Confessions of a Literary Hoarder

My name is Amanda and I am a hoarder of books. No, for real. Not only do I have piles of books that I haven’t yet read, I continue to buy more with no end in sight. I would gladly spend a day/night/afternoon curled up reading instead of partaking in almost any other activity (napping is the one caveat). Barnes & Noble is my living version of heaven. When I get within a one mile radius of the front doors, I imagine my husband can feel our bank account start to shrink before his very eyes. There is never enough time, money or space to attack all the books! My GoodReads “to read” list is stocked with well over 1000 books and I continue to add to it at an alarming rate.

Additionally, I possess somewhat of a snobbish attitude when it comes to reading. I find people who read off any tablet or e-reader to be committing a literary felony. And listening to an audio book?!? Blasphemy! Holding the actual book in your hands, being able to turn the pages, soaking in the glory of the oddly alluring smell of books are all things that cannot be obtained otherwise. When I finish a book I loved, I find it truly rude and offensive when people disagree with me. It physically pains me not to yell, “HOW DID YOU NOT LOVE THIS BOOK!?”, along with various other personal attacks. Conversely, when I see someone reading a book I didn’t care for, I want to rudely interrupt them and share my unrequested opinion. And checking out books from the library? Not even an option. My intention is to accumulate such a vast array of books that I need Lance to build me a library envious of any “Beauty and the Beast” fan.All this being said, I feel I would not be living up to my obsession potential if I did not share some of my favorites with the world. So I compiled a list of seven books I’ve read in the last couple years either solo or in book club that I would recommend in a heartbeat. If you’ve read these, share your thoughts! And if you haven’t read these, take the dive!

  1.  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: Made into an HBO miniseries, this book is a great book club recommendation! Also, Liane Moriarty is a wonderful fiction/chick-lit writer, period. I can’t recommend her books enoughBLL.
  2. Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson: I’m a sucker for any WWII historical fiction book. Although sad, I can confidently say this book is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.Once we were brothers
  3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Another great WWII historical fiction book.nightingale.jpg
  4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: If you can make it through the end of this book without crying, your heart must be made of stone. This memoir is a slap-in-the-face reminder of our mortality.when breath becomes air.jpg
  5. In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner: A somewhat fictionalized account of the author’s childhood in Cambodia during Civil War, this book is the only book I’ve rated as 5 star-worthy on GoodReads.shadow of the banyan.jpg
  6. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker: A book club read that completely took me by surprise about the still-unsolved murders of several girls who got caught up in the world of online escorts.lost girls
  7. You’ll Grow out of It by Jessi Klein: One of the few memoirs I’ve ever read where I genuinely laughed out loud continuously while reading'll grow out of it.jpg

What are some books that are on your “must read” lists? I NEED ALL THE INFO!

Until next time…


Eating my Words

It’s time to get real, friends. So buckle up.

I have always had a strange relationship with food. Growing up, I never really thought about it; I was an active pre-teen and could eat whatever I wanted without a care in the world. I remember sleepovers where we would walk to the dollar store by our house and just LOAD UP on amazing goodies (and by “amazing”, I mean terrible for you). I was living a carefree childhood and my diet, or lack thereof, was the last concern I had.

Then, New Year’s Eve of my senior year in high school I decided I was going to go on a diet. It started out innocently enough with the required healthy eating and working out. However, much to my downfall, I don’t usually do things half-assed. It quickly became an obsession. One that I adamantly denied to my friends and family, but an obsession nonetheless. I became a creature of habit and would basically subsist off the same thing every day: yogurt for breakfast, bagel for lunch, vegetables for a snack and a turkey sub from Subway every evening after I ran.

But it slowly got worse. The fall of my freshman year of college, there would be days where I ate only an apple and a yogurt but still ran miles on the treadmill. Skipping a day on the treademill was an incredulous thought and one I would not entertain. I smoked like a chimney at the time so that it would curb my appetite. (Insert 2017 Amanda comments: “I may smell disgusting and get lung cancer, but hey, I’m skinny!” Ugh, so terrible.)

