Thursday, December 8, 2011

good luck gal

oh hi there!

yes, i know i promised to get better at this.. and well i haven't. but i'm working on it!

finals week is next week. i put on an art show for the 6-8th graders i help teach art to for an afterschool program and i have to help put on another one tonight, i have a portfolio due tomorrow for my art education class (that is barely started), i have final projects due monday and tuesday for my ceramics and metal casting classes, and a final thursday for my business class. oh, and did i mention i'm in a craft show saturday, for which i have lots and lots of work to do.

to say i am overwhelmed is a complete understatement.

on a better note i won something recently. yes, me.. the girl who never wins anything and has terrible luck! i'm the person who buys 20 lottery tickets (and wins $0.00), right before the person who buys one ticket and hits the jackpot, you're welcome! i won a gift card to Poshlocket and am now the proud owner of these two sets of gorgeous earrings:
Regina Shell Texture Earrings in Gold
Toni Icicle Earrings in Silver

i am super excited to get these babies in the mail! i hope you're all having just as much good luck as me.. if not more! i probably won't be back until after finals week so i'll see you in a week and a half!

-Amanda Jane

Thursday, November 17, 2011

on graduation and moving

   hello there lovelies! i promise i'll get better at writing everyday, classes are just getting overwhelming right now, mixed in with christmas coming up, and working on weekends, oh yea and the fact that i student teach next semester and then graduate! talk about stress! but, i'm trying to not let these things bug me, which is difficult at times. i've been in school for 4.5 years now.. i'm just ready to be done. even after i'm done, the stress doesn't end because then it's off into the real world to find a "grown-up" job. sigh. ok let's not talk about it anymore before i break down.

   ok.. so this pennsylvania weather is awful! one day it's 60 degrees and the next its snowing.. um hello mr. winter and mrs. fall, stop fighting let mr. winter win for once. i'm sick of the bickering and confusion. i love when it starts to get colder because i get to pack on more and more covers, more and more layers of clothing, and nala and mr. h like to get even cuddlier. it's my favorite! also, i get to drink more tea and coffee, and i get in the mood to bake lots too.

   something uber exciting is that mr. h is graduating in december at the end of the semester and he went yesterday to pick up his cap and gown and he looks adorable in it! i'm such a sap i teared up when he tried it on because i'm so so so proud of him and how hard he has been working. he had a permanent smile on his face as well because he couldn't believe he is almost done and graduating in a month. he's already applying for jobs in schools in pennsylvania and pretty much anywhere in the US. mr. h eventually wants to move to san francisco, ca but i'm not completely sold on that move yet. i've never been there and my view of california is not one i am fond of; a ridiculous amount of people everywhere... all the time, terrible traffic, long commutes, too close for comfort housing, and a super high cost of living. i know these all come from things i've heard and i need to do research before i believe them completely.

   i guess i have such a hard time thinking about moving to a big city is because i grew up in the woods. i was raised in a place where the forest was my playground, catching tadpoles, fish and bugs was a daily occurrence, and eating fruits and veggies right off the vine/tree/bush was normal. when i have children i want to raise them like i was raised. they'll learn about the natural environment by being in the middle of it, by experiencing what mud feels like between their toes, and what a bee sting feels like (no i will not chase my children around with a bee to make sure they know.. it will inevitably happen), and i want to be able to lay in our yard at night and teach them about the stars and the lighting bugs. these are the things i knew as a child, and i will always remember these things. i don't want to have to drive to a park to teach my children about trees, and grass, and bugs... these are things that should be available to them at all times. growing up tv was only an option when it was raining, or way too hot or cold to be outside.. we were allowed to get completely messy and we fell down and got hurt a lot.. but i was ok. my parents were always there to tell us we were fine and to get right back on our bikes and keep going... or take us to the hospital. haha i guess that's why i'm so tough when it comes to pain.. it doesn't hurt so much when you were raised to think it doesn't. i am so thankful my parents raised me the way they did. i know i wouldn't be as intelligent and outgoing if they had raised me another way. thanks mom and dad.. seriously you two are THE best parents a girl could as for. i will never forget my childhood and the smell of the kitchen while helping make apple pies from the apples off the apple tree in our backyard, or how i helped to build the porch with you, or all the little things you've both taught me throughout the years. i am truly grateful for you both.

   sorry for the sudden turn to sappy-ness, i've been in a sappy funk lately.. haha here's something to brighten your day -

my super cute cat, nala who turns 3 on monday!
hope you're having a great week!
   love, amanda jane

Sunday, November 13, 2011

baking up a storm

oh hi there,

   sorry i missed you yesterday but i was cooking and baking up a storm! i mixed up some applesauce granola, artisan bread, and my own simpler version of these creamy chicken taquitos . am i insane? yes! was a hungry? very!

   i've been searching for cheap and yummy granola for a while and found the recipe for the applesauce granola and fell in love. it's cheap, tastes amazing, and is good for Mr. H and i! we've been munching on it ever since it came out of the oven!
this was right before it went into the oven, i may or may not (i did) have added the raisins prematurely but they turned out just fine!
 while my granola was toasting i moved onto dinner aka creamy chicken taquitos. except that my version had one can of chicken mixed with half a packet of taco seasoning, homemade flour tortillas, cream cheese, and jalapeno slices. i rolled a decent amount of the taco chicken, one jalapeno slice, and a chunk of cream cheese into the tortilla, placed them into a baking pan and sprinkled cheese on top. when Mr. H and i ate them we use salsa to top them and had rice on the side.. YUM! they were so much better than the boxed freezer kind and so much cheaper. the tortillas take a little more time to make but were so worth it!

