Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Retraining for a Fearless Mind...

Recently, I've been working on my own personal development and changing my mindset to accomplish goals more successfully, as well as with more meaning.  I heard a man by the name of Craig Manning, a sports psychologist and past pro-tennis player, speak in my Sunday School hour at church a few weeks back, and was inspired to reset my mind and focus.  I'm even reading his book, The Fearless Mind, which I encourage everyone to read!  I talk about it non-stop to friends... I've always been a goal-oriented person, but recently I have become more successful.... and here are some thoughts on why.

We tend to focus on what we need to improve in life, rather than our strengths and ways to use those strengths to get better at things.  This provides us with a more negative than positive mindset.  It's easy to be focused on what we need to fix, and this isn't a bad thing.... but we have to retrain our brains just a little bit.  Manning says, "Don't focus on your failures because it reinforces them... Focus on success and things you do well. Every time you start to think if negativity, change it around!  Don't say don't- don't doubt!  Don't feed that.... For every negative it takes 2.91 positive to X that out!"

He's right.

We have to learn to not doubt ourselves, and thinking negatively breeds that self-doubt and deprecation.  I am not always great at this... In fact, last week I received my JPAS scores from the school district and evaluation notes from our administration here at the HS.  I was nervous even though I know I'm working hard and think I'm a good teacher.  When I met with our VP, I had done really well according to the numbers, and more importantly according to her observations.  I only had one pesky marking not reaching the top rank, and it was right below.  However, the first words out to spill from my lips were, "Why I am I low here?  What can I do better - suggestions?"  

Now, it's great to get feedback to help you improve.  It's good to note your weaknesses.  However, why was my first and MAIN focus my weakest area?  The score wasn't even negative either!  However, all weekend I thought about ways I could improve that one area.  Finally, yesterday, I took a step back and reevaluated the results... I am doing great in the classroom.  I don't even need the paper to tell me that!  I know my weaknesses and strengths already, and as I use my areas of strength to push me forward, while not suspending the areas of weakness, I grow in all areas.  I become a better educator and mentor for my students because I gain confidence and experience... and I am focused on the positive energy I can bring to my students.  Heaven knows they need that energy.... 


What is Mr. Manning's assertion?  Well, he suggests we, "Write down three things you did right that day! One thing you can do better."  I think this mindset is helping me move forward, and when I lose that mindset, I take a step back.  Focusing on the positive helps us to have the energy we need to control and reshape the negative or the "not-as-positive."

Here are some other quotes from his lesson that day:

"Get rid of doubts and fears- what CAN you do? What WILL you do? It's faith- application. It's a can-do mindset. Doubt is the adversary's greatest tool."

"How do we change our mindset and muscle memory? Manage your conscience mind and reinforce the right things. At the end of the day, focus on what you did right... What you repeat the most conditions the mind." 

"Repentance is making a commitment to move in a different direction."

"Did the Savior make mistakes? Yes. Did he sin? No. Identify the error and refocus on positive. Change the habit!!!" 

"Are you surrounded about expectations and pressure- negativity? Find a positive focus. Where are you looking for approval? Do we have control over what others think? Recondition the sub conscience- trust yourself and the spirit."

"Do you have the strength to be obedient to the Holy Ghost and trust ourselves?"

"The gospel governs us- the more we understand it, the more control we have!"

"The battle is not yours, but God's!" 

My thoughts: Turn things over to God and let him fight in your corner... Let the Savior be your advocate... He already IS, but we have to tag him in.

"We are all to be on the straight and narrow path, but they are different straight and narrow paths. There is no one ideal person... We don't want to lose the abilities that one person can bring to the table. Be an individual on the path you should be on."

My thoughts:  My favorite thought, I think.... Well, there are so many!  Haha... I LOVE this!  We are all down different paths and we have to be the best on THAT path.  We aren't all bred for the same life-experiences, challenges, or responsibilities. We all have different reasons we're here on earth, and we have to determine what those are for ourselves personally.  

"Being ordinary is doing what the world tells us we should.  Extraordinary is not about being better than others- it's about being true to yourself an finding your own path. Trust in yourself and God- there is not one path. If we think that we play the comparison game and it leads us to ordinary lives..."

My thoughts: I love this too!  We need not compare ourselves to others... We are ordinary when we become what others tell us to become.  We are extraordinary if we find that path for ourselves.  I fought being a teacher for the LONGEST time because my parents were educators and it was what a lot of people thought I should become.  I didn't want to be what THEY wanted!  I'm glad that I took my time in life deciding that I really did love teaching and wanted it for ME and no one else.  THAT is why I am becoming an extraordinary teacher.

All in all, if you need a good holiday read to get your geared on making (and KEEPING) those goals for the upcoming new year, check out A Fearless Mind by Craig Manning, and read some of his notes online.  He is a rock-star at retraining the brain to think successfully.... I am SO blessed to have heard his words and to have been already preparing my mind to accept his words and mindset.  I am a much better person in the past few months in all areas of my life... I am also MUCH happier, and I was already pretty dang happy. :)
*muah*

Song of the Day:  Obsessed with this one... perfect for jamming in the car OR gettin' my lift on! Here is Zendaya with "Replay."  Also, homegirl is a SICK dancer! :)  Check it - enjoy! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Funnies.... Lots of funnies.

Life is funny sometimes... Heck, it's funny all the time!  I laugh everyday, and I think that is vital to my personal happiness.  There is a power in just smiling and having a good chuckle.

Thus, it is time to bring back the good ol' quote-a-thon that happened monthly(ish) on my page!  Some of these are SUPER old... some are new.  Either way, they're enjoyable and give you that little laugh you might need today.  Well, those you understand....

You be welcome, girls and boys.... You be most welcome. 

"I would say yes to him on Tinder..." - Lauren

"Everyone deserves a naked room in their house... or on their porch..." - Linze

"Their breakfast better to be good.  If it's just continental, I'm going to say, 'Where are my damn eggs!?'" - Linze... said rather casually.

"WONDERBOY!" - Tim (Shouted at Bobby Redford @ my Westminster Graduation)

"Remember when you made good movies..." - Jake (said under his breathe to Bobby Redford...)

"He's no Trey Songz..." - Justin (said ABOUT good ol' Redford's speech at graduation)

"That's my grandpa.... grandma." - Linze

"Cause Gesthemene was like, a really big deal." - Paige

"I wish you were a unicorn." - Ally
"I do too - everyday." - Courtney
"Then I could ride you and play with you." - Ally
"Yes.  Yes, you could." - Courtney

"Why is she so happy about the garbage?!" - Ally (said very dryly... hilarious.)

