New Content Returning January 17th!

Hi Fan Friends!

Happy New Year! I was going to be back this Friday with new content, however, my 4th wedding anniversary was this past Wednesday, January 8th. Tom and I decided to celebrate this weekend so there will be no new content posted for this week.

So far, my 2020 has consisted of spending much needed time with family, trying new beauty products, keeping a close eye on the Carolina Panthers’ off season moves, and yes even experimenting with making my favorite recipes more keto friendly. It’s been a while since I posted recipes but I’m tweaking a few of them before I start posting. I won’t post anything less than perfect it’s in my nature.

My Twitter has been booming, if you don’t already follow my blog account @FridayWithBritt you definitely should! I also have a personal Twitter account @BrittMSchmidt which can be followed to keep up with my day-to-day happenings! For those of you who don’t follow football, the Walter Payton Man of the Year is a very special award given to an athlete based on his charitable contributions to the community. The Walter Payton Man of the Year challenge works like this:

So as you can see from the top picture my fellow Panthers Fam and I have been hard at work making sure that Cam Newton wins that $25,000 prize! I hope you can bare with me for the next few hours as we pull this off.

Next week I will be reviewing Tarte Shape Tape concealer to kick off the New Year, hope to see you all than!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Hello Fan Friends!

Originally I was going to write about my first week off of social media but I had a jam packed weekend of holiday parties and oh yeah-after the New Year I’ll be reviewing ‘Too Faced Born This Way Foundation’. So far, I made it to Saturday before I cracked on Instagram but I’ve managed to stay off Facebook & Twitter for a little over a week. I still haven’t gone back on, I may not go back until after New Years. Oddly enough cutting my social media apps down to Instagram & Snapchat have made me less stressed but I also need to mute a lot of unhealthy people when I go back on so I’m not seeing so much ignorance on my timeline.

Either way, this post is meant to inform you that I decided to take the next week to spend time with my husband, and other family during this holiday season. I’d love to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Years. May your holidays be filled with all the people, food and things which make you smile and your heart happy.

I’ll be reviewing makeup when I come back after the New Year so stay tuned and stay fabulous!

Why I Decided A Social Media Hiatus Was Needed

Hello Friends,

We’re connected. We’re connected all the damn time to our cellphones and laptops and it’s a damn shame. I’m sitting here on the couch with my husband and fur baby and in this instant I am overwhelmed. Sometimes being connected is a wonderful thing, but sometimes when you’re super empathetic it’s a horrible thing.

There I was, tweeting and retweeting “#WPMOY Newton” “#WPMOYChallenge Newton” and feeling my mind and resolve just crack with every tweet, every response to every new “friend”. I use the term friend in quotations because friendship is defined nowadays on the premise that you’re political beliefs align perfectly with your friend’s and that’s it. Gone are the days where you can “not talk about it” or “not have an affiliation” because to apparently not want to be involved is to not care.

I don’t tweet about politics or religion, I live by the golden rule “a lady never tells” but that doesn’t mean I live in a glass bubble, unsympathetic to the plights of those suffering. In fact, as an empath, I feel it so acutely that my heart literally breaks and I cry when I see any kind of hate towards people based on their political beliefs, religion, race , or sexual orientation. As a Christian (NOT the kind that stands outside your abortion clinic telling you you’re going to hell) a genuine Christian I believe that everyone deserves love and respect even people I struggle to love and respect. I once begged on Twitter to stop seeing the image of a dog which was the victim of dog fighting, why? I broke down and cried every time I saw it.

So there I was in the middle of a healthy disagreement on whether or not someone who “supports Trump in 2019” deserves to get “blocked” before someone even knows them and I broke down and cried. Now to be clear, I’m not pro-Trump but I was also raised to respect whoever the leader of the free world was whether that be Clinton, Bush, Obama and yes-even the President who should stay the fuck off Twitter once in a while. I know people who voted for Trump in the election, I also know people who voted for Hillary. I know people, some within my families, who’s views are so contradictory to from one another BUT I recognize also political beliefs are only one layer to a person. Did I write off family and friends simply because they do not agree with me? No, absolutely not.

Seeing that hatred on social media and muting it day after day is, well, soul crushing. I identify as independent, I lean neither left or right, but I love to listen to experiences and have dialogues with people who’ve been affected in ways I couldn’t even imagine so that I could better try to understand how they feel. I try to be open minded and see both sides of the argument, however, when I tried to explain this point of view in this discussion I was jumped on so quickly that it made me seriously wonder just how open minded and freeing thinking some people truly are.

