just 10 things

  1. WOODSON, TEXAS: I’m from this town of 296, where my dad is the superintendent of the one school, which my brother and I started going to in kindergarten; we both graduated from WHS – and I only had seven people in my class. My mom was my sixth grade teacher and still teaches there – and I teach there now, too. No, we didn’t ride horses to school (I don’t even own a pair of boots.), but yes, I love this safe and comfortable home.
  2. WRITING: I remember asking my parents to buy me a tablet to write stories in when I was so young that some of my peers couldn’t even write complete sentences yet. English was always my favorite class in school, and I created my school’s newspaper and started contributing to my county’s weekly paper. I went on to major in journalism and write for publications like Austin Home, New York Resident and Us Weekly and cover events such as SXSW and New York Fashion Week. See where I’m currently writing via my online portfolio!
  3. AUSTIN, TEXAS: I attended the University of Texas at Austin and can still hardly believe I graduated from such an esteemed school. Though I’m away from ATX right now, I’ll be back, because I love it all: Alamo Drafthouse, Cathedral of Junk, Spiderhouse, Greenbelt, The Domain, Kerby Lane, Toy Joy, SoCo, the Veloway – See a complete list of my faves here😉
  4. MOVIES: I’ve always said my favorites are “A Walk to Remember the Titans”, combining two that I love. My family and I loveee going to the theater (mainly for popcorn and previews, amiright?), and if a movie can freak me out (in a scary or mind-blowing way (like “Predestination”…WaTcH!), I love it even more.
  5. FASHION: I always joked that when I die, I want to be cremated and spread around a mall, because I can’t get enough of new trends, window displays, glossy magazines, fashion blogs, “Project Runway”, fashion boards on Pinterest and buying new accessories/outfits!
  6. TRAVEL: I am used to making 28-hour drives to different states and have visited over half of them – and maybe a third of the baseball parks in the U.S. The only places I’ve visited internationally are Cologne, Germany, and Playa del Carmen, Mexico (loved both…can’t wait to see morrre).
  7. CATS: I’ve probably owned about 75 cats, but right now, my husband and I are happily raising Catalina Crookshanks. I’ve also adopted a polar bear, and penguins = mine and Tommy’s spirit animals. Fourth fave animal = unicorn;)
  8. GLITTER: Everything is better with glitter (just look at this blog title and/or ask Ke$ha;)
  9. LOVE: I really really really do try to show love to all – why wouldn’t you? We’re all stuck on this rock together, so be nice/spread peace! Thankfully, it’s super easy to love my loved, because gawww, they’re amazing…like tooooo good to me.
  10. LIFE: Speaking of being on this rock together, remember that it’s all about balance and perspective and blooming where you’re planted and being the best you can be and breathing and finding your passion/sharing it with others and being you and laughing until you cry!
    • Balance: You will have amazing moments of triumph and happiness, as well as horrible moments of stress and sadness. Through it all, you can eat chocolate when you’re sad and happy and dream about the future while still making the most of the present. Everything in moderation, with your head on straight.
    • Perspective: When those sad moments occur, try try try to find the silver lining. Know that everyone deals with loss. And when you’re overjoyed, know that there’s a time for everything, and even good things must come to an end. ALSO, I say these mantras over and over, but I just decided to change this one to “bird’s-eye view”, so that they all start with “B”!
    • Bloom Where You’re Planted: How many times have I blogged about this? My high school English teacher drilled this into my brain, and now, I have it hung in my house and sneak it into my English lessons. You are where you are. Will you always be there? Probably not – since we’re always in a state of motion, with moves and career changes and marriage and etc. So wherever you are and wherever you end up, do your best in that very place.
      • ALSO, I’ve written a good deal about this state of motion: I used to say that life was all about waiting – We wait in lines and drive-thrus. We wait for our alarms to go off, our coffee to brew…for work to start and then be over…then wait until it’s time for dinner, bed and it all to start again.
      • Recently, however, I’ve been thinking that it’s all about change, too; my bff and I feel like we’re always…well…waiting for the next big thing! As we wait and move forward, we encounter these big life events, such as graduating college, finding a full-time gig, getting married, buying a house and having kids. I guess it isss exciting that there’s always something to look forward to…It just seems like the in-between (the “upside-down” I – and other “Stranger Things” fans – may call it) time is just…there – and this time of limbo just flies by!
      • So enjoy those little moments that do make you laugh until you cry, which can be filled with things as simple as going for a walk, stretching as you get out of bed, cuddling with your cat and this.
    • Be The  Best You Can Be: The Woodson ISD motto is a good one, and it’s simple (So why do we complicate things?): Be the best human you can be. Do your very best at every single thing you do. Period. Yay.

P.S. – Happy six-year dating anniversary to my husband, Thomas Wayne Baze. ❤

present.