"Yours looks like a picture... mine looks like a video game!" - Linze

"Marry a bean!" - Eliza
"Marry a STRANGER!" - Eliza/Ally
"Wait! If you don't find a husband or wife, you could marry Courtney!" - Ally

"You're not gonna marry anybody." - Ally
"Sad truth." - Courtney

"Do you like to dance?!" - Linze
"It wears me out." - Eliza
"You LOVE to talk!" - Linze
"Seems like YOU love to talk!" - Eliza (She's a feisty one!)

"The final frontier - To go where no man has gone before..." - Star Trek
"To be ridiculously good-looking? Check!" - Linze to my mom...

"People always like the stuff when I swear." - Spencer
"Well, let's be real about the content too!" - Linze (regarding accidentally going to Colorado...)

"You drove to Colorado?!" - Linze (laughing sarcastically)
"Linze.  I'm not kidding." - Spencer
"Oh...." -Linze *crickets*
"Damn you, Siri!" - Spencer

"Do fishes get parched? Yes." - Lo

"Shut up!  How does she still have a calling?!" - Courtney

"I could squat you!" - Linze

"These are like vague Facebook status updates..." - Courtney about testimony meeting :)

"You two go together - Bam!"  - Miss S (me), putting students into groups
"We 'Bammed" already though!" - A student.... who got rather embarrassed
*We were all in teary laughter pretty fast*

"I like a really manly man... who just wants to ravage me!" - Paige

"Are you destiny's child?" - Courtney

"Is that what blurred lines is about?" - Courtney

"Let me see your snap-chat! Can we snap-chat that one boy?" - Eliza
"Spencer?" - Linze
"No." - Eliza
"Isaac?" - Linze
"Is he the one with no shirts?" - Eliza
"Yep." - Linze

*Looking at our snap-chat list from the night*
"That's a lot of Isaac...." - Eliza

"I bet you're a great runner!" - Linze
"That's a stereotype " - Hilma
"I meant cause you're skinny." - Linze
"Oh..." - Hilma (She be black.)

"He's also Hispanic." - Court
"Isn't he Filopino?" - Spence
"Well, he's not white." - Court

"It's like a blast to your vag!" - Nicole

Well, there  ya go.  Enjoy!
*muah*

Song of the Day:  LOVE this song... I want to cover this song!  Here is Katy Perry with "Unconditionally." Enjoy!!!
 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Goals = Growth

I have recently been reflecting on the power there is in making goals and taking action to achieve them.  This is what I have determined...

"You reap the rewards of what you sow - you choose to diminish or choose to grow.
Step back, reflect, and make a pact to strive for something - choose to act."

I wrote that... because I believe that.  I hope more people will understand and strive after that.  Hell - I hope that I continue to understand and strive for that!

Goals are powerful.  Goals drive you, give you passion, and help you to grow.  Without taking the time to write down, actively pursue, and celebrate your goals and achievements, you cease to reach your full potential.

I have a lot of potential to fill and not enough time to do it.  I'm sure gonna give it everything I've got while I can though.

I'm going to include what I wrote for part of our ward blog last week:

"We are at a great time in our life to take FULL advantage of all the world's opportunities and become as successful as we desire to be! Take time to WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS. 

 It sounds cliche. I don't care. 
It sounds tedious or superfluous. I don't care. 
It sounds like something you don't NEED to do. I don't care. 

 Writing down goals and dreams makes them real and solidifies a sense of finality and dedication to these goals. It makes us more accountable. Want to take it a step further? Set some real goals for yourself and share them with someone in your life other than Heavenly Father - someone who can help you stay on track and will be blunt and honest with you, but encouraging of your goals. THIS is the time to strive for the things we really want in our life. 

 Think on this to close... "What would you do if you knew you could not fail." Heavenly Father is on your side, and if you team with Him and truly work hard and stay focused, you can do all things. Remember, "...the things which are impossible with men are possible with God." (Luke 18:27)"
*muah*

Song of the day: My current obsessions are many.... Here's a good one. Check out Randy Houser's song "Runnin' Outta Moonlight." I'm not always a fan of country - just depends on the song or singer, but I LOVE this song! ADORABLE! :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

You are ENOUGH.

I've had four friends share this video over the day, so I think I should probably pass it along too... must be that good (spoiler: It is!  The whole series seems awesome...). :)



I was talking to a friend today about this very topic and wrote her this note via facebook just this afternoon (before watching the video):

"It really is unfortunate how some men treat women.  [I need to add now, or how some women treat women...] I feel sorry for them and the value that they hold in the size, weight, look, and appearance of a woman.  They miss out on a lot of other important facets that create an entire human being and a DAUGHTER OF GOD.  I know they're "wired differently," but it's sad... It's a little pathetic, and it's unfortunate for them.  We are SO much more than our bodies.

You are an amazing person, with a good heart and vast intelligence.  Not to mention, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Remember that you are worth more than the value he is placing on you, and that his opinion is invalid.  The only opinions that matter are yours and your Heavenly Father's.  I recognize that is hard to remember when you're hurting, but just know you should feel sorry for HIM for letting you go over shallowness and his own insecurity.  What a messed-up mind-set.... He's going to wind up very unhappy.

You're amazing - keep at it.  You don't need to lose weight for anyone but YOU - remember that right now.  Do what will make YOU sincerely happy, and don't do it for anyone else.  Because YOU are enough."

... And for once, I know with 100% certainty that I'm right....

YOU are enough.  You ARE enough.  You are ENOUGH.

On a non-religious note, whether you believe in a higher power or not, this applies... You are loved and worth everything in the world you desire.  On a more religious note, I am so thankful that I know I have a Father in Heaven who lives and loves me.  I am thankful that I know of my divine heritage and capabilities - and that I am divinity in motion (not to quote MJ, but really... RIP, brotha).  We are all worth so much more than we realize.... and if someone says differently, they're a fool. Straight up, a fool.

"Wherever you are, whatever the circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love. Just think of it! You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful and glorious Being in the universe. You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time. He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name.”  
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

In the words of Lion King (although not my original intention): Remember who YOU are.... and in doing so, help those around you remember who THEY are.
*muah*

Song of the Day:  This is one of my all-time faves, and ties right into what we're talking about here.... It was arranged by  friend of mine, Stephanie Maybe, and written by one of her friends, Nicole Sheahan.  The song is called, "I Am His Daughter."  Enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

8 Months to Sexy: Recipe CARBS Edition

As promised, I am providing a few more delectable recipes for you to try on your pursuit to being more fit and fab.  I often am just dying for some kind of sweet treat, so I have an amazing way for you to feel good about eating a few brownies.  Often, I crave pizza or pasta too... well, I have a fix for you regarding that craving.  Whether it's for weight loss or just being/feeling healthier in your diet, these are some recipes that are SURE to help curb your carb craving! (Check out those alliteration skills!  I am SUCH an English teacher...)

Black Bean Brownies 
(Seriously, might be weird on the first bite... and then perfection!)


