Friday, May 24, 2013

Outfit a day every day in May {week three}

One more week left! 

May 17
Maxi dresses are amazing. 
(Especially when you don't want to shave...)

Dress: Ross || Scarf: Rue 21 || Shoes: Target 

May 18
I love this dress but haven't worn it in a long time since it got an ink stain... boooo. I finally managed to get it out though with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, Dawn dish soap, Shout, and lots of elbow grease. Yay!

Dress: Downeast Basics (old) || Shoes and pearls: thrifted

May 19
This is kind of a crazy pattern, but I love it!

Shirt: Downeast Basics || Cardigan: F21 || Belt: Charlotte Russe (?)

May 20 and 21
I was a little apprehensive at first, but now I love my pink pants probably more than I should.

(On the left) Shirt: Ross || Jeans: Old Navy || Flats: Charlotte Russe
(On the right) Shirt: Thrifted and refashioned by me || Pants: F21 || Flats: Ross || Necklace: gift

May 22
I mentioned this shirt briefly in my previous post, but here it is again! I really love how it turned out after I altered it and added the belt for some shape. It is this pretty, silky fabric too that is really cool and comfy. It looks much better in real life, not that my awkward self-timer shots aren't lovely, but...

Shirt: Thrifted/refashioned by me || Jeans: Old Navy || Flats: Ross || Bubble necklace: Groopdealz

May 23 and 24 
Yesterday was a t-shirt kind of day. In fact, I might just change back into a t-shirt this afternoon while I finish packing... which I should probably be doing instead of blogging, but whatevs. 

(On the left) Shirt from my trip to Russia
(On the right) Shirt: Ross || Belt: F21

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Awkward and awesome

  • I had a major foot-in-mouth moment teaching seminary on Friday, by far the worst I've had so far (and that is saying something, folks, lemme tell ya!). Seriously guys, it was bad. I was talking about how men and women have different responsibilities in marriage and that you need both to make a good team, and somehow the words "you need the male parts in a marriage" came out of my mouth. I definitely should have replaced "parts" with something like "roles" or "responsibilities" or really anything  else, anything at all. Yep, that happened. I then proceeded to turn as red as my hair and burst into a fit of uncontrollable nervous laughter, which is unfortunately my awkward reaction to all awkwardness. Sometimes I even impress myself with my ability to be unintentionally inappropriate. 
I feel ya, Bill. I feel ya.
  • Warmer weather means open windows, and unfortunately that means that suddenly we have a very intimate relationship with our neighbors, whether they know it or not. Last night we both laid in bed for what felt like hours listening to a barrage of loud, violent, hiccuping from the man next door. It was gross. The most awkward part is that hiccups are definitely not the worst sounds that have floated through our windows... but let's move on. 
  • We are leaving on our big trip in a couple days and I haven't started packing. That's not bad, right? (Wrong!)
  • I've been babysitting two cute little girlies twice a week for a couple months, and I thought it was going really well until I picked them up yesterday and the older one said, "This is the best day ever! You know why?" I obligingly asked why and she replied, "Because this is the last time you're going to babysit me!" She later told me that she meant to say it was the worst day ever... I sincerely hope that is true! ;)
  • I love how this thrift store refashion turned out! Well worth the $1.50, don't you think?

  • Seminary ended yesterday so I got to sleep in (which for me means getting up at 7:30) and it felt lovely. As much as I love teaching seminary, it will be nice to not have to put on a Sunday clothes at 6:ooam five days a week. Very nice indeed. Also, the church came out with a new seminary curriculum starting this coming semester that I am SO excited about! 
  • I made this creamy bacon carbonara that I found on Pinterest and it is positively scrumptious! Seriously, it is only Wednesday and I've already made it twice.
Find the recipe here
  • I found some awesome apps for our Spain trip that I'm really excited about! It will make our trip so much easier and enjoyable. When we get back I'm going to try to do a post about good apps to use when travelling, especially abroad, because there is a lot more you can do with your phone without getting a global service plan than most people know. Working at Verizon taught me a lot besides how much I hat being a salesperson I s'pose! (Also I might be more of a tech nerd than I'd like to admit.
  • My 18-month-old baby sister has started to ask my brother to facetime me, and it just makes my little heart melt to see her grinning face on my iPhone. (It also makes me exceedingly baby hungry... think maybe it's my mom that is putting her up to it? :P)
  • This. Cracks me up every single time.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Birthday wish list

I'm really not a very materialistic person. I like to live simply and frugally -- values instilled into me by my mother who has made this lifestyle into an art. (Which is necessary when you have ten kids!)

