Life

Life Updates!

Hello lovelies,

I know it’s been a while… like a very long time since I’ve posted anything on my blog – but here I am, and I’m truly back!

If you follow me on any of my social media, then you probably already know the big news…

I’m pregnant! 

We are expecting a little baby boy in February 2017 – and we couldn’t be happier. 

We’ve also purchased a new house and are moving in 4 weeks before the baby is due – crazy I know. Hopefully the little guy takes his time and gives me enough time to setup all the new furniture! And by setup, I really mean order my loved ones around for a couple days until all the new furniture is built and in the right spot. I’m going to have to be extra creative with my thank you gifts… dealing with an 8 month pregnant woman trying to nest won’t be easy! 

So besides buying furniture and decor for the new house, starting my baby registry, I’ve also started a new job in the last month – hooray! I couldn’t really couldn’t be happier. They’ve also been super amazing about my pregnancy which takes a lot of stress off of me. Although I don’t want my blog to become a pregnancy or new mom blog, you can definitely expect that a couple of my posts will be baby related, I mean this is a really big deal!!

So stick around to see all the exciting projects and adventures I have on the go!


Amanda xox

Surviving a Long Commute & Public Transit Nightmares

Traffic, public transit, smelly commuters, loud talkers and angry drivers… You know the feeling, am I right?!

This blog post was inspired by my favorite website Apartment Therapy where they review the 5 Ways Smart People Survive a Long Commute.

As per a study by Statistics Canada: “In the six largest metropolitan areas, the average commuting time was 44 minutes for public transit users and 27 minutes by car.”

I guess I’m far from the average commuter since my daily public transit commute is approximately 2.5 hours, and 40 minutes on the weekends. Which is an average total of 750 minutes of commute time each week. Cue the tears…

I don’t have a driver’s license, so taking the bus really is my only option. I’ve been taking the bus for most of my life, and luckily I’ve found several ways to make the most of my time productive and enjoyable.

    1. Music

If I don’t have my headphones with me, I’m basically miserable, so I’ve made the habit of checking my bag before I leave the house each day. I plug them in and listen to my favorite tunes all the way to my office. Lately, my playlists consists of Justin Bieber (I’m not even slightly embarrassed about him being the first on my list), Iggy Azalea (working on my shiiiit), The Weekend (especially when it’s rainy, so soothing), Lana Del Rey (duh) and random oldies.

  1. Podcasts

The great thing about podcasts is you can actually download them to your device instead of streaming them on the bus! I mostly listen to Tim Ferris, Call Your Girlfriend, The Mystery Show and my new favorite The Meditation Podcast, any time I feel anxious, nervous or frustrated, I put my headphones in and listen to their 8 minute podcast and I feel a thousand times better.

  1. Lists

Lists, oh how I love making lists. I plan my day, I plan my evening, I plan my week, I plan everything, and it helps keep me on track and I usually avoid forgetting things… Usually… I put everything in the Notes section of my phone, and set daily reminders for things I absolutely can’t forget. If you can’t already tell, I’m a very forgetful person.

  1. E-books

I LOVE E-books! Unfortunately in the last couple of years I’ve become nauseated from reading in a moving vehicle, that’s when I discovered E-books. The last one I read was Furiously Happy, which I recommend times a million to anyone who deals, or knows someone that deals with mental illness.

  1. Naps

I’m not even kidding, sometimes I definitely get some sleep on my way in to work. I’m not a morning person, don’t judge me. It’s never a full REM sleep obviously, but I feels good to close my eyes. And luckily (knock on wood) I’ve never missed my stop.

Now, for the totally unacceptable things to do in public transit:

Disclaimer, if you do any of these things, you’re a terrible human being.

  1. Cut your nails. I’ve actually seen this happen more often than I would like to admit, and I mean I’ve even seen people take their socks off and cut their toe nails. DON’T EVER DO THIS.
  2. Lounge. By all means, read your book, I have no issue with that, but understand that this isn’t your sofa, I do not want your elbows on my person, so GTFO.
  3. Argue on the phone. Listen if you’re on the phone, I don’t care, that’s why I have headphones, but do not yell on your phone swearing about how your brother ate the entire bag of Cheetos last night. True story.
  4. Eggs. Nothing makes me want to puke more in the morning than someone eating hard-boiled eggs on the bus. COMMON NOW!
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#facepalm

Let me know the things you do to pass the time on your commute into work! I’d love to add somethings to my list! And share any horror stories you’ve witnessed on the bus or other public transit – we can console each other about how messed up some people are.

Happy Monday everyone!

