Well it's been one hell of a month that is to say the least. It's been a roller coaster of ups and downs. I started a new job of which I am completely infatuated with. I love it. It has made me so happy. With that, I have been so busy. I haven't blogged since I started my new job because previously, I would write my blog posts during work hours at my last job! Crazy huh? Now that I have things to do while at work, I've not made time in my personal life to blog. But it is time to come back. So here I am.

Though my new job has been an absolute blessing in my life, I've had other things in my life happen that have been completely devastating. My way of coping with life's hardships is getting on my knees and turning to my faith. In our faith we have temples where we go to worship our God. While there, I was desperately seeking for an ounce of peace to enter into my soul. I came to the realization that love is the only thing that matters in this life. There are so many people seeking for truth and there are so many people that get different answers. Though the answers are different, people connect to it. This causes contention among people as they feel strongly about these different truths. Because there is no 100% surety in "the ultimate truth" it is necessary to just love. And to love deeply. Whether you believe Jesus Christ is your Savior or not, His example really did set the stage for happiness in life. His example was simple. It was and is love.

I believe in love. I believe love is what makes the world go round and love is what creates happiness. Here are pieces of love that have been a part of my life lately.

 Love is making true and deep friendships in everyplace you live.

Daffodils from my boss
 Love is working with people who care.

Love is taking the time to be silly.

Love is appreciating other people's talents.

 Love is spending quality time with your husband's family.

 Love is the closeness of a sister.

My grandparent's house in Park City, UT
 Love is your safe haven.

 Love is the beauty of spring's rebirth.

 Love is waking up early to cheer your family on.

 Love is taking care of those who have accomplished hard things.

 Love is treating your grandchildren.

Love is warm hugs.

I <3 Jimmy!!
Love is finding people who make you laugh.

Love is longtime cherished friends.

 Love is seeing the beauty around you.

 Love is celebrating with people who are dear to you.

sleeping in the car, in the desert
 Love is going on adventures.

Making food for Easter dinner so my grandma didn't have to do it all by herself.
 Love is taking on responsibilities.

 Love is keeping a special place in your heart.

The cutest grandparents ever
Love is having an example of true love.

I love to love others but often have a hard time accepting that people actually love me. Contemplating my life and seeing the ways this world offers love to me has really given me ultimate peace. If you are struggling I highly recommend opening your eyes to the love in the world around you as well as offering love back to the world. 



"I can't wait until my husband gets a better job with a bigger income so we can be less stressed financially," Ashley said this to me as we talked on the phone the other day.  We live in a world today where this phrase is probably said in the majority of households no matter what the income is.
As I was deciding what I wanted to major in in college I would get lots of advice on what NOT to get a degree in.  "You don't want to be a teacher, they don't make that much money." I heard this statement about half of the majors on my mind and all while I was growing up.  The big message sent to me was "When you grow up, you need to make a lot of money."  Since "growing up" I have discovered a more correct phrase to live by: "Live within your means." It can be difficult and you may have to get a little creative, but the point is that you need to not spend more than you make, no matter what the amount is.

I recently read a blog post that relates to this idea of making a lot of money when you "grow up." It is about our generation (the Y generation) and how we differ from our parents and grandparents in our levels of happiness. The author suggests that the Y generation is less happy because our expectations are higher than our reality.  We expect to have a great "dream job" right out of college. The author also discusses our use of social media has also affected our happiness. He says that people tend to boast more on social media and therefore we tend to see our friends and peers as having more or being happier than the reality. Read the full post HERE.

As I asked Ashley a little bit more about the specifics of her finances I said, "Ashley, you just have to live with the money you are making." I encouraged her to check out Dave Ramsey's book Total Money Makeover because I use it and love it. I use encouraged here lightly.  I in fact got online and put the book on hold for her! Ashley will have to tell you her thoughts on the book in a later post (I can't wait!).  But even if you don't read the book, find a way to live with what you make and be happy! There are lots of other resources out there to help you do this. I have seen tons of blogs and books about living frugally. Another book I started to read was America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right On The Money by Steve and Annette Economides.  They have a lot of the same philosophies as Dave Ramsey but do a few things differently. I just search frugal living in Amazon and there were a TON of titles that came up. How about
Twenty-Five Cent Dinners for Families of Six by Juliet Corson.  Umm, hello YES PLEASE!

