She looks right out of her eyes

So the title of this blog is courtesy of my friend Kaylin Jurrjens mother. One day we were hanging together, we took a selfie and she sent it to her mom (who I've never met). Her mom said "Brandi looks right out of her eyes". Which I had NEVER heard before in my life. But I instantly wanted to know what that meant. Most of the time people comment on the appearance of my eyes. Their unique color.  Or they ask if I wear contacts (which I HATE! Is it that unbelievable that someone got something of beauty from God these days???). But this comment seemed to speak of my soul by way of my eyes, so I loved it.  

When someone says someone "looks right out of their eyes" it means they feel a good presence from them. It think it's cool that a picture can say so much, and you know moms, they are rarely wrong about these sort of things :)

In general, she's right. I tend to be the calming presence for many during their life storms. It's something I take pride in. I tend to be less of a stormy person myself. But now I'm in a bit of a stormy season myself. You know those times in life where it seems nothing will go right? Those times where you have an ugly breakout and you feel SO self conscious about it but you go hang out with family anway and yep, leave it to your mother in law to make some kind of public spectacle of it! Those times when you're on the cusp of something great but people who harbor bitterness for some reason or another keep setting out to make your achievements difficult? These are the times I'll admit, I have trouble getting out of bed. 

So, how do you get out of bed on a flurry of rainy days? Here's some tips I'm using right now to make sure I make life happen, even on the cloudiest of days.  

1.) Focus on what's going well and why it's going well. Right now I'm working on EXACTLY what I wanted to be. And I landed this gig less than a year after leaving my old "good" gig and ITS SOOOO MUCH BETTER!!!! That's a heck of an accomplishment right? That's something worth leaping out of bed for every morning and yelling HALLELUJAH! I'm sure there's a motivator in your life right now. Let that force drive you onward and upward! 

2) Let love win. My husband tells me how much he loves me every single morning without fail. It's so great to be loved especially when you need a little extra. Accept that love.  Be it from your family, your friends, your pets, God. Allow yourself to feel it and be showered in it.  

3) Relax. Take time to relax if you need it. I need it every week. Whether it's a light work out, or a trip to the day spa, some retail therapy or going to see a great flick. Whatever relaxation means to you...find it and do it. Often times we feel ourselves pulled in 100 different directions. Sometimes you have to just take time out for #1 (that'd be you my friend). Carve out that time every week and don't allow any noise in. You'll find you are much more fun for others to be around when you've taken care of yourself a little bit.  

What are some things that motivate you on rougher days? I want to hear them!! Drop a comment below! (Oh and the first pic is the picture we sent Kaylin's mom :)  

 

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Hydra Facial - Holy AWESOME!

My skin has had a little trouble adjusting to the Atlanta weather. My pores were feeling SUPER clogged and I was plagued with annoying breakouts. I tried everything I could think of the remedy it and I just couldn't get it back under control. 

I was at my spa and saw an ad for a Hydra Facial. It promised to unclog my pores and flood my skin with antioxidants and just completely hit the reset button.  

Well at $150 for the basic, and $225 for the extended, I figured it had better work some kind of miracle! And boy did it!

I chose the basic just to see how my skin reacted and let me say, next time I will be going for the extended version. Oh LAWD girls! It did exactly what it promised. I left feeling like my skin had come out of the desert and been treated to an ice cold spring! For hours after the Facial I felt rehydrated and smooth. 

Later that evening I was able to wear make up for an event I attended without any agitation or aggravation and the hydrating effects lasted throughout the week. I am eagerly awaiting my next hydra Facial, which will include red light laser therapy (to assist with dark spots) and a hydrating mask.  

My face is spoiled now ladies. But it's worth investing in its health to see these kinds of results! 

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Keeping Score

We all do it. We say we aren't going to do it but then the spite takes over and we are caught doing it.  

"I got my best friend a gift from Tiffany's for her wedding. TIFFANY'S!  And she had the nerve to get me a Target gift card?!?!" 

"I bought dinner for my cousins the last two times we went out and THIS time...THE THIRD TIME...they didn't even reach for the bill when it came!!" 

"When my sister was stranded without a car I volunteered and helped her with all of her errands until she got it back. Now the tables are turned and that witch doesn't even ask me if I need any help!"  

Okay...these things above would ALL piss me right off. Some of them have happened to me in some form or another. Especially being dubbed as "reliable" my entire life 🙄 But maybe if we break this down together it will become easier to be bigger than keeping score, no promises. But let's at least try 😉

If you don't keep score, you might feel taken advantage of, right? Or somewhat like a pushover. Well, I've thought this many times. But keeping score and having "expectations" has actually made me angrier than not. Why expect more from people than they are generally capable of? So be reasonable.  

