Spreading positivity one post at a time!

The Hostess with the Mostess

A few years ago, when my heart was incredibly hardened, I would come unglued at the thought of people coming over to our house.

Absolutely unglued.

I was in graduate school, working full time, stressed out of my mind. Seemingly any little deviation from normalcy would derail me.

I would have such an ugly attitude.

Since I was in school at the time, our house was a disaster not as tidy as I hoped, so I would take off Friday and spend the whole day cleaning.

Cussing, and cleaning.

Angry and ugly.

I was mad my plans and schedule were interrupted, and I was always relieved when our guests left.

Oh friends, when I look back I was seemingly forever in a state of total pissed-off ness. Sorry for the term, but it is so very true.

You’d never know on the outside, but I did. I know Will saw plenty of glimpses of my ugly heart, too.

That’s the funny thing about the heart. You might be able to fool a lot of people, but you can’t fool God.

As you have hopefully seen over the last couple years, The Lord has been doing a work in my heart and in drawing me back to him.

He restored me, cleansed my filth, and made me new.

I look back over the course of the last several months and see His guiding hand over so many changes in my life.

Hosting family last weekend was yet another confirmation of His grace. 

He is so good to me.

I never would have looked forward to hosting four people overnight before, and yet this time I did.

The Bible says to be hospitable without grumbling, and with his spirit and help, I was able to actually do that!

Verses

I enjoyed preparing for our guests last weekend. I got excited thinking about ways to serve them.

I made little gift bags.

While I cleaned, I didn’t stress about the details.

I simply thought about having our family with us and enjoying their company, and less about my selfishness and being “put out.” I didn’t feel that way at all! I was blessed to host them.

Who the heck is this lady!?!

Girls, The Lord has blessed us richly, and we should enjoy opening up our homes to others and sharing his blessings and love.

I realize I sound all fluffy, and that I’m making this transformation seem so easy.

Trust me, I’m not.

However, Jesus is able to transform even the hardest of hearts.

So how are ways we can begin that transformation and be the hostess with the mostess?

1. Be thankful

I find when I’m worrying less about what others have and what I don’t have, I’m much more conscious of what I do have.

Practicing gratitude is a must if you’re going to be a good host.

I decided to worry less about dirty outside windows and more on ways I could show my guests I loved them.

I decided not to worry about my house not being fully decorated in some places, and more about the many blessings God has given me and our house.

2. Be generous

Verses

Everything good and perfect thing comes from God.

It’s His, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

He’s given me a beautiful house he’s allowed me to live in, and I can’t help but feel compelled to share these blessings and God’s goodness with others.

Proverbs tells us that when we are generous we will prosper, and when we refresh others, we are in turn refreshed.

Instead of feeling like the life is sucked out of me, I want to feel like I’m willingly giving myself to others.

For example, I got totally giddy at the thought of making them little goody bags!

Just a simple mindset change actually blessed and refreshed me just as I prayed I would refresh my guests.

3. Be a servant

You don’t hear that much these days, do you?

Verses

I would often scoff at all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry associated with overnight visitors.

However, the more I prayed for God to soften my heart and make me more like him, the more I desired and actually looked forward to serving my guests.

I took joy in cooking something yummy for them, or laying out freshly scented towels.

I wanted them to see God’s love in me, and the best way I felt like I could do that was to serve them with an undivided heart.

4. Ask for a heart change

Sometimes?

Sometimes, just like my story, we need a heart readjustment. No amount of trying to serve or be grateful can change us if it doesn’t first start with our heart.

Oh friends I’ve so been there!

The good news is that He makes water flow in even the driest deserts. 

He can change your heart towards being the hostess with the mostess and a whole lot more if you let him.

But it’s our choice. We have to choose to turn away from or junk and let Him be Lord.

So what’s it going to be?

****
Here’s to hoping you show some hospitality to your family this weekend!

It’s Will’s birthday weekend, so I intend to do just that! Our weekend involves a peanut butter ice cream cake. HELP!!

Check in Monday! ❤️

July Ipsy Review!

My July Ipsy was full of good things!

I can’t wait for you to see.

Let’s start with the super super cute bag everything came in.

July Ipsy

Ah this bag is killing me! It’s a hot neon pink in a pleather material with cute scalloped edging.

So fun.

Check out this cute sparkly red nail polish.

July Ipsy

It’s from a brand called Models Own. 

Ever heard of it?

I hadn’t.

Perhaps since I’m not a model? Ha!

