Wednesday, December 11, 2013

because I appreciate you...

Because we love to spread cheer around here, I want to give a little Christmas cheer to one of my readers. My gift to you. You all have been the best. You all have treated me with kindness and always offer words of encouragement and positivity. I wish I could give everyone I know a little gift, but I can't, so we'll have this giveaway instead, ok? :)

With only 13 days left til Christmas eve and 14 days til Christmas day, this giveaway will only run until Monday so that there is plenty of time for me to ship the prizes to the winner before Christmas!

Up for grabs is a copy of Susanna's Christmas Wish by Jerry Eicher. It's a cute Amish-Christian Romance story. You could head out to your local starbucks and enjoy your favorite cup o' joe or hot chocolate while reading this book because I am giving you a $5 starbucks gift card too! Oh and a little surprise will be included as well.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
Please read the rules at the bottom of the rafflecopter widget.

Good luck & Merry Christmas, from Santa's little helper! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas party-time!

Over the weekend, I was delighted to be able to attend my ward's Christmas party. It was a great opportunity for me to wear my first ever vintage-esque dress from ModCloth (No I was not compensated for my thoughts on my modcloth dress, but if Modcloth reads this post, I'd be happy to receive product for an honest review lol)! I chose this evergreen frock and it did not disappoint. I loved that the material was thicker, which was great because it was cold outside baby!
The Christmas party committee did an amazing job. The decorations were awesome. I especially liked the white Christmas lights draped on the ceiling, plus there were lighted Christmas trees. I am lame because I totally forgot my camera as I headed out the door. Our taxi driver was being a little impatient (he arrived early) and well, I got distracted and left my camera, that was in plain sight, on my table. sad face. Photos from Amanda's phone will have to suffice.

There was also a table for decorating gingerbread houses and a hot cocoa table complete with all kinds of add-ins. Oh and dinner was delicious! We had prime rib, baked potato, caesar salad, orange slices and cake. The caesar salad dressing was divine! I could eat that salad everyday.

After dinner, there were wonderful Christmas musical numbers and in between each performance, a member of the bishopric read the birth story of Jesus Christ.

It was the perfect night to really getting into spirit of Christmas.
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Wanderlust Print Co. + {giveaway!}

Why is etsy so addicting? I could spend hours on there browsing around for all kinds of wonderful-handmade-goodness! I am thrilled to be sharing a new etsy shop that I stumbled upon called Wanderlust Print Co.  Lauren, who is the beauty & brains behind Wanderlust Print Co., is so creative that you can obviously tell by the items she designs and sells. She takes ordinary travel maps and breathes new life to them with printed inspirational quotes! Ah-Mazing!

I love the quirky look to them. Plus, each print that is made is completely original because each quote is printed on a different piece of map paper. Cool, huh? Lauren also takes requests for custom quotes or different sized prints so you can get the art work tailored to your needs.

These would make one-of-a-kind, awesome gifts just in time for the holidays!! The traveler, music lover or artist in your life would surely appreciate one of these super cute + eclectic prints in their home or office! Or heck, get one for yo self!

I have a few favorites that I've "hearted" on etsy! Take a look:

who doesn't love "home"

i'll be home for Christmas

i love this quote!
Go on and browse Wanderlust Print Co. and let me know what's your favorite print because we are having a giveaway for a free print! Enter in the rafflecopter below and make sure to read the rules at the bottom of the widget. Giveaway is worldwide! Good luck!

If you want to do a little holiday shopping now, you can use code FREESHIP for free First Class shipping from the shop thanks to Lauren!! yay!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

what would you do?


Gather round kids, I've got an interesting story for ya.

I totally felt like I was in an episode of What Would You Do, hosted by John Quinones. Have you ever seen that show? I felt like maybe he was hiding in an unmarked black van in the parking lot outside. Maybe hidden cameras were disguised in Paradise Bakery registers or trash cans in the corner?

It was a typical shopping day for me at the mall in the early 2000's. I was on the upper level heading back toward the food court to get a drink refill at Chick-fil-a, where I approached a little girl, maybe 5 years old, unattended. First, I was shocked that she was just standing there alone with no adult in sight that could claim her. Then I got really appalled when I heard more distinctly what she was chanting so loudly, almost a yell. Racial comments about the black women standing in line at Chick-fil-A. There was this little blond girl, repeating the same phrase, over and over and sometimes pointing in the direction of the women.

