Friday, September 9, 2011

Five Things For Friday, 15th Edition

-1-

For my scripture study the last few months I've been using the "Preach My Gospel" manual as a study guide. It has been really helpful, especially because lately I've been feeling like I need a "quick and easy, hold my hand and tell me what to study" guide to the scriptures-- which is what this is. I am working my way through the whole book but if you need some direction for what to study in your personal scripture study chapter #3 'What Do I Study and Teach" and chapter #6 "How Do I Develop Christ-like Attributes" would be great place to start (If you don't have a copy in your home you can read it online here). I just thought I'd pass along the idea because I know that using "Preach My Gospel" as a study guide has helped me a lot on those days when I know I should study my scriptures but don't really want to. Which, yes, does happen to me... quite often.

-2-

I've had several people request my recipe for pickles and so I thought I'd post it here in case there are more of you who are interested. It is sort of a conglomeration of a few pickle recipes I found on the Internet and in books. I've made them two years in a row and they have turned out great. They are bit stronger tasting than store bought pickles but in my opinion are much better!

Heather's Dill Pickle Recipe
Start with FRESH cucumbers. If you want them to be crisp even after you can them it is important you pick them and can them the same day. If you are just putting them in the fridge (not processing them) then it is okay to use older ones. Soak the cucumbers in an ice bath for a few hours to make sure they are nice and crisp before you slice them. You can slice them in spears, in rounds, or if you have a big enough jar and they are small enough you can keep them whole.

In a large pot combine the following and simmer it on a low heat.

6 cups of white vinegar
3/4 cup pickling or natural sea salt (if you use iodized salt it turns your pickle water cloudy)
1/4 cup sugar
9 cups water (turns out best if you use distilled water)
2 Tbsp pickling spices (tie it up inside cheese cloth)

You want to simmer it long enough that the flavor of the pickling spices comes out into the mixture. Usually you can tell that the pickling spices have released their flavor because the mixture turns a little darker and it smells REALLY good! While that is boiling prepare your jars by adding the following to the bottom each jar:

2 tsp whole mustard seed
1-2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp dill
1 grape leaf or oak tree leaf (they contain alum which keeps your pickles from going mushy, this is a must! You can also use powdered alum if you can't find oak or grape leaves. )

Add your washed and sliced cumbers to your jars. Then take the pickling spices out of the water mixture and pour the boiling mixture over your cucumbers, leaving a 1/2 inch of headroom. You can keep them just like that in your fridge or if you want you can process them for 20 minutes in a water bath or a steam caner. It makes about 7 quarts. It takes them about 2 weeks to pickle well. So even though it is tempting to open them right away and try one, make sure you wait about 2 weeks before you try them!
-3-

I've noticed that one of the Beauty Redefined billboards (that I mentioned in this post) is up along the main street in my city! Every time I drive to my friend's house I pass it and it makes me smile. I sure hope that this campaign spreads! Our society needs these messages so badly.



Here is what the Beauty Redefined website said about their campaign:
"You’ll notice there are no bodies on these billboards. We decided to take bodies completely out of the equation. For women, bodies tend to hog a lot of the attention not only in media but in our lives. We need to expand the conversation about women, about beauty, about health and about happiness AWAY from sizes, weights, shapes and looks. In a media landscape that regularly cuts women’s faces/heads/eyes completely out of images, we’re doing just the opposite! We’re making eye contact, asking for attention to the truthfulness of these messages — not the looks of the girls/women holding the signs."
I am curious if other people in Utah have noticed billboards up where they live?

-4-

I really am NOT very crafty but I am sort of proud of this twin-sized quilt that I made for my son's bed. It is an "inside out" jean quilt that I made out of all our old denim jeans.



It took me FOREVER to make. It turns out that cutting and sewing denim is really tough. Both of my sewing scissors are now dull as rocks and I broke two whole packages of sewing machine needles making it, and it clogged our washing machine up with denim fluff when I washed it... but it is finished! I even made a pillowcase to go with it. I really love how it turned out but it might be awhile before I undertake a quilt again, it was a lot of work!

-5-

I've been contacted by several business in the last few months wanting to advertise on my blog. Most of them have been from wonderful companies that I like and think fit in with the theme and message of my blog. Yet I haven't responded to any of them because I am unsure about how I feel about making money from my blog. The reason I started this blog, and the reason I put so much time into it, is because I can't ignore the prompting from the Lord that this is what He needs and wants me to be doing. I consider it part of my personal ministry and part of my service to the Lord, and so accepting money in return for doing it seems sort of wrong... like practicing a "priestcraft" of sorts. Yet, on the other hand I do put a lot of time into this blog and it would be nice to get some sort of monetary compensation (no matter how small) from it.