I also got this Pur-Lisse travel sunscreen.

July Ipsy

These travel bottles are always handy. I like to keep them in my purse during football season for easy reapplication.

For sunscreen, it’s super expensive though, so I’ll be using the sample and that’s it.

I got this mini Bare Minerals liquid eyeshadow in vintage wine.

July Ipsy

July Ipsy

It’s teeny, cute, and goes on incredibly smooth.

The color is nice and neutral, yet has a subtle shimmer. Surprisingly, it had great staying power too.

I’m usually skeptical of these liquid eyeshadow things, however I have received a couple from Ipsy now and have had good results.

I also got this sample sized Marrakesh Endz argan oil hair therapy.

July Ipsy

I used when my hair was damp the other day and didn’t think it was going to do much. It kind of felt thin and wimpy going on, but I must say it smells so crazy good.

Like freshly baked cookies.

Doing my hair in the morning and contemplating snickerdoodles.

Great.

I was very surprised when I dried my hair and could feel just how soft and smooth my ends were. I was very pleased with this product. What seemed disappointing at first packed a punch and definitely delivered results.

Finally, my favorite product.

(Another) pink lipstick. Pixie Beauty Tinted Balm in Pretty Pink.

July Ipsy

July Ipsy

And it totally is pretty pink. smile

Ah guys, totally heart this one.

I realize this is much like all the others I own, but hey- it saves me from having to buy a new one when I’m out now, right!?

It is cute, small, and tastes like peppermint. Win!

Definitely a good bag all around.

So let’s take a look at the price breakout and see how the bag stacks up against my $10 investment.

-Models Own Nail Polish- $8.57
-Pur-lisse Sample Sunscreen- $16.18
-Bare Minerals Liquid Eyeshadow Sample-$5.40
-Marrakesh Endz Hair Therapy Sample- $5.99
-Pixie Pretty Pink Lipstick- $8.40

Sooo- pretty great for my $10 investment. Knowing I’ll use all the products is great too!

There you have it, pretties. Check in tomorrow for more fun! 

posted in Prettiness! bullet share the love bullet permalink bullet 7.24.2014

Work it Out Wednesday: Elliptical Workout!

I admire you girls that can take your workout outside in July.

I think you deserve to burn extra calories for it.

Or be rewarded with a delicious brownie that is magically nothing but protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

If only.

Anyway, I have respect for anyone that can burpee and sprint in the summer heat.

I’m not really one of those girls.

For that reason, I wanted to take our workouts indoors and hop on the good old elliptical for an interval
session.

It’s no secret, I’m not a big fan of cardio equipment, however like many pieces of equipment they definitely have a place in helping to meet goals.

I like this one I created because Its not static and changes often, which also makes the time pass more quickly.

The time is on the left, resistance in the middle, and use the exertion number as a guide for how balls-out you’re going, with 10 being your absolute max.

This also assumes your resistance maxs out at 12, so take that in mind and adjust for your own elliptical too.

So cut this pic out, hop on the elliptical and get to moving!

Workout

Recipe Roundup

Hey there sweets!

Soooo- I have a confession. I initially planned another summer sandwich to share today. 

Fail.

Well, not entirely. I mean, I was hosting family so it was a good reason, right?

But have no fear. I rounded up some of my most recent favorite finds to share.

But before we get to that can we please discuss how I have 16 mosquito bites on my legs from the BBQ last weekend!?

Seriously- how is it that I had NO IDEA MOSQUITOS WERE EATING ME ALIVE!?

Really.

As weird as it may sound, there’s so many they actually hurt in certain parts of my leg.

I couldn’t sleep last night, and my eyes were wiiiide open thinking about how much they itched.

I just remembered we have some potent cream left from when Will had poison ivy, so you better believe I’m going to use that like its body lotion tonight. Ha!

Anyway, sorry to veer! Let’s get back to that recipe roundup. smile

I realize it’s a thousand degrees, but I can’t help but think how easy and good this crockpot minestrone soup looks.

Or all these toast varieties.

I’m so predictable, so this helps get me out of my rut!

Single serving cookie dough. That’s not horrible for you. Yes.

I’ve been eating fish occasionally these days, and had this Italian tuna and brown rice salad for lunch part of last week. So good.

Ahh we used to eat caprese salad all the time. This peach caprese looks delicious.

I doubt I’ll ever make it (because I could see myself lying on the floor of my closet, with the entire pan, in a coma) but this super easy peanut butter Nutella fudge looks ridiculous in the best way possible.

