Friday, December 27, 2013

How Others Live: Africa in a Tent

Elizabeth L. Gilbert began her career as a war photographer in the 1990’s, covering some of the most tragic events in human history such as the Rwandan genocide and civil war in Somalia. After years of conflict, a disillusioned Gilbert set out to point her cameras at the disappearing vestiges of traditional Africa. She 
succeeded at capturing some of the very last photographs of a vanishing world."

Living a true nomadic life, Gilbert lives six months out of the year living in her canvas tent in Africa documenting old tribal rituals that are dying off. I've had pictures up on my wall of her tent on and off for a couple years now. Someday maybe I'll live in a luxurious tent for an extended period of time too.


Monday, December 23, 2013

How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes

Do you ever feel like you're not really sure what exactly you're supposed to do here on the earth? I feel that way a lot. I mean, sure, I'm a wife and mother, I strive to simplify my life because I make my life dramatic as it is, I need to find some kind of peace, and I'm religious, and almost have a bachelors degree, but I still feel like I have something special to bring to the world. I believe we all do because we're all so unique, so I dwell on this a lot. This TEDx talks really inspired me a few months ago. I hope you enjoy this!

By the way,...I'll be in Paris in just a few more hours! I won't be blogging much about my Paris trip until I get back home but I will still be blogging for the next 3 1/2 weeks while I'm away. (Really these blogs are all on a timer so I can just enjoy my trip!) Loves!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Free Food and Medicine

 You might remember this book from this post here. I got it for my birthday. I am so excited to develop my new found hobby of eating wild plants! There is a guy up in Canada that gets all his food in a 1 mile radius of his house, and he lived in the suburbs. So I plan on going around my 1 mile radius to see what is edible where I live. Plus foraging in the mountains. This book identifies all kinds of things from what we call "weeds" to things we have domesticated into our own vegetable gardens, and things you would find in the desert, mountains, tropics, the list goes on. It also tells if the plant's leaves, stem, fruit, and root is edible and the benefits we receive from it. I think that learning what plants are edible around us is just one of the ways to be able to survive any catastrophe we might face. And the way the economy is going, it's good to be prepared. Not to mention I recently took a test to see how I learn best and it said I learn things when in nature so this book is right up my alley.

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Photos taken by yours truly.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Experience With Short Hair

(3-years-old. My brother Kyle & I). 
It only takes one time as a toddler to cut your hair to realize your hair goes from this (above) and this (below) to....
(What I was typically dressed in at 4-years-old)
 (4-years old Preschool)
And this:
 Since then, my mom always cut my hair short with bangs...
 (Almost 11-years-old. I was a "temptress" for Halloween?! Mom why didn't you explain what a temptress was to me and then tell me I couldn't be that for Halloween!?)

At around 12-years-old I decided that I was only going to have long hair, except for one exception here when I cut it short for picture day in 8th grade, but still, not as short as in the past:
 Since then I have been trying so hard for my hair to grow, and it finally grew long and thick and beautiful when I was pregnant!
 But now that my baby is 4 months old (tomorrow!!!) My hair has been falling out in globs! Like, I'm surprised I still have any left! So I cut it!!!!!!!!!!! From this:
 And this:
 To this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE IT! The girl who cut it said she was surprised how well I was taking my new haircut, because a lot of people wish they hadn't once it's too late.I'm surprised too. I really loved my long hair, but I felt I needed a new change. She cut around 8 or so inches. What do you think?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pregnant Raw Vegan Controversy

 Loni Jane Anthony, a 25-year-old expecting mother follows a 80/10/10 raw vegan diet created by Dr. Douglas Graham. Meaning 80% of food is carbs, 10% fat, and 10% protein. She has made quite the controversy because of those that call her diet "extreme." Many have expressed their worry and concern for her baby because of her diet strictly just fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

"She says she switched to the diet, created by longtime athlete and trainer Douglas Graham, after a lifestyle of heavy drinking and lots of junk food that led to a battery of health problems. 'I started getting skin infections, acne, and putting on weight, which was weird because I'd always been so slim,' she says. 'I wanted to sleep all the time and ended up with a whole range of health problems including candida overgrowth, hormone imbalance, irregular periods, and hair loss. I also got really sick on a trip (read: fully-blown bender) to Thailand and picked up parasites and dengue fever.' 

