December 12, 2017

Give the Gift of Time with Jord Wood Watches

This is a sponsored post for which I have received free product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.  

Give the Gift of Time with Jord Wood Watches this holiday season. Plus save 25% instantly (through 12/15/17) with link in blog post.

It's the most wonderful time of the year. A time for family, friends, personal reflection and growth, faith, and an intense sense of nostalgia. Between baking Christmas cookies, decking the halls, and attending school Christmas pageants with little ones reenacting the real reason for the season and then joyously singing the Little Drummer Boy; it can be hard to consistently be a thoughtful gift giver. We have so many other things which preoccupy our thoughts and demanding our time and attention. Not to mention, it is easy to become jaded by all the over-the-shelf solutions for the mom, man, or teen in your life. It seems like you have to pick one of the top ten items that appear on some magazine gift list and hope your recipient falls into that preconceived box - because all moms want candles and bubble bath and all men need a beard grooming kit or a new golf club right?

Wrong!

This year gift giving doesn't need to be so stressful. At least not if you have someone on your list who needs the gift of time.

Give the Gift of Time with Jord Wood Watches this holiday season. Plus save 25% instantly (through 12/15/17) with link in blog post.

Jord Wood Watches are a classic gift option with a unique touch. They are all expertly crafted from a beautiful selection of exotic woods. The internal mechanisms are Swiss-made and self winding, so they have a timeless touch of quality which has been trusted for generations. Jord Wood Watches can be engraved which gives each timepiece an extra-special touch and sentiment. There's a great selection of wooden watch options for both men and women, so there's really something for almost everyone on your gift list this year, young and old alike.

I have been a long-time lover of Jord Wood Watches. I've been wearing my Cora watch almost every day for the last two years, and I recently got a new, larger style Frankie in Ebony and Gold. I can say whenever I wear one of my Jord Wooden Watches I get compliments on it. Most recently, I've had an older woman stop me while I was grocery shopping and then a young teenager who worked at a photo center comment on the timelessness and craftsmanship of the watch.

Give the Gift of Time with Jord Wood Watches this holiday season. Plus save 25% instantly (through 12/15/17) with link in blog post.

Jord Wood Watches come in a gorgeous wooden box, which is almost a gift in and of itself, so if you aren't the gift wrapping type, a gift from Jord is sure to impress, even without all the frilly wrapping and ribbons.

Give the Gift of Time with Jord Wood Watches this holiday season. Plus save 25% instantly (through 12/15/17) with link in blog post.

This holiday season, do not settle for a one-size-fits-all gift. Explore some of the fantastic options from Jord. 

Also, did I mention you can save 25% on your purchase between now and December 15th, just by clicking this link? So hurry and place your order now so it will arrive before Santa Clause comes down the chimney. 

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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December 7, 2017

Update Your Winter Wardrobe With These Key Staple Pieces

Disclosure: "Update Your Winter Wardrobe With These Key Staple Pieces" is a sponsored post from Pink Coconut Boutique, and I received compensation for publishing it. The opinions expressed in this post are not my own, but I felt like their products align with my brand and I want to make sure I'm always keeping my readers updated on the latest trends in fashion, food, parenting techniques, and prayerful practices. I hope you enjoy! 
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When winter is approaching, it’s time to take a peek inside your closet. Naturally, with cooler temperatures on the way, you’re going to be swapping out your sandals, lightweight summer dresses, and shorts for warmer apparel, like sweater tops and stylish booties. 

Cold weather doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t still look chic, either. In fact, wintertime offers some unique opportunities for creative layering. And who doesn’t like an excuse to invigorate their wardrobes with some new pieces? 

If you’re ready to rotate your closet over for the winter months, make sure to incorporate these key staple pieces. To boot, we’ve included some style tips on how to wear them, no matter the occasion.


Sweater Tops
It doesn’t get much cozier than a sweater in winter — and the good news is, you can still look super stylish wearing one.

Consider a sweater with shoulder cutouts, which has a vibe that’s subtly sultry but still casual enough for daytime, especially with patterned leggings and flat booties.

A simple V-neck sweater gets a spunky upgrade with lace-up detailing at the top — and all you need are skinny jeans and over-the-knee boots to pull the whole look together.

Don’t overlook a simple wide-sleeved cardigan, either. Wear it open over a long-sleeved knit top with rolled up faded jeans and pointy flats, and then top it all off with some simple crystal or pearl stud earrings. It’s a combo that manages to be both classic and contemporary.

