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Sunday, March 27, 2011

1,000 for HOPE

Today I was sitting in church, listening to people's testimonies, well I am a pretty good listener but I have to have something to do with my hands (perhaps that's why I knit/crochet?!). So I grabbed the piece of paper that had the stake announcements on it and folded it into a paper crane. After I made it, I got to thinking of the lore behind cranes. In Japanese culture, it is said that if a bride folds 1,000 paper cranes before she marries, it will give her luck and a long life. It is allowed for others to help her fold them and the more people who help, the more good fortune she will have in her life. It doesn't have to just be a bride, anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes, can make a wish and will have luck.

Then I started thinking about making that many cranes. That would take a LONG time, but you start with just one crane. One crane isn't very intimidating is it? Then one more after that, then another..and so on. Then my mind translates cranes to real life. We can accomplish a lot that seems impossible if we start with ONE thing.

Then my "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" brain started thinking about the place the 1,000 crane folklore came from, Japan. I can't even imagine the devastation that Japan is going through right now, the loss and the heartache, everyday I think of the people suffering over there and I pray for them everyday. My dad spent time over there when he served a mission for our church and we've had many exchange students stay with our family so I feel a little connected in a very small way, but connected nonetheless. I don't know what I can do to help them then I thought what their spirits need most is hope and courage to face the long road ahead of them. What if I made 1,000 cranes to send to them? To give them some light and hope, so they'll know someone is thinking of them.

I googled paper cranes hoping to find a kit or some way to buy origami paper in bulk and I found another lady who had written an article about her project of making 1,000 paper cranes. She had never made them before but her and her 13 year old daughter set out and have made over 500, and have gotten many many donations from around the country of others' cranes. She says with each crane she makes, she says a little prayer. How cool is that? One Thousand prayers from one little family for Japan. Her husband questioned her and asked why she doesn't just fold $1 bills. Some can't afford to send large amounts of money so what a cool way to still give back. Later on she found that an organization would donate $2 for every crane sent to Japan, so her project which started out as a way to give hope to the people of Japan, will earn them money as well.

My first. Only 999 to go!
SO, do I think I can make 1,000 cranes? Maybe but it will take awhile by myself but I can start, with ONE, then another. If anyone is interested in helping, leave a comment or email me and we can talk! If you only have time to make ONE, one makes a difference. YOU can make a difference.

EDIT: So I had a friend give me a good idea to go to a grocery store or some place that I could set up a table and sell the cranes for either a dollar or two or whatever people are willing to give then donate the money to the Red Cross to make sure the money really gets there. If you would like directions to make your own cranes go here.

Friday, March 25, 2011


(One of) the most disgusting acts ever to happen in the history of our world (in my opinion) was the Holocaust. I can't even fathom the reasons behind it or how anybody would have gone along with it. When I was in the 5th (I think) grade, my teacher mentioned something about the Holocaust. When I got home I asked my parents about it and they told me a few things. Then I went to the library and checked out several books (Diary of Anne Frank, I Have Lived a Thousand Years, We Survived etc...). THe books I focused on were appropriate for my age and were stories of children or teens who went through the Holocaust. After reading those books I became so interested in WW2 and couldn't get enough of it.

When I was 11 or 12 a lady came and spoke at my church, Noemi Ban. She is a Holocaust survivor and was just 19 years old when her family was taken from her and she was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. I remember bits and pieces of her story but not everything.

On Wednesday I was able to hear her speak again. I hope I never will forget what she spoke about, the story she told was maddening, disgusting and incredible. She not only spoke of the evil she went through but also the lack of hate she has in her heart. She said hate is an evil thing and it breeds and when it becomes so bad, there is no telling what it can do. One man's hate for various religions (among other things) caused millions of people to suffer and die.

 I am appalled at the world and the evil we can find here but there is also so much good. I was so impressed with her attitude and even though it was the most horrific experience of her life, she is able to share it with anybody who will listen. Her 'sense of humor' about the fact that she did not drink one drop of water for 4 months impressed me the most. She lost her mother, brother, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and yet she still found forgiveness and strength from her experiences. How often do I complain about the fact that I am supposed to drink 8 8 oz glasses of water a day? How often do I give thanks for the clean, endless supply of water I have at my fingertips? Not very often. There are so many people past and present  who have so much less than I do but manage to have a better outlook on life.
 I never had to march in a line only to get separated from my family and find out later they were suffocated and burned. I never have had to survive on 2 pieces of bread, a small cup of coffee mixed with sawdust, and a drink from a putrid bowl of "soup". But yet I complain there's 'nothing' to eat in the fridge. Of course there's something to eat, our cupboards are full and our fridge is stocked. What am I talking about?
I've never had to wear a large badge to advertise what I am. I am free to practice my religion and not be persecuted for it. I've never had to march away from my home for endless miles with one small package of my belongings, or be shoved like cattle onto a train in the hot summer heat with no knowledge of where we were going on when we would get there.

