Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks

Blog Talk (and a Laundry Soap Recipe)

Soooo, I’ve been thinking about the blog lately.

Let’s discuss.

Working full time and staying busy with other activities sometimes makes it hard to come up with lots of fun content.

At the same time, I love this little space and want to continue daily posts during the week.

Soooo it got me thinking.

I want to have good content and don’t want to feel rushed or pressured to come up with things just to make sure space is filled on a given day.

I started thinking about things I liked best about some of my favorite blogs, and it really came down to their transparency. Their openness to share a glimpse of their life.

Right now, I share recaps on Mondays, often something food related Tuesdays, workout stuff on Wednesdays, things I’m loving or random fun stuff on Thursdays, and then something scripture based on Fridays.

I like this content structure, but feel like it needs a little...tweaking.

Here’s where the blogging pros whip out a survey for you to complete on things you’d like to see, but let’s be real here, I’m not going to make all seven of you do that.

I would, however, totally welcome thoughts on what aspects make up your favorite blogs, as well as some things you would like to see more/less of.

Let her fly!

Leave a comment in the share the love section in this post, and I will be so very thankful for your input as I start to consider some changes.

In fact, the rest of this week I will be gently reminding you, so you’ve been warned. smile

Oh- and let’s not addressed the ancient feel of the blog just yet.

It was made in 2006 (!!!) and definitely needs to be revamped, but unfortunately that’s just not on the docket right now. Definitely down the road though.

Thank you in advance. I know you won’t let me down (insert guilt trip here <----- ).

As a token of my appreciation, I wanted to share the laundry soap recipe below and tell you to DO.IT.

Seriously, it was the easiest 10 minutes ever, and this stuff should last until I'm 83.

Here's what you need (and most stores place these thinks altogether so it's easily accessible):
-2 cups, Borax
-2 cups, Washing soda
-2 bars Fels-Naptha
-Downy Unstoppables as desired (optional but highly recommended!)

Laundry makin'!

Here’s what you do:
-Grate the bar soap into small pieces.

Can we talk about this?

Everyone I talked to said this was so.incredibly.difficult.

It’s not.

Get your cheese grater, and get to it. You’ll be done in five minutes.

-Mix all ingredients together & store.

Use 2-3 tablespoons per load depending on size.

Boom. That’s it. That easy. This recipe should make close to 100 loads.

So there you have it.

Blog stuff,

laundry soap,

what more do you need?

I’m sending my next load to your house. Just saying. 

posted in Blogging,The House bullet permalink bullet 8.12.2014

The One with the Garage Overhaul & Look Ahead

Oh.my.stars.

I’m not going to say I’m glad it’s Monday, however I will say I’m glad this past weekend is behind us.

Hopefully you did something exciting or restful so I can vicariously live through you.

In fact, please tell me what you did so I can vicariously live through you.

Our weekend?

Was spent overhauling our garage.

Plus it was humid and a 137 degrees outside.

Terrific.

Admittedly, the garage needed some serious work.

It was pretty junky.

However, with competing demands to fix up Will’s man cave and overhaul the office (which is still on the horizon), the garage was most certainly an afterthought.

Plus, we honestly had no need to.

Now, however, we have to squeeze three vehicles and a motorcycle into our cluttered space, and that was not going to work!

Sooo Saturday was spent completely taking our garage apart and refashioning it to fit the new situation.

Oh man. Talk about exhausting.

Here’s where we started.

Before

Total junk city.

Please don’t judge.

When we moved back from Kuwait, everything we owned was shipped in footlockers...which were then (mostly) unpacked (or repacked) and placed in our garage.

That meant the footlockers were the first place we started.

We pulled everything out, went through them, washed them, and placed them in our storage shed.

That took forever.

And sheesh those things were heavy. Most were (and still are) filled with lots and lots of hardback books.

The rest were filled with all sorts of random treasures. Haha

We had lots of people that slowly drove by our house. I can’t be sure, but I think they thought we were having a garage sale.

