I know this happened a year ago, but it definitely deserves a spot on the blog forever! I would relive this moment over and over again if I could! It was absolutely dreamy and perfect.
Before I tell the story of our engagement, it’s important to know exactly how our First Date went down. On our first date, Drew took me to the Willow Park Zoo, and then we had a picnic in the park with the cutest picnic basket ever! I thought it was all adorable, however I was so nervous I barely even ate a single thing. I just kept on dipping the same chip in salsa over and over again. Since then, Willow Park became our spot. We would meet here every day as it was exactly half way between each of our houses. Our first kiss even happened here too!
After dating for 3 months, we knew we both wanted to marry each other. That sounds crazy to think about, but it felt like we had known each other forever. We went ring shopping in September, now all I had to do was wait.
On October 23rd, 2020, Drew surprised me with the most perfect engagement ever! That night he told me to meet him at our place-Willow Park and come hungry because we were going to get Costa Vida. Little did I know he would be popping the question instead-and there would be no Costa Vida involved! Haha!
As soon as I got there, I saw that he had our picnic basket and blanket set up in the middle of the park. It was set up at the exact same spot that we sat at for the picnic on our first date! He pulled out some flowers, a book he had made containing “Our Story” and a box that looked like it had a ring, and got on one knee. He read the book to me, and proposed. The rest was a blur. I remember Drew’s sister Cali was hiding behind a tree to take pictures, and didn’t even noticed our families watching from across the street. Just like that, we were engaged, and it was the engagement of my dreams for sure! I LOVE YOU DREW JENSEN GLOVER!
Remember back in 2019 when Frozen 2 came out, and everyone was singing “INTO THE UNKNOWN”? Well, I personally think that song was just preparing us all for the craziness that was about to go down during 2020. At the beginning of the year I set the goal to make this year a year of HOPE & HEALING. While this goal definitely didn’t go as planned, I still found a a way to develop a pattern of healing in my own life. The trials that 2020 brought into my life have allowed me to grow and heal in a whole new way that I didn’t know was possible.
Here are some of the most valuable lessons that the year 2020 has taught me:
BAD DAYS ARE ALWAYS TEMPORARY
There are ALWAYS better days ahead. Even when you have a bad day, week, month, (or year), the sickness, pain or frustration you may be feeling WILL cease. Bad days are only temporary & there is always light in front of us. I especially needed this when I was experiencing a bad mental health days. This year brought a lot of anxiety into my life, so it has been super important to realize that these anxious feelings are temporary. With time, they always seem to go away. Be patient, and keep an optimistic perspective for the future.
2. KEEP YOUR FAMILY CLOSE!
Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Before the pandemic, I visited with my grandparents on a daily basis. However, after the pandemic shut down life as we knew it, we had to socially distance ourselves from our loved ones. This became particularly hard when my Grandma passed away unexpectedly. Oh, how I wish that I could call her one more time to tell her I love her. Just because you can’t see someone in person, don’t forget to reach out to them over the phone! We are so blessed to live in a world where we can communicate with our loved ones-even amidst the pandemic.
3. FOOD IS A POWERFUL HEALING TOOL
Food is one of the most healing tools that God has blessed us with. If we take time to nourish our bodies with healthy fruits and vegetables, you will see a huge difference in your life. In July I did Anthony William’s 3:6:9 cleanse and WOW-that cleanse changed my life. During that cleanse, I focused on taking out any processed or added ingredient and ate fruits and vegetables. Since that cleanse, I have tried to continue to drink lemon water and celery juice every single morning. Adding these two things into my morning routine has helped my health so much. I am definitely more aware about what goes into my body-and I love creating healthy whole food meals.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO INGREDIENTS
It is also important to watch what goes on your body.There are so many toxins that are found products that we put on our bodies daily. This year I tried to switch and do my best to use natural products with natural ingredients. Karalyn Call on Instagram runs an account called Just Ingredients. She has become my go to person for recommendations for clean products. Overall, I definitely have started implementing simple habits-like choosing to incorporate healthier products in my life. These habits have led to greater healing and happiness in my own life. I was so surprised when I started reading into all of the unnatural ingredients that were in my deodorants, cleansers, lotions, and beauty products. My skin and health has definitely improved from taking time to stay researched and informed about certain harmful ingredients.
5. BE WILLING TO TRY NEW THINGS
At the end of May, I decided to pick up a camera, and invest myself into the world of photography. I signed up for some online courses and fell in love with photography! I used all of the money I had saved up for to purchase a full frame camera and did a TON of free shoots! Soon enough I was able to start makings some extra money on the side, and found a past time that brought me so much joy! This is a reminder to go out and try new things! You NEVER know what amazing talents you can develop and how much it can change your outlook on life.
