Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
Why My Masters Degree Means Nothing

Cooking 101: Put the Jarred Garlic Down


Let’s discuss food today.

And life lessons.

Like- life lessons of essential cooking know-how.

After our Memorial Day weekend of indulgences, my sister and I decided we should probably end our trip on a good note.

You know, to sort of set the tone for the coming week of healthfulness?

P made a delicious batch of quinoa, which inevitably got me back on my quinoa kick.

Which means I’ll probably be eating it for like the next month straight.

I make this recipe for my lunches a lot, and figured I would share it with you today.

Because, as I previously stated, I am on a quinoa kick and am having it for lunch this week.

I even modified it based on yummy trick P shared with me.

Shouldn’t the big sister be teaching the little sister?

Never mind.

And honestly? It’s not even a “trick.”

Tricks are fun things you see on Pinterest (which I’m still avoiding, by the way).

This was more of a Cooking 101 lesson.

So, I’m 30 years old and never (yes NEVER) purchased a whole head of garlic until the weekend before our Memorial Day trip.


It’s true.

How un-30.

And lame.

Am I really that unadventurous!?

If adventurousness is gauged by garlic purchases, than yes.

Yes, I am totally unadventurous.

Rather than buying garlic in its whole form (you know, since I’m such a fancy, gourmet cooker), I’ve always gone the lazy way:


Hey- don’t knock it.

It’s made by a guy named Chef Cuisine.

It’s gotta work. It’s who he IS!

I guess.


However P, in all her 23-year-old glory, convinced me there is something magical (yes, magical) in buying a head of garlic.

Because she’s adventurous like that.

So adventurous that she roasted it.

All by her freaking self.

And I realized what a spoiled brat I’ve been for never taking 5 minutes to slap some oil on a head of garlic and do the same.


Jarred garlic.

Who the heck do I think I am!?


Today we are going to roast garlic.

And I realize this is a no brainer for ALL of you, and this post has absolutely no useful value to you-

But I urge you to keep reading anyway.

Because this recipe is tasty and filling, but still light.

Plus you’ve already read a ton, so just finish the job.

If you’re like me and have never gotten adventurous and have continually resorted to buying premade crap, strap on your big girl pants.

It’s about to get nuts over here.

Preheat your oven to 350

Take a head of garlic, and peel away the outer layers of the bulb, leaving the skins on the individual cloves intact.

Take a sharp knife and carefully slice off the top so you expose the individual cloves of garlic.



Brush the exposed cloves with a little olive oil.

Wrap in foil.

Place on a cookie sheet.

Place in the oven, set your timer for 45 minutes, and walk away and do something adventurous for a few minutes.

Like water your plants,

or challenge your mom to a game of Words with Friends

or maybe even paint your toes.

You are so wild!

Okay, now that you’ve done something thrilling, it’s time to make your quinoa.

Which is super easy and fast.

Because you can use your rice cooker.

Just cook a box in your rice cooker with two parts water to one part quinoa and you are all set.


If you don’t have a rice cooker, just cook according to box directions.

While that is cooking, sautee 1 large red pepper and an 8 oz. packet of sliced fresh mushrooms in ½ TBSP of coconut oil until they are soft.



By now your garlic should be nice and soft and ready to take out of the oven.


Gently press the cloves out, and add to the veggies. Give a good mash, and mix well.


Add salt and pepper to taste, toss into the quinoa, and pat yourself on the back. You freaking just mastered the most elementary kitchen lesson at 30 years old.

Bravo, Brittny. Bravo.


1 head garlic
1 package cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon coconut oil (part for the garlic, the other part for sautéing)
1 large chopped red pepper
1 8 oz package chopped mushrooms
Salt & pepper to taste

the gratitude journal.

Last Friday was stressful.

The Moore tornado left me afraid of a single dark cloud in the sky for fear there might be another terrible storm to follow.

Plus the weather anchors promised bad weather pretty much every day the following ten days after it happened.


Last Friday was no different.

Meteorologists warned treacherous weather could mimic events in Moore.

And I suppose the night did not “disappoint.”

Five tornadoes and double digit deaths.

The tornado on Friday was an F5 and the widest tornado on record.

But that’s not what I’m posting about today.

However, it was this event that led me to this post, so allow me to set the scene.

Many businesses allowed their employees to go home early that day to ensure everyone had the opportunity to get to a safe place, mine included.

I left around 3:00 that afternoon and rushed home, trying to do some of the major things I had put off since the Moore tornado:

do a quick video inventory of my house for insurance purposes, and pack a backpack of things I simply did not feel I could live without if the worst happened.

Talk about sobering.

Reducing your entire life to a backpack?


I sped home and immediately started a video inventory of my house. I didn’t do a great job, but figured it would definitely serve its purpose.

And then I got my backpack out and thought to myself, “How in the world am I going to do this!?”

