2016 Worldwide Indexing Event - Join Me!

In junior high/high school I was really into Indexing. Every Sunday I'd log on to the internet (Insert wee oohh weee ooohh noises here), download a batch, log off the internet, complete the batch, log back on (wee oohhh wee ohh) and upload them to FamilySearch. I LOVED it. It was easy and pretty fun, and any type of service just makes you feel good inside. 

That's why FamilySearch decided to try and break a record this year! From July 15-17th, FamilySearch International is sponsoring their 3rd annual "Worldwide Indexing Event" to try to bring 72,000 indexers in 72 hours online to index the world's records and make them available online. 

That's what Indexing is. So my Marriage License/Record would be filed somewhere in Salt Lake since that is where I was married. Say this was 1890 and there wasn't a computer to store the file on, they kept PAPER records of every marriage. Now, FamilySearch has photos of the paper records, and WE are looking at them, reading the information and typing it out so it is in a searchable document so others can find their ancestors. SO COOL. Other types of records are available too, like birth and death certificates, draft records, Census documents, etc. 


If you'd like to join me, click HERE and enter your email to receive some reminders about the event. Invite your friends over, grab some Swig sugar cookies and make it a night to remember by Indexing an entire batch, which usually takes less than a hour. It's the easiest way to assist in Family History work, and also one of the funnest ways.

Let me know if you're going to join, and we can meet up and do it together! Let's break some records!



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You Can Do Good Right Where You Are

I've been in a writing rut lately. I haven't really blogged or journaled anything super meaningful in awhile. I think it's because I've been trying to write this post but I didn't know how. Prepare yourself for this post, it's a long one. And please, read all the way to the end. It has a happy ending ;)

My life is a hot mess right now. In January I quit a really frustrating job to go be a 4th grade teachers aide which I have loved even despite its own challenges. I took a $3/hr pay cut and took 29 hours instead of 40. In February, husband was on the brink of losing his job so I took on a 2nd job working for Albion Apparel in their shipping department. In March he was offered a position at the same company in a different department, much more stability and a boss who loves him. But the pay was cut by almost 40%. It it worth it while he finishes school (November can't come fast enough!) but it's been tough for sure. In April we finished my home salon, business license and all, and I have really enjoyed starting to take hair appointments again. 


And despite all the changes and challenges, we have been really, really happy. And really, really blessed. But I've been in a rut. An emotional, spiritual rut.

I feel stuck. I couldn't quit any of my jobs, even if I wanted to, because for the first time in our married life, my income is necessary. (we skipped the poor college student phase as newlyweds, so I've been joking that our time had finally come.) I've also joked that I am not cut out to work full time, because between my two jobs I was barely working over 40 hours a week and it was taking a toll on me. My anxiety/stress levels were operating at their highest levels and melt-downs became a weekly issue instead of monthly/bi-monthly.

And guess what else? I'm ready to be a stay at home mom. So ready. It hit us like a lightning bolt back in December and we both wanted a baby. We are both ready for that phase in our life and so excited, but it isn't here yet. And we aren't pregnant. And that is hard. I can't imagine doing this for years and years. Wondering if on Day 39 of my cycle I'll start my period or test HCG +. My cycles are crazy and they always have been, so what if we can't even get pregnant? What if. What if. What if. 

In almost every aspect of my life I feel like I don't quite fit in. We are the youngest couple in our home ward and have no children. I'm not super skinny and fit and super-model-esque like the girls I work with. I'm the youngest teachers aide at the elementary school. I'm the youngest in our group of friends. I haven't really had my own gang of friends since high school/college and I left them all behind in Logan to get married. Why do I have to be so different? Why don't I have the magnetic personality of my brother in law? Why don't I have the gorgeous hair and body like my co-worker? Why don't I have 2 children by now like my fellow YW leaders? Why did I drop out of college to go to hair school when I will never make a lot of money doing it? How did I gain 40 pounds after marriage and why is it so hard to lose it when I'm doing everything right and working my butt off at Yogalaties!?

