Tuesday, December 22, 2015


1. I finished weeding the juvenile biographies today, and oh my stars, look at these! My poor young patrons. Hahaha, oh thank goodness these went out the door! Collection embarrassment. I mean just look at Britney. And do we even remember there was a Venus to Serena?

2. I'm really craving a chocolate milkshake right now. Like really, really craving one. Like somebody get over here and bring me a chocolate shake! Pleeasssseee. With a cherry on top. (But not really 'cause those things are toxic. "Don't you know that your toxic?")

3. Are we ready for Christmas? Ummm, definitely not over here. Christmas is in two days and I still have gifts to purchase and wrap and how is Christmas in two days?!

4. I have not been in the Christmas spirit at all this season. All the decorations, the baking, the carols, the lights...I don't really care about any of it this year. And I love Christmas. But right now, just bring on 2016 already!

5. Speaking of 2016...any goals or resolutions?

With Love and God Bless,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Music Love

My latest music obsession.

I went to bed singing it, I woke up singing it. Heck, I think I might have been singing it in my sleep. However, you cannot ask Mr. B to verify this because he's a deep, deep sleeper. I mean, a car could hit our house and he wouldn't know. Oh, wait.... ha ha.

Anyhoo, my latest listener is Maren Morris' "My Church." Finally, the official video came out, so sit back and enjoy her voice and this wonderful country-country song. And turn it up. Loud. LOVE THIS.

Can I get an amen?!

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cookies for Days

Not to brag, but Jess and I are getting really good at this whole baking extravaganza cookie thing.

Two years running now, we succeeded in making dozens of cookies without any major disasters. No burnt Pretzel Bark, no forgotten ingredients, no cookies in a heap on the floor, no time-consuming meals, and no major messes (well almost, you see, flour is tricky thing...).

This eighth(!) year was a roaring success. At the end of the day, we had 10 different cookies and one bark. Oh, and a couple scars.


Yes, if I could sum up this year's baking day with one word, "ouch" along with a few other choice words comes to mind.

And it's a new word for us. We might have been picking up cookies from the floor for years and cleaning flour off the walls and breaking utensils, but we're pretty good at knowing things are hot.

Apparently, I forgot this at 9 am when we started making the Brown Butters. I think the name itself is warning enough. Yet, when I decided to remove the saucepan full of boiling browned butter from the stove so it wouldn't burn I forgot. I continued to stir. I continued to chat. And then some splattered out of the pan and onto my barefoot. Oh my mother-loving stars!

First off, I have to admit, this is the first baking extravaganza not to require socks or thick slippers because it's 60 freaking degrees outside. In December! In Ohio! How are we supposed to chill our extra dough if there's no snow?! Why is it not cold enough to let the bark set up outside, and instead I have to shove it in my freezer, where there is no room because Mr. B thought a half empty freezer is no good and he must stock it with meat the day before our cookie baking madness?! But I digress.

Thank you, Jesus, for lavender oil. When I was finally able to form decent coherent words, Jessica handed me the oil and I rubbed it all over the top of my foot. Within the hour the burn was gone, the mark was gone, and I was beyond grateful in a happy dance form. I was lucky, however, Jessica was not. I'm going to blame it on her pregnant brain, but she too forgot hot things are hot. Baking sheets straight from a hot oven are hot. Yeah, she pulled a Brindi. I still have the scars from last July. I'm sure she will have the scar this time next year; it's bigger and angrier. Ouch! Unfortunately, the lavender oil only soothed her. It's funny how sensitive the skin on our forearm truly is. It's also funny the words that come out of our lady mouths.

Other than the pain, we had quite the sugar-filled, fun day. The Brown Butters turned out to be the tastiest ones we've made in a while, and Mr. B can attest to said tastiness. Definitely. In fact we even tripled the batter, giving us well over 175 of these bite-sized cookies. The first cookies started, the last ones finished. As we were frosting these bad boys, Mr. B kept walking by and grabbing them. Soon I realized he was eating them faster than I was frosting them. I had to tell him to stop because we had them counted and still had to divide them up. Jessica gave me a this-is-why-we-do-it-at-my-house look. As Monica says, I know!

