Sierra's View

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Hi, guys. It's been awhile, eh? How are you?
My life is so good. I have been very busy with my health plan and working/teaching 6th grade full time. This two things keep me quite busy and I am grateful for them, but sometimes, after these long days, the last thing that I want to do is write, ya know?
Sometimes it is good to just write an update on our lives. I don't journal as much as I used to. Okay, well, I haven't journaled since June, but you win some, you lose some. So sometimes this blog becomes a journal. A less "personal" journal, that is.
Side note: I never want my children to read some parts of my journal. There are some deep, not-so-kind, sad moments in there. Before I die, I want to rip those pages out so they don't have to read those. I want my children to read my spiritual moments, read the happy parts, and perhaps, even some of the challenging posts. But there are some things written in there that I don't want anyone to read. Does that make sense?

(all photos: my instagram)


Obsesssing over: Snow capped mountains in Utah. No, I do not love winter. When one has to swim oneself through seasonal affective disorder, winter can be challenging. But, I LOVE the cozy feeling that my home gives me during the holiday season. I don't love the cold. I don't love the cloudy, snowy, rainy days. But I LOVE the views of the snow on the mountains. Look, I'm being positive about winter. Aren't you proud?

Working On: MY HEALTH. Update on my health plan. I am down three inches in my waist and one inch in the hips. THREE INCHES, GUYS. This is awesome. I was a little discouraged because I am only down 12 pounds in two months, but when I measured the other day, I realized that my body is altering. It is gaining muscle and altering the overall look. I notice that my clothes fit me better and that is way more important than my weight (at least I need to keep reminding myself that!). It hasn't been easy. I have had some serious down days. I thought that the weight loss was going to move a bit faster, but it is working. Slowly, but surely. And I am working hard and doing what I can, yes, even with a few slip ups. That's what's important, right? (Also, Saylor has FOMO and wanted to be in the picture.)

Thinking About: How grateful I am for this hunk, T Money. How grateful I am for many things in my life! I hate that we aren't as "well off" financially as we could be, I wish we had more money in our savings account. But I am so grateful for my hardworking, loving husband.

Anticipating: THANKSGIVING AND THE BREAK. THE BEST. NEXT WEEK. SO SOON. NEED IT NOW. Also, decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving! Huzzah.

Reading: Well, I am currently reading/listening to FOUR different books right now. I don't know how I do this. I have a huge list of books to read and not enough time. I am in the middle of "The Martian" by   Andy Weir, Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and "I am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai.

Watching: How To Get Away with Murder (live),  The Voice (live), Jane The Virgin (Netflix), and White Collar (Netflix) with T Money. Also, I am watching Saylor attack her poor teddy bear. Poor bear. But look at cute #saylorthepup is. Love her. Also watching BYU Basketball. The season has begun. My favorite sport!

Listening to: "I am Malala" by Malala Yousafzi (what an amazing woman!), Christmas music (I JUST STARTED TODAY. DON'T HATE ME! It snowed this week and it's freezing. How can I not? Plus it puts me in a good mood). I have been listening to General Conference talks and LDS music on my way to and from school and I have noticed a huge difference in my demeanor. Sometimes these uplifting words help my attitude. Also, hello Adele and Carrie Underwood's new albums. So good.

Making: My students stay inside for recess (and blocking the clock so they stop looking at!). My sixth graders have been "on one" recently. This always happens during the holiday season, but it has started earlier than I was expecting. Yikes. It's been a rough couple of weeks with attitude and chaos and loudness. We all need a break, I think. It helps when I get emails from past students' parents with notes like these. Sometimes I need these kind of reminders to reiterate that I am doing a career that I love! I still love those kiddos. :)

My life is so good. Not too much is going on except for a rigid health plan and a rigid sixth grade teacher ;). I am so happy and content. I LOVE the holiday season and I am so grateful for all that I have in my life. I think I need to do some more of these posts. I enjoyed writing this.


