Why I’m Excited About Spring

Who here is tired of the dark, gloomy, cold weather? I am for sure and I’m really looking forward to spring. Spring and fall are definitely my favorite seasons and I think that they bring such freshness, renewal, and life. Things start to bloom in the spring, marking the end of hibernation and taking refuge from the winter. It’s time to start living again.

Reasons why I’m excited about spring:

  1. Warmer weather and sunshine. I seriously can’t wait for the days to be longer, for the sun to come out, and for the weather to just be warmer and more enjoyable. I know that I don’t live in the coldest parts of the United States, but I’m just definitely over it this year, haha!
  2. That feeling in the air. You know that feeling of going outside, taking a deep breath, and thinking “spring is coming?” Yep, that’s the feeling that I want more of. That feeling is special to me because I feel like it’s instant encouragement of “things are about to get better.”
  3. More color. Spring is a time for color! I can’t wait to see flowers start to bloom and to start wearing colorful spring clothes.  I’m really into bright yellows right now and can’t wait to wear more of that.
  4. BABIES. There’s about to be a baby-boom in my family because two of my sisters, one of my cousins, and a few of my really dear friends are all about to have babies in the next few weeks and months. I can’t wait to meet and love these precious new lives!

Are you excited about spring?? What are you looking forward to the most?

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Happy 2nd Blogiversary: My Biggest Takeaways

HAPPY 2ND BLOGIVERSARY!

Today is a reason to celebrate! Two years ago, on this day, I started this blog and it’s been such a fun journey! I am so glad that I started this blog and for what it has become! To celebrate today, I’m going to share with you some of my biggest takeaways from this past year and some of my favorite posts that I wrote. I’m going to celebrate with cake today and I invite you to do the same!

Do what you love!

On days when blogging can seem overwhelming, remember why you wanted to start blogging and don’t get lost in the rest. Remember your passion. And have fun!

Pray for growth and opportunity!

I think that God has given me the desire to blog and so I’m praying that He will continue to use me in whatever way that looks like. It’s been amazing to be a part of some conversations that have been the result of blog posts and the people I’ve been able to reconnect with. I’ve also been given some amazing opportunities to write about and I’m praying that there will be more to come.

Quality over quantity!

I have learned that I would rather post higher quality content rather than sub-par content–just to post a certain number of posts. This year I want to work on producing higher and higher quality content.

There is no perfect way to blog!

Your blog is your blog! Don’t compare yourself to others and enjoy your own creative process. Easier said than done sometimes, but remember that you have a unique platform to express your heart.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to ask for help!

I have found that a lot of bloggers are so helpful when it comes to answering questions and giving advice. You will never learn new things if you don’t ask questions or seek out others to learn from.

Go to workshops and listen to podcasts!

What a fun way to learn! There are so many good podcasts out there that can help bloggers learn new information and tips. If you are a blogger or writer interested in going to a conference–I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you go to Declare 2018!


My top 7 from 2017:

  1. Awkward Much–this was a funny post to write! Here’s a little peek inside my everyday life and a little dose of transparency.
  2. Master Packing List for Carry-On Luggage–I have used this PDF so many times!
  3. Maine Travel Guide–this was a favorite because it meant I got to see my bestie!
  4. Living with Celiac Disease–a little bit of information about Celiac and what it’s like for those who live with it.
  5. Snapshots of 26–this was so fun to look back on my 26th year of life!
  6. Declare Conference Haul–this was also such a fun post because I got to talk about Declare!
  7. Ways to Style: Fall Outfits–I was really happy with how this post turned out because it was the first one shot on my Canon.

A HUGE thank you to my family, friends, and bogging buddies who have been with me every step of the way! Thank you for supporting me and encouraging me on the days when I didn’t feel like blogging was important. Thank you for always giving me inspiration and for asking me to write about things. Thank you for telling me to keep going. Y’all, it’s meant the world to me and I’m so excited for year 3 of Love from Amy! I love you all so much!

