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!

So There's That Series

What’s Up Wednesday: August 2015

Oh hey, what’s up? I’m excited to finally jump in on this fun link up! It 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 Week…
Normally I would not really have anything interesting to share here. I don’t really enjoy cooking, so I usually keep it pretty basic. But I know that I eat better when I plan a little ahead of time and with a busy week ahead I knew that I was not going to want to come home after work each night and put any thought into it. So aside from a few of my easy go-to staples, that I bought or prepared ahead of time I also made these two recipes: Parmesan and Spinach Orzo (I substituted bleu cheese crumbles) and Baked Chicken. I have some pork and other chicken that I am trading off mixing into the orzo (although it would be good by itself,) and the baked chicken I will pair with some steamed veggies and maybe a sweet potato! I have enough for about 6 meals this week, and I am actually pretty proud of myself for how well they turned out!

What I’m Reminiscing About…
Back-to-school memories at K-State. I always LOVED the week before classes started back up. Lot of traditions, moving in to new places, buying new supplies and getting organized, and catching up with friends you haven’t seen all summer before the busy semester starts. Yepp, I officially “Miss Manhattan.” Here are a few of my favorite back-to-school college photos.

What I’m Loving…
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Making my own cold brew coffee. I’m obsessed.

What I’ve Been Up To…
This summer has been REALLY busy. Over the last eight weeks my best friend visited me here in D.C., I had work trips in San Diego and Phoenix, and I took two quick vacations home to Oregon and to Vegas. To be honest, the little bit of downtime on weeknights and weekends that I have had have been pretty laid back.

What I’m Dreading…
Flying on my upcoming trip (see below)? I don’t know, life is pretty good right now, so that would have to be it. I don’t get sick when I fly, but I never feel all that great. And honestly airports and the whole process of flying just pushes all of my buttons. I get it, you just have to practice a bit more patience then a normal day, but people who are rude or have no common sense, nope, the struggle for me is very real. Although packing is right up there with flying…

I promise, I really do love traveling.

What I’m Working On…
That’s a good question. During the day I am a communications specialist for the U.S. Wheat Associates. It’s a busy job, but I love it. I always have multiple projects going on at once, but something that is a bit different than the norm is a set of writing and editing courses that I am taking online through Poytner’s News University. Continuing education is an important part of just about any career!

What I’m Excited About…
Aside from my answers to some of the questions below? (!!!) Considering almost every blogger I follow also has a deep love for fall, I feel a bit cliché saying it, but seriously though, I’m SO EXCITED FOR FALL.

It’s my favorite season with out a doubt. I think a “Good Stuff” list about fall in the near future, not to mention increased time on Pinterest…

What I’m Watching…
friends

My list of shows to eventually binge watch on Netflix is never-ending, but for some reason I kept putting off Friends. I had seen enough random episodes over the years to know some of the references and storylines, and know that I would like it. I finally gave in and now I am wondering why the friends have not been a part of my life sooner than now, other than I might appreciate it the most right now, also being in mid-20s. I just started season 6, so I am on the downhill and I just know that I am never going to want it to end.

graceland
I remember back in 2013, when the original promos for Graceland came out and wanting to pick up, and for whatever reason, didn’t. My sister brought it back to my attention this summer, and I am definitely hooked. I love Aaron Tveit from Les Miserables and his guest spots on Gossip Girl (no shame), but I honestly expected him to be awkward in this somewhat gritty show. And he is at times…but it surprising fits into the story pretty well. Crime/cop shows are my favorite genre, and this one separates itself with an unique angle and has characters that are really easy to become invested in. I definitely recommend it!

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I have no shame. I Facetime with my friend Brandi back in Kansas and it’s the best entertainment.

What I’m Reading…
My reading list is significantly longer than my Netflix list. Throughout college I would buy cheap books here and there for my library, but didn’t get to read very many of them, because, college, duh. #herestoneverhavingtoreadatextbookagain. So essentially I have a ton of unread books on my shelf, yet I have no willpower from buying books that are popular right now and reading them right away. This month I only read one book…
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I read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, the same author who brought us Gone Girl. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Like Gone Girl it was twisted, with well-crafted scenes and characters, and also very hard to review without giving too much away. I will say that this one was just a tad bit predictable before I would have liked (still a good shock though) and I felt like after so much detail, the ending was kind of misplaced and hasty. On the other hand, this book makes you think A LOT, which I particularly like. Definitely recommend it!

What I’m Listening To…
I recently started up a new version of my Friday Jam Sessions, sharing each Friday what I have been listening to throughout the week. Check it out HERE.

Friday Jam Session

What I’m Wearing…
I don’t really consider myself that fashionable, but I like to look nice. I also don’t usually take mirror pictures… so maybe next time, maybe. But I am looking forward to a change in wardrobe with the upcoming change of season, especially so I can wear my new scarf! All of fall and winter, I really wanted a blanket scarf but couldn’t make up my mind on wanted. This year I told myself that I was going to make a decision and stick to it. This is what is on its way in the mail right now…
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What I’m Doing This Weekend…
I’m going to Guatemala!!
I will be spending six day in Antigua, Guatemala at a World Staff Conference for my job. In addition to our East and West Coast U.S. offices, we also have 15 Foreign Offices around the world, so every other year this conference happens. Yes, a lot of my time will be spent in meetings at the resort, but I will still get to enjoy quite a few things. We have a day-long hike up the Pacaya volcano and weather permitting, I am going to be going zip lining! This is my first big international trip aside from a vacation in Mexico so I am extremely excited! I will be taking my camera, so be prepared for lots of pictures!

