Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Monday, June 30, 2014


What is Religion?
In one of our old children's dictionary at home it says, "Belief in God or gods" "A specific system of belief, faith and worship."

I looked the definition up online, and found this definition. "The belief in a superhuman, controlling power." 


Okay, so I talked to my son about that definition. When I first read it, I took it as God is controlling over us, which is NOT true. Yes, he gives us guidelines, but we can choose to follow or not. My son took that definition as God controls the earth, sun, weather, etc. Well, ok, maybe, but God does have to follow the rules of nature. 
Anyway, back to why I chose this topic for my blog today. I hear a lot of comments from people I know. Many times these comments suggest that God is not a loving god, that He wants to control us and we have no say so in anything. This is just not true. It is correct that He gives us guidelines to follow, and if we don't follow them correctly there can be bad consequences. For example, if we smoke, we run a high risk in developing cancer or heart disease. If we choose to drink excessively, we can run the risk of becoming an alcoholic. On the flip side, if we choose good things we can have good consequences in our lives. Take care of our body and eat properly, we can be blessed with health.

Now, that being said, some people who smoke their wholes lives do not get sick, some who take care of their bodies do get sick. So, what's up with that?  Well, we have been put on this earth to overcome trials. Each of us have different ones. Sometimes because of another persons action, we suffer; for example when I was 13, I had a friend of mine run over and killed by a drunk driver. Horrible thing! She was minding her own business coming home from a friends house...innocent, and in the blink of an eye, she was gone. This was a trial her family and friends had to endure. 

Heavenly Father gives us guidelines for us to follow. These are commandments. We can choose to obey or not. He will never change His commandments. He is a never changing god. If He did, it would be like Him changing the rules in the middle of a game. I feel that our society is trying to change God's rules in the middle of it all. It is not up to us to make changes in the commandments. 

Yesterday during our church service, someone made a comment that I thought was very good. They mentioned that we have certain rules or commandments to follow, and just because we have a vote that makes them right in the laws of man, does not make them right in the laws of God. We cannot vote to make sin not a sin. 
All of us sin. None of us will become perfect in this life. Some of us struggle all our lives with certain things. Sometimes we look at others and think they have no struggles. We think their life is just..."hunky dory." Sometimes people struggle with thoughts. This is something we probably would not recognize as a struggle because we don't actually see or hear it. 

Sometimes, our struggles might change. I do know that while I have endured struggles in my life, it could always be worse. Sometimes I start to feel sorry for myself, and then I realize there are others out there with worse problems. That's not to say that my struggles are not hard, but it is to say, that my struggles are something that the Lord knows I can handle. It is like that for all of us. He will never give us anything we cannot handle.  
I have some say to me that because I don't believe a certain way, that I am judging. This is not so. I choose to live the way the Bible and the Book of Mormon teach us. There are a lot of things I know are sin that the general public do not look to as sin. One being sex before marriage.  I choose to mention this because most people will disagree with me. It is very plain in the scriptures. Exodus 20:14 "Thou shalt not commit adultery." That is one of the Ten Commandments. 
Well, I'm not going to go on anymore, except to say, that I am grateful for the knowledge of the Gospel in my life. I know without it, I would not be very happy. I can honestly say that I do KNOW that for a fact. The Gospel has allowed me to become who I am today. I do have a long way to go to be what I want to be, but having that correct path to go down makes things so much easier. Right now, I am going through some trials of my own, and if it weren't for the Gospel, I would be very lonely and sad. Daily, I feel the comfort of the Lord, and know eventually, this will end.
And another trial will be waiting for me. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Lately, I have a lot of people ask me about my shoes. Most of these people are having foot issues.
Here's some background on my bad feet...

I grew up in Florida...probably enough said on that. Growing up in Florida = barefoot much of the time. We went to the beach a lot and had a pool, so, yes we were barefoot...A LOT. Family joke..."When you put your shoes on, you must be going somewhere, right?"

Not only did I run around barefoot all the time, I also was a dance major in college. We mostly danced in bare feet. At the time, I did not think much of it. When I hit 40, I started feeling the affects of that.
sorry, all my dance pics were too faded. :(
So, what to do? Well, a couple of years before my feet started bothering me, my sister and mom were turned on to Birkenstock shoes. You know those "ugly granola shoes?" 

Once my feet REALLY started to bother me, I went to an orthopedic doctor and all they wanted to do was give me cortisone shots and put me in an orthotic, which means tennis shoes for the rest of my life...even to church...with my dress. Well, that's lovely. Plus the fact, my feet enclosed in a shoe alllll daaaaay long...NO WAY. So, I decided to try the Birkenstocks; I've been wearing them every since.
Ya know what? They actually have some cute styles too!
These are my favorite pair!
These feet belong to my sister; the one who started the Birkenstock craze in our family.

