Sunday, August 31, 2014

Preparing For an LDS Mission, Part 1

 (Last Saturday, September 6, I decided to not serve a LDS mission.  You can read about it here, "Deciding to Not Serve a LDS Mission.")
I'm preparing to serve a full time LDS mission, which for women is an 18 month commitment verses 2 years for men.

This is something I've always wanted to do.  Serving a mission has always been a desire of my heart, but one thing or another has prevented me. 

Having three younger brothers is one thing that's kept me here.  Having two kids from one family out at the same time is very difficult, and with my brothers being priesthood holders, it was more important for them to serve.  Then by the time Robbie got home I felt my focus should be marriage, so I stuck around just in case someone amazing came into my life.  Obviously that time isn't now, or it would have happened.  And I've been helping get Talea Studios going.  That important, too.  My family (Talea Studios) has been working on a huge project which we haven't announced yet.  The announcement is a few month away.

So I convinced myself that the mission boat had sailed, despite the aches in my heart reminding me of my desire.

Then on the 22nd of August something really important happened.  Everything fell into place.  It's all pretty miraculous, and I have the full support of my family.

And then realization hit!!  It's one thing to want to serve a mission, and another to make it happen.
There's a process that I'm still trying to figure out.  I met with the bishop last week, scheduled my doctor and dentist visit this week, went to my first mission prep class today, and that's where I'm at.  I'm not even sure at what point I'm supposed to be interviewed by the Stake President.  One step at a time.

And this is all before I even get to "send in my papers."

Sending in ones papers is when all the doctors, dentist, documents, interviews, etc, are completed and sent to Church headquarters.

Then a mission committee goes over the paper work and through inspiration selects when and where the future missionary will serve.  (I'm not entirely sure of the process, but I have a testimony in it.)
I don't get to choose where I'm going, or the date I'm leaving.  This is a huge leap of faith, and I am nervous, can't lie.

I completely understand why there are young men who choose not to serve missions.  It's a scary process.  And I just found out how scared my brother Michael was during his mission prep and MTC (missionary training center) experience. It was a very trying time for him.

I should know when and where I'm going a few weeks after my papers are submitted, and getting all my papers together is a process I can't predict.  I'm not quite sure when this opening process will be finished.  But I won't be leaving before January, because I'm setting my availability date for the middle of that month.

I'm nervous, but I know this is right.  This is the time I was supposed to serve.  God's timing doesn't make sense to me, but it's not supposed to make sense.  That's where faith comes in :0)

Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

 (Last Saturday, September 6, I decided to not serve a LDS mission.  You can read about it here, "Deciding to Not Serve a LDS Mission.")

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hello Kitty's a WHAT??!! My Thoughts

 What do you think when you see this cute little plush?

Hint, the answer is not a cat.

Hello Kitty is a human girl . . .


(Edit: My friend sent me a link to a blog post entitled "Don't Be Silly, Hello Kitty is a Cat."  Good read.  Apparently she isn't Human, and that saying she's not a cat is going too far.  Makes me feel better.) 

Apparently because she doesn't crawl around on all fours.

"Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature."

That's what Christine Yano was told when Sanrio fact checked her paper.

"It is a 100-percent personified character.  The design takes the motif of a cat, but there is no element of a cat in Hello Kitty's setting." This is what a Sanrio spokesman told AFP.

And there's no element of Duck in Daffy, just saying.

Apparently it's to make Kitty, aka Kitty White, her true name, more "friendly."

So she takes on the appearance of a cat, though she isn't a cat, so she can be more relatable?  More likable?  More Kawaii (cute)?

As if, this whole time, we haven't seen the real Kitty White who's from England?  Who, by the way, has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty.

We've been presented with a false reality for marketing sake.

It's like they believe people couldn't simply buy the idea of a talking animal. 

Or they created a back story and character and then realized it would never sale.  Enter the twilight zone!!  We've been watching a little girls imaginings.  Her version of reality, it seems.  Or a presentation of her reality with costumes.  Or just a presentation of a false reality painted over with talking cats.

It's not real.

It never was.

So, after much thought, I can choose to accept this new attention ploy from Sanrio, or I can continue seeing Kitty the way I always have, as a cute little cat.

Because, when you get down to it, Mickey Mouse doesn't crawl on all fours, has a pet dog (Pluto) and a best friend who's also a dog (Goofy).

I'm cool with that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Carpet Meanders . . .

I'm hanging out at Lowe's helping my Mom pick out new carpet for the sun room.

It's an important decision, after all, and a second opinion is key.

So we've settled on a Stainmaster carpet named "Emerald Isle."

Sounds romantic.

