Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gift Ideas for Mom

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 12, (duh!), so I decided to do a quick list of gift ideas for mom this Mother's Day.

And don't worry, Mom, your gift isn't on here! :)


  1. Kate Spade Glitterball iPad Sleeve: $56
  2. "We Met, We Married, We Life" Love Map (Etsy): $34.99
  3. Kate Spade Tutti Frutti Collar Necklace: $85 
  4. Anthropologie Capri Blue Jar Candle, Volcano: $28
  5. State Pride Necklace (Kris Nations): $42
  6. Anthropologie Monogrammed Mug: $8
  7. Monogrammed iPhone Case (Etsy): $45

Do y'all have any other Mother's Day gift ideas?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Let's Talk About Flax{seed}, Baby

If you're not humming this song after reading that title, we can't be friends. 
{Say the title of this post to the tune.}

Moving on from my 14-year-old mind...

Let's talk about flax{seed}.

I made these no-bake energy bites yesterday, and must admit I didn't have one major ingredient on hand: flaxseed. So I made my little trek to Kroger and what do you know, my suburban grocery store had a little inner-hippie aisle full of, what else, flaxseed. {And other Whole Foods-esque ingredients what I had to physically restrain myself from buying.}


Not only are these no-bake energy bites easy, they're good for you. Why? Flaxseed. 

Flaxseed has a high number of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have been shown to have heart-healty affects; lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities; and fiber, as flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble types of fiber. It also may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. 

Plus, I feel so much better popping one of these when I get home from work as opposed to grabbing a handful of crackers or having a glass of wine. Who's with me?

So, try 'em! You won't regret it. 

No-Bake Energy Bites** (adapted from Smashed Peas and Carrots Blog)
Ingredients
1 cup oatmeal (I used gluten-free rolled oats from Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup peanut butter, or other nut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes (I leave this out because I don't like coconut)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used regular-sized dark chocolate chips)
1 tsp. vanilla 

Directions 
1. Mix everything above in a large bowl until thoroughly incorporated. 
2. Let chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from refrigerator and roll into small balls. Enjoy!

*Store in airtight container and they'll last for a week. 
**Note: I double this recipe. 


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend

Happy Sunday!

This weekend flew by because I was working Friday night and Saturday morning. 

But, I'm totally okay with it because I have the best co-workers {and I'm not just saying that because they read my blog}. Honestly? They keep me laughing all the time and work doesn't feel like work with them. It's refreshing to have co-workers who are also friends. #soblessed


Hi, girls! 


My brother came into town from college Friday night, so he and Brandon repainted our bathroom cabinets {pictures to come} and did boy-ish things. 

On Saturday while I was at an event, Brandon completely redid our front garden. If y'all could see what it looked like before, you'd cringe. Let's just say our sellers didn't exactly have green thumbs {says the girl with black thumbs}. 


I came in at the tail end of Brandon's hard work and helped plant a few things and spread mulch everywhere. Side note: You can never have enough mulch in Texas!!! 


Everything looks so tiny now, but I can't wait for it to grow and spread. 

Also? He planted four double knockout roses and I am more excited than humanly possible about them! {You know you're an adult when...} 

My great-grandmother used to have roses everywhere in her backyard and I completely remember it when I close my eyes and think of her. I want my great-grandkids to do the same for me. #cheesyalert


After our his hard work, we went to a little restaurant on the canals near our house. It was perfect springtime weather in Dallas, and the perfect evening to sit on the patio and share a bottle of wine. 


How handsome is he?

Have a fabulous rest-of-your Sunday!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Welcome!

Hi to those of you who are stopping by from the Kelly's Korner link up

My name is Brittany, and I'm married to my precious husband, Brandon. We live in a suburb of Dallas with our insane thinks-he-is-a-dog cat, Oliver. 

Brandon and I both graduated from Baylor in 2008 {Sic 'Em, Bears!}; we met at Baylor, too, so Waco will always hold a place in our hearts. 

I just got a new job as a communications coordinator for a local school district {I used to do public relations for American Airlines...whew!} and Brandon is a business development manager for a recruiting firm. 


We got engaged in March 2010 {you can read about that here} and had a whirlwind engagement, getting married in October 2010 {read about that here}. 


I'm from a small town in southeast Texas, and honestly didn't know there was a "d" on the end of "iced tea" until I got to college. 

My family is always on the go, busy and crazy. I love them to pieces. 


