I Did Some Yoga. My Dog Helped. Sort Of…

In my last post I mentioned that I have a labradane (Labrador and Great Dane mix) named Ember. She’s almost 10 months old and has the funniest personality. Her eyes say a lot and she is generally very expressive.

She’s 1 of 10 puppies and is lucky because she gets to frequently see her siblings because each of my sister-in-law’s (3!) and my mother-in-law have one!

One of the reasons we chose Ember from the litter was the sass and personality she showed at a very young age. It hasn’t calmed down since she’s been home with us.

As I try to get back into writing, I think I’ll choose topics I enjoy. Ember is certainly one of them πŸ™‚ My husband and I don’t have kids yet, so we talk about her like she is one. Haha. Hope you don’t mind!

I titled it what I did because I truly did yoga recently, and, well, she tried to help.

img_1342Please excuse my tummy. I’m a real human. I got a little love to share. Also working on my flexibility. Or lack of.

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When I started my practice that morning she immediately began playing with me and so I turned on my phone taking a time lapse video. These were just funny screen shots I got.

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This is her “why aren’t you sharing your food with me?” face. Her dane features really show here.

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Now she’s trying to be sweet.

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She really smiles! She’s a great camper and hiker! We got her her own pack so now she can carry her own water and food.

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She is soo afraid of the vacuum that when it’s out of the closest she hides anywhere she can.. typically the tub if it’s open. I can usually count on her being there after I’ve vacuumed. But the lawn mower? Leaf blower? Weed whacker? Oh, those are her friends and she’ll happily chase or bark at them! I dunno what the vacuum ever did to her…

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She’s a great traveler! We went on a two week road trip with my in-laws (we have our own remodeled cab over camper!) and she was soo good in the truck! She never whined or complained.

By the way, her grandmother was a pure bred AKC Great Dane that was “blue” aka gray. That’s where she got her coloring from.

img_7943She has green eyes πŸ™‚

This is one of my favorite puppy pictures of her. She was so fluffy and cute! Now she’s just big and cute. She’s probably around 55-60 lbs now and she’ll grow a little bit more. Thankfully for us she’s not huge!

I never thought my husband would love an animal the way he loves her but if this is any indication of what he’ll be like when we have babies… He’s gonna be such a good daddy!

I’m especially thankful to have Ember when my hunny is working so many days straight. She keeps me company when I’m home alone and makes me feel safer.

Dogs really are a (wo)man’s best friend.

xo, Briana

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First Post of 2017. It’s November.

Hello friends.

Long time, no writings. Once again.

I used to write weekly, even have posts drafted or little notes in my phone of post ideas. I used to carry my heavy and now outdated DSLR with me everywhere in order to take what I thought were outstanding pictures. Now all of my pictures are stuck on a hard drive or my phone, only to be shared on my personal Instagram with a cute hashtag and maybe on my personal Facebook.

That’s not the point though.

The point is I lost my drive and my inspiration to write. A few reasons why.

This was my favorite creative outlet to share my other creative outlets. I went through my phases of photography, cooking/baking, makeup, beauty, travel, etc. Because I started it when I was 20, it’s fun to go through my older posts and see where my mindset was. I can totally recall each post and where I was at in my life. I cringe at some of the things I wrote about, haha.

When I was in nursing school, it was a great stress relief for me, although it took a big hit in how often I wrote. I also attempted YouTube at the same time.

But really, once I got married and especially started working as a nurse, my priorities shifted, as well as where I put my time and energy.

It’s been almost exactly one year since I did my last post and I was honestly so disheartened and disappointed with people/humanity at the time that I had no desire to share my feelings or thoughts because it seemed like everyone else was shoving theirs down each other’s throats at the time.

I realize that was a horrible sentence, thank you.

Some days though I look at my blog and read some of my other favorite blogs and think to myself, “I could write again. I should write again.” I used to have loyal readers, people I never met and never knew in person but had a great relationship online. I miss it. I miss you. I miss sharing.

Do you even read this still? Do any of you come back here to see if I wrote anything and maybe you missed the notification?

Some days I feel like I’m at a place in my life where I could blog again. My content might change a little, but I do miss writing. So much has happened in a year, anyway. I have a lot of fun things to share.

