Category Archives: My life

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” -Zig Ziglar

Everyone has goals, whether it’s something as simple as getting out of bed today or as big as visiting every country in the world. I am no exception to this and I’m sure you all know this. I have discussed my 30 before 30 list with you a few times so obviously I have goals. But why? Why do I have goals? Why did I create my 30 before 30 list? How did I come up with each of the 30 things?

I took to the internet to ask why we, as people, make goals. According to a Code of Living article, there are five reasons we make goals; they give us focus, allow us to measure progress, keep us undistracted, help us overcome procrastination, and give us motivation. Who wouldn’t want all of that? Though, I don’t know if having my goals keep me from procrastinating because I have several goals, big and small, and still procrastinate.

There is no answer on Google as to why I created my 30 before 30 list. I knew I wanted to put all of my goals in one place and I thought about ways I could do that. I had seen the typical bucket list but didn’t want to just do that. One day while scrolling through my bullet journaling groups and I stumbled upon a similar list. I was looking for bullet journal ideas and loved the idea. I started one for my 25th birthday. I was able to check off 15 of the 25 and decided to make a list for 26 before 26. I only managed to check off 8 on that list but decided to change it to a 30 before 30 list before my 26th birthday even rolled around. If you think about it, I’ve done 23 things that I’ve wanted to do in about a year, plus the 7 I’ve completed on my 30 before 30 list now. I’ll discuss below what those things are.

How did I come up with my 30 before 30 list? It took a few hours, it wasn’t something I did half-heartedly. I was very serious about it, I prayed about what I should put and really pondered for a long time. I wanted each item to reflect the person I wanted to be when I turned 30 rather than just a bunch of stuff that I thought was cute or fun or even easy. Some of the things on my list are harder than others, some may not even be fully accomplished and I understand that. Some things, like finding God again, were very personal and took a lot for me to actually write it out on paper.

I would encourage everyone to create their own ___ before ___ list. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 95, there is something you want to accomplish. I’ve even seen people do 19 before ’19 list (meaning 19 things to do before 2019). Just like bullet journaling, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just do it!

Now, for my list of things I’ve completed;

  1. Learn to bake bread rolls
  2. Take more pictures
  3. Try something new with my hair
  4. Try  new makeup styles 
  5. Get rid of stuff I don’t need
  6. Go to bed earlier for a week
  7. Do something I’d never do
  8. Visit a random town in California
  9. Watch an older movie
  10. Find a form of exercise I enjoy
  11. Find a style that works for me and continue to add to it
  12. Buy and wear heels
  13. Send a letter to my old house
  14. Start a better relationship with my parents
  15. Do something for my in-laws
  16. Finish a 5K
  17. Get my food handlers card
  18. Go whale watching
  19. Make friends in L.A.
  20. Go on a girls-only trip
  21. Get a job I enjoy
  22. Do something that scares me
  23. Reach 200 members in Bullet Journaling California
  24. Do something that absolutely terrifies me
  25. Let love happen
  26. Get a cat or dog
  27. Find God again
  28. Learn some sign language
  29. Get in touch with old friends
  30. Follow Marie Kondo’s rules for tidying up

As always, thank you for visiting my blog and I hope this week is great for you. If you have done a list similar to this or want to share your goals and how or why you created them, comment below. Keep coming back for more like this.

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“Depression is the inability to construct a future.” -Rollo May

Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that this week is also great for you. I know it’s only Monday but ever since my mission, I’ve seen Monday in a different light.

Anyway, today I want to talk about depression. I know I’ve posted about it before but it has been a good minute since I really dove into it.

As many of you know, I have depression. I’ll be the first to admit it, there’s no reason to hide it. In fact, letting people know you have depression may help them. They may be struggling with it, too, but didn’t know how you would feel about it so they never told anyone. By no means do I shout it from the roof tops but I don’t hide it.

Of course, there was a time when I did hide it. I knew something was off for a very long time and I brought it up once with my family and I was told it was nothing and that if I went to a doctor about it, I would just be put on medication for the rest of my life. So, for years I didn’t say anything. Not until I moved out. Then I felt okay to go talk to a doctor. As predicted, I was put on medication. The great thing? It actually worked! I was feeling good finally.

That didn’t last, though. From what I had been told by my family, I felt ashamed and I hid it. I eventually stopped taking the medication.

Not too long after that, I went on my mission. I was feeling fine for about a year…then half way into my mission, it hit me hard. I was put back on them and was feeling great again.