This time of the year is one of my favorites, with Tommy’s birthday, Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, then Christmas and the new year – a time filled with lots of presents!

However, this post isn’t about gifts wrapped up with shiny bows; it’s about being PRESENT.

I’ve struggled with anxiety and stress and OCD-tendencies for as long as I can remember. There are ways to cope with any situation/problem, but that can be tough in a world full of photoshopped models, egotistical/competitive ways on social media and the desire to just want to be a normal, content, attractive, happy-go-lucky, loved human being!

Many of my blog posts (and Instagram posts and almost-finished books and thoughts) are about perspective and blessings; no one has it perfectly, and even on your worst day, you can look to your left, right or through your Facebook feed and see someone who is suffering far worse – with loss or illness or war or famine (Remember that, students and Bri and reader!).

If you haven’t realized by now, bad things will happen – and it’s all about how you deal with them. Do you deal with them at all? Do you make matters worse? Sometimes, we just need a reminder that life is short, so why not actually/really/honestly live it to the fullest?

Since my husband is a trainer and my dad is a coach, I’ve always worked out, but only recently have I been super dedicated – cutting out sweets, hitting the gym every single day of the week, pushing myself to my limits, not complaining about the sweat and seeing results!

When I put this dedication/drive to use in other areas of my life…I created amazing year-long lesson plans for all eight of the classes I teach. I even had time to help Tommy with his. Much to everyone’s surprise, I have started cooking more. I’ve been making the effort to compliment people and let them know how special they are. Most importantly, I’ve been focusing on just being the best overall me – and it helps to be present.

In any given moment, you could be thinking about or doing a bazillion different things; if you stop, breathe, put down the phone and look around, however, you’ll notice…A. the beauty of nature B. that wobbly table that you could fix (And won’t your significant other be so proud/glad?!) C. someone’s cute haircut to compliment D. that the worry of the past and the anxiety of the future and the stressors you may be feeling about that to-do list or work or life…none of that matters. Sure, it’s good to be responsible and conscientious – but don’t make yourself sick! Don’t live in the past! Don’t let the present pass you by because you’re too busy wondering what tomorrow will bring!

I bet that if you look around right now, in this very moment we’re in, you’ll see several things you should be thankful for – and that perspective on the present is a wonderful thing…just like you.:)

P.S. – Check out these 101 ways to #livelifetothefullest!

Happy birthday to me…

 “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes

Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination
I turn 26 tomorrow.
I’m constantly trying to get up a big hill (of hope, of to-do lists, etc. – even if I feel like Sisyphus at times).
And we’re all always on a way to a destination (work, retirement, the weekend, goals, and so on).
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I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
What does that mean? Do we know what brotherhood is any more? Or love or peace or compassion? (After the election, whatever your feelings are on it, seems like a good time to ponder on questions like this – but you should also probably be aware of these things daily.)
And so I cry sometimes
When I’m lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What’s in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs
What’s going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what’s going on?
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I cry.
I love my bed.
I want and need to get it all out, at times.
I always feel a little peculiar (like one of Miss Peregrine’s).
I remind myself constantly to breathe.
But when I do stop and think, I wonder…What IS going on?
And I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time
In this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution
I’m always trying to be my best, praying that I please myself and those around me…and if a revolution comes from that, that’s cool, too.
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And so I cry sometimes…And I step outside…And I scream from the top of my lungs…What’s going on?
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination
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&i can’t help FALLing in love with you.

I’m doing the best I can to soak up the rest of summer…

.tanning

.watching movies with my husband, which we’ve been adding to a must-watch list (including some that would pump us up for school, like “Stand & Deliver” & “Dead Poets Society”)

.grilling out

.playing catch/shooting hoops

.staying up late in tents, eating pickles, looking at the stars and talking about/hiding away from life – all things I love doing, especially during the long-n-warm dog days of summer.

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When school starts up in a couple of weeks, though, I will gladly embrace fall, my second favorite season, and…

.drink pumpkin spice lattes

.wear fun layers

.cheer at football games

.take brisk walks through crisp leaves

.celebrate Halloween/our birthdays/our six-month anniversary/our one-year engagement anniversary!

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If you remember/care/follow me, you’ve seen my “til death do us party” Pinterest board, full of horrifically beautiful images, via “Corpse Bride”, Halloween photo shoots and Poe-inspired parties.

This fall, I’m feeling that gothic romanticism even more, since a. I’m a married woman now;) and b. I’ve been inspired by movies like “Crimson Peak” (I actually interviewed the director, Guillermo del Toro, during SXSW [when I first saw Ryan Gosling;)] and didn’t realize he created so much greatness; we watched several of his movies this summer.), shows like “Stranger Things” (Aren’t you obsessed?!) and books like “The Woman in White” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” (I can’t wait for this movie!).