6. GOD ALWAYS HAS A BIGGER & BETTER PLAN
At the beginning of 2020 I was so confused and lost as to what changes I should make in my life. I was going back and forth between wanting to move away from home, or choosing to stay living at home. I went back and forth in deciding majors and which University would be best for me. I faced a lot of rejection in the dating world, and had my heart broken- a lot. However, I look at where I am now-in December 2020 and realize that God had a plan for me all along. I needed those trials to help me get to where I am now. Now I am working at a job that I love-got a promotion, and a pay raise, am engaged, planning a wedding and happier than I have ever been in my life! God really is SOOOO good!
Today I want to open up and talk about something that I, as well as many single, young adults struggle with. As young adults in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint, many of us are raised in a culture where we look forward to marriage from a very young age. I remember dreaming and planning my wedding day with my friends back in elementary school. According to childhood mind, there would be a frozen yogurt machine, my husband and I would ride into the reception on alpacas, and then we would have the most epic dance party of our lives!
Of course I haven’t always dreamed about the wedding itself, but I’ve also dreamed about my desire to start a family, fall in love, and fulfill one of God’s most important commandments. With that in mind, it is very clear that now-during my 20’s-dating is high on my priory list. To this day I am still looking forward to the day I get to marry (or even meet) the man of my dreams. & I’m sure you can relate!
I don’t know about you, but I often get frustrated because it seems like everyone else BUT me is getting their “Happily Ever After”… Every time I open up Instagram it feels like another person my age (or younger) is posting about their boyfriend/girlfriend, announcing their engagement, or posting a million of their wedding pictures. Of course I’m happy for these people, but seeing everything work out so easily for them often leaves me feeling upset/discouraged!
Every time I see those posts it leaves me questioning things like:
When will it be MY turn?
Will I ever fall in love?
Why is dating such a struggle for me?
Where is the perfect man (or woman) of my dreams? etc.
Let’s be real. These questions can be so defeating! These thoughts can also leave us feeling like we aren’t worthy of a companion, something is wrong with us, or that we aren’t pretty, smart, or good enough.
So if you have ever felt any of these feelings. I just want to say that you are NOT alone! I’ve been there and I am there. & today I want to share some things that have helped me through these discouraging thoughts and helped me bounce back from difficult dating experiences.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP STATUS DOESN’T DEFINE YOUR HAPPINESS
This has been the hardest thing for me to acknowledge. BUT just because you are single doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. Your Happiness will NEVER depend on someone else. It all depends on you. If you can live a happy and successful life when you’re single then you can be happy under any circumstance.
If you aren’t happy then start doing things that make you happy. Lately I’ve been so sick of dating that I decided to focus more on developing talents and doing things that make me happy. To do so I decided to get into photography and have also started learning more songs to add to my piano and vocal repertoire. Focusing my efforts on these skills instead of just texting guys to try to get a date all the time has been so rewarding and has definitely brought me so much more happiness.
GO CHASE YOUR DREAMS GIRL!
STOP FINDING AND START BECOMING
What do I mean by this? I mean stop trying to find that perfect person and start trying to become that person of your dreams. You are who you want to marry right?
My patriarchal blessings counsels me to do everything I can to prepare to meet my future husband. I have spent a long time pondering what this means and how I can actually “prepare” to meet someone. However, after reading an article from the YA Weekly I realized that I need to be focusing on strengthening myself in every way that I can! I need to be working on my relationship with God, strengthening my talents, and focusing on becoming a better disciple of Jesus Christ.
I’ve spent so much time begging God for him to give me the perfect guy, but haven’t spent any time asking how I can prepare to meet him. Instead of asking the Lord for your own desires. Ask him what YOU can to do to be an effective servant for HIM. I know that when we focus on what the Lord wants for us, then everything else will fall into place. Even if it isn’t exactly how, when, or where we want it.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
You have to realize that it is very common for people to post about their relationships, and about all things LOVE and bliss. & it’s important to realize that if you were in their shoes then you would be posting about it too! I mean why wouldn’t you?
What you DON’T see on instagram is all of the other people who are just like you and me and are simply going about living their BEST SINGLE LIVES! I mean I don’t brag on instagram about how I’m single and I don’t share the details of the many awkward dates I’ve been on…
So remember that YOU AREN’T ALONE! It’s just that we only choose to focus and notice all the people who have what we “want”… ya know? and that’s okay.
There is NOTHING telling you that if you aren’t married by the time you are 21 you have no hope. In Utah there really is so much pressure to get married young, but don’t focus on that. Ignore it and GO LIVE YOUR BEST SINGLE LIFE! Travel, discover who you are, go have fun, develop new talents and school, work hard in school, focus on God and the rest will fall into place.
SO?? What are you gonna do to go live your BEST SINGLE LIFE?? I’d love to hear from you!
This super easy soup is not only super easy, but super healthy and good for the soul. Especially in the colder weather. Plus it is free from the top 8 allergens! This recipe made enough to feed my family of 6 and we had enough for leftovers the next day. 🙂
I have had many requests for this beloved recipe! So here it is! This recipe makes two loaves of beautiful and tasty Gluten Free Artisan bread-as pictured below.