That didn’t last, though. As soon as I was back at home, I stopped again. I didn’t want my family to see me taking medication. Stupid, I know. I didn’t take anything for about another year. I finally started taking them again after i was married and what not. And, as predicted, I felt great. And I kept taking them.

That is, until a year ago. I have no way to get them or pay for them so I don’t take anything now. Should I? Yes, absolutely! But with the cost of everything, I can’t. What I am able to do, though, is see a counselor. My bishop at church set me up with a great counselor and he helped me a lot in the first session.

Moral of my story? Don’t be afraid to talk to those you love. If they truly care about you, they will make sure you get the help you need. Depression and other mental health disorders are no joke. If you need medication, don’t stress. If you don’t need it, that’s great, too. You need to do what’s best for you. And your loved ones will have your back.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. Comment below of you stuggle with a mental illness and how you handle it. I hope you keep coming back for more content!

“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it.” -Stephen King

It’s November again everyone. You know what that means? It’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. NaNoWriMo is exactly what it sounds like, one month dedicated to writing a novel. The goal? To write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. If you want to visit the official site, click here.

I tried to do it in 2016 and got to 40,000 words and this year my goal is to actually win. By win, I mean complete 50,000 words. I’m hoping to finally have my book finished this year and my first draft typed up and ready for my beta readers by my birthday next year.

Of course, on day five, I am behind. This is due to two things; decided on day three to actually participate this year and me procrastinating. I spent weeks going back and forth on the idea of doing NaNoWriMo this year. So far, the last two years I’ve decided to participate, something big happens in my life. My friend gets hit by a car, I start going through a divorce. I’m confident nothing drastic will happen this year, though.

There is so much out there about NaNoWriMo and it can get crazy but it’s also exciting. Something I found recently that made me feel good was this page here. Who knew that a popular book series such as Cinder was started during NaNoWriMo?

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you continue coming back. Comment below to let me know if you’ve ever participated in NaNoWriMo or if you think my goals for my book are reasonable. For cool videos on NaNoWriMo, visit here.

 

“Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.” – Unknown

First of all, sorry for not posting last week. I was a little down because I had to drop my statistics class, which means I won’t be graduating in the spring as planned. Instead, I will be finishing in the summer. I guess I needed the reminder to not put too much pressure on myself.

The social media fast is going ok. I did download YouTube and Pinterest as well as Facebook messenger but nothing else. I find I have picked up my phone a lot wanting to waste time, only to remember I don’t have Facebook and Instagram anymore. But it is getting better.

Today I wanna talk about something I was going to bring up the last two weeks but didn’t. I recently did the ancestry DNA and was so excited about it. I knew I would learn my origins and maybe meet some family. I wasn’t prepared for who, though.

If you didn’t know, when you do the Ancestry DNA kit, you are linked to people who share the same DNA. I was linked to 2 aunts and several cousins. One aunt I was linked to was my dad’s only full sister and the other was my mom’s half-sister. My dad’s sister was, unfortunately, extremely rude. She refused to tell me anything about her, about our family, or even have a willingness to learn about me. She has had no connection to the family for 30+ years but assumed that, since I’m my dad’s daughter, I am a terrible human being and that I “need to find Jesus.” Of course, I set her straight right away. But, I don’t need that kind of family in my life and I’ve since made many more connections to our family without her. One reason I think she’s so negative towards me is because she’s my dad’s ex-wife’s best friend and he left her before I was born. Ridiculous, I know.

Anyway, the other aunt I found, my mom’s sister, has been very nice. We were able to connect over a few things and have kept in touch. I’ve also talked with a cousin of my dad who is kind. They’re out there, it’s just hard to tell right away.

Screen Shot 2018-10-21 at 10.19.38 PMI’m sure you’re all waiting to see my percentages, so here you go! If you’ve ever done the ancestry DNA, let me know if you’ve learned anything about you family and heritage. I know I have learned quite a bit and plan on learning more. I will tell you right now, I will definitely be visiting my local family history center soon to learn more.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog, don’t forget to keep coming back for more posts like this and others. Comment below if you have any questions. Have a wonderful week!

“I urge you to be peace makers. To love peace, to seek peace, to cherish peace, to create peace.” -Jeffrey R. Holland

So as many of you know, this past weekend was General Conference. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a meeting world-wide twice a year. Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and their friends and family gather to hear the current president of the church (and present day prophet) speak to us. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, or missed some of it, I’ll provide links to it below.

