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LIFE, ETC.

Two girls cheersing on a rooftop
LIFE, ETC.

How To Keep a Long Distance Friendship

It’s no secret that I’m from San Diego and now I live in Boston. And moving away from home means leaving friends that you’ve known forever, and literally couldn’t replace if you tried. Regardless of the why, sometimes we get separated from our BFFs which shouldn’t mean that they’re lost to you, it just means that you may have to work a little harder to stay just as close and do things a little differently.

I learned fast that everyone who had been at the base of my support system, the girls I spent “Bachelor Monday” with, the new brunch spot we needed to try out, and the girls we did life together with were no longer that for me. Luckily for me, I’ve made GREAT friends in Boston but here’s what my friends and I have done to maintain our relationships:

Don’t “know” Their Life by Their Instagram

Everyone posts what they’re doing these days on their Instagram story, which means you are virtually there. You know where your BFF went to dinner last night & what they ordered. This can feel like a strong connection in the moment, but when it comes down to it and as more time passes, it’s a sign of a fleeting friendship.

Never let a “like” on Instagram or a reply to their story replace your friendship. A few words with an emoji doesn’t replace or keep up a friendship.

3 girls drinking wine in Dallas

Pick up the Phone

This seems like an easy thing to do, after all you did it all the time before. But with both your personal lives, work, time differences, this can get hard! It helps to know each other’s schedule, “great you get off at 5, I’ll call you then when I’m walking the dog.” This way, it’s set and you aren’t then playing phone tag. You’ll be surprised that hearing someone’s voice can be so reassuring even in times when you didn’t even know you needed it.

A group of girls in bikinis in Malibu

Girl’s Trips

Yes, visiting each other’s city is fun, but planning a girl’s trip is so fun! Plus it lets you both explore a new city together. As long as you’re all together, the plans will all fall into place. There’s nothing better than a weekend with your BFFs.

Girls drinking wine in San Diego

Don’t Stop the Group Chat

The group chat used to be where you’d be spending happy hour and hoping that someone (or everyone) would join. Or about weekend plans, things that you all could do together. Now it’s not, it’s changed, and that’s okay. It can be about opinions on if you should buy this (because you used to only shop together) or about the crazy thing that happened on the commute home. Whatever it is, just don’t stop it.

Girlfriends on the beach in San Diego

 

Always Have a Plan

If the next time you will see eachother will be home for Christmas, or for someone’s birthday, or adult spring break. Just plan it. Make it happen.

Two girls drinking beer in Fenway park at a Red Sox game

Don’t Forget the Friendship

Long-distance friendships take time and effort, but there’s a reason you have these life-affirming friends that you can’t look back and smile on the memories you share together. The friends who remember memories just as well as you, have laughed with you when times were amazing, and who cried with you when times are tough. They’ve been with you for the monumental things that have shaped you into who you are and will still be there for the monumental things that are going to happen.

My friends from my hometown are some of the most cherished people I have in my life. I know that they’re my lifelong friends, no matter where life takes us. We’ll always have each other, and when we need each other we’ll be there.

Winery outside of Washington DC

~ XOXO, the BFF loving, Amanda

P.S. Yes these are (some) of the people in my life, that I left behind when I moved to Boston/graduated college and still love love love with my whole heart.

A girl sitting by a window wrapped in a weighted blanket
LIFE, ETC.

Here’s What Happened When I Slept Under a Weighted Blanket

You may have heard the new “trend” or “fad” with weighted blankets, and I won’t lie, I was intrigued. Point blank, I’ve never had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep until the worst breakup of my life which you can read about here. Moving on – I couldn’t fall asleep, my mind would race, I would wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety attacks some so bad I thought I almost needed to call 9-1-1 because it felt like I was having a heart attack. I literally thought my heart was coming out of my chest. And I was barely sleeping at night.

Anyways, I came across Mosaic Weighted Blankets – and I was desperate so I thought, “Why not give it a try? What’s the worst that could happen?” I started doing my research and people said it felt like you were getting a really big hug, all night. I found out that people are benefiting from a weighted blanket and it wasn’t a placebo effect. Here’s what happened with me:

Do weighted blankets really help with anxiety?

