About Me

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I'm a 23 year old Business Systems Analyst planning a DIY-heavy wedding to the love of my life on 9 . 10 . 11. Other then wedding planning, I spend most of my time trying to stay in shape or playing with my 3 dogs...Gabby, Dudley, and Tyson. I hate cleaning and almost never go a day without wearing something purple, and I hope you can keep up with my ADD blogging style!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fitness Recap Friday! And an update on the tubes in my ears...

Happy Friday everybody!  It wasn't my best week, but it definitely wasn't my worst either!  My shoulder got really bad throughout the day on Friday (it was hard for me to run errands, nevermind even think about working out) so I took the weekend off.  If there's one thing I know for sure, it isn't worth it to "push through the pain" and workout anyways, I'm much better off letting myself heal and then being able to actually workout full force.

But, I'm still doing my Turbo Fire program!  After how many weeks (almost 6 in all) I'm almost done with the first month of the schedule, lol, but I'm still really enjoying it.  In fact, I think I like it more now since I've gotten used to Chalene's cues and the choreography in general so I can workout harder without having to think so much!

Monday I did HIIT 20 Sculpt 30; love the resistance training in this program.  I actually makes me want to invest in the advanced DVDs which focus more on strength training than cardio.  HIIT20 isn't my favorite, I get kinda bored while doing it to be quite honest, but it definitely makes me sweat!

Tuesday I took off, still letting my shoulder heal and I was running around like a mad woman to get an Etsy order in the mail (for the most adorable cocktail napkins - you can see them here) so I chose to take a day off!

Wednesday was HIIT 20 Stretch 10.  Again, I'm not a huge fan of the HIIT20 workout, and I'm a little disappointed that they only really include 1 stretching routine (they just put the same one on every DVD in the program) because it gets kinda old.  But whatever, it's a good stretch routine, I would just like to be able to mix it up every now and again, know what I mean?

Thursday was Fire 55 EZ, but my stomach was kinda bothering me so I wasn't able to put as much into the workout as I would have liked.  Still definitely feel a greater sense of accomplishment after a Fire workout than a HIIT workout for sure!

Tonight is supposed to be a Core workout and an extended stretch (the one that I think is super boring) and I haven't decided if I'm going to do it or not.  I think I want to at least do the Core portion, but that kind of depends on what Bryan and I are doing tonight!

How was your week workout wise?

Oh, and an update on my ear-tubes.  Lately I've been feeling/hearing my pulse in my left ear.  It comes and goes, but sometimes it'll last for hours and make me feel like I'm losing my mind.  I was able to get an appointment with my Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor this morning and apparently that's normal and the only way to fix it would be to remove the tube.  Since it isn't happening all the time, I don't want to remove the tube since I can finally ride an elevator without being in excruciating pain, but if it gets any worse I might have to.  It's really hard to concenctrate when you're hearing/feeling your pulse in your head!  So, everyone, fingers crossed that it stops (because it might just stop)!

And, my hearing isn't back to 100% what it was before the surgery, but that isn't anything to worry about.  I'm not having trouble hearing people, and it should continue to get better as time goes on.

On a completely un-related note...does it look like Chalene Johnson has implants?


 This one is the kicker:
Because seriously...as I get in better shape my boobs seem to just melt away.  I want her boobs.  Is that a weird thing to say?  Yup.  Is it the truth?  Heck yes! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Might be addding another project to my list of DIYs....

Because I have fallen head over heals in love with this beauty:


::swoon::  Seriously...not only are they gorgeous they match my whimsical land of circles/bubbles theme perfectly!  I just saw this for the first time yesterday, and I've already started scoping out supplies on ebay!

Yes, it would be another long, boring project but, I would no longer need to be making my bridal bouquet the day before the wedding.  That is a huge plus!  The only thing is, I'm not sure what I would do for the bridesmaids' bouquets.  MOH Sam mentioned just doing hydrangea and pearls/crystals which I think is a good idea, but I would definitely have to do a practice run first.

Also, I don't think I would do mine in all white.  I know, I'm the bride, but all white just really isn't my thing.  I think I would have to throw in a few different purples/reds to really make it suit me.

So, what do you think?  And if you were having a pearl/crystal bouquet what would you want for your bridal party?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weddzilla Wednesday!

