4/25/16

APRIL FAVORITES: An Easy Way to Save Money

Hello friends! :)

I have something really awesome to share today!
Want to know a little secret about me?
I am pretty much HORRIBLE at saving money... Normally, I eat my money away.
I LOVEE going out to eat. I love trying new foods, and I love eating old favorites.
(With the wedding and everything, I've been a lot better, but still. Food is my favorite.)
Anyways, I found out about this app and I'm OBSESSED.
It's called Qapital
I've been able to save 136 dollars since March 23rd.
The best part?
I didn't even know that money was gone!

So basically it is an app that allows you to create "rules" to save money. 
You can create multiple goals and have different amounts allocated to each goal.
That's something that I personally love because with my regular savings account, it's all clumped into one amount. This is nice because I can see how much progress I've made towards each individual goal.

The goal I am working on right now is saving $1000 for travel.
Hunter and I are wanting to do a lot of exploring before he applies/gets into medical school. 
We would love to go back to where he served his LDS mission: BRAZIL! 
I am also going to start saving towards smaller goals like a pair of LuLu workout pants
(Feedback or reviews on them? I've heard great things, but $100 for some pants is definitely not my cup of tea!)

So first of all. It's really safe. You can set another passcode or password to get into the app, so say your phone gets stolen, it would require another password before getting in. I used my TouchID, so that my fingerprint unlocks it. 


Once you're in, you will see two tabs at the top, "Goals" and "Rules". You can set multiple "rules" for each account. The two I have are the Round-Up rule and Set&Forget. The round up rule rounds each purchase you make with your debit card to a specific amount. I have it set to 2 dollars, so it will round it up to the nearest 2 dollar increment. If I spent $1.50 on a candy bar, it would send the extra 50 cents to my Qapital account. If I spent 21 dollars, it would send 1 dollar to my Qapital account. You can set it for whatever you want, I figured 2 dollars was good because I wouldn't miss it. The second rule I set is Set&Forget. It's really as simple as it sounds. I set it to send 10 dollars every week from my Chase account to my Qapital account. 10 dollars is the cost of a Chipotle lunch, so I figured I could spare that ;)

What I love about it is that it's so easy and I don't notice that the money is gone! A few quarters here and there isn't a big deal to me. I think of it as putting my loose change in a jar, except with this it's a debit card and Qapital account. You can transfer money manually too, so say you want to do a large lump sum, and it's really easy to transfer the money you've saved back to your account too. 

Last thing, you can get  $10 ($5) for free, (they recently changed it to five dollars!) just by signing up using this link, and transferring some money over. How awesome is that?! I had sweet Hunter do this, and now he's saved up almost $50 dollars towards his goal (a TV for our new place!) and I got $10 dollars too because he signed up! A few of my siblings are using this app as well. I seriously LOVE this app. It makes saving money mindless, which is exactly what I need. There are other cool rules in there too. You can say you will spend $50 dollars for groceries for the week, if you spend less, the "extra" money goes into your Qapital account. You can even connect it to Apple Health, so that when you meet your fitness goals, you save money! Joint goals is also fun too. If you and your husband are both saving for something, you can check each other's progress and celebrate your milestones together.

Seriously, try it and tell me what you think! If anything, you can download it, get 10 bucks, then delete the app. ;) That's what my initial plan was, but I love it too much to get rid of it. I am hoping in just a few short months, I will have met our travel goal! It'll be sooo nice not worrying about spending money while on trips. The fact that it's a completely separate account will make it feel like I haven't spent anything ;) 

Well, that's all for today! 

P.S. I am not being paid to write this blog post (although I totally should be getting paid for it!) I just really love this app that much!  In the future, I'd love to get into that, but for now, my favorites section of my blog is all sponsor free. I just like sharing things that I love! I can't even believe I've saved over 130 dollars in 4 weeks and haven't noticed at all!  YAY! I hope this app can help you achieve some of your goals too. Let me know if you try it and what you think!

love always,
erica kay

4/14/16

The Engagement

As most of you know, I went to France with Hunter and his family about a month 6 months ago! (How has it been that long?! I seriously have had this post saved in my drafts for like half of a year. AHH!)
It was the best trip ever! :)

Prior to this vacation, the farthest east I had ever been was Arizona (I know, don't judge...) Now I can say I've been to Pennsylvania (stopped in Philly for a layover and explored!), and I've touched down in Minnesota and North Carolina. Oh and duh, FRANCEEEE. :)

Here's a little of what we did! There is SOO much to say, so I'll make it simple and list them! 

-Saw the Liberty Bell and Independence hall

-Had philly cheese steaks in Philly

-Went up the Eiffel Tower and ate macarons

-Saw the Notre Dame
-Went to church in Paris
-Explored gorgeous castles
-Ate crepes, baguettes, cheese, and croissants (THE BEST THINGS EVER!!)
-Saw amazing art work in the Louvre
-Saw more artwork in the Musee d'Orsay
-Ate Kebabs, panininis, steak and fries, and other delicious food
-Went to the cutest macaron store... seriously (Laduree)
-Saw the Eiffel tower sparkle at night
-Toured old churches
-Walked around the Luxembourg gardens! 
-Shopped
-Fell in love with the cutest stationary store
-Rode bikes around Paris
-Was amazed by the fancy McDonald's (they have touchscreen ordering?!)
-Went to Versailles
-Ate at the cutest French cafe
-GOT ENGAGED! <-- That was my favorite part;)