The theory behind weighted blankets come from deep pressure touch or DPT which help with a lot of different mental aspects, stress included, and we have had enough of that in our everyday lives. One of the biggest benefits is that, it helps the body release serotonin which is the happiness hormone and decrease cortisol which is the stress hormone. At the same time, it calms the nervous system. I think personally, that it brings you back to when you were swaddled as a baby and comforted by your parents feeling safe.

Not only do they help with anxiety, they are known to help with all of these too:

  • Any condition with chronic pain like endometriosis & fibromyalgia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Brain Trauma Injuries
  • Down Syndrome
  • & people with anxiety for any reason.

Are weighted blankets safe?

The first point to make them safe is to buy a blanket that is 10% of your body weight and you want it to be smaller than your bed because it’s not supposed to hang off. AKA if you are going to try someone else’s blanket, don’t make it someone who is double your size.

What Happened to me

When I first got my blanket it came with little sections with little beads inside it, I thought it would be rough when I was sleeping but it wasn’t. Overall, I was and a still am a big fan of these blankets. This is what I noticed after I used it consistently for the first month: I only spent one night not under the weighted blanket where I had trouble falling asleep, my thoughts drifted, and I had a little bit of anxiety/stress.

It lessened my anxiety

In the month I used my blanket I only had one anxiety attack and when I woke up, I was able to be calmed by my hugging blanket. I didn’t need to call people in the middle of the night to talk me off a ledge and I was able to use this blanket to self soothe.

I would fall asleep right away

As I used to be able to, it was easy for me to fall asleep again. I was no longer laying in bed for hours worrying, overthinking my life, or trying to relive every moment to analyze everything that brought me to this moment here.

I remembered more of my dreams

I have always been a dreamer and I would remember my dreams here and there. But after sleeping under my blanket, my dreams became vivid. It’s proven that weighted blankets take you into a deeper sleep and for longer. You stay in REM sleep, the dreaming aspect longer and more frequently.

I woke up feeling refreshed

I’ve always been a morning person, but I never felt refreshed or that I got enough sleep. I would wake up and be ready to start the day. I was more motivated and excited.

I do think my weighted blanket helped a lot. I would recommend them for anyone, after all, if you are already getting a bad night’s sleep – I would do anything to at least try and make your body and mind get a good night’s sleep. It’s worth trying.

~ XOXO, the well rested Amanda

A girl writing "an open letter" in a notebook
LIFE, ETC.

An Open Letter From My Broken Heart

Sometimes it’s really hard to share the messy parts of who we are. Those parts we’re not proud of…those parts that we’re insecure about. It’s tough to share those things with the people closest to us, let alone with people on the internet. So with that being said, I’d like to start this blog post off by saying two things:

  1. This isn’t going to be like most of my blog posts. I’m going to treat this more like a journal entry, and with that being said I’ve debated posting this. It’s vulnerable, puts it all out there. I’m not always the best at being vulnerable. But if this can resonate with someone, one person, and make them feel not so alone – then that’s why I wrote it.
  2. If you have a broken heart, I’d like to say I’m sorry. It sucks to go through, it really sucks. This is the worst feeling, I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

The it’s not you- it’s me, the lies, the slap in the face, the kicks when you’re down, the self-blame, self-guilt, replaying every fight, every cherished moment. The torturing yourself to the point where you have to run to the nearest bathroom to ball your eyes out. To the feeling where you knew your eyes were puffy for weeks. I’ve been there.

You deserve better, you’re better than him. I heard that a lot. A lot, a lot. And it doesn’t sit well. Like great, I deserve better, but I wasn’t good enough for that as*hole? PERFECT.

And then your mind goes to the how could someone who loved me, who cared about me have done this to me? But shitty people do shitty things.

You think you know someone but in reality, you don’t. You’d think others would have respect towards you, but they don’t. Not everyone has the same heart and you’ll end up real disappointed if you think people will do for you as you would do for them. Respect isn’t mutual, communication isn’t mutual. Shitty people do shitty things. And that isn’t on you.