Thankfully most of my pictures are stored online, so although I have lots of important photo albums from the “old days” when you actually had to use a camera with film and take it to MotoPhoto to get developed, I opted not to lug those along.

I will have to deal with those sometime soon.

Anyway, it was really hard to pick what I simply could not bear to lose, because there are lots of things.

I would guess most of you feel the same way about certain things too.

I picked a box full of letters I wrote to “my future husband” when I was a teenager, since they’re freaking ancient now, and also since they were something I made for Will before I even really knew him.

I picked our wedding video, as well as another small box of important “stuff.” There were still two other boxes I was unable to bring, which made me sad. I suppose in hindsight I should have just brought another small bag and found a way to cram it in the shelter with us.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

Anyway- I suppose I should get to the point.

After the dust settled from the five tornadoes that tore through the state that night, I put a couple of my prized possessions in their place the following morning.

It was at that moment I noticed a small little book with the words, “Gratitude Journal” inscribed on the front.

As soon as I saw it I instantly remembered how important this book was to me, and I was surprised how easily I had forgotten about it!

Back in 2004 I started writing little letters to Will in it, capturing some of the funny or sweet things he had done throughout various days that brought me joy or for which I was grateful.

It was funny to look back at all I had written.

I kept this little journal active when I was in Kuwait, and would try to write in it at least once a week, recalling small events that made me appreciate Will.

Although I had seemingly forgotten about it, I sure would have been sad to have lost this book.

It brought me such joy over the years.

I remember at the time thinking how doing something like this really made me appreciate the small stuff, and how absolutely crazy we were about each other. And even when it seemed like Will and I weren’t as absolutely crazy about each other as we were during our newlywed stage, there was certainly a deep love that abounded and something I could certainly see in those little day-to-day recollections.

And it was nice! It was a way to count my blessings, no matter how small, and in doing so my love for Will got stronger.

And it’s so strange how you can be in the habit of doing something, and then all of a sudden stop without any reason, really.

And not only that, but forget about such a treasure altogether.

I wrote sporadically from 2004 to 2007, and it looks like I forgot about the book and picked up once again in 2008.

The last entry was in January, when we were still in Kuwait and had no idea we would soon be moving home. 

And now I am sort of bummed I didn’t keep it up to date with little everyday thoughts of gratitude the last five years. Because I am sure there was enough to fill he book by now!

It’s funny. When we first moved back to America in 2008, I felt like I had so much time on my hands.

It was crazy!

Granted, at the end in KuwaitI was working all week for about 11 hours a day, which left no free time at all. Moving home was like a vacation.

However, it’s interesting how “so much time” can be filled with tons of empty “stuff.”

I have been struggling with how to be a better time manager time lately, and finding this book was a nice reminder that I need to fill my life with more goodness and less meaninglessness.

Do I really need to check social media a million times a day?

Could I find time in my schedule to volunteer once a month?

Can I make my family a bigger priority?

How can I be more efficient on the road, at work, in the morning, during my evening hours?

I saw an interesting quote the other day by someone who said, “I make myself rich by making my wants few.”

This statement struck a chord deep within me.

I find myself getting excited about a million things,

wanting a million things,

trying to commit 100% of myself to a million things,

or at least the idea of a million things, which in and of itself can be exhausting.

And before long, I feel like I am on this never-ending hamster wheel of complete insanity.

And I end up exhausting myself and being ineffective.

Seeing this journal.

Reading such simplistic thanks for the most basic of niceties or compliments really refocused me on the richness in enjoying each and every day, free from as much clutter as possible.

I’ll be honest. I don’t have a plan of attack yet, but I am certainly thinking about it.

My first action is to make a daily appointment with God each morning.

So often I hurry myself through my Bible study and make such little time to pray, let alone take time to really seek God or take in His word.

That alone will be a major step to my time management and refocusing.

I also think it will help with the prioritization of so much else. This one act will really help set each day on the right path of less clutter, and I know from firsthand experience.

I have also been thinking about ways to manage my evenings better. There are plenty of things I can do over the course of the week that I leave until the weekend.

I’ve also been thinking about realistic volunteer opportunities. Instead of saying I am going to do something twice a week and then never doing it, how about setting a more attainable goal for myself?

Anyway- you get the picture.

I have so much to be grateful for, and really want to take time to focus on such things.

So the book.

I suppose we should get back to that, since that’s where it all started, right?

The book remains unfinished, with lots of pages left to write.

I decided it would be a fitting ten year anniversary to give to Will next March.

That leaves me plenty of time to fill it full of more day-to-day gratefulness and memories to look back on in another ten years.

It also leaves me with a little time to harness my time and make it count. And who knows, maybe that will end up leading to more gratuitous memories to write to Will?

Would I have liked to have more for him to read between 2008 and today?


