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How I Began & Where I Am Now & Where I’m going

Hello! My name is Brittany and maybe you’ve been here.. maybe you haven’t. Here is a little insight into my life and my blog. ENJOY!

You probably have not read my first blog post, it was in May 2013. I started the blog when I was pregnant with my first child, Aiden. He is now 2 1/2! I used to LOVE blogging about baby updates and mile stones.. but I really haven’t blogged about him sense his 2nd birthday even though I often blog about many other things. I began blogging because I wanted a space of my own to put thoughts and ideas and be social with other moms. I was not working and pregnant and did not have many friends and sometimes I would get rather bored or crazy inside my own head all day waiting for hubby to get home from work. Creating this blog gave me a little outlet that I needed.

We have been through a lot. We’ve moved 3 times sense the start and faced many happy amazing times and may hard trying times. Through it all we’ve stayed faithful to God and stayed strong as a family.
Currently we are building a tiny house and living in an RV. I work full time, hubby works full time, and Aiden hangs out with his Nana full time till we get home.
[If you want to see our tiny house build follow me on Snapchat: Confabulations, I post updated videos of progress all the time OR we will be starting a YouTube channel soon: LoveShawCo and lots of house updates and vlogs will go there so you should subscribe!]

 

If you’ve followed my blog or explored it a bit you may be familiar with our son Arrow. He was born with a condition that made his life short and we miss him every day. Learn more about his condition here.  On my in-laws property, where we are building, we have an awesome garden devoted to him. We spend lots of time there and have been doing so much work to it. Recently adding 2 tress, 2 bushes, vines to the swing, rose bushes, solar lights, and so much more. It is still a work in progress but every day it starts to look better and better. Here is how it’s looking now:

  

As I said before I used to always post about Aiden James, our 2 1/2 yr old… Check out how big he is! What! He is smart, and growing fast and his adult like farts will knock you out.

I was taking pictures of clothes to sell on TotSpot and he decided he wanted to lay down and have Mama take pictures of him. How handsome. This is my background on my computer at work. He loves everything from being wild, dirt, books, dinosaurs and monster trucks to YouTube.  He can count and say his ABC’s. It is adorable. I may be bias, but its pretty damn adorable. Right now we’ve started the stages of potty training. Nothing too hardcore yet, the camper really makes what we can do limited. But once our tiny house is done.. hopefully he will quickly be out of diapers.

I think now my blog has transformed more into a life style, review, occasional personal blog type atmosphere and I am okay with that. I still love to write what is in my head and will continue to blog whatever.. whenever.
So please feel free to follow and become a part of my blog family, I’m not going anywhere! There will always be something new to read about and explore.

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Campfire Nights Mug || Etsy Shop Recomendation

Welcome to my blog! For those of you who are new, my name is Brittany. I’m a mom and a wife and love to write anything from product reviews to entries about my family. So you should follow me and enjoy!

Today’s post is featuring Left of Rose on Etsy. The shop owner and artists name is Lara and she creates amazing products that anyone would love to see in their home. My Hubby received the Campfire Nights mug for his birthday in December. It was perfect! We were with the whole family sitting around a campfire on a chilly day and his mom gave him a birthday present bundled nicely in a gift bag. What a perfect gift! The mug design is all done by hand and has amazing quality. Once our Tiny House is complete I hope to snag a few more from her shop to add to our mug collection.

 

 You can follow her shop on Instagram: @leftofrose or Facebook: leftofrose

 

The shop owner Lara Rose was kind enough to offer a discount code for my readers to use in her shop! Use the code CONFAB to receive 10% off your order.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out Left of Rose on Etsy
and share this post with your friends!

If you’re interested in working with me for a shop feature please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here.

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What I Read | March 2016

This is a wrap up of the books I read in March. Many books I  have received for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and others I have purchased with my own money either in a physical copy or e-book copy. This is a fun way to tell you about good books or bad books I’ve read and keep myself accountable for taking time for myself to do something I love. As a mom of a toddler, it is really hard to find time for a hobby or special activity and these monthly posts remind my to take the time each month for myself to read.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here.

