Category: Coffee and Confessions

Blackout Tuesday

Hello Fan Friends,

I am writing to and appealing to you on this Blackout Tuesday to encourage you all to raise your voices and speak up about the racial injustices our fellow Americans face each day. I am an ally in support of justice, equality, and human rights FOR ALL. To all my friends who are and have been personally affected by the senseless killing of George Floyd, please know I stand with you in outrage and pain. Please know that you are LOVED and your lives hold as much VALUE as my own, and anyone else’s for that matter. You have the right to be seen, heard and respected as a citizen of the world.

You have the right to a world that is peaceful and free from prejudices. You have the right to be treated with equality, regardless of the color of your skin. You have the right to be protected from harm, injustice, and hatred.

You have the right to protest these injustices that will help you to make a positive change in the world.

You also have the right to your opinions and feelings, even if others don’t agree with them.

It costs $0.00 to listen to our brothers and sisters both within our country and around the world. We live in a world where people long to be heard and their struggles seen. Isn’t it crazy how smart our phones are yet how merciless and indifferent humanity is to one another? We live in an age of social media which brings us so close together, and yet we are alarmingly distant. Regardless of your faith or lack there of, it is important to love one another. To stand up for those who are being disadvantaged. Simply ignoring an issue because it does not affect you makes you part of the problem. Silence only gives voice to the oppressor not the oppressed.

In my Christian faith, Jesus Christ called all of his disciples to, “love one another as I have loved you.” and yet people regard others as intangible. They turn a blind eye to the isolation and despair some suffer simply because they have the privilege of not experiencing that suffering themselves.

As the author and creator of ‘Are You There Friday? It’s Me, Brittany’, I will continue to speak up and give voice to the voiceless. Throughout my life I have had the privilege of learning from, building personal relationships with, and working beside so many amazing people who do not deserve to be treated any differently than I do simply because of the color of their skin. I encourage each and every single one of my followers to speak out, stand up, and stand beside our fellow siblings in Christ. Our neighbors, our friends, our extended families all need us.

As an ally, I’d like to close by taking this opportunity to welcome anyone would like to reach out and use this site as a platform for a guest contribution post. If you are interested, please email me at: fridayswithbrittany@gmail.com.

Your voice matters and your life matters. When Black Lives Matter, then we’ll live in a world where All Lives Matter.

You can help the family of George Floyd (including the daughter he left behind) by clicking the following link to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gianna-floyd-daughter-of-george-floyd-fund . Don’t forget to reach out to your county and local government to get involved with working with legislators to make your city a safer place. Things only change when people like YOU have the courage to take a stand.

In Loving Memory of Chloe Dawn Hackett ♥️

Good Afternoon Fan Friends,

In the Broadway Musical ‘Wicked‘,made famous by Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel as Glinda the Good and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West, the song ‘For Good’ is a powerful and poignant song which highlights that despite the urgency of both iconic characters needing to go their separate ways they had been changed “for good” just by knowing each other. Chenoweth famously begins the tune:

“I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason. Bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those, who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true, but I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.”-Wicked

While Glinda isn’t so sure of her belief in fate she does acknowledge that the time she spent learning and growing beside her friend significantly impacted her for the better. This leads me to ask: Where’s the line between the people who change our lives for the better and family pets who are like people that change our lives and hearts for good?

The biggest line between our human companions and our furry ones is that humans are all flawed. Human nature is to disappoint or fall short of expectations and sometimes hurt sometimes without ever meaning to. It’s as the age old saying goes:

To err is human, to forgive divine. All people commit sins and make mistakes. God forgives them, and people are acting in a godlike (divine) way when they forgive-Alexander Pope

Furry companions do this and more for us. They love us humans even when we fall short of perfection. They love us: unconditionally, completely and Christlike. They forgive us without question, even when we’re short sighted and short tempered, but above all they love us. They love us completely even when we’re hard to love and that is why their lifespans are significantly shorter than our own.

Our canine and feline companions are born with that hard wired ability to be loving, merciful and compassionate. Who but the family furry friend will share in our daily life: the joys, the excitements, the sadness and disappointments? Most human beings spend their entire life learning through blessings and lessons how to get closer to God by being selfless, loyal, loving and compassionate but our furry friends and family members already know how to do these things. Jesus calls us all to “love one another as I have loved you” but it’s animals that have mastered that particular skill not the humans who were given dominion over them. Ironic, isn’t it?

