Sunday, June 30, 2013

Quotes to Inspire: Adversity Part II






Friday, June 28, 2013

Fries on Friday: Introduction

I'm no mathematician, but I know that Oil + Carbs + Salt = a very happy Sarah. I guess that's why I love french fries.

We have a tradition at my house-- not matter how crazy things get, my Mom and I try to go out together on Friday nights. Usually, we end up at McDonald's gorging on some gloriously fried food. :) I must say it's usually the high point of my week. No matter how old I get, I still love my Mommy time.

Now that I've explained my title, here's what these Friday posts will be all about.

Just like french fries, it's often the small things in our lives that add the most sweetness to our days. These posts will be about the current sweet things in my life. Some will be small, others will be bigger, but all make a difference.

I love hearing about what other people are enjoying. It helps me find new products I love and discover inspiration for new ideas.

So....without further ado... The Sprinkle on my Ice Cream Blog presents:
1. New nail polish! I know, it's girly, but I love a new color every now and then. I was caught in a blue-green rut for a while, so it feels good to wear this fun coral color. [Not to mention, I got on sale! :)]



2. Cliff Z-Bars! Yeah, they're technically for kids, but I love them. Not only are they organic, but the taste like oatmeal cookies. Umm, yummy!


3. Braids! Today, I just wasn't in the mood to spend time on my hair, so I braided it. I hadn't done this in while. It feels great to have it out of the way, especially in this summer heat. I might end up doing my hair like this more often.


4. Bracket Frames! This week, I figured out how to make those adorable bracket frames on Photoshop. I've been designing an audition flier for a friend and really wanted a cutesy frame for one of the graphics, but couldn't find a good free one. So, with some experimenting, I was able to create my own really quickly. I'll post a tutorial on Tuesday, but here's a sneak peek.


5. Smoothies! Today I made a really yummy smoothie. I threw 3 strawberries, 1 banana, 1 cup of mango flavored frozen Greek yogurt, and 1 cup of ice into my blender. Talk about delish! I love the refreshing treats we get to eat in the summer.


6. Pinterest! Thanks to our great readers [that's you!], our Pinterest quotes are getting re-pinned a lot. Thanks everyone! I feel like this is a great way to share the gospel on the Internet. I'm super excited. [If you don't already follow us on Pinterest, you can do so, here].

To express my appreciation, here is a new quote for y'all [using my new bracket frame, of course. ;)].



So, there's some of the sweet things in my life this week. What are the sweet things in your life?

-Sarah

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: How to Get Craft Store Coupons

It's no secret that I love a good craft project. Pinterest makes me jump for joy and I go googly eyed at the first glimpse of the letters, "DIY".
Even though crafting can save money, it can also be very, very, very expensive. [Do you feel my pain?]
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Artists fear no more! There is hope.

Coupons: Ah, the word that seems to make most people cringe. Don't worry--they're not hard to use and your checkbook will thank you. [Wow, I sound really outdated. I mean your online banking statement will thank you. I'm not that old. ;)]

But, how do we acquire those oft coveted paper gems? Allow me to explain.

Mail: Many craft stores offer mailing list subscriptions. When you sign up [ for free], you receive a flier each month that usually includes at least one 40% coupon that you can use on an item of your choosing. I receive the Jo-Ann Fabric Store mailer and absolutely love it. Not only do you get coupons, but you also get a peek at the sales for the next month so you can plan your purchases accordingly.

Newspaper: I know, *gasp*, my family still gets the paper. What can I say? I like reading the comics and advice columns. [Okay, so that's not the only reason why we get the paper, but that's the only thing I really read in there. ;)]

Anyway, Michael's craft store usually puts out a sales flyer each Sunday that has either a 40% of 50% off coupon. They also advertise some awesome doorbusters.

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E-mail: Oh the joys of spam in your inbox. Trust me, though. This kind's worth it. Joining e-mail clubs for your local craft stores is an easy, convenient way to get coupons delivered straight to you [without all the clutter of snail mail!].

