April 29, 2014

Are You There Motivation? It's Me, Amanda.


As always linking up with my Snicklefritz (Kay) and Allie for Tough It Out Tuesday!

Motivation and will power have escaped me recently. After a gloriously productive Easter weekend, I thought I'd stay on track and keep things going. Nope. Didn't happen. I got lazy and started craving Dill Pickle chips and M&Ms mixed with Reeces Pieces. And I ate them. An entire bag of chips and half of my candy mixture later, I felt awful.

Then the weather started getting moody and thwarted every attempt I made to go for a walk. I did a few video workouts and some stuff with my exercise ball, but not as much as I should have. Philip is working a lot and has been so tired, which makes me feel bad cause he'll always workout with me if I say I'm going to. That sounds like an excuse. But if your person has a physically demanding job, you kinda get where I'm coming from in not wanting to add to their body pain and fatigue.

Sunday wasn't any different. I checked my bloggy stuff, then laid around watching HBO and dreaming of an ice cream and cookie binge. I didn't binge, but I wanted to. Really, really bad.

Despite all the crappy food I ate and my lack of motivation to move my body, I ended up losing another three pounds bringing my total to TEN pounds. Which totally surprised me, and has kinda kicked my butt back into gear a bit. I really wish I had a workout buddy who lived close to me so I don't always have to rely on Philip so much (read: so I can let him rest when he comes home from work). Someone move here!

Here's hoping this week is better than last week, especially now that the junk is out of the house.

Also linking up with Keep Calm and Blog On for Tea Party Tuesday.

Keep Calm and Blog On

April 28, 2014

My (almost) Completed Kitchen

It's been while since I've worked in my Kitchen, mainly because I just didn't feel like it. It's a big room and there was so much to do, I wasn't looking forward to doing it all by myself. Well Philip had a four day weekend for the Easter holiday, and we decided that would be a great time to check that kitchen project off the list. We did two things: paint the walls and re-finish the cabinets.

Get caught up with my Kitchen project here and here.

April 27, 2014

Sunday Social: Pet Peeves

Sunday Social

1. What is your biggest driving pet peeve?
People who drive under the speed limit. Slow doesn't always mean safer and sometimes is the cause of many accidents on the highway.

2. What is your biggest blogging pet peeve?
When the sponsored posts outnumber the non-sponsored posts.

April 25, 2014

Under The Sea

I received complimentary admission to Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium in exchange for writing a review about the aquarium on my blog. All opinions and observations are 100% my own.

As I mentioned in Tuesday's TIOT post, Philip and I went to Kansas City for the day last Friday. I hadn't been to KC (as the locals call it) yet, so it was a fun experience for me to see more of this new state I call home. There's a neat little area of the city called Crown Center that is home to a several family friendly attractions and activities, but my favorite was the SeaLife Aquarium. I love aquariums; the blue tones and flowy rhythms always sooth and calm me, so I jumped at the opportunity to visit SeaLife. Philip had never been to an aquarium before, so it was awesome to be able to watch him experience the awe of the underwater world for the first time.

SeaLife is super kid friendly with all sorts of fun facts about the corresponding aquatic life on the walls. We learned a lot of tidbits about the creatures we saw and you even get the chance to touch a few of the animals if you like that sort of thing.

April 24, 2014

TBT Stories: My First Kiss

Throwback Thursday Stories

It's Thursday, and you know what that means. Another blast from my past! This week we're discussing your First Kiss. I have touched on this before (here), but I will elaborate on that story for you.

April 23, 2014

I'm a Rarity

When I was catching up on my blog reading yesterday, I saw THIS post by Ashley over at The Grits Blog. She and I are both doing the #100HappyDays challenge and it's really making a difference in how I'm viewing my life. Ashley stepped it up and took a personality test to help her figure our what her triggers are so she can better understand what makes her happy in life. What a good idea right?

Follow me on Instagram (here's Ashley's) to see my #100HappyDays in real time, or stop by my #100HappyDays Page.

