Friday, April 18, 2014

The 7-day Christian - How Living your Belief Every Day Can Change the World

I love listening to Brad Wilcox speak!  He has such enthusiasm and excitement when it comes to gospel subjects.  He is a good friend of my dads so I have met him a few times, and every time I go to say Hello to him at TOFW  I tell him who I am and he acts like I am his best friend!  He is an amazing guy and a great writer.  

Here is a little more about Brad if you don't know him. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, go listen to him because he is so inspirational!

About the Author
BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine andReader’s Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

He recently wrote this book called The 7-day Christian.  In school this last week I have been discussing with my kids about the direction the world is going and the direction we want to go as Christians and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This book talks about standing up for what we believe in despite persecution.  He shares personal experience and suggestions on how to live our religion daily.  It is an excellent book that any Christian will love!
Here is the product description from the site...

Product Description

Christianity is facing great opposition. No one is being thrown to lions, but many followers of Christ face persecution because of their beliefs. At the very least, most know how it feels to end up on the wrong side of a "politically correct" conversation. More than ever before, we need believing and behaving disciples—men and women who are ready to stand up and stand together to change the world as early Christians did: one righteous choice at a time.
 Filled with personal experiences and insightful stories, this book emphasizes the importance of living in accordance with our values every single day, with practical suggestions for how to actually pull it off. "Christ doesn't just want people to acknowledge His grace," writes Brad Wilcox. "He wants them to be transformed through it. He doesn't just want people to come to Him. He wants them to become like Him— a process that takes place 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and throughout all the years of our lives.

You can order this book here in hardcover or as an ebook!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mormon Tabernacle Choir's He Is Risen

I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  When I was a little girl and I would sit in front of the TV and look for my Grandma every Sunday!  This new CD is beautiful.  I have been turning it on in the mornings while we eat breakfast and do chores.  

Product Description

Featuring heartwarming and uplifting hymns like Christ the Lord Is Risen Today, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, and He is Risen, your Easter holiday will be filled with true remembrance and thankfulness for Christ, His life and the love He shows for each of God's Children.

You can order the CD Here.  They also have an MP3 version you can download straight to your computer!

This is beautiful...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen

You will want to add this title to your summer reading list!! Shadow Mountain Publishing and Rachelle J. Christensen are excited to reveal the cover today for Rachelle's new wedding planner mystery series, DIAMOND RINGS ARE DEADLY THINGS, which will be released on July  8th!  I like a good, clean, fun romance and mystery!  I am excited to read it. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!!

About DIAMOND RINGS ARE DEADLY THINGS: Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she is especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri’s world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri’s impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success--that is, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is on to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim. With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

About Rachelle J. Christensen: Rachelle was born and raised in a small farming town in Idaho not far from the setting of her mystery Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology.  She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and of course reading., Rachelle has an amazing husband and five cute kids.

Social Media Links:
Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Blog, Website, Goodreads and here on her Craft Website based on the new book series!
Buy links:

Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Chocolate Cake Mix Cadbury Cookies

My daughter is getting to the stage in life where she loves to makes stuff with me in the kitchen!  Especially cookies!  If we have a cake mix just sitting around, she is wanting to make cookies with it!  (I try to only buy a cake mix if we need it so that our cookies supply is limited!) I love seeing her excited about making stuff in the kitchen! Last week she decided to add Cadbury Mini Eggs to the cookies instead of chocolate chips. They were delectable!

Chocolate Cake Mix Cadbury Cookies
(Printable Version Here)

  • 1 Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 C Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Cadbury Mini Eggs (broken into pieces)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Break up Cadbury Eggs in zip-lock bag by pounding them with the end of a butter knife.
Mix all ingredients together and roll balls to be 1-2 inches in diameter.
Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 8 mins.
Let cool on baking rack.

I hope you enjoy these!   The gooey chunks of chocolate taste amazing as you bite into the cookie!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Need a Vacation - How About Puerto Rico?

This post brought to you by Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. All opinions are 100% mine.

