Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Your Truth


During TxSC we had guided journaling time led by Erin of Design by Mankind. Unfortunately she had lost her voice but she still led the journaling through a powerpoint. I honestly think it was more impactful this way because it forced us to read and focus more internally than externally. She asked us to write about our truth and what it looks like for us.

Below is an excerpt of my journaling. Please be kind when reading this because this is truly me opening up a side of myself. I have journaled on and off for years but I do not typically share. However, I really felt like this summed up my truth and is kind of getting me to the point of figuring out my why.

"Frequently I think I should/want to use my past life/experience to make a difference. I've gone through some difficult stuff and have came out on the other side. Slightly battered and bruised but overall the woman I didn't even know I could be.

So how do I communicate that to others? How do I use that to impact others and as cliche as it sounds "make a difference"?

Do I want to be a counselor? Do I simply use those experiences to hopefully make Landry's childhood and adolescence a little easier?

What I do know is that I want to grab girls who have struggled, hold them tight and tell them:

"Security, normalcy, and joy is on the horizon. You will cry, you will hurt, you will sometimes think you won't make it. Don't give up. Don't give in. You will become who you want to be, even if you don't know who that is yet. And guess what? You will have a greater appreciation because it wasn't easy. You worked your ass off to get here and that makes it so much more precious. You will see beauty in the mundane, in the everyday because you didn't know something could feel so right, so secure, so safe."

I know I cannot literally grab every suffering girl and comfort her. So how I figure out how to in some way do a version of that? That is hat I want to figure, how to communicate and make other girls not only hear those words, but eventually believe them."

What is your truth? What does it look like your life? Please share with me! Or if you aren't ready take some time to really contemplate it today.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Daily Wears 03.30.15



Quick outfit post this Monday morning. I wish I could have gotten better pictures/more pictures but it started raining so pictures were cut short.

I was really excited about this outfit because I was so close to just throwing some yoga pants and a tee-shirt on to go get groceries. But instead I thought "Brittany, will you feel good about yourself wearing those pieces? Will you feel like the put together mom you want to be?" Obviously the answer was no. I am not saying there are not days where I just need to not worry about what I am wearing, but this day I was just going to be lazy. 

Clothes can seem so superficial, but they really are a reflection of our personality and how we feel about ourselves. And I want my clothes to say "down-to-earth, effortlessly put together". Maybe if my clothes will reflect those attributes I will start having them more: ;)

This TOMS bag is my new love! I discussed it a little on my TxSC recap but it seriously is my go-to diaper bag for quick around town errands. It is perfect for throwing a diaper, wipes, and a sippy cup. There is so many little pockets and compartments which is perfect for throwing all the little things that come with a baby. 

I also am OBSESSED with my sandals. They are pretty much my fake Birkenstocks that are from Target. I didn't want to invest in Birks because 1. They are expensive and I don't have the money and 2. I wanted to make sure I would actually get a lot of use out of that style of sandals. I am thinking maybe next spring I might need a real pair! 

Cardigan- Target (similar)
Shirt- Old Navy (similar)
Pants- Lane Bryant (similar)
Sandals- Target
Bag- c/o TOMS
Necklace- Lane Bryant (similar)
Bracelets- Etsy 

Do you think your clothes are a reflection of your personality? If your clothes could talk what would they be saying? 






Friday, March 27, 2015

Texas Style Council '15 Recap

Transformative, Inspirational, Uplifting, Encouraging, Fun- those are just a few of the words I would use to describe this past weekend at Texas Style Council (TxSC). It was more than I could have imagined. I thought I might walk away with a few tips for creating a better blog and maybe a couple of connections. Instead, I walked away with tips for creating a better life and so many great friends.

I have never felt so immediately connected with a group of ladies. And I have definitely never felt so comfortable with people I just met to share my passions, hopes, and struggles with them. But I did just that.

Ok let me start at the beginning, Camp Texlake was gorgeous. It's a Girl Scout Camp outside of Austin that TxSC took over for the weekend. Sadly it rained Friday and Saturday but Sunday before leaving I was able to enjoy the beautiful camp. Below are some pictures of the beautiful scenery:








I flew into Austin Friday and met up with some of the girls taking the shuttle to the camp at the airport. Right there I should have know this weekend would be awesome because we all immediately bonded!

