Cheers to Cozy

 

 

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Cheers to cozy, everyone.  I hope most everyone is getting to wind down from their days and prepare for the holidays.  Being a teacher I am lucky enough that I have had the whole week off (don’t hate me ‘cuz you ain’t me! ;-)).  Majority of people I know have had to work, or will work tomorrow night (which is crazy and wrong! Black Friday should only be on FRIDAY thank you very much).  So I hope everyone can take some time tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day for some coziness!

Yesterday was my super comfy day that I took to cuddle up, work on the blog, watch movies, and just be a huge bum.  Oh my word I loved every minute of it.  A lot of the time I still feel like my evenings, weekends, and breaks are still consumed with more work, errands, commitments, blah blah blah.  So a whole day just to myself? Pure. Heaven.

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To make it even better, Shane and I tried out THIS amazing recipe for red wine hot chocolate (except we used swiss miss instead of dark chocolate, STILL GOOD!). Oh. My. Lanta. It was so amazing. I liked it because it was warm, rich, and not TOO strong like alot of sweet hard drinks are.  I do recommend using a red blend over a cabernet, it just mixes a little better.

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We also watched Crimson Peak for the first time. Such a good movie! It was creepy but still amazingly well done, exciting plot line, and they didn’t “dabble” around on any one part.  Definitely a dark movie but if you love the spooky flicks like I do I would recommend it!

Last thing before I go finish getting ready for tomorrow, HAVE YOU SEEN MY SOCKS? (yes that’s a real question and please don’t judge me haha).  I have always seen the commercials and ads with the girls in the long super comfy socks.  In the back of my mind I thought two things: 1.) those look so silly 2.) I want some so bad.  In all honesty they are cute and so warm and comfortable.  Such a perfect alternative to leggings (which if you are anything like me you wear A LOT). I would definitely say to keep an eye out for them in my future posts, and if you find some for inexpensive like the ones i’m wearing HERE) go for it!

Have a cozy night all,

Amanda

How to be Thanksgiving ready (and it’s more than turkey)

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I love fall. It brings a crisp feeling in the air that signals to me the change of the seasons as well as the scent of something fresh.  Maybe it’s the teacher in me.  Fall means a new school year. New kids. New growth. New opportunity.

It also signals alot of familiarity.  The same beautiful fall colors.  Pulling out a favorite scarf or blanket. The holidays. Oh yes, the holidays.  While most of us love the holidays, the days off, the food, the smells, the celebration… there is a lot of stress that comes with holidays no matter who you are.

Some stressful things that come with the holidays can be the obligations.  Overcommiting your time, or worse, someone else (a job, a family member, a friend) overspending your time.  If you have lost someone close to you, holidays are a sad time to move on and celebrate without them.  Seeing the negativity around the world when you want to be thankful can also make it hard.

So I have prepped a list of some things to help make sure you are Thanksgiving ready, and it’s not just about the Turkey this time.

1.) Measure your time. Before the holiday arrives, look at your schedule.  Commit to things you adore or are non-negotiable first.  Then really look at your time, and how you want to spend it.  I have learned the hard way it is almost impossible to really enjoy anything when your schedule is overbooked and your mind and body are constantly racing from one thing to another.

2.) Face your holiday fears.  I hope against all hope that you are lucky enough to have no holiday fears.  However, many of us have holiday fears.  I come from a family where holidays are very tough. (My mother is mentally ill, and holidays tend to bring out the worst).  I have seen some of my loved ones make their trip home to heaven in the past years, and it can be sad to know they are not here to share with the people they left behind. You may have your own holiday fears that make the holidays a less-special and more frightening time.

What has helped me the post in handling my own holiday fears is first to be very honest about what negative things can come up for me.  Is it anything I can control? Is there any way I can limit my time with these negative triggers? If it is a non-negotiable situation that may be less-than-joyful, how can I celebrate later in a way to help heal my heart and move forward?

3.) Make it special for you. Remember not every person’s holiday will look the same.  Some will have tight-knit families.  Some will have Friends-givings.  Some people will work and rejoice in getting paid double to help others on their holiday.  Whatever it is that makes your holiday special to you, do it. Treat yourself kindly.

4.) Make it special for someone else.  Remember the most special part of the holidays is showing thanks for everything you do have. Share your thanks with others.  Help others not just on Thanksgiving the whole holiday season.  That is what we fought for all those years ago, is to help others be free and happy.  I have always found helping someone else will make your heart more happy and more thankful than anything else.