Dont offer to pay for bills with people you don't know very well. Always go for the split. That way you can get comfortable and see what someone else's dining style is. Some people are NEVER going to volunteer to pick up the bill. It could be because they simply don't have the money to pay for two meals, or they are used to others always picking it up for them. So to avoid embarrassing them, or putting yourself in the enabler category for them, just offer the split. There's nothing wrong with this, and it will save you from paying for every meal and growing angrier by the day! 

Gifts are tough. I don't do gifts as much anymore because they just seem to cause grief, when the point of giving is to do it with joy! Ass backwards, right? Well here's my solution on gifts. Stick to lists. Ask people for a list of what they want. Tell them your on a budget and hopefully they stick to that, respectfully. When it comes to weddings, definitely stick to the registry. Going off registry to be "creative" or "thoughtful" might actually insult someone. Monetary gifts certainly can offend some. And if you are very generous, don't expect people to remember and return the favor. As gift giving goes...we all soon forget what others do for us in these regards. Better to do something reasonable, rather than to stretch the limits and expect a return on investment! 

Your time is VALUABLE! Don't volunteer it unless it's going to make you happy! If you have a friend who needs help and you want to spend the time with them anyway, volunteer away! But if you are looking to get a favor down the line...yikes. Don't count on it. For instance, our good friends helped us pack our moving pod this year. We moved all the way across the country. You think we can help them move next time? Hell to the no! We live on the other side of the country now! But we got to spend our last day in town with great friends and we are forever grateful for that help. 

Did this blog help anyone feel better about keeping score? It helped me a bit to write it honestly. But I can't say that I'll never do it again. Hopefully when I feel the anger boiling up in my soul the next time I feel slighted though, I'll recall this blog, count to ten and adjust so that hopefully there won't be a next time with the same party!  Also, think about what would happen if our parents kept score 😳  Yeah. Let's hope they don't start! 

Cupcake Wars

So...I love cupcakes. Cakes in general actually, but I'm particularly partial to the cupcake because it's single serving deliciousness. A long time ago, I used to write a food blog. I did cupcake wars back then where I featured some of my favorite local bakeries. Now that I'm back in Atlanta I feel it's fitting to do it again. I'm comparing my two faves here, but they aren't just locals, they are super successful chains, which means you can seek them out in places other than Atlanta and let me know what you think!

I've chosen to compare the OG Sprinkles and Georgetown Cupcake! Now everyone seems to know Sprinkles. They are the original cupcake boutique! They even have an ATM you can use to get cupcakes anytime, like a money ATM! Craziness. But what a concept. 

Now Georgetown has been featured on Food Network's Cupcake Wars and has really made a name for itself in recent years. It has a super posh spot in The Shops of Buckhead and it truely belongs! So how do the two match up? 

Location: Sprinkles, being in Lenox Mall is a bit more accessible, but Lenox is a busy Mall. Parking is almost always difficult and you always have at least a small line to deal with. Georgetown, while being in the swankier of locations is kind of difficult to find and find parking for. Both being in high traffic shopping areas, they are perfectly located for casual shoppers.  

Appearance: Sprinkles is bright and fun! I love the little candy decorations that are signature to the brand. Georgetown has a New York bakery appeal, with white walls and black lettering. It's a very sophisticated vibe, the fun is all in the cupcakes.  

Flavors: Sprinkles offers good variety and traditional flavors. The location in Atlanta is limited, and does not offer mini cupcakes, which is kind of a bummer. Georgetown has every flavor you can think of. Including unicorn? Unicorn! 🦄 both shops are big flavor for the taste buds. Nothing bland and nothing dry about them. The cakes are soft moist and delicious! Georgetown is a bit more generous with frosting, which makes it a bit tough to take graceful bites. Sprinkles cake to frosting ratio is a little more manageable. 

So...who actually wins? At the end of the day, I just love them both and cannot choose a winner. Both are the definition of what a cupcakery should be. They are the standard and they make damn good cakes on the regular. Putting smiles on faces is what it's about, and the thought of a Sprinkles or Georgetown Cupcake makes me grin from ear to ear 😊 

 

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A Marriage Well Traveled

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Cody and I are the ultimate jet setters. We have traveled all over the globe and being pretty young and without children, we are nowhere near finished traveling. I doubt we will ever stop. Something that gets in your blood like this is hard to put down. In fact, I find that if I am home for too long I start feeling a bit depressed. Travel for me is somewhat a necessity.  