So I guess I am wondering how other bloggers have made the decision to accept advertising or not. I'd also be curious to know from my readers if having ads on my blog (they would certainly NOT be in high profile places) would change or cheapen the feel or message of my blog. I realize that my blog is sort of unique-- it doesn't really fit into any of the "normal" blog genres-- but I'd love to hear how others have reconciled this question for themselves or what your opinions about ads are.

Have a beautiful weekend!

If you want to link to your own "Five Things for Friday" post you can use the tool below to add your link. 1) Please link to the URL of your blog post and not your main blog and 2) Please include a link back here.


16 comments:

  1. Ads would NOT keep me away :)
    I knew you'd love the Barbie link!!

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  2. Ads wouldn't keep me away.
    But I don't like them. ;)

    Love the quilt. And I'll probably never be the canning type, but I'm glad you posted your pickles recipe.

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  3. I also like the Book of Mormon Institute manual. It's so much bigger and more complete than when I took it as a freshman a bajillion years ago.

    I absolutely *love* those ads -- haven't seen any in real life though.

    I've had the same worry as well when I've gotten approached to put ads up. But I'm still so new at it that I'm still trying to figure out where I'm going and I worry that I might be affected by the ad thing. You are *much* more established so that probably wouldn't even be an issue.

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  4. You need to be compensated my dear! Put those ads up!

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  5. I ditto Michelle - ads wouldn't keep me from coming back :) You know I love your blog! But, your blog has such a spiritual feel, I think it would kind of change that feel.

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  6. Personally I find that when I'm making a decision if I feel unsure and sort of confused then it's probably not the right decision for me.

    Generally if I feel I need to ask others for their thoughts then I'm probably feeling confused and am looking for guidance, but the confusion IS guidance.

    Don't know if that is applicable for you, but for me this has been helpful.

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  7. have you seen this blog post- awesome!

    http://empoweringldswomen.blogspot.com/

    here in the Boise area, they put HS students that are doing Great things on advertisement billboards. It's pretty awesome!

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  8. I agree. You deserve some compensation. Ads would never keep me away. But, then again, I subscribe via RSS, so the ads don't come to me. But when I do come to your blog, if I saw ads, I'd probably just ignore them. If I did think about them at all, it would be to say, "Hey. She's a SAHM. Any extra income is great. Especially for how much work she puts into this blog." [shrug]

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  9. Ads wouldn't keep me away, but it would change the category of the blog for me.

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  10. I love the quilt, Heather! I'm making my first foray into the quilting world too, so I appreciate how long that must have taken you! Well done. :)
    I'm with you on the billboard ads-- it's about time someone did something like that. It frustrates me to no end that SLC seems to have cosmetic enhancement ads plastered on billboards like most cities advertise for alcohol. It's really unsettling, in my opinion.
    And as far as ads go, they wouldn't keep me away either! :) I understand your internal debate about it, though. I don't know what I'd do in your shoes either. But we'll all love you just the same whatever you choose! ♥

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  11. Ads wouldn't keep me away from here... you should get a little compensation!

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  12. The fact that you struggle with the idea of compensation shows how pure your motives are.

    I have thought about the "priestcraft" issue as well. I suppose it must not be too big of a problem, or Deseret Book would be the King of All Priestcraft - and all the authors of the books that are sold for profit would be complicit.

    Don't sweat it. Just screen your ads carefully. (My 2¢)

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  13. Screen ads carefully. Keep them on the side so they aren't really "in the way." Definitely accept the ads.

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  14. Hey Heather, we've also been approached about ads and are in the same boat. We've been ignoring the offers because we just don't know what to do about them. Lol. So basically I don't have any advice, but just thought I'd let you know you're not alone in your quandary! (Kels @ empoweringldswomen)

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  15. Hi Heather, I'm so looking forward to coming back {when it's not late at night} to read your awesome blog. What a neat concept. I really enjoyed meeting you tonight.

    Warmly, MIchelle

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  16. I love this blog because it feels like a respite from the rest of the world. Ads would change that a little in reminding me about the need/want for material things ;)
    But that's just me and it won't keep me away permanently. I just feel like there's something special about a place devoid of monetary reminders but full of spiritual ones.

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