Today I posted on Weddzilla and you can find it here.
I would also like to take this time to point out the different pages of my blog! Directly above the "about me" section there are tabs for "Countdown to the Big Day" (which has a countdown as well as some pretty awesome timelines/calendars), "Completed DIYs" (pictures of my completed projects with links to the post about them) and "Favorite Etsy Sales" (just pictures of projects that I've done for other people that I really like). You should go check them out!

Oh, and Happy Wednesday...just two more days of work until the weekend!
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blogger ABCs - MandaMack Edition!

I'm jumping on the bandwagon...hehe...

A. Age: 23

B. Bed size: King – anything smaller just wouldn’t cut it with 3 large dogs who like to snuggle!

C. Chore you hate: All of them?  The worst is washing dishes because it ruins your nails.  And no, I won’t wear rubber gloves, they make my hands smell and feel disgusting.

D. Dogs: aka my babies? Gabby, Dudley, and Tyson!

 E. Essential start to your day: The first thing I do when I wake up is check my emails (on my phone).  I know, it’s pathetic.  But you never know when there’s gonna be a killer groupon, and if anyone left comments on my blog while I was sleeping it is a very happy start to my day (hint hint)!

F. Favorite color: Purple.

G. Gold or silver: Can I say white gold?

H. Height: 5'8”

I. Instruments: In elementary school I played the flute.  I stopped because I was doing too many extracurricular activities and my band instructor flipped out.

J. Job title: Associate Business System Analyst

K. Kids: Only furbabies for now…other than the dogs, gotta give a shout out to the cats, Charles and Louie

L. Live: Pittsburgh

M. Mom’s name: Kathleen – good Irish name!

N. Nicknames: My family members call me Mandy (this is not an invitation for anyone outside of my family to call me that) and my father calls me Midgie (short for midget, because although I’m the tallest now, being the youngest sibling at one point I was the smallest).  And Bryan calls me Babs because I call him Bunny!

O. Overnight hospital stays: Once – different story for a different day.

P. Pet peeve: I have so many if I listed them all I would sound like the biggest bitch in the world.  But a good one for today is people that are in business/business casual attire and wear sneakers for their commute.  There are plenty of comfortable flats out there people!  Your bright white sketcher shape ups look ridiculous with that suit!

Q. Quote from a movie: “Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life.  You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”  That’s from Tuck Everlasting (movie/book) and I love it.

R. Right or left handed: Right – lefties are evil.

S. Siblings: Two older sisters, Rachael and Katelyn

Thats us mocking my mom for a face she makes in pictures to
make her cheek bones look more defined

 T. Time you wake up: Around 6 basically every day.  On a rare occasion the dogs will let me sleep until 7 on the weekends, but those days are few and far between.

U. Underwear: VICTORIA SECRET!  I used to think buying expensive panties was a waste until I bought them and realized how worth it they are!

V. Vegetables you dislike: Raw carrots.  Raw red peppers.  Apart from that, I actually really like vegetables!

W. What makes you run late: The dogs/cats being adorable and snuggly so I don’t want to get out of bed.  Realizing I have to iron my clothes (I have a new criteria for a good work shirt – if it is cute and doesn’t have to be ironed, it is mine).  My hair being crazy and me trying to tame it until I give up and just pull it back into a bun.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth at the dentist, my spine (I have degenerative subluxation of my lower lumbar spine – aka I my spine looks like a ? from the side instead of an S), my hips after I got hit by a car.

Y. Yummy food you make: 95% of the stuff I make is yummy (what can I say, I’m a good cook).  Topping my list would have to be raspberry cheese cake with a chocolate crust and my mom’s recipe for a Boston Crème Ring…yummmmm.
So that one cracked...it was still delicious!

Z. Zoo- favorite animal: To wear…zebra.  Although I would never wear real zebra skin, I just really like zebra print.  Favorite animal to just look at would be an elephant!  They’re just so majestic looking.  I’m actually wearing an elephant necklace right now (they’re supposed to be good luck).
You can get one too from the Etsy seller Leslie 23

Monday, April 25, 2011

DIY Wedding How-To Video!

Today I posted my first ever how-to video!  Since it's Monday, it's on Weddzilla, and you can find it here!

Please please please critique my vlogging abilities!  I was really nervous and would love to do more of these, but any advice you guys have would be much appreciated!

Take Something Ordinary, and Make It Amazing!

