"You are alive and you have things to share so why don’t you grow the eff up and get back to doing what you love: writing about your life."
This personal internet space, in some form or another, has been around since December 2009. I, on the other hand, have been observing the world and sharing my findings for far longer than that.
This space is where I write about my life. It is the hub of all the things I have going on.
Most currently: I'm 32 years old, living in my open, airy one-bedroom apartment on Long Island, NY with my boyfriend, John + our two cat-kids.
I left my job with me & my BIG ideas back in June, and spent the few months of this past summer off of social media, working on this space behind the scenes, and trying to come up with a plan for how to combine all my skills in design, teaching, writing, crafting, memory keeping, and marketing to propel myself into the next phase of my career. // Here is where you can follow along on my journey towards this goal + all the adventures in between.
I believe in regular people like me and you telling our stories our way.
I believe in the habitual, typed-out processing of life events, i.e. "this is what has happened to me and this is how I'm moving through the world with it."
I believe in sharing our brave, weird, niched talents/hobbies/obsessions with the world.
I believe in real talk, flawed images, and that getting things out is better than keeping them in.
I am the morningest morning person you'll ever meet. Even my name says it: AM-anda. I am my most focused, inspired self before the sun comes up and after I've had my first cup of coffee. You'll usually find me working on my blog, writing lists in one of my many planners, or crafting with office supplies - while listening to a small-business podcast & eating yogurt with granola on top.
Pretty paper. Useful paper. Stickers + paper.
...viewing, holding, (even sometimes) smelling...
...cutting, gluing, crafting, manipulating...
...making with, decorating with, organizing with, memory keeping with, problem solving with...
Yeah. For as long as I can remember, I've had this 'thing' with paper. It's a big part of my journey.
My first design job in craft & hobby was working for We R Memory Keepers. For them I designed two paper collections called IT FACTOR and LOVE NOTES. I worked for them until American Crafts bought out We R, and I lost my position. I was, however, able to see LOVE NOTES displayed at CHA in 2015. This was an amazing first experience in the industry!
My most recent creative gig was as the Social Media Coordinator for me & my BIG ideas, and went along with The Happy Planner®'s journey from idea, to launch, to a major following of over 200K planner babes! I came up with inspiring ways to use the product, worked to create an inclusive community, and educated customers at conferences.
Yep, that's right. I used to be a classroom teacher (in what seems like another life now), but went through a major career change into graphic design back in 2013. It's a big part of who I am today, and you can read more about it in a bunch of fragmented, emotional posts I wrote years back HERE. My time spent teaching was transformative for me.
April 14th, 2015 was a really. great. day. I had come into the gym John was working at that morning - to take the class as I always did - and I was the only one from the class who showed up. I had a 45-minute solo session with the cute trainer, chatting it up, flirting a little bit...and later on that day I asked him out.
We've been 'us' ever since.
In the summer of 2010, two kittens lost their mom and stumbled into my backyard. Both hungry and near death, I plucked them from the earth and a cat-mama I immediately became. They are seven years old now, and have been by my side through it all - even a move to Texas and back. They are my children, my best buddies, my heart and soul.
I couldn't have asked for a better, more inspiring, first place to live. It's a one-bedroom apartment on the top, 5th floor with great natural light and an open floor plan. I live for DIY home decor projects and reupholstering my dining chairs was one of my faves! // Check out more at #ARZ_myfirstplace.
I'm a big fan of karaoke because I love to sing, but I know I'm not, like, great. Don't sign me up for The Voice or anything, but sit me on my mom's couch, with a glass of rose, some family that's down to let loose, and one of these mics in my hand? I'm golden.
See #Zampellikaraoke for more,
or my 80th Birthday Song to Grams.
Other than karaoke, DANCING is one of those rare things that gets me totally out of myself, while at the same time making me feel like exactly who I am. I've been taking formal lessons at a studio on and off since 2009, and NOW - after performing a few routines and attending weekly socials - I can say 'I'm not too bad for a white girl.' ;)
I'm learning to let go of my perfectionist tendencies. Furthermore, I'm learning to be aware of them and call them by name, so I can let them go. I find this to be a more common topic of conversation for me - and even wrote a posts on the subject entitled "The Problem with Over-Achieving".
OMG! I really LOVED this game and hashtag when it first came out. These three weirdos about sum me up. A blend of Veda Sultenfuss and Mona Lisa Vito is proabably the most accurate, and a few different wackos could be substituted for Phoebe Buffay, but generally speaking - yep.
Growing up is really hard. Each new season brings its own set of challenges, and hopefully this less-than-perfect, ‘give it all I got’ site will help me (and you) learn and move forward through each phase of it.
Thank you for taking interest in my world, for sharing your inspirations and stories as well, and making me feel like we're figuring this out together.