Friday, October 9, 2015

{Recipe}:Homemade Dog Food!

So, as you have probably realized, I got a lil' dog! She is partly a therapy dog, and partly a "just for fun dog". You can read more about her here! I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to feed her food that I could A) pronounce, and B) eat myself.

I found this awesome chart of foods that are "dog safe" and ran with it:

sorry it's so small!

I normally stick with assorted veggies, and a meat. Sometimes I will sprinkle some Purina dog food in (a few tablespoons) for "crunch". So far I have found that this combo is PERFECT. I mixed in some Scottish oats into the first batch of food I made because most people use oats or rice as a binding. I realized that she doesn't really need it though, home girl eats it ALL.

Her favorite combos:

Sweet
-pears
-scrambled eggs
-shredded poached turkey

Simple
-poached shredded turkey
-veggies (carrots, peas, spinach)

Savory
-ground beef
-veggies (carrots, peas, spinach)




She loves all of them equally! The cost isn't bad either..it's about .25 cents a meal!! SAY WHAT?! Yeah. I'm good.

Just prepare,


Mix,




And serve!




Voila. you're done!

Trust me..your fur babies will LOVE it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

{Uber VS Lyft}: My take on the apps!

Two weeks ago, Lyft sent me an email offering me $5 off my first 10 rides. I've been using Uber and have been super pleased with the service, but this was a deal I couldn't pass up! Since I don't drive, I have to be creative in how I get around, sometimes. I often times don't mind not driving, especially since I live in the city, work close to home, and have grocery stores/malls/movie theaters accessible by foot/trax. I consider it a blessing that I'm independent enough to be able to get around this bustling city alone without a car, or help if needed. That's more than I can say for many people my age and older. 

(Lyft shows Rider's photo, which I do appreciate)


For those who don't know what Lyft/Uber is, it is a car service that is available to anyone who has a smart phone. The user downloads the app and requests a Lyft or Uber ride by dropping their location for the driver. The drivers are normal people, most of which have normal day jobs. I've come across a lot of retired drivers during the day and mid 20's early 30's age drivers during the afternoon and evening. It is really nice for people who don't drive, but who need to get around at different times during the day. It's much more affordable than a cab, and because it's getting increasingly popular in metropolitan areas, most drivers can get to you in under 5 minutes of requesting a ride.



I tried Lyft out for a few days since I usually take Uber home from work. The Uber fare is normally around $4-$5, making it affordable. I ride the bus in the mornings, but after work riding home means I have to walk UP a huge ginormous hill to get to my home in downtown SLC. The nice thing about it is that because I live downtown in the free fare zone, bus fare is free regardless of the time of day. So if we calculated how much I'm saving it would look something like this:

$4-5 per day for Uber transportation from home
× 5 Rides per week
-----------------------------------
= $25 a week on comfortable transportation (including to and from work).
So over all, I'm spending  $25 a WEEK on transportation. About the same amount I would pay in normal bus fare. (Sometimes I splurge and go crazy with Uber on the weekends which can drive the budget up a bit).

Now, when you compare the two experiences I've had with the two services, Uber wins BY FAR. 

Here's why:

Time
Lyft on numerous occasions gave an estimated "driver ETA", which almost 99% of the time turned out to be FAR longer of a wait than what was estimated. 3 minute ETA's easily turned into 15 minute ETA's which is just bad representation on the companies behalf. Uber is 100% accurate with their driver ETA, no joke. Longest wait for me has been 6 mins.




Availability
I went to request rides and on numerous occasions there were no drivers available. With Uber, there are always drivers available and if they are low on drivers the price simply increases in increments.


Cost
Uber is considerably cheaper than Lyft, at least here in Utah.
The reviews don't lie. Uber is just a better ride deal and a better company. Lyft has the potential to get there eventually, with time and changes to their app. I DO like that Lyft gives the option to Tip your driver during the review after the ride. I think that is awesome and Uber should get on board with that.
That's my spin on Uber and Lyft. Happy Riding, y'all!




Xoxo,



Nat

Monday, August 31, 2015

"To Be Salt and Light in the World"

Last week during Sacrament meeting, our entire ward Relief Society Presidency was reorganized. Surprisingly, I was called as our RS Secretary. I was very shocked when the Bishopric sat me down and asked me this. Why? Because never in a million years would I think that I would get a Relief Society Presidency calling. After leaving Minnesota, I often attended rarely Relief Society rather begrudgingly. I just couldn't find a ward that I genuinely felt I could be a part of. I was talking to a friend who is the head of the Linger Longer committee and was practically begging him to talk to the bishop to get me a calling to help out in that area, because I love to cook, and I love to serve. Little did I know, the Lord had something else in store. 

