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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

All Things Purple Top Ten of 2011

For your reading and viewing enjoyment, click each title...

TEN.  I Will Survive!

NINE.  Everlasting Hopefulness

EIGHT.  Another Chapter in My Project

SEVEN.  A Few Things I Cannot Photograph

SIX.  An Angel Has Flown

FIVE.  The Best Pumpkin Cookie Recipe Yet Written

FOUR.  A Bit of Small Talk

THREE.  The Best White Bread Recipe Yet Written

TWO.  My Hope For Eternity

ONE.  In Her Footsteps

When I began this adventure, I could never have known how well-loved my poetry and other musings would become. All I can do is look forward to the approaching year and what is in store for All Things Purple: the blog. Knowing that people like what I share causes me to hope more than I dared to before and to see that I can reach farther than I thought possible.

Thank you for reading, enjoying, and sharing these pieces of my heart.

Reflection and Resolution

I will preface my list with an explanation...

I don't really believe in making New Year's Resolutions. There is something all too shallow about a practice so widely unsuccessful and, in reality, hailed for its ineffectiveness. Statistics, comic strips, jokes, etc. displaying the ridiculousness of the practice keep me from participating. I am a goal-driven sort of person, and if I make the effort to set a goal, creating a joke out of it just bothers me and it is not worth my time. I take my goals seriously; probably too seriously at times, I am sure.With all these things said, I would like to take the opportunity to share some of the hopes I have for this coming year.

a sense of the future

I can write forever in my spirit
The night dims unseeing eyes,
Closes one path for me,
Opening my eyes to love

I can see forever in this moment
The light that shines between us
Creates a spark of hope
Leading me to love you

I will feel forever in your embrace
The confidence always shared
Inspires a thread of words
Proving you will love me

I can hear forever in a whisper
The remembrance brought to mind
Heals a wound from love
Giving new love through you

Honesty and the Forgotten Tradition

Monkey #2 came to me and said, Mom, we forgot to go caroling this year. I looked at him and, for a moment, wished I could let him believe that statement.

I have taken my children caroling during every Christmas season for around twelve years now. I took them by myself most of that time. I took them when it was freezing outside. We went even if everyone promised they hated singing. We went even though I knew I would be singing a solo with a few back up singers in sections. We went because I know how much fun it is to feel the Holy Spirit as you sing praises on someone's doorstep and how it brings everyone the gift of music during Christmas time. You don't need money to go caroling, just a faithful heart and the courage to sing.

But, life as I know it has been crumbling around me for a very long time. I have had to learn survival tactics, such as recognizing when you just shouldn't do something--no matter how fun or fabulous it might have been--because you will be frazzled the whole time and then, it isn't really fun or fabulous anyway. So it is just better to cut your losses. That seems to be my new theme for life: Cut your losses and Keep your sanity.

I {heart} Music

From a very young age, the love of music was instilled in my heart. I like to sing; listening to music is part of daily life around my house; I enjoy watching movie musicals; going to live musical theater makes my heart sing. With these facts about myself made known, I am impressed to include music on my blog. I have heard, from time to time, that some people do not like blogs with music players on them. But, I know music is an essential layer of my blog. My hope is that as I very carefully choose the songs that play on here, my readership will come to know me better and will be able to accept the entire package found on All Things Purple: the blog. Or, at the very least, not get bothered.

As we prepare for a fresh new year, I have curated yet another set of musical selections for the All Things Purple community to enjoy. And as always, suggestions for new or possibly new to me songs/artists are very welcome.

The Santa Conspiracy

At my house growing up, Santa Claus always wrapped our gifts in the most beautiful paper--different from the rest; with the largest, most shiny bows on top; and the tags were always written in the most perfect handwriting possible. He (she, my mother) stuffed the stockings with treats, gadgets, and thoughtful little gifts. And Santa ALWAYS left a 2 lb. box of Nuts 'n' Chews from See's Candies, my mom and dad's favorite kind. I think that is why I prefer the soft centers--I got burned out on all that chewy stuff!

The sad part about all this lovely preparation is that my Santa bubble was burst, on purpose, when I was around five years old. I do not like to (nor ever really do) talk about these two people, but without some explanation you will not understand--

I had two older half siblings who found joy in torturing and abusing me. This year, that Santa's origin was revealed to me, is the first memory of their abuses that has been seared upon my heart.  If I think too hard on it, I can still feel the wound. It's probably because it opens up the door for recollection of all the more heinous crimes. Although, stealing the magic of a child's Christmas is quite the crime...

