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Christmas Reminders

December 17, 2015

When you think about Christmas, and the weeks leading up to Christmas, what do you think about?  Is your first thought “shit, I still gotta get my Christmas shopping done”?  Are you stressing about your budget?  Are you worried you can’t afford to get your kid that new PlayStation they’ve been whining about?  Are the majority of your thoughts related to money and how much you’re going to have to spend?

My first thought when somebody mentions this holiday is “What happened to Christmas?”  I thought this was supposed to be about spending time with family and friends…not about resenting the fact that you have to break the bank to buy them sweaters and other meaningless shit.

How ridiculous has holiday shopping become?  Black Friday now starts in the middle of the day on Thanksgiving Thursday (which now means 2 holidays are being ruined).  It’s to the point now where people literally fight each other in stores to spend money.  I’ll repeat that one.  People are FIGHTING each other to spend money in stores for this holiday.  I picture a room full of department store execs laughing their asses off at this fact while they warm themselves by a fire kindled with stacks of $100 bills.  “Cheers to the morons,” they must be saying.

Think about what you really want this holiday to be about.  Think about what it SHOULD be about.

I’m going to throw out a couple, rather obvious, ideas at you.  Maybe “reminders” would be a better way to put it, since these are all things that you have likely done before, but like most of us, you have probably forgotten about in the midst of your most recent Black Friday fist fight.

  • Take trip
    • pool some money together with friends/family and rent a cabin.
    • jump on a flight to some place warm
  • Have a family dinner/movie/game night
    • invite people over to help cook. Get some wine going!
    • after dessert start up one of your favorite x-mas movies
    • throw down some board games or Catch Phrase, charades, Apples to Apples etc.

  • Host a themed party
    • ugly sweater party (kinda over done, but still fun)
    • National Lampoons Christmas Vacation themed party (invented by me)

  • Get tickets to a live event.
    • there are typically plenty of live events/plays/musicals during this time of year
    • local planetariums usually offer a “Christmas Star” show.  These are actually really cool.
  • Spend the day being active (outside if possible)
    • skiing/snowboarding/snowshoeing/ice skating
    • get outside build a snowman, chuck a snowball at your least favorite relative
  • Take a family sleigh ride
  • Get professional family photos done with your family (maybe purposefully wear funny outfits?)
  • Drive around looking at Christmas lights


What ever it is you chose to do, please make sure it’s meaningful to you.  Don’t let another Christmas slip by with the result being you pissed off and broke.  Reevaluate what it is that you want to experience over the holidays and make it happen!

List any additional ideas if you have some!

Merry Christmas!



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Lifestyle Travel

Adios Thanksgiving!

December 9, 2015

This year, Lacey and I decided to go a different route for Thanksgiving.  Instead of sticking around our home town of Boise, and freezing our asses off, we decided to leave the country and hit the beach for some R & R.  Being that we’re always ballin’ on a budget, we decided to go the very affordable, all-inclusive, Solmar Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  This place is insanely cheap.  From Boise (and I imagine most other cities) you can book a full week of all you can eat and drink (including booze) for about $1100 per person.  That price includes flight. Yeah…insane.  Anyhow, Lacey did a full review on the resort here if anyone is thinking about checking it out.

So this trip couldn’t have come at a better time for Lacey and I.  The weather had been getting colder in Boise, work had been going through a stressful patch, and we hadn’t been on a “do nothing” vacation in a LONG time.  We very much needed it.

My goals for this vacation were as such:

  1. Sleep 8-10hrs a night
  2. CRUSH food throughout the day
  3. Drink 6-8 Pina Coladas per day (sometimes substituted with a different fruity beach drink)
  4. Nap by the pool for 1-2 hrs a day
  5. Take a lazy 15 min. stroll on the beach at some point in the day (you know…gotta stay in shape and all)
  6. Hammer an enormous dinner and a variety of desserts
  7. Watch the sunset
  8. Repeat steps 1-7

We absolutely nailed these goals each and every day we were in Cabo.  Not gonna lie, it actually got pretty hard to keep up with this pace by the time we got to day 6.  I was feeling like an about to explode balloon.  ….but yet, I still powered through the last couple of meals even though I was nowhere near hungry.