Did I know I was being ridiculous? Yes. Did I necessary care? No.

Slowly over time, it got better. I started eating more and working out less. I was at an even place for a long time. A good place.

Until the fall I started grad school. Anxiety kicked in and kicked my ass hard. I’m not talking anxiety like “oh, I’m nervous to go to this place or to see that person.” Buck up, buttercup! No, I mean all-out anxiety. I couldn’t eat. I was an emotional wreck and would start crying for no reason at all. I didn’t want to leave the house or do anything out of my comfort zone. Waking up every morning was dreadful for me because my anxiety was at its peak at that time of day. I truly didn’t think I could start grad school and called my sister from the parking lot on my first day, bawling, telling her I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t go in there. (Of course I did go in, but it was no easy feat.)

As I got on meds (thank the heavens above) and started feeling better, I noticed that I also ate more. Slowly, I started gaining weight. And more. And more. Years later, I now sit here at my computer, typing this melodrama out to you all and I still don’t really know how it got to this point. Yes, my anxiety is manageable (again, AMEN for meds), but I also found myself not caring about things I should (like what I am eating, if I work out, and daily self-care tasks like doing the laundry (which my husband can adamantly attest to), etc).

So a few weeks back I decided this needed to change and, like, NOW. To be totally honest, the thought dawned on me at a recent doctor’s appointment when she asked me about kids in my future. I realized I was in no place, health-wise, to even be entertaining the thought of renting my womb out to a growing life! But yes, I do want to be a mommy. And as all of my mommy friends know, parenting involves sacrifice. I need to start sacrificing the McDonald’s and cake for my future self and potential offspring. If I can’t do that, then quite frankly, I don’t know if I should be a parent.

The last few weeks, I have discovered that meal planning is my best friend. It keeps me on track and prevents me from being left to my own devices (refer to aforementioned comment regarding not doing things half-assed; I would end up in a pile of chocolate bar wrappers and feeling like a piece of shit a tub of ice cream later). 

I truly don’t think of it as being on a diet. I still plan for “cheat meals” and that keeps me in a frame of mind where I know I’m not depriving myself. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “you have to change your mindset and your lifestyle.” In which I would respond defensively, “Oh, go eat your kale and fall of your cycle bike.” But it’s true! My god, it’s true! So, I admit it: I eat my words.
I also write this in hopes that it will keep me motivated and I can use this forum as a way to communicate my progress, frustrations and all that is between.

Until next time… 

Social Media No-No’s

Social Media. A concept that was virtually created only a decade or so ago, yet many cannot live a day without it. I am not going to get on my high horse and act like I am better than you. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have a black belt in Facebook creeping. Instead rather, I am going to take this time to bitch and moan over THE WORST things about social media.

