Maternity Photos

Well peeps, as of today I am 37 weeks four days, waiting on baby girl to make her appearance! :) Oh, and HAPPY Canada Day northern friends!!!

When I was at 33 weeks expecting Kayli came down for a visit and took some maternity pictures for me. She did a beautiful job in taking and editing the photos and I’m excited to share them with you today!

rustic maternity photos

western maternity photos

sunset maternity photo

rustic maternity photos

country maternity photo

Well? What do you think?? Those are just a sampling of my favorites from our shoot. So glad I have a such a talented sister to be around and help me out with things like this… Thank you Kayli!

Here’s to holding baby girl in my arms soon instead of this big ol’ tummy… ;)

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

How to Keep School from Sucking Out Your Soul

Sometimes school is a dementor.

All dark and dreary and soul-sucky.

Unfortunately, you can’t even conjure up a patronus. (Though there’s no shame in trying. Give that pencil a swish and let me know if it works out for you.)

Us poor muggles just have to trudge through and take it. I mean yeah, you’ve made it to November, (Congrats on that by the way, I know it wasn’t easy bro.) but you still have a whole month left before the semester is done and I don’t know…… eternity? before you graduate. You’ve got papers to write, and speeches, and group projects, and presentations, and quizzes, and tests,  and you definitely just referenced something you learned in your ed psych. class in normal conversation. “Well actually, according to Piaget…”

What the what?

You’re pretty sure you’re losing your mind.

Breathe friend, there are a few things you can do to take back your sanity and get through the next four weeks/ years. Let’s go through them shall we?

 

1. Get A Planner.

If you do not have a planner and you’re overwhelmed- GO GET ONE NOW. If you do have a planner but it’s at the bottom of your stack of books with the price tag still on it, GET IT OUT AND USE IT. For real. You’re not in high school anymore homie, very few professors are going to consistently remind you about assignment due dates and if you forget and fail- whatevs, they see kids come and go all the time. That means you have to be ready to take on the responsibility of remembering everything yourself. Do yourself a favor and write down deadlines as you hear about them. You’ll feel a lot more sane if you can see exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

Summary: Get and Use a Planner: You’ll know what’s due and when.

2. Just Do Your Homework.

 I know that this time of the semester especially, I put things off until I have homework backed up for miles. So you slacked- dude you’re in college, that’s what we do- but don’t let it slide past the due date. Sit down and make yourself do it. No Facebook, no Pinterest, and definitely no YouTube cat videos. You don’t have that kind of time. When your friend texts you and says “Dude! Mad rager at the frat house tonight!” Text back a polite “Maybe next time man, I have an essay due.” Just sit down and do it, you’ll feel a million times less stressed if it’s done and you can turn something good in. Remember that you’re at school to get a degree, and they don’t give you one of those if you don’t do the work.

Shocking, I know.

Summary: Make Yourself Do Your Homework: Getting it over with will make you feel better and keep you from panicking later.

3. Go to Sleep.

Chances are, you don’t get enough sleep. Wanna know how I know? Cause you’re a student.

  You’re going to have nights where you stay up late studying or where you’re up until one in the morning writing a paper- but here’s what’s funny about sleep- you have to do it or your body CANNOT function. Weird how that works right?

If you’re having a busy week, skip staying out until two in the morning and just freakin go to bed. If you know you have a class you need to be at at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, then common sense says that staying up until dawn is not a good idea.

Summary: Go to Sleep: You can’t get anything productive done when you’re out-of-your-mind tired. Just go to bed!

4. Work Out.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed  I don’t want to do ANYTHING, much less bust out my running shorts. But we should do it anyway. Working out will help make you healthier, happier, and less stressed. I’m not suggesting you spend hours at the gym. Just go for a walk, go to a spin class, do SOMETHING. My friend and I are taking a Zumba class on campus for free during weeknights and both of us feel so much better after. You’ll feel productive, you’ll be doing something for YOU, and you’ll have much more energy in the long run.

Summary: Work Out: It’ll help relieve tension and you can battle that freshman 15 that followed you to junior year.

5. Don’t Eat Junk.

I’m a girl, so I know that chocolate seems like the perfect cure to a rough day. And if you’re not into chocolate, some ice cream or something soaked in grease will also suffice, right? Wrong. Because you and I both know that once you decide that eating something awful for you will fix your day, you’re just subjecting yourself to hours of guilt later. And then you feel gross. So your mood is worse. And then your mind is like “Remember 10 minutes ago when you ate that bag of chips and for a second we were so happy? Let’s do that again.” So you do.

