Matt - Brittney - Mary Tyler - Cooper - Annie

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking for a New Years Resolution??














So, I can remember about a year or two ago hearing about these purple bracelets. Something about wearing them as part of a challenge to not complain. I didn't really hear the whole story, but I was intrigued, and then forgot about it.

The other day, I was trying to think of a New Years Resolution I could make that wouldn't only benefit myself (like "go to the gym four times a week" or "stop eating french fries"), but benefit those around me. Then I remembered a little bit about the "No complaining bracelets" so I started researching.

My research led me to finding out there is a book called "A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Living the Life You've Always Wanted." It sounded a little whack, then I remembered it was a pastor who started this whole thing, and it comes from a Bible verse..

Ephesians 4:29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.


I remember hearing that verse in 6th grade and thinking it was talking about cussing. Haha. ANYWAY...

I downloaded the book on my Kindle for iPhone app and started reading, and let me tell you, I am SO EXCITED about this challenge, my resolution.

Here's the jist of it..

How it all got started: Rev. Will Bowen of One Community Spiritual Center in Kansas City, MO was teaching a series on Prosperity. Part of this series was helping the congregation to form a habit of gratitude by going 21-days without complaining. Studies show it takes 21 days for people to start forming a new habit. In an effort to make the lesson practical, the church purchased purple bracelets and gave them away encouraging them to move the bracelet to the other arm if they caught themselves complaining.

How the bracelet thing works: Scientists believe it takes 21 days to form a new habit and complaining is habitual for most of us. The purple bracelet is a powerful tool to remind you of how well you are creating your life with positive intention. Here are the suggested rules:
  1. Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist
  2. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing (it’s ok, everyone does) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.
  3. If you hear someone else who is wearing a bracelet complain, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first, bc you are ultimately criticizing them for complaining :)
  4. Stay with it. It may take many months but when you reach 21 days you will find that your entire life is happier, more loving and more enjoyable.
The book goes on to talk about what is a justified "complaint" and what is not. I was asking Matt last night .. "But what if you told me we were going to Joy of Tokyo and I'm not in the mood for that? Is it complaining to say 'I dont like Joy of Tokyo?'" I answered the question myself.. it'd probably be complaining to say "ughhh, i HATE joy of tokyo" but to say "ehh, im not really feeling that tonight, let's go to Monterrey's" would suffice. (ps. that exact conversation takes places at least once a week at our house)

Recently, I've found myself saying things that right when they come out of my mouth I think, why did i even just say that?? Like.. the other day I was watching 60 minutes with Matt and Andy Rooney has this thing that hangs off his lip.. and I was like "Gah, that thing on his lip drives me nuts!" Why did I have to say that out loud? It's ok if I thought it in my head, but it's just rude and critical to say, and I don't need to be critical.

I complain about things that are stupid.. like "Ughhh. I REALLY dont want to go to work tomorrow." or "my head is killllling me." I understand that I am going to think those thoughts in my head, and that's fine, but why burden other people with that? First of all, they dont really care whether or not I want to go to work tomorrow. Second of all, what can they do about it? It's not like I'm telling them so they can help me find a solution, I'm just complaining to complain. (that's another thing I asked matt about ... "Baby, what if I really am sick and need some medicine??" Matt's response, "Then you probably just say, 'Lamb, I have a bad headache, could you get me some advil?'" Then it's not a complaint, but a question seeking a solution. Not just "woeeee is meeeee i have the worsssst headache!")

The hardest part of this for me is going to be gossip. We all do it. It's so hard not to. But I am going to make a CONSCIOUS EFFORT not to say anything about someone that i wouldn't say to their face. I feel like thats how I know when it's gossip. I am married, I am happy, I live a good life, what business do I have talking about other people's dramas and issues? I love everyone I am friends with, and I wouldn't want them talking about me, so... I am going to KEEP IT TO MYSELF. That verse doesn't say "dont let any unwholesome thoughts enter your mind," we are all sinners. and that is going to happen, its just the words.. There have been a lot of verses on my blog lately but here's one that goes along with what I'm saying ..

Proverbs 12:18 - Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

Even if I have those unwholesome thoughts, I do not have to speak them into words. Keep reminding me of this fellow bloggers, I need you to hold me accountable!

Ok, so the book said that the average person who attempts the challenge usually takes 4 to 10 months to go the entire 21 days without changing the bracelet to the other wrist! I know it will probably take me that long, but I think it's worth a shot.

