5 Tips to Find The Perfect First Apartment

Branded first apt.
Apartment hunting for your first apartment with your future spouse can be a huge undertaking! There are so many things you have to consider when searching for the perfect apartment: how many rooms do you want, are you ok with carpet, do you want a basement apartment? For me the task was twice as overwhelming because, as a young bride, I had never lived away from my parents familiar, comfortable house. I had no idea exactly what I wanted in my apartment, other than it needed to have somewhere to sleep, somewhere  to cook and a bathroom. I let Brett do most of our apartment hunting, and in the end I think we found an apartment that has suited us just fine for our first year of marriage. If I could go back, however, there are a few more things I would consider before signing the dotted line on an apartment contract.

1. Does it have a dishwasher?

Our apartment is a little bit older and consequently has no dishwasher. In our minds, this was not going to be an issue, we could always just hand wash the dishes. In reality, however, this is not the case. I have come to discover that my husband HATES doing dishes. When  I told my husband I was writing a post on apartment hunting tips, I asked if he had any. His response was “1. Dishwasher 2. Dishwasher 3. Dishwasher 4. Dishwasher…”
To me, doing dishes is not a big thing, I plug in my headphones and sort of lose myself in the dishes. It’s sort of a way for me to unwind and think about nothing. So most of the time I end up doing the dishes.
Maybe you are like me, and don’t mind doing dishes for hours a week, but if you think even for a second that you might not enjoy it, look for an apartment with a dishwasher. I promise it will be worth it for you and your significant other.

2. Is there a washer and dryer, or hookups for them? Does it have a vent for the dryer?

This was something I knew going into apartment hunting that I was going to want, and played a huge role in our final apartment decision. our apartment does have a washer and dryer, and I love that we don’t have to go anywhere to do laundry. However, our apartment does not have a vent for our dryer. We had to buy one ourselves, that collects lint on top of the dryer itself. This means, whenever we dry our clothes the hot air vents into our house, making the house hot and humid. Which, in the winter time is not a huge complaint, in the Summer however, it is horrible. We always have to open windows and doors when we dry our clothes, which could feel a little unsafe, depending on what neighborhood the apartment is in.
Our inconvenient dryer set up:

 

dryer vent from Life of a Sadie

 

3. Where are the plugs located, specifically in the bathroom and kitchen? 

Most kitchens will have at least one plug on the counter, for kitchen electronics, but even still, when you are apartment hunting, make sure and locate this plug, just in case.
Our bathroom has only one plug, right above the mirror, about two feet over our head. This would be an inconvenient location anyway, however, the first time I tried to plug my dryer into it, the fuse blew, and now that plug doesn’t work at all. My solution is an extension cord from the bedroom, which becomes a bit inconvenient, when we could be using the bedroom plug for other things. Next time we apartment hunt I am certainly going to locate the plugs and make sure they are a bit more convenient.
The random location of our bathroom plug:

 

plug above the mirror from Life of a Sadie

 

4. Can you put holes in the wall? 

Every landlord is different in this regard, some are fine with holes in the walls for picture frames and decorations, as long as they are patched up when you leave, but others are a bit more picky. Our landlord does not allow us to put holes in the walls at all, and we have to hang all of our pictures with Command strips. The upside, they work fine for things like picture frames and lightweight decorations. The downside: they only hold so much weight, so if it’s really heavy, it won’t stay up.
Our wedding pictures, hung up with Command Strips:

 

Nails in the wall from Life of a Sadie

 

5. Is there counter space in the bathroom? 

Our bathroom has no counter space. At all. There is just a sink. A sink with no counter around it. there is barely enough room for a bottle of soap. One thing I wish I would have had on my priority list for an apartment was counter space in the bathroom. The arrangement we have currently have is not doable. There is no place to put makeup, hair product, or anything. I make it work, but only wish I had fought more for a bathroom with counter space!
Our lone sink:

 

Counter space

 

 

