20 March 2019

We need to change the story

  Most of you know that I am a member of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
and I have a calling (volunteer position) of teaching
the Beehive class who are 11-13 year old girls.
This year we are having the girls teach with us 
and they get to pick the lesson.
I was surprised when one girl picked
"Why is chastity important?"
as the lesson we would teach together.
But I was also humbled knowing that she felt comfortable enough
to suggest this one, without even giggling, and prepare for it.
I knew I needed help with this myself so I went
on Instagram for opinions and insights on this sensitive subject;
specifically, what you wish you had been taught
as a young woman that you didn't know until you grew up.
The response I had from my friends and colleagues on social media
was astounding.
So many amazing insights and differing perspectives
and I'm going to share them here because this is a conversation
I feel we ALL need to have with our children.
Especially our sweet girls.
As a youth myself I remember this lesson and feeling the blush
come up on my cheeks just hearing the word chastity.
That lesson was always a source of embarrassment and uncomfortable.
But I never felt like I was being guilted or told I wasn't enough ever in those lessons.
I was also incredibly lucky to have my mom and her two best friends
as my teachers for 5 of those 6 years in Young Women,
so the lessons, while weird, were never to make me feel
like my only worth was in staying pure.
For others, they were not as lucky.
They got the "chewed up gum" or the "mud splatted white fence"
lessons of guilt and worthlessness should they transgress.
The worst thing some one shared was of a leader saying in a lesson like this was
"what man could ever want someone that wasn't clean or pure?"
When I heard that from this incredible friend 
I felt like I personally had been punched in the gut.
What a horrible thing to say!
While the law of chastity is there to help keep us pure
and IS important to follow,
that does not diminish our worth in the eyes of God
if it is broken or a mistake is made.
It shouldn't diminish anyone's worth
in our own eyes.
Most of the time in our religious culture 
(almost regardless of which religion it is),
women are shunned if they transgress with this law.
I feel that this is so egregious and horrifying.
Instead we should be so loving and open and willing to help them heal.
How do we help them heal?
We talk of the healing power of the Atonement.
The power of the Atonement is overwhelming when you start to understand it.
Jesus Christ literally suffered for ALL of our sins.
He did this so when we mess up,
if we repented of and forsook it,
He would remember it no more because He already atoned for it.
That is something amazing to realize.
 Even if you do transgress in this way,
you can recover,
You can be healed.
You are still so loved beyond measure.
He will never forsake you,
believe on that and your healing will begin.
A friend equated it to a broken bone:
over time you nurture it and it will heal,
so will your heart.
An amazing woman opened up about how she
wished that she had been able to be more open about her changing body.
But she felt that every part of her was sexualized and therefore
felt embarrassed to even think about asking.
She feels that maybe if that had been more out in the open,
she would have been able to recognize the times when
she was being sexually assaulted and been able to do something.
So much of what we're taught and discussing needs to change.
We need to teach more about what our bodies are capable of:
growing human beings, feeding those same babies,
preparing to hopefully be able to conceive those babies as well.
We need to change the story of breasts being nothing but things to oogle at.
We need to change the story that women are inherently sexual 
and want that at all times.
We need to change the story that women are the only beings "responsible"
and the only ones that have to "deal with the consequences".
We need to change the story that our girls have to be constantly
worried about becoming a sexual object by anyone of the opposite sex.
This lesson started as just the question of
why is chastity so important?
It became so much more to me personally
as I read story after story of heartbreak and abuse.
Moms. Sisters. Leaders. Teachers.
we need to change how we speak to our young girls and boys.
Chastity is a hard thing to describe and explain to a room of preteens.
I want to change that.
I'm not saying we share intimate details with other people
I believe that an open communication channel between
kids and adults they trust is imperative.
Be open about what our bodies will naturally do
and want to do.
If we make it so taboo to even speak of 
who will they go to for answers when things are hard?
I want my kids (my young women included) to feel comfortable
to come to me with any issues they may have.
I may not have all the answers they seek,
but I can help them find them.
We have a long ways to go in our society
to change how we perceive things.
I only hope we have enough time to teach our kids this:
Sexual feelings are natural.
You're supposed to have them, it's ok.
It's also ok if you don't have them right now. 
Sex itself is a wonderful natural gift we've been given
to show we love someone else so much.
But it is also so much more than physical.
Save that experience for the one
you know will treasure you forever.
Someone who will stand by you no matter what.
At the right time.
In the right place.
But also this:
You are loved even when you make a mistake.
You are worth more than all the treasure of the earth.
NO matter what.
I want to wrap every single one of these amazing ladies 
in the biggest Mama Bear hug possible for being so brave
and sharing these very intimate experiences with me.
I also am sending a virtual hug to any and
all who may be dealing with this now.
If you have felt shamed for anything,
please know that I see you.
I hear you.
I hold space for you and
want you here!