I started to feel really overcome by the whole experience and in that moment, I felt super sorry for the 13-year-olds out there because I am a full-fledged adult and I actually felt afraid for the first time to speak my mind on social media. There is a stress and chaos that comes with many people from many walks of life communicating over a mobile device without being able to gage emotion.

It was deeper than that one issue though, it was in that moment I realized maintaining social media has become a bit like a full-time job, only it’s a full-time job you don’t get any days off from. At any given moment, of any given day, somebody can reach out to you and either make you smile or trigger you so completely that you want to avoid any and all human beings. Right now, I don’t think I want anyone to have that kind of power over me. I’ve wondered if I was even enjoying myself anymore, since my tweets became public and not protected, or if it’s all just turned into another dumb obligation. That’s when I knew I needed a break.

Once I logged off from my main account, I was relieved. After all, the world is not going to end if I miss some tweets, or don’t post a picture of my dinner or lunch. I want to go back to the days where I wasn’t face to face with people commenting, complimenting and criticizing everything I do. I want to be able to spend a decent amount of time living my life sans social media. Let’s be real, if you go out to a restaurant and look around you, you’ll probably notice everyone is on their phones, and it sucks. I want to stop Instagramming, Tweeting, and Facebooking long enough to eat a meal with my damn family & friends.

My Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feed lately seems like a constant parade of all the fun stuff everyone else is doing, and it really started to make me feel like I was comparing my life to other people’s especially seeing people taking more vacations than me made me feel defeated on days I struggled with keeping my expectations in check. Not everyone has to have fun 24/7, even though the barrage of photos and updates makes it seem that way. I just want some time away from scrolling through the litany of party posts and vacation pics.

Social media can be a blessing and a curse. Right now, it’s leaving me feeling stressed, profoundly sad, and anxious, so I need to take care of me and give myself a break by taking a social media vacation.

Do you think social media can be overwhelming?

10 Things About What I Learned From Watching ‘My Cat From Hell’

Because often it’s the humans, not the animals who need a change of heart.

I was going to write an informative post about winter blues and how to combat them. I was about halfway through the editing phase when my WordPress app decided to crash and leave me at 11:50 PM with nearly nothing to post.

I was so extremely frustrated that I was back to the drawing board and quite frankly I was way too frustrated to finish the article again. But mostly, I was mad at myself because if I had started this earlier I might’ve been able to be more diligent in getting the post up quicker. Earlier though, I have a confession to make, I became extremely fascinated watching the reruns of the show ‘My Cat from Hell’ . So there I was, cursor blinking rapidly when I literally said ‘fuck it!’ and decided I would write about that tonight.

For those of you who haven’t seen this show which ran for nearly 7 years, it chronicles a Cat behaviorist by day, musician by night, Jackson Galaxy. He looks like he belongs somewhere in between being a member of Fall Out Boy to a biker gang-Hell’s Angels. The premise of the show features Jackson visiting with cat-owning families who are at their wit’s end dealing with a variety of problems, from food stealing, biting, litter box troubles, and more. Galaxy interviews family members, meets and assesses the problem cat(s), and then gives each family homework to complete before his next visit. He checks in on the families throughout the rehabilitation process to he can see how his advice is being implemented and to offer further tips and tricks to help turn these bratty cats into model citizens. 

As a dog person, I could admit I really didn’t take the time to understand what makes felines tick. This show has given me a good idea about why cats react the way they do and here are 12 things I learned.

1. A tail that’s lifted vertically, high in the air is one confident kitty!– Most of the time, this tail position indicates that the cat feels comfortable and open to interaction. However, please not in certain situations– like warding off a strange cat in his own territory – a high tail can also show a willingness to attack.

2. You know the Black Cat arched up like you see in Halloween posters? That’s a scared potentially aggressive cat- When a cat arches it’s back like that it’s trying make itself bigger as a form of defense. When a cat is fearful or angry to the point of being willing to fight, they’ll often make themselves as big as possible in various ways. A classic example is when a cat puts its back all the way up and stands sideways to the threat – a cat with their back arched in this position is telling you they’re terrified.

3. If they expose any part of their bellies or stretch out on their back they’re comfortable & trust you-The exposed belly is a sign of comfort and trust, but it is not necessarily an invitation for a belly rub as many people think so and get clawed. Just because they trust you doesn’t mean they want to be touched by you.

