Thursday, October 30, 2014

makey thursday! pinecones, gold and sparkled!

not too long ago, little miss maddalena and i were out walking around the farm, and we picked up a bunch of pinecones, deciding that they would be perfect for a festive fall craft!! but... downside, they were sappy, and my fingers had some serious stick covering them by the time we got them to the house. fortunately, though, there's a fix for that!! yaaaay! and so, we went on a-prettying our pinecones, and really, i majorly love them.

1. bake sappy pinecones at 200° for 20-30 minutes. the sap drips off and whatever is left on the pinecone turns hard and glossy!! they're so pretty before doing a single thing else to them. plus, this takes care of any bugs and makes the inside of the oven smell like a heavenly forest.

2. spray pinecones with spray paint [gold in my case], doing one side first, hitting both angles of the petal thingies, letting that side dry, then flipping and doing the other. repeat for a second coat. let dry.

3. dab mod-podge [or whatever glue you have, really!] on the edges of the pinecone...

4. ...and sparkle, sparkle awaaaaay!! obviously, my choice of glitter is martha stewart's fine gold glitter. you knoooow how i feel about martha and her products. 

5. of course, the natural next step is, "take picture of me while i sparklin' dis pinecome!!" that's a girl after my own heart, right there. ;)

6. let those beauty sparkles dry. gosh, i could gold-glitter everything. my love is borderline obnoxious. but actually, i only sparkled half of my pinecones, because i wanted a combo!

7. ta-daaaaaa! ooooh, pinecones, gold and sparkled, oooh, pinecones, gold and sparkled! [i tell you, it's the next hit holiday jingle!]

gold and sparkled, just the way to my heart! now to work on my holiday centerpiece. i'm not quite there yet, but it's early, right!

i was also thinking that some combination of white and gold on the pinecones would be pretty, too? like white paint with gold glitter or gold paint with white glitter, for a snowy effect, maybe? i don't know. but i like simple, so it's gold on gold for me, and i do believe i'm feeling a round two coming on very soon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

bare feet, beautiful sky

["i runnin' wis minnie!!!"]

you know, there are a whole bunch of pretty great perks when it comes to this mom deal i'm working with these days... liiike barefoot walks. tiny conversations! sweet friends to visit. the opportunity to head out and see my horse every day, if i can work it, and never missing a beautiful sunset. not to mention all the snuggles on the planet. mandatory snuggles! life dream accomplished!

of course, there are many days when steven gets home from work, and i think... well, shoot, he looks awfully nice!! all handsome and spiffy, and here i am with my chipping nails, not a spot of makeup, eyeballing that ever-growing laundry pile, and stirring a pot of something or other. hahaha. i do try to pull it together more than that on most days, but sometimes... oh, you know! sometimes. sometimes my faux-free-spirit wins out over my exhausted a-type, and well, there i stand with my hair piled up in its end-of-the-day bird's nest, wishing i'd at least have thrown on my face for the day!

and then, since i guess i'm some impossible combination of merrily content but also really restless, i'll every now and again go into a little daydream about being someone in some super glammy glam business, saying things like "will you please pull the anderson file for me, hannah? i've got to be downtown in 10!" before heading off to a nice lunch meeting in my fancy skirt, and then later that evening collapsing on a sofa that doesn't require a slipcover with my nude or black heels dropping to the floor in this really stylish sort of manner, because obviously, that's what my inner business woman does! but then i laugh, because, hahahahaaaaa, business chick brittany wouldn't last a week. i'm not very punctual, for starters... no, i still think i'm much more suited to being constantly on-call for a pretty little lady, age of two. and fortunately, she can't fire me for being late or sassy. ;)

either way, though, i think it's important to remember where the beauty in life really is, no matter what your role. it's in a family that works hard for each other and appreciates each other's gifts. it's in nature, in the sky and the trees and the flowers, all working the way they were created to work, never questioning their design or comparing purposes. it's in the hugs and kisses that you end the day with, and a tiny voice giving thanks in her bed time prayers all on her own. it's in the smallest blessings as well as the big. it's in discovering the talents God has given you and using them to the best of your ability to bring honor and glory not to yourself, but to Him.