After a series of antibiotics made her sicker, Anthony says she came across Graham’s diet book, 'The 80/10/10 Diet," which taught her that “you can live and thrive on this lifestyle by just eating higher carbohydrate vegetables, fruits, and juices, and keeping your diet low fat. You even keep good fats low to keep your blood sugar stable. It's been amazing.'

Graham tells Yahoo Shine in an email that there is no reason to worry about Anthony's diet. 'Eating fruits and vegetables, universally acclaimed as health foods, is not dangerous. A pregnant woman needs extra calories, but neither she nor her unborn baby benefit when she eats foods that lead to illness,' he says. 'Some folks see 80/10/10 as a threat, thinking that if they eat healthy foods it will mean they can never eat their unhealthy foods ever again. This is not so. People can and do eat what they want.'" 

Food is such a sensitive subject because in a way it defines who we are. Though during pregnancy I do think her intake of fat and protein should be increased, isn't eating fruits and vegetables good for you? I mean according to the Food Matters documentary, in 23 years only 10 people will die from supplement overdosing where as over 10,000 people die every year from adverse affects of medication. This is medication prescribed by doctors, not including people who overdose or abuse prescription drugs. That is a lot of people!!! And she doesn't supplement, it's right from the source. I mean isn't her diet better than the many pregnant women who eat processed food and fast food everyday?
I'm interested to see what you guys think about her "extreme" diet.

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If you would like to read the full article you can here:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide

Here is just a mini gift guide of somethings I've been thinking about wanting, even though Christmas is in 2 weeks which is really soon. But if you're anything like me, you're probably not done with your shopping.

They're organic olive oil infused hand cremes. Great size for stocking stuffers. L'Occitane $28
Cherry Wood Cutting Board Rustic Serving Platter
Great Wabi Sabi cherry wood cutting board. Gray Work Design $85

Bamboo to-go utensils has chopsticks, a fork, knife, and spoon! Amazon $13

5 different salts! Salt-Farm $22

Glass smoothie straws. 4 for $16 Amazon
Waxed Canvas Backpack // Rucksack // Leather Straps // in Slate Gray // Organic Cotton Lining
Organic natural canvas, for my nomadic life ;) $198 Infusion

Bamboo bowl for salads. Can't eat this much yet at once but I'm working on it. Amazon $28
Here's just a few things that I think are good gifts. I know my taste is a bit costly. But these gifts aren't nearly as expensive compared to what I'm really getting for Christmas....


Paris photo:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

6 Fall Closet Cleanout Tips

Fall is one of those great times out of the year to clean out your closet. While some of the clothes that you wear in the Summer months still work for Winter too, the days are getting much colder. This is a transition period. So take a day to clean out your cluttered closet and re-organize it using these simple tips.

1. Pull everything out and get rid of the things that you honestly don't wear anymore. As in, the things that you really don't have an attachment to, but still have it to fill the space in your closet. (I know we all have some of those clothes). Empty space is good though. It leaves room for you to see the clothes that you actually do like wearing.

2. Try on the clothes that you haven't worn in a while to see if you still like it, or if it even fits you still.

3. Get rid of the stuff that doesn't fit you. I know, I know, it's going to fit you by this time next year right? Stacy and Clinton from TLC's What Not To Wear have always said, dress yourself in the clothes that you fit into now, not the ones you'll fit into later. Unless of course you just had a baby within the last year or something. If you have "baby fat" from 5 years ago, no, wear clothes that fit you now.

4. Neatly fold and hang the clothes that you are keeping so that you can actually see everything you have.

5. Either sell or give away the rest. There are places online to sell items worth value and also a yard sell, if you start looking around your house and realize there's maybe a lot of things you could do with out! :) But personally I prefer giving it to the thrift store. Just remember that when thrift stores have too many clothes they are shipped to places all around the world where it gets a second life and given to those who really needs them.

6. It was going to be just 5 tips but I highly recommend writing a list of your ideal wardrobe and stick to it. Only buy what's on your list. If you want some ideas you can check out my ideal wardrobe list here & here.

I hope you enjoy the pleasurable feeling from clearing out the clutter. Don't forget to subscribe by e-mail or with your blogger account!

