Monday, July 23

Rearranging. It's for the best.

Well, due to our utter failure at finding a decent place to live, we are currently at a standstill in our search. In other words, we are going to live at Wymount forever.

Thank heavens this is not really the case (I would die inside being trapped in Utah forever!), but for now it is our best option. Perhaps it has something to do with me being the Primary President and Dalin being Sunday School President. Our callings are fairly new still and though we had intended to get permission to continue attending our ward so that we might fulfill our callings, we obviously are just meant to stay here. For now, I emphasize. Someday we will be having a little baby joining us and let me tell you, we won't be living in this one-bedroom apartment when that happens. Partly because it's cramped and partly because it's not allowed.

Regardless, because of our poor luck, we (well I) decided that we needed a change. And what better change is there than rearranging the living room! I love disassembling rooms only to re-assemble them in a new way (which always seems dramatically better than before) in order to create a fresh atmosphere. It took some persuasion, and I had to make Dalin promise to help me, but we finally found an ideal arrangement for our living room. It feels twice as big, which is terrific. As a result of the change, I have had to reorganize our shelves which, to me, is SO much fun! I have a great deal of random antiques and possessions, and I always enjoy choosing new ones to spotlight in my home. My most recent alteration was developing a botany shelf...I am very fond of plants and flowers and as my collection has grown, it has become necessary to find a new location for my plants because the kitchen table was getting just a wee bit cramped. It really looks pretty and my pictures don't quite capture the effect but I am very excited about the change.

Continuing my discussion of decorating, I also have a slight obsession with antiques (particularly furniture and colored bottles) and always use them in my decorating. If I were to describe my style, I would have to say that I prefer orderly disorder. By that I mean that I love things that are so mismatched that they go together. I also am kind of a science nerd (I got this from my Grandpa French, a former seventh grade science teacher, as well as my Uncle Andy, who also loves science) and am very interested in natural art. I love the ocean and so my dream is to (like my uncle before me) fill my home with ocean rocks and driftwood and incorporate it into art. Driftwood has such a beautifully transformed structure and anything that reminds me of the ocean makes me happy. Also, this theme will fit perfectly within my dream home location of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. You pretty much just have to be there to understand why I am so in love with that area. 

Thankfully, my amazing husband loves it, too. I am a lucky girl. ;)

How do you like to decorate your home?

Wednesday, July 18

Relaxing Rain

I want this to be today.


          we sit in our little apartment

                           and pretend

that it's raining

while listening to this: 


Who doesn't love the sound of rain? 

But seriously, who doesn't...I've been hit by lightning and I still love the sound of rain and rainstorms. 

I love listening to this while reading, painting, doing homework, resting...what about you?

Sunday, July 15

Tasty Snack Alternative to Chips -- Kale!

After a relaxing Sunday, and lots and lots of mini meals, (crab seafood sandwiches, spaghetti with sauce, chocolate-almond ice cream (with milk for me!) etc.) we were hungry for yet another snack, (yes, we are kind of like hobbits and have several meals a day) and so I thought, kale chips!

For those of you who do not know, kale is that leafy green stuff that restaurants put on your plate with your food as a garnish. It is nasty raw.

Kale as it looks (pretty much) in the grocery store
But with a frying pan, salt, and vegetable oil (or a little bit of butter), it can become a delectable snack. And I think it's safe to assume that is a much healthier alternative to salty, greasy potato chips (no matter how amazing Lay's are).

Just barely in the pan
With a dash of salt...I like a little more than a dash
Here is what it looks like...the browner the leaves get in the pan, the better.
See the dark leaves at the edges? That is the best.
It doesn't look so pretty after, but with the right amount of crisp and salt, they taste terrific.

Dalin--proving they taste terrific

His cute little tongue :)
We left them more green than usual this time. They taste better browner.
If you want to make them, all you do is chop up a bunch of kale (which is really cheap), remove most of the stems (which are really chewy and not as good as the leaves), and then fry up the leaves and lightly salt them (to taste). Once they are done, they will be surprisingly crispy, which is the best part! Stick them in a bowl and enjoy!

Sunday, July 8

Homemade Hummingbird Feeder, How To Make One!

It's easy! Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can.

And I had all of the materials at home which was sweet because I hate going out to buy just one thing for a project.

You will need: 

An old-fashioned soda bottle with a screw on cap (preferably glass, though plastic is acceptable)
an unused jar lid (perhaps a candle lid like I used)
string or twine 
sugar & water (& red food coloring if desired)
a hot-glue gun
hammer & nail or small screw driver


= hummingbird feeder! 

