Bday Week #1: A Glee-ful Start To My Bday Despite RAIN!

28 Mar

My 32nd birthday was on March 23. And boy was it a year to remember!

Sunday, March 20, I went to see Bonnie Dune perform at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. Corey Monteith from Glee, my absolute favorite show and new obsession, is the drummer for the band. He’s actually an amazing drummer! I drove down to SJC, but on the way I stopped in Los Alamitos to pick up 4 BIG bags of beanie babies, a donation from a local woman for Operation Gratitude. Then it was time to head out there. Unfortunately that was also the day a huge massive storm hit So Cal. I couldn’t see past three car lengths in front of me for most of the trip! I arrived out there, got a little lost and thirsty, so I stopped at Albertson’s. I head back to my car, and realized I locked my keys in my car. Noooo! I called my insurance, who called a tow truck guy, who at 6pm said it’d take an hour. Not good, since my ticket said the concert was starting at 7pm! I called the venue, they said Bonnie Dune wasn’t going on til 9pm. Whew! I finally arrived, and the host sat me right up at the front of the stage! The band was awesome, though their set was kinda short. After their set, I got to talk to Josh, the bassist, and explained why I needed an autograph so bad from Corey, for my Birthday Charity Auction LOL Josh told me to wait and hang out, he’d see what he could do. So I hung out, and the bouncer kept trying to kick me out LOL But I ended up being able to meet the entire band, including Corey. All of them were really really nice and sweet. And Corey thought it was hilarious that Kaylee knows all the words to Rocky Horror Glee! I was on Cloud 9 the entire way home, which is good since the storm got worse, I had to pull over, and the CHiP kept slowing us down 🙂


Lessons from a blogger

12 Mar

I’m relatively new to blogging. I’m still a toddler 🙂 But I’m learning. Write what you know. Write about your life, because you won’t get this time back. Don’t jump at every blogging opportunity. I’ve learned the hard way that many companies really don’t care about you as a person. There are some who do. One in particular, the owner has become a good friend of mine. But hey, a business is a business. They care about money first. But the biggest lesson I’ve learned is stay true to yourself. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Trust your gut with everything. Blogging is no easy feat. But it helps you learn more about you, and sometimes you get lucky and meet the real gems in this world 🙂

Sign Up For My Newsletter!

26 Feb

I now have a weekly newsletter, My Work Of Heart. It’ll detail all of our charity work, His And Her Secrets, Brianne’s Basics, Mikk’s Kid Krusaders, Inspired Grace and so much more!

From time to time I’ll even include coupons and FREEBIES!

How do you sign up?
#1 Connect with me on Google Friend Connect at
#2 Sign up at

I’ll be sending out 1-2 newsletters per week, depending on what’s going on. Your email will ALWAYS remain private!


A Huge Honor From A Fantastic #Charity

26 Feb

I received a very big honor yesterday. I got an email from Carolyn, the founder of Operation Gratitude, asking if I would like to be a Supervisor. That means SO much to me! Most of you remember our Mikk’s Kid Krusaders drive last fall. It was a success, and we had a fantastic time doing it! I even got to go out to the Armory a few times to volunteer. Now, this means we can help out even more.

In recognition of this huge honor, I’m offering the following sale this weekend:
Adult beanie + hair flower: $4
Kid/doll beanie + hair flower: $4

$3 will get a skein of yarn, and each skein makes 3-4 beanies. Email me at 4briannesbasics {at} gmail {dot} com if you’re interested.

And as always, THANK YOU for your support!

New Book Groups, Online & Locally!

17 Feb

Yesterday I got a new book: “Finding Freedom From A Broken Past: How I Let Go?”

It’s more of a Christian study guide type of book. Is there something you need to move on from? If so, would you like to join me?

The second project I’m doing is for a book called <a href=”“Time” _mce_href=””>”Time”>”>”Time For Mom/Me”</a>. The program consists of 6 sessions that correspond to the chapters of the book. Moms agree on a regularly scheduled date and time to meet for the duration of the program – once a month or bi-weekly is best.

I’m thinking of either an online group, or maybe a Long Beach group. If you’re interested, please email me at heathercrownelson {at} gmail {dot} com.

I think this would help a LOT of moms I know. Get back to me asap, thanks guys!

National Wear Red Day

4 Feb

Today is National Wear Red Day, from the American Heart Association. A day that has become so important to my mother and I.

Heart disease is the no. 1 killer of women, taking the life of 1 in 3 women. My mom was almost one of those women.

The mission of National Wear Red Day is the ensure that we never have to deny research that could save a woman’s life. It helps to raise the funds needed for lifesaving educational programs and the development of new treatments to fight heart disease.

