Saturday, October 3, 2009

Guess What?!

11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven is giving away THIS apron!...

Click HERE to find out how to win!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Triumph Over Comfort Food

As I was driving back from the rock climbing gym today, the most powerful craving for a certain comfort food nearly knocked me out of my car. This craving was for the Del Taco veggie burrito, with no cheese or sour cream, with del inferno hot sauce and a carton of icy orange juice. I turned into a ravenous robot and directed my car automatically towards Del Taco. When I got about a block away I realized that I didn't have my wallet with me, so i abruptly turned around to go back for it. As I was driving back to my apartment I remembered an article I read, just yesterday. It was about comfort foods, why we eat them, what they do for (to) us, and how we can avoid them. I didn't remember anything specific about the article, but it really drew my attention to WHY I could possibly be craving this thick, hot, juicy, heavy-in-your-stomach, burrito. The feeling I pinpointed was nostalgia. It reminded me of an earlier time in my life. I said to myself "Self, why are you craving the past when you could be creating the present and shaping the future!" So I decided to go grocery shopping instead. I went to my favorite store, a farmer's market, and walked around the organic produce, trying to put something together in my mind. Suddenly all my creative juices started flowing (or were they my stomach juices? I don't know) and I scurried around throwing this and that into my bag, becoming more and more excited about what I was about to make. I bought tomatoes, collard leaves, carrots, sunflower seeds, avocados, alfalfa sprouts, poppy seed dressing, and mint leaves. I will now tell what I created with all these delicious, fresh ingredients.

(That head of lettuce in the background is superfluous. I thought I was going to use it, but ended up not. It's really cool though. It still has its roots attached, so it's technically still 'alive'.)

I first chopped up the tomato, avocado, and carrots. Then I cut a collard leave in half, de-veining it, if you will. I put the tomato, avocado, carrots, and alfalfa sprouts on the bottom third of the leaf, then sprinkled it with sunflower seeds and some poppyseed dressing, just enought to kind of hold everything together. I also threw on some fresh mint leaves and a little bit of sea salt. Then I rolled everything up in the leaf and chowed down! I compared the way I felt afterwards to the way I have felt in the past after eating the veggie burrito, and the difference was very apparent, as you can well imagine.

It was delicious. I was glad I made that choice.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Take a Ride on the Soul Train

During my very first semester at BYU (summer of '07) I took a class called Intro to Philosophy. Near the end of the semester we started talking about 'the soul'. What is a 'soul'? Is it the spirit of somebody? Is it an all-encompassing personality? Well of course we never came to any one conclusion. There is no such thing as any one conclusion in philosophy. I came up with my own idea and wrote my final paper on it. I got a B+, I think. The following paragraph is MY understanding of souls and the way they work and interact with each other.

Our souls are living. They have substance that we can't See or feel because that substance is in some other dimension, i.e. behind the veil. Our souls envelop us and radiate outside of our physical bodies. This is what some people refer to as "aura". Now, what exactly shapes our souls and makes them what they are today? Our souls start out pure and clear and innocent. When we come into close proximity with any other person's soul or aura, they mix and mingle and share themselves with each other. We, in a sense, become a part of whoever we interact with through our "soul sharing". This explains the feeling of empathy. We are a part of everyone and every person is a part of us, so we can feel each other. But that is a topic for some other blog!

Like I said, that is all my interpretation of souls and what they are and how they grow and become "us". Now what do the scriptures say? Jacob 2:8 mentions "the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul." This leads me to believe that, yes indeed, the soul is living and can feel and be wounded and healed. Enos 1:4 says "my soul hungered". Another indication that the soul is living and needs care. Omni 1:26- "offer your whole souls as an offering unto Him" we can give of our souls and share with Christ and others. We need to be consciously offering our souls to God, sharing all of our experiences with Him. If we pour out our souls to God he will, in turn, fill us with HIS soul, or the light of Christ. King Benjamin "labor[ed] with faculty of his whole soul" (Words of Mormon 1:18) to establish peace in the land. He shared of his love and wisdom and peace and helped shape the souls of all who were in the land.

The Old Testament word for soul is "nephesh". This is translated in 31 ways in the Bible, with "life" being the most occuring translation. Other translations include myself, pleasure, appetite, ghost, dead body, creature, one, and person. It is very interesting that one word can be translated to 'life' and 'dead body'. This is explained by the root of the word 'nephesh' which is 'to breathe'. A dead body once breathed. Our souls live and breathe. (w.c. 5.)

I believe that the word "soul" is very much misused in our language today. It is more than our eternal spirit or personality or body or memory. It is all of that combined that lives forever, perhaps reincarnating to grow from more experiences in different circumstances. I know that our souls are exactly 'us' and we can be who we want to be if we associate with other souls who have already reached whatever plane we would like to be on. We, in turn, must help others reach their 'soul goals' by sharing our souls with them and accepting theirs.

