Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Did You Clean Your Windows Today?

You guys!!! Tomorrow we will be posting our May issue of Stand & Shine Magazine!!
Woot woot!

So check in tomorrow for the awesomeness that it will be :)


Have you heard this talk given by President Thomas S. Monson?
It's called Charity Never Faileth and it's one of my favorite talks ever.
Watch this little video for a small recap:

He teaches us that we need to be VERY careful with our judgements of others.
We too easily judge other's actions, words, hairstyles, clothing, etc.

President Monson shared a special story of a woman who lived near a hospital and would rent out beds to those who were receiving outpatient help.
One particular man showed up at her door who was awful looking.
But the woman soon realized that behind the scars and swelling, he had a heart of gold and she let him stay that night.
Her neighbors were not happy that she let such a horrible looking man in, but over the years he would continue to stay when more treatments were needed and they built a very special friendship.

She learned that looks can be very deceiving.

President Monson encouraged us to show charity instead of judgement.
As you read through the talk you'll see that he lists SO many examples of what charity is:

- the pure love of Christ
- the opposite of criticism and judging
- tolerant of others
- lenient towards their actions
- forgiving of others and patient
- sympathetic, compassionate, merciful in times of distress or weakness
- gives attention to those not noticed
- gives hope to those who are discouraged
- aid those who are afflicted
- love in action
- refuses to hear or repeat gossip
- not offended easily
- accepting weaknesses and shortcomings
- accepting people as they truly are
- looking beyond physical appearance
- not categorizing people
- the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love

When I read through this talk I thought of so many ways that I can love more.
And I thought of individuals who I could love better.

How do you show charity?
How can you show MORE charity?

"In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out."
- President Monson

So check your windows. Make sure you're not wrongfully judging others.
Show charity in your actions and words, your thoughts and expressions.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Need a Study Buddy?

Need a study buddy for all the end-of-year tests coming up?
Our April 2014 issue had a TON of ideas for study help!

You can find study tips, snacks for brain power, relaxing yoga moves, 
and even a study music playlist! See? All the help you could ever need!
Besides someone just taking the tests for you, haha.

Below you'll find the article on Study Tips with 5 simple ways to get your 
mind in gear and ready to go!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Practicing Charity: Everyday Daughters of God Art Exhibit

If you live in Utah, or are visiting soon, you need to check this out!
The Church History Museum has a new exhibit called:

My friend Melanie (Hi Melanie!) emailed me about it and as soon as I looked it up online, 
I knew I wanted to go! So last week my sister Kelsey and I visited and it was great!
The paintings are all focused on the YW Values and it's a celebration of women.

For me this was a great reminder of the principles taught in this last Women's General Meeting (March 2014) where so many of the messages focused on the strength of women, the unity we can have when we focus on our similarities instead of differences, and the opportunity we have to love each other better through all stages of our lives.

 Another great thing about the exhibit is that they provide you with a handy dandy workbook that contains three different value experiences to work on while you are at the exhibit! They are for:

Good Works Value Experience 3
Personalized Value Experience for Faith
Knowledge Value Experience 3

 (There are also 2 Faith in God Requirements that Activity Day Girls can do!!)

Three artists were chosen for this exhibit because of their authentic paintings 
of women showing them as real and everyday daughters of God.
These were a couple of my favorites:

Bringing Food by Brian Kershisnik

Climbing Mother by Brian Kershishnik

The paintings are just in one large room and so it doesn't take a lot of time
to stop by and see the beautiful artwork as well as the wonderful reminder of the sanctity and importance of women. It would be a great outing to do with your mom or family, or even as a YW group!

Here are the details and you can also check their website for more info:

If you go, let us know what you think!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Free or Cheap Group Date Ideas

As featured in our April 2014 issue along with the article Dating: Is It Worth the Trouble?

Free Museum Days
Some cities have discount or free days for museums, and many places have a student discount (with your school ID). Do some internet sleuthing!

Thrift Store Horrors
Go to the DI or Goodwill and see which couple can find the weirdest item for under $5. Buy the items and wear or display them in public.

