Lockscreen Love

So, as many of you know, the new iOS 7 is out and about, running amuck in our lives. It's definitely grown on me, and now that the apps are updating to be compatible with the new iOS, it's making me a happy, happy girl! But, the new iOS features meant that my old lock screen creations didn't really work with the new look. The clock part is a little lower than it used to be, and the 'slide to unlock' feature is much, much different. So, that obviously called for an all new lock screen creation!  I worked on a few earlier this week, and I wanted to share the two that my husband and I are currently using:
This one is gracing my lock screen, and I absolutely love it!

This one is on my hubby's phone. Although, it doesn't look the greatest with the clock feature because it doesn't show up much. I'm working on a better design, but he loves it too much to care that he can't really see what time it is. That man and his Duck Dynasty - my goodness!
So, I just wanted to share a little lockscreen love! Have a favorite quote or saying you'd like to grace your phone? What about a saying or design that you are just loving right now? Let me know! I'm in no way a professional or can guarantee anything, but I love to just play around with it and see what happens! :)
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Pasta Salad {for dummies}

So I follow an amazing blogger: Shay Shull over at Mix and Match Mama. She  has the cutest kids and is excited for fall! A girl after my own heart. So...I may or may not have been stalking her blog like I do on occasion {no big deal}, and I came across her friend Andrea's blog. And, browsing that {like you do any new blog you come across, right?!}, I saw her post about her working mommy lunch. And I was hooked! Here's what's up:

red onion 
cucumber (I used hot house)
mozzarella cheese
light Italian dressing 
tri-color pasta

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. It'll be done in about 10 minutes. Buuuut, while that's goin down, chop up your veggies! I used the entire cucumber and only half of the onion. Also, Andrea uses fresh mozzarella, but being poor, I bought the H-E-B brand brick and cut that up. Worked just fine! 

After your pasta is done to your liking {I personally like it al dente}, drain it and rinse until cool. 

Now just toss it all in a large bowl and mix, mix, mix! Add half the bottle of dressing {or less if you prefer}. I used roughly half. After that, just stir it all together and SERVE! Although, I do prefer it to be chilled for at least half an hour prior to eating - it's so much better cold! :-) 

Disclaimer: this makes a lot!  I plan on taking some to work every day, sometimes as a main dish, but also as a side some days. This will last all week long! Seriously. Amazing stuff! I just can't get enough! Also, it doesn't get much easier than this! The "hardest" part was chopping up the veggies - that onion was fresh and about killed my eyes! But seriously, this is a super easy go-to recipe and I just love the fresh veggies. Also, why have I never thought to put pepperoni in a pasta salad? It's perfect!

This is definitely going to become a staple in our household - I can see it now. Colten loved it too, even after belly aching over the fact that I indeed was going to use the tri-color pasta. Apparently, he's not a fan. But, he sure didn't complain when it was all said and done {except for the fact that I refused to use a 'regular' cucumber...he got over it hehe}! Ha! But seriously. So simple and so delicious. Thanks, Andrea!

