Thursday, June 27, 2013

Things I'm Loving Thursday--Handmade Edition 3

Hello lovelies!!
Today is the last day for this series.  I've really enjoyed getting to know these ladies and the "behind-the-scenes" of their small business.  I hope you've enjoyed it as well.  I have one more shop for you today.

Hi!  I'm Francesca.  I'm behind the shop, Scrap Happy Cards. I'm a newlywed. I live in South Florida with my husband and two cats. 

I currently work part-time at Michael's Craft Store. I love crafts of all kinds. I'm always trying to learn something new:  from cake decorating to scrapbooking to making a bouquet out of nothing but brooches. My favorite hobby is scrapbooking and paper crafts. I've been doing it for over 10 years and will continue to do it until I'm old and gray.

I started creating my cards when I noticed the "technology boom". It seems like all sentiments and messages are sent via the internet, and with not a lot of thought.  I want to create something someone will cherish and keep always. I make cards for every occasion and I will also take requests for personalized homemade cards. Baby showers, graduations, birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's Day are some occasions just to name a few. Feel free to shoot me a request and I will see where my creativity takes me.

 Mention this blog feature and use the coupon code SHIPFREE for free shipping on your order!  Coupon Code expires June 30, 2013, so order now!

I'd like to take the time to thank each of these shops for participating in my Handmade series.  
I truly hope that you will take some time to check out their shops and consider purchasing from them.

Dandelion Loveys
Faux Stache Glass
Scrap Happy Cards

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Too Fluffy Two

Well, A Little Too Fluffy Two is officially over.
I didn't win...but I did.
I'm six weeks better.

I have a better understanding.
I have a better mentality.
I have new "insta-friends."
I have an encouragement system that I didn't know existed.
I am thankful that I started when I did.

Here is my "before and after," but really still-in-progress picture.
Please excuse my no-need-to-dress-up-for-the-picture face. :)
I think before-and-after's are important so you can see how far you've come.
It also gives me motivation to keep going!
During the challenge, I lost 7.4 pounds and 10.25 inches.
I've learned that the number on the scale isn't all that.

Sunday night I was thinking about goals for this week.
It's the end of June, and I'll be finishing up my #56milesinJune challenge this week.
I never thought I could do it.
And, well, it's still really to be determined if I really's not the 30th yet. :)

However, as I was counting up how many miles I have left, I decided to make a few goals for myself this week.
So here they are:

-Finish the #56milesinJune challenge
-Workout on the elliptical every day this week
-Put 70,000 steps in this week (my goal is 10,000 per day...I wear a Fitbit to track this)
-Give this week my absolute best in eating and exercising

Just because A Little Too Fluffy Two is over doesn't mean I can quit making good decisions.
This is a lifestyle change.
It's not just for a little's for life.
I want to be the best Beth I can be.

I have a lot of thoughts that I would love to share, but that will have to happen later.

How are you bettering yourself?
Are you making changes that you're going to thank yourself later for?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our Weekend in Pictures

I'm a believer in taking pictures of everything.  Even the littlest moments of life.  I don't want to miss a thing.  Having a good camera on my iPhone has made this so much easier!  I know my mom doesn't want to have her picture taken unless she's "ready" for it...but even on the days when I look bad, I'm still grateful for the little things.  Sorry, Mom...I'm putting pictures on here to capture our weekend. :)

My mom came to visit for the weekend.  I'm always glad to have her, because she doesn't get to come very often.  When we lived in Springfield, she would come to town at least once a month.  She {and my dad} had obligations there, and it just helped that {all of} us kids were there.  My brothers are still there, and they still see them often.  But going from only living 80 miles from her and my dad, to now living over 280 miles away makes it a little more difficult to see each other on a whim.

Anyhow..back to the pictures.

1.  My brother returned with gifts from North Africa!  I was so excited that Mom brought them to us!  Thank you, Ben!! They are awesome!! I've already used one of the spoons you got us, and it is sweet!!