i'm sure it's been for centuries now that mothers have felt the pressure to be more, do more, and do it all better, but i think the pressure is really on in this day and time. we're constantly exposed to what other people seem to be doing, wearing, buying, being, and it can be really challenging to not compare lives... but hey, when it comes down to it, you really don't need a whole heck of a lot to take a walk hand in hand under a beautiful sky, now do you?! and anyway, i think that's where i'm happiest. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

aaand back to our easter weekend family beach trip...

hey! so, in the spirit of holidays, nashville still being warm and sunny, and the fact that i maybe am desperately trying to forget about all the ants trying to make their home in my pantry these days [oh my gosh!], i'm takin' it back to earlier this year when steven, maddalena and i had not only our first little vacation together, just us, but our first holiday with just the three of us, as well! we spent a long weekend together at my family's home away from home, and then once steven had to leave, my mommy came down and we stayed a while longer, which was aaaamaaaziiiing. soooo, you would think that in 8.5 minutes of video i'd have captured the whole two weeks we were there... but... uuuumm... nope. it's just the easter weekend part! [sorry, mom!!] this iphone era is so gloriously overwhelming, isn't it? i seriously try to capture so much on video, but then i end up with so many 30 second clips that most of the time i just give up and stash them on my external hard drive! but anyway, i really almost forgot that i finally compiled these little beach weekend videos into one that we can look back on, so yaaaay!

[gosh, i am always ready to get back there!]

Thursday, October 23, 2014

oh, just lately we've been... taking, as always!

...birthday gifting for steven's 29th!! it's quite the birthday month, october!

...tiny mug drinking... tiny mugs are very important.

...celebrating, prosecco style

...workin' on our art skills... and trying to keep it just on the appropriate surfaces :)

...rearranging, repainting, and deciding where on earth we should really keep all the bits of happy memories and sentimental items we've saved up at this point. i feel like i'm never ever not doing this, but i've really been on a tear lately!

...gathering pumpkins... from the grocery store! okay, so the actual pumpkin patch is still on our fall list, but i seriously couldn't resist the huge white ones for our front door!! much tea drinking, because oh, how i love my new teapot!

...warm weather savoring. we have such pretty octobers.

...being insanely adorable. i cannot get enough of my two babes! they're super in love and i love that.

...posing for our little photographer maddalena ;)

...ring wearing, because i fell in l-o-v-e with a ring at the antique shop a couple of weeks ago, and my sweet mommy bought it for me. i had it resized from a size ginormous to a size brittany, and i've been wearing it above my beloved maddalena ring! every time i see it, it makes me so happy.

...leaving the most precious little signs of the tiniest baby grownup life. i find the cutest scenes set up from our mini-person, and they just get me every time.

...wearing a sweater that my mommy wore as a little girl, and holding a photo of my precious tiny mom wearing it. oh, be still my heart.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

home is where the barn is...

oooh, my handsome case! my casey boy! have i mentioned that i love him? he's such a good part of me. a huge chunk of my heart is casey, and that's just how it goes. so, it's crazy to me that just lately i'm seeing these little white hairs suddenly popping up on him in new places. a few new speckles on his pretty face. a light, sparse dusting over part of his belly. some growing long here and there in his chestnut mane. they're subtle, but i see them. little reminders that time stops for no one, not even a girl and her horse. it's just not easy being 27! oooh, case, i feel ya, boy! ;)

but anyway, since i remember all too well how hard last winter was on casey, i'm trying to soak up some of these easy, warm, sunshiney days with him before the cold hits again... and goodness gracious, you know, when fall is pretty around here, fall is preeeeetty!

[and, oh, if these woods could talk!]

so, casey and i, we took a little walk on sunday to get out and stretch our lungs, and as always, it felt so good! and that view of his fuzzy ears, well, that is just my favorite thing ever. there's nothing like the view from the saddle to put life back into perspective. [sidenote: it's funny to think how many more shots i would have from riding when i was little if iphones had been around longer, and i kinda wish they had been for that reason! but i do cherish my old time polaroids! ha!]

...and there it is. my happy place. <3 

[aaand no, no, we don't keep wine in the barn... although, yes, that might be a brilliant idea! ;) there is something really heavenly about taking a glass of red [or bubbly prosecco!] in the direction of the barn and the sunset!]

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 big 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!