Monday, June 11, 2012

Bear Lake & Minnetonka Cave

Edward and I set out on an adventure Saturday. We drove to Logan and then through the beautiful and picturesque Logan Canyon. Ever since my college days at Utah State, Logan Canyon has held a special place in my heart. In my opinion, it is one of the MOST beautiful places on earth. Edward had never seen it and I was very eager to share with him my love of Logan Canyon.

We arrived at Bear Lake in the early afternoon and drove around for a bit--enjoying the splendor of the quaint Garden City. Again, Bear Lake was all new to Edward. He quickly saw why I have such a soft spot for the lake. It was cool and breezy outside, but we did stop at Rendezvous Beach for a few minutes and skipped rocks (well, Edward skipped rocks and I threw lots of rocks that just plopped into the water with zero grace. oops.). I have never seen the water quite so aqua colored and clear. The photos don't do it justice--the scenery was truly breathtaking!

Then, on a whim, I remember that many years ago my family went to Bear Lake for a reunion, and we had paid a visit to Minnetonka Cave. After asking directions from the nice gas station lady, we headed a little north to Minnetonka Cave. And my memory did not fail me . . . the cave was just as impressive as I'd remembered!

We went on a guided 90-minute tour of the cave (where we learned the difference between stalagmites and stalactites). WOW! It is mind-blowing to see such amazing creations as Minnetonka Cave. If you're ever in the Bear Lake area (and stairs don't bother you--as there are 488 of them to get into the cave and 488 of them to return!), you should definitely take a moment to venture off the beaten path and see this marvelous site. Impressive. Just be sure to take a jacket. The temperature inside the cave is 40 degrees year-round. Brr.

After our caving adventure, we stopped and grabbed a raspberry shake in Garden City (because no trip to Bear Lake is complete without one!) and shared it on our drive back to Logan.

We had dinner in Logan and then headed home--exhausted, but pleased with our fun day.

Ahh. What a fun little Saturday excursion we had! We plan to do many more fun little day outings this summer. If you have any suggestions on where we should go, let me know!

I love summer!

Oh, and P.S.--check out my mini porch garden!!! I'm growing three tomato plants (all different types). To be fair, this one already had little green buds of tomatoes started when I got it . . . but I haven't killed it yet and it keeps growing, so I am quite proud of myself for that! I'm hoping to make some yummy, fresh salsa this summer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

one year down

Edward and I celebrated our one-year anniversary yesterday. What?!?! One year?! It's crazy how time flies. And it's also crazy how I can't remember life without Edward. I feel like we've been together forever--but at the same time, that first year of marriage flew by.

Honestly, the past year wasn't perfect. We saw many trials. Things didn't exactly work out the way we imagined they would. But life never does, right? :o)

But trials aside, I wouldn't have changed a thing about the past year. Edward and I learned some valuable life lessons. Most importantly, we learned that we make a pretty darn good team. We feel like as long as we've got each other, we could conquer the world!

I'm grateful for my loving, caring husband. I'm thankful that we pray together every day. That, in my humble opinion, makes all the difference. I'm more in love with Edward every day.

Here is a re-cap on our first year of marriage:
  • We were married May 20, 2011 in the Idaho Falls Temple
  • We honeymooned in Yellowstone--and it rained/snowed on us the whole time
  • We settled into our little apartment in Sandy, where we still live
  • We got involved in our ward and received great callings
  • We spent the spring (before it got too hot) riding our bikes on the Jordan River Trail
  • Edward was laid off from his job at Young Living in June
  • We learned to cut back and live more frugally
  • We ate many, many watermelons during the summer (Edward could live on watermelon alone!)
  • We almost drowned in the Teton River while kayaking/canoeing with my parents (but I learned that when faced with danger, Edward's always got my back!)
  • We spent many lazy Saturday afternoons laying out at the pool in our complex and BBQing
  • Edward started a new job!
  • I turned 30 (still not used to that yet!)
  • We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family in Idaho
  • We celebrated my Grandpa's 90th birthday with him
  • We vacationed in Denver for a weekend
  • We rented many, many RedBox movies
  • We learned how to live as a married couple

Oh, what a great year it was! I love you, bebe and I'm grateful to have you as my sweet husband!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the oil cleansing method {OCM}

Let's be honest . . . I thought during my teen years that my skin would for sure clear up and be pimple-free in my 20s. And in my 20s I though, well, any day now . . . And when I started birth control, I was sure my hormones would become more balanced and it would result in beautiful, glowing skin. Nope. If anything, my skin became worse. And when I turned 30, I just resigned myself to the fact that some people {me included} always struggle with clear skin. Yep. That's my fate.

Or is it???

