Wednesday, August 13, 2014

10 days home...

I don't even know where to begin... I'm 10 days home. I'm definitely not dealing with the thoughts and feelings I presumed I would be. The challenges I thought would be faced haven't occurred yet - or if at all.
So much isn't anything like I thought it'd be.

How did I think it'd be?

I remember I was a freshman in college. It was winter/spring. Basketball season was coming to an end. I was at the shop getting an oil change, when there was bit of a stir. Going back to check on my car it was found where someone has keyed something profane into the hood of it. What a blow. Dad was upset. He accused, "What did you do?".
"I didn't do anything!"
"Well obviously you did something."
"I don't know, I thought everybody liked me."

The deception.

Later in college, I was in a fight with my boyfriend at the time. We got into an argument and words out of his mouth were... not the most kind.

The desperation.

Now, here I am, home again. Having lived away from everything the last 4 years. Learned tough lessons. Learned to live with just myself. Learned how to work from the bottom up. Learned to do things on my own and be proud of it. Learned to not be afraid to learn. Learned to be strong and know what I know and why I know it. Here I am, home again.

The reality.

In ten days what I really learned is I'd only become a monster. I want to go back.

That's what 10 days home feel like.

Monday, July 7, 2014


Change is scary.

I'm not saying anything anyone else hasn't said before. You see related quotes on wall hangings, tattoos, graduation speeches, and on it goes. Its the same story time after time.

So why am I finding perfect peace and excitement within the coming weeks? The more I release my secret, the more I see the colors fill my black and white future. I see the fruits of a sown seed come to fruition. I feel a love deep and real. I have a sadness only felt by someone who experiences true happiness. And having chosen joy in the midst of the growing pains while being here - I'm full.

Full of a hundred emotions expressing that change is so much more than scary.

I can't let the fear of change keep me from making the best decision of my life.


Monday, June 23, 2014

It's Not Goodbye

People say its not "goodbye", its only "see you later". It sure feels like goodbye to me. How is it possible I feel so much sadness and happiness at the same time. I'm full of joy and tears. I'm excited and nauseas with dread. I look at things and places as if I'll never see them again. I may not ever see them again. We're not guaranteed tomorrow. But knowing there is an "end" nearby, all my surroundings become much more surreal.

This isn't cheap talk anymore. These aren't just ideas. My empty words are instantly filled with meaning and truth. I'm moving home. Is this real life? Am I one day going to make the drive to Ohio with no knowledge of when I'll return to the place I love? How is it possible I used to hate it so much? This is my home now. My home. MY HOME!

I'm choosing to turn my life upside-down and trust God's plans are bigger than my own. I won't lie. I'm so scared. It hurts so bad. My heart is so broken. I want to be in both places so badly. I want to be home so badly. I don't want to leave here so badly. If I lived in a sci-fi novel I can choose which universe I want to be in today.

I'm going to miss my mountains, but I love those cornfields. I'm going to miss the fog topped rivers covered so evenly like a perfect latte, but look forward to seeing a sunrise and sunset again.

Let's focus on what's ahead. I once heard a Japanese proverb:
“One chance, one meeting, one moment, one memory, treasure every moment for it will never reoccur!”
How is it I've forgotten to live this way? I can't now. I have 6 weeks to soak it up. Take it all in. Treasure each meeting, moment, and memory.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Whole 30 - 7 Need To Knows

I tried to begin the Whole30 Challenge optimistic - I still am, no worries!.  Already/Only 7 days, I've really tried to pay close attention to what my body is telling me. I want to know I feel different after finishing the Whole30 program. I've had many ups and downs, but in all reality, its just tough being a female. Despite the moments of struggle, I've done my best to follow all the program rules to maximize my gain. This is a fantastic food challenge, but before you get into it thinking its only going to be rainbows and butterflies there are a few things I've learned I feel you should know. 

1) It's Expensive
If you desire the live the best possible form of this challenge, you'll want nearly everything organic - especially the meat. Meat already isn't cheap and organic just adds salt to the wound. Other novelties like organic almond butter (upwards of $11 a jar!) and fresh produce [even on sale] rack up the grocery bill. 

Recommend: Either ensure you are in a good financial position before you jump right in, or take the extra time to meal plan and use coupons for the foods you will be needing throughout the coming weeks. My Whole30 partner in crime, Carling (you will see her mentioned quite frequently) is taking advantage of her Double Ad Wednesday tomorrow to maximize her dollar.
Read Whole30 Grocery Guide on a Budget and find approved substitutes like cashew butter instead of almond butter to save a few dollars.

