Monday, December 29, 2014


My last touristy day in the city led me to
 a tasty snack at a Garrett Popcorn shop,
a peek of the tallest building - Sears (Willis) Tower,
 and then a bunch of fun in Millennium Park.
Check out Margaret's cool Go Pro selfies (I think I want a camera now).
 You can't leave Chicago without taking a photo with the Bean
 from every angle possible

 (you can even walk underneath it for a trip view).

 Thank you, Chicago.

And we couldn't forget a dinner with deep dish pizza.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

CHICAGO - Day 2 (really INDIANA)

Once upon a time, I had a dream of attending the University of Notre Dame. Guess what is just a short drive from Chicago...South Bend, Indiana.
In the car we went to check out the campus of the fighting Irish by visiting
the stadium,

Basilica of the Sacred Heart,

the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes,

 and the golden dome.
The campus is absolutely stunning.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Growing up, if you had asked me if I could go anywhere in the world where would it be, I would have answered Chicago without a pause. I have since traveled to a few different cities, states, countries, and continents, but I still hadn't made it to Chicago. I had the opportunity to make a quick trip just after Christmas and I must admit it is a great city!
 So why Chicago?! 
 I wanted to go to a Cubs game,
eat a Chicago dog,
 go on the architectural tour,
and hang out with Oprah.
It's winter and cold so I had to make a few adjustments to the list. I took a photo outside of Wrigley Field (it was closed due to construction), ate a dog outside of the stadium, looked at most pretty buildings while making stops inside stores to warm up, and took a photo with Oprah's doorman. 
 After completing the list, we made a bonus stop at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
The zoo is free and completely fabulous.
The skyline is beautiful day or night.

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.
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