Friday, January 31, 2014

First Weekly BIG Link Up!

Hi, friends!  It's time for our first BIG (BUTs In Gear) linky party!  The guidelines are totally simple--just link up something from your blog or other online presence that shares how you've tried to be a little more positive this week and how you were successful!  It can be something as small as smiling more!  I just want to hear the good news about how it all went down--and so does everyone else!  If we join each other in being more positive, we can support and lift each other to higher levels! :)

Here's my BIG news this week--I decided it was high time that I acted like a friend to all those Facebook friends I have out there.  My intention was to just post a "thinking of you, have a great day" note on a few walls, but I ended up putting it on about 50 friends' walls.  Did I hear back from all of them?  Nope...but one conversation really made my day!  A friend that hasn't been to church in a while asked what time it was and then said she'd missed me!  WHAT?!  This is fabulous news!  And we decided to go to lunch sometime soon--you know I'll jump on that soon!  It was so fun to catch up with a few others who commented and it made me realize how easy it is to drift away from friendships.  I'm going to try harder to make sure everyone on my FB friends list know that they are my friend for a reason! :)  It also taught me that the smallest acts of kindness and service can lead to BIG results!  Hence today's free printable. :)

So, now it's your turn!  What did you do differently this week--with yourself, your family, your friends, your "enemies"?  How has it helped you be more positive?  Link it up below and I'll come and leave you some love!  You've got until next Thursday and then next Friday another new link up will be ready for you!  And feel free to grab my free printable and the badge up top, too!  Please make sure you use the print FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY and not for retail purposes!  HUGS to you all!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Getting Our BUTs in Gear 2014

Hi, friends!  I'm back and I'm hoping the share this post so much and get so many people on board with this idea that I've had that there will be no print, just words and an invitation today. :)

This year has started less than stellar.  My goal has been to focus more on the positive in 2014 and I think God is trying me mightily--He wants to see if I am serious.  And since I am, I've had an idea growing inside of me.  I hope that it is something that each of you will consider doing along with me so that we can strengthen one another as women.  And I guess men are more than welcome to join as well. ;)

So, as I've struggled the last week through the second illness of the year, I had a thought come to my mind.  I had been watching this video about girls who were participants, along with their mothers, in a study of what beauty is.  I was incredibly saddened as I listened to girls talk about things that had been said to them and women talk about issues they didn't want to perpetuate in their daughters.  The end up having this amazing photo gallery where people come and write nice things on their undoctored "selfie" shots. It was nice.  Why can't we be like that all the time?  Genuinely kind in our comments?

Then I watched this video about women who have overcome different life trials and want to seek the good.  Could I be the same as woman #2 who really couldn't brag about myself for a minute?  Hmmm...

Lastly, I watched the video below.  I love the message and I knew I needed to be reclaimed...

I started thinking about how I self talk.  You know, what you say about yourself.  I am really proud of some of the things I accomplish, but I don't always admit it to myself and I rarely share good news with anyone beside my husband.  Sometimes my family and a few close friends, but now very many people.  Isn't that a shame?!  What an opportunity to share with others how good God is to me and how He has blessed my life!  What a selfish way to thank Him.  I also thought about all the unkind things I internalize on a daily, hourly, sometimes minute by minute basis and realized that it was the same selfishness.  I am a daughter of God.  He made me.  He loves me.  And I am enough as I try daily to better myself.  I need to share that more, too!

After that, I started thinking about how my attitude towards myself is reflected in how I view others.  I realized that I will grudgingly allow certain people their "one good quality" and then list in my mind all the things I dislike about them at times.  I'm sure you've done it, too.  If not, good for you!  PLEASE JOIN THIS--I need your help!  It's time for me to get my BUTs in gear.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.  I don't particularly like everything that everyone around me does all the time.  But guess what, we're human, right?  Well, I've gotten into this habit of saying things like, "Well I know she helps in such and such a way, BUT ALL THESE BAD THINGS SHE DID (to me or others) DON'T BALANCE THAT 'one good quality' OUT."

Hmmm...judging.  Yep.  THAT IS JUDGING.  And it is NOT ok.  What if, instead, when someone did something HUMAN (like I do, right), I said, "She did this bad thing that I don't like, BUT she does all these good things!"  That sounds so much nicer.  And so much more positive!

