Target Gift Card Giveaway

I suppose giving away an Arvo watch + Monat Dry Shampoo wasn't enough, so I decided to be apart of this giveaway for a $200 Target Gift Card! It's so easy to enter! See below.

Prize: $200 Target Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 1/17 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
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Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

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Ringing in the New Hair!!

I've got some BIG goals for 2017, one of them includes giving more! My 2017 word of the year is "GIVE", which is what inspired me to begin donating 50% of my income from Monat to Utah Foster Care. So in order to kick off my year of giving, I wanted to give something back to one of you!

So I'm giving away an Arvo Watch + Monat Dry Shampoo!! Valued at $114 you guys, this is a BIG giveaway! So be sure to enter by using the Rafflecopter below.

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See ya later 2016!

This is our 4th Christmas together, and we have never sent out Christmas Cards. I think it's just not our style, but I figured a nice post to tie up the loose ends of 2016 might be nice. And actually, I typed up a really nice post detailing our entire year, but my computer lost it all. :( So now, you get the Spark Notes version.

Here are a few of our 2016 highlights...

- I left my job at Independence University to work for Entheos Academy, a charter school in Magna

- We went to Moab with some of Colten's family and had a blast at Arches National Park

- We went to Disney on Ice with my family

- We had so much fun camping in Moab that we bought our first trailer together

- We went on many temple trips to various temples

- We went to a Jazz game with my sister and brother in law

- We babysat my nephew overnight in March, he's a cutie

- We bought a truck and sold our Kia Rio

- We took my family to a blogger tubing event at Gorgoza

- We attended our first presidential caucus meeting

- We went camping at Antelope Island with my brother and sister in law

- We went to a blogger event to see "The Abolitionists" and I joined the Rescue Run 5k blogger outreach team which raised over 5K for Operation Underground Railroad

- We went camping again at Ledgefork Campground

- We took a friend trip to my grandparents cabin in Island Park, Idaho

- I went with my Mom and little brothers to Disneyland in July

- I applied for and received a promotion at work and became the Reading Intervention Coordinator, a job I loved

- We celebrated our 3rd anniversary and Colten surprised me with an overnight stay at 5th East Hall in American Fork. We stayed in the Maui room and it was gorgeous

- We visited my father in laws cabin and slept in our trailer

- Together we made the tough decision to sell our Magna home and we moved to Ogden

- In October, Colten graduated with his Bachelor's degree in Accounting

- At the end of October I started a shampoo side gig and started selling the most amazing hair care line I've ever used

- In November, out of the blue my Dad offered Colten a job at his payroll and accounting company which he said yes to and has been loving

- We took a last minute trip to Disneyland at the beginning of December and had a blast

- I secured a spot at a salon and will start working there in January

- We finished our 36 hours of Foster Care classes and we just have a few more steps to licensure

We had a busy year, but lots of good things happened. And we are so excited to see what 2017 holds!

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Current Products I Love

I am a product junkie. I really enjoy trying the latest and greatest beauty products and am always on the lookout for that HOLY GRAIL product that is going to change my life. I haven't found very many products that I'm willing to repurchase because I loved them so much, but I figured I'd share a few I love! 

This is a new brand I discovered while at Disneyland last week. I bought every single face mask they had because I am obsessed with face masks! I really love them all so far, but I think the Dead Sea Mud Mask is my favorite. The powdered face masks are super cool because it gives recommendations on what to mix them with based on your skin type. Dry (olive oil, cream). Oily (witch hazel, tomato juice). Normal (milk). Or you can always use water! 

I got a few other products from them as well including a Coconut Mango body spread, Handy-tizer (which smells AMAZING!), and a peppermint roll on essential oil for my purse (because headaches). I seriously love all of their stuff! Most of their items are 98%+ natural so I can totally get behind that as well. 

Jane Iredale Tantasia (aff)

It's getting to be that time of year where I am sick of being so pale. My husband tells me that all princesses have "fair" skin so I should just leave it but... I'm influenced by worldly standards and like tan skin. Do you know how tempting free tanning is at my local fitness center!? But I don't want skin cancer, so self-tanner it is.

The Jane Iredale Tantasia is amazing! It's my favorite self-tanner I've tried so far. It gives a good color in one use but can also be applied daily-weekly for continued or deepened color.

Dermalogica Products (aff links)

I tried some of the Dermalogica line while in hair school a couple of years ago, I loved it, but I didn't love the price tag. So I didn't really ever purchase it until recently. And I LOVE IT. A little goes a long way so the products last forever! I have been using the Essential Cleansing Solution and Intensive Moisture Balance. They are both great for dry/acne prone skin, which is such a hard combo to get skin care for.

