What to Expect from The Declare Conference

** This post contains affiliate links–all thoughts and opinions are my own**

Last year I had the privilege of attending The Declare Conference in Dallas, TX. I am so excited that I’ll be able to return to the conference this October and can’t wait for all that I will hear and learn.

The Declare Conference gave me such encouragement but also inspiration with my writing, so I’m really looking forward to receiving that again. The conference is a great way to meet other bloggers, writers, podcasters, etc who share the same passion of telling others about Jesus and sharing His love. I’m also a conference nerd, so I’m excited for a few days away to learn. 

I will link all the conference information below but if you are able to go (and I highly recommend that you do), here are some things you can expect from attending the conference.

You will be encouraged.

There’s really no way that you can’t leave this conference and not be encouraged. From the main sessions, mastermind groups, meeting and talking with other women, your soul will definitely be uplifted.

You will be inspired.

If you’re in a bit of a writing rut (like I’ve been for a few months), this conference is the one for you. Declare helps to re-establish your “why” and purpose, while also inspiring you to be a better communicator. You’ll learn tools for social media and learn how to use programs effectively.

You will meet like-minded women of God.

It’s such a great feeling to be in a room surrounded by women who are all there for the same purpose–to communicate the love of God. I really challenged myself with getting out of my comfort zone last year and I’m so glad that I did because I was able to meet so many women and hear their stories.

You will hear incredible speakers.

I’m so excited about the speaker lineup this year and can’t wait to hear what they have to say. Last year’s speakers were amazing and provided such wisdom, insight, and encouragement for all different forms of communicating.

You will come home with lots of merch.

Last year there were so many awesome vendors at Declare and I came home with lots of books, shirts, totes, and other goodies. 

You will experience amazing worship.

You just will. And you might even cry a little.

You will literally be well fed.

Food was amazing last year and the Declare team was so accommodating with providing meals for those with Celiac Disease–which I do not take for granted. One evening there were also food trucks and a coffee truck that came to the conference.

You will not regret going to Declare.

I promise you won’t. I’m so glad that it worked out for me to go again this year because I know I would have regretted not going.

Join me at Declare!

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Preparing to Come Home from Traveling

I get so excited when it’s time to travel and I build it up so much for myself that it can be really hard returning to reality. Haven’t we all be there though? As much as I love my travel routines and things that I do to prepare for a trip–I also have a routine for coming home. A day or two before I come home, there are some questions that I begin to ask myself to help prepare for “post trip letdown/depression” and getting back into my normal routine. There are also a few things that I like to do when re-packing and then as soon as I get home.

QUESTIONS I ASK MYSELF BEFORE RETURNING HOME

  1. What have I learned from this trip? I think it’s important to always be evaluating yourself for things that you can learn or that you have learned. I think that trips can also be more meaningful for you personally if you have this mind-set.
  2. What am I dreading the most about going home? Face your fears and stressors head on! Yes–there will be responsibilities waiting for you, yes–there will be laundry, yes– there will be work to return to, and yes to so many other things that you will have to resume. However, I think it’s important to work through these feelings and concerns so that you can prepare strategies for dealing with these issues.
  3. When can I next look forward to time off? Something I have learned about myself, over the years, is that my work and focus tend to be better when I know that I’m working towards something or some time off. I think that it’s healthy to regularly plan time off so that you don’t become overly attached to work and forget to take care of yourself. I have tried to plan time off every few months, or as the opportunity arises, and it’s a great motivator for helping me return to everyday life and stay motivated with my responsibilities.

THINGS I DO BEFORE AND WHEN I GET HOME

  1. Put dirty laundry in a drawstring bag or separate tote bag. I think that this routine helps so much when unpacking because all of my dirty clothes are in one place and I can easily start laundry when I get home.
  2. Put away suitcase as soon as possible. About a week before a trip, I’ll pull out my suitcase so that I have something to look at that lets me know time off is coming. However, I like to put my suitcase away soon after I get home so that I don’t keep looking at it and wishing I was still on vacation. I really like to do this routine, even if this means that I literally dump out my suitcase into a pile and put it away–it helps me so much.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you! Do you have any routines for coming home from traveling?

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Not Your Average Valentine’s Day Movies

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you have a wonderful day and that you know how much you are loved! Today’s post is a fun one and great if you plan to stay at home tonight. Sometimes there’s nothing more relaxing than having a movie night at home. When I think about Valentine’s Day movies, I automatically think chick-flicks. However, there are a few movies I really like that aren’t necessarily chick-flicks but are still pretty funny and revolve around the “love” theme. If you are looking for some not so typical movie suggestions, these are for you!

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

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I bet you didn’t see this one coming, haha! I can’t believe this movie came out 14 years ago! This movie is so funny, so quotable, and I think this will be a classic for years to come. Napoleon Dynamite is about an awkward teen, Napoleon, his crazy family, steak, tots, and puffy sleeves. Plus, you can’t forget the Kip and LaFawnduh story line–they’re basically soul mates.