Throughout the week, we saw some amazing sunrises and sunsets.  We caught a private boat to the famous Lover’s Arch.  We ate some amazing food…and some that wasn’t so amazing.  We set and broke our own records for blended drink consumption on a daily basis.  The main highlight, however, might have been the super awkward Thanksgiving buffet hosted by the Solmar Resort.

I still want to say thank you to the Solmar for going out of their way to cater towards us chubby Americans on our (eat-your-face-off) holiday.  They put together a solid spread of typical Thanksgiving foods.  There were performers playing what was seemingly a selection of Selena’s greatest hits throughout the evening…which Lacey loved.  I think the main thing that made this dinner awkward was the fact that there were only about 6 people there to enjoy it.  The restaurant is giant, so it seemed even emptier than it probably was.  When the performers finished a song, there was definitely a shortage of claps trying to fill the silence between songs.  Lacey and I were actually kind of dressed up, while the other 6 people in the restaurant were dressed as if headed to a Cousin Eddy look-a-like contest.  There was one 85ish year old lady rockin’ a Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys jersey, so I’ll give her some credit for at least wearing sleeves to the restaurant.  If you watch the vid at the bottom of the post, you’ll get the overall vibe.   AWK-WARD

Lacey and I had fun in Cabo, no surprise there, but would likely subtract a day or 2 from the trip next time.

We left Cabo on a Saturday afternoon and headed for Phoenix to catch a Collie Buddz (reggae) concert.  I’m guessing most of you aren’t familiar with him, but he’s really special to Lacey and I.  We first discovered him years ago on our very first vacation together in Hawaii.  Fast forward to last spring when we used one of his songs as our first dance song at our wedding.  All that being said, we were both really excited to see him in concert.  …we ended up being in the very front row.  It was awesome!  Check the vid on our instagram if you wanna see me killin’ it.

All and all…this was the best Thanksgiving of my life thus far.  I couldn’t be more thankful that I have a smokin’ hot and hilarious wife to spend it with.  We hope you all had a great holiday week as well!

…I’m not sure how X-mas is going to compete with this. Ha.

Additional good news, we put this entire vacation on our Citi ThankYou card and reached the 50k bonus point offer with these expenses.  These 50k points are going to transfer to the Hilton rewards program at a 1:2 ratio.  So thanks to Cabo…we’re getting 100k more points to use for some free nights at a Hilton during our next vacation!

Lacey Airport Cabo

Cabo Airport

Lacey Grand Solmar Cabo

Lacey Cabo Beach

Mat Beach Cabo


Land's End Cabo

Land's End Cabo

Land's End Cabo

Lover's Arch Cabo

Lover's Arch Cabo


Waves Cabo



Mat Beach Cabo



Lacey Cabo Beach

Lacey Sunset Cabo

Buffet-Thanksgiving Cabo

Lacey Thanksgiving Cabo Solmar Resort



Land's End Cabo

Land's End Cabo

Stormy-Sky Cabo




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Downsizing Story

November 21, 2015

Downtown Boise Condo | Ditching Normal

Lacey and I are constantly downsizing.

We currently live (with 2 pets) in a 900 sq. ft. condo in downtown Boise, ID.  We share a small bedroom closet, we share 1 bathroom, and it works for us.  We don’t have a yard to take care of.  We never drive on the weekends because we can walk to coffee shops, restaurants, and movies.  I’m lucky enough to say that life is pretty mellow and easy for us right now.  Our lives are how we currently want them to be.  As odd as it is, I’m not sure many people can say the same thing.

