Monday, December 31, 2012

Lucky 13

I wanted to write one last post before the end of the year. It is easy to focus on all of the heartbreaks and difficulties that 2012 held, but I have to take a moment to remember all of the positives. Here are my top 12 blessings of 2012.

1. Bought a car
2. Moved into my own apartment
3. Road trip to California
4. Janelle’s wedding
5. Zip-ling with the family
6. Surprise birthday parties for the parents
7. Reconnecting with the Stanfield’s
8. Jenny visited
9. Positive annual review at work
10. Two bonuses at work
11. Participated in the Christmas Cantata
12. Seeing Dia Frampton, Tyrone Wells and Barcelona

I am hoping that 2013 is “Lucky 13!” I am excited for a new year and a clean slate. Here are 13 things I’m looking forward to in 2013.

1. Blogging regularly
2. Taylor Swift 6.1.13.
3. Completing my 27 before 28
4. Jenny visiting
5. Changes in my department at work
6. Finding a new church home and community
7. Striving to be more financially responsible and a better steward
8. Visiting Seattle
9. Completing a 365 project
10. Women’s Crafting Retreat
11. Simplify and de-clutter my life
12. Participating in the Meridian Community Choir
13. Attending Premiere Jewelry Rally with Ashlee

Friday, November 16, 2012

Home Part 4: Ashlee's Bedroom

Here is the last part of my apartment tour, Ashlee's room. Like I previously mentioned Ashlee's room is small. I don't actually think it was intended to be a bedroom. We think they put up a wall in the middle of what was part of the dining room to add a....den? I'm not sure what you'd call it, but Ashlee has really made the most of her space and made it work for her, which is so important.

This is might be the only painting hanging in our apartment that I didn't do. This one is all Ashlee and I love it. Peter Bradley Adams' song Los Angeles holds a special place in my heart.

Note: Ashlee's bed is pushed up to her "closet" to the left. There is only enough room to hang a few coats in there.

Bedding/Rug: Target

I told you it was small! We can't even pull the trundle bed out all the way. However she did get her desk situated just right which is important as she has her own direct sales business (Premier Designs Jewlery) and needs a good space to work. Her room has no overhead lighting, but luckily her lamps and white walls brighten things up.

Mirrors: Ikea
Bulletin Boards: Handmade by our Grandpa

I love that Ashlee accepted the challenge of making her space work for her. Aren't her inspiration boards great?! They are so her!

I hope you enjoyed a peak into our new place! We are beyond grateful to be able to call this our home.

Home Part 3: Bedroom

Hi friends! My apartment tour is quickly coming to an end, but before it does there are a couple more spaces I want to share. I would say this is my favorite, but I love how each room of our apartment feels like me. This one feels especially like me because it's my room, duh! I lucked out with a generous sister who let me take the bigger room (which is saying alot because her "room" is teeny tiny!). My room is pretty random, eclectic and bright, but I think it reflects my style pretty well.

Quilt/Shams: Urban Outfitters (from 2008)
Afghan: made by me
Pillows: Target & Ikea
Robot: made by Ashlee & myself

A big thank you to my parents for allowing us to take this dresser and mirror off their hands. Although I'm so jealous because my mom got a beautiful vintage vanity for her birthday with a huge circle mirror to replace this set. The crate on the floor contains all my art supplies, which is a huge improvement from having them tucked away in a closet when I was living with my parents. (Also, ignore the floor. I'm not really a dirty pig, that's just how the floor looks-paint splatter, scratches and all. Ah, the joys of renting!)

Something that makes our apartment extra special is that most of the paintings and wall decor were done by me. It's pretty sweet to see my "art" on the walls. Our apartment is just one big refrigerator that I put my projects on and I LOVE it!

I would give you a tour of the closet, but it's so long and narrow that it's pretty impossible. Ashlee and I share the closet which we have jam packed. I'm thinking my wardrobe needs another brutal cleaning....mostly because the bar is bending and I'm out of hangers. I blame Target.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Home Part 2: Dining Room & Kitchen

Welcome to my dining room and kitchen!

We knew right away that we wanted to make this nook into a little bar. I think it turned out so cute!

This table and these chairs are both my pride and joy while also being the bane of my existence. My sister and I picked them up for $10 at a neighbor's garage sale. It was pretty scruffy and some of the tiles were missing and broken, but Ashlee and I decided we could use a DIY to keep us busy. I channeled my inner Rachel Denbow, DIY Queen, and we stripped paint, sanded, primed, painted, tiled, grouted, etc. It was so time consuming and probably took us a few months to complete everything, but I love how it turned out. I am looking forward to sharing many meals with friends and family here.

Fresh lavender from the Farmer's Market 

Sliding doors between the living room and dining room. 

