Thoughtful Thursday

Hello chums,

Busy busy week (meaning I am actually getting out of the house this week). I requested three days off this week (I usually get two), so I took Sunday (for Sara and Ellen’s wedding), Wednesday for the Ed Sheeran concert with my friend Lauren, and TODAY (technically) FRIDAY for the comedy show presenting Mr. Nick Swardson! Pretty much an amazing week, one of the best this summer. I am looking forward to welcoming Fall (officially) next week, however, me loves this cooler weather.

So I shared my pictures from the wedding that I attended Sunday, and now for my Ed Shee pics. I was asked about a week and a half ago if I would be able to tag along to this concert with my friend if our other friend fell through (she did). I’m not going to say I am an Ed Sheeran fan, per say, but I have heard his hits here and there (A-Team, Lego house) and I approve. He also happens to be a ginger and Rupert Grint was stalker sexie in his Lego House music video and let me be honest when I say how I have been in LOVE with Rupe since the very first Harry Potter movie was released in 2001. I don’t have an 8ft tall poster of him in Quidditch gear, I swear. Annnnyway. I love me gingers and especially gingers that are friends with gingers I am infatuated with ūüôā oy vey ‚̧

And since my friend Lauren and I work at hotels, we always book one when traveling together (we’ve gone to one book signing, one meeting of a boyfriend out of state, one Jesus trip, and one North Carolina Ocean Extravaganza). She works at a nicer one (Hilton Garden Inn) and gets a discount to around $30 a room (YESSS) and mine is a ghetto hotel (Red Roof) that’s sadly the same rate of a discount, so we have always stayed with hers. This time we booked a hotel (the Palace where the concert was at is a 1.5 hour drive from home near Detroit) because I didn’t work that night and she didn’t work til 3 the next day. So hey we figured we’d make a slumber party of it, packed up our pooches, and took off! The concert was at 730, we made it to the hotel around 6:30, I hopped into the shower and was ready by a little after 7. We cruised on over, took our seats, and had a blasty blast. The band opening for him was called Rudimental (UK band) and I had no freaking idea who they were. Since we had seats in the lower bowl we sat through them but they were nice. There were a few different singers and they incorporated trumpets and other instruments so it was good. Ed Sheeran was hilarious. Such a great stage presence. I enjoy a good show where the performers actually COMMUNICATE with the crowd. He was singing a slow tune that got louder and louder and he told everyone to whisper it at the beginning with him…..yeah right. So these little girls (I hope) were screaming in unison and he said something along the lines of “we’re going to try that again, some of you sounded possessed up there”. NO JOKE. DIED. There was even a moment when a girl ended up on stage and just stood next to him while security walked up and hauled her off…shoot, should have at least went for an ass grab or sing-a-long at the mic. The lighting and pictures that were shown on the screens were really neat, I liked it a lot.
And um…..HE RAPS?! What the heck?! Since when? Do I not know this because only his fans would know? I haven’t heard anything like this of him before. It was fantastic. I am a fan of Dizzee Rascal which is also a UK rapper and Ed did a PHENOMENAL job. Really, he was great. I am happy that I went. During one of his last songs Lauren and I BOOKED it out of there to the car so we would avoid traffic. Best believe we literally JOGGED at one point to get there. We were the first out. Darn straight! Here are a couple photo’s that I snagged at the concert. FYI I am the brunette ūüėČ (sorry about the bad phone quality)

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I also have been shopping a ton online lately (ugh). I found this website…somehow, not sure exactly how, but I did. Thankfully. I usually struggle at Christmastime to find presents for my brothers even though they end up being really perfect for them/things they really really like (they tell me, I swear). I like to buy gifts that are personal, things I know they will really appreciate or love. My brothers couldn’t be more different and the funny thing is that I am a perfect mix of the two of them (I just realized this actually). Being the middle child is enough to make me two halves of these fools. But anyways, Todd (27) is a MASSIVE outdoors man; fishing, hunting, snow sports, ice fishing, shooting anything, working out, etc. Lincoln (22) biggest. nerd. ever. From Star Wars to Dragon ball z. Diablo (pc game) to playing Super Mario Bros NES….he’s just a big ole nerd. He has star wars shirts, LOTR mem, a Final Fantasy Clouds Sword, hundreds thousands of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and a growing collection of comic books…I love it. I am both outdoorsy and nerdy. Hunting, fishing, camping, sports, LOTR, Harry Potter, Super Nintendo (I have my own)….I can’t believe I never really noticed this before. Hmm… what can a girl do, amiright?

So anyhow, I bought them some shirts that I thought fit them. I know I am starting Christmas purchases a bit early, but I make a lot less money this time around. I found these two shirts on SunFrogShirts.com both at $19 plus shipping I spent around $50 for these two. Not my usual cheap buys, but I think they will really love them.

This shirt has the M logo for UofM football with Lord Of The Rings “Mordor” on it I think Lincoln will really love. It’s very unique with the Michigan touch.

