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

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.

I’m 26 & I’m Not Old | A Rant, Because YES

I am 26-years old, going on 27 this November. I say that with pride. But lately, when I reveal my age to some, I say it with hesitation. Sometimes I get a feeling from the person asking that they ask merely to date me, figure me out, and perhaps understand me. All based on a set of numbers that I guess is supposed to define me. I try not to reveal my age, but if I have an okay feeling with someone, I might say it, but only if they ask.

I don’t like asking someone how old they are, because I’m usually wrong if I say it before they do. I may assume older but can be wrong, but I assumed because of their maturity. And vice versa. About 90% of the time, I really think age is just a number. Looks also have a lot to do with it. Believe me… I know… If you were to guess my age without seeing it above, what would you guess? I usually get 21 or 23. Sometime I still get 18. But hardly 26 or even 25. Never have I heard 27 or above.

Now why am I venting about this?

I’ve been at my new job for 4 weeks now and many people are surprised I’m an RN, because I don’t look old enough. It’s not the patients/donors that irk me when they say it; it’s my peers and coworkers. Many people don’t mean any harm by it. But when you hear it repeatedly… It gets to you. Today, for example, a coworker (probably my age) said I looked like a schoolgirl. *Insert annoyed face emoji*

What I mentioned in my first paragraph about a feeling I get from people, it’s because I feel as if they can then use my age almost against me. And they want to. Someone will ask me.. who sings this song? If it’s from the 80s or 70s, because I obviously don’t know seeing as how I wasn’t born then.

Or perhaps I’ll say I’m sore from a workout or I didn’t sleep good the night before (something that occurs too often) and someone even just a few years older than me will say, “oh sweetie, you’re still young. You don’t even know yet.” Oh, you’re right. OBVIOUSly I don’t. ‘scuse me!

Maybe it’s because I’m the youngest by a few years, while my siblings are all one year apart, but to this day I a little annoyed when I hear, “you’re too young for…” even if it’s not directed to me. I heard that a lot growing up and now I hear “Oh, you’re probably too young to know about this or understand that…”

Take me as I am and not for my age. Damnit. I have also realized that in my short 26 years, I have more life experience than some people nearly twice my age. Just saying. I have seen more, done more, and experienced more than a lot of people may realize or ever know. I simply want validation for what I think and say based on my maturity and not my age. While this post itself may be a bit immature in it’s nature, I hope you understand why I am writing it. It’s hard being in a professional career where you’re looked up at with respect and some of it is taken away when they think you’re 21.

Now that’s just the age thing I’m annoyed with. I’m not done yet.

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I’m happily married to a wonderful firefighter, a firefighter who loves his job and is damn good at it, too. Many of you may know this, but for those of you that don’t, when he is called to a fire he can be gone for weeks on end. The first week we were married, he got called away and was gone for two weeks. The next fire he went to, less than a month after his return, he was away again for 3 weeks.

So while he’s away fighting fires exhausting himself, does that mean I’m home twiddling my thumbs or wringing my hands in severe stress over his safety? In one word, no.

Am I concerned? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to freak myself out over it. I fully trust him and his capabilities as a firefighter. I trust his intuition as well as his captains and chief’s in charge. It’s not easy, but I do my best, as does he.

Now I’m mentioning this because when he’s away for either his three-day shifts or away at fires for an unknown amount of time, some people like to ask me questions and refer to me as two things: single and my absolute favorite… a widow. Because he’s away, gone… and I’m alone. All. By. Myself.

And by favorite, I mean I internally cringe with a touch of anger and sadness when I hear the word “widow.” To me, it’s just wrong on many levels. For one, I am in NO freaking way a widow, nor single for that matter! Secondly, it downplays what a widow is. Thirdly, if he were in the military and deployed overseas, would these same people refer to me as a widow? Probably not.