First, preheat over to 350 degrees (F).  Next, blend the following ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth:

 - 1 can low sodium black beans (thoroughly rinsed & drained)
 - 1/3 c. Melted coconut oil
 - 1/4 c. Unsweetened cocoa powder
 - 1/8 t. Salt
 - 2 t. Vanilla
 - 1/2 c. Honey or agave

 Next, in a separate bowl, lightly whisk 3 eggs. Fold eggs into chocolate mixture and fold 1/2 to 1 c. finely chopped dark chocolate (I used dark chocolate chips and just sprinkle a handful or two on top) into mixture.  You can also add nuts if your heart desires to do so.  Pour into 8x8 pan and back for about 25-30 minutes.  Let them cool for about 10-15 minutes and then cut and serve... I think they're better cooled though.  I know - an anomaly for brownies, I know, but it's true.  Haha!  You can even enjoy two of these and you still won't feel guilty... or, I didn't feel guilty. :)

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
(A sanctuary... For real.  Don't judge - I love carbs.)

This one looks not as good as my first second one... The second one was perfection.  

1 head (Small Head) Cauliflower
¼ cups Parmesan Cheese
¼ cups Mozzarella Cheese
¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
½ teaspoons Dried Basil
½ teaspoons Dried Oregano
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Almond Meal (optional) - I didn't use it last time, but I think I would this time...
1 whole Egg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Wash and thoroughly dry a small head of cauliflower.  Cut off the florets—you don’t need much stem, but you can use stem if you'd like to. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow like cauliflower. You should end up with 2 to 3 cups of this ridiculously fine cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Cook for 6-7 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit before attempting the next step. I didn't do this the last time and I kept burning my hands - haha!

Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring it like mad!  Get your anger issues out on this for a moment... :) You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess. Dumped squeezed cauliflower into a bowl and add parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, dried basil (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), dried oregano (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding - I always add extra cause I love it), garlic powder (not garlic salt), and a dash of red pepper if you want.

Now add the egg and mix away. I forgot this step last time and the pizza had NO hold - it's the sealant, so make sure to use that egg!  Hands tend to work best to mix this up. Once mixed together, use your hands to form dough into a crust on an oiled parchment paper on top of a pan. Pat it down thoroughly, because you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don’t make it too thick or thin either. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown and then remove from oven.

Add desired amount of sauce, cheese, and toppings you want - I like lots of onions, ham, tons of bell peppers, more spices (bring on the oregano and basil!), and cheese. Make it how you want it!  Now, slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden. Test your patience and allow it to cool for a minute or two. Probably closer to two. Then using a pizza cutter and a spatula, serve up your delicious grain-free cauliflower crust pizza! If you want two pizzas (they're a bit bigger than personal size), double the recipe.  I am obsessed with this because I can have pizza and not be breaking the carb bank!  I thought this was insane when I first read about it a few years back, but it's actually pretty good and I feel good about eating it more often than actual pizza.  Thanks to The Tasty Kitchen Blog for this recipe!

I also found this paleo, dairy and gluten-free recipe, but I have yet to try it out: http://www.theluckypennyblog.com/2013/05/the-best-dairy-free-cauliflower-pizza.html

Interesting note on carbs - I feel like I am starting to not process them in my body as well now that I eat them less.... bizarre, right?  Your body adapts and changes as you make changes... who'da thunk it? :)
*muah*

Song of the Day:  A really great new jam by one of my fave bands, Parachute.  Here is "Hurricane."  I LOVE this song!!! I love this band and every song they have ever made... For real. My favorite line of this song..."Funny how it all comes back when you're trying to forget it..."  LOVE!  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

8 Months to Sexy: Recipe Edition!

So, as I've been on my "path to sexy" (or sexier) I have needed some good recipes to keep me sane.  Here's the deal, I'm all about quality of life... and I want to eat good food!  I am not going to eat things that taste horrible - I'm sorry.  I'm not going to do it... I find joy in eating good food, which IS okay, but it should be good tasting and good for you.  I'm all about health because I'm all about quality of life and I've come to find that IS genuinely a greater quality of life.

So, let's get to why you're really reading this... the recipes!  I've got a few up my sleeves that I've gotten from others and adapted to what works for me.  Do the same!  Adapt them if you don't have something at your house or if you don't love the taste completely because of one ingredient. Now, adapting by adding chocolate syrup to everything is probably not the best choice.... probably not.  So, still make smart choices!

Here are some of my new faves: (Some sounded CRAY at first! Yes, CRAY.)

Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes!
(You can have pancakes?!  Yep - and they're GOOD!)

6 egg whites (or do 4 egg whites and two full eggs if you'd like!) 
1 cup rolled oats, dry (steel-cut are best)
1 cup cottage cheese 
1-2 tsp. raw sugar or honey 
2 teaspoons cinnamon (a natural metabolism booster!)
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Instructions: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle. I actually just pour it from the blender and eye how big I want my pancakes.  Flip when they start to bubble and cook until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter, spraying the griddle as needed. (Thanks, Court!)


I top these with bananas I fry with a little olive oil or coconut oil and fresh strawberries than a little honey... Yep, I do add a little sugar because I HATE the sugar-free stuff.  I tried it, hated it, and I decided to take a different route.  You don't need much syrup (use pure maple) or honey when you use the bananas though - they make it super sweet and these pancakes are already super moist! 

Parmesan Broccoli 
(Seriously - INCREDIBLE!)

1 big head of broccoli
Olive Oil
Salt n' Pepper
2-3 Tbsp of Garlic (depends on how strong you like the garlic taste)
Lemon juice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

First, take time to wash the broccoli and dry it off.  Seriously - do that first.  Then, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees (F).  Put the broccoli on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. I just eyeball it - never measure it really.  I put olive oil in my hands and rub it on all the broccoli so it's coated, but not dripping off.  Then, I put a little salt over it all and a good amount of pepper.  Now add the garlic!  I use pre-chopped garlic bought at the store.  However, the recipe I found says around 4 cloves if that's your route.  I sprinkle it on and then rub it around with my hands - I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty!  But do wash them in between steps... Haha!  Next, cook the broccoli for about 20-25 minutes, letting it brown (not black) on the edges.  Let the broccoli cool for a few minutes and then toss with lemon juice - don't pour on a ton!  Just put some in your hands and toss it with the juice.  LAST, add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and toss!  It's like veggie candy... AWESOME!

These are two I have discovered... more to come shortly. :) Enjoy and PLEASE share any you come across in the comments or via my email.  I am dying for new recipes to experiment with and eat!  Next time, I'll post on black bean brownies and cauliflower pizza crust - both BOMB! :)
*muah*

Song of the Day: I love this jam!  Here is Ellie Goulding with "Burn."  SOOOOOO good!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Part II: 8 Months to Sexy!