Many a woman and man have said, ‘I hope to be half the person my (dog/cat) thinks I am.’ I think that is because although they live significantly shorter lives than ours, while they are here they make us want to be better people. I believe sincerely that people who say, “it’s just a dog” or “it’s just a cat” need that type of love from us the most. Throughout my 12 year relationship (4 of which I spent married) with my husband, we have been told when we expressed our desire to raise dogs over children that we, “don’t know unconditional love until you know the love you’ll hold for your child” to this I usually smile, sheepishly and say, “Have you ever known the love of a dog? Because God spelt backwards is Dog and that unconditional love they have in their hearts of us is the closest thing we’ll get to Christ on Earth.”

I’ve read about tragedies in the paper of children growing up to kill their parents and sometimes parents who kill their children but I’ve never read about a dog who killed their owner. I have read about dogs who got put down for protecting their owners. These stories get me crying every time. There’s only one person who loves us at our worst and would lay down their lives for us other than our fur angels and his name is Jesus Christ.

We can stand to learn a lot from the furry companions we open our homes and hearts to if we just: Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Teaching preschool for 9 1/2 years I imagine the world would be much different if our school teachers were dogs. You’d learn valuable lessons like:

▪️Always running to greet your loved ones when they get home.

▪️Never passing up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

▪️Allowing the experience of fresh air, long walks and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

▪️Taking naps.

▪️Stretching before rising.

▪️Running, romping, and playing daily.

▪️Thriving on attention and affection.

▪️Avoiding biting when a simple growl will do.

▪️On warm days, stopping to lie on your back on the grass.

▪️On hot days, drinking lots of water and laying under a shady tree.

▪️When you’re happy, dancing around and wag your entire body.

▪️Delighting in the simple of being around those you love.

▪️Being faithful.

▪️Never pretending to be something you’re not.

▪️Knowing that if what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

▪️When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

That’s the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog-which is why when I got the heart wrenching text from my Father yesterday evening that they were making the difficult decision to put down our furry family member for the last nearly 13 years-I crumbled to the floor and ugly cried until no more tears could fall.

My husband and I (with my Parents’ blessing) drove that 30 minute drive to my family home where I grew up and said goodbye to a dog who’d given me the kind of love, loyalty and devotion I could only hope I repaid in even a fraction of the same way. For that entire drive, her whole 12 1/2 years of life flashed before my eyes: memories of the crying puppy that I fell asleep on a cold tile floor to snuggle, a playful adolescent who would play fetch, snuggle on the couch, and comfort me through all of life’s beautiful and dark moments and finally even the old senior who although tired still managed to trot up to the door to give me attention and love.

Before I left last night, I didn’t say goodbye. I said I’ll see you soon, because time in heaven works differently than here on Earth. I’m confident she’ll be able to plead my case and get me into heaven one day, when my work here is done to be reunited with her for eternity.

This morning, it was with a very heavy heart that my family and I announced that our beloved Chloe Dawn Hackett died peacefully, alongside her family of nearly 13 years. On this day, Friday, May 22nd 2020, under the care of the Ocean County Veterinary Hospital staff, heaven gained an exceptionally beautiful, loving, furry angel.

Chloe was brought into this world October 31st 2007 and became a valued member of our family in January of 2008, she quickly became our daughter, little sister and ultimately a dog legends are made of. Chloe arrived in our home with the ability to make herself completely comfortable by playfully tormenting her big fur brother Chase. Having the energy of an F5 tornado and barking ferociously at any animal or person that intruded on her turf, Chloe quickly began building loving relationships with all those who came in contact with her, whether it be family or friends. She was loving, loyal, and wouldn’t hesitate to yell at me whenever I had to leave home for long periods of time. She was the first to greet and the last to see me off.

A lover of dog beds and stuffed animals, Chloe had many hobbies. Some of Chloe’s favorite activities included barking at things not there, cuddling alongside you, comforting you when you were happy or sad, playing tug of war and fetch, and trying to figure out who exactly was “the good girl.” In her spare time, Chloe dreamt violently, thrashing her legs, presumably chasing those asshole squirrels who dared enter her dreams. The quickest way to Chloe’s heart was with a quality scratch of her rear, and a shake of her paw.

Chloe Dawn will be greatly missed by many, but none more so than her loving family. Through thick and thin, we loved her with all our hearts, and though the pain we’re feeling without her here is great, it in no way would compare to having never had her in our lives. Chloe Dawn leaves behind her lovingly devoted Mom and Dad, Liz and Joe Hackett, an older sister, Brittany Schmidt (Hackett), a Brother in Law Thomas Schmidt, and a big brother who held her in his arms until the very end Joseph Hackett; predeceased by her Grammy, Mary Doyle; her big fur brothers Petie and Chase; Uncles Tommy and Jimbo; and many amazing family members and friends throughout the years.