Some of my issues I started having were that I felt like I was walking on sharp rocks (my heels). Because of the way I was walking due to being in so much pain, the rest of my body started to hurt too. The doctors said they thought it was fibromyalgia. I knew it was not. I went to another doctor, and I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis (this is the doctor that wanted me to wear tennis shoes with an orthotic all the time). I still suffer a little bit with sore feet. I also have bunions that burn and my toes tend to go numb. I think that is some sort of neuropathy. Just lately, I've been having these aches on that bone on the outside of my foot. If I remember correctly from my anatomy class it is your tuberosity. It feels bruised. I think I have these issues because I don't really wear my shoes 100% like I should; I just wear them about 90%.
Walking on the beach barefoot is a big no, no, even though I do it sometimes.
I'm sure banging around in my tap shoes don't help either, but I just can't help it. 
Oh, and no more of these type cute shoes either...
Oh well...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Looked Out The Window

and what did I see?
A little bitty turtle under my tree!
 Actually, Scott came in from mowing the lawn and told me I needed to come out with my camera.
 So glad he did.
 I'm sure we were traumatizing this poor guy, 
so I took my pictures and then left him alone.
Pretty cool, though, don'tcha think?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Confidence In The Gospel

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was converted and baptized at the age of 19, that was over 35 years ago. As time has gone on, my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ grows daily. I have had ups and downs in my life, and know that is why I am here...to have these experiences and to learn and grow from them. 

Lately, there has been a lot of misguided people questioning some of the standings of the church. One is gay marriage. Many have made comments that because we do not believe in gay marriage that we are homophobic. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we not only believe in the Book of Mormon, but we believe in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. There are several places in the Bible that talk about how wrong homosexuality is. Here is a good website that has a couple of scripture references and a statement from our church leaders about this. 

As members of the church, we also believe that sex outside and before of marriage is wrong. Yes, even in today's world. God does not change the rules midstream. Wrong is wrong.

Now this being said, just because the church has a stance on certain things that the world sees otherwise, does not mean we "hate" those who are gay, or who have sex out of wedlock, etc. As a parent of four children, I think I know how God feels, at least somewhat. My children have done things that have displeased me...we all have sinned...but I don't "hate" them for disobeying. I still love them, and want what's best for them. God doesn't "hate" us for our sins, he still loves us; he is hurt deeply when we do sin, hurts even more deeply when we turn from him or don't repent. I use the word "hate" because so many jump to conclusion that because we don't look upon gay marriage in a positive light that we "hate" them. Nothing can be more far from the truth. We don't hate them, we may hate their actions, but we don't hate them. 

Each of us are God's children, which means we are all brothers and sisters. As members of the church, we love all mankind. A lot of us pray daily for the safety of this world. In our temples, we pray for our world leaders, we pray for our countries, for peace in the world, and this means EVERYONE and everywhere. But, just because we pray for all of mankind, we all still have our agency to choose what we think and do, therefore, the world is the way it is. There is a lot of wickedness going on, and there is also a lot of good that goes on.

I read something the other day that really hurt me. Basically this person said that she could not understand how "intelligent people stay Mormon."  It's because we have a testimony. No I did not have angles or some other Heavenly being come down and visit me. Faith is not a perfect knowledge. Heck, if we had a perfect knowledge wouldn't it be too easy? That was Satan's idea, for us to KNOW, and to be told what to do...No agency. We would just come down here, have perfect knowledge and then return. What would be the purpose of that? We are sent here on earth to learn and grow. To succeed and to fall. To fall, and then get back up and repent. 

I know many will read this and agree with what I say, others will read and think I am just a crazy person that follows a religion blindly. No, I don't follow my religion blindly. I have spent many years reading and praying. I cannot deny the Gospel. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and wants me to choose right. I hope that I can make good choices and return to His presence someday. I am by NO means even near perfection. I struggle on a daily basis with my patience and many other things. I know that when I have daily prayer and daily scripture study, my days go much better than those times when I don't give time to the Lord. He is always there for us, all we have to do is ask. He will not push Himself on us, so we do have to ask...and LISTEN. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Missionary Mom Necklace

So, did I mention I am so proud of my son? He will be leaving on a two year mission in just over a month from now.  I've seen some missionary mom jewelry and wondered how I could make my own. I have never tried stamping and know it is not easy, so I found someone that is really quite good at it.
 Rachael, from Templestamping did a beautiful job with my custom order. She was very prompt, and I had it in hand within a couple of days of ordering it!
Then, I had to figure out how I wanted to put it together. I knew I wanted a purple stone, since Scott was born in February (birthstone is amethyst). After going through my bead stash, the pearl was the best choice. Pearls represent purity. Also pearls start from a small humble beginning and, over time with the help of the oyster, becomes something that it could have never become alone. My son, with the help of his Heavenly Father, and his family, has become a very nice young man. He will be a wonderful missionary!