One day I’ll realize, I am good enough for a love I deserve.

I know I deserve certain things in a relationship, as does everyone. Someone where you should always feel like the feelings are both respected and reciprocated. A relationship where know the effort you are putting into this relationship is reciprocated and appreciated. A relationship where you shouldn’t have to question if someone is cheating or lying, and where you feel reassured in every aspect of it. And mostly, where you feel loved, and you can love freely.

The Blessing in Disguise

I’ve tried to see this as a blessing because that wasn’t always my relationship. But I know I can look back and left nothing on the table, nothing I could have done differently.

So why does it hurt so damn bad? Why do I feel so worthless? So unloveable? And the worst: not good enough. I knew it was all going to be okay, I just didn’t know how I was supposed to get there. Why do I feel bipolar being completely fine one minute and a wreck the next? Sometimes, I can go from the I hate your guts, to the fetal position balling in a matter of seconds. To how I have to focus on one thing, one moment or else I get overwhelmed with anxiety. Why do I let my mind wander until the weeee hours of the night, fall asleep crying, only to have a nightmare within a few hours and wake up with an anxiety attack where I have to wonder if it’s actually a heart attack and I should rush to the emergency room.

It’s all confusing, and still is, I don’t understand. And I probably never will. Instead of searching for answers, I know I have to be okay with no answers. I have to be okay for myself. Because the way I’ve been living, the way I’ve been treating myself is not okay.

Looking back, even just writing this brings up all the real and raw emotions. But what I’ve learned and what I will always take with me: trust your gut. Trust your intuition. And when your significant other calls you crazy or tells you that you’re being psycho and tries to turn the blame onto you – realize it. Don’t look the other way. And definitely, don’t question it.

I’m waiting for the day that I can look back and smile, knowing why this happened for a reason. Where I can let go completely of the person who I thought I knew, and who I thought I loved.

Which leads me to this moment, and this is the moment. No more wishing of the unhappy I was because it’s less unhappy than this. No more of the self-doubt, or the negative self-talk. No more replaying every moment to see if there was something, some clue, some moment of clarity that I missed and then I could have not been so blindsided.

Moral of the story: always trust your gut & no matter what you do, shitty people will do shitty things.

~ XOXO, the girl who’s stronger (on most days), Amanda

Toast To St. Jude Event
LIFE, ETC.

Toast To St. Jude

I wanted to share with you all this 1. an amazing committee that puts on  2. an amazing night that is coming up in a few months. I went last year for the first time and had a blast! It’s called Toast to St. Jude, this year it’s on April 27th, at the Revere Hotel in Boston. 

The Party at Toast to St. Jude

About The Event

There is a DJ, a huge dance floor, an open wine/beer bar, and yummy hors d’oeuves – honestly what more could you want? Oh, how about  live entertainment, silent auction and a premier raffle? Yep, they have that too. Plus all the funds that are raised goes straight to St. Jude and the children who are fighting life threatening diseases.

The silent auction all have donated items or offers where you buy a raffle ticket and can win things you’d actually want to win, like gift cards to restaurants, fun events, wine tasting tours, plus more!!

A Child in Need of Help at St. Jude

About Toast To St. Jude

St. Jude is a research hospital where they are finding cures and saving children with cancer.  No family ever pays for treatments that aren’t covered by their insurance, and if a family doesn’t have insurance, they are never asked to pay.

This committee has raised over $390,000 over the last six years, and last year alone, they raised over $160,000. This year – there’s more sponsors, more items at the auction, more space (which means more dance moves), and it will be a night to remember.

Want to Join in the fun?

If you want to support the children of St. Jude as well as have a fun night, buy your tickets before 1/31 to get the early bird price special! 

St. Jude

A list of chemicals that Beautycounter will never put in products
LIFE, ETC.

Why I Joined The Clean Beauty Movement

If you’re following along on Instagram – you’ve seen me post about this – no doubt, but why now? It’s a good question! And what’s it all about? Let’s break it down. And I am sure, after reading this – you’ll want in!