2.  Friday night, we headed to the pool at our apartment complex!  It was a gorgeous night, and the pool was actually a little chilly, so we ended up in the hot tub.  First time this season for a pool day night.

3-5.  We went to the Kirkwood Farmer's Market on Saturday morning.  I've been dying to go for the past month, and I took my mom with me.  They had such a variety of things, and the bread there is SO delicious.

6.  This was our haul from the Farmer's Market.  I LOVE having fresh veggies and fruit in my house.  My motto has been, "Fail to plan, Plan to fail."  So always having fresh, healthy food in the house is a great thing!

7.  Saturday evening we went to church.  Mom normally goes on Sunday morning, so it was a bit different for her.  I have to was weird for me too at first, but I really enjoy going on Saturday evening, especially since our friends go, too!

8.  We saw some fireworks in the neighborhood on Saturday night.

9-10.  Sunday morning, we {finally} planted flowers!  Mom helped me pick them out on Saturday night, and she taught Tyler and I her ways. :)  They look so pretty and give us some "porch appeal."

11.  Sunday morning we went to see Monster's University on the Mega Screen.  My mom was so enthused!  She doesn't go see movies very often, and the Mega Scree is huge.

12.  My mother is a saint.  Seriously.  She blessed me so much this weekend...she has such a servant's heart.  She came to hang out with us, but she also helped me clean.  She dusted, folded laundry, ironed, cooked supper, and just encouraged me as a wife.  I'm so grateful for her, and I'm so thankful that we have a relationship like we do.  It is something that I don't take for granted, because she didn't get to have her mom very long.  She is someone that I look up to, not just as a wife and mother, but as a Christian.

13.  We ate healthy this weekend!

14-15.  We worked out together!  I'm still truckin' on my #56milesinJune challenge...almost there!!

16.  It rained a lot this weekend.  I even got a video of the lightning and thunder to put on my instagram...I just had to try out the new videos (which I'm totally excited about). :)

I had a full weekend.  It was so good to just hang out and do whatever we wanted.  I am so thankful for our time together, but it was sad to see her go this morning.  I hate "see ya laters."  Oh well...such is life.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Make the best of this week!  It's a fresh new week!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Roasted Portobello Caps

Before this recipe, I had never cooked with portobello mushrooms before.
I've eaten them in restaurants, but never knew how to prepare them myself.
I was excited to have found this recipe, so I tried it out!

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms with the stems removed
  • 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil {EVOO}

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Coat a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with cooking spray.
  • Place the mushroom caps, gill side up, on the pan.  Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt and pepper.  Roast them until tender, about 20 minutes.

The gills are so cool!!

  • Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, EVOO, and the remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl.

  • Remove the mushrooms from the oven and top each cap with about 2 tbsp of the breadcrumb mixture, spreading evenly.  {You want a rimmed baking sheet because some of the liquid bakes out of it and you don't want that all over your oven!}

  • Put them back into the oven and roast until the breadcrumbs are browned, which is about 5 minutes.
Nutrition Info:
Serving Size:  1 mushroom
Calories:  109
Fat:  5 g
Carbs:  11 g
Fiber:  3 g
Protein:  7 g


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Young Wife's Guide

Today, we are taking a break from "Things I'm Loving Thursday--Handmade Edition."
We will finish up next week with the series.

For now, I wanted to let y'all know that I was accepted as a Contributing Writer for Young Wife's Guide and my first post is live today!  

So check it all out over HERE!

Be sure to like them on Facebook for the newest information!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Randoms...Short and Sweet

Happy Monday, y'all!
It's definitely not my favorite day of the week, but it's one day closer to the weekend! :)

1.  I'm so tired today from the weekend.
We went to Branson for a family reunion and did a whole lotta nothin' which in turn makes me so tired.
Did you do anything fun this weekend?

