Lifestyle

A As In Apple, B As In Brown…


Since beginning this blog, I’ve been asked a hundred times, “Why B. as in Brown..?”
So here it is folks – the “why” behind my blog name!

It all started in 2001, when my loving, hard working, one-heck-of-a-fisherman dad began a business… He named it Craig’s Auto Sales. He started out with maybe 5 used vehicles lining our driveway with a small sign in the yard. I was 5 years old at the time and thought it was the coolest thing in the world! Since that day we’ve gone through tons of changes; new buildings, new cities, new employees, and amazing growth!

old carlot signThis picture was taken after we moved to our larger location! You can’t see it here, but our office building was an old single-wide trailer. Check out that sign y’all, my own mother hand-painted that sucker! She used one of those old-school projectors and a template of my dad’s favorite truck model!

I spent almost every day at our carlot until I was probably 18. During those 13 years of helping out, listening to endless conversations, and selling a few on my own, I learned ALL the “car biz” terminology. I picked up on all my dads silly sayings, including asking people “Why so much?” when they’d tell me a total price (thanks dad), and learned to identify every vehicle coming and going down to the make, model, and year. I like to think of it as sort of an unexpected talent of mine.

old carlotThis was taken at the same location as above, but in this one, we have a new office building! We built this after we outgrew the single wide! I had my own “office” at age 10, in the supply closet. I made my own horse themed light-switch cover out of paper, covered the walls in horse posters, and had Breyer  model horses covering the desk!

As a car dealership, you can imagine how many conversations were had with banks and insurance providers. There was one thing that was asked during nearly every conversation… “What’s the VIN number?” That is a 17 digit code used to identify your specific vehicle. Every single car on the road has one of these. They’re usually found on the inside of the drivers side door, or through the lower right-hand side of the windshield on the dash. See how much I know? It’s crazy.

When you’re reading an extremely long number, like a VIN, over the phone to a lender with a terribly static connection, things can get a little jumbled. D’s easily get interpreted as B’s, and M’s and N’s are the worst! As you do this a few times, and go through the hassle of getting it corrected, you learn to prevent the “jumbled” mess. So you then start saying “D as in dog” or “A as in apple”, or since my families last name happens to begin with one of those easily misunderstood letters, “B as in Brown”. Eventually you just end up reading them like this… “1-Green-4-7-Cake-9-3-7-Harry-Zebra-5-8-Brown-1-Tom-2-6”. You skip all the extra wording and just spit out the first word that comes to mind. And they get it! They understand every single word. It makes life a breeze!

carlotThis is our current location. I moved to Morehead for college several years ago, and my dad just couldn’t take it. So he followed. I don’t mind though, I LOVE having our family business in the new city I call home! It’s been an amazing 6 months at the new location and we’re blessed that the community has welcomed us like they have!

So when trying to come up with a clever name for a blog that had personal importance to me, “B. As In Brown” just kept coming up. I would sit and think about it, say it out loud, and type it out. I’d mention it to my friends, google it, and design logos for it. I finally just decided that it was exactly what I wanted. It was easy to remember, had importance to me, and looked SUPER cute typed out in a logo!

I’m only at the lot twice a week now, but I still hear it every single day. And guess what? Last week, while listening in on my dads conversation with a lender, he said it. He said “B as in Brown” when reading the VIN number. I lost it. It was perfect! He hadn’t even saw my blog yet. But now he’s an avid reader (or so he says) and has started calling me “B As In Brown” instead of his normal “pretty girl” or “ni-co-lie” (my middle name, Nicole, sang like the Ricola commercial)… you all know how dads are. LOL

So there it is y’all, the story behind the name. This has been a fun one to write, and has me reminiscing on the good ole’ days! I hope you all enjoyed it!

Much love,

 

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Basinbrown

Fashion, Lifestyle

Friday Favorites: Fashion Edition

This week’s Friday Favorites is all about fashion! Specifically, espadrilles! I have literally been obsessed with every espadrille sandal, flat, or sneaker that I have saw this season, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites! Espadrilles are the perfect spring and summer shoe, and go with everything!

Jessica Simpson “Fippo Flat” from DSW. See it here. Jessica Simpson Fippo

 

Marc Fisher “Adalyn Espdrille Wedge” from Nordstrom. See it here.

(My personal favorite!)

Marc Fisher Adalyn

Or… Save some $$ and go with these Steve Madden dupes from DSW for under $60!