I am one of many wives who wonder how our husbands are doing, how exhausted each one must be, as well as thirsty, hungry, tired, and hopefully missing their wives. When he’s away, I never expect him to reply to text, call every night, or send me a photo here and there. I expect him to rest when he can, drink and eat when he can, and hopefully take a shower here and there πŸ˜‰ Then call me. Ha. But really, if he doesn’t, it’s fine. I frequently check the status of whatever fire he is at and get an idea of any danger he might be in. But I will say he is very good at calling and texting when he can.

~~~~~~~~

So. Those are two things I have wanted to vent about for a while now. I hope you understand my thoughts and I also apologize for this not being beauty related. I’ll try to work on that soon. But oh, hey! School and work at currently consuming my life.

That is all.

Happier things shall be written soon. I hope. I think. Maybe?

xo, Briana

The Struggle is Real

If you keep up with modern culture and it’s latest phrases or words, then you’ll understand that when I say, “The struggle is real,” I mean it. Hashtag and all, #thestruggleisreal

What struggle, you might ask?

Finding balance.

I suddenly find myself balancing every day life of being with my husband, my family, starting my online BSN program, aaaaand FIIIINALLY starting a real nursing job!

Let me break it down to ya, how the last few weeks have been kind of busy/hectic/chaotic/awesome/crazy, and other choice words.

Hubs started his new job mid-May, where his new assignment has him at the station Sat-Mon (basically Tuesday am), and that’sΒ if he’s not held over. Which he has been the last few weeks and will probably continue since fire season is California started with a big bang.

Mid June I decided to go ahead and start my online bachelors program, since I hadn’t been hired yet by any hospital or anything. I decided to start it for a few reasons, the two main being 1) I needed/wanted to get it done (personal reasons and personal job gain) eventually so why not now? and 2) I had time since I didn’t have a nursing job yet.

Heh, that quickly changed. Basically the week before I started my classes, I suddenly got an interview for a blood bank and not gonna lie, it was thee best interview of my life. It was in the morning and by that afternoon I got a call-back to start my background check, physical, drug test, etc. Then the next week (after I started my class), I got my official offer and found myself starting my new job the next Monday, which was the end of June.

So. Here I am on a Monday evening at my parents, since Bub is working, on their couch feeling quite tired. and it’s only Monday.

Right now, I’m simply in training for my job but it is an early start (0700) and 5 days a week. Right now it’s Mon-Fri but once training is done, I’ll be Tues-Sat. So that basically means my days are the complete opposite of what my husbands are, if you’ve been keeping up.

2 points if you have been.

I’ve been wanting to blog and write about pretty things, but I currently have to write about nursing theories right now. I also just don’t have as much downtime like I used to. Can’t imagine why…

and if you’re wondering about my job, I did in fact say blood bank. That means I work for a company where we collect blood and blood parts from volunteer donors. The products are used for typically life-saving situations, like surgeries, traumas, blood diseases, etc. I’m basically a piece of the bridge that gaps donors to patients in need. And it’s very exciting. I’ll be at donor centers but will eventually be trained to be on the mobile blood drives, like at high schools and businesses. I’m very excited.

While this is all very sudden and like, wow! Hello, life! I’m feeling very content, in between tired and like a chicken with her head cut off. But (so far) I’m not overwhelmed and stressed. Tired with a capital T, yes. But very happy and content. It’s brought about some peace that Bub and I have been needing. It’s been a year since I passed my RN and it’s been along year not using it. I’m forever grateful to my parents who were able to have me employed at their business and while I miss working with them, I’m so happy to be using my license. And for something that is very rewarding and different.

And hey, speaking of Bub in that last paragraph… Our one year wedding anniversary is this Monday πŸ™‚

Can you believe that?

How time flies… And it’s not about to slow down, y’all…

So if you don’t hear from here for awhile, well, now you’ll know.

Thanks for sticking around and reading this different post. I appreciate each and everyONE of you!

xo, Briana

 

10 Years of Us

So I know Bub and I are married now, which means we have a new anniversary to celebrate (less than 2 months away from the first!) but today, May 27, marks 10 years of us being a couple.

294206_10150261071653224_5021137_nCirca 2010 (I think?? ha..)

We were a funny, young couple that celebrated monthly for the first year. Then of course after that we celebrated every year.

10 years is a long time; we’ve been together for more than a third of our lives. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s been worth every moment. We’ve grown from teenagers, to young adults, to the married adult couple that we are now. We’ve encouraged each other, supported each other, became a part of each others families. Our lives were separate but then slowly became meshed together. In a healthy way of course πŸ™‚

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I supported him entirely while he was in fire academy. That’s actually when I started doing his laundry! haha.

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He was a wonderful support for me in nursing school, always making sure I had space to study and always brought me food.

