3 Ways to feel better about New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is a time for new beginnings and resolutions, 
but for many people it also carries a large amount of shame and guilt. Maybe you set a resolution last year and didn't keep it? Or you view resolutions as something you should be 
doing, but thinking about them makes your cringe. 

Below are 3 things you can do to get through the 
New Year feeling less guilty about resolutions.

1. Don’t let others pressure you. 

New Year resolutions are personal and the best goals are ones that you chose, not because it’s a good idea, but because it’s something you’re excited about. Don’t let society or other people guilt you into setting resolutions that you wouldn't otherwise chose for yourself. Also, be wary of people and businesses that are out to make a profit during this time. Many of these companies will use shaming tactics, disguised as motivation, to try and get you to purchase something from them.

2. Stop saying the word ‘should’. 

In our home ‘should’ is a cuss word, which we refer to as “the other s-word”. That’s because it’s a word that carries a lot shame. When it comes to New Year resolutions you may be telling yourself, “you should do this, and you should do that.” These statements imply that you are trying to guilt yourself into changing. Making and keeping a New Year’s resolution is easier when the desire for that change comes from a place of excitement and love- instead of guilt. Often just being aware of when you are using the word ‘should’ can be a red-flag that the resolution isn’t what you deeply desire, but something that you feel pressured into doing. 

3. Learn to let go of perfectionism. 

Often, when people are striving for perfection they have what has been termed “all-or-nothing thinking.” This means that once they slip up on their goal, they give up on it. Life isn't perfect and that’s 
ok. When setting goals, it’s important to remember that you’re going to make mistakes and have set backs. Anticipate what factors may contribute to those slip-ups, and then make a plan of how you’ll handle them when they happen. 

I hope this list will help prevent some of the guilt that is sometimes associated with New Year’s Resolutions because setting goals is an important part of life. It allows us the opportunity to better ourselves and can help us be more optimistic for the future.

Do you wanna read more about this? 
Check out my post from last New Year.


What are your feelings towards New Year's Resolutions?

Happy List 2

Merry Christmas Eve! 
Here's a list of moments that made me happy this past week:

*Spending time with one of my oldest and sweetest friends.
We've been friends sense 4th grade, and she brought with her a "magazine" that we had created back in the good ol' days. 
It was hilarious! - I love her for hanging onto it all of these years. 

*Going to Ikea and day-dreaming about all their pretty things. 

*Hearing the song "Raise 'Em Up" by Keith Urban and Eric Church while driving to work one morning. 

*The missionaries stopped by unexpectedly and 
we sat in our living room and cut out snowflakes 
while they shared a message with us about Christmas.
I think they all turned out really well. 

*Catching up with some of my co-workers-turned-friends
 from working at the credit union. 
It's always so much fun being with them.    

*Trying a Chick-Fil-A Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake 
for the first time (aka Christmas in a cup.)  

*This text message from J.R. : 

*Listening to old records on a record player 
for the first time in my life. 

*Staying up way to late and wrapping all our Christmas gifts.

*Sipping hot chocolate topped with whip cream and listening to J.R. sing along to Christmas songs.  

And last but-not-least,

*This Christmas video, that may have made me teary eyed:
(If you can't view the video on my blog, click here for the link) 


What made you happy this week?
I would love to know. 

Quotes about Love and Fear

In my last post about love and fear, I said I would follow up 
with a list of quotes that I've been collecting. 
So... here it is!  
Feel free to Read'em as slow and as many times as you want. 
(I've read them at least fifty times.)   

"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life." –John Lennon

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and with out fear for newer and richer experience."  -Eleanor Roosevelt 

"drifters are people who dwell in fear and neglect to use their minds to choose their way out. Drifters let other people and situations influence their emotions and they mindlessly react to life with the same old patterns over and over."  -Life Coach Kimberly Giles. 

Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life. 
 -Naguib Mahfouz

image found here

“...to be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can't accept who God is; a Being that is love. . . And so I have come to understand that strength, inner strength, comes from receiving love as much as it comes from giving it.” –Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality 

“The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is 'Do not fear.' It's in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn't let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I thought of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.”
–Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality


*There is no fear in love, but perfect love 
casteth out fear. (1 John 4:18)

*Look unto me in every thought; 
doubt not, fear not. (D&C 6:36)

*Fear not I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: 
I will strengthen thee; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:10)

*Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the 

Lord am with you, and will stand by you. (D&C 68:6)


Is there anything else that you would add to this list?
I would love to know! 

