Thursday, January 30, 2014

2 years!?! When did THAT happen?

I totally dropped the ball and forgot that the 26th was my 2 year blogversary! I can't believe it's already been that long, but that's always how it is, isn't it?

 In November over 2 years ago, I had discovered this online community and began to read blogs. In January, after I began a composition course in college, my professor told me that I could possibly have a real talent in writing and encouraged me to write for fun. What better way to practice writing than begin a blog? I've certainly evolved a lot since then. I cringe sometimes as I go back a read older posts because some outfit choices were pretty scary for the whole internet to see and also because I made a lot of silly grammar mistakes (I still do... I am the worst with commas).  But part of me also loves looking back at those posts because it transports me back to that time of my life and what was on my heart (and mind) just two years ago. I wouldn't change that for the world!

So thank you loyal followers for you encouragement and support and for making my little old corner of the internet worthwhile.

Cheers to 2 years!

Easy & Healthy Smoothie

First thing I should say is that I am in no means a health professional, and I really don't know what I'm talking about as far as what is 'healthy' and what is not. I just know what little I do from a nutrition course I took and from my SIL who's a trainer (also, I am dying to try her Vitamix smoothies!).

With all that being said, I try my hardest to eat well and to count calories. Doing that, one of my favorite breakfast foods are smoothies. Almost every single morning, I will have a large smoothie that fills me up and will last me till lunchtime. I love it because it's easy for me to count the calories (I'll show you how) and is relatively fresh and healthy.
Since I have one almost everyday, I've kinda created and perfected my perfect smoothie. I like it cold but with no ice, a little tart and mostly sweet. I like adding yogurt to mine because I find with that added protein it really helps hold me over till the next meal (but you don't have to add it if you don't want to!)

Here's how I make mine:

 -Trop 50 OJ
-Whatever yogurt I have on hand (today is was Aussie yogurt 'Noosa')
-Whatever frozen fruit I have on hand (Today was blueberries and strawberries)
-Fresh spinach

I always start by adding a heaping handful of spinach at the bottom of the blender. I do this so the spinach really gets chopped up and I won't see it or taste it. Trust me, as long as I do it right, I do NOT taste it at all, nor do I see it.

Then I add my yogurt. I like using individual yogurts so I can really control how much I am using and how many calories I am adding. I normally buy the Dannon Light and Fit Greek yogurts (they're only 80 cals and are delicious) but we just had this brand on hand. I believe that this cup was 140 calories.

Then, using my yogurt cup, I add frozen fruit. I just measure how much I am using by using the cup (which is a very french thing to do, if I might add).

Since the cup is 4 oz, I know that I am eating 4oz of blueberries. Oh, and I always use frozen fruit because I hate when I have ice shards in my smoothies. I find that they are just as cold using fruit and taste better! Then I throw in a handful of strawberries.

After, again using the cup to measure, I add 8 oz of OJ.
 You can add more juice if you like your smoothie thinner, but I like mine thick because then I can eat it with a spoon and pretend it's ice cream. ;)

Blend it all together and you've got yourself a delicious smoothie! You can add sweetener if you'd like, but I find that with the yogurt and the orange juice, it's plenty sweet.

So here's the calorie count:


Total: 290 calories! Not so bad, huh!?!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Swoon Worthy

I had quite a fun evening yesterday exploring the new 'explore pins' option on pinterest. Anyway, I was searching through the Coldplay section and had a ball just pinning the lyrics to some of my favorite songs. One of my favorites from Coldplay is the song "Fix You."

(This is another long story but for me this song is singing about God's love, not necessarily just a love song between a couple if that makes sense) It's such a beautiful song and if you haven't heard it, I would definitely check it out.
But then when I stumbled across this pin, I fell more in love with it:

 This is what my aunt would call "swoon worthy!" Isn't that just the sweetest?! Well, it would be if you've heard the song cause then we would all say in unison "AWWW!!"

Anyway, happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 27, 2014

...and we're back!

Whew. I don't know how people survive(d) without internet, it's a challenge! Especially when I run an ebay business and have a blog to maintain! For the past week and a half, we've 'roughed' it because the new company couldn't install until today. No worries right? I mean what do we have 'smart' phones for? It wasn't too bad until we got the lovely text message from AT&T telling us that we've used 100% of our data usage this month. Bummer. So with no 4G or internet, I succumbed to reading. And you know what?! It's been lovely! I've finished 5 count them! F-I-V-E books in the past few days! It's really opened my eyes to how much I sit and stare at this computer screen. and you know what?  I'm changing that! I've been on more walks and read more books than I ever have before. Don't fret though, I'm still going to blog! I just won't spend hours reading Wikipedia like I normally do. (Come on! You know you do that too... oh wait just me? OK.)

