{Thankful} 1 day out of 365

Giving thanks for one day out of three-sixty-five just seems plain old silly to me. I wake up each morning with a thankful surviving heart and give props when they are due.

I am thankful for:

The American Heart Association – Minnesota
Without the American Heart Association my Father and I would not be standing. Because of their dedication to a world without heart disease and stroke, we were saved. The AHA is lobbying for heart healthy policies, raising funds for life saving research, and giving all of us a chance at tomorrow. The American Heart Association #IsWhy. The AHA gave me a platform to share my story and by using my voice I am changing our tomorrow for the better.

Earlier in the year I was diagnosed with an autoimmune/auto inflammatory disease. I am sick with a disease that doesn’t even have a name. My immune system no longer has an off switch and my body has declared war on itself. Test showed that I had high C-Reactive Protein and with my family history I am destined for Congestive Heart Failure. I have a 95% chance of following in my Daddy’s footsteps. My Pulmonary Embolism and stroke were a fluke, but this, this was all ready written in the cards. I am not worried nor am I scared, because I know the American Heart Association is fighting for my tomorrow. They are raising funds for critical research that will one day save my life. And for that I am incredibly thankful.

“My Mama and Pete aka my Dad”

Photo by: Stephanie Ryan Photography

Photo by: Stephanie Ryan Photography

My Parents are my greatest cheerleaders. Together we faced the unknown, fought the good fight, and with faith in our hearts we saw a better day. My Father is a 13 year congestive heart failure survivor and my Mama is one tough cookie. She takes care of my dad, sets up his pills, drives him to the Mayo, and without her he would not be alive. She puts her needs aside to care for the man that fathered her daughters. My Mama does it without question, she is an extremely giving soul that doesn’t know how to quit. Because she cared, because she loves him, my Dad got to see his daughters graduate college, get married and divorced, he stood by my side as I recovered from a stroke, he said hello and goodbye to his first grandchild, and got to hold his second in his arms. Because of My Mama, my Daddy is living the life that dreams are made of.


Photo by: Stephanie Ryan Photography

Photo by: Stephanie Ryan Photography

There are no words to describe my love for this little girl. I fell in love with Sophia the moment I laid eyes on her. Connected our souls are and she will always be a light in my life. Watching her grow and come into her own has been a great joy. Hearing her voice whisper into my ear, her I love yous, and her “Hi Auntie Mannies” never get old. Sophia has my heart and I have hers. Auntie is the greatest title I have ever been given and everything I do is for her healthy tomorrow.

Cullen aka The Muppet Like Dog

Photo by: Stephanie Ryan Photography

Photo by: Stephanie Ryan Photography

Those who say “a dog cannot bring you happiness,” have never owned a dog. This little white ball of muppet like fur has brought so much joy, love, and laughter into my life. Cullen has been my trusty little side kick, my confidant, my fashion critic, and mostly the best four legged friend a girl could ever ask for. He and I are as thick as thieves. Mama and Muppet together forever and ever.

Divorced Life
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Yes, I am thankful for my crazy Divorced Life that is a beautiful disaster that even I could never have imagined. Life, it didn’t pass me by, instead it was patiently waiting for me. Waiting for me to find my way and to come into my own. My life, it has been far from easy. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Because in the end it is my beautiful story and no one else can live my words. No one else can love the way I do, fall flat like I do, and no one, no one can contain my passion for living like I do.

I have fallen in and out of love and said goodbye more times than I care to count. It seems that God needs my friends more than I do. They are now apart of the stars that I place my wishes on. All of the women who lost their lives due to complications from the Nuva Ring are the reason I do what I do, Because I know if they were given the chance they would gladly take my seat on earth and continue the good fight. I owe every moment of my messy divorced life to the four people who died so I could be the one to live another day.