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So from here, let’s just post a bunch of random photos of us… I don’t remember a lot of the years, so I may not post them. And sadly, I can’t seem to find many pictures from the first three years of us dating, back when he had long hair and I never wore makeup. and if I did, it was terrible. Ha.

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And then, oh lucky me, I just found happened to find some good ol’ photos from us first dating.

Oh yes…

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This ^^ was approximately a week before “officially” started dating. I invited him to the beach with my sister and then his sister came, too. Look how cute he is with his long hair…

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Then three weeks after we became “official.” Look at that smile…

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amazing how we went from that…

…to…

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I love you sweetie, with all my heart.

Thank you for asking me to be your girlfriend on that late Friday night. I knew right away you were special and our relationship was special.

You’re my best friend, my rock, and my own personal repairman/firefighter/lawns keeper/electrician/MacGyver.

I love you. Forever and for always.

xo, Briana aka Pockets

What’s In My Gym Bag! & Hello, Life! Plus A Story About Pre-Workout…

Heya guys!

So if you follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter (@tidibitsofbriana) then you’ll know that I was recently in Hawaii for a few days. My cousin got married there and lucky me, I was a bridesmaid as well as her MUA! It was a quick trip but of course fun! I missed my hubby since he couldn’t come, but it was fun to hang out with some awesome girls, all of whom I miss a lot! Then once I got home, it was time for friends and family’s graduations, as well as spending lost time with my honey.

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Wedding day!

IMG_5232My beautiful cousin who was a beautiful bride! While I would like to take some credit, since I did her makeup, she was absolutely glowing from within and her inner beauty shown through, as well as her love for her groom!

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Shore of Waikiki

Anyhow, that’s just a quick “why I haven’t blogged in two weeks!”

I started going back to the gym today and with that I thought I’d share with you what I take with me to the gym! I just got this new gym bag and I loooove it. I had a previous bag, from Target, but I wasn’t completely in love with it. But my cousin had this in Hawaii and I when I first saw it and held it, I knew I wanted one of my own.. And lucky me, it’s from Fabletics! I have been going on a Fabletics binge when it comes to capris and leggings, but now this bag…

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It’s pretty slouchy and doesn’t have much to hold it up with, but I like that I can just throw my stuff in but it’s still easy to find inside.

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The sides have buckles if you want to make your bag “bigger” in that you allow more wiggle room. Right now I keep them buckled so I don’t have that open to throw more stuff in. Haha.
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It has both an adjustable shoulder strap and double handles. The material is extremely soft on the inside, like jersey knit or something.

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It has a large front pocket that has a zip. This is where I like to keep my lock, phone, and keys.

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Open back mesh pocket, good for chap stick or something you don’t mind people seeing.

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It has a wide opening with a large zipper, making it easy to see inside.

Now let’s see what I do keep in there!

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My basic gym stuff! I use a wash cloth rather than a towel because let’s be honest… I just don’t sweat enough to require a larger towel, no matter how hard I run or how hard I workout. And if I need to wipe someone else’s sweat off a machine (ew), I get some paper towels and cleaner.

Of course I use a lock, too! Then my gloves which are nice and grippy but aren’t too stiff. I found mine for really inexpensive at Marshall’s. If I listen to music, I like my shuffle because it’s small and I can clip it to my clothes, rather than have some annoying arm band on. My watch is a Ripcurl watch that is waterproof and because of the material (rubber-like), it doesn’t slide around on my wrist.

Finally, my new favorite water bottle. Costco had a good deal on these, so hubs and I got a set of them. They’re awesome because they literally keep your drink cold for hours. Ice does NOT melt, even after like 5-6 hours. I don’t know how it works, but it does. It holds something like 20-22 oz of water, so I drink about 3 of these a day for my daily intake, sometimes more.

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Slippers if I wanna shower and of course a brush for all my hair! haha

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Everything you see here I keep in a small cosmetics bag, aside from the body. The cap on that is loose so it goes in it’s own separate pocket.

But aside from that, which I use for obvious reasons, I like to have hand sanitizer, dry shampoo, and body wash if I shower. Then some powder with a brush if I wore makeup and want a quick touch up, as well as regular ol’ chapstick. Then the usual girly things…

Finally, I like to keep gum on hand because it helps my mouth from getting dry and something about chewing gum while running or exercising is just nice.