With all of the initial patting ourselves on the backs aside, things weren’t always as simple for us.  Two and a half years ago we were living in a 2040 sq. ft. house with a 3 car garage and a good sized yard.  We had 3 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and a large bonus room we converted to a 2nd master bedroom upstairs (for winter).

While we owned all of this space, we would only use about 700 sq. ft. of it on a regular basis.  The rest of the house we just filled with decorations, furniture, and other completely useless bullshit.  Our heating bill in the colder months of the year would reach close to $200 a month (same with our electric bill in summer), our water bill would be well over $100 a month in summer to water the lawn we never spent time on…other than the miserable 2hrs every 2 weeks I would spend mowing it to appease the home owner’s association people.  Our monthly bills were overwhelming.

We never traveled.  We never hung out.  We never had time to enjoy our lives together.  We were always working on the house, working on the yard, working to pay for the mortgage.  There was always some sort of lingering stress stemming from this lifestyle we created for ourselves.  …this trap.

House Work | Ditching Normal

Like I mentioned in a previous post.  Lacey and I made a decision one morning at breakfast to break free from all of this stress.  We needed to rip the band aid off and start downsizing…immediately.

First things first, we needed to downsize our space.  The less space you have, the less stupid shit you’ll fill it with.  So we put that 2040 sq. ft. house up for sale immediately.

The house sold and we had to be out a week after it did, so we didn’t have any time to filter through our belongings and downsize.  Instead, I rented a giant storage unit and we just transferred ALL of our stuff into it.  Furniture, TVs, decorations, clothes, …everything.  It was insane! Our storage unit was made to store an R.V. and we had it completely filled with our junk.

Full Storage Unit | Ditching Normal

After being homeless for 5 weeks (sleeping on the floors of various family member houses) we purchased our 900 sq. ft. condo.  From our overwhelming storage unit, we carefully selected a few “must have” items for our condo and decided to get rid of everything else.  After 3 months of Craigslisting and making trips to the local Good Will and the city dump, we finally got rid of all of the meaningless material junk that had been weighing over us for years.  It was a crazy, stressful few months, but we literally threw away our stresses.  What’s a few months of stress in exchange for years of happiness?

Empty Storage Unit | Ditching Normal

Staying on top of this new lifestyle is constant process.  We could easily end up right back where we were before with a house full of junk.  We are constantly downsizing.  When we’re at stores, we now look in our basket as we’re approaching the check out counter and say “do I really need that”…and go put it back on the shelf if the answer is “no.”  For our birthdays, we buy each other non-material gifts (weekend trips/date nights/etc.).  Every couple of months, we look in our closets and drawers and pull out anything that we haven’t used in a while and get rid of it.  There’s so much cool junk in today’s world, it’s hard to stay in control of your wants VS your needs.

Stay tuned as our battle to stay downsized continues.

Downsizing| Ditching Normal


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8 Ways to Make the Gym More Fun

September 15, 2015

Gym | Ditching Normal

We get it- going to the gym doesn’t always sound like a blast. But since we are aiming to live to be super old geezers, staying healthy is important. That’s why we have come up with 8 ways to make going to the gym more fun.  While Mat and Lacey both agree on the main points below, we both share our individual perspectives on each.

1. Choose the right gym partner.  Lacey – A gym partner is not just someone that can spot you, it’s someone that can help you set and reach goals, celebrate successes, someone to attend a new class with, hold you accountable, and most importantly, to have fun with.  Mat – your gym partner can make or break your mood on any given day.  Choose someone that’s positive and upbeat.  You’re going to have days when you don’t want to be there, it’s their job to pick you up.  …as it is your job to do the same for your partner.

Gym Partners | Ditching Normal


2. Music.  Lacey – The importance of a good playlist can’t be stressed enough! For me, it’s my girl Bey and Rhi Rhi. Yes, we are on a nick-name basis. 😉 Sometimes I get a little caught up in my play list and end up dancing more than lifting, but hey, whatever works.  Mat – play what I call your “ahhh shit” music when you work out.  By that, I mean when that song comes on, you automatically go “ahhh shit, this is my jam”.  This will instantly boost your mood and energy.  For me (right now at least) it’s Old School Hip-Hop.  Funny stuff like Kris-Kross and Young MC.