Evolution of a fisherman for Todd. He doesn’t wear a lot of screen tees, but he loves ANYTHING fishing (it’s his favorite sport) so I really hope he likes (and wears) this baby.

I also recently put the Pinterest app on my phone (like two days ago)….I know, where the hell have I been?! I used to be addicted, use it all day, until a year and some months ago. I didn’t like the phone app that they had a few months back so I didn’t download it and I checked again this week and saw it was updated. I really like it now, so I am hoping to get back into pinning (if you want to look me up, search: Amanda Pedrys). I pin a lot of tattoo inspiration here as well for future tats and I wanted to post a couple that I really want (edited versions of course).
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The thing is, I’ve always wanted a compass/anchor on my feet. SO weird. I love these, absolutely would not change a thing about them. I would probably add something Navy related however, which is why I will wait until I enter the navy to do these.
I also really love the idea behind the next one, the compass with a touch of FALL LEAVES?! CAN I GET AN AMEN?! I absolutely adore this. I would want to get it with my compass on my foot just as a background filler and because Fall has always been my favorite time of year.
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I really like old fashioned art especially pin-up style – however I must say that I prefer pin up women to look real. And when I say real, I don’t mean curvy. Real women are also skinny. I mean real as in not a teeeeeny waist with HUUUUGE knockers and a biiiig booty. That’s not real. Unless you had surgery which is still: NOT REAL. I love a woman’s form with curves and have always found it beautiful. Anyway, this doesn’t have curves but it does have an old fashioned feel to it that I love:
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I said I’ve always loved fall, but have I mentioned my love for WITCHES?! They are fantastic. I love artwork depicting witchery. I’ve always wanted a pin-up style woman tattoo and if I do get one, she will be a witch. I saw this artwork and thought it was fantastic. Not sure how the tattoo would work, but hey, isn’t it adorable?! Can’t even.
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Last I would like to leave you with this reading and before I post it, I would just say that it is not, to me, “Relationship Rules”, it reminded me of how I feel a lot of the time. I like to make people happy, I’m a giver. I secretly wish people would acknowledge it. So when they don’t. When they don’t take the time to ask me how I am. When they don’t talk to me for weeks at a time. When I tell them about my hopes and dreams and they don’t ask me how it’s going. When they don’t remember things I’ve told them are dear to me. It makes me really upset. Because I try to do these things for other people because I know how much it would mean to me for it to be reversed. Anyway… I saw this the other day and it really went along with how I felt. And it’s something I need to remember when I feel like they don’t care. Because they have things happening too.
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Adieu

Amanda

Take Me Back Tuesday

I know that I technically post these the NEXT day (aka this Take Me Back Tuesday on a Wednesday morning), but please forgive me! I work nights, therefore, it is the middle of my Tuesday currently.

So for my first Take Me Back Tuesday, I want to share a feeling more than a memory. I was reading a blog that I follow (Shay Shull), and she mentioned briefly that while she cleans the kitchen, her husband bathes the kids and then she knows they are finished when her son marches through the kitchen all clean and in his fresh jammies before bed.

I suddenly had a heart-wrenching flashback to being six years old, with soaking locks bouncing down my back, wearing super warm and clean pj’s. Hanging out with my ¬†brothers (trying to play video games – though my older bro Todd never let me) and fighting for the best seat to watch said games with my little bro Lincoln. I can imagine it’s winter with the heat on full blast, someone probably sitting on it to keep extra warm, and just laughing and having such a CAREFREE time. Ahh to be young. Those are the sweet memories I love to remember. Little things. We’ve three grown so much.

Speaking of my faaaabulous brothers, we are FINALLY going OUT and doing something as ADULTS this week. Together. With no girlfriends/boyfriends/friends/coworkers/other family. We are going to the Ann Arbor State Theater for a comedy show, featuring Nick Swordson! Seriously cannot wait. I am really excited because he is so hilarious – I’ve seen most of his films and stand up on television – and it will be our first live comedy show ever. Oh yeah, and we have never done anything, just the three of us before (that I can remember). Now that we are all adults (above drinking age [Todd27,Me25,Lincoln22]), we can have a lovely time and not worry about anything. Being adults and living apart, it makes it difficult to be in the same place at once apart from holidays, so I am really happy.

Friday will be so much fun and I am eager to see how it plays out.

I LOVE MY BROTHERS!

A doting sister ‚̧

Amazon Mail

I’d like to mention also that I ordered (on Amazon) a couple of beauty items:

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Р It is 100% natural calicium bentonite clay. I read a lot of reviews before buying anything and was looking for a new skincare routine. I found this and have always wanted a mud mask of sorts. I loved the reviews and decided to give it a try. It was around $12 after shipping for 1lb. It is literally a jar full of dirt. I mixed about two tablespoons of it with water until it was a consistency of gel or light mud and rubbed it on my face. I let it dry for around 10-15 minutes and felt the tightening and tingle of it drying. It was nice (I love masks). I ended up using warm water to wet it and my ALSO new face scrubber to get it mostly off with warm water at the same time. My face was SOOO soft and has been since yesterday. It worked really well and I plan to use it around once per week.