2) It's a Cleanse
We all hope to wake up feeling like a millions bucks on day #2, but don't forget your body probably has stock piles of garbage to get rid of. I noticed today my skin is showing a few extra pimples than normal. There's also been a couple days I've felt a bit run down, my stomach and bowels were a little icky, and I pee all the time now! I'm not even preggers! 

Recommend: Remember to keep drinking LOTS of water to flush everything out, you eventually start feeling better. Secondly, make the extra time to get in your beauty sleep. Sleep is just as important as the food you eat on this challenge.

3) Stick to the Recipes You Know You Can Make

I think I've ran to the store 3 different times for ingredients I needed for a single recipe. I'm being a bit ridiculous, but I'm not exaggerating. I'm very eager to try new recipes and eat different meals, but I'm realizing quickly I can't keep this up for a whole month. Know your limitations, but don't be afraid to eat outside the box. Making new recipes has been one of the most exciting parts of this challenge, but I've gone a bit above and beyond for items I wouldn't deem necessary to make a recipe "pop". 

Recommend: Use what you have. This is the time to take advantage of your stash of herbs, spices, and meat rubs. Check the ingredients, but most rubs are just mixtures of spices you already have in your cabinets.

4. Tell everyone!
Not because you want everyone to join the movement (which would really be okay - see point #5), but if you want to succeed without eating alone every day, your friends need to know what you are going through. It's finally June! Summertime! The season of potlucks, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, and s'mores! The moment you think a half dozen people are going to show up to the picnic with salads and fresh fruit, you find 100 cheezy casseroles, salad with the dressing in it, and the fruit salad is pre-smothered in granulated sugar! So you are faced with a cheat day, starving, or running like a scared little pup. 

Recommend: For the group gatherings, bring a dish you will eat and tell, tell, tell your friends what you're doing. Ask them to keep the dressing and fruit dip on the side, and hide your own jar of almond butter to eat with your apple slices. For other occasions, keep a stock pile of Larabars in your glove box for those out of the blue sugar urges.

5) Don't Go It Alone
Grab a friend or link up with someone online via twitter or Instagram to do the challenge with you. Encouragement and accountability is HUGE. Sometimes you just need to whine to someone about how many minutes you stared at the bag of marshmallows when you politely declined the s'mores your friends continuously offered. 
"Am I really really sure i don't want a marshmallow? Absolutely not! I could eat the whole bag right now! Untoasted!  I mean... I love my raw carrots! Chomp chomp chomp!"
Recommend: Find a friend. Vent. Share. I love sharing and discussing new recipes with Carling. That's the fun part. Having someone else understand what you're going through, but give you high fives because they know the accomplishment is what makes all the difference!

6) Everyone Thinks You Are Doing This To Lose Weight

Okay let me rephrase this... Everyone will ask why you are doing this, and then, ask if you are trying to lose weight. Many of you may be trying to lose weight - and that's okay! But, have your answers ready. Know what you are doing before you do it. If you can't answer why or what you want to accomplish from it, try to take some evaluate what this challenge means to you - personally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Recommend: I personally want to discipline myself to mean plan. I want to pay closer attention to what I am feeding my body. I have a gluten sensitivity I don't respect, and want to remind myself how I feel when I don't indulge. There are more reasons, but losing weight isn't my #1.

7) Give Yourself Goals - Before, During, and After
Starting the challenge with an end in sight give motivation. Little goals through the week, like, "how many meals will be new recipes this week", is a good encouragement to keep you going.  But the goals that are most important are the ones following the challenge. I mean, what is a challenge if it only affects you for 30 days? This is designed to make you more aware of the food you eat and how you feel - before and after. 

So if day 31 you indulge on pancakes covered in butter and syrup with a large glass of chocolate milk, what did you accomplish? First, you will feel like crap for the next 3 days, and you're jumping right back into filling your body with the garbage you just cleaned out! 

Perhaps others had different experiences, or dealt with other "need-to-know" challenges, but 7 days in, this is what stared me in the face.

Hope this helps out a few of you, and remember, we're in this together!

.::A Far Off Britt::.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Whole 30 - I must be crazy!

Crazy about being healthy and taking care of my body, I mean...

One of my dearest friends, Carling, has unknowingly challenged me to try Whole 30. What is the Whole 30 challenge? 