So, I have been on this slow and steady get-fit-plan entitled "8 Months to Sexy" (yes, I made up that clever name - hold the awe...) for about six weeks now, and I feel fabulous!  I still second guess myself here and there and wonder if I'm making any real progress, but FINALLY this week I started to see the progress come together in little ways and feel more confident about my choices.  I took pictures every other week, and this week I noticed my back rolls are starting to melt and some areas are growing more defined... I have realized that it's going to take a long time and I need to be realistic and understanding with myself and my body. Here are the main things I have come to know about this journey:

1.  It takes dedication and desire.  Where there is a WILL, there is a way.  Where the will lacks, so does the way.... I don't think I really understood that concept until now.  I have to WANT it and go after it for myself - NOT for anyone else.  Again, that's why it's working this time.  I really want this for myself.

2. It takes a lot of hard-work.  I workout at LEAST five times a week, but almost always six times.  I do weights, constantly upping the weight limit and reps.  I do cardio, which near about kills me if I fail to use my inhaler beforehand.  #stupidchoices... I have to really push myself or I don't see results as clearly or quickly (and quickly still means slowly... but quicker.).  The days I have failed to push myself hard are the days I actually want to cheat more.  Which brings me to #3.

3.  It takes self-control.  I have learned that "cheating" does nothing but hurt me... No one else really cares.  No one.  I have to be the one to care and stay true to the diet and workout plan I have established for myself.  I really have been shocked at my ability to have such self-control!  Have I cheated?  Here and there, yes.  Have I cheated a lot?  No.  My "trainer" told me this analogy the first day working out with him, and it has stuck with me --> "Each day you dig a half-foot deep hole.  Your goal is to dig 100 feet down.  If you eat crap you fill the hole back up and are back to where you started the next day... Or you can already have dug the first part and keep adding to that hole.  It's up to YOU."  He probably said it more eloquently, but you get the gist.  I really have striven to maintain a diet that is healthier, low-carb, and makes my body feel better.  I can tell you already that my taste buds HAVE changed and I have learned to appreciate things that aren't as sweet.  Eating out is fun, but of the handful of times I have, I've always felt a little blech the next day.  As I use self-control, I feel healthier and thus, happier with my body. Plus, it's a goal skill to retain for ALL things in your life - moderation and self-control in all things!

 4.  It IS fun!  I feel good about myself, and though I have always been confident (Surprise!  Shocker.), I feel more confident about my body and self-presentation.  I carry myself differently already and I'm excited to see that continue to change.  I enjoy working out!  Seriously - find what is fun for YOU and learn to ENJOY working out... Otherwise, it will NOT stick.  I find that doing cardio circuits is best for me and that I have to have loud music or be in cardio room (movies!).  I find that for weights, this is more my sanctuary... I actually have learned to enjoy cardio, but I really like weight training and the feeling of pure exhaustion after... It's oddly relaxing.  Weird?  I know.  It's also fun to see the progress you have made and hear people make comments about your new body and attitude.  It's fun to have people ask about recipes and progress, and to try on old clothes and see how differently they fit you.  It's fun to set a goal, reach it (or get a step closer), and set a new goal for yourself... It's fun accomplishing something.

5.  It takes patience.  Be patient with yourself and with those around you that tempt you with deliciousness.  Haha!  They're all getting use to your lifestyle change as well.  Plus, you have to realize that everything TAKES TIME.  Things truly don't happen overnight.  Also, don't compare yourself to others.  I have a friend who just loses faster... I am making the right choices, but her body is just losing quicker... That's okay.  It's not all about weight loss - it's about how you look and feel.  I may not be losing as much, but my goal is also to build muscle and define.  Muscle weighs more than fat, so some weeks I don't really lose much or any.  Her goal is different, and so her workouts and results are different.  Just make good choices in diet and exercise and your body WILL catch-up and react.  Give it time, and practice patience.

6. I am healthier and happier.  I was happy before, and I will be happy in six-months from now whether I am more fit or not (though, I will be).  I believe that weight and such does NOT make your happy or unhappy - or doesn't need to make you unhappy.  I loved my life six-weeks ago, a year ago, and before that time!  I am simply saying that being healthier means I have extended mobility, more energy, and a clearer mind... and those things make me HAPPIER.  Not happy in general, but happier.  I'm not gonna lie, seeing my rolls diminishing and more muscle definition in my arms and legs makes me a bit happier too... It's not about being sexy in a sex way - despite the connotations behind the title of my journey - it's about being sexier because I'm healthier and even more confident.  Sexiness is confidence.

My next few entries will be all about recipes that are helping me to get to where I need to be.  Take them for what you will, but I say, why not try em' out and see if you enjoy them. Even if they sound bizarre - I thought so too with a few of them.  Even if you're not on a health journey or trying to lose weight, why not treat your body to some healthier choices and gain more energy?  Just give things a shot and see what works for YOU in making yourself healthier and happier. :)
*muah*

Song of the Day:  There are SO many great ones right now in my life... Hm.  Let's go with Drake's song "Hold On, We're Going Home."  I adore this song and it's chillness when I'm driving with my windows down in the evening or sitting by my window on a rainy day.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

8 Months to Sexy!

Life over the past few weeks has come with a good chunk of changes.  I finally am starting my first official year as a teacher and have been getting my classrooms (yes, plural) ready for students and teaching.  I have an English classroom that I am sharing with another teacher (I teach A Days there and she teaches B Days), and a Theater office/classroom that I use to teacher Theater I and II on B Days.  I have been lesson planning and reading tips... collaborating with other teachers till I can collaborate no longer.  I am excited to start officially teaching tomorrow and begin a new phase in my life.  I loved being a nanny, but I am ready to take on the "real world...," aka: High School.  Haha!  In the words of Andy Samberg, "I'm an adult!"

Yea, buddy.

Another big change I have been making in life is regarding my health and diet.  I'd like to call this stage of my life, "8 Months to Sexy."  BAM!  Yep - that's a pretty good motto, I know.  I'm only 2 1/2 weeks in, but that's something!

I want to clear something up in that I am not dieting like crazy and not eating.  On the contrary, I am eating more than before (I use to frequently forget to eat) and eating more meals (six-ish smaller ones).  I am not cutting out everything I love to eat in life or obsessing about every calorie I eat either.  I am not eating pre-packaged foods or living for a program - not being a hater at all, that just doesn't work for me.  I am not thinking about it non-stop and focusing so much on losing weight that I become unhappy about who I am or what I look like.

I am still much more than my body (this does not negate that concept), but I want to gain more control over this one part of my life.  I have control over the rest of my life... well, generally. :)  Why not take control of my body?!

On the contrary, I am feeling better about myself and my body.  I am happier and on my way to being healthier.  I know that when I am eating better, my body feels better.  I had an insane cheat night on Friday night and hit up Texas Roadhouse with some friends.  I know, I know... those rolls!  They're heaven.  Haha!  Well, I don't regret an ounce of food I ate that night, but I do know that the next day I felt more lethargic and "off" than I have in the past two weeks.  I am learning that I like eating healthier on a regular basis.  Now, I'm not perfect... I mess up and eat something crappy here (and I forgive myself adn move on!) and there, but I've been pretty diligent and I like that... It's not only re-teaching and training my body, it's retraining my self-discipline in general.

