Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Who do you silence

Who do you silence
Block, guard against or run from

What don't you want to see
To feel or crumble by

Why do you doubt your ability to stand
In the face of their light or their touch or their terror

What will happen when your presence
And theirs

Can feel pain simultaneously
But let that be okay

Will you allow their dredge
And their tears and their allure

To frighten you
Heighten your senses
And eventually just be?

Crown Braid tutorial

I LOVE braid tutorial you tube videos.  I thought I'd gather my "best of's" here on my blog for anyone else who wants a great one to watch.

Today's feature:  the crown braid

The messy bun trick in this second video alone is the motivation I need to grow my hair out.  There are so many fun ideas out there these days.  I love you Tube :).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Summer 2015 (the new) Crazy Haircolors

I follow the crazy hair color trends a little too obsessively perhaps (have you seen how often I change my own?) but thankfully in case any of you are curious too, I share what I find here.

The colors people are doing are evolving a bit, a little less primary colors and a little more variation on the theme.  I'm really seeing  a lot of versions of pink and purple.  Here's what I'm finding on its way:

What do you think?  Any chance you are trying a crazy color this summer?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Finished back splash and lighting

It wasn't that long ago that this wall looked like this.  

Ha ha, seriously.  Same wall :).  Only a few weeks apart.

It felt like a miracle to watch our plans and ideas come together with some family team work :).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kitchen Backsplash

As a finishing touch on our kitchen my husband installed our back-splash.  It's a very 3 dimensional rugged type of tile that sticks out and has "layers" if that makes sense.  We bought it at Home Depot.

It's called Ashlar Rock  and can be found here:

He started by covering my brand new counters and cabinets :).  Very thoughtful.

Then labeled and prepared the wires for new light switches (the roller kind rather than switches).

Then tiling began.  Since these come in a sheet, it goes faster than it may appear.  However going around light fixtures and cutting tile to line up with the others seamlessly took some time.  I'm thankful he is the "detail" person in our relationship.

Below, you can see the USB plug he installed.  It's super handy to be able to charge our phones and my kindle there in the kitchen where I spend a lot of my day.  I even look up and follow recipes from my phone, so it works.

My second daughter decided the perfect "christening" for a new kitchen was a batch of homemade cookies.  I quite agree.

We still have trim for the bottom of the cabinets, and I'm even thinking maybe some bun feet painted white for the bottom to make them look like old fashioned furniture (and tie in the upper white a bit).  What do you think?  Yay or nay?

Regardless, the essentials are IN and we can cook and eat and clean up, and believe me I love it more than ever, now that its been in process for 3 years.  Wiping my counters is a joy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Very Homey "tiny house" Tour

I loved "walking through" a tiny house with you last week, so I thought I'd feature another one.  This one looks like an even more livable option for a number of reasons.  First of all it is probably due to size.  A little extra space goes a long way when working in tight quarters.  But there are also a lot of smart features in this home that are begging to be shared.

Let's go in, shall we?

The first difference I notice in this one vs. most tiny homes I've seen is STORAGE. Both on the outside and here in the inside with these handy shelves.

And light. Homes of any size light up my heart the more sunshine they let in :)

But here's the clincher (why I love this particular tiny home). One could conceivably sit up out of bed without getting a concussion :)! Yay! I love this little bit of extra height. And not only does it protect noggins it looks like it adds quite a bit of clothing storage capability as well.

Room for a table AND a desk:

And quite a "real" kitchen for such a small home:

Not pictured is also a full standing shower, a tiny, but very real bathroom sink and a composting toilet.

That was lovely, right? What shall we tour next?

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Beauty of Waiting

One of the hardest years of my life was the one we were trying/planning/stressing about the house we had contracted to have built.  Looking back I think so much of my anxiety was the warning to back out, but like a stubborn person :), I held on to that dream for dear life.  Until I was literally up against a wall and knew there was no other way than to back out.

What I Wanted vs. What I Got

Of course then I didn't know there was something better.  I didn't know that if I let go and watched how my prayers could be answered it would become a simpler and much better process than the one I was trying to force to happen.  I would have never trusted that I could have something 3 times the size, in about as much better a neighborhood and better a price and higher quality if I was just STILL.
I thought of this experience as I was looking through pinned pictures on Pinterest.  I joined it just at the time I was trying to force my dream house into being.  I remember the pictures of houses around me that looked so luxe and so show-worthy and just feeling a desperation to be like them.  Many of my early pins reflect that aesthetic.  One not my own, but which people I wanted to be like had put in their homes.

