Sunday, September 14, 2014

bookmarked.


It's been a long time since I've shared what's in my bookmarked folder and I've accumulated quite the list:

// 7 things people with anxiety want their loved ones to know.

// A rad photo project based in New York: My First Year.

// I'm not a mom, but I still have two choices: "to put on a swimsuit or to skip it."

// "What feels most like love?"—an important question to ask yourself.


// A pick-your-own wildflower field? Yes, please!

// Elise's podcast episode "Having Writer's Block" might be my favourite of hers so far.



// A beautiful and awe-inspiring photography project: Birthday Suits.


// Our "not-engagement photos" (pre-engagement photos?) were featured on Styled in Lace!

(Photo by Kelly Beall)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

life improvements / investing in myself.


I often think that if I had my move to Beijing to do over, I would make more of an effort to "settle in" at the very beginning. I wouldn't worry so much about saving money. Wouldn't think, Ehh, I might only be here a year so what's the point? when thinking of buying lamps, bedding, or even good coffee!

It's true, I didn't know how long I would be here for. And I am trying to pay off my student loan. But the thing is, none of us really know how long we're here for, do we? (Did you get that I'm not just talking about living abroad there?) And we can make smart financial decisions but still invest in our lives, our selves.

So. Here's a list of improvements that I/we have made and of ways that I am investing in myself:

+ We bought a mattress pad for our bed. And now every time I lay (lie?) down, I think, Why didn't we buy this sooner? Even Tony, who snapped at me in IKEA, You didn't have one for TWO years! Do you really need it now?! agrees that the money spent was well worth it.

+ We bought new curtains. Curtains are provided in our apartment, but they are heavy, beige, blah. I finally convinced Tony that lighter, different coloured curtains would make me happier, which would make him happier. Win-win. We went with green in the living room and gray in the bedroom.

+ We bought new bedding. All white. Simple. My dream. Now if only we could get double sinks in our bathroom. Ha!

+ We bought a new TV. That's a lie. We haven't bought a new TV yet. But we're going to. This weekend. Using Carrefour gift cards given to us by our employer. So a brand new 40" TV that we can connect our laptops to will only cost us 700RMB out of our own pockets. (As we stood in Carrefour discussing options yesterday, I waved my arm in front of one of the huge TVs and exclaimed, Imagine! It will be like C.J. Cregg is performing "The Jackal" right in front of us! (Tony's probably more excited about watching soccer.)) (And yes, that was just a parentheses within a parentheses. Can you do that? I just did.)

+ I bought a new hair dryer. Because the 1600W one I've been using for the past two years just isn't cutting it anymore. And again, we have those Carrefour gift cards. So a 2200W, ionic, "Pro Care" hair dryer came home with me.

+ I am currently planning an order from Lush. A friend gave me a bath bomb to try and I fell in love. Another friend gave me a sample of a facial cleanser and I'm amazed. I found out there's Lush in Hong Kong and they ship to China. Bye bye, money. Hello, better skin and a happier, more relaxed Amanda.

+ I'm also planning an order from David's Tea. No, they don't ship to China, but I have a mom who sends me birthday and Christmas presents/care packages. So I will place an order, they will ship it to my mom, and she will ship it to me. Thanks, Mom! P.S. Their Caramel Corn tea is my newly-discovered favourite and I can't get it online, so if you get some and love me, you could send it to me ;)

Okay, yes, that's a lot of buying. But we don't make big purchases very often. And gift cards. And investing in ourselves. And come on! Now I can watch President Bartlet run for re-election on a bigger screen! Woot! (How dorky do you think I am now?)

P.S. That image at the top only kinda relates to what I've written here, but it is the current wallpaper on my phone and it's made me happy every time I've seen it today. Thank you, Kara, for making it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

welcome to china / 4.

Spotted in the washroom at my local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Where signs like this are not uncommon.

Monday, September 01, 2014

read a book instead.


As a book-lover who hasn't been reading too many books lately, I love this phone wallpaper by Austin Kleon.

Also! I think I'm going to join a book club this year! A real-life one, not an online one! Hooray! It's been on my Life List forever.

Are you in a book club? What should we read?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

we're not going to have a wedding.


Jammin' & dancin' around the apartment because Tony and I just tried to make a guest list and ended up deciding we're not going to have a wedding. At least, we're not going to have a "wedding." But beautiful & true words will be spoken, rings will be exchanged, kisses will happen, best friends and immediate family will witness it, delicious food will be eaten. And there may be temporary tattoos. And maybe frozen yogurt. And maybe sparklers and twinkle lights.

P.S. The truth about our relationship, our non-engagement photos, our engagement story, and why I want to elope.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

this is exactly why I want to elope.



I watched this and couldn't decide if I should be laughing or nodding in sympathy. So I did both. I laughed so loud and nodded so hard.

Guys, I've we've barely started on all of this wedding planning shit and already I'm cringing. (Sidenote: I have to be careful who I say things like that to, but here's the thing: I'm excited about the marriage, just not the wedding.)

I would love nothing more than to elope with maybe two friends, say some vows, exchange the rings, and then eat some yummy food, drink some delicious drinks, go on a relaxing/fun trip, and be done with it.

More thoughts on engagements and weddings coming soon. Maybe.
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