Though it's more blue then green.


Any who, day two and I'm back in the carpet section, waiting for the order to be placed as I wander about, reading the names of various shades:

This Kiss
Beethoven (for a brown)
Ballet (for a grey)
Sweet It Is
Dynamics (for a pale color)
Lotta Love


I guess when you're renaming repetitive shades of beige you have to be creative!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 2014 Your Bijoux Box Review with Spoilers

  Your Bijoux Box is a Jewelry Subscription monthly box, costing $35 with free shipping.  Ships to the USA and Canada.

 First look at pieces included in this box.

 All jewelry comes with a velvet bag, plus there's an info card detailing the pieces selected and styling tips.

 Moroccan Lantern Pendant

I love this necklace!  So pretty.  I even wore it yesterday and got many compliments.  Very unique.

 PavĂ© Link Necklace

I love how simple this necklace is, and how the reinstones are not on every link.
Very nice.

St. Barth’s Earrings

I love the colors and pattern with these earrings.  What's also cool is that these earrings are double sided, with the pattern and paint on the back.

Another good month for You Bijoux Box :0)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Giver, Movie Review

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

"When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong." ~ Chief Elder

In The Giver, Jonas (newcomer ) lives in a black and white world, eagerly awaiting the next stage of his life: assignment in the community, aka his job.  He lives in a world without freedom and agency.  Everything is assigned including the family unit, children, and occupation.  There is no choice.  Jonas sees nothing wrong with this, freely willing to accept whatever the community Elders decide, especially since he doesn't know where he belongs, feeling different and separate from everyone.

During a special career ceremony Jonas stands and waits as he is skipped over, looking around, unsure.  And then the big announcement comes: Jonas will be the Receiver of Memories.  His task will be difficult since he is expected to experience pain.  Be brave.  Don't fail, as another has failed before.  The next day he is asked to meet with a man who calls himself "The Giver" ().

In this world even memories are kept from the people.  Memories, knowledge, books, history, and differing thought.  Hence the faithful compliance.

Jonas will soon see beyond the black and white.

In a sea of post-apocalyptic movies it's easy to compare The Giver with The Hunger Games, Divergent, and soon to be The Maze Runner, all popular YA novels turned film.

For me I see no comparison.

In my mind The Giver was the first dystopian YA novel, written in 1993 by Lois Lowry, winner of the Newbery Medal.  I read this book in elementary, soon after it was published, and the images The Giver created in my mind has stayed with me.  The themes haunting: Dangers of a large controlling government, climate control, individualism, sanctity of life, free will, family, motherhood, emotions, memory, love and pain (opposition in all things), infanticide, and euthanasia.

The heavy themes in this movie is one of the reasons why The Giver has taken so long to be made.  Many studios wouldn't touch this project.

A persistent Jeff Bridges is one of the reasons The Giver is finally a reality.  He's been trying to get this book made into a movie for 18 years, originally envisioning his father in the tittle role, but the timing wasn't right.  Set back after set back, but I'm glad it's taken this long.  Movie industry technology wasn't ready for this film, and the grand visuals and futuristic plausibility is what it should be.  Usually I frown when CGI is overused, here it's a necessity.  Plus, with the 18 year wait, Bridges is old enough to play The Giver, which is only fitting.

Under the guidance of director all the complex, controversial themes are handled delicately.

And the use of black and white film verses color is perfectly balanced, though not with the same impact as the book.  Visually the timing does work between B&W and technicolor.

True, there are some things you can only pull off through literature, yet I feel this film is a good representation of the novel.  Not perfect, sense the young characters are aged six years for additional tension and emotional possibilities, yet I'm not bothered with an 18 year old Jonas vs one that is 12.

The movie has impact, still, when I read the book as a kid, it was a shock when I realized everyone saw in black and white instead of color.  Through Jonas you see this Utopian society fall apart.  You see the delusions and hypocrisies.  The movie does a fine job, though the book is still better in these regards.  I felt a greater journey of self discovery and realization while reading.

Overall I was not disappointed, and can easily see this movie again.

(As a note: The ending still bothers me, which remains unchanged.)

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence.

2 Nephi 2:11


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Disney Store Tsum Tsum! The Japanese Phenomenon

I became familier with Tsum Tsums a few weeks ago when my brother Steven bought me this really cute Winnie the Pooh tsum tsum from the Burbank CA Disney Store.

These cute stack-able tsum tsums are a Japanese hit, and thanks to this popularity they've come to the USA.  I haven't seen them yet in Utah (I've recently visited both the Disney Store at the Orem University Mall and City Creek in Salt Lake.)

But isn't Pooh adorable!!??