In a nutshell… My husband and I bought our first home and we have our own dog, as sweet labradane named Ember. And yes, you read that right. Labradane aka half Labrador and half great Dane. She’s second generation LD as her parents are first generation LD. Oh, I also have a different job… Same department, just different job πŸ™‚

Anyway. Had a random urge to come on here and purge my thoughts. If you did read this, would you come back if I wrote again? I won’t make any promises. But I’ll try.

Thank you friends.

xo, Briana

Be A Nice Human.

Note: This is not meant to be political, I am simply sharing my thoughts and will attempt to refrain from offending anyone. I always try to remain positive on here but am known to have a little Debbie Downer moment here and there. If you decide to comment, please be respectful of others and myself included. If I feel that your comment is too harsh, I will subsequently delete it. Thank you friends!

It’s been nearly one week since the elections here in the United States. The last 18 months of campaigns, news reels, and social media posts have been hot and full of opinions. I thought after November 8th, it would calm down but it seems to have simply become worse and more tense.

I dread going online and seeing hateful comments and posts towards each side. You voted for this person, so obviously you feel this way. You disliked this candidate, so obviously you think this way. I don’t see it that way. I see it as people were fed up with current situations and voted for the one they thought to be the most capable.

What bothers me so much is the sudden shift in people and how quickly everyone jumps to conclusions. People post and share things without possibly thinking that maybe it would or would not offend just anyone, but those close to them. You might think that the quote or article you are sharing is to enlighten and perhaps educate those in your circle and those you can influence thanks to the simple click of a button. You don’t post it to offend or upset anyone (well, maybe some of you). But what you may not realize is that by saying these things with such emotion and yet such ease, you are slowly pushing people away, people that are close to you, closer than you think. Right now, they may be drifting away from you and you don’t even see it. You care so much about what is going wrong with the other side that you don’t realize what is going on right in front of you.

I’ve been so disappointed in the actions and words of those close to me. I didn’t realize it would hurt so much but when I come home at night and talk about these things with my husband, it upsets us both to see friends and family acting in such ways.

Everyone has their right to vote, their right to say what they want. But it shouldn’t require the common sense to think, “What I am about to say, will it hurt someone? Will it affect someone in a negative way?” or “does this make me look like a complete and total ass to everyone if I share it?”

I know many people on social media are not trying to be hurtful, but right now tensions are high and emotions are running wild. I fear it will only get worse and I pray that things calm down.

I may sound naive and like the person who is simply saying “can’t we all just get along?” But maybe I am. It’s to the point where I’m about to turn off all social media and simply ignore it. But what will that do? What will that accomplish? Ignorance is not always bliss my friends.

I also want to make it clear that these feelings are directed to everyone on social media, everyone who posts something about either candidate, about either political party. I know the posts will continue, the hate will unfortunately endure. We as a country have made it this far, I don’t think we’re about to burn down in flames anytime soon.

“It is okay to be angry; it is never okay to be cruel” – unknown

“I think the world today is upside-down. Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other.Β In the home begins the disruption of the peace in the world. If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa

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De-cluttering My Makeup Collection!

Hello friends!

Being a makeup junkie/collector/hoarder -however you want to call it- it’s hard to let things go… But sometimes you just gotta do it!

I’ve recently purchased a few new (lovely) palettes that I know I’ll be reaching for but this also creates the continued dilemma of limited space. Bub and I currently live in a very tiny space right now (more on that in a future post!) so it’s like I can pull in Alex drawers or anything dramatic. I also just don’t use some of my makeup for multiple reasons. A few of them being…

I don’t like the makeup like I thought I did.

It’s not a good product (for me).

I have something similar (story of my life).

I don’t like change.

The hype was not real.

So let’s get straight to it and I’ll show you what I’m donating to my old room at parents house where my grandma, mother, and sister can all benefit from my de-cluttering…

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Concealers!

Now the reason I’m not using these anymore is for a few reasons… They’re either too cakey under my eyes (Tarte, Benefit); too dry (Urban Decay), or just “meh” (the rest of the bunch). What I love to use instead is the newer Too Faced Born This Way concealer OR the Tarte Shape Tape.

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So before I explain these, let me tell you about my skin. I’m a combo/oily girl who is acne prone. I also have a warm/yellow undertone. So I need something to help me stay matte or at least semi-shine free through the day. I also like long-wearing because I work 12+ hours a day and yes, I do wear makeup at work.