I have no idea why they’d think such a thing…

During

After everything was out, we started garage reassembly.

Did I mention it was a thousand degrees and humid? Check out Will’s shirt in this pic. That was pretty much how we both looked.

During

Glamorous.

My parents were very thoughtful and brought us big Sonic teas and checked in on our progress.

It was good to see them, and it was good to force myself to stop and drink!

Speaking of hydration, oh man. I was a drippy, sweaty mess Saturday and super dehydrated.

I’m a wilty flower not cut out for buggy, dirty, garage work.

We started at 12:45, finished a little after 9:00, sweat buckets, peed once (seriously- only once 😟), and skipped dinner.

But we finished.

Thank God.

And it looks pretty darn good!

After

The whole time I was aching and sweating everywhere all I could think about was pizza.

I told myself it would be my reward for all the hard work.

Pizza, breadsticks, and a brownie. A complete cheat meal trifecta.

However, after we both showered it was after 9:30 and Will was all, “My body is so achy and the heat had zapped my appetite. I couldn’t eat a thing.”

Seriously man!?

For some reason Will not wanting to eat a giant carb infested meal with me took the fun out of the whole experience. Instead I ate two brownies and called it good (but was bummed about the pizza, not gonna lie).

I was a little worried Will was going to be stiff as a board Sunday morning. He kind of overdid it and was hurting pretty bad.

We both hobbled to bed, all old and battered, and were down for the count.

We didn’t set alarms yesterday, and ended up sleeping until 9:30. We opted not to go to church and watched it online instead.

The rest of the day was spent prepping for the week ahead- laundry, cooking, and the like.

Bor-ing.

I did manage to take 15 minutes to see my parents and tan, so that was nice.

Definitely not a glamorous weekend, but one that needed to happen. It feels good to have it done, and I’m thankful it’s over!

Can I totally switch gears for a second and tell you how much my heart is hurting for our brothers and sisters and their children in Iraq right now?

Between all that’s been going on in my life here, I’ve been watching the news frequently for updates. Having lived in a country that neighbored them, I somehow continue to feel connected to that part of the world.

Let’s definitely remember to keep them in our prayers today and the rest of the week.

So now we embark on another week. I have some fun things lined up, and I hope you’ll check in!

Here’s a quick look at what’s ahead:

-Blog talk (and a laundry soap recipe!)
-Working out in the midst of transition
-Thursday Things
-Streams of Consciousness (um, and I haven’t written this one yet but I have a feeling it will be long, so break it into sessions or do what you have to do, but don’t miss out!)

That’s it! My long weekend of garage cleaning. Very exciting. smile

Check in tomorrow and have a good day! 

It’s Time to Speak Up

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; (‭I Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭15‬ NKJV)

I am often nice to a fault.

Afraid to offend.

Afraid to hurt feelings.

Afraid to speak up.

Mousy and timid.

In fact, Will often teases I’m “Minnie.”

I’m not necessarily shy (after all I’m occasionally an Elmyra), but It’s also not in my nature to command crowds or be bold.

Suddenly, however, God is drawing me out. Gently calling me to step out of my comfort zone and speak up.

To take a stand.

Not to be silent.

To finally care so much about people that I have to make a move.

It’s causing simultaneous angst and urgency.

Afraid to do it, yet unable to sit quietly.

A struggle I increasingly battle.

Perhaps you’ve heard the quote that says, “Preach the gospel, if necessary use words.”

There is certainly a time for silence. There are times in which your mere, quiet presence in a situation can speak volumes.

However, in these days and times we live, I believe words may be more critical than ever.

It’s time for me to speak up and share the hope in Christ.

Verses

To share his love and mercy with things I say.

To speak about his forgiveness and tenderness.

To announce his return.

It’s time to speak up in love.

It’s time for me to no longer just be nice. Me being “nice” is likely not doing much to spread truth of life in Jesus. 

It’s time for me to put that niceness together with godliness. To be bolder. To be okay with people disagreeing with me. After all, that’s the beauty of God’s free will.