The Refiner's Blowtorch

When life is beating you hard against the rocks, 
When you can not see the silver lining,
When children do opposite from what you taught,
When chaos looks like the force that's guiding, 
When choices are almost always made for you,
When family mandates harsh abandon, 
When lack of money shackles what you can do,
When love and disdain comes from the same one,
When pain overwhelms the strongest of the strong,
When death's darkness rapidly encroaches,
When everything slashes at your happiness, 
When everything seemingly crushes your hope,

they say it's called the Refiner's fire. 

I say-- it's more like a scorching Blowtorch.

I'm a mess, but am I a beautiful one?

I was chatting on Facebook with some cousins and they recommended Jason Mraz to me. I asked, Is he a guy or an author? I guess the answer would have been yes for both, but whatever. (I have books on the brain and think everyone's an author until proven otherwise.) They quickly let me know that Jason Mraz is a singer/songwriter and that they think I might like his stuff. Never having heard of him before, but trusting the thoughtfulness of these two cousins of mine, I invited them to share their favorite songs via youtube.

Does my family know me, or what?!  

"A Beautiful Mess" is most likely my new favorite song. The words touch a tender chord in me. All I can think is how I wish for this to be my song, though I do not have someone who sees me with this perspective. I want someone who sees that I can do everything in the state that I am, not changed into something they want me to be. Then, on the other hand, it's also just an overly romantic catalyst for self-pity and crying and I should stop listening to it out of self-preservation.

Either way, the music and lyrics float ever so softly across my body and soul and take me away to Neverland—for just a moment.

Favorite lines from A Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz:

Belandaria Designs Meets The Purple Lady

What do you get when you combine forces of a Purple Maven and a Jewelry Artisan Supreme? 

The beginning of something so purplicious you won't be able to stop yourself from joining in...

The Purple Lady Gets Her Photograph Taken

I have this amazing friend. Her smile is sunshine personified. She gives of her time and talents like they're going out of style. And one of her talents happens to be photography-- one of my favorite things ever.

It had been WAY too long since we had done a photo session, or even hung out for that matter. So, last week we did the whole carpe diem thing, bit the bullet, stopped to smell the roses, and took a load of fabulous photographs!

The location is on the campus of Brigham Young University. 

Hope you enjoy these as much as we did creating them. 

Crossed Quote Taken Out of Context

I think about the journey I have been on so far in life, school, motherhood, blogging, and I can only sit back and be amazed that I am still standing. This goes for nearly everyone I know as well. Each day that we pass through teaches us new things. Some days are difficult to choke down, some nearly choke us to death with tears, while some show us what joy is all about.

Most of my days have been absolutely peppered with stress and heartache-- for about four years now, yet I can still smile. I read blog posts, at least once a week, about people suffering with major illness or financial ruin or grief over some type of loss. We are all going through the fire that might refine us.

I am reminded of a section of the novel Crossed by Ally Condie as I ponder on the difficult journey we all are on right now. Ky and Indie are in the canyon. Indie asks him a personal question and Ky thinks to himself,
I don't want to answer but I can tell we're on the edge. It's as though she holds to the walls of the canyon. If I move wrong she will look over her shoulder, let go, and take her chances with the fall.
This reminds me too much of the canyon walls I am climbing right now, except I am Ky and Indie put together. I see both sides and can place myself in either shoes.

holiday haiku

I have written a few selections of haiku for your reading enjoyment this holiday season:

Hot Chocolate

marshmallows melting
cocoa aroma wafting
cooling, then tasting!

Christmas Lights

drive through the city
crooning our necks to see
electric magic


Love in a package
confined with ribbons and bows
tangible delight

New Year's Eve

forgetting, remembering
time to start anew

Mindy Gledhill: the Epitome of Whimsical

This will be the second time I have featured Mindy Gledhill for a Whimsical Wednesday, and it's because she fits like a puzzle piece into the last empty spot. Her singing voice has a sparkle to it and she puts out these fabulously unique  music videos: chock full of texture, color, feeling. I am officially enchanted.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I did!
And please, don't forget to scroll down and pause the music player prior to starting the video.

I {heart} Purple Hearts - Purple Quotes 8

Since I was a young girl, I have loved hearts and flowery things. The first thing I think about is how I used to have this pair of tights with hearts speckled all over them like tiny little polka dots and I wore them until they were WAY too small.

Another thing I think about when I see heart-shapes is all the love that I have in my life. I love my children so dearly; my family loves me and I love them; and there are too many friends for me to count whom I love very much.

Then, there is the love of the Savior, my Redeemer, who loves me and provides me with an ever watchful care through all the stages of my life. I could not make it through some of the trials I experience without my testimony of His redeeming love.

a delicate strength

I meet this day with trepidation,
although I know inside I should not fear.
My head and heart are disconnected,
and I cannot tell what is most dear.

