Monday, October 31, 2011

Three Days of Pinterest...

Yes, I'm late, I know!!


[had to get that out of the way]


I decided to get a Pinterest account a few days ago after hearing so much amazingness about it. Needless to say, I've only been on 3 days and I have about 13 boards and over 100 pins. Yeah, it's that bad good.


I have found many great ideas for Christmas decor and gift-giving, some fantastic new hairstyles to try [if Pinterest has only been useful for one thing, that would be it!] and also great new ideas for mixing and matching up some new outfits with pieces I already own. Not to mention my "If I Owned a Coffee Shop" board and "Someday" board [baby & kid stuff]!!


Here's a brief conglomeration of what I've found inspiring on Pinterest so far. I even uploaded a few inspiring images of my own. Check out my pin boards: Loveandcoffee.
















 So there ya have it....my latest obsession! I'm definitely having fun with this. I feel a fresh wind of inspiration every time I stop by! Even if I only end up pinning 1 or 2 things.


Happy Monday! Have a productive, creative week!



Friday, October 28, 2011

Oven-Poached Eggs in Spinach Nests

Time for a recipe! All of you Saturday morning breakfast junkies [my name is Brittany....and I'm a breakfast junkie] this would be a nice one to try for the weekend! I have made it on Sunday morning even, just make sure you assemble to Spinach mixture the night before, and refrigerate it! 

-Oven-Poached Eggs in Spinach Nests-



Ingredients
  • —  Spinach Nests:

  • Cooking spray

  •  eggs

  • 1/2  cup all-purpose flour

  •  pound small-curd cottage cheese

  •  (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained

  • 1/2  teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • —  Eggs:

  •  large eggs

  •  cup shredded Swiss or Parmesan cheese

  •  English muffins, split and toasted

  • 1/2  cup slivered red bell pepper, optional

  • 1/2  cup slivered onion, optional

  • Prep Time - 15
  •  
  • Cook Time - 40
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare the spinach nests, combine eggs, flour and cottage cheese; whisk well. Add spinach, salt and pepper; stir well. (This can be done up to 2 days ahead). Press mixture into prepared dish. Make 8 indentations with the back of a spoon (this is where the eggs will later be placed). Bake 25 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and using a spoon, hollow the nests out even more deeply. Break an egg into each indentation. Bake 15 minutes or until whites are set. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 1 minute.
  4. Place 1 egg and spinach nest on English muffin half. Garnish with slivered red pepper and onion, if desired.
I did kind of "half" the recipe- I just used only one egg in the spinach mixture. I really love the addition of Red Bell Pepper, however I did not have it in the photo above. Try it! I also preferred the Parmesan over the Swiss, just my preference though!

Recipe adapted from Relish. I used to get the newspaper daily, and cut this recipe out like, 6 years ago. Glad I kept it!

I would definitely do this for a holiday brunch! If you have lots of family, or for Mother's day or Easter Brunch! 

Happy Cooking!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Life Updates!

Wow....yesterday I walked & jogged for 4 miles straight and today I don't feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck... [I believe this means progress!!]


I did, however, have a [small] injury yesterday before I even completed my first half-mile. I've learned the hard way to NOT forget to s-t-r-e-t-c-h after I train.....thankfully the pain didn't last but 10 minutes. I think I pinched a nerve or something. Obviously, I walked 3 1/2 miles afterward without any pain, so it was nothing traumatizing. 


*IMPORTANT UPDATE*


Just some brief housekeeping! I've made some changes to the Paypal donation button to the right. It is now directed straight to Back to Life. *Don't worry* those of you who have previously donated, it still made it into my Back to Life account, but now the process will be a whole lot quicker. Instead of putting my name in the "Donation Notes", type in "BTL-020" [for tax purposes]. The code is also VERY important to ensure that it credits my BTL account. I want to thank everyone so far for partnering with me in my efforts to raise awareness to the injustice of abortion. I received a donation from the doctor that delivered me when I was born. Now that is encouraging!! 



We celebrated my husband's 26th birthday last week! We started off with a nice breakfast early in the morning, oven-poached eggs in spinach nests on English Muffins....it was divine! I *promise* to post the recipe! I would have to say this is my favorite breakfast I have ever made. I was able to assemble the spinach the night before, but it takes quite a long time to bake, so I made sure to be up and in the kitchen by 6:45am :) I also served some red grapes, and a breakfast cupcake from the Cupcakery in Downtown Fort Worth! It was my lucky day- I remembered while I was out the night before that it was their grand opening! I may or may not have picked up a few more while I was there...you know, just in case one wasn't enough :)



 The wonderful spread!!!