My life for the past few months has been surviving one day at a time. 4th grade is out for the summer which means I'm only working one job right now, but I kicked up my hours at my second job and left open two days a week for hair appointments. After a melt-down over my new summer hours, and a weekend of praying, pondering, relaxing in Ledgefork campground near Kamas, UT, I asked Colten for a blessing of comfort and counsel. 

I won't quote the blessing word for word (though I wish I could because it was incredible!), but I will share one thing. In the blessing, my Heavenly Father told me that he knows the challenges I am facing, but that He made me UNIQUE. He has made me different than a lot of people for specific reasons. He told me that I will influence those around me as I strive to share goodness. I am unique and important in HIS plan. He wants to recognize the good I can do in the phase of life I am in. I matter to HIM. And this is not verbatim, but He basically told me to get off my butt and begin doing the things I know I should be doing so that I can have His spirit with me at all times. 

Oh. my. lanta. A breath of fresh air. How easy is it to forget that we are unique for a reason? That we have a sphere of influence that only WE have? That you can be a good person at any age, in any phase of life and guess what else? In any type of body. 

YOU CAN DO GOOD RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. RIGHT NOW. IN WHATEVER PHASE OF LIFE YOU ARE IN .

My problems haven't disappeared completely. I still felt anxiety when I woke up this morning. But I made it to Yogalaties, and I listened to the Book of Mormon on my 25 minute drive to work, and I tried to be a hard worker and a good listener to my co-workers, and when I came home I kissed my husband and snuggled my puppies. I might not have children to influence, I might not make $60,000 a year (or even $20,000 to be honest), I might not have the sexiest body, or the prettiest hair and makeup... but I matter right where I am. And God needs me. And just as important... God needs YOU. And I sincerely hope and pray, that wherever you are right now, you feel the Spirit confirming to you that that is true. You can do good, right where you are. And God needs you.


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Disney Movie Club - Play or Pass?

At the end of last year, we ordered a picture frame from Disney.com to frame our favorite picture from our Disneyland trip. When the package came, it had a flyer in it for the Disney Movie Club. I've seen ads for it here and there and decided I should look into it. I mean, it's surprising I wasn't already a member right??

I'm going to lay it all out for you guys here. I legitimately think the DMC (Disney Movie Club) is worth it! I highly highly recommend doing your research and reading all the fine print before signing up, but here's the full story. You've probably seen banners like this floating around...



I realized there wasn't a ton of information out there about it. I knew it was a "Subscription Service" of sorts, where they keep your credit card on file to charge it every month unless you PASS. Those always make me nervous but I dug for info. I learned that once you make your initial purchase of 5 movies for a dollar you have to purchase 4 more movies at FULL PRICE to fulfill your "Commitment Status". You have 2 years to purchase those movies.

FIRST ORDER- $21.90

Our first order we took advantage of a 5 movies for $1.00 deal that we had got in the mail. You can get that same deal by clicking HERE

Brave- $0.20

Wreck It Ralph- $0.20

Finding Nemo- $0.20

Monsters Inc- $0.20

Monsters University- $0.20

After the initial 5 it gave us the opportunity to add a 6th movie for $7.95

Jungle Book- $7.95

It also gave us the opportunity to add a 7th movie for $12.95 and this one would count towards our commitment status.

Wall-E- $12.95


We were now at 1/4 on our commitment status.


7 Disney movies for $21.90 was a steal! And we only needed 3 more to reach our commitment status. Two months later we decided to just finish off our contract in one quick swing so we wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. Each month they do a movie offer- this is the "subscription service" portion of the DMC. We decided to purchase the movie of the month, Avengers: Age of Ultron. When we went to purchase it it offered to add Big Hero 6 for only $11.00 and if we did they would throw in free shipping!

SECOND ORDER- $76.85

Cinderella- $21.95

Big Hero 6- $11.00

Avengers: Ultron- $21.95

Ant Man- $21.95


Our total for both orders equaled out to be $98.75 for 11 movies or $8.90/movie. Pretty rockin' deal considering most of the movies we purchased were still at $20 retail value or higher. Disney movies hold their value like crazy.