A Whole New Couple
Each couple has the name of a famous couple taped to their backs (Snow White & Charming, Barbie & Ken, Adam & Eve, etc). They must ask yes or no questions to other couples to figure out who they are. Continue the theme by making costumes out of tissue paper, playing get-to-know you games about your character, or acting out mundane scenes while in character (Romeo and Juliet go grocer shopping: "But soft, what yonder light from the frozen aisle breaks?").

Art Project
Paint or draw a portrait of your date. Not an artist? Try painting with your toes or using a more goofy medium like macaroni noodles and glue.

Take a Hike
Don't know where to go? Try or research your local city, county, state, and national parks. For something different, try geocaching, a GPS treasure hunt. Go to to learn the rules and find a geocache near you.

Helping the Homeless
Call the local homeless shelter and ask what donations they are in need of. Go to the grocery store and assign each couple one of the items. Deliver the donations, then stop by someone's house for dessert.

Learn Old School Style
Give each couple a list of trivia questions that aren't common knowledge. Go to the library and find the answers in books. No peeking at the internet!

Speed Thing Up
Not ready to chose a date for the night? Try speed dating. Get a group of friends together. Sit in a line with boys on one side and girls on the other. Set a timer. For three minutes, talk to the person across from you, and when the timer runs out have one side scoot one person over. Uneven numbers of girls and boys? Have the extra person take a turn manning the timer before jumping back in for the next round. Unsure what to talk about? Shout out a category before each mini date begins to guide the conversation (favorite food, pet peeve, celebrity crush, etc.)

Park Picnic
Start at the grocery store and give each couple 10 minutes to buy one course (drinks, chips, bread, dessert, etc.). Go to a park, eat your food, and play frisbee or soccer afterwards.

Team Up
Board games like Cranium that use teams are perfect for group dates. Many other games can easily be converted to teams like Trivial Pursuit.

Do you have a great date idea? Please comment and share!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Favorite Things Friday: DIY Monogram Letters

I might have a slight obsession with monogram letters.
Let's just warn you of that right now, k?

I had WAY too much fun gathering these adorable ideas
using buttons, jute, burlap, ribbon, sticks, glitter, yarn, and really whatever you can imagine!

And would it be weird if I made one of each?
That'd be like a dozen M's in my bedroom. Haha!
I just can't decide which one I like the best!

Wouldn't any of these look so great in your bedroom??? I think so!
So take a look and see if there's one that fits your style and taste!
This would be a fun project to do with friends or your YW group as well!
Maybe a fun craft to tie in with Divine Nature or Individual Worth!

Jute Wrapped Monogram
Tutorial by Teal & Lime

Yarn Wrapped Ombre Monogram Letter
Tutorial by Catch My Party

Moss Monogram Letter Frame
Tutorial by Upcycled Treasures

Painted Chevron Monogram Letter
Tutorial by The Happy Scraps

Monogram Wall Art
Tutorial by Pet Scribbles

Burlap Monogram

Element Monogram

Still Life Monogram Anthro Knock Off

Burlap Covered Letter
Tutorial featured on Carolyn's Homework

Faux Brushed Nickel Letter
Tutorial by Make and Takes

Book Letter

Stick Letter

Glitter Dipped Monogram
Tutorial by Sugar and Cloth

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Know My Worth: Part Two

By Marci Preece
Also featured on Just An Average Mormon

Did you read Part One? Find it here

In part one I spoke about our worth - that we are all daughters of God who have worth based on God's love for us and not on the world's. We have a Savior who loves us as well and suffered for us so that we can return to Heavenly Father. He thought we were worth it!

As for us and our own feelings of self-worth, there are two important parts that we need to understand and today I will share the first.


I have a five year old daughter. She is vibrant, imaginative, eager to learn and to love. She brightens our family every day.

And I love her more than I could ever say.

But I am scared. I know all too well what she will face as she grows. Peer pressure, self-doubt, and fear will be just a few. And because of this, I am continually reminding her that I love her. That she is beautiful, smart, and talented. That she can do hard things. 