While it well may be, that I will never see my Chloe girl again in this lifetime, it needs to be said that so much of me is made of what I learned from her and she’ll be with me like a paw print on my heart. All the pain, the sorrow and profound sense of loss is worth it because, much like most parents can say for their children, I can honestly say: you just don’t know the depth of true unconditional love until you’ve shared your home, bed, snack and heart with a dog or cat.

This post was shared and written in memory of Chloe Dawn Hackett:

10/31/2007-05/22/2020

“Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon her.

May she rest in peace.

Amen.”

The Best Kept Secrets About Simple Ways To Cosmetically Fixing Up Your Home

The listing photo for my home pre-purchased

Buying your first home is probably the most exciting feeling in the world. If you’re anything like me, you have a vision for what each room will look like that’s straight out of the “For Home” ideas you’ve pinned on Pinterest. As time goes on you realize it takes time to do these things and unless your name is David Tepper and you own the Carolina Panthers you probably aren’t fixing things up as quickly as you think.

What we had to start with…

Just because you aren’t Rockefeller, it doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to cosmetically fix little things that can make a huge difference in upping the resale value of your home. We took that drab yellow color and painted it my FAVORITE paint of all time: Sherwin Williams in ‘Sea Salt’. Just the paint job itself brightened up the kitchen and gave it relaxing vibes.

It’s no secret my little family and I plan on relocating to the Carolinas in the not so distant future. Baring all other obstacles are met: finding a job, a town that fits the vibe of what we’re looking for, and of course building our dream home I look forward to taking you on our journey with us! There’s still so much to be done around here before we can move on to phase 2. Which makes me wonder: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder could otherwise budget conscious individuals still get top dollar without breaking the bank, more importantly exactly how powerful is curb appeal and cosmetic beauty in the eye of the potential buyer?

I set out to find just how to make the most out of a limited budget and I think you all will be pleasantly surprised with how you can fix up a kitchen for under $200.00! Cosmetic fixes, as I mentioned in my earlier post where I transformed my living room, can be the easiest fix when it comes to fixing up your space. Never underestimate the power of a good paint job, so when it came time to fix up my kitchen I knew just a few little cosmetic nip and tucks could make a huge difference in the future resale of my home.

Here’s a BEFORE picture of my kitchen as well as my checklist for what I felt the kitchen really needed to regain its identity and character:

As you can see from the picture, the kitchen situation we inherited wasn’t ideal. The dated, broken cabinets, tired looking beige stove hood and countertops gave this kitchen a rather deteriorated vibe which was in fierce contrast to all of the updating and bringing into the 21st century we’ve done. What I proposed to Tom was to fix these cabinets’ doors and give them a much needed facelift with some grey paint. I also wanted to replace that MUCH DATED stove hood and give the countertops a new lease at shelf life with some wax. The labor was FREE because we did it ourselves so bare that in mind that your total cost will probably reflect in your decision to DIY or have someone come to do it for you.

Our Checklist and Pricing Estimate:

▪️Paint (tax included) comes to $42.00

▪️Roller for cabinets comes to $8.00

▪️Hinges in fixing lazy Susan and pantry cabinet comes to $12.00

▪️Glosser (tax included) comes to $9.00

▪️Wax (tax included) comes to $5.00

▪️New Stove Hood (tax included) comes to $49.00

▪️Bringing the GRAND TOTAL to: $125.00▪️

Aside from the cost of supplies, the manual labor when spread out took us a total of 21 hours. This included restoring the cabinets to their former glory, using two coats of paint and gloss, as well as replacing the stove hood and waxing countertops. That said, it was all worth it when you see the outcome in these AFTER pictures:

As you can see, when it comes to simple cosmetic fixes, a little bit goes a really long way! Would you believe me at all if I told you these cabinets are the same cabinets in the before picture? We took these tired, off-white cabinets and fixed all the doors (some of which were pulled off and missing when we moved in!) before we painted them a cool neutral gray to give them a new and refreshed look. We plan on adding some knobs to give them an overall brand new look, I’ll add an updated picture to this post so keep checking back in the next few weeks to see how that turns out. We also took the beat up beige stove hood and replaced it with a sleek black stove hood to compliment the black and stainless steel stove. Finally, we waxed the countertops to give them a glossier, fresh, new finish.

I really hope this post helped for any of you who are looking to up the resale value of your home without breaking the bank. Please feel free to leave a comment below, and don’t forget to hit that follow button so you don’t miss any future posts!

*Please note both my Twitter and Instagram profiles are ‘request to follow’ if you’d like me to accept your request please send me a DM referencing this blog so I can accept you!*

The Advanced Guide to How To Get Rid Of Mom-centric Ads When You’re Childfree

Hello Fan Friends,

Greeting from day, I’m not really sure what day it is, in quarantine. More days in isolation mean more unmotivated days job hunting and social media browsing. I’m not sure about any of you other single or (in my case) married 30 something old years but I feel like Facebook makes rather bold assumptions that if you’re a female in your 30s your biological clock must be deafeningly loud.

