So as many of you know, July's visiting teaching lesson was Teaching and Learning the Gospel. I had a chance to sit down with my awesome visiting teacher Brittany (Talia couldn't make it), and we chatted about missionary work as opportunities.
I remember about a month ago the missionaries told me to pray and fast for missionary opportunities because I had felt like I had been missing them left and right. So I did. And I think it has taken me this long to realize all of the opportunities I've had just in this past month with coworkers, friends, and family.
Here's a tip: if you don't want something, don't ask God. :)
Luckily I DID want missionary opportunities. I just like that quote because it's so true. God answers prayers all the time!
So back to the Frozen Yogurt. Oh did I mention we went to MENCHIES??! Um yeah. Like I said: best visiting teachers ever.
That's all I have for today! But hey! Have you heard of this new app called Rhonna Designs?? (it's what I used for the photo above) I LOVE IT!
So has anyone heard of this new app?? It's called Rhonna Designs! It's this awesome photo editing app that I have just about fallen n LOVE with. You can take pictures, quotes or phrases and "layer" them to make a really cool photo!
My visiting teachers Brittany and Talia were supposed to meet yesterday for our monthly lesson. Unfortunately Talia had to work, but I still got to meet with Brittany! She's awesome. So anyways, you can only guess where we went:
That's right folks, we sat for a half hour talking about the Gospel, things going on in our lives and lots of cool stuff all whilst enjoying a delightful creation made ourselves at Menchies. I'm a huge advocate for frozen yogurt; can't you tell?
So that's the finished product. It's just an example of all that you can do with the app! You should check it out, it's in the App Store. Unfortunately at this time, I believe it's only available for iPhones, but I could be wrong.
So yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to hang out with one of the coolest people in our ward. We had so much fun (like we always do, OBVI.) just having out at her apartment with her roommates and just chillin'! They knew we were Mormons, and guess what: they were totally cool with it.
The reason I say this is because she lives here in Dinky town, a mere .2 miles away from our institute building/church. But dinkytown is college town, smack dab in the middle of the U of M campus, where she goes to school. So naturally, like with most college towns (excluding most of BYU lol) there were loads of parties going on, tons of loud music (most I liked) and lots of drinking and pot smokin.
Now, we all know that those things are against the word of wisdom. So when her roommates offered me a drink of course I said no ma'am, no ham, no turkey! We both did of course. When they were passing around the weed? They just passed it right a long!
What I'm trying to get across is this: I've never had so much fun with people I've just met before in my life. They were so cool and genuine, and I am glad I met em! But with that being said: you can enjoy your friends' company without being drunk and high with them. Not going places because you don't drink or smoke stinks. And I've realized that its cool to go there, just as long as you remember who you are and what you stand for.
Well I had the wonderful chance to joint teach with them today. It was pretty much the best thing ever! As it always is.
The one on the left? She's Sister Morgan, serving in the Minnesota , MPLS mission hailing from North Carolina! She's one of the most witty, wise and knowledgable people I know. And she's HILARIOUS. I have gotten to know her so well and she's more like a big sister to me than anything. I tell her everything! (Of course her companion was there too, whom I love as well!) I've known her the longest in this mission, other than Elder Roberts (who's "birthday" was today!!).
Never the less, she leaves in 4 weeks and I'm kind of freaking out. Not leaving as in time for a Transfer! She's like actually going back to NC. It's like getting serious now.
But anywhoosiers! Enough with the sob story. The girl we met with today was amazing. I can't even describe the amount of faith in God she has. It was mind blowing! That's why I love going out with the missionaries. To meet people like her. It's so important as new converts that we help out when we can! Investigators need to hear our testimonies and our recent experiences with the church.
Funny story! The mother of the girl we visited today was just baptized in June. She's super fun! But she said something pretty funny! She was like (to the Sisters):
"I think it's nice that you guys bring people with you, you know because she doesn't want to go to church because she thinks she won't know anyone, but I told the other elders this: y'all need to brig a black girl. Because I mean it's nice that you bring these young white girls along, they are nice. But she doesn't identify with them. She needs a black girl. I'm just saying!"
BAHAHAHA. It was just the way she said it, like I didn't know how to react, I just nodded haha! Sister Morgan was like: yeah, uh huh. I was wishing I was in her head at that moment because she says some pretty funny stuff. A things aside I loved every minute of it and I was glad I could be there haha even if it was because I was black. #idontmind!