But the good thing is that I found it last week and not another five years from now, looking back thinking, “What in the heck have I been doing with my time?”

So here’s to a refocus and rededication of everyday gratefulness in the small stuff.

Because most of the time, that’s the big stuff.

More to come…

The Un-30.

I have what P and I now like to call Oompa Loompa feet.

Yes, it is true.

I am a ruddy shade of orange, thanks to asking my sister to, “Spray my feet again please” because “It doesn’t seem like you really got them.”

She got them.

Oh did she get them.

What an immature and un-30 thing to do.

The crazy thing about paleness is that I’m not even overly concerned about my Oompa Loompa-ness.

And could care less about Will’s hurtful Willy Wonka jokes.

Because I’m tan darn it, which is better than paper white.

Oh- and I suppose now is a good time to throw in the fact that I realize today’s outer beauty(or lack thereof!?) post does not seem very congruent with yesterday’s inner beauty post-

but please indulge me.

I have orange fairies for Pete’s sake!

There’s not much beautiful about that.

Unless you like Oompa Loompa feet, in which case- I apologize-

And stand beside you in solidarity for the next 7-10 days while I wait for this crazy orange fest to fade.

But enough about that.

There’s only so many times I can say the “f” word (feet) without getting grossed out, and I have totally gone over my quota.

Let’s talk about something else.

Like how I am going to totally abandon my diet next weekend and instead devote it to trashing up s’mores to the best of my ability.


The dirtiest things are about to happen to s ‘mores and my mind is racing like a teenage boy.

I’m thinking cookies instead of graham crackers, whether we could cut brownies in half to serve as the base, and P even thought about how to make peanut butter M&Ms work in them too.

It’s going to happen.

And I will most certainly pay for it the following Monday-

If not in the form of a trip to have my stomach pumped,

(dear God I pray not)

Most definitely in the form of a gigantic face explosion of zits.

Because nothing says I ate like utter crap-ola like a face full of swollenness and pain.


Definitely looking forward to the s’mores part.

The aftereffects? I could do without.

Hmm- which leads me to wonder how you guys would cope with such major indulgences.


You’re saying you don’t exist on s’mores for three days straight, and that no one but me would do such a stupid thing!?

Sheesh- you could have said it a little nicer.

I get it.

No one eat three “square” meals of s’mores.

Because that would be utterly ridiculous.

And incredibly unhealthy.

Especially for a self-proclaimed health nut.

And totally immature and un-30.




It’s like you’re trying to talk me out of it.

Or I’m trying to talk me out of it.

No, that can’t be it.

It’s just a few zits.

They’ll go away.

Who am I kidding!? That’s awful!


I need to collect myself.

Plus I have totally gone over my “z” word (zit) quota for the day and am getting grossed out again.

But now all I can think about is the junk food fest and how it doesn’t seem as fun when I think about the consequences.


I’m so old!!

I’m like that annoying friend of yours that you keep trying to get to have “just one more glass” of wine-

Because you know she’s WAY more fun to be around after “just one more glass.”

Only she never has “just one more glass” because “it will give her heartburn” or “she has a headache” or “she has to volunteer to help the elderly and be absolutely amazing the following day.”


That responsible friend of yours. Just have the drink already!

Only we know she’s right.

She’s going to have that one drink and be fun for like a whopping 5 minutes, but will then spend the next hour lamenting about how much she has to do and how she totally shouldn’t have had that one drink and then will go on

And on

And on

Until you wish you could freaking craft some sort of Back to Future time reverse machine so you could redo the last hour of your life.

Or simply just want to take an Ambien and call it a night.

That would work too.


P is totally going to rue the day (yes, I did just say rue the day) we decided to get food drunk on s’mores.

I’m going to be a barrel a laughs the first few meals,

but then I start to feel sick.

And then my heart starts racing from the sugar (um, because that’s what happens to people that never eat it… It’s like a freaking panic attack of chaos. And you’re left wondering, “Did someone just slip me a drug!?").

And my stomach starts producing what I not so affectionately call “food babies.”

And then the complaining sets in.

And then I got from a barrel of laughs to nothing more than a barrel of annoyingness.

Assuming barrels of annoyingness were a real thing.

Eh let’s fly by the seat of our pants, kick up our Oompa Loompa fairies, and call it a day.

Bring on the s’mores and lets watch this party unravel.

I love living on the wild side.

The un-30 side.

At The Core

Yes, at the core.

And I’m not talking about abs today!

A few weeks ago my friend Angela shared a post that touched on inner beauty.

Even before Angela’s post I had been thinking of this very topic, so reading her post definitely resonated. Obviously I would hope most of us would agree on the importance of inner beauty in our lives, but I wonder how often we stop to emphasize it?

I talk a ton about fitness and health on this site, and follow tons of inspiring women who motivate me to continue living a healthy life.

