christmas season

I can't even begin to tell you guys how happy I am that it is FINALLY the Christmas season. There is something so wonderful about this time of year. Everyone is looking out for each other, people are more giving, and everywhere you turn people are... jolly! Or Jolley.. whatever it is....

What are some of your MUST-DO's for the Christmas season? 

I always have to watch my favorite Christmas movies like How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey, Christmas With the Kranks and Elf. I have to visit Salt Lake City Temple Square to see the lights and drink hot chocolate. I have to do acts of random service and play Christmas music on the piano. I have to cuddle with someone who loves me, and say prayers of gratitude for all I have been given.

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what i've been up to at hair school

For those of you who don't know yet, I am a full time cosmetology student at Paul Mitchell in Salt Lake and I LOVE it. So over the past 3 months I've had some amazing experiences and learned so much. Today I'll share some of my best successes with you!

I took this sweet girl from a dull blonde to a beautiful natural-looking highlighted blonde.

I cut my husband's hair without using clippers and he didn't even need to get it fixed at Sports Clips after ;)

I gave this gorgeous a lady an updo for a military ball. PS, she rocks AND she teaches classes at Gold's Gym.

My dad and brother came down for clipper hair cuts. They pretended to be scared, but they left with GREAT cuts if you ask me!

On slow days at school we work on doll heads, so I did a bridal updo. 

I did this super cute hair bow on a girl in my class. 

And gave a deep condition and style to a friend from church.

What's your favorite thing about getting your hair done? 

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you are all spending it with people you love and eating until you're sick. Amidst all your feasting, remember another kind of feasting you could do tonight, it just might change your life...

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!

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10 reasons why i love being married

These days marriage gets kind of a bad rap. I hear so much negative about the institution of marriage, and besides my biased opinion about the importance of family, I've come up with a list of reasons why I personally LOVE being married...

1. I get to do all the daily mundane tasks like grocery shopping and dishes with someone I LOVE to spend time with.

2. I have someone to reach things that are up high, it's no problem for my 6 foot tall husband.

3. I have someone to go to the gym with. Having a gym partner is the best motivation!

4. I gained a whole new family full of more people to love. Cheers to inlaws.

5. When we get 4 am visitors at our apartment, I don't have to call 911, my husband takes care of the stranger, no 911 call necessary.

6. I have a built in make out buddy, which rocks, because I love kissing.

7. My husband is a full time cheerleader for me and my biggest supporter!

8. I get to plan a date night every other week, which is SO fun.

9. I have a reason to avoid creepers, just a flash of the ring usually sends them on their way.

10. I always have a reason to get all dressed up and pretty, I have a husband to impress people!

What do you love about being married? Or what are you most excited for about marriage? 

Other posts about marriage...
3 Personal Goals I Set to Make Me a Better Wife
My 14 Day Journey to Being a Better Wife
Choosing to Hold Hands
3 Thoughts From My First 3 Months of Marriage

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date night: christmas shopping

Last week for date night, I chose to go Christmas shopping! I admit it, I'm struggling avoid going into full Christmas mode and it's still a few days before Thanksgiving, so this was an easy way to curb some of my Christmas craving without going overboard.

Since it was my turn to choose, we of course went to Chickfila for dinner at the mall. Peppermint Chocolate Chip milkshake included. It was YUMMY. 

I think we ended up with only 3 gifts, but we went home and got a few more thanks to online shopping! I love just wandering the mall with my husband, we always have a blast finding the most ridiculous things and pointing out things we love to each other. Shopping together is a great way to get to know each other, and shopping for other people is JUST as fun!

Where do you usually do your Christmas shopping?

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the power of gratitude in our prayers

Something I have never been that great at is saying personal prayers. I know, I'm airing my dirty laundry again, but it's the truth. Reading the scriptures, going to church, serving others, it all comes pretty easily to me, but taking time to simply pray? The busy body in me really struggles to take that time to unwind and pray. Luckily, my husband and I started a habit of family prayer as soon as we got married, and have hardly missed a day since. But that doesn't fill the place of our personal prayers.

Yesterday in church, the speaker posed a question. "What would happen if we each took just enough time every evening to say a personal prayer that only consisted of expressing gratitude for THREE things? I guarantee you would see the effects of those simple prayers immediately." 