When I heard from my new Relief Society president that she had direct revelation from the Lord and that I was hand chosen for this calling, I was in utter shock. This calling has come at a time when I needed it the most. During a time when I was feeling like I hadn't really gotten my footing in the ward, though I attended dutifully and have been making great new relationships. You know the feeling? Like you're THERE, but you're not there? And of course, going through yet another rough patch had left me feeling a tad down.. 

Without going into too much detail, I will just explain what I have been dealing with: I had been made aware that someone I knew was doing things that they probably shouldn't be doing as a member of the Church. This situation though was extra tricky because other people were involved. Long story short, I ended up having to bite the bullet and stand for what I believe is right, regardless of the social consequences that I could potentially face. My anxiety level had completely skyrocketed and I could no longer keep the issue to myself. I spoke with my Bishop and it was handled. That's the last I heard of it. That next Sunday I was called into a meeting with the Bishop, not feeling 100% about the situation yet, but still giving it to the Lord to handle. It was at that point that I was called into the RS presidency. It came at a point when I needed something, anything to validate my humanity. During my blessing while being set apart, the Spirit was so strong in confirming this. I am so grateful for the Priesthood and the power it has over one's inner thoughts. The Spirit has a way of confirming Heavenly Father's love for us in a way that is so sweet and indescribable. 

The reason I bring this up is because I don't want to get to the spirit world and have people look at me with a face that said: "at least you tried", "you gave it your best, I suppose". I want them to know without a shadow of a doubt that I gave it my all in this life, and that I stood True to the Faith. I love the scripture that comes from Matthew 5: 

"6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

And then jumps to 13..

 13 ¶Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."    
via Instagram
                                                            
That is what I strive to be. No, I am NOT perfect, and while I try, I don't think I will ever be that "cookie cutter Mormon girl type". But the one thing that I am is a follower of Christ. And when I was baptized years ago, I told myself to decide: who was I going to follow? I chose Jesus Christ and I promised to not check my religion at the door for any circumstance. I want others around me to know and understand what I believe in, even if it means I lose a friend or two. True friends will love and respect you no matter what, even if they don't support your lifestyle choices. 
I love the sisters in my ward. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve them, and that we will be able to uplift each other, and help each other grow spiritually this year. I know that the Church is true, and that Heavenly Father sends us tender mercies that let us know he is listening to our prayers. That's all I have for now..I am headed home to Minnesota next week, so stay tuned for lots of pics in upcoming posts. 

xoxo,

Nat











Sunday, August 30, 2015

Spreadable Butter! Stop Buying it and start Making it!!

If you are like me, you love butter. Butter on everything. Although Paula Deen should have kept her mouth shut on several occasions, she was right in the fact that she pushed butter like it was cocaine. Then there was Mama June and her fun family:

via Google images

I love me some good butter. I have made butter in the past, but it is honestly more trouble than it's worth sometimes if you can't get your hands on some GOOD cream. Good cream is what makes it worth it!! Lately though, I have loved spreadable butter. For some people, spreadable "butter" comes in the form of  "Shedd's Country Crock" spread, "I can't Believe It's not Butter" and other non-dairy, oil-based spreads. The thing with these (while they are very inexpensive), is that they really aren't healthy for you at all. Lots of unhealthy fats aren't good for you, so butter SHOULD be consumed in moderation, but artificial anything isn't good at all. There is plenty of research to prove this, so I won't get into the debate here!

SO. As a money saving, Minnesotan Northern Belle, how do I save money on my beloved butter spread? It's easy!! Make my own! I really enjoy the olive oil/butter combination, and I have found that it tastes the best so that is the one I chose to make. I am reusing the original tub that I purchased from the store. 

You will need: 

- a container to put the butter in
-2 Stick of any Butter NOT MARGARINE (1 cup) 
-Olive Oil (I prefer Extra Light)
-Salt to taste (if using unsalted butter)
-Large bowl
- A Whisk.




Directions: 

Soften Butter until it is very mixable. Take 2/3 cups of Olive Oil and combine with the butter in the bowl. Add salt to taste if you would like.



Cream butter until it has reached a "pudding" consistency!



Pour into containers and place in fridge to harden.


Enjoy!!


xoxo,


Nat


Sunday, August 16, 2015

When it's okay to say "No" to a date, and how to find the RIGHT guy for you.

It's been a pretty dry year in the "raining men" weather forecast, if you know what I mean. I finally got over a pretty nasty breakup back in April, and I had HAD it with men. I looked around me and saw how my friends were suffering through their own relationships, not getting anything good out of them. What's the point of that, right?? So I thought: Heck. I'd rather be single and happy than in a miserable relationship. SO I stopped trying. Completely! I mean I wasn't even going to my singles ward for a couple of months. I honestly love the family ward, so it was fine by me.