It is a dietary challenge to make changes in nutrition in your daily life. The diet itself is a pretty strict mix between paleo and raw foods, avoiding all dairy, soy, wheats/grains, legumes, ALL sweets (yes, unfortunately, even paleo ice cream) and ANYTHING processed.

Sounds devastating, right?! This means NO. No oatmeal for breakfast - a daily. No Middleswarth BBQ chips - a guilty pleasure. No baking - unless you can bake without trying it. Who bakes without trying it?!?! No creamer in my coffee - tolerable, but not preferred.

This is going to be a bit of a change for me.

Now, I generally try and eat healthy. I'll avoid eating out as best as I can, but sometimes I just don't feel like prepping my food or really making dinner, so its a little cereal here, a little coconut macaroon there, and some peanut butter and jelly all the time. Did I mention I can't have any PB&J? 

Okay enough about what I CAN'T have, I want to tell you what I CAN have. 

In addition to the YUMMY fresh fruits and veggies and creative cooking advice I'm finding online, I am gaining much more than dietary benefits by the end of this.

I am gaining prepping skills. I'm terrible at prepping some days and this is going to teach me those skills. Prep or starve. Okay, not so literally, but basically.

I will gain a better understanding of what my body feels like when it doesn't hate me. I always have and upset stomach or digestion system, so I am genuinely looking forward to a healthy reset

I will gain stronger self control. I will more easily say "no" to the stuff I know I don't need instead of making the same exception over and over again. "I'm working out tonight so, I deserve a handful of M&Ms."

I will gain more respect for those who have to live this way everyday. I'm fortunate enough that if I can moderate consume gluten, I'm alright. Its when I go overboard that I'm a mess. I can't imagine having no more options, no more cheat days, no more, I'll be better the rest of the week moments. People have to follow some of these strict guidelines on a daily basis - for life. I'm appreciative I'm not one of those.

So here I go! Day 1! 

Breakfast: Eggs with Spinach and fresh strawberries

Lunch: Salad with ham (I think I'm allowed to have ham - need to do more research), romaine, shredded carrots, avocado, no sugar added raisins, and cashews. 

No dressing was needed. It was actually quite the concoction. Not sure I'll make it quite like that again, but fun to try.

Snack: more cashews ( I think I overdosed on these today) and an apple.

Dinner: Will be making sweet potato and not sure what else yet :) Wish me luck!

.::A Far Off Britt::.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Baking, Facials and more!

I love Thursdays. Its the first day of the week I have no commitments....besides work. Although, this usually turns into a midweek date night so instead I become a recluse on the weekends.  Six of one, half dozen of the other. Speaking of half dozen... I decided to bake some bread tonight. I've had a gluten free bread mix chillin' in the cupboard for quite a while now and it's either bake or go running. Guess which I chose? 

You're asking, "Where is the half dozen is relevant?", right? Ha. If I were you, I would have asked, "What would possess you to want to go running?!?!" 

I arrived home from work eagerly greeted by my neighbor kids and almost [and by almost I mean 1 3/4 inches away from] smashing the scooter they left in the alley. Then Haley caught sight of me and came running up the alley screaming my name over and over at the top of her lungs. I'm not exaggerating in the least. I could hear her loud and clear, with my windows up. She's such a doll!

After spending a bit of time on the porch with them I retreated inside. As usual, I immediately put on my oversized sweatpants and hoodie and then found myself in the kitchen. I don't normally make coffee in the afternoon, but I skipped it this morning and so it was calling to me. The coffee wasn't enough. I wanted more. 

This is where the idea to make bread came in. I even followed the directions - to a "T"**, and the bread did everything it said it would... so far. I get nervous when I bake because my oven bakes hot, and theres nothing worse than burning the baked goods! ugh! Now I wait.

I've taken a few peaks at it and it looks so yummy! The loaf is HUGE! In the process of mixing the ingredients, I had to use nearly half a dozen eggs - mostly egg whites. So here I am, [not being one to waste] wondering what am I going to do with these left over egg yokes.