4. Ears tell the whole story-Its a great place to look for clues about a cat’s mood. Normal, forward ears indicate a cat that’s feeling confident, relaxed, or engaged. When a cat’s ears stand straight up, the cat is increasing their exposure, and you may be fooled into thinking it’s at ease; instead, sometimes the high, erect ear position indicates alertness or a desire to play. A cat with ears turned back is usually a good sign that a cat is feeling angry or fearful.

5. Apparently letting a cat sniff your glasses is a good way for them to see you’re not a threat without getting near them- Galaxy does this thing where whenever he encounters a new cat, he takes his glasses off and allows the cat to sniff them this way the cat is getting his scent without him infringing upon the cats’ personal space. It helped him to gage how receptive the cat was to interacting with him.

6. Slow blinking is a GOOD thing- Galaxy taught me that cats blink slowly to show affection and relaxation. If a cat blinks slowly at you, they are not threatened by you – in fact, they trust you. To bond with a cat, Galaxy open initiated the trust gesture by blinking slowly back at them.

7. I thought cats could sense my allergies and therefore wanted to be around me because of this-I was wrong. Although people can use direct eye contact to show affection, through Galaxy I learned that most cats actually find it threatening. That’s why in social settings, a cat usually gravitates toward the one person in the room who is trying to ignore it, such as me.

8. Cats are predators by nature know when they’re overstimulated in play and back off-When cats see something move (whether a mouse, cat toy, or human hand), they are hardwired to pursue it. Closer and closer, they inch forward until they reach arousal threshold-then they pounce and kill. One of the most helpful hints Galaxy gave on this show was to stay still. Literally freeze. This stop-action interrupts the inbred stalking pattern.

9. Audio Clues Help You Determine The Mood-Purring usually occurs during contentment and may also be a comfort-seeking behavior when the cat is recovering from illness or close to death. High-pitched gurgling or chatting indicates friendliness and an openness to socialize with. Growling, hissing, or spitting are emphatic warnings to stay away — at least until the cat has calmed down. Caterwauling is a very loud, guttural sound that cats (especially males that have not been neutered) make when threatened by other cats. This sound is common in deaf cats.

10. Provide LOTS of cat trees, and shelving for confidence is KEY- 90% of the episodes in which I watched featured Galaxy clueing in families on one major thing their homes were missing and that was a space for cats to climb and observe their space from above. Shelves and cat trees helped to make the cats be more confident and also outgoing. Having a space where they can retreat to and yet still be a part of the action observing was very helpful in rehabilitating the cats on the show and teaching them healthier habits. 

So is it worth watching reruns? YES! As with most animal rehabilitation-themed reality shows, there aren’t a lot of surprises in store here. Most of the problems the families have with their pets seem to stem from a lack of rigorous play, training, and reinforcing positive behaviors. There is usually one member of the family giving the ultimatum of it’s either me or the cat and luckily there’s always a compromise at the end. A common theme in the show is there’s always one person of the family who struggles with the advice Galaxy gives them. Just when you think the families will not succeed in working together to rehabilitate their cat it all comes together and turns out right in the end. It’s your typical reality TV show with a few overdramatic moments but ultimately I found sincere joy in seeing these grumpy felines adapt to a cuddlier and happier way of life with their human companions. It’s also interesting hearing Galaxy interpret and explain the different ways cats express themselves so that humans can better understand their signals. Proving once more, it is often times humans that need the training and not the animals.

What reruns do you like to watch most? Leave a comment below and let me know!

I Met Tony Romo At The 2010 Pro Bowl And Declined His Autograph: The only Pro Bowl Story You’ll Ever Need to Know.

Because there aren’t enough characters on Twitter to share this epic tale!

Hello Fan Friends!

Everyone has the “cool uncle”, right? He’s fun and makes the most of the slices of life by creating memories that last a lifetime. on my father side of the family I have one uncle, blessed with two Aunts, and only one Uncle. I wish I could say I have several memories that stand out but aside from a few trips to the movies or dinner with he and my cousins this memory stands out the most. This story is about nine years old it will turn 10 this January. So what happened nearly a decade ago that is still talked about at dinner parties and bemoaned by my Husband (who still hasn’t forgiven be by the way) the Cowboys fan? Why it’s the story of how a young die hard Panthers fan from New Jersey came face to face with the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and turned down an autograph. More on that later, but none of this would even be possible if not for my Uncle Mike managing time score us tickets to the 2010 Pro Bowl in Miami.

