“You’re Always On Your Phone!”

“You’re Always On Your Phone!”

Has anyone heard this from another person? Or maybe you’ve even said it to yourself a time or two? Girl, Same.

I guess more the latter of the two in my case. I used to be totally attached to my phone and social networking because I felt the constant urge to be connected with my friends and just general popular culture– What if I miss seeing what someone wore to that event I care about because of reasons!? GASP.

Now that I am out of my high school/college years, I feel myself transitioning from my role as a “social teen/young adult” to “I don’t really give a crap about what others are wearing/doing/eating/etc” adult. I was finally on my way to becoming that person who has the go-to phrase: “If I wanted you to see what I was doing, I would have just invited you. Har Har Har.” However, somewhere in the middle of that transition, I was bumped off course by a big life event–moving 1000+ miles away from home.

I’ve always been the person to put work first– Especially in the last few years. There were few times when my days off coincided with family events, and when I was lucky enough to find that my amazing co-workers were able to cover a shift so I could attend, I was oftentimes so exhausted from the double I had to work to get the day off that I felt like the zombie person in the corner of the event or that I wasn’t even there at all.  These few years jumpstarted the age of me scrolling through social media a little more often to see photos from what I was missing out on so that I wasn’t totally out of the loop with my family… And if you know my family you don’t need this explanation, but for those of you who don’t know… I have a huge family and we’re all super close (as in, ‘no secrets and everyone knows all your business at all times’ close) and I wouldn’t have any other way!

Cue the big move. I thought moving away from home would be an adventure because I’ve never lived anywhere but there. And it was! I can’t say it hasn’t been a challenge, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but I was put in this exact position for a reason. If we didn’t move here, we never would have adopted our sweet pups (who I now can’t imagine my life without!), we probably would still be living in our tiny apartment working crazy hours and only seeing each other for a few precious moments everyday in passing and for meals, and I honestly would probably have never lived even remotely close to a beach!

While there are a lot of good things you learn by moving away from home, there are also many challenges.  I’ve never been the BEST at making friends because I tend to keep to myself and bury myself in work, but I do have a few good ones–most of them being my sister/cousins/other family members.  So one of the biggest challenges upon moving here was not knowing a single person. The most social contact I had was with the cashier at the grocery store or the maintenance person for our housing company. (Did you know that it’s really hard to start a conversation as an adult that doesn’t start with how crazy the weather is?)

Anyways, after about six months of living here boarded up in my house, I came across a running group on our base. It was a good way to meet a few people, and those people are great, great women! However, they’re almost exclusively mom’s who I just didn’t feel I 100% fit in with (again, they’re all wonderful, strong women… I was just feeling that I didn’t have too much to add to the mom conversation). Now that I’m back to square one, I am again finding myself picking up my phone to scroll through social media more and more often. And since we’ve been gone for a year now, it really does sink in how easy it was to take being close to family for granted. Missing Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, other holidays, or even just not being around for that impromptu trip to grab dinner or sit on someone’s back porch– those are all things I think about almost daily.

I may sound a little down, but worry not! Do I miss my family and everything surrounding them? YES! Everyday. But I’m also so incredibly blessed and grateful that I have those people and that type of family in my life (maybe not geographically, but spiritually) and that I have such a strong connection to them. And I am so grateful that I’m able to pick up the phone and call/text/FaceTime/ scroll through photos of that birthday party/holiday/etc. and feel included!

Is moving away a challenge? Sure. But it’s also an incredible time to grow as an individual and put all of those lessons learned into action. I didn’t even realize I knew how to get that stain out the carpet, but at some point that information was given to me and it stuck in my mind! It’s kind of awesome! I feel so much stronger as a person since being forced to do a lot of things on my own, and it only makes it that much more special when I get to visit home (or better yet, they come visit us and see our new life here!)

Base Housing Decor Challenges and Zinus Bed Review!

Hello!

For those of you who aren’t up to date with what’s going on with my life (because it’s so interesting and eventful… ha ha…) we just moved into a new house this past month! We were living in older Military base housing and were moved to a different area of base housing because our old house is being demolished for new housing to be built! Fun!

Anyways… I feel like this is the first real house we have ever lived in! We started in a teeny tiny apartment, moved to the old housing when we were relocated to this base (which was a house, but we were there for such a short time, I didn’t even unpack everything so it was difficult to really feel “at home” there), and now here we are!

