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Monday, January 23, 2017

ways to serve

we all know I love summer- a lot! winter isn't my favorite, but I decided to embrace it this year. I live in Utah where we have winter for months and months. since I have no plans of moving anytime soon, I finally decided to stop being mad and just accept it. things have gone a little better for me this winter. making the decision to be ok with it was huge, but there are other things to make winter a little better-like serving others.
Great Ways to Serve Others in Winter
Maurine A.

During the winter season, many people look for opportunities to serve others and to give back. In many places, the cold and snow make it hard to get out or to do service outside. But even still there are many ways that you can serve loved ones and neighbors—both indoors and outdoors. Here are some creative ways to do meaningful service during the winter months.
Put together winter care kits.
Winter is a time of great need for many. Try putting together small winter care kits for giving out to people you pass who are asking for help. Here are a few things you might consider including in your kits:
  • Hat, scarf, and gloves
  • Hand and foot warmers
  • Blanket
  • Soup and snacks
  • Lip balm
  • Lotion (travel size)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (travel size)
  • Soap and shampoo (travel size)
  • Deodorant (travel size)
  • Laundry detergent (travel size)
  • Baby wipes
Donate your gently used winter clothing.
On a similar note, many people are in need of warm coats and winter accessories at this time of the year. Try going through your closet and picking out some gently used winter clothing that you can donate to a local shelter. If you’re adept at knitting, make some hats and scarves for those in need. You might even ask your friends and neighbors to do the same and then organize a major delivery to your local shelter.
Help others battle the snow.
With the snow comes a great many service opportunities for friends, family members, and neighbors. Shovel someone’s front walk and driveway when several inches of snow hit. Brush snow and scrape ice off of a neighbor’s car before they have to leave for work in the morning. Be prepared to help someone jump their car after their battery has died in the cold. If you can afford it and are feeling extra generous, purchase snow tires for someone in need and leave the receipt on their windshield so that they can go pick them up.
Offer to help put away holiday decorations.
Now that the holidays have passed, many people are intimidated at the prospect of having to put away their holiday decorations. Some—especially the elderly—may even be apprehensive about accomplishing such a task. Look for those around you who many need help putting away holiday decorations, and offer to help them take down Christmas lights, stow away ornaments, organize the attic, etc.
Help someone declutter.
On a similar note, you may have friends or neighbors who would love to clean out their homes and give things away (to a local thrift store or shelter, perhaps?), but can’t because of physical limitations. Offer to help someone declutter their home, get organized, and give things away to others who could use them. This is an especially great service idea for the wintertime because it’s all indoors.
Host a service party.
The winter season is a great time to throw a party and bring people together. Instead of centering your party around some form of entertainment, why not invite people over to participate in some form of service with you, as this article suggests? Buy fleece and make fleece blankets together for a shelter. Write letters to military servicemen. Put together hygiene kits. Do something that makes a difference in your community and that will help engage several people in service at once.
Join an organization.
Many service oriented organizations are particularly busy during the winter months. Food banks, for example, usually have a need for increased staff when the weather gets colder. Soup kitchens serve more food during the winter months than during other seasons. Nursing homes gladly welcome visitors to perform music, help with activities or parties, or just socialize with residents. And refugee programs are always looking for people who can help local refugees feel more comfortable in a new place. So even if you feel you are lacking creativity on how you can serve others during the winter season, know that there are many organizations out there that can use your help!
Serve your loved ones.
As this article mentions, one of the best ways we can express gratitude is to serve those who have helped us in times of need. Don’t forget your friends, family members, and neighbors as you look for service opportunities during the wintertime. Set aside some time to do something extra special for them—something that will help them personally. Clean the house while they’re at work, make dinner during the week, get their car cleaned, write them a letter, make a bed, leave a note on their pillow, etc. It’s the little acts of service that sometimes go the furthest.
Service is very different depending on where you live. There might be a large underserved population where you are. You might be surrounded by family members. There might be lots of opportunities to do physical service in the winter, such as shoveling snow. Wherever you are, no matter your circumstances, one thing is always true: service is needed everywhere. There will always be opportunities regardless of what form they take. The most important thing is that we seize those opportunities, especially during the coldest time of year. You are guaranteed to receive as much as you give. That’s the great thing about service. And who knows? You might end up with a clean car and a love note on your pillow tonight too.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

snail mail

this will age me, but who remembers the days before social media? and smart phones? what about the days before email? when i first moved away from home to go to college, there was none of that stuff. ok, we did have email, but people did not communicate through email. i called my friends and family on a landline, and we wrote letters-that we sent in the mail. maybe it's the nostalgia in me, but i still love handwritten notes especially in the mail.

everything is electronic now which is convenient and great, but sometimes it is nice to send a thank you note or invitation or letter in the mail. basic invite has the perfect options for sending things in the mail. everything is perfectly customizable and easy to use.

