Sunday, March 31, 2013

He is risen!

I'm so grateful for the Savior. That he suffered and died on the cross so that I might return to live with Him and my Heavenly Father again. 

He is risen! He is risen! 
Tell it out with joyful voice. 
He had burst his three days' prison; 
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free. 
Christ has won the victory. 

Come with high and holy humming; 
Chant our Lord's triumphant lay.
Not one darksome cloud is dimming
Yonder glorious morning ray, 
Breaking o'er the purple east, 
Symbol of our Easter feast.

He is risen! He is risen! 
He hath opened heaven's gate.
We are free from sin's dark prison, 
Risen to a holier state. 
And a brighter Easter beam
On our longing eyes shall stream. 

Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1818-1895
Music: Joachim Neander, 1650-1680
LDS Hym book 


Saturday, March 30, 2013

what I'm liking Saturday

Hopefully I didn't get your hopes up in thinking that we bought the lovely sight above. Because unless I win the lottery I'm not sure I'll be able to buy a car like this for the next ten years, okay maybe 6 years. 

So, it's been over a month since our car was totaled and we still have not purchased a replacement car.  For some reason everyone thinks we are buying a "new" car, but we aren't, we can't afford it.  We are just trying to find one to replace the car that was totaled. It seems like everyone else in the valley is doing the exact same thing too, so that doesn't help.  But I thought it would be fun to show you what kind of car/s I would buy if I had Jay-z or P-Diddy's money to work with.... Did you know that Jay-z bought an eight million dollar car a week after mine was totaled?  I've considered sending him a personalized letter asking him for a little bit of help over in my neck of the woods, but I'm pretty certain he would just laugh and wipe Blue Ivy's drool off the counter with it... yeah my letter wouldn't even be good enough to wipe her face. 

Okay, I digress. 

I'm in love with Honda's.  Seriously, in L-O-V-E, but not the creepy kind... get your mind out of the gutter! 

I've personally customized this 2013 Honda Civic for your viewing pleasure. 
Click Here.
(I hope it shows up, if not, here is the one that I didn't customize, for the record I would prefer a white one)
Please don't drool on the keyboard.

Of course I'm also in love with the accord, although not as much as the civic because it's just too big for me. 
Click Here to see the Accord. 

And in case you aren't interested in a car and prefer a SUV, don't worry I'm also loving the new CRV. 
Click Here to see the CRV

Yeah, so there are my dream cars.  I'm not asking for a whole lot! haha! 

Happy Saturday! 

Also, I think that if anyone purchases a Honda after clicking through these links, I should get a commission from the Honda dealership. 


Thursday, March 28, 2013

I love how

via me, with no filter.
I love how cool it had been this week. 
I love how I've recently developed an obsession with hiking.
I love how I can hear the wings of a bird swishing together as I stand on top of a mountain. 
I love how these Arizona sunsets never seize to amaze me.

I love how rocks crumple beneath my shoes. 
I love how beautiful the mountains are this time of year, so green and leafy.
I love how the air smells this time of year, maybe it's the orange citrus blooming. 
I love how the sound of rushing cars can start to sound like roaring waves when you get used to it. 

I love how the sand feels beneath my toes. 
I love how the ocean water is best to swim in during the month of June. Just-the-right-temperature.
I love how some dogs walk neatly in the sand as to not ruin their pedicured paws. 

I love how a shy dog feels comfortable coming up to me and letting me pet it. 
I love how puppy breath smells.
I love how "aware of the senses" dogs are. 
I love how dogs are man's best friend. 

I love how wonderful the world seems when I get to just sit and think about it. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Bloglovin' Collective Party

Bloglovin Blog Hop

Welcome to the weekly Bloglovin Collective party!
There are many out there in Blogland like it, but this is THE Bloglovin' hop you do not want to miss.

Bre @ Peacoats & Plaid

Lacey @ Sunny + Turquoise
Nicole @ Treasure Tromp
Lauren @ Simply Southern, Simply Lauren
Alyssa @ Impractical Composition
Laura @ Walking in Memphis in High Heels
Christine @ Mavy May

**Co-hosting slots are filled until May 9th**
Send me an email at peacoatsnplaid(at)gmail(dot)com if you want to get on the list


Livy Love Designs Prints

Printable via Livy Love Designs

It's no secret, I'm a sucker for cute prints, especially ones that I can frame and put on a wall or a bookshelf. 
I don't know what it is, but ever since I got married all I've ever wanted to do with my limited budget is buy things for the apartment. 

