Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pool Tales

Hey y'all! So, I have a little story for you. Let me give you some back story so you can enjoy the story a bit more, First of all, Chicago has gloomy weather. This week for example has a ratio of five gloomy/rainy days to two sunny/summer days. Secondly, speedos and crowded swimming pools are not my scene. Ok, now that we have that out of the way...here is the story.

This past Sunday, J and I went to a great church service and had a delicious lunch together. On our drive back home we noticed how beautiful and sunny the weather was for our last day of the weekend. As mentioned above, I feel like it is never sunny here so when it is...I spend the whole day outside. We decided it was a pool kinda day. We changed and headed to our apartment complex's community pool.

We scanned our key card to get in the gym/pool area and walk through the each designated locker room to get into the actual pool area. We walk in and almost all of the beach chairs are taken. (Again, as mentioned above, I do not like millions of people in a small pool area. Think peeing in the pool and who knows what else.) We are left with the last two available chairs that just happen to be next to two gentlemen from India. We get all set up with our books, beach towels and head phones. Then it happens.

One of the gentlemen we are sitting next to gets ready to get in the water and when we look over he is wearing a 'boy short speedo.' That is what I am going to name it anyway. Fine, I can handle it. Except for then he proceeds to strut around the length of the pool with his 'flag at half mast' so to speak. There are children at the pool, people. I'm giggling at this point, but I'm trying to hold it together. Oh no, it doesn't end there.

Besides the fact that he is hairy, has a nice sized gut and I can see the under crease of his bum sticking out of his 'boy short speedo' (you know what I'm talking about, the part of your body that only your significant other and doctors are supposed to see where your legs meet your rump), he has the nerve to be hitting on any female that doesn't have a man with her in a very creepy way. Oh by the way, as he is drying off, he is propping his legs up on the pool ladder to dry his legs. I lost it. I completely lost it. The best part happens next.

I think, finally he is going to leave! Hallelujah. I start reading my book. J is sitting in the chair closest to these gentlemen and quietly says "did you see what just occurred?" First of all, I start laughing because of how he said 'occurred' and reply "no, what happened?" He says, "nothing, just keep reading your book." He proceeds to tell me that the gentlemen who has "entertained" us all afternoon just changed out of his 'boy short speedo' into his regular clothes IN THE POOL AREA. J said " I can't un-see that." Our apartment manager happened to be there at the pool laying out and reading his comic (?) and came over to explain that would not be tolerated.

Sorry this was so long. I had to share. I'm laughing as I'm typing this thinking about J's facial expressions and my inability to control my laughter. Needless to say, pictures will not be provided for this post.

Be back soon.
B

Twenties Tuesday: One Day by David Nicholls

Hey y'all! Happy Tuesday. I worked so hard to finish One Day so that I could stay on track with Twenties Tuesday. Once I got over the initial dismay mentioned in this post I sped through it pretty quickly. It became an easy read that ended each chapter with a cliff hanger that left you wanting more.


 I am not sure how I feel about the book yet. It’s a book about life stages, bad timing and waiting. The novel follows the lives of two college friends over the course of their lives for 20 years and the marriages, loss and loneliness that ensues. Is it relatable? Yes. Is it realistic? Maybe. Did it leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling as I turned the last page? No.  

 The problem could be that I am in my early twenties and have not lived enough of life to find the book extremely relatable. The thought of crushing and lusting after the same man for 20 years as he sleeps with half of Europe does not seem realistic to me. The main female character portrayed herself as a stout feminist, but her actions contradicted her beliefs time and time again. Annoying.  

Overall I thought the book was alright. I probably would not recommend it, but I would not verbally attack the book (or movie, for that matter) if it were brought up in conversation.

Just a side note: I do not remember much from the movie, but as I was reading I had flashbacks to scenes in the movie. I think that is a good indication that the director, Lone Scherfig and David Nicholls did a good job keeping the movie paralleled to the book.

Be back soon.
B

Monday, June 24, 2013

Missing

Hey y'all! I'm so sorry I have been missing for the last couple of days, but I have been a little busy.

