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“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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“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!

“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.

“In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.” -Alice Walker Read

It’s hard to write today. I have been sick in bed all weekend. But I want all of my readers to know one thing, I am working on being GDPR compliant. I know that I may not reside in the EU but it still affects me so. Unfortunately, many of the things that I can use to help make my blog GDPR compliant cost money. But if you start seeing pop ups, that is why. I’m hoping WordPress will come out with new things, like you may have noticed at the bottom of your screen. Until then, I hope I am at least better than before.

momAnyway, Yesterday was Mother’s Day. So I wanted to do a little tribute to many of the women who changed my life.There are so many women who have had a hand in making me who I am. Many of them don’t even realize how much. Mother’s Day isn’t about celebrating the women who have birthed you, or even women who only have kids. No. It’s a woman’s holiday, to show your appreciation for all that the women in your life have done for you. If it was only a day for people who physically birthed you, many people would never celebrated it.

grandmaI have been blessed with many wonderful women in my life who have been there for me, no matter what. There are too many to make a list but I will try to include photos of everyone.

As many of you know, I had a rough start in life and at the age of 7 I went from living with my mom to living with my grandparents. I spent some time at aunts and uncles homes but mostly with my janellegrandparents until I was 17, when they passed. I went back with aunts and uncles. I have been in and out of homes, my life has change a million times, but no matter what, I am cared for and loved. From family, to friends. From beds and couches in various cities and states. I know that no matter what, I will always have somewhere to go and I am grateful to know that.

I can never thank these women enough but I hope they know how much I love and appreciate them. Below I have a slide show of many of the women who changed my life as several videos to for you as well.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you continue to come back each week. Comment below with how you show the women in your life that you appreciate them.

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“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.” -Tyra Banks

meI woke up late today and had to rush to get ready to head to school with Zack. I have an interview later and I couldn’t find my brush and nothing was going right. I felt like I was failing everything. The was supposed to start off good, I was supposed to be excited about this upcoming interview. But instead, I was thinking about how ugly I was going to look because I had to rush. I was thinking about how I didn’t prepare enough so I was going to fail the interview. I was being all around negative and hateful to myself.

Have you ever felt like you hated yourself, for one reason or another? Where does it all come from? When does it all start? Babies don’t come out hating themselves, right? Is it taught? Is it embedded in our genes? Thankfully, I found several articles to help me understand all of this.

little 2However, I want to start by dispelling a myth that has changed the world. What is that myth? Well, many people today believe that girls get their negative self-image from dolls and cartoons they watch. For example, Dora the Explorer and other iconic kids shows used to be rounder in size (because they’re kids) but people were claiming their size was making their kids obese. Seriously? No, you want to know where I got my negative self-image? I got it from family, friends, and other girls who bullied me. It had nothing to do with Barbie’s unrealistic size. littleI never once thought, “I want to be her size, because it’s what’s pretty.” I saw Barbie as a doll, not as something to aspire to. I never once looked at the old Care-bears and thought, “Look at their size, I should eat more to be like that.” We need to stop blaming unrelated sources for the issues other females are causing. Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to fix it and it only gets worse as you get older. It turns from what other people are saying to you and about you, to what YOU are saying to you and about you.

Ok, back to what I was saying in the beginning. First of all, I want to say that I found an amazing video that I will add below. I hope you watch it because it’s important and goes along with what I said above.

little 3Now, I found an article titled “The Psychology of Insecurity: Where Does Self-hatred Come From?” This answers many of the questions I just posed above: where does it all come from? When does it all start? Babies don’t come out hating themselves, right? Is it taught? Is it embedded in our genes? The article states, “Nobody is born with a gene for self-hatred – it’s an environmental and cultural development that comes from your place in society and your experiences.” This is so unfortunate that the people who are supposed to help us, only cause us to hate ourselves. But it’s not all because you were abused, the article also states, “You can feel insecure simply because your parents worked too much as a kid or had to divide their time among too many siblings. A child’s early identity formation is crucial, and if no one is around to teach them they are valuable, special, and loved, they can have a hard time feeling it later on.” The article ends with saying, “It’s difficult to pinpoint one underlying cause of insecurity. It can start in childhood or it can develop over time. It can cripple you mentally and emotionally, or it can simply make it hard to ask the girl at the bar for her number. But what really matters is that virtually everyone is insecure in one way or another. When you’re working to overcome to absorption of negative attitudes and beliefs about yourself, remember that almost everyone you know has gone through the same battle.”

