Eating Veggies First

Everything you read about being healthier says the same thing over and over.


Truth is, I don't like most vegetables. I didn't grow up eating them that much so I never really "acquired" a taste for them. But they are so filling! And so good for you!

One of my July resolutions for my Happiness Project is to eat my veggies first at lunch. That's doable right? I've started blending spinach into my smoothies when I have those in the morning, but for now, lunch is my main focus. I've been eating my veggies first at lunch for about a week so far even though it's one of July's resolutions. It's easy and hard. I want to eat all the other yummy things I pack for lunch, but at the same time, I usually get SUPER full of veggies.

I read a book where a man has 2 servings of veggies with every meal before eating anything else. You can bet he's pretty darn healthy.

What do you think? Could you eat your veggies first at lunch? Do you LOVE veggies?

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The Beginning of My Happiness Project

Generally speaking, I am a very happy person. I am married to an amazing man, I live in a great city, I'm almost finished with my education which will allow me to do a job I love, and I have wonderful family. This is probably why I relate to Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project so well.

I'm not clinically depressed (a real, actual disease) and I don't hate really anything about my life. But I can't help but wonder if there are simple changes I could make to create more novelty in my life. Changes that could help me live a healthier life, changes that would improve my marriage, my relationship with my siblings, or even just the way I manage our household.

So this weekend I am finishing up The Happiness Project for the 4th time in 3 years, and this time I'm committing to creating my own happiness project. Colten has his own plans for Saturday so I will have most of that day to just ponder, pray, move, and create my own happiness project.

Maybe I could try new recipes, subscribe to a fitness magazine, or FINALLY print off our honeymoon photos. I'm considering finding a weekly dance class to join, learning more about the revolutionary war, creating a dream book, and unsubscribing to all the emails I never read. I have SO much I want to do and am so excited to condense it into my very own Happiness Project so that way it is manageable.

Have you ever done something like this? What habits bring you the most joy? What are some big projects you've tackled lately? What's a big dream you've always wanted to accomplish? I'd love YOUR input so I can put together a happiness project that reflects Brooklyn, but also stretches me to become more than I am. So please, I'm begging you, share your thoughts in the comments below?

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5 Do's and Don'ts for Engagement Ring Shopping

If you are planning on going ring shopping with you beau this post is for you. It is an exciting time and you'll most likely get butterflies! It can be overwhelming but can be a great time if you plan ahead and MAKE it a great time. So here's a five do's and don'ts to help you out.

1. DO try on lots of different kinds of rings.
I was set on getting a single circle stone on a small band, but once I tried it on I realized I didn't love the way it looked on me. I was glad I found that out before the proposal.

2. DO know your budget. 
I remember it seemed a little awkward asking my then boyfriend what the budget was. Ultimately we decided on a budget together and it was nice to know while looking at rings so I could get an idea of what we could and couldn't afford. Neither of us wanted to go into debt over a ring, however that is a personal decision, just make sure you make it together.

3. DON'T try on rings out of your budget.
It will get too tempting and you'll want to overspend!

4. DO decide beforehand if you want to know what the ring looks like or if you want it to be a surprise.
Colten wanted it to be a surprise, I was a little too worried to let it be. So we compromised. He sent pictures of the ring he chose to my family and girlfriends to see if they approved. They did. And when he proposed with it, I was surprised, and it was perfect.

5. DON'T skip out on ring insurance.
It's worth it! I love the comfort of being able to wear my ring almost everywhere without worrying about it. If I lose a diamond, it's covered. Get a scratch? It's covered. It's so nice to ease my mind whenever I worry about it.

Are you looking for your own wedding set? Or already have your own? I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic!

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3 Ways to Make Newlywed Life Easier

Hi Friends! My name is Sierra and I blog over at Oh, Just Living the Dream! My blog is a lifestyle blogs that takes about a whole range of things--from teaching 6th grade to being a newlywed to raising a brand new puppy. 

In July, it will be my one year anniversary. I am not entirely sure when we "stop" being newlyweds. I have heard that it's when you start having children, or after you've been married for a year, but there are so many days that I feel like I have been married for 10 years and there are other moments where I feel like the past year has just flown by! Either way, I still feel like there are so many things that I am learning about my husband, myself, and our relationship through marriage. I am nowhere near knowing a semblance of what you need to know to have a completely successful marriage, but I have found three ways that have made our transition into marriage much more successful. Those first few months were quite brutal, to be honest. We had to learn all the little nicknack things about each other, whether positive or negative. And it was interesting, to say the least. 

Three Ways to  Make Newlywed Life Easier. 

1. Ask Your Spouse about Their Day. 
My husband and I have quite a different schedule than most "typical" couples, if you will. He works from home and goes to school a couple of hours every day. I work about 50-60 hour weeks as a 6th grade teacher. He is the one who starts the laundry, does a lot of the cooking and cleaning. It definitely changes the dynamic of our household with this routine, but it works for us and we like it. Something that I have found that works for our marriage is that, no matter how hard of a day at school it was, no matter how tired I am, is to ask Tanner about his day. To take a moment and just listen to his day and vice versa. It is nice to get to vent and talk to someone who truly cares. 