I seriously love all their products like their masks and exfoliators. Great stuff you guys.

Monat Rejuveniqe Oil

I recently joined Monat after falling in love with the products, and here I am now using all of them! I am obsessed with the Rejuveniqe Oil. I am so used to using oils that are full of damaging silicones and waxes and Rejuveniqe is PURE OIL. Like, it's made up of 15 oils from around the world. And that's all. No other ingredients except oils!

It can be used for scalp treatments for psoriasis, dry/itchy scalp and to help regenerate hair growth. It can be used as a facial moisturizer (I love to add it to face masks like the ones above!) and you can use it as a deep conditioning treatment by adding to conditioner in the shower. There are seriously 101 uses for it and it's no wonder I'm obsessed!

What beauty products have you been loving lately?
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Books Read November 2016

It has been a crazy month for the Jolley family, although I feel like I say that every month. We got moved into our new home in Ogden, UT and are loving it! The first 2 weeks of the month were spent unpacking, figuring out where things are, and trying to maintain my sanity despite all the changes. I barely read during that time, so once we were *mostly* settled, I popped over to the library and picked up a few books I've been reading on Amazon and got a couple books finished!

This post contains affiliate links, this just means if you purchase using my links, I'll earn a (small) portion of that income! Thank you for supporting my blog. Jack wanted to be in the picture. LOL. I love that little one-eyed dog!

Personally I really liked this book. The characters were all a little cuckoo, but it was a page turner! Some people say the ending is predictable but I did not see it coming and for that reason I loved it. The book had a little too much swearing for me, but it was easy to coast over and ignore. But just a warning if you don't want to deal with that! If you want something that will take your mind out of the real world and into a story, this book definitely did it for me. I read it in like two days!

I recently joined a network marketing company called Monat. My sponsor sent this to me. I was surprised that it wasn't full of sleazy advice like "message 50 people a day"! It was full of a lot of good advice. Like focus on education, not sales. If you're in any kind of direct sales, I'd recommend this easy read. I'm going to re-read but with a pen in hand next time!

It's hard for me to rate this book. As a future foster carer I wanted to read some stories of children in foster care. This book had some disturbing sequences. The poor young girl is emotionally disturbed in some of the worst ways and it is so heartbreaking. The story was told well, and I admire the couple so much! Foster care has also changed SO MUCH since the time of this book that it's almost not applicable to current experiences. It does have a happy ending though, which I was so desperately praying for as I read the book.

4. Get Over Yourself by Romi Neustadt

Although I may not 100% agree with everything in this book, I really enjoyed it and agreed with about 90% of it. It helped me understand the steps I can take to have a successful network marketing career. I feel so much more knowledgeable and ready to conquer. I need to get a notepad and put some action steps down though because this was a lot of info and I almost feel overwhelmed by it all. Oh, and it has some swearing... including in the title. Sorry :/


I read quite a variety of books this month, and this next month is looking just as crazy! Finance, popular fiction, vegan books, parenting etc. I'll keep ya updated! 

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A Life Update - Nov 2016

Well, we have officially moved. I can't even remember if I wrote on here about selling our house, but we sold our home in Magna and moved to Ogden, Utah two weeks ago. We've got just about everything unpacked and set up and it's starting to feel like home. I really like the area we live in and I'm especially grateful to live so much closer to my family. 

Since moving, my husband has gone fully remote for his job. He works from home all week 40 hours a week. He recently graduated with his Bachelor's in Accounting as well which I am SO proud of! He is such a hard worker. 

I had to quit my job as the Reading Intervention Coordinator which was really sad. I obviously had an emotional connection to that place because I keep having dreams about it. I really loved that job and it was so hard to leave. It was also hard to leave my home salon. I had really started building a clientele and getting things going and loved taking appointments there. 

So here's what I'm up to now. Right now I'm doing the social media marketing for an accounting and payroll company about 5 hours a week. I really enjoy doing that remotely and trying to help build that company. I also plan on putting another home salon in our new home but it may be a little while before we get things up and running again. Because I plan to do hair again in my home I also became a Market Partner with Monat Global! I've stayed pretty busy trying to get that business off the ground but I've loved trying all the products and learning about the ingredients and what makes Monat so unique and amazing. 

We still aren't pregnant. Which gets harder and harder every month, but we are getting started on becoming licensed for Foster Care again which is so exciting! We've been emailing with the ones in charge and will hopefully be starting classes soon. 

I think that about covers it! I'm so excited for the holiday season and also for 2017! Odd years are kinda my favorite and I'm excited to dig into the goals I have for 2017. Happy almost Thanksgiving!

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The Best Blanket in the World - Cariloha Review + 4 Winner Giveaway!

I've collaborated with Cariloha on two previous occasions. 