I hope that if I am constantly telling her these words and showing her that I believe them through my actions, that maybe as she grows it will keep her confidence a bit stronger and her worries not as deep.

Know That God Loves You.

Just as I am eager to tell my daughter of her worth and importance, our Father in Heaven wants to tell us as well.
We are His children. He loves us more deeply than we can imagine. He knows all elements of our existence more thoroughly than we ever could for ourselves or our own families.

He wants to tell us of His love. He wants to tell us that we are beautiful, smart, and talented. He wants to help us do hard things.

So how do we find this out? How do we know that God loves us?

God is all around us. And if you are seeking for His love, you will find it. Pray to feel His love and I promise that the Lord will answer. Perhaps not in the way you imagined or at the time you want it, but God will bless you with a knowledge of your immense worth and the love He has for you, His child. For "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:5)

I have had very sweet moments when I have felt His love. I hold those moments sacred because of the knowledge and greater understanding I received concerning my relationship with my Heavenly Father. And those moments when you feel God's love do not have to be sparse. I feel His love every day. I feel it as I read the scriptures. I feel it as I pray. I feel His love as I look around me and recognize the incredible blessings that God has given me.

Have you felt it? Do you know that God loves you? 

If not, find out! It will change your life. Your understanding of your worth will grow and blossom as you feel the love of God.

(And take a minute to watch this video from President Uchtdorf that fits along with this message. It's wonderful!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Earth & Arbor Day: Make a Mini-Greenhouse

First of all. SO SORRY we were missing in the cyber world yesterday.
My computer would not load anything and I'm blaming the crazy wind storm that was going on.

But. Since we missed Earth Day, and Arbor Day is coming up on Friday,
we'd like to share a little DIY Mini-Greenhouse.

Bam. Planet saved.

But this is a REALLY simple greenhouse to make. And best of all, it WATERS ITSELF! 
We're all about easy peasy green thumbs!!!!

Wanna make your own???? I know you do.

Supplies needed:
- clear plastic cups
- clear packing tape
- garden soil
- easy-to-grow-seeds
- water

Fill one plastic cup with soil, until about an inch from the top.

Poke a hole in the middle of the soil and place your seeds inside. Lightly cover with soil.
(Easy seeds to grow are ones like marigolds, sunflowers, grass, cosmos, basil, mint, etc.)

Sprinkle with enough water to make the soil damp.

Turn the 2nd cup upside down and place on top of the 1st cup. Tape together.

Place your mini-greenhouse in a window with plenty of sun. And no need to water!
It will water itself as the water evaporates, condescends, and precipitates back onto your seeds!

When the plant begins to outgrow the cup, transfer to a larger cup or pot.

See? So easy, yet so fun!

You can find this article in our April 2014 issue on page 18
along with some interesting info about Arbor Day!

Yay for Planet Earth!!

(You could also use this as a fun YW Activity. Learn about simple plant growth and care
and then make your own little greenhouse to take home!)

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Know My Worth: Part One

By Marci Preece
This article also featured on Just An Average Mormon

I love yard sales. I love the anticipation of not knowing what you'll find. I love shuffling through random objects and then finding that one, unique item that you instantly know what to do with or where to put it in your home. And then of course being able to buy that item at a relatively cheap price is always nice. ;)

The thing with yard sales, is that the seller can list a price but the customer always has the ultimate control on what they are willing to pay. The customer determines the worth of an object.

A month or so ago, this analogy really hit me. We are like the items at the yard sale and the world is trying to tell us what we're worth. If we're pretty or if we're smart. If we're useful or if we're not. But in truth, they have no say in our value because it is the costumer who will determine that. And thankfully, we have already been bought by our Savior Jesus Christ.

When Christ lived on the earth, He lived a perfect life. No sin. No weakness. And because of this perfection, He was able to perform the immense task of paying for our sins through the atonement. He knew this plan beforehand. He knew what it meant, that He would suffer and die for the mistakes and sins of all mankind. He knew the price that would be paid for each of us. For me. For you.

