love story part twenty one: coming out of the temple

Exits out of the temple are a pretty big deal, so I remember the temple workers showing us where to stand so they could notify everyone that we were coming out. And when he gave us the OK, we walked up the stairs, and hand in hand made our double door exit.

We hugged our family and friends who had been waiting for us and took lots and lots of pictures. It was scorching hot. 

After all the pictures were done, we realized it was late and hurried over to our reception center for our wedding dinner. It was time to let the celebrating begin!

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How to do Disneyland in a Day

Hi 'yall! 
My name is Ashley A. and I blog over at Young, Married, and Mormon! Miss Brooklyn is my internet twin. Let me tell you, 'twin' doesn't even begin to describe how much a like we are, and we found all of this out by internet stalking each other! 
(We're not creepy, I promise. Okay we're super creepy. But you love us, right?) 

Today I'd like to share with you our number one love: Disney. 
If you don't then just run, RUN AWAY AND NEVER RETURN! (Name that movie guys??) 

Before I get started with my tips and tricks for doing Disney in a Day, let me just share a few quick things with you. First off, I live about an hour and a half from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, so I make trips pretty frequently. Second, I have spent every single birthday (with the exception of my 18th... ask me why and I'll tell you!) at Disneyland since I was two years old. I know this park like the back of my hand! And finally, my tips for today will be about exploring the park if you don't have children with you, simply because I don't have any little mouseketeers of my own yet so I don't know how I would tackle the park with them running around with me! Maybe in the future I'll master that game plan ;)  Please also note that this is advice based on crowd control during the first week of August... that's when my birthday and out of every other time I've been there, that's when it has been the most chaotic.. 

So let's get started! I'll walk through a typical day with me and my hubster, Jayson, as we roam the Happiest Place on Earth.

We always drive to the park. If you decide to do the same, I HIGHLY recommend getting to the parking garage right when it opens! Some times they will decide to let you park in the Pinocchio parking lot. Bonus to this? Quicker walk to the tram, which means a quicker walk back to your car at the end of the day! 

Once you're parked (and you've remembered to grab your sun screen!), head on over to the tram! You need to consider this a ride, because the adrenalin rush you feel knowing that you are now that much closer to the esplenade is something you won't experience on any other ride in the park! (I promise I'm not crazy here guys.. stay with me.. )

Congratulations! You've made it to the esplenade! Now, let's start off over at Disneyland. I'll help you out later if you decide you want to start at California Adventure...

So you've made it through the opening gates, and you're now skipping down Mainstreet USA to the rope, because you've obviously gotten to the park just before it opens, right? Make sure you stand to the right hand side of the rope... You can get into Tomorrowland faster if you're closer to it! 

Jayson and I love to hit Space Mountain first. Mostly because I've forced him to get out of bed at about 4:30 that morning, and then we sat in morning Los Angeles traffic to get to the park on time, and we're both still practically sleep walking, so we need an adrenalin rush. Also, Space Mountain has been known to get up to a 120minute wait pretty early in the day. As you walk to the line up que, now would be a good time to grab a fast pass if you know that you will want to do this ride again later. 

After Space Mountain, we head on over to Star Tours! Have you been since it reopened in 2011? This is one of the rides you could come back and do again if you love it, because they have about 50 different ride options, so your journey is different every time! (Note: Do NOT mistake your husband's 3D glasses for his sunglasses and then accidentally throw away his sunglasses instead of the 3D ones..or you will never hear the end of it...)

Now that you've walked out of Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is just across the way! Buzz Lightyear is my absolute favorite character in the world, and you better believe that I make Jayson ride this more than twice a day. Once you're done, jump across the central plaza and head into Adventure Land! 

Indiana Jones is knows to break down a lot, and the wait time easily climbs up to over 60minutes. Discuss with your party on if you want to grab fast passes or not. I personally choose not to just because the last time I used one, the ride broke down before we got on and we were not given a new one, and they didn't have anymore to distribute at the fast pass station. Jayson and I ususally jump on as soon as we get into Adventureland. 

As you walk off the ride, turn left and pass Tarzan's Tree House, and head all the way over to Splash Mountain! (If you've been to the parks and are freaking out because I've skipped over Pirates and Haunted, "patience my dear, patience!") I know, you're going to get wet. But it's the beginning of the day! You will dry off, don't be a baby.. When you get off, head into Pooh Corner and get a Hunny Pot Rice Krispy Treat!!! Just trust me on this one.. 

Okay, head back toward the Rivers of America, and jump on The Haunted Mansion! Take a quick break from those thrill rides, and enjoy a slow and steady ride.. 