I've had such pleasant experiences working with them and was so excited to get the green light to collaborate with 4 of my blogger friends and do a review + giveaway on the same day! The sheets are heavenly, the towels are what I always reach for before a shower, and the blanket is one I haul with me wherever I'm sleeping/relaxing. 

I previously reviewed the blanket back when they made it in an Ocean Blue color which I loved. Unfortunately they've retired that color now, but they have 3 gorgeous neutral colors now that give me all the heart eyes! Almond truffle, Oatmeal and Graphite. (See colors below)

These make perfect Christmas gifts, especially for those people who are extremely hard to buy for. Can you really ever have too many luxury blankets? Nope. 

What I love about the blankets...

-They are heavy! I read somewhere that heavy blankets can help calm your body in order to prepare for sleep. Everything you read on the internet must be true right? ;) But seriously, I love the heaviness of a good blanket.
-They are warm. I love climbing into bed and under my Cariloha blanket because it's instantly cozy and warm, and it really keeps the heat in. 
-Soft! With quilt batting in the interior core and a super soft outside, they are sooooo luxurious.
-Allergy free. Sometimes really fuzzy, soft blankets cause allergies/leave little fluffies everywhere but these blankets do neither.
-50% viscose from bamboo/50% polyester. 

Go check out all the colors and benefits- and then scroll down to enter the giveaway. FOUR winners will get to choose a blanket in their color choice. Treat yourself!

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Let's Talk About Anxiety- My Story

When I sat down with the therapist for the first time she asked me, "When do you first remember having these feelings of anxiety?" 

I had to think about it for a minute, but I have memories as early as 5th grade. I cried every single day of 5th grade. I came up with coping strategies that were ridiculous, like listening to Disneyland music on the way to school and pretending I was on the monorail and not a bus leading to my own personal hell. It was ridiculous, but it worked. 

Once I got to school I'd think to myself, "This really isn't as bad as I thought it would be, I'm OK, some of this is actually fun!" And then the next day it would start all over and the terror would hit. I didn't realize I was having issues, it was just my reality.

The best description I've heard for anxiety is this: "It is your brain confusing responding to an email, with getting chased by a hungry lion." It's funny, but it's true. And the chemicals in your brain don't know the difference. 

I fared pretty well in junior high and high school. Even though school wasn't super easy, I did well. I had good friends and I was really good at taking care of myself. I loved my curfew on the weekends because it meant I could come home and go to bed on time, I didn't realize at the time it was because unconsciously I knew that getting too little of sleep left me highly susceptible to my disorder. I was taking care of myself physically, participating in soccer, dance, cheer, gymnastics, etc. I completely forgot about the issues I had in 5th grade. 

Then college came. This time I didn't have a curfew set by my parents, so it got harder to say no when people wanted to stay out late. I stopped working out, I started eating a lot of junk food because that's just what you do in college! I remember joking with my friends and telling them once a month I just needed a good cry to cry out all the stress, fear and frustration that had been building up over the month. Surprisingly the cry never coincided with PMS, it just would randomly hit. I'd tell my roommates and friends I didn't feel well, and then cry all night. In the bathtub, in my bedroom, and silently in bed while my roommate slept. I'd struggle to breathe, I'd get dizzy and fall on the floor, I'd dry heave as if my body was trying to purge the feelings, I'd either over-eat or under-eat. I'd cry until I felt numb. And then the next day it would all go back to normal. 

After getting married, things worsened. I lost all of my friends, I struggled to make new ones, I gained weight and fell into a Binge-Eating Disorder. I'd get home from school/work and eat and eat and eat until I was sick. It felt good to eat, it was a release from the stress. I remember the night I went to Smith's, bought cupcakes and came home and ate almost all of them. When I finished eating them I realized I had no recollection of eating them all. No memory of it. It just happened, my body took over and ate them all and I was unaware. I hid them in the outside trash can so my husband wouldn't know. The next day I confessed and cried. I told him I had a problem and I was pretty sure I needed help. Only, I didn't get help. And it only got worse. 

Panic attacks became more regular. My triggers were usually a silly argument with my husband that I would blow out of proportion. Many of these episodes I have very few memories of. I'd remember my husband coming in to me and holding me and telling me to focus on the air, to breathe it in and out. He'd tell me he'd love me and that I was gonna be okay, that we were gonna be okay. 

The panic attacks went from happening once every few months, to once a month, to once a week, and then to multiple ones weekly. It started getting scary. 