When I tell people that Tom and I are happy dog parents with no intentions of procreating, I’ve gotten reactions similar to if I had told a nun I’d become an atheist. The shock of breaking such an intensely imbedded social norm is enough for me to feel like maybe, the purpose of this blog can be geared more towards showing I’m not hedonistic for not wanting to be a Mom. While I’ll always have recipes, home and lifestyle posts, tarot/spiritual DIY projects, I’d like to focus on branding myself and this blog as Childfree. Since it’s something I feel really strongly about, I feel like NOT writing more posts geared towards people with similar lifestyle choices as me is inauthentic. That’s not to say there wouldn’t be things my parent audiences won’t be able to relate to: after all, there’s plenty of things such as food, drinks and DIY home projects I will write about that you can relate to but if you’re hoping that within the next 5-10 years this will become a more “Mommy-Centric” blog, it’s not going to happen.

I hope my audiences, even those with kids, read all my posts with an open mind and realize womanhood isn’t one size fits all. I love kids, they just aren’t for me. Which makes me wonder: Are social media outlets giving up on pushing the advertisement of individual interests verses the interest of what society deems acceptable?

I recently joined two childfree, closed Facebook groups. It was really nice to meet likeminded individuals who faced similar scrutiny from society from going against the grain. Charlotte* (name changed to protect the identity of this member) made me aware of something I didn’t know I could have control over and that’s my Facebook ads. I noticed, probably in my mid-twenties, as friends of me I grew up with or grew apart from during college began embarking on parenthood I got more ads for diapers, children’s stores, and just overall Mommy-centric ads. I would usually hide them or mark them irrelevant until Charlotte* recently posted on how to manage my ad preferences and my life was changed forever.

Here’s how to do it:

🌀Change your ad preferences!🌀

In the Privacy Shortcuts menu: scroll down to Ad Preferences, and click on Review Your Ad Preferences. Next you should see something entitled Hide Ad Topics. Now, before you ask this isn’t completely fool proof, but I put ‘parenting’ in which helped cut down on a lot of unwanted ads!

🌀Remove your off-Facebook activity🌀

Once you’re in the Privacy Shortcuts menu: scroll down to Your Facebook Information, View or Clear your off-Facebook Activity, and hit Clear History. After this, under More Options, go to Manage Future Activity and switch it to off. * This actually stops Facebook from using what you look at off of Facebook to do targeted advertising as well as allow you to keep your privacy!*

🌀Change your personal information🌀

In the Privacy Shortcuts menu: scroll down to Your Facebook Information, then Access Your Information. Scroll down to Profile Information – here you can change/remove details such as your age and gender to prevent FB algorithms targeting your profile for certain ads.

🌀Finally, hide any irreverent ads that do sneak in!🌀

This system isn’t perfect but it can safe you the hassle of bombardment on a regular basis. You can do this by clicking on the 3 dots in the top right corner of the ad in question and then scrolling down to “Hide ad”. Mark it as irrelevant– this helps Facebook to ‘learn’ what ads to not show you in the future.

I really hope this helped for any of you who wanted a more personalized experience on their social media platforms. Drop a comment below, and don’t forget to hit that follow button so you don’t miss any future posts!

*Please note both my Twitter and Instagram profiles are ‘request to follow’ if you’d like me to accept your request please send me a DM referencing this blog so I can accept you!*

April Radio Silence Brings May Updates-and; Chili’s 🌶 Skillet Queso Recipe!

Being in lockdown sucks. Literally. I mean the fact that I’m out of work and home 7 days a week sucks food right out of my fridge. I have a confession. We’re friends, right? I haven’t weighed myself in over a month. It’s not that I’ve been awful in my eating habits, more that I’ve been very inconsistent and wanting comfort food. With COVID-19 reeking havoc on my home state here in the United States I’m trying not to focus on the scale right now and just get though this difficult time. I’m Carolina Dreaming. That some time, within the next year or possibly two, I can leave my Jersey roots behind and embark on a new adventure in a new state. It’s May and we’re struggling with maintaining temperatures in the 60’s let alone significantly warming up. Moral of the story? The closer you are to Canada the cooler your temps stay longer. It’s not ideal but since our stay at home order statewide has been in affect I haven’t necessarily had to deal with it too much.

