Sunday, July 28, 2013

Life Lately According to My iPhone

1. This is exactly what happens when you are a doofus, who manages to glance away from the road for two seconds, which causes you to run into a curb, popping not one but two tires! Just like one of my facebook friends said to me, "Here's to Over Achievement".

2. An IHOP just opened in our little town, and I am definitely a pancake fan. So I had to try the tiramsu pancakes, and they were delish. But really, really sweet. But so worth the tummy ache.

3. We picked up the Super Mario Brothers for our Wii U. So we have been having fun around the house playing it, even if I am totally awful at it. Mario never gets old! 

4. Last weekend we dog sat this pooch, that belongs to my mother. AKA her royal highness. AKA the dog that has usurped my position as the favorite daughter. 

5. I have been taking lots of painting classes at Spirited Art lately. Last week, I painted my own personal version of Edvard Munch's The Scream. I am really proud of how this turned out.

6. Friday at work, we took the kids to Rhodes Ferry Park in Decatur. I think this is the prettiest park in Decatur! It is right on the Tennessee River, framed by two bridges, and railroad tracks.

7. Last night, we went to the drive-in theater. I love the drive-in. You can bring whatever food you want, you can enjoy the movie from the car, and no one bugs you. We saw Monster's University and we liked it. Not as good as the first one, but worth the ticket price.

8. My mother and I have been going to Point Mallard Water Park every Friday, spending hours in the wave pool and floating on the lazy river. I swear all the stress from the work week melts away on that river. There would not be any problems in the world if everyone could spend an hour on the lazy river every day.

9. I have had this find-it game in my office since I started my job! It is a type of eye spy game. The hardest and almost near impossible item to find is the penny. It took me a whole year to find that penny, so I about freaked when I actually found it. Proud moment.

Friday, July 26, 2013

July Cara Box Reveal

This month for the Cara Box Swap, I was matched up with two lovely ladies again, Chelsey (received) and Anna Lee (sent)! The theme was nautical. I loved that theme, I've always had a love of anchors and all things nautical. I've even considered getting an anchor tattoo at one time or another.  Luckily, my partners loved the theme also. But how could they not? It is awesome.

The box I got from Chelsey was so thoughtful! It included an adorable sail boat serving platter, a lobster bottle stopper, an anchor wallet, salt water taffy (yum), and a homemade bracelet which I love! Thank you so much, Chelsey!

I can only hope Anna Lee likes her cara box from me, as much as I loved mine!  And here is to getting to know two more wonderful ladies this month!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Social Vol. 1

I don't usually do that many link-ups and surveys! But I thought Sunday Social looked like a fun one, so I thought I would give it a whirl! So here goes nothing!

1. What was your favorite TV show as a kid? 
I had so many favorite shows as a kid! I loved Home Improvement, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Power Rangers! But I was also a little unusual in that I watched Nick at Nite every night before bed, and it fostered a love of classic TV shows in me! So I loved (and still love) I Love Lucy, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, and Laverne and Shirley!

2. What is your current favorite show?
If I had to pick just one, I would definitely say Big Brother because it is summer. And I've always been about Big Brother in the summer (I've seen all the seasons)! It is also nostalgic for me because I used to watch this show with my brother and sister in law when I was a lot younger. 

3. Which reality show would you NEVER do?
I would have to say something really off the wall crazy like The Bad Girl's Club. I am too nice, those girls would swallow me whole! 

4. Which reality show would you LOVE to do?
I always wanted to do The Real World or Big Brother, when I was younger. But now I would love to do something like House Hunters or possibly even The Worst Chef in America. Not that I am the worst chef by far, but I would love to learn to cook from the masters!

5. What is the TV personality/character that you feel is most like you?
I've always thought I was just a little bit like Melissa McCarthy's character on The Gilmore Girls, Sookie. She is a little quirky, a little scatterbrained, a lot of fun, and really caring. I would hope I'm somewhat like her.

6. Which TV character would you want to date?
Raylon Givens, as played by Timonthy Olyphant, on Justfied! He is just so sexy (hat on or hot off) and funny. He could hang that hat on my hat rack anytime (sorry, Adam).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer

This has been one pretty hetic summer for me. At work, my company runs a Summer Day Treatment in the summer. This is where we take 50 of our children (with emotional and behavioral issues) and run a type of summer camp in the mornings. We take the kids skating, swimming, do arts & crafts, and a whole mess of other activities. It can be a lot of fun, no doubt, but also seriously challenging.  And in the afternoon, I am still keeping up with my regular case load of clients! Oh and the never ending paperwork!

And to top it all off, somewhere around week three I somehow, I don't even know how, inflamed my sciatic nerve. Yes, I am, at 27 years old suffering from sciatica. I feel so old *shakes head*. It started out as dull ache, and then it started taking me 20 minutes to get up the courage, with the help of my husband, to get up from the couch. That was the point I finally went to the doctor. I took a few days off work, but not enough to fully recover, and I don't have that time to take off right now. So now here we are a month later, and I'm still in pain, and out of medication.   I just feel like I have to deal with it now and rest later. I can't go for runs, not even long walks! So I'm losing all the running stamina I've built up. That is uber frustrating.

