Bloggers Like Me

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Aug 302012
 

I saw this today on tumblr and it really struck a chord. I have had the hardest time in life feeling included. I get along with lots of different kinds of people. I love a wide array of experiences. Sometimes this can be limiting in a way that most people don’t seem to understand.

If you fit into a group, then you have security. There’s always somebody that is there because you all belong. But what happens if you don’t fit into just one group. I’ve found that people in general feel better in cliques. No matter how big or small, no matter how open they want to believe they are, people like to know their boundaries. So what do you do when you can’t pick just one? Most of the time you end up on the outside looking in. Add in a little (OK, maybe not so little) dose of social anxiety, and BAM! Loner for life.

It’s easy to start to feel like an outcast. You always feel like you’re playing a game without benefit of knowing the rules. It’s important to remember that who you are is exactly who you are meant to be. We all have strengths and weaknesses, but we are all beautiful because of what makes us different.Everyone will not always know ho to love your beauty, but that does not make you less beautiful. You will find love, acceptance, and community that is right for you. And when you do, it will make you wonder what you have been so worried about.

Love yourself. Love your tribe. Let them love you.

Have a great day,

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Hey Y’All! Ooooh I went all southern on ya :) How’s it going today? I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to use this Turn It Around Tuesday to talk about what you can do when everything is going well and you don’t have anything to turn around in your personal life. Don’t forget about the other people around you! Maybe you’re doing great. Why not try to encourage someone else. Why not make it somebody you don’t normally get along with. Maybe it’s the person who is a know it all. Maybe there’s somebody you work with that is constantly trying to one up you, or worse someone who is always trying to throw negative attention your way. Sometimes we like to keep these people as far away from us as possible. I know I do. I mean who wants to be around someone super annoying. But the Bible tells us that we have to love those people too.

Romans 12: 14-21 says:

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

How are you doing with fulfilling this calling from the Lord? I struggle with it. It doesn’t seem fair that people who irk me to the edge of sanity, are the ones I’m supposed to work hardest to love.  But if we honor the Lord, He will honor us. We are loved constantly by a God who is perfect. If he can love us with all of our flaws, certainly we can love our enemies.

If you have any tips on how to make loving the curmudgeons in our lives a little easier, PLEASE leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say!

Be blessed,

<3 Bran

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Manic Monday

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Aug 272012
 

A new week! So exciting! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have hard time getting my day started without a little music. So today I thought I’d share a song that gets me going, with very little effort. It’s off the album Love Is a Four Letter Word by Jason Mraz. The Freedom Song starts soft and smooth with low key percussion and strings and a sweet vocal, but by the time into gets the fully developed track, and  the horns join in you’ve really got one feel good groove. It reminds me of music my parents used to play on our record player when I was really young. It just makes me smile and feel good. And as Mr. A-Z says “when I feel good I sing.” I  hope you like it.
Happy Monday!

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Aug 242012
 

Happy Friday, beautiful people! I’m so excited for today’s post. I’m finally getting to share my little bedroom makeover on a budget with you all.  If you’re anything like me, you have champagne taste and a sparkling cider budget. Does this mean we can’t have nice things? Of course not! We just have to know when and where to find them.

So, we (my husband and I) embarked on this little adventure with not much more than an idea. We wanted to turn our bedroom into the one place in our apartment that isn’t baby friendly. When we moved in almost 4 years ago, shortly after we got married, we were ecstatic. It was our first nest. We didn’t have much, but we didn’t care. The place is pretty small, now that our family has expanded from 2 to 3. We’ve got fantasies of flying this coop for a larger one, but we thought, why wait to make things more comfortable until then?

And off to Home Goods we went. It’s the home furnishing arm of TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. If you’ve never been to a Home Goods store, you’ve got to find one in your area.  The inventory changes rapidly, but they always have great deals.

