Thursday, April 27, 2017

devotions delivered

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” - Susan Sontag

I have always loved to travel. I didn’t get to much as a kid because my parents didn’t love to travel. But when I did travel, even if it was just to the next state, I was filled with so much passion to explore. I want to see and know of other places other than my home. There’s so much world and beauty that God created, and I want to see it all.

Kyle and I made a decision a long time ago that no matter happened in a year, we had to take two vacations (small or big) each year: one just us, and one as a family. We want to see, and we want our children to see, too.

That’s one of the many reasons I love Devotions Delivered.

Nissa, owner of Devotions Delivered, explores. When she explores, she takes photos. She takes photos of the most beautiful places in the world. She then creates a post card with that photo, links them with a verse from the Bible, and writes a short summary of how that place in the world resonates with a lesson that we can learn from. How amazing is that?

So not only do we get to “travel” to a beautiful place right from our own home, but we get to learn from it, too. 

The other best part? It's already stamped. Once we see, read, and learn, we can send that encouragement to someone else that we love.

With Devotions Delivered, you will “travel” to 4 different places each month. You will receive 4 postcards in the mail, each complete with a Bible verse and devotional.  

You can view their website here to learn more!

Ready to get started? You can use code “BJL20” for 20% off sitewide!

Where do you hope to visit one day?

With love, Brandi

Monday, April 24, 2017

eat your veggies

veg.e.ta.ble {noun} // a plant or part of a plant used as a food that my toddler either hides in her chair or feeds to the dog.

Please tell me I’m not alone in the struggle of trying to get my child to eat just one vegetable? I’ve had a few successful attempts, but it’s usually a no from Lilli in the veggie department.

So naturally when I found out about EasyPeasie, I literally jumped for joy. Okay maybe not literally but I was doing cartwheels in my head.

EasyPeasie is a company that makes custom blends of all natural vegetable powders, specially selected to maximize nutrients and minimize “veggie taste” {quoted directly from}.

On the outside, a jar of EasyPeasie looks like a green vegetable powder, almost like a spice. On the inside is a variety of veggies, such as: kale, spinach, carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes. You can use this powder in almost any recipe to automatically add some veggies {unknowingly to all tiny people, of course} to any meal!

Along with my toddler, my husband is also a no-veggies-please person, too. He has never once noticed the veggies “on his plate” when I’ve thrown this into family meals. ;)

A couple of recipes I’ve tried EasyPeasie in so far: chicken noodle soup, in our hamburger meat for hamburgers, and in muffins! Never once have I tasted any vegetable taste!

EasyPeasie has definitely made a customer out of me!

You can find EasyPeasie’s website here, their Instagram here, and their Facebook here.

with love, Brandi

{I received product from EasyPeasie in return for my opinion. Everything written is my true opinion and feelings.}

Thursday, April 13, 2017

sweet little gal

happy thursday guys! we are almost to friday, and since this friday is Good Friday, it's something extra special to celebrate. 

i'm supposed to be taking it easy this week (see my post on my instagram for the full explanation), but blogging counts as taking it easy, right? so i’m stopping by to share with you a fabulous shop called Happy Hart Co.! Tori from Happy Hart Co. makes the most beautiful prints for your home, and has ahhhhmazing prices. could it get any better?!

tori was so kind to send me this “sweet little gal” print and i’m obsessed. how perfect is this print for lilli?! it also matches her new bedroom theme so it’s a win win.

i’m so excited to style this print in her room, so keep an eye out for that post soon!!

want to get one of your own prints? you can use code brandi30 for 30% off your purchase at Happy Hart Co.!

find Happy Hart Co. on Instagram

xoxo, brandi

Monday, April 10, 2017

lilli's first easter egg hunt

lilli attended her first Easter egg hunt this weekend! the weather was beautiful, lilli looked so cute, and the hunt was so much fun.

bow // moccs

i was so worried lilli wouldn't want to participate, or that it was going to be super stressful with a ton of kids running around. i was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a really laid-back event, and when lilli had a blast.

lilli filled up her entire basket, and was laughing so hard each time she found a new egg.

she even shared two of her eggs with another little girl when she couldn't find anymore. #heartmelt

drop it drop it low girl

i'm not sure which part was my favorite: watching her run and grab the eggs, or watching her open the eggs at the end with a loud "OH!" each time because there's something in every egg?!?!

and one last picture because i just happened to capture this oh-so-loving face:

xoxo, Brandi

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

goose and mills

i’ve been so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to get to know Kara, founder and owner of Goose and Mills. we met through a mutual friend, found out we both like to do this whole small business thing, and the rest is history!

kara makes the cutest bows and head wraps. i could seriously buy every single one and not regret a thing.

and, some other good news? she recently added mommy and me scarves to her shop. #seeyamoney

seriously guys, check out Goose and Mills asap. it’s a must. i've seen first hand the effort, love, and hard work that she puts into her shop and her customers and i mean it when i say you'll receive love in the mail.