Once you've fulfilled your commitment status, you hit VIP status and get lots of additional opportunities for savings and perks. My husband and I have stayed signed up because we do plan on purchasing additional Disney movies in the future.

Each month (Or about every 4 weeks/up to 13 times per year) Disney has a "Movie of the Month" that they offer to you. You can Accept or Decline the offer in 2 ways. They send an email and you can go to your account and decline, or they also send you an envelope in the mail with the opportunity to mail it back to accept or decline. The bad thing is- if you don't decline they will charge your card and ship you the movie. It is SO EASY to decline the movie. We have declined every month except the one where we finished off our contract.

Let me know if you have questions I didn't answer so I can continually update this post for ya.

Make sure to CLICK HERE to get the discount and get 5 movies for $1 . If you use my link you'll get 5 movies for $1 instead of 4 + I'll get 2 free movies. So thanks for supporting my Disney movie obsession ;) Let me know which ones you choose


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CrEATe- Utah Dessert Giveaway

Welcome to the 'Dessert For A Year' Giveaway! If you live in Utah, know someone in Utah, or plan on coming to Utah in the future, you need to know about CrEATe. Located in Sandy, UT  at 9305 South Village Shop Drive, across from WalMart and Hobby Lobby and neighbors with Cafe Rio.  Open for less than 6 months, they already have an average 5-star rating on Yelp! And starting in June, they are introducing their Organic Shaved Ice, different from ordinary shaved ice because all the syrups are organic with no chemical additives! They are simply better than what you're used to in shaved ice. You can taste the difference!


So when I had the opportunity to join in on this amazing giveaway I said HECK YES! Donuts are my one true love. (Well, besides my husband). In fact, we are hoping to make it over to CrEAte this week. Also, Cr-EAT-e. Get it? I literally didn't until my husband pointed it out. (Insert laughing crying emoji here) So here's what you can win...





CrEATe is a Design It Yourself donut and dessert shop. After all, who knows your tastes more than you? They carry donuts, croissant donuts, crepes, brownies, cookies, cheesecake, gourmet drinking chocolate, pie, gelato and Sorbet. You pick out your fresh base dessert, and they will fill it, frost it, glaze it, mix it, or top it just the way you want it. If you can dream it, crEATe can build it.
Gelato and sorbet are made fresh in-house with organic sugar and imported Italian ingredients. We use real cream and fresh milk in our cream fillings, real organic maple in our maple glaze, and real raspberry in our raspberry glaze, and our drinking chocolate is made with real Belgium chocolate!
CrEATe: Dessert has evolved! Read the reviews here and here



Special Discount Code: Mention A GAL NEEDS... at check-out and receive a complimentary drink with your dessert purchase! (Soda, coffee, tea, milk, chocolate milk, or bottled water!)



Giveaway: This is a multi-winner giveaway. Prizes will be awarded in the form of vouchers, to be picked up by selected winners at CrEATe Donuts in Sandy, UT. They are transferable, thereafter. Must be 18+ to participate. One entrant per household. US Only, and Utah specific.


Hosted by: A GAL NEEDS...
Co-Hosted by: My So-Called Chaos


1st Prize - Monthly Dessert for a family of 4 - ARV $240! Choice of Menu Items include: Design-it-yourself donut, donut sundae, croissant donut, Design-it-yourself cookie or cookie sundae, Design-it-yourself brownie or brownie sundae, topped cheesecake, Design-it-yourself cupcake or cupcake sundae, Design-it-yourself crepe, Organic Shaved Ice, & Hot Drinking Chocolate Float. Must present voucher at time of service.



2nd PrizeSummer Organic Shaved Ice for a family of 4 - ARV $90! During the months of June, July, and August, a family of 4 will receive Organic Shaved Ice twice each month! Must present voucher at time of service!



3rd Prize - Date Night Vouchers (Dessert For 2) For 3 lucky winners - ARV $10 each! Choice of Menu Items include: Design-it-yourself donut, donut sundae, croissant donut, Design-it-yourself cookie or cookie sundae, Design-it-yourself brownie or brownie sundae, topped cheesecake, Design-it-yourself cupcake or cupcake sundae, Design-it-yourself crepe, Organic Shaved Ice, & Hot Drinking Chocolate Float. Must present voucher at time of service.



