Friday, November 6, 2015

November Visiting Teaching Message: Conference Preserves

This month for Visiting Teaching, we have the opportunity to look back through the talks from General Conference and remember the words of our leaders.  What a wonderful conference it was!

For the Visiting Teaching Message this month, I compiled some of my favorite thoughts and quotes from General Conference to share, and preserved them in canning jars.  The best part about Conference Preserves is that you can enjoy them every day, and they never go stale or expire.

They are best enjoyed immediately—don’t let them sit on the shelf and collect dust!

20151106_082002[1]If you would like to make some Conference Preserves for the sisters you visit,  you will need some fun paper (two sheets per sister), and an extra for the tag (I used white cardstock). 

20151106_082115[1] You can find the quote sheets to print here, and here, and click here for the tag.

Another idea would be that if there was a particular talk that you feel inspired to share with your sisters, you could print that talk and put it in the jar with a treat instead.

I would encourage each of you to study the talks from October’s General Conference.  I know that they are modern-day scripture and that our lives will be better and happier if we read and ponder them.

You can find all of the General Conference talks at

Happy Visiting Teaching!

Friday, October 23, 2015

October Visiting Teaching Message-Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Filled With Charity and Love

The Guide to the Scriptures defines charity as “the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love”. It is the pure love of Jesus Christ. As we learn of Jesus Christ and strive to become like Him, we will begin to feel His pure love in our lives and be prompted to love and serve others as He would.

The Visiting Teaching Message this month discusses charity and love, and how we can exercise those attributes to bring comfort to others.

For the handout, I decided to include with the message one of my favorite comfort items—soup. 

20151023_101947[1]To assemble this handout for your sisters, print the message and the tag, and affix to some cute fall-y paper.

I included a soup mug and wrapped everything in clear wrap for mine, but you can certainly just do soup and the handout if it works best for you.  Any soup will do.  Homemade, canned, or a dry mix, like mine.

20151023_102846[1] Happy Visiting Teaching!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Visiting Teaching Message—September 2015 The Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Powerful & Full of Glory

The Visiting Teaching message this month focuses on the infinite power of God, and how Jesus Christ has that power and uses it to help and bless others.

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead with that power, and created the heavens and the earth with that power.  He performed many miracles with that power and endured the pain of Gethsemane and Calvary with that power.

When we understand and gain a testimony of this power, our faith will increased and we will have more power in our lives to overcome temptation and we will be “armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14).

To share this message this month, I created a handout that focuses on gaining power and strength.  The way I see it, the only way to gain power and strength is to exercise.  Physically, we must exercise our muscles and our determination and our hearts.  Spiritually, we must exercise our faith and our charity and our love.


To make this handout for the sisters that you visit, you will need to purchase a set of weights for each sister you visit.  I used 1 pound weights (because they were the cutest and the least expensive).  I also used white cardstock for the message and the tag, as well as a fun autumny 12x12 sheet of cardstock and a ribbon.


Happy Visiting Teaching!


(If you can’t find weights, you could use Powerade, or a type of protein bar that says the word power on it)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Super Easy Teacher Gift

If you are crawling toward the end-of-school finish line like me, chances are you can barely muster the energy to feed and clothe yourself, much less come up with and put together a cute gift for your kids to take to their teachers on the last day of school.

Pinterest feeds our guilt with adorable class yearbooks, baked goods, totes filled with summer rejuvenation activities for the teacher—all so cute and great ideas, but seriously?!  Who has the time/strength/mental energy/cash flow for that?!

Not me.

A few days ago, I wandered the aisles at Wal-Mart.  My plan was to put together an apple-themed gift basket for each of my three children’s teachers in appreciation for the awesome year that we have had.  Apple chocolates, apple flavored beverages, actual apples, mini apple pies….you get the idea.  I wandered approximately 10 minutes before I lost all enthusiasm.  I had this conversation with myself:

“Apples? Do they really like apples?”

“I bet they get a ton of apple stuff.  They are probably so sick of apple stuff.”

“This is going to cost me a fortune”

“But they are worth it!  They are great teachers!”

“When am I going to actually have time to put these together?”

So in the end, we went with gift cards.  Some may say that is the lazy route, but me?  I love a good gift card.  Especially to somewhere fun that I normally wouldn’t go unless I had a gift card.

20150522_073346[1]Packaging these are easy.  Just print my {admittedly cheesy} tag, trim it, and stick the gift card to it.  One of my kids wanted the gift card stuck to the front.  Either way works just fine.  Stick it in a bag if you want.  Or not.  Extra points if there is ribbon involved in the final product.


Or you could just do this.20150522_075951[1]After a summer of recuperation and lots of shaved ice, I will be ready to endow my kids’ new teachers with the love that they deserve.

And I will.

