Thursday, March 31, 2011

girl crush number three

Lauren Conrad 







She's so stinkin pretty! And I love how her hair always looks gorgeous! Well done LC, well done.

ps - what are you thankful for today?
pss - what is your opinion on Amway?
psss- what would the letter to your future littles look like? Check back tomorrow for mine :)

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday!

71. Harley - as much as I want to wring his neck at night when he's bouncing off the walls and won't let us sleep...I just remember this sweet face and his funny relaxing places, and forgive him for being a complete terror...

72. American Idol nights - It's kind of become tradition to curl up on the couch with some pizza and watch AI - we pretend we're the judges. PS - any other AI watchers out there? Is Steven Tyler becoming the new Paula?! LOL

73. Full Throttle energy drinks - this morning I totally remembered why/how those little suckers got me through two loooong years at college. Thanks for the extra little boost in the morning :)

74. Pinterest - a FABulous new site I stumbled across. I haven't quite figured out exactly how it all works yet however, there is something for EVERYone. For example I've found:
[super cute things I want to make]
[Quotes that make me smile

...and giggle]
[not to mention SUPER cute recipes!]

75. My new followers friends! I'm so glad you've stopped by my corner of blogger land :) Welcome! I try to check out your blogs as well, I'm sure we will be good friends :)


What are YOU thankful for this week? 
Sunshine? Hopefully you've got some of that Vitamin D in your neck of the woods! :)


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's talk about Amway...


This a disclaimer that this is only my personal opinions of our time working for this system. Please read more about Amway; I may not tell our story in the most eloquent way so you may want more information.

I'm not sure how many of you are too familiar with Amway so if you'd like to read more please click the link above. I'm also not sure how well I'm going to do explaning our experience, but after being involved with the company in my own words:
 It is an online business that helps families start their own online website that sells products in bulk and their own line of products, similar to that of Costco's Kirkland Signature Brand. It helps husbands and wives become a closer unit, and brings parents home from their jobs. If you are willing to put in the work.

In 2006 I got a call from Bryan while at college, he said he was going to watch some business meeting at his sister's house and he'd call me afterwards. The call I received hours later was not from the same boyfriend I had talked to earlier. The boyfriend I heard from hours later was excited, uplifted, and determined. He had just seen a business plan that he foresaw changing our future. It was presented by multimillionaires Tracey and Kimberly Eaton.

In the months that followed I saw a different side of Bryan. Someone something had a lit a fire underneath him and he had a new passion for life and me. Which brings me to my first point. Amway changed our relationship [for the better] Bryan has never been a big reader, and he was excited and encouraged to read and build a better foundation in our relationship before we got married. We read books like 'Love & Respect' and 'The Five Love Languages'  and truly grew emotionally from them both. I mean at the time, what 20 something year olds were worry about their future and reading books to strengthen their future marriage? One of the points they teach is family comes first and putting your spouse before your kids. I'm not a mom, and I've heard some mom's sound astonished by this. But for example; I once heard Tracey Eaton tell a story about a time when his kids were talking back to Kimberly and he said to them, "Don't talk to my wife like that." That blew me away.


In the beginning it was tough. Amway has been around for 50+ years, but back when it first started it built a bad reputation for being a 'pyramid scheme' Which made it incredibly hard to talk to the older generation about. Even when asking them to become clients of our website and shop for the things they shop for anyway to support us - it was hard to earn the trust back from those bad memories[and not to mention when met with opposition my outlook on the entire situation turned sour] However, when I started investigating into the matters myself, I realized that pyramid schemes are illegal and that found that it was accredited and given an A+ by the Better Business Bureau - which brings me to my second point. Amway may never escape the bad reputaion it's been given, but is truly a different company it was 50+ years ago.

I went to meeting after meeting, after event, after board plan with Bryan and watched hundreds of couples just like us, with the same fire lit under them, ready to be in business for themselves. We were never told that this business would replace our income at the time, you were in business for yourself and the time to build it was from 5pm-midnight after you've finished working for the man and everyone else was sleeping. Which brings me to my third point - Amway changes people's lives. What do I mean by that? We watched our sponsor go from a socially awkward, shy, confidence lacking guy to an extremely outgoing, funny, and assertive man. Not many companies can do that for you. Not to mention, after a certain point in the business you may make enough money where you are able to come home from your job - however that is after some extrememly hard work, tears, and possibly years. But it was encouraging and seemed attainable no matter what we had to do.

At this time last year Bryan and I were at a crazy busy point in our lives. He had just started a new job and we were planning for our wedding that was fastly approaching us in July. It truly broke our hearts [and spirits] for a while because we had to take a step back from the business. We weren't able to put 'our all' into it at the time. It may be something we look into in the future and I know our experience will be just as gratifying. Which brings me to my fourth and final point - I hope that Amway didn't burn any bridges for us. We were encouraged to talk to anyone and everyone we thought might be interested, which inspired us to speak with friends, family, even people we knew in high school. We only had good intentions and never meant to come across as weird - quite the opposite. We knew we had a vehicle that could be the answer for some families.