And no sooner then Steven giving me this plush I saw a commercial on the Disney Channel all about them!  (Haven't seen this commercial before or sense, ironically.) ( . . . and yes, I'm 32, and I watch Dog with a Blog and Girl Meets World . . . ) But in the commercial they showed many more tsum tsums that can be purchased.

If you can't buy them in your area, the Online Disney Store has tsum tsums for sale.

The Online Japan Disney Store has other tsum tsum varieties not available yet in the USA.

Check out the cuteness!

I don't mind the occasional cuteness overload:0)

(The commercial I saw.  Yes, I took a picture with my cell.)

Below is a video of YouTuber LorienSpree opening an order from Japan.

And here's a commercial advertising the Line Tsum Tsum phone app game.

I downloaded it for free from the app store, but I guess you need a Line account to fully get it going, which I haven't done yet.  Not sure where to go for that, but it looks like fun.

This is the game opener.

More cuteness abounds!

And if you don't feel like buying them, but would rather make a tsum tsum, I found a great tutorial from YouTuber BudgetHobby.

Really creative.

Though for $4.95 I would rather buy one :0)

So if you don't like all things cute, you may not like tsum tsums.

As for me, I'm embarrassing the adorable!

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Little Walk

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." 

~John Muir 

Out on a walk back in Idaho with Krista, Erin, and baby brother, right before watching the dog vs moose confrontation.

Sometimes I think we don't visit nature enough.  My soul longs for it.  Longs for the green and smell of pine.  And when I'm by the ocean I crave the salty air and crisp sunshine.

In a World crowded with technology it's nice taking a brake now and then to breath.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey, Movie Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Don't go to The Hundred-Foot Journey hungry.

If there's one piece of great advice I can give this month, that would be it.

Don't go hungry . . . which is the same advice I give myself whenever I watch the Food Network.  (Hence all the HGTV I've been watching lately.  You can watch that channel hungry and not be inspired to make a quesadilla for breakfast, which I've done without regret.)

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a literal feast for the eyes, celebrating good cuisine and taste, and everything that surrounds it.  The care and emotion towards food is in the same spirit as the Korean drama The Grand Chef (also known as Gourmet), Brittany Murphy's The Romen Girl, and Pixar's Ratatouille  I couldn't help but think of these movies while watching The Hundred-Foot Journey.

When the Kadam family faced tragedy in India, caught between a political crossfire that leaves everything precious in a heap of ashes, they are forced to leave for safety and peace.  Their journeying finds them in a quaint French village, the kind of place where dreams are made, when the car they're driving brakes down.  The Father receives inspiration that this is their new home, and he finds a run down restaurant across the street from a Michelin star French cuisine oasis.  Michelin stars are all that's important in the French culinary World; They're the golden grail.  Therefore, establishing a new Indian food restaurant across the street from such prestige is a gamble and recipe for an all out food war.  The clash of cultures.  The clash of taste.  The clash of tradition.

The Hundred-Foot Journey isn't just about the love of food, but it's also about the love of family and life.  Embracing those quiet moments.  Finding joy and passion.  Living life to the fullest.  Forgiving and being forgiven.  Etc.

Is the story a little predictable?  Yes, but the story is sweet.  The cinematography enchanting in a simply elegant way.  (In a way that makes me wish I could travel to such a place.)

My only complaints for this film is that with the movement of time.  Sometimes I did feel a lull, a slight mindless wander.  But I'm glad for a complete story and not a rush job.  The marking of time is displayed through Bastille fireworks, which is a nice way to show a year has past without stating the fact, but I wish the fireworks could have been authentic and not CGI.  The digital was a little obvious and thus distracting.

To end on a high note, I really enjoyed 's performance, but it is as the Papa who stole the show.  He was delightful.

P.S. It's a PG rated romance!  Some people may be put off by this, but I honestly think it's awesome.  How many of these do we get?  Not enough.

MPAA: Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Stupid Dog

Spotting wildlife is fun.

When I was visiting the Grand Tetons many years ago I was incredibly disappointed not to see any bears or moose.

Bears allude me.  I just have no talent for finding them.  Once, at girls camp in the great Sierra Nevada's, it seemed EVERYONE at some point spotted a bear that week.  Then the next year we had to tie the cabin doors shut due to sighted bears.

I did see a grand Canadian moose once while driving through Banff.  That was epic.

But what I really want is to see is an American moose!

A couple weeks ago I finally got my wish while visiting Island Park in Idaho.

A white dog, from another cabin, seemed to be equally excited . . .

The second night at the cabin I want on a walk with Erin and Krista, sunset, over the bridge where I would later lose my glasses (-_-;;), and to the canoe launch pad where we gazed over the beauty that is nature.