When I first bought the Smashbox foundation, I loved it. But I don’t knw, the last month or so, it just hasn’t looked right on my skin. I’ve tried applying it different ways but after about an hour, I’m frustrated with it and want to take it off. The Tarte foundation was just disappointing in a few ways. The Clinique it really nice but too pink on me. And this is one of their warmer tones!

And the Urban Decay All Nighter? I had such high, high hopes for it. It has amazing coverage and does last all day but oooh how it clung to any little dry patch I had. But besides that (and the most annoying), it really accentuated my pores. And very few foundations actually do that to my skin. I use a primer and everything. It just didn’t look good on my skin.

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I’ll just briefly explain these because I hardly touch this. Which is why I’m not using them. Ha. But they’re too cakey, not enough coverage, too dewy, etc.

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Now the L’Oreal foundation I actually really did like. But it didn’t last but a few hours on my skin. It also dries out really fast. The other ones were too cakey on my skin, no matter how I applied them. Revlon also tends to make me look gray, in any formula and different shades.

I’ll explain in a later post about what foundations I do love though πŸ™‚

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The Smashbox primer didn’t do anything for me and the Benefit did not keep me matte. Boo.

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For whatever reason, my lashes do not like a traditional wand. I have to use a wand with the rubber bristles that really help separate. Marc Jacobs was also very clumpy on me. You’re welcome, Mom! Enjoy the Lancome πŸ™‚

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I’m very picky with loose powders and so far, the only one I really like is the Kat Von D. It does not crease under my eyes nor feel too dry. The Too Faced powder also did not do anything and gave me a white sheen. Not cute. The Mac powder is also just old and way too dark for me, haha.

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These are really nice, I just don’t use them! They’ll find a good home though among my sisters collection.

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Again, good bronzers, I just simply don’t reach for them enough! My grandma loves the Too Faced one and plans on using it πŸ™‚

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Now all of these blushes come from good brands but I just don’t use these colors enough. My grandma, mom, and sister though were excited to see them!

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And the palettes. Oh, the palettes….

Now let me explain these and why I am no longer keeping these at home (I feel like I have to explain myself, haha).

Hubby and I are currently living in a very small place and are very limited on space. I also simply don’t use these palettes enough because I have my very favorite palettes that I use more regularly. So I figure if I leave these with the other ladies in my life, they’ll actually get used! The majority of these palettes are all good, but I just don’t use them enough to keep them with me.

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Lorac Pro Matte, BeccaXJaclyn Hill collab, and the Smashbox contour palette.

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Now I do have to say I am quite disappointed in the Becca palette. And if you follow makeup news (haha), I’m sure you’ll know all about it… Basically, this palette was made in a different lab and the quality was not up to Jaclyn nor Becca’s standards and it was quickly discontinued.

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As you can see the swatches are very weak. I was so hoping it would work out, too! I love the colors.

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You tell my brushes have barely even touched these. And the colors are great, too! Just not enough love on my end.

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Now while I like these, I do have to say I was slightly disappointed in the square palette. The shadows were quite dusty and didn’t blend well.

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You can probably tell that I love warm tones just based on all of the palettes, haha.

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I got the Pure palette in a FabFitFun box and it’s so dang similar to the original Naked palette, but I much prefer the quality in Urban Decay. I also am annoyed with myself for buying the Smoky palette. The shadows are all great quality, I just don’t use it enough.

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Once again, great palettes! I just use other ones more! I love the Peanut Butter and Jelly palette, as well as the Natural Eyes palette. Those two I use very often!

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And this one? Well, I probably used it once since I bought it very soon after it’s release. It needs more matte shades. There are no good transition colors in this palette. I don’t like having to use two palettes for a look, you know?

Anyway.

Well, THAT was a lot! Phew! But in the time that I took these pictures and have since dispersed the makeup, my collection back at home has become much more organized. And I had some very happy recipients at my mom’s house, haha.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.

My Custom XL Z Palette – With Swatches!

When I first bought a Z palette a few years ago, I went a little crazy on depotting everything, thinking it would change how the makeup I used i.e. everything would be more accessible. While that is true, the act of actually depotting and then organizing was still won over by Urban Decay, Lorac, and Too Faced palettes that I used more often.

But now that I’ve gained a decent amount of single eye shadows from Mac, Makeup Geek (MUG), and a few Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) singles, my XL Z palette finally has a place among my most used palettes.