When it all ended with the building dreams and I began to be open to anything that would work for us I found myself drawn to a certain style that was more ME.  Our foreclosure had a hundred and one things that needed fixed but it had a white kitchen that made my heart leap.  That wasn't really something the people I was comparing to were into.  It was all about which color of wood cabinets was better that year and/or being antiqued.  Once I was letting fate/God call the shots my opportunities fell into things that made MY heart leap--not look good to other people.

As styles evolve (and they will keep doing so) it's almost humorous to me to see the fascination with white cabinets and wood floors, since they weren't a "thing" when we started our remodel.  I'm not saying they'll be super popular at the time we sell, but I'm saying its liberating to think that when we go with our interests, our joy, the beauty we see can shine.

I wish I would have known then, but maybe it was the best way to learn it.  There is always good around the corner.  There is a higher plan for us to grow and be happy.  I don't need to force anything and I've always got a lot of things to find joy in RIGHT NOW.  I know that things are working for my good.

And yours too :).

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Doughnuts

Using my parent's dough recipe, I decided when I couldn't sleep this morning it was a perfect time to start some doughnuts.

Since it's been awhile I'll post the recipe here.  Last time I did it, the pictures are of doughnut triangles, which are JUST as tasty.  This time I cut them out with a biscuit cutter and then used a little metal part from mixer for the inside hole :). 


5ish C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 t salt
2 packages yeast
1 C milk
1/4 C really warm water
1 cube butter
3 eggs

I dissolve the yeast in the really warm water and while that is sitting put the milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a glass bowl and microwave it for about a minute.  I pour about 4 C of the flour into the mixing bowl (over the water and yeast I've had sitting there) and then pour the hot milk mixture over the top.  Using the bread dough attachment (I have a Kitchen Aid) I start it mixing and add the eggs.  Then I add whatever more flour seems to be needed to make a soft dough.  It'll be slightly sticky.

Then grease the bowl and the dough and cover it with a cloth to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.  Once it is risen, I roll out the dough on a floured board and cut it into doughnuts.

This time I fried them in a dutch oven on the stove top.  It works well and used less oil to get it deep enough than the larger electric skillet.

My daughter made her gluten-free doughnuts using her gluten free flour mix and making a biscuit dough.  They weren't quite sweet enough but the texture was perfect, so if you do that, just mix a little sugar into the dough, as well.  She rolled them in cinnamon sugar when they were done instead of glazing.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Summer 2015 Hair

I've been combing (ha!) through recent trends.  Here's the bad news:  Long hair is still very much in.

 And the good news?

Some other people actually have long hair.  So hurray for you ;)

The ombre's seem to be going up higher towards the scalp this year.
And any color is welcome.  Bright is good!

Even the shorter looks are long in the ombre.

Having tried it all, I'll tell you I think lavender/purples are the most universally flattering.

And braids.  The looser and messier the better.  Oh Elsa, I blame you.

Finally the token short haired girl.  I picked this one especially because the curls are very similar to mine on a humid day.  She looks great, so I'm hoping I can pull it off too.

Let the season begin!

She Was Just a Girl

As the LDS Church continues to emphasize the importance of Religious Freedom, it is worth asking whether or not the LDS Church grants religious freedom to its own students at BYU — since most students who lose their faith do not choose it.  Instead, for many, a loss of faith is often the result of sincere academic study.  It is also worth noting that one’s status at BYU is not jeopardized in any way if he/she coverts INTO the LDS Church while a BYU student….only if he/she converts awayfrom the LDS church. To many, this feels like hypocrisy.  Source

I'm choosing to speak out because this is part of my story as well.  As an 18 year old I was led into a "confession" for an incident in which I was victimized.  According to the legal definition I was raped and when the perpetrator confessed in the mormon church, he gave my name as a participant and I was called before a middle aged man I'd never spoken to before and asked to "confess."  I didn't believe I was guilty as I had said No three times during the attack so I didn't want to "confess."

The mormon bishop I was meeting with threatened my membership in the church and my ability to stay at the school, including almost a years worth of credits (BYU-Idaho) if I did not  show "supplication" and apologize for the act.  My mom was cleaning a house in addition to her full time job in order to help me a little each month get through school.  I was keeping almost perfect grades in order to retain scholarships because it was the only way I could afford college.  My mom told me regularly how important this education was.  I really felt that the only way to protect my education and my family's investment was to apologize and live in a type of shunning for the coming year.

I did not lose my faith as the students in this meeting were illustrating, concerning religious freedom.  My mormon community was everything to me and I loved it.  That's why I chose to attend a church school.  I did however lose my sinless status because of this young man's confession and that was enough to threaten my education.  This is not religious freedom.  I was not allowed to protect my dignity.  I was not allowed to have any kind of victim support or a female perspective anywhere in the process.