The Panthers had gone 2-14 that season so with no playoffs on the line, I readily accepted that this trip would be the most amazing part of my season. I was grateful that my Uncle included me on that opportunity to see Panther greats like Julius Peppers, Ryan Kalil and Jon Beason live. I want to say Steve Smith was there-I distinctively remember seeing him-but for a girl who lives a LONG way from Charlotte ANY opportunity to see my boys was one I took.

Miami was everything Will Smith described in ‘Welcome to Miami” and more! The hotel we stayed at, shops we spreed at, and restaurants we dined at were all delicious, well priced and accommodating. There are very few things in life more enjoyable than a weekend getaway to South Beach Florida-except seeing guys up close that you watch every Sunday and get invested in.

One of the more awesome points of the trip was visiting the practice area and being exposed to so many different fans from all over the NFL. Prior to the 2010 Pro Bowl, I had only really seen and interacted with Giants, Jets, Cowboys, and Eagles fans. In fact, I was one of the only handful of students in my school-hell, even in my town-which didn’t support a local team. Being a Panthers fan in New Jersey was like having sprouted wings and a tail-you just sort of stuck out like a sore thumb. So you can imagine my excitement in seeing fans from all over cheering on their favorite players from around the league! One family-a couple decked out from head to toe in Panthers gear-even approached me to asked for my picture! They were super sweet and the first members of my “Fambase”outside of my home state that I interacted with. That experience in itself encouraged me to become more active on Twitter and find everyone who supported all things Panthers that were out there.

This was a positive experience and an empowering one that helped me to make an effort to find others like me. I would love to find that couple with my picture somewhere in their album because I’d love to see it and thank them for making me feel so important. It made me feel like a bit of a celebrity within my fanbase, but more importantly, that picture request helped me to meet some of my best friends on Twitter!

After that picture request, I was absolutely giddy with the buzz of excitement from fellow fans surrounding me. With my rag tag group of cousins and Uncle (each representing a different team) in tow we made our way to the chain link fence where the players were entering. Eager for my first look at Peppers and Kalil I used my height to my advantage and (grabbing my Broncos fan cousin, Ashley’s hand) pushed us to the front of the crowd where we came face to face with Tony Romo.

For someone who played for a team that I was taught to loathe from a young age, he was super down to earth and approachable. Our chat was very brief, he asked what we thought of our first Pro Bowl experiences and we replied that it was really awesome. Not one to take an opportunity for granted, I told Tony plainly I was glad Jessica Simpson wasn’t at the recent games (for my boyfriend back at home’s sake) because she was an absolute jinx. My cousin quickly offered up here Brandon Marshall jersey to be signed and I handed him over my Sharpie so that he could. Once he finished, he gestured to me wordlessly implying if I wanted anything signed I should fork it over now. I smiled at him, accepted my Sharpie back and said “you seem like a nice guy, but no thank you!”

He looked like he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or be insulted but he signed my other cousin’s Faulk jersey and while he did so I snapped a picture to prove to Tom back at home that this even happened.

My cousin’s signed Broncos Jersey

This entire exchange happened over a span of 6 minutes but it’ll stay with me for the rest of my life. When I go places, it’s easily an ice breaker to end all ice breakers and it also won me the respect of people back at home when I explained how I couldn’t let Tony besmirch my Steve Smith jersey. The day itself was a defining moment in my life as a Panthers fan, I realized there were others like me out there and I wanted to find them all. To the couple who has a selfie out there of a petite, tan, brunette girl in a Julius Peppers jersey from New Jersey please DM me over Twitter my handle is: @brittmschmidt I would love to see that picture and hear from you!

A Hairvolution: My Journey to Red and Why I think it ROCKS!

Hello Fan Friends!

Today I’m going to be talking about my hair-which if you read my post reviewing Aaron Carter’s new single Pyro-you’ll see is no longer dark. I’ve gotten a ton of compliments since trading in my raven locks for a ravishing red. Going red is not for the faint of heart but it’s definitely worth the risk if you’re an adventurous person when it comes to your hair. My first piece of advice if you are thinking about changing your hair color or style is to visit a local salon-please do not try to do this yourself without the help of a professional. Also, while talking to your stylist make sure to settle on a red that complements your complexion and eyes. It is essential to bear in mind that not all shades of red are created equal-so this is my full disclaimer to make sure you settle on a red that is complementary to you. Please keep in mind that what flatters me (or the celebrity whose hair you might be eyeing up) might not flatter you. You may absolutely love ‘The Little Mermaid‘ but that doesn’t mean that ‘Ariel red’ is the right color for you (don’t feel bad-it’s not right for me either!). So now you’re probably asking yourself, why the change? Well pull up a seat ladies and gents, it’s story time!

