Sunday, December 21, 2014

TEMPLE SQUARE Christmas Lights

Temple Square is beautiful any time you visit,
 but there is something extra special about visiting at Christmas time.
It's the lights,

the nativity scenes,
 the choirs singing/holiday programs,
 and views of the temple itself.
It's beginning to feel a little bit like Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Merry woofing Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

You Say You Want A RESOLUTION...

A new year is coming upon us soon and that means the topic of writing "new year resolutions" is about to be the big buzz. I don't write resolutions. I have pretended to make them in the past, but never really followed through with any of my forced goal writing. But this year....well, this year has been a different one. I'd say 2014 was a doozy for me and most things didn't go the way I planned. It has caused me to reflect on the last few years and things I have experienced.

So I've been working in the nanny biz for a little while. The monetary benefits might not have been huge, but the knowledge and experience I have gained is priceless. Yes, I have been able to travel to different countries, drive a Ferrari, stay in exotic resorts, and do things most ordinary people only dream about (I don't have a list like Tom Cruise or anything). Those things were fun, but I also saw lives and relationships torn apart due to lust, greed, and deceit.

OK (serious face), it's about to get deep. I have seen tires slashed, computers smashed, and fights break out because of issues with trust. I have seen children suffer due to parents choosing to indulge in their selfish sexual desires with people outside of their bonds of marriage. I have witnessed jobs lost and self-esteem plummet due to alcohol and other addictions.

Partying, drinking, and having sex with lots of partners might sound appealing when the opportunity arrives, but what is more important: a happy home and life or just "having fun" in the moment? OK I'm not saying you can't have fun if you aren't doing those things...we are on this earth to be happy. You just have to choose your type of fun wisely.

Having friends is great. Having friends who drag you down (whether you realize it or not) is not great. Who is probably going to be there with a truck to help you pack and move from one house or apartment to another (or help when you lose a job, when your car breaks down and you're stranded by the side of the road, or you're just down on your luck)? Will it be your drinking buddy from that one party and the stripper from the club or will it be your family and long-term friends who really love and care about you?

I hope I'm making sense so far. Please stay with me. The purpose of this post, going back to making those NYE resolutions, is that I realize I need to reevaluate my life and the things that are most important to me (and maybe we all do) so that we can be happy now AND in the future. I feel like I have been starting to do this. I was a real beast this year. I had a major grumpy cat attitude which me made feel like people were picking on me and made me defensive. Ugh the "poor me" attitude was hurting my relationship with the people I loved most. I have begun to reach out to apologize and make things better. I have realized life is beauty full and have started looking for the good in people, places, and things everywhere I go again. I can't change the way other people live. I can't make people feel certain ways. I can offer advice and hopefully a good example, but ultimately, I can only control myself.

