Spending A Month With Isaiah

At the temple last night, I was studying the scriptures. I was praying and asking Heavenly Father to help guide me to something that would help me know what goals I should set for myself for the month of August. I came across the scripture in Doctrine & Covenants 101:37...

"Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; 

but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul."

I realized that I've been spending the past few months working really hard on my body, trying to improve it, lose weight, grow out my hair, etc, etc, etc. Are those all good things? YES! A million times yes, but I realized that this month I need to spend more time focusing on improving my soul. 

So I talked about it with my husband and told Him I'd be setting some new Happiness Project goals for August, especially working on my spiritual side. While he worked on some homework I was reading the August issue of the Ensign and came across this article, Technicolor Isaiah, which also happened to be an answer to one of my goals for August.

Anyone who's ever read anything from the book of Isaiah knows that it is a HARD read. It doesn't really have a story line, and it uses some weird literary forms. 

I'm taking the article's advice and studying it through while looking for references to Christ's Mortal Ministry and highlighting them in RED. That way the chapters will have some structure. One day I hope to go back through and mark these other references...
Christ's 2nd Coming and Millenial: ORANGE
Gathering of Israel: BLUE
Restoration of the Gospel: GREEN

Have you ever read the book of Isaiah? What are you currently doing to improve yourself spiritually? 

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love story part twenty three: the reception

Our reception was perfect. We had it at The Lion House in Salt Lake City, which was walking distance from the temple. After the dinner, we went outside to take a few more family pictures and then we realized, we were late! So we hustled in to our reception just a few minutes late.

My friend had made the sunset painting based off one of our engagements and it was stunning!

Feeding each other the wedding cake was hilarious. I did NOT want that cake in my face, so it took a couple tries before I was brave enough to feed it to him, and I definitely lost!

After having a formal line for about an hour and a half and then doing the cake, I danced with my dad. I picked "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw. If anyone wonders where I got my weak tear ducts from it was him, because we both cried for the whole few minutes.

Then he handed me off to my new husband, and more tears ensued. The happy kind, but the reminiscent kind. Colten and I danced to "Then" by Brad Paisley, which I've always dreamed about dancing to at my wedding. It was the perfect wedding song. 

Then I tossed the bouquet and my friend Danielle caught it. She was pretty excited about it.

Then we made our way down to our getaway car which had been decorated by my sister. We hugged our family and friends, got in our specified "Bride" and "Groom" seats, and drove off to begin our eternal honeymoon.

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50 Shades of... Tolerance?

I'm not sure where I really want this post to go. On one hand, I thought about writing a blog post about my disgust for the 50 Shades of Grey movie trailer, the book, and all it entails. I thought about talking about how it is against my religion, why I won't be seeing it, and how it truly is pornographic. I wanted to stand up for what I believe, and tell the world that I will never stand behind a story that doesn't teach women what healthy relationships are.

But after posting a link to THIS BLOG POST by Fight The New Drug, I started a controversy. A small one, but a controversial conversation nonetheless. It was mostly civil. And I was glad to see it was.

Something that has been on my mind lately is inclusion, tolerance and love. I've been trying to picture Christ in every situation of my life, and thinking, "What would he do if he were here?" And in this situation, I knew he would NEVER be okay with media such as 50 Shades of Grey. He wouldn't watch it and he would probably have encouraged his friends and family to avoid it as well.

But he wouldn't attack those who went to see it would he? He wouldn't tell them they were awful, or horrid or disgusting right? Would he warn them though? Would he tell them it was poison? That the influence of such could truly ruin sexual relationships? And in turn eventually ruin marriages and families? Or give young men and women the wrong ideas about intimacy and marriage?

Bible prophets foretold a time when men would be "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." (2 Timothy 3:4) And it's easy to see that that time foretold is now. But we've also been taught to "live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18) So how do we do that when we disagree? When we KNOW someone else is wrong?

The current president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, has taught: “The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness, and pain. … If your so-called friends urge you to do anything you know to be wrong, you be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone." 

And in a talk by Dallin H. Oaks he said, "Our obligation to tolerance means that none of these behaviors—or others we consider deviations from the truth—should ever cause us to react with hateful communications or unkind actions."