Websites: Visiting craft store's websites is well worth your time. Each week, they post new printable coupons. You can usually only use one per customer, per day, but hey- I'm not complaining about discounts.

Be careful that you only go to the official webpage for each store. There are lots of websites out there that claim to have coupons but are really frauds.

Here are the links to my favorite store's coupon pages:  Jo-Ann's  Michael's

Okay, so here's my favorite tip. Most people don't realize that craft stores usually accept each other's coupons. For example, depending on what I need to purchase, I use Jo-Ann and Hobby Lobby coupons at Michael's all the time. Stores will usually let you use one coupon from each store per transaction. Some Wal-Marts will also accept the 40% off coupons in their fabric/craft departments. Check it out in your area. It can save loads of money.

Don't be scared to break out those scissors and clip some coupons. Think of it this way: the more you save, the more awesome craft materials you can buy. ;)

Happy saving,

Sarah

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sweet Finds: The Remarkable Soul of a Woman

Need a pick me up? Let me tell 'ya-- I did last night.You know those days when clothing shopping just doesn't go right? Nothing fits, you feel like a toad, and everything you choose to try on is either way too big or way too tight....yeah, that was me yesterday.

I had to catch myself from falling into the utter, dark depths of despair [okay, so maybe that is an exaggeration, but I was feeling pretty down].

The world tries to get us to base our value on temporal things. Women are under a lot of pressure to weigh a certain amount, dress a certain way, do their makeup according to the latest trends, and of course, always have perfect hair [I mean come on, Disney Princesses! I'm never going to have that much volume. ;)]. Through all of this chaos, it's really easy to forget our true worth and divine potential.

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The good news is, God doesn't see us like the world does. He believes in us. He knows our true worth. We are His daughters. Daughters-- not friends, not minions, not slaves--We are daughters of Heavenly Father. He loves us. Our size, style, fashion know-how, and possessions don't matter to Him. "...For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

I'm a sucker for bargains and sales. I swear the clearance signs call my name or sing a song or something because I run to them like a mouse runs to a piece of cheese.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I was casually browsing the free LDS kindle books on Amazon.com. I was happy to see that President Uchtdorf's book, The Remarkable Soul of a Woman was available [for free!].

So, last night I opened it up and read it. The spirit was so strong. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I need to stop thinking about my self so often. It's time for me to look outward and serve others more. When I am focused solely on other's opinions about me, I'm selfishly orientated. Heavenly Father has blessed me with talents, and I'm going to use them to help others.

 Here are some highlights of my favorite parts of the book:





So, if you're in need of a boost, download The Remarkable Soul of a Woman. You'll be thankful you did.

<Insert comical, yet sincere salutation here>

-Sarah

P.S. Click here to see the kindle listing on Amazon. If you don't have a kindle reader, you can download a free reading app for your smart phone, computer, or tablet.





Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Organized: Blog Schedule

Sometimes I'm more organized than others. For example, I go bananas keeping my computer desktop free of clutter and my nightstand organized. To prove it, here is a screen shot of my computer screen. You're welcome.

See how clean it is? On the other hand, let's not discuss the condition of my closet. haha

However, I would encourage you NOT to look in my sock drawer right now. Let's just say I was in a hurry last time I put away my laundry. ;)

Despite my lack or organizational [is that a word?] talents, in order for this blog to be a success I feel I really need to get on a schedule and stick to it. So amigos, here is the plan:



I will explain each category more in their respective first posts. But for now, here's a brief explanation because I know you are all dying to know the story behind my cliche, cheesy titles. haha :D

MUSIC MONDAY: This is pretty self explanatory. I'll be reviewing different music, artists, songs, albums, etc. that have made a difference in my life, or in other words, added "sprinkles to my ice cream". Of course, all of my selections will be clean and family friendly.

TUTORIAL TUESDAY: In this post, we'll do lots of fun craft projects together. I can't wait. ;)

THRIFTY THURSDAY: Refashioning, money saving tips, clearance shopping, coupon how-to's, and all other savvy awesomeness will be found here.