BriteLeafs Face and Body Spa Cleansing System
I have always wanted a face scrubber, and since I am usually really not into spending big money on things (other than my car), I decided to go with BriteLeafs with four attachments. I was going to buy another one but it only had the one regular scrubber attachment. I liked that this had a sponge and a pumice stone. I saw that it came in the mail on Saturday and used the scrubber in the shower when I got home from work before the wedding Sunday morning. It was really nice, it has two settings: low and high: I kept it on low and used with my regular morning burst orange clean and clear face wash. It was a little rough, but it was nice. I felt like it cleaned much better than using my hands. I will make an update on my skin after using it for a month or so. Lately I’ve been breaking out worse than usual. I don’t usually break out, just have my normal freckles, but this summer it’s been crazy. The scrubber was $20 with shipping. I like it a lot.

Lastly, I bought a jar of Coconut Oil – for hair use.
My mom is a hairdresser and I was practically raised in a salon forever. I have thin brown/red hair that’s about two inches past my shoulders (I lopped off about 10 inches this summer). Everyone always comments on how soft and shiny my hair is. I can’t really say much other than I have tricks that are just natural to me now. I never use the same shampoo or conditioner two days in a row (I keep about two or three of each and rotate them) so that my hair doesn’t get used to one and go flat. I also try to avoid cheap shampoo and conditioner – anything with Sulfates isn’t good for your hair – but I still use some that aren’t expensive either. I use Biolage, Fantastic Sams, Bedhead, etc. My mom always gets it half off or free so I use generally what she gives me. I also have biosilk silk therapy oil and macadamia oil spray and oil that I rotate as well when my hair is blow dried. I usually use one every three days and then three days later use the other. I wash my hair every other day or every three days as well. If I wash it daily, it gets dried out and I flake. I also use the trick of massaging my scalp soft and rough in the shower. I massage the follicles on my head which stimulates them into new growth. I have always been told my hair grows SO fast, maybe that’s the reason, or maybe all of my tricks are the reason…maybe I just have fast growing hair. Who knows? I also use a shocking method where I shampoo and condition (leaving the conditioner in around 2-3 minutes before washing out) and then when I rinse out the conditioner and make sure I’m finished everything else, I turn the water to cold (trying to keep my body as far away as possible) and stick my head in. Sometimes I will rinse out the conditioner this way as well. It shocks the follicles and that also stimulates them into helping grow.

So anyway, I like trying different things on my scalp for my hair. I heard from others here and there about using coconut oil in their hair and decided to give this a try. I don’t plan to cook with it or use it as skin care yet. On the jar it says for hair to apply to dry hair, leave on around 1-2 hours and then rinse completely, using shampoo to really get it out. I was expecting a paste for some reason and ended up using a screwdriver to really get some out as it was hard. Duh Amanda. So it scooped around 1/4 cup into a bowl and ended up mixing it with apple cider vinegar (that was not on the directions but I know people use it a lot on their hair also to strip build up from shampoo out of their scalp). Instead of water, I thought I’d give the vinegar a try. It smelled horrible and didn’t turn into a paste even after mixing it. I had to reealllly use my fingers to mash it up and run in through my hair. I think next time I will just do my ends instead of my whole head. It made my roots greasy and I had to shampoo twice to get it out. I ended up tipping my head upside down and dipping it in the vinegar and massaging in the oil. I wrapped it up on top of my head and tied it up in a knot. I put a towel around my shoulders for any leaking and headed to bed to watch more of my show to pass time. I decided to leave it on for an hour and then wash it out. I used my shampoo and then scrunched it up after towel drying. I noticed my bangs and roots were very oily still after it dried a bit so I put my head under again really massaging the shampoo into the roots. I got it all out and dried off again. I put my head in a towel and ended up taking a nap after all of my hard work (ha). I woke up, of course, to a crazy amount of bedhead, but it was nice and soft. I will have to attempt it again with water and see how it works out – maybe I will actually blow dry and style it too.

What kind of beauty products have you purchased lately? Anything I should give a try?

I decided also to go ahead and check out Bath & Body Works website to see if they had any store sales going on this week, and ended up spending $30 online. I saw they had an online only sale (it’s still going on) of buy any 6 Wallflower Refills for $24 or 4 for $20. They also have limited three wick candles 2/$22 and 5 for $5 hand sanitizers (among other deals online). SO since I am picky about my candles and needing to smell them and pick only two or three, I decided to get those at the store. I know I like all of the fall scents for the wallflower and decided to get my first ones EVER (I know, I’m late) and do the 6/$24. But only because (cheapie) there was a coupon code (FALLWEEKEND) for $10 off any order of $30 or more (cha-ching). I ended up buying the 6 refills and a wallflower plug in (with nightlight) regular white flower top one for $5. That took my total to 29.99 of course and its the price before tax to get the $10 off, so I bought one little pumpkin hand sanitizer for a buck and then applied the coupon. So after tax and shipping my order was 28.87! Hallelujah. I’d like to add here that I just closed this tab. Thank GOD for CTRL+SHIFT+T for restoring closed tabs (am i right?). I just about died haha.

