Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Wards Big Adventure

What is your journey? The simple answer is your life. Every day, every minute we are constantly writing our story by living out our journey. We have to constantly think and be conscious of the story we will tell one day looking back on our lives. Will your story be about how you overcame obstacles with grace and faith? You knew the obstacles and trials were all part of God's plan? Will you tell how you rejoiced in even the smallest victories, knowing God was with you? I sure hope so, because if not, you may have a lot of regrets when you are older... 

One of my very best friends, Amy Ward is about to embark on a journey of a lifetime with her husband, Brad. They are calling it, the "Wards Big Adventure." That is exactly what it is, a true adventure! They felt led to sell almost all of their belongings and literally leave it all behind. They are going to travel the USA for a whole year.... Wow! Talk about stepping out in faith to live an amazing journey. 

They have a plan about a lot of places they want to see, but ultimately they are trusting God to direct their steps and lead them on their path. I am so proud of them and how they listened to that nudge from God. I can only imagine the things they are going to see, the fresh air and flowers they are going to smell, the birds and animals they will hear. Just think, they will see the night sky out west with nothing but stars, planets and the moon! Amy was born in Oregon and they are excited to return to see the coast and all the spectacular trees. 

These are some of the top places on their travel wish list among many others: Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, to drive down the Big Sur, Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, the Wine Country, Yosemite National Park, Mount Saint Helen's, and the Badlands. 

As one of Amy's best friends, I am personally conflicted. A big part of me will miss seeing her almost everyday and talking to her all the time, but the other side of me knows this is what the Lord has called them to do. They will show God's light all over the USA and show people what living a life in faith looks like. How can I possibly have selfish motives for her to stay when this is the biggest step in faith they can possibly take and a once in a lifetime opportunity? 

Me, Nicole & Amy

Everything has lined up perfectly for this trip and I couldn't be more excited for them and all they will do and see! I'll truly miss my friend but love her enough to be happy for her and Brad and their big adventure! 

I hope you follow them on Instagram @WardsBigAdventure and you can search the hashtags #Bramytravels #travelingtheUSA #adventure #travel #nomads #WardsBigAdventure 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ruby Leigh has lymphoma

I really don't know how to start this post, except by saying God is still good... 

In the good circumstances, blessings and in the trials. 

Last week, I took my sweet dog, Ruby Leigh, to the vet to be seen because I noticed the lymph nodes in her neck were swollen. After the examination, the vet said all of her lymph nodes were swollen- the ones under her legs and behind her legs too. She was honest and said it was possible that it was Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that effects the lymph nodes. She told me she was worried. I started to cry thinking about losing my sweet Ruby especially after just over a year of losing my mom. I had a really bad feeling that it was Lymphoma and a few days later it was confirmed by a pathologist that it was. 

Ruby Leigh 

My dog, Ruby, means so much to me. She has been with me since Senior year at the University of Mississippi, known as Ole Miss. She had 10 puppies back in 2009. She loves to run, swim in the lake and give kisses. She protected me when I didn't live in a great neighborhood when I graduated from college. She got a daddy when I married Kyle in 2010. Then she knew when I was pregnant and stayed close to my side the whole time. She is so sweet and gentle to James and he loves giving her treats and petting her.  But most of all, she is loyal and has been my best friend for 9.5+ years. She is my girl... 

Ruby Leigh's 10 puppies

Ruby Leigh and General Lee

But through it all, I am trying not to be too sad and continue to trust God. I know God uses all things for His good. I don't know how this will be used for good but I know He keeps His promises. Maybe this trial will help me with compassion? Maybe it will be used to help complete the work he started in me with growing my faith? Maybe to teach me how valuable life is? 

Ruby Leigh and General Lee ready for college football

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:2-4, 12 NIV

Left to Right: Amberley (her daughter), Topaz, General Lee (her son), & Ruby Leigh

I am not sure how this will be used for good but I know God is faithful even in trials, even when I don't understand His plan. I feel His love and comfort of the Holy Spirit. God is still good. He doesn't cause pain, suffering, or evil but since we live in a fallen world, He allows it to happen. God will be with me through it all, he is by my side. 

Ruby and James on Mother's Day 2016
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV 

I know Ruby will go to Heaven when she passes to be with my mom and Jesus. I know I'll see Ruby in Heaven one day.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

One year after my mom died

It’s been a year since I lost my mom and I am still struggling, but now I am learning to live without her. I think about her every day and it is so hard not being about to talk to her and tell her the little things. The little day by day stories about what James is up to and the cute little moments it seems he is always having. Like yesterday, when he was “mowing the lawn” with his toy lawn mower and the landscapers told him he was doing a good job and thanked him for his help. Then later in the day he started peddling on his tricycle all by himself. Or Sunday, when he had a really good day at the Woodstock City Church Waumba Land Nursery and was a coloring champ during the craft time. Or Saturday night, when he ate his first ice cream cone and knew just what to do even eating the cone. It is so hard not being able to talk with her and share life’s special moments. 

I miss hanging out with her and watching her play and interact with James, going to the lake with her, my dad and my family, and going out to eat on our lunch dates. My mom loved me so much and was my first best friend. She was there for me when I first started having health issues in high school and helped me get back on my feet. She was always so positive and helped me keep my chin up when I got discouraged. She would say things like, “No one is perfect,” “Everyone is dealing with something, people just don’t talk about it,” “The people that matter don’t mind, and the people that mind don’t matter,” “Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t help anything,” and the idea that perseverance and hard work pays off.

I’ll only ever have one mom and I was blessed to have a great one!! I do know how fortunate I am to have learned from her the grace, class, and love of being a great mom, daughter, and professional woman. I’ll always miss her and keep her memory alive through living my life to the fullest and being the best mom, wife, daughter and business owner I can be. I hope I make her proud and I know she is smiling down on me. I love you, mom.

