Friday, October 26, 2012

Because you should know you are good enough.

Okay. I've been posting a lot lately. I'm sorry. But I wanted to share this so that everyone could be reminded that they matter. That they are important. That they are loved. And that they ARE good enough. 
I won't go into detail, but I've been having a hard time lately seeing myself as my Heavenly Father sees me, and how Taylor sees me. I often get caught up in how the world sees me. You know what I mean. Especially if you're a woman. The world is constantly telling us that our hair is the wrong way, that we're too big, or we're too small. That we could and should be better students, wives, moms, etc. The list could go on and on. 
Yesterday Taylor told me about a talk from Elder Holland he had to read for one of his classes. I remember when this talk was given for the first time, but it's been a few years since I've heard it again. Taylor had me read it, and it honestly made such a difference, even just in my day today (even though I fell asleep on the couch until 2:30am because I was reading it..oops).
If you're feeling down about yourself..or even if you're not, I invite you to read this talk: 
{This talk is from October 2005 General Conference given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Click here if you want to be taken to it on}:
"Father Time played a rude trick on me just a few months ago. I arose one morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed, greeted the dawn with a smile—only to realize suddenly that with the birthday to be celebrated that day I now had a teenage grandchild. I thought about it for a minute and then did what any responsible, dignified adult would do. I got back in bed and pulled the covers over my head.
Traditional joking aside about the harrowing experience of raising teenagers, I want to say to my own granddaughter and the vast majority of the youth of the Church whom I meet around the world how extraordinarily proud we are of you. Moral and physical danger exists almost everywhere around you and temptations of a dozen kinds present themselves daily, yet most of you strive to do what is right.
This afternoon I wish to raise my voice in praise of you, to express my love, my encouragement, and my admiration for you. Because this precious eldest grandchild of whom I spoke is a young woman, I am going to address my remarks to the young women of the Church, but I hope the spirit of what I say can apply to women and men of all ages. However today, as Maurice Chevalier used to sing, I want to “thank heaven for little girls.”
First of all, I want you to be proud you are a woman. I want you to feel the reality of what that means, to know who you truly are. You are literally a spirit daughter of heavenly parents with a divine nature and an eternal destiny. 1 That surpassing truth should be fixed deep in your soul and be fundamental to every decision you make as you grow into mature womanhood. There could never be a greater authentication of your dignity, your worth, your privileges, and your promise. Your Father in Heaven knows your name and knows your circumstance. He hears your prayers. He knows your hopes and dreams, including your fears and frustrations. And He knows what you can become through faith in Him. Because of this divine heritage you, along with all of your spiritual sisters and brothers, have full equality in His sight and are empowered through obedience to become a rightful heir in His eternal kingdom, an “[heir] of God, and joint-[heir] with Christ.” 2 Seek to comprehend the significance of these doctrines. Everything Christ taught He taught to women as well as men. Indeed, in the restored light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, a woman, including a young woman, occupies a majesty all her own in the divine design of the Creator. You are, as Elder James E. Talmage once phrased it, “a sanctified investiture which none shall dare profane.” 3
Be a woman of Christ. Cherish your esteemed place in the sight of God. He needs you. This Church needs you. The world needs you. A woman’s abiding trust in God and unfailing devotion to things of the Spirit have always been an anchor when the wind and the waves of life were fiercest.4 I say to you what the Prophet Joseph said more than 150 years ago: “If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.” 5
All of this is to try to tell you how your Father in Heaven feels about you and what He has designed for you to become. And if for a time any of you are less visionary than this or seem bent on living beneath your privilege, then we express even greater love for you and plead with you to make your teenage years a triumph, not a tragedy. Fathers and mothers, prophets and apostles have no motive except to bless your life and to spare you every possible heartache we can spare you.
For you to fully claim Heavenly Father’s blessings and protection, we ask you to stay true to the standards of the gospel of Jesus Christ and notslavishly follow the whims of fads and fashions. The Church will never deny your moral agency regarding what you should wear and exactly how you should look. But the Church will always declare standards and will always teach principles. As Sister Susan Tanner taught this morning, one of those principles is modesty. In the gospel of Jesus Christ, modesty in appearance is always in fashion. Our standards are not socially negotiable.
The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet is very clear in its call for young women to avoid clothing that is too tight, too short, or improperly revealing in any manner, including bare midriffs. 6 Parents, please review this booklet with your children. Second only to your love, they need your limits. Young women, choose your clothing the way you would choose your friends—in both cases choose that which improves you and would give you confidence standing in the presence of God. 7 Good friends would never embarrass you, demean you, or exploit you. Neither should your clothing.