FRIES ON FRIDAY: I'll explain the title of this post soon, but in short, it will involve reviews about fun and exciting things that make my life better. Examples include great movies, new nail polish, food, and whatever else is on my mind. [I'm having issues explaining this, but you'll see how cool it is on Friday ;)]

Other posts will continue to remain the same. I'll still post Quotes to Inspire, Sweet Finds, Spiritual thoughts, and random chatter.

So now you have witnessed my attempts to get organized. We'll see how it goes. I'm optimistic.

Hope y'all have a wonderful day. Don't forget to eat lots of sprinkles on your ice cream. ;)

-Sarah

I'm Back! Girls Camp Review

Hello my long lost friends! I feel like I haven't written in ages. Unfortunately that is true, but I have a good excuse. I promise.

Last week I attending my Stakes Girls Camp and Laurel Individual Faith Experience. It was fabulous. In between manicures, blow up water slides, smoothies, movies, s'mores, and lots of roasted Starbursts [If you haven't tried roasting Starburst over the fire, it's an absolute must. Your life will be changed], I also found a lot of spiritual rejuvenation.

Our camp theme was "It's a Jungle Out There, So Watch Over Each Other and Stand in Holy Places." It was based on this quote:



I must say, the theme was a message that I desperately needed. Sometimes, it is really easy to feel entirely alone and to forget that there are other people around us who need our care and support. I feel a much greater sense of unity now with my fellow sisters than I did before.

I think we seem to get stuck thinking that this life is a race against each other, but it's not. We're against the adversary, not our fellow men. Let us all work together and be united for good. Then, as Emma Smith said, "We WILL do something extraordinary".

TTFN,

Sarah

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sweet Finds: Divine Comedy & Studio C


Greetings, loved ones. Let's take a journey. [A hilariously awesome journey :D]

I have a strange obsession with Divine Comedy and Studio C. If you're not familiar with them, find them on Youtube. Their videos are awesome and full of clean humor that the whole family will love.

Both comedy groups originate from BYU. In fact, Studio C is a TV show on BYUtv that is based on Divine Comedy.

Here are some of my favorite videos. These never fail to bring a smile to my face. I hope you enjoy them!

Have fun giggling!

-Sarah

P.S. WARNING: Watching these videos may cause uncontrollable laughter as well as an increase in happiness. Once you watch one, you may not be able to stop watching the rest of the series. Watch at your own risk. ;)

Provo Utah Girls [Parody on Kate Perry's "California Gurls"]



Good [Parody on Michael Jackson's "Bad"]



Operation Breakup by Studio C



Google Translator by Studio C




















Two Truths and a Lie by Studio C



Snappy Scripture Journal



Do you ever feel like you're not getting enough out of your scripture study? A couple of months ago, I felt like I wasn't getting anything. Don't get me wrong-- I read every day, but the next morning, I could hardly remember what I had read, let alone how I needed to apply it to my life.

We hear in General Conference all the time that we should keep a journal. Honestly, that counsel always overwhelms me. It's hard to find time to write and sometimes even harder to know what to say. [I mean, are my future grandchildren seriously going to want to read about what I ate or how many rooms I cleaned yesterday? :D]

Nevertheless, for the last couple of months, I've been incorporating a scripture journal into my nightly routine. It take less than five minutes, but it's made a tremendous difference in my life. I find that when I journal, I have more meaningful study because I'm constantly looking for how the scriptures apply to me. I am also able to quickly review what I have learned.

Here's what a typical entry looks like for me. [Let's just way my handwriting isn't the best, so I typed my entry instead of scanning my journal page so you'll be able to read it. You're welcome.]


As you can see, my journal is super brief. Maybe someday I'll write more, but for now I feel this is sufficient. I just write the scripture reference that stood out to me that day and a sentence or two about what it meant to me. Then I write about tender mercies. [I know...it sounds weird. Let me explain.]

It was inspired by the following quote in a talk by Pres. Henry B. Eyring called O Remember, Remember.

"I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”
"As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened."

