Monday, November 25, 2013

Mormon Monday!

Today I am featured on Kimberly's blog for Mormon Monday

Truthfully, I have always felt shy and inadequate when talking about my faith. I was raised in a mostly non-LDS family and though the Gospel was an undeniable part of my upbringing, it was not a comfortable subject to speak freely about in my home. I was much different than all my friends who often bore their testimonies, were active about reading their scriptures, attending seminary, etc. My faith felt small in comparison to theirs and I felt helpless about it. It has only been in the past year that I have realized that my faith is in no way small just because it is different. That is what makes it special, it's what makes me special. Being a Latter Day Saint is truly apart of who I am and there should be no reason that I should feel that I can't talk about it or celebrate it. 
So here's the bottom line:
I love my Heavenly Father so much. His love for me is strong and it's real. I never understood unconditional love as much as I have in the past year. I love many people in my life, but unconditional love is something on another level completely. 
For the first time I feel that I understand and appreciate The Atonement and am so in awe of it.
I am learning that my faith is like a muscle and it requires consistent exercise in order to be strong. I am never helpless in regards to my faith. God always holds up His end, I just need to hold up mine.
I have found a sense of gratitude that I was born with this Gospel when so many have not been. I am not sure how anyone goes through life without the map that Heavenly Father provides.

So, i'm thankful for Kimberly and i'm thankful for the opportunity to be featured on her blog.
Check it out here:
http://diaryofabrwneyedgirl.blogspot.com/

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Old Navy, draining my bank account since 2012.


If you are a blogger and have put together a cute outfit from Old Navy, I would like to feature you on my blog! Please email me at riley.justesen@gmail.com! 
I've talked about my experiences with Old Navy before HERE. Well, I have not been in a while as I was saving up for Boston for a few months. Hilarie was in town this last weekend and we decided to stop in since we were grabbing some things for our new God baby that will be here in May! 
Oh boy. Old Navy, you son of a gun.
I was really good about not eating out this month so far so I was able to buy some new things! 
But first, let's talk about how cute these Old Navy models look! 
Ugh, I can't even. My favorites are the second one from the left and the second and third one from the right. 
Here is what I bought at Old Navy over the weekend. I am a little hesitant about the purple sweater and the green button up so I will have to decide when they get here! However, I have always loved navy and even when the puffy vests were not in style, I wore the crap out of those suckers. Why should I care that I look like a marshmallow, marshmallows are delicious! Also I bought an infinity scarf a couple months ago and I wear it about three-four times a week so I figured it was time to invest in another especially since Logan is about to turn into the frozen tundra we know and love
I have a bullet proof system when it comes to Old Navy. I go to their store and pick everything out that I want, try it on, etc. Then I use their handy app and I scan all of the barcodes and add all my items to my online shopping cart. I then google "Old Navy Online Coupon Codes" and RetailMeNot usually has a 30% off + Free Shipping coupon. I end up saving at least $30-50 dollars each time I shop there. Also, a lot of Old Navy's clothing is cheaper online than it is in the store so you save even more! The only bummer is they do not sell jewelry online. I bought a beautiful gold braided statement necklace and a really cute heart and arrow ring that I wish I could show you but I can't find pictures of them!
I honestly recommend having an Old Navy charge card. (Just remember to pay it off, woops!) Once a month they have cardholder perks with everything in the store being 40% off. I cut mine up until I get out of college but if you are more responsible than I am, definitely invest in one. 
I also want to give a shout to UrbanOg. I liked them on Facebook forever ago and yesterday I noticed they have "Deals of the Day" 

The first pair of boots was $15.00 and then they had a "buy one get one half off" deal so I got the second pair of boots (except in black) and then they had a free shipping deal! So I got two pairs of boots shipped to my house for $20.00!
Go ahead and like them on Facebook to get their daily deals!

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Boston [Part Three! Last Post!]

Boston was a beautiful and much needed mind-clearer. This semester has been extremely hard, working full time between two jobs, having classes that demand a lot from me mentally and emotionally, going to bed late and waking up early, it's been hard. I think occasionally everyone needs to step away and take a breath. I got off the plane in Boston and took a very large gulp of air. It gave me a lot of time to think about my life and how it has changed in the past year. I walked all over the brick covered streets and fell in love with Boston all over again. However, I also felt something I haven't felt in a long time. I felt homesick. I saw everything Boston had to offer (and believe me, it's a lot) but then I thought of everything I love about Salt Lake. I went to Boston to get closure and that is exactly what I got. I came back refreshed, ready to start loving life again. Boston gave me a great gift and that was to be able to "See Beauty in the Common Things of Life." I came back with a newfound sense of how beautiful everything was around me. 

Graveyards are creepily beautiful, right? 

Fenway Park looked like the aftermath of Project X. Holy cow.




















This was the lobby of our hostel. I wanted to prove to my mom it was not sketchy but I skillfully cropped the WAY creepy homeless man out of the picture.



Riley & The T 

We went when the weather was started to go downhill and booooy was it cold on our last day.  



Both Sarah and I came home with accents. It happens. 





Though I originally thought this would be my last time in Boston for a while, Mark has officially signed a contract to move to Washington D.C this summer. Hilarie and I will be visiting him and our other friends for the 4th of July and we will be doing NYC, Boston, Washington and probably Philly! I'm excited!
Thanks for listening to my Boston ramblings!

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Salem, MA [Part Two of Boston Trip]

Salem is the cutest town and I really just fall in love with it each time I go. I talked with a man who lives there and he said it is just an awful tourist town but regardless it's the most precious tourist town in the world! He said that people make $3,00-$5,000 every few days in the month of October alone. Pretty crazy stuff! Here are some pictures of the houses that reside on Chestnut Street. I believe the tour guide said it was the oldest street in America...or the prettiest...or something like that. If anyone is planning on traveling to Salem I have a few suggestions. One is to book far in advance. They only have two hotels and a few B&Bs. The second suggestion is to take the Trolley Tour. It saves you a lot of walking and gives you a brief history of Salem. It has stops so you can hop on and off at your leisure. The third piece of advice is to NOT go to the Witch History museum or the House of Seven Gables. The museum is nine dollars apiece and basically we couldn't stop laughing at how cheesy it was to watch the puppets talk about the Witch Trials. The House of Seven Gables is built on some gorgeous land so I would say pay $12.00 for that but the house itself was very unimpressive.

These brownstones, I can't even take them!







The house from Hocus Pocus.... I know, right? 


I have two, {two!} pictures in Boston in which I am physically in. Here is one!











We stayed here, it was pretty strange...they said we had the "king bed suite" but in reality it was two twins pushed together. Haha!







One more Boston post, coming soon!

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