Enter to win one of these awesome prizes in the Rafflecopter below. Although all entries are optional, your chances of winning are increased by completing as many as you feel comfortable with!



Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per IP address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add info@agalneeds.com to your whitelist. Winners are responsible for pick-up of their prizes at CrEATe Donuts in Sandy, UT.  This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.

 

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Basalt Day Spa Review + Giveaway

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to go to Basalt Day Spa in Salt Lake City, Utah and enjoy the "Don't Worry Be Happy" package. It included a 60 minute Relax Massage & a 60 minute Glow Facial. The spa is located just off the I-15 Freeway and is so easy to get to. 



As soon as I walked in I took a deep breath and could feel myself begin to relax. I filled out a couple forms at the front desk, they offered me some local tea and I took a cup of water. I relaxed on the couch for just a few minutes while I waited for my spa experience to begin. 


They have the cutest little entry way with some amazing products. Everything from facial cleanssers, bath salts and soaks, handmade jewelry and cards. I ended up picking up a few stacking rings from Live Your Angle. They are so cute! I love that the owners of Basalt are doing all they can to support other local Utah businesses, and they have found some of the best of the best to carry in their little shop. Isn't it beautiful? They do also carry Dermalogica products which are incredible as well. 



Jasmine welcomed me into the massage room and gave a brief explanation of what to expect. She asked if I had any questions and then left and gave me a few minutes to get undressed and under the covers. The bed was heated which felt amazing. She gave me plenty of time before coming in and beginning the massage.  


I took two pictures of the bed after the massage, one with flash and one without so you could see what it looks like in there. I absolutely loved the feel of the room.



The massage was AMAZING. She checked in part way through the massage to make sure the massage pressure was just right. I love the fact that it is a FULL BODY massage. Calves, feet, arms, hands, back. It all felt awesome! One unique thing about Basalt Day Spa is that they use Basalt stones in EVERY service at no extra cost. I loved when she used the basalt stones. I'm also a big fan of the pressure point head and neck massage and the scalp massage was to die for!


The above photo was of the facial room. After my massage I changed into a robe and slippers and changed rooms to go to the facial room. I did the Glow facial and it was also awesome. I asked lots of questions about my skin and was given so many answers. I loved feeling like I was learning more about skincare throughout my service. Don't have time/money to do a facial and massage? The facial includes a short feet/legs and arm/hands massage as well as some head and neck massaging. Amazing.


They sent me home with a chart detailing the product recommendations and a few other recommendations such as taking a daily probiotic each day to help clear up my skin. Who knew gut health and facial acne could be connected?


Overall I absolutely loved my visit to Basalt. On my way out a lady asked me how it was and I said "Amazing!" She said, "You look super relaxed, I have got to get in there." She is so right! I felt so relaxed and slept so well that night. Getting an hour massage and facial gave me time to just relax and honestly meditate which always help me out emotionally.

Basalt was incredible and has even offered to give one of you a $50 gift card toward services! Ah I'm so excited to give this away to one of you you have no idea. Enter below!



a Rafflecopter giveaway




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On the Edge - Book Review

I received a copy of this book from Cedar Fort Books in exchange for an honest review. 

I love reading a good, honest memoir. I remember hearing one time that our stories matter, because our idiosyncrasies make us unique, and they might just be exactly what someone needs to hear. Some of us learn a lot more from one person's unique life experiences rather than general advice for the general public.

I enjoyed reading "On the Edge" by Stuart Edge. In the book he chronicles his life, from growing up normally to his parent's divorce and a random move to Mexico. (I was cheering for his mom as she followed a dream of hers! Girl power!) Later in the book he talks about the various he jobs he had after returning home from his LDS mission, including cleaning portapotties. He talks about how that job set him up for his future. I won't give it away, but I will say it was inspiring to hear how his different jobs led him to his current job as basically a YouTube all star.



