1.27.2012

Dreams + Where I've Visited in the World

So I had a weird dream Thursday night. Here are a few points that I have remembered:
  • I was at BYU and hanging out with my friend Shayla Forsey and we were watching some tv show marathon and then my aunt JaKie was there
  • Then we were at a swimming pool and there were lots of kids/teenagers/college kids. Then JaKie stepped in a bunch of barf at the bottom of a pool. {PS I have a phobia of barf} Sick-nasty. We told someone who worked there and they were like "Who barfed in the pool?" Then a girl said, "I did!"
  • Then I was a freshman in the dorms but I was in Colorado. Like 2 bloggers were doing giveaways for an entree at the Cougar Eat HAHA! I asked if I could enter since I was in CO and if I won they would have to ship the food to me. The bloggers said no. I wanted Tommasitos (the Italian food) there and that is actually what Kevin and I ate together right after we met! We met in line...
  • Then a girl asked, "Where have you been in the world?"
  • Then I woke up...and missed BYU...and thought, "Remember that cool thing on Facebook where you could check countries and states and see where you've been in the world? It said like you've been to 44% of the world! That app...ya know?" Then I thought, "I am going to find one online and blog about it for Friday (today) since I have nothing amazing to say for Friday". 
And here we are. Hopefully that led in nicely.

And also kind of goes along since I've been thinking of vacations and traveling often these days...wanting to get in a swimsuit and get to any beach!!!

Here is where I've been in the WORLD.

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
North America:
+ Canada
+ US
+ Mexico

Central America & the Caribbean:
+ Bahamas
+ Jamaica
+ Puerto Rico
+ Turks & Caicos
+ Saint Thomas
+ Saint Maartin

Europe:
+ Austria
+ Denmark
+ Estonia
+ Finland
+ France
+ Germany
+ Greece
+ Italy
+ Netherlands
+ Russia
+ Spain
+ Sweden
+ Turkey
+ Vatican City

Asia:
+ Japan

Hope I'm not forgetting any...

Here is where I've been in the UNITED STATES.

Hopefully you know your states...


If I were to travel to your state, what is the coolest thing to do there? :)
Sorry I have a gazillion travel questions, just go with it...

PS. You can make your own maps like mine here!

1.26.2012

If you like food...

Omi is in town...
Omi is German and that is what we call our German grandmother!
And Omi loves to cook.
And we don't mind.
Here is proof and here is almost every meal she has made that I have eaten.
I have missed a few meals like Tuesday night...but you get the point.
We been eating goood.

Let me show you the feast(s).

// Bacon wrapped pork (got this recipe), Rhodes rolls, steamed broccoli (my fav), rice & a yummy gravy!
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with... cucumber salad (got this recipe)!
I remember eating this when I was younger at Omi and Opi's house in Alabama and not really liking it.
Now I do! Guess when you get older you like more things?
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// Raspberry cream pie!
Got this recipe and this was ah-mazing!
Only thing is there is a trick to getting the raspberry top layered jello out of the pan (w/o messing up the raspberries) that I need to learn...
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// Banana cream pie...delish.
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// Pork, gravy w/mushrooms, egg noodles, and broccoli!
I need to learn how to make this gravy.
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// Spaghetti pie! Now this thing is good.
There are a ton of ingredients...need to get the recipe.
Actually let me stop there and say that for the rest of the meals she makes.
Now I won't have to type it here and there.
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Spaghetti pie, garlic bread, and a fancy salad with raspberry vinaigrette!
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// Ribs, rolls, corn on the cob (see the weiner dog corn on the cob holders at the top of my plate?!), a baked potato with chives, butter, and sour cream, and a great salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and mushrooms!
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// My FAVORITE.
Angel food cake w/cool whip and strawberries.
She had a layer of strawberries in the middle of this divine dessert.
Usually I just layer em on top of the cool whip.
This way is better.
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How much weight have I gained?
No clue. I don't have a scale but getting one is on my to-do list hehe.
I'm not too worried about it.
But if you are serious, I guess maybe I have gained 1 lb...so sue me.
And she'll be in town until mid-February...hehe.

