Wednesday, November 30, 2016

one year blogiversary

i celebrated my one year blogiversary last week! i started this blog to support mama’s, support small shops, and support myself, and that is exactly what it has started to become!

i’ve been so blessed to support so many small shops in this year, and i can’t wait to support so many more!

i’ve also had such great joy in reaching out and growing out of my comfort zone by talking about so many personal issues, in hopes of encouraging others. i hope to grow even more in the coming years, and watch this blog blossom!

i have officially been blogging for 12 months, so here’s 12 things about me:

one. my husband and i will be married 3 years this january!

two. speaking of winter - i love it. i’m one of those people who isn’t a huge fan of summer, but loves fall and winter. bring on the snow.

three. fall is my favorite season, but Christmastime is my absolute favorite time of the year.

four. if things would have gone the way i had originally planned in life (LOL), i was supposed to be almost done with law school, and hopefully finding a career in family law. but i’m so glad God had other plans. instead, i’m headed back to school next semester to finish my undergrad in pre-law, while holding my little babe on my hip. :)

five. i’m not a huge color person. i really like neutrals. navy is the only color outside of neutrals that i love. 

six. i used to play in band, clarinet and saxophone to be specific. i miss it so much, but it’s hard to find time to play in the busyness of the days.

seven. but. i am on a mission to learn how to play cello. i have always wanted to learn for as long as i can remember, and i’m finally going to branch out and do it!

eight. joanna gaines is my spirit animal. that is all.

nine. i’m one of those people that wants to take photos of everything all the time to hold the memory. my mom was the exact opposite, so i feel like i’m always “take all the photos” now.

ten. i like to cook, but i don’t looooove it. but, i do looooove to bake!

eleven. i’ve gotten really big into fashion in the past few years, with both me and now Lilli. but, i do a lot of thrifting to support this new habit. we rarely buy/wear anything at full price! it’s so exciting to me when i’m wearing a brand new cute outfit that i got for cheap!

twelve. and speaking of cheap, i am a huuuuge thrifter. it rattles my bones when i have to pay full price for anything. my husband always laughs that i can spend forever in a store looking through clearance racks, but he always stops laughing when i score amazing deals. haha! i rarely buy anything full price unless i have to!

thank you for being here with me for this past year! i’m so thankful for every one of you that reads my blog. here’s to you!

xoxo, Brandi

Monday, November 28, 2016

let's talk about date night

as a mama, date night is kind of a foreign word. they are few are far in between, so when we do get a date night, we definitely take advantage of it and make it as special as we can.

i was recently introduced to Turo, a neat car renting service and i was challenged to give you some new ideas on how to make date night one to remember! the next time you get one, that is ;)

one. flowers. okay, it’s an oldie but it’s a goodie. flowers are one of the best ways to start a date night, and let’s your lady know you were thinking about date night during the day.

two. table topics. my hubby and i love to do these while we are sitting at the dinner table and need to talk about something other than how our baby napped that day. it’s a super fun way to connect, and you might even found out something you never knew before!

three. rent a car! how cool would it be to take a fancy car out on date night, and step into another life for one night? it’s also the perfect time of year to take that car out and go find the most beautifully decorated house for christmas in your town!

four. do something new. dinner and a movie is cool, but it’s nice to do something new every once and a while. go see a ballet performance, go watch a concert, go to a wine and canvas. do something different, and spice it up a bit!

five. go to a bed and breakfast. now, this one requires an overnight babysitter for the kids, but, just imagine waking up (at whatever time you want!!) in a beautiful bed and breakfast, next to your love, with breakfast waiting for you. it sounds like a dream to me.

what are your favorite ways to amplify date night? 

xoxo, Brandi

Friday, November 25, 2016

gobble till you wobble

happy thanksgiving-hangover-day, friends!
i hope you all had a lovely thanksgiving filled with too much food, laughter, and fun.

my shirt // lilli's bow // moccs
just stopping by to share some photos from our day of thanks! we spent the day with friends and family, and it was a wonderful thanksgiving!

lilli's dress

i was so busy cooking (you can see what i made here!) that i didn't have a lot of time to capture a lot of photos, but it was nice just enjoying the day without any distractions!

i am so thankful that we were all over the stomach bug and were able to enjoy thanksgiving!

have a great weekend!
xoxo, Brandi

Monday, November 21, 2016

thanksgiving menu

thanksgiving is this week!!! 

did you know? ;)

i love thanksgiving, and i love love love hosting the holidays. last year was different since it was our first with lilli, but this year, she's going to have a blast, aka eat all the food in sight.

it’s so hard planning a menu for thanksgiving, and trying to figure out when to cook what. so i’m giving you my thanksgiving menu and timeline, to help you along if you need it!

breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls. these look absolutely delicious, and i can't wait to try them! it's the perfect thanksgiving breakfast. 

appetizers and snacks: Turkey Tray. I saw this last year, but didn't have time to put it together. i'm determined to do it this year because it's so darn cute! Cookies. i'm not exactly sure yet which ones i'm going to make. probably nothing too intricate since it's just a snack to grab throughout the day. maybe salted caramel? something caramel i think goes good with thanksgiving. any ideas?! Veggie Tray. i always buy a veggie tray from walmart or meijer to have something to grab, but not hard to put together. i might make it on my own this year, but we will see!

dinner: Smoked Turkey. my awesome hubby smokes the turkey on the grill every year so it's one less thing taking up the oven. it's so much easier! Southern Style Biscuits. i found this recipe a few months ago, and knew i was going to make it for thanksgiving this year. they look so good. i'll probably buy a can of crescent rolls in case my first try doesn't go very well ;) probably should have made them at least one time before. oh well!  Candied Yams. my family and i looove yams. always on the menu for every holiday. Mashed Potatoes. i'm making these in the crock pot because again, any free space in the oven is good space. Broccoli Casserole. ah, the famous family recipe. it's my mom's "thing", that she makes for every holiday. it's always been my favorite side ever, and i could eat the whole bowl! makes my mouth water just thinking about it! A vegetable. gotta have a vegetable of some sort. we usually do green beans or corn.

dessert: Apple Pie. i usually make dutch apple pie, but i'm trying a new recipe this year. it must be the year for new recipes. at my apples of gold bible study, a wonderful lady shared a delicious apple pie with us that was so easy to make, and i definitely want to make it this year for dessert! Pumpkin Pie. with so many new recipes this year, i think I'm going to skip the from-scratch pumpkin pie and stick with our favorite from the store. 

what is your favorite recipe to devour on thanksgiving?!

xoxo, Brandi

Friday, November 18, 2016

five on friday

helloooo friday. you’ve been missed.

one. if you follow me on instagram, you may have seen that i “announced” some new things this week! {nope, not pregnant.}
after much praying and much waiting, i have officially joined the New Mom’s ministry at our church! i am super excited for this opportunity, as mama’s and new baby’s have been heavy on my heart since having lilli. and…

two. i also announced that i’m headed back to school next semester! i took a break from school after lilli was born, and i’m finally headed back in the spring to finish up my pre-law degree. i’m incredibly nervous, but also incredibly excited. i’m worried about time, on top of being a stay at home mom and small business owner, but i’ll see where the Lord takes me!

three. fall? winter? spring? it’s currently 70 degrees and sunny outside. tomorrow, it’s supposed to be a high of 40 and snow.

great weather we’re having, don’t you say?

four. lilli is cutting one molar and one top eye tooth, and LAWD help me. but, i’m loving all the extra cuddles that come with this gig.

five. we’ve been crazy renovating in our home lately. (LOL that it’s right during the holidays.) i can’t wait to share when we are all finished! keep an eye out for a post about our living room progress next week.

have a great weekend!

xoxo, brandi

linking up with carolina charm

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

marty + penelope

guys. i’m in love.

okay, i’m in love with a lot of small shops. but this one has definitely made it to one of my tops favs.

bow // onesie // moccs
there are so many bow shops out there. so many. but i’m very lucky to have gotten to know some very unique ones, including marty + penelope.

her bows are perfection. they aren’t like any other bow show i have ever come across. they all have their own special touch.

i won a giveaway from her shop’s instagram not that long ago, and not only did i love the bow she sent me, but i also loved the three other ones she sent me for free, too! not very many people are willing to give so much, which is just one of the reasons why i love marty + penelope.

i have recently been chosen to be a brand rep for her shop, and i am ecstatic. keep on eye on my instagram for more photos of the cutest bows from marty + penelope!

you can view marty + penelope’s shop here! use code {xoxo20} for a special discount off your purchase!

xoxo, Brandi 

Monday, November 14, 2016

life of a work at home mom

Being a mom can be hard, whether you are a stay at home mom, a work at home mom, or a working mom. I cannot speak for the two that I am not, but I can speak for being a work at home mom.

And friends, it can be really stinkin’ hard.

Worth it, but really stinkin’ hard.

Here are some things that you will know if you are a work at home mama:

late nights. ahh, the late nights and little sleep. the tv might be on, but you are still hard at work. it’s the only time of uninterrupted time you get, so you take advantage of it. Even if that means you are exhausted from all the late nights.

-early mornings. see above, apply it to early mornings and subtract more sleep.