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Monday. Again. Oh how I loathe thee.
BUT, my weekend was pretty fab, so let's just talk about that instead, shall we? I think so.
1// My sister has returned from her wayyy too long super awesome vacation to London and Paris! However, I was sadly informed that she does not have a picture like the one above - I mean, come on?! Epic fail in my book. Just sayin'. But, I'm glad she's home! Yay! {however, that also means that I no longer get to drive her luxury car and am back to driving old faithful...but that also means I don't have to spend as much gas as I have been because my car gets way better gas mileage...win, win?? sure, why not. let's go with that}
2// Fall weather y'all! That's what Saturday was all about. However, I must take the time to admit that I slept for like 15 hours from Friday to Saturday, and was pretty lazy the rest of Saturday as well. But, we had the windows open in the house, so that counts right? Yep. It does.
3// Saturday was also spent watching Grey's Anatomy reruns that I may or may not DVR to watch when nothing else catches my interest. Well, guess what? Nothing else did this weekend. Seriously. I couldn't get enough! And this has got to be my all-time favorite line:
Callie: Did anyone ever think you two were a couple?
Meredith: No, because we screw boys like whores on tequila.
Christina: Then we either try to marry them or drown ourselves.
I mean, sheer perfection right there, folks! Seriously.
4// So, the game in Dallas on Friday was rained out, but the weather cleared up nicely, and the San Antonio game was still on! So, we did the only obvious choice and went to watch our super awesome athlete of a cousin play collegiate soccer! Duh. What else do you do on a Sunday? Yeah, I don't know either. She was awesome, as always, and her fan club got lots of pics! We're a pretty entertaining bunch, people! Seriously. Best. Fanclub. Ever. We also toured the city in our attempt to locate the facility in which the girls were showering - epic fail {and a total waste of gas *sigh*}. Aaaannndd, as we got there, they were leaving {of course!} - so, we did what any good fanclub would do and we followed the bus to go eat! Luckily, our cousin is a rebel and chose to eat with her family instead of following the rules and sitting with her team. Yeah! She loves her fanclub, and I guess it's safe to say she probably missed her parents and sister too and not just the super awesome cousin fanclub ;). It was also pretty awesome to witness her first collegiate yellow card. Don't poke the bear! Great times. Oh yeah, and THEY WON! And, she got the assist to one of the goals and the assist to the assist for the other {that's a thing, I promise!}. The beast is back, y'all!
And duh, I'm linking up for Weekend Shenanigans. What else?!
Sami's Shenanigans
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Happy Friday, friends! And congratulations on making it through another work week - I know, it's been tough. But, we did it! I was off yesterday, so Wednesday also felt like Friday; and let me tell you, two 'fridays' in one week is pretty fabulous! And today, some random things for you!
First of all, thanks to my lovely co-worker, I've been introduced to the wonderful world of key lime pie. Luckily, I wasn't the only one that has been out of the loop, because my other co-worker hadn't tried  it before either. And needless to say, we're both in love! We may or may not have made several trips to the grocery store on our breaks at work to buy the single-serving size... sorry, not sorry!
Marie Callender's just didn't compare. Seriously, save yourself and stick with Edwards!
Second, all the world is hyped from the long-anticipated new iOS release for all things Apple! iOS 7 was released on Wednesday, and I admit I was one that jumped right on that update! However, I did run into a few glitches while attempting to download and install the new iOS at work:
1//not enough storage space {I had 2.3 GB available, so I only had to delete apps up to .7 GB...nbd.}
2//no wifi. epic fail, friends! However, thank goodness for the nifty mobile hotspots!
3//computer problems while charging said hotspot.
4//I received an error message while attempting to download the new iOS. If you follow me on Instagram, then you've seen the screenshot. So sad. But, I realized it was because I had the phone on a charging dock, and it didn't like that. Once I removed it, all was well.
5//Well, not all. Once it downloaded after an hour, it then told me that I didn't have enough battery power to install {it needed to be at 50%}, so charging commenced.
6//Update Unavailable at this time. I was one of the ones that was affected by the overloaded servers! I tried multiple times over the course of about thirty minutes before I was finally able to install the darn thing. Well worth it in my book!
7//I had to go to job #2 that evening, so I wasn't able to sit back, relax, and dive into all things iOS7
{terrible, I know!}
BUT, after all of that, I managed to get it installed. And then I hated it. Okay, maybe not hate. However, the next morning, and the more I used it, I was in love. Today, it's fabulous! So, it grew on me. :) But, am I the only one that likes to manually update my apps? I guess I just like to know what's going on and what's all-new! And, I typically love surprises, but I don't think I'd be too happy if I randomly open an app expecting it to be like the last time I used it, and it's totally revamped or has some new feature I'm missing out on because I couldn't read up on the update it had prior to performing the update. Anyway, just me I guess. Oh well. You can guarantee I'll be manually doing those suckers!
I'm super excited to be heading to Dallas this afternoon! However, it will have been raining all day, and there's a 70% chance of rain when the game is scheduled to start. Sooo, it may not happen, but we're still planning on it this morning! Fingers crossed, and GO RAMBELLES!
  As I mentioned already, I was off yesterday from both jobs {it's just necessary every now and then}. That's exciting in and of itself. But my day improved after a visit from a dear friend! However, it was a super blogger and IG fail after we didn't take any pictures together. Sooo...next time! Thanks for the visit, D! It was great catching up with him. :) He's one of those friends that you don't have to talk to every day or see very often, but when you do talk or get to visit, you just pick up like no time has elapsed and just talk and talk and talk. I love it!      

And lastly, I've come to know and love this here drink. It's natural energy that really works! With working so much and always being on the go, I'm tired. And, I don't want to constantly put those terrible energy drinks {Monster, Red Bull, etc.} into my body. So, meet Ocean Spray's Cran-Energy drinks! The pomegranate one is pretty good, but raspberry is my favorite! I grab one every morning and sometimes even in the afternoons on the days I work both jobs. It truly helps and I definitely notice a difference. It's refreshing, and there's no crash later! I also don't feel terrible from consuming so much sugar and 'grossness'. Yes, grossness. One bottle of these things has 11g of sugar and only 40 calories! Win, win my friends! Win, win!         

