December 2, 2014

stuff in my stocking

Don't worry, Mom, I'm doing all the hard work for you! (-:

My mom and I have this holiday tradition: She gets busy with school stuff in November and December. Then when I get home around December 23, we spend 24 hours shopping like crazy people (because I've traveled home and obviously we have to spend time together) and then I know all the presents I get and she's annoyed because I know all the presents I'm going to get. It's been happening for, oh...about 10 years, so it's our thing now, right?

I'm making a list to fill up my stocking! HEY-O! I tried to keep everything around $10 and under, but a few items go over that threshold.
I walked around for 30 minutes with these slippers in Kohl's last week (good thing I didn't get it since they're now $8.99 and last week they were $14.99!) trying to decide who needed these before realizing that basically I wanted them. The Lambs are pretty cute too. 

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS?? I love every sweet thing topped with a sprinkle of salt and this is a chunky, lightly crunchy delicious salt that also looks pretty. *sigh* 

Pam Garrison made this adorable embroidery pattern. This would be a great project to sit next to my chair when I have time to embroider!

Three ingredients: peanuts, dates, sea salt. I'm obsessed. I can't stop eating these bars. Never pay more than $1 per bar, and if you find them at $0.75 or less BUY THEM ALL. 

EIGHT DOLLARS FOR SOCKS? Worth every penny. I have one pair of these and I love them. They're so warm and cozy and amazing on my feet. I need more. 

I picked up a container of these a few weeks ago and they are little baby Almond Joy's, but even better. Seriously. I have strong feelings about this. If you don't have a TJ's nearby and you need - NEED - to try them, let me know. 

In other news, Emily McDowell knows the things I think in my brain. 

We always get some dental hygiene products in our stockings...OK, it's usually a toothbrush, but since I'm hoping for this one, I'll take some toothpaste! You know how some natural toothpastes kind of make your mouth feel...meh? Not this one. It's the champion of natural toothpaste in my book.

[If you're not asking yourself why I have a book of natural toothpaste options, you're not being as good of a friend to me as you could be.]

nerdwax, $10 (or 3/$20)
Y'all. THIS. My friend teacher-Sarah was complaining about how she doesn't wear her glasses because they slide down her nose and searched the interwebs to make this discovery. It is BRILLIANT. I've just been suffering with the fingerprints from pushing my glasses up and I don't actually have to! WHAAAAAAA?!? She bought the 3 tubes and gifted me one: I'm a smitten kitten. 

Belle, $16.95
I rented this at the redbox a few weeks ago and I adored this story. If you haven't seen it [the only person I know who's watched it is my grandma who got it because I told her she'd love it], spend the $1.20 renting it and let me know what you think! 

Those are ten things I'd love to pull out of my stocking on Christmas morning! What did I miss that you can't wait to see? 

November 17, 2014

32 thoughts

1. Some days you need an attitude adjustment with a pep talk only you can give yourself. Big girl panties, one leg at a time.

2. Find the words to ask for what you need.

3. If someone tells you they don’t fart, they are a liar.

4. Chocolate chip cookies are always better with a sprinkle of salt on top. (Jacque Torres makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever, but you have to plan ahead at least 24 hours. The cookies pictured are Joy the Baker’s Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.)

5. Pour over coffee has ruined me for everything else. I will never be fully satisfied with a brewed cup of joe again. It’s beautiful and tragic.

6. Trying to not make friends never works out well for me. Dang you, lovable people.

7. Leggings as sleepwear. [I’m even coming around to them as pants as long as your bum is covered. [WHO AM I??]

8. Epsom salt baths are a game changer.

9. Massage school helped me be aware of parts of me I didn’t know.

10. Body Awareness --> Body Acceptance: it’s a journey, not a destination

11. IMG_4361

12. If I could find a man who was a mix of this character (Gilbert), this character (Simon), this character (Johnny/Max), and this character (Brian Kelly) I’d be all over that. I’d also probably be a character and not the living, breathing amy you see before you. (-:

13. Half of nursing school is a test in thinking critically. They tell you that when you start and you’re (I was) all “pfffft. I’ve got that skill.” WRONG. Amy, you’ll LEARN that skill and then you can show us that you know it.

14. Full disclosure: I’m still a baby (student) nurse and my critical thinking requires cross-reference with at least 3 books. Unless it’s a test question about lasix…then it’s all about the potassium.

15. Don’t forget compassion.

16. Real life is messy. Stop trying to make it all glossy and perfect.

17. I like this: Peace is the absence of need. Needs cannot be met through war, they can be met through instruments of sustenance (holla at me swords into plowshares).

18. I think I’m highly sensitive.

19. I can’t figure out what White Winter Hymnal is about, but I like it. Anyone?

20. Follow people you love on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. if they don’t feed a part of you, block that business…or unfollow…WITHOUT GUILT.

21. Don’t overpost on any of the above either. You’re allotted 1-2 max per day with allowances on special days…otherwise you’re that person who’s sending 27 pointless emails per week. [Someone had to say it.]

22. 32

23. If you’re in a rut with your response to “How are you doing?” “How is life?” “How is school?” I challenge you to give real answers.

