Friday, August 31, 2012

News news news!

Greetings loved ones!

This is going to be a pretty word-heavy post.  So if you're ready, brace yourselves and dive right in.

Sorry I've been a little off the radar the past few weeks.  Coming back to Provo has been just one thing after another (including a really nasty 50-ish hour work training week-my bad knee is not pleased.) I haven't climbed in over 3 weeks and I've had so much stress trying to figure out a school schedule I can handle. So I have a full schedule and 15-20 hours of work per week-why am I complaining?  This shouldn't be too terribly difficult, right? Wrong.  Only because I can now finally come out with the tidbit of info that's been with me all summer just wanting to burst out.

For this school year, I've been called to be the Relief Society President for my ward at church. 

For those of you who don't know what this is, my "ward" is the group that lives near where I do and who I attend church meetings with every Sunday, and the "Relief Society President" is basically responsible for coordinating and looking after the welfare of all the girls in the ward. (For answers to more questions, please click the "I do believe" tab.) And let me tell you, for the two weeks or so that I've actually been doing this job, it is not a small undertaking.  I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I never expected it to actually eat up this much of my time and energy.  Jumping from meeting to meeting to work to am I ever supposed to get any homework done?  I have had a fair amount of reorganizing of my life to do, (hence why I have been so absent lately), but there are a few things I want to share regarding my feelings toward this.

Normally the leaders in the church don't hand out callings more than a few weeks before you're supposed to start, but for some reason I've known about this all summer. As many blessings as this has brought me and as much as it's allowed me to mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepare, it was hard.  I remember when I found out about it, not only did I not say yes immediately, I cried.  Like really, unattractively, embarrassingly hard.  But I accepted, and I have to admit that my rocky feelings did not stop there. It is part of what made summer so difficult for me, despite the fact that I was in minimum credits and had no job.  My mind was constantly on and stressed over the immense task I knew I had ahead of me. I can say without a doubt that I have never ever been closer to my Savior, but I also have experienced some of the lowest lows.  On top of annoying boy drama (which we won't get into), stress over watching my savings literally vanish before my eyes with no prospect of a job (although thank goodness I found one!)...I had the most overwhelming feelings of complete inadequacy and doubt.  Why on earth would my leaders feel impressed to choose somebody who is so scatterbrained, tongue-tied, and different from your average Mormon girl? Until very recently, I've never wanted kids or a family, I can barely cook, I'm extremely sarcastic, I don't get nearly as offended as I should when my friends (and admittedly even myself sometimes) let out the occasional colorful vocabulary when we're frustrated, and I have so, so, so many other very noticeable flaws. On a few occasions, I could (and sometimes still can) literally feel the adversary on my shoulder telling me, "you obviously aren't good enough." In fact, I remember some instances in which I was literally woken up in the middle of the night so choked by these feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness that I could for the life of me not figure out how to move forward.  If I looked Satan's way, I truly began to believe what he was telling me.

I have, however, learned a great lesson.  The Lord only chooses who he knows can succeed and who needs to grow from it most.  This past Sunday when I started this calling, instead of being nervous about being in a position of high scrutiny and responsibility, I suddenly saw the task ahead of me illuminated and just....did it. I know I am not going to be able to make it through this year without the Lord right by my side, and I am going to try with every last ounce of effort I have to keep Him as close as possible at all times.  There must be a reason the girls in my ward are in need of someone like me.  I haven't always made the best decisions, and there's been a lot to learn and grow from over the years.  But I have grown and I want the girls of my ward along with anybody else who might be reading this to know that I have an extremely strong testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that whatever knowledge and experience I have had in life, the ups and the downs, the good and the bad, the times when I've chosen right and the very many times I've since had to repent for....I hope all this allows the girls to know that they can come to me with anything without fear of judgment and that all I want to do is help. I am truly discovering more and more every day that "whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies." 
So to close this post, I'll ask, Have you ever been asked to do anything that scares you to death or that you feel incredibly unqualified for? How do you handle these feelings of inadequacy and what have you gained from these experiences?