And the vicious cycle goes into full swing.

Don’t get me wrong, chocolate is good stuff and not necessarily meant to be sworn off for good. BUT if you’re eating it to feel better…..Just don’t do it. Eat something healthier. Make yourself a salad, or a sandwich, or better yet, fajitas. Are fajitas EVER a bad idea? No. No they are not. And you won’t want to hide under your blankets in shame for eating them.

You’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy, and you won’t feel guilty.

Summary: Don’t eat junk: You’ll feel better and have more energy if you skip fried and coated with sugar and eat something good for you.

6. Find a New Perspective and Just Breathe.

It’s not just about being stressed out with school work, am I right? Being stressed out can make you feel like you’re in a rut.

Remind yourself that it’s okay that you have no freaking idea what you’re doing sometimes.

Remind yourself that the things you’re worried about right now, aren’t the most important things that will happen in your life. Even the worst case scenario wouldn’t be the end of the world.

(Yes, the sun WILL rise tomorrow despite the fact that you failed your math quiz. And you ARE going to be okay.)

Remind yourself that this time in your life only lasts a few years and when it’s over, you’re going to miss it.

Life won’t look like this forever. In fact, I bet for a few weeks in December in January, things will look completely different.

Just do the best you can TODAY.

And if you don’t like the way things look, change something. Your path is not set in stone.

Summary: Find a New Perspective: Find a way to see your situation in a new, positive light.

7. Do Something You Love.

 If you feel like you’re being drained by all of these stressful things you don’t enjoy, then you should spend some time doing things that you DO enjoy. Pretty logical if you ask me.

Does playing basketball make you happy? Do it.

Does running a sewing machine make you happy? Do it.

For me- reading makes me happy. So I should do it.

Whatever your beliefs are, I absolutely would encourage you to practice the things that bring you peace. Whether that’s just by being in nature, or through prayer, or scripture study, whatever it is.

You can’t always subtract, never add, and still break even. You know?

Summary: Feed your soul. Remember that it needs to be nourished too.

What do/did YOU do to keep your sanity in school? Anything you’d add to the list? Let me know!

We can make it to break!  I believe in us!

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” -J.K. Rowling

   Even the dementors can’t argue with that.

Kayli’s 20 Wishes

Happy Wednesday Loves!

Here’s my installment of our 1 Year 20 Wishes Project. In case you missed the news on that, you can learn more about it here. And you can read Kassi’s list here.

I really tried to choose wishes I was going to be excited about- I’m all about taking advantage of this time in my life. (I hear it goes fast!) So hopefully these things will keep me on my toes and loving life through to next December! These are things I WANT to do. Not things I have to do or should do- I have plenty of those lists. (; What better way to spend a year than by doing things you really want to do, right?! If you’re interested in getting in on the fun – you can grab a button now, and then link up your own list here on the blog tomorrow. Nov. 8

Truly Lovely

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.trulylovelyblog.net/category/twenty-wishes/" title="Truly Lovely"><img src="http://www.trulylovelyblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/wishes-button.png" alt="Truly Lovely" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

So here’s my list!

1. Grow a garden. (Like really grow one. Keeping the weeds out and tending it to it and all!)

2. Start playing the guitar.

3. Make and send valentines.

4. Buy my first pair of converse.

5. Make meditation a habit. (Not necessarily the kind of meditation you’re thinking, just learning to be.)

6. Finish an embroidery project. (Like pillowcases, or a dresser scarf or something.)

7. Learn the alphabet in American Sign Language.

8. Reread the entire Harry Potter series.

9. Paint again! (And maybe try something super abstract)

10. Sleep under the stars.

11. Read at least one C.S. Lewis book.

12. Buy 1 FULL outfit that I really love and maybe wouldn’t buy otherwise.

13. Get a professional best friend photo shoot done with Sara.

14. Go fishing in the evening off of the dock.

15. Do the Color Run!

16. Spend an entire day riding horses PURELY for fun- wherever I feel like going.

17. Spend a day perusing an antique shop.

18. Go to the Catwalk.

19. Learn to bake homemade bread!

20. Donate, even if it’s just a little, to a cause that I really believe in. (I’ll be doing lots of research for this one! (; )

These are subject to change of course, and hopefully I’ll be able to update as I go! :)
Don’t forget to make your own lists and share them with us tomorrow!

xoxo,

What My Summer Looked Like

Hello dears, it’s Kayli. (:

So my summer is pretty much over. Classes start Thursday and I’m headed back to the desert; which I’m not sure how I feel about yet. On the one hand it’ll be nice to get back into the swing of things down there and my friends but on the other hand, my heart is in this little valley, and it’s always tough to leave it behind. So I wanted to write a little bit about what these three months have been to me and how I feel about school.