 
This pretty much sums up what the past few days have looked like. My friend from church is getting married and I was helping her pick out what the groomsmen will be wearing on her big day. Yes, we dressed mannequins. It is what it is. J saw this picture and just shook his head. Thankfully we found what we needed and the bridesmaids and groomsmen will look gorgeous! I should be back to regular blogging now.
 
Be back soon.
B

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Hey y'all! This week I am thankful for this past weekend and the quality time I got to spend with my husband. Our summer is about to get crazy because we have our friends and family coming to visit almost every weekend from now until the end of the summer...and a wedding that we are both in and helping plan. We are so pumped! We took last weekend to really spend time together and reconnect. Life gets in the way of that sometimes. So here's to loving God, loving life and loving each other! 






I love being busy. I cannot wait for every single one of our visitors to get here! So blessed. 

Be back soon. 
B


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Weekend Brunches

Hey y'all! J and I love food. Our favorite brunch spot on Saturday mornings is a place called Honey Jam. The ambiance is really cozy and nice. They have the best pancakes I have ever eaten. That is seriously a bold statement. J is a little partial to a more manly meal: The Boars Head Benedict. It even sounds manly. This time I tried the Pecan Belgium Waffle because my mom got it last time and she described it as tasting like pecan pie. Oh yes. Enough said.
 
 
For all my Texas readers looking at this fire place while dealing with 90° weather...I know it's weird. It was around 60° for most of the morning and evening today. The fireplace was cozy.

 
Manly...Boards Head Benedict.
 
 
Pecan Belgium (Pecan Pie) for breakfast. No judgement.
 
It does not get much better than sleeping late and eating good on a Saturday morning.
 
Happy Wednesday.
 
Be back soon.
B
 
 






 



 
 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Twenties Tuesday: One Day by David Nicholls

Hey y'all!
I'm not going to lie to you. I have not read enough of One Day to give you a well written review. I did not recognize the book title when I saw it on the list, but when I went to pick it up at the library I realized this book has already been turned into a movie. I'm disappointed. I'm one of those annoying people that always say "the book is better than the movie." I've already seen the movie! I think my parents rented it and I just happened to see parts of it. Most importantly, I know what happens at the end.
 

 
Moral of the story: I'm having a hard time getting motivated to read this book since I already have Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as the characters in my head and already know the ending. Bummer. Give me some time.
 
Be back soon.
B
 
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day

Hey y'all! Hope everyone had a great weekend.
 
Yesterday was Father's Day and I did not get to spend it with my dad because I'm in Illinois and he is in Texas. I sent him a present and gave him a phone call, but it wasn't the same. I love my parents very much. When we decided to move I was ecstatic about a new adventure, but my only source of heartbreak was not having easy access to my family. Yes, they are only a phone call away, but sometimes a hug or a friendly debate in person is what I need.
 
I found one of those "All About My Dad" Questionnaires that you are supposed to ask little kids, but I am going to fill it out...as a grown woman.
 
My dad's name is David.
 
He is 45 years old.
 
My dad's favorite food is fried chicken and his favorite treat is cheesecake or pound cake. I think.
 
He is really good at a lot of stuff: fixin' everything, grilling, athletic stuff - racquetball, basketball, volleyball, Frisbee, snorkeling and such, cutting his own hair, wearing skeletoes...and lots of other stuff.
 
He always makes me laugh when he laughs really hard. Oh my goodness, best thing ever. Oh and when he tries to trick us and makes up ridiculous things to try and make us all believe. Example: Los Lonely Boys on the side of a water tower. I fell for that one.
 
When my dad goes to work he spends his days working on airplanes and I don't know if he plays cards at his new place.
 
One thing my dad has taught me was how to change a tire. Thankfully I haven't had to use that skill.
 
Before he had kids, my dad was taking care of his parents and working hard.
 
My favorite thing to do with my dad is just hang out and talk. Politics, religion, life. He always brings up points that I would not have considered.
 
When I grow up I hope J and I can leave our work at work and not take it out on our family just like my dad.
 
I know my dad loves me because he takes care of me, worries about me, misses me and wants the best for me.
 