I hope these tips help you hunt for your perfect first apartment!
Happy Apartment Hunting!
-Sadie Sadie Married Lady
*This post links back to The Party Bloggers “Favorite Five” link Party*
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The Best Cookie Dough Bites Ever

The Best Cookie Dough Bites Ever - Life of a Sadie
I have a huge confession to make. I love cookie dough- cookie dough anything. When I have a choice between cookie dough, and anything else on the planet, I will always choose cookie dough. I try to convince myself that I will branch out and maybe try a little cookie’s and cream, or rocky road, but in the end, cookie dough always wins out. When I make cookies, eating the dough is the most tempting thing in the whole world. Well, I have found a solution to all of my problems in life. It’s called Cookie Dough Bites.

These little suckers are both easy to make and absolutely delicious. The recipe is really simple, because you don’t have to worry about the chemistry working out in the end, because the cookie dough doesn’t have to rise or have a specific consistency, it just has to taste delicious!

The Best Cookie Dough Bites Ever:

Total time: 45 min

Yields about 24

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

a pinch of salt

1 cup flour

chocolate chips (as many as you like)

12 oz bakers chocolate.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Mix in flour until a dough consistency is reached. Fold in chocolate chips. Roll dough into 1 Tbs balls, put onto a pan and put into the freezer. Melt bakers chocolate over the stove or in the microwave, take dough out of the freezer and cover balls in chocolate.

And it’s really that easy! I hope you enjoy The Best Cookie Dough Bites ever!

-Sadie Sadie Married Lady

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5 Tips to a More Memorable Honeymoon

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5 Tips to a More Memorable Honeymoon

This post links back to a Party for “The Party Bloggers” Favorite 5 Link Party.

1. Take a candle with you 

Candle

AND a lighter. Lighting a candle whenever you are in your hotel or suite is a good way to create a memory through smell. Then whenever you light the same candle at home, you will instantly be reminded of your honeymoon. Not to mention that candles create a romantic atmosphere for you and your new husband. Just don’t forget to bring a lighter too! When Brett and I went on our honeymoon we took the time to chose a candle, we packed it, got to our hotel room and realized we had forgotten a lighter! It ended up being a bust, but on our next romantic getaway I will definitely be bringing both

2. Spend at least one day just relaxing

Preferably the first day. You have just spent months planning your big day, planning all the seemingly endless details of everything form the caterer, the decorations, the venue, the list goes on and on! You two deserve a day to yourselves, a day to just do nothing. Brett and I spent the day after our wedding lazing around and watching House Hunters in our hotel room, and it was pure bliss. We were then fully renewed and refreshed for all the adventures we did have planned for the coming days.

3. Take lots of pictures

honeymoon pics

Your future self will thank you when you look at them again, and remember how much fun the two of you had together. I can honestly say that my honeymoon was the best week of my life, and I love looking back at all of our pictures!

4. Stay Incognito 

social media icons 2
Do. Not. Post. Anything. This is a week for you and your hubby to enjoy. You can show all your fun pictures to your friends and followers later. Posting them now will only distract you from your man and the amazing time you are having. Take this week to be away from tweets, instagramming, Facebook posts, and all other forms of social media. Be with each other, not your phones.

5. Treat yourselves 

Just once during your honeymoon get something special for the two of you to eat. This doesn’t have to be a huge treat, or even an expensive treat, just buy something delicious that you both love! Brett and I ended up staying in a hotel with a Cold Stone just outside. We both got a bowl of ice cream and took it up to our hotel room, and now whenever we get ice cream from Cold Stone we are reminded of and taken back to the best week of our lives.

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Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies

Soft & Chewy m&m Cookies Soft & Chewy m&m Cookies - Life of a Sadie
{This post links back to a Link party, Celebrate the Seasons by The Party Bloggers}

I’ve been seeing spring pastel colored m&ms on cookies everywhere, so I wanted to try my hand at them. Especially, because they are on clearance, and 50% off at Target. Gotta love those “after holiday sales”! So I thought I would make my own m&m cookies.