To be honest with you, I haven't ever really thought about going on a vacation to Puerto Rico.  I have a friend from there and this week she traveled back to participate in the Puerto Rico 70.1 Ironman.  She has been posting pictures, and let's just say I am a bit jealous :)  Not about doing an Ironman, but about how gorgeous it is there!  Go check out and I am sure that you, just like I do, will want to book a trip there ASAP!  It is Gorgeous!  Also Like on Facebook and Follow @PRTourismCo on Twitter to see more amazing pictures. 
The first thing I would want to visit is Flamenco Beach in Culebra, which, I guess, is often cited as one of the best beaches in the world. Then I would visit the Camuy caverns, an ancient limestone cave system of Camuy that is one of the natural wonders of Puerto Rico.  After that we would head out and get on a boat to see the amazing Bioluminescent bays (google it, it's amazing!)  Next, we would spend a day in El Yunque, the only rain forest under US national park service.  We would also have to spend a day enjoying the old world charm of San Juan.  Oh and maybe, just maybe, you could get me on La Bestia.  The longest Zip Line on Earth.  Riding horseback, eating yummy food and relaxing would also be high on my list of things to do!   This trip is sounding better and better by the minute.  Google these places.  They look amazing!  
Puerto Rico Tourism partnered with popular travel review site Trip Advisor to transform real traveler 5-star reviews into stunningly beautiful short films. These reviews will make you want to See Puerto Rico and Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico..  Check out this video about El Yunque Rainforest...
If you have been here and know of any other cool things to see there, let me know because I am really going to plan this trip!  Our 15 year is coming up soon!  I also would LOVE to take the kids to see these amazing places! Hmm decisions, decisions! Puerto Rico has everything that I would want in a nice relaxing vacation. All I have to do is save money, and then hop on a plane and go!  No need for a passport or foreign money exchange.  I think I might just surprise my husband and start saving for this trip.  Who wants to join us?
Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, April 11, 2014

April Young Women / Young Men's Handouts - The Apostasy and the Restoration

  • Why was the restoration necessary?
 Download Printable Version Here

Download Spanish Version Here

  • Why do we need the Book of Mormon?

  • Download Printable Version Here

    Download Spanish Version Here
  • How was the priesthood restored?
  • Download Printable Version Here

    Download Spanish Version Here
  • What was Joseph Smith’s role in the Restoration?

  • Why is the First Vision important?

"The Sacrament" by John Bytheway

I love children's books.  I kind of have an obsession with buying them.  It's always very hard for me to go to a book store and not want to buy tons of children's books.  When Shadow Mountain Publishing asked me to review this new Children's book I was all for it! This short 32 page Children's book written by the great John Bytheway, titled, The Sacrament, is a great reminder for children and adults how reverent we should be during the Sacrament.  I know there are many times when my mind wanders and I am not thinking of what I should be during church and especially during the sacrament.  It is about a little boy who visits his grandpa's ward and how he and a lot of others in attendance are distracted.  Written in poetry form the grandfather helps his grandson understand what he should, or should not be, thinking about during the sacrament.

I actually read this book on the way to church the other day.  I can't remember whether the kids were more reverent that day or not,  but I know going into the meeting we were more prepared to be reverent.  I am always a little preoccupied with the baby and the two year old, but I will tell you that my 8 and 10 year old have been excellent during sacrament meeting  and that the 6 year old is working at it ;) 

It's interesting that this book came when it did because I have been thinking a lot lately about reverence during our Sunday meetings.  I have felt very strongly that we as a family need to work a little harder at this.  It's not that we are not reverent, but we have a few things we can work on to be MORE reverent.  We are almost always late, we go out in the hall with the baby and talk with other people out there instead of listening, we don't make it to our classes on time because we are socializing in the hall.  I know that we, both our children and us, could be way more reverent at church and I am grateful for this book as a little reminder.  We need to make our worship on Sundays more meaningful and spiritual.  We need to show our kids how to be reverent through our example. I love going to church each Sunday, and I know if I go with a more reverent spirit in my heart that I will be able to feel the spirit more and have a more enriched Sabbath day full of peace and reverence!