2.  You should enter this giveaway.
There is only one day left to enter and you could win some great prizes...
including some credit to my shop!

3.  And speaking of my shop...
I'm going on "etsy vacation" next week, so I'm having a sale to clear out some inventory!!

Some things may not come back to the shop when I reopen...
so it's your last chance to get them this week!!
Here are some things you can find there:  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Quinoa Egg Muffins

A new recipe!

I am excited to share this recipe with you this week.
I made these muffins on Sunday morning and have eaten them for breakfast this week!
Quinoa is a little different from anything I've ever had.
I don't even know what to compare it to, but I really like it.
It's super healthy for you and has lots of protein in it.
I found this recipe here.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup diced veggies (I used zucchini, an orange pepper, and broccoli)
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese  (I didn't use the cheese)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • salt and pepper
Here's what you do:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Whisk the egg and egg whites together.
  • Then combine all the ingredients in the bowl.
  • Line your muffin tin with liners and spray them with cooking spray.  (The recipe called for 6 liners, but clearly I needed more than that.)  Also, make sure you coat the liners very well with the spray!

  • Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown!
Nutritional Info:
Serving Size:  2 muffins
Calories:  185
Fat:  7 g
Carbs:  15 g
Fiber:  2 g
Protein:  16 g
WW Points Plus:  5


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Things I'm Loving Thursday--Handmade Edition 2

This week, I have two more amazing shops for you!
These lovely ladies spend their time creating special things just for you!
So please, take some time, visit their shops and like their facebook page!
They may even have a special deal for you!

Hi!  I'm Breanna and I'm the shop owner over at BakeCraftLove. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband and my son who was born in January. 

Many of the new items in my shop started as a hobby shortly after Monty was born. I had a c-section and couldn't do very much during the day. So, while he napped (which was most off the day), I started dabbling in jewelry making. I found out that I absolutely loved it!  I currently offer mostly earrings and a few other odds and ends that I dabble in, but I hope to try my hand at other jewelry and home decor soon! 

A personal favorite of mine that I currently offer is the 12 x 12 name frames. I have made many as wedding gifts, and I absolutely love the excitement they bring to the newlyweds! (I even made one for our own living room that sits at the center of a collage.) 

Check us out!

Shop  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

**You can also enter to win some of Breanna's beautiful earrings here!**


Hi! I'm Courtney and I'm the creator of Sudsational. I live in south Florida with my husband and our two fur babies. I have a full time job and am currently going to school. 

I started making soaps because I was stressed and needed a creative outlet. I would give the soaps and scrubs I made as gifts, and my family and friends loved them. With their encouragement, I decided to start an Etsy shop. 

I enjoy experimenting and coming up with new products, but my favorite part is getting to test all the soaps, scrubs, and bath salts. My goal is to develop products that people haven't seen before but can't imagine living without. I work with customers to make custom orders and have recently started selling in bulk for party favors. 

**If you mention this blog you will get a surprise gift with your order.**

Shop  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

**You can also enter to win one of Courtney's Lemon Rosemary Salt Scrub here!**

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The One Where I Talk Fitness...

Yesterday, I explained what I am doing.  Today I'm going to share with you my goals and rewards.  When you're working toward a big goal, I think it's important to make smaller goals along the way.  Now, if you know me at all, you know how much of a list person I am.  You know how I get this weird satisfaction of crossing something off my list.  Heck, I've even been known to write something on my list, just so I can cross it off!

Goals are the same way.  My parents always told me that when I put my mind to something that I don't give up until I attain it.  They're so right.  I don't let things get in the way of me reaching that goal.  I write them down, just so I can cross them off when I reach them.

I've thought long and hard about these goals.  I'm really hoping to attain them all by the end of August.  With these goals, I've also decided to reward myself for each goal attained.  It is important for me to not reward myself with food.  In my eyes, that is counterproductive.  If I want ice cream, then by golly, I'm gonna have ice cream.  I'm not going to let that be a reward for reaching a goal.

