Year in Review

My 2012 Year in Review

If I were to describe my 2012 Twitter style, I would “hashtag” things like #musicjunkie #growingup #EMAW #itsthesimplethings #internlife #family #thingsmyroommatessay #ksuagmag #agcommproblems #awesomesauce #AFAlove #blessed…just to name a few.

Yes, it has been good year with many great experiences and opportunities filled with love and laughter. I am so blessed and fortunate to have shared it with so many. So, I’m jumping on the band wagon and sharing my Top 10 Moments in 2012 (in no particular order of course.)


  1. Family vacation in Cabo San Lucas
  2. Summer internship with ICM, Inc. and experiencing living in Wichita, Kansas.
  3. Being on leadership staff for the Fall 2012 edition of the Kansas State Agriculturist magazine
  4. Became quite the concert-goer taking in Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott Band, Kyle Park, Kevin Fowler, Logan Mize, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and ……attending Country Stampede!
  5. Was able to make four visits home to Oregon for the Oregon FFA State Convention in my hometown, my baby sister’s high school graduation, attending Caitlin and Matt’s wedding, a quick trip to the cabin, the Umatilla County Fair and of course, the holidays.
  6. My parents and grandparents visited me in Kansas and witnessed a Wildcat victory over Miami.
  7. Speaking of Wildcat football…Can you say Big XII Champs? What an amazing season to be a part of.
  8. Moved in to an apartment with my two best friends Kyla & Megan. We’ve laughed, cried and went a little crazy. I couldn’t imagine senior year without these two by my side.
  9. Those I love are happy and healthy, and with the exception of a wee sprained ankle, this fall was the first semester in college that I did not get ridiculously sick.
  10. Finished up my year of service on the Agriculture Future of America 2011-2012 Student Advisory team with a trip to Washington D.C. and attended fall conference again as a regular delegate, all with eight teammates who are now eight of my closest friends.

2013, you have big shoes to fill. I’m looking forward to being editor of the Kansas State Agriculturist magazine, graduating from K-State, further enabling my concert junkie status and starting my new job with the Kansas Pork Association. And, considering I’m writing this as I sit on a plane on my way to watch my Wildcats play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, I think it’s going to start out pretty good.

Thanks for being a part of my crazy adventures.

Here’s to the New Year!

– Amanda

Friendship, Kansas

We promise to grow up tomorrow…

We are trying to grow up, I promise, we really are.

But something tells me that even if we “grow up,” that still doesn’t account for blond moments, inside jokes and being two of the most easily amused young twenty-somethings you will ever meet.

Me & The Best Friend
Me & The Best Friend

With that said, the start of our senior year has been nothing short of awesome and we’ve continued to grace those around us with our “moments.”

Who knew that our silly antics as freshmen in college would grow a long list of memories that are still just as amusing. (Don’t know what list I’m referring to? Check it out HERE.)

So here are Amanda & Megan Moments: Fall 2012 edition.


WHEN AMANDA, KYLA, AND MEGAN WERE TALKING ABOUT HANGING UP THEIR SCHEDULES: Kyla: “Yeah, Megan, did you see that we hung ours up already?” Amanda: “Except Kyla made hers too big so there’s no room for yours….but don’t worry, we can move the monkeys.” Megan: “Amanda…think about what you just said…now imagine if someone would have heard what you just said and not heard the beginning of that conversation…they would be very confused.”

WHEN DRIVING DOWN BLUEMONT: Amanda: “Ugh. I really don’t like Avalanches. I think they are ugly.” Megan (giving Amanda the craziest look): “What!?! When were you in an avalanche? Oh wait… are talking about the truck.”

WHEN TALKING AT BREAKFAST: Amanda: “See, when I have kids, I hope that they are really adorable….otherwise I’m going to be super disappointed.” Megan and Kyla just stared at her.

WHEN WALKING THROUGH AND EXPLORING MENARDS FOR THE FIRST TIME: Megan: “Dude! This place is HUGE!!” Amanda: “Yeah, no kidding, there’s so much…of everything.” Megan: (looking down the next aisle which was full of brooms and mops) “Holy crap! That’s super overwhelming!” Amanda: “Whoa…yeah it is. It’s like fantasia down there!”