I am going to finish reading the book tonight. I dont know for sure that I will order that exact bracelet. The book says if you want you can just start with a rubberband or use a bracelet you like (if you have little wrists like mine and none of those livestrong things fit you right!) I hope you will join me in this!!! I think it's such a wonderful challenge! Let me know if you do!!
B

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Big News! :)

So.. on Sunday the girls got together over at Jordan's for our annual Christmas Swap. We were all sitting around rambling about what we got etc etc. Meg starts telling how Brett gave her this photo album of all the pictures they've ever taken together and Jordy is chiming in "I really need a sentimental boyfriend." Wells is about to cry, "Awww!" and I am thinking "Man, I wish he would have given her a ring." Then she trails on, "...so at the end of it there was this note about our lives and picture of my DIAMOND!!!!" and she whips her hand out of her purse, where she had hidden her GORGEOUS ring and was secretly putting it on. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Wells screamed so loud, my ears were ringing for a few minutes! It was SO GREAT and so HAPPY!!!











































We were so sad that Sarah couldn't be there, but dont worry we called and screamed the news to her! :) it was such a fun day! We spent the whole day and night celebrating, drinking champagne, and watching Brett's proposal on video, it was SO sweet!!!

Congrats, Meg! You're going to be the MOST beautiful bride, I am so happy for you and Brett!I love you!

B

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Recap

So here's what we did over Christmas... and a little taste of some things we gave and some things we got.. We are SO BLESSED, we had such an AMAZING, AMAZING Christmas and we couldn't be more thankful for all of our family and friends!

Wednesday night, December 22, 2010: Matt's Dad, Jim and his family came over :) I prepared like a crazy person for three days trying to clean and grocery shop and wrap presents perfectly. finally the day of, i gave up on the house and just cooked. The food was really good actually! I made pork tenderloin, crockpot mac n cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, and rolls. Sam and Perry played some Wii and then we opened presents. I cant BELIEVE amidst all the hustle and bustle I forgot to get out my camera... we didnt take ONE picture this year :( boo! We had so much fun, though!

We gave: A Ruth's Chris Gift Card, A donation to St. Jude
We got: Workout Clothes, A super-cute coat, Best Buy and Victoria's Secret gift cards :)

Thursday .. we ventured over to Clemson to Mimi and Grandy's house and had Christmas with The Kingsmore's. Always one of my fave parts of Christmas. We had a potluck dinner of sorts, has some drinks and crab dip, of course, had an in depth..too serious...discussion about Clemson athletics.. ugh! Then moved on to opening some fun presents. Then headed back home. Here's a picture of the beautiful tree and the ridiculous amount of presents!

We gave: A blanket, an iPad case, Clemson playing cards, A figurine of the Clemson Entrance
We got: Clothes, Gift Cards, Cash :)



















Friday .. Christmas Eve... I had to work from 10 to 1. Sped home from work, took a shower, got ready faster than you can say "Rudolph!" then went to meet Dad, Susie, Mimi, Grandy, and Tyler at Newspring in Anderson for Christmas Eve service. It was such a good service!! I really think you should all watch it if you get a minute.. Newspring Christmas Eve Service. We rushed (all the way) back from Anderson .. and made it to Mom's just in time for dinner. We ate.. opened presents.. where the theme for the night was "cameras..."then went on our Christmas traditional trip to the movies to see "Little Fockers." It was really cute!!! Matt and I made it back to our house around midnight and made sure the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.. then made it to sleep around 2 am.

We gave: PFG shirts, Coach wristlet, Benefit best-sellers make up case
We got: a tempurpedic pillow, a point and shoot camera, a camera lens for my big camera, sheets!




































Linds... do you have anymore pictures?? this is all i have... why dont we have any together on my camera??

Christmas Day ... I woke up around 8:30 am. **RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU KNOW HOW CRAZY THAT IS FOR BRITTNEY K BOLT** insanity! I was happy about it :) Then I went downstairs, started Matt's coffee, set out the presents, then ventured outside to take some "before" pictures of our house, since i KNEW it was going to snow :) Here's our house BEFORE the White Christmas ...












Then Matt and I opened our presents and stockings and we gave those pretties (aka: our dogs) some bones and treats and toys. They were thrilled!! Then we rushed to get dressed, so we could fly out the door and head to Easley for Christmas with Dad and Susie.

