So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 20

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my glam #postgradlife. See past posts HERE}

These “So There’s That” posts really have become my favorite thing to blog and are essentially the core of what I share on here. I love that it allows me to properly journal what is going on in my life in a straightforward way and also share what’s making me laugh and influencing my life at the moment in various ways. Unfortunately, I went a little too long without posting one again… the goal is at least every 3 to 4 weeks. So I apologize if this post is a tad long, I’ve been busy since my last series post in mid-December!

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DIY New Patio Furniture

To know me is to know how much I hate the winter and being cold, and how much I LOVE sunshine and being outside. My family has always been all about creating spaces outside that are perfect for comfy evenings (or mornings) spent enjoying the weather and good company. All through college and afterward when I lived in Manhattan for 2 years I always had a porch/patio/balcony that allowed me to create that, but my first place in DC didn’t. I moved to my current place almost a year ago now, but by the time I found some extra time last summer it was almost too late to worry about furnishing my new balcony.

So fast forward to this spring, which I have been impatiently waiting for so I could tackle this right away. I did a lot of looking around to determine what I wanted to buy but finally decided that I wanted to go the difficult direction and make a project out of it.

This below was my inspiration from Pinterest. (Original link here.)

I used (14) 8x8x16 cinder blocks and (6) 4×4’s cut to 5.5 feet.

It was actually pretty easy to put all together. It was the loading onto the store cart, then into my car and then 9 trips from my parking garage and up into my condo (I did use a cart for the blocks) that really did me in. Eventually I will take it back apart to stain and seal the wood, and I might end up using nail glue on the top upright blocks.

I splurged a bit too much on the decorative pillows, but I couldn’t help it. Once I saw the crab pillow it all came together quickly! I do need to get rid of an extra coffee and end table set that I was stashing out on the balcony, but once those are gone I will do some planning for small table/rest of some sort and possibly some other decor and something to hold my plants that are currently inside on my window sill.

Soul Sisters

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I originally shared this picture a few months ago on Instagram, but I wanted to bring it back around because really, how cute and PERFECT are these mugs! They come as a set (obviously) and I gave Megan hers for Christmas. You can find them on Etsy from “The Sister Studio.” I love so many of her items!

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This picture is also a few months old… You see I am always building on these posts so that they are supposed to be easier to pull together and edit once I’m ready to publish. Anyway, I couldn’t not share this photo. That drive way leads into my old apartment complex and I still can’t believe that a bus driver thought it could manage it.

Travel Journal

The biggest thing that has happened in 2017 so far is this little adventure I went on in February and have been busy posting just a few posts about….

Travel Journal: USW South Asia Board Team to Thailand and the Philippines

Travel Journal: Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Chatuchak Weekend Market and Jim Thompson House in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Thai Cooking Class and Elephant Rides in Phuket, Thailand

Travel Journal: Koh Hong Island Excursion

Travel Journal: Karon Beach Sunset in Phuket, Thailand

Travel Journal: Candid in Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand

Sister Act

These are all photos and videos with Jancz during my visit home in December. We love to send silly Snapchats back and forth to each other using the selfie filters, but doing them together ended up being really funny… well at least to us.

The Giving Keys

This is my original post from Facebook:

“I spent yesterday afternoon enjoying the DC weather in Georgetown and we stopped for some food and to watch the end of the Masters. A family of four walks up and asks if they can share the other two seats at our high top. Later as they are getting ready to leave the 8 (?) year old girl turns and hands me this necklace and says, “Thank you for being so nice, I want to give you my Giving Key.” Then she explains that you are supposed to wear and embrace your “word” and then pass it along to someone else when you feel ready or when you feel that someone else needs the message more than you. Dear sweet Luchina, thank you for making my day and the little lesson on love. Check out The Giving Keys movement my friends. We certainly need a bit more of this in our lives. #BeTheKey

Happy People

Currently obsessed with this tune. Really in my mind, Little Big Town can do no wrong.

Happy Thursday

Thursday’s are friends, fellowship and impromptu celebratory ice cream cakes.