All my love, B.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Hello dears.

If it seems like I've disappeared, it's because my lovely new job swooped in and snatched me up without a single warning. Relaxing week before school starts? Not if the Awful Waffle has anything to say about it!

(But for real, if you're in Provo, go check it out. It's scrumptious.)

Back soon.

All my love, B.
headband: France
Shirt with flour all over it that's been worn over 40 hours in the past 4 days: courtesy of the Waffle

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Here in the adorable downtown of Colorado Springs
After a marvelous (and surprisingly affordable!) deep dish pizza dinner at Old Chicago
My beloved twinners and I finally saw Moonrise Kingdom at the cutest little indie film theatre.

(google images)

I can't decide if it was the most adorable or the most pointless movie I've ever seen, but it sure was visually stunning to watch. I never thought I'd see Bruce Willis in a role in this kind of film, and I never thought I'd see  a makeout between two 12 year olds, but all in all the movie experience was still quite enjoyable!

All I can conclude at this point is, Edward Norton has an eternal baby face and "we should do half today and half tomorrow, because you're a less experienced hiker, and you're wearing sunday school shoes."

I also cannot wait to see Ruby Sparks and Anna Karenina.

Back to explore the wild tomorrow! And I'll be unveiling my brand new hair (I just can't leave it alone!)

All my love, B.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More mountains! And family! (photo dump)

Well, the day has come.
After a wonderful week in the Colorado mountains, hiking, shopping in crafty villages, never taking of my Chacos (don't hate) and buying a new Patagonia shell... family has dropped me off and I am not seeing them again until Christmas.
I always get a lump in my throat when this happens.
But I cannot wait until my roommate's wedding this Saturday and an amazing weekend in Colorado Springs with my twinners and the bride-to-be!

Here's some photos of my amazing few days with the famjam!

Brother bear lost his first front tooth this week!

I can never pass up an opportunity to hug a (really nasty) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory bear!

Thanks for everything, sweet family! I'll see you again before too long!

All my love, B.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Lesson 2

It looks like this series is turning into a more once-a-week sort of thing.

But I'm back with another part of my summer lessons learned.

Although, this one's sort of a part 2 of part 1....

I promise, if there's something I'm good at, it's taking something I said I was going to do and then complicating it 872988234 times more than necessary.

But anyway.  I am on summer vacation with my beloved family in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and it struck me that even though I just finished school (straight A's for summer, woop woop!), school is actually about to start again for all of us!

So I asked my sisters about some everyday goals they could try and meet this coming year.
Shelby (senior in high school) said, "Go to bed early to be well rested for early-morning seminary"
Karrin (8th grade) said, "Maintain an A+ average"
Aren't these some great goals?

Here's mine:
Last time, I talked about my new healthy lifestyle that I am LOVING
and here, I'm going give examples of how I plan to continue putting this into action during my
busy busy schedule this fall!

I mentioned how I am trying to severely cut back on meat and dairy?
Here are some delicious looking recipes I found that are going straight on the to-do list!

Mexican Caviar 
I love this cute girl's style blog.  This delicious looking recipe has some of the greatest things! Avocado, cilantro, black eyed peas, tomatoes, corn, lime juice.....the list goes on and on!

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Wok Steamed Collards and Quinoa
I mean, enough said right?

 Coconut oil Granola
I'm definitely jumping on the coconut oil bandwagon! SUCH an amazing substitute for butter and ingredients with unnecessary kinds of fats (and adds an awesome sweet coconut kick!) This particular recipe has so many amazing things I can't even begin to describe it-seeds, berries, and spices that are all sure to mix together to create the best breakfast ever!

 Vegan Detox Green Smoothie
My mom really got me into green smoothies when I lived at home this summer, and I am either crossing my fingers that a new roommate moves in with a blender, or I'll fork out the dough for one of my own.  This website has several really healthy and delicious looking (and suuuuuper simple!) new smoothies to try! But this particular one is first on the list for sure.

