Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!



Today was a pretttty successful day! I hung out with a pal, and did a TON of Christmas cookie baking! What better way to spend this gorgeous, white and wintry day than to bake some cookies!? 
So, I started Herbalife this past week (more on that later) but I still had this overwhelming urge to bake some yummy holiday cookies for neighbors and coworkers! For those of you uber healthy health nuts, these are some great cookies to give away as gifts! Let me tell you..there is nothing like getting some "vegan no bake coconut cacao cookies" as a nice gesture. I mean this in the kindest way: Those are great as snacks, but they are NOT cookies!! I mean..it's not like you are eating like 30 of em' at once..haha...Anyways! Point is that when I make baked goods for people, I make them according to THEIR tastes and eating preferences! A cookie is a cookie :)

So! Now for the recipes! The first one (pictured above) is a yummy version of this recipe that I found on this blog. The author of this blog is witty, and so hilarious by the way. She's the muse for some of my many recipes that I try! Instead of Cookie Butter, I used Nutella (duh). I have used Cookie Butter way to much lately, and have missed my sweet, glorious Nutella! I have included some pictures of the steps that I took to get the final yummy product. By the way, these cookies were all taste tested and approved by some honest friends!

The recipe is super simple, and only requires crescent rolls, spread of choice (Biscoff or Nutella), and some icing.


                                                                        Spread out your Nutella on your flattened crescent rolls. 

 



After rolling, refrigerate for an hour.




Slice, and bake on 350* for 12 minutes! 



Voila!!! You're done. Drizzle with icing, and you are set!


My next batch was an attempted imitation of a cookie I have come to love. Sodalicious has this amaaazing cookie called the "love child". I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided that it might come close! The directions are on the website, and are super easy!



crummy picture, but they are deeelish!

The next one is just plain simple. Ritz crackers, condensed sweetened milk, toffee bits, and cream cheese frosting. That's IT! Oh so simple, and oh so good. They are in bar form, but they are ridiculous. Got this recipe from Pinterest as well! (OBVI).


Next one is my version of this yummy cookie, Salted caramel thumbprint cookies. I used two different recipes...For the cookie base, I used this Averie Cooks recipe, and for the inspiration, I used this recipe that I found on Pinterest! Mainly because I ran out of butter..and this recipe required coconut oil, which I had! 


One thing about drizzling chocolate...You CAN'T get it drizzle ready without coconut or vegetable oil to thin it out. I was left with globs of chocolate. Normally I would care, but at this point, what the heck!

This Christmas wasn't the best because I wasn't home, but it was still Christmas! I got the one single thing that I really wanted..A White Christmas!


When I woke up this morning, it was actually snowing! The weather app didn't actually lie! 
Regardless of what you celebrate, whether it's Hannukah (which I didn't actually celebrate this year), Christmas, or something else, I hope it's been a great one! 



Until later, 


xoxox, 


Nat






















Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How I gave my problems an expiration date.

The past 8 months have been TOUGH. I mean I literally have been thrown every curveball imaginable. Life sucks sometimes, you know? People make it seem like that if you go to church enough,  pray enough, and go to intitute life will be peachy keen! The thing is...it doesn't work like that. I was that girl. I did that stuff. And I was happy! But I also had a completely different attitude. I was grateful.
Lately I haven't been the most grateful person around. Being stressed can put a damper on a persons happiness. I have been a little snarky and wayyyyyy too impatient! See, the thing with me is that I recognize when I am acting out of character. It's not like me to not admit when I am in a foul mood! Everyone has those days though. But, lately,  especially being that it is the Holidays, I have had enough of my negative Nancy personality!
So, truth time:
(an excerpt from a letter to my best friend, serving in the California, Rancho Cucamonga Mission).
*Names have been changed for privacy.
"I've been kind of slipping. I'm telling you, it's the singles ward. I don't like them! (The ward, not necessarily the people). I haven't talked to Katie* for a while, and I missed her a ton, so I randomly invited her over for dinner, because I made chicken enchiladas and homegirl likes to EAT. So we were talking and then we both said we had confessions. Hers was that she hadn't been going to church, was questioning some of the teachings of the church, and went to Starbucks and GOT. A. COFFEE. I mean, I'm not judging at all! She's amazing. But it just shocked me because this girl is drinking coffee! Life is hard right?? So... I told her that I hadn't been going to church (I wasn't questioning the church though.) and that I had been going to a different church....because I hate the singles ward and I haven't found one that I like!
We both had a HUGE reality check. And also decided to start going to the family ward ward instead."
Folks, life stinks sometimes. This crazy thing called life is hard for a lot of people and we don't always know how to handle it. I'm so grateful for friends that know my heart and that I know theirs. That we are able to help each other. Also, I want to point out to those who aren't currently going to church, who are struggling with their testimony, or who just don't like the singles ward: you don't HAVE to go. I love the people that I've met in singles wards. They are awesome. But I also have conflicting views on the whole concept of them. If you want to switch, talk to your Bishop! Trust me, you aren't the only one.
Enough of that though. Back to the real reason behind this post. JESUS is the reason for the season, and I seem to have forgotten that. Sure he wasn't born in December, but Christmas is always a good reminder of who he is and what he did for us. My problems are inadequate. They are futile. Compared to the problems of the world, I've got it pretty good. All of my needs have been met and the Lord continues to bless me, time and time again without fail.