I am a believer in the small and simple. I'd love to start saying incredibly heartfelt 30 minute long personal prayers, but I've tried again and again, and have given up every time I try to create the habit. So what if I created the habit of personal prayer by doing something simple? Don't you think Heavenly Father would be proud of me for that small victory? I know he would be.

My husband is one of the most sincere pray-ers I've ever met. I remember the first few times I heard him pray, I was always blown away by the way he could speak to God with such reverence, yet as if he were speaking to his best friend. Those are the kind of prayers I want to say.

"Thinking of things we are grateful for is a healing balm. It helps us get outside ourselves. It changes our focus from our pains and our trials to the abundance of this beautiful world we live in."
-Joseph B. Wirthlin

I've learned that I can't personally change everything about myself overnight, but I can change small things every day. I'm excited to see the effects of this simple change in my life, and I promise to share my thoughts and feelings with you on here. 

How do you make personal prayer a priority?

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conference lovin: the moral force of women

One of my favorite things about being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the event we hold twice a year called General Conference. General Conference is a meeting where the prophet and other church leaders speak to us on inspired topics. One of the talks that stood out to me this year was The Moral Force of Women, by D. Todd Christofferson...

 "Whether you are old, young, or in between, your moral authority is vital, and perhaps we have begun to take it and you for granted. Certainly there are trends and forces at work that would weaken and even eliminate your influence, to the great detriment of individuals, families, and society at large."

One of the things I loved about this talk, is that although it praised motherhood and marriage, it wasn't just another "love at home" talk. He talks about how EVERY woman in this world has influence. It was actually this talk that inspired Happy Wife, Happy Life: Manifesting the Divine Nuturing Power Within Us.

In the talk he reminds us that our most important relationship will always be the one with our Heavenly Father. He calls us to action to be women who are kind, tender, understanding and prayerful.

"Dear sisters, we rely on the moral force you bring to the world, to marriage, to family, to the Church. We rely on blessings you bring down from heaven by your prayers and faith."

What kind of influence do YOU think women yield? And do you have a favorite talk from conference? 

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How #jolleythanks changes my thinking

At the beginning of November, I jumped on the mainstream train and started a gratitude journal. I have been sharing some of my entries via Instagram with the hashtag #jolleythanks.

I almost didn't do it. I used to be one of those people who got bugged by everyone only expressing gratitude in November. But why not? Why not let them be better people one month out of the year? And I decided to jump on board and see what it did for me.

I haven't 100% done it every day, but if I find myself with a few extra minutes at school or in the evening, I fill a page with things I am grateful for. From green lights on a busy traffic day, to Chickfila Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshakes, I am realizing how much I have to be grateful for.

Of course I'm grateful for the usual, my family, friends, husband, school, etc. So it's fun to sit and think about how I'm grateful that my husband gave me a neck massage, or that I'm grateful for stress relieving bubble bath! I like to think through my whole day and find unusual things to be grateful for.

It's a challenge and a fun exercise. It helps me stay positive even when I'm feeling discouraged. Cheesy right? But it's the truth. Writing out gratitude lists helps me look past mistakes I've made because I look at those mistakes as learning experiences I am grateful for. #jolleythanks changes my thinking because it makes me look at my life from different perspectives, and leaves me shining a little bit brighter!

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ask brooklyn #2

Well guess what? It's that time of the month again... No not THAT time... this time...

The time where I answer YOUR questions! So without further delay...

Are Mormons the same as Christians?

The short answer is that yes, Mormons are Christians. The term "Mormon" just happens to be a nickname given to our church because we believe in The Book of Mormon. The full name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We even have Christ's name in our title! We believe Christ lived a mortal life. We believe his atonement saves us if we choose to repent and accept him into our lives. 
If you want to learn more about why Mormons are Christians, watch this 2 minute video. 

How do you manage blogging so many times a week while still living a regular life?

Generally I spend 2ish hours blogging every Monday. This is because I don't have school on Monday's, but my husband still works. So after completely household chores and running errands, I write and schedule my posts for the coming week. Then Wednesday nights I usually go back through and schedule twitter and facebook posts via Hootsuite. It's a lifesaver!

What is your skin care routine?

Every time I shower, I use Clearasil Refreshing Superfruit Wash. I lather it on and I wash it off. Every night I also use a Stridex Sensitive pad to help clean my pores and get any left over make up off. But after both of those, I use a dermotologist prescription for a Clindamycin gel. I love it and have used it for years! It's the only thing that I've discovered that will constantly give me good skin.