WHEN DETERMINING WHETHER WE COULD SOLVE ALL WORLD PROBLEMS BETWEEN 10:45 PM AND 8:00 AM: Megan: “Ready go.” Amanda: “War.” Megan: “Peace.” Amanda: “No Megan, there has to be an action.” Megan: “Guns! Wait….that’s not positive.” Amanda: “Cookies.” Megan: “Now that is a positive idea! Ok next problem….Hunger…..Cookies! Wow look at us go.”

WHEN AMANDA AND MEGAN WERE IN THE PARKING LOT OUTSIDE OF THEIR APARTMENT LATE AT NIGHT, A MAN WITH LONG DARK HAIR, A WHITE TUNIC/ROBE AND SANDALS WALKS OUT IN FRONT OF THE CAR: Megan: (stuttering) “Um, Amm…Aman…Amanda?” Amanda: “…….Jesus????” Amanda and Megan: “OMIGOSH! It’s JESUS!!” Amanda: “This is probably the best thing that has ever happened to us!! We have to tell someone!” Both run over to Mark, Andrew, and Mikey’s apartment and bang on the door. Amanda and Megan: “OMIGOSH You guys! We just saw Jesus outside!!!!!” Mark: “You mean the Muslim guy who lives upstairs?” Amanda and Megan: (pausing to look at each other and consider the idea, then nodding) “Yes, him…..dude, he looks just like Jesus right now, you have no idea!”

WHEN KYLA WAS TRYING OUT THE NASAL SPRAY SHE BOUGHT TO HELP WITH HER ALLERGIES: Kyla: “Dude, this stuff is great! It’s kind of minty…my nose feels minty fresh!” Megan: “If all you wanted was a minty nose, just stick your toothbrush up there next time. Problem solved.”

WHEN SITTING IN THE LEADERSHIP BUILDING IN BETWEEN CLASSES, MEGAN WAS SITTING IN A CHAIR WITH HER SHOES OFF, FEET UP, WEDNESDAY SOCKS ON. A GUY COMES AND SITS DOWN IN A CHAIR ACROSS FROM HER, STARES AT HER FEET, AND THEN STARTS TO TILT HIS HEAD A LITTLE TO READ WHAT’S ON HER SOCKS. Random Guy: “OH CRAP!!! Is it Wednesday?!?!” Then proceeds to get up and run off. You’re welcome, random guy in the leadership building. I’m glad my day-of-the-week socks have now served a purpose other than my own personal amusement.

WHEN TALKING ABOUT HOW A LOT OF SORORITIES ARE USING ” ‘MERICA” WITH GREEK LETTERS AS THE NEW PHRASE ON THEIR SHIRTS: Amanda: “What? But I liked saying that. Damn you greek life, you take away all of my fun.”

WHEN TALKING ABOUT FUNNY THINGS THAT KIDS DO, FOOTIE PAJAMAS AND WHAT NOT: Kyla: “I found some footie pajamas at Target but they were too big for me! I was so upset.”

WHEN TALKING ABOUT THE RADINA’S SIGN THAT SAYS “FALL INTO A PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE”: Amanda: “WHAT?! Seriously, think about what you’re saying!! Fall into a latte? That would be really hot! You’d burn your skin….I don’t want to fall into that.”

WHILE AT THE FOOTBALL GAME: Drunk girl behind us: “Kick the ball! Kick it!! Before they get the rebound!!!” Amanda: “WHAT?! Aw, hell no, you did not just mix sports!”

WHILE STILL AT THE FOOTBALL GAME: Same drunk girl after KU had scored the first touchdown: “Oh my gosh! This is absolutely terrible…this is the worst thing ever! What are we going to do?” Amanda: “Actually, there are a lot worse things in this poverty.” Megan: “Yeah, or war.” Amanda: “Or malaria.” Megan: “Ooo good one. Or burnt cookies.” Amanda: “Awww, yeah, or worse, spilled coffee…” Megan: “….I think I would cry.”