Kris Kross Pandora | Ditching Normal


3. Laughter. Lacey – Especially when you do something silly like trip in the middle of the gym. Or fall on your face when going until failure on push-ups.  Mat – everybody messes up or embarrasses themselves in the gym.  I usually trip over something or bonk my head on a bar or anything hanging.  You can’t take yourself too seriously.  Laugh at yourself as much as everyone else who saw it happen is laughing at you.

Laughing at the gym | Ditching Normal

4. Try new things.  Lacey – So you hate lifting legs? Try one legged squats instead of regular squats. I promise you will be focusing so much on your balance that you will forget you hate lifting legs. Dislike cardio? Mix it up with some sprint intervals. You don’t have to do them as long as steady cardio, and it burns more fat!  Mat – agreeing with Lacey.  Whenever leg day comes around, my mission is to trick myself into thinking I’m not really doing legs.  Jump squats, box squats, clean to a front squat and other “different” leg lifts help keep my mind off how much I dislike lifting legs.

5. Give positive reinforcement to yourself and partner.   Lacey – If you notice an increase in strength in yourself or your partner, point it out! Any reason to celebrate is a good idea.  Mat – if you’re working out, you’re likely trying to make yourself more fit (whatever that may mean to you).  It’s always nice when your gym partner or significant other points out that your hard work is paying off.  With that in mind, pay others compliments when you notice how hard they’re working.

6. Engage in a little friendly competition.   Lacey – This can be with your partner or yourself. It’s always fun to win!  Mat – I’m more of a compete against myself type of person, but it never hurts to engage in some friendly ball busting with your gym partner.  Just enough to motivate each other to keep getting better.  If you know your partner could have put more effort in to their last set, don’t be afraid to call ’em a Sandbagger to let ’em know they’re better than that.

Curls | Ditching Normal

7. Be efficient.  Lacey – It’s easy to dread a two hour workout, but a 45 minute one? That’s not a big deal! A good workout can be done in 45 minutes if you super set lifts, include quick bursts of cardio between sets and keep the energy up. 45 minutes is less time than an episode of Game of Thrones, so you should have time for it.  Mat – there’s nothing worse than going to work all day and thinking about how you have another hour and a half at the gym, then a quick dinner, then bed…then repeat.  Get your workout done in 35-45mins.  Anything more than that is overkill in my books.  That way going to the gym doesn’t seem like that big a part of your day.  …an additional recommendation would be to do it in the morning.  I know, it sounds awful, but once you’re done you literally have the rest of the day to do whatever you want.

8. Candy. Lacey – Yep, you read that right, candy! I was definitely excited to include this in our gym routine. Something about glycogen levels or something. I didn’t really care, because it means I get to eat gummy bears after I’m done!  Mat – ha, going off of what Lacey wrote…yes, eating certain candies immediately following your workout will boost your glycogen levels allowing your other post workout supplements to process quicker/easier.  Lacey and I grab about 5 gummy bears each and follow it with some whey protein, glutamine, and creatine.  You can read more about this from fitness celebrity Jim Stoppani here.

Gummy Bears at the Gym | Ditching Normal

Got any other tips you’d like to add?  Feel free to drop ’em in a comment below!

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Lifestyle Reviews

Jump Creek Idaho

September 13, 2015

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Yesterday Mat and I decided to do a day date to Jump Creek, which is about an hour drive away. You have to pass through the small town of Marsing to get there, which I enjoyed because it reminds me so much of my hometown!