I can say that I love the home we live in now! I feel that I can finally put all of those ideas from saved instagram and Pinterest posts from home decorators I love into action! While it is base housing (aka a rented space) I am limited in many ways when it comes to home decor. Basically I can’t do a whole lot when it comes to landscaping or remodeling… But it’s still fun to see what I can come up with creatively for rental homes and bounce ideas off of all of you renting peeps!

Now that I have everything at least into the general rooms of where it should be, I can finally start sharing these things with you as I go!

My first priority (and one of the things I was most excited for when we moved in here) was the fact that we could have a real working guest bedroom! We had a spare bedroom before but it mostly housed extra bins and boxes and the occasional air mattress when someone came into town. Needless to say, I was drooling over the idea of being able to decorate a beautiful space for our guests when they come to visit!

I looked at a ton of beds online on a variety of different furniture websites. I also looked through Facebook marketplace to see if anyone near us was getting rid of a queen sized bed for a reasonable price.  There were options there, but the problem was that we are a two-SUV household (aka we had no way to transport the bed without renting a truck which seemed like a whole thing).

As I was driving home, I saw one of our neighbors had a box out for the recycling that had the company name Zinus on the side. I was curious so when I got home, I looked the company up online. It almost seemed too good to be true. This company shipped beds and mattresses to your doorstep in a box, (or two boxes if you got both the bed and mattress) and you put it together yourself.

I instantly started reading every review I could find and looking up videos of how easy it was to assemble the bed.  I couldn’t find too many bad reviews (more so about customer service than the products themselves) so I decided to go for it. I ended up ordering the Mia Steel 1500H Platform Bed Frame in a Queen size, as well as the 10″ Green Tea Memory Foam Pressure Relief Queen Mattress.

I anxiously awaited the arrival of this bed mostly because I was excited to have a guest bedroom set up, but also because I was so intrigued by the idea of this entire bed being delivered to my doorstep!

FINALLY the bed arrived! Here is what I walked out to see:

bed box

 

I will say, it was HEAVIER THAN HECK (the bed at least) but I managed to get it into the house and up the stairs to the guest room.

I opened up the bed box first and found these materials along with step by step instructions:

bed materials.jpg

It was fairly easy to assemble, and I am not really that handy of a gal– Just good at following instructions!

Here is the time lapse of the bed assembly!

 

And here is a before and after! (The dogs were a huge help with their product testing skills!)

Fun fact! That map was an antique store find when we first moved here! I’m working on adding some more wall decor around that piece but I just haven’t found the right look yet!

Overall, this was a great experience! I would recommend Zinus if you need a guest bed for sure! I’m not sure of the life of the mattress because we’ve only had it for a few weeks and only one person has slept on it. So I’m not sure how well it would hold up as a primary, sleep on it every night mattress… but it works perfectly for us in this spare room!

Here’s the link to see more of what Zinus has available by way of beds!

Shop Zinus beds here!

I can’t wait to share more of this decor journey with you all!

-Briana

(Mostly) Green Veggie Tray!

So I always said that the first few months of the year were meant to be the time for “working on my beach bod.” However, I didn’t really commit to that specific goal because I never actually went to the beach so whatever, as long as I was feeling good and my clothes fit, I was good to go!

Well… this was my first winter as a Florida resident. Therefore, I actually have a beach to go to… dun dun duuuuunnnn!!!

Okay truthfully speaking… I have a beach to go to, and I have a body. TahDah! Beach Bod. Done.

But I still enjoy eating well and working out so that I can feel my best.

This leads me to a few go-to recipes that we live by here in our house! One being this big ol’ veggie tray. It’s seriously the EASIEST thing ever!

Ingredients:

-Seriously any veggie you want! For this specific tray, here is what I used:

  • 2 small Zucchini
  • 2 Poblano Peppers
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers (Don’t add these if you don’t like spicy-ness!)
  • 2 Crowns of Broccoli
  • 1 pint of sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms (any mushrooms work, these were just on sale today)
  • 1 package of fresh Okra (I cut the ends off of each piece and then cut the okra in half so there’s more because it’s a fan fav over here)
  • As many green beans as you feel like snapping in half!
  • 2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

** I also have used Kale and halved Brussels Sprouts in the past but my husband isn’t the biggest fan so I didn’t add them this time.

