BEGIN February 2016 | Corina's Corner

Lately...

2.29.2016
Just a few random pictures for you today... These first few are so perfect. Reagan loves little figurines these days. Any kind of little person. Some of her favorites include, Mickey and Minnie from her lego set, Elsa and Rapunzel, Cinderella and then these 2 little wooden ones she got in a little dollhouse for Christmas. She could play for hours with these little toys. She usually makes one a mom and one a dad and then they play, walk around, go grocery shopping...etc. She really likes getting them washcloth blankets and saying that they're napping. Plus she also loves bandaids. These pictures have both of her favorites.



Naomi has reached that fun stage where she likes to play with her toes. I laid her down for a diaper change the other day and she immediately started playing with her toes so I ran to grab the camera.



After what felt like an eternity of sicknesses and stomach troubles for our two girls, we had about a week of health and then last Sunday Reagan woke up with a raspy voice was totally sick: runny noses, and coughing. Even though she wasn't totally feeling herself, she still wanted to wear her Cinderella dress, a few bows and carry around her purse. And because she wasn't feeling herself I even let her go to Target like this. Thankfully, we're all better now.



We're getting excited about a few fun things coming up.

This week we're going to go visit the new Provo City Center Temple. I'm excited to take Reagan through the Open House. I hope she can stay calm and enjoy the beauty and Spirit that can be found inside the temple.

And on Wednesday we're going to Frozen on Ice! Frozen on Ice will be here in Utah from March 2-6. The show is almost sold out so make sure you get your tickets soon! I know my little Frozen Fanatic keeps telling me how excited she is to see Kristoff and Olaf. Haha! (Not Anna and Elsa, but Kristoff and Olaf...)

We're also getting ready for our annual trip to Arizona for Spring Training. Bring on the baseball, sunshine, and fun!

I think sometimes anticipation is just as good as the actual thing. I love having things to look forward to.

New Beginnings | Be Ye Strong

2.27.2016
New Beginnings idea - Be Ye Strong

Wednesday night we had our ward's New Beginnings. It was a great night! Unfortunately we don't really have any new beehives coming in this year, so on that front it was a little anticlimactic, but we still wanted to give the girls a fun night and have a chance to talk a little bit about Personal Progress.

I was reading 1 Nephi a few weeks ago and I came across a scripture where Nephi tells his brothers to "be strong." A little light bulb went off in my head, it was like one of those phrases that was perfect for me at that moment. At the beginning of January (like everyone else in the world) I joined a gym. I have been spending a lot of time there lately, trying to get strong. Along with my quest for physical strength I have also been trying to get stronger  spiritually. I want to be strong. I want to be strong in every aspect of my life. I started thinking a lot about this. I knew that New Beginnings would be coming up and I thought it would be a perfect theme for our night. As a Young Women's leader, I hope that all of my girls will "be strong." I want them to "be strong" in their testimonies, in their beliefs, in their morals. I want them to "be strong" physically, mentally, and emotionally. I want them to be strong young women!

When I thought of strength, Rosie the Riveter popped into my head as a visual image of strength, and especially a woman with great strength. I'm very much a visual person and I love that classic image. I suggested these ideas at our presidency meeting and everyone was on board. We ended up not using the 1 Nephi scripture, but rather one in the D&C because of context, but they both had the same idea. We used D&C 38:15: Therefore, be ye strong from henceforth; fear not, for the kingdom is yours.

Me and the Beehives were in charge of decorations and decided to run with the whole red, yellow, and blue idea and to throw in polka dots where ever we could. One really fun thing we did was have a photobooth where you could dress up like Rosie the Riveter. Everyone loved it!

Read on for more details about our New Beginnings and don't miss the free printables at the bottom!

New Beginnings idea - Be Ye Strong New Beginnings idea - Be Ye Strong

For the front of the room I knew I wanted to have a poster with our theme scripture. Some of the girls liked the idea of having weights too, and then at the suggestion of my mom's friend I also got some sunflowers. They are such a strong and beautiful flower. On Tuesday while I was gathering everything to head over to the church to set up, I was in my basement and saw our old yellow table, just sitting in the corner storing boxes and gathering dust and I thought, "I have to bring that! It's perfect!" so I loaded it up in my van (SO glad I have a humongous car and can do stuff like that at the drop of a hat).



