Sunday, November 16, 2008

RE: ocho

i've been tagged.... so here we go:

Tagged by Jenna:

8 TV shows I like to watch:
1. The Office
2. Eli Stone
3. The Starter Wife (don't judge me)
4. The Soup
5. almost anything on HGTV
6. House
7. hmmmm....... i probably should say the news, but i hate the news in Utah
8. .......uhhhhh

8 things that happened yesterday:
1. sewed new kitchen curtains
2. went shopping with my roommates
3. got lost in SLC with my roommates - not really, it was more of a scenic drive
4. went to lunch at Stella with my roommates
5. watched Eli Stone (i love TV on the internet)
6. made an apple pie with Amber for the party
7. aforementioned apple pie was dropped on the ground as we arrived at the party (no names mentioned)
8. enjoyed friends' company at the soup and pie party

8 Favorite places to eat:
1. PF Chang's
2. Takashi
3. Venice/Chianti
4. Don Jose's (sad it's now closed)
5. Chipotle
6. Cafe Rio
7. Pei Wei
8. grilled panini from Wild Oats

8 things I’m looking forward to:
1. new job
2. skiing this winter
3. snowshoeing this winter
4. a warm vacation this winter
5. going home for Thanksgiving & Christmas
6. kissing my niece's chubby cheeks when I go home
7. playing with my hilarious nephews when I go home (and kissing their cheeks - if they let me)
8. New Year's Eve - I just have a feeling it's going to be good this year


I must admit that I have become quite accustomed to life without a full-time job. "If you have the means, I would highly recommend it. It is so choice." (can anyone name the movie?) So to flaunt my time as a lady of leisure... here are a few of my crafty accomplishments:

1. a few hand-knit items; a couple others are hopefully being enjoyed by their new owners.

2. my new belt rug - which helps to cover the rather unsightly bedroom carpet

3. a re-finished sideboard/cabinet of sorts for the dining area (my roommate started the re-finishing, which I completed when she grew tired/busy)

4. re-finished kitchen table (another one my roommated started)... we got this table from a neighbor who had literally POURED lacquer over the table... it took hours of sanding and scraping... and although it's not perfect, i think it has a great "antiqued" look - oh, the table runner and curtains were another "crafty" addition

5. re-finished kitchen chair - my roommates are working on their chairs for our "shabby-chic" kitchen collection

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

low-class confession

Now I know this may not be the classiest of confessions... but I think I'm okay with that... I must admit that I love Big Lots... It's kind of a guilty pleasure that I know I can trace back to my grandma. When we were little and visiting my grandparents in Arizona, my grandma would always give us "mad money". We could use this "mad money" on anything we wanted.... as we got older it was for gas money, or cab fare if a date was a dud, or a little splurge when shopping. So when we were young, my grandma would take us to Big Lots (then Pic'N'Save) where we would buy a new little purse or cool markers that had an "invisible pen" for writing secret messages. I'm sure my dad loved it when we'd return with even more stuff to fit in our suitcases for the trip home.
Not that I would recommend Big Lots for food items or cosmetic-type purchases - I'm not really sure how the expiration dates work out - but it is great for party accessories, dish towels, some kitchen gadgets, etc.
On a classier note, I did go to The Gateway yesterday and tempted myself with the idea of purchasing a MacBook.... perhaps it will be my Christmas present.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the summer of mandy returns, except - it's the fall

so once, actually twice, there was "the summer of mandy" - the first was in 2002... i had just returned from a spring-term study abroad in europe and had about 7 weeks of summer before returning to school. one of those weeks would be spent in hawaii with my best friends at our best friend's wedding... so with only 6 weeks at home, and no real prospects of employment (the seasonal positions had been filled for weeks) i was able to spend that time at home being crafty - i worked on the only real scrapbooks i've ever compiled for myself, went to classes at the health club with my mom, realized that i aspire to be a "pool mom" and re-finished a cedar chest that is now proudly displayed in my parents' room.

the second "summer of mandy" was in 2003 - yes, i had back-to-back summers of "leisure" (should be read so as to rhyme with 'pleasure' - much more lush that way) - this time i was a new resident in arizona... upon arriving in arizona just a few weeks before "the start" of an arizona summer (AKA- temperatures well-exceeding 100) and my sanity being questioned for the timing of my move... i came to realize that an arizona summer is quite enjoyable if you're living in a pool - especially a fabulous pool like my aunt & uncle's. but don't worry - i also improved my sewing skills at my aunt's workshop where i learned about making amazing window treatments, pillows and bedding. my cousin taught me some valuable skills while helping to "fix-up" some of his rental properties. and i even learned that it is possible to get a black-eye from the water if you hit it face-first at just the right speed and angle.

