Monday, October 20, 2014

ahhhhctober, you pretty!

one of the wonderful things about fall in tennessee, you know, according to moi... is that we tend to have a really lovely start to the fall season. and even once the colors start to change and that crisp feeling arrives in the air... you can usually still sneak in a few more decent lay-out days!!! so, me being the queen of priorities here, i take full advantage of these days. and while other moms are like "let's go to the park! let's go to the zoo! feel that air! let's jump in the car and cruise!" i'm like "hey, let's check the UV, take off our clothes, and park it in the back yard for the afternoon! last chance for tan lines, let's go!" 

but also, i have to say, these transitional periods are really the only times of the year when it's even borderline enjoyable to be in our own back yard midday. the rest of the year it's just hot or freezing and we usually find ourselves elsewhere. so. so so so. just recently on one of these loveliest afternoons, i finally taught miss maddo how to drink from the hose! and that's been her latest back yard party trick. that and drowning the plants, or as she so preciously calls it, "watering the garden." please forgive us, little peony plants, i can't have you dying on me!

anyway, i think we've officially had our last and final good bathing-suit day for the year, and we enjoyed all the fluffy frolicking, flower blooming, sun basking, hose drinking time that we could. thank you, glorious october!! thank you, beautiful tennessee! it's a really good fall so far.

Friday, October 17, 2014

sunshiiiiine... on my shoooulders... makes me happyyy... [and a few other broken record sentiments!]

after days and days of rain this last week, the sun finally decided to come out yesterday afternoon!! and gosh darnit, had i known it was going to be so gorgeous, i'd really have made plans to ride my horse, but after a week like this last one, i'd kind of just given up and gone into rain mode. you know, rain mode where you go on an absolute tear inside your house, rearranging things and painting things and baking things, and cleaning things up only to make an even bigger mess in your whole process!

so, maddalena and i ended up at the farm after running errands yesterday, and it was just such a pleasant surprise when the sun finally popped out and cast its golden beauty on everything in sight. my, my, my, i don't know exactly how it happens, but there is really no place to watch the earth turn golden quite like our little farmy farm. gets me every time!

and i know. i know i know. i am a broken record. that's me. brittany. i love the farm. i love sunsets. i love coffee. i love my horse. i love maddalena at every single age we get to. i love cuddling. i love being awake and not sleeping but help i'm tired a little. yep, there you go! brittany p. s. b., nutshell style. and it totally won't stop because i just can't help it!

to be honest, indulging in my happiest things is my favorite part of life, and on days when i feel like i just can't do it, i really just try to keep to myself, because the last thing i want to be is a spreader of my own negativity, you know? negativity can be so poisonous, and there's a time and place for venting for sure, because i mean, we totally have ants taking over our kitchen and also a handful of places leaking water in when it downpours... but life is still good, and it's really important to me to focus on all the little wonderful things that warrant heart and smiley emoticons. <3 :) and also, un-backspaced exclamation points!!!! ahhh, that feels good!

but okay, so, while we're on the topic of things i have already said 9 million times... i'll just go ahead and say that our mini-human here is pretty much kil-ling-it this week in the awesome and amazing department. she is joy wrapped in heaven and doused in the finest of diamond sparkles. and i know all my i love yous and you're the bests are probably going to start driving her nuts in about 3 seconds... but i have to. i cannot help myself. plus, i'm both a chronic savorer, and also totally aware that for every day of diamond sparkles, there's a day where i'm pretty sure she's turned the title "mommy" into her own personal swear word. ;) girl keeps me on my toes!

so anyway. to sum up, yesterday was thursday, la la la, life is good. happy weekend! i have been plans to put on my bathing suit, sit in my backyard with my book and baby, and party like it's june 2014... because today is fabulously warm, and tomorrow will most definitely be october 2014.

ps. john denver came on in the store we were in yesterday, and man did that just complete my vibe!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

making a little bit of essential oil go a long, long way!

whenever i find an essential oil that i just LOVE to use regularly, i like to make sure that little bottle goes a long way! especially since, as we know by now, a good essential oil is not cheap. and the more rare and precious the essential oil, the more expensive it's likely to be!

