Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A new wonderful fantastic romance novel!

I am not a huge romance novel reader, mainly because I think they can be pretty trashy, but I just read this amazing novel that just barely came out called Uneasy Fortunes. The sexual tension is beyond amazing and all you get is some great kissing. Click here to read my review at my other blog! You won't regret it!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My dance photo shoot (a.k.a. the most self-indulgent thing I've ever done)

My sister-in-law and I had planned on doing a dance photo shoot for a while and it finally happened. You should head over to her blog to witness her amzing talent! We weren't able to do a lot of the shots we had wanted to, but I think we still got some pretty great ones.

I can't get it to show any peaks on here, but trust me, she has a great eye for framing, coloring, and editing. If you live in Utah, you should check her out!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Did you know potatoes originated in Brazil?

Check out my review of the fascinating 1493: Uncovering the World Columbus Created over at the other blog I participate in, The Crooked Word, and learn even more interesting facts!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mother's Day Gifts

You can count this as 2 weeks late... or 50 weeks early! I'll go with the latter. :)  
So, for Mother's Day here is my present from my husband:

Yep, that's right - I asked for this entry set for our front door (which my husband kindly painted red last year, but I didn't post pics then, because with our brass door knob, it looked like a shiny Christmas present). I told the cashier at Walmart, when she asked, that this was my present, and she said "Well, that's not a very good present." I was like, "No, you don't understand. I pulled this up on KSL and said, 'Look honey, that's what you're getting me for Mother's Day. Thanks!'" :)
Here's a pic from farther away, so you can see the whole door in all of its cinnamon-y glory :)

So, for my mom and mother-in-law, I had found a tutorial on these cute handprint trees (click here) and thought they'd be a perfect Mother's Day gift from the girls. Overall, for 2 of them, it only cost me $11. I found some ugly painting on board a little thicker than MDF and cut it in 2. Then stapled on some remnant fabric from Hobby Lobby. The handprints are from those table runners that are sticks with thread woven around them. I ironed it onto that cool fusable stuff before cutting them out (or they would have fallen apart) and then ironed it onto the blue fabric before I stapled it on. The flowers are cut from some scrap pink velvet I had laying around and the little middle parts of the flowers are old toille fabric from an old dress. Then I just used a brown very fine Sharpie to write on the text (Which is "Grandma: the charming gardener who makes our souls blossom)

Then, from me, I had an adventure in trying to find good essential oils, then a good balance. I ended up getting mine from Puritan's Pride, they were having a sale (buy one get two for free). I will just say this, if you ever use Cedarwood, only use a few drops! Otherwise it smells like you opened up a cedarwood chest that had been closed for hundreds of years!

Anyhow, I just added Cedarwood and Jasmine essential oils to some meltable soap from Hobby Lobby and some Epsom Salt for... well, you know... soap and bath salt. Then made a book mark from the aforementioned velvet material and put jewelry charms at the end (Hobby Lobby had them on sale), and some make-up remover that I had seen on Pinterest (1 C water, 1 1/2 T Baby Shampoo (no tear, obviously), and 1/3 T Olive oil). Included some little cotton pads for the remover, put all the stuff in some old bottles and jars that have been collectin dust under my craft table, and called it good. :)

Luckily, both of these things can easily be done for birthdays or Christmas. Which is how I talked myself into posting this despite it being weeks late :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Did Hell Freeze Over???

Because I'm actually posting on here again after almost 3 months - oops. AND I finished a project (finally!).

