Shania Twain Concert + My Sister Comes for A Visit!

A few weeks ago while at work, we just so happened to be listening to the country music station when the commercial came on advertising Shania Twain’s Rock This Country tour. “Whaaaaaaat?” I said to myself out loud. That’s nuts because the week before I had been listening to one of her old Albums on Spotify, way back from my childhood and wished (and maybe prayed) about seeing her and putting that on my “bucket list”. I’ve loved her since I was about eight or nine years old (“Any Man of Mine” was my jam and will never forget the outfit she wore in the video) and have made some serious memories with her albums. I rushed to the computer to pull up the ticket prices and got the go ahead from the hubby to make it happen after a little pleading on my part and telling him exactly how badly I wanted (and maybe needed) to go, but he wanted me to see if anyone else would go with me so he wouldn’t have to go (which is just fine with me. No need to have him bored, right?). So I put some feelers out on Facebook when my sister said she would love to go and it’s too bad she lives far away (about eight hours). Well I got to thinking “why not?” and texted her if there was any way possible if she could get off of work and come up on a whim for a few days for the show. I mean, what an awesome sisterly experience when we both have grown up with Shania’s music? I prayed she could make it happen and the next thing I know she says she’d see me next week for the show! I couldn’t believe it! It took me three weeks from making my wish/praying to see her to actually seeing her live with my sister! We were both pretty excited.

Monday evening my sister got into town. Somehow we always manage to find photo ops anywhere we are! Like buying a slurpee for example. They don’t have 7-11 convenient stores where she lives and needed to get a coke slurpee. So to 7-11 we went, followed by a Target run where we didn’t get what we came there for but a few other bits and bobs. Because apparently that’s how Target works…

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So the next day was Tuesday – the day of the concert! I was so excited! But first we would have to conquer our local subway system in order to get to the arena. Neither one of us are used to that sort of travel, so it was a little humorous and frustrating figuring out how to get there and then buy tickets as we stared at this huge machine that was so not intuitive as a huge line formed behind us rather quickly (which in my mind means there’s no time to stop and think to figure it out). I felt a bit like a moron to be honest. Luckily a nice girl behind us helped us out and off we went to the train!

11781776_138967716437020_6368439932095994158_n{So happy we were finally on the train headed to see Shania!}

After we got to the arena, food and drinks were a must. And popcorn for me because I’m a popcorn fiend. We got there with plenty of time to spare as the concert wasn’t supposed to start until 7:30, with Gavin Degraw opening up. Seats weren’t quite filled up yet and Brandis (my sister) wondered if it would be a full concert. I assured her it would and it did fill up, nearly packed by the time Shania came on stage.

11179954_138967563103702_8162469837542248195_n{Our view of the show. Excuse the ghost face. In need of a tan and my sister likes to use the flash}

11755888_138967469770378_208234370320982267_nWhen Gavin came out (nearly promptly at 7:30, which I was impressed with) I watched the crowd from high above (we had a great view even if we were high up) and a lot of them were looking at their cell phones (which there was a line in one of his songs about that exact thing) or not engaged at all, which I thought was sad, especially because I really thought he was entertaining. It wasn’t until he hopped over the barricade and went through the crowd that people went totally wild. He went around the entire parameter of the lower floor shaking fans hands, dancing with them, all the while fans are trying to rudely get their selfies in. In fact, I don’t think it was my imagination that he seemed to purposefully leave and even knock into their hands when they tried to take the selfies. He played a few more songs (the set wasn’t too long but long enough to keep us entertained for 45 mintues), and then the lights came back on and we waited for Shania.

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20150721_204319“I Love Rock ‘n Roll” came on over the speakers and it was noticeably louder than the house music they had been playing. Right after the song ended, the curtain dropped and there she was! With blonder hair, which still throws me off because I’m so used to her brunette locks.

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20150721_210432Right when they started playing “Any Man of Mine” I started to tear up a little! It’s an upbeat song and yet I wanted to cry out of sheer sentimentality. I wanted to cry to many songs during the night for that reason. Seeing her live was a long time coming, for sure! When the song started playing, she got into a little cart and went around the audience the same way Gavin did and even used a selfie stick!

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20150721_222234I loved the show and she did songs we mostly already know and can jam out and sing along with. I have to say that she seems like one of the most humble stars in the music industry and seemed genuinely appreciative of our supporting her that night. She even signed an autograph for a fan while she was singing, which I loved seeing. Really, I can’t say enough good things about her other than she just seems like a sweet person. I’ve seen interviews and specials of her and her down to earth energy translates to the stage. But she also rocks out up there, too!