One night, I heard my cat come in the doggy door and started to panic. Now, my cats have a bad habit of bringing things into our home. Mice, birds (dead AND alive), and even snakes... so the fear was valid. However, even once I saw she hadn't brought anything in, I continued to worry. I worried myself sick. At 3 AM I was still lying there awake after 5 hours of trying to sleep. I ended up getting up and went to my home salon to clean. I had nothing better to do in the middle of the night after all. At this point I started crying. I began to fall into darkness. That's the best way I can describe it. It's darkness that feels never-ending, like you might not make it out alive. 

My husband came in around 3:45 after hearing my crying and I could see how scared he was. He asked me what was wrong. I remember nothing after that. The last thing I remember was he eventually gave me a priesthood blessing and took me back to bed. I fell asleep around 6:30 am.

The next day I told him I was ready to get help. I scheduled time with a therapist and a doctor.

In April 2016 I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), Depression, Panic Disorder, and PTSD from two different experiences. (One was a car accident, and one was this experience in a movie theater) 

I went to therapy a few times with two different therapists before we moved. It was helpful,  I felt validated and understood. It was good to know I wasn't just crazy.

I got on an anxiety medication that helped significantly. I have not had a panic attack since. 

A few months later I met with my doctor to talk about the medication. When I explained to her how much I had improved she asked me what symptoms I still had. I chatted with her about the fear, the worry, the sleeplessness, the constant tightness in my chest, clenched jaws, awful bowel movements, my avoidance of freeways, taking off work because I couldn't cope, etc. She told me, "If this is an improvement, I can only imagine how horrible you must have felt prior to medication. I want you to love your life again." I was prescribed emergency Xanax (which I have used twice since and was SO grateful for it!) and we upped my dose on my daily medication. 

I started doing yoga at home and now at a gym. I started meditating multiple times a week using the app called Stop, Think, Breathe. I plan nights for me to stay home. I don't over-commit myself. I give myself grace when I fail. And I still have hard days. I checked out lots of books from the library about mental illness and even purchased a few from Amazon. I learned A LOT that has helped me come up with my own "treatment plan" that doesn't just include medication.

Dealing with anxiety is something many people have to do every day. It is really a process of trial-and-error to figure out what works for you. I wanted to avoid medication at first, but now I am SO glad I got on it, I finally feel pretty normal. 

Some days I wake up with the feelings of fear. The kind that make me want to curl back under the covers and never get out. Sometimes I still blow fights with my husband out of proportion, but now I can give myself a 15 minute break, shed a couple of tears and then we can make up. It doesn't take 4 hours to calm me down anymore. 

I wanted to write this post so you could understand a little more about anxiety/mental illness. It looks SO different for so many people. But this is what it looks like for me. If you have your own mental illness, I wrote this to encourage you to seek help. Therapy helped me for awhile, and then I felt okay without it, and instead gave time to other things (like reading, yoga, mediation, early bedtimes, temple trips, etc). I gave up gluten, which didn't make a difference. And have now given up meat (which HAS made a big difference!). I drink more water, and less caffeine. I try to put  my phone down more often and focus on reality. 

I chose to not write about the physical/medical side of anxiety in this post. I've learned so much about the different chemicals/hormones in our brains, the stress cycle and what causes anxiety, however, I didn't want to cover that today, this post is long enough! But knowledge is power! Learning more about my illnesses has helped me in unimaginable ways. 

I hope you find the strength to make your life something you love. I hope you accept help from others, even if you do not have a mental illness of your own. I hope you know, in those darkest moments, when you almost hope you don't make it out alive because the pain and turmoil is too much to bear, that you are loved. You are important. You make a difference. You are NOT defined by any illness, and most definitely not a sickness in your brain. 

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Books I Read In October 2016

It has been a CRAZY November. We are finally moved into our new home and are getting settled which means unpacking for days! I'm still attempting to complete by goal of reading 1 book a week until the end of the year. I'm just a little bit behind but I should have time to catch up once we are settled, plus I have so many books I want to read!!

But for now, here's an update on what I read in October!

Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice by Baron Baptiste 

3/5 I kinda wish I could give this a better review because I was really hoping for it to be good but honestly it was pretty boring. Yoga has been really helpful in managing my anxiety and I wanted to read more about it but it was slow and super repetitive. I will admit it had some good stories and advice which is why I still gave it a 3 out of 5 but it was not a page-turner by any means.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

5/5 I can't imagine a more beautifully written memoir. We are all broken and we all live messy lives. I'm so grateful for Glennon's heart and for being vulnerable enough to share her story of her husband's infidelity. Something about reading a memoir with such raw emotion encouraged me to be more vulnerable in sharing my own messiness, which hopefully I will get around to soon on this blog.

No Ordinary Women by Elaine Dalton

5/5 I purchased this on audio book with some birthday money back in September and finally got around to listening to it last month. This book will help remind you that you play a unique role in this life and that God & the world needs you!