Administrator of the Year

Back in January my Dad was recognized as Administrator of the Year for the Hermiston School District. I am proud to see him recognized for all of this hard work!

Read HERE —> http://hermiston.k12.or.us/blog/tom-spoo-2016-17-administrator-of-the-year/

Inauguration

Since I moved to the DC area one of the top things on my bucket list was to attend a presidential inauguration and was so thankful that my friend Logan signed us up to get tickets through Senator Moran. I did have a few people question and even shame me for wanting to go. I simply explained to them that 1.) You have no idea who I voted for, nor is it really any of your business to know or make guesses and 2.) I was definitely going to go REGARDLESS of who was being sworn in because I was there to experience a really cool and important part of history.

ANYWAY…
Aside from the 6(ish) hours that we stood in the misty weather, it really was a cool experience.

*Stole this picture from my friend was working the event up close.

Friends Are Part of the Glue

There are a couple of blogs that I read regularly, and one of those is a young teacher in Texas who mostly falls into the “mom blog” category. A while ago she had a friend pass away from cancer and shared this quote that I cut out of her Instagram comment. The quote resonated with me in so many ways that I immediately took a screenshot.

I didn’t want to share her whole personal post, so I sincerely apologize that I am not properly crediting it. You can find her blog here though: http://www.momfessionals.com/

AFA Alumni Spotlight

My best friend has a pretty unique job and I was so proud to see AFA, an organization I love so much, feature her in its spotlight! Go Megan!!

Read HERE —> www.agfuture.org/meganalumni


AFA Policy Institute

Speaking of AFA, the organization brought students to town for National Ag Day and I had the opportunity to join these fellow alumni for some round table discussions with the students about career paths and our own experiences. No matter what the event is, I always leave feeling refreshed and a bit more centered when I surrounded by the people brought together by AFA.

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

Girls Night Out = Korean BBQ and Karoke

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Snaps from Janci on the family farm are my favorite.

#Bromance

Last minute free tickets to Red Hot Chili Peppers? Why the heck not?!

Watched my Portland Trailblazers while they were in town to play DC. It was a pretty disappointing loss but great company!

My sleepy puppies back in Oregon.

Original caption from Facebook:

“Nicole and I always joke about how we practically have the same life story. Both Northeast Oregon girls with roots in the Oregon FFA Association who went to K-State Ag to study ag comm and had internships in the grain industry. And both of us ended up on the East Coast where I eventually hired her to do freelance work for my organization… which happens to be part of the grain industry. And that doesn’t even cover all of the other interests we have in common. But while we laugh about it when people ask us how we know each other, its actually the perfect example of how important it is to cultivate and invest in meaningful relationships, both personally and professionally, because you never know where that connection might lead you to or how that person might impact your life many years down the road.

On Sunday, we were able to share that together with Agriculture Future of America (AFA) students visiting DC for National Ag Day. We shared that we are better people and better ag communicators because we blend our personal and professional relationship. We support each other’s careers, the successes and DEFINITELY the challenges, but we are able to do that because of our friendship and respect for each other. And as a BONUS, it is just plain fun to have people to continue to share those life experiences, like #AgDay with.

This is year’s theme was “Food for Life” and I choose to think of that in terms of the relationships and my network in the agriculture industry, and how that fuels my life in every way. Without that network of people that makes me want to always strive to be better, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am in a job and industry that I absolutely love.”

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

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Wesley and Robin

Obviously I was long overdue for an update on my favorite two little kiddos who both celebrated their birthday’s in the last two months.

Robin: At Christmas time wearing her new bow from me!

Robin: A new one year old!

Wesley: Fortunately my trip home over Christmas meant I got to spend lots of time with him!

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So, There’s That.

Cheers!

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 19

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my glam #postgradlife. See past posts HERE}

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Once again it has been almost two months since my last So There’s That post.

And this time I can’t even say that I was “out of my mind” busy. Oops.

Well settle in, it will be a long one…

1. Celebrated My Birthday

One of my friends from college is in DC for a year-long fellowship and offered to throw me a birthday party this year. It was a great little get together, and though somewhat unplanned it ended up being all Kansas people.