I definitely don’t mean for this post to be a downer, but instead a realistic look at the stresses many people face during this time of year.  Whether you are facing a struggle, or (hopefully) not, I hope that these tips help you to have a happy holiday and to keep others close to your heart.

Now go forth, make those delicious turkeys, bake those pies, hug those loved ones that you are thankful for, and give yourself a big hug while you are at it.

Love love,

Amanda

Snapshots of My Weekend

 

 

FullSizeRender (6)                                                                  All bundled up, and Starbucks in hand!
This weekend was such a great, albeit cold, time! It kicked off my first WEEK-LONG Thanksgiving break, #teacherlife!  If I had had any doubts or questions about changing school districts this year, giving me a week off for Thanksgiving for the first time in my LIFE definitely helps calm those down.  But really, the change has been great, but it’s still teaching and a break is much needed!

Friday night I taught an art class at my friends studio.  Whew. 16 kids who are ready to start their break + paint, glue, and tissue paper= some definite chaos! The mess was so worth it though, when some of my campers from this summer remembered me and told me how much they loved and missed me. I love how open, loving, and honest children are.  It’s so beautiful.

Saturday was my girl date day ALL day.  My sweet friend Kelsea (above) and I went shopping! I haven’t had a shopping date in so long.  I love shopping with Kelsea because she is just as deal-obsessed as I am.  I think we both know that you can get so many adorable, good quality items if you will just shop around and be patient.  She is the queen of jeans, constantly finding designer jeans, TAGS ON, in her size for fractions of what they would cost at the mall.

IMG_7356                                                      Found this vest at Rue 21 for $29.99, and with a 50% off coupon it was a steal!

We got basic with it, sipped starbucks, and started our Christmas shopping.  Sometimes girl time is just what your soul needs.  Especially when said friend makes you laugh, helps you obsess over purchases, and also understands your need for naps.  Kelsea and I are both early risers, waking up at 7:30 on a Saturday (I know, I know).  So we adjourned for the afternoon. I had every plan on taking a nap until I found a Sex and the City marathon.  I know so very basic of me.  But it was the end of the season how can I not watch Big save her (in Paris) from Alexander Petrovsky?!!

We met back up and went to a paint class at my friends studio.  It was so much fun sipping wine and getting our creative on.

IMG_7374                                                                           Our holiday paintings! So cute!

Sunday I got to spend time with my bae! We had such a bummy day. I worked on my blog, he played Fallout.  We cuddled, watched TV, went grocery shopping, and took the doggies for a walk.  That may sound boring to some but it was seriously the BEST.  I love quality time like that especially when we get to rest after crazy work weeks and the holidays looming ahead.

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All in all it was one of the best weekends I have had in awhile. I love weekends when you have few duties, and get to spend lots of time with those that you love.  What do you like to do on your perfect weekend?

Love Love,

Amanda

Get To Know Ya Girl

 

 

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With my new blog out here, I thought it would be a great time for all you lovelies out there to know a little bit more about me.  It’s also a great time to look inside at yourself.  Plus, who remembers filling out a million of these on myspace back in the day? Anyone? I sure know I do!

25 Get to Know Me Q’s

1. What is your middle name?: Jo! So my name is Amanda Jo! I love it. I absolutely love it when people call me by both.

2. What was favorite subject at school?: English and Art.  Probably why I am an art teacher today! But in all honesty I was super studious all through school. I love learning and am a proud nerd!

3. What is your favorite drink?: Coffee. Hands down, coffee. I have to have it or I can’t live. Seriously.  Favorite adult beverage varies but I would say probably a moscow mule or a white russian.

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?: “Let Me See Ya Girl” by Cole Swindell.  Because it makes me want to dance and is just a fun song.  I am a total country music girl.

5. What is your favorite food?: Anything down home and delicious.

6. What is the last thing you bought?: A fur vest, and some Christmas presents.  I finally bought two Christmas presents! And fur vests.. I am obsessed. As you can tell by the pictures in this post.  BUT! I bought it at consignment for $15.00!

7. Favorite book of all time?: I can’t say I have just one.  I love the books by Sophie Kinsella a LOT (shopaholic, I know, makes sense, yes?).  I love any novel that is super girly and soul-searching.

8. Favorite Color?: Pink and gold.  Even though I rarely wear them I have touches of them all over my apartment. They make me feel so feminine, girly, and fabulous.

9. Do you have any pets?: I have an Italian Greyhound named Puppins.  He is almost a year and a half old.  He is my boy, even though he has been super naughty all week!  But who could stay mad at this face, really?!

