All posts by Brittany

Hi! My name is Brittany and I'm ridiculously addicted to sparkles. In fact, I claim it as my favorite color. Many have tried to argue with me by telling me sparkles is NOT a color, to which I simply reply: "If I were to be shown the color blue and the color sparkly blue, and I chose the sparkly blue as the better of the two than the only difference would be the addition of sparkles and I would therefore conclude sparkles to be the defining attribute and therefore my favorite color." I'm a math major working as an engineer and surrounded by boys & technology all day long - therefore this BLOG is dedicated to everything else in my life ::Fashion, Fitness, Food & Fun:: Wants? To travel internationally, to meet Jillian Michaels (seriously love her!!!), and to be styled by Rachel Zoe (would be ba-na-nas!). Remember - just keep chasing the sunshine ♥ ...and shadows will fall behind you.

Update: DIY Was it worth it? Faux Granite

I always get asked how my countertops are holding up.. Well 2 years later I still LOVE them!!

I’ve had 2-3 scares with stains and a magic eraser plus some elbow grease has taken the stains out every time. 

We even splurged on updating our old backsplash with white Carrera marble subway tile and the countertops complement the marble gorgeously!! 

Enough talking. Here are the photos you were asking for…

 

Faux Granite update – still love the countertops!
  
Faux Granite update – still love the countertops!
  
 
A closeup of the countertops next to the marble backsplash
 

 

Closeup of the countertops and backsplash!
 
 
They are still very reflective!

 
Another closeup.. I love how they look with the natural light
  
If you’re curious how the original countertops looked, or how to get this same look check out the original post with a full how to here.

Xo

Flashback Fridays – Mr. & Mrs. Ford, a Wedding at Willowood Ranch

Flashback to March 9, 2014 — The day that Ashley married Saer.

The rehearsal dinner was held the night before at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the town Ashley grew up in. 

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It was a great time for the bridal party and immediate family to meet each other for those of us who did not already know everyone that would be part of the wedding. 

Afterwards the bridesmaids all went back to Ashley’s house for a final sleepover before the big day!

I casually walked around in my DIY ‘Matron of Honor’ white T … just to make sure everyone knew.

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Subtle, no?

The next morning we had a SUPER CRAZY EARLY wake up call since we all needed to get our hair done and it was a mid-day wedding!  I don’t know what it is exactly about weddings but it seems that there is never quite enough time.

We were so lucky that Alex, the groom’s sister, does hair and makeup for a living! She’s pretty amazing and recently moved to New York to pursue her dreams, you should check out her site.

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

Ashley gave each of the bridesmaids matching eggplant/amethyst crystal bracelets (her wedding color) and pearl necklaces – it was such a thoughtful gift!  And one we could wear right away!

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

And don’t let me forget about the CUTE name hangers!

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Once we were ready we rushed over to the church and tried to stay busy (and calm!) in the upstairs waiting area.

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

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The venue was Willowood Ranch and it was absolutely beautiful!  Ashley’s photographer, Rachel Meagan, was amazing.  Professional and fun she was even able to get us to cooperate when the weather started out blisteringly cold and we didn’t want to stand outside in our short dresses!  If you like the photos I’m going to share below, please check out her website for even more!

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

I almost got Mike to do that for our wedding – but Saer ordered a custom suit from Indochino where you can pick the style, lining and even add a custom message like your wedding date!! 

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

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Becky Evans of NTF Designs was the florist – she did Mike and my wedding as well and she is fantastic!  If you are in the North Texas area you really should give her a call! 

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

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LOOK at that expression on her face – pure happiness!!!!

And then his….

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Raw emotion – weddings are SO SO special!!

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View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

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View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

 

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

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View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

Can’t seem to get everyone smiling and looking at the same time – that’s life!

Ashley and I worked before the wedding to do a bunch of custom signs – it’s the small details y’all 😉

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

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View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

And since they’re Mr. and Mrs. FORD it only made sense to have THIS as the groom’s cake!

   View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

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Bubble send off!!!!!

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View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

Mike and I had a fantastic time at the wedding and were so happy to be guests!  Congratulations again to my best friend Ashley and her husband Saer!

