Slim-Fast Diet, Day 1: Starving

Almost every summer I go on slim-fast.  I actually think the chocolate shakes are pretty good, but usually I never lose any weight because of several reasons:

1. I eat anything and everything on the weekend.  For example, this weekend is the 4th.   You’ve gotta be nuts if you think I am missing out on the parade candy and family BBQ!

2. Little opportunities to snack come up during the day.  Today, it is “Ice Cream Day” in our office.  How can I say “no” to Ice Cream day!?!

3. Lastly, I would virtually starve if I stayed on the 3-2-1 Slim-Fast plan!  So far today, I have had 1 shake for breakfast, 1 for lunch.  Lunch just ended and I’m still starving!

Anyway, I’ll keep you all posted on how long this continues.  Please comment and let me know if you have any tips on staying strong when those little snacking opportunities come up. Or if you have any other tips to lose weight let me know because as soon as our honeymoon started, I started picking up pounds!


Kadanalana Ding Dong

Dear Danica Budge,

YOU are leaving for Wales on Friday for the rest of the summer (in case it hasn’t hit you yet).  The office, and life in general, just won’t be the same without you.  No more updates, no more Cocoa Bean Runs, no more drive-bys, no more Wendy’s, no more accidents in the office, no more advice to Christopher on dating, no more TV gossip.  No more Danica.  Until FALL!

Although you’re just leaving for a month and a half, it kind of feels like you’re dying, or at least, quitting your job.  So to mourn your loss, I have created a poem just for you!

D is for Daring.

This is because you walk on the edge, dance in the streets, and take those little dares that make your life just a little more fun and filled with gossip.

A is for Audacious.

This is because you’re spunky.  No one can deny that you’ve got that extra little attitude, making you who you are and why you probably could have been named “Jordan” or “Taylor”.

N is for Noteworthy.

This is because you always make an impression.  That’s why the employees at the Cocoa Bean remember your name (and not mine), that’s why people in the office are always saying, “Hey did you hear about Danica?” and that’s why you have a billion people who love you b/c you’re just that awesome.

I is for Interactional.

This is because you’re social and social doesn’t start with an S.  You are the life of the party, but know when to lie low when the time is right.

C is for Classy.

This is because you love Gossip Girl.  Almost as much as me.

A is for Alluder

Although alluder is not a word, it should be.  This is because you are constantly referencing quotes and stories from TV shows and movies.  What would we do if we didn’t have those quotes to describe other stories and things going on in our life?  It just wouldn’t be the same.

Okay, so this turned out to be wayyyyyy more sentimental, but since I heard you cried in Dear John, I thought I could try to make you cry.  I doubt it worked, but the point IS: WE WILL MISS YOU!  But you’ll be back soon and maybe we can even go on a road trip together again!




Lyrics to New Music

When my mom was my seminary teacher for a few years, one morning we began by singing a hymn but with another hymn’s text.  I can’t remember any specific examples of the ones we sang in seminary, but this past weekend, T.J. figured out a new one.

The song is “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus”–from our Children’s hymnbook:

“I’m trying to be like Jesus;
I’m following in his ways.
I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.”

Now, press play on this YouTube video, and start singing along…..]

Pretty Cool huh!?!

11 Movies I Know Word-for-Word


  1. What About Bob
  2. Ghost Town
  3. Mamma Mia
  4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  5. Baby Mama
  6. Jaws
  7. The Parent Trap
  8. Princess Diaries
  9. High School Musical 1
  10. High School Musical 2
  11. High School Musical 3

What It’s all About: Family

The family is central to everything.  That’s why we are here on earth and that’s why it is so important for us to go to the temple as much as possible.

Today I had the experience to witness T.J.’s cousin marry and be sealed in the Mt. Timpanogos temple.  In the sealing room, the two families sat across from each other, disconnected.  But once the couple entered the room and knelt across the alter from one another, not only did the couple unite, but also the two separate families became a link in an eternal chain.

What a great blessing it is to be a part of that.  As I grew up, I always envied the big families with lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It is what made me want to, one day, have a large family of my own so my kids can feel the love and happiness of a large family.

T.J. has a great-grandfather who is over 100 years old.

But now, my family and I have eternally been joined into another large family, one that keeps growing as others marry and have children.  T.J. has countless cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended family.  It is truly amazing to me that I now have all of those cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended family as well.

Before the sealer began, he asked if there were any grandparents witnessing the sealing. Both sets of the groom’s grandparents were in attendance.

Both sets.