Then there's the working out.... I have one of my good friends acting as my "personal trainer," and it has been the best thing ever.  Not only do I already trust the person telling me how to eat and work-out, but I think he can push me harder than someone else could.  He uses logic when I need something explained or uses motivation (sometimes through relentlessly giving me a hard time) to make me stretch myself.  He watches and know how hard to push me and when I'm just done.  He's all about form and making me do things right, and because of that, I feel comfortable with everything he's asked me to do or way he's pushed me.  Let me tell you too - he pushes me like crazy!  My muscles ache and I'm a sore woman most days, and I am fantastic sweat-fest post workout, but I still feel great.... I'm not miserable.  Okay, one day I was!  Hahaha.... but that passed and I'm happy to have stronger legs, arms, abs (gettin' there with those - blech!  Haha!), and a sexier butt comin' my way.  Haha!  I like being STRONGER and FEELING BETTER.  I'm not focusing on weight - though I do like losing - or even size - though I would like to be smaller eventually - but I'm focusing on how I feel and the energy I have each day.... I'm loving it.  I'm focusing on ME.

Point is, I'm on the path called "8 Months to Sexy" (or "sexier" as my friends lovingly remind me) and I'm healthier with the changes I'm making.  I'm happier.  And although I was beautiful before, I am excited to feel even more confident in my own skin. :)
*muah*

Song of the Day: Today is all about bettering yourself and being comfortable in your OWN skin.  Thus, I am obsessed with this video and how this girl embraces herself.  If you are fine where you're at now, perfect!  If you want to change something - awesome!  Do it!  This is a GREAT jam too... Here is NKOTB with "Remix (I Like The)."  OBSESSED!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I Am More Than My Body

I know that I am going to receive backlash for some of the things I will write today... If you are angry, I apologize you have felt that way and that I made you feel that way. I am not, however, apologetic for believing what I believe and have been seeing on a reoccurring basis. I just ask you make it through the ENTIRE entry to see that I do talk about both sides or an issue...

 A few years back one of my good friends wrote a song called, "Expectations, Realizations." I have been privileged to perform the song with him at a few venues over the years, but the meaning of the song never really took hold until recently. The popular chorus line states, "expectations rarely equal realizations," also meaning reality. Now, this is not to say that we shouldn't have big dreams and standards for ourselves in life (face it, I'm a theater teacher so I am ALL about dreaming big!) but there is a point where we must also recognize and embrace reality. Sometimes reality gives you an even happier or more peaceful outcome than a lack of acceptance for reality. Also, sometimes I believe that we cheat ourselves and others by being unrealistic in moments when it is necessary.

This is only a PORTION of what I wanna talk about. It all ties together- promise. :)

 A few days back I was horrified to hear a break-up story from one of my friends. Incredibly, I have a similar story in my past... We'll get to that. The "break-up" goes like this.. A boy and girl had been dating for around three years on and off. Some may say that I am issue within itself, but I say everyone's timing is different and unique. Finally things came to a head for these individuals and it was brought up, "is this really going anywhere?" That is when this response from the boy came out:

 "I'm just concerned I may not be attracted to you in ten years because you like food so much." 

Well, that was strike one times eight million over. Talk about taking someone's self-esteem and shattering it like knocking icicles.  Talk about the conversations and statements like this being the reason that THOUSANDS & THOUSANDS of girls have eating disorders or hate themselves/their bodies.  Talk about the reason that some girls try to be overly sexy and just perpetuate the issues with sexual addictions (or just having sex too young) that you would/should NEVER want your mothers, sisters, or daughters to take on for themselves.  Talk about a mindset that perpetuates the mindset that women are just bodies or sexual creatures.  He continued to talk about if they had kids she wouldn't feed them right... The conversation went on, but I was stuck on the statement above....

"I may not be attracted to you in ten years because you like food so much." 

 First issue: IF you argue that this is just a cop-out because he wasn't into her, WORST COP-OUT EVER!  Be a man.  Be a woman.  Have the balls to say what the REAL issues are about.  

Second issue:  IF this is him being real and saying what he really felt, I believe there is a way to be blunt and honest without being distasteful and cruel.  We have to remember that words are powerful.  Words are either your band-aid to the wounds created or the salt poured onto the wound to make is seep open.  You might create the wound by saying goodbye to someone, but let's not bury the person in salt. 

Third issue:  The statement above in general.  You "might" not be attracted?  She "might" gain weight?  (Keep in mind, homegirl is THIN and GORGEOUS.)  With that kind of thinking you're planning the weddings to your third and fourth wives while at the alter with your first wife.  We need to plan for the future - I get that completely.  However, there is something to be said for having trust and faith in the Lord - and in another human being.  There is something to be said for looking at more than JUST the physical.

"Being “in love” and attracted to a person is a good start, but clearly not enough." 
-Thomas B. Holmes 

Attraction IS important!  Attraction IS necessary!  Attraction IS part of a successful and happy marriage!  I am not in anyway undermining or devaluing the importance of attraction... With that being said, I was speaking with my mom the other day on the deck and asked if she was attracted to my dad when they got married.  This was two weeks ago and for some reason, I just asked.  She kinda laughed and said, "Well, yea..."  I said, "Well, I don't know I assumed so, but I didn't know if it was like really, really attracted."  Haha!  Yep, I don't know where that came from, but I asked.  She laughed again and said, "It just seems so juvenile when I think about all that we've been through.  Yes, I was attracted to him, but it's more than that...  It's more than butterflies when I see him or thinking he's cute... We've been through so much together now and I'm attracted to him WAY past the physical.


"A happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion." - Gordon B. Hinckley  

Love takes on a new meaning as you go through time and you realize that the physical attraction becomes secondary to all the reasons you're really staying with another person.  You LOVE them, and hopefully through the attraction physically might change and hit high or low spots, you wouldn't want to leave them because you see them through new eyes.  Your eyes should change in marriage.... I'm not saying get frumpy and gain weight once you're married.  Again, attraction is important... but I think that there's just so much more to marriage than my future hunk-o-rama's looks.  Attraction can spark a relationship, AND keep it going.... but it CHANGES.  Your relationship becomes so deep that at your physical lows you can look at all the reasons you love them and just not focus on that - they serve you, they make you laugh, they take care of you,  they take care of your children, they carry intelligent conversation with you, they carry dumb conversations with you, they make you a better person, they strengthen your testimony, they know you better than anyone else and they just get you....

... and you know each other so well that if that was more important to you, you could work on getting fit together.