In deciding what to write about now that I’ve begun (again), I thought that sharing my custom palette would be an easy choice. I have some very well-loved shadows in here and you can quickly get an idea of the range of colors I love on my brown eyes.

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As you can see, I love me some serious matte browns and red tone shadows, as well as the warm, rusty colors, and of of course green shimmers for my brown eyes.

I’ll list them in order of rows (top –> bottom).

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Let’s call this the highlight/transition row because that’s pretty much all I use these shadows for.

Starting on the left we have Orb (Mac), Rice Paper (Mac), Soft Brown (Mac), Creme Brulee (MUG), Peach Smoothie (MUG), Desert Sands (MUG), and Saddle (Mac).

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This might be my favorite row. Not sure. It might be a tie with another row you’ll see soon.

Left-Right… Mythology (Mac), Cosmopolitan (MUG), Expensive Pink (Mac and also identical to the previous shadow!), Sable (Mac), Country Girl (MUG), Antiqued (Mac & a personal favorite of mine for all over the lid as a one-shadow look), and finally Twinks (Mac).

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This row I tend to use as colors to deep my look in the outer corner or through my crease. I can get away with these dark shades in my crease thanks to my hooded eyes. Perhaps I’ll do a pictorial blog on how I doΒ  my shadows for hooded eyes? Thoughts

Left-Right… Amber Lights (Mac), Cocoa Bear (MUG & another personal favorite), Brown Script (Mac), Swiss Chocolate (Mac), Tolie (Mac), the 6th shade I’m not sure the name but I know it’s from Mac! and finally Sketch (Mac)

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This row is in tie for first place with my second row. I love the coppery shades here. omg do I love to put these all over my lid…

Left-Right… Not sure of the first shade but it’s Mac, Brown (Mac), Cranberry (Mac), Coppering (my first ever Mac shadow & another personal favorite), Flame Thrower (MUG foiled eye shadow. Do you SEE the shimmer in it??), Glisten (ABH), and Burnt Orange (ABH).

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How pretty and opposite is this row from the rest? Haha.

Left-Right… Not sure of the first shade but, again, it’s Mac! Sumptuous Olive (Mac, and it’s swatching great, sorry), Sure of this third shade but it was in a palette with the first from Mac, Ash brown (ABH), Red Earth (ABH), and Truffle Glitter (ABH). This row doesn’t get nearly as much love as the others, because I’m so drawn to reds and coppers, but these greens do bring out that pretty mossy colors that brown eyes have.

Sorry if the swatches aren’t the best! I’m a little rusty in that area, as you can tell… But I hope you enjoyed seeing this custom palette of mine! I bought it at IMATs back in January and am so glad I have a place for all of my single eye shadows.

Please let me know what other blog posts you’d like to see! I have a few ideas for some future posts but would love your input πŸ™‚

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.

Here’s to New Beginnings

Hello friends,

It sure has been a while, hasn’t it? Almost a year, in fact, since I last published a blog post. I attempted to write something a few months back but stopped after only a few sentences. It didn’t feel right at the time.

I took an unintentional break from writing from the simple fact that I was busy with my full-time job, school schedule, and just life in general. So let’s see where I was at a year ago…

Last year I was working 5-6 days a week for a blood bank over an hour away from my house; working on my bachelors of science in nursing degree, about 1/4 of the way through my program; my husband was working 3-4 days a week, staying at his station during those times, and course those looong weeks away fighting fires all the way up to October.

So what’s happening now?

I’m currently working 3 days a week at a wonderful hospital in our area 30 minutes from home. I’ve been there for almost 6 months and absolutely love it. My husband still works 3 days a week (sometimes more, but not often) and he gets to come home every single night because of the type of fire station he’s at. I finished my BSN program in August and will be walking at my commencement ceremony in less than two weeks. Go me!

In between all of that, other things have happened…

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In the spring I cut off about 12 inches of my hair. I felt like it was time for a change and I loved how healthy my hair felt after cutting it. Ugh, so nice. I’ve only trimmed my hair once since the big cut and it’s already grown quite a bit. My husband of course misses my long hair but he likes how quick I can do my hair now. Ha.