A little about Beauty Counter

They have 3 main missions:

1. Education – spreading the word, and educating people on why other beauty products are so bad for them, what the chemicals mean & to your body. And the more we know, the safer we can be.

2. Product – they’re creating products that still make you look fabulous but also are clean and don’t harm your skin. Can you really ask for more?

3. Advocacy – do your part! You want to change the laws, tell the world. Because nothing will just “magically” change.

The stats on chemicals in our skin care and make up products speak for themselves

  • 80,000. The number of chemicals on the market today, many with little to no safety data – in the skin and make up care area.
  • 80% of beauty products have never been tested for safety.
  • 1938. The year the government last passed a law that regulates the cosmetic industry.
  • 26 seconds. That’s all it takes for the chemicals in your beauty care products to enter your bloodstream.
  • In the U.S. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer – 40 years ago, it was 1 in 20. Leading cause? Chemicals we put in and on our body.
  • Carcinogens are legal in our beauty products – which have a direct correlation to causing cancer.

Anything you use that has any of these, drop right away, here’s Beautycounter’s Never list:

  • Formaldehyde – this is also known as a carcinogen that is linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, & developmental toxicity. Commonly found in shampoo, body wash, & bubble bath.
  • Hydroquinone – a skin lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, & skin irritation. Commonly found in skin-lightening creams.
  • Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others) – used to prevent the growth of bacteria & mold. Parabens are hormone disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Commonly found in shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, & foundation.
  • Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others) – a class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system & may cause birth defects. Commonly found in syntheic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, & plastic materials
  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds) – used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, & moisture-carriers. Depending on maufacturing processes, PEGs may be contamined with measureable amounts of ethlyene oxide & 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. Commonly found in creams, sunscreens, & shampoo.
  • Retinyl palmitate and Retinol (Vitamin A) – A nutrient that may damage DNA & speed the growth of skin tumors when used topically. Commonly found in moitsureizer & anti-aging skin care.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES) – SLS & SLES are the surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh.
  • Synthetic flavor or fragrance
  • Toluene
  • Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Oxybenzone
  • Triclosan and Triclocarban
  • Benzalkonium Chloride
  • BHA and BHT
  • Ethyl enediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)
  • Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA)

Girl with a charcoal clay mask

Don’t even get me started with the chemicals we put on babies and what they do, or should I and what they do?

✖️Over half of America’s children (54%) are chronically ill
✖️Autism rates are as high as one in 28 in some states
✖️One in six children (15%) has a learning or behavioral disorder
✖️One in every 10 American children (11%) have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
✖️One in every 13 American children suffer from eczema and food allergies including deadly peanut allergies
✖️One in every 8 American children (13%) are in special education
✖️Over 15,000 children were diagnosed with cancer last year alone
✖️There is an epidemic of autoimmune illnesses like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis
✖️Many children suffer from debilitating anxiety, Tourette’s and sensory issues
✖️American children are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood with mortality of kids in the US higher than in peer nations since the 1980s
✖️America’s infant mortality is much higher than in other higher-income countries

Do you think this is a coincidence with chemicals?

We are surrounded by these chemicals and it’s legal to put us in harm’s way because it’s cheaper or easier or whatever the excuse is.

What you can do to get involved 

Our mission at Beautycounter is to get safer products into the hands of everyone, let me know how you want to get involved. If you’re interested in trying any products (need recommendations) I am here for you. If you want to jump right in and shop, here’s MY link: To shop with me! Or you can join my team, and join the movement! As always, reach out with any questions or to jump right in!

~ XOXO, the clean beauty boss babe, Amanda

LIFE, ETC.

Summer In New England

I’m thinking of starting a new segment on BOW (Blonde Out Of Water) called #LifeLately – so let me know what you all think!

As Summer, as I hate to admit, is over – I’ve been clinging onto every last seconds I can get, but with as cold as it is in New England..FOR SO LONG, can you really blame me that I want to relive all of these moments?

