Monday, December 3, 2012

Do You Automatically Deserve It?

"Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he automatically deserves great success in any field of activity; yet almost everyone believes that he automatically deserves success in marriage."
--Sydney J. Harris

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Boy Meets World & Girl Meets World

Back around the beginning of November news started trickling out.

The rumors are true.

They are totally making a spin-off of my all time most favorite tv show ever, Boy Meets World. It'll be about Cory and Topanga's daughter Riley and will be titled GIRL MEETS WORLD. (Here's the original article I saw announcing the greatness TVline.)

Thing is though, it'll be about their teenage daughter. Which considering how disney does teenagers lately I'm not totally sure about this. I'm not sure if it's the directors or actors but most of those shows are bursting at the seams with too much overacting and it sorta makes me want to barf.

Well it's in the news again since just yesterday it was announced that both Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence) and Ben Savage (Cory Matthews) have signed on to be on the show (or at least the pilot for Danielle! It sounds, though I'm not sure, Ben has signed on for a few more episodes than that.)

You can see the Huffington Post article about it & here's an Entertainment Weekly article.

However there is a HUGE bright spot for the show and that is Michael Jacobs is still involved with it (the original creator of Boy Meets World and who also worked on shows like Charles in Charge and Dinosaurs).  That man has had many a good visions in the past so I'm crossing my fingers (and toes and everything else) that this new show doesn't sour my love for this tremendous old show!

(In case you doubt my love for this show, here are just a few older posts where I mention how much I love it.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero (Review)

Title: The Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero [on facebook]
Author: Matt Peterson [blog]
Pages: 104, paperback
Release Date: August 2012
Publisher: Cedar Fort Inc
ISBN: 1599559994
Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari

My review: A fun scouting adventure turns into a little more than any one planned for. Andy and his fellow scouts show that even though they're young and still learning they are strong and know when to ask for help. My 9 year old and I enjoyed reading this one together! A fun book for everyone though I think ages 7-13 would especially like it!

About the book: From passing the sacrament with his fly down to failing miserably at capture the flag, Andrew knows he'll never be able to fulfill his duties as a deacon. But when tragedy strikes on his Boy Scout backpacking trip, Andrew's whole troop must become stronger than they ever imagined. This hilarious coming-of-age story is bound to have you rooting for a "misfit" hero.

More info on Author Matt Peterson:

Matt has been working with Scouts and Young Men for over ten years. He has led adventures into deep canyons, up tall mountains, and through ragining rivers. Search and Rescue has only been called once.
Matt lives in Mesa, Arizona, with his wife and five kids. He served a mission in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he learned Portuguese, how to love the people, and how to walk really fast. In his spare time, he runs a free neighborhood sports league for kids.

[I was given a copy to review.]

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In My Mailbox: Athena & An Unlikely Match

Can't wait to dive into these!! This week I got Athena (Heather B. Moore) & An Unlikely Match (Sarah M Eden).

The next in the series from The Newport Ladies Book Club is Athena by Heather B. Moore.

(The others in the series)


Sarah M. Eden writes some of the best regency romance I've read! The second I got this one I was already reading the first few pages. Her new book An Unlikely Match


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas Oranges (Review) & Interview w/ Actors!

My Review:
My family and I got a chance to screen and review the new movie Christmas Oranges. It was such a fun movie! I have three young kids ages 9, 6 and 5 and I gotta tell you I was amazed that they all sat still and watched the entire thing without getting up once. We are a media loving family but it's not often we find a movie that appeals to everyone! In fact not only did they love it the first time, they've watched it 3 more times in the past one and a half weeks! They loved all the fun kid actors (and the adults were great too!).

The cinematography was fantastic and I really enjoyed Lyde's style. Definitely a fun one to add to your family's Christmas collection.

Buy it from Amazon here:

More Information: 
Format: DVD
Rating: PG
Director: John Lyde
Production Company: MainStay Productions
Studio: Covenant Communications
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Run Time: 100 minutes

From Amazon:
Christmas Oranges, starring: Edward Herrmann, Nancy Stafford, Bailee Johnson. Christmas is a Time of Miracles In a town not so far away and a time not so long ago, baby Rose was left at Greenwoods Orphanage, where Mrs. Hartley (Nancy Stafford) and the children under her care become the young child's family. But when tragedy strikes, Rose (Bailee Johnson) loses the only home she has ever known and is abruptly shipped to Irongates a place that seems as cold and cruel as her previous home was kind. The strict headmaster, Mr. Crampton (Edward Herrmann), immediately seems to dislike Rose and makes sure all children are punished for any infraction of his rules. When she learns that every Christmas Mr. Crampton's generous brother gives an orange to each child, Rose waits in eager anticipation. She's certain it must be the most delicious treat in the world. However, on Christmas morning, Rose is devastated when she learns Mr. Crampton is punishing her again. But Christmas is a time of miracles. Share a slice of Christmas sweetened with friendship in this poignant Christmas story based on a classic holiday tale.