And He still did it.

He "suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him." (D&C 18:11)

That means that I - with all of my problems, mistakes, worries, flaws, weaknesses, etc. - was worth it.

So when the world tells me that I'm not busy enough or trendy enough or smart enough, I just smile and nod. Because I simply don't care what they have to say.

I know what my worth is. I am a daughter of God. He has blessed me with gifts and talents, with a family and friends, with a knowledge of His love and His truth. I have a Savior who willingly took my pain because He also understands my infinite worth, that I am somebody important. That I am worth it.

We all are.


And here's a fun little meme you can share with friends :) if you'd like.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Because of Him: I am inspired

How are you inspired by our Savior Jesus Christ?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Because of Him: I live in this beautiful world

"We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials,
and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell."
Abraham 3:24

We have been given a beautiful world to live in because of our Savior Jesus Christ.
A place to learn, grow, and serve God.

What is your favorite place in this beautiful world?


An article from the April 2014 issue of Stand & Shine Magazine.
Written by Marci Preece

When I was a little girl, my dad taught me how to play chess. I quickly caught on to the role that each piece played, how it could move across the board, and that the pieces needed to work together to capture my opponent's king. There was only one problem, my opponent was usually my dad who had much more experience playing the game. He could strategize and think ahead a few moves, whereas my focus was just to kill the king.

Over the years and with hours of practice, my mind could begin to see a few moves ahead, I could make a plan of attack, and get closer to taking my dad's king. Many of the my pieces were still lost and many games were too. But I was getting better because my dad taught me how to see ahead just enough to know that I had a chance at winning.

This is very similar to our lives. Like chess, we don't have the ability to see everything that lies ahead. We must learn to rely on someone else who does have the knowledge and experience to "play the game" or in this case, get through life with joy and happiness.

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we know that it is on our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ that we must rely. They have the eternal knowledge, experience, and perspective that we need as we make choices and plan out our lives. It is our faith in them that allows us to access their guidance and gives us the confidence we need to move forward.

The prophet Joseph Smith is a perfect example of this principle. When he was fourteen, he had a choice to make and was confused with what he should do. He could not see clearly ahead the path that he should follow. While studying his scriptures one day, he read James 1:5 that says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." After pondering these words Joseph knew that he needed to ask God for help in making his choice. He showed his faith by his actions, finding a quiet place to pray. Because of his great faith and confidence that God would answer, He did.

"I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other - This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (JS-H 1:17) Joseph's great faith allowed a miracle to take place. He saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And they gave Joseph the guidance and inspiration that he was seeking.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "I will never get an answer like that!" But here's the thing. You will! You do! Every time you feel the Holy Ghost guide you or prompt you, that is our Heavenly Father helping you know what to do. The key is that we have to show our faith in our actions. Joseph Smith prayed. Nephi returned for the plates. The stripling warriors went to war. Alma and the Sons of Mosiah preached the gospel. They showed faith every time they prayed, studied, preached, worked, and kept the commandments. The blessing of that faith was the guidance and knowledge from God. In Moroni 7:33 the Lord has promised that, "If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." That's a promise to you! To me! If we have faith, then God will bless us with power to fulfill the plan He has for us.

Some days we'll feel like life is a chess game - not being able to see ahead and not sure of the moves or choices we should make. But I promise you that God is always there. He has a plan for you and as you exercise faith in Him through prayer, scripture study, and obeying His commandments, He will help you see far enough ahead in the plan to not be discouraged and to know that you are His daughter with great things in store for you.


Need some ideas for a Faith Value Project or YW Activity? Click here!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Because of Him: I can be a better me.

One of my favorite books is a children's book called "Hooray for You!" by Marianne Richmond. A kids book? you say? I know, I know. This is a magazine for Young Women. But this book teaches a very important lesson that everyone needs to remember, no matter your age.

The book shares that there is a special place in this world just for you. It points out that you have a unique body, mind, and heart. You have favorites, talents, and dreams that no one else does. It encourages you to not get down on yourself and to not compare yourself with others because you are YOU for a reason!

