Saturday, April 21, 2018

Road Trip! Beautiful Wyoming and Montana - IDP002

Just published today's podcast full of travel info, tips and recommended places from our recent trip to Wyoming and Montana! Later today I'll get the full blog post up with all the other pictures and information in text form. ENJOY and Happy Saturday!! 

Listen to the podcast episode here:

Friday, April 20, 2018

What Happens in Your House?

"You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children. Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but in what happens inside your house." - Barbara Bush

Happy #FamilyFriday!
~JS~ 🌞

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Canyon Drive in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana

Today we drove through this beautiful Canyon in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. I'm so grateful for this beautiful world!
~JS~ 🌞

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What is Your Motivation to Exercise?

"Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it." YES!!! 😍😍😍 #WellnessWednesday

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Awesome Travel Jacket Launches Wildly Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

I came across this video for a really cool travel jacket last week. It caught my attention because it has so many great features that look like they would be so handy when traveling on a plane!


I'm thinking about getting one of these for my globe-trotting husband for his birthday. (shh!) But I'm still undecided if the perks outweigh the price. You can get the full details about the features and see some other video clips about the various features here: Travel Jacket Kickstarter Campaign

What do you think? Would these features be useful to you the next time you were on a flight? Would you pay for one of these if you traveled often? I'd love to get any feedback that you have!

I hope you have a wonderful #TechTuesday!
~JS~ 🌞

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ten Sleep Canyon, Wyoming

What could be more motivating than driving through a beautiful canyon in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming?
~JS~ 🌞 #MotivationMonday

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Receive All Things with Thankfulness

"And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more." #SacredSunday

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Pursuing Your Future Dream by Living Your Dream Now

Hey everybody, Happy #StrategySaturday! I wanted to just share with you what I found for today's post when I was searching the hashtag #StrategySaturday on Twitter this morning. I found this quote and picture that was posted by Michael Simons (Twitter hashtag @AsBoldAsCaleb) that I just loved. Check it out!

It says, "In pursuit of your dream, making money isn't to be the end-all. Wealth is not about having a lot of money. It is about having a lot of options. Imagine your legacy when you share that wealth to accomplish good in this world."

Isn't that great? I had to read it a couple times, actually, because it's quite powerful. I just want to break it down just a tiny bit.

"In the pursuit of your dream, making money isn't to be the end-all. Wealth is not about having a lot of money. It's about having a lot of options."

So when you're pursuing your dream, I don't think it should be about making money really. For me, pursuing my dream is about doing something actually meaningful. It's not about just making dollars, because all dollars do is give you options.

So when pursuing your dream, your dream shouldn't be the money itself. The actual dream, in my mind, is not so much the end destination. It's the vehicle you use to get there. Because there's a lot of different ways to get to a dream. But if the way that you're trying to get there is something that makes you miserable and you hate it, that's just really torturous.

So here's my question for you today: Is there a way to get to your future dream by starting to live your dream now?

When my husband and first had the spark of interest to go into international charity work, we were still in college, had just started our family, and barely had two dimes to rub together. But we had one of those "tuning fork moments" when hearing one of our mentors, Paul Johnston of BYU, speak to the Animal Science students about working with chicken farmers in Central and South America. It was one of those moments when you're like, "Okay, there's something about this that we need to pay attention to."

What's a tuning fork moment you ask? Let me just explain it really quick. If you take a tuning fork and you strike it against something, it starts vibrating a certain pitch. If you then draw it closer to another tuning fork, the other tuning fork that you did not strike starts ringing the exact same pitch. So the idea of a tuning fork moment is when you get close to something that is your purpose, your dream, something that just hits you in way that you say, "Wow, this is something that I want to be a part of."

We both had that feeling. We loved the idea of being able to take basic agriculture principles and go teach them in developing countries. we thought we would wait until we "had it made" and then we could go out and travel and make a difference. But life doesn't always go as smoothly as you plan, and this dream kept getting farther and farther away. So one day we decided that the time was right to start pursuing our dream as a vehicle to get to our dream. We thought to ourselves, "You know what? It's now or never."