 I don't have any before pictures. Well, I used to until our hard drive crashed. >: /
It was just a normal shadow box (without the front frame) with a medium stained wood on the sides and had a glass front and a black background. One day my then 3-year-old put her weight on the glass and shattered it. Instead of chucking it I set it aside and within months saw a shadow box "frame" at a store and immediately knew that's what I wanted to do.
So, I went to Michael's and picked out some decorative molding that I thought would look the most like a frame and had my Dad cut it and attatch it to the front. It sounds simple, but he had to deal with my cheapness and had barely enought materials to get the job done without any room for mistake - so thanks Dad!!! :) And he put a shelf in there while he was at it.
Then it sat in my office for months and months and months. I got Rustoleum dented copper spray paint and used almost the entire can. Then it sat again for a bit :)
Then I took black acryllic paint and painted it on and wiped it off with a washcloth and proceeded to freak out more than a little inside! It was NOT what I was going for. The black wasn't coming off ver well, so there I sat outside, spitting on it and then wiping it off in an attempt to get more off :)
Then I took the little that was left in the can and put it super close and VERY lightly and quickly sprayed random patterns and drops onto the frame. Then I mixed the black acryllic paint with LOTS of water, dipped my fingers into it and rubbed it on in small sections and then took a dry washcloth and in circular motions with varying pressure, rubbed it off some. Voila! The last thing I did was cover it in varnish to give it a little more shine (and protect the finish!)
Here's a close up.


For the background, I just took some leftover green canvas (ironed it, of course), then stapled it onto the original back. I could only do it on the corners, because as you can probably see in the above pic, my staples are slightly too big and stick through. But, again, cheapskate! I wasn't about to buy a whole new package of staples just for this.
Then I printed off a graphic from The Graphics Fairy  ( If I had projector paper, I could have just printed onto that. But, cheapskate :) I don't. So, I put the paper in a plastic sleeve and traced it onto that, cut it so it was only one layer, then put it on a projector and traced it onto the canvas.

Put it back together and what've you got? A great new place for knickknacks once I get the hubby to hang it above the dining room table :)

Linking up to:

I Heart Nap Time


DIY Show Off
The Graphics Fairy

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A Little Knick Knack freckled laundry

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Little lymericks for gifts

Want to write a cute little poem to give with a gift to a girlfriend? I have two - one for friends with a sense of humor and one for friends you aren't sure if they do. :) Let me preface this by saying that my husband has long been suspicious of women's motivations for giving sugary fattening gifts to their friends.  Sub-conscious (or conscious!) sabotage? I think the idea is wrong, but funny, so I wrote this one for a couple of my close friends I knew wouldn't be offended:

To thank you for being so sweet,
I decided to bake you this treat.
I'm glad that our friendship will last.
Now, EAT! So you'll get a big...

It's so much classier if you don't actually write the word :) And if you didn't make it, you could just say "bought you this treat" instead!

If you aren't sure how they'll handle that, you could just put:

I always love to see you smile!
You're one of a few with no guile.
To thank you for being so sweet,
I decided to bake you this treat!

Can you tell I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel just so I can have something to post on this little neglected blog of mine? :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What do "tolerance" and "persecution" really mean?