2. Set Your Expectations. 
This one is HUGE for us. At the beginning of our marriage, I had all of these expectations and when he wouldn't do them, I would get frustrated. But I found that when I sat down and explained what my expectations were, whether for cleaning or how to clean or how to set the table, etc. it made things so much more pleasant. For both of us :) 

3. Travel Together.
Now, we don't have a ton of money, and ideally, if you can go somewhere far with your spouse or loved one, I think that is a huge bonding experience. (Thailand? Sure! That's where Tanner and I are planning on going next summer!) But something I found that strengthened our relationship is going on little trips together. Whether that was just to California for a few days or St. George, etc. You see how that person responds under stress and you get closer and out of your comfort zone. 

I am nowhere near perfect, but I do know that these three things have helped us. Go on--try it out! 


10 Blog Posts Every Wifey Should Read

What newlywed doesn't love to hear herself called "Wife"? I know I do. It was one of the weirdest yet most exciting things to hear my new husband introduce me as his wife. 

So when I saw that Tara Lynn's Boutique had a shirt that said "Wifey" I knew I had to have it. The shirt sizes run a little small so since I normally wear a Small-Medium I ordered a Large. I probably could've got by with a medium but it definitely makes it an extra comfy shirt. And the fabric is SO soft! 

But luckily, being a wife is SO much more than just wearing a ring and a shirt that says "Wifey" on it. So I've compiled a list of 10 of my FAVORITE blog posts that have changed the way I view myself and my marriage.

What are YOUR favorite blogs or blog posts about marriage?

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Inclusion and the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Once upon a time Jesus taught a parable about a man from Jerusalem who was on his way to Jericho. The man was robbed by thieves and left half dead. Along the road, a priest and a Levite passed this man in distress but refused to stop and help him. They were too busy, and after all he WAS a Jew. 
Then Jesus taught:
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among thieves? He that shewed mercy on him."
Then Jesus delivered His final instruction: “Go, and do thou likewise” (see Luke 10:25–37).
We live in a world of many different lifestyles. Some people are very active, they work out many hours a week. Some are much more sedentary. Some people stay at home and raise children, while some climb corporate ladders, and some touch the hearts of many in their careers. Some live lives of traditional families, mom, dad and children. And some live in families with 2 mom's. Some live with grandma and grandpa. And the differences go on and on. 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has NEVER taught a doctrine of exclusion. Members are urged to be loving, kind and tolerant of our friends, neighbors, family and even those of other religions.

The hardest part is being tolerant of things you think are wrong but to others are right.
My thoughts originated from a talk by Elder Ballard, The Doctrine of Inclusion.  Many of his points were especially applicable for those who live in Utah, or in other areas where members tend to be the majority. He gave 3 ideas to help us...
1. Get to know your neighbors
2. Eliminate the phrases "non-member" and "non-Mormon" from our vocabulary. 
3. If neighbors become frustrated with the LDS Church, don't suggest that they 'move elsewhere.' 
The Lord does expect a great deal from us. All of us. And as I ponder this talk, I have made mental notes of things I want to say and do that help me be a person who chooses to INCLUDE more than I EXCLUDE. It's easier said than done! But nothing changes if you don't change. And that will always be a fact. 

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love story part twenty two: the wedding dinner

Our wedding dinner was at The Lion House in Salt Lake City. After we finished up our individual pictures, we made the short walk to The Lion House for the most delicious dinner.

Look at that smile. He melts my heart. We were walking on cloud nine. Entering the room to applause and cheering was an incredible feeling, but I couldn't help but wish everyone would avert their eyes, I get nervous when I'm the center of attention!

Soon after we sat, those chairs around us were filled with our parents. Our greatest support system in our marriage.

The table settings were pink, yellow, and gray, our wedding colors. Blush pink, my favorite color!

Our wedding cake was made by a family member on Colten's side and it was beautiful. Simple, and sophisticated. Love birds, perfect for the occasion.

The dinner was delicious and I tried hard to not overeat, but to eat enough to keep me full through the reception, since I knew I wouldn't have the chance to eat anytime soon. After the reception we took more family pictures and then hustled back up to our reception, which we were late for. Oops!

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Are Your Priorities Keeping You From Your Dream Life?

At school the other day, we were told to take a sticky note, and write down the biggest dream you have in life. The BIGGEST.

At first I thought it would be hard, and then I realized I had my answer. I dream of being a rockstar wife and mom. I dream of being the kind of wife and mom I have always imagined myself being. Because it only took a few weeks of being married to realize this idea that I would be the perfect wife, was flawed. And I decided that if I couldn't be the perfect wife now, I would at least be a wife that works on that every single day.

Later that day I made a list of the things I needed to do that night: answer emails, write my missionary sister, plan a Sunday dinner, write my husband a love note, workout, and shower. Then I prioritized. When sitting there I realized that if I wanted to be that rockstar of a wife and mom one day, I needed to make those things that will get me there my TOP priority. So #1 on my to-do list was to write Colten a love note.

The next day I realized my #1 and #2 priorities were the ONLY things I didn't complete on my to do list. The way I have been living isn't consistent with the way I want my future to look. So I've been trying to change that.

Are YOUR priorities keeping you from your dream life? They were keeping me from mine. Now I take a look at my to-do list and realize that some things absolutely don't have to be done, but the things that lead me to my biggest dream do. They matter most to me, and I'm trying to spend my time doing the things that are consistent with my biggest dream.

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