Happy Independence Day, Belize! Today is the 40th anniversary of Belize’s independence from Britain. To celebrate such a special occasion I’m here to share one of my favorite Belizean dishes. Belizean Garnaches have been one of my favorite foods since I was a little girl. My love for them has only gotten stronger as I’ve gotten older. They’re easy to make and full of flavors you never knew needed to be put together.Read More
This past Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon was the annual Special Olympics Montana state games. I haven’t been to the games since November of 2014 when I was still pregnant with Jordyn, and oh man did it feel great to be back with the kiddos in that crazy, fun atmosphere. I took last year off to adjust to new mommyhood a.k.a. I was a walking zombie who still learning how to walk around and not fall asleep in the process.
This year my team, the Great Falls Lions (team B) took 4th place in our bracket level and I couldn’t be more proud. Three of my only seven players played every single minute of all FIVE games played on Friday and Saturday. Talk about determination and toughness!
They were so tired and worn out by the end of the tournament on Saturday afternoon, but there were so happy to receive their 4th place green ribbons. My kiddos were the definition of the Special Olympics athletes oath:
In addition to the opening ceremonies for the games the kids got to have multiple team and family dinners, a carnival and dance to keep them going and having fun when they weren’t playing basketball games. They even made some awesome posters during their downtime to cheer each other on. If that’s not teamwork I don’t know what is!
Jordyn even did some “cheering” and made many attempts to run out on the court and “help” the team play basketball LOL. She was also a huge fan of Billy the mascot at the opening ceremonies. She wanted him to pick her up and she followed him everywhere she could. haha. It was adorable. My husband was a major help by taking care of her while I was crazy busy “Coach Brie” for 3 days.
I can’t wait to see their faces again for the spring practices and games next year. Until then, go lions go! #LionPride
Today my husband and I have been together for 8 years. It almost seems impossible for it to have been so many years. How does time move so fast? When did all of this change happen? And how? I guess time flies when you’re having fun. It also flies by when you’re busy, you know, living life. I was 18 years old and Kris was 19 years old when we started dating. We were children who thought we actually had life figured out for the most part. I know, it’s laughable, but doesn’t every 18 year old think their miraculous “legally adult” age makes them knowlegable about life. Go ahead and roll your eyes, then laugh at how hilarious and ridiculous we were at 18 years old LOL.
We were just a couple of college students who were counting the money in their bank accounts praying we had a enough to buy the Wendy’s we didn’t need and still be able to participate in weekend campus festivities. Ahhh yes, the young and in love college life. We spent a lot of days eating made to order meals from Loyola’s “Rambler Room” using my “Rambler bucks” considering we didn’t have any real bucks to eat elsewhere haha. Thankfully, the food in the Rambler Room was always good, and not cafeteria food.
I believe one of the greatest and hardest parts of being together from such a young age, is changing and growing with the same person over time. We both look back at how we thought about certain ideas and can’t believe we ever thought it to be okay. Don’t even get us started on the horrible fashion choices we made. We have way too many pictures to prove it too. For example:
I’m sure you’ve noticed Kris’ sliced eyebrows, and overly huge and colorful clothing. Now focus on my cheap but huge earrings, hair ribbon, and costume jewlelry. And we thought the other person was SO attractive in this attire too. That’s real love! LOL.
But out of all of the changes and growing we did as individuals, we somehow figured out how to grow individually, but with each other in the process. Sometimes we went through growth spurts simutaneously and other times we were on completely opposite schedules. As with any relationship, especially young relationsips, we hit quite a few bumps in the road. From learning who our friends were to learning how to love unconditionally, it took a lot of tests that we sometimes failed. Thankfully, in this love, we each found a person who believes in second and third chances to pass some of the tests we always knew they could with some extra encouragment. The beauty of multiple tests is, when you pass, the triumph that follows always makes it worth it.
Our tests and triumphs are what make us who we are. For us in particular, it’s what makes us, Brie and Kris. I often hear people say “I wouldn’t change a thing..” about their past life encounters, but I don’t think this is true. I believe if we were able to change some things in our lives we would go back and make the decision to erase all disappointment, hurt and pain. However, what we learn over time is, changing the past wouldn’t have taught us any lessons. It is because we know what disappointment, hurt and pain feel like that we fully appreciated what happiness, joy, and thankfulness feel like. Without the bad days we can’t appreciate the good ones. I think this is the one particular lesson we have continued to learn and appreciate over time, and even more so now in marriage.
A marriage, and child later, we are always learning new ways to love one another and challenge one another. We’re learning 8 years later nothing is ever the same. We already know year 8 will be different from every year past and every year to come. However, the one thing that remains the same 8 years later, and always will, is unconditonal love is always the correct answer to any test thrown our way.