The road was not easy. We struggled with underemployment for three years as we made the transition. We spent all of our savings and even went into some debt in pursuit of what we knew was what we were supposed to do. But we knew that it was the only way to break into the industry of international development work.

Now we've been in the industry for about 10 years and looking back we can see that pursuing our dream ended up not being about making enough money so we could stop earning a living and then pursue our dreams. It was about living our dream now as a vehicle to get to our dream. In this new field, we don't make as much money as we could in the corporate world, but we love what we're involved in, and that's what really matters. We're able to be living our dream while we're still pursuing our dream.

Someday we'd like to be traveling more together and pursuing the dream at a higher level. But in the meantime, since we need to continue providing for our family, we can still live a portion of our dream now while we're pursuing our end goals. Today we're both so grateful that we got involved in our dream right away rather than putting it off endlessly, even though that interim time was an extremely difficult trial to go through.

Listen to the last part of the quote: "Imagine your legacy when you share that wealth [or that dream] to accomplish good in this world."

That second part of the quote really stood out to me because What greater good than to be able to help people who are in extreme poverty develop their talents and learn, and be able to raise themselves out of that poverty state. It's just the most fulfilling work that I could imagine, and it's what we've chosen.

So I would just challenge you, as you're thinking about your dreams and the strategies you're gonna use to get them, think about this. Is there a way that those strategies themselves could be fulfilling your dream in part? Think about ways that you can get to your long term dream by living your dream now.

Wealth is not just about money. Wealth is about the joy and the contentment and the fulfillment you feel inside when you are doing what really fills you up. You are pursuing your tuning fork moments and having them make your life meaningful.

I would encourage you today to think about the strategies for your life, if you have felt tuning fork moments like that, just think, "Is there something I could be doing toward that just a little bit?" And figure out how you can reach your dreams and make your life better.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
~JS~ 🌞


Listen to the full podcast episode about this post here:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Go Tell Your Child That You Love Them. Seriously, do it now!

"Your kids being rooted in your love is important, and you can’t take for granted that they KNOW that’s how you feel. In the advertising industry, you are told that it takes people seven times to hear a message about your product before they buy it. Yet I have friends who tell me (especially men) that they can count on one hand the number of times their parents (usually their dads) told them they loved them ... Don’t be one of these parents."

"It is your parental duty to uplift your children and make them confident individuals so that they can be productive citizens of the world ... That, in turn, makes this planet a better place to live! On top of that, if they love themselves, they will be better equipped to have healthy, loving relationships with someone else. And don’t we want that for our children?"
💖 - Powerful Penny -

I love this! 😍 And I love my awesome kids who make my life so much richer than I ever imagined. I'm committing to tell them each individually by the end of the day. Are you with me?

 ~JS~ 🌞

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Desktop Yoga - No Excuses!

If you really want to make a difference with your health, exercise is key! No matter what your situation is, you can find a way to get some exercise in. Check out this great Desktop Yoga routine from Benchmark Recuit.

I'm doing this simple routine in my work chair today! Will you join me?

~JS~ 🌞
#exercise #workfromhome #office #work

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

This Technology Can Turn Seawater into Drinking Water

I love the potential of this technology that can efficiently turn sea water into clean drinking water. Wow! 💦💧💦💧💦💧💦 
~JS~ 🌞 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Daily Rules of Happiness from The Daily Boost Podcast

The last few months I've really gotten into listening to podcasts. I have an Android phone, so I've been using the Player FM Podcast Player, which I love! I'll probably write more details about this app and why I love it so much in another post. But today, I just wanted to share with you one of the podcasts that I really enjoy.

It's called "The Daily Boost" and it's a great motivational podcast that is only 9 minutes long! They also offer "daily nuggets" that you can have sent to you as messages if podcasts aren't your thing. I love getting these quick motivational thoughts every day. And the host is such a positive guy!

Here's a little summary about today's podcast message, to give you a sample.

