Friday, July 20, 2018

Utah Road Trip - What I Learned, What I Would Change

 I just got back from the most amazing holiday in my life. I have not traveled much in the world, but I am starting to explore the continent I live on. I have been to Oregon and loved the three highway 101 trips we have done.  We have gone to Avenue of the Giants in California. We have been to Olympic National Park. Of course these were wonderful amazing trips filled with beauty and the awe of nature. I have to say, I was blown away by our trip to Utah. I live in beautiful British Columbia Canada. We had a week to do our trip. I would have loved to have been able to spend more time but the cost of the trip was pricey with having to pay 1.36 exchange - OUCH! The studying about the area and the planning began months and months in advance. It was hard to choose where to go, I wanted to see it all, but I knew that time was limited. I searched Pinterest, Trip Advisor, and many blogs and websites. I am so grateful for all the information people have shared. If I didn’t do my homework this trip would not have been as good. 
Here is what I learned when I went to Utah along with some things I would change:

 Moab: (July 1)We drove from Salt Lake to Moab via highway 6W. This took about 4 1/2 hours. Most of the way was flat and desolate. We did not find this very scenic, but it was the fastest route.
We took a little detour to Dead Horse State Park. The drive on highway 191 was very scenic. This is the highway that takes you to See to Sky Viewpoint. We only went as far as the State Park. I will do a post on that in the future. We only had one night in Moab. I wish I had time to do at least two nights. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites. It was awesome but pricey. It was our favorite hotel of the trip, but then again it should be as we paid the most for it. We relaxed at the pool for a while. The pool area was the nicest I have seen at a hotel. It was July 1 and scorching hot. Around 6:00 we drove to Arches (very handy - 3 minutes away). We drove right in - no line up. The drive at the beginning was fantastic! The big cliffs, driving up
the mountain road was incredible. We drove to a lot of the sites that were easy to get to. Doing hikes in that kind of heat was not my favorite so we opted for the easy short ones - the double arch/windows, and balancing rock. A lot of formations are easy to see from the road - however the one I wanted to see was Delicate Arch which I researched was a 2 hour hike to get to. We planned on doing this hike in the morning - but we did not get to it. My hubby was not feeling well (could have had something to do with the heat) so we left Moab without seeing it.  

overall opinion of Arches - of course Arches is beautiful, and I didn’t see everything to give a fair opinion - however - with the pictures I had seen of the park online - I was not surprised when I visited, other than the first drive into the park which was really cool. I would definitely change the time I spent - at least two nights is needed. There are lots of bike trails that looked really interesting. Although I am a dirt biker, I would opt for the mountain bike rides as there was a cool paved path for them. I seen an ATV tour depart and it looked super dusty having to follow a pack of ATV's like that. 
 Capital Reef: (July 2) We drove from Moab to Bryce Canyon. Although we did not intentionally stop to visit Capital Reef National Park, we drove Highway 24 which drives through some of it. We actually thought we were on the Scenic Byway 12 - the drive was so beautiful. We were thinking, how could highway 12 be more beautiful than this! We stopped for a break at the Hickman Bridge Trail which is right off the highway. This was about 2 1/4 hours from Moab. It was 11 AM, and boy was it HOT! We made it to the bridge in 1/2 an hour - taking a few picture and water breaks. We rested under the bridge for quite a while as it was shady and relief from the sun. The restrooms here were nice and clean. A little further after Hickman Bridge, we stopped to look at some Petroglyphs. It was really neat to see orchards along this highway too.