^^We usually have our New Beginnings and Young Women in Excellence in the Primary Room. The idea of competing with the decorations and bulletin boards that are already up always stresses me out. So whenever I'm in charge of decorations I always suggest turning around and facing the back wall so we don't have to worry about those things. It's like a blank slate.

The Mia Maids were in charge of the food. We tried to have some "strong" snacks. Everything was delicious.



The Laurels were in charge of the program. Each Laurel gave a little message about one of the values and how it makes them strong.



And then like I mentioned, we had an awesome time with the photobooth. I bought some butcher paper at the school supply store and printed the letters on an engineering print at Staples and then cut them out and glued them on. It turned out exactly how I hoped it would. One of the counselors in our bishopric works for HP and let us borrow a printer to print the photos right there which the girls thought was really fun. I brought a little crate to keep the polka dot fabric headbands and denim shirts in which we had next to a mirror. I'm really glad I remembered a mirror because, you know, teenage girls and cameras...



Here are the invitations we used, printed 4 to a page. If you would like to download a blank version (add your own date, time, and ward), click here. For all of the text I used Futura, Condensed Medium.



Here is the poster with our theme scripture. I made it 16x20, and had it printed at Sam's Club. Click here to download.



And if you want the template for our program you can download it here.

How I bought 2 First Class tickets to Europe for $98!

2.18.2016
How I bought 2 First Class tickets to Europe for $98!

Last night Jordan and I bought plane tickets to Europe. We got 2 FIRST CLASS tickets for a total of $97.72. Cha-Ching!! I'm still ecstatic about it and I think I will probably be high on life because of it for quite a while. We're going for two weeks at the end of May. We're flying into London and out of Amsterdam. Here's how we did it:

A few years ago my mom and I were talking about our love of traveling. She told me that if I wanted to be able to travel I needed to figure out how to do it. She suggested using a frequent flyer credit card. We signed up for the Delta Skymiles Credit Card. We got it in 2012 and have been saving up our Skymiles for almost 4 years. There are a few ways to really rack up the miles fast. Here are some of the tricks we used:

1. Signing and Referral Bonuses - We got a 30,000 mile bonus when we signed up for the card if we spent a certain amount in the first 3 months. Since we were using it for our everyday purchase (see number 3) this was easy. When a friend mentioned that they were going to be signing up for a Skymiles card in the near future I made sure to give them a referral, so we could get 5,000 bonus
miles.

2. Skymiles dining - If we were going to be eating out, we figured that we might as well dine at a restaurant where we could get more miles per dollar.

3. Use your Credit Card like a Debit Card - We made all of our everyday purchases with our Skymiles card and then paid it off at the end of every month (so we didn't get charged interest). Doing this allowed us to get a huge 10,000 mile bonus at the end of the year for meeting a spending requirement.

4. Pay bills with your credit card - To go along with number 3, we tried to pay as many bills as possible with our credit card, as long as the fees weren't ridiculous. We can't pay our mortgage with our credit card, but we can pay our power and gas bills as well as our cell phone bill. We signed up for the credit card while we were still paying tuition and got oodles of miles by paying our tuition with our credit card (and then paying it off right away).

5. Exclusively fly Delta - We try to fly Delta whenever we can. Most of the time, after all of the fees, most airlines end up being right in the same range so if this is the case, we always choose Delta. (If a different airline was WAY cheaper, we'd obviously do that instead) If you buy Delta plane tickets with your Delta Skymiles card you get more miles and then of course the regular miles for travel.

6. Save your miles - Lastly and kind of obviously, save your miles. Don't spend them or use them for ANYTHING until you have saved up enough for your dream trip. We actually had enough saved up two Summers ago, but couldn't use them because of babies and other major life events so we just kept saving them.

Another important thing to mention about the Delta Skymiles Card is that we have found that the Platinum card has been a better fit for us than the Gold card. The Platinum has a higher annual fee but it comes with a free companion pass every year, which the Gold no longer does (When we first got this card the Gold came with a $99 companion pass but then they got rid of it all together so we upgraded).

After doing those various things we had saved 195,000 miles. Delta used to have award charts which helped us to know that to fly to Europe we'd need around 60,000 points each. We were well past our goal. So after all of this saving, we just needed to decide when/where to go.