Announcing Mountain Man Productions

I’m really excited to announce that my brother, Michael Beardsley, has started a full production high end laser company. It is called Mountain Man Productions and is based out of Vail, Colorado. This company came about after Michael decided, about a year ago, he really wanted to pursue and do what he loves.  As he says, “If you love what you are doing it doesn’t feel like work.”

Check out his website here:  

I love the story of how he got his first show.  He went door to door to different venues in Vail and didn’t find any businesses that would hire him. The venues had never had any lasers in their shows and didn’t realize the value they would add.  So one night, Michael went to a venue and asked the DJ if he could perform with him. He said that would be great and Michael had his first show.  Then the owner wanted to hire him after he saw the spectacular effects of the lasers that night.

The great thing about this company is anywhere there is low light there is an opportunity to use Mountain Man Production’s services. The Vail, CO area especially needs lasers because there isn’t anyone else doing them. The lasers add excitement, depth and generally enhance the atmosphere of the event. Mountain Man Productions can make company logos, images, and animations project into a mist to help get the event’s message across.  He can even create a waterfall effect.  Another great feature is that these effects can all be done inside as well. He also has biodegradable confetti he can use to really give an event some extra energy.

If you are in Colorado and have a company event or work in a venue that may be interested in adding some liveliness through the use of lasers, contact Mountain Man Productions today!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Salads of the Day

I have been doing a good job eating a salad every day.  I will say, knowing I am going to be posting them on my blog has helped me keep myself accountable.  The trick to staying consistent with eating a salad everyday has been to be creative and change it up with a variety of styles, toppings and dressings.

Greek Salad

Chick Fil A Superfood Salad with kale, broccolini, dried cherries in a lemon vinaigrette 

Tuna Salad with Albacore tuna, relish, mayonnaise and chopped pickles

Chick Fil A Spicy Southwest Salad

Spinach, strawberries, raspberries, parmesan cheese with lemon balsamic dressing

Chicken, bacon, tomatoes, egg and parmesan

Spring lettuce, apple, walnuts, carrots, shredded cheese with a Goddess dressing

Iceberg lettuce, steak, blue cheese, tomatoes 
Spinach, apples, strawberries, chicken, avocados, grapes with balsamic and virgin olive oil dressing

Spinach, grilled chicken, blueberries, raspberries, mandarin oranges, with a lemon vinaigrette

Spinach, chicken salad with grapes, relish, mayonnaise and sunflower seeds

Fruit salad with bananas, grapes, watermelon, apples, mandarin oranges

Iceberg lettuce, salmon, jimaca, salsa, parmesan with lemon vinaigrette 

Spinach, Cesar dressing

Octopus salad- don't ask ;)

Avocados, cherry tomatoes, balsamic and virgin olive oil dressing with sea salt and pepper

Village Greek salad

Homemade taco salad with spinach, apples, salsa, shredded cheese, spicy ground beef, and avocados

Crab salad with crab meat, pasta, green beans and virgin olive oil

Kale salad with pickled beets, candied walnuts, pine nuts
Bon Appetit!!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Salads Every Day

Since this year I am doing a lot of new things, one thing I am changing is my diet.  I have always been fairly healthy, in regards to what I eat, but I have decided to make some even healthier changes!!

Some of these changes include: eating at least one salad every day, not drinking any more sodas, turkey bacon instead of regular bacon, no more artificial creamers, raw local honey (when possible) instead of different sugars in coffee or teas, switching to some organic options, traditional pasta alternatives, and drinking more coconut water. I am going to try these new food options and see how I feel.  I also have been working out more. So far, I am feeling better and have lost some weight.

In this blog post, I am going to share pictures of some of the salads I have made at home or have eaten in restaurants.  Hopefully, I can inspire you to get creative when making or ordering your own salads.  I mean, what is not to love about salads when they are so good for you?!?!

Avocado and tomato salad with balsamic and olive oil dressing

Garden salad with ham, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing

Garden salad with a variety of nuts, tomatoes, avocados with balsamic and virgin olive oil dressing

Fresh Village Greek Salad

Garden salad with tomatoes, carrots, red onions, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Fresh fruit salad with bananas, watermelon, strawberries, and mandarin oranges

Garden salad with chicken, blackberries, almonds, pecans, carrots, and balsamic and virgin olive oil dressing

Albacore tuna, relish and ranch salad on top of lettuce

Apples, pickled beets, candied pecans, chicken salad, with vinaigrette dressing

Salmon, tomatoes, blackberries, carrots, sunflower seeds, almonds salad with balsamic and olive oil dressing

Traditional taco salad
Bon Appetit!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February Hair & Nail Beauty Adventures

I have been continuing on my 2016 Doing New Things Journey and this month has been a lot of fun! As a reminder, along with eating new foods, having new experiences, visiting new local Southern tourist attractions, each month, I am doing something different color-wise with my hair and nails.  I had gotten into such a predictable rut over the years with my basic brunette hair and white French gel polish manicures.  There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but for me, this year, I want it to all be about all kinds of adventure, including with my hair and nails!

Last month, I did red peek-a-boo highlights with my friend Emily Peace Kelly up in Marietta.  It was really cool and I loved the way it turned out.  This month, since we wanted to switch it up, we chose blonde and light brown highlights.  Emily did a balayage high and low lifting technique in a peek-a-boo fashion.  I absolutely love the results!!!  We kept the red peek-a-boo highlights and added the blonde and light brown highlights to it.  There is really a lot of dimension now, which I am really happy about!

Now for my nails!

Purple French manicure with sparkles on top

Pink and dark pink with white diagonal stripes on my ring fingers