So these are the wallflower scents I chose:
Pumpkin Sugar Doughnut
Fresh Balsam
Leaves
Pumpkin Pecan Waffles
Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin and
Pumpkin Cupcake
(I wish I had removed the cinnamon pumpkin and gotten the spiced cider – order regret hehe) I’m not a big cinnamon fan, but remembered actually liking the smell at the store last week.
Regardless, I am SOOOO beyond excited. My house will smell super yummy and Fall-y. Maybe it will get me to make fall-inspired cupcakes or pancakes as well.

Also, some of the refills have CAA-UUTEE fall designs on them (pumpkins, bats, leaves) and some don’t, so I had to delete the ones that didn’t and re-add them with the designs. I don’t understand why they come in clear and designs for the same scents, who would get the clear ones? They are the same price! Ah well. So I definitely took advantage of that.

CANNOT FREAKING WAIT! My nose is anticipating this delivery.

Fair well, Amanda

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Magical Monday – Weekend Recap

Hello and welcome to another Monday Weekend Recap! FALL is in the air. Shocking.

It’s dropped from a nice hot 80¬įf+ to around 50-65¬įf. I noticed today that we had the air on in our house and promptly shut it off. It was more cold in our house than outside. I had leggings on under sweats and a long sleeved shirt with an infinity scarf wrapped three times around my neck (at times pulled up over my mouth and ears) to keep warm. Burr. Unfortunately, it is going to get bad this year. Hopefully not as bad as last winter (wading through 4 feet of snow banks to get to the front door in the morning and at LEAST -5¬įf at night at most -20¬įf). I’m praying we stay at least away from the negatives this year but as its usually so warm in September, I am going to go with a big, fat, NOPE.

I had a really lovely weekend, having requested Sunday off for a wedding.

Friday – I worked Friday and Saturday nights, but managed to squeeze a little in between. On Friday morning I was two hours late leaving work (the joy of our internet and phones being down and not being able to do my paperwork for audit). I left around 845am and met up with my girlfriend Alisha so that we could get a present for my best friend’s son Douglas’s birthday party the next day (Saturday). We piled ourselves and her son in and went to the closest Walmart as I had some shirts and pants to exchange anyway. Unfortunately they didn’t have the shirts I needed at this location (I bought a bunch of long sleeved plain shirts in different colors for the fall), so I have to do this sometime this week. I ended up buying Douggie two outfits and some skull pajamas (his auntie keeps him rocked out). By the time we checked out and drove back it was already past noon and we were starved so we stopped for a hot-n-ready and devoured it back at her place while watching one of my FAVORITE movies ever: AUSTENLAND! I usually sleep when I get home from work, so I was super sleepy after eating pizza and shopping. I left and slept the rest of the Friday until work at 11pm.

Saturday –¬†I woke up at 3:30pm and got ready (the birthday party started at 3pm but they know I got off at 7am and slept) and headed over. I stopped to buy a bag (I always forget that part) at the Dollar General. Of COURSE¬†the Fall section was the same aisle and I ended up getting some glade plug ins for home. They were two in a pack for $5.00 and I got Pumpkin Spice and Balsam (I love Christmas Trees) and a pink frame that I plan to put a picture of my dog Ginger in (adopted in July). We had a lot of fun (i’ve known my best friend Kristin and her family for ten years now and they are basically my family). They may be a little nuts sometimes, but eh, it makes for interesting family gatherings! I hung out all day there and since we got back to their place with everything at 9:30pm, I decided to skip going home and went straight to work at 1030pm.

Sunday –¬†I got off work at 7am, came home and showered, went to sleep around 8am and was so upset because I didn’t even think about the fact that the wedding was at 2pm and that meant getting around 3 hours of sleep. I must have shut my alarm off because I woke up at 1245pm to texts from my friend Eric that I was going with saying WAKE UP! Haha. I jumped up, turned on my straightener, jumped into my dress, tried on a couple pairs of shoes with it, and then packed some leggings and pants in a backpack just in case. I straightened my hair, grabbed my makeup and booked it to Eric’s house. I got there around 1:30pm and we went to the wedding! My friend Eric I met while working at Potbelly Sandwiches in 2009 and we also met our friend Sara there as well. She married her dear partner Ellen in a GORGEOUS ceremony. It was probably the most unique wedding I’ve been to and my favorite. It was outdoors and everyone was sitting on planks of wood mounted between hay bales. Sara and Ellen both walked down the aisle to – get this – the JURASSIC PARK theme song. SO beautiful. Their first date was watching that movie and it was really special. After the wedding, the reception was five feet behind us in a pole-barn that was really clean and decorated for fall. There were adorable center pieces (I wanted to take them home).
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And the FOOD was SO great. Pulled pork to put on sandwiches with a bunch of sides of different BBQ sauces, there were baked beans but with a different sauce that was more BBQ sauce with pieces of pulled pork in it (kind of a chili/baked bean blend), and baked macaroni and cheese! Ugh, I wanted seconds soo bad and I wasn’t the only one. They had hard cider, wine, and juice at the bar and eventually coors light (because us beer drinkers were getting crazy). They then had their first dance to The Lion King’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Sara is a drama girl I should mention). It was special. It was a small cocoon of love for these two ladies and I am so happy they made the commitment to get married, even though our state is not legally marrying gay couples. They deserve all the happiness in the world.
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Displaying 20140914_183225.jpgI LOVED this cake topper!
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We had a really good time, had some drinks, met up with other Potbelly Alum (even our old general manager stopped by) and left around 6:30pm (earliest wedding ever). It was a small group, so it went quick. I dropped Eric’s drunk booty off and went home to snuggle this adorable pup:
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She’s a 15 year old toy poodle that I adopted from Last Day Dog Rescue in July. She’s a sweetie, sometimes a bitch like me, but a great dog. We ended up getting in our leggings, sweats, oversized old man sweater from thrifting, and in bed to watch more Big Bang Theory reruns – WHO is excited for the new SEASON 8 to start next Tuesday the 22nd!? I know I sure am. Can NOT wait.