Can we talk about this adorable built-in for a moment? Love! A couple years ago my mom cleaned out her china cabinet and Ashlee and I boxed up things we'd want "someday". I think it's so cool that I have a place to display these beauties from both of my grandmothers and my mom.

Sweet Archibald came out to say hello!

The RED walls and the mosiac countertop sure liven up the kitchen. Note the juicer and David's new vices.

Thermos and canteen courtesey of dad cleaning out the garage.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'm back with the start of my apartment tour! I'll break it up over a few days so as not to bombard you with pictures. (Who am I kidding? I will still bombard you with pictures!) I must start by saying how grateful I am to be here. I am in complete awe seeing God's hand in the whole process. 

You may have noticed the lull in my blogging this year and how lack luster my posts have been. This has been a hard year and during the summer months I kept telling myself that SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE. Whether it was my living situation, my job situation or my attitude; I NEEDED a change because acting like a normal, functioning human being was becoming more and more difficult.

This month marks 3 years since moving back to Boise from California. While I am SO THANKFUL to my parents for allowing me to overstay my welcome at their house, it was time to make a move. My sister, Ashlee, and I had been looking on and off for months, from Seattle to Boise, but nothing felt right. Then out of nowhere my sister found a beautiful apartment in the heart of downtown Boise, the evening that her summer temp assignment ended. We looked at it the next day, put a deposit on it that night and were approved 4 days later. This was THE ONLY apartment we actually looked at, but it felt so right.

Looking back, it was such a whirlwind! I hadn't mentally prepared myself to move; I didn't believe it would happen until sometime next year, but God had other plans. Our move happened in the midst of major changes at work and a California road trip for a friend's wedding, and I still feel like I haven't processed the gravity of this. For the first time in 3 years I feel independent again. This new apartment has become my sanctuary and I feel so blessed. (I literally have tears in my eyes thinking about it!) So without further ado, welcome to my apartment! (And see if you can spot Blizzard!)

Rug: Target 

 Rug/Tables/Pillows: Ikea
Couch/Right Chair: Boise Bench Commission
Left Chair: Gift from a friend

Mirrors: Ikea
Record Player: Urban Outfitters 

My Christmas present from last year! Now if I can get it tuned.

Picked up from Kelli's moving sale. Ashlee painted and I collaged. 

I must note we have since covered this hideous bookcase under the TV with a table cloth because ugh, what an eye sore!

Photo on the right taken by Ashlee

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

f a l l [ing]

Hello friends. It's been awhile. Apparently I needed a serious blogging break. It was one of those things that just happened. Dealing with all the stress of everyday life got to be so much that I let everything else fall away. This has been a season of learning just how much I need to simplify my life.

In the past month and a half my favorite coworker gave her notice and left the company; which leaves me flying solo in my department. Needless to say that has added major stress to my life. I've really had to step up and take on many extra responsibilities all while dealing with serious transition. It's exhausting, but it hasn't gone unnoticed and I've received some recognition at work, along with a very positive annual review.

I also had the pleasure of actually taking some vacation time and going on a road trip with Ashlee down to California for my dear friend, Janelle's wedding. It was a quick trip, but we managed to squeeze in a stop at Ikea, spend time with our friends, Jenny and Megan, and a make a fast day trip to San Francisco. It was quite the whirlwind weekend!

Oh, and BIG news! I MOVED! I finally, nearly three years later, moved out of my parents' house. PRAISE GOD! It's been a long time coming and for months I could feel that a change was coming. I knew that I needed something different or I would sink into a deep depression and finally the moment came. At the beginning of September Ashlee found an amazing apartment on Craigslist that is in downtown Boise. It's so charming and quirky, I absolutely love it! So a few weeks ago (in the middle of work chaos and vacation) Ashlee and I moved. It has been crazy trying to get all settled in, especially with our cats, but I think we are just about done arranging and decorating. It's finally starting to feel like home.

It looks like my last post was about Kathy's sentencing. I guess it's fitting that I'm writing today because my mom received a phone call from Kathy earlier this afternoon. She was moved to a correctional facility immediately following her sentencing and has been adjusting to her new normal. Today we learned that Kathy's case has been accepted by Idaho Innocence Project and it sounds like her case will be reopened. Praise God!

I got the news at work so with that, plus stress and it being the sixth anniversary since my Grandpa passed away, I completely broke down. What a day! We are praying fervently for Kathy's redemption and that God will be glorified.

I'm hoping that most of the crazy is behind me and I'll be able to start blogging regularly again. I've sure missed that and a few other things I've set aside during this season. I'd love to share a tour of my new home and fun photos from my trip. I still might lay low for awhile, but I wanted to pop in and say that I'm still here. So until next time: remember that this season is only temporary-so take it for what it is, learn from it, grow in it and enjoy each moment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


In a small way God answered our prayers yesterday. I guess I shouldn't say small. God DID answer our prayers yesterday. At least our prayers for Kathy to receive the minimum sentence.