Let’s start this off by saying 1) I can’t believe it’s Fall and 2) Where did summer really go?!

My Summer in New England Recap

A lot happened this summer probably the biggest being we hit our one year in Boston mark. Which is actually crazy, crazy to think I’ve lived in New England for a year & survived living with Danny for a year! Tehehe! Last year we spent almost every weekend up at the lake in New Hampshire doing #lakelife and no, we can’t complain but this year, we did a lot more in the city! Yet still enjoyed #lakelife. I got a new job – I got out of the never ending sales cycle (YAY!) and I am now doing marketing for small businesses. It’s such a relief to be out of a job you aren’t particularly fond of and to be immersed in things you love.

We also moved into a bigger apartment (yes, big for Boston) a whopping four blocks away from our old one, but we love it, it’s a much better layout than our older apartment, so more room for Gatsby. I did lose my picturesque bathroom and tub (AKA why you’re not seeing it on Instagram) but all in all, we’re happy with our move.

Of course by moving to a new city we had a lot of visitors, which I couldn’t be more happy about. My parents came and visited. We also had a few of my friends (sorry Danny, maybe your friends can not be lame and join in as well!)

And yes, we have friends! So we got to hangout a lot with them + had a lot of people visit. Here’s a few ideas of things you must do while you’re in New England in the summer! And no, it doesn’t get any better than New England in the summer! This is what we did a lot of, and splurged on to really enjoy summer.

Go to a local brewery 

We went to Harpoon Brewery, but there are a lot of beers that are brewed in Boston or right outside the city!

couple with dog at brewery

Eat lots of Lobster Rolls

Want to see more of my lobster rolls? I have a whole post on them!

lobster roll

Go to Nashoba winery

I went here when my cousin visited, it’s about an hour from Boston & fairly reasonably priced, plus it’s dog friendly!

dog and girl drinking wine

Catch a Red Sox game

& skip the Fenway Frank — Go for the loaded nachos instead.

Go to the beach in the North Shore, MA

It’s sand that isn’t rocky and grainy!

dog at beach

Celebrate everything

We celebrated Gatsby’s 5th birthday (don’t mind me, just crying at how fast they grow up.) with a dog cake from Dog Eat Cake

Dog celebrating his birthday

Do a weekend getaway

We spent ours in Kennebunkport, ME. There’s so many great drivable distances from Boston not to go on a weekend to see a new city!

couple kissing

Eat oysters on a patio

Add a glass of rose and it’s a perfect afternoon!

oysters

Watch a sunset from a rooftop barsunset on the rooftop

 

Workout ….outside!

working out outside

Go on a harbor cruise

Spend a weekend on a lake

It’s so nice to get out of the city, breathe fresh air, and just do nothing.

Lake views

Go to a country concert

We went and saw Luke Bryan at Fenway & the convert venue is amazing, but there’s nothing like seeing a country concert in the Summer. We also didn’t get any pictures because Danny’s phone died that night. Soooo..here’s a picture of Luke!

luke bryan

Perfect your margarita recipe

I’ve been hooked on this! And I think I found a mix that isn’t full of sugar – see below!margarita mixers

 

Honestly spend every waking moment outside because summer here is very short lived and it will be over before you know it. *disclaimer* from being a summer, So Cal girl, I am not being dramatic.

~ XOXO, the summer lovin’, Amanda

hands on front door
LIFE, ETC.

What To Expect When You Move In With Your Boyfriend

As I’m sure you can imagine, since I moved to Boston with Danny, we do live together. It’s both of our first time to live with a significant other and it’s safe to say – neither of us knew what to expect. Granted, when we lived in San Diego, we spent a lottttt of time together and staying with each other but living together was definitely a big life change. And yes, you’re constantly surrounded by images you see below.

boy eating pizza

Moving in with your boyfriend for the first time

First off, it sounds romantic and wonderful but the bottom line is you can’t be cute every second of every day. So yes, they will have to see you when your hair is a greasy mess and you’re doing hair masks, face masks, nails, and the whole nine yards. First piece of advice: make sure you’re comfortable enough with each other for this. Yes, Danny still looks at me like I’m an alien when I walk out in a face mask. Do I care? Absolutely not. 

