Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Week

Look! Here I am again. Impressive right? :) I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I sure did. It was pretty busy but a ton of fun. The only bummer was that Jamal pulled a muscle in his back and got sick a couple of days before so he pretty much laid around all weekend long not feeling good. 

Christmas Eve we went to the candlelight service at church like we always do. As usual it was fun. who doesn't long singing Christmas songs by candlelight? We also take Communion on Christmas Eve and I'll let you in on a little secret, I may be the weirdo who takes a few extra of the crackers. I find them oddly delicious. Then after church we went to my aunt's to celebrate with them and my grandma. We exchanged gifts and had some snacks. 



Christmas morning we slept in since Jamal wasn't feel well and then went to cousin's house in the afternoon for a big dinner with all my family. We chatted and ate and had a good time. It is always nice to see everyone and this year I think all of my out of town cousins made it which was cool. We spent most of the day there. 

On the 26th my aunt Priscilla took me and my cousin Meagan out to dinner and to see The Cocktail Hour at the Guthrie. I love dressing up and going to plays so that part was fun but the dinner wasn't too good and the play kinda sucked but it was still a good night :) 


Then on Saturday I went to a surprise 70th birthday party for my great aunt Esther. So there I got to see the other side of my family which was nice. We don't see them too often so it is always fun to get together with them. I am seriously proud of my great looking family #goodgenes 

I would just like to mention that I am the oldest one in this picture and the 2nd to shortest; the only person shorter than me is 8 years old...

These guys crack me up. They had some funny poses. 

All the girls


And on Sunday I went ice skating for the first time in years. I always want to go but Jamal refuses and year after year I just never do it. So when Meagan suggested we go I couldn't say no. We went downtown to the Depot with a couple of her friends. Ice skating is a lot more work than I remember! My legs were sore. But it ended up being a lot of fun. 


And now to get ready for New Year's! What are your plans? We still have no idea what we're doing. 


Monday, December 29, 2014

December.

Oh hey guys! It's been a while. How are you? I've missed reading about your life. I am working on catching up. I can't believe the year is just about over now!! It went so fast. Does life really go faster the older you get? I am not okay with that! It needs to slow down so I can catch up. 

I know I have been saying for a while now whenever I randomly post that I am back and then disappear again so I won't say that. I will just show up when I'm ready otherwise I am out enjoying my life that is going way too fast for me. 

We just had a brown Christmas-the first that I can remember- and I can't say I hated it. I was kind of hoping it would stay that way all winter so I wasn't exactly thrilled about the white stuff the next day. Although it was very pretty. 

Well here is what I have been up to lately:

I started selling Jamberry! Jamberry makes vinyl nail wraps that last for up to two weeks on your hands and six on your toes. They come in a ton of fun designs, are easy to use, and don't damage your nails. If you want a sample or some more info let me know! I would love to talk with you. 


I got the iPhone 6. A while back the charger that came with my phone broke so I bought a new one and then a couple of weeks ago that one broke. My memory on my phone had also been full for a while but I didn't want to delete any pictures so to solve my problems I just went and bought a new phone. Makes sense right ;) It was a little different getting used to the size but I love it. 

Colby Jack got a very much needed hair cut. Dude came home from the groomer half the man he was (compare his size in Christmas card pic)  and since he was naked and freezing afterwards he got a cool new sweatshirt and hat. Looking very studly. 


Jamal and I went to a bottling party at Norseman Distillery. It was really fun to be the ones to bottle the alcohol. We even signed some of the bottles. This is their bottling station. 


We ordered and sent out our Christmas cards. I wish Jamal had a hat on too that was the plan and Colby Jack wasn't looking but other than that they look wonderful :) 


Alright well that's all I have got for now I will be back again tomorrow with a Christmas week recap. It went quickly but was a lot of fun with family. 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Case of the Stressful Sectional

Oh hey! Looks who is back for a second day of blogging. I am telling you my very own couch sectional was the magic ingredient to becoming a better blogger. Speaking of my fancy new sectional let me tell you about the little adventure it had on it's first day here. 