WHEN TALKING ABOUT PINEAPPLES: Kyla: “No, pineapples are scary! They’re all pokey and crap. (Megan just stares at her.) THEY WILL CUT YOU!”

WHEN WORKING AT THE VET LIBRARY, MEGAN HAD JUST MADE A NEW POT OF COFFEE AND WAS CARRYING IT OVER TO THE TABLE. A GIRL WAS STANDING THERE JUST STARING AT THE EMPTY TABLE. Girl: “But why…..(turns around) OH SWEET JESUS! There’s more!!!!……(getting slightly embarrassed) I mean….thank you.” I get a lot of comfort out of the fact that other people need coffee like I do.

WHEN AMANDA WAS STUDYING FOR HER TEST IN THE THROCKMORTON LOUNGE BY PACING AROUND THE ROOM WITH HER COMPUTER: Professor who walks in: “Hey you know there are these awesome things in here called chairs and if you are really feeling brave there are couches to.” Amanda: “No, no, no I only got 3 hours of sleep last night and I have this freakishly annoying talent of being able to fall asleep anywhere.” Professor: “Well then sit up at the table, what are you going to do, magically end up asleep on top of it.” Amanda: “Don’t underestimate me, I slept on a laundry room counter once.” Professor looks at her like she has three heads…

WHEN TALKING ABOUT A CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC: Megan: “Dude, my parents would shit a brick if I did that…” Amanda: “No….your parents would shit a brick house.”

WHEN TALKING ABOUT HITCHHIKING: Amanda: “I honestly think it’d be fun to hitchhike, but I really don’t want to get raped.” Megan: “Well, if both of us went hitchhiking together…would we still get raped?” Amanda: “Yes, Megan, we would…hitchhiking is not an option.” Megan: “But why?” Amanda: “Because I can’t save both of us from getting raped. You become useless at the first sight of fear and I might be small and mighty….but I’m not *that* mighty!”

WHEN WORKING AT THE VET LIBRARY, A GROUP OF STUDENTS WAS WALKING OUT THE DOOR: Vet student: “No, the strippers at lunch and the dinner strippers are completely different….so it doesn’t actually count.” Ummm, what?!?

WHEN TALKING ABOUT FUTURE CHILDREN NAMES: Kyla: “Well Amanda will have to name one Marilyn because she worships Marilyn Monroe.” Amanda: “No, Megan worships food, but that doesn’t mean she is going to name her kid that.” Megan: “Yah but I could name them after food adjectives.” Amanda: “Like Crispy, Crusty, Chewy or Juicy.” Kyla: “Exactly if you named one Juicy you would never have to worry about them finding their name on a pair of pants.”

WHEN KYLA WAS PUTTING ON HER JACKET AND SHE ALMOST KNOCKED BABY JESUS OUT OF THE NATIVITY: Megan: “Kyla!! Be careful!” Kyla: “What? I’m just helping him move out!” Megan: “No, Kyla, they don’t move out until they have to flee to Egypt and that can’t happen until after He’s born!!” Kyla: “Well…I’m giving him a head start.”

WHEN SITTING IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND TALKING ABOUT ALL OF THE MATERIAL THAT WILL BE ON THE FINAL: Megan’s lab partner Lauren: “Well, I guess we should just invest in a lot of crack now so that way we just don’t sleep until the final is over.” Megan: “I do know some sketchy people we could ask…” Lauren: “yeah….cuz that’s healthy….”

WHEN WATCHING THE FOX AND THE HOUND: Megan: “Oh yeah, psh, cuz that definitely looks real…” Andrew (staring at her like she’s crazy): “You’re watching an animated movie!!”