I have been a bit of a hair Chamaeleon-  you name the color and I’ve “red carpet” rocked it. However, there is always a reason why I end up parting ways with a color. Let’s begin with highlights, oh it always begins with highlights. Highlights are very beautiful, flattering, and well, after a while, boring. For me, too much of my natural color was present in highlights which left me feeling bored. Anyone who really knows me knows that I cannot stand having boring hair. If you are the type of person who is only looking to enhance what you’ve got then this style is absolutely perfect for you. If not, like most people who start off dabbling with highlights, you’ll eventually want to be blonder. This is in evitable and it’s best to just embrace it. 

I dabbled with a lot of colors in my teenage years but for the most part I was blonde from age 16 to 19. There were two summers I died my hair black and fire engine red. I wish I had pictures to show you but my Mother made me change it so quickly I barely had time to really see if I liked it. During that time in my life I relied a lot on the opinions of others when it came to how to style my hair. I’ve been told blondes have more fun, hell , even Marilyn Monroe starred in a movie titled ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes‘ but blonde eventually got boring. Sure, during that time in my life it was sassy, sexy, fun, and also the hair color which garnered me the most attention (and free shit) through the years but I also found it frustrating. For me, blonde hair meant being played into the stereotype of the “dumb blonde”. People tended to “dumb things down” for me often times without even realizing that they were doing it.

While blonde does turn heads, it is very high maintenance. To avoid brassiness, I needed to use clarifying shampoo twice a week at least. The shampoo itself is purple which might seem counterintuitive but it actually works. It was also a very drying and damaging shade to keep in my hair. My advice to anybody looking for that platinum blonde shade is to make sure that you deep condition and silk infuse your locks (I still use CHI silk infusions it works wonders and leaves your hair softer than a kitten’s ear!). This will minimize the impact of the damage done to your hair and also leave it feeling soft and healthy. Some people try blonde hair and never try another color again other people (like me) get tired of the maintenance. For me, whenever my roots would grow in they looked entirely too dark and I was spending way too much money getting touch ups every four weeks. Everyone’s different, my hair happens to grow fast so when my roots would come in I would have what I began to call “skunk tail” and it was much too obnoxious for me. 

The next phase in my life, I went brown. Now nothing is wrong in experimenting with shades of brown- in fact a lot of women who’ve been blonde for years tend to try this at least once in their life-but it turns out it was the color I was least happiest with. I did a level 4 chocolate brown which was absolutely stunning when I first got it done, however, I hated the fade factor. My natural hair tends to pull red so as the weeks would roll-on my beautiful chocolate brown would always fade to a brownish red which wasn’t very beautiful on me. I kept the style for a grand total of two years pretty much to the appeasement of relatives who really liked the way it looked on me. At that point in my life though-I was tired of being unhappy with colors so I let my natural color grow out.

I really tried to appreciate my natural color it’s like a dark dirty blonde with flecks of red in certain lights. After spending a grand total of a year and a half trying to love what the good Lord gave me I decided I needed to be blonde again. After one particularly frustrating day at work I went to my nearby salon and went platinum blonde once more.

I stayed blonde for a grand total of 3 1/2 years before the call to go darker was one I couldn’t ignore any longer.

My hairstylist loves to tell the story of how six months before my wedding I told her I wanted to dye my hair black. She was flustered and quite taken aback that I would even ask something like this after being blonde for so long. However, we ended up being very pleased with the results (both her and I ) and so that was how I ended up with the black hair. My hair definitely was stunning, like shiny black tourmaline, and I truly loved it for the 4 years I kept it but the problem I had with the blonde hair persisted. I ended up with reverse skunk tail which actually meant when my hair would grow in it looked like I was graying. It seemed that while I loved having black hair, it aged me out completely. Faced with the prospect of wanting something new but knowing just how hard it would be to reverse years and years of black hair color buildup on my hair I took matters into my own hands.

Here’s a piece of advice if you ever have a hair color such as black or even dark brown that you do not like a remedy for stripping color is probably in your medicine cabinet and shower already. What you need is vitamin C tablets, I used the 500 mg ones. Next you crush the tablets and combine them with head and shoulders shampoo (or any other clarifying shampoo for that matter). The goal is to make sure the shampoo has sulfates in it which are not safe for color treated hair.

