anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dabbling in Watercolors

A little while ago one of my good friends sent me a sweet message on Facebook, thanking me for my blog and requesting a post about how I got into watercolors. 

I was so grateful for that message. Seriously guys, running a blog is a lot of work, and a lot of times it seems like it isn't affecting anyone or helping anyone. Anytime I hear back from people that they read my blog or that they like a post it makes me feel like just maybe I'm not wasting my time. 

I feel like I am still so bad at watercolors, just a brand new beginner myself, but here are a few things that I've used to get better at it, and to learn more. 

First things first, give yourself permission to play. To mess up. To be bad at it even. One of the most encouraging posts that I read was a post where the author encouraged beginning watercolor artists to play around. She talked about how when she began watercolors she was worried about wasting time, wasting paper and materials (basically wasting money). Then she gave herself permission to play. That will do more for you than I think almost any tutorial or technique you can read about because it will give you the space to master them. 

Basic Supplies:

Watercolor paints
Paper (Preferably watercolor paper)

When I started out doing watercolor I was using a Crayola watercolor set (still use it actually) and a pack of about 20 brushes that I got for maybe $3 at Walmart. I had no idea that there was such a thing as watercolor paper. I didn't know anything about what a quality set of watercolors was. I had no palette (still on my wishlist!), and I had no fancy brushes. I naively set out thinking I was so cool with my little set of paints. 

I'm kind of grateful for my naive mindset. It kept me from worrying about what I "needed" to start. I didn't wait until I had tubes of watercolor or nice brushes or even the "right" kind of paper. In fact, from my own personal experience, I'd only recommend that you get watercolor paper. Everything else doesn't need to be fancy or expensive, you can get fancy and expensive later, but the paper makes a HUGE difference. I personally have only used cold pressed paper, but I plan on trying hot pressed at some time in the future :)

My Favorite Supplies:
Canson Watercolor Cold Pressed Paper*
Colore Watercolor Painting Kit*
Aquash Water Brush*

*These are affiliate links. No change in price for you, but if you buy through the link, I receive some compensation. I hope that even if you don't buy something through these links, they might give you an idea of what you might want to use! 
Another thing that has really helped me as I've worked through learning watercolors is Pinterest. It's easy for me to find projects that I want to do, or tutorials and save them for later. HERE is a link to my watercolor board, and below I've linked some of my favorite links that I've used to learn more about watercolors.

8 Watercolor Techniques (Salt is actually one of my favorite things to use with watercolors!)
How to paint watercolor Agate Slices
How to Paint Watercolor Flowers
How to Use a Waterbrush

I still feel like such a newbie. I see people do things all the time that I'd like to know how to do, but that's ok. Never stop learning! I feel like one of the wonderful things about starting a new hobby is that you don't think you're above learning a new technique or trying something different, after all, it's all new!

Here are some things I still want to learn:
1. How to do a watercolor galaxy
2. How to use masking fluid
3. An effective way of drying my work (I HATE sitting there waiting for it to dry so that I can do the next step)
4. How to use watercolor pencils
5. How to better avoid warping of my paper that I'm working on (I've tried taping it down, but I must need to find a different tape because it pulls up the top layer of my paper!)

Beyond that, there are about a million things I've tried that I want to perfect! I'm definitely still learning, and I'm ok with that. 

Just remember that you can do this! No one starts out amazing. You're beginning work has no bearing on whether you are talented or whether you can get good at watercolors. One thing I always tell myself is that even if I start today, then a year from now, I'll have been doing it a year. Five years from now I'll have been doing it for five years. You can only get practice and skills by STARTING. 

Good luck! I hope you try it out, or something else that you've wanted to try!

What will you START today?

