September 30, 2010

All About Moi!

Funny Junk Interiors is having an “All About Me” link party and as I read posts by my Mom and aunt, I decided that I wanted to join in too!

Who Am I? I am a young adult attending BYU Provo. I love dancing, exercising, learning about and spending time with my boyfriend. One of our favorite things to do while the weather is nice is go on hikes. I grew up in Washington but was born in Spain and have also lived in Texas. When I am visiting home, I like to spend time with my friends, exploring stores and parks, and spend time with my family and puppy-dog, Missy.


















Where Do I Live? I live in an apartment complex with four cool roommates (well, I’ve only known them for a month, but they seem pretty cool) and my boyfriend, Nick, in the next building. It takes about 30 seconds to walk from my apartment to his…yes I’ve really counted. Once in a while, when the hot tub isn’t packed shoulder to shoulder with guys, we like to go relax in it and if we go out there during the day, then we will go swimming. I love having my own room and only sharing my bathroom with one other person. Now that’s luxury. To see more about my room, check out my entry for “Where Bloggers Create.”









My Favorite Project… Was when I updated a wooden box I had been using as a TV stand. I got it from DI and it was super ugly and just weird. To spruce it up, I painted it black, updated the hardware and pasted Jones Soda labels all over the front. I LOVE how it turned out. It looks so unique.



I Love To Blog Because…

It gives me an opportunity to keep in touch with my family and friends while sharing my experiences, projects and ideas with others all over the world. Plus who doesn’t love to get new comments or see their picture at the top of a webpage?

September 28, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Menthol-e Goodness

Or How to Fix the Most Common Skin Ailments With Mentholatum

You read that right. In continuation of my quest to provide the internet world with a year of handy tips I’ve learned, I’ve decided to spill my favorite skin secret…a $6 container of Mentholatum.

It all started when I was a freshman in college. I had a very bad cough and was getting desperate for a solution so I splurged for a cheap container of Mentholatum, which is basically a generic version of Vicks VapoRub. The first night, I tried the typical use, rubbing a little of it onto my upper chest before bedtime. This didn’t help my congestion much so I decided to apply it a little closer to my nose and mouth by rubbing a little bit onto my cheeks (yes, I mean my face). The next morning, I found that this had left my cheeks feeling cleansed and soft. As time went on, I continued to apply the Mentholatum to different areas of my face, trying to figure out what else it could do.

Here are my findings:

  • It moisturizes, seals and protects small, dry patches of skin, especially on the face where normal moisturizers may cause a break out.
  • It helps cold sores in their healing process because it contains most of the same ingredients as Campho-Phenique (an ordinary cold sore treatment).
  • It is the ultimate lip balm due to the petroleum jelly that it contains.
  • It reduces facial swelling, especially around the eyes.
  • It makes for a wonderful foot massaging cream due to the soothing smell, smooth texture and its ability to temporarily relax joints and muscles.

All around it’s a great product. Generally I use it before bedtime so that I don’t have to worry about washing it off or applying makeup over it (because that would definitely get messy). It’s so cheap that if you have any issues like these, you should give it a try. You have to use it for more than a few days though. It will be difficult to use an effective amount until you get used to the smell and sensation of having it on your face. It’s strong (but safe) stuff after all.

September 26, 2010

How I Spent My Summer: Part I

This may be over due. I didn’t post much during the summer and now you will understand why. I was just doing all kinds of cool stuff…like…

Eating cotton candy at the Freedom Festival in Provo.



Camping (where I was sure I had been bitten by a hobo spider in the middle of the night just because my arm was asleep).



Hiking at Stewart Falls.



Hiking the Y.



And more!

It was a great summer with lots of adventures. I’m glad that I got to spend it with so many wonderful people. There was another very huge thing that I did this summer, but it will require more details than this post will allow. So we will just have to wait and see what part two has in store for us all.