On Tuesday we received an email from Delta saying that they were having a two-day card member exclusive pre-sale on flights to Europe. There were lots of exclusions and some black-out dates and there were only a few participating cities, so it didn't seem all that great. We gave it a tiny bit of thought but mostly overlooked it at first. By Wednesday, we were thinking that maybe we should give it a better look. The sale was roundtrip tickets to Europe for 42,000 miles. It didn't mention anything about a first class tickets and unfortunately Salt Lake wasn't one of the participating cities. I still liked the idea of saving some of our hard-earned Skymiles so I sat down at the computer yesterday during naptime and started plugging in cities to find out which ones would work best for us. After finding some great deals I saw that there were some first class (Delta One) tickets available for only 87,000 miles, way below what they usually are. I found what I thought was a great deal flying in and out of London for 174,000 miles (for both of us) with around $600 for taxes and fees. I almost booked it right then because I thought it was too good to be true.

When Jordan got home from work he sat down at the computer with me and he found an even better deal. He found an open jaw ticket for the same price but with $500 less fees. I guess when you're flying out of the UK you have to pay a $250 Duty fee, so by flying out of Amsterdam we avoided that fee for both of us. We used all but 21,000 of our miles and we'll be flying to Europe first class and our taxes and fees were only $98 ($48.86 per person)!

(Technically we still need to get to Boston, but we can use our companion pass for one of the tickets, like I mentioned above, so we'll only have to pay for one ticket and I'm pretty sure we can find a ticket for less than $300.)

Just for fun this morning I checked to see how much these tickets would have really cost us if we weren't using miles. HOLY COW. If we would have paid for our flights in dollars, they would have been $10,283.96 PER PERSON. $20,517.92 Total. (Do people really pay this much for flights!?!?)

I can't tell you how excited I am about those first class lounges and to have a flat laying bed on those long flights. I can't wait until May.

The icing on the cake

2.16.2016


I made this cake back in the middle of January, for my mother-in-law's birthday. It was delicious!! I'm not much of a baker and this cake is far from perfect, but it sure was fun. I made an Italian Meringue Buttercream frosting which was divine. And I'll be the first to admit that the cake was actually from a box. BUT. I had been dying to try this, tricks to make your cake taste like it's from a bakery, and I'd say I was successful.

I had lots of fun wandering around this blog, to learn how to assemble a layer cake and how to frost a cake. I don't have any of the right tools, but I think someday it might be something I'd be interested in learning more about and investing in. For now though, I'll just throw some sprinkles on top and call it good!



P.S. Why is frosting a cake so much harder than it looks?

Valentine's Day

2.15.2016


Valentine's Day was wonderful. Dylan came up and stayed with our girls while we had a little getaway. We had a Red Robin gift card so we went there for dinner. We had planned on seeing a movie after that but since there was nothing exciting playing at the regular theater we opted for Hunger Games at the dollar theater. We had some time to kill before the movie so we wandered around Fashion Place. We used a hotel voucher we had purchased last year and saved for Valentine's Day which included breakfast in the morning. And we actually slept in! Even Jordan! (He never sleeps in... so that probably tells you how sleep deprived we are these days!)

In the morning, after breakfast, we went to Ruby Snap to grab some cookies for Reagan and our awesome babysitter. That place is the bomb! I'm already thinking I need to go back. Right when we walked in they asked us if we had ever been before and after saying that this was our first time they said, "We LOVE giving samples!" I think we sampled about 5 cookies worth before we purchased our 4 cookies. Audrey was my absolute favorite, followed by Maris. SO delicious! We also got one of the February specials, Scarlet, and a Suzie.



On Thursday night Jordan came home from work with these beautiful flowers for me. It is one of the prettiest bouquets he has even gotten me. (P.S. He's truly the best. He gets me flowers for just about every Valentine's Day, Anniversary, and occasionally birthday.)



And then just because I know it's all got to come down soon, I wanted to include a few pictures of this little Valentine's Day mantle. I was pretty proud of that chalk board art.



Sunday night we had Dylan and Bailey over for dinner and afterward we played the BIGGEST game of Psych ever known to mankind. It was a 2 state, 4 separate location game which included 16 people! It was so fun! 
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