With the lowered missionary age, what made you choose to get married instead of serve a mission?

On my old blog I wrote a post after the missionary announcement about why I was not serving a mission. Read it here. And then you should know, that just over 3 months after writing that post I met my now husband, and in very specific and personal inspiration from God, I KNEW that the reason I was not on a mission, was so that I would be here to marry Mr. Jolley.

What are your favorite songs of all time?

I Just Can't Live a Lie- Carrie Underwood
Say Love- Hilary Weeks
I Was Here- Lady Antebellum
Defying Gravity- Wicked
Little Miss- Sugarland
Stand- Rascal Flatts


Ask me questions here and they will be answered next time on Ask Brooklyn!

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holiday gift guide

Oh Baby Crochet & More

Boot socks, Scarves and Blankets oh my! I love this shop because it is so simple but has such great ideas for women or teens. The best thing about buying from small businesses, is that not everyone will have the items that you are buying, which makes them more unique!

Have a blogger in your life but don't know what to get her? How about this ADORABLE mug? It's so cute. But she also has the most adorable holiday mugs. Go check out her shop right now!

Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas E-Book


I worked with this shop awhile ago on a review and LOVED their products. Now I'm eyeing these leather studded bracelets. Who wouldn't want one for Christmas?

A few weeks ago Ashley gave me some eye makeup remover to try and I have fallen in love with it. It is SO easy to use. I just put it on a cotton round, set it over my eye for 10-15 seconds and then rub it off. It's so easy and doesn't irritate my eye at all!

What small businesses are you buying Christmas gifts from this year??

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tips for getting better sleep

When I was in high school, I struggled to sleep. I would be exhausted, but once I would climb into bed, I would lay awake for hours trying to get myself to fall asleep. I even took Tylenol PM for awhile because I simply could not fall asleep without a sleep aid. I started to research everything I could on how people fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep.

Today, my husband teases me because I can fall asleep so quickly. My ability sleep is incredible now. And I am here today, to teach you everything I have learned!

1. Turn Off for Sleep. Turn On to Wake Up.
When I am going to sleep, we turn off all the lights in the apartment, including our alarm clock light. We turn our phones upside down so if they receive any messages, the light doesn't bother us. I used to be afraid of the dark, but I trained myself to know that dark means it's sleeping time. And when I wake up, I turn on all the lights possible, because it signals to my brain that it is now time to be awake.

2. Exercise.
I wasn't sure I believed in this one. But in the past 3 months as I have started a consistent work out routine, I fall asleep SO fast. The exercise makes my body as tired as it should be, and its been a huge part of keeping my body from waking up. I don't exhaust myself at the gym, but an hour on a treadmill a few times a week lets my body fall asleep and stay asleep.

3. No caffeine later in the day. 
I don't always follow this one, but when I have caffeine after about 6 pm, I can feel it keeping my mind awake. It's strange. And so now I generally have any caffeine I plan to have by lunch time, that way it has 10 hoursish to work it's way out of my system.

4. Keep a notepad by the bedside.
Wandering thoughts keeping you up? I keep a notepad by my bed so I can jot down any "to-dos" that come to my mind. That way I can just write it out and forget about it.

5. Read.
Reading wears out your eyes. So if I'm ever ready to go to sleep but I can't relax, I pull out a book. The strain on your eyes at a later hour can cause your body to prepare for sleep. I usually read until I really can't keep my eyes open any longer, than I immediately shut off the lights and go to bed.

What other tips do you have for getting better sleep? 

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sexy hair giveaway

 Today I'm teaming up with Alluring Salon to giveaway a bag of Sexy Hair goodies. In this bag of goodies you will be getting the following:
  1. Healthy Sexy Hair Activating Scalp Care Treatment
  2. Healthy Sexy Hair Activating Scalp Care Mousse
  3. Short Sexy Hair Hard Up Holding Gel
  4. Curly Sexy Hair Curl Reactivator
  5. Style Sexy Hair Spray Clay

If you wanna win this awesome prize pack, all you have to do is enter below using the widget. Please make sure your email is a email you check on the daily and please also make sure it's okay that I get your address so I can mail you the prizes. Once a winner is picked, they will have 48 hours to reply to the email and claim their prize or a new winner will be picked.

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date night: pizza & cleaning

Our apartment has being a little out of control every since we got these two new additions to our family...