So, how did I give my problems an expiration date? This:

I simply love this picture.


It is such a good reminder. The most important things in life are the ones that benefit others! That help others. I could tell myself this until I'm blue in the face, but it is so true, and I'm genuinely trying to work on it!


Well that's enough for today. I'm off to the Utes game! No, I don't like the Utes that much...it's a work perk haha

Xoxo,

Natalie

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Homesteading Made Simple.

Lately, I've been trying to transition from commercial products to natural, homemade alternatives. I have tons of recipes that I have gathered over the years, located on my Pinterest board, with the same title of this blog. This post highlights one of my favorite Homemade alternatives. Butter.
Now as a Northern Belle, growing up on the shores of MN, butter is a necessary commodity for ALL Minnesotan households. If we didn't have butter in our home, there was something seriously wrong. I don't recall a time when my mon didn't have the fridge stocked with plenty of butter. Or cheese. Or milk. Not that any of us drink milk (I'm lactose intolerant, and can't drink it. My family just doesn't like it). Anyways, my point is that dairy is a staple of most Northern homes, as it is in most American homes.
So! Butter! You can spread it on toast, on top of cornbread, bake with it, fry an egg with it, drizzle it on vegetables, the list goes ON. I am a huge advocate of butter. It just works the best when baking, which is something I do a lot. Recently I bought a pint of heavy whipping cream for thanksgiving recipes,  and had about 2/3 of it left afterwards. After racking my brain to figure out what to make, it came to me: I should make some butter!!
I've made butter plenty of times before, and it's the easiest thing ever. All you need is:

-1 mason jar (or old spaghetti jar)*
-flavoring (optional)
-salt
-small container
-Paper towels, or cloth.

Directions:

•Start by pouring your cream into your jar. No more than 1/2 full, to leave room for shaking.


•Begin shaking! It will take you about 20 mins total unless you stop for breaks like I did. It's tough work! There isn't really a science to this, just keep it vigorously moving.

* if you are using a standing mixer it will be a lot quicker, and as soon as the buttermilk comes away proceed to steps below.


•Once the buttermilk starts coming away from the fat, stop shaking. It will go from liquid to solid to sloshing liquid with butter at the center.


•Pour the buttermilk in a separate container if you are keeping it. Take out butter and rinse it well with cold water in the sink. Turn it out onto a paper towel covered surface and knead it a few times, to dry off the butter. This is important because it keeps the butter from rotting. If it isn't dry, it will get moldy quickly. Rinse again and knead on covered surface.



•Add your flavorings (e.g. vanilla,  rosemary, honey, lavender, salt etc.) and knead again. Pat dry with a paper towel, or clean cloth.




•Put the butter into your container. Put a piece of paper towel on top of butter container if you'd like to take the butter.


Voila!! You are done! If you are giving the butter as a gift, you can log roll it in parchment paper and add ribbons on the end. If you are keeping it, it will last for a month in the fridge, much longer in the freezer.

I hope this was an easy tutorial! Come back for more great recipes.

Share your comments below!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hey all you Belle's! Look who's back!

