Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday Best: Golden

sweater: Head Over Heels, jeans: Kohl's, booties: Kmart, watch: Head Over Heels, Idaho necklace: gift 

I realize it is totally not Sunday, but yesterday was my birthday and I didn't feel like spending time online. So as a late birthday present to me, you can just pretend it is Sunday as you read this so this post will make sense. Deal?

I wore this outfit on Christmas Day. BWell gave me the beautiful golden sweater and my parents gave me a gold-colored watch as well. It was the perfect laid-back outfit for lots of eating and card-playing.

The favorite part of my Christmas Day was when my family gathered around our computer to Skype with my brother. He is currently serving an LDS mission in California. As much as I love my new sweater and watch, the best present was by far hearing my little bro's voice.

Happy Sunday ;)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Gift of Experience

BWell and I decided to keep things simple this Christmas. Where we bought a house a few months ago, we came to the conclusion that it would be better to save instead of spend. After having a talk about it, we came to the conclusion that we would do stockings for one another and one or two small gifts for under the tree. Then we thought that instead of spending time and money shopping for one another, we would use that time to do extra holiday festivities together. There is nothing as wonderful as the gift of experience. Honestly, Christmas Day for me is never the best part. It's the weeks leading up to Christmas that I dwell on. It's the parties, the decorating, the good deeds, the planning, the celebrating. Presents are nice to open, but they are never as memorable as actual experiences.

Now for a random list of things we either have already done or plan on doing before the start of the new year:

  • Go to a Christmas performance of some kind (we went to The Nutcracker)

  • Make and decorate sugar cookies (check) 

  • Build a snowman

  • Decorate our Christmas tree while listening to Christmas tunes (been there, done that)

  • Watch our favorite Christmas movies while wrapping gifts (did this but I'm sure there is more to come)

  • Create a gingerbread house (we did this with a couple extra creative friends and it was a blast) 

  • Clean out our closets and donate old clothes to those in need

  • Make a treat and deliver it to neighbors (we did this on National Cookie Day) 

  • Go caroling 

  • Wear ugly Christmas sweaters (we got to do this for my work Christmas party)

  • Create a funny Christmas card together (I'll share the card soon. It's fantastic and involves miniature donkeys) 

  • Go to Temple Square and see the lights

  • Go sledding

  • Drink hot cocoa and drive around town to look at lights (we accomplished this last night with my mom and sisters)

  • Pay for someone behind us at a drive-through

  • Go on a snowshoeing expedition 

I sure do love this time of year. While I love parties, wrapping paper and Santa, it's refreshing to center my thoughts on what really matters: God and people. Merry Christmas! I hope you fill yours with experiences spent with the people you love.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Truth Cards

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my mom, sisters and I hosted a Truth Card Party. I first learned about truth cards through Brave Girls' Club.

Truth cards are super easy to make and the supplies are simple. You take face cards or flash cards and then make them beautiful with paint, paper, ribbon, and mod podge. The most important part is to add a "truth" to the card. We get told a lot of nasty lies all the time. Whether those lies come from others or ourselves, they can be hurtful and make us feel like we don't measure up. Truth cards are a way to remind us of what is true and what is good.

My mom came up with the idea of making as many truth cards as possible before Christmas and sending them out to women who are in need encouragement this holiday season. We planned on distributing them to the women's shelter, food pantry and Angel Trees in our community (because even though the Angel Trees are about getting gifts for children in need, their mommies have needs too). It's funny how something as simple as making truth cards puts my mind in the right place for Christmas. I find myself putting a lot of thought and care into each card, and I always hope with all my heart that the right message will get to the right person.

Our Truth Card Party was a success. It was neat to see females of all ages, from little girls to their own mothers, gathered around the table making their cards. We also had sandwiches and soup for lunch which was just perfect.

I encourage you to try making your own truth cards. Even though the holidays will be over soon, you can really make these cards and distribute them for any and every occasion. I also know how difficult it can be to want so badly to be generous at Christmastime and buy presents for everyone in need, but realize that your own bank account won't allow that. This is a way to help out without sacrificing your whole paycheck. And I really feel like the messages these cards carry have much more importance than anything you can purchase at a store.