What I forgot to include were some granola bars I might eat before or after a workout, then of course a protein powder with a blender type bottle. You know, those bottles with the metal spiral thingy that sounds so funny but makes you feel like a bartender.

Speaking of protein powder and such… I tried my first pre-workout drink today.

Never, ever again. At least not the brand I tried…

I wanted to try a pre-workout to see if I helped me work harder or anything, so I mixed the powder with my water when I left my house and drank it on my way, about a 20 minute drive. I figured that would give it time to kick in so by the time I arrived, I’d be ready to go.

On the way down, I noticed my cheeks felt warm, a little tingly and itchy. I didn’t think much of it until I got to the gym when the sensation went to my feet and even my ears, followed by my chest. My feet felt it more than any other area. I thought perhaps I might be having an allergic reaction but I didn’t have hives and my throat felt fine. The feeling slowly went away but was still there a little. I began to feel a little anxious though, almost jittery. I went inside, put my stuff in my locker then started my usual 20 minute run. Immediately the feeling came back even stronger on my chest, cheeks, ears, but especially my feet. After 5 minutes I couldn’t handle it. I slowed the treadmill, jumped off before it even stopped, and then went straight to my locker, grabbed my phone, and Googled “itchy feeling from pre workout” and found out that what I was experiencing was my capillaries and histamine reacting to the niacin and beta alanine in the pre workout.

I determined I was not having an allergic reaction (no epinephrine or benadryl required), but I was still very uncomfortable. I felt even more anxious and jittery, almost jumpy. My skin felt felt like it was crawling. I tried to continue my workout with the stair master and then some weights, but after 20 minutes I couldn’t handle it. I left and tried to just calm down with some food.

The flushed feeling and jittery-ness finally went away after 3-4 hours but ooh I hated it.

So!

That was my experience with pre workout and that’s what I take with me in my gym bag. Ha.

I hope you enjoyed the post and story!

Thanks for sticking with me guys, even though I’ve been so absent lately.

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post. All products mentioned and/or shown were purchased with my own money.

Time For Adventures

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I’ve last blogged. My last few posts have been more on life rather than beauty and that’s okay with me because this blog is supposed to consist of all things life, not just beauty.

I’ve been wanting to write and while I have a few ideas, I didn’t make myself write them because I’ve been focusing on a few more important things going on right now and am also trying to be more in the moment. My husband’s fire season starts next month and with that, he could go away at any time and be gone for weeks. So with that coming up, he and I have been wanting to do a big trip before his season starts. I’m also going to Hawaii next month for my cousin’s wedding, of which I am a bridesmaid. Unfortunately, my hubby can’t come because it’s the exact same time his season starts.

One thing that I love about my hubby is that he likes me to be involved in whatever he does. If I weren’t with him, I may never have gone rock climbing, hiked as much as I have in Yosemite, been to Alaska, explored various national parks, or fell in love with camping as much as I have. While I may not be as adventurous as he is, I’m thankful that he wants me right next to him on every adventure he goes on.

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While I love my blog and what is has become in my life, right now I’m focusing on my personal life and am simply going to enjoy it without the guilt of “oh, I didn’t write a post today or this week…”.

I hope you understand. I promise to show pictures of our adventures, but for now, I can’t wait for it to begin.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Mammoth Lakes for his family’s annual trip and then on Sunday he and I are heading to Utah to explore the 5 main national parks. We’ll be traveling all week then will head back to Las Vegas to cheer his sister and her boyfriend for their Spartan race then come home Sunday. We’ll be camping out in our truck, which is fully prepped for traveling and sleeping in. He’s made it super cozy with the camper shell. I’ll have to show y’all sometime. It’s our own little camper.

Until next time Yosemite...

Until next time Yosemite…

Walking along the river.

Walking along the river.

National Parks are the best.

National Parks are the best.

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Here are some links to previous posts that include our traveling adventures!

CA Roadtrip Part 1

CA Roadtrip Part 2

Alaska Favorites

More Alaska

Fishing in Alaska

Yosemite Post Featured on Freshly Pressed!

Camping in Joshua Tree

In the mean time…

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xo, Briana

Positive Vibes

Sometimes I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, figuratively of course. But none the less, I’m put in a mood thatΒ is less then cheery. I can joke and laugh but then I’m still feeling moody. Today, for example, I’m just feeling kind of “meh” and it’s annoying me. I can’t snap out of it.

I’ve been having difficulty sleeping for a while now, but that’s also normal for me. I’ve simply come to terms that I’m just a bad sleeper. I also have an annoying contact lens and my glasses are at home. I’m also feeling hangry (hungry+angry). And my hair has been bugging me this week, almost to the point where I contemplated cutting some of it off. But I’m not. I know I’ll regret it. Like I always do. But you know what I mean about the hair, right? Ugh. Some days…

So can you tell I’m in an irritated mood?