All you Utah peeps must have a busy day planned ahead! After all, today is one of the only days when it's socially acceptable to wear a sun bonnet, churn butter and pull taffy..So what to do??
Well for starters, I'm thinking there will be some Green Jello involved. Obviously.
I will most likely chat up the missionaries at Institute tonight, some of them are from Utah after all, and I love to hear stories!
As for actual Pioneer Day plans, we don't really do much here! So my friends and I decided that sometime this summer we are going to have our own trek. It's going to be a great adventure filled with a 3.5 mile journey all done by foot, with some stops on the way.
We are totally going all out, tents and all. Campfire, the whole shabang. As for today, I'm just going to enjoy it! I have the day off of work. So! What do you do for Pioneer Day? Anything exciting? I'd love to hear it!
Pioneer Day. The day when it's okay to wear a bonnet in public, sit around and pull taffy, and make butter by hand when you could very well head over to the grocery store and pick some up.
Today marks the day that Mormons all over (mainly in Utah though) celebrate the long journey that the saints and those of other faiths made in 1847 to get to the Salt Lake Valley. They came from all over.
Photo Cred: amormonblog.wordpress.com
70,000 Mormons. For many Mormons they were some of their ancestors. For me, not so much. But that doesn't mean that I haven't come to appreciate the sacrifice these families and individuals made for their faith. Most of you don't know this, but the reason I even decided to go back to Church (having not been baptized and all) was because of a special movie night with my friends, at which we were watching the movie "17 Miracles".
That movie changed everything! I felt the Spirit testifying of the faith of the Saints portrayed in the film, and I knew I couldn't deny it. So when I say I love Pioneer Day, I mean it. Because I know these Saints travelled so far out of the sheer knowledge that what they believed was true and they were willing to die for it. And many did.
I'm thankful for their sacrifice, because it has allowed the Church to grow. So today on Pioneer Day I plan to make some gourmet cornbread, maybe some green jello with carrots for institute tonight?? We shall see! I will document them on my other blog, Ramblings of A Northern Belle:
I'd LOVE to hear stories about what you do for Pioneer Day!!
I decided to make something a little interesting for brunch today, something I've had before but never attempted to make myself. Just so we're clear here, I'm not a professional photographer. So, there's your forewarning.
So! Gluten Free French toast it is. I like to eat GFree as much as possible, so I made a loaf of gluten free bread a couple of weeks ago, and froze it. Now the stuff didn't rise properly, and it was a little too thick for sandwiches, so I decided to use it for something you actually need thick bread for: French Toast. Here's my recipe, I don't know how you make it, but this is what I came up with!
Mine are deformed, but you're going to need:
A Dash and a Splash of:
So I like to put a little sugar in my egg mixture just to make it sweeter, but you can do without!
Crack the eggs into a bowl, and add the vanilla (I'm not a huge fan of the stuff so I literally only put a splash in there) and the cinnamon.
Go to town with the cinnamon, I sure do! Some people then add milk or cream, but I don't. Add some butter to your pan, heated at about 5, or Medium. If you go too hot it will burn the outside and leave the inside runny. Trust me this is coming from someone who has ruined many a slices of French toast.
Let it cook until golden brown on the outside, and then remove from heat.
Scatter some powdered sugar on top and syrup if you so desire. I like to cook up the rest of my cinnamon eggs for a side, which is what I did :)
Courtney and Naomi are two girls who are living their faith in an interesting way; they do so by the way they dress. These are some ladies that know how to make the "modest look" look good! I had a chance to sit down with these girls to talk about their personal style and get a little background on how they live their faith. Here's the transcript from our conversation:
So Naomi, tell me a little bit about your personal style?
My style is eccentric; I like to mix a lot of things. I would say my style is vintage meets trendy. I like Vintage clothes because they all have a story behind them. I know that sounds weird but I like memories so I like to think about who was wearing the clothes before me. Sometimes though you will find a lot of vintage clothes that are destroyed so I also like "rebuilt" vintage clothes, like clothes you can get at a store today that look vintage.
Awesome, I totally agree, I love the memories behind the clothes. So what is your favorite store?
