Thursday, October 9, 2014

8-bits of awesome.

Each week I talk about 8 things that I find to be awesome.  Whether it be geek news, things to be added to my ever-growing wish list, funny pics or some rad new'll find it weekly here at The Shiny Happy in my
And here we go:
  • Pretty sure I need these Avengers Custom Painted Glasses from PoppinCustom.
  • I'm all in Halloween mode...and ready to decorate some super pumpkins!
  • Check out these DC Comic Superheroes and Villains in the style of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post Covers!
  • I don't even have a cat...and I think this is awesome.
  • Deadpool is coming, you guys! *squee*
  • Have you checked out Lumberjanes from BOOM! Studios yet!?  Get on it!
  • I need this in my life.
  • Best babysitting ad....ever!
Alright! And that's a wrap on this week's 8-bits! What things are bringing the awesome to your life this week? Let me know by sharing your links in the comments. I can always use more awesome.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    amber & fashion.

    I don't really consider myself to be fashion forward.  My fashion sense is pretty much based on what doesn't itch.  I'm cool with this...and that's what matters.
    I can't sit and read about fashion.  I don't care about fashion.  If what I'm wearing happens to be in style, then sweet.  I have always been one to do my own thing.  I don't just march to the beat of my own drum, I create a drum line and invite everyone to join in!  But, I'm cool with this...and that's what matters.

    I honestly do admire the girls who are always put together.  I give honor to those who are always in style.  That's cool.  You like to wear heels all day, every day?  Go for it!  You are way more awesome than I.  I have to dress up for work 5 days a week.  Ugh.  That's enough.

    I don't really know what "my style" is.  I'm not sure there is an official name for it.  I know it's borderline tomboy.  Sometimes casual preppy.  Who knows. 

    My favorite clothing items are ripped jeans and chucks. Maybe TOMS.  Usually a T-shirt...occasionally something a little bit snazzier, but just as comfortable.  Maybe even a black blazer over a t-shirt.  I'm so low-maintenance. Thankfully, the mister likes my black t-shirt/ripped jeans ensembles.  This is why we work.  Of course, he is a black t-shirt and jeans kinda guy.  I often refer to him as "Johnny Cash."

    If you aren't following me on Pinterest (*gasp*) you can always check out my style board.  Maybe you're like me.  If so, I'll need to start following YOUR board right away.  Feel free to follow all the other random stuff I post.  Pinterest has my heart.

    What is your style?  Got a few favorite items that you always want to wear?  Tell me!

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    coming back.

    Yeah....I've slacked off.

    Well, that's not entirely true.  I feel like I've been a busy chick.  Pretty sure I'm right.  A lot has happened in the last month.  I think the biggest thing that I can attribute my lack of writing motivation to, is the loss of my Mamaw on August 8th.  I was her girl.  It's the truth. I'm getting back into my writing again, but thought a post in her honor was necessary. 

    I posted this on Facebook, but I thought it should be shared with you all as well.

    It is unfortunate that not everyone had the opportunity to know my Mamaw.  So much of who I am comes from who she was. 
    Because of Mamaw....

    ...I will always answer to "Amber Lou Lost Her Shoe."
    ...I will often rubberband a paper towel around my tea glass to catch the condensation.
    ...I am a musician.  She was the biggest fan of me and my Mickey Mouse "good-tar."
    ...I know that the fastest way to get someone out of bed in the morning is via water gun.
    ...Any Merle Haggard song will take my back to my childhood in Ambrose.
    ...I will always be a fan of the story of Brer Rabbit & the Tar Baby.
    ...I love to laugh.  She was the happiest person I've ever known & she expressed it with the greatest, most contagious laugh.
    ...I will never hear "You Are My Sunshine" without hearing it being sung be her voice.
    ...I always have gum.  Always.
    ...I am a people person.  She never met a stranger.  Neither do I.
    ...I know that when making Kool-Aid, two different flavor packets = Best. Thing. Ever.

    Mamaw, I will love you forever...a bushel & a peck and a hug around the neck.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    the fitness fight.

    Fitness haunts me. True story.

    I never, ever have a need to casually step on the scale, certainly not without the proper emotional preparation and definitely not after ingesting any sort of sustenance.

    I become envious of the casual and easy relationship with weight I imagine other people must have.

    Exactly! If I could have a super power Funny ecard
    "Let's just see here," I imagine them saying before hopping onto the scale -- probably with their shoes still on.  Devils.

    People like this only ever gain or lose half a pound. They could weigh themselves immediately following Thanksgiving dinner-- with a Tupperware full of leftovers in one hand and a ham hock in the other -- and their weight would be the same give or take half a pound.

    I merely breathe and gain 10. This is why my relationship with the scale is much more complicated.

    My scale sits in its usual spot in the bathroom, where I will be tempted to step on it at regular intervals like an OCD homeowner repeatedly checking the locks.

    And when I do step on it, I rip off every possible article of clothing -- if I could temporarily donate a kidney I would -- and then step onto the scale, close my eyes, hold my breath, say a quick prayer and look down.