*** Sometimes I use different squash or carrots and it’s great too!

Now for how it’s done!

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425°

Step 2: Grab your biggest sheet tray and spray with cooking spray

Step 3: Slice all of those veggies! (You can cut them as big or as small as you’d like, I cut some things smaller so there seems like more, but it’s just your preference!

veggie1

Step 4: Spread everything out evenly on the sheet tray

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Step 5: Pour 2-3 Tbsp of Olive Oil (You can use any oil, I just prefer Olive) onto the veggies

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Step 6: Sprinkle with ground black pepper and a pinch of salt (I don’t add too much else because the veggies have such great flavor on their own! I’ve added garlic powder in the past and it was good too!)

Step 7: Using your hands (or a spatula if you’re feeling fancy), spread everything around on the tray so it’s all evenly coated

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Step 8: Pop the whole tray into the oven for about 20 minutes (cooking time may vary depending on your oven). Toss the veggies with a spatula halfway through cooking.

Step 9: Serve alongside rice and the protein of your choice!

ENJOY!

 

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On the Mend and Finding Value in Myself

I’ve had some heaviness on my heart lately. I haven’t been as willing to put my faith where it should be. But I choose today to start to repair; to put my heart back where it should be.

This is the reading I came across today:

This third time I am coming- to you. “On the testimony of two or three witnesses a fact shall be established.” I warned those who sinned earlier-and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not be lenient,- since you are looking for proof of Christ speaking in me. He is not weak toward you but powerful in you. For indeed he was crucified out of weakness, but he lives by the power of God. So also we are weak in him, but toward you we shall live with him by the power of God.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, of course, you fail the test. I hope you will discover that we have not failed. But we pray to God that you may not do evil, not that we may appear to have passed the test but that you may do what is right, even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we are weak but you are strong. What we pray for is your improvement.

I am writing this while I am away, so that when I come I may not have to be severe in virtue of the authority that the Lord has given me to build up and not to tear down.

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.12Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you

2 Corinthians 13:1-13

As I was reading today’s scripture, I heard this loud and clear: “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Cor. 13:11.

“Mend your ways.” A lot of the heaviness I’ve had is finding value in myself; finding my purpose in life.  I’ve been searching for validation in all the wrong places.  Whether it was the number on the scale, the amount of social media following I had, or the amount of money I had in the bank; I learned that I was never going to find the answer there.  “Mend your ways.” Start looking inside for your value.  “Mend your ways.”  Start looking to God to see that there is joy in every experience.  Every second that my heart is beating is a gift– a gift that I should rejoice in and be grateful for.  “Encourage one another, agree with one another.”  These are all lessons that can be applied to every second that our hearts are beating to make these experiences of life that much more joyful.

“Live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

I take this reflection to pray for anyone who is searching for their own validation.  I pray that you choose to look inward, and to God.  You don’t need someone else to prove to you that you have value.  I pray that you already know you do.

Enjoy your day!

-Briana

Summer Goals

Good morning!

So a few days ago I started a workout/healthy eating regimen with my sister.  She kicks butt and I wanted to do the same.  Anyways, I decided, for accountability purposes to create a list of goals and use social media to hold myself accountable within that platform each day.  I made a list of goals for the program:

  1. Build some muscle
  2. Build endurance (not only running, but in normal everyday activities like not getting winded walking up steps)
  3. Get my nutrition/ water intake in check and help my skin to clear up!
  4. Also maybe get some sun.

Yesterday, while I was in a “goal-list making” mood, I decided to write down some summer goals.  I started out okay with my first goal: Stick with workout/meal plan.

Perfect. I can do that. I already did 3 days.  How difficult can the next three months be? And, ideally, the habits will continue past that.

Goal #2: Show up for yourself.

This one hit somewhere deep in my gut. AKA, my goal list got real deep, real fast.

It’s easy to pick up a program or new project, (in my case a workout regimen), that gets you super motivated at first and then a few days/weeks/months later, you’re back to what you were doing before.  Life happens.  You skip a session to go to that thing you committed to a few weeks ago that you totally forgot about but you told so-and-so that you’d go.  Or you overslept because your bed was just really comfy and that new super soft blanket was just calling your name for another half hour instead of getting up and eating a real breakfast to replenish yourself.  Soon after, you realize you’re back to square one, the very place you were when you decided you needed a change.