We don't have to read the book or see the movie to stand against it, but we also don't have to spread hate to those who are fans. We can each prayerfully decide how to respond to those who love Mr. Christian Grey. Or what to say if someone says, "It's just a story." And we don't have to clutter our minds with the words, thoughts and feelings that the book and movie will most certainly bring. 

We can be tolerant, loving, and patient without being submissive. I stand against the concept of 50 Shades of Gray, but I have friends that LOVE it. I can still be their friends. We don't have to argue about it, but we are EACH entitled to our own opinion. Agency anyone? 

These words of President Hinckley have never rung more true...

“Let us reach out to those in our community who are not of our faith. Let us be good neighbors, kind and generous and gracious. Let us be involved in good community causes. There may be situations where, with serious moral issues involved, we cannot bend on matters of principle. But in such instances we can politely disagree without being disagreeable. We can acknowledge the sincerity of those whose positions we cannot accept. We can speak of principles rather than personalities.”

Principles rather than personalities. Beliefs don't make a person good or bad. We can choose to love as the Savior would, it may not be easy, but it will be worth it.


If you feel that other's could benefit from this message, PLEASE share.

To read more of my thoughts....
Balancing Truth and Tolerance
50 Shades of Grey: Why We're Not Cool With It
50 Shades of Confusion

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The Parable of the 14 Minute Mile

I remember in elementary school when we would participate in the "President's Fitness Challenge" at school. You know the drill- push ups, pull ups, sit ups, sit and reach and the dreaded one mile run. I don't think in all those years I ever ran below a 10 minute mile, even in the best shape of my life.

So as I've started this journey to live a healthier lifestyle, I decided to run the same types of tests monthly. Instead of being stuck in the diet drama by continuing to weigh myself all the time, I decided to look for "non-scale victories." And a faster mile run would be a non-scale victory to me!

But I had to start somewhere. I kept putting it off, but one day I decided to do it. I was at the gym next to my husband running my heart out and gasping for breath. Every inch of my body hurt and was shaky. My husband lapped me. I kept going. I was out of breath but I kept running. And at 14:06 the treadmill showed the one mile mark.

I spent the rest of the evening being sad about it, I was upset I ran such a crappy mile. Couldn't I have pushed myself harder? I should've ran until I passed out. Or not gone so long without running a mile. The negative thoughts kept coming and coming. 

The next morning I realized something, I was PROUD of myself. I ran a whole mile as fast as I could! My leg muscles were sore where I didn't know there were muscles. What a great thing! I had pushed my body hard. And best of all, I ran this mile as a starting point. A beginning of a journey to a faster mile. 

I realized that sometimes the journey is hard. But it has to start somewhere. There has to be a time where you say, "I know I"m not where I want to be, but at least I'm on the right path." Start your journey today. A 14 minute mile is better than never running one. 

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The Book of Mormon

When I was 14 I truly grew to love the Book of Mormon. It became my friend in times of need and strengthened me in times of sorrow. I learned about how to serve and love my family from that book and how to stay positive when life was hard. It taught me even more about my savior Jesus Christ, and what he really was like. 

The Book of Mormon has changed my life because knowing it is true has led me to my most important decisions in life. Knowing it is true means that Joseph Smith saw God, and that there are prophets today. It meant that I needed to do whatever it took to get to the temple, and raise a family. Knowing The Book of Mormon is true meant I lived before I came here, and that I would live again after I die. It meant that I would have eternal family relationships. The knowledge I have gained from my study of The Book of Mormon helps me make daily decisions and inspires me to be a better person. 

And guess what? You can get a FREE COPY of The Book of Mormon because I believe everyone is entitled to the knowledge and peace I have found through it. If you want to learn more click HERE to learn more about what The Book of Mormon is and where it came from!

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5 Reasons to Try Yoga

I've found a new obsession. Yoga. I try to do a little bit every day, but I schedule at least two days a week to practice yoga for at least a full 30 minutes. I love the way yoga makes me feel, but maybe me telling you that isn't enough, so here's 5 reasons to try yoga.