So for Mr. Jolley's choice of date night, he wanted to spend the evening making a Walmart trip and moving things around our apartment. On our way to Walmart however, we both realized we were STARVING! So we pulled into a Little Ceaser's pizza and grabbed a $5 Hot and Ready and some breadsticks and laughed at our ghetto date night as we ate our pizza in the car.

I'm always surprised how just being with my husband makes me so happy. Shopping, eating pizza in the car, cleaning the house from our messy kitties. It's all a little more fun when he's around.

Date night for me doesn't always have to be something huge and spectacular. Sometimes it's just taking a night to catch up on real-life grown up stuff, but choosing to do it in a fun way!

But this week is my pick, so I can promise you we won't be cleaning. ;)

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3 thoughts from my first 3 months of marriage

On the 16th of this month, my husband and I hit our 3 months of marriage mark. I'm honestly not sure where the time went! And because 3 is my favorite number, the 3 month mark made me stop and think about what are the top 3 things I've learned from being married.

Now I'm not claiming to be ANY kind of a marriage expert. 3 months would NEVER qualify someone as a expert on anything if you ask me. But what I AM saying, is that this is what I've personally learned, and now I want to share it with you.

When I rebranded my blogging image to fit a more marriage-friendly theme, I added that date night tab to the top of my blog. That's because I knew if my readers expected to hear what we did for date night each week, date night would actually happen. Accountability keeps me rolling!
So every week on Sunday, we pick a night for the week designated to just us two. Sometimes we go out, sometimes we stay in, but we always do it together. We also switch off weeks picking what we do, that way we each get a turn to decide.

This is one that I am still working on. Because I moved to Salt Lake I don't have that many friends here yet. So I try to make it a priority to go to blogger meet ups, or have girls nights with my Mom. The other night I skipped out on a basketball game with my husband and his friends because I needed a night to myself.
I try to give myself at least one night a week to just blog, or read, or go out with a friend. This keeps me sane and even though I miss my new husband while I'm gone, I'm always easier to be around once I've had my personal time.

When we were dating, both of us gained weight. So at our wedding, neither of us were looking our best. When we got home from our honeymoon, we decided to make going to the gym together a goal. And having each other to keep us accountable has been so helpful. Plus, it's something I know I always get to do with him.
Another routine is we read from the scriptures and pray together every night. If I'm ever feeling marriage annoyance, kneeling side by side and holding hands does wonders for my attitude. I always feel so grateful for my husband and marriage when I am praying with Mr. Jolley.

So happy three months love, here's to eternity! <3

What have you learned about marriage?

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P.S. The winner of $25 to Lilies and Fillies is....
Sabrina Alley! 

a little better

I am a goal setter. Those of you who have been around here for awhile know that. And although I firmly believe that being a goal setter helps me become better and reach dreams I never thought possible, I know first hand how easy it is to get down on yourself when you aren't quite living up to your goals.

When I started college a few years ago, I bought this sign to sit in my room. 

It became a mantra for me. Just try a little harder. You only need to be a little better. None of us are going to become perfect overnight. 

It's not about perfection right now. Its a journey. It's about tiny victories. It's about small changes we are able to make to reach our goals and help us start living up to our potential. 

Try a little harder to be a little better. And have a great weekend friends.

have you heard the news?

Around here, I LOVE getting to know blogs, and helping them get the traffic and followers they want and deserve. I promise to give you everything you expect and more! Let's do this together!

Jolliest of All: Only 1 spot available per month
A Little Jolley: 5 spots per month

Book your spot now by emailing with SPONSOR in the subject line so I can make responding to your email my top priority and don't forget to purchase your listing through my Etsy Shop to hold your spot. Feel free to email me with any other questions!

Payment is made through my Etsy Shop. 
Ads start on the first of every month. 

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"Whatever you appreciate and give thanks for will increase in your life."
(Sanaya Roman)

Can you guys believe we are almost half way through November? Before we know it, the month of gratitude will be over, and the month of Christmas will be in full swing! So I wanted to share a few things I am grateful for...

-The opportunity to go to a school I love
-Green lights on my commute
-My blogger friends & blogger meet ups
-A husband who knows I'm not perfect, yet loves me anyway...
-The fact that Catching Fire comes out this month
-LDS temples
-Texting to keep in touch with my family

What are YOU grateful for?

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