5bb962ca2515c.imageDuring the General Women’s Conference, Saturday evening of Conference for women and girls ages 8 and up, we were urged to do something that I had been trying to do. We were urged to do a 10 day social media fast. I felt like so many of us need that, we rely so heavily on social media and for some of us, it takes over our lives. So, I decided to go a step further and do a whole month of no social media. I will still be posting on my blog every week but I will not be actively going to other blogs, logging onto my social media, or even using Facebook messenger.

Why have I chosen to extend it to an entire month? Well, as some of you know, I am currently enrolled in 5 college courses, looking for a job, and trying to maintain my spiritual life. I feel like I have let social media fall in the way of most of that though and I think it would be a really good thing to step away for a bit.

I may check in and let you know how I’m feeling about it and what changes I’ve noticed. I will say that so far it’s hard. Typically I waste time when I should be doing homework or other things so I found myself wanting to go on Facebook and Instagram all day yesterday. Thankfully I uninstalled them on my phone so there’s no temptation there. I also logged out of them on my computer so here’s to a month of social media freedom.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. I would encourage you to go on a social media fast, even if it is just for a week. You may notice how dependent you are on it and find better things to do with your time. Good luck and I hope to hear about your experiences. Have a great week.

“Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.” -William S. Burroughs

I apologize for not posting last week, a lot has happened. This isn’t a post about PCOS this week, though I know that it is still September. Instead, it’s about why there was nothing written last week.

oliLast Monday, on my way home from school, I found a cat in the bushes. He was very friendly so I took him home and took pictures of him to post on Facebook. Turns out, he was an abandoned cat. A nearby woman had been giving him food but was unable to keep him due to her husband being allergic. So, meet Olivander; a fun, cuddly 4 month old kitten.

In just one week he has had so many changes in his life. He was living outside for who knows how long and now lives in a house. He got fixed on Friday and has had an infection that we are giving him medicine for. I’d say his life is pretty great right now. As is mine, I always loved cats and I’m so happy to have my own. I’ve never cared for a cat on my own before so this will be a new adventure.

I also signed him up for a photo contest because he is an adorable cat. Please vote here to show your support. You can vote every 10 minutes, 10 times per day (unless you wanna pay). We are currently at 14 votes and we want to be in the top ten. Thank you for your votes!

As always, I hope you enjoyed my random post. There will probably be more about Olivander on my blog, since he is my new baby. Check back weekly for posts like this and more. Have a great week!

“Looking back, the biggest mistake I made was feeling ashamed of it. Acne is a part of life. You don’t need to be embarrassed of it.” -Cameron Dallas

The more I learn about PCOS the more I realize everything is connected. I love that I have answers to questions I’ve been asking for years. It doesn’t make me dislike my symptoms any less, though.

If you’ve ever been bullied, you understand where I’m coming from. You hate to be so different from everyone for fear of it happening again. Of course, I try to focus on what makes me happy and not what others think but it’s hard.

Having acne like I do at 26 is no fun. But what am I doing about it? Nothing. I wash my face every once in a while but not like I should. That’s what I want to talk about today, personal hygiene and PCOS.

There are so many articles out about what to use and what to avoid and it seems like they all contradict the other. One says to use something with peroxide while the other says to avoid it at all costs. Then there’s the research done on them that only makes it more confusing because the research constantly changes.

I was told in high school that eating carrots will clear acne right up. Is there research one it? You bet! Is it all accurate? Probably not. Another person said she was told to put toothpaste on every blemish. Now this one most people agree is not good for you. It’s harmful and they suggest trying something else.

Then you look at the face washes in the world and they all claim to be the best. For instance, Pro Active is suppose to be this miracle worker but it cause my cousin to break out worse. Then there’s the people that say if you’re not spending a lot of skin care, you’re just getting water and chemicals that won’t do anything.

Well, I’m right in the confusion with you. I have decided that I need to start trying to wash my face the right way. If I want to make my acne go away, I gotta try all I can right? We all have to start somewhere and for me, I’d like to start with the Cera Ve brand. It’s supposed to be dermatologist recommended so why not start there? I will probably get it this week and try it for a couple months and report back.

I know this was kind of all over the place, it’s just part of PCOS. If you struggle with acne, tell us below what helps you.