Maybe its a woman thing because I think my mom is like this too. 
It's just so much fun to decorate your own place the way you want. 
Well, last week I got the lovely print above in the mail and I was overjoyed. 
As soon as I opened up the envelope I immediately thought of all the different places that I could put this 8x10 print. 

I mean, the possibilities are endless. 
I've got a bookshelf with eight different shelves. 
I've got end tables galore. 
I've got walls that need some decoration love. 
Really, should I continue?

Currently this lovely print is sitting on my dresser, I keep switching it's location day after day and can't decide where I like it best. 

Livy Love Designs has a wonderful Etsy shop with prints galore! 
Here are some super cute things that I'm in love with right now:
Custom Country prints
Colorful geometric patterned magnets
and lots of other awesome prints. 

Diana is the maker and creator of Livy Love Designs, to learn more about her you can read her blog here

Check her out friends! And make sure to tell her Alyssa sent you! (: 


Happy Hump day! 


Monday, March 25, 2013

what I wore: dealing with models

 top: J.Crew, skirt: walmart, belt: thrifted, shoes: ross, earrings: the limited, bracelets: Tiffany's, juicy couture, Arizona humane society.

So this weekend Brand and I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Arizona Humane Society’s 15th Annual Fashion with Compassion.
We each had different duties, and we definitely had a good time.
Brand’s main job was to walk the sweetest 5 month old lab around and introduce him to possible adopters.

My job was to work with the models.
For the record I want this post to be politically correct and I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but I’m still going to try and be honest.

So when I think of models I think of those pretty pictures on magazine covers, air brushed and all. 
I also think of America’s Next Top Model. 
If you’ve ever watched ANTM then you know that in a competition models are fierce and filled with drama.
I witnessed something different this weekend.

I was put in charge of dressing two models for the runway and we had three outfit changes.
Easier than it sounds, trust me.
I prepared by looking at the clothes and make sure everything was easy to get in by unbuttoning and unzipping things.

As the models started coming backstage all I could think about was, holy crap I’m so short! (I’m 5’6.)
Almost every girl there was at least 5’9 without heels, and weighed a whopping 110 pounds –if that.
I definitely felt out of place.

On each rack of clothes there were two pictures of the girls that the clothes were worn by.
The pictures somewhat look like the girls in person, but thankfully they introduced themselves to me.
After I saw the girls in person and compared what they looked like to their photos I felt really good about myself. 
I thought, dang, I could be a model if photo editing can do that! 
(I'm not trying to be rude to the girls there)

But then I got to thinking about magazines and how they glorify models. 
They do so much airbrushing and editing of each picture to make sure it looks perfect. 
When in reality those models don't really look like that! 
It made me feel better to know that the models looked just like me and my friends. 

While we were waiting for the show to start I felt like a wall flower. 
All the models were conversing with one another, talking about other jobs they’ve done, you know- the things models talk about. 
And then there was me just standing there waiting for this show to start. 
I wanted to join their conversation so bad, but I literally had nothing in common with them. 
That was the most awkward part. 

Since the show had another 45 minutes till it started, and we were just sitting around anyways, I decided to head out and find Brand because he was hanging out with my kind of people.

I guess the moral of this post is: 
Don't compare your self to those people on the cover of the magazines. 
They don't really look like that. 

Linking up:


Friday, March 22, 2013

my week in pictures: just being grateful

Ahh! Seriously, a whole week gone by and I've only blogged once? 
Obviously there is something wrong with this picture. 
Guys, I've had one pretty stinky week. 

As you know a couple weeks ago, February 28th to be exact, our car was totaled. 
If you aren't familiar with this huge travesty, literally -my mind and emotions have been running in all kinds of directions since, you can read these blog posts.. one & two & three and they will fill you in.
Okay, so we made it through this week of us both having school and work, well Brand didn't go to class because we literally couldn't make that work, but everything else was made possible all thanks our family!

