Monday, August 6, 2012

Motivation after a long lull

Well hello there! I don't believe we've met.  Oh, we have? Oh that's right...about a month and a half ago.  Brian and I have been so busy doing stuff around the house and enjoying summer that July just slipped on by!

Brian and I have been looking into buying a house for a few months now.  We looked at one on Friday that we both really, really liked.  It needs new paint and carpet, but that's the name of the game for every house in our price range at the moment.  On one hand, we want to save up and just pay all of our taxes next year (without very many deductions...) and get approved for a higher priced mortgage.  That way we could find a house that we ADORE.  On the other hand, the interest rates right now are amazing and with the amount we were approved for, it would be great to pay that monthly amount and save up for other stuff. Like paying off debt.  And the car. And then we could do upgrades on the house.

Brian and I have been doing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  It's been great so far!! Teaches you how to budget your money and pay off debt quick, and then start saving for the future.  Brian hates it because he claims he doesn't have any money to spend on stuff he wants. I hate that aspect also, but I'd rather be debt free than buy a bunch of stuff I don't need. Like sewing stuff.  It's killing me but I haven't been sewing very much lately.  Until today.

I love my job, have I mentioned that yet?  Soooo much better than the previous office I was working at.  I got called off today because my patients cancelled, so I figured instead of sitting around the house watching Grey's Anatomy or being a zombie on Pinterest all day (which I totally would be doing) I decided to be productive.  I have this fabric I bought last year hanging out in the closet to make a crib blanket and bumpers and crib sheet (which I think I already made...).  So I busted out the blanket/quilt fabric and got to work on it.  I have basting spray, which is awesome, so I sandwiched the batting and fabric together and got to work machine quilting.  I finished the machine quilting in less than an hour. Go me!!!  It helps when the front fabric has a bunch of squares. Awesome.  Now I just need to plan a trip to Joann to get some binding.  Here's a few pictures:

So that's that.

We've only got 2 more months until we go to Japan.  We've been going to my mother-in-law's house every weekend to practice our Japanese phrases and  learn some of the customs.  It's been interesting so far.  I got Rosetta Stone from my father-in-law so I've been slowly learning some Japanese also.

That's all for now!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hooray for Happiness!

Hi Everyone!
So the new job is going GREAT. I'm only part time, which kind of sucks on the financial aspect, but my happiness is worth more than money.  I love my coworkers, my boss, and I'm HAPPY.  Today my schedule at work fell apart, so they called me off. Hooray!  It's nice to have an unexpected day off.

So what have I been doing today? Oh, house-wifey things.  Like going to the gym at 10:30 in the morning. And grocery shopping, and cooking, doing laundry, sewing stuff that I've been putting off. And of course wasting enjoying my free time by watching Grey's Anatomy (my most recent obsession) and looking at stuff on Pinterest.

My weight loss journey is coming along nicely.  I'm down to 162 (hooray!) and a total of 30" lost so far since August 2011.  I'm planning on getting to 150 by our trip to Japan in October.  Hoping all goes well!  I'm using daily to keep track of calories, working out with my personal trainer every week, and getting cardio in at least 3-4 times a week.  My trainer says my goal calories every day needs to be around 1200, and try to eliminate as much un-natural sugars as possible. It's hard to get rid of those extra sweets that I crave, but I'm doing my best.

Brian and I are taking Financial Peace University through the church right now.  Currently we're at the end of week 2, starting week 3 tomorrow.  I'm proud to say that we've completed baby step #1! Hooray! If you don't know what FPU is, I strongly recommend it. Even for the first couple weeks it's changed our outlook a little bit toward our spending habits.

Websites I'm currently obsessed with:
1) Pinterest
2) Chef - In - Training (TONS of great recipes!)
3) SkinnyTaste (Loads of great recipes that are perfect for my diet)

Until next time!
Lots of Love, Amber

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

I know this is a little late (by like..5 days...) but Tuesday May 29th was my second wedding anniversary.  Happy Anniversary, Brian! I love you! I can't believe it's been two years already. Time sure flies!

