Monday, January 31, 2011

Of Gods and Men

According to Wiki, Of Gods and Men, is a 2010 French film titled Des hommos et des dieux, meaning "Men and gods." It centers on a Tibhirine monastery, where Trappist Monks lived in harmony with a largely Muslim population in Algeria. In 1996, seven of these monks were beheaded. This film is loosely based on the lives of these monks, from 1993 until their kidnapping and death.

Rumor has it that this movie is being released next month. I hope it is only rated PG-13 like the preview claims. I don't know if it will be released nation wide but I am hoping so. If not, I will just have to wait until it is released for sale.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Addiction Recovery, Change, and The Atonement

A lady in our sacrament meeting today gave a talk about the Atonement.   Her talk was very well done and precise as she focused on subjects related to the Atonement that she has had experience with in her field of mental health. Two things in her talk really stood out to me.

The first was that there has never been a succesful addiction recovery program in the world that has not had a spiritual element included. No pychologist or other doctor has come up with a program that has not included, basically, giving up your addiction to a higher power and leaning on that higher power for help and forgiveness. It is as if a part of the atonement is at work, and needs to be at work, in each of these recovery programs.

The second was a rather matter of fact comment she made. She said that a person can not see what they need to work on in themselves if they are surrounded by people who critizice them and are always on their back. The person will not be able to see nor want to work on these things, because of the fear of not being loved any longer if they change. The constant criticism makes them fear and this fear keeps them stuck in their bad habits.

I have a friend who I feel gets a bit emotionally abused sometimes by those she lives with. I can see how it keeps her from having the ability to improve herself and improving her living situation. I feel it is important for parents to find a healthy balance between putting their foot down and being loving and caring. You can put your foot down without critizicing too. My friend sort of knows she has things she needs to change, but can not get past that knowing, to actually working on changing. She feels that no matter what she does, she will be criticized. And perhaps one day her family will no longer want her.

Another aspect of life that can cause this same feeling of loath and fear, is a lack of love for oneself and a lack of self esteem. Something else I know from experience is just as important to avoid. Though it is just as hard, if not harder, as it is all internal. You are holding your self back without the help of others. You must learn to love yourself. It is hard. I have been working on it for a long time, but I know it is possible.

In each of these cases the Atonement can help. We can not do everything by ourselves. But if we give ourselves to the Lord, he can help us in our struggles and make the impossible, possible.

I am so thankful for her talk. It seriously was one of the most amazing atonement talks I have ever heard in a sacrament meeting, as she spoke in such a way that I could understand through my own studies and experiences.

I am so thankful that God gave us his only begotten son. That the Lord went through unimaginable pain and suffering for each one of us, ultimately giving his life so that we may be forgiven of our sins. I am so thankful for the Atonement. That the Atonement can change lives and perform miracles.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Movie Review - Victoria and Albert

My mom recommended Victoria & Albert to me so I decided to give it a chance. I figured I would watch one hour at a time.  But after I started it, I couldn't stop it. I had to watch the whole thing from beginning to end. It was such a great movie.

It is a historical piece on Victoria & Albert. If you have seen Young Victoria (another movie I like) you already know a bit about their story. This movie is the extended version of that story. It has so much detail in it and talks much more about their marital relationship and how Victoria being Queen wasn't always easy for Albert. It also talks a bit about the political situation surrounding the Queen.

The acting was very much like all other 18th century based movies and shows and has many of the same actors and actresses. Nothing unusual there. But it did take a bit of time for them to grow on me. I think it was Victoria's hair that kept throwing me off. But after all the movies I have watched that take place around that time period, you would think I would be used to their hair styles. Her hair does get better as she gets older.

I recommend this movie to anybody who likes movies about historical events, especially British history. I would also recommend this to anybody who likes movies along the lines of Pride and Prejudice. I have already added it to my Amazon Wish List.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reading Wish List

This is my reading wish list. It is growing by the minute.  I already have a stack of books to read, but once I am done with those I am going to tackle this list. Thank goodness I have money on my Amazon account.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Is...

doing this:

FINALLY..My part of VA has been skipped by all of the big snow storms this year.

I unexpectedly got out of work early (unexpected because I stopped believing in the weather forcasts) so I started this:

It's cheap and simple but I am starting at the basics because I haven't cross stitched in many years. 

Review: Sprint Evo

Remember how I got the Evo phone last year? Well I am finally going to give my quick review of the phone.


- It has 4G. When we get 4G (see discussion about it in the next section) the phone is amazing and works super fast. This was a major plus for my husband. It also allows you to watch Sprint t.v.

- I love it, because as with many smart phones, it can be used as an iPod and a Kindle. I have it all on one piece of technology.

- Apps are a huge plus for me. I had a crappy smart phone before that didn't have many apps. This one allows me access church material, Pandora, games, and educational material, much like the Iphone.