What are you grateful for? 
What are some of your updates? 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What's In Your Purse?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc., and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias

My purse is my little sidekick. I find that I am constantly outside of my adorable new home so I am in constant need of all of the essentials in my purse. As the winter time is starting to roll around, sickness is among us. I have been down and out with sickness for a few weeks. And yes, to be honest, I am sick of it! 10 points for alliteration. (The life of a teacher. In both senses ;) ). Because I am just getting over being sick, I need to build up my immune system again. I am constantly hauling around Vitamin C, Advil to help with sinus headaches, and natural vitamins to help boost my immune system in my purse. My friends like to make fun of me because I always have everything in my purse: gloves (in the winter), sunglasses (in the summer), gum, q-tips, bobby pins, medicine, Advil, chapstick, lipstick, etc. Hey, I just want to be prepared! I take my Mary Poppins purse as a compliment, thank you. 

Got my "Mary Poppins" purse stocked full and I am ready to go out! 

There are many things that I keep in my purse, essentially during the winter time. I always have Advil, my Emergen-C Vitamin Chewable, and Centrum Daily Vitamints. 

I carry these items for the following reasons: 
Centrum Daily Vitamints- These new Centrum Vitamints are adult multivitamins with a refreshingly minty taste that you can take/enjoy any time of day without food or water. I am constantly on the go, in my car or in my classroom and sometimes I do not have the luxury of having food or water with me. This is the perfect way to get these daily vitamins while in a hurry. And they taste pretty good as well! 
Emergen-C Vitamin Chewable: Helps boost my immune system! It helps with my more healthy days, more healthy nights. 
Advil Tablet Vial: Nothing's stronger, longer lasting or better on your tough aches and pains than Advil, and nothing works on more pains than Advil (among OTC pain relievers). 

Along with my "healthy" items, I find that I am always keeping gum, lipstick, Tide To Go (because, let's be honest, I am always spilling), and pens, in case they are needed. Which, in fact, all of these items are ones that I am digging out on a regular basis. 

What are some of your personal purse favorites? 

I found these products under "Personal Care" and "Multivitamins/Headache" aisles specifically, at my local Walmart.  The advil was located by the checkout stand!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How We Wore It // Darker Fall Tones

I am so excited to be involved in yet another How We Wore It with my friend Brooke (go say hi and you can sign up for next month's How We Wore It!). 

I am so grateful for all of the support that I have received from all of you regarding my Health Plan. I am down eight pounds (Three more! Yay! But it's not just about weight for me). With that being said, I am still not comfortable in front of a camera, but I am working on it! I spent all last week in bed with a horrible fever. So that was fun. Not.
I am so happy that this month's HWWI is plaid. Because, well, I'm basic. And basic girls wear plaid, especially in the fall. Yes, I have three plaid shirts…and counting. HUZZAH. 

See my other awesome (ha!) How We Wore It and Fashion Posts below:
Vest It Up (HWWI)

Here's the third grade version of how this thing works: We take a picture from a fashion blog and make our own twist to it. 
Here is the original photo: 

via StyleLovely

Go see how these beautiful ladies styled it! 

Brooke at Silver Lining
Alexa at He and I
Aubrey at Aubrey Zaruba
Hannah at Hannah Rae
Sharlee at My New Lines
Berkley at Berkley Anne
Amy at Harris Inc.
Brooklyn at Brooklyn Jolley
Amy at Lamb & Ivy
Autumn at Stay Gold Autumn
Brielle at Breezy and Co
Riley at Riley Jo Blog
Maren at Maren and Co
Kyla at FordOlogy
Robin at Penn & Quill
Shelbie at R+S Brereton
Jennifer at Jennifer Sikora
Sarah at My For Real Life
Deidre at Deidre Emme
Rachel at Rachel Sayumi

Sunday, October 25, 2015

New Life Lessons Learned.

I have recently come to the conclusion that everyone needs to have a day where they exclude themselves from the world and just think. Think of what they truly want, how they are living, what they want to do eventually. I had one of those days today. Actually, I spent the entire day just crying on a park bench. But realizing things about yourself isnt the easiest thing to do. Here are some things I have learned throughout the past few weeks and hours: (note: "You" means "us")

Me. First day of kindergarten. I am the same. 

1. I have learned that the Lord is going to kick you while you are the ground. Not because he is a heartless fool, but because he wants us to learn to get up on our own. Our mom isn't going to help us feel better about ourselves. Your husband isn't going to make you have more worth. We have to wipe the dirt off our hands and learn how to stand up. I have fallen on the ground many times in my life. And I will continue to fall. But somehow finding a way to put a smile on your face is all you can do. I'm grateful the Lord doesn't give me everything I ask for.