  1. I understand that the baby quiche with arugula and asparagus you had for lunch was nice to look at, and probably equally tasty, but I do not need to see it filtered and posted on every available form of social media ever created. Stop shoving the damn quiche down my throat, literally and figuratively.
  2. Snapchat was created to capture a moment in time and share it with someone BRIEFLY. When I see snapchats posted on Facebook or Instagram, a part of me dies. You’re not fooling anyone. I can see the little timer in the top corner. Just, no. I’m not your friend on Snapchat for a reason.
  3. If you have a snap that you are especially proud of, just do us all a favor and make it      a part of your “My Story”. We do NOT need to see it sent to us both individually and in your story. It’s redundant. Thank you.
  4. #nofilter my ass. Your eyebrows look especially on point. Your teeth look paper white. Your skin has a general haze over it that is unobtainable by any human that is not a Kardashian or Jenner. I’m not saying you don’t look good, but you’re also not fooling anyone.                      sexy-selfy-fails
  5. The picture that is supposed to be about something else, but is really a poor excuse for a selfie. I realize you think you look especially good today, and more power to you. But don’t pretend that you’re trying to motivate me with an inspirational quote about seizing the moment when all I can see is your cleavage in my face.
  6. Vaguebooking: when people post vague, depressing comments BEGGING for people to ask them what’s wrong, but when prompted for more information, suddenly become mute and their fingers lose all ability to type. General Rule: If it’s something you’re not comfortable sharing with others, don’t post it on a website that was created t to share experiences. “Does everyone let you down (insert sad face emoji)?” Yes. They do. Get over it. “I’m done. I can’t win no matter what I do.” I’m sorry you feel that way, but maybe you should have a little chat with this individual rather than posting veiled passive aggressive comments. Listen, I can be the reigning champion of passive aggressiveness, but when it comes to social media, it’s just not necessary or effective.vaguebooking
  7. When a group of friends post the exact same picture all within the same 24 hour period. Trust me. Anyone who has their head above sand realizes that you and your girlfriends are all in Florida for your bachelorette party, but we don’t need to see 18 versions of the same event to be aware of this. We get it. Also, sidebar: I will admit that this can sometimes happen with my own gaggle of girls, but they know how I feel about it. It is safe to assume that they will be made fun of by me.
  8. Facebook is not the forum to which you should deal with whatever immature drama is plaguing your life at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good argument found in the comments of an article or status posting. I am the first person to spend far too much time taking it all in, but it is truly pathetic. I’m almost certain that Facebook was not the magical venue in which liberals transformed into conservatives, suddenly realizing they were wrong the entire time. GASP! I’m also certain that airing someone’s dirty laundry in public does nothing to make you look better. angry-typing.gif
  9. I thank the Gods above that social media was still just an idea when I was in junior high and high school. Because, whoever the genius was that decided it was smart to give teenagers access to a website where you can publicly shame, ridicule and make fun of others in the comfort of your home, hidden behind a screen, is…a…moron. It’s the perfect storm! Let’s take little people who still are immature and not thinking about their actions and then let’s create a whole other avenue for them to bully kids. Such a great idea.
  10. Finally, to wrap this up in a pretty little package let’s top it off with this: Typos and grammatical errors. One should have to pass a simple test in order to receive a Facebook account. If you fail, uz getz no Facebook.

Unfortunately, the list for this topic could go on and on. But one thing that you will never find me complaining about: dog videos. Keep ’em coming, people.

Until next time…


An Ode to My Annoying Teenage Self

When I was a senior in high school, we were instructed to write a letter to ourselves that we would later receive at our 10 year reunion. 10 years have come and gone and before I knew it, my letter was back in my hands. I was unrealistically excited, hoping that my 18 year old self was beyond her years in wisdom and plans for me. I found myself desperately clinging to the hope that I wasn’t, in fact, your typical senior in high school. For, I couldn’t possibly have been a shallow, sheltered, upper-middle class, white, privileged kid who was preparing for college that would be fully paid for by her father. No, I knew better..didn’t I?

Not surprisingly, as some of you may imagine, my letter was filled with obnoxious 18 year old angst and the belief that the “problems” I was facing were mild world disasters. I actually used a portion of this (what should have been important) letter complaining about the fact that I spent $7.50 going to “The Ring 2”. Yes, people. This was important to me. Seriously, how annoying was I? The worst. I just want to reach back in time and smack myself in the jugular.


However, I did find it somewhat humorous that I thought I would own a house, but not be married, at age 28. How I thought I could ever have afforded a house on my own is beyond me, but what did I know?! The realist 29 year that I am now, realizes that I would be living in straight-up squalor. I was pleased to be informed that I didn’t think I would have any children yet, if ever, because let’s be honest, kids still scare me as much as they did when I was 18. But that’s for another day…

Now, with 30 quickly approaching, I find myself somewhat horrified and embarrassed at my previous beliefs and opinions. I remember being younger and thinking that 30 was when your ovaries shriveled up like raisins and that you were more likely to get struck by lightening than actually find a partner who was worth your time and attention. But I now realize how ridiculous and annoying I was.

For the first time in my life, I am approaching a decade that isn’t filled with decisions of where to go to college and what to major in. (Which, is super important…ya know, because after 6 years of undergrad and graduate school I am doing NOTHING that I actually went to school for.) I don’t have to worry about drama with roommates (not counting my husband), or worrying if I am going to overdraft out of my checking account. I don’t need to worry about what other body part I can get tested or probed to be able to pay my rent. (PRACS, thank you for being around when I was a broke college student…even if a patch study left one of my arms with a permanent mark. That $350.00 was totally worth it.)

