Books, Lettering, Life

Doing – Reading – Loving

Raise your hand if you’re happy spring is finally almost kind of here. I know I am. This weekend, on the days it didn’t rain, we went to the lake for the first time this season. The water was a chilly 60˚, but the temperature was almost 80˚ which is a big win in my book. We did a little bit of fishing (not catching unfortunately) and broke out the new paddle board. I am SO in love with it. I have been wanting one for quite some time, but it never seemed like it would work out for us because of the size. In comes the inflatable paddle board. I was a little apprehensive about getting an inflatable one, thinking it would be light/flimsy/not sturdy. But they are remarkably rigid, easy to inflate and deflate and a blast to use. The one I settled on holds up to 400 lbs, so I can take out the dog or kiddo with me. We are going to be taking it on vacation this summer and I am so excited. You can pop a cooler on it to sit on and fish, layout, or just explore. So paddle boarding is definitely what I am and will be DOING here lately.

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I am really enjoying READING “Afraid of all the things” by Scarlet Hiltibidal. It’s like this book was written by me, for me, about me. It is about all the things we can be scared of and how to use the gospel to squash those fears. It’s been a very enlightening read for me. If you were to look at my Goodreads account, you would see that I will by any book about anxiety – but this one is so far my favorite. I will be re-reading this again in the future.

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I am LOVING diving into bible journaling. It something I have wanted to do but have never known how or where to start. In high school art classes and even while earning my art degree in college, my teachers and professors would always tell me I was too reluctant or timid with my artwork. I am one of those people that get a blank page and panic about how or where to start. I have a zillion journals and I NEVER write on the first page. But I finally just took the plunge and now it has become a daily thing for me. I just use a passage that has stood out to me that I hear during service or see on Pinterest. If you’ve ever wanted to – just start. Starting is the hardest part of anything for me.

 

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Life

5 Things this Friday…

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1. Although we have recently* watched all of them, the husband and I are patiently awaiting the next season of The Handmaid’s Tale. *Recently, I say, because we were a little late to the station for that band wagon and have been in a bit of a binge. That being said – living in the south, people tend to tell you “have a blessed day”. You know, like the check out person at the grocery store, your dry cleaner. I can not confirm nor deny that I responded with “may the Lord open”…

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2. I am reading “When Life Gives You Lululemons” and it is SO good so far. If you want an easy, good, funny read – go pick this up today! (It’s a follow up book to the Devil Wears Prada)

 

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3. I FINALLY found some of this coveted soap and cleaner from Target that smells like an Anthro Volcano candle and I’m here to tell you – THE STORIES ARE TRUE. The dish soap is $0.79 and the multipurpose cleaner is $1.59. WHAT THE WHAT! (I was so excited, audible gasp and maybe cleared the shelf…)

 

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4. I’ve found the holy grail of hair ties. THESE are the best for a tight hold, perky pony, and even holds onto my daughters baby fine hair. You can’t beat the price. Give these a try!

 

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5. I’m ready for spring…
(photo credit, me)

DIY, Life

3 of my favorite essential oils and how I use them

My top 3 essential oils and how I use them

It’s facebook official (or website official), I have a love affair with essential oils. I use them all – day err day and they make me so happy. This is just a little snippet of what I use and how or why I use them. I use Young Living oils because I think they are a great quality. I started out with the starter kit, which is awesome. It really allows you to dive in with no commitment, which is good for me because I hate commitment and contracts and blah blah blah. All three of these came with my kit – here is how and why I use each one!

1. Stress away – I use this little gem to de-stress and as a perfume. I have it in my purse at all times and roll it on multiple times a day. I also diffuse it. I’ve had multiple people ask me what perfume I am wearing when I have this on. It’s like a lime / vanilla type scent and I absolutely cannot get enough of it. De-stress wise, it gets me to take a deep cleansing breath and helps me to re-focus. I don’t know if that’s  the magic of the oil or just because I am OBSESSED with the smell.

2. Lemon vitality – I add this little guy to my water to help support my immune system, and just because it makes my water taste so good. It helps me to get my water intake up. You can also use it as goo gone on glass and other hard surfaces. (Not plastic though, learned that the hard way. Also, only drink in metal or glass cup – I ruined a good tumbler the first time I drank it.) I also like to diffuse it in my kitchen. I love citrus smells in the kitchen. It just smells fresh.

3. Lavender – You can make a sheet spray, tell your kid its magic sleepy oil and sprinkle it on their pillow. I run through this stuff like crazy. I diffuse it next to my bed at night, or put it on my pillow or even my jammies. You can put a few drops in your bath with some epsom salts and pretend you’re at a spa or in one of those float tanks (I kind of want to go do that). My favorite use is to help ease sinus pressure. Not sure this works for everyone, but it sure worked for me. I just dabbed a little on my sinuses on either side of the bridge of my nose and it made a notable difference within just a few minutes. I guess the lavender helps to calm the inflammation?

