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Making Dinner Great Again: The Ingredients for a Politically Palatable Dinner Conversation

Making Dinner Great Again: The Ingredients for a Politically Palatable Dinner Conversation

by: Jamie Bjazevich Without any explanation needed, almost everyone knows the taboos of family dinner conversations.Eating together can be a bonding and unifying experience so naturally we avoid topics that could be sources of dispute—politics included. While we might still have a bad taste in…

Dating Culture and the Taboo “No”

Dating Culture and the Taboo “No”

You know the drill.  You’ve just been asked out by someone that you don’t really know; and frankly, you’re not interested.  So, what do you say?  Dare you say, “no”? Disclaimer:  I realize that not everyone adheres to the trends that I’ll discuss in this…

Book of Mormon Challenge

Book of Mormon Challenge

By: Elizabeth Hansen

For all the women who were able to watch, read, or hear about General Women’s Conference this past October, probably heard  President Nelson’s Book of Mormon challenge. He challenged all the women to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover from the time General Conference ended to the end of this year. This challenge seems difficult and even unrealistic. It can be hard to find time during our busy lives. So, here are some tricks and ideas of when and how to complete the Book of Mormon challenge that will fit your needs best!

  1. How to Mark: There are a few different ways you could mark every mention of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon. The longest way is to mark all the mentions of Jesus and underline all the places where He speaks in first person. Or, you could just mark every mention of his name. To save on time, you could also just circle the number of every verse that his name is mentioned in. If you happen to be in the car or walking a lot, listen to the audio of the Book of Mormon and really focus on every mention of his name rather than just passively listening. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it fits your needs of scripture study.
  2. When to Mark as a Student: If you are in college, your time seems to be all taken up by class, work, homework, and then trying to fit in social time with what is left over. So, here a couple of ideas to fit in that scripture time. Before you start your homework, just give 3–5 minutes for you Book of Mormon study. Keep your Book of Mormon in your backpack so you always have it if you are using a hard copy. This won’t give you the excuse to not have enough time after studying for scriptures. Like mentioned earlier, maybe you are in the car or walk a lot. Listening to the audio of the Book of Mormon when you have time is better than doing nothing. You may not have a marked up hard copy, but it will still be marked in your heart and mind where it matters. Just experiment with morning, afternoon, or evening study. If you find a time that works for you when you have more energy, go for it! Don’t try to force yourself to read in the morning if you’re not a morning person and vice versa. It doesn’t matter when, just that you do it.

I am still working on this challenge. If I’m being honest, I may end up doing a couple of 50-page weekends, but that’s the reality of it. Find what works for you and know that you will be blessed in your efforts for following the prophet and also for just reading and studying the words of God.

Parenting for All

Parenting for All

By: Elizabeth Hansen Whether you are single, married and not ready for kids, don’t want children, struggling with infertility, or more, you can still be a parent—mother or father—in many ways. There are many relationships we have in our lives where we can step into…

Use Your Words!

Use Your Words!

“I’ll come play with you really soon!” Yeah, we’ve heard that one before. I’m currently studying the English language in one of my classes, and we discussed a property of language known as cultural transmission. This means you learn and define words as you hear…

Home Improvement – Interior Design Beginners Tips

Home Improvement – Interior Design Beginners Tips

As college students, newly weds, young parents, or even veterans in the marriage arena, your home can be a place of refuge that you can call your own and also personalize to your own tastes and desires. However, it can sometimes be tricky to know how to arrange or decorate your house, especially if you can’t afford an interior designer or decorator.

While an interior designer or decorator might be wonderful to hire at some point in our lives, here are some beginner tips on how to arrange and manage the interior design of your own home. They are easy to follow and also give you a sense of power and understanding surrounding your own home.

First of all, lets get the definition straight of an interior designer versus an interior decorator. An interior designer understands how and why people behave so they can create a functional space specific to an individual or commercial business. An interior decorator, on the other hand, furnishes a space with items that are in fashion, beautiful, etc. While an interior designer can design and decorate, a decorator can decorate but cannot design.

