Brag

First Freebie!

Our Young Women Presidency decided we wanted to give our girls a little extra challenge this year. We knew they needed a nudge to strengthen habits. And with the Olympics coming, we decided an Olympic theme would be an appropriate challenge theme. We didn’t want it to be easy. Habits don’t just happen. But since it’s not easy, there are only 3 goals. The first one is to read their scriptures for 120 CONSECUTIVE days. The Second goal is to say their prayers for 120 consecutive days. We also set the goal to attend the temple 8 times with their own names. Our ward is pretty close to the temple, so it shouldn’t be too hard of a goal. If you don’t live so close to a temple, you could just make it a goal to find 8 names that need temple work.

Anyway, I decided, since it’s pretty specific, I’d just make it a freebie instead of loading it up on Etsy.

New photo by Keira / Google Photos

At new beginnings, we will give each of our girls one of these bracelets

New photo by Keira / Google Photos

You can buy them at templesquares.com. I’ll add a little note that these are NOT the bracelets we ordered, but when they got here, we just went with it. They come with this little scripture charm on the leaf, but we took them off because they’ll earn the charm when they complete the goal.

New photo by Keira / Google Photos

They will also get a charm for saying their prayers, but we didn’t want that one to be earned until Girls’ Camp (they can complete it now, but we will have an award ceremony at GC to hand them out there). Our Girls’ Camp Director is ordering those, so I don’t have them.

We ordered our temple charms from Doodle Beads, and I love them! If you need a lot (like we did), I’d recommend you contact them (like I did). They were great to work with, prompt, and very approachable.

I’m sure you could come up with any goal prizes you wanted to. You could award charms or make it so if they earn all 3 goals, they get one big prize. In fact, I will be making a few bracelets of my own soon (clerical error, I have charms we aren’t using), and they’d make great prizes. I’ll post the Etsy link when I get that far.

Anyway, click on the picture and it should take you to google drive, if I did it right, and you can download the page there. If I did it wrong, lemme know. We’ll fix it. ūüėČ

A Day in the Life

E+J wedding

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted. I’ve had so much to say, but I managed to lock myself out of admin because I somehow only half managed to change the password somewhere. I finally had to delete all the shortcuts and apps in my browser and sign in all over again. Such is life.

Update is: there’s still no update on moving. We’ve been in the “almost… Just one more step” stage for about a month and a half. We really are “almost there,” though. We’ve done everything but sign the papers and get the carpet and windows in. I am soooo ready to be outta this house!

But now to the fun stuff. After about a 3 year absence from the cake scene ( my sister’s wedding really did me in!) I made a cake again! This time for my new sister-in-law’s wedding. It was so fun.

I admit I was so worried. The forecast has said rain all week. And the bride was DETERMINED to have an outdoor wedding.

The clouds hung threateningly the entire ceremony/reception, and about an hr and a half into the reception, it wasn’t a threat, but a downpour. I’m pretty impressed, though. It ended up working out amazingly.

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This is before they added the wildflowers to the mug. it was pretty cute and incredibly cheap!

By then, the traditions had all been attended to, and it’s the part of the reception that just drags on, so when the rain came, most people left, and only the close friends and family stayed.

It turned into one big wet afterparty. With an amazing sunset.

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I love this picture. I’m bummed it’s blurry. This is true love. You know the country song “I don’t dance?” That’s the song that goes off in my head each time I look at this picture. The lyrics are so perfect! I’m so glad my Father-in-law found someone that loves him so perfectly.

Anyway, the cake turned out amazing. After having such a long hiatus, I was pretty worried I wouldn’t be able to call on enough skill. Luckily, it seems that the cake-making skill stuck a little better than the “riding a bike” skill (fyi, I can’t ride a bike. I’ve learned twice and never really enjoyed it so I run while my family rides. I get a much more intense workout, and I actually like it better…)

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and the cupcakes were divine! I came up with the recipes myself. That meant that when they were gone before the reception got rained out and that all the comments of “oh my, these are so good!” went right to my head. It’s pretty inflated, now. Probably not enough to make another cake, just yet, but I’m definitely suffering from an expanded ego.