Happy List 1

This was the first week that I recorded  a "Happy List", 
and it was a good week to start because a lot happened. 

J.R.'s work had their company Christmas party at Energy Solutions Arena where we ate some delicious food, had some hilarious conversations, and got to watch the Jazz Game. 
His work tries to make their employees feel appreciated, 
and they gave same encouraging speeches and wonderful gifts. 

This week was also my nieces first birthday party! 
She loves to hug her little cousin, and whenever he cries she tries to comfort him by patting his back. They are seriously the cutest! 

My heart just melts.  

I got home from work one night and 
found these under our Christmas tree.
J.R. always writes the cutest gift tags. 

I know it's hard to read in the picture but it says, 
From: your husband
To: my amazing beautiful wife.


For the past two years we had been borrowing an extra tree from J.R.'s sister, but this year we bought our very own Christmas tree. 

J.R. set it up the day we bought it and 
then we decorated it a couple days later. 
Except we never put the star on top  - I don't know why.
But on Sunday we finally got the star on and 
now our decorations are complete.  


We normally go over to J.R.'s parents house each week for Sunday dinner, but J.R.'s work had given him a turkey back in November for Thanksgiving and he decided that he wanted to try and make dinner for his parents on Sunday instead.  

Cooking a turkey for the very first time was 
entertaining to-say-the-least and I'm not gonna lie,
J.R. did most all of it by himself, and it was amazing! 
Also, I think his parents appreciated us inviting them over. 
(and not having to cook)

Here's a list of a couple more things
 that brought me happiness this week.

*J.R.'s dad made the tastiest chocolate cake I have ever eaten. 
*My mom made her famous Christmas fudge. 
*Eating "Christmas Bark Candy" for the very first time. 
(Good food makes me happy - don't judge me. lol)
*Delivering our Christmas "neighbor gifts".
*Going ice skating at the Gallivan Center 
with the youth from church
*Going to Christopher's Prime Steakhouse during 
work for our office Christmas celebration.
*Getting home late one night and gently waking J.R. up to tell him I was home and, without opening his eyes, he asked in the sleepiest most concerned voice, "You're safe now?"


Thanks for reading. 
What made you happy this week? 

Love and Fear

There is a popular blog and Facebook  
page called Humans of New York
Brandon, the man behind the blog, set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers, and sometime along the way he started interviewing people and including their quotes with the pictures. 

What I love most about the site is how honest 
and unintentionally poetic people are. 
Brandon has taken these "ordinary" strangers and shown how everyone has an interesting story to tell. Some stories are beautiful, some are poignant, and others almost tragic. The blog is a good reminder that everyone we meet has a history and some unique advice to give. 

As readers we don't usually know what types of questions Brandon has asked. We just get to see how people reply, so it feels like they just happen to be sharing something interesting about their lives with you. I like to read the stories and  guess what questions Brandon had asked them, and I've complied a list of questions I think he most commonly asks:

What was the happiest moment of your life?
What was the worst moment of your life?
What do you remember most about your
 mother from your childhood?
What do you remember most about your 
father from your childhood?
How did you meet your significant other?
 What do you do for a living?
What's your biggest goal in life?
What's your biggest weakness?
If you could give a large group of people advice, 
what would it be?

I thought it would be important to ask myself each of these questions, and while I don't have answers for half of them, there is one that I want to write about today. Which is the question: If you could give a large group of people advice, what would it be? 

I would tell people to live life from a place of love and faith - instead of fear. And more importantly to never make life decisions based on fear. Make them based on love. 

I'm definitely not fearless, and I may have written this 
as more of a reminder to myself than for anyone else to read, because it can be easy to live in fear.

I'm sure that you can think of your own examples of when you or someone you know has made a choice out of fear instead of faith. Maybe you know someone who entered into a marriage not necessarily out of love, but because they were afraid. Or you know someone who hates their job but they won't look for a new one because they're afraid of change.

I know all of us are afraid of something - it's just a part of life.
 But I also know that people who face their fears and
 make life choices out of love and faith are the happiest people.


What advice would you give to a large group of people? 

In the near future I'm going to make post about all the 
quotes I've collected about love and fear, I hope you'll like them. 

This has been published check it out here.  

Life Lately

Sorry I haven't posted for a few weeks. 
Life got really busy there for a little bit, but I'm done with finals for this semester, so I plan on posting more consistently. 