But I think what is really nagging at me is that I have also felt a little sad this summer.  I feel like I'm in a rut. Adam and I had plans for this summer that just haven't unfolded as we hoped/believed they would. We had planned to buy a house this summer, but we don't quite have the funds yet, and I'm so tired of temporary apartment living. I'm ready to own our own space. And not having a home yet, means we can't have a dog yet, which is silly but I really want to be a dog owner again. We are also dealing with some personal disappointments that I don't want to share on the blog.

But I was talking about all this with my therapist. Yes, I'm a therapist with a therapist (don't be shocked most of us do have them). And she stressed the importance to me of not manufacturing my own unhappiness by being so obsessed with things that are going wrong. And she is so right. There are so many things to be happy about this summer.

I love the kids I work with. They make me laugh (like that one time I was asking the kiddos what they did over the weekend, and this 5 year old, who was completely serious said, "I went to da club!"), and they challenge me. Plus, some days I feel like I'm really helping them. And not to mention, I got to take them to the farm recently, and I got to milk my first ever cow (check that off the bucket list)!

I haven't been able to do anything thing major this summer, but I've been enjoying little pizza and yogurt dates with my husband (we are obsessed with mellow mushroom)! And when summer day treatment is over, Adam and I are skipping town for a little beach vacation of our own. 

So I'm making an effort to focus more on the positive.  What is 6 more months of apartment living, in the scheme of a lifetime? My kiddos love me, and love to bring me random flowers they find growing in the park. And I'm sure my sciatica won't last forever. And as far as our personal dissapointments go, I just have to believe that God has perfect timing.

So for now, I'm just repeating my new mantra, "Four more weeks till the beach!" Or, "Life's a Beach!" Or some other nonsense.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Homemade Beef & Broccoli Recipe

One of the many teeny tiny places we lived at when we were back in California was about a block from one of the best Chinese places I've ever eaten at. I swear it was just this little hole in the wall place but it was so good. I ate there so much they knew me by name. I always got lo mien noodles, rice, orange chicken, and beef & broccoli.  That beef and broccoli was awesome! I have never found a place that made it just like them. But this recipe is pretty darn close!

I got this recipe from Emilybites. Her blog has some really awesome low calorie and good recipes. Make sure you check it out.  I made this recipe to freeze and take to work this week for my lunches.  And it is made in the slow cooker, of course. My favorite way to cook, especially during the summer when it is hot, hot, hot!

1 lb uncooked lean & trimmed boneless top round roast of beef, sliced thin and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup fat free beef broth
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 T sesame oil (found by the other Asian products)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T cornstarch
2 cups frozen broccoli florets/pieces, unthawed


1. Combine the broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and garlic in your slow cooker and stir together to combine. Add the uncooked beef pieces and mix until the beef is covered by the liquid.
2. Turn crock pot temperature to low and cover. Cook for 4 hours or until the beef is cooked through.
3. Remove 4 tablespoons of the liquid from your slow cooker to a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Once combined, add the cornstarch mixture back into the slow cooker and mix in thoroughly. Add the frozen broccoli and stir in. Re-cover the slow cooker and cook on low for another half hour.

P.S-If you don't know how to work with garlic cloves (like I didn't know how to work with garlic cloves, this step by step guide was so helpful)!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Scentsy's Bring Back My Bar!

I love when it is Bring Back My Bar month at Scentsy. The scents chosen are voted on by Scentsy consultants (like yours, truly). I love Bring Back My Bar Month because it gives me a chance to check out old scents that people have loved in the past, that I have never gotten to try. I was so excited, that I bought a sampler pack so I could try all the scents!

I am most excited to try cedar sandalwood & lime, key lime pie, and wasabi ginger!

If you want to try any of these scents or any other scentsy products. Check out my personal website here and make sure you shop in the Bring Back My Bar Party. Or you can e-mail me at brittanyervin86(at)

P.S.-The Bring Back My Bar scents are only here for July!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Helen Keller Festival

Last Saturday Morning, my mother and I drove up to Tuscumbia, Alabama, so I could cross another thing off my Alabama Bucket List (and us millennial girls sure love checking things off our list, see here). We went there to attend the Helen Keller Festival. I've always wanted to visit Helen Keller's home and I love festivals, so it was a bit of a win/win. 

After we checked into our hotel, we headed over to the Spring Park for the arts and crafts fair that was taking place there. I love arts and crafts fairs. They always have the neatest stuff, although it makes me super jealous because I can never be that talented. But I actually didn't even end up buying anything but a t-shirt, but I always buy a t-shirt!

In the evening,we headed over to Helen Keller's house, called Ivy Green. It is a modest but beautiful house, furnished for the time period. And one room, had been turned into a museum. It was awesome to see the room that Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller shared upstairs.

And of course, everyone goes to the Helen Keller's house to see the water spout. The water spout is where Helen Keller first started to understand language. In that, every object has a name that goes along with it. 

The main event of the Helen Keller Festival is a reenactment of the play, The Miracle Worker, on the lawn of Ivy Green. The set they built was amazing!! It was so detailed. One set served as the train station in Tuscumbia and Perkin's School for the Blind, one was the Keller house, and one was the cottage that Helen Keller was born in before the main house was built.

The play was fantastic. The actors and actresses were so talented, and I was riveted the whole time. I even teared up a little at the end, when Helen Keller learned the word for water!

This made for such a lovely weekend, and I'm so glad to finally cross this one off my bucket list.