And guess what? The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us the same thing. We know that we are children of God who loves us. We know that we have inherited divine qualities from our Heavenly Father that make us unique and special. And we know that God will help us to develop and grow as we exercise faith in Him by obeying the commandments and listening to the spirit.

Now guess what. You're not perfect. What? Weren't you just telling me I'm special and unique? Why yes I was. But even with our divine qualities, we aren't always using them or developing them as we should. Maybe we don't show patience with our siblings. Maybe we don't share our musical talents at church. Maybe we're not the best at including others. You get the picture.

HOWEVER, because of our Savior Jesus Christ we can be our best! If we make a mistake or fail to follow a prompting or whatever it may be, we have our Savior to lean on. We can pray for forgiveness, for strength, and for help to be better tomorrow. We can honor our covenants as daughters of God and he WILL help us to become better than we were.

How has Jesus Christ helped you to become a better you?

Here is a talk from President Gordon B. Hinckley 
called "Each a Better Person" that you might enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Because of Him: I can love more fully

One of my favorite attributes to study and learn about is love.
And what better example of love than our Savior Jesus Christ.

Throughout his life, Jesus showed loved to everyone around him.
Those who were his friends; those who were not.
Those who were weak; those who were strong.
Those who were lonely; those who were surrounded by loved ones.
Those who were broken and those who were whole.

Christ's perfect love for God and for us, his brothers and sisters,
allowed him to atone for our sins and provide a way for us to return with God again.
He loved us. And so he suffered for us.

Because of that love, we can love more fully and completely here on earth.
We have his example to guide us as we build relationships and learn to love others.
We can love our families more deeply and because of Christ we can love them eternally.

How does Christ help you to love more fully?

You Are Beautiful.

Today I came across something completely unexpected.
Yet completely perfect.

You see, I've been working on a couple of posts about "beauty".
What the world thinks about beauty. What God thinks about beauty. What you think about beauty.
And on FB I saw this completely awesome video about beauty that goes right along with that topic.

Even though I haven't posted my thoughts about beauty yet,
I wanted to share this video with you today because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
And sometimes we just need a little reminder of that fact.

So enjoy.
And think about the many reasons why YOU are beautiful :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Be Yourself

Did you know that no one else in the world is like you?

No one has your exact thoughts.
No one has your same silly sense of humor.
No one has your unique style or flair.
No one is like you.

Sometimes we see that has a "bad" thing.
We think it's bad if we don't look like a model
or if we don't have the same talents as other girls.

We easily see our differences as faults. 
(say that five times fast, dare you!)

Your heart. Your mind. Your voice. Your hope.
Your beauty. Your courage. Your love.

No one is like you.

So be yourself and celebrate who YOU are!

Celebrate those nose freckles!
Celebrate your obsession with Star Wars!
Whatever it is, celebrate it!

Because all of those little quirks, talents, features, and "differences"
make up a very special person.


Because of Him: I Can Serve Others

Christ is the ultimate example of service.
Of giving His life for someone - everyone - else.
Because of His service we are all blessed.

How does Christ help you serve others?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Modest Prom Dresses

We are all about looking great, being modest, and doing it on a budget!
In our April 2014 issue we shared a bunch of dresses that we found online for under $100 or $200.
You can check out that article for specific websites and prices.

And remember a great idea is to borrow/share dresses with friends or rent one for cheap!
The most important thing at school dances is not how much your dress cost, 
but that you feel beautiful and just have fun!

Because of Him: I can be a better daughter.

How can you be a better daughter because of Christ?

What a loaded question.
And it applies in two ways I believe.

1. How can you be a better daughter of God?

2. And how can you be a better daughter to your earthly parents?

Does Christ help you obey your parents? Help you repent? Help you forgive?
Does he help you serve more? Love more? 

I encourage you to spend some time and really think about this.
Write it down in your journal. Or share your thoughts along with others online.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Easter Week: Photo Challenge from

Have you seen the photo challenge from
The challenge is to share pictures each day that show the blessings we have because of Jesus Christ.