Ah, the blog world. I'm back! Never in my life have I been more happy to be a Northern Belle. I am so proud of my Minnesotan heritage, especially being here where it seems like everyone is the same in one way or another. I think it is partially because I am a tiddly bit home sick, but eh. Who knows!
Life has been BUSY! But, of course, I have made time for fun, friends, concerts

Coral Bones, my latest muse!

 and yummy yummy food. And also, Scandal. Lot's and lots of Scandal. My new apartment is a dream! Brand new stainless steel appliances, including an AWESOME oven, which means...MORE BAKING for me! I have tried some wicked awesome recipes lately, such as caramelized bacon sweet potato bake, spaghetti squash and meatballs:

it's SO much better than it looks.
and it looks pretty darn good!

and lots of yummy desserts, just to name a few. Fall just wouldn't be Fall without yummy Fall food! Pumpkin, Squash, baked goods, they all make their way on my plate during this time of the year. Also, the first Red Cup from Starbucks was spotted about a week ago which means it's almost time for Christmas drinks!!! I found out while I was in Target. Speaking of Target, I can't believe they are already setting up Christmas stuff! I just think it's so funny to see Christmas stuff when it's still so warm outside! Everyon'e says Christmass

Life here in Salt Lake City is just peachy. The scene here is very interesting. You have your LDS population, and then you have the "far from it", everyone else. I have friends on both ends of the spectrum and I love it that way! Just a word to the wise though, Tinder out here in SLC is a complete BUST. Just don't do it.


What a stand up guy. Hah. #nothanks

So, what other shenanigans have I been getting myself into, besides work and school? Party planning! I am throwing a party next weekend, just for fun, because YOLO! We are having delicious food, great treats, and hopefully (based on the people I've invited, which is pretty much everyone I know) great laughs! Of course, as we get closer, I will share my recipes and ideas. I'm super stoked.

So, what has everyone been up to?! Share your favorite fall activities in the comments below!


Later Belles!

XOXO,

NAT


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's been a while!

It's been over a month since my last post. I know, HORRENDOUS. So I am officially taking a break!! See ya in a few months :)


Xoxo,

Nat

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

{Fashion}: Saltwater Sandals

This summer I've been trying lots of new things. Moving to a new state" hanging out with new people, trying new foods etc. But I found a new pair of shoes that I was told I had to try!

Saltwater Sandals by the Hoy company are water ready leather sandals that work for everyone. They start out a little tight, but as you wearing them the leather forms more around your foot. They even recommend putting them in water to ease up the leather. So when I first saw Saltwater sandals I was all about em'. It wasn't until I moved out here to Provo and my roomates both had pairs that I felt like I really should try them out! So I was impulsive and bought 2 pair off of eBay. I was all about it! I bought one red pair and one tan pair, but I was an idiot and accidentally had the tan pair sent to my home in Minnesota. So I started wearing the red ones and LOVE THEM. I just bought a navy pair last week and love them just as much.



I honestly can't find any cons of these shoes. Some great things about them though:

·they fit my wide feet! They literally fit so well, and are made for those with either wide or narrow toe boxes. They WILL feel a bit snug when you first put them on but they WILL stretch out as you wear them!
·they stay nice in water! They are called Saltwater sandals after all.
·you can slip them on if you need to, you don't need to unbuckle the strap EVERY time.
·they are UBER comfortable.
·they are relatively affordable! $39.99 per pair.


I got mine on eBay from an authorized retailer, but if you can find a store thst sells them near you, it might be Bette so that you can try them on. They are UK sizes, so if you buy a 6, you're getting an 8W. People, im telling you, these are the shoes of the summer. Go find a pair today!!


Have a good week :)



Nat

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

{Home Tips}: Natural Laundry Fixes



Today, I tried something different with my laundry. 6 months ago, I used to just throw in a laundry pod or two with my load, and then some fabric softener (to make it smell yummy). That was because I could get my laundry detergent from Walgreens pretty much for free because of my mad couponing skills. Then I decided to try something different with my laundry so that it would be more natural. I started buying Ecos free and clear laundry detergent:
via ecos.com
                                           
but I realized that it wasn't making my laundry smell "fresh". I knew it was "cleaning it" but I just wanted it to have that fresh smell. So I've started putting essential oils in my laundry detergent, before putting it in with the load.