overall opinion of Capital Reef - I would love to come back and explore more! There was a pullout along the highway just before the Hickman Bridge trail pullout called The Grand Wash. My hubby was excited to see Factory Butte along the way too (natures dirt bike area).
 Bryce: (July 2) We arrived in Bryce around 3:00. (Left hotel in Moab around 8:30ish). We took our time driving as Highway 24 and 12 are amazing! We stopped for one hike and stopped at quite a few lookouts. Hogsback is an interesting part of the highway that freaked me out. It felt like Angel’s Landing for my car. We stayed at Best Western Ruby’s Inn. I was amazed at the size of this “Inn”, and was impressed how organized the check-in and check-out was. It was very touristy, but that made it neat too. We didn’t want to go to the National Park until around 7:00 so it would be cooler. We went to Sunrise Point. I had read all sorts of opinions about how to do the Queen’s/Navajo trail loops. At one point I was thinking to start from Sunset to Sunrise, but later decided to do Sunrise to Sunset as the park suggests. I liked this route. Going up the switchbacks to Sunset Point was an amazing finale to the hike. At 7:00 we were in the shade, although it was sunny out. We looked down into the ampitheatre, and my hubby said - “that’s nice - but I’m not going down there.” I said, “oh yes you are!!!” He was glad that I convinced him. Words cannot adequately describe this trail. Pictures cannot adequately capture its beauty. We started the hike from Sunrise Point at 7:15 and ended at Sunset Point at 8:30. We were taking it easy with lots of stopping to take it all in. I was worried about the trail being too hard. I am not exactly a spring chicken. I heard the elevations make it even more tough. When I told my daughter about the trail we were going to hike she said- good luck with that - I am guessing she was insinuating that I was not fit enough. The switchbacks going up the Sunset Point are a little steep, BUT, I do trails in British Columbia that are harder than this. I found it rather easy. Being in the shade and the cooler part of the day probably helped. We stuck around for the sunset and also stayed until really dark to see the stars in the night sky. 

overall opinion of Bryce - I was blown away. I sort of knew what to expect from the pictures, but being there in person is another thing. Every step we took, we were amazed. What to change? There were some great looking paved mountain bike trails that looked attractive to me as I am very strong in my pedalling stamina. Would stay at least two nights to get more hikes in. The rim trail from Sunset Point to Bryce Point would have been nice to walk. I was glad to visit in the evening when it was cooler.
Zion: (July 3/4) We arrived in Zion around 11 AM, which took just under 2 hours from Bryce. With this stretch of the highway we drove through Red Canyon which has two arches you drive through. When we got to Zion National Park, the entrance took my breath away. Never have I seen such amazing beauty. As we drove further, the scenery did not stop. How many times can a person say “wow!” I bet that word has been said more here than anywhere else, surely out of my mouth anyway. Driving through the Mt. Carmel tunnel, then winding down that mountain is a drive I will never forget. I have too much to say for this blog post on Zion so I will make another post shortly. 

overall opinion of Zion - Never have I seen such amazing beauty. Evening hikes or first thing in the morning a must. Even taking the 6:30 shuttle it was overfull by the second stop.

My first thought when I got back home was - when can I go back? I want to do some more exploring before I am not physically able to. What a great place to go!

Next summers destination - Yosemite!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

DIY Easter Wreath

Hello! Welcome to my blog! I wanted to make a festive Easter display in my kitchen, but I did not want to buy anything. I am striving to be a minimalist these days by using what I have in my craft room collection instead of the tantalizing idea of buying new things. 

I had a foam wreath on hand and some moss. I laid the moss on the wreath and wrapped wire around it to secure. It took a bit of fussing to fill in all the holes. I left the very back moss free. 
 Adding decorations were tricky as I did not want to buy anything. I needed to get creative. I had made paper bunnies and carrots the previous year for another project. I found a printable bunny shape online to use as my pattern, sewed it and stuffed it a little - and the carrot is a version of the bag with a twist , just skinnier and green paper stapled on top. 
I stuck a push pin into the back of a wood sign that  my hubby made me for my birthday. I am happy with the results! What can you find in your house to decorate with this year?
Happy Easter!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Visiting Teaching November 2017 Handout

Hello! Welcome to my blog! I loved all the talks at General Conference. For a message that would best fit the needs of the sisters I serve and watch over I picked Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk titled "Three Sisters". This talk is a good reminder for all of us that life has its challenges - why make it more challenging by having a frame of mind that makes it more difficult? We all have our moments in each of these frames of mind - but the one we want to most of our time in is GLAD, including in times of hardship.

I made an accordion fold card with quotes I felt summed up each frame of mind - SAD, MAD, and GLAD.

I included my favourite quote from this talk - the ACTION quote. It reminded my of the Visiting Teaching message from March where I referred to us as ACTION HEROES when we ACTIVATE THE ENABLING POWER OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS ATONEMENT.

"There may be many things about life that are beyond your control. But in the end, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE both your destination and many of your experiences along the way. IT IS NOT SO MUCH YOUR ABILITIES BUT YOUR CHOICES THAT MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN LIFE."