So about five weeks ago we went to couch shopping. We knew we wanted a sectional and I was really hoping for something gray and of course affordable. We were wondering around Ashley furniture but nothing in our budget looked good on the main floor. The salesperson suggested we check upstairs because they had a few more up there and lo and behold the first sectional we see we fall in love with. It was gray and beautiful and cheap. Perfect meets all of our requirements. As much as we were sold we didn't buy it that day because it was actually going to be gifted to us by Jamal's grandparents so we left without it. And with the knowledge that it would take 4-6 weeks to be delivered because we wanted the chaise lounge on the other side. 

Knowing all of this information I had the grand idea to invite my former coworkers from Mankato to visit for dinner and decided that five weeks from that day would be perfect. Dumb on my part, I know. A week later Jamal got the check from his grandma and went to buy our couch so we now played the waiting game. Dinner plans had been made for November 15th. About four weeks from the purchase date. We took a gamble. 

Well luck was on our side and our sectional was ready to be delivered the week of the dinner. Unfortunately with our schedules our how they do deliveries we had to wait until Saturday- the day of the dinner- for it to be delivered. I figured no big deal they should be able to bring it in the morning. I told our friends to come over around 3 so we could head to a brewery for drinks then come home for dinner by my personal chef. It was perfect. Until we got the call Thursday that they would deliver our sectional (and dining table) on Saturday between 2 and 5. Ummmm what?? Cue freak out. On top of that Jamal had to suddenly work until four on Saturday so we had guests coming over with no furniture and my other half working. Great, 

All morning Saturday I was in panic mode. I was so worried about everything working out perfectly. I needed the furniture here before our friends. It was a stressful day. Finally we got the call that the furniture was on the way and our friends had not yet arrived. Huge relief. I thought. 

After a few attempts it was apparent tat the sectional was not going to fit in through our front apartment door and oh look Matt and Christy were walking up the sidewalk. So they come in and I explain how sorry I am that they are here and my place isn't even put together and now it looks like the sectional is headed back to the store so my living room will be nice and empty. It was terrible. 

But then Matt saved the day. He said something along the lines of "too bad we can't out it through the window" and the delivery men said ya know that could work. I live on the second floor but it is juts close enough to the ground that we made it happen. So Matt stood up here holding our couch through the window while the delivery men pushed it up and it worked! Our sectional made it safe and sound into our apartment. 

So while I was freaking out and being embarrassed about inviting them over to an empty place with half of the hosts missing it turned out perfectly because if it weren't for them showing up I wouldn't have my new sectional. After the crazy and stressful day it was we had such a fun night together and I am glad that everything turned out okay :)

This is the culprit of my stress and anxiety. But I love it so much now and I guess it was worth it :)

PS I will do a full tour soon! The problem is I am a bit of a perfectionist with expensive taste and am on an entry level income so it doesn't work so well. But I think I will do better than I did at my last place-I didn't post my home tour until I moved out ;)


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Recently Read

Hey Friends. I have been reading a ton of books lately so I thought I would do a little post on what I have read lately. I know I always love adding new book recommendations to my ever growing list and thought you might be interested in what I read. I won't post any spoilers so that you can read a little about the book from my perspective without me revealing anything too good. The first 3 books are pretty popular and the last two are far less common so if you're looking for something you haven't heard about go there. 

*** NO SPOILERS***  Keep reading :)


Gone Girl. I am sure many of you have read this and even seen the movie so I won't say much. I will say that it was a really interesting read. It kept me engaged and thinking the entire time. I like the way that it was written and thought it was thought provoking but the ending was not for me. I actually really liked the book until I finished it and then I kinda thought it was stupid and pointless. I would give this book 3 stars because up until the end it was really good. 



The Happiness Project. Another popular book that I just finished. I liked it. I got some good ideas from it and was intrigued by what she did. I have been thinking about how to make my life better. Like this is it so what can I do to make the best of it. And while some of the things I had already thought about something about reading them in black and white makes me more inclined to actually try and follow through with those things. Good read. I'd give it 4 Stars



If I Stay. It had a been a while since I had fallen completely in love with everything about one book. But this one did it. I even cried. I loved that it was about musicians. I played piano when I was younger and while I was never that great at it that doesn't mean I didn't dream about it. This was calling to my inner musician and I loved it. 4.5 Stars for this one.



