We (I) am currently in the process of packing up everything we own to move in with my jolly good family for the month of July. You know, for saving the moneys, harboring our stuffs before we launch off to leave the developed world behindthat sort of thing.

My main husband man, with his infinitely wonderful heart and infinitely horrible timing, accidentally planned a camping trip with his home-slices for this weekend. He helped me pack a few boxes yesterday, but today and tomorrow I get to hunker down by myself and pack everything and clean everything and move everything. With some help from friends and fam, of course.

Things I am doing as I spend the weekend by my bad self include the following:

₪ dismantling all our furniture with the 5 million bobby pins I found while vacuuming 
₪ spending my last night in our precious first apartment sleeping alone. BED TO MYSELF. Also, TOO SCARED TO SLEEP.
₪ eating orange creamsicles with a knife and fork on our gorgeous china plates
₪ listening to obnoxious pop music (Jared digs moody Indie jives and Lana Del Rayno Ke$ha for Laura when Jared's home)
₪ solo dance parties (when I saw the following picture, my heart stopped as I realized that my dance moves are and always have been ELAINE)

Things I am clearly not doing as I spend the weekend by my bad self include the following:

₪ hair
₪ makeup
₪ cooking
₪ real pants

Sweet Fancy Moses

Reasons Laura sometimes loves camping:
-Fatty good camp food.
-'mpressive dirt tan lines. (Am I right??)
-Showering is frowned upon.
-Lack of phone. Lack of people. (Don't worry, I still like you.)
-Relieving waters in the woods. It's so rustic. Like burlap. Or like squirrels. 

Reasons Jared sometimes doesn't love camping:
-Swarms of tiny flesh-eating monsters.
-The feeling of his skin when he doesn't shower every 24 hours makes him uncomfortable.
-Usually he strains his back and loses mobility for several weeks. Buuut really.
-If camping is really that cool, why was the bed invented?
-Possibility of parasites hiding in water supply.

p.s. Don't be concerned if I all of a sudden decided to start following, oh, ALL of y'all's blogs! 
I am legitimately concerned about drowning in lonely friendlessness when we move to our little island and I lose my husband to med school. I'm going to try to make and keep lots of great  blog friendships when we move, because this blogosphere will be one of the only constants between my two worlds. So comment up! I really do want to be friends!

Not to be melodramatic or anything :)

Oh hey friends! Thank you for entering the giveaway--like I said, this was the fulfillment of a 4-year-long blog dream, and I'm so happy that you all participated. I wish I could just tuck you all into a suitcase and bring you with me to our soon-to-be island home! At least I can keep reading about what you're all up to. I know at least one of you will be updating me with news of wearing cute collar necklaces, enjoying the best candle in the world, and slathering chocolate lotion all over yourself. And with that, here is our winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dottie, I'll send you an email so that you can get me your address and I can send you your package full of fabulous!
Giveaway Winner

  The doctor who always carries a creepy stuffed animal to work.

₪  The trend spreader of the belt that looks like a thin seatbelt.

₪  The dad who installs an intercom system throughout the house solely so that he can project surprise booty burps to every room and leave the kids shrieking (we went to the Parade of Homes yesterday and this is the idea he got most excited about).

₪  The inventor of lip-shaped chapstick (so you can make out with it when you put it on, duh).

₪  The founder of "AirCruises," a company that flies you around the world on a week-long cruise in the sky. You spend your time in a giant luxury blimp-type-aircraft with glass walls, and you dip down near islands and through grand canyons, enjoying the scenery from your cruise ship in the sky.

₪  German.

Things Jared Wants to Be When He Grows Up

I've always wanted to do a blog giveaway. 

Since we'll soon be moving to the Caribbean, where shipping is hundreds of dolla bills, I figured now would be a good time. 

So. I now present to you a giveaway of a few of this simpleton's simple pleasures.
1: Fudge Brownies. Jared often makes up a batch of these on Sunday afternoon.
The batch often mysteriously vanishes by Monday morning.