Austenland (2013)

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Jane Austen fans, unite! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie and it still makes me laugh. Austenland is about a modern-day Pride and Prejudice obsessed woman, named Jane, who risks her savings and goes to a Jane Austen theme park for a week to live in the role of a Jane Austen-based character. There are some great one-liners in this movie. Such a funny one to watch!

On the Line (2001)

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Nothing like a good ol’ throwback to the early 2000s! One the Line is a movie about Ad Man Kevin and how he meets the girl of his dreams on the El Train in Chicago–but doesn’t get her name and number. The movie continues with his journey to find this dream girl with the help of his interesting roommates. Plus, if you don’t remember music by Mandy Moore, *NSYNC (or “in stink” as it’s goofed in the movie, lolz), or BBMak–this will take you back for sure!

She’s the Man (2006)

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When her soccer team is cut from her high school, teen Viola dresses up as her twin brother in order to play soccer on his team at his separate school. How long can she pull off the role of being disguised as her brother though? And who loves Amanda Bynes movies?? This movie is super funny and a great comedy to watch on Valentine’s Day!

We Bought A Zoo (2011)

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Widowder Benjamin Mee and his two children move to the country and buy a zoo as a way of healing and coping with life after losing their wife/mother to cancer. I think this is such a sweet movie because it deals with issues like grief, loss, parenthood, and trying to feel love again. Although this movie might be on the heavier side to watch on Valentine’s Day, I still think it’s a good one!

Happy watching!

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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26 Hours in LA & San Fran

This weekend I took a few days off and went to California with my cousin, Grace. She had some work that she needed to tend to in LA, San Francisco, and Napa and asked if I would be her traveling buddy for the weekend. Of course, I said “yes! Totally! Count me in!” before I even worked out the logistics on my part, haha! I posted a lot of photos on my Instagram (@lovefromamyblog) of our weekend but I’m going to break down the trip into two blog posts. It was a whirlwind weekend but it had just the right amount of work, rest, quality time, good food, and coffee. Keep on reading below if you want to know what we did in LA and San Francisco!

Los Angeles, California


Grace and I were on separate flights into LAX but I met up with her once we landed. She went on to take care of some work things and I headed to the hotel with our luggage. We both got into LA early in the morning so I wasn’t able to check into our hotel until later that afternoon. I walked around West Hollywood for a little while and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. I met up with Grace a little later in the afternoon and we went to get some lunch.

Real Food Daily WeHo 414 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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This restaurant had such a good variety of fresh, real food and was pretty much organic/vegan. We split a salad, avocado toast (because LA), and a gluten-free lemon cupcake and it was so good that I forgot to take photos. There were also so many gluten-free options, which is always so helpful when you’re traveling to new places.

After lunch, I went with Grace on some work-related errands. I love interior design so much and LA is such a great place to get inspiration and observe urban-style.

 

 

Alfred Tea Room 705 N Alfred St, Los Angeles, CA 90069

After running errands, we were starting to feel the day catch up with us and needed a snack. We went to Alfred Team Room for a bubble tea and ordered a chai tea with oat milk. If you ever wanted to try all forms of “milk” imaginable–go to LA. Plus, the inside of the cafe is Millennial Pink–so cute and so LA.

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A favorite quote: “I’m gonna be that person that if you didn’t take a picture of it, it didn’t happen.”

 

Jinpachi 8711 California State Route 2, West Hollywood, CA 90069

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After we checked-in to our hotel, we went in search of dinner before we called it an early night. We went to Jinpachi and split a few orders of sushi and that totally hit the spot. The food was also so good that I, again, forgot to take photos.

We went back to the hotel after dinner and prepared to get up at 4am for our flight to San Francisco.

San Francisco, California


The next morning we flew to San Francisco for a few hours and then we were going to drive to Napa for the rest of the weekend. The architecture and scenery of San Francisco is incredible and I love how no house is the same. One of my favorite movies is What’s Up Doc?and the movie also takes place in San Francisco. I kept internally chuckling to myself because there is a scene when characters are flying down the streets in their bikes/cars/ice cream carts and it was just pretty hilarious. I highly recommend you watch that movie!

As Quoted 3613 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

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We stopped at As Quoted for some breakfast and coffee before we headed to Napa. As Quoted has a large variety of gluten-free options and I ended up ordering avocado on toast again and an almond milk latte. So good! The gluten-free bread was also made by the cafe and it definitely passed the test of “eatable” gfree bread! 049e2264-35e9-40ce-bb68-e0eacc44d740

On our way out of town, we passed the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped to take a few photos. The weather was chilly and gloomy but I had never seen the bridge and was glad to get a photo. So cool!

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Our next stop–Napa and Sonoma! Coming in another blog post soon!

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