Friday, May 31, 2013

On Blogging...

As you may {or may not} have noticed,
I haven't been hanging around my blog near as much as I have in past months.

I have lots of ideas,
but these last few weeks have been extremely busy
and I've kind of run out of inspiration.
My instagram has even been a little quiet.

I've been mulling a lot of things around in my mind
of what I want to do with this space and with my shop.

However, June is a NEW month.
I have lots of ideas, some will be starting soon.

So bear with me...
and come back tomorrow for an exciting announcement! :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

This weekend went by in a hurry.
I was not ready to come back, but here I am.

Saturday, we went up to see my Granny. 
My aunt and cousins were there, and we spent an hour or so just sitting outside talking.
My Granny lives about 3 miles west of my parents.
Her house is considered, "The Farm."
This is where the guys' shop is, as well as most of the machinery.
My dad farms with one of his brothers, and my brothers help in the summer and on some weekends during the school year.
I grew up helping out on the farm as well.
**For my brothers' sake, I'll mention that I didn't help near as much as them, but I still put my time in.**
Although I'm living it the city now, I still love getting back to the country.
There's just something about the dirt roads, 4-wheeler rides, and quiet that I love.

My mom's knockout roses were absolutely gorgeous, so I made everyone take pictures after church on Sunday.

I love her sass in this picture.

We played a lot of games this weekend:  Monopoly Deal, Farkle, Wii.
I know my dad would have loved to have been able to be in the field this weekend, but I'm selfishly glad that he got to be home and spend time more time with us.
I also love that he plays the Wii with us. :)

Applesauce made me sad this weekend. 
Yes, that is our dog's name.
My brother named him...because he looks like applesauce.
Anyway, Applesauce is 15 years old.
He's losing ability in his back legs so he drags his feet.
You can tell he isn't himself because he doesn't run much anymore.
Well, he came in and was laying beside me (which is also hard for him to do), and he kept looking at me.
I knew that couldn't be comfortable, so I put a pillow under his head.
I think he liked it. :)

We also raided my parents' freezer before we left.  
We got all kinds of steak and a brisket and some hamburger.
And this barely fit in our freezer. :)

One last thing...
We are still celebrating 200 likes on our facebook page!!
Have you "liked" it yet?  
You can get the latest information regarding shop promos and items there!

You can get 25% off our purchase in the shop through this evening!!
There are also some discounted items in there as well!!

Hope you have a wonderful week!!
Did y'all do anything fun this weekend?
I'd love to hear about it!!

Friday, May 24, 2013


My blog has been quiet this week.
So has my instagram feed.
In light of this week's events, I feel as if nothing I say can help.

I have, however, been busy getting ready to go home this weekend.
Home, as in my parent's childhood home.
I am incredibly excited since I haven't been home since Christmas.
I can't believe it's been that long!
There's nothing like waking up in your old room, eating food that your momma makes ya, and sharing family time for the entire weekend.

After this wretchedly looooooong week, I'm SO thankful today is a SHORT Friday!!
So I'm joining in today for Insta-Friday.
And without further ado, here ya go!

Funny picture...yes.  Monday night, Tyler and I were facetiming with Ben, who was leaving the next morning early for North Africa.  By the way, I got word on Wednesday afternoon that they had made it safely.  Please be praying for him and the team he is with as they are sharing Christ's love.  I hope to hear from him soon. :)

I received what I would say to be the coolest planner on the face of the planet.  Why?  Because it's handmade!  The packaging is incredible.  Be on the lookout for more information about this planner in the near future!

Tuesday evening, we got to give some very dear friends of ours a "hospital survival kit."  I really hope they loved it as much as I loved shopping for it!  Their baby is due very soon!  Would you please be praying for them as well?  This is their first baby, and our Life Group is very excited for them!!

Wednesday was the 2 year anniversary of the Joplin Tornado.  Most of this week, my heart was heavy for the people of Oklahoma.  I prayed for them often and still am.  This picture was taken on May 23, 2011 from my friend's backyard.  She had just been married the day before the tornado.  I'm sure she has good/bad memories as her anniversary approaches each year.