The issue isn't him saying as much him THINKING it in the first place. He might not have meant it to be so negative, but that's what worries me the most.  That kind of thinking.... the lack of trust in her and the overwhelming focus on the physical is what worries me most.  It worries me because I have a LOT of male friends who have made similar comments to me about others.  It worries me because I've had more than a handful of girls have things like that said to them.  Now, I can say this because right now in my life, I am 100% confident in who I am, I like who I am (body and all), and I do not mean it as a put-down.  I am a bit more to love.  If a man said that to me, it would hurt and be wrong... I would be angrier at the situation.  However, I still find myself angry with this situation and it's not even regarding me... Why?  First, because if someone thin and gorgeous has that said to her, how can those of us with actual curves even stand a chance?!  If the focus is so much on the physical there are only so many men around here who dig a girl with curves.... I've had enough of my guy friends tell me that when speaking of other girls.  If you think when you talk I believe it "doesn't apply to me," guess what - it does boys.... It applies to all us girls and we know it.

It's just sad that you can't see past a body-image.  

Second, you make me worry when you're so focused on the body image about the world we live in... a world so focused on sex.  It's in out music like CRAZY!  It's in our movies and TV shows WAY more than it use to be.  It's all over with pornography - and that addiction is skyrocketing like mad with each passing day.  It just makes me sick to think that sexuality has been twisted.

I have enjoyed working out and toning my body a bit more.... I am striving in my life to be healthier and yes, thinner, because it makes me healthier.  It is NOT so that a guy will like me or so I will look better naked.  THAT is why I have actually been able to lose some weight... and when I forget that I plateau.

Sidenote (but not so sidenote): This applies both ways... If, ladies, you are doing the same thing in your dating, then shape up and stop the shallow drive around the lot.  I just see it WAY more in men and so I'm addressing the frustration and concern here... on my blog... cause I can.

The point:  Look past the physical.  I didn't say don't look AT the physical.  Being attracted to someone is important, as stated before... However, look PAST that and see what is beneath their body and skin.  What makes them a beautiful person and not just a beautiful body. 

If the focus is so much on what I may or may not look like in lingerie, underneath covers, in a shower, or wherever (I'm talking about SEX people!), and not on my heart and what I have to offer you one human being to another... one child of God to another... than I am glad I'm still on the market and lookin' for someone who understands what marriage, love, and relationships are really about.   I'm not holdin' out for a hero (though that would be okay too).... I'm holdin' out for one of the simple, good ones.  I'm holdin' out for someone who knows I am more than my body.  


*muah*

Song of the Day: For those who know me well, you know that I really love Sara Bareilles.  I love how she encourages people through words to feel and grow.  She is an incredible artist with an amazing voice... and she had a new CD come out recently!  Needless to say I was elated - ELATED! Thus, here is her newest single, "Brave."  It's applicable in being brave and embracing who you are ladies (and gentlemen)!  To all the girls who have felt the "backlash of somebody's lack of love" or had words used as a "weapon or a drug" on you... BE BRAVE.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 1, 2013

JUNE WAS AMAZING.

It's July already.  JULY.  Where in the heavens did June go?

I know that June held a lot for me and I accomplished some major goals, as well as checked off some huge things from my Summer List 2013.  I graduated from Westminster College with my Masters and landed my first teaching job a month and a half before graduation teaching half English and half Theater at Alta High School.  Yea, if you didn't know I am hired to teach full-time English and then was asked this past week to teach part-time English and part-time Theater (the beginning Theater I & II classes), creating a full-time position.  I am SO excited!  I will be helping with the after-school program and even directing the Spring production of The Giver - SUPER stoked about that!  It's gonna be good...

Also in June, I went skydiving and saw the "delicate arch" for the first time. I took a trip to LA with my two best friends where we took a beach day, went to Disneyland, and saw the Hollywood Bowl pre-night rehearsal with Aerosmith (AH-MAE-ZING).  In fact, I think I should share some pictures from the experience:

 Right off the flight, catching the LA sunset!

 A Day in Disney!

Our FAVORITE ride!!! 

We're tacky.... We know. 

 Drivin' around LA together.... Yours truly was the driver for this vacay and I must say, I maneuvered quite well through LA.  It was not the first time at this rodeo.  
 The Hollywood Bowl!  A concert for about 50 people in a stadium holding 18,000+ normally! 
 Chillin' outside the LDS Redlands Temple
 Beach Day!!!


A night on the town for clubbin'!  I lost my ID and credit card while in LA 
(NOT fun, and I felt terrible for making Court and Spence handle that - they were champion best friends... even when I burst into tears.  Yes, I did burst into tears back at the hotel room, randomly an hour later.)

June was fabulous... seriously, a great start to my summer!  Something that made it even better was when my brother and little niece, Zoey, came to UT to visit!  I was SO excited to see them and spend time hanging out with them.  I simply wish that Cami would have been able to come too!  I love that girl... :)  Here are some pictures from that amazing week:

 Jurassic Park in 3D and World War Z in 3D the next day - Yay for movies!

Hipster Night.  We liked it before it was cool to like hipster night... 


Playin' with my adorable niece... freakin' love this girl and her babbling, sing-songy self.  


June was amazing.... Here is to an even more triumphant July!  Bring it on, summer 2013.
*muah*

Song of the Day:  OBSESSED with this song... I heard it in LA first and Shazamed the junk out of it.  Here is Lorde with "Royals."  SUCH a cool, smooth song.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Not So Super Man....

I am kind of IN LOVE with Superman!  All things Superman are amazing in my eyes... I grew up watching the old Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman series with my dad on Sundays and then it evolved into watching the series on DVD with my mom or college roommates.  I admit, I was am SLIGHTLY in love with Dean Cain, who played Clark Kent in the series.  I spent the end of HS and beginning of college engrossed in the series Smallville.  I loved the old movies with Christopher Reeves, cheesy as they were and still are.  I just love that he is the genuinely good guy with a strong moral compass who wants to serve and protect others.  He cares about others more than himself and it's not just talk - it's a whole lotta action.  At the same time, while saving the world, he's a reporter (aka: fantastic writer - HOT!) and wants to help spread change through that medium of communication.  He also wants to speak of truth, and yet he lives two identities... It makes him a walking paradox, which is just downright fascinating.

On one other note, I AM Lois Lane.  Here is this pig-headed at time, loves to be right, wants-to-know-it-all, who loves to investigate situations and find out the details behind events... She's a planner, but takes lei-way to be spontaneous as needed.  She's highly organized and driven, making goals in life and achieving them for herself.  She is extremely independent and self-motivated... My alter ego is Lois Lane. I can be a bit domineering at times. I like to be in charge of everything in my life, and struggle letting others help me… though I know I need to, and want to. I've actually gotten MUCH better at this in the past few years.  Also, like Lois, I am a complete hopeless romantic. I love all the cliché, cheesy, and classic things that are said in chick flicks and during Kay Jewelers commercials. I love, LOVE! If I have to cry, I wait until I am alone if possible… Yep. I am Lois Lane.