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FAM{iLY}, FuN, & shoes. {Weekend Shenanigans}

This past weekend was excellent, and much needed as I hadn't had one in a while! So, what better way to capture all of the awesomeness than by linking up for Sami's Shenanigans?! Don't worry, I couldn't think of a better way, either. ;)
This weekend was also the first one that my darling husband has had off in a while - there were initially plans regarding his reasoning for requesting the weekend off, but they fell through. Lucky for me, because that meant we actually got to spend a weekend together! :) Saturday, we took advantage of it and spent the day running errands, together. It's always so much better to not have to do that alone. It was great quality time, and we accomplished a lot!

My amazing husband also surprised me with these 'get well' flowers after finishing up my retreatment on Thursday - so sweet!

We stopped by Academy to try on some shoes, as both Colten and I have been in pretty desperate need for new tennis shoes. And of course, my awesome brother was working, so it was a plus to get to visit with him in the process! We ended up staying for two and a half hours in the footwear department! Holy cow! But, it made his time at work go by faster, and Colten also found the steel toe workboots - score! However, he also found the above camo snake boots and tried to talk me into letting him get them. Umm, sorry darling husband, but you do not need snake boots to walk around our apartment. Nice try, though! ;)

Since we were at Academy for forever, it was time for Josh's lunch break, so we took him out to eat! Yay! Of course, we hit up Jack in the Box down the street - his fave! Then, this walked in the door... Needless to say we were highly entertained. I mean, seriously? Keep Austin Weird at its finest!

Sunday morning, we were off to church, and it was a great service! I truly cherish every time that we are able to worship as a couple.  Seeing how Colten's schedule differs weekly, this isn't always possible. But when it is, I'm one happy wife! Happy wife=happy life, right?! :)

Sunday afternoon, we headed over to Main Event Entertainment and met Josh after work. We started out with some bowling action, in which both Josh and I each won a game. And there's proof, people! It was a blast, as always! And, they are running their $5 FUNbination promotion through November 22, which means you get 'unlimited' play per activity for only $5! However, they do limit bowling to an hour at a time due to the high volume of people just itching to play. Colten wasn't too happy about this little fact, but we cheered him up and headed over for glow-in-the-dark putt putt golf! We had a blast, and it was definitely great to get out of the house! 

After golf, we headed back to Josh's place to order our new shoes! Score! His girlfriend was home, and we ever so kindly pretty much forced her to take a break from studying - sorry! But she hadn't heard of this song yet, so we definitely had to play it ... maybe on repeat for a few times...

We also introduced her into the world of music videos by Miley Cyrus - she knew of the songs and liked them...possibly until she saw the videos. You're welcome.

We ended the night by heading over to Sonic for supper, and I was introduced to the Ocean Water - THANK YOU! Super delicious, and I just so happen to work right next to a Sonic and can totally walk over during happy hour. :)

How was your weekend? Let me know!

Sami's Shenanigans

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{How To} Survive the Dentist

