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Friday, March 30, 2012

By the Inch, it's a Cinch

This will count for my Pinterest post for the week.

Last weekend we had out YW broadcast. Unfortunately I was a bit late getting to our meeting so I only got to see the last 2 talks, but they are available for rewatching or rereading. Maybe I'll watch what I missed today. 

One of my favorite quotes that I heard was from President Monson he said this:

That just makes sense to me. When you look at the huge picture of life, it feels very overwhelming, trying to predict what will happen, but if we break it down, it's easier to handle. That's not saying we shouldn't have long term goals, because that's very important but we can take those goals one step at a time. That's funny, I was just reading a story about this, it's called the Daffodil Principle I think I'll share that story too!! Why not!!

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday, "I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn!  The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car." "How far will we have to drive?"  "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."

After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? This isn't the way to the garage!" "We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns -- great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

There were five acres of flowers. "But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster:
"Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking"
50,000 bulbs.
One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain.
Began in 1958.

There it was...."The Daffodil Principle."  For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.
I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun -- one bulb at a time -- to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time -- often just one baby-step at a time --and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time.

When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world!

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!

"My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask....
"How can I put this to use today?"

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.  We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire.

The truth is there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with...  and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting...

Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching.

I just really liked this 'principle' and it's kind of funny that I was just reading this before I came across this quote again. So fun when things work out like that eh?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pacific Soup

Have you ever had this stuff? It's much better than the cans of condensed soup, and healthier too. I work with a lady who is an AMAZING cook. She cooks so healthily and does it in a way that doesn't make you think you are eating healthy. It's amazing. Well last night I got back to work after taking a resident to yoga class and the house smelled delicious!! She made up her own version of this soup. She shared the recipe with me so I'm going to share it with you!! (I have a pot cooking on the stove as we speak, maybe an after picture?)

(PS I don't measure so good luck)

Carrot/Tomato Soup
2 diced yellow onions (mine were medium size)
2 stalks of celery chopped
3-4 blanched tomatoes with skins removed- finely chopped (save blanching water)
A LOT of peeled & roughly chopped carrots (however much soup you want, cut that many carrots)
Garlic--I used quite a bit because that's how I like it
2-3 bay leaves (or dash of ground bay)
Turmeric- a few teaspoons
Red Pepper flakes- I like it spicy
Salt & Pepper
Dash of Cumin
Dash of ginger

So you start by sauteeing the onions, celery, red pepper flakes, tomatoes in 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Once the onions are translucent, add the carrots, bay leaves, turmeric, cumin, ginger, S&P, sautee a little longer. Add the water you used to blanch the tomatoes until it just covers the carrots. Let it cook until the carrots are tender. You can add the garlic now or you could add it when you add the water, depends on how garlicy you want your soup to be. Once the carrots are tender, use your immersion blender or regular blender and blend until soup is smooth. Carrots are really sweet so this soup is pretty sweet. It almost takes on a squash type taste. It's really good.

To tone down the sweetness, you can make this to add a little bit to each bowl of soup:

few spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt
1 small spoonful of mayo
2 pieces of green onion chopped up
garlic powder
little salt & pepper
 mix all ingredients together and chill in fridge until soup is ready. I just used a spoonful in each bowl of soup.

It's healthy. I has a unique taste to it. (read healthy)

That white stuff really makes it good.

After trying mine, hers tasted better. I should have bumped up the spices and maybe used vegetable stock instead of the water.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

sLeeP and other senseless thoughts

I LOVE sleep. I consider myself somewhat of a sleep conseguir. There's just something so rewarding and relaxing about sleep. This is why I wouldn't be a good parent because kids don't like sleep. Just saying (insert mildly funny babysitting story: once I babysat overnight and the youngest girl woke up at 4:30AM on a Saturday(!!) and wanted to 'play'. She was old enough to entertain herself and her parents told me to kick the kids out if they woke up too early. Against my better judgement I let her stay in the room while I continued in a half sleep. I woke up to her putting tanning glasses on my eyes and checking my heartbeat with her fake stethoscope, while whispering medical jargon nonsense to herself. She told me she was performing an eye transplant because I looked weird without my glasses on. Complex much). In my hay day (12-16) I could sleep in on a Saturday until noon if allowed. Now on my day's off I usually don't get up before 9. With my current overnight work schedule, it makes me appreciate sleep even more even though I do sleep in a little later than I normally would.