However, my birthday is next week and I would like to take this opportunity to be selfish and materialistic, so here are some things I've been loving lately.

P.S. I also accept cash or check. ;)

Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters
I mean... seriously? These are awesome. 

P.S. What do you call a redheaded ninja?

Answer: A ginja! 
You may now proceed to refer to me as "ginja" 
from now on, please and thank you.

Found here

These beautiful prints from The Painted Arrow.
I have the "Love is Spoken Here" print and I adore it. I wish I had these skills!
Found here

Any/all of the following clothes/accessories 

Found here
Found here

Hello (Adult) Red Champ Pullover
Found here

Found here
(Who would ever pay that much for a
shirt, by the way? Sheesh!)
Found here
Found here

A Dutch oven
I make a pretty darn amazing dutch oven cobbler, if I do
say so myself, but we don't have one of our own. :(

Found here
A cute picnic basket like this one
I just made a picnic quilt (which I am very proud of since I have never quilted before!) and
obviously now I just need a basket to complete it.
(Although realistically I'll probably get a simple basket like this one)
Found here

This ingenious pasta pot
This is brilliant, I tell you. BRILLIANT. Plus it comes in red!
Found here

This amazing bed.
It costs more than what we paid for our little car, but who said this birthday list was realistic?
Found here
This see-through canoe.
And maybe the means to take it somewhere awesome?
I've been a lot of places in AZ but I can't think of anywhere with very clear water!
Found here

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Outfit a day every day in May {week two}

(See week one here)

I'm loving this outfit a day challenge on instagram, and I'm very proud of myself for not missing a day yet. Hopefully I can keep it up through the end of the month, although our upcoming trip to Spain (Eeeeeeeek!!!) might interfere, and I'm 100% okay with that! That's one of the reasons why I am posting this weekly since I'm pretty sure that blogging isn't going to be on my mind at the end of the month while I'm celebrating my birthday in beautiful Madrid. :D

Anyway. Here's my outfits from the past week! 

May 9 & 10 
Not a huge fan of the outfit on the left, but I guess that's what I get for procrastinating the laundry. ;)

(On the left) Shirt and jeans: Old Navy || Shoes: Ross || Necklace: gift from my mother-in-law
(On the right) Shirt: ? || Jeans: Old Mavy || Scarf: Target || Shoes: Ross

May 11
I jumped on the bubble necklace bandwagon, and I ain't looking back. 

Shirt: Styles for Less || Belt: Forever 21 || Necklace: GroopDealz 

May 12
Can you tell I love to wear colors? ;)

Cardigan: Forever 21 || Shirt: ? || Skirt: DownEast Basics (old) || Shoes: Ross || Pearls: Thrifted 

May 13 & 14
And can you tell I love scarves? ;) Some girls collect shoes, I collect scarves. 
(On the left) Shirt: ? || Scarf: Rue 21 || Jeans: Old Navy || Shoes: Target
(On the right) Shirt: Walmart || Scarf: gift || Skirt: thrifted || Shoes: Charlotte Russe

May 15
Three things I love: mint, floral, and cardigans.

Shirt: Rue 21 || Cardigan: Forever 21

May 16
This is my favorite from this week, by far!  

Shirt: Ross || Pants and necklace: gift (thanks again to my MIL!) || Shoes: Charlotte Russe || Belt: thrifted || Watch: Kohls

Friday, May 10, 2013

My hippie mama, Kid President, and dirty dishes

This one goes out to all the mothers out there, especially the ones that feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated, and sleep-deprived, and the ones that have piles of dirty dishes that match their piles of happy children. You're more loved than you think, more appreciated than you know (or at least you will be once your stubborn, feisty red-headed daughter is old enough to realize what they put you through... Definitely not speaking from experience here), and your kids will be grateful that you spent your time on them rather than those pesky dishes. 