Each night, I try to think of specific ways I've seen God's hand in my life that day. I write this list in my scripture journal. Just like Pres. Eyring promised, I am able to recognize Heavenly Father's influence in my day to day activities like never before. I feel so much happier and my faith has increased. I've noticed I'm a lot happier and have a much more positive attitude. For me, that's worth anything-- Honestly, I can't believe all it's taken is five extra minutes a day.

Journals are super personal. I don't think there's a set right or wrong way to do them. This is just a way that is working for me. I encourage you to find what works for you--whatever that may be. What I can promise you is this-- taking the time to write a little each day has really blessed my life. I know it can bless yours, too.

Happy writing!

-Sarah

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quotes to Inspire: Comfort in Adversity







An LDS Perspective on Toddlers and Tiarras

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So, as I mentioned before, I love Netflix. Lately, I have been watching a few episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras. [I know, don't judge...I had good intention that I'll explain later ;) ]

This morning I was reading this Christain blog post. It really got me thinking about the true meaning of modesty. In her blog entry, Courtney quoted this scripture.
1 Timothy 2:9-10
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
 What does this mean, anyway?

I think what this scriptures is trying to say isn't that we should ignore our physical appearance or never dress nicely. What's it's getting at is that we need to change how we look at real beauty. Beauty should be defined by a person's heart-- the good that they do and the service that they give. Their character. Their kindess. Their love.

Modesty is more than just covering your sholders and monitoring hemlines. It's an attitude. A state of mind. A spiritual and emotional commitment.

This quote from lds.org explains things further:
"Like our dress and grooming, our language and behavior are expressions of our character. Our words and actions can have a profound influence on us and on others. We should express ourselves through clean, positive, uplifting language and in actions that bring happiness to those around us. Our efforts to be modest in word and deed lead to increased guidance and comfort from the Holy Ghost."
So, even though dress is a very important part of modesty, it isn't the only important factor. Our language and behavior are very important.

Okay, so back to Toddlers and Tiaras. It sickens me that these girls are being taught at such a young age to base their worth on their looks. Not only is it teaching them that their worth lies only in their outward appearance, it’s also teaching them to use their bodies to gain attention. We are encouraging these girls to have immodest attitudes. 

Watching this show has got me thinking about how I look at other people around me. So often, when we look at others we stop appreciating and start judging right at their physical appearance. We tend to "judge books by their covers" ignoring the wondrous stories each hold within. 

It is my prayer that both as a society, and on an individual basis we will stop basing beauty on size, weight, clothes, fashion, [and any other temporal thing you can think of to add to this list] and start looking at the good in people. Encourage both modest dress and modest attitudes. 

Remember the timeless words of 1 Samuel 1:7 "But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

-Sarah
someecards.com - Dear Girls, Dressing immodestly is like rolling around in manure. Yes you'll get attention, but mostly from pigs. Sincerely, Real Men

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sweet Finds: The Legend of Johnny Lingo

I'm a Netflix guru. I regularly browse through new instant videos and update my instant que. In fact, this pinterest pin pretty much describes my life right now. lol ;)

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Even though I really love movies, I have a greater love for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of this, I try really hard to be selective of what I watch so that I can always be in a "good spiritual place", so to speak.


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I grew up with old Church movies from like the 60's that were so cheesy I was fighting irreverent laughter. [Please tell me I'm not the only one ;)]

When I saw The Legend of Johnny Lingo show up in the "Popular on Netflix" feed I was a little shocked. Not to be rude or anything, but the church's version of the story left little to be desired [honestly, the whole eight cow thing sort of ticked me off]. This movie was different, though. In fact, I can now say I have a new appreciation for the entire story.

In the story, Tama [who later takes on the name, Johnny Lingo], is found as a tiny, abandoned baby on the shores of a tiny island in the Pacific. He faces social ridicule and exclusion beyond belief. Through it all, there was one shining star in his life-- Mahana. She too was persecuted and made fun of. The two children formed a fast friendship that would soon be put to the test.

One night, Tama decides to try and escape their island to find a better life. Mahana wants to go, but decides to stay behind to help her drunken, widowed father. Tama promises that he will return someday to care for Mahana, but will he?