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to see one of my favorites and check this off the “bucket list”! And so thankful I got to experience it with my sister!

Pack With Me | Summer Beauty Travel Essentials

My Beauty Travel EssentialsMy favorite part of the summer is coming up! It’s the part where I make a long drive to see my family at the beach! The waves are pretty much calling my name at this point and even the thought of laying on the beach or playing in the ocean (just not with sharks, please. They don’t play nice, apparently) feels just a little healing. Since I’m gearing up for travel, I figured it might be a fun post to see what I pack beauty-wise to go on vacation. Of course this varies ever so slightly year after year depending on what I’m into, and sometimes it’s just fun looking at what other people pack to get some ideas.

Beauty Travel EssentialsThe bag with my name on it was given to me as a gift a very long time ago. I always keep most of my personal care and certain beauty items in there such as face lotion, deodorant, and makeup wipes. I’m currently using and bringing in this bag my Tom’s deodorant in Lavender, Simple face lotion, Nail Polish remover pads from Ulta (I found these at the checkout), q-tips,Neutrogena makeup wipes (the travel pack and I’m trying them for the first time. I use Aveeno, otherwise and love them), big sexy hair travel hairspray, Victoria’s Secret body spray from the PINK like in fresh & clean, and Curious perfume by Britney Spears (because I’ve had that one for ages and it’s about time to use it and move on, let’s be honest). I’m also bringing my Schick Hydro 5 razor (because I swear a man’s razor is better than the one they make for women), and Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Pure Castile Soap (that can be used for 18 different things! They say it on the bottle, I’m not making it up. You can wash veggies with this soap!) that I’ll be using as both body and face wash. I’m bringing the 8 oz bottle of the Dr. Bronner’s because it’s much more travel friendly than the 32 oz bottle that I typically use. Not pictured is my Aveeno shampoo and conditioner. I usually put the shower related items in a plastic grocery bag and tie is shut. It’s not glamorous but in case anything spills, the plastic catches it without anything getting on my clothes in the suitcase.

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Summe Travel Beauty Essentials 2Next is the makeup part! This year I’m keeping it pretty simple. I’m bringing just one neutral eyeshadow palette, which is the Natural Eye palette by Too Faced. I’ve had this for a few years and seem to mostly pull it out during the summer months. They’ve since brought out new packaging and a few new colors and I can’t wait to be done with this one and get the newer version. I do really like this palette though! It has all you really need if you’re into neutrals. As you can see, I’ve hit pan on both of my blushes! For a makeup lover that’s an exciting thing because that means possibilities for new blush in the future fairly soon. I’m using the E.L.F. contour palette (the bronzer broke out of it a long time ago, which was fine because it made me look like an oompah loompa anyway) and NARS blush in Orgasm. I have my M.A.C Studio Fix powder in NC25, and my ColorStay foundation by Revlon (which I’m hoping I’ll need a darker color soon! Hello tan!). My current bronzer is the Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra Nourishing Argan Oil bronzer. Since I’m currently so light, this gives me just enough bronze and glow without making me look too fake or orange. I’m also currently using Scandaleyes mascara by Rimmel (I change my mascara all the time and still trying to find that perfect one with certain restrictions), and Lasting Line eye liner in the color Brandy (because of course) by BareMinerals. I found this cute makeup bag in T.J. Maxx a while back and throw all of my makeup in there along with makeup brushes and it’s worked out very nicely for travel.

20150723_183302Have any beauty travel essentials I should know about? Let me know in the comments below!

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Visiting Colorado | Part 2 | Valentines Day

Valentines Day in Colorado was filled with fun sites that no matter where you went it felt romantic! Our hosts showed us some amazing sites that were simply breathtaking, like Sapphire Point, including a little town, Breckenridge, that was simply adorable. I think David and I both agreed it was the best Valentine’s Day yet.

David and Brandie V-Day 2015{Getting ready for the day! Our 13th Valentines Day together!}

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{Sapphire Point, which is where our hosts got married! Beyond gorgeous at this site.

It looks like a painting that came to life!}

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{Flower petals on a snowy trail}

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{Mountain selfie…}

IMG_20150214_141655{Oh, you know, just the casual car selfie…}

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David and Brandis Colorado 2015

David and Brandon Colorado 2015{My mom pointed out to me that my brother, Brandon, and David were walking exactly alike. Of course I had to capture that. It was quite humorous!}

IMG_20150214_180653{My mom with her three oldest. There’s five of us total!}

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20150214_170117{Stop. It’s Hammer Time}

We were beyond grateful to be shown such beauty on Colorado on a day full of love. Cheers to a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Visiting Colorado

If you follow me on Instagram, I may have been blowing up your feed back in February during our trip to Colorado. It was my first time in Middle America, and so we were just a little excited.