(and please excuse my blurry phone pic)

I've been reading Emily's blog over at emmyjake.com and every week she has been posting a "Happy List". Which is a list of things she is grateful for or things that bring her joy. They are usually small everyday moments or simple pleasures, but I've really enjoyed reading them. And she has inspired me to make my own happy lists.  

I think that it's important to take notice of all the good things that happen each day, because I know if I'm not mindful of them then it can be easy to take those special moments for granted.  

So get ready for my first "Happy List" next week!  

(And make sure to check out Emily's most recent Happy List here)

Do you keep a list of things you're grateful for 
or things that make you happy? 
I'd love to know. 

Thanks for reading! 

A Thousand Splendid Suns

This is a book about two women in Afghanistan and the struggles they face as the Taliban take over their country, but more than that, it is a story about perseverance, strength, and love.

I had never read a novel about about Afghanistan or it's people, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to relate to the story - but I was wrong. I absolutely love this novel. I stayed up late into the night flipping pages, and finished reading it in two days. I could not put it down. During some moments, the story had my heart breaking apart, and then in other moments it had me close to crying tears of happiness.   

This is synopsis about the novel from Amazon.com:
Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

This is a beautiful story about wonderful characters, and one of the things that I enjoyed most about it was the theme of sisterhood. It left me with the thought that, it doesn't matter what part of the world we live in, we each need to work together to eradicate the suffering and suppression of women. After all, we could have easily been in their shoes and suffering through their trials, if we had been born in a different country.

This novel also left me with a respect for the women of Afghanistan, and a deeper understanding of their lives.   

These are some of my favorite quotes:

“You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. 
But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.”

“A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated...”

“Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason.” 

“A woman who will be like a rock in a riverbed, enduring without complaint, her grace not sullied but shaped by the turbulence that washes over her.” 

Thanks for reading my review. 
If you would like your own copy of this novel then please click below:

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Do you have a favorite book you're reading right now? 

Letting go of Expectations

I'm a planner, a list maker, someone who has 
been know to plan every hour in a day. 

Lists of groceries, list of chores to do, people to call, assignments to complete. Checking each item off with satisfaction, and fretting about the unchecked, unfinished things. 

As a planner, I also have plans of how I think certain things in my life will be. I envision certain moments and I have specific ideas of what kind of life I want and what experiences I want to have - dreams you could call them. Dreams of what kind of atmosphere my home will have, dreams for my future family, dreams of things my husband and I will experience together. 

But sometimes my plans fall through or come crumbling down.
What do I normally do when one of my plans doesn't look like its going to be possible? 

I dig in my heels and I desperately try all that I can do to make it work and then sometimes I have a melt down.

One of the biggest life lessons I've had to learn in the past year is being able to let go of my expectations. I don't know if I'm the only person who struggles with this problem, but when a situation or moment doesn't meet my expectations then I consider it to have been a failure and because of this "black-and-white" type of thinking, I'm missing out on what could be some really beautiful moments and memories.

When do our hopes and dreams become expectations?

What if instead of fighting a situation to make it fit my expectation, I just let the situation unfurl by itself, without worry or regret? What if I just took the situation or the moment for what it was, and enjoyed it? 

What if I let go of my expectations? 

  I'm not letting go of my dreams or goals, but I am going to try and let go of my expectations attached to those dreams. 

"As we act in faith, we often find that the blessing from the Lord are different than we expected but much better than we imagined."
-Elder Neil L Andersen 

I'm not exactly sure how I will let go of my expectations, except to be aware of them, and consciously tell myself that I don't always know what's best for me, but that my Father in Heaven does know.


 If you have any advice for me or any stories you want to share about how letting go of expectations has help you in life, 
then I would love to hear from you!

I could really use some help with this. 

p.s. you might like to read: Three things I wish I knew at 18

October Outfit

Even though I'm not ready for summer to be over, 
I am enjoying the cooler days of fall. 

Plus - fall clothes are my favorite, 
so I decided that this would be the 
perfect time to do my first fashion blog post.   

Our friends invited us to a party for the 
season premier of AMC's The Walking Dead,
and there was a contest so see who could wear 
the best Walking Dead T-shirt. 

I wanted a T-shirt that didn't draw a lot of attention so that I could still wear it on other weekends - and I didn't want anything with blood splattered all over it. 

So when I saw this shirt about my favorite character,
 I knew that it was the perfect one for me. 

(The detail on the back is my favorite part)

I laugh a little bit every time I look at this shirt,
 because the last time I wore a
 shirt about a T.V. character I was five years old. 
(It was a Power Ranger t-shirt that I wore all the time.)