The weekend was filled with fantastic speakers and workshops. One of my personal favorites was hearing Bethany Joy Clark who is the director of global customer engagement and community for TOMS. Anyone who knows me, knows my love of TOMS. They are pretty much my go-to shoes all year long.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Laine Francis

Bethany is the one who introduced us to the term friendtors, people who are your friends but also your mentors. She also discussed finding women in your life that are your champions. Women that are for you, they will move mountains for you! She also discussed TOMS and their business model. TOMS considers themselves "a mission with a company, instead of a company with a mission." Right there is the reason I am a supporter (that's what they call customers) of TOMS. 

Bethany also was our personal Oprah! At the end of her talk she had the volunteers come in and hand out TOMS bags to every one! It was fantastic and we were all pretty much in shock. 


Some of the free goodies from the weekend. Including my now beloved TOMS bag, which by-the-way makes a fantastic diaper bag! For every bag purchased TOMS will help provide a safe birth for a mom and her baby. Just typing that sentence brought me to tears.


TOMS also provided the coffee for the weekend. I had never tried their coffee before but after this weekend I am a fan. I probably drank at least 5 cups a day. And for each bag of coffee they sell a week of safe drinking water is provided. I love it when my coffee addiction helps others!


I also want to say a HUGE thank you to Jenny from Maiedae. I had a one-on-one session with her to go over the design of my blog and she was so helpful and a sweetheart! You can tell she just has a love for people! And I am a little bit of a fangirl (check out her wonderful prints) so it was extra exciting to get to work with her. 





There was definitely tears through out the weekend for me and some true soul searching, but there was also tons of laughing and having a blast. On Saturday night we had a Khaki Jamboree which was a giant party with tons of photo-booths and a chance to play dress up! Also to let the world know, right before heading back to my cabin I got called into the dance circle and danced. Yeah I am shocked I did it but proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone. 

One more thing I want to share. The very last activity we did was the Tunnel of Sisterhood.

Photo Credit: Miranda Anderson

We were divided into 3 groups and then put into two lines facing each other. Then one camper at a time, with their eyes closed, would walk down the middle while the other campers whispered words of encouragement to her. The purpose behind the activity is to help women combat the negative self-talk so many of us have, to teach us to take the positive compliments. So basically I was a bundle of tears from the moment they said what we would be doing.

As soon as the activity was over I took some time to myself to journal and write down some of the words that really stood out. Beautiful, full of life, authentic, good mother are just of thew few words spoken to me. I am really hard on myself and have really struggled with self-esteem issues my whole life. I don't always think I am worthy, that I am beautiful, but I keep those list of words as a reminder. And over time I hope those words will replace "I'm not good enough", "I'm not pretty enough". 



I met so many fantastic ladies and this is just a portion of them. They inspire me and challenge me to do and be my best. It was hard having to say goodbye to such lovely ladies. 

I also want to say a HUGE thank to Indiana Adams for all the time, energy, money, dedication and so much more she has put into TxSC over the years. This year was perfect and I truly felt the sisterhood. It's exactly what this new mom needed. I needed a time to be uplifted and told that my why matters. I can't thank you enough! 

There is so much I am leaving out but stay tuned for some posts that are inspired by the workshops I attended and a few of the other speakers!

In the mean time check out some of these wonderful ladies' blogs/businesses:

Maddie- Folk Dreams
Hilary- Cutie Cameras
Michelle- Calligraphy Cult
Mandy- Hello Daisy

There are so many other fabulous ladies to check out! If you instagram or use twitter look up the #txsc15 to find out more about the weekend and the ladies in attendance! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Snapshots

I've had every intention of writing a recap of my time in Texas. But instead I have spent my week catching up on kisses and snuggles with Landry, playing with my pups, spending time with Daniel, recovering from a head cold, and catching up on Grey's Anatomy. 

In all honesty I have attempted but the words just are not there yet. Simply stating what happened over the weekend seems to diminish what the weekend truly meant to me. At the same time trying to find the words to describe how the weekend made me felt, what it taught me, well that seems near impossible. Like no one who wasn't there will not get it. However, tonight after Landry goes to bed I am going to sit at my desk and really take the time to synthesize the weekend. 

So for today I leave you with some snapshots of life lately. If you follow me on Instagram or are my family/friends on Facebook you might have already seen some of these pictures! 






What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Fog


As long as I can remember I have dreamed of the day I would be a mom. Specifically the day I would have a daughter and be the mom I wish I would have had as a child. After 2 miscarriages I finally saw my dream come to fruition on July 31, 2014 as I held my baby girl. She was everything I had ever wanted. And then my other dream came true on October 24, 2014 when I began my new job as a stay-at-home mom.

Since then everything has been perfect. End of story (sarcasm). 

