Some Goals For May

Hello, lovelies. Welcome back and happy Wednesday.  While I know it is already May 11th, I thought there is no time like the present to start setting goals.  I decided to start thinking about my goals for May.  Before I actually get into those, let me tell you first what got me to this point.

I have always been a goal setter.  I am an over achiever (when it’s something I care about) and I will go the extra TEN miles if I need to to achieve it.  I don’t know if it’s because I grew up being an “honors kid”, always in advanced classes, or if it is because I am simply hard on myself.  Either way, I have always been goal driven.


I am 28 years old now, actually one month shy of 29.  My goals have definitely changed over the years, but in the last 6 months I have really decided to overhaul my LIFE goals.  There’s the tried and true “in front of me” goals, like eat healthier, exercise more, spend less, etc.  But I realized I wanted more specific life goals, because my life is changing.  I’m changing.  But it is God changing me and I know (even when it’s hard) it’s all for the best,

What brought on my recent goal setting? Honestly a huge showing of what I want to avoid in my life.  I have unfortunately seen so much negativity and disingenuous behavior in the past 6 months.  I have been blessed to be around so many sincere and honest people that I was sheltered from the idea that these people existed. Catty, deceitful people who don’t seem to have passed their adolescence.  Women who will be kind to your face and then pick you apart the minute you walk out of the door.  Things I have no respect for.


I am moving forward by focusing on my own life and my own goals.  Knowing that I stand for what I believe in whether it is the popular thing or not.  I am also happy to make goals to move me away from these kind of people who have no urgency to change for the better.  I will definitely open up more on this subject when I am ready.  In the meantime, here are my goals for May, and why I know I need them:

  1.  Self care.  In the past few months my job and other obligations have taken a big toll on my stress level.  Although it may seem from my blog that I indulge in a lot of self care, I really have fallen short lately.  I think self care is so important to women, because we give so much of ourselves with often little in return.  To me it can be the smallest things.  Using a delicious creamer in your coffee, doing some stretches in the morning, taking a bath rather than a shower, or taking a walk through your neighborhood.  Self care is whatever helps you to feel happy and loved just for being you.  Something for you, and for no one else.
  2. More nature. I mean this inside and out.  I want to encourage myself to eat more greens, veggies, and fruit.  I also want to get out in the sunshine and outdoors as often as possible.  I swear I am a flower, because I get very sad when I don’t get outside and in the sunshine.  Now that it is May, I definitely need to take advantage of this sun!
  3. Handle it right away. What I mean by this is handle projects and tasks as quickly as I can when I have them.  I am a terrible procrastinator, and part of that is my level of exhaustion from work right now.  However, I still want to encourage myself to handle things as quickly as is comfortable possible for me so I can eliminate that stress.
  4. Laugh often. This may seem silly, but right now with my work situation I find myself not laughing like I normally do. I also have other financial and personal stress weighing me down currently.  I want to try and encourage myself to enjoy as many minutes of the day as possible.  Whether it’s playing with my puppy, or watching New Girl, or talking to a friend who always makes me laugh, I know I need this.

What are your goals for May? Leave me comments and encouragement in the comments below! Adieu, my loves!


A Letter To Myself


Today’s post is a letter to myself.  It is easy to look at a blog, an IG account, or a Facebook and think, Wow, she has the absolute perfect life. I bet she doesn’t have any problems. Au contraire, my friends.  Every single one of us is writing our own story, and no story is without ups, downs, struggles, triumphs, victories, and mistakes.

Lately, I am just feeling down.  First of all, I am (and have always been) my own worst critic.  I hold myself, as I think many of us do, to some impossible standard.  But on the real, how can we not sometimes? There are ads and tv shows around us with perfect bodies and contoured makeup.  can hold the most amount of stress. Nasty coworkers, rude and uncouth bosses, and being worked to the bone.  The worst is when you are worked to the bone for someone who could care less about you. Even our friends and family can pull us down at times.

How do we stay strong?  When you know the light will shine again? When you know things will be better, but it’s hard to see a way out? I decided to change my original post and write out what I would tell YOU, and then read it back to myself.