In other news, I've been gardening a little bit.  I have a few pots out on the deck since we live in a townhome. I have a tomato plant, basil, catnip, cilantro, parsley, apple mint, chocolate mint, a strawberry plant, and lots of petunias.  I'm pretty excited to get started cooking with my plants.

I also decided to stop eating sweets as of Wednesday (5/30/2012).  The first day was torture. Everything was telling me that I needed chocolate to survive. Day two was okay...not as bad. Yesterday was day three and Brian and I decided that I could have one day each week where I could eat one sweet thing. That day would be Fridays.  So yesterday I went to a get-together with some girlfriends from church and we had pizza and malts.  I was in charge of making the malts.  I made myself only about 6 oz of malt, and when I was done...I felt no satisfaction at all. I even thought to myself, "Why did I even want that in the first place? It wasn't that great..."  So needless to say I'm pretty proud of myself and my self control! We'll see what the next week has in store for me.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: I got a new job!!! I no longer work at my crappy, horrible, demeaning, toxic environment workplace!  I have a great new dentist that I work for, she's totally awesome.  I am having a blast and I love the people I work with. Everyone is so friendly and supportive and I love it!

That's it for now!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy birthday to me!

Okay I know this is 6 days late, but hurrah! I am now twenty-three. I feel like I'm actually in my twenties now.  Maybe because I've had a lot of experiences and such the last couple of years?

I always have terrible birthdays, start from when I was 16. My mom and I got in a fight and she told me that if I wanted a birthday cake, then I should make it myself. Wow. And thus the downward spiral, not ever looking forward to my birthday, began.  It seems like the most insignificant things just become so large and ruin my birthday every year.  This year...was different.  My husband was wonderful as usual (aside from one of the presents he was thrilled to buy me and I didn't like...I'M SORRY honey...I love you!) and I got lots of birthday wishes.  What really pulled this birthday over the top in terms of how wonderful it was...was that I have more friends. I've made some wonderful friends with some girls at the church I'm going to, and I got to spend the day celebrating with them.  Getting a pedicure, going out to eat, getting some plants to plant. I had a great time.

And so all of this week, I've been sending up lots and lots of  "Thank you, Lord!" type of conversations and prayers and praises. I truly am so blessed to be where I am right now, with a job that I love (performing, not going to), and a husband that loves me unconditionally with all my craziness.  What more could a girl ask for?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Well my trip with my mom to Branson, MO was great. The travel day home was not. Needless to say, after being stuck in airplanes and airports for 15+ hours on Sunday, I am still tired and recovering.

My day yesterday was just terrible at work. Things just keep getting worse and worse and I finally just broke down and sobbed the entire way home. A couple of months ago I relinquished control of the situation to God and things seemed to improve a bit after that. But now it's back to where it was before -- my manager is being incredibly...just mean spirited, I guess, and I am so tired of dealing with the negativity all the time. I mean, it's 24/7! I am never given a pat on the back or praise for all the hard work I do and I'm so tired of being treated poorly.

So yesterday I sobbed and sobbed and asked God for his mercy and help. I don't necessarily feel at peace and I still feel depressed, so I don't know what He is going to do. We'll see, I suppose.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Dress of Fail...

So after my total splurge last weekend I was totally pumped up and ready to make my dress. First dress comes from McCall's pattern 5094 (see picture below). I wanted to go with #D (pictured in purple) but I bought some super cute yellow fabric with outlines of dragonflies on it.
So after I get home I realized that I bought the wrong sizes for the other two patterns. And possibly this pattern. This one had up to size 10, and I've been losing weight lately, and dropped a dress size as of late. So I thought that size ten would work great for me.