Now, a few starter tips to improving the space of your home:

  1. Scale vs. Proportion: Scale is the actual size of an object while proportion is how big or small an object feels in relation to another object or to the room as a whole. So, have you ever felt like your space just isn’t big enough? Maybe its not the size of the room, but rather the scale and proportion of your furniture. Recently I felt the same way about my living room, but after removing our rather large scaled coffee table, the room seemed to double in size.
  2. Balance: Having balance, whether it be symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial, can help a room feel bigger, smaller, more calming and familiar, and more! Symmetry can help you understand, organize, and control your space better.
  3. Emphasis: A common feature of emphasis is having a focal point in your space. Do you feel like there is so much going on in your space that you don’t even know where to start organizing, cleaning, or decorating? You might be having an emphasis problem. Creating a focal point can help your space feel less chaotic. This can be done through adding some color, a focal piece of furniture, etc. If you have too much of one color or too many demanding pieces of furniture, you will lose this sense of emphasis.
  4. Harmony: Harmony includes variety and unity. You want your space to have some variety to it, so as not to be overly boring, but it also needs unity so the space and all its elements go together. A good rule of thumb, is that if you are going to add a new element to your space (e.g., a new color), you need to add it at least three times so that the space maintains a sense of unity and not too much variety.

Of course, there are many more factors and details that go into making a good design, but hopefully these few will put you on the right path to evaluating your home and creating a more perfect space for you and your family.

All of these facts and principles came from the textbook, Interior Design by Stephanie A. Clemons and published through The Goodheart-Willcox Company, Inc. This is a great place to start to learn more.

A Lesson from a Prophet and His Sons

A Lesson from a Prophet and His Sons

God organized us into families to give us a way to help and support each other. I was thinking about this as I read 1st Nephi chapter 8 in the Book of Mormon. This chapter is about Lehi, who was a prophet of God around…

How to vote! A beginner’s guide for the unintentionally ignorant

How to vote! A beginner’s guide for the unintentionally ignorant

“Are you registered to vote?” “Do you know who you’re going to vote for?”
“You’re going to vote, right?” “You’d better do your public duty and vote!” “Have you voted yet?” There’s a theme here: “You’d best go and vote, or you’ve failed in your duties…

#RELATABLE

#RELATABLE

We’re all a little bit obsessed with things we can relate to, whether it’s a painfully true meme about college students or a t-shirt we just have to buy because the words on it seem to come straight from our soul. One of the latest displays of this enthusiasm has shown up with the highly successful NBC show, “This Is Us.” With over 11 million viewers in its 2017/2018 season[1], this beautiful television series enthralled us all with its presentation of relevant issues, joys and pains of the human experience, and characters that quickly become our “friends.”

With a title that implies a certain level of candor about the character’s lives, it almost feels like we’re watching an adaptation of our own. The Pearson triplets say to the viewers, “This is who we are and we’re doing the best we can,” and their audience responds with a resounding “SAME.” How does this show accomplish such a feat? How is it so applicable to so many unique lives? The plot line contains numerous trials and misfortunes: death, miscarriage, loss of property, racism, mental illness, eating disorders, and general stress and anxiety. Aside from these trials, the plot also introduces many triumphs for the triplets, including celebration over happy relationships, success in careers, growing of families, and everyday moments of love and gratitude. These are not necessarily things we have all been through, but the emotions are all the same. Which one of us at one point has not felt grief, pain, joy, love, loss, disappointment, or pride?

What does it mean for us that this show is so #relatable? Maybe it means “This Is Us” will be your new favorite show and that you will obsessively clear your Tuesday nights of any other commitments so you can watch it live. It might mean that you will feel like you are friends with these made up people and you would do anything for them. There is, however, an arguably more important take away. Do you commonly cry and laugh with the people around you like you do with these characters? If the answer is yes, YOU ROCK! But maybe you’re like me and you would defend Kevin more readily than your best friend, because you know his story and you feel his pain. Well, we all have stories and we all have pain. You will not go through everything that your best friend has gone through but you didn’t experience Kevin’s life either. Love each other! Assume the best, excuse the misunderstandings, offer support through pain and celebrate together through joys! As different as we each are, our human experiences are not as isolated and individualized as we sometimes think. Try to understand the people around you a little better.

This is us. We cry, we struggle, we smile, and we laugh and we are human. In the words of our dear friend Kevin Pearson, “There’s no ‘You’ or ‘Me’ or ‘Them.’ It’s just ‘Us.’ And this sloppy, wild, colorful, magical thing that has no beginning, has no end, it’s right here. I think it’s us.”[2]

[1] TV Series Finale. (n.d.). Number of viewers of selected NBC scripted shows in the United States in the 2017/2018 season (in millions). In Statista – The Statistics Portal. Retrieved October 23, 2018, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/882556/nbc-scripted-shows-viewers/.

[2] Lawson, J. (Writer), & Tillman, G. (Director). (2016, October 25). The game plan. [Television series episode], This Is Us. NBC.

The Non-Existent Clock of Pregnancy

The Non-Existent Clock of Pregnancy

When I worked as the front desk medical assistant a few years ago at a primary care physicians office, I was able to observe many different questions, concerns, and discussions between the physician (Dr. F) and her patients. One afternoon Dr. F came out of…