i am happy to say that "the summer of mandy" has returned - except that it's the fall... "the fall of mandy" just doesn't sound good. i guess i can go with "the autumn of mandy". after months of debating, praying, crying and just trying to feel happy with the difficulties at work, i decided that it would be best to leave my current employment, take a little time to re-group and search out new opportunities. in taking this time to re-group i have quite a number of projects i've been contemplating/planning for months. here's a list with a few of my favorites:

1) make throw-pillows for my couch that will be delivered shortly (skills from t.s.o.m. 2003 being put to use)

2) make this fabulous rug i saw online (see below)

3) resume my knitting projects and possibly try to sell here

4) find out who my 3rd-great grandparents are... this may require a trip to italy... a sacrifice i'm willing to make

5) attend classes at the gym regularly (skills from t.s.o.m. 2002)

6) improve my drawing skills by creating a portfolio of floor plans & elevations

7) contact the salt lake county clerk's office to help with election day

i just hope a new job won't get in the way of these great projects ;)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don't Worry.... I'm Back

So I've obviously taken all summer off from posting... I'll be sure to update with all the summer's activities, but for now I'm very intrigued with my latest find.

My roommate sent me this personality test yesterday. While I usually find these types of test to be mildly entertaining, I'm in shock as to how accurate this test is in describing me. The results describe me as "The Nurturer", which I wouldn't necessarily select first when describing myself. But read through the various characteristics and let me know if this isn't "spot-on". I'm thinking about handing this out on my next date as a sort of resume/disclaimer. Or better yet, have him take the test and see if our personality types mesh... just a thought.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I can relate.....

I think it's rather ironic that I came upon this article while trying to do basically what it describes.... must... stay... awake

I really am trying to be constructive with how I spend my time at work... but when there is only so much to do over an 8-hour span, the hours begin to drag. I must admit that when I do have a new project to work on I've become somewhat of a hoard-er. I keep my new little project all to myself. There is a definite art to completing a task in a timely manner, while also being able to "prolong" that task to avoid boredom. (Even this blog post is a product of such finely tuned skills)

It's kind of like eating your Halloween candy when you were little. Sure you could devour all of it within a few hours, but that would leave you feeling sick and without anything to enjoy later. So you sort out your candy into piles, get rid of the gross stuff (peanut butter taffy in the black & orange wrappers) and then graze on the good stuff over the next few days/weeks.

In my case however, the good stuff is all relative and you only have a few hours to graze over it. There's a definite difference between prolonging a task and just flat out procrastinating or slackin off.

My attitude about my job has improved over the last month or so. Part of me wonders if there is some type of "Stockholm Syndrome" associated with the working place. Not that I am trying to make light of the possible results from unthinkable situations, or that I'm saying I'm in an abusive/hostage state. But is it bad to have a sense of "loyalty" to a company only because they've kept the paychecks coming and haven't sent you home with a pink slip?

I really did enjoy my job when we were actually building houses and I hope that once we finally start building again that sense of joy will return, until then.... I'll continue to find amusement in my leisurely internet "reading" and gratitude for employment.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I think it's dark enough

My mom just sent me a copy of Three Cups of Tea, which I have heard great things about. I started reading last night and just before doing my typical "nodding off while reading in bed", I read the introduction and beginning of the first chapter. Just below the chapter heading is a Persian Proverb which reads, "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars".
I stopped for a moment and in my semi-coherent state started to consider the meaning of this proverb. Initially my cynical side slid in and thought, "Well, I don't think I see the "stars" of my life just yet, so it better not mean my life has to any darker." Not that I feel I have a dark life, but more that I feel I'm a little in the dark about where to go with my life or what to do.
And then the more I thought about it I started to consider the fact that maybe I just need to look up. Maybe the stars are there waiting to be seen and I just need to take some action in trying to see them.
So that's what I'm working on at present, trying to figure out what action to take. My goal this week is to send out a few (at least 2-3 resumes) and at least 1 school application. We'll see what stars come from that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Refreshing Perspective

This past weekend I viewed the new Ben Stein documentary and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I figured that Ben Stein would obviously bring some amusing and intelligent insights to the screen; I wasn't disappointed in the least.

I appreciated his main argument that the scientific world needs more balance when examining the origin of life; that evolution has some holes and cannot be the only answer. I especially enjoyed one scientist (who is in support of intelligent design) pointing out the fact that the I.D. argument isn't trying to deny the theory of evolution. It is fairly apparent that species have evolved over time in adapting to their environment, but evolution does not answer the question of how life was created or came into existence.