“In your name, the family name is at last because it’s the family name that lasts.” ― Amit Kalantri

I apologize for being a little later today. I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day.

Today I wanted to talk about something that I was actually doing last night. Have you ever looked into your family tree? Have you ever wondered if you were related to your friends or famous people? Well, I have. And thankfully there’s a place to check that out. Visit the website here.

Relative Finder has helped me find out some really cool things about my family. For example, I grew up being told by my dad that I am part Native American. But I look at myself and don’t see it. Plus, he has no evidence to back this claim. I never really believed him, and had good reason not to given previous history. Well, fast forward to last night and I decide to hop onto Relative Finder to see if any more of my friends would like to see if we’re related. Of course, no one had done it other than the two people who did it a couple of years ago.

I continue to look around the site and decide to look at my relatives. There is an option to see direct relatives or all (like cousins, aunts, and uncles) so I decide to click direct. Low and behold, there is was! My dad hadn’t just made up some story. I am related to the one and only Pocahontas. The real person the Disney movie is based on! She is my 13th great-grandmother. Needless to say, I am ecstatic and decide to keep looking.

Of course, I could go on forever listing all the cool people I am related to but I won’t. I will encourage you all to check out the website though. Of course, this will only work if you have a Family Search account, so you should make one and start adding to your family tree. And no, you don’t have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in order to create a free account, it’s free for everyone.

Let me know in the comments who you’re related to. And if you want to join the group I made specifically for you guys, search for Carra’s Blog Followers and the password is blog or join with the link here.

As always, thank you for stopping by. I hope to see you all next week and I hope to have my blog out at a normal time. Again, I apologize that this blog is so late.

“Pain, you just have to fight through, because the truth is you can’t outrun it and life always makes more.” -Dr. Meredith Grey

pcosWith the month of September right around the corner, I wanted to post about something important to me. I’ve posted about it a couple of times before, and that’s PCOS. You can read those posts here and here.

For those who don’t know what it is or want to learn more about it, I will be making weekly posts about it. September is PCOS Awareness Month and I think what better way to bring awareness is through my blog?

This week I want to share about when I found out. I haven’t shared much about my thoughts and feelings on that day and why not kick it off with that?

It was last year, around this time actually. I was going in for a checkup to see what I could do about my acne because I was 25 and tired of it, I looked like a teenager and didn’t want to anymore. I went into the office, fully expecting her to look at my face and tell me to change my diet and take this specific medication. What I didn’t expect was to come out of that office with answers that I had been searching for for years. The doctor telling me “you are a textbook case of PCOS” still rings in my ear.

Of course, I didn’t want to take up any more of the doctor’s time and figured I could learn about it on my own. Big mistake, huge. I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself, the more I read that day, the worse I felt. It’s the leading cause of female infertility? So I may never have babies? It could lead to ovarian cancer? So I may get cancer?

Just an FYI, don’t just start researching on your own, it’s very overwhelming. I cried off and on for quite a while. And many people I talked to about it kind of just brushed it off like it was nothing. “so you’ll adopt, it’s fine.” or “you’re fine, nothing is wrong with you.” That one was probably my favorite because yes, there was something wrong with me.

I eventually gave up on telling people for a bit because I felt like I needed to just suffer on my own because no one really took it seriously. It’s an issue you can’t see so it must not be too bad, right? I hate that! I honestly hate that. But I didn’t make this post to rant about that, so let’s continue on with the story.

I was afraid and felt so alone. I didn’t know anyone who had been diagnosed with PCOS, I felt like the only one in the world who had it. Everyone I talked to never even knew what that was. So I don’t have a period every month, I should be thankful. That’s about the extent anyone knows. This is why PCOS Awareness Month exists. This is why I keep talking about it. This is why Buzzfeed did a video on it.

There’s so much I could say about my feelings of having PCOS. It is an emotional rollercoaster that I will never get off. There’s no cure and there may never be one. They’re barely starting to learn about what causes it so we still have a long way to go. But if you feel so inclined to donate, please do. You never know what your money could be helping accomplish.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you keep returning to learn more about PCOS. And don’t forget to wear your teal in the month of September. I know I have my nail polish.