So after doing a little research, here are some great uses for left over egg yokes:

"Rich in fats and proteins, an egg’s yolk is naturally moisturizing and nourishing, which can make your hair less prone to breakage. Use a half-cup of your leftover egg yolks (6 to 7 yolks), beat until creamy, and apply to clean, damp hair. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with cool water. You can use this deep conditioning treatment about once a month for glossier locks." - Diana Kelly, 
Vanilla or chocolate or cinnamon chai or mocha chip or peanut butter or Boston cream are just a few of the flavors you can make with this Martha Stewart recipe. It looks so tasty and easy and most of the items you'll find tucked away in your cupboard or fridge.  
Typically you see egg facials made from egg whites, but that doesn't do me any good when those are in the bread. Egg yoke facials are still very beneficial by adding protein, vitamins A, B2, B3, and zinc to your skin. These nutrients add elasticity and moisture, treats inflammation, slows down aging and protects from other damaging causes. HealthMunsta shares 3 great facial recipes to choose how to nourish your pores!
Say whaaaaaat? Calling all artists to switch to egg white omelets JUST to try this out. Its called Tempera paint. Used in ancient Egypt and the Italian Renaissance era, this recipe of yokes and minerals create a unique, fast drying, long lasting medium to shed some light on your creativity skills!
Here are some other really unique and fantastic uses for eggs - white, yokes, and the shells! Most of these I'd never heard of and I'd bet you haven't either! 

And here is a picture of my bread.
**I thought I followed the instructions to a "T", but I did not. I misread the part about foiling the top after the bread was baking. I added it too late creating an air pocket in the center of my loaf. Thus explaining why it was so big in the oven. Lesson learned!


And here is a picture of my face - mid facial. 

.:: a far off britt::.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Life Happens

I began my "Thursday Things" quest back in the fall. I can't say it went very far, but I was making a conscience effort to really think about the topics I chose to write about for the "next" 52 weeks. It was an exercise I wanted to do for myself to create a balance and a rhythm in my life. To feel accomplished in a routinely way. Then life happened.
I've heard it, you've heard it, we've seen it on Pinterest, and a dear friend recently reminded me of it.

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans."

Last time I honorably focused on writing here, my life was comparably different. Fall was winding down. I was wrapping up my quarter-life self discovering summer and fall, and was awaiting the official word to purchase my plane ticket and pack up and move to Japan. I'd be leaving today or tomorrow, if I'd gotten the word I thought I was going to receive after nailing my interview.

Thursday Things

I set Thursday Things as a 52-week goal point so I could progressively see a change in my life, my circumstances, and maybe even beliefs on substantial life issues. I wanted to look back after a year and see what strong and noticeable change had occurred in my life. I envisioned myself writing my final post from my tiny apartment in Japan. Being a different person - changed by culture, experience, and career.
I tried to put myself in a box so that I may appear or discipline myself to be more orderly. Carry a valuable presence online to encourage and inspire others, as I am also encouraged and inspired by the ones I follow. I was reaching. Really reaching. Desperate to be noticed, but not quite sure how or by whom. I believe I was desperately wanting to find and figure myself out, grasping for the approval of strangers and virtual friends. Why? What's changed?

Life Happened.

Change sure happened. My plans were made, my mind was slowly cutting away all the options and avenues I wanted to attempt, and I can't say many of them occurred the way I envisioned. In fact, my life is much different than I had "wanted". Realizing what I "wanted", wasn't what I really wanted at all. I'm so glad about that.

So what changed?

Well I'm not moving to Japan. I started dating the man of my dreams. I was blessed with great memories I'd never trade with friends I greatly cherish - ones I'd have missed out on had I left PA when I wanted last year.

Thursdays came and went. Week by week, new memories and adventures created themselves right before my eyes. Five months later I see the change in my life, my circumstance, and my beliefs on substantial life issues. I've accomplished exactly what I wanted without having to blog weekly about it or force a rhythm in my life.

Living is my life rhythm. It's how I roll, how I do, how I be.

.::a far off britt::.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Discussion: Relationship with Parents

Describe your relationship with your parents. 

I have been extremely blessed. I really do have amazing parents, and as I've grown we've developed our relationship. As most kids growing up we love them, then get annoyed, then love them again, then get annoyed again. Then sometimes we begin to understand things we never did as a child and that is where my relationship with them now lies. 

Highschool I wanted to wear a miniskirt. That's when I was annoyed. Then I needed to search for colleges, so I loved them again. College I wanted to date boys. So, again, I was annoyed. Now I'm graduated, live on my own, take care of two critters and spend all my own money, and love them all over again. My perspective has drastically changed. I know mom appreciates this! She laughs at all the stories I tell of my daily, and even more when I start repeating phrases I heard her once say when I was a child.I could say it's age and maturity that's grown our relationship, but much is attributed to the fact I finally stopped fighting. 