Mama, thanks for putting up with all 10 of us kids and keeping my big brother from giving me all of most of the wet willies, swirlies, and other forms of torture he would have loved to inflict upon me. Thanks for making me do my own laundry, take care of those smelly (but cute) chickens and goats, for not feeding us meatloaf, liver, or other nasty things, and for being significantly more than one sixteenth hippie, contrary to Dallin's beliefs. ;)

Oh, and thanks for not naming me "phone". Mikaela is much better. 

Happy (early) Mother's Day! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Outfit a day every day in May {week one}

This month I am doing Harley from Harley and Jane's "outfit a day every day in May" (#ootdeverydaymay) challenge. If you follow me on instagram, this is why I'm spamming up your feed this month with lots of pictures of me looking awkward in my outfit of the day. It makes me feel a little self-centered to share so many pictures of myself, but it's fun to look over all my outfits and see that I don't always look frumptastic, plus it motivates me to get creative and not wear the same thing every day!

P.S. If you are wondering why so many of these are a little on the dressy side, it's because I am a seminary teacher so I have to get to wear a skirt/dress 6 days a week, or even sometimes 7 if we go to the temple. Basically, the days that just show me in a dress or skirt are the days when I changed into sweats when I got home and never put on a more casual outfit. 
Go ahead, judge me. I probably deserve it. 

And so, without further ado, I present to you week one of my outfits from every day this month! 

May 1
I love this dress, even though it is a little "princessy".
If you want to read more about how I refashioned this (and see how pretty the detail is at the collar!), click here
Dress: thrifted and refashioned by me, shoes: Ross.

May 2
This is a pretty typical casual outfit for me. I love jeans, especially cuffed skinnies. 
Top: DownEast Basics, jeans: Old Navy, shoes: Ross, belt: Fover 21.

May 3 & 4
The 4th was a busy Saturday spent doing house/yard work, hence the exercise clothes.
(On the left) Top: Ross(?), jeans and scarf: Old Navy, shoes: Target.
(On the right) I think I got my Nikes at Ross, and I don't know where the rest is from
(Who cares anyway, right? It's just exercise clothes!)

May 5 
I love, love, love this dress! It is so comfortable and feminine.
Dress: thrifted, cardigan and belt: Forever 21, shoes: Ross
(I wear these shoes a lot, can you tell?)

May 6
Purple is not my favorite color, especially to wear, but I do like this dress!
I think the scarf helped break up the color a bit. 
Dress: thrifted, scarf: Old Navy, shoes: Charlotte Russe

May 7 & 8
Those heels are one of my favorite purchases from Russia! They are so comfortable, and so is the maxi dress. Also, I wish you could see my top a little better in the second outfit... oh well. 
(On the left) Dress: Ross, shoes: bought somewhere in Russia
(On the right) Cardigan: Forever 21, top: thrifted, jeans: Old Navy, shoes: Ross

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Currently, I'm...

Loving: Life in general. This world is a pretty rad place, don't you think?

Stressing about: What I am going to get Dallin for his birthday in a few weeks. You guys, I am stumped. The man has everything he wants.

Looking forward to: Finishing up teaching seminary for the school year! Don't get me wrong, I love this calling, but it is a lot of work. A LOT. It's also a little more responsibility than I'm really comfortable with, but that just means it is really good for me, right?

P.S. Today we learned about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6. The assignment was to label the different pieces of armor mentioned in Ephesians 6:13-17, but I guess a couple of my students decided their soldiers needed a little more style... haha! 

Thankful for: A happy, healthy marriage. I don't know how I got so lucky.

Dreaming about: All the warm, sunny beaches that are calling my name. Hopefully I can visit my sister in CA soon to get my sand and sea fix!

Laughing about: This GIF. Skillz, man... skillz.

Cheerful homeless man dancing moustache trick animated gif

Eating: An obscene amount of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It was on sale... I really can't be held responsible for buying 3 cartons!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Midlife crisis, blog edition

I decided it was time for a blog makeover. Hope you love it as much as I do! I'm pretty proud of it since I did it myself. It's not perfect, and there's some tweaking I want to do, but I like having a fresh look and feel that is a little more my style.