So what's my point?

I used to be timid and embarrassed to say that we were affiliated with this company - but now I am proud to say that we were and became better people because of it. We met some amazing people, become closer as a couple, and spent our time dreaming about our future together.

 So if someone asks to 'show the plan' to you, don't be so quick to judge - hopefully they had the best intentions like we did and want to help you :)

Wordless Wednesday


Sunday I looked up and there was a heart in the sky - 
God knew just what I needed at that very minute.

Happy Wednesday friends!

PS - Check back later for my "Let's talk about it" post - I'm going to discuss our experience  in Amway - The good, the bad, and the honest truth.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Impatient.

Is it possible to feel sad/hopeful/defeated/excited/tearful/realistic/optimistic...

all at the same time?

Hi, my name is Amanda and I suck at being patient, growing up, and waiting my turn.
I don't care what anyone else says, I'm ready now.

Sigh..

That's all, goodnight.


Today's Letters Inspired Tuesday

Today's Letters: Dear my love, on Saturday you downloaded 'Words with Friends' on my iPhone. I argued and said I wasn't good at word games, but I'm pretty proud of myself - I've kept up with you pretty good so far! Dear Grey's Anatomy music event, Shonda Rhimes, you are combing two of my FAVORITE things ever - Grey's and musicals. Bless you. Dear summer, you couldn't come fast enough. Seattle got teased on Friday with a little peek of sunshine - it was glorious. It made me even MORE excited to bask in your wonderfulness. Is that a word...? Dear Bryan James, this past weekend we talked about our future kids again. I told you I dream of what they will look like and I can't wait to feel a baby kick in my belly. I'm pretty sure positive that you are going to be such an amazing dad. Reason #345 I'm so thankful to be your wife.

Does anyone else play words with friends? Are you addicted like we are? It's a little ridiculous but totally helps build my vocabulary :)

PS - Bryan, I really really love you. Like really. Thank you for being so wonderful and making me feel like a million bucks on a daily basis.

PSS - please see inspiration for this post HERE!

Monday, March 28, 2011

that's a wrap - round two!

Whew!
We had a mighty full weekend indeed!

Bryan and I enjoyed a wonderful date night on Friday evening. Complete with Italian food, Redbox, and our faithful friends - Ben & Jerry's. We watched:

[Which was fabulous because I have a serious girl crush on Rachel McAdams]

[I think Shia Labeouf  and Carey Mulligan are super cute, and Michael Douglas is classic]

Saturday was spent at none other than the bowling alley with Bryan's dad and his girlfriend. I gotta say, I'm not a HUGE bowling fan. I like to go and watch, but that's where it ends for me. I know, I know it's not American - I'm sorry! :) But I did get a cute picture out of it :)
Saturday evening we treated ourselves to another amazing dinner, this time to celebrate a few birthdays! Steak and lobster for Bry and steak and crab for me - oh boy were our bellies full and wallet a little lighter. It was well worth it though. I caught this super cute scene - the boys playing pretend with Sophie, they were all on their cell phones talking with each other :)
Sunday was Christine's birthday. In 2004 Bryan came home to tell his mom and sister that he was dating a cheerleader. His sister exclaimed, "What the he**?! Are you crazy?!" And that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship :)We've been through so much through these short six years - and I can't wait to see what our friendship and futures hold!  I love you Christine!
[We always know how to have a fun time!]

And last but not least we ended the night off cuddling with this chunkamunk.

Successful weekend?! I think yes!

ps - I logged onto Blogger this morning and saw I won a giveaway from Ashly @ Moon Walk! Heck yesss!

Friday, March 25, 2011

raise your hand if -

You're ready for summer!

Warmer and longer days.

CAMPING!
Box fans in the window blowing a cool breeze.

Popscicles filling the freezer.

The smell of barbeque in the air.

Matt & Alysse's wedding!
Sleeping under thin sheets.

Nights so clear you can see the stars.

Fireworks on the 4th of July.
Tank tops and sundresses.
Sun bathing and the smell of suntan lotion.

Sunburns that hurt so good.

The Puyallup Fair!
Fresh cut grass smell.

Sunsets that take your breath away.

Road trips.

Bonfires and s'mores.

Trips to the cabin.

My hand is raised...just sayin.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

engaged!

[sidenote: these little babies popped up yesterday in our yard - they make me happy]

Ok,
so there I was,
watching American Idol last night
when all of the sudden a commercial came on FOX [see here]
You guys, I literally started crying!