Some of my favorite girls that bring me such inspiration are Jamie Eason and Jessica Paxon. They are Christian women who have succeeded in the fitness industry, and always share uplifting posts and pictures.

However, there are others, whom after sharing this post, I intend to delete from my social media sites because I feel as though they do not portray an image of inner beauty and rather narcissism and even negativity.

Okay- so don’t flame me.

I know we all have the free will to do and post whatever we please, and yes, I don’t know these people- they could be the most philanthropic people out there. I get it.

I’m not really trying to convey that.

More so, I’m really trying to say how I personally feel when I see such posts.

Some are definitely inspiring and positive, while others are downright trashy.

Why do I want to follow someone that clearly seems all about themselves and wearing zero clothes in the name of “fitness?”

And the answer is, I don’t.

My point is- I love the fitness industry and am so inspired by people who succeed in it. However, lately I have really had to take a step back and look at myself and consider whether I am focused too much on the pursuit of outward beauty to the detriment of inward beauty.

Hopefully that makes sense.

I think about Layla and young girls that may deal with body image issues at some point in their lives.

I think about the recent Abercrombie controversy whose CEO says their clothes aren’t made for “fat people.”

Um what?

I think about how outward beauty is a topic a lot of us deal with- especially as we age and experience big milestones (ahem 30!). Obviously I want to look my best and put forth an outward image that makes me feel confident.

But how often do we think about inner beauty?

For me, it’s not as often!

I always want to exude gracefulness and positivity and warmth to those around me. As long as I’ve been alive, I have always been dubbed “the nice girl.”

And it used to bug me.

“Why couldn’t I be the pretty girl!? Who wants to be the nice girl!?” I used to think to myself.

However, as I’ve gotten older, and as I have come across people who seem to appreciate such nicety, I realize I am okay with that.

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is fleeting,” and that is definitely a worthwhile saying to me.

We’ve all known the beautiful charmers and the schmoozers. For most, it doesn’t take long to see right through them. It’s the core of a person that eventually shines through.

I’ve seen the most charismatic schmoozers show their ugly underbelly far too many times. 

I hope and pray my “core” always puts forth that inner beauty Angela wrote about. I want to be concerned and excited about that inner beauty just as I am about my next Ipsy Glam Bag or my super awesome fake tanner (um, because it is super awesome).

I hope the same holds true for you.

I am also curious about what your thoughts are when you see the thousands of sexy Instagram or Pinterest posts that seemingly try to convey a positive message but are mostly wrapped in trashiness. What about the recent Abercrombie controversy? 

Does it inspire you or is it a turnoff?

How to be More Awesome: The Busy Woman Meal Plan

The second I get home, I go into crazy mode.

The littles have been in their kennel all freaking day (um, because they cannot be trusted),

and 99.9% of the time one of them peed in the corner, which causes an instant mass cleanup of the kennel and doggie paws.

Plus at least once a week Boz, God love him, lifts his leg as to pee outside the kennel- thereby landing halfway on the floor.


And if I’m really lucky, occasionally one of them pooped.

Double awesome.

Scrub, scrub, scrub.

From there, it’s unpacking lunches and putting away dishes,

starting dinner,

feeding dogs,

cleaning up by the outside door where Will tracked in dirt from feeding the Bigs,

starting laundry,

cleaning messes,

and prepping food for the following work day.

(And a partridge in a pear tree!)

And that’s all before we sit down to eat.

And I don’t even have children.

I have a feeling the chaos level goes up about 30% per child, though I am certain one of you will correct me with a better figure smile

Bottom line, ladies- we are busy!

Whether we are lucky enough to stay at home with our kids, or work outside the home- we are working all day. From the time our feet hit the floor, until our heads hit the pillows we are on the go.

I am always very surprised to hear many of my coworkers lament about how they have no idea what to cook for dinner as they prepare to head home for the day.


We’re an hour out from having dinner and you don’t have a plan?

I have pulsed an, albeit fairly small group, but the majority of people I talk to don’t have a plan for what they are going to eat each night they get home.

So not only do they have to combat traffic on the way home, and “just get home madness,” but they also have to battle what’s for dinner- and persnickety eaters.

I cannot even imagine the added stress of staring mindlessly into the pantry thinking, “I wonder if I could feed Will those canned pears and boil up a side of this plain macaroni, add salt, and call it good?”

Who am I kidding? Of course I could.

Who doesn’t love bland macaroni with a side of mushy pears!?

Alright, joking aside, something me and P talk about is how incredibly busy she feels/will feel coming home after a long day and then having to continue to be “on” all the way until bed.

While I realize the odds of us not having to be awesome from sun up to sun down is slim (um, which doesn’t even matter because we ARE awesome from sun up to sun down!), part of awesomeness is knowing boundaries and being able to think outside the box and be resourceful.

Enter help.

We all need it at some time or another.