Once the mixture is complete, you need to dampen your hair and put it all over your entire head. Make sure to thoroughly distribute it throughout your hair and leave no spot untouched before putting a shower cap on and going about your day for at least two hours. Finally rinse the mixture out and then shampoo your hair as normal with the head and shoulders shampoo. I did this twice and effectively stripped most of the color from hair. This made the process of going lighter much easier on both my stylist and my hair. 

After seeing WWE live with Becky Lynch on the card, I really loved the way her copper colored hair shone. I never saw myself as somebody who would love to be a redhead but after seeing just how attention grabbing her hair was without being over-the-top, I wanted to try it. Becky is not a natural red head and yet the color looked perfectly natural on her. I was still at the venue of the show when I decided (with the help of my stylist) I would go red as well!

The process was a long one and if you have dark hair you can expect to spend at least a good 2-3 hours at the salon lifting your hair to the color it needs to be. However, once the process was done it was totally worth it! I ended up falling in love with a hair color I never thought in 1 million years that I would! Red gets a bad wrap but it is truly a very flattering color if you pick the right shade for you.

Caring for your red hair is a totally different animal then caring for dark hair. Because red hair dye has the largest molecules of all the colors it takes quite a long time before it actually gets embedded enough into your hair shaft. This means red is the color that is most prone to fading the quickest. I found the best way to preserve my red hair is to wash it every 3 to 4 days with dry shampoo in between if it looks a little greasy.

Prolonging the life of your red hair is important, you can also help make your color last by washing your hair in cooler temperature water. Why cold water? Because cold water keeps closed the hair follicles and thus traps in your color longer. Also, protect your hair with heat protectant spray before exposing your hair to any heat products and wear hats in the sun to keep from having it fade your hair.

While red definitely wasn’t what I ever expected-it was something I truly fell head over heels in love with. Only God knows how many years I will keep this color before I get bored, however, I like to think I’ll be keeping this color for all eternity. Either way, it’s pretty safe to say I found a color that’s right for me.

What color do you love the most on yourself? Leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you!

November Update

Hi it’s me, I’m not dead yet, I promise!

Hello strangers!

It feels like a lifetime since I’ve posted anything on here! Today’s post will give you a little insight into what’s been going on in my life and a look at some things I’ve been up to recently.

I’d like to explain a bit more in detail about why I haven’t been able to post throughout the last three months because I feel like I owe you a full explanation instead of just quick points. I avoided writing about it because I’ve honestly been experiencing the worst kind of writer’s block and I wasn’t posting anything because I was so worried I’d just sound tacky or like I was complaining or just making excuses!

After my friend Ashley’s wedding in July I felt both mentally and physically exhausted. I’ve mentioned often in past posts that my anxiety is probably my biggest enemy to my own success. I tired to do some soul searching to find exactly what my niche was in this blogging world and while I still don’t have an answer, I’m learning to simply write from the heart and I’ll figure it out.

August was a blur of family events and charities for my parish. I decided to ditch my trademark black hair because it was becoming too high maintenance and although I loved it for four years-I needed a change pretty badly. Without giving away too much since that’s next week’s post- surprise!!! I’m now a fiery redhead.

September saw me taking some time to focus on my artwork and trying to find my muse again and before I blinked it was October! Ever since my eczema flair up in March I’ve been watching my sodium intake and trying to drink even more water! Maintaining my weight has been a huge deal to me and since finding out in April I’m essentially allergic to everything outdoors I basically live off of Claritin D and Flonase.

November saw my creativity once again begin to stir. Kind of fitting considering it’s thanksgiving I’m thankful my muse has returned. Currently, you can say I’m loving the spirit of the holidays getting closer. I feel like there’s a kindness in the air that’s unique to this time of year and I always loved it! I’m planning to add a video component to this blog, basically vlogging and introducing you all more to my amazing husband, Tom. This change will probably take place in January 2020. I’ve been making use of my crockpot a lot lately so be on the look out for some low carb stews and recipes that will warm your heart and fill your tummy! November saw my family celebrating Aunt’s birthday and the upcoming Thanksgiving season. I have A LOT to be grateful for, including all of you who’ve been so invested in my blog and my journey.

Even though I feel like I’ve let a lot of people down with not posting and being absent from the internet for so long, I do feel like it’s done me a lot of good mentally. I’m very lucky to have such a wonderful and inspiring little fan friends here on the internet, who I missed very much, but being disconnected and really being able to take a moment to think about my life and what I want to be doing and the direction I’m going has left me feeling incredibly inspired and motivated, which is a great feeling after having so many months feeling trapped and lost.