Your 20’s are fun and mostly care-free. I look back on college, and all the new freedom that comes with it, with such a fondness that I know I will never experience again. And I’ll admit that makes me a little sad. BUT, I also look forward to all that is ahead of me. So many places to travel. So many babies and weddings and huge life moments that I get to be a part of, with the most important people in my life. Because, that’s the beauty of almost being 30: the people you surround yourself with, are the ones you have chosen. The ones who made it out of high school with you alive. The ones who stuck by you and were there for you through college, no matter how far. The ones who have literally seen you at your worst and at your absolute best. The ones who have spent countless drunken nights with you, making memories you won’t ever even remember. Those are ones that make me ready, and excited, for 30.

best friends

I hope you all are lucky enough to have your chosen few.

Until next time..


I am woman. Hear me roar…for desperate ladies to zip it.

In honor of VD being right around the corner, I am back from my holiday-induced hibernation to regale my opinions with you all. Although, let’s be real, I was really too busy shoving turkey drumsticks and Christmas cookies down my gullet to stop and think about anything but my own hunger. And yet, after having to witness all the horror, my husband is still kind enough to spend the day o’ love with me (watching Walking Dead…oh my God, you guys).

Which leads me to the big “L” word……..”Lesbian”. Joking. Of course I meant “love”. (Although I am a strong proponent of lesbian love too. YAY FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY!) Some “love love” (gag me). Some do everything they can to avoid it. And then there are some who are downright desperate for it. The ones who give womankind a bad rap. The ones who have been in a relationship for a blink of an eye and are already pathetically begging for a ring. Because, didn’t you know, you guys? A ring solves everything! That rope of metal with a few diamonds thrown in there will make all your problems go away. And what could be more attractive to your male suitor than someone who needs a piece of jewelry to know that you’re committed! Your guess is as good as mine…jeesh.


May I remind everyone that I am married and I already have the ring (call me Gollum (and if you don’t get that reference we shouldn’t be friends)) so I can unabashedly stand on my soapbox and preach (sarcasm). But, I do like to think that I am coming from a place of “been there, fucking done that.” I love my husband. We were together for almost 8 years before we got engaged. That’s 56 years in dog math. And to be truthful, I never cared about the ring. I was confident in our relationship. I loved this man. I knew he loved me. And that was enough for me. He had seen me at my worst (and my God, there have been some legit worsts-ask anyone who knew/knows me during the age range of 19-25. Woof.). But in all seriousness, I didn’t need a piece of paper telling me we were in a committed relationship.

Now, if you feel that you fall into the above criteria, then please do yourself (and your male friend) a favor and change. Now. Let me remind you that, though I may not care for most people, every person is of value. Do you have friends? Then they find some value in you. Do you have a job? Then your employer finds some sort of value in you. Do you have a dog? Then that dog finds value in you. If you are in a relationship too? Then great. That person also finds value in you. However, a ring? A DAMN RING does not find value in you. Even if the friends you have swear like sailors, eat like little Japanese men, and sometimes get too drunk to drive you home-they are your friends (shout out to my Bitches 4 Lyfe!). Even if your employer is McDonald’s and you make annoying people like me delicious McNugs-you have a job and you are contributing to our decrepit society. And even if your dog slobbers on all your furniture, leaves hair on all your clothes and pillows, and takes over the whole King bed-he still loves you more than anyone else ever will.


So stop. Stop putting all your worth in a guy. Same is true for my bros out there. A vagina is great, but it doesn’t increase your self-worth (although some might argue). Anyway, you get what I’m getting at.

Until next time…may your Sunday be filled with whatever the hell you love.

Cut the Bull.

Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on, that’s when you’re the prettiest.” -Drake

Everyone has heard it. Every female has been annoyed by it. And most of them, I would hope, don’t believe that shit for one second. Apparently, Drake has never been around myself in the above situation. I am the queen of all aforementioned activities (or lack thereof). I can make it look effortless and disgusting. It is an art that I was lucky enough to be gifted with.