Works Cited
1. Jacob 2:5 (Book of Mormon)
2. Enos 1:4 (Book of Mormon)
3. Omni 1:26 (Book of Mormon)
4. Words of Mormon 1:18 (Book of Mormon)
6. picture from

Friday, October 31, 2008

Raw Food Experimentation

My mother nags me at least once a week to blog something, anything. I've been busy with school and work and other collegiate activities but she still thinks that I have all the time in the world to blog, just like her. (For those who read this and know my mother know that I just made an untruthful statement.) Anyways- this past month I recently converted to vegetarianism minus eggs and dairy. I've really seen an improvement in my energy levels and thinking processes. A friend of mine and I also try to prepare a couple of "raw food" meals every week. "Raw" pretty much means it's not cooked or heated over about 104F degrees so as to preserve the natural enzymes and living things in the food. Raw food is also packed with energy and the flavors are really potent.

So last night my friend and I were about to start preparing our food when I remembered that I had fervently promised my mother I would document every single step and blog it, so I busted out the camera and we got to work. We get our recipes from a book called "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen" by Ani Phyo. It's an excellent book, with good recipes for beginning "raw foodists" and also tips for healthy living.

Stuffed Anaheim Chilies with Mole Sauce
4 Anaheim chili peppers
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 batch Black-Pepper Cheeze (not to be confused with 'cheese' the dairy product.)

Black Pepper Cheeze:
2 cups cashews
Juice of 2 lemons- about 4 TBSP
3 cloves of garlic (We noticed that she usually uses WAY too much garlic for us, so we changed this to one clove. Feel free to be brave and use all three)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup water

Mole Sauce:
1/4 tsp dried chipotle (we couldn't find any, so we just used chili powder)
1 TBSP pitted dates
1 1/2 TBSP carob powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 TBSP water, as needed

We made the black pepper cheeze first. Combine cashews, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt in a food processor adding water as needed to make a smooth, creamy texture. It took us a little bit longer to do this step, because the food processor we used was tiny. We had to do it in two batches. Set aside for now.

I then made the mole sauce. To make the mole sauce, simply throw the chipotle (chili powder in our case), dates, carob powder, cinnamon, olive oil, celery, tomato, sea salt and a little bit of the water in the blender and blend until it's smooth.

While I was making this he was slicing the chilies lengthwise, and taking out the seeds. If you want a pretty good spicy kick, leave in a few of the seeds. Remember not to touch your face for a while after doing this.

After everything is deseeded, processed, and blended, stuff the chilies with the black pepper cheeze and drizzle the mole sauce on top. Make sure you have a glass of something cold and soothing to chase it down in case it's too spicy.

These were super good, very spicy and the flavors were bold. My favorite taste was the cheeze stuffing inside the chilies. I actually used some of the extra cheeze to spread on a piece of bread to dull the spiciness. It was great.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bethany 101

So, in the past week or two I have been VERY aware of myself and have learned SO much about ME. Here are some of the things that stood out to my about myself the most in the past couple weeks...

1. The REAL reason I love to sleep is not because I reengerize or because I'm tired, but because I LOVE to dream. It's so exciting wondering what I'll dream about next, and I really NEVER know, because dreams are so random!

2. If something bothers me that someone does, I don't hold it in. If it's a complete stranger I won't confront them, maybe if I'm in the confines of my car and they are in theirs I will, but generally I just confront them in my head, but I don't ignore it and try to "deal" with it. If it's someone I know, I will lovingly and calmly tell them what they have done to annoy me and how they can prevent from doing it in the future.

3. I go through extremes of self-esteem and how I see myself. One day I'll be driving around in my baby, listening to my favorite music with my aviator glasses and my purple fohawked hair and I will think to myself: I am soooo cool. Whoever doesn't know me is missing out. The next day, I'll be wondering why this or that person was willing to spend so much time with me or go out of their way to do something nice for me, because I feel like I'm not good enough, or don't deserve it.

4. I love collecting DVDs. I just bought nine new ones. My problem, though, is that I'll see a whole bunch of DVDs for only 7 or 9 dollars and I'll think "hey! that's cheap!" but then I end up buying 5 or 6 of them and it really adds up...

5. I love looking at and handling electronics, car parts or accessories, and tools. Recently, I have decided to start learning about my own car and doing the work on it myself, because I'm tired of auto shops taking advantage of my ignorance and making me pay through the nose for a job I could easily do myself for less than 5 bucks, if I only knew how. I LOVE going to places like Auto Zone and just looking. I could look at that stuff for hours! The same with Radio Shack. I also just bought a tool box and wrench set, which I am VERY excited about!

6. I'm becoming more like my mother everyday. Sometimes this is scary, because she is becoming more like my Grandpa everyday...(just kidding Grandpa, you have plenty of characteristics that I can only wish I had...your generosity and words of wisdom are only the tip of the iceberg)

7. The most important thing I've learned in this short period of only a couple weeks is that I have the power to choose happiness for myself. I have been in a bad funk for the past couple months and I was reluctant to change, but when I DID decide to change, all it took was for me to say to myself "Just be happy!" Hopefully I'll be able to continue using that strategy for the rest of my life.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I've Been Tagged...

