Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Year

Usually, I don't plan a New Year's resolution, mostly because they never last past January. This year, however, I am going to commit to a couple. My sister, Katie, inspired me. She actually kept her resolution all year in 2011!!! No carbonated drinks the whole year! No Dr. Pepper?!? Poor thing. Hope January 1, 2012 finds you content with a big DP, Kate!
I have a few ideas for mine. I'm thinking they should be about my mental, spiritual, and physical health. What do you think of these?
1) Meatless Mondays -- no meats for Monday night dinner.
2) Seafood at least once a week -- As much as we prefer steak, fish is so much healthier for us than red meats.
3) Commit to running a half marathon in the summer -- this would keep me working out on a weekly basis...maybe just a 5k.
4) Study nursing content at least 15 minutes every day -- so by the time the big ol' NCLEX-RN rolls around, I'll be more ready for it.
5) Spend as much time listening in prayer as I do talking -- what God has to say is infinitely more important and beneficial than my own words.
6) Start volunteering at an organization -- giving time and love to others is one of the most fulfilling things in life.

I'll probably hone in on a couple. Number one would be simple. Five would be the most difficult.
In a few months, you can ask me how it's going. Hopefully I'll still be on track! 

What are your resolutions for this new year?

Sunday, December 25, 2011



So I typed that last post in a hurry because it had been so long since the previous post. In doing so, I left emotion on the curb. I will remedy this.
When Matt came home with the Christmas tree, I was so surprised and excited. I felt so loved because of this small act of selflessness. I cried. I hugged him a thousand times and kept exclaiming, "BABY!!! We have a tree!! You got me a real TREE!!!" I had given up on the hope of a tree for our first Christmas together. Why is a little Douglas fir so important to me? Maybe because one of my favorite memories from childhood is going with my family to pick out the perfect tree. Of course, we're from Lubbock, so we went to Lowe's, not a tree farm. But it was still magical to sort through all the trees, raving about how wonderful they smelled, feeling so proud when you found the one your whole family would decide was perfect.
But back to the story, I think why I was so pleased with Matt's gift is because I know he did it just for me. He would have been fine without a tree, but he knew how much it meant to me. He amazes me with how thoughtful he is. Matt reminds me of my Savior in so many ways. He knows what I need or want without asking. The best thing is, he doesn't do this only for me. He sees other peoples' needs as well and fulfills them if he can. In this, he is generous and selfless, and I hope to become more like him.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4

Did you all have a wonderful Christmas morning? I hope so! I think my family in Texas has had more snow this winter than we have in Pennsylvania! So jealous.

This poem was written by a wonderful man at our church. It was presented this morning in our Christmas service and I loved it! He gave me a copy, so I'm going to share it with you!!

Is There Still a Christmas?

Is there still a Mary, a virtuous young lady, whose faith is in her God? One who values her purity more than the mob?
Is there a Joseph; the fear of God running through his veins? A man God can entrust with his most hallowed, divine treasure to guard and to keep?
Are there any shepherds without hesitation, leaving all to follow the call to worship the eternal lamb with exuberance, telling one and all?
Are there still wise men under the directive hand of God who are willing to go the distance? Gifts and talents increased by being exercised; presented back to the giver, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Oh God; is there still a Christmas in me?

Author John Sensening

I love the call to present-day people to live as those at the time of Jesus' birth. If copies are made, please give credit to John.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Tree

It's official!! I am now a licensed practical nurse in the state of Pennsylvania!! Woohoo! Now the job search is on.
Best part of my week so far? My husband brought home a Christmas tree for me! I didn't think we'd have one this year since it's only going to be up a few days before Christmas, but he surprised me! Isn't he the greatest? I'm so glad we have a live, little fir tree for our first Christmas together. It's a little scarce on the ornaments, but the ones adorning our little tree have special meaning. My mom gave all my ornaments from my childhood to me when I married Matt. Special memories are collected in them. Our sister Ali also gave us an ornament that contains a picture of us for our first Christmas. I love it! 

I'm hoping for snow this Saturday. Who knew that I would move all the way to PA and then still have the possibility of no snow on Christmas day?!? Fingers crossed..

Sunday, December 4, 2011


It's December and there is still no snow here. I thought I would be piled in snow by now, but all we have is homemade snowflakes. What's going on?