Verses

Maybe you struggle with this too. Perhaps all too often you are concerned about the destructive path a family member or friend is going down, or the despair your see someone in, but remain silent.

Friends, it’s time to speak up. If not for you, for them!

Remember (and I’m talking to myself here), speaking up doesn’t mean having to be something you’re not. After all, the first verse I shared talks about sharing the truth in meekness and fear. Just because I’m not naturally commanding doesn’t mean I still can’t be bold in my own right.

I know it’s hard, trust me, but when we pray for boldness and opportunities to share our hearts, watch out because he will do it!

I believe God is big enough to give us the opportunities, so here’s to stepping out of our comfort zone and being braver. ❤️

Verses

***
Happy Friday, friends. I got my car yesterday! The rest of the weekend is going to be pain-ful. We are doing a garage overhaul to make room for the new car. It’s not going to be fun, but I’m going to look as it as an opportunity to burn some extra calories. smile Check in Monday!

TILT: 7 August 2014

We’ve made it to Thursday.  One more day to go. Woo hoo!

Here are a few things I’m loving lately.

Manafest- Impossible

This has been added to my lifting playlist.

Tilt

Tilt
I like the idea of this quote and want to be more mindful of this very thought.

This post with questions to ask when making a decision.

Preseason football!
I’m actually sort of mixed about this one. I’m excited about the coming college football season, but also sort of sad about becoming an NFL football widow. For today, we will stick with the positive!

Unexpected blessings
Long story short, I did the right thing yesterday and in doing so, thought it was going to end up costing me $100 compared to the other route I could have gone. However, in doing so I was so shocked when I ended up getting that $100 back for doing the right thing.  Is this real life!? God is good.

Tilt
Mmm hmm. You know that’s right.

These fun summery skewers. They can be modified a hundred different ways, and I look forward to a delicious veggie friendly version soon.

These delicious roasted eggplants aubergines.

This hilarious picture of me and P

I can’t be sure, but there’s a slight possibility I was holding her just a tad too tight.

Brittny-7 yrs;Carissa-3 months-afraid of being squeezed to hard

Mary Kay Pink Luster
I’m usually a lipstick gal, but I switched to this gloss the other day for a change and am really liking it. It still packs enough color and gives plenty of coverage. Win.

Okay sweets, that’s it for today. Anything you like I should know about?

posted in All About Me,Nothingness bullet permalink bullet 8.07.2014

Work it Out Wednesday: Frogger

I was looking through my workout archives the other day and realized I don’t think I ever shared this gem with you guys.

On days I have to work Fridays, I work out at home a total of three days those weeks.

That means I do a variety of workouts to keep things fresh. Sometimes I’ll do Insanity, other days I’ll do a YouTube workout, and still others I create my own incorporating weights, body weight only, or a mix of both.

So yeah, I never get too bored. smile

Speaking of- I have a handful of excellent YouTube workouts if you’re interested? That may serve as a good future post!

For now, though, let’s get to today’s workout.

This is a full body blitz using nothing but your own weight.

Jumping jacks are pretty much my favorite form of cardio for these types of sessions, so forgive my repetition.

If you’re so inclined, change up the cardio.

Oh, and I entitled this one Frogger.

Like the video game.

Are you confused?

Am I showing my age?

Oy vey, just google it.

Now let’s get to it beauties!

Frogger

posted in Health & Fitness bullet permalink bullet 8.06.2014

One Minute, 100 Calorie, Single Serving Summer Treat

Let’s be real here, I’m no food blogger.

However, I enjoy sharing super easy and super healthy recipes that I enjoy and maybe you’ve never tried.

Which is what brings me to today.

It’s practically one ingredient,

it takes just one minute to prep,

it’s just at 100 calories,

and it’s perfect for just one person.

One, one, one.

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! smile

As you know, I’ve been up to my sticky,drippy, juicy elbows in the most delicious, ripest peaches ever.

They’re killing me.

I certainly like the idea of making a pie or a crisp, but quite honestly?

I love these golden gems, just as they are.