THEN. All my friends started getting married. One by one they started dropping off like flies for Time and all Eternity. Luckily they all have found some AMAZING husbands. Then that got me wishing I had a lil' hunk of my own to carry on my arm. I was feeling all the feels. I wanted one too!! You know. The trophy husband. Then, last month I went on a blind date, and the next week went on a second date with the same guy. He was great, but NOT the one!

Then suddenly, 2 weeks ago at church, I was asked out by someone in my ward. Great guy ( I suppose, I really don't know him), but NOT the one. I didn't end up making plans with him because I knew this from the jump. Does that make me mean? No. I will explain later. Fast forward to last Sunday night: Another guy from the ward asked me if I wanted to hang out that night. Again, my first thought was an immediate: "No", because I knew he was NOT the one. But then I started feeling bad, that this was the second guy I would be turning down in 2 weeks. Something that I never thought I would have to do. So I said "Sure", and went on one of the most awkward dates in my life. (side note: I later found out yesterday that the same guy went out with another one of the girls in my ward, and also one of my friend's roommates).

Matt Lauer couldn't have said it better
 (via Google, via Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
So where do you draw the line? My thing is this: I understand why girls will agree to go on dates with guys that they have no interest in whatsoever. They might feel bad for the guy. The guy gathers all of his courage up to ask a girl out and it is just assumed that the girl should go out with him. They might want to make it worth it for him. They might just want to go out and meet someone new! Some guys that I know in The Church ask multiple girls out a week. I know that one of the reasons why they are doing this is our Stake President's and Bishoprics telling us that there are not enough marriages happening within our stakes. Think I'm kidding?? I'm really not! My stake president (in Arizona) sat us all down in Relief Society and Elder's Quorum one day and told us this saddening news..haha. He also told us that he has asked all of the guys to go on one date a week. Why do I bring this up? To make the point that the guys' (at least in some stakes) have a lot of pressure on them from local leaders! It's pressure with a purpose, but it's still pressure!

 So there will be guys asking you out left and right, and that's okay. But it's up to YOU to determine who you say "Yes" to, and with whom you will have to "Politely decline". I know girls who get asked out and go on a date a week, and sometimes MULTIPLE dates a week. There is nothing wrong with that at all! Personally for me, if I don't know the guy, have no interest what so ever, I will probably go ahead and say no. Does it make me rude?? I really don't think so. The way I see it, I know what I am looking for in a guy, and I would like to determine those qualities over time in a natural group setting, not with forced interaction. Some people act very differently when they are alone vs. when they are in a group. 

So, I came to this consensus: Live life. Serve. Travel. Prepare yourself to be the best person you can be. Don't live with regrets, and don't go making plans if you aren't ready! Being single is not a disease. It's really OK! Maybe I'm just needing my own reassurance, who knows. But I hope this message reaches someone  who needs it. Marriage is eternal. It's important. But knowing what you are needing, and waiting for the right man is far more important.

via Google.Because Frozen is
AWESOME.


 I heard someone say in Sacrament meeting today, "If you know that it is not going towards Eternity, don't go on a second date". I think that's pretty darn good.


The Church is true, y'all. I know it.


xoxo,


Nat

Thursday, August 6, 2015

{Places}: Spitz SLC

As always, my review is honest, brutal, and straight up!


I've been to Spitz a few times. It's located in the middle of Main street and State Street right off of 300 South. First time was with a friend who absolutely loves it and claims that it is one of the best eateries in SLC. I got their special, the Street Car Doner. It was pretty good, but pretty messy. Every time I've been back since, I have gotten  either the Street Car or the Spicy Doner (pronounced: Duh-Ner). The last time I went with a co-worker, and I got the Spicy.

This is what it looks like:



I had them leave out the tomatoes and cucumbers, because I'm not a fan of either of them in wraps or sandwiches. As you can see, it's not your typical Kebab. I remember Gemma ate here once and came back claiming that it was NOT an authentic Kebab and when she moved to Finland this summer shared a picture of what a REAL Kebab:

as you can tell, she was not impressed.
I'm not gonna lie, that meat looks REALLY good. The one thing I will say is that while the wraps that they have at Spitz are very unique and colorful, the meat is not very good. It doesn't taste very fresh, and I'm not sure they use a vertical rotisserie to cook their meat which would probably contribute to that. I will say though, their fries were BOMB.COM:



These fries. The Streetcart fries. SO. Freaking. GOOD. From their Menu:

"Our famous fries topped with garlic aioli, feta, onion, green pepper, tomato, olives, pepperoncinis and chili sauce."

I don't think people understand what I mean when I say these fries are the BEST fries I have ever had in my life.





I also ordered a Falafel ball this time, because I can't resist Falafels, and I hadn't tried theirs before. It wasn't the BEST I've had, but was still pretty good. 