As kids we feel we have all these secrets we can't tell our parents because they "wouldn't understand" and as adults we share a mutual feeling. Can't tell the kids because they "wouldn't understand..." But now we're that age where secrets are surfacing and we love each other all the more. It's the flavor and character of life added to the mix.
I love it! I love them! Mom is still so meek and shy, but so funny, yet tender. Dad is just darn right goofy, and loving, and hard working. The both are so amazing! My childhood was amazing. It wasn't because I had a Barbie magical motorhome or a super sweet tree house, but because no matter how much I saw my parents imperfections, they never stopped loving me 110%. 

I'm thankful for every moment I spend with them now. I never knew the quality of life could be so defined by the distance of 500 miles.

What about you?

.:: a far off Britt::.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Disscussion: Fears

Describe three legitimate fears and their genesis. 

Fears. Don't we all just hate being afraid of stuff. Isn't it even worse when you don't know why? Ugh! I know! I've never really been what I would call a "scaredy cat", but over the years certain things made me twinge more than others. I remember when I used to be afraid of the dark. Ahh that was awful!! Now, now I deal with a few other things. 

First and foremost I hate deep water. Like ocean or lake water that you can't touch the bottom. I don't even care if I can see the bottom. If I can't touch it. I ain't going in it. I think this began as a kid at my grandma's pond. The minnows would come up and nibble on our toes. So creepy. Then in junior high my friends and I were swimming in a quarry someone owned. You could feel the springs beneath your feet and I learned stories how the quarry flooded and there was still machinery down there. That's was did it. Before we knew it we'd swam half way to the other side and I got spooked. Swam back as fast as I could and haven't been the same since.

Secondly I'm not a fan of bees I guess. Didn't realize this was a problem until the last couple of months. I usually do everything I can to avoid them included sprinting away in random bursts in hopes of the stingers that chase me. Normally I succeed. But this last time I was home a bee got in the kitchen and flew right at my face. Instantly fell to the floor an nearly wept. Alicia, Lexi and my mother almost peed themselves from laughed so hard. I, on the other hand didn't enjoy it as much as they did. 
How did this start? Well, who really likes bees begin?? I like their honey! My fragile state I feel can be credited to the ultimate frisbee game a few years ago. Barefooted I stepped on a bee and had trouble walking or a week and a half. No fun!

Lastly like most I have a fear of failure - making the wrong decisions, letting people down, making my team look bad, etc. When I am dealt too many options my anxiety skyrockets and I have a hard time dealing with things. I shut down until things begin to work themselves out. I believe this could to and be partially to blame for why Pennsylvania was so hard on me. I've made a ton of decisions here as well as learned about myself. I've never dealt with anxiety prior to moving here, but it gave me a taste of what most Americans struggle with. It's not only fear of failure, but if you fail, you fail to provide, you fail to bring acceptance and many other derivatives. 

As long as fear doesn't complicated or keep us from living our lives I don't think it so bad. It can encourage us to push past what can be holding us back from a better future.

What are you afraid of?

.::a far off Britt::.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Discussion: Best 3 Decisions Ever Made

As we grow into adults I feel we tend to spend a significant amount of our downtime in reflection. Sometimes we reflect on the good times, be it high school, college, or just the summers with our friends. We reflect on past relationships, good and bad, and all that came of them. Maybe even go as far as to wonder where that ex- may be, what they are doing, and perhaps who they're with. Sometimes we reflect on financial decisions we've made, as minute as the shirt you decided not to buy to the car in the used lot you drove by a hundred times.

Our lives have been full of decisions. They become such an active part of our day-to-day ability to function we forget we make so many in a single 24 hour span. As my fingers move across these keys I am mulling over what were the 3 best decisions I ever made. The decisions that paved the way of who I am this very day. So many fun ones pass through my mind like, "bought an iPhone" and "rescued my kitties". I even jumped out of an airplane, travelled the world, and went gluten free. But, none compare to these:

Decision #1

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior - Choosing Freedom.

I am who I am, because of the love and grace Christ has given me. I've tasted the life without Him as my lead, and it was awful. It was dramatic. It was mixed with more bad decisions than good. I was selfish and  miserable. I could relate to many others, but not the others I really wanted. I didn't like the words that fell out of my mouth as if the hinge in my jaw had lost its resistance. Although, that period of my life could have been much longer, I had enough. Life is still difficult, but I've never known such peace even in the midst of stressful moments. And then when life is stressful, because it always will be, I don't have to go through it alone. 

Decision #2

I moved to Pennsylvania - Chose Self Discovery.