So what happens when travel takes you in different directions most of the time? Cody's primary work is wrestling. Wrestling is one of many travel related things I do. We usually aren't on the same page workwise, which is important. We have different goals and different dreams. As a true 2017 couple, we are both allowing each other to chase our dreams. I'm very glad we have a relationship that allows both parties to dream chase. The older I get, the more of a rarity it seems to be that one partner is not having to make major sacrifices. I'm fortunate for that and grateful.  

This morning I had a 4am wake up call to travel from Vancouver back to LA.  Cody had gone to set the night before at 5pm, and was prepared to shoot until about 5am the next day and go straight to the airport. I did not expect to see him until after the weekend. At about 3am my heart leapt into my throat as I heard someone playing with the door handle to my hotel room. I got up and looked in the peep hole. It was my husband. With all of his bags. He could have stayed in his trailer on set and slept, which would have been MUCH easier for him. Or he could come back to the room, sacrifice sleep and see his wife again...just for an hour. He made the right call. I would have done the same.  

When you have crazy schedules making time like this is so important. Cody always says "if you know it's a stress, then it's not a stress". We know that a lot of times our travel schedules are going to be stressful. But we got the memo, and the heads up, there's no reason to have a meltdown. Instead, embrace it and make the most of it.  

If I know I'm not going to get any sleep, I may as well have fun with my husband. This isn't irresponsible, it's the exact opposite. Irresponsibility would be ignoring my primary commitment, my marriage, for the sake of my career. Of course there are times when it's not possible to see each other, he's in Japan and I'm in Canada...well there's no way to make that work. But, thats why I come with him if I've nothing pressing going on, and via versa. I came to Vancouver for a few days, because I knew I had the time to carve out. In a few weeks I will not have that time and luxury as I begin filming for another project myself. By that time, Cody should have some time off and he can come be with me while I'm working. 

This has been a particularly busy month. Usually, we only spend a couple of days apart, but there are months when we spend a week or two apart. But it never changes. When you care you make time. FaceTime, phone calls, texts, love notes. All great ways to keep relationships fresh and fun when you're absent from one another.  

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. That is true. In situations I see husbands and wives take each other for granted, but then when one of them has to take a trip without the other, they panic. After the long weekend apart they are usually jumping at the chance to see one another again. That's our life pretty regularly (not the taking each other for granted part, we do get on each other's nerves sometimes, but they are few and far in between, and always short lived). But the excitement of seeing each other again after every time we spend apart. It's almost electric. Would I rather have my husband around all of the time? Sure! And I'm sure he'd say the same about me. But I want him to live out his dreams. That's the thrilling entertainment lifestyle. You go where the work calls your name and wherever else the wind blows. Wouldn't change it for anything. At least not right now 😊 

Why Women?!

Women. Mysterious creatures we are. We work hard and fight for equality and claim to be a tightly bonded group, however, every time I turn around I seem to witness women stabbing each other in the back for one reason or another. It makes me go "hmmmm". And it also heavily annoys me. But why is this a thing? Why as women do we break our own good vibes as a group to cut each other down and sling mud around? Why do we campaign for equality but not treat our sisters as equals? Why do we want "all women" to succeed, except for Tabitha and Becky...because they don't deserve it. What? Who?! Come on! Why??? I don't know the answer, but let's explore and discuss.  

So...story time. Did you guys know that it used to be customary in wrestling for veteran female talent to "haze" incoming newbies? And not in a "join the sorority" kind of way, in a "we hate you and hope you die" kind of way. When I first got to WWE I got called up to the main roster in about 3 weeks time. That's REALLY fast. I was warned by the male talent to beware of "girl 1, girl 2, girl 3, girl 4 and girl 5" - aren't I sweet, changing names to protect the guilty? 😉 Turns out the guys were right though. The second I hit the scene those girls hated my guts. They "told talent relations on me" for various reasons. They threw my gear bag in the hall just to be mean and they talked so much crap behind my back they could have fertilized a football field. Why? Probably to try and get me to leave because my quick move up meant I was a threat, and no one wanted to give up their spot. Or because a new girl always turns the heads of the male locker room. Luckily I turned my husbands head and didn't have to deal with much mess after that. But to this day I look back and laugh about how mean and petty some women were instead of just being nice.