Interview with some actors!
It just so happens that I scored an interview with a few of the actors from the movie! I'd like to give a big thanks the Hunt family for being willing to participate on my blog. Ethan Hunt played Gilbert and his siblings got to portray some of the younger orphans in the first scene when baby Rose was left on the door step. 

What did you like about being in the movie Christmas Oranges? 
Ethan (age 12-today is his birthday!!!): I liked acting with all the kids because I got to spend time with them and play games with them. I also liked crafty on set (could eat snacks all day long). 

How did you like playing a bully? 
Ethan: I really liked it because I had never played a character like that before!

How did you like the premiere?
Ethan: It was a lot of fun to see and hear the people's reactions when they watched the movie! And signing autographs was fun!

Joshua (age 8): I liked working with my family and seeing myself on the big screen. I always wanted to be in a movie and my dad finally found a part for me!

Jaxon (age 6): I liked being with all the kids and seeing baby "rose". 

Hannah (age 4): I liked acting with the kids. I loved the baby"rose". I liked working with my daddy. And I liked working with my brother jaxon.

Paul (their dad, one of the producers) said that one thing John (the director) would do was when all the kids were getting to wild and crazy, he would have everyone take a break and would take them outside to play a really crazy game of Simon says so they could get their wiggles out. He said it really helped and the kids were able to get focused and finish their scenes.

[Images used with permission.]

Monday, October 22, 2012


So I'm relatively young in the whole 'start screening for breast cancer' thing. I'm 30 and the recommended age is 40 for annual tests.
Yet today, because of my mom who passed away last month, and other things that have happened recently,
 I went in to get my very first mammogram. 

 And you know what? As much as I've heard about them, it really wasn't all that bad. Ok it IS a bit squishy. Or a lot. But a few seconds of squishy goodness is totally doable. Sure it's not like it's a cake walk, but it's certainly nothing to be afraid of 
or put off because of ______ (fill in your blank). 
Because bottom line, early detection could make a world of difference. 

So go do it ladies. It's worth it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

50 % Off Photography Session

Utah & (South East) Idaho friends! Do you still need to get your family pictures taken for Christmas cards and such?

Archangel Photography (or check out their blog ) will be traveling from California through our area the weekend of Nov 1-4. 

Check out the site and prices and let us know if you're interested. If at least four of us book appointments they're willing to offer us 50% off the family pricing!!!

*All photos used with permission.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Mom

My sweet mother passed away earlier this month. 
My father wrote a wonderful obituary. 
(I omitted some names since this is a public blog.) 


8/1/1951 ~ 9/1/2012 

 Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. -Eliot 

Linda passed away Saturday Morning, September 1, 2012, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her husband; her three daughters (and their spouses); her six grandkids (whom she cherished with her deepest joys); her parents and her six siblings (and their spouses); and by many nieces and nephews that she loved dearly.

 As a young mother of three in Southern California Linda served as PTA President, Primary President, and Girl Scout leader (all at the same time). Later she served as Young Women's President, and served in various capacities in Young Women, Primary, and Relief Society. She had a bucket-load of "pixie dust" dropped on her during a 5-year period Jim worked for The Disney Company, and she infused that love for all things Mickey into her children. Linda attended Highland High and graduated from Wasatch High in 1969. She graduated from BYU in 1973 with a B.A. in Speech Pathology, and a minor in Elementary Education (and was just a few hours shy of earning her Masters Degree). Starting in 1991, she co-established and co-administered the network of 50 The UPS Stores in Utah, and co-owned 2 stores.

 Her passing followed a 14-year long battle with breast cancer that metastasized to her liver. She endured multiple directly and indirectly-related surgeries, radiation treatment, and 7 different series of chemotherapy treatments. She learned to give her future to the Lord, trusted Him to decide her time in this life, and looked forward to the time that would take her Home. At the same time she lived her life with a driving passion to make the most of each day and each relationship. She loved and served others freely and broadly. She developed a passion for travel that took her to Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, China, Russia, the Baltic States, and 42 of the United States.