I also created my famous Red Velvet cake!

Later on that evening, we met up with our families and a few friends for dinner...

Proof that I'm not so talented when it comes to operating a lighter......the entire table found this humorous for some reason....not quite sure why..

Singing Happy Birthday!

 Stephen & his parents!


My brother James and his wifey Sharel :)


Me and my amazing husband- I love him so much! God gave me the best. We've been married now for almost 3 years, and I can say I've never felt like I couldn't express my dreams to him, vent my fears, or just be myself. I'm anticipating a lifetime of bliss with this man right here :) I cannot wait to see our dreams unfold even more with every life event that happens day by day. Happy Birthday Love!

Thanks for stopping in!


-B

"Some people dream of success... while others wake up and work hard at it." 
~ author unknown

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Training for...10 Marathons??

March 17, 2012 - April 7, 2012


Twelve miles a day. For twenty-one days. 


That's a half marathon a day. Why am I doing this? >>> Read<<<


Training.


Tonight I jogged about 2 1/2 - 3 miles (need a pedometer!) with my husband. He challenges me and keeps me going. Well, not just in training, but with many other aspects of life as well :-) Last week my training started around 6:30 am, but the past few days it happened in the evening time. Which is fine with me, because that's when he exercises. Next week I think I'll keep it that way, except for the days when we're busy in the evening. I also have some cross-training mixed in. This week I tried Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred. I'll leave that one alone. (my calf muscles are screaming bloody murder)


Food.


Tonight I had steak. It just sounded so good. Of course, my husband was the master chef on this one! Lately our meals consist of grilled chicken, salad, lots of vegetables, smoothies, grilled chicken, lentils & beans (cooked fresh), more grilled chicken, wheat berries, and lots of water. Breakfast consists of Greek yogurt, protein granola and fruit or oatmeal (nice & filling, especially since breakfast happens pretty early for us), lunch is usually a smoothie or a salad, and dinner a grilled meat with vegetables. 


Before the training started, I met with a personal trainer for a personal fitness evaluation. I was actually told that I need to eat more. That kind of surprised me, but then I got to thinking about it; I eat like a bird. I pick at a little bit of food here & there, and anytime I try to eat a full-size meal, I am waaaay to stuffed in the end. I am a snacker. Albeit, a healthy snacker. I just need more sustenance. As in, more MEAT. I am not much of a meat-eater (unless curry is involved) so this process should be quite interesting. I need to make a better habit of documenting my meals!


Spiritual Journey.


Today was one of those days. I wasn't just putting in my 2 miles for the day. Even in training, I'm beginning to feel weighed down by the burden of 54+ million lives lost to abortion, and the spirit of death that has been cultivated in our country....and in our world. As I wearily jogged, trying to properly pick my tired feet up off the ground and keep from skidding (and watching my husband run ahead of me, farther and farther, only to slow down and jog in place to wait on me....what a guy), I had a moment with God. I didn't ask Him to lift the burden, but I asked Him to help me run the race that is set before me (Hebrews 12:1-3), even carrying this burden that is dear to His heart.


This journey is shaping me in so many ways already. I'll be expounding on this matter a whole lot more in the days and weeks to come; sharing with you the prayer journey and the studies that I'm devoting my time to....such as learning to live a fasted lifestyle- not fasting from food, although that's a part of it; but living fasted in the things I devote my time and my mind to, really learning how to lay down my own comfort and ease for the preparation this journey requires......and ultimately, really learning in a deeper way how to lay down my own wants and desires for a greater cause (sounds something like marriage....hmm). I am so honored that God chose me to carry this burden. 


This is my destiny!


Photo taken at our first group training day with all of the girls from the Dallas area. Sporting our LIFE bands! (photo credit: Laura Allred)




Stay tuned for more updates on my daily life- yes, the cooking and the shopping and the decorating- as well as training updates.


(this late-night blogpost brought to you in part by Seattle's Best Coffee- without it, my brain only partially works)


For life,


Brittany

Thursday, October 6, 2011

22.

Had a nice, relaxing, low-key birthday on Monday.