so, i recently treated myself to a teensy little cute, cute bottle of the loveliest jasmine, mostly because i just adore the smell! ahhh, i seriously love it so much. i've come across several blends over the years that i've really loved smelling because of the jasmine in it, so finally, i went ahead and just got myself some jasmine!

of course, jasmine is a really great oil to have on hand for the healing and uplifting effects that it can provide, as well. jasmine is floral, mood enhancing, relaxing, and romantic! it has antiseptic properties, can be used as an expectorant, and is also great for balancing and regulating the female system. for that last reason it should not be used while pregnant, but is great for strengthening labor contractions, uterine toning, and promoting milk supply. also, i think it's neat that jasmine flowers are only picked at night... just shows you how much care goes into each tiny bottle!

anyway, i wanted to be able to wear it daily, mostly to lift my mood and smell pretty! similarly, i have cellu-tone that i like to use on my body after i shower, and another blend that i put together that i've been slathering on daily, as well. so, with all these, i do the same thing... 

1. spoon some unrefined coconut oil into a small jar. 
2. screw the lid on and set that jar down in a bowl of hot water until the coconut oil melts completely. [i don't use the microwave for this because it kills nutritional benefits.]
3. add in drops of essential oil [depending on the amount of coconut oil, i like to start with about 20 drops if it's a small amount of coconut oil, then i mix it in and smell it... such an unofficial test, i know! but that's how i judge whether or not i want to put more! also, the coconutty smell is more noticeable when it's melted, but not really once the whole thing cools.]
4. allow the mixture to solidify in the fridge [although with the blend i did of balancing oils, it stayed a bit more on the liquidy side because of the EO to coconut oil ratio, but that was fine, too!]
5. then i keep my jars in the bathroom and use them as desired!

i love doing this because i use coconut oil on my body anyway, so it just seems to make sense to reap the benefits and stretch the amount of essential oils i go through all at once! and thaaaank you, nature's sunshine, for offering an amount of amazing quality jasmine that's actually affordable. seriously. because this little bottle will last me for so long now that i've mixed only a tiny bit of it to use!

oh, and FYI! for anyone interested in ordering nature's sunshine products [oils or otherwise!], they're offering member appreciation days today and tomorrow!! which means you can get $20 off of your order of $100+ or $30 off of your order of $150+! and since you'll already get 10% back every time you spend $100 in one month... well, hey, quick mental math comes out to... you can order a whole lot and save a whole lot! [like, i'm thinking it would be tempting to snag the whole home health & beauty pack, add in a bottle of jasmine, and top it with a nice probiotic because the holidays are coming and you've gotta prep that digestive tract... but okaykaykaaay, i'll stop before i get on a roll! but ugh! see! i love this stuff!!] sooo, anyway. fabulous, right!

[...and, as always, there's more natural health talk on bee healthy happy!]

Monday, October 13, 2014

my homecoming date for liiiife!

in the fall of 2002, i remember standing and talking to one of my guy friends at our high school football game when this other tall guy just kind of popped up out of nowhere, said hi, made some kinda joke, i'm sure, and juuust after a reference was made to him having a girlfriend [it was a short-lived relationship, apparently], he disappeared! and that's really the first time i remember taking note of one steven bishop.

in 2003, that steven guy asked me to the homecoming dance. actually, i'm not sure if he actually asked me to homecoming, because at that point, we were dating, and so it was assumed, right? psh. guys. well, i'm sure i insisted upon him making the actual request, but to tell you the truth, i just don't remember! so, on an october evening, we got with our bests and headed to dinner before changing into ridiculous 70s and 80s costumes and dancing and laughing the night away.

then! a short eleven years later on that same weekend in 2014, steven and i left our baby princess in the care of my mother and sister, and headed off to visit with old faces for the class of 2004's 10 year reunion.  that was steven's class, not mine, but i had close friends in that grade back in the day which is why tall-guy-who-popped-up-to-say-hello and i ended up together in the first place! aaand so... as we got ready to go, it felt to me just a little bit like we were headed off to homecoming once again... proooobably due to the fact that i am the most sentimental person EVER and that's exactly how i wanted it to feel! i just couldn't be happier or more thankful that i got to keep my high school sweetheart forever and ev. :) plus, it was steven's birthday and we were all over the evening-out idea!

so hey!! be careful what you wish for, kids!! ;) ;) because things like this...