I use Lemon, from DoTerra, which is AMAZING! Normally, I hate lemon, but it makes my clothes smell so fresh, and I know that it is actually deodorizing my clothes, not just masking the scent with perfumes and fragrances. The best part about it? It was free! I got this little sample from a friend, but normally, they are about $13 (non-wholesale price) for a 15 ML bottle. I've known about essential oils for a WHILE, but am just now starting to really utilize them for everyday needs. For instance, last week I burned myself on a hot mug. I'm talking nasty blister on my thumb. I put it under cold water for 5 mins, and as soon as I took it out it still hurt like the dickens. THEN I had a miraculous thought: Put some lavender oil on it! Voila! About a minute later it was completely soothed, and feeling great. It was completely healed a day later.

Anyways! Back to the laundry detergent! My next step is to make my OWN laundry detergent. I've used it before, borrowing some from Angel from nourishinggenius.com and loved the results. I know she must have put lemon essential oil in hers, because I could definitely smell it. It was wonderous. I will post more about that later, and definitely put up a tutorial! I'm excited because today at the grocery store, I checked on pricing, and all of the ingredients combined will cost me about $10, and will make me 20 GALLONS of Laundry soap. It's safe to say that I will be set for the rest of the year. It's perfect for a college student who likes to live naturally on a budget!



I will be posting more about essential oils later. If you plan on trying them out, find a distributor through DoTerra, who can give you their wholesale discount. Trust me, it's wayyyy worth it.


Laters!


Nat

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beauty Review: Glymed

So much to my chagrin, I was talking to one of the Aesthetician's at work who is very knowledgeable about skin care who let it slip that the Murad products that we sell probably aren't the best products for your skin. Now, since they are even being sold at Ulta and Sephora, they are available for anyone to go out and purchase. This not only lessens the professional grade of the products but also makes you realize that they probably aren't the BEST products out there that you could be using. Now, don't get me wrong, there are still some Murad products that I am a huge fan of that I feel work incredibly well. But then there are some that are obviously just "buffer" products (products with a lot of unnecessary ingredients with no real purpose to cheapen the product). Murad is still incredibly expensive too!

Skin care is something that I am passionate about. I always grew up with great skin. It was my one and only feature I liked. I didn't really start wearing makeup until High School, which I regret because it ruined my skin. It gave me a few minor blemishes that I am still trying to get rid of to this day. Now though, I recognize that a little makeup goes a long way, and that when you purchase the right skin care products you REALLY don't need that much. The right skin care products might be a little bit more expensive, but if they work better, aren't they worth it?

I'm trying to get to the point where I don't need ANY make up at all. Every barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint, but some times, a barn just needs a new foundation. GlymedPlus is a professional Aesthetic company based in Orem, UT which provides licensed Aestheticians with professional grade products. I know a few great Aestheticians (one of whom actually works at GlymedPlus) who love the GlymedPlus products, so I pawed through the catalog and picked a few out:

(from left to right): Gentle Facial Wash
Anti-aging exfoliant masque
 chocolate/acai masque
SPF30 Day cream
So the Gentle Facial Wash is really like it says: It's gentle yet powerful and effective. It has 10% glycolic acid in it, which acts as an exfoliant, really lifting the dirt and makeup out of my pores, yet it honestly feels just like cetaphil. It doesn't foam up or anything, but your skin feels so clean afterwards!!

The anti aging masque is AWESOME. It's creamy and has little granules in it that take out all of the dead skin. It smells just like black licorice and has age fighting properties in it that you can feel!

The chocolate mask is my FAVE. It's uber moisturizing and smells just like hot cocoa! It dries pretty quick but when you wash it off after about 10 mins, your skin is SO soft. If

Guys, I'm obsessed. I had one compliment the day after I started using it (not to brag or anything, but it just means that it is actually working!!) I honestly don't care what people think I look like, I care what I look like. Which is why I am willing to spend a little extra on skin care products. At the end of the day, I'm not walking around with makeup on every hour. I want to be able to let my face breath as much as possible. When you fix the issue, you then don't need to cover it up! :) But we have to remember that beauty isn't just skin deep, it's who YOU are on the inside that really counts (duh..). I just like to put my best face forward! :)


Total spent on products: $65
My review: ***** of ***** stars. I'm thouroughy impressed!
Would I reccomend it? YES!
How to get a catalog? Go online to http://www.glymedplus.com/store/index/category/52/products 
Go to the left hand side and scroll down until you see some products you'd like. If you know an esti who can get some, let them know, or shoot me an email and I will get you in contact with someone!! northernbellemn@gmail.com


Laters,


Nat

Duck pond adventure!