I graduated from college the end of 2009, spending those final moments in Madrid to welcome in the new year. The 5 months that followed, I made no effort to do anything with my life. I drank lots of tea, ate lots apple yum yum, and crocheted 2 large blankets in an effort to stay out of trouble. Towards the end there, I can see where I was ready for a life change. And there it was. 

The moment Japan fell through my fingers, PA was in my face. The transition was hard. The job was no piece of cake. The friends were non-existant. I got lost everywhere I went. The list could go on, but in short I was eating a big piece of the LIFE PIE I had been wanting to taste for so long. I was beginning to think maybe my taste buds had changed in that moment. But I knew once I started, I couldn't quit. I couldn't just go back. I had to find out what my time in PA was supposed to mean. Well its meant a lot so far, but mainly its been a journey of self discovery.

Isn't it funny how you think you are a one type of person until your left all my your lonesome? Then you figure out who you really are and sometimes, its not as great as you wanted. That was my awakening, at least. I've been here just shy of 3 1/2 years, and not only have I discovered who I am, but I've been blessed so deeply to have the opportunity to change. To change who I am; who I want to be. I'm still changing, but I wouldn't take this decision back for anything.

Decision #3

Surfed - Facing Fears.

I know surfing doesn't seem as deep as the last two, but for me this was big. Ever since I'd touch the ocean, I wanted to surf. I loved riding into the shore on our boogie boards as a child. But I wanted to stand up, outstretch my arms to east and west and feel the wind on my face as the waves brought me to where the water no longer separated the sand from my feet. There was one problem. By the time I had the opportunity to surf, I had become terrified to panic of deep water. I'm talking water that is free, unpredictable, and your toes can no longer touch. I don't care if I can see the bottom or not. If I can't touch and the waves can carry me away to forever while the fish nibble at my appendages. Then no thank you! If there are any surfers reading this, you can see where my problem lies. 

There came a day, though. A day where my dreams were stronger than my fears. A day where before I could dwell on the depth of water ahead of me I was suiting up, waxing the board, and embracing my first lesson on the beach. Connor and Ashley were in my ear the whole way out. "Paddle, kick, paddle, kick, keep yourself centered..." the instructions were never ending, but more than anything I'm so glad I watched all those surfing movies. 

Letting my feet dangle I waited for my wave. Try after try I did everything I knew to do to get up on the board. Finally, I caught my wave. I paddled. Balanced on my knees. Planted one foot; then the other, and with all the strength my legs had in them I pushed myself up and rode that wave as far as it would carry me. Do I see fear deep water? Yes. But that day, I was infinite; and that was all I needed.

I'd love to hear from you!! Please post a comment or share your own stories!!

.:: a far off britt::.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

25 Random Facts

25 things about ME?! Okay, here goes:
  1. I love spumoni ice cream.
  2. If I had all the money in the world I would use it share gifts. I love showing people in creative ways how much their friendships mean to me.
  3. I drove a red(favorite color) Cavalier (Baby) for 10 years.
  4. Fall is my favorite season. I love pumpkin everything!! Pumpkin food, buying pumpkins, naming pumpkins, and then carving pumpkins. I love the smells of the crisp changing leaves, wearing a scarf and boots, drinking steaming hot chai tea, my dark hair, walks to hear the leaves crunch beneath your feet, Honeycrisp apples, corn on the cob. So many reasons!
  5. I have 2 kitties - Beamer and Audi :)
  6. Photography is a dear passion of mine. I'd love to one day pursue it professionally.
  7. I think my ears look big.
  8. My finger nails are always peeling because I wash my dishes a lot!
  9. My closest friends in PA are 10 years younger than I.
  10. I'm too cheap to turn on the heat until nearly December (I type this currently bundled in a blanket). I think my kitchen is near 61 degrees during the day.
  11. I'm a black belt in Tang Soo Do. I started Karate when I was 7.
  12. I have a great smile, but it took pulling a lot of teeth, and two years of braces to earn it.
  13. I've been to 10% of the world - 39 states, 17 countries, and a few additional territories that are not constituted as countries.
  14. Several months after moving to PA, I would lie on my floor and cry out to God, begging him to send me just one friend. I was very lonely. 
  15. My friends call me "Hippie", ironically, I've never smoked weed, or done any drugs for that matter.
  16. I envy creative and successful people. To me it appears they really have their life together; even if it is in a sleepless, chaotic sort of way.
  17. I have a scar on my left elbow from crashing my bike into a pothole as a child. I remember being scared to death I'd have to get stitches. Cartoons sure made getting stitches seem scary! 
  18. I'm not scared of spiders.
  19. When I was a child i wanted to be a park ranger.
  20. I cried when I learned Brian Littrell was engaged.
  21. My parents have a beautiful marriage priviledging me of growing up under one roof with my siblings.
  22. Painting is my happy place.
  23. I had my first boyfriend when I was 15.
  24. My apartment must be clean before I take a trip.
  25. I applied for a job in Japan. I interview this Saturday.
You would think 25 things wouldn't be difficult to list, but when you're trying not to be redundant, its a different story. I have such a unique and wonderful life; my blessing are endless. So many more things to share with you. I am genuinely looking forward to these next 51 weeks. Not only to learn about you or discover things about myself I never knew, but embrace the possibilities of what can happen in just a year.