However the fact that she'll be eligible for parole after 10 years doesn't seem like a victory. Especially when those of us who know and love her believe in her innocence.

Nearly 50 people wrote letters to the judge on her behalf. That number is unprecedented! Those of us who know her know she is incapable of the crime she was charged with. I thank God that she received the minimum sentence, but nothing was "won" in that courtroom yesterday.

My heart is broken. For her. For her family. For the life lost.
So many of us are crying out to God. For justice. For mercy. For redemption.

She has a long road ahead of her. And I will be there. I will not lose hope.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


So today is a big day. A dear family friend has her sentencing this afternoon. For a serious crime I strongly believe she did not commit. To the depths of my soul I believe in her innocence. Today I am begging for prayers. Prayers for truth, for the minimum sentence (for the charges to be overturned later and ultimately freedom) and peace for her and her family.

I've been writing to her every week since the conviction at the beginning of June and last week I was out of words so I opened my Bible. This is what I came across.

"Stand up, God; pit your holy fury against my furious enemies. Wake up, God. My accusers have packed the courtroom; it's judgment time. Take your place on the bench, reach for your gavel, throw out the false charges against me. I'm ready, confident in your verdict: 'Innocent.' " -Psalm 7:6-8, The Message

It absolutely took my breath away and I furiously began writing to share these words with her. I trust that God's hand is in this. I do not understand the hows and whys, but I am praying fervently for God's mercy and redemption. Please pray with me today.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

a little honesty

I keep telling myself that I'll feel better if I get back into a blogging routine, because with any social media you can put the best contruction on your reality and maybe life would be better if I could make it look that way. However it's been all I can do to do the bare minimums.

So here is a little honesty: life has It seems everywhere I turn there is a battle to face. At work. At home. At church. In relationships [with others and with myself]. I'm exhausted. I'm tired of trying to hold it all together. I feel like everything I am, everything I do and everything I have just isn't enough.

In the past I've written about contentment and living an unhindered life, however lately I'm feeling anything but. I feel lost, broken and without direction. I have felt this way in the past, right before my decision to move back home. I wonder if God isn't stirring up my life in order to prepare me for another big change.

I want a change so badly, but I'm at a loss for how. It's driving me crazy and I feel so unhappy. I am craving independance, freedom, friendship and a job I'm passionate about. I just don't know how to get there.

I'm clinging to these verses from Psalm 119 that my friend Janelle shared with me over a year ago [Waiting Expectantly for the Road to Somewhere] because they are still as true today as they were when I first read them.

"I'm feeling terrible—I couldn't feel worse! Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember? When I told my story, you responded; train me well in your deep wisdom. Help me understand these things inside and out so I can ponder your miracle-wonders. My sad life's dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word. Barricade the road that goes Nowhere; grace me with your clear revelation. I choose the true road to Somewhere, I post your road signs at every curve and corner. I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; GOD, don't let me down! I'll run the course you lay out for me if you'll just show me how."
Psalm 119:25-32

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I got this idea from sweet Cara! I thought it'd be a fun idea to get back into blogging, as I've obviously been a bit absent lately.

WORKING ON: Refinishing a kitchen table and chairs found at a garage sale. Organzing my ideas for blogging. Planning my future.

THINKING ABOUT: How much I want a vacation. My to-do list. How tired I am.

ANTICIPATING: My friend Janelle's wedding next month! Roadtripping to California. Seeing JENNY and MEGAN! [All wedding related.]

WATCHING: Pretty Little Liars. Make It Or Break It. [I was watching the] Olympics

READING: The Message. Skinny Rules by Bob Harper. Nylon.

EATING: Guacamole. Homemade veggie pizza. Greenbean casserole.

DRINKING: Homemade sun tea [David's Tea]. Mistletoe mocha. Water.

LISTENING: Pandora on shuffle. Village Church sermons by Matt Chandler. Joe Brooks.

THANKFUL FOR: The new television my parents got me for my birthday. My sweet cats. 

LOVING: Pretty Little Liars [more than I should]. Exerbeat for Wii. justWink cards.

WISHING: I had my own place. I was out of debt. I could sleep all day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

27 before 28

Happy birthday to me! And to my sweet sister, Ashlee! I'm 27 today! That's still early twenties, right?!? I am SO ready for a new year and a fresh start. I cannot wait to see what 27 holds for me. I think it's going to be a MAJOR year with many changes and lots of adventure. Bring it 27!

