wishing everyone was as lucky as me - to get FREE MONEY!! In the last 2 years, i've received about $500 total from Chase.

Here's what their website says about this card:

With Chase Freedom, you now have the flexibility to earn more cash back with every eligible purchase.

Your eligible everyday purchases earn you 3% cash back. It's never been easier to reward yourself with Chase Freedom.

Gas: Use your card for fuel, repairs, car washes and other gas station purchases
Groceries: Stock up on food, household goods and more at participating grocery stores
Quick Service Restaurants: Rewards add up fast from pizza to hamburgers to tacos - even sandwich shops, coffee houses and more

These are just some of the places you can use your Chase Freedom credit card to earn 3% cash back. And you'll still earn 1% cash back for every eligible dollar you spend on all other purchases.

You have a choice when it comes to rewarding yourself:

Reach $50 in rewards and redeem for a $50 check
Save up $200 in rewards and redeem for a $250 check

Well anyway, if you're unsatisfied with your credit card or if you're searching, i really recommend this one. They even called me this week to report "fraudulent charges", which were not actually fraudulent, but it gave me peace of mind to know that they're actually paying attention to stuff like that. I'm a pretty satisfied customer.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I love this stuff. It is so refreshing. First time i ever tried MetroMint, i was opening the store at 4am and my coworker was swigging some of this chilly water. i tried some. wow! but i never thought i could possibly be hoity-toity enough to buy bottled water. a few weeks later, is ran into this pretty bottle on the shelf at the supermarket above a tag that read "buy one get one free". sold. just this once. yummy!

that was a year ago.

today i was at the local organic market and saw a red "price-reduced" tag below the MetroMint bottles. It just so happened that i was speaking to my grandmother today about how wonderful MetroMint is. We were talking about how we get peeved when a bottle says "water" on it, when it's loaded with sugar or cancer-breeding aspertame when all we really want is "water" that doesn't taste simply like, well, water. This stuff is made with only 2 ingredients total: purified water, and mint. can't get simpler than that. forget all that other crap that gets into water. i want the good stuff.

well, this is it. try it. it is just so awesome.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Colorado wilderness

It was amazing. I love being outdoors, especially in Colorado. We met up with Justin and Anna and their two boys to backpack into the Holy Cross Wilderness. We had sunshine every day, which was such a relief - what i'm most afraid of in the Colorado wild are the storms. It was a short hike, really: 3 miles in and 3 miles out, though carrying a heavy pack, hiking at 11,000ish feet and trying to encourage a 4 year old (ahem - a 4 1/2 year old) to keep going made it seem a bit longer. However, i was never dismayed - quite the opposite. i could have stayed in that place for days and days and days.

Our hike in was amazing. We hiked on a well-worn dirt path with roots and rocks exposed beneath the towering pines. As the pines shaded our trail, they showered us with their beautiful aroma. I love the smell of pines in the summer when their needles are hot and their sap runs thick and free. My favorite scent in the world is the smell of ponderosa pines. I love that i can usually smell them before i see them. They smell like vanilla and i can never get enough - i love to press my face onto the caramel colored bark and really enjoy the tree and savor it as much as i can. yeah i know. i know.

The higher we climbed, we approached such varying mountain beauty. As we hiked out of the dense woods, we entered the world of Junipers and Columbines and every where around us we could see the exposed Colorado Rocky Mountains. We were completely surrounded by the beautiful beasts on every side and we found ourselves overjoyed, giddy almost, to be smack-dab in the middle of such wild beauty. it was awesome.

Even Diddles (my 4 1/2 year old nephew - who isn't really named Diddles, though that's what i call him. i didn't ask his mom if i could post his name on my blog, so i'll just call him diddles) exclaimed that "this is beautiful!" i'm not sure if he was only mimicking our expressions or if he really did recognize the unique beauty that we were encountering - i wouldn't be surprised of the latter - his parents have instilled into he and his brother a love and appreciation for nature.

"This IS beautiful!" i exclaimed, and then asked, "how do you think this beautiful place got here?"

"i dunno" he said. he's so sweet to humor me.

"Do you think that maybe God made it and put it here?"


noticing a teachable moment, i continued, "What else can you think of that God created beautiful?"

"The stars!"

"What else?"

"The galaxies!"

"Good ones! God did make the galaxies so beautiful! And he made Momma beautiful, and 'Neus (his 2 yr old brother)."

"yeah, he did!"

"Wow, Diddles! Of all of the things that God has made, what is your favorite?"

after some "hmm"ing and time contemplating, he simply said, "green beans, what's yours?"

Gosh, my heart just swelled with the great love i have for that kid. what a precious one. And he was a trooper - that was a long hike for him and he was so strong! His parents went through 2 bags of gummy bears getting him in and out, but that was all it took.

