Archive | November, 2009

Some Tips to Prevent Christmas Overload

30 Nov




First and foremost, let’s talk about music. Who doesn’t love Christmas music? Anyone’s initial reaction to the station that now plays all Christmas all the time is, obviously, to play it all the time. This can cause severe burnout within the first few weeks of December, because too soon you realize that between the age old timeless classics, they are all the same crappy pop stars covering the same timeless classics. Although it may be hard, it’s important to limit yourself to about 2 hours at most of Christmas music total per day at this point. As the big day draws closer and closer, this number can gradually increase, and by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, you won’t be ready to rip out the speakers after hearing Cyndi Lauper’s nasal “Santa Baby” for the 482,943th time.

Now let’s discuss shopping. Yes, this is quite possibly one of my favorite pasttimes. You’re probably thinking “Man, Bren was probably one of those crazies who gets up at 3AM to shop on Black Friday and gets all of her Christmas gift shopping done in one day and still has time to score some sweet deals on stuff for herself!” Well, I would be lying if I told you that you were absolutely right. Don’t get me wrong–I was up and shopping at that ungodly hour with some of my best friends. I stood in line to rush into Kohl’s, xtra large coffee in one hand and coups in the other. I bought a really cheap and cute scarf. But, I tend to not feel the rush to check every single person off my list on that day. Most of the time, the stuff that you need to get is stuff that will still be there in the upcoming weeks. If anything, they will get cheaper as time goes on. Personally, I enjoy taking my time and stretching out the Christmas shopping cheer (usually until the very last minute; then it’s just an adrenaline rush), but I encourage you to not feel pressured to buy it all now. Draw it out!

Tomorrow: The most underrated Christmas songs. Get excited.




Pearls of Wisdom from Thanksgiving Break ’09

29 Nov

1. Impulse buys at Goodwill while in a crafty mood will sit around and collect even more dust as the crafty mood quickly passes. Or when frustration rises from realizing that the skirt I had pictured in my mind won’t magically create itself from cutting the bottom off of an ugly dress.

2. On that same note, impulse buys at real stores, while at times fun and exciting, can be detrimental to ones well being if the purchase is not well thought out. Exhibit A, a pair of purple jeans. They looked sweet under the fabulous dressing room lights. But when and where does one wear a pair of purple jeans? What occasion would pants like this be appropriate? All things that should have been considered before swiping the plastic in the heat of the moment. Le sigh.

3. The minute Thanksgiving is over, the world pushes a button to induce Christmas Overload before the calendar has even flipped to December. It’s easy to become excited and become overwhelmed at the abundance of holiday radio music, network movies and specials, and harried Black Friday shopping. Pacing yourself is key to surviving the Christmas season. I’ll talk more about this tomorrow.

4. Living out of a suitcase for a week doesn’t give enough time to settle back into home life, but allows plenty of time for my room to reach disaster area level.

5. Don’t speed. To be more exact, don’t speed in a deserted college town on a Saturday night. I now face the reality that speeding tickets inconveniently cut into holiday shopping funds.

I hope everyone had a wonderful, short and sweet 😦 break! Hoping to write more this week.


Let the PSU invasion begin.

Looking Out the Window

24 Nov

Clearing out my camera….

And apparently I like taking pictures of my window…….




23 Nov

The smell of burning candles, a homecooked meal, the sound of the sewing machine buzzing and radio static……yes, I must be home.

Never mind that home is just right up the street from school. The difference between a stop in the house for some dinner or to pick up winter clothes and packing a bag to live at home for a week is just as much as anyone whose college isn’t located in their hometown. It’s the time when I settle back into my bedroom that’s been frozen in time since I moved out after high school and sprawling out on my big bed, and finally be able to justify not worrying about school or work for awhile. That’s fine with me.

In other news, since I’ve been feeling especially crafty these days, I took a little trip to Goodwill for some inspiration. Thanks to the many 29 cent item racks, I came back with lots of goodies.

Now the question arises from each of these…..cut it or keep it?

The green plaid number you see on the end is, I believe, a matronly dress from the ’70s. However, when worn as a light coat, I think it looks adorable.