I had no idea this place even existed until the weekend of the 4th of July when a gentleman from Kentucky told me about it. Yes, someone who lives in Kentucky had to tell me about a waterfall in Idaho. I felt like an idiot. I’m so glad he told me about it though, because it was the perfect little day trip and actually really pretty. I think we arrived at just the right time of day, because we basically had the entire place to ourselves. Next time we will make sure to bring water shoes so we can explore a little more.

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Lacey having fun with our new Looq Selfie Stick

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Jump Creek | Ditching Normal

Ever been to this waterfall? Do you know anyone that has claimed to have jumped from the top? Let us know in a comment.

We have a few friends that claimed they did a swan dive from the top.  Mat and I are calling bs on that one.  I’m not sure you’d live to tell the story about that one.


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How we ditched our bills

September 10, 2015

Station Wagon | Ditching Normal

Three years ago, Lacey and I were sitting on a restaurant patio in downtown Boise, eating breakfast, sipping coffee, enjoying a beautiful summer morning.  What started as a simple conversation on how awesome this particular moment was, turned into a bigger discussion as to why we weren’t doing things like this more often.   That snowballed into the hour-ish long back and forth about what else we weren’t doing in our lives that we wished we were doing.

After finishing a stack of pancakes and 4 large cups of coffee, it all came down to this…we wanted to travel, see more live events, and be more social with our friends and family.  So, ok…cool.  We knew what we wanted in life (big first step).  The bigger question now was, what was stopping us from living the way we wanted?  Bills!  That’s right.  We had too many mother f***ing bills.

I’m going to tell you how we fumbled through the downsizing process, so hopefully it’s a little more efficient for  you.  Take 5 minutes and run through this checklist and you’ll more than likely find an area where you could save some dough.

A good starting point is to take a look at where you live.  Do you need all of that house?  When was the last time anyone slept in that guest room?  When was the last time anyone hung out in that yard that you hate mowing and are paying out the ass to water?  Lacey and I owned a 3 bedroom, 3 full bathroom (2040 sq ft) home with an upstairs bonus room, a front and back yard and a 3 car garage.  Not to mention our house was a 20 minute drive from downtown Boise.  And yes, you heard me right, it was JUST Lacey and I living there.  Once we snapped out of the societal brainwashing idea that “this is the type of home where people our age should be living”, we were able to identify what an incredible waste of money it was.  We sold that place as fast as we could and bought a 1 bedroom, 900 sq ft, condo in downtown Boise.  Our monthly mortgage (including utilities) went from about $1500 a month to less than $700.  Good enough right? Wrong, there was still money to be saved in other areas.

Downtown Boise Condo | Ditching Normal

yeah, our entire condo in 1 picture. ha!

Still have a cable bill?  Most people have wised up at this point with the worldwide love of Netflix taking over and all, but as of about 1 year ago, Lacey and I were still paying $120 a month for our cable bill.  That was a quick fix.  I called the cable company and cancelled that shit and signed us up for Netflix at $11 per month.  Took 10 mins to start saving over $100 a month.

Next stop, cell phone bill.  How much are you paying?  How many calls do you actually get now days?  It’s all texts now right?  Maybe that’s just me….and the rest of the world.  I was paying $93 a month to AT&T for a cell phone that I used maybe 100 minutes of talk time on per month.  For 12 years I paid this ridiculous bill.  I never stopped to think there might be a cheaper option.  Guess what? If you only need your phone to text, talk a little bit, and to hop on social media, there are cheaper options.  Virgin Mobile has unlimited talk/text plans starting at $35 a month!  That’s another $60 a month to put towards traveling with Lace.

How much are you spending on food?  Do you go out to eat a couple times a week?  Are you getting Starbucks every morning?  Do you go out drinking with friends on weekends?  This is a super obvious tip, but start cooking for yourself.  Start drinking your own coffee.  Start pre-funking at your home before you head out on the town with friends.  These small adjustments could end up saving you hundreds of dollars a month.  The next time you stop at Subway for lunch, just think of how with that $9 you’re about to spend, you could have purchased a loaf of bread and a pound of sliced deli meat at the grocery store next door.  Don’t get me wrong, Lacey and I still go out to eat and drink with friends often, but we typically eat at home and have a couple drinks at home before heading out.  This way, we’re more than satisfied with splitting an appetizer and each having A drink at dinner rather than dropping $60 on meals and drinks.  The fun part for us meeting friends out for dinner is being social, not necessarily the eating part.