They picked me up from school, 
took me around to look for khaki that I need for my volunteer event this weekend, took me to work, and got me a hair cut. 
Moffered to take me down to school and took us to pick up the "rental" car. 
(Thanks Uncle M and Aunt S!) 
And all the while everyone keep saying, "don't worry about it, you'll find a car, and you aren't putting us out."

I'm so grateful for them! 

Another tid bit about this week, so our car that is newer/the one that didn't get totaled, had a little issue this week. 
Brand and I were driving around the world, okay city - I've been a little dramatic lately with this whole situation, and we put our car in drive and heard this big knocking noise. 
I look at Brand and say, "What the crap? Is that our transmission going bad?" 
So, long story short he looks in the warranty manual and sees that we are 150 miles away from having our car be "out of warranty" so we schedule an appointment to take it to the dealer so they can check and see if it is our transmission. 
And because we were only 150 miles away from being out of warranty that meant for the rest of the week we couldn't drive it, so now we were down to zero cars! 
And that's where Uncle Mark and Aunt Stacy so sweetly let us barrow their car. 
So now we are back to one. 

We've looked at a couple cars and have taken them to our mechanic so he can check them out, but none of them have worked out. 
So, we keep on plugging away. 
I'm still the number one searcher on Craigslist (or so I think) and I'm pretty sure we've called about every car listed in the Honda section. 

But for now I'm just grateful for our family members who have helped us so much! 
We couldn't get anything done these past few weeks without you! 

I'm also grateful for all your support and prayers! 
I haven't been good at responding to comments this week, just because of everything that is going on, but I promise I will try and respond this weekend! (: 
Hope you all had a good week and that you have a better weekend! 

^^ In the midst of our car shopping we went to Grimaldi's with my family. Pretty yummy!
^^ On Tuesday my first class got canceled, but I was already on my way to school when I got the email. So I spent an hour and a half doing nothing in the library. 
^^ Saturday night we went to the 99 cent store and bought some snacks that we thought would cheer us up. I think I've gained 5 pounds in the last three weeks from the stress of this situation. 
^^ But, I can't complain because yesterday I got to be on pets on parade again.  I really love being around these people and animals! It was the highlight of my week!


Monday, March 18, 2013

what I wore: a real life story

tee: target ($5), card: mom, Jeand: macy's, shoes: TOMS, earrings: the limited, bracelets: juicy couture & tiffany's  

Sometimes I feel like I complain too much on this blog.  But then I get to thinking that it's more of me telling you about how real life is. Trust me, I'm not puttin' up an act and pretending that life is perfect.  The fact is, it's not.  There are so many times where I look at other bloggers and think. "Their life is such a fairy tale!", But then I think, "well maybe they are just putting all the good things on their blog so that everyone thinks they are perfect."  I can't seem to take interest in blogs like because it just gets me down. 
I hope not to be a downer all the time, but I really want everyone to know that my life is not perfects. 

This is real. 
Real Life: Alyssa Dawson

Let's take this weekend for example. 
Saturday morning we started rechecking craigslist for "previously owned" cars.
I say rechecking because it has been our daily, if not hourly routine. It has now become religious. 
So we find some cars on craigslist that we really like and we start calling. 
"Hi, I'm calling about the car you have for sale on Craigslist and I was wondering if it was still available."
"Nope, sorry just sold an hour ago."
"Nope, sorry sold it last night."
"Well, people are looking at it right now you can call back in a while but they seem really interested."
It seemed anthem of the morning. 

We found a car that "would work", honestly I wasn't too thrilled about it. 
So we went to get money out of our account. 
The car we were going to look at was way above our price range and after we took the money out of the account we seemed to take a step back and think about how desperate we were and how much money we really wanted to spend. 
We talked about calling the guy and telling him that we weren't going to be able to go checkout the car because it was over our price range. 
So Brand called the guy, told him the news and we went home. 

Back to the drawling board. 

As soon as we got inside the apartment I started balling. 
Balling just like I did when I saw my girlee for the last time, balling like I did when I got fired from my job. 
I was so stressed and frustrated with the entire situation, I couldn't take it anymore. 
I just let it all out. 
I wished that the situation was different. 
That the guy who hit our car would have been paying attention. 
This whole mess wouldn't be a problem. 
I wanted my girlee back. 