I think I’m going to have to try this yummy truffles avocado and hearts of Palm salad.

These coconut fruit freezies look refreshing and fun.

I don’t know if is have the patience to section all the fruit, but this citrus salad looks so summery and delightful.

Alright beauties, off to tackle the rest of the day. Happy Tuesday! 

posted in Food Affairs bullet share the love bullet permalink bullet 7.22.2014

The One Hosting Company & Look Ahead

Whew. How is it Monday again!?

My weekend was a complete whirlwind.

In fact, as I type I’m pretty certain I have a load of wet laundry I forgot about that will be sitting in the washer all day (yay!).

Happening.

My goal today is to try not to do in one evening what usually takes me half the weekend.

This is me giving myself a public self talk. Sorry for hijacking today’s post.

Let’s get back on track.

Friday was all about creating the semi-fake house.

Getting ready for company

I hit the gym and worked legs hard, and then did a 30 minute cardio session knowing I probably wouldn’t get to workout Saturday.

Afterward, all sweaty and disgusting, I went grocery shopping.

It’s true, please don’t judge.

Anyway, I cleaned, prepped, and made some goodies for our guests.

I even took time to see my mom and favorite niece. I’m always glad when I get to do that.

Taking a break to play with little miss

Our visitors arrived Friday night. We are dinner and then came home and “visited” over cake and iced tea in true Oklahoma fashion.

Since our third bedroom is officially transforming into “the man cave,” we gave Will’s parents the spare bedroom and his grandparents our room while we used the air mattress in the living room.

I slept like a baby.

Not.

Saturday came early with a 6:30 trip to Starbucks to get our 96oz coffee traveler.

by brittny_lynne, on Flickr">96 ounces of deliciousness (and heart palpitations)And a Will photo bomb <img src=">

Real life.

What is it about the elderly that make them wake so early? Will’s grandpa is an early riser.

Anyway, while Will and his dad got coffee, I made breakfast.

We enjoyed breakfast and more chatting. And coffee.

Oh friends. All.the.coffee.

I am a tea drinker and probably only have coffee 1-2 times a month maybe. However, it tasted so good and I drank so much that I unknowing made myself a complete jittering, palpitating mess!

Smooth move.

Anyway- breakfast was nice. smile

Will and his dad had to run a quick errand, so the rest of us chatted in the living room.

I love Will’s grandparents so darn much, and our talk Saturday morning made me love his grandpa all the more. They are such good, honest, godly people.

He shared a bit of his testimony and talked about how important it was for him to share God’s love with others and tell the truth even when it’s hard. He was on a roll and I was loving it! Next to his dad, Will’s grandpa is one of his heroes and I wish he would have been there to here him.

Will and his dad got back, we enjoyed another round of cake (because cake at 10am is entirely acceptable), and then they were on their way.

It was nice to have the rest of the morning and afternoon to recover a little and get ready for the evening ahead.

I washed sheets, made tahbouli, and even snuck in a quick workout.

We had a BBQ with one of Will’s friends from work. I had never met his wife and kiddos, so it was nice to spend an evening with them.

They were so super thoughtful with their menu, too and had tons of veggie friendly options. We all had a good laugh when they brought out the hummus, something neither of them had ever tried.

“That’s the first thing that comes up when you google vegan,” they said. smile

We had a good evening, but didn’t stay too long. We watched an episode of Andy Griffith and called it a night.

I had the hardest time getting to sleep (maybe all the caffeine?), but sweet Lucy kept me company.

She’s rarely in a snuggly mood at her old age these days, but she crawled up on me and laid on my stomach and let me pet her. She was so sweet and it was a special moment for me. I love that old bird, and am glad for those moments.

I think she missed us

Yesterday was lazy and all about relaxation. We decided to watch church online since we missed our usual Saturday service, and spent the rest of the day doing very little.

I managed to prep food for the week and do some laundry, but that was about it!

Today we have softball games and will be on the go! Let’s take a look at what’s coming up on the blog:

-Recipe roundup
-An indoor friendly cardio workout
-July Ipsy review!
-And all about hospitality

Check in tomorrow, and have a good day!

Gathering Water (Part Two)

Happy Friday pretties.

Let’s pick up where we left off.

Last week I shared about King David and Absalom. I asked that we be mindful of it both in the context of David’s situation as well as how it might pertain today.

I hope you were able to think on it a bit last week.