Drinking | Ditching Normal

How can you travel for cheaper?  The answer is short and simple if you’re responsible financially and have decent credit.  …travel for free with credit card reward points.  Stay in hotels for free with these rewards.  Get rental cars for free.  The list goes on.  I talk a little more about how to do this in a previous post but the main idea is that you can pay your normal monthly bills with a credit card…when you reach the spending minimum to achieve the sign up bonus for that card you will receive a bunch of points that you can exchange for free travel.  This is literally the only way Lacey and I can afford to travel as often as we do.  Make sure to educate yourself on how this process works before you jump in.  A good starting point is

Grocery Shopping | Ditching Normal

spend more time grocery shopping than eating out!

That’s the basics on how Lacey and I got started saving some extra cash.  It’s been a long road to get to this point (with a long way to go) but so far these adjustments are helping us achieve the original 3 goals we set for our lives that summer morning eating breakfast.


This is the brief story of how we ditched our bills.  If you have any additional tips or stories you’d like to share, please message us or post a comment below!

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Intimate Wedding in Cabo

September 7, 2015

Wedding Ceremony Blessing | Ditching Normal

Since today marks our six month anniversary of marriage, we thought it would be a fun time to post about our wedding. After getting engaged in June 2014, we knew we didn’t want a long engagement. We also knew we didn’t want the typical, local, big wedding. We had elopement plans ranging from a house in Italy (near where we got engaged) to a rooftop in San Francisco (where we met). Lacey was really pulling for a surprise wedding disguised as an engagement party, but Mat wasn’t on board.

We decided to rent a villa for a week in the Pedregal Hills of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This was a happy medium and a good compromise for everyone. Since we were planning this wedding on a strict budget, we decided to focus on what we really cared about, and what we wanted our wedding to feel like for guests. We also wanted to make sure it was unique. Continue reading to see how we created our own, very “Lacey and Mat” wedding.

  1. We knew we wanted more more than just one night with our guests. We have been to countless weddings where we were able to talk to the bride and groom for MAYBE five minutes during the reception, but that was it. We didn’t want to feel rushed, and didn’t want our guests to feel like just one of many. That is why we chose to rent the villa for a week and have this time to spend with family and friends. We had an itinerary which invited everyone to participate as much or as a little as possible-hey, it was their vacation and they can choose how to spend it!
  2. We wanted our guests to feel included. The way we look at our relationship is that we wouldn’t be where we are now without the help and influence of those that love us; kind of like the whole “It takes a village” thing. We had our close friend marry us (which was AMAZING, by the way), we had nine people speak during the ceremony, two speak during the reception, our mothers performed the beginning of a ring blessing ceremony and Lacey’s dad wrote a prayer that he prayed over us right after our exchange of rings. Everyone also helped out a TON, including a close girlfriend that did Lacey’s hair and make up, and Mat’s sister who did all of the flowers.
  3. Focus on the ceremony. We understand most people go to a wedding for the party after the ceremony, and not the ceremony itself. Don’t get us wrong, we like to party at weddings as much as the next couple, but we always feel a little cheated when the ceremony is so quick. We wanted our guests to leave knowing they had witnessed an extremely important proclamation of commitment, and not just a party. We planned to put our energy into writing our ceremony, and then go out dancing in downtown Cabo for the “party” portion of the evening. Also, our Make the Cake party turned into a real party!
  4. Don’t make people feel obligated to come. This was the main reason we chose to not have bridal parties. We didn’t want to force anyone to be there that didn’t absolutely want to.
  5. Above all, we wanted to the ceremony to feel intimate. We were literally surrounded by the people we loved during the ceremony.  We wanted them to feel the love we shared for each other and we wanted to feel the love and support from our guests.  This is why we chose to have the chairs set up in a semi-circle around us, rather than chairs in rows facing us.