I admire people standing up for their rights.  But I hope they'll remember to stand up for the rights of the weakest among them as well.  Rights are not just a luxury for the dominant and comfortable.  If they are a human right they should be for ALL humans.

They are just imperfect men

I've told very few trusted people about this part of my history this year and every one that is an orthodox mormon has replied with sympathy to the male church leaders involved that they are just men.  The LDS church has no paid clergy at the local level, so any member can end up being an ecclesiastical leader calling a young girl to confession as I was.  For this reason, in addition to (sometimes) sympathy each mormon hearing this story (including an LDS mental health professional two days ago) has reminded me to forgive these men for that reason.  I'm a forgiving person and I plan to.  But I haven't yet.  I forgave the young man who hurt me much much easier than I'm facing forgiving the men who shunned and exiled me from my community and threatened my education that I had sacrificed so much for.

I do agree they are human.  But also important to point out is that I was too.  I was a young girl away from home and living in fear from a traumatic situation in the first place.  I could have used some mercy, some grace, or even a hug from a woman.  I've yet to hear that young gay teenagers are "just kids" and so shouldn't be shamed into believing they are better off dead than living a gay lifestyle.  If middle-aged men in religious authority are allowed to make mistakes and not be held accountable could we show some of that grace to the kids?

No one else will say it.  But I will say it to myself.  She was just a girl.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Tiny Home Tour

Today I was thinking of cozy warmth and I started envisioning a tiny home.  I have dreams of having one to call my own someday.  As I was picturing it the thing that kept coming to mind was wood.  Wood walls to be more particular.  There's just something about it that seems so cozy.

So I decided to take you along for the ride and tour a tiny home that looks like my fantasies today :).
You can see most of the home in this one picture (below). The arrangement and layout is organized and efficient. Of course it has to be in this kind of size.

It's got its own standing shower, which is nice. And the copper is kinda unique, don't you think?

And here are the wood walls. Yay! And ah, the bed looks cozy.

This cabin in the trees has such a lovely location. Thanks for joining me in this walk through my dreams :).  Have you seen a home lately that looks like your dreams?  Tell me about it!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Life with Lupus and what I do to feel better (a list)

I'm all about a list even thought it's been awhile since I've done one here.  I was reflecting on some of the downsides of lupus yesterday as I got through my little "fever in the afternoon" thing I have daily.  However, this morning's meditation (disclaimer--I forced myself to meditate begrudgingly and it's really afternoon) inspired me to make a list of what helped, because that forced meditation really cleared my mind!

Lupus--things that help

  1. Heat -- bath, electric blanket, warm clothes, etc.
  2. sleep -- my first few months of treatments I needed (and got!) so much.
  3. stimulants -- I mean caffeine, but whatever your body best tolerates, I am really sensitive to it so I only take in a small amount
  4. fruits and veggies -- a nice green smoothie feels very soothing on my system
  5. comedy -- stand up on you tube or netflix, memoirs by comedians, funny clips
  6. self-help books -- I have enjoyed an endless supply with my kindle unlimited subscription
  7. the practice -- some great habits I learned from one of those books
  8. independent kids -- I have expected a lot out of my kids since I found out my oldest had Celiac disease and I wanted her prepared for the ways she'd need to take care of herself out in the world.  Thankfully my kids can all prepare some of their foods, do laundry, etc.  It has helped SO much when I've been super sick, although I still have to really relax my standards when they are helping :).
  9. Make-up -- I try to use nourishing products like BB Cream so I can cover the red lupus face at the sun time as I am applying sunscreen to protect myself from the sun, which can exacerbate lupus symptoms
  10. Haircolor -- this is not for everyone, but find something fun that puts a smile on your face each day.  My crazy colors did this for me.
  11. Meditation -- it yields new but always congruous direction each time.  Most of all it brings peace, but it also grows my love for myself, which has been really hard to do in any other way.  Changing my appearance is fun but does not bring confidence.  Knowing my inner soul makes me feel worthy of love and feel respect for who my soul is.
  12. my family -- I have learned the usefulness of asking for what I want from them and being grateful for what they do.  When I do both things I can see how loving and giving their souls are.  People do not read minds.  And their intent is almost always good.  My pride has to be put away to voice what I need, but it sure brings us all closer when we are honest in that way.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Braid Ideas

My oldest daughter has been growing her hair long and can braid it herself.  Even better than I can when she can't see behind her head :).  Since I have arthritis anyway I'll leave her to it, but I thought it would be fun to gather up some ideas for her to try especially this summer when she has swimming lessons or it's just too hot to have hair down.

Okay, so I guess there's some for the "hair down" days.  Happy braiding!