Now, why you ask am I writing about my childhood love, Superman?  Great question!  This weekend Man of Steel came out and everyone went gah-gah over it... I have to be honest when I say this clearly expository  film was a bit hyped for me.  I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting... but it wasn't this.  Now, before I go any further, let me clarify in that I did not hate this film!  On the contrary, I rather enjoyed it and had fun watching certain sequences.  Plus, Superman was gorgeous - I swooned.  Twice.  Overall as a film, though?  I was not overly impressed.

Here's why.

1) There was NO character development.  You were left wanting when it came to this area.  In fact, I was surprised that for an exposition-based approach, there was such a lack of character development.  What do I mean by this specifically?  Well, first they did nothing to make you care about any of the character really.  You felt empathy for Clark Kent and perhaps his mother, but otherwise nada.  At the end of the film when Perry is pulling the girl from the office from the rubble, you don't want her to die, but quite frankly, you don't really care.  They did nothing to establish that connection to audience members.  Also, Lois and Clark don't really grab you as "lovebirds" in this at all... and that a MAJOR point of the series.  Clark's ONE weakness is Kryptonite, right?  WRONG.  He has two, and one is Lois Lane.... When they kissed at the end you kind of felt like, "Why?"  There was not enough created around their relationship when that is such a pivotal piece to the saga.

2) Lois Lane was not quite Bad-A enough.  This is not Amy Adams fault at all - though she makes a weird Lane to me.  It's the script-writers fault.  She came in with intensity of character needed and the driven, dominant personality flares expected for Lois Lane.  However, after the two sections of the movie with her, so became flat and just put in harms way to be there... The real Lois would not be asked to go on the ship for really no real reason.  The real Lois would sneak on the ship and get caught... then have to figure a way out of the mess.  The real Lois is just more of the master-mind behind everything.  I felt like there was an attempt at this, but it fell flat.

3) The jerky camera.  It's a style, and sometimes I really appreciate and enjoy it... but not in EVERY freakin' shot!  It was overdone and made my head hurt a little bit.

4)  The "Less Is More" theory was WAY off.... They did not grasp that concept.  There was at least three specific places the movie could have ended, but they kept taking it further... and not to develop the story, but to destroy more stuff.  If I had to hear one more villain monologue... Now, I'm a girl who loves a good action flick, but there was no need to destroy Metropolis THREE TIMES over, and then also destroy Smallville completely.  It was superfluous and excessive. The movie went TOO long, and not because of length, but because of the content within that length. 

5) The ending - ***SPOILER ALERT*** I hate that Lois already knows it's Clark when he comes to the Daily Planet.  It's not as fun... I know it's stupid to think she'd be fooled by the glasses, but that's part of the story.  Everyone else is fooled by the glasses, so she can't be the one smart duck right away... It takes time. Also, the government knows who he is because they know who his mother is and where he's from... I feel like this could become an inconsistency.  Others KNOW, and they aren't all going to keep shut.

The movie was NOT terrible, but it was not up to par in my book.... I wanted more.  However, the end did give me a lot of hope.  Oddly, as it left much to be desired, it left me dying to see the next one because the set-up looked like more of what I'm into regarding this story.  I love when Lois and Clark take-on cases together and do detective work.  I love when he is saving those around the city without anyone knowing who he is and doing all range of protective work.  I love the depictions of his everyday life and how that contrasts... how he struggles to make both lives work successfully, and is constantly adapting and growing because if his experiences.  That is what the second film looks like it'll be for us... I hope!

In conclusion, Superman was NOT so super this time.... and that was the fault of the actors.  Hello, screen-writers - get it together! Superman is still my favorite superhero, but this film left me wanting more.... I think the second film might give that to me.
*muah*

Song of the Day:  This is Eliza's current fave, and I pretty much love it too.  Here is Hot Chelle Rae with "Hung Up."  Love it - Enjoy!!!
 

I Know How the Plastic Army Men Feel...

Recently I had the chance to go down to Moab (which was GORGEOUS, FYI) with some of my best friends to check something off my bucket-list.  You may call me crazy... You may call me bold... Either way is fine by me.  Two weekends ago, I went SKYDIVING.


Yep - you read that right!  Skydiving... It was exhilarating and fresh.  It was adventurous and freeing.  It was a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Well, except I could go again and again and make it a multiple-in-a-lifetime experience.  Honestly, I loved it!  I felt fairly calm on the ride up - just a little squished - and wasn't even nervous.  I was slightly nervous the day before and pulling into the airport that morning... but it vanished as we filled out the waiver and got prepped to jump.  It didn't even feel real in all honesty... I don't think it fully set what I was doing till I took the initial dive and started to plummet to the ground.



Free-falling is amazing - You just float in a way... float with a little more force on ya.  After a good chunk of time "floating," my tandem jump-buddy (Jimmy) pulled the rip-cord to unleash the parachute.  Everyone said it hurts when you feel the pull between your legs where the harness yanks the crap out of you... but I was fine.  It pulled a little for a second, but it was no big deal and didn't really hurt - I was happy as a clam!  He let me steer for a bit too (everyone gets to, but I felt legit) and that was by far my favorite part.  Everyone tends to say free-falling is their favorite part, and that was awesome!  However, call it my red personality and love to be in control of a situation, but I LOVED the moments controlling that parachute and our descent.... it was a little bit of heaven.  



After the landing, I felt like I had completed something amazing off my check-list for life and just wanted to relive the moment.  I don't necessarily feel a huge pull to go skydiving again, but I feel the need to complete the things I've put on my bucket-list.  I think I got more pleasure from checking that off the list than the actual jump - though that was amazing!  Is that sick?!  Perhaps, but it's me.

Enjoy some more photo documentation:



Post-jump landing: "I'M GONNA BE REAL!"

So happy I went with these three as an "honorary" Minnick for the day!  Turns out I have some cousins with the name Minnick, so.... ya never know! Haha.... This is us celebrating the jump with a post-breakfast meal - I adore these three!

*muah*

Song of the Day: This is a bit old-school, but it fits for the topic... Here is John Mayer and his version of "Free Fallin'."  I love this version most.... Enjoy!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dear...

Dear Walmart,
I just want my bike.  I already paid for it.... I just want it.  I do not want it in a box.  I do not want it with some socks.  I do not want it here or there.... I just want my damn bike.
Sincerely,
Still Waiting in the Children's Literature Section


Dear Graduation Speakers,
I just want my diploma.  I wouldn't mind a speech from Robert Redford either, so I'll take it... otherwise, the rest of you can just smile and sit down.  That sounds wonderful.  I'm only walking to hear Bobby and for the pictures to prove to my future children they can do hard things.
Yours Truly,
Worked Hard for 2 Years - Don't Make Me Wait 2 More Hours


Dear Persistent Cough,
I hate you.  Let's break up and never, never, ever get back together.
With Detest,
Lying Awake Listening to T-Swizzle


Dear NBC,
1600 Penn was THAT GOOD.  You need better publicists for new television programming...  In the words of Skip, "[You] threw everything we had away... before we had anything."  Nuff' said.  Nuff said.
Sincerely,
What's a gah-spot?