...happen ooooh so quickly! and when they do, it's pretty super fabulous.

anyway, it was really fun to be kind of officially back in high school for a sec with a few of the people who kept us laughing and smiling through those crazy years! honestly, i loved high school. i mean, i hated it, but i loved it, and i think that's pretty normal, right?! :)

[tall guy named steven, me, hs girl best friend, hs guy best friend. they're getting married, ps!]

[and in the middle is guy friend i was talking to when other tall guy said hi at that football game!]

...such a comfort zone, isn't it! people who knew you in high school. it's kinda crazy to look back and see that so much time has passed, but at the same time nothing feels all that different. but it does! but it doesn't. so, anyway! we had such a blast that night. and then... we went home to our baby. :) [who was definitely still awake  and partying, because my night owl genes never fail.]

Friday, October 10, 2014

iiiiit's a birthday weekend!

tomorrow we officially celebrate the birthday of the very best husband and daddy two girls could ever, ever dream of! yaaaaay! we are so grateful for him and for all that he does to support us around here. plus, he's preeetty cute. :* so, happy birthday tomorrow, babe!! it's safe to say that i don't know what i would do without you, and i'm so excited to see what 29 has in store!! 

what's funny is that we're actually going to steven's 10 year high school reunion on his birthday night, which i still cannot wrap my mind around. it seriously does not feel like it was 10 years ago that we were going to homecoming together on this exact weekend! but wait. it was?! how on earth does that happen! time. is. crazy.

also, we celebrated some october birthdays a little bit earlier this week by getting together with some of our other birthdaying bests, and okay, maybe i've been way too overly-sentimental lately, but our quick little mexican food dinner gathering sure made me feel thankful for us all to still be celebrating together as the years go by! and gosh, nothing makes me happier than a table full of babies. i can't even deal with all the cuteness we've got goin' these days.

and molly, ugh, i'm just really sorry i blocked you with my big head! i had a feeling i was doing that!

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to steven tomorrow!! i love you so much, stevey! and a big happy birthday to all of our other october birthday friends, too! we love you all! october was quite the month to be born back in the 80s, it seems. ;)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

treasure hunting!

so, there's this little antique shop that my mom told me about some time ago that she just adores and has found the cutest, neatest things at... and i'd been planning to go back with her for so long! but you know how life gets, and we really just hadn't gotten around to it. until this last weekend! steven was out of town for a night [on a big sleeper bus with guy friends heading to the auburn football game, so fun!], and so we spur of the moment decided to head out for some girl time treasure hunting. and oh my goodness! i am iiiiiin love with this little place. and i'm telling you, if you're in the nashville area, this is our little secret, okay?! because this place is totally full of bargains and deals and hidden gems. it's a bit farther out from town in fairview, and it's one of those places you just dig through. it's full of stuff, stuff everywhere. old stuff and beautiful stuff and stuff that someone out there might want or need or see potential in, even if to you it looks like junk, and stuff that we don't even recognize because we don't have that stuff in our time. this place is my JAM. and then after we left the antique store that evening, we were behind the cutest antique car on the way home. i don't know how that happened, but it was perfect!

i know a lot of people don't like to sift through craziness and disorganization to find the hidden gems, but i LOVE it. i think that's why i love organizing, too. i like finding beauty in a mess!! and i have such a craving for items with history. one of my favorite things i have on my desk right now is a civil war mule shoe that i found on the farm one afternoon, and it makes me happy every day. [okay, so  our barn is full of them, but this one i found "aaaaaall byyy-e-self!" as maddo would say, so i love it the most!!] and for the past year i've been finding little pieces of an antique mason jar and some kind of small porcelain container thing, and it is kind of killing me that i don't know where all the pieces are! haha! oh! and okay, i am really getting side tracked here, but i also found a soldier's clay marble last summer, and what. are. the. ODDS. of finding a dirt-colored clay soldier's marble? it was fate. crazy fate. so, just your average side hobby, right! haha. i mean, i could totally make a great history buff if i could retain a single number in my head, buuut i can't! and dates elude me completely. it's a major bummer. my high school history teacher thought it was a bummer, too, let me tell ya. still, i just love history!