So I hopped on over to the 16 Personalities site, answered all the questions, and here's what I got:

Ok, I'm an INFJ. But what does that mean for me? I clicked the button that directs you to the description of your personality. What I read there made so much sense and I now understand why I am the way I am, to an extent.

Turns out the INFJ personality is rare, as in less than 1% of people have it. The results also point out that I'm also a bit of a walking contradiction, for example: 
"Even though their presence can be described as very quiet, INFJ personalities usually have many strong opinions..."
"As INFJs are generally eloquent and persuasive, they tend to be quite popular and influential. The INFJs themselves are often quite bemused by this as they are very private individuals who do not really need nor enjoy the attention." 
When I saw that, I was like YES! That is so me! This rarity also explains why I have never really felt that anyone has really "got me."

As I clicked around the information about INFJs, the word "perfectionist" is used A LOT. Over the years, I have come to realize that I am a perfectionist, and it sometimes impacts my relationships, both platonic and romantic, in a negative way. I have learned, and am still learning, to take a step back and be more understanding that most everyone does not think like me. This test just proves that theory about myself. And like Ashley and her ISFJ personality, I tend to take things personally or read into things much farther than I should. This trait will, forever, be an ongoing obstacle that I will have to work on and learn to accept.

There are lots of great things about my personality as well. Let's make a list!

1. INFJs tend to be very loyal and supportive friends and are sought out by many other personality types for their wisdom.
I will be your friend faithfully, until you give me a reason not to. 

2.  INFJs are masters of written communication, with a distinctively smooth and warm language.
Hey hey! No wonder I've always been drawn to blogging.

3. INFJs take great care of other people’s feelings and expect others to return the favor.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how my actions affect others. I don't want to hurt or offend anyone, this is going to be a challenge when it comes to planning my wedding.

4. INFJs find it easy to decipher other people’s motives and are rarely affected by manipulation or sales tactics. 
This means I have a decent Bullshit Detector when it comes to most people. I have a friend who says my BS detector is crap when it comes to men I'm romantically involved with. And maybe that is true, but I think I'm getting better.

5. It is very rare to see an INFJ do something just for their personal benefit.
This has been a hot button between my mother and myself. She sometimes sees me as severely self-centered, and in some situations I am. I admit that. But is most cases, my intentions are purely outside of myself and I really just want to help, I just have a weird way of communicating it. 

I learned a lot about myself with this test and I am curious as to what Philip's results will be (if he takes the test). Have you taken a test like this? What were your results?

April 22, 2014

Tulips, Paint, Cabinets, and Eureka Springs

AllieologyAs always linking up with my Snicklefritz (Kay) and Allie for Tough It Out Tuesday! Let me say that last week started out like any other week, but by the end of the holiday weekend, it was crazy productive!

My food intake was pretty much on point. I didn't go over my calorie budget, and I ate mostly healthy foods. My exercise was just OK. I managed to do a few video workouts and my abs were sore for a few days after doing crunches on my exercise ball, Holy Jeeze! are they harder to do on that ball!

April 21, 2014

Wine. Wine. Wine.

Because I've been super busy this past weekend and today, I was lazy once again and chose a topic from my little Snicklefritz's EPIC LIST OF BLOG IDEAS for today's post. I'm not a wine connoisseur, by any means, but I do know what I like and what I don't like. So here it is folks, a list of the five wines that frequent our refrigerator, even if it is only for a short time.

1. Chateau St. Michelle Riesling 

It's an off-dry white wine with a sweet hint of lime and peach flavors. Soooo yummy with some frozen green grapes in it on a hot summer day. It's moderately priced, usually in the $11-$15 range at the grocery store. I feel the need to note that it has a corked bottle, so be sure to remember your wine bottle opener if you choose to take this wine outside of your house (I've done this on multiple occasions).  Also, the bottle is pretty and nice to display even after you've drained it dry.

April 20, 2014

Sunday Social

Sunday Social 
1. 5 songs you’ll listen to the rest of your life.
a. I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing by Aerosmith
b. Amanda by Boston
c. I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes
d. No Other Love by Chuck Prophet
e. Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves

2. 5 things on your bucket list.
a. Go on a cruise. 
b. Visit Ireland. 
c. Get down to and maintain my ideal weight. 
d. Have LASIK surgery 
e. Get married.