For starters, I could live in sweatpants every hour of every day for the rest of my life. You think I’m kidding, I’m not. You want to know what the best feeling in the world is? Coming home after a long day of work. You’re tired. You have a headache. You make your way up the steps and begin to quicken your pace for you know the bliss that is about to unfold. You start to unbutton those hot, jagged pieces of metal that have been digging into your stomach all damn day, while still in transit to the closet. Finally, you slip on what feels like hundreds of little cherubs, gently massaging your legs, and suddenly, all is right with the world.

To continue, I have more pairs of sweatpants than pants. I hate jeans. I think every pair that ever existed should be burned. Whoever invented these horrific torture devices and gave human beings the idea they had to wear them daily, clearly is the spawn of Satan. Don’t even get me started on my argument questioning why it is acceptable for toddlers and the elderly to wear sweatpants and track suits, but God forbid I wear a pair of yoga pants to work.

Ok, back to Drake. ‘But Amanda, no makeup?’ you ask. This should answer it well enough for you, my darling reader: Over a month ago, I went on a weekend getaway with my husband. Wanting to look semi-presentable for a NHL game, I packed my makeup bag. Guys, I kid you not, I just took my makeup bag out of my duffel two days ago. I had to look semi-presentable to the Holy One on Easter. The End.

Finally, and most importantly, the part that Drake omits (perhaps unintentionally as he simply has no clue, or perhaps purposely as it disgusts him) is previous said girl sprawled on the couch, curtains drawn for fear of seeing actual sunlight, watching hours upon hours of “Snapped” (or some other tantalizing true crime TV show). The remnants of a large thin crust pepperoni ‘za from Pizza Hut on the coffee table in front of her, empty cans of Diet Coke next to the empty box. Purposely silencing all incoming phone calls for fear of having to make plans, get dressed, and (gasp!), leave the house. In other words, the picture of bliss.

roommate-6Now, let’s get real. In all seriousness, I don’t think any guy in the free world would think that the above is more attractive than when we get all dolled up and perrrrdy for a night out. Why guys even bother saying preposterous statements such as Drake’s poignant observation, is both irritating and mildly condescending. We all know you’re lying. You’re not fooling anyone. At least not this gal.

End of rant. Now, I’m off to do what I do best.

Until next time…


I’m baaaaaack!…and it’s time for a Revamp.

To all those who have missed me, and more likely, to the majority of those who have not, I am back! I deeply apologize for my year-plus absence, but home girl has had some important life events happening. As you know, I got engaged, got wrapped up in the horrifically wonderful chaos that is planning a wedding, moved in together with my now Hubs into our new house (which in itself is blog-worthy), had the actual wedding (which is, pathetically, one-millionth of the time less than the actual time and energy spent planning), all while having a full time job, and being awesome.

Over the last few months, I have had multiple requests to bring the blog back. Four, to be exact. I finally decided I would resurrect the greatness that is this when, upon Lance’s horror, he discovered I moved two full boxes of unread magazines into our home. However, it was my wise brother who made me realize that the whole “About” section of the blog is completely without merit anymore. I am no longer an unemployed, graduate student, living in her mom’s basement. I am, however, still overweight and in need of an eyebrow wax. Some things never change.

Anywho, per my broseph, part of what made the blog enjoyable was my self-deprecating humor regarding my lack of accomplishment and current sub-par status in the world. I argued to him, in my defense, that although my residence, relationship status and financial situation have changed, I am still a lost cause who will never be what we/I/the world think I should be. With all that being said, although the “About” section may change, the purpose and, hopefully the humor, of this blog will not.

I am now off to begin my dissent into the first box of mags. Be ready for all sorts of helpful advice. Or lack thereof. And if you have any random topics you think should be conquered and discussed, let me know!