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Moments

Hey, everyone! How was your week? I can't believe how close we are to summer! How in the world did this year go by so fast? It's been a hard year, but a good year so far! I'm looking forward to the summer adventures :)

Once upon a time I went to a meeting down in Provo with the Captain and got really hungry. So I then walked to Del Taco (mainly to get a breakfast burrito, which I found out AFTER I got there that this particular location didn't serve breakfast all day long), I forgot that the Captain wasn't there to help me eat these fries and ordered a large... then ate almost all of them myself đŸ˜³

We went hiking up Emigration Canyon on Saturday and kept seeing all these little horny toads! We thought they were some kind of lizard until the Captain looked it up!

Then, of course, he caught one. This was one of the tiniest ones we saw.

This was a gorgeous hike! I highly recommend it. We stopped after 2.1 miles and turned around, but the trail keeps going! It's not a terribly difficult hike either. 

I'm getting so excited for summer! I can't wait to go on adventures and to drive in movies!

To do/Goals:

  • Get my passport
  • Start running again
  • Send out some more Happy Mail
  • Practice hand lettering Every Day
  • Try some new summer recipes
  • Plan a Summer Solstice party
  • Write 2 hours this week
  • Learn some of the names of wildflowers! (Maybe paint some)
  • Make a Summer Bucket List

Currently Reading:

Anathem By Neal Stephenson
Glamour in Glass By Mary Robinette Kowal
Paradise Lost by John Milton

Something to Take Away:

"The best way to get things done is simply to begin"


Thanks for reading! How are you planning to spend your summer?
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

10 Gospel Study Topics

I am not the best gospel student. I always felt a little bit behind my peers since my family wasn't the "model" LDS family. I didn't start studying on my own until I was 14 after I attended a week-long gospel day camp up in Idaho called EFY (Especially for Youth). Up until that point, I did what I could at church, but I didn't do anything on my own.

At EFY we spent every morning studying and then took lectures all day long on different gospel topics. I felt like studying on my own was something that I didn't even consider until then.  Even though I had attended other camps and things where we studied, I never made it a part of my daily routine until then.

After that, I made studying the scriptures every day a priority and went whole years without missing a day. I'm not quite that good anymore, but I still try to really study every day. After awhile I started coming up with questions that I wanted to study. Whenever I think of a topic I might want to study, I flip to the end of whatever notebook I'm using to study with and write down the topic for later.

I still struggle to find a time to study these topics. I feel like I can't step away from where I am already studying to study these topics. I made a kind of compromise that I study these topics when I'm traveling.

I have loved delving deeper into some of these topics. I'm pretty sure that just like my book list, it'll only keep growing and never quite get finished, but it's going to be quite a fun journey!

One thing that I love about studying the scriptures on my own is that I find out things I didn't understand before. For me, it doesn't matter much if someone has already studied the topic and explained it to me, it doesn't really sink in until I study it on my own. 

I try to make studying a part of my daily routine by reading as soon as I wake up. For me, it's when I'm most ready to be involved in the scriptures and I know that it will get done that way. When I put it off for whatever reason (I wake up late, I got distracted with other things, we have to be out the door really super early...) it doesn't have as much of an impact. I'll usually end up reading something later, but I don't STUDY like I would. I miss out on that daily spiritual renewal and find myself to be less the person I want to be. I end up being more snippy and easily upset. I really wonder how other people function without the scriptures because I NEED them to be a good person. 

If you, like me, love studying the scriptures and you need some things to study, this list is made just for you :) Click HERE for your free printable!

How do you choose what to study? How do you work studying into your daily routine?

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Moments

Hey, everyone! Can you believe that we are almost through May? I can't believe how fast it has flown by! I can't wait for summer.  I'm already working on my Summer Bucket list! 

The Captain was so sweet and got me these roses for Mother's day. Even though we don't have any babies yet. It was so thoughtful of him, and I just love having fresh flowers in the house.

On Tuesday we went to a wedding reception down in Lindon. It was such a beautiful venue. I am constantly picking out things I might have done differently if I were to plan our wedding again, but most of all I love that weddings remind me of that day and how happy I was to have married my sweet Captain.

