Saturday, January 31, 2015

a (kind of) rainy saturday morning.

 Weekends typically include a lot of cooking on my part... it's tasty and makes me feel more productive with me time :) So this Saturday morning I set out to make our French crepe recipe.. This recipe is legitimately French. From no other than our good French friend Jacques Rivet... these are authentic Bretagne crepes... they make me almost feel like I'm back in France again! :)

The way the Rivets taught us to serve our crepes is with brown sugar and fresh lemon juice on top... it is so fresh and light! So that's what I put on these... although sometimes we make other sauces or put fruit on them... I'm pretty sure you could put anything on a crepe and have it taste wonderful :)

250 g. farine ( about 1 c. flour)
.5 liter lait ( abt 1 1/8 c. milk)
3 oeufs (eggs)
1 Tbps l'huile (oil)
1 pinch sel (salt)

Make a "volcano" with the flour, then add the eggs, oil, and salt. Mix together. Add the milk slowly, little pours at a time so the batter won't be lumpy. Whisk a lot very briskly. Or blend in the blender (that seems to work best for getting lumps out :). [I've always had a hard time with the little clumps of flour... (which I keep spelling flower by the way). I think adding the milk bit by bit helps to solve that problem though :) ]. Allow the pan to heat up for a few minutes (on medium heat), then pour batter in and make your crepes :) The recipe makes 9 or 10 plate-sized crepes for me, but you can do them bigger or smaller. ENJOY! :)

also, I just wanted to share my darling cup.... I got this from the DI before moving down to school. I love it so much... the DI can be so great!

 I also had to show the cute wreath that Daina and I (mostly Daina) made for our room... we found this UP inspired idea off Pinterest. I think it turned out quite nicely :)

One more thing... I stumbled across this blog today. It's called Just Delightful and that it is. I found this post called Dishes and it kind of struck a chord I guess... Everyone should go and read it. :) It made me realize that we really do put trivial things like doing dishes in front of the things that matter most to us. Too often we find ourselves constantly doing dishes and cleaning and whatnot and forget to spend time with the people we love. I loved where she said:
"Let me tell you, dishes are dishes. They will be there tomorrow, (house fairies don't fancy cleaning such things) but other most special people, precious time and wonderful experiences may not be there tomorrow. There are always piles of things to love and celebrate that are always infinitely more important than a pot with a little burnt rice on the bottom.  And you are of great worth. No matter how many cake pans are in there-Or no matter how many spoons are left in the drawer. Your Heavenly Father loves you with an infinite love and it is never, ever determined by a silly sink of dishes-or whatever the leftover "dishes" of your own life may be."

I just thought that was great and so true. We all need to focus a little less on the "leftover dishes" in our life and focus more on what counts! :)

Also. (I'm trying to condense lots of things into one post because it seems I've been posting a little too excessively recently :). Institute on Wednesday in my Miracle of the Atonement class. I won't go into too much detail about that, but I will say that it was great as usually. Our teacher had us listen to this talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become". Click the link and read or listen to the whole talk. :) It just opened my eyes to the fact that our "evaluation" when we reach Heaven won't be a check list. Our judgment won't be determined by a list of things we did or didn't do, but by what we BECOME during this life. It is the constant and continual effort to do better and become more like our Father in Heaven. 
I loved a parable that Elder Oaks shared. He talked of a wealthy father who had a large inheritance to give to his child. He said, 
"All that I have I desire to give to you- not only my wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have I can easily give you, but THAT WHICH I AM YOU MUST OBTAIN FOR YOURSELF. You will qualify for your inheritance by LEARNING WHAT I HAVE LEARNED and by LIVING AS I HAVE LIVED. I will give you the laws an principles by which I have acquired my wisdom and stature. Follow my example, mastering as I have mastered, and you will become as I am, and all that I have will be yours."
Our Heavenly Father wants to see us return to him. He wants to give us all of his eternal gifts. He wants us to live with him forever. But we must do our part by becoming what he wants us to become. We must strive to become as he is. Humble. Charitable. Obedient. EVERYTHING that he is. We aren't here to pick and choose which commandments we will follow, or to say that we are mostly obedient. Heavenly Father doesn't pick and choose who and how he will be. We need to be exactly obedient, be fully converted, and do everything we can to BECOME LIKE HIM. It isn't enough to say you are being "good enough" or only doing a couple "minor things". Is our Heavenly Father only "good enough"? I don't think so... he's perfect. Perfectly loving and patient and kind and understanding. So we need to strive to be the same. :)
So yeah, everyone should read that talk and highlight it up real nice! Because it's grrrrreeattt! :)