Where She Went. After reading If I Stay I obviously had to read the follow up to it. I expecting it to be even grander. I know sequels are not always the best but I just knew with how amazing the first one was this one would be just as good if not better. I was disappointed. And I think my main disappointment came because I looking for a book so similar to the first one. I wanted to fall in love with the characters all over again and cry my eyes out. But it wasn't like that. I honestly thought the characters were less likable and it was written in the voice of the male not the female like If I Stay so I found it to be rougher ya know. 3 Stars here. 



Fields of Grace. I saved my favorite for last. The absolute best book I have read in forever. Maybe even in my life. I was first drawn to this because the author is someone I went to school with for a year down at ORU in OK. It is a true story about growing up with an evangelist dad (Acquire the Fire & Teen Mania) and how she dealt with such strict rules on her childhood and then about a plane crash where she was the only survivor. Still thinking about this book a week after I read it brings tears to my eyes. IT was phenomenal. She is an excellent writer and the story itself is just incredible. I started reading this book at work and over halfway through started getting teary eyed so I forced myself to stop reading it until I got home. Good thing I did because I cried through the whole rest of the book. I highly highly recommend checking it out. 5 Stars

If you have read any of these books and want to talk more about them I would love to have a discussion with you!! I love talking about books I've read so just email me. And if you haven't read one of these and want to know more about it I would love to talk about that too :) 

What should I read next?


*All images from Goodreads

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Regrets.

Guys I am having major regrets right now. Like super major. I knew when I made the decision that if I made the choice that I did I would end up regretting it and here I am about three months later so so sad and feeling major regret. also have you said the word regret over and over ever? Don't. It sounds terrible and I am not sure if I am even using the correct word anymore. Continuing on...

So if you spend any amount of time with me you will quickly discover that I have a very deep love for Chicago. It's intense and I truly believe I belong there. But I am here. In Minnesota. And not exactly hating it but far from loving it. Back in July when I applying for jobs I was basically only applying for jobs in Chicago. And I had no luck. Jamal's grandparents live there and we strongly considered moving down with them and job hunting but I didn't want to live in someone else's house ya know. We had been talking about getting an apartment and the thought of moving into his grandparents was not appealing in the least bit. But alas here we are three into living on our own and while I love that aspect I just cannot get Chicago out of my head. 

The thing that really bothers me the most is that would have been the perfect time for us. I had just graduated and had nothing really keeping me here and Jamal was working two jobs that he is not passionate about and considering going back to school so we could have moved I could have found a job and he could have started school down there. Instead we are here now and I feel like we have started too much to leave anytime soon. We signed a 13 months lease, I got a new job a month ago, and Jamal starts school in two weeks. Just perfect, right? 

I can't begin to tell you how many times I have wrote the announcement post in my head. Thinking about how great it would be to tell all of you and what a surprise it would be. But instead I am writing this pathetic post and whining about what could have been. And along with all of that I just feel like I am coasting through life right now which I hate. I know I have only been in this new routine for a couple of weeks but I am already sick of it. It feels like the same thing over and over and I don't feel like I am challenging myself or growing. 

Ugh. Here I am wishing that I made a different choice. Wishing that I sucked it up and moved in with his grandparents. It wasn't going to be forever anyway. So I know I will be here for at least another year but I have been trying hard not to plan too much beyond that. Because I will still have the opportunity again to move there one day or we may settle down and eventually buy a house here. I have no idea what is going to happen and I am attempting to let life flow versus trying to control every aspect. It's not easy, but I'll try. >>>>>also, that was my attempt at not ending on a super crabby note even though I really wanted to. 



Monday, October 27, 2014

Girl's Weekend

Here we are with the start of another week. I had an awesome girl's weekend while Jamal was away in Chicago without me and feel ready to take on Monday. Plus he will be home tonight so that makes it all the better :) (Yesterday was his 25th birthday. Sucked spending it apart but he had a great time with his family)

We had such a fun and busy weekend. Colby Jack and I were both cozy in bed shortly after nine which is super early compared my usual time of 11 or later. It just goes to show how great of a weekend it was. 