April 18, 2014

DIY Workout Tanktop

You've probably seen these on Pinterest, but have you actually tried to make one yourself? No? Why not?! They are super easy and take only minutes to complete. But seriously, if I can do it and not screw it up (or hurt myself in the process), so can you! Plus, my adorable Snicklefritz (aka Kay) from The Best of Intentions said she wanted a DIY post, so I figured why not! If you haven't checked out her EPIC LIST OF BLOG IDEAS you should, it's got some great stuff.

What you need:

An old T-shirt - preferably cute and slightly loose fitting.
Pen or Marker
A workout/regular tank you bought and like the style and fit
A furry assistant

Here's what you do:

Turn the T-shirt inside out so the pen marks are on the inside. I turned my tank inside out as well incase my pen decided to take a detour. Then slide the T-shirt in the tank top (pictured below) and trace the neck and arm holes on the front and back of the shirt.

Separate the T-shirt and Tank. Ok here's where the furry assistant comes in to play. Let her/him inspect the tracings and hold them down for a few mins, you never know when a huge gust of wind will blow through your bedroom! Don't worry, once she's moved out of the way, you can cut along those lines you traced and turn the T-shirt right side out again.

I hope you enjoyed that project and I'd love see your lovely new Workout Tank Top!

April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Easter Baskets

Throwback Thursday Stories

Dyed eggs, chocolate bunnies, cookouts, Jesus, and pretty pastel dresses are what I think about when someone says Easter. This holiday is more for the kiddos than for adults, but somehow I always seem to enjoy it.

My grandmother made our Easter baskets. I wish I had a picture because they were pretty awesome. It started as a large round basket. But she painted and attached wooden bunny feet and head to each one. Mine had pink ribbon and C's had blue. We used them for years until they began to, quite literally, fall apart. When F came along, he got a cute little blue basket that had a bunny on it. 

Easter morning my mom would fill our baskets and hide them around the house: behind chairs, in cabinets, or in the dryer. She'd wake us up and tell us to go see if the Easter Bunny hid our baskets. We'd run through the house searching every hiding spot we could think of until we found our basket.

April 16, 2014

(not quite Chipolte) Burrito Bowls

The northern suburbs of Atlanta really had me spoiled food wise. I didn't realize just how much I'd be giving up when I moved to the middle of nowhere Missouri and how far I'd have to go to get what I want. Chick-fil-a is about a 20 min drive, and Chipolte is about a 30 min drive. AND THAT IS JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE! So, I learned how to make my own version of a Burrito Bowl at home.

April 15, 2014

Attack of the Purple Hand Weights!

It's Tuesday, and as usual, I'm linking up with Kay and Allie for Tough It Out Tuesday.

See those purple weights in the background?
One of those puppies rolled right off onto my foot!
Last week was not very good for me in the Get Fit Department. One of my hand weights dropped on my bare foot when I was trying to move the coffee table back into place. It hurt so badly, but surprisingly, it didn't bruise. I rested it one day and it seemed ok, so I tried to work out again. Then I hurt my back and was out for the count another day. Not to mention I didn't eat as well as I had been the previous weeks. I braved the scale, but there was no change, up or down. Then I took measurements and I only lost an inch in my waist. Not too bad.

My foot is finally feeling back to normal (for the most part) and so is my back. I've enlisted Philip to help me kick my butt back into my eating and workout routine. I'm hoping for better results when I weigh and measure in two weeks. I was able to find yoga blocks for decent price which makes things much easier on me until my flexibility and balance are up to par.

April 14, 2014

My Last Target Receipt

My new bloggy friend, Kay, made an epic list of blog topics she wants to read about. I scribbled down a few that totally apply to me, the first being to "live blog" a TV show or movie. I did that for the Game of Thrones premiere, you can check that out here. Another one I wrote down was to post my last Target receipt. I couldn't find an older one, but I did need to make a trip to Target last week. Somehow I was able to escape with only a $5 tab.