Over all, I give this place a 3 out of 5 stars, only because of the fact that it isn't authentic Mediterranean Kebab. The fries made up for it though. Price also brings rating down, those fries were 7 bucks! I will say that if you're looking for an amazing authentic Mediterranean place, head over to O'Falafel Etc. They have some amazing authentic food from Israel and other countries. I've been there twice now, and I'm a huge fan. 


Until next time!




Xoxo,



Nat






Saturday, July 25, 2015

Blessed Honored Pioneer!

Happy Belated Pioneer Day!


For those of you who DON'T live in UT, this past Friday, June 24th was Pioneer Day. What is Pioneer day, you ask?? Well it is a huge Mormon holiday, commemorating the fact that the LDS Pioneers made it to Utah. For the Jack Mormons and non LDS folks here it is commonly known as "Pie and Beer" day, and they use it as an excuse to drink and get sloshed. Gag. So for all of the people celebrating the actual Pioneer day, it starts earrrrrly in the morning, with a ton of parades! It carries on throughout the day, ending with firework shows, and musical concerts in various parks across the state. Most people in Utah get the whole day off of work for this! Stores close down, and everything.

via Google

It is literally bigger than the Fourth of July here.. no kidding! Last year, I can't remember what I did last year for Pioneer day, but I remember hearing about it for the first time and being so surprised at how huge it was, and the fact that I had NEVER heard about it until moving here.

So what did I do?? I went to work, because I love my job sosososososo much! Hah. JK. But I really do love my job. Especially because they like to psych us out with emails like the one they sent us at about 10 AM that day. It went along the lines of:

"We need you to work overtime tonight, until 7 PM. But then you can have Saturday and Sunday off..
JK you can all leave at 2 PM." 

It was pretty Rad!

Haha my bosses are literally the best. So a friend from work and I left early, went to trusty Trader Joe's, and picked up stuff for our awesome BBQ! We had about 15 people there, and y'all. When I tell you they smoked the ribs from like 10 AM until we ate them at like 8, I'm NOT kidding. They were fall off of the bone good. So tender. So juicy. The BEST ribs I've had in my LIFE. I'm kicking myself for not taking more pics, but unfortunately my phone is being really stupid, and won't allow me to save any pictures that I take. I've got corrupt files, everyone!! I was lucky enough though to snag this one of us, pre-food baby impregnation.  See how happy and light we all look!? We were bumps on a log after eating. At least I was. haha

yes, I have gorgeous friends yes yes. 

So that was my pioneer day 2015! Woods Cross had some AWESOME fireworks BTW! They were pretty great, and that's coming from me, I'm normally not a fireworks gal!


until next time,



Nat

Friday, July 24, 2015

Scentsy Essential Oils: READ BEFORE YOU PURCHASE!!


This post is strictly to help customers make the better, smarter choice!


A year ago, this is how I started using my warmer:

via Google

       Yesterday night, I posted a picture of my new Young Living essential oil diffuser on Instagram:

see the little steady stream of humidity :)


 I used a #Scentsy hashtag in the post, exclaiming that I finally had an alternative to their scent warmers which triggered a nosy Scentsy rep who I don't even know to comment on the picture. She let me know that Scentsy was releasing an 100% Essential Oil diffuser line September 1st. I was shocked but immediately skeptical. I have heard from a few different people (on Instagram, Blogs, and Facebook) that they have moved away from using Scentsy as a whole because of the quality of the products that they offer..

via Google.
The woman on Instagram (as well as other Scentsy reps) kept throwing around the fact that they are 100% Natural Essential oils. However, when you start throwing this term around, you need to make sure that you know what it actually means. Now, I have been using essential oils for about 3 years now for various health purposes, and I love them. I have used both Young Living and Doterra, and have found that they both work equally the same. But what is an essential oil? I will explain below!

Essential Oils aren't really your typical "slimy" oils. From Young Living's Website: "Essential oils have also been used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes, as well as for their spiritually and emotionally uplifting properties...Primarily extracted through careful steam distillation but also through cold pressing, the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they were extracted. Any time you hold a bottle of our powerful essential oils, you are holding nature's pure essence."  

Regardless of this, what a lot of people don't realize is that : there is no official organization or group that certifies essential oils. 

"CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade is a registered trademark of dōTERRA Holdings, LLC representing internal standards of quality assessment and material control. The CPTG protocol is not administered by government or industry regulatory agencies and does not imply regulatory approval of dōTERRA products."