Some highlights of our THIRD christmas morning as The Bolts (also insane): A Keurig coffee maker, Brighton necklace and earrings, Slatkin & Co. candles from Bath and Body Works, a polo shirt, lottery tickets




































Ok, so then we headed to Easley. Where we ate a little bit of breakfast (only because we were about to head to Matt's mom's afterwards where we were having more breakfast). Dad made eggs, bacon, and croissants. Then we opened presents while continuously checking out the window to see if the snow had started yet.

We gave: A Ruth's Chris giftcard, an iPad case, a coach wristlet
We got: UGG boots, Best Buy gift card, Dick's giftcard, a hairdryer, and the sweetest thing.. Dad and Susie gave me the first ring that Dad ever gave to Susie because she hardly wears it anymore and everytime I'm with them I talk about how much I love Susie's David Yurman things.. love it!





































SO... after Dad's we packed up all our goodies and headed back to Greenville to go celebrate with Ciny and Kelleigh ! We had some delicious breakfast casserole in front of the fire and were glued to the weather channel since we were supposed to go to Bishopville, SC within the hour. The storm was looking worse and worse. We were really nervous about the roads, but decided to turn the tv off for a little while, open our presents, and see the latest updates afterwards. The pictures from Cindy's are on my little camera that I haven't uploaded yet! I will be sure to get on that asap.

We gave: Pinot Noir, wine glasses, Coach wristlets, a stocking full of goodies for Cindy
We got: An a/v receiver and blu ray player for our living room, Perfume, a jcrew bracelet, Scrabble!, a cookbook, a sewing kit

After going back and forth back and forth back and forth about whether or not to go to Bishopville, we had to decide against it, since we ran the risk of getting snowed in and matt and kelleigh having to be back on Sunday and since we thought the roads may be really bad. We were really sad to not get to go see everyone !! :( By the time we left Cindy's around 3, the snow was falling, and I was crying. I have been dreaming of a White Christmas since I can remember being alive. I LOVE snow and i LOVE christmas, and what better than to have them together?! It was truly magical... MAGICAL! I loved it!! Matt and I got home, and while he worked on setting up the a/v receiver for THREE HOURS in the living room, I sat on the couch and stared out the window at the snow. It was very relaxing. (minus the occasional cuss words flying out of my husbands mouth as he tried to wire everything up) :) He took a quick snooze and I went outside and snapped some "after" pics of the snow ...
























THEN .. as if we hadn't traveled ENOUGH already. we decided to go over to mom's to hang out with the family and watch a movie. We ate leftovers from their big lunch earlier. and watched Transformers, which neither of us had ever seen. I actually liked it. After the movie, we went outside to admire the STILL FALLING snow and took a few pictures. I think Mom or Lindsey have those on their cameras so I'll have to post those later.

I can't tell you what happened on Sunday yet.. but it is exciting news for SURE and I'll be posting about it tomorrow night :) Needless to say, it was a very very busy, very very exhausting, very very AMAZING Christmas weekend.

John 1: 16 says this, "From the fullness of his grace, we have all received one blessing after another." Is this the truth or WHAT?! Whether you did or didn't have the perfect Christmas this year, remember that no matter what the hardships, we have ALL received endless blessings from the Lord, and that is a gift that we can surely be thankful for!

I hope you all had a VERY MERRY Christmas and a safe and happy new year!!!

Love and Peace

B

Monday, December 20, 2010

tidings of comfort and joy

giving.

it's what i love most about Christmas. although i love getting lovely gifts, i honestly would be happy to get none, as long as i was still allowed to give. i love thinking of people, what they may want..or need. what would make them happy. and most importantly, to see how well i know them. it's my favorite thing to give someone something THEY DIDNT ASK ME FOR ... you know.. for example..just guess that Cooper (my dog) would really love a new bed that has a leather cover...because he usually opts to sleep on the cold hardwood floor NEXT to the cozy fleece bed, because he gets too hot. he didnt ASK me for the leather bed..but i knew he would love it. get my drift?


anyway.. one of my favorite quotes on giving..