We camped beside a roaring river at the base of a cascading waterfall, flowing straight off the edge of the mountain, carrying all the snow melt and rain run-off down into the valley. it was clear and freezing and so awesome. It was great to filter the water into our water bottles - it was ice cold and so refreshing to drink. We camped 2 nights at the base of Mount of the Holy Cross. Landon and Justin attempted a snow ascent the next morning.

Anna, the boys, Duvick and I spent the day around our camp, climbing boulders, throwing rocks into the stream, and just hiking around. Our hungry tummies brought us back to our camp, where we ate our lunch and then put the boys in tents for their nap (which neither took) and Anna and i got to have girl time. I love girl time with Anna. She is just seeping with love and wisdom and creativity and is one of my greatest friends!

The next day we hiked out, getting to experience the beautiful hike all over again, in awe of the beauty just the same as just a few days before. This time our packs felt lighter and we felt stronger. Well, i guess I should just speak for myself - Landon was a little sick, we were all sleep deprived, and Anna was carrying 'Neus on her back the entire hike in and out. When we would pass other hikers, they would all let her pass as their jaws dropped, i even heard one young man murmur, "that's one hell of a woman". i couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

so Landon and i have been watching "Law and Order SVU" after my parents go to bed lately. A few nights, there has been this info-mercial that comes on that really makes me uncomfortable. it's just nasty, i think. bleck. at first i thought it was a joke, but this is for real!

have you seen this?

Friday, July 17, 2009

utah was awesome.

sorry i suck at blogging these days.

...more later....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Since i've been working from my parents' house, i sometimes work with the tv on. Today a show has been playing for the last 4 hours in the background. "Joan of Arcadia". This show is about a teenage girl who talks to God. I guess CBS produced it for a few years and now it just plays on SyFy. The last episode that played was about death. You know, in a "7th heaven"ish way, all the stories in the episode revolve around the same theme. It's been really interesting to see how the "god" character responds to what is going on in the lives of the characters and how they deal with trials. i kind of think it's great.

Friday, July 10, 2009

what's for lunch?

i guess this is a dumb post topic. seriously, i just really wanted to be committed to posting this week. I was at ACSI headquarters yesterday and then went rock climbing in the Springs so i wasn't able to post.

But really, i've been making the same "sandwich" every day this week and it is AWESOME!!! after all, my first ever job was as a "sandwich artist" so i should really rock at constructing yummy sandwiches.

I could do a really awesome job assembling this for you, like The Pioneer Woman (she is SO AWESOME and i love her food blog - great recipes), but this sandwich really isn't that awesome and i'm not as cool (or as patient, committed, talented) as Mrs. Marlboro Man.

But i really should share this with you because it is super yummy, filling, and i think it's pretty healthy.

I toast a piece of multi grain bread with cheddar on top (M&D have one of those toaster ovens, so i can do this). Then i put some thick and juicy tomato slices covering the top. Add slices of avocado completely coving the tom's - i use half an avocado. Then i drizzle the top with the tiniest bit of vidalia onion dressing. Must eat it with a fork because there is only one slice of bread - and i've tried with with two and the tomatoes and avocado slices fall right out anyway. i've added some deli sandwich cuts as well, but i prefer this thing vegetarian.

yum yum.

try it. you'll like it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Things i am loving lately

it's that time again. i hope to get back into blogging. for this week at least. who knows where next week will take me. well, actually....we're going to utah. not much mystery here. but i do so enjoy making these lists every once in awhile. hope you enjoy. i think it's time for your "loving lately" lists too.
I've been wearing Covergirl mascara for as long as i can remember and whatever store i was at was out of what i've been using for the past however many years. so i tried something new. and i. love. it.
tiny tomatoes are the yummiest any-time-of-the-day snack.
amaretto sours. at mom and dad's house they keep the bar stocked.
watching TV lately. another luxury to enjoy at M & D's
i started a new journal. i sort of wanted to do an entire post about his, but i'll spare you. i just LOVE opening a new journal - it signifies so many things.
Colorado Springs - being home
the return of my chaco tan. about friggin time. actually, i just love that i've had enough fun outside in the sun to acquire the tan again.
watching my mother's flowers grow. she's so busy that i really enjoy tending the flowers while i'm home. it's nice.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of july in Como

My family spent July 4th at my parent's new home in Como, CO. We had so much fun in the mountains. On Saturday Janelle and Landon and I went climbing at 11 mile canyon while my dad did some fishing in the river. It was so beautiful and refreshing to climb in the canyon over the dirt road and the gentle rolling river. We ended the climb with a repel in a hail storm.

That night we ate cheese fondue with some red wine. Then we drove into the town of Como and watched a brilliant fireworks display over the mountains. It was awesome. And totally packed with people from all over. I think it's really neat to celebrate the 4th of July with other Americans. I love that feeling of unity and pride despite who we voted for in the last election or what religion we practice, we're all Americans - i just love that.