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With Logan and Emily. Happy to have so many K-Staters here with me.

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We all share Brandi as one of our closest friends, so we decided she needed some Snapchat spam.

2. Beware of Jalapeno’s

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I am pretty sure I will immediately regret including this picture, but I always say this blog is about my life, so some funny/embarrassing stories and pictures just are not allowed to be omitted.

So… I love spicy food and I love jalapenos, so when I decided to make queso dip for my birthday party it was natural for me to grab a few (4) jalapenos to add in. Now I have cut up jalapenos a dozen times before and never had any problems but this time was pretty different. A few minutes after I was done chopping, my nose and upper lip started to BURN REALLY BAD. So I immediately washed my hands with dish soap and then washed that part of my face with my normal face cleanser. And then it started to burn EVEN WORSE. So I did what every other brand new 26 year old would do… I called my mom. She proceeded to start Googling what you are supposed to do and I tried a baking soda and water paste, then lemon juice and then coconut oil, all of which helped for a few minutes and then would stop. At one point I went back to the paste, which was a REALLY bad idea because it made things worse after the lemon juice.

Eventually I just held ice packs to my face for a few hours. We eventually read that soaps actually do not help (OBVIOUSLY) and realized that every time I used my hands to apply the different mixtures it was just eventually tainting them and spreading the heat to more of my face.

So with the picture to prove it, I really can not make this stuff up, and it REALLY was that dramatic. Just ask my mom about the phone call, I am pretty sure she is still laughing about it.

3. Crop Quality Report

This project took up most of my work life in September and October. It is a report that my organization puts about every year and this year we decided to do a complete redesign with the help of an agency. The challenge is there is a LOT of data that goes into, a LOT of people that contribute to it and it gets translated into five languages.

I was pretty proud of the final product and especially of Steph, my co-worker who put in way more hours than I did. If you are at all interested at actually looking through it, you can find it HERE.

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4. The Best is Yet to Come

In October, my church, NCC, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a service that included all eight of its campus at one location, held in Constitution Hall at the DAR. It was such a fun, inspiring evening!

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One of my small groups met up for dinner at Old Ebbitt beforehand.

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These wristbands lit up in different colors, based on our motions or by the tech guys. They were so fun!

5. “Coloring Book for Me” App

Friends, prepare for your life to be changed.
I can not remember how I stumbled across this app (probably because I was so excited about it) but YOU NEED IT IN YOUR LIFE. It is pretty straight forward… every day there are new blank designs to choose from, you have a variety of color wheels to choose from and then at the end you can add treatments. Honestly, I have done one almost everyday for the past month, but decided that sharing ALL of them might be a bit much for those who do not share my enthusiasm.

And dear creators of the app? Hit me up if you would like to sign an official endorsement deal…

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6. Kansas City

In November, I was in Kansas City for a conference that I still plan to separately blog about. But that also meant that I got to squeeze some time in with one of my favorite little families. Baby Robin has become a regular in these posts, but I was also excited to catch up with Leah and Ryan. She was my roommate my freshman year  and still one of my dearest friends.

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She is 7 months old now!

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Her parents are going to regret letting her call me Aunt Amanda someday…

7. Hiking

In addition to the big hike I already blogged about... I also joined my friend Kim for an afternoon on the Maryland side of Great Falls.  She recently got a new DSLR camera so she wanted me to teach her a few tips.

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8. Sunday Funday

In November, another one of my small groups from church went out on a Sunday to a small winery, lunch and then stopped by one girl’s family farm. It was one of the first colder weekends in the area, but we had a great afternoon! Northern Virginia is absolutely beautiful in the fall!

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9. Friendsgiving

This year I went to two Thanksgivings!

On Thursday, I joined my co-worker and his wife, who are also K-State alums, along with many others who have some connection to Kansas.

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And then on Saturday, I was invited by one of the girls from one of my church small groups to join a Friendsgiving hosted for another small group that she is in.