Then suddenly we heard a commotion.

A few hundred feet up the river was a mamma moose with her kiddie moose.  And at the river bank was a barking white dog bouncing around.

The mamma stopped and starred, while the owners yelled for the dog to return to the cabin.

This went on for quite awhile.  The moose standing still, the dog barking (charging in and out of the water), and the owners yelling, hidden behind trees.

At one point the moose started walking towards the bank, almost stepping on dry land, but thankfully they stopped as the yells increased to desperation, and the dog left momentarily.

Finally the moose started walking up the river, probably realizing the silly dog wasn't a true threat.  And for a moment, as I stood near the docks edge, the moose was walking right towards me.  I didn't shift or move, instead watching in awe, standing my ground.  Then the moose shifted direction to venture further down the river.

I won't deny that the whole experience was equally amusing and fun :0)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 2014 POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review with Spoilers, My Thoughts

 I got my POPSUGAR Must Have Box today!

I was a little nervous because the box shipped out of New York this month.  The box typically ships from Gilroy CA, land of Garlic, which only takes 4-5 days to get to me here in Utah.  (As a note, I've driven through Gilroy a couple times, and it really does smell like garlic!  You know you're in Gilroy when you can smell it.  Honestly, it's pretty funny.)  Anywho, this package only took a week!  So I'm really happy about that.  (Shipping is free, and ships FedEx Smart Post.)

POPSUGAR Must Have is a monthly subscription lifestyle box for gals.  The cost is $39.95 a month, free shipping, but it's cheaper when you subscribe with a 3, 6, or 12 months subscription.  On any month you can receive goodies for home, a book, fitness, snack, makeup, pampering, fashion, etc.  You never know what you're going to get, only that it will be fun and worth around $100, give or take a little.
Coupon code REFER5 saves you $5!

 The reveal.

 The pamphlet that's included every month, detailing the products selected.

"Soft and simply captivating. A light floral celebration of powdery rice flower perfectly paired with lovely, southern magnolias and demure mimosa."

Last Spring Lollia did a give away where they gave 10 POPSUGAR subscribers a nice assortment of bath products.  Alas, I didn't win, but I was hoping we'd get a Lollia product to try.  I'm excited to try this new scent "At Least," but at the moment I'm having mixed feelings about it.  The fragrance hints at white musk, which I'm not a fan.  If the 1920's had a smell, it would probably be this.  But that's my initial thought, so I'll have to try it out a few times before forming a concrete opinion.  Still, it's nice to finally get to try a Lollia product. 

 This is the Special Extra for our box.

This bar has a nice, dark chocolate taste. 

Also, this bar has 0 grams of sugar because Maltitol is the sweet substitute, which is a sugar alcohol.  You do have to be be careful with maltitol because too much can cause cramps or the runs.  Sees candies uses maltitol for their sugar free chocolates.  Go here to read more about maltitol to see if it's right for you.

At first when I saw spoilers for this box I wasn't too crazy about these earrings, but now that I have them in person, I like them a lot.  The style isn't at all typical to what I normally wear, but it's nice and classic, and the slate color will go with everything.

 This isn't a Mason Jar, it's a pouch.  I was a little tripped out for a moment.  But I love the idea, and all I have to add is butter and an egg (vanilla optional).  I found a fantastic blog post listing tricks for the perfect cookie, and I'm thinking about making the dough this Saturday, and chilling for 24 hrs. to bake on Sunday.  This will be fun :0)

 Goodbyn Purple Mean and Dipper Set, valued at $8.

At the moment I don't really need this bento like lunch set, but the quality is really good, and I'm really glad we got purple.  I'll find a use for it.  Maybe pre-planning meals will be good.

 Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip, exclusive POPSUGAR shade, valued at $22.

I'd never heard of Bit Beauty before, but I know a lot of people on the forum I visit were quite excited for this product.  The lip gloss is made with "nourishing strawberry, coconut, and avocado oils."  And though the color in the tube seems really bright, when I put it on the color was a very pretty pink.  I'm a lip gloss addict!  This will be my new favorite :0)

This lip gloss was also created to celebrate POPSUGAR's 2nd B-day.

And last but not least . . .

I love the smell of this candle!  It's so fresh.  And the glass jar is really cute, which just so happens to be one of my favorite colors.

All totaled up this box, which I paid $36 for because I bought a 3 month subscription, has a value of $128.  Not bad at all.  Plus I was introduced to new brands and companies, which is always fun.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Share a Coke With . . . Mmmmm

 Share a Coke with . . .

