Monday Morning Vision

HAPPPPY MONDAY! But seriously, happy monday! I’ve got so many quotes stored up on my phone. I love quotes and all the quotes that you see above are ones that have provided me a kick of optimism when I’ve needed it or a dose of inspiration and motivation when I’ve felt kinda not on my game. Isn’t that what quotes are for? …I once had someone criticize me about my quotes because I wasn’t the complete embodiment of what they said. But I’ve always seen it more as an aspiration of the person I would like to be. Little reminders to take it one step at a time in the direction I want to go. Not quotes of something and somewhere I already am…because what’s the point in that? Unless we’re talking about getting that Margarita right now, because sometimes we really do just need to know when to give ourselves a break!

Anyway my whole point is that these quotes help me with my vision! From something I read on Forbes the other day, “research has shown that even two minutes of visualization and positive thinking can improve your mood and clarity for the entire day ahead.” They help me see it and keep working toward it and I hope they can provide you the same thing on this Monday morning!

Sincerely,
Amanda

The Most Important Question in Your Life

 

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Happy Friday!!!! So I follow Lauryn Evarts over at The Skinny Confidential (you’ve probably heard me mention her before because I looove love love her blog) and she shared this awhile back and I loved it! So much so that I wanted to share it with you guys. Tell me what you think in a comment 🙂 Have a great weekend!

The Most Important Question of Your Life

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

Everyone would like that — it’s easy to like that.

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence — but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.

Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship — but not everyone is willing to go through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there. And so they settle. They settle and wonder “What if?” for years and years and until the question morphs from “What if?” into “Was that it?” And when the lawyers go home and the alimony check is in the mail they say, “What was that for?” if not for their lowered standards and expectations 20 years prior, then what for?

Because happiness requires struggle. The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. You can only avoid negative experiences for so long before they come roaring back to life.

At the core of all human behavior, our needs are more or less similar. Positive experience is easy to handle. It’s negative experience that we all, by definition, struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.

People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.

People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.

People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love.

You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.

There’s a lot of crappy advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”

Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something enough. They just aren’t aware of what it is they want, or rather, what they want “enough.”

Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs.

If you want the beach body, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten thousand.

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

That answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time before I could invest the proper amount of time and effort into getting out there and making it work. First, I needed to finish school. Then, I needed to make money. Then, I needed to find the time. Then…and then nothing.

Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time and a lot of negative experiences to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it.

I was in love with the result — the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I’m playing — but I wasn’t in love with the process. And because of that, I failed at it. Repeatedly. Hell, I didn’t even try hard enough to fail at it. I hardly tried at all.

The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 pounds of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the top.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself, that I’m a quitter or a loser. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. The entrepreneurial/start-up crowd would tell me that I chickened out on my dream and gave in to my conventional social conditioning. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or manifest or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that: I thought I wanted something, but it turns out I didn’t. End of story.

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.

So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

{ By: Mark Manson }

This one had me thinking hard…
Sincerely,
Amanda

Make Extra $$$ with these side Jobs

I’ve been on the job hunt!

Ultimately I would love to start my own business. Eventually. But I’m not there yet! And I need a steady income but in the mean time while I’m job searching I’ve found a few things to do to earn some money here and there and if you’re looking maybe this will help you out too!

1. Transcribe Me!

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You can earn $50 or more per audio hour just listening to files online, typing it out and then submitting it! Granted, the $ doesn’t rack up very fast, but it’s extra $$ in your spare moments.

2. Handy

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Make $20/hour or more cleaning houses and build your own schedule! Just fill out a profile, take a quick test, attend a quick orientation and you’re ready to go!

3. Rover

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Be a dog sitter! Sign up, create a profile and once you are accepted you can create your own schedule and set up which services you want to be available for and then you’re set! I signed up to be a dog walker. I can do up to 4 walks a day. Choose the amount of time and set your own rates and get walking! $30/30minutes or more depending on what you set!

4. Lyft

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photo: www.axlegeeks.com

Sign up on online. Set up a time to meet with a Lyft mentor where they will inspect your car and give you an “okay” and then get driving! Make up to $35 an hour or more and set your own schedule!

5. Etsy

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Open a shop and craft away! Check out my shop through the link above and spread the word 🙂

Sincerely,
Amanda

 

Hill Country Trail of Lights on The Daytripper

Good Tuesday evening to you all 🙂 hope it finds you well! Mine is pretty good. I’m grading papers, Sam’s on his way home with some delicious food that will probably expand my waist line instead of shrink it and I’m currently accepting the fact that I’m sick again… but hoping it passes quickly. This weekend we have friends coming into town for a Christmas get together and I CANT WAIT! And I want to be healthy by then.