Here’s the thing: I made the best cookies I’ve ever made on Sunday, and they were gone by today, Tuesday. So I wanted to share the recipe with you, because not to brag, but they really were the best cookies ever.

So here’s the recipe:

Soft & Chewy m&m Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:
1 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup butter (softened)
1 Large egg
1 1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. milk
2 Cups flour
1/2 Tsp. baking powder
1 Package M&Ms
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, and milk until creamy, and set aside. In a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder. Slowly incorporate dry mixture into wet mixture until doughy. Fold in desired amount of M&Ms candies. Make into tablespoon size balls, and bake for 14 minutes.
-Sadie Sadie Married Lady
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March Recap


March (2)
It’s April! And that means it is time to recap March for the Simpers!

1. I started a Blog!

And it’s turned out to be one of the hardest, but also funnest things I have ever done! Although I officially “launched” my blog halfway through the month on the 15th, I started working and preparing for it around the beginning of the month. This journey has proved to be both amazing and challenging, but I am so determined to get my blogging off the ground and be successful at it!

I just want to take this moment to say thank you to all the people who have supported me thus far on my blogging adventure! To all my readers, family members, Facebook likers, guest bloggers, and Twitter and Instagram followers, THANK YOU! You help me do all all of this so worth it! A huge thank you to my awesome husband and editor Brett for both putting up with me when I feel the urge to blog, and proof reading all of my content!

2. St Patricks Day

Easy Mint St. Patricks Day Cake Bites from Life of a Sadie
I made these Easy St. Patricks Day Cake Bites, which proved to be challenging, but SO tasty! Other than that we did not do anything particularly special for St. Patricks day. I had the day off from work, so I don’t even know if I wore green! Oops!

3. Easter

It was a little bit confusing to me to have Easter in March this year, and honestly made me feel a little bit rushed to get my Easter ready to go so quickly, but I managed. About a week before Easter I made these Dollar Store Easter Baskets, and I have to say they turned out so cute! And it was so nice to know that they only cost me about $10! I loved having them in our living room as a decoration for Easter!

Dollar Store Easter Baskets from Life of a Sadie
I also had a party with some girl friends of mine, which I decided to splurge for and get some “real” Easter Candy, which of course we didn’t eat all of, and to Brett’s pleasure we had a pretty delicious spread of food for Easter Sunday.

Easter food
If you were wondering how I got my deviled eggs dyed different colors, all I did was soak them in water and food coloring for a few minutes! It was so simple, and so pretty.

4. We went to St. George Utah with my family!

life of a Sadie (1)
It was so beautiful there, even if it was too early for leaves to be on the trees. And we had so much fun with my family, shopping, hiking, and enjoying the beautiful weather.

How was your month? Let me know below what YOU did in March!

-Sadie Sadie Married Lady

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Marriage is Always Worth it

Kourtney and Brandon Ragland
Kourtney Ragland from The Ragland Family was married to her husband, Brandon in October of 2015. Kourtney and her husband have live in North Carolina, and have just recently bought their first home! They loves watching Netflix, being outdoors and playing board games. Kourtney dreams of starting a family and continuing her adventure as a Married Lady, in love with her best friend.

Marriage is Always Worth it

Our marriage is not perfect. If anyone says that about their marriage, they are crazy. We have our good days. We have our bad days. We fight. We laugh. Some days we can’t get enough of each other, while other days you’ll find us doing our own thing.

K&B 2
We forgive and forget the small things; while we never go to bed with an argument unsettled. We make sure to put each other first; our marriage is our first priority. Even though we are married, we still continue to date one another. Always learning new things about each other. We do little things daily for each other that say ‘I love you’.

K&B 1
We go through periods of time where we can’t think of anything to do with each other. Sometimes we are selfish and don’t want to compromise with each other.

We are always working on our marriage. We don’t let trials that come our way put us down or push us apart. Instead we let it strengthen our relationship and we learn from it.