It's really no secret that I despise the dentist. It's nothing personal, but I just hate it. All of the drills, sounds, smells, and not to mention having someone's hands in your mouth for any amount of time - it's just not my cup of tea. Add the pain that goes along with it, and you can COUNT ME OUT!  Seriously, I do.not.like.the.dentist.  And that goes for any kind of dentist. 
A few weeks ago, I was hit with a dental emergency. It sucked! So much that I'm still dealing with it today. I'm so ready to be able to eat and talk normally again, it's not even funny.  Actually, nothing about this experience has been funny.  At all.  Yesterday, however, marked my last visit with the endodontist to correct my problem.  The retreatment for my root canal apparently had to be done in two sessions, two weeks apart.  That's right, yesterday was part two! Finally! After recovering from yesterday's procedure, I won't have to go back to them ever again! Well, not for six months anyway, when they just want to follow up with an xray to make sure everything is healing as it is supposed to.  Check out my new tooth job.
Pretty badass if I do say so myself! Apparently, I have looooong roots, which might have been the issue from the initial root canal six years ago. Whatever, I'm over it. 
To go along with my utter dislike of the dentist is my irrational fears of the dentist. I'm a wuss when it comes to pain, and when it's mouth pain, it's intensified by about a million. I will never forget the pain that this infection caused me - you know it's bad when a vicodin and 4 advil PM don't alleviate the pain! Every single time I had to step foot in a dentist's office, the nerves are all over the place, butterflies are psychotic in my stomach, and I start to nervous-sweat. I also want to vomit. Every single time. This might be because of the fact that every time I've been to the dentist that I can remember (a few times in high school and now this), it's been because of something wrong and lots of pain. Thanks brother for pointing that out yesterday! I look forward to the day when I can go to the dentist strictly for a cleaning with no pain. One day...
With that, I give you How to Survive the Dentist when you're irrationally scared out of your wits and want to run away screaming.  You're welcome :). 
1. Support
Find someone to support you. You're already in pain and scared, so going in alone only adds to the anxiety. When I was in high school and had to get my initial root canal done (thank you frozen m&m cookie dough), my dad went with me to get it done, and I was so grateful! Now, every appointment since my dental emergency a few weeks ago, with the exception of yesterday's finale, my amazing husband has been by my side! He even sat with me in the actual room and listened to the drills and watched them start it out two weeks ago - crazy! He definitely makes me feel better when I'm nervous, anxious, or in pain. Thanks husband! Yesterday, he had to work while I was scheduled to go in, so my amazing brother offered to take me and pick me up. Although he didn't stay for the appointment (I don't blame him; I wouldn't have either!), it helped to just be able to talk about my anxiety and fears...thanks for listening, bro! Regardless, as with most things in life, going at it alone is extra scary; find someone that loves you enough to take time out of their day to support you. It helps.
2. Music
I don't know about anyone else, but the sounds in the dentist's office (especially one that specializes in root canals all day every day) are deafening in the fact that all you hear are drills - high pitched, squealing drills coming from every single room. Umm...no thank you! I just wanted to run for the hills. However, having music really helps to drown out those terrible drills and the 'teeth talk' from the dentist and technician. I honestly don't want to hear about every instrument you need and what exactly you're doing - just fix my mouth, please! I bought some nifty (yes, nifty) headphones two weeks ago for my initial appointment, and those suckers drown out all sound! I cranked up the volume and focused on the lyrics. Although I could still feel the pressure from what the dentist was doing, I didn't have to listen to them and I didn't have to hear as much of the drill (although, you can never drown this out completely, as it is a drill grinding down on your teeth...ouch). I brought them along with me yesterday and the technician just laughed - hey, it helps and I don't care if she finds amusement at my ways of coping with my hatred for her practice. Whatever floats your boat, I say! But I definitely would recommend music with your appointment, especially if it's a root canal or retreatment - those suckers take HOURS
3. Put it in perspective
Yesterday, as my husband wasn't there to squash my irrational nervousness, I had to do it myself. To do this, I reminded myself that I would be numb (God willing) and that it would soon be over. Also, I put my situation into perspective. I work with victims of violent crime every single day. These people have to go to the dentist when their injuries require it, and they are far worse than a retreatment for a root canal. Seriously, my situation is nothing compared to what these people have already endured and still have to endure for the coming days, months, and years. Suck it up, Bri! And guess what? It helped! I was being a baby, and I reminded myself that although this wasn't my fault either, those innocent victims didn't ask to be punched, kicked, or shot in the face.  Also, if going to the dentist for this is the worst thing that's happened this year, I'll take it. Many, if not all, victims have to go to medical appointments for things much, much worse than this. My situation is nothing compared to theirs. Thank God.
4. Comfort
Before I left for my appointment yesterday, I made sure I had comfort to come home to. I set up the couch with the biggest, softest blanket, had the remotes set out by the couch, comfortable clothes to immediately change into, and ice cream to eat. Find whatever works for you to go home to and wallow in your pain and discomfort for a little while - it's okay! It definitely helped my healing process each and every time. Don't expect to be in the best mood or be in the least bit productive (and if you are, kudos!). Accept that you'll just need to veg out for a while afterwards or even take a nap. I've done both, and both helped wonders!
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World {Suicide Prevention} Day