It's a great way to get ready for Easter and share your beliefs, faith, and love
of our Savior with everyone around you.

You can check us out on Instagram to follow along with us!

Happy Easter Week!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dating: Is It Worth the Trouble?

Our featured article from the April 2014 issue of Stand & Shine Magazine.
Written by Kelsey Reed

Does your stomach churn when you think about dating?
Maybe you're on the cusp of sixteen and getting ready to enter the dating scene. Maybe you're older and disillusioned with it all. Maybe you're sick of paying for girls' choice dances. Whatever your reason, many teenage girls feel anxiety when dating is mentioned. But don't give up yet! Here I answer your questions and give you the long-term perspective needed to brave the dating world.

Dating can be really fun. But I am not having fun, you say. Alright, it can also be frustrating. But once you understand the why's and what's of dating, it's easier to stomach the ups and downs.

Why should I date?
There are many reasons to date, like making new friends, trying new things, and just having fun. But the main reason why we date is to find someone to marry. God intended for us to live in families, and marriage forms a new family. (Keep in mind that not everyone's timeline for marriage is the same, and you belong to a family even when you aren't married.)

So why bother group dating?
The prophets have counseled us to stick to group dating while in high school. That means getting engages is definitely out of bounds, so why bother? Besides the other reasons like fun and making friends, group dating is great practice. You learn how to interact with young men. But I'm already friends with guys, you say. Well, a romantic relationship is different from a friendship.

Besides the obvious differences like physical attraction, a romantic relationship takes more emotional and spiritual work. Going to prom probably won't involve as much work as living under the same roof and raising kids, but it gives you the chance to practice get-to-know you questions, figure out what you like and dislike in someone, and learn how to pin a corsage - just kidding about the last one! No one needs to know that.

Dating as a teen builds the foundation for later one-on-one relationships. Think of it as training wheels on your dating bicycle. You're going to get fewer hurt knees in the long run.

But pairing off with a guy, even in a group, scares me!
That's okay. That's why group dating is such a great way to start out. Go on dates that involve lots of interaction with friends (like ideas found on our blog). And if the thought of a date sends your blood pressure through the roof, focus on your friendships with boys for awhile. You'll get there.

What if no one wants to date me?
It gets old when you have a friend who gets asked out all the time, and you're left on the couch watching Pride and Prejudice for the billionth time. I've been there. Here's a secret: most girls aren't getting asked out that often. Maybe you are so awesome, guys think they're not good enough for you. Maybe the boys around you are shallow jerks. Only you know for sure.

The way to beat this is to open up to new possibilities. Think about doing the asking yourself (even if it's just your group of gal pals inviting a group of guys to play games.) Look around you and see if you're letting prejudice stand in the way of a friendly date with a guy who has a heart of gold but doesn't look like a movie star. Who cares if he's in debate and you're on the soccer team. Don't be a Mr. Darcy and miss an opportunity to befriend someone outside your social circle.

What if the guys around here don't share my standards? 
Are most kids in your area not LDS? If that's the case, don't skip out on stake dances, EFY, and similar activities. Bother your Young Womens president if you don't have any of these opportunities. Also, open yourself up to group dates with guys who aren't Mormon. Many people outside our faith share similar beliefs like practicing abstinence before marriage. Make sure you have the same expectations beforehand, and ask your parents for guidance.

Why can't I have a boyfriend now?
Two reasons. First, you don't want to go too far down the path of physical affection. You need to decide now if you will hold hands or kiss and where your red line is, but sticking with a group and dating more than one guy helps you avoid crossing that line.

The other reason is that you need to meet lots of different people. Mormons don't believe in soul mates, that only one person out there is right for you. But that doesn't mean that some people can't be more right for you than others. It is easier to make a relationship work when you agrees on most of the big picture stuff.