So, now I had to come up with what to hang it on. I love lots of color, I love the beach. I also like to wear browns sometimes, so I started pulling different beads out, and this is what I came up with. Starfish, shells, colorful seedbeads, wood beads, and silver accent beads.

I love it!

Messy Telephone Wire Beaded Beads

So if you have been following me for any length of time, once I learn to do something, I go crazy with it. Well, these beaded messy beads are so fun and easy to make, I  thought maybe I should try some of that old telephone wire I've had laying around since the 1960's. Click here and here for more about that.
  This made into a pretty unique piece. I know some of you probably won't like it because it is so far out of the box, but because it is so different, that is why many of you will like it.
I love experimenting with different things.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Messy Wire Beaded Jewelry

I've been making jewelry for a LOOOOONG time!
 I love to experiment and come up with new funky things.
 This was a really easy and fun project I came up with this weekend.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Messy Wire And Bead Bead Necklace

 Sorry, these pictures are not very good. I was in too much of a hurry to get them taken to put up on my blog today.

I decided to try something I saw not too long ago, a messy wire and bead bead. I have some cheap wire I use whenever I am experimenting, and decided to use it for this project since I really did not know how it would turn out. It was very easy to do.
I think it turned out pretty good. I've to got to run to a wedding here in a bit, but maybe this week, I'll try to do another one in better wire. I actually like it. It's pretty rustic looking, but I like that look. I'm going to wear it to the wedding, so let's see what everyone says about it...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

How Can You Resist That Face?

"Look into my eyes...."
"nom, nom, nom...sure looks good!"
"See how sweet I am?"

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Arizona, Tempe Mission!

So, yesterday, Friday the 13th (June) was a great day! 
Our middle son got his mission call!
Tempe, Arizona!

Nice and warm...quite a difference from the hot humid climate of Louisiana he is use to, lol

He enters the MTC on July 30, just around the corner. Got lots of stuff to do....

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ongoing Saga of Selling The House...

I love my family and love to hang pictures of them, but when selling a house....
They must come down. I was told not to take them down by my first realtor, and was happy not to have to do that...due to having to paint a two story wall.
Realtor #2, said it needs to be done, so we spent yet some more $$$ to paint.
Another issue we had was this stupid wallpaper. Have I ever told you I HATE wallpaper? Originally, when we bought this house, I was going to take this dining room wallpaper down. But, it grew on me. It wasn't bad, and so it stayed.
Like I said, not my choice, but it looks good...except that light fixture. That was on the chopping block, but I didn't have time to mess with it before we had a for sale sign in the yard...oh well, whoever buys it can put what they like there.
 We usually like to do our own painting and fixing up, but since we had to hire someone with a tall ladder for the entry, we decided to go ahead and have him take the wallpaper down and paint the dining room.
Looks nice...looks pretty bare too. But it is a blank canvas for the new owners.
Now send me some buyers! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vegan? Vegetarian? or What?

How much protein does one need each day?  Well, according to Dr Oz, it depends on how much you weigh and how active you are, BUT (Dr Oz says), on average one needs about 25 grams each meal, so that means about 75 grams each day. This is on the high side because...
Dr Oz also recommended that a 130 lb woman only needs about 48 grams. If you do the math then it would be .37 grams of protein per pound of weight. So, if you took my daughter who weighs about 110 pounds, she only needs 40.7 grams. But she probably needs a little more since she is an athlete (teaches 22 or more dance and yoga classes a week. She is also on a dance company and does take yoga classes too). That is still far from the 75 grams mentioned above.

Today, Americans get way too much protein. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the average American male gets about 102 grams of protein a day and the average female gets 70 grams. That is almost double what the Food and Nutrition Board say one should have. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends, if you are a hard core athlete, then you only need .5 to .8 grams of protein per pound. For my daughter that would be about 55 grams. 
Most people think you have to eat a lot of meat or dairy to get your protein, but even Dr Oz says there are a lot of vegetarian ways to get it.

If you don't get enough protein, you could suffer from muscle loss and fatigue. Your metabolism will slow down and put you at a higher risk for gaining weight. Not enough protein can also weaken your immune system. So we all need to get adequate protein.
My daughter and her husband started being vegetarian over a year ago, and eventually they became vegan. I was a bit concerned whether they would get enough nutritional elements, particularly protein. I didn't say much thinking I could gather info from her as she discussed their journey. My husband and I visited them on occasion and ate "vegan" with them. I'll have to say, I was impressed. It was a lot of work, but it was very healthy, and very delicious too!