2: Bath and Body Works Leaves Candle: I consider myself to be a candle connoisseur. One of our favorite dates is to walk through the candle section of any store, cover each other's eyes, and guess the scent. This candle is our all-time favorite candle. We burned through a giant one in a month last fall, and we just got ourselves another to bring with us to Grenada. It's nectar and berries and spices and magic.

3: LavenderLark Ivy Hair Barrettes: These are real cute. You will enjoy the daintiness factor very much.

4: COCOA BUTTER: One of my very first blog posts highlighted my love for this product. Chocolate? Everywhere? I need a lifetime supply. So do you.

5: Peter Pan Collar Necklace (with matching earrings): This necklace turns any plain shirt into an adorable Peter Pan collar blouse. You can catch glimpses of me wearing my identical necklace in the video below.

And on that note, I feel like this video needs an explanation. I was going to use it to introduce each of the giveaway products, but I quickly discovered that my camera is only recording in low quality six-second segments right now. Needless to say, it's purely for entertainment purposes at this point.

This giveaway is hosted through Rafflecopter. The only mandatory entry is to publicly follow this blog on Bloglovin or by clicking the "join this site" button on the right. If you would like to increase your chances at winning, there are additional entries available. These options are explained when you click on them in the Rafflecopter.

The giveaway ends this Sunday, June 22, at midnight. The winner will be announced on Monday. For the sake of shipping, please enter this giveaway only if you are a resident of the United States or Canada. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Simpleton Pleasures Giveaway

*For tips on surviving a marathon you have prepared for, see this post. Notice how much happier those pictures look, and then do yourself a favor and make sure to prepare for your next marathon :)

This last weekend Jared and I ran in the Bear Lake marathon. In theory we had been training to run it for a couple months, but we only did about half of the runs on our training schedule. And with that, here are my tried and proved tips for surviving a marathon you haven't properly prepared for:

(1) Bring a buddy to talk to during the first half of the race. Even better, bring a buddy that has a better lung capacity than you do so that you can just listen and nod without having to do any talking. Even better, bring a buddy that can tell you the Latin names for every bone in your entire body. Next thing you know, two miles will be gone and you'll never get them back.
(2) Put in your earbuds at the halfway point. The "Star Wars Gangsta Rap" is a preferable option for your marathon playlist. Singing along loudly is also a preferable option. Doing the dance moves is mandatory. This marathon was small enough that only Jared was blessed to be able to see that action out of me (see 2:15-3:00 for the best dance move sampling; I just realized that it gets weird after that so I'd recommend stopping at 3:00).
(3) At some point you might have to tell your much faster running buddy, "Go! Leave me! Save yourself!" It's ok. You'll probably see him again at the finish line.

(4) Once on your own, you may realize that you are going grandpa-jog pace. You know, the speed where your arms are moving like they want you to be jogging, but your legs are going the same speed as those of the walkers around you. At this point, you will want to give those legs a pep talk; if no one is within hearing distance, you will need to speak to them out loud. They will like to hear things like, "Oh legs, you are so great. You are so beautiful, and so strong, and you have so many skillz! Just carry me five more miles, and I promise I will treat you right."

(5) Hopefully your legs will be feeling a little more spry at this point, so take advantage of that. Additional pep talks to your feet and boo-tay may be required. "Oh boo-tay, you are tough buns! I can't do this without you--I am your number one fan right now!"
^^I'm only including the official race pictures in this post because I think they're hilarious.
Feel free to laugh. They are meant to be a joke.
(6) Begin plotting out the post-marathon blog post in your head. That'll keep you distracted for a few miles.

(7) If your legs begin to falter again towards the end, you may threaten to ground them. I told my legs that they were in big trouble and that when the race was over they were going in time out and wouldn't be allowed to come out for a day. Unfortunately, I think they liked the prospect of that punishment because they only behaved worse after that.

(8) With two miles to go, if you see a couple of middle-aged women ahead of you chatting and doing their daily walking route, make it a goal to be able to pass them. It took me a mile and a half to do so (I know, sad), but the moment of victory I experienced when I did pass them was unforgettable.