People come and go around me,
yet I am quite the solitary soul.
No one here to hear my cries.
No one here who wants my goals.

I feel my loneliness so poignantly
that I can nearly touch it with my hand
until I remember who I am--

I am strong.
I am beautiful.
I am intelligent.
I am me.

And someone will see me.
Someone will care.
I just cannot see when.
I just cannot see who.

Why Did I Watch That Movie?!

I just finished watching the worst movie I have seen in a long time.

I really try to be choosy with what I watch, so I don't have to say stuff like I just said very often. Like, I can't even remember when was the last time I made that statement. Well, until just three sentences ago.  And now you can probably get a feel for how CRAZY. STUPID. Crazy Stupid Love turned out.

Christmas Decor DIY Project

Last Saturday was simply fabulous. I got to hang out with my crafty sister-in-law (you can check out her awesomeness on My Artistic Ventures) and two of her friends. We crafted all afternoon. I can't quite pin down what was so magical about the day, but it just was. Trust me. Beads, glitter, paint, and ribbon somehow equal bliss when combined with a few intriguing and intelligent people to hang out with.

So anyways, I thought I would do a short DIY instruction and show off what I put together. This will be my first DIY craft post (and possibly my last if it turns out goofy) so just ask any questions in the comments and I will attempt to give quick replies.
Photographed by The Peacock Girl

my perfect square

When I was born, I was an untouched square. Then—life happened.
Crumpled, torn, ripped, and shorn: all providing experience.
Crumpling helps me find courage, when afraid, to speak out against atrocities.
Tearing strengthens me against weakness when I want to fall apart.
Ripping to bits proves that I can pull myself together; no matter how impossible it may seem.
Now, I am in the midst of my shearing: shorn of pride, shorn of dignity, shorn of happiness.
As with shearing of sheep, once this season has passed, once I have learned what I should,
I will grow more beautiful—pure and white and untouchable—once it is over.  

*inspired by the children's book Perfect Square by Michael Hall

broken hearts heal

My heart broke. 

While time flew by me, I stood still.

Confidence departed as anxiety and grief moved in.

No matter the day, I continue to stand still, afraid to move forward, afraid of change.

Loving used to be my nature, giving selflessly without any thought of receiving.

Will I know how to love if love ever takes root again?

The pieces of my fragmented, ripped-apart heart will never go back together the same, 
 but I hope to heal and love and be loved back. 

Hearts heal.

So mine will, too
(I hope).

Seeking To Become - December

In church today, there was a lesson on giving and I was deeply moved by it. The scriptures the teacher referenced brought to mind several instances in my life when I have been the giver and the receiver of true Christian generosity.

One of those memories was from the morning my mother passed away. I don't recall the details exactly, but this is the way I remember it:

I got the call from one of my brothers around 4 a.m. and spent some time freaking out at my house, then, at some point, I contacted my best friend, told her the news, and left to go be with my brothers and father. She lived about 40 minutes away from my parents' home and I lived about 10, but somehow she arrived when I got there (or at least so it seemed). I will never forget the hug she gave me and how, immediately after the initial shock passed, she produced a warehouse-store sized box of yogurt-dipped granola bars. This act would not have been quite so important, except she and I were both pregnant and her intuition told her that we would need a treat and that was what she had on hand, so she brought it. I believe I thanked her right away and between everyone at the house, the entire box was inhaled in no time at all. Although the granola bars were a simple offering, they mean so much to me to this day. I can't see a box of them without recalling the thoughtful compassion my friend showed that tragic morning.

what my childhood tasted like

Red Licorice: reminds me of all the movies we'd see at the drive-in over on Mojave and Lamb

Black Licorice: horrific abuses left a bad taste in my mouth to this day

Penny-candies: undeserved freedom to walk to the 7-11 on Nellis

Dad's hot sauce: the stink of it filling the house once a year, burning my throat without taking a bite

Hickory Farms: New Year's Eve ALWAYS had a platter with crackers, too

Grilled cheese sandwiches: quick dinner I loved

Large pot of spaghetti: ate this too often

Grape lip gloss: I have been a Lip Smackers junkie from about age 8 to present day

Barbeque ribs: the buffet at Railroad Pass in Boulder City

When my brothers and I were still kids, I was the only one that was allowed to get the ribs at the buffets because my little brothers would make such a raving mess out of them. I remember when my dad let one of them get some--my mom came unglued!

To this day, barbeque ribs are one of my favorite foods. They taste good and I have so many fun memories while eating them.