So, how can you get your protein? Well, of course you can get it by eating meat, dairy and eggs, but none of that is vegan. Here is a site that gives some ideas of what they eat.
What did my daughter and her husband typically eat?
One thing they like to have for breakfast is this yummy cooked cereal that has about 8 grams of protein. 
1/2 mashed banana
1 tablespoon flax seed with 3 tablespoon of water (egg substitute)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon vegan choc chips
1 tablespoon pecans
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
small amount of vanilla
grease glass dish with coconut oil. mix ingredients and put into the dish and cook in 350 oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. let rest one minute before devouring. this makes one serving....and it is YUMMY!!!

Here is a good recipe for lunch, which will give you about 23+ grams of protein. It will serve about four.
1 can black beans 
1 cup uncooked (you cook it like rice and add it later) quinoa
1 can corn
1 avocado
1 tomato
1 onion
1/4 cup cilantro
Cayenne pepper to taste, or not if you don't like

Okay,  you have 31 grams of protein so far. They like to eat a lot of kale chips, and that adds another 5 or so grams depending on how much you eat. So now it's up to 36 grams, and we have not had any dinner yet. So, she needs another 19 grams for the day.
One thing they like to make is "cheese." When I first heard about this, I thought they were crazy, but they make it out of cashews and serve it over whole wheat pasta. Here is a recipe for it. So at a dinner where they would have the "cheese" over the whole wheat pasta, which they might add some cooked spinach too, and have a salad, they are now up to 53 grams of protein. A lot of times, they will have a dessert and instead of sugar, they use dates. This  will up the protein count too. They like to add nutritional yeast to a lot of their meals which is very delicious and has about three grams of protein per serving. 

It is a lot of work to be vegan, but if you do it right, it is very healthy. Not sure I could be vegan, as I love my cheese, ice cream and eggs for breakfast too much. I'm not much of a meat fan, so I could easily be vegetarian. 

My daughter has had some health issues, and this is why she has done some experimenting on the vegan diet. They have been vegan for about a year, and she has seen a lot of improvement with her health. That being said, she is not sure that she will continue once they start a family. I have read somewhere where pregnant women need as much as 75 grams of protein a day...wow! MUCH more research and investigating needs to be done about that. 

Once Ashley gets pregnant and after the baby is born, they may or may not go back to vegan or vegetarian...if you think about it though, babies are vegan...except for mother's milk, but that is what it is for, and natural. A baby is on mother's milk for several months before they start food, and then they start with the rice cereal, then veggies and fruits. Meat is not added until they have teeth (that baby food jar meat is gross!). I think this will be a life long journey for their family. If being vegan is healthy for my daughter, then she needs to stick with that. I know they will do the right thing for their family, and if they feel that their family needs meat, then they will have it, but if their kids have health issues like my daughter, they may not have meat in their home. 

Personally, I feel that "everything in moderation" is the way to go. Most of us do NOT do that. I see people eating platefulls of bacon...that...is not in moderation; and this is typical! I also feel our food is not longer truly food. So much of it is processed and fake. This is why so many of us are unhealthy...but that is another blog post.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Grocery Shopping With Thirty One

This is the Fresh Market Thermal in the new Sunny Strip. Don't you love it? 
Here is my old one in the Pink Pop Medallion. I bought that a while back and use it A LOT. I was able to get it for half price because I had a party. This was before I started selling Thirty One. 
The Sunny Stripe one I got for free because I had a very successful month not too long ago. I also got the new Essential Storage Tote (in the picture below--center). I wondered if I'd use two Fresh Market Thermals...yes, they both come in handy.
 One of my son's just got back from college, and he is wanting to drop a few pounds, so he is eating Paleo. Yes, I know, I'm not a meat fan myself, but I am going to try to help him out a little. So, we went grocery shopping, and I brought these bags.  The lady at the check out LOVED them. She said they were so easy to pack!
I was able to get all of this into my three bags and have TONS of room left. One of the fresh markets only had the eggs, so, like I said I had a lot of room left.
We spend about $110, and mostly got meat and veggies. I'm not use to buying meat, as what little meat we eat is venison from my husband's hunting or fish from his fishing trips. There was a bit of a sticker shock, lol. I bought a huge thing of tilapia, two big things of boneless/skinless chicken breasts, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes,
 onions, broccoli, sausage, cheese, lettuce, spinach, garlic
vitamin C, fish oil, calcium, bananas, a spray bottle and 36 eggs. All of this fit into two of the three bags. I was afraid my eggs would break, so I decided to put them into one of my Fresh Market Thermal by themselves.

If you are interested in any of these or other Thirty One bags, just let me know.