In other Christmas related news, my second guest post for The Daytripper is up on their blog 🙂

Take a road trip with The Daytripper and see the Hill Country Trail of Lights!

Sincerely,
Amanda

 

Things I’m Loving #3

Happy Friday!!! Hope everyone has the best Halloween weekend! Still trying to figure out what to be tomorrow night! I’m such a procrastinator. All ideas are welcome! Please and thank you 🙂

This ‘things I’m loving’ post is full of things I’ve been celebrating lately! I honestly feel like I’ve been more stressed out than ever lately (and what is sleep?) but at the same time I’ve had so many good things to focus on and so here’s to the good things!

 
I made my first ETSY sale! Check out my shop Sincerely I Do! It’s a work in progress.

I had time (and energy and ingredients) to make dinner this week for the first time in many many months.

I celebrated my cousin’s Bachelorette with a night out on the town in Austin and a wine tour through the Texas Hill Country!

I wrote a guest post for the PBS show The Daytripper!!!  The Saturday morning Texas travel show! Couldn’t be more excited to work with Chet Garner. I love love love that show in all it’s goofy glory.


I won The Skinny Confidential Bombshell Body Guide which I need because I’ve been trying to find the motivation to lose these six extra teacher pounds I’ve gained! And I love Lauryn’s blog! I was really excited to meet her over the summer. She’s super nice and super fit and I’m excited to try her workout plan and share it with you all, so stay tuned!

Happy Weekend!

Sincerely,

Amanda

Things I’m Loving #2

Happy Tuesday! I’m here with another What I Love post! I’m NOT ready to be back at work…like, at all. It’s pretty much a Monday for me and Sam isn’t home and so it’s positive sharing time here on the blog haha.

These Snapea Crisps are the best snacks ever! They might look or sound weird but they are SO addicting. Be careful because its super duper easy to eat an entire bag of them! But, shrug it off if you do because the whole bag is only like 370 calories anyways… These things are GOOD. and there are several different flavors. I really like the Caesar green pea crisps. I haven’t tried all of the flavors, but they all sound good!!

I love that it’s pumpkin season!!! Even if it’s still hot in Texas…because I freakin love pumpkin! And the sooner we can start the holiday season feelings and the longer we can stretch them out, the better! Sam and I had our first pumpkin spice latte of the season yesterday which was awesome (also really excited to try this pumpkin cocoa mix in the near future)! And these pumpkin pie almonds are amazing! They really do taste like pumpkin pie and they can be found on sale at World Market!!

I’m loving how much time Sam has had at home the past few weeks! He had a two-week work trip to Florida that he was able to clear from his schedule which gave him three whole weeks at home!!! AH, and then he was able to take me with him for the weekend which added a few more days :D. It really is crazy having to switch modes so often. It’s like you get used to your spouse traveling (sometimes) and you get okay with the distance and being alone for periods of time. And then to have them home for more than one week you feel kind of spoiled. And then when they finally do have to go on a work trip, you go through the whole process of getting used to them leaving again and it’s just a never-ending cycle of emotions. It’s hard sometimes! So I’m always excited to be with Sam any chance I get and I’ve had a lot of time with him at home lately which makes me happy!

In my post yesterday I shared these pants from H&M that I found! I’m getting some ASAP because they do wonders at holding in my tummy. And if they could hold it in just a little bit longer while I work on getting back in shape that’d be great.

Lastly I’m SUPER EXCITED about the Bridal Shower I am hosting on Saturday for my cousin Megan! I did a lot of Etsy shopping, a little bit of crafting and a lot of Pinterest browsing to try and create a lovely shower for her and I can’t wait for it to all come together! I hope she loves it! I also enjoyed putting everything together so much that I am seriously contemplating opening my  own Bridal Shower etsy shop! Like seriously, this is the kind of stuff I love to do…Sam was like ‘wow your type A really comes out when you find something to do that you actually love doing.’ And it’s SO true! I’ll get 100% pedal to the metal, don’t interrupt me right now I have to paint 100 of these and I freakin’ love it…AND I LOVE IT. Also Sam has been really sweet about letting my type A bridal shower creations take over the counters and mess up his type A house cleanliness. Best husband ever.

SO that’s all 🙂

What are some things you are loving this week?

Sincerely, Amanda

 

Things I’m Loving

One of the Blogger’s I follow over at Peanut Butter Fingers does a post called What I’m Loving Friday, so I’m totally following suit and giving my own what I’m loving post a go because 1. after the day I had yesterday I feel like I need to focus my brain on positive things and 2. Because I need to focus on the positives more in general sometimes.

