Saturday, January 31, 2009


A weird little fact about me is that I typically do not like cake {unless it was made by the lady who did our wedding cake, or if it's ice cream cake}...BUT I do love cupcakes. I think most of it has to do with the fact that cupcakes are just so cute!

Yesterday, I made some mint-chocolate cupcakes {pictured above.} It was so much fun...and pretty yummy. I do believe that mint and chocolate are two of the best combinations on this planet.

I have Martha Stewart to thank for this yummy cupcake recipe, which can be found here. If you like to bake, please do try this recipe. I believe that you will not be disappointed. Oh, and I made a slight alteration to the recipe...instead of making the mint leaves, I crumbled up some Andes mints for garnish. YUM!

This was my first attempt at making cupcakes. And I do plan on trying many more cupcake recipes in the near future.

With love,


Friday, January 23, 2009

the love of letters.

Recently I have had the increasing desire to buy some pretty stationery, stock up on stamps, and write letters.

To me, writing a friendly letter "just because" is one of the most thoughtful gestures from one person to another. It means that someone took the time to sit down, pick up a pen, and hand write a message to you...because they were thinking of you.

Sure, I love emails and Facebook messages and comments...but there's just something magical about the handwritten letter.

Anytime I receive something in the mail that is not a bill or junk mail, my heart swells with happiness. I can't help but smile! {And receiving an envelope that contains both a letter and, now that is a real treat!} I am also a letter saver. I put the special ones in a little blue box to look through every few years and smile at the memories.

I want to write more letters. {And if I happen to receive one in return, I would not protest.} I think that would be greatly enjoyable.

What about you, my friends? Do you enjoy receiving letters or would you just as well stick with email and other forms of electronic communication? Who do you love to write letters to?

And are any of you quite as obsessed with stationery as I am? Because really, if I had endless funds for my letter writing urges, I would buy these, this, and those, and oh-so-many-more.

P.S. Just found all of these wonderful sets of stationery. Oh-so-pretty.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

television smellyvision.

Television and I have a love/hate relationship. I love many of the shows that television brings us, and yet I hate how TV often causes one to get sucked into a zombie like state of being and become numb to the world {maybe that's a slight exaggeration...but only slight.}

This, thankfully, hasn't really been much of a problem for husband and I during our year-and-a-half of marriage. Mainly due to the fact that, well, we haven't had cable {until just recently due to an amazing bill reducing negotiation by husby.} We've watched movies on occasion and caught our favoritist shows on hulu, but there has never really been any channel surfing in the Zajas household.

But still, even with only watching our favoritist shows...those shows tend to add up in time. Once you add Heroes, Fringe, LOST, The Office and 30 Rock, there goes 4 precious hours of our week {16 hours a month, 208 hours a year...which is over a WEEK of television a year!}

Just recently we came to the decision that because of the super busy semester {super busy, but filled with super good things} that husband has...our time together is not to be wasted. So, we came to the conclusion that we would choose our two MOST favoritist shows {and watch them online during the weekend}...and then save the rest to watch sometime this summer if we really want to.

Now that we've made this decision, it really has made our week easier. We don't feel like we have to sit down and watch a show just because a new episode comes on. And we are able to spend more quality time together, not just sitting together on a couch.

I know you must be dying to know...which two shows deemed great enough to be our MOST favoritist shows?


The Office and 30 Rock.

Because the laughter that Michael Scott and Kenneth the Page bring to us is just so wonderful.

So, friends...I am curious. What ways do you try to control your television intake? And what are your MOST favoritist shows?

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” -Groucho Marx

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

lowering the bills.

As much as I would love to have piles of cash. I don't. So nothing makes me happier than lowering my expenses even if it's just a little bit. Well, that's not true but it makes me happy. Really happy.

Like the other day when I saved $10 a month on my internet bill. Yes, just $10. I know, I know... it's not that much but every little bit helps! $120 over the course of a year is nothing to sneeze at. That's Netflix for a whole year (2 years for us on the $5 plan), or gas or utilities for a whole month (well, almost).

It gets better though, in addition to shaving $10 a month off my internet-only cable bill I added basic cable and was upgraded from their 5Mbit to their 10Mbit connection speed. Super.

And all I had to do was ask. Yes, ask! I called and asked the nice lady on the other end of the phone what I could do to lower my bill.

So here's a challenge for you, try calling one of your service company's that you have a regular bill with (cell phone, cable, insurance, etc, etc) and just simply ask them what you can do to lower your bill.

I'd suggest reading these blog posts before making any calls, they inspired me to try this and they offer some good guidelines to go by when talking with your service providers.

Reduce Your Bills by Just Asking
Optimize your cellphone bill

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

meet max.

Meet Thelonious Maximus Zajas {a.k.a. Max, Maxo, Maxi, Maxikinz, Maxarooni, pupski, buddy, and little punk.} He is our {almost} 10 month old mini dachshund. We love him lots. Who couldn't love a face like that?