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Circus by Sam Edelman “Ariel” from 6PM. See it here.Sam Edelman Ariel

Nine West “Unah” from 6pm.com. See it here.Nine West Udah

Nanette Lepore “Bitsy Flat” from DSW. See it here.Nanette Lepore Bitsy

 

Tory Burch “Colorblock Espadrille Flat” from Nordstrom. See it here.Tory Burch Colorblock

Franco Sarto “Oak Platform Wedge” from Nordstrom. See it here.Franco Sarto Oak

G by Guess “Kenny” from 6PM. See it here.

(I own these and LOVE them!)G by Guess Kenny

 

Zara “Tied Jute Platform” from Zara. See it here.

Zara Tied Jute Platform

 

Chloe “Lauren” from Nordstrom. See it here.

(Can you say big spender…? These are a dream purchase for me!)

Chloe Lauren

 

Check back next Friday for more of my favorites!

 

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Recipes

Roasted Garlic Chickpeas

chickpea2

Do you ever get that “snacky” feeling, only to find you have absolutely ZERO snack foods in your house? No chips, no candy, no chocolate pudding… Yeah, I’ve been there. In my attempt to eat more healthy, whole foods, I nixed the junk food completely from my home. So what on earth do you do when you’re in the middle of a snack crisis, you ask? You improvise.

I was craving something with a salty crunch to it. I rummaged through the cabinets and found a can of chickpeas. Now, I’m a Pinterest junkie so I’ve seen probably 75% of the roasted chickpea recipes on the site, so I knew the basics: chickpeas, olive oil, and some seasonings. I ultimately decided on a Roasted Garlic flavor, simply using sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and a bit of chili powder. I’m a big fan of anything with garlic and sea salt!.

I set to work, first washing and drying the chickpeas. Y’all this is the most crucial part. You better get those babies nice and dry or you’ll end up with soft, steamed chickpeas. Definitely not what we’re after today. Then I drizzled my olive oil and sprinkled my seasonings! Voila! They’re ready for roasting. Heat your oven to 450 degrees (Fahrenheit). 

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Putting them in a hot oven will help to crisp them, rather than letting them sit there for the entire pre-heating phase. So start your oven early on in the process!

Mine took about 25 minutes to get that perfect crisp to them. Yours may take less time, or maybe more! If they aren’t crispy enough for you at the 20 minute mark, throw them back in for another 5 to 10 minutes! If you used a bit too much olive oil, you will probably have to let them roast longer.

chickpea4

As soon as these were out of the oven, we were chowing down! The whole batch was gone within the first 2 hours! You’ll be surprised at how good these actually are, if you’ve never had chickpeas made like this! They’re perfectly crunchy, have just the right amount of seasoning, and are SO simple to make!

These are perfect to pack in snack size bags for lunches, camping trips, or just on the go!

Give the recipe a try, and be sure to let me know how they turned out! Get creative with your seasonings, the possibilities are endless!

 

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Basinbrown

Lifestyle, Real Estate

Real Estate: 10 Things You Need To Know

real estate

I get asked about real estate all the time. People wonder how I got my license, what it’s like, and if I make good money. I will tell you this, it’s not always glamorous, sometimes you’re lost in the backwoods of Eastern Kentucky for hours, and sometimes, you get a deal so good, you just want to scream and shout it to the world!

I decided to let you all in on the reality of it all. Here are 10 things I think you should know before getting your real estate license.