Bottom line: Don't buy more than you can afford!!  My hub and I are working on getting out of debt and staying out of debt forever. It feels good to get any amount paid off. I know that we can live within our means and be happy.  A lot of the time, trying to be creative and frugal is like a game.  It's a challenge to try and cut your costs in your bills, groceries and fun money.  What do YOU do to try and save money? Is there a trick or tip that you live by? I would love to hear it so I can use it too. 


I finally found some more healthy foods and recipes! YAY! Okay remember a couple of weeks ago when I blogged about becoming healthier? Find it HERE. Well I was looking for the best foods to buy, and I finally found some! (And they weren't even at a health foods store! YAY!) Here they are!

All of these foods were found at Costco.

First! If you ever see this logo on ANYTHING you should know that its good for you! Read more about it HERE.

Thankfully I was able to find this Brown Rice Pasta with the stamp! The Ingredients are, Brown Rice, Rice Bran and Water! You can't get much healthier than that! 

A Serving size is 1 cup with 190 calories per serving, 0 calories from Fat. There is less than 1g of Sugar, and 4.8g of Protein!  

Next I found Bread. The Ingredients; Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Whole Grains (Wheat Oats, Barley, Bulgur Wheat, Cornmeal), Wheat Gluten, Brown Sugar and Sugar.  

Each slice is 1 serving. 140 Calories per slice, which I know is a little high, but I will take it considering it really is good, and 15 calories from fat. There are 5g of Dietary Fiber, 4g of Sugar and 6g of Protein.  

 These crackers are also yummy. Notice that they say organic on them. I don't entirely care to buy things that are organic only because of their expense, but since these were the only wheat crackers I could find I bought them. The Ingredients are, Organic Buttermilk, Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Wheat Flour, Organic Canola Oil, Organic Evaporated Can Juice, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, and Kosher Salt. 

8 Crackers equal 1 serving. There are 130 calories per serving with 45 calories from Fat. With 3g of Sugar and 3g of Protein. 

I saved the BEST for last! These chips are seriously delicious! They are so yummy, I love them! This product is also; All Natural, Certified Gluten Free, Certified Vegan, Low Sodium, Certified Kosher, Cholesterol Free Food, No MSG, 0 Trans Fat, No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives and 18g Whole Grain. 

The Ingredients are; Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil and/or Canola Oil, Brown Sugar,  Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa, Sea Salt, and Rosemary Extract. 

Each Serving is about 10 chips. There are 140 calories per serving with 60 Calories from Fat. There are 2g Dietary Fiber, 1g Sugar and 2g Protein. 

This weekend I spent with one of my friends, Nikki Barney, who eats healthier than I do! She made me an incredible dinner and here is the recipe!

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake. The Recipe is from Two Peas & Their Pod and can be found HERE. It really was incredible and I suggest you all make it!!

Love and Logic Conference


I had a great opportunity to go to a Love and Logic conference last week.  What is Love and Logic you ask? It is a great way to help teach children and students how to grow up to become responsible adults. The basic principles are allowing children to make mistakes when the "cost" is low and allowing them to learn from the consequences of those mistakes.  When a mistake is made, you give the child lots of love and empathy.  If there are natural consequences to their actions, you let those do the teaching (as opposed to giving the child a lecture).  If you are the one that needs to provide a consequence to an action, you give one that is appropriate to the action.  Check out their website loveandlogic.com  for more information.  And click HERE for free articles and handouts from their site. I LOVE, Love and Logic.

Trying to get a good conference selfie

 If I look a little puffy-eyed its cause the conference started bright and early at 8:30 am!  It was well worth it though.  

The specific conference I got to go to was Handling Misbehavior with Less Stress.  Who couldn't use that?!  Jedd Hafer was the speaker.  He was so funny (this must be a requirement to be a L&L speaker because they always are!). He discussed many topics not only relating to parenting but to misbehavior in a classroom setting as well.

We got a Love and Logic catalog and a booklet filled with essential skills and tips for learning how to parent or teach the Love and Logic way.. 