1. You Can Do It At home!
I love me a good yoga class at a facility, but at around $10+ a class around here, it's hard for me to justify the money. I recently purchased The Yoga Deck from Barnes and Noble and have loved pulling a few random cards and getting some quick yoga when I have a few minutes. You can also search for "yoga" on YouTube and find hundreds of free videos!

2. Lowers the Risk of Injury
Constant strenuous exercise is hard on your body. Yoga can help rebalance your body as well as create more flexibility which is key to preventing future injuries. It keeps your muscles in balance and helps improve posture.

3. It Can Help You Lose Weight
If you don't know much about hormones, that's okay, but google Cortisol, and say hello to the little guy that makes you carry extra weight due to stress. Stress! Isn't it annoying that just being overwhelmed can cause you to have a larger midsection? Yoga is proven to reduce stress levels, especially if you are doing a form of yoga that involved meditation. Reduced stress levels mean less Cortisol which means less muffin top. #winning

4. It is Simple Cross-Training
I picture crazy sweaty lunks doing cross fit, but yoga is like cross fit for dummies! You get flexibility, strength and stamina all at once when you practice yoga. It's an easy way to work lots of different muscles at the same time.

5. Improves Mood and Boosts Confidence
Yoga has been shown to significantly help those who have anxiety or depression, even severe depression. Yoga can quiet mind-chatter and and help you feel more relaxed. Yoga also helps send more oxygen to the brain which leaves you happier and more content with where you are.

So tell me, are a you a practicing yogi?

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The Beauty Grew All Around

Do you have a hairstylist you absolutely love? Or maybe a friend who taught you how to do the PERFECT cat eye? Or maybe your mother taught you the importance of spreading your beauty all around. However you've seen beauty shared, I'm sure it's inspired you.

If you haven't seen this video, don't go any further before you push play or CLICK THIS LINK. 

I dropped out of college last September, and am almost done with the 1600 hour Cosmetology program. I didn't do it right out of high school because I felt like it wasn't as "good" as college. Little did I know I'd find my place as hairstylist and learn SO much by going to beauty school. I love the video "Beauty Grew All Around" because it reminds me of the power that people truly have to make others feel beautiful. I've had the chance to do a few bride's hair as well as some teenagers before their Senior Photos, and nothing is better than seeing them light up and see how truly beautiful they are. 

Please share THIS VIDEO with someone you know who makes the world a more beautiful place! Post it to their facebook or tag them on Twitter, whatever you do, let them know they make a difference. 

Regency Beauty Institute is hosting a  #ShareBeautyContest along with Refinery29. Learn more about the contest by going to the campaign landing page! You'll want to, because the winner gets a $2,000 beauty treatment from Regency Beauty Institute and Refinery29.

Keep the beauty alive my lovelies! How you ask? By using the #ShareBeauty any time you post about beauty on social media. Let's help the Beauty Grow All Around!

(This article is sponsored by Regency Beauty Institute)

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Leave A Love Note Every Day For a Week

I've been focusing a lot on living a healthier lifestyle these past 2 months, just ask anyone who follows my Instagram! The truth is, I've wanted to change for a long time, and I'm just FINALLY getting around to making simple sustainable lifestyle changes. In fact, I have another blog post coming this week about it!

But, I also realized that with all the exciting changes that are happening with my health, I need balance. So I decided to spend a week of my July Happiness Project devoted to rekindling the flame of my marriage. So I decided to leave my husband a love note every day for a whole week!

I started today with a note saying how much I love his kisses, and planting a lipstick print next to my name and taping the note to the mirror. I'm turning to my post of 30 Quick Love Note Ideas to help me out this week. 

Do you leave love notes for your honey? 

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3 Books to Help You Start Living Healthier

I've recently been on a healthy-living book reading kick. I just can't stop buying books about taking better care of our bodies. It's all so fascinating and unusual in a world of diet after diet after diet to read about making lasting changes. So I've reviewed these 3 books so you too can get started on your own life-long healthy living journey. Let me know if you buy one and also if you have a favorite health book not listed here, I'm always looking for a new book to read!