Life

Jitter Glitter

First day chalkboard #schoolchalkboard

My baby child has started kindergarten and it is giving me all the feels. I can’t believe she is gone ALL day long at school. My house is cleaner than its been since she arrived 5.5 years ago, though. Her sweet teacher gave her a little bag of glitter to put under her pillow before the first day of school. I needed that glitter more than her. I’ve already messed up pick up and drop off protocol and so far, my stomach has been upset every morning I’ve had to drop her off. Maybe I should put some Imodium under my pillow. I hope she continues to pop out of bed excited to learn. It’s the most bittersweet experience.

Now I have to find ways to fill up my days that don’t completely revolve around house work. Otherwise, I’m going to lose my friggin mind. I’ve already signed up to volunteer at my church once a week. I’m considering becoming an “assistant” room parent, which is probably going to be a mistake but you live and you learn!

Life

Information overload

Information overload on AmandaLynEmporium.comWell, I think I’ve managed to succumb to my third failed attempt at blogging. I always seem to come out of the gate so hot and then fizzle out like yesterday’s birthday candles. I begin to think I have nothing interesting to say, my photographs aren’t professional enough, or there’s no one listening so why even bother.

I spend the majority of my day trying to soak in so much information to try and do better or be better that I am leaving myself and my identity behind, I think. Information overload. And it’s so easy nowadays with the internet, you just slowly fall down a rabbit hole of words and pictures and the next thing you know you’ve done absolutely nothing that you really want to accomplish. And it’s not just the web. Books and magazines can be found in every room of my house. I could literally go to Barnes and Nobles every single day.

I’ve come to the conclusion I need to just write. I need to take a moment, turn off the noise and just get it on paper (or screen). My husband says my tv watching commentary is reality tv worthy. Sometimes things come out of my mouth so much I crack myself up along with him.

I also need to narrow down some of my passions. I literally have too many hobbies. I’m not talking about deciding to try something new, buying the necessary gear, and just doing it once. These are things I continue to rotate around, becoming mediocre at tons of skills and mastering none. Here’s the short list:

  • Guitar/ukulele
  • Painting
  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Needle point
  • Sewing
  • Gardening
  • Illustration
  • Quilting
  • Utilizing essential oils
  • Recipe creation
  • Hand lettering

Fear not, this isn’t some self loathing, woe is me type of post. It’s an epiphany! I’m unfocused. I’m too consumed with what’s going on around me to notice what’s going on inside me. That doesn’t mean that I still won’t have twelve hundred hobbies, but I am going to make an effort to focus and turn off the noise.

Make time to make.

Write what I think.

Be inspired.

Life

5th Birthday Trip Recap

We celebrated my baby’s (m.y. b.a.b.y.) 5 birthday last week. I cannot even believe she is “school age” now. It just doesn’t seem possible. I am both heart broken and excited all at the same time. I have been stressing about school options and testing this whole week and I am deciding to chill out about it. I do not want to be one of those moms. She will go where she goes and she will be fine. So on to the fun stuff!

5th birthday trip recap on AmandaLynEmporium.com

We opted to take a small family vacation to celebrate this milestone for her instead of throwing a party at our house or renting out a place. Stressful and expensive! Plus, her birthday is exactly one month out from Christmas day so we are over gifts and entertaining at that point anyway.
5th birthday trip recap on AmandaLynEmporium.com

We rented a little cabin in Gatlinburg, next door to the Great Smoky Mountains. A favorite (and close) destination for our family. We all really love the outdoors, wild life and hiking so this is the perfect place to be. The little one can’t make it to terribly far on a hike as or yet (only about 2 – 3 easy miles), so we took her on some smaller walks and her daddy and I were able to do a more strenuous hike on Friday up the AT to a lookout referred to as “The Jump Offs”. Its about 6 miles round trip and the view is definitely worth it.

5th birthday trip recap on AmandaLynEmporium.com

*I have on 900 layers of clothes because it was freezing up on that mountain top!

We can’t wait to find another excuse to head back over there. Maybe sometime this summer when we can take advantage of some river fun. Maybe some fishing or a short tube float?

5th birthday trip recap on AmandaLynEmporium.com

Till next time Great Smoky’s! And a VERY happy birthday to my baby girl!

Holidays, Life

Grey winter days

I am so ready for spring now that the holidays are over. Taking down all the decorations really make me sad. All the colorful lights and the fresh smelling tree with all it’s brilliant decorations. Sigh. Especially here in the south, it is so gloomy in the winter time. It will be super cold and not snow, or it will warm up and rain. (go home mother nature, your drunk). Instead of pining for warmer (see also sunny) weather, I’m focusing my attention on the next decorate-able holiday, Valentines!

Grey winter days on AmandaLynEmporium.com

I actually do not have that many Valentine decorations, but I am going to try and remedy that this year. I’ve been browsing Pinterest and looking through magazines. There’s no rule that says I am not allowed to over do it for all the holidays. Currently, I am making poms. Not sure yet what I am going to do, but when I do know – I will have a crap ton of poms waiting in the wings.

Happy Friday Eve!