However, I almost spent about $55 more on some new 5 lb hand weights, a very overpriced yoga block, two super cute coffee mugs, and a colorful lounge chair so I can lay out and not blind people with my ghost like legs. I knew Philip would not approve, so I left my purchases to the dollar section.

April 13, 2014

Sunday Social

It's Sunday! As always, I'm linking up with Neely and Ashely for Sunday Social. Give them a holler and check out the other lovelies that participate as well!

Before we start, it would totally make my day if you followed and liked me on all those silly social media things we like to partake in. Thanks in advance!


1. What was your best birthday?
My favorite birthday has to be the one where my best friend and I got tattoos and started our own business. I'd been wanting a tattoo for years, and she decided we were just gonna do it. And we did and I love it. The next day, we were talking about work and she suddenly suggested we partner up and start out own business. After a wine induced brainstorming session, we decided on a name, Innovate Events and Consulting, and a doodled up a logo on a little dry erase board I had.

2. What was your best vacation?
The last family vacation to Hilton Head, SC. I went parasailing for the first time and I freaking loved it! Not to mention all the quality time with the fam.

3. Best date you’ve ever been on?
Probably the most recent one Philip and I went on: The Ha Ha Tonka Hiking Trip.
A close second would be that guy that took me to the Georgia Aquarium because I had said I'd never been there, or an aquarium at all for that matter.

My two favoritest pictures I ever took at the Georgia Aquarium

4. Best Movie(quality) you’ve seen?
The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Seriously. Great acting. Beautiful landscapes. Amazing CGI. They are only getting better as they go.

"I'm going on an adventure!!" - Via

5. Best TV show ending of all time?
I don't watch much TV anymore and was never able to stick with a show from beginning to end in real time. And the ones I do watch now haven't ended, thank God.

That's all for this week. Until next week!

April 12, 2014

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins
Last Sunday Philip and I were bored. I started Googling things to do in our area because none of my usual go-to things are available here. I came across a park that a friend of his recommended to us once. Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camdenton, MO. It's about a 45 minute drive from us, but the day was too nice to pass up a chance to get out and Philip had never really been hiking.

April 11, 2014

He Asked...

...And I said "YES"!

I'm not going to say I didn't see this coming. We had talked about it a lot before I moved here and even more after I got here. I knew it was going to happen at some point, I just didn't know exactly when. One day I showed him a cute proposal video my friend posted on Facebook (that after an hour of searching, I can no longer find) and he said he wasn't creative enough to do anything like that. I told him while that sort of elaborate proposal would make a great story, I'd rather have an honest and heartfelt proposal and it doesn't matter who's around or if it was a grand spectacle.

Our first anniversary was March 28 and I got this crazy idea that the gift he purchased was going to be a ring, no, THE Ring. In a panic I turned to Twitter to get gift ideas to match my guess. I ended up making him some "Open When..." cards and got him his favorite candy, but I also ordered a ring for him. If he wasn't going to propose, I was.

On the day of our Anniversary, he came home with Frozen (aka My New Fav Movie) and informed me that the rest of my gift would not arrive until the following week. I gave him his cards and candy, but his ring had not arrived yet either, so we played a waiting game. Mid week, his ring arrived; I got lucky that I checked the mail before he got home! So I ran inside and hid it until the gift he ordered made an appearance. A week and a half later, still no sign of this surprise he kept promising was on it's way.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 we were on our evening walk. I was slightly annoyed at the delay in my plans because I have a hard time holding on to surprises. We were passing the big pasture where the pretty white horse I love lives, when he slowed a bit and said "You know I'm always gonna be here for you, right?"
Confused, I replied "Yeah," smiled, then tried to pick up the pace again. I had calories to burn!
He didn't quite match my step, "You know how much I love and care about you, right?"
"Yes. I know." I smiled again. "I love you too." I made another attempt to pick up the pace, I had calories to burn!
"Stop a minute. Look at me."
"What? What's the matter?" Now I was concerned.
He kneels. Right there in the middle of the street. That's when it hit me: Holy Shit! It's happening now?!
"Will you marry me?"
I squealed and hugged him. Then he slipped the ring on my finger, "OMG it's beautiful!"
I hugged him again. "You forgot to say 'yes'," he teased.
"Yes!" I replied laughing.