2. Kate Winslet in The Holiday sums up my life pretty well in this quote: "I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn't know you had inside you. And it doesn't matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends... you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy.And after all that, however long all that may be, you'll go somewhere new. And you'll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade." --P.S. Kate Winslet is incredible.
Heartache will come to all of us. Heartache will come in forms of loneliness, divorce, break ups, not feeling close to the Savior, Depression, etc. Heartache is inevitable. It's how you continue on with life even when your heart is aching. 

3. Expectations that you have of others does not mean that they will be met. Just because you believe that you should be treated a certain way does not mean that you WILL be treated that way. 

4. I've learned to be Kind. You never know how is fighting a harder battle than you. That just one person complimentingme makes my day.That being kind is more important than being right. Everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. But conversely, when someone doesn't-don't take it personally. Some people aren't as bubbly. And if they seem like they have a hard shell, I KNOW there is someone who is aching and just wants to be loved beneath that facade.

5. I've realized that teaching kids can bring you so much joy. I had been sick and been in my bed for days and I have missed my sixth graders. I know that they have no guile and keep me honest. 

6. I've learned that I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way. I worry about my family and friends constantly. I tend to be a worryer. But praying softens my heart, and hopefully theirs too.

7. I've learned that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with. That you need to act immature and laugh. Laughter heals.

8. A hug can change your day. Or just someone asking whats wrong. I tend to feel lonely at times and when someone sends me a text or asks how I am doing--it truly helps. And although, I dont always respond with truth, It feels good to know that people care. Sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

9. It's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular. When the sun shines, it seems to make everyone else smile. Waking up to the birds singing, or the look of Fall leaves-it brings peace.

10. I've learned that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. Happy people are more beautiful. They don't need makeup or high fashion clothes to make themselves feel better. They need a smile and a positive attitude.

11. Lastly, I've learned that: life is tough, but I'm tougherHappiness has it's own of taking it's sweet time. And when you feel completely down, family will ALWAYS be thereStrength is not physical, it's mental. Some of the strongest people I know, were dying of cancer at the time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


We decided that Landon and Jenny's couple celebrity name is Lenny. You can thank my brother in law for that one. It's too hilarious.
My brother got married over Fall Break. It was a fun, exhausting and beautiful day. I am so happy for my brother and his new bride! I get my first (and only) Ainge sister in law! We are excited to welcome Jen to the family.
We had a rehearsal dinner at Jen's uncle's barn (where a serious game of whiffleball happened, of course.) They were married in Bountiful and the reception was up at Snow Basin in Ogden Canyon. It was a perfect Fall day and the entire day was gorgeous. My nieces LOVED dancing and twirling in their sparkly gold dresses and everyone looked so good! (These are just photos taken from my camera, not the photographers.) You can see more photos from this day on my instagram.

Rehearsal Dinner

The Wedding.

me and my sisters. 

All of my nieces and nephews (minus Baby Harrison). All of the Ainge cousins. 

me and my grandpa (I look like him! Ha!) 


The whole Ainge side! My family. 

Bride and Groom with the Ainge Sisters (yes, Landon has 4 sisters! Ha!) 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Five Reasons Why Cats ARE Awesome.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#MyCatMyMuse #CollectiveBias

Cats have a bad reputation. I know, I know. Cats can be neurotic and kind of, well, not nice. Haha. But I am here to set the record straight with kitties. They aren't as bad as you think, people. I mean, I love dogs, too. Hello, we all know that I am obsessed with Saylor, the pup (let's be honest, I am just an all around animal lover.) I love hanging out with Boo and Luna and Boo's other little kittens at my in law's house. They are so dang cute! Here are the reasons why cats are alright in my book:

They will (sometimes) cuddle with you. 
I had cats growing up who would let me walk with them. They would walk me to the bus stop every day and they would cuddle with me. If you get the right cat, they are awesome, adorable, cuddly and fun.

You can plot with the cat when you're planning to kill someone. 
Sometimes you look at a cat and they look like they just want to kill you, someone, or just something. They give you that death stare and it's ridiculous. But, if you want to kill someone, you can always ask them ;) #ChronicMadFace

They kill mice! 
We all hate mice, lets be honest. They are disgusting, rotten creatures and we all want them dead. Here is where the cat comes in to save the day.