Just recently he had to make an unfortunate {for him} overnight trip to the vet to get neutered. You will be happy to hear that he is recovering well. The first couple days he was home, I have to admit that I babied him slightly more than normal. I just felt so bad for him.

Max is our little buddy. When we work from home, he is always wanting to be in our laps {speaking of which, he's in my lap as I am typing this.} When we are eating at the dinner table, he sits right next to us waiting patiently to get his food after we finish. When we watch a movie, he is always right between us. His favorite toy is a Chick-Fil-A stuffed cow. He loves broccoli {especially when it's frozen.} He is very smart and always curious. Very perceptive of emotions...he gets upset when he knows something is wrong. He gives classic puppy dog eyes that are near impossible to resist. He loves to make new friends, especially when we go on walks...and I'm pretty sure his feelings get hurt if someone walks by without saying hi to him.

We love our little Maximus.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

baby it's cold outside.

I have this philosophy that once the Christmas season has come and gone, Spring should come. I love the cold during the holiday season...bundling up, drinking hot cocoa, dreaming of a White Christmas {dreaming being the key word here}, etc., etc. But now that it is mid-January I say, "Bring on the sunshine and flowers!"

Recently is has been surprisingly cold {tomorrow is supposed to get down to eleven degrees} for my dear Tenn-er-ssee. So cold, in fact, that all of the public schools are being shut down tomorrow! Unbelievable, I say.

Yes, you northerners {my dear friends and family up in Maine} may be thinking "HA, you think it's cold down there? You should feel how cold it is up here!" And, I know I know...I really have no place to talk about the cold in comparison to you guys.

But, at least you have white fluffy snow to go along with your cold {feel free to send some down here, by the way.}

Well, the good thing is...even though it is bitter cold here in the south {this is the south, right? HA! I'll believe it when I see it.} It will make me appreciate my precious warm springtime once it has arrived.

And yes, even though it is c-c-c-cold outside...I sure did order a frozen caramel frappuccino at Starbucks today. The barista exclaimed "Are you crazy?! Do you realize how cold it is outside?!" when he took my order.

Bundle up, my friends.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the first date.

day is Jonathan and my "three-years-since-we-started-dating" anniversary. In so many ways, it is hard to believe that: 1. It has been 3 years already {time has flown!} 2. It has only been 3 years {I feel like I have known that wonderful man for my whole life...and can't imagine a time when I didn't have him in my world.} Isn't time weird like that? It can seem both short and long at the same time.

In this post I promised to share the story of our first date at some
point, so what better time to do that than the third year anniversary of that first date {which took place on January 14th, 2006}?

To best tell this story, here is an excerpt from my diary at that time {never thought I would put pieces of my diary up on th
e internet for all the world to see...but here goes!} :)

January 15th, 2006

**The words in brackets "{ }" are my real-time commentary on that special night.

"Wow...Last night I went on the best date that I have ever been on.

Jonathan Zajas picked me up at 5:30 at Nora Chambers {the dorm at Lee that most of my girl friends lived in} and we drove to Chattanooga. We
went to Olive Garden {my absolute favorite restaurant at the time} and there was an hour and a half wait, so we put our name down and went across the street to the guitar store. This place was covered with guitars...from floor to ceiling. we wandered through the aisles and Jonathan told me all about the different kinds of guitars. We then went into this room filled with acoustic guitars...and Jonathan sat down to play a few songs for me to hear (he was really good!) After we left the guitar store, we went back to Olive Garden and after a half hour wait, we were seated.

The dinner was fantastic...salad and bread sticks with the good dipping sauce {mmmm....Alfredo}...I got the stuffed shells with sausage {which
they don't serve at Olive Garden anymore, and it makes my heart sad} and Jonathan got the eggplant parmesan {which I thought was quite an interesting choice.} We got the raspberry cheesecake for dessert and, oh, was it good! Mmmmm! {he went all out for this.}

After dinner, we were sitting there waiting for--well, nothing really, because the waitress had already taken care of our bill. We sat there in silence for a few moments (I knew there was something that he was waiting to say)...I fidgeted with my straw and stirred the ice around in my empty glass {I had a major case of the butterflies.}

Jonathan then asked me 'How would you feel about pursuing a relationship beyond just friendship?' I smiled and said, 'I'd like that.' {on the inside I was saying 'YES! Absolutely, YES!'} He went on to tell me how he hasn't dated since he was 16, because he believed in dating with a purpose...and that purpose being marriage. He said 'Now, I don't want you to freak out or anything...I'm not asking you to marry me, but I'm asking you to join with me to discover if that is God's purpose for us or not.' He said that he wants to pursue this relationship wisely...he doesn't want to hurt me and vice versa. He said that he wants to pursue this relationship in a way that if we are not meant to be together, we can walk away from it with a positive outlook and say 'That was good.' now...Jonathan and I are dating. {and now we're married...woo hoo!} I have never dated a guy with as much maturity and integrity as he has. I am blessed.