That’s all for the weekend. It was busy at times, but it was lots of fun getting out and seeing people as well. How was your weekend?

Amanda

Friday Favorites

Hello and welcome to my FIRST official Friday Favorites…

I should call it Friday FALL Favorites for this time of year. We are seeing the first signs of Fall this week as the temperature shot down from the high 80s to the mid-50s. Burrrrr-ito. In Michigan, we all know the weather can be extremely unpredictable. I also know that every state says this. But I did just read another blog from a girl that moved from Florida to Michigan and she actually said that our weather is crazy – so take that! Now I know we didn’t get 6 inches of snow like North Dakota (I feel for you, that’s ridic. hat’s off to y’all crazies that call that place home), but my home state shouldn’t be this chilly in September. It still usually stays in the upper 60’s until the first two weeks of October. I’m hoping that the extended weather.com for my area is inaccurate for the next 20 days – or else we are looking at one more spurt of 70’s-80’s and then downhill to the 50’s.

Let me ALSO state how much I really don’t mean to complain. AUTUMN is my FAVORITE season. The feeling in the air, the crispness that isn’t freezing but just right, the trees changing colors, the corn mazes and cider mills, and the layering options for clothing. Come on, who hates fuzzy socks and leggings?! Not this gal.

I didn’t want to go in too early busting out the fall clothes but today I had to go shopping for my nephew and said to hell with it. I put on some corduroy pants, knee high boots, and a long sleeved shirt under a hoodie = warmth and fall perfection.

Without further ado, here is my FAVORITES for the week:

1. Can I get an AMEN! Fall candles at Bath and Body Works. I only have a three wick of the Pumpkin Cupcake, but have mini’s in their other fall scents. I want to go back and pick up some wall scents as well. Cannot express my love for the smell of pumpkins, apples, leaves, and all things FALL!

2. Army green cinched waist sleeveless vest from Marshalls. I don’t have the brand, but it’s very similar to this Diamond Inlay vest (minus the bling). I bought it to wear with long sleeved shirts this fall. It’s a really great staple to keep on hand that really goes with most items in my closet. It was a great find and I am excited to try it with leggings and boots this fall! I purchased mine for $29.99. I will update the brand as soon as I can. Maybe even a picture of ME wearing it.

3. BPA-Free reusable water bottle with attachable freeze tube. I bought mine about three weeks ago (plus a ton more) from CVS during their 75% off summer sale. They were originally 8.99 a piece and I snagged this kind for only 2.14 each! I bought a clear/green one and take it EVERYWHERE with me. I usually leave the ice pack attachment that attaches inside in my fridge. Because I work at a hotel, we have a handy ice machine that I fill up on when I arrive and then it lasts me all day. I will probably only use the attachment when I have the day off. It takes up a fair bit of space inside and doesn’t seem to keep it very cool for very long on hot days. Maybe this winter it will work better. Either way, it’s been lovely having it with me!

4. The Immortal Beloved Series by Cate Tiernan aka Gabrielle Charbonnet. I’ve been reading these books for years since they came out (three or four years ago i believe) and I love them. Cate is my favorite author and I have yet to meet her, but rest assured, she may hate me if she meets me. Another series of hers (Sweep) is my favorite, I read it twice per year and my copies are so used that my mom bought me a whole brand new set last year (seriously, she’s the BEST). I have over 20 books for her to sign so she’s defffffinitely going to murder me or get carpal tunnel syndrome. Right now, I am reading Eternally yours, the third book in the series. It’s a Young Adult book, so if you’re into that sort of thing (think Hunger Games and The Fault In Our Stars) definitely take a look!