Therefore, this season, I hope you…

.dance in the moonlight Season Of The Witch - A Southern Gothic Tale:

.stumble across beauty

Broken swing on the tree. I would've loved to go through this house before it got in such bad shape!:

.find yourself

Natalia drepina:

.spend time with loved ones

photo tumblr_mr0kog8aNu1snxul7o1_500_zps11f45c5f.jpg:

.take risks (in fashion/life)

.come to our fall festival

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.enjoy my new board – “fall16.

 

Fashionable & Creative Stocking Stuffers

Fact: Christmas is right around the corner.

Fact: I get on BuzzFeed every night.

Fact: I’m a sucker for cute packaging.

Therefore, the following items – which are from BuzzFeed AND come in cute packages – are perfect stocking stuffers for the creative fashionistas in your life!

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3

2

(all artists/shopaholics need good lighting to see their handy work!)

Fact: This last point has nothing to do with fashion.

Fact: This last point is cute, though.

Fact: This last point was discovered on BuzzFeed, too.

Sooo, enjoy looking at Lyft’s amazing office – love!

4

5

Austin Bucket List (&then some;)

This started as a checklist for my Austin Bucket List, but then I kept remembering other awesome stuff I’ve done elsewhere! Therefore, I’ve broken down my life, giving you the adventurous highlights AND all the cool stuff I’ve done in the 512…

1990-1999:
First steps, words, day of school and lost teeth (and busted out teeth and fake teeth, due to a spill on the gym floor, since, even at a young age, you couldn’t keep me away from a basketball!)
Nearish-death #1 (man tried to break in and kidnap me as a child)
Austin:
First trip to ATX
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2000-2005:
First junior high basketball game (in which our team received a technical for having six girls on the court)
Went to NYC
Broke the Red Sox Curse (by visiting Fenway for the first time)
Disney World + Orlando trip
2006-2007:
First kiss/boyfriend
Went to Germany (where I met my current bf!)
2008:
Nearish-death #2 (caught in a Gulf riptide and thrown into rocks multiple times)
2009:
Got first car (Bevo Squarepants)
Graduated from high school
Austin:
Got first tattoo
First college parties, classes and dorm
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2010-2014:
Went to Hawaii
First couple roadtrip
Covered NYFW
Graduated college
Spent Christmas in New York City
Austin:
Knocked the following off my ATX Bucket List: Alamo Drafthouse, Violet Crowne, fly a kite at Zilker Park, Trail of Lights, shop/eat on SoCo, Peter Pan Mini Golf and hike/bike/kayak/Sup on/at Mt. Bonnell/Lady Bird Lake/Veloway
2015:
Started my own business
Nearish-deaths #3 and #4 (stalked in NYC; had to talk to cops about someone trying to break into my car…while I was in it)
First friend engaged (Congrats, Kirstie & Jordan!)
Austin:
Did SXSW (I’d been involved before, but having a platinum badge from Us Weekly, interviewing celebs like Ryan Gosling, going to panels and parties…This year was different;)
My parting words? The things remaining on my to-do list!

In Austin:

Hippie Hollow
Pinballz
Hamilton Pool
Jacob’s Well
Esther’s Follies
Capital Comedy Club
In Life:
See all of Europe
See the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Mount Rushmore
Have my dream wedding
Reproduce
Publish a book
What’s on your to-do list??

My BFF’s BF’s Birthday: A Gift Guide

Gifting-buying is a gift, and sometimes, I’m spot-on: I find the perfect Red Sox poster for my brother or a v-neck tee my boyfriend doesn’t already have.

Other times, however, it’s a struggle:

-You want the present to be memorable.

-It can’t be TOO good, though, because then whatever you buy next won’t look as good.

-It needs to be personable, showing that you truly know this person.

-But most people I buy for have everything they could possibly ever want or need, so how do you satisfy these people?

You want to know the hardest part of gift-buying? Buying for those special, niche recipients…like your BFF’s BF.

See, my best friend is dating my boyfriend’s best friend, so I – of course – get him a birthday present. I went through the struggles listed above, though, and resorted to Google’ing the problem – and nothing came up! There are lists for male friends and boyfriends but not for boyfriends of friends.

Well, there’s a list for that now…

Present suggestions for your BFFs’ BFs include:

-Alcohol: You probably know his favorite, so buying him a bottle or six-pack of that is a safe bet. If you’re feeling extra generous, you could include a neat tumbler or shaker or growler or other weirdly-named alcoholic accessory with it!

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-Art: Now, before you bypass this one, think about it: Guys’ homes are boring and sad, yet they have interests, and even if those interests include only superheroes, sports and/or alcohol, there is art pertaining to that!

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-Kitchenware: I may be lumping too many men together, but I can honestly say that any of the dudes in my life would love a set of plates with that favorite superhero on it or a pizza cutter shaped like a shark.