First and foremost, this summer has been a learning experience. When I left to come home in May I had a feeling that this summer would be important, and I was right. I’m right in the middle of this whole “Who am I? What do I really want? What would make me really happy? How do I get there?” stage. And I pretty much wing it everyday because I don’t really know what I’m doing… Which I’m hoping I’ll grow out of. (It isn’t like this forever right? Eventually I’ll kind of get it figured out?) In the last little bit I’ve learned so much about myself. I still don’t have all the answers of course, and I may not ever have all of them, but I know more about who I am. This summer I took all of these projects, all of these chores and ideas and found pieces of myself within them.

Like cleaning out my house and taking care of my own yard. Planting flowers and moving bricks and mowing the grass.

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I learned a lot sitting there on that little porch. More than any blog post would do justice to.

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I learned to love and appreciate home more than ever before, because now I know what it’s like to be somewhere so different. I learned how much I love every mountain and every green field and every wildflower -because it’s not the same at school in the desert.

I think it’s funny how different this time in my life is than I had expected. I sort of figured it wouldn’t be all that different from high school in that I would feel the same and see things the same way. I knew it would be hard to get used to, I knew it would be at least a little different, but I didn’t know that it would so important for me spiritually and emotionally.  College isn’t all parties and making a million friends and skipping class for me- it’s been about meeting people that have already changed my life and creating new relationships with my friends from before. It’s about building my testimony and learning to be in a new, really big pond instead of the little one I was used to.

Which makes me wonder whether that’s common.

What was/is college (or whatever you chose to pursue at this age) like for you?

I feel like this period of my life is of a lot of consequence. The choices I make now and the lessons I learn now are and will be SO important. And I want to know if anyone else feels or felt that way too, or if anyone has any advice or stories about their own experiences at my age. I’d love you forever if you’d share.  (:

In the meantime I had a summer full of awesome experiences and I’m SO lucky.

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I’ll let you know how it goes. (:

Kayli’s 25 before 25

So once upon a time my dear sister wrote a wonderful post you can find here on 30 things she wants to do before she turns 30. She challenged me to do a 25 before 25 post, so here I am. And let me tell you- this was NOT easy. When I first sat down I was like “this will be cake…” which was soon replaced with a moment of identity crisis. “What DO I want to do?!” Cause that’s what college sophomores do I guess. And THEN I got this whole flood of (mainly stupid) ideas and had too many. I think I finally have a list I’m happy about now though, so here it is! (:

1. Graduate from college.

2. Start teaching high school.

3. Cook a duck for my brother in law.

(To prove that I can.)

4. Learn to play the piano.

piano

5. Spend some time in Salt Lake City.

(Preferably for General Conference or when the Christmas lights are up.)

Temple Square

6. Become a part time photographer.

7. Read the Bible and Book of Mormon in their entirety.

Book of Mormon

8.Relearn Spanish.

(Because I didn’t keep it up well enough and a lot of it -most of it- has left me.)

9. Build an online handmade business with Kassi.

10. Go to the Catwalk.

(a fun, nature, tourist destination near our hometown that I’ve never actually been to myself.)

11. RUN a 5k.

(Cause I’ve already walked one.)

12. Grow my hair out long.

13. Buy a new car.

14. Make a quilt.

(A legit, full sized, quilted, quilt.)

15. Go to a blog conference.

16. Send out Valentines.

17. Visit Texas when the bluebonnets bloom.

Bluebonnets

18. Go on a blind date.

(or several)

19. Stay out of debt and start saving.

20. Learn to fish like a pro.

21. Graduate from LDS Institute.

22. Beat my Mom at Ms. Pacman.

(She’s a pro. It’s intense.)

23. Learn how to play poker.

24. Finish renovating my house in my hometown.

25. Go bear hunting again.

And there it is my dear friends. Let’s see how successful I am. (:

What’s your list? I’d love to see it.

 

 

Ten Weeks of Thanks: Week #10 Faith

So this is my final week. And it’s crazy. I remember starting this and being like “When I finish this, the semester will almost be over!” Guys, has it really already been 10 weeks? It just blows my mind. And I also can’t believe the change I’ve seen in myself. I appreciate EVERYTHING. I know there are things I overlook still- I’m not perfect when it comes to gratitude, but this has definitely made me better. At least once a day I find myself just trying to wrap my mind around how blessed I am. And even though this is the most stressful part of my semester, it’s also the happiest I’ve been this semester, because I recognize how amazing my life is.