Each goal should be realistic, attainable, and within a time frame.  With that said, here are my goals and rewards:

Goal:  Lose 5% of my body weight.
Reward:  Purchase a Polar Heart Rate Monitor.


Goal:  Complete each of @hausofgirls' mileage challenges each month (I'm already at  34.48/56 for June).
Reward:  Get myself a pedicure.

Goal:   Get back into my favorite dress.
Reward:  Buy a new workout tank.

Goal:  Be able to wear all of these capris comfortably.

They all still have the tags on them...
Reward:  Preorder Karen Kingsbury's new book:  Fifteen Minutes (due out October 29th).


Goal:  Run an average of 11 minute miles on the elliptical.
Reward:  Buy a set of handweights.


There ya have it!  They are all written out!  I hope to attain all of these goals in the next 2 and a half months, and I'm going to work really hard to make it happen, but if I don't...well, I'll just keep working at them, because I want to reach them.

What are your fitness goals and rewards for the summer?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The One Where I Talk Food...

I've mentioned a couple time of our #branstetterlifestylechange that we've been doing.  I've actually been doing a couple of challenges along the way to help keep me accountable and be encouraged.  Sounds weird, but I have found my Instagram community to be such a wonderful group of ladies and such encouragement.  Many of them are doing the same thing, and it's great to be accountable to them and vice versa.

Just recently, I stumbled upon a blog in which she was sharing her fitness goals and rewards.  I started thinking about that, and actually started thinking about my own list.  Many people want to know what I've been up to, so I thought I'd share with you what's been going on.

I eat food.  I exercise.
That pretty much sums it up.

I'm not into taking pills or any fad diets because those are "quick fixes."  I don't want a quick fix.  I want a complete lifestyle change.  I've mentioned before that I have chronic headaches.  They started when I was in second grade.  I think my mom was a little concerned, and I don't remember all the details, but I was keeping track of when they came.  I got my first migraine in sixth grade.  It was kinda weird because I was with my mom picking my brothers up from swim lessons and all I could see was half of people's faces.  I was not prepared for what came next.

Fast forward 17 years later, and I still have headaches.  Almost every day, and occasionally I still get migraines...fuzzy stuff and all.  I have heard numerous times that processed foods can trigger migraines.  But before now, I wasn't about to give up those things.  I'm not one to freak out over what I eat because it might kill me.  At least I know where I'm going if it does. :)

In April, I was just fed up with how many headaches I was having.  I told my husband that after we got back from Disney, we were going on a "diet," meaning we were going to be changing our eating habits.  

We eat a "modified whole foods diet."  I say modified because there are some processed foods that I won't give up {i.e.  cheese}, and also occasionally, we eat a quick meal which may come from a box or a bag.  You look in our pantry, and yes, we still have packaged food in there, BUT not near as much as we used to.  I buy fresh fruit and veggies each week.  We've been eating meat based entrees with a healthy veggie to go with it.  We don't buy ice cream near as often, and I've turned to Pinterest to find some healthy recipes!

I couldn't tell you the last time I bought a loaf of bread (ah! I know!  I just love bread), and I only buy a half gallon of cow's milk because we basically only cook with it.  I do drink almond or coconut milk in my breakfast shakes each day.

Honestly, I don't miss sandwiches.  I don't miss milk.  I don't even miss peanut butter {I switched over to PB2 about 5 weeks ago}.  I feel a lot better...less tired, less headaches, more energy.  It's been a great transition so far!

Do you eat a whole foods diet?  I'd love to hear about your transition!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Handmade Giveaway--Lots of Prizes!!

8 Shop Giveaway

Good morning!
To go with my love of handmade, I am co-hosting a fabulous giveaway with my blog friend, Abbi, from Seasons of Homemakers!  These talented ladies from the shops below have graciously donated an item or shop credit to be given away to one of you!    The above picture features what YOU could win!!