So, in honor of this fabulous new/tear jerking for some - show AND today being mine and Bryan's Happy 8 Months being married I just wanted to reminisce a little about MY engagement and how absolutely perfect it was :)

Today I'm thankful for the thought and effort my husband put into 'engaging' me :)

Please click here to read our story!
[I wrote this back in October when I first started my blog :)]

PS - Please also check out my new project - here.


Happy Thursday ladies! The weekend is upon us! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Pollyanna Project

"Even after having lived the hardscrabble life of a missionary's daughter all her life and seen the loss of both parents, young Pollyanna Whittier refuses to be depressed. Instead, she must be glad about anything she can think of, and it's paid off big time. Now, however, she must go to live with her cold, spinsterish aunt in a town inhibited by embittered, unfriendly souls. Can she use her glad game to win over everyone and transform the town?"
-IMDB: Pollyanna

We all go about our lives every day, minding our own business, working hard, loving our family, and trying to be a genuine person. Most of the time it's easy to stay positive and count the blessings in your life.

However, every so often something creeps up on you. It's that overwhelming feeling you just can't shake. It follows you throughout your day/week/even month sometimes. It looms over you like a dark rain cloud ready to burst and drench you at any moment. 

 We've all dealt with it and it's not easy to avoid.
It's called negativity.
Sometimes it's spawned by others and you may feel you have no other choice but to feed into it. I'm here to tell you, you don't.

I went through a period of time myself where I wasn't a happy camper. And we all know the saying, 'hurt people, hurt people', and I couldn't agree more. I'm guilty of it. Gossiping about people. Speaking down to others. Wanting to 'beat' them in whatever race I was running against them. Feeling so much negativity in our hearts that it almost consumes you... Maybe it's just me, but I feel I'm not alone in this.

So here's my challenge.
When you feel that dark cloud slipping back into your life,
find something - even if it's just one thing - in everyone, to be glad about.

I'm asking you to comment/sign your name below and take the pledge to cut out the negativity.
Choose love instead of hate.
Choose to smile instead of scowl.
Choose positivity instead of negativity.

Grab the button from the right side of my blog and get out there to spread some sunshine!

magnificent mason jars + guest post

First of all, I had the pleasure of being featured at one of my FAVORITE bloggers everrr! Rachel at Tunes and Spoons! Check out her blog about marriage, music, recipes, and being one half of the cutest married couples out there! Read my post about quirks - here.


Great!


Yesterday I was browsing craftgawker when running across this super cute project! I already had a lot of the supplies at home from scrapbooking. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :) They can be used as multiple things:

-pen/pencil holders
-flower vase
-center pieces 
-candle holders
-change jars


Supply list:
assorted scrapbook paper [colors, designs, etc.]
smooth glass mason jars [I used 1pint jars, but you can use any size]
Modge Podge
sponge brushes
hot glue gun
scissors
ruler
embellishments [buttons, flowers, ribbon, etc.]


Directions:
-Cut strips of scrapbook paper that fit around the jar. Mine were a little under 2 1/2 inches in width, and the length of the scrapbook paper.
-Apply a thin coat of Modge Podge to the glass mason jar where you are going to apply the strip of paper. Also apply a coat of Modge Podge to the back of the strip of paper.
-Apply the paper to the mason jar carefully and smooth out any air bubbles. 
-Wait about 15 minutes and then apply another coat of Modge Podge over the paper strip [this will give it a nice glossy finish when it dries]
-Wait about another 15 minutes or so before hot gluing your embellishments and 
wallah!

Happy crafting :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

crabby to crafty!

Ever have an off day? Like where nothing seems to be going right and you feel a little down in the dumps?

Wanna know what I'm going to do from now on when I do?

Craft.


Wanna know how to make these super cute pen holders/vases/super cute holders for super cute things?

Come back tomorrow for a full picture tutorial :)

PS - did you check out the blog feature from this morning?
You won't be sorry you did! Click here!

Jamie Leigh from My Walk to I Do

Hello!!!
I have the pleasure once again to feature one of my favorite gals! Her name is Jamie Leigh [cutest name ever, right?!] You can find her on her journey to marrying her highschool sweetheart at her blog, My Walk to I Do. She shares life stories, super fun pictures, and wedding planning in her corner of blogging-land. Please hope on over to check her out, she's so sweet!
Thanks again miss Jamie! :)
______________________________________________________________

Hello Everyone!! I am Jamie Leigh from My Walk to I Do and I am so excited to be a guest here on Amanda’s blog!! I am 22 years old and juggling two jobs, college, and planning my wedding. Needless to say I am a very busy girl! In my free time I love going to the cabin, four wheeling, canoeing, spending time with my amazing 3 sisters and the rest of my family. I am engaged to my middle school sweetheart (if there is such a thing) Sean, we met when we were 14! This is my fiancĂ© and me!