Monday, December 16, 2013

What is Beauty?

When I was a little girl, I believed that long hair was a sign of beauty. Every Disney princess I knew of had long hair. I would read my picture book about the story of Rapunzel. Her long hair won her a guy. I never read stories or watched movies where the heroine had short hair. It was always long, shiny, healthy, and flowing.

I grew my hair out and for a while, it was long, shiny, healthy, and flowing like the hair of the Disney princesses I watched on-screen.

Then it was the summer before I would go to middle school. I was no longer the little girl who wore scrunchies in my hair and jelly shoes on my feet. I now had a mind of my own. At an age when so many are self-conscious . . . .I was strangely confident. I was prepared to enter the world of lockers and gym class with a bold new look. I was ready to get rid of my hair.

I clipped a picture of Halle Berry out of a magazine and told my mom to schedule a haircut appointment.

I remember how light my head felt after cutting off my thick chestnut brown hair. I ran my fingers through the short and spiky tresses and I felt so beautiful. It was my own kind of beautiful. Not the kind of beautiful society had tried forcing me to believe in.

As women, we live in a world where we are constantly told we must meet some certain standard to be beautiful. Skinny is beautiful. Long hair is beautiful. Bronzed skin is beautiful. Straight teeth are beautiful. Dark eyelashes are beautiful. We spend so much time applying makeup over blemishes, eating less and working out more. We all too often look in the mirror and see all the things we wish to change about ourselves in order to fit this definition of beauty.

Well, we are being lied to.

Beauty isn't about looking a certain way or fitting a specific mold.

Beauty is being comfortable in our own skin. Beauty is in speaking kindly. Beauty is living our lives in a way that makes us happy. Beauty is in the way we act and the way we carry ourselves.

I recently cut my hair off again and I keep having moments of doubt. I become conquered by my insecurities. Is my nose too big? Do I look like a boy? Did I make a mistake?

Then I try to remind myself of that preteen who so boldly cut her hair because she wanted to. She deserves some self-love. She is worthy of confidence. She has the right to feel beautiful.

I hope tomorrow you'll look in the mirror and notice all the things you like about yourself. I hope you'll feel beautiful and be slow to judge yourself too harshly. I hope you will speak kindly to yourself. Beauty can be found in all things. You are a beautiful soul.

I have short hair, a flat chest and stretch marks on my legs, and I'm beautiful.   

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Truth Tuesday

  • Because it's true^^^.

  • On Saturday, Brian and I were out shopping. It was snowing really hard and I was, of course, wearing boots with zero traction. As we were driving out of the parking lot, BWell pulled to the curb so I could throw some trash in a nearby garbage can. I felt the need to run to the garbage can and then run back to the car. That was a terrible idea. As I ran in front of our car, I slid, fell on the hood, then plopped on the ground. Then I couldn't get back up. When I finally managed to pull myself off the ground of the Target parking lot, I was cold, wet and a man with a beard was laughing at me. When I finally got inside the safety of the car, Brian was laughing at me too. 

  • I'm attracted to older men. Like, men who are in their 50s/60s. Brian is aware of this bizarre fact and I always remind him he has so much to look forward to. 

  • I realized today that people who do not know me, but listen to me on the radio while I'm deejaying probably imagine me as an obese person. The reason being, I often go off on tangents about food. I like what I like. And that's chocolate and pizza. 

  • A guy who helped me through the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A discovered I was "Kelsey from VFX" and he was all starstruck. This made me feel really weird. He also managed to utter out, "I always wonder what you guys look like," so perhaps he was just surprised that I was decent looking and not 500 pounds (since I always talk about food).

  • Remember "The Famous Jett Jackson" on Disney Channel? I just found out the main actor died last summer. I'm depressed about it.  

  • This song is one of the saddest songs ever written. In my opinion. 

  • I adore cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Thanksgiving Table

I experienced a milestone in my life. Brian and I hosted our first Thanksgiving. When I say "hosted" that really just means that Brian's parents, grandma and aunt came to our house and made all the food in our kitchen. And I set the table (I also made pumpkin roll if that counts for anything).