I found this fufu little girl’s dress that, unfortunately, will not fit my bod anytime soon. But, I think the polka dot fabric will make a fabulous skirt, if all goes as planned in my sewing ventures. I’ve never really expanded into the realm of making real clothes, so we’ll see how this goes. 

And lastly….I bought the red shirt in the middle because I thought the fabric would make a cute little makeup bag. But just for kicks and giggles, I put it on and wrapped a 99 cent belt I found around it, and now I’m having second thoughts……


What do you think?

I hope everyone enjoys a week off from the crazyness of school….and if you’re in school right now……that’s a bummer.

Lots of love!!




Good Music and Jesus Freaks

20 Nov

You know the feeling when you hear a song on the radio for the first time, and you think to yourself, ‘This is a pretty cool song! I can’t wait to hear who it is singing when the DJ announces it when the song’s over”, but then you realize it’s way late at night and that the DJ is in bed, and then you never find out who sang the song that you love, and as hard as you try to recreate the song and its lyrics in your mind so that you can google it when you get home, it soon escapes and all you have left is a memory of a really cool song that you heard on the radio once? 

That happened to me a few months ago. Ian and I were driving in his car listening to REV FM and I heard this great song. It was kind of a bouncy, mellow, Jason Mraz-y tune that I tried as hard as I could to remember as more than just a cool song I heard on the radio. Alas, time went on, and I forgot about it.

Well tonight, a guy named B. Reith opened for TobyMac at the BJC (a pretty cool guy!), and a couple songs in, he began one where I thought to myself, ‘why does this sound familiar?’ I then realized, it was the song I heard and loved on the radio months ago! How cool is that?

It’s fun when things answer themselves.

Also, hearing Jesus Freak performed in person= probably one of the most swell things ever.

That’s all. Here’s the song! It’s called Mess by B. Reith. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Good Hair Days

18 Nov

On a scale of 1-10 of things that make me feel good, I would say good hair days are an 11. 

Girls, you know what I’m talking about. Whether or not you’re vain enough to admit it, there are days when you look in the mirror and think “Yes… is a good hair day!” The curls curled in the right direction, bangs swooped across the face at just the right angle, and the flyaways have decided to stay home. Conditions are just right for good hair–not too hot, not too cold, not too humid, but juuust right. You arrive at your destination looking the same, if not better, as you did when you left, with no wind or water to screw things up. These are the days when you walk with a little extra bounce in your step and where you smile just a little bit brighter. Because gee whiz, you’re having a good hair day.




Good Coffee

17 Nov

Here’s a shocker: I love coffee.

But I’m not a coffee snob. I think I’m somewhere in between the ‘Stick your nose up at anything that isn’t Starbucks’ snobbery and the ‘Don’t care what it tastes like as long as it’s caffeinated’. (Read: the fools who drink Peets coffee on PSU campus.) Although caffeine, my drug of choice, is certainly a playing factor in the reason that coffee is a part of my daily diet, I can tell you why there are few things better than the smell of brewing coffee in the morning when I wake up. 

Yes, there was a time when coffee tasted like burnt chalk. I remember when I was growing up, I really, really wanted to like coffee just like Mom and Dad. Like most grown-up beverages, it took time to grow on my taste buds. Up until college, I was an avid latte lover, calling myself a ‘coffee drinker’ (oh the travesty), but one day I decided I was going to become a real coffee drinker, once and for all. After adding copious amounts of milk and sugar to a paper cup of Seattle’s Best (=Worst) until an unrecognizable breed of coffee substance was in my cup, I found that I could potentially enjoy this stuff.

I slowly began weaning myself off of these coffee maskers, adding less sugar each time, until I didn’t even need it anymore. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t get myself away from adding milk to make a delicious creamy version of a regular cup of coffee. Eventually, the poor college kid in me that kept forgetting to buy milk for the dorm refrigerator, learned to enjoy a straight up black, no-frills, untouched cup of joe. I soon discovered the bliss of new tastes in coffee brought out by enjoying a cup with dessert, particularly chocolate. 

For me, coffee isn’t just to fuel the average college lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle in and of itself!