 So, the conference lasted from 8:30 to 2:30 with 15 minutes breaks ever hour and about and hour lunch break in the middle. At the end of every break, Jedd would draw names for Love and Logic prizes.  The people chosen got to pick from items found in their catalog . They included webinars, CDs, and books.

I would definitely  recommend going to a Love and Logic conference if you get the chance.  Click HERE to find a conference near you.  They are so fun. 
I am so grateful to have found Love and Logic. The biggest thing I have learned from L&L is how to keep calm while parenting my little ones. This is something I often struggle with. It's pretty easy to get frustrated and mad when those little ones like to explore and test the limits you set. The Love and Logic principles help me enjoy these teaching moments instead of hating them. 



Ok so it's been along time since I have wrote a post on here. This is what happened.

About 7 weeks ago, after a long night after work, school and homework. I completely broke down. I was done. I was done working two jobs, going to school full time, doing homework, being a wife, and a sister-blogger. I was done wasting time on Facebook for hours looking at all my friends lives and how picture perfect they seemed. Emotionally, physically, and mentally I was drained.
Hard Battle.

 I realized I only had 5 weeks left in the semester. I had already made it through the longest part. I couldn't quit my jobs. I couldn't quit going to school. I couldn't keep going on with everything. I felt like my life was out of control and all of these different things were constantly pulling on me. I needed to be writing better posts. I needed to study for tests and doing homework. I should've been doing better at work. Someone needed me to do something. Life was simply chaotic. Funny how that happens.

I had a day where something hit me. I knew I couldn't just sit back and let all of these "things" pull on my life. I couldn't just watch everything untangle after I had put so much effort into putting it together. I remembered I was in control of my own life. Something needed to stop. Sadly, this is where I chose to stop blogging and writing. I often found myself blogging instead of doing homework. I felt like if I could get rid of one thing that was pulling on me I could handle my situation better. So I did. I told the sisters I needed a break. I was in a writing hiatus.
You were not meant to be...

But I'm back. And boy do I want to share with all of you the things I have learned.

1. Don't you dare give up when the going gets tough. I almost wrote to not even think about giving up but when you feel like there are dark gloomy grey clouds swarming you, sometimes you can't help that it crosses your mind. But I can promise if you persevere and take those hard days, better days will come and they do come. It may take 5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years.  I promise they will come.

2. Get control, before you feel like everything is controlling you. Take control, this is your life. Don't let everything else pull on you. You are in charge. Don't forget it is so important to do things for yourself. Even if it is hard. Hard things make people strong.

3. Take a lot of breaths--find your peace everyday. During crazy times you need to find your peace. For me I take a lot of deep breaths. I listen to talks, read scriptures, and pray. I try to think positively and when all else fails, I cry. I cry a lot. Anyone who truly knows me, knows I am a big ole cry baby. I don't recommend crying because your eyes get all puffy. But if you do it's ok. Find your peace.

4. Have a bigger perspective. Life is a lot bigger than your Advanced Exercise Physiology class. There is so much more to life and so many more exciting times in our lives. Realize the hardships you face will only be but a small moment.

5. Good will always prevail over evil. Have you ever noticed in most movies, the good guys always win? I have noticed as I have taken the steps to do what is right, it has been hard but in the end it is always more worth it rather than justifying my standards for something lame.

So how did everything go? Well I didn't fail any of my classes. I got re-hired for next semester at the Wellness Center. And I am taking a big break from the Call Center and focusing on my internship! I can't complain. It is a sheer miracle I made it through last semester. Life is so good after a stormy sea.

"It's always darkest before the dawn..." -Florence and the Machine-Shake It Out.



WA HOO! I did it! AH! I finished! For those of you who have read our blog before, you know I was training for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. Well I finally ran in it Saturday! It was one of the most amazing things I have EVER experienced!

I woke up Saturday morning at 5:50am, the race started at 7am. After getting to the starting line, which took me a while considering I had no idea where I was actually going, my nerves finally started to calm. The announcer told us to line up according to MPM (minutes per mile), and had signs along the side of the starting line indicating where we should stand. I decided to stand next the the 9 minute mile mark, figuring that would be a good place for me. Once I got there and everyone started crowding in around me, the stench of BO started to overwhelm me! We hadn't even started the race yet, it really was very disgusting. But once I got over the smell, I got really excited! The next thing I know the announcer is telling everyone to move forward, the race is about to begin! I got my Pandora station ready, Miley Cyrus, and just like that the buzzer went off and the race began.