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My Goals for 2018

Bye, 2017! Hello and welcome, 2018! I can’t believe another year has passed and it was definitely a full year! It’s been awesome to reflect over the past year and also start to make plans for the next. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring and tell you about those highlights next year. Before I get into telling you my goals for 2018–here are some of the highlights from the past year.

Highlights of 2017:

-1 year anniversary of my blog
-Went to Chicago to see my sister and her family
-Ran a St. Patrick’s Day 5k with my dad
-Went to Maine to see my best friend
-Helped to pick out my sister’s puppy named Franklin
-Did Whole30 twice
-Went to DC with 2 of my sisters for a week
-Went to Dallas with family
-Went to Virginia to see cousins
-Bought my first real, nice camera and started taking photos seriously
-Went to Dallas again for the Declare Conference
-Ran my second half marathon and this time with my pregnant sister (she’s a rock star)
-Ran a Thanksgiving Day Hog Jog with almost every member of my immediate family
-Went to Chicago again
-Went to 7 weddings
-Celebrated lots of family birthdays
-Had lots of aunt time
-Finding out that I’m going to be an aunt to more babies in 2018

My heart is so overwhelmed with all of these amazing things that happened and I’m so glad that I wrote each thing down. Although there were some bumps and difficult times in 2017, the amount of good things and experiences totally made up for them. I am thankful for every single thing that happened in 2017.

I have a few goals that I am setting for myself this next year and I thought I would share those with you today. Do you usually set goals or resolutions for the new year? I would love to hear what some of yours are!

My Goals for 2018:

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I wrote a post, last year, about my struggles with being fearful and wanted to share some encouragement to others in that post. Even though I wrote that post and know those truths to be real, I still struggle with this battle every day. Even when I may seem like I’m fine, the battle within can sometimes be crippling for me. But this year, I want to be more purposeful about giving fearful thoughts straight to the Lord and not allowing them to consume my mind. Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” and in Mark 6:50, Jesus says this to his disciples when they were afraid–“Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” I want to worry less this year, and in years to come, and trust completely in God and His plans for my life.

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This year I would love to try to put out 3 blog posts a week! I’m going to be changing my posting schedule from Tuesday/Friday to posting Monday/Wednesday/Friday and will try my best to stick to that new schedule. Some weeks are much harder than others to publish new content, especially because of my full-time job and those commitments. However, I’m excited to share more posts with you this next year!

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The last 2 months haven’t been great ones for me when it comes to staying active. After training and running a half marathon, I decided I was just way too tired and would rather be a couch potato. But the times that I have been consistent with exercising have been the times that I’ve felt and slept the best. So, this year I want to be the most consistent with going to the gym and go at least 3-4 times a week.

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I bought my first Canon in September and it’s been so fun to use! The photos that I’ve taken have turned out so well and I can’t wait to travel with the camera and take more photos. I hope to also share some of those photos with you this next year.

Happy new year friends!

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Give the Gift of Stitch Fix | AD

Sometimes it can be really difficult deciding what to get someone for Christmas. Maybe you have a family member who lives far away and it’s hard to get a present to them. Maybe you know someone who seems to have it all and you’re stumped about what to get them. If you need an idea of what to gift the special people in your life, no matter who they are or where they live, Stitch Fix is a great one! I have written a post with Stitch Fix before, but if you’re not familiar with the company–I’m here to give you some information.

**Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links–I earn a small commission which helps to build my blog and provide you with continued content.**

Stitch Fix is an online styling service that delivers a personalized shopping experience to you doorstep. All you need to do is complete the Style Profile online and a personal stylist will hand-pick pieces that complement your needs, style, and budget. Each box contains five items of clothing, shoes, and/or accessories and you can try them on at home. Once you have tried them on and decided which items you want to keep, exchange, or return–you simply send the rest back in an enclosed, pre-paid USPS envelope. No subscription is required for this service–you can receive boxes as often or seldom as you would like.