I can't even tell you all the problems I had with this. Not only did some of the pattern pieces not line up correctly when sewing them together in the middle (bodice and midriff), I had to do a little creative thinking in cutting out new, larger pieces.  That was big problem number one. Problem number two was total user error -- I didn't realize I needed fabric for a lining. Back to the store I went, not a big deal.  Problem number three was the zipper -- after sewing it together in the back, it didn't line up correctly. Meaning the seams for the bodice/midriff on each side didn't line up together well. I attribute this to some error in the actual pattern that was printed. So I ripped the seam out and did it again. This time it bunched up at the bottom. Ripped out the seam again and sewed it up in total frustration thinking, "this better work!!"  Well the seams lined up the best they could, but the fabric at the top of the zipper did not match up, one was higher than the other.  At this point I was basically ripping my hair out and saying "Forget it! It's good enough! Nobody's going to notice anyway!!"

So, excited that this dress from hell is finally done...what do I do? Excitedly rip my clothes off and try it on. And it's too small.

Now, I'm not a big girl. I'm average size, and I am coming to love my body more and more. So I am totally not thinking I'm fat -- I'm thinking I'm going to burn the dress.  But the more logical side of me is thinking I better just lose a couple of pounds until it fits. Then I'll rock it out with my cute white kitten heels.  Here's the finished product:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Nerd alert!!

So I went to Joann today after working out (never the best time to go shopping considering I'm weak in mind and body, haha) and they had the "Daffodil Dash" sale going on. Pretty much everything you could ever dream of wanting is on sale.

What I originally went in for was a Sizzix machine - as an early birthday present to myself, mind you, and they were all out of the one I wanted. Bummer!  So I meandered around and found some fabric to make more Nook covers. I still haven't mastered the iPad cover so I think I'm going to put that on the backburner for a while since I have a million ideas for covers for the Nook Simple Touch that I have mastered.  Anyway, I found out that McCalls patterns were on sale for...wait for it...99¢!!! How can I pass that up?!!? Answer: I can't. So I picked out three patterns then I mozied on over to the fabric again and picked out some fabulous fabrics to make the pattens out of. I'm SO excited.

Here's a picture of my splurge:

Yeah I'm pretty excited. I totally want to wear a lot of dresses and skirts this summer.  How about the rest of you girls??

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Faith Story

Tonight at my church house group (like a bible study) I shared my faith story.  I was really nervous all this week working up about what to talk about, and not ramble on about.  All in all I think it went pretty well. A lot of the women came up and hugged me afterward, which made me feel like it was all worth it.

One thing that I'm coming to realize is it's not much OF a faith story.  I mean...I am in my early twenties, and I felt like I had a good relationship with God, but I think after confessing and sharing my story with all of my new friends and house group members, I realize that I really don't have as good of a relationship with God as I pretended to.  I realize now that I have a lot of growing up to do in my walk with God and I have a lot of things that I still need to learn and deal with and commit to.  I want to be so much closer to the Lord and I know how to now.

I've got some friends that I've made already at house group and I am so excited to get to know them more, and I can't thank God enough for them.  I need to start following Him more, and relinquish that control I love so much in my life.

Penny for your thoughts?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Five years from now...

Today my church started a new series called, "Future You".  Basically it's like this: If you could come back to TODAY from the future, what would you say to yourself? What would you tell yourself? What advice would you give?  Today's sermon was FIVE years from now.  Next week will be FIFTY years from now, and the week after will be five hundred years from now.

Pastor Dave really hit home today with starting off saying, "If you could go back to 2007, what would you tell yourself?"  Then he proceeded to say that give years from now, we probably would give ourselves the same advice.  Examples -- "Quit the addiction, NOW." or "You really need to take your relationship with God more seriously, take it to the next level" or "You don't really need to spend that much time on facebook" (guilty...), or "Spend more time with the people you love, and be kind to them." Things like that. 

So I started thinking. What would I say to 2007 Amber?  There were a few answers that I'd rather not share that came to mind immediately. And a few things that I had to really think about.  But I had a few realizations.  I'm wasting time on activities or things that really just don't matter. What are my priorities at home, at work, in my relationships, and why?  What kind of life changes can I make NOW to have a better future?