I first found out about this new Coca-Cola campaign a couple weeks ago during a trip to Idaho.  While nursing a headache I pulled a coke bottle out of the fridge, turned it around, and saw "Share a coke with . . . (enter random name here)."

"Why would I want to do that?" I said, showing the bottle to all those in the kitchen. "That would be unhygienic."

And then I saw it!

Images of backwash.

Virus's being spread.

The idea of a stranger downing my drink, leaving me none.

Not cool.

I understand the idea behind the advertising.  Spread the coke love!  Right, get that.  I just don't want to share the drink I'm drinking from, which is why I find it a little disturbing drinking from a bottle with a strangers name on it.

I was taught not to talk to strangers, let alone share a drink . . .

BTW, I found a coke bottle with my brother Michael's name.  And I kept it all to myself.  Enjoying every drop.

I tried to find a bottle with "Sarah" on it, so I can share a coke with myself, but I have yet to find one.

In other Coca-cola news, I found these cans of coke shaped like bottles, which I honestly find pretty cool, but not cool enough to buy one at $1.49!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yuzen Autumn 2014 Box Review and Spoilers

Yuzen, which delivers 4 times a year, corresponding with the 4 seasons: Spring (February), Summer (May), Autumn (August), and Winter (November).  It's $33 a box, and the theme is all about bringing a little Zen to your life.  The site states, "Each box has the very best Eco-conscious products to nourish the body and soul."  

"Each box includes high-quality natural and organic personal care products, healthy snacks, and lifestyle items carefully chosen from about 6 companies."  It's mainly filled with deluxe sample sizes, which are smaller then the original size, but big enough to try and use.  Sometimes there's full size items, too!!  There were a couple full sized products this month :0)

 Always so pretty.

 The first look!

In each box they provide an info card talking about each product, why they choose it, and giving codes for future discounts if you fall in love with a product.

 Everything all laid out.

 We were treated with wonderful lavender products last month, so I didn't expect to see a lavender product this month!  It smells heavenly and this product will be wonderful to try.  The website is quite inviting.

A full sized item!

This is a new product for me.  So far I really like it.  The lotion has a soft Pomegranate scent and dissolves quickly into the skin.

"This precious composition of organic pomegranate seed oil, apricot kernel oil and shea butter takes effect antioxidatively, which stimulates cell renewal and protects your skin from damaging environmental influences."

Another full size item! :0)

This isn't the first SpaRitual product I've received from Yuzen.  The Winter 2013 box came with a pretty gold glitter polish that I grew to love and used often.  I'm really excited to try this cuticle pen, designed to help promote healthy nail growth with natural ingredients.

After reading about this eye cream off their website it sounds amazing!  Another product I can't wait to try.

"Rich in anti-inflammatory Indigo, liquid Silk and Squalane, TATCHA's INDIGO Soothing Silk Hand Moisturizer Cream softens and soothes irritated skin."

This hand cream is made in Japan!  And it smells amazing and feels nice.  Love the fresh scent.

Plus it's color is indigo, which is fun.

I'm no stranger to the fruit snack, thanks to having awesomely cute nieces.  I've become quite the connoisseur!  These are tasty, and probably much healthier that what I usually consume! Heh . . .

I love this nail color!  And it claims to be 7-day chip free.  I'm excited to try this claim, as polishes tend to start chipping within 3-4 days.  Kinda annoying.  So this is nice.

Another wonderful box with great, new products to try out.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Grumpy Cat Invasion!

 Grumpy Cat!

Hanging outside my window . . . 

and probably not enjoying it one bit.

 This cat is everywhere, including this breath mint tin hanging out unopened on the kitchen counter.

 And here's a pile of grumpy cats I found at a Michael's craft store.

Now, when I first found out about Grumpy Cat, thanks to all those memes, I thought grumpy cat was a boy cat.  This little article in Entertainment Weekly informed me otherwise.

Grumpy is a girl cat . . . which explains so much!

Heh . . .

And to add to her awesomeness, Grumpy Cat isn't even her real name.

It's Tardar Sauce!

"Why on Earth is she so cranky?  She owned 2013!" ~ EW

And she seems to be taking over 2014.

Here's some of my favorite Grumpy Cat Memes.

(I don't know the original authors. If you want credit please let me know.)

And if that's not enough, here's an adorable video of Grumpy getting petted.

And kids reacting to Grumpy Cat!

(Be careful, Kids React video's are crazy addictive.)

My Mom has hopped on the Grumpy Cat train, following my brother Steven, after watching Grumpy Cat on a T.V. show.  Apparently Grumpy's smaller then you'd expect and really calm.

My Mom wants one.

Your Welcome

Now go away . . .