Those first few months are almost a haze at this point. I spent so much time and energy on my daughter. Every thing was about her and she was not only my number one priority but my only priority. Was she eating enough? Too much? Would we ever figure out a nap schedule? Am I talking to her enough? Is she getting enough tummy time? Is she happy? 

I was in survival mode. I couldn't see through this dense Landry fog. I wanted so bad to have a daughter and be the perfect mom and do everything exactly right that everything else was pushed to the side. Instead of figuring out my marriage in this new stage I was pushing it to the side. Instead of figuring out how to dress my new body I was just throwing on yoga pants and baggy clothes. Instead of actually enjoying my daughter I was worrying and obsessing. 

7 and a half months later I am finally emerging from my new mom fog. I feel like I now exist outside of being a mom. Being a mother is still one of my greatest gifts but it is not all I am.

I am a wife, I am a daughter, I am a friend. But even more importantly, I am Brittany. I am a girl that loves belting songs out at the top of my lungs while driving or showering. I am a girl that enjoys reading, watching Grey's Anatomy, writing. I enjoy putting together cute outfits. It is ok for me to have hobbies and interests. It is ok for me to make myself a priority. By doing so I will actually be a better wife and mother!

I feel like spring has sprung inside my soul. The changing of seasons really marks the changing of my life. I have a renewed passion for life and a new enjoyment. I am so excited about what this new stage holds. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nursery Tour

Landry's room is by far my favorite room in our house! It is the kind of room I would have loved to have as a child. I never really had a theme room or real decorations growing up. It was always a hodge-podge of whatever. So basically what I am saying is I am living vicariously through Landry with her room.

Her colors were red, yellow, and teal with pops of white and black. I wanted her room to look like a kids room. I see so many nurseries that look AMAZING but they look like a little adult's room. I didn't want that, I wanted a room to look like it should be played in!











I love her room and how inexpensive it was to turn it into something that hopefully she will love too! I love how we DIYed a lot of the elements of her room (banner, coat hanger, shelves, growth chart). I also love the personal touches from different people (Cub print, Landry's name, dresser).

Landry's room is a continuous work in progress to me. As she grows her needs will change as will the function her room serves. But I am so pleased with it!

Below is a list of where things are from with links. If the item is no longer available or we made it I linked to similar items.

Crib- Ikea
Mobile- Amazon
Banners- Handmade (similar)
Prints- Etsy
Cub Print- A Little Bit of Me
Trees Print- Ikea
Coat Hanger- Handmade
Dresser- Hand-me-down
Twin Bedding- Ikea (similar)
Black and White Pillow- Ikea
Crib Sheet- Amazon
Shelves- Hand-me-down
Glider- BabiesRUs
Growth Chart- Handmade (similar)
Cubes- Ikea
Storage Containers in Cubes- Ikea
Rug- Ikea

If you have any questions feel free to ask! What's your favorite room in your house? 



Monday, March 23, 2015

What I'm For

I can't wait to share with y'all all about TxSC! It was an incredible weekend with some incredible women but today I want to share with y'all a new thing I'm doing called "What I'm For". It is based on a country song "What I'm For" by Pat Green.


Anybody that knows me knows that I can have a tendency to be what I classify a realist but others would say pessimist. My goal is to start really focusing on the positive. One way to do that is to think about the things I do believe in, I do support, instead of the things I am against. It can be serious, it can be silly. Every so often I will post some different things I am for! I would love for y'all to be part of this with me and share what you are for too!

I'm for sisterhood. And I'm not just talking about your biological sister. I'm for women supporting women. It's taken me a long time to get to that point, not because I didn't want to support my fellow women but because I had my run in with several "mean girls" growing up. Girls can be mean, however, I'm tired of that stereotype. I'm ready for women to show the world that we can support and lift one another up

I am for animals. I absolutely love all animals, particularly rescue. Animals really enrich our lives and if you haven't experienced unconditional love, get a dog! 

I'm for sandals. Nice broken in ones that might be a little smelly and might be scuffed up. They might be falling apart but you just can't give them up yet because they have conformed perfectly to your feet. 

I'm for nature. Not just in the environmentally friendly kind away. I'm for being in nature and taking the time to appreciate it. Experience the magnificence and the magnitude. Think about how the same creator who crafted that strong and powerful tree also created you. Nature can be so humbling but also empowering.


Today, what are you for? Please share in the comments! 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy Birthday to the Best Brother!!

This is my brother, Peyton and today he is turning 7! How have 7 years passed?? It's crazy! There is a 19 year age difference between my brother and me but let me tell you, he's one cool kid.