In the end, we ended up with 80 Brown Butters each. Yet, it was odd. When I got home from work the next evening there were only 30 of these delectable cookies in the entire house. These 30 now reside in the back of the freezer. Mr. B is verbally not happy about this.

With Love and God Bless,

Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Beautiful Month

In case you aren't on Instagram, or don't follow me, here's a peek at my Insta-Life lately.
[*All photos are taken from my Instagram account.]

Too many books and not enough time. True story.

'Tis the season for hot chocolate, and Starbucks puts crack in theirs. (Well, don't quote me on that, but it's sooo good. I'm sooo addicted.)

Magic Tree House madness at work.

Playing this on the radio?!?!?! Yesssssss!

Oh, I bought a new car. Meet Tara. Tara, this is everyone. (Bonus points if you know her namesake.)

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, November 30, 2015

Virtual Coffee Date

I pray everyone had a happy, healthy, blessed, and FILLING Thanksgiving. I know I did... If we were having coffee right now, I know you'd want to hear about the family and what craziness happened at this year's dinner table, but I'm just dying to share my Christmas baking list with y'all and I just can't wait.

But priorities first, get your coffee (and maybe a few cookies since y'all be starved for them by the time you read this post) and then take a peek at my list.

First off, I made a list. I checked it twice. I checked last year's list, and the year before that, and the year before that... and I completely ignored all of the cookies I failed to make. They will be made one day. They will not be forgotten. But I can't help it. I see a new cookie recipe the day before and my plans change. Wait. Is that something shiny?

I always make at least 8 different types of cookies (why eight? It's my favorite, it's powerful, it just happens), and this year I think I'll choose two recipes for each category and decide later on. So, here we go!

1. The one cookie that just screams Christmas: The Sugar Cookie
2. The obvious cookie: The Chocolate Chip Cookie
3. The must-have-or-everyone-gets-mad cookie: The Brown Butters with Caramel Frosting
  • The Famous Brown Butters (Obviously, except this year I might make them on their own separate day, so I can make plenty for EVERYBODY.)
  • I'm not sure if I want to go with Pretzel Bark again or maybe try a new scone recipe (possibly Maple Pecan Scones)
4. My traditional Christmas cookie: The Snickerdoodle
5. My absolute-favorite-cookie-in-the-whole-wide-world: The Almond Blueberry Cookie
6. The random cookie: Something with "Apple" (I have no idea why, but this has become a thing)
  •  Apple & Spice Cookies (found scribbled on a random note card in the back of a cookbook)
  •  No-Bake Tiramisu Cookies (no idea why I place them in this category....)
7. The "Girls Only!" cookie: Something with LEMON (this is a must for me and Mama)
8. The must-not-forget-Daddy cookie: The Chocolate [Something] Cookie
  • Chocolate Crackle Tops or Chocolate Kisses
  • Mocha Latte Logs (I've been wanting to make these all year!)
I plan to make my Raspberry Rudolph Noses for my Charlie Brown Christmas program at work. And I'm thinking about making some Earl Grey Truffles for hostess gifts this year. They sound fabulous. Instant invitation to parties ;)

Wouldn't these go perfectly with your coffee?

Happy Holiday Baking!

What's on your baking list this season?
With Love and God Bless,

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I'm currently....

Watching.... My husband has me addicted to the Netflix's sereis, Longmire. It's like the main character was a student of Chuck Norris, but in a much more subtle, mysterious, Wyoming way. And everyone is against Branch, but he's secretly my favorite and everyone needs to be nicer to him!! Mr. B now refuses to call Mr. Darcy anything but Corgmire.

Eating.... For the life of me, I cannot.get.enough.Golden.Delicious.apples. Like.not.enough. Right now they are the sweetest thing. And so juicy. I can't stop eating them. Over the weekend I had four within a 24-hour period. I'm usually more of a Granny Smith kind of girl. I like a good pucker. But these... these are the best thing in life right now.

Planning.... Thanksgiving dinner menu!!! Bring on the sides and the leftovers and not having to cook for two days.

Reading.... Yesterday I started a recently published book, The Bronte Plot. It's labeled as "Christion Fiction", but so far I'm not seeing it. I'm about halfway through and it is good. The main character finds, buys, and sells rare books...but not necessarily in the most honest way. Now she's embarking on a London literary tour of sorts, hoping that going back will help her move forward. I'm a sucker for main characters in book professions, set in book stores, and anything to do with literature. Sucker, I tell ya.