Oh and one more irrelevant side note. My roommate Kenzie eats strawberries with chop sticks. Hehe, just thought the world should know ;). (or just all two people who read my blog:)

Also, everyone should read "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage. It is so good and so interesting to read about the life of Christ the way this book is laid out.. I got it for Christmas and am slowly reading some each night. I'd recommend it! :)


Friday, January 30, 2015

Some things I learned this week. :)

-Garlic bread is so good. So is spaghetti when the sauce is made right. Not so much the packaged icebergy lettuce mixes though..
-Making my bed makes me feel good. I don't know why it took me til moving down to school to realize it was an enjoyable thing ;). Having freshly cleaned bedding is also nice. :)
-Biology tests can be scary. It helps to read your textbook for each lecture rather than trying to read and absorb it all the day before the test. blegh.
-I really like blog stalking.. I could do it for hours. I find it interesting that I've only recently discovered this interest. But oh is it entertaining.. I don't even know why. It's especially great reading stories about how couples met... I guess I just like reading about other people's happy ever afters.. :)
-I should Pinterest less.
-I LOVE learning the guitar. Why didn't anyone ever tell  me how fun it is?
-I am SO glad that it is Friday :) it's been a busy week..
-Oh, and flip flops are great. I've missed them the last few months... so I just HAD to wear them today. Those things are like my best friend :)
-Homemade bread cooking smells soo good. I want my dinner to be done cooking already.
-Life is so great.... even when you've got tests and meetings and Relief Society dinners and everything else going on. I'm so grateful to be alive :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Asian Honey Garlic Chicken (adapted recipe) :)

There's something truly wonderful and satisfying about having a full and happy belly... especially when you're a college student, because that doesn't happen every day down here ;). But tonight, is one of those nights... possibly one of the greatest since I've been at school. I found this Chinese Honey Garlic Chicken recipe on pinterest and made it with a few of my own adaptations that I think just enhanced it.... but do what you please with it! I'm sure either way it is just wonderful... this recipe is definitely a keeper.
excuse the bad photos, I promise it tastes much better than these photos make it seem... someday I'll have a really nice camera and know how to take good food photos :)

And here's the lovely recipe with my adaptations...
(or you can go to creme de la crumb for the original recipe)

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I only used one chicken filet)
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 c. corn starch 
2 tsp garlic
1/3 c. honey
1 tsp apple cider or white vinegar (I used white :)
1/2 c. water
1 tsp soy sauce
optional: 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I would definitely add this... I just did a couple shakes though without bothering to measure :)
corn starch slurry: 2 tbsp water + 1 tbsp corn starch
Optional: scallions, sesame seeds, rice
my additions:
I thought the sauce was a little too honey-ey for my personal preference, so I poured a really small drip of sesame oil as well as about a teaspoon of lemon juice. It made it perfect I thought!
Since I used less chicken and wanted the recipe to go further I added in some cabbage I had in my fridge (about 1 c.). Not only did this make it more than one meal's worth, but it added extra flavor and freshness... I think it was an overall improvement. I think it would be great to add other veggies too though.... whatever's in your fridge would probably taste great!

Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces. Toss the chicken pieces in the corn starch. Cook the coated chicken in the preheated pan 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking, until chicken is cooked through and crisp on the outside. (I didn't have oil... so I just cooked the chicken with a little butter and still with the corn starch... it still got pretty much the same flavor and texture, but was probably healthier than frying it :)
In a small sauce pan whisk together all sauce ingredients except for corn starch slurry. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl combine cold water and corn starch for the slurry. Add to boiling sauce. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook a couple more minutes until thick. (This is where I added my lemon juice and sesame oil after tasting to see how I wanted it).
Add sauce to chicken and stir to coat. (This is where I added my cabbage and let it cook for a while until it cooked down and the sauce covered it all.)  I had mine with green onions, soy sauce, and white rice :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

lovely things.

