Bren vs. PMS

I hope I didn't offend anyone by Sunday's post. I am not a vegetarian at all and love meat way too much to be sad (sorry......!!) but I realize that not everyone is that way. So if the graphic photos of crustaceans being boiled to death was too much, don't fret, because today we're going to talk about something more uplifting: PMS! 

You know you can always count on a hormones-related post at least once per month, because after the crying and pain, my meltdowns are kind of funny. 

On Saturday morning, Ian and I had fallen into our usual routine: I was on my computer stalking my blogs, and Ian was watching some sort of historical/educational/sports-related TV. That morning happened to be the Dog Whisperer, a show fascinating to Ian's psychology degree/counselor mind. He analyzes the dog whisperers movements, the way the dog responds, and even compares it to how that's the way that kids should be raised. I just like the dogs. 

While he studied the ways of a dog whisperer, I had also noticed a red spot on my nose that looked like it had the potential to form into a cyst like I had on the end of my nose in 8th grade (absolutely horrific). I took it upon myself to Google diagnose myself with skin cancer and as I looked at pictures of people who had their noses mangled by having growths removed, I freaked. One point for PMS.

We decided to head to the pet store to play with puppies, after I fully examined my nose in the mirror and Ian tried to convince me that I wasn't dying. I must say, if a sweet mini doberman pinscher in the arms of your handsome husband doesn't make you melt, I don't know what will.

After we had sufficiently overwhelmed the poor thing, we headed to Trader Joe's to stock up and stop in the other pet store. The first pet shop was small and quiet; the next one was a madhouse. Kids running all over the place, animals all over the place; we had to get in line to play with the beagle that we wanted. When we finally got into the room, this little guy was absolutely NUTS. It was running all over the place, biting my boots...so naturally, Ian took this opportunity to try out his dog whispering skills. 

Here's where the PMS comes in. For some reason, this irritated me to no end. As Ian tried to calm down the dog and make weird noises at it, I kept freaking out more when it would come bite my boots (they were expensive!). Ian told me I had to stay calm, but how was I supposed to stay calm?! Not to mention I had to go to the bathroom. I was officially done with dogs. PMS: two points.

So we went to Trader Joe's, I relieved myself, and we got free pizza samples. I was happy again. PMS 2,  BREN 1. 

We came home and I plopped onto the couch and happened to catch the Elizabeth Smart Lifetime movie. When she was reunited with her family in the end....oh boy, bring on the waterworks again. I sat on the couch blubbering "can you even IMAGINE?" and then decided I really, really missed my sister. Point for PMS. 

As I flipped to Miss Congeniality, Ian started making the lobsters. They boiled away in the pot, but the water in the pot kept boiling over. Ian wasn't really concerned by this, but it was the end of the world to me because water was getting everywhere. 

"It's just water! It will evaporate!" Says the husband.

"But it's making a mess!" 

I think it was at this point that I walked away in a huff. And returned to the delicious feast that you read about the other day. 

After dinner, I decided to give up giving up chocolate for Lent, and enjoyed some Girl Scout cookies while we cuddled on the couch and watched Young Frankenstein (a little overrated, if you ask me). So really, it turned out to be a good day.

All's well that ends well with a little chocolate, I always say. 


Lobster Killers

How could I not name this post after that scene in Julie and Julia?

On Saturday, when Ian and I saw a deal at the H Mart that was just too good to pass up, we decided we were having lobsters for dinner. 

Of course I love a good shellfish, not to mention bright red ones, so we had the nice man scoop up the two biggest and best ones. As we shopped, the little guys sat squirming in the bag in our cart and when we placed them in the backseat for the ride home, I had to keep a watchful eye so that they didn't escape and come pinch me.

I let Ian be manly and prepare the lobsters, not before playing with them a little bit. And maybe making a creepy little video where I made them talk. I'll spare you that.

But pretty soon, it was time to get down to business. We were hungry.

First of all, I realized that I had never actually eaten lobster before. Also, I didn't know that they magically turned red when you boiled them! I thought that was like, only in cartoons. 

I fried up some asparagus, Ian melted some garlic butter, and we had ourselves a feast.

The last family portrait.

They sure are hard work to eat, but WOW was it tasty. 

Afterwards, we felt it was only appropriate to fully dissect them. 


Every Day is Valentine's Day

When I wore this outfit to work yesterday, someone kindly pointed out that Valentine's Day was last week. 

I kindly replied that EVERY day is Valentine's Day for me.

