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! ('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 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, 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,

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Simple Egg Hash for Dinner

To be completely honest, a breakfast hash is my secret to getting dinner on the table and getting dinner on the table FAST. Actually, come to think about it, we never really have a hash meal for breakfast. My hash dinners consist of whatever I have in the fridge or on my counter at the time, so each meal tends to be different. With that being said, the four ingredients I always toss in the pan are a meat, a potato, greens, and veggies. When finished add an egg on top (however you like your egg best), and VOILA! Dinner is served.

These meals work best on nights when I walk through the door around 6 p.m. and find Mr. B raiding the fridge because he's starving. On those evenings I know the skillet is coming out and we'll be sitting down to dinner in 30 minutes.

One thing I want to point out is I did struggle with my potatoes. Potatoes can take FOREVER and a day to cook! But last Christmas, my grandma gave each grandchild this cloth-contraption-thingy that cooks potatoes PERFECTLY, and I'm not exaggerating here, in the microwave in less than eight minutes. It's perfect for baked potatoes, and I promise, you will have the fluffiest spud ever. So on days when I'm in a hurry (like for my hash dinners), I throw a few washed potatoes in the contraption sack and under-cook them, about 5 minutes in the microwave. By the time the meat and veggies are cooked, the potatoes are ready to add to the pan for crisping.

Y'all NEED one of these! And I apologize because I have no idea where she purchased it. I think she said she bought them in Amish country. Those Amish really know their potatoes!

Egg Hash Dinner
Serves however many mouths you need to feed

*Adjust the ingredients to fit the number of servings needed and the ingredients in your fridge.

Chicken or vegetable broth
Baby red potatoes, slightly under-cooked
Sliced mushrooms
Chopped bell peppers
Chopped onion
a big container of kale
Eggs, over-easy (1-2 per person)
hot sauce, for drizzling (optional)

In a large skillet, saute mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers in broth until desired crispness is reached (add more broth as needed). When vegetables have 2-3 minutes to go, add in kale, potatoes and kielbasa. Cook until warmed through, a bit crispy, and kale has wilted down. There are two ways to cook the eggs: Cook them in a separate pan the way you prefer, whether scrambled, poached, or sunny-side-up, etc., and then add on top once hash is plated. The other way I like to cook them with this meal is in the same skillet. I make little pockets by scooting the vegetables and meat to the side and cracking the egg over the holes in the skillet (this can also be done in a ramekin and then poured into the made holes). With the heat on low, cover the skillet and allow the eggs to cook to preferred liking. Serve on plates immediately. We like ours drizzled with a little Red Hot.

With Love and God Bless,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Eight Things I'm Loving Right Now

1.  Everyone is all about the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. All about the PSLs. However, I'm all about the Pumpkin Spice Americanos. I'm all about the #PSAs. I'm starting a movement. Jump on that bandwagon, people! It's delicious.

2. A bandwagon I have jumped on is Shakeology. But I don't like it. I wish I did because so many do. However, it's expensive so Mr. B is glad I don't. I'm trying my hardest to mix the protein packets with whatever fruit, coffee, nut butter, and milk I can find. A few mixtures I can tolerate, others... not so much. BUT, I am loving the CIZE workout program I signed up for with the Shakeology. It's cardio. It's moving. It's dancing. I am having a blast! LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Now, I'm looking for another program I might want for Christmas....

3.This breakfast obsession has now turned into a quick dinner love affair. I ate this pear, egg, and cheese combo for five meals straight before I actually realized I'd been eating it for five meals straight. Although I'm currently not eating it for every meal, I am returning to it about every other day. I can't help it, these pears are so juicy right now!

4. Now that school is back in session, kids are overtaking the library. I can't help but love searching the stacks and asking question after question until I find a child or parent the book they're looking for. I love going on these little treasure hunts, whether it's for a school assignment or a book to share at bed time, I love finding something the patron will enjoy.

5.It's fall so that means TV shows are back in full swing. And that actually means nothing to me because we don't have cable, but we have some hi-tech bunny ears that give us access to the local channels. And that means I am loving my Hawaii Five-O and Blue Bloods. The only shows I watch. And last seasons' episodes are now on Netflix!! Woot. Woot. I am a big, huge fan of McGarrett. Mr. B is well aware ;)

6. With the weather changing and all, I'm getting back into the routine of using my doterra difuser at night. I'm obsessed with the Cassia; it's cinnamon fragrance is wonderful and calming, which actually helps Mr. Darcy relax more quickly around bed time. It's fantastic.

7. Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Herbal Tea. In love. I must have a cup in the afternoon at work. I must have a cup in the evening after dinner. I must say, it is fall in a cup.

8. Oh, and do I need to mention FALL. And FOOTBALL. And chilly weather. And the BEAUTIFUL outside scenery. And APPLES, PUMPKINS, and CIDER! I am so blessed to be living in such a lovely state to experience THE best season. Gosh, I cannot tell you all how much it it my favorite.

With Love and God Bless,

Friday, October 2, 2015

My Beautiful [Highlighted Summer]

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.]

Enjoying my morning devotional on the deck with coffee and Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy was quickly over IT.

On our way to Hocking Hills! Mr. Darcy loves going on vacation with us.

Back in June we got our first egg from a chicken. With five chickens, we get a steady five eggs a day. Fresh eggs are wonderful.

My co-workers decorated my office in celebration of my birthday. I love them. They know me so well.

My bestie took me on the wine train for my birthday. It was completely crazy. I love her. She knows me so well.

Drive-in date nights are a summer MUST.

Camping with Nana and Papa.

With Love and God Bless,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's October and I'm Back!

Well, HELLO!

(Every time I say this, I do it with Mrs. Doubtfire's voice. I watched that movie waayyy too many times as a child.)

Gosh, I hope y'all had a great summer. A relaxing summer. There for awhile mine was quite wet, actually. We definitely had an odd summer here in Ohio. Even the Summer Reading program at my library was a bit off... Yet, I was still giddy with the idea that it's over and I have time on my hands at work. A little bit of breathing room, filled with hours of weeding and maintaining the collection....and then September hit. Programs started back up and wait, where did summer go? And the calendar is telling me it's October?!?!

A few short words on what I was up to these past few months....

I was in over my head with super hero training and boot camp library programs, surrounded by hundreds of mosquitoes (I couldn't even enjoy my backyard), full on ice cream and fair fries, caffeinated on never-ending glasses of iced coffee, and forever tired because I kept stumbling across crazy-good books and new-to-me series that.I.couldn' <--- I'll talk about these good reads soon! Sadly, we lost a chicken along the way, but the other five are doing just grand.

Mr. B and I were busy with painting and a few home improvement tasks. But in the meantime we had many movie date nights, a couple camping excursions, county fair stops, and spent a long weekend in Frankenmuth. Y'all know how much I love this place! Gahhh, can't get enough. Christmas everywhere. All the time.

Although, I have to admit, it was odd celebrating my love for all things Christmas in 80-degree weather.

Oh, and birthdays were celebrated.

It's good to be back. :)

Next post is coming soon; until then, enjoy cuteness on little legs!

With Love and God Bless,