What is your favorite dessert?! Angel food cake? :)

1.25.2012

January Happenings

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So I didn't blog yesterday or the day before.
That was weird, haha. I can't remember the last time that has happened...
I just didn't get one together for Monday and then I was going to for yesterday and then Monday was jam packed and I ran out of time! But I am baaaack!
And today I am going to Physical Therapy after work!
Remember when I wrote about back pain this summer and maybe having this disease?
Well, my back still hurts (it comes and goes) and I was referred to a physical therapist.
They will see what they want to do and maybe send me to a spine specialist.
Who knows!

Time to catch up on some lately happenings and fyi tomorrow's post will be about FOOD!

[1] Colorado afternoon right before a snowfall.
Also the picture of me in my beanie ^ is from this day, pretty sure.
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[2] What I swear Katinka does every day!
I take her outside after work and then she lays here in the sun. She LOVES the sun and sleep!
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[3] A gorgeous Colorado sunset at my parents.
Sorry a ton of my pictures are of Colorado scenes.
Actually I'm not sorry, it is gorgeous. The end.
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[4] Just me and Tinks running errands AND then a huge snowstorm coming in on our way home!
We got her a thunder shirt at Petsmart this day which has been helping slightly with her barking in her kennel problems...here.
Also did a ton of other errands and felt super productive! Love feeling like that!
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[5] Here is Hunter at our church's Ward Pinewood Derby race!
He won 1st place! My dad actually is amazing at making pinewood derby cars.
He got to make a ton for Patrick, Zach, and now Hunter and has learned the ways of what to do and what not to do so now they usually win! He has gotten it all figured out!
Whenever I have a boy in scouts I will send him over to my dads for some help hehe.
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 Zach & I at the pinewood derby event.
Photo taken by Opi, hehe.
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[6] And behold, my passport I found while organizing random stuff upstairs.
I would like to use this soon. Anyone wanna go on a trip? ;)
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And there you have it. I'm back.
Oh, and of course I watched The Bachelor. OMG. I hate Courtney.
And her lips and her looks. But especially her lips.

Thoughts on The Bachelor?!

PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ANY SPOILER INFO!!!
You may die if you do.
Mmmk...ready go!

1.20.2012

Fashion & Uniqueness by Breanna from My Beautiful, Crazy Life!

Hey friends, today we have the wonderful Breanna - one of my sponsors over there --->
from My Beautiful, Crazy Life! holding down the fort for today!
She is talking about fashion and being unique but I suggest you just read on...!
And please don't forget to go say hi to her here! ;)

***
Hello to all you Sloanbook readers out there :)
I'm Breanna & I blog over at My Beautiful, Crazy Life!
I'm a twenty year old college student who is saved by God's grace!
My major is nutrition, however, I'm a complete food junkie.
I love fashion, but I wouldn't call myself a fashionista by any means.
I have thought long and hard on what to share with you guys today.
After a few helpful hints from Ashley, I finally decided on fashion/uniqueness!
Fashion is something that I love because it is an expression of myself.
Yes, there are days where sweats and tee's are more to my liking,
but I'm slowly trying to pull away from my comfort zone.
The way I see it is life is too short to be ordinary!

Let's face it, uniqueness leaves an impression on people. Why you ask? Because it all stems from being bold and willing to take risks. It's a matter of whether or not you have the courage to take these risks that determine the uniqueness inside of everyone.

If you want to wear colored jeans; wear them! If you want to wear a skirt; do it!
Don't be afraid to let your true colors shine just because the rest of the world isn't doing it. Make a statement and be who you want to be :)

This weekend I encourage you to wear something different from what you normally wear. Whether it be wearing a skirt rather than jeans. A dress rather than tights. or patterns other than solids. Mix it up :) I'd also like to invite you to participate in Fab Friday which is held every week. Anna [Owls & Lace] & I host it, and we'd love to see your outfits :) I'd even love seeing your pinspirations of outfits you adore.

Hope to see you around my blog, & if you feel the need too, please spread the word of Fab Friday :) Thanks so much Ashley for giving me the opportunity to share with your wonderful readers. Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and remember...

1.19.2012

Honeymoon: Montego Bay, Jamaica Part 2

Guess what? Today is the second installment of our honeymoon!
I wish I could go back...dying to go somewhere tropical huh Kevin?!

