filling our house...with what?

This past month, I've been thinking more and more about my future house with my future husband. What do I want to put in it? What do I want the things inside to say about us as a couple? What items will be so precious to me that they will be proudly displayed in my home?

The thing is, I still live at home. I'm surrounded by things that make my parents happy and reflect their style. While their style is wonderful-it's fully them. I have had zero say in how they decorate and what they buy.

That's where this post comes in; I've been looking on etsy for the past couple months and I've been dreaming about what I can put in our house. I've been drawn to the vintage section of the site and that is where I have drawn most of my inspiration. I want to fill our new house with things of the past; items that have been around for many years and that are one-of-a-kind.

Here are {a few of} my favorites-
:a wooden hanging rack for our scarves and jackets to be hung neatly next to our front door.
:a small cork board for our kitchen where I can put my shopping list and charming notes to my Chad.
:a glass pitcher for my lemonade {from the store} on hot summer days.
:some small wooden bowls for salads.

Over the next four+ months, I'll probably be featuring more and more of these favorites as I continue browsing.


excuse me...

Mad Men: Season Two will be taking over Amanda's life for the next 22 hours.

Please excuse her.

P.S. Check out pictures of Christina Hendricks' {Joan Holloway} wedding here.


I've spent last night and today thinking about 2010. What I want to accomplish in the new year and what I want to happen in my life. How I can make 2010 a better year than 2009. I can only think of one resolution I want to complete: my book list. Since I complied the list back in May, I've read only 5 of the books. This year, if it kills me, I'm going to cross off every book on that list.

That's it. That's all I'm going to tie myself to. Simplicity. Yes, I could make resolutions about being a good cook, getting all A's in school, moving into my house with Chad...but I'm not going to.

I do have many hopes and dreams for 2010. Many things in my life are going to change due to all the events I have to look forward to. I will get married in May. I will graduate from college. I will become a wife and learn how to care for my own house and for my husband. I will enhance my blog.  I will continue to stay in touch with old {and new} friends. I will learn more about photography and I will document all the new experiences in my life. I will take care of my body and I will center my life and my marriage around God's Word. I will do my best as a wife, sister, child, student, teacher, Christian.

P.S. Check out this video of 'Sex and the City: The Movie' scene of  the New Year's Eve classic Auld Lang Syne.  {Note: The people do not speak English in this clip, but the song is wonderful.}


the {kids} of Christmas past.

{Christmas circa '91? I'm in the front in the dark green dress.}

Yes, yes. It's true. I'm sitting at work on Christmas Day. I have six hours left of my shift and have only talked to maybe three people. I know that I threw myself a pity party a couple days ago, but I've since realized that I didn't have to.

Last night, I attended the Christmas Eve service at my church and didn't even think about how I had to work, couldn't be with my family for a large part of the day, wasn't able to open presents with Chad's family...etc.

Instead I thought about the message that the children sang about. I thought about being surrounded by fellow Christians as I loudly sang out praises. I thought about the prayers that were spoken by our pastor. I thought about the words of "Silent Night" as I was gazing at the giant Christmas tree at the altar. I was in the moment.

So this Christmas {and beyond}, I'm striving to live in the moments instead of thinking about what moments I am missing.

P.S. Do you love my grandparents decor {the sixties fabric and the wood paneling}?

Sweetest Jesus, Holy Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall:
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.
{v.2 Once in Royal David's City}


Christmas Finds: Volume V.

I didn't think I was going to do another one of these lists simply because the people that I featured in the past I was actually buying gifts for.
This year, Chad and I decided not to give gifts to each other. We are strapped for cash and want to save as much as possible for our wedding and starting out our life in May. We only got each other one gift: John Mayer concert tickets!
So, even though I'm not giving Chad gifts this year, I still thought it would be fun to feature some gifts that my love would think are funny {and would secretly love to have in his pad}.

Like I said before, Chad and I are saving as many pennies as possible since we are going to be newlyweds soon.  He has this plastic bag on top of his desk that holds all his spare change, but I think this piggy bank would be much more attractive.

My guy, bless his heart, is a farter {sorry honey, but you are}. He thinks they are hilarious...I can't even get an "excuse me" without him giggling. This guide to farts would be a funny gift for him.

He also thoroughly enjoys singing karaoke...Chad+Karaoke=very amusing. With this iKaraoke he doesn't even have to go to a bar-he's got it right in his pocket.
Now this is the gift for my guy: Beatles Rock Band. We were paging through Target's ad last Sunday and I asked him "What would you do if you got Beatles Rock Band this year?" His reply: "I would never leave the house." {Yeah, it's true.}

Another perfect game for my love: Clue-The Office Edition. Not only could I get him to play, I think I'd have my sister, Laura, coming around more often just so she could play.