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Always traveling, of course. We went to Lake Powell in August with family and got to visit the famous Horseshoe Bend. We obviously saw this as a great opportunity for a cute picture. On this trip, it only made us love Utah even more and reconsider a move there someday.We’re also more than halfway done remodeling a cabover camper that we purchased in the spring with a Chevrolet diesel truck. We’re so excited to be one step closer to living life on the road…maybe. We’ll see. Ha!

This trip was also exciting because it was one month after I had LASIK eye surgery! If you have glasses or contacts, then you may understand the immense joy I felt of not having to worry about if I could see or not, enough contact solution, dry eyes, etc… My recovery from it was fast and the following day I was seeing 20/20. I love this new sense of freedom. It’s amazing!

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In February our sweet Chubs passed away at the age of 9 and the following month we adopted a brother/sister duo. They’re half lab and half Great Dane. This picture above was taken when they were about 4 months old. They’re now 10 months old and significantly bigger. The brindle is the cuddly Smokey Bear (male) and his sweet green eyed sister is Denali May. Smokey is much more muscular now and weighs well over 100 lbs. He could weigh more than me… Not gonna lie. My husband actually has a hard time picking him up and my husband is quite strong… Denali (or Nali, as we call her) is very slim, but like a Great Dane. I can still pick her up if I need to.

They have wonderful personalities and love everyone they meet. They could never replace our previous dogs but they helped fill a void when we brought them home. But if you’re curious about the breed, look up Labradanes πŸ™‚

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Our most recent selfie (see, my hair grows!). I just think he’s so handsome in this picture.


I’ve decided to start blogging again thanks to a coworker (love my 6300 people!). I felt inspired and so here I am. I share a passion for makeup with a few coworkers and talking to them about it only makes me feel more excited to start writing again. I also felt inspired about sharing my passions with others and am looking forward to this little space again. I personally want to thank Sheree and Genevieve for encouraging me to blog again πŸ™‚ Thank you ladies!

My new job has me surrounded with such positive people that inspire me daily. I also love doing patient care again. It’s stressful at times (mentally and emotionally) but I love what I do. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I’ve learned so much and look forward to my time there.

At my previous job, although it was fun and I loved the people I worked with, I never felt fulfilled and was getting burned out very fast. The hours quick but the days long. As well as the drive. I could quickly see myself becoming someone I didn’t like and knew I needed to change my scenery. I miss everyone, but am much happier at my new job.

Thank you to everyone who has stuck around and continues to read my blog, even though it’s been silent for so long. I look forward to writing again.

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.

We Bought A Car & Other Stuff

It’s been quite the last few months of highs and lows. As you know, if you read my last post (written over a month ago), my husband came home after 40 days of fighting fires. It was great coming home and seeing him there, with that mustache of his covering his upper lip again. Oh, how I missed him.

He came home on a Wednesday and went back to his usual schedule of Saturday-Monday, where he gets off Tuesday morning. That first evening back we planned on looking at cars, as we discussed a few months before that we needed to buy a new car for me. The Camry I had previously been using was getting up there in miles (220k+!) and the AC also happened to go out while Bub was gone. Long story short, we went to look at cars and ended up signing the papers to our new 2015 Subaru CrossTrek!

I love my car. So much. She’s so pretty.

IMG_6554Look at her! I love driving her around; she’s smooth, practical, sporty, and just so pretty. Haha.

Anyway, that following Saturday he got called away. Again. He was home for 10 days and 5 of those he was working at the station. This time he was gone for only 2.5 weeks, not 5.5. Ha, cake! 19 days are nothing compared to 40… So far this summer, he’s worked 5 fire and was gone for a total of approximately 68 days. In the span of about 78 days, he was gone for 68 of those. Yeesh.

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For those who have followed me from last year and such, you’ll remember his epic Wyatt Earp status mustache. He got that growing again but shaved it off last week. Meh. I actually like it.

Since he’s been back, we’ve been able to see a few movies with friends, spend time with our families, and even go to the beach! We both got some nice tans, considering it’s October. But that doesn’t mean anything in California. Today was approximately 100 degrees. California doesn’t care that it’s “autumn.”

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Note: I am wearing a bikini top; it’s strapless tho. So yeah. The waves were actually decent that day and I got tumbled around a bit while body surfing. I got a nice tennis ball size abrasion on the back of my hip to prove it. That sand is tough, man!