My goal is to eventually get rid of BUTs and only see the good.  It will be hard.  If this month has proven anything to me, IT WILL BE HARD.  BUT (this is a good one of those), I think it will be worth it.  I've learned that the hardest things I've done have been the most rewarding.

So, here's my invitation to you.  Join me!  Each Friday, I'll add a linky to my BUTs post where you can add a story or short post, or whatever you like from anywhere you can link from that will encourage us to get our BUTs in gear.  It could be a story on how you learned to love yourself that week.  Or you child(ren), or someone around you.  Husband love!  Neighbor love!  EVERYONE love!  Let's get our lives reclaimed by God so that His love can shine through us and we can be a power for GOOD in a world that so desperately needs it!

I hope you join me!  If you'd like to, please add a link to your blog or other online presence below so that I can leave you some love!  I want to make this HUGE, so please grab the blog badge up top and add it to your blog--it should be linked back to here, but if not, let me know  Let's get our BUTs in gear in 2014, all!

I'll be back on Friday with by first BIG (BUTs in Gear) post!  Hope you join me again then! :)

I'm linking this up with: Time Warp Wife, Growing Home: Teach Me Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Wise Woman Link Up.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Create Something Today!

Haaaaappy Monday!  Yep, it's the beginning of the week!  So, what will you create this week?  A fabulous meal?  A cleaner house?  A happy child?  A fabulous outfit?  A beautiful craft?

Did you ever consider all of those creations?  I didn't always, but after hearing this talk by President Dieter F. Uctdorf, I came to find a much deeper meaning in the word create!

Pres. Uctdorf said, "You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us.  The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it."
I just love this much wisdom!  Just before stating the above, he made a statement that really resonated with my crafty soul.  I've made a print with the quote because I love it so much.  You may have seen it circulate around the internet--it's showed up on many a crafty place!
Here it is~

Isn't that amazing!  We all yearn to create things!  And it doesn't have to be some HUMONGOUS gesture! 

Here's a list of a few simple things we can create each day:

  1. A smile.  We can help create a better day for a brother or sister that crosses our path.
  2. A healthy snack.  Creations can be just for us!  Sharing is nice, but even with nobody to share it, a healthy snack is helping to create a healthier you!
  3. A loving text message.  Who knows if that person needed it or not?  10 to 1, they did.  See the reasoning behind #1.
  4. A clean room.  Who doesn't love a clean space to think in?  I know that cleaning something not only gives me a sense of accomplishment.  Choose your least messy room, clean it, and you will feel a bajillion times better!
  5. A feeling of God's Spirit.  We do this daily by speaking a kind word and forgiving those closest to us--including ourselves!  This is the most profound creation we can make each and every day.
Here's today's query--what would you add to the list?  What is something simple that you create each day that you are willing to share with us?  Add it in the comments below!  I love to learn and share with you!

Don't forget to grab the print above!  Please make sure to use it FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY!  HUGS to you all--let me know what else you'd like to talk about here in My Uni-Verse!  Happy week to you all!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Key to My Heart

Well, this is the third and final Valentine post for me this week!  I hope you've been enjoying the prints I've created for you!

I've got just this last one, so I want to know--WHAT TO MAKE NEXT?!  I've got a print that I've made for the beginning of next week that is all artsy and about creating, but I would like to know what things you'd like to have around for your inspiration!  Leave me a comment below and I'll try to make your wishes come true! :)

And now...let's take a peek at the print!  This one is smaller than the other's I've made--they've all been 8" x 10" and this is a 4" x 6" print.

Here it is~

I went for a bit more shabby chic and used some different colors on this one.  I think it's so pretty!  I hope you agree!

Today I'd like to just talk about how much I love my hubby.  He hates it when I sing his praises, but I honestly couldn't ask for a better man.  He serves me daily, spoils me, and puts my needs first.  I don't know what I did to deserve him, but I will be ever grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be his eternal companion!

I'm striving to strengthen my marriage by doing a few things.  I'd like to share them with you because I've seen such a positive effect on my relationship with my sweetheart.  Some of these may be no-brainers for some of you, but I think they're good reminders!