My Journey With Autism

My Journey With Autism...Thus Far

after the diagnosis
against all expectations
within a few years I inched
toward comprehension of this unknown thing
by means of reading and studying anything I can get my hands on
except I cry sometimes
along with celebrating the milestones
in spite of those milestones not being in "proper" order
into high school she goes
out of my protective sight
beyond my control
around kind people most of the time
unlike anything she has done before
amid doubts on my part
for all children like her
onto the bus she goes
instead of having her stay home
since I know it will help her-- and bless everyone who sees her

BYU vs. U of U Food Drive - PTGS 11

Crush and Cosmo working the BYU vs. U of U Food Drive

Brigham Young University and the University of Utah hold an annual rivalry food drive to benefit the needy in the community.

To help fill the seats at the basketball game last Tuesday and to fill the shelves of the food bank, BYU offered the community one ticket to get into the game for every 3 cans of food or $3. The pre-game festivities were held in the new broadcasting building, which houses BYUtv, so good times were had by all.

Here is Cosmo the Cougar doing his part to get the fans all revved up before the game.

Thanks Cosmo for being such a good sport!

Taking a Poca Siesta

My dad was raised in West Texas on the poor side of the tracks and so he was blessed to have a great deal of Hispanic friends growing up. I used to think he was full of garbage when he would get going speaking his version of what he called Tex-Mex Spanish. I called it Spanglish and, at times, even just Dad is Nuts! Now that I am learning Spanish myself, I wish he were alive so I could re-witness his fluency. My memory recalls things he said and he really did understand and know a good deal of this foreign language he swore was Tex-Mex Spanish.

I feel ashamed to admit I thought he was stretching the truth all the time (aka LYING to us) in his stories about himself. I honestly believed he was the originator of the Tall Tale and did not doubt my belief until after he passed away several years ago. One of his sisters once told me he would get telling some of the most outrageous stories as a child and my impression concurred.

gratitude: an acrostic poem

Giving and sharing
Realizing blessings
Always looking for ways to serve others
Teaching by example
Increasing faith 
Taking time to show appreciation
Uplifting music inspires
Doing the best that I can
Ever remembering Him who grants me all that I am

Old New Spice Video

This funny guy, Stephen Jones, was in my Shakespeare class back in the day. Not until about a year after that class did I realize he was getting his name out there in the world. All I knew is that he was really nice, almost as lost as I was at times, and super funny. This youtube video is a bit old, but it makes me smile every time I watch it!

I remembered about his library video because he posted to Facebook a link to another video (actually a contest commercial) he has been working on with some other folks and I thought you all might enjoy the new stuff as well. If you like it, vote for it!



don't forget to scroll to the bottom and pause the music player.

Realizing Beauty

I have this thing about hair. It is a sort of inner struggle.

To explain, I used to have extraordinarily thick hair. And I used to wear it really long. That statement normally would not be anything to have issue with except for the hair elastics that used to break all the time when I would attempt to wear a ponytail or a braid. Yet that is not the end of it-- my hair started to fall out in my mid-20's. So after going to the dermatologist about it, I was told it was a genetic issue which would not go away. ever. and I cut my long, curly locks off, never to grow them out again.

Replacing Poison with Gratitude

Writing a list of things I am grateful for isn't very original, yet I think it is an important thing to do from time to time, and I am feeling the need to express gratitude to counteract my negativity from yesterday. I am trying to eradicate the poison from the well!

Ten Things I am Thankful For Right Now and Why:

1. Getting to and from school in my old van without it breaking down. a miracle.

2. Having a refrigerator full of delicious, nutritious, and fresh food. essential. 

3. Typing on a laptop with internet connection. essential for school. luxury for everything else.

4. Living in a comfortable home that I can afford. peace of mind.

5. Seeing and talking to friends almost every day. rejuvenating.

6. Having good healthcare benefits for my children and me. comforting.

7. Going to the university of my choice. dream come true.

8. Writing a blog that more than just my BFF and I read. another dream come true.

9. Taking my Spanish test this morning with an overwhelming sense of calm. priceless.

10. Knowing God loves me. beyond priceless.

I Could Go On and On and On

The beginning of winter days have been running into each other and I can hardly keep any one of them straight. Straight out of my nice warm bed, racing to get everyone out of the house--on time--to school. School is nearing semester's end and I do not know if I have learned enough of what I should. Should I be worried? Worried and tired, I want more than anything to sleep after the long, tiresome, tiring, full of learning day. Day arrives again with the rising of the sun and I have been helping with a sick relative, while keeping up with all the demands of a growing, changing family. Family is the reason I keep on going. Going and going and going...

a movie and a song

Beginning note:
Christina Perri's A Thousand Years is a beautiful song! I enjoy the lyrical video style, too. With new songs, it is advantageous to see the words in order to comprehend the meaning of the song more quickly. I think so, anyway. The symbolism of the apple, flower, satin, and chess pieces ties the books with the song and just premiered feature film, Breaking Dawn: Part 1 quite seamlessly. The literature/film/music layering gets my teacher-self all excited about the possibilities.