So I guess I still haven't grown up completely -
 but that's alright with me.

As I mentioned before in a previous post about fashion 
I'm still developing my own style, and I'm hoping that this blog will help me to keep moving forward in this area of my life.  

Thanks for reading!

P.S. if you want one of these shirts for yourself then click below.

Other Outfit Details:

Jeans - Buy similar here

Leslie's Family Tree Restaurant

It's that time of year. 
When the leafs start changing and the temperature drops, 
that means it's time to haul hay. 
I love my family and I love my life, but I have a love-hate-relationship with hauling hay.

After loading up 100 bales early one Saturday morning, we were all hungry and wanted to get some breakfast before going home to unload.  Lucky for us, as we drove through Santaquin, my step dad spontaneously chose to stop at Leslie's Family Tree Restaurant.  None of us had ever been there before, so i was excited to try it out, but I was also little self-conscious because 
we were all really sweaty and dirty.

But when we walked in, they made us feel right at home. A redneck place for some reneck people. 

As we were placing our orders, 
I noticed most of their breakfast plates came with a scone. 
Except mine.
The pancakes I ordered didn't come with one, 
and I was feeling a little bit sad about it. 
I imagined everyone else at our table eating their scone
 and me without one. 

Well you can image our faces, 
when the waitress brought out a basket of these! 

The scones here are huge! 
(They are seriously as long as a loaf of french bread.) 
And lucky for me, my family didn't have a problem sharing. Between the five of us we were only able to finish two of these things. 

(sorry the picture is so blurry. I had to hurry and snap this before they got devoured.)

  If you're ever in the Santaquin area, 
you'll have to stop by and get a scone to share. 
Their address is 77 West Main Street in Santaquin Utah. 

Shackletons Way

I'm reading this book called "Shackleton's Way" which is a New York Times Business Best Seller about Sir Ernest Shackleton who's is, "The greatest leader that has ever came on God's earth."

Never heard of him? Don't feel bad, because I hadn't either.

He was a great Antarctic explorer and is famed for his daring exploration, elite leaderships skills, and for being an all around champion. So they wrote this book about Shackleton, to help business leaders pattern their leadership style after him. The book is going well, explaining all of the horrific and completely terrifying excursions Shackleton and his men endured trying to reach the South Pole. It has me imagining Antarctica as a frozen hell on earth, where only the craziest people would purposefully go. The book is pulling me in and I'm starting to get interested when in the last paragraph of the first chapter they quote Shackleton as saying, "All the troubles of the South are nothing to the day after day of business." 

Whaaat? I have to read the quote again. And again. Just so I can let it sink in.

This guy would rather be in a frozen hell then go to work everyday?  

The organization I work for gave me this book to help inspire me to be better and reach higher in my professional career. And I know the author of this book threw that quote in there to feed the egos of all the business men and women who he wrote the book for. I can just see in my-minds-eye some guy reading that quote, shaking his head in agreement, and thinking to himself that he is some sort of warrior because his career in business is more difficult than reaching the South Pole in the 1900s. 

The quote didn't feed my ego, and it certainly wasn't an inspiration. The irony didn't get passed me. They wrote a business book about a guy who hates business. A guy who would rather freeze to death, chasing his dream, than work in business. 

I set the book down after the first chapter. It's an enlightening book, and I will finish reading it someday. But for now it has me wondering that maybe I would find more happiness freezing in Antarctica than spending a lifetime wasting away in a comfortable office doing something I hate.

Maybe I need to find my own Antarctica - my own crazy dream to try and reach for. 

The True Cost

Thrift Shopping 101
The Whys and Hows
(Lds Young Women's activity)

I was in-charge of doing an activity for our Laurel's Class on how to "thrift shop". I created a small lesson for the girls, a list of guidelines for thrift shopping, and then a list of the best store locations in the Salt Lake Valley for thrifting. 

I just wanted to share the basic outline with you so that you can use it in your own ward (or if you want to use it in your life).

First I talked about what it means to be modest. Many times in our culture, when we talk about modesty, we talk about sleeve length and hemlines but there is more to modesty than just the amount of skin that your clothes cover. 

I got this definition of modesty from the LDS "Guide to the Scriptures" it states, 

"Modesty: A behavior or appearance that is humble, moderate, and decent. A modest person avoids excesses and pretensions."

What exactly does "excesses" mean?  - An amount of something that is more than necessary. A lack of moderation.