WHEN MEGAN AND KYLA WERE PICKING A MOVIE TO WATCH WHILE STUDYING: Kyla: “What do you want to watch?” Megan: “Uhh, something light.” Kyla: “…like salad light?” Megan: “No….more like yogurt light.” Kyla: “WHAT?!?” Megan: “Well you know, yogurt has things like protein and anitbodies and substance…salad is kind of a filler. We should watch a movie with a bit of a plot line but not something too intense.” Kyla: “uh-huh…..well, what about fast and furious or pirates?” Megan: “Nooo, fast and furious is more like a chicken dinner….pirates is like yogurt though.” Kyla: “WHAT?” Megan: “Well, Pirates has substance and is a little intense but it’s still funny….Fast and Furious is way too intense…so it’s more like a chicken dinner.” Kyla: “Right….Pirates it is…” Megan: “See, now Inception would be like a Thanksgiving dinner…” Kyla: “Oh geez…I can’t do this anymore.”

WHEN LOOKING AT PICTURES OF CUTE BABY ANIMALS: Megan (voice going up about 3 octaves): “OOOHHH! It’s a baby hippo! It’s sooo cute!! And it’s all covered in salad and slime…..aww.”

WHEN STILL LOOKING AT BABY ANIMAL PICTURES: Amanda: “Awww, baby panda. I just want to (makes bouncy motion with hands)…I feel like baby pandas would just be so bouncy.”

WHEN *STILL* LOOKING AT BABY ANIMAL PCITURES AND A PICTURE OF A BABY WALRUS CAME UP: Megan: “It just looks so old…” Amanda: “Like Benjamin Button.” Megan: “I feel like it needs a caption above it saying something like ‘I just pooped’.

WHEN AMANDA WAS RIDING IN HER SISTERS TRUCK: Janci: “Crap there are cops everywhere.” Amanda: “Jancz you know you could try actually driving the speed limit, then they won’t pull you over.” Janci: “It doesn’t matter they are out to get me.”

WHEN AMANDA WAS WEARING HER SLIPPER BOOTS: Janci: “Hey how are you still able to wear your? Mine fell apart!” Amanda: “I don’t know, did you wear them outside a lot?” Janci: ” Nooooo it’s probably because my feet are crooked.”

WHEN MEGAN WAS SITTING ON THE COUCH TALKING TO HER MOM: Megan: “Mom…where do baby carrots come from?” Mom: “Well, when a mommy carrot loves a daddy carrot…” Megan: “No, Mom, that was a serious question.” Mom: “….I don’t know how to give you a serious answer…go google it or something.”

WHEN AMANDA’S FAMILY STOPPED AT A MEXICAN RESTAURANT IN SEATTLE TO EAT DINNER AFTER DRIVING AROUND FOR AN HOUR TO FIND A PLACE: Amanda: “Look Dad they have a fish section on the menu, you can have seafood after all.” Dad: “No now I’m took irritated, I need beef.”

WHEN TALKING ABOUT CHRISTMAS: Andrew: “Yeah, but those are going to be stuffing stockers.” Megan: “Oh, got it, that makes sense.” Andrew: “Wait…did I say that right?” Megan: “Uhh, I think so…” Andrew: “Nope….no I didn’t. It’s definitely supposed to be ‘stocking stuffers’.”

– Amanda

Kansas, Life Notes

Mason Jars, Indie Records and Bleeding Purple

It seems to be that we tend to mark our miles or associate different times in our lives with the things that we obssesed over during that time. Whatever the fad was that we were addicted to or spent what later seemed like a ridiculous amount of time talking about. And they are not always big obviously things, but items, anecdotes, inside jokes and trends that serve as the placeholder for the memories and experiences that stuck with us the most. So in this case, I just finished my senior fall semester, and what does that make me think of?

Mason jars, indie records and bleeding purple.

I’m sure I could give a much more thorough explanation, but I also believe that obsessions are never quite supposed to be understood, so I will give you this. Everything tastes better and looks better in a mason jar; the weirder name, the better the band…and my indie record will always be much cooler; and this semester will always be remembered for its football season that gave me chills because of the moments as a fan and not because of the weather. I think I actually lost Twitter followers because I used the hashtag #EMAW one too many times for some people’s taste.