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In the last eight years I have only been home for Thanksgiving once, but I am always reminded how big my support circle is and the kindness of others.

10. Run DC

Since my plantar fasciitis developed this summer I have not been out on a long run or walk in DC. My foot still hurts, but I have contained it quite a bit so I decided to take advantage of the last semi-warm weekends and ventured out for a run/walk that accidentally turned into an unplanned seven miles. Apparently DC infrastructure is still hard to navigate after living here two years.

Anyway, as expected, it was a beautiful day.

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11. The People’s Tree

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So I learned this year that you have to get tickets way in advance for the Christmas tree lighting at the White House… but that the lighting at the Capitol is free. This was toward the top of the things I really wanted to do this year so I dragged my friend Logan out in the pouring rain to see it. They had a short but cute little ceremony led by Speaker Paul Ryan. The tree was from Idaho this year!

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I love Union Station this time of year!

12. Christmas Crafts

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My apartment is really small, but it had been too long since I had a fun project to do and my little windowsill was perfect to add a few things too. I blogged about making the tree and the sign last week. Read it HERE.

13. Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

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Views from my parents’ new property.

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Enjoyed my first “Paint Nite” with Allyson!

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I LOVE this picture and this view! Photo credit to my friend Casey Droddy.

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Took this out of my plane window on the way home from Guam.

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Good morning Union Station.

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Snapchats of Jack from my sister are my FAVORITE.

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My new tennis shoes are full of inspiration

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Enjoyed catching Reckless Kelly with my Kansas guys. We do not get nearly enough red dirt bands live in DC. And I LOVE my new dress, so I had to share.

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Miss Robin was the cutest little penguin. Even if she did not think so herself.

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True friends send you pictures from Kansas to make you miss it more.

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Sunday brunch to celebrate Sherin’s birthday!

13. Chris Stapleton

Three people sent me a link to an article about this song below in a matter of a week. Obviously my obsession with Chris Stapleton has been well advertised.

HE NEEDS TO RECORD THIS!

14. My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

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So, There’s That.

Cheers!

Creativity and Organization

Christmas Crafting

I have never done much for Christmas decorations in my own home so far, and since moving into my new (and very small) apartment this year, finally getting a tree was still out of the question.

I do have a nice windowsill abobe my air unit where I normally display a few picture frames, and it has been way too long since I have had a creative project to work on, so I decided that I would utilize the space for a little decor.

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When I first moved in, I built a entertainment center/shelving unit out of 2×12’s (I think?) and cinder blocks, and had a few extra pieces left after the boards were cut for length

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I put two coats of regular acrylic paint on the board and let it dry.

Note to self: Do not try to FaceTime with your sister and work on a painting project, when you do not have the proper space to do the project in the first place. It is a miracle I did not get paint anywhere it was not supposed to be besides my arm.

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When I went to Michael’s for paint, I saw this flat wooden tree and broke my rule of only going in to get paint… luckily it was not too spendy. While the board dried, I painted this and alternated each row with red and bronze.

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This was the after photo for step one. I took the smaller brush that I used on the tree and did not clean it out so that there would still be some of the drying, clumpy red paint in it, which seemed to help with the uneven brush strokes. I used a dark grey that I already had and the same bronze paint. After I had made some of the bigger strokes I wiped the brush off and continued to dry brush back and forth over the color that I had just applied,

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While the board dried again I switched back over to the tree, which was now dry (after two coats) and applied these rhinestone stickers along the seam of each layer. The nice part was that the rhinestones were grouped together in strips, which is great because there is no way that I have the patience to apply each of those individually. I got them in the sticker section at Michael’s.

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Moving back over to the board, my next step was to take sandpaper to it. I varied the types of strokes I made and the pressure to get the look that I wanted.

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The final step for the tree was to wrap this garland from Michael’s around it. I tacked it with glue in about four spots to that I could get everything to hang just right. As you can see I could technically hang it on the wall somewhere but it is doing just fine propped up on the windowsill.