BUT. These last several weeks I have not been sleeping well AT ALL. I've tried Melatonin, 5HTP, counting sheep, reading boring books, rolling my eyes when they were closed (hey, I was REALLY tired & desperate. Take my advice, don't do this unless you like to feel dizzy and nauseated) even regular old non-habit forming sleeping pills. I just cannot fall asleep. Once I'm asleep I'm usually good until I have to get up but falling asleep at 4:45am when I have to be up at 8 is NOT my cup of tea.

To top this crazy train off, I've been having awake 'dreams' and I find myself asking the age old question, "is this real life?". I'm seeing colors floating around and I try to grab them, sometimes I end up almost falling off my bed. I'm in this half asleep/don't want to be awake mode. It's weirrrrd.

This could also be attributed to stress. I don't know if I've even been so scatterbrained and stressed out before, and I'm not even that busy right now!! My strange eyelid scaly skin is coming back with a vengeance which is a tall-tell sign of stress. Don't worry I have medicine for this now :) huzzzah!! No more freaky eyelids for me.

Please fasten your seat belts and hold on to your hats, I went to the doctor on Friday!! Of course I forgot to mention this lack of sleep issue but I got a few other things situated. My issue-y hands will probably require surgery sometime in the near future (no more 'claws' after carrying heavy things!!). I haven't been to a regular doctor since I was like 10. I did go once when I was 14 for a physical for fast pitch, and once a few years ago because my throat closed up (and I couldn't get my nurse aunt to write me a prescription), and once last October to get my foot xrayed after getting a stress fracture in my foot from puddle jumping in Florida. Now that you have my complete medical history....

Let's just say I would rather NOT go to the doctor. I'll probably get something worse sitting in the waiting room than what I went in for. DUH. It's called logic.

I'm waiting for some results from lots of blood tests (don't really know what for) and my hand xrays. I think the doctor was grossed out by my hinge-y fingers. It's not that gross, promise, I just feel every bone and joint when I move them which I've heard isn't the 'norm' whatever that means.

I'll probably look back and this blog post and wonder what the heck I was thinking, and truth is, I'm not really thinking, just zoning out, trying to think up new ways to make myself go to sleep. I've got zilch so far. Any hints/tips/tricks/tranquilizers?

Maybe I'll watch some antique roadshow, that should help. Except then I would likely find myself really enjoying that show, tried the same thing with Storage Wars....YUPPPPPPPPP.

(GOSH halfheartedly reading over this post, I've discovered I'm most likely another species of human made from leftover parts of Frankenstein. I'm a hot mess.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Words Turned into Goals

I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day:
I just loved it. It seems so simple but it's really easier said than done in some circumstances. I've been trying to be better at all these things. It's hard some days. The days you just want to have a pity party for yourself especially. If I try to focus on other people it seems a little easier to forget all my 'woe's'.

Something else I've been thinking about is how I tend to be negative in my mind when I'm doing something I don't want to be doing. It doesn't make the task any easier and it's still necessary so trying to find the positive aspects in my daily tasks is another goal. My attitude and perspective often need to be lifted and adjusted so that's what I'm working on.

A video that I really like is this Mormon Message:
It's called Looking Through Windows. This has always been one of my favorite object lessons. I need a reminder to not be that lady with the dirty windows judging others'.

I think if everyone tried everyday to make small changes, the world could be a better place.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

THE Torte.

I'm cleaning out my email boxes (I have lots of those) and I came across one recipe that I have been looking for EVERYWHERE. I made it for a baby shower (for a baby who's now 4) and I haven't been able to find it since. It was most everyone at the shower asked for the recipe and it was gone within a few minutes. So I FINALLY found it and thought I'd blog it so I never have to loose it again. Of course it's filled with alllll healthy stuff ;)

Peanut Butter Torte
1 c. finely chopped salted peanuts
2 teaspoons sugar
∏ teaspoon instant espresso powder --I x'd this I don't do espresso
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2c. mini chocolate chips
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
 stick <4 tablespoons> unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
2  c. heavy cream
1  c confectioners sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1  c salted peanut butter  crunchy or smooth
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