You've Got This: How to Look Up When Life Has You Down

I did a full review on this book HERE. 

See Me by Nicholas Sparks

5/5 It has been awhile since I sat down with a good old romance novel and I must say I enjoyed See Me! It was a little longer than more Nicholas Sparks book and had an air of mystery to it which I liked. If you're not into his books though I'd say pass on this one because it's got a similar feel, but if you like his other stuff you will love See Me!

I've been reading lots of different types of books this month so I'm excited to share those with you at the end of November as well. What books have you been reading lately??

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You've Got This! How to Look Up When Life Has You Down - Book Review

I was sent You've Got This- How to Look Up When Life Has You Down to review and I must say I truly loved it! The book is made up of multiple popular authors, speakers, bloggers, etc. It is aimed at teens but everyone can benefit from the stories and lessons in it. 

One thing I really like about the book is each story only took 10-15 minutes to read. Which is perfect for winding down at night or taking a social media break to read something uplifting. 

All of the stories were uplifting and really helped me understand trials a little better. I feel like I learned how to look a little harder at my trials and see some silver lining. We can find joy in the messiness of life and this book is a perfect reminder. 

It's the perfect stocking stuffer for teens so pick one up from Amazon today! 

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More Good Hair Days! - My New Favorite Hair Care Line

About a year ago I read a blog post over at Because of Jackie. I was intrigued by her love of this magical shampoo & so of course I entered the giveaway. I mean, who doesn't want free magical shampoo am I right? 

Spoiler alert. I didn't win. In fact, the whole thing kinda fell by the wayside. 

I recently came across this hair care company again and started becoming obsessed. So when I saw that Meaghan was offering free samples I commented that I wanted to try! She mailed me out some samples to try, but before they even got to my house I was so excited about the results people were getting that I signed up as a VIP so I could get 15% off the products. 

After trying the products I knew I had never used anything this good. And as a hairstylist, that is saying a lot! I have brands I love, but none have done to my hair what Monat has done in such a small amount of time. That's my new favorite hair care line... Monat!

Monat stands for Modern Nature. The products are naturally-based, vegan and cruelty free and made here in the good old U.S.A.! The products were clinically tested and showed amazing results. 

After trying out the products and getting the following result...

I could not wait to sign up as a Market Partner! I am so ecstatic about these products!!! This company is amazing you guys. Can you feel my enthusiasm?! I went from someone who despised (that really might not be too strong of a word to use here) MLMs to someone who was joining and jumping in with both feet. Because the products work! They transformed my hair and I can't even imagine what my hair will be like after a few months of using the products!

Having good or bad hair can make or break my self esteem! Call me vain but that's the truth. The fact that Monat is giving me SUCH good hair days (like every day!) and that I'm on day 3 hair and it's still not greasy and gross is a miracle!! 

These products will strip away the product build up on your hair so your hair can feel soft. It will feel like buttah! They are SO concentrated that you barely need any product, a little truly goes a long way.  So if you are sick of your hair... let's chat!

 In fact... I'm giving away <THREE> sets of samples to people who comment on this post with their email address and their biggest hair concern. Let's start a conversation about your hair. (Winners must have valid US mailing address)

You don't need to waste your money on hair product that doesn't work!! There is a no-risk 30 day money back guarantee through Monat (but I guarantee you won't need it!) There are 3 ways to try Monat...

1 // Buy retail

If I have something in stock I can mail it to you directly or you can go to and purchase. 

2 // Sign up as a VIP 

Sign up for $19.99 and get 15% off of products forever + free shipping! Then just recieve two more shipments over the next 4 months (30-60 days apart) and then the perks are yours forever! Plus, each VIP shipment comes with a special #JustForYou gift! This months was a makeup bag, and a couple of samples! 

3 // Join Me!

I know you may have a bad taste in your mouth about Network Marketing, so did I. But I promise this can be fun and non-pressure. You don't have to be a salesperson, just a person willing to work and share a product that changes lives. If you think you're interested in this, please shoot me an email titled MONAT OPPORTUNITY and I'll respond asap so we can chat about that option as well. You'll get an additional deeper discount, free shipping and many more perks! I want this to be fun, but I need fun girlfriends to join me for this to be fun! 

And if you join my team in November/December I have some amazing gifts to welcome you to my team! So send me an email at and let's talk hair. (and my first Market Partner to join has a very special box waiting for them that I plan to send!!!!)

I wouldn't be selling this product if I didn't truly believe in it. If I hadn't seen my before & after I wouldn't have believed in myself. Let's chat about your hair. As a hairstylist I 100% stand behind these products and am so excited to see the way they change our hair! 