This may not seem unusual for a lot of you.  But for me, just to have grandparents this late in life, is unbelievable, seeing that mine have all been gone for a while.  And then, to have them there with you for the most exquisite day of your life is also remarkable.  If they wouldn’t have been sealed years ago, none of this would have happened today.

To finish, I just want to communicate to you all the importance of family.  We need to make sure our family relationships are strong because those are the ones that mean the most.  It doesn’t matter who they are–parents, siblings, cousins, in-laws.  We need to continually build all of those relationships because we will have those for eternity.

Anyway, I know this post was pretty scattered, but I just had to share those thoughts.  Do all you can so you can always be worthy to enter the temple.  That’s where the family starts.


External Hard Drive-Part 2

So if you recall, last week I wrote about how I lost my external hard drive.  I’m finally over it and my dad was sending me a new one with all of my family photos and videos from the wedding.

It came today.

When I arrived at home, there was a Post Office basket on my front step with a sign saying something like, “Package Destroyed.”

Turns out my package went for a long and thorough dip in the ocean or the mail man must have thought it was funny to put it in the sewer before he delivered it.  I don’t know what happened, but that sign that said “Package Destroyed,” apparently meant that something awful occurred in the journey from Kentucky to Utah that made it incredibly wet and we aren’t going to apologize or take any blame.

So, covering my USPS standard rate package, was a white garbage bag.  Inside the bag I found my package and it was clearly soaked.  I didn’t even have to get a knife to open it up.  It was so soggy it just fell open.

There I am sitting in the entry way, getting ready to cry, preparing for another destroyed hard-drive, preparing another speech for my Dad.  I then pulled a nasty wet t-shirt that my parents sent me.  Awesome.

Next was my hard drive package.  The outer coating was soggy.  Bad news bears.  I knew my dad had already opened up my hard drive so he could put files on it.  So question was, did he wrap the hard drive back up carefully?  Or am I going to be in a depression for another week?

Thanks to my brainy Father, he wrapped up the external hard drive perfectly.  Not a drop of water to be found.

And thus ends the story of the external hard drive.  Part 2.

1 month down, Infinity to go

Well, today we have been married for one month.  That obviously makes me an expert on marriage.  So here are some things I have learned:

  1. I will not allow my children to play video games with guns.  Explanation: T.J.’s cousin has her PS2 and games at our house still and so T.J. is currently trying to beat one of the games.  He enjoys it, so I don’t mind having him play, plus we made a deal that if he plays those games he can’t complain or make fun of me reading Twilight.  But I have realized from this experience I do not want my children playing video games all day long, especially any games with guns because I hate the sound and there are so many other productive activities.
  2. I really enjoy cooking.  I took a class back in high school that taught me the basics, but I haven’t really used those skills until now.  It may seem weird, but I just feel accomplished when I make a good and well-balanced meal for T.J. and I.  Plus it’s fun to try new recipes and eat new foods.
  3. Life goes fast and will always be busy.  We have been married for a month, but it feels just like a few days.  We have done a lot this past month–traveled, moved, cleaned, worked–but it has been in this time that I have realized it will always be hectic, unexpected events will always come up.  So it’s important to make priorities and stick to your plans, especially the priority of courting and visiting the temple.
  4. Patience is a virtue, one that I need to work on.
  5. Living with a husband is a lot different than living with roommates.  It’s 100 times better, but sometimes is twice as hard (does that even make sense?).  Let me try to explain.  It’s the best time I have ever had, but I think my emotions sometimes make T.J. wonder if I’m clinically insane.  On the other hand, a roommate would just know in a week, I’ll be back to normal.  But he’ll get there 😉
  6. I don’t actually know too much about marriage.
  7. I also have no idea how people get married and don’t include prayer or scripture study into their lives.  It is my lifeline.

So there it is.  Oh and I’m just kidding about the blog post title.  I am extremely grateful to be married to T.J.  It has been a great month and I am very excited for the the many months to come.

Our Beatboxing Car

So T.J. and I have a car, well a piece of metal that makes a lot of strange sounds and sometimes manages to get over 55 mph.  It’s a little green escort from the 90s that keeps fighting for life.  We honestly don’t know how it keeps going.  Sometimes when we go up a big hill, I don’t think it’s going to make it, so I pat the dashboard and encourage him (his name is D.J. Zoomba) with words like, “Come on D.J. you can make it… you’re almost there!!”