5. This is the last Favorite for the week. Unfortunately with the INSANE weather we’ve experienced the past month in the Metro-Detroit area (insane flooding: picture people using boats on the highway and abandoning their cars and swimming home, ten feet of water in basements, etc.), we had another bad storm blow through (tornado type weather) last Friday and hundreds of thousands of us were without power. I didn’t get power back until Wednesday. I still had use of my laptop and spent the days if not reading, watching reruns of one of my all time favorite television shows:

I could watch re-runs all day and still crack up over the hilarity these folks bring into my life. Not to mention I am a nerd, so most of the jokes I fully understand…now if only I was ANY good at science and could understand THAT half of the shows jokes. I hear they have pretty funny/sometimes steamy jokes on their “science boards” in equations and the like. Unfortunately I don’t understand them, but what can us History/Literature smart people do?

That’s it for this week. Anyone have any favorites or more fun, FALL favorites to share? How’s the weather where you live? Hopefully you get to experience the nice cool down of the beginning of fall like we do here in Michigan!

Ta!

Daily Blog Ideas

Unfortunately, the one thing I absolutely HATE about starting new blogs, is getting them set up, making them pretty with themes/pictures, and explaining everything about myself all over again. But, hey, I have all the time in the world working nights so huzzah!

In this post, I will explain my daily plan for you. I want to write about specific things on specific days of the week.

I’d like to preface with saying that I will not do these EVERY day¬†(if I miss a day here and there, it’s because things came up [i.e. sleep and playing with my dog, you know, important things]). I will put them in order:

Magical Mondays (I’m a fantasy reader, what can I say?) I will relay my weekend here!
Take Me Back Tuesdays¬†I’ll write about a memory¬†that I miss/know is ridiculous.
Work Out Wednesdays Here I will discuss my latest fitness tips/questions/personal
OR What’s Up Wednesdays because fitness for me is usually pretty much the same, I will talk about what’s going on in my life specifically.
Thoughtful Thursdays¬†Where I will discuss what books I am reading/things I’ve been thinking about.
Friday Favorites I will talk about my favorite things from the past week.
Social Media Saturday Not a big fan of technology (GO OUTSIDE), but here is where I will post things that made me laugh, think, and tear up. Articles. Pictures. Videos.
Sabbath Sunday I may share a devotional or verse here and there to think about or that made me really think. Or possibly even something that I really relate to in that moment with my Christianity.

Now, I don’t expect to be blogging every day of the week –¬†let’s get that out there, I prefer sleep¬†– but I will definitely try my hardest to keep a record. Even if I am not entertaining anyone, keeping this here for myself will be good enough for me.

Amanda

NAVY

So here we are again, but this time I will reveal my Navy plans!

Now, it’s a fair bit of a process, and I am working on it diligently. I also had to make HUGE changes in my life that are actually working out very well and in my favor. It will be a while until I can even SEE a recruiter (possibly the end of December). But I cannot wait to start this new life. I decided somewhere around the end of June this year that I wanted to be a sailor. I knew that it would involve a lot of physical training, memorization and studying, and of course discipline. I also knew that it would involve me giving up a few things.

Let me start by saying, I have nothing against the Marines, Army, Air Force, or Coast Guard. To be honest, I have extremely personal feelings about the first two that I will sort of get into. My top reason for dismissing the Marines is because though in my opinion the most elite, they also have the lowest amount of women involved. Like my reason for not choosing the Army, If they will not allow women in war zones, it will likely piss me off. If I chose to be in a branch that involves fighting for my country with open fire, I will want to be right there with my men protecting them. Not sitting in an office or being in administration. Having said that, I chose the Navy because after researching career fields, I am very interested in Aviation related careers. I also prefer to travel and in stead of being grounded in a hangar working, I would love to be on a ship. This probably stems from being from the Great Lakes State. Always surrounded by water! I was raised on a boat and know that I will love being at sea. It won’t be an issue. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me about it, I’d love to chat. If you have any tips or encouragement – please please shout out! I have done so much research, there is probably little I don’t know about.

Here’s where I will get into what I’ve done so far:

I have already started memorizing my General Orders of Sentry for Basic even though I have almost a year to get them down. I’ve read enough and watched enough videos on YouTube about basic training that I know what I will be drilled and questioned about while there. Usually people don’t know anything until they get there and there they start learning everything, but I would rather be overly prepared and get there knowing most of what I need to know, so that while my body is screaming at me from the Physical Fitness Assessments I will have time to rest knowing that I am prepared and not having to cram in my spare time.