I knew I wanted to go with something blue, since it’s both my husband and my favorite color. I’ve also noticed that gray is a pretty popular color in decorating at the moment, and honestly I’ve been on a gray kick for a minute now myself. I love that it’s a chic alternative to black and it lightens the overall mood of a room. We happened to find a pretty sweet bedding set in spa blue with taupe-ish gray trim. I knew that with blue I wanted the room to have a sort of beachy feel, but at the same time I wanted it to be special. What we ended up with is something akin to a boutique hotel near the ocean. Or at least that’s what I like to think. :)

We went on what seemed like a never ending search for nightstands. I saw a pair that were ah-mazing (again at Home Goods) but we didn’t get them when we saw them, and of course they were gone when we went back. I wanted something that wasn’t too big, since our room is somewhat space challenged. I also wanted a little bit of hidden storage  ( because you know you need a place to stuff all that random junk you have laying around your bedside). This time ebay came to the rescue. I was able to find two side table with slatted doors for less than the price of one of my defunct dream night stands. I did end up having to paint them black ( which was kind of a nightmare), but I really think they serve their purpose well.  Plus the nightmare paint job gives the hubs and I something to joke about.

Our bedroom, and most of our apartment has abysmal lighting so I knew we’d have to really think about lighting solutions. I hated having one super outdated lighting fixture in the ceiling. what’s worse is that because we live in the south, that thing was like a gross 1970′s bug catcher. When we started talking about replacing it, the first priority was something that didn’t collect dust or the ever growing insect population of Savannah! This time, it was Home Depot to the rescue. I wanted something nice, but not a ridiculous- for -our -space chandelier. After hours of online shopping we found one that was perfect. Well, almost perfect. The original hardware was a brassy looking gold-tone, but we fixed that easily enough with a can of brushed nickel spray paint. Voila, perfect light fixture. Thanks to my mister’s amateur handy man skills we had that baby installed in no time. I am in love with the effect of the crystal beads and how they drape. They create the most incredible shadow play on the walls at night. Since we both like to read in bed I knew we would need bedside lamps as well. nobody likes to get snuggled comfy under the covers, only to have to abandon the coziness to turn off that pesky overhead light. It took several trips to the lamp department to get just what we needed. I really had no idea what I was looking for. Every time I found something interesting there would only be one left on the shelves. If I did find a matching set, they never quite spoke to me. Then on a final desperate trip we found these really nice lamps with glass bases and light taupe shades. Because they’re glass they have a sort of weightless quality, and the texture mirrors the shuttered slats on the night stands. They turned out to be the pieces in the room that helps tie everything together. Plus, you know, they’re awesome for reading in bed!

Did you know that headboards are like, crazy expensive? I mean CRAZY. Especially for a king sized bed. So we decided to save a few (or many) pennies, and we went with a mirror over the bed. It’s great because it provides a sense of definition behind the bed and it also helps to make the room feel bigger. I swear to you this post is not sponsored by Home Goods, but they have the best stuff. We found this really cool mirror there, with a sort of art deco feel.

With all the major players decided, we moved on to finishing touches. We got two tone drapes to frame the bed, some whimsical bird hooks for my accessories, the framed inspirational sayings we had previously. It all started taking shape.  A little elbow grease, and a little ziss! bam! boom! and we are living in our own little hotel room, that we can check into nightly. There’s even nightly turn down service ( by us of course), and sometimes even chocolates on the pillow.

More important than the new things in our room, is the new feeling. It’s really important to take time out in a tranquil place. I think we all get so busy with work, or as parents , that we need to treat ourselves well. We deserve room to breathe, and a place to take off all the hats we wear daily and just be ourselves. If you take nothing else from our adventure, please be inspired to be kind to yourself.

I hope  you all have a fantastic weekend. Remember, you can start with small things that build into great accomplishments!

 

<3 Bran

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So. This faith thing.

