Are you enjoying your Halloween weekend?

Here are some eye candy treats that I found which I think will help:
*I made this apple crisp on Wednesday. It's divine.
*Lauren Conrad has the best style.
*These are some gorgeous ballerinas. I wish I saw graceful people like this on my way to school.
*I wish I had Dumb and Dumber poster.
*Don't you want to dine on a table like this? Look at that view!
*Some people are so clever--look how they made Facebook and Twitter look vintage.
*Of course, Michael Jackson's Thriller is a must this weekend. Watch the video below {it's the long version, so snuggle up and watch it with friends}:

P.S. Happy Halloween! I hope my sons are this cute when they dress up someday. They will have an adorable mama, though.



1. If you could be a fly on any wall, which would you choose?

My first thought was the Oval Office, but honestly, I don't think I'd want to be there. Too much stress. Sheesh, who needs it? Hang in there, Barack--I definitely wouldn't want to be in your shoes.

Then I thought about the Oprah show I watched yesterday and they talked about The Sound of Music and Broadway, so I'll say a wall on Broadway. That way I can finally watch a Broadway show {definitely on the bucket list}. My must-see shows: Wicked. Mamma Mia. Chicago. Rain. The Phantom of the Opera.

2. Do you budget your Christmas shopping or just get it done without budgeting?

Since this is the first Christmas where the gift tag on our gifts will read From Amanda + Chad, I think we will budget. We've never really had to budget for Christmas gifts together before, so it'll be interesting.

One of my favorite places to shop for Christmas gifts is etsy of course! I bought a majority of my gifts last year online and I was a huge fan of giving people one-of-a-kind gifts.

P.S. Come check out my new Christmas blog series starting next week!

3. What is the craziest fad diet you have ever done?

Honestly, I've never done a fad diet. Chad and I cook healthy foods and try to go to the gym as often as possible. I have wanted to try Weight Watchers since I've seen how successful it was for my best friend and my sister {not to mention the gorgeous Jennifer Hudson}.

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of?

Yes. I am a Gilmore Girls Addict. {Admitting it is the first step}.

Just ask my family about it. They'll be able to tell you about my obsession. Once, when the show's opening scene came on {it was a rerun}, my sister Laura asked "So do you know what happens in this one?" I sheepishly replied that I could and that I knew what outfits Lorelai and Rory were going to be wearing that episode.
Those adorable Gilmore Girls

It's pretty bad. And until they take it off the air, I'll continue to watch it.
Oh, and I know all the episodes of Friends too. My brother and I have fun reciting some of the funny lines to each other.

5. What one song always pulls at your heart?

Not fair asking that question when I'm listening to Ella Fitzgerald. She puts me in a very relaxed state and makes me want to listen to R&B hits all night long. I love the song my dad and I danced to at my wedding. It's not like it's our song or anything, and I hadn't even heard it until I started looking for father-daughter dance songs online. It's called That's How Strong My Love Is by Otis Redding. Listen to it: here.

When we were dancing, I couldn't even look at him--so instead I cried on his shoulder {like I used to as a little girl} and cling to him like a little monkey:

I also love I Will by the Beatles because that was one of the songs Chad put on the mix cd he made me for our 6 month anniversary...over four and a half years ago {awww...}

Did you guys get mix cds when you first started dating? Sometimes I listen to our 2-month anniversary cd just for fun. It's funny how your taste of music changes over the years!

Play along with me: here.


how do you solve a problem like maria?

Yup, I'm talking about TV again. And yup, I'm talking about The Sound of Music again. I can't help it! I love this musical so much.

{Mom, guess what?}

Oprah is going to have all the Von Trapps on her show today for a reunion special.
Seriously, how awesome is that?! Only Oprah...   Go ahead and watch--think about your childhood and how you would sometimes try to sing the high notes like Maria {No? Only I did that?}

Here are some movie stills to remind you how wonderful this film is:


Are you a Project Runway fan? Tonight is the finale and we can finally see Mondo be crowned the winner! {Okay, I don't actually know if Mondo will win, but he's definitely the front runner in my opinion. It's kind of reminiscent of Christian's season with how much he's being favored--I just have a hunch Mondo will take it.}

Below is a funny little clip from kids reenact :

I unfortunately won't be watching it live--work and all. I'll be one of those lame people who DVR it and watch it the next day :)  I hope you tune in!

P.S. Speaking of Project Runway, these two are brilliant (and extremely witty!)



I don't know if I need a sanity check or if I just spend way too much time browsing etsy but I've decided to feature some new series posts this Christmas season. In between classes, work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework and living, I will be doing some special Christmas posts starting in one week from today: November 3rd! 

I will be featuring the second year of What to Give {formerly Christmas Finds}. I will also be doing a new Christmas feature called Christmas Around the Home. Here's what I'm planning--What to Give will be like last year: I will center each post around someone in my life and come up with gift ideas that are personal to them. What I'm hoping is that you also have a sister who likes art or a mother who is going green and can take my gift posts and use them when you are coming up with your own ideas.