On a different note:
A thousand years seems like a long time. Although, when looking at the larger picture, it really is not that much time at all. The world has changed so much in the past TWO thousand years and people have been able to record that history. Plus more.

When discussing love and commitment, there is such a thing as time without end—where the clock never runs out. I want MORE than a thousand years. Only Eternity will do it for this lady. 

Final note:
Here's hoping Breaking Dawn the movie can impress as much as Breaking Dawn the book did—much more please.

We're all about wanting more today.

Seeking to Become - November

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalms 136:1 

Endeavoring to become more like Christ is a simple act, though, at times, making some of the changes can be difficult. The cultivation of more spiritually-minded habits takes work for those of us who are just establishing our spiritual selves, which pretty much includes everyone. This monthly focus has helped me to realize how much I already know about living a Christ-centered life and how much I just don't do, but want to implement into everyday life.

One essential part of becoming more like Jesus Christ is having gratitude for all our blessings. Simply recognizing what those blessings include can be the initial showing of our thankfulness. There are a great deal of blessings in my life that I take for granted, such as clean water to drink and to wash my body with, yet as I sit here pondering on it, I feel blessed and humbled in this recognition of what I have been given. Too many people in the world, right now, are without this basic comfort. I call attention to this because each person everywhere has much to be thankful for and as we learn to express gratitude to the Father and His Son for the blessings we do have, we might not think so much on what we lack.

Until next time, please join me in working to recognize all blessings and giving more gratitude for them through word and deed. My hope is that by doing so we may better realize His loving grace in each of our lives.

related links:

Seeking to Become: October

Seeking to Become: September

Seeking to Become: August

Movie Mars Book's Reputation

When I think of Twilight, the movie version, all I can say is: Why? The book gave them so much more to work with. Truthfully, I almost didn't read the book due to my less-than-impressed impression of the movie adaptation.

Some people might like that first film, but I will be the first person advocating a remake as soon as it is decent to do so. I had to watch the movie along with reading the book for a YA Literature course and it took me three sittings to finish it. I fell asleep two times, within the first 30 minutes of it starting, and the only reason I finished it the third try without falling asleep was because I sat uncomfortably and in broad daylight to help myself get through it.  I dreaded reading the book. But after reading it, I realized that my issue was with the movie. Seriously. That is NOT a captivating movie. The acting and transitioning between scenes is choppy and lack-lustre. period.

New Moon and Eclipse were progressively better productions. Hence, I believe we can certainly count on the newest film Breaking Dawn:Part 1 to make up the difference for Twilight's shortfall.

Here's to learning hard lessons and may Breaking Dawn: Part 1 bring down the house!

One week left to go...

a recipe to go with a recipe

So when you make bread (using the all things purple: The Best White Bread Recipe Yet Written recipe) and it doesn't quite go right, the following recipe is a fantastic way to keep from just throwing all that hard work into-- the trash.
Most people use a loaf of French bread for the French Toast Casserole, but I use messed up homemade bread.

French Toast Casserole

1-2 loaves Messed up bread (or French bread) cut into 1" cubes
8 eggs
3 cups milk
4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt, optional

2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. sugar
2-4 tsp. ground cinnamon (to taste)

Coat a 9x13 (or if you are doubling it--a half sheet) pan with cooking spray.
Spread bread pieces evenly in pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt.
Pour mixture over bread.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Dot with butter.
Combine cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the top.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes
OR once an inserted knife comes out clean.
Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
Syrup only necessary for the sweet tooth in the family, use if desired.

This dish goes a long way and most people like it a lot. I came up with the idea to use messed up bread in it because I mess my bread up about every 1 in 10 times I bake it. So, I got resourceful.
I don't like to waste--especially not food--when I can help it.

 And so you know, gorgeous bread works just as well!

Thank You Very Much!

Just wanting to say thanks to everyone who is reading, enjoying, and subscribing to my blog. I have been overwhelmed with positive feedback and encouragement. Keep it coming.
The song isn't precisely what I am trying to say to you due to the context, but it is my absolute favorite from Scrooge. Therefore, I shamelessly take this fabulously morbid song out of context and transform it into an offering of gratitude.

This second part from the ending is less funny (well not funny at all), but I love to see how even the hardest of hearts can change and how it transforms everyone around them.
Gotta love repentance!