Daily Rules of Happiness:

Happy people tend to see the world differently. Here's why:
  • They realize that being alive includes challenges, which are part of the privilege of being alive.
  • Yes, they get frustrated, but they don't give up because having challenges just means that, well, life is normal.
  • Happy people accept responsibility for solving challenges. 
  • They deal with what life throws at them each day, knowing that after a good night's sleep, they will be refreshed to get up and do it all again.
  • When you think like a happy person, it will probably start to feel like not as many challenges show up in the first place, because you are seeing them as a normal part of life.
You can listen to the podcast related to these Daily Rules of Happiness, plus find more episodes and information about The Daily Boost podcast here:

Happy #MotivationMonday!!
~JS~ 🌞

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Becoming Your Best Self

“God cares a lot more about who we are, and who we are becoming, than about who we once were.”
— Dale G. Renlund


#hope #chaseyourdreams #setgoals  #createyourself #selfdevelopment #selfimprovement #inspiration #motivationalquotes

Saturday, April 7, 2018

What's Your Fashion Strategy?

If you've been thinking about trying a subscription clothing service, here is a great article reviewing several dozen options.

I'm considering trying one. Any suggestions?
~JS~ 🌞

#clothing #style #fashion

Friday, April 6, 2018

Amazing Family Karaoke of Les Miserables

Wow!!! This is what I'd call an amazing family reunion! They had gathered for Easter weekend, and spontaneously decided to do some karaoke.

You won't believe the kind of karaoke this family can belt out! And all while holding babies and toddlers.
#FamilyFriday #goals


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

How I Organize My Health Supplements

Today for #WellnessWednesday, I thought I'd show you how I have my health supplements organized! There is one container for daily supplements, and another one for "as needed" supplements. It has been awesome!

This is a really good way for me to remember to take my supplements everyday, because every time I go into my bathroom, they're sitting there on the shelf. It's easy to open up a container, grab a couple, and put it right back. This helps me spread my supplements all throughout the day whenever I think about it without having to open lots of bottles.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the supplements I take and why. I'm not going to write about that right now because this post is just about the system, not trying to sell you supplements or anything.

Here is a closeup of the daily supplement container. You may notice a little red bead in the far left section. I use this wooden bead to remind myself which supplement I took last, so I can rotate them throughout the day.

Also, don't forget to exercise common sense caution! If you have small children in your home and decide to try something like this, be sure to keep your containers in a safe place where they can't be accessed by little hands.

Have a wonderful #WellnessWednesday! ~JS~🌞

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Dishonest Son Drains Mom's Accounts - Use Technology to Help Protect Your Money

Did you see the news story about the woman whose account was drained by her credit union to pay off bogus charges made by her son who was addicted to drugs and abusing his power of attorney? It's an outrageous story and was a reminder to me to take advantage of today's technology to keep an eye on my financial accounts, and to remind all of you to do the same!

This woman was living in an assisted care facility and her son had been given what was supposed to be temporary power of attorney years ago. But in her credit union's records, it specifically says that the son had the ability to act as if he was her, as far as their records were concerned. Well unfortunately, he had started doing drugs and being dishonest, and had totally taken advantage of this power, and had started draining his mother's accounts.

You can read all about it here: Credit Union Abuse Story.

It's just a really sad story and very upsetting that someone who was given that trust would abuse his mother in that way. Unfortunately, the credit union did not catch the change in spending behavior for quite some time, which is surprising to me, because I know my bank alerts me regularly. I'll get those little fraud protection alerts if I do things different than my normal spending. You know how it goes, you get the phone call and they'll be like, "Hey, this is your credit union's fraud protection," and they'll have you verify transactions. It's annoying, but also wonderful, because you know your accounts are being protected.

But for whatever reason, in this case, the credit union didn't notice the change in behavior for a long time. When they did finally meet with her to resolve it, they ended up deciding that the charges were not considered fraudulent at all, since her son had been legally given the power to act for her. For all intents and purposes, it was as if she had been making those charges herself.