Amanda Kayla Liberty | Blog | Video Games

Having a Bad Day? Let’s Change That…

Have you ever had one of those days, where everything seemed to go completely wrong?

I started writing this post last week, halfway through what seemed to be the worst day ever. I slept through my alarm… so my morning was off to a great start already. I tried my best to be semi-presentable and rushed to catch my bus. As I left my building, the bus was driving passed me and I ran to catch it… I managed to leap into the largest slush puddle, and got my socks, completely soaked. I missed the bus, and had to walk 15 minutes to the next stop. Finally when I got on my bus, I had the loudest person come sit next to me, blabbing away on their phone. I forgot my headphones back at home, which means it was a torturous commute… Eventually after a 1 hour bus ride, I finally get to work. Of course the first thing on my mind is… COFFEE. I grab a fresh cup, sit at my desk, and I’m sure you can already tell where I’m going with this… I dropped the entire cup on my desk and lap. I remember being stunned and walking away, hiding in the bathroom to let out a few tears. Why is everything going so wrong? Why is this happening to me?

The truth is, and some might disagree, but bad energy brings bad results. Yes, some things are completely out of our control, but what we do have control over is the way we choose to feel about the situation.

If I wasn’t so upset about missing my bus, having to walk, and the fact that my feet were wet and cold, I might not have been so annoyed with the person talking on the phone. And if I wasn’t so upset about all of that I might not have been on edge, and could have avoided spilling my coffee. Listen, I know what I’m saying is easier to accept after the fact. It’s hard to be positive when you’re standing in a cold puddle that’s formed in your boots, or drenched in burning hot coffee. I get it. But sometimes, if we just moved passed those problems, and looked around instead of sulking, we would see all the magic that surrounds us.

Just the other day I was upset because my cellphone died while I was commuting home. As I put my phone away I started to look at the people around me waiting at the bus stop. That’s when I noticed this elderly lady struggle to walk through the mounts of snow with her large grocery bags. These men in suits rushed passed her, I thought to myself “someone should help her… I should help her”… before I could take a step, this young man, maybe 16 years old at the most, stopped her and asked her if she needed help, he grabbed her bags and walked her to the bench inside the bus stop. My eyes filled with water. How lucky I was to witness this moment, how lucky I was that for once, I wasn’t too busy staring at my screen. 

All this to say… I made a list of things to remember, for the next time I accidentally jump in puddles without my rain boots. (Because jumping in puddles can actually be very therapeutic.) 

Accept the Situation

Oh, you spilled your coffee? That really sucks. Are you still alive? Thought so. Clean up, brush it off and make a new cup.

It Could be Worse

Your boss was tough on you today, and you get home all worked up… Move on, you might not always like your job, but at least you have a job.

Force Yourself to Smile

Are you mad? Oh no… You’re furious! You say there’s no way anything can turn your mood around? Really? Please Google “Funny Pugs” and tell me that you don’t feel a little bit better.

This Isn’t Permanent

OKAY FINE. Some days are just so impossible that you can’t move past them… At least find comfort in the fact that no matter how hard it gets, This too Shall Pass (my very wise little sister shared that quote with me).

Superhero Mode

You’re having a really shitty day. Guess what? You’re probably not the only one. Get out of your head, and make someone smile, do something nice. I guarantee it will change your perspective.

 

Amanda Kayla Liberty | Blog | Video Games

Weekend Adventures

I’m currently in bed, about to take an afternoon Sunday nap, because… on Sunday, I do what I want. Don’t judge me…

My weekend wasn’t as productive as I wanted but it was fun!

Saturday I worked at my part-time gig. On my way to work there was a major accident on the highway and we were stuck in a complete standstill for over 45 minutes… Eventually I made it to work… late, but I brought donuts with me to make up for my tardiness! Professional: level expert.

I definitely took a couple selfies while waiting in traffic, I must say, my hair looked damn good that day!

After work Nick and I went over to Gen and Seb’s. While the boys watched the hockey game, us girls made some homemade bath bombs! We made lavender bath bombs with almond, jojoba and coconut oils! Look how adorable they turned out:


So much fun! I can’t wait to buy some ingredients and start making my own!

Baths for daysssssss.

This morning I woke up early and I made breakfast which consisted of toast with avocado and an over-easy egg with a side of maple syrup beans and a strawberry & banana smoothie. So delicious I wish I could have that every morning.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

ALSO… Check out my new shop on Society6

Amanda Kayla Liberty | Blog | Video Games

A Funny Story. A Forever Friend.

