salt lake gems

five things to do when it’s 25 degrees outside.

ugh, winter. my eternal, soulless nemesis that i’ve evaded for many, many years. we meet again.

i managed to avoid winter basically altogether last year, which was my first winter in salt lake city. it was one of the warmest dec-april’s utah had ever seen {think in the 50’s almost every day} and i spent most of december in california anyway. it snowed like, twice and didn’t even stick. it was like utah was welcoming  this california girl with warm, open arms.

fast forward to 2015: two weeks ago we had a horrific storm. it snowed for nearly 24 hours and dropped between 8-10 inches of the powdery poison. i was devastated and came to the  stomach-wrenching realization that i might have to endure a real utah winter. it’s been in the 20’s basically every day since.

i am very, very lucky to have this entire week off and am expected to relax, decompress and recharge. {have i mentioned how much i love my job?!} but with the weather haunting my every step, i am basically stuck inside my 600 square foot apartment for the duration of {well, the winter} but more importantly, this week.

that said, i’ve compiled my list of top 5 things to do when the weather is trying to ruin your life.

#1: clean the apartment. 

lol, i actually loathe housework {my mormon upbringing tends to seep into only certain aspects of my existence}. but our apartment is very small and we have a lot of stuff. when two millenials over 25 get married, there is two of the latest and greatest of everything and neither of you wants to get rid of your fancy mattress. we have things stuffed into every nook and cranny of this place, meaning that when like, three things are on the floor, it appears to be a disaster. and though i would never in a million years call myself ‘tidy,’ i feel out of control when the apartment is messy.

#2: read a book.

i have joined a book club! this month’s book is ‘girl on the train,’ and i am so excited to dive in to it makes me feel cultured and grown up that i read books and discuss them with other people.

this is also a good thing to do when you finish a season or two of ‘law and order: svu’ and need a little pick me up because you think there’s no good in the world anymore. or when you get to the last season before elliot stabler leaves and you’re like, is life worth living?

i also recently finished mindy kaling’s, ‘why not me?’ which i devoured in 24 hours. i should really write a book review blog post. look for that later.

#3: go to bar method. 

okay, so this involves actually going outside {woof} but only for a short period of time. like, from the house to the car, from the car to the studio.

i started bar method about four weeks ago and am totally obsessed. i tried pure barre once in san francisco, but was horrified at how expensive it was {$225 a month!}. i won a gift card at work for a month of classes here in salt lake city, and decided to finally try it out.

much like spin class, i want to die the entire time, but after it’s done, i feel great! bar method combines movements from a lot of different genres, including yoga, dance, pilates and strength training. it’s an hour of small, isometric muscle movement that focus on your arms, abs, glutes and thighs, and uses props such as a ballet bar, small rubber ball, weights, mats and straps for stretching.

since i grew up doing ballet some of the movements seemed odd, but after a while i realized it serves a totally different purpose , so i threw my prima ballerina notions out the window. it also often emphasizes a straight leg above all else, which was counterintuitive to me, since  yoga lets you bend your leg depending on your flexibility, as long as you are deep into a position. i’m so glad i went into it with an open mind though, because i already feel stronger in my core muscles, and matt even noticed my arms are more defined! {well, after i pointed it out and made him feel my tricep, but whatever.}

i also go 3-5 times a week, which is more than i’ve ever been able to make it to the gym. the instructors know everyone’s name, and are very personal during class. it’s clean and all the ladies are nice and friendly.

i will say, it’s a bit expensive at $125 a month. matt, being his usual perfect self, agreed to three more months a christmas gift. i think i convinced him because it’s a type of working out i actually enjoy and feel like i’m already seeing results. i honestly love it!

#4: make a budget.

aye yi yi. i’ve never been great at managing money. i graduated college like most of the class of 2011, with a lot of student loans. i then moved to one of the most expensive cities in the world and lived in a nice area for nearly 3 years. like, hi. it’s been hard to get ahead. and, like my mom always said, ‘it’s hard to manage your money when you barely have any.’

but, with marriage comes a new set of interesting life twists: double the income. matt was much smarter than i and graduated with almost no student loans and so now we get to do what i’ve never done: save.

we have a lot of things to put money away for, like our rainy day/emergency fund, downpayment on a house, hospital bills for when kids come along, etc. it’s so much easier to save when you have someone to keep you accountable and when you have a common goal. yah, i mean some weeks i’m all: we have $100 to last us until payday, can we do that? so it feels a little like college, but we get creative.

anyway, the only way we make it work is to create a budget. which i am ironically in charge of. i keep us {mostly} on track, but i do have to keep refiguring and re-adjusting things based on what we need and {actually} spend.

#5. binge-watch netflix. 

i mean, duh.

so there you have it, my list of things to do when you’re cooped up but feeing productive. you always, of course, have the option of doing #5 all day err’y day until you’re in a ‘jane the virgin’ coma and hear a tela novella star narrating your entire existence, but alas, the winter will pass and what will you have to show for it?

now, if you’ll excuse me, season 14 of law and order is next up on my netflix queue.





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