Wednesday, August 6, 2014

school supplies, you get me.

*this post is not sponsored. I just love certain stores for shopping for school supplies. All items mentioned were purchased on my own.

When July and August come around, you know what that means? School supply shopping!! I love the hunt for them. When there are sales and or coupons for school supplies, oh man, I am allllll over it!


As you can see, here's a small haul from Target a few weeks ago. This includes:

2 packs of 24 count Up and Up crayons-39cents each
2 packs 100 count index cards (Up & Up)-50 cents each
2 packs- 8 count mechanical pencils (Up &Up)-92 cents each (the following week the price went up)
10 count sharpie markers  -$6
2count Up&Up glue sticks (not shown)-39cents each

Eight count colorful mechanical pencils for 92cents? Count me in! I got the index cards for 50cents. The following couple weeks, Walgreens had the same index card count for 29cents with their store coupon. Greeaaat. Grrr. I know. "Brittany, it's only a 21cent difference." But you guys, being able to get that item for cheaper is what it's about. It's part of the game! haha.



I am not in elementary or high school, but I am going back to school myself this fall! In October! Through ASU, online! I am SO excited! I registered for a class yesterday! yahoo! I am thrilled to be going back to school, to work toward my bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies, but I am NOT loving the $900 debt I will be in. I can already tell ASU that I need to enroll in a payment plan, that honestly, will take me months to complete. However, education is important and I will do my best. Because I've enrolled in school, you know I bought myself some school supplies too!

Ok, so back to school supplies. I am addicted. I can't help it. I can't help buying them when they are so cheap! It's the only time of the year that I justify stocking up on glue sticks (for my cardmaking), for spiral notebooks (for my letters + at 17cents each at Walmart when I went), for pens (cuz I write alot), for index cards (because i might need them), for highlighters + crayons + sharpies (because I love color). Do I really need these all, in excess? NO. But I do and will use them up. Also, I am the go-to-gal. And I like to be prepared for what I may need at any given time.

" Britt, can I borrow some glue?
Britt, I need a pen, ok?
Britt, do you have any paper? "

Of course! Of course is my answer. I am more than happy to be able to help a friend or donate to the children. Yes, the children. Think of the children. And when I say children, I mean, my little friends here at my house. The sons & daughters of my caregivers. They know Britt has got the goods.

When I am Target or Walmart and see the school supplies section, my heart jumps out and my eyes pop out at all the amazing goodness that awaits at rock bottom prices. A one inch three ring binder for 69cents?! Why, Yes, thank you Walgreens!

Do you know how old books smell? I love that smell and I love the smell of new school supplies. It's intoxicating. Ok, now I sound like I have a problem, but I know I am not the only one! ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

weary.


My blog is like a body, and this body is skin & bones.

Time to get some meat on these bones! Yeh, yeh, you know I miss blogging. I really do.

I almost feel overwhelmed at where to start here. Ok, I AM overwhelmed on where to start because I have so much I want to catch you up on since June.

Let's start with why I haven't been blogging so much and what my life has been like this summer, especially the past few weeks.

Long story short, I am experiencing pain in my back, left arm and left leg. The pain started in April {actually at my grandpa Henry's funeral service} and has gotten worse and spread to other parts of my body (see above). I have seen my neurologist who oversees my muscle disease and he thinks this pain is nerve pain, something going on in my back and that it's a secondary result of my disease progression. He ordered an MRI of my back in June and it just got approved by my insurance last Friday, August 1st. I just found out yesterday what time the MRI will be on August 25th. I cannot wait for that day, for that next step to find out what's going on and how my doctor can better treat/manage my pain. In addition to the constant pain, both of my arms are weakening drastically that it's getting more difficult to do certain daily functions like brushing my teeth or eating a meal that requires a spoon. It's depressing, but I will not go down without a fight! When you hit bottom, more than once, the only way to go is up and forward.

I am so tired guys. I am tired of being in pain every.single.day. I am tired of dealing with it. I am tired of feeling frustrated to the point I cry. I am tired of getting anxious. I am tired of feeling defeated. I am tired of feeling judged for taking the medications that I need to. I am tired of feeling or at least thinking, that my body is dwindling. That my disease is progressing MORE as I type this. That maybe the things I hope to happen in my future, wont, while I am alive on this Earth. I am tired of being tired. I am so weary.

Isaiah 40:31
"..but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint."

However, I fight back. every day. I fight back with prayer. with reading my scriptures. with doing something nice for someone else. I fight back with adding humor in my life by watching re-runs of King of Queens or the Cosby Show. Ok. Peanut M&M's might enhance my negative fighting ninja skills. I am lifted up with frequent encouragement from my mom + friends.
I fight back with positive thoughts. I feed myself with affirmations such as:

I am beautiful.
I am strong.
I am a daughter of God.

(feel free to use this mantra for yourself)

I repeat it. over and over til I start to hear those words of life. until I start to believe them myself. to tap into that wellspring of restoration and hope.