Brandon grew up in Southlake as the middle of three boys. His family is a bit more laid-back and relaxed. Since we're much closer in driving distance to his family, we see them a lot more than my family; you'll see me reference them a bit more since they live only 20 minutes away!

This is us at one of my favorite vacation spots: Orange Beach, Alabama, a few years ago. 


I'm the oldest of four kids {two brothers and a sister}. My oldest brother is a freshman at Baylor, my next brother finishing up his sophomore year in high school, and my sister is finishing up fifth grade. So yes, there's a big age gap there! :)


Brandon's older brother is married to Becca, an attorney; and his younger brother, Todd is our little black sheep. We know he's going somewhere...we're just not quite sure yet! :)


We just bought our first house in September {read about that here} and truly think it might be cursed by the seller. Kidding!...sort of. About six weeks after moving in, our dishwasher leaked beneath my beautiful hand-scraped hardwood floors, leaving us in a hotel and Oliver at the kennel for about two weeks. Thankful for homeowners' insurance! 

We're always doing something to this house, so stay tuned for how we're making this house home. 


When we're not working, we love spending time with our family and friends. We recently joined our church and truly know it's where God wants us to be. 

I enjoy cooking, red wine, and shopping {too much} and Brandon is obsessed with golf, hunting and anything outdoors-y. We both love to travel and can't wait to check the "been there!" box on a few desired travel locales. 

So, thank you for stopping by and for reading! 

If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave me a comment and I'll be happy to answer. Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 26, 2013

What We Ate This Week

Woo hoo, it's Friday!

We have a full, full weekend, so I'm going to keep this short. Here's what we ate this week:



This was very good and made a lot. I didn't make any modifications to the recipe, but I will say it needs more salt than the recipe calls for. 



I didn't grill my salmon; instead, I seasoned it as the recipe called for and then put it in a cold oven, turned the temperature on 400* and set the timer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, you have a perfectly cooked filet (or two) of salmon! 

This recipe was amazing and Brandon went back for seconds. The salsa is so fresh and would be good as a dip in itself, honestly. 

Avocado Egg Salad + celery and carrot sticks 


This was SO good! I couldn't get over that it was "skinny." The chives just send it over the edge. And yes, I just said that. 

I wrapped mine in La Tortilla Factory's low-carb, high-fiber tortillas and it was only about 170 calories per wrap. I will definitely be making this again. 



These are a staple in our house. So easy, fresh and good for you. Brandon loves them, I love them, and the recipe is from a friend...so what more can you ask for?

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Do y'all have any good recipes to share?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday: Fashion Edition

By no means am I a fashion expert. 

If you can believe it, I actually wanted to major in Fashion Merchandising {and Marketing} at Baylor. Ha! I did one semester of that and found it it was just not for me...I liked talking too much. Therefore, I decided to major in Journalism-Public Relations and minor in Corporate Communications. Much more "me," no? 

Anyway, like I said, I'm no fashion expert and don't even claim to be. I'm not into the new trends the season before everyone else. I just see things I like on the racks and pick it up!

One of those things was this precious polka-dot light sweater from Target. Yes, Target! And on the clearance rack at that. ;) I'm normally not a polka-dot girl, but this was just too cute to pass up. 


Since I typically wear a suit every day, I paired this with my suit pants and a cute bauble necklace my mother-in-law picked up for me at the Atlanta Market. However, I think it would be so cute with a colored pant for more casual days. Maybe seafoam or a pretty coral?

I'm really getting into the "bright trend" with my clothes lately. 

These are LOFT's Zoe Straight Leg Pants in Mid Weight. I bought the below color a few weeks ago, and while they don't exactly look that flattering here, they truly are. They are my favorite pants, so I had to go back and get...


...the spearmint color. Ha!


I also recently bought their green cotton eyelet pencil skirt. {Y'all, for someone who typically wears black, white and gray, this is a huuuuuge step!}


I loved this bright blue pencil skirt, but didn't buy it. I'm now second-guessing myself. 




And I love this bright coral dress. So cute! 


You fashion girls out there are probably laughing thinking, "Um, brights have been on trend for about a year now." Ha! It totally reminds me of this scene in "The Devil Wears Prada":


I'm also really loving lace and lace accents {all shown from LOFT}:





I just think they're so dainty and feminine. 

So...that's what I'm loving this week. What about y'all?