"you can give without loving, but you can't love without giving."

no matter how much i enjoy playing my little game.. of finding my friends and family something i know they would enjoy without them having to ask for it... that's not what it's really about. it's really about the love that giving brings to you. it feels SO good to give. whether it's giving: presents at christmas, a day of walking and petting and loving on homeless animals at the shelter, a "keep the change" to the sonic car hop, or even something as small as holding the door for someone or giving a compliment to my favorite grocery store worker, Jeffrey, who usually bags my groceries.


it's not necessarily about making me feel good about myself for doing a nice thing... it's knowing that someone else's day/month/year/life is going to be better. regardless of whether you are to blame.

i just was listening to "god, rest ye merry gentlemen" and i wish EVERYONE ... everyone.. tidings of comfort and joy. dont those two things just sound like the most lovely things you can have? comfort and joy. then i started thinking, the things that give me the most comfort and joy are my family (physically) and giving (mentally and emotionally) ... so i just wanted to share that. and if our bank account is drained at the end, i dont care. i just want everyone to be happy.

i just reread this and realize how random and sloppy and not very well spoken it is. haha. ohwell. just remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. he gave the ultimate gift.

merry christmas.

b

Friday, December 17, 2010

recipes

just going through my "saved recipes" on my computer today and realized there are a few worth sharing. in keeping with the holiday theme... here are some that i think you MUST try as soon as possible:

Going to a party and need to take an appetizer?? Take these meatballs. They FLY out of the dish in about 10 minutes. Everyone LOVES them and since making them at my Halloween party, ive had about 7 people ask me if I'll be bringing them to my mom's christmas party this year. The answer is, "yes. and im making a double batch."

CROCK POT MERRY MEATBALLS

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fully cooked frozen meatballs (recommended: Armanino)
  • 1 bottle (16-ounce) catalina salad dressing
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place frozen meatballs in the insert of a slow cooker. In a bowl, stir to combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over meatballs and stir to coat. Cook on high setting for 2 to 3 hours.

**I was VERY wary of the orange marmalade. esp while i was mixing it together, it looked like mush, but I promise promise promise it is worth it!!!!


Another good one for a Host or Hostess to put out as an hor'dourve before serving dinner:

Fried Ravioli

* Olive oil, for frying
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
* 1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, for dipping

Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.

While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.

When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.

Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan

Marinara Cream Sauce:

1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, combine sauce and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Simply amazing.


Time for the main course... I have a bunch of entree dishes I'd love to share with you, but I am choosing the one my sister and I made for the family last Sunday night. It was sooo yummy and filling!!!!

Cheesy Shell Stuffed Shells (courtesy of noblepig.com)

24 dried jumbo shell macaroni
8 oz. dried tiny shell macaroni (2 cups)
2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded (8 oz.)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz)
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon white pepper or pepper
1 24 oz. jar vodka sauce (Emeril is my favorite brand)
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350o F. Cook jumbo shells according to package directions. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer shells to a colander. Rinse with cold water; drain well and set aside. In same pan cook tiny shells according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine Gruyere cheese, cheddar cheese, half-and-half and pepper. Heat over medium-low heat until cheese is melted and smooth, stirring frequently. Stir in tiny shells.

Spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Spoon cheese-shell mixture into drained jumbo shells; place stuffed shells in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining pasta sauce.

Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh basil and serve.

**VARIATION** in order to satisfy the meat lovers of the family, I got a block of Neese's Sausage, browned it, drained it, and added it to the cheese shell stuffing mixture. It was delicious!!!


lastly, for all of your dessert needs...

Paula Deen's Monogrammed Christmas Cookies with Royal Icing

* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
* Granulated sugar
* Royal Icing, recipe follows

Directions

In a bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then mix in the egg and vanilla and almond extracts. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and cream of tarter; mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, then cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide the chilled dough in half and roll it out on a lightly floured pastry cloth to a 1/4-inch thickness. Lightly grease some baking sheets. Cut the dough with a floured cookie cutter; sprinkle with sugar. Transfer the cookies to the prepared sheets and bake for 9 minutes.

Royal Icing:

* *3 egg whites
* 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
* Food coloring, optional

In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tarter. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Increase mixer speed to high, and beat 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture holds a peak. Cover with a damp cloth when not in use. Separate into bowls and add food coloring, if desired.


annnnnnd


Pioneer Woman's Pie That'll Make You Cry (Pecan Pie)

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust (I Use "sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust" Recipe
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Corn Syrup
  • ¾ teaspoons Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Melted Butter (salted)
  • 3 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 1 cup (heaping) Chopped Pecans

Preparation Instructions

First, whip up your pie crust using “Sylvia’s Perfect Pie Crust” found on tastykitchen.com. OR use a store-bought shell.