also, maddalena found her own fabulous treasure while we were shopping that afternoon when she fell head. over. heels. for a sweet and precious dollhouse. it's not even old, actually, [i think this one was put out around 2008?] and it had all the pieces with it and in nearly perfect condition. so, heck yes! baby girl has been fawning over dollhouses for months now, so we tried to be sneaky because it would've made the very best christmas present from santa! but when she saw that the little pieces had been packed up [for us to take home!], she thought it meant that she'd have to part ways with it, and her emotions just crumbled in pure devastation. it was the saddest thing ever, and i almost cried myself! it truly wasn't a toddler tantrum. she was just heartbroken at the thought of leaving her dream dollhouse behind. so of COURSE we didn't hold off until christmas!! can't keep a girl from her dreams!

i mean, is there anything sweeter?! we found a few other things, too, including an antique wooden high chair that i'm excited to pretty up, because i've been dreaming of one in our house! [i really never wanted a big newfangled high chair in here, so we don't have one!] so, it was such a successful trip, and i already have about 5,000 ideas i'll be looking for next time i go. okay, yes, i've kind of been watching too much nicole curtis on rehab addict, and she's basically my new girl idol. seriously. i mean, seriously. okay. that is all. love ya bye! <3

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

fern and fostered!

so, beautiful blog friend of mine and fabulous life of charmings sponsor, miss jessica wray of peony has been one of my very favorite people to follow [via all social media avenues!] for the longest time now. not only is she gorgeous, but her words are always incredibly relatable to me, and gosh, her photos and aesthetic get me. every. time. she has an eye for beautiful things, a knack for the perfect vintage vibe, and!! she has the very loveliest fondness for plant life! with her ridiculously green thumb she puts together these amazing little indoor plants and terrariums in the most creative ways, and they are seriously adorable!

well! the lovely miss jessica has just opened a brand new shop called fern and fostered that i am adoring for oh so many reasons. fern and fostered sells repurposed, vintage items, many of which could actually be used to plant in. so clever!! and goodness, the logo itself is hands down so beautiful!

i love the lens that jessica view life through, including the ability to see a typical household item as something fabulous to plant in. so, naturally i asked jessica to tell me a little more about her inspiration for fern and fostered! and she said...

About a year ago, I very suddenly fell in love with indoor plants. I discovered how much I love planting and tending to them. I would spend hours elbow deep in the soil arranging terrariums - It became therapeutic. It wasn't long until I housed more plants than I had room for. I began giving terrariums to my friends and family, and noticed the joy I felt from doing so. 

After filling every shape and size of glass vases and jars with plants, I began thrifting for vintage planters and other found objects to house plants in. By doing this, I discovered my second love - vintage housewares and decor. I filled my free time with foraging the aisles of thrift stores and antique malls. I’d use some of the items I found, but most would be neatly wrapped up and placed in a large chest for safe keeping. It was the hunt I grew to love! 

Fern and Fostered changed form a hundred times or more, but finally landed on being an online retailer of vintage and repurposed goods. So many things out there deserve a good home and maybe even a few plants to call their own. 

gosh, i love that so much. of course, i think both vintage items and pieces of nature are seriously some of the languages of my soul, but i also really love the chance to support someone as they pursue something they're truly putting their heart in. what a wonderful thing!

so, be sure to check out fern and fostered as it kicks off its very first month online!! and ps! any order through october 31st includes a free fern and fostered trademark tote, too, featuring that beautiful branding!! i personally keep obsessing over the have a nice day owl mugs, because talk about one more thing that i can't get enough of... a good mug just makes it so much more fun to wake up in the morning, don't you think!

thank you so much for sharing, sweet jessica!! i'm truly grateful for every time your beautiful captures grace my screen and oh so excited for fern and fostered!!

*all images by jessica wray

Monday, October 6, 2014

it was september. remember? of 2014!

september is a funny month to me.
it's always such a time of transition...
like it knows that's precisely what it's there for,
to take us from summer to fall!
so, it was a good month for us, i do believe.
very transitiony, laid back, and as always, 
full of the happiest little moments.
and, you know, to quote some brad paisley,
yeah, i live for...
the little moments...
like that!