I found myself personalizing verse 14 more and more each time I read it.

It’s as if God plucked this verse from the story and wrote it on my heart, in addition to so many other complimentary verses throughout the Bible that affirm the very same thoughts from this 2 Samuel passage.

In fact, let’s look at it again.

Verse

Oh friends, how I needed to read that verse, and still so even now.

I don’t have children, yet I can imagine the anguish of being separated from them. It must feel like dying.

When I think about this verse, I think about my Heavenly Father. How much more He loves me than my earthly parents.

How much more He loves me than King David loved his son.

How much he loves you. More than anyone in this world.

Think about the person you love most in this world.

The person that makes your heart leap.

The person who, if ever separated from, you would search the depths of the Earth high and low to bring next to your heart again.

He loved us even more than that.

Mind blowing.

I think about how I, like Absalom, am the worst of offenders.

Convicted and guilty.

Dirty and shamed.

Yet, even in these circumstances, Jesus still paid the ultimate sacrifice for my terrible state.

As a means, a way, to bring me back to him.

You see, my life, is that spilled water.

It’s a mess. There was no clean way to put in what was spilled out.

I know the term “beautiful mess” is popular these days, but I can assure you, mine was anything but beautiful.

The verse refers to our lives being like that water, and although I was alive, I was actually more like the walking dead.

My water spilled into nooks and crannies I never even knew existed in the darkest parts of me.

And yet, in His patient and perfect nature, my Father was somehow able to do the impossible.

To gather the spilled water and create an opportunity for real life.

To create a way for me to be gathered into Him.

I should have been banished, yet He made a way. I still don’t know why sometimes, but I’m so very thankful.

Oh friends, to be reconciled to Jesus is such a tender thing.

Somehow, he’s able to piece together all the spilled water of even the worst prodigals and turn them into a beautiful, full being in Him.

Not a beautiful mess.

Not at all.

He makes us a new creation.

A beautiful new creation.

If you are living a life on the run, know you don’t have to.

He makes a way for us to reconcile ourselves to Him. We simply have to turn away from our mess, and believe in His truth.

I know it seems overly simplistic.

Trust me, I’ve struggled with it before.

But you know what?

It is.

Faith like a child, my friends. It’s all it takes.

So what’s it going to be?

More to come. ❤️

Thursday Things : 17 July 2014

Okay, nerd alert.

During the dog days of summer, when all our usual shows are off until fall, Will and I fill our evenings with a variety of things.

Sometimes it’s house related stuff, other times we’ll go for a walk, and a lot of the time we will catch up on some of the box sets we own but haven’t watched.

If you don’t remember, box sets were pretty much our major mode of television while we were in Kuwait, so we have lots.

Will is a big fan of the Andy Griffith Show and bought the series soon before leaving Kuwait. 

Can we please just camp out for a second and laugh that Will loves that show?

I think it’s adorable, and I never quite understood why.

Because I’m a millennial, maybe?

Anyway, between the move home, the overwhelming options of cable TV, and life, we never watched it.

Sooo, guess what we’ve been ending our nights with lately?

Yep. An episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

You know what? I find it incredibly endearing and totally get why Will loves it.

I also think Andy is so darn charming, and I can’t get over how young Ron Howard was in the first season.

Will’s parents and grandparents are staying with us tomorrow and part of Saturday.

I think it’s safe to say you know what I’ll be doing on my day off tomorrow.

Creating the fake house.

Oddly enough, I’m way more relaxed about it this year than in times past.

Maybe because I’m over 30?

Because we’ve been married over 10 years now?

I have no idea.

Last time they both came I went total commando on the house.

Washing outside windows, cleaning stuff with toothbrushes, making Will clean crown molding.

What!?

This year I’m like, “Eh. The outside windows are fine.”

I’m still cleaning away tomorrow, but I think I’m making progress with my obsessive cleaning?

I’m making tiny goodie bags with bottled water, a few snacks, candy, Chapstick (yes, my homemade batch), and a thanks for staying note, too.

A little over the top?

Don’t answer that.

I find I’ve become a little crazier more hospitable at my old age. I used to stress so much about making everything perfect that I forgot to actually enjoy myself.

Now I’ve lightened up a smidge (but don’t ask Will or he will probably tell you it’s less than a smidge), I want to enjoy my time with company.

Who the heck am I!?

Alright, that’s all for now.

Any randomness you care to share?