So I am setting goals for myself this year. Real goals...not fake goals just to make a good blog post. I am setting some spiritual goals because I actually have seen some good marriages where the family prayed, ate dinner, talked, and were happy together because they included God in their daily life. I am setting some fitness goals because I want a banging body for that future husband of mine so he doesn't even dream of googling porn or looking elsewhere. Oh, and the fitness goals are because I know being healthy and taking care of my body helps in every aspect of my life (I'm not husband hungry). I am setting educational goals to help keep me smart and ever witty. Finally (I don't want to put too much pressure on myself with 100 goals so I don't crumble and give up), I am setting personal goals. These personal goals are to help me find inner peace, be more kind and serve others, and to just simply love the good life I have been blessed with here on earth. I am going to share my feelings (mostly just the nice ones), say 'I love you', and appreciate people (including myself) more. I can be more forgiving, more willing to accept and extend love, more trust-ing, and just be motherflippin awesome the best way I know how (on the clean and sober train). I want to be the person I am looking for in a future, long term relationship (I can say doesn't scare me anymore). I just want to be the best me. These are my new year resolutions. I love you.
Don't judge me for knowing this is #11 on Oprah's Favorite Things list for 2014, but I love this magnetic board quote. PS they are made locally in Utah -- go home team!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Oops, I wrote a blog post showing emotion yesterday. I don't do that very often. My mind has been so busy the last few months. I even tried to leave the country to take a little break. I don't know if it helped much. You know what does help...where I can always turn for peace? The answer for me is the temple. 
Mormon President Thomas S. Monson said, "I think there is no place in the world where I feel closer to the Lord than in one of His holy temples."
I totally agree with him. I know we have been promised great blessings when we are within those sacred walls and visit them often. This is why I'm excited about the newly released American Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints book.
Want to know more about these temples across the United States or just see stunning photographs of them? This book is your answer and would make a wonderful addition to your library
 or as a Christmas present (you still have a few days left to shop). If you buy 3 or more, (think friend, family, or ward member gifts) you get special pricing. You can opt to ship it or pick it for free yourself at a few different locations.
Scott Jarvie, local photographer responsible for this book, has a signed copy waiting for you. He has been a photographer since 2005 and is shows he knows his way behind a camera lens. Read more about him, this book, and his other works (like a magnificant temple calendar) available HERE
I have had the privilege to see several temples across the states and am super excited about the new goal I set to attend the Payson, Utah, temple open house and dedication in 2015.
"One thing have I desired of the Lord…that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple."
—Psalms 27:4

Monday, December 15, 2014


I know Christmas isn't about the presents, but it's a tradition in my family. I don't know if you are like me and still have some shopping to do, but here is my list of gifts that go beyond the usual bottle of lotion or gift card the recipient will misplace.


What is worse than a sore neck after falling asleep during a long flight or car ride? Not much. The shape of the Ultimate Travel Pillow is super comfortable (with side wings of our pillow design support your head from tilting) and convenient to carry (weighing only 6.2 ounces). The pillow is inflatable so you can adjust the size and firmness to your liking. The best part is the travel pillow has an elastic strap you can pull over the headrest to secure it where you need it so it doesn't fall when you shift or move to talk to the person sitting next to you. It can also be used as a back pillow for lumbar support. This product is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

This Ballroom Dance Mastery System, a 7 DVD set, is for Beginner's to learn the major social ballroom dances. You can learn basic timing, footwork, and steps for the foxtrot, swing, rumba, and waltz. How fun and unique is this?! I took a few dance classes during and after college and LOVED every minute. They don't have to worry about others watching them practice....until they are ready to wow everyone on the dance floor.


Do you know a runner or other sporty person in your life? The muscle roller stick by FLEXX Sports can be used before and after physical activity to help your muscles recover better. It helps with prevention of the muscle injuries, getting rid of muscle pain or soreness, enhanced performance of the muscles, muscle recovery time acceleration, improvement in the flexibility and strength of muscles, reduced effects of lactic acid following activity, relaxation after workout, increased circulation in the points with pain, and preparing of muscles for athletic and physical exercise. 
The stick is 9 oz in weight ,1.5 inches diameter, and 18.3 inches length. It has 9 rollers and ergonomically designed handles for good grip.

This personalized acrylic name necklace is super fun. You can choose any name (up to 10 letters) in 15 different colors. You have a choice of chain length of: 14", 16", 18", 20", 22".

This Ozeri 3x 44" Tower Fan is super fancy. The elegant glass base stand is less than 3 inches thick, making it one of the world's thinnest fans. It has 3 fans, noise cancellation technology, a programmable timer, and an included extended-range remote (or you can control it via the touch sensitive LED control panel). This fan only requires the hand assembly of the fan base using an included large nut, with no tools required. So this tower has 3 independently controllable fans and 3 fan speeds, offering up to 9 levels of cooling/customized airflow. It looks fabulous and serves a great purpose for your home.