Okay, lets back up a bit! So if you're day at Disneyland began at 8:00am, check what time it is after each ride you go on. If you're lucky you will have ridden Space, Star Tours, Buzz, Indy, Splash, and Haunted before 10:00am. Now California Adventure is open!! 

Now that you're at California Adventure, you can do one of two things. You can race over to Cars Land and jump on Radiator Springs Racers, or save Cars Land for a later point in time. If you've chosen to wait, go grab a fast pass for RSR.. you're gonna need it! Oh, and don't be too judgmental of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.. that's mine and Jayson's favorite ride. 

If you've decided to save Cars Land for later, head on over to Tower of Terror! It's the best ride!! Once you're done, head on over to Paradise Pier and jump on California Screamin', and then ride Toy Story Mania! Toy Story will climb up to a 90+minute wait almost instantly, so even if it says 45 minutes, that's honestly the best it will get all day. After ToyStory, head back toward Condor Flatts and jump on Grizzly River Run and Soarin' over California. 

So now that you've hit all of the major thrill rides (with the exception of Radiator Springs Racers) it is probably somehwere between 12:00-2:00pm depending on how bad crowds were. But the good news is, this is usually the time that families who have kids and are staying at hotels have decided to head back for an afternoon nap and lunch outside the park! So jump back over to Disneyland. 

Once you're back at Disneyland, head over to the Matterhorn (which is technically in Fantasyland, but I consider it to be part of Tomorrowland...), then go back to New Orleans Square and jump on Pirates of the Caribbean, followed by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland. (Note: Big Thunder just opened up again in March 2014, so expect a long wait for this fan favorite..) 

Now it's probably super hot, and you're absolutely exhausted. Well now is the chance to hit up some slow, relaxing rides! Head over to Fantasyland and ride anything you've been dreaming of, but don't be surprised if the lines look ridiculously long! They 'look' long because the line up que zig-zaggs, so it looks like there are way more people than there really are. The lines go by fast, I promise! And don't forget to hit up It's A Small World! 

So now you've done a majority of Disneyland and about 50% of California Adventure. Please keep in mind that the scenario I've just written our for you is just what my husband and I do based on our preferences for rides. Usually we don't ride any of the Fantasyland rides just because we know we are going to have to spend a few years on only those rides, so we want to save the excitement of riding them over and over and over for when we have our mouseketeers with us (and for my husbands sanity and not wanting to just disappear into the crowds and run away from me).

If you have any questions about anything Disney related (i.e., hotel recommendations, food options, restaurants, ride reviews, more attration and show suggestions, first time experience advice and tips, etc.,) please leave some comments below! I will answer all of them :] I hope to see you on my side of the blogging world! And PLEASE share with me your experiences at Disney.
... and remember, "Disneyland is YOUR land."

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More alike than different

I've been working on my "game plan" for my Visiting Teaching this week and I came across this adorable printable from 

I've been thinking a lot about how sometimes as women we become exclusive, only inviting certain people To events, not being welcoming to new neighbors, keeping to ourselves because we really are shy, etc, etc, etc. 

Our gospel is a gospel of INCLUSIVITY! We must make more of an effort to include those around us, and to reach out to those around us. We are all brothers and sisters. We ALL have trials.  We all have fat days, and days where we wonder if anyone cares about it. We have bad hair days, we fail exams we studied hard for. We forget to prepare dinner, we neglect those we should visit teach. We become annoyed with our husbands, and spend too much money at the mall. We don't write our missionary, and the list goes on and on. 

ESPECIALLY as women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and even as women who live on planet earth, we are more alike than we are different. And the moment we decide to act on that truth, our lives, and the lives of countless others, will be dramatically changed. 

Frazzled? 4 Ways to Destress When You're Overwhelmed

We all live a pretty fast-paced life, between work, school, relationships, social media and more it is so easy to become overwhelmed. Part of loving yourself is knowing when you're pushing yourself too hard, and also knowing how to destress. Everyone relaxes in a different way, but today I'm sharing 4 tip for destressing when you're feeling extra frazzled.

1. Get Your Heart Rate Up
There's a lot of research that proves that exercise is a GREAT de-stresser. Take a walk, go to the gym, practice yoga, go on a bike ride, just do something that gets your heart up rate and makes you sweaty!

2. Unplug 
We might not always realize it, but social media can be SUPER overwhelming. And often social media makes us jealous of the things other people have and can make us feel like our situation is even worse than it is. Do something you love that doesn't involve electronics.

3. Take a Bath
Bath & Body works has an amazing Stress Relief line. I bought some stress relief bubble bath when we were engaged and loved those moments I spent just breathing in and out focusing on all the good in my life. Plus, bubble baths are good for tight muscles which can be cause by stress tension.