I turned 31 earlier this month, and I had a virtual birthday party on Zoom. It was a lot of fun I must say but also can we talk about how sad it was not to being able to hug my friends and family? That said, I wanted to post about something exciting…mainly food. This nifty recipe became famous at a restaurant here in the US called Chili’s. It’s usually served with warm, salty tortilla chips and while it’s not healthy or keto-it’s very good for the soul.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16 ounces Velveeta Cheese
  • 1 cup milk (preferably Half & Half if you have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can no-bean chili
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • juice of 1 lime juice (about 1 tablespoon)
  • tortilla chips, for serving
  • Here’s what you’ll need to do:
    • Cut velveeta cheese into cubes. (optional. If you don’t, it will just take a little longer to melt, no biggie) Add all ingredients (except for tortilla chips) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or on high for 1 hour.
    • Stir until everything comes together. Cook on low for 30 minutes – 1 hour (As much time as you have before serving)
    • Serve with tortilla chips & Bon Appetite!
  • I really hope you enjoyed this recipe and that you’re all staying safe during this pandemic.
  • Message from Our Guides 4/13-4/17 2020

    A message from our guides and angels for the week of 4/13-4/17 2020:

    This is the week in which we are being called to examine our lifestyle patterns. St. Raphael reminds us to stay hydrated and avoid processed or chemical filled foods & beverages. It is easy to feel cooped up and go with what is easiest to prepare but the reward for eating more fresh and organic produce will mean more energy and productivity to devote to our dreams, desires, families, health and overall life purpose. Raphael is our guardian angels’ “boss” or “manager” so to speak his name literally means “He who heals”. He is the Saint who is overseeing and protecting us here on Earth in terms of health and is a patron Saint of all those in the medical field. He is watching over and guiding them.

    Although we live in a scary time, we are being called to be brave. This card is being brought forth to remind us that we are being protected and guided during this time of uncertainty. Do not give in to the media machine of spreading fear-instead be courageous and rely on your inner and personal strength to get through. Be the light in your friends and family’s lives by focusing on the positive within this situation. Did you wake up healthy? Are your families remaining safe and together? Give thanks and praise to your chosen higher power for this in and of itself is a miraculous blessing. Do your best to see God in everyone, including yourself, during this time. This is an opportunity to grow spiritually and develop a higher sense of self-esteem. Do not hide from the negativity, face it with grace, love and prayer. Prayer for the world is powerful doing this will help the conflict to resolve itself in a miraculous way. Your role is to remain positive, speak only truth and be brave.

    We can look to Saint Michael to help us shore up our confidence so we can fearlessly face this crisis together. St. Michael is with us, protecting us from negativity and helping us to remain positive and filled with faith. He is ensuring that only people and situations of the highest integrity can come to us. He is calling us all to have faith in God’s power to keep us safe and secure. As we navigate through life right now it’s normal to feel intimidated by the situation at hand. Remember God doesn’t bring anything to us that we are unable to get through together. Heaven has sent us powerful companions (such as Saint Michael) to aid us in all ways so that we’re never alone. Michael is also our guardian angels’ “boss” or “manager” so to speak his name literally means “He who is like God”. He is the Saint who is overseeing and protecting us here on Earth in terms of spiritual protection and is a patron Saint of all those in law enforcement. He is watching over and guiding them.

    The final card is a call for us to move our bodies and stay active during this time. It’s very easy to get lazy and be inactive during this time of self isolation but we must stay moving. You can do this by dancing to music, playing with your children, exercising, and so on. This movement will aid you in ushering in a fresh new start and keeping your body healthy during this time.

    Hope this uplifting message from heaven gave you all a sense of peace. Xoxo

    5 Things You Can Do During A Pandemic

    Because sometimes the more the media harps on something the more fearful the public becomes…

    Remember on New Year’s Eve when we all thought that 2020 was going to be the best year for all of us? Yeah, I do too. With the news spinning an apocalyptic narrative and more and more people getting sick with the coronavirus it can be very easy for people (like me) who suffer from severe anxiety to be more and more prone to panic attacks. Panic attacks (when severe enough) can mimic heart attacks. Chest pain and heart palpitations are not uncommon in people with crippling anxiety. The worst thing someone with anxiety can do is to listen to the news and all the other posts on social media which suggest the world truly is ending.

    If you suffer from anxiety, like me, I’ve put together a nifty little five-step list that you can do to take your mind off of everything that’s going on. While this is not to downplay the severity of those that are part of the at risk group of people whose lives could be threatened by this virus, it’s rather something you can do to keep your own sense of sanity during this period of time. 

