Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Sweet Things in My Life 8/31

Hey there everyone!

Boy, am I glad it's Saturday...I never thought sleeping in until 8:30 would feel so good. I guess that's what school does to you. ;)

Haha funny story. Last night I was super excited that it was a long weekend and I could stay up late reading a new book to review for y'all. I went to read my scriptures first, read a few verses, and then was out like a light. [Or like a lizard on a sunny rock or a sloth hit in the head with a bowling ball. Those anaolgies work, too.] So much for my Friday night book entertainment. haha

I must say I'm liking the extra freedom of the new blog schedule. What do you think?

While you ponder that most riveting question, here's a small glimpse of the sweet things in my life this week.

1. NEW BLOG DESIGN


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I like computers. When they work. When they don't, I'm as clueless as a disoriented chicken in a corn maze. But HTML is a whole other mind boggling story...when I do programming stuff for the blog I'm more like a disoriented chicken with it's head cut off wondering aimlessly through a corn maze hoping and praying that copying and pasting codes from Google html tutorials will magically work. I'm happy to say that after several hours and many days, the blog is looking much better, especially on Internet Explorer. [Don't know if you saw it before, but it looked like puke :P]. Now, it's much more visually appealing, if I do say so myself.

2. ICE CREAM SOCIAL


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I don't really like socials [or social anything for that matter ;)], but I love ice cream. Thus, ice cream socials become quite the epic paradoxical dilemma for me. This time I convinced myself that the benefits of sugar outweighed the downsides of having to talk to people and I actually enjoyed myself. Maybe it's because I hadn't eaten vanilla ice cream in a long time or maybe it's just because I was eating it for breakfast during my first hour class, but no matter what the reason, it was the best ice cream I've had in forever. [And that's saying something because I eat ice cream practically every day.]

3. GRADUATION MUSICAL NUMBER BY STUDIO C

I just can't get enough of this sketch. No matter how many times I watch it it's still just as funny as the first. [In fact, I think it actually gets funnier.]


Like seriously. Watch it now. If your an alto singer, this will change your life forever.



4. SECRET NINJA

I was messaging a friend on Facebook yesterday and was paid one of the highest compliments society has to offer... "You are our secret ninja.... Utterly brilliant but shy". Umm, yeah I think I'll take that title. How much cooler can you get than a secret ninja? haha Totally made my day.

So, wrapped into a super small kiddie cone, that's been my week. [Have you seen the kiddie cones at McDonald's? Aren't they just the cutest little ice creams you've ever seen?]

What are the sweet things in your life?

Sarah


Friday, August 30, 2013

My Favorite Fall Trends

I am so excited for fall! I have a really bad habit of pushing seasons. In spring I can't wait to break out my summer clothes and think I'll never wear anything other than shorts and t-shirts. Then August rolls around and before I know it I'm ready to layer up and wear my boots and sweaters again. Except it's 90 degrees outside. So if I do I'll look scary. Fashion problems. They're crazy sometimes.

So, since I can't actually wear fall fashions yet, I'll just post pictures of them. [That's kind of the same thing, right?] Here are some of my fall 2013 faves:

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Oh, blessed maxi skirt, how doth I love thee? Thou art comfortable and perfect for those Sundays when I doth not feel like getting dressed. Thou art elegant, yet casual. Sleek, yet comfy. Shall I compare thee to a summers day? [No. Because that would be lame. As you can tell, I stink at poetry. :P]

I love how Abby of Twist Me Pretty styled this magenta skirt. This look is great for spring or fall. I love that maxis aren't just for summer anymore!

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I could live in sweaters. Forever. They're like pajamas for the daytime. Heaven! [Plus, my school has some heating issues, so there's nothing better than a nice sweater to keep one cozy!]

I'm totally loving the casual sweater + jeans and boots combos going on this year. It's such an easy look to throw together that has you looking like a fashionista but feeling fabulously free and comfy.

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On the same note as comfy sweaters, let me just give a shout out to flannel. I love the look of these casual, yet chic shirts!

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I also love seeing more neutrals in the stores. I pretty much have to force myself to buy colors. There's something so beautiful about the simplicity of white, cream, brown, and gray. Loving that trend to death! [Hopefully it doesn't go out any time soon. It's been in for a while, but I'm not done with it yet!]