This semester was a rockstar one, marked with lots of things, mostly good that make me extremely thankful to be where I am at and surrounded by wonderful people both near and from a far. Looking forward, if my last semester as a student is anything close to my one this fall, I think I will do just fine.

These are just a snapshot of some of my favorite moments from this semester. Thanks for being a part of the fun. Enjoy!

Family at the K-State vs. Miami tailgate
Family at the K-State vs. Miami tailgate
Excited to share one of my favorite parts of being a student.
Excited to share one of my favorite parts of being a student.
Reunited with my AFA Student Advisory team family.
Reunited with my AFA Student Advisory team family.
My IGP work girls.
My IGP work girls.
Smurthwaite shenanigans during the annual alumni dinner.
Smurthwaite shenanigans during the annual alumni dinner.
My very best friend and soul sister. Happy birthday Megan!
My very best friend and soul sister. Happy birthday Megan!
Tailgating girls.
Tailgating girls.
Waiting for the football team to arrive after the big win at Oklahoma.
Waiting for the football team to arrive after the big win at Oklahoma.
Logan Mize Concert with Jancey and Megan.
Logan Mize Concert with Jancey and Megan.
One of my favorites came for the Logan Mize concert.
One of my favorites came for the Logan Mize concert.
Ambassador friends.
Ambassador friends.
Eastern Oregon > Western Oregon....but Oregonians + K-State = Awesome!
Eastern Oregon > Western Oregon….but Oregonians + K-State = Awesome!
Gosh I'm going to miss this one.
Gosh I’m going to miss this one.
Blaine and Tanner.
Blaine and Tanner.
Smurthwaite Class of 2010
Smurthwaite Class of 2010
Two steppin' swing dancin crippled fools.
Two steppin’ swing dancin crippled fools.
Happy Birthday Kelly!
Happy Birthday Kelly!
Keeping with old traditions.
Keeping with old traditions.
Roomies. Best Friends.
Roomies. Best Friends.
Big sis/Little Sis Football buddies.
Big sis/Little Sis Football buddies.
Beautiful night for some K-State football.
Beautiful night for some K-State football.
Logan Mize concert at Longhorns.
Logan Mize concert at Longhorns.
Old roommates back to visit!
Old roommates back to visit!
Big XII Champions!
Big XII Champions!
My favorite band geek.
My favorite band geek.

– Amanda


12/12/12: 12 Reasons for Dad

We’re closing in on day 3 of finals week. You would think that they would give some sort of reward to seniors who have already put in their share of “life threatening” finals. Yes, I am being a bit dramatic. That tends to happen when I am this tired.

Photo courtesy of Robert and Billie Luke.

Amidst this crazy week people sure are making a big deal out of 12/12/12. Of course I know that this is a “once in a lifetime” type of thing, but in retrospect the only unordinary thing about my day is the increased amount of ridiculous things I have said or done because of the lack of sleep.

However, there is one thing that should be celebrated today, and it is definitely worth taking a study break. Today is my dad’s birthday! If you haven’t had the chance to meet my dad then you are definitely missing out, because he’s pretty darn cool.

So to celebrate, here are 12 reasons why my dad is so great!

1. His sense of humor is great. However I don’t know what is more entertaining, his giggle or how he antagonizes my mom.

Dad and I this past spring at a friend’s wedding that he catered.

2. After being the only guy in the house for so long he’s become pretty good at doing the little things for his girls.

4. He is an educator, it’s not his job, its his passion and he is fiercely dedicated to making a difference.

3. His taste in music is…random. Sure he was a teenager in the 80’s and loves his country…but he has this loyal respect for good vocals. Two words: Kelly Clarkson.

5. He is a great coach. In school, sports, FFA and essentially all other things he has always been my go-to-guy. He will always give it to you straight and sticks with you to the end.

6. He is a REALLY, REALLY good cook. If you haven’t had a taste of “Cookin’ Spoo Style,” you haven’t really lived yet.

My parents and I on their visit to K-State this fall for a home football game.