- My husband had the Iphone but wanted to switch to the Evo because it allows you to do more with your phone and personalize it. Apple is very strict about what you can do with their technology and usually people just end up jail breaking them. The Evo doesn't really have that problem.

- I finally have facebook, blogger, and my email at my fingertips. I had limited internet access with my old phone but I hated using it because I was already paying enough to Verizon without the data  charges.

- The Sprints plan is great. We get unlimited everything for about the same price as what we paid for on our previous bills (I didn't have unlimited). Actually, we get it much cheaper because Sprint gives great discounts to the company Jon works for.

-The swype texting. Makes texting fast and fun.


- The 4G network is not very strong in many areas. Thus we are paying an extra 10$ for 4G, though we don't usually get it. This is okay though because it is still cheaper than our bill with Verizon.

- I find it hard to hang up calls sometime. While I was looking for a job I accidentally called the place where I now work. I freaked and instead of saying anything, I decided to hang up. Except for I couldn't get to the screen that would allow me to hang up so the call lasted for a couple mins. with a guy on the other end saying "Hello. Hello. You there?" over and over. It was embarrassing. I haven't admitted to the person yet that that was me. I am getting better with this though.

- In order to really control all the different volumes, you have to install an app. It's a pain not being able to do it quickly with a button but the app. is still great.

- The camera is a 1/4 as good as the new Iphone and my old Verizon phone.

-The BATTERY. It drains so super fast. I have been tempted to buy a better battery but it helps that you can also charge it using a computer.

-Because the touch is extra sensitive compared to my old phone, I sometimes hang up calls or press mute with my ear or cheek.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Delayed Christmas Post

I FINALLY had the time to get Christmas pictures off my camera.  Somehow I didn't manage to get any good pictures of people (minus the one below taken by Jon), just decor. Enjoy!

My sister-in-law, my sister, and me.

Christmas Eve gingerbread houses!

Christmas #1 at in-laws.

One of the best wrapping papers I have ever wrapped with.

It snowed a bit Christmas morning.

Christmas #2 at my parents house.

From Germany. It is my sisters but I want it so badly.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Would Like It To Be Known....

Church this week was Stake Conference. This meant a Saturday evening session for the adults and a Sunday morning session for all families. There were some stories and thoughts that really stood out to me that I would like to share.

Sunday session wasn't amazing for me. There were too many noisy kids in the room that I had to filter out to hear the speakers. There is one thought though that I loved. The issues we face in life are not as important as what we become because of these issues.  I have been struggling a bit lately with things. Some issues I have easily figured out why they are bothering me, others I can't. All of which, I am at a stand still on how to deal with them. But this made me realize that perhaps I just need to refocus my mind. And rather than spend my time feeling like I have no clue what to do, or how to do it, I need to think of how I can better myself through these trials. I don't want to let these trials or burdens get me down and make me lose my way.

The Saturday night session was amazing. I was having a hard time focusing because I had some food that was cooking at home and I was a bit worried about it. But, thankfully, the session was so amazing that more stood out to me than normal. And while I would share it all if I could, I would like to tell the one or two stories that really impacted me.

I don't know the ladies name or where she is from, but she was visiting and was asked to bear her testimony to us. She told us how she got a job as a lowly secretary in the White House after she graduated college. She was asked to record some exit interviews that were being given. At the end of one, the person giving the interviews asked "Is there anything else you would like to tell us." The man answered back, "Yes. I would like it to be known that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." It really surprised this young lady as she was a member too. When she got home and told her dad, her dad said she should call the man and let him know that the person recording the interview was also a member of the same church. So she made the call. And the man said that he felt it was important that it always be known of what church he was a member. This boldness of his really stood out to her. A while later she was in a training session at the White House for, what I will refer to as, the Women's Rights Legislation. The church had come out with, what some would call, a surprising stance on this legislation and someone in the training asked why. The person doing with training said she was not Mormon and she wasn't sure why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had taken such a stance. She then asked if anybody in the room was Mormon. The young lady remembered what the man had said during his exit interview, and finally forced herself to stand up and say she was. And though it has not always been easy, she has tried to always stand up for her church and for what she believes.

That man that so heavily impacted her while giving the exit interview was non other than Jon Huntsman. The Huntsmans are a family of charity, kindness, and faith. A family who leads by example.

I write this blog because of that story. Because I no longer want to hide my faith. Because I want it to always be known that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I want to give all I have to the church.

There were a few stories told of people who lost so much because they joined the church, including friends and jobs. Then there was another story about a guy who left a pass along card to a taxi cab driver in New York. A few months later he got a call from that driver, asking him to come up and baptize him in to the church.