Wiow: Full Body Cable Workout

Wiow

Last week I shared why I love the cable machine.

This week we are going to put it into practice.

Here’s a full body circuit entirely made of exercises for the cable machine.

I don’t know about you, but I hate having to keep looking down at a sheet of paper when I’m trying to keep my heart rate up and bang out a lifting session.

For that reason, I’m going to try to keep this workout as easy as possible.

Considering it’s a full body workout, that may not be so easy!

The only real “challenge” is changing out the cable grips for the specific exercise.

I think we can handle that. smile

Perform 12 reps of the following exercises in a circuit without stopping

(except to change out your handles smile).

I like to set everything up beforehand and have whatever I need nearby for quick swapping.

After completing the circuit once, do it two more times.

Be sure to make the weight challenging, but not so hard that you break form.

Oh, and don’t feel like you have to add the jumping jacks between each exercise. When I do these types of circuits, I like to add in various cardio moves. I picked nothing but jumping jacks for this workout to keep it simple.

I linked to instructional videos for some of the ones I don’t think I’ve ever linked to on the blog before, so you can check out the moves before you go.

Ready?

Here we go!

Cable Kickbacks

Jumping Jacks

Triceps Extensions

Jumping Jacks

Bicep Curls

Jumping Jacks

Cable Squats

Jumping Jacks

Lat Pull Down

Jumping Jacks

Cable Crossover

Jumping Jacks

Delt raises

Jumping Jacks

Cable Crunches

Give it a go and embrace the versatility of the cable machine. smile

posted in Health & Fitness bullet permalink bullet 7.16.2014

Summer Sammie

Let’s talk summer lunches.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t be bothered with elaborate lunches.

I like the idea of making myself something fancy, but somewhere between hitting snooze a second time and trying to brush my teeth while simultaneously getting dressed, I’m lucky to get out the door on time, let alone pack food for the day.

For that reason, I always prep food the night before. Even still, it’s never anything cumbersome.

Summer salads are my favorite, but occasionally I find myself “saladed” out.

Saladed out.

Did I just make up this terrible concoction of a word?

Is this a thing?

Let’s just go with it.

When I get burned saladed out, I start getting whacky with sandwiches.

Which is what we have here today.

A salad.

On a sandwich.

Because sometimes, bread makes everything better.

Actually…

Most of the time bread makes everything better. Ha!

Oh, and I should also confess this salad-y sandwich is void of a lettuce base.

For no good reason. smile

Feel free to add your own of you want.

Start with your favorite bread.

Add your favorite hummus,

Summer Sammie

Tomatoes,

Summer Sammie

Roasted red peppers,

Summer Sammie

Green peppers,

Summer Sammie

Onions,

Summer Sammie

Kalamata olives,

Summer Sammie

And anything else your little heart desires (feta would be so good!).

Put a lid on it, slice it in half (because sandwiches always seem to taste better when they’re cut in half), and be done with it.

There’s hope for getting saladed out.

Any sandwiches I need to know about?

posted in Food Affairs,Veganism bullet permalink bullet 7.15.2014

The (Peachy) Uneventful One & Look Ahead

Hey guys!

I hope you had a great weekend and were able to enjoy these long summer days.

Our weekend was very uneventful, especially coming off of a busy holiday weekend the one before.

Will worked half of Saturday for the first time in months, so that cut into some of the weekend. In fact, there are not really many highlights to share!

Gym, groceries, church, gym, laundry, and house stuff. Oh and softball practice last night.

Honestly though?

I’m okay with a quiet weekend. The weekend before was busy, and this weekend will be crazy, too.

So a quiet weekend sandwich is okay with me.

I did have one of the best peaches of the summer, Saturday.

Summer peach

That’s a highlight, right?

If sticky juice isn’t running down your wrists, it wasn’t a good one. Haha

I also helped Will do a little more organization in his man cave.

Organization. Kind of.

God love him, the guy has a ticket and program for every single OU game we’ve attended. It’s sort of annoying, but also sort of cool, too.

Oh and check out this glorious sunrise.
Stunning sunbeams

So beautiful. I’ve seen lots of beautiful, colorful ones, but rarely do I ever get one with so many beaming rays.

Let’s get to the week ahead.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up on the blog this week:

-A summer sandwich
-Full body cable workout
-Thursday Things
-Part Two of our King David drama

I hope you’ll check in this week! Now off to tackle what promises to be a busy Monday. 

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About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics, veganism (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at blove@theblovelife.com!


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