First, punch a hole or two (I did three) in the cap that belongs to the bottle or jar. I hammered a tiny, tiny screwdriver through the cap to make holes.

Next, put hot glue around the edges of the top of the cap--but not all the way--leave a gap or two so that the liquid can escape. Unless the holes are large, the liquid from the bottle will not come out quickly anyway.

Place the cap with glue (still hot) in the center of the inside part of the candle lid. The candle lid will be the tray that catches the liquid for the bird to drink out of. Layer the hot glue around the seal holding down the cap allowing it to dry in-between. Also, make sure you still leave gaps for the liquid to be released from under the cap into the tray.

Once the cap is securely glued to the inside of the candle lid, you are nearly done!

Just mix sugar and water (1/4 amount of sugar to water) and add to the bottle. I heard that red food coloring (as well as honey) is not healthy for hummingbirds, but it is hard to attract them without something red, so I advise raspberry, cranberry, or cherry juice (at the advice of someone else) instead.

With the bottle full, I placed the cap/lid combo back on the bottle, screwing it on tight. *Note, the cap/lid combo is somewhat fragile, so never grab or hold the feeder by the lid (or tray) alone.
All that remains is to hang it. I did not have wire, so I just made a net of strings, tying it in knots around the bottle so it would be held securely. 

Last, I hot-glued a fake red flower to the tray for fun, and then hung it up outside, tying it carefully. I had to shake it a little to get the liquid flowing into the tray. But it works pretty great and it took like twenty minutes to do everything.

If you have comments about this craft or questions about how it was done, be sure to make them or ask below!

Have fun! And enjoy the company of the hummingbirds that will surely come! I was inspired to do this project when I was sitting on my porch next to a bouquet of drying red flowers and a hummingbird came right up next to them to check them out. I thought that it might be nice to feed the little guys.

Let me know if you have any follow-up advice!


Saturday, July 7

The Savior's Instructions About the Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost (Bible Dictionary)
The third member of the Godhead and, as the name implies, a personage of Spirit, not possessing a body of flesh and bones...The Holy Ghost is manifested to men on the earth both as the power of the Holy Ghost and as the gift of the Holy Ghost. The power can come upon one before baptism, and is the convincing witness that the gospel is true. It gives one a testimony of Jesus Christ and of his work and the work of his servants upon the earth...The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right to have, whenever one is worthy, the companionship of the Holy Ghost. More powerful than that which is available before baptism, it acts as a cleansing agent to purify a person and sanctify him from all sin. Thus it is often spoken of as “fire”...When a person speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost that same power carries a conviction of the truth into the heart of the hearer. The Holy Ghost knows all things and can lead one to know of future events.

John 14
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 ¶If ye love me, keep my commandments.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 15
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

John 16
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

      ~What the Savior taught that the Holy Ghost would testify of Him and bear witness. 

      ~The Holy Ghost came when the Savior departed. He is a guide of all truth. 

      ~The disciples needed to listen and act upon the Spirit's words in order to glorify Christ.

The Holy Ghost Brings Man to His Fullest Potential

“The gift of the Holy Ghost adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being. 

“In the presence of such persons, one feels to enjoy the light of their countenances, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy, to the heart and nerves of others who have kindred feelings, or sympathy of spirit.” 

As a Messenger of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost Teaches Faithful Members

“The Holy Ghost is a Personage of Spirit, in the likeness of God the Father, in other words a likeness of the Father and the Son. His mission is to instruct and enlighten the minds of those who, through their faithfulness have obeyed the commandments of the Father and the Son. He bears witness of the truth, quickens the minds of those who have made covenant and reveals to them the mysteries of the kingdom of God. He is a special messenger from the Father and the Son and carries out their will. . .”

How did the Holy Ghost help the apostles fulfill their mission after the Savior's death and resurrection?

The Holy Ghost helped the apostles fulfill their mission because he was a witness and testament of Christ. He confirmed in the hearts of the unbelievers of the truthfulness of their message. He confirmed truth and was an aid as they taught those who did not yet know of Christ. The Holy Ghost brought peace to the troubled and calmed sad hearts. He was their guide.