4. Talk it Out With a Friend
Sometimes you really just need to vent and have someone say, "It's all gonna be okay." Make sure it's someone you trust, and someone who really cares about you. Go to lunch, paint your nails, or talk it out over some ice cream, just talk through whatever is stressing you!

Remember you can't do everything, but you can do something! What do you do when you're feeling frazzled?

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10 tips To Do disneyland in a day

Today I'm over at Dreaming of Someday sharing 10 tips for how to do Disneyland in ONE day!

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5 tips for improving your scripture study

"Does scripture reading feel like a chore to you? Is it hard to get started? Do you find yourself daydreaming through your scripture study? YOU ARE NOT ALONE!"

Go visit From A to Z to read the rest!

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Making the Most of a Movie Date Night

Let's play a game. What is the most common/most cliche date night you can think of? I'm guessing at least 80% of you said dinner & a movie. Movie date nights get a pretty bad reputation. They are easy to plan and seeing movies is something most people like to do, so it's an easy default when you're looking at each other saying, "What do you want to do for date night?" So today, I'm sharing with you 3 ways you can make the most of a movie date night and use the date to cultivate the kind of relationship you deserve!

1. Cuddle
Physical contact is a HUGE factor in any romantic relationship. And although there is definitely a PDA borderline in public, it's okay to hold hands and lean your head on his shoulder. Does the arm rest go up between you two? Lift it up! Pretend you are dating again and cuddle up!

2. Dress Up
Most women LOVE to dress up for their honey, and I know at least for me, I know going into a dark movie theater it doesn't really matter much what I look like. Decide with your significant other that you will BOTH dress up. It brings a new feel to the date and will help shake things up a bit.

3. Talk About it After & Bring it Up Later That Week to Reminisce 

On the way home, talk about what you liked and disliked about the movie. Did you learn anything? Did it remind you of any experiences you had growing up? What was your favorite part? Maybe the drive home isn't long, but it is still an opportunity to get to know each other better. And bonus points if you bring up the movie a few days later, talking about a movie a few days after you've seen it brings back the same date night emotions you experienced the first time you watched it.

And speaking of movie theater date nights...

A few of my favorite bloggers and I have all teamed up to give one of YOU the perfect summer movie date night, on us! There's a $25 Cinemark or AMC Theatres Gift Card (winner's choice!) as well as a $10 Cold Stone Creamery Gift Card (because what good is a hot summer date night without ice cream!?) up for grabs and they could be YOURS!

Dreaming About Someday - The Best F Words - Life with Amberly & Joe
Mrs. Harr - Ready or Not - A Little Too Jolley
The giveaway will run from 12:00 am MST on May 13 until 11:59 pm MST on May 19. All entries will be verified so please be honest! Gift cards will be delivered electronically.
Best of luck!

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3 Things I Learned From My Mom

My husband had Friday off. He texted me to tell me he had special plans for us that night and that he was excited. I don't really love surprises, so I decided to let him have his fun this time and didn't probe him for answers. I came home to this...

Maybe I should let you know I am NOT pregnant. But one day, we will have lots of cute babies. So even though it was mushy and cheesy, we decided to celebrate that! Because why not have one more thing to celebrate right? We went to Burger King (because I prefer fast food over a nice dinner out) and then to see a chick flick. It really was such a fun night. And it made me start to think about the kind of mom I want to be WHEN that time comes. And I decided to look to my best example, my mom.

1. Putting Other's First Makes Life Worthwhile
My mom is such a great example of putting others first. She's almost always feeding the missionaries, buying a gift for a new mom, doing the dishes, checking a sick child out of school, etc. She is happiest when she is taking care of others.

2. There's Nothing a Good Talk & Lunch Can't Fix
I remember in college when I got my heart broken by a boy I really really liked, she drove to my college town and took me out for lunch and shopping. Just talking it out with her helped me realize how much better I deserved. Even now it's like she knows when I'm feeling stressed and will check in with me or come see me for some Chickfila and girl talk.

3. Jesus Christ is an Amazing Best Friend
My mom taught my Young Women's class at church for a few years in high school. Her lessons were always my favorite and she is an amazing teacher. One of the things she instilled in me was that when no one else can understand, Christ can. He suffered for our sins, but he also experienced every pain we will ever feel. This includes pain that is caused by ourselves and even the pain unintentionally caused by other's actions. The best friend you could ever have is Jesus Christ. 

I absolutely feel so blessed to have such an amazing mom. I could write this list and it could have over 100 points of things I've learned from my mom, from not using liquid dish soap in the dishwasher, to understanding that sometimes quality time with family is all you really need. 