Yesterday was a very long Saturday... and I spent probably a few hours more on Pinterest than I should have. But in my defense, I usually pin things I plan to use in the future (mostly home decor, cooking, and wedding stuff)... so it's really not too much of a waste of time, right? :) Just watch me never move out or get married... all that pinning would be in vain. That would be sad... and a waste of time.
But as I was sitting here bored yet again and not wanting to resort to time-wasting on Pinterest, I thought, "why not blog about Pinterest?" There really are a few things I really wanted to share... so I guess I will :)
Mostly, I just wanted to share this... how cute is this? I can't wait to have a front door to my own home when I've got my own household... what could be better to invite in some springtime cheer? I LOVE LOVE LOVE this so much :)

Here's the blog it originally came from... I just love it :)

While I'm at it, I figured I might as well go ahead and post a few more pins I found yesterday... these things all make me so excited to have my own little home :) I hope someone else can get the same enjoyment out of these lovely things as I did...

This one... is so lovely. In so many ways. It makes me so eager to have my own farm style decorated home, but also to make my own homemade jams and other canned things... it just looks so homey! :)
This one comes from an awesome Norwegian blog....

I want lots and lots of fresh flowers in my future home! They just add so much life and freshness and, well, homey-ness to the home :) 
This one comes from the blog automatism

I just want a home that looks homey. I don't want a home that's perfectly shining and all pearly white all the time, with everything closed up and hidden away. I want it to look like people actually live there.. with boots by the door and some dirt on the floor. Yes I want it to look nice and I want it to be clean... but I never want people to be afraid to have fun or to feel like they can't let loose there :)

So there you have so of my greatest homey Pinterest finds this weekend... I'm sure there will be tons more to follow. This all just makes me so excited to have my own home someday though! :) I know Pinterest likes to glam things up, and that reality won't be quite so picture perfect... but I can at least let myself dream while I think of all the lovely things I'd like in my future home :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's a great day to be alive.

I'm not sure if anything can beat listening to country music all day long. I'm so HAPPY that I converted to being a country fan... pretty amazing considering that it used to be nails on a chalkboard for me :) I don't even know how it happened, but one day country music just didn't sound so bad anymore and now it's like heaven to hear :) Country music is the thing I can listen to when I'm in any mood... if I'm down it picks me up and if I'm already in a good mood it just makes things better. I  can listen to Country while I do homework and while I clean, and while I just sit around being lazy ;). Country is probably one of the greatest things. Ever. 
So as I was listening to this lovey country music today, I decided to post on it... because what could bring happiness better than that? And once I thought of it I wanted to share one of my favorite country songs... "It's a great day to be alive" by Travis Tritt... It is GREAT. The country practicality of the song makes me laugh and it just lifts me up and helps me realize that it really is a GREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE. Every day is. This song helps me to realize to make the best out of each and every day and to be happy in those circumstances :) So here's a video of the song so everyone can see how great it really is :)

And that first line.... "I've got rice cookin' in the microwave". What could be a more simple, kind of random, start to a song? But it just makes me think, I don't need anything fancy in life to make it great... I can eat leftover rice everyday and still have it be amazing ;) Okay, kind of silly... but this song is just great :) I hope everyone can hear this and add it to their list of pick-me-up songs when their day gets rough.... because EVERYDAY is a GREAT DAY to be ALIVE. Even the crummy ones. :) 

What songs do you listen to that make you happy? What songs make you ready to have a great day?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

farewell, Savanny :)

