Monday, October 20, 2014

Why I Always Take Ziplock Baggies to Disneyland

Something random that I always make sure to pack in my bags for Disneyland is ziplock baggies.


1. Water Rides
Maybe I'm the only one, but I panic on water rides. I worry about my cell phone,pictures, the cash we happen to be carrying, and any other electronics that may be packed in our bags/pockets. It's comforting to be able to take the things that are not waterproof and put them in a ziplock bag and then focus on Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.

2. Snacks
We usually pick a hotel that has free breakfast, which means I usually try and grab a little extra and put it in a ziplock bag and throw it in the backpack. Whether it's a bagel or a muffin or fruit, it's nice to have a snack a few hours later to hold me over til lunch.

3. Keep Things From Leaking
Want to pack hand sanitizer, sunscreen or any other liquid item? We all know the feeling of lotion being blown across our entire purse and every individual content therein. The simple solution? Bag it. If you aren't gonna need it every 10 minutes just keep it in a baggy until you DO need it!

What is something you ALWAYS take with you to Disneyland?

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

A few days ago you may have read THIS POST. The mess of a blog post where I poured my heart out about my thoughts on fighting the need for excess. I talked about how I'd been thinking on the subject a lot lately and how God was guiding me. 

Last Monday on a whim, my husband and I went to the library and got ourselves library cards. I've been praying to the Lord a lot about these thoughts on excess and how I could use my feelings to change myself and in turn maybe change a little bit in this world. While browsing for books in the "religion" section I found this one... 7: an experiemental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker. No doubt, the Lord led me to this book. 


She purposefully fasts from excess in 7 ways, giving each way a month (4 weeks) to settle in and be practiced. 

1. Clothes
2. Shopping
3. Waste
4. Food
5. Possessions
6. Media
7. Stress

Each month she sets goals, reads books, talks things over with her friends, gives things away and focuses on becoming more Christlike. She talks about taking care of the poor and needy, and praying for well, just about everyone. She inspired me. 

There is so much excess in my life. So much I don't need. So much buying and spending out of sheer habit and not out of need. I probably won't become a radical Mother Teresa overnight, but this book inspired me to evaluate my spending, of money and of my time. I want to BE more like the Savior, not just attend church, and attend to my calling and "read" my scriptures every night. I want the words of the scriptures to be more than words, I want them to be avenues to my personal "ah-hah" moments where I say, "I get it now God, I totally get it." 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fighting the "Need" for Excess

I've probably been listening to the Mormon Channel's "Gospel Solutions for Families" a little too much (Is that even possible?) or maybe it's because my sister just recently had her first baby and they are adorable together, or maybe God just saw the need in my life to shake things up and call me to repentance. Whatever the case, I've been thinking a lot this past week about the kind of wife and mother I want to be.

How do I want my children to remember me? How do I want my husband to view my role as caretaker of our home and family? What can I do to ensure the well-being, financial stability, and happiness of future family?



Of course I've turned to my Heavenly Father in prayer. Asking Him to guide my thoughts, and lead me to answers. At this point, I don't remember when the idea first got planted into my head, but I started to realize... I have SO. MUCH. STUFF. And WE as a couple have SO. MUCH. STUFF.

We have so much food that lots of it goes to waste, yet our grocery bill often stays the same. I have so many clothes that I can't fit anymore in my closet, but I still shop. We have so much stuff that we can't even FIT anything else in our apartment, yet I'm still on Amazon pretty frequently wondering what I can get with my parent's Amazon Prime. So I started cutting back on our grocery bill, planning our dinners ahead of time and only buying what we need. Hello $26 grocery bills! So much better than what we have been previously spending which I won't even mention, you can just guess but it's more than double that. And I went through my closet and gave away everything that didn't fit or I wouldn't wear and vowed to buy no new clothes for a month. I could probably go a whole month without even wearing the same thing twice! Talk about spoiled. And since making that promise to myself, I've worn two tops that I haven't worn in months, and ya know what? They are still cute! I've even got a library card and have checked out a few books I've been dying to read rather than buying them brand new from Barnes & Noble.

And it's been INVIGORATING.

Maybe this has seemed like a word vomit to you, or a mess of a blog post. When I asked Heavenly Father to reveal my weaknesses in the area of excess to me, he kindly has enlightened me and broadened my view. I've realized what things I need to personally work on, and has given me so many ideas of preparing our family financially for the future. I'm excited about the changes I am making in my life, even though I know it's not easy to make permanent life style changes.