I hate that I will be missing your birthday party this year because I will be in Texas. But I hope you have a blast at your Lego themed Birthday Party and eat lots of cake for me! I never imagined I would have a sibling, especially not one as great as you! Daniel, Landry, and I love you lots and can't wait to see you soon!

I apologize for the picture overload but this boy is just too cute! I had to share all the adorable photos from over the years.













Friday, March 20, 2015

Clean Chicken Parmesan (minus the Parmesan)


In no way am I a world class cook and as a family we eat out more than we should. But I thought I would share with y'all a delicious dinner I made Daniel, Landry (yes Landry ate everything I made!) and me the other night. We are huge pasta fans but unfortunately it really isn't the healthiest option in the world. So I came up with a healthy/paleo/clean Chicken "Parmesan" recipe. Here's a little secret, there is no parmesan.

I started by making my sauce because I wanted to give it as long as I could to simmer. I just feel like it brings out the flavors more if it sits longer (by the way my recipe makes enough sauce to have some to freeze).

Below is the ingredients and instructions for making the sauce, the "parmesan" chicken, and the "noodles". I've also included step-by-step pictures for us visual learners out there!


Sauce Ingredients:


Coconut Oil- 2 Tbps
Garlic- 5 cloves minced
Onion- 1 medium diced
Tomato Paste- 1 can (6 oz)
Crushed Tomatoes- 1 can (28 oz)
Tomato Sauce- 1 can (8 oz)
Diced Tomatoes- 1 can (14.5 oz)
Water- 1 cup
Dried Parsley- 2 tsps
Dried Bay Leaves- 1 tsp
Dried Oregano- 3 tsps
Salt- 3 tsps
Crushed Red Pepper- 2 tsps


Instructions:

  1. Turn your stove to high and in large sauce pan place your coconut oil.
  2. Add your garlic and onion and sauté for roughly 5 minutes. 
  3. Turn your stove down to low and add your remaining ingredients.
  4. Once you have added all your ingredients turn your stove back to hot until your sauce begins to boil. 
  5. Place lid on sauce pan and turn the stove to simmer and leave for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.







"Parmesan" Chicken Ingredients:




2 Chicken Breasts
Nutritional Yeast*- 1 Tbsp
Coconut Flour- 1 Tbsp
Mayonaise- 1/2 Tbsp per chicken breast


Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat your over to 400°F
  2. Use your Misto** to spray your pan with olive oil (or butter your pan whatever your preference). I line my pan with aluminum foil for easier clean up but it's not necessary. Place chicken on pan.
  3. Next mix your nutritional yeast and coconut flour. 
  4. Take 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise (I use homemade mayo) and coat your chicken breast. Repeat with other chicken breast.
  5. Next sprinkle roughly 1 tsp of your nutritional yeast and coconut flour mixture on your chicken breast. Repeat with the other chicken breast.
  6. Place in oven for 30 minutes.






Noodle Ingredients:
Zucchini- 1 Large
Carrots- 3 Small Carrots
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


Instructions:

  1. Wash your veggies!
  2. Take your julienne peeler*** and peel all your vegetables.
  3. Turn the stove to hot and place pan on stove. Spray some olive oil into the pan.
  4. Once the pan seems hot place your veggies.
  5. Sauté your veggies for roughly 5 minutes.
  6. Remove and serve! 





I placed my chicken on top of the noodles and then covered them in sauce. 


Tada! You have a healthy, clean meal for you and your family. I love this recipe because there will be extra sauce and you can freeze it to use for things later. Homemade pizza, regular spaghetti, even in chili!

I made a side-salad to go along with our meal. I know it's not a pretty presentation but presentation has never been my strong suit. I am part of the "if it tastes good who cares what it looks like" club.





*Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast (not like baking yeast) that has a cheesy flavor to it. It is a healthy addition to recipes to give your food a nice flavor but also provide nutrition. It's gluten free, low in fat, and packed full of folic acid, zinc, protein, and b vitamins just to name a few. I buy mine at a local natural store but you can also find it here on Amazon

**I am obsessed with my Misto! It is a reusable oil sprayer so like PAM but without the waste of throwing cans away and the nasty chemicals. You just fill it up with your favorite oil (I use olive oil) and pump the lid then spray. I also love that it cuts down on me adding too much oil when I sauté vegetables. You can also add vinegars and use it for your salads. I highly recommend it! 

***Julienne Peeler is perfect for creating vegetable noodles. I know there is spiralizers now for vegetables but they are more expensive and take up so much room. This little thing takes up hardly any draw space and it's double sided with a regular peeler which is great. Highly recommend for creating veggie noodles! 

If you have any questions let me know! Do you have any clean versions of your favorite dishes?