When we stop and think about the small moments that lead us here today, it’s almost impossible to deny destiny. For example, my best friend. Our friendship grew out of the most unusual circumstances – and I’m so very happy it did. We’ve been through a lot… almost 10 years of friendship and a roller coaster ride at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

We went to the same high school but always had a different group of friends. In 10th grade our circles of friends started to become closer, but I still can’t remember speaking to her very much at first. Basically, the reason we began to talk was that in 10th grade my first ever skater-boy-boyfriend dumped me, and started to date her! As if life couldn’t be more ironic, we ended up going to Italy together weeks later, with our school’s art students – and had to sleep in the same room.

How many girls could have said that within those 4 walls, they could have built a forever friendship with the girl that stole her boyfriend? (She didn’t really steal him – I mean, we were in 10th grade after all.)

I don’t think it would have worked in most cases. What it took was two awkwardly hilarious individuals with kind hearts and open minds. That’s the reason we became friends in Italy, and that’s the reason we are still friends today.

I owe a lot of who I am today to her. She’s picked me up at my lowest, she loved me even when I wasn’t lovable and she never gave up on me. There’s nothing that I could ever do to repay her for being my friend, especially when I didn’t even deserve one.

Through broken hearts, bleeding limbs, lost jobs and failed classes. Through new love and new friends, new puppies and new homes. To our crazy business ventures and never-ending imagination, our karaoke silliness and rolling down grass hills. You’re my best friend, you’re my family. I love you and I’m forever grateful to have you in my life.

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#gogetmesomebread #poursomesugaronmeeeeee #italysistasforlife

Happiness Defined

“To live in the present moment is the highest calling, the source of all happiness”Naval Ravikant

I always come back to this quote, it’s beautiful and meaningful and mostly it’s a necessary reminder for me to focus on what’s truly important.

Lately, I’ve been very distracted. I probably often seem to be more interested in my phone than my surroundings. For that, I am sorry… because that’s the farthest thing from the truth.

I’ve always been the type of person to encourage everyone to live in the moment, seize the day, and be grateful. But mostly that they need to stop worrying about things that are out of their control.

I should take my own advice more often…

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed and disappointed about decisions I made in the past. I’ve been scared, and even angry at times, and it’s affected every inch of my life.

The truth is that I’m happy, I’m overjoyed with my life – the problem is, I need to start acting like it.

I’ve basically worked for 30 days straight now, yesterday being my first day off in a long time. I keep telling myself that because I’m so busy with my two jobs and school, I don’t have enough time to paint and write. In my defense I do try and use my free-time wisely, even if it means lounging on the couch playing my Xbox or watching Netflix. That time is important, everyone needs to unwind.

This is my happy place

This is my happy place

However, I’ve been making too many excuses. If I truly wanted to balance my schedule properly and give myself time for painting, drawing and writing, I most certainly could. But often, laziness takes control of me and I truly just want to do nothing…

But time is our one resource that isn’t renewable, therefore we all need to use the time we have wisely. I need to kick my behind back into shape and make things happen for myself. Because I know that being creative, giving myself time and space to unleash the ideas I have buried in my head… that makes me happy.

Which is why this week I will be launching my new website which will feature all of my artwork that’s for sale, and a page for custom requests. As some of you may not know, not only do I paint, but I also do a lot of graphic design. So make sure to keep an eye out for the launch as I will definitely be posting it on my blog!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me in this incredible time in my life, and everyone who has shown immense support for my blog. I love you all – I can’t thank you enough.

AKL ♥

Ps. Last week I officially sold my first piece of artwork, here is “Messier 8”:

Messier 8 Amanda Kayla Liberty 2015

Messier 8
Amanda Kayla Liberty
2015

Stop Thinking. Start Doing.

I’m sure my parents would agree that I’ve always been the kind of person that seems to be stuck in her own world. Whether it was prancing around as a child picking flowers for everyone during soccer games, sitting in my room drawing and writing stories, or riding around on my bike a on quest to solve mysteries. I’ve just always been a dreamer.

I’m lucky that my parents were able to bring me back to reality often enough that I grew up to be a fairly reasonable and capable adult.

My creative mind has always been a gift, but I’ve realized lately that if you don’t act on ideas often enough, you will end up overwhelmed by them. That’s been my biggest obstacle.

I’m constantly inspired by everything around me. The problem was, I wasn’t doing anything with this inspiration. I was too busy waiting for the next great idea or making excuses for myself.

I was drowning. I was overwhelmed by possibilities, and I wasn’t acting on any of them.

I don’t know what changed lately. I can’t thank any particular individual or moment, but I know that the irrefutable support I get from Nick, my family and my friends, lead to this turning point in my life where I decided to just do it. I started painting, writing and practicing yoga. All of these things have brought me an indescribable inner calm that I’ve been longing for.