When all is said and done, I just want to be good. I want to become like my Savior. So giving, and thoughtful and kind that those who love me don't care what I wear, how my hair looks, or what car I'm driving. I want to be wealthy in the things that money can't buy, and have the money in savings we need for when things go wrong as they inevitably will. I want to be a wife and a mother who LOVES her children and husband more than shopping, more than the iPhone 6 and more than fancy furniture. THAT'S how I want to be remembered. As someone who gave her entire life up to God, and let Him help mold me into the person HE knows I can become.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith

In the most recent General Conference, Elder Andersen gave a talk titled Joseph Smith.  Man was it powerful. If you don't know who Joseph Smith is, or don't know much about this prophet, go HERE to learn more about him.

In Elder Andersen's talk he said this...

"...read the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Pearl of Great Price or in this pamphlet, now in 158 languages. You can find it online at LDS.org or with the missionaries. This is Joseph’s own testimony of what actually occurred. Read it often. Consider recording the testimony of Joseph Smith in your own voice, listening to it regularly, and sharing it with friends." 

So that's what I've done. I've recorded myself reading it & now I'm sharing it with you. And challenging you to do the same. Record it, and share it. And leave me the link so I can hear the prophet's testimony in YOUR voice too. 



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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meet The Mormons

This past Saturday night I went with my husband and family to go see Meet the Mormons. I'd been curious about it since I saw the first commercial and I'm honestly pleased and surprised to say that it actually exceeded my expectations.

Here's the trailer.


The movie ISN'T a movie chronicalling the history of our church or its restoration. It's not a documentary designed to teach you everything we believe (although occasionally there's some references). It IS a documentary showing you 6 people and how the gospel affects their lives. It shows that we don't just run away from society and avoid music, movies or dancing, (footloose anyone?) but we live normal lives. Also, the LDS church has teamed up with American Red Cross and all proceeds from the movie will be donated there!

Ever heard of David Archuleta? Well his first single since being home from his mission was designed for the movie. It's called Glorious. Click on the link to go listen, it's amazing! And you can download it for free HERE. 



Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is in THIS video describing a little more about the film although more directed at church letters. But here's what you need to know...

1. The movie is in theaters. 
Meaning you will buy tickets in the same way you always do. 
2. It is Church Produced, First Presidency commissioned.
3. It is not a proselyting effort, but rather more informative. A unique opportunity to show who we really are. 

Some tips for Church members...
1. Request it! 
If you don't have a local theater showing it, go to meetthemormons.com to request it. 
2. Share!
Share the trailer and other content, and "Like" the Facebook page.
3. Experience it.
He suggested attending opening weekend to help box office numbers, however obviously the time for opening weekend has passed. Attending it STILL helps because proceeds go to Red Cross!

I really enjoyed the movie. It made me tear up, it made me laugh, and it made me want to be a better person. If you're curious, go see it! You just might love it.



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Monday, October 13, 2014

Benefit They're Real Mascara Review

I hardly ever buy mascaras twice. Something about a brand new mascara that I have no preconceived notions about is really exciting for me. Consider it my own personal adrenaline rush! But the only mascara I've ever bought twice is Benefit's "They're Real" Mascara. 


I bought the sample size awhile ago as a splurge and once I ran out of my Mary Kay mascaras I decided to splurge with some of my personal money and get Benefit's They're Real in full size! 

The website says this about the mascara...


What it does:

This breakthrough bestseller reveals lashes you never knew you had! The specially designed brush features staggered bristles that grab close to the root, boosting length and volume beyond belief. The custom-domed tip uses precision bristles to lift, define, and curl even your tiniest lashes. With a glossy, jet-black, long-wearing formula, you’ll flaunt luxurious, silky lashes that won’t smudge, clump, or dry out. True story! 


What else you need to know:


Go horizontal! The staggered bristles grab close to the root, boosting length and volume. Then go vertical! The custom-domed tip with precision bristles lift, define, and curl even your tiniest lashes. 


___________

What I say about it?

Pros...
-Doesn't clump
-Makes my lashes look SO good
-Lengthens my lashes
-Stays on all day and doesn't smudge
-Gives lashes volume

Cons...
-It's expensive
-Incredibly hard to get off at night. I used to just use water to get my makeup off but now I use an oil free eye makeup remover and still have to put some elbow grease into it. 


It also came with the new Push Up Liner. The jury is still out on that one. I haven't been able to get the application right quite yet but I read that it takes some practice. 


Have you tried either of these products? What's your go-to mascara?






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