Dressy Leggings
Who says leggings are just for the gym? Sure, this piece is perfect for lounging, but in the right fabrics and with the right details, they can be downright dressy. 

Colored leggings, for example, have a little more intrigue than basic black. For the winter months, consider a pair in burgundy, eggplant, or a deep green. They’re stunning even with a long, slouchy sweater or blouse in a soft hue like cream, taupe, or gray. Top it all off with a belted wool coat and some ankle boots for a look that’s totally on-trend.

There’s nothing wrong with neutral leggings, either. Black is a stellar staple to have in your closet because it’s obviously ultra-versatile. You can make black leggings look instantly elegant with a lace top and pointy pumps, or dress them down with a floral blouse and flats. The bottom line is that you’re bound to get a lot of wear out of them. 

Charcoal gray is slightly less dramatic than black, and also an ideal pick for winter. Gray leggings look phenomenal with graphic tees and slip-on sneakers for a more casual look, but can also be dressed up with a white silk tunic and crimson platform heels, for example.

This winter, seek out a pair or two of leggings that have some subtle detailing on them, which have a little added visual interest. Studs, embroidery, and distressed slits or tears all make for an edgier pair of leggings that you can sport with a graphic T-shirt and blazer to strike a compromise between professional and rock ’n’ roll.

Booties
If there’s one style of shoe you’re going to want a pair (or three) of this winter, it’s booties. They’re practical in the colder months for obvious reasons, but they’re also super cute with a wide variety of ensembles. Plus, they come with an endless array of heel heights, toe shapes, materials, and details, so you’re bound to find a pair that works for every outfit and occasion.

You can’t beat a flat brown leather bootie with distressed jeans and an oversized scarf for the ultimate low-key daytime outfit. On the other hand, suede booties in charcoal gray or jet black look stunning with a sweater dress, opaque tights, and a statement necklace — and that’s an ensemble you can easily wear to work at a casual office or on a date. 


You’ll also find that moto booties add edge to just about anything, whether gray leggings and a tunic or a cowl-neck top and a midi skirt. 

Velvet tops
There’s no doubt that velvet just oozes winter charm. So this season, embrace the luxe fabric with some new velvet tops, which give any ensemble a dose of understated glamour. 


We love a long-sleeved off-the-shoulder velvet top with black skinny jeans and wedges for date night or drinks with your girlfriends, or a velvet cardigan with a basic tee and boyfriend jeans for a more laid-back, yet still fashion-forward outfit.

A flutter-sleeved velvet T-shirt has a romantic look, peeking out from under a wool parka. Pair it with leather leggings for an edgy vibe, or gray denim for a softer look.

Tunics
Talk about versatility! Depending on the length, a tunic can be worn as a top or a dress, layered over hosiery or leggings, and worn for chill daytime activities, as well as dressier evening affairs.

During winter, go for a tunic in a soft hue like dusty mauve, purple, or mocha — crochet trim or floral lace along the neck or sleeves will add even more femininity to this piece. You can sport it over leggings or tights with slouchy suede boots for a boho look, or with nude pumps when you’re going out at night.

A velvet tunic with long bell sleeves has a subtle ‘70s feel, but it feels instantly modern when worn with wedge boots and textured tights.

Florals aren’t just for spring and summer. Go ahead and slip on a tunic with a flower print — with a black, navy, or otherwise dark background, it’s still seasonally appropriate. Then pair it with knee-high riding boots and an infinity scarf, and you’re ready to roll.
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Be Blessed,
Brittany
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December 4, 2017

More Than Just a Basic Invite

This is a sponsored post for which I have received compensation. All opinions are my own.  

More than just a basic invite - these holiday cards are perfect for personal Christmas cards, office holiday cards, or invitations to your personal cookie swap.

How is it Christmas seems to sneak up on me every year? It is literally the same day. Every. Single. Year. And somehow I'm always surprised when it rolls around. I am apparently not the mom who has each present selected and perfectly wrapped before mid-October. Instead, I usually get slapped in the face with the realization Christmas is upon us sometime between Thanksgiving and my birthday, which is in early December. I'll be minding my own business, driving down the street scanning the channels when - BAM - I'm stopped dead in my tracks by the infamous "All Christmas Music" channel. From that point on I am scrambling to try and create a picture-perfect Christmas experience for my family.

This year is different. I at least tried to get ahead of some of my holiday planning. In fact, like almost every other middle-class suburban mom, I shlepped my husband and kids to a field out yonder for the perfect Christmas card picture and thanks to the fantastic work of JMcLane Productions I had an incredible assortment of images from which to choose. Seriously, if you're in the Atlanta area and need a photographer, these guys are top notch!

