Tag Archives: Happy

“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.

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“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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“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.

“Wisdom will come as we listen to learn.” -President Russell M. Nelson

29388561_1796523377322719_4154977917933191168_nThis past weekend I had the opportunity to attend something my grandma used to go to quite often. Time Out For Women is an opportunity for sisters in the church to get together and learn and grow.  A friend of mine had extra tickets and I was able to use them. Let me tell you, the speakers were wonderful!

TOFW is a 2 day event and there are several people who speak to us. Each speaker has something to share to help us grow in faith and support. A room full of women listening to touching stories, you could only assume we cried. Let me tell you a bit about my experience and the speakers for each day.

29389205_1796523660656024_4174583619005710336_oFriday night, there were only a few speakers and each one was pretty heavy. First was Cade and Carrian Cheney. They run a blog called Oh Sweet Basil and they discussed how the blog came to be and how it changed their lives. Carrian had a lot of health complications when she was pregnant and when Cade lost his job their blog provided what they needed. But it became not only a place to share recipes but a place to share their faith. I don’t want to give away their whole story but it was a beautiful and touching one. I love that they talked about how the love of cooking and doing it together brought their family closer than ever. Cooking with your significant other can change your day.29432347_1796523570656033_2126170809096470528_o

Next we heard from Jenny Oaks Baker, a violinist who is the daughter of Dallin H. Oaks (one of the apostles). She shared a little about her life and hardships she’s faced; from losing her mom to getting her van loaded with 9 weeks of belongings and expensive instruments broken into. I love that she also included her 14-year-old daughter, who was playing the piano with her. Listening to them was such a delight! And I loved their dresses.

29389089_1796523313989392_869140572839870464_nThe last speaker of the night was Tim Ballard. His story was the most emotional of the night. He has a nonprofit organization called Operation Underground Railroad. He and his team rescue children all over the world from sex trafficking. The story he told us was of a bishop in Haiti whose baby boy was taken from him and no one was able to help him. So Tim Ballard looked into it and found where he would have been taken and, to make a long story short, he rescued 28 children from being sold. Sadly, the bishop’s son had already been sold and still, a couple of years later, has not been found. The bishop did end up adopting 8 of the children who were rescued, though. And Tim ended up adopting 2 more, and it’s been a long process because of international adoption policies but they are coming home this week finally.

29365497_1796523823989341_4389166932507492352_oSaturday was another great day with amazing speakers. We started with a woman named Jenny Reeder, who is a church historian. She shared several stories of women in the bible as well as in church history that we didn’t know the full details about. She also shared her story of how she battled cancer 3 times in her life and how she had to come to terms with being infertile because of all the radiation. Her story was touching and, of course, brought tears to my eyes because I, too, may not be able to have children. I know that I still do have a possibility of conceiving but I still feel her pain.

29356713_1796523403989383_5012231331262758912_nThe next speaker was Alissa Parker. Alissa’s daughter Emily was a victim in the Sandy Hook shooting and has since co-founded Safe and Sound Schools. I may not be a mother but hearing her speak made me cry more than any other speaker the whole weekend. I’m not a mother but I love children and I have nieces and nephews. I can only imagine how I would feel if something like this happened to one of them. When I hear stories involving children, my heart breaks. The world is can be a dark place and when I hear these stories it reminds me just how dark. There was something she said that stuck with me. It was about when she gave her anger and sadness of the shooter to God she felt a weight lift from her. It made me realize that I never truly forgave the driver who killed my grandpa. I have internally held onto it, still a little upset with this stranger who I will never meet. But if Alissa can give her anger to God and let it go, so can I. And of course, that made me cry more.

29388402_1796523370656053_149983822799175680_nWe had the opportunity to hear from City of Enoch, a LDS musical group. Their stories and voices really touched me. They actually sang one of my favorite songs, which I recorded and will add the video at the end. Each of them became new parents in 2017 (I think that’s what they said) and 2 of them are expecting their second children this year. Listening to their songs really touched my soul and I hope that more people are able to experience their music because it is so enlightening! I could listen to them all day every day because it’s just that amazing and I hope you find as much joy in their music as I have.

29386614_1796523413989382_7812373145796476928_nThe next speakers were Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes. They are Sistas in Zion and boy are they funny. I loved listening to them and learning about how sisters can come from anywhere at any time. And that we are each like mitch match socks and together we are a pair. I love that! They were actually wearing mitch match socks, too! You can tell, just from hearing them, that they love each other and the church. I loved Zandra’s spunkiness and Tamu’s testimony. Tamu is actually from Fresno and hasn’t been back in a long while so it was nice to hear from a local. I do wish they had talked more but I loved hearing from them for the time they had. I know I’ll be checking out their website now, that’s for sure!