1. Meet Amanda
2. Take a road trip to California
3. See Janelle get married
4. Create a monthly budget
5. Pay off my small student loan & car loan

6. Move out
7.  Sew a quilt
8. Learn how to do cat-eye makeup
9. Practice piano 5 days a week
10. Get current on my scrapbooks (2009-current)

11. Re-read Quitter by Job Acuff
12. Complete RVA Dream Job e-course
13. Take a calligraphy class
14. Take an archery class
15. Watch all Wes Anderson movies

16. Go on a hike
17. Run a 5k
18. Try a new fitness activity (zumba, ballet, rock climbing, hula hooping)
19. Eat primarily vegetarian
20. Buy a bicycle

21. Read the Bible-cover to cover
22. Have a Pinterest dinner party
23. Go to Camp Perkins for the Women’s Crafting Retreat
24. Complete kitchen table & chairs makeover
25. Finish reading The Daniel Fast & practice the spiritual act of fasting

26. Try to make macarons again
27. Create one painting a month

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

26 before 27 update

It is that time again...almost my birthday. Here is a little recap of my list of 26 before 27 goals and dreams that I worked through this past year. I didn't quite get to everything, but I am so proud of what I did accomplish.

1. Take a trip to Seattle (September & October 2011)
2. Take a trip to Los Angeles
3. Plan a trip out of the country for 2013
4. Go to a concert (March 2012-Tyrone Wells & June 2012-Dia Frampton)
5. Meet Amanda

6. Move out

7. Buy a car (February 2012)
8. Buy a bicycle
9. Create a monthly budget and stick to it
10. Pay off my small student loan (1-2 payments left!)

11. Re-read all the Harry Potter books (December 2011-January 2012)
12. Read The Hunger Games (March-April 2012)
13. Read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (August 2011)
14. Read Unlimited by Jillian Michaels (
September 2011)
15. Watch all of Steve Martin’s movies and read all his books (Watched Roxanne & The Big Year)

16. Create a self portrait (February 2012)
17. Make macarons (September 2011-It was a failed attempt, but a good first try.)

18. Design/sew a dress
19. Plan a photo shoot with Ashlee

20. Paint a picture (September 2011, April 2012, June 2012, July 2012)

21. Take a class (Electrical Systems-September 2011, Piano-February-July 2012)
22. Practice guitar 3-4 days a week/learn a song (Practiced Piano)
23. Learn how to do a fishtail braid (
September 2011)
24. Complete all 30 days of Jillian's 30 day Shred
25. Host a Finding Kind (Kind Campaign) viewing party at church

26. Go zip-lining in Whistler (September 2011 & Idaho Zip Line-July 2012)

Dear 26,
What a year it has been! I did some serious growing this year. I did things that straight up scared me and felt empowered and proud of myself for doing them. I experienced some tragic events that drew me closer to God and tested my faith. I learned many new things; things about: music, electrical systems (I never saw THAT coming!), work, myself and life. I have laughed until I cried and I have cried out to God in despair. God has stirred up my life this year into what I've perceived as chaos; perhaps He is readying me for a big change in year 27. I don't know that I like it, but I am open to the possibilities and opportunities. So thank you 26 for beating me up a bit in order to allow me put my faith into action and to be brave. I hope 27 is a little bit sweeter and a little bit softer.


Monday, July 30, 2012

knock-down drag-out

You may have noticed how quiet I’ve been lately. Not just on my blog, but twitter, instagram and facebook have all taken a back seat. Life has been so challenging lately. I can’t and won’t go into details on here, but I will say that this past week I was at my wits end; there seemed to be trouble everywhere I turned. It felt like it was all I could do to survive and it wasn’t without many tears.

My response has been to back off of everything-not just social networking, but also my exercise, piano and other activities. I felt like I was drowning. I still do. Everything in my life is chaos…or at least feels like it. I don’t understand the how or why.

I guess it’s just a season, but it has sure been overwhelming. I still don’t know how everything is going to work out. For now I am trying to keep my chin up, do my best and trust in God’s plan not just for my future, but for my right now.

I would love to hear, what do you do when it feels like everything is falling apart? Where do you find encouragement?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I've been thinking a lot lately about living in the public eye. It's funny because that's not just for celebrities or popular bloggers. We are all living in the public eye. Our lives are on display and others WILL judge them. I've noticed that the more you live transparently, the more you open yourself up, the more judgement, criticism and unwanted opinions you will receive.

In most cases I think it is worth the risk to live the best life you can, standing up for what you believe in, not living in fear of sharing our hearts, our opinions and our lives because of how others might respond. If you live in truth, with integrity you have nothing to fear. Sure you're going to fall down and make mistakes. We all do. It's how you fix the mistake that matters.

Ignore the hate, spread kindness and don't let other people bring you down. As a dear friend told me, "You can please some people all of the time and all people some of the time, but you can't please all people all of the time." Don't apologize for being you.