I worked until noon, spent the whole afternoon with my mommy over lunch- a wonderfully thin pizza from Patrizio's, and then conversation over coffee at Buon Giorno, my favorite coffee shop in Fort Worth. (Locals-you must try an iced Tuscan Mocha!)

The we met my husband at the house and met some more family and a few friends at Gloria's. My husband brought me one of our favorites- a real cheesecake from J Rae's Bakery in Fort Worth! This cheesecake is not your ordinary cheesecake (it doesn't even contain cream cheese- that's the real deal!). They even wrote "Happy 22nd" on top; something they informed him they're never done on a cheesecake before :)

Here are a few photos to highlight the day....



THE cake  

My husband & I 


My 2 moms :)


Beautiful Calla Lillies and Snapdragons from my mom

It was a blessed birthday. Looking forward to great things this coming year! 

Also wanted to share this. This video came across my newsfeed on Facebook today and I just loved it. 

To creativity!! 

Have a creative day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Cares of Life

I've returned!! I have no other reason for not blogging in several weeks besides the fact that I've been very busy. Lame excuse, I know! I have lots of blogging to catch up on and I would like to start with an article that I wrote a few months ago. I wanted to wait until it was published in our Sunday bulletin at church before I posted it on my blog. It came out on Father's Day so now I would like to share it with those who have not read it and maybe those who attend church with me but maybe missed it. I plan on rolling out more articles for this blog and the Sunday bulletin. A great big thanks to my grandmother Cathy (Nanny to me) for pushing me to start writing and for heading up the Writer's Guild in our church. She's my favorite writer. She captivates my attention faster than a cup of coffee.

I hope this blesses someone... if anything let it remind you to keep the main thing, the main thing. In a life where everything from bills, to work and everything else that seems to keep "flickering" and distracting your focus.... always keep a firm grip on your purpose and vision and always put everything into caring for your loved ones and keep God at the center of your life.

*****

It was one week before Christmas; we were going to be hosting the holiday in our home for the first time. The following week, house guests were coming for New Years. We had already decided to do some last minute remodeling to our kitchen as well as paint a few rooms. My house was in shambles, and I was a nervous wreck as most house wives would be. I also had Christmas gifts that I still needed to buy, as well as some accounting to complete for our family business. I didn’t know how I was going to get it all done in just a few days. The Saturday before Christmas was especially stressful. I stopped in the middle of reupholstering a couch to go out and get lunch for me and my husband. I changed into an outfit appropriate for the public and grabbed my brand new purse on the way out.  The painter had warned me not to touch the doorway trim because the paint was wet. But I was in a hurry.

 In my rush to get to the restaurant, I wasn’t paying enough attention to how I was driving.
 About half way there I noticed that I had brushed against wet paint and it was all over my purse and skirt, and even on my car seats.  Even more upset and frustrated, I raced to the nearest convenience store to get something to clean it off before it dried. Stressed, hungry, and under the influence of caffeine, I hurried into the store. The first thing I heard was a very gentle, calm voice from the only other man in the store, besides the clerk.

“Mam, are you in a hurry?”

“Yes,” I replied abruptly, sensing that he had something more to say that I really didn’t want to hear.

 “Did you know you cut me off, twice?” he asked. He was still calm, and sounded concerned.

“I am so sorry sir,” was my reply as I tried to get what I needed and leave quickly. I was afraid he was going to become angry with me.

“You know, you really need to be careful; somebody, if not you, could get hurt.”

Then I proceeded to tell him what an incredibly stressful day I was having and that I was very sorry for not paying enough attention.

After I paid for my items, I headed for the door hoping this gentleman wouldn’t say any more to me.  But to my dismay, he did.

“Mam, please don’t become so consumed with your stress. I am 34 years old and I’ve had three heart attacks. Life is too short. Please take it easy. Enjoy your life!”

 I thanked the man for his kind words; I apologized again, and hurried out the door and to my car. As I drove away, I suddenly felt that God had sent that man to speak to me. I began to think about how I was letting the stress of bills, time, chores, the holidays, and just everyday life control me.

Were these stressors causing me to cut God off?  What about my husband and family? What about the stranger that I could have reached out to, but was too consumed with what I needed to get done?  