They say it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, right? Maybe that's why I haven't had to get any Botox yet 😂 I've made it a point to always be welcoming of new people. I'm not the longest running vet but I have been around awhile. People like Nattie were big enough to be very nice to me when I came in. That's why we are still friends to this day. I try to be that kind of woman. Good attracts good. So why not spread goodness? Happy people work well together. Working well means good and safe matches. Sounds easy! 

Of course, this doesn't just apply to the wrestling world. Little girls have been mean to other little girls since grade school. That's where it starts.  

Side bar, another story time: one of my earliest memories is me at my very first ice skating show, age 4. Sitting pretty in my little dance outfit, excited to perform....maybe I should mention I was the only dark skinned baby in the bunch. Cut to, a little girl walks up to me and says "my mommy said I'm prettier than you because I'm white and you're black". Yeah. That wasn't a drill. Nor was it a movie. Kids are mean. And where did she get that from? Her racist ass mom. Not sisterly.

Back on track...  so in grade school, kids are saying things like that. In high school, girls are making fun of other girls outfits and gossiping about them to people who are "more popular." In college...I dunno I didn't pay attention to anyone in college I just wanted to GRADUATE. But I'm sure it happened there too in sororities or something. OH WAIT NO! I have a college story! A girl got mad at me because my boyfriends brother didn't like her. Long story short, she was jealous. She threw a beer at me. We got in a fight...and I kicked her ass. Of course I did, I'm Brandi. I don't start fights, but I can finish them. 

The work place.  I've had women complain about my boobs being too big in the newsroom. Ha, that's real. But when does it end? Are we going to be in the nursing home carrying on like this? If so, sign me up and give me access to unlimited popcorn...KIDDING. But seriously, why do we do this? Don't we have it hard enough with men constantly comparing us and treating us as if we are incompetent...do we have to prove them right? By constantly not getting along and backstabbing and talking crap about each other to MEN?!  

Why? Shouldn't we be building each other up? Supporting each other's endeavors? Providing listening ears and leaning on one another? Cause that's what sisterhood is. Not this other stuff.  

Start with yourself. Support your friends, try to understand your enemies. A little bit goes a long way. And at the least, don't indulge in the gossip column. It just makes everyone look bad at the end of the day. What do you gals think? Any stories to share? Would love to hear. And would love to hear ways in which you personally are working towards being a better sister.

Me? I'm trying not to hold grudges...at least not for as long 😊 Holding grudges holds you back. (I'm just gonna keep telling myself that...I am starting to believe it! Starting to let go of some things to make room for the many blessings that are coming my way). So...who's with me? 

Boot Round Up

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Clearly I've a bit of an obsession for a unique over the knee (otk) boot! I mean they make so many great styles and colors these days, how can you not be? I've been the shoe game diva for some time now. Would it not be my duty to bring you the best options possible? 

Right! So here are my faves right now. Crushed velvet. Faux suede. Denim. 

Lets start with denim. I love the look of destroyed denim. It looks great by itself or with fishnets underneath. Same goes for the denim otk boot. It allows you even more options because it extends all the way down to the toe, creating a chic line. Jeans alone can't do that. You can dress up a destroyed denim boot with a skirt or shorts as well. So if you want to feel comfy and casual, but look like a million bucks...reach for these. Incredibly priced by the way.  

Faux suede. I have these in tan and black, because they're awesome. Amazingly comfortable and wearable with anything. Jeans, leggings, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses. You name it, it can work with the right color otk boot. I love the tan because they offer a lighter daytime look. I often wear these with dresses or dark denim as pictured. The chunky heel makes it easy to walk in. Just LOVE these.  

Finally the crushed velvet wine colored otk boot. These are SO classy and lovely. I was shopping with my mom when I bought these...she said they were hideous. Can you believe that woman's nerve?!?! She was quickly corrected by about 20 passers by that complimented them on me...changed her tune pretty quickly! 😂 But seriously, these are a little more fashionably adventurous. So if you're cool with setting the trends instead of following, you can work these. They are SEXY. Period. I wouldn't wear these to church! But I'd wear them just about anywhere else. I find myself limited in what I can wear these with because the color is just so bold and beautiful on its own, you can't really compete. I tend to stick with blacks and greys to let these babies shine.  

If you've been paying attention to my Instagram Stories, you've learned that it is now even EASIER to shop my looks these days! Of course you can always sign up at LIKEtoKNOW.it and just like my IG pics, but now if you download the LIKEtoKNOW.it app you can screenshot my images and shop them right from the app. How cool is that? Has anyone tried it yet? How do you find it? I prefer the screenshots personally. Let me know what you like!