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The final part of the other project was to glue the ornaments to the board. I saw these ornaments at Target a few weeks ago and fell in love, which essentially inspired me to go ahead and do a little decorating. I just took all of their hangers off and used tacky glue to secure them on.

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And here is the final look! The two little ferns are from Trader Joe’s and Frosty came from my family’s store in Oregon a few years ago.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Amanda

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Link up.

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Creativity and Organization

Office Décor for Spring and Summer

Friends, it is FINALLY spring!

I feel a bit silly saying that considering that we have had spring weather here for two weeks or so now and then had a cold front come through on the actual first of day of spring.
Thank you, Mother Nature.

Anyway, for as much as I loved my winter décor in my office, I have been anxious to finally change it out to bright colors for spring and summer. For a while, I considered splitting the seasons as I did for fall and winter, but these two seasons always running together and considering how much travel I will have over the next few months, it just made more sense.

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See my Fall decorations HERE.
And my Winter decorations HERE.

Fall is my favorite season overall, but my love for flowers, sunshine, summer nights and all things warm weather related knows no end. The first day that it was 70 degrees here, I was so happy, and if my mother didn’t already know that the change of the season make me a little loopy then she probably would have thought I was on something.

Once again, I was happy with how everything came together and turned out. My co-workers are still amused that I put so much effort into this, but I think they are starting to understand that I need my office space to be put together and cheery for me to feel comfortable and productive. And I’ve said it before, but creative projects like this is a therapy outlet for me. Now if only my wallet would feel the same way!

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This display sits on top of my bookshelf. The glass terrarium is the same one from Michael’s that I bought for my winter display. I was really struggling with how I could use it again for these seasons until I was actually back at the store in the aisle I had first found it and was reminded of what a terrarium actually is. After picking out the layers to fill it with I ended up planning the rest of the decorations and flowers for the wreath around the rich color scheme. The turquoise chalkboard sign was a find from the $3 dollar bins at the Target and the purple lantern was another random find at Michael’s that was just too cute not to add.

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This display sits on one corner of my U-shaped desk. The flowers are all silks leftover from the one I used in the burlap wreath. The little tin is actually from my evergreen tree (or branch?) that I bought for my winter décor from Trader Joes. The “fleurs” basket and bottles were on my must-have list when I was planning my decorations out and I found them on a sale at Michaels! I am really excited for the wheat display and plan on keeping that out year-round. The wheat bouquet are just silks from Michaels, but the kernels are from our supplies here at the office and I layered each of the six U.S. wheat classes in the vase.

Happy Spring!

Cheers.

Year in Review

Where It All Begins: 2015, A Year in Review

With the new year approaching, I was struggling to come up with a witty way to review my 2015, like I did at the end of 2014. But then again, that post always makes me laugh, because so much was about to happen and I had NO CLUE. Over the past year, I’ve thought a lot about that new year’s celebrated on San Antonio Riverwalk with my friends during our Alamo Bowl trip. I remember being really happy, and though I had told myself two months before that I wasn’t going to look, but was going to be open to new job opportunities, I really did love my life in Kansas. I had no clue that just nine days later I was going to apply for a job in Washington D.C. and that a very short two months later I was going to start all over and move halfway across the country AGAIN to the place I had dreamed about since I was little.

2015 was full of adventure and taking risks. It was a year where I challenged myself and when I really learned about value. How to work toward better valuing my friends and family, criticism and praise, life and opportunity. Many of my values were strengthened and some I chose to question. And I learned to better value myself. In the book “Let’s All Be Brave” by Annie F. Downs that I have (very) slowly been working through there is a line that says, “–that I am who I am on purpose.” That thought really struck me and I’ve carried it with me ever since (literally, as the picture on my phone’s lock screen.). In the blogging world, a lot of people talk about choosing a “focus” word or phrase for the coming year and at the end of 2014, I thought I would join. My Grammy had given me a token that said “Shine From Within,” and I thought about how that sentiment could mean so many different things. I don’t know if I “focused” on that phrase as much as I said I would, but I do believe that I worked toward being my more authentic self. Of course there are always many more miles to go, and maybe I’ll find new definitions for that phrase, but I can say in full confidence, that I like where I am headed in 2016.