Remember how just yesterday I was so hopeful that this would be my best week yet? Haha. I ended up late for work, and my lead teacher had something important come up which left me alone with 35 five and six year olds yesterday (and today) and to say it was chaotic does not even begin to describe it…SO. I will share with you guys the things I am loving lately to take my mind off of it 😉

HEB’s Cafe Ole Texas Pecan coffee!!  The smell alone is worth it! So heavenly. And they sell the beans, the grounds and kuerigs so, options! Trust me you’ll love it if you’re a coffee drinker.

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Sam’s cooking is just phenomenal. It’s always better when someone else makes it right?! I actually feel bad for Sam because I’m not the best at cooking! And Im not the best at even trying to cook lately. Lately Sam’s been my super hero and he’s been cooking pretty much the past three weeks. Anyone have good recipes that I can start making that are really good and easy/quick?! I guess they don’t have to be but it would encourage me to start cooking again… I’m thinking I need to start doing more crock pot recipes because at the end of the day…well you know the story.

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Gavin Degraw’s new song You Got Me!! I wish this song had been out when Sam and I got married because we totally would have danced to this song! It’s SO good. We were driving with the windows down and the sunroof open on the most beautiful day when I first heard it and that’s definitely the perfect way to listen to it (but that’s like the best way to listen to almost every song).

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Nugget jumping into the lake so fearlessly. You can click on the link to watch a short video of him. Since I can’t put a video directly into the post quite yet… You can also look at the adorable picture of him below.

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Motivational Quotes. Ive always loved quotes but lately I’ve been drawn to them on Pinterest (since I’ve really been thinking about where I see myself and where I want to be in the next five years career wise), they just strike a chord and like I said in this post, they are great for your vision board!


That’s all for my first what I’m loving post 🙂

Hope you are having a great Tuesday!

Sincerely, Amanda

Blogspiration: Vision Boards

Vision boards are what a lot of successful bloggers (& successful people in general of all professions) use to channel their brand, focus on their aspirations and keep them motivated and growing! Creating a vision board is a great way of conceptualizing your goals!

Some questions you might ask yourself in the process of creating your vision board are:

  • what goal/s do I want to accomplish?
  • what do my short-term goals look like?
  • where do I see myself in 5 years? 10 years?
  • what is the purpose behind reaching this/these goal/s?
  • career goals/relationship goals/personal goals?

For me personally, encouraging quotes are huge! So they are definitely one big aspect of my vision board.

I’ve ways liked quotes. I remember making LOTS of quote montages and magazine picture cut outs in high school that got me pumped up about life and my dreams! And quotes still have that same motivational effect on me 8+ years later!

So here’s a little Friday inspiration and motivation for you straight from my vision board! It might be Friday but working toward your dreams doesn’t have to stop just because the work week does.

Create a vision board! Keep it where you can see it and be reminded of what is most important to you and pursue your passions, dreams and goals. Even if it’s one little step at a time 🙂

Sincerely, Amanda

Blogspiration: Leading Ladies

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I follow a lot of blogs, and I love the blogs that I read! To name a few: Inspired by Love, Ordinary Epiphanies, Seek Wander Share, On the KattwalkMarried in Ministry. I love being able to visit someone’s corner of the web, read their story, discover shared interests, find encouragement, laugh, or be inspired!! And I have quickly learned that there is a lot of effort and hard work that goes into blogging and that makes me appreciate what people share to the max!

I want to share four more bloggers that I love to follow with you readers and blogging ladies out there! I’ve been inspired by each one and feel as though I am continually learning new things about the blogging world, especially through The Skinny Confidential and Jillian Harris. Hope you can find as much enjoyment and inspiration as I do in reading these ladies blogs!

Lauryn Evarts at theskinnyconfidential.com

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PhotoCred: theskinnyconfidential.com

Lauryn lives in San Diego with her fiance and two dogs (and they are the cutest little fam…her and Michael have literally known they were the ones for each other since they were like 12). This girl works HARD at her blog and it’s so fun to read! She literally blogs about anything and everything and she’s super genuine and blunt (it’s always amusing). I love it! Not to mention she’s super successful at building her brand. She has released a book as well as a fitness TSC BOMBSHELL BODY GUIDE and coming soon: meal plans. And she’s always hosting events and working on her next big thing or things she really wants to share with her readers.

I got to meet her in person for a BLOW DRY BAR event she was hosting in Austin and she was so nice! She’s great at connecting with her readers and for as busy as she is, she’s always messaged back every time I’ve asked a question or made a comment. Lauryn says, “I never want to be the kind of blogger that stops answering questions. It’s very, very important to me to maintain a connection with you guys because without you…I’d have ::CRICKETS:: reading The Skinny Confidential. You guys make the blog!” and she acts like it. She gives her readers lots of great advice and tips. Most recently helpful to me were these two books recommendations: The Badass Blog Planner and Blogging for Creatives (both of which I immediately purchased on Amazon). Lauryn is a really likeable blogger, so I know you’ll be hooked!