Cheers to internet!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hypothetically, Unapologetically.

I don't really know why I decided to title this post that ^, but I did. Maybe because I really like adverbs. They're truly are lovely, you know. {see what I did there!?! ;) }

Okay, so anyways, the purpose of this post is to play this little game that my family often plays. (mostly because I can't think of anything else to write about at the moment) If we are in the car for a long period of time or the rare moments when we are all sitting together eating dinner, we play this game. Basically, we just come up with a bunch hypothetical questions and ask them to each other. (don't know what hypothetical means? Just imagine a case in which you know!) OK, OK, I'll stop. I'm getting a little carried away, it must be my mood. 

ANYWAY, I thought it would be fun to ask you all some hypothetical questions and I could answer some too! Some of these I came up with and some I consulted google for. 

We will start with an easy one:

1. If your house was on fire, all of your family and animals are safe and you somehow had five minutes to run back in and grab something, what would you get?

This one's easy for me. First thing would be my computer, duh. A long time ago, we scanned a bunch of old pictures so all our photos are on it. Second would be my quilt my grandma made for me. It's a t-shirt quilt made from all my childhood t-shirts. (one day I will have to show you.) Third, if I had time, would be a water bottle. I'm sure by then I'd be parched. 

2. You have won a prize. The prize has two options, and you can choose either (but not both). The first option is a year in Europe with a monthly stipend of $2,000. The second option is ten minutes on the moon.

Which option do you select?
If you know anything about me, you should know which one I'd pick. Actually, if you have a brain you'd know what ANYONE would pick. Most definitely, I'd choose the first option. I mean, who would even want or even volunteer to go to the moon. Haven't you seen that movie "Gravity"? I haven't and there is a reason why. 
Plus, it's freaking Europe and $2,000 more than I have right now. Also, ten minutes? I doubt the ride there would even be worth it!
3. (For this question, if you're currently in a mate relationship then answer as if you were single) You have the chance to meet someone with whom you can have the most satisfying love imaginable -- the stuff of dreams. However, you know that in six months the person will have a sexual affair with someone else, and then when you eventually find out they will leave you for them and want nothing more to do with you. Knowing the pain that would follow, would you still want to meet the person and fall in love and experience the 6 months of bliss? You would forget your foreknowledge of the events in store for you, too.
Uh, no! Why would I want to torture myself that way? Plus, if it was really the most 'satisfying love imaginable' I'd hope that that person would love me enough to not sleep with anyone else. If he does, I'd have to seriously doubt that that love was true. 
4.You are offered $1,000,000 USD (or the equivalent in whatever currency) for the following act: Before you are ten pistols -- only one of which is loaded. You must pick up one of the pistols, point it at your forehead, and pull the trigger. If you can do this and walk away you do so a millionaire. Would you accept the risk?
Uh NO.  Again, do I look like an idiot!?!?
5. Someone very close to you is in pain, paralyzed, and you 'somehow' know for certain that they will die within a month. He begs you to give him a fast-acting, painless poison so that he can die. No one else would ever know. Would you? 
I think that I would have to know 100% for SURE that A: they are going to die and B: they want me to... but ultimately, yes I think I would. 
6. You suddenly have to choose a character in 'Friends' that you are most like, who is it?
Well, of course I'd love to be Rachel I mean she's Rachel! But I would've chosen Ross way sooner than the last flipping episode . I really like Phoebe because we have the same sense of humor (Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?) BUT, I am also very Monica-like because we are both a tish OCD and paranoid, only problem is I can't cook to save my life. 
So... I DON'T KNOW! Maybe Joey? 
7. Would you be willing to spend a night alone in a remote house that is supposedly haunted, just for the sake of it? (knowing nothing more about the history of the house than that) There is no electricity though there is running water and other utilities, and you can bring your own flashlight and/or lantern and such. The nearest neighbors live 5 miles away.
Hmm... let me think..... NOfreakingWAY! Not that I really believe in that 'stuff, and I'm not easily scared. It's just that I'm sure my mind would just love to imagine a bunch of stuff and I'd be scared shitless. (oops, sorry Nana if you're reading this. I meant crapless.)
Plus, I've seen too many scary movies where, in this situation, I would end up dead. 
8. If you had $1million to spend however you wanted, but you will die in 7 days, what will you do with it?
I would split it between my family members/loved ones and then I would donate the rest to a children's hospital and JDRF. Oh and I'd buy a pair of Louboutins to wear until I die. Just being honest, here! ;) Because of course I have leave this Earth fabulously in style. 
9. If someone offered to tell you accurately where you will be in life 20 years from now, even though you are powerless to change what they tell you, would you?
I am a curious person by nature, so I think as much as I'd like to say no, I know that I would say yes. Plus, I like to be prepared. 
Finally, 10. You're being held at gunpoint, and the gunman asks you for one reason why he shouldn't pull the trigger, what do you tell him? 
I have two answers for this:
A: I'd tell him that he does't want to kill me. Not truly anyway. Then I would say that I am just a silly little girl, not worth a wasted bullet. I would say also (assuming I had time) that I also really have to pee and shooting me would just be a bigger mess certainly not one he wants to clean up afterwards!
B: I'd tell him a really really funny joke. Maybe this one:
"why did Sally fall of the swing?" "why? "because she had no arms"
"knock knock" "who's there?" "not Sally"