Well, Savanna has left into the MTC as of today. She's officially a full time missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints... and she is going to do so well. It's going to be over two years before I see that lovely girl again (unless by chance I go to her mission and we're companions... that would be AWESOME :). Seeing as that likely won't happen, I will most definitely miss her. I'll miss that friend I can just talk to for hours and have the time of my life doing nothing else. Savanna's the best friend I could have asked for in junior high and high school.. she put up with all my rambling about boys and school and life in general... and she was such a good friend through it all. I'll definitely miss those long talks on her bed, our inside jokes that made absolutely no sense at all, and doing yoga together when everyone else is playing "zombies" or "killer sardines". I'll miss her example to me and her almost motherliness that keeps me on the straight and narrow :) It's weird saying goodbye to her, but I am SO excited for her. She is going to be an AMAZING missionary... I have no doubt about that at all. She's been my role model ever since we met. Her testimony is so strong. She is so loving and Christlike.I'm so grateful to have had her as my best friend and for all the support and advice she's given me through the years ;)

I can't say how excited I am for her and how lucky the people of Italy are to have her teach them the gospel.  She will do great to say the least... look out Italy, here comes the greatest missionary you'll ever have! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

fresh. flavorful. tasty. tacos.

Can I just say how nice it is to have food? To be able to go to the grocery store and get lots of food and get produce? I don't think I've ever been so excited to go to the grocery store as I was today... The last two weeks I went without any groceries... and gradually depleted everything else I had here. So it was so nice to make a grocery list and get lots of fresh produce :) I love my vegetables... I just can't stand cooking meals without them :) So I got lots of produce and was so excited to make dinner with my new food treasures. I wanted something fresh and something that I could use lots of these yummy things in... so I decided to make tacos! And of course I had to make it all homemade... cilantro lime chicken and rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, and tortillas... it took a little while to make it all, but boy was it worth it! It was so fresh and so flavorful... so tasty... And I thought it looked beautiful with the fresh pico de gallo and lettuce spilling out of the still warm tortilla :)  I'm just so glad I came to school so I can have this experience of learning to appreciate cooking and good food so much :)

So here's what mine looked like... the photo isn't the greatest, but the taste of it sure was! :)

Here's the tortillas I made... I used this recipe off pinterest :)

Here's the recipe for the cilantro lime chicken I made.... I didn't get a picture of what mine looked like, but this is the one from the actual recipe's site :)

And here's an interesting picture of my pico de gallo...  It was so tasty and fresh though! I just put in tomato, green onion, cilantro, and a squirt of lime. So tasty! :)

Basically, I'm so grateful for good food. And the ability to cook. And for Pinterest because it gives me so many great ideas for my meals. And for groceries... fresh produce from the store that I can use to make such delightful creations! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

the miracle of the Atonement.

The institute class I'm in this semester is called "The miracle of the Atonement". On Monday we had class and my eyes were opened so much to what a miracle the Atonement really is. Yes I hear about it every week at church. I hear about it when I read my scriptures. I hear about it when my family has FHE lessons together. I heard about it in primary, in young women's, Sunday school, and now I hear about it in Relief Society. I'm always hearing how important the Atonement is, what a wonderful sacrifice, what a wonderful, miraculous blessing that Christ suffered and died for us. But do I realize how important, how crucial the Atonement really was for our salvation? Do I really realize the depth of his sacrifice? Do I realize the true miracle of the Atonement?

I thought I did... I just didn't really think about it deep enough to realize all I didn't realize about the Atonement. If anything should not be taken for granted, it's the Atonement of Jesus Christ... but I found myself doing just that. I have a testimony of the Atonement. I know that because of it I can repent and will be able to return to my Heavenly Father. But I guess believing that has caused me to sit back content to know just that. But Institute yesterday helped to open my eyes to what the Atonement really should mean to me.

My teacher had us turn to Revelations 12:7-11. We talked about the war in heaven, and the reality that we didn't know for sure if Christ would fulfill the Atonement. We didn't have a guarantee that he would overcome all things and be resurrected.

2 Nephi 9:8-9 says "7 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.

8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.