I also recently did a friend’s bridal makeup, as well as her MOH. It was fun for me and awkward for them because they’re the type of girls that really don’t wear makeup, which they don’t even need to as they’re naturally gorgeous anyway. But I loved doing their makeup and then having them tell me that I did better than the girls at Sephora… πŸ˜‰

I wore a pretty new dress. I had my mom snap a picture of it to send to Bub because he couldn’t come as he was working.

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I finished my RN training at work a few weeks ago and am now on my own! This also means I am now working in the desert, the same area where I did a lot of my nursing clinicals. My schedule is completely random and is now Tues-Sat. Some days I clock in at 0945, other days I’ll clock in at 0345. Ah, the life of a mobile RN… But I get to see beautiful sunrises again

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#nofilter

School is also moving right along. I’m in my 4th class and with that, only 8 more to go!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Life is crazy. Life is busy. But life is good.

My husband and I are slowly getting back into a schedule and rhythm again. The first week or so of him being home is always weird. A good weird, but weird nonetheless. I get used to doing certain things without him and he’s used to living out of a duffel bag. Then he comes home and we get to share a bed again, go grocery shopping, talk about bathroom rugs, and just do normal couple things. He can fix the toilet that’s been leaking and I get to do our piles of laundry, which include smokey blue pants and many sets of scrubs on my end.

Life is good.

xo, Briana

How’s This For A Post

I’m ready for the change in seasons. We’ve had one too many 100+ degree days here in California with far too little rain, as per usual though. I’m ready for boots, for sweaters, for it to be okay to order a hot beverage at Starbucks (grande CDL with soy milk and kids temp please). I’m ready for cool weather to stop fires from spreading.

My husband returned home last Wednesday after 4 fires, 40 days, and 4,400 miles of traveling and fighting fires. It was a long 40 days and we’re all glad he’s home. The likelihood of his getting called out again is very high, but for now, we’re enjoying every moment together. We’re making plans and not thinking about the possibility of him going again. I prefer that people do not bring it up, nor the hot weather or changing winds. There are still some things that are not okay to talk about.

I love my job. I love talking to donors, I love seeing young kids want to do a good thing like donate blood. My coworkers are great. I love putting a 16-guage needle in someones vein and seeing that blood flow. Weird, I know. It’s a nurse/phlebotomist thing. 5 days a week is a long week considering most of the day are usually a minimum of 10 hours.

If you ever happen to see a Gina Lee or Gina Lee Michelle or anything around those names and she’s using my pictures, will you let me know? She keeps using them. It’s pissing me off. I think I got it taken care of, and nope. Let me know? K thanks.

I got black nail polish last week and I forgot how much I love it. You can add that to my “I’m ready for fall” list in which I will now wear dark reds and brown nail polish.

I have a new makeup setup and it’s a lovely acrylic draw set. I may have done some retail therapy while Bub was gone, which might include perfume and a new palette or two. But I may or not write about it here.

Right now, I have life going on and while I love my blog, I’m in the present with my husband, my work, school, and just life in general. I love you all.

All 402 of you πŸ™‚

xo, Briana

What Not To Say To A FireFighter Wife | & What You Should Say

Bub and I have been married just over a year now. He’s also been a firefighter for a few years now, starting out as a volunteer in which he did everything all the other paid FF’s did, but for free. He was was able to get extra training because of it. He eventually got into the federal forest service and is now part of a state department, broken down and managed by counties.

While we’re still new at the game called “marriage” and his career known as “firefighting,” we’re quickly learning how to balance our careers and every day life, with me being a full-time RN and back in school as well. It’s a crazy, busy life, but a good one.

I just like this picture :)

I just like this picture πŸ™‚

As you may know, or not know, in Bub’s line of working where he is managed through county and state, his job can take him away at any time and for weeks on end. I felt the need to write this because he’s been gone for 16 days now, with the possibility of maybe coming home in a few more and I got some stuff on my mind. Last year he was gone for 2 weeks, and he left not even a week after we got married. Then he was home for two more weeks, then was away for three more. It wasn’t the easiest but I managed with support. More on that in a little bit.

But I’m writing because whenever he’s at work for his regular 72 hour shift or gone like he is now, people say the darnedest things. I mentioned a few of the things in a previous post, but I’ll simply reiterate here, as well as offer a few suggestions for those of you that know other FF wives (or husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, fiances!), as well as newer wives like myself. We’re a special breed!