Or maybe this one:
Why was the letter C afraid of the other letters?
They were Not-Cs.

That's it for now! Please feel free to answer these questions in the comments section or on your blog! Make sure you  send me the link so I can check it out :) 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

But they ARE my friends...

The following is a real conversation that last saturday:

Me- "I just finished my book...Guess it's time to start the next one!"

My mom- "oh good! Then we could take some of the books you already read up to Half Priced Books to sell and you cou-"

me- (interrupting her mid sentence) "WHAT?"

Mom- "uhhh... you know... the place where you can sell your books?"

me- "No! I know what you mean, it's just...I could never sell my books! I know this sounds weird but my books are all my friends in a way. You see, for a short period of time, they can transport me into a different world, a different life perhaps. I laugh with them, I cry with them. When I was lonely, they were there for me. And when I see all of the books I've read neatly stacked on my bookshelf, I feel a connection with each and every one of them. When I see them I can relive those memories. The times where I stayed up till 3 am turning the pages relentlessly, eager to find out what happens next. The times when salty tears burned my cheeks after a character dies and I feel the loss deep within me. The times when I can't contain my laughter over something I just read and everyone in the room looks at me like I'm crazy. The moments where for a brief instant in time, I was someone else. Each one taking a piece of my soul once I turn that last page.  I could never ever let that go."

Mom- (She looks at me like I have a foot growing off my forehead and followed by an uncomfortable silence.) "Amber. You need help... and maybe friends that can actually hold a conversation with you."

So, here's my question to you:

What are books to you? Are they just simply something to pass your time, nothing more than an inanimate object?
 Or are they something that is only used when you have to, if ever at all?
Or are you like me and they become your best friends?

Do you feel a connection with the books that you've read?

Monday, January 20, 2014


I seriously cracked up for a solid minute over this. 
It's SO true!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Life lately...

I'm popping back in on my phone again, it's like 3 am and I'm restless. The only cure for that is writing, right!?

So this past week was the first time I didn't have to go 'back to school'. It was weird and I felt almost guilty for being home! I'm currently looking for a full time job, but it's been rather difficult with no car! So I've basically felt like a bum all week. I will say though, that it's rather boring. I used to think when I was younger that it would be so cool just to stay home all day. Wrong. It's reeeeeally dull. I've been running my eBay business and cleaning and reading and watching reruns of Friends. It was fun the first day, but now I'm sick of it.

 It actually saddens me that I won't have school to look forward to. I'm stressed that people will think in never going back (note to self: stop caring about others opinions) but I think the ultimate battle is with myself and telling myself that my decision  was okay. I'm also stressed because I just want to get my undergrad over with and I'm frustrated that it will take longer than I wanted and even expected. 

Anyone have any advice for worrying less? 

In other news, I'm really excited for this weekend! I don't even really know why seeing that my only plans are to go to Costco. 

This past Tuesday, my brother came over on his day off and we spent the day together. It was awesome. I'm so blessed that I have someone like him in my life. I look up to him in so many ways and I think that it's pretty freaking sweet that we can have so much fun together. Example a: upon the completely random idea of going to Dairy Queen, we sat and ate our Ice cream, laughing over this picture: 

 Apparently my brother found it by googling 'seahorse'. See why I love him?
It's moments like that where you stop focusing on the bad so much and learn to truly appreciate the good.