Since we have family and friends near and far, it has always been important to me to try and foster those relationships in the best way possible, especially during the holidays. I'm a traditionalist, so one way I do that is to send Christmas cards. I love receiving snail mail and I know I'm not the only one who gets excited when they open their mailbox in December. Seriously, raise your hand if you get joy tearing into those colored envelopes, am I right?

Each year, I take special care to make sure our Christmas card selection is just right. My husband and I make it a date night, and we sit together with our beer and wine and debate the different variations of blue and the use of "Merry" vs. "Happy" - man do our date nights look so different than they did before children. But I digress, in the wake of our family photo shoot, I was exceptionally picky about our Christmas cards, I really wanted to knock them out of the park this year. When I stumbled across Basic Invite, I was immediately impressed by the design and customization options, and I knew I had found my match.

More than just a basic invite - these holiday cards are perfect for personal Christmas cards, office holiday cards, or invitations to your personal cookie swap.

We spent time creating several different card options, customizing the edges, the envelope colors, the fonts and foils, and the weight and texture of the cards themselves. In fact, I ordered six completely different Holiday card samples just to test the look and feel of each design option. I wanted to ensure I was picking the one I liked above all others. After the samples arrived, I spent two weeks studying the various options, trying to decide which one we'd use for our card this year. I changed my mind almost daily but finally made a decision. It was so hard to choose I almost opted to have two or three different versions go out - that might have been a little overkill, but it was so hard to pick just one.

More than just a basic invite - these holiday cards are perfect for personal Christmas cards, office holiday cards, or invitations to your personal cookie swap.


Basic Invite offers so much more than their name implies. They have almost unlimited color options, custom samples, over 40 different colored envelopes, they have an address capturing service, so you don't have to handwrite the recipient's address on each piece of mail, and over 250 Christmas and holiday card designs, many of which include foil options.


More than just a basic invite - these holiday cards are perfect for personal Christmas cards, office holiday cards, or invitations to your personal cookie swap.


More than just a basic invite - these holiday cards are perfect for personal Christmas cards, office holiday cards, or invitations to your personal cookie swap.

During the most magical time of the year, you may need cards for more than merely reaching out to loved ones with a pleasant, "hello." Holiday parties and gatherings add a touch of sparkle to the season, and if you're in charge of planning the office holiday party, you likely need holiday party invitations for work. Basic Invite has a prolific selection of gorgeous holiday cards available, so you'll be able to impress your boss and your guests when they open the invitation. If holiday office parties aren't your thing but you consider yourself the "hostess-with-the-mostest" then alert your potential guests of an upcoming Christmas party by using a Christmas party invitation template customized to fit your style and flare. Whatever your event may be this holiday season, Basic Invite has a solution perfect for you.

More than just a basic invite - these holiday cards are perfect for personal Christmas cards, office holiday cards, or invitations to your personal cookie swap.

If you are like me and just now starting to gear up for the Holidays, there's no need to worry. Basic Invite has everything you need to fill the hearts and mailboxes of those you love. Plus, right now Basic Invite is offering my readers a 30% off with coupon code: holi30

More than just a basic invite - these holiday cards are perfect for personal Christmas cards, office holiday cards, or invitations to your personal cookie swap.

Which one of these beautiful Christmas card options would you have picked? I guess you'll just have to check your mailbox to see what one won!

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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November 27, 2017

Car Seat Safety with Cars.com

This is a sponsored post for which I have received compensation. All opinions are my own.  

Cars.com is a great source of information for parents interested in learning about car seat safety.

I sat next to the sliding glass doors and waited for my husband to drive around the corner so he could wheel my two-week-old son and me out to the car. After 13 long days in the NICU, days filled with tears of both joy and pain, we were headed home with our first son. Our joyful hearts were overcome with anxiousness when we realized that the hour-long drive required skillful maneuvering along two of the nation's busiest interstates during the peak of rush hour. Needless to say, we cruised home at a tortious's pace and with the utmost vigilance. 

Before loading our itty-bitty, five-pound baby into the backseat, we check, double-checked, and triple checked that his car seat was installed correctly. For new parents like ourselves at the time, the straps, harnesses, pads, and buckles all standard on a car seat, can seem like a feat only an engineering professional can tackle. Thankfully, now cars.com offers advice and guidance for car seat installation, so there is no need to worry about whether or not it is set up correctly. In fact, Cars.com even has three certified child passenger safety technicians who install and write their Car Seat Checks.