Next, mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.

Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.

Pour syrup mixture over the top. Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake pie at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.

NOTE: PIE SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY JIGGLY WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE OVEN. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe.

Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.


Sorry I don't have any pictures. I will be sure to take some as I make these more often. I posted these for a reason, they are all SO GOOD, and I want you to try them, immediately. Happy Cooking/Baking/Holidays!!!

B

Thursday, December 16, 2010

bloggers block

i cant think of anything to blog about. so i will share the eventfulness of my day ...

i did laundry.

i went to taco casa with jordy.

i went to the cardiologist and he gave me the go ahead to start weening off of my medicine!!! i am so ready to be free of pills!!! everyone say a quick prayer that i do alright without them and the process goes smoothly. maybe i'll have one good ambien story before im rid of it for good!! :)

i came home and did p90x. yikes! but with the good news of no meds, i decided, "hey, why not get healthy all around?" i did chest and back.. and ab ripper x. and i seriously am having a hard time sitting up in bed, typing this, right now. owww!! it hurts so good :)

then i made the mexican chicken casserole recipe... located on the right side of my blog under "from this kitchen." its so good! sarah and jordy came over and joined us for dinner. then we watched the sing off. i LOVE "committed" they are awesome!!! and then they left and matt and i watched survivor. we haven't missed a week! but my favorite, jane, went home tonight.

then i put all the laundry away. lit a candle. got ready for bed. perused facebook, and am now blogging before i pop my pill and go to sleep. waiting on matt to come to bed.. he is in his office playing halo online against my brother. ha.

tomorrow, friday, and saturday i have to work. and then im off for 2 WEEKS!!!! (besides the 3 hrs i have to work on christmas eve and 3 hrs on new years eve) i am sooooo excited!!!!

ok. i seriously..SERIOUSLY feel like this is a diary entry from 7th grade, so im going to quit while im ahead. happy 9 days til christmas!!!

b

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

lauren miller photography

remember the other day when i was telling you about my friend lauren taking those pictures of us? well now, ill tell you a little bit more. she has successfully started her own photography business now and is looking for new clients!!! she is new to business, so she will give you really reasonable prices for a great shoot! she is specializing in family and children. she's done a lot of shoots with babies and little kids and they are so good!!! check her out at:

http://laurenmillerphotography.blogspot.com/

she's now added to my blog roll, so keep up with her and check for seasonal specials and discounts!

whether it's your child's birthday, a friend's engagement, or a new baby is born, Lauren would be there to capture a few memories!!

ps- did i mention she was my college roommate for 3 years and one of my best friends? :) so proud of you lm!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

merry merry

sorry ive been MIA!!! it's been a crazy week. i just got home from helping mom decorate all day and prepare for my brother and sister to get home from college. we made a "kids" tree up in our bonus room with bright colors and all the sentimental ornaments from when we were little. my personal fave is a reindeer "thumbprint" ornament i made in the 2nd grade. ill have to take a pic of it next time im over there. linds too this from her phone so its kind of dark but we had the room dimly lit for ambiance :)












now for a quick recap of this week ...

Sunday... lauren and tree came over and she took pictures of matt and i for our christmas cards this year. they turned out so cute!!! and then we went to fuddrucker's and then we went to Hollywild to see the lights and the animals. We had a lot of fun!! here are a few pics from the "shoot:"




























































Thanks Lauren!!

Monday: worked. went to Costco and got some essentials. Then to monday night dinner with the besties.

Tuesday: went to the mall with Lauren to finish up some christmas shopping. spent more money than i should have.

Wednesday: what did i do wednesday?? oh yeah! i went to Clemson and helped mimi wrap an ungodly amount of presents!!! we were literally sweating. it was so fun though, listening to frank sinatra christmas cd and drinking a big huge sprite. good times! then i stopped by dad's in easley and we decided to go meet Susie for dinner at Soby's in greenville. So yummy! I brought my poor, sweet, dedicated, hard working husband some shrimp and grits. He has been working SO HARD and so much this month to get this game finished. and he deserved a good meal :) thanks dad!! i really enjoyed that.