If I could be dressed by any store it would be Anthropologie. Of course, I can't afford to wear it all the time, so I swap it around and find alternatives, like Urban Outfitters Sales. Sometimes though it's hard to find modest clothing there so I "modify" it with slips, undershirts and cardigans. Because I trav so much I also like the little boutiques I will find in the areas I go to. I like them because they cater more to my personal style.
How do you live your faith?
The way I present myself. The way I dress represents my relationship with God. My body is a temple and I want to show others and God that I respect that. I'm also really interested in people. I like to get to know them. I think it's part of the Atonement to get to know someone and become invested in their lives.
Yeah, you are definitely a people person. Well thanks Naomi! Now on to you Court. First of all, tell me a little bit about your outfit today.
I got it at a consignment shop in uptown called everyday people. They have both old and new pieces. I love going to consignment shops because they are really cheap and if you go at the right time you can get and even better deal, like this skirt which I got for $6
How would you describe your personal style?
Definitely hippie/chíc. I have a bohemian edge but I like to keep it classy. I love vintage touches like the collars and lace and belts.
What strides do you take to live your faith?
Like Naomi said it's a huge part of what you do. I like to be engaged in what people are saying and to get to know them better. I also try my best to follow the examples of Christ, by dressing modestly, standing in Holy places and doing what I can to reach out to others as well.
Well thank you ladies!! We will hear from you again really soon! Can we just note the fact that they are slacklining in skirts?? That's pretty amazing!
If you or your friends want to be featured in our Outfit Of the Day section, send in a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up an interview! Groups are great too! The more the merrier.
Everyone has to admit that they love Frozen Yogurt. If you don't know the difference between it and ice cream, Fro-Yo is a lot creamier, like Culver's Frozen Custard but without all the fat. I would take Fro-Yo over ice cream any day.
With that being said, there have been a shocking amount of self serve, frozen yogurt shops that have been popping up in Minnesota lately. And that's in addition to all the many Ben and Jerry's, Cold stone's and Dairy Queen's we have. After all, their corporate headquarters are located here in Edina, MN.
Now, us Northern Belles' are used to having ice cream. We live in the land of 10,000 lakes and 10,000,000 cows. Although Alaska is actually the state that consumes the most Ice Cream per year, I'm sure we make it on the list of close seconds. With that being said, all of the little franchises that have been popping up left and right here in MN promising cold, customized Fro-Yo have become somewhat of a lucrative business to get into. Menchies (pictured below), Freeziac, Yogurt Lab, Chilly Billy's, and Pink Berry are all places that I have personally been to (and enjoyed). I make an effort to always make Chilly Billy's my go to Fro-Yo shop, simply because they are locally owned and are not a franchise company. I like to support my local community even if it might cost me an arm or a leg.
Cost. Now that's where things get a little sticky. My first Fro-Yo trip cost me a little more than $8.75 for my one serving. My eyes were bigger than my stomach and I hadn't contemplated just how heavy my concoction had gotten. My second trip was a lot better coming in at around $4.00. It's really all about balance and going easy on the toppings if you try all different flavors of Fro-Yo. My weakness of course is the warmed Nutella. NOM
So if you're in the mood to ditch the McDonalds $1.00 cones and try something exotic, look online for a self serve Fro-Yo shop in your area. I will list the locations for the Greater Twin Cities locations, but the options in your area might be a little more scarce. Just a tip: if you're bringing the kids, monitor their toppings, because you can't go back, and it adds up quickly. It can be a fun and affordable treat for them if they are old enough to understand limits.
My friends and I frequent the Chilly Billy's sometimes before or after Institute, because it's in Dinky town (college town), and has a coffee shop feel without the coffee :) we can just hang out and talk, and there's always free wifi for the college kids who need to study. Or not.
Couples also could easily take a trip and make a memorable concoction to share!
Ah, Spam. The glorious canned meat that so many Minnesotans scatter into their eggs, pasta dishes and casseroles.
Not only do we have the honor of being the home state if this midwest staple, but we also get to meander through a free museum covering 16,500 sq. feet dedicated to the stuff.
Now, as a Northern Belle, I know all about spam. It's my go to meat for any and all hot dishes for any church banquet. I remember the first time I ate it. Surprisingly it was only a couple of months ago. Before then, it had always been a taboo object that I never wanted anywhere near my plate. Then I tried TURKEY SPAM. And I fell in love.