I took two pre-tests for the ASVAB, getting a 67% on the first (I mean who knows ANYTHING about woodshop these days? And I was raised by a father so hands off that he didn’t teach me anything about the components of a vehicular engine). After studying about engines, body mechanics, and a few things around that, I decided to take a second pretest and received a 78%. You can find a FREE practice test:
http://www.4tests.com/asvab

A big deal in my life is that I was a smoker. For ten years this year. Key word: WAS! I am extremely proud to announce that I am on day 10 of non-smoking. I know that seems like a small amount, but after thinking I would die (I’m not exactly subtle) with no smoking after one day, I am so beyond the moon proud of myself. The hardest thing actually isn’t the no-smoking aspect…honestly, its the lack of support I’ve received from friends and family that I’ve told. The response I get is basically a form of this: COOL! No way, how awesome. Congrats. I’m proud of you.
Now…let me just say I really appreciate the words that say they are proud or shocked. But really what I have needed the past ten days is a huge hug. I want to feel their support, not just hear it. People say words all day long. When a friend truly understands what a big deal something is to you, they should try to make a bigger deal out of it. Just like with children you are potty training, when they do a good job you have to make it like the world just erupted in praise, flowers are blooming, choirs are singing praise, etc. It may not seem like that big a deal to people, but it really is to me. I just wish I could get someone that would say Hallelujah and give me a big bear hug and a slip on the back or something. Overcoming an addiction is probably one of the toughest things imaginable. It eats at your soul, whispers lies in your head to make you trip up, and makes you want to rip your hair out. I have been putting on a smile and walking around like I own this. Because of my lack of support during this quitting phase, if I don’t outwardly appear fine, I know my resistance will crumble and I will have no foundation or want to quit.
I’d like to also add that the one reason I KNOW I will finish this, is because I am DETERMINED to. When it comes to me, my determination is what drives me. If I fixate on something, gosh darn if I don’t finish it.
The next thing: tattoos. I have 12 tattoos. Three days ago I had my first laser tattoo removal treatment.
I spoke to a recruiter and he automatically asked me a few questions. The last thing he asked me was about tatoos. I knew this would come up and was unclear about their policies (as they are ever-changing). I told him I had three behind my ears (small) and he said sorry, you can’t come in until they are gone, but thank you for submitting an application. BEST BELIEVE the moment he hung up on me, I was DETERMINED to continue on my process. I immediately looked up local laser tattoo removal clinics, read reviews, researched the machines used, and called two places nearby that looked legit. I made two appointments for consultations for the next day and kept my motor going!
The first place was mostly a plastic surgeon type place and he had a Q-Switched Laser. This machine I have read about and didn’t exactly like the sound of. In fact, the woman at the next place showed me a tattoo she had removed with one and I could still see ink below the surface and it literally looked like her skin was melted on top of it. NO THANK YOU! So the next place I went to was in fact a dermatologist office specializing in many things to do with skin. They have the PicoSure laser removal machine which I read very good things about. I figured this would be much more expensive because the laser only blasts the ink in the skin and not the skin itself where the Q switched laser can scar the skin as well as the tattoo. And thank god I was wrong about the nicer machine being more expensive.
Q switched machine (which i didn’t want): $175 per treatment and he told me at least 6 treatments = $1050.00
Picosure laser machine (which I read better reviews on): $150 per treatment and only 1-3 treatments = $450.00

Damn right I went with the PicoSure. The doctor that did my consultation was VERY welcoming, gave me plenty of information, and was super personable. She was really nice and welcoming. I made an appointment for a couple days later for my first treatment. It took no more than 20 seconds for each ear (its on my scalp line on my head behind my ear not my actual ear) and both sides have about 1×1 inches of tattoo. I have a lightning bolt and feather quill behind my left ear (sorry Harry Potter), and a Triquetra celtic knot on the right about an inch in diameter as well. The first treatment on the Triquetra went really well. The ink was already quite a light color at the beginning and its already half gone after only one treatment. My feather quill is very scabbed up and not very faded yet and the lightning bolt didn’t really change (these two are very dark thick black ink). I will be asking the doctor to turn the setting down from what it was (maybe a 3.5 to a 3.0 as the lower the setting, the stronger the current). I was told it feels like when you get a spit of grease on your skin while cooking bacon. And rest assured that is EXACTLY how it felt. Except not just one, but quite a few. I am very good with pain and boy did it hurt. I don’t mind because I have to do it, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have to. The entire procedure (numbing the skin with ice packs, the laser, and her putting bandages on took only 15 minutes). It bled a little but nothing bad. I left the bandages on for about 7 hours and afterwards I applied the non-scented lotion she gave me to them for the first three days. This is the end of my third day post-laser and I am now waiting to see them heal. I have to wait 8 weeks between treatments unfortunately which is why I won’t be joining until the end of ¬†December (that’s with me thinking I have three procedures total).

So far, that is what I have been doing. I will begin running in two weeks (I want to get my lungs a little break between quitting smoking and starting running). I’ve been consistently working out for about 2 months now with weight lifting, core strengthening, squats with weights, and working on my push up game. I’ve also been eating healthier as I want to lose about ten pounds before I leave for basic. Not because I think I weigh too much, but because it will be easier on my body and my basic health to be more fit.

That’s all for now! If you have any questions, comments, ideas, advice, or would like to pray for my entering you may go ahead. I really appreciate everything friends!

Amanda

FIRST

I have started and forgotten about many, many, maaaany blogs in these past few years. And yet here I am. Again. Pray for me (and this blog’s life span)!