Without getting too sappy here because I do have plenty to post about in the next coming weeks, I am very grateful to have those of you reading this and those of you who follow my blog in my life. Thanks for sticking around, yo! I really appreciate it. ♥

Hey let’s be friends!

Moving Out of State: Pros and Cons to Consider BEFORE changing your area code.

I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump lately. The term ‘stuck in a rut’ can be applied. Bare in mind as I post this, when I came back to blogging I promised authenticity in my writing. Going forward, I’ll be writing as I feel inspired. Sometimes I may not write at all, sometimes I will simply share photography, and others I may go two weeks without posting. As I try exciting new recipes, visit new places and try new products I’ll keep you up to date. As mentioned in ‘Gone to Carolina In My Mind’ back in November, I’ve spend years toying with the idea of moving away from New Jersey and settling in North Carolina. Having the excitement of a beautiful city at your fingertips without necessarily being IN the hustle and bustle has always appealed to me. The future for my little family and this blog might be out there-under Carolina blue skies. I’m open to all possibilities.

Like anything in life, it’s important to give careful consideration before making any rash decisions but if you (like me) are considering making that plunge it will be important to go in with realistic expectations and without blinders on: that means weighing the PROS and CONS. So take a seat, and enjoy the ride!

The Pros

Change of scenery

While living in the same place you’re entire life can offer a sense of security, but it can also make you feel, well, stagnant. The thought of experiencing new places is refreshing. I would hope to gain perspective, grow as an individuals, and open my mind to new cultures and attitudes. When feeling stuck in a rut or sick of the same dull routine, moving to a new city or state can offer your family a fresh start!

Better opportunities

Relocating can be scary but it can also open up to a world of new opportunities. Stagnant careers can be revived by moving to a new city or state and could present you with various new job options and networking connections. It will also give you and your family the chance to try new things. Have you always wanted to take up a new hobby? Indulge in exotic ethnic foods? Unfamiliar regions can offer various new hobbies, leisure activities, foods and nightlife options that you either have always wanted to try or never even considered trying! Moving can provide you and your spouse with the chance to meet new people and form new relationships–perhaps with individuals unlike those from your hometown.

Finding yourself

Songs and movies are both written and preformed from the idea of ‘finding yourself’. How does one ‘find themselves’? Sometimes the answer is simply leaving your comfort zone and immersing yourself in a completely new element. People who’ve done can usually always attest that it does wonders for self-awareness. It will be force you and your little family to become more self-reliant without the safety net of all of your friends and family close by, but even more acutely especially if you are relocating alone. Being surrounded by unfamiliar faces in a town or city that is foreign can only make you braver, stronger, more resilient and more independent.

Physical benefits

According to many articles I read, studies show moving away may actually be good for your health! Mental stagnation caused by the stress of your daily routine can wear someone down and cause exhaustion and psychological strain. The benefits of starting over in a new place can actually rejuvenate your mind and body by alleviating whatever mental burdens you have been carrying. Moving to warmer, more temperate climates can also cure the winter blues and remedy certain ailments such as arthritis and respiratory problems.

The chance to purge

Being forced to haul all of your earthly possessions to a new state can make you re-consider how much you need them. De cluttering is a MUST when moving long-distance because things can get expensive if one has a large volume of belongings, it can force you to considerably downsize. Hoarding unnecessary items causes clutter, increases stress, and can be emotionally burdensome. Letting go of things with little utility or importance to you will make you feel lighter, clear-headed, and ready for a new beginning.

The Cons

Missing your family and friends

This is number one on my list because why? Leaving family holds many people back from better opportunities. The hardest part for many people considering a long-distance move is bidding farewell to loved ones. If you have close family and friends in your hometown, it will be difficult to adjust to not having them accessible to you at any time. While nowadays in the age of Facebook and Skype, it’s easy to stay in touch but there is little substitute for a hug from your mom or a meal with your best friends when you’re feeling lonely.

Culture shock

This is BIG if you’re a Northerner considering a move South. It’s a change of pace completely and can take some getting used to. It’s not uncommon for people who move to feel withdrawn, alienated and alone in this strange, new place without the comfort of your loved ones nearby. Even if you are only moving a few states away, cultural differences can be drastic. Social norms may be dramatically different than what you are accustomed to in your hometown. You may not have access to your favorite foods and the activities you once enjoyed may not be practical in your new city.