My rating: 4.5/5
I'll admit, I was skeptical too. A skinny, gorgeous celebrity telling us how to live healthy, doubt it. But after reading the reviews I decided it was worth a shot. It turned out to be WAY better than I imagined. It starts out talking about nutrition and what hunger means and what our body does when we feed it good food and bad food. Then she talks about movement and exercise. I found myself learning so much and making lots of "try this!" notes to myself. I didn't give it a full 5 because some of the nutrition is just a little bit cray cray. I didn't major in nutrition so lots of it went over my head. But majority of the book was great! It encourages you to make lasting simple changes instead of jumping on the next diet band wagon.

My rating: 3.5/5

My doctor suggested this book to me when we were chatting during my last yearly gynecologist appointment. It helps you think about how we would've lived if we were hunter-gatherers. We would've eaten berries, salad and lean meats. We would've carried heavy loads, and make sudden sprints to chase after our food. It gave me a new perspective. I mean, never in history has weight been an issue until pretty dang recently. So obviously the way humans used to live works. My biggest issue with this book was it didn't seem really "liveable". I imagined myself doing the program for a few weeks and getting burnt out. I just can't eat fresh organic foods 100% of the time. Do you turn down birthday cake? Or not going out to Applebee's for your parent's anniversary? I just couldn't see myself following the program to a T. But it DID inspire me to eat more naturally, I even checked out Whole Foods for the first time a week ago! I would recommend this book for knowledge, but not for the actual program.

My rating: 5/5

By far my favorite health book I've ever read. I bought it for some pleasure reading over the long weekend and couldn't put it down! This book seems like a conversation with your BFF. It has simple changes you can make that will help you long-term. It also talks about the 80-20 rule, eating right 80% of the time and leaving 20% for cheats. For birthday cake, for soda at the movie theater, for a big huge pasta meal from Olive Garden when you have no intention of running a marathon with all those carbs. I've started doing one of the 10 minute fixes each day. I love that some of them really push you, like trying a new workout class and that some make you think, like writing down why you deserve to be healthy. There are 10 minute fixes for self-esteem, making friendships, and sharing what you've learned. I seriously highlighted so much in this book. If you're looking for a book to help you get started on healthy living and dumping the diet drama (heaven knows I needed to), this is the book for you!

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. AKA If you purchase through any of the links in this post I receive a portion for pointing you in their direction.)

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4 Things First Timers Should Know About Their Trip To Disneyland

We went on our honeymoon to Disneyland. My husband hadn't been since he was so little he couldn't remember, so it was basically like he was a first-timer all over again. I on the other hand have been every year since I was born. Which makes for right around 25 times. Somewhere along the way I lost count.

We had the time of our lives on our honeymoon! It was truly a magical vacation for us both. However, I noticed that it was a little rougher on my husband because let's be honest, Disneyland can be a culture shock! So I've put together a list of 4 things first timers should know about their trip to Disneyland to hopefully ease some of the stress that comes with a first time park visit.

1. Everything Costs More Than You Think
Plan to pack in snacks or lunches to cut costs, but remember to WAY overbudget for food and snacks. It sucks that everything is so expensive, but complaining about it won't change it. Preparation might save you the annoyance. 

2. You can book some restaurants up to 60 days in advance. DO IT.
And on that note, I scheduled our lunch at Blue Bayou for 3:00. Is that a random time? Yes. And it was on purpose. Right around noon most of those in the park get hungry, so therefore they are busy eating and not on rides. It's a perfect time to hit up a busier right. Same goes with about 6:00 for dinner. Or if you prefer to eat at the normal eating times, you'll definitely want to book asap so you can get the time you want! More here.

3. FastPasses Are Your Best Friend
Simply put, a FastPass reduces your wait time by figuratively "Holding your place in line" while you ride other rides. These 3 Must-Do Rides for Thrill Seekers have the FastPass system for them. I don't know what I would do without this system. Learn more about it here.

4. Tired? There Are Fun Things You Can Do!
I recently wrote a post about what to do when you're dog tired at Disney, because it's basically inevitable. There are 7 ideas to help you cope when you have tired legs or your children need a break from going going going. Go check out that post here!

Are you a Disneyland expert? What would you add to the list?

And if you're new to Disneyland, what other questions do you have??

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