A friend of mine recently posted a link to an article by an openly gay latter-day-saint man, click here to read the article. Now, some of you may not know, I am a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. I also have friends who are gay. I believe the "gay issue" is and will become one of the most divisive issues in the Church's history, it already is in the world at large. For those who do not know, LDS members' views run the entire gamut from one end to the other.
I'd like to just discuss some of the points Mitch Mayne brings up in his article and just air my thoughts on the matter. I am NOT a spokesperson for the Church, but I would like to express my perspective.
On the whole, Mr. Mayne's article is refreshingly free of exaggerated denouncements, of mean spiritedness, and I appreciate that. His article got me thinking about some things, though, and I hope my thoughts can be expressed in the same level headed and noninflammatory way.
Mr. Mayne pointed to the shared history of the LDS church and the homosexual communities having severe persecution resulting from narrowminded negative publicity. That those outside the community then based their opinion of said community on misinformed propaganda loosely based on a fringe percentage of participants. Up to this point, I agree with Mr. Mayne - and the atrocities committed in the name of defense against the "evilness" portrayed by those communities' antagonists are tragic. The church spokesman pointed this out here in response to an HRC petition. None of the church's doctrines are ever meant to be used (and SHOULD NEVER BE USED) as grounds for bullying or mean spiritedness towards anyone else! Any member doing this is NOT in line with the teachings of the church.
But, Mr. Mayne says that the LDS church "deserved the black eye it got" for its involvement in the Prop 8 debate in California. That it was among the "most un-Christlike" things we've done as a church. If you want to see what the church's official response was to the controversy surrounding its involvement, click here.  You'll read in that article that the Church is NOT against same-sex couples having hospitalization rights and other rights as well. You may well scoff at us wanting to defend marriage, you might even point out that heterosexual marriages are not exactly doing well, on the whole, in reaffirming marriage as sacred. It is unfortunate that marriage, as an institution, is taken so lightly by some and is ruined by selfishness in many - but the Church speaks out against those issues as well in its meetings and conferences.
The question here is: did the Church's involvement in Prop 8 constitute persecution of the homosexual community? The answer to that lies somewhat in what you believe.
Obviously, if you believe the Church is NOT true in any way, the Church's stance is at best misguided by out of touch elderly men who are clearly stuck in another time, and at worst,  a bigoted attempt to withhold something that doesn't personally affect them.
If you are a believing member of the Church, it might feel a little more complicated, but it again comes down to what you believe regarding a different question:
Do you believe the Church's doctrines and its stance on moral and ethical questions stem, or should stem, from the opinions and viewpoints of, not the majority of the world, but the majority of the Church's membership?
Or, do you believe the doctrines and stances of the Church are revealed by revelation from God to its appointed leaders? Basically, do you sustain the General Authorities as prophets, seers, and revelators?
Now, I do not mean the comments of any one General Authority on its own. We know from our own history that even those in "higher" callings in the church are subject to anything from apostacy to just being wrong about something. (I personally have serious disagreements with some of the stuff said by Bruce R McKonkie in "Mormon Doctrine.")  But, when the governing officials of the Church come out with an OFFICIAL stance, united as a whole, where do you believe that stance originates?
Let's say that you don't believe in the Church, or as a member you disagreed, is it still considered PERSECUTION? Persecutions endured by the early LDS members were: being driven out of their homes in the dead of winter, killed by mobs, illegally thrown in jail, raped, beaten, tarred and feathered, all while those elected to uphold the law and constitution remained silent or actively encouraged and participated in these activities.
Homosexuals most assuredly have a shared history of persecution by that definition! Again, such conduct is unequivocally and strongly condemned by the Church! The marriage debate is not about kicking homosexuals out, or encouraging bullying and violence in any degree, it is not about ostracizing them - it is about protecting the ideal of marriage. Whatever your thoughts on the validity of that viewpoint, I think it important to understand the motivation is NOT bigotry or narrowmindedness.
Which brings me to my last point - what does "tolerance" mean. I have long thought the meaning of "tolerance" today to mean something very different from what it used to mean. The actual definition of tolerate is:
  1. permit something: to be willing to allow something to happen or exist
  2. endure something: to withstand the unpleasant effects of something
  3. accept existence of different views: to recognize other people's right to have different beliefs or practices without attempting to suppress them
Applied in these terms, I think it means that we are tolerant of people having differing viewpoints and perspectives, that we are still capable of being friends, or at least being civil, to that other person.
However, it seems the word has a different connotation, it has become a word that means "acceptance." It isn't possible to live in a world that everyone "accepts" different viewpoints to be valid, okay, or unharmful. Many also seem to think that being "tolerant" means that there shouldn't be a debate about that person's beliefs. It means you don't try to suppress or eliminate their voice, not that you don't raise your own. (Edit: Please note I am, of course, talking about acceptance of ideas and beliefs of other people. That's where I believe "tolerance" comes to play. When it comes to people, I don't just "tolerate" them. I care very deeply about all of my friends and my family despite disagreeing with all of them about one thing or another!)
I believe both sides are trying to affect a society that they think will create the best environment and opportunities for individuals as well as best serve our society as a whole. They just disagree on how to get there.
I firmly believe that no matter the viewpoint, everyone's voice deserves to be heard. NO ONE should feel pressured to remain silent. And that all of us are obligated and best served when we ARE tolerant of differing viewpoints, and we refrain from name-calling and definitely refrain from any violence or illegal acts against those of opposing views.
So, there's my two cents.
I welcome thoughts and questions, as long as they are devoid of mean spiritedness :)