There are people who don't believe it happened but all they need to do is look at the horrible pictures or read a history book. It happened and I hope their story never dies. Although it's gruesome and hard to hear about, it's so important for everyone to know so hopefully we can learn tolerance and acceptance.

Noemi Ban has a book out called, Sharing is Healing and a movie called, My name is Noemi where she goes back to Auschwitz. I can't even imagine the images and memories she must have. Sometimes I'll smell something and it will take me right back to a time or place in my childhood, I'm sure she experiences the same thing. She is incredible. She is speaking at Western on April 12th, it is free but you do need to get tickets, I encourage anyone who is able to go hear her speak, you won't regret it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


 I bought one of these on Friday
So I can go here
 And see this
Why wouldn't I?! 

P.S. See that lighthouse in the background? that's in the San Juan Islands (best place EVER) and I stood there and watched whales (for FREE) for over an hour.
My father also bought a kayak so we are going to become master outdoorsmen/women HUZZAH!
Take that Bear Grylls 

Watch this: 

That will be me one day! ;) just gotta practice on dry land first and maybe try out a lake or something before doing anything too outrageous. 
If anyone ever wants to try it out you are welcome to, after we get it all figured out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Step 1

My first step to complete room domination is this:
(for those who don't know what that means, I don't either but I am redoing my room so just ignore my weird phrasing.)

I picked out some fabric the other night at JoAnn's (they have the biggest selection in town and it leaves much to be desired...oh Amy Butler fabric where are you?!) I had purchased some plain white curtains for my soon to be new room and wanted to dress them up a little bit. I found this funky yellow fabric, bought half a yard for $3 bucks on sale and got to work yesterday.
I figured out how wide and long I wanted them to be then cut my fabric double the width I wanted so I could have them been double sided. Then I ironed and sewed all the sides, leaving a small opening so I could turn it rightside out when I was done. After turning it I did a top stitch around the whole thing to close the small hole.
The whole time I was making these I was thinking I would stitch a small plastic hoop to the back then attach a hook to my window but then I decided I could do the same thing with ribbon. so I seem ripped in two spots on each tie back and sewed two pieces of ribbon on each to create a loop. Then resewed it and ironed it flat and voila! Times it by two and I made my self two custom tie backs that I didn't have to pay $15 for!

I can use them like this. Where I just tie the two loops together in the back. (I actually might add a button for this option later on...)
or, my personal favorite way of doing it is like this:
Sorry for the TERRIBLE pics they are from my ipod and so there are no settings whatsoever. Right now I have it held back with a tack until I can buy two hooks to screw into the wall but it works.
So simple. It took about 20 minutes total which could have been a little shorter if I hadn't been watching Paula Deen at the same time ;) So for 20 minutes and $3 it's not too bad. I also have quite a bit of fabric left probably 1/4 of a yard so I might use it in one of my cool picture frames for a little variety once I get my pictures up.

This Friday I'm going to IKEA. Or as I like to call it, Heaven. Honestly I could live there and never get bored of it. I would love to work at one, or own one ;). So I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be buying this bed  with this headboard (it's all about the extra storage baby!) I'll also probably walk out of there with multiple hanging shelves so I can get rid of my overcrowded desk, possibly a rug, maybe some frames and whatever other junk I can get my hands on. It's sick how much I will probably get there. But my room and my life should end up being better for it.

In other news, I babysat all weekend except for Sunday, I had some help so I could go to Oregon to see a friends Missionary farewell. Their church building is in Boring, Or haha. The car ride WAS pretty boring.  5hours squished in the back with these two hooligans, a bag of yogurt covered pretzels and salt water taffy, mmm it was good. Then that night I went back to babysitting. Let's just say I didn't sleep much this weekend so today was so nice to sleep in! I could still be asleep if I let myself.
umm and last and certainly most random, this angry birds cake. I was once on the angry birds bandwagon...I still have the games and I still play them but not with as much enthusiasm. But if someone were to make me this cake without any flour, I wouldn't hate it.

Stay tuned for step 2...whatever that ends up being!

ALSO note, I changed my background to match my soon to be room! For more inspiration!