Check out this great book here.  It would be a great book to give to your kids for Easter!
Product DescriptionIt's understandable that some children appear bored or distracted during sacrament meeting. Many young Latter-day Saints are probably unsure about the true meaning of the sacrament and why we attend. With this in mind, bestselling author John Bytheway has composed a delightful poem (inspired by a short poem by Walter H. Horne) to help Latter-day Saints young and old appreciate the ordinance of the sacrament. In particular, children will learn what they should be thinking about (and not be thinking about) during this sacred time as well as what the sacrament can do for all of us.
Beautifully illustrated by Nathan Pinnock, this thought-provoking story about a young boy and his grandpa is a gentle reminder about the importance of remembering the Lord Jesus Christ, especially during this special meeting meant for Him. 
About the AuthorsJohn Bytheway is an instructor at the Brigham Young University Salt Lake Center. He served his mission in the Philippines and earned a master’s degree in Religious Education at BYU. He has published dozens of books and audio programs and lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Kimberly, and their six children.
Nathan Pinnock studied at Utah State University, the University of Utah, and Atelier LeSueur in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration at Brigham Young University. Between years of school, Nate served a mission in Frankfurt, Germany. He illustrated books and magazines for fifteen years and now spreads his time between his illustration, sculpture, fine art, and teaching. He is a creator. His paintings and books can be found in galleries, businesses, and homes across America. Nate lives in Holladay with his wife, Alison, and kids.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Being Thankful In Our Circumstances - LDS General Conferene April 2014

This last weekend I spent 8 hours of my day listening to the LDS General Conference.  The weekend before I was able to take my daughter to the new women's meeting for girls 8 and up.  It was amazing.  The Spirit was so strong and I loved every second of it.  These meetings, plus a Priesthood session for the men, make up a wonderful conference where we are taught by a true and living Prophet and his Apostles. We are uplifted, edified and encouraged to keep moving forward in life, trying our hardest to love, serve and be the best person we can be.  To truly try to become more like Christ.

The conferences happen two times a year, once in April, and once in October.  They always come around just when I need an extra boost to lift me up in life.  We have been going through some trials in our family.  Nothing huge, just small things that have been hard and that have put me on a search to find happiness even through hard things.  Every conference I pray to have a question answered.  This year my question was answered during the opening song of Let Us All Press On when they sang these words…
If we do what's right we have no need to fear,
For the Lord, our helper, will ever be near;
In the days of trial his Saints he will cheer,
And prosper the cause of truth.

Why is it that I stress out so much?  I need to trust God's plan for my life.  I wrote this post a while back and I need to remember it ALWAYS!  God's plan is the right one no matter how hard it might be.  I need to find joy in life and happiness will come because of that joy!  Life really is wonderful, I am blessed each and everyday.

Elder Uchtdorf said this quote "Instead of being 'thankful for things' we focus on being 'thankful in our circumstances' whatever they may be."  Wow!  The song and this quote were exactly what I needed and a huge answer to my prayers of finding peace and happiness daily even when things are hard!
You can watch all the sessions of conference here.

Have a great Wednesday.  (P.S. I used to hate Wednesdays because the weekend was still 2 days away, but I like them now because the weekend is just two days away!!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Another Month, Another Awesome Merco Local Box

Remember when I told you about the company Merco Local, and their awesome MercoBox?  If not, here is a quick refresher.  Every month you can either order an individual box, or become a subscriber and receive a cute box FULL of local Utah goodness.  This is a great way to support local companies, but also be able to try their products before you buy them at a greatly discounted price.  I am absolutely loving this April box. Here is what came in it...

Eco Treasures Soap Nuts - Head over to their website to read about these.  I have been using them this week and I am super impressed.

Ashley Apothecary Healing Salve - I am all for great natural healing stuff and am excited to try this.

Fit Me Tea - Their teas are specially blended to provide you with great flavor and function as you enjoy them throughout your day.  I'm not a tea drinker myself, but I will use them to tea dye stuff :)

Meals that transform Power Bar and Protein Mix - One word describes these bars and shake - YUMMY! They were so delicious that my kids and I fought over them!

Les Madeleine - They had 3 yummy Madeleine tea cakes to try, and let's just say they delicious and were the first thing out of the box.  I can't wait to try more of their yummy French cuisine and pastries at their cafe in Salt Lake City.

Mason Jar Coffee Roasters - From a coffee house in Ogden that roasts all their coffee in house to make it as fresh as possible.   I don't drink coffee, but never fear they also serve Liege Waffles that are topped with Nutella, cookie butter, raspberries, strawberries, banana or chocolate sauce.  That sounds good!