7. One of the most important things he taught me was to take risks and not to settle for less than what is important to you, even if it means questioning others, of course, except his parenting 🙂

8. So many of the things that I love are because of him. Basketball, western movies, taste in music, coffee, reading, pigs, being outside, all things country and the list goes on and on. Most of all though is his love for agriculture and encouraging me to pursue a career dedicated to it.

9. I have a lot of great childhood memories with him, although early morning breakfasts with black coffee and a Kris Kristofferson Greatest Hits cd will always be my favorite.

My sister, Janci and I, as a freshman and senior in highschool wearing Dad’s old Prairie City football jerseys during homecoming week.

10. He loves my mom and he shows it. I have learned, especially since being in college, that not everyone grew up in a home like mine. My parents have something special and because of their example, I believe in that cheesy real love that all the songs talk about.

11. On top of being an educator and a cook, he also is an artist. How cool is that?

12. He is one of the hardest working, most humble individuals I know and I am extremely proud to be his daughter, especially when others have so many quality things to say about him.

Happy Birthday Daddy! Excited to see you in just three days!

– Amanda

Life Notes

#MonthofThanksgiving – Part 3

Wrapping up my #MonthofThanksgiving by sharing Part 3. Hope everyone had a wonderful month and got a chance to reflect back on a few of the things that they are thankful for. I’m glad that I did. Wishing everyone Happy Holidays, I am pretty excited to finally be on my home in just 12 days! Enjoy.

#Day21 I am thankful for childhood #bestfriends that still support each other though we’re thousands of miles apart#MonthofThanksgiving

Kay, Chole and I as senior's in high school.
Kay, Chole and I as seniors in high school.

#Day22 I am thankful for technology that lets me be with my family on days that being far away stings a little bit more #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day23 I am thankful for faith, hope and love, and being taught to believe in each. #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day24 I am thankful for Caden Eli. 5 years ago today he was born and changed a lot of lives, including mine. #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day25 I am thankful for my roommate Kyla, for being my voice of reason & favorite crazy redhead all in one. #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day26 I am thankful for my mentors, who are there to lift me up, challenge and push me to be better and dream big #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day27 I am thankful for Smurthwaite Scholarship House, my sisters and the memories it has given me #home #smurthielove #MonthofThanksgiving

Seniors back for this fall's alumni dinner.
Senior Smurthie’s back for this fall’s alumni dinner.

#Day28 I am thankful to have grown up in a family business, to work alongside and learn from those I love and respect #MonthofThanksgivng

#Day29 I am thankful for the talent & character that God has given me & the drive to try to do something good with it #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day30 I am thankful that I get to live in this “crazy, beautiful life” of mine #MonthofThanksgiving

– Amanda

Friendship, Oregon

Happy Birthday Caden

Caden Eli Lloyd born November 24, 2007

When you are 22 and a senior in college, five years ago seems like a long time. In five years I have graduated from high school, moved here to Kansas to be a student at K-State and in that time, had the time of my life. The things I’ve learned, experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met have surpassed every expectation I had ten times over. So yes, in many ways five years seems like a long time. But there’s one way it doesn’t seem like that long at all.

Because five years ago today Caden was born.

Now since I’ve moved away for much of his growing up, Caden doesn’t really recognize me anymore until Cris tells him that I’m someone whom he needs to run up and hug. But it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. He might not remember me, but I sure do remember him and impact that he has had on me. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to be somebody that he is proud of. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share with him that I got to where I am partially because of him and my friendship with his lovely mama .

Caden at almost 5.

Until then, Happy 5th Birthday Caden! You are loved more than you know little boy.

– Amanda

Life Notes

#MonthofThanksgiving – Part 2

Presenting part numero dos of my “#MonthofThanksgiving.” At first thinking of things that we are thankful for is pretty easy; mom, dad, friends, the dog and in my case, coffee. But I’ve found that I am really enjoying sitting for a few minutes each day and really thinking a little more in depth about things that I take for granted or don’t think about actually be “thankful” for. Just a thought to sure.

Thanksgiving day is this week! Hope everyone has a wonderful day with their family and friends!