I also changed the URL to so will need to re-follow me on Bloglovin or whatever reader you use. Also, I made a Facebook page for my blog! I will be posting links to new posts on there so if that is something you are interested in I would love it if you would give it a "like"! :)

Thanks for following! I love reading your comments and getting to know so many great people through blogging. The internet is a pretty amazing thing, isn't it?


Monday, May 6, 2013

The problem with feminists

Feminism. Oh, what a touchy subject this can be. 

Disclaimer: I'm fully aware that I might offend some of the people that read this, so I just want to apologize in advance. That's not my intention. I just want to discuss some of the thoughts and ideas that have been running through my mind lately.

I believe that women are powerful. Their influence on the world is strong and deep. I am thankful for the good that women do in the world, whether it be in the home or in the workforce, and I firmly believe in the importance of getting a good education whether you are male or female. Women should absolutely be able to vote, have their own bank accounts, be property/business owners, political leaders, gain higher education, and have a career. Some of these rights were fairly recently granted to American women, and I am so thankful for the people that brought about these changes. I'm thankful for the opportunities I have as an American woman, and for the decisions I am free to make that allow me to live the life I want to lead.

I truly feel blessed to be a woman in this day and age.

Bam! Woman power!
This all sounds pretty feminist-y, doesn't it? However, I feel very reluctant to refer to myself as a "feminist". I have many feminist peers and I enjoy talking to them or reading their opinions and feelings on the subject, but I find it very interesting that I disagree with most of their beliefs. In fact, there are few ideals I have in common with the majority of these feminist friends of mine. 

I was really baffled by this at first, but after a while I figured out why we felt so differently. I believe that "masculinism" (and sometimes chauvinism) has taken the place of modern feminism. In today's society, most feminists I have come in contact with are, in my opinion, basically trying to become men, and this is where I draw the line. To me, this is where feminism is no longer truly feminism. 

As I wrote in this post, my definition of true feminism is embracing the unique, God-given qualities women have been blessed with, and using those qualities to better the world in a way that only women can. 

I firmly believe that women and men are equal in importance. We need both sexes for social and biological purposes; neither is more necessary than the other. I also believe that we are different for a reason and that each sex is divinely created to fulfill a specific role.

Gender is not a coincidence, neither is it arbitrary. It is a central part of our spiritual identity and responsibility and is a central part of the Plan of Salvation. The Family: A Proclamation to the World is a great resource to learn more about why gender roles are important and what responsibilities each gender has. Here is an excerpt:
"All human beingsmale and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."
Here it what it says about the responsibilities of parents in the home:
"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed."

Now this is where I am probably going to ruffle some feminist feathers: As is stated above, I believe that the primary role of women should be a wife and a mother, and that no other path of life can be more noble, important, or fulfilling. Do I believe in getting an education? Absolutely! Get a good education if you possibly can. Is there anything wrong with pursuing a career? No way! However, neither of these things should ever take precedence over family. That is what is most important. At the beginning of this post I said that "women should absolutely be able to . . . be property/business owners, political leaders, gain higher education, and have a career". This is true, but none of these things should take priority over a family or keep women from fulfilling their responsibility to be a wife and mother if they have the opportunity. Unfortunately, a misconception I often see in modern feminism is the idea that to be a successful woman you must have a career, and that being a mother is a restrictive burden. Nothing could be further from the truth. Motherhood is more important, more precious, and more rewarding than any career. (Side note: I recognize that not everyone has the opportunity to get married or have children in this life, and no one should be looked down on for that or feel that it affects their worth as a person at all. Unfortunately I've heard of a few people that have felt that way.)
"There are two principles that we should always keep in mind. First, no woman should ever feel the need to apologize or feel that her contribution is less significant because she is devoting her primary efforts to raising and nurturing children. Nothing could be more significant in our Father in Heaven’s plan. Second, we should all be careful not to be judgmental or assume that sisters are less valiant if the decision is made to work outside the home. We rarely understand or fully appreciate people’s circumstances. Husbands and wives should prayerfully counsel together, understanding they are accountable to God for their decisions." -Elder Quentin L. Cook (source)
I also support the priesthood-based (or patriarchal) structure of my church. The majority of church leaders are men, and the leaders that are female work under the direction of priesthood leaders (who are all male since women do not hold the priesthood). And you know what? I'm okay with this. I know that my church is led by a prophet that receives direction from God, and because of this knowledge I know that the leadership structure of my church is based on revelation and guidance from Him. I certainly don't feel oppressed as a Mormon woman because of this structure or the fact that I don't hold the priesthood (besides when I hug my husband... heh heh :P). In fact, I am grateful for the ways that my religion helps me, as a woman, be my best and realize my full potential. 