    1. Go for a walk-One of the best things you could do is re-connect with nature get outdoors and take a walk. Take time to appreciate nature. Spend the energy you would use worrying about things you can’t control (namely other people’s hygiene habits) and just focus on what you hear and what you see around you. A squirrel climbing a tree? Birds chirping in the sunlight? These things will help you to center yourself and reconnect with whatever higher power you believe in.
    2. Read a book-when I was young my favorite book to read was Harry Potter. I loved being able to insert myself into another world to get my mind off of my life for a little while. Reading a book can be a great way to take your mind off of what’s being read and written about in the news. The key here is to use your imagination to focus on what the characters are going through, imagine that in your mind, and go for it. You will be surprised to find how much time will pass that you spend not worrying when you pick up a book and read.
    3. Practice social distancing and spend time with the people you live with-This is a really good time to sharpen up your monopoly skills against those you live with in your home. Instead of going out to restaurants and bars consider instead ordering takeout and hosting a game night with the people that you live with. Not only will this take you back to a simpler time when winning a game was the most important thing, but it will also help you to appreciate your loved ones and spend some much needed time with them.
    4. Watch some movies-While this is not the time to go to movie theaters, this IS a really good time to catch up on watching some of your favorite classic movies. Gather your loved ones, the ones that you live with, and watch some of your favorite movies. Each night have someone else in your home pick the movie to watch and then talk about it afterwards. What did you like the best? How did you feel about the ending? Having these discussions will keep your mind off of what’s going on in the outside world at least for a little while.
    5. Wash your hands and pray-While the world is having a melt down pray that whoever you believe in (no matter what your faith is, even if you have no faith at all) heals the world. Keep your hands clean and pray to God or whomever you place your trust in, to keep you safe and healthy. Put all your worries and fears in their hands and keep the faith that tomorrow will bring forth a better day for all of us.
      As a bonus something you can do to help is also keeping a journal. Keeping a journal is a good way to release any fears or concerns that you have about what is going on. One of the worst things someone with anxiety can do is simply to keep it in you have to let out the toxic thoughts someway and journaling is a good way to do this. Going back at what you’ve written, you can look at your fears and legitimate concerns and see what is warranted and what is not.
      Remember to exercise caution, my friends, by washing your hands and practicing social distancing. Know that you are only in control of your own personal hygiene. You cannot control the way others take care of themselves only how you care for yourself. 
      Stay safe, stay healthy and above all: stay calm. We’re all going to be okay in the end.
  • February Favorites

    Originally for this post, I was going to review some new make up products I tried that I have been very interested in for the month of February. However, after careful thought, I wanted to do something different for this month’s February Favorites that I’ve never done before. I spent most of this week pondering how I was going to do something different, it was Wednesday before I decided I was going to review two of my favorite television shows that I highly recommend for you and your family to watch.

    Typically I don’t consider myself a television person. I am more of a curl up on the couch with a book type. However, every now and then a certain show will catch my attention and draw me in when this happens I feel like it’s definitely something worth writing about.

    My February favorites this month, aren’t just my favorites FOR this month but rather they have been my favorites for quite some time.  I’m talking of course of NBC’s This Is Us and TBS’ Miracle Workers: Dark Ages. These shows are two totally different genres but they tell the story of characters (which really pull you in) and help you to become emotionally invested in their journey. As someone who is a writer them selves, a great show has to have a specific recipe: Top-notch writing, a talented cast, and great chemistry between the cast. It’s very rare to find a show that really has all of those components. Most shows will start off good, but eventually different factors will cause the audience to lose interest. It really takes more than decent writing to keep audiences engaged and that’s where the talent of the cast comes in.

    NBC’s This Is Us

    This Is Us tells a heartwarming and emotional story about triplets, their struggles and their amazing parents. Without giving too much away, the series follows the lives of siblings Kevin, Kate, and Randall (known as the “Big Three”), and their parents Jack and Rebecca Pearson. It takes place mainly in the present 2016-2019 and uses flashbacks to show the family’s past. Kevin and Kate are the two surviving members of a triplet pregnancy, born six weeks premature on Jack’s 36th birthday in 1980; their brother is a stillborn. Believing they were meant to have three children, Jack and Rebecca, who are white, decide to adopt Randall, an African American child born the same day and brought to the same hospital after his biological father abandoned him at a fire station. The show tackles very real issues such as: alcoholism, self-esteem struggles, anxiety and loss in an honest way. It portrays the ups and downs of relationships from those with your siblings to those with your spouse. It deals with life’s ups and downs in a way that everyone and anyone can relate to.

    The Pearson’s seem perfect in every way but the viewer gets to see just how flawed they are and how they work through these flaws. When the amazing Patriarch, Jack, dies from smoke inhalation when his children are 17, his wife Rebecca finds herself alone with three teenage children and the show deals with grief and the journey to coming to terms with loss. The time jumps from past to present show life goes on with Rebecca later marrying Jack’s best friend,Miguel. Randall becoming a successful finance professional and married to college classmate Beth; they raise two daughters and adopt a third. Kevin becoming a successful actor while struggling with alcoholism and to be taken seriously. Finally with Kate, after lacking direction much of her life, how she meets and marries Toby, pursues a career in music, gets a degree, and becomes a mother.

