Monday, October 7, 2013

A Few Thoughts on General Conference

“I know not by what method rare

But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that he has given his Word
Which tells me prayer is always heard
And will be answered soon or late
And so I pray and calmly wait.

I know not if the blessing sought 
Will come in just the way I thought
But leave my prayers with him alone
Whose will is wiser than my own
Assured that he will grant my quest
Or send some answer far more blessed.” 
― Eliza M. Hickok,   Prayer

General Conference was incredible this fall! This was one of my favorite things President Monson shared during the Relief Society Broadcast last Saturday. I also loved the questions that were raised throughout Conference like What are your priorities? and Do you really know how much your Father in Heaven loves and knows you? And, when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir did their rendition of O Divine Redeemer!! 

I love how all of these inspired messages remind me what is truly important in life, like my family, faith, and knowledge of my divine nature and heritage.  The world doesn't seem so big (or so small) when we can re-focus our priorities to what matters most.

Did you know that all of the sessions are already up?!?  I can't remember them ever being up this fast!

I hope you had a great weekend! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Inside the Louvre

The Louvre is a wonderful, magical place filled with all kinds of art you can dream of (and more!)  Once a grand palace, walking around the Louvre will show you that it is pretty much a work of art itself.

Wesley and I went on a Friday night after dinner. In Paris. Talk about the perfect date night!!!! Ironically the worst date I have ever been on also happened at an art museum...I can assure you it wasn't with Wesley and it wasn't at the Louvre...but that's another story for another day ;)

The best part about going on a Friday night....Friday nights after 6PM are free for anyone 26 and under that has a photo ID.  Score!  If only we could go every Friday night until we are 27...if only...sigh.  The other thing that made it perfect is that it wasn't packed.  Granted, it's still the Louvre, so there was still a lot of people, but compared to peak times during the day, it was great.

Here were some of the highlights....

 As you enter the Louvre, you descend under the glass pyramid.  Pretty cool, right?!?

 Winged Victory.  One of the most famous pieces of sculpture on the planet. Are you drooling yet?  
You should be...

Virgin of the Rocks, Da Vinci.  Recognize this one?  It played a part in the Da Vinci Code...

 Everyone crowding to see...

 Mona Lisa, Da Vinci.  Fun of my college essays was about my experience seeing this for the very first time 8 years ago.  Yep, you can even write about art to get into college ;)

 The massive painting that is just opposite the Mona Lisa.  Apparently ^ one person thought it was not very impressive...

"Kristen, look, it's a young Tom Riddle."  Oh Wesley, that's why I love you.

I just loved these...


 This is why the Louvre is almost a work of art itself...

And they had even more art than I could dream of!!

 And when we left, the best art of all:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Two New Favorite Fall Desserts

Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake {recipe here}

Pumpkin Brownies {recipe here}
 I've made both of these in the past few weeks and they are both melt-in-your-mouth-goodness.  The cake takes a little bit of a time commitment, but I promise you is worth every minute.  On the other hand, the brownies take no time at all. So, so delicious.  No, seriously, stop gawking and go make those brownies right now!

Do you have any favorite fall desserts!?!
Linking up with Ashley

Friday, September 27, 2013

Notes on the Harry Potter Filming Studios

This one is for you Ashley!

If you ever have the amazing opportunity to go to London, three things need to be at the top of your to-see list.  The first is Portobollo Road, a famous road filled with true English character and a world famous antiques market every Saturday.  Get there early to beat the crowds and bring cash to purchase your fabulous finds!!  The second is Buckingham Palace with the audio guide.  The palace is gorgeous and you learn so much about the current English monarchy. In pure English fashion, you are given timed arrivals so it is never over crowded.

And the third is the Harry Potter Film Studios Tour. The Studios are outside of London, but easily accessible by train.  The Studios tour picks you up on a  double-decker bus and takes you the rest of the way. The audio tour is also a must and it is self guided so you can spend as much time as you want with your favorite things!  They also let you browse the gift shop while you wait for your time tour to begin (It is twice the size of a Gap Outlet) so you know exactly what you want when your tour ends.  I found a limited edition set design sketch print that I love!! Oh and peppermint toads.  Peppermint toads are a must.  Unlike a lot of the famous landmarks in London, the encourage pictures here, so be sure to bring it (and maybe an extra memory card!)

 I'll let the pictures do the talking for the rest of it!

Before the Tour

 Great Hall Set

 Costume/Props/Set Pieces

 Special Effects

  Backlot Sets

 Make Up

 Diagon Alley Set

 Artwork Planning

Hogwarts Live Scaled Model 

I don't think I'll ever get enough Harry Potter!!!
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