She shared the challenges and lessons of her life in a presentation at BYU's Women's Conference in May 2010. "I truly believe this with all my heart and I believe from experience, that all things are in God's hands; and we all will come to a point where we must put our trust and love in Him, if we are to successfully finish our journey here on Earth…. Life is a huge blessing; one we probably will never fully comprehend. But while it entails struggles, suffering, and pain for us and our loved ones, its blessings are worth treasuring for as long as life is given to us."

Linda often expressed her admiration and love for her doctor, and friend, Dr. Kent DiFiore, and appreciation for the compassionate care-givers at Utah Cancer Specialists. Linda had a deep love for many special personal and ward friends who buoyed her up throughout her life, and took her love and service back in return. But especially she loved her family on whom she poured out her unique brand of love and fun. She taught us love, and love is her legacy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Believe In Jesus Too

Title: I Believe In Jesus Too
Author: Mark S. Neilsen
Illustrator: Craig Stapley
Pages: 32 (Hardcover)
Release Date: February 2012
Publisher: Deseret Book
ISBN: 978-1609087418
Buy it: Deseret Book | Amazon | The Book Depository 
Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari 

Description (From Deseret Book): All around the world, Latter-day Saint children go to church, sing songs, pray, read scriptures, participate in family home evening, and get baptized. We may meet in different types of buildings or speak different languages, but we have a lot in common. Why? Because no matter where we live, we all love and believe in Jesus, and He loves each one of us just the same. Are you like Pablo, Dimitri, Bayani, Junpei, and Shamara? Do you believe in Jesus too?

My view: You know my son saw this book and crawled right up into my lap and asked me to read it to him. The pictures are beautiful and the words and message are simple and wonderful and full of love. It was fun to talk about places all over the world and see that we are both very similar and also have fun differences. We've only had this book for a week and already we've read it a dozen times. It's delightful!

More info on Author Mark S Neilsen: ~Website ~Facebook
From facebook: I have wanted to become a published author since grade school and I am so excited to finally have my 1st children's book come out. It's taken about 11 years of writing and sending in my manuscripts to finally have my dream come true. "I Believe in Jesus Too" comes out February 21st, 2012. Thanks for sharing in the excitement with me!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Marriage Monday: Harsh Startup

"Have you ever launched a conversation only to wish you could rewind it and start again? This happened to me recently. It was after dinner and my wife, Julie had gone downstairs to her office. My daughter and I both felt a little disappointed because we'd been looking forward to spending the evening with her.
So I yelled down the stairs, "Hey, Julie, stop working! It's family time!"
My harsh tone put Julie on the defensive, so she answered back in an angry tone, I can't! I've got to get this done!"
Imagine (as I did the next day) how I might have started this conversation with Julie differently. I might have said something like, "Hey, Julie, we miss you. Come upstairs as soon as you can, okay?"
Our exchange was a classic example of what I call 'harsh startup': You want to connect with somebody, so you make a bid for that connection. But because your bid begins in such a negative, blaming, or critical way, you get just the opposite of what you're after: You drive the person away. "

Instead try beginning the conversation on a softer note, revisit the situation later, or try admitting you're sorry or began wrong.

The quote in this post is from The Relationship Cure A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships by John M. Gottman, Ph.D. and Joan DeClaire

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Part 3: Working It (er...Working Out)

I've always loved being active and playing sports. I've a had a gym membership for years and would actively go at least 3x a week most of the time. However, like I said in my last post, I didnt have the entire formula, the eating part down so I never really went anywhere with my weight loss. I'd go down a few pounds but would then go back up the next month when I'd eat out a little more or whatever. So while I was patting myself on the back for working out, really I was just sorta staying stable.

Now thats not to say that it's only eating well that caused me to lose weight. When I started this journey, back in September 2011 I got SERIOUS about the entire process. Here's a little more on the working out part of it.

My gym membership had expired several months before (I didnt want to renew the contract because we planned on moving soon) so I'd been working out at home on and off. So all of this below, was done on my own, at home, with no membership or trainer.