Since my guy is kind of a gadget freak, he needs a way to protect that iPhone of his...and more iPhone apps to play with.

Oh, another thing of his ultimate wishlist? A Charles Woodson Jersey. {He loves the Packas...}

One another thing you have to know about Chad: he loves making silly voices. One of his main goals in life is to make people laugh {which he does about a bajillion times a day for me} and he can do that all by a simple switch of the voice. Just last night, while driving me home, he did his "Leave Britney Alone" impression {ask him to do it sometime}. This voice changer would be just the toy for him.

And finally, this is a good way to remember our trip to California this summer--a
poster of San Francisco.


photo edit.

Let me just start out by saying that I am not a professional photographer. At all. I like taking pictures and I like making them look good.

A reader of mine recently posted a question:
What program do you use to edit your photos, make collages and most importantly, how do you "round the edges" of your photos?

So, Johanna, here's my secret--I use picnik.com. I stumbled on this website 5 months ago or so, took a browse around it, and bought a membership. I can't remember how much I spent on it, but you can get a year membership for $24.95. With that, you can use all the Premium features of the website.   I like it because it's easy to manage and I like how simple it is to add a personal touch to it.

Here's some of my picnik work using the premium setting {again, I am by no means a professional-why else do you think I edit all my pictures?}

01. Here is a straight out of the camera shot of my sister, Laura, and I in 2007 in Seattle. 

02. Picnik has a feature that allows you to 'auto-fix' every shot.

03.Did you see that Laura has her camera in the bottom of the shot? That got cropped right out of the shot--now the picture is 4x6 which would make it easy to put in a frame {which I also love to do}.

04. Our faces are really shiny, so I used the "shine-be-gone" to dull that down a little.

05. Like I said, it's so easy to personalize your photos, so with this one I added text and rounded the edges {found under Frames}.

Let me show you another photo I edited, focusing mainly on faces this time--

01. The straight from camera shot of Chad and I at my cousin's wedding in 2007.
02. I used autofix again, but as you can see, nothing really changed.

03. That's when I had to go in and adjust the contrast and the exposure. I always just play around with these settings until I'm satisfied.

04. My next step is to use the 'shine-be-gone' setting {seriously Amanda, meet a powder brush} and I do a little airbrushing just to smooth our faces {not too much because I don't want it to look unnatural.}

05. The final step that I do is whiten our teeth {again, not too much since I want a natural look} and round those edges again.

Picnik is a perfect editing tool for me--it's easy to navigate, which I love. There is a lot of unnecessary things on the website {like Pixelate and making the shot into a Puzzle}, but I've never had any problems with it. You don't have to round every single corner of your pictures like I do, but I just like the old-school look of rounded edges. It's something that you can use if you're into editing but don't want {or have the funds} to invest in Photoshop.

Anyone else use Picnik out there? What are your thoughts on it?

P.S. Thanks Johanna for the question! If anyone else has any questions about editing or anything in general, please ask---I like it!


ideas and freebies {Christmas edition.}

{sole credit goes to it's pretty good.}

Anyone else have Christmas on the brain? With all the events of my weekend, I just can't help but think that the next 5 days are going to fly. 

Okay, time to feel sorry for me: I have to work an 8 hr. shift on Christmas Day. 

I know, I know, it sucks right? I was depressed about it all month of December, but then I had a change of heart and am fully embracing Christmas Eve as my holiday this year. Yes, I will absolutely dread clocking in at 7am on Christmas morn, but I will be filled with the holiday spirit from the night before, so I'm hoping that the two will cancel each other out.   

In honor of the next couple days, and in honor of the procrastinators in the world...which I'm {sometimes} a member of, I've complied some free printables and other quick ideas:

Some holiday tags:
These are incredible; I vow to never buy tags. These beauties+white cardstock= the perfect way to spruce up any gift under the tree.

Orange You Lucky
Ohdeedoh's compilation {I've personally used the Martha Stewart ones}

Here's a way to make all those drinkable treats from Starbucks right in your own home. Honey, you don't have an espresso machine, so it looks like we'll still have to buy our gingerbread lattes.

These holiday sandwich cookies look just easy enough for me to make.

Still stuck on what to get someone special? Hannah, of Sherbet Blossom, {a new favorite of mine} made a list of stocking stuffers that are sure to please anyone.