I took my job of setting the table very seriously. I wanted something that wouldn't be too overwhelming but it still needed to be fun. I also wanted to stick to something very seasonal and festive for the Thanksgiving holiday.

My favorite part, hands-down, were the white pumpkin vases that displayed some fall bouquets of flowers. The flowers smelled heavenly. I used fake pumpkins that I found on super clearance at Hobby Lobby, spray painted them white, then carved the tops off.  

For our name cards, I made, well, name rocks. I wanted to do something different that would still be easy to create. These rocks were winners! The hardest part was the rock gathering. I didn't have any rocks in my yard that would work for this project, so I drove to First Dam to collect my rocks. Let me tell you, I'm sure the other families at the park were very alarmed to see a grown woman scavenging the ground for smooth rocks. I found them as quickly as I could, shoved them in my coat pockets, and left before anyone could have the time to question my sanity. I painted the rocks an orange-gold color. After the paint dried overnight, I mod podged everyone's names on their rock.

I stole the idea for the place mats from . . . several places, really. It's not at all an original idea but perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was fun to jot down things we were grateful for throughout the meal. Before we cleared the table, we went around and read the things off our lists.

Our Thanksgiving was filled with delicious food, laughter, love, puzzle-doing, and resting. I hope yours was too!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Best: Childish

sweater: Old Navy, jeans: American Eagle, boots: Head Over Heels, beanie: Bella Me Boutique gloves: Kmart

I bought this sweater from Old Navy on Black Friday. It is mega comfortable, warm, sports a peace sign (which I love), and I got it for 50% off. What a steal. Did I mention I bought it from the girls' section? I am wearing an XL child's sweater. This is going to be really embarrassing when I show up somewhere and a nine-year-old kid is wearing the same top as me.

Oh well. 

Also, Brian couldn't stop laughing at this photo he took of me . . . 

Really though, this is his fault. Doesn't he know as a photographer he's supposed to make me look good?

PS- This winter wonderland I live in is breathtaking. I can't wait for more snow! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Truth Tuesday

  • I'm posting this after midnight. So it's actually Wednesday. So this whole post is a lie (which is quite ironic).

  • I hate water on my face. I avoid swimming underwater at all costs. Also, every time I wash my face, I am legitimately afraid that I'm going to drown myself.

  • This year, I set up two Christmas trees in our house (as pictured above). I feel like a stuck up Christmas snob. Honestly though, the house looks so cheery right now and it makes me happy. 

  • I bought a bag of peppermint taffies. Brian and I can't stop eating them. If we suddenly get diabetes, you'll know why. 

  • I have the loudest laugh in the world. Sometimes BWell starts mimicking it, which makes me laugh harder. These embarrassing laugh attacks sometimes last for over 10 minutes. 

  • Speaking of embarrassing, I looked out the window this evening to see the snow falling and in my excitement, I whacked my forehead against the glass. I figured I better announce that happened myself since tomorrow Brian will probably start telling people. He thought it was funny. 

  • I am obsessed with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. We watch a couple episodes every night. It's interfering with washing dishes at night, but I think I can live with my decision.  

  • My favorite Disney Princesses are Belle and Pocahontas. When I was little, I actually thought I was Pocahontas. I may have been one of those kids who wore my Halloween costume on other days besides Halloween. But come on, that Pocahontas necklace made out of cheap plastic was so pretty. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday Best: Back in Black

top: Kohl's, skirt: Maurices, tights: TJ Maxx, heels: Kmart 

I have been MIA from the blogging world and it's felt so good.

It's been all future planning, celebrating, turkey eating, Black Friday shopping, and Christmas decorating over here.

Oh, and you may have noticed from these photos that I totally cut my hair off. It's liberating and terrifying at the same time. Every girl should chop all their hair off at least once in their life.

I wore this black ensemble for a day at church. I had to teach the lesson in Relief Society (I was a sub). I, for some reason, got so ridiculously nervous. Not to mention, I forgot to take my wool coat off so I wore it during the whole lesson. Wool coat + nerves + pleather sleeves = really sweaty armpits. TMI?

Have a fab week. Whether you choose to wear real leather or fake leather, you're still awesome.