    What I love most about this show is the chemistry between all the actors. This show makes you feel so much. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry,and more importantly you’ll let into your hearts a family of fictional characters who all feel very relatable and real. The show’s portrayal of anxiety through the character Randall is extremely raw and honest. I found myself crying so many times being able to relate so much to that character having suffered from anxiety my whole life. Kate represents something to relate to personally also having spent most of my 20s battling my weight and dealing with self-esteem issues I can absolutely relate with her struggle to love herself and come to terms with the things that she can change about herself and the things that she cannot. While I can go on and on about the way that I see myself in each of the Pearson’s, I will not because I’d much rather you watch the show and see how you can relate to each of the characters yourself. 

    This Is Us, airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on NBC and I highly recommend you keep a box of tissues on hand for the ups and downs of the Pearson’s story.

    PBS’ Miracle Workers: Dark Ages

    While This Is Us definitely pulls at your heartstrings, this particular show will make you laugh until you cry while challenging the way you think. The premise of the show follows Alexandra (Al) Shitshoveler, a bright young woman who aspires to more than following in her father’s footsteps as a, you guessed it, shit shoveler. The show also spends significant time with Daniel Radcliffe’s Prince Chauncley, the rather soft son of a ruthless tyrannical ruler, King Cragnoor and Lord Vexler, an ambitious social climber, as they try to broker peace with a nearby hostile tribe of outsiders.

     The show will have you laughing from the minute it begins to the moment it ends but it’s also very raw and honest and ties into today’s political and social ignorance. On the one hand, you have Al’s dad (played by the talented and hilarious Steve Buscemi) who believes that it’s a great time in history where everybody knows their place, and on the other you have Al who wonders: ‘is there more better way to live than this?’

    Dark Ages is like Game of Thrones meets Monte Python. What I really love about this show is that it never allows any of the characters in the story to be purely unlikable, which I find rather refreshing. I believe that everybody in my generation can relate to Al in wanting to make the world a better place while trying to survive in a world that is less ideal both politically and socially. Prince Chauncley’s character teaches us that it is never too late to change he learns the meaning of compassion. It also deals with that fine line between following tradition and ushering in change. The theme of the older generation wanting the younger generation to follow in their footsteps as a means to keep with the status-quo is both relatable and accurate to the modern age we live in. The cast will have you laughing while also challenging the way you think about the world as it is today.

    The plot of the show, along with its star studded comedic cast will certainly have you coming back for more each week. Miracle Workers: Dark Ages airs at 10:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

    That’s all the time I have for today, with that said I hope you enjoyed my February Favorites! I hope you have a wonderful week and I’ll be back next week!

    February Update: New Writing Schedule!

    So you will have to forgive me for my lack of updates, my personal life and professional life outside of this website have really picked up so I’ve had to put updating on the back burner while I’ve really focused on that. I know that I had mentioned this a few months back but I wanted to just reiterate I’m going to be changing my posting schedule indefinitely. On Fridays, I am going to try to upload a video into a post. Unfortunately I’m not the most savvy when it comes to things like that so it’s taking me some time to learn which platform I want to use and also if I need to pay for this add on to add it to my site.

    The problem is I’ve been delayed with work picking up and being so busy that it doesn’t leave me with a lot of extra time to sit and think about what I want to write and begin drafting it. Even the video portion, which I will be doing with my husband, takes time and planning. I’m not somebody who will ever half ass a project especially something that I take a lot of pride in. To be honest, a lot of the times I come home from work and I’m just really too tired to think about posting much of anything. I can promise you through that despite these writing slumps that I go through I will (at the very least) certainly be posting at least once a month my favorites for the month. The problem with being a writer is a lot of the time you are at the mercy of your muse and right now my muse is missing in action. There were some months where I had material to write about every week but as of lately there really hasn’t been much I felt driven to share.

    I believe that I mentioned in many of my posts from the past that I suffer from anxiety. One of the downsides when it comes to having anxiety is wanting to do something but just not having the drive or the energy to do it. This may also fall under mild depression. For me these slumps always seem to happen in the winter. Despite this I do have some exciting news to share with regards to my writing schedule.