(9) When you cross the finish line, realize that this victory is for you, and not anyone else. Bask in it! Don't feel sad if no one is at the finish line except for some random family waiting for their son. If your husband isn't even there to cheer you in, it's mostly ok. He probably just took the car and left so that he could find you on the route and run the last mile with you! If your husband is blessed with the wonderful heart but horrible timing I just described, and you have to wait in the cold for fifteen minutes for him to come back, you are allowed to give him a look like the one below. However, you must forgive him afterwards so that you can go get pizza and be happy.
(10) You must wear your medal for the rest of the day. Also, you must eat something unhealthy and delicious.
Despite the satirical nature of this post, we really did have a lot of fun running this marathon! Our hearts and our heads (and the six pack I randomly have now?) did great and loved the experience, even when our legs and feet acted out and were super rude. If you are interested in running a marathon in Utah, I would definitely recommend the Top of Utah marathon over this one, but props to you if you sign up for any marathon or any other race. I guarantee it’ll be one of the best experiences you ever have!

How to Survive a Marathon You Haven't Prepared For

Hey friends!

You all know I'm a florist, right? Spent two of the best years of my life working in a flower shop.

I've really missed not working with flowers this past year, so I started an Etsy shop featuring boutonnieres, wrist corsages, and bridal bouquets. The shop is called LavenderLark, and you can access it by clicking on this sentence.

If you or someone you know will be getting hitched in the near future, send them my link. The great thing about dried and artificial flowers is that they'll last forever. 

Also, since we'll be moving to Grenada in two months and shipping there is, oh, $95 a package, this might be your last chance to obtain such beautiful pieces of floral art! :) 

Y'all are my peeps, so let me know if you want something custom. I have floral magic in my blood.

p.s. I've got a rather fab giveaway for you coming up next week. It's been a'brewin for a while, and it's gonna be great.


Jared and I have lived here since we got married almost a year ago. We went hard-core apartment hunting before we were even officially engaged, and somehow we wound up walking right into an opening at a place that we didn’t know existed. It was close to campus, un-ghetto, and it even had a dishwasher—and the rent was under $600! “Fate,” we said to each other. And fate it was. Even though it’s just a quaint apartment, we love this little place we call home.

Since we’ll be moving away in just a few short weeks, I decided that the ol’ blog would be a great dumping ground for pictures of this place. Oh, the memories! Stay tuned after these images for some sentimental I Spy!
IMG_1053 IMG_1059IMG_1056 IMG_1057IMG_1065 IMG_1067IMG_1069 IMG_1073IMG_1075 IMG_1085IMG_1090 IMG_1091IMG_1093 IMG_1097
I spy 5 glass bottles that Jared and I smuggled into the states from Germany, 3 souvenirs from our European honeymoon, 2 works of art that Jared and I painted when we first started dating, 1 birdcage veil that I wore on our wedding day, 1 rose that Jared bought for me pre-engagement when he dropped me off at my flower shop job, 1 training schedule for the Bear Lake marathon, 1 vase of dried wildflowers as a sampling of each time Jared has gone running in the mountains and brought me back a bouquet, 1 cuddly sea creature that I gave Jared on the night of our unofficial engagement (his name’s Tofeln . . . cuuuuuute), and 1 win for Laura in the ever-present background battle. Brownies for whoever can find them all!

I'm supposed to be putting some finishing touches on a lesson I'm giving in church tomorrow, but as I was waiting for my special toast to be ready I kept thinking to myself, "Toast. Toast. Toast rhymes with blog post." And so here we are.

It all (all being Saturday . . . just Saturday) began at 7:02 this morning when my alarm went off, blasting Huey Lewis's classic The Power of Love. I leaped out of bed, ready to take on a ten mile run as a final preparation for next week's marathon. One thing led to another and next thing I knew, Jared was awake and I had somehow spent two hours scouring the internet for the perfect vintage swimsuit without so much as tying a shoe (because, well, Grenada).