And knowing how to ask for it is part of being awesome.

I had the privilege of coming up with a meal plan for one of my coworkers desparate to create a level of civility and peace in the evenings.

Apparently, it’s amazing how much more smoothly things can go with a plan.

I soaked up every moment I got to do it, and had a blast! Perhaps I will share more about this experience later.

Today I wanted to a week’s worth of dinner ideas in hopes it inspires you for the week ahead, or at least keeps you from going gray or sticking your kids dogs in their kennel upon hearing their first yip.

I realize most families do not follow a vegetarianism lifestyle (including my own, which consists of a carnivorous husband!), so I obviously took that into account. If you’re curious, when I make these recipes I usually substitute my meat for tofu.

Each meal makes about 4 servings.

I realize some kids can be picky, but I tried to make these somewhat family friendly.

Definitely give the Meatless Monday and Wednesday options a try, though.

Who says you HAVE to have meat at every meal? It is a great way to transition to eating less meat (and possibly little to none at all if you choose one day) Not only that, but it will help keep a little more money in your pocketbook too!

Without further ado (because who has time for any more chatter!?), I offer you your week night dinner plan.

Meatless Monday- Enchilada Casserole

Sauté 1 red, 1 green, and 1 orange pepper, 1 small chopped onion & 1-2 jalepenos (depending on how spicy you want it) with one tablespoon of coconut oil.

Add 1 cup prepared enchilada sauce to veggies (we like the medium or hot kind, but the mild is good too).

Spread 1 cup prepared enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 13x9 baking pan.

Add four cups of cooked brown rice over the bottom of the pan.

Spread 1 can of black beans over rice.

Top with veggies.

Add low fat cheese sparingly (or skip altogether like I do for my portion).

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Top with scallions, guacamole, greek yogurt, and more enchilada sauce of desired

Tuesday- Citrus Tilapia

Place thawed tilapia filets in a plastic bag and add 2 TBSP lemon juice, 2 TBSP lime juice, 1 TBSP minced garlic, and a small can of mandarin oranges with juice (I like the “skinny fruit” version by Libby because it has far less sugar).

Marinate all day (or overnight).

Pour bag into a shallow baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until tilapia is white and fully cooked.

Serve with broccoli and a baked sweet potato (or if you are pressed for time like me, pierce a sweet potato a few times and microwave 6-7 minutes!)


Fried rice.

Thursday Salsa Chicken

Place a pound of skinless chicken breasts in a crockpot and top with a jar of low sodium salsa.

Add about a cup of water to prevent burning (may need more or less depending on the amount of salsa in the jar you use)

Cook on low 4-6 hours.

Serve over brown rice or quinoa and top with guacamole, light cheese, or greek yogurt.

Add a side salad if desired.

Friday- Homemade Pizza!

Top whole wheat pizza crust with organic tomato sauce, part skim mozzarella, and various fresh veggies.

I love to make this a vegan option by nixing the cheese and topping with more veggies. Daiya also makes a great dairy free cheese that melts great, you could try.

So there you have it!

Five easy and quick meals that require little work. Hopefully less stress for you on busy days.

If this is something you would like posted more often, let me know and I would be glad to do so.

Have a happy dinner!

No Bones About It: Brittny (sort of) Meets a Celebrity

You’d think as I got older I would outgrow things.

I mean, sure I’ve (mostly) given up my love of Barbie (totally lying),

All things sparkly (again, lying),

And flavored lip gloss, love of Ryan Gosling, and anything bright pink (lying, lying, lying).

Yet there are a few habits that just die hard.

Like my ability to recognize people’s celebrity lookalike.

Yes, it is true.

For example, some days my celebrity lookalike is this:


While others it is this.



Anyway, the ability to recognize a lookalike tends to be a bit of a distraction.

I’m sure you can imagine.

And probably confirms Will and I watch way too much TV.

So I’m sitting in my meeting this week (a three day meeting, mind you), and immediately freak out because Dr. Temperance Brennan from Bones is freaking sitting right across the table from me.



No seriously.

This is actually happening before my eyes.

And she’s right across from me so I cant.look.away!!

There’s lookalike resemblance, and then there’s downright uncanny,

do a double take,

“Do I look okay and would it be awkward to ask for a picture I can post on Instagram?” lookalikes.

This lady?

Was the latter.

Sure she wasn’t wearing any makeup, and her hair was curlier-


She was even wearing a white shirt, which I kept referring to as her “doctor’s jacket” in my mind all afternoon.

(Probably because I’m crazy)

I’m sitting here, listening to her speak, and automatically taking her more seriously.

Should could have the IQ of a rock, and actually have a hard time walking and chewing gum simultaneously, yet in my mind she’s totally legit.

That’s how I roll. (apparently)

I kept waiting for Booth and Sweets to burst through the door, telling Bones there was some super highly sensitive covert operation going down and they needed her expertise immediately!