Please, take time to visit each shop:

No purchase is necessary to enter!
Each time you enter, you earn more chances to win, 
but that does NOT mean you have to enter them all to win!
There will be 8 different winners!! 
Winners' entries will be verified.
Have fun and good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Things I'm Loving Thursday--Handmade Edition

I have something exciting planned for you this month.
This month, the series "Things I'm Loving Thursday" is geared toward the handmade market!
There are some incredible people out there with extraordinary talents and I want so badly to share them with you.

My love for handmade has grown immensely since I started my etsy shop.
Not everyone "gets the picture" as to how much time, effort, sweat, and sometimes tears go into making a small business work.
Not everyone understands how incredible handmade items are.
Not everyone understands how valuable these items special they are.

My goal with this series to show you the vast talent and variety that the handmade market has to offer.
Along with that, I hope to shed some light on what goes on "behind the scenes" of a small business.
I encourage you to check out each shop and "like" their facebook page.
Give them a little love!!
Also, keep them in mind when you're needing a gift!
Or buy something for yourself!!

Today, I have two shops sharing their goodies with you!

Nicole is a busy girl, supportive wife, loving daughter, great sister, understanding friend, and a thankful fur mommy. When she has a little time to her self she does what she loves, which is being crafty and creative! She started painting mustaches on wine glasses just for fun, but they became such a hit with friends and family that she started to sell them. 

In January of 2012, Faux Stache Glass was created and now she makes more than just wine glasses. She creates all types of glassware, travel mugs, tumblers and so much more! There is a Faux Stache glass for any occasion and Nicole has covered most of them! The ideas that come to her mind are endless so she is always making something new!

Throughout her wedding planning process, Etsy helped her out so much by having the unique wedding that she always wanted. She is so happy to give back and help other bride-to-be's make their dreams come true! Whether you are a bride-to-be, a mommy on the go or a toddler in diapers, Faux Stache Glass is for you!

Visit Faux Stache Glass:

Shop | Facebook


I'm Heather and I am one half of the Dandelion Loveys Shop

Our shop is ran by a mother/daughter team! We are located in Southern California, and everything we sell is handmade by us! We make Boutique Hair Bows, Fabric Earrings, Onesies and Bowties! I have two children, Gracie and Eli, who have been our inspiration for everything in our shop. They also make frequent appearances in our pictures :)

My mom and I both work at the same high school. I coach the high school's dance team, and she works in the office at the school. Making bows and crafting has always been our hobby, and we decided to launch our shop on April 15, 2013 and have been blessed by the reception we have been getting! Our name, Dandelion Loveys, was chosen by my daughter who is very attached to her blanket "Lovey."

We sell on Facebook & Instagram, and if you mention that you found our shop from this blog, we will give you 20% of your first order that you place with us! We also take custom orders, so keep us in mind if you're looking for a special bow to match for a birthday party, recital shirt, Disney trip, etc.!

Visit Dandelion Loveys:

Instagram  |  Facebook

Go check these shops out!
These ladies are so talented!!
Don't miss what they have to offer!

Monday, June 3, 2013


Friday evening was scary for most of us across Oklahoma and Missouri.
I was texting my mom from St. Louis when our tornado sirens went off.
At the same time, their county in Southwest Missouri, was under a tornado warning.
Talk about crazy!!
Thankfully, they were fine.
However, I was completely freaking out.
I'm not kidding when I say that I had a bag packed with my "necessities" that I could grab in a moment's notice.
I was wearing my tennis shoes and a sweatshirt, because I knew I would want some good shoes and a jacket if I had to live through a tornado.
I've lived in tornado alley my entire life and never once thought about what I would grab.
It seemed like we were the splitting point for tornadoes.
The "spotted rotation" was north and south of us.
North happened to get hit way harder than any other part of the county.