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Fall Capsule Wardrobe

I've been on and off capsule wardrobing for awhile now. I really do love when I do it, and then I get distracted by a shiny boutique and the cute clothes and fall off the wagon. Then my closet gets super full, I become overwhelmed and I got on a crazy cleaning rampage. Today I did that. 

I pared my closet down to 33 clothing items (tops, bottoms, skirts, dresses) and 6 pairs of shoes. Which is still a TON. And especially in the fall here in Utah that gives me SO MANY COMBINATIONS. I also pretty much wear the exact same stuff everyday anyway, so the idea was to get the stuff I didn't wear out of my closet so I could focus on the pieces I love. 

Here's what the count came to....

+ 2 pairs of black leggings 

+ 1 casual chambray skirt

+ 1 pair black work pants

+ 1 black pencil skirt

+ 2 plaid shirts (one blue & white, one black & red)

+ 1 pink casual dress

+ 1 burnt orange fancy dress

+ 4 cardigans (1 b&w striped, 1 navy & cream striped, 1 plain burnt orange, 1 plain mustard yellow)

+ 4 striped tees (1 mauve with simple black stripes, 1 mostly white with black stripes, 1 b&w even skinny stripes, 1 mostly red w/ black stripes)

+ 3 plain white tees (1 v neck, 1 crew neck w/ pocket, 1 basic layering top) 

+ 1 casual star wars hoodie

+ 1 white and floral tunic

+ 1 casual tee from the Elementary School I work for

+ 1 casual "Fur Mom" tee

+ 1 chambray dress

+ 4 peplum tops (1 greyish blue, 1 oatmeal, 1 black & grey stripe, 1 gray with floral peplum)

+ 4 various chambray tops (1 blue & teal striped, 1 plain dark wash chambray, 1 plain white wash chambray, 1 polka dot blue chambray)

+ 1 pair knee high brown boots

+ 3 pairs of flats (black ballet flats, b&w striped flats, leopard print flats)

+ 1 pair of Nike tennis shoes

+ 1 pair brown ankle boots

So that's my capsule! I'll do some instagram updates at @brooklynjolley using hashtag #brooklyncapsules 

I love using a capsule wardrobe and it really helps me have a lesser desire to spend money. I love my capsule because it helps me wear what I love and not feel guilty about it. 

Also one time I read that men wear basically the same thing to work over and over. Black pants, white button down top, and a tie. Why can't women adopt that pattern and just wear a uniform? What if we did?? I do believe that fashion should be fun and can be really exciting and a great way to express yourself! However, I do think the idea of a "uniform" could be fun and liberating. Any thoughts? 

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13 by 2017 - an end of the year goal

I'm a big believer in goal-setting. I've been slacking lately, life just got crazy and I felt like I was just barely getting by. Surviving, not really thriving, do you know how that feels? Anyway, I decided to set a fun goal to reach by 2017. One thing I've really missed has been reading! I've missed my long strolls through the library, anticipating my recent Amazon book coming to my door, and having so much to think and talk about because of what I'm reading. 

So I set a goal to read 13 books by 2017! I set this goal a few weeks ago when there were still 13 weeks left in the year! Now there's only 10 which is crazzzzy. 

This Fall weather has been perfect for cuddling up with a book and relaxing in the evening. Although it can be hard to pull my eyes away from Vampire Diaries long enough to read ;) 

You can see what books I read in September by going HERE. I'll do another update for October books read soon! Happy Fall guys! 

How I Survived My First Week Eating Vegetarian (10 Tips!)

I recently wrote about why I'm trying to eat vegetarian. I'm officially on my 12th day of eating this way and so happy and motivated to continue! I was so grateful that there were so many guides online on how to transition into vegetarianism so I thought maybe writing an update of how I survived my first week.


1. SHOP! 

Go shopping for some food you love and know you will eat. The first day I decided to eat vegetarian was a Sunday (we choose to not shop on Sundays) so it was a little harder to eat this day. We have a lot of meat sitting in the freezer and I was stumped about what to eat that didn't include meat. (Spoiler alert: You can eat SO MUCH!) Once we went shopping I had fresh fruit, snacks, potatoes, cereal, green smoothies, spaghetti, almond milk, frozen veggies, etc. I love having a full pantry and fridge so eating vegetarian got really exciting once I had the food I wanted. 

2. Try a Meat Substitute. 

I was pretty wary of meat substitutes. How does it look like meat, and taste like meat, if it's NOT meat... kinda freaky. I made my Mandarin Orange Cristy Chickn from Gardein and it was so good! My husband asked to try it and it tasted so good! We bought it again and made it with rice the second time and it was still so good. We've now bought Gardein beef crumbles, Boca Chickn patty sandwiches, and Quinoa Morning Star burgers. They are all super good! My husband is not doing the vegetarian thing with me, but he's eating these meals with me.  Cruelty free for the win!

