Monday, 26 September 2011


I love this recent talk by President Dieter F Uchtdorf about five things to 'forget not'. It reminds us all about keeping life in perspective and how to be happy now.
(This talk is taken from with the full version available here)

“No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you, with an infinite love.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, gave this loving reminder during the General Relief Society Meeting on September 24, 2011.

Using the forget-me-not flower as a metaphor for his remarks, President Uchtdorf noted that although the flower is small in size, and easily unnoticed among larger flowers, it is still beautiful and vibrant.

President Uchtdorf tied the five petals of the forget-me-not flower to five things women should not forget.

(original source)

Forget not to be patient with yourself:

President Uchtdorf reminded women that everyone has strengths and weaknesses—that no one is perfect, even those who may seem so.

“God wants to help us eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal,” President Uchtdorf said. “It is OK that you are not quite there yet. Keep working on it but stop punishing yourself. “

“Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others,” he added. “Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.”

Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice:

President Uchtdorf defined an acceptable sacrifice as giving up “something good for something of far greater worth.”

“Dedicating some of our time to studying the scriptures or preparing to teach a lesson is a good sacrifice. Spending many hours stitching the title of the lesson into homemade potholders for each member of your class may not be.”

President Uchtdorf noted that every situation is different, and suggested asking, “Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?” in order to distinguish between good and foolish sacrifices.

Forget not to be happy now:

Using an example from the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, President Uchtdorf described how one of the characters, Willy Wonka, hid golden tickets within chocolate bars, promising to reveal wonders to five people who discovered the tickets.

“In their anxiousness, people began to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket,” President Uchtdorf said. Whatever a “golden ticket” may represent to each person, President Uchtdorf warned Relief Society sisters to not put their happiness on hold as they wait for a future event, or golden ticket, to appear.

“The lesson here,” he said,” is that if we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.”

Forget not the “why” of the gospel:

President Uchtdorf said that sometimes, in the routines of daily life, the vital aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ are unintentionally overlooked. “We sometimes see the gospel as a long list of tasks that we must add to our already impossibly long “to do” lists. We focus on what the Lord wants us to do and how we might do it, but we sometimes forget why.”

President Uchtdorf reminded the sisters that the gospel is not an obligation, but a pathway leading to happiness and peace in this life and “glory and inexpressible fulfillment” in the life to come.

Forget not that the Lord loves you:

In closing, President Uchtdorf said, “Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time.”

“You may at times feel a little like the forget-me-not—insignificant, small, or tiny in comparison with others,” he said, noting: “I hope (the forget-me-not) will be a symbol of the little things that make your lives joyful and sweet.”

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The silver screen.

As a great fan of reading, I have mixed feelings when a beloved, treasured book becomes a film. I get all excited in the hopes that the film will be just as amazing as the book but then I get all disappointed when I feel the actors are miscast or that the film hasn't stayed true to the book - because really, the people most interested in watching the film are the ones who have actually read the novel. This boggles my mind about film producers, it really does.

Anyway, you will be happy to know that I have been pleasantly surprised, infact I was overjoyed when I went to see Jane Eyre at the cinema recently as it was absolutely brilliant (many of you might realise this is one of my favourite books ever, I even dared to say it was my favourite book of all time when I finished reading it...which for me is a huge thing). Excellently cast, beautifully filmed. Words cannot describe how much I loved it. So, to all those who might be reading; if you are a fan of period dramas/literary classics becoming motion pictures then I highly recommend this film.

A few more films on my 'watchlist' are Sherlock Holmes 2 and The Three Musketeers. I loved the first Sherlock Holmes with all the witty, fast-talking banter between Holmes and Watson and can't wait for more of it. The Three Musketeers, has Orlando Bloom in it....and that dude who played Mr Darcy in the Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley (which will never replace the BBC Pride and Prejudice which lives deep inside my heart). Yes, it doesn't look too serious and the wig on one of the boys looks pretty atrocious, but who can say "no" to swashbuckling, family-fun action!? Not me!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Tasty tantrums.

Ahh, cooking, that love-hate relationship.
I enjoy cooking and think I'm actually pretty good at it...but then these happy thoughts are often overcome with feelings of hate and loathing for the kitchen.
Between 3pm and 5pm every day, the kitchen and I have a little fight. I always win, but sometimes there are tears and tantrums when I accuse the kitchen of putting roadblocks in my way to cooking perfect meals. However, there have been no major accidents apart from a slightly burnt finger.

It gives me a sort of excitement and buzz to think that I am the creator of nice dinners and I have started to read cookery books just for fun. I always used to enjoy looking up sweet recipes like cakes and cookies, but now I find myself being drawn to dishes that require other ingredients than just flour, sugar and eggs. As a student, I don't want to be making meals that have obscure or expensive ingredients all the I have turned to student cookbooks to help me in becoming a better cook, but without the high price tag. Here is my review of a few of them (and I feel like I can give them a better review then parents buying them for their children off of Amazon):

1. The student cookbook

First off, the pictures in this book of the 'students' is not believable. Late 20/30 year olds in a huge stainless steel kitchen look more like a group of young professionals than actual university students. I think this is where the book should be renamed and remarketed...not as a student cookbook but as a cookbook for young professionals as it is much better aimed at this market. The book isn't always student friendly with recipes using ingredients that wouldn't be found in most students' kitchen or that would be unneccessary purchases just to make the dishes like grilled peaches with pistachios and dates and moussaka-filled aubergines with lamb. However, the book does have a lot of variety with simpler dishes like lemon chicken and toad-in-the-hole so even though I feel like it was written by people who obviously are not students, it does provide a range of recipes that appeals to a wide audience, as there are simpler recipes mixed in with complex unheard of dishes. So you can progress through the book as you become braver in the kitchen!

2. Cooking up a storm

This book is aimed at teenagers and is set out in a very bright, bold way. I got this book when I was a teenager and think that it is perfect in transitioning you into the world of cooking and feeling like you can actually do something useful in the kitchen. I think it's even transitional into using as a student cookbook. Yes, it doesn't look professional at all, but the young teenage boy who wrote the book explains everything clearly and even gives easy cheats to making dishes more quickly - like using jars of lasagne sauce rather than making it all yourself, which would appeal to students! With a lot of non-fuss recipes, I really like this book - 6 years on from when I first got it!

3. From pasta to pancakes - the ultimate student cookbook

This is my favourite student cookbook. I think it's perfect! It contains lots of recipes verging on the easy-peasy like how to cook a jacket potato, make scrambled egg and make a hot chocolate to more impressive dishes like thai green curry and prawn and coconut stirfry. The author made most of these recipes whilst as a student at Newcastle University and so knows first hand what students want to eat and what they have in their cupboards. All her recipes are simple to do as they are well explained and she even lets you know things like how long you can keep leftovers in your fridge for and whether it is safe or not to reheat dishes. Definitely a keeper!