Today’s treat takes the simple succulence of a ripe, juicy peach and just enhances it.

Here’s what you need:

-1 large ripe peach
-1 teaspoon, honey
-Dash cinnamon

Did I mention it takes just a minute to prep? Seriously.

Slice up your peach, drizzle with honey and top with cinnamon.

Broil for 15 minutes.

Done.

Summer in a bowl.

Summer.

I love the syrupy goodness of the honey mixing with the juiciness of the peach, and the cinnamon just adds a little more depth.

It’s even more delicious over organic yogurt (cough: or ice cream).

Aside from the taste, my favorite thing about this recipe is that it feels like dessert but is entirely diet friendly and only 100 calories.

Enjoy these remaining weeks of summer with a simple juicy treat.

I’m down to my final peaches, but have a feeling I’ll be buying a few more before the season ends!

Check in tomorrow for an at home workout!

The Long One Where We Celebrated 65 Years & Look Ahead

Hey there sweets!

Here we go again.

How was your weekend? Tell me, tell me!

Mine was wonderful. I am blessed in so many ways.

And you are too!

Sometimes we have our head down plowing through life so quickly, that we never take time to look up and realize just how good we have it.

Let’s talk weekend stuff.

It was my Friday to be off, so I enjoyed that! I took advantage of a longer workout, and got ready.

I had plans to meet a former coworker for lunch. Before I knew it, not only did she show up, but she brought three more people with her that I used to work with!

It was such a wonderful surprise. Never mind the fact I was totally in workout wear and sort of bumming. Ha!

Regardless, I enjoyed catching up very much.

Afterward it was off to the store for groceries and laundry soap ingredients!

I was able to whip up a batch of my very own homemade laundry soap in mere minutes. I was pretty darn proud!

Laundry soap art (premixing)

Later that afternoon I also got to catch Layla’s swim lesson.

Pre swim.

Swim lessons!

Post swim.

Swim lessons!

Her adorableness is killing me. Watch this video of her wishing Will a happy birthday.

Dead.

Oh, and sorry for my terrible grammar. What horrific things will she pick up from me!? Haha (just watch the video)

Definitely a fun-filled day.

Saturday was busy and forever long. In fact, because of the way the day was broken up, it felt like two distinct days. Haha

Will worked for a few hours in the morning, so I hit the gym and crushed a leg workout.

For several months now, I’ve been going pretty light with higher reps. However, on Saturday I was ready to change it up and see what I had in me.

Afterward, I had a tea/coffee date with P and Layla, and my mom even showed up for a few minutes! 

On a side note, our coffee shop has like two dozen different types of flavored teas and I have been working my way through them. Saturday was an iced apple vanilla. Yum.

I enjoyed our morning chat.

I did some housework, and then Will got home.

A few hours later, we were off to see Will’s grandparents!

They are celebrating their 65th anniversary, so the family gathered to share in their day.

Celebrating 65 years. ❤️

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’ve been blessed beyond I deserve with the family I married into. They are such good and uplifting people.

I even got to visit with the wife of one of Will’s cousins who recently came back from Falls Creek, a Christian summer camp in Oklahoma.

I have countless wonderful memories of my summers there, and it was so exciting to hear about her recent experience going as an adult and helping students.

We ended up talking for a good half hour, caught up in all the wondrous and beautiful work The Lord is doing around us and even around the world. It was such an empowering discussion!

The party started late in the day, so we got home well past our bedtime!

I had big plans to go to the gym at 6 and workout before the day got started, but yeah, totally didn’t happen.

Instead, I slept in past 7 and Will and I met my family for breakfast! I always enjoy mornings like that.

Afterward, Will and I had close to an hour to kill before Petsmart opened. Which (obviously) meant a trip to Target was in order.

We meandered and contemplated exciting things like vacuums.

Contemplating vacuums

Will snagged a “steal” on a blue Ray DVD of a childhood favorite- The Man From Snowy River.

Snore.

Actually, I think I only saw it once and was really young, so maybe I’ll like it now?