So many lives are lost that don't have to be. We go through life feeling as if we're not enough, that we're so alone with no where to turn and no one to turn to. There's emptiness. There's unimaginable sadness.  Loneliness. But this doesn't have to be the case!
I have not personally been affected by suicide, and for that, I am eternally grateful. No one in my family or of my friends has taken their own lives - thank God! And if they've attempted or even thought of it, I'm not aware of it, but I am forever thankful that they did not follow through with those plans or thoughts. But it also poses a huge question: How can you help? 
Know the warning signs.
This is huge. In order to help in any way, you've got to know what to look for! According to this website, major warning signs for suicide include talking about killing or harming oneself, talking or writing a lot about death or dying, and seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as weapons and drugs. More subtle signs include hopelessness, dramatic mood swings, sudden personality changes, lost interest in day-to-day activities, neglect in appearance, and changes in eating and/or sleeping habits.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. 
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. 
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. What drives so many individuals to take their own lives? For those of us who haven't personally been at that deep, dark place, it's unfathomable, but it's a growing problem. 
Suicide Prevention Tips
#1: Speak up
If you notice any of the warning signs in a family member, loved one, friend, or acquaintance, the first step is to speak up about it. This can be difficult, as I'd imagine, but it could save someone's life. A common 'excuse' for not speaking up is that you're afraid you're wrong or they may take it the wrong way. What do you say? How do you just bring that up? Well, there are so many organizations and data out there to help.  Here's what a few experts say:
Ways to start a conversation about suicide:
  • I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
  • Recently, I've noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.
  • I wanted to check in with you because you haven't seemed yourself lately. 
You don't have to attack them and immediately accuse someone of being suicidal, but show that you care and be yourself. Also, be sure to really listen and be non-judgmental. If they really are going through a difficult time and are thinking of suicide as the only way out, being critical of their situation will only worsen it. 

Questions you can ask:
  • When did you begin feeling like this?
  • Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
  • How can I best support you right now?
  • Have you thought about getting help?
Offer hope to them. Reassure them that help is possible and that you care about them.  Allow them to share their pain with you and let them know there are other ways to climb out of their depression.

What you can say that helps:
  • You are not alone in this. I'm here for you.
  • You may not believe it now, but the way you're feeling will change.
  • I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
  • When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute - whatever you can manage.
They may be defensive, and it's good to remember not to argue with them. If they counteract any of these saying that there's no hope, do not argue. Attempt to alleviate the situation. Also, don't act shocked or lecture on about the value of life. Don't tell them they're wrong.

#2: Respond Quickly

If someone tells you that they are thinking about suicide, evaluate the immediate danger the person is in.  Ask them if they have a suicide plan, if they have the means to carry it out, a time frame for their plan, or if they intend to go through with it. If you believe suicide seems imminent, call 911. Do not leave the suicidal person alone.

#3: Offer Help & Support

Be empathetic towards the suicidal individual and listen to them. Get professional help, follow-up on treatment, be proactive [drop by or call], make a safety plan, remove potential means of suicide, and continue your support over the long haul. If someone opens up to you about their suicidal thoughts and/or actions, don't be a temporary solution. Show them you truly care by sticking with them through the situation, however long it takes. Follow up with them and help them through it in any way they need. 

If you're contemplating whether suicide is the way to go, please think again.

I am in no way, shape, or form a therapist, counselor, or expert on suicide. All information in this post is that of research through non-profit organizations and/or crisis centers that are educated in suicidal tendencies and prevention. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me and I promise to do what I can to lead you and/or a friend to the answers and/or help you are seeking.
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Dear {September}

Hello there, gorgeous! 
Yes, I'm talking to you, September

I cannot believe it's already September ... and about a week in, at that!  Life has been crazy hectic, but mostly because I'm still dealing with my dental emergency! Yuck!  I'm beyond completely ready to be done with dental work and offices for a while...like, forever would be nice!  Seriously.  I'm still on antibiotics and pain meds, and I go back next Thursday for my (hopefully) final appointment to finish my retreatment.  Please, dear God, let this be the beginning of the end!  I don't know how much more I can take.  I still cannot eat normally.  Chewing is better, but I can only utilize the right side of my mouth, so then my entire jaw gets sore and the pain only worsens.  It goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on. Catch my drift?  Seriously - dental nightmare.  Praying for good dreams to come my way :). 

Anywho, I'm really looking forward to this month! August was crappy, to put it simply.  So, although I'm still dealing with my dental issues, I'm praying September will be amazing to me...please, September?  I'm gonna go with Y-E-S!  Also, summer is over.  Hallelujah!  That also means the end of overtime, which means the end of 70 hour work weeks!!!!!  {how many exclamation points count as over doing it?? nahh, the end of those long weeks deserve about a million exclamation points!}  I am forever grateful for the opportunity to earn extra income when it was definitely needed, but I have been so ready for normal to return.  Why, hello there! 

This month, I'm looking forward to lots of family time, fun with friends, dates with my husband, cooler weather {I'm seriously over the 100+ days!}, late nights, holiday season to ensue, oversized sweaters, hot chocolate, and just enjoying life!  My favorite time of year is fast approaching and I'm just over the moon excited!  So, here's to great things this month and for normal to be back! Cheers!
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