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The white cupcakes are white chocolate with huckleberry filling and white chocolate butter cream and sprinkles on top. The purple-frosted cupcakes are lemon cupcakes with huckleberry filling, huckleberry frosting, and huckleberries. I wish I had made a gel of the huckleberry liquid and drizzled it on top of the white chocolate cupcakes, but maybe next time someone wants to pay me good money for huckleberry cupcakes… those buggers are purple gold, I tell ya!

Gratitude Dare

Gratitude Dare

I’m having this dilemma in my head. All about gratitude vs. cheesiness. It seems as though November first runs around and everyone is all about flooding Facebook, blogs, and the internet at large with thanksgiving. Good for them. I’ve done the research. Everything points towards health benefits. There are no negative side effects (aside from utter cheesiness). But I just can’t get past the “everyone is doing it,” thing. I want to be grateful. I like that it can help re-align your life and your brain. And I have no doubt I could use an emotional detox after this ¬†year. So how do I join the bandwagon without jumping on the back of the very-overcrowded November Challenge truck? Especially because come December 1st, that truck tends to dump it’s members right out in a frenzy of “Christmas Grump.” I want a permanent detox. I want a genuine heart. I want a thorough cleanse that goes deeper than words. I think I’m going to start my own November Challenge. It just hit me. Up until this paragraph, I had no clue where this post was going. I guess I should call it a Gratitude Dare. Do you remember a few years ago¬†(okay, more than a few) when Fireproof came out, with all of its truth and cheesiness?¬†I guess the concept is the same. Except instead of saving a marriage, it’s more about saving a life. So if I remember right, you start out with one step, and you add one step a day, and by the end you’ve made a whole month’s worth of good habits. So… Here goes. My Gratitude Dare.

  1. Write one word to describe something you’re grateful for.
  2. Write 1 sentence of gratitude beginning with “I am blessed because.”
  3. Write a paragraph about why you’re grateful for something.
  4. Now make it 3 things. Write a paragraph about each.
  5. Look at the bright side.
  6. When you wake up this morning, tell yourself it’s going to be a great day.
  7. Take 30 seconds with your eyes closed and just give thanks for being awake, alive, and cognitive.
  8. Go for a walk. Enjoy the weather.
  9. Tell some one thank you.
  10. Get out of your comfort zone to tell someone thank you.
  11. Send out a thank you note.
  12. Apply the anyway principle.
  13. Serve someone less fortunate than yourself.
  14. Serve someone you feel is more fortunate than yourself.
  15. Give a gift.
  16. Give something you own to someone without.
  17. leave an anonymous unexpected surprise.
  18. Give of yourself.
  19. Call your mother. Or your father. Thank them.
  20. Dedicate today to expressing gratitude to your spouse.
  21. Is there a person you’ve always been grateful to that you’ve never expressed? Thank them.
  22. Wake up early.
  23. Read scriptures/doctrine.
  24. Pray.
  25. Practice Mindfulness.
  26. Solve your own problem.
  27. Now onto the harder stuff. Today, give thanks for the negatives.
  28. Today, thank God for your imperfections.
  29. Give thanks for the things you’re still waiting for.
  30. Have you thanked yourself yet?

I confess that this sounds hard, and if I didn’t really want a change of heart, I’d put it off until next November. That makes much mores sense, right? I mean, I may actually have followers on this blog by then. And yet, I don’t know what’s going to happen this year. It already feels like I need to be grateful now and not postpone (there’s a concept. Not postponing gratitude…), so ready or not. Here goes. If you’d like to join in, you can post here and let us know how you’re dong or you can write on our¬†Search for Seven¬†Facebook page.