If you don't follow my other blog then you probably missed this post, but I made a postcard printable to send out!

We hiked up to Stewart Falls on Saturday. I am LOVING hiking every weekend. This was an especially beautiful hike, with a beautiful drive to get there. I highly recommend it. 

To do/goals for the week:

-Find a summer job
-Do 5 hand lettering practice sheets
-Send out some happy mail ;)
-Go on a hike
-Plan a date night
-Start running again
-Plan the Captain's birthday trip

Currently Reading:

Shade of Milk and Honey By Mary Robinette Kowal
Anathem By Neal Stephenson

Something to take away:

"Every day may not be a good day, but there is something good in every day."


What's on your summer bucket list?

Thanks for reading! I have felt so much love and support from everyone over these last few posts. I can't say thank you enough.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why Practicing Love is More Important Than Loving Someone

I've been thinking about this phrase from one of Brené Brown's books. "Practice Loving." She talks about how ew saw we love people a lot, but how often do we practice loving? In other words, how do we show them we love them?

I, for one, am guilty of not practicing love enough. Sometimes I get selfish. I think about how others aren't practicing love the way I want them to, but that's not the point. The point is whether I'm practicing love. My love for them (especially for the Captain) is independent of what he does or how he treats me, so my practicing love should be independent of those things.

A few weeks ago the Captain and I had a bad night. I got very sad. The Captain didn't purposely do anything to make me sad, but I was sad anyway. So I pouted. I wanted to be alone. 

As I was getting ready for bed, by myself, behind a locked door, I asked myself if I was practicing love. No, of course not, but he... No. I said to myself. That isn't the question I asked. I asked if you were practicing love.

So I finished getting ready. Unlocked the door and went out to where he was. I was still sad, but I wasn't using my brain as an echo chamber to blame him anymore.
It's such a valuable question to me. Especially since we all want others to practice love for us no matter how we act or what we do. 

I am certainly not perfect, as evidenced by the example above. I want the Captain to love me, no matter what I do, but I would hope that I would make him feel loved as well. Loving is more than a feeling. It's an action. It's something that we choose every day and one that we choose to act on, or not. Sometimes we choose ourselves over the way we claim to feel about others, but the thing that I've learned from pondering what it means to "Practice Loving" is that the more your practice love, the more the feelings grow. It's a snowball effect. The more that I practice love, the more love I feel, and the more I want to continue practicing love for those around me. 

It's so easy to look inward and think about how we're being treated, but another thing that I've learned is that others react to the way you treat them. If you can get out of that mode of thinking about yourself and thinking about how you treat others instead, you may just knock those around you into the same kind of thinking. They'll see how you're looking out for them and helping them, and they, in turn, will want to make others feel the way that you make them feel.

A prime example of this happened to me a few months ago. I was at a jewelry party for a friend. I didn't really want to be at the party but I wanted to be there to support her. During the party, we earned "Diva dollars" for different activities. I thought about what I could win if I got the most dollars, even though I knew that it wasn't likely. Someone came late to the party and so they were behind in collecting dollars. Another friend of mine at the party immediately gave her some of her dollars. She wasn't thinking about herself, she didn't even know the person who had come late, yet she was still thinking about her and "loving" her anyway.

Later that night I went back to my sister's house with her. As we were walking down the stairs I could tell that her puppy had had an accident before we even got all the way down. My immediate response was to be glad that it wasn't something that I had to deal with. Not my dog, not my problem. However, I remembered what my friend had done, how she'd been so kind, even when it was not her problem to deal with. So instead I offered to help my sister and asked her what I could do.

Our actions have an effect on others. I'm so grateful to those around me who have been kind and selfless and patient with me when I couldn't see past myself. It has inspired me to reach out more and be more like your wonderful examples.

Thanks for reading! How can you practice loving today?
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Moments

Hey! Happy Monday! How was your Mother's day? I had a good week last week!