Knowing the mid-west, we all stick together.  I was blessed to be a part of the clean-up crew many days in Joplin.  Even though my house wasn't affected {I lived 30 mins north of Joplin}, my heart was.  I was incredibly blessed to see the love of Christ shining ever so brightly in that city during such a time of darkness, devastation, and destruction.  To see the Hope spread among the people, the teamwork, the togetherness...incredible.

I pray the same will happen in Oklahoma.

This happened quite a bit this week...

Oh, and my itty-bitty shop's page reached 200 likes this week!! So we're celebrating all weekend long {through Tuesday} with 25% off in the shop!!  Thank you all for supporting me in this small business.  I love to create, and I'm so blessed when it sells!  Please enjoy!!

Have a wonderful weekend and be safe!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

4 Things for Monday


I am so thankful for the beautiful weather we had this weekend.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  We went to a Cards game, which turned out to be a good game, but we lost in the 10th inning.  Boo.


I messed up big time yesterday.  I said something that I shouldn't have, and while it was all true, my heart was ugly.  I'm sure it could have come out differently, or maybe it shouldn't have come out at all.  I wept the entire church service yesterday morning, throwing myself at the throne of God, asking for forgiveness and giving it all to Him.

One of my instagram friends had posted these verses yesterday, and it was perfect timing:

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,I was senseless and ignorant;  I was a brute beast before you.  Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
{Psalm 73: 21-24}

Today, I'm grateful for grace.  Maybe I don't just need to work on giving others grace, but receiving it from my Father, as well.


These are my brothers.  Brian is on the left and Ben is on the right.

My brother, Ben is leaving for Africa tomorrow morning.  He will be going with a group from Christian Campus House from Missouri State.  He will be gone for 2 weeks.  Would you join me in praying for their safety and that they might be able to reach the Lost for Christ while they're there?  They will be working with a team that has a close connection to CCH.  I hope to give updates as I get them. :)  I am incredibly excited for him!!


So I know that I've shared that I've been on this lifestyle change journey.  Well, that face is for real! :)  I'm feeling pretty good!  Some of my favorite things right now are:  the elliptical (my ankle/leg doesn't even hurt at all on it), the iDrated app, my Fitbit, and a red, sweaty face.  I also love my #alittletoofluffytwo girls!  They are such an encouragement on instagram and through email.  We're in this together!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Things I'm Loving Thursday

First of all, thank you so much for your kind words on Tuesday's post.
I really appreciate it.
I'm so thankful for a Savior who continues to save me day by day.
Hour by hour, even minute by minute.

It's been a while since I've done a "Things I love" post.
So it's time.

I love these necklaces that Mary and her daughter make.
You need one too!
Her shop is here.


How cute is that little wreath?
I think it just screams, "Summer."
It would be perfect for your front door.
I know Joy would want you to have one.
Get it here.


I love these mason jar glasses!!
They are the cutest!
You can get them here.


Tuesday, I jumped on the bandwagon and bought this app.
I absolutely love it.
You should get it too.
And you can find the garland here.


I love that my husband and I "work out" together.
Last night he went roller blading and I went walking.
{Yes, I know the picture is blurry}

3 weeks into our #branstetterslifestylechange and I'm feeling pretty great.
I haven't had Diet Coke in 3 weeks, and I'm working out at least 3 times a week.
I have self-diagnosed myself with chronic headaches.
I get them all. the. ding. dong. dang. time.
A while ago, I switched over to drinking Diet Coke made with Splenda.
So it's not the aspertame that is giving me headaches, 'cause there isn't any in there!
But in the 2.5 weeks that I've been on my journey, I've only had one headache.
I'd say that's improvement!


I'm also loving my new shoes.
You can find them here (cause that's where I got them).


I am loving the use of our "apartment-sized" grill. :)
I love grilled meat. Grilled veggies.
Grilled anything.
And I'm looking for some new grill recipes to try! 