When we got back to the house, I pulled out his ring and told him about my plan of proposing if his gift wasn't a ring. Then I started crying, told him how much I loved him and that I couldn't wait to spend the rest of our lives together and proposed to him too! He hugged me and whispered "yes".

Then we went to the grocery store to get more bananas and ended up with French Silk Pie, vanilla cream pastries, wine, and cheap champagne as well. I had burned a lot of calories doing housework, on top of our walk, so I deserved a piece of that pie! I made Philip pop open the bubbly (safety glasses were worn) and we enjoyed a quiet night slightly interrupted by all of the congratulations notifications from various social media accounts.

So, there it is folks! My adorkable proposal story. I hope you're not all making appointments with your dentists for cavities you got from all the sweetness in this post. #sorrynotsorry

April 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday Stories: A Sad Clown

Throwback Thursday Stories

Yes, that is me in the top photo posing suggestively with a Lego Darth Vader. Who's that in the other photo? That's Melissa. She's been my friend for about 8 years now and we have a lot of hilarious stories we're going to share with you now that she's my new co-host for this Link-up! After all, we are on the same level of crazy. You probably checked out her little corner of the interwebs, Crazy Camp Camacho, on Monday when I announced she was joining me for the Blog Tour, but if you haven't, now's your chance! Go check her out and don't forget to link up with us each Thursday with your own fun story from our weekly prompt!

This week...

April 9, 2014

Game of Thrones Premiere


Sunday was the first day we turned on our Satellite receiver to watch live TV in about two months. Netflix has taken over, but the new season of our favorite show caused a lot of excitement in our house. Philip actually got us a subscription to HBO for the occasion!

Game of Thrones. Season 4. I. Am. So. Freakin'. Excited.

April 8, 2014

A Make-Up-For-A-Cheat-Meal Smoothie


Linking up once again with Kay and Allie for Tough It Out Tuesday!

Saturday I had a cheat meal. Ugh! It was the first time I've ever gone over my allotted calorie plan for the day and I felt a little guilty. Just a little though, because that chicken burrito swimming in white queso was sooooo very delicious. Anywho. Sunday I felt like I needed to make up for this overindulgence and made us a smoothie for lunch.

April 7, 2014

My Writing Process: A Blog Tour

Jackie from Indecisively Blogging put out an A.P.B. about this on Twitter. I was intrigued and asked for more information. When she sent me the email, I was totally on board. You can read all about Jackie and her writing process here.

My Writing Process

1. What am I working on?
I always have several posts in draft. I like to prepare and schedule them out about a week or so in advance, when possible. Currently I am trying to get some pictures from my mom for the weekly link-up I host, well now co-host, called Throwback Thursday Stories. I loved the idea of the Throwback Thursday posts on Instagram and Twitter, but often find myself wondering about the story behind the photo, and so the link-up was born! You can get all the details about how to participate on my Throwback Thursday Stories page.

April 6, 2014

Sunday Social, Tweet Tweet

1. When did you join twitter?
March 15, 2009 (read my very first tweet here!)

2. Who is your favorite non-celeb to follow?
Nicole Sweeney from SweeneySays.com -@sweeneysays - Her tweets are hilarious and thought inspiring.

April 5, 2014

Three Books that Summarize and Inspire Me as a Person


This week is the first week that I am participating in the 20 Something Bloggers weekly prompt.

The topic: What three books summarize you as a person? 

An interesting prompt to say the least, and since I am somewhat of a bookworm (even though I don't blog about it), I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you the books that have helped shape who I am today.

April 4, 2014

10 Ways to Show Your Love

I used to be insanely insecure with myself, which made me insecure in my relationships. I sought reassurance and confirmation daily, and I am sure that was part of the reason all my past relationships failed. I have come to love myself and accept the person that I am, and I have found a wonderful man that does the same. I don't have to ask for them nor look very far to find signs that he loves and cares for me, they are displayed openly in our daily life. And I do my best to give him no reason to doubt my feelings for him as well.