Christmas Around the Home will be a series in which I will take a different part of the house {office, mantle, kitchen, living room, mailbox, etc} and give some ideas for how you can put a little Christmas spirit there.

I will hopefully be able to crank out one post from each series a week which will end in time for you to actually use them when you are holiday shopping. Of course, it goes without saying {but I'll say it anyway} the real center of Christmas is the birth of our Savior and I am in no way suggesting that gifts should be all we think about this time of year. I am merely giving people a little help when they go off and do their inevitable Christmas shopping and mall trips.

I really enjoyed creating the Christmas Finds posts last year and I'm excited to dedicate a little of this blog of mine to all things Christmas for the next month or so. Off I go!


let's go.

Time for another listography installment.

Travel: List some of the American cities you'd like to visit one day.

Before I start listing all the high points on my dream USA road trip, let me just give you a little background. Ever since I was in 8th grade, my family has gone on family road trips every August. We've gone to every corner of the country and I've seen landmarks and special sites that make me appreciate our country just a little more. So, this list might be a little short, but it's because I've been blessed with getting to travel. 

Oh, and I really like skylines. Especially skylines at night. I dream of having a whole wall in my house dedicated to pictures of city skylines at night. 

 New York City

 Portland, Oregon

 New Orleans, Louisiana

Las Vegas, Nevada

 Austin, Texas

Chad--pack your bags. We're going on road trips every year for the rest of our lives.

I like big cities, of course. But sometimes I like the little towns too.  Those are often the ones that have the best food, the nicest people, and you make the memories in.  

I just want to get out there and travel. I think this post's origin stems from the three study abroad presentations I had at school this week. I've been forced to fantasize about taking a month-long trip to Scotland and Ireland for student teaching. My funds are limited to go overseas, but some of these US cities are so affordable. They are just waiting for me to explore.

P.S. Where would you go?


the facebook movie.

The next date night Chad and I have, we will be going to this. All the movie reviewers are going gaga over the social network.

Have you seen it?

Chad said that when he sees it, he will update his facebook status while watching the facebook movie...:)

For your viewing pleasure, here's a clip about Mark Z. featuring my favorite SNL star:


to do.

Oh, how about a mini to-do list today.

01. Eat some of this yummy candy corn + dry roasted peanuts combo that I made today in 10 seconds. Thanks to reading my best friend's mom's Facebook post this morning, I now have my candy dish full.

02. Wait for my CSN store package to get here. I won a $50 giftcard from the giveaway that Melanie hosted. Chad and I scoured the website last night and settling on this, this, and this.

02. Decide on a simple cheap Halloween costume for Chad and I. I think we've narrowed it down to Salt + Pepper

03. Watch the season finale of Mad Men.

04. Find an illustrated children's book to write a paper on. (I love my major. What other major would you be able to write an entire paper on a children's book. I feel very connected to C.S. Lewis right now...).

05. Memorize/Write this down and give it to every woman in my life: “The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”--Anonymous


Autumn Look: Sunday Night Football

Waitin' all day for Sunday Night.

You better believe I'll be supporting my team on Sunday night. Chad and I will be camping out in front of the TV, having a mini-date. And yes, we will be missing the Mad Men season finale, but that's what dvr is for, right? And if I was wearing this outfit, I'd be supporting them in style {instead of the pajama pants I'll most likely be wearing}.

It's all about skinny jeans on bottom and comfort on top. Isn't that Colts sweatshirt the cutest? And since I'll be watching the game at home, slippers are a must. I'll probably be sipping some Woodchuck Fall Cider. It's the simple events like hanging out and watching the game when I truly enjoy being married to a football fan {and being one myself}. Are you a fan of the NFL?

All in the details:
Old Navy Slippers.
Colts Sweatshirt.
American Eagle skinny jeans.


write about love

Let me talk to you about Belle and Sebastian for a minute.

I have recently become infatuated with them. It's all about the love on their latest {and greatest} album.

It's all because of this:

Allow me to sing their praises--

I listened to this album on first listen via npr.org and I was hooked. Yes, I'm about 10 years late to the B + S party, but I'm so glad I own this cd. It's always nice to discover new-to-me music, is it not?  When a band pairs catchy beats with great vocals, I'm completely sold. It's like a cross between some She and Him and some Camera Obscura with a little Norah Jones thrown in there.  

I haven't even been able to get through the whole album yet because I've been stuck on this song:

I know. Feel free to play it two or three more times.

Happy Listening. 


Staring outside is Karma's form of television. When I'm sitting on the couch watching The Real Housewives, she's at the patio door like so, staring at the squirrels and birds that hop around our patio.

She's one of those cats that will stare outside, but will never actually go outside. Such a scaredy cat when we put her on the grass. What a baby...

Cat owners: Are your cats indoor or outdoor lovers? 