The Bible says in James 4:2, “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trust in God. It’s been a real rubber meets the road situation these days. I’ve had to acknowledge that maybe I’m not asking. And then, I have to figure out with a God so good, why am I not asking? I think part of it is that I’m to busy focusing on what I don’t have, or won’t have. How can we have room for faith when all we want to do is be afraid of losing something we already don’t have? How can I trust the Lord to grant me what I ask for, if I’m too afraid to ask for fear that I might lose what little I’ve gathered on my own?

I’m probably alone in this. I’m sure no one else deals with this kind of warped economics of the mind. I must be the only one muddling along day by day. Doing my best to do what I believe the Lord wants of me, only to come up against obstacles and think, “Man, I’m so not prepared for this. It’s too bad I haven’t saved/planned/prepared for this thing. It’s too bad I’m stuck now because what can I do about this?  What can I do?” Maybe, just maybe I can have faith. Maybe I should be turning toward the Father who says ask and receive, seek and find, knock and I’ll open the door.

Am I missing some brain cells? Or is this part of the human condition. Have I been so conditioned to believe that the only source of life is me and my two little hands, that I refuse to open my mouth and heart and ask the Creator of all things?

Who am I? I want to be who I say I am. I want to be a believer and a follower of Christ. I want to be a joint heir of the kingdom. How many princes and princesses do you know that feel stuck? They all know their privilege. Why can’t I learn mine? I’m trying people. I’m moving forward with this like you wouldn’t believe. I’m abandoning my fear and placing my faith where it belongs. And I know in my heart and in my spirit , He will honor that.

So those are my thoughts for the day. Do you struggle with this issue?

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Aug 222012
 

Hola! It’s Wednesday again, and you know what that means! Heaps and heaps of “what the heck is going on around the internets ?”, just for you! Today’s What The? is a submission from my most faithful reader, my husband :) He loves to find things to creep me out and sent a selection of 3 items today. Two of them were too creepy for life, so I picked this one.

This video is a helpful “how to”, brought to us by a gentleman named Steve. Steve is an expert in how to’s apparently, but I think he might be trolling here. At least I kind of hope he is. I would hate to think that he really makes his tea this way.

So enjoy this how to. Let me know in the comments if you would enjoy a glass of Steve’s tea. And also, be on the lookout for that measuring cup. Does it give anybody else the creeps?

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Guys, I’m having a slow day. Do you have those? A day when you wake up and all you want to do is stay warm and snuggly under the comforter? You’re not sad or gloomy, in fact you feel fine, maybe even great. But you just want to preserve that feeling between layers of Egyptian cotton and downy feathers. I’m having one of those days.

Alas, I have a baby to take care of and things to do around the house, so staying in bed is practically impossible. So I’m trying to turn myself around, slowly.  But honestly I think some days you just have to call the game on account of rain, as it were. Some times you do what is absolutely necessary and save the rest for another day.

I hope you all are having a fantastic day!

<3 Bran

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Manic Monday

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Aug 202012
 

Hello, friends! Here we are at the start of another week. I hope you had a fantastic weekend. We spent a lot of time relaxing and catching up on sleep. Saturday night we went to another roller derby bout, and boy did those ladies get physical. It was so exciting!

Since it’s Monday, I thought we’d get things off to a slower start (in case you’re not quite awake yet). I saw this article on The Daily Beast detailing the first words transmitted through different communication technologies. It’s fun to see how far we’ve come since the days of the telegraph!

I also saw this cute poster on Pinterest (are you following me?) I think I’ll get one to hang in the Bean’s room when he gets older. Don’t worry, I won’t actually punch him in the face ( but he won’t know that).

So there’s a little trivia tidbit and a little humor to start off the week. I want you to remember today, that God has a purpose for your life. He’s given you everything you need to fulfill that purpose. So no matter what the day may bring you can conquer it, in His name!

 

<3 Bran

 

 

 

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Aug 172012
 

Hello All, it’s finally Friday! Thank goodness. I don’t know about you, but for me this has been a pretty hectic week. I originally planned to do a post about my bedroom makeover on a budget today, but honestly life happened. I really want to do a good job with that particular post, because I think the room turned out even better than expected. So today I’m just going to show you a few things that are on my “wishlist” at the moment. I hope you enjoy!