While we were dating, my husband told me he would never live in a house with pets. I was fine with that, but for someone else, it could be a huge issue. By going out on dates with many different guys, you increase the chance of meeting someone who is most right for you. As you meet more guys, you also get a better idea of what you need and want from a relationship.

What if I just don't want to date?
Not everyone is ready to date at sixteen. It's difficult to transition overnight (and you'll run into the same period of shock when you get the green light for steady dating after high school). Ease into each stage to avoid feeling like you're drowning.

In the meantime, strengthen your friendships. Find things you're good at and love to do. Focus on being the best person you can be, and when the time is right, you'll make a great date.

But I really hate all the cutesy prom invites and formalities.
I hear you. I was never into hiding clues in a pie and having to complete a jigsaw puzzle to get my answer several days later. Some people like that, but if it's not for you, then don't do it. When I was eighteen, I'd had enough. I sat next to my friend and asked, "Would you go to the dance with me?" He said yes. Do whatever you're comfortable with.

As for the formalities on dates, it's a good thing that your date feels different than hanging out. It's important that you and your date focus attention on each other; that's how you get to know one another better. But you can choose how formal you want your date to be. If like me you don't like waiting for a man to open your car door, do it yourself. If it's important to you that he does, wait for him to do it. If the formalities really bother you, try to go on dates outside of school dances, as those tend to be more over-the-top with dating rituals.

What if I don't have enough money to go on dates?
Dates don't have to cost money. (Look on our blog for lots of ideas.) The point of your date is to get to know someone, not to go broke. For more expensive dates like school dances, find ways to save money. Swap dresses with your friends instead of buying a new one. Rent a dress. Make your own like I did one year (it was simple, but I loved it because I made it). Ask your grandma if you can cut flowers from her garden. For one of my dances, someone's older sister took our photos in a nearby park, and they turned out much prettier than my other backdrop dance pictures. Or you can choose to skip some of these traditions and just have some fun in your nicest Sunday dress and best smile. Start a new tradition.

I had a bad experience, or my friend did. I don't want to get hurt.
No one, male or female, deserves to be hurt, but most of us do end up with minor hurt feelings at some point. Surround yourself with kind people. Don't put up with anyone toying with your feelings. Realize, though, that we are all human and even nice people make mistakes. Take your time and choose your dates wisely. Make sure to apologize when you are in the wrong, as well.

If you or your friend were hurt in a more serious way, though, you should tell your parents, principal, church leaders, or any trusted adult. Tell them if you or someone else was physically hurt, forced to do something they didn't want to do, or verbally bullied with name calling and the like. You should always speak up if behavior that makes you uncomfortable is happening to anyone. It may be scary, but in the long-term it will be better for everyone.

Keep looking forward.
At this age, your job isn't to find Prince Charming, it's to learn how to be a good friend and human being. You may have heard this before, but it bears repeating: high school is only the beginning. After graduation, you will had the opportunity to meet tons of new people and learn many new things. You're just learning how to ride the dating bicycle, so try to keep an open mind and a sense of humor. Pray for Heavenly Father's guidance and you'll make it through.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Favorite Things Friday: DIY Jewelry Holders

A major pet peeve of mine is tangled up jewelry!
Anybody else?

I hate unwinding and undoing a glob of necklaces.
Or trying to find matching earrings.
Or just not being able to see all of my choices to know what matches with my clothes.

One of my lifesavers (or jewelry-savers, haha!) has been having a jewelry holder!
It really makes life easier having things up and organized instead of piled on my dresser.

So here are a few adorable DIY jewelry holders
to provide you with inspiration to make your own!!

Adorable antiqued frame jewelry holder
Tutorial at The Elli Blog

Ring or earring display case
Tutorial from my friend at Tea Rose Home

Wood and knob necklace holder
Tutorial at Visibly Moved

Jewelry holder made from a cutlery tray
Tutorial at The DIY Mommy

Stylish jewelry blocks
Tutorial at Style by Emily Henderson

Frame with wood twigs
Image found on Pinterest

Window jewelry holder
Tutorial at Sisters of Nature

Oval frame with lace
Image found on Pinterest