Aren't those just precious? It's possible I have too much time on my hands. I'm excited for the first big snow. Maybe I'll do some sledding on one of these Endless Mountains. They call the landscape around us in PA the Endless Mountains, but I think they're more like big hills. They do go on forever, though. I miss my wide open Texas spaces. There's no watching the sunset sink into the horizon here.
In spite of this, life can move on because my beloved egg nog is now gracing the shelves of grocery stores everywhere.


Because of this blog, I've asked Matt to teach me some lessons about photography. I've learned a lot. Hopefully my photos will keep getting better. These are his notes for me so I don't forget. :) Isn't he great?

This was a photo I took while learning a lesson about aperture and what-not. Brown eggs are so pretty aren't they?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Choose to Abide

Throughout the day, it is so easy to forget my Creator and Savior. Why? He is in everything. He supports each breath I take. Shouldn't it be impossible to forget Him?
But my little everyday things get in the way. I focus on myself more than anything else. It's human nature, sure, but that doesn't excuse it.
Today I resorted back to the necessity of tattooing my hand. I used to do this all the time in college (only with temporary pen ink, of course) and it helped me to stay focused on Christ. Today it has had the same results. When selfishness was creeping out, I saw my hand and remembered that I have a choice. I can choose to pretend I am the center of the world, or I can choose to let Christ use me in the world to show others his love.

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." 
Joshua 24:15 

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
John 15:4-5

I will choose to abide in Christ.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Thanksgiving

We were going to do the whole shebang this year with the Thanksgiving meal, but in the end decided we didn't want left overs for two weeks. So we made turkey legs, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing. I think they were all great for our first attempt. Of course, the sweet potato casserole was the best (as always) and I was pleased to have a bit of that for left overs. We wished we were with our families, but we had tons to be thankful for and we had a wonderful day together.

We also had a salad just to be healthy, but who's really counting on Thanksgiving? Our stuffing wasn't as good as Mamaw's, but we're learning!

Yesterday, we made chicken fettuccine alfredo and it was SO good! Probably because we used fresh Parmesan cheese. We had frozen chicken which Matt had lost faith in after it turned out tough and dry in our previous dishes. I looked up how to cook tender chicken breasts. This is what I found and I HAVE to share it with you. It worked!! It was the perfect chicken. Amen.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

These are our two sole Christmas decorations: our little one foot Christmas tree that Mom gave me when I started college and a Christmas candy bowl that was a wedding gift from the Bender family. I filled the dish with chocolate almond kisses, forgetting that Matt doesn't like almonds. Whoopsies! Guess I'll have to eat them myself and then fill the dish with Junior Mints.
We're so excited to get back to the South for Christmas!!

Happy Worship Day!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ear Warmers :)

I just made cute ear warmers!!
What do you think? It'd be cuter, but I made it with scrap fabric.

Also, what do you think of the new blog design? I think it looks more like me. Isn't Paint wonderful?

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!!! I'm so grateful for all of you!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

(Legit) Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Apparently, pumpkin spiced creamer is not a true pumpkin spiced latte. So I made the whole shebang this morning--sauce pan and all. I used this recipe: It was good, but next time I would add more pumpkin, more coffee, and less milk. The cream on top is in the shape of a ball because it was frozen. I made homemade whipping cream and put it in the freezer. This was not a good idea. Now I can have whipping cream on my coffee every morning!!!!!!!
I don't have it every morning. Promise...
Isn't my little poinsettia cute? I think I know what I want to make with it. 

One of my favorite shows on the cooking channel is Kelsey's Essentials. Matt watched an episode with me once in which she made mac n' cheese. We decided we needed to make it. We're generally healthy people (except for our incorrigible sweet tooths), so we figured it would be okay to branch from healthiness for one night. The recipe calls for Gruyere cheese (this is pronounced groo-yayr, contrary to what you might be thinking). We Southerners had never even heard of it, but finally found it at our little grocery store. We thought it was going to be around five dollars for an 8 ounce block of this cheese. This amount seemed a bit on the steep side considering we had 3 more cheeses to buy, but you only make homemade macaroni and cheese once, right? So we plopped it in the cart and after more shopping, headed to the register. One of my favorite things to do after a trip to the grocery store is to look at the receipt and guess which items were the most expensive and which were the cheapest. So back in the car, looking over the receipt, we realized we spent 11 bucks on a chunk of cheese!! What?? We would've taken it back, but we were in a hurry, so we decided to just bite the bullet and go for it.