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

View More: http://rachelmeaganphotography.pass.us/ashley-and-saer-wedding

 

xo

B3

Flashback Fridays – A Bachelorette Bash

A Flashback to February 2014 for Ashley’s Bachelorette party – co-hosted by myself and the amazing Miss Nicole.

Or as we called it, “Ashley’s last night out as a Hooker”.

Wait, before you get offended… it’s not what you think!  REALLY!!  Her maiden name was actually Hooker. 

Sheesh, you guys! 

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Anyways… the play by play…

We gathered at Dee Lincoln’s Bubble Bar in Downtown Dallas (because hello Champagne on tap, why not?!) where we took over the upstairs crystal loft room. 

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Armed with champagne in hand and all sorts of appetizers we presented the Bride to Be with a Panty Poem!  Basically, this is a tradition where each girl brings a panty… and you present them to the Bride to Be in poem form! 

Here was our version for Ashley:

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{if you’d like the files I used I can send them to you, just leave a comment – but FYI I used PicMonkey to create mine!)

  Panty Poem 1

Panty Poem 2

Panty Poem 3

Panty Poem 4

Panty Poem 5

Panty Poem 6

Panty Poem 7

Panty Poem 8

Panty Poem 9

Panty Poem 10

Panty Poem 11        

Make absolutely sure that whomever takes the last spot in line gives some amazingly fabulous grannie panties – laughter is KEY when she opens this one!!!

Oh yeah… and someone thought it would be funny to slip some of these into the gift area!!!

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After lingerie opening and sipping champagne we were warmed up and ready to jump in our Uber cars (like a Taxi only better) and head over to Pete’s Piano bar.  Pete’s is SUPER fun on any occasion, but especially when they cater to bachelorettes!  There’s professional dueling pianists on stage and you have to get there early to secure a good spot. 

We made sure we were near the front – and brought SIGNS my sister Carlee helped me get printed out at Staples.  This was too fun – I’ll let the photos do the talking from here.

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you suck

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winninglol

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TWSS

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SWAG

mr duck
“What tha DUCK?!”

All in all I’d say it was a successful Bachelorette Party.

Oh yeah… and I left out the random quizzing throughout the night… we had Saer (Ashley’s fiancé) answer some ‘Newlywed Game’ questions and if Ashley couldn’t guess his answer right she took a shot 😉

Some of my favorite answers from Saer were:

“If you could get rid of anything in Ashley’s wardrobe, what article of clothing would you dump?”

A:  “Nothing, she has great taste.” <— smart man!!

What is the one song you like but will never admit?”

A:  Waltzs

::puzzled faces::  what?!

Well, Ashley sure didn’t get that last one – but we had a blast nevertheless!

What do you think is the most important part about throwing a successful bachelorette party??  Please share!!

xo

B3

Flashback Fridays – Ashley’s Engagement Soiree

Today’s Flashback Friday will be a quick look back at November 2013 when we threw my amazing friend Ashley an engagement party.

Ashley’s fiancé (now husband) ‘s name is Saer (pronounced Say-er) so we thought that a super cute theme would be:

“Ashley and Saer, Love is in the Air!”

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It almost makes you want to throw back to your high school jams list and bump some “Put your hands in the a-yerrrr if you’s a true play-errr”

We found a local Pizza Place called Palio’s that is BYOB and had a large room where we could throw the party.  Ashley loves pineapple and this place makes a killer pineapple cashew salad with house dressing!  It was a self serve buffet and we brought mimosa ingredients since it was a day time gathering.

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VERDI is a green grape sparkling wine that is a summer staple for my friends and I.  If you like a drink that’s sweet, light and refreshing you should try it!

And for dessert we made a Pinterest Inspired cupcake rose dress! 

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The two LOVE BIRDS (part of the theme – see the little bird accents around the table?!) seemed to have a fantastic time!!

 

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And so much thanks to our great friend Nicole who was my gorgeous co-host!!!

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Then Jackson made away with my GIANT BAG of wedding magazines I passed along to Ashley so she could start her research 😉 

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xo

B3

 

 

Corporate Jargon — and SYNERGY

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Have a big pitch coming up?  Need a quick refresher on key terminology … check out this Weird Al video if you haven’t seen it yet.