I make a special appeal regarding how young women might dress for Church services and Sabbath worship. We used to speak of “best dress” or “Sunday dress,” and maybe we should do so again. In any case, from ancient times to modern we have always been invited to present our best selves inside and out when entering the house of the Lord—and a dedicated LDS chapel is a “house of the Lord.” Our clothing or footwear need never be expensive, indeed should not be expensive, but neither should it appear that we are on our way to the beach. When we come to worship the God and Father of us all and to partake of the sacramentsymbolizing the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we should be as comely and respectful, as dignified and appropriate as we can be. We should be recognizable in appearance as well as in behavior that we truly are disciples of Christ, that in a spirit of worship we are meek and lowly of heart, that we truly desire the Savior’s Spirit to be with us always.
In this same vein may I address an even more sensitive subject. I plead with you young women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else. We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are thin. And almost everyone at some time or other wants to be something they are not! But as one adviser to teenage girls said: “You can’t live your life worrying that the world is staring at you. When you let people’s opinions make you self-conscious you give away your power. … The key to feeling [confident] is to always listen to your inner self—[the real you.]” 8 And in the kingdom of God, the real you is “more precious than rubies.” 9 Every young woman is a child of destiny and every adult woman a powerful force for good. I mention adult women because, sisters, you are our greatest examples and resource for these young women. And if you are obsessing over being a size 2, you won’t be very surprised when your daughter or the Mia Maid in your class does the same and makes herself physically ill trying to accomplish it. We should all be as fit as we can be—that’s good Word of Wisdom doctrine. That means eating right and exercising and helping our bodies function at their optimum strength. We could probably all do better in that regard. But I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size.
Frankly, the world has been brutal with you in this regard. You are bombarded in movies, television, fashion magazines, and advertisements with the message that looks are everything! The pitch is, “If your looks are good enough, your life will be glamorous and you will be happy and popular.” That kind of pressure is immense in the teenage years, to say nothing of later womanhood. In too many cases too much is being done to the human body to meet just such a fictional (to say nothing of superficial) standard. As one Hollywood actress is reported to have said recently: “We’ve become obsessed with beauty and the fountain of youth. … I’m really saddened by the way women mutilate [themselves] in search of that. I see women [including young women] … pulling this up and tucking that back. It’s like a slippery slope. [You can’t get off of it.] … It’s really insane … what society is doing to women.” 10
In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children. At some point the problem becomes what the Book of Mormoncalled “vain imaginations.” 11 And in secular society both vanity andimagination run wild. One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us. Yet at the end of the day there would still be those “in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers” as Lehi saw, 12 because however much one tries in the world of glamour and fashion, it will never be glamorous enough.
A woman not of our faith once wrote something to the effect that in her years of working with beautiful women she had seen several things they all had in common, and not one of them had anything to do with sizes and shapes. She said the loveliest women she had known had a glow of health, a warm personality, a love of learning, stability of character, and integrity. If we may add the sweet and gentle Spirit of the Lord carried by such a woman, then this describes the loveliness of women in any age or time, every element of which is emphasized in and attainable through the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
May I conclude. Much has been said lately in entertainment media about the current craze for “reality shows.” I am not sure what those are, but from the bottom of my heart I share this gospel reality with the beautiful generation of young women growing up in this Church.
My solemn declaration to you is that the Father and the Son did in very fact appear to the Prophet Joseph Smith, himself a young man called by God from your very age group. I testify that these divine beings spoke to him, that he heard Their eternal voices, and he saw Their glorified bodies.13 That experience was as real in its own setting as the Apostle Thomas’s was when the Savior said to him, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: … be not faithless, but [be] believing.” 14
To my granddaughter and to every other young person in this Church I bear my personal witness that God is in reality our Father and Jesus Christ is in reality His Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I testify that this really is the Church and kingdom of God on earth, that true prophets have led this people in the past and a true prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, leads it now. May you know the unending love the leaders of the Church have for you and may you let the eternal realities of the gospel of Jesus Christ lift you above temporal concerns and teenage anxieties I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Help a friend out :)