Friday night it was just me and Colby Jack and I may have had myself a small pity party. More info on that tomorrow but I got over myself, read some more of my book and went to bed. Saturday I got up early thanks to the wild puppy and when it was apparent he would not let me sleep any longer I got up took a quick shower and off to the dog park we went. I love having a dog park in our complex it is so nice and convenient. Seriously the best thing ever. He played with a few friends and then we went back inside to continue on with our day. I went and got my friend Nickle so we could have a crafty girl's day. More on that later this week. And then I ended the night finishing my book. 

Sunday morning started out bright and early again. I am convinced Colby Jack hates to see me relaxing in bed. He whines and whines until I get up. We went out to the dog park again to play with friends for a bit and then went to pick up Nickle and Elijah to go to the dog park with me, my mom, and my sister. We went to the Minnetonka Orchards since they are very dog and kid friendly. 



We walked through the mostly disappeared corn maze, took a hayride, watched Elijah play in the sandbox and get a train ride, and ate many delicious apple treats; cider, donuts, turnover, and of course a caramel apple. So so good. 



It was a really good weekend but I am more than ready for Jamal to be home. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm Back!

Oh hey!! Been a while. Let me tell ya, having no couch to sit on so can I blog is tough. Even tougher, no internet. Hence my absence around here. While I still am without a couch I finally can connect to the rest of the world through wi-fi thankfully. And hopefully a couch will be here soon. Jamal thought he would rather spend all of our money on our bed, or what he calls The Cloud. So that is why we have had nowhere to sit for the past two and a half weeks. But we have found a cute sectional we like and once it is made to our liking (the chaise is on the wrong side) our home will be (mostly) complete. 

Life has really not been that exciting for the past couple of weeks. I go to work in the am, come home and take Colby Jack to the dog park behind our building, and then once it's dark head inside and find something to entertain myself until Jamal gets home. And for the past couple of weekends we have been spending a lot of time at my moms because we believe in a gradual move and still have a lot of crap there and need to clean. Slowly but surely things are coming together here though and I kinda love it. 

My new job is going really well. I am nervous about meeting my sales goals because sales are not my strength but I got my first credit card referral so I was pretty excited about that. And I have been getting full time hours the past few weeks which is so nice and I potentially could take a full time position in the near future. 

Jamal is starting school in just a couple of weeks now. I am really excited for him but also dreading it because his new schedule is going to suck. As of now the plan is for him to go to class from 11-3 and then work overnights so he can still work at his current company with full-time hours and decent pay and keep his weekends free. I am not a happy camper about it though :( It will be a big adjustment for us and he will be looking for a job with better hours eventually so we just have to endure it for now. 

Okay well I think that was a nice little update on where I've been. I am trying to catch up on all of our blogs too but I am way behind. Maybe we will talk later this week :)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

When Life Does a 180

A lot of good has been going on. And I love it. For the past year or so my life has felt like such a mess. I was so stressed out and overwhelmed and just not loving life. It's like everything that could have gone wrong in the past year did. It seemed every time something started to go right I was hit with something even worse. It was terrible. So I really didn't have any high expectations once I graduated because I would just be happy if nothing went majorly wrong. 

Well I couldn't have asked for life to be going better. I am so so amazed at how things suddenly fell into place. I am so happy about all that has happened the past month, I really can't believe it. In July my mom told us that she was going to start charging me rent in September (Jamal already had been paying rent). She was going to up Jamal's as well. I was so frustrated and upset because I wasn't expecting it and I truly think the amount she wanted is pretty ridiculous. So while we had been looking for an apartment the hunt was really on when we found that out. We needed to be out by the end of August. 

If you remember from this post, a few weeks later Cody and Chelsey offered for us to house/dog sit for them for the month of September. It was exactly what we needed. An extra month to save some money and find our perfect first home. So we moved in the first week of September. A couple of weeks later I found the perfect job for me. I am now working at a credit union as a teller. While it is only part time (for now) and I had originally hoped to move up a little versus being a teller again I am really excited about this job. There are some great opportunities for growth and I hope to stay with the company for a while.
This is one of the pups we are watching, He does like me, he is just always very crabby. 