While I have always loved sports and being active I have exercise induced asthma and have used that excuse not to run. But when I started this back in Sept I wanted to at least give it a go. So the very first day I ran. And boy howdy it wasn't far AT ALL. Literally. I mapped it out. And I was SO stinkin proud of myself. I remember coming home totally out of breath and telling my husband, I totally did it. I ran the whole way. Then I logged it in to and found out just how incredibly awesome my run was. All .62 miles of it. Yep. I did a bit over half a mile and I was DARN PROUD folks.

So I made a goal. To do more than that the next time I went out. And I did. .82 miles! And another goal the next day. Do better. And I did. And so my intense love of goal making was born! A few thoughts on that.

In order to make new goals I had to know where I was at. So every time I did a run I'd log it in. I had a lot of variables I could work with for my goals. Time (overall, per mile, etc), distance, amount of days, weekly totals, monthly totals, etc. And I used them all. The first few days t it was just, 'do better than I did last time', then it was, 'go running 3x this week'. The next two weeks it was do a better total mileage than I did the week before. I dont remember them all specifically but I also did a month of 10 miles a week, a month of 50 miles total, a week of 5k's, hitting my first 100 miles and doing 100 push ups and sit ups that day.

Here's a look at my calendars. I was loading most of my workouts into (since I was primarily running) until January. I LOVED getting to see my accomplishments so even when it was too cold to run outside, and I was bored on my treadmill I started using some at home videos like Xbox360 Your Shape Fitness Evolution,  Slim in 6, and The Bertinator youtube videos. Anyway then I printed off some calendars and I write on those daily.

(you can click to enlarge)

My favorite things about a few workout forms I used:

Running: Most calories burned in least amount of time. (This is HUGE for me.)
Equipment needed: A good pair of shoes and some great tunes! And maybe pepper spray if you're running alone and early in the morning. I also found it helpful to use things like mapmyrun (you can map your route after you run it on a home computer or w/ a smart phone while you run) or a GPS app on your phone like endomondo.

Slim in 6: A great at home workout that really makes ya sweat. Time ranges from 42-60 minutes. It consists of three workouts increasing in difficulty.
Equipment needed: Slim in 6 DVD's, resistance bands and light hand weights.

Your Shape Fitness Evolved Xbox360: Lots of variety; kickboxing, yoga, mini games, etc.  On board calorie counter.
Equipment needed: Xbox 360, kinect, fitness evolved game, other items depends on option, most you need nothing but some involve light hand weights.

The Bertinator: She's a hoot. She does the workouts along with you. It's always a good time. These are online on youtube. They range from 5-30+ minutes.
Equipment needed: light hand weights.

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred: Similar to Slim in 6. It's a video with 3 different episodes all 20 minutes each with warm up and cool down.
Equipment needed:30 Day Shred DVD and light hand weights.

I said it before and I'll say it again,
"I can jog for 30 minutes (which I had to work up to) and burn around 300 calories. Which is fantastic, dont get me wrong. But my point is, if you aren't conscience of what you're eating, you could mindlessly eat that many calories in a few minutes."

This is the reason I work out 6 days a week. To remind myself that EVERYTHING I put into my mouth counts. And a lot of times it helps to think, "Do I want to eat this ____ for ___calories if it means I just canceled out my run from this morning?" Like 22 gummy bears for 150 calories, man thats like 15 minutes of running! (Obviously it's not that every food needs to be bargained for like this, but if I'm using my 1200 calories for meal time I have to be pretty careful with my snacks.) If it's worth it, great. But I have to make the choice and be accountable.

Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Banana Split by Josi S. Kilpack

Title: Banana Split
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Genre: Culinary Mystery
Release Date: February 2012
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
ISBN: 978-1-60908-903-0
Pages: 369 pages

Buy it: Deseret Book | Amazon | The Book Depository
Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari

Synopsis: Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is forced to face the compounding fears and anxieties that are making her life so difficult to live.

Her determination to stay out of danger and to focus on overcoming her anxieties soon takes a backseat when she meets eleven-year-old Charlie, the son of the woman whose body she discovered near Anahola Beach. Charlies has some questions of his own about what happened to his mother, and he is convinced that only Sadie can help him. If only Sadie were as confident in her abilities as Charlie is.

With the help of her best friend and a local social worker, Sadie dives into another mystery with the hope that, at the end, she'll be able to find the peace and closure that has eluded her.

More info on Author Josi Kilpack:

Other Culinary Mysteries in the series include:
Lemon Tart, English Trifle, Devil's Food Cake, Key Lime Pie, Blackberry Crumble, and Pumpkin Roll.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Marriage Monday: Do You Help Your Spouse Succeed?