The box also came with 4 great gift cards to Rodizio Grill, DownTime Yoga, Our Children's Earth, and Ballet West.

Interested in one of these boxes?  Merco Local is offering my readers a coupon code to receive 25% off.  Click Here and use Coupon Code "iheartutah".  I know you will enjoy this fun box each month full of fun surprises!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jenny Oaks Baker's New CD - Classic The Rock Album Review

I have a little story to tell you before I get into what this blog post is supposed to be about.  Ready?  It's a good one! When I was a little girl, about seven,  I decided I wanted to have a violin.  I begged and begged my mom for one. I wanted a violin SO bad! I remember going to the music store and being sized for my violin and walking out with the cutest little case, chin rest, rosin and of course a beautiful 1/2 size violin!  Oh ya, I was one happy child.  Then I started lessons.  I think I played for about two years, but many many days were a battle when it came to practicing.  I don't remember saying this to my mom, but one day I was done, done with practicing and I hated playing the violin.  I walk over to my mom and said, "I never said I wanted to play the violin, I just said I wanted to have one."  I quit a few weeks later.  True story of my epic fail at becoming an amazing violinist.  To this day I wish I wouldn't have quit. I wish I would have stuck it out and worked hard. I wish that practicing that extra 1/2 hour to an hour a day would have been as important to me as watching a show on TV, or sitting around doing nothing waiting for my friends to get home from school.  I was homeschooled for goodness sake, I had time to practice! Where were my priorities?  Oh well,  it's all in the past!

My mom kept my violin, I am not sure why.  I wonder if she hoped I would try again.  I didn't.  I wish I would have though.  She gave it to me when I asked if I could have it after I got married.  I was sure one of my children would want to play it, and hopefully be more dedicated then I was to it.  When my daughter was about four years old she started asking me about the violin and if she could ever play mine.   I let her hold it, but it was way too big.  By the time she was six we decided to put her in lessons.  It was fun to show her how awesome I was at playing Tucka-Tucka Stop-Stop, she was impressed!! From age 6-8 she liked it, but it was a big battle EVERYDAY to get her to practice. I was about to pull her out, I was DONE with the nagging and frustration between us.  Yup, I totally knew exactly what I did to my mom at that moment.  Finally, I told her that I didn't want to make her do it, that I had quit and that she could do the same, but that it was her choice.  She told me she would think and pray about it and come talk to me later.  To make a long story not any longer, she stuck with it, she has played in church, she is learning a ton and is now in a orchestra.  She still has days she doesn't want to practice, but when she goes in and practice she loves it.  She has learned to read music lately and is playing some fun song!  I am so proud of her for not quitting.

One of her inspirations is this amazing lady, Jenny Oaks Baker.  We love hearing her play, and blasting her music throughout the house.  Our favorite being her Wish Upon a Star Album, but this new CD, Classic: The Rock Album is excellent and comes in at a close second!  You will love the Classic Rock songs combined with here insane talent.  

Here is a little bit about the album and the amazing artist behind it....
Grammy-nominated #1 Billboard Violinist Jenny Oaks Baker takes her style to an all-new level with her new release, Classic: The Rock Album. Featuring classic rock favorites like Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin), Sweet Child of Mine (Guns and Roses), and Yesterday (The Beatles), you won't believe your ears as one of the country's most accomplished and acclaimed violinists combines her insane talent with the heart-pumping tunes that have defined a genre for generations. 
Jenny Oaks Baker is one of America’s most accomplished violinists. She received her Master of Music degree from the renowned Juilliard School in New York City and her bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
 She has released eleven albums since 1998. They consistently chart on Billboard, including the #1 spot on the Top Classical Albums chart. Her album Wish Upon a Star earned a nomination for the 54thGRAMMY Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Album.
 Jenny Oaks Baker has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and with the Jerusalem Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Utah Symphony, and the internationally acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Jenny performed as a first violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra for seven years before resigning to devote more time to her young family. Jenny and her husband Matthew have four children.
She is amazing, and you will love this version of Classic Rock!  You can purchase the CD through Deseret Book here, or Amazon here. 


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