When we brought my son home from the NICU I was grateful to know his car seat was safely and correctly installed. Cars.com is a great resource for parents needing to understand the ins and outs of car seat safety.

Shortly after having my first son, my husband and I went to purchase a new vehicle for our family. My small, two-door Honda Civic, while reliable was not car-seat friendly and we needed something to accommodate our growing family. I only wish at the time I was aware that Cars.com does a comprehensive evaluation of brand new cars and compiles a list of those which received all A's in their car seat checks. The list is referred to as the Cars.com's Car Seat Honor Roll. The review includes an evaluation of the vehicle's latch system, its performance with an infant, rear-facing convertible, forward-facing convertible, and booster car seat, and its third-row access performance (if applicable).

One of a parent's primary responsibilities is to see to the safety and protection of their children and the by correctly installing a car seat you have one less thing to worry about as you transport your most precious cargo. 

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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November 17, 2017

Nourished by Lia Huber - Book Review

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Nourished by Lia Huber from the program "Blogging For Books" in exchange for an honest review. Some of the links in this book review post are affiliate links, and I will receive a small commission if you click on one of those links and make a purchase but it comes at no expense to you. 


A book review of Lia Huber's book Nourished A memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes)

I love to read cookbooks, it's one of my life's greatest pleasures, and it's how I relax. When I flipped open Nourished by Lia Huber, I was expecting a cookbook with some personal stories attached to each recipe, but it was the exact opposite. It is a memoir with a couple recipes included.

Now before I delve further into my review, I should alert you that I recently traveled to Guatemala on a mission trip. It was a life-changing experience and one I hold dear to my heart. So when the Prologue begins by describing a scene in Guatemala where the primary language is Kaqchikel (the indigenous dialect of the Mayan people and the primary language for many in Guatemala), I was shocked and immediately intrigued. I started reading hungrily, both for the story and the recipes.

The story follows the adult life of author Lia Huber and in four parts tells of her adventures through illness, finding faith, becoming a mother, and discovering how food can truly nourish mind, body, and soul. Lia is an unlikely but accomplished food writer, entrepreneur, and recipe developer. Flipping through the pages I learned of Lia's wanderlust spirit, her thirst for meaning in life, and her craving to somehow leave a mark on the world - many of the traits I too meditate and pray about regularly. I could relate in many ways to Lia's story, and she was able to transport me to places I've never been because she is a beautiful wordsmith. I truly enjoyed her elegant descriptions of the foods which sustained and excited her and I appreciated the shared recipes at the end of each chapter.

A book review of Lia Huber's book Nourished A memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes)

I found the memoir to be a lot like my blog since it focuses on the struggles of motherhood while finding meaning outside the home, how faith has changed and sharped her perspective, and the necessity to remove yourself from comfort zones to experience richness in life. All beautiful and relatable things, but perhaps a little lengthy for a memoir; the hardbound book is over 300 pages long. I can certainly see the value of Lia sharing her personal story and unselfishly giving readers a glimpse into her genuine struggles, however; I lacked a connection to her character, even though the book was all about her. There were several times people were introduced but with little to no background and I found myself lost in a sea of unknown characters, which was slightly disorienting.

After finishing and reflecting on the book, I think the message is there, and clearly, Lia is a talented writer, but overall this one missed the mark for me, and I really wanted to love it. I think if I met Lia  I would have so much to chat with her about ranging from the adoption of her daughter from Guatemala and her continued work in that region of the world, her passion for healthy eating and how food can revitalize your body, and her faith walk and her unwavering commitment to discern God's will in all her decisions, but when it comes to the book I am less enthused. Overall I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

If you liked the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia then this book will be right up your alley since it follows several of the same themes.

A book review of Lia Huber's book Nourished A memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes)

What are some of your favorite books from 2017? Have you started planning your reading list for next year? If you are on Goodreads, I'd love to connect with you. You can find my profile here.

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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November 13, 2017

Twice Baked Sweet Potato Recipe

Twice Baked Sweet Potato Recipe

This Twice Baked Sweet Potato recipe is a unique, single-serving twist on sweet potato casserole. It is perfect for a Thanksgiving or holiday meal or for those times when you want to jazz up your plate during the week.

This Twice Baked Sweet Potato recipe is a unique, single-serving twist on sweet potato casserole. It is perfect for a Thanksgiving or holiday meal or for those times when you want to jazz up your plate during the week.

This Thanksgiving will be the first time I'm hosting out of town family. Of course, the images of a Norman-Rockwell-style holiday are dancing through my head, but I'm also trying to be realistic about my expectations. The fact that we'll have 3 little ones under the age of 4 years old in our company means anything can happen.