Anyway, this is just a snippet what's been going on in my life recently! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Sorry it's been a while since I last posted. The internet has been out at our place and my car is still in the shop so I can't drive anywhere to get free wifi. (I'm posting this on my phone and it's more than challenging.) Hopefully I will be back to normal by Monday! Until then, I'll leave you with this beauty:
My oldest brother, Austin, took this at dairy queen the other day. It pretty much captures and sums up my life. 

Note: I'm laughing, not puking. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bountiful Baskets

Have y'all ever heard of Bountiful Baskets Co-op? Our family had never heard of it until someone suggested it to us. Our family loves fresh produce and normally we have to go to a 'specialty' store (Sprouts) because we just prefer their produce choices over our regular store. I would say that the majority of our grocery budget goes towards fresh produce so when we read about Bountiful Baskets we knew we had to try it! Luckily, it was an A week, so we were just in time.

Our first basket, we wanted to try the regular basket instead of the organic, just to test everything out. We also opted for the extra tomatoes and we also added the 'juicing pack'.

We were amazed when we loaded all of our fresh veggies and fruits into our car! The baskets roughly contain 50% fruit and 50% veggies.

Here is everything we got in the conventional basket:

Plus, here's what our juicing pack looked like:

and finally, our 25lbs of tomatoes.
You won't believe how much all of this cost.... ready? drumroll....


Isn't that crazy!?!?!

The conventional basket cost $15
The juicing basket cost $8.50
And the 25lbs of tomatoes cost $13.75

Just to show you, here's everything that came in the conventional basket:

1 bag of grapes
12 apples
1 carton of grape tomatoes
8 bananas
7 potatoes
4 tangelos
1 yellow squash
3 peppers
5 onions
4 comice
4 broccoli heads
1 romaine lettuce

 I can't even begin to tell you how much all of that would cost at the store! Needless to say, we will be eating well (with lots of tomatoes) for the next few weeks.

 Definitely check out Bountiful baskets if you haven't already!

 *not sponsored, I just think it's flippin' awesome!

Monday, January 13, 2014

But if you close your eyes...

Do you ever have a song that just resonates deep within your soul...the kind where you feel as if the words are speaking directly to you?
That's how I feel about this song. (Pompeii by Bastille. In fact, I am loving all Bastille's music!)
 I'm sure you've probably heard it by now, it seems to be quite popular.

 I just love the words to this song but it's also one of those songs that I jump up and dance my heart out to.  I am actually rationing listening to it because I always 'over-listen' to my favorite songs and then they kind of lose their magic. Do you know what I mean? Please say yes. ;)

I've copied the lyrics below and also the music video. If you haven't heard it yet, check it out!

I was left to my own devices
Many days fell away with nothing to show

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Grey clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

We were caught up and lost in all of our vices
In your pose as the dust settled around us

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Grey clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

Oh where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?
Oh oh where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Grey clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

If you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?

Friday, January 10, 2014

One Good Deed A Day

I got this lovely little book for Christmas:
My mom knows me so well. I love pretty journals and this one is no exception.

It's a really neat idea...
basically, you do one good deed or random act of kindness a day. 

When she gave it to me, she told me that she thought it would be a great blog idea. (see, she really does know me.)

 Basically, you complete a good deed and write the date in which you completed it on. 

My question to you is this...
Would this be something you'd like to see me blog about?

One of my biggest pet-peeves is when people 'brag' out doing good things for others. It's one thing to be proud, but it's another thing to brag. I just think that (when someone brags) they are only doing those things to make themselves look like better people, not for just the fact that you are doing good things. Does that make sense? 

With that being said, I think it would be cool to incorporate it into a blog post because not only would it would give others some ideas, it would hold me accountable for actually completing things in the journal!

I think it would be a wonderful thing to be able to look back on.
Not to mention it's just plain beautiful to look at.
See what I mean?!?

Let me know y'alls thoughts!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks

Our family loves movies, but we rarely go to a theater to see them. In our town, it's almost $10 a ticket, times that by 5, plus see where I am going with this. 

So, we either go to the matinee (it's only $5), wait for it to come out on red box, or if we know we will like it, we will buy it on DVD. 

All of this to say, that this past sunday afternoon, I found myself at the movies which is not the norm. My old friend from Germany was coming back to town and she wanted to catch some American films before she left.