This Power Tek Flash Premium LED Headlamp provides up to 120 hours of battery life on 3 AAA batteries and shines for up to 110 meters of visibility. It has 6 different lighting modes including SOS and red night vision modes with 3 brightness settings of high, medium, and low. It weighs only 3 ounces, is water resistant, and has an adjustable headband so it fits comfortably on your head for a hands free adventure. You can use it for camping, hiking, caving, biking, reading, boating, working around the house, or walking your dog...wherever you need a little extra light.


Day-Z has THE cutest new ID tag. The Hello My Name Is Pet ID tag is super cute and can be personalized for your cat or dog. They are water proof, handmade, adorable, and durable. In fact,  if one of their pet tags ever breaks or is damaged by normal use, they will ship you a new one FREE of charge! The size of tag is 2" x 1.2" and great for all sizes of dogs.


A local Utah photographer has just released a new book about religious buildings across America. The images are absolutely stunning. Each building has a little bit of history/info just before the images. Check out the American Temples: A Faith in America Project Book.


Want to win one of these products? Enter to win your own set of Ballroom Dance Mastery 7 DVD set on the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 14, 2014


I don't claim to be an expert on anything...especially love. But I have learned a few things.

I have learned (and it might sound cheesy) it's important to listen to your heart. That brain of ours, it plays tricks on us; but the heart, it doesn't lie.
Your head can make you say, "I don't think the two of us will end up together." While your heart has already said, "You are the reason I get up in the morning and the reason I'm happy and smiling everyday. I love you more than I can even explain."

During difficult times, your head can think: I should move on, this is too hard, I can't handle this, I've changed my mind, let's give up, I quit, go away, and I don't love you. 
During difficult times, your heart says: I can't imagine my life without them, this is hard but I love him/her, WE can handle this, I may have doubts but my mind won't change, I'll never give up, I can't quit, I miss that person, and I know DO love you.

Your head can yell, "I tried for years. I don't know what to do now." Your heart lovingly pleads, "Nothing you can say or do could change the way I feel about you."

Your head can cause you to push someone away, but your heart will want to hold them close.
Your head (because of fear) can make you say you don't belong together and cause you to retract, but your heart can know the truth deep down and help you to keep working for that time the two align and you are ready to accept love.

Your head might be singing Taylor Swift's pop We Are Never Getting Back Together hit, while your heart can rock the 80's Listen To Your Heart Roxette tune.

Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile.
The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yea.
They're swept away and nothing is what it seems,
the feeling of belonging to your dreams.

Listen to your heart
when he's calling for you.
Listen to your heart
there's nothing else you can do.
I don't know where you're going
and I don't know why,
but listen to your heart
before you tell him goodbye.

**Sorry, I was just in Europe so I have the hope from sappy 80's love songs and 90's TV show relationships like Zack Morris/Kelly Kapowski and Kevin Arnold/Winnie Cooper that last till the end of time pushing me along.**

Your head makes you think and say crazy things in the moment. Your heart keeps you calm because it knows, through all the confusion, that love will prevail. 

Your head might throw out the suggestion for your love to date and kiss others to realize they love you most. Your heart is not taking the blame on this one. That's stupid. Your heart wouldn't even dream of saying anything like that.
Your head might tell you that you should date other people and move on. Your heart won't let you give that new person 100% because it knows what it really wants.

Love is stronger than lust, an excitement from texting someone new, doubt, and fear. This is big for me to say, but love is the greatest feeling (when you finally stop fighting it and let it happen).

My advice? Don't let your brain play tricks on you. Follow your heart, take risks, and fight for what matters most to you.

I love you, with all of my heart.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Intermountain Health Hub APP GIVEAWAY

It's winter and the weather is turning cold. This means it's time to drink more orange juice, bundle, and avoid getting sick. But we can't always control our health, right. I have info on a cool new app. Intermountain Healthcare has developed a free new mobile app, called “Intermountain Health Hub,” which is an all-in-one tool that makes managing healthcare easier. It gives users many different features designed to simplify the entire healthcare experience, including the “Germ Tracker”, “Instacare wait times” and “Bill Pay” while on the go. The app can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store and Google Play here.
What exactly can you do in the app? Here are 10 features and benefits the new app provides:
· GermWatch: Find out how prevalent various germs are in Utah, and see how their activity level is trending. Learn about symptoms, how germs are spread, treatments, vaccinations, and when you should contact your doctor.