Getting ready: center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch Springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Toss 1 cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chips together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan . Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in 1 cup of the confectioners sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Wipe out the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners? sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, π cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.
Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter of the whipped cream, just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.
Scrape the mouse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight, cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.
To Finish The Torte: put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes, remove the bowl from the saucepan.
Bring the remaining ∏ cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and , working with a a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.
Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining ∏ cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.
When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the Springform pan, it?s easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, and then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel damped with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I promise it's delicious. These directions might not make sense but it gives you the general idea haha. I have to leave soon so I don't have time to fix it sorry.

Hey look at that, I found a picture of it online!! But my recipe is a bit different but it looks like this.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Yes We Can

I think we can do hard things. My favorite line out of my current favorite song says:

"Don't you dare look out your window, darlin' everything's on fire.
The war outside our door keeps raging on." T Swift, Safe & Sound

I feel like even though we might not literally have a war outside our doors, there are still really hard things to handle on so many other levels. If we continue to do what we know is right, it makes the hard things much easier.

That's all.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just Things.

A little known (or well known) fact about me is, I blog very randomly about very random things when I get stressed out. It helps me to organize my thoughts and it lets my brain stop harboring on all the stuff that seems to always be going on. I pretty much have two full time jobs and a church calling that is at least the equivalent of a part time job so this is just for me. I get to write whatever I want to. I doubt many people read these posts but that's ok, it's for me mostly. 

Today I thought I'd post about a few things that have crossed my mind lately. They will all be artificial and shallow things but I'm okay with that. 
First is this movie:

I seriously LOVED this movie. It's such a neat concept. At first it was a little confusing but you catch on very quickly. It's futuristic like a lot of current/popular books/movies. It's about this guy (Justin Timberlake) who lives in the 'ghetto' district of this world. Everything is paid for with time. When everyone turns 25, their time starts (they all stay looking like they're 25). Everyone starts out with ONE year. They can work to earn more time but when your time is up, you die. The main character has had a really tough life, always scraping to get by and earn more time to stay alive. All of their goods are paid for with time. There is no money. It brings up the age old topic of would you want to know when you'll die? Of course they could have an accident but supposing they don't, the rich could potentially live forever. It's realllllly good. I don't know that's it's a great family movie. There weren't many 'bad' parts. There was one part that we fast forwarded but it literally lasted about 20 seconds. There are a few words that I don't appreciate (which would be taken out using ClearPlay). I'd recommend it. I loved the concept. Plus I really like the actors who played the main parts.

I just have to post about Downton Abbey one more time :). I just finished the 2nd season. I don't know why I love this so much but I do. I love the culture back in the 'day'. It makes it more interesting because it takes place around WW1 (the first episode is based on when the Titanic sunk). It's at the turning point of the old customs mixing with the new customs. The older generation clings desperately to the old way of life and the younger generation can't wait for things to change. My official favorite characters are Mr. Bates, Anna, Mr. Crowley, and Daisy. Of course everyone is great (except a select few). Season 3 is filming right now, I can hardly wait!!

I've been rereading the Hunger Games. I finished book one last week just in time for the movie to come out next Friday!! So super excited. Now I'm in the middle of book 2.

Oh boy, now I got to get ready to go back to work, be realllllly jealous. I shouldn't have eaten such a big (delicious) dinner, I want to just lay down in my own bed and sleep now. I shouldn't complain, I am lucky to have a job and wonderful bosses!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Wow I really haven't been many places compared to most (of course lots of these places have been visited many times). See if you can guess what they are :). 

The last few listed, I haven't actually been to but it's very possible I'll be going there shortly. Well the very last two I'll be going to next month for a few days, after I finally bite the bullet and buy my tickets. 

It reminds me of that Dr. Seuss book, oh the place's you'll go.

 Where have you been?

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I liked today, a lot!!

I started off waking up at work around 5:30, managed to fall asleep again until about 6:30, then laid awake and read some Hunger Games until 7.

When I got home, I took a nap, because thanks to a very croaky frog right outside my work bedrooms window, I was up much later than I had planned to be.