 

If that video doesn’t work, you can watch it on YouTube here

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard 99% of the lyrics in daily workplace discussions.  Mostly from upper level management, or corporate… or maybe HR (Human Resources)?  Talent Acquisition? 

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What’s your FAVORITE corporate jargon?

Mine is quite easily please advise.  Which is how I sign-off from an email when I’m really thinking ‘WTF’. 

xo

B3

 

The time my kitchen smelled like Italy and I drank red wine

Sometimes you get bored of “go to” meals and for this I LOVE to browse Pinterest for inspiration. I usually pin recipes that look interesting as I see them and then visit my “recipes” tab later when I need one. If I loved the recipe or edited it I try to update my pin with comments.. When I remember to 😉

So browsing the Pintrosphere for inspiration I came across THIS pin for Italian Baked Chicken. I roughly followed the ingredients and process featured here in an attempt to end up with THIS for dinner:

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I started out with similar ingredients to what’s mentioned in the original recipe, with a few alterations to what I had on hand.

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And last minute I sliced half an onion not pictured because Mike is an onion aficionado and I was hoping they’d add additional flavor to the chicken breasts!

I cut my three large breasts in halves so they cooked more evenly and the dish was easier to serve.
The photos really are self explanatory…

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And YES during/after baking your kitchen begins to smell like Italy.. especially once you add the fresh basil at the end!!!

We just served ours over some garlic & avocado oil noodles

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Definitely salt and pepper your chicken breasts, and I added layers of my favorite Italian seasoning blend. Mine took ~30min to almost cook, which is when I added the cheese on top and popped back into the top rack of the oven on broil until the cheese bubbled and browned.

Overall it’s a fairly light, fun meal – and perfect with a glass of red wine after a long hard day!!

 

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts then you already know I love wine.  (If nothing else, follow the link for the photos… world’s largest glass of wine??)

 

Questions for YOU!

What’s your favorite red wine?  Do you pair wines with your food or find yourself simply favoring a few, select bottles?

What’s your current method of recipe pinning and sharing on Pinterest?

 

xo

B3

Science and Fashion team up to create a FUNCTIONAL nail polish that could potentially identify drinks laced with date rape drugs!

Pretty much anything combining fashion and science/technology (two of my passions) will grab my attention — like the 3D printed bodice and wings featured in the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show… move over laser cut, hello print my own clothes!  Now THAT’S a trend I could follow! — so when I heard about the latest venture by a team of college students to create a nail polish that reacts when it comes into contact with several key date rape drugs (Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB) I had to know more

In fact, just hours after hearing about it I was posting the news on my Twitter account to spread the word

The product is not on the market yet, but by following their page on Facebook – Undercover Colors, and their Twitter feed we can learn more and help support the great cause. 

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Go read the featured article on CNET and consider donating to their R&D fund

 

KNOWLEDGE is POWER.

 

I can’t say that enough.

 

Let’s put the power back into the hands of our sisters/daughters/friends. 

 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of us out there who have either been affected directly by attack or are close to someone who has.

 

Spread the word.

xo

B3

Friday Night ReCap – we love wine

Sometimes after a busy week it’s best to just take a night to yourselves.

A late night drive to a favorite restaurant…

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Chips and dip were devoured with skinny margaritas

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Followed by Pescado Guerrero

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And our favorite bartender was working last night.

When we returned home we had a glass of red wine on the couch and curled up to watch Iron Man III.

I never said how large the glass was…

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Who was the better photographer this time??!! Mike or I? (Pick me!!)

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

P.S. – are you more of a red or white wine drinker??

For me it depends on the season and the meal 😊🍷

Xo

B

A DIY Sunburst Mirror – for cheap!!

I’m so OVERLY EXCITED to share with you today a DIY I got from Pinterest that did not let me down!

I’d been eyeing sunburst/starburst mirrors forever but at $200-$300 a pop it just wasn’t in my new house budget.  Then I stumbled upon a pin of this image under DIY on Pinterest…

sunburst mirror

(source)

Modern, fun… and, oh my gosh – did they say it is made of POSTERBOARD?!! CHEEEEEAAAAPPPP!!! ::happy dance::

I was able to grab a few colors of poster board, used some E6000 glue (my all time favorite crafting glue), and bought a 5-pack of little black circular mirrors from Home Depot.  A few hours of my time later and LOOK AT THEM!!!!