Inspired by.... the children I work with. The things they say, their views and opinions, what they're thankful for, what they are happy about, their smiles... melts my heart <3

Excited about....ummm, I'm off until Monday, y'all! And starting with seeing my family tomorrow, I have a lot planned over the next few days, like Christmas shopping (actually on Black Friday, hence the FRIDAY part), gathering for the Big Game (please come back from your atrocious display last Saturday, Buckeyes! I'm begging you!), and putting out the rest of the Christmas decor, and yes, baking. It's never too early, my friends.

Have a healthy, happy, and blessed Thanksgiving!

With Love and God Bless,

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


1. I'm making it a priority to make time for myself here and there before the holiday obligations commence. I can get sooooo wrapped up in shopping, decorating, baking, giving, traditions, and visiting that before I know it I'm overwhelmed and lose focus of the reason for the season. Which is Jesus, my friends. It's always Jesus.

2. So, I'm taking time to get organized as well. I came across this handy-dandy November to-do list. This is right up my alley. After this weekend, I will be on top of things.

3. As part of my me time, on my past Monday off, I went shopping. For work pants only. I was in desperate need of new dress pants. And where else can a short, petite lady shop than my favorite store Banana Republic. Talk about perfect timing, too. All pants were 30% off. I scored a cute gray pair for less than ten bucks! At Banana Republic!! And I wasn't even at the outlet store!!! My love for you is strong, BR.

4. On a more unfortunate side of things, Mr. B found a tick on Mr. Darcy this morning. Ick. He had one last year at this time. He just loves playing in the leaves. And we can't keep him out of the woods. My poor little pup. I feel like a fur-parent failure. I gave him extra eggs this morning to make up for the trauma.

5. As you can see in my above photo...guess what's back? It's red cup Season. Yes! Which means it's hot caramel apple spice season. Yes!! Which eventually turns into hot chocolate season. Yes!! Annnnd Starbucks hot chocolate is like a drug, people. Addictive with a capital A-DDICTIVE.

5. Oh, and this weather?!?! It's November. It's 75 degrees in Ohio. In November. I mean do we get out the pool or rake the leaves? Do we dig out the patio furniture or the Christmas lights? What is going on.... ??

With Love and God Bless,

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My Beautiful Month

In case you aren't on Instagram, or don't follow me, here's a peek at my Insta-Life lately.
[*All photos are taken from my Instagram account.]

Having a little fun with a co-worker's office :)

Daddy and I on our coffee date, about to get our GARTH BROOKS on.

Homemade apple butter season.

Not quite the morning person dog.

With Love and God Bless,

Friday, October 30, 2015

7. Football

So, back to a few of my favorite things.

Now is the perfect season for me to slide in this huge FAVORITE. I know I have mentioned my love for this game many, many times on here, but it is time to make it official.

For fear of waxing on and on, and making this post longer than it already may be, let me just summarize my feelings with a few significant and favorite football moments.
  • How almost every person in my family has their own favorite team. We have the Browns camp, the Bengals, the Cowboys, the Vikings camp, the 49ers, the Packers camp, (and unfortunately, the Steelers <--- married in, so we don't count this. Not sorry.) We're a loud, beautiful, rivalry mess. Sundays are interesting, let me tell you. Christmas can also get people worked up.
  • That time (Thanksgiving, I think) Dallas was beating the Steelers and someone got a little miffed and turned the TV off. Let's just say my father was not amused and decided to leave the family gathering. While picking him up on the side of the road, my mother was not amused. However, my brother and I thought it was the best moment ever.
  • My senior year of high school, when Daddy took me to my first Cleveland Browns game (even though it was a pre-season game and we got completely lost in Cleveland on the way home)
  • When I first met Mr. B and had to tell my father he was a 49ers fan. I quickly told him Mr. B's mother was Steelers fan and we could be equally disappointed together. Forever.
  • When Mr. B invited me over to watch football with him and his dad. It's quite the dramatic, emotional, and nerve-wracking experience ever. And I thought my family was intense! I decided to document the various stages of this madness for my college photography course final. I don't think my professor was impressed. Huge fail. (At least my up-until-then A balanced me out, and I ended up with a C.)
  • The fact the Browns have WON every single game when I have been in attendance. Get me more tickets, people!
  • The weekend we were in Buffalo for the 49ers-Buffalo game. Mr. B proposed. It was quite the memorable event.
  • A few weeks ago, for the first time ever (at least for the time my family and I can remember) all FOUR of our teams won. !!!!! Oh my goodness! (...it's a shaky egg. <--- children's librarian humor. If you don't get, just move on.) I think you-know-what just froze over. <insert huge happy dance break and mass celebration> However, my husband's team did not win that week. Who knows if all FIVE of our teams will ever claim victory in the same seven-day period. BUT, the original four celebrated. woot-woot
*Disclaimer: I haven't looked up these stats to know for certain if this was the first time Cleveland, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Minnesota all won. We would need to go back to 1994-1995 season and check. If you have time for that, feel free to let me know if this is correct. Of course, read in a whisper---> we lost a few seasons when my Brownies moved for those few bitter years.