So today after church, walking home we stopped at the duck pond and saw the most adorable little ducklings this side of BYU's campus. It was such a cute site to see, and there were so many cute kids and families around just enjoying the day.





It's a great Sunday here in Utah! Go out and enjoy the weather :) 

Laters,


Nat

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cartwheel: The best invention of man kind.

So for those of you who don't know, there's an awesome app brought to you by Target, called Cartwheel. Cartwheel is an effortless way to save money on the everyday products you buy at Target.
From beauty to groceries and electronics, with the touch of a screen, you can save anywhere from 5%-45% per item you have in your cart. Here's how it works:

You log in with Facebook after downloading the app. Then you can scroll through their offers based on category i.e. Grocery, Baby, Electronics, Clothing etc. (I used the online version for this demo, which is equally as cool!)


You just add the "coupons" you like and keep shopping! The other option is to scan every individual item with the in-app scanner , and it tells you if the item has any savings attached to it (This is what I do, so I can save the MOST possible amount of money).


Once you're done shopping, you just take your items and your smart phone to the register and she scans the barcode on your phone with all of your savings attached on it!



People it's the coolest thing since sprouted sliced bread. For those of you technology challenged folks, I've attached a link to the app. For every one else, find it in the app store!


http://cartwheel.target.com/friend/bdehfo4kl022231

Best. Thing. Ever. Seriously. And if you don't already have a Target debit card...why are you still reading this blog.


GO GET ONE!! #savemorespendless #minnesotanslovetarget

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Laundry Day.

Well! After a long wait I moved into my apartment (finally). It is a lot nicer and a L O T bigger than my last one, which I like. The only downside is having to have roommates (which are no, because they are actually pretty cool) and my room which is teeny. It's right near the bus stop though, which is just stellar. Not going to lie, I've been kind of ticked off this week. I realized pretty early on that my new clinic was NOTHING like my old clinic at home and that I basically hated it, and disliked my new management. Long story short, I was set to quit and gave my boss my two weeks notice, only to find out that my coworker quit too, and DIDN'T give her two week's notice. Good looking out girl. JUST KIDDING. She's an absolute gem and she's just got MARRIED last week!! She's one of the cool ones there. Anywho! I was pretty riled up because now I had to stay through May. But then a few days ago, something incredible happened:

I was in the laundry room doing laundry when a black woman walked into our apartment laundry room. She smiled at me and I smiled back, and then after a few seconds I asked her: "do you just move in?" From there our conversation continued.. and I learn through her very broken English, that she just moved here to Utah from Angola, six months ago with her husband and 4 year old daughter. She just recently had a baby boy as well and he's only a month old. "What brought you HERE specifically?" I asked her. She told me it was to study. To learn English. I was so curious as to why of all places you would choose Utah. And then remembered why I myself chose it. She was so humble telling me about her experiences here, and by the end of our conversation I was sad to go. I walked with her back to her apartment with her and offered her my "English services" whenever she wanted! She opened her door and a cheery little 4 year old popped out and said "hi!" She was so adorable, I can't even. Anyways, hearing her experiences and seeing her faith struck a chord in me. I prayed super hard this week for guidance and I think it was just what I needed.

I sat down with my boss yesterday and shared my frustrations. He was totally cool about it which was AWESOME. We got everything straightened out and I am no longer "quitting in a month" (ridiculous). God knows just what you need and when!!



And folks, if you've got clothes piled up, take care of it. Because you never know who you're going to meet doing laundry. :)


XOXO 

Nat



How have you been blessed this week? Any crazy insights that have popped out at you?

COMMENT BELOW!

Monday, April 28, 2014

{OOTD: Week Wrap Up

This week, following Easter, was fantastic. I had an OK week at work, but I was blessed incredibly this week regardless. I am moving apartments for the last time this summer, and am staying with friends here in UT. I move in today, and am excited to get back into the swing of things!

Today's post will be short. Sacrament meeting was amazing yesterday. We had several young boys from the ward speak about missionary work as well as an RM who had just gotten back from Wisconsin! It was so inspiring seeing these young boys not yet 10 years old excited about missionary work. In Sunday school we studied lesson #15 in the Gospel Doctrine manual and it was great. Relief Society talked about mental illness and how the power of the Atonement can help tremendously. We went over Elder Holland's talk from last conference. The one that has helped so many members and non-members a like. It was an overall great day!