So I decided to get back into blogging (for the umpteenth time) to document the next few months/years of my life. We can only hope that I am vigilant enough to keep at it and not forgot (for heaven’s sake please don’t forget). Here we begin again…

My name is Amanda Laren and I am 25 years old. I live in a country town near Ann Arbor, Michigan (GO BLUE!) and lead a pretty average (mostly boring) life as of today. I have HIGH hopes for the next year as I am joining the United States Navy – which I will get into more later. I have no children, a small group of people that I call dear friends, and a not-so-close family unit. But no matter what, I LOVE THIS LIFE! God gave me such a beautiful and understanding mind (narcissism at it’s finest, right?) that can see things beyond what, it appears, many people around me cannot. I overly put myself in other people’s shoes to the point where I get high levels of anxiety because I know exactly when and how people feel about me (especially when they are angry/upset). For some reason, I was given this gift of knowing (much too much) what is going on in everyone’s heads. I am extreeemely self-aware, by this age I know exactly what I am looking for in friends, a man, and (most days) myself. It is odd, however, that I know more about how other people feel, than myself. But when I do learn knew things about ME, I reach a new level of understanding and joy that is inexpressible. Truly. Now to describe the goings on in my life as of current:

I came to the unhappy conclusion that college life is just not right for me. Sadly, it took a few failed semesters, a trade school (screw you, Sallie Mae), and now student debt, to figure this out. For some reason, I cannot tolerate the price that colleges make students pay in tuition each year. Calling BS on this. It’s quite ridiculous to me. Aside from that, I have a bad case of ADD when it comes to learning. I LOVE learning new things, don’t get me wrong. But when it comes to going to school and then having to work a menial job, and doing homework and studying in any spare time around my giant commute from the country…well I must say I cannot even do it. It’s quite sad. I’ve seen people with a lower GPA than me, people that I used to view as less intellectual than me, graduate or at least continue with college. Not that I am saying I am smart by any means – I really am not. I just have strong beliefs on college and I know that it’s not right for me.

That being said, I gave it a great deal of thought, weeded out the other branches for personal reasons, and rested on joining the Navy. If you’re interested I will write a separate blog post about this.

I am very excited and a little bit nervous for the lifestyle changes it will bring about, but I am SO determined (it’s my choice word for this new path I am taking) to get through it.

I myself am the middle child of three.
Toddy. There is my older brother, whom I adamantly look up to (my hero!). He is only 15 months older than me and though we don’t see each other as often these days (stupid growing up), I still love him so much. I have always been the person that tries to see how I am perceived and I know that without a doubt, I can look at my big brother and know mostly how people see me. I laugh at how much we are alike – it’s pretty scary. We have the same laugh, same dry sense of humor, sarcasm, knowing smile, jokes, …just everything. He could be my twin. Though he works out every day and is much more buff than I will ever be. And for God’s sake, I don’t know where my brothers got so much confidence in being surrounded by people all the time – that’s the only big difference. They both have so many friends. So well liked by other people that they always have someone trying to hang out with them.
Lincoln (what a name, eh?) my little brother! I am so protective of his open heart. He and I hated each other as kids (we have that whole 3.5 year difference). But a few years ago, we decided to LOVE each other. He is similar to me in few ways, he’s extremely eccentric. Think Matt Smith from Doctor Who. He is EXACTLY like him. Can’t keep still that boy. Not to mention, how eerily he looks like Matt as well. Skinny, extremely tall, big nose, high forehead, strong chin…it’s all there people. I love my little brother. I would move mountains for that young man. His heart is so open I wish I could trust as he does.

As for my friends…

Being a 25 year old woman, it shouldn’t come as quite a shock when I say, most of the people I know have children. My best friend, Kristin…well, she has FOUR: Douglas, Kailin, Daine, and Deacon. My babies! Kristin has been my sweetest kindred spirit of a friend since we met in the tenth grade (2004). TEN YEARS! Holy bagoley! We grew up watching the same classic films (can I get an Amen for Anne of Green Gables and The Thornbirds?). We overthink everything (had a 3 hour phone conversation ABOUT thinking once), we have been together through the best, the worst, four births, a marriage, love, love lost, tattoos, regret, family dysfunctions, etc. She is my other half. Even though we disagree on things, she is my bosom friend for life.

Hobbies! Interests! Things I love!
Let’s just get the title of my blog over with shall we? A Reader’s Heart. I LOVE BOOKS!
I have over 400…would have more if space allowed. I read mostly Young Adult because they’ve been with me for over 10 years and I cannot get into anything else yet. I have been to a few book signings (Ally Carter [twice] and Richelle Mead). Meeting my favorite authors is so fantastic…I love them! I want to meet all of them. Some of my favorite authors include: Beth Pattillo (she always responds on Facebook), Catherine Charbonnet (ghost name Cate Tiernan), Libba Bray, JK Rowling, Ally Carter, Richelle Mead, etc. I read many book series multiple times (my favorite series I read twice a year). If I am not at work or with a friend, I either reading or watching a favorite movie/show. I try to read every day because I crave it. Being addicted to books is amazing. So many worlds to get lost in.

That’s it for me. Next up: NAVY life!