My point is that the problem with (most, not all) feminists is that too often they forget what it means to be feminine

Being feminine means using the divine qualities and responsibilities we've been given to make the world better by working with men, not against them, and supporting their divine qualities and responsibilities.  

It means being gentle, loving, compassionate, classy, righteous, nurturing, strong, innovative, creative, powerful, intelligent, and wise -- qualities I hope to instill in my daughters (and my sons, for that matter!). 

It is magnifying womanhood, motherhood, and sisterhood. 

It is becoming more like our heavenly parents every day. 

Read more of my thoughts on the subject here and here.

Also, this makes me laugh. ;)


Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

This is true love

This is such a beautiful video. You've got to watch it! It is too good to pass over. Promise. 

"I am determined to care for her every need. You see, God has loved us so unconditionally, and I understand that God has put His love in my heart. And because I realize how much God has loved me, that's how I too can love my lovely wife."

"She has done so much for me over all of these years. Now she can't, but I can, and I can return her love."

This, this is what true love really is... sacrifice, patience, loyalty, tenderness, and pure joy. Isn't this sweet couple a perfect example of all these things? 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Five beautiful things

I think it is a well known fact that this world is full of a lot of ugly, sad, scary things. 
I'm not one to watch the news very much, but I did have it on for a few minutes the other day and it was really depressing. There's so much crazy stuff going on that it can be easy to forget what a beautiful place this world is, and I do still believe that the good and happy and beautiful things in this world outweigh the bad. Sometimes you just have to work a little harder to find them.

Here are five of the beautiful things I've been loving lately.

1. This song by Gungor 

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

I love this. So peaceful, hopeful, and inspiring. 

2. Tulips

I don't know if it is possible to be a tulip addict, but it so then I am one. Daffodils and tulips are my favorite flowers of all time, and that is saying a lot because I am a flower lover. 

P.S. Thank you Dallin for surprising me with a sweet new lens for my camera!
It was fun  testing it out on my tulips. :)

3. This shadow dancing performance

I mean... seriously? This blew my mind, and maybe even made me a little teary-eyed. Maybe. ;)

4. The Temple

Mesa, AZ Temple. Photo by me, taken a couple months ago.
This is one of my favorite places to go to find beauty, peace, and deeper purpose in my life. I love it here. It always feels like home to me. 

5. The Gospel

This morning I was reading my scriptures and it reminded me again of what a beautiful blessing the gospel is. It provides me with the peace and power I need to be happy and successful in life. For that I will always be thankful. One of the things I love the most about my faith is that it makes everything okay.

Because I know God and that He is aware of me, I have no reason to fear, and that knowledge is the most beautiful thing of all.

What are some beautiful things in your life lately? How do you stay positive and happy?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thrift store/refashion WIN

So... I really love thrift stores. A lot. 

I love never knowing what I'll find when I go shopping. A few weeks ago I found and bought this dress in a thrift store for $2.00, knowing it would need some alterations to make it work. I wasn't sure it would turn out, but I was so in love with the lace details at the collar (scroll down to see closer pictures of it) that I knew I had to at least try. 

Here's what it looked like before I started messing with it.

It was baggy in all the wrong places, and those sleeves were a little too much for me, so I went to work. First, I shortened the sleeves. There were also a few seams that were about to burst that I mended.

Here it is after the alterations and with the sash. I absolutely love how it turned out!

Check out the beautiful lacy collar! Also, did I mention that this dress is handmade?! That just makes me love it that much more! 

Definitely worth the $2.00, wouldn't you say?

P.S. If you didn't see my previous post, you should join me in jumping on the #ootdeverydaymay ("outfit of the day every day in May") hashtag on instagram! Read more about it here, and follow me on instagram here. :)