Hey friends,

I mentioned a contest my blog was in a few days ago. I was originally doing really well, but then some sketchy things started happening, according to an email I just got from the web siting running the contest. Some bloggers and voters were finding ways to vote unfair (I guess I was too dumb to figure that one out...haha), so the website is setting everyone's vote count back to zero today...which means I still have a chance to win! If you have some spare time and want to vote, go here . If you vote, please make sure you vote correctly (you can't refresh the page until my blog pops up first, you have to vote for one of the two that it gives you until my blog pops up. Hopefully you recognize it!) You can vote as many times as you want, just as long as it's the right way :). My blog wasn't reported about cheating, so that's good. But since others' were, the website will be removing any blogs that they find that people are cheating to vote for (they're tracking IP addresses to make sure it stays fair).

What's in it for you?
First, you should know I'd really appreciate it. As poor college kids, Tay and I can always use some extra cash. Second, it's fun to see so many different blogs. I've actually found some ones I like and now follow from the contest. Third, if you vote (even just once), message me for a promo code that'll give you a whopping 50% off your purchase (never done that one before!) I have no way of knowing if you really did vote, so please just be honest :) The contest goes until November 15.

You guys are great. Really. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the post with no title

Hey friends :)

         I didn't know what to title this post...hence the title I gave it. Life has been SO busy lately, but it's been so great! Taylor and I pretty much stick to a strict schedule every day--which is new for someone who is free-spirited and has A.D.D. like myself :) I've been doing student teaching with a 7-year-old girls dance class as part of my Methods of Teaching Children Creative Dance class I'm in at BYU. I never thought I'd really like teaching anything...but I LOVE teaching little kids dance. I'm thinking about opening a small after school program (probably for free for the first bit) after I graduate. We'll see :). I've LOVED having my Etsy shop open (sorry if that's a lot of what you see from me right now... :). With being really busy with school and work, it's fun to take just a little time to be crafty and do things that I like to help keep me sane. As mentioned before, I injured my back this past April, and I really haven't danced (minus the student teaching) since then. It's been a lot harder than I thought it would be to kind of give up a big part of who I am for the sake of keeping good health. I've noticed I really have to be careful with what I eat, what I do, and basically just how I take care of my body without having dance to keep me active in my life. However, my friend Holly's sister Emily asked me to choreograph a dance for her to use for her MDT (Music Dance Theater) major audition next month. I've absolutely loved it because it reminds me that even though I can't dance full out right no, I still am a dancer :). I'll see if Emily will let me post her final performance of it to show you.