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And floral. Need I say more? I feel like I'm five and having tea parties again. It's the best thing ever! [Although, at the same time it concerns me that the 90's are already coming back...I'm pretty sure I owned a pair of flower pants when I was three that are almost identical to some that I wear now. Oh well! :D]

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But you know what the best thing about fashion is? It's all up to you. This post is just a collection of my favorite things. Yours may be different, and that's okay. This is meant as an inspiration, not an obligation.

Be wonderful! Be you! Let that style show and remember, modest is always hottest no matter what the tabloids try to tell you.

TTYL! See y'all tomorrow for My Sweet Sprinkles!

-Sarah

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sweet Finds: Kid History

Some days you just really need to laugh. Today was one of those days. Kid History did just the trick. [I won't lie. Eating ice cream out of the carton helped immensely as well. Comedy+Dessert=Happiness. There's some math I can actually do. :D]

In case you're not familiar with them, Kid History is a series where kids do all the talking but adults lip sync to the children's voices and act out the stories. The result is pure hilarity that will have you rolling off your chairs with laughter [or if you're me, you'll probably end up spewing milk or whatever you're currently eating out of your nose and nearly choking to death because you can't stop laughing, but it's all good ;)]. Check them out on Youtube. They've got some fabulous stuff.

This Kid Snippet perfectly describes how I felt in Chemistry class today. We were doing unit conversions. At first I was all like "Oh yeah, I got this!". Then the problems got harder and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I was so lost. More lost than a lion from the African Savannah that was randomly transported to a remote river island in Canada surrounded by beavers and grizzly bears, if that makes any sense. [Are there river islands in Canada? I honestly have no idea...] 

Anyway, if you're looking for some clean humor, Kid History is for you. Enjoy this movie, and remember: only you can stop wild fires.

The End.

Sarah

 

Monday, August 26, 2013

How to Use Photoshop Filters

Photoshop filters are a lot like Disney Land. They're wonderful, awesome, and excitingly fabulous, but they can be super overwhelming. [Please don't tell me I'm the only one who has a mini anxiety attack over the pure joy of Disneyland combined with the sheer overwhelmingness of riding all the rides and seeing all the characters...I love them all. So I have to see them all. The end.]

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Do you copy?

Don't worry! The good news is Photoshop filters are free [very much unlike Disneyland], so you can experiment with all of them as much as you'd like.

Today I'm going to show you some of my favorites and how I make them work for my photos.

Drumroll please..... [That's way too boring. Hmm..."Gong and bell choir, please!" There, that's better.]

Let's start with the basics: What is a Filter? Put simply, it's a combination of many setting changes that automatically make adjustments to your photo in one easy click. In that way, I guess they are pretty similar to a Photoshop action. [Read my post on actions, here] But it gets better! You can adjust and fine tune filters much easier than you can actions, they come pre-loaded on your software, and they make your photos look like they were hand drawn! Sweetness!

This is my original. Cool, but it lacks pizzazz. We can fix that!


1. Click Filter --> Artistic --> Colored Pencil [You can choose any one, I'm just starting here].

Check it out! As soon as your photo preview loads [it may take a minute or so] you'll get an awesome, artsy effect. 



Use the sliders on the right hand side of the pop-out to fine tun it to your liking. I like to keep my brightness at 100% as well as change the pencil width. It's fun to try each filter with lots of different settings on different photos. [Note: Make sure your foreground/background colors are set at the default black and white or your pics will end up super funky. Or you can leave them awesomely colored. That's cool, too. :D]

That's all! When you find what you like, click "ok" and continue editing in Photoshop and then save your pics as normal. 

Before I run away, as promised here are some of my favorite filters in action:

ACCENT EDGE: This filter is really fun. It boosts the highlights around the edges in your photo and adds a fun, bright pop. It's hard to see from far away, so I included a close-up.




 WATERCOLOR: This is pretty much the opposite of the Accent Edges filter. Basically, it adds shadows to your edges and texture throughout the photo. It doesn't look too hot on this grass photo, but look how it makes that zinnia pop!




And look what it did to this robin!


CUTOUT: I love the simplified look of this filter. It makes the individual colors pop and can create a really fun clip art/pop art feel.


SPONGE: It sounds weird, but it's really pretty cool. This one adds awesome texture throughout your photo.


You can do some fun graphic design stuff with this filter, too.


Last but not least...