I made these on the Sunday before last! Unfortunately, I kept forgetting to mail out my mother-in-law's so there's a good chance she won't get it until half-way through this week.

I hung out at the library on Monday. It was so nice, I may be hanging out there a lot more often.

My sweet little sister turned 24 this week, and we ended up going to see Beauty and the Beast. I think I cried more the next time the first time I saw it. 

I love temple dates with my Captain :)

I went to a Thrive night on Friday, fully expecting them to feed us dinner. I hate when I plan to be fed and they don't feed me. So instead we went to Zaxby's after it was done. I am in love with their hot honey mustard sauce on the boneless wings and that cake batter shake was perfect! I'm sure it was all about a hundred thousand calories, but to be honest, it was so good that I didn't even care.

This beauty was taken by my Captain on the Mill B North Fork trail.

We decided to hike every Saturday this summer. I always forget how much I love hiking and how much I need to reign in my desire to take pictures of every single flower that we pass.

Things to do:

-Do some spring cleaning (I know I'm late to the party, but I have had some serious spring cleaning desires)
-Make a summer bucket list with the Captain
-Write my novel for at least 3 hours this week
-Write some poetry
-Get started on reading Paradise Lost
-Send out some Happy Mail
-Start running again
-Plan a camping trip

Currently Reading:

Anathem By Neal Stephenson
Paradise Lost By John Milton (So technically I've started reading it, but I'm still in the intro)

Something to take away:

"You belong among the wildflowers."

-Tom Petty

Thank you for reading! Get out there and enjoy the wild and the flowers :)

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mother's Day Card Printables

Hello, everyone! I realize that I start almost every post that way, but it seems impolite not to say hello! Mother's day is almost upon us. If you, like me, are somewhat of a procrastinator when it comes to holidays and birthdays, I've got you covered. It seems like even when I know that holidays are coming and I'm thinking about them and working on things for them, they still sneak up on me and I'm never ready for them.

So in celebration of your mother and mine, I made these cards.

I don't know about your mom, but my mom and I have had an interesting relationship. When I was a child I wanted her attention, but my little sister seemed to get all of it. As a teenager, she was often out of the home working after my parents divorced. As an adult, we've settled into quite a beautiful friendship. I realize all the time how much I'm like her. Even though I felt that I never got enough of her as a child, I realize now that I didn't give her enough credit for all that she did give me. She's given me so many of my life mottos, and I can already tell that I'm going to be a waterfall (someone who seems to cry over everything) just like she is. I'm ok with that. I hope to be as kind and caring with my own children, and to love them and fight for our family just as fiercely as she has.

Momma, I made these for you.

Now, my second card I made a little differently than I had planned, but I hope that you'll like it just the same. I figured you could print them on cardstock and cut them out, then slip them to a few people who might be feeling a little lonely or sad. They're small enough that you don't have to write a lot to fill up them up, but I think that they'll mean a lot to whoever you might give them to anyway.

I hope you all have a fantastic mother's day, whether you are a mother or not. I hope that you use this opportunity to celebrate all the women in your life who have made an impact, and raised you, even if you were "all grown up" when you met. I'm so grateful for my mother, and for all the women who have stepped in as mothers for me when I needed one.

Happy Mother's Day!

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Moments

Hey, everyone! Are you ready for Mother's day? I'm definitely not. Later this week I'll be sharing a printable card for you! (That's about as far as I've gotten on the Mother's day planning).

I know this picture is super grainy, but I kind of love it. Last Friday we went and saw Beauty and the Beast. I was really hesitant to go see it. Belle has been my princess since forever and I was terrified that they were going to ruin it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, I had to wear my Belle top that I made for Disneyland.

Every first Wednesday my friend does Harry Potter coloring at the Murray library while you listen to the books (well, actually this time they watched the first movie since they finished listening to the first book). I am not a fan of coloring, so I did Harry Potter lettering instead. 