3. Have a Few Go-To Meals

It can be really stressful when you wake up in the morning and have to hurry and think of something to eat and pack for lunch that doesn't contain meat. I didn't consider myself a huge meat eater but I did not realize how much meat I ate until I quit eating it. Turkey sandwiches, chicken nuggets, salad with grilled chicken... it was all out of the question. It was stressful! I made sure to have a few cereals I love on hand, and Van's Vegan waffles for breakfast. That way I had some quick delicious breakfasts. I did the same for lunches, except I knew I could eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and baked potatoes. Yum! 

4. Educate Yourself

Watch a few documentaries, get a few books from the library, and google and read tons of online information about going vegetarian and vegan. Feeling knowledgable will empower you. Whenever I get tempted by meat (RIP Chickfila) I think about the documentary Vegucated and the poor chickens. I can not UNSEE those images. I remember the health benefits that have been proven by eating less or no meat and I get excited for those to be MY health benefits. 

5. Have a Quick Response

It's terrifying for me to have to tell people I'm not eating meat. Especially since the decision came on so suddenly and without any preparation. After answering to a few people I told my husband I needed to come up with a scripted response I could use when someone says, "Why would you go vegetarian?" So I did. 

"Well, I knew a few bloggers who have recently gone vegan and have seen amazing health benefits. I started looking more into it and decided it was I wanted to try for myself." I'm also going vegetarian (and hopefully eventually vegan) for the animals and for the environment, but that response is true and also not super offensive to meat eaters and seems to be quick in and out response. It's definitely the easy way out, but for now, it works. 

6. Look at Your Schedule and Have a Plan

If you know you're going to be going out to eat do a quick google search "How to Eat Vegetarian at ________". You could also call ahead. So many people have already done the research. McDonald's is a horrible place to go! Most others places make easy accommodations. Chick-fil-a made my wrap without chicken, Wendy's has baked potatoes and salads, Taco Bell has lots of vegetarian options just order without meat. (Vegan is MUCH trickier because I swear dairy products are in EVERYTHING, which is why I'm making the vegetarian transition first)

If you're going to any family meals, find out what they are making and make sure you can eat something there. If you can't eat much there, be sure to eat before you go! 

7. Let the People Close to You Know What You Are Doing 

I let my husband know when I made the decision because he was most important to me since he would be the one weirded out when I didn't want a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger at Wendy's for date night. I also started tweeting about it which is how my Mom found out. I don't think you have to make a huge Facebook announcement, but let your besties, and significant other know so they can support you.

8. Decide What New Foods You Want to Try 

There are a lot of foods out there that vegetarians can eat that other people don't eat. Try tofu, make homemade sweet potato fries, try different kinds of rice, bake vegan cookies, use almond milk in your cereal, eat a veggie burger, try chia seeds on your salad, eat pecans. Expand your palate! I'm trying really hard to taste new foods because I've always been a mac n cheese and chicken nuggets kinda girl. It's been exciting to try new things and think about all the new things I will get to try. 

9. Create a Pinterest Board and Pin Like Crazy! 

I made a vegan Pinterest board to pin recipes, advice, and inspiring quotes to. You can find it HERE. Pinterest is really great for inspiration when making lifestyle changes! 

10. Supplement During Transition

One thing people will without a doubt say is... "But where do you get your protein?" Most people don't realize that you can get plenty of protein from plants, whole grains, nuts, beans, etc. I bought a soy-based protein powder and soy milk. One scoop of the protein and 8 ounces of soy milk add up to 30 g of protein! We really only need around 55 g a day so that is pretty dang good! I've been trying to drink one a day while I figure out how to get enough protein on a vegetarian diet.

Many also say that you will be deficient on B12. They say that vegans get their vitamins the same place that meat-eaters food get it, from plants! I made sure my daily multivitamin had plenty of B12. Do the research to make sure you're getting what you need! (Many meat-eaters don't get enough vitamins anyway!) 


I've been really grateful for the support I've had during this transition. Some days are harder than others. When we went to Cafe Rio I was so sad I couldn't eat the sweet pork, then I remembered I COULD eat the sweet pork but I was choosing not to for my own reasons and it was a choice I WANTED to make. 

I know this was a super long post but I hope it will be helpful if you decide to make your own vegetarian transition! I'll continue to do updates on here about my transitions and hope you'll stick around for the ride :) 

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The Sacrament Is For Me - Book Review

I've been so blessed to be offered so many amazing book reviews lately. I hope you are loving them, I sure am! The most recent book I've received to review is The Sacrament is For Me by Jessica B. Ellingson. 