Sounds like I need to start changing. First thing -- spend more time with my husband. No more sittnig in different rooms doing our own thing. We need some good quality husband and wife time together. Even if it means watching a movie I don't want to watch. Or going to eat somewhere I don't want to go. Or showing more kindness. Not arguing about stupid things. Kissing him a couple more times every day.

What would the future you, five years from now, tell you TODAY?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fasting too much??

So apparently I decided to fast blogging waaaay longer than I should have! OOPS!  Fasting electronics for a week was TOUGH.  I was constantly thinking to myself, "Man I would love to blog about this! Or that! Or this!" And what happens when I'm actually able to use them again? I totally ignore my blog. :( Sad day. 

Things have been going OK around here. My job is at a lull right now -- super boring most of the time, and I'm trying to find another position at least part time, hopefully full time. I had a job interview scheduled for this morning, but the lady called and had to reschedule because she had a meeting that came up.

We went on vacation to California! My best friend in the ENTIRE world, Reanna, got married!! Oh my, she was so beautiful.  I was sobbing the entire day. She's like a sister to me- I've known her practically my entire life.  Here's a picture of the beautiful bride on her wedding day:

Her husband, Josh, is one of the coolest guys in the world. He treats her so well, and gives her the love and respect that she deserved. I'm so excited that they're starting their life together!  I love you, Re!!

In other news, Brian and I finally finished our taxes (oh, one day before they're due... O_o ).  We were told originally by our tax guy that we owe the IRS like five grand. OMG. We were freaking out.  Correction -- I was freaking out.  Then we decided to not be stupid and to actually figure out our deductions and the cost for running his ebay business. Thank the Lord we did - because that number went down to four hundred dollars. That's manageable. That doesn't make me want to rip my hair out lol.

ALSO -- We're going to JAPAN in October for two weeks! HOLEY MOLEY I'm excited.  I keep telling myself, "You gotta study your Japanese" but we'll see if that will actually work. *Sigh* I've got a lot of stuff on my plate right now, haha.

Well, that's it for now. Mostly because I've got nothing else of importance to post. I'll post again soon, I promise!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


What do you think of when you hear the term "fasting"? I generally think of someone not eating for a long period of time for whatever reason.  The Bible teaches us that Jesus spent a lot of time fasting and praying to become closer to His Father, God, and to determine His will for Jesus during His time on earth.  The last couple of days I really realized that Easter is close upon us, and it feels like God has been impressing on my heart to fast something. But what?  So I prayed.  And the answer was almost immediate -- gadgets.

I am SO attached to my electronic things. My iPad, iPod, computer, Nook, cell phone, television, Wii, anything.  And I was thinking about it today and you know what they are? Distractions. Distractions from God. Distractions from what He is calling us to do.  It seems like He is constantly yelling for us, "Hey! Over here!" but gets lost in the crackling of electricity coming from all of our gadgets that we're basically married to now-a-days.

So from today until next Sunday, I'm going to fast my gadgets, with one exception -- my Nook. I read a whole lot and I'm not sure I could handle myself if I went without reading something for a week. Plus I'm on the last book in this AMAZING series (The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini if anyone cares to know...) and I can't put it down.  I'm going to pray as much as possible, determine God's will for me for the future and see how much I can dive into His word.

What do you think? I guess I'll find out in a week when I read any responses you may have :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Whole Year

Hello! Happy Anniversary to...ME! Today marks one whole year since I started working as a dental hygienist (and at my current job!).  Hurray! I can't believe I've actually made it this long (for reasons that are not unknown to the general public lol) and I still love, love LOVE what I do.  I remember two years ago when I was cramming for exams to get my license and thinking to myself, Am I sure that this is what I want to do? Did I make the right choice? Maybe I should have gone for being a RN...

I have some great patients (including my wonderful husband who has come in twice already for me) and some interesting coworkers and scenarios at work, but all in all it's been a pretty good year.