Dear Heels,
I have conquered you. I have finally conquered you..... and I look good.
Sincerely,
Linze's Feet..... and Caboose.


Dear Graduate School,
It's been fun.  It's been real.  It's been real fun..... I am so glad we have intimately shared these past two years.  I have learned so much from you, from our time together, but I'm afraid it's time to say good-bye.  I think it's better you move on and find someone else to become a part of you.  You will always be a part of me, and I will never forget you.  Thanks for the memories...
Sincerely,
Bittersweet Graduate School Graduate


Just call me Master Linze.
*muah*

Song of the Day:  A friend of mine passed along an amazing new song to add to my summer jam list.  I had heard it once before, but it stuck this time and I couldn't stop listening!  Here is DJ Felli Fel (Feat. Ne-Yo, Tyga, and Wiz Khalifa) with "Reason To Hate."  SO good!  Enjoy! :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sundays.

I adore Sundays... It's just the pick-up I need for the week for a few reasons.

1) Church meetings:  In general, I just love to refocus on what's really important and my relationship with divinity.... I like to center back on the things I need to do to make me happier, healthier, and on the path to be the person I really want to become.  

2)  Time with Family:  I love my family and am SO thankful for them in my life.  I'm thankful to have them close-by... meaning, downstairs.  I'm thankful for their listening ears, sound advice, awkward scenarios  awesome or awesomely bad jokes, hugs, and their sarcastic wit they have all bestowed upon me over the years... I love my family.

3)  Sunday naps:  I love getting up and "go-go-going" with life... but I also LOVE a good nap.  I mean, a hardcore nap wrapped in my down comforter is pretty much heaven to my body.  I think heaven will quite literally have naps... even if they aren't needed, the option will be present.

4)  Sunday runs OR walk-and-talks:  I tend to love being outside on Sundays after my naps.  I just LOVE being outdoors and feeling the fresh air, as well as the naturalistic connection to the universe   Sounds cheesy?  It is... but it's legit too.  There's something to be said about seeing God's hand in nature and feeling peace in those moments.  I love to take a slow jog around the neighborhood while listening to my music on quieter mode, or invite my mom or a friend to walk around the neighborhood with me while we talk about the week and how our lives are going.  Sunday walk-and-talks are the BEST during the summer... don't be surprised if you see me out and about South Mountain, or if I call you to come walk-and-talk with me.  I love walking... 

I just love Sundays and the refreshing, reviving jump-start they give me for the week.  I am a thankful girl.  

One other thought:  

A little spiritual thought for the day, as it IS Sunday... 

Luke 8:14 - And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Do you go into the world with your focus on the right things?  Do you produce positivity for the world and give back something of worth?  

Those that tend to fall to the wayside, or fall spiritually are those that put their focus into the wrong place.  Those that tend to fall economically, socially, physically, or emotionally are those who put their focus into the wrong place.... especially if you know better.  Go out there this week and make a change for the better - whatever that means to you, focus on the right things and spread that love to others around you.

Work.  
    Serve.  
         Smile.  
              Laugh.  
                    Listen.  
                           Give.  
                                Love.

Bring forth fruit and help pull others from the thorns. 
*muah*

Song of the Day: I adore this little band called Parachute.  Maybe I've talked about them before... once or twice... or more.  They have a new album coming out and here is one of their new songs, which I love - a lot.  Here is "Heart Go Crazy."  I put the regular and acoustic versions on here because I can't decide which I enjoy more.... it changes upon the day!  Enjoy!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer 2013 - Best One Yet!!!

Each year I take the time to create a list of things to do over the summer - I kinda have this Type A personality where I love to make lists and cross things off.  Yes, it's a bit sick... I embrace it.  I find joy in making and completing lists!

Thus, with no further ado, here is my Summer List 2013:

 - Graduate from my Master's Program!!! (JUNE 1ST!)
 - Go skydiving (JUNE 8TH!)
 - Tour the State Capitol (still have not done this!)
 - Attend mass or a recital in the Madeline
 - Attack someone's driveway with chalk... :)
 - Start (and continue) a water-balloon fight!
 - Take Eliza to the zoo
 - Be Draper City Kickball League 2013 CHAMPIONS! :) (I feel it...)
 - Go in a human-hamster-ball!
 - Take a zillion and one pictures
 - Learn three new songs on the guitar
 - Read a book each week!
 - Go ice-blocking (never been!)
 - Play a lot of volleyball.... and football... and sports in general.
 - Beat Lauren in a game of HORSE.... I dream big.
 - Learn to catch a long distance pass in frisbee
 - Go to the drive-in movies!
 - Make homemade popsicles
 - Bake cookies with Eliza to take to her neighbors
 - Wash someone else's car for them!
 - Stage manage Stadium of Fire (happening again!)
 - Go for a bike ride.... find a bike first....
 - Get a snow-cone!
 - Tan by the pool.... a LOT.
 - Go camping
 - Go rock-climbing!
 - Have a bonfire and roast mallows!
 - Make smoothies
 - Go to the temple each week -June: ☐ July: ☐ August: ☐
 - Eat a lot of watermelon, strawberries, and just fresh fruit
 - Have a BBQ party
 - Go to at least three Twilight Concert Series events!
 - Lesson plan like CRAZY for next year....
 - Set up a basic design and blocking for The Giver script
 - Go on a mini-golfing date!
 - Hit up a driving range (first time!)
 - Run around The Gateway fountains with Eliza
 - Do the batting cages at Boondocks or Trafalgar
 - Go star-gazing!
 - Outdoor movie time
 - Go to the 7Peaks - a LOT.
 - Go to California and DISNEYLAND!!! (JUNE 19!)
 - Late night Sonic shakes... :)
 - Go long-boarding!
 - Make friendship bracelets with Eliza
 - Hit up a concert or two!
 - Hike Bell Canyon and go on at least three other amazing hikes!
 - Go geocaching and place a new box somewhere
 - Run my fastest mile time!
 - Bench 150lbs.
 - Parking lot DANCE PARTIES!
 - Randomly leave love-notes for friends on their doorsteps and cars... I love spreadin' the love!

Can you think of anything else I should add??? Let me know and let's make this summer the best one yet!!!
*muah*

Song of the Day: Want a smooth summer jam to rock to in the car... or during a parking lot dance party? :)  Yea, here's a good jam to move to or just drive to... I prefer to drive and move.  Just sayin'. :)  Here is Robin Thicke w/ T.I. & Pharell singing "Blurred Lines."  Enjoy!