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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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

Last Post of 2014

Currently listening to Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” which he wrote/sang for one of the Hobbit films. It’s making me feel nostalgic, especially with the rainy weather outside. Love it.

This has been a great year for me, in many ways.

I finished nursing school and successfully passed boards the first time around.

Picture of a picture!

Picture of a picture!

And of course I married my best friend!

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Those are my two big highlights but besides that, there were plenty of beach trips, times with family, lots of makeup, cuddles with my dogs, and of course time spent on my little blog. I feel like I connected a lot more with many of my viewers, whether through their own blogs or by finding each other on social media platforms. For that, I am so happy and grateful to have responded to each and everyone one of you that has left sweet words here on my little space. I simply do this for fun and to be able to see it grow and expand in such a way has been wonderful for me. I thank all of you for it, as I couldn’t have done it without you. You all inspire me so much. I am have done the same to at least one of you and if I have, then yay!

May 2015 be your best year yet!

Until next time…

xo, Briana

Kids, Trains, Toms & Vegan Cake

Hello loves,

What is this? Two posts in the same week? Amazing!

For a while there, it seemed like all of the pictures I was taking were of my niece and nephew. Cuties. But then I guess I forgot I had a real camera? My iPhone replaced it, when it really shouldn’t have. Today, I picked up my baby aka Canon Rebel and took some pictures of said niece and nephew.

Alei is a precious 10-month old, chubby little girl with blue eyes. I mention the eyes because she’s a 1/4 Filipina, 1/2 El Salvadoran, and the rest is a mixture of English & German. She’s getting quite adventerous, doesn’t mind tackling her brother, and her favorite words include “mama”, “baba” and “guh!” Landon is 2 (3 in May!) and loves trains. Like, you don’t even know. He knows all of the characters from Thomas the Train, as well as the difference between engines, coal cars, freight cars, and a caboose. He doesn’t have a problem correcting you, either. His favorite foods include oatmeal, cookies (any), eggs, waffles, ketchup, and syrup.

I like them. They make my heart smile.

Trains

Faces

My sister bought this at a yard sale. Such great condition!

He'll spend hours playing with his trains. He won't even stop to eat.

I love her hair "palmtree"

His favorite Thomas the Train character is Percy. I love this kid.

Like I said, I love these kids. It’s been great to be able to spend so much time with them the last few months. I’m gonna miss them once I start school in a few weeks.

In other news, not related to kids and trains, I bought new Toms yesterday. My old pair decided they would create a hole where my right big toe goes. I can tell the left one is thinking about doing the same thing. Sadness. I love my green Toms. Yesterday I had a pretty hard time debating between sticking with the green or getting red, maybe white. I finally decided on Red, which happens to be my favorite color. I’m glad I chose red. They are actually pretty awesome looking. I think I even convinced my sister the red looks good. It’s also boyfriend approved πŸ™‚

RED.

I’m sure a lot of you know that I follow Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman. I love her blog. She’s hilarious. Her food is tasty. Her life is crazy. Because of her I discovered Joy the Baker. Check out her blog as well. Yummy food. She’s a baker, in case you didn’t catch that.

I’ll be quick about this. I was on her blog yesterday, the day her first cookbook came out, and saw a vegan chocolate cake recipe. I had to try it. And today I did.

Let me say one thing about this cake : YUM.

It broke coming out of the pan, but do I care? No. Because it tasted so darn good!

Anywho, I hope you have had a great week and you spent Leap Day well. I didn’t do much. The usual. But yay for ONE WHOLE EXTRA DAY EVERY FOUR YEARS.

Ha. Ha… Eh.

Here’s the recipe for the cake. I did add dark chocolate chips, which were great in the cake. Changed the texture and added an extra “yum” factor. Right now I’m actually enjoying it with a cup of hot chocolate. Mmm…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xo
Briana

At Home Facial

Growing up with a sister 6 years older than I am, I always watched her beauty routines. I would tell myself that I would do the exact same things, wear the same clothes, have the same hair, and all those things younger sisters think. One thing she and I would do together, especially as we got older, would be “facials,” which really just consisted of washing our faces and applying a clay based masque. That was it. Yeah, it was awesome, okay?