<insert huge emotional meltdown> But then I became a huge COWBOYS fan, just like my daddy. And then the Browns came back and I thought, I must go back to the Dawg Pound! Little did I know we.are.to.suck.forever. Apparently.

But I can't abandon them! Not like they abandon me in my youth! (Sidebar: I'm a closet Dallas fan. I can't abandon them! Mr. B is not happy about this, by the way. It's something we don't discuss, really. We also don't discuss the fact his mother waves a Terrible Towel. It's why we're still married. House divided, anyone?)

Oh, and then of course there's the one team that unites us all:

I'm sorry, have you seen our trophy?

We are serious about our BUCKEYES. O-H!

And a shout out to my alma mater! Go Flashes!

Actually, my favorite thing about the football season is how it brings my family together every Saturday and Sunday. Traditions are made, fun is had, craziness is a given. I love it. I love it all.

**Annnnddd.... in no particular order, you can find my other favorite things here, and here, and here, and there! Ooops, there's one here, too. And a little half over here.

With Love and God Bless,

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Music Love

I'm a huge lover of music.

Country and contemporary Christian are my favorites. Forget all that pop stuff (cough, and I could really do without the pop in my county, cough). With that being said, I wanted to start a new monthly post series featuring my latest music obsession. Right now that is Thomas Rhett's new one, "Die a Happy Man." I just can't get over the beauty of the lyrics and simple guitar chords and the video is beautiful. His wife is GORGEOUS. If you aren't familiar, I hope you enjoy!

With Love and God Bless,

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What I'm Reading {Five Favorites}

Since I took a winded break during the summer, I'd like to share with you all my top favorites from the books I devoured the past few months. And when I say devoured...clearly the understatement of the year. And when I say my top favorites...clearly a very hard decision, which left me second-guessing myself for a week as I prepared this post.

For my adult book, HANDS DOWN, I'm choosing Go Set a Watchman. Harper Lee's second novel.... I don't even know where to begin with my feelings for this one. Two and a half stars is what I wanted, desperately, to give this at first. OH MY GOODNESS. The last 20 pages were the book's saving grace. I was about to throw it in the front yard.

So much to say, this could be a post in itself, I don't know where to start. Viewing this book apart from To Kill a Mockingbird, I completely understand why the publisher asked Lee to write a beginning/background, per se, to Go Set a Watchman, which, in case you didn't know, was actually written prior to Mockingbird. WOW. I went through quite a roller coaster of emotions while reading this (I can see why Lee never wanted it to see the light of day). There was one point I was so upset I had decided to read it, afraid it would forever ruin my beloved Mockingbird. BUT, as I said, those last 20 pages.... I can understand it. I can understand what happened and why. Not saying anything more, as to not give anything away, I UNDERSTAND. My advice to those considering reading Watchman, keep going. Don't put it down. Finish it, and then sit back and think on it for a while. Think on the time period it's about, the time it should have been published.... Reading or re-reading Lee's first work is a must, I suggest, before reading this one. I might even go back and re-read To Kill a Mockingbird again for the second time this year. But then maybe...no, I'll just think on this one a little more. And that's the best thing about this novel. You want to see someone get fired up? You want to see an intense debate? You want to see a room divided? Bring up this book! I love hearing and having discussions centered around Harper Lee and her second work.