I've always been a fan of flavored waters, and this picture is just giving me really great ideas for some more healthy and refreshing thirst quenchers!
(found on pinterest)

Baked Quinoa and Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Being in such a hurry in the morning, I am always on the lookout for healthy breakfast ideas.  I have become a bit of a quinoa junkie this summer, and this, combined with delicious berries, rolled oats, walnuts and sea honestly looks irresistable.

 Strawberry Mango Basil Salsa
I got positively hooked on mango salsa last year when I tried this incredible recipe, and I am super stoked to try a variation that includes strawberries! This blog also gives a link to a super delicious looking recipe for kiwi mango salsa! The opportunities are endless!

And last but not least, a must-do before summer leaves us behind completely....
Gourmet Vegan Popsicles
This website gives 5 recipes for popsicles that only use vegan or natural ingredients, including one made from Nutella and another that uses Chia seeds! So how about a perfect way to turn your tongue purple before the end of the summer without the guilt or the sugar-induced stomach ache? Awesome! Sign me up!

Well there you have it, folks! Are you as excited as I am to turn over a new leaf and indulge yourselves in the most delicious food and ingredients out there and be healthy at the same time?!

If you have any other similar recipes, don't be shy! Let me know, I'd sure love to hear!

Back with a summer lesson of an entirely different sort very soon!

All my love, B.

Friday, August 10, 2012

That awkward moment....

First of all, thanks for the shout out on your blog, Elizabeth! One of my awesome blogging friends, and a really great climbing friend too! Go check out her blog, she and her husband are the cutest.
(excuse me for a minute while I sound like a TOTAL brat....I just need this.)
SO.. That awkward moment....

....when you leave for a 9 day vacation into the wild and sunny outdoors of Colorado...

and you realize....


And then you try on every pair of semi-decent gift shop sunglasses and you just can't stand to spend the 12 bucks on them because you know you'll never wear them after this vacation, and you can't even really stand to wear them during...

because you've turned into a total sunglasses snob.

Dang polarized lenses and superhuman UV protection, you've got me spoiled.

...i'll miss you....

All my love, B.

Let's take a quick trip to the east, shall we?

Remember how I said I don't often do style posts?

I haven't quite gotten over the awkward, "Here take a picture of what I'm wearing" thing yet.

It'll come.

I took a step out of my comfort zone last night and asked Hannah to do so with her fancy Rebel...because last night was just....a special occasion....I guess.

So I mentioned in my last post that Laura, Hannah, and I went on a city date in downtown SLC to eat Lebanese food on cushions in a room made to look like a middle eastern tent. It was beautiful! And naturally I had to put my flowery harem pants on. As I mentioned, we spent the evening indulging ourselves on very authentic hummus, falafel, etc...and then walked around downtown for a bit! 

I just love this city.

Pants: Rue21 (old)
Shirt: H&M basic black tee
Necklace: Lia Sophia
Shoes: Minelli Paris
Rings: Lia Sophia and Mt. Rainier gift shop
Bracelets: Homemade
Earrings: Forever21 (old)

I mean, I'm all for wearing unusual pieces, but I'll admit I was a little wary of going out in public in these things....they're a little out there! But I think I might have pulled it off ok? I hope?

What about you guys? Do you like to dress up for the theme of the restaurants you're eating at?

Back more with some end-of-summer discussion soon!

All my love, B.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Lesson 1

Today something wonderful happened:
And let me tell you, it wasn't easy.  Emotionally, Intellectually, Physically...any of it. But I learned so much about myself.
So to celebrate, I decided to start a series about some of the important new lessons I've learned.

But before diving into that, I just thought I'd share a bit about my evening! As another part of my end of summer celebrations, I put on my flowy pants and met up with my favorite set of twins in my favorite city for an excellent (vegetarian) dinner at Cedars of Lebanon in Salt Lake for an excellent meal of pita bread, hummus, falafel, baba ganoush, grape leaf rolls, chocolate mousse that almost meets my impossible-to-match Paris standard, and a bunch of other things I can't name or remember.  Then ended the night with a delightful summer stroll around the temple. For the next week I actually get to enjoy my summer!!!