24. If you’re asking the questions, “How are you doing?” “How is life?” “How is school?” I challenge you to listen to real answers.

25. I recently noticed my response is “BUSY.” Yes, school and work are busy…but I was forgetting to be grateful for moments and find my happy in the midst of all the stuff. I got so caught up in being “busy” that I forgot to pay attention to the moments and how I felt in the moments. Basically, I stopped being…me. I became a student robot. Ew. I’m working on it…now to be willing to say when things aren’t “great!” or “fantastic!”

26. Print your pictures, yes your favorite ones that you took with your phone. Just do it. Trust.

27. Being single is not an illness or anything that needs to be fixed…nor is it a reason to wait to fully delve into life. You be you.

28. I’m going to be over here being me.

29. Authenticity. Transparency. Can you handle all of this? *I just gestured to all of me.*

30. A properly placed curse word is especially satisfying.

31. Let your massage therapist work on your glutes and hips.

32. qq

I totally look 32 now.
See? That face is totes three decades plus two years.

Do thirty-two-year-olds say “totes”?

October 29, 2014

how I use pinterest for my christmas shopping

Pinterest can be a time-suck and super overwhelming, but I use it during this season before Christmas to help me stay organized and on a budget.

You may be thinking, "Uh. What? How? Show me  your magical ways." 

Oh, friends. I will.
The first thing I do is create a new board.
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.08.52 PM
are you judging how many tabs I have open? hahaha

Make it secret! You don't want anyone to know about it, especially the ones who should be surprised! 
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.09.06 PM

Then I start pinning. I'll pin from other boards I have (crafty mccrafterson, gift giving) if there's something I already know I want to do/buy/make. I also add things from other websites. 
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.19.16 PM
To add a pin from outside of pinterest, click the "add a pin" then choose "from a website." Next copy and paste the link and where it says "describe your pin" I put the person's name and the cost of the item there. 
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.15.22 PM
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.09.52 PM
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.15.34 PM
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.15.44 PM
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.15.50 PM
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.15.58 PM
Seriously how cute are these peg Elsa, Anna, and Olaf from Pegtales
She does personalized families too when it's not a busy time. Love it! 

I use this A LOT to keep track of what I've bought and what I'm planning when I'm out shopping and trying to make decisions. I just pull the app up on my phone and double check my memory.
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.26.44 PM

Y'all know I'm a student on a limited income...a whole lot of the fun is creating and shopping and finding the perfect item at a great price. ha!

A few more places I shop during this time:
  • - this is my go-to for shoes and purses and AWESOME deals. Black Friday is usually baller, last year was a different item every hour for 48-hours or something like that and they were deeeeeeeeeply discounted. 
  • Pen + Paint - one of my FAVORITE shops! She like many independent sellers runs specials here and there during this time, BUT you have to shop in advance with most independent sellers. This isn't Amazon. [She also runs dented/imperfect sales on IG every once in awhile, I've gathered treasures there as well.]
  • Emily McDowell was sent to me by a friend and I love her stuff! So fun! She's having a scratch + dent sale next week for cards! I love to take a card and frame it like it's fancy! 
  • Brad's Deals often has some crazy-good savings if you can get to them in time. 
  • Get out to your local retailers! See what they have and what you can find there! 
  • Find your favorite people on IG or social media - they often post about sales and discounts there! 

I hope that helps anyone who wants to try something different for organizing this year! 


October 19, 2014

sunday funsies

DSC_1329 DSC_1350DSC_1388
Today I touched the Butte.

I ate baked goods filled with cream cheese and jalapeños or sweet almond cream, made entirely of butter, flour, and love.

I watched a movie. I wandered around Whole Foods. I had meaningful conversation. I listened to a sermon on where Christianity and Environmentalism collide [shoot, that's some good stuff].

All in all? It was a good one.

October 14, 2014

ten things

1. It's October. When did that happen? [The fact that it's half-way through October and I'm saying this now, should tell you something...]

2. In honor of Autumn and All Things Pumpkin I made these pumpkin muffins:
Untitled I don't want to toot my own horn, but these were stellar. *toot toot*

Let's give credit to the recipe creators: the muffin portion was from Annie's Eats and the crumble [double it!] was from The Café.

3. Conversation last week while listening to the The Little Mermaid OBC album:
me: I always forget that Ursula and King Triton are siblings.
friend: in real life?
me: . . .
us: **hysterical laughter**

3b. If Ursula and King Triton are siblings what do their parents look like? Are they half-siblings? Was it a mer-mom and a octo-dad? Just think about it for do those genetics work out?

4. School has been stressful, in the stress I realized how much I want need a paper calendar. I like to write lists and add things AND CROSS THEM OFF. My phone reminds me, but the process of writing allows me to feel like I'm getting stuff done and remembering them. I ordered a cute Paper Plum Designs calendar, but it doesn't start until January, so I made this adorable notebook [The cover art is Katie Daisy, and I got it in a 3-pack from Target] into a calendar to take me through December. I know the Paper Plum calendar is expensive, but if it makes me less crazy and I use it daily it's an $0.11 a day dose of sanity.