Busy wives/mommas/sisters/friends etc.– We all have someone else we decide to show up for everyday.  How often do we show up to support ourselves?  At one point you were in a place where you felt as though you weren’t being your best.  A place where you said, “You know what? I’m going to do this thing! I’m strong and I need this to feel that strength!”  And you did it!  But what keeps you from continuing to do it?

Show up for yourself.

After a few other well thought-out goals, the list ended with the most important (at least for me).

Goal #5: Live with Purpose.

This has become less of a goal for me, but more a choice I make everyday.  I just need a gentle reminder sometimes.

Everything I say or do or think about saying or doing has to serve a purpose.  Don’t argue just to argue.  Don’t speak just to hear yourself talk.  While it is important to show up for yourself in your life everyday, it’s also important to be there for someone else.  Show up for yourself when you need it; Show up for those you care about when they need it.  Speak from your heart.  Take things as they come and find a way to create something from it.  Don’t let your circumstances dictate the way you know in your heart you want to respond.  Feel something for goodness sake.  Take that extra minute outside in the fresh air before walking into work and feel your purpose for being in this world.

(Okay, I’m done with the cliché list-making now). But you get the idea.

Love you all ❤

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Searching for Alignment

57995768-A3C1-457B-9BD1-B08E3B257469.jpegWith the beginning of a new year, I looked to start anew. I have been working hard to strengthen myself spiritually and emotionally. Through all of my meditations, prayers, oils, and soul searching I thought I was really getting somewhere. Until the beginning of the year brought the loss of someone very close to me. This event was a true test for me to find peace in a devastating situation. Through the following weeks, I tried all of my usual ‘go-to’ methods for when I was feeling off. Long meditation sessions; not to mention the fact that my lavender and frankensence oil supply was quickly deminishing. All the things that ‘always work’ suddenly we’re leaving me at a loss. My days were filled with emotions which caused me fight back tears in the middle of the work day. Something just wasn’t right.

At work that evening, I was working to help a customer find a lost item. As I was assisting her, another customer came over in tears. She had lost an important piece of jewelry. She stated that it wasn’t valuable, just sentimental. While assisting the first customer, she decided to double check her purse for her lost item. All of a sudden, she reaches down into her purse to find a small silver ring wrapped in a stack of receipts. She held it up and the other customer burst into tears (a few were welling up in my eyes at that point too) when she realized it was what she had been missing. Right at that moment I looked at the clock to see 11:11.

Something shifted for me.

It was as though I went to the spiritual chiropractor. I felt elevated; a weight lifted from my chest, a much needed breath of fresh air.

Moral of the story: stop looking for alignment in your life. When you really need it, it’ll find you.

YOU Decide What’s Valid

For every one of you who are working hard to keep your head up, to stay positive in situations that would normally bring you down; for everyone succeeding at this task, and for those who struggle here and there, I’m going to ask you to do something challenging for just a moment.

I’m going to ask you to think of a time when another person said something to you or about you that made you question your value.  Think of a time when someone said something about you that made you burn with anger while holding back tears of defeat.  A time when everything seemed to be going well and then this one person caused your entire energy to shift to a darker place.

Stay with me here.

What did they say that caused you to shift so drastically?  Was it about your appearance? Did they insult a project you’ve been working so hard on and completely rendered it invalid to them?  Or did they simply say something critical toward a portion of your life where you’ve worked through insecurities?

Okay, now that you have those negative feelings back in focus for just a second, take a step back.

Do YOU find validity in the statement that made you so upset? Is the statement that person made out of anger or impulse during a difficult situation for them ring true in YOUR mind?

If the answer is NO (spoiler alert, the answer is no), then you have already shifted back to your positive energy where you belong.

For example, working in customer service for so long, I’ve been called many things besides my name.  I’ve actually been impressed many times by how creative customers can be with their insults when they’re angry.  I used to let these outbursts get me down so quickly because I was putting all of my positive energy on the back burner by putting invalid truth into their statements, rather than keeping my own truths forward.

Remember this next time.

If there is no truth to a statement someone puts in front of you, give it the same attention you would give to someone telling you that the grass is purple (i.e. nonsense).

 

New year, high vibes.

-Briana