When Bub is away, either during his regular shift of 72 hours or time away like he currently is, I get some funny and interesting comments/questions. It’s kind of like a pregnant lady… People offer strange (sometimes unwanted) advice, tips, etc. or just ask weird questions.

Below I have a list of things that people say to me that might irk me. Enjoy. I’ll also add commentary for them and why they might bother me. And yes, these are the phrases that perhaps you can think about before saying, or least how you say it.

You must be so anxious
Yes, I am, but I don’t let it take over my life. I can’t allow myself to feel so anxious that it disrupts me during work or every day life. I have to let it go to a point where I am able to function.

You must not sleep at night/You must be soo lonely in bed by yourself
Yes, I am. But while this may be one of the hardest about him being gone, since I’ve gotten to used to him being there, I’ve found ways to help me sleep better at night. I’ve downloaded two meditation apps that I utilize and boy does it help.

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You’re probably really lonely/Do you miss him a lot?
Yes, of course I am lonely, and no, I am not lonely. I am lonely for him, but not without him. I have the awesome support of my family as well as his family, and course all of our friends. When he’s gone, I usually stay with my family; otherwise I stay at our place, which is on his parents property and I’m able to visit with them of course. I see my friends a lot, too. You can say I’m not a needy wife.

Aren’t you soo stressed out when he’s gone? Are you very worried?
Yes, I get worried, especially when I see pictures of the fires he is at. But I can’t allow myself to freak out and become so afraid that it causes anxiety.

When is he coming home?
I have no freaking clue. Seriously. And neither does he. A typical campaign can last up to 14 or 21 days and then they might get 2 days off. But when in a state of emergency, like we have been for a few weeks now, they might not get those 2 days. And they will continue their 24 on/24 off schedule. But I digress. During their campaigns, we never know when they’ll come home. They usually don’t even know until the night before or even the day of. And then again, it can always change…

Wow, what do you do when he’s gone?
I sit at home by myself and twiddle my thumbs. All day long. Just kidding. I go to work, focus on work, come home, do my homework and write papers, and then I finish it off by spending time with my family and friends. Retail therapy is also a good idea πŸ˜‰

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You must never see each other
Actually, we do. We manage to see each other on his days off and when I come home from work. Amazing! And when he’s away, we’re lucky to live in an age of technology and frequently send each other selfies. Sometimes we even get to FaceTime. And what time we do have together, we never take for granted and appreciate every moment together.

Oh, he’s at that fire? I heard it’s pretty bad and scary up there!
Yes, thank you for the reminder.

Using terms such as single, lonely, lonely girl, and my favorite…widow
I mentioned in my previous post about this but people openly will call me and other FF wives “single,” “lonely girl,” and a “widow.” I have heard all of these more than once. And it makes me sad, hurt, and mad. It downplays what a widow is and it also doesn’t take into account that we are very much married. We just happen to be separated by distance and sometimes lack of communication but not by our choice.

I can usually brush a lot of this off, as everyone that says it really doesn’t mean any harm by it. But when I hear it on a daily basis or when I just heard that he’s staying longer than expected, it is an unintentional hurt, but a hurt nonetheless.

And below are a list of things I tell myself, as well as what I do to help me feel better when it’s tough.

I am calm, because I have to be. For him and for me.

I am strong for the both of us, but especially for him.

I will not allow myself to feel anxious or upset.

I look at the positives in our relationship. I look forward to text messages from him that simply say, “Good morning beautiful, just finished 24 hours on the fire, I’m going to sleep now, miss you, love you”

I don’t expect him to call me every day, especially the days when he’s working 24 hours. And on his off days or when he’s at the station and I send him text messages, I don’t ever expect him to respond right away, if at all. I send him little updates of what I’m doing just so when he does check his phone, it might bring a smile to his face.

I put my focus into work and school, not on the fire that he’s fighting, although he is always in the back of my mind. I miss him every single second that he’s gone, but I know he’s working hard and I care more about if he’s eaten, had enough water, and had enough sleep, instead of him being with me. I check the status of the fire, but I don’t look at weather or the parts that might scare me. I’ll look at his personal photos when he’s back in the safety of our home.

I exert any negative energy into exercising, yoga, Netflix binges (hello, Friends!), and also meditating at night when I go to sleep. I found this helps me so much at night.

Reading positive books.