Here is my story about how heart disease affected my family:
In July 2010, my mom injured her shoulder after picking up my then 6 month old son. That injury eventually sent her to the doctor. She mentioned just a slight pressure in her throat when she walked. The doctor became concerned and sent her to a cardiologist. I early October, numerous ER trips later, Mom went in for her angiogram. We were told her impending surgery could be this week, or six months from now. There was no way to tell until the angio. We went in, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

The results were frightening.

The doctor was shocked she hadn’t had a heart attack while out and about. He called it a miracle. He refused to release her and decided to do double bypass and valve replacement surgery that week. Again, we had no exact time frame. We only knew it’d be that week, maybe the next. It turned out to be two days later.

The day of the surgery, I went in, told my mom how much I love her, and tried to just keep both of us calm. Then it was time for the surgery. They took Mom, and for the next six hours my uncle and I waited in the surgical waiting room. I prayed, a lot. I had darted praying since her first ER visit and I hadn’t stopped. The doctor came out, and told us she made it. That was the biggest relief I’d ever felt. My strong amazing mommy had survived.

But I was not prepared at all for what I saw in the recovery room. She wasn’t awake yet. A machine was breathing for her. She was hooked up to five different machines. Her skin was white. She looked as though she’d never wake up. There was complications, with her blood sugar, her bleeding, etc.

Her recovery was difficult at first. She slept much of the day, didn’t want to eat. But she eventually sat up, then walked. And six days after her surgery, she was released.

There were many challenges to overcome in her recovery. We had a few scares. but life went on, and she got better. She’s now happy, healthy, and has a new appreciation for life.

We were lucky. Her shoulder injury caught the heart problems. Others aren’t so lucky. Heart disease presents itself differently in women than in men. This has become a cause close to us. We’re a stronger family now. Others don’t have that chance.

If there’s a history of heart disease in your family, make sure you get checked by your doctor. Inform him of anything out of the ordinary. Mom’s was a simple tight feeling in her throat. Make sure you’re informed of the signs.

And support the American Heart Association. Today and every day.

All Book Lovers Should Know The “Secret Passages”

26 Jan

Yesterday, in the midst of all our errands, I decided to take Ryan to a local store I’d heard of recently: Secret Passages Bookstore. They describe themselves as “Purveyors of rare, vintage, and hard-to-find science fiction, fantasy, and horror.” That most definitely sounded like our kind of bookstore. I’m frequently in that area, since I work only 6 blocks away, a short 10-15 minute walk. But I’ve always been too busy to go in there.

Boy do I regret that now!

An adorable robot and big yellow sign beckon you into the store. We parked on the street, and the next thing you see is the overflowing “Bargain Bookshelf”, with Darth Vader guarding the rack. You walk in and… Geek Heaven.

On the front table is a mini arcade game, the crane! That tells you how awesome this place is! Shelves line most of the store, with J.R.R Tolkein, J.K. Rowling, Piers Anthony, Stephen King, and so many others lining the shelves. There are manga and anime of all sorts, plus bargain comic books, on the other side of the store. Where else can you find a vintage edition of Gulliver’s Travels? Or collector pieces, such as a Hellboy backpack and Gryffindor scarf (in the original packaging!). A hardcover compilation of Charles Addams’ original Addams Family cartoons sit in a glass case, along with other vintage metaphysical books. On the top shelf was “Doorways To Adventure”, a game my mom and I played 23 years ago. Ryan got to play with a Star Trek Phaser replica, and a remote controlled R2D2 (!).

This store really does have something for everyone! There’s a fantastic balance of classic novels and new series. There are metaphysical books, yoga books, even Wiccan books. Toys also line the shelves. Some for kids, some for adult kids. They have a frequent buyer program. Purchae $25, get a free gift. I already filled up four spots on that card! Sophia, one of the owners, was working that day. I’ve met her a few times, and she’s always a treat to chat with. This store was opened by her and her husband, two self proclaimed geeks. Their passion and love for all things geeky shows. As she tweeted, “We love to see people Geek Out here. It brings tears of joy to our bespectacled eyes.”

Many people may shy away from the “geek” label. I embrace it! Yes, I watched all of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Yes, I dressed up as Moaning Myrtle. Yes, I think Stephen King is genius. Yes, I was depressed for a week when I couldn’t find any more “Fruits Basket”. I embrace my inner geek!

If you love any of the above genres, you MUST check this place out. If you know someone who loves any of the above genres, you must take them! This store truly has something for everyone, and it’s a fun place to find your inner geek.

Note: Sophia is trying to start a kid’s reading program. Check out her website, email her, tweet her, etc., for more information!