She was able to revoke the power of attorney at that point, but she was still legally obligated for all the transactions that had happened in the past. This was taken to court by lawyers representing the woman, and the most recent ruling on the case is that really there's not legal thing that the credit union did wrong. So there's nothing she can do to get back these tens of thousands of dollars. Especially because her son is now deceased, complicating things further.

Anyway, it's just a sad reminder to all of us to make sure that we realize that we can't depend on the credit untion or the bank, or anybody else to be checking our accounts and making sure they're being used wisely. While most banks will, in good faith, deal with fraudulent charges, and we have Visa guarantees and things like that, in this case, the charges are not actually considered fraudulent because he had power of attorney.

This case reminded me of the fact that we have the power of today's technology to help us keep an eye on these types of things, and we should be using it to our advantage!

You can set things up to get alerts and reminders when things are different on your account. I would strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to see what technologies are available at your financial institutions. You can get text messages or emails when, for instance, your spending patterns change dramatically, so that you will be notified. This will give you the heads up to go in and check your accounts and make sure everything is okay, and catch things early so that you don't end up in a bad situation like what happened to this woman.

Also, just a reminder: If you have an elderly parent or someone else that you are responsible for, be sure to set these up for them as well. Just double check on things with them and make sure these alerts are in place and that you will be notified to help them as needed. We need to take better care of the elderly who spent their lives doing things for all of us so that we can have the lives we have today.

Have a safe and tech savvy week!
~JS~ 🌞

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Wisest Person I Ever Met - Inspiring Speech!

For #MotivationMonday today, I wanted to share with you this awesome video of a commencement speech that I came across last night. It is just so inspiring and I encourage you to watch the entire thing! There were so many amazing concepts presented in this speech that I'm not sure how I can narrow it down to the most impactful ones. But here are just a few, followed by the embedded video published by Goalcast on YouTube.

  • The first one is the idea of combining knowledge and wisdom to make an impact. He calls his father a "simple cook" and refers to his father as a third grade dropout. I know he's using that term for impact, but I wouldn't use the term dropout to describe this incredible man who left third grade to help out on the family farm because he was needed. I would call that sacrificing oneself for the good of others, for the good of your family.
  • I love the quote by Mark Twain: "I've never allowed my schooling to get in the way of my education." Despite being someone who has finished a college bachelor's degree myself, and though I have been married for nearly 27 years to someone who has two post-graduate degrees, I fully realize that formal education is not the only way to educate oneself. While it does provide a framework of stepping stones that can help you to "become educated" (whatever that really means) by those who have gone before you and know something about what types of things you need to learn to understand about the field you are going into, learning is not about attending classes per se, or getting a bunch of letters behind your name. Education is really more about having a thirst for knowledge and continually seeking it out each and every day. This small habit of being curious and exploring the world around you, and learning with an open mind about everything around you is how you will prepare yourself for everything that will come your way, and prepare you to teach the next generation.
  • The next amazing principle in this speech is the idea of challenging oneself each and every day to be the best that you can be. This can be tough order to fill, because sometimes we just don't feel motivated to be motivated! This is part of why I created #MotivationMonday, because I need the motivation myself! But it's so important, in the word's of Dori from Finding Nemo, to just keep swimming! Never, ever give up is another lesson we learn from this speech in a very powerful way.
  • The speaker's father taught him, "I won't have a problem if you aim high and miss, but I'll have a real problem if you aim low and hit." What great advice! It's important to reach high enough to stretch yourself so that you can become a little bit better every single day. 
  • Aristotle said, "You are what you repeatedly do." I learned this in another setting just yesterday when I heard a speaker explain how over time, all of the seemingly insignificant, private decisions that we make over and over, can shape our lives. Thousands of little positive habits, when made consistently over time, can lift us to great things.
  • The next quote I really like is, "I know you're tough, but don't ever forget to be kind." It's one of those things you learn in primary school, "Remember this, kindness begins with me!"

There are so many more great quotes and principles in this talk that I just don't have time to share them all! I encourage you to watch it all the way through, think about the truths that speak to your heart, and resolve to take just one of them and integrate it into your day today.

Go make today a great one!
~JS~ 🌞