The red blouse was one of my favorite thrifts from Saturday. Frumpy fun-patterned grandma button-up shirts are one of my favorite things to find because even though they might have been worn by granny vacationing in a tropical retirement community, they are instantly stylish when tucked into a skirt. 


In other news, I am planning to buy something that will make taking these blogging self-portraits much easier; do any of you lovely ladies have camera remote reccomendations?

Peace out and have a lovely Thursday.


A Major Award!

When I arrived home from work the other night, I found an email from Tara, one of my new blogging friends at Penniless Socialite, that she was awarding me a major award!

Not this kind of major award:

But the Liebster Blog Award, which is given to up-and-coming bloggers by other up-and-coming bloggers. So that's fun!

Now I get to award this to five of my swell blogger friends. I know that after my recent post I'm not concerned about the numbers game, but this is a great way to get to know each other and make some new friends!

So here is my pick:

I've been loving reading about Cece's life and her newlywed adventures. She is super stylish and always has a way of seeing the good things in life!

Not only do I love her thrifty clothes, but she has fabulous bangs. I pretty much want to raid her closet.

I've been reading Kristin's blog since wayyy back when I started blogging! She really speaks to my love for great writing and finding beauty in every day life.

Kasey is acually probably beyond up-and-coming, but she is the wife of one of my husband's best friends and a PA native herself. She's been in the business of handmade clothes for a few years now and she is absolutely fabulous. After you check out her blog, check out her etsy shop because you will be amazed. And want it all.

I'm not sure how Dawn stumbled across my little blog, but I'm so glad she did because I just love seeing her thrifty finds. She is beautiful and can rock outfits from just about every decade. 

 you have been awarded the coveted Liebster award, here’s what’s next:
* choose five up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers to award
*show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.  If you not already a follower of their blog, that might be a great way to show appreciation for the award.  ;)
*Post the award on your blog.  Be sure to link back to the 5 blogs you awarded so that others can visit them.


Sunday Brunchin'

Growing up, Sundays after church always meant brunch. As soon as we would step in the door, Mom would fire up the griddle and mix up some pancake batter, or Dad would whip up some eggs and make the most wonderful omelets my little mouth had ever savored. Or we would try and beat the Sunday crowds to the nearest greasy spoon. (OK....as in, Panera.)

So now, I am conditioned to expect a delicious home-cooked brunch after church. About halfway through the service, just somewhere between where I am engaged in the sermon and where I am starting to zone out, my tummy starts rumbling. And then, as we make our way to the car, I debate whether today is a chocolate pancake and whipped cream day, or an omelet and home fries day. Because it's always one or the other. 

Yesterday was an omelet day. Oh yes....and a home fries day. And a turkey bacon day. 

Because if you're going to have one, why not have them all? 


Itchin' for a Thriftin'

Thank you all for the words and encouragement you left on my last post. It really made me remember why I love to do this, and that even though I might not have as many loyal followers as the next gal, I am reaching a handful of people who really enjoy stopping by my little corner of the internet. So that's swell!

You know what else is swell? It's the weekend. And after this past week, I could not be more thrilled for two days of restin' and relaxin'. 

I've also been itchin' for some thriftin'. There have been a couple things on my wish list lately, including a cute little round bag like (who else?) Miss Zooey's:

But you know what I'll probably do? Go grocery shopping. Catch up on the shows I missed this week. Call my mommy. That sounds pretty swell too. 

Happy weekend, friends!



Helloooo blogging world. Remember me?

I guess it has been a little while. Do I have some kind of excuse for my absence, like things have been busier than normal or we've been traveling the world or something? Sure don't. The truth is, I had been growing a little blog-weary lately. Allow me to explain myself.

First off, let me start out by saying that I love this world of blogging that I dived into when I started this thing. I have made amazing connections who have become my friends in real life and also with people who are wayyy far away.  Tell me if you don't do this too, but when I stumble across a blog I like, where the gal is wearing a cute shirt or her hair is fabulous or there is a giant photo of a cupcake or something equally beautiful, I immediately add it to my 'follow' list. I just head right up to the top of the browser, and boop, followed! Next thing I know, I actually start reading...and I'm not really enthralled. There's not really anything we have in common, but the blog still sits in my follow list untouched until I, gasp, unfollow. Which I've done, let's see, never

So I find myself with a handful of blogs I really love, that I really connect with. Ones where I have developed genuine relationships, ones where I comment and they comment back! And then there are ones that I envy from afar, like a giant creep--I see from afar this girl's perfect life, with her adorable outfits and perfect hair and picturesque meals and wonder why my life isn't all perfect curls and a closet full of vintage goods and time to create meals that could be featured on the Food Network. And I leave comment after comment, like be my friend, I'm coooool! Sometimes I have good hair and delicious food! And never hear anything back. It's sad. 