Seriously guys the stuff is amazing. Now don't get me wrong, I love my grass fed, grain free meat just as much as the next gal. But there just something "homey" about Spam.
So without further ado, I introduce my meal of the moment:
1/4 c of Spam (I used Spurkey! You know, Spam turkey..)
Seasoning, if you you so desire.
Veggies/Cheese if you want (I just wanted cheese on mine today).
Heat a skillet to Medium heat. Take your spam and cut it into small cubes (think sugar cubes or cheese cubes) and place in the skillet. I like I brown mine, but the recipe I went off of didn't say to do that.
Next whisk your eggs, add your seasonings etc, and throw that bad boy mixture right into the skillet of spam. Let it cook (obviously) to your liking and BADABING. You've got yourself a masterpiece.
Now, proceed to stuff your face like I did so I don't feel like a pig. Of course, Northern Belles only do that in private. And amongst close friends. :)
I have been trying super hard on working on accepting gifts that are given to me, and also accepting help when given. I had recently gotten a ride from my wonderful visiting teacher Brittany, and proceeded to give her money for gas, which she wouldn't accept. I kept pushing her and finally she said: Natalie no. You know what? I want you to go home and read Doctrine and Covenants 88:33. She then wrote it down and gave it to me so that I had no excuse not to read it. :)
First of all, SO MORMON, right?? This lady is amazing. She is definitely someone who helps me to become a better person. So I read it and I thought I would share:
I liked v. 32 also so I just snuck that one in there. I guess all I'm trying to say is that it's OK to accept gifts. If you're like me and have a hard time asking for things for fear of appearing "needy", take this verse to heart.
PS. if you can find any of the other bloggers somehow on Facebook feel free to harass them for not posting. That is all.
If you haven't noticed already, it's flipping HOT here in Minnesota. People think it's all fun and games and snow, but NO. Just.. No. I don't think people realize that the humidity makes it 200x worse.
Just get your hair done? It's gonna be jacked up by the end of the day. Have a hot date later and need a "fresh" new style? It ain't gonna last! Forget it. I would take the 118° temps in Phoenix anyway over this.
How am I staying sane? I don't know. I'm really not so sure. I'm honestly just trying to stay cool. That's all.
So I'm sitting here waiting for Institute to start and I come across an AMAZING deal on Amazon (I love getting good deals BTW) for a pair of mustache earrings for 39¢. YEP. BOUGHT EM'.
I'm too lazy to post the actual link (you can't do it via the blogger app) but if you search on Amazon for these I'm POSITIVE you will be able to find these gems.
I mean what can you loose it's 39¢
So that's the highlight in my humid day.
Tomorrow I work. I am PRAYING I have this sales script memorized and I don't get fired. Hahhahahah... But seriously..
Has anyone noticed how crazy some of these Utah names are?! I just thought it was this one girl, but now I'm hearing these names pop up left and right!
My hypothesis was brought on after watching a hilarious video on YouTube listing off many Utah names. It was later confirmed yesterday whilst I was sitting in the backseat of my dear missionary friends' (Sisters Morgan and Smith) brand spankin' new car.
Of course, Sister Smith who is from Utah denied the eccentric names, while Sister Morgan who's from North Carolina agreed with me. OBVI.
For those of you who have yet to hear some of these delightful names, I have compiled a few to give you an idea (they are all girls names, because that's what was featured in the video and you mostly only find them with girls anyways).
Bryntle (I KNOW!)
So there's a jolly good few. I actually found that I liked some of them (shocker, I know!) but some were quite extreme. While they are eccentric, they are after all people's names, so I am in no way attempting to make fun of them. Everyone's different.. I know that! I just thought it was unique.
But seriously. Watch the video. It's hilarious. She has another one too that is also very funny, watch it too!
These beauties happen to be in my lovely lil' ward. We came to a wonderful consensus (ok, so I just TOLD THEM) that they were going to be the new fashion contributors. While they have never had a blog (hey neither had I), they are so awesome and I love them. Why are we dressed up you ask? Because we had 3 baptisms on Saturday (amazing right??) and we decided to go take pictures at the zoo afterwards. So here they are!
I met Naomi about a Month ago. She's from Utah (SHOCKER!!!), and she is one of the funniest peeps I know. The bummer is she's only here for the summer :(
She can introduce herself a little later!