9 And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness."

If Christ would have failed to complete the Atonement, to die for us and to be resurrected, we wouldn't have been resurrected either. Our "flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more." Our spirits wouldn't dwell with God after living a righteous life, but we would all be subjects of the devil. Knowing this, I feel like it's easier to understand why a whole third of our brothers and sisters in heaven fell away with Satan. His plan would have seemed so promising. We didn't know if we would return to our wonderful Father, and I'm sure that terrified us. Yet, verse 11 of Revelations 12 tells us that even with this knowledge, "they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony". We had to act on faith in his blood- the Atonement. We had to have sufficient faith in something that hadn't even happened yet. We had to fight against Satan then as we have to now- with our testimonies of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

So with Satan doing everything he could think of to tempt him and make the Atonement fail, Christ came to earth to do that very thing. We can't even imagine the suffering of the Atonement. It would have killed anyone else to experience pain equal to that which the Savior did in Gethsemane. Christ could do it because he was physically God's son. And even Christ, the only begotten son of God, suffered so profoundly that he bled from every pore. To experience the afflictions of every person that would ever live was so great that even he was "sore amazed" (Mark 14:33). How great would the suffering have to be in order to amaze or astonish even the son of God? His suffering was so extreme that even he asked his Father in Heaven "if it be possible, let this cup pass from me". He suffered for everything. Everything we would ever feel. Every pain we can even think of feeling.

(This is an excerpt from The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister. My institute teacher shared this with our class)

Jacob placed no qualifiers when he said the Savior would suffer “the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam” (2 Nephi 9:21). These were pains both related and unrelated to sin or transgression. In other words, the Savior voluntarily took upon himself not only the cumulative burden of all sin and transgression, but also the cumulative burden of all depression, all loneliness, all sorrow, all mental, emotional, and physical hurt, and all weakness of every kind that afflicts mankind. He knows the depth of sorrow that stems from death; he knows the widow’s anguish. He understands the agonizing parental pain when children go astray; he has felt the striking pain of cancer and every other debilitating ailment heaped upon man. Impossible as it may seem, he has somehow taken upon himself those feelings of inadequacy, sometimes even utter hopelessness, that accompany our rejections and weaknesses. There is no mortal condition, however gruesome or ugly or hopeless it may seem, that has escaped his grasp or his suffering. No one will be able to say, “But you don’t understand my particular plight.” The scriptures are emphatic on this point—“he comprehended all things” because “he descended below all things” (D&C 88:6; see also D&C 122:8).

All of these, Elder Neal A. Maxwell explains, “were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement.” President Ezra Taft Benson taught, “There is no human condition— be it suffering, incapacity, inadequacy, mental deficiency, or sin— which He cannot comprehend or for which His love will not reach out to the individual.” This is a staggering thought when we contemplate the Mount Everest of pain required to make it so. What weight is thrown on the scales of pain when calculating the hurt of innumerable patients in countless hospitals?

Now, add to that the loneliness of the elderly who are forgotten in the rest homes of society, desperately yearning for a card, a visit, a call— just some recognition from the outside world. Keep on adding the hurt of hungry children, the suffering caused by famine, drought, and pestilence. Pile on the heartache of parents who tearfully plead on a daily basis for a wayward son or daughter to come back home. Factor in the trauma of every divorce and the tragedy of every abortion. Add the remorse that comes with each child lost in the dawn of life, each spouse taken in the prime of marriage. Compound that with the misery of overflowing prisons, bulging halfway houses and institutions for the mentally disadvantaged. Multiply all this by century after century of history, and creation after creation without end. Such is but an awful glimpse of the Savior’s load. Who can bear such a burden or scale such a mountain as this? No one, absolutely no one, save Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of us all.

The prophets have long testified of the Savior’s infinite, suffering nature. Years before his birth, Isaiah declared, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4), and later, “In all their affliction he was afflicted” (Isaiah 63:9; see also D&C 133:53). Alma understood the extent of the Savior’s descent when he observed, “He shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people” (Alma 7:11; emphasis added). So extensive would be this descent that King Benjamin observed, “He shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer” (Mosiah 3:7). No one in the limited experiences of mortality will scratch the surface of pain laid upon the Infinite One. He carried it all, even that aggregate of pain that has no origins in sin or transgression.