What does pretensions mean? - A claim to dignity, importance, or merit,
a display, especially of wealth and luxury, intended to impress or attract notice.  Other synonyms include: flashy, extravagance, and gaudiness.

Please keep the above definition of modesty in mind while watching the following video:  

(If you cannot access the video from my blog, here is a link to it and the URL
The True Cost  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FszV8O0zP-0 )

After watching the video we talked about what the girls learned and we read these scriptures:  

Alma 1:27
And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.

D&C Section 42: 40 – 41
40 And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands;

41 And let all things be done in cleanliness before me.

We discussed how the issues and problems in this video mainly affect women, and how women can be the leaders to facilitate the changes needed to solve these problems. 

We also discussed the importance of consuming less clothing, and then I showed them a small presentation on how to consume less clothes:  

Tips for Consuming Less:

1. Avoid trendy pieces, instead purchase classics that never go out of style.

2. Think quality over quantity. It may seem more expensive upfront, but quality clothes will last longer and you will save money in the long run by not having to buy as many clothes. 

3. To get those high quality, classic pieces at a great price, take advantage of other people's wastefulness.

Follow the 5 Tips below to buy high quality clothes for less: 

- Shop thrift stores. These are places that have donated clothes.    
   (Example: Desert Industries)

- Go to Consignment shops. These are shops where people have sold their "like-new" brand name or designer clothes. 
(Example: Plato's closet or Uptown Cheapskate)

Shop the Clearance Racks and Big Sales at your favorite department stores.
Extra Tip. Shop out of season clothing – the pieces that are on clearance. 

- When shopping online, use Codes and Coupons to get better deals.
(Ex: Retail Me Not)
Look for better deals online. Shop 6pm.com for shoes. I’ll go to Famous Footwear and try on a pair of shoes then look online at 6pm.com and it’s almost always listed cheaper online.

- Go to Discount & Outlet Stores. These are stores like TJMax and Ross. They get their inventory from manufacturer overruns and department store overbuys and order cancellations. 
Some brands have their own factory outlet stores - Ex: the Nike Factory Story, Maurice’s Outlet and other stores located at the Tanger Outlets in Park City or the Outlets at Traverse Mountain in Lehi. 

I want to give credit to this website: Buy Quality Clothes For Less for helping me to form this list. 

The girls then came up with up some fashion tips and advice and wrote down their thoughts on modesty:   

Fashion Tips and Advice:

- Change your mind set about clothes. Help your self-esteem by not having it tied directly to what you are wearing.

- Be able to say "I have enough."  Who says you need a new purse every year? Remember that the fashion industry is a business and they are doing all that they can to make you feel like you need to buy more.

- Find your own style and dress like you. – Not like a girl on a magazine or the girls at school.  

- Don't buy something just because it's on sale! If the size doesn't fit right, or you don't really love it, then it will be waste of money because you will never wear it. (The Blind Side Shopping Advice)

Modesty is always in style!

Dressing modestly is a way of expressing your Christ-like self. (Plus its much more comfy)

It’s easier to live other standards of the church when you dress modestly. Also other people will know how you feel about yourself and your love of God by how you dress and represent yourself. 

inner beauty
Photo Credit: Unknown - Pinterest

Afterwards, I gave them a printout of the best store locations in the Salt Lake Valley for thrifting, and then we all went shopping at Plato's Closet. The girls loved it! 

Stores & Locations:
-Savers 4145 S. Redwood Rd. Taylorsville 84123
Click here for their website.

-Plato’s Closet
1913 W. 4700 S. Taylorsville 84118 
12198 State St. Draper 84020 
Click here for their website.   

-Uptown Cheapskate Salt Lake 
353 W. 200 S. SLC 84101
2120 S. 1300 E. (Sugarhouse) SLC 84106
264 E. Winchester Street, Murray 84107
Click here for their website. 

-Deseret Industries (The Best Ones!)
2140 S. 800 E. SLC 84106
4485 S. Main Street, SLC 84107
727 E. 9400 S. Sandy 84047

-Outlets at Traverse Mountain
3700 Cabela's Blvd, Lehi 84043
Click here for their website.

-Tanger Outlets in Park City
6699 N Landmark Dr, Park City 84098
Click here for their website. 

-Brickyard Plaza - Shopping Center
(Has a TJ Max and Ross in the same parking lot)
1140 Brickyard Rd, SLC 84106

What do you think? Is there anything that you would add? Any thoughts on modesty, thrifting, or any store locations you would add to this list?  

I would love to know!