The ten miler became a five miler and I rushed back for a training meeting for my church calling. Good thing I'm trying to use up five bottles of passionfruit body spray from when I was a tween, because there definitely was no time for a shower in that agenda. After said meeting, Jared and I packed up a couple boxes for our forthcoming move and then rushed to a nearby water park, anxious to use our season passes to their maximum water-sliding potential.

We went down exactly one water slide before retiring to a nice patch of grass to lounge on our inner tubes and read.

The next three hours of our day were spent eating hot dogs, smelling candles (it's our favorite activity--but really), and purchasing peach filler flowers for my Etsy shop. Jared loves going to Hobby Lobby with me because he's convinced that it's the place where people go to find a hobby? Yes. He likes the aisles with wood, paints, and leather. Shhh, nobody tell him it's a mom store.

Speaking of my Etsy shop, I'm going to fix it up and do a post all about it next week. But for now, it's called LavenderLark and you can visit it in its current state here. I'm all about corsages, boutonnieres, and bridal bouquets, but you already knew that.
I hope your Saturdays were lovely and that one of you will snag that gorgey bouquet!

So-Good Saturday

This post is not meant to be an "I want to complain about stuff!" post. It is meant to be an "I want to remember this weird summer and make my readers feel happy about their lives!" post.

This summer has been weird. Probably my weirdest one yet. 

After graduating from college, I spent a week or two applying for editing jobs. I even got some interviews, but unfortunately, nobody wants to hire on an editor only to have her move to a tropical place before she's even finished being properly trained. So, I spent the next week applying for receptionist type office jobs. No dice.

At this point I tried to grow my Etsy shop, but that sort of thing takes time so eventually Jared drop kicked me back into the job hunt. J-Dawgs, Wendy's, and grocery store jobs were the apple of my eye. "All right," I pep-talked myself, "these people are bound to take you! My brothers who haven't even graduated from high school get jobs at these places!" However, I think these people realized that I was overqualified and probably wouldn't stay long, because I never heard a peep from any of them after applying. 

I then spent a few more days just sleeping in and being sad because nobody likes rejection and I just needed to mope for a second. But alas, medical school is expensive and I knew I needed to pull myself together so that we could earn enough money to be able to move at the end of the summer. Jared doesn't like to see me sad (or broke), so he wouldn't rest until I had a job either. We spent an entire day applying to all the temp agencies in the valley. Not ideal, but it paid off. I landed a job in a mattress warehouse which started this last Monday. 

The commute was 45 minutes each way, the pay wasn't hot, and the transportation was tricky, but at least it was something. And for about a day, it was something I really believed I could endure for a month or two. At the end of the next day though, I knew I wouldn't last. I had to borrow a car from my parents and the work days were eleven hours long. Eleven hours of doing the same assembly-line task over and over and over and over again. Never have my shoulders hurt so bad at the end of a day. But I could have dealt with that if the people I worked with were pleasant. The environment as a whole just dragged me further and further down, until even when I got home at the end of the day I couldn't pull myself out of the funk. In the past four days, I have heard more expletives, dirty jokes, drug conversations, and attacks on my religion than I have in the rest of my life combined. Everyone talked about everyone else behind their backs, and for some reason people thought it would be funny to show me their bums. I got along with these people and they seemed to like me, but the whole situation just wasn't working.

I jumped at the chance to interview at a local ShopKo and spend a few days next week doing a much pleasenter temp job in my city. I quit my warehouse job after only four days. 

As much as I hate the idea of floundering around for the rest of the summer, grasping at any inkling of a working day, I know it'll be ok. It's sort of sad that Jared never wants this last summer before med school to end, and I yearn for it to be over as soon as possible. The lesson of the year for me is patience. Patience. It's going to be fine. And to prove that I'm really not a sad person, here are a few pictures of some happier summer moments:

And for the record, I would encourage all of you to get a college education. 
Summah Timez


© Simpleton Pleasures. Design by MangoBlogs.