01 February 2019

Functional Craft/Office Space

  I've been on the search for MONTHS
for something to hold all of my vinyl and such for my business
and let me tell you,
If I had no budget to worry about,
I have plenty of wishlists I could share but let's share the reality shall we? ;)
The I found it!
My sweet friend was cleaning out her garage and had an IKEA
dresser (similar here) that she had made super cute
and just didn't need anymore.
I quickly volunteered as tribute for it!
When I saw it in person I was so happy and knew it would be perfect!
 I got it home and put it in the space I had cleared for it
(the room is super funky in layout,
weird walls and let's not even talk about the horrid colors in here -
they were from the previous owners and we didn't have money
to have them paint before so there ya go!)
and I quickly put everything in the drawers.

(And yes, I've been folding in the Kon Mari style WAY before this year folks hahaha) 
Owning your own small business is no joke y'all.
It takes a lot of time and effort
but is also so much fun!
 I also got myself the Cricut EasyPress 2!!
I bought the 12 X 10 press and the 20 X 16 mat 
that they suggest for it.
I haven't been this happy in a long time!
It's so easy to use and will save me TONS of time and backache! 
If you want to see a full tutorial for how to use it,
stay tuned! There will be a post soon!
If you can't wait any longer because you just love all things crafty,
I DID do a small tutorial on my Instagram Stories
and saved it in my highlights on my profile!

21 January 2019

CariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush by Smile Brilliant!

Who here has an electric toothbrush??
I've had one for about a year or so and I love mine!
And full disclosure:
My mom gave it to me hahaha
I wasn't going to pass up a FREE electric toothbrush ya know?
Then I saw Smile Brilliant came out with their own version!
You guys know how much I LOVE their teeth whitening system,
seriously the best one,
and I was eagerly saving up my pennies to get their brush!
When they contacted me for a trial of their toothbrush,
I kid you not I danced in the car!
My kids thought I was NUTS hahaha
**Post does contain affiliate links and I was given the product in exchange
for a review, all opinions are 100% my own**

I love this toothbrush!!!
I'm not saying it lightly either.
I love this toothbrush,
it is seriously awesome and designed so well to help your oral health!
We all know that electric toothbrushes are better for
oral care than manual brushes which is why I grabbed my old one
before my mom gave it away and it has dramatically helped my teeth.
I had an Oral-B SonicCare toothbrush,
and now with the CariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush my teeth have never been better.
This brush comes with 5 modes of brushing!
Did you even know that there could be MODES?
I love especially that it comes with a "Sensitive" mode
because some days my teeth are just extra sensitive and they need
to be cleaned with a little less vigor.

One of the features is that when you turn it on,
it stays on for 2 minutes with pauses every 30 seconds.
It's designed this way to give each quadrant of the mouth the
time and cleaning it needs to be fully cleaned!
No more needing to sing the Happy BIrthday song or 
setting a timer for it;
the toothbrush does all the thinking for you.
The battery life is amazing!
I plugged it in and didn't need to recharge it for over a week!
 The toothbrush heads can be purchased separately as well
so buying the actual toothbrush only once is required,
then all you need are new heads!
I like their designed heads because I felt like 
they get my WHOLE mouth clean.
Sometimes with these tiny brush heads it's questionable
 if it's all getting cleaned or not.
Wanna know the best part?
That's right friends,
I'm giving away one FREE CariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush to one of you!!
Click the link below to enter to win!! 
If you have any other questions about the toothbrush that I didn't answer,
check out their FAQs for some great info as well!
And for those of you that don't want to wait to get your hands on
one of these toothbrushes I have a discount code for you!
20% OFF the toothbrush which is HUGE guys!!
Use code: ourhappilyeverafterblog20
Good luck to you all!!

14 November 2018

"I'm Gonna Wreck It!!"

 Vanellope and Ralph are BACK!!
I'm so excited that this movie is coming out!!
I won't lie,
I was a little nervous about this one!
We all loved the first one so much,
would this live up to the original?
Would it meet expectations?
The amount of intricate details in the movie are incredible!
So many little things that you find just as you sit there,
some you catch instantly,
others you may miss the first time.
The animation is just as amazing this time around.
Watching Ralph go through the router to the internet was hilarious! 
New characters are here and they make the movie even
richer with their quirky personalities!
Shank (played by Gal Gadot) is
my personal favorite of the new characters.
Yesssss (played by Taraji P. Henson)
is the hype girl we all need in our lives hahaha
When I initially saw the trailer that included all of the princesses
 (and Queen Elsa - let's give her her right title y'all!)
I was so excited to see what they would do!
The way they are incorporated was seamless
and hilarious.
I'm so happy we got a second movie so quickly
and it lived up to the first
in terms of originality and storytelling!
Definitely take your kids this Thanksgiving to see it,
you won't regret it!