#Day11 I am thankful for my uncle and our military who sacrafice everyday for our #freedom #merica #MonthofThanksgiving

Mom and I in Cabo last January. She’s a goof.

#Day12 I am thankful for my mom and my #bestfriend You can thank her for my stubborn streak and caffeine addiction#MonthofThanksgiving

#Day13 I am thankful for being raised in beautiful #EasternOregon. There’s something special about that way of life#MonthofThanksgiving

#Day14 I am thankful for obstacles that challenge me to work harder and be a better person #nopainnogain #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day15 I am thankful to have this #KState #family, hard to describe how important they are to this out of state girl #MonthofThanksgving

#Day16 I am thankful for my Daddy & all he does for our family & in education. He is the hardest worker I know #MonthofThanksgiving

Dad and I at my friend’s wedding this last spring that he cooked for.

#Day17 I am thankful for #lazydays, time to relax, refresh and refocus #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day18 I am thankful for #music, as a dancer and a lover of words, I can’t imagine a world without the art of sound #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day19 I am thankful for beautiful sunshine even on a cold fall day it makes everything about my day that much brighter #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day20 I am thankful to have been taught to strive towards finding & having a good balance of self-confidence & grace #MonthofThanksgiving

– Amanda Jae

Creativity and Organization

Pinterest Adventures

With school, work, life and what not, I have to work pretty hard at balancing my distractions. That’s why I am pretty proud of myself that while Pinterest is an awesome website, I am able to keep myself from wasting too much valuable time on it.

With that said, I am also proud to say that I have put some of that pointless browsing to good use and joined the “DIY” fad. (You would be amused to know how long it took me to figure out that DIY stood for ‘Do It Yourself’)

Here are my projects and attempts at “oh my goodness that is so creative” so far.

1. Makeup boards

These were Christmas presents I made last year, the pink one for my roommate Megan and the purple one for my sister Janci.


  • For the boards I used a white dry erase board for the pink one and a piece of sheet metal and a frame that my mom painted for the purple. I covered them both in fabric.
  • Then I just used spray paint, ribbons and random decorative stuff to personalize each one. To hold heavier things like makeup brushes I used kitchen drawer organizer baskets and pencil cup holders

  • Finally with both gifts I included a package of magnets that they could hot glue to the back of all of their compacts and other items. It’s not shown but Megan took a rectangle magnet strip and keeps her bobby pins organized that way. I would definitely suggest using as strong as magnets as you can and the hot glue is nice instead of super glue because you can peel the magnets off and reuse them.

2. Necklace Hanger

This was a birthday present that my roommate Kyla and I made for our other roommate Megan’s birthday. It was super easy. We found both the wooden plaque and assorted drawer knobs at Hobby Lobby, spray painted and decorated the plaque and then with a little power tool help from the boys, drilled the knobs in. I hung it by stringing wire between to two hooks.

3. Map picture

So this is more of a modification of two projects that I saw on Pinterest. Here my Grandma let me cut up one of her U.S. maps and so I cut out hearts that were stenciled around my two homes in Oregon and Kansas. Really this is more her project because she free-handed the stencils and wrote the words. But I get creativity points, right?

4. Cake dip

Obviously food does not go under the “DIY” category, however, considering how baking and cooking anything dessert related does not go under the list of skills that I have, I definitely consider it a tally for the win column. Plus I have been the hit at all birthdays, watch parties and tailgates this semester.


  • one box of cake mix (just the mix not all of the things it says to add for a cake,) a 8 oz. tub of cool whip and a cup of plain yogurt.
  • Mix. Refrigerate. DONE. So far we like  scooby snacks, graham crackers and animal crackers best to dip in.

5. Earring holder

This was actually my very own idea. Go me.


  • I got chain link from Ace Hardware and strung two different thin ribbons through each link
  • The bows are a product of being raised in a floral shop. Sorry, but can’t really teach that one. But my mom can 🙂
  • Then I just draped the chain across 3 finishing nails

Happy Pinning!
– Amanda Jae