How the Holy Ghost has blessed me

I love that the Holy Ghost helps us to be our best self. I used to wonder whether on not I even could feel the spirit when I was in high school. I was a very obedient kid and never felt much of a difference because I was always happy and always making good choices (well, for the most part. I certainly was not perfect). I did not enter into unclean places and so I never really felt the spirit leave me--at least, not in many memorable instances. It was not until I went to Rexburg for college that spiritual promptings became more discernible. It was like a message to me, reminding me that my parents were not with me to rely upon--I would have to use my own judgement and follow the promptings I received without the guidance of my parents. It came much more naturally to me than I had thought it would. My mom, who is so good at discerning the spirit, was always great at giving advice and letting me know when she had a bad feeling about something. I thought she had a gift for it. But at college I realized that I too could recognize such promptings and I took care to obey them. 
How the Holy Ghost has inspired me
When it came time for me to decide whether to date my future husband seriously--that was a big decision for me because I had never had a steady boyfriend previously--I knew that my answer was a resounding YES. When I accepted his offer to continue dating, I felt a confirmation that it was right. Through multiple nights of sincere and earnest prayers, as well as numerous temple visits, I also learned that I should marry him. This message came surprisingly clear and fast to my heart. I was so grateful for this confirming feeling, but also very shocked. I had never imagined that I would receive an answer so plainly before me. I am thankful for the example of my mother in her obedience to the whisperings of the Spirit. I am glad to have been raised in a church where we are always given a source of help and comfort. Never are we left alone to fend for ourselves.

Friday, July 6

Greatest Inventions

What do you think are some of the greatest inventions created in this world? 

Here are my thoughts:

Toilet (I kind of feel like I had to put this first. Because even if I didn't have a house or sinks or appliances, I would still be fairly happy so long as my hut or whatever had a toilet. I love camping, but I don't think it's necessary to go the caveman way...been there, done that at girls' camp. I would not be willing to do that repeatedly. Every day.) 

Husbands (I rescind my comment earlier--this should be first. I love my husband! I love him! He makes me so happy every day! We have sad times, too, but we're best buddies and we always apologize and forgive one another.)

Cell phones (I literally don't know how I would stay sane without mine. I have nobody except for Dalin--who I would not have met if it wasn't for the cell phone--out here in Utah, and I would just hate not being able to talk to my mom, dad, and brothers every week.)

Laser eye surgery (I have yet to have this, however I absolutely must when I am 23 or 24. Contact lenses drive me crazy! And glasses are worse. Dalin has to go first though because his eyes are twice as bad as mine.)

Cars and airplanes (Otherwise, I highly doubt I'd be seeing my family very much. I am not a pioneer and even though I love taking walks, that only lasts about fifteen minutes.)

Electricity (Dalin made me say this haha. He said, "Without electricity, we wouldn't have any of that other crap.")

Literature (Without writing and languages, Dalin and I would be sooo bored because we are two avid readers...a.k.a. bookworms. We love to read, and I love to write. In my 27 journals. Just imagine if there was no such thing as words or writing. We'd all be idiots.)

So these things are great, and trust me, I can think of more--most of them involve food--but what about spiritual gifts or inventions? 

Here are some that I am most grateful for:

Our Agency

Before we came to this earth, Satan presented a plan to the Father which involved us all being the same. We would have no choices and no ability to recognize good because there would be no evil. There would be no joy or misery. There would be no love or hate. Half of this sounds good for about two seconds, but life would be completely useless if we did not know the bad. We would not learn from our mistakes or improve. I am so glad that the Savior volunteered a plan where we would be able to make choices in order to get back to our Father in Heaven.

Physical Bodies

I am glad we were given bodies so that we could come to this earth! I love life and living! It is not easy most of the time, but all of the good moments make up for it. I love the whole world! It's a beautiful place. 

Eternal Companions 

Same as husbands, but "eternity" definitely adds something. Still, I just have to clarify that it is so amazing to have the opportunity to be sealed to your spouse for eternity in the House of the Lord. It is literally the happiest event I have ever experienced in my life. I feel so much better having the knowledge that even though we may someday be parted in this life (hopefully in a hundred years), we can and will be reunited eternally. If I did not have this knowledge I think I would feel so hopeless. How do people survive in the world, never knowing where they are going or whether they will see their family again?

Us at Fort Foster in Kittery, Maine

Eternal Families

Again, going along with eternal companions, I cannot imagine being parted from a single family member forever.  That would be terrible. I would not even enjoy such a life without having the knowledge that I do have. I love my family! I have the best one! And by family I mean my husband's side and mine. I am ridiculously lucky. I love each brother and sister, and our parents are the greatest. They are so fun, generous, hardworking, and talented.