    If I sound neurotic -- which I do and I am -- it's because my weight has been up and down (usually more up than down) for many years of my life.  Although I was a sports nut growing up, I was still quite heavy thick fluffy.  I've lost weight -- grant it, it was due to a diseased gallbladder.  Great diet.

    Then I got well and gained some back.  Then lost some.  Then gained some.  Yadda yadda.  Before I got married, I had lost a good 30-40 pounds.  After the wedding, they were showing back up like unwanted guests. 

    Most of this struggle can be attributed to PCOS.  It's not awesome.  Not at all.  And because of this diagnosis, it's even harder to manage your weight.  Dirty punk.

    Though I feel like I've managed to maintain a consistent weight loss since March, I'm convinced those 30 pounds are waiting -- plotting, really -- for the chance to snap back onto my body if I don't actively avoid them. To this end, I often torture myself by thinking about what I'm putting into my mouth, what I'm going to be putting into my mouth or what I already put into my mouth.

    I'd recently been having one of those weeks months where I thought it best to avoid the scale, as I knew it would only lead to self-deprecation. I had just come home from vacation and told myself, I would get back to hitting the gym and then weigh in a few days.
    After those days were up, I gave myself an insane pep talk and hopped on to discover I had maintained....while on vacation! 

    This was impossible.  We ate like beasts!  (Of course, I'm not complaining...)

    The mister and I have worked hard since March to change our lifestyle rather than "diet."  It's definitely a slow process, but it's paying off!  I've lost 12 pounds so far.  If I can continue getting my sleepy self out of bed in the mornings and going to the gym, it will improve! 

    I'm pumped and ready for a healthier me.  So, here's to getting fit! 
    Are you on MyFitnessPal?  Let's be friends and encourage each other.
    Username: ambernhank


    Monday, July 14, 2014

    invisible t-shirts & roof jumping.

    Greetings, friends!

    Happiest of Mondays to you!  (Yes, this is all fake enthusiasm.  Mondays are the death.) weekend was grand!

    Friday night's first G+ Hangout Night was a success!  I was lucky enough to have three other gals show up.  For their participation, they were all awarded invisible t-shirts.  Yep, I'm cheap.  But, hey...they fit perfectly.  Big thanks to Lillian, Stephanie & Anna for showing up to hang out and discuss the important things in life.  ....Like how to copy & paste and reasons why you shouldn't jump off of your roof. 

    We're deep.

    Oh!  And an even greater thanks to my friend, Amanda, for showing up...2 hours late. ;)
    You are excused this time....because you are super mom to my Tucker.  (You should all see this kid.  Adorbs.)

    Note:  I swore that I would never say "adorbs."  Fail.

    If you couldn't make it to Friday night's hangout, you have a chance to redeem yourself!  I'm planning on hosting one a month as long as my crazy schedule allows.  Find me on Twitter or Google+ and let's be friends!

    Until next time...

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    g+ hangout night!

    Helloooo everyone!

    Not much of a post, but I am here today with your friendly reminder about tomorrow night's festivities!

    Mark your calendars!  Set an alarm!! 
    Just be sure and join me for my very first G+ Hangout Night!!

    Put on your dancing shoes & spend your Friday night with me (& hopefully a few other geeky gals). haha. 

    Hope to see you all there!!!

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    my summer roadtrip-a-palooza.

    If you follow me on Instagram, then your feed was probably filled with my face while I was gone on my roadtrip-a-palooza. 


    I took a bit of a trip along with my mom and my niece, Lexy.  This was all in honor of Lexy turning Sweet 16 next month.  When given the option of what trip she wanted to take, she chose a road trip full of seafood.  Aside from those specifics, I was given full liberty to plan away.

    *evil grin*

    I planned a trip to Tybee Island, Georgia...with like a gazillion stops there and back.  Hello, kitschy roadside attractions!

    The vacation started with Mom & Lexy driving the hour and half it takes for them to get to my house.  The mister and I took them out to dinner that night and we planned to leave out early the next morning.  At 8pm, the food poisoning decided to rear its ugly head. 

    Fish tacos, anyone?

    Ugh.  It was rough...but luckily just for a good 5 or 6 hours.  After I had gone 2 hours straight without hurling, I decided I would be good to go as long as I stayed hydrated. 

    And off we went. I even drove the first 5 hours or so.  Just call me "Trooper."

    Yep.  That's me after 5-6 hours of nasty food poisoning...and possibly 2 total hours of sleep.

    First stop was the Frostop in Baton Rouge, LA.
     The first official stop was in Baton Rouge, LA at the Frostop.  From what I could tell, the root beer was really good.  I was a little afraid to you can understand. Can't say the place looked like what was advertised online though.  Haha.