My Outfit Of The Day:

sorry about the horrible quality...Phone pic!

Yellow Pull-over Cardigan (similar)(From Banana Republic. I cut apart so that I could wear it like so..)// black v-neck Tee shirt: Cynthia Rowley (similar) from TJ Maxx// Black and White Striped Midi skirt: Target// Tan cut out flats: Nine West


Have an awesome week everyone!!








Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week Shenanigans: Meeting Provo

It was a splendid week, if I do say so myself! Minus a few hiccups at work (my computer is in electrical heaven) it was pretty chill. I really got to dive into Utah this week too, since I had Monday and Tuesday off. We went to Salt Lake and got into all sorts of fun up there! Guys, can I just really quickly talk about the transit system here?? I am IN LOVE. They have actual TRAINS! It's called the Front Runner, and it's pretty much amazing. So I love it. I'm actually going up to Salt Lake today for a hair appointment (more on that later) and will be taking the Front Runner again and am kind of super excited for that. Ok. Rave over. 


I'm in LOVE with these Mountains.


Remember "Elder Checketts" (Ryan)?? He was one of the Elders who gave me the lessons back in MN! He showed us around SLC and it was an overall fun day! Complete with shakes and fries from this awesome place called Hires big H.  Elder Roberts is still on his mission, but it will be a PARTY when he gets off!
random child who would NOT move so
 that I could take a picture...

Salt Lake Temple!

Good Ole' Ryan.

Friday was a gas, starting out with endless French Toast at Kneaders with friends from Arizona, and then volunteering with Elizabeth at the Utah Community Center. It was SO fun. For two hours we sorted cans and chatted with other volunteers. I wouldn't have spent the day any other way!


Later, we celebrated a friend's 20th birthday with a midnight swim party after I got off of work. It was LEGIT! She's actually waiting on a mission call right now! I met her and her sister because they are actually Arianne's cousins. Awesomeness runs in that family. I swear!

The next day was spent working from 11-7, and we are kicking the Easter weekend off just right with the BYU Creamery and another night swim. Ahhh. Life is good in Utah. Then I have a short break from Massage Envy for two days and go back on Wednesday.
Happy Easter everyone!!! #BecauseofHim we are able to have new life!!!

Xoxo


Nat

Easter Weekend Reflections.



As well all know, it's EASTER WEEKEND!!! I love Easter. Not because of the easter bunny or the clearanced candy at Walgreen's, but because of the meaning of Easter. Growing up my family never celebrated Easter with Easter baskets or candy or stuff like that. Our parents didn't buy us presents. What I will always remember though, is them buying us Easter dresses.
Our Easter dresses were our "signature spring look"! From the time we were babies up until we were in about Middle school my parents (and later just my mom) would take us girls to Macy's and get us fancy dresses for Easter Sunday. Some years my Grandma would send them to us in the mail (before she died). They were always pastel, frilly and girly and cute and I absolutely ADORED them. I remember one year when I was like I got a pair of cute white Easter heels from my Grandma to go with my dress and they DIDN'T FIT! I was so bummed. I had to wait an entire year to wear them.

But anyway getting to the point, this Easter I have been overwhelmed with feelings of our Savior. This past year has been amazing for me. I've had many experiences where I have traveled and have had to pass my own expectations. Through it all I know that it was only because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that I was able to get through the year.

It is so amazing to me to know that because of our Saviour's Atonement we are able to change, to become better versions of ourselves and to eventually become like Him.
I remember a few months ago, during Sacrament Meeting one of my friends gave a talk about the Atonement. She gave a heart wrenching account of an experience that she had years ago, in which she had a close friend who told her that the Atonement didn't apply to her. Somehow she was simply exempt from the blessings that come with it. I could hear the pain in her voice and that at one point she actually believed it.
Aren't we so lucky to know that this isn't true? The Saviour bled from every pore and went through immense pain for us. Just so that we can sin over and over again. And he did it willingly, without complaint. I am so grateful for the Atonement. So thankful.