I looked around and EVERYONE knew how inappropriate this behavior was and how crazy it was that she was there, alone. EVERYONE was whispering and shaking their heads as they ate their lunch, but no one tried to talk to the little girl, except me. I drove closer to her and said something like, "Sweetie, shhh. What you are saying is not nice. Where is your mom or dad? What you are saying can hurt people's feelings." I looked around feeling helpless, thinking, should I request security, as she kept opening her mouth. I seriously didn't know what to do.

This little girl started walking away toward her adults finally. I approached the women in line and apologized to them on behalf of the unbelievable scenario. It's obvious that this girl's guardians are teaching her to be this way and how sad that made me that day. Such thinking is learned.

I don't know why I this incident came up in my mind in the last week, but I thought it would be blog-worthy. It's just a good reminder to me to be more kind, to be more considerate, to stand up for what is right even if no else is and to love more. Wouldn't you agree those are important, especially around this time of year? Can you imagine how more postitively people would react? The world would certainly be brighter.

Like John would ask, what would you do if you were in a similar situation?
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Monday, December 2, 2013

this is happening.

Let the Christmas festivities officially begin!! Happy beginning of December!

Yesterday, my friend Cherilyn that I met in jr. high came over. I got to meet her dad, who is a painter. He painted a super cute Christmas scene on our living room window. It was nice to visit with them. They are so down-to-earth and friendly.

3 generations :) Before

Today, this is what was happening: writing out Christmas cards!
Oh yeh. I just made a dent in my list of who I send cards to. But hey, it's a good start!

Do you guys know Lena of Lena, B Actually?
She's so sweet and has always been great at reaching out and helping the "little guy". I've sponsored her blog before and loved it. You might be interested to link-up on her blog for Passion For Fashion as well. There a few more days left to link up your thanksgiving outfit or black friday outfit and if you don't have the time, no worries because she co-hosts it every friday. I'm helping Lena out with her blog today by guest posting because her & her family are having a bit of a stressful time.  Go check out my post for my thoughts on my favorite ways to communicate.

and don't forget this giveaway if you haven't already entered :)
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving recap + giveaway!

Just poppin' in this weekend to ask, how was your thanksgiving? and to share a bit about my thanksgiving.

My little friend P. was here, so we played with these leggo type blocks that she made into a van for me haha. I enjoyed some fresh air outside while she rode her bike. I called my mom and also talked to my grandparents (mom was at their house) and texted many friends and a few family members.

earrings:gift // shirt: target // skirt: target
(don't mind my pink chihuahua cup)
Around 4 p.m. everyone started coming over. I took some photos of Sandy slicing the turkey and Maria was helping prepare the ham. I thoroughly enjoyed green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. Later that night, while I lay in bed, I started writing out my Christmas card list!

Now that this weekend is coming to a close, how about we have a little fun! Lookie lookie.........

I am so excited to let you all know that I am participating in a giveaway over at Life with a side of Coffee. Many thanks to Christine for putting together this awesome giveaway! Here's what is being given away: Taylor from Pink Heels, Pink Truck is giving away a month of Large Ad Space plus 5 tweets which comes to a total of $35 normally. Jennifer form Busy Being Jennifer is giving away $20 credit to her shop, Homespun Happiness. Britt from Sunny Tales and Happy Mail (that's me!) is giving away $5 to Starbucks and Christine? Well, she's giving away a free month of large ad space and $10 Starbucks totaling the Starbucks gift card to $15!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

what i wore: fuchsia + leopard

skirt// tagunder, shirt// target, earrings//the icing, scarf//amazon
I am so thankful for you. I am so glad to be here.

I am glad that the U.S. has special days designated to celebrate special times, like Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's Eve (my fave!) Now, I know some people will say, "why not celebrate everyday as though it's a holiday?" Now I completely agree with you, but there are some who get so wrapped up in the busyness of  life and all the material things life can offer. I am not saying I don't like nice things because i do, but you know what I mean, right?

I am a total list maker, so let me list a small portion of things I am thankful for, because really, even though I complain on the daily and sometimes get easily annoyed, deep down, I am thankful and that makes my heart happy.

I am grateful for the things that are unseen: love, joy, faith & hope.

I am grateful for delicacies + foods that give me energy & nutrition like oranges, pineapple, eggs & brocolli but also those "naughty" items like french fries, cheeseburgers, tacos, chocolate chip fraps and the chips that go with salsa.