I have a need to create. No matter which medium I choose, I need to let my creativity out or else I will drive myself, and everyone around me, absolutely crazy.

I’ve been too busy contemplating how profitable my use of time was before investing in an idea, but all along I was just wasting time debating everything instead of doing anything.

Yes, time is your most important resource, because it is one that isn’t renewable. However, sitting there thinking and letting time pass you by, instead of making something happen, well that is a waste of such an invaluable resource.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I struggle, but all I know is I haven’t felt this good and this productive in a long time.

If you are reading this and you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog, or starting a YouTube channel, or you’ve been dreaming about creating a product – do it!

Make a small step… or a big one, towards that ultimate goal and you will see how much happiness that simple step will bring you. Each step you take will lead to the next one, and then the next, until you look behind you and realize how far you’ve climbed in such little time. I know it’s easier said than done sometimes, but trust me, it’s better to have tried and failed, than to never have tried at all.

in-the-end-we-only-regret-the-chances-we-didnt-take

Library Card

Recently, while I was rummaging through the belongings I had left behind at my parents’ house, I stumbled upon my old library card. For a moment I wondered why I had left it with my most treasured items, which included birthday cards, photo booth pictures, movie stamps and handmade ornaments.

In one swift moment I was brought back to the exact day I got my very own library card. In that moment, it was the most amazing thing I owned, the most important item in my wallet.

I have my wonderful parents to thank for my love of literature. I can clearly recall the time my Dad told me that allowing myself time to read was the best gift I could give myself. And he was absolutely right. My parents have always had an amazing collection of books, shelves filled with colorful books all different shapes and sizes. I remember staring at those shelves, knowing that each was filled with different stories, and I knew that one day I wanted my own home library.

There is one book, that I still don’t own, but I rented it from the library over and over again. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. It was my favorite book. I read the first chapters in the isle nearest to the audio books. I sat on the floor with my back against the large bookshelf, and I read. I was completely captivated. If my friend hadn’t interrupted so that we could leave, I probably would have sat there until I finished the entire book.

I also remember a time I went to the library with my Mom to rent multiple books on planets, space shuttles, and the universe. My Mom and I sat for hours building a project for my 6th grade Science class. This is one of my fondest memories of school. During the time we spent, reading, writing, preparing and practicing my presentation, my Mom really taught me how to write, how to express myself and how to captivate an audience with confidence and just enough humor. I got an A+ on that project, so good that my teacher asked me to present my project to the other 6th grade class. I was so proud.

No – I was over the moon.

Another important moment in my life, was the first time I really told myself that I wanted to be an artist. I went to the library and sat in one of the desks in the back, equipped with drawing pencils that my Grandpa had given me, and a book on Michelangelo’s artwork. I doodled in my sketch book for the entire afternoon.

These might only be a handful of memories, but all these memories, all these stories, they all began with a library card.

Let me know which books you’ve been loving lately!

Beans Now, Steak Later

“Beans Now, Steak Later”, after hearing this for the first time, I was initially puzzled. What did this mean? Oh great… now I’m hungry, and I really want a steak.

The basic principle behind the saying is that, if you live simply now, later on in life you will be able to enjoy life’s pleasures without worry – in this case, a steak. As much as this sounds like an exaggeration, this actually comes from a true story. In Kevin O’Leary’s book Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women & Money, he writes about a time he met an elderly man from Minneapolis. He explains, that he ate beans for over 5 years, and after he paid off his mortgage, he bought himself a steak.

I found myself partially troubled by this idea. When I was younger I was told to save, and that later on in life I would be able to enjoy my savings, travel, and do whatever I pleased. However, when I became old enough to start making my own opinions about life, I started to fear living for tomorrow, and began to live with the mantra “live each day to the fullest”.

Now, at 26 years old, I wish I would have found a balance between both those ideas. Because yes, life is about balance. Living within your means, but enjoying every day to its fullest. The thing I didn’t understand as a teenager, and still struggle with today, is that, living every day to its fullest, doesn’t mean always having to spend money. I, along with many other people, need to learn to embrace and treasure the simple things in life, every single day – and that, is living each day to its fullest.

Beyond my internal debate on the matter, I still believe there is something real, something honest in “Beans Now, Steak Later”. Personally, what I would like to take from it is that, today, you might struggle, you might be doing certain things you’d rather not be doing, but one day, everything you have accomplished, and all the hard work you put in, all of it was moving you towards your ultimate goal, whatever that may be.

Now, go seize the day!