About a week after I accepted my new job we found our new home. We have two different sets of friends that live in the same complex so we went to check it out. I was hesitant at first because it isn't in the best city but our friends really like it there and said it's super quite so I was convinced and we signed a lease. We move in next Wednesday!!!!

As if finding a place near our friends in a good area wasn't enough, the complex also had a special going on when we signed the lease. We signed a 13 month lease and then got the first month free! Another month to save up some more money. I seriously can't believe how perfectly everything has worked out for us. Just when it felt like my life was a complete disaster it does a 180 on me and things are going great. 

I am so thankful for all that we have been given the past couple of months. Jesus has had my back :) I have been shopping like crazy trying to make sure that we have the coziest and happiest little apartment to go home to every night. I can't wait to see everything together. We still have quite a few things before it is complete but we have a great start. I am so excited to share it with you soon. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tom Brady. A Surprise. Non-Stop Smiles.

A few weekends ago I had a brilliant plan to make Jamal a very happy man. Here is the story. 
The Bears are our team. They are the only ones for me but Jamal has room in his heart for another team as well, The Patriots. They are not in our conference so he says it's okay. His favorite player happens to be Tom Brady. And when he found out they were coming to Minnesota this year to play the Vikings he said he wanted to go. I told him it'd be too much since we are saving up to move and nixed the idea. Surprisingly he never asked again. 

 Well I started looking up tickets in August about a month before the game and was considering getting him some as a surprise but I still didn't want to spend the money on them. The night before the game was going to happen we ere hanging out with Cody and Chelsey celebrating Cody's birthday and I suggested to her that surprise both of them with tickets and send the guys to the game. She was in. This made me feel better about spending the money since I would only be paying for one ticket this way. So I bought them that night so the guys could have a fun day of football.

Jamal and Cody stayed out all night bar hopping and Jamal stayed at their house. The plan was to meet them in the morning somewhere near the stadium and give them the surprise tickets. Well as it would happen Cody had a little too much fun and wasn't going to be making it out of the house that morning so the game was out of the question for him. 

At this point I briefly thought about finding one of his friends as a replacement but thought what the heck the tickets are already paid for now so I might as well go and enjoy what I paid for. We had such a fun time and I was so excited to be able to surprise him with tickets to see one of his favorite teams. I asked him if seeing Tom Brady in person was like the excitement for me of seeing Justin Timberlake and he said yes. Mission Accomplished he was a very happy man. 



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Belle On Wheels

Hey Friends. I was in such a great mood Monday. Probably the best Monday is forever. It was fantastic. I promise to tell you more about it later this week but today I have to tell you about my awesome friend (seriously she is the best) Chelsey and her new business venture. MN ladies be sure to check her out!

Chelsey is a great friend and former coworker of mine. She is the stay at home mom of an adorable almost two year old boy named Celik and a wife to her husband Cody. And she has a cosmetology degree. Cosmetology has always been a passion of hers but being a mom came first. She has stayed home every since Celik was born and has recently decided that she is ready to dive back into her passion of make-up. 

She loves being a mom and so being able to stay home with him as often as possible is her ultimate goal but she loves to make other mom's and any other girls feel beautiful. So she came up with her new business Belle On Wheels. She is a freelance make-up artist basically ready to do anything you need make-up wise. 

She is available for special occasions such as weddings, photo shoots, parties and more. But she will also be doing parties for girls of all ages. Little girls can have make-up and nail parties with their friends which would be perfect for birthdays or just for fun. While adults can have wine, chocolate, and make-up parties with their friends and spend the night chatting and being pampered. 

You can find Chelsey on instagram and facebook and if you are local and want some more information let me know! I would be happy to tell you how amazing she is. And just so you know she has no idea that I am writing this whatsoever and there is a good chance she may never see this unless I share it with her so I am not just saying this to be nice. She truly is extremely talented and a wonderful person. 