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10. Favorite Perfume?: Sexy Little Things by Victoria’s Secret.  I am very picky about perfume and this has been my favorite for quite awhile!

11. Favorite Holiday?: Halloween.  I love the change of the seasons, the dressing up.  I love that it is a holiday all about fun.  It is also my best friend Allison’s favorite and we always celebrate together and have the best time!

12. Are you married?: No.  I do have an amazingly fabulous boyfriend named Shane!

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                                                                  This guy makes me happy!

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: No, and it makes me want to cry!  I want to travel Europe so incredibly bad.  I am dying to see the art, the architecture, and get a feel for the culture in France, Greece, Italy, England, and so many other countries across the way.

14. Do you speak any other language?: I can speak some Spanish.  I taught in predominately Hispanic schools for the past 5 years and tried to learn as much as I could to help the kiddos that would come that couldn’t speak any English.  I am not fluent by any means but I would love to be someday!

15. How many siblings do you have?: I have an older sister who is 7 years older than me, to the day.  We have the exact same birthday and it is awesome!

16. What is your favorite shop?: I am all about consignment stores because that is how I get the best deals on name brands and it also allows me to trade my clothes in and out alot.(AKA ballin’ on a budget). My two local favorites are Daisy Exchange and Plato’s Closet.

17. Favorite restaurant?: Deep Fork Grill in Oklahoma City!

18. When was the last time you cried?: When do I not cry! I cry at everything, happy, sad, mad, it doesn’t matter! The last time I creid was at our Friday assembly at school.  The kiddos were singing about Thanksgiving and I just loved how sweet they were and also reminding everyone to be thankful during the holiday season. Awwwww.

19. Favorite Blog?: I have a lot, but I think www.katiedidwhat.com is my favorite because she’s very real, and I feel like we would be friends in real life from the way she writes! She is definitely the biggest blog influence in starting my own. Thanks girl!

20. Favorite Movie?: Oh gosh.. such a hard one! I would say my favorite serious movie is Big Fish and my favorite funny movie is hands down Stepbrothers.

21. Favorite TV shows?:  Usually it is whatever my current Netflix obsession is.  I love Game of Thrones, and I just finished Bates Motel season two on Netflix (I have to have some creepy during the fall).  I have also lately been an HGTV addict! Lots and lots of House Hunters and Flea Market Flip!

22. PC or Mac?: PC.  I just don’t understand Macs.  At all.

23. What phone do you have?: Iphone 6 Plus, baby!

24. How tall are you?: 5’7″

25. Can you cook?:Yes! I love cooking but I definitely don’t cook every day.  I wish I did!! I pin alot of recipes, does that count?

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Thank you for taking some time to read a little bit more about lil ole me! Do we have some in common? Leave me some love in the comments below!

Love Love,

Amanda

How to be OK (When you’re having a blasé day)!

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I seem to be finding myself having many “blasé and unimpressive sort of days lately.  Not bad, but not thrilling by any means.  I feel like enough of these in a row can make any girl lose her cool.  After a bad experience with my downstairs neighbor (who seems to think I am purposefully trying to bother her by things like taking a shower, having a conversation, and building a bookcase at 6:30 p.m….) I was definitely losing it.  So it got me thinking “How do you stay ok on a blasé day?”.

Here are the 4 ways I have found tried and true when you are falling into a rut or a funk!

1.)  Don’t Focus On One Thing
Sure enough, during blasé times, negative things happen. It can become so incredibly easy to focus on the ONE or TWO things that are going wrong and ignore tons of other things that are going right.

How do I know this? I am a victim of this mindset!! Take the incident of Cruella downstairs.  I became so bothered and upset (and i’m not saying it was rightfully earned, but hear me out), that I was losing sight of all the other good things about that day.  I got to spend time with Shane and my sister and nephew.  I got to help my nephew with his school project.  Shane still insisted on taking my grumpy self out on an overdue date night even when I wanted to pout.  Reading that back is like, “wow, you were upset?!” but I think we all know how easy it is to get single minded and forget to focus on the good.

unnamed                                                 Thank you Shane for the reminder to pick myself up and not let the blase’ ruin my day!

