Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fall in love with me.

A week or so ago I came across an essay in the New York Times about how to fall in love…with anyone. That’s right, anyone.

Of course, that got my attention.

The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. The study suggests that personal disclosure is the key to intimacy. In a relationship, personal disclosure evolves over time -this study accelerates personal disclosure by having two strangers ask each other 36 questions. The questions start off pretty basic but become increasingly intimate. After answering the questions, the pair stares into each other’s eyes for FOUR minutes.

(I don’t know if I could be a grownup about that…I really don’t think I’d be able to stare into someone’s eyes (for the purpose of falling in love) & keep a straight face)  

Anyway, it sounds a bit ridiculous. I've been on so many first dates, with every type of man imaginable –the jerk, the clinger, the flake, the cheapskate…I just have a hard time believing that this could work.

But here’s the thing: IT HAS.

So maybe I’ll show up at my next first date with the list of 36 questions and put this theory to a test!

Until then, I thought it’d be fun to answer a few of them on this here blog.

Would you like to be famous? In what way? 
No, I think I’d hate being in the public eye. I love wearing sweats too much.

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? 
Not usually, only if I’m intimidated by the person I’m calling.

What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? 
A slow start to the day, coffee under a warm blanket. Lunch or brunch on a patio somewhere. Afternoons on the lake. Dinner at an urban restaurant. Time spent with the people I love.

When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? 
I’m always singing. When I’m in the car, in the shower, while I clean…it’s almost second nature. I probably sing in front of people without even realizing it, but the last time I sang in front of someone on purpose was a few months ago.

What do you value most in a friendship?
Loyalty & acceptance, my best friends are those whom I can be goofy in front of. Also, I can eat as many slices of pizza as my heart desires, without hesitation, because I know they get me.

What is your most treasured memory? 
Singing (of course it involves singing) Christmas carols with my family on Christmas Eve. My late grandmother would play the piano and everyone would gather around. I remember feeling so much love around that piano. I would give anything to be able to do that one more time.  

What roles do love and affection play in your life? 
My family is very affectionate. We tell each other “I love you” without hesitation. My mom still hugs and kisses on us. Our Dad is the same way; he makes sure we know how precious we are to him. Just yesterday my grandfather was quoting Proverbs 17:6 about grandchildren being crowns to the aged. He told me I was his crown. I don’t think I could be in a relationship without affection …so I’d say love and affection are at the top of the list.

Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... “  
I wish I had someone with whom I could share my life with. Yes, it’s cliché. But it’s true. Sometimes I worry that I’ll always be alone, simply because I am so content when I’m alone. I love my life. I have an amazing family and my friends are pretty awesome too.  I can buy myself pretty things and travel wherever I please. (Actually, I can’t even commit to having a dog because I don’t want to be tied down…so having a boyfriend is a hard concept to grasp). And dating sucks. I hate it. Sometimes I think I avoid it on purpose…but maybe, just maybe, when I meet the right person, it will all be worth it. So this year I’m determined to step out of my comfort zone.

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why? 
I would grab this quilt, I plan on sharing its story on another blog post. and I know this is breaking the rules but I’d also save my grandmother’s painting. It’s located on the wall inside the front door so it is totally feasible that I’d be able to get it & the blanket!

To see the full list of questions, click here.

And I promise, the next first date I have, I will totally pull these questions out and see if it works…if any boys are reading this and are brave enough to put it to the test, look me up @orrbrittney

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have your selfie a very merry Christmas!

We weren't able to get together to take pictures for our annual Christmas card, so we used a group selfie taken at our 4th of July weekend.  I think this might be my favorite card to date! We had such a wonderful time that weekend. You can really see the joy on our faces. 

I hope you're having a magical Christmas! Blessings to you!

See you in 2015! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Favorite Christmas Tradition

A week from now, at this exact moment, it will be Christmas morning. I'll still be wearing my pajamas, "A Christmas Story" will be playing in the background and everything will be right in the world.

The presents will already be opened, as we exchange gifts with my mom on Christmas Eve. 

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. 

Next week is going to be pretty busy with lots of travel and people to see. So before the craziness begins, I thought I'd pop in to share my favorite Christmas tradition. 

My favorite thing about Christmas is our handmade stockings.

My great aunt started this tradition when she made my mother and her siblings stockings. 

My mom’s stocking is a vintage (sequin) Santa, circa 1960's!

Isn't it darling?

I took this picture of my Uncle with his over Thanksgiving:

He's such a ham!

Anyway, when my mom found out she was pregnant with me, she began working on my stocking and eventually made one for each of my siblings. 

When my Step Dad joined the family, she made him a stocking too!

Everyone in my family beams with pride over their stocking, arguing that theirs is the best!

...but we all know mine it the cutest! ;-) 

I hope to carry on this tradition with my children! (However, I will need to enroll in a sewing class first). 

They are so special, something I'll treasure forever.

Have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!


Monday, December 8, 2014

A Holiday Home Tour!

My mom's house is a magical place around the holidays. Her tree is trimmed with family ornaments, some of them hand made by yours truly. Every decoration has sentimental value. I don't know about you, but there's nothing like coming home for Christmas...it's the best. 

So today my mom has graciously allowed us to take a peek at her beautiful home! I took all of these photos at night, so excuse the artificial lighting. :-) 

We've been collecting nutcrackers for as long as I can remember. Pictured below is our 2014 nutcracker:

The stockings are all handmade, be watching for their story on the blog soon!