I fight back by crying and sometimes, literally crying out to God that I need His help. If my troubles can't be swept away, then at least for comfort & strength that I can keep enduring what I need to. It's all either for my own good or for others around me to benefit from,boost up OR maybe it's a combination of both, but my life is of worth. My life, with its trials, are for God's glory. He has chosen me. He has chosen you. When I remember that, I am re-grounded. I truly appreciate my imperfect body, my imperfect life. I am given unique qualities that help build up the kingdom of God, just as you do too. I am eternally grateful for Jesus Christ, my Savior. Because of Him, I know that I can overcome my problems, not just my physical ones.

There is always hope. I see that, time and time again. Hope is such a beautiful thing. The following scriptures also come to mind:

Ether 12: 4, 6
"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

Blogging helps me. Reaching out to others helps me. Being part of community helps me, such as the blogging community, community on instagram and my church community. Thank you for being who you are and for embracing me.

Through the mess, I weed out the bad and find the good. the good little golden nuggets that shine bright, that help lead me home.




Friday, July 18, 2014

Kim & Kanye Say I Do

I've realized that I haven't posted anything new in about a month. I think this is the longest stretch I've ever gone without blogging. Oh, how much I've missed it. I can't promise that I'll post weekly, but for now, let me start catching you up on my life and events that have happened since mid-June.

My cousin Brookie got married on Saturday, June 14th at a golf resort here in the valley of Phoenix. Brookie falls as the fourth oldest grand-daughter on our side of the family.

My friends & I got to the wedding about 30 minutes early, so it was nice to mingle with family, especially those who came from out of state. Of course, I snapped some shots with my siblings, stepmom and my cousin Nick and got my great uncle Artie flexing his muscles haha. Artie is my grandpa Henry's baby brother. 



My grandpa Henry passed away in March, so it's even more special for me to be able to see my grandpa's siblings for a special event as this wedding. I love that these types of celebrations bring people together, like I haven't really gotten to visit with my cousin Nick in a long time.
Brooke and her bridesmaids all looked gorgeous! My cousin had her hair curled, and down, with a lovely headband adorned on her head. Her groom, Randy, who I must say is such a down-to-earth, compassionate guy, wore olive green khakis slightly rolled up with suspenders as did his groomsmen. ( I loved that! and those guys all got dancin moves!) All the men, including my Uncle Albert (father of the bride), and Brookie's three brothers, all had crisp white button down shirts with a pretty mint little flower pinned to their shirt.





My aunt June (mother of the bride), walked down the aisle in beautiful gray/silver sparkly form fitting dress with a turqoise/mint beaded statement necklace. Besides everyone looking wonderful, the wedding ceremony itself was short & sweet. It took place outside, in the shade (thank God, cuz here in AZ it's hot as can be!), and actually wasn't that bad. I don't think I even sweated lol. The groom & bride poured two different colors of sand to symbolize their union and afterward, the pastor lead us all in prayer. It was beautiful. I have to tell you too that when the procession started, I started to tear up! :) Oh, and the simple, two or three piece band that played live music before the ceremony started was AMAZING! (I didn't get a pic of them though).


After the ceremony, the reception/dinner began. We had mexican food and the ballroom was decorated with hints of mint & silver/gray. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay too long, but I heard that the party went on til 1 in the morning (officially in the ballroom) but family & friends were up celebrating til early morning!


Now, THAT smile says it all.
 (her smile says it all too.)

I am so happy I got to witness their wedding and celebrate in the sweet love that her & her hubby have for each other.

Now, I say that Kanye and Kim got married which is totally funny, because I've referred to brookie as Kim Kardashian when describing her/talking about her with my friends and over a year later, right after the wedding, I discovered that my cousin Bridget (sister of bride) referred to Brookie as Kim and well, Randy is Kanye! hahaha. Seriously, my cousins (all sisters), Brookie, Bridget & Brie ARE LIKE Kim, Kourtney & Khloe Kardashian!

first dance!


MANY MANY cheerful wishes of love, health & happiness to YOU Brookie & Randy!! I am SO excited for you & your future together!
(uncle roy's shirt photo bombed!)

Friday, June 20, 2014

shopping for a cause for the paws!

Hey friends!

I am so excited because I am participating in the SoCal Bulldog Rescue Summer Blast Auction this weekend! The auction started this morning BUT runs through 8PM PST on Sunday, June 22nd. If you are in the mood for shopping, please check out the SCBR Summer Blast Auction album on facebook. There you will find a variety items up for bid and some are even perfect gifts for the animal lover in your life or for YOUR dog!

On tuesday and wednesday of this week I worked on cards that I donated. You can see the cards I made in the album. Mine are lot number 149 and 150. It feels good to be able to donate to a special cause that is very dear to my heart and that is pet rescue! The SCBR has over 100 bulldogs that they are caring for as those babies wait for their forever home. Some of the dogs have special needs, are in need of surgery or simply require frequent vet visits which can become very costly! All the proceeds of the auction will go directly to the care of these beautiful bulldogs. Everyone who works with the rescue group are volunteers!

Here is a small sampling of items up for auction!