    Lexy enjoyed her root beer float despite her fear to enter the establishment. ;)

    Oak Valley Plantation in Gramercy, LA

    Abita Mystery House in Abita Springs, LA
     After driving through plantation country and admiring all the gorgeous trees (we saw the plantation where "Interview With A Vampire" was filmed), we hit our next stop in Abita Springs, LA.  The Abita Mystery House is a roadside attraction maintained by inventor/artist John Preble.  Housed in a vintage service station, the place is folksy, artsy and home to thousands of found objects and homemade inventions. 

    I was excited.  They weren't so sure.

    Just a huge lobster hovering over my head...
    She was quite the looker....

    Outside the House of Shards.

    Yeah....we caught that.

    Just another day in the shire...
    Of course, any kitschy road trip requires visiting the "World's Largest _______."  Our stop was the World's Largest Rocking Chair in Gulfport, MS.

    Mom was so disappointed that she couldn't sit in it.
     A few more random stops were made after that.  Walgreens.  Some random statue of a chicken in a car.  Why was I so excited about that!?  Because it's a a car.  That's why.

    This was just a stop at Walgreens.  That's it.

    Just a random statue of a chicken in a car in Irvington, AL.  I loved it!

    Mom did, too.
    We stopped for the evening in Savannah, GA.  I absolutely fell in love with that city.  It's so gorgeous.  I definitely want to plan a trip back where I can actually spend more time there and explore all the awesomeness.
    River Street - Savannah, Georgia

    Historic steps:  Use at own risk.  We felt like rebels.

    Favorite shot of the trip.  Just walking and acting like dorks.  Good times.  By the way, isn't my mom gorgeous?

    Yeah.  We're pretty awesome.
    Our hotel for the night was probably as kitschy as it gets.  The Thunderbird Inn is a bunch of southern retro goodness and brags to be "The Hippest Hotel in Savannah."  Gotta love a place that greets you with RC Colas and Moonpies on your nightstand.

    The next day, we finished the drive to Tybee Island....after Mom stopped to visit her friend, Paula.
    Mom & her friend, Paula.
     Lunch was in Thunderbolt, GA at Tubby's Tankhouse.  Not only did I love the name, but the food was good, too.  (I could finally eat!)  It was nice to grab a seat on the upper deck and enjoy the view.

    Lunch at Tubby's Tankhouse.
     Then we finally arrived at Tybee Island.  Oh, what a view.  I am a water baby.  I'm certain that I'm meant to live on the beach.

    I belong on the beach.

    That night we went to dinner at AJ's Dockside.  Unfortunately, a storm hit while we were waiting to be seated.....outside.  Luckily, there was a leaky awning for us to stand under with every other person on the island who was also waiting to be seated.  Bright side?  It started raining after we got under the awning and stopped before we had to walk to the car.  Score!
    Waiting at AJ's during the storm.  That guy was trying really hard to be our friend...
     Luckily, the stormy weather ran away and we were able to enjoy the next day at the beach!  Lexy lasted about 10 minutes before retreating to our hotel to watch movies.  Mom and I could have stayed forever.

    Gotta support the homeland!  Hook'em Horns!
     Mom and I decided to return to the beach that evening for a nice stroll.  But no.  The storm came back.  *womp, womp*
    Quick pick as the storm rolled in.
    ...and then it was there.  haha
     After two days at Tybee Island, we drove north to Charleston, SC.  Of course, I found pink and gray elephants at a fireworks stand.  Photo op! 


    We had to stop and see the Angel Oak on our way as well.  The Angel Oak Tree is a Southern live oak located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, SC. It is estimated to be at least 400 and as much as 1400-1500 years old.  It was huge!

     The rest of the day was spent in Charleston on the pier and in the market. was hot.  We enjoyed a swing on the pier and some good ol' gelato.  The day took so much out of us, that we stayed in the hotel that night and ordered Japanese takeout.  Sushi and chicken pad thai...ftw!

    The Pineapple Fountain at Charleston Harbor

    Mom just needed to cool off...

    Just a swangin' on the pier.

    Mmmm....coconut crème gelato.

    In the Charleston Market...because that's a combo that everyone craves.  Right!?
     Myrtle Beach, SC was our next stop.  We spent the day on the boardwalk and I was lucky enough to get to visit with my grade school friend, Carrie.  She just moved to Myrtle Beach a little over a month ago.  It was great to catch up over lunch.

    Carrie & I

    Mom enjoying the sights on the boardwalk. 

    Sounds like my kinda place...

    Look who I ran into!  ROLL OUT!
     The next day was spent getting home.  The mister was ready for me to wrap this road trip up and get back to the homeland.  We stopped outside of Birmingham, AL for lunch at the Tip Top Café next to Lover's Leap.  What a view!!

    My lunchmates enjoying the view.
    No photo collection would be complete without acknowledging the multiple trips to Starbucks that were made.  Every. Day.

    It was a great time, but I have to admit that I'm glad to be back home with the mister in my own our house.  Do you guys have any big roadtrips or vacations planned for this summer?  Let me know!  Especially if it includes Texas.  Did someone say meet-up!?