My aunt brought some more stuff to my attention. There's not many like him, if any. The "I can't breathe" tickling, the launching of your shoe right off your foot at any given time, pretending to trip you...and you actually trip, his laugh when he cracks himself up, when he hugs you he means it....and he braids hair really awesome too! The greatest Dad for you....and the definition of what a perfect brother is for me Gotta love him
 

 
 
So...Happy Father's Day, Dad! I love you very much.
 
 
Be back soon.
B
 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Favorite Blogger Friday

Hey y'all! I don't remember how I found Emily from The Doctors Fleming, but I am so glad that I did. She is such an inspiration to me.

Isn't she cute?!

Here is a few reasons why:
1. She is a medical student.
2. Not only is she a medical resident, but she wants to work in emergency medicine.
3. She is in the Air Force.
4. The travel posts are so beautiful and makes me want to travel the world.
5. Her blog posts are sincere, genuine and she puts her "real life" emotions into it.

All of this and she is gorgeous and hilarious! She is just really relatable to where I am in my life right now. J and I have been married about as long as her and her husband have and if she is having a bad day because they are having a fight...she is going to blog about it. I love it! She also lived in Chicago for a while and is now residing in San Antonio, TEXAS. Oh, Texas. How I miss you. She has also provided support and inspiration to one of my friends from church going through medical school. I recommended her blog to my friend after I read about Emily's struggles with balancing married life and wanting children with the medical field. We just can't get enough. She is seriously great.

Check her out! Tell her I sent you. Show her some love.


Be back soon.
B

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Hey y'all! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Count down until the weekend. This week I am thankful for:

 
Sunny days and the first pool day of the season. I did not get in. It was 66°.
 
 
This little thing. Seriously. So cute. Chipmunks are everywhere.
Random fact: I was named after Brittany the Chipmunk...from the Chipettes.
 
 
This boy.
 

I am also thankful for our church and the friends and opportunity that is has provided us in the short five months that we have been here. I have learned so much.
 
Be back soon.
B

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Products

Hey y'all! I bought these products last weekend and wanted to try them out before I actually gave my opinion on them. Summer is so close to being here which means I need a tan and my hair needs some extra lovin'. I refuse to get skin cancer so I'm going to start faking it. Period. I need all the extra moisture I can find for my hair.
 
I purchased:
  •  FakeBake Flawless (Travel size)
  • Macadamia Nourishing Leave-In Cream
  • Macadamia Nourishing Oil Spray
  • EOS Lip Balm (Mint)

I have heard great things about all of these products. LSilverStyle brought my attention the FakeBake when she raved about it in this post. I could not agree more! I have used it for about a week and I love the color and lasting power. It smells wonderful and that is pretty important to me. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone I know. The Macadamia brand has been everywhere. I have not heard a single bad thing about it on any of the blogs that I read or YouTube videos that I have watched so I went for it. I am impressed with the Leave-In Cream and the way it leaves my hair feeling. My one complaint is that I do not enjoy the smell, but it's worth the results. I'm not loving the Oil Spray. My hair does not need any help looking oily...let me tell you about it. I am going to keep trying different ways to use it. It stinks too. Just putting that out there. EOS - wonderful and can do no wrong. Nothing else needs to be said about that. Am I right? Check these out and let me know what you think!

Be back soon.
B

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Twenties Tuesday: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New BestFriend by Rachel Bertsche

Hey y'all! I finished MWF Seeking BFF on Sunday afternoon and really want to tell y'all about it.


This book is a national bestseller and is a real life tale of a married white female (MWF) searching for a new best friend forever (BFF) after moving to Chicago from New York for love. Her best friends are still in New York and while she loves her husband, she desperately needs a pedicure buddy and girl time. The novel documents her process of going on 52 "girl-dates" over the course of a year in hopes of finding her new BFF.
 
I am not going to lie. This was a little bit difficult to read for a few different reasons. First of all, do you know how hard it is to keep up with 52 different women’s names?! They would show up later in the book and I would think “who was that again?!” At the end of the book, there is a guide to help clarify, but it gets confusing pretty quickly. Secondly, I did not agree with some of the beliefs the author held about friendship and it was hard not to feel that she was acting desperate for love at some points.
 