K&B 3

Through everything. Through the thick and the thin. Things may come and go, circumstances change continuously. Yet there is something that will never change, our love for each other as husband and wife. As two best friends. Because through it all, marriage is always worth it.
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Motivation Monday: Start by Starting

Start by Starting -life of a Sadie

Start by Starting. These words have been my inspiration the past few weeks. When I decided to start a blog, and I mean really start a blog, with a domain name, hosting sight, the works, I knew I wanted to do it the right way. I started researching all the things I would need to do to start my blog, and start it right. I took about a week studying about blogging, preparing my blog, and prepping a few blog posts, but after a week I knew: the best way to start my blog, would be to start.

So I did it, I wrote a post and hit publish, and put my thoughts out for the whole world to see. And I was so proud. And for a few weeks I posted consistently, every day I would hit “publish” for at least one post, and it was awesome. Last week, about midweek, however, the inevitable happened: Writers Block. I felt like I was in a rut. A muddy rut, with pigs right there with me. I felt stuck, and it could have been very easy for me to just give up. Stop blogging and move on. But I refuse to move on. So today, I am starting again, and I am going to Start by Starting to get out of my writers block. I am going to start posting again, and start posting strong.

My advice for you would be to do the same. Start by Starting. Do that thing you’ve been wanting to do forever. Start training for that 5k, start your diet tomorrow, organize your closet, clean the bathroom, start whatever it is you have been wanting to do, by starting. And if you hit a wall, and feel like you can’t keep going, take a break, then start again. You have the power and ability to do so much, you just have to start. Make today the day you start by starting.

 -Sadie Sadie Married Lady

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30 (Mostly) Free Spring Date Ideas

sadie sadie married lady

This post links back to a Link Party by “The Party Bloggers” on sledgehammerqueen.com

30 (Mostly) Free Spring Date Ideas

Brett and I know from experience that date night in the winter can often turn into “let’s stay in and watch a movie night”, which turns into not doing much for what really should be a fun night out together. Spring creates a perfect opportunity to get out of the house and into that nice warm sunshine that Spring brings! So I have compiled a list of 30 Spring date ideas to get you and your beau out of the house and into the nice warm weather! Most of these ideas are free, although some require a little bit of dough, but date night is always better when you don’t have to spend too much.
  1. Go on a walk
  2. Go to a Home Depot (or anywhere that sells flowers) and buy a few flowers and plant them in your yard
  3. Watch the sunset
  4. Go cloud watching
  5. Decorate Easter eggs
  6. Make homemade jam
  7. Lay in the grass and read a book
  8. Throw a frisbee together
  9. Get out the watercolors and paint a picture of the perfect spring day
  10. Go take artistic pictures of flowers in bloom
  11. Go bird watching
  12. Sit on your front porch and eat ice cream or just talk
  13. Play basketball
  14. Have a picnic
  15. Play catch
  16. Go hiking
  17. Go to a local college baseball game
  18. Take your dog (or borrow someone else’s) for a walk
  19. Go for a bike ride
  20. Make and race sail boats
  21. Plant a vegetable garden
  22. Make Dollar Store Easter Baskets for yourselves
  23. Make Dollar Store Easter Baskets for each other
  24. Make homemade ice cream
  25. Stay in on a rainy spring night and watch a movie
  26. Go to the Zoo
  27. Go to McDonalds and get items form the dollar menu and go on a “dollar picnic”
  28. Go stargazing (make sure to take lots of blankets in case it’s too chilly!)
  29. Go outside and write poetry about nature.
  30. Go to a lake and skip rocks

-Sadie Sadie Married Lady

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Simple Stripe Crochet Blanket

Simple Stripe Crochet Blanket - Life of a Sadie

At the beginning of this year I got the idea into my head that I was going to be more crafty, and make more of my home decorations, instead of buying  them. I was a girl on a mission, a mission to be cute and crafty and accomplish more in the world of all things glitter, glue gun, crochet madness. So the first week of January I went to a craft store and got all the materials I would need for my stripe crochet blanket.