**I was not asked by LOFT or paid by them to write this post. I truly just love their clothes because they're reasonably priced and fit me like a glove. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Last week


I wondered aloud -- and sometimes not aloud -- what our world was coming to. I thought, "If we think it's bad now, how bad is it going to get before Jesus comes back?"

I was scared, didn't understand why and really just wanted to sit close to my TV while simultaneously hugging my husband and family...keeping them close. But then I remembered how this world is not the end for those of us who are Christians. I cried so hard during this last week when I remembered our pastor saying that the second we enter Heaven, Jesus will wipe away the last tear that will ever fall from our eyes. How comforting is that?!

None of last week's news stories are related, so I'm going to treat them as such. I don't have the gift for words in a sticky, hard, tough or sad situation, so please understand that. These two stuck out the most for me, so bear with me: 

Boston bombings: This made me sick. I was absolutely sick and heartbroken for those people who, during a time of so much joy -- finishing a 26.2-mile race -- felt so much pain. Our pastor said the Sunday before all of this happened how so many bad things happen on this Earth because of sin. I believe that completely, especially in this situation. I'm so thankful to the members of the Boston Police Department, the FBI and the governing bodies who captured the second brother and are questioning him now. My heart breaks for the families of those who lost loved ones, and I'm equally sad for those people who walked away from a race without an arm, leg and/or other body parts. I'm so sorry. I just kept saying, "How can you have so much evil hate in your life that you want to do something so horrendous to someone?" The answer: sin. Sin is evil and God hates it. 

West explosion: Perhaps this hit me more because it was so close to both of my homes - Dallas and Waco - but this explosion was hard for me. I physically ache for the immense loss of life in this situation and in this small community. I went to college at Baylor and live in the Dallas area, my grandmother lives outside Hillsboro and my best friend's in-law's live in West. People lost homes. Schools were destroyed. Families were torn apart. We watched the news and I kept asking my husband, "Can you imagine the complete and utter chaos there?!" It's not like a hurricane where you know it's coming so you have time to evacuate. These people had no warning. Some were likely putting babies to bed or watching TV when all of a sudden, the explosion occurred. Complete and utter chaos. I'm so thankful for those that wrapped their arms around this town. In the midst of the best day of the year for so many Baylor students, Diadeloso {"Day of the Bear"}, students gathered to pray for these communities. Many gave blood. Some gave money and donations. And this didn't just happen at Baylor. It was everywhere. People rallied around to honor and remember those who have been affected by this tragedy. 

All in all, I'm comforted by one of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Our pastor said something the Sunday before this happened that has stuck with me and I'll never forget: "Those who mourn like God mourns will be comforted like only God can comfort." 

Sorry for the drawn out post, but I knew I needed to get it all out. 

I'll be back tomorrow with something a bit more upbeat. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend

Happy Sunday! 

Welcome to my new followers and visitors, who are visiting because I made my blog public on Friday. I'm happy to have you! I hope you'll stay awhile, read a bit about us and decide you like what you see to keep following us a bit more. We're just normal folks, living a {semi}normal life with a lot of bumps and bruises in between. But, we love life, love living it, love Jesus and love each other. We hope you'll join us on our journey. 


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We had a full weekend. One of those that you hate to see go because you can just close your eyes and taste its awesomeness. 

Friday, we had dinner at a local farm-to-table restaurant, The Ranch. Absolutely everything is local {click below for more detail}, and nothing is not worth ordering. We had the Texas Lump Crab Dip {served with grilled flatbread} as an appetizer; I had pan-seared farm-raised Texas Black Snapper; Brandon ordered the chicken fried steak; and we sampled the Frozen Tito's Tea; Texas Mule and Peach Basil Gimlet, respectively. Add to that live Texas Country Music and it was the perfect Texas Friday night, and one that we both thoroughly enjoyed. 


We sat at the table and were "those people" following the capture of the Boston Marathon bomber on our phones. {I think I refreshed Twitter 5,046 times during our dinner.} I promise I'll give my P.O.V. on last week's events -- not that y'all are just waiting on pins and needles for it -- soon. 

At work, I wore my favorite bright pants from LOFT, a lace top from Target {thanks, Nina!} and a precious necklace from my aunt. I love spring wear! 


Saturday, we did SO MUCH around our house that it makes me tired just thinking about it. 

Brandon had golf lessons in the morning, so I cleaned our house from top to bottom...and did five loads of laundry. Side note: How in the world do two people have FIVE loads of laundry in one week!?