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Let’s not skip past 2015 though, because it’s certainly not a year that I ever want to forget.

In 2015, I took a new job and moved to Washington D.C.

On January 9th I heard about a job opening at U.S. Wheat Associates
On February 9th I accepted a job there as a Communications Specialist
On March 9th I was all moved in and had my first day as a “wheatie.”
And by April 9th, I knew I had found someplace special.
The learning curve is still really steep and I might live by “fake it till you make it” forever, but I honestly love my job. I love my office environment, the work, the farmers I work for and feel so lucky to have so many great co-workers. I love the feeling that I’m doing something that benefits others and in an industry that I believe in with every part of me.

I REALLY miss both Kansas and Oregon, but I am confident that this is where I need to be in my life right now.

In 2015, I explored my new home.

Looking back I don’t really remember much in March and April. I think it was all I could do to go to work and learn as much as I could everyday and curl up on the couch when I got home. But I’ve always dreamed of living here and eventually I began explore. I am fascinated by this place. So much history, so many unique people and there is always a dozen or so fun events going on here. I am continuing to slowly work my way through the tourist attractions (saving some for when I have visitors) and searching out some of the lesser known sights. I love visiting Arlington Cemetery, running on the Mall and saying Hi to Lincoln. I crossed off an item off of my bucket list and watched fireworks on the Mall and enjoyed the cherry blossoms in the spring. Anyone who would like to visit, let me know, I am honing my skills as a tour guide 🙂

In 2015, I had so many opportunities to travel.

My job took me back to Kansas, San Diego, Phoenix, Lake Tahoe and on my first big international trip to Guatemala.
I had the chance for a quick trip home and to the cabin over the summer, celebrated my sister’s 21st birthday in Las Vegas, my 25th birthday back in Kansas and witnessed my friend Blaine’s wedding. I spent Friendsgiving in North Carolina and Christmas at home again with my family.

At one point in the summer I went 8 weeks where I never spent more than 8 days in a row in D.C. This is the life friends. There is a lot of ugly that goes on in the world, but I still refuse to believe that it’s not beautiful.

In 2015, I really valued my time with my family and friends.

My grandparents are the true rockstars of the year. They cut their anniversary trip short to fly to Kansas to help me pack and then made the drive East with me. And I don’t know which was more horrible, the weather on the drive or my attitude. I put all of my stress and worry on them and all they did was love me back. I am still incredibly grateful for the help and support.

Even though I moved to the East coast I still got to spend quality time with people that I love and as I mentioned above, shared many celebrations together. I had a few visitors to my new home, including my best friend Richole from Oregon and my college friend Chelsea, who is now a fellow Virginian at Virginia Tech. And most importantly I am starting to build a life here and making new friends

In 2015, I did things that made me happy.

I became a resident of Virginia and began to embrace my new home.
I began a window garden again, and failed, AGAIN.
I continued to do some DIY projects and finished my very first crochet project.
I discovered the BEST semi-annual book sale at the local library and added so many new books to my own library.
I finally got a professional camera and am enjoying learning how to better use it and sharing those images with others.
I really dove into blogging, sharing my love for music, scrapbooking my life and felt so rewarded and motivated by my new “The Road I Traveled” series. And those are all just SOME of the highlights.

There is a lot that I am hopeful for in 2016.
I hope that I continue to grow, build my self confidence and be someone that I can be proud of.
I hope that I keep learning and become a better communicator and agriculturist. I hope to better serve others, both in my career and everyone who deserves the best from me. I hope to continue to have wanderlust and be brave enough to take risks. And most of all I am always hopeful for health and happiness, for myself and those I love.
There are a lot of things that we can be in this life, but I think just being simply happy, is the best there is.

I have lots of goals and adventures to be had, so 2016, I hope you are ready, because I am not slowing down.

And of course, my list of favorite music this year is long, but these four songs are what motivated me and spoke to my heart this year.

Cheers, and Happy New Years!