         This weekend Lydia and her friend Lauren did a little mini photo shoot with my bows and earrings. It's been so fun to see them look pretty legit (the right camera does wonders). My friend Lizzy from Lizzy Jean Photography  is also going to use some of my bows and earrings in some of her photo sessions, so Lydia's mini shoot made me extra excited to see and use Lizzy's photos as well! Lizzy is so talented :)

         I've been doing some fun things with bows lately--some of them for Halloween costumes so you'll have to wait to see those :) I just started making baby bow headbands. I am mostly going to be making these to order, but here's a photo of just a few random ones I made:

         Also, a while back I entered my blog in a little contest on The contest wasn't for a prize, but just for fun. They just turned it into a contest for a prize so they set everyone's votes to zero and the contest goes until November. The contest started yesterday and I was surprised and happy to see that my blog is up at the top, but I still need more votes! The top three winners get money (which we could really use :), so if you have time please vote for 'I just like the 'B'' on the link below! I will warn you that it takes more than just a second because it's kind of set up like a tournament where they give you two blogs to pick between, and you just continue to do so for however long you want. You have to pick a winner for each two and you'll just have to wait until mine pops up. But if you have time I'd appreciate it :) 
click here to vote!

Well I hope you all have a great week! I can't believe it's kind of snowing here today. We'll see how the Hawaiian I live with deals with that :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Favorites

Hey everyone! There's been lots of craziness with politics and other controversies in the world right I just wanted to have post dedicated to HAPPY things. Wahoo! I don't know what has come over me because I've ALWAYS been a summer girl...but guys, I've fallen in love. With fall. I'm obsessed with the yummy smelling fall candles everywhere, comfy clothes, being cozy when it's cold outside, cute decorations, etc. So I'm curious, what are your favorite fall things? Here's a few of mine/here are some updates of late:

So I made the candy corns last year (thank you Pinterest). I like to think my crafting skills have improved since then so I did some minor touch-ups. I wanted to have another Halloween craft, and since we're a poor married couple I wanted to make one using things we already have (yes, we randomly have little googly eyes sitting around...?). So here I introduce you to Mr. mouthless pumpkin :) 

I also wanted to make a fall decoration that I could keep up for Thanksgiving as well, but only using what we already have. They don't look that cool just chillin on this table, but I'll post a pic of them on our wall. I love fall colors so I liked tying that in with some fall leaves as well :) 

FOOD! (of course) 
My mom and I had a little girls night during the Priesthood session of General Conference. My mom made a really good sweet potato chowder. I don't know why but this fall I've been OBSESSED with chowders, soups, curry, etc.! 

That night my mom and I also made this pumpkin spice bread. SOOOO good. message me if you want the recipe! 

Halloween cake pops! Okay I won't lie. I didn't make these, nor have I ever made them before. But one day last week I was just having a really rough day and (of course) one of my visiting teachers just "happened" to stop by with this cute Halloween cake pops! I'm sure she was inspired to stop by. I was very grateful for her thinking of me...and for the pick-me-up treat! 

COUNT CHOCULA!!!! mmmmm. OH my gosh. This cereal is amazing and it only comes out at Halloween time! My sister loves it too (she may or may not stock up every October to hold her over for the year...I just might do that this year!)

Again with the soup. Unfortunately Taylor and I have been sick lately, so one day at school I had the sniffles so I had this yummy chicken noodle soup at school from the Wilk. 

Football! Okay, I won't lie, I haven't always been a crazy football fan. Football was big at my high school so I've always watched games, but I haven't always understood everything (basically my family all wasn't a big deal growing up). This year Taylor and I got sports passes so we can go to every game. It's been fun to watch our friend Kane (#82) play, and it's been fun to understand football a lot more!

What are your fall favorites? If you have any fun recipes or traditions (or costume ideas!) I want to hear them! 

On another note: I've been loving having my Etsy shop. It's been fun to keep up with! I just started making some baby bow headbands. Basically I'm selling baby headbands (stretchy kind) that come with a small bow on a clip. Then I'm also selling baby-sized bows so you can switch the bows out on the headbands! Here's a picture of one. I'm having pictures taken of more tomorrow, so be sure to keep up with the site! I seriously can't believe all the support and love I've gotten from this, so thank YOU for all your support and for spreading the word!