A few things I might try to help myself feel better includes a) eat something, b) put on fun lipstick (currently wearing a fun coral pink now), c) list a few things that make me happy. I need positive vibes.

So let’s do it.

1) My husband. That’s a given though. But this week he’s been especially awesome. The other day he surprised me with a brand new backpacking pack. I’m so excited to use it and can’t wait to go on a trip. Even just thinking about it now makes me so happy.

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That there is my new backpack. It’s a Gregory Deva 70, the 2015 model. I took a screen shot of it from the Gregory website because the picture I have makes it look sad since it’s empty. Haha.

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And that is my handsome hubby all dressed up for his sister’s wedding. and of course me in my bridesmaid dress πŸ˜‰ I loved getting my hair done that day. And we couldn’t help but sneak a few kisses during the wedding. Haha. We’re no longer the new newlywed’s in the family.

2) The beach. We spent two days at the beach this past weekend and it was marvelous. So relaxing. We also got some awesome tans.

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This picture was last October but the scene was the same, even the bikini.

3) Guilty pleasure music.

This weeks (or month’s) playlist includes Nick Jonas, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry.

4) Family. Tonight we’re celebrating my oldest brother’s birthday and also we’ll be missing one sibling, I’m looking forward to quality time with my family.

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I love them.

5) Milo. Pets really know when you’re emotional or something. They just get it. He’s been attentive to me today and I totally appreciate his puppy dog eyes and they way they look at me.

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How cute is he?

6) Bonus…

you guys!

I was nervous about my blog post last week, my #DearMe post. But some of you wrote me private messages and left sweet comments that made me feel so good. I love you guys.

And now I feel better. Seeee how that works?

If you’re ever feeling blah, try writing down a few things that make you happy!

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xo, Briana

FTC : This is not a sponsored post.

#DearMe

In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), YouTube launched a campaign called “#DearMe” where all women and girls, or anyone really, were invited to share open letters that they would write to their younger selves. And it could be on anything, from body image to love to self-confidence, etc.

I read a few letters and watched a few videos myself. And I suppose I’ll go ahead and share my own #DearMe letter, going back to my 15/16-year old self. I could probably go through my old journals and go from there, but for now, I’ll just go off the top of my head.

Oh boy. Here we go.

Dear Me,

Here you are, 15 or maybe 16 years old. But it’s sophomore year, the year where things change for you and will forever shape you. You have thin brows because you over plucked; you want to fit in and in a lot of ways you do, but inside you feel so insecure. But that’s okay. I think all kids that age do. You’re not alone. There’s a couple of things I want to tell you, from my 26-year old perspective. That’s right, we’re 26 now. And we’re doing pretty good and feeling pretty happy, too. Things haven’t exactly turned out the way you might expect them to, but it’s even better than you could have expected. More on that later.Right now, I want to give you some advice and also pick at our brain a little. Excuse my grammar.

I’ll try to make this short, but we’ll see how it goes.

First of all, don’t be ashamed of how you do in school. Yeah, you passed all of your classes with average grades and learned things. Mostly A’s and B’s with one C thrown in. Thanks Mr. H and good ol’ geometry. But maybe try a little harder. You can push yourself and get great results. Don’t just get by because you’d rather let people think you don’t have to study to get good grades or because you’d rather hang out with your siblings and their friends. Trust me, you are going to need those studying skills in college! And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling with something.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Go ahead and try out for choir. Heck, you know they took just about anyone. And don’t be ashamed to hide your voice just because one guy laughed when he asked you to sing a song after you mentioned you were thinking choir. He didn’t mean to make you feel bad. He just has bad people skills. and yes, sports are fun! They’re not a burden. They’re not something to torture you with.

Be open with your friends, as hard as it is. Sometimes the people that are the meanest are the closest to you. You need to be open with them and let them know when they hurt you. Maybe they need someone to talk to, because things are hard for them and the only way they cope is to make others feel bad. There are other girls out there that will be your friend because they want to be your friend, not because you’re someone they can simply vent to and get upset with over any little thing to let their own frustrations out. But be there for them anyway. They need you.

You keep listening to music that makes you feel unhappy. You keep thinking it’s making you feel better by their words. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They feel your angst, the fact that your parents misunderstand you and smother you. But in reality, it’s those words that put those thoughts in your head. It’s not true, sweetie. You have so much to be thankful for. Don’t listen to tough and hard music. It might make you look tough on the outside, but on the inside, you know you’re hurting and want to ask for help but your pride isn’t letting you. Just let it go and tell someone you’re struggling. It’s okay to feel upset. It’s okay to ask for help. You’re not bothering anyone. In fact, the ones close to you want to help; stop pushing them away.