A few weeks ago, I was reading Aarti’s blog, of Aarti Paarti, and how she does an at home facial

I was inspired. I had been having some difficulty with my own skin, breaking out and such. I’ve been blessed with good genes and good skin, but the last few weeks, if not months, I’ve been breaking out more and it’s terrible. I hate it! As a teenager, I always had great skin, but now that I’m in my twenties, my skin has decided to act up every now and then.

So, I decided to try this facial and it was amazing. I nearly died from suffocation during the steam part, but overall, it was amazing. The different egg parts felt weird, but overall it was amazing. My skin hadn’t felt that soft in forever and even my cadet noticed how it looked… healthier. And being a guy, that was awesome of him to notice. Score!

I think it’s about time I do this facial again, too. My face is due for some pampering after spending a few days in the desert this last weekend.

Ingredients

happy to be out of the steam!

a dry mask makes for great "wrinkles"

Mmm, egg yolk

can you see the dry egg yolk on my face? yum.

now egg white!

happy with my results. oh, so very happy!

p.s. I should mention that my sister and I have grown into two very different people, but we still love to pamper ourselves whether we’re together or not. It’s fun. She’s cute, I’m cute, and therefore we are cute to the power of two. I love having a sister. She’s pretty cool =)

Experimentation.

You know, the more you say or type that word, the weirder it looks. Is that a word? Weirder? Hm….

So what did I experiment on tonight? Butter cream frosting with caramel sauce in it? Uh, yum!

I started a basic cake decorating class a few weeks ago, on my birthday to be exact (did you all vote on my birthday?! I did!). Even though I’ve been decorating for a long time, my mom and I both agreed that it would be a good idea to take an actual class. It’s definitely been a very helpful class. I’ve already learned a few tricks I know I’ll use for any future cake, like how to get perfectly smooth and crumb free frosting on a cake. Uh-mazing! From here I can take another class either on fondant/gum paste or flowers/borders. We’ll see. Or I can just buy the book and kit. It’s cheaper…

The holidays are coming and I’m soo excited. It’s baking season! Last week I felt very inspired by a recent trip to Oak Glen, which has a great apple harvest every year, as well as delicious barbecue. We bought pounds of apples, so what did we make? Apple sauce, caramel sauce (for dipping) and turnovers for a change. I never made turnovers before and all of the recipes I researched called for store bought pastry sheets. However, every time I went to the store to buy some, they we either out OR they only had pastry shells. So, I decided to just try the turnovers with pate brise, your basic pie crust. Let me tell you something about these turnovers…. You don’t store bought puff pastry. Just do the pie crust πŸ™‚ Soo yummy with homemade caramel sauce. I’ve never made caramel sauce before either and I was soo happy that it turned out great. It requires a lot of patience though, that’s for sure. I’m pretty sure that pitiful peanut brittle I attempted a few weeks ago was ruined due to my lack of patience. Oh well. Try, try again. Maybe. I felt pretty defeated. I lack in candy making skills. I’m patient enough for a cake, cupcakes, or bread to bake but candy? No thanks! Caramel is different I guess. You can’t really go wrong unless you stir it. Stirring causing crystallization which then turns into candy. So no stirring when you’re making caramel!

I’m sure there was more I wanted to write about but unfortunately I had to save this as a draft and since I last saved it, I seem to have forgotten what I wanted to write about… Ah, well. Guess I’ll go ahead and post this. I’ll write another blog entry fairly soon if not right away. Nothing else seems to fit this entry πŸ™‚

I’m doing…what?

Quick note!

My sister and I (though mostly me, due to availability) are kiiiind of starting a cake/cupcake business, if that’s what you want to call it.

Basically, we want to make your cakes or cupcakes (or both!) for your special events. You’ve seen some of the things we’ve done before and hopefully you’ve liked it all! Since we’re just starting, it’ll be fairly inexpensive. Just enough to cover the cost of materials, gas (depending on location), and difficulty.

I made a blog for it: http://beesteascakes.wordpress.com

There’s also a link to it on the side under my blogroll.

B for Briana and T for Trisha πŸ™‚ I’m sketching a cute drawing of it. You’ll see it soon enough.

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think! Give us some suggestions!