{edited and reposted. original from 4/2011}

The Awful Waffle: the Opposite of Awful

When you read the words the awful waffle, what do you assume?
I assumed the owner wanted to create an establishment people couldn't easily forget by using an oxymoron, rhyming, and straight-up shock value. Calling your stuff awful seems counterintuitive, although for this outdoor, walk-up style, gourmet Belgian waffle cafe, it works.
Pumpkin Pie Waffle and Mint Hot Chocolate

At the suggestion of the waitress/cook/cashier, I ordered the Fall Special: the Pumpkin Pie Crepe (except I chose a waffle base). The very first thing I want to say is-- I want another one! This Pumpkin Pie Belgian Waffle was heavenly. Belgian waffles are one of my favorite breakfast foods to start with, but the texture of this Belgian waffle was simply fabulous with a nuttiness to it, cooked to toasty perfection. Then to top it off, the crushed graham cracker, pumpkin pie blend, cream cheese icing, whipped cream, with a dash of cinnamon sugar combination created a taste sensation not to be easily forgotten!

Did I mention that I want another one?

Waffle with Strawberries, Whipped Cream, P.Sugar

The guests I brought with me chose simpler entrees.  Ali got one of the waffles topped with strawberries, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. This was really tasty as well.  The strawberries were fresh and bright, beautiful red--full of flavor. The whipped cream had just the right touch of sweetness.

crêpe with strawberries, whipped cream, and p. sugar

Liz chose to be a bit different and tried a whipped cream and strawberry-topped crêpe (also with the essential dusting of powdered sugar). She enjoyed it, but when I sampled some of it, I felt like it didn't have anything distinctive about it--nothing to make it worth choosing over one of the waffles. The flavor was just fine and it was as fresh as the rest. It merely lacked that little something more that makes someone recommend a dish to a friend.

If you like gourmet hot chocolate, you will adore theirs. I suggest the mint version with their wonderful whipped cream. Quite mintalicious.

It was a unanimous vote that the Pumpkin Pie Waffle was the winner-- and sure reason to return.

Reasons to head to The Awful Waffle include: when out shopping in Provo, before or after school, on a lunch date, to/from Sundance, or anytime you crave something different and delicious.

For Prices and a Peek at the Menu:
The Awful Waffle: Creators of Divine Belgian Waffles 
Where to find it?
815 North 700 East
Provo, Utah  84604
Near the southeast end of the BYU Campus

Call  (940) 300-5358 for hours of operation

a gift on my doorstep

Have you ever found gifts dropped off on your virtual doorstep? I have. Mine came in the form of a link posted to my personal Facebook wall...

It might as well have been Christmas since I cherish memories so much, yet have an extremely difficult time hanging onto them myself. Much of my childhood and adolescence are faint wisps and only a photograph, story, or hard-wired association (such as a particular food or smell) can awaken these wisps into something more substantial. I long to remember any and all of the good, funny, amazing, goofy, ridiculous things I participated in and the following story captures a part of me I hardly remember, but now--because of this story--my brain has been able to conjure up a few more images and details to hold onto--and laugh about:

Savvy and Sage: Wiseguy Wednesday - Irrational Fish Fear: "I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot."

I am thankful to have a BFF, superfriend, bestfriend, tell-anything-to-her girlfriend, should have been my sister, better than a sister, long-time, knows-everything-there-is-to-know-about-me-and-still-loves-me friend, who remembers for me some of my most outrageous moments and tells the tale as if I were some ultra-fabulous female Byronic hero.

Now, my only hope is that I am that sort of friend in return.

The Best Pumpkin Cookie Recipe Yet Written

photography by Shannon J.

Autumn is a fabulous time to bake up some yummy, warm pumpkin cookies and that is precisely why I share this particular recipe with you now. Well, and a certain sister-in-law has been reminding me to give it to her for months now so her husband (one of my brothers) will stop bugging her to make them and they can enjoy eternal marital bliss once again...

So anyways--
My mom did not need any particular season or holiday to get her in the mood for these scrumptious delights. She continually kept on hand around 10-20 cans of pumpkin. And mind you, they were not the small cans. They had to be the chunky double-can sized cans because it was "cheaper that way". 

(Honestly, I think she just wanted to make sure she could make those cookies even if World War III broke out.)

Mom would have piles of the cake-like cookies steaming on her two large cooling racks, on the light country blue counter, making the house smell delicious

Whenever I bake these cookies, I think of home-- my mother's home she created for me, for my brothers, for all the many cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and strangers she and my father welcomed through their door. How can cookies mean so much? I don't really know, but that smell and flavor bring it all to the surface and I am standing next to her, watching her mixing the batter with her large wooden spoon, which also doubled as a bottom-whooper, and waiting for that first batch to get out of the oven. 
So for your Autumn, Thanksgiving, November, and ANY TIME pumpkin-craving enjoyment, 
I present to you:

My Thoughts Exactly

"So let it be written; so let it be done." 
~ Pharaoh (Yul Brynner, The Ten Commandments 1956)

This fortune is my motto when deciding what bit of information to chat about or photograph to share or whim to play off of when writing for this extraordinarily fabulous purple niche 
All Things Purple: the blog.