…Boys are gross. I grew up with a brother so I kind of knew what to expect, and I’ll save the embarrassment and just leave it at that.

It’s hard. When imaging living together, I thought about good things, like always getting to cuddle and have movie nights, cook dinner together. Not the parts where you’re in each other’s faces all the time, personal space? Forget it! You learn each other’s quirks and what sets them off real fast…because you have to.

You can spend more on rent since you will be splitting it. We live in South Boston where since we are sharing rent, we are able to have a spare bedroom for visitors and have a larger place. If it was just me, I’d probably be living in a shoe box or sharing a room with someone else!

When it comes down to it, it’s all about compromise. When I moved in with Danny I realized I have minor OCD (Yes laughing at myself over this) but I need the pots and pans a certain way, pillows a certain way, just to name a few. And I find it very annoying when little things like that aren’t put back “correctly” but what I also learned is, that’s not the big stuff. I compromise on putting pillows the way I want – for him actually putting pillow cases on! Little things like that you have to be willing to compromise on otherwise no one will win.

Going off that, you will learn so much about them. I thought I knew Danny before we lived together, and now I realize I knew next to nothing. Because I learned his routines, his weird habits, how he can’t read something in his head. It’s almost funny because you start to put two and two together so you can anticipate what they’ll do next or why they do certain things. Although boys are just a whole different breed.

…and yourself. If you’re anything like me, you over think and over analyze everything. So I think, why do I do this, or why do I get upset over this. It’s weird to say, but I feel like I’ve grown and understood myself better as well.

You’ll find out quickly if it works or not. You hear it all the time, we moved in together and shit hit the fan. And I believe it, you go from having your space, your things, your time. To everything being shared. Of course, you still have your friends and alone time, but it’s not how it used to be. So it either works – or it doesn’t.

Overall, it’s something that has definitely taken our relationship to the next level, and in my opinion it’s not something I feel like we could have skipped over. But if you’re thinking about doing this: you’re never going to be fully ready and you can’t prepare yourself to the extent you think you can.

Need more questions answered? Just ask, as always!

~ Amanda 

 

LIFE, ETC.

50 Reasons To Be Happy Right Now

I think sometimes we need a little reminder to live the little things, because life can get  hard and it’s so easy to get wrapped up and get lost in your thoughts.

I wrote this for me last week, because I needed it to think and live this. And I thought that maybe you all could use a little reminder too.

 

  1. Complete and total relaxation, see picture above!
  2. The sun is FINALLY warming us up in Boston!!
  3. A fully embracing hug from someone you love
  4. How excited your fur baby gets when you come home, or get out of the shower. LOL!
  5. Having wine and cheese for dinner.
  6. Getting kicked in the face by puppy paws in the middle of the night.
  7. Eating dessert first.
  8. The smell of the hot concrete after it rains.
  9. The feeling when you get your eyebrows waxed (after it’s been very overdue).
  10. Treating yourself to a little retail therapy.
  11. The first sip of hot coffee in the morning.
  12. A compliment on something you were feeling insecure about.
  13. Waking up next to the one you love.
  14. Walking down the stairs to the subway right as a train pulls up.
  15. Opening a perfectly ripe avocado.
  16. Taking the perfect picture.
  17. Watching the sunset.
  18. A freshly set of painted nails.
  19. Fitting into your “skinny jeans”
  20. The satisfying feeling of finishing a book.
  21. The smell of the concrete after a hot afternoon rain.
  22. Crossing everything off of your to-do-list.
  23. Getting flowers from your trip to Trader Joe’s that light up the whole room.
  24. When your work week goes by fast, and suddenly it’s Friday.
  25. Realizing your black shirt was covered in dog hair all day…and it’s 8pm.
  26. Not setting an alarm.
  27. Trying a new recipe and it instantly becomes a favorite.
  28. When you throw your hair into a messy bun, and it’s actually cute.
  29. Going through old pictures, and getting instantly taken back to that moment.
  30. Kitchen dance parties while cooking, when your favorite song comes on.
  31. Getting your thoughts out into words that describe your feelings.
  32. When you remember to wish on 11:11
  33. Doing a polar bear plunge, half way freezing to death, but 100% fully alive.
  34. Finding cookbooks for every occasion on fun websites like this one
  35. The sound of rain hitting your window as you fall asleep
  36. Taking off your bra and getting in comfy clothes at the end of a long day
  37. Looking around at your life and feeling content and at ease.
  38. When it’s finally warm enough after a long winter to drive with your windows down
  39. Wrapping yourself in a blanket that just came out of the dryer.
  40. The perfect amount of whipped cream on a hot chocolate.
  41. Finding an extra dollar in your pocket.
  42. Hearing your parents say “I love you” and know they really mean it
  43. That high you get after an intense workout
  44. The feeling of sand in between your toes.
  45. Facetiming your long distance besties
  46. Waking up an extra 5 minutes earlier to get an extra 5 minutes of cuddling
  47. Seeing your fluffy puppy running towards you with his ears flopping
  48. Putting an outfit on, and falling in love with it
  49. Day dreaming about dreamy vacation spots
  50. Remembering to fully embrace each moment