To live another day on my never ending quest to find love. Love is a dream that I have been chasing. I want a second chance to prove to the world that I AmandaJean can have a successful marriage. For a little while Charlie made that dream come true. God he had other plans for him and I was left with a broken heart. I gave myself time, breathed in the loss, and looked to the stars. Those stars lit my way and I can finally say I have found someone who loves my kind of crazy. Who appreciates my honesty, my ability to live in the emotionally raw and one who is intrigued by my wit. For the first time in four years, I am truly happy. I feel like my old self and my heart is bursting with more joy than one soul can handle.

I am thankful for fate, for she has finally smiled upon me.

{BirchBox} Giving – November 2014

November 2014This month isn’t just about pumpkin pie and gifting, though we support both traditions. It’s also about giving back and giving thanks—whether that’s joining us in raising money and awareness to help fight AIDS with (RED), or being grateful for life’s delights, big and small.

My Facebook feed has been flooded with “thirty days of gratitude” posts and photos. I never take part in such things because I wake each day with a thankful surviving heart. I believe in saying thank you on a regular basis to those who have touched my life, saved it, and continue to stand by my side. November is just one month out of twelve and Thanks Giving is just one day out of 365. Give back each day and karma will reward you. Say thanks more times than you can count and you will be a humble soul.

Humble souls love choices and Birchbox gives me the ability to chose one of my samples every month. I have been in a ten year long love affair with the UK and jump at the chance of trying a British brand. One of the samples you could chose from was from Royal Apothic. I was lucky enough to nab one before they ran out. One gets to chose their sample around the 25th of each month and then the waiting begins. Your box doesn’t show up until the 15th of the next month. That’s a long time to wait, I bide my time and stalk the crap out of my tracking code until the box magically shows up on my doorstep.

“Hey! What did you get in your BirchBox this month?!”


amika – Nourishing Mask: Paraben-free treatment that conditions and repairs with superfruit sea buckthorn berry
—————————-> I have no idea what a sea buckthorn berry is, but this this is the stuff folks. It smells amazing and made my curly hair super soft. Best part it didn’t weight my curls down, instead it was nice and light.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty – Creamy lip stain in Heartthrob: a long wearing lip stain that gives moisture and unbeatable shine
————————–> Truth: “I really want to try this product. The color is so pretty. However the package is really tiny and I can’t get the fucking safety plastic seal thingy off! I’ve tried and failed numerous times. We’ve had words with each other and it still will not come off!”

Gilchrist & Soames – Spa Therapy Body Lotion: antioxidant rich moisturizer that smooths and softens with botanical like grape seed
——————————-> I took one whiff of this and it reminded me of a Grandma so naturally I gave it to my Mama. She is a Grandma after all and she actually loved the scent and texture of the lotion.

Royal Apothic – Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask: made with antioxidant rich tea this mask firms and brightens the skin in just eight minutes.
—————————> You know you want to, come on now say “Cuppa Cuppa” out loud. Its fun and makes me giggle every time. This is the British Brand that I was excited to see in the sample choice options this month. I love the smell of this mask and bonus it does a dandy little job on my skin in just eight minutes flat. I will definitely be ordering the full-sized product when my sample runs out.

theBalm – Cindy-Lou Manizer” this shimmery, soft pink highlighter perks up your features with a natural looking glow
———————————–> OMG you all ready know I have made love for theBalm and I was excited to get another theBalm sample in my box. This sample is super cute and I love that the highlighter doubles as a shimmer eye shadow. Come on now the product name is just plain gosh darn fun!

Dang Coconut Chips
—–> what can I say they are dried pieces of coconut and they are very tasty.

This months box was pretty darn great and I have used almost every sample. Well except for the lip stain, we are still fighting and my Mama she put the lotion to good use.

Birch Box is a beauty and lifestyle subscription box program that costs $10.00 per month. For every dollar you spend in the shop you can earn 1 point. 100 points will get you a free birch box or $10 towards a purchase in the shop at birchbox.com. I know you’ve got friends so why not refer those friends to Birch box and earn a few points for doing so. If you would like to learn more and get a Birch Box of your very own go to http://www.birchbox.com for more information.

***I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own***