In my opinion, there are just some things that need to be on the table for Thanksgiving. After the turkey; mash potatoes, pumpkin pie, canned cranberries, and green bean casserole are must-haves. Not to be forgotten, are the sweet potatoes. The delicious sweetness intensified with brown sugar, cinnamon, and copious amounts of butter make my mouth water just thinking about them. But sweet potatoes seem to be polarizing - people love them or hate them. You obviously know where I stand, but my husband would be fine if he never laid eyes on them for the rest of his life.

To make sure everyone gets what they want this year I'm going to be making a modified version of Sweet Potato Casserole with this Twice Baked Sweet Potato recipe.

This Twice Baked Sweet Potato recipe is a unique, single-serving twist on sweet potato casserole. It is perfect for a Thanksgiving or holiday meal or for those times when you want to jazz up your plate during the week.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes + 20 minutes
Yield: 2 large servings

Ingredients: 
2 large sweet potatoes
2 TBS butter
1 TBS whole milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBS brown sugar
1/4 C pecans, finely chopped

Preparation Instructions:
Scrub the outsides of the potatoes thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 55 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.

Change oven to 350 degrees. Let potatoes cool for five minutes. Cut an oval shape out of the top of each potato and peel back the skin. Carefully scope out potato filling, leaving plenty of room along the edges to ensure you do not accidentally pierce the outer edges. Put the potato filling in a large bowl and with a mixer combine it with the butter, whole milk, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Once the mixture is whipped and well incorporated, scoop it into each of the potatoes. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and put back into the oven for 20 minutes to continue cooking.

Remove and allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.


This Twice Baked Sweet Potato recipe is a unique, single-serving twist on sweet potato casserole. It is perfect for a Thanksgiving or holiday meal or for those times when you want to jazz up your plate during the week.

Do you love or hate sweet potatoes? What are some Thanksgiving must-haves that you are looking forward to this year?

If you're hosting guests this year, don't stress about the turkey. Try this super simple crockpot turkey recipe.

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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October 25, 2017

Double Peanut Butter Spider Cookie Recipe

Disclosure: Some of the links in this Double Peanut Butter Spider Cookie Recipe post are affiliate links, and I will receive a small commission if you click on one of those links and make a purchase but it comes at no expense to you. 


Double Peanut Butter Spider Cookie Recipe - the perfect Halloween cookie treat

It is year one of preschool, and we have already commenced with the borage of after-school activities, field trips, and parent-sponsored party favors. I'd like to complain about the added responsibilities, but the truth is I kind of love it. I love hearing about my kid's school day when they clamor into my car after the final bell rings. I love organizing their school papers and making sure their schedules are carefully noted on the family calendar each month. I love waking up before my little ones to meticulously pack their lunch each morning. I honestly love it all, and I'm trying to fully embrace this stage of their life. I love supporting my kids and watching their imaginations and personalities bloom right in front of my awestruck eyes.

They are each growing so fast and every morning dawns with a new discovery; one of them might learn to say a new word, and the other one is suddenly spelling it. All the while, I'm sitting in the background watching these beautiful little blessings become acquainted with the world and find their place among it. I'm grateful for the opportunities when I get a glimpse into their school life, since it is the part of their day in which I normally do not get to participate. This upcoming week my little guys have a costume parade, and the teachers reached out to the parents for cookies for a banquet after the ceremony of superheroes and princesses. Of course, I'm on board! I put together these fun Double Peanut Butter Spider Cookies, and they were a huge hit with the kiddos.

Double Peanut Butter Spider Cookie Recipe - the perfect Halloween cookie treat

Ingredients: 
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
24 mini REESE's peanut butter cups
48 candy eyes
black decorating gel or frosting

Preparation Instructions: 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl cream the peanut butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg and incorporate thoroughly.

Roll the mixture into 1-1/4 inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are slightly cracked. Immediately after removing the cookies from oven put the REESE'S peanut butter cups on top and then transfer the cookies to wire rack to cool.

After the cookies are completely cooled, add four black lines to each of the sides of the candy to represent the spider's legs. Then use two small drops of frosting as glue for the eyes.

This recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Double Peanut Butter Spider Cookie Recipe - the perfect Halloween cookie treat

Check out more great family-friendly recipes here, including one for a Crockpot Turkey that will help you save your time and sanity on Thanksgiving.

Double Peanut Butter Spider Cookies are the perfect family-friendly Halloween cookie treat

What is your favorite Halloween inspired treat?

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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