We know that this type of wedding isn’t for everyone, probably not for most, but we absolutely loved it and wouldn’t change a thing! We will forever be grateful to those that traveled to spend this time with us and help us celebrate the most important decision we have made thus far. We love you all and want to do it all over again every year!

Clara Vist Villa, Cabo San Lucas | Ditching Normal

Wedding Table Setting | Ditching Normal

Post Wedding Drink | Ditching Normal

Wedding Drinks | Ditching Normal

Mat Before Wedding | Ditching Normal

Mat Before Wedding | Ditching Normal

Laughing & Crying Wedding Ceremony | Ditching Normal

Lacey Bride Walk Out | Ditching Normal

Lacey Wedding Dress | Ditching Normal

Lacey Wedding Dress | Ditching Normal

Lacey Bride and Mom | Ditching Normal

Lacey Bride and Mom | Ditching Normal

Bride and Groom Ring exchange | Ditching Normal

Bride and Friends | Ditching Normal

Bride Wedding Dress Beach | Ditching Normal

Mat and Lacey Kiss the Bride | Ditching Normal

Wedding Invitation Cabo | Ditching Normal

Wedding Party Cabo | Ditching Normal

Mat and Lacey 1st Dance Wedding | Ditching Normal

Wedding Dinner Cabo | Ditching Normal

Wedding Dinner View Cabo | Ditching Normal

Wedding Ceremony Cabo | Ditching Normal

Wedding Ceremony Cabo | Ditching Normal


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Mat’s Water Slide Birthday Bash

September 2, 2015

Mat Water Slide | DitchingNormal

I love celebrating birthdays. Always have. I like to think of my birthday as more of a birth”week” as opposed to a birth”day”. Mat has never really been into celebrating his birthday, so this makes it difficult for me to plan anything. We also have come to realize (thanks to this eye-opening 5 Love Languages quiz) that neither one of us are big on giving or receiving material gifts, so we did away with getting each other presents for birthdays and holidays. Instead, we have decided to spend that money on vacations and experiences.

Since our birthday vacation isn’t until the end of September, I still wanted to celebrate Mat’s day of birth, and since it conveniently landed on a Friday, I wanted to celebrate the whole weekend! We found some middle ground by keeping things low key (Mat’s preference) on Friday and Saturday, and then having a larger birthday celebration on Sunday (my preference). I must get the whole celebrating-birthdays-big thing from my family because check out what my parents and I rented for the water slide birthday bash….!

There were minimal injuries, but tons of hysterical laughter from everyone. My family sure knows how to party!

Birthday Water Slide | DitchingNormal

Mat | DitchingNormal

Mat | DitchingNormal

Water Slide | DitchingNormal

Lacey | DitchingNormal

Lacey Water Slide | DitchingNormal

Lacey | DitchingNormal

Lacey | DitchingNormal

Lacey | DitchingNormal

Baby Water Slide | DitchingNormal

Birthday | DitchingNormal

Hagerman, ID Corn Field | DitchingNormal

Birthday Cake | DitchingNormal

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Outdoor Workout on the Oregon Trail

August 31, 2015

Lacey Box Jump | DitchingNormal

When the weather is perfect and you don’t want to waste the day working out in a stuffy gym, why not do an outdoor workout?  Maybe find some nice scenery for a backdrop and knock out an O.F.P. (own f***ing program).

Last weekend, Lacey and I did just that.  We grabbed our Bose blue-tooth speaker and a drawstring backpack that we filled with rocks to serve as extra resistance.

Below is a 30 min total body circuit workout we completed while overlooking Boise, ID on the Oregon Trail.