We have had a lot of fun times with D.J. Zoomba.  For example, the first time I ever drove him by myself, he played a little joke on me.  I was driving up a big hill and all of a sudden, the keys fell out of the ignition.  Like they literally fell out.  Onto the ground.  By themselves.  I obviously started crying, having no idea what to do.  The car kept driving, which was kind of scary.  I pulled over and put on my emergency signals… oh wait, the car doesn’t have any of those, so I just pulled over.  I realized the only way to get car to turn off was with the keys, so I put them back in and everything was fine.  After a few moments of tears, I started laughing at the crazy event.

D.J. Zoomba also likes to beatbox.  I think it’s his way of making up for blowing the radio and ipod fuse, leaving us in silence when we drive.  It clicks, buzzes, squeals, ticks, and vibrates.  Sometimes we even try to sing along.

He also thinks it’s funny to not tell us how fast we are going once we get past 50 mph.  So if an officer pulled us over and said, “Do you know how fast you were going?” I would have to give him an estimation of anywhere between 50 and 80 mph.  The speedometer goes back and forth, and where it stops, nobody knows.

Finally, one of my favorite things about D.J. Zoomba is that he is always so thirsty.  He mysteriously goes through oil every other week, so a few times a month we have to fill up the oil tank (I don’t exactly know where the oil goes).

Well T.J. and I keep battling about buying a new (to us) car.  But neither of us fight for the same side continually.  Sometimes D.J. Zoomba seems like he’s doing well and will live a few months longer so I tell T.J. that we should hold off on buying a new car.  Other times I’m ready to trade him in for next to nothing.

But what put me over the edge and made me 100% want to buy a new car is that I got a bad sunburn driving back from SLC yesterday.  We have to have the windows down because the air doesn’t work, and the hot sun just toasted my thighs.  So that was it.  Sorry, D.J. but you’re just not makin’ the cut.

T.J.’s family and I convinced him that we need to start seriously shopping for a new car!  We’re going this week, so let me hear your suggestions and recommendations!

Farewell, D.J. Zoomba.  We will miss you, but if you’re lucky, no one will take you as a trade and we will keep you forever!

From Roommate to Housewife

Before I was married, I rarely cooked.  It wasn’t that I don’t know how, it was just because I didn’t have time and my apartment’s kitchen was too small for six girls.  But now that I have the space and a little more time, plus we need to save money, I’ve started making three new recipes for dinner each week!

My sister gave me these Everyday Food magazines (by Martha Stewart :)) and so I rip out three recipes at the beginning of each week, put them on our fridge and get all the ingredients on Monday.  I’ve never shopped for my meals before, usually I just shop for food and make meals from what I have, and that would consist of pop tarts, goldfish, and diet coke.

Anyway, here are some of the recipes we’ve tried!  You should try them out because they’re way easy, delicious, and always make enough for leftovers.

1. Whole-wheat spaghetti with vegetables and peanut sauce

T.J. had never had peanut sauce before, but I swear I’ve never seen anyone consume so many noodles in such a short amount of time like he did.

2. Chicken with coconut sauce: I couldn’t find the recipe for this one online, but all you do is grill 4 boneless chicken breasts on your George Foreman grill.  At the same time, simmer a can of coconut milk for 20 minutes.  When finished, add 1 tbs of fresh lime juice and 2 jalepeno chilis.  Finish by putting the chicken and sauce over a plate of rice with a lime garnish.

3. Grilled Pork Chops with mini cornbread puddings

This cornbread pudding recipe is a lot different that a cornbread muffin recipe, but they’re delicious and the leftovers have made a great breakfast snack.

4. Buttermilk baked chicken with spinach salad

I loved this recipe, especially because the chicken had a great marinade and the spinach salad’s dressing was homemade.

5. Pork quesadillas

This, by far, has been my favorite dinner so far.  The recipe includes a lot of random ingredients, like pickles (which I don’t even like usually), ham, grilled pork, and spicy mustard.  But the combination was delicious.  (Btw, the picture on the link is not right, they look just like a normal quesadilla.)

Mom knows best

Today while T.J. and I were at lunch, my mom called to say hi and then talked to T.J. about his birthday.  She gave him words of advice saying, number each day and be grateful for everything you have.

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been quite a pessimist.  I think it’s just because change is hard, even if it’s good change.  I don’t always look at what I have, but instead I think about everything that is going wrong.  But my mom is right.  I need to appreciate each day and everything in it.

So after they got off the phone, I was laying on the hammock and T.J. proceeded to tell me all the blessings in my life.  Some of them were so presh and a little funny, so here are a few he mentioned and a few others:

Of course after he said a huge long list of the blessings in my life, I said, “I wish we had a puppy.”