  1. Real Estate is NOT for the faint of heart. It is hard work and requires long hours. You will work nights, weekends, and holidays. It takes a lot of money to get started, and there will always be plenty of let downs. The real estate business can be pretty cut-throat as well. Every agent is looking for clients just as you are, and things can get heated. Take it with a grain of salt, and focus on building your own empire.
  2. You have to chase after your business. Sure, you’ll get a couple walkins at your office, but potential clients will not be busting down your door. You will have to market the heck out of yourself. Morning, noon, and night. You will have to eat, breathe, and sleep real estate.
  3. Always join an MLS. Many small towns don’t have their own MLS, which is cool if you’re the only office there and own the market. But, if you’re in a larger city, always join your local MLS. This will be your best friend and an expense you’ll never regret. Some offer free educational courses and networking events! Choose wisely.
  4. Be prepared for startup costs. It took me nearly $4,000 to get started in real estate. That included my MLS fees, National Association of Realtors fees, Errors and Omissions insurance, signs, and business cards. You’ll also be expected to have professional photographs taken to help market yourself.
  5. Have a savings with enough money to last you six months. FYI: Realtors don’t make an hourly wage. In most cases you will ONLY be compensated commission once you close a deal. You’ll hear different numbers on this one, but for me personally, it was approximately 7 months before I ever closed on my first property and received a commission check. Of course if you’re in a bigger market, it may take you less time, but BE PREPARED! This business isn’t steady, and no one is ever guaranteed a paycheck.
  6. Don’t waste all your marketing budget in one place. Sure, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com are sending thousands of leads every second, but they are EXPENSIVE. I have saw very few successful sales come from sights like these, and as a beginner agent, do not waste your money on them. Focus your time, energy, and money on in-person marketing. Print fliers, hand out business cards, and door knock.
  7. Join your local chamber of commerce or other community organization. It is wonderful exposure, you will get to know the “big-wigs” of your community, and it’s an amazing networking opportunity! Attend all of their events and sponsor some if you have the budget for it!
  8. ALWAYS wear your name tag! It’s the perfect bang for your buck. I got mine from HouseofMagnets.com, for 2 for $10. I wear it everywhere I go, and have been approached numerous times just because someone saw it.
  9. Find a company or office that you truly fit in. I personally chose Century 21, Advantage Realty because of the atmosphere. Everyone here is so kind, helpful, and passionate about real estate. When I come into the office, it doesn’t feel like work. Go where you will be helped if needed, valued, and treated respectfully.
  10. Know the business structure and commission plan before deciding on a company. I chose NOT to join a pyramid company that works in teams, because I wanted to be responsible for my own money. I didn’t want to play buyers-agent for someone who was making six-figures, while I was still ordering off the kids meal and checking the couch for change. Know what you’ll be expected to pay for: office time, phone time, signs, business cards, training, leads, ect. Find out how quickly you’ll move up in the compensation plan.

If you can handle all of the above, then I encourage you to reach for that certification. Take your required courses, ace the exam, and rock the real estate market.

 

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Recipes

Spinach & Fontina Chicken Burgers

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Alright guys, the samples at Sam’s Club really got me… If you don’t have a membership there, please join. Go on a Saturday and you’ve got yourself a free meal just from all the samples!

I tried a Spinach and White Cheddar Chicken Burger there quite a few months ago, but have not been able to get them off my mind. They were just SO good! They were perfectly juicy, had just the right amount of cheese, and cooked perfectly in the oven!

Since I’ve been longing for these babies for months now, I thought I might as well give it a shot and create my own! Y’all, they turned out amazing!! So amazing, that I didn’t even take the time to really “photograph” them, I just wanted to dig right in! So bear with me on the photographs, but please give the recipe a try. You won’t regret it!

These would be wonderful paired with an artisan bun, but I had to work with what I had in the pantry, so I opted for two slices of grilled Dave’s Killer Bread – Organic Powerseed spread with Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayo. I topped these burgers with mashed avocado with a pinch of salt and pepper, Tessamae’s Organic Creamy Ranch, and a slice of Arla Fontina Cheese! As a side, I baked up some Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Tots.

The recipe is super simple, and it will have your family wondering where on earth these juicy burgers came from!

chicken patty

Spinach and Chicken Burgers

I had several patties left over, so I decided to cut them up to top my salad for lunch! The salad contains spring mix, sliced strawberries, unsweetened coconut shavings, my amazing chicken burgers, and Brianna’s Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing! As I’m writing this post, its nearing lunch time, and I just don’t want to wait!

Give the recipe a try, and comment if you loved it! And for goodness sake, go get a Sam’s Club membership!

 

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Friday Favorites, Lifestyle

Friday Favorites

Here are some of my favorite things from this week…

  1.  These Passion Tea Lemonade Popsicle’s from Beth over at The First Year Blog! I’ve rekindled my love for Tazo Passion Tea, and can’t wait to try these out this weekend!Passion-Tea-Lemonade-Popsicles-6
  2.  The Superfood Banana Nut Bread I featured on the blog on Saturday! I’ve been eating this stuff all week!img_1048
  3.  This quote… In honor of Memorial Day. May God bless the men and women in the armed forces, past, present and future.memorial day
  4.  This sweet picture of my fur-child Diesel. We lounged on the bench like this for an hour just listening to the bird’s sing their morning songs. He’s the sweetest and has been feeling a bit under the weather, so I’m a sappy dog mom today.
  5.  This beautiful quote I found on Pinterest quite a while ago, that I have recently began to recite in my head. I believe I’ll make my own painted canvas to hang in my beauty room!
  6. This absolutely adorable piece from my best friend Meg, over at Altered Artisan!  She’s been doing lots of wood burning lately and I definitely think this one is my favorite!  Follow her on Instagram and say hello!

That’s all for this Friday y’all!  Have a beautiful weekend!

 

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Basinbrown

Recipes

Berry & Jam Toast


My mornings are valuable time. What happens between the time I wake up and the time I make it to work, sets the scene for the rest of my day. If everyday were perfect, it would start out with my Plexus Slim (this stuff really gets me going y’all), a nice sun salutation yoga flow, then off for a hot shower. I would then begin a yummy breakfast, and have my morning coffee. But lately, my morning seem like a circus act, and I’m the chick juggling 4 flaming torches! Not pretty.

This morning was different though. I got up in just enough time to do all the above and still have time to take some pictures of my amazing breakfast before scarfing it down and heading off to work!

Today I fixed a strawberry & jam toast with cream cheese and local honey, and boy oh boy was it good! I think even the pickiest eaters would be tempted by this one! It really is super simple! It can be made with a variety of fresh fruits, however, I opted for strawberries and a blueberry and lemon jam that has been sweetened with honey!

I toasted two slices of Dave’s Killer Bread – Organic Powerseed, and spread on a layer of Arla Cream Cheese. I then heated 1 tablespoon of Smuckers Fruit and Honey – Blueberry and Lemon jam until it was a pour-able consistency (about 20-30 seconds). I drizzled that along the top of the cream cheese, along with some local honey. I sliced up 3 strawberries, arranged them on top of all that other goodness, and voila! I had myself some good looking toast!

berry toast 2

You can always prepare your own “jam” topping by bringing blueberries, a bit of water, and some honey to a boil, then drizzling it along the top! I had to opt for something a little quicker this morning, but will be trying this method soon!

I’m thinking a berry blend would be a perfect topping for this berry & jam toast! You might also try a blueberry and mint combination! Also, you could swap out the jam for some peanut butter, and top with sliced bananas, pecans, and honey!

I’m loving the combinations featured in this post on BlogLovin! I never thought toast could be that pretty…

berry toast 3

Try making it your own, and let me know what you’ve decided was your favorite!

 

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Basinbrown

 

Lifestyle

Self Love & Care

Ever had one of those days where everything seems to be going up in flames? Maybe you feel like you’ve gotten yourself into a rut? Or maybe you just need some alone time! I encourage you to take a time out for some self love and care. You deserve it, you need it, and your mind and body will thank you.

I’ve created a list of 45 self care activities to “take a break”. Pick a couple things from the list and put your heart and soul into them. Take a day for YOU!

Self Care Bucket List

 

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Basinbrown

Recipes

Bananas, nuts, and bread oh my…

Growing up, the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven was one I cherished. My mother was always making her signature banana nut or zucchini bread for family gatherings or just for the three of us to devour at home.

When the bananas we’d purchased a little too long ago would start to ripen, mom would throw them in the freezer until she was ready to bake. So, a few days ago when I noticed the bananas in my fruit bowl getting a little too dark, that’s exactly what I did. And although my mother would leave them in there a few days, I couldn’t stand the temptation. I HAD to bake some banana bread right THEN. But not just any banana bread… I knew I had to find some kind of recipe that still took my healthy eating into account, but still tasted just a delightful as my moms.

I began scouring Pinterest, and stumbled across this AH-MAZING looking banana bread recipe from Cookie+Kate and just couldn’t pass it up! By the way folks, Kate’s cookbook is a must have for any health-minded or vegetarian eater.  I’m certainly no vegetarian, but I sure do love her recipes!

I love that Kate’s recipe is made with whole-wheat flour and has NO refined sugar added!  Although her recipe calls for local honey, I opted for 1/3 cup of agave nectar, which I seem to be obsessed with lately. I also added in lots of my own goodies including pecans, coconut shavings, and Philosophie Cacao Magic Superfood Protein! With just ONE tablespoon, this protein powder packs ten times the antioxidants of green tea, more magnesium than 3 cups of broccoli, and more calcium than a glass of milk! Crazy, I know.

Now remember, if you added lots of mix-ins like I did, your bread may need to bake for a little longer. Just pop it back in the oven, set the timer for another 5 minutes, and test it with a toothpick once it’s back out!

Now for the best part… the recipe!

Superfood Banana Nut Bread

To print the recipe, just right click, and choose “Print Picture”!

* Remember, there are tons substitutions for many of these ingredients to easily make this recipe vegan, gluten free, or even grain free! Just do some research to find the best substitutions for you! *

I hope you enjoy this banana nut bread as much as I did, and be sure to comment to let me know what you think!

 

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