I am very happy to know the things I know and believe the things I do. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one true church on this earth. I know it. I have no doubt that I would be nowhere near as happy as I am without this knowledge. I know that our knowledge is the only thing we can take with us from this life and thus that it is crucial that we do not waste this time we have here! As President Hinckley has instructed, we must grow and earn an education. We should be students all of our lives. I love learning and think this is spectacular advice from our former prophet.
Gift of forgiveness

This is so important in marriage and in life in general. To hold grudges is one of the worst and least healthy states of being I can think of. I have learned the importance of forgiving freely. Dalin and I try hard to assume the best of one another and know that neither of us would want to intentionally hurt the other. We make mistakes every day. And we apologize every single day. And we are happy as a result.


The Savior's greatest gift to us. It is our only chance to be able to be with our families eternity. It is our only way to return to our Heavenly Father. Without repentance, our sins and burdens would never be lightened. I am so thankful for repentance.

I am not the best at saying prayers. I carry a prayer in my heart throughout the day and try to express gratitude or ask for help the moment I think of it. But I really struggle with getting down on my knees each morning and night to sincerely (and alertly) thank Heavenly Father for my many blessings. I am grateful though that I can converse with Him all the time. About my worries, fears, joys, concerns, hopes, etc. Just the other day, I prayed desperately that we could find an important set of keys we had lost. After several minutes of looking all over our complex, we miraculously found them and I thanked our Father in Heaven fervently. Prayer is real. It works. And He listens to us. 

I hope that this made you think a little. And I apologize for making it so was longer than I intended. 
Do you have any inventions or spiritual gifts you are especially glad we have been given?

We really want to hear them :)

Tuesday, July 3

Breakfast at Tiffany's

I enjoy this movie for its supreme classiness, but this picture, as romantic as it is, makes me laugh because they are kissing so passionately but completely squishing their cat, Cat. 

Apart from her very free urban lifestyle, I like Audrey most for her hair. She does it beautifully and I love the natural color  of it. She also has a cute name--Holly Golightly. I think that it's kind of sweet. 

"Two drifters off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see"

Also, this is gorgeous.
I wish I had an excuse to wear such a thing.
When I asked Dalin what he thought of this movie, he said, "Old."

Isn't he so silly? I thought so. And you know what? I am pretty sure that he secretly liked it. Haha.

Nana French's wonderful mac-and-cheese recipe

   1 box macaroni (any brand will do) (2/3 of a lb.)
   1/8 stick of butter
   heaping Tbsp. flour
   1 cup milk
   1 8 oz. package extra sharp cheddar
+  a sprinkle pepper                                   
equals perfect homemade dish.

so easy and sooo good.

optional:  mandatory:

bread crumbs or potato chips
hotdog slices

...why were these optional??

Thoughts and Thinking

Well life is currently wonderful and getting better.

I am loving my job as Office Assistant Manager at King Henry. I adore having my own desk to decorate and make cute. I take pride in keeping my workspace clean, cute, and organized. I have a painting of some poppies that I busted out one Sunday evening and a black and white picture of Dalin and I from our wedding day...

Dalin and I are very much enjoying married life. We argue and disagree like normal couples, but we are always forgiving and very lovey dovey afterwards. Mostly we fight about chores and making dinner. And driving too fast (me) or too slow (Dalin).

We love our little family but we are so looking forward to adding a little baby to it. I guess the popular term is "baby-crazy" which does not sound very flattering, but trust me, it describes almost every newlywed couple I know at BYU. (Is being married ten months plus still considered "newlywed"?)

Anyway for those who are curious, we are pretty set in our plans for the next two years. To describe them (briefly and barely) they include:

making some money (but then, who isn't doing this or trying to?)
growing closer as a couple
looking into dental schools
planning small trips and vacations (only what we can afford; we are still poor and our parents don't baby us anymore...okay well a little)
graduating from BYU (it feels like it's forever away, but we're past the halfway point!)
visiting our families (naturally)
and.............starting our family. 

So our plans are least to you, but we know what we're doing and are earnestly praying as a couple to know the things we should do. Now what you ought to do is sit back and trust us because I can promise you, we're not completely helpless.

A little more insight into our lives...

good habit: getting better at waking up and arriving on time. slowly but surely...

bad habit: getting to the point during a test where I stop caring about checking the answers and just submit the stupid thing, accepting that it probably wouldn't be much better whether I check it or not.

Well, the good thing about this is that I am on week 11 of 13 of the semester!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In two weeks, I will have earned my Associate's of Science in English! I just can't wait.

What do you think of our plans? We will love to hear your thoughts, but we'll probably do the same thing anyway. ;)