We finished our errands and then it was time for church, food prep, and relaxing.

Here we are, another weekend down and another long week ahead.

So let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

-a single serving, 1-minute, 100 calorie, sweet snack
-a quick at-home workout
-Things I’m loving
-Using words

Now? Let’s conquer the long day ahead. Check in tomorrow! 

Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing

I gave my first presentation at the new job last week.

I have undergrad and graduate degrees in communication. I’ve had to speak in front of others lots of times.

I don’t know why, but for some reason all the moments leading up to this one gave me some serious anxiety.

Probably because I’m still the new girl and wanted to do a fantastic job and know everything about a place where I’ve only been a few months.

For that reason, I added extra pressure on myself.

The day of the presentation, my mind was focused on that meeting and nothing else.

I spent some quiet time with God, praying and reading his word but was so distracted.

“Why bother,” I thought to myself.

I became increasingly frustrated trying to get something out of my Bible study while having other things swirling around in my mind.

In total transparency I cried out to God and told him how distracted I felt. I said, “Please just help me through this presentation so I can get my focus back on You.”

I immediately stopped.

That was my problem.

My focus was diverted. I took my eyes off what was truly important and affixed them on something else.

I realize a presentation is minor in today’s example, and unfortunately I can also say I’ve done this very thing with much bigger things in my life.

However big or small the issue, taking our eyes off Jesus, even for a moment, makes us vulnerable.

As I sat there in the reality of what I just said, I started thinking about how I desperately I need Jesus to be Lord of my life, even in the small things like presentations.

This isn’t a new lesson. I know it very well. However, it’s an important one.

One of daily surrender.

One to be continually mindful of.

1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that in whatever we do, we should do it to honor God and bring Him glory.

Verse

Whatever we do.

Whether it’s sitting in church, sipping coffee with friends, or preparing for a presentation, it should glorify God.

Colossians tells us to work wholeheartedly as if to please God and not men.

Verse

Even things that seem small like presentations, putting a bandaid on our kid’s skinned knee, or going the extra mile to make someone new feel welcome can all be done as an act of worship to God if we have the right mindset.

The key is to keep our eyes on Him.

I know.

Easier said than done sometimes, right?

As I thought about what I had just prayed, the scriptures I shared with you came to mind.

I felt empowered, and refocused my mind on my first love.

I asked for his grace and mercy to help me keep my eyes on him.

I prayed my presentation, while totally void of anything related to God on the surface, would please Him because of my heart attitude and the fact that whatever I do, it should be an act that glorifies God.

He’s got me here for a reason, and I want to walk in Him. Even when they seem like small things (small things that I’ve made out to be big things!).

What about you?

Where’s your head at?

I ask in love, mainly because most of my life has been distracted by such temporary things.

Set your mind on things above, friend, not on earthly things.

I realize we have plenty of immediate things that require our attention, like families, jobs, and that pesky to do lost that seems to get longer instead of shorter.

However, remember to do all things in an attitude of glory to God.

If you don’t have a relationship with God (real life. You can actually have a relationship with Him), shoot me a note or click here. ❤️

Alright friends. Happy Friday. I have a busy weekend ahead. Hoping yours is full of fun!

Thursday Things: 31 July 2014

The car.

They are still waiting on parts, and sadly it won’t be ready until next week. Boo.

And did you know you’re supposed to break your car in?

Like jeans or new shoes.

Seriously. Google it. It’s a thing.

So yeah. Kind of a bummer. I’m ready to be immersed in technology and buttons.

And heated seats!

I realize it’s August, but heated seats!

The peaches?

They’re still killing me.

I had all these plans to make a crisp or grill them but I haven’t even given myself the chance because I’ve been eating them straight from the fridge.

Attacking the bushel

Eh, worth it.

Will is loving softball.

It’s no surprise, but it still makes me laugh. He gets so amped for his games.

Softball

In fact when another team almost had to forfeit, he volunteered to pitch in and act as a sub.

This guy.

It’s church league but you’d think it was the major league. He’s adorable.