Thursday: I worked. went to cvs. came home and put on a bigger coat.. it was freeezing outside. then went to meet jordan, cindy, and sarah at tsunami for some girls night sushi. we had great food and great conversation. stayed for like, 3 hours. and then headed over to the new sports bar across from corner pocket, hoops and hops. it was fun! i love hanging out with jordy and sarah. and jordy bought my a hot dog from the stand outside and it made my night!

Today... i slept late... got up and dressed. headed over to Charlie's BBQ to meet mom for a quick lunch and then we went back to her house to finish decorating and get it all ready for her party next weekend...and for tyler and lindsey to get home from college. they both got home and we played wii for a little bit then made some christmas cookies :) then i got home just about an hour ago (its 1:40 am now)

i have missed matt these past few days!!! but when he has this much work to do, it almost makes it easier on him if im not at home. bc otherwise i beg and beg him to come hang out with me and then he feels sad that he can't. thanks goodness he loves his job and he is SO great at what he does or the long hours would be horrendous for him. right now, they have a huge project they are nearly finished with and if all goes as planned, the game will launch at the beginning of january and he'll get to cut out this "working til 2 am" nonsense. really though,i am so so proud of him!! i love you, lamb! :)

tomorrow we are going to my aunt and uncle's christmas party!! im excited about it!! we will get to spend some good time together and there's nothing i love more than being with family!!!

have a great weekend everyone!!

-B

ps- everyone wish Whitney Meade some baby dust... or should i say.. labor dust!! we are all ready to see/meet baby Livingston!! :) her due date is monday but i think she should come tomorrow and have a really cool birthday..12.11.10

Saturday, December 4, 2010

SHUTTERFLY

Hooooooray for Christmas Cards!!! I look forward to Christmas cards every year. I absolutely love them! And for the past two years, I've had my eye on the ones from shutterfly, they were just a little too expensive when compared to the cheapo walgreens ones. However... THIS YEAR, Shutterfly is giving you 50 free christmas cards when you advertise for them on your blog!!!

All you have to do is fill out this form! I am so thankful for shutterfly. they always have amazing deals and this is one of their best yet! these are a few i have my eye on..






















































































Maybe you'll be seeing one of these very, very soon!!! :)

I also have my eye on these guys.. http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars/desk-calendars . What a great gift idea!!

If you haven't used shutterfly before.. here are some of my favorite things about:

1. They do not shrink your original high-resolution images—giving you the best professional-quality prints and products in the industry.

2. Turn your pictures into personalized gifts—we’re #1 in quality, having won awards for our photo books, cards, and editing tools.

3. They’ve got articles, videos and plenty of “How To” tips to support and inspire you.

They also keep all my pictures together in one place instead of having to dig through a million different facebook albums to find what im looking for.

thanks shutterfly! merry christmas to me! :)

phew!!!

well, i finished most of my christmas shopping the week before thanksgiving. which is CRAZY! because i think the past ten years, i've finished my christmas shopping at like, midnight, on christmas eve. it feels so good to have it all (but like two things) bought... and wrapped!!!

every year (until this one) all the girls in my family head out shopping on black friday in highlands, nc. this year, i had to work. so i drove to Clemson and picked up my favorite person on earth (my mimi) this afternoon. and we shopped til we dropped!!! we hit up..


























































































Also M.H. Frank in Clemson. it was a long day!!! but it's going to be a great christmas. and most importantly, i just love getting to spend that time with my grandmother. we have so much fun together! can't wait to share with you all the fun things we got for the family ... after Christmas, of course :)

I have to work tomorrow.. and then Sunday, Lauren and Tree are going to come over and lauren's going to take pictures of matt and i for our christmas cards this year! she is so good at photography, so i can't wait to show them to you!! Then we are going to go to Hollywild and see the lights and feed the animals. It should be a good weekend!! update you sunday night!

be of good cheer,
B

Thursday, December 2, 2010

i forgot..

remember a few weeks ago when we went to patrick and hayley's wedding?

well, even if you don't... i forgot... this picture got posted on facebook, and i thought it was hilarious and meant to blog about it.

its kind of small in the blog frame so click on it to make it bigger so you can see all the faces.













haha. i wasn't even BUZZED. prob only had one beer at this point. but there was a "dance circle" i got pushed in .. and this picture totally captures the moment. haha even the people in the background are looking at me like im crazy.