Crazy, right?? This is JUST a marketing ploy, people. That's it. Young Living really is no different, because like I said, there is no governing body that certifies essential oils!! This is why I don't prefer one over the other (within reason). Scent wise I do prefer DoTerra's Lavender though! Now, where am I going with this? How does Scentsy tie in? I will explain:

Scentsy is a fairly new company. They are definitely brand new to essential oils. The essential oils that they offer are not "therapeutic grade" (which isn't a real thing btw). By Therapeutic Grade, I mean usable the three ways that 100% essential oils should be able to be used: Internally, Topically, and by inhalation (or distillation). From the few short hours that the news of the Scentsy EO line has been announced, I have had a few encounters with people who have said that the Scentsy line will be an Aromatherapy line only. They won't be able to be ingested, or used topically with a carrier oil. Now, I don't know of the truth to this, but this is enough for me to not trust the quality of the oil that they will be providing. Here are some examples of what they will be offering:
lots of "blends"

via a Scentsy Rep's Facebook.

SO. Long story short, folks: Please make sure you realize that QUALITY IS IMPORTANT!! What you diffuse, is what you are putting into the air! Choose an essential oil line that is trusted, ALL NATURAL, and SAFE.

The more you know, the better off you are!!


Happy Diffusing!!



xoxo,


Nat



Monday, July 20, 2015

25 by 25! An update of my 21 x 21.

If you remember two years ago, I had a list I had made called 21 by 21. It had 21 things that I wanted to have accomplished by the time I'm 21. Well as you can see below, I got through quite a few of those things, but a lot of them didn't happen! Being that I'm a pretty adventurous person (in most aspects) I decided that I would continue the list for 4 more years and see what happens! So! Here is my 25 by 25:

-Go skinny dipping
-Hit 2,000 blog views (on both blogs)
-Travel to Temple Square, Nauvoo and other church history locations
-Go to a Temple Dedication (I think the Gilbert Temple is going to be dedicated soon!)
-Find a good gluten free bread recipe that actually works. This one is a must, since I was just recently diagnosed with Celiac disease.
-Get my drivers' license and buy a moped or a...car... :0 SO, I have a scooter, but not the license..Am trying to sell it though!
-Find the perfect vintage dress 
-Get my LMT degree! I decided against this! 
-Share my testimony with a stranger*
-Watch a live BYU Vocal Point Preformance
-Become fluent in Spanish and ASL. (and french, and German, and Portuguese and like every other language)
-Reach my goal size without bulking up.
-Go Canyoneering :0 NEVER. Why did I think this was a good idea???
-Hike a Mountain in Arizona and Utah (not in the same day of course) I did both! Mt. Timpanogos (hiked part of it) and a small "hill" in Arizona. I can't call it a mountain since I moved to Utah and see real mountains every day!

-Get a puppy
-See General Conference in the conference center in Salt Lake twice now!
-Run a 5k Ain't no way that is happening. I wouldn't dare try. 
-Become more like Christ. This is definitely an on going one. 
-Strengthen my relationship with my family.
-Get out of the "friend zone" with guys. Not so cool at my age. Seriously, this is stillllll happening. 
-Go backpacking for a week (or longer) and "rough it."
-leave the country and travel
-Make Temple attendance a regular thing. 
-Go out to a fancy restaurant and order a 5 course meal.
-Take a long road trip.
-Attend Institute more regularly.
-Find a new hobby.
-Move into my own place.



 The bolded items are new additions and the crossed out items are things that I have already done/changed my mind on! If you have any other suggestions, add it to the comments below!


Xoxo,

Nat

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Scentsy Solutions!

**DISCLAIMER: this post is not meant to bash Scentsy or Scentsy's products, because for the most part they are great! The thoughts below are simply my personal views on an easy solution that I have had issues with!**

Have you ever bought a candle and after a few uses it's completely useless? As in it is burning, but you can no longer smell it's deliciousness??? Well. That happened to me one too many times. So from Candles, I switched to Scentsy warmers and wax cubes. But I could never really find the scents that I loved. To be honest they were far too expensive for how long they lasted and the scents were cheap smelling and gave me a major headache. I like natural scents from pure 100% essential oils (lavender is my absolute favorite!) and if not natural, the candles that I buy are high quality and smell GOOD. I have had a few people on Instagram ask me for solutions to this, and so I decided to write a post dedicated to the topic!

Now, I absolutely LOVE Scentsy warmers! They work great, are so adorable and clean up easily. So what I have found is this: by placing my candle of choice (or wax pieces) on top of my Scentsy warmer,  I can utilize the warming aspect of the candle (getting longer lasting stronger scent) without having to light it which uses it up so much faster.

Exhibit A:


candle is from Bath and Body Works.


You guys it is so easy!! Also, if the candle is pretty tall/large, you can light the candle and also place the candle on the warmer to melt the wax faster.

Also, I went to the Bath and Bodyworks sale and they were having a MASSIVE 75% blowout sale. It is over now, but when the next one happens, you all need to go check it out, it's INSANE.


Until next time,


Nat

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weddings Galore! My thoughts on going "off registry" for gifts.