Dear Reader Amanda,

You are so beautiful today, inside and out.  You are making a difference you don’t even know. Please don’t let negative forces dull your sparkle.  Often times, people are on a collision course with their own life, that they need to push everyone down so that they can feel on top.  Your job is best to armor yourself to their negativity, and let your light shine brighter.  Walk away if you need to, but love yourself first.  You are doing an amazing job.  You are meant for amazing things!  GOD has a plan for you, and will use this time to grow you into the person HE needs you to be.  Trust in HIM, Trust in yourself, and Trust that their is so much good in our world.

You have got this today.  Today will be an amazing day, and you are stronger than you think you are.  Go out and let your light shine and do not be ashamed of who you are.  You are amazing.



Isn’t it  funny how easy it is to advise someone else other than ourselves?  I hope this helps anyone else out there struggling with a tough time, be it work, school, family, dating, financial, or personal.  My calling for this blog is always to inspire others and be as transparent (as possible) with my own struggles and triumphs.

I hope YOU have a wonderful Tuesday.

Love love,



Dating Tip Thursday- Know Your Dealmakers


Hello lovey ones! I hope your week is going fah-bulous.  I am personally so thrilled tomorrow is Friday (Fri-YAY).  Today I wanted to continue on to my previous post about Knowing Your Dealbreakers.  Dealbreakers are things that you know you absolutely do NOT want.  I also think of my dealbreakers as things I would not want for my future children and family.

Deal makers are the opposite of that.  What are the things you want in your ideal future partner.  This part is definitely more fun to think about, too.  Be serious about what you most desire in a partner. What will help fulfill you, and your lifestyle, and your future.  Also, do not think your deal makers need to be what your friends, your mom, or your sister think.  Remember that each of us is looking for our own Mr. Right! My Mr. Right and my sister or best friend’s Mr. Right are (thankfully) very different!

I recommend choosing five deal makers.  If your list is too long, you will never be happy.  Remember no one is perfect, but just like when we picked 5 deal breakers (things you absolutely cannot handle in a relationship), there are things you can look for too as you are out dating and mingling with other people.  I know my deal makers include adventurous, kind, likes to laugh/makes me laugh, likes to be outside, and hardworking.  I am so lucky because that is what I have found!

A great friend of mine told me that you also need to then think about what, where and who is my dream partner looking for?  Now I am not sitting here telling you to change for a man. You are undoubtedly wonderful.  However, if you are always at the club with two drinks in your hand, and you want a homebody to cuddle on the couch with, you may be going about this the wrong way! It’s not about becoming someone you are not. It is about putting yourself in the realm of the kind of person you are looking for.  I have seen countless girls become upset that there dream guy is not found at the bar or house party.  On the flip side, I have seen a friend want a really outgoing partner, but they only go to to their house and the bookstore.

What you seek is seeking you.  Your dream partner is out there.  Once you know what you want (or don’t want), you are that much closer to finding them.  In the meantime, you are many steps away from settling for less than you deserve.  Never, ever, settle.

Love love,


Top 5 Reasons to Blog


Hello, loves! I am so happy to be back posting again.  I took last week off for some soul searching. I had some really bad news where my teaching job is concerned… They have cut $41 million from our state education funding.  While I am still so blessed to have a job, there was news that was a very bitter pill to swallow. I took the week off to do some evaluating and self-care… more on that later.

On weeks like that, I am always so happy to come to my little corner of the internet and have a place for my own expression. I have blogged off-and-on for years, and have finally buckled down this year.  I would seriously recommend anyone to have a blog.  I love taking time to make posts to not only talk about what I love, but also to let my readers know a little bit more about me.  I have thought very hard about the best 5 reasons to blog.  I have narrowed it down, and here they are!

My Top 5 Reasons to Blog:

  1. Express Yourself
    I list this as the number one reason, as this is the number one reason for me.  I spend my days being “Miss L”, which I love, but it’s not all who I am.  I found that I was losing pieces of me in my “adult” world.  I didn’t have friends to talk to about fashion, shopping, recipes, beauty products, and other girly stuff I love (especially after I left my old school, miss you Moriah and Kelly!).  I found a place to show others the way I see the world. Every day I blog is a happier day for me.  A day with purpose to help make this world a little better, and a little brighter, especially for women.  A way for me to shine my own little light.
  2. Find Your Strengths and Passions
    The more I write, the more I learn about myself.  I start to notice the things I search out in my personal life.  The things I gravitate to.  The things that I want to post about, and take photos of.  The responses I get.  I am learning something new about myself every day, so of course I recommend it to you too!
  3. Talk to Someone New
    I absolutely love when I have new comments on a blog, or become connected to someone who I would have never met before.  It has amazed me how many interesting people there are out there.  People with different thoughts, or similar interests, or some way for us to connect. It’s awesome.
  4. Find Community
    Going along with point #3, you start to find a niche of people who are interested in things like you.  People who are curious about the same things, or think the same way.  That can be a hard thing to find and I am so amazed that I found it online.  Go out and find yours, too.
  5. Be a Leader
    Whether you know it or not, when you are a blogger, you are a leader.  People find solace and look for answers in the creativity and inspiration you put out into the world.  While that is a responsibility, to me it is also a wonderful feeling.  I have learned so many things in my life.  Some deep.  Some are little tricks and thoughts that help make my life better.  I love the chance to share them with others.  Even this post, I hope helps you on your journey.

Thank you for taking time to read this.  If you are thinking of starting a blog, GO DO IT!  Start the process now.  It is not easy, but it is absolutely worth it.


Dating Tip Thursday: Know Your Dealbreakers


Good evening all! I hope you are ready because tomorrow is FRIDAY!  My week has definitely been a slow one, and it felt like Friday would never come! I am so pumped that it is here, and we have some beautiful weather coming.  My week has been good, lots of relaxing and catching up with friends.

In today’s post I wanted to talk about deal-breakers in dating.  Deal-breakers are things about the opposite sex that you absolutely cannot handle in a relationship.  Knowing those things are important for you to not settle.  I know in my dating career there is a lot of times where I would put up with a deal-breaker because I thought it wasn’t “that big of a deal”.  Truthfully, those things ARE a big deal and can make or break a relationship.  Here is my advice for knowing and using your deal-breakers:

  1. Chose 5 non-negotiable deal-breakers. These need to be things that you absolutely cannot live with.  Things you would not want for your future children.  Things that make you feel uncomfortable or bad about yourself.  Things that harm your well being. Things that would not lead to YOUR future happy relationship  Some of mine were substance abuse (obviously a huge one), someone who is a yeller/aggressive, and someone who is a homebody.  I cannot stand excessive drinking or drug use.  I am very soft and hate yelling so I could not handle a very aggressive partner.  I love adventures and would be absolutely miserable staying home every day so that is also one.
  2. Your deal-breakers will be different from your friends. This was such a hard thing for me to learn. I love my friends so much. I trust their opinions so much.  One day, however, I had to realize that the things I want and the things they want are different.  That seems so obvious but it wasn’t to me.  A lot of girls would love a homebody kind of guy.  Some people wouldn’t mind a guy who was aggressive or yelled, they wouldn’t even notice.  Do not base what you want off of what your friends say.  Of course if it is harmful, please listen and take care of yourself.  But remember we are all chasing our own happiness, and that is going to look different for every one of us.
  3. Be reasonable, no one is perfect. I say no more than 5 deal-breakers because you don’t need a laundry list of things to look at in a guy.  Give them a break. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, and he isn’t perfect. Your dream guy won’t be perfect. So make those 5 things count.  Things that would really be hard for you.  Not quirks.  Not how he washes the dishes, or mows the lawn.  I know I wouldn’t want someone to pick me to pieces! So try not to do that to the people you date.  The quirks you see could become the most endearing things about that person.

I hope this helps.  Hands down making my list of deal breakers helped me find my happiness I have now.  I finally quit settling for people who weren’t good for me because I thought it “wasn’t that big of a deal”.  Your happiness is a big deal.  Don’t settle for less!

Love love,



Dating Tip Thursday- Love Yourself First

Alright everyone, let’s get on with some real talk today.  I have been wanting to start doing “Dating Tip Thursdays”.  Not because I am some super love guru who can predict every move you should ever make, but mostly because I have BEEN THERE.  As a 28 year-old “unmarried”, I have seen my share of good and bad dates, as well as good and bad relationships.  I am happy to say that I am in a great relationship today.  Unfortunately that has not always been the case (as my girlfriends all shake their heads).  I want to help others learn from the lessons I have already faced. My hope is that these posts can help other people to find healthy, loving relationships with themselves, their lives, and with a partner too.