I originally got this pattern/idea from Kathleen from Becoming Peculiar, but wanted to share my experience with it here, because it was so cute and I am so proud of myself for finishing it! I used all of the links she provides on her website to learn how to double crochet, weave in ends, and change colors. It was really easy, and super fun!

snuggling-Life of a Sadie

I did change some things according to my own needs and desires. For instance, I couldn’t find cotton, so I used acrylic. It was also easier, and more cos,t effective for me to buy more yarn then I would need, and probably ended up buy about 21 oz of each color, instead of what I ended up using, which was about 14 oz of each color. So I did have a lot of extra yarn. But I like extra yarn because I can use it on other small projects. I also ended up only doing 17 rows, instead of 19, because I wanted it to be a little bit shorter.

This was my first “big” crochet project, so I wanted it to be simple and fun, and because double crochet is so easy to do, I worked on my blanket whenever I could, when I was watching TV, taking a break from homework, pretty much whenever I wasn’t “doing” anything, but just sitting around. It was easy to lose myself in my crochet work sometimes, and get one, maybe even 3 rows done at a time, which made me feel super accomplished! I loved working on my blanket, and sometimes my husband would have to beg me to put it down to snuggle with him! The blanket sort of “became a part of me” for a while, which was fun.

So here’s what you are going to need:

14 oz of yarn in first color

14 oz of yarn in 2nd color

J Crochet Hook

Yarn needle to weave in ends

Snuggling With my Blanket - Life of a Sadie

And that’s it! I love how this blanket ends up looking really cute, but it doesn’t take a lot of effort or supplies to get there! So here is what you will do:

1. chain 116

2. double crochet till you reach the end

3. Chain 3

4. Crochet 6 more rows (don’t forget to do this at the end of the row, so you don’t miss a stitch!)

5. Change Colors 

6. Crochet 6 rows of this color

7. Change Colors again

8. Weave in ends as you go and repeat when your blanket is your desired length!

It’s so easy! And perfect for snuggling up with and reading a good book!

Snuggling with a Book and a Blanket from Life of a Sadie

This blanket took me a few months to finish…but that’s because I did not work on it diligently every day. You could easily finish it in 2-3 weeks if you kept at it.

I would love to see your finished product if you decide to make this blanket!

-Sadie Sadie Married Lady

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Guest Blogger: Lexie Miller, Healing and Forgiveness

Lexi MIller

Lexie Miller from Hopeful Voyages is a college Freshman, taking a year off of college to volunteer in Ukraine this fall. Her hobbies include photography, playing video games, writing and reading. Lexi plans on majoring in History Teaching, with a minor in either European Studies or Geography Teaching. She plans on becoming a history teacher, marrying the man of her dreams in the temple, and traveling the world doing volunteer work and helping others.

The Blow of a Breakup

Many people in our lives will come and go, and they will either impact you positively, negatively, or perhaps, even both. Some of these people will either remain in your life for a short period of time, or they might be there with you till the end. And some people, will either show you great love, or perhaps even hurt you.

I learned this lesson the hard way last year around Easter, after I was hurt by someone I cared about very much. A friendship I thought was going to be for many years to come, suddenly came to an end. I didn’t understand why, and I don’t believe I’ll ever understand why. My best guess is that I was no longer a relevant person in this friend’s life, and for whatever reason they wanted to move on. However, it didn’t mean it didn’t hurt any less. I felt all the emotions someone would go through if they were going through a relationship break up—except this was the breakup of a friendship. I felt shock, denial, confusion, overwhelming sadness, and even guilt.

