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