Who helped me become the woman I am today?
It was Mom.

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50+ Blog Posts About Marriage

If you haven't noticed yet, around here, I'm pretty obsessed with reading and learning all I can about how to improve marriages. I am passionate about spreading the things I am learning, because happy marriages= happy families. So here is a round up of blog posts ALL about the wonderful topic of marriage! If you have any posts from your blog or reading that you'd like me to add, email the links to and Ill add them!

Those Funny Ways You Can Seriously Help Your Marriage
25 Tips I Want to Share with New Wives
10 Things A Hurting Husband Needs From His Wife
5 Tips for a Happy Marriage With a Baby
Family Birth Order in Your Relationship
30 Quick Love Note Ideas
My Marriage Rocks, Didn't You Read My Blog Post About It?
Eliminating Stress to Be a Better Wife
3 Thoughts From My First 3 Months of Marriage
Having Fun During Stressful Times
What Happens to Love After You Get Married
How Do You Combine Finances in Marriage?
Choosing to Hold Hands
Falling in Love
The Truth About Expectations in Marriage
10 Practices of Happily Married Couples
How to Ensure Your Marriage Will Get Better With Age
The Best Marriage Advice So Far
Making the Most of Your New Marriage
I Didn't Marry Him to Change Him
Marriage: Watch & Learn
How to Knock the Socks Off Your Spouse
When I Noticed I Don't Give My Husband Enough Credit
Why I Didn't Write Wedding Vows
Loving My Earthly Dearest
Say Yes
If I Had Written Wedding Vows
The Best Dating Advice
Why We Work
Marriage Advice I Was Given Before My Wedding
3 Things I've Learned About Healthy Relationships
12 Days of Christmas for Wives
My 2014 Marriage Goal
A Family That Plays Together Stays Together
The Boring Stuff
Date Night: Take the 5 Love Languages Quiz
How to Stay Married for 44 Years
On Marriage
10 Reasons I Love Being Married
Writing Love Notes
All the Ways I Was Wrong About What Marriage Would Be Like (And Some Ways I Was Right)
Frugal Dating Ideas
Last Love
Dialects of the 5 Love Languages
4 Ways to Let Him Know What Says Love to You
3 Personal Goals I Set to Make Me a Better Wife
Happy Wife, Happy Life
The Inadequate Wife: Getting Back Up When We Let Ourselves Down

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20 Summer Blog Post Ideas

Summertime can be a great time for blogging, we usually have more free time and the days seem to be a bit longer. But with all the fun things you could be doing: soaking up the sun in your backyard, a picnic, bike rides in the park, amusement park visits, etc, it can be hard to come up with topics to write about. But look no further, here's 20 blog post ideas to keep you writing all summer.

1. List 10 things on your summer bucket list
2. Write about 3 things you've learned from your Mom
3. Write about 3 things you've learned from your Dad
4. Write about the best concert you've ever been to
5. List your summer beauty must-haves
6. List your summer hair must-haves
7. Share a favorite 4th of July recipe
8. Write about what living in America means to you
9. Share an easy summer hair tutorial
10. Make a summer playlist and share it on your blog
11. Write a book review of a great summer read
12. Plan a pretend dream vacation
13. List your top 5 blogging tips
14. What are your summer wardrobe must-haves
15. How do you stay active in summer?
16. Write about the goals have you set for the summer
17. Show a YouTube video & write about it
18. Vlog a "Get to know you" video answering questions about yourself
19. What are your back to school shopping tips
20. Dedicate a post to your besties!

Please PIN & share with all your friends!

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those crazy mormons: a short intro to the book of mormon

If you've ever heard of Mormons, you've no doubt heard about The Book of Mormon. So what should you know about the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon outlines God's dealing with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, and contains the fullness of the gospel. It is a companion to the bible and adds additional truths to questions that are not overtly discussed or clearly presented in the Bible.

The Book of Mormon provides convincing evidence that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. Joseph Smith was directed by a heavenly messenger named Moroni to a hill where gold plates had been hidden for centuries. These gold plates were translated by the power of God through Joseph Smith and are now know as The Book of Mormon.

When a person is investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, they are invited to read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon. This is because there is no other way to know whether the book is true, than to read it, ask God, and learn for yourself. Watch this 2 minute introduction to The Book of Mormon, then, if you're interested in your own copy to read, go here for your own free Book of Mormon.