What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Several months ago, the song by Big Daddy Weave was released on the radio.
The powerful lyrics resonated within my soul.

All my life I have been called unworthy

I got called "fat" every day of 3rd grade, which in turn has affected my whole life.
A woman told me I wasn't good enough to play with her daughter in middle school, who happened to be my best friend.
I got cut from my 8th grade basketball team.
I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 20 years old.
I was unemployed for awhile.

Named by the voice of my shame and regret
I believed what those boys told me.
I resented that woman.
I was hurt.
I wondered what was wrong with me.
I wasn't good enough for them.

But when I hear You whisper, "Child, lift up your head"
"I am fearfully and wonderfully made." {Psalm 139:14}
"Forgive for I have forgiven you." {Colossians 3:13}
"Let me take care of your hurt." {1 Peter 5:7}
"I know the desires of your heart." {Psalm 38:9}
"I have a plan for your future."  {Jeremiah 29:11}

I remember oh God, You're not done with me yet.
I have taken back my self esteem.
Forgiveness is liberating.
It was just a bump in the road.
I married that boy and was saved from a lot of heartache.
I am good enough...He was preparing me for the perfect job. 

I am redeemed.
Lord, You've set me free!
Free from these lies that the Enemy so wants me to believe.
Free from the tangle of heartache, hurt, and unforgiveness.

So I'll shake off these heavy chains.
The chains making me a slave to sin.

Wipe away every stain.
All those lies that I've been told and have left a print in my heart.

Now I'm not who I used to be.
Because I'm redeemed.
The Lord has taken those things from me.
He has made me a new person.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday's Randoms

Man, oh man. 
It's hard coming back to a Monday when we had such a great weekend.

First of all, the winner of the Summer Fun Jar is Breanna S!
I'll get that to you this week! :)

Those of you who read my 10 on 10 {May} post know that we had a great Life Group Shoot Day.
That was just the kick-off to a great weekend.
Saturday morning, we got up and went to the park.
We walked the trail that runs around the lake.
It was a gorgeous morning, and lots of people were there...doing exactly what we were doing.
For those of you who follow me on instagram (@beth_elaine), I've been using the hashtag #branstetterslifestylechange with all of our pictures.
Check it out!

We tried out a new sub place.
It was yummy...but not as cheap as Subway.

Sunday morning, we went shooting at the shooting range.
There are perks going to the Saturday evening service at church. :)

I also updated my etsy shop!
There are a lot of cute things there!
I added several more Summer Fun Jars/Boxes.
Check them out!

Do you do anything fun this weekend?
Tell me about it! :)

I hope y'all have a great week!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Saturday, May 11, 2013

10 on 10 {May}

One thing that I struggle with is finding the life and beauty while I'm at work for 9 hours of my day.  However, this month, I pushed myself to find it.  It really is a great thing.

I'm so grateful for many things, whether it's a snack, a little bit of peace and quiet on my lunch break, a seat warmer for my aching back, an evening full of shooting, or just sitting around talking with our Life Group...the ones who've welcomed us in with open arms and treated us like we've always been here.

There is beauty in everyday life.  Have you found it?

  ten on ten button

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Liebster Award

Abbi, over at Seasons of a Homemaker, has nominated me for a Liebster award!  I have actually been nominated before, but I really didn't know what it was.  I'm appreciative to Abbi for defining it more for me.  Thank you, Abbi, for nominating me.  It's such an honor.

What is a Liebster Award?

The Liebster award is not an actual paper award or trophy of any kind. It’s a kind of chain award that is given by anyone to anyone deemed worthy. Here are few things about it:
  • The Liebster Award is given to up-and-coming blogs of less than 200 followers.
  • It is a blogger to blogger award, you  nominate 5 bloggers with less than 200 readers, “liebster” is "dearest" in German.
  • It’s quite an honor to be chosen by another blogger for this award! 
  • It’s also another way for bloggers to get themselves “out there” and to meet other bloggers.