Discover the joy of helping your spouse succeed.

"Three simple questions to help your spouse succeed:
  1. What can I do to help you?
  2. How can I make you life easier?
  3. How can I be a better husband (wife)?"

Notice the way these questions are worded. They are not meant to be asked in your mind, to ponder on your own, but rather you need to actually ask them of your spouse and be willing to act on the answer they give you.

My husband and I have a weekly "check-in" with each other (and our family) to see what's on the calender, to go over personal goals if any, and to discuss our 'family or personal business' basically meaning anything we'd like to talk to the family about. This is prime time for us to be active in asking what we can do to help each other (and sometimes we've even now discovered specifics, for example if I have a meeting with a client or he has talk in church he's preparing for).

"Four practical ways to help your spouse succeed
  1. Offer encouraging words.
  2. Take supportive action.
  3. Provide emotional support.
  4. Express respect for your spouse."

What has worked for you and your spouse? What is something that you'd like to work on? 
What can you try to do this week to help your spouse succeed?

Quotes in this post were found in The Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman (Author of The Five Love Languages)

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers (WIFYR): Check it Out!

Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers (June 18-22) in Sandy Utah. You can get more information over on their blog here! Even if you're sort of interested, go check it out now because class sizes are limited and fill up fast. 

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers - 2011 Participant

Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

Picture Book Class

Illustration Class

Middle Grade Novel

Beginning YA Novel Class

Fantasy Class

Science Fiction Class

Paranormal Class

Writing the LDS Middle Grade and Young Adult Novel

Advanced Class

Advanced Class

Writer's Boot Camp

Also, be sure to check out this years Scholarship/Contest

Anyone going this year? I love to live vicariously through my friends who get to go soak up the wisdom and motivation. Have you gone before? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Marriage Monday: Choices

"Marriage relationships are constantly changing. Attitudes shift, emotions fluctuate, and the way spouses treat each other ebbs and flows between loving and not so loving. Sometimes, change is beyond our control. Life is full of unanticipated changes. Our only choice as couples is in how we will respond."

Quotes in this post were found in The Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman (Author of The Five Love Languages)

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Club: Everneath (Special Guest Brodi Ashton)

For book club this month we hosted author Brodi Ashton for her book Everneath. I have been looking forward to having Brodi as the guest of honor at my book club for a while so I was thrilled when the night was finally here and I got to see how all of our plans came together! My friends have serious talent people. Let me highlight them for you. :)

Dinner was The Soup Kitchen (from scenes in the book) where we feasted on homemade soups, salads, bread sticks, artichoke dip and more.

The dining room was the Park City High, home of the Miners. These are home made lockers (made out of cardboard. How cool, right!? --Shauna I'm still in awe!) that are of course near the drinking fountain where Nikki ate lunch everyday while she knitted.

The party favors part 1 by Dano: Filled w/ seed packets so we could create our own 'evermore', crackled guitar pics, candy and cinnamon bears (Brodi's favorite treat). 

After dinner we played games. This was part of our 'purse game' where we had scenarios dealing with the book places/characters and had to get ourselves out of a sticky situation using only the items in your purse.
"Cole is screen printing at the park city TShirt company and has run out of supplies. AND his tools have all broken. He’s got a large order of custom shirts to fill in the next few days. Whats a guy to do?" 
(You may note that there is an actual screen--we were at Christie's house so we gave her some leeway with the props she used. Haha!)

This one was pretty hilarious.
Becks dad is running for Mayor. Make a catchy campaign poster using items you have.
Emily & Dano did a great job complete with an actual parade cheer around the room and noise makers. (And yes that is a sanitary napkin used as an adhesive.)

Or here's one more just for fun:

 Jacks brother Will is drunk again and needs to be occupied in the backseat so he doesn’t throw up while they try to get him home. How would you entertain him with items from your purse? 

Party favor part 2: Actual water bottles from THE Park City High School. Our own Fancy Nancy drove up and got us each our very own!

We also played a great game of Mad Libs Persephone -style created by Shauna. We went around the room naming the fill-in-the-blanks (it's best to go crazy and wild with this) and then read the story aloud for us all to laugh at. Brodi's posted it on her blog if you're interested. 

And of course the group shot with all the party folks! 
(Aka: the best book club in the world!) 

And if you look closely behind the row of those standing you will see our 
black curtain ala entrance into the "Everneath".