I really want this hoodie, but I can't bid any higher (sad face)!
How about a super cute coffee mug?

Or a new purse with a little bling!? Can be made into a crossbody!

and let's get practical! A cute poop holder with bags and a nylabone!

and here are the cards I made:







If any of these items peeked your interest, hurry on over this weekend and place your bid and browse the other great items up for grabs! Please feel free to share my post, and spread the word about the auction! We can make a difference! Even if you can't afford to bid on anything, just spreading the word by tweeting, sharing on google+, or re-posting on your facebook can help! If you "LIKE" the SCBR supporters page, you can definitely share it with all of your family & friends on facebook!

Thank you so much and hope you have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

U By Kotex Saves the Undies

*Special thanks to U by Kotex® Pads for sponsoring today's discussion, however, all opinions are my own.

I must apologize to the men who may read my blog, but we're talking lady talk, so just beware! Hey, it's ok if you wanna keep reading. This might help your best girl friend, girlfriend, future wife or wife! ;)

Let me take you back to January 18th of this year. This was a very special day. It was the day I got baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I opted to wear a vanilla shade dress for my special day. Because of the color, I bought a special pair of nude colored undies. As soon as I put them on, I knew these would be my favorite boyshorts. They are so comfortable and are easily disguised underneath clothing. The material is soft and stays at all the right places! Well, that all changed when I got home that day to find that I had started my period! Talk about an unexpected visitor! My dress and undies were a mess! I wish I would have known about U by Kotex cleanwear ultra thin pads, especially the ones featuring the 3D Caption Core.  This new design by U by Kotex features a one-of-a-kind center that locks away wetness to help stop leaks. Now available in Cleanwear® pads, AllNighter® pads and Security* pads. Now, that's something I could have really used!




I know better now that these pads and liners can help me save the undies! I actually recently tried U by Kotex Cleanwear Ultra thin regular pads. They were comfortable to wear. I liked that the pad was wide enough to make me feel protected and safe from leaks occurring, and  they are thin enough without the bulge of a thicker pad. I don't really want to feel like I am wearing a mini diaper!

I had no idea that U by Kotex® offers a full line of feminine care products for periods including pads, liners and tampons. Outstanding protection that keeps you one step ahead. This is a huge relief to me because I can have confidence in knowing that my next favorite pair of underwear wont be ruined, hopefully! Plus, I just gotta add how cute the packaging design is of each individual pad.


Have you tried these pads before or any of U by Kotex products? If you haven't, you're in luck because you can try these pads for yourself! You can go to the U by Kotex landing page and request a free sample of the U by Kotex hygiene products that will work best for you and help you save the undies! Just click on the blue "free sample" button, enter your mailing info and then you'll be set to go!





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

little brother graduates!

On May 21st, my youngest brother graduated from high school! and with honors in Spanish! I sometimes call him Slim Jim because he's tall and skinny. He's also a golfer. He was on the varsity team since he was a freshman AND he was the number play those four years of high school! Yeh, I just gotta brag! Proud big sister here! He is off to the community college for his basics and then he'll probably transfer to a university for golf management.

So then on Saturday May 31st, I traveled out the east valley (about an hour from my house) to go to Slim Jim's graduation party. Before I went to my dad's, me and my friend Bradley stopped by my mom's house. It was good to visit with her and my aunt and our dogs. Oh those babies are so cute!

When I first got into my mom's doorway, I felt one of them licking my toes. It was emme saying hello and giving a little love! She is our last Boston Terrier. We rescued her. The couple that had her moved out of state, and so we took her. We had four, but the older three have passed on, emme is the last of the original four. She is so gentle and calm. She's the "mama" to our two other dogs, both boys. They absolutely adore her and their bodies have to touch hers, like if they are all laying down on the floor or couch, so funny.

Around 6pm, we arrived at my dad's for the party. It was so nice to see some family and old friends of our family's as well as a couple of my good neighbors that I've known for about 16-19 years! One of them, Chris, is so sweet. My leg started flaring up and I still had over an hour before I could take my next round of meds. She went over to her house across the street and brought me her ice pack that I could put on my leg to help me! The ice did seem to help much more than when I use my heating pad. Her ice pack was cool because it was soft and flexible, unlike those blocks you put in your lunch bag! haha.


Also at the party, I got to see my step aunt Sharon who is hilarious! Her and her hubby D live in the Houston, Texas area and so I don't always get to see them very much, maybe a couple times a year.

My stepmom and sister made lots of yummy sub sandwiches, almost 100! plus pasta salad (my fave!), chips & dip, and fresh fruit cut up.


I got to meet a couple of Slim Jim's good friends. Since I don't see my younger siblings that much, it's neat to meet their friends who they spend alot of time with ya know, especially when they were in the high school setting.

Of course, there was time for selfies! We love selfies!


Overall, it was a great time and happy I got to see my family!

I initially was going to post this on Saturday (a few days ago) but blogger was acting up and my post was lost! Frankly, I was quite mad and was not in the mood to draft it again and I had no more time, so I am hoping blogger cooperates and posts today!