I was feeling great for maybe 10 seconds until I realized I was running up hill, thankfully I had trained running up hill, but I knew that by starting that way it was going to take all my energy instantly from me. For some reason however I didn't let that get to me, I just kept on running. I have an app on my phone, that I have mentioned before in previous posts, that tells me my pace after each mile, I love it! It's the Sports Tracker app. As I was running my phone was telling me my pace every mile, which instantly filled me with confidence. I was running faster than I had ever before through my training. I ran my 3 fastest mile times at the beginning of this race, and I didn't even realize I was running that much quicker. Prior to this race my fastest mile time was 9 minutes 24 secs, after this my new fastest mile time is 8 minutes 32 seconds! My first 7 miles were ran in 1 hour 7 minutes 33 seconds! In training I had a hard time getting 6 miles in just over an hour!

The best thing about this race was that my family was there cheering me on! My sisters, Kaylee and Lindsay and their husbands, met me at different spots on the course. After I had ran 3 miles and hadn't seen them, I was so nervous they were never going to see me because I was running a lot faster than what I had told them. By mile 5 I knew I was never going to see them and I really wanted to start crying. I was running up South Temple, which is on a small incline, I wanted to call them to tell them where I was, so they could finally see me run! I decided against that, because I didn't want to distract myself, but I really wanted to start walking out of disappointment that they weren't going to see me. (I know this sounds weird, why would anyone stop running because their sisters aren't there... but we are really close!) Anyways, I didn't start walking but was about to, when I noticed my sisters and their husbands! The joy that I felt can only be known when I tell you what I did next. I sprinted... up hill, just so I could see them! haha, at the time it sounded like a great idea! But right after I saw them haha I wanted to walk again. Thankfully seeing them again gave me the burst of energy I needed to continue on!

I saw them a lot after that! I can't remember exactly how many times, but it was thankfully enough to get me to the finish line! As I said earlier my first 7 miles were ran pretty quickly, (for me anyways), sadly my last 6 miles were not ran as quickly but still pretty good. I finished the race at 2 hours 23 minutes 31 seconds. My goal time was being under 2 and a half hours, and it was! It felt so good! As I was nearing the finish line I was looking out for my family. My husband had lifted up my 2-year-old and he was the only one I saw. It was the best part about this race! To have my family at the end with me! I am so grateful for them and the love they have for me to support me during this race! If it weren't for them, I would not have had the motivation to keep going!

I am so glad I did this! Not only to keep my body in shape, but the power I got from succeeding at this was amazing! I was sore afterwards and had blisters all over my feet, but I would definitely do it again in a heart beat!

This is my most awesome blister from after the race!



AH. This has been very difficult. A little over whelming. I want to eat healthier. I've found that the hardest part of actually eating healthier is knowing what product to buy and where to buy it. When I looked online, I found all the criteria for my new healthy food, but heaven forbid anyone give me any examples of these actual foods!

It all started a while ago as you all know, but it more recently started when I realized I was no longer losing weight, I was maintaining my weight, regardless of all the working out and running I've been doing. 

When I decided I was going to lose weight, I honestly had no idea what I was doing! Thankfully for me I have a sister, Lindsay, who is studying this stuff in school and working at her schools health and wellness center. Before I talked to Lindsay my plan was to cut out sugar. But not just cut out the treats but ALL sugar, in breads, pastas, everything you find sugar in. (Which your about to find out isn't the best thing to do.) Lindsay started to tell me, all things in moderation. Its okay to have sugar, whats not okay is if you eat too much sugar. She then told me I was one of those people who eats too much sugar! Anyways she gave me a plan, which I am very excited to tell you about now!