“Her Success is Not My Failure” – Latasha Haynes

39020342_937536426429734_388514911870779392_nI gotta say, life is really funny sometimes. I want to post but something always gets in the way and I hate typing up blog posts on my phone because it’s a little harder to write and research. Plus I like the bigger screen of my laptop so much more. Anyway, today is the first day of my last fall semester at the community college and I could be more nervous and excited for this semester. For one, I am not for sure in two of the classes that I absolutely need. I’m also enrolled in statistics this semester and I hate math, have never been good at it. But somehow, I managed to pull off a B in my algebra 2 class this summer so I’m pretty proud of myself for that.

39012887_2096769243975848_2542323556344135680_nI decided to write about my bullet journal in this post. Why? Because it has helped me through so much in the last 2 years and I know it will help me through this semester. So, I hope you’re ready to see my work! And I will be hiding all of my personal information because the internet does not and will never need to see that.

So, if you don’t know what a bullet journal is then you will after this. A bullet journal can be something different for each person. For me, it is a planner, a way to tracker certain habits (like reading, praying, etc), a place to write down stuff I want to do, I even have my education plan in it. All of which you will probably see throughout.

39062187_217046682323227_4004356661857746944_nI am in a few bullet journal groups on Facebook, one of which I actually created. The biggest group, by far, is Boho Berry Tribe. I asked the group what bullet journaling is to them and I loved the responses. I decided to add them here and no names or personal information will be posted.

“A record keeper for the important things in life, big and small. A goal keeper/ tracker for my business. And a creative outlet. Like a diary without the drama.”

“It’s literally everything and anything I need it to be. It’s a calendar, task list, journal, reading log, list of things I want, quotes and inspiration, reminders, a master syllabus for my classes. A place to draw and be goofy but also serious and poised. It’s messy and imperfect and a true reflection of life.”

39087742_683142718713110_5828806834454003712_n“It’s my journey.”

“My bujo is what helps me realize how productive I really am. It helps me give myself credit for all the things I do. Trackers help me stay motivated, act as a reward for following through and help me find patterns in symptoms. My monthlies and weeklies help me stay organized. They keep me from getting that ‘I’m forgetting something but I don’t know what’ feeling. I am so much more organized and productive now, and I have no clue how I got anything done before!”

39069487_232406970953171_1639907883292295168_n” I tell people it’s my life. It’s the extension of me that I don’t have to worry about not being perfect, or presentable to others, I never have to fake it, it changes with me, for me because of me. I can be sloppy messy neat and it makes sense to only me. It’s my friend, keeps me on task and organized with every part of my life. From bills to volunteering, to city events and concerts/movies.”

“I was introduced to Bullet Journaling after complaining to an intern at my job about how I just can’t retain any information from school. I’m an older student at 38, work full-time, have 2 kids, a hubby, a live in 19-year-old niece (who’s a saint thank God), 4 fur babies, my nieces bunny and parrot, a house and I run the communications dept. at my church, I’m tired lol. This intern just turned my life right side up when she introduced me to bullet journaling and it has saved my sanity. The actual method used for basic BuJo is amazing to me and now I can remember things again. I write everything down in it and I can find everything fast.”

39042008_967692503403036_8159637658453147648_n“my brain! if it’s in the book, it gets done. it’s entertainment. it’s a creative outlet. it helps me sort thru my life.”

As you can see from what was said, bullet journaling has made an impact on many lives. And the best part, to many of us, is that you can do whatever you want with it. Plus, there’s no wrong way to bullet journal. Some people make very elaborate pages while other keep it simple. I’ve seen people use water colors to make their bullet journal pages and I think it’s absolutely amazing but I could never do it. I use stickers, a ruler, and several color pens.

39062955_1673301316101687_8339909835436851200_nYou’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with school starting up. Well, I have made a few pages specifically for tracking school related things. I have all of the important school dates written down, a few pages made up of two weeks each for writing down what homework I need to do, and what classes I need for each degree I’m getting next year. It keeps me on track and I know where I can find each thing all in one place. It’s great! And each of my classes are their own color so that’s helpful as well.

I hope that everyone at least tries out bullet journaling because it honestly could change your life. I know it sounds so cheesy but it is so true. I started bullet journaling because I saw many beautiful pages and started learning about what it is. Just remember, you can use whatever you want and do as much or as little as you desire. There is never a wrong way to do it. That’s the beauty of the bullet journaling system!

Thank you all for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this weeks post. I apologize for being so absent. I will try my hardest to post weekly again. Until next time, enjoy your week!

Helpful links:

Boho Berry

Bullet Journaling System

Bullet Journaling California Facebook Group

Boho Berry Tribe Facebook Page