Brandie and David{at the airport, anxious to board our flight!}

Personally, I don’t go on trips very often that require riding in a plane, so I love the hustle and bustle of an airport and the anticipation of boarding a flight. What I didn’t anticipate was the gorgeous view of being surrounded by mountains once we exited the Denver airport. Seeing snow capped mountains in Colorado was breath taking. And the gorgeous views kept coming as we approached our destination – Keystone.

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20150212_174355{My first time seeing clouds that look like alien ships}

We were pretty blessed to be hooked up with an awesome room with a wonderful view! It was the first time in years that I got to experience a real wood burning fireplace. It was so nice hearing the crackle and pop of the wood and the smell is so cozy! There was a moment where all was quiet and I decided to journal in front of the fire while the boys were out skiing and snowboarding, and my sister was still snoozing. It was so nice to have that moment to myself and right now I’m missing that fireplace!

Fireplace

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20150213_225049Since I took a good handful of pictures, this trip will come in a few parts and I’m excited to share it with you all!

High School Sweethearts | 12 Years And Counting

High School SweetheartsAround this time twelve years ago, I realized I had a crush on the guy who would become my husband. We had already tried to have a relationship the year before and it didn’t quite work out. So when I felt that I possibly could have regained my feelings for him, I wanted to tell him but found I was so shy to let him know! “I have something to tell you,” I said, “but I’ll have to tell you later,” only because I couldn’t find the courage to say it. He offered to take me home that day and sitting on my front porch, I shyly told him that I thought I had feelings for him again. It was probably a week or two of talking on the phone for anything to officially start between us.

David and Brandie Senior Year

{Senior year}

We had a mall date on Saturday, April 26th of 2003. The night before on the phone, he said “I have something to ask you, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.” I knew exactly what it was and begged him to just say it but he said I would just have to wait. The next day, sitting on a bench in the mall in front of Hecht’s, he asked me to be his girlfriend.

Brandie and David Junior Prom

(Junior Prom}

We’ve come a long way since then and still have so much growing to do. Around this time of year I always love looking back at how we got started. Tonight I was remembering what made me fall in love with him, past the whole puppy love stage. Two events stand out pretty clearly in my mind. The first one was a typical day at school and had to be within the first week or two of making our relationship official. It was before class, sitting down in our common area. As he was looking at me, he said “You’re so…beautiful.” No guy in my high school career before that had ever called me beautiful. If I’m being honest, I was told I was “hot”. Which for a teenage insecure girl is always nice to hear. But the word “beautiful” took things – and my heart- to another level.

David and Brandie

The next time that took my love even deeper and officially in love with no questions asked was at an Avril Lavigne concert, of all places. We were maybe just less than a month into our relationship (and as I’m writing this, I feel like that’s pretty quickly for falling in love, no?) and I had invited him along with my family to the show. He and I were down on the main floor that was split up by a barricade. They let a big group go in front of the stage and the rest were barricaded off, and we stood directly in front of the barricade. When Avril came on stage everyone rushed towards her and nearly crushed us in the process. I almost wasn’t aware of it because he chose to stand behind me and held onto the barricade and protected me from the chaos while he was the one who got jabbed with elbows and hit with excited hands. That night I realized “Wow, this guy likes me enough to protect me,” and what girl doesn’t love a little security in a guy?

High School Graduation

A few months later he gave me his high school ring. I wore it around my neck on a chain with a heart on it – the same necklace I wore to our Junior Prom. The ring remains on that necklace and I’ve since added my own high school ring to it. And five years later he gave me the big ring. My engagement ring.

Brandie at Junior Prom

Brandie's engagement ringI’m told what we have is a rare thing – the whole High School Sweetheart thing. I can tell you that I love our sweet beginnings, look forward to the future, and can honestly say that making a relationship last this long takes work as we have definitely had our ups and downs like any other couple. And I’m so happy I have a partner that actually wants to work at this. We are constantly learning from each other and have open communication about our feelings. I hope it’s always this way. So far, it’s worked for us. I love that I got to be there when he was 17 and have watched him grow through the years. It’s been one of my favorite parts of our relationship. I know that I’ll fall in love with him all over again (as I have done many times over the years) when he’s a wrinkly old man!

Current Favorite Snacks

I love getting new snack ideas. And when I find snacks I’m crazy about, I love sharing with my readers! Here’s a few snacks that I’ve been pretty much obsessed with over the last month.