So, for this post I'm kinda just gonna let the pictures speak for themselves.

First, ordinary homemade cookies turned into awesome Easter cookies:

Next, take some cheap-o plates (from Walmart), an old candlestick from Goodwill, and a drawer pull from Lowe's and make a gorgeous and unique cookie tray (instructions found here - and I'll be making a bunch of these for the wedding too!):

Put them together (with some candy) for an amazing Easter Treat Presentation:

Yay for baking and DIY fun!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Soooo...veil...yes or no?

I took my first stab at making a birdcage veil (I used the instructions here).  Since it was just my first shot, I used super cheap-o tulle, but I have nicer stuff to use once I'm comfortable with how I'm going to make it.  And the headband/flower is actually a headband from Burlington Coat Factory that I got for $2!!!  I wouldn't wear it for the actual wedding, but I would create my own (that one is super small {ouch} and the pearls are super cheap looking).

So, what do you all think?  Should I go for it and make a nice one, or are birdcage veils not my thing? (PS - those are the earrings I'll be wearing, they were my Gram's and I love them!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fitness Recap Friday!

Happy Friday Everyone!  And today is an extra happy Friday, because it is Good Friday and I don't have to work!!!!!  So I'm sitting here with my laptop and my coffee, watching a super old season of Project Runway (from 2006 - the one with the red-head mean lady, the guy with the neck tattoo, and the red-head pageant dress designer - really good season) and loving life!

I decided I wanted to eat pancakes for breakfast, and I enjoyed every last bite of them.  And I don't feel bad about it at all because I had like a bazillion activity points earned and saved this week! So let's get to the recap...

Saturday was my day off, and I didn't do anything, haha.

Then guess what?  I did Turbo Fire all week, haha!

Sunday was HIIT 15 and Tone 30.  Seriously, Chalene doesn't mess around when it comes to resistance training.  She is a freaking animal.  And as I'm struggling, she's just chit chatting along doing the exact same moves.  I can only hope I'll be that strong someday!

Monday was Fire 45 Stretch 10.  I think I like the "fire" workouts more than I like the "HIIT" workouts.  Like yeah, short workouts are an awesome option if your pressed for time, but I don't get the same sense of satisfaction after the fact, know what I mean?

Tuesday I did not workout.  Tuesday I stayed at work a little late to try and wrap something up, and then either I missed the bus or it just never came and I got home super late and was super pissed.  Then for the icing on the cake, the next day my boss, for whatever reason, didn't trust that I had done my work properly (I have never given her a reason to not trust my work) and wanted to "verify my methodology" before I had the changes put in production so I stayed late the night before for no freaking reason.  I don't think I've ever been so upset at work in my life.

I try to not talk about my day job here, but this has really been messing with my head so I'm gonna talk about it, ok?  If you don't want to read about my day job, just skip down to the end of the italicized portion of the post!  I've technically been working at my job for almost a year now, and I worked as an intern there for a year leading up to that (so I've been at the same company for 2 years).  Well, when I started full time there were 4 people in my group.  Five months later one person I worked with left the group.  About a month after that someone else quit.  That left 2 of us (and my boss).  My one coworker really did pick up a lot of slack, but out of no where I had to become the primary support contact for automated freaking compliance at a large investment firm.  So my coworker took care of regulatory reporting, and I had to take care of automated compliance with no formal training and having only been working in the position for 6 months.

It was horrible.  It was one of the most stressful times of my life.  I care about my work, I really do.  If I had messed up along the way it would have really upset me.  So I effing killed myself to learn and do the best I could do.  And I have gotta say, I did a pretty damn good job.  I didn't mess anything up.  I've learned an obscene amount.  Honestly I think I surpassed most people's expectations of what a brand new college grad could take on.

Well Monday, the director of my area (so, my boss' boss) came to a status meeting, and afterwards looked at me and goes "Wow Amanda, you actually sounded like you knew what you were talking about." What!?!?!?!  Well, Mr. Brand-New-Director-Who-Has-Never-Worked-With-Compliance-Before, I've been doing this on my own for the past 6 months, I would hope I know what I'm talking about, or else the SEC would be pretty pissed (did I mentioned I work in Compliance???)  I honestly didn't know what to say, so I just smiled and walked back to my cube.