 

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The Library at Mount Char by Scott HawkinsRead my full book review  HERE. I severely disliked this book, and do not recommend it. Unless you like creep, morbid, dark books. The synopsis was really intriguing and I was very excited to have received this book from the publisher (in exchange for a review of course) but I just couldn’t.. no. You go read some 2-3 star reviews on Amazon and you’ll understand.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy– I’m sure you’ve heard that this is a newly released movie. This was a hard book to finish this month, actually I didn’t finish and I don’t plan on picking it back up. Once I put it down it was hard to be motivated to pick it back up! This story is more a science-fiction book than distopian-end-of-the-word. Point of views changed often, and in a confusing pattern at times. When the first POV changed I  was a bit lost until the character was revealed a bit more. I think I enjoy stories set for one POV. I’ve seen the movie trailers and I think that ruined it for me. I basically got the gist of what happened and didn’t care to let it play out in my own head while reading. If you’re into the movie, you will like the book too. This one was just not my style. (That isn’t the trend this whole post, I promise!)

Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia– Have you wanted to read a story in the view of the bad guy? Reshma is a high school senior that is an elite student with an impressive resume that is determined to get into the college she has always dreamed and planned to attend. She is determined to do whatever it takes, which makes her the villain. You will admire her strength and cringe the way she uses her power. Even though this was a quick read, I feel like its pages held a lot of content that kept me turning the page. Read my full review HERE. ****This book was received for free in exchange for an honest review from the publisher Disney-Hyperion (Disney Book Group). The copy I received is an Advanced Readers Copy (Aka ARC) and the publication date is August 2, 2016. I believe you can pre-order through Amazon.

The 4 x 4 Diet by Erin Opera– When I’ve ever been interested in a diet I just search on Pinterest or Google and read about it briefly so I wasn’t to excited to jump into this book. A WHOLE book about one diet, that is a lot of information. The layout of this book was informative, helpful and really easy to grasp. Clean eating is something I strive for, so this section was very informative and the 4 minute workouts have pictures with the descriptions so you can follow along easily. In all this book is great if this is the diet for you. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler– I listened to the audio book for free from my local library through an app called Overdrive. This was a great memoir. As many others I enjoy watching Amy on Parks and Rec and love her humor. This book was so much more than just her acting and comedic career. I connected with her stories about being a mother, wife, daughter, friend. She tells a lot about pregnancy and her sons which I appreciated very much having a son myself. I’ve read that others didn’t enjoy ‘reading’ this book.. but I suggest the Audio version. It’s set up like a podcast talk and of course she narrates her own book. Overall I enjoyed Amys book, but there were a few parts with strong words that I could live without.

These three books I started early in March and I am STILL trying to finish them. Hopefully this week I will knock them out and add them to my April wrap up.
Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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 That’s my wrap up for the month. The books were OKAY. I want to read a GOOD BOOK, not a blah book. Got any suggestions? Leave me a comment!

 

 

 

All opinions are my own. Books are either purchased with my own money or given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The more reviews I post the more books I receive, and who doesn’t love free books! This post DOES CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. Though I make no compensation yet through the affiliate program, maybe one day I’ll get to that point.

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Livin’ Little || Tiny House Building Progress March 2016

So y’all, we are happily still in Camper BUT WERE BUILDING A HOUSE!

Camper life is easy! The only home bills we pay are water, electric and insurance. Our Camper is paid for and is been the BEST living situation ever. We have this tiny space to share and it holds only what we need. Occasionally we have a pileup of toys or books but we have outside storage for excess items. If the ‘kitchen’ is a mess, 20 minutes later the whole camper can be spotless. Easy, easy. I suggest living in a camper to anyone who can.

We ARE building a tiny house along side of a small house that my in-laws will live in.
Theirs is 830 sq ft and ours is a whopping 430 sq ft. It will be a mansion compared to Camper.

 

To make life in the Camper easier we have added a few things (and keep wine in the mini fridge)! In closets we added shelves and baskets and tore down cabinet doors. Two adults and two kids means the bulk of our storage goes to clothes, shoes and toys. Oh and we have a cat, Oakland so we have to store his food too, but he loves the country and spends 90% of his day outside.


As much as we love Camper we are hoping for our new house to be complete within the next 3 months. I know this is a complete first world problem but I can not wait to have a normal stove to bake in! I have not used the stove in the camper. We cook with our grill, crock-pot or and electric eye that we just plug in. Here are a few examples of our current camper storage.  We are living in a small space, with two beds (the dinette is the 2nd bed), a small bathroom, two sinks and a mini fridge.