Truly Lovely

So the topic for this last week is Faith. And I want to throw out a little bit of a disclaimer. First, these are my personal views and I do not speak for my Church. I just speak as a member of it. I also understand that there are all kinds of faith and religion and spirituality and I respect each one of them. So please respect mine. (:

Now that we have all of that out of the way, I’m excited for this. If you remember my first post, I explained that I actually got the idea for this from church. So here are a few (of the innumerable) reasons why I’m grateful for my faith, why I’m grateful I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

The Atonement

Every good thing in my life, everything I mention in this post boils down to one thing.  The Atonement. The ability to reach eternal life, the ability to repent for the wrong that I’ve done and move forward, there’s nothing bigger than that. There’s nothing better than that. With all of my heart I know that Christ suffered and died for us, for me. So that we could right our wrongs and return to our Father in Heaven. There’s no greater love, there is no love that is more perfect, and that knowledge saves me every day of my life.

The Book of Mormon

I’m grateful for The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. It works right with the Bible and it’s taught me so many things. I love that extra help, all of those extra stories and lessons. Life is hard, and I’m grateful for any extra bit of instruction and comfort I can get. It makes me a better person.

Eternal Families

We believe that through making and keeping sacred covenants we can live with our families forever. That’s amazing. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to keep the people I love for eternity. It isn’t easy, we have to be willing to do the work each and every one of us, but the work will be so worth it and it’s such a beautiful blessing.

The Uplifting Message

I am so grateful for so many things within my faith. I’m grateful for modern day prophets, for the organization of it, for institute classes and the beautiful people it has brought into my life. I’m grateful for the happiness and joy and comfort it has given me. I am grateful for the emphasis that is put on family, and on helping and loving each other. But more than anything, my faith in, and my relationship with my Heavenly Father is the most important thing in the world to me and is the thing I am the most grateful for. Without Him I am nothing.  I know that I am a daughter of God and that I am worth more than the world tells me I am. I know that I have a purpose. I know that you have a purpose. I know that Christ died for us and that He lives today. I know that the Creator of the universe and of everything we have ever and will ever see, knows me and loves me for exactly what I am and am not. And I know that even when life isn’t all sunshine and meadows, He is still there, teaching me and pushing me forward to better things.

Here are two of my favorite videos ever. I hope you’ll watch them. (:

What Matters Most

 Good Things to Come

So that is why I’m grateful for my faith. What do you believe? Why are you grateful for YOUR faith?

Thanks for reading along. It’s been quite a journey!

Tons of love,


{FOOD} Ten Weeks of Thanks: Week 9

Guys! It’s almost the end of my 10 week journey!

Truly Lovely

But it’s not over yet… (: So let’s talk about one of my favorite things EVER. Food.

Ahh glorious food. Here’s the thing, I’m a food kind of gal. Whatever I’m doing, unless it’s just something super exciting- I’d probably rather be baking. That’s something I inherited from my Granny- who was really who taught me almost everything I know about cooking. She showed me how to fry chicken and taught me how to rise dinner rolls. So I’m grateful for food because of that. Because it’s close to my heart. Because cooking is what has always brought our family together at the table. I’m grateful for farmers and ranchers, who grow and raise our food. I’m grateful food supports so many people, not just by sustaining them physically but by providing them with work. I’m grateful for it because nothing says “I’m sorry I was jerk face… my bad,” quite like a dozen cookies. That’s why I love food. It makes people happy. End of story.

Here are a couple of my favorite things to make and the links to them. (:

Strawberry Shortcake

S’mores in a Pan

Next week is the FINAL week!!! The topic for next week is FAITH. What about your faith are you grateful for? Why?

Happy Wednesday friends! (: And happy eating!

 


Ten Weeks of Thanks: Week 8 Inventions

Hello, hello, loves!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

Today’s topic is inventions!

Truly Lovely

The first thing I’m grateful for, ELECTRICITY. Dudes, I hate when the lights go out. I literally don’t know what to do with myself for the first hour. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be unplugged and have (believe it or not) spent days without my phone. It was awesome, but I love having lights and internet and all of that wonderful stuff.