Only that never happened.


And then, after I thought about that,

I thought about how Booth is pretty cute,

And then my mind then wandered back to reality.

Sort of....

I began to think, “Maybe the Jeffersonian gave her a sabbatical to pursue other interests?”

Interests like the painful reality of project schedules, and contracts, and sequestration.


But who am I kidding? It’s Bones? She’s a genius and loves a challenge.

Of course she’d pick something ridiculous like this.

As I continue to sit in the meeting,

day one,

day two,

and day three

everything progressively gets more and more technical- which means I begin to zone out because it doesn’t really pertain to me.

Which gives me time to multitask.

And contemplate whether it would be awkward if I asked her if she ever gets mistaken for Bones.

Or worse- ask if she really is Bones.

Every time she uses a big word, I secretly giggle in my mind. Of course she would use a word like “parsimonious,” she’s Bones!

When she corrects someone I can’t help but want to say, “That’s exactly what Bones would do!”

Or when she talks about her kid, I’m obviously thinking “Christine,” the cute blonde that in no way resembles Booth or Bones.

And I suppose it’s because it’s a TV show.

Only it is not.

It is freaking REAL LIFE because Bones is here, in my conference room, in the flesh!

I’m so confused!

Deep breaths.

So yeah, obviously I learned a lot during my trip this week.

I did mention some habits die hard, right? wink

When Life Gives You Lemons (and a ramble)


If you gave the green tea smoothie a go, chances are you have some tea leftover. 

Today’s post is all about a fun and refreshing way to use it up and get hydrated in the heat of summer.

Iced tea is a staple in Oklahoma, and most people are about a sweet as the drink itself.

(okay, I’m exaggerating. A lot. I’m talking to you, jerk who cut me off last week!!)

Anyway, one of my favorite occasional treats is the Starbucks iced lemon green tea. It just feels like summer when I drink it.

I started making my own version last year and wanted to share it with you today. It’s ridiculously simple, but worth sharing nonetheless.

Here’s what you need:

4 cups water
3 tea green tea bags
1 lemon, sliced
2 packets Stevia (Or more if desired. Confession time- last year, before I tried to give up most artificial sweeteners on a regular basis, I used to use like 5. Don’t judge. It was delicious.)

Stick your water in the microwave for about 5-6 minutes, until it starts to boil. Add the teabags and let steep for a few minutes. Allow to cool for about 20-30 minutes. Pour into a pretty pitcher, full of ice, and add your sliced lemons and Stevia. Give a good stir, and enjoy!

Yes. I realize. This just happened. An entire post devoted to making tea.

Get off me.

I’m travelling this week and had to have a few posts ready beforehand.

So stop judging.

Are you judging?

Maybe you’re not even judging, and it’s really me that’s doing the judging.


In which case, I’m sorry.

Obviously I’m a little sensitive about the basicness of my post.

But seriously?

People are not making pretty green tea with fresh lemon slices in their house these days.

We’re buying crap with fancy names like “Mio” that has an “energy boost” or Crystal Light or the delicious Red Diamond sweet tea brand that comes in a gallon jug that pretty much dissolves your teeth after one sip.

Yes, it is delicious, but seriously- after you drink it you feel like you have a forest of disgustingness growing in your mouth and all over your teeth.

Hello cavities!

So don’t do that.

And take 5 minutes and do this.

Just like the book, Eat This, Not That.

Only blonde, and sometimes bossier.

Only in blog form.

Unless you’re married to me.

In which case sometimes bossier turns into lots times bossier.

Only I’m sort of lying.

Because let’s face it, Will is WAY bossier than me.

If you’ve read my blog over the years, I’m sure you get that.

Mainly because I’m a train wreck when it comes to keeping us viable and functioning human beings unless it’s related to a clean house, healthy living, fitness, or my job.

So thank God for Will’s bossiness.


Eh, occasionally.

But don’t tell him I said that.


in which i further confirm my age

I have no idea why I’m posting today.

Which is ALWAYS a brilliant way to attract and maintain readers on a Saturday morning, right?

Yes, I thought so too.

The truth is, I am in between tasks and procrastinating.

And therefore concluded blogging was the best option.


And since it’s Saturday, I promise no crazy weird workouts that will have you sweating all over yourself in five minutes, or no obscure foods like eggplants aubergines.

Just pure, simple, random, Saturday fun.

Because that’s how I roll.


I am currently backing up my phone because, for the last few weeks, I have been getting iCloud messages like,

“Hey! You’re over your iCloud limit, stupid! We can’t freaking backup your phone unless you pay to buy more or backup to your computer.

And PS- you would think you would take these notices more seriously considering your freaking dog ATE your last phone and rendered you information-less for a good week!”

And so, I realized the friendly iCloud message had a point.