As someone in a lot of "transition" life phases right now, his words spoke to me. There is good that can be found right now in whatever job you are in and that it could just be another step in God's plan for you and He just might be preparing you for a glorious future, even if you're not destined to be a YouTube star ;)

I'd recommend this book for anyone looking for a light-hearted read or who just wants to know about how his career got started. As a blogger, I found some of his business parts very interesting! He talks a lot about how he was making videos that made others happy, but they weren't making him happy and weren't reflecting his overall goals. He spends his time now making videos that are more "Stuart"-y and doesn't worry as much if they don't go viral. Bloggers can learn a lot from that! If you don't love what you're doing, change something!

I'd also love to recommend this book to teens as I think they will love the stories and Stuart Edge is basically a celebrity to them! He has so much good advice that teens can learn a lot from.

Stuart's book "On the Edge" can be purchase from:

Amazon

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The Sacred Gift of Childbirth- Book Review

I recieved this book from Cedar Fort Books in exchange for an honest review.

I've always been the person who writes and re-writes my packing list whenever my family would go on vacations. I like an itinerary, I like to know the plan. I'm a planner. I like to be knowledgeable about the places we are going and the things we will experience. Whenever I watch scary movies, I look up the entire synopsis before seeing it. Surprises just aren't really my thing.

When it comes to child birth, I've been afraid. I've heard horror stories and bad experiences. I come from a family with a lot of emergency and planned Cesarean births. I have friends who have had traumatic experiences giving birth no matter what way the baby came out, and I've been scared. I'm excited to be a mom one day don't get me wrong, but the whole pregnancy and childbirth thing has scared me a bit.



I had a friend who is way into the whole "doula thing" and it got me interested. Like, who are these crazy home birth people anyway? I had a friend recommend a book called The Gift of Giving Life a few years ago and holy cow it completely changed my perspective on pregnancy and child-birth. It really reminded me of how sacred and holy that experience can be. Easy? Not usually. But sanctifying? Yes.

So when I was given an opportunity to read The Sacred Gift of Child Birth by Marie-Ange Bigelow I took it. The book is all about learning how to make empowered choice for you and your baby. Marie is a certified doula and childbirth educator and is passionate about helping women have positive outcomes for birthing. I learned SO much reading this book and even read a few paragraphs to Colten throughout.

"The events that bring a child into the world are sacred and purposeful. They are designed by a loving Heavenly Father who has entrusted women with the responsibility of bringing His spirit children into the world. This responsibility is an honor and a blessing. When a woman understands this priviledge and sees Heavenly Father's hand in childbirth, she can find joy, strength, and faith through this experience." 

Isn't that beautiful? I've never had a contraction, never birthed a 10 pound baby after 9+ months of being uncomfortable. I've never dealt with morning sickness or the heart rate of my baby dropping suddenly during labor. I'm definitely inexperienced, but I loved this book and feel empowered by it.

"Consider three possible reasons for the pain in childbirth: First, there must be opposition in all things. Second, the pain of childbirth molds and refines women as they transition into motherhood. By experiencing the pain of childbirth, they have a deeper understanding of and gratitude for Christ's suffering for them, which helps them become more like Him. Third, the pain communicates to the mother that birth is imminent."

I have found so much knowledge in pondering on the reasons behind pain in childbirth. This book chronicles pretty much the entire process of birthing a baby, and not in a "Ew gross I didn't need to know that!" way, but in a "Wow, I'm so glad someone is educating me on this kinda way."

"It's important to remember that laboring mothers are NOT contracting for the majority of the time. About 20% of active labor is spent having contractions. The other 80% is typically free of discomfort and allows mom time to rest and refocus."

I don't know why but that quote changed me so much. How cool to think that child birth was designed in a way where 80% of the time you are mostly free of discomfort. Time to literally rest from your labors.

I have a few more chapters to read in this book, I didn't want to blow through it fast because I've been learning so much! I'll be so grateful to have it on hand in the future when I am pregnant and preparing for my own little one. Knowledge is power and if you prepare, ye shall not fear!

The Sacred Gift of Child Birth by Marie-Ange Bieglow can be purchased from:

Amazon 

Deseret Book



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