-apologies for the iPhone quality-

And now, without further ado....

Lesson 1.

So if there's one thing that came back different about me from Paris it is this:

I'm a bit of a food snob.

The fact that food ingredients are so barely processed over there (even the desserts use super pure ingredients!), plus my determination to change my eating habits when I's made me a little super-sensitive to paying attention to what I am putting in my body.

So I came back with a few rules:
1) No beef. Ever.
2) Even further, the only meats allowed are chicken and salmon.
3) Even further, sparingly.
4) Almond milk and coconut milk only.

So what does this sound like? Have I gone vegan?
Not quite.
I don't think I could ever cut out scrambled eggs or Ben & Jerry's from my diet.
And I really, really love salmon, and chicken tacos.
And I mean, I just got home from Paris.  So cheese (good cheese)...still kind of a staple.
And let's be honest, I'm a poor starving college student.  I will never pass up free meals, almost no matter what they contain. 

I think it's more the mindset I'm trying to adopt.
I just wrote a pretty in-depth paper on the Word of Widsom
(The LDS "rulebook" of diet and healthy living)
which definitely recommends a diet that opts more for fruits, vegetables and grains in place of animal products.
So for now, I'm just doing my best to cut down where I can.
And you know what?
My body has never loved me more! 
I have so much more energy, my skin is clearer and more vibrant, I have been able to quite literally shred off the tummyfat I gained from eating desserts every day in France, and I don't feel weighed down by all that meat that I don't even need in the first place.

At the beginning of summer, I had to really concentrate on making it through a day without meat or dairy.
But I discovered something: Once you set your mind on cutting something out, you start to lose your appetite for it.
Now, I look back on my day and the majority of the week, I am pleased to find that I didn't eat any of those products!

I won't lie, these days I literally get a little nauseous when "McDonalds" or even "Little Ceasars" comes up in conversation.

So, what do I do instead?

This muesli recipe for breakfast from one of my favorite websites

TONS of this. Fruit & berries. Simply the best. Ah. Love it:

I've actually stopped being a picky eater and finally picked up a taste for tomatoes and peppers, so tons of veggies:

Coconut milk is SO delicious.  When I put it on my cereal I seriously can barely even taste the difference:

Ok so this one has dairy, but orange bell pepper with taco seasoned Chobani is an excellent alternative to chips and dip.  Barely any calories and you get your salty and sweet craving satisfied in one stop!

-all images courtesy of pinterest, google images, Hannah Preszler or myself-

....and lots and lots of climbing and yoga and hikes! (all great and outdoorsy low-impact yet highly efficient workouts for your core)

Of course I don't eat healthy 100% perfect all the time. I still love goldfish crackers and popcorn and chocolate, but I know that I've started myself down an amazing road to health and I never plan on going back to the way I ate before.

Growing up, I could really eat whatever I wanted, and my metabolism took care of it for me! As I've grown up and my lack of thyroid started causing far more problems than ever before, I began to realize my need to have an active role in my health.

So my challenge to you is: set your mind to eating healthy-it gets easier and your body will love you so much!

Stay tuned for Part Deux of this post, all about new recipes I plan to try this fall!
If you have any recipes, healthy eating tips or favorite health blogs, please post them below in a comment!

All my love, B.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I don't even think you guys understand how much I've missed yoga.

Marvelous night of conquering the rocks and an hour long session at the Quarry.

I love what a low-impact effective workout yoga is, and how completely centered I feel when I'm done.

-all pinterest-

If I have one recommendation, go out there and find a class, buy a DVD, put on your yoga pants (men like them, so I've been told), and get your tree pose on!

Now I couldn't be more set for finals week! (ehhhhhhh....)

All my love, B.