IMG_4224Oh yeah, the punk/rock days. You wore dark clothes and didn’t want your picture to be taken. And if you did have you picture taken, you never gave a real smile, if you smiled at all. You have a beautiful smile my dear. Show it.

Then here’s the big thing. Boys.

They’ll get ya in trouble, I tell ya. And by trouble, I mean mess with your head. Oh, how they do.

You started out with a sweet boyfriend the beginning of sophomore year. He was nice to you and everything, but let’s be real. His kisses were mediocre and after your first kiss, you knew it was all downhill. Then you find out later on he cheated on you, but you only find out after after you break up. You broke up with him because you knew it wasn’t going anywhere. The feelings were gone. Then suddenly, a senior who is the brother of one of your girlfriends starts paying attention you. You were both on ASB (Associated Student Body) and so you had to see each other about once a week. Your school is small and so all of the classes are close together. It’s not uncommon for seniors to be friends with sophomores or even freshmen, but anyway.

By the way, don’t bother with ASB. You only did it because you thought it might help you in college, but guess what? You’re going to save money through community college, honey. Oh yeah!

Moving on.

You liked the attention he gave you. It made you feel happy to know a senior might like you. You, the girl who never felt pretty even though there were boys who had crushes on you even though they never talked to you. Maybe it was your home school image that made you feel so insecure about boys. I know you’re uncomfortable with your social skills, but don’t worry; you mature and grow up just fine.

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You’ve always been a reader. You loved fantasy; it took you places you could only dream about. Don’t be ashamed of the fact that you love to read. It helped shape you when you were growing up and being home-schooled. There is no normal. It’s okay!

The attention he’s giving you, while it lasted for months, isn’t go anywhere. He makes you promises but tells you to keep them all a secret, “until the time is right.” You never get involved with him physically, but emotionally you are so attached. He tells you not to tell anyone about your “secret relationship.” You’ll find out soon enough he’s been doing the same to two of your other girlfriends. When you find this out, you’re going to get angry. You’re going to be upset and do things to yourself you might regret. You’ll tell your family it’s just school that is bothering you because you never told any of them about him, except your sister who was working as an office assistant. They knew all the gossip among the students.

I wish you had listened to your warning signs but you know what? Out of all crap he’s going to put you through and all the sleepless nights he’ll cause (maybe this is where you anxiety was triggered. But don’t worry, you’ll eventually learn to control it. Mostly. anyway), you’re going to come out stronger and happier.

Once he figures out what he’s done to you, he’ll give you a crap excuse and you buy it. But you swear you’re never going to let another boy do to that to you again. and you won’t. Because not even a week after this goes down, you’re going to “meet” your future husband. You’ll meet and reminisce about things, ask about where he plans to go to college, and in the end, you’ll exchange numbers. Three weeks later, on May 27, he’s going to tap you on the shoulder before you go back inside your house to ask if you’ll be his girlfriend. Then about 8 years and 2 weeks later, he’s going to propose. You won’t see it coming, by the way. Then a year and one month later, he’ll become your husband.

That’s right, your husband. He’s the brother of your sisters friend. I won’t go into too much detail but I’ll just say for you, it’s all a fairytale. And right now, you are living very happily ever after. In fact, he’s cuddled up in bed next to you. He’s so cute.

I think what I want you to learn and take away are these few things:

Push yourself. You’ll be surprised at how smart and talented you really are when you just give your all.

Try new things! Don’t worry about what other people think!

Be yourself and stick up for yourself.

Listen to your heart.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’ll all work out!

Ask for help when you need it.

Finally, don’t give up. You might be hurt but something better is out there for you.

Well, we’re getting to end here but before I go, I want to say just a few more things.

Thanks for hanging out with everybody. You were never picky about who you ate lunch with; don’t stop that. You don’t belong to a cliche or an image.

Listen to happy music once and a while. That “punk” rock is fun to listen to, but only if you’re NOT upset. It makes you feel and see things that aren’t even there. Your parents love you and aren’t trying to hold you back. Same with your siblings. They’re all protective of you and maybe know a thing or two. Or three. Tell them all you love them, too. It’s so important for people to know that and feel it, too.

Spend some time with your grandma’s. They love you so much and want to be a part of your life.

Finally, stop plucking your eyebrows and ease up on the eyeliner.

Eh, you’ll figure it out eventually, thanks to YouTube.

Well, self, until next time.

xo, Briana

p.s. That same boy that broke your heart and strung it along to all those months? He’ll regret it; trust me. He’ll tell you later on when he realizes he’s forever lost you to your now husband.