29365970_1796523353989388_3546723945099034624_nOur last speaker was Elaine S. Dalton, who was the Young Women’s president for a few years. I remember listening to her quite often. I had never heard her in person, though, so it was nice. I loved how shiny her dress was, and I think it perfectly represents who she is. She is so lively and fun and funny. I loved when she talked about being grumpy now. She used a story from her granddaughter and how she was grumpy because she wanted more pita. And she related that to how we are sometimes grumpy and it’s ok. It’s normal to have those bad days but don’t let those grumpy days become who you are or define you. You are not a grumpy person, you just had a rough day and aren’t happy today. You will have a better day tomorrow, though!

This experience was a great one and I feel like I really needed it. I am grateful I got to go and if you ever have the opportunity to attend, do it. It will change you. I know the price can be kinda steep but it’s so worth it!

As always, thank you for coming to my blog. If you have ever attended or plan to attend TOFW, post your thoughts below. We want to hear from you. Stay tuned for more posts each week! Now enjoy a couple songs by City of Enoch! The first one is the song I recorded so I apologize for the poor quality.

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.” -Gustave Flaubert

summerreadinglist_istock_34481384_hires_983px          Today I decided that I would share my reading list. I keep adding to it because there are so many good books to read but I figured some of you would benefit from my list. I will put a check next to the ones I’ve read. So, here we go!

  1. ✔️ Spark Joy -Marie Kondo 
  2. ✔️ Daring Greatly -Brené Brown
  3. ✔️ The 5 Love Languages -Gary Chapman
  4. ✔️ The Miracle Morning -Hal Elrod
  5. The Metabolism Plan -Lyn-Genet Recitas
  6. The Latter-Day Morning -Mark Bacera
  7. Overcoming Destructive Anger -Bernard Golden
  8. Claim Your Power -Mastin Kipp
  9. Happiness: A Memoir:  The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After -Heather Harpham
  10. Self-Esteem Bible: Build Your Confidence Day by Day -Gael Lindenfeild
  11. The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life -Jane Buckingham
  12. Your Best Year 2018: Life Edition -Lisa Jacobs
  13. The True INFP -Truity
  14. Rising Strong -Brené Brown
  15. I Thought I Was The Crazy One: 201 way to Identify and Deal with Toxic People -Amorah
  16. ✔️ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -JK Rowling
  17. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince -JK Rowling
  18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -JK Rowling
  19. ✔️ Wild -Cheryl Strayed
  20. Total Me-Tox -Beth Behrs
  21. Odd Birds -Ian Harding
  22. Tales of Beedle the Bard -JK Rowling
  23. What I wish I’d Known When I was 20 -Tina Seelig
  24. Bridget Jones’ Diary -Helen Fielding
  25. Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft -Raymond Buckland
  26. The Time Traveler’s Wife -Audrey Niffenegger
  27. PCOS for Dummies -Gaynor Bussell and Sharon Perkins
  28. Organize Now! -Jennifer Ford Berry
  29. Madly in Love with Me: The daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend -Christine Arylo
  30. My Zero-waste Kitchen: Easy Ways to eat Waste Free -Kate Turner

I added links to each book in case anyone wants to check them out on Amazon. Each book has something to offer, whether it be something to learn or a way to escape reality. I hope you all find your next read from this list! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and how you liked (or disliked) them.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. Keep coming back for more! Don’t forget, you can subscribe by email and a notification will come straight to your inbox when I post something new.

“Sometimes it’s hard to see the rainbow when there’s been endless days of rain.” ―Christina Greer

pcosI know many of you are still confused about all that is going on in my life.Which is why I decided to make a blog post about one specific aspect of my life that many are ignorant on, through no fault of their own.

In August of last year, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), view my post on that here. Of course, I had no idea what it was, no one I knew had ever mentioned having it nor was it in the media like cancer or diabetes. What even is PCOS? What does it mean to have it? What are complications that arise from PCOS? Will I be ok? What can I do to make sure it doesn’t get worse? I had all of these questions and more. I was harboring them inside of me and I was afraid to let everyone know because I was worried enough, I didn’t want to worry anyone else. The couple people I actually opened up to just brushed it off as nothing. But sadly, it’s not nothing. It’s something bigger than we all thought. In my previous post I really just spoke about what the symptoms were and added a list of famous people who also have PCOS. This time I am going to give you a few things that I have learned since then.