We ended car shopping on Craigslist for the next five hours with that note.
But then after lunch we headed out to car dealerships with more negative feedback and what felt like a waisted day. 

Sometimes I ask myself why this only happens to us. 
I feel like Brand and I have gone through so much at such a young age. 
When others that we know have had it so cushy. 
And thaaaaat's where my comparing come into play. 
I know it's wrong, but it's so hard not to do. 

I know that there is a plan for this life.
I know He has a purpose for everything that happens to us while we are here on earth.
I know that somehow we will get through this huge tangle with His help. 
I know that these trials test our faith, hardcore. 
But, I'm grateful to be so strong because of them.  

I hope you all had a better weekend then I did. 
Happy Monday!! 

Linking up:


Sunday, March 17, 2013

how to import who you follow on GFC to Bloglovin'

Ever since we found out that GFC and Google Reader were going away come July, Bloglovin' became the next best thing. 

I'm kind of disappointed though, I like having this all in one place.  I don't want to have to go to another source to read blog posts.  
Plus, I'm not used to the whole Bloglovin' layout and I'm not sure how the whole thing really works. 
I'm sure I'll figure it out though.
Enough griping. 
If you have any tips I'd sure love the help. 

In order to follow your favorite blogs on Bloglovin' you have to sign up for an account. 
(It's pretty simple) 
Bloglovin' even has an easy way to follow everyone you've been following via GFC and Google Reader.
This is perfect because now you don't have to go through and find each individual blog that you want to follow. 
When you sign up the option might be on the home page but if not follow the directions below to import your blogs. 

Make sure you are logged into Bloglovin'.
At the top right corner of the home screen you will see your name and an arrow pointing down. 
Hover your mouse over that area and a box will appear, click the box. 
Now you will want to look further down on the drop down menu and find the settings tab, click the settings tab. 
This is where you can change your account settings, profile info, notifications and other things. 
You will want to scroll all the way down till you get to the bottom of the page. 
Under the heading titled "Other", you will find the box that says "Import blogs", click Import blogs.
Another screen will pop up and you will choose between two options, Google Reader or OPML/XML, choose Google Reader. 
From here you will continue with the steps until you are at the end and all your blogs are imported. 

It's that easy! 

To follow my blog on Bloglovin', and if you follow me via GFC you can do what I just referenced above. Or you can click the button below, which will take you to my home page on Bloglovin', and you can click the follow button there. 

Either way, I hope to see you on Bloglovin'.

Follow on Bloglovin   

Happy Sunday! 


Saturday, March 16, 2013

my week in pictures

I've noticed that when I'm not in school my life pretty much consists of nothing, and work -well and a little bit of volunteering. 
What am I going to do this summer when school is out??
This week was my spring break, but unfortunately since we are down to one car I didn't really get to do anything. 
It was kind of stinky and the days went by really fast, but I did get some things done. 

Hopefully this weekend we will be able to buy a new car, I'm not sure how we are going to get by this week if we don't have two cars. 
I mean, between both our jobs, and both our school schedules it might be nearly impossible to live the one car life.  
So, here's to finding a "new" car this weekend! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your weather for me.  It's going to be a hot one here! 
Ooo, and you can follow me on instagram! (: 

 ^^ helped out with pets on parade thursday afternoon! Boy do I love helping those sweet animals find loving homes! If you live in Arizona and are looking to adopt an animal head HERE
 ^^ Wednesday was a warm one. But the pool was still a little too cold for our liking, so we didn't get to swim. I guess that's a good thing though! (: 
 ^^ My brother comes home this summer! 99 isn't an exact number, I just found out that we will know his for sure arrival this coming week.  If it's good. and he comes home early June, I will be overly happy and you will know it. 
^^ Remember last week when I linked these Pinterest projects? Well this week I decided that since I had some felt lying around the house that I would make a few. What do you think? I kinda like them! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Influenster: Sweetheart VoxBox 2013

I was so excited when Influenster chose me to review these products.  I'm a huge fan of trying new things, especially new beauty products; because, like all women I'm looking for products that really work!  I was a little disappointed with two of these products in this VoxBox, but the deodorant definitely made up for them. 