Here are some reasons I thought it was weird:
1.      It is based out of Chicago – I’m in Chicago.
2.      She just moved here – I just moved here.
3.      She needs some new friends cause she doesn’t know anyone – I need some new friends cause I don’t know anyone
4.      She wants local friends, but she already has BFFs at home – I want local friends, but I have BFFs at home.
 
Are you catching my drift?
 
I enjoyed it overall because it was humorous, educational and made me realize I need to come out of my shell. She included statistics that continually proved that J and I need friends in order to be healthier and happier. I know she is right. I like that she recognized that a married lady is looking for a different friendship than a single lady. She also recognized that grown up friends look different than the friendships made in high school. The books feel sincere and I can always appreciate sincerity.

Be back soon.
B

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tart Decco vs Flip Flop Fantasy

Hey y'all! Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was filled with good food, great company and a few 'firsts.' We had dinner at Lou Malnati's with a group of guys from J's work. One of the guys brought his girlfriend so thankfully I was not the only girl. I really hate that. On Saturday, I went wedding dress shopping with a friend from church who recently got engaged. She has about a month to plan her wedding so we were on a time crunch, but we found the dress she will walk down the aisle in! I've never gotten the pleasure of helping shop for another girl's wedding dress. Pretty great 'first.' It brought back so many memories about our wedding. Great weekend overall. 
 
So can we talk for a second? I cannot get into this orange/coral nail polish trend. I'm trying, but my skin tone is just not working with it. My sister got me on this search with Essie's Van D'Go which is absolutely GORGEOUS. I am at Ulta looking through the what feels like millions of finger nail polishes and find these two: Essie's Tart Deco and China Glaze's Flip Flop Fantasy. They looked identical in the container.
Price point at Ulta: $8.00/$7.99

 
 
 
Here's the deal. I chose not to purchase either of them for a few reasons:
1. As previously mentioned, I'm going to have to be IN LOVE to buy an orange polish. I was not.
2. Tart Deco was not complimentary to my skin tone, but the color pay off and sheen was good.
3. Flip Flop Fantasy was NEON with no shine. Not impressed.
 
Moral of the story: Looks can be deceiving. They looked the same in the bottle, but they were completely opposite.
 
I'm still in the market for an orange nail polish. Just sayin'.
 
Be back soon.
B

Friday, June 7, 2013

Favorite Blogger Friday

Hey y'all! The week is finally over and I could not be happier that it is the weekend. I'm planning a pedicure, naps and time in the sun. Apparently the sun hides ALL YEAR here in the north so I feel like I need to be in it every second of the day when it does decide to shine.

I decided that this week I would tell you about one of my favorite bloggers: Veronika's Blushing. I'm pretty sure she was the first blog I read and it had been all downhill from there. I started following the girls she had on her blog roll and then it was a continuous adding of 'must-read' blogs...all thanks to Veronika. She also lives in Houston which again, makes me like her even more. She just had her baby girl, Harper and it has been wonderful watching her document her pregnancy. I first saw her on theknot.com when she was planning her wedding near the time I was starting to plan mine. Her wedding hair is all over Pinterest. Check her out and tell her I sent you!
 
 
Be back soon.
B

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Decorations

Hey y'all! So I have lived in my Chicago apartment for about five months now...and I am still decorating. I found this canvas at Marshalls a few weeks ago with our wedding vows on it and I had to have it. (It was on clearance for $13...I mean, come on.) I thought it would be a perfect addition to our bedroom. Once I got it home, I realized it would have looked a little lonely up there all alone, so I found some square frames at Hobby Lobby for $5 each and put some black and white wedding photos on either side. I think it really makes the two red 'love' words POP!
 
 
 
It is a nice reminder of how to love one another. Sweet memories.

Makes me sleepy just looking at my comfy bed.
 