Recently, while browsing Pinterest, I saw that a dear friend of mine had pinned an article that talked about the oil cleansing method. She wrote a comment about it and said she'd been using this method to clean her face for the past year and loved it.

Ever the skeptic, I wrote back and forth with her and asked many questions. I was officially intrigued. I did a little research here, here, here, and here, among other places. I decided there was nothing to lose. My face already suffered frequent breakouts, so even if the oil caused a breakout, that was nothing new for me.

Because my skin is more acne-prone and oily, I decided to go with a 50/50 mixture of castor oil {which I could only find at WalMart, BTW} and Extra Virgin Olive Oil {which was already in my cupboard}. I also added a little splash of Tea Tree Oil, which is known for it's natural antiseptic properties and is commonly used to help fight acne. Next time I might try grapefruit oil though--as I know it'll smell awesome!

The result? I am a believer in the OCM! I love it.

Here is my nightly routine:
  • Floss/brush teeth {I cannot sleep without flossing first!}.
  • Pour a little of my oil mixture into my hands and massage into my face for a couple of minutes.
  • Wet a clean wash cloth with very hot water (but not so hot that it burns you).
  • Tilt my head back and cover my face with the hot wash cloth--leaving it there until it cools.
  • Wet the wash cloth again with hot water and place on my face again until it cools.
  • Wipe off any remaining oil and makeup.
  • Cover face with a thin layer of light moisturizer (I'm still using an oil-free one . . . but when that's gone I might look at other options).
  • Look for any slight possibilities of zits and dab them with a tiny drop of Tea Tree oil using a q-tip. Those blemishes disappear almost overnight.

Morning routine:
  • I use my gentle Aveeno exfoliating cleanser in the shower.
  • Moisturize.
  • Makeup.

It's only been a week since I began using the oil cleansing method and I don't want to jinx anything, but so far, I am absolutely LOVING the results! My face looks noticeably clearer and brighter. That makes me a happy girl. :o)

I think it's so interesting that ever since puberty, I've been tricked by the beauty industry into believing that everything I put on my face needs to be "oil-free." I have stuck with that paradigm for years and years. And why? Did using oil-free products actually clear up my skin? Nope. I used ProActiv for about ten years straight. Only last year did I realize that it worked no better than the cheaper brands of acne cleansers.

As stated here, likes dissolve likes. It's a simple matter of science. So it makes sense that clean, pure oils will dissolve and cleanse the dirty, clogging oils on your face. Check out my links--other people explain it much better than I do.

Whether your skin is oily, dry, combination, acne-prone, aging, or falls under any other description, the OCM works for all skin types. You'll just create your mixture differently depending on your skin's needs.

Seriously, you should give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Be Cheerful" print on Etsy!

I've had quite a few of you (thanks to Pinterest) interested in my "Be Cheerful" art file. Prior to today, I've emailed this file to you request-ers for free.

But I finally got around to updating my Etsy shop and plan to add more art pieces shortly.

Buy my "Be Cheerful" print (available in several color options) for only $5. I'll email you the PDF ASAP!

Friday, April 20, 2012

birthday boy

Over the weekend we celebrated Edward's birthday! Here are some of the fun things we did:

  • Friday night dinner at Adobo's. Mmm. We love Cubano sandwiches. Yum.
  • Dollar movie. We saw This Means War. I am a Reese Witherspoon fan through and through.
  • Breakfast in bed for E on Saturday.
  • Shopping (that birthday money was burning a hole in Edward's pocket)!
  • Dinner at one of our favorite sushi eateries--Simply Sushi. Yum!
  • Jazz game! It was such an intense game and the Jazz pulled it off in overtime, defeating the Orlando Magic. Whew. We were on the edge of our seats the entire time.
  • Church.
  • Pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, and watermelon for dinner. This is one of Edward's favorite homemade meals. Mmm. Delicious, summery feast.
  • Relaxing Saturday afternoon {including naps and a leisurely stroll in the park}.
  • Chocolate birthday cake.

Here are some photos I took to document Edward's birthday weekend:

Such a fun weekend. I'm so grateful for my sweet husband and am so glad to have him in my life. We have so much fun together. What a lucky girl I am. :o)

Oh, one more thing. Edward doesn't have any of his baby or childhood photos in his possession. They're all in Honduras. So I've actually never been able to see any of them . . . until Sunday! Edward's mom posted a photo of him at three months old on Facebook. Yay! What a treasure! Look how cute my sweetie was {and he still is}!

Big baby, huh? He was 11 pounds when he was born--which makes him look much older than three months in this photo. But we are told the age is accurate. Three months old. Oh, man . . . I'm in for it. I'm going to have HUGE babies someday. Hahaha. :o)