· InstaCare and KidsCare urgent care centers: Hold your place in line before you arrive and compare wait times by Utah location. Also find KidsCare after-hours clinics in Utah and information for making appointments.

· My Health: Users can access the password-protected My Health patient portal, where they can securely message their Intermountain doctor, check lab results and other parts of their medical records with Intermountain Healthcare, and review benefits and claims.

· First aid: Get first aid tips for common injuries such as sprains, burns, cuts, etc.

· Prescription refills: Request refills at Intermountain pharmacies and check the status of prescription requests.

· Symptoms: Search for adult or child/baby symptoms by key word, body area, or alphabetically by topic. Find out when you should see a doctor or call 911. Learn about self-care options.

· Doctors: Find doctors by name, specialty, hospital, clinic, location, and save your doctors to your
“favorites” list for quick reference later.

· Locations: Find Intermountain hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies near you. Then you can save your favorites for quick reference later.

· Pay bills: Easily pay Intermountain Healthcare bills by credit card or eCheck.

· Send wishes: Send cards with personalized messages directly to patients you might know in Intermountain hospitals.
We all live on our cell phones, might as well make sure you are keeping track of your health too with this app. For information on other Intermountain Healthcare mobile apps, visit

To encourage you to download the app, here is a giveaway for a $250 Target gift card:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


'Tis the season for Hallmark movies so I'll share a quote I heard in one recently:
If you can find someone who can love you like a dog, then you just may have found true love. Their love in unconditional.

Prague, I love you, but it's so good to be home.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I made it back to my America today. What was the first thing I did when I arrived home? I gave my dog a big hug and we played. Then I gave her a special treat...a nice brush. We tried out two new grooming tools from Epica.
Day-Z liked it so much, she rolled over to let me brush her belly as well.
 You can tell she likes it because her tooth is hanging out. That is a sign of pure happiness for her.
After you are finished brushing, the retractable pins make cleaning up the hair easy. You simply need to push the retractor button, and then the pin bed is left bare for you to shake off the hair. It doesn't look like she has a lot of fur, but I have to do this mid-grooming a few times because Day-Z sheds like a maniac. The brush has flexible, non-rusting pins that gently remove tangles and dead hair build-up in your dog's undercoat.
 The other tool we tried is the reversible de-matting comb with safety blades. This tool is great for dogs and cats with medium to long and wirey to curly hair. Day-Z's hair isn't too long and the kitty was hiding because Day-Z was so excited for me to be home that she was jumping all around. Day-Z does have longer fur around her neck so we tried this comb there.
This comb has extra long with safety edges so you can be sure you don't pull or scratch your pet's skin. I can use this for Day-Z (I am right handed) and my mom (the left-handed person), can use this comb for her cats because the tool is reversible. All you have to do is unscrew a nut at the top of the tool and reverse the blade. There is also a thumb rest for the brusher to use. She was a happy dog after this grooming session....I'll say it's because she's glad to see me again.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


In a few countries in Europe (the Czech republic being one), people celebrate the arrival of Mikulas. Mikulas is a version of Saint Nicholas and he comes on December 6th and leaves before Christmas.
 Micelles comes to visit children with 2 assistants: an angel who delivers presents to the good children and a devil who punishes the bad the children. 
I think the idea is to scare your children to be good.
 I was able to witness this celebration twice.
 The first was on a special tram ride for children in Plzen.
Hold on tight because the devil is driving!
The second night, we went to Prague where the costumes get a little more spooky.
Europeans are weird, but I love them.