  • pcos plateAvoiding gluten and dairy help
  • A low GI diet is important
  • Being active is vital, strength training as well as cardio
  • Losing weight (when overweight) helps immensely. According to PCOS for Dummies, “If you are an overweight woman with PCOS, even a modest weight loss of 5 percent leads to
    1. A decrease in your insulin level
    2. An improvement in your menstrual cycle (or acts as a trigger for it to start again)
    3. Reduced testosterone levels, leading to reductions in hirsutism and acne
  • Every issue I’ve been dealing with (digestive issues, depression, acne, weight gain, irregular menstruation, vitamin D deficiency, and many other things) are linked together with PCOS
  • 75% of women with PCOS have a relative with PCOS as well

I have made a whole board on Pinterest full of helpful stuff for managing PCOS, which you can find here. I also have a board for gluten/dairy free recipes and foods that you can visit here. I will be attempting to be gluten and dairy free, though I know it will take time. I am starting off small. Right now, I am focusing on following the PCOS plate so we will see how this goes.

I hope this helped everyone understand at least a little bit about what is going on inside of me. I also hope this helps everyone have a better understanding of my diet, so if I say I can’t have something it’s not because I don’t like it. I want to help my body be happy.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog! I hope you come back to read more. If you still have questions, check out the image and video below. I will talk more about PCOS later so please don’t think I’m leaving you out to dry. Stay tuned!

pcos1

“Do not be afraid to ask for help. Nobody gets through college on their own.” -Michelle Obama

downloadCollege in and of itself is stressful, everyone knows that. Between homework, tests, reading, and your outside life there is so much to do. There are also many outside factors that could push back your estimated completion date. It’s a bummer when life gets in the way of what you want to do but it happens and there may be nothing you can do about it.

I started college in fall of 2011 at a community college and my life took a turn that I had not expected. The guy I had been in love with since I was 17 chose another woman over me. This caused my math grade to suffer and I failed the course. In spring of 2012 I moved out on my own and started volunteering more and started focusing less on my education, like not doing all of my homework. I failed my math class a second time, my astronomy class, and political science.

280px-Chevrolet_Metro_sedanFall of 2012 was definitely the worst semester of all, however. I enrolled in 2 English courses, history, tennis (because PE is required), photography, and child development. In this semester I started getting a fever almost every other week starting the second week of school. The doctors didn’t know what issue was so it was never addressed. I was also in 2 car accidents, neither being the fault of my own. The day after my second accident, that basically totalled my Geo Metro LSi, my aunt and uncle moved out-of-state. Next, my long-term boyfriend and I broke up, I was sexually assaulted by my neighbor, and I moved into Hector’s parent’s house. Due to all of this, I stopped going to school and failed all of my classes. It was also at this time that I decided to go on a mission.

My mission resulted in me taking 2 years off of school, which is what I thought I needed. When I returned, I started taking 2 classes each semester. I was doing wonderfully there for a bit. But then in 2016, Hector and I moved to L.A. and I had to transfer. This pushed my education back further. I was actually scheduled to be done this semester but I, again, dropped all of my classes and I left to Missouri for a month to clear my head. This my graduation date being pushed again. I went back to L.A. because I knew I wanted to finish my degrees but I was once again sexually assaulted at my place of residence by a neighbor and I had no choice but to move.

I am now enrolled in my third community college and I believe that if I stick with it, I will completely done next spring semester. It took a long time but I’m getting there. It will be a joyous occasion that you will all hear about (hopefully next year). Next stop? Bachelor’s degree!

Thank you all for visiting my blog, as always. I hope you enjoy your view of my thoughts. If you have any comments, concerns, or questions please post them below.

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” -Helen Keller

26994833_1771124659862591_1429434973_n          Life is full of surprises. Some of those surprises are good, some are bad and we never know when they are coming. The thing you have to remember, though, is that they happen for a reason.

Lately, my life has been twisted and turned upside down. When I felt like I was at rock bottom, it shifted and I fell deeper. I was talking to a good friend recently about my struggles and this is what he said to me,

26996560_1771124649862592_130041946_n“There’s always worse. You think you’ve hit rock bottom but there’s always lower. But guess what…You can keep going higher, too, Once you start climbing again, you’ll think you could never be happier but then things keep getting better.”

Those of you who suffer with depression, those of you who are battling life’s biggest challenges, those of you who are looking for the light in the dark….you are not alone. It seems like it will never end. It seems 26994720_1771124683195922_1436369907_nlike things will never get better. I promise you they will. Just stay positive. Trust me, I know it’s hard. I have difficulty sometimes, too. It’s even harder when I can’t handle my depression anymore and I have to just lay in bed and cry. We all fall on hard times but they don’t define who we are, it’s what we do in those hard times. Just know that you are loved and every battle has to end sometime, even if it feels like it never will.

This post may not help you at all but I know music can be powerful. I encourage you to listen to the following songs. Be strong, be brave, be you.

 

27140430_1771124653195925_550787904_o          As always, thank you for visiting. Please comment below if you want to talk through your struggles or if you want to give words of encouragement to someone who may be struggling. I hope you see just how strong you are and just how strong you’ve always been.