The next thing I’m grateful for is the printing press. Ahh the printing press. The thing that produces my favorite things. BOOKS. I would talk about how awful life would be without books, but I can’t imagine it, and therefore, have no idea of where I would even begin to describe the awfulness. So I’m just going to be happy I don’t have to worry about that. (:

Next, I’m super grateful for those little socks you wear with flats. Didn’t see that one comin, did ya?! GUYS. Those things save my life! And they’ve been around for awhile but I was just kind of like “meh.” But apparently every one and their great aunt knew about the gloriousness of them and decided to not tell me! Let me illustrate my love for them to you.

Me before tiny socks: “Bah, flats aren’t even comfortable! They’re just sweaty and cut my heel!”

Me after tiny socks: “I need to buy more flats, I freakin love those things.”

See? They have a special place in my heart.

And finally, I’m grateful for snail mail. It makes my whole day. I always go out and check it in the afternoon and if nothing is there I go back in a couple of hours, because surely there’s an ad, a saver, SOMETHING. (: It’s just a fun thing. And lately I’m more grateful than ever, because it lets me send love and support to the people that are far away. And that’s awesome.

Next week’s topic is FOOD. Oh you can bet I’m gonna be all over that. (:

What deliciousnesses (is that a word?) are you grateful for, why?

 


Fancy This Features 69 and a Weekend Recap

Hello pretties!  Happy April!

Did you notice we have some new sponsors over on our sidebar this month? We are excited to be working with these new sponsors as well as our tried and true sponsor buddies for the month of April! Watch for some FUN sponsor spotlights in the coming weeks!

How was your weekend? Ours was SO fun!!! Kayli came for a visit on Friday night. We, with my sister in law Brianne, FINALLY made it into a Hunger Games showing!!! I’m so glad we got there when we did… We were thinking it wouldn’t be as busy… Were we WRONG. It was sold out before the movie started!

Through our movie watching we discovered that Kayli is a literature snob… As in, don’t even talk to her about The Hunger Games until you’ve read the book. Just watching the movie doesn’t count…. ;)

The movie was AMAZING. They did portray the book really well as far as we were concerned. If you wanna talk more Hunger Games with us, Kayli and I will both chit chat with you on twitter… ;)

Source: Uploaded by user via Kassi on Pinterest

The three of us also hosted a bridal shower for our other sister in law this weekend. Think pink and zebra. Young and fun. It was a great time! More on it to come in a later post… AND we went to the Ladies Night event on Main Street… LOTS of fun!

So. How about some FEATURES! Again, we are pinning all of the projects we feature from Fancy This Fridays onto this Pinterest board.

This week we’re going a little bit country! ;) First up we have a Cowgirl Birthday Party from Shelley at Crazy Wonderful. Her little Izzy turned 3 in country chic style!!! Love it!!!

 

Speaking of country birthdays… how about a Barn Yard Birthday Bash for your little one! :) Carlee of Ladybird Lane shared this adorable barn cake and farm animal cupcakes!

And because Easter is this coming weekend… This Peeps Garland from Two Sasters is completely doable as an evening project before the family get together!!! Plus, it’s absolutely darling!!!

Here’s a featured on Truly Lovely button for you dolls mentioned up above. :)
Hope you’ll grab one for your own blog!

Truly Lovely Blog

It links right back to this post so your friends will know where to find you! :)

Have a lovely week!!!!
If you would like to share about your weekend in the comments below, we would love to hear all about it!!!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

Today is a Blessing: Ten Weeks of Thanks Wk #6

So this post is later than normal, but it’s because this post is about TODAY. I think today is a blessing.
And here’s some evidence of that:

First of all, today is our Papa’s birthday! And I’m absolutely thankful for him and everything he’s done for me. He’s an amazing man and fantastic grandfather. Happy Birthday Papa!!! (: As far as random little things about today go, I’ll start here!

I’m grateful for fresh laundry, it smells so good!

I’m grateful for long lasting birthday flowers that are keeping the dining room table pretty, 9 days and counting!

I’m grateful for my Shine Necklace.

I’m grateful for my pretty smelling perfume.

I’m grateful for awesome weather, perfect for the upcoming Spring Break!

I’m grateful I got out of class early today. I’m grateful I don’t have much homework. I’m grateful that the newest episode of Khloe and Lamar replayed this afternoon! (: I’m grateful I wasn’t late to class this morning. I’m grateful for snail mail and smart phone drawing games. I’m grateful for good friends, good food, and you. I hope we can all learn not to take our small blessings for granted. (:

Truly Lovely

Happy Wednesday!

Next week’s topic is: PLACES. What geographical places are you grateful for? Why?