also, while you’re at it, check out Little Dumpling Apron Co., kara’s other ridiculously adorable shop! lilli doesn’t have an apron yet because she’s still so small, but as soon as she gets there, you bet i’ll be getting her one of these beautiful aprons!

kara is kind enough to give my followers and readers a special discount just for checking out her shop! you can use code \\ NEWFRIEND15 // for 15% off your purchase at Goose and Mills!

you can check out goose and mills' instagram here!

xoxo, Brandi

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

eighteen months


we’ve been blessed with eighteen months of you. we’ve laughed, smiled, cried, hurt, thrived, and most of all - loved. you are the light of our lives, and every part of me loves every part of you.

i’m in love with your soul. you are so sweet, and love to give hugs to those who are willing to accept them. including the cat and the dog.
when another child is crying, you sit and watch, and make sure they are okay, before you go about your business.
you would still rather be held than walk on your own, but you’re finally exclusively walking, so i’ll take it. 
you love to laugh, and love to make others laugh, too.
you are so sensitive, just like your mama. you have the saddest little frown and “sad cry” (as grandma calls it) when someone (or something in some cases) hurts your feelings.

but you are sassy. you know what you want (and what you don’t want) when you want it, which is always right now. and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. 
you currently know how to run away when you don’t want to do something and use that to your full advantage. you also close your eyes really tight and think we can’t see you. you also shake your head fiercely when you say no.
you are incredibly impatient, another quality i so lovingly passed down to you.

you are shy, and it takes you a while to warm up to knew people and new places. but you love others so much that it literally makes me cry. 

you still aren’t a fan of anyone taking you out of mama’s arms. 

you are still undecided if you like sleep or not. some days you sleep 18 hours, some days you sleep 18 minutes, especially when you’re teething.

speaking of teeth, you have 12, and are working on 13 and 14.

you are still in 9 and (mostly) 12 month clothing, with a few 18 months here and there. minus pants. dat booty gets you in 18 month / 18-24 month pants.

you love to read (see, i told you you are mama’s girl). you have a book in your hands 90% of the day.

you put stickers over 95% of the house in about 2 minutes flat.

you love exploring and examining new places and new things.

animals are totally your thing, and you proudly yell when you see one. any one. you know your favorites: dog, kitty, horse, and bear. 

everything that is a circle is a “bubble” because you love bubbles; therefore, you love anything that looks like a bubble. you also like to say mama, dada, eyes (comes out as “ass” but we won’t hold that one against you), nose, dog, car, yes, please (peas), cheese, cup, puppy (pupa). you already knew how to sign “more", “milk", "all done", and you almost have “please” down. you’re working on "thank you" and “help”. 

you know all of the parts of your face - eyes, nose, forehead, hair, hair bow (because duh, totally a part of your body), cheeks, mouth, tongue, chin, and neck. you know where your belly and belly button are also. oh, and your feet.

you loveeeeee your almond milk. your current favorite menu includes: refried beans (toot toot), dairy free cheese, grapes (which are also bubbles), peanut butter, fruit snacks, cheerios, mama’s homemade chex mix, pears, pb & j, muffins, pancakes, fish, and usually anything i roll up in a tortilla shell. you’re allergic to strawberries (and we think some other fruit too but not sure yet), and you’re still sensitive to dairy. 

i know there is so much not said in here, and it breaks my heart that i can’t catch every single part of you and write it down to remember. every single part of you deserves to be loved, and is fully loved by Jesus, me, and your dada.

i love you lilli jo.
xoxo, mama

Monday, April 3, 2017

collect moments, not things

have you ever heard that quote, “collect moments, not things.”?

only four short words, but it makes an impact, doesn’t it?

today’s generation is especially prone to “things”. many struggle with the “one-more-thing-syndrome”. 

if i just had a bigger home, i’d be happy.
if i just had the newest ____, i’d be happy.
if i just had more money, i’d be happy.
if i just had this, i’d be happy.
if i just had that, i’d be happy.

how crazy of a thought is it that we could be happy with what's right in front of us.

we just went through a crazy home buying/selling experience, and we had imagined the outcome to be 110% different than what really happened. but you know what? i'm totally okay with it. we have everything we need, and God has even gone so far as to bless us with things that we want. we don’t need anything other than what we have. 

in the spirit of collecting more moments this year versus things, i’ve written up my own bucket list of moments to collect, and what memories i’d rather spend money on - not things.


\\ renovating our home. you can read here what the end result was in our buying/selling experience with our home, but as mentioned in that post, instead of moving and uprooting our family to try and find a home that “works better” for us, we are going to stay right where we are and make what we HAVE work for us. we are incredibly excited to start renovations on our home, as well as making memories together in creating our home.

\\ family vacation. we don’t know where, when, or how we want to vacation this year, we just know we want to. kyle and i made an agreement before we had kids that we wanted to do one family vacation every year as a family, no matter how small or big, to just get away and enjoy each other. yes, it’s spending money, but it’s way more than that - it’s collecting memories of our family.

\\ date nights. date nights are hard to come by when you have kids, don’t you agree? kyle and i decided a few months ago that we needed to pull more time together as husband and wife, and not only as mom and dad. sometimes we’ll go out, sometimes we’ll just stay in. whatever we do, we do it together. 