Original Article:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Getting Out of The Poor Mentality

I guess you could say this is my belated Thanksgiving, thankful note. With about half the world living on $2.50 or less a day, (that's well over 3 billion people!), and about 80% of the world living on $10 or less a day, I have so much to be thankful for. Now, like my economist husband pointed out to me, we're comparing dollars and in some countries a dollar really goes a long way, yes, true, but living in America alone we are so richly blessed. Honestly, unless you are too stubborn to get help, you don't ever have to go without food, shelter, or clothing in the United States! One point my husband and I only had $15 dollars in our bank account, right before I was about to panic, I looked around at my apartment. I still had a warm home, food in my cupboards, and everything else that I needed. I am greatly blessed with abundance and feel like I'm living like a Queen! One of my most favorite talks I have heard was given at my school about how even though as college students we seem to be poor, here on campus, we are some of the richest people in the world because we actually have the opportunity to get an education. And with this education we can help those that are not as fortunate as we are. So that is what I have to share during this holiday time. I am so so so thankful for the abundance I have been blessed with. My physical needs are met, and I have been blessed with the richness of education and the wealth of good family and friends! So before you think of all the things you don't have, and maybe think you need to purchase for yourself this holiday season, try thinking of what you already have been given.

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Talk: Caring For The Poor and Needy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jay Shafer: Tiny House Creator

I've been wanting to talk about Jay Shafer for a while now because of my admiration for his designs. Considered to be a pioneer of the tiny house movement, or what I feel, really just "going back to how our ancestors used to live- in much smaller spaces" movement, he has been living in tiny dwellings that he's designed and built for over 15 years now. Out of mostly wanting to be able to get around building codes and prove that he could do so, all of his smaller designs, less than 200 sq ft, are on wheels so that they aren't considered an illegal home, but a legal mobile trailer. All of the homes he designs are very well thought out... 

You won't find any space wasted. Starting out with his first company Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, he recently sold that and began his new business called Four Lights Tiny Houses. His latest project is now, what the city regulations define as a "trailer park," will be a community full of all tiny homes.

Here is a great youtube video about Jay Shafer done by another great artist I admire-Kirsten Dirksen from that is less than 20 minutes if you have time:

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Photos from: & &

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Moving Forward

Part of de-cluttering your life is letting go. And I'm not just talking about the physical things, but the mental and emotional ones as well. Is there a time in your life that your mind reverts back to often because you enjoyed that period of time or the opposite, because something traumatic happened? Or maybe there's a person you think of often that no longer is in your life that you wish was, or you can't stop thinking about a person that deeply hurt you in some way.

I know for myself, my mind always goes back to the same thoughts over and over again about critical points in my life where I made certain decisions and I think, "what if I made this decision instead?" On the one side I like thinking it over in my mind because it gives me some kind of control over it. I can change the outcome over and over again, but reality is, I really can't. But then on the other hand, feeling your mind with the past keeps you stuck there. Although it is hard to let go, I am going to begin starting today. I am sure we all have something that we find preoccupies our minds whether it be good or bad but it is from the past and it may be holding us back for new oppertunities that may come in the future.

Forgiveness plays a big role in letting go of things in our lives. We need to learn to love, forgive, accept, and enjoy the life that we have today. What I believe to be the way of doing so is to observe, learn, and evolve.

1. Observe. Remember that our thoughts turn into our actions. Identify what it is exactly that is holding you back. What is it that your mind goes back to that you possibly have no control over that has happened in the past? Maybe a relationship you no longer have with a friend. Maybe you had no friends growing up and you think about that often. Or maybe someone in your family hurt your feelings and whenever you think about that person all you can think of is what they did or said.

2. Learn. Really think what it is that you can learn from what has happened. Maybe you were in a serious relationship with someone and it ended and now you haven't dated someone since. What can you learn from it? Maybe it's that there are people out there that you can connect with on a deep level and you'll be able to find someone again. Or think of all the people who have never had the euphoric experience of being in love. Maybe someone told you something about you that came off really mean, but maybe what they said they were actually dead on about you!

3. Evolve. We need to take what we have learned from the past to our advantage. Now, today, you can decide what it is you want your life to be filled with, including our thoughts. We have the choice if something is going to weigh us down.