So my mom tagged me. I'm supposed to complete some ritual of doing the tag itself, posting the rules, tagging SIX others, and linking them. However. I don't feel like doing all that, so I will just do my thing and be on my way.
I'm supposed to write six quirky/boring things about myself.

1. For the past year, my hair hasn't been the same for more than two months...

...and those are just a handful of the stages I've gone through.

2. I love faeries...

3. ...and instruments.

I only really play the guitar, but for some strange reason, I own all of those.

4. I have a tutu, which I sometimes wear, just for fun.

5. One time I bought a rat illegally (well, the purchase itself wasn't illegal, they just aren't allowed in my apartment) and the next day it had 12 or 13 babies. I never was really able to come up with one conclusive number. There were a lot.

6. I have a purple mohawk (like a rocker), I wear sweats and a t-shirt (like an athlete), I walk with a slight limp to one side (like a cholo), I wear colors that don't match (like a punk), I love choir and drama (like a nerd), and I have a strange, strong love to my car (like a teenage boy).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Running and My Birthday

I might put some pictures up later. The thing isn't working right now.

So my mother keeps bugging me to put up a new post, but really, nothing ever happens to me that is post worthy, and I don't have her creative genius, nor do I have tips on how to clean or dress children.

For the past month and a half I have been exercising everyday. I started out jumping rope and "Skipping It". After a week or two of that, I graduated to Tae Bo. Everybody should know Billy Blanks and his Tae Bo videos. He is an old childhood friend of mine: my mom used to make me do Tae Bo for "P.E." when I was homeschooled. After two or three weeks of doing Tae Bo, I decided it's time for me to start running. My inspiration comes from my cousin, Troy. He even gave me some great running gear for my birthday. (Thanks dude.) I'm starting out running 30 minutes everyday for 30 days. The first couple days were killer, because I have NEVER run before. After that though, I was able to run longer and walk less. I didn't start to feel tired as soon. So I've been running for about a week and a half now.

On Monday, I decided that I would run to the city next to Provo (Orem). It's really not too far away, only a couple miles. I started running at about 8:40 at night, thinking I had plenty of daylight left to run there and back. After 30 minutes of running though, I started to feel some explosive diarrhea coming on. I was far away from anyplace where I could use a bathroom. Also it was starting to get dark, and earlier that very day, I had told my mom and grandpa that I won't run in the dark. I knew that there was a 'Will's Pit Stop' coming up soon, but I couldn't remember for the life of me if it was a gas station or just an automotive repair shop. I kept on running, actually kind of limping, trying not to let anything out of my intestines, hoping with all my might that Will's Pit Stop had a bathroom. It did! I ran into the bathroom and there was a lady in there, cleaning. I felt sorry for what she would have to do when I was done in there. So she left and I sat on the toilet, but nothing came out. I knew that there was something in there though, and was afraid that it might surprise me later, so I sat there a little longer. Still, nothing. That lucky lady.

I didn't have my cell phone with me, so I asked the guy behind the counter for a phonebook and a phone. I called a member of my bishopric and asked him to call someone to come pick me up, I told him that I didn't want to run in the dark, and that was the reason, but in my mind the explosive diarrhea still lingered, waiting to pounce.

So some guy from my church came to pick me up. I assured him that I could easily run back, I wasn't too tired, I just didn't want to be abducted. He told me that if I wasn't so good looking I wouldn't have to worry about it. He's right.

So since I've started working out and restricting my calorie intake, I've lost the ten pounds that I gained! I also found out that my body fat is 21% which isn't great, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

Yesterday was my birthday. A friend took me out to lunch and it was very nice. Afterwards I went home, bleached the top of my mohawk, and then dyed it purple. It looks pretty cool, but I think I'm going to bleach out a little more and have more purple, so that it will be a little more noticeable. After that, I just hung out at the mall, by myself. I bought some super sweet sunglasses, the kind that my dad used to wear, except they are silver, not black. I don't know why I bought them, I ALWAYS lose sunglasses. Lets see how long these last. I then went to Coldstone Creameries and asked them for some free ice cream, because it was my birthday. They obliged. I'm technically supposed to print off some registration thing from the internet to get the birthday ice cream, but they were cool about it.

When I got home I got ready to go to Institue. It was really good. It always is. I tried to sit by myself in the back, looking as mean as possible, with my new shades and purple hair, but people still sat with me. I'm not complaining, I'm just surprised. After Institute I went to my old apartment and hung out with my old roomies. They took me to Coldstone and I got some more ice cream. I was very tempted to tell them it was my birthday and ask for it free, because it was a different Coldstone, but I decided not to. My roommate was paying anyways.

We went back to the apartments and sat on the grass and ate ice cream. When we were done we still sat out there, and they informed every passer-by that it was my birthday. I hadn't really told anyone. One of the passers-by, a girl named Lindsey, came back with a bowl of ice cream and candles for me. Yay ice cream. I forced it down.

That is all I have to say. It's kind of a lot to read, sorry, or whatever.