How could I ever be so strong, and have such an impact, if I hide my faith. It will be tough for me, but I pray that I can become stronger and better in this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FYI - Great Amazon Deal

If you haven't heard already, the Living Social deal for today is a $20 Amazon gift card for $10. That is a super great deal for Amazon. If you buy often from Amazon, I recommend getting it. You just add it to your account using the code that is sent to you, and then the money just sits there until you decide to use it. Click here for the deal.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finding Laughter in the Comment Sections

Sometimes I enjoy reading peoples comments on news articles. Sometimes they make me laugh with their overly sarcastic remarks. This article is one of those.

To the following people, thanks for making me laugh today:

Mike M

Simple. Shovel out your car, get it out of the spot, then pile the snow back onto the spot. Presto – the spot will likely be there for you when you come back!


I usually drive around and collect anything left in the road, such as cones and chairs, I assume they are trash that people put in the street because they don’t want them. Right after a snowstorm, the streets are full of gold! Keep giving me your stuff, I will keep taking it!

P.S. A little advice to anyone that can't stand bad grammar and spelling. Don't read the comment sections of articles. The worst of the worst, like me, write there.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Old Friends

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”   - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love that quote I found tonight. Most of my friends are what I would call old friends. They are friends I have had since middle school and high school. I do not make new friends easily so I am thankful that I am still in contact with so many of my old friends. And that they accept me no matter how I act.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bad News Bear

This boot

and its other half, came in last Friday. They are the most amazing and gorgeous boots ever. But...THEY DO NOT FIT!!! My calves are a bit too skinny for them.

And I need to find some brown boots pronto because...

my very comfy and awesome brown boots I got in college are beyond falling apart. I have gotten them fixed twice. One about a year ago and once a few months ago (that time I locked my keys in the car). Stitching had come undone on both boots and one of the soles had started coming unglued near the front. The problems were easily fixable, but I said if something happened again it would be time to give them up. I don't want to put more money into them than they are worth. And now the soles are coming unglued in the back. :(

I need brown boots. Brown boots find me. I will buy you.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Have any of you seen the new reality TV show Bridalplasty? I had never heard of it until this past Friday. As I was flipping through the guide I saw it and after reading the shows "info," I turned to it to see what it was all about. It took me a few minutes to figure out the shows concept but when I did, I was a bit mortified.

If you haven't seen the show, it is about 12-brides-to-be who move in together in a mansion where they compete against each other daily for plastic surgery so that they can have a "perfect wedding". And whoever is the last bride-to-be standing, gets their dream celebrity-style wedding.

If you haven't seen it, your are missing nothing but a train wreck and perhaps one of the worst ideas for a reality show. Yet, sadly, it is so captivating. Captivating because it is so awful. Because you feel bad that any girl would think so little of herself that she would voluntarily go on the show.

I read and hear so much about individual woman and organizations focusing on helping woman love themselves for who they are. Telling us that we should stop beating ourselves up. That we are amazing and have all the potential in the world. That it is okay if we are not perfect. That it is okay if we have a few flaws in our features. While I don't necessarily consider myself a feminist, I think this is great. As someone who has a bit of a low self esteem and am always criticizing myself, I think it is important to learn to love myself. Our culture has been making great strides on this.

And then you get Bridalplasty. Where these woman who are already very beautiful, compete to make themselves "perfect." I know plastic surgery is sometimes needed but I also think that it is way to overused in our culture. Just look at Heidi Montag. A cutie turned ugly due to too much plastic surgery. She oviously had a bit too low of a self esteem if she couldn't love what she already had. Did it help her feel better about herself by getting her first plastic surgery? Nope. She just went back for more. She continued till she didn't even look like herself anymore. And I wonder if she loves herself any more now. Or does she just want to become someone else now?

I think it is a ridiculous idea to make these brides feel like they can't have the perfect wedding unless they get the plastic surgery they have always dreamed off. The ending prize is great, but is it worth all the pain to get there?

Some may disagree with me. Some may say that it benefits these girls, as they would have wanted plastic surgery anyways and now can finally get it done. But is that what our culture should really be promoting?

The clencher for me was what the lovely host said to the girl when she was voted off: "Your wedding will still go on, it just won't be perfect."

Maybe the producers behind Bridalplasty should provide these girls free counseling too.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book Wreath

I was browsing the web the other day and found a craft project that I have fallen in love with.

via: Living With Lindsay

One thing I loved about Colonial Williamsburg is how they had wreaths made with so many natural and everyday things. Books may not exactly be natural but I think it really gives the same feel. This would be so
perfect in the library I wish to have one day.

Here is another one. The paper is rolled a bit differently. I just love it.

via: Making Islands Where No Island Should Go

Each wreath uses the same basic idea but ends up being very personalized. You can even paint the edges whatever color you feel like (though I do like the antique feel of the dark colors).