Be back soon.
B

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Last days of Spring

Hey y'all! There are only a few more days of spring left this year and although summer feels as though it has already begun (in some places), I want to relish in the last few moments of spring. Our first spring in the north has been beautiful. More than likely we were just so thankful to see the sun again and feel warmth on our skin, but the trees blooming and seeing our little town with actual grass on the ground for the first time since we have moved here has been nice too. Our nights and weekends have been filled with family vistors, admiring all the new blooms on the trees and noticing the "wildlife" outside our door.
 
 
Rabbits and geese are everywhere. Seriously, it's kinda weird.

 
My favorite part of spring so far has been the momma robin making a nest outside our bedroom window. Three eggs. Only two baby birds though. They actually look like baby robins now! Love.

 
Spending the days outside playing golf and taking Ellie for long evening walks have been pretty great.

 
Rain brings rainbows. Makes me remember the power of God. Every time.
 
Bring on summer.
 
Be back soon.
B

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Twenties Tuesday: Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan


Hey y'all! It's the first edition of Twenties Tuesday and first up is Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. This novel follows a matriarch grandmother, a daughter, a granddaughter and daughter-in-law throughout one summer in Maine that they will all never forget. They deal with the twists specific to each generation, the past each is trying to forget and trying to force personalities to fit into a family that would not normally choose to be together.

Honestly the book kind of freaked me out. I got about half way through it and realized that the story the author was telling was about my extended family. Now, my family is not dealing with addiction or multiple marriages, but we are dealing with anger and unresolved issues. What family isn’t? On the back of the book cover there are four book reviews of the novel and two out of the four reviews refer to the family as ‘dysfunctional.’  I realized that was the picture the author was trying to paint. A dysfunctional family.
The family in the book did not have a picture perfect family, but they made it work. When tragedy hit they came together and figured it out. I would like to think my family is still that way. Don’t get me wrong…snide remarks, eye rolling and whispers will ensue and a headache will almost always be guaranteed, but that does not get to determine dysfunction. It’s not easy. People in families have different personalities, but are expected to love unconditionally through hatred, back-stabbing and mostly…change. It is not realistic. The best we can ask for is to function in our own way. The perfect family, thankfully does not exist. That would put waaaay too much pressure on the rest of us.
I love my extended family. Individually (in their own different ways) and collectively even though I wish some things could be different.
Overall I thought the book was pretty good. I am impressed with the author because she kept the theme of the four main characters being strong women, but created a complete different dynamic between the new set of women. I am looking forward to reading her new book that comes out later this month: The Engagements.
1. Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close
2. On the Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
3. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
4. How to Raise a Boyfriend by Rebecca Eckler
5. 50 Shades of Grey by E L James
6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
8. It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken by Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt
9. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
10.The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
11. Magnified World by Grace O'Connell
12. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
13. Have Him at Hello by Rachel Greenwald
14. One Day by David Nicholls
15. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
16. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
17. The Girls by Lori Lansens
18. The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
19. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
20. The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne

One down, 19 to go. Next up is MWF Seeking BFF.

Be back soon.
B

Monday, June 3, 2013

Jewelry Organization


Hey y'all! I hope everyone had a great weekend! J and I had to get new tires for my car. I do not like spending large amounts of money on one thing. I know technically it is four things, but you know what I mean. Do you know what I could get with $400!? Other than that we had a nice weekend together.
 
Last weekend we started the project below and finished it this weekend. Check it out.
  
 
I used this as my inspiration. Found on Pinterest.
 
 
The frame has a story. After J and I got engaged, we were in need of furniture for our future home together. We were headed back to my parents house after a date and we drove past a house with a kitchen table and four chairs out in the yard. The woman wanted $25. As we were leaving she asked us if we needed anything else. She handed me this frame and told me to take it for free. Yes!
 
So it has been in my house waiting to be turned into something great...for over two and a half years. Shameful. I picked up some $2.99 lace from Hobby lobby and used a combination of super glue and Loctite Flexible Adhesive (used for vinyl, fabric and plastic) to make the lace stick to the plastic of the frame. It's not going anywhere. 
 
 
 So this is my finished version. I think it turned out really well and it's functional!
 
 
I also picked up this little number from Hobby Lobby on clearance ($8.00)! Now I know what I have and what I need want.
 
 
 
Be back soon.
B