The cost

Moving isn’t cheap. Add moving out of state? It can be a costly venture. If you have a large home, a lot of belongings and furniture to transport, and many miles to travel, you could be looking at up to $10,000 in moving costs. There are many moving services to choose from and many methods to make your move more economical, but depending on your budget, packing up and making the trek to a new state just might not be financially feasible.

The stress

Moving is a stressful experience–there are various tasks involved and a great deal of planning to do in order to successfully execute the move. You have to determine your moving budget, choose your method of relocation, research movers and compare quotes, pack your belongings, transfer medical records, change your address–and the list goes on. Moving long-distance can require even more planning than a local move. You may feel so bogged down by the taxing process that it kills the excitement and anticipation of starting over in a new place.

Other Things to Consider

Weather: How will you adjust to the climate in your new home? You may think you’d love to live somewhere that’s hot all year long, but if you are used to a moderate climate with four distinct seasons, you may be uncomfortable with 80 degree weather at Christmas.

Cost of living: If you are relocating for a job opportunity, take into consideration the cost of living in the new city. You may think you are getting a great salary offer, but if living expenses are much greater there than in your current city, the opportunity may not be so wonderful after all.

Job market: You may want to relocate because you can’t find a job in your rural hometown, and believe that moving to a big city will increase your opportunities. While it is usually true that urban areas have more career options than rural areas, some cities have better job markets than others. Make sure you choose a city with a flourishing market in your industry so that you don’t have a difficult time finding employment.

Communication with your family and visiting the area you want to relocate to first will be key in making an informed decision. You may think you want to relocate somewhere but find it’s not a good fit for you. That’s okay! The point is to keep all options open.

Do you believe in second chances? If so you should listen to Aaron Carter’s new single ‘Pyro’

It Also Helped Save My Serious Case of Writer’s Block

If you were a 90s child like I was growing up you grew up in a golden age of pop and hip hop music. Bands like the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, the Spice Girls, TLC and even Destiny’s Child all fought to be top dog in an age of budding promiscuity in both lyrics and videos but still quite tame compared to today’s cringeworthy displays. Enter Aaron Carter, 90’s tween heartthrob and younger brother to Backstreet Boys youngest member Nick Carter. For those of you who don’t remember, Aaron Carter was THE Justin Bieber before THE Justin Bieber was even out of diapers.

Starting at the tender age of six Aaron’s entire childhood was about performing and he did manage to step out of Nick’s shadow with hits such as ‘I Want Candy’, ‘How I Beat Shaq’ and ‘Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)’. The road to success however was paved with a lot of tough lessons, addictions, and at one point biggest name in Pop music found himself bankrupt.

Aaron and his family premiered in a reality TV show called House of Carters, which aired in 2004 it followed the Carter siblings as they tried to navigate life and reconcile their rather dysfunctional upbringing with becoming functioning successful adults. Seeing the Carter siblings, all which were dealing with different forms of self-destructive behavior and addictions, talk about their experiences and how it shaped them really made me feel something akin to profound sadness. In one episode, when a therapist comes and sits with the family we learned that Aaron never had a childhood to play on the playground at recess or go to a prom. Heck, his Father even referred to him as the former “cash cow”.

Now Nick has been no stranger to opening up about how difficult the road to recovery was in battling his demons and Aaron was able to take a page out of Nick’s playbook and be open and honest about his own struggles. When Aaron came out with LøVE the entire album was written and produced by Aaron himself-which is incredible seeing how far the childhood star had fallen. It makes his comeback even more exciting. While 30-year-old Brittany is happily married with a little family of her own (and a far cry from the 8 year old who thought she’d grow up to be a famous actress and marry him.) I still always kept Aaron in my prayers and hoped that one day he would have the love he so desperately searched for. The same love I was blessed with when my husband came into my life 11 years ago. It seems he’s on the right track now. At least professionally, spiritually and emotionally.

I highly recommend jumping on YouTube and giving a listen to his new hit single called Pyro which dropped today. It is a far cry from 90s Aaron Carter but it’s very relevant to today’s clubby/ electronic vibe. Just by listening to the song you can tell just how much blood, sweat, and tears Aaron put into this single and I am so happy and excited for the album itself to drop. As someone who grew up with and followed Aaron throughout his entire career, I’m a sucker for a good come back stories and I hope that Aaron Carter has nothing but success going forward.