Share with me some facts about yourself! You can share, 5, 25, or 55!

.:: a far off britt::.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cats Out of the Bag

Not my cats... I don't usually put them in bags. Only when they're being bad - which happens. Or eating my shoes - which happens. Or endlessly walk back and forth across my face between 3 & 6 in the morning - which happens! Far more lately than I would prefer for that matter.

I don't really ever put my cats in bags, though. Okay, okay, I did try it once. For real, I did. Its okay, you can call me a bad mom. I've called myself that so many times that it won't hurt my feelings. Just don't call the SPCA on me yet, you haven't even heard my side of the story! Let's just say it turned out really crappy. Literally....crappy.

Okay fine, I know you're begging for it. Last November Dad and Uncle Mike came to rescue me and Baby (my late, yet revived Cavalier) so I could go home for Thanksgiving. Well I couldn't take both cats. Beamer is used to the drive and Audi was only a couple of months old, so Beamer won the rights to the holiday trip. Unable to reach my usual sitter, I called another friend last minute to take my tiny monster. Yes, this adorable one that used to

love being cuddled. I don't know what happened... he grew up? Anyways, I didn't have a cat carrier yet because I never needed one for Beamer. But I couldn't leave Audi free; he and Beamer weren't quite BFFs. So I had a small duffle that was LIKE a cat carrier with PLENTY of holes in it (came with ventilation for smelly clothes) that I put him in, leaving it unzipped. My friend was meeting us at the grocery store and I only needed to run in for <5 minutes to grab a snack for the trip. So I zip up the top (mind you, he CAN still breathe) and leave the kids in the truck (Dad and Uncle Mike were already inside). I quickly come back out and we open the door and smell something awful! Did I mention I'm a bad mom yet? I hear a kitten cry and see the duffle rolled off the seat and onto the truck floor. Again, did I mention I'm a REALLY bad mom? I quickly unzip the bag and find not only my terrified little monster, but he was so scared that he crapped himself inside the bag. Listen people, I already know, I'm a bad mom! If only you knew the story how I got him, you may give me one or two of those kudos back.

Just then my friend rolls up as we're rinsing off the poor fluff ball in the parking lot with the partially used water bottles we're finding in the truck. You can only imagine my friend's face. "She's leaving me with THAT?!" Quickly drying him with a not-too-dirty-rag dad finds in the bed, I try and find a way to shake the embarrassment as hand him over to my friend. All I can think is, "Maybe this is for the better." That, and, "PLEASE don't call the shelter on me!"

I come back 10 days later even more thankful that Audi still loved me! Did I mention he doesn't cuddle anymore?

Anyways, that wasn't what I was going to say... I was just letting everyone know that my application for Japan is in. A lot of people kind of know now, so I'm officially letting the cat out of the bag!


.::a far off britt::.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Comparison Is The Thief of Joy

I intended to write this post yesterday, but emotions were high, headache was strong, and I had sunburn. Here's the modified series of events: Opened my computer and started playing Candy Crush. I like to pretend I'm not addicted, but I am. Is there such thing as a help group for Candy Crush addicts? CCAA? I quit half way through the first round because I was so tired I didn't even want to play anymore. THAT is how tired I was... but back to the real topic... Comparison is the Thief of Joy.

The Aggravation
If you have Pinterest or Instagram, you have heard this phrase. Lately, I've been a tad unsettled with my life. Not unhappy, just unsettled. My life, my job, my friends, my "family" , everything here in PA is great - amazing even! But I want more. I love my life, but I want another life, too. I want to embrace the creative in me. I want to be that photographer I've always wanted to be. I want to be in my coffee shop, back with my favorite customers. I want to travel with endless vacations. I know there must be a balance where happiness meets my passion. I refuse to let inspiration die. I journal and write ideas nearly everyday. I use social media to follow people who inspire me. But lately I haven't been inspired, I've just been jealous.

