Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Turkey Day!

Oh yes, it's that time again. As I walked down the hall this morning, I could smell the turkey roasting in the oven, I could hear the steady hum of voices intertwined with the excited sounds of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I could see the hustle and bustle of everyone working together in hopes of achieving another fantastic Thanksgiving. You see, these are moments I cherish. Everyone in the kitchen cooking and laughing together, then gathering around the table to feast on the food everyone has put so much love and effort into. I love it. So, today, I wanted to take a few moments and post a "traditional" blog post. I wanted to let you all know of a few things within my life that I am thankful for.

1. Jesus and my church family 

I am beyond grateful for Jesus and his saving grace. If it weren't for him, there would be no possible way I could make it through this life. Okay, I honestly have the BEST church family in the whole world. They are there whenever and for whatever.   

2. My Family 

We may have our differences but, I love each of these crazy people! They make my life interesting and I'm so incredibly joyful. 

3. My group of phenomenal friends {you should be jealous}

I seriously don't know what I would do without these ladies in my life. I have been highly blessed by God in every way, but especially in the friend department. I know no matter what I'm facing they will always be right by my side. I love you guys! 

4. My Family in Africa 

OH. MY. GOODNESS. How adorable are these faces?? I mean really, how could you not fall in love with each of them? I am so privileged to be able to say, I have family in Africa. I consider each child that I was able to meet and shower with love, one of my very own. I miss them every. single. day. and I'm counting down the days till I can see those sweet babies again. 

5. Books 

There is nothing like getting completely lost in a book. It makes all your problems seem to drift away. This quote pretty much sums it up my obsession with reading. 

6. Netflix.  

I have a problem if you can't tell yet...I straight up love me some Netflix. I can sit down and plan on watching only one episode of a TV show but nope, Netflix has other plans. By the way, how stinking cool is this shirt? I think I should add it to my wardrobe soon! 

7. Junk Food 

Yes, I said it, I love Junk food. All types to be exact. 


8. Disney/ Marvel movies. 

I know, I know. I'm totally weird for putting these in a Thankful post but, both Disney and Marvel movies bring me an immense amount of joy; therefore, I am truly thankful for them.Can you say kid at heart? 

 Whelp, I do believe that pretty much sums up my Thankful post. What are some things you are thankful for? I Hope you all have a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Weekend Diaries

Another jam packed weekend is in the books, and what a wonderful one it was! So let’s just jump right in.  

Hello Mockingjay! On Friday, Bethany, her boyfriend Joey, Sarah, Wesley, and I all went to see the new Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay. One thing you must know, is that I am very picky when it comes to books being made into movies. Well, I have been a HUGE Hunger Games fan from the very beginning and my word did they do a fantastic job! I was honestly blown away and I can’t wait to see it again.

                                                   This was our attempt at an excited face.

For the first time in weeks I was able to sleep in on Saturday, and it was glorious. I woke up around 10 and then had a Netflix binge session. I’m going to do you all a favor and let you in on the secret of the TV show “The 100." This show keeps you on your toes the WHOLE time. It’s super good! 

Once rolling out of bed and getting ready, I headed out the door to pick up my sister Katie, from a friend’s house. We both got a Massive sweet craving, so we stopped by BK for an Oreo milk shake and a Hershey Pie. Hello yummy goodness!

         I found this absolutely adorable owl shirt from Cato's for only $20 bucks! can you say steel? 

Saturday evening I took Paige and Cory’s Christmas pictures. Let me be the first to say, these pictures turned out phenomenal! Their love simply radiates through every picture, making each one perfect. I had such a good time taking their pictures and I can’t wait to do it again!

This one was hands down one of my favorites! I'll do a whole blog post with the edited ones on Thursday. 

Once we were finished with pictures, we stopped in to say hello to Cory’s granny, where she gave us some delicious banana bread. After a quick little visit, we took the dogs back home and then headed to Los Amigos for some dinner. When we got back to Paige and Cory’s, Paige announced that she wanted to finish putting up Christmas decorations. I could not have been happier! I am so glad Paige shares my obsession for Christmas. #obsessivechristmasdisorder.So Cory put on some old school Christmas music and we all three had a holy jolly time decorating the house.

                       The puppies were over decorating and wanted some Auntie snuggle time!

Sunday, our church had a Thanksgiving dinner. My, oh my, was that food good! It has made me so excited for Thanksgiving. Speaking of Thanksgiving, can you guys seriously believe that it’s next week?? Like, where in the world has November gone? Anyways, back to Sunday.

After church, I needed to run to Ulta to return some gel I had purchased for my curly crazy mess of hair. While I was there, I noticed my eyebrows were looking just like cookie monsters, so they squeezed me in with Ms. Barbie. This woman is a straight up genius with some wax and wax strips. Seriously ladies, make an appointment with her. It will change your life. 

                                  I think someone was a little sleepy from her busy weekend.

My Nana arrived in town Thursday; so, I decided to spend my evening with her.We stayed up late talking, and watching movies together, which just so happens to be one of my favorite ways to end a great weekend.