They are easy to take care of. 
You don't have to put them on a leash and take them outside to use the restroom, you don't have to take them the groomer, or take them for walks. You can leave food out for two weeks and leave.

They don't try to mooch off you like your dog does & you can feed them yummy cat food.
Saylor will literally sit there and stare at me as I eat. It is so annoying. Anytime that I walk into the kitchen, she will run in and sit at my feet. Cats won't always do that. They like their own food.

My favorite food to give Boo and Luna, the kitties that I share with my in laws is the

Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food

I like to give Boo and all of her kittens this particular cat food because with Muse you don’t have to choose between natural nutrition and food that tastes great. Your cat can have both when you choose Muse.  Muse cat food is only available at PetSmart and I love to buy it there because when I get Saylor's dog food, I just double whammy it! This product is natural and the kitties love it so much; it is a quality food product for my cats. 

Muse cat food has delicious wet recipes available in Chowder, Broth, and Paté. They are made with real fish or poultry, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives are included, and it is a 100% complete and balanced meal for adult cats. With Muse, there are 30 different recipes and 24 grain-free varieties that you can choose from.

mmmm yummy cat food ;) 

It looked so yummy that Boo had to come in and try it! (Flash hurts her eyes! ha). 

Natural has never been so delicious. Put Muse to the test with our clean plate guarantee. Boo and Luna definitely did when I gave them this delicious wet cat food. 

I found this product in the "cat chow" aisle at my local PetSmart. 

Use this coupon to get your own Muse cat food today!

What are some other reasons why you love your kitty? 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review: Happier at Home

I am linking up with my lover bucket, Bonnie, to share this book with you all today! I love to read, but sometimes I am bombarded with grading, my health plan, and well, just, life. I am grateful that this online book club encourages me to keep reading, like I do with all my of students.

The novel that I recently read was Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. I am happy that this book was the chosen one for this month because I just finished The Happiness Project this past summer.
(Also, remember when Gretchen Rubin tweeted at me the other week on twitter. No big deal. I'm basically famous now.) 

Overall, I liked it. No, I did not love it. (My same opinion goes for Happiness Project) I like the idea of it. I think that it had some wonderful quotes, ideas, and it is still inspiring for you to change something on your own personal level so that you can become "Happier at Home." I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads. This novel is about a woman's personal journey and monthly goals to make herself feeling more comfortable, happy, and at peace at home.

Here are some of my thoughts:

*The Quotes
I loved a lot of quotes in this book. I love quotes and am sort of a quote fiend. I make collections in books, on my phone, and anywhere that I can possibly imagine. I thought that the author did a great job of involving some interesting, thought provoking quotes.
For example:
-"Feeling right is more elusive. Feeling right is about virtue (doing my duty, living up to my own standards) and also about living the life that's right fro me. Sometimes choosing to "feel right" means accepting some "feeling bad." Happiness doesn't always make me feel "happy." my feeling "right" is reflected in the ways to make my home reflect my values. My ordinary routine should reflect the things most important to me."
-"We are happy when we are growing. Striving after goals is what makes you happy."
-"Personal Control is a very important element to happiness.

*The Ideas
-The strange thing about this book was it didn't work for me as either a self-help book or a memoir, but yet I am supremely glad I read it for the helpful reminders and tidbits of wisdom sprinkled throughout. I am grateful for the day-to-day On one hand some of Rubin's discoveries about herself, people and the code that she lives resonated with me. For example, her reminder that we are happiest when we are growing meant a lot to me. Also, I could have blessed her for her understanding that opposites can be true at different times. For example, at some times we need to be more organized, but at other times we need to back off. I appreciated her embracing the fact that things aren't always black and white and easy like so many self-help books want their readers to accept. I don't agree with all of her ideas and goals (some of them seems kind of trivial to me), but I agree wholeheartedly with her reminder that we can only change ourselves and not to try to change others. This is how most of the book went for me, hmmm I don't agree with that, but hey! that is a great idea. So, back and forth it went, but at the end I have to say I am glad I read it.

Have you read this book?
What did you think about it? I would love your thoughts.

Other Book Reviews: Happiness Project// Wild // Elizabeth Smart: My Story //