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month…
K-STATE FOOTBALL!!!!!
I’ve said many times that my perfect last day on earth includes a K-State Gameday and I know that I am going to be incredibly homesick for Kansas this fall. But I am very excited to join some of the watch parties here in D.C. and meet some new friends here that also bleed purple.

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Source.

This Month’s Bonus Question: What’s Your Favorite Back to School Tradition…

 So I definitely wrote the above answers before I read what the bonus question was. Oh well. We didn’t really have an consistent traditions growing up and I already mentioned that the week before school started at K-State was always my favorite. I will say my favorite thing at the end of the first week of school was sitting down with all of my syllabi and extra curricular schedules and organizing it all in my planner. I even had erasable colored pencils… #nerdalert

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

So There's That Series

So There’s That: Vol. 3

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five” except it’s probably not Friday and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. This is my# postgradlife.}

1. Method-Tasting

So just in case you didn’t get the memo or have been living underneath a rock…bacon is hot {aside from literally.} It’s a hot, fun, hipster, trendy food and people can’t seem to get enough of it. Now, I’ve always known bacon was great but everyone and their grandma is now fascinated with this breakfast side. From wrapping it around other foods, desserts, cocktails and multiple snacks, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it all now. {Check out the Today Show’s Pinterest Board.} Now considering I work in the pork industry, I think its important for us to run with this bacon craze while its in style. Personally, I prefer to eat my bacon traditionally but I understand the importance of walking the talk, so recently my co-worker and I did a little taste testing on our own.

bacon tasting

First, on our way to a meeting to Topeka, we tried the Peanut Butter Bacon shake at Sonic. I was pretty skeptical at first, but it wasn’t bad. I am a huge peanut butter fan and the shake definitely had plenty of that. The bacon part though, was a little disappointing. There was hardly any in there!  From the little bit that I did get, I got a sweet and salty savory taste, and like it would on your breakfast plate, it blended well with the peanut butter. Apparently Sonic doesn’t always skimp on the bacon though. I heard from another source that their shake was loaded with chunks of bacon, so that’s good to hear. Second, on my way back from a work trip in central Kansas,  I was getting tired on the drive so I stopped for some sunflower seeds – my go-to trick for staying awake on the road. Next to my normal buy, was this bacon salt flavored package for a dollar less. Sure, why not? At first I liked them. They definitely have the smokey bacon flavor going on and just the right amount of salt. But after a while they started to develop an odd after taste. So they weren’t quite the rock star purchase that I was hoping for but they did do their job of getting me home safely. Now don’t let my C average grade on these two bacon products discourage you. There are many more out there that are fantastic and worth trying! What interesting bacon products are you into?

2. Pass it on…

This warms my heart. Mr Kemper and his family took their vision and invested in it, and I am one of the many people whose life has been made better by that vision. Because of my involvement in AFA, my journey has been set on a path infused with joy, learning, family, integrity and experiences that I will cherish forever. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to share just how thankful I am, but I can promise that I will always continue to “pass it on.”

4. Oregon Dinner

This great big world is actually pretty small and I prefer it that way. One by one Manhattan has slowly become infested by Oregonians in the best way possible. Last week, Lee Letsch, a friend through Oregon FFA and the pork business, took a detour from meetings in Kansas City and visited Nicole, Jake, Brett and I in Manhattan. It was great to catch up over dinner and since Lee spent a year here during college herself, we took her around to show her what has and hasn’t changed around town.

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L to R: Me, Brett, Lee, Jake and Nicole

3. Whyifarm.com

I don’t farm, but my job is to represent those who do and http://whyifarm.com is a great testimony and example of why they are worth working for. Check out many more videos like this one below on the site.

5. 22 Signs You’ve Found Your Best Friend Forever

My reactions upon reading this list: (a.) Sometimes I wonder if my life is being secretly filmed. (b.) How concerned should I be if I can relate to 99.9% of this list? (c.) I seriously have some awesome best friends.

22 Signs You’ve Found Your Best Friend Forever

Peace out kids,
Amanda

So There's That Series

So There’s That: Vol. 1

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five” except it’s probably not Friday and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. This is my# postgradlife.}

1. Fish Tacos
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Domestication, one step at a time…
I used corn tortillas, lettuce, cheese, chipotle dressing and cod skin less fish steaks with a bit of lemon pepper and chili powder.
They were delicious.

2. Concert

The roommate and I ventured to Starlight Theatre in KC last Friday to see Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, Capital Cities, Family of the Year and Churchill. Check out my preview post from last week’s Friday Jam Session.

3. Summer Sips and Dips

Our whole apartment was in town last weekend so of course we had to plan a little shindig. We provided the chips, fruit and veggies, and guests brought their favorite dip and drink to share. These pictures were from early on in the evening but there were about 14 of us, which was the perfect size! Great to catch up mid-summer with everyone!

4. Hunger Games memes
This site will make your day.
The Hunger Games
These are some of my favorites

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5. And going back to that concert…

Imagine Dragons were absolutely amazing. They have such a refreshing take on what it means to be artists and making art in the form of music. But as great as the main act was, they already had me won over before. Twenty One Pilots, however, were very new to me and stole the show in that regard. They are weird, crazy weird. But then my roommate finds this awesome Elvis cover….what?  Mind blown. So good.

Yah, so there’s that.