"The most important covenant we prepare for is being sealed in the temple"

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weekend Wednesday: 04/28 - 04/30

Things to Do in Arizona this weekend:
This information is also available here

  • Friday (04/28) Show and Shine Car Show @MCC Red Mountain Campus 3pm-8pm
  • Saturday (04/29) Superstition Concert Series @Superstition springs mall amphitheater. This week featuring Chuck E. Baby - Rock classics   
  • Saturday (04/29) Farm Stand at True Garden 9am-1pm produce available for purchase
  • Saturday (04/29) Mesa Festival Food Trucks @Pioneer Park 5:30pm-9pm
  • Sunday (04/30) International Jazz Day @Mesa Arts Center 4pm-9pm

For the Family
  • Family Friday (04/28) at the i.d.e.a Museum intended for kids 0-8 , special event for Child development week. 9am-3pm, Admission is $8 per person or free if you are  a member there. 
  • Friday (04/28) Saguaro Blossom Walk @Usary Pass 9am-10:30am $6 per car 
  • Saturday (04/29) Broadway Bound @ Mesa Community College. Admission: $10
  • Saturday&Sunday Zap Con @ Mesa Convention Center starts at 9am. Admission $20-40
  • Sunday (04/30) Dia del Nino @phoenix zoo family event featuring DJs, mariachi bands, folkloric dancers, clowns, face painting, crafts and activities - all with a festive Latin flare! 9am-4pm. Admission $14-20
  • Sunday (04/30) Caped Crusader and Everyday Heros @i.d.e.a. Museum. 9am-4pm Admission $8

For Adults
  • Friday (04/28) Music in the Garden @ Desert Botanical Garden door open 5:30pm concert starts at 7pm. Admission $25-30 This weeks performance by: J. White & the Collective 
  • Roars and Pours at the Phoenix Zoo (Sunday 04/30)-  Guests 21 and older can sip and stroll select Zoo trails while enjoying craft brews, wine and food. Plus, animal encounters, yard games, live music, entertainment and more! Admission is $10. Event hours are 5:30pm-8:30p,
  • Take Flight in a Historic Plane @Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona (Friday 04/28- Saturday 04/29) for more information click here
  • Of Mice and Men Play @Mesa Community College (Friday 04/28) to purchase tickets click here

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Travel Tuesday: Australia part 1

Welcome to the new addition to my blog, Travel Tuesday! Eric and I love traveling so you can check back every tuesday for traveling adventures! I will do a walk through of our vacations of things we did and things we wish we would have done!
I know a lot of you have been waiting for this post for a really long time, but because we had so much fun and there are so many things to write about, I will have to break it into parts!

Our More recent adventure took us to The Land down Under... Where you feel the ocean breeze, the sand between your toes, you see wild kangaroos, all different walks of life, and you immediately wish you had planned to stay for a whole month!

It was really important to us that one of the first places we went to out of the country was Australia because Sydney is where Eric served his mission from 2011-2013 and we wanted to make sure that we went back in enough time that all the people he taught would still remember him, and they certainly did!

We had everything ready to go, we had places to stay, a rental car, and we had been planning this trip for a long while, so we felt confident in our preparations!

We left late in the evening on Christmas day, with a long nonstop flight of 18 hours from L.A. We finally made it! The sights coming in to the Sydney airport were amazing!

As you can see from the picture, we were able to see the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge! 

The Pilot came on once we landed and announced:
"Welcome to Sydney Australia, the date is December 27th and the time is 8:47am"
 Eric looked at me and said.. "Is it only the 27th???" 
(trying to plan a vacation with the time difference thing is so confusing!) 
I laughed and said "Whats wrong??"
He gave a look that said this is going to be funny but not funny! 
"We are here a day earlier then I thought!"
Long story short, our rental car wasn't ready to be picked up till the next day and we didn't have a place to stay so we found a cheap hotel that we could stay in for the night! 
We were already so exhausted from the long night of travel that all this wasn't very funny at the time but we made the most out of it and it is a good story to tell! 
One of the other things we did when we got to the airport was get a temporary sim card so we could call people while we were in Australia, and also so that we had Data so we could look up directions and places to go! 

TIP #1:SAVINGS- It is worth it to buy a sim card with data on it if you are renting a car or anything else like that! We paid $30ASD which ended up being about $22USD because the exchange rate 
was about $0.76 on the $1 (amazing!). If you rent a car you can get a GPS but they charge you $8 a day and we were there for about 12 days so it was significantly less expensive to get a sim card with data! Before coming to Australia you need to call your phone company to unlock your phone so that they will accept an international sim card

We got in a taxi from the airport and we got this middle eastern man. He asked us where we were going and when we told him he gruffed and puffed because he had already circled that way 3 times that morning. It was a great first experience with the people in Australia! 

