i hate mondays.
they kill me.
there's just something so horrible and painful about waking up on a monday morning and thinking about all of the stressful, time-consuming things you did last week and remembering all of the hours at work, papers for school, essays, reflections, lessons, sitting in lectures, and realizing you have to do them all over again for the next five days.
last monday was different, though.

it STARTED OUT usual:

snow. freezing. depressed. sleepy. sad.

but then i was like:

okay okay. not so bad. take my coat off. snow is pretty. (kind of)

and THEN i was like:

 yay yay YAAAY! cousin kelsie is in provo! we met up and her brother christopher treated us to lunch via his meal plan. he is quite the gentleman.

we thought it would end there.
but no!

she and her friend came over to our apt and we had a beautiful double date of wingers and wii games. as far as mondays go, it was pretty spectacular. i love my cousins!


wife appreciation night

i dont know if i've mentioned scotty's work schedule.
saying it sucks is a hilarious understatement.
however, it helps me stay on top of homework, cleaning, dishes, and provides me with some "me time."

he works a graveyard shift: 6:00 PM to 4:30 AM.
oh, and let's not forget the days. FRIDAY - SUNDAY.
and it's really hard to not complain and whine and beg him to quit.
so every once in a while i end up complaining and whining and begging him to quit.

on occasion, this can turn into wife appreciation night (or day, afternoon, morning).
it's where we get to do whatever i want to do because i say so and it's my night.
because i'm the wife.
and it's wife appreciation night.

so last time we followed this recipe i found on pinterest and made orange julius drinks.

yum yum yum! they would have been divine if someone didn't decide to add an extra splash of vanilla to be funny hahaha...

then we went to the mall.  we conveniently live less than 2 miles away from the nearest mall. it also happens to be the 2nd best mall in utah. (it was the best up until last thursday.)  

my husband is so good to me. 


date bucket

being poor is fun.

we have to get creative with our date nights. and sometimes we have to scrape together all of the pennies and dimes and nickles we have.

okay we don't HAVE TO. but sometimes it's fun :)

we dump all of the contents of his "pimp cup" into my pink change bucket and drive off to the nearest coinstar.  i don't have enough patience to let the bucket fill all the way up to the top.  

 the suspense builds up.

we place our bets to see who can guess the closest amount.
and start pouring.

my second favorite part is seeing all of the random coins and other unknown objects that don't make the cut.
my first favorite part is seeing this:

$43.66! and just like that, we are set for date night.

 a movie.
and we even had time to stop at target to drool over our current obsessions.

one day... one day.


some kind of wonderful

our first dance was to this song
scotty picked it out. 
we liked it because every word described how we felt together. 

all you have to do is touch my hand
and show me you understand
and that something happens to me
that some kind of wonderful

every time our little world seems blue
i just have to look at you
and everything seems to be
some kind of wonderful

i know i can't express
this feeling of tenderness
there's so much i want to say
but right words don't come my way

i only know when i'm in your embrace
then this world seems a better place
and something happens to me
and it's some kind of wonderful

and it's wonderful baby, so wonderful. 

 still so true.
being married is just wonderful :)


gifts galore

this is me a few saturdays ago. fighting back tears after paying for my target purchases with my last target giftcard.
it was heartbreaking, really. i called my mom on the way home for some words of comfort... but it was still oh so depressing. it's crazy to think that i haven't spent a single dime at target for the past four months. and if you know me at all, you know i follow my biweekly target shopping schedule religiously. 
after i left, i reflected on all of the wonderful gifts we received. there were kind of a lot. i get a fuzzy little feeling in my heart when i think about how much other people contributed to support us and our wedding. i am so thankful for everyone we are blessed to have in our lives!
i thought it would be fun to showcase some of the great things we purchased with all of our gift cards.  

FIRST off, meet our new best friend. seriously. i'm not lying when i say that scotty and i have grown to love rob. rob is the product of a week of fighting over which type of vacuum to buy. i wanted a dyson. at the time, we had a lot of gift card money. i knew we wouldn't have an opportunity to guiltlessly buy a really expensive vacuum again for a long time, so i wanted to buy something with amazing reviews and something i knew would last forever. DYSON. that was the only thing on my mind. 