This heartfelt adventure emphasizes the importance of friendship, loyalty, and most of all the worth of a soul. It was a very clean movie that has a very important message, especially for teens. I would really reccommend this movie for children eight and older, not because of any bad content, but because the message is a little deep and there are a few scary ocean scenes.

So, hurry to Netflix.com and put "The Legend of Johnny Lingo" in your instant que. It's a movie you won't regret watching.

Happy Friday!

-Sarah

P.S. If you don't have netflix, you can find "The Legend of Johnny Lingo" on Amazon Instant Video here.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Quotes to Inspire: Dieter F. Uchtdorf


 
 
 




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sweet Finds: A Modest Proposal Book Review


Photo Credit
Saying I love to read is an understatement. Reading is necessary to my survival. Reading is almost as important is air and food. [Although, I will admit ice cream is a close second, you get my point. :D]

Sometimes it can be hard to find books that have a good message but aren't filled with filth and grime. Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll be reviewing some of my favorite books for y'all.

I just finished reading "A modest Proposal: The Butterfly Box Book 1" by Michele Ashman Bell. All I can say is I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time.

In this story, Lauren  a successful New York Fashion designer, seems to have her life all put together-- but does she? In just a matter of weeks her life is turned upside down. She discovers her boyfriend has been seeing someone else for over a year, her boss won't let her pursue her dream of designing formal wear, and she receives continual opposition from the fashion industry for refusing to design immodest clothes. Finding comfort in her childhood friends, Lauren receives strength to embrace new changes in her life and finds even more happiness than she could ever imagine.

This book had a wonderful message about giving service and love to family and friends. It also taught me a lot about integrity and standing up for your beliefs even when it is hard. This is a fun, clean chic-flick with a plot twist you won't expect.

Michele Ashman Bell is a great writer. Her style really drew me in-- I couldn't put "A Modest Proposal" down. [I was up until 2:30 am one night because I HAD to see how it ended ;)] Between the weaving of humorous banter into the dialogue and the great subplot of the fashion industry, this book was able to carry an important message about priorities and unfailing love without being heavy or overbearing. 

I would defnitely recommend reading this book. You won't regret it. [Although, you may regret loosing sleep over not being able to stop reading].

-Sarah

P.S. You can find "A modest Proposal: The Butterfly Box Book 1" at Amazon.com in Print and Kindle Versions here. Right now the Kindle version is only $2.99!






Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Create More Dynamic Black and White Images in Photoshop CS5

I'll be honest. There are some black and white images that just pop, and others that just....well don't. When you're faced with an image containing similar tones, it can be hard to get the dynamic feel often associated with black and white images. However, thanks to Photoshop adjustment layers, you can fix that in a jiffy.

 
 

Alrighty. Here is the photo that I'll be demonstrating with today. I took this picture in Martin's Cove ,Wyoming while reinacting a pioneer trek near Devil's Gate. It's a beautiful area. If you haven't been, I'd highly recommend it.

Well, there's my random thought for the day. haha Let's get back to editing. :)

First, create a hue/saturation adjustment layer and drag the saturation slider all the way to the left.


Here's what I got:



Not too shabby, but it's a little boring. Notice how all the plants, water, and sky are pretty much all the same tones? Can we fix it? Yes we can! [Yes. I occassionally watch Bob the Builder. I swear that even though I know a variety of children's TV refrences I really don't watch cartoons  that often. :D]


In this step we'll be creating another adjustment layer. In the adjustment box, go up to the tiny list button [in my screen shot it's circled in yellow] and then use that menu to choose "selective color".

 

 
 
Note: Make sure the Selective Color adjustment layer in UNDER the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer or the following steps will not work.


Double click the icon for your Selective Color Adjustment layer in the layers panel.

 

Use the adjustment sliders and color menu to adjust each hue individually. [I like playing with the neutrals the most. You get more impact.]


Lastly, select the background layer and adjust the brightness/contrast of your final image.



 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Much better, don't you think? Even though the changes are minor, the impact is huge.

Happy editing!

-Sarah
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