I've been enjoying amazing company (both my family & my in laws), eating well, laughing lots & having the time of my life soaking up the sun in St. George. Three more days of heaven and I will continue to fill up on endless trips to Kneaders, Swig & lots of family lovin.

Loving the balcony with the most amazing view.. 

Black Friday madness. We didn't even buy anything but the people watching was prime.

My lovely sister-in-law.

Me & my babe before he heads off to tackle some mountains. Loving the do rag, I'm sure you are too.

Shopping sistas!

The boys.. 
My dad, Scott (Tyler's sister is on a mission - he's her boyfriend), Tyler & his dad.

I hope your Thanksgiving break has been wonderful!



I took this picture while packing last night because Tyler had the smallest little duffle bag that he didn't even fill up & I, on the other hand, filled my massive bag to the max. You could say there is an apparent difference between boys and girls. Wouldn't you say?

The day is here… it is finally time for Thanksgiving break! I'm not kidding when I say that I have been counting down for this trip for as long as we've known about it (which is about a month).

Tyler's family is flying down from Canada, and we are all going to St. George together! (Yes, his family and my family. Together. One house.) So much excitement right now. So I know what you're thinking, though. "Both of your families?" As bizarre as it sounds, our families are best friends! We really did grow up identically and our family situations are spot on. I'm so very excited. 

I'm praying for sunshine!



Today was seriously so beautiful! I celebrated by wearing a very spring-like outfit. 

As Tyler and I were headed out the door this morning for church, I received the best text from my good friend Tori:

Tori and I have been the closest of friends since she moved into my ward back in 6th grade. We have so many memories together from us signing up for track together, to going to the Twilight premieres together, to some pretty crazy stuff that no one probably cares to hear about ;) Tyler and I headed off to church and I was all smiles.. couldn't wait for after church!

Reunited & never felt so good! 

It's so fun to visit with old friends. We spent the entire night reminiscing about our childhood and all of the crazy fun memories we've had together. Being with this girl was like we hadn't skipped a beat! I loved today because of her and it was fun to get to know her boyfriend Jantz too!



I don't know why, but for the longest time Tyler has called dates "Dateskis" - it's pretty funny and a little cute so I don't correct him. Tonight Tyler had hours of studying left but we decided to take a little "dateski" to my favorite restaurant in Rexburg. (& yes it's one of the only.) 

Life in Rexburg is really simple sometimes. I surely don't do as much shopping (which is a good thing I think) and I tend to focus more on what really matters in life. I like that.

It's these sweet moments that make my world go round. I'm grateful for this life I live.

Speaking of gratitude.. I don't think I've mentioned but I pass this temple every day on my way to school. This evening it looked extra beautiful. So many memories at this temple.. When Tyler and I were dating we would often go to the temple each Sunday night and just talk. It was our favorite place to escape our roommates and those talks are some of our most special moments. It's also where he proposed and also where I went through the temple for the first time. 

Ooookay, side tracked! Back to Chinese food. We love any excuse for some good chinese food. Today, we dubbed it cultural appreciation day. It works, right?

The orange chicken is my favorite. I got it once and haven't gone back. I need to venture out and try something new one of these days… Recommendations anyone?

I hate fortune cookies but I always love to read the fortunes. Is it weird that I like following them too? Definitely going to write a letter this week, for reals. (Hey, you never know.) 

& P.S. I have something ridiculously cute coming your way. I found this girl here in Rexburg who MAKES the most adorable head wraps. I'm obsessed. We started talking and are going to do a giveaway. Don't worry - it's not going to be complex or anything at all. Just simple and you will LOVE what she is offering. I'll announce a little more in a couple weeks!



I love soup, and maybe it's just a girl thing. Kinda like Zupas or Kneaders if you're from Utah. My husband isn't a huge fan, he says it's not that he doesn't like soup or anything, but because it's not filling enough nor is it manly enough. (??) Yeah, not sure I agree on that one so I decided to make soup for dinner tonight!

I found this recipe via one of my favorite food blogs. I have literally loved every single recipe I have tried. You can find this recipe here. I tweaked it a little, like added corn and didn't add the sliced tomatoes because I forgot to grab them at the store but it was so easy and it's healthy too!