This is Santa Mouse, he used to live at my grandparents house. This is a holiday tradition that dates back to my mother's childhood. My grandfather would read this story to my mom and her siblings...every year he is hidden in the tree!

Everyone in my family agree's that the ornament pictured below is the best on the tree! It's my little sister's kindergarten picture! We laugh over it every year. 

Of course, I had to include Brittney's first Christmas...

These candle houses are from Lithuania, each one is hand made. My step dad spent a few years over seas for work and brought them back to my mom. 

Aren't they beautiful?

Let's go outside!

The outside lights are always so beautiful. In high school, my mom would let me skip a day of school to help her put up the lights. It was always something we did together.

Last week, we all went for a "Christmas lights walk" around the neighborhood. (We just went for a walk after dark so we could see all the lights). We decided that my mom's house has the best lights...

...and I'm not bias at all. 

I hope you've enjoyed the tour! I'd love to hear about some of your favorite decorations and family traditions! -Isn't that what makes the holiday season so magical?

Merry Christmas!

P.S. you can check out my 2013 holiday home tour here

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Decorating for Thanksgiving

I survived my first Thanksgiving at the doll house! -It was an absolute whirl wind but I was pretty pleased with myself!

I wanted to share a few pictures of the decorations & table settings...I didn't do anything big. Just a few simple touches here and there.

I transitioned my mantle from Halloween to Thanksgiving with a new print for the picture frame and a heirloom pumpkin.  I wrote "give thanks" using a gold paint pen. Easy peasy!

Also, I gave the mirror a fresh coat of chalk paint. The paint has a matte finish, similar to the lanterns.

Moving into the dining room!

Inspired by this photo and this photo, I decided to do a combination of the two. I think it turned out pretty cute!

For the centerpiece, I used a bunch of old jars. Several of them were pickle & jelly jars donated by my co-workers. A month or so before Thanksgiving, I sent out an email asking for any jars they needed to trash. Lucky for me, several people needed to clean out their fridge!

For the runner, I used a scrap piece of flannel (purchased at Jo-Ann's Fabric).

With all the crazyness of preparing the food, I completely forgot to light the candles during our meal! However, it still looked nice...I don't think anyone noticed.

I'm thinking of leaving the centerpiece up for Christmas, maybe I'll add some red berries!

The food was delicious! Everyone ate so much at lunch, that we decided to wait a few hours for dessert!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Time with family & delicious food, it doesn't get better than that!

I hope yours was wonderful!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Doll House, progress

It's been a while since I've given an update on the doll house. My decor progress is moving at a snail's pace, but that's okay. Staying committed to the idea of "creating a living space that is meaningful and authentic to me" is something that takes time -this means I only purchase things I absolutely love. 

So here's what I've been up to:

I've made a few changes and additions to the breakfast nook!

I believe this is what it looked like last time I showed it to you. 

Since then, I've changed out the fabric on the bench cushions. After living with the red stripes for a few months, I decided that they were a little too busy for this small space. Not to mention, the fabric started to loosen up quite a bit.

You will never guess what inexpensive alternative I used to recover them:

Painter's drop cloth! I love how it turned out! I recovered the entire bench for $10. The fabric is very sturdy and isn't going to stretch when sat on. Also, if someone spills red wine? No worries! I will pick up another drop cloth and cover it again! At that price point, it's practically disposable!

Another change in the breakfast nook is this darling white table:

It was a craigslist find. I would've loved to keep it in the dark wood stain (I never took a "before" picture), however, it was pretty banged up. The top was covered with water stains and scratches. A fresh coat of white paint made all the difference!

Moving on to the bathroom, this is what it looked like last time we spoke. 

I've been searching for some artwork to hang in here and I finally found it at a local esty shop

This print couldn't be more perfect. I think every girl should see this before looking in the mirror, don't you? 

Also, I love the way it looks with my chandelier, they really compliment each other. 

Another teeny tiny update is the trinkets on the edge of the bathtub. I'm not finished, I'd like to add something like this or this, but it looks better!

This white coral is a souvenir I picked up on a trip to visit my grandfather in Galveston. Every time I look at it, I think of that trip and how much fun we had.

Speaking of the trip to Galveston, I've added an update to my bedroom that was inspired by that very trip.

While in Galveston, I took sever photos of the sea birds (you can see them here). A loved one painted one of my photos and gave it to me as a housewarming gift.

I've had a hard time deciding where to display it. It's been in my guest room, my guest bathroom and even the main bathroom (pictured above).

I've finally decided that it should live in my bedroom. I didn't realize it until recently -but it has several hues that work really well in my room.

For instance, the blue frames next to my bed are almost identical to the blue in the painting.

At first, I planned on hanging it above my nightstand (opposite the blue picture frames).

But I wasn't happy with how the lamp overlapped the painting. Also, it looked awkward when I tried to hang it above the lamp.

So I moved it to the opposite wall, next to my chest.

 I am so happy with how it looks in this space. The frame really complements my furniture and the over sized white mat is the perfect statement.

All in all, I haven't done anything major. But a few small details go a long way in making this house a home. 

One last thing before I leave you, I couldn't resist sharing my Halloween mantle!

It's hard to believe Halloween has already come and gone!

Right now I'm busy getting my house ready for Thanksgiving (because I'm hosting this year!) -Say a little prayer for me!

Happy Monday!