Afterward, we went to Home Depot for new blinds for our living room and kitchen; T.J. Maxx for flip-flops for my picky flip-flop obsessive husband; Pier 1 for curtains for our living room and the grocery store. 

We spent the entire afternoon doing yard work in the front yard; then, Brandon hung our new blinds and by the time he got around to hanging our new curtains, it was 11 p.m. Oops! 

#thisisdedication


After seven months, we finally have drapes in our living room! {Ignore the La-Z-Boy that will be on the outs soon!} 


I will tell y'all one thing: I hate color. 

It drives my husband nuts. 

But I am more the neutral/Pottery Barn/Southern Living/southern girl than I wish I was. If I could live in a completely black and white room, a la the Kardashians, I'd be A-okay. 

Here's our drapes in the daylight Well, sort of. 


And here they are at night. Don't mind the crap I have on my counters. 


Sunday, we went to church, where our pastor is preaching on the Beatitudes. I can't reiterate how much I LOVE OUR CHURCH. If you live in the Dallas area and don't have a home church, we'd love to have you. Even if it's just to visit, we'd love to see you there. We love the Lord and our mission is to lead people to trust and follow Christ. We're not perfect and don't claim to be, but man, do we love Jesus. And we want you to, too. 

After church, we took little naps and then had a bar-b-que with our friends P.J. and Belinda and their boys. I made a yummy fruit salad {watermelon, pineapple, grapes, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and mandarin oranges} and they had ribs, sausage, potato salad, corn on the cob and cole slaw. YUM! We had so much fun with our friends. 


We're back home and are getting cozy on the couch waiting for Mad Men

Hope y'all have an excellent week! 

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 19, 2013

What We Ate This Week

I have so much weighing on my heart about the senseless tragedies that occurred this week, but I can't seem to find the words to express my feelings. Therefore, I'm just going to wait until the words come to write them out fully. I'll just ask that you pray for Boston and West. I truly can't imagine. 

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It was a good food week in our house! Here's what I cooked: 

Blackened Salmon Sandwiches + sweet potato fries, pineapple and watermelon



Slow-Cooker Greek Chicken {in a pita} + hummus








Follow me on Pinterest for more recipe inspiration! 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Faves for working out

I'm normally not a workout person. But per my last post, it was time to get my rear back to the gym. 


Anyway, since I've been running, I really have been trying to find some really good running songs. Just because a song is upbeat does not mean it's a good running song, believe you me! And, I'm not crazy about rap, but some of it really does motivate me! 

Here are some of my favorites {and don't you dare judge!}:

  • Macklemore: Can't Hold Us
  • Counting Crows: Accidentally in Love
  • Estelle: American Boy
  • Weezer: Buddy Holly
  • Pitbull: Calle Ocho
  • We The Kings: Check Yes Juliet
  • ABBA: Dancing Queen
  • Jay-Z: Empire State of Mind
  • Cee Lo Green: Forget You
  • Sean Kingston: Fire Burning
  • The Maine: Girls Do What They Want
  • Cobra Starship (feat. Leighton Meester): Good Girls Go Bad
  • Train: Hey, Soul Sister
  • Gwen Stefani: Hollaback Girl
  • Scissor Sisters: I Don't Feel Like Dancing
  • Black-Eyed Peas: I Gotta Feeling
  • NSYNC: Tearing Up My Heart
  • Fergie: Labels or Love
  • Fergie: London Bridge
  • Jimmy Eat World: The Middle
  • M.I.A.: Paper Planes
  • Michael Franti: Say Hey, I Love You
  • Metro Station: Shake It 
What are some of your favorite workout/running songs?


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weekend

Happy Sunday! This weekend was packed, but fun. 

Friday:
I had the day off and spent all morning doing laundry, cleaning the house and doing glamorous tasks like sanitizing my dishwasher and cleaning my coffee maker. Glam-o-rous I tell you. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so I ran some errands and enjoyed the beautiful weather outside. 

Brandon came home and we had a yummy dinner {if I do say so myself!} of salmon sandwiches, sweet potato fries, watermelon and pineapple. 


We watched a movie and got in bed like the old people we are. 

Saturday:
We slept in and went to Top Golf with my brother-in-law, Jeff; sister-in-law Becca; and Becca's brother Joey who is home on leave from the Air Force before he goes to South Korea {please pray for him!}. 