Creativity and Organization

Office Winter Décor

When I first moved into my own office and decorated for fall (see that post here), I really only did so because fall is my favorite season and I thought the decorations would go well with the burlap wreath I had just made. But then my co-workers asked if I planned on switching it out for each holiday or season, and I suddenly realized I had somewhat unintentionally committed .

I don’t mind though, I mean decorated and doing things like this are kind of in my blood. Plus, when people come off the elevator into our lobby they can see straight into my office so I like that they have something nice to see.

I decided though that planning to change things out for each holiday just wasn’t practical, so for the most part, I have settled on the seasons.

I STILL haven’t finished organizing my shelf or hanging up some of my regular stuff, but winter has officially arrived in my office!

To make my decorations last through February I tried to focus on the winter season instead of just the holidays. For being 25 years old I have a bit of an obsession with the character Olaf from Frozen. I would like to clarify though, that I did not buy him for myself. Last year before Christmas, I kept sending pictures to my Mom of all of the giant stuffed Olaf’s I saw in the store or mentioned on Facebook, and joked that it was too bad that I was WAY too old to have one. So, of course this more practical sized Olaf found his way to my stocking. Anyway, after brainstorming what kind of theme I wanted to go with for my decorations, snowmen, blues and golds just seemed like the perfect fit.

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This display sits on one corner of my U-shaped desk. The table top tree and the couple of snowmen ornaments are actually mine from when I was a kid. (Thanks for sending them Mom!) The ball ornaments that you see here, as well as in the picture below in the terrarium and the wreath are all from Target. The tree skirt is actually a  small table runner from, also from Target. I originally bought the gold sticks as ornaments, but they overwhelmed the little tree so I stole the mason jar that I stash my makeup brushes in at home, and problem solved!

I realize the tree is still more of a Christmas decoration so I’ll have to eventually decide if it is going to come down much sooner than everything else.

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This display sits on top of my bookshelf. The little evergreen “tree” is from Trader Joes (only $4!) and the sign is from Target (only $3!) The glass terrarium is from Michael’s, along with the smaller fillers. After growing up in a flower shop I should have known better than to buy so many things covered in glitter. I guess for some reason I didn’t think these silks would shed as much. But no, they did. MY OFFICE WAS COVERED. It’s a good thing I’m a pro at cleaning it up and that’s not something you typically get fired for.

Cheers.

So There's That Series

What’s Up Wednesday: October 2015

Oh hey, what’s up? This link up happens the last Wednesday of every month with the same list of questions and is hosted by The Larson Lingo, Mix & Match Family and Pinterest Told Me To.

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What I’m Eating This Month…

October is National Pasta Month and the 25th was World Pasta Day. In addition to some editorial and social media coverage at work, I organized two “Pasta Day” potluck lunches at my office. I made my Grammy’s stack salad and modified it to go better with a pasta base. Everyone in the office seemed to enjoy the lunches and there were so many yummy dishes!

world pasta 1 world pasta 2 

What I’m Reminiscing About…

Turning 25 is, as the hipsters say, “giving me all the feels.”
For the most part, everything in my life can be addressed with “How did I get here?”
Not funny? Hmm inside jokes are complicated.
Anyways, I thought this Buzzfeed article, 19 Signs You’re Finally Becoming An Adult, pretty much sums up life right now.

strange kind of grown up

What I’m Loving…
Kansas City Royals!!!! #TakeTheCrown
Trader Joe’s Almond Nut Butter
The wonderful reception and feedback I am getting on my new “The Road I Traveled Series”
My new discovery… dirty chai!!!
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15 Jokes Only Extreme ‘Gilmore Girls’ Fans Understand
Updates from two of my best girls who are both due with their first babies next spring!
This 3 year old who was devastated when she found out Adam Levine was married…
Fall colors, because #basic
My family’s loving dysfunctional group text messages
The “SWORKIT lite” phone app
And this meme… Holla!
big hair

What I’ve Been Up To…
 Each month that I live here seems to go by faster! This month I turned 25, and had a pretty low-key birthday weekend because the weekend before I took advantage of having Columbus Day off and made a quick trip back to Kansas for a K-State football game and to visit with friends.