Hope you are enjoying the adventure!

A Hard Song to Hear - Adele

this song hits my heart like a brick...just sayin.

Adele - Rolling in the Deep: the music video creates a deeper sense of the song within the heart.
Watch it.


don't forget to PAUSE the music player at the bottom of the blog in order to more fully enjoy the music video being presented.

halloween haiku

Halloween Haiku 


loud shrieking throughout
the silent Halloween night
when snatched by zombies

at nightfall

gripping, dripping sweat,
clamoring from the coffin
  time to get some treats
jack o'lantern

orange, slimy, seeds
diced and sliced, sawed to pieces
                                                                set upon the porch

Positivity Amidst Negativity - Hilary Weeks

Throughout this journey of expression on the blog, many people have shared their personal experiences with me and I have found that the majority people everywhere are survivors of sore trials or current mourners of some type of loss-permeated issue.

That statement seems ridiculously obvious now, but it wasn't so clear to me prior to embarking on my blog adventure. I felt so alone in my trials--so uniquely troubled. I admit I still get into that mindset from time to time. Yet, I must remember the comfort promised me if I do as I should. Whether it is loss of a loved one, loss of identity, loss of a relationship, or anything that causes your heart deep sadness, striving to maintain a positive outlook is vital. Simply stated: we must keep going in order to heal.

A bit of seriousness on Whimsical Wednesday

I found this article quite interesting and I wanted to share something off-the-wall different today.
Guns and politics are rarely, if ever, discussed on here; therefore, I deem them whimsical. a quite strange version of it, but whimsical for All Things Purple nonetheless!

HR 822: National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 | Random Musings of a Curious Mind

Aloha! Purple Rolls!

A friend of mine recently went to Hawaii and she sent me these photographs...

...if ever there was a reason to go to Hawaii, I have now found mine.

Now I just need a sponsor. Seriously. :)

Have a fabulous day!

Who Knew?

Who Knew? OR Pizza, Spanish, and Me

Source: None via Shelly on Pinterest

The other day, I was picking up some pizza at the local Villa Pizza. No big deal, right? Well, the difference this day was I had just got out of my Spanish class right before arriving to get said pizzas. And I had coupons, but that is an entirely different conversation. So anyways, I get there and ask them if I can pay before the pizzas are finished (I had called the order in ahead of time). I know I was speaking English at that point in time because I do NOT have skills for just spouting off long requests, although what followed afterward is another story indeed.

Edna St. Vincent Millay: aptly chosen words

There are a few poems out there in the world that capture something so precisely that you must take notice. The poem featured via the link below is such a poem. Then, in addition to this poem, the commentary touches my heart and mind even more so.  I hope you will take the time to read it all.

Savvy and Sage: More: Sonnet II Time does not bring relief; you all have lied Who told me time would ease me of my pain! I miss him in the weeping of the rain; I...

Monkey Number One Has a Birthday

Although most people think to apply this Shakespeare quote to romantic love relationships, I share it with you today in honor of my dear baby {L} who still can only consistently express this understanding through her smiles, back rubs, and her knowing eyes at now fifteen years of age. 

Commentary on Beauty

The other day, a friend's little girl spouted off 
everyone likes me huh, mommy, 'cause I'm beautiful
She was so adorable saying this. I am sure many of you out there have heard something similar from little girls in your life and you women have thought it of yourself possibly.

The Importance of Examples

Oftimes I wonder about what sort of example I am setting for my children. I wonder about what example I show my friends and colleagues. I wonder what example I displayed as a youth in junior high and high school for my siblings and friends to behold.

Seeking to Become - October

As I pondered on what direction to go this month with this spirituality goal, I was brought to some of my favorite passages within Corinthians and Ephesians. The apostle Paul speaks powerfully with words inspired of God, wrought within his heart through personal experience and divine inspiration. I don't even want to choose any specific scripture because it is just so difficult to decide! Yet, the whole point of this monthly challenge is to take one scripture and apply it to life, consistently and practically. So, I will choose a few verses this month as a compromise with myself.

Breast Cancer Awareness AKA be kind to your friends

The link below offers some simple ways to help everyone to take care of their "friends". I don't know about you, but I hope my friends and I have a life-long friendship :) 

BYU Women's Services and Resources: All About Pink: Since October is national breast cancer awareness month, I can’t let the month go by without talking about breast cancer prevention. You y...