Immediately, I recognized that this could be the very reason why, that lately, my every attempt at progress has been futile. God must have been trying to slow me down and show me that my stress had become the center of my focus.  I began to realize that each and every stress was of itself, not a huge, life-threatening thing. However, when something small is placed directly in front of you, blocking your vision, it becomes all you can see, as it hides every beautiful thing around you. 

I resolved from that day forward, that by the Grace of God, I would place everything in proper perspective. The things that had become stressors were indeed, important things. However, I cannot let them control my life. If I did, I would become a slave to temporary things, rather than a love servant to the One who gave me every beautiful and lasting treasure in my life.

Jesus warned us of the many snares of the enemy; one of them was becoming consumed with the cares of life.   The cares of life will have us running around in circles if we don’t remember to put what is most important first, and that is Jesus. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fort Worth Main St. Arts Festival!

Saturday was quite the day! This past weekend was the annual Fort Worth Main St. Arts Festival. We've made it a tradition to go every year for the past several years. Saturday was also the March of Dimes so it was quite the active day to be in Fort Worth! I was so happy, we had the BEST weather I ever remember having on the weekend of the Arts Fest. The day before was incredibly windy, and the air was extremely dirty because of the dirt flying around and the smoke coming from the wildfires in west Texas. They even had to shut down a few streets because the wind was so strong. Thankfully and surprisingly, we had crisp, clean and cool air the next day! Perfect weather for being outside!

The day started with breakfast with my friend Brooke at a local bakery called McKinley's in University Park. We love this place...their prices are very good and the atmosphere and service is wonderful!


They have great breakfast and lunch and an AMAZING selection of bakery goods for a very good price. I started of with what I call a "Power" breakfast...eggs, ham, tomato and cheddar on whole wheat, a bowl of fruit and some coffee!

The desserts are overwhelming! I ended up going with the Oatmeal Raisin and Snickerdoodle cookie. I have also had their Black Forest Cake in the past. Best I've ever had!

So much to choose from!!

Then I ran into some old friends from my childhood, the Montgomery's. I was in class for several years with their youngest son and my brother was best friends with their older son. We lived just down the street from them. I think every Arts Festival I run into someone I haven't seen in years!

I was also happy to see their oldest daughter Erin Kay...she was a senior in high school when I was in 4th or 5th grade and would come over with the seniors to mentor us younger kids. She was my mentor =)

After the excitement we went next door to Williams-Sonoma to browse....and I found what could now be #1 on my wish list....
Cake pans in the shape of an Oreo cookie! 

Here's Brooke showing them off :) Aren't they the cutest cake pans ever!?

Then we strolled across the street to the new Anthropologie in University Park....well maybe not that new..it opened last November! Here's a few photo's of what stood out to me this time...

This apron was so cute!

If I had the extra money, this chair would have been mine that very day.

I have this thing for tea towels!!

Coolest. Curtains. Ever.

Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge. {husband, are you reading this?} ;-)

Then we headed down to the Arts Festival {after stopping at my house to change shirts}. Here are a few of the artists that got my attention....

This had to be my favorite this year! Artist Steven Meadows from Illinois. He made random figurines and wall art out of everyday junk. His pieces were so amusing. We had to go back to look twice! Each piece was exploding with personality. The little cans that look like fish in the photo above crack me up.

I loved these mirrors made out of wooden clothes pins! 

The little guy in the bow tie was my favorite. Haha! 

 door handles, paint brushes, coke can tabs, shovels, pans, you name it!

 I see this one every year.....these designs on wooden bowls were made from tiny glass beads.


This sculpture by Eric Ober was quite interesting.

Here's Brooke & I...after joining my bro-in-law Tim.

Just chillin' in the sun. Thanks Tim for the picture of the sides of our faces :-)


My husband & I after he joined us :-)

FREE HUGS! {notice the progression from this photo to the next...not only with me and the girl in the foreground, but also the guys in the background!! haha!}

Hilarious!

Quite the crazy face I've got there...


There were SOOO many people!! 

Can you believe this?!?! This is the ONLY photo I took of the food! Can't believe I forgot! The food was sooo good....Brooke & I split a plate of tamales from Riata and some brisket tacos from Cantina Laredo! I didn't feel like a funnel cake this year *surprisingly* - but I did scrounge up the a few last-minute tickets for a bowl of Dippin' Dots! A childhood favorite! 


Overall fun day! :-) Had a great time! 

Thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a fantastic week! Happy Monday!!!