\\ time with family and friends. the busyness of life is sometimes overwhelming, and trying to find time to do anything other than the necessities is hard. but it’s so important. we find that when we host a party, go visit family, go to dinner with another couple - whatever it is - we’re happier after than we were before. and that’s what matters. there’s also an easier way to create and plan events in our busy lives through Eventbrite's event management software. let Eventbrite help you create and manage your next party, event, or outing!

if you created a bucket list for your moments to collect, what would be on it? feel free to tell me in the comments below, or create your own bucket list and link back to me so i can read it!

xoxo, Brandi

Sunday, April 2, 2017

we are home.

be prepared, this post is long. it’s been a long time coming.

a little over 40 days ago, i posted that we were selling our house and moving. a few weeks before that post, kyle and i had made the crazy decision to find a home with more land so that we could have more space for our businesses. we love love love the home we are in, but we don’t have much land. it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with kyle’s shop in the space we have. we had prayed hard about it, and we felt like it was the right move (no pun intended).

a few days later, we found a home that we loved on a property that we loved. we were obsessed with it, so much so that we put an offer in on it. because of the way we financed, we had to sell our current home before we could officially purchase that home. we wrote that in our offer, and they accepted it! but - they also stipulated that they still wanted people to be able to come look at the house in event that our home didn’t sell. we contracted that if they received another offer, they had to give us 72 hours to sell our home before they could accept the new offer.

still following along? it was confusing, but we didn’t foresee a problem selling our home because most houses in our neighborhood go within a couple weeks of being on the market. 

except lately.

houses have been going slowly in our neighborhood lately. after two weeks, we had so.many.showings. but no solid interest. our relator hosted an open house with the same kind of result. we were frustrated and tired, but we still felt like we were doing the right thing, so we continued to wait and pray.

fast forward to two more weeks, and the new house received another offer. it had been almost a month, and the sellers were getting antsy that our house hadn’t sold yet. we were heartbroken. if our house didn’t sell in 72 hours, we would lose the house.

we prayed so hard for our house to sell and for us not to lose that house. looking back, i now know that we should have prayed for our hearts to be prepared for whatever happened, but you know the saying - you live and you learn.

as you can probably guess, we lost the house. we fought, fought harder that we should have. but in the end, we lost it.

we were both heartbroken. kyle doesn’t get discouraged easily, but even he was angry and discouraged. i was angry, tired, and frustrated. i cried and got mad at God, because you know, it was all His fault.

we started looking at new houses that same week, but i was starting to get hesitant. after we lost the other house, something started to stir within me. instead of comparing houses to our current one and saying “that house has something ours doesn’t”, i started thinking, “yeah but our house has this… i love this about our house… etc.” it was subtle, but i didn’t know what we were meant to do, so we continued along the same path.

a couple of days later, we found another house we loved. but it was a different kind of love this time around. our hearts and minds were guarded, but we loved it enough to put an offer in on it.

when we submitted the offer, i had a very distinct feeling that i shouldn’t get my hopes up. i know now that it was God very gently telling us no, but we waited to hear from the sellers nonetheless.

at this point in the game, our entire family was [this] close to the “i’m done” point. we were all tired, cranky, and ready to be settled where we were meant to be. a turning point that week for me is when our cat got really sick. for those of you that don’t have pets, i totally understand if you think this is silly. but Arlo was my first baby, and he’s been with our family for a long time. i took him to the vet when we found a puddle of blood by his litter box. when we got there, the vet asked us if we were going through any stressful situations and i told him that we were trying to sell our home and that we had at least one showing a day on average. he didn’t say much, but told me that they needed to keep him there for the day for tests.

later that day, i went and got Arlo. the vet said he had a UTI that was progressed enough that he needed a couple different medicines. he also said that he recommended to try and find a resolve for our stressful situations because he foresaw it happening again, as stress is a major contributor to UTI’s in cats.

when i got home, i let lilli watch tv and i went and sat down and prayed. i told God that i was ready to hear anything that He said, and i just wanted to be where we were meant to be. i prayed that i was starting to have a difficult time letting our home go, and if this is where we were meant to be, then i was okay with that. i prayed that He would simply shut the door and make any changes in our hearts that needed to be done.

not too long after (i’m talking hours), our relator texted us and told us that our offer had been rejected because of the contingency.

kyle and i looked at each other right then, and we knew exactly what we were supposed to do.

yesterday, we officially took our home off the market, and we spent the whole day planning renovations and changes. we have never been more in love with our home, and we are so excited for each and every memory we will make here.

do i think we went through this experience for nothing? no. do i believe that we were meant to go through this experience? yes. i think God used this entire experience as a learning tool for us, as well as teaching us some major trust in Him. we learned patience, trust, comfort, hope, and dependence on our Heavenly Father. we also have changed hearts about how we look at our home. we see so much potential now that we’ve seen other homes, and we are incredibly excited to keep making our house a home!

stay tuned for reno and home progress posts!

xoxo, Brandi