This recipe is from the book “Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, but here is my take on the recipe! This is not my original recipe, so all credit goes out to these wonderful authors! 🙂
3 cups of Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour– I use the “Namaste Perfect Flour Blend” from Costco. It is Gluten Free, Free of the top 8 allergens, and Organic.
1/2 Tablespoon of Granulated Yeast
1/2 Tablespoon of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
1 1/2 Cups of Warm water
1/8 cup of Olive Oil
Cornmeal* (for the bottom surface of the bread)
Mix together Dry Ingredients in Large mixing bowl
Add Liquid Ingredients with a spoon or with a stand mixer and the bread hook attachment.
Cover bowl lightly with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours
From this point, you have three options. Use the dough immediately, Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze the dough into two grapefruit sized portions for up to four weeks (thawing the dough in the refrigerator the day before use). When I made this bread, I prepared the dough on Wednesday and baked it on Sunday! I like to prepare the dough ahead of time and bake it on a different day.
When you are ready to bake the dough, divided the bread dough into two grapefruit sized portions. Place it on a baking sheet prepared with cornmeal-or you can just use parchment paper. Shape the dough into a ball and smooth the surface by wetting your fingers and shaping the bread with your hands. Cover the bread loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 60 minutes.
While dough is rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees & make sure to place an empty metal broiler tray on the bottom rack of the oven.
When the dough is finished rising, brush the top with water, and take a wet, bread knife and slash the top to create the artisan bread look! I did mine in a simple “X” pattern. Make sure the slash is about 1/2 inch deep.
Place your baking sheet with the bread into the oven! Then pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray, close the oven, and let the bread bake for 40-45 minutes-until brown and firm. I am always terrified of burning my bread, so I watch it closely during the last few minutes haha!
Allow your bread to cool-or enjoy it warm with some butter, jam, or as a tasty addition to your dinner!
Let me know if you have any questions or need any clarifications! Honestly, this is the most success I have had with baking gluten free bread so far. But I will keep you updated on any new recipes I find to be successful. 🙂
Here is a list of some of my all time favorite places to eat in New York City! It can be so hard to decide where to eat and where to go when planning a trip to this city. I hope these pictures & recommendations will speak to your soul like they did to mine! 🙂
#1 Taiyaki NYC – 119 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013
Hands down one of my favorite ice cream cones I’ve ever consumed. This place also sells the infamous Japanese Soufflé Pancakes! We were dying to try them, but there was a huge waitlist for them, so we settled for ice cream cones. This place is a China town essential!
#2 Max Brenner– 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
Calling all chocolate lovers! If you love chocolate, then I promise this is the restaurant for you. We were all in chocolate heaven!
#3 Dough Doughnuts– 14 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011
These are very unique doughnuts! The flavors we got were Hibiscus, Toasted Coconut, & Salted Caramel. Talk about yummy!
#4 Clinton St. Baking Company- 4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
THIS HAS TO BE MY FAVORITE BREAKFAST PLACE I’VE EVER BEEN TO! The eggs were the perfect texture, the pancakes were delicious & we almost went back again!
#5 Serendipity 3– 225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022
This Restaurant is famous for their Frozen Hot Chocolate! We decided to eat too, and we were not disappointed! What a cute place! & the Frozen Hot Chocolate lives up to it’s reputation-that’s for sure.
#6 Black Tap– 136 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
We celebrated Rachel’s birthday by having dinner at Black Tap! They were some of the best burgers and fries I’ve ever had, and they are even more famous for their exotic milkshakes! To say I was in milkshake heaven is an understatement.
#7 Levain Bakery– 167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023
These are the cookies I dream about in my sleep. I tried to make some at home, but they just weren’t as good as the real thing! We took some home and snacked on them all week long!
#8 The Melt Shop– 55 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010
This is my mom’s favorite place we ate! Their Truffle Grilled Cheese was fantabulous. We’ve been here a total of three times between the two times we have been to New York. It’s that good!
#9 Murray’s Bagels– 500 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Honestly, there is just something so beautiful about NYC Bagels. They are perfect no matter where you get them. We just happened to be closest to this bagel shop after our red eye flight landed and we arrived to the city. Honestly, I would recommend any bagel place in New York!
#10 Magnolia Bakery– 1240 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020
This bakery is pure gold! They are famous for their Banana Pudding. I immediately fell in love with both their banana pudding and coconut cake. Everything here is picture perfect & sooo yummy!
#11 Milk & Cream Cereal Bar- 159 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
If you are an avid cereal and ice cream lover-like me, you will LOVE this place! They make ice cream cones and shakes with your favorite cereals and candies. I’ve always thought I was the first one to invent the fruity pebbles milkshake, but I guess this place beat me to it… hah!