After we left the restaurant, we went ot Barnes & Noble {which is still one of our favorite date spots. It holds special memories for us} and got some coffee at the Starbucks there {he had me order for him, because he wasn't much of a coffee drinker...boy, that has changed since he's known me.}

We walked around the bookstore with coffees in hand...and we looked at the different types of books that we like. He took me to the computer section and tried to show me some of what he does at work. Then, we looked through the Christian section--talked about what books we've read and what books we want to read. {we also went through the theatre section and I pulled out some of my favorite plays.}

It was a perfect first date. {Absolutely} Perfect."

And it was the perfect last first date of our lives.

Happy "three-years-since-we-started-dating" anniversary, husband. I love you more and more each day. Always and forever.

{the pict
ures shown are from our first few months of dating.}

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

on becoming bookworms.

One of our new favorite things to do lately is to read in bed before we fall asleep and chat about our books or magazines. This, we must say, is quite wonderful.

outtake from day twelve.

{like our "candid" reading shot?}

::Tiffany:: I'm reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. I just started this book and am only at the end of the fourth chapter...but this book is SO good so far. Really really good. I have been hearing great things about The Shack for months now, and my boss recently let me borrow it. I can't wait to see where the rest of the book goes. I'll keep you posted.

::Jonathan:: And I am reading Praise Habit by David Crowder (better known for his band, err... *ahem* David Crowder Band, obviously). I'm just barely into this book but so far it's proven quite the interesting ride. Crowder has plenty of good insights to offer in the midst of his carefully calculated bursts of bunny trails and tangents. I say carefully calculated because he gets you starting to think "how does this relate to anything?!?!" and then all of a sudden he'll pull it together into what he's trying to communicate. Interesting stuff to say the least.

12/365:: bookworms


So tell us, what books are you reading now?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

mysterious ticking noise.

hahahahaha...I just can't get enough of this. Really, I can watch it over and over and still laugh until my sides hurts. It just doesn't get old.

Just one more reason to love Harry Potter.

Although, I have an odd feeling that husband doesn't love this quite as much as I do. Especially after I've played it multiple times in a row. :)

once upon a time...

Once upon a time, there lived a little boy and a little girl. The little boy and the little girl lived far far away from each other in distant lands {for this story's sake, we shall call the lands Texas and Maine.}

The little boy's name was Jonathan Grant. Jonathan Grant was a spunky little boy with big hazel eyes and dreams of being a carpenter like his grandfather.

The little girl went by the name of Tiffany Michelle. Tiffany Michelle was a girly girl who loved to dress-up in twirly skirts, play with tonka trucks, and had high hopes of one day becoming a farmer and owning the modern day Noah's ark.

As Jonathan Grant and Tiffany Michelle grew up in their adventurous ways, little did they know that one day their paths would cross and together they would embark on the most wonderful adventure of all.

When the time came for the little boy and little girl {who were not quite so little anymore} to go away to pursue their studies, they both chose to go to Lee University in the land of Tenn-er-ssee. There, they made friends of all sorts, learned about fun things {him: music her: theatre}, and became fans of Paul Conn.

On the night of the very last day of finals for the Fall '05 semester, Jonathan Grant and Tiffany Michelle met through mutual friends {shout out to Kristen and Russell.} On this monumental night, Jonathan and Tiffany got to know each other through activities with friends that included Steak'n Shake and the midnight premiere of King Kong {which they sneakily made sure they sat next to each other} at the sticky theatre {their affectionate name for the local cheap theater, which is no longer in business. R.I.P. to the beloved sticky theater.}

That night was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

During that Christmas, Jonathan Grant and Tiffany Michelle chatted online through Facebook and AIM a lot. A lot, meaning every single day except for a few minor exceptions. During this time of getting to know each other, they discovered they had a lot in common: their love of Jesus, heart for ministry, dislike of drunkenness, artsy ways, The Princess Bride, and more.

When the little boy and little, I mean...the college-aged boy and the college-aged girl arrived back to school for the Spring semester, it was evident that there was something between them. For that first week back, they hung out with their now mutual friends every night.

And on the Saturday of that week, Jonathan Grant took Tiffany Michelle on her very last first date ever {and that, my friends, is another story for another storytime.}

And fifteen months later, Jonathan Grant created the most wonderful and romantic proposal and got down on one knee and asked Tiffany Michelle to share to be his wife...{Tiffany Michelle: YES, YES, YES!}

On July 28th, 2007 Jonathan Grant and Tiffany Zajas committed their lives to one another...which was the beginning of their most wonderful adventure yet.

and they shall call it blog.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...friends, family, countrymen.
Let it be known throughout the land that the Mr. and Mrs. Zajas
have created a place to chronicle their adventures.
And they shall call it blog.

{Some may be skeptical as to our ability to update said blog. But let me assure you, we do not take this mission lightly.}