Because by the end of next year, we will be lucky to scrape together whatever we can.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Visiting Teaching-May 2015 {Conference Preserves}

The conference preserves took a little bit longer to put up this time, so thanks for your patience with me.  There were some wonderful talks during April General Conference and so for visiting teaching this month, I thought I would bottle some up to share with my sisters.

20150519_082919[1]If you would like to make some to share, the links for the quotes are here, here and here, and the link for the label is here.20150519_083021[1]Happy Visiting Teaching!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March Visiting Teaching Message-The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Long-Suffering and Patient

I realize that there are exactly 5 days left in March, and that most of you have already visited your sisters this month, but in case you are still looking for something special to take to your sisters, here’s a fun idea.

20150326_145550[1]This month’s message is is on learning to be patient.  President Uchtdorf said “Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears.  Patience means active waiting and enduring.  It means staying with something….even when the desires of our hearts are delayed.  Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!”

I’m a flower market kind of girl.  I love purchasing flowers and arranging beautiful bouquets.  I also love seeing flowers blooming in my garden, but can wholly attribute them to my husband and his green thumbs.

I have a hard time waiting for the weeks and sometimes months that it takes to plant, fertilize, water and nurture a seed till it blooms.  I want it now.

Life is like this in so many ways.

It’s so hard to wait for big events in our lives, or the things that we want, or answers to our prayers.  That is why we need to cultivate patience.  We need to realize that the Lord is aware of our needs and wants, and that He knows what is best for us.

The best things in life will come to us as we actively wait and endure—not just endure, but endure well.

20150326_145610[1]For my sisters this month, I purchased a garden cultivator and some seeds from the Dollar Store.  I printed the message and wrapped it around the box of seeds.  I tied some twine around the box and the cultivator and printed the words “cultivate faith” on a garden marker.

Happy Visiting Teaching!

Monday, February 23, 2015

mmmonday! {French Toast with Easy Butter Syrup}

Guys.  If you are looking for a quick and easy, yet kind of fancy and super delicious breakfast, you have got to try this.


Make French Toast.  This is the recipe that I use, but any will do.

Recipe-French Toast copy

Make the syrup.  This syrup is seriously so easy and it’s delicious.

Recipe-Butter Syrup copy

Top with fresh fruit and a bit of cream and you have got an amazing and pretty meal!

Have a fabulous Monday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

So. Many. Blank. Walls!

One thing about this house that we loved when we first saw it was the open space and natural light.  I still love those things, but didn’t realize that what comes with that awesomeness is LOTS of blank wall space.


20150129_082219[1]So I’ve started to try to fill it a little.

Last fall, I played with paint and stripes.

A few weekends back, we tackled another wall.  This time with some ledge shelves.


The shelves came as a bonus when my husband and I purchased a bed frame off of a local online yard sale site.  The bed frame had been in a shed for a couple of years and came complete with dust and spider webs…and two extra boards that the seller’s son thought were part of it.  He didn’t want them even if they weren’t part of the bed, so we took them just in case.  Turns out, they were not part of the bed frame, but they were kind of cool looking, so I talked my husband into keeping them and more recently, hanging them for me as picture shelves.

20150201_105802[1]I think they are awesome, and they help me feel like I am making some progress towards filling some of my empty walls.

The best part?  I can easily swap out the photos and knick knacks when I want.

I welcome any and all ideas on what else to do with my blank walls.  What would you do?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

February Visiting Teaching—The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Without Sin

The Visiting Teaching Message from the Ensign this month reminds us that the Savior is the only person who will ever live on the earth without sinning.  Although each of us make mistakes and stumble, because He Atoned for our sins, we can be clean again and have our sins washed away if we repent.

20150205_145331[1]20150205_150507[1]For my sisters this month, I bought some dish soap at the dollar store and a dish washing brush from IKEA. 

20150205_084611[1] I printed the message on double-sided cardstock {there are 2 per page} and the tags {there are 8 per page} on coordinating paper.

I trimmed the tags to fit on the front of my dish soap, and then washi-taped them on.

20150205_150856[1]20150205_145342[1]Next, I used a ribbon to secure the brush to the soap, and then slid the folded message into the ribbon on the back. {If you do it in that order it works best, because then it makes everything tight and the brush doesn’t wiggle around}.

20150205_150958[1]I’m so thankful for the Atonement and for the hope that it gives me.  I know that the Savior lives, and that He loves each of us more than we know.  I know that there will come a day that I will see Him again someday, and I hope that I can try my hardest to do what is right, and to repent each day so that I can be clean when I do.

Have a great month! 