UNTIL, scotty fell in love with this robotic roomba vacuum. that's right- no hands necessary. i was skeptical, but i gave in and we got it. i was sure it wouldn't work as well as a dyson, and i assumed it would miss parts of the rooms. 

 honestly... i love it. no regrets at all. it works perfectly, it picks up everything, and it even senses when a spot is especially dirty and stays on it for a longer period of time.  scotty was right :)

another funny thing scotty had a very strong opinion on was the salt and pepper shakers.
... i know. random, right? i told him i didn't care, and a few minutes later he walked up to me in williams sonoma with these $50 "shakers" haha.

you push down on the top, and the salt shoots out of the bottom.
... because turning a normal salt shaker upside down is just too hard.

scotty is obsessed with them. i'm worried that we have an increase in our salt and pepper intakes because our shakers are too much fun.

don't worry, scotty wasn't the only one making executive decisions.

i wanted some jars to put flour, sugar, and rice in. i fell in love with these babies at WS. i think they are so pretty!

also notice my favorite tablecloth.

i'm cheating. this next item isn't something we bought with a giftcard... but it is too good to not share. say hello to our WS panini maker!

every.single.day we use this thing. it's amazing. from grilled cheeses, to hamburgers, and grilled chicken breasts, this baby grill is our life saver.

one last thing... have i been living under a rock for 20 years? this little cup is SO MUCH EASIER to pour into than a normal measuring spoon hahaha.

it's the little things in life.


deal of the day

im sure many of you have been drooling over the newer crocheted toms just as much as i have...

so cute, right?
i am in love. i thought long and hard about which color i wanted.
they are just all SO adorable.

last weekend our cruise friends were in town, so emily and i had a shopping date planned.

i made up my mind that i was marching right into nordstrom, and buying the first pair of these i saw. i just couldn't take it anymore; i had to have them.

we parked in front of H&M so we went there first.
i was happily shopping along, antsy about purchasing my new toms in nordstrom, when WHAT-

right there in front of us sat H&M's replica of these cuuuuuuuuuute cute shoes.
i was fully prepared to pay the (well-worth) $57 at nordys. but WHAT!?
the same exact thing (minus the toms stamp of approval on the back)
for a whopping $14. 

 holla! i even decided that they are cuter than the actual toms because they are lined the whole way through.  the toms looked a little weird because half of it was see through.

hope that made sense.

 regardless, i am ecstatic about my new purchase.

and... if you're into target (who isn't?) i saw them there too.

definitely not as cute, and definitely not as many color options. but still.
go forth, my friends.
and buy the crocheted shoes!


midnight snack

oh pinterest,
sometimes i hate you.
but sometimes i think we are made for each other...
and sometimes i feel the hatred and love for you at the same exact time.

a few nights ago i experienced one of those times.

i am trying to stop eating sweets! i think about it constantly.
i need to stop i need to stop i need to stop.

but then i found this blog post via pinterest.

look at it right now.
genius. absolute genius.

because really, i can't say it better than she did:
"haven't you always wished you could make just enough dessert for yourself? or yourself and one other person?"

making a batch of cookies growing up wasn't a big deal. in fact, sometimes we would double the batch. we always had friends, tanner, parents, tanner, relatives, and even tanner to eat the excess cookies.

but now it's just me and scotty. no friends. no family. no one. we make a batch of cookies and the outcome is one of two options:
1. we eat them all because we know no one else will, and feel sick for a week
2. they sit on the top of the fridge for two weeks and then turn hard as rocks

we've never actually experienced option two, but i realize that it is a definite possibility.

so when i found this "cupcake for two" recipe i got real excited.

the outcome is just two cupcakes! exactly what we need!

seriously... so excited. and they were so yummy!
i mean, not the best cupcake i've ever had, but that's only because i am friends with lauren harris.
so i whipped up our two little cupcakes and we scarfed them down.
and that was that! no temptation to eat more.
no nausea or other bloated feelings.

we just ate them.

one of us was a little messier than the other...


"in the beginning"


i always think about our wedding and how perfect it was. but something i don't think about that often is how we got to that particular step in our relationship. so for the sake of my posterity and my self-diagnosis of memory loss, let us take a stroll down memory lane and document exactly how scotty and i came from being complete strangers to an engaged couple in just 4 short months.

scotty got home from his mission in Brazil about the first week of June 2010. we grew up on opposite sides of las vegas, but his parents conveniently moved into my neighborhood while he was gone.  the first week ron and kim moved into the canyon gate ward, ron stood up in priesthood and said something along the lines of "every time we move, one of our children finds a spouse. so i guess i'm here for my son to get married." ... funny. our parents grew to be acquaintances, which led to kim reading a funny blog post or two of mine via my mom's blog.