  1. Lessen time spent on electronic devices and in front of the TV when with your husband.  We had gotten into a bad habit of just sitting down to watch the telly each night and not really talking to each other.  I also had let my blogging and other electronic fun stuff get in the way.  I'm still working on this, but I'm trying to make sure that I spend less time involved with the internet than my eternal companion.  I dare say the internet won't matter too terribly much in the hereafter...
  2. Eat meals together.  Yes.  I said mealS.  Plural.  I know when kids are involved that it is hard to eat breakfast together, but try to.  I've been trying to make sure I breakfast and dinner with my husband every day and it makes a huge difference!  Instead of leaving a cold and silent house, I can let my hubby know his day is important to me and that I want it to go well.  This has been especially important when he has stressful things going on at work.  I want him to look forward to coming home!
  3. Encourage your husband to share his feelings.  Yep.  Men don't like to do this.  I've been working my entire marriage on this, and I feel like FINALLY, after 9 1/2 years of marriage, I know more about how my husband is feeling than I ever have before.  I have made sure that my husband knows that what we talk about will always be kept confidential if he wants it to be.  He can trust me and I can trust him. It's wonderful to have that kind of relationship!
Yes, we pray together and read scriptures together, so that isn't something NEW I'm working on.  But that is literally what has kept our marriage together through all the difficulties we've encountered.  Serving God together also strengthens our relationship.

So, second question of the post.  How do you strengthen your marriage?  Let's share and help each other out by encouraging positive practices! :)  AND--don't forget to grab the print above and use it for PERSONAL USE ONLY. HUGS to you all!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love, Love, Love

Love is all you need!  Literally.  If you have the love of God, you have everything you need!  And, yes, it is a catchy song, too. ;)  So, I've made 2 prints--that's right, TWO-- for your home decorating pleasure!

Here they are~

I think that it is SO important to remember that no matter what, you have the love of God.  He is a perfect person who loves His children perfectly.  I really appreciated this talk by President Thomas S. Monson in last October's General Relief Society meeting.

Pres. Monson stated, "...your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there."

Isn't that beautiful?  God's love is just THERE.  Always!  But why is it that we can't always feel it?  I think I know the answer.  Because I've lived it.  It was a problem with ME.  I wasn't striving to feel God's love for me!  I was pushing Him away!

Each time we sin, we are telling God that we know better than He does.  We are like a teenager shutting the door on a concerned parent.  

Sometimes God cannot be with us because we let our lives follow paths He cannot enter because they are less than perfect. He has to withdraw His Spirit.  Luckily for us, that same Spirit and His love are waiting for us when we enter back into the straight way.

So here's my question for you.  What do you do to feel God's love more fully in your life?  I know the common answers--prayer, scripture reading, etc.  I'd love to hear a specific story from you or another way that you've felt God's love in your life!  I am hoping to create a community where we can share and strengthen each other here, so please make sure to keep all comment respectful.

Also, grab these prints FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY!  You know that other disclaimers and policies are up top if you need to refer to them! ;)

HUGS to you all--be back a bit later with one last Valentine print for you this week!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Hi, friends, and happy Monday! ;)  I'm going to be calling this my LOVE week!  I've got some fabulous free prints that I'd love for you to grab--and they all have the theme of LOVE!  Perfect for you Valentine's decorating needs! :)

The first print I have for you features my newest favorite quote.  It is just so wonderful.  It's incredibly simple and incredibly profound.

Here's the print~

Perfect, isn't it?  Just beautiful in its simplicity.  And yet SO HARD to accomplish at times!

It is so easy to love those who love us, isn't it?  But what about people that don't love us?  Are we justified in ignoring them or being unkind to them?

I'm afraid to say, or perhaps not, that we are never justified in this type of behavior.  This is part of my New Year's resolution.  I want to be more positive and more loving.  I hope you join me in the journey!

I wish I had something more deep and profound to say to you, but I think sometimes it's the simple things that are hardest to accomplish and so keeping it simple helps. :)

Feel free to grab this print FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For all other disclaimers and policies, see the tab up top.

HUGS for now!  Will be posting again later this week! ;)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An apology...and some FREEBIES!

Well, I totally dropped the ball on the voting and posting.  So, I've decided to give away BOTH of the previously posted printables for FREE!  That's right--take one, the other, or both and use them FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY, please!  And, yes, personal use includes gift giving.  Please just don't sell them!  So, now all you need to do is right click and save! :)

Here's the chalkboard~

Here's the cross stitch~

I hope you can forgive me and I am going to try and post at least a few times per month here.  Thanks for your support! :)  Happy belated New Year and HUGS to you all! :)