Happy Visiting Teaching!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Flowers, a Man Named Vicente, and a REALLY Hot Oven

Almost two years ago, my awesome, thoughtful husband gave me a Christmas gift.  It was a gift certificate to make some glass flowers at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah .  Honestly, I was a little skeptical.  I love making things with my hands as much as the next girl, but it was something new, and I’m not really a tchotchke kind of girl.  So I put off going to do it for a few weeks, and then I ended up with a job that has taken most of my extra time and energy ever since.

I felt guilty about not using the certificate, and had almost forgotten about it completely, when I found it a few days ago.  The certificate had long-since expired, but I called Thanksgiving Point anyway and they agreed that I could still come in and use it.  So I made an appointment.

I arrived and they assigned Vicente to teach me what to do.  He was super patient with me as I explained to him that I was a blogger, and this was really cool, and I would be taking lots of pictures.  He was actually a little excited by this news and he offered to take my picture during the process. 



Vicente explained that I should stand behind the line and watch the process first.  So I watched as he took a long metal rod and stuck it into a burning hot furnace of molten glass.  He told me that they kept the furnace at 2100 degrees, to make the glass workable.



Vicente then brought the super hot glass ball on the end of the metal rod over to the workbench near me and showed me what to do to shape the glass and then used a giant pair of tweezers to pull the edges of the glass until it formed a glass flower.


After the demonstration, I chose the colors I wanted my glass flowers to be, and put on my gloves.  The trick to keeping the really hot liquid glass on the rod was to keep it spinning, which was harder than it sounds because it’s super hot where you are standing.

After getting the right size of glass ball,  you take it and roll it into the color pieces on a metal table, and then heat it up again so that it melts, and then roll it again on a clean metal surface.

Then it’s time to shape it into a flower.  Using the large tweezer tool, I pulled little petals as Vicente turned the rod.  (Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures of this—and it was the coolest part!  You turn the ball, pulling on it till it is shaped like a plate, and then turn and pull with the giant tweezers over and over again.)  The glass got harder and harder to pull as he turned and by the third round, I had to use two hands to pull the glass. 


IMG_1806I chose to make flowers that stand up, so that I could place them on a table.  To finish, Vicente and his other helper formed the stem of the flower and cut the glass.  They welded then end to round it off, and then placed it in a large cooling box for about 24 hours.


I ended up making two flowers and love how they turned out.  I hadn’t really thought about what colors I wanted to use before going in, so I ended up going with different shades of blue, based on some rooms that I am decorating right now.


IMG_1894After I got home, I second-guessed myself because, really, blue flowers?  When I picked them up a few days later, I was happy with how they looked, but it wasn’t until I got home and was showing them to my kids that I realized that they look like water. 


Apparently, this landlocked girl needs to go to the beach, because my flowers look like waves.

P.S.  For those of you in the area, I noticed that there is a Groupon right now for Glass Flowers at Thanksgiving Point, so if you would like to try this, now’s your chance!

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Potted Plant Confessional

I need potted plants in January.  After taking down my Christmas decorations, my house seems so dull and lifeless—I just need something green and living. 

I’m not great with plants. 

In fact, I’m a potted plant serial killer.

But I’ve been trying to be better and have had some success with a few {non-plastic} varieties.

20150122_113050[1]Now, I don’t know the names of all of these plants, so if anyone out there has a greener thumb than me wants to chime in, that’d be great.  I try to steer away from plants that like a lot of attention.  Things like water and dusting must be optional to my plants.

20150122_113116[1]I found this next one after a trip to Puerto Rico.  I know it’s a tropical plant, but folks, it was growing out of the sidewalk.  That’s a tough plant.  When I came across it at the store when I got home, I decided to give it a try.  It has survived a long time {for me} with little to no attention and *ahem* infrequent waterings. 

20150122_113149[1]It also has spread quite a bit.  In fact, about six months ago I gave a piece of it to one of my friends, and it survived the separation.  Win.  This is what it is called:

20150122_113440[1]Here’s another pretty tough plant.

20150122_113506[1]I had one of these just after I was married and neglected it for a good 6 months to a year before it died.  If you take care of this variety, it spreads and gets long vines.  My sister-in-law had one once that spread the distance of an entire wall in her family room.

20150122_113624[1]This is a newer one to my collection, but seems to be fairly hearty.  It went for a long time in a too-small pot, but managed to grow and has recently had it’s six-month birthday.  Quite an accomplishment at my house.

20150122_113650[1]My husband has an orange tree.  Citrus is a little fussier, so I’m not responsible for this one.  But it’s pretty nonetheless.

20150122_113710[1]The grand champion at our house, though is this little aloe vera plant.  It has survived about 15 years and I don’t think it has been watered more than 20 times.  For a while, it was in the bathroom, so maybe the steam was enough for it.  It’s a little scraggley, but alive.

What are your houseplant secrets?  Now that my plants are living long enough to get dusty, I could use some tips on how to clean them…pfft….who am I kidding?!

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