There is an app called My Fitness Pal. I have now been using it for 6 days and I LOVE IT! It counts your calories. If you want to loose weight, the thing you need to know is how many calories you are eating, in addition to exercise. It is a pretty tedious thing when you start, because you do have to type or scan in everything you eat. BUT it saves it for you! So once you've scanned it in once, you don't have to do it again! (I've been eating a lot of the same things for these last 6 days ;))

Back to the no sugar thing, when I originally decided that I wasn't going to eat sugar, I was going to start the Monday after Easter. (That way I could eat all my Easter candy!) This is still the plan, with a few moderations. I am only not going to eat treats/desserts/candy and substitute it for, nuts/fruits/veggies, and other things that are better for my body and I am going to do it for 1 month. I invite ALL of you to do it with me if you would like!! 

As I have been trying to eat healthier I have been wanting to find the healthiest foods to eat. More specifically the healthiest breads and pasta's and other grains. When I google searched it, everything I found was, you want to find breads with these ingredients and that say this or have this symbol on it or whatever! I did read all of that information, but I don't want to go to the grocery store and look at every bread item just to find the perfect bread. So I then went in search for the best bread/pasta and this is what I found. 

In my NON-EXPERT opinion...
Look for these words in the title of your bread- 100% WHOLE GRAIN or 100% WHOLE WHEAT
There are other things you can take into account, IE calories per slice, fiber per slice, sugar per slice, which are all good things, but if you don't want to look through all the bread at the grocery store, stick with the 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat. 

Now for my NON-EXPERT opinion on pasta's...
I actually found one brand that looks promising! 

RONZONI- find their website HERE.
With pasta's you are also looking for the same key words, 100% whole grain!

After all this research, I was so excited to share my new found knowledge with my husband! He listened to everything I said and how long it took me and said, "Why don't you just go to the health food store?" What a smart idea! Which really is a terrific idea, and is what I am going to do, but I am very grateful for all the research that I did, because now I know what I need to look for! Some good health food stores near me are Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. Click on the links to find a store near you!

I am so excited to become healthier! I am thankful for the resources I have to actually do it! Please join with me in becoming healthier! Get the My Fitness Pal App and add me as your friend, ashleypeterson07@gmail.com! It is so much easier to do it when your doing it with someone else!

Here are a list of website I liked about information on becoming healthier.

Sugar Addictions

Eating Healthy Tips

Healthy Bread Choices

Healthy Pasta Choices

Healthy Snacks

PLEASE tell me your favorite healthy recipes and snacks! What do you do to stay healthy?



One of my favorite chapters from Smart Money Smart Kids is the chapter on teaching your children how to give. Dave Ramsey starts off by saying that we are really just stewards over our money because all we have was given to us from God.  The fact that we are simply managers of our money can help children become less selfish and more responsible. 

My favorite quote from the chapter is "The antidote for selfishness isn't a theory; it's an action, and that action is giving." One of the biggest things you can do to teach your children how to give is by being a good example.  Let them see you give, however it may be, to your church, a charity, and to family and friends.  Money is not the only thing that you can give.  You (and your children) have many gifts and talents that you can also share with others.  Since my children are pretty young, I have been trying to think of ways that we can give.

Number one is kind of obvious at this age, that is, sharing. Whether its toys or the snack we brought to the park.  Just simply helping your child recognize those opportunities and then letting them choose whether or not they want to share is huge in the learning process. 
Another way we try and give in a non-financial way is by baking cookies. I am not a huge baker, but I do love to make chocolate chip and oatmeal craisin cookies.  I usually make them with the intent on taking them to someone else and the kids are usually right there helping me make and deliver them.  

 When making cookies for others, they usually get some dough and a few cookies themselves.  Everyone wins! Plus, I can tell they feel good when they see how excited the recipients are. 

Around Christmas time, there are always toy drives.  This can be a great opportunity to help kids go through their own toys and look for things that another child would enjoy playing with or to go to the store and pick out something brand new for a child in need. 

These are just a few ways that you can help children learn how to give.  In the book, there are some really great examples of how Dave's children gave of their time, talents and money and the great experiences they had while doing it. There is just one more week to pre-order the book.  Click on the link to the right and check out all the freebies you get if you pre-order! 