Then this bullshit Tuesday happened.  And I lost it.  It's fine that I'm an associate level business analyst, getting paid as an associate level business analyst, but doing the work of a senior business analyst (well actually doing the work of a senior, an intermediate, and an associate all at the same time).  But good golly, give me the respect and trust that I've earned!

Needless to say, I spent about a half hour crying in the bathroom before I was able to pull myself together and there was no way in hell I had the energy to workout when I got home.

Okay, now that I've got that off my chest...Wednesday I did Fire 45 EZ, and last night was Fire 45, Stretch 10.  Unfortunately I think I did something to my left shoulder; so although I plan on continuing to workout, I'm gonna have to take it easy.

Well, once again, happy Friday everyone!  I have about a bazillion things I'd like to get done today so I better hop to it (get it, hop to it - it's almost Easter...I know, I'm not funny)!  Thanks for listening to me bitch about my job, hopefully I'll get everything I want done today and I'll have some pretty awesome wedding projects to share with you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Finished My First Real Etsy Order!

And I just had to brag about it!

I've already finished and shipped off a few orders of custom embossed napkins, but those aren't nearly as exciting and unique as this.  This order was for 70 Save the Date Magnets and coordinating custom envelopes.  She sent me a link to what she was thinking of for the magnet, with a few adjustments, and I created it myself!  Then I designed a monogram for her and made the magnets and the envelopes by hand.  It was pretty time consuming, but I couldn't be happier with the final product (and I hope the bride loves them as much as I do)!

Without further adieu, my first real Etsy order (with certain things blurred out for the bride and groom's privacy):
Why yes, that is a magnet - which is why it is on the fridge!

Close-up of the magnet being a magnet

Just the magnet

The front of the envelope

The back of the envelope
 Seriously, I love them.  The magnets are pretty straight forward (make the design, print on magnet paper) but for the envelopes I printed the monogram and return address on regular 8.5x11 paper, cut the paper down, cut the envelope liner and inserted on the back, then used my Ultimate Crafter's Companion to turn the paper squares into an envelope, and finally embossed the flap with my Sizzix Texture Boutique.

So, what do you think?  Not bad for my first big sale, right?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fashion, Rants, and Other Wednesday Randomness...

It's a pretty crappy day today in Pittsburgh.  It's warm, but it's also humid (my hair and oily skin do not enjoy humid) and rainy and just all around crappy:
Stolen from Weather.com
But, I'm looking might adorable today, if I do say so myself!

Bryan may suck at taking pictures, but you get the general idea!  Here's a breakdown of my outfit today:

Skirt (Express) HIGH-WAIST HOOK-AND-EYE PENCIL SKIRT in Oxford Blue - bought on sale for $19.19:
Top (Express) CROSS-OVER DROP-WAIST MESH TOP in Yellow - bought on sale for $12.79:
Belt (Express) ADJUSTABLE METAL CHAIN SKINNY BELT in Brown (but it's more copper than brown in real life) - bought on sale for $12.79:
Sweater (overstock) Audrey & Grace Women's Shawl Collar Bolero in grey - $29.99:
And, although you can't see them in the picture Bryan took, my shoes are from DSW MIX NO. 6 Octavia Wedge Pump in yellow - $39.95:

I really feel quite snazzy today!

As for the rants, whether you are pro-life or pro-choice you have to agree that the people that stand outside of Planned Parenthood with over sized posters of dead fetuses are taking it too far.  Apparently, the protesters are doing "40 Days of Life" for lent so they have been in full force and I have to walk buy them every morning on my way to work.  Protest all you want, but I do not need to see that graphic of an image at 7 in the morning.  I hope someday when I'm pregnant if I get morning sickness I can get myself to vomit on their over sized poster.  I understand that is childish and rude, but seriously these images are grotesque and there's no way to avoid them without walking 15 minutes out of my way!  And I would say to them (after throwing up on their dead fetus poster) "Oh my God!  I'm so sorry!  I'm pregnant, and don't worry I'm keeping my baby, but that picture is just so graphic it triggered my morning sickness!" 

And as for other Wednesday Radomness, cricutmachine.com is having an Easter Sale!  Full cartridges starting at $17.95:
And, my dog Gabby is effing adorable:

Happy Hump Day Everyone!  I hope you all are as lucky as I am and have Good Friday off so the week is already more than half over!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When your life is as hectic as mine, portability is key!