Jillian Harris at Jillianharris.com

PhotoCred: jillianharris.com

PhotoCred: jillianharris.com

Jillian Harris (should be dubbed the queen of lifestyle blogging) was season 4’s spunky Bachelorette from Canada (where she currently resides with her boyfriend and boxer pup named NACHO CILANTRO! How cute is that). She’s very experienced in the interior decorating world and currently the host of Love It or List It (Canada). Among other things “Jillian’s love for fashion, decor, food, fitness, travel, and family is fully expressed” on her blog (which is beautiful btw).  And her energetic and fun personality definitely shines through! One of the tips I have picked up from her on blogging is creating a vision board for what your personal brand is. Having something that you can see everyday that will help you visualize  your goals and dreams is helpful and motivating. You can read more of her advice and experiences in this post on her blog!

Kaitlynn Carter at thewesternwild.com

PhotoCred: thewesternwild.com

PhotoCred: thewesternwild.com

Kaitlynn Carter lives in Malibu with her celeb boyfriend Brody Jenner (you might have heard of him or watched him back in the day on The Hills) and their three dogs. Kaitlynn is fairly new to blogging but her brand has already sky rocketed and this year alone she has already designed her own clothing collection with Solkissed and started a business called Foray Collective that helps readers discover quality clothing from up and coming fashion designers on the $$ instead of the $$$$. Kaitlynn’s blog truly feels classy and she’s always brining high quality material to share with her readers! Plus this girl is flawless, so it’s fun being able to pick up on some of her health and beauty regimens!

Amber Fillerup at Barefootblonde.com

PhotoCred: barefootblonde.com

PhotoCred: barefootblonde.com

Amber lives in New York City with her husband, son, baby girl who is due in November and their golden retriever! Her family is super precious which makes her blog easy to follow, not to mention the photography is AMAZING. You can find all of her gorgeous outfits, beautiful hair tutorials, fitness tips, stories and info from all of their travels and more on her blog!

Happy Reading and Blogging you guys!

Sincerely, Amanda

Blogger’s Culture Dictionary

If you blog a lot and/or read a lot of blogs then you may have come across a couple of these terms and activities or maybe even used them/done them. I’m pretty sure I have! I guess they just grow on you? Sure some of it might be eye-roll or LOL worthy, but it’s also just kind of fun to be trendy. So here they are: 

   

11 Current Blog Culture Definitions/Explanations:

Casually – As in Just casually walking down the street in Austin in a bathrobe. Generally referring to something people might find wierd or not normally do! 

Obsessed – As in ‘I’m totally obsessed with juicing.’ Referring to something you find super awesome, or something you legitimately use/watch/wear/read/cook a lot and you want your readers to know about it!

Nordstrom – This fancy place where ALL the bloggers find their clothes. Well, maybe not all of them, but sometimes it sure seems like it.

Perfect – As in ‘These are the perfect summer shoes’. Which I might have said in one of my blog posts. Generally meaning they’re exactly what you were looking for and go with a million things or the one occasion you really needed it.

LIKEtoKNOW.it – This convenient system that enables you to fabulously copy your favorite bloggers outfits! Which I would totally do if all of my favorite bloggers didn’t always buy the most expensive sh*t 😛

OOTD – Your Outfit of the Day! Probably from Nordstrom and super cute. And people can probably find all the info on your LIKEtoKNOW.it 

Vibes – generally referring to good/cute/pretty ambiance and atmosphere. Such as a picture of flowers or a snap of palm trees at the beach or a snap of your fab OOTD.

Prosecco – An Italian white sparkling wine that creates fancy vibes.

Brunch – A meal over mimosas and breakfast/lunch foods around 11am. Maybe involving prosecco. And a big group of friends dressed in their best Nordstrom floppy hats and sunglasses.

Gorg – Not to be confused with gorging on food, because Im not sure that’s acceptable at bloggers brunch. Unless you don’t give a rats hiney. What we mean by gorg is quite simply gorgeous. As in ‘This dress is so gorg!’ 

Sneak Peak – I’ll post a photo of something today and then show you ten photos of the same thing/outfit/product/food/etc. from ten different angles and give you the shopping info/recipe tomorrow! Sound good?!

Have any to add to the list? Have fun with it! And go ahead and give in to the trendy cheesy good blogger lingo 😉 you know you want to!

Sincerely, Amanda