It is a really cute rhyming children's book that explains how we should act during the sacrament. It explains why we take it and how to make it a special time. I absolutely love the focus of Jesus Christ in this book, I feel like one issue I find in church is I don't hear enough about Jesus! But maybe that's because you can never hear enough about Jesus ;) Either way, I love the reminder this book is for children and adults on why the sacrament is for each of us. 

Any book that rhymes is automatically a winner to me. I love the way the words flowed in this book. I've wondered how we will be able to teach our future children (and foster children!) the way we feel about sacred ordinances like the sacrament, and books like this are the perfect way. How blessed we are to live in a dispensation with so many resources at our beck and call!

If you'd like to read more reviews and/or purchase the book you can pop right over to Amazon and check it out!

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Defenders of the Family - Review

I was given the opportunity to review a new book called "Defenders of the Family" by Benjamin Hyrum White. I've been wanting to build our collection of children's books as we prepare to start our family and this book looked like a perfect one to add to our collections.

It was!

 This book has comic book type illustrations which kids will love! It goes through many of the roles of family, why families are important, and how we can strengthen our families.

I loved the simple descriptions that were used in the book and I wanted you to see what the inside looked like so you can see that below!

The book describes perfectly what Heavenly Father's plan is for families. It would be absolutely perfect to read to children to help them understand.

Like we learned in conference, if we don't teach our children about God and Jesus Christ, the world will.

This book can be purchased HERE from Amazon.

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Why I'm Trying to Eat Vegetarian

Over the last few months, I've been trying to change my eating habits. After being diagnosed with a few mental illnesses my doctors recommended a gluten and dairy free diet. I've been focusing on how I feel after I eat. I haven't lost any weight, but when I eat a better diet I FEEL better: both physically and mentally. 

I started doing some more research of what kind of diets are most helpful for anxiety and one that I came across is a vegan/vegetarian diet. I read my blogger friend Annie's article about Why Every One Should Try Going Vegan at Least Once in Their Life and was intrigued. I've been thinking about doing it for awhile and the other night when I was home alone I got on Netflix and watched Vegucated. 


I have been living in this little "Brooklyn-bubble" completely unaware of where my food comes from. I had "heard" these crazy vegans and vegetarians, but I hadn't listened to what they were saying. 

I decided to educate myself even more. I watched Forks Over Knives and Hungry For Change on Netflix. I started reading WHOLE and ordered The China Study. I don't want to keep living in the dark. I want to feel better. I want to take care of my body, mentally and physically. So what do I have to lose?

There are incredible benefits for eating vegetarian or vegan! There are benefits for our environment, our bodies, animals, and the world! Seriously you guys. Do some research! Here's a list by Annie of 100 Reasons to Go Vegan. 

I'll be honest. I'm nervous. Giving up meat doesn't seem too hard, because I'm not a huge meat eater anyway. But RIP Chickfila, I'll miss you! I plan to eat vegetarian for at least a couple of weeks, but the ultimate goal is to continue eating this way! That's really scary for me to post, because then it holds me accountable... but that's what I need. 

I am excited to give this a try, and I'll be doing updates on my Instagram of how I feel and what I'm eating! Be sure to go follow over at @brooklynjolley

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I was reading my blogger friend Ashley's October Goals and it inspired me! I love reading what goals others are working on and how they are achieving them. I've been off/on with blogging for awhile and have been feeling a little more inspired lately so here I am! I decided to share some of my October goals with you to keep you in the loop. 

We are in transition on a lot of things right now: becoming foster parents, becoming biological parents, selling our home, Colten graduating, new jobs, etc. So instead of worry about all the things I can't control, this month I'm really trying to focus on what I CAN control. Which is me! So here's my goals based on Luke 2:52.


Read 4 books this month. I just finished No Ordinary Women by Elaine Dalton on audiobook and loved it! Now I'm starting a book about yoga and so far so good. I'll try to do an October book update like I did for September. 


Practice yoga every day- even if it's only a couple of stretches before bed. 

This is something I'm working on to try and help with my anxiety, and so far I feel like it's been helping a lot! 


10-30 minutes of "SIT" time every day. I need to write a full blog post to explain this concept, but basics of SIT time is that I spend time Studying wherever my heart desires as long as it is spiritually uplifting, spend time in Intentional prayer/meditation, and give myself Time to write in a journal.


Go on a fall-themed date with Colten! I've been wanting to go pick pumpkins and make caramel apples so we are definitely going to figure out how to make this happen. Fall is my favorite season!

That's all for now. I've been working through my mental illnesses and it has been very life-consuming for awhile. I finally feel like I'm getting a routine down that works! But I am still giving myself grace when I fall and need to pick myself back up. I hope you'll do the same for you this month.

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