Thursday, January 8, 2015

Things I can't believe I waited this long to try

1. Fleece-lined tights.  They're great. They're toasty warm but don't leave you miserably hot indoors, layer nicely under jeans, don't feel uncomfortably tight, and are smooth inside and out.  TJ Maxx or Ross has them for $5-10.

2. Spotify.  I like Pandora (with Chrome blocking the ads) but I'm really starting to dig Spotify.  Currently enjoying Premium access for 3 months for only 99 cents.  Even better!

3. Nostril waxing.  Sounds nuts, but I think many men and some women would benefit from it.  My friend told me about it and I tried it a couple months ago.  You barely notice any pain - definitely the easiest area I've ever had waxed.  And if you're in the Salt Lake area and have any waxing needs, I love Carly at Wax Me Too.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New calling

I had a change in my church calling (assignment) effective today.  I've been serving with the ward young women for almost five years, and now I'm going to be serving as the secretary for the stake young women presidency instead.  I found out last Sunday and it's been an odd week, trying to ease out of my responsibilities but not knowing my new ones.  Today was an emotional day for me.  I shared my testimony with the girls and then went to the stake offices to get set apart.  Then we had two meetings in a row.  I've immediately been put to work, for which I'm grateful.

I've never before spent this long in the same calling.  This is not the hardest time I've had getting released, probably because I'll still be around the girls to some degree, but it is an adjustment.  I'm hopeful that I'll have more Tuesday nights available for dancing (yay!) but it will certainly be work in different ways.

I'm grateful for this new opportunity to serve and grow.  I'm grateful for the gospel and the organization of the Church.  I am incredibly blessed and I hope I remember to recognize my gratitude for all that I have.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Goals

In 2014, my goals were:

Build savings to (undisclosed amount).  I slightly exceeded this goal.

Road trip!  They were mini ones, but I did more than one road trip to visit LDS temples.

Regular Sunday School attendance.  I've struggled with this for most of my life.  I didn't hit every Sunday, but I did much better and stopped finding excuses to wander the hall for that hour.

One midsingles activity a month.  School interfered with this during the fall, but some months I did two, so I feel okay about my success.

Temple visit once a month.  There were a couple months I didn't go, but others where I went multiple times. Overall I feel good about this.

I think these are the most well-rounded goals I've ever made and successfully achieved throughout a year.  I'm currently deciding on my 2015 goals.  I'm incredibly blessed and love my life.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


It was a fantastic Christmas season.  Festival of Trees, a live nativity (with a camel!), California with family, sewing, baking, Messiah sing-along, looking at lights, ice skating, dates, helping with missionary care packages, a party with the young women at church, etc.  

I've already put photos on Facebook or Instagram, and I get so focused on enjoying family that I slack at taking pictures while I'm with them.  I did take some baking pictures and I'll share recipe links in a later post.  Here's a blurry picture with my sister and mom.  

For the last year or so, I've been asking my grandma questions in order to write her life story.  On this visit, I did some of the interviewing as a video.  It increasingly hits me that I don't know how much longer I'll have, and I want to remember her voice.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas cookie plan

I'm stressing over the end of the semester, but I'm starting to plan Christmas baking.  This is my favorite source of recipes for Christmas cookies.  It's the most adorable book (as all Gooseberry Patch books are) with cute ideas and cutouts for cookie exchanges.

I always completely skip over this chapter, because cut-out cookies are too much hassle for me.

This is the tentative plan for this year.

S'mores fudge
Cinnamon fudge
Chocolate cherry fudge
Chewy molasses dreams
Banana split bars

New experiments:
Potato chippers
Peanut butter swirl bars

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankful post

It's November and I love posting one thing each day for which I am thankful, but I have friends on Facebook who hate it.  I'm going to update this blog post every few days instead.

I'm thankful for...
1: The beauty of God's earth. There are so many amazing places to explore within a reasonable traveling distance.
2: Getting home safely even though we drove through rain and snow storms and lost traction a few times.  Time to replace my tires!
3: People who let me into their lives.
4: How fluffy my carpet feels after vacuuming with the vacuum I just bought.
5: Knowing exactly where to turn for peace when dating brings disappointments.
6: Scoring 86 on my last exam!  Way higher than the first two!
7: The peace and inspiration I find in the temple.
8: Beautiful fall weather.
9: Laughter.  I laughed my way to tears several times today.
10: Rain on my birthday.  I love it.
11: My sweet sister doing yard work for me.  It's ready for winter!
12: My parents' 32nd anniversary.  I'm grateful they stuck it out on this go-round.
13: Sweet friends who make me sweet birthday treats.
14: New tires and the $ to purchase them, so I can drive safely this winter.
15: The empowering feeling that comes from repairing things in my home.
16: Heat.  Baby, it's cold outside.  (There's ice inside my windows.)
17: The flexible schedule of my new job position.  I love the reduced stress.
18: The talents and accomplishments of the lovely young (and not-so-young) women at church and their willingness to share.
19: The semester being almost over!  Only one more new concept to learn and then it's all review and assignments!
20: The repair to my water heater being simple and inexpensive (and my banging pipes being fixed as a side benefit).
21: The opportunity to appreciate good music with a fellow music-lover.
22: Men who act as gentlemen on dates.
23: Sisters who remain dear to my heart across the miles and through divorce.
24: Living in a city where I feel safe.  (Praying for those in rioting areas.)
25: The beautiful view of lights across the valley from my dining room.
26: The healing power of the Atonement.
27: Peace.
28: The Christmas season.
29: Leaves to rake - just the right amount to keep it enjoyable!
30: The opportunity to learn by preparing a talk for church.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chocolate party, year 2!

Remember last year's chocolate party?  It had to happen again.  I invited lots of lovely ladies, looked through my Pinterest and cookbooks, bought brown paper goods, and had a blast!  Somehow I didn't even have anxiety about it.  I knew whatever fell into place would be enough, and the important part was to have a place for everyone to enjoy themselves.

S'mores fudge - a make-again recipe

I've been planning for several years to tackle chocolate satin pie.  It wasn't the cheapest pie, but it was delicious and cheaper than buying it from Marie Callender's.  It wasn't hard to me, but I realized how grateful I am for all of the cooking knowledge I've gained over the years.  I knew what it meant to whip cream until stiff and to fold said cream into the chocolate mixture.  This will definitely make it to future Thanksgiving dinners.

I also made chocolate peanut-butter cake balls and chocolate dipped Nutter Butters, and bought ice cream.  (Huh.  I just realized I tackled three new recipes in one day - even though cake balls aren't hard, grocery shopped, shopped for and went to a bridal shower, and still wasn't stressed.  I didn't even wake up early. That rocks.)  The rest was provided by other people, including a gourmet hot chocolate bar.  

 I shoved around furniture and then watched the place transform into this!  

People helped clean up.  I managed not to overindulge and therefore didn't feel sick, and had a (mostly free thanks to credit union rebate) burger to balance out the sugar.  Success!