I am kicking this off with the theme “Love Yourself First”.  Hands down, this was the hardest thing for me to learn (especially in my early twenties).  Like most young girls I wanted it “all”.  I wanted to go to college, meet a cute guy, get married, and that was it.  But, that wasn’t it.  My “Prince Charming” turned out to be quite a selfish guy, and a terrible match for me.  Looking back, if I had had more self love at the time, I would have never put up with that crap.  You need to really, truly, believe in your self worth first or no one else will.  When you know your worth you won’t put up with poor treatment, manipulation, or mental/physical abuse.  If you have to question whether you have a great relationship, YOU DON’T HAVE ONE.  Here are my tips towards finding self-love.  Remember, this isn’t found in one day.  This will become a LIFETIME relationship of you, yourself, and I.  If you can’t love the person you are, you cannot truly love anyone else.

  1. Figure out who you are. Before you start shaking your heads at me, it’s true, you need to do this! Become unapologetically O.K. with who you are before you start hunting for Mr. Right.  Me for example…. I have to have coffee every morning.  I eat alot and get hangry easily.  I love dresses.  I love makeup.  I love being outside, camping, and getting dirty.  I love fishing.  It’s ok for me to love both.  I love to have a cocktail sometimes, and others I only want a hot glass of tea and bed.  I have terrible balance.  I can be messy.  I am silly.  I am tough.  I am kind.  Some people don’t like me because I am these things.  Some people love me because I am these things.  I love these things (now), and I don’t need to change it for a man.
  2. It’s ok if that changes, too.  I once had an ex (an ex for a good reason) tell me he didn’t like who I had become.  When he said that, it meant I had transitioned into my career of teaching, went to bed early (so I could be rested for those babies), and no longer wanted to go bar hopping.  He said he feared me changing from the person he had first met.  He straight up told me he didn’t like who I became.  There was (and is) nothing wrong with the changes I made. I was happy with them.  That shook me for a long time, because hearing such words from someone you deeply care about made me feel like a disappointment.  I looked at the situation, however, once the hurt wore off. I knew I will care about my partner no matter what path they decide to go down (unless it’s hurtful of course).  From that day on, I knew I had to be unapologetic to others when I decided to make a life change.  I have gone through so many phases so far, and I know I will have more.  You have to love yourself, who you were, who you are, and who you will become.
  3. Take amazing care of yourself.  Being a teacher, this is hard.  For mom’s out there, this will be even harder.  You cannot put everyone else first and have anything left for yourself.  As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.  Do things that feed your soul.  I remember how freeing it was for me when I started saying “no” to social obligations, and coming home, taking a bubble bath, watching netflix in bed, and falling asleep.  It was such a revolutionary thing for me! I would wake up, HAPPY.  Consequently, when I did go out or spend time with my friends, it was amazing! I wasn’t tired, my cup was full, and I didn’t feel dutiful or exhausted.This doesn’t have to take much or any money either.  Do things that make you happy and fill you with joy, peace, and energy.  Some things I do are get up early, drink coffee, and blog.  It makes me happy to have that time before my day starts for just me.  Sometimes I clean early too. No one quite understands that, but it makes me feel accomplished and happy to come home to a cleaner apartment.  I love sale shopping.  I love ridiculous TV shows.  I love a new flavor of tea.  I love my apartment being decorated just the way I like, it’s my haven.  I only wear clothes that make me feel joyous.  Think on these things! You are going to feed yourself, clothe yourself, visit friends, and live your life anyway! Now start doing it with you in mind.  It is amazing how quickly you can fall in love with who you are and the life you live.
  4. Cut the riff-raff.  This one is hard.  If you are going to start taking amazing care of yourself, you also need to rid your life of things that make you unhappy, anxious, or even depressed.  Things that are not worthy of the amazing you that you are.  It could be little things, like scratchy sheets, bad food, or the harsh things you tell yourself.  It could be big things like relationships and jobs.  Now I am not telling you to quit your job today (that goes back to taking care of yourself).  But I will say start being brutally honest with yourself about what works and what doesn’t.  I have left jobs, lost friends, and moved twice. Do not settle. There are amazing things out there.  My life is still a daily work in progress, but I am so much happier since I made the choice to start truly loving myself.  It’s not perfect, but I love seeing myself every day, and sharing the life I love with those that I love.