Almost Unlimited Colors - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.
Custom Samples - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.
Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes - Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.

even though it's only january, graduation is right around the corner. evites are nice for small gatherings and sometimes even bigger things, but for something as big of a deal as graduation, it is nice to send announcements and invitations to those grad parties in the mail. they have great options for graduation, but they have everything you need for other special occasions too such as baby and bridal shower, first birthday parties, and so much more.

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this post was sponsored by basic invite. all opinions are my own

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

blogging the bach 21.3

we all got together last week for monday night tradish, but we didn't really watch. the tv was on, but i honestly did not watch one single second. i had good intentions to try and catch up a little, but it never happened.

who's watching-celsey, amanda, alicia, megan

this week starts with nick informing the girls of his past with liz who is now gone. the girls seem fine and they move on with the cocktail party. we see more black boxes in the first 5 minutes than we saw all summer on paradise.

who gets a rose-corrine(but she's missing), astrid, taylor, christina, danielle, rachel, vanessa, raven, jaimi, dominique, sarah, alexis, brittany, justine, josephine

group date with the backstreet boys. we're all freaking out wishing we were on this date. danielle gets a little one on one time on stage in front of the whole audience with all the girls watching from the side. she has more time at night and gets the group date rose. she's in my top 4 at least for now.

vanessa gets the one on one. they do zero gravity, have a lot of fun, and then vanessa gets sick. it's sad that she gets sick, but this is the most real thing we've seen so far. i like this side of nick. vanessa gets the rose and nick gets emotional/

the track and field group date starts. everyone including astrid wonders why she didn't wear a better bra. it doesn't seem to matter and she gets the extra hot tub time. dominique freaks out and and nick sends her home.

nick cancels the cocktail party and has a pool party instead. the girls start getting upset about corrine and several tattle tail. vanessa calls out nick, and he is caught completely off guard. the show ends. do they not know we all hate a cliffhanger ending?!? 

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

wear it Wednesday..BootayBag

I LOVE shopping for most everything, but there are a few things that just aren't my favorite to shop for. Does anyone really enjoy shopping for things like jeans and swimsuits? Underwear is right up there in that list. It clearly is not, but it feels like a waste of money. I would rather buy shoes.

BootayBag is here to solve all our underwear shopping woes. Subscription services are becoming increasingly popular. They are so convenient and affordable. BootayBag is very simple. For $12/month you get 2 pair of underwear shipped to your house. You choose the style, they pick the pairs, and they come in the mail once a month. It's easy, affordable, and you never have to leave the house. As a bonus if you post on social media with the hashtag #undermatters BootayBag will donate money to the melanoma foundation. Your underwear shopping is done, and you're donating to a good cause. It's a win-win!

**i received a complementary month from BootayBag in exchange for this post. all opinions are my own. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

weekend happs

i haven't been feeling 100% for the past couple of weeks. i keep thinking i am getting sick, but i don't think i am. the air quality is actually pretty bad here so i am blaming that. this weekend was pretty low key and perfect.

i finished work a little early on friday. i made some chicken noodle soup, and brenna and i took it over to mandi. we ate soup, hung out in mandi's room, looked at old scrapbooks, and laughed so hard. besides mandi being sick, it was one of my favorite nights.
i woke up saturday to run. between the 4 degrees and the bad inversion air, i decided that wasn't a great idea. i got a little more much needed sleep before working out at the gym and taking a pure barre class. we always end up talking forever after class. we talked so long we ended up going to brunch. protein house in draper is my new fave. the food is all clean and fresh. the place itself is light and bright and i love everything about it.
i came home and did some cleaning and things around the house. i didn't make any plans for the evening and ended up with an even more low key evening than the night before. i shoveled snow, made tomato soup for sunday, painted my nails, finally showered at 10pm, and never got ready for the day.