Sepculoos & Biscoff Cookie SpreadSpeculoos and Biscoff Cookie spreads. They’re both pretty much awesome and great on toast or with crackers. I love the actual cookies with coffee as well!

Speculoos Dark Chocolate Candy BarWandering around on Instagram one night lead me to this amazing dark chocolate speculoos cookie spread filled candy bar. Since then I’ve found Speculoos ice cream, and Speculoos butter cookie’s…I am officially obsessed.

Chips & SalsaChips and salsa are always a great snack idea for me. I love making my own from scratch, but when I feel the craving and want to pick something up, I love the mild Trader Joe’s Salsa Especial paired with the Veggie & Flaxseed tortilla chips. They make me feel like I made a healthier snack decision.

Kettle Salt & Pepper ChipsKettle Salt & Ground Pepper chips…Oh my…I recently bought these on our trip out to the mountains and we finished off a bag in one night while playing a game (Jokers and Marbles. Highly recommend that game!). Everyone loved them!

Love Crunch Dark Chocolate and Red BerriesLove Crunch Dark Chocolate & Red Berries…I can’t tell you how much I love this granola! I’ve been wanting to get into granola for years and I finally found something yummy and on a whim (so yummy, I’ve gone through four bags in a month). I love the chocolatey taste of the granola and then the small dark chocolate chunks and dried berries just make this even more amazing.

Have you tried any of these? I would love to know what you think as well as any awesome snack ideas!

Mountain High

Mountain High 2Saturday, while spending time with family, we took a three hour hike in the mountains. David and I are not usually hikers, but it was pretty fun getting out of our usual routine and hiking up the mountains with family.

Brandie and David{All bundled up and ready to go!}

David and Brandie 2

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brandie-sellers (3)The hike definitely showed me exactly how in shape I am (not very, in case you were wondering). There were moments when I wished I could call a helicopter to pick me up to give my hips and legs a break, but pushing myself through the physical challenge of it all (like climbing hills covered in large rocks) made me feel great at the end of it. The views along the way were gorgeous and being totally sore the next day was worth it!

Mountain SunriseP.S. the sunrise over the mountain where we were staying was so beautiful!

Throw Back Thursday

Here we are with January hanging on by a thread, and I’m still thinking of all the pictures and posts I didn’t get to write here on the blog before 2014 ended. I feel a smidge bad about it. So I figured I would take the opportunity to of course…catch up and post some pictures of the last few months of 2014 that I would have shared otherwise. Thackery Binx shirtI had a post all planned out for one of my favorite Halloween movies, Hocus Pocus. When I saw this shirt, I knew it had to be mine and I was definitely going to put it in said post. Because Thackery Binx is my spirit animalIMG_3634This is Little Me, probably back in ’89. Look at those shades… IMG_3638Since we’re sharing “throw backs” here, I had to share this picture that my dad took of me when I was maybe about six. The one on the right is when I was 17. I don’t play guitar anymore (I barely played as it was, but music was a big part of my life for a while and I wanted to make sure it was documented in my Senior pictures) but occasionally I consider picking it back up again. IMG_3643My super handsome man… IMG_3657If you’ve been around here for a while, you know how much I like my candles. These are the Bath and Body Works scents I was enjoying in November. IMG_3742A new addition to my Christmas decoration collection last year. I was able to grab this at a craft fair I worked at. IMG_3743The little Santa Hat clip that I also got at the craft fair, which I forgot to wear on Christmas day… IMG_3753Okay, who remembers growing up with the wooden ornaments in the late 80’s? These reminded me of them and I couldn’t resist picking up the Three Wise Men at Target. IMG_3768That time we tried charcoal crackers and they were actually amazing! They have the texture of a cheeze-it. IMG_3779 IMG_3796 I originally saw this shirt on Little Baby Garvin and fell in love!(love her blog and have been following since before Harper was born. I think she was the one on Pinterest who made the chalkboard baby updates so popular). She’s such a festive girl, and I’ve seen this shirt the last few years on her blog around the Christmas season. So when I saw they had it back this past year on SaSea Decor, I had to grab it while I could! IMG_3804Yay for being able to put up the big tree in the basement! Maybe (hopefully, fingers crossed, and say a prayer or positive thought if you’re feeling generous) we can experience Christmas of 2015 in our own house! Who knows? Time will tell! IMG_3839A little kitty boo hanging out under the tree. We are very fortunate he has no other interest in the tree other than sitting there. I’ve heard of horror stories of cats climbing up trees, knocking them over, or breaking ornaments. Not this little guy. IMG_4133 IMG_4135And then these gems happened on our trip to Baltimore. Followed by a few more… IMG_4136 IMG_4141 IMG_4153 IMG_3882Because the Santa ornament and I sort of match… IMG_4035When we stayed at my mom’s for Christmas, we took over my little sister’s bed when she was at her Dad’s house (she’s about to turn 13). The thought of my husband getting all cozy in these sheets was amusing enough to take a picture. I just love him! And I appreciate getting his permission to post this picture! IMG_4047 IMG_4043Sometimes this is how they chill. Lucky is pretty much Daddy’s little boy. I think one day I’ll need to get my own cat so we can hang out like this. I think I’ll name it Binx. Hope you all have been having some great things happening this first month of 2015!