September 22, 2010

My Newest Project

Over the past summer I became very interested in family history and genealogy. The more information that I found, the more that I wanted a way to share the information I had obtained. As a result, I started a new blog just for genealogy called Beyond the Home. While the biographies and lines of descent are focused on my ancestry, I will be continuing to add links to useful research websites, tips and guides to working on your own family’s history. The site is still small, but growing quickly.

To visit or follow it on blogger, use the URL below:


Urban Van Stewart 

If I had 33 children…I’d be making the same face.

September 7, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Goodbye Summer

Or How to Avoid Skin Cancer

While I was walking from the car yesterday, I saw a girl from my ward who was wearing her swimsuit. I could tell that she had been wearing it for a long time because of the dark red colour covering all of her revealed skin. Not only is that not appealing or comfortable but it is also dangerous. As we age, our skin takes a lot of abuse. Whether you notice it or not, it is almost constantly exposed to the sun. The sunlight damages and ages the appearance of your skin and can make someone in their 30s or 40s appear much older than they actually are if they are not careful.

To avoid this, I have gotten into the habit of using sun block, not just when I am going to be spending a long time outside or in the pool, but whenever I see blue sky. Each morning, I look out the window and if I see blue I know it’s time to apply sun block. Even when it’s cold and especially when the ground is covered in snow (snow reflects the light enough to give passers by a sunburn).

While I usually apply the sun lotion to whatever skin will be showing that day, if I need to be fast I go for two key places. My face, especially my cheeks and nose, and the backs of my hands. We all know that skin on your hands can reveal age even if your face does not, and when you drive, ride a bike or use your hands outside, they often stay propped directly in the sun. A little sunscreen can save your hands from early aging.

Recently, renewed effort has been made to study sun lotions and the ingredients used to make them. These studies, released by the Environmental Working Group suggest that (1) the SPF numbers listed on the bottles are not accurate, (2) the chemicals in many sun lotions cause hormone problems, (3) no expiration dates are listed on sun lotion containers and (4) the Vitamin A found in some sun lotions actually speeds the aging of skin. While the Personal Care Products Council says that these ideas are both hyped up and incorrect, it is worth keeping both sides of the story in your mind when choosing a sun lotion. The EWG provides a list of safe alternatives to the popular commercial sun lotions, on their website. I personally have switched to Burt’s Bees sunscreen. Mostly because I don’t trust government groups that put chemicals in our drinking water and keep lead in our cosmetics…but I suppose it’s up to you to decide.

The point is, wear whatever sun lotion you wear on a very regular basis and you won’t be sorry in twenty years.


Both sides of the sunscreen debate:



Back In It

It’s back to school for me. I started last week and it seems to be going quite well. I unknowingly decided to take two statistics classes (one was disguised as a class in the “School of Family Life” and the other is a straight up stats class. Additionally, I am taking a parenting class and two religion classes (Doctrine and Covenants and Family History). While the work for any of the classes isn’t going to be too difficult for me, most of them are project heavy classes.

I am very excited to start working on my Family History stuff more…and actually learning what kind of stuff I should be doing. While I am still trying to decide which family line should be the family I use for class work (we get to choose one from our own ancestry), I already have a couple of good ideas for my “massive” project.

Today, Nick and I gave up the killer fish, a gourami named Adolf, in the hopes that he may have a better life with my sister. He’s a very pretty orange fish, but after coming home from a month away from the house and seeing that he had devoured two tiger barbs (Larry and Curly), in addition to the numerous fish he had brutally beaten and starved before we left, we decided he had to go. Now we are in the process of finding a new bowl or tank for Moe and Diablo (a tiger barb and a bottom feeder of some kind), so we can keep them around and fill the ten gallon tank with beautiful male guppies.

Speaking of guppies, my little boys, Scooby and Shaggy are doing very well. Nick’s roommate, Pablo, watched after them while we were gone and I think their tails grew quite a bit. Pablo was sad that I brought them back to my house.

This past weekend, my family came to visit. It was very nice to see everyone even though we didn’t have much time as a family. At least for Thanksgiving we will be able to relax a bit more, plus it will be at my house, where those with weak stomachs never have to go thirsty.

I hope you all had a happy Labor Daybor! ;D