2.) Spice Up Your LIfe
We are always in control of our own lives whether it feels like it or not.  When times are getting “bleh” take some time to do something special for yourself (this does not have to cost tons of money, if any at all!).  If you have a tub take a bubble bath.  Go outside and be with nature.  Call up a friend you have lost touch with.  Paint your nails.  Cook something delicious.  If you work all the time, take some time to yourself.  If you are feeling bored and restless, volunteer and share your time and energy with people who need it and will be thankful for it.  Look inside your heart and seek what you need!

unnamed (1)                                                 Doing makeup (even when I didn’t feel like it) helps!  Stay fabulous friends! 

3.) Seek God
Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in our own mundaneness that we forget to seek the ultimate.  Seeking God puts us back onto His path and the one we want to be on.  Let go of worries and let him know you trust that you are where you are supposed to be! This sounds so easy, right? Well I will  be the first to tell you it’s not! I have to remind myself on the daily of where my heart should be and to rejoice in all times, not just the “amazing” and “exciting” ones.  I highly recommend a devotional to start or end your days.  It keeps the word fresh in your mind and heart and is often more relatable, especially if you read it during your first cup of coffee like I do!

A quick side note,  I respect all religions on this blog.  I will share my own faith and inspirations.  I am not here to bash or judge anyone.  Only to share my hard-earned inspirations and hope that they help someone the way they have helped me.  Oh, and also that maybe a few of you can take an easier road to finding the joy I have found through my savior!

4.) This Too Shall Pass
     This sounds simple, but it really is “just another day”.  Some days will bring unabounded excitement.  Others will bring excitement in a negative way.  Some days are just blasé.  No matter what the day,  remember that it will pass.  Life is an ebb and flow, and the happiest way I have found to live is to (try your best) to love all of it.  Respect it and find passion in all times.

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There will be times to sleep in and times to pound coffee and watch the sunrise.  Sometimes you will be in the sun in some shorts and suntan lotion and others you will be bundled like an eskimo (If you only could have seen me at car rider duty yesterday… Literally don’t care what it looks like as long as i’m warm in the morning!!!).  Sometimes you will have the best companions and sometimes you will be alone.  All I know is my favorite passion is to try (try) to be thankful for each day as it comes. Even when it takes gentle reminders from those that I love.

I hope this helps you when you find yourself in an unimpressive time in life.  What are some things you do to cope during these times? Please leave all of your thoughts below!

Love love,

Amanda

Welcome Home!

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Welcome, welcome to my new and revamped blog. I have been pittering with the idea of becoming more serious with my blog for quite awhile.  It became easy for awhile to let excuses get in the way (I’m tired! all I want to do is watch TV! Do I really have what it takes? And on. and on. and on).  Finally I decided “No, the time is now”, and here we are.

There are so many reasons I love blogs.  I love getting to glimpse into other women’s lives.  I love being able to support one another through our struggles (I have found none of us are THAT different, no matter state, shape, size, single/married, kids/nokids, sarcastic or sweet…).  We all have moments of joy and moments of sad.  I love getting a chance to express that as openly and honestly as I can.  I love the idea and hope that my thoughts could help inspire others.  I love fashion, decorating, cooking, teaching, my dog, and I love sharing it!

IMG_4389 -AmandaL - FBC Gardens 15_58_26                                                                 (Photograph by Terrell Fry Photography)

My hope is that when my readers come here, it feels a little like “coming home”.  I hope this blog is as “real” of an experience as possible.  While social media breeds pretty, well-organized pictures (and those will happen),  I want my readers to know that I am a real, 28 year old woman.  I have good days.  I have bad days.  I take pictures that look awesome.  I have a phone full of bloopers because I am not someone who can hide my expressions very well.  Somedays I teach and I am rejuvenated, enthused, and moved by my students.  Some days it is just making it through the day until I can get home to the couch.  Sometimes my hair and outfits are on FLEEK (yes i said fleek haha), and somedays my closet and I “fight” until I end up in leggings and a hoodie. (yes closet fights are real ask my boyfriend Shane!).  All in all, I hope my writing helps others through their life, whether it moves mountains, or simply gives us a place to connect and enjoy what I write.

Thank you for visiting Lilies and Lattes.  I am still moving over from my old blog (now that I have this fancy domain name, say what?!).  If you wish to contact me please email me at MandyLambXO@gmail.com.  You can also follow me on Snapchat MandyLambXO or IG @LiliesandLattes for important pictures for your every day life (Ok, ok, mostly my dog, Puppins!).

Please, please, please leave feedback below! I have just began designing this site so we have far to go! Ideas are greatly appreciated! What makes you want to visit a blog?  What sort of things would you like to see here?  What inspires you the most?

Love love,

Amanda