This will have to go on my list of crafts I want to attempt to make in the future.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free Zoya Nail Polishes

Until tomorrow you can order 3 Zoya Nail Polishes for a bit less than $7.00 (Shipping and Handling).

View their Facebook page for more details or just go to Zoya, pick your 3 favorite polishes, then enter code FB2011. You should only be charged shipping and handling.

I just placed an order for the 3 following shades and I can't wait to test them out:

Clara for my sister.

Yasmeen for me. 

Brizia for me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

December 21st - Lunar Eclipse


I was watching this random and rather dumb Christmas movie on TV one night about this separated couple who were trying to save what was left of their marriage. In the movie, they kept referring to this one night that they randomly got up in the middle of the night and roamed the streets. They talked about how they never did random things that like anymore. It made me reflect on my own life and how Jon and I have felt like we don't often do random things for fun anymore. It's as if it won't happen if it's not planned out ahead of time.

I was on facebook late one Monday night when I found out that early that next Tuesday morning there was suppose to be a lunar eclipse. That night I decided that I was going to do something out of the ordinary and I purposefully set my alarm for 3 a.m. When it went off, I took a few moments to figure out why it went off so early, and then jumped out of bed, remembering that I had sworn I would see the eclipse. So I went outside and saw something I had never seen before. And while it wasn't life changing, it was still very cool to see.

If you hadn't heard, below are the reasons that particular Lunar Eclipse was important (at least according to Wikipedia that is):

The eclipse of December 2010 was the first total lunar eclipse in almost three and a half years, since the February 2008 lunar eclipse.

The eclipse was the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the day of the Northern Winter Solstice (Southern Summer Solstice) since 1638, and only the second in the Common Era 

P.S. I know that I am late and that news of this eclipse already made its rounds. I actually wrote this post the day after I saw it but just never got it posted. My bad!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Personal Goals


And with each new year comes new goals. Though I sometimes wonder what the point is of setting goals at the beginning of each year, as they often just fall through the cracks, I have decided to make some once again.

I had already started making my list when I ran into this blog post: 111 New Years Resolutions and Tools To Make Them a Reality. I have decided to expand my list of goals and organize them a bit like that post.

Diet and Exercise:

- Start exercising twice a week to get rid of pent up stress.
- Get to the point where I easily drink 7 glasses of water a day for health reasons.
- Once again, reduce the amount of sugar and junk food I eat.
- Start to eat more vegetables and fruit again.

Work :

- Give my best effort at work.
- Continually look for new things to learn.
- Be successful at my job so I can feel good about it, not because I am hoping to get a better position.

Education and Learning:

- Read at least 25 books. I easily accomplished and went beyond my goal last year but this year it will be harder with a job. I started a small book club with my friend though so hopefully that will help. Let me know if you have an interest in joining. I feel that a lot of book clubs read the books that are popular at the moment, and while I don't mind reading those books, I want to expand to other realms. We started our own so we can read whatever we feel like it. Right now we are reading a classic.
- Stay up to date on current events.
- Expand my cooking knowledge.
- Learn something new.

Family and personal relationship:

- Write a letter to someone different each month. This is also to hopefully better my handwriting.
- Regular date nights with the hubby.
- Get rid of the negatives in my personal relationship with others without totaly destroying friendships.
- Do more kind things for my husband and be less judgmental of his faults.

Self Improvement:

- Be more positive.
- Have more patience.
- Learn to be content with myself.


- Pray and study the gospel each day.
- Do my calling to the best of my ability. We got put in nursery again. We have already been in it for almost a year. A big part of me is not excited at all but I will try and do my best and learn to love those children.
- Attend the LDS temple more often as it brings me joy and peace. 
- Write in my journal 5 things I am thankful for each week.


- Decrease spending.
- SAVE!!!!


- Start looking for a home and hopefully purchase one by the end of the year.
- Make it out west for a much needed visit to family.
- Write in my journal at least once a week.

Those are a lot of goals but hopefully I will be successful in most of them.

I wanted to post about how I did on my 2010 goals, but I can't seem to find where I wrote them down. Epic failure right there. At least I know I met my book reading goal.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Post Christmas Shopping

I love after Christmas sales so I always save some personal money up to go shopping then. This year I bought:

My best find. So comfy and cute. A & F : $10

2 of these Polo shirts in navy and bright pink : $13 each at Polo Outlet

A Puma jacket. Mine doesn't look like this one though. Mine is black with PUMA written across the chest & I don't think mine has a hood. : $25

See them here. Thanks for the suggestion Jocelyn. They were a bit pricey (though the price you see on the website is not what I paid) but I am paying half with some money I got from work as a Christmas gift, and the other half is part of my Christmas present as I had to return a few gifts Jon got me. I just hope that they fit. I shall see soon enough when they come in.

To Jana:  I wear a size 7 in everything but heels. With high heels I have to go down half a size sometimes.