I seriously loved that trip. It will forever be one of my favorites! I left with a boyfriend and came back with a fiance. Can't complain there! Now here are some pictures! 
Just have to show off this bad boy first ;)


Now to the good stuff... ;)
Rewind to August, Hunter was planning on proposing before the semester started... BUT I totally found out how he was going to propose. Completely by accident! Hunter was on the phone with a friend and it was on speaker, and then this friend (not knowing I was sitting right next to him) started talking about Hunter's idea. My jaw drop and Hunter turned SO red. I felt really bad, and was kind of sad because I knew Hunter wasn't going to propose anytime soon, and I knew he had the ring! So weeks and weeks go by and I'm DYING. Like 80 people got engaged that month so I was sooo impatient. I seriously bugged Hunter about it a million times. If I wasn't so cute, he'd probably be so annoyed with me that he wouldn't propose at all, just because;)

Well then October comes and we're going to France with his family. I'm like hmm, I wonder if he'll do it then! But I also know Hunter and I know he's pretty private and probably wouldn't want his family around or anyone else. He's not really a center-of-attention kind of person. BUT I told Hunter a million times that I wanted it recorded so I could make a cute  video, show my family, and watch it over and over, and eventually show our children (many many years down the road). So I knew someone had to be there. There were SEVERAL times where Hunter would get down on his knee, and would end up tying his shoe or picking something up. I had no idea if he knew he was doing this, or if he had no idea. (After he proposed, I asked him and he totally did it on purpose, just to mess with me! What a punk...) Anyways, so I thought it might happen lots and lots of times. I had a feeling it would happen while we were there because shady stuff kept happening. I'd turn around and see his mom talking to the guards, or his little brother would pull me aside to show me something on his phone, or his mom would tell Hunter's dad to take me somewhere. So, yeah. Just lots of weird little things kept happening! We went up the Eiffel Tower, we walked around Notre Dame, we went back to the Eiffel Tower at night to see it light up and sparkle, and still NOTHING. 

So the last day of the trip came before we were leaving ( October 14th) and we were going to Versailles. I was pretty overwhelmed by the whole thing because tourists are the worst ha. Yes, I realize we were tourists too, but we weren't the annoying ones that would stand in the same spot for 15 minutes taking pictures of a chair. So we get done with the tour and decided to walk around the gardens. We were with Hunter's mom, dad, and little brother, and then Hunter said, "Hey, let's go explore!" So I was like okayyy. We didn't have a ton of alone time the whole trip, so I just figured he really did want to look around, plus my requirement of the video meant he wouldn't propose because his family wouldn't be there! So we're walking around in this little maze garden, and it's really beautiful and there are cute benches and fences. There was one really pretty fence so I told Hunter to go stand in front of it and I would take a picture of him! Well then he says something like, "Why don't you take a picture of this?" and spins around and ends up on one knee right in front of my camera (all within like a second)! My jaw dropped and I snapped a picture all at the same time, so now I have the cutest picture of Hunter on his knee with the ring in his hand, smiling bigger than I've ever seen! Of course, I said yes, and hugged him and kissed him. The crazy thing is that in France there are people EVERYWHERE, but for those like 5 minutes, there was not one person walking around, or one noise! It felt like we were the only people in the entire garden, like the world completely stood still. It was awesome and amazing and so happy! Like 5 minutes later, there comes Hunter's family, taking pictures and smiling. Then I started tearing up because I was happy, and then his parents took some pictures of us in that spot. Apparently they had been following us, but got lost with all the lefts and rights and different paths. 

Hunter, of course, is a private person and wanted our proposal to be private too and it was an absolutely perfect moment the both of us shared and will remember forever. Sadly, I don't have a video, but I do have a picture, and memories that I will never forget! Right after that, we went to celebrate our engagement at the cutest cafe in the Gardens of Versailles. I seriously couldn't eat anything. I was so happy, and shocked, I just had no appetite (which never happens). Later that day, we ended up riding bikes around Paris, and it was soo much fun. It was the perfect ending to the perfect trip, and the best beginning to a life together forever! 


I can't believe that it's already been 6 months since Hunter proposed. I also can't believe that we get married in 50 days! I have been soooo blessed with such a sweet best friend --> boyfriend --> fiance --> and soon husband. He really is the best, and I can't wait to be sealed to him forever.

Whew! That felt good. FINALLY got this post out there. Only took me 6 months. ;) 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

love always,
erica kay

4/13/16

Changes & Countdowns

Life has just been too exciting over here! 
SOOO much has happened lately.
I am truly blessed. 
Heavenly Father has just been pouring out the blessings.

Here's a little run down of what's been going on lately:
(I'll get into details in a future post)

+we found a place to live
+i got a new job
+my wedding dress is almost done!
+the bridal shower is in THREE days
+i just finished my last group project
+i took my senior pictures
+graduation is in ONE MONTH
+I GET MARRIED IN 51 DAYS
^^ that last one is my favorite

Ohhh, & the blog is getting updated!
It's been great being @lilwu17
but now I'm upgrading ;)

The blog is now going to be found at:
jumpinthroughhoopes.blogspot.com
(no "g" in jumping!)

In this life, there are  absolutely amazing times, and  really really tough times.
I am just SO grateful that I get to experience it all with my best friend. 
We will continue to jump through these "Hoopes" together :)
I will continue to write about our lives, our thoughts, and even a bit about our struggles.

In my little part of the internet, you can find information on:
family - faith - food - fun and much more!
Sometime soon I'll be posting about an easy way to save money.

Stay tuned! :)

love always,
erica kay