Saturday, I took this picture from the car as we were on the way to church.
They are some really nice condos that had their shingles blown off.
We saw lots of broken trees, where you knew the tornado had been.
We didn't go where the worst of it was, but I'm so thankful for the Lord's protection.

I am starting a new blog series on Thursday and I still have some room for some small businesses/shops if they would like to have a bit of free advertising.  
If you're interested, please email me.
I'll give you more details!!

The next randoms are a bit fitness related.

Someone posted this on their instagram feed, and I just loved it.
So I'm sharing with you.
Sometimes we just need a nice reminder.

A girl on instagram gives fitness goals for each month.
I've never participated in one, well, let's just be honest here.
I've never been motivated enough to try one.
But this month is different.
I'm going to complete #56milesinJune.
Want to join?
Find her facebook page here.
I've already completed 8 miles. :)

And while we're talking fitness...
Here are some of my stats from the past 5 weeks of the #branstetterlifestylechange.
Getting active and losing weight is definitely a process.
Considering all things, losing weight is also a bit more difficult for me than the average person.
But I'm doing it...and so can you. :)

Are you challenging yourself?
In what ways?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Much Ado About You Planners

Today, I'm so excited to share with you...

Emmy, from Much Ado About You, sells the most awesome planner ever.  I had learned about her through an Instagram friend, because I saw her amazing planner.  At the time, I already had a planner, so I couldn't order from Emmy.  Then shortly after I discovered Emmy, she made the announcement that she was retiring from the planner business so that she could focus on her life because the business was taking so much out of her.

To say I was bummed was an understatement.  BUT, I understood.  When something is taking over your life that you don't have time for your kids, your husband, your other commitments, then I would say it's time to re-evaluate.  I admire Emmy for the strength that it took for her to stop doing something that she loved, so she could focus on who she loves more.

However, just a short time ago, she sent out a notice on Instagram asking for Guinea Pigs because she found a new way to sell her planners.  Of course I jumped at the chance!  Who wouldn't?  I couldn't WAIT to get my new planner!!

Her packaging is to die for!'s the cutest ever!

There are several styles of planners available:

I have the Day Planner and want to show you all that is included!!   **If you want an August start date, you must purchase your planner between June 1st (today) and June 10th!  After that, you will get a September start date.  See Emmy's website for more info.**

In each of the planners, the monthly layout is included.  I love this feature because I like looking ahead at the upcoming month and knowing what the month looks like!

The weekly layout comes in the Day Planner.  I love this because not only can you write things on the day, but can also assign those things a time frame.  In my mind, this makes the planner.

It also comes with tabs that you install yourself.  Take it from me, it is so simple to put these in yourself.  I love the tabs, because I can flip right to the month that I need.  Tabs are a must when looking for a new planner.

Also included is a page to plan for the next year.  Now, I don't really plan ahead into the next year much, but it's a good place to put upcoming weddings, family reunions, and other things that need to be planned in advance.

I am very goal oriented.  This is the perfect place to put:

  • Buy a house
  • Go to Hawaii
  • Learn look beyond what you see.
  • Bungee Jumping

There are several other things that you can get to "add-on" to your planner.  One of those things is this amazing paper clip.  It allows you to keep your planner on the dates that you need!  Other add-ons include an adhesive pen loop and calendar event stickers.  She even has a desk calendar for you in her shop!

Have I convinced you that you need a MAAY planner yet??  Well if I haven't, let me tell you a couple of other things.

Emmy has teamed up with The Pleated Poppy to bring you fabric planner covers!! These are simply amazing.  There's no other way to put it.  You can check out the planner covers here. last thing.  Emmy has such a wonderful heart.  If you don't know her, you should really get to know her.  Each month, she will be helping a new family raise funds for an adoption.  $1 from each planner sold will go to the family of the month.  How amazing is that?!?!  I think it's pretty incredible!!

Are you ready to buy one now?  I thought so!

For more information, check out her post here.

You can purchase your planner, desk calendar, and add-ons here