I’m rocking the pale
Actually, that’s a lie. I’m never “rocking” the pale look.

However, P and I decided to de-tan this week and start with a fresh tan Sunday.

If you’ve read my blog for awhile you know we have our own airbrush tanner that’s not without it’s issues.

I’ve finally succumbed to being okay with the issues. Not the paleness.

I’ve been listening to a series of sermons on the influence of music on our thoughts and speech.

Such a good series.

You want to talk about some truth in my own life. Sheesh. I can unequivocally say the trash I used to listen to most totally affected the way I spoke as well as a host of other things. Truth.

it was in the 70s here yesterday.

Is this real life? Loving it.

Sooo I think I’m going to try my hand at homemade laundry soap this weekend.

I’m getting all Laura Ingalls Wilder, y’all. It’s out of control.

I’m sure you’ve seen a thousand posts on blogs and Facebook about making it, so I’m undecided whether I’ll share here. We shall see!

Alright, that’s it for now. Anything you care to share?

Work it Out Wednesday: Why You’re Selling Yourself Short

Wiow

Okay pretties, let’s get real today.

Sometimes we sell ourselves short.

Head trash like, “I can’t,” “I’ll never,” and “I’ll do it tomorrow” inhibit our ability to be all we are fully capable of being.

Why do we think this way?

Lots of reasons.

Maybe we are afraid to fail and it’s safer not to take the chance.

Or perhaps we like the idea but don’t want to put in the effort.

Or maybe we are even going balls out yet still hitting a brick wall.

So how are we selling ourselves short in meeting our goals?

There’s tons of reasons, and we are only going to touch on a handful.

Let’s discuss.

1. You’re not doing enough

Can we be real here?

Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves, but other times we just take it way too easy on ourselves.

I love how sometimes we beat ourselves up about something we did or didn’t do at work or home, yet when it comes to working out we are often much more gentle with ourselves.

We don’t feel like working out.

We don’t want to sweat.

It’s hard.

So we don’t do it.

Or we do workout but never challenge ourselves.

We never set goals, or only set easy ones that don’t take too much work so we are never disappointed.

We never push ourselves or try something new or difficult.

How can we get better if we never challenge ourselves?

Please know I say this with love- do more. Don’t be afraid to kick it up a notch if you’re always in easy mode and don’t want to put in more work.

Put in the work, and I bet you’ll see some different results.

2.You’re Doing Too Much

I know you’re probably tired of me saying this over and over, but our bodies need rest.

If you’re not allowing proper recovery time, you’re likely not seeing all you’ve got in you.

You can only run on “E” for so long.

Rest and fill up your tank. You might be surprised just how much more your capable of.

3.You’re Afraid to Fail

For a long time I avoided exercises I wasn’t good at.

I realize how ridiculous it sounds, but hey, it’s true.

Funny thing is, the more I talk to others the more I find many of us stick to our comfort zones. Our niches.

Not because we love them so much (although in some cases that’s true too!), but mainly because we’ve mastered them and don’t want to be bad at something.

So instead of trying something we aren’t so great at in order to get better, we divert our focus to only things we are good at.

Genius.

Ha

Guys, if we want to get better, we are selling ourselves short here.

We need to get out of that comfort bubble and be willing to be bad at something in order to get better.

I realize it sounds silly, but it’s true. If we want tight glutes and only do squats but no lunges or dead lifts because they’re hard, we are selling ourselves short.

Don’t be afraid to give things a shot.

4. Your Form Stinks

Sloppy form is not only dangerous and risks injury, but it also limits progress.

If you’re not using proper form, you’re doing it wrong. Do it right and stop selling yourself short.

***
Those are just a handful of many reasons, but hopefully one struck a chord if you know you’re holding yourself back. Sometimes you just need to “hear” it in black and white.

Alright loves, give it all you’ve got this week. Get rid of the head trash and focus on a positive change.

More to come! 

posted in Health & Fitness bullet permalink bullet 7.30.2014

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About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at blove@theblovelife.com!


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