Still still stuck? Why not make them a holiday mix? Since it's so close to the holidays you could just use the songs that marta complied. {I tell ya, that lady blows me away with every post.}

P.S. Speaking of music, my ears have been in a relationship with Sufjan Stevens 'Songs for Christmas' for the past two weeks. I'm in l.o.v.e.

Have a beautiful week, loves!


Wishlist: dec. 24.

Would love to go to a store that had exactly what I want to wear on Christmas Eve...a black eyelet dress under a bright colored cardigan.

on sale. in my exact size.

Well, if I'm wishing for things, I wish they'd be delievered right to my house. For free.

{from l-r. t-b}
Item 1. Eyelet Wrap Dress (Frock Shop)
Item 2. Breathless Dress in Midnight (Modcloth)
Item 3. Classic Cardigan in Bodega Bay (Gap)
Item 4. Ruffle Cardigan (Banana Republic currently sold out)

tree details.

 I'm a tree decorating machine.  This year, I got to trim three trees: my family's, Chad's family's, and Chad's.

My Family: We actually have two trees-the kid one and the mom one. Hannah and I decorated it this year while watching "White Christmas". We  made sure that the other one got to put up her ornaments. I got all my "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments {which always go towards the top of the tree} and Hannah got to put up all the angel ornaments she has acquired over the years-she claims that they are all her favorite.  I got a little sentimental during the decorating since this time marked another last for me {the last time I'll decorate the tree with my ornaments, next year they'll be in my apartment  adorning my and my husband's tree}.

Chad's Family: They have the biggest, fattest Christmas tree I've ever seen.  Every year they try to outshine last year's. They succeeded tenfold...chairs have to be moved, living rooms rearranged, just to make room for the beast. They are an incredibly efficent family as well-while the rest of us went to see 'New Moon', Chad's dad set up the lights, garland, and got out the ornament boxes, solo. They are also big on the theory 'the more the merrier' when it comes to the ornaments. We couldn't even fit the two huge boxfuls on the tree; we got to dress up Chad's tree with the leftovers.  They do have the family favorites- the Packers field ornament, the antique bulbs, and the musical bear that used to adorn Chad's grandma's tree {the bear remarkably still works after 15+ years in operation.}

Chad's: We opted for a humble fir from Menards this year. Chad doesn't have a very large living room, so we didn't want to overwhelm the place. The pictures in this post are from this tree-we 'Americanized' it {lights, garland, and more tinsle than necessary}. The ornaments are nothing special-leftover ornaments from Chad's parents and ones that his mom bought last year on clearance. Am looking forward to those meaningful ornaments- the ones we'll get as a married couple, the ones that family members will get on our 'baby's first Christmas', the ones handed down from grandparents and parents.

We do already have our Christmas decorating traditions: gingerbread lattes from Starbucks {a rare treat for us because other than Oct. through Dec/early Jan. we can't justify spending 4+ dollars on a cup of coffee}, the Christmas carols in the speakers {this year it was 94.1 and Sufjan Stevens}, the day after cuddling with just the Christmas lights on...

p.s. Are you wondering why the  second picture is tinted green? My man is a lightbulb man {he works with Sylvania lightbulbs} and got these red and green lights which, when lit, give off this tint on everything...it makes eating food in the living room pretty interesting {who wants to eat green mashed potatoes?}


headband loves

Confession: I use headbands to dress up outfits. I wear one pretty much every week and if I feel like the outfit is looking a little blah, I just go to my stack on the vanity and pick one out.

Oh how I wish that these two headbands from Old Soul, New Heart would be added to my collection. Also, check out this article that lists some headbands that look good on grown-ups.

P.S. Here's some serious cuteness-Heidi and Seal family photo shoot Heidi and Seal family photo shoot! Divert your eyes if you don't wa nt to "ooh" and "aah" over these cuties! {Could someone inform me how Heidi looks Ah-mazing without any makeup on?}

Christmas Finds: Volume IV

The next gift list is for my fourteen-year-old sister Hannah.

She is the: teenager. piano lover. picture framer. high schooler. artist. music lover. on your list.

She loves putting her stuff on display whether it be a bulletin board, posters, or picture frames. That's why this magenta mini cork board would be perfect in her room.

I think almost 80% of the clothes in her closet belonged to me and my older sister, but even I would have to borrow this cable-knit button-front hoodie from her {if only we wore the same size}.

She is a music lover through and through...the Beatles are #1 {are they for everyone!?} so these Beatles pins would adorn her backpack.

She has a bag that I bought her last Christmas, but something like this canvas messanger bag would give her an updated look {not to mention more room}.