Courtney is one of the funniest people I have ever met, she's hilarious. She's a convert too, but she's so insightful! It's amazing. I will let her introduce herself a little later too.
There's a few other people you have yet to meet, namely DANIELLE. Ahem. (Cue Danielle)
But for now, take note of these stunning ladies! They wear modesty well, wouldn't you say? ;)
I decided, at random, to start a new blog. If you have read my other blog it mainly consists of tips and stories from my little life (go ahead and check it out), but it is very much a "community effort". At least, I want it to be.
This blog however, will document my personal life. I like to say my life consists of many "squiggly lines". I'm a very interesting character, you know. I have learned that most people just need to read between my squiggly lines to understand me. I have to do the same!
Right now, I'm trying to read between my squiggly lines to try and figure out what I want to do with my life. I went to college for a semester last spring, and I didn't really like it.. :O
It's hard to admit that, because our culture as Americans is one that places extreme pressure on our kids to go to college and find a job. Don't get me wrong. I have a job. A great one, actually. Perfect for me and my life, close to home, and possibly something I could get into for a career. So where does college come in? I was at community college here, (didn't like it.) then decided to move to Arizona to go to Mesa Community College, (something got messed up with my enrollment, so that one is out), then ABRACADABRA: "you should go to BYU in the winter with me!!! Then we can all go together and be friends." This, coming from multiple friends of mine.
What do I do??!?? I'm so confused right now it's insane. OH OH. Lest we forget, I have been really praying about whether or not I should serve a mission next year. I really want to. A lot. But that's another thing that's going to put a major dent in my "career life"
I think about that, and then I realize that this life is so short. I know that those 2 years will be the most important of my life. Therefore I don't rightly know why I get so anxious about committing. Probably because the parentals think it's just another "idea". Which it isn't! I'm about 93% sure I will serve a mission next year. I guess the rest of my life's decisions will have to be made after. Because let's face it, with me you never know. :)
Picture below: a joke we played on one of the missionaries in our ward. Why yes. That is indeed green jello. Until next time friends!
I love this hymn. I love it because it's pretty and it makes me feel good. But also because I know that it's words ring true..
I have always known of the power of prayer. As a new member of the church, that knowledge was heightened immensely.
I stopped saying my nightly prayers right around the same time that we stopped doing home stays with my dad on the weekend. We always had nightly prayer with him, and even after we stopped staying over, he would always ask me if I was saying my prayers. I started to lie to him, because let's face it, it was just easier that way. And I didn't start praying daily (morning and night) again until I joined the church. Sure I prayed. All the time. Just little things throughout the day, you know. But I vividly remember the day the Elders asked me if I would pray when I woke up and before I went to bed. I agreed of course, but didn't realize how important it was to remember...
I also didn't realize how easy it was to forget. Sure, I would remember like an hour AFTER I woke up on the bus doing my scripture study on my phone. But for some reason, I would forget to partake in the reverent prayer that Heavenly Father deserves. It was only recently, sleeping over with my neighbors (which I actually do a lot) that I realized how dedicated you should be with your prayer life. I had women up early, apparently so had my friend. She was knelt in front of her bed praying, and at first I was like what is she doing?? Then I got it. And I felt weird for watching so I turned the other way.. :o
Anyway! That was one of the moments where I realized how important it is to give God that time. He really doesn't ask for much. It also helps that later that day the Elders stopped by and talked about prayer.
So I've been changing! Slowly! Getting better at praying for starters. This gospel is all about changing, right??
So the real story, long into short, is that yesterday we were attending some Fourth of July festivities. It was packed in the parked we were at. I'm talking about thousands of people. So it's 10:30 at night, and it literally took us an HOUR to get out of the grocery store parking lot we had decided to park at. Before getting out though, we waited for my friend to find us. Let me tell you it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It was hot, it was dark and it was busy. We were asked if we needed prayer by some passerby's and I said, very non chalant, "yeah. That we find our ride..."
So we thought: let's pray.
So we all started praying in the cub parking lot. And what do you know? Here comes Rachel. Not only was this the Holy Ghost who inspired us (why else would we all think to pray at once??) but we actually decided to act on those promptings. It was a great lesson for me about prayer!
I know that Heavenly Father answers prayer. I know that he not only hears our prayers but that he wants things to work out for us!