A couple of weeks ago I was chosen to be on the launch team for Dave Ramsey and, his daughter, Rachel Cruze's book Smart Money Smart Kids.  It comes out on April 22nd, but you can pre-order the book now and score some serious deals. Just click on the link to the right to take you to their website where you can also read the first two chapters for free!  I am so happy to share some insights from this book with you guys! I love Dave Ramsey and his financial principles.  My hub and I are working on getting out of debt with the help of Dave's book Total Money Makeover.  The money guidelines we have learned from this book are life changing. I am so glad that Dave and Rachel created a book to help parents teach these principles to their children. No matter how old or young your children are, you can start using the guidelines in this book.  Let me tell you about our first teaching moment with our daughter.

Before I dive into the story, let me tell you a little about what's in the book. Dave and Rachel talk about the importance of teaching children value of hard work and the relationship it has with money. If you want to help your kids with this, give them opportunities around the house to earn "commission" as opposed to giving them an allowance.  For younger children (ages 3 to 5), it's important to pay them right after they have finished their chore so they can learn to understand that work/money relationship. It is also a good idea to get a see-through container for your kid's money so they can really see how much money they are earning. The next thing to do is take them out to spend those hard earned dollars!

Further on in the book Rachel says,
"There is an enormous sense of accomplishment for a child when he walks into a store and makes a significant purchase with money that he earned himself.  Something inside him lights up and shouts, Look what I just did! Having Mom and Dad alongside, cheering him on, adds to the thrill because he's so proud of what he's achieved. (p. 65)"

That is exactly what we experienced the other day.  My four-year-old came up to us and said that she wanted to get this blow-up pool toy we had seen a week earlier at the Goodwill (one of our favorite places to shop). I told her that if she cleaned up her room all by herself, without me asking her a bunch of times to stay focused, I would give her a dollar.  That was about how much I thought the pool toy was. So she worked pretty quickly and earned her dollar. We got in the car and drove over there before my husband and our only car had to go to work.
 We got in there, found the one she wanted and looked at the price.  Oh NO! It was actually $1.99.  My husband and I looked at each other and said, "What do we do?!"  It would have been so easy for us to just get it. It was only one more dollar! But, after a few seconds of pondering, I said "Looks like its a little more than we thought.  You will have to do one more chore and then we can come back and get it." She was a little disappointed (as you can see) but agreed.
 We came home and she was immediately up to the sink doing the dishes. (LOVE it when I am not the one that has to do those!) At this age, she still needs a little bit of help making sure to get all the food off and staying focused but she did a great job.

 She did all that. And this was not including all the dishes that went into the dishwasher!  I did help/do all of the sharp utensils you see.
Now don't tell me that is not a proud and happy girl.  We had to wait until the next day to go back to the store and she could not wait!
 When she woke up the next morning she said, "This is the best day ever."  Now, we were also getting pedicures that morning before we went to the store and she was WAY more excited to go get her toy then getting the pedicure!
 Finally, the moment arrived. I told her to grab some extra change from her piggy bank because of tax.  I was thinking like 6 cents right?  Well we get there and it was like 13 cents.  Thankfully, the cashier (whom we told the whole story to) said, "O I am not going to let this moment go" and gave her a dime so she could finish her transaction.

I can not explain the joy she expressed from this experience.  It was greater joy then if I would have just bought the thing myself. 

As you can see from the pictures, my four-year-old has a two-year-old brother.  I had a difficult time deciding what to do about him. I want him to have a pool toy too!  I couldn't decide if I should just get him one or if I should try and let him earn his own as well.  I decided to see how well he could do with a chore.  So, he helped me dust our one book shelf, small computer desk, and rocking chair.  It was a little difficult keeping him focused throughout the entire job but he did it. He loves helping me with the laundry, so I thought he might be able to earn another dollar with that or cleaning the toilets. Kids that young LOVE helping. He was excited to get his dollar and we put it in a mason jar. Even though I can tell he doesn't quite understand the money thing as well as my daughter does, I know that he will get it soon.  Especially when we take him to spend it!

So, click on the Smart Money Smart Kids link on the right to learn more about the book.  This book is an easy and quick read.  Dave and Rachel share some pretty funny experiences they had as the Ramsey kids grew up. Also check back next week for another blog post with more insights from the book.