I loved how many vegetables were in this soup and the flavor was so good. Especially on a cold night you cannot go wrong with soup. As I was eating this, it occurred to me that this may have been the cheapest meal I have ever made. Depending on what you already have, which in our case we had quite a few of these veggies already, I calculated that it cost us around $3.50 for a whole pot of soup! Anyways. That made me kind of (really) happy. Savin' the world one meal at a time peeps..

Up next?
(Rugs make the best backdrops, shhh)



I got that wintertime, wintertime sadness… wi-wi-wi-wintertime..

Okay, I'm done. Winter isn't all that bad! So I realized that I always do these "weekend recaps" so this upcoming week, my goal is to blog as things happen rather than being 3 days late! I apologize for lagging in the area… But I have a good excuse, I promise! My weekend consisted of this sweet husband of mine bringing me flowers..

A trip to Idaho Falls to my new favorite Thai restaurant..

Pad Thai.. the ultimate. You can never go wrong with Thai.

& grocery shopping, of course!! This week I tried to get mostly fresh fruits and veggies, we're trying to be way more healthier. 

I know exactly what you're thinking now… healthier? Why are you in the popcorn isle then? It was a short-lived temptation that I then walked away from. Should've captured that moment instead, walking away is much more rare than picking up popcorn.

Hope your weekend was beautiful! 



Neither Tyler and I have really ever tried budgeting. We decided to give it a shot to try to make our money last longer. The main part of this was that we realized we need to cook more at home. Now, I absolutely love to bake and to cook but I'm in school full time and I just don't have as much time as I wish I had! We find ourselves grabbing sushi or running to costa vida one too many times a week. (It's taken me months to get to this point… I love my sweet pork salad & my sushi..) I realized that not only will it be healthier to make time for cooking, but it will also help us to save money! 

So I only work about 10 hours a week, and Tyler can't work because he is Canadian and that requires a working visa which is a long process to apply for. I've had a lot of friends ask me how Tyler and I survive off of my 10 hours a week job. Tyler has a fund set up by his grandfather that we use for school and living. We feel so very fortunate to have this! So for now, our budget is very simple. We use the money that comes from my job for groceries, gas (which isn't ever very much - Rexburg is so small) and date-night money. Then, we only use our bank account for paying for rent each month, bills like that. We feel that this plan is going to work out really well for us and I am excited for the challenge of a budget!

I'm a complete amateur budgeter, but here are some basic steps that we are going to try that I really think will work for us. 

1. I made a "Dinner Planner" for us to fill out each week so that the meals are set in stone. This will help us to stick to a plan and avoid last minute dinner runs because we've been busy all day.

2. Use cash! My husband likes to swipey-swipe (who doesn't!?) and so we have decided for us the best method for spending our gas money, grocery money & date-night money will be to only use cash. This will help us to avoid the temptation of unnecessary purchases.

3. Have a cheat day! I'm not anti-eating out, I promise. Tyler and I love taking trips to Idaho Falls to go out to eat because they have a much larger selection of restaurants. We are allowing ourselves to eat out once a week as a date.

4. Keep it simple. Each families budget will be unique to them. Don't get too complex with it because it will become harder to keep it up. 

5. Be smart. Save, catch the sales & "make do".

I know this post is kind of boring, but I needed to do it for me. To be honest, I don't know how long this will last, but I want it to! I guess that documenting my plan is my own way of  commitment.

Do you budget? What works for your family?



As I'm sure you know, today is Veteran's day and sadly I've never thought about it as much as I should. I found this cute picture of my awesome Grandpa Ashcraft who served in WWII. 
I feel so grateful for those who have served, and who do serve. It's such a brave act of service and they deserve holidays without end! Thank you thank you!!

This weekend was a great one, once again. Tyler and I went to the temple, did our weekly grocery shopping (is it strange that I look forward to grocery shopping?) and went to dinner in Idaho Falls. 

"Movember" lasted about 4 days for this guy. We're okay with that. 

Tyler played basketball with his "#1 homie" Kyle. These boys are so funny.

 We went for a beautiful Sunday walk and I didn't even need a jacket. IN IDAHO. Is this real life?

I've found that I live for weekends. (But who doesn't?) Mostly Sundays - and that's because I get my husband all to myself. We made a goal when we got married that Tyler will try to avoid doing any homework on Sundays at all costs. So far - so good! We've already felt the blessings from doing this & our time spent together is sweeter than ever. 