  my last idea of the night was to make this artisan bread. i left it overnight and baked it tonight and man is it good. it was crunchy on the outside and nice and warm and soft on the inside!

  i keep realizing that making things like bread, granola, and tortillas is really going to save me money in the long run and everything tastes so much better homemade. i already have people asking me for the granola recipe! thanks to everyone who experimented in finding the best way to make these foods and sitting down and writing the recipes. i am very grateful!

  enough about BAKING... so,  things are going well here at the HAN (Mr. H, myself [amanda], and Nala [zee kitty cat]) household. i think i'm done being sick, nala is gearing up for winter (and eating triple the food she normally does), and i think Mr. H is a little less stressed about student teaching and working at the same time. we're warm, happy, and content in our little apartment waiting for winter to attack us like we know it will.

  i'll leave you with a few photographs of Nala bear, last winter's wrath, and other such nonsense.

last winter 2010, and it happened overnight with no warning
this past friday, i went glow-bowling.. and it was AWESOME!
meet Nala bear.. the cutest, furriest, cuddliest cat you'll ever meet.

 good night friends.. see you soon. -amanda jane

Friday, November 11, 2011

full moon hangover

   we finally got hit with some snow here in Erie, PA. there's just enough to stick but not enough to really interfere with my morning commute to work, which is only a 5 minute drive. i don't know about you but i absolutely despise driving in the snow.. i'm the girl that you assume is an 80 year old man or woman because of how slow and close to the steering wheel i am, then you pass me and realize i'm a 20-something girl who's just terrified. oh well, i'd rather tick a few people off and get to where i'm going in one piece.

   any-who, today was a ridiculously busy day at work. i don't know if it was because it's Veteran's Day or because people saw snow and thought CHRISTMAS!!!! LET'S GO SHOPPING! or if it was a combination of the two.. but man it was exhausting. also, the full moon last night seemed to roll over into today i swear.. like a full moon hangover.. and not the naked butt kind! bahaha..

   i really need to get me a pair of new slippers... mine just aren't warm enough. maybe i'll get some for Christmas, these ones are going on my wish list:
sherpa lined moccasins via Old Navy

or maybe i could con someone into making me these! via this free pattern        

   well, tonight i shall be having a few drinks with friends and maybe that will warm me up physically and emotionally (they are sure to make me laugh)! and possibly tomorrow i'll go out and buy myself a heated blanket (my cat just isn't cutting it).. those things are heaven on earth i swear!

hope you all have a happy friday full moon hangover!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

coffee vs. tea

well hello again!

   i'm super excited you're here and i'm happy to be here! as the weather's getting chillier i catch myself reaching for more coffee to keep my warm. do you ever grab some just to keep your hands warm? i'm a HUGE culprit of this. i'm glad i have Mr. H around who tries to keep me in check by telling me what a waste it is, and how ridiculously expensive coffee has gotten. to save his sanity maybe i'll make some cute little rice or stone hand warmers instead. i've found a few really cute ones on pinterest and around the world wide web:

via etsy


anyways.. back to the coffee thing. since i don't want to make batch after batch of coffee i've turned to making tea. i recently bought Lipton loose leaf black tea (my first ever batch of loose leaf) and two diffusers (just in case Mr. H fancies some tea as well). i seriously cannot get enough of the stuff!!! then, i went to my friend kristen's and her sister bought her some tea from Boston and it is to die for. it's got huge chunks of lemon and pomegranate.. i take my own diffuser when i go over.. do you think i have a problem? i have been searching and searching for a good place to buy loose leaf tea now.. with no luck. any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

about me.

   My name is Amanda (never Mandy-funny story for another post!), and I am brand spanking new to this whole blogging experience so I thought I'd share some information about me so that maybe you can get a little understanding of who I am and who exactly you're reading about!  I am freshly 23 and a 5th year student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I have completed all of my courses for the Photography program here and am working to finish my second degree which is in Art Education. I'm graduating in my May 2012 and I couldn't be more excited!

   I have an amazing boyfriend, Mr. H who is graduating in December 2011 and will be an elementary teacher. We live together with our cute-as-a-button cat, Nala. We are really excited to see where our relationship takes us and where we'll find jobs when we're both finished with college. Maybe we'll move to California, or maybe right down the road.. I don't know about Mr. H and Nala but I'm super excited to find out where the future takes us!

    Enough about me... back to the blog! Writing a blog has been on my mind for years, but I have never had the time to sit down and do it... well, here I am now!! I'm not sure where this blog will go or what information will make it to the pages. My hope is to have somewhere to post about my life, my loves, my ups, and hopefully not too many downs, some of my photography, and maybe my style. I hope that you enjoy my blog and feel free to contact me about anything and everything on your mind!

Keep checking back regularly to see new posts and maybe I'll have some giveaways for you!

Amanda Jane