Guilt, because I felt I had done something wrong. I remember that I stayed in my room for hours at a time, often crying, and feeling horrible because I felt something was wrong with me. And I felt angry at God, for what had happened to me. Not too long before hand, I had received a blessing of comfort from my family, as I had been struggling with anxiety for a while. Now, I suddenly had received a horrible blow. Why would he allow me to be hurt like that, by someone I thought had been one of my closest friends? Once again, I didn’t receive all the answers. I chose not to contact her again, as I knew I’d only toil up more negative emotions in myself, and perhaps make the situation worse. Because that was her choice, and I was going to have to live with that newfound fact, even if it hurt. I was also afraid of the anger I was feeling, alongside the hurt. I was very angry in fact, but that eventually faded. Eventually most of those emotions for the most part dissolved. Meaning these feelings are not completely gone, but not as raw as they had originally been.

A struggle to Forgive

I’m sure my story is not too unfamiliar for many people. So how can you feel healing, and even forgiveness for those who have hurt you. Well. It’s quite often very complicated. We’re only human after all, and Christ knows that. Forgiving others, or yourself, is a process, and it’s often not very easy. However, it is worth it in the end.

It took me months to learn how to forgive. I prayed for answers, and read scriptures, but it didn’t feel like anything helped. Until I decided to write a letter, directly addressing my feelings of the situation, and even her. (Though I never did send it to her of course)  Instead of trying to confront what my feelings were, I had hid from them. I tried to pretend everything was ok when it wasn’t. I now wrote down how I felt. I printed it out, and even read it out loud. I realized how much anger I still had, and even how guilty I felt, since I still felt it was my fault. Whether it was my fault or not, was irrelevant. I realized that I was holding onto these emotions and that in the long run, this was only hurting me.

A few more months passed, as I continued to pray. Forgiving her didn’t happen overnight, with some flash of light and a feeling of overwhelming comfort. Rather, I just woke up one day, and I realized, I didn’t feel controlled by these feelings anymore, nor did I harbor negative feelings towards her anymore. I just felt, that I could move on with my life, without feeling like this was weighing down on me.

Steps to Forgiveness

1. Believe in Christ

I can perhaps give tips towards trying to forgive those in your life that have hurt you, or forgiving yourself. But unfortunately there’s so many variables in play that there is no solution that is “one size fits all”. There is one variable, however, that is always constant—and that is Christ, and His love for us. Christ loves all of his children, even the people that we may have been hurt by. He loves us so much, and we can barely fathom how infinite His love is. And it’s often something that we forget in times of trial. But it’s something we need to keep in mind and remember. That we can always turn to him in those times of great need.

For the days where we don’t believe he’s listening—don’t worry, he is. And why does He allow these things to happen in our lives? Perhaps, it is a trial that is needed to help us grow. I can’t tell you how much I have grown, and how much I’ve learned from my experience forgiving my friend. And I wouldn’t be the person I am today, if it were not for this occurrence. I’ve learned how strong I can be, and perhaps the most important lesson of all, how I can forgive.

2. Have a Support System

Another thing that helped me to heal, was being able to talk to other friends, and my family about what had happened and what I was feeling. Sometimes just having someone to bounce your thoughts and feelings off of, can help you to understand and grasp what has happened and how you can confront the pain.

3. Keep a Journal to Write Down Personal Thoughts

Journaling, was another very important step in helping me to heal. I was able to write down my thoughts, and get it out onto paper. I didn’t have to share those particular thoughts with anyone, if they were too personal. But it also helped me to take a step back and see how this had affected me.

4. Take Life one Day at a time

The final thing that helped; I took this one day at a time. It was not an overnight process and it rarely is. I got back into the routine of things, and eventually had to accept what had happened. But I was finally able to accept, and eventually feel the effects of forgiveness. And I couldn’t feel any happier that I have chosen to move on. I suppose if I was to even see my friend, or talk with her again, I now won’t confront her with bitterness and anger, like I once wanted to. Instead, I will now greet her with love, and wish her the best in life.

You Choose your Own Path

We aren’t going to get out of this life unscathed, but we can choose how we handle the problems, the hurts and the issues that come our way. Are we going to choose to become angry and bitter about the bad things that have happened to us? Or are we going to choose to turn our hurt over to God, and find healing and forgiveness? In the end, it is your choice. But I can tell you, that choosing forgiveness and love, will be the better route in the long run.

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