Monday, June 15, 2015

{C A L I F O R N I A ' 1 5}

For our family vacation this year we went to California. Every time I think of California, The O.C. theme song comes to my head with the hilarious Seth Cohen and Summer Roberts' constant teasing-bickering-but I still love you relationship. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go watch it right now.

 Anyway, we decided to go to California for two reasons. First, because I wanted to meet Justin's Grandpa, Aunt, and Uncle. We were lucky enough to stay with them, and I was able to get to know them and see the characters that are in so many stories, especially when Kathy responds to something Justin did, "Thats so Rob!"  I'm so lucky to be a part of the Nielsen and Joyce family! Secondly, Justin just finished his first round of boards for his Chiropractic School and we thought it would be fun to go on a vacation to have a break from school and relieve all of his stress between semesters. This vacation did not disappoint!

 The first day we got there started off rough. Guys, NEVER use the car rental company called SIXT. At least in San Diego. They tried to snake away more money then they originally priced us and made us believe we had to buy all sorts of unnecessary insurances. After three trips downtown and back, we finally got it down to the original price. Afterwards, we went to In-N-Out. I have NO idea what all the rave is about this place, its just like any other fast food burger, if not worse! It actually made both of us sick, but we weren't going to let that stop us and we endured the tough life of sitting on a beach.

                                                                                      (First day at the beach. So excited!)

 We tried to hit all the beaches while we were there for the week. We went to Pacific beach (PB), Mission Beach, Coronado Beach, Del Mar Beach, and La Jolla Beach. Everyone asked me which beach I liked the most and I think theres a 3 way tie but each of them for different reasons.

Pacific Beach was one of my favorites because it was the best beach to swim in. We spent a second day there because of how much we loved the boogie boarding action! It had the best waves, a beautiful pier, and everybody was really friendly. To top it off, it had the best ice cream place there. (thats really saying something since I'm not a fan of ice cream) Its called The Baked Bear. You make your own ice cream sandwiches by either picking a brownie or different kind of cookies for your top and bottom then you have many choices of ice cream to put between, naturally mint chip between a pair of brownies IS the way to go!

Del Mar was beautiful. If you want to look at the prettiest sunset over the ocean, go to Del Mar. Absolutely stunning. Its the perfect place to go for a date night! We went to En Fuego (the best Mexican restaurant I've ever been to) and then watched the sunset and just enjoyed life with my husband. We loved it so much we went there for two nights as well. We saw quite a few surfers which just added to the iconic California sunset scene.

Now La Jolla (la jollololllola as justin said)! Oh my goodness, I love that place! Sea lions galore! Anyone that knows me and knows I love ALL animals can understand why I was in heaven. I didn't want to leave! You could get right up next to them and they wouldn't mess with you. Wellllll....with the exception of Justin that is. He walked past one and it started barking and chasing him. He screamed his dramatic scream that sounds like a little girl (I'm sure you all know which one I'm talking about). It was seriously one of the funniest things I have ever seen, the looks people gave him added to the hilarity! Back to the sea lions, people were even able to snorkel with them! Spotted along coast there were a bunch of rocks you could walk on and get splashed by the waves. I even saw dolphins swimming out in the distance. If you're ever in San Diego, you HAVE to go to La Jolla.

(the sea lion is photo bombing us)

I kept hearing that the San Diego Zoo was the best zoo ever and so of course I had to go. In my opinion, it was pretty neat but the Omaha Zoo still beats it by a long shot. Ive been to my fair share of zoos and this had nothing special. I felt bad for the animals because almost none of them had a buddy with them. My favorite part were the Jaguars, there was a little cub that kept pouncing on its mother. It was the cutest thing ever, along with the baby monkey! I could have done without the monkey that would vomit into it's cupped hand, then eat what it could grab out of the soup...

We took Justin's grandpa to a winery that he used to visit every Sunday and listen to the live Jazz music. I absolutely love Jazz music, but seeing that smile on Grandpas face made it 10x better! Afterwards, we went back to Justin's Aunt and Uncle's house and had carne asada. It was my first time having carne asada, and won't be my last time, It was so delicious!

In the end, I think I became a Cali girl (at least in spirit)! Im so happy we were able to make it and can't wait to go back. It was definitely a trip I won't ever forget. Its the perfect spot to vacation at and I will be back. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

{Hobbies: Do what you love}

Recently, I have come to the realization of the importance of having at least one hobby that you really enjoy. Everyone should find something that they can first learn and educate themselves about it. In my opinion, I think it's really important to always learn something new and make your brain work everyday. Luckily, I have a very smart husband thats always teaching me things, especially about history. (He's a History junkie) After you learn about the new hobby you want to take on, you practice and practice and become an expert. You can ALWAYS be better and learn more, so challenge yourself.