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bubbly Brittany

Yesterday felt like a Monday. The early morning started out great but then it went downhill. Nothing major or anything just plenty of annoyances. And to top them all of my brand new phone charge died. So the great post that I texted to myself yesterday morning in bed is now unreadable and the awesome pictures to go with it unavailable. Lame. Hopefully by the time you are reading this I have a new charger and therefore am feeling more organized. Hopefully. 

Yesterday I went with Jamal to tour Le Cordon Bleu. He is finally read to follow his dreams and go to culinary school. He really liked the campus and everything so hopefully in a couple of months I will be living with a culinary student. So exciting :)

Well anyway the lady who talked with us and gave us the tour was Lisa. She was telling us about the school and asking some questions about Jamal. Jamal was being his typical self, extremely laid back, said few words, and honestly showed little emotion, I was trying to be a little chatty to give her an idea of how Jamal is because he clearly was not sharing much. As I am talking she mentioned that she can tell he is the chill laid back one while I am the bubbly and social one.  And just like every other time I have heard that from a stranger I was surprised at first and then so happy to hear it. 

All of my life I have been the shy and quiet girl. Silent and awkward. That was and still is sometimes me. I always wanted to be more outgoing, more outspoken. I wanted to be the person who can talk to anymore and become friends. But I was just too freaking shy. I wanted to change but couldn't do it. And then somehow in recent years I have noticed small changes. Doing things that before I would have never imagined doing. I sometimes would shock myself and I loved it. I was so proud of who I was starting to become. 

And now a few different times I have been referred to as bubbly and it makes me heart so happy. At first I am confused when they say it. Like uh are you sure you're talking about the right person? But they are! Because I am. Don't get me wrong there are still many times where I am the quiet awkward girl but they are becoming less often and in the past few years can be accounted for as my observant personality versus shyness. I like to watch the situation and get a feel for it. I am so observant and that often times get mistaken for being unhappy or shy. So I really am liking this new term people have used to describe me. Bubbly. Bubbly Brittany. It fits right? 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Life After Graduation

Happy Thursday Friends! Holy crap the days are flying by. We have been down to one car the past couple of weeks so it has been very busy trying to get each of us where we need to go but it is saving on gas so that's a plus :) And now for the lack of transition to my actual topic, here we go. 
But first, a picture of us driving in the car with 
Colby Jack and our two pups we are house sitting. It was a long 15 minute drive. 


Life after graduation is everything and nothing like I thought it would be. I planned for the full time job, weekends off, freedom from homework, and consistent work schedule. I didn't plan for the immense trouble of finding a job (those don't come easy), my small income (doesn't a degree equal big bucks?), and my overall stress of transitioning from student to adult. I thought it would be much easier. Work a job, have a home, enjoy life. But instead it has been much more of work to live, find a better job, find a home, and be insanely stressed because this isn't at all what you thought it would be like and in actuality is pretty freaking hard. 

I don't exactly miss the life of a student although there are times I feel left out when my friends talk about school. But I guess I just wasn't expecting this to be my reality. Instead of worrying about tests and papers my mind has been consumed with finding somewhere to live and a job that I actually enjoy and pays my bills. I was more in the mindset of finding this fantastic career that I love working with awesome people turned friends and enjoying my evenings with Colby Jack and Jamal. Well I do enjoy my evenings with Colby J but Jamal is still working two jobs so that doesn't happen. 

I realize that my ideas were dreams and may not ever happen or at least for a couple of years. It a tough place to be caught in. Like some people have such high expectations of my job choices that it feels bad to take anything less. But I have to remind them and myself that I am just starting out and I am not the only person in this situation of an undesirable job with crappy pay. And a degree does not automatically equal a fantastic job. 

There will be jerks out there like one that I interviewed with
     Him (skeptically): So you have a bachelor's degree and you're applying for this position?
     Me (cheerfully): Uh yes I am. 
     Him: .....Okaaayyy....

As you can imagine that did not go over well and honestly it made me feel like crap. But who is he to say that a job is basically beneath me because I have a degree? It is something I really enjoy doing and plenty of people who do it have a degree although it is not needed. I was offended that he was judging my career choice all based on a degree. Thanks sir. You suck. 

And this post ended up not where I expected but that's okay. I have learned that is how life goes. 



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