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The flowers… look at the SUNBURST MIRROR FLOWER THINGS… not my husbands shoes all shoved under his side of the bed, which sadly I did not notice until reviewing these photos later on this blog… err…

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I absolutely love them.  Now I just need to replace that rinky-dink lamp on my side of the bed… it doesn’t even emit a pretty light.  I believe it was a solid $15 at Hobby Lobby and I used it on my night stand all through college but it’s time to upgrade man.  I’m searching… I need two matching modern style lamps for each of the night stands, that way I’m not always the one stuck turning off the light at the end of the night.  Plus it’ll look more symmetrical and balanced.  But that’s the next update, those of us without pocket books just take one challenge at a time – and if we’re lucky we substitute an amazing piece of paperboard art for the need of a $350 sunburst mirror!  I feel like it filled up the walls of our master bedroom so well!  And no one ever believes me when I tell them what they are made of… they have to walk over to the wall and touch it themselves. 

The how-to is over on a blog post from The Nester – and I highly recommend it 🙂

 

Have you found any DIY’s on Pinterest that have becoming an overwhelming success?  Something I should try?

What about a Pinterest FAIL?? Do share!!! We all have them!!

 

xo

B3

Getting Back in Touch with a Lost Art

When I was a kid I loved art.  I’ve found multiple papers saved away in boxes that my mom kept of stuff I did and made in grade school that say “artist” for what I wanted to be when I grew up.  For Christmas, I would beg for large art kits full of water colors, pencils and oil pastels.  For birthdays I would ask to have my party at a Paint n’ Party where each guest chooses something to paint that they can then take home.  I just love it.  Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the most lucrative career path and I’m lucky enough to love a lot of things.  I followed my geek-y math loving side through college and into my current career as a Reliability and Systems Specialty Engineer, but after 40+ hours a week of formulas and pareto charts I find myself longing for creative outlets. 

Finally, about two years (nearly) after moving into our house I have had a few blissful spare moments to catch back up on things that inspire me – like painting! 

After searching far and wide for an extra large painting with the right coloring in a modern style to complement our family room and being unsuccessful (well – unsuccessful within our budget for the piece of art, there was a $10,000 beauty I loved at an art show we attended, but don’t exactly roll that deep!) Mike convinced me to paint a large canvas myself.  I was super nervous after investing all the money in the canvas and paints – what if I messed it up!!  It’s so… large.  Then I told myself there is beauty in any imperfection and I just went for it.

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Having not painted anything in quite some time I was pleased with the outcome – it fills up the blank wall and ties in the colors of the family room, what more could I ask for?

This one painting bit me like an addiction – I had to paint some more.  So within the same week I drug out some watercolor paper, brushes, cups of water, paper towels and I went to work adding this funky abstract for our master bedroom:

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(sorry for the glare!)

And toyed around with some bright flowers…

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And recently came up with the idea to give paintings as a gift.  My younger (middle) sister Mari recently moved into a new place.  I wanted her new place to instantly feel like home so I wanted to paint things that she loves.  Well, she also recently adopted a new puppy named Buddy so he became my inspiration for the painting! 

buddy

He was a rescue dog and is always happy and full of life.  I painted him in a field of sunflowers (Mari’s favorite flower) to capture the happiness he exudes when he sees you!

buddy and sunflowers

And finally, the latest painting is one for my best friend since her birthday is coming up next month… Amanda is a pro-women’s soccer player as well as a coach and also loves her dog, Xena. 

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Xena is a spoiled princess and basically Amanda’s child so I hope she’ll be excited when I frame it and give it to her as a gift! 

xena watercolor

I’m still a little rusty but I am so happy to share this creative passion with others!!

If you have anything that brought you tons of happiness as a child it’s never too late to go back to that passion and hobby – you may be surprised at how quickly you fall right back to it.

 

What’s something that you love to do when you finally find the time?  Were you a painter as a kid?

 

xo

B3