Let's take a look at the items in the box: 

Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response
- $7.99- $9.99
- I love this deodorant! Love, love love.  It smells so good and it works really well.  It goes on smooth and doesn't get on your clothes. When I was younger I used this product and was so sad when I had to switch to the cheap brand. But, if you are in the market for some good deodorant look no further, this stuff is great! 

Not Your Mother's She's a Tease Volumizing Hair Spray
- $6 for full size. 
- I was excited to try out this product because I've been looking for a volumizing hair spray for a long time. Unfortunately I was very disappointed when I sprayed it for the first time.  I did not like the smell of it at all, in fact I thought it might have just been me so I had my mom try it out.  Unfortunately she agreed with me and didn't like the smell either.  As for how well the product worked; it worked really well at first, the volume was obvious and I really liked it, but within thirty minutes or less the volume was all gone and my hair was back to flat. 

Olay Fresh Effects Powered Contour Cleansing System and Shine Minimizing Cleanser
- System $12.99
- Cleanser $6.99 for full
- My skin is very sensitive, so sensitive that it's sometimes unbearable, but I liked this face cleanser.  It smelt really good and definitely left my face feeling fresh.  I do think that it made my face break out a little bit on my chin area, although I think that is to be expected when starting up a new face cleanser. 

Skinnygirl Daily On-The-Go
- $9.99 per box of 5
- I was really excited to try this product because I love snacks that are more on the "healthy" side. I received the Greek yogurt blueberry crisp bar and wasn't much of a fan.  I mean it was okay, I didn't throw up because of it or anything, but I wouldn't buy the blueberry kind again.  I am a picky eater, so that may be my bias. 

*This review is my own, Influenster gave me this product to write my own honest review on.  I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. 



5 fun facts

<< 1. >>
I taught my self how to swim.  When I was younger my nana had a swimming pool where all the cousins would spend the hot summer days.  At the time, I was about six and had to swim with floaties while my older cousins didn't.  Of course I wanted to be cool like them and learn how to swim without floaties so I tried it.  I don't remember how I did it or what six year old "techniques" I used, I just know that I did it! 

<< 2. >>
I like having a clutter free clean home.  I cannot get my homework done or relax and watch a movie until my apartment is cleaned.  By cleaned I mean laundry done, bed made, everything put away, and vacuumed. I think I get it from my mom. (This doesn't mean that my house is always clean though.) 

<< 3. >>
I've had a motherly instinct as long as I can remember.  When I was three my first brother was born and when I was six my youngest brother was born. Sometimes my mom tells me stories about how big of a helper I was with my brothers. 

<< 4. >>
I hate my toes. When I was younger I would curl up my toes so that no one would see them.  In fact I curled them so much that they and now somewhat curled.  They aren't flat like they are supposed to be. 

<< 5. >> 
I drink lots of water and have for the past two years.  It started after I had a rather large weight gain episode from drinking soda, my drink of choice? Coke.  I would have on in the morning and maybe on in the afternoon. But, as soon as I noticed those extra pounds I quit cold-turkey. 

I'm linking up with my friend Megan at and here's to you Mrs. Robinson.


 follow on bloglovin Here!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

awkward and awesome

shirt: target (old), vest: thrifted, jeans: f21, shoes: toms, earrings: the limited, accessories: I forgot them on my dresser!! 

- Sitting in the computer lab and the guy next to me is obviously having really bad allergies because he keeps sucking up his his boogers. And then to top that he starts hawking a loogie. I logged off my computer and went to class, at that point I didn't care if I was 30 minutes early. 
- Brand was at the radiologist getting x-rays for his back and had to wear one of those skimpy hospital gowns.  The lady doing the x-rays kept telling him how cute he was and started to tie his gown for him.  Then she started touching his body and moving him in specific ways saying that she was "doing it because the machine is very specific".  All the while her breath smelt like alcohol.  Haha. Poor Brand! 
- Getting chocolate on the inside of my pant leg, trying to clean it off and just turning it into a bigger mess.  No-big-deal I'll just look like I pooped my pants for the rest of the day. 