Kid Dates

I was thinking to myself that I haven't really shared any ideas for parenting in awhile and it might help me to remember how to get back into my groove to discuss stuff that really works for my family.  I usually get some of the best ideas (practical and successful) from other people, too. So, instead of taking ideas today, I will be "other people" and contribute. Hopefully someone will find it as useful for their family as I have done.

One thing that makes a difference in my children's lives is special, set aside one-on-one time. We call them Mom Dates, but I choose to call them kid dates here in order to encourage the fathers out there to make those one-on-one opportunities happen as well. Your children will love you even more for it!

Purple Princess

I {heart} Whimsical Wednesdays... half the week is over and I have an excuse to post really random stuff.

Happy Wednesday!

Button, Button I {finally} Grabbed The Button

Not to sound ridiculous, but the truth is the truth.

I have seen several blogs with that little red Pinterest follow button and could not--for the life of me--figure out how to grab one to go on my little, purple niche. Well, until now... :)

In all my research into blog development, I have developed quite the vocabulary for fun, cute stuff that only looks like gibberish if you don't paste it into an html friendly zone (said from GREAT amounts of experience). Widgets, buttons, etc. have been part of this high adventure--as you can very well see if you go exploring the page.


With tears streaming down the well worn tracks upon her face,
she reached out into that well known darkness called relationship.
Without years of searching up and down the corners of her heart,
reaching and seeking would mean nothing more than hardship.

Yet, hardship has been her friend—even a close friend.
Hardship remains tried and true and forever there.
Always there—consistent to the most bitter of ends.
Hardship teaches lessons ease could never bear.
Many seek the comfort of ease for matters of the heart.
But, he's a fair-weather friend and frequently departs.

Reaching out with hardship,
binding and tearing with its double-edge of sorts,
girded tightly about her heart,
she moves forward into that black night
with the hope of hopes for a new and happy start.

Add This One to the Dictionary

At my house, the children get indoctrinated young on how moms are super.

A few summers ago, my oldest son kept on asking me questions like how I could do this or how did I know that and finally I let him in on the top secret secret-- I am supermom. This caused great astonishment and excitement. Whenever I found something HE lost (and other such things), I would ask him: so, who am I?  and he would say: Supermom!

Mind you, this little guy was at least nine years old at the time, so I know he knows people do not have outrageous superpowers. He loved the idea of it though. We have had discussions about how all moms have different super powers to help their families, that being super does not mean being perfect, and how those abilities make moms so special and, well, super.

Just the other day we were driving in heavy traffic and I told the children to stop fighting because they were distracting me and my little daughter was complaining that I wasn't listening to her, etc. etc. So, Mr. C chimes in something to this effect: well, mom I think your supermom powers are limited in the car. You use so much of them to drive, so it's okay that you can't talk and listen and stuff. It's like Superman and kryptonite. What should your kryptonite be? I say, the car.

If you want a list I have formulated for what constitutes a super parent, see: You Are Super

This brings me to the new word that belongs in the dictionary. And I am serious, people.


This video gave me the giggles and made me wish these guys were local so I could have them do a jam session around my neighborhood. Seriously fun stuff.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Happy Wednesday!


scroll to the bottom of the blog to pause the music player for better listening enjoyment during the video :)

Lion King Las Vegas - PTGS 9

Not sure how many of you realize that I have a couple of professional musicians in my family, but I do. One of my brothers plays for the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the other one plays all over the place. One of those places occasionally happens to be in the orchestra for the Broadway production of The Lion King in Las Vegas. So anyways, I put a bit of sisterly pressure on him to participate in the PTGS and here is the first pic of hopefully many!  

The Grape Soda is chilling out in the pit just below the stage before the show starts. Talk about VIP status!

So anyways, if you get a chance to see the show before it closes at the end of the year-- you might be hearing a brother mine playing some of the fantastic music.  

Love, Love — where can I find thee?

Source: etsy.com via Hannah on Pinterest

Love, Love -- Where can I find thee? 
OR Another Chapter in The Purple Lady's Love Project

While I am not a very smooshy sort of person, I must say that I value honest, loving communications. Regular daily life does not warrant constant goobery professions of love, yet I believe the daily thoughtful things those who love and love in return do for each other are represented in this quote by Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

The scene from whence this comes is a mockery of a marriage proposal. He is enraptured with Elizabeth, yet he does not realize how he must treat Elizabeth for her to take his love in earnest. Deservedly, our feisty and bold Elizabeth shuts Mr. Darcy down and it would be left at that-- except the seed of love has been planted AND Austen must show how real love comes into being. What it looks like and where to find it.