This was such a blessing to find. Sometimes it’s a good reminder that other people go through this also. But how can I love myself again? How can love me the way I did when I was little? For this, I turned to another article titled “How to Turn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion” The thing that you need to focus on, according to the article, is self-compassion. The five things they give are as follows:

  1. Talk to yourself the way you talk to someone you care about
  2. Recognize that beliefs do not equal truths
  3. Embrace the concept of “good enough”
  4. Consider turning to spirituality or religion
  5. If you hate yourself for mistakes you made, make amends

gmaLet me talk about these for a moment. First, talking to yourself as if you were talking to someone you love is a good way to look at it. I would never have told my grandma that she’s ugly or fat because I never saw her that way. I saw her as this beautiful, loving, strong woman, who could overcome anything life threw at her. How do I see myself? Definitely not that way…more like the opposite. Second, recognizing the way you believe as not being true is a huge thing. I know I’m not ugly but I tell myself I am. Why? Because other people have told me that I am. Third, how do we embrace the concept of “good enough?” The dictionary says, “adequately good for the circumstances.” We don’t have to be perfect, no one is, but we can do our best and leave the rest up to God. That brings us to number four, turning to spirituality or religion. The whole topic in sacrament meeting yesterday was self-esteem and self-love. One of the speakers said that when you know you are daughter (or son) of God, how can you hate yourself? This hit home for me. No matter who I am or what I do, he will always love me. Perhaps I need to focus on seeing myself the way he sees me? Lastly, number five, make amends for the mistakes you hate yourself for. This could be easier said than done. I am one of those people who lay in bed some nights and a thought comes to my mind, reminding me of what I did wrong months ago and how stupid I was. It’s hard to let go of those things. I think this relates a lot to my post about learning to forgive people who hurt us, honestly, because we hurt ourselves.

beautifulYou may be wondering why I am focusing on this today. Well, for one thing, it’s one of my 30 before 30 items that I need to check off and this helps me hold myself accountable. I’m not going to say that I completely love myself today but I’m working on it. Second, the topic in church yesterday made me want to post about it. I guess that’s how the spirit works, isn’t it?

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. This post took me some time to do because a) I wanted to give you the best information I could and b) no one likes to admit they don’t love themselves. I hope you can check out the inner voice video as well as the song  and other articles I added below. Keep coming back each week for new content. I love you all and I hope this helps you learn to love yourselves as well.

8 Ways to Increase Your Self-Love by Elyse Santilli

A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love: Self-love is an action not a state of feeling good by Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” -Roy T. Bennett

We all get stressed, it’s inevitable. Sometimes we don’t exactly know how to deal with it, though. That’s why am I writing today! I have been stressed a lot lately, between changes in life and school…it’s been insane. I actually have two short-term heavy classes that I decided to take to make life easier later. They actually just started last week and are eight weeks long, on top of my full semester course. But how do I manage the stress of this and life? Well, I did a google search to see what is said about overcoming stress and I will tell you what I learned.

In an article titled “Dealing with stress-ten tips” here are the tips and my thoughts on them:

  1. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Well, first of all, I already try to stay away from these. Why? Because according to research, coffee puts part of your brain back to sleep. Your brain needs water to get it working properly. Alcohol just impairs your thoughts. How am I supposed to deal with stress with a clear mind if I can’t even think straight? And nicotine? Well, I just don’t smoke anyway and never will. It’s damaging to your lungs. Anything you smoke is bad for your lungs, I don’t care who you are.
  2. Exercise. This is great! Get up and get physical. It gets the blood flowing and gives you a chance to clear your mind. If you can, I would suggest getting in nature to do any exercises. Go hiking (if you have an area to do so), go walk around your local park (just be safe), or at least go in your backyard (if you have one). Fresh air is good for you, physically and mentally.
  3. Get more sleep. Easier said than done sometimes, I know. But sleeping at a regular time each day helps our minds and bodies heal from stress we are facing. You’ll also see that you wake up in a better mood when you are getting the right amount of sleep.
  4. Try relaxation techniques. I have started reading a book called “Yoga for Weight-Loss” and it has such amazing yoga poses for relaxation. There’s many different ways we can relax, some people sit alone for a little while and listen to calming music, check here for music ideas. Some people do meditation, which is great for body and mind, which you can find beginner tips here. Find what works for you and stick with it.
  5. Talk to someone. I do this, every day. Whether it’s talking to my friends or to the cat, it feels so good to get it out. I even loved talking to a therapist when I was able to see one. Don’t feel ashamed of talking about how you feel.
  6. Keep a stress diary. If you feel really uncomfortable about talking to someone about your feelings, you may rely heavily on this. Make sure you put it where only you can see it so no one mistakes it for something else.
  7. Take control. This one will be hard for most of us. How do we take control? Isn’t this why I looked this up? Yes, yes it is. Following these steps will help you gain control!
  8. Manage your time. This one is hard for me. I spent all of Saturday being a bump on a log. What should I have been doing? Homework. Don’t get me wrong, I got what I needed to turn in that day done. I could have worked on the test that was due yesterday (I did get it done, don’t worry) or the essay due today, which I still need to work on. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and pretend like I know how to get you to stop procrastinating when I can’t even do that myself.
  9. Learn to say “no.” This is a big one. Let’s use me as an example. I have piles of work to do for school and I was invited to someone’s house yesterday after church. I had to say no because I knew I had homework due yesterday. If I had said yes, would I have gotten everything done in a timely manor? I would have gotten it all in but it would have been stressful and I would have been up late doing that.
  10. Rest when you’re sick. To some people this means lay in bed and do absolutely nothing. To me, this means do low energy tasks. When I am sick, I turn into a baby (terrible, I know) and I make sure I have medicine, liquids to keep me hydrated, and I just watch Netflix. I remember one time when I was sick I watched all the episodes of the original Magic School Bus then started on the new one. I can’t just sit there and do nothing. Of course, I also sleep, which is a good option, as well. You know what you can and can’t do, take care of yourself.