Friday, March 11, 2011

RE: Inspiration

Let me preface this whole post with a few comments. When I was 13 years old my mom helped me choose a color to paint my very white room. I was never really into the pink thing so I chose blue then my mom found this technique to make it look like denim...SO I went away to attend a church camp called Trek. When I got back 3 days later stinky and tired and greasy, I walked into a completely clean/organized, painted and redone room. I was super excited for everything. She had bought a denim comforter and pillows, the whole 9 yards. Well that was 10 years ago..TEN. I have been wanting to change it since I was 15 or 16 and have made lots of plans to do so, but haven't yet. Sure I have changed my bedspread about 5 times and gotten a new bed, added new furniture and whathaveyou but I've never painted. I think now is the time. I need a change and the quicker the better! So this is my inspiration blog to actually get something done about it! It's a little intimating since I have so much stuff jammed in to such a small room but I need to purge anyways.

I have always loved the gray and yellow combo but never thought to put it in my room...but I bought this same comforter from Target last week and I love it. (Even though it totally doesn't go with blue walls....) Also I really want to get a rug for my room and the yellow one pictured here is perfect! I also haven't had a "real" bed like with a foot/headboard since I was 8 maybe...I just have the frame. So I really like this bed frame as well and there are some similar at Ikea I was looking at. One has drawers under it which would be perfect.

Maybe not the best for my room but I love the idea of a wall with this hanging on it. So unique and orange!

Over my bed (especially if I don't get a headboard) I want to hang an array of pictures like this. Maybe I could take pics of gray and yellow things and stick them in the frames.

another thing that wouldn't work in my room probably but I still love it. This letter wall is pretty cool.

I really want to paint 3 of my walls gray and have one different. I was thinking either yellow or maybe doing something like this would be cool? I really love this idea but my walls are pretty textured so it might not work..(side note, did you know that gray is the best color to paint a baby's room? It's allows their imaginations to grow or something like that...)
Or a pattern like this on a gray wall would be awesome too. just on one wall so it's not too overwhelming.

I would LOVE this track door to hide my closet but that's probably unrealistic. But it sure does look cool. I'll take the bathroom too while we're at it. Oh how I wish!

Then in one corner I want to have an array of different sized lanterns (or those tissue paper pom poms...) with maybe a small chair under them. I might have to start craigs-listing so this doesn't cost me a whole bunch of money!

ON the Ikea website they have a photo of one wall that has an array of different sized shelves. i would LOVE to have that and get rid of my desk that's currently taking up a lot of space. I'd still have storage for my overflowing books but it would look cooler...again I don't want to spend a lot of money though. Besides the bed I want to try to stay under $200...I have seen people transform ugly beat up and used items into amazing pieces so maybe I'll have to give it a go as well.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spinach Salad

it's dreary, it's windy, it's rainy what better way to cure this yucky winter weather than a salad that bears the promise of spring and warmer weather?! It's purdy darn good and if you're into that sort of thing here's the recipe for you! It has a tangy strawberry dressing, broiled rosemary mozzarella, juicy shredded chicken, candied pecans and spinach. mm mm gooooood. Here we go... (please note that there are NO exact measurements, you just gotta go with the flow and do what feels right to you ;))

Strawberry Dressing:
frozen strawberries mostly thawed- mush them..A LOT
olive oil- enough to make the dressing thin out a bit
vinegar just a touch don't go overboard
garlic- i mimick my above sentiments, don't go overboard just put a TEEEENY tiny pinch in or just leave it out, it makes a strong garlic flavor since it's not getting cooked
red pepper flakes - i use a pinch or two
agave nectar- this is personal preference, however sweet you want to make your dressing just add more or less agave. I'm sure honey could work too i just like agave and always have it.
pinch of salt

So in a bowl or small pitcher mush all the ingredients together. I started with just the strawberries and went from there so I could add more or less depending on the consistency. Also taste as you go to make sure it's not too sweet/tart etc...

Candied Pecans (or walnuts):
I just eyeballed a cup or two of pecans and threw them into a tupperware container
add 1-2 Tablespoons of agave, about a T of water, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of red chili powder. Put the lid on the top and shake until nuts are coated. Place on a silpat liner or parchment and bake at 320 for 15-20 minutes.

did I mention that I really don't like good thing it's not an exact science.

Rosemary broiled Cheese:
I'll be honest, the only mozzarella I had was string cheese, so i pulled some (i used four) apart into two pieces, sprinkled some dried rosemary on top and broiled it for a few minutes then cut them into smaller pieces.

I used 5 frozen chicken tenders (all i had)
sprinkeld some garlic powder, and onion powder and a little chilli powder (my basic go to seasoning for chicken)
baked it until cooked then shredded it and added it to my salad.

Then just wash your spinach and add everything to it! Don't dress it until you serve otherwise it will wilt.

Pretty easy, healthy and delicious!

Not the greatest picture since it's from my ipod but it'll do ;)



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