What do you do?
Write a post about it including the following:

  • Answer the 11 questions posted by the nominator on her blog.
  • Give 11 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5-11 other new up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  • Make up 11 more questions to pass on to the bloggers that you choose to nominate.
  • Thank your nominator in your post with a link back to her blog.
  • Upon your post going live, contact your nominees about your nomination for them.
My 11 Questions, answered:
  1. Why did you start your blog? What were your goals?   I started my blog right before I got married.  I wanted a way to remember my track what I was learning...and to just be a "journal" for me to write in.  I didn't have many goals, other than I wanted to be committed to it.
  2. Who are your blogging role models?  I don't know if I'm a fan of the term "role mode," because I feel like it puts a lot of pressure on people...especially after someone has deemed you their role model.   I have a lot of bloggers that I look up to, learn from, and love how they write.  Those are the ones that I look most forward to reading.  Those blogs would include Top of the Page, The Honey Pot, and Take the Cannoli.
  3. Your perfect day would be?  At this moment in time, my perfect day would include being surrounded by my family and doing something (not working) together all day long with no interuptions (ie cell phones).  We are scattered among the state and rarely home at the same time, so I would love to all be together.
  4. Food you would pack for one year?   This one would be a hard one...I like food (if you couldn't tell by all the recipes I post).  There would be a lot of food I could pack for a year, but the most important would have to be peanut butter. :)
  5. Favorite quote?  "Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10
  6. Blog post or posts your proud of?  I might say that my posts I'm most proud of might be this one or this series.  Oh and this one, too!
  7. What made you fall in love with your husband?  I don't know that there would be one particular thing that made me fall in love with was more of a process for me:  knowing that he was my best friend, that I could tell him anything and he wouldn't judge me for it, and my secrets were not only safe with him, but that I could be myself around him and not have to put on a facade around him (which you shouldn't do).
  8. Money was no object and you already had the education necessary, what would you do when you grew up?  I believe that one day I will have the opportunity to live out my dearest dreams.  When that time comes, I will be a stay-at-home momma taking care of my babies.  I would also like to keep pursuing my etsy shop so that I can still do that while I'm at home.
  9. Guilty pleasure?  I think that I would unashamedly admit that it would be watching The Bachelor/The Bachelorette and texting my mom throughout the entire show. :)
  10. Favorite charity to donate to? Why?  I don't necessarily donate to a certain charity per se, but rather we give to our church and where God leads.
  11. What is the BEST thing about you?  Oh wow, this one is difficult.  I don't like to blatantly (haha) brag about myself...but I WILL brag on the One that should be bragged on.  The best thing about me is that I know Jesus Christ.  He is the One who makes me who I am.  Without Him, I am nothing
My 11 facts about me:
  1. I love accounting.
  2. I hate wearing shoes, but I love shopping for them.
  3. I love butterflies...I've loved them since I was 10 years old.
  4. I'm some-what musically inclined.  I played the flute (and still do when I get a chance) for 8 years in band, and I also played the piano for more than that...I preferred flute over piano.
  5. I've wanted to learn how to play the violin since I was in college.  It hasn't happened yet, and it probably never will.
  6. I have more friends via instagram and blogging than I do in real life.
  7. I call my mom every day and talk to her.  She's my best friend.
  8. When my daddy gave me away at my wedding, he didn't say "Her mother and I."  He wrote me a poem and recited it.  It's framed and sitting on my mantle.  I would love to share it, but I'm afraid someone would steal it and copy it for themselves...however, it is all about me, so I might *think* about sharing it.
  9. One thing that really annoys me:  when I'm wearing socks around the house and there might be a spot of water on the floor and I step in it. UGH!  Then I have to go change my socks!
  10. I'm not ready to be a mom.  There is still so much about life that I want to enjoy without kids.  Kids are forever, and I'm not ready for that commitment yet. :)  So that whole "stay-at-home mom" comment up there...just remember that it's far in the future. ;)
  11. Someday I hope to take a mission trip to Africa to work with people who have AIDS. 
WHEW!  I made it!