P.S. On Friday, my sister's coming into town! It'll be the first time that we've seen her since she told us about baby number 2.


hits from 2006.

I was a senior in high school in 2006. Now, 2006 probably doesn't seem like a long time ago, but if you think about the music we were listening to five years ago, then I think you'll be quite surprised at some of the songs that were popular that year.

If I made a mixed cd of all the popular songs at my high school when I was a senior.

{I got these songs from Billboard Year-End Hot 100 chart. They are listed in order of popularity. check it out.}

For a random sampling of 29 of the most popular songs in 2006: listen here.

In case you're wondering:

01. Bad Day:Daniel Powter
02. You're Beautiful:James Blunt
03. Hips Don't Lie: Shakira Featuring Wyclef Jean
04. Unwritten: Natasha Bedingfield
05. Crazy: Gnarls Barkley
06. SexyBack: Justin Timberlake
07. Check On It: Beyonce Featuring Slim Thug
08. Buttons: The Pussycat Dolls Featuring Snoop Dogg
09. SOS: Rihanna
10. Move Along: The All-American Rejects
11. London Bridge: Fergie
12. Dani California: Red Hot Chili Peppers
13. What Hurts the Most: Rascal Flatts
14. Chasing Cars: Snow Patrol
15. Ain't No Other Man: Christina Aguilera
16. Dance, Dance: Fall Out Boy
17. Gold Digger: Kanye West Featuring Jamie Foxx
18. Because of You: Kelly Clarkson
19. My Humps: The Black Eyed Peas
20. What's Left of Me: Nick Lachey
21. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree: KT Tunstall
22. My Love: Justin Timberlake Featuring T.I.
23. Too Little Too Late: JoJo
24. Deja Vu: Beyonce Featuring Jay-Z
25. Jesus, Take the Wheel: Carrie Underwood
26. You and Me: Lifehouse
27. Waiting On the World to Change: John Mayer
28. Stupid Girls: Pink
29. Feel Good Inc: Gorillaz

I think the next playlist I'll do will be from Chad's graduation year. Wouldn't it be fun to hear what was popular in 2001?!

P.S. Want to go back in time to your senior year--feel free to do a post! It would be so fun to see all the different songs that were popular when each of us graduated. If you do a post, let me know in the comments!


ode to Friday.

Do you know why I love this Friday in particular? Because after tonight's shift, I get the whole weekend off. I can't remember the last time I've been able to spend a whole weekend on myself, my house, and my husband. It's going to be such a treat. Onto the questions...

1. What do you listen to while driving?
I have a routine: on the way to Stout, I listen to the Current (a Minneapolis-based radio show) and on the way from Stout, I listen to the Jim Rome show. I mix it up here and there with a few mixed cds and my iPod, but that's typically what you'll find in my car.

My Jim Rome obsession has gotten so bad, that Chad and I will often talk about the day's show over dinner. I know all the commercials and some of the inside jokes that he says, so I often feel like I have to tell Chad so that he'll think I'm a cool wife who listens to sports radio. :)

2. What is your least favorite thing about Fall?
Good question!  I never think about the bad things about fall, just the good. But I know that in about a month, I'm going to start thinking about the fact that winter is close. Autumn is such a short season here in Wisconsin, that I try to jam-pack every weekend with Autumn-related activities. That's my answer: it's too short. Don't you agree?

3. What does your dream house look like, inside and out?
I have a picture in my mind of my dream home that I often fantasize when I think about Chad and my future. I think about the open floor plan, the hardwood floors, the big windows, the master bathroom (and the master closet), the entertainment room. (I'm there right now...). If I was an architect, I would seriously consider drawing out the floor plan from my thoughts that's how clear it is to me.

Onto some pretty pictures that I have saved--everyone needs a little inspiration, right?
via dwellinggawker.com

4. Would you ever own a minivan?
Yes and I'm not ashamed to admit it. From age 0 to age 20 of my life, my parents have owned a minivan. I never thought that I would not buy a minivan. What's wrong with them? I'd ask myself. That was until I met and married Chad a.k.a. mr.-you'll-never-ever-see-me-driving-around-in-a-minivan. He is so anti-minivan that I don't even bring up the subject anymore (sorry for this post, babe). We'll have to revisit the subject in about 10 years when me, Chad, our three kids, and all our luggage doesn't fit in the SUV when we want to go visit Grandma and Grandpa. We'll see who wants a minivan then.

Married couples: Are either of you vehemently against minivans like my husband? Please--assure him he's not the only one.

P.S. Read my letter to Bertha here.

5. Do you wash new clothes before wearing them? 
No--do other people do that? I guess I do it when I buy something from a thrift store or it's like a bathing suit or something. But, now I'm all weirded out. I don't think I can see myself being excited to wear something the night after I buy it, and then I can't since I have to go home and wash it and let it dry. Should I start?

If you'd like--play along with me.

Oh, and check out what Google did for John Lennon's 70th Birthday.

photo credit: first saw it here, it's really from here.


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