Philip has agreed to help me write this post, which makes it extra special. We are going to share with you ten things that we practice in our own relationship that make us happy and feel closer to each other. A few of these helped a lot in the beginning when it was long distance.

Even if none of these things apply to your relationship, I hope this list inspires you to look at the little things that you do and appreciate them even more.

1. Every morning give a goodbye kiss.

Never let anything keep you from giving affection daily. Even though Philip gets up far earlier than I would ever dare, he still gives me a kiss before he leaves, waking me up just enough to know he's gone for the day. 

2. Send sweet or thoughtful text messages.

It only takes a few seconds to let someone know they are on your mind. Philip has never been good with words, so he joined Pinterest. There he finds quotes and lyrics that represent what he feels, what he wants to say, or our relationship in general. I have awoken to one nearly every morning since April 2013. We also have a message board in our kitchen that has the prompt: You are Loved because __. I love leaving him a note there for him to find in the morning.

3. Do what your partner likes/wants to do without complaint.

Relationships are about compromise. You can't always do what you want to do, and you won't always like what you're partner likes to do. Sharing activities and doing new things can bring you closer together and make great memories. Who knows, maybe you'll discover that you really do kinda like that T.V. show.

4. Save water, shower together.

Does this really need further explanation??

5. Listen. 

Really listen to what your partner is saying, and not saying. Sometimes it's what's behind the words that you need to pay attention to.

6. Know and Support your partners goals.

Helping each other grow as a person is a great way to help your relationship grow. Philip wants to move into an more IT based field, so I encouraged him to sign up for an online certificate training course. He does classwork, while I write and work on this blog. And, it's no secret I am trying to lose weight and get healthy. Philip has played a huge role in motivation and accountability for me, and I think I am really going to be able to stick with it this go round.

7. Don't stop dating each other.

Sometimes, as a couple, you fall into a comfortable rut and one day you realize you're not having fun anymore. Set aside time to get dressed up and get out of the house. Go to a nice dinner, see a movie, or explore your city. Long distance? Philip and I would have Skype dinner dates before I moved to Missouri.

8. Unexpected and thoughtful gestures.

As Philip says, "Surprises keep the spice!" When your partner has had a bad day, stop and pick them up their favorite candy, run them a bubble bath, or perhaps that movie from RedBox they've been wanting to see. Last Friday was our first anniversary, Philip told me that my gift would not arrive until the next week, so he surprised me with my new favorite Disney movie so I would have something to open that day. And I surprised him with a gift even though I told him that I wasn't going to be able to afford to.

9. Appreciate what they do for you and your life together.

A lot of times the small things you do get overlooked and taken for granted. Try to stop and take notice of what your partner does for you and your relationship. Let them know you appreciate their efforts. Philip puts the dishes away because he knows I don't like to and I make sure he has a healthy meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because he'd be stuck with frozen pizzas and Taco Bell if I didn't.

10. Tell them. 

People like to hear that you love and care for them. Those three little words can have a lot of power if you support them with your actions. I make sure to tell Philip every night when I come to bed that I love him and he tells me every afternoon when he comes home from work.

What do you do to show your partner Love? 

April 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday Stories: My mom/dad "blames" me for _____ .

Throwback Thursday Stories w/ Peaches in MO

Today we are owning up to things our parents "blame" us for. 
In a totally, joking way! 

April 2, 2014

Lets Hang Stuff on the Walls!

When I moved here there wasn't much in the way of wall decor. Just a mirror and a couple random hand-me-down pieces of art in the kitchen, a Denver Broncos clock in the bedroom, and a Chinese restaurant menu in the living room, you know, the one that has a calendar on it and rolls up like a scroll. Yeah, very bachelor pad.

April 1, 2014

I Have Weak Ankles and Other Things


My first two weeks of this new lifestyle I've implemented went pretty well. I discovered a lot about myself, but I still have a long way to go. Philip even joined in and is providing lots of motivation, specifically to workout. Knowing that he's doing this with and for me is a huge help and is making me hold myself more accountable, because I want him to get healthy and fit too.