Say what you will about gift cards, I don't know if you're usually on the yay or nay side, but my opinion is that if I know that the person frequently goes to the store, then it's alright.  I do like to get actual gifts for people, but, I'd feel fine getting Hannah an iTunes gift card. That way she'd be able to listen to all the albums she wants.

Hannah really needs a new alarm clock-one that doesn't wake her up with the annoying, blaring BEEP. Here's one. that has radio which will make waking up a little more pleasant.
Hannah is the only member of my family that has artistic talent {yes, I can't even draw a person without resorting to the stick figures} so she needs some new paintbrushes.


covered with a quilt of snow.

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh boy, did the snow ever arrive with trumpets this week.  Seriously, the governor of our great Wisconsin says that we are in a state of emergency.  Like I mentioned, we did have a snow day on Wednesday {the most blissful Wednesday the whole year} because colossal amounts of snow dropped on Tuesday night.

So, on Thursday, my crazy future in-law family and I went on a sleigh ride.  We had the tickets for about 3 weeks beforehand and we weren't going to cancel due to the snow and cold. The whole week beforehand, we were all checking the weather channel seeing how cold is was actually going to be.

Well on Thursday, the  high was 4.
 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

We were nuts for choosing to go out in the cold for an hour and willingly ride on a wagon. But even though Chad and I couldn't feel our toes for about 1/2 an hour after we got back, it was...fun. We all laughed about the cold, all the cars driving slowly behind us, and how my future BIL's beard was full of icicles. While on the ride, Chad sweetly said to me, "Next year when we do this, we'll be married."

P.S. Listen to White Christmas "Snow". 'Tis delightful.


Here's what I've been up to the last couple weeks...
{l-r starting at top left}

01. Drank a gingerbread latte with my friend Claire.  We were at Starbucks for over 3 hours catching up.
02. and 03. UJ playing with us....my little buddy is so close to crawling {hopefully when they're here for Christmas he'll premiere all his hard work}.  P.S. Being an aunt is so amazing.
04. Chad and I had an adventure at IKEA the day after Thanksgiving. My very first IKEA experience! {Are you proud of me, Beth?!} We roamed the showroom with our tape measure discussing our living room, whether or not we should buy end tables, invisioning what we'd put in the cubbies of the table we bought {am full of ideas that I'll share soon}. 
05. Speaking of IKEA, while we were eating our inexpensive buffalo chicken wraps in the IKEA lunchroom, we could've swore we were 20 ft. away from Joe Mauer {so convinced that we took a picture of him.} Even though it was completely ludicrous, it was fun giggling about our "celebrity sighting".
06. Shared hot chocolate and snuggled in a booth watching our friend, Matt, play at a local cafe.
07. Last week Thursday marked the beginning of the Great Christmas Tree Weekend of '09.  My dad, mom, sister and I went to a tree farm until we found the perfect one for our living room (08) and one that could fit in our "fancy" living room (09). {Ever since we moved, we've gotten two trees: the "mom" tree-with all the fancy trimmings, and the "kids" tree-with all our popsicle stick and hand made ornaments.


Christmas Finds: Volume III

It's a snow day today! The best news a college student can get is that they don't have to go into class and can just sit in their house and look at the snow outside.  Many thanks to the president of my college for making that happen.

Onto the next featured gift list....this one features all things Mom!
To me, mom {equals} organic, recycling, piano music, homemaker, classic Television shows, antiques,  jewelry, fine wine, classy.

My mother always cooks Sunday dinner for my family. Unfortunately, during the football season, she misses the Vikings games that start at noon. Now, she wouldn't feel so bad about missing it if she was wearing a Minnesota Vikings apron while she cooks.

Every Sunday for church, my mom dresses up. She's the most stylish person in our pew since my sister and I haven't worn dresses in about a year, but my mama wears dresses almost every Sunday. She can glam up even more by wearing these blush rose earrings.
{Hannah did wear a dress last Sunday, I am the one who hasn't worn one in a year.}

She's also one hard-working homemaker. She keeps the house clean, the laundry folded, the dishes washed, and the lists made. She's someone who deserves to take a bath with these aromatherapy sea mineral bath salts.

She is Ms. Green. She is all about the organics and recycling {she gets upset when packages arrive with packing peanuts because they don't bio-degrade.} That's why some of these reusable sandwich bags would be right up her alley...and they are a lot more sanitary than reusing plastic bags.

She also is a world-class cook {to my family}. I hope to be a good cook like her for my mr. Now she can be organized with this recipe card set.

She'd also love feeling clean and keeping the earth clean with these organic face scrubbies

Being a glasses wearer for almost 30 years, she's probably gone through her fair share of glasses cases. She would loved this updated eyeglass case.


Related Posts with Thumbnails