And therefore, it was time to backup my phone.

Because you never know when you are going to have a complete lapse of judgment and feed it to your dog.


I am also adding music to my phone.

Now that I’m 30 I feel it’s even more important to stay “hip” with the “kids.”

You know, so I can totally talk their totally rad lingo.


Gotta keep up with the times these days, guys.

Okay- totally lying.

I honestly have no idea what’s “in” these days.

Which totally confirms the sadness of my 30-ness.

In both a good and bad way?

I don’t even know.

“And I don’t even care,” she says as she downloads another totally hip song.

Note to self- please don’t EVER say hip again.

I’m pretty sure saying “hip” wasn’t even cool for my parent’s generation.


Who am I anymore!?




Okay… let’s refocus here.

Obviously we are on a tangent.

Which is so not hip (assuming I was going to ever use that word again, that is).

Anyway- I’m downloading new music so I have something fun to listen to while I travel next week.

I love Pandora, and usually just listen to that, but I am trying to reserve my Pandora listening to only at the gym because I’m continually getting notices that I’m near my monthly limit- and obviously am too cheap to upgrade to Pandora One.

Which is ridiculous seeing as how I am 30 and could probably “spring” for the $3.99 a month.

Moving on-

(besides, we both know I’m still not going to do it!)

I actually have something fun planned for later today!

I look forward to sharing it with you guys soon.

Until then, I will wrap up this much needed backup session and get ready for the day ahead.

Check back soon, and have a hip great day!

see you on the other side

Well friends, it’s been a good decade.

However, it is time to say goodbye.

Before leaving the awesomeness that is the 20s, I wanted to take a moment to soak it all in and really look over some of the milestones of the decade.

Without further ado, here is a quick recap of the last decade.

Got married
Honeymooned in the Poconos
Moved in with Will
Still in school (blah)
Worked in the school’s transcripts department (big money!)

Turned 21!  Not a wild night (I was a pastor’s wife)
Had been married for a month
Still in school
Took a weekend quick trip to the mountains for a surprise getaway
Got a surprise Christmas Tree from Will
Started a blog!
Had major foot surgery

Graduated college with a BA in Communications
Moved to Kuwait the same day
Lived with my parents
Had the summer of unemployment (which turned out to be something I’m thankful for, looking back)
Went to Qatar
Started my job
Went home on vacation

Endured the heat
Went to Dubai, Will got to ski indoors!
Went home on a really long vacation (and got Boz and Lucy while we were there!)
Got a new job, turned out to be a really important move for my future,
Went to the Super Bowl (and sorry there are no pictures where they say there are… when I moved my old blog over I lost all the pics. Bummer)

Started The Blove Life!
Experienced a Kuwait earthquake
Went to Jordan and celebrated Thanksgiving there
me and p being brave and climbing rocks
Went home on vacation and went to the Fiesta Bowl
happy sooner couple- pre-loss

Applied for a job back home and got it!
Left Kuwait
Moved home
Bought a house, started the job, began making sense of life back in America
Got the bigs
Went on the most amazing vacation of my life with P
in front of the library
Went to the OU national championship in Miami (and lost. Boo)
save the sooners

Stopped posting. :(
Got a promotion
Saw my BIL get married
I seriously love this picture- down with the longhorns!
Went to Chicago over Labor Day and visited my sister!
Went again over Halloween and saw Tiesto! Amazing concert
so much fun

Started school
It sucked
Still not posting much during this time
Got serious about eating right
Went to Broken Bow for an amazing glamping weekend away
Went to my Gran’s birthday party in Iowa
The Fam w Gran
Saw my sweet friend Terry get married and got to go to New York!
Celebrated my sister’s 21st in Chicago!
Sister friends

Continued to endure school
Still hardly posted
Went to Florida for the OU-Florida State game
Found out my sister was going to have a baby
Cut my long hair!
A little scary at first!
Went to Green Bay and Minneapolis for vacation for old time’s sake
Go Pack Go
Found out my sister was having a girl, got to be there for the ultrasound

Finished school! AMAZING!
Celebrated by going to a murder mystery weekend
Stone Lion Inn
Started posting again
Saw my sister have a baby girl, cut her umbilical cord
Began following a predominately vegetarian/vegan friendly diet
Got promoted last week

Oviously lots more I wish I could recap, but I had a hard time remembering, and I feel like this is a pretty good consolidation of the last decade. God is so good. I am so thankful for my family and the blessings along the way.

Thanks for following the journey one day at a time.

Here’s to another good ten years.

See you on the other side.

layered hair

30: The Self Talk

I turn 30 Sunday.


No really, like 3-0.

This number?

It’s happening.

Despite the fact that, for some reason, I still don’t think it’s a reality.

I never really thought I would struggle with denial.

But I totally am!

I am most certainly having, “I’m not 30, I’m 20-10” syndrome.