How was your weekend? Do you have any special plans for Thanksgiving? I hope you all have an amazing Monday!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas Wish List

Oh, It's the most wonderful time of the year! That's right folks, it's already time to start Christmas shopping. Actually, I probably should have started months ago, but oh well, better late than never! Over here in blog land, everyone has been doing these lovely wish lists. So of course, I had to jump on the band wagon. With out further ado, I give you my Christmas wish list.

Let me start off by saying, my biggest Christmas wish is for all those precious babies and families in Africa are safe and taken care of. Trust me, I'm doing everything I can to try and make that happen, however it takes much more than one person. If you would like to find out ways to help you can visit Barnabasx!

Lets get started!

1. MacBook Pro. Okay, so I know a MacBook is pretty far fetched, but hey, a girl can dream right?? This computer would be perfect for my school assignments, as well as my photography and blogging hobbies.

2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. I have been wanting a new Canon lens for my Canon 50D for quite sometime. I think this baby would be a perfect addition to my camera bag. It's got some pretty amazing reviews and from what I'm gathering, every photographer should have a 50mm lens.

3. Tarte Sweet Indulgences 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection. Sometimes, I just like to lay in bed and watch QVC. I mean really, who doesn't like to shop from their nice, comfy bed? The other night they had this AMAZING Tarte holiday collection on sale for $65.00! That's pretty much free Ladies! Like my makeup collection needs anymore makeup, however, I sure wouldn't mind seeing this under my tree.

4. Day Desginer Planner.This planner is so awesome! It shows you day to day what you are working towards. The creator of this planner came up with amazing way for people to stay organized while staying focused, and encouraged. I need one in my life!

5. Daisy Dream. I have never really been a big fan of the original Daisy by Marc Jacobs; however, while in Ulta the other day, I decided to give this one a go. Let me just say, this stuff smells like your frolicking through a Field of rainbows and butterflies. It. Smells. So. Good.

6. Boots. Oh you lovely, lovely, boots.... How amazing you would look in my shoe collection. These boots are on JustFab for $32.00. You cannot beat that price! Hopefully, they will get in a fresh stock of Wide Calfs, so Santa can snatch me up a pair.

7. Last, but not least, I give you the face of an angel people. Out of all the items on my Christmas list, this is the one I want the most. A Cavapoo. They are the most adorable puppies in the whole world and I would love to see one under my tree with a big red bow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Whelp, that's it for my Christmas list! What are some things you hope to find under the tree Christmas morning?

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Weekend Diaries

My, oh my, what a weekend it has been! Do you ever have those weekends where its just as busy as your week {only a lot more fun}? whelp, that was my weekend. So fasten your seat belts and get ready for a crazzyyy ride.


I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. Sometimes I am the worlds worst procrastinator. It was Friday and I still didn't have my outfit together for the 90's party on Saturday... Yes, I know cutting it a little close. So, after work I went by Rue 21, Goodwill, and Walmart to get the last few items to complete my 90's attire.

If you cant tell from the picture, I wasn't exactly to thrilled with the whole search process for pants. I determined, that in the 90's curves were unheard of. That's all I have to say about that.

After coming home from our shopping trip, Amy and I were sitting around talking when she gasps and says, "My tooth's going to fall out!" I gave her a puzzled look as she wiggled her tooth and sure enough, it fell right out.

                                                                Well hello there toothless!

Around 8:30, Bethany came over for a girls night filled with creating a 90's outfit and Maleficent. By the way, if you haven't seen Maleficent do your self a favor and go rent, or purchase it! Hands down one of the best movies of 2014.

                                                            Super intense concentration

                                                           Jessie had to add her own flare

                 I think the girls made it through maybe 10 minutes of the movie, and were passed out. 


Saturday I was up at 6:30 am. Yes you read correctly, 6:30, AM, on a Saturday... This cruel and unusual punishment was due to the fact that I had to attend a training class for work. Luckily, one of my best friends, Chanda, understood the struggle and meet me for Starbucks coffee. 

If it wasn't for this caramel brulee latte, I do not think I would have made it through that almost 6 hour class. 

After getting out of class, I received a text from Cory asking if I could run by the grocery store for them. After running by their house to get the list and money, I headed to Walmart. BAD IDEA! Everyone was there. It took me 10 minutes to get down a single isle. Needless to say it was a madhouse and to top it all off they were out of Funfettie Icing. I mean really, out of all things, the Funfettie. So Then, I rushed by Bilo in hopes they would have the glorious Funfettie Icing, and what do you know, they did! Score. After dropping off the groceries, I rushed home with thirty minutes to get ready. Needless to say, I made it to the party 10 minutes fashionably late.  

                               I decided to go totally opposite of my personality: I give you 90's grunge.

If you cant tell from the pictures, it was a total BLAST! My bestie sure knows how to throw a good party! I kinda skimped out on the pictures but Paige has TONS. 