Now it's just time to find a new office to work at.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Workout and health catalyst!

Hi everyone,

First of all, Happy (belated) Valentines day to my wonderful husband Brian. I love you!

Nothing super new here except I decided to start up my Herbalife diet again! I first tried it in 2010 and got some pretty good results. But then I slacked off and well...let's just say I didn't succeed. Well, this time I am going to the gym frequently (as in a minimum of 3x a week) and I am going to stick with it! A healthy Amber is a happy Amber!

Here's a summary of the first day (yesterday):
Starting weight: 165.6 lbs
Goal weight: 130 lbs
Total starting inches: TBD

I will update this probably on a weekly basis and let you all know how I am doing! Hooray!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Having a nice weekend

This week was a little crazy at work with all the SRP patients I had.  I also took a 5 hr CE course on Friday, so Brian went with me to that, then I went to the Chiropractor afterwards, aaaahhhh.  Brian decided to take me out to dinner on Friday night so we went to Red Lobster and had some yummy food. Hooray for date nights/days!

Yesterday the bestie and I went to the warehouse district in Minneapolis to a bar called "Howl at the Moon" for her friends 23rd birthday.  It was...okay... kind of like an upscale karaoke bar because they actually had musicians on stage the entire time playing piano, drums, fiddle, guitar, bass, etc.  That was pretty cool.  They played requests the entire night.  I requested Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen but we left before I had a chance to hear it.  Now, I'm young, almost 23, and for Rox and I to NOT ENJOY going to a bar is kind of...out of the norm for our age group.  We just don't enjoy it.  It's so LOUD and people are obnoxious, and you have to yell at each other to even converse.  It's not enjoyable.  We would rather stay at home, play video games, or watch a movie, or play a board game, or read or something.   But we figured we better go out and do something out of the norm for once.

Why do I whine? Because it was literally about 2 degrees last night. And the wind chill was about 5-10 below zero. Yeah. super cold.  Anyway...

I'm home now and almost done with the second book in the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini.

In other news -- we sold the laptop and bought an iPad to replace it.  Mostly because I just used the laptop in the morning/evening before/after work for email, facebook, etc.  I love it!! I'm a total nerd and I'm proud of it!

We aren't going to be going to Japan this fall after all...mostly because it's waaaay too expensive and with our budget it's not feasible at this point.  We'll be going to CA in about 6 weeks and I'm super excited for that.  We're planning on going some smaller, mini vacations this year also.

That's about it for now. TTFN!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New toy!

Brian and I decided that we wanted to get rid of the old laptop that we had, mostly because it was only used sporadically and for minimal uses. So we decided on getting an iPad to replace it! Today we went and got it and I looooooove it! I'm actually typing on it right now :)

So this week has been pretty mellow besides that. I went to the gym this morning and had a "class" with my personal trainer and a bunch of other clients that she works with. We were pretty worn out by the end of it, but that's what you need when you work hard toward getting in shape!

I will be starting up Herbalife again soon. It worked pretty well back toward the end of 2010 to help me lose weight, so I think that I want to start it up again. I am determined to get down to my goal weight this year, and I want to lose at least 10 lbs by my birthday in May.

Nothing else really new here!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hooray for Etsy!

So I've finally finished four nook covers. Including the first one I was going to keep for myself. My mom and my husband actually said, "Wow, those look great! You should try selling them!" So...I decided to give it a shot.  Nothing lost, nothing gained, right?

So...drumroll please.... I finished making a shop on Etsy and I listed my items up!!! I'm really excited.  I decided that I'm going to finish items first, then list them on Etsy after they're completed so that if someone wants to buy one, they don't have to wait. Not to mention how big of a procrastinator I am.

I've got a stack of fabric right in front of me right now that needs to be cut out so I can make some more. But I'm really kind of sick of this, so I'll probably work on it next weekend. I'm planning to sell ereader covers, iPad covers, and even little felt animal measuring tapes.

Here's a link to my shop!!!