You will start to see a great change when you start this.  You may not find Mr. Right right away.  But you will be so happy that it won’t matter so much anyway.  I hope this helps.  Please feel free to share your experiences and things that make you happy in the comments! Now go tell yourself how amazing you are!

Love love,


Sunday Inspiration- Let God Lead You

 Good evening, loves. Normally my Sunday inspiration comes from the days church sermon. Today, however, it comes from some discussion with some of my dearest friends.  Tonight Shane, a couple friends and I played a few rounds of Magic, the Gathering (I know, don’t judge, it’s actually really fun!) and ended up chit chatting about church, tithing, and our futures.

While thinking and discussing our plans for the near and far future, We all have reached recently that the best way for us to have comfort in our future is to look towards God and the signs he gives us about our futures.  That to me is where we pray, listen to our hearts, and look to what God is putting in front of you. What do you hear in a church sermon? Or from a trusted friend? Was there a song or movie that spoke to you? To me these are more than mere coincidences and is God gently steering us towards where we need to be. I am not here to say everything is a sign, but developing that close relationship with your higher power will let you know!

As a huge over thinker, it has taken a long time for me to put this trust into something other than myself. “How will I know it’s right?” “What if I’m wrong?!” “What if I mess up?” “What if I FAIL?!” (the dreaded “F word”). However, since I have started letting God lead my way, I have so much less anxiety. I know that he has the perfect plan for me!

Let me leave that with you tonight. If you have stress, trouble, and heartache (or headache) from all the worries, let God lead you, just for tonight. I think you will start to feel a huge weight lifted. Sweet dreams all!

Love love,


My Liebster Award



OH. MY. GOODNESS. Guys, I could not be more excited to be picked for the Liebster Award from Sarah at Her Little Soap Box. The Liebster Award is an award given to up and coming bloggers to recognize their work and to also help to network and get us out in the community.  This has seriously made my day, and I cannot wait to pass it along! Thank you again, Sarah!

1. How did you start blogging? What made you want to blog? I started blogging because as a teacher, my role for 40 (well usually more than that) hours a week is “Miss L”. I love being that role model and influence, but I felt like alot of the other parts of myself were slipping away.  Starting my blog has helped me refocus on all the facets of my life, especially my appreciation for living the best life possible within the means you already have.

2. What inspires you to blog? So many things! Mostly I love sharing the moments of my life, and the things I have learned (For good or for bad) and hope they can help someone else along in their journey.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why? I would love to live on a beach one day. The weather in Oklahoma is up and down and all around… just crazy! I would also love to live in Italy and experience such a different and beautiful culture someday.

4. Describe your blog in 3 words. Girly, Honest, Budget-Friendly.

5. What is your favorite social media platform? Instagram! I love expressing myself through pictures. Oh, and it doesn’t have the drama and opinions of facebook (thank goodness)! (@liliesandlattes go follow me!)

6. What is your guilty pleasure? Definitely Teen Mom 2. Shane could tell you how obsessed I am lately! Since I finally got on hulu I have been binge watching the whole series for weeks now. It’s a serious problem.

7. What is your favorite blog at the moment to follow? I love love love The Daily Tay. She is super funny, and also has great outfit ideas. Plus she loves dogs the way I love my Puppins! (and Guinness!)

8. Name someone who inspires you? My sister. She has overcome so much, and works so hard, all while having a great (and hilarious attitude).  I love that she has been there on this crazy ride with me, and I love her so much!


I love my sissy!

9. What is your favorite quote? Not to be totally basic about this, but this Sex and the City quote has always been one of my favorites:


10. What is your favorite post you ever made? Right now I am really excited about the series I just started called Ballin’ On a Budget.  One of my goals for Lilies and Lattes is to share with readers how to live a stylish and satisfying life within (even a very small) budget.  Money should not keep you from having a high quality life.

11. What is your favorite part about blogging?  My favorite thing is when I hear later that a post inspired or helped someone.  It could be as small as giving them a good outfit idea or a way to make their home that much more special, or significant by helping them on their spiritual path or in a relationship. All these things add up to our bigger pictures, which are so important!

Ok now it’s my turn! I am going to nominate these 11 blogs.  I admire each and every one of them for their content and hard work. Please go check them out!