The newlyweds = us!
We were about to eat dinner here and the sunset was gorgeous!
For some places you had to dress up and make reservations!
I didn't mind and also couldn't complain because I love Kevin in fancy clothes!
Ohh by the way, we were at a Sandals resort so everything was all inclusive! Loved that.
You could order as much food as you wanted or as many virgin strawberry daiquiris or pina coladas...
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My stud, taking a picture...of the sunset? I have no clue actually.
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Blue eyes, at dinner time.
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The many faces of me...
and of course I had to be gangster for one.
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Kevin showing off our room number #103!
When we checked in they upgraded our room to this one on the main level.
I kind of think they do that often just so you feel all special haha.
It came with TONS of alcoholic drinks.
I wish they would have given us that $ to use elsewhere haha like a couples massage or something because we didn't drink any! We don't drink in case you didn't notice...
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Just an afternoon after laying out.
Yep, I'm still white.
White girl here, always.
And gotta love the Ed Hardy shirt hahah.
Pretty sure we had more strawberry daiquiris, yummm.
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And just us again at dinner!
I remember saying that Kevin looks like a devil in this picture haha, well the one below it.
His head is tilted down so much haha.
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Pretty sure we were one of the youngest couples there...I was 20 and Kevin was 23...
Here we were watching some show that was going on on a stage in the lobby area...
I will post more on that later!
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 I love reminiscing on old vacations, good times, and memories...
Jamaica was so fun!!!

For more on the honeymoon...
 
Lost & Found: Jamaica Part 1 & Confession
(includes Dunn's River Falls!)
Honeymoon to Jamaica: Zip Lining Part 1
Honeymoon to Jamaica: Zip Lining Part 2
Honeymoon: Montego Bay, Jamaica Part 1 

 What was your favorite vacation...ever?!

1.18.2012

Why Many Mormons Marry Young

 Today I am posting my guest post I did over at Mia's blog Color It Mia right here!
I have said this before but eventually I'd like to post all guest posts I write onto my blog so they will be in my blog book when I go to get it printed out! Anyways, I enjoyed writing this post with a purpose for Mia and hope it is informative! Let me know if you have any questions and be sure to head on over and say hi to Mia here! On a side note, I think I need to blog about my wedding sometime as I haven't...! Okayyyy read on!
 
***
 
Hey guys, I'd like to introduce to you my friend Ashley! If you read my post about Mormons, you know I follow a lot of them. I am not Mormon, but I am religious (hence my interest in their religion). I follow a lot of blogs that happen to be in the LDS church. They're all crazy nice people, and not crazy crazy, like "Sister Wives". I'll give you the low down on what I've found to be true:

They believe getting married is for eternity, not life. 
They don't drink, smoke, drink caffeine, or wear immodest clothing.

Honestly, it mostly sounds like the Catholic religion! (Minus the praying to Mary and saints and stuff).

And if all of this is Greek to you, just scroll down and meet Ashley. She's awesome, I promise. 
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Hi friends of Color it Mia! 
I am glad to be here taking over Mia's blog for the day! 
Mia is the sweetest and I adore her blog!
Who is this random girl on her blog? I'm Ashley from Sloanbook :) I blog about my husband and I and our chihuahua in our new home in Colorado! We both just graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) and are now enjoying life after college, which is definitely a big change, but good so far!

Awhile ago, Mia asked me on Twitter basically the question of 
"Is it normal in the Mormon religion to marry young? 
Or are you guys just lucky finding the "ones" early on?"

Today I am going to attempt (key word here) to answer Mia's question for you all! Now before we get started I would like to say that I am giving my opinion. I do not know the 'correct' or 'right' answer to this. Also, I am in no way an amazing writer so I'm sure it won't come out as eloquently as I'd like it. And that is a fact.
But I am a Mormon  (member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and I got married at age 20 which most people would consider young.
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Now let me tell you about my own personal experience.
I met Kevin -my now husband- sophomore year at BYU right at the beginning of Fall semester (in September). He had just moved back to Utah after serving a two year mission for our church in Milan, Italy. We met at the Wilkinson Center in line for some crappy Italian food (basically the food court). After that he invited me to sit and each lunch with him and his friends and then over to his apartment to hang out and it all went down from there! We hung out all the time and then next thing I knew it he was telling me he loved me. Then came spring time and we started talking about marriage and I knew he was the one. I decided I would marry Kevin and I prayed and got a confirmation that it was the right choice. I felt good about my decision. We were engaged that spring and got married on 08.08.08. Now that is August, not even one whole year of knowing Kevin as we met September of 2007! Crazy huh? But it was the best decision I have ever made! I love Kevin so much! We've now been married just over 3 years!