 She picked the movie "Saving Mr. Banks." To be honest, I just hadn't heard much about it and went into it not knowing what to expect. I have to say I was neither excited nor upset with that choice. It just didn't seem like it would be all that spectacular.  

Boy, was I wrong. 

If you haven't seen this movie yet, I so encourage you to do so. It had me laughing and in tears in both the best ways. 

My family is rather fond of all things Disney, so once I said my (tearful) goodbyes to my friend, I rushed home to check the next movie time. Luckily, we had 15 minutes to spare!

I made my mom and brother hop in the car as fast as they could and didn't tell them where we were going.  They both had sour attitudes about it but I knew once they saw it, they'd be changed too. 

And I was right! They both loved it! Even my 17 year old brother thought it was funny and really good. 

If you haven't seen it yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Both you AND your family will love it.

{Oh, my German friend liked it, but with all the different accents she had a hard time understanding it. Luckily I got to explain my take on it to her! }

"You can worry about the future, but you can't do that. Only today."

Monday, January 6, 2014

December Ipsy Bag

Here's what I got in my December Ipsy Bag!

As always, to sign up for ipsy, click here.

What they say:
This palette of hues adds definition & intensity to lids, creating a broad range of looks that complements all eye colours. From brightening bare to sultry smoke, these hues blend smoothly onto the lid, adding a veil of silky luster that will outlive the day or night! 

What I say: I liked these. They were nicely pigmented and were smooth and had a buttery feel. I don't wear smokey eyes all that often, but when I do, I will definitely use this! 

What they say:
An all-in-one multiple stick with a smooth texture. Apply to eyelids, cheeks or lips for the perfect pop of color anywhere! 

What I say:
I think that this is a very clever idea! I think that this product would be perfect to throw in your purse because it really does have a bunch of different uses. This shade could be used as a lipstick, blush and even a highlight!

What they say:
The Nicka K New York is specially designed to glide across fingernails with minimal effort for vibrancy that is dazzling and long lasting. Formula is free of DBP, Toublene, and formaldehyde. 

What I say: This was the product I was most excited about! I love the color (taupe is my friend) and the bottle is absolutely gorgeous!! I have yet to actually paint this on my nails yet, but I will soon. 

What they say:
A classic lipstick for all occasions that has a mineral-based emollient formula, beautiful velvet texture, saturated color, and resists wear and smudging. 

What I say: While this lipstick may be creamy and might last for a while, the color I received is so bad I will never wear this. It's a dark orangey-brown lipstick, and while it may look good on some people, it certainly does not look good on me. Bummer! 

What they say:
Ardell’s Natural lashes are perfect for enhancing your eyes for an everyday look. These are the most popular lashes as they give the desired, natural look of full, beautiful lashes. Lightweight and reusable, these lashes are permanently curled, waterproof, comfortable to wear and easy to apply. 

What I say:
False lashes are not a typical part of my routine, but I was happy to receive some for any special occasions I might have. These look very natural and feel very lightweight. 

Here are the swatches of the products!

Again, to sign up for Ipsy, just $10 a month, click here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 {tentative} Goals

Happy 2014 to everyone! I am very excited about what this year will bring!

While I really enjoyed doing monthly goals on my blog last year, I decided to not continue them this year. It was a tough choice but ultimately I just wanted to do something different. There are a couple things that I would love to complete this year and I think I will still share them with you, it just won't be every single month per say.  Right now, here are a few things I would like to accomplish in the near future:

1. Start up my couponing again. I did this religiously last year up until I went to Florida for the summer. When I got back, school just took up way too much time for me to be able to. So far, I have reorganized my binder and next week I will begin searching for deals. I don't think I will do a lot of 'extreme' couponing but more of just saving on items I will buy anyway (with a bit of extreme thrown in every once in a while). {Oh, I should mention that grocery shopping is my household chore...It's relaxing to me!}

2. Create a budget and stick with it. Believe it or not, I haven't really made a budget for myself. I do keep a list of everything I need to pay (cell phone, gas, etc), but I never really budget on my extra expenses/ fun money (clothes, makeup, books). Therefor, I plan to use the envelope system. I am actually really excited about this!

3. Track my foods in Myfitness Pal. I'm not making a goal to lose weight (although I want to!) because I know that I need to start small and gradually work my way there. My first step is to track all my eating habits into the app My Fitness Pal. This means that the good, the bad and the ugly will get tracked. I've done this before and it's a really eye-opening process to see exactly how many calories you are actually eating. Now, I just want to (again) stick with it!

Bring it on 2014!