this is a shot in the dark .. but mark wells. this is all because of you. when i was in the 7th grade, you cracked us up showing us "the gay boy dance" where you start in the squatting position and bounce and swirl your arms over your head like a crazy person and cyclone your way up to the top.. you know what im talkng about. anyway... in college, that song "she moves her body like a cyclooooone" started playing one time, on a night where i WAS overserved... and everyone laughed hysterically at that dance i did, and started calling it "the brittney cyclone" .... well all of those same people were at this wedding and when the dance circle started they were chanting "brittney cyclone! brittney cyclone!" so .... although at this point im not doing that dance... i had done it right before... and i owe it all to you, mark wells. and the gay boy dance. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

we gobbled til we wobbled

phew! we had a very fun, very busy thanksgiving weekend!!! i had to work on Wednesday ... sold a debutant gown. went home to pack, waited on matt to finish working, and finally left for Highlands around 8:00 pm. After taking the dogs to Cindy's for the night, stopping at chicfila, and weaving up the mtn in the dark fog, we arrived to the mtn house around 10 and had a few beers with the family. It was a crazy dog party this year. Dad and Susie have two, Mimi and Grandy have one, Tyler has one, Aunt Twila and Uncle Sammy have one ... so that was 5 dogs .. if we'd have brought Cooper and Annie we'd have had SEVEN. It was really entertaining though.

Thursday: Matt and I slept until 11:15. missed the parade, but oh well. Had an amazing breakfast with everyone. Cleaned up, watched some home videos with the whole family, played cards, then went back to sleep (only because Mimi wouldn't let me touch anything in the kitchen) so we slept again from about 3 to 5 and then woke up to have a big ol dinner about 5:45. I had to work Friday, so after some long conversation and predictions on the upcoming Carolina vs. Clemson football game, Matt and I got back on the road and headed down the mountain. We made it to Greenville around 9:30 and went over to Cindy's to have a few drinks with her, Kelleigh, and Don. Took the dogs back home around 11:30. saw an INSANE line outside of toys-r-us. decided at this point we were starving again, so we made a new tradition and went to Waffle House. It was so fun. We've been with everyone, tons of people, every holiday since we've been married, and this December we'll go to six christmases in 7 days. So having a holiday night alone, with my sweet husband, at the dirty ol Waffle House, was SO goooooood! :)


















Friday: Got up and went to work. Sold this pretty Debutant dress.


















then rushed out of there around 5. Went to Bilo to pick up ping pong balls and solo cups for the Aurea Aquila Keg Party 2010. (for those of you who don't know, Aurea Aquila was Eastside High School's yearbook name, and thanksgiving is always a reunion so we decided to have it at my house this year). We had SO much fun catching up with everyone ! playing beer pong, gathering around the fire pit, watching football. I even got to see Emily... my long lost best friend from high school/college. she moved to seattle and i havent seen her since thanksgiving three years ago!!!!


















matt and i did a little of this ..


















it was too much of a good time for me and i ended up like this ...



















Which brings us to Saturday: I woke up feeling awwwwwwwwwfulllllllllll! We had originally planned on going to Clemson as soon as Matt finished getting his haircut at 12. Screw that plan, I was in bed, still spinning. Took a shower... and laid back in bed again. Luckily, Matt brought me some Zaxby's on his way home and that was the next best thing to a cure that there was. I popped a few advil and we headed the the homeland. Tailgaited with some fun people. Got to sit in the warm trustee box with mimi and grandy, had some good food, and lost the game. it was all good though, we had a great weekend! how cute is my husband and his new haircut?



















So TODAY we slept in. ate some thanksgiving leftovers. and i ventured out to target and got some fun new christmas decorations then went on my weekly trip to bilo. came and picked matt up and we went and picked out our christmas tree. done with the tree!! still have some more decorating outside to do, we had a great time tonight! i have the best life. i am so happy!! hopefully my doctor's appointment next week with the cardiologist will go as planned and i can get off all my meds for good and then everything will seriously be perfect! happy holidays everyone!! i love you all :) :)

-B

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Congratulations are in order to Megan and Scott!!! You may have been keeping up with them on by blog roll ... "Paging Dr. Witt." Anyway, they had the baby this morning and the gender has been a surprise this whole time. IT'S A BOY!! Waker Hebreth Witt was born this morning at 6:45am, 6lbs 4oz! Hooooray! Welcome to the world, baby Waker, future karate star!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Top 5 Perfumes on my 2010 Christmas List .. :)

You know I collect them. You know I love them. Whether it's for their scent, their bottle/packaging, or their uniqueness (is that a word?), perfumes are always at the top of my wish lists. Here are the front runners this year in no particular order:


Coach "Poppy"












Coach Poppy opens with bright cucumber, juicy mandarin and freesia buds notes. Heart is filled with aroma of jasmine, pink water lily, Southern gardenia, red candied rose petals and crème brûlée accord. Base note is a mixture of cedar wood, sandalwood, vanilla and marshmallow.