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Sweater Details: Pixley Cardigan from Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix carries styles for men, women, maternity, plus size, or petite sizes–so there really are options for all of the adults in your family! Giving gift cards to Stitch Fix are great for anyone–your mom, dad, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts/uncles, in-laws, parents of your friends, best friends, co-workers, etc. Gift cards start off at the $20 amount or you can choose any other amount above that. Pick what works for you!

There are a few ways you can gift Stitch Fix gift cards and the direct links are down below. You can choose options such as print-at-home, email, or have a gift card mailed.

Stitch Fix Gift Card – Mail. The gift card will be mailed within 2-5 business days. Make sure to order your gift cards by December 15th to ensure it will be delivered before Christmas Day.

Stitch Fix Gift Card – Print-At-Home. Print off a gift card and then write a hand written note to go along with it.

Stitch Fix Gift Card – Email. Emailed gift cards can be scheduled to be received on a certain day or they can be sent same-day.

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Sweater Details: August Mist Estela Shearling Trim Detail Cardigan from Stitch Fix

I have personally been using Stitch Fix for the last couple of years and I have always been impressed by the quality of the items I have received. Plus, it’s a nice surprise to see what your stylist picks out for you or for another person! I love using Stitch Fix because it’s personalized, convenient, fun, budget-friendly, and no monthly subscription fee is required.


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No Gifts for Christmas: Things to Do with Family Instead of Buying and Giving Gifts

Last night I finished all of my Christmas gift preparation! Gifts have been wrapped and are just waiting for Christmas day. However, although it’s fun to give and receive gifts at Christmas–you don’t need gifts to have a wonderful Christmas. As my siblings and I have grown up, some being married and have children now, we have changed the ways in which we approach gift-giving at Christmas. We all seem to agree that Christmas is less and less about presents and more about quality, special time together. My whole family is probably all together only about once a year and so our time together has become one of the most precious gifts.

Today I’m giving you some ideas for how to celebrate Christmas with your family (and/or friends)–without having to have gifts involved.

Go on a trip together

The Christmas before my oldest sister was married, my family went on a skiing vacation to North Carolina. We rented a huge van and road-tripped all the way from Oklahoma. That was also the year that we each had portable, personal DVD players (anyone remember those?). Although the majority of the road trip was probably spent watching 5 seasons of Gilmore Girls, I still remember that experience and it was so much fun. Once we arrived at our destination, we checked into our cabin rental that overlooked the mountains and the ski lodge. We cooked food, watched movies, and prepared to go skiing the next day. The weather was so warm that the ski resort had to create fake snow–that was interesting to watch! Once there was enough “snow,” we headed out and had a great time. Who knew skiing in t-shirts wouldn’t be so bad? Haha! I’m so thankful for that time we had together before the dynamic of our family changed. We have been on trips together with my brothers-in-law, nieces, and nephew since then–and it just keeps getting better. Why not save and invest in a family vacation instead of buying gifts? I highly recommend it!

Make and serve a meal to a family in need

Last year my family and I made some meals for the families of patients at our local hospice house, instead of doing gifts. I loved being able to do that for some of our local families who were experiencing grief, loss, and sadness during what should be one of the happiest times of the year. We weren’t able to personally meet any of the families, but it was an awesome experience to know that we helped to take care of them in a small way during Christmas. There are so many other ways you can help others during Christmas and it doesn’t have to even be a grand gesture–anything, no matter how big/small, helps!

Have a family night

Instead of gift exchanging, have a day/night just for family fun! You could bake cookies, make hot cider, play board/card games, watch Christmas movies, drive around and look at Christmas lights, make a bunch of Dubsmash videos, etc, and just focus on spending time together. My most favorite memories are definitely of my parents, siblings, grandchildren, and pets all housed up together and it being just wild!

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