  1. Jen @ Strictly Personal Business
  2. Blushing In Life
  3. Sequins and Tulle
  4. The Kissing Booth Blog
  5. Sincerely Jennie
  6. Stumbling Thru Life
  7. Just Jessie
  8. Legal Lee Blonde
  9. The Morrell Tale
  10. Flora Dise
  11. Modest Budget Belle

liebster-award-rulesWINNERS: Now it is your turn to follow the instructions and spread the love with 11 new winners. Congratulations! Here are your 11 questions:

  1. What made you start blogging?
  2. What is your favorite meal to make?
  3. Describe your blog in 3 words.
  4. What is your favorite blog post you have ever made?
  5. What is your shopping guilty pleasure?
  6. Who inspires you the most?
  7. Which season is your favorite, and why?
  8. Which blog are you currently obsessed with?
  9. What is your dream job?
  10. If you could travel anywhere, where would you? And why?
  11. What is your favorite memory from the past year?

Let’s pass on the love now!

ATTENTION: I have been getting my social media game together, but my links still don’t work all the time!

So here is how you can get more Lilies and Lattes in your life! I’m also known to follow back! :-)

Twitter: @LiliesandLattes
Insta: @LiliesandLattes
Pinterest: Click HERE.
Facebook: Click HERE.
napchat: @mandylambxo

Thank you loves for the support! Please take a minute and help me get this content out there! You ROCK.

Love love,



Fight for the Fairytale

Happy Tuesday lovelies. It is a cold 28 degrees this morning in Oklahoma! So I am sitting here with my coffee, while even Puppins is hiding under the blankets.

When I saw this quote, it really spoke to me. As a 28 year old female, there have been a lot of times in the past 10 years I have been tempted to settle for less. In dating, in jobs, in homes, in friends. I started this post with only dating in mind, but once I really started thinking about it, fighting for the fairytale can apply to so many different areas of your life.

I want to tell the person reading this how incredibly special you are. More special than you may think right now, and incredibly worthy of your own personal fairy tale. God wants to provide us with it, but it takes us and it takes time.

First, you need to find what your special fairy tale looks like. It doesn’t always have to be big things. For me, one of my little fairy tale dreams was always to own a record player. I love love love vintage things. Lo and behold, I was given one for Christmas this year! Last night I bought two records that I adore. Total cost? $3.50. Fairytale moment? Check check. These things can be big things or small things that make the quality of life better. If I did not take the time to know what things make me truly happy, and be proud of them, that moment would never come. Be proud of the things that make you happy (unless they are harmful of course!).


for more pictures from my life, follow me on insta @liliesandlatted

Second, know what doesn’t make you happy. Each one of us are wired so completely differently. Take time to think on the things that harm your well being.  It could be part of your diet, a toxic friend, a scratchy pair of sheets (it took me til I was 28 to buy good sheets you must do it! Haha), or even a bad boyfriend (sadly I have been there too!). If it is hurting your princess crown of your own personal fairy tale, get rid of it. Some things may take time, like a bad relationship or a negative workplace. But in my experience enough prayer and persistence will help you find your way to your fairytale.

Now, let’s apply this to dating. It took me a long long time to realize to fight for the fairytale. First, accept that your fairytale looks different than anyone else’s. No one else’s relationship matters. Things in my dream guy are different than my friends and that’s a good thing! Make a list of things you want, and 5 deal breakers. Now ladies don’t pick them apart. A deal breaker is a non negotiable, like anger issues, or doesn’t want kids. Not, he snores when he sleeps or wears the wrong colored sweater. Be realistic in your fairytale or you will not find it. No one is perfect! But once you know your true deal breakers and makers you can fight fight fight for the fairytale and please don’t settle! You are too special.

Now use prayer, persistence, and a whole lot of patience while waiting and searching for your prince, your dream job, a new home, etc.  In my dating experience, there were a lot of times, especially in my early twenties, I tried to settle for less because I wanted the fairytale so badly. I am so glad I did not, because once I really looked for the man of my dreams with no settling and the determination of a fairy tale, he unexpectedly fell in my lap. Now this isn’t to brag by any means. It is to give others hope in fighting for their own personal fairy tales to never give up!

 Tell me times when your fairytale dreams have come true? Which ones are you working for?

Love love,