Hopefully some of these you realize you need to do more, feel more, and just remember that it really is the little things that make up the big things in life.

 

~ Amanda

LIFE, ETC.

6 Simple Ways To Appreciate Your Relationship

Dating in your 20s is hard. There’s always this cliche (way too perfect) vision we have in our minds- from the Disney princess movies we grew up watching, to the never ending rom-coms where it always works out in the end.

When it comes down to it, if we’re being honest, we’re all chasing our happily ever after, we’re ingrained from day 1 that there’s prince charming out there, and it will all be perfect and easy. But when it comes down to it, it’s never easy, and there’s not a rulebook how to have a perfect relationship. So here’s how I think you can make yours (more) perfect, how you can make it into your daily routine, and my two cents on why I’m continually choosing my relationship (Sorry to put you on blast, Danny!)

The little things matter. Like them pouring you a cup of coffee when they pour theirs. Small acts of kindness, like this show more. I think people can feel unappreciated or unattended to, and take advantage of each other’s presence- especially after the “honeymoon stage” is over. This proves to them that you are thinking about them while you are thinking about yourself, which sets the tone for being selfless and keeping each other’s best interest at heart.

Use manners. I know sometimes (hi, me!!) are guilty of not doing this, but you should never be too comfortable to say please and thank you. Your tone and wording depicts how your messages are received. Say out loud, “get me a glass of water,” did that sound good? Now try saying, “Can you please get me a glass of water?” Sounds so different, and will make them more willing to want to do things for you, if they’re feeling appreciated and respected.

Take XOXO literally. It sounds weird, but makes total sense. I know after a long day if I get a kiss, it’s great. But if I get a hug, a real all encompassing, hug that it makes me feel better, with a kiss on top. A simple arm around each other while watching TV, a hand hold in the car, even a butt squeeze while walking by. It all plays such a major part in feeling wanted and like your partner is attracted to you.

Send love notes. Whether this be as simple as a random “I love you” text, a post it note in their lunch saying “have a good day!” When relationships fall into a routine, I feel that’s where everything negative starts. Doing this- out of the blue- creates a distraction from the day, letting your mind go to them in a positive manner instead of your typical daily work environment.

Don’t sit on your phone. This doesn’t mean don’t go on IG, text, or seclude yourself from society. But we all have seen those couples who go to dinner, or meet for happy hour, and one is on their phone majority of the time. Does the other look happy? No. They look miserable, probably thinking “why am I even here?” It lets you connect in the moment. Fully embrace and take in each other.

Find things you both enjoy. I know we both love eating (LOLing at my total fatty self). So when things get tough, when they get hard, I know I can send a recipe to try and make, or bring up a new place to eat to try, and that we have built that common ground on. It’s an easy subject to talk about, “did you see that new place that popped up around the corner? Let’s go try it!” Or shoot him a delicious looking recipe with “Dinner plans?” It’s fun and flirty, and if it gets really hard, it’s easy to take a breath and eat your food, and not to mention, have that common ground.