CHALK AND CHARCOAL: This one is legit. It makes your photos look like they were drawn by some super talented art major for billions of dollars. [Okay, maybe not the billions of dollars part, but it's awesome]. This one reminds me of some Asian watercolors I've seen. Love it!


See? That wasn't scary and it was almost as much fun as Disneyland. [Well, only sort of, but it was cool].

Have fun with filters! Don't be afraid to mix, match, and experiment!

TTFN,
Sarah

"Gold" by Britt Nicole


I've had lots of...umm....interesting....things said to me before. Haven't we all?


"Did you brush your hair today?" [No. It's naturally curly. If I did, it would explode and blow up all of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and America. So, today I basically saved the world. You're welcome.]

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"Your cheeks are really fat." [Thank you. I love how I can stuff an infinite amount of food inside them, like a squirrel. Eating faster = more food consumed. Jokes on you! ;)]

"That singing didn't sound so good." [Yeah, there's a good reason why I was kicked off the school choir...just kidding.]

But seriously, sometimes people are just plain rude. Most of the time, it's not easy to laugh and shrug off what they say. It's been said that sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you, but let me tell ya folks, words are some of the most deadly weapons. Yowzah, it can hurt sometimes!

The For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet provides these wise words of counsel:



That counsel is so relevant and needed in today's world. Please, be careful with your words!

However, words aren't the only means of bullying. I know it's common for girls at my school to bully with just the opposite-- Silence. 

I'll be honest. As an introvert I crave silence. Silence is my friend. Beautiful, blissful, peaceful silence oh, how doth I love thee! However, when provided in the wrong ways it can really hurt. 

How often have we not spoken to someone because they look different than us, aren't in our "group", or who have a different history or background? I hope your answer to that question is "never". But if it's not, please heed these words from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
“When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm—please apply the following: Stop it!” [emphasis added]
Okay, sorry for lecturing you all. My Mama bear came out [even though I'm not even a Mom. haha]. Thankfully, now my comforting side is taking over. What do we do when people are mean?

Yesterday morning my dear friend, [okay, so we don't know each other in person and I don't think she knows I exist, but she's still my friend. Don't judge.] Mallory Everton, posted this status update on her Facebook fan page.


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"I wanna take a second to make a serious comment. I just read an article ripping apart a video I made for fun a few years ago calling it "extremely awkward and embarrassing to watch." No matter what people say, do what you love, guys. I won't let jerks like this keep me down if you promise to do the same..."
In case you don't know, Mallory Everton is the beautiful starring actress of "Provo Utah Girls" and one of the main characters on BYUtv's comedy series, Studio C. Her work is amazing. She makes me laugh all. the. time.

I admire her positive attitude so much! The fact is, no matter who you are and what you do in life, there are always going to be people who make fun of you and try to bring you down. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:



Don't let what other people say drag you down to their level. You are beautiful. You are amazing. No matter who you are, you are a child of God. Not a minion or a slave, but a child of a loving Father in Heaven who is King. You are divine. As President Uchtdorf so elegantly put it, 



Never let anyone tell you that you're not of worth. Don't believe the lies others throw your way. That's what they are. Lies. Don't listen.

This song is an oldie [well...not really. It was released in 2012, but for music it's older] but a goodie. "Gold" by Britt Nicole has helped me cope with a lot of rude people. I love this song so much. Whether you've heard it a million times or this is your first time experiencing the awesomeness, enjoy! [I was having issues embedding from Youtube today, so click on the link under the picture and it will direct you to the video on youtube. :D]


"Gold" on Youtube
I hope y'all have a great Monday! Remember you are beautiful no matter what anyone says or does.

Sarah

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quotes to Inspire



 

Goals and Such

With this quote in mind, I think it's time to make some changes...


I've felt prompted to adjust some things on the blog for a while now. Let's put this into action, folks!

Instead of Fries on Friday, I'm going to run a series on modest fashion for teens. I'll probably title is something awesomely creative [haha, I wish] like "Fashion Fridays", but we'll have to see. [Hopefully I'll come up with something a little less cliche. :D] The Fries on Friday post still have the same content, but instead be titled "My Sweet Sprinkles" and be published on Saturday rather than Friday.

Additionally, I really want to work in more Sweet Finds media reviews and quotes to inspire. So, for the time being, I'm almost completely abandoning the blog schedule [*gasp!*]

Music Monday and Tutorial Tuesday will remain the same. However, I'm going to temporarily replace Thrifty Thursdays with some Sweet Finds and Quotes to Inspire. I feel this will help me live up to our blog's mission statement much better.