When you fold down the dinette there is this cubby where we keep most of the toys. Also under the dinette is a storage box of bigger toys that don’t get played with as often.

 

 

 

Then above the sink is this large cabinet with two white wire shelves. There is one on the right you can’t really see, but the blender is sitting on top of it.

 

 

This cabinet I’m quite proud of. Hubby did it one day when he was home from work, he added command strips for the cooking utensil and the plates and bowls fit nicely around this wire shelf.

 

Finally, some clothes storage. We got this white wire shelf unit from Home Depot. It was one long piece but a worker cut it to size for us. Each shelf is held by a large heavy duty command strip. We haven’t had any issues with the weight of the clothes. The basket at the bottom is for dirty clothes, we got the basket from JoAnns. One more plus about the Tiny House Build is a WASHER AND DRYER. I will be so thankful when the day comes and I can wash clothes in my own home. For now we go to the laundry mat every two weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

Is anyone interested in seeing the blue print of our tiny home and a post about how it will be laid out? Also we’ve had a resent Ikea haul where we purchased a ton of things for our tiny house like a bathroom sink and kitchen decor, if you’re interested in that I would happily post about it. Leave me some comments and suggestions below!

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What We Read Kids | March 2016

I love how colorful this Bible is! I want to make my stepdaughter a nice church bag so she can bring her own bible to Sunday school and have a bag to tote her class projects home in. This bible will be a great resource for her now that she is building strong reading skills. This was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description from BookLookBloggers.com: The Under the Sea Holy Bible, NIrV is a perfect gift for children ages 6 to 10. Following the popular underwater theme, sparkling fish images will delight children as they learn of God’s love for us and all of creation.

 

Aiden loves Planes so I decided to get this set for him when I saw a Scratch&Dent version on BookOutlet.com for very very cheap. There are 4 board books a few pages long each with colorful scenes from the movies. He loves looking through them and making up his own story.

We enjoyed this book and only read it once. I’ve sense donated it to a book drive going on at my workplace. It is a sweet story with very imaginative boys. Great to read and point out different scenes in the pictures.

 

 

 

Alyssa picked this out at our local library. It’s a sweet Christmas story (very out of season but kids don’t care). We have a cat that the kids love so this was fun to read.

 

 

You can’t go wrong with Dr. Seuss! Colorful and creative and fun to read.

 

 

 

 

We suggest any of these books to add to your library. What are your kids reading?

All opinions are my own. Books are either purchased with my own money or given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The more reviews I post the more books I receive, and who doesn’t love free books! This post DOES CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. Though I make no compensation yet through the affiliate program, maybe one day I’ll get to that point.

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Enter Title Here ARC by Rahul Kanakia | Book Review (Non-Spoiler) 

The ending of a book is the part that encompasses every emotion you felt, every word you read and every desire to keep turning page after page to the end. I did not get any of that from the end of this book. Why? While Reshma, the main character, went on and on and searched for her ending I was excited to read what great finale she would experience. I rooted for her and applauded self discovery. But the ending I imagined was not there. I got a few sentences of an “ending/wrap up” of her life and then a cross over into the voice of the author ranting, “This book is dedicated too… And thanks this editor and that editor… This book would be no where without everyone” Maybe it was the set up of the e-book that dove straight into the acknowledgements, but I suggest before releasing this book make some edits there. It seemed there was no proper ending.

Obviously the ending of is book was off putting. But putting that aside.. three out of five stars is my judgement of this book. I imagine there will be a lot of controversial reviews was this book is released. It has a very particular style of writing that will not appeal to everyone.

Everything up to the ending point was GREAT. Not magnificent but great, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA.  It is worth reading.

This is a story about a girl named Reshma who has the internal strength and will power that you do not have. She will do anything to win, and anything to be the best she can possibly be. Who wouldn’t want that drive? She is a senior in high school who has set up her life intentionally to be exactly where she wants to be and will not let anything get in her way. Along the road she discovers her inner self, and becomes a better person. Predictable, yes! But beautifully and well written. There are truly students out there who face the real problems that were told in this book and they were played out raw and true. Reshma faces struggles in anything from school, friendships, cheating, college, parents, significant others, to internal battles, drugs and first world problems. No one can truly predict and plan how their life will lay out.