After two crazy busy days, Sunday was my chill day. After church I came home and spent the Afternoon watching Star Trek and The Amazing Spiderman with my sisters. Sunday evening Bethany came over to watch the two hour special of Once Upon a Time, and oh my goodness was it good! It had you on the edge the whole time. #cliffhanger  

I think the only thing left to say is, what did you guys do this weekend?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Because It's All About That Joy

Today I decided to give everyone the reasoning behind why I chose Joy Through Life as my blog name. I wanted this blog to be an uplifting score for all readers, and one thing that came to my mind was how we often focus on all the negative situations in our lives. 

There are so many moments of pure joy we miss out on because we are so consumed with the negativity that occurs in our everyday life. You see, joy isn’t just an emotion that is felt, or an experience waiting to happen, it is an action that you partake in. Joy can be given and found in day to day interactions if we just take the time to open our eyes. The reason why I chose “Joy Through Life” as my blog title is because so many times we miss valuable opportunities to simply experience joy. 

 I know within my own life, it can get so chaotic and overwhelming, I forget to see all the beauty surrounding me. Trust me, I know how hard it can be to experience joy when the dryer quits working, the kids will not stop fighting, or that nail decided to make your tire go flat as a pancake... I have the tendency to focus on the negative and rush through life without taking the time to actually enjoy it. So, this is what my blog is all about. Waking up every day no matter how bad the situations may be, or how crazy my schedule is and truly experiencing joy. 

For Example...

                                                   The smell of fresh coffee in the morning

                                                             Sweet hugs from this little cutie 

                                                                 Lazy afternoons with family 

                              Putting on my make up while watching reruns of Arrow and Once Upon a Time

Beautiful fall days

                                                                    To puppy snuggles

These are just a few things within my own life that bring me joy. So I challenge you, Find some things that bring you Joy in your own life and soak them up. For all my Instagram users and Facebook junkies, take a few pictures of moments, people, or simply whatever brings you joy, then post them for everyone to enjoy. I hope you all have a blessed day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Little About Myself

Hello blog world! I have been debating on starting up a blog for quite a few years now. There is something completely captivating about having stories and experiences that could affect someone’s life in some small way. So here it goes, my first attempt at making a whole new world of friends. Let me start off by telling you all a little bit about myself. My name is Amber. I am from the absolutely gorgeous state of South Carolina {Let me just say guys, if you have never been to South Carolina you really don’t know what you’re missing out on}. I’m a marvel nerd at heart, a Disney lover to my very core, I enjoy reading books, and I find that there is almost nothing better than spending the day hiking through the mountains, or trying out a new recipe on a Sunday afternoon. Cooking and photography are two big passions within my life. I’m also a makeup and fashion junkie. Another little fact about myself; I adore animals, Especially dogs! My family and friends are the most important things in my life; therefore, I have an addiction to talking about them A LOT {Just thought I would let you in on this not so secret, secret.}. Also, a huge part of my heart belongs to Africa; Rwanda to be exact. So that passion will shine through in this blog.With that being said, I think this could be the start of something great! you will have to excuse my cheesiness. It will happen quit often, I promise.

I have JOY of doing life with some pretty amazing people. I am the oldest of six children {yes you heard me right. Six.} Many people question my mother’s sanity; However, I think she is the most sane person I know. I absolutely adore the chaos of a big family. They are some of the most crazy wonderful people you could ever hope to meet and I absolutely adore each of them. There is nothing greater in my eyes, than having so many people love you no matter what you say or do. It’s comforting.

Some other people who kind of make my life, well, awesome are my close group of friends. Let me start off with “the couple”.
Paige and Cory have quickly become an everlasting addition to my life. I honestly think that God specifically designed them to become two of my dearest friends. Now that I have experienced life with these two, I couldn't imagine it without them. Paige and I are so much alike that it’s straight. up. scary. We can have the greatest time having a girls night out on the town, or sitting on the couch watching Pretty Little Liars. In the ways Paige and I do differ,(which, there aren't many) Cory and I share the same common interests {like totally awesome Superhero movies. Rock on Avengers. Rock on}.

 By the way, this lovely lady happens to be an AMAZING blogger.You can check out her blog here.

Next is my longtime friend Candice. When we were little girls, she and I would fight calmly discuss who was going to be Thumbelina, while sprawled out in her living room floor eating popcorn. Candice is the type of friend you can go thirty years without seeing and feel like you never missed a beat.



Last, but certainly not least, is my best friend/sister Bethany. Bethany has been with me through everything. She and I met at a Homeschooling gathering when I was fourteen. After I finally persuaded her to talk, {Meaning, I talked to her nonstop for two hours, so she had no chance of getting away} we became inseparable. She honestly isn’t even a friend anymore, she is simply family.  

 So that’s a little bit about me! I would love to get the chance to better know all of you. I’m excited about this grand journey we are embarking upon. I’ve got some fantastic posts lined up so, don’t forget to stop back by. Thursday, I’m dishing out scoop on why I chose “Joy Through Life” as my blog name. Until next time, au revoir!