Yes, I am Hufflepuff and proud! ;)

The Captain and I celebrated our 18 month anniversary by going to dinner at Lucky 13. I didn't love the atmosphere but the food was GOOD! (I may or may not have ordered a lemonade because I felt guilty because I don't drink alcohol).

We also celebrated by writing love letters to each other. We have written love letters throughout our relationship, and it's a tradition that I hope we never stop. I love to read how much I mean to the Captain and to let the Captain know how much he still means to me.

To do list/ goals:

-Write more poetry
-Read more poetry
-Go on a hike this week
-Make a summer bucket list
-Take more pictures of beautiful moments
-Write some letters
-Buy a mother's day gift
-Buy a birthday gift for my little sister
-Submit my passport application

Currently Reading:

Everybody Writes By Ann Handly
Happily Ever After By Kiera Cass
Eragon By Christopher Paolini

Something to take away:

"I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people."

-Van Gogh

I hope that you all had a great week. Thank you so much for reading! I appreciate it more than I can say. 
I'd love to hear from you!

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How Couple Council Keeps Our Marriage Strong

The Captain and I have been married almost a year and a half! (18 month mark tomorrow!) I am by no means an expert on marriage, but I am loving being married. It is not always easy, we are very different people. We sometimes get in fights and we're far from perfect, but I love him so much. I love him more and more. One of the things that I think have been so good for our marriage is our weekly councils. 

I used to fight the idea of having a weekly meeting. I'm not really sure why I was so reluctant to try it. The Captain tried to convince us to have weekly meetings a long time ago, but I finally came around. So every Sunday after church and after we've had lunch, we have our weekly council meeting.

We have a special journal that we use. It's a safe place for us to bring up any issues that have been bugging us. I love that we can talk about anything. Sometimes we don't have anything to say as far as issues go, but it's the perfect time to touch base and discuss our goals for the week. We also talk about our progress on our goals from the previous week. 

I feel like our relationship has improved so much since we started having weekly meetings. We're both on the same page for what we're doing that week, we plan our date for the week, and we're able to support each other in our goals because we actually know what the other person is working on. The fact that we have a safe place to bring up issues when we're not already upset about something and we're emotionally prepared to deal with is so helpful. It's a time when we're not tired or hungry, we're more capable of dealing with the issues at hand.

There are two bloggers that inspired me to start doing this. Long before I got married I read a blog post by the Freckled Fox about sharing goals with her spouse and having a planning meeting. Then Audrey and Jeremy from the blog Beating 50 percent just came out with a marriage journal which they use to meet each week. Their journal is a bit more in depth and is more geared toward Christians. I recommend it if you wanted a bound journal that you didn't want to write out yourself. Or, the next option that you can use is this free printable that I made. You can keep it in a binder for keeping track of progress week to week and keep it on the fridge during the week so that you have your goals right in front of you :)

Click HERE to get your printable

Do you have weekly meetings? What do you do to keep your relationships strong?

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday Moments

Hey, everyone! How was your week? This last week was super busy for me. We had something going every single night last week. I am just not down for that. 

Don't worry, Hatred is a term of endearment

My husband let me buy these presents for myself for no reason with our Amazon gift card dollars, in fact here's our conversation.

We're basically my favorite :)

This sunset though... the pictures do it absolutely no justice. 

I know we're blurry, but I still like this picture of us.

Saturday morning I decided to be a real wife and make banana bread so that the bananas that have been getting blacker by the day in the fridge didn't go to waste. Hopefully, they taste as good as they smell!

Things to do/ goals for the week:

Find a good book to read that doesn't contain the "F" word
Write up some new blog posts
Practice my hand lettering daily
Find a way to come to terms with my hair cut 
Keep writing!
Send out some letters/notes (I'd love to write you!)

Currently Reading:

Everybody Writes By Ann Handley

Something to take away:

"Oh hearts may break to make more room
yeah, but love will find a way to bloom"

"Bloom" by Mae

Thank you for reading! I'd love to hear about your week!

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