The bottom line is, I got frustrated. Frustrated that these days, blogging seems to have turned into a giant popularity contest. Where the only way to get ahead is to spend hours upon hours perusing blogs, dropping comments, hosting giveaways, doing advertisements, and taking gorgeous pictures. Sometimes I can't help but wonder when I look at a blog that has nothing to it except for a million photos of one person in one outfit, followed by some bad writing about what they did that day, followed by a million and one comments by people who love it, I wonder, what am I doing wrong?

I started this blog primarily to document my thrift/vintage store perusings, but it evolved into much more than that--a place where you can enjoy (hopefully!) good writing, good pictures, and entertainment. In fact, one of there very first blogs I ever read when I was still doing my other blog (A Swell Cup of Bren....check it out if you dare...), and one that really inspired my writing style and just overall my passion for writing, was Mrs Taryn Maxwell over at A Peine for Your Thoughts. She is truly one of the funniest people I have ever read, combining a natural talent for excellent writing with hilarious stories and great photos. Unfortunately she hasn't blogged in almost a year, I still go back sometimes and read her old posts just to remind myself why I'm really doing this. (Seriously...you gotta go back and read some of the old stuff. She is hysterical.)

Ultimately, it's really not about the amount of people who read this, or how many followers I end up with. It's about the comments from the people who do, both online and in person; people who I haven't spoken to in years who drop me a message or who stop me when I'm home to say that they love reading my blog. Those are the important things, and they were something that I was overlooking in my quest to be popular. A little bit like middle school, isn't it?

 I think I needed some time away from obsessing over what to blog about that day, from capturing every moment and cute outfit on camera, and overall, from the pressure to be perfect. Because, as we all know, no one is perfect. What we see on each others blogs are the good things. 

So for now, I will leave you with some good things. 

Like wine tasting on Sunday afternoon and getting giggly with some new friends:

Photo by my new friend, Kristin!

And Girl Scout cookies.

And, of course, my first Valentines Day as a married woman. 

I hope you find satisfaction in the good things in life this week. I sure am. 


Dr. Brodie, Google MD

Hello everyone. Happy Saturday!

I thought Ian and I were going to die the other night.

It all started when I got home from work and we heard a mysterious beeping noise coming from inside the closet, over on our landlady's side of the basement. It went like this: beep beep beep beep.....pause....beep beep beep beep....pause....and so on. Then it would be quiet for about five minutes before doing it again.

I heard it while I was in bed reading, and asked Ian if he heard it too. He said it had been beeping for the past couple hours. 

So naturally, as with all of life's ailments and questionable situations, I Googled it. And was greeted with a long list of websites that stated that four beeps on a smoke alarm meant carbon monoxide. As I was reading this, Ian came into our bedroom and asked if I had a headache. Which I did! Never mind that I always have a headache after work, but it turns out Ian had a headache too. 

I flew into panic mode, running around the apartment opening windows while trying to call Georgia about the beeping. I sat there shivering as I kept Googling carbon monoxide symptoms (headache...nausea...flu-like symptoms...), while Ian tried to convince me it was just her washer and dryer we were hearing. 

We sat there in the living room, listening for the beeps. Then, I heard it. The whir of the washer and dryer, followed by four beeps. But I couldn't rest easy until I heard it again. Which I did. Turns out these new-fangled washer and dryers beep when they're done.

So then we went to bed.


Funk Today, Gone Tomorrow

Yesterday, I was in a funk.

Actually, I had been in a funk all week, which was sort of the reason you haven't heard from me since Sunday. 

I even started to write a post about how I couldn't think of anything to write a post about, but then I had to get ready for work so I never finished. It's probably a good thing, because 1) the post was depressing and 2) my funk was soon lifted because I discovered a revolution that will forever change my life. And hair.

I finally learned how to curl my hair with a flat iron.

Ooooh my goodness, this has changed my life, not to mention lifted me out of my funk! Seriously, it is so easy and makes absolutely the perfect, smooth, wavy non-Shirley-Temple-like curls that last ALL DAY LONG.

There are tutorials all over you tube, but this was the one I used. You gotta try it now.

There are a lot of things that can lift me out of a funk, but a good hair day is on the top of the list!

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