It might be awhile before I make it back there again, so I crammed as much in as I possible could and left with a full heart.

What I’m Dreading…
My always long, and always random to-do list. That’s the problem with being an obsessive list maker. I also finally got around to applying for TSA pre-check (not in time for my next trip) and got my appointment scheduled.

And as ALWAYS, I’m dreading winter. 

What I’m Working On…
I finally finished my fall burlap wreath (L) for my new office at work (which I wrote about here) and then my co-worker loved it so much that he asked me to make another one (R) for his entry way at home. I was pretty happy with how they turned out!

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What I’m Excited About…
As much as I hate winter, it does mean the holidays. Ever since I left for college, my birthday has always roughly marked two months before I go home for the holidays and when I officially start my countdown — and that had remained the same in post grad. During those two months I tend to get homesick a bit more often than usual. So… today marks 50 days until home sweet home again!

What I’m Watching…
As I mentioned in last month’s “What’s Up Wednesday” post, I was watching Friends for the first time from start to finish on Netflix and had been avoiding the last few episodes of the series because I didn’t want it to end. Well, I finally accepted it and faced the end. I sent a SnapChat of the scene where Rachel is individually saying goodbye to each of the friends to my bestie Megan in Kansas because she just finished the series as well and the scene hit a little too close to home for me…aka I cried. Seriously, every 20-something needs the friends in their lives.

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As I’m writing this I am also mastering my multi-channel TV watching skills with the Republican debate, Game 2 of the World Series (GO ROYALS) and the Trailblazers NBA season opener.
I couldn’t decide on just one.

What I’m Reading…
I skipped out last month, but I’ll recap my September and August reading list next week during Molly and Katie’s Bookworm Wednesday link-up.

This week, I also enjoyed this blog post that has been floating around titled, “Screw Finding Your Passion.” It’s a little blunt and definitely has some unnecessary language, but it really breaks down a topic that I have talked in circles about with different people and gives it a refreshing (minus the language) message that really resonated with me.

What I’m Listening To…

I haven’t posted a Friday Jam Session in a few weeks. I just haven’t been all that motivated to work on them throughout the week and when I would get to Thursday, they just didn’t happen at all. But my lists and comments are getting a bit long, so I’ll definitely be back at it this week.
In the meantime, like the rest of the world, I can’t stop listening to Adele’s new single “Hello”

And I’m loving this stripped down version “Out of the Woods” from T-Swift. I think I like it better than the original.

What I’m Wearing…

Like always, I never remember to take pictures of the (very) few outfits that I deem shareable. I did throw on my new blanket scarf this morning that I AM OBSESSED with. I mentioned last month that I spent all of last winter not being able to decide what print  and colors I wanted so I never got one. Back in August, I decided that it was a must-have item this season and finally chose this one. It is so warm and soft, and mixes and matches well with quite a bit of my wardrobe. I wore it once over dress as a shawl with a thin belt over the top… and the jury is still out on that style. But I am completely convinced that everyone needs a blanket scarf in their life.

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What I’m Doing This Weekend…
Watching the World Series and packing for my next work trip…

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month…
 Early next week I head out to Lake Tahoe for a fall board meeting for my job. Since my Spoo grandparents live nearby, they are going to pick me up from the airport and spend the rest of the day with me. I haven’t seen them in over 3 years, so I’m REALLY excited!

And of course, Thanksgiving!! This year I’m headed down to Raleigh, NC for a little Friendsgiving action with some fellow Oregonian/K-State/East Coast transplants.

This Month’s Bonus Question: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe…

Ugh. Talking holiday food traditions makes me homesick.
Dad’s tri-tip and pork loin. Grammy’s mashed potatoes. Cousin Lisa’s pretzel salad. The Jorgensen family’s sweet rolls and more… Good thing all of those things are usually at the Christmas dinner table as well.

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Well, that’s what’s up this Wednesday!
Cheers!