Since we are smack dab in the middle of wedding season, I thought this post was appropriate. With all of the weddings that have been happening lately, I have been forced to get creative with my wedding gifts. To be honest, I would much rather give money. Money for the couple to use to get started,  to go on their honeymoon etc. I know some people who have chosen to do this instead, and it worked quite well for them. I also know so many people who registered for gifts (very expensive gifts) that they could have easily gotten at a thriftstore, or on Ebay. Now, this isn't a judgement on them, but wouldn't you rather just be honest and request funds (or gift cards) instead of useless baking/household items that won't get used? Do people REALLY need 10 different mixing bowls?!? I'd say I bake a fair amount, and I have never used more than 5 in one day. I know some people return the gifts that they get and use the money, but I just think that's kind of ridiculous. Then again I'm very blunt and will probably just ask for donations.

Regardless, I have tried my best to get useful gifts for people without breaking the bank. Often times, for me that means going off-registry for a gift (Now, before you look at me cross eyed, no, I did not make them a birdhouse like Phyllis from The Office, so lovingly did for Jim and Pam).
For my wedding gifts this season, I actually went more practical. Nice hand soap and hand towels. Why you ask? Well, after talking about it months ago with one of my best friends who is getting married in 2 weeks, she told me what she was REALLY wanting. No, surprisingly it's not a kitchen-aid mixer (which she is already getting, and is actually quite happy about it). It's cleaning supplies. A lot of people don't realize that once you move into a place you will have to clean it out, and the supplies can be expensive for a young new couple. Things like a broom, swiffer, dish soap, sponges, that's stuff that is overlooked but still needed.

So I went on the practical side and got them something that they will always need (even if they already have it) yet that is still personable. I chose a scent that was neither too feminine or too masculine, Moonlight Path. It didn't hurt that I got both gifts on clearance. Wrap it up nice with a bow and you have yourself a gift!



So far when asking people, I've gotten good feedback on that gift of choice. What are your thoughts on going off-registry for wedding gifts??

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What happened to the Duggars?




Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, then you have heard about the latest Duggar news. No, no one is engaged and Michelle isn't pregnant again. This news is actually kind of sad.

Before I continue, I'd just like to state that I in NO way condone sexual abuse, or molestation. I also have never experienced these, so I make no attempt to understand how those who have gone through this in the past feel about the situation. Also, this post could be a trigger for those who have gone through sexual abuse, so please be aware of that before you continue reading.

12 years ago, before the Duggars even made an appearance on national TV, and their family size was considered normal (for Utah at least) Joshua Duggar, the oldest Duggar child was brought into police custody for molesting 5 girls. The words that they use most frequently are "fondling" and "touching". This of course refers to the incident(s) in which he inappropriately touched various girls' genitals, and breasts. They aren't sure which ones, but there is talk that the 5 girls were his sisters. Now, at the time, he was 14. His parents, upon finding this out tried to help him, brought him to a family friend who also worked as a sheriff at their town's police department (he is currently serving 56 years for child pornography which sort of makes you question the tactics he used..). They also sent him away for a few months to work for a family friend, most likely thinking that this would help him. The family has come forward with numerous statements about how the incident helped shape their family into the strong Christians that they are today. Josh also came out with a statement and formal apology to those he has hurt in the past. He has since resigned from his position with FRC, an organization based in Washington D.C. that holds strong conservative roots, fighting for christian rights rooted in family values) where he was doing very well and making headway with local government officials.
I don't wish to talk about that issue anymore. You can go online and find various blog, Instagram and Facebook posts that will go into the nitty gritty of what happened, and find plenty of outlets where people will sit and bash the Duggars for their parenting skills or lack thereof.
I want to talk about something else. Something that they all have an understanding of, and have grasped and constantly share with the world. Something that I am shocked to find, most "Christians" don't seem to think applies to Joshua Duggar: The Power of the Atonement.

I shared my thoughts very briefly in a Facebook post, and was saddened by those who seemingly have a grasp on the Gospel, yet turned a blind eye to the power of repentance in this specific case. Have we not been told numerous times in the scriptures to "Repent and Come unto Christ."? This is exactly what he did. A boy of 14 years old, who got a little bit too curious about girls and consciously made a mistake, and has since repented and has been forgiven by the Lord. I'm not sure of the steps that he had to take to get right with God, but I know that he did. You can see it in his countenance, and in the testimony of his family that he is clearly a changed man. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, and it is Him and ONLY Him who shall be the judge of our actions.
We as a church (a family in Christ), should be coming to the defense of our fellow brothers and sisters who have made mistakes and since repented. How many of us can truthfully say that we haven't made mistakes in the past that we wish to put behind us and forget? I know that I personally don't go around broadcasting all of my past shortcomings for the world to see. The Duggars never claimed to be a perfect family. Their Christ-like example has helped so many people, of all different beliefs. With the way it all came out and has played out in the tabloids, there is clearly an agenda here. Someone is purposely trying to attack this family, for whatever reason. There are many anti-religious people that hate the Duggars for what they stand for, and are now calling them hypocrites. Hypocrites? Because one member of the family made a mistake as a child, they aren't allowed to have values anymore? People like to throw stones at glass houses, but they need to realize that there is no sin that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can't cover. No one is un-worthy of the Atonement. Like Jesus told the woman at the well "Go, and sin no more", I believe by his actions and the life he currently leads, Joshua Duggar has taken those repentant steps with the Lord.