I’m so happy I get to spend another year unconditionally loving someone who loves me unconditionally.
Happy anniversary babe! I love you.
*picture on the left is from our first date and the picture on the right is Christmas 2014*
I randomly decided the other day I wanted to try my hand at infusing my own olive oil. I wish I had some spectacular story as to why I had this thought, but I was making the grocery list, we needed olive oil, I wrote it down, and BOOM I decided to make my own flavored olive oil. The End.
Okay, maybe not the END, but it is the end of the story. What made me decide to use roasted garlic and whole peppercorn as my infusing ingredients is also pretty simple. When I go to a restaurant that offers bread, balsamic and olive oil as an appetizer, I always add pepper to my olive oil. The roasted garlic spread on top of the mixture is what makes it amazing too. So I figured, why not try using these same ingredients for infusing my olive oil?
I combined the ingredients to infuse the olive oil on, Friday August 7th. I even shared the process on a Periscope broadcast which was pretty fun. I strained and funneled the olive oil out of the mason jar, into olive oil bottles, on Wednesday August 19th.
IT IS SO DELICIOUS!
I’ve used the peppercorn roasted garlic olive oil for dipping french bread and sautéing vegetables for dinner. It has been amazing so far. I will post the ingredients and instructions below for those of you who would like to give it a try, or something similar.
You will need:
Olive Oil (I used the Pompeian brand)
Roasted Garlic (2 bulbs)
2 tsp Whole Peppercorn
Empty Olive Oil Bottle
Liquid Measuring Cup
Squeeze your bulbs of roasted garlic into the mason jar. (You can find instructions on how to roast garlic on Google.) Add your two teaspoons of whole peppercorn to the jar as well. Now, add your olive oil until it is full. Put the lid tightly on the jar and store in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks.
Once you are ready to bottle the finished product, using a mesh strainer and liquid measuring cup, strain the oil in the jar to separate the oil, roasted garlic and whole peppercorn. Take the now separated oil and pour it into your measuring cup to pour the oil into the empty olive oil bottle.
You now have “homemade” peppercorn roasted garlic infused olive oil 🙂
Today marks the 14th anniversary of Aaliyah’s death. Her death is one of those deaths that still hurts to think about to this day. Although I didn’t know her personally, what has always saddened me about her death was not only how she died, but how YOUNG she was when she died. Her life ended when most people are finally beginning to start their journey to figure life out. She died at the age I was when I graduated from college. Not only was she extremely young, she was beginning to take the industry by storm. From music to movies, Aaliyah was doing it all.
The day she died, my best friend Janelle and I, were on our way to the TRL Tour. Destiny’s Child, Eve, Nelly and the St. Lunatics, 3LW, and Dream were the performing acts. Each person/group mentioned her name and talked about how sad her death was to them. However, the one tribute I remember the most was Destiny’s Child. They held a moment of silence for her and dedicated their remake song “Emotions” to her and her family. I remember Beyoncé started crying during the performance.
Can we just take a second to talk about how much I wanted to dress EXACTLY like Aaliyah did? She is the queen of making the baggy tomboy look, sexy. And although we didn’t get to see it for very long, the complete transformation from the young sexy tomboy to the sexy grown woman was pretty awesome too. Just look at the difference of style:
I believe Aaliyah’s death had a huge impact on pre-teen and teenage girls, because of her seemingly beautiful spirit. Or as she would say she had “jazz personality, G mentality,” and it’s what made her so amazing to many of us. To remember her on this day, I’m sharing one of my favorite Aaliyah videos. Not only did I love the dancing and style in the video, this was and still is one of my favorite songs. For those of you who don’t remember, this song was on the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack as well :-).
One last thing before I leave: I still want the all black outfit she dances in at the very end. It’s sexy and it’s even more motivation to get my #OperationTrackBody back!
Continue to R.I.P. Babygirl!
When we went back home this summer for our daughter’s first birthday, I knew I needed to get some memorable pictures. So far all of our beautiful professional family pictures have been taken in Montana, but I wanted to have some done in Illinois since it’s where my husband and I are from. Well, I took it one step further and decided if we’re going to have pictures done in Illinois, the only way to do them correctly is with the greatest city in the world’s skyline behind us. We chose to have the pictures taken at North Ave Beach and the pictures are PERFECT!
If you live in the surrounding Chicagoland area, and are looking to have photos taken, I highly recommend Moonhouse Productions. Gretchen is the photography at Moonhouse who took our wedding photos in 2013 in addition to our summer family photos. She is truly amazing at what she does.
Here are my favorite shots from our summer 2015 family photos:
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer with your family and friends as much as I have 🙂