It was another gorgeous day, and I just enjoyed sitting in the sunshine with a Bloody Mary. Honestly the perfect afternoon. 


We ran to NorthPark afterward to do a little shopping, then had lunch at one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants, 7 Salsas

After that, we went over to our friends' Brandon and Kimmie's house to visit for a little bit. Kimmie's cousin was in from New Jersey and y'all...she had never heard of shrimp and grits. Or grits for that matter. Isn't that crazy!? I also mentioned that I had a Bloody Mary earlier in the day and a couple of the people there said, "Ew, I don't like Bloody Mary's!" WHAT?! I promise you that I am Southern through and through. If I knew I wouldn't gain any weight, I'd eat chicken fried steak, shrimp and grits, fried okra, cornbread and a Bloody Mary every day. That'd definitely be my last meal if I ever had to have the option of having one! Ha!

Sunday:
We joined our church today! It was so intimidating to be up in front of our entire congregation, but we did it! We are so happy and are so thankful for and blessed with a great church. 

After church, we went to Panera for lunch. My favorite new salad from there is their Power Chicken Hummus Bowl on their hidden menu. {Thanks for the tip about their hidden menu, Stephanie!} 

Then, I took my rear to the gym for the first time since Christmas {I know, I know!!!}. It was time, though. I can tell I've gained weight - especially in my face - and it was just time. We've been eating really healthy for a good while, but I needed those extra calories burned! So running and weight lifting it was. 

I'm also doing this water detox cleanse. Don't worry, I'm still eating food like normal! I just was on oral steroids for a really bad rash/hives I have had all over my stomach, chest and neck for the past four weeks {SO AWFUL AND EMBARRASSING!} and needed to get rid of the excess water weight they made me retain.  


I started today and let me tell you, I feel like a pregnant lady having to get up to go to the bathroom every 15-20 minutes. 

After the gym, I wandered to Target to get a new hairdryer, because mine bit the dust. I got this one, then came home and read my new Real Simple and it was written up in there! How about that?!

I also scored this cute top {in white} thanks to Nina's recommendation. It's precious! 

Hope y'all have a great week!

Friday, April 12, 2013

This week's recipes

Happy Friday! I'm off work today {Bad Weather Day that we didn't use} and of course I was up at 7:30 a.m. 

I've got four loads of laundry to do, dishes piled up in the sink and a disgusting bathroom to clean - hey, just keeping it real! - so I'm gonna make this quick. 

Here's what we ate for dinner this wonky, busy week:



The only difference I make is corn tortillas instead of flour. This is a staple meal in our house. So quick and easy. 



I added shrimp to this, and I also left out the sesame oil and fish sauce and it was great! Brandon went back for seconds, so I'll definitely be making this again. 



I've really been trying to cut out any and all red meat and can't remember - save for last night - the last time we had red meat. I'm supposed to have it once a week since I'm iron deficient, but oh well. We've been eating a lot of salads with some chicken for protein, but I've been using quinoa and beans as a good source of it lately, too. 

Also? These are my new favorite granola bars for a mid-day snack. Try 'em!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! It's freezing in Dallas today. In April. Who would have thought? 

I'm currently bundled up on the couch with our fire burning. In April. Again, never would have thought I'd have my fire on in the spring in Texas. 

Moving on! Here's what I'm loving this week: 


I made this on Sunday and we've really enjoyed eating it every morning this week. It really keeps us full and plus, it's healthy!


Jewelry layering

I'm pretty sure you can hear me coming from a mile away with all my jewelry jangling, but I still love the way it looks. 

{Bracelet: Gift from sister-in-law from Etsy; bracelets: gift from mom; watch: Michael Kors from Nordstrom}


Birthday goodies! 

I am so blessed! 

{Kendra Scott necklace from my friend Lindsey}


{Monogrammed sunnies from my sweet husband}


{Monogrammed belt from my mama}


Nightstand obnoxiousness   

This is actually my nightstand on a good day: water, books, lotion and my phone. 

I always remember my mom having the exact same things on her nightstand, and the older I get the more I'm like, "Whoa. I am truly turning into my mom!" {Not that that's a bad thing!} It just makes me laugh.   


Starbucks pick-me-ups 

As I said, today has been disgusting. All I wanted was a hazelnut macchiato from Starbucks. So I did. And it was heavenly. #worthit


On a random note, I'm thinking about making my blog public. What do y'all think? I need your input!!!