I was saddened by how many scientists readily admitted that their study of evolution led them to atheism; that they seemed almost boastful of their increased knowledge and "intelligence" solidifying these beliefs.

Throughout the documentary I was impressed with so many comments and arguments that were made in support of intelligent design, my favorite being Ben Stein's unquestionable support of God's existence. He wasn't insistent that all people believe in the same god or religion, but he wasn't afraid to strongly emphasize the significance of a belief in god and its affect on society.

Prior to viewing this film, I came across a quote by Abraham Lincoln, as quoted by Marion G. Romney. If Lincoln was concerned by the neglect of God over 150 years ago I can't imagine how disappointed he would be with the current state of our country.

"Consider these words written by Abraham Lincoln as part of a resolution in 1863:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth, and power as no other Nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us."
(John Wesley Hill,Abraham Lincoln, Man of God, 4th ed., New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, p.391.)" as quoted in (Marion G. Romney, "Gratitude and Thanksgiving," Ensign, Nov. 1982, 50)

For myself, the most refreshing part of this film was that Ben Stein wasn't afraid "step on toes" and state how things are and how they should be. We live in a society that emphasizes being politically correct and tolerant of others, but I don't think toleration or mutual respect requires apologizing for your own views and beliefs.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I am my father's daughter....

So I just went for a run and look at the treasure I found... for free!!!!

I think it has some great rustic charm & potential.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

WARNING: it's a little heavy

So with the turn of events over the last few months at work, I have felt as though I have entered another state of limbo. I feel that I have found myself in this state a few times over the last 5-10 years (yes, my 10 year high school reunion is this summer - I don't know how that is possible). I have always pushed passed this "phase" and found success in the next step. I think it's just become more difficult to feel that I'm making progress in any one direction and that I'm not just hopelessly treading water.

High school was a fairly smooth transition - it was pretty clear that once you graduated from high school, college was the next step. College was a great step! I loved all of the new people I met and the independence I gained. I enjoyed my classes (mostly) and the unique experience I had in traveling through Europe.

College graduation was a bit more difficult, perhaps I should've extended my studies for another year and looked for a bit more direction (aka - marketable skills). If I had a dime for everytime I was asked what I planned to do with my Art History degree I wouldn't need to be looking for a new job. But hindsight is 20/20 and I was off to Phoenix after enjoying the comforts of home for a few months.

Three years in Phoenix flew by with some good work experience, great friends and wonderful family relationships. Within about 3 months of looking for a change and 2 weeks after learning of a job opportunity, I was back in Utah - a place I really thought I would never find myself living again. Amazingly, the last year and a half has passed fairly quickly with great work experience and friendships (new & re-newed). So now what? Do I find another job here in Utah? Do I venture out again & try somewhere new?

Thankfully, this weekend was our Stake Conference and the meetings were just what I needed to hear. Elder Rasband reassured us of the love that Heavenly Father has for each of us; that He knows us personally & where we are individually. I was also really impressed with the simple clarity that came from a statement made by our newly released stake president. In his final remarks to us as our steward he said, "Experience is what we get when we don't get what we want".

I think that comment is quite fitting for my life. I know there are definitely times in my life that I have been the beneficiary of exactly what I want and great experiences have come (ie., going to BYU). But I think that some of the greatest experience I have gained is through the humbling moments of realizing that I don't always know what will be best for me, that there is Someone who knows me better than I know myself.

Life sometimes feels like it's never-ending "opposite day" - the opposite of what I want or expect is what I find. But somehow, I'll figure out which direction to swim before I'm too worn from treading water.

So if anyone has some distant relation who owns a nice little Tuscan villa that's in need of a remodel, or even just an occupant, consider the plane ticket already purchased. I'm already working on the dual-citizenship!

Monday, April 14, 2008

what's in a name?

well, the name of this blog came about my trying to create a clever pun to tie in with my name.... and i think i did. amanda for all seasons expresses that i do love all seasons (maybe summer the most though)...
my roommate also said that it can play on the fact that i'd like to find "a man for all seasons" - one who loves to ski, snowshoe or just appreciate the wonders of winter (but who also realizes that i don't have too much "insulation" and sometimes just need to bundle up & stay cozy) - someone who will revel in the excitement of spring, go on hikes and plant new flowers - a guy who will be okay with my love of warming in the sun, going to the pool, the beach, the lake... wherever water & the sun meet - and someone who enjoys the crisp weather that invites sweaters & cider & falling leaves... not that i'm trying to create a shopping list or anything...haha!
so cheers to the first post & new blog!