Once we got ourselves situated in a hotel we called some families that Eric taught while he was there and one of them invited us to go to the beach! We were so tired from all the travel but we couldn't turn down an adventure. After All this was Austrilia, no time for sleeping! 

Remember how we didn't have a rental car though?? How were we going to get there??
No problem!!  Public Transportation! 

The public transportation system in new south wales is AMAZING! 
You could probably get away without a rental car because it is so good.

In order to use the public transportation system you have to have something called an Opal Card! You can get an Opal card at most gas stations, which they call "Petrol Stations".
To use the Opal card you have to load it with a minimum of $10 and half that price for kids! Children Under 4 ride free!
For more information regarding the Opal Card click Here

We made it all the way to the beach from where we were in about 25 min! Which was super good! 
The Beach we went to on the first day was called Bronte! It was a super gorgeous beach( lets be real! non of the beaches in Australia are ugly or bad!) It has a pool along side it which is super nice if you have kids because they can play in the water and enjoy their time without you worrying about them getting dragged off into the ocean! Here are some pictures of the beach and a picture of us with one of the families! (no I am not pregnant) and yes that is grass on the upper part of the beach! 

Here is the first Australian Drink I tried while we were at the beach! This particular flavor tastes like cotton candy which is not something I prefer to drink so it wasn't my favorite but this brand of soda has a lot of other flavors that I really enjoyed! 

One of the first places in Australia that we ate was this place called Naji's Charcoal Chicken & Kebabs. We ate there because it was in walking distance of our hotel and Eric couldn't stop talking about the chicken and gravy fry's because he ate a lot of that on his mission! 
Oh and I can't forget the chicken salt they use! Chicken Salt is actually pretty tasty! 

After the beach we looked up things that were going on in downtown Sydney and we saw that there was a circus going on so we hurried on the train to get down there. We unfortunately missed the circus by just a few minutes but we were in downtown already so we decided to just walk around. Downtown Sydney is a great place for walking around because it is so beautiful and you can pretty much see the ocean from wherever you stand! 

We also walked around the Royal Botanical Gardens and they are absolutely gorgeous! 
The Garden is about 72 acres so we weren't able to see a big portion of it, but I would recommend renting bikes for the day so you can get around quicker and see more! 
We at one point during our trip tried to rent bikes but we couldn't find a place that would do it same day so make sure you plan that out before you go! 
We didn't take any pictures of the garden but here are some I found from google!

When it was about dinner time we took the train back to Arncliff which was where our Hotel was and we got dinner at place called Thai Fire Wok  and took it back to our hotel! Their Pad Thai was delicious! We then called it a night! 


Monday, April 24, 2017

MONEY MONDAY: 6 tips and tricks for College students

College can sometimes be overwhelming. When I get overwhelmed I tend to not do anything until it is absolutely necessary, and then I just stress myself out even more. Here are a few tips and tricks that I felt were the most important in having a successful start at a community college.

1. Don't get yourself into debt if you don't have to. There are a lot of resources out there to help you pay for school. You can apply for FASFA which is a grant through the  government or you can apply for scholarships. The high school you go to will have resources to help you apply for scholorships, or if you are going back to school a few years after highschool the community colleges typically have a resource to help you with that as well.
If you do end up having debt, check out a company like Earnest to help refinance your student loans in order to make your payments more affordable and save you thousands.

2. Live at Home If you can.
I get it... people usually want to go to college to get away from their parents so that they don't have to be told what to do or so that they can party with their friends in their own space but so many of your friends will have their own spaces that you can crash so why not save money by living at home? you have your whole life ahead of you to pay bills, so why rush it sooner then you have to??

3. Go see a counselor at the community college so that you can make sure you are enrolling in the right classes. It is important to go see a counselor at the end of every semester so that you know what you need to take the next semester. No one wants to waste their time taking or paying for unnecessary classes.

4. There is this great website called ratemyprofessor.com where students from all over will rate their teachers and give you some information on homework or personality of the teacher, so that When you are selecting the classes you want to take, you can consider the professor you are selecting. This website saved me from crazy teachers and crazy homework schedules. For the most part I loved all my professors, and the ratings were prettt true to who they were. Don't forget to rate your professor at the end of the semester so that you can help other students pick good teachers.

5. When you enroll in a class they usually send you a list of books that you should buy,  but never do this until after you have attended your first class. Teachers change their mind about books they want to use, classes get dropped, and sometimes you can find a used book or an electronic version.

6. My final tip: which to me is the most important is make time for yourself to play and have fun. Yes, college is expensive and yes it is important to study,  but if you don't leave some time for YOU or the things you like to do, you will have a really hard time being successful. Don't spend all your time playing and not studying because that won't help you be successful either but make sure you find a good balance, and all the success will be yours!

If you found any of these tips helpful or if there is anything you think I should add, please email me at ssbbww@gmail.com and let me know, I love to hear feedback from my readers.