It just seems impossible that I am exiting my 20s, a decade that has been pretty great to me.

When I used to think about 30, it seemed so far away.

So different.

So not even in my zip code.

But now not only is it in my zip code, but it’s freaking walking up the driveway with a dozen black roses preparing to beat down my door like the annoying pudgy boy scouts selling their delicious popcorn.

“For the 50th time! I don’t want your stupid popcorn!! Stop knocking on my door!”



Sort of veering off…

But that’s, sort of where me and 30 are at right now.

Last week I sat at my desk, and it all finally started to sort of sink in.

I am no longer going to be in my 20s. All those cute girls in their early 20s having so much fun and being young, and beautiful, and carefree?

Not me.

Instead I am 30 and forever banished to mom haircuts, comfy shoes, practicality, and never telling anyone my age.

I sat there, taking it all in, and thinking about what 30 meant in my silly mind.

It meant being totally grown up and at a point where you can’t make excuses about not knowing what you want to do with your life or needing to “find yourself.”

To me, 30 means being a freaking adult, owning it, and having stuff figured out.

And I sat there and thought, “Holy crap, I’m 30 and I don’t feel any of those things!”

The truth is that I am not ready to be 30 yet.

I have too much to do before I’m ready!

Alright, I realize I’m being dramatic, but I just don’t feel like I’m “there” yet.

Like I’ve arrived.

Like I’m old enough to actually be a qualified 30 year old.

For those of you already on the other side of 30 (and for the rest of you that simply think I’m being ridiculous), I realize my life isn’t going to end on Sunday when I wake up.

I know I’m being a little flamboyant.

However, I’m just not ready to be done with my 20s! I want to be in my 20s for the next 20 years. And not fake 20s like the girls who lie about their age. I want to actually and legitimately be in my 20s.

As in creating a time machine to Benjamin Button me.

Now that I’m almost 30 I finally realize how freaking awesome my 20s were. Sure, I knew that during some of the time- but now I would have enjoyed that all of the time!

That wisdom you get as you age?

Yeah, me and P decided they should really give that to you at the beginning of your life so you can fully enjoy everything life brings and avoid some of the stupid dumb things you tend to regret.

Alright- I’m talking butterflies and unicorns right now (yeah- this all sounds like I’m really ready to be 30 with all this make believe talk!). I sound absurd.

I know.

Don’t tell me.

I don’t necessarily know what I was expecting, or where I thought I would be, and maybe that’s part of the problem?

I have a few goals I want to work toward, but really I just sort of see my tomorrows like I do my todays, but hopefully a little better and more enriched. I guess, if I think about it and look back, that’s really what I have accomplished along the way. From getting married, moving, getting work experience, being blessed with a good job, having my family nearby…. I’m very blessed.

Maybe I had some giant alternate plans along the way, and most of us probably do. However, overall my life has turned out great. So maybe I’m not a world famous blogger (haha) or doing my dream job for a living. The truth is, I really don’t know what my “dream job” is anymore. Somehow between a mortgage, and hitting my mid 20s I settled into this life because it was known and comfortable, and the thought of doing anything different, felt, well uncomfortable. Like if I were to “think outside the box” or consider possible alternatives and make them possibilities in my life they would be real and I would have to do them.

And it scared me.

And so I’ve pushed them to the back burner and have used the excuse that- I know I want to be doing something else, but I don’t really know what that “something else” is as my safety net.

The truth is, although I don’t know exactly what I want to do, I have a pretty darn good idea. I want to help people. I want people to feel good about themselves. I want to help people be better. However, I’ve been hiding behind the unknown as a way for me not to deal with it, in hopes one day I would just wake up and it would all hit me at once.

Um, even for someone in their 20s, that is stupid.

The truth is, I know I need to be making things happen and pursuing those unknowns. I don’t want to approach the next big birthday milestone with wonder or regret. There’s no need to.

Brittny- there is no need to.

I get so hung up on these thoughts that bad things will happen if I pursue some of these “unknowns.”

Mainly because I’m ridiculous.

It’s like I feel like if I try other things it will mean I will have to make giant adjustments in my life, and the truth is that I don’t have to.

I’m trying things. Not taking them on full bore. Not making them my fulltime job.

Sheesh! 30 year old Brittny needs to tell 29 year old Brittny to freaking calm down already.

With that in mind, I want to memorialize some of the things I would like to pursue in the next year. Nothing too lofty. Just clear, attainable goals.

1. Run a 5k (who am I kidding?! Run/walk a 5k)
2. Volunteer somewhere
3. Train someone
4. Do something nice for the people I love most (the “something” to be determined at a later date)

So here’s to no regrets.

Raise a glass with me, friends.


I’m turning 30.

Get a glass for your other hand and raise that too.

Cheers to a life that honors God and makes a difference.

Here’s to 30.

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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!

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