The Church has come out with an Easter video that is pretty awesome highlighting the life of Christ:


Because of Him, we can change! The victory has been won! My Easter was spent with a friends family, which was super fun, complete with yummy food, a FHE, and these awesome peep cupcakes.


 YUMMO! Also, Sacrament Meeting was this AMAZING program put together by one of the women in the ward. It was pretty great! 


Happy Easter.


Nat

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

{Product Review}: Murad and Bare Minerals 2014 Kit




So lately I've been having some REAL issues with my makeup. It makes me look washed out, and is drying my skin out. I was also having major issues with my skin care products. After getting the right cleansing and repair products that work best with my crazy combination skin (I use Murad products) I set out to find the best makeup. I work with Murad products at my job, so I'm fairly familiar with their lines and j'adore them and use them daily.


this is hands down the BEST facial cream ever. EVER.


For a long time I didn't wear makeup, but makeup can help cover blemishes and accent your own beauty. That's my goal. It brings attention to your countenance (your face), instead of other places. We all know what I mean by that :)

 I have always struggled with finding the right makeup to use. As an brown skinned Northern Belle it can be hard to find products that won't dry out your skin but also provide the right amount of coverage. I also wanted to find a product that would give me coverage without making me look like I had makeup caked onto my face. Any ol' barn looks a little better with a fresh coat of paint on  it! I went through High School feeling sorry for the girls in my class who looked like oompa loompa's (their faces were so caked on with bronzer and foundation that didn't really match). The worst is when you can see a line where the makeup stops and your real skin starts!! It's important to blend!!

I never struggled with Acne. Ever. I was blessed with that. However, I have many dark spots from blemishes (not acne, but little "bumps" that I would irritate and then they would scar over) that I have been trying to get rid of. I have done some chemical peels (and they worked a little bit) but I need to do a few more before I feel the full results of a fresh face. My skin is so sensitive when it comes to scars. The littlest bump, if rubbed or scratched turns into a scar somehow! Not fun. In the meantime, I use a skin brightening cream and serum.


I use the orange Murad cleanser after the Ambi cleanser.
The spray bottle is the skin brightening serum and the julep masque is just amazing when
you need to balance out your skin's pH levels!!

These brighten those dark spots that I have. I normally put it on after washing my face at night underneath my night cream. It actually works, in my opinion.

I go from this:



So that I can look like this!




I have found the BEST thing since jarred pickles. Bare Minerals.

everything here comes in the kit  (along with foundation) image via bareescentuals.com

When I first saw the commercials about Bare Minerals WAY back in the day I wanted it, but obviously couldn't afford it because I was like 12. I was way to young for make up at that time anyways! Over the years I have used L'oreal and Revlon products and just once I used Covergirl (never again). They worked OK I guess (or so I thought, before trying Bare Minerals).

So I went to the store last week at the Mall of America and waltzed right in, intent on buying the kit. I got the shades customized for my skin shade, and they refreshed me on how it was put on. I was out of there within 15 minutes! It was pretty great, and I am very happy with my purchase.

Now, I know, it isn't cheap. My kit cost about $80, but that includes everything that you see here. If you think about it that way, you are getting a great deal (about $10 per item). I know that the kit retails at $190 (If you are purchasing each item by itself, without the kit) so I wasn't complaining. My favorite part is the Mineral Veil. It gives you a perfect glow! I love it.




It's super easy to apply. You just do it step by step, and less IS more. It can last you a good year if you apply it the right way. I highly recommend this line, and I don't think I can go back to THIS ever again.


So here's how it works!

You start out with either foundation or cove up. I start out with cover up and then the foundation.


that would be the cover up :)

Then I go over that using my foundation and precision brush. 


a little more even now! 

Next it's time for the bronzer to give me that "glow"!


just pour into the lid, swirl the brush in, and tap the excess!
Finally, my favorite part, the mineral veil. It absorbs any excess oil and makes your skin look super flawless. 

same technique: pour, swirl, tap.
And voila!! You're done! I added a little top liner, mascara and brow pencil to tame my brows. Other than that, that's my routine! I rarely use eye shadow. 


and of course, the glasses!

For those who use it, how do you like it? What is your favorite part of the kit? Other comments?


ALSO: If you've been wondering where I've been, I MOVED! AGAIN. This time for School. You can find me in Utah!

it's so gorgeous here. I will NEVER get sick of these mountains! 

Happy Monday!


Nat