The Infinite Atonement, Tad R. Callister, pp. 111-13

I can't even begin to imagine or to comprehend all that the savior would have suffered there in Gethsemane. To think that I complain about getting a cold or a paper cut. We feel so sorry for those experiencing death and loss in their lives. We feel torn apart when family members or friends die. There are times we face that make some feel like they simply can't go on any longer because of the depth of their suffering. And he suffered it all. For every single one of us.

Despite all of this incomprehensible pain, despite his desperate plea to the Father to "take this cup from me", despite all odds against him, despite the constant fight of Satan to cause him to fail, he continued to humble himself during the height of all misery, and to tell his Father in Heaven "nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt". That is the miracle of the Atonement. That is what makes it something that I can never take for granted. I can not even begin to comprehend the miracle that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is to me and all my brothers and sisters.

He suffered so I could repent and be saved. He suffered everything I will ever experience, and he is here to comfort me in all those experiences which he understands perfectly. I can't begin to express the gratitude that fills me as I think of all of these things.

Needless to say, I couldn't be more excited for this semester in institute. The class is intense. Definitely not the simplest gospel concepts... but I can't wait to go to the next class the moment one is over. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true and I am so grateful to be a part of it and to have knowledge of it. And I'm so grateful to be enrolled in institute... :)

I know that was a very long post... with lots of words... but I just had to share the things we learned in that class and share with others the wonderful miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

molten chocolate lava cake.

Delicious. That's all I can say about this. On Sunday Daina mentioned chocolate and then I just had to bake something chocolatey... I found this recipe for molten chocolate lava cake... and it turned out SO good. We sprinkled powdered sugar on top along with heated raspberries out of the freezer... It was so yummy and so fancy looking. My pictures aren't the best, but bare with me :)

Here's the recipe from the original site, To get the simple and delicious recipe, go here :)

And here are my photos... not too great, especially compared with the original photo... but they taste 10 times better than the top photo looks! :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

my plants.

They're growing! Even more than just yesterday when I posted about them... I can't say how excited I am. When I went to check on them today I really didn't think they'd be any different from yesterday... but my little basil actually has two very teeny tiny leaves that have sprouted! A few of the others have little millimeter high stems that are beginning to sprout... They're growing so fast! Before I know it I'll have my own little supply of home-grown herbs!

Here's my cute little basil! If you look closely you can see a little leaf on the top :)

And here they are all lined up in a row! You can't really tell, but some have little stems sprouting...

I wet my plants!

So for my birthday Kenzie gave me stuff to grow my own potted herb garden... and I was so excited. It was probably the most exciting present I've ever been given ;) I waited til after Christmas break to plant them so I could be here to take care of them while they grew... I went to plant them and someone had taken the seed packs out of one of the package with 6 little pots :( But at least this gave me the chance to get more different kinds of seeds... so I got a bunch of different kinds! :) I planted them the other day, and today I saw the first sign of life! The faithful watering via spray bottle has paid off! I went to water them today and saw the smallest little sprout of green in my pot... so exciting! :) I just had to take a picture... even though it's kind of hard to see... I'm so proud though! I don't know that I've ever been this excited about something ;)

Here's the plants when I started planting them... so exciting!

 And here's the pots after they've all been planted! Cilantro, chives, oregano, basil, lavender, spearmint, parsley, and another basil... I can't wait til they really start to get growing :)

 And here's my basil that was the first to start growing today! The arrow is pointing to the little green sprout :)

And here I am with the little pot I'm so proud of! I honestly was so thrilled I could have wet my pants! ;)

scripting joy.