Seriously!  I work full time, have an Etsy shop, try to workout at least 5 times a week, cook dinner every night, planning a wedding (and crafting for said wedding), have to see the guy I'm marrying every once and a while (lol), and have to make time for the 3 dogs and 2 cats whom I love so dearly.  My life is seriously crazy!

But there are some things that just make it easier to get everything done, like my Gypsy.  I love being able to design die-cut layouts while on the go!  It is not unusual for me to be on the T on my way to work designing something either for my wedding or for the Etsy shop!

And what's even better than that is my Ultimate Crafter's Companion!  I know I've talked about it on here at some point, but I'm now fully taking advantage of how portable it really is.

I have an Etsy order that I really need to finish up and get in the mail for 70 save the date magnets (which turned out amazing) and 70 coordinating custom envelopes.  Well, there just aren't enough hours in the day so yesterday and today I brought my Crafter's Companion with me to work to make the envelopes during my lunch!  I had already printed/cut them, I just needed to score and fold them (which is exactly what the Crafter's Companion is for).  And I may look like a weirdo for carrying around a hard, pink briefcase looking thing (on top of my laptop back and tote with my shoes and food in it) but it is allowing me to make full use of my time!  Check it out:
Enveloping side

All the tools you could dream of needing

My supplies for my order!
So yesterday I made half of the envelopes during my lunch, and today I'll make the other half so I can get these suckers out the door!

Isn't it great when something as simple as a hard, pink briefcase looking thing makes your life easier and more productive?

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Glowing Table Numbers!

Happy Monday!  Guess what...today my post is on Weddzilla!  You can read it here!

And if you leave me a comment over there I'll love you forever...the blogger with the most comments this week gets a Starbucks giftcard!  Plus, I appreciate all the comment-lovin' I get!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fitness Recap Friday!

And you all should be so freaking proud of me...I WORKED OUT EVERY DAY THIS WEEK!  Guess who's got her exercising mojo back...yeah, that would be me!  It was mainly Turbo Fire, but I'll still recap it for you!

Saturday - 10 Minute Solutions: Pilates Perfect Body - I just did the 1 segment of stretching.  According to my Turbo Fire "schedule" it was a rest day, but I was sore, so I wanted to stretch.  And for the record, our yard was really muddy, so instead of just letting to dogs out to get gross we were walking them to "do their business."  And lucky for me, my beloved Gabby won't go number-two until she's ran around in circles for a while so I had to sprint up a hefty hill in order to get her to go.  In case you were wondering what I meant by "hefty hill" here is the EXACT hill we sprinted up:
From the top of the hill - photo from google maps

From the bottom of the hill - photo from google maps
Sunday - Turbo Fire 'HIIT 15, Sculpt 30' - let me tell you, doing a Chalene sculpting class directly after a High Intensity Interval Training class is effing exhausting.

Monday - Turbo Fire 'Fire 55' - I liked this one, not my favorite, but I still really enjoy it.

Tuesday - The Turbo Fire schedule said to do Core 20 and Stretch 40, but I really didn't like the Stretch 40 class last time I did it (I got really bored), so instead I did Turbo Fire Core 20 and then 2 segments of 10 Minute Solutions: Pilates Perfect Body (the "perfect silhouette" segment and the "stretch" segment).  In case you hadn't noticed by now, I love this Pilates DVD.  If you're looking to invest in one, I 110% recommend this one!

Wednesday - Turbo Fire 'Fire 45, Stretch 10' - I think this is my favorite "Fire" workout (I haven't decided what my favorite HIIT workout is yet).

Thursday - Turbo Fire 'Fire 45 EZ' - don't let the name fool you, it isn't easy.  Those two letters just mean there aren't as many "fire drills" (or minute long segments where you have to kill yourself and then get to recover for a minute) but the workout itself is still really intense.  I was supposed to do the 'Stretch 10' afterwards but chose not to.  I think my biggest complaint with Turbo Fire is that it wants you to do the exact same stretch routine almost every day, and I'm just too ADD for that.  I did do some extra stretching on my own though, because let's be serious, you don't need a fitness instructor to stretch out after a workout!

And tonight I full plan on working out again.  It's a HIIT workout, I forget which one though.  I'm on a workout roll, and I don't want to mess that up.  Plus, the HIIT workouts are much shorter, so it's actually a great workout to do on a Friday!

How was your week workout wise?