    Writing and updating going forward will mostly be done on Sundays now, as Tom has a brand new schedule which allows him to work days while having Fridays and Saturdays off. The trade-off is that he has to work until till mid-afternoon on Sundays. This, however, will allow me time to wrap around planning for the next week and writing where I could be totally uninterrupted. I think that updating on Sundays will be much more realistic for this blog going forward. I feel like this will help me become a better more dedicated blogger and writer when I have just a full day dedicated and to myself to plan out the coming weeks. Next Sunday, I have already begun drafting my February favorites which I will post next week I just wanted to update you all on what has been going on and when you can expect a new post. I will also update you all on when you can expect the Friday videos.

    A lot of my friends have asked, “Brittany, if you are going to be posting on Sundays now shouldn’t you change your name to: Are you there Sunday it’s me Brittany?“ The answer to that question is no, because most people aren’t excited for Sunday knowing they have to get back into the week on Monday.

    Here are some exciting topics which I have planned for the month of March: Lent and how what the Lord says is relevant in modern times (this will feature my husband, Tom) , Recipes, and Makeup reviews. Looking forward there is going to be a lot of exciting things on the horizon that will definitely inspire me to update more, particularly my trip to North Carolina in July where Tom and I are going to visit some of the towns and make a decision about possibly moving there in the future. I will be reviewing restaurants, fun activities and a lot of these posts will feature my Godson, Luke. I’m not sure yet if I will be posting every day for that week or if I’ll just do one big long post on the drive or fly back home back to Jersey. I’ll keep you updated.

    My point in telling you all this as well things seem kind of uninspired at the moment the next few months are really going to be picking up with things that are going on that I’m definitely gonna want to take you on these adventures with me. Until then I will catch you next Sunday with my February Favorites.

    January Favorites 2020

    Hi Fan Friends!

    This January definitely felt like it dragged on and on. I’m not sure about you but between volunteering at my church and catching up with friends for the New Year it seems that every weekend has been incredibly busy! My Grammy always used to say ‘idle hands are the devils playground’, and while to some degree I do believe her wisdom holds true, sometimes being too busy leaves me a lot less time for things I love…like remembering to post and share on here. Disclaimer: this post is not going to be a long post but it’s going to be a January round up of sorts. Beginning at the end of every month I’m going to share with you some of my favorite things and products! I am in no way being endorsed by any of these products but I’d like to some day! Let’s begin…

    January Meal Plan:

    BREAKFAST: Atkins Milk Chocolate Delight Shakes- are DELICIOUS and if you don’t believe me maybe you’ll trust Rob Lowe would not endorse these little gems if they weren’t absolutely amazeballs! If you are not exactly a breakfast person (like myself) you will absolutely love these Atkins shakes. They are chock-full of protein and flavor with none of the guilt or sugar that comes with ordinary chocolate shakes. They can be found in the dietary aisle of your local grocery store and YES they’re gluten-free!

    Sold for $11.49 at Walmart, Target and most grocery stores!

    LUNCH: Cucumber Salad! I chop up two baby cucumbers, slice 1 small sized sweet onion, and approximately six cherry tomatoes (halved) before drizzling a half a cup of my secret dressing!

    DINNER: often varies are usually save my carb points for the meal I share with my husband at the end of the day. Tom and I enjoy a variety of things from burgers, chili and taco salads to keto chicken Parmesan! The key is to keep variety in the mix!

    January Makeup Favorites!

    Now that you have a general idea of what I like to eat on a daily basis it’s time to get to my favorite part of this blog post, I’m talking of course about my make up! Lately I have been saving more overly glammed looks for date nights and game nights with friends. I had a really bad reaction to Tartes’ ‘Shape Tape’ concealer and Too Faced’s ‘Born This Way’ foundation. I can’t recommend these two products for people with dry or sensitive skin because not only did it dry my skin out completely, The lack of moisture made my face red, itchy and very blotchy for quite some time.

    Normally I am all about full coverage foundation but lately to work I’ve been going with subtle/natural glam. Enter Revlon photo finish BB cream and Maybelline’s ‘Fit Me!’ foundation, which I highly recommend. While it isn’t exactly full coverage it is buildable and when set with a decent setting powder or spray it will last you all day.

    Can be purchased for $8.95 at Walmart🤗

    Can be purchased for $5.95 at Walmart! 😲😁

    For under $15 dollars at Walmart, you can purchase these products and put together a low-key and natural glam look for the office. Usually I rock my ‘Basic Britt’ look five days a week and only glam up if I have weekend plans. I hope to be posting a day-to-day as well as glam makeup routine videos sometime in February for my ‘February Favorites 2020’ post. Until then, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and interest in what I have to say on here. Having such awesome fan friends like you definitely motivates me to post as frequently as I can.

    Be sure to follow me on social media and if you’re requesting me on Instagram please reference this blog in a DM so I know who you are and can accept you!