 

 

First up are these adorable sneakers from Sperry Top-Sider. I don’t know why, but I’m feeling a little preppy vibe lately. I really like that boat shoes come in all these new colors and patterns. these are a nice natural canvas with silver sparkle thread woven in. The lilac lacing is really what tops them off, in my opinion.

 

 

I’m also loving this Lana blouse from Domino Dollhouse. The mint hue is very trendy right now, but that’s night why I love it. That seafoamy sheer confection is part of their Urban Mermaids collection, and if there’s anything I love, it’s a mermaid-y article of clothing.

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone who knows me , knows that no wishlist of mine would be complete without at least one nail polish. I’ll spare you the full list, because we’d be here all weekend, but Zoya Fei Fei is a standout in their Fall Diva collection. It’s an awesome steel blue/gray with multi colored metallic sparkle. How can I NOT want this right?

 

 

 

 

 

These floral Panel leggings from ASOS Curve are calling to me. I mean they’re edgy and feminine. Plus leggings are super comfy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course because I’m so hard core (insert laugh track here) I have been eying this knit motorcycle jacket from Cult of California. I’ve actually been on the lookout for one of these for over a year. Now the only question is, black or neon yellow?  Or maybe both? Who knows?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So those are my picks for this week. Is there anything you’ve been drooling over for a while. Any new products on the horizon that you’d like to share? Let me know!

 

I hope everyone has an exceptional weekend. Relax, enjoy these last weeks of summer, and spread some love around.

<3 Bran

 

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Aug 162012
 

Hey everyone. I know today is supposed to be a review of something cool I’m trying out, and maybe I’ll put one up later, but right now I just feel like I need to share something with you. I want to talk to you about trust. More specifically trust in God, which is faith.

I think a lot of times we see faith as this fluffy, warm and snuggly thing. It’s often used as a feel good and uplifting concept. And don’t get me wrong faith is good. In fact having faith is great. But faith is also possibly one of the scariest things known to man. Faith requires leaping without looking. Or, more to the point faith is leaping after looking and seeing there is no soft place to land. Jumping without knowing is one thing. There’s a 50/50 chance that what lies beneath is soft and welcoming. On the other hand, leaping once you’ve seen that the only thing waiting is a pit of thorns, seems absolutely insane. Am I right? But that is what God is asking us to do. He’s asking us to jump knowing that the thorns are coming and trusting him to change the winds, or the outcome before we land. Sometimes we’re just trusting that, even when we fall to the thorns, we won’t be ripped to shreds.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with faith in everyday situations. I’m a girl who has grown up in church. I decided at age 7 that Jesus was the one for me. I never felt like I was forced into being a Christian. I was just convicted at an early, by the love a God who knew and created me. I can believe that God created the earth and everything in with nothing more than words. I can believe that that same God seeing my need for salvation could conform to the constrictions of humanity and come to die on a cross for me. I believe that God speaks to me regularly. I can believe these things that are fantastical to some, but I have trouble believing the little things. For instance I get panicky if our vehicle needs repairs. What if there’s some stupid thing I did to cause it? Maybe God won’t want to help me. You see how silly that sounds? But it’s how I feel. I have this faith that God can do huge things, unbelievable things, but somehow I lack the faith to to think God could pay my bills.

I don’t know if you limit yourself this way. I don’t know if you in turn limit the power of God in your own life. But let’s both step out of the way. God is more powerful than our minds can give Him credit for. He didn’t just heal the sick and raise the dead. He hasn’t just defeated ancient armies. He lives here and now within me. He is greater than all things. I feel like I’m preaching, but I feel like somebody besides me needs to know this. My God, YOUR God is greater. Trust Him. Release your doubts, and step out in faith. It will work out. His hand is waiting.

I love you all,

<3 Bran

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