sunday was celsey and shawn's baby remington's baby blessing. shawn gave the sweetest blessing. while sitting in church i get a text from brandon.

we finished everything for the luncheon and all the family came over. i love knowing so many people in their families and visiting with them. i am so lucky to have people that include me as part of their families since my own is so far away.

i came home to finish my usual sunday tasks-laundry, washing makeup brushes, and a little meal prep. one of my goals this month is to get back to going to bed earlier especially on sundays. i was in bed by 10:00 and ready to start a new week.
how was your weekend? any exciting happs?
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beauty time thursday...december empties

beauty time tuesday is moving to thursday while the bachelor is on. i used up more things in december than i have probably any month ever. i obviously have an obsession with dry shampoo and texture spray.
Big sexy hair root pump
Not your mothers sea salt spray-for a little more texture
Amika texture spray-I don't know if I love the product or the smell. It smells so good. 
Big sexy hair dry shampoo-one of my faves. Adds a lot of texture. 
Target gentle face cleanser
Bath and body works foaming hand soap-I replaced this with another foaming soap, and it dried out my hands right away. 
Psssst dry shampoo-not my favorite
Batiste tropical scent dry shampoo-batiste is my go to dry shampoo. This is my favorite scent. 
Orly nail bonder-I love and use this every time I paint my nails. 
Degree deodorant 
Dove spray deodorant 
Bare Minerals tinted mineral veil
MAC eyelash primer 
Clinique mascara
Bobbi brown bronzer
Intuition razor refill 
Almost all of these are products I use very regularly.  

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

churchy...from the Mormon channel

I recently came across this article, and I love the message. How often do we pray and pray for something and not realize the answer is right in front of us? Answers don't always come in the ways we expect, but they do come. 

Choosing to Accept God’s Helping Hand


Agency is a gift we’ve all been given. It’s our ability to be able to think and reason for ourselves. But it’s not a gift we should take or use lightly. 


As Wilford Woodruff once said, “By virtue of this agency you and I and all mankind are made responsible beings, responsible for the course we pursue, the lives we live, the deeds we do in the body.”


Because God gave us this personal and powerful gift to exercise agency for ourselves, we are responsible for our own actions. One of those actions is choosing whether or not you’re going to accept God’s helping hand when He extends it to you.


God lends His help—in the forms of a warm, peaceful feeling to someone close to you saying what you need to hear—whenever you need it. All you have to do is ask for His help and then accept it when it comes, even if the format His help comes in isn’t what you were expecting.


This is exactly what happened to HeatherShe spent part of her young adult life living a life of depressionHer family tried to help her, but nothing they said or did was helping. Heather felt ashamed for what she felt. And she’d spent countless times praying and asking Jesus Christ why He wasn’t there and why He wasn’t taking this away from her.


One thing Heather said she never wanted to do was see a doctor or be put on medication to help with her depression. But, one day, she went anyways. And while talking with a doctor, she said, “I feel like the Savior should be able to take this away from me. I feel likmy prayers should be answered; that I don’t want this, and that He should take it away.” 


And then her doctor looked her straight in her eyes and said, “Whoever said I’m not the answer to your prayer?”


At that moment, Heather finally realized God was extending His helping hand in a way she wasn’t expecting,and she knew she needed to accept it to get better.


Agency is yoursThe choices and decisions you make are yours. So as you choose, whether it’s a big life decision like who you should marry or a smaller one like deciding if you should go to that party or not, choose to ask for and accept God’s help in making your decision.


N. Eldon Tanner wisely said, “There exists this eternal law that each human soul, through the choices he makes, will shape his own destiny. Our success or failure, peace or discontent, happiness or misery, depend on the choices we make each day.”


God won’t lead you down the wrong fork in life. He will lead you down the righteous path that will fulfill His successful plans for you. He knows the direction you need to take, and faithfully choosing to accept His help will allow you to make good choices.


So rather than trying to take on this challenging world by yourself, choose each day to ask for and accept God’s helping hand. Choose to progress in a life of joy and happiness rather than living a life of sorrow alone.