Why I love it: scent!! This one smells so good. I kept walking past it at belk last week and smelling it every time. Finally, I had to spray it all over me, and was sad when I had to take a shower that night. Love it!

Guerlain Elixir Charne


















In addition to stunning nuances provided by rose, this edition is rich with aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa and spices, such as hot pepper, and alcohol drops of rum and soft vanilla. This fragrant story is tinted with warm colors and spices that keep you warm, rejoiced, melting on the skin. The fragrance may be the perfect choice for lovers of gourmands that are not sticky sweet or aggressive, unpretentious but luxurious and erotic.

Why I love it: it's unique!!! Haven't smelled it, but it's not in every department store... and who doesn't love roses and chocolate?? Think I'd wear this one on Valentine's Day :)

Kate Spade "Twirl"


















Twirl notes include pink watermelon, blackberry and red currant. A heart includes orange blossom, star jasmine, tiare flower and magnolia, resting on a base created of glittering musk and French cookies (Macaroon).

Why I love it: bottle!! I would love this sitting with the others in my collection. And it smells pretty good too! A little sweet for my style, but Matt like's the sweet ones (like "Viva La Juicy" by Juice Couture and Benefit's "So Hooked on Carmella") they're both a little too gourmand for me, but Matt likes them best!

"Flowerbomb Christmas 2010 Edition" by Viktor & Rolf


















An ode to sensuality and dreams, Flowerbomb opens with notes of bergamot and tea before the explosion of glittering heart takes its place, composed of Sambac jasmine, orchid, freesia and Centifolia rose. Final notes of patchouli delicately highlight the nobility of this intoxicating bouquet.

Why I love it: OMG! This is the most adorable bottle I've ever seen. I MUST have it!! annnnd florals are my fave!! Haven't smelled this one, but ...i die.

Kenzo "Once Upon A Time"


















Kenzo Pour Femme Once Upon A Time is an explosion of floral notes of magnolia, rose, peony and freesia, laid on the earthy base of amber, sandalwood and musk. The fragrance is packed in a colorful printed bottle of bright pink and light blue.

Why I love it: I have Flower by Kenzo and I LOVEEEE it!!! A lot of people think it smells like play dough. But I don't care. I love it :) And this is the newest Kenzo that came out. I think it'll smell amazing and I love the bottle. I'll go to ulta this week and confirm my suspicions.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

fun night












we had a great time at kelsey's wedding tonight! and it was also a major bonus that tsunami catered the hor'dourve & cocktail hour :) yumm. more pics on facebook, just wanted to write a quick something. have a good weekend everybody!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

a trip in the making...



















If all things go as planned this Christmas, i will be ON MY WAY down under to visit my best friend ever, in her new home country. cross your fingers!!!!! April 16-30, 2011. i can't wait!! Here I come Lou!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

just whip it..

is anyone kidding me?! i discovered Willow Smith a few weeks ago, but since then, my affection for her has grown ten fold. i mean, the first time i saw her "Whip My Hair" video i was just ..BEYOND myself. She is freakin 9 YEARS OLD (well, 10 now, but 9 when the video was shot). The talent she posesses is out of this freakin' world...granted, her parents are Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and brother Jayden is a movie star now. She is like, better than Rhianna. yes, i went there. Her video is beautiful with all the paint colors and amazing styling, but what sent me over the edge was her performance on ellen last week. her first time, ever performing in front of a live audience, she sang the whole thing (which not even top artist do nowadays) and she was brilliant. i love her i love her i love her. i cant express it enough.... so im leaving you with her video annnnnnd her ellen performance!!! happy monday :)

dang it... i cant get the video to upload to my blog.. here are the links:

"Whip My Hair" video

Performance on Ellen

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day!!!!!

Can never find the right words to say how much I appreciate our veterans and active duty citizens! Thank you for giving us peace of mind and a safe place to call home!!















...did i mention how much i love fireworks?