Don’t let things build up. I know this is something that has to be constantly fought over inside my head. Not to be nagging, or like you critique everything they do. But it’s so much better to open the door to, “I really don’t like when you do….because….” instead of them continually doing it, building up frustration, and then eventually you explode (after all you’re only human) and then it turns into a way bigger deal than it needed to be.

If you have anything you do that you know helps our relationship! I’d love to hear, let me know! Or maybe if you try doing one of these things, and it totally works! I’d love to hear that as well.

~ XOXO, Amanda

 

LIFE, ETC.

Cheers to 2018!

First of all, I’d like to say au revoir 2017, and welcome 2018! I know I’m about two weeks too late with this post, but better late than never I always say! I’ll start with a little review of 2017 although my biggest past 6 months you can find here: but we all like a little background right?

At the end of 2016 (WOW time flies!) my boyfriend Danny, and I, decided to move to Boston. He’s from just North of Boston, had been itching to get back, and I was up for an adventure so he “dragged” this beach bum and her sandy pup cross country in June all the way to the land of lobsters. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

December 2016, everyone thought I was crazy, like I wasn’t really going to move. After all, if you know me at all…I’ve had salt water running through my veins for as long as I could walk. And yes, Boston has beaches, but it’s a city that revolves around the city, and San Diego is a city that revolves around the beach.

My first part of 2017 revolved around my move. Doing “last things” in San Diego, my bucket list, which I love. It was spent eating everything I knew I couldn’t get (lots of burritos), spent with friends doing things we loved to do..hike, sail, beach days, surf, you name it. But then there were bigger things, like a weekend at Disneyland, or a weekend in a small quaint surf town, Santa Barbara, where I used to spend weeks at a time over my summers as a kid, and have some of the fondest memories.

Looking back now, I wish I soaked up more of each moment, really taking it in. Don’t we always look back and want that? So this will be a good lead in to my 2018 vision board, verbally, as if that’s a thing?

New year, new adventures, new travels, new eats, new friends, new goals. I could go on and on. But, same me (Hiiii!!) If you are a compulsive list maker like me, that’s where it all starts. I have these ideas on things I want to do, accomplish and write them down. This year, is very different than last because I didn’t know what to expect for the latter part of 2017. But this year, I’m making expectations, and goals I want to achieve.

Outlining my goals, making them seem realistic, but also gives them purpose on why, why I want these. So I started off with my themes, and knowing this: Write it down, and make it happen.

  1. Health: I want to focus on eating healthy (with cheat meals included, cause I live in Boston!) But not only that, I want to put emphasis on exercising. I’ve made excuses this whole past year, I walk Gatsby, it’s a start, and after that I don’t have time. OKAY AMANDA, your biggest life motto is that you make time for things that are important, nice try on that one. 
  2. Living with intention and practicing gratitude: I get wrapped up in the big picture, in how I thought everything was going to play out, like a perfect little picture in my head. Instead of that, I want to create my moments and really live in them. I want to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for each moment, for every person in my life. And know that I’m exactly where I am supposed to be, and to stop questioning it.
  3. Career: I needed a job when I moved here, ASAP. But what I’m currently doing, is it long term for me? Is it what I’m passionate about? <- answering those questions
  4. The Blog: This is hopefully going to be my biggest year yet. I want to exponentially grow with you all. To let you all into my life, to work with brands I love and keep my overall theme going. This right here, is one of my top priorities.

I’ll end off by saying, thank you 2017! For making me grow, dig deep within myself. For showing me a new city, and making my relationship stronger. For teaching me this “adulting” thing realllllly isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And most importantly, for giving me new memories, new friends, new growth, and a new home.

I’m excited for this year, I’m ready for whatever it throws at me: the ups, the downs, the laughter, the tears, the change, the travels, the love, and the struggles. All of it, 2018, I’m ready and up for the challenge!

~ XOXO, Amanda