I recently bought myself and my hubby Qalo rings, which are silicone rings designed specifically for very active people i.e. firefighters, rock climbers, weight-lifters, etc. I got him an all black, as he is very simple. But I got myself the ring that is a representation for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundations and their Wives.

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I still wear my wedding rings, but I wear this on my right hand.

I recently joined an online support group of firefighter wives from all over the country and it’s been so helpful and encouraging to be in a community of women who truly understand what it’s like. We’re similar to military wives, but we’re also different. We all miss our spouses, just for varying periods of time. I have so much respect for the spouses whose other half are in other countries for months on end. I’m lucky to see my husband after a few weeks.

I also use my “independence” for doing other things I might not normally do when he’s here. Shopping trips by myself, lazy evenings of reading or binge-watching YouTube, spending extra time with friends and family, and even eating food he may not like personally but I enjoy. Just because πŸ˜‰ Mmm, garlic shrimp…

If you know someone whose spouse is a firefighter or first responder, asking things like, “how is he doing?” or “how are you doing?” is wonderful. Offering support, rather than questions, is so appreciated. Also, a lot of the time, when asked anything, the tone has a lot to it… When I’m asked these questions and you tilt your head and give me sad eyes, that’s when it hurts. I’m not alone, nor do I need sympathy. Just your support.

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Thanks for reading everyone. I hope this makes sense and you understand where I am coming from.

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post

5 Things I Have Been Loving Lately

July has been a good month. Busy, but good. So I’m gonna go ahead and share a few materialistic things I’ve been enjoying πŸ˜‰ This is a beauty blog (mostly) after all! Haha. I’ll also throw in a few awesome moments, too.

1) Becca Cosmetics & Jaclyn Hill’s collaboration, their Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop.

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It’s a wonderful peachy gold highlighter that is just, in a word, phenomenal. and dare I saw, on fleek?! Haha. If you follow Jaclyn Hill, then you’ll know that the phrase #highlightonfleek has become quite the trend. Normally I would never say anything is on fleek, but omg I love this highlighter. It’s just perfect.

2) NYX brow pomade and even better, their brow pencil.

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These have both been compared to the Anastasia Beverly Hills products, and while I have never tried them, I really do love them. They have totally changed how I do my brows. Before I used the ELF brow product and while I liked it, I always felt like my brows were too… put on. But with these, and I only use one at a time, I feel like my brows are a bit more natural looking now. Love them!

3) My Kindle Paperwhite. Even though I’m working fulltime, in school again, and still have every other social activity that I had before, I’ve been reading more and it’s been so great. I think I’ve read 3 books in the last two weeks, the latest being All The Bright Places, which made me feel all the feelings when I finished. Ugh. I also read today that they’re making a film adaptation of it and I am so excited. Although scared because I will cry and I will need Bub there with me to hand me tissue.

4) My new grown up Kate Spade purse that I got as a treat to myself with my first nurse paycheck πŸ™‚

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I saw this purse style a year ago and have wanted it so much ever since. It’s the kind of purse I happily I use every day but can also wear it dressed up. I love it so much and am so happy I bought it. I also got it at an outlet so I scored big on the cost πŸ˜‰ The style is Newbury Lane Small Loden, they have various colors and while I debated between this and a gray, I finally chose the black as I do not have a nice black purse and it’s just so classy looking.

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It has three large pockets, as well as a shoulder strap.

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Here’s a picture of the size comparison to me.

5) This is my favorite thing and also quite possibly my favorite moment of the year thus far.

For our one year anniversary on the 13th, my sweet hubby surprised me with a wonderful wedding band.

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Sorry it’s so fuzzy.

It was sweet when he gave it to me, too. We were alone on our golf green with the lights on where we had our first dance and he very slyly put the ring on my finger without me even seeing it. But of course I felt it.

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Before I was wearing a simple band with it and while it was nice, this band is just… awesome. It’s so pretty and just really fits so well with my engagement ring. I find myself staring at my ring again like I’m engaged all over again. I had told my hubs a few months before that I wanted a band and he at first he was like, eh… But then when he surprised me with this… Oh, I fell in love again.

So those are my five favorites of July.

In other news, my hubby is currently away in northern California fighting fires and saving California. He’s been away for a week now and could be gone for at least another week. This is his first campaign of the season and was so excited to finally get a call away.

Thank you for reading everyone!

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.