Now that was just my experience. I was married at 20 years old and Kevin was 23. I would like to be clear that not all Mormons get married young. I have lots of friends from freshman year in the dorms who are not married yet and many of them have graduated BYU. It is normal to be not be married in the late 20's or 30's. I would have to say that in comparison to other religions, that Mormons do get married the youngest.

I guess they all came to the same conclusion that I did, that they found the right person. I have seen 18 year olds get married. I've seen one get married and I felt like it was the right choice for her as she is very mature, maybe even more so than me! I've also seen an 18 year old get married who I felt was very immature and maybe it was really rushed in to. But who am I to judge; I am not. I do not know her that well but there are also different maturity levels that play into it.

Now that you are aware that not all Mormons get married early I will tell you why I think a a lot of them do.  That lies in our religious background and beliefs.

To understand the Mormon habits of marriage you must understand our view of the family. Take a look at: The Family: A Proclamation to the World (HERE). This document explains the importance of the family entity. I will throw in a few quotes after what I say, from that document, so you don't have to read the whole thing, unless you want to.

We believe that marriage is vital in God's eternal plan and that marriage doesn't stop at death do you part.
We believe that families can be together forever and that children are a very important part of the family.

"The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated
beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples
make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for
families to be united eternally."


We believe the role of a mother is a sacred responsibility and not to be taken lightly which is why we desire to marry early and start our families because we feel it is a divine calling to be a mother and a father.

"The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential
for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for
His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further
declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are
to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and
wife.


Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each
other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3).
Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and
righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to
teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of
God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and
wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the
discharge of these obligations."

I hope that gives you some insight into why a lot of Mormons get married young. But remember, not all do! I know lots of older people who are not married!

If you have any questions feel free to visit Mormon.org or shoot me an email at sloanbookblog@gmail.com 

And I would love for you to stop by my blog here
IF you happen to like reading about young married Mormons, I'm your girl ;)
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See! Isn't she great? Pop on over to her blog, and she recently did a home tour of her new house, and it's adorable. Hope you guys enjoyed, and seriously, if you have any questions, send me or her an email, or comment below!

1.17.2012

Honeymoon: Montego Bay, Jamaica Part 1

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I love the beaches and the snow. But today while there is snow on the ground, I'm going to wish I was back on the beach at the Montego Bay Sandals Resort in Jamaica! We went on our honeymoon there in August of 2008 (we were married 08.08.08). I love to look back on this trip! This was the only trip that we have actually been on where we were alone the whole time. It was fun and I am dying to go on another tropical vacation! If only they were cheaper, hehe. I have never actually blogged about the whole trip so I will post pictures here and there. I am too lazy to bust out my planner to see the actual dates and maybe what we did from that year so I will just show some pictures (guess I already made that point clear).
I remember this was right after we landed and were taken to the Sandals Resort!
We changed into swimsuits, probably ate dinner, and started exploring the resort!
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I kind of look high here and honestly I have no clue what we are trying to show.
I guess flash isn't the best...
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And behold the whiteness!
I am pretty sure this was the next day.
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Well hello there crab.
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Well that is good for today!
I swear some of these will be more exciting.

And these are, my friends.

Lost & Found: Jamaica Part 1 & Confession
(includes Dunn's River Falls!)
Honeymoon to Jamaica: Zip Lining Part 1
Honeymoon to Jamaica: Zip Lining Part 2

If you've been on a tropical vacation you loveddd, what are your recommendations for us?

***

And the lucky winner of this custom blog design giveaway is...
Haili Hunter from Kindness is Contagious! Congrats Haili!
I'll get you connected with Annie soon :)