The opinions in this review are purely my own. This book was received for free in exchange for an honest review from the publisher Disney-Hyperion (Disney Book Group) and NetGalley. Thank you Disney Book Group. The copy I received is an Advanced Readers Copy (Aka ARC) and the publication date is August 2, 2016. I believe you can pre-order through Amazon.

Music and Emotions

This post is personal, emotional and deep. If you’ve struggled with the loss of a loved one or infant loss then this may be triggering. Sometimes I just need to use my blog space for the reason I created it, my own thoughts.

It is no secret that music has a immense tie with our psyche and emotions. A happy song can trigger happy thoughts and a light joyful mood, where as a song with serious melodic lyrics and matching tones and draw us deep into a place of sadness.

I’ve never been a huge music guru. I don’t know the names of popular groups and songs from our great music history or even the names of the top hits today. Growing up I did have an appreciation for music and the artistic nature of it. I played the violin and loved the instrument, I still have one today that my husband bought me. I don’t remember how to play but I appreciate the instrument and could learn quickly.

When I do listen to music it is rare. When I drive with my family were talking, when I drive alone I’m listening to an audio book or lost in my own thoughts. At work I listen to YouTube videos or audio books. But today, I’m working on a Saturday and it is very quite and slow. I decided to listen to a playlist of music on YouTube while I work.

I’ve turn it off now. I just can’t. I don’t even know what song it was. But the melodies and instruments and beats all go somewhere really deep inside of me and make me want to burst into tears. Trigger words and beautiful talented voices just make my emotions so entangled and confused. I suppose it all gives me the feels, the music makes me feel my emotions that I’m stuffing inside of me.

Everything I’m feeling rounds its self around Arrow. I don’t understand why I hide the emotions and why they effect me so strongly when they come out. I’m accepting to the fact that he is not here, but he is in Heaven with God and in a great place where we will meet him again one day. I’m happy with that and so thankful we have that peace. I should be okay, right? I feel like it is wrong for my to feel so angry and upset when those thoughts are pulled out of me.

My words make no sense. But as soon as that one note and flow of lyrics hit me, whatever it was, I took out my headphones and instantly had to start writing. I would like to cry, but I’m at work. For now I’ll just mask my worries with work and maybe feel them again when I’m on my own and its quite.

Infant loss is not easy, and in all to cliche words, the struggle is real.
Thanks for reading my post. Do you know anyone struggling with their internal emotions and infant loss? I’m open to any tips, suggestions, information.. please share.

Life, Tiny House, and Other Ramblings

Hey bloggy friends!
I’ve been posting so many reviews and small updates and haven’t really sat down and wrote a every day- hows life- regular up to date post.

I’ve had this blog sense mid 2013 and have always loved it. Recently I have been drifting more away from family life and updates to promotions and reviews of products I’ve received for free. If those aren’t you’re fancy, then you don’t have to read them. For me to continue to receive different products for free I have to consistently write reviews, its a nice gig. My favorite has been receiving books for free.
I love books, so free books are even better!

We’re still in the camper, it’s going great. The space at times makes us a little crazy but once you spend a little time tidying up everyone is more livable. Plans for our forever tiny home have been moving, slowly, but still progressing. Our floor plan is around 380sq ft? Something like is a 1br 1bath layout and a lofted/finished attic for the 2nd bedroom. Honestly I can not wait to have a regular full size STOVE and FRIDGE.. really first world problems but I miss baking. I want to bake a lasagna, or veggies, or a CAKE. Our estimated time frame is a loose 2-3 months. Depending on weather and so on and so on. It is not just our home being built, my in-laws will have the ‘main house’ on the property and it is a small 1br home, not a tiny like ours. So construction will include both homes.

I’ve been struggling with normal (I think their normal) postpartum craziness.. mainly hair loss and body image issues. Emotionally I’m doing okay. I have my moments where internally I break down but I think I keep a good composure and show my emotions appropriately. Arrow is so missed by our family, but we are excited to see him again.

How has YOUR life been? Doing any thing exciting? Travel? New cool product to share? Thanks to those of you who read my post and blog regularly, it means a lot. I write for myself, but its good to know I have a few readers out there that are interested in what I have to say.

Hope you have a good day, night, week, and/or month and that reading this finds you happy and well. XOXO Brittany