I am grateful for my quiet family members and for my loud family members.

I am grateful for service + giving. So many times in my life I have been helped above & beyond, I am so happy to be able to give + serve when I can.

I am grateful for tv shows that grip at my heart strings or that just entertain me where I don't "need" to think. Thank you to the writers of Parenthood, Revolution, The Paradise, Downton Abbey, Once Upon a Time and Hart of Dixie.

I am grateful for my funny friends, my smart friends, my old neighbor friends, my friends that live close and my friends that live far away.

I am grateful for my body and the strength and mobility I still have.

I am grateful for nature. The mountains and meadows are calling my name.

I am grateful that blogging even exists. It has allowed me to feel wanted, to express myself, to share and to connect with so many wonderful (mostly) women. You all are so fantastic and dear!

I am grateful to have a laptop & digital camera.

I am grateful for all of the postwomen and postmen who drop & pick up our mail. I love it, I love it.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and may you be gathered with those you care about.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

weekend recap + i am featured at...

Hello and welcome to the last week of November, friends.

I am excited for this holiday season. This past week I was feeling so sluggish with little sleep, but I talked with my primary doctor and have started a new medication to help me sleep. Last night I slept the best since starting the new med. I am dressed in flannel pj pants and a tee and enjoyed a cup of sleepytime tea earlier today. It doesn't make me sleepy, but it does feel soothing.

I've been productive today and I feel good about myself. I am excited too because I am featured on Carrie's blog, My So-Called Grown Up Life for a Thanksgiving Dessert Round-Up today!! I submitted the pumpkin cheesecake recipe. There are lots of other yummy treats featured! The mint fudge looks amazing and if you like Butterfingers, then you'd love to try the Butterfinger Pie.

Since Friday, things have been go-go-go. On Friday night, my friend Elisa spent the night and had dinner with us. Later, she went and got us frosty's! I was craving another one! She had to pick up the van rental that evening and instead of driving all the way back home (an hour), it was smarter she stay the night on my side of town.
We rented the van so that I could attend her brother's 40th birthday party! But before the party saturday, we got some things at walmart and then went to the mall so I could exchange something. It was so neat to be able to sit in the front passenger seat (in my wheelchair) and talk to Elisa while she was driving. I haven't rode in a car with her in about eight years!

So while we were waiting in line at walmart (it was so packed!), there was a friendly guy from the south who was with a female friend or family member. He was talking to everyone in line and toward the end when my items were getting scanned, he complimented me on my sweater and then my "beehive hair" and said I looked so cute. I was like, whoa, he's pretty cute too! I imagine him to be in his late 30's. I replied thank you and just mentioned how nice it is to be friendly to people and converse while waiting more than 15 minutes in line and not to be so grumpy and impatient ya know. He agreed. Talking with him was just a little perk of my day! lol

what a cool cake!
It  rained for 2-3 days straight here in AZ, so the rain kinda dampered plans for the party for Rudy, which was going to be outside too: about 35 people showed up out of the 100 invited and part of the roof at their parent's home (where the party was) caved in just before the party began! Oh the rain and cold!

Despite all that, we still had a great time. Her aunt E made awesome beans! I think she made them in a crock-pot. I was so happy that I got to be at Elisa's parent's house and see them and other family members who I used to see often, especially before I got on the vent. Elisa and I hung out quite often, so i know them all fairly well. It's amazing to not have seen anyone for four years and then to see new babies and the kids growing up. Tomorrow is Rudy's actual birthday, so HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUDY!

Yesterday, I got to help teach Sunday School with Amanda. I basically just shared my conversion story, what was on my heart and how we can reach out to those who might not know God or who are just curious about our faith. Later, in Relief Society, I strongly felt the Spirit and got so teary eyed! I was like, nooooo, don't look down, your mascara is gonna run! I could definitely imagine myself being called as a sunday school teacher. I think that would be such a fun, rewarding experience. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend even though it was colder and rainy. I am so blessed to know amazing people and have them be a part of my life.

How was your weekend? Did you cozy up by the fire or were you out running around like me? :)

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Monday, November 18, 2013

weekend recap + eShakti promo code


The weekend sure did go by fast, didn't it? How was your weekend?

We'll start this weekend recap from last thursday when a couple of my friends came over. Amanda treated us to Wendy's and I enjoyed this frosty while watching Grey's! I haven't had one in years!