After waking up from my 'nap' I got ready for the day, then took Shelley (with my dad and Sam) to see the Lorax. I get into movies for free when I'm with Shelley thanks to the law. It was pretty good...not my favorite Dr. Seuss book-turned-movie though, the Grinch will always win.

After that, I had a 30% off my total old Navy purchase coupon in my pocket so I made my way into the store. Miraculously I didn't find one thing in the store to buy, GO ME!! My brother bought me a rootbeer gumball and off we went to get lunch at Port of Subs.

Once we got home, I decided that since I was really good this week about doing chores and staying busy I would take the day off. I love those days. I alternated between reading the Hunger Games and watching episodes of my (embarrassing/guilty pleasure) show, Downton Abbey. Hey, don't knock it till you watch it!! The first time I heard about this show was in a magazine, it got rave reviews... silly show that NOBODY could possibly watch.  Well I should bite my tongue. I don't know why I like it so much, I just DO. I like that they show the "helps" point of view as well as the rich families. I like how nice the family is to their help. I really don't like Thomas or O'Brien, in fact if they were real people, I'd kick dirt on their shoes. I do really like Anna, Mr. Bates, Mr. Crawley, Violet Crawley, Lady Sybil, Mr. Carson, and Mrs. Hughes. I've just started the 2nd season today but took a break to make some dinner, and to blog...

I'll probably read another chapter of the Hunger Games while I eat dinner, then put on my sweats, and watch the rest of the episode I'm on. Then who knows, I might get crazy and read a little more...The world is my oyster.

Is it strange that I really prefer nights like this rather than being 'out'? I don't think so.

Sorry if you just read the most random post about Downton Abbey...I just want everyone to love it as much as me!! If you do watch it, don't get discouraged by the first part in it made me almost stop watching it, dumb Thomas...but I just ignore him when he's on screen now, he's maddening. Oh ya, Professor McGonagall is in it too...I liked her better at Hogwarts.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pinterest #8

I'm officially eliminating the name Pinterest Crafting. Now it's just Pinterest. Because I hardly do Pinterest crafts but I do other Pinterest things. How many times can I say that word in two sentences? Geesh.

Today was going to be a post about our amazing Temple Time Capsule Mutual activity from last night but the SNOW had other ideas. Gah, I was seriously so upset last night. The roads were pretty clear but I guess the church parking lot was snowy which totally stinks. I had guest speakers coming and everything ready (spent 5 hrs prepping yesterday alone) only to have it shut down at 6. OH WELL it will happen in a couple weeks.


Today's first Pinteresting idea comes from my hair board. First is this hair bow. I found a video of it on Pinterest and repinned it to my "Do's" Board. I think I have too much hair for this though. I had to pull a lot of my hair through to hide the ends but then the side parts were kind of flimsy. I call it my Minnie Mouse meets Lady Gaga look....BTW I've never worn this in public. It was just a fun experiment because I can never do cute things to my gross hair.

 Here's the video if you're interested:

I wish I had hair like that!! Meaning hair that is shiny...

The next Pinteresting thing I'll post about is my nails that I did for Valentines day. This idea is a combination of several pinned nail ideas.
Art Deco (long skinny brush) in Pink and White
Solid base color- mine is NYC grey something something
Top coat- mine is Revlon, it's about $3-4 a bottle but it lasts quite a long time (surprising for how often I paint my nails) It gives it a really nice shine plus it dries very quickly.

Start by painting your base nails with whatever color you choose. Let it dry well. Then very carefully paint white stripes horizontally across each nail (please ignore the shaky crooked lines). Once that's dry, use your fun accent color to paint a heart or paint over a few white stripes etc...whatever you'd like to do. Since doing this, I found a much easier way to do the hearts.
Once the layers are all dry top with the top coat.

Well that was fun. I have so much to do today (mostly involving cleaning up my messes and my room) but I might decide to procrastinate and start reading Hunger Games book 1 just one time before the MOVIE 21 DAYS!!!!!! I read part of an article from the author who just saw the movie. She said it was great and she loved that they were able to show other points of view (not just Katniss). She talked about seeing Snow in his rose garden, the capitol control room, etc....SO EXCITING. gosh it all comes back to Hunger Games doesn't it?


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