-work during nap times. I can’t remember the last time I just sat during a nap and did something for me. I’m always doing something work related during those 90 ish minutes. you do what needs to be done, when you have time to get it done.

feeling like you’re failing at something. at least once a month I’m hit with some kind of guilt because I didn’t reach 100% in one (or more) areas of my life that week, whether it be personally or work related. At one point or another, one part of your life has to be put on the back burner, and that is really hard.

working two full time jobs. or like, thirty six. the wife, the mom, the cook, the maid, the boo boo fixer, the blogger, the small business owner, the list maker, the whatever-you-need-to-be-that-day. it’s better to just not count how many jobs you currently have and don’t get paid for. ;)

feeling under appreciated. it's really hard being a small business owner, and most people don't realize all of the hard work, sacrificed time, and grueling hours put into their order. but the ones who express how grateful they are make it all worth it. :)

feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and overloaded. LOL see above points.

feeling successful. YES it’s hard. but it’s so worth it when a customer writes to me and tells me how much she loves whatever I made her. or when i get a picture of a baby wearing a hat i made him, or wrapped in a blanket that I made her. that’s when my success mode kicks in and it’s all worth it.

feeling like a #girlboss. heck yeah i’m juggling thirty six jobs and my kid is alive at the end of every day and I some how managed to put a fully cooked meal on the table. YES i’m a #girlboss and i’m proud of it!

I salute you, my fellow work at home mom’s and #girlbosses. You are rocking this and you are making a difference. You are showing your husband and your children and your friends and your family how STRONG you are and how AWESOME you are! You are showing them that it can be done, every single day!

shirt // coffee cozy
"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13

rock on, #girlboss.

xoxo, Brandi

Monday, November 7, 2016

free to be threads

i absolutely love finding new small shops to collaborate with, and i was so excited when i found free to be threads!

free to be threads in an amazing shop that sells various screen printed clothing items that are so cute.
not only does free to be threads have the cutest clothing, but she also has an awesome cause behind her shop: her clothing is meant to spread Jesus' love and positivity, along with helping to end sex trafficking with each purchase from her shop! small shops are amazing, but they are even more so when they are supporting such an amazing cause.

you can check out free to be threads shop here, and their instagram here! the shirt i am wearing can be found here.

xoxo, Brandi

Thursday, November 3, 2016

confession: i decorate for thanksgiving.

sigh. i know. i’m awful.

i feel like i'm one of the few souls left that keep my pumpkins out until black friday.

i blame my momma. for real though.
she has always been one to decorate for every holiday. and i mean every holiday. including thanksgiving. and it’s a personality trait that she has passed down to me.

don’t get me wrong. i LOVE Christmas. it’s my absolute favorite holiday. but i also really like thanksgiving and all that comes with it. the orange, burgundy, plum, and white decor. the pumpkins here and there. the family time. the macy’s thanksgiving day parade. the fall colored outfits. i just love it.

stores start their christmas decorating by like june of every year. but i want to bask in every holiday and all that it brings.

i’ll be more than ready for christmas come black friday. trust me, my house looks like a prop for the north pole. but for now, i’m happy with my thanksgiving decor :)

do you decorate for thanksgiving, or go straight to christmas from halloween?

xoxo, Brandi

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

b o o

talk about a halloween weekend + halloween monday!

this is the busiest halloween we've ever had, but i absolutely loved it. lilli was itty itty bitty last halloween, so this year was so much fun watching her engage into the fun stuff!

necklace // shirt

i grew up in a different town than we live in now, but i'm thankfully only about two hours away. we headed up on thursday to spend some extra time with my mom, and on friday we attended a friend's halloween party + went trunk or treating! it was lilli's first time and you should have seen her face when everyone was giving her candy. we had to head home that night, but my mom came for the weekend, so the ride was enjoyable!


saturday morning kyle and i had brunch with my gals + their husbands that i did our Apples of Gold bible study with for the last six weeks. it was so bittersweet, as it was our last official meeting together! there were many laughs and many tears.

we also hosted our first halloween party saturday night and it was so much fun!! i think we did pretty good for our first time around :)

afterwards, one of my best girlfriends stayed late with us and we watched sleepy hallow. it's a classic for us to watch at halloween time!

( mine and lilli's matching shirts came from ellyandgrace - you need to check out her shop! she is amazing, and has such a sweet soul! )


we did our normal church routine, and then came home for naps and fall activities. lilli painted her first pumpkin and it was an absolute ball watching her paint her pumpkin.

we made fall soup and relaxed the rest of the night watching halloween movies.


during the day was pretty normal for us since kyle had to go to work. but we did go trick or treating that night and it was so much fun!! it was our first time with lilli, and it was so fun watching her engage with everyone and grab some candy!

i hope you all had a fun and safe halloween!!

xoxo, Brandi