On Saturday, my good friends Wa & Tom came over. They also brought their precious dog Oscar! It was the first time meeting Oscar. He is so well behaved! We all had lunch together from WildFlower, and i didn't even take a photo! gasp! bad blogger hahaha. just kidding. Later, we took Oscar for a nice long walk. Tom snapped some great photos of us! I love having Wa & Tom's company. They are such wonderful people and very conscious of nature and all that is good. I am so thankful to have friends like them. Saturday also happened to be Wa's sister's birthday, Arwa's birthday. Arwa is one of my best friends too, but she lives in Florida with her hubby & fur children, so we missed her, but thought of her that day.

happy birthday arwa! we're ready for the party!

I LOVE this photo! Christmas card worthy? I think so!
Just a friendly reminder that I have a special promo code for you to eShakti! They specialize in vintage cut dresses and have some cute skirts and tops as well. This company is neat because they can customize a selected article of clothing for just $7.50 to fit you better! Their sizes range from 0-36W! You might have remembered this dress I have? It fits me quite well, especially on the top portion and it was customized to my measurements. SO if you're looking for a new dress or top for that Christmas party and you've never purchased from eShakti before, now's the time to take advantage of this discount!

Use promo code: BRITTANY4ZHR for $30 off good til 11/30/13 for first time customers! (if you use my code, i'll get a $15 credit. win win for us both!)

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

you are beautiful. for reals.

as we end this saturday night, I am so honored to be coming together with tons of other beautiful bloggers for this movement. It's all for the support of encouraging girls and women to believe in themselves and that they are worth more, far more than what society might say.Will you join us?

Positive change starts with our thoughts; those thoughts lead to what we say and what we do.

Ellie Coburn // | Christina Soto // Piecing it all together | Shane Prather // Whispering Sweet Nothings | Vicki // My Vickilicious Life | Kristine Foley // The Foley Fam | Jenny // Diary of a Dreamer | Nina // Nina's Bargain Beauty | Ashley Griffith // After Nine to Five | Christine Rosko // Life With a Side of Coffee | Megan Flynn // Freckled Italian Kendra Newton // Kandid Kendra | Julie Grimmett // Julie is Coco and Cocoa | Kayla Leppelman // Love Sparkle Pretty | Ashlea Durrett // Ashlea with an A | Sarah Hallstead // A Plethora of Pondering's blog | Cassie Yielding // Live. Laugh. Love. | Laura Euler // Storybook Reality | Brett // What Happens at Bakertown | Brittany Trevino // Sunny Tales and Happy Mail | Ashley Wilhite // Your Super Awesome Life | Eliza St. Clair // Case Study | Diana // Fly to the Wall | Elle // Dig Deep Studio | Cody Doll // Catching Cody K. | Wendy E. // Blush and Barbells | Brenda Wilkerson // Don't Stop Believing

Today is an exciting day, new friends! 
Welcome to the first ever community fair for women empowerment. 

My name is Ellie Coburn, I'm the owner and founder of the Speak Now Organization and movement for women empowerment. 

Today exists to inspire you to love yourself.
Today exists to challenge you to empower yourself.

Today exists to spark a movement that is of such importance.....

A movement of self-worth, self-appreciation, and self-love.
A movement that strives to create a community thousands strong of women who believe in themselves and their abilities. 
Today Speak Now is teaming up with 30+ bloggers, woman, and empowerment leaders and telling you that you are beautiful. 

Why are we here sharing this information with you?

We live in a culture that defines our successes based on our weight, general appearance, or financial successes. A culture of female mothers, lawyers, doctors, waitresses, bloggers, realtors, house maids, interior designers, graphic designers, photographers, and endless other lifestyle choices. Interestingly, despite our dynamic differences based on demographics or choices we are expected to fit in with the expectation of the "ideal woman" Today we are here to tell you: 
Speak Now exists to inspire and empower you to look in the mirror each day and pledge to love yourself. Are you in? 

Link Up Below to Show your support. Be sure to share your support with family, friends, and fellow bloggers.
Like us on Facebook to stay connected!

Special Thanks to, 
Sarah Moog, Casey Wiegand of the Wiegands, Annelise Rowe of Aunie Sauce, and  Jenni of Story of My Life

This Event is Sponsored By: 

The Transformation Survival Guide

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