scotty comes home. his girlfriend who had been writing him the whole two years dumps him, to which kim responds to with "okay then i have someone you need to ask out! her name is ashley barnes. i read her blog." so scotty goes to singles ward and asks someone to point me out. he sees me across the chapel and thinks "... maybe."
my dad tells me one beautiful summer morning "hey there's a fresh RM moving into the neighborhood! get on that." whatever. doesn't phase me. then the next week in church, this insanely good looking guy gets up to the pulpit and says "my name is scotty marx... i recently returned home from my mission. like... thursday." i was smitten. so cute. so handsome. funny. witty. strong testimony. hot body. challenge accepted. after constant facebook stalking, rehearsing how i would introduce myself to him, and going running in the neighborhood just to run past his house, i started to grow a little creep crush. kami was the only person i told because i knew it was irrational and ridiculous.

fast forward: it's ward temple night. he's in the font, baptizing people. i switch places with a few girls to ensure i get him. i walk into the font, excited to finally be close to him, and get in the proper baptism stance. he starts "sister barnes, by the- wait, are you ashley barnes?" heart stops. ridiculous responses start to flow. "you know my name...? haha yes..." "oh i'm scotty marx" "yeah we live in the same neighborhood!" mind you, all the witnesses, towel holders, and old man at the computer are all standing there awkwardly waiting for this inconveniently-timed conversation to end. i'm like "hey, why don't we just talk after" ... "yeah"
he proceeds to baptize me and -strike me down for saying this- the whole time i was so distracted by his arms and his cologne and that adorable face. suddenly we're finished and right before i walk up the steps to dry off, i turn to him and say the magical line that started it all:
"you're, like, REALLY strong..."
googley eyed and eyelashes batting.
something actually very similar to this

boom. i was hooked.
he laughed and that was that.

a week or so later, this little treasure plops in my facebook inbox:

HA! so embarrassing and so corny and so precious. 
i don't know if it was the absence of proper punctuation or the misspelling of "neighborhood" that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. but we texted away that entire night and next day until about 5:00 when he picked me up for our first date. 

to quote our wedding announcement, we "both agreed this one date was the absolute best date of [our] lives." we rode the new york, new york roller coaster. had a fancy dinner on the strip at texas de brazil. finished off the night with some romantic fountain-gazing at the bellagio. 

approximately 5 days later, i had myself an official boyfriend. 
and the rest, my friends, is history. 

every day it just gets better and better. 
i am so lucky. 


greatest of all time.

i would say that i have a unique taste in music. i don't specifically like one genre or one artist the best. in fact, i could love and hate two songs from the same band. i know every word to every carpenters song. justin beiber speaks to my soul.  I LOVE THE BACKSTREET BOYS. and i cry sometimes during josh groban songs. but i'd rather listen to a fuzzy radio station than the red hot chili peppers.  i will die a life-long avril lavigne fan.  i am insanely irritated by coldplay. the only reason i know any journey songs is because of glee.  i absolutely loath that ridiculous "pumped up kicks" song that everyone else loves. i hate country. i sing michael jackson's "P.Y.T." every single morning while i'm getting ready.  ask scotty. i think it's getting a little out of hand.  i have a secret daughtry obsession. i'm a sucker for classic musicals: les mis, wicked, mamma mia, the sound of music, etc. and yet i love the raunchiest rap and r&b songs.

i want to share with you one of my favorite things. something that i have been obsessed with since the very first day i heard it. and while half of me wants to be the bossy, forceful pusher (like a drug pusher?) and shove it down your ear drums, the other half wants to simply recommend this treasure and encourage you to find out for yourself how truly amazing it is.

are you ready?

three words:

vices and virtues.

that's right, last year's panic at the disco cd.
march 22nd it was released.
we're almost at a year and i still can't stop listening to it.

here is evidence proving that these are the only two albums i have on my phone

and it's been that way for almost four months now.
why? because i needed a christmas album to get through the holidays, and vices & virtues covered everything else.

happy? vices & virtues has a song for that.
sad? vices & virtues has a song for that.
excited? vices & virtues has a song for that.
driving to vegas with jen ballard? vices & virtues has 12 songs for that. repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and we're home.
pissed at the world and everyone who lives on it? vices & virtues has a song for that.

it's not just the vast amount of instruments used and the weird ethnic-feeling rhythms that get me going.
it's the fact that every single song on the album is completely different.
and 200x better than anything they've ever done.
(don't let the cd before this one scare you away).
some of the songs make me feel like i'm at a quinceanera, some like i'm a punk at a skate park, and others like i'm at an orchestra symphony.
it's the sort of bad-ass feeling i get when i listen to them, yet the songs are totally inspiring and appropriate.
it's lyrics like "if i could trade mistakes for sheep, count me away before you sleep" ... seriously?! genius.

so please.
i beg of you.
if you haven't already, please partake of this beautiful album so i am not the only one ranting and raving about it a year later.

first try this one.

now try this. don't feel obligated to watch the video. i'll admit they're an odd bunch.

in a chill-mood? here.

... right??? i know, i know.