 After work I would come home and make dinner then usually afterwards, Justin would have to go study.  Netflix is usually my go-to and for anyone who knows me knows I get very stir crazy. I can't sit very long and just do nothing. It drives me crazy and makes me feel extremely lazy. When I came to the realization that I needed a hobby it was hard to pick what I wanted to do because it was Winter. I already workout in the morning and love having that as one of my hobbies, but what am I going to do in the evening or when I have days off? Then it dawned on me. I want to learn how to sew!

 I knew sewing could be challenging, so of course I wanted to learn. My mother and mother in-law knew a few basics that they taught me and then after that I went online to look up blogs, pinterest, etc., to teach myself. I still have a TON of learning to do, but so far I am really happy with what I have done. I will keep working and challenging myself so I can become great at what I love doing. The only downside to sewing, it can be expensive. I always look for great deals (Hobby Lobby usually haves a ton).

My older sister is having a baby boy, so I thought it was perfect to make a baby blanket and burp cloth for my first project. It was my very first sewing project ever so there are probably a couple of mistakes but  I'm still learning!!

Since I have started to do some yoga and hate carrying my yoga mat everywhere I thought a yoga mat bag would be perfect for my second project. I am very happy with how it turned out!!

For my third project I made this cute little apron for my niece!

A couple of blogs I keep up with has inspired me to refashion clothes.  This will be my first project and can't wait to see how it turns out!

(before picture)

 Eventually I want to put up tutorials, but first I want to make sure I'm teaching you the right things. I've learned what to do and what not to do with each project. I hope to continue to learn more about sewing and becoming the best I can. Im so happy with the hobby I have picked and would encourage anyone and everyone to find a hobby. Find one challenging. Find one that would be useful. But most of all, find one that you love!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

{March, you're awesome}

When we were younger and had to go to a new place like school, sports, clubs, etc, we would always play 'getting to know you' games. One of the games that always stood out to me was the one where we had to throw a beach ball around with questions on it and where ever your left hand landed, you had to answer that question. One of the popular questions was "What is your favorite month and why?" Most people would say December because of Christmas or whatever their birthday month was and I of course said May because its my birthday month.

 Now that I think about it, March is definitely my favorite month. Why you might ask? First, its my anniversary month! The month I married my best friend, the man I couldn't imagine my life without.

Second, because its the month of SPRING!! 
(March 20th)

I couldn't have said it any better.

 Lastly, I love March because the weather is starting to get a lot nicer, which means we can start to grill more often! We get to hang out outside and throw the football around and enjoy the nice weather while waiting for our food to cook on the grill. 

 March is especially busy for our family this year.  To comfort me in this busy month, I lucked out and get to watch my in-laws dog! I'm SO excited because I now have a running partner just in time for this amazing weather (our landlord won't let us have a dog so this will have to do!)  The major reason this month is busy though is because Justin has his first round of boards! He has been studying so hard and soon boards will be behind us, and he can destress (although he has to wait 2-3 super stressful months for the results). I'm so proud of how smart and dedicated he is to his future for us and our future family. He amazes me more and more everyday. 

And that is why I love March!

Monday, December 8, 2014

{Merry Christmas banner}

Recently I've been wanting to find a hobby to keep me busy while my husband is studying for school, which is ALL the time. I'm so lucky to have such a hard working husband that loves what he is doing. I cant wait to see what the future has in store for us!

 I've come to find that I enjoy crafting. My first little project I did is a "Merry Christmas" banner. I've been needing some decorations in my house and its Christmas time, so I thought this would be perfect! I am really happy with the way it turned out, especially since I'm new to this.

 What you need-
  1. Burlap (I found mine at Wal-Mart but you can get it at any craft store)
  2. Fabric Scissors
  3. Paint (I used the brand called Folk Art and used the color Cardinal Red)
  4. Ruler
  5. Marker
  6. Stencils
  7. Sponge brush
  8. Ribbon
  9. Hot glue gun

Step 1- Measure your first triangle. The measurements really depend on what size your stencils are. Use your first triangle to trace 14 triangles with your marker. I found it easier to trace the same one so you don't have to keep measuring out a triangle.

Step 2- Cut out all of your triangles

Step 3- Pour your paint onto a plate then lay your stencils on top of your triangle. (I recommend putting it all on newspaper so you don't get paint on your table.) Now just dab your brush in the paint and dab it over your stencil and onto your burlap!

Step 4- After you do all your letters, lay it out to dry. It takes about 30 minutes.

Step 5- Last step, super glue the burlap triangles onto the ribbon and you're done! All you have to do now is hang it up!

Since I'm new at this, I didn't realize the burlap would fray. I've read that I should've used "Fray Stop Spray" and you can get that at Hobby Lobby, Joanns, or any craft store. 