Healing With doterra Essential Oils

Healing with doterra Essential OilsI’ve been getting into essential oils over the last three or so years and, lately, it’s become almost an obsession. I was first introduced to the oils, specifically the brand doTERRA, when I was making my own candles. A friend wanted me to experiment and turn a few of her oils into candles, which I was glad to try out. She also told me of the healing benefits of the oils I would be using. I thought it was interesting, but not yet ready to try them for myself. Then my Mother-in-law became a member for doTERRA and introduced me to diffusers and an amazing oil called On Guard. I remember borrowing a diffuser with the oil when I had a respiratory thing going on and I noticed how it helped me feel better. Then an acquaintance of mine was in doTERRA and always passionately told me about the healing abilities and gave me a sample of Wild Orange (among other samples). I loved it, especially seeing that it actually worked, and began slowly getting hooked on essential oils.

Over the last two years or so, my husband and I have made the changes that we can do in order to live a healthier lifestyle, and personally, I’m loving those changes. We want to move into a more “natural living” organic lifestyle and are moving towards that within our means at this time. I’ve also been enjoying learning about alternative healing remedies that you can do at home. Essential oils only made sense to get into. And this past October I did just that.

I noticed myself getting antsy to learn more about oils and wanting specifically to have access to the doTERRA brand. I knew I could sign up with the company (or get a membership) and get 25% off the retail value of the oils, which was definitely a perk. Since this is a company where you can become an Independent Business Associate, I was weary for a long time to make the plunge to join. I’ve been in Amway and Tastefully Simple, and they all sound great, they get you motivated, but knowing my personality and my unwillingness to push people into buying a product, I told myself I would never join a company (or pyramid scheme) like that again. It was a waste of time (for me, as some people have the personality to sell), money, hope, and energy. But knowing that all I had to do was sign up for the membership fee and there was no pressure to buy or sell, it made me so much more comfortable to do so.

As soon as I signed up, I began doing research on the oils I was interested in – what oil helps support your health in which way. I can tell you that I overloaded my brain for a few weeks and I’m not sure how much information I actually retained. Luckily I kept some notes in one of my planners. With everything I was learning and testimonials I would hear about, my excitement only grew. Suddenly it became not only a new passion of learning about these, but a mission to spread the word of what these oils can potentially do. And within the last month, I’ve decided to attempt growing an actual business out of this thing, but for the moment I’m taking it slow since I’m still learning the ins and outs of it.

I decided to make an Instagram for the subject called Healthy Habitat for the Soul (@healthyhabitatforthesoul). You may have noticed that I have a blog by the same name (I also have a section here on the blog dedicated to the name as well when I knew that managing two blogs was a little bit more than I wanted to handle), which inspired the Instagram name. There, I post pictures of the oils that I’m currently working with and what I’ve been using them for. I plan on doing that here on the blog as well.

doterra haulLast month, you could get a free Frankincense with your order (if you ordered a certain amount), and knowing how expensive that oil is, plus Christmas money we were gifted, an order was in order! It was our first major haul from doTERRA, and I was like a kid in a candy shop when it arrived! All of these items were my most craved items to get started. I was so thankful to finally have these in our possession and they have already come in quite handy.

doterra Essential OilsEssential Oils:

  • Wild Orange
  • On Guard
  • Breathe
  • Eucalyptus
  • Melaleuca
  • Clary Sage
  • Helichrysum
  • Frankincense

doterra BeadletsBeadlets:

  • On Guard
  • Peppermint

doterra dropsDrops:

  • On Guard Protecting Throat Drops
  • Breath Respiratory Drops

doterra keychainKey chain with empty vials

I’m pretty excited to share what I’ve been learning and welcome you to share your knowledge as well! I’m most impressed of the many ways you can use just one oil.

If you want to check out the oils for yourself or even sign up to get the 25% off discount, feel free to visit my site: mydoterra.com/brandiesellers