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Marriage: Watch & Learn Folks

Hey everyone! I’m Ashley and I blog over at From A to Z. The reason behind the title is my last name went from a to z and I thought it’d be a cute idea. I love to read, run and eat anything chocolate. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and decided to write from a talk given a few conferences ago. The topic is called Marriage – Watch and Learn.

I really like this talk because it gives out awesome points that I can understand now that I’m married myself. What does it mean to watch and learn in marriage? I think it means to remember that there are others around you, watching and learning what not to do, but also what to do. Elder L. Whitney Clayton says, “I have observed that in the happiest marriages both the husband and wife consider their marriage to be a pearl beyond price, a treasure of infinite worth.”

Now we know ladies loves pearls. Peal necklaces, earrings and rings. We always have that very excited reaction, the surprised one. We talk about it with our family and friends when we receive such a gift. But that more I thought about that, the more I wondered I’m treating my marriage like I was getting a pearl necklace. Am I happy and excited to be marriage to my husband for eternity? Am I treating him and our relationship with the perfect care? Do I treasure my marriage with all of my heart and soul? Watch your parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends and their marriage. Are they treating it as a pearl?

The next watch and learn is a marriage centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Clayton says, “I have observed that couples who have made their marriages priceless practice the patterns of faith: they attend sacrament and other meetings every week, hold family home evening, pray and study the scriptures together and as individuals, and pay an honest tithing. Their mutual quest is to be obedient and good. They do not consider the commandments to be a buffet from which they can pick and choose only the most appealing offerings. Faith is the virtue that strengthens marriage.” I can testify of this. I know that my husband and I can get really stressed out and take things out on each other when we aren’t reading our scriptures daily, attending all three meetings, praying together, and fasting. Having Faith that the Lord can help strengthen our marriage gets us through the tough times.

The next watch and learn is humility. Being humble is so important in your marriage. It helps you learn to serve your spouse and love them even deeper. Elder Clayton shares, “Humility answers softly, and listens kindly for understanding, not vindication. Humility recognizes that no one can change someone else, but with faith, effort and the help of God, we can undergo our own mighty change of heart.” I love that! We cannot change someone, only they can change themselves. But through faith and patience, we can help our loved one become the very best they can.

And lastly, respect. Elder Clayton says, “In wonderful, happy marriages, husbands and wives treat each other as equal partners.” This is so very important to remember. Men need to be respected just as much as women need to be respected. They support each other in areas of interest, they include each other in discussions of finances, concerns and the gospel. They are both human and deserve to be treated well.
Love your spouse as much as you can. You never know what could happen to them in a second. Life has it’s way of determination but if you live making sure your spouse is happy, than you will become happy too.

Read the full talk here.

scarcity: 6 ways to yes

I introduced a new series a few weeks ago, How the 6 Ways to Yes Affect Blogging. So today we are talking about how the idea of Scarcity can help you improve your blog.

Scarcity is defined as rarity, or an infrequent occurrence of something. Urban Translation: People want what they can't have or things that not many people have. Why are diamonds so expensive? Because they are rare. A few weeks ago Old Navy did a one-day only sale where all dresses were $15. You can bet I rearranged my schedule that day to make it there for the sale.

Here's 4 ideas for how this can apply to blogging:

1. When holding ad sales, only offer a limited number of sale prices. Life With Amberly did this the other day, she offered five 50% off codes and I snatched one up asap.

2. To get people coming back to your blog, you need to offer something unique, something other people  don't offer. Maybe this is personal interaction with your readers, or a look into your REAL life and not just a sugar-coated life like a lot of blogs are.

3. One of my favorite bloggers The Shine Project only posts a few times a week. I check her blog almost daily waiting for that next post because they are all such quality posts that I find very uplifting.

4. Only allow a certain number of sidebar ads. If you have 25 ads on your sidebar, it's TOO much. Make it a point to say you only offer a certain amount (i.e. 6-10).

How do you use scarcity to improve your blog? And speaking of improving your blog....

I have teamed up with Simply Clarke and 24 other bloggers to bring you a MEGA Ad Space Giveaway. One winner will win 25 ad spaces on 25 different blogs for the month! That means a ton of exposure for your blog, FREE. On top of that, we tried to make it super easy to enter, so all of the links are Facebook pages. Enter below to win and make sure to thank all the lovely co-hosts - Good Luck!

Also, use promo code SIMPLY20 to get 20% off ANY SIZE ad space on Simply Clarke.

Simply Clarke | Social Ad Space
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The Everyday Joys | Daily Ad 600x100
Elle & Elle | 250x250 Ultimate Feature
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Everyday Thoughts | 250x350
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Southern Beauty Guide | Featured AD Space(300X200)
Getting' Fit Fab | The Most Fittest! 250X250

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