If you want to do an easy Christmas art project, I recommend this. Its super easy and most of all, TONS of fun!! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

{Happiness is when...}

"Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There's going to be stress in life, but its your choice whether you let it affect you or not." -Valerie Bertinelli

I think often people focus too much on the negative things rather than the happy and positive things in their life. I know I'm guilty of it, but recently I have been choosing to be happy. To me happiness is when:

  • Hitting all green lights on the way to my next destination
  • Getting done with a good workout
  •  Sleeping on clean sheets
  • Coming home to clean house
  • Coming home to my sweet husband and ornery cat
  • The Holidays
  • Making someone smile/laugh
  • Eating Pizza Rolls
  • Watching One Tree Hill
  • Talking to my best friend on the phone
  • Finding a new book you cant put down
  • Candles
  • Having a good relationship with my parents
  • Having wonderful In-Laws
  • Monkeys
  • Good Music
  • Finding jeans that fits perfectly
  • Helping others out
  • Having a day off with my husband
That's just the start. I could go on and on about what makes me happy. I'm very grateful for the life that I have and wouldn't change it for anything. Appreciate the little things in life and be thankful for what God has given us.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{Fall Bucket List}

Leaves changing colors. Sweater weather. Scarves and boots. Cuddling. Football. Cool air. Pumpkins. Good smelling candles. Hello Fall.
"Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything burst with its last beauty, as if nature has been saving up all year for the grand finale."- Lauren DeStefano
Lauren couldn't have said it any better! 

This year, my husband and I came up with a bucket list we want to do this season. Oh the joy of being able to share all these fun activities with my husband!

- Go to a pumpkin patch...Done!
- Go apple picking
- Carve pumpkins
- Go through a corn maze...Done!
- Go horseback riding
- Take fall pictures
- Make fall cookies
- Go to a football game
- Go on a fall foliage drive
- Do a service project
- Go to the Louisburg Cider Mill...Done!

At the Louisburg Cider Mill

What's on your bucket list this fall?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

{The Story Of Us}

December 11 2010 is the day that changed both of our lives in ways neither of us could have predicted.

      That day Justin was living in Moscow, Russia serving his 2 year mission for The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was playing Hockey with some of his friends and church members and he broke his leg. It would end his mission early, leaving him questioning why this would happen?
      That night I was a normal sophomore that went to bed and had a dream. It wasn't a normal dream.  It was pitch black and I could only hear a voice. That voice said "your future husband is on his mission right now and preparing to come home." I thought it was really obscure. I told my mom the next morning and she told me to write it down and see what happens. Over two years went by until Justin and I began dating. We were reading through his mission journals and found the broken leg entry. A couple days later I was cleaning my room and found the piece of paper I had completely forgotten about. When I noticed the dates are the same I told Justin about it, and joked that his leg broke - setting a chain of events that would lead him to me.  Essentially I broke his leg.

It was love at first sight...kinda.

     I knew OF Justin because he dated an old friend of mine for a time. On Monday July 9th, 2012 I went to play volleyball at my church. A bunch of us were playing volleyball for a few hours and I kept picking on the cute blonde-haired boy. I kicked his butt :) Afterwards, a group of us went to the movies to see Spider-Man, he and his friend decided to tag along. Our group wanted to get ice-cream after the movie, but Justin said he was craving a slushie from Sonic. He asked if anyone else wanted one, to which I hurriedly said yes [I hate ice-cream after-all]. It felt like he was driving really far, but kept reassuring me that it was the closest one.  Later I found out he knew of five that were closer, but wanted an excuse to talk with the cute girl. As we were driving he said, "So whats your story?"  I told him about myself for awhile.  After a decently long trek, we met back up with our friends and all went our separate ways.

      That Sunday I was sitting with my friends talking after church, when he approached me and asked, "Hey I'd like to get a group of people to play volleyball more often. Since I'm new-I don't know anyone, can I have your number so we can set things up?" After a hesitant glance from my friend [his now ex] I got the "okay" glance. That night he messaged me...but we never talked about getting a group of people to play volleyball. I find out later it was the best excuse he could come up with to get my number. The next day, July 16, we went on our first date to the park to work out, then went to get a Sonic drink. We sat on his car and talked for what seemed like an hour or so. Nope!  Four hours later, and its 3 am!  The following four months went just like that night, we couldn't spend enough time together.

November 21 2012
The proposal...

 Around the holiday's, Justin's family takes annual pictures. That year they chose to do them at a lake behind their house. Once the family pictures were done, the photographer said she wants to take couple pictures next. She said, "How about we do Justin and Amber first? Go over there on the dock and just pretend we aren't here - be cute." So Justin being the goof he is says, "Lets shake our butts at them." I later find out that's the sign to his family to pull out their phones and take pictures, so he could get lots of different angles of the proposal.

Justin got down on one knee, then asked me to marry him. And of course i said yes! To which everyone cheers.

                                                                               I knew what was happening now.

                                                                     The dang wind wouldn't stop blowing my hair.

4 months later...

    March 16 2013 was windy and cold, but it was the best day of my life. That's the day I married the love of my life.

   I got up super early to get ready to be married at 12:30. We got sealed for eternity at the Kansas City Temple. Later that evening we had our reception, celebrating with all of our family and friends.

    It's been a little over a year and we couldn't be happier! I don't regret one bit getting married young. Some people have called it stupid and foolish, but I know its the best decision I have ever made, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

                                                         Here's a video. ENJOY!