 1. What do readers expect coming to your blog?
Readers that visit my blog can expect to find a journal of my life. I love to write about my family, my fiancĂ©, planning my wedding, our house hunt, and my faith. I like to think I am very open and honest in my blogging; I try not to hold anything back! Pretty much anything significant that happens in my life is written about in my blog! I love sharing music, quotes, pictures, and recipes as well!  I also like to seek advice and words of wisdom from my readers. There is nothing better than interacting with all my amazing followers!

2. Your top three favorite blogs.

There are so many blogs that I love to read daily so this is a very hard decision! Besides Amanda’s blog, my top three favorites are Life as a Wife!, Life After Yes, and Sharing the Pages of Life. All these ladies are so inspirational and fun to follow!

3. What year in your life have you been most happy and why?

This year hands down!! Not only do I get to marry my soul mate on September 17th, but we also have an offer on the perfect home, and will hopefully be moving in soon!!


4. Who is someone you admire and why?
I feel like a nerd admitting this, but I really admire Rachael Ray. She is not afraid to be herself and she is an amazing cook! I love that her recipes are made from ingredients that most people already have in their home, and they are usually meals that would satisfy anyone. I hope to be able to cook like her one day!
I also admire my parents more than I could ever express! They have been so supportive all my life, I feel extremely blessed to be their daughter.

5. What is one way you can make someones day today?
Doesn’t it feel good to know you had an impact on someone’s day? Every day I make sure to call both my parents to see how their day was. They both have told me it always puts a smile on their face to hear from me. I also love to give compliments to people in my life. I can honestly say it makes me feel good about myself to make others feel good J

I would love to have you as a new follower! Head over to my blog and check it out J

God Bless,

Jamie Leigh

Monday, March 21, 2011

that's a wrap!

Good morning my friends!
I've had a couple cups of coffee and I'm finally ready to greet the day!
I hope your weekend was wonderful! We enjoyed a little bit of sunshine here, it was glorious! I woke up on Saturday morning [please note I woke up BEFORE Bryan] and it was so beautiful outside I HAD to be in it. I bundled up [because even though as much as I'd like it to be summer, it's still late winter/early spring and it's chilly] and when outside to bask in the beautiful firey ball in the sky :)

Our weekend was great but as always went by extremely too fast.
Here are some of the highlights

On Friday I saw this movie with my mama - love her and this movie!


 Bought these new shoes, they are SUPER comfy and kinda cute!


On Saturday we attended a Luck-O-The-Irish party and drank my share of Leprechaun juice...obviously.
and hung out with some pretty wonderful people :)


On Sunday we attended an awesome fundraiser for the Amanda Knox Defense Fund. I haven't talked about this yet but I plan on blogging about it on Wednesday and giving you credible sites to read about Amanda's story and ways you can help. Bryan's family grew up with the Knox's, Curt and Bryan's dad are best friends, and we support the entire Knox family 100%. We were happy and excited to help in any way we can!
My mom and Hanna even came to support
Bryan bowling
Rocking my 'Free Amanda and Raffaele' shirt

After the excitement of the afternoon it was time to come home and snuggle with this little man, so precious.


All in all our weekend was great. Eventful, family filled, and busy - just the way we like it! Hope you all had a great weekend as well! Check out my post from Saturday if you missed it, it might make you giggle a little :)

Happy Monday!
Let's make it a great week :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Ok, so I know at one point in your life you had a bad hair experience. C'mon, remember way back when, any doozies that your past can't escape?
I had a couple, and thought I would share them with you for a laugh on this fine Saturday morning.
I have a couple of hair DO'S and DON'Ts I've learned in my past 23 years

DON'T: Cut your daughter's hair like a boy. I like to refer to this do as the 'boy haircut'

DON'T: Start your bangs half back on your head. I think the picutres explain themselves...

DO: Style your hair with a curling iron. There was a long while that I thought it was necessary to curl the bottom of my hair every day - oh and hey! There are the bangs!

DON'T: Don't leave your bangs in their grow out stage hanging at the side of your face, the term 'fang bangs' comes to mind. I finally realized it was ok to grow the bangs out, but wish I had learned of bobbypins...

 
DON'T: Don't assume the color on the box is going to look the same on your head. Bad box dye job...tried to go brunette, ended up red

DON'T: Don't go to a stylist for the first time and get a perm. Bad perm job, it just looked frizzy all the time

 
DO: Try going back to your natural hair color every once in a while. This was my 21st birthday, probably the closest I've been to my natural color

DO: Try new things! I trusted my hair dresser I have now and it turned out really fun! Last summer, I went bleach blonde and really long

DO: Give you hair a rest. I haven't been to the hairdresser since NOVEMBER! [that's crazy for me!] This is my hair these days - and I'm happy with it... for now :)

I'd love to hear about/see your DO's/DON'T's/Doozies you've learned over the years :)