Konomi's Kreations

Friday, January 27, 2012

7 Years Ago

Today is the 7th anniversary of my father's death.  It's crazy for me to think that I was just a sophomore in high school 7 years ago and that's the last time I saw him.  I'll never forget the last time that I was together with my dad.  That morning was pretty typical, I'd get up early about the same time as my parents, go and eat breakfast with them, talk with my dad over breakfast about whatever (usually we fought over the comic section), and then I'd walk down the road to the bus stop. Or he would drive me. It was always nice to have him drive me in the winter to the bus stop because I could sit in the nice warm car and wait instead of outside where it was so stinkin' cold!  That morning he drove me down to the bus stop.  We were talking about the movie "Napoleon Dynamite" and I loved that he loved how stupidly funny it was as much as I did. We were listening to something on the radio, I can't remember.  When the bus pulled up, he looked over at me and said, "Okay, have a good day at school. I love you!"  I said, "I will, I love you too," gave him a big hug, and hopped on the bus.. I would always sit on the side of the bus closest to the road so that I could watch him drive back up to the house as we drove away toward the school. 

Not once did I feel like something was going to go wrong, not once did I feel anything but happiness that my father drove me to the bus stop.  The rest of the day passed in a blur, and getting that phone call at 6:15 PM...20 minutes after they were supposed to be home...from some random lady that was hysterical saying my mother needed to talk to me and there was a car accident was the one thing that changed my life.

There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my dad. I love him so much and I miss him so so much. I would trade everything I have to see him one more time.  I see friends say that they hate their dads or moms, or that they can't stand being around them, or just complaining about them in general. It breaks my heart because I'm one of the many who can just say back, "Don't, because you never know how much longer you'll have with them."

I love you, daddy. I don't know what you're doing up there in Heaven, but Lord knows I can't wait to be on that motorcycle again with you when I die.

My dad and I when I was just a newborn!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What a wonderful heavenly Father we have!

Every night before I go to bed I do a daily devotion on my iPod. I started it because I want to strengthen my relationship with the Lord. I've found that it's been helping me feel much happier lately. I was so depressed a couple of weeks ago and I just didn't know what to do to get out of the funk. The devotion today really resonated with me. Here is the verse:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38, 39 KJV)

This in a nutshell means we are NEVER separated from God's love. He is always with us, loving on us. And suddenly it occurred to me: I am the one that pushes Him away. It's like I suddenly heard the answers to all my cries for help lately:
"I know it's tough. Just keep going. You will be rewarded in the end."
"Trust me, this hurts me more than it hurts you."
"Amber, I love you. Let me love you."
"Amber, you are my daughter. Why would I hurt you? I love you. Just be patient. It will work out according to MY plans for you. And boy, do I have plans for you!"

I'm sorry, Lord. Forgive me. Forgive my crazy emotions. I love you too.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What a busy life I have!

So it's not like I don't like blogging. I do. I've just been super busy lately. Working 4 days a week for 9-10 hours each day, finishing up crafts that needed to get done, and reading. A lot.

Christmas and New Years were pleasant and uneventful.  My husband and I are pretty low-key and boring for our age group.  We stayed at home and he worked on his eBay stuff.  Pretty exciting, huh?  I was pleasantly surprised to get a Nook Simple Touch for Christmas! Best present this year!!

I finally finished the tooth fairy that I have yet to send to my friend with her baby; I finished quilting and binding the baby blanket of doom; I finished the advent calendar I started on the 3rd of December on New Years Eve (yeah, make fun of me all you want...); and I just finished a cover for my Nook and I love it! I didn't use any templates or anything, just kind of winged it and it turned out fabulous. My mom thinks its good enough to sell on Etsy. We'll see!  I'll have to upload a picture of it when I get onto my other computer.

Currently I'm working on a top-secret project for my mother in law ;)  We even went to Joann together and she picked out the fabric she likes.  She doesn't know what it's for though.  Anyone want to take a guess?