Why the blog name?
Scripting joy?
Honestly, I'm not totally sure. When I got my other (first) blog I thought it was weird to have a blog. My best friend Savanna had a blog and she for some reason convinced me to make one of my own. We brainstormed for quite some time about a blog title and finally came up with one- To Kiss a Frog. It was kind of random I thought, but I also kind of liked it. I was inn 9th grade- 15, going on 16 years old. To Kiss a Frog seemed like something kind of relatable to me at that time. My blog title made me think of the quote "before you meet your handsome prince, you have to kiss a lot of toads!"Who knew how long it would be till I had my own first kiss? I also felt like my life was full of drama over the guys I liked and those who liked me... it was all overwhelming having to make such important decisions so early in life! Who knew, they might have all turned out to be toads under the surface, and all my conversations about which I should like and bla bla bla would have been all for nothing. It was obviously a very trying time in my life. So yes, the blog title, random as it seemed, felt like it fit how things were for me at the time.
But why my title now? Well honestly, I googled how to come up with a good and clever blog title. I heeded one website's advice and brainstormed what I wanted the purpose of my blog to be, and then thought of words that described that. I thought of my desire to write, to express my joy and to spread that to others around me. I searched in the thesaurus synonyms of the word write, as well as joy and happiness, and some other words. I experimented by putting different word combinations together and finally settled on this one. Scripting Joy. 
It doesn't totally flow, and people might not immediately read it and think "oh! what a brilliant blog title!" But it works for me and the purpose of my blog. So many people lack true joy in their lives. Some suffer with depression or other ailments that keep them from being happy much of the time. Some people are totally chemically balanced, yet they still can't manage to find joy. I'm no expert at life, but I am happy and I feel that I am able to find a positive outlook in most of what I do. So why not have a blog focused on that one thing? JOY. What could be a better cause than I joy? What can I do more than simply showing people how and why I find so much joy in my own life? My life isn't perfect. It has its struggles. I have my weaknesses and I have my down moments. BUT I LOVE LIFE. And I honestly don't think that's simply a coincidence that I have a more positive chemical makeup. I am happy because I choose to be happy. I choose joy even when it doesn't seem easy, or when it seems easier to be upset. I choose joy because it's easier than holding a grudge against someone I love or missing out on a positive experience. Why would someone not want to choose joy?
So this is why I chose the blog title scripting joy. Because I want to give joy a script. Scripting means writing, but a script is also what is used when learning lines for a play. A script is the directions for what the actors should do and say in order to perform correctly. So I am giving joy a script... saying what I do and say in order to bring more joy into my own life in the hopes that someone else might be able to read this and follow those "directions" in order to find more joys in their own. 
So no I'm no expert, and no this may not be the most inspiring blog title anyone has ever heard. But it works. It describes what I want this blog to fulfill, so thus it is the name I choose... I can just hope that as I continue to make a greater effort to post on this blog that I may do a significant job at scripting joy.

a new blog.

I've made a new blog.
I guess for a while I've been wanting to create a new blog. One that was more personalized and looked more legit than my blogspot blog I made in 9th grade. I guess I just keep finding new blogs I like reading and keep wishing I blogged as often as they do and that I had a blog that looked more like a "real" blog. I love to write. And I guess having a blog is kind of an outlet for that since I otherwise don't get very many opportunities to do so. I guess I feel like creating a new blog will encourage me to start a new history of blogging, where I blog more often. I want my blog to be a regular thing I do, rather than just randomly deciding to post every couple months. So here goes nothing to my new-found desire to be a blogger!
Why blog?
Like I said before. I love to write. I want to write more. As I write essays for my classes and read books, articles, and other blogs, it makes me want so much more to write more for myself. My blog is kind of like a journal when I actually think to post on it. I secretly feel cool when I come up with new philosophies and ideas that I can post on my blog. I love to share my thoughts and impressions, but at the same time I'm pretty shy. I don't just go around yelling out my thoughts to everyone. And it's just easier for me to express things in writing... speaking sometimes makes it harder to get my point across, whereas with writing I can sit here on my bed and think about my words, forming them exactly how I want before they get published and actually told to people. With writing I can actually ensure that what I'm saying is all things I want to be said and heard.
So here is my new blog. It is my hope that I really will make it more of a habit to post often and about anything and everything. Yes, it may be my dream to have a blog with a thousand followers and a hundred people visiting each day... but obviously my blog won't be like that now. Quite probably it won't ever. But the least I can do is to write this for myself, as it is really and truly an outlet for myself and for my own emotions. So if only for my own self, here I start a new blog.