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When buying for your BFFs’ BFs, avoid: 

-Tools: This is the go-to guy present, meaning most men have more hammers than they know what to do with, because their girlfriend, grandma and grade-school friend all resorted to another handy-dandy tool kit. Unless the guy is Tim the Tool Man Taylor, I’d say to pass.

-Jewelry: As an accessory whore, I often see a necklace on, say, Ryan Gosling, and think, “So-and-So would look so hot in that.” … But then I come back to reality and realize that most men just aren’t that into jewelry. So unless you know your dude has been wanting a particular piece, I’d also pass on this iffy item.

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Alrighty, ladies, that’s all I’ve got…but I’m SO open to suggestions in the comments below…

 

Christmas Clothes Week

Sure, it’s sad when the holidays have passed, but the first full week of January is pretty cool, too…Christmas clothes week! You select the best outfits and accessories you received as gifts, style them together and look even better than usual that week (to keep the celebration going;)!

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This fun top from Daytrip pairs nicely with a leather cuff and Gianni Bini flats.

WP_20150106_002Fringe may be funky, but when paired with tights and a pencil skirt, the look came out professional (and fab;)!

CaptureI went more casual on Hump Day, with a comfortable-yet-fun top (and super long, straight hair #proud).

WP_20150108_005This shawl by Entro is everything! I did lots of gold and brown accessories, threw on a coat and was on my way!

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Last but not least, I’m so glad I received this fun number, which can be worn so many ways!

 

 

Start-of-the-Year Inspiration

Three things I’m loving this month…

This luxurious nursery inspired by Nicoletta Ceccoli – It brings just enough cuteness, creepiness and classiness!

This fashionable Christmas tree – Yes, I know the holidays are over, but if someone could start working on this for me, that’d be great…:o

fashion tree idea

These lip glosses/chapsticks from Softlips (because we’ve almost grown tired of carrying Eos) – love the cube shape!

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What’s inspiring you this year?

New Year, New Jam

Alright folks, here it is – my obligatory New Year Resolutions post. I already had a pretty reflective post last month, so my entire plan, for all of 2015, can be summed up with this:

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If you follow me elsewhere, you’ve probably seen these images as my Facebook cover photo or hanging around on my Twitter account – because I just love them! Besides being pink and pretty, these two simple images show that we all mess up (even if you’re a grammar Nazi) and that in the midst of that – in the midst of everything – we must bloom, wherever we’re planted, to keep becoming the people we’re on this little rock to be, for the short time we’re here.

NOW, if you’re still deciding on your New Year Resolutions, I’m going to throw some ideas out there – that will not only help you but also support the awesome brands listed below…

If you’re looking for a new job/career path in 2015…

Turn to SandCrate for advice on everything from keeping creativity flowing and how to get through a to-do list to more industry-specific details on finances, social media and more!

Did you forget to do a good deed during the holiday season? It’s not too late (and it’s always a good time)…

Help heal abused children and horses through Therapy Works, an Austin-based ranch that works hard to give back. (You can volunteer time or money, if you’re not in ATX yourself:)

Maybe you want to spruce up your wardrobe this year…

Nadine West will send you quality clothes and accessories. For free. Right to your door. Every month. And it really is that easy!

If you are making a promise to be healthier in 2015, I’ve got you covered…

Whether you suffer from allergies/other sinus issues or just want to maintain wellness, Bloom Herbal Organics has an herbal tincture (drop of liquid you swallow, either alone or in whatever you’re drinking;) for you. These products are all gluten-free, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, USDA-certified organic, affordable – and come in pretty bottles!

Some people just need to start the New Year off on a nice, calm, awesome note, and in that case…

You need a massage from Amity Green Room! Even if you don’t live here, I suggest getting here just to try this place. The most affordable rub out there, plus given by super nice dudes who use years of experience to deliver aromatherapy and other high-level services.

For those of you who are lost on this resolution thing- but know you love food and doing good…

Bullritos is your answer. This tex-mex restaurant serves up yummy food AND loves supporting schools needing new textbooks, churches preparing for mission trips and organizations looking to raise funds, all through its charitabull program (something I think everyone in the world should use, to earn money while eating!).

If you will be moving in 2015…

Austin Conveyance is an eco- and family-friendly moving company that uses cool recyclable boxes and truly puts you first in your move. Plus, the husband/wife duo set up shop in a funky downtown ATX office!

Last but not least, if you went to Woodson I.S.D. and are still feeling that holiday cheer…

You should totally give back to your hometown through the Woodson Exes Committee. Even if my parents didn’t still work there, I would still send a little here and there, because this place helped shape us, and without them – no Homecoming activities…and that small-town fun HAS to continue!

Hope you had a very merry Christmas, and yay to a whole new year!