Overall, I want to know to take care of you. What works for one person may not work for you. If you have any tips to offer, please comment blow. I appreciate your comments and my readers do, too. As always, thank you for visiting and stay tuned next week!

“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.” -Marie Kondō

29920718_1802825500025840_1792278_nGood news everyone! I completed something on my 30 before 30 list! What did I complete? Marie Kondo‘s method of tidying up, aka “the Konmari Method.” It’s number 29 on my list and I am I’ve been wanting to do it for a while now.

First of all, you probably want to know what the Konmari method is and how I stumbled upon it. Here is an excerpt taken straight from the website: “The KonMari Method™ is a way of life and a state of mind that encourages cherishing the things that spark joy in people’s lives. Belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being let go of, if they no longer spark joy. People are drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and optimistic.” So what you do is you go through everything (and I mean everything) you own, category by category, and touch each 30020583_1802825496692507_1848334969_nitem. It’s important to touch everything! If it brings you joy when you touch it, you keep it and if it doesn’t then you thank it and bid farewell. Marie Kondo’s method of organizing focuses on what we are keeping now what we need to get rid of.

I came across this method in a bullet journaling group I am in on Facebook. I don’t remember exactly which group it was but several people were discussing pages to create and keep track of their progress. Of course, all things organization interest me so I asked what it was all about. That’s when they referred me to her books, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. I immediately checked my library mobile app to see if they had the books and sure enough, they did. So I checked out the first one and from chapter one I was hooked. This was when I lived in a tiny 500 square-foot studio and most of our belongings were packed away in storage so I was unable to do the whole thing. Now that I have everything I own in one room, I decided it was time to get into it. And in the span of just a few hours, I was done.

30007435_1802825493359174_979829267_nSince my first encounter with the Konmari method, there have been more things happening for Marie Kondo. Just last year she released The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up. She saw how popular her book was, selling millions of copies world-wide, so she developed this book. There is also the mobile app. Unfortunately it is only for iPhone so I was unable to use it but I have heard great things about it. Now, just a couple of months ago, Marie Kondo announced that she is working on a reality show about the Konmari method. There is no release date or much of any information out there about it but it will be released on Netflix and the first season will have 8 episodes. I don’t know about you all, but I am super excited to see the show because I think this method is so healing, especially when you are going through a lot in your life.

I urge each of my readers to look more into the Konmari method and try it out. It helps to read the books first but it’s not required. I can garuntee that if you do this and complete it, your life will change. You will feel cleaner inside and out. Letting go of your physical clutter clears your mind, whether you realise it or not.

As always, I thank you for visiting my blog. If you have done or are in the process of doing the Konmari method, drop a comment below and tell us about your eaperience. Was it easy or hard for you? What category did you struggle with most? Did you learn anything about yourslef? I know I did!

“May we long remember that which we have heard during conference,” -President Monson

Just a reminder to watch General Conference this coming weekend.

General conference times:
March 31st at 10am and 2pm (MST)
April 1 at 10am and 2pm (MST)

To watch online, visit this LDS.org page. Watch the videos below to help you prepare! Comment below what you do to prepare for conference.