So here are my nominees for the Liebster Award.  Choose to participate or not, it's your choice!  I think it's a little fun getting to know y'all a bit more! :)

Ladies, here are my questions for you:
  1. Why and when did you begin blogging?
  2. What is your best blogging tip?
  3. What is your biggest accomplishment?
  4. What do you do in your free time?
  5. How did you meet your husband/significant other?
  6. What books have you read recently?
  7. What is something that you have learned recently?
  8. What is something you want to learn?
  9. What is your favorite food?
  10. How is your typical Friday night spent?
  11. Who are your blogger "inspirations?"

Monday, May 6, 2013

Random Tidbits {and a giveaway}

This rain that we've been having is getting old, real quick!
I don't know what happened to our warm weather and sunshine!
Please come back!!
I hear we may have some sun for a couple of days...
and then more rain!!
I think my dad might be planting corn in June...hmmm.

My husband fixed my car this week.
Wanna know how?
...Google and Youtube. 
I've had this "hum" since last fall.
I got my tires rotated because I thought that might have had an effect. Nope.
Then I got all new tires {not to see if that fixed it, well, sort of...but also because I needed them}. Nope.
Finally, a couple weeks ago, it was so I can't go 70 mph because it "hums" so bad.
As in...I have to drive 62 mph or 73 mph.  There's no in between because it's so bad.
My husband...the smart, resourceful, techy person that he is, googled my problem.
Sure enough, other people had the same problem.
So Monday evening, he went out there, jacked up my car, took my brake drum off, and finally took the wheel bearing off.
He wanted to make sure that's what it was before he spent money on the part.
It was.  The part stores didn't have the part we needed.
Good thing too, it was $30 more than just ordering online ourselves.
And that's what we did.
He changed it out in the rain, too.
If that ain't true love, I don't know what is. :)
I love him, and I'm so thankful for him!

I won this phone case from the amazing Lindsay over at Pen and Paint.
How amazing is that?!?   I never win!!
This is her artwork on a phone case!!
I think it's pretty incredible.
Oh, you want one too?
You can get yours here.
She also has amazing artwork in her shop, which you can find here.

Last week, I mentioned that I wanted to do some organizing.
Saturday morning, Tyler and I went out to do some shopping, and I was in luck.
I found what I wanted!
I'll be sure to show you the finished product soon!!

I also got some new shoes for my workouts!
So far, I like them.
{I've only worn them once.}

Oh, and more of that home improvement?
Welcome to my front door, Cute Rug. :)
Ignore the dirty concrete...there are workers doing some exterior updates to our apartments and it's not the cleanest.

I put some new things in my shop this weekend!  
The Summer Fun Jar is the newest addition!
You can find them here.
Oh and get 25% off with code SPRING.

**Oh, and I forgot to mention that I'm giving a Summer Fun Jar away!!**
This Summer Fun jar has 35 fun ideas for your kids to participate in throughout the summer!
See below for rules and how to enter!

Speaking of shops...
You have GOT to check out Joy's shop!
She has new things in her shop including Scripture Slates and Mini Wreaths!
She is also giving away something from her shop on her blog today!!
Check it out!! :)

Oh and did you hear?
My Mini Pink Bow Garland was featured in a publication!!
To see the publication in its entirety, click here.

Photo used with permission

Also, I'm not a morning person.
I don't like getting up any earlier than I have to.
So preparing lunches in an evening "to-do" for me.
Sunday evenings are spent de-stemming grapes, cutting cucumbers, and preparing yummy strawberries for the week.
Then I bag them and put them in the fridge so all I have to do is "grab and go."

What did you do this weekend??

Summer Fun Jar Giveaway

To enter:  just leave me a comment!
For extra entries (leave a comment for each one):
1.  Check out my shop and tell me what your favorite item is!
2.  Share this giveaway on your blog, facebook, instagram, twitter, etc.  

Giveaway open until 5/10.  
Winner will be picked (using on 5/11.
Contest opened to US residents only at this time.

Linking up with Carissa and Sew, Mama, Sew today!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters