Chocolate Lover

Hi everyone! It has been entirely too long since posting anything from my world and today seemed like the perfect day to spend a few moments with you. The last several weeks have been a whirl-wind to say the very least and somewhat of an emotional roller coaster as we passed the anniversaries of my dad’s stroke and his passing as well as major holidays. These things have all been good and growth spiritually has definitely come as well as renewed mindsets and healing on some levels.I do realize this is all a lifelong process, but we are doing our best to march forward and focus on Jesus.

It is snowing locally today and with the weather the way it is, I have been reminiscing about days I have spent similar to this one. I definitely enjoy a cloudy day and with the soft peaceful snowflakes falling from the sky, it is perfect! Living here, snow is a distant visitor and never stays too long or as long as I would enjoy, so I welcome this weather with open arms. I have made a cup of tea and thought I would share a story with you today.

Alright, how many chocolate loving readers do I have? From white to dark and everything in between, there is definitely a little cocoa out there for everyone. Aside from the actual food, chocolate, I have a chocolate baby- Coco Chanel. In 2011, as a family (minus my husband) so really just my parents and I, really wanted a puppy. Our neighbor had friends with a chocolate lab we met and we were immediately smitten. We have never owned a lab, so I started doing some online research and looked around the state for breeders. We were in late November approaching the holidays and I spoke with numerous breeders on the phone looking for a chocolate lab. Why chocolate? Why not yellow or black? Well, yellow and black labs are almost a dime a dozen and the chocolate labs are gorgeous! I finally stumbled across a very sweet man who had 9 lab puppies ready for adoption. At this point in time, it was maybe a day or at the most two days after Christmas. I told this man that I wanted to come out and look at these puppies. I explained to Craig, we were just going to “Look,” nothing more. He was reluctant to believe my alleged “looking,” can you believe the gall? So, this breeder is located about 3.5 hours away from my city, so it was easily a 7 hour drive round trip. SO, picture it, December 28, 2011, my parents and I were thrilled to embark on this journey together. (Sadly, Craig was working that day, with no desire to take the day off. For one- the man hates any form of a road trip, and for some odd reason, did not have any interest in getting another animal because we didn’t “need” one). SO back to our journey, there was snow along the way and the car jams were perfect. We get to this small town and due to its remote location, we were advised once we saw and passed the Post Office, we would lose all cell service; so he asked us to give him a call once we were at the Post Office. We arrived at his address there was no house to be seen. We were immediately greeted by a John Deer tractor and the sweetest elderly gentleman we could have ever imagined to meet. We had to take a ride in the tractor up this massive iced over hill to reach his home and look at these puppies. The dirt road was super slick and there was a definite frost in the air to say the least. Once we reached the top of the hill and saw his home, he opened a garage door just off the house and nearly a dozen little puppies come stumbling out the door! In this litter there were 8 chocolate labs and one yellow. I believe all but 2 or 3 were females. My parents and I were in awe! How do you pick one? So, we each pick up a warm little pup and start looking at them. My mom, she is fairly predictable, always goes for the smallest animal in any litter. My dad just scooped one up and I picked up one that had the longest eyelashes I have ever seen! The breeder’s wife invited us to bring our three puppies in the house to set them down and get to know them and play with them before we made our decision. We sat down in their living room and began watching these three puppies. Immediately the smallest puppy my mom had, started chewing on my dad’s pants and anything else she could find. So we ultimately eliminated her. We had it down to two- after much deliberation and realizing we didn’t need two dogs, we opted for the girliest and sweetest love- the one with the longest eyelashes and the prettiest coat of fur. The breeder gave her her shots and gave us her AKC papers. We got to see and meet her parents, which were really sweet and this was the second and last litter her mother had given birth to. The breeder gave us a ride down the icy hill to our car and our journey home began. We threw many names out for this little puppy, but Coco Chanel, was by far the most perfect. She slept most of the way home and the smell of puppy and puppy breath was intoxicating! I know many people hate puppy breath, but I am a sucker- to me, it is wonderful!


Once we arrived home, Craig was home and was not surprised after 7 hours of driving we came home with a dog. He held her and played with her, realizing, she was actually kind of cute. Since that day, Coco has us wrapped around her little paw.

Brisbin Melissa IMG_1801



She attended all three obedience training courses at Petsmart and was on the list to become a PTSD service dog for my dad before he passed away. I realize I am biased, but she is perfect and I consider her my first child and Emie’s older sister. Craig swears other children will make fun of Emie if she tells them her older sister is a chocolate lab. I disagree! I even told Craig, if we ever get the urge to have another child, I would get a puppy- hands down! Now that we have a Labrador, I cannot imagine my life without one- they’re wonderful!



Thanks for reading today, make it a wonderful day and if you have a four legged furry child- give them extra smoochies today! I know I will be smooching on my babies too- as usual!

Brisbon-Sommer, Marissa 1120


Christmas Bow GiveAway!!


We are doing another giveaway! The winner will receive 4 randomly selected Christmas bows! 🎄 Some are not even released in the shop yet! The clock starts at the end of this post. Here are the details and rules:

1⃣ you have 48 hours to enter this giveaway

2⃣ like this post

3⃣ follow @charmingandchicbowtique on Instagram

4⃣comment below and tag 5 of your friends

5⃣ the drawing will occur in Friday at 12 PM MST and we will announce the winner 🎉. Good Luck!

Thank you for following us and supporting us as this business blossoms! 🌷 Comment, tag, share….

The clock STARTS NOW!!!!!! ⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰⏰ #smallbiz #newbusiness #new #shopsmall #supportsmall #handmade #bows #iheartbows #instagram #inspired #fabulous #fashion #fashionista #charming #like #love #share #support #toddlerfashion #mommyfashion #Wednesday #handmadewithlove #supporthandmade #hair #accessories #christmas #tistheseaon #chic #bowtique #ilovebows #red #green #babyitscoldoutside #share #storenvy #storenvyshop #holiday

When Craig met Marissa


Today I am celebrating my sixth wedding anniversary with Craig and as part of the celebration of our marriage, I have opted to walk down memory lane and share how Craig and I met.

I am certainly a hopeful romantic by heart. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew God had a man He created especially for me. In high school, I was extremely selective when it came to dating and I knew I needed to be with people who shared my same morals and beliefs. When I was younger, I certainly wanted to be the girl who married her true love in high school and get married super young and have a family right away. This was not the perfect plan God had for me and I could not be more blessed as I have reflected back. I graduated high school and went to college. Of course, I wanted to meet someone, but there are slim pickings for genuine people to date. I am not a bar hopper or one who does things other people in the “world” do- yes, some may call it odd, but I am who I am- conservative to say the least. When you are living through the situation, you of course look at meeting someone in church, but my church is small and similar churches like it, and with those circumstances you can look around and see everyone paired up like Noah’s Ark.  It is easy to become discouraged, but I can honestly say, I kept the faith and knew then the time was right I would meet the man God had for me. Did I cry and feel disappointed in times of loneliness? Absolutely! I realized in my early twenties, if I had not met him yet, he just wasn’t ripe yet, but I continued to pray for him and I knew one day we would be together.

As I was approaching my junior year of college, I opted to try and meet new people and did some online dating and tried to broaden my network. There was a guy I started talking to in November of 2005. His name was Craig and I was a little surprised at how genuine he seemed online and on the phone. We opted to meet and there was just something different about him on our first date on December 7, 2005. There was no awkward conversation or awkward pauses and everything seemed to “flow.” Obviously he wasn’t my “perfect” match, after all, I was concerned he was not in church and initially he wasn’t interested in marriage or the idea of children, so I was concerned we really did not share many of the core qualities I was looking for. I remember calling my mom and my sister as I was leaving the restaurant after our first date and telling them about this guy. They both expressed very similar points of view, to “see it through” and “don’t shut the door.” They both encouraged me to just get to know him and if we become nothing more than friends, it was ok, and no one can ever have too many friends. We continued to talk and go out. We shared our first kiss on New Year’s evening 2006, shortly after the clock struck midnight. As we started dating, I did not want to be too pushy about him not attending church, but was hopeful he would eventually start to come with me. The other nice thing about both of us, is we are close in age and neither one of us had been married or had children or any other hurdles right from the start. Craig proposed to me on New Year’s Eve in 2006, and of course I accepted. Craig started coming to church and started to become more involved with my church family. I graduated college in 2007, and we both gradually started separating. We still were dating, but I honestly cannot explain the distance that was growing between us. In the fall of 2007, we ended our engagement.

We would still talk, but things were not the same as they had been, and again, there was not one particular catalyst for this change in our relationship. I was working full time and focusing on seeing where my career could go and he was working a lot too. I wanted to travel and play some, and I had many opportunities and did some neat things, but there was still a piece of my life that was missing. Craig would still come over for dinner and help us with small projects around the house on the weekends.

One day in 2009, things just started to change and I feel as though Craig and I stepped into a new phase in our relationship. It was like a light turned on and we just “knew” this was the time. We started dating again in the late summer. As fall approached Craig decided to take my mom ring shopping for me and they picked out a new, bigger, prettier ring than I could ever have imagined. On October 9, 2009, he proposed to me a second time. I, of course accepted and we opted for a quick engagement and planned a quick elopement over a weekend. Neither one of us wanted a large wedding or any of the “bells and whistles” so we kept it nice and simple, but exactly what we wanted. Our pastors from our church took the drive up to marry us and it was so meaningful to both of us and my parents. On November 6, 2009, we were married in Parker, Colorado. We did not live together before we got married, because I did not believe in premarital activities outside of marriage.

Colorado Wedding

FBEmelie-0120In 2012 we welcomed our perfect baby girl into our lives. We certainly are not the “model couple,” but we love Jesus and put Him first above everything in our marriage and the decisions we make. I have never been with anyone who makes me laugh so hard, make me so angry, but yet so happy. He also puts up with all of my many antics and hair brained ideas and somehow goes through it regardless of what he REALLY wants to do. I am abundantly blessed that God created this man for me to share my life with and continue to grow with in this crazy thing called life.

Wishing you a very Happy Anniversary Honey, I am so blessed to share my life with you and to raise our beautiful little girl together. I love you!

Egg Nog French Toast

This recipe was literally made up by my mom and has truly been a family favorite for many years now. If you are like me and love French Toast and Egg Nog, you will adore this recipe! We are a family of 4 and this is a lot of food, but so delicious.


16 Slices Texas toast

3 Eggs

2 Cups of Egg Nog

1 Teaspoon Vanilla



Maple Syrup (optional)

Powdered Sugar (optional)

Fruit (optional)

Place a large pan on the stove sprayed with nonstick cooking spray on medium heat. Place a thin piece of butter in the pan. My pan will hold about 4 pieces of bread per batch.

DSC_0225In a large bowl mix the eggs, egg nog and vanilla. Please note, you can add additional egg nog as needed.

Once mixed well, place a piece of bread in the bowl and make sure it is coated well. Place the bread in the large pan on the stove. Repeat the process for 3 other pieces of bread. DSC_0229

Once all 4 pieces of bread are in the pan sprinkle the tops of the bread with nutmeg. Cook each side about 2-3 minutes. DSC_0230

Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Top with butter and syrup to taste as well as a gentle sprinkle of powdered sugar. You can always add some fresh strawberries on the side too.


Repeat the above process for the additional pieces of bread and you will have a delicious breakfast for a family of 4-8 people depending on how many pieces are preferred per serving. DSC_0251

Bon Appetite!

It’s a great pumpkin…

DSC_0724“Every fall, the leaves on the trees turn brown and fall off the branches, pumpkins grow big and plump in their patches. The air grows cooler, and people start to think about their Halloween costumes. And every fall, Linus writes a very important letter.” Charles Shultz captures the essence of childhood in his amazing stories of Charlie Brown. I know I was always a fan of Peanuts when I was growing up and now I have the opportunity to share these fun stories with Emie. Reading the stories are so fun, they bring fond memories of my dad and I want Emie to share in these same memories too.

DSC_0515The last several weeks have been one fun adventure after another. With each activity, I have definitely kept my Nikon by my side to capture precious moments. DSC_0752

We have hiked in the mountains and looked at leaves turning, balloon watched, pumpkin patched, decorated, and baked. When we went to one of the pumpkin patches Emie had a wonderful time. It was somewhat of a playdate/photoshoot and pumpkin picking event.

IMG_4240Now that we have a porch full of pumpkins it was the perfect excuse to plan a pumpkin carving party this week and I just know Emie is going to have a blast. I also know my chickens will be loving the pumpkin seeds and “stuffing” to snack on too.

The shop has been busy shipping out our festive Halloween bows too- as a brief side note, thanks so much to those who are supporting our small business. I know we thank you often, but we genuinely appreciate your business and spreading the word to your families and friends.

DSC_0382As for this week, I am happily planning delicious fall snacks and activities with Emie. I want to hear from you, what are your family Halloween traditions? Are you dressing up? Share your stories and fall favorites with me. Make today great, and thanks for stopping by to read. So… I have to ask, will you be waiting in the pumpkin patch this Halloween night for the Great Pumpkin to arrive with toys for all the boys and girls? I’m sure I can guess where my sweet baboo will be! (smiles)DSC_0583