Wish y'all were here to taste it! Especially since we obviously made too much. We enjoyed every last bit of it, but if we made it again, I'd add less Parmesan. It overpowered the taste of the fancy Gruyere.

So I made some changes on the blog! Can you tell the pictures are bigger? I also added links to some of my favorite blogs at the bottom of the page. And you can click on the "Follow me on Pinterest" link off to the right and see all the things that I think are worth saving on the world wide web. Pinterest is a new web site that is like a virtual pin board where you can save links of things you want to remember. Perfect for craft ideas! If you want an invite, let me know!

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

His mercies are new every morning. The past doesn't matter! We have the wonderful opportunity to start each day thanking Christ for his sacrifice and choosing to give our lives back to Him! It's the only thing that truly matters.

As our bosom fried Anne Shirley tells us, "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pittsburgh...and Tom.

Pittsburgh was awesome!! My favorite thing about our trip was the bed and breakfast where we stayed. Beautiful! It was an old (over 150 years old) log cabin that the owners restored and decorated to resemble that era. I wanted to don a floor-length calico dress and sit and read a book by the fire the whole time. We didn't take pictures, but you can go to their website to see it: We would definitely stay there again!
Onto Pittsburgh...
We went to the market district first where there were tons of different ethnic stores. We went into an Italian store and wished we lived in Pittsburgh so we could go there every week. They had the most beautiful selection of cheeses and pastas and sausages and everything Italian. We purchased Gorgonzola-filled mezzaluna pasta with their signature pasta sauce (we're becoming connoisseurs of marinara). Yum. We also walked downtown across a couple bridges and saw the oldest standing building in Pittsburgh, the Fort Pitt blockhouse (a.d 1764). Cool.
We saw an old church building that had been turned into a bar. They called it the "Altar Bar." Would you say that is sacrilegious or not? >>>>

So while we were walking on the sidewalk in the market district, we passed through tons of lights and camera equipment. Matt figured they were shooting a commercial or something. We were trying to find a coffee shop and one of the men from the camera crew helped us. When we got there, we asked the barista what they were filming. She said it was a Tom Cruise movie called One Shot! So after some excellent coffee, we moseyed back to De Luca's, the restaurant where they were filming, and mingled with other onlookers. Here's me in front of the restaurant with all the lights and equipment.
Yes. We were those people.

We waited with a camera to get a shot of Tom Cruise. We waited with a passel of cigarette-smoking Steelers fans. We wasted time. We saw Tom.

Hello, Tom!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


When I saw this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, I knew I wanted to try it. I love making sweet potato fries, so I figured I would probably like this too. Then at a party Matt and I recently went to, our friend made similar veggies using this recipe: Then I knew I had to make it. It was so good and healthy and gourmet. :) So I picked what I liked from both recipes and made my own. I used a sweet potato, rutabaga, carrots, garlic, and butter. When I was checking out at the grocery store, the cashier saw my rutabaga and said it was the "nastiest vegetable" she'd ever eaten. I'd never had rutabaga (or even seen one for that matter), so her opinion made me a little nervous. What if it tasted horrible and ruined my beautiful sweet potato? But, you always need to try something at least once, so I took it home with me anyway. If you've never had a rutabaga, I will describe to you what it smelled like while I was chopping it up: dirt and milk weed. I didn't have high hopes for it, but I was still very curious about what it would taste like. 
So, how was the rutabaga?
I'm not sure. I liked it, but it tasted mainly like carrots. Maybe it's like tofu and takes on the flavor of what it's with. Maybe not. All I know is that if the lady at the store tasted my roasted rutabaga, she might not harbor such negative feelings toward them. Let go of that root of bitterness!!
Haha...oh wordplay.
Through this whole fall season, I've struggled with cutting gourds and root vegetables. Has anyone invented a gourd knife yet? There is a major need. My little biceps are not cutting it. This is something of what I'm imagining:
 The most important features are the large, rounded knife and the hand cushion on top. Clever?
Haha...I think I just wasted ten minutes of my life drawing that. But when I sell my idea for a million bucks, it won't be so wasted, huh? Ha...yeah right.
I'm listening to Christmas music now. It's wonderful. Never too early to start celebrating, right?
Matt comes home in 3 days!!! No more rigs for two whole weeks. Woohoo! 
This is what I learned from Mom this morning: 

"Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes--The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How often do we simply pick blackberries instead of seeing our Creator who made the bush delicious and healthy for us? He made this planet for us to enjoy and take care of. We should not take it for granted! When He shows us His majesty and love for us through the beautiful things He created, we should recognize it! Make a conscientious effort today to see Him in your surroundings. He is beautiful!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Today I made zucchini bread.
Without zucchini.
I got home from the store and realized I had gotten a cucumber instead. I decided to go ahead and bake it and see what would happen. As it turns out, cucumber bread is not all that different from zucchini. Thank goodness. Now I get to have yummy bread with my pumpkin spice latte in the morning!! I'm really hooked on the pumpkin spice creamer (if you can't tell). Coffeemate is really making my mornings beautiful. Why does it have to be unhealthy?!? Life would be so much more wonderful if sugar were good for me!!
Before I left the quilt shop in Norman, I picked out my favorite fabrics and bought 2 yards of each. Since then, I've been looking for a pattern for them. I like quilts with repeat shapes instead of pictures. I'm really liking this hexagon quilt pattern. What do you think?
These are my beautiful fabrics. Cutting them makes me nervous.

 I have recently gotten my mink blanket out for the winter. It's amazing how toasty it makes me. Way better than an electric blanket! Especially if the electricity goes out...
I finished reading Jane Eyre last night. Oh. my. goodness. It is now in my top five list of favorite books. I'm actually wanting to read it again right now. Charlotte Bronte is such a good writer! And the end of the book is marvelous--just how I wanted it to end. I didn't think I'd like it because the story is darker than Jane Austen's novels, but I was totally wrong. I would definitely suggest reading it. It's a classic for a reason!!

"Well! That caps the globe, however!"

Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow in October!!!

We are definitely not in Texas anymore. It snowed in October!! I was at least expecting it to wait until November. Matt took this picture on Saturday from the well site where he's working. Beautiful!
This Monday morning started out with a vanilla rooibos latte. MMM!  I fell in love with this tea at Starbucks and now I can make my own version! If you're ever itching to try something new, I recommend it. The other day, Matt and I made apple turnovers using this recipe:
They were soo good!!

Wish I had one of those this morning! 
This is one of my more recent sewing projects. I love these roses!! They're easy to make. My plan right now is to adhere them to twigs and put them in a vase, but that might change. And I can always make more! The cute fabric mostly hails from wonderful presents from my sisters. :)
Aren't they the cutest?

Well, not much is going on this week with Matt gone, but I'll try to post anyhow.  Hope you all have a marvelous Monday!


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Hello, All!
Today started off with pumpkin spice latte and toast with apple butter. Basically, it was a very pleasant morning.
The butternut squash soup was good, but nothing to rave about, so I'll expound on our vacation to Vermont last week. 
We started off camping in the Green Mountains of western Vermont (where Green Mountain Coffee comes from). Matt whipped us up some delicious frito pie which we had prepared beforehand from this recipe It was a bit chilly out so the chili hit the spot. :)
It was a very Brittany-friendly camping trip. AKA--we took a short walk (no 14,000ft mountains) and then relaxed and talked. Perfect. :)
The next morning, we packed up and drove to our cabin that we found on HomeAway. The drive was gorgeous and very picturesque. The fall colors were prettier in Vermont than in New York. The first night at the cabin, we played games (farkel!), cooked dinner together, sat in the hot tub under the stars, roasted s'mores around the fire pit, and read books. It was so nice just to be together after two weeks of not seeing each other. This was the view from our cabin!

The next day, we drove to Jay's Peak near the border of Canada, and hiked a bit.

Can you believe I hiked that?!? You can hardly call it a trail. Thank you, Matt, for being so considerate (as always) and helping me through it! The hike was hard, but well worth the effort. The view was amazing!

That pretty much sums up the vacation. The best part of the whole trip was just being together, experiencing new things. I am married to the best husband ever!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inaugural Post

Hello, Family and Friends!

This is my new blog to keep you updated on all the going-ons of the Brashers. I will probably share recipes we love, adventures we have together, my sewing projects, daydreams, and anything else interesting. Because no post seems complete without a picture, this is how I was brainstorming for a blog name a couple hours ago...with hot chocolate!! Yum!
I hope this will be a good way to keep you updated while we're up here in PA!
Love and miss you all lots,