The Problem
Am I the first person to admit this? I hope not. I know I shouldn't be, but I am. I'm not the kind of jealous that I hate these people for being awesome, I'm the kind of jealous where I feel stuck and don't know how to be where they're at. Doing what they love and loving what they do. 

The Example
Scrolling through Instagram I spot one of the lovely daily posts from Cordeliaann (she always posts the best pictures!!), and her caption is DO WHAT YOU LOVE. LOVE WHAT YOU DO, expanding on this in her blog. In this beautiful post she appreciates the blessings in her life and where the basis of her job connects with the relationships and lives of her customers. It forced me to reflect on a time I had that same life and said the exact same things. Before closing with a shout out of thankfulness,  she poses this question: "... what does it look like to wake up every day and dread going to work? why would you even want to do that? is making more money and hating what you do better than making less money, but loving what you do?..." I remember saying the exact same thing.Was it only 3 years ago?I began with a rant.

The Rant
I'm trying to be honest right now, but its hard. Nobody likes to admit these moments of vulnerability. I feel weak and foolish. I'm 26 and feel like my life is falling apart more than its coming together. I confront more uncertainty than surety. Constantly pouring over social media to "be inspired", but lately frequenting more moments of suffering. Her question, my question, the question those living and doing what they love; embracing the moment their eyes open in the morning vs. fighting to stay in bed poke me, nudge me, frustrate me, and push me. 

The Resolve
Maybe I need to find balance. Take up yoga!! Kidding! Okay, only partially kidding. I'd love to do more yoga. Regardless, I like my job. I love the people. I have a lot of fun. My ADD shows more often than I wish, but I can't complain. Is it what I want to do the rest of my life? No. So why do what I'm doing vs. what I love? I could go back to the coffee shop. I could go back home. I could change my lifestyle and fit yoga in. Somehow I don't feel that's what I need. I need balance. I need to learn how to love both and be satisfied. 

I love my life! I am more blessed than I ever deserved. Perhaps my calling is a little different now than what it used to be. I forget I inspire people, too. I've made my life about myself for so long and forgotten about the people I see and talk to every day. 

The Conclusion
My life is not about me. End of story. I believe one day, maybe even sometime soon I'll transition back into the life of being a free bird and uncertainty, but not yet, not now. There are people to inspire by just being me. Besides, comparison is the thief of joy, and who wants to be unhappy? Not I.

.::A Far Off Britt::.

Monday, August 12, 2013


My life has become almost like clockwork lately. The last several weeks I've been coming home and routinely popping a squat to recreate my resume and write an essay for Japan. So as I've been lately, I come home, change, make some tea, and stare at my computer until nearly 11. Around this time the kids begin to play. I love to stop and watch. I love both of them so much, but Beamer is my baby. Maybe its because he still likes to cuddle and Audi is the independent ficcanaso - which I love! Its amazing to think Audi is bigger than Beamer now, I remember thinking Beamer was huge!

As they run and play I secretly cringe because they are so LOUD and I fear the neighbors are going to eventually have enough of it. But I let them run, it can't be that bad. Its when I hear the hall go silent and Audi begin to shriek that I know Beamer has his leg. You see, Audi may be bigger, but he is a bit of a wimp. Too darn cute! I know Beamer enjoys it too. Almost as if saying, I may be old(er) but I can still pin you - which he does!

Well, tonight is no different, but instead they're running circles around my mirror propped against the wall. I see it bouncing, dancing, and somehow clinging to hang on without tipping towards the floor. If I were a good mom I'd go move it... Nahhhhh!! It'll be fine. 

.::a far off britt::.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I am a letter writer. Not so much a letter sender, but a writer. I see so much of the apostle Paul in my life, another letter writer. I write letters to people who may never know or see what has been put on a page just for them. In these letters I pour out my heart -letters of anger, appreciation, desperation, and forgiveness. I also write letters of concern and guidance, and some have absolutely no direction, but near the end, justify a means - much like chapters in my own life.

A goal of mine is to one day distribute all of these. These words need not be kept to myself, but shared. So much feeling, passion, tears, and laughter went into each one, all the way back to the genesis of being written.

If I found therapy, healing, and happiness in caressing out those words by ballpoint, then maybe, just maybe, those same emotions, healing, and happiness can be translated to others.

.::a far off britt::.