5. I recently experienced my second doctor crush: I was assisting with intake and this physician was incredibly kind and patient with a older visitor who had an accident with a power tool and the shortening of a finger. still my heart. *sigh*

6. I just spent an hour deleting stuff from my phone so I could do the new iOS update. Is this really worth it? UGH.

UPDATE: it's been 1 1/2 hours and it's not done yet. 

7. I can't decide if I want to stay in Indianapolis or not. I can't decide anything right now. People keep asking though and my answer is: I will go where I get a job [within one hour of a CNM program].

8. While attempting to take a picture of my fall nails my fingers looked like worms. Don't try to make it better, the look like worms.

9. I just took this personality test. I'm still an introvert and strongest in the "feeling" category.

10. I'm headed to Oregon to see my sweet, lovely cousin for fall break! I'm so excited to spend time with her and see the place she's lived for the past few years. Expect pictures...maybe no words, but definitely pictures.

P.S. Did you sign up for the mug exchange yet? I'm excited. There's one more week to sign up and invite your friends to sign up too! If you're thinking "but, Amy, I have a ton of mugs I don't even like" [and you live in the Indy area] holla at me and I'll help you donate them to an agency a church friend recommended. (-:

October 11, 2014

mug exchange!

A few weeks ago I mentioned on facebook the potential of a mug exchange...LET'S DO IT!

Why not? (-:

What the heck is a mug exchange? Well...if you follow as many bloggers and instagrammers as I do you may have seen the A Cuppa Kim mug swap. She's the original--all credit to Kim and her brilliance. [I don't even read her blog, but I love this idea!] Anyway, the mug exchange is kinda like a secret Santa. You put your name into the mix, I'll draw someone for you and send you her/his name, you pick out a sweet mug for your partner, send it to her/him, and anticipate some happy mail for yourself.

Why would you want to participate? Why wouldn't you? Sometimes I find gift giving stressful, but let's be honest: can you really go wrong with this? Nope. A totes cute mug could make anyone's day. Plus, if you wanted to add a little of this or that [this=candy bar? coffee? hot chocolate? Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seeds? allergy friendly cookies? that=print? washi tape? adorableness that you made?] you're on your way to a totally instagrammable moment. #everymomentcanbeinstagrammed

Technically you don't even have to send a mug. Be creative! Have fun! Enjoy yourself!
mug exchange
email, address, and additional information will just be 
between you, me, and the person who's sending you mail

Questions? Concerns? Words of wisdom?

October 5, 2014

pumpkin black bean soup

I dropped off the face of the earth! [Except not really.] I keep telling myself that this is the last super-difficult-crazy-busy-insanely-nutty semester of nursing school. Once next semester [THE LAST ONE!] comes along, we'll know for sure. (-;

Anyway, I have things I want to say and post and do with you, but priorities. Ugh. Sometimes being responsible stinks.

My apartment was FREEEEEEEZING today, so I made soup...and I will now attempt to eat soup for one meal per day until it's warm again. Because I love soup.

And I'd totally marry it.


This is a soup my friend shared with me several years ago and I forgot about it! WHYYYYY!?! Think of all the winters it was missing from my life! Luckily, Missy re-shared after a facebook plea for all the soups!

pumpkin black bean soup

3 cans Black beans (15 oz), rinsed and drained
1 can Diced Tomatoes (24 oz), with juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
2 stalks Celery, chopped
3 cloves Garlic
S&P to taste
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Tbsp Mushroom Bullion (optional)
1 box Vegetable Broth
1 can Pumpkin Puree (15 oz)
3 Tbsp Sherry (optional)

Soften the onion, celery, garlic, and bullion in the olive oil. Season with S&P and cayenne. While they’re softening add 2/3 of the can of tomatoes and two cans of black beans to a food processor or blender, blend until smooth. Once the onions and celery are softened add the blended beans and tomatoes, the remaining can of beans and reserved tomatoes, broth, pumpkin, and sherry to the pot. Allow the soup to simmer for an hour.

I enjoy this soup served with sour cream or unsweetened greek yogurt or a few crumbles of goat cheese and topped with pumpkin seeds for crunch.
It's soup season, y'all! 

September 8, 2014

fall is creepin' in

Over the past few days it's started to feel like fall. Autumn: the season between summer and winter. I keep hearing all these terrible, terrible rumors about how horrific our winter in Indiana will be this year. NO. I refuse to acknowledge the potential of this frozen tundra.

Except I bought snow boots a month ago.

Is it inevitable?

Let's not talk about winter though. Let's talk about the days of now. On Sunday I had a ton of homework to dig through. Did I want to do any of it? NO. No, I didn't. So I went on a walk on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art with Sarah, Bea, and Edina. You may know the IMA from The Fault in Our Stars. If you're one of the three people I'm with [the baby doesn't count since he can't read and hasn't watched a movie yet] you have no clue what TFIOS is. Who are these people?
The sky actually looked like that. Straight stunnin'. 

My big camera has been getting a re-fresher [a nice cleaning and a bit of repair]...I can't wait to get it back to take some fall pictures!