By us attacking them, we are doing nothing but causing them (Josh, the entire Duggar family, and the victims) distress by opening up old wounds. If you have seen the recent interview featuring Jim Bob, Michelle and then Jill and Jessa, you know what I am talking about; those sweet girls clearly did not want this information leaked. 

via usmagazine.com


via thedailybeast.com

This family will be forever reminded by those they meet of a horrible time they wish to forget. They made no effort to sweep their mistakes under the rug, immediately came out with statements about the issue after it arose. They are doing the right thing, simply living their life not in fear. They were under the impression that the government was doing its job of protecting the records of minors, in which they failed miserably. If given the opportunity, I hope that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will take legal action against those who did this, because it was wrong. TLC has since pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting off the air, and is making decisions on whether or not they will keep filming the show.

I hope we will all do the right thing and remember that this family is human, not celestial. That they make mistakes just like the rest of us, and that they have taken the steps as a family to turn to Christ, because in the end, it is all about Him.

via motherhoodtrade.com



xoxo,

Nat

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hey, Mormon Girl!: Book of Mormon in 100 days? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!!

Wow. Excuse me while I go get a can of oil to unhinge my fingers. It has been FAR too long since I have had a post on either sites. Sadly, blogger is being a buzz kill, and removed my blog URL from cyberspace. The only way I will get it back is by paying $290.

c/o Google images

SO, I will be writing all future posts on this site, combined! I will add a page specifically for "Hey, Mormon Girl!"posts as well, so look up on the top for that! Golly, you must be thinking: what HAS she been doing these past months?? Where do I begin??

I moved. I got a new job. I got a Bunny. I got a Scooter. I made some new friends. Well, lots of new friends, actually. I started going to the SINGLES ward again (more on that later though). Planning a trip back home(s) to Arizona and Minnesota. Gotta love divorce, am I right?? Am taking classes this semester! Well...one. The list goes ON! You know me, I'm always on the go!! I'll hit on all of these and then OBVI the main reason for this post, in a bit.

New house!! I now reside in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, in a lovely triplex, a mere 5 blocks north of where I was previously. I finally have my OWN room, a full sized bed (thank HEAVENS), and sane roommates. This was a long time coming folks. A long time coming. The best part, in my opinion. Is the view. is the view. It overlooks the East side of Salt Lake City. Everyone who comes over is always in awe of the view; It's pretty great. Exhibit A:

c/o Gemma's IG 

c/o Gemma's IG 

I mean, really! 
Speaking of Gemma, who took these wonderful photos, she has moved to Helsinki, Finland to marry her true love! He is a wonderful guy, I am so glad they found each other 3 years ago. LUCKILY, they are moving back in August so that they can finish school! YUS. Before she left though, she hooked me up with some awesome friends of her's in the ward, and hanging out with them has been a blast, to say the least. I am so sad that she left, but I am so incredibly happy for her. I got to spend a lot of time with her before she left (we were even roommates again for a bit) and she even came with me to get my bunny! Her name is Delilah. She's the cutest little babe ever, yet slightly Schizophrenic. Not even kidding...


Gemma walking Delilah.
I can't get over the cute leash!!!



My new job. I think I hit on this a bit before, but if not, I now work downtown SLC, a 4 minute drive from my house (literally). I work for a Durable Medical Equipment company that provides patients who are in need of CPAP supplies to get them at very low cost or no cost at all. What I love about working for this company is that we as a whole are making a difference in people's lives. Plus, my my coworkers are AWESOME, my bosses are great, and I get to  work with Ryan (one of the missionaries who gave me the lessons). Also, food truck Thursday outside, every week. HELLO awesome. 

I often times just ride the bus, because that means FREE. I like free. I'm a poor college student. But I also can park at my school for free and take Trax, so I have done that as well. It just depends on the day! My new whip. A Christmas present to myself. Of sorts. 



She is a beauty, isn't she?? She runs great at 150 CC's, has a trunk AND under seat storage. We got into a little fall, and her mirror broke off (and headlight dislodged) but it is now attached with duct tape, awaiting a repair from my awesome neighbor who knows everything about motorcycles and scooters. And she has the most darling little horn. 