- Sitting in the computer lab, someone looks at me, says "Marissa!!!" I turned to look at her, she saw my face and then pretended like it didn't happen! Just shake it off girl! haha. 
- Babysitting and the boys are playing army guys.  It's obvious that they are in a heated battle so they point at me and yell "GET THE OGRE!!!!" 
- When you open your freezer and see the Wendy's frosty you put in there the night before. 
- Reading a facebook article about my grandpa and seeing the sweet comments people wrote about him. 
- 96 days until my brother comes home.  I seriously can't believe how close this is getting! 
- Hanging out with old friends and acting like nothing has changed, because nothing really has.  These kinds of friends are really the best, I can totally be my self around them and they love me for who I am. 


p.s. if you've heard about the google reader blow out you can also follow me on bloglovin

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

children that know how to pray

At church Brandon and I teach a primary class with kids ages 5-7. 
Each of our kids have great personalities and they add a little bit of something different to class each week.
They have such great spirits and 
their testimonies shine through their smiles and through the words they share. 
They are such good examples to me. 

Each Sunday it's the same routine, Sacrament meeting first, then we go to Primary and then we teach a lesson. 
This Sunday was no different structure wise, and the kids seemed to be paying attention really well. 
There were a couple melt downs from the smaller kids, but whose to blame them?
For them this whole Primary thing is still new. 

So we start heading off to class and I see that one of our kids is having a hard time and doesn't want to go to class. 
They just want their mom. 
Long story short the child comes into class with us and is having a really hard time, so hard that it's interrupting the class and the kids start looking distressed. 
We ask for volunteers for the prayer, and of course everyone's hands shoot up because they all want to say the prayer.
(this is such a different reaction compared to the 14, 15, and 16 year olds we used to teach. haha!) 
We do a little game to decide who is going to say the prayer, because we are cool teachers like that, and one of the sweet little boys wins the game so he gets to say the prayer. 

He starts off his prayer like this:
"Dear Heavenly Father, Please bless that ---- will have a good day at church and be happy...." 
Immediately tears start to form in my eyes and I think, hold it together... hold it together...
I know kids are in tune with the Spirit, but I didn't know they were this strong.
After the prayer was over we thanked him for his awesome prayer and he sad down and smiled. 
What a strong boy to know to pray for his classmate, he will be an awesome missionary one day. 

It amazes me how strong these little 5, 6, and 7 year olds are. 
They are such good examples to me and they know so much about the gospel already. 
I'm so grateful for the things that they share, they really strengthen my testimony and help me more than they know. 

Walking out of church we see the boy who said the prayer, he gives us a big smile and we smile back. 
I get in the car and say to Brand, "That ---- is such an awesome boy!"
He agrees and we drive away. 
And as I sit here on a Tuesday morning to share with you all, I'm obviously still thinking about the whole thing. 
I love these Primary kids!! 

Do you have a church calling?
Have you ever experienced something like this?


Monday, March 11, 2013

what I wore: possibly the last cool weekend of the spring

button up: jcrew. sweater/shoes: target, jeans: f21, bracelet: last chance, earrings: ElisabethSpace, braid elastic: me
In Arizona at this time of year the weather starts to change, 
and the days slowly get longer. 

I know the days are slowly getting longer because I've been having to use the car visor and put on my sunglasses as I drive home. 
The sun is staying up longer.

I know the days are slowly getting longer because those sunsets have been getting more beautiful by the day. 
I think that Arizona summer sunsets are the most beautiful, and seriously - we need something beautiful here in the summer when we live through 115 degree days. 

I know the days are slowly getting longer because I've been waking up earlier. 
I wake up when the sunrises. 
Right when that sunbeam hits my window my body knows it's time to wake up.
I think my body has been this way ever since I started working early mornings, there is somethings about your body getting used to a routine done for four years, it just doesn't know how to quit. 
(we live on the west facing apartment so it's not as early as you might think) 

I know the days are getting longer because the sun feels so warm on my skin.
It was so nice out this weekend, especially when you stood out in the sun, away from the shadows and felt that cool breeze. 
We also got some pretty good rain this weekend, I love the smell of rain!

I  know the days are getting longer because this week we are reaching 90 degree temperatures. 
You could say we might be experiencing our last few days of spring and will soon be welcomed by the heat of summer. 

I don't mind though. 
Enjoy it while it lasts, right??

Linking up:


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