  • 2 sets- incline push-ups superset with 1 min of high knees
  • 2 sets- decline push-ups superset with 1 min of jumprope
  • 2 sets- tricep bench dips superset with 1 min of body weight squats (we added the backpack with rocks for weight)
  • 2 sets- bicep curl (with weighted backpack) superset with jump lunges
  • 2 sets- side shoulder raises (with weighted backpack) superset with 1 min of box jumps
Outdoor Workout | DitchingNormal

Check the O.F.P.

Outdoor Workout | DitchingNormal

Get the weights ready

Outdoor Workout | DitchingNormal

Crank the music & start!

Inclne Push up | DitchingNormal

Incline Push up

Inclne Push up | DitchingNormal

Incline Push Up

High Knees | DitchingNormal

High Knees

Decline Push Ups | DitchingNormal

Decline Push Up

Jump Rope | DitchingNormal

Jump Rope

Jump Rope | DitchingNormal

Jump Rope

Tricep Bench Dips | DitchingNormal

Tricep Bench Dips

Tricep Bench Dips | DitchingNormal

Tricep Bench Dips

Body Weight Squats | DitchingNormal

Body weight Squats

Body Weight Squats | DitchingNormal

Body Weight Squats (w/backpack)

Bicep Curl | DitchingNormal

Bicep Curl

Bicep Curl | DitchingNormal

Bicep Curl

Jump Lunge | DitchingNormal

Jump Lunge

Side Shoulder Raise | DitchingNormal

Side Shoulder Raise

Lacey Box Jump | DitchingNormal

Box Jumps

Outdoor Workout | DitchingNormal


Outdoor Workout | DitchingNormal


Outdoor Workout | DitchingNormal

Getting ready for the hike down

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Make the Cake Party

August 2, 2015

Make the wedding cake party in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.


Let me preface this post by giving you a little background on Mat, and me and funfetti cake. It is our favorite flavor (funfetti counts as a flavor!) of cake, and was long before we met each other. For Mat’s first birthday we celebrated together (six years ago!) I made, with help from my friend Rachel, a double-layer funfetti cake. Anytime we are asked to bring an item for a potluck, you better believe it’s either a funfetti cake or funfetti cupcakes.

When it came to picking out our wedding cake, we discussed how we usually don’t like the taste of fancy cakes, and desserts from Mexico are never sweet enough for me. We were bummed that we were going to have to spend so much money on cake that we wouldn’t even want to eat. We both wished we could have a funfetti wedding cake, but I doubt any bakeries in Mexico (or anywhere probably) specialize in a flavor that is from a box. That’s when Mat came up with the most brilliant idea-we should make our own wedding cake! Not only make it ourselves, but involve the wedding guests and make it into a party! A “Make the Cake” party.

My grandmother, who sadly wasn’t able to travel for the wedding, is known for her cooking and baking skills. She made my parents’ wedding cake as well as several other family members’. She let us borrow her cake plates, cake tiers, pastry bags and frosting tips, which made our wedding cake that much more special and sentimental!

Mat packed the boxes of cake mix and frosting in his carry on bag (which didn’t go over well with security) and we purchased the eggs and oil in Mexico. It worked out well because the kitchen in the villa had two ovens! We decided to do the baking the night before the wedding, after the rehearsal dinner. That way, wedding guests could participate in the party if they wanted. This turned out to be SO much fun, and the rowdiest party of the week!

Close up of Wedding Cake Mix

Lacey Stirring Wedding Cake Mix

Lacey Laughing Making Wedding Cake

Rachel helped me make a funfetti cake for Mat six years ago, and she helped us make our funfetti wedding cake!

Klena Sisters Baking Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake with Sea in background

Wedding Cake on table

Rachel Klena smiling with Wedding Cake

Mat and Lacey cutting wedding cake Lacey Smashing Wedding Cake in Mat's Face

  Mat and Lacey Kissing by Wedding Cake

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