So, I had been going to my family ward next to my house since January. I was quite frankly over the whole singles ward scene. SO. I started going to my family ward, and loved it! Then I got a calling in the Primary and was ecstatic. Then, I moved. And my roommates were sort of kind of investigating the church, and taking the discussions. They aren't anymore, which is sad but what can you do about it, right? Either way, I was going to the Singles ward with them, and with Gemma, but have since decided to go on back to the family ward! I will probably go to FHE or YSA church every now and then (because it is a GREAT ward, truly. And I don't say that lightly) but for now, Sunday's I will be at the family ward!

c/o www.ldsarchitecture.wordpress.com
via Google images
SO SCHOOL. I'm taking ONE class. Again. Except this time I actually like the teacher. It's going well, and I am taking a breather before next semester, when I will have to go to school full-time. One step closer to my dream!

So, speaking of Spiritual things, I am writing this when I should be getting ready for Church. My singles ward has begun an 100 day Book of Mormon reading challenge. It is called Red5. By reading 5 pages a day, you can read through the entire book of Mormon in 100 days. Now, my roommates at one point were even doing it. But can I just be completely honest and say that this challenge has blessed my life SO much so far? I will be the first to admit (and have openly in the past) that I am not the greatest at remembering to study my scriptures, but I can honestly say that this challenge has helped so much. I remember last year was my first time reading the Book of Mormon from cover to cover. I rushed through it, wanting to finish to say that I finished, only picking up on little tid-bits here and there, not really paying attention to what I was reading. This time around is so different. I am noticing so much more, learning so much more, and feeling so much more. I can feel a peace within myself since I have started reading more frequently as well. For example: 

Friday morning, I went outside to notice that my scooter had been stolen. From right in front of my house. I paused, and moved on, just like that. Everyone around me was telling me to file a police report, do this and that, and yet, I just was at peace with it. My beautiful red scooter. I realized that I had so much to be grateful for. Honestly. I have great friends, a home, and a job. What more do I need? Luckily, it was a prank. I still have NO clue who did it, but I haven't completely ruled out the boys down the street, since it was "found" in their back yard. Whoever did it (if they didn't) was a close friend, because they knew that we are close friends with them. Which narrows it down to 3 people..Regardless. Life is so good. I am so grateful that we have this awesome Gospel, and these AMAZING Scriptures. 

Ok. I reallllly need to go get ready for church. 


Until next time, friends.



xoxo,


Nat

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

12 Oxen.

"It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward."- 1 James 7:25


This is where I sat a few Wednesday's ago. Well, not this exact spot in this exact baptistery. I was in the Salt Lake Temple (OBVI). I was on the train downtown on my way home, when I got off at the City Center station to return a purchase. I had been planning to make this return for a week, but for some reason or the other I wasn't able to get to it. So I got off, and started walking through the mall. Then, I turned around and started walking in the other direction. I kept walking. Through temple square, and past the sister missionaries, giving them a smile. I found myself at the doors of the baptistery, at 5:30, just early enough for the next session. I don't know how I ended up there, but I'm glad I did. It had been way too long. I made my way to the baptistery, which was chocked full with local youth as well as some older folks. I sat next to this uber cool gal, who goes to the U.

 As I sat there, I looked around the beautiful room in the Beautiful Salt Lake Temple and I had this overwhelming feeling of peace, and a surety that it was all true. I was reminded of the scripture above, and that the work we were doing in the temple was important and meaningful. With every name confirmed and baptized, the feeling of peace continued.

I realized after sitting there and praying for 10 minutes, just why I was there. I had been contemplating a life situation for days and hadn't come to a definite conclusion. We've all been there, right? Well the Temple was where I finally got my peace. I flipped through scriptures, and a few really popped out at me. One of them was in D&C. First of all, can I just say that I have really loved getting into Doctrine and Covenants this year. I think it's a book that I took for granted, as it is full of laws, rules and regulations and more recent events in Church History (which I actually like). But this year when I decided to really dive into it, I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, of course, for some reason I can't remember the verse I read. I've been searching for weeks. As hard as I've tried, I couldn't find it again!!! For real though, why is it that I find all of these awesome scriptures when I'm pondering in the Temple, and then when I leave I can't remember them?!  

It has taken weeks for me to gather my thoughts since that initial visit to the Temple. Life has a way to throw you curve balls, I am just so eternally grateful to have a knowledge of the Gospel. It has helped me so much. My life was great before I found the Church. But now, with the Gospel, it's excellent. That's what I want, an excellent life. I love that quote from Meet the Mormons (which I've seen 4 times btw): 

“I’m not close to perfection, but I’m perfect in one thing: I’m perfect in trying.” —Bishnu Adhikari (humanitarian)*


Have a great day!



Natalie



*photo and quote from lds.org