This morning I woke up and checked Facebook in bed. Before we talk about what happened on Facebook, I am slightly embarrassed that the first thing I did was check Facebook… but I did and that's that.. Yikes! On Facebook, my cute neighbor posted a picture of outside… everything was completely covered in snow!! I jumped out of bed, opened the window and sure enough, SNOW!

So of course, I had my husband (No I don't have a personal photographer) trench out to the snow, that was by then melted, to snap a few shots. Now you know how girls get photos of themselves on their blogs. It's not a tripod, a random passerby. It's my husband who was anxious to get back to his breakfast ;)

Happy Wednesday!

+ not sure if I've mentioned, by I'm back on instagram again! yay! @mrsmadelinevance 
+ 22 days until thanksgiving and yes I am counting down.
+ that awkward moment when you press publish too early and that explains this short and random post.

Did I mention I have to read an entire book by tonight? Procrastination at it's finest, people. That's where I'll be...



Those that know me well, know that I'm a little bit anti-movies. I'm just not a fan of them (Unless it's a great chick flick of course). I'm this way because I feel that there are so many better things to do with my time than watch a movie. I'd rather spend interactive time with Tyler on a date than go sit in a dark room for two hours. Call me crazy, it's just the way I am.

Tyler has begged me for the 1 year we've known each other to go to the theaters with him. I always come up with an alternative date night activity rather than going to the movie theatre. Last night, I realized that it's not always all about me and that sometimes I need to go on dates that sound fun to Tyler too. When I agreed that we could go to a movie for Family Home Evening, I wish I could have caught his reaction on camera. It was so priceless and so cute, it made me want to go to movies more just so I could see him react that way again! He chose Captain Phillips….

We had heard amazing reviews on this movie, and to be honest, the story line, plot, actors and filming were amazing. If you're into action-filled, extremely realistic, terrifying, your-worst-nightmare kinda movies involving guns and weapons.. This is your movie.

I'll skip the justification and say that this movie terrified me. I even cried. (cue the laughter - we laughed that I cried afterwards too) But that's how scared I was! I left the movie wiping my tears while Tyler kept saying how sweet it was and how we should go to movies every weekend.

One of those funny, write in your journal, kinda moments. To say the least, it may be a while before I return to the theater. 

As I was getting ready for bed, I walked in and Tyler had decided to give himself a little buzz cut.

Although it was 11pm at night, I wasn't opposed to it because I love when he has a buzz. 

My last little piece of information includes my new favorite breakfast. I used to eat this in elementary and I have re-fallen in love with it. Eggs & cheese on toast. I wished it would have been whole grain bread but we had run out and this did just fine. Maybe not the healthiest breakfast… but I'm getting protein from the egg whites right?

Three days until Friday - we can do it!



I remember last year, realizing that this year, my birthday would fall on a Sunday. I remember being a little sad, because one of my favorite parts about my birthdays in the past were spending it with my friends. What I didn't realize last year was that when you're married, there is nothing better than a Sunday birthday because you get your spouse to yourself all day long! 

The day started out great. My husband is seriously the sweetest thing. Ever since I was in 7th grade, I have wanted a DSLR camera. My husband knew this, and decided to get me a Canon rebel t3i. 
I have been in heaven all day long playing with it and taking a million photos. Now that I'm married and we will have a family of our own in the future, I told Tyler one day that when we had kids that a nice camera was a must. I love documenting life through photos. I'm not going to pretend like just because I have a camera that I am a professional, but I will be taking lots of photos of my life with Tyler and learning how to use it. 

Then, on top of it all, he also surprised me with uggs! Back when I worked at Nordstrom, I had decided that uggs were out. But with the beyond freezing temps here in Rexburg, I fell in love with borrowing my roommates uggs while I was dating Tyler last winter. They've been on my wishlist for a few months and I was completely shocked with those too!

My family showed up, and this next photo is of me crying because I was so touched with how generous Tyler was for my birthday. 

After gifts, and after my family left back to Utah, it started to snow! First snow. Bittersweet!

Lastly, my mom made me the cutest cake while my family was visiting over the weekend. Tyler and I had some friends over and went into a sugar coma. Sooo yummy.

 19 was such a great year. I look back, and it all happened so fast. I started college and then got married to my sweetheart. I didn't see it coming at all and if 20 is half as great as 19 was, then I'm in great shape. Here's to 20!