I love that! At my work recently there was a change in my schedule and I wanted it changed back to what it was before - and that particular day of the week at work seemed challenging. Then I thought to myself - the only thing that needs to change is my attitude. As soon as I made that decision that day of the week was great! That is easy for the small stuff. I know there are way bigger challenges than that.  It is so important that we develop this frame of mind for the small stuff so when the BIG challenges come we are trained in having the power to meet our challenges with the attitude or frame of mind that will be most helpful.

For the handout - I made a colour one, and a slightly coloured one - depending on how much colour ink you want to use.
Download the files HERE 
and follow the directions below for folding.

                                Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Starving Student Edible Advent Calendar

I made my first "starving student" advent calendar a couple years ago when my daughter was being trained to be a tattoo artist. Starving is an exaggeration - but when kids are going to school - mom's worry about what they are eating. I made an edible advent calendar as a creative way to help her out with her food bill. I bought things like cheese, Nutella, wraps, butter (on the more expensive side). The things that needed refrigerating I put in a different package and said they need to be put in a fridge. I also had easy to make items like pasta, pasta sauce - as I knew that was on my daughters menu and she was able to make it. 

Now that she is done her training, I make her a "starving artist" advent calendar. These are the tags I made to go with the calendar last year. The first year I had some scrapbook paper with numbers on them.

What kind of things would you put in an edible advent calendar?
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Exploding Box

Hello! Welcome to my blog! I love to give creative gifts. I had an addiction last year of making exploding boxes. This was the gift I made last year for Mother's Day. It is so cute and unique. I found all sorts of clip art online and printed them out. I went with a garden theme. I adhered the cut out clip art, some directly to the box with glue and others with pop dots to give dimension. 

I loved a poem that I found which was the inspiration for the garden theme. 
A mother's heart is like a garden.
Her children are the seeds.
And as they grow, she tends to them
Fulfilling all their needs...
Wherever there is beauty
a mother's love is there.
Amanda Bradley

I added a pocket to put a small card to personally sign and a gift card could be added to it as well.

I made the basket centrepiece from a toilet paper roll that I covered with jute.

To see my other "MOM" themed exploding box with a tutorial CLICK HERE.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

May 2017 Visiting Teaching Message Handout Idea

Hello! Welcome to my blog! For the May visiting teaching message we get to select a message from talks given in the April General Conference to teach and uplift. I have a hard time selecting only one as they are all so inspiring. I decided to go with a growth mindset theme. I have been reading  Carol Dweck's studies about the psychology of success that she calls the growth mindset. She has done great work in studying the thought process of people who succeed and of those who don't. 

The original growth mindset is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation." Joseph Smith

"For as (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he..." Proverbs 23:7

"And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon..."2Nephi 2:26

The purpose of this life is to progress (or grow) and become like God. There are fixed mindsets that say I was born that way I can't help it - but the gospel of Jesus Christ says you are a child of God. There are things you need to learn and improve - and you are able to do it. Applying the teachings and principles of Jesus Christ is the way. 
If you have a fixed mindset you are acted upon. A person with a growth mindset is one who applies the power to act in enlightened ways- even if the circumstances seem challenging.
The General Conference messages remind us of the path of progress and the mind set we need to apply to achieve success. I researched the talks and chose quotes that I felt aligned with the six categories of the growth mindset. I printed them out and stapled them in a booklet. The booklet was 
then placed in a fork that I used for a plant poke.

 I love the saying "you grow girl"! I thought that was fitting and made a tag that you can glue to a potted plant, or maybe even a watering can.  As we study and apply the teachings of Christ in our lives we will grow and bloom. It is so interesting how our actions are aligned with our thoughts. Applying the growth mindset of the gospel is the path to find true success. 
Find the file HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happiness is Homemade Marriage Survival Kit Take Two

Hello! Welcome to my blog! Last year I made a marriage survival kit with this same theme (CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT). I found some adorable kitchen items at Michael's but only one of the items was the same as the gift basket last year, so I needed to make some new sayings and new tags. Here is what is in the kit.

The tags are free for personal use. Find the tag file HERE. I attached the corresponding tag to each item. I put them in a box and tied lace around the box to dress it up. If you want to add the quotes - cut the quote part a little smaller and glue on the back.

Thanks for stopping by!