So, that's the scoop. Thanks for letting me dish it out on ya! <Oo  <---- [Look, I drew a sideways ice cream cone on the computer! Isn't that the most amazing emoticon you've ever beheld?]

Happy Friday!

-Sarah

The Sweet Things in my Life

Happy Friday! Wow, this week has been a blur. Usually the first week of school goes by super slow for me [ya know...orientation, syllabuses, orientation, and more syllabuses...], but strangely enough my days have been going by super fast. I can't decide if it's a good thing or not. It's nice having school go by fast, but I'd rather my home hours drag on as slow as possible. Maybe one of you could talk to Father Time for me? Thanks.

Anyway, here are some of the things that made my life sweet this week. I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week [haha see what I did there] because unfortunately I have to go do more homework [you can cry with me if you want to].

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1. HOUSE ON A HILL

I love historical fiction like a bee loves it's honey [or like a metal chair loves a boot buckle if you remember this post]. I've found that in the church we have lots of great books about the handcart companies and the pioneer treks west, but hardly any focused on when the pioneers reached the valley. House on a Hill is beautifully different. Set in Logan about 20 years after the pioneers reach Utah, this book describes the construction of the Logan, Utah Temple through the eyes of Lizzy Sullivan-- a spunky young woman with a mind of her own, and her family. The book really drew me in and made the first week of school much more pleasant. It's definitely a winner. [You can buy the kindle version on Amazon here for only $1.99]

2. BUSINESS CARDS



I ordered new business cards for my photography business from Vistaprint this week and they came in the mail today! I'm crazy excited! I think they turned out super cute [but I'm pretty biased because I designed them. haha].

3. FOUNDATIONS OF ART

I was pretty sure I wouldn't like this class since I had already taken other art classes before and knew the basics, but I'm actually really enjoying it. Over the years I've realized that sometimes you just need to stop and focus on the fundamentals. We talked a lot about what art means to us. To me, art [including photography] is like a two way conversation between the artist and the viewer that allows the artist to convey his/her thoughts, feelings, or ideas. However, getting my drawings to look awesome enough to describe these thoughts and feelings is a whole other story...Let's just say it will be good to get a refresher on some shading and highlighting techniques. ;)

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4. POTATOES

I just have to say it. I love potatoes. This meme describes my true feelings far better than I can.

An Ode to Potatoes:

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So that's what's up in my life. Yes, this is as exciting as it gets folks. :) But it's very sweet and wonderful nonetheless.

Keepin' it real,

Sarah

P.S. I just checked and my birthday is on a Friday this year. Yes! Kaching! Hallelujah! Woot woot!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Favorite Thrifty Living Blogs

Every now and then it can be great to get some new inspiration for living thrifty. Personally, I love reading other people's blogs. It's so great to get a glimpse into other people's lives and learn at the same time!

Here are some of my favorite blogs featuring frugal tips:

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Fabulessly Frugal: A great coupon website for the Northwest featuring online and store deals. The layout of this website is great. You can sort deals by store or search for the specific product you are looking for. Love it!

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A Thrifty Mom: This blog is another awesome one. Like Fabulessly Frugal, it features coupon and online deals for the Northwestern area. Sarah [she has the same name as me! :D] also shares some great recipes and awesome stories. Check it out!

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Totally Target: Coupon deals specifically for Target stores. There are some great deals on here and the transactions are explained very thoroughly. Also, since this is a national blog your store is more likely to have the item's you're looking for in stock versus the deals local blogs post about.

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Wild for Wags: Coupon deals specifically for Walgreen's stores. Great tips! I've scored some awesome freebies using this website. Another great perk is getting to see the sales flyer for the next week on Thursday instead of having to wait for the Sunday Paper. Yay!

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I Heart the Mart: Coupon deals specifically for Wal-Mart stores. There is a fabulous under $1 list with current deals and freebies on this site. 

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One Hundred Dollars a Month: Mavis, the author of this blog, has a great writing style. Her posts make me laugh and chuckle all the time. This blog discusses how Mavis feeds her family for $100 a month, is growing 2000 pounds of food in her garden this year, and her many travel adventures. She also posts some great Amazon deals and amazing recipes. Trust me, it's a great read.

I know these blogs have really helped me save loads money over the years! I hope they help you, too!

TTFN,

Sarah
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