Friday, January 6, 2017

foodie Friday-cranberry orange protein balls

this is by far my new fave snack. mandi made a very similar recipe a few weeks ago which gave me the idea to add orange. you won't believe how easy it is. 
the measurements are very approximate. feel free to add a little more or a little less to taste and make it the consistency you want. you can easily adjust the flavor by changing the protein powder and mix ins. you can leave out the protein powder for energy balls. 
1-1 1/2 c peanut butter
1/2  c honey 
2 tbsp chia seed
2 tbsp flax seed
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 scoop birthday cake protein powder (or another scoop of vanilla or salted caramel)
juice and zest from one orange
1 1/2-2 c oats
roll into balls. place on wax or parchment paper until set up. store in refrigerator. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

blogging the bach 21.1

we've had a nice long bachelor break, and now wer're back for nick as the bachelor. i'll be honest. i am not totally thrilled for this season, but i'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

my regular monday night crew is sick tonight so the format will be a little different this week.

per usual, we start with an intro to nick followed by advice by his bachelor bros.

nick gets dating advice from a 12 year old. she actually has some smart things to say. hopefully he listens to her.

nick is afraid he might be rejected at the end. i wonder what gives him that idea. he's in control this time so things should go much better for him. and if not, he should probably get as far away from bachelor land as possible.

video intros
attorney from dallas-is another attorney really in his best interest?
danielle l-boutique owner
special needs teacher-i like her already but mostly for her career choice
josephine-crazy cat lady???
raven-busines owner actually means business owner not just sells lipsense
corrine-runs a multi-million dollar company but still has a nanny
describes herself as "really weird"
danielle m from nashville-a little more appropriate age for nick
taylor-already psycho analyzing nick
liz-jade's maid of honor. didn't give nick her number at the end of the night. instead of trying to contact him that way she decides to pursue him on national tv. seems logical.

meet the ladies
danielle l-boutique owner, black dress
elizabeth-most nervous
rachel-something about fantasy tapes
cristen-meeting a celebrity
taylor-all her friends hate him
angela-really happy it's nick
lauren-"disgusting slut"
michelle-food truck owner
dominique-restaurant server-isn't that a waitress?
ida marie-trust fall
olivia-in her fur coat
sarah-another runner up
jasmine g-brings neil lane
hailey-very bad underwear joke
liz-he likes her. he knows he knows her from somewhere but can't figure out where.
corrine-did she bring her nanny with her?
vanessa-more foreign language
danielle m-maple syrup
raven-call the hogs
briana-token utah girl
susannah-beard massage
jospehine-you're a weiner in my book, red dress
brittany-another red dress
jasmine b-and another red dress
whitney-red dress number 17
lacey-camel because "good hump" and also a red dress
alexis-aspiring dolphin trainer-what in the world?

corinne may have a nanny, but she is no baby.
the claws are definitely coming out and girls are already crying. i'm planning on a dramatic season.
nick definitely remembers liz and seems a little bugged she waited until the show to contact him,
rachel gets the first impression rose

who's left
danielle l
elizabeth w
jasmine g
danielle m

what are your first impressions?

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Monday, January 2, 2017

one little word-january

Happy New Year! 2017 is here and i am very excited for a new year full of possibility. i am back for another year of the one little word linkup. checking in monthly helps me stay accountable to my goals throughout the whole year. we hope you will join us throughout the year.
i've been thinking about my word for 2017 for a few months. 2016 was a great year full of a lot of unexpected yet beautiful growth and change for me. looking into 2017 i'm excited to see where this year takes me.

i am much more of a feeler than a thinker. several months ago while getting ready for work one morning, the word EMBRACE came to me, and i knew it would be my word for the year. i thought about other words, but any time i tried to think of other options, EMBRACE was strong in my mind.


verb (used with object)embraced, embracing.

to take or clasp in the arms; press to the bosom; hug.
to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly:
to embrace an idea.
to avail oneself of:
to embrace an opportunity.
to adopt (a profession, a religion, etc.):
to embrace Buddhism.
to take in with the eye or the mind.
to encircle; surround; enclose.
to include or contain:
An encyclopedia embraces a great number of subjects.
i love the idea of embracing and loving the current season of my life. i want to spend this year loving the life i have while continually working to be the very best me i can possibly be.

*nightly gratitude journal
*do something that scares me/pushes me out of my comfort zone
*attend temple 12 times
*monthly journal
*csatt goals

*record all spending
*schedule 1 free night each week
*clean out all clothes and shoes

do you pick a word or theme for the year? link up your posts below and let's help each other accomplish our goals this year.

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