When your mind reverts back, don't give it control, remind yourself what it is you learned from that experience and then leave it at that.

"The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed towards the future."
-Jeffrey R. Holland

By the way, since I have begun this making over my life transformation, I have already had new doors of oppurtunities come my way, just by the small amount of space I have cleared so far. (mental and physical).

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Going Bald

 Okay, so I'm not going bald, but I honestly feel like it since having a baby. I washed my hair this morning and the globs of hair just kept coming! I recently learned how to cut my own hair, cause lets be honest, I don't want to make an appointment and pay for someone else to do it, and have already cut a few inches since she was born. But now my long pieces of hair are thinning out again! So, should I cut my hair shorter? I'm seriously considering it, even though my hair has never been this long before in my life and I was fully enjoying the length while pregnant!
^^If you're wondering how I cut my own hair ^^ I wet it and comb all of it forward and put it in a pony tail on my forehead. And yes, I drew these silly pictures on my computer!

If you want to watch the Youtube tutorial on how to cut your own hair that I use: AND

How to help prevent hair loss:

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Virtual Cleanout

I have finally finished decluttering my virtual life. What I mean is that I have paired down the amount of e-mail addresses I have and got rid of e-mails that I don't need or look at. It was taking me forever to do this so finally last night I said forget it to looking through everything single e-mail or draft and just erased it all. Deep breath. I feel so much better. Now you may think, how many e-mails did you really have? Well I went through college with no computer of my own or USB drive. I would save everything as a draft in my e-mail. Plus if I ever saw a cool website or pictures of something I really liked, I would copy and paste it to my e-mail as a draft. So...I had a lot of cleaning out to do. 

Maybe some of you could take sometime to clean out all the things that you have online, e-mail accounts, subscriptions to websites you don't really care about, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Or maybe it's not that you need to clean out and minimize your accounts but maybe you could make a commitment to not be on the internet for extensive periods of time in a day. Whatever it is, I'm sure we could all do something to clean out our virtual lives. What do you think?

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Photo by:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Purchase Used Books Online And Help Fund Literacy

I recently found out about a great website that you can donate or purchase books from for a really good price. They are also a certified B-Corportation which means:

"B-Corporations are a community of companies using purchasing power to make a better world. The "B" stands for Beneficial, and to get this special stamp these companies have to treat their customers, their community, their environment, and their employees better than other companies." 

Why Better World Books is a B-corp

So if you are looking for some great cheap books for yourself, or maybe even as gifts for the holidays AND you want to help promote literacy for people around the world check out this website first. They even have a "bargain bin" for great prices: CLICK HERE

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bernando LaPallo Turned 112-Years-Old

This last August Bernando LaPallo had his one hundred and twelfth birthday!

He says he has never been sick a day in his life, walks everyday, gets enough rest, and eats mostly organic fruits and vegetables. He says the secret to staying young is that "you are what you eat." The 5 things he eats almost daily is garlic, honey, cinnamon, chocolate (probably not milk chocolate), and olive oil. His dad, who was a doctor and lived to be 98-years-old, told him not to eat red meat, lambs was fine though but only once in a while. He's never eaten french fries, hot dogs, etc. He says eating close to what people in Biblical times is important and have faith in God and he'll take care of you. Bernando says, "So far He has." Great inspiration to us all. It's never too late to be healthier!

For more on Bernando visit his website:

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Big 22!

Saturday was my birthday. So I thought I'd share with you what I did...
 First water with lemon juice
 A quick 30 minute work out
 Dishes, had a nice dinner the night before with friends and hadn't done the dishes yet.
Banana & wheat grass smoothie. Nutella too because it's my birthday!
 Homework, not fun.
Baby girl and I took a bath.
 A peel-it-off mask, hence it's clear.
 Read some books.
 Then we went to Idaho Falls for lunch and to find some boots. I wasn't successful though, if I'm paying the price for boots, I want the perfect ones!
 Baby girl dressed as a marshmallow!
Pizza for dinner, only had 1 slice.
 Yay for onion goggles! I've been telling Jimmy I want some for a year now.
 So excited about this book, tells you all about the edible plants. Can't wait to go foraging!
And then we took our couch seats to the 2nd bedroom where the computer is to watch Fiddler on the Roof. Just the 1st half though.

Hope you all had a great weekend!