One more thought: I think Go Set a Watchman might have had it's own success if it had been released on the heels of the acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird. It could've started another civil war. It could've been the South's saving grace. Who knows.... WOW.

Candace Cameron Bure's (aka D.J. Tanner) book, Balancing It All, is my recommended title for my beloved Christian genre. As the title implies, it digs into God's Word in relation to our chaotic lives, how to balance it all in a godly way. I like how Bure mentions, and often, how when things get a little too hectic, unbalanced and overwhelming, we need to take a moment and reconnect with God. To make sure we are following His plans for our lives and not our own. She delivers this message in an encouraging and non-condescending way, which makes it a great book to pick up.

For my audio book, I have to say my favorite listening experience belongs to The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It was definitely a five-stars audio. I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I'd been putting it off, but I don't know why. I have the movie at home and haven't watched it because I wanted to get through the book first. And, yes, there were tears...many, many tears. Yet, here's the best part: the whole time I was reading with my ears, I kept thinking my friend Jessica would enjoy it, and I should recommend it to her. Well, I had just finished it and was ready to give her my full suggestion and opinion the next time we phoned each other. Lo and behold, she had a book to recommend to me; it was The Time Traveler's Wife. We are two peas in a pod, I tell ya! And this isn't the first time something like this happened. Way back in college, during summer break, I called to tell her I just bought a new car. Before I could get it out she blurted out she had just purchased a new car. Like I said, two peas in a pod. It's why we're best friends, ya know? So anywhooo...the phone conversation turned into a small book discussion. And I just LOVE when that happens.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson is my pick for my recent young adult favorite. Actually, I just finished this one not too long ago and I spent most of the book reading through tear-filled eyes. Even though some of the story lines were a bit predictable, I couldn't wait to get to them to feel what the characters were feeling. The plot made sense, felt realistic, broke my heart, and had me smiling through the tears. It was beautifully done, and I really, really enjoyed it. In a nutshell, Taylor's summer plans are cancelled when her dad gets some devastating news, and her parents decide the family will spent one last summer at their old lake house. However, five years ago, the last time Taylor was there, Taylor didn't really leave things on good terms and is distraught about returning to face the consequences. As you can guess, it's all about second chances and desperately battling a ticking clock.

And of course, my guilty pleasure over the last few months has been the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. And when I say over the last few months...clearly I mean over the course of a few weeks, because that is how quickly I DEVOURED this series. It came as a complete surprise. To me. To my coworkers, who know me oh-so-well. (There were actually comments along the lines of "Brindi?! Wait. Brindi is reading that?") A little background on this and why I was so shocked I couldn't put it down: I don't read books like this or this paranormal romance genre, at least not usually (and any I have fall under the category of young adult, mainly). Secondly, it wasn't really my choice to read this. For one of my *many* reading challenges, I was to use the Good Reads recommendations tool and add a genre that I didn't normally read (i.e. paranormal). Then I had to select a book from that particular listopia. I didn't like any of the titles, or story lines, but this one was a little more appealing than the others. I began it, reluctantly. Within 24 hours, I DEVOURED it. I couldn't put it down. And before I knew it August was known as my Fever month (I made it to book five, plus the graphic novel, but I had to put them down or I was never going to read anything else. Oh, and book five is a great stopping point, in case you're wondering. Also, I had no idea how BIG this series was/is). WHO KNEW? It's crazy the good reads one can stumble upon when giving a book a chance. And while I would love to divulge more of the story line, this post is long enough. So if it's piqued your interest, check it out! With that, I'll leave you with two words: JERICHO BARRONS.

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, October 19, 2015

Photo an Hour

6 AM

7 AM

8 AM

9 AM

10 AM
11 AM


1 PM

2 PM

3 PM

4 PM

5 PM

6 PM

7 PM

8 PM

9 PM

It was an early day, watching the coffee pot.
It was barn tearing down day.
It was a breath-taking, blue-sky fall day. 
It was a comfy, cozy, crafty, cider, candy apple, caffeinated day.
It was Oakridge Festival Day!
It was a day trip kind of day.
It was a frustrating day to be a Browns fan.
As always, a day to be thankful.

With Love and God Bless,