Until next time…

Give the Dudes a Little Credit

For those of you who don’t already know, I simply adore my fiance. Aside from the obvious things (the required ability to memorize and quote an absurd amount of movie lines, having the patience of a saint while I rant on and on about how much better “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” is than any wrestling-related program that has ever aired on any television ever, etc.), he is independent. Now, some of you may read this and think, ‘Ok, so the grown 25-year-old man can take care of himself; and this makes him great because…..?’ But no, I mean, guys, the man is a genius. Yes, he can fully support himself, but he is also clean, organized, and can cook. Watching him maneuver a Swiffer around is like watching Picasso create a masterpiece. With children, he’s like a male Mary Poppins. He does more laundry in a week than I do in a month, no question. And when it comes to cooking, he can do more than simply push the button on the toaster down.

I realize that not all men rank in Lance’s bracket (for, I admit, I am a bit bias), but seriously, has anyone ever noticed how straight-up stupid the media makes men look? Turn the TV on right now and I guarantee that within the span of 10 minutes you will see a commercial where the big doofey-looking husband makes a huge mess and stands there like a big, dumb idiot, not knowing where the cleaning supplies are or what to even do with them, patiently waiting for his gorgeous wife (that in all reality he could never snatch up) to come in and save the day. In fact, it was so obvious to one Massachusetts professor that he conducted a study in which he monitored commercials that aired over the course of one week during prime time television. Of 477 characters shown completing chores, 305 were women and 159 were men. Of the male characters, 50% were portrayed as “comically inept”. (In other words, dumb.) On the other hand, more than 90% of the female characters were portrayed as competent. In another study, also discussed in Real Simple, it is because of this negative stereotype that women often do not trust their husband doing housework, and that 26% of women “give their partners chores” several times a week.

This is quite genius...multi-tasking in all its glory.

This is quite genius…multi-tasking in all its glory.

Can I just go out on a limb here and say that perhaps this is a self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps we all dug our own grave on this one. We portray men as incompetent with housework and childcare, we then do not trust them to do it, they don’t do it, we complain that we have to do EVERYTHING around the house, and the men get off looking like idiots. Thus, the circle of life. God, that should’ve been the topic of my thesis…perhaps it would have been a more beneficial waste of my time than the snooze-worthy topic I ended up with. Ok, and one more thing…REAL SIMPLE legitimately said that women GIVE their partners chores?? GIVE? Could you make us look any more bitchy and men look any more incompetent? If a dude lays around and doesn’t help with the housework, it’s not because he’s waiting for you to GIVE him chores. He’s a lazy asshole.

Even worse, a multi-page article was written in GLAMOUR titled “How to Get Your Guy to Dress Like This Guy”. Next to the title was a picture of Jason Sudeikis dressed all dapper with an open collar and a glass of liquor in his hand. Now, part of this article was a spoof, it was in fact, written by Jason himself. However, it also was serious. The first tip was to have him wear three-piece suits when attending a wedding (I’ll be lucky if Lance wears one of those to our very own wedding). They also tell you to buy your partner four tailored shirts-two blue and two white. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! First of all, if I buy Lance clothes, it’s because he said in passing he liked that Sweatshirt or whatever article of clothing it may be. I’m not going to go buy him shirts that he himself can buy, let alone spend money getting them tailored and limiting the color selection to white and blue! Good grief. These men have been putting their legs through pants for years and years, I think they can find their own damn shirts to buy. Some other gems were: when buying a new pair of jeans for your sweetie, MAKE him wear them for one weekend. This will allow him to “break them in” and “give them a chance”. Another one? Buy him a tie clip. Ugh. I can’t even go on.

These are grown men we are talking about. They can change a tire, shingle a roof, and lay sod on an entire lawn. But yet we think they can’t load a dishwasher, make a bed, or properly clothe themselves. Come on. Get over yourself, for starters. Pick your battles. If you want to do the chores so they meet your impossible standards, then don’t bitch about having to do it. Don’t baby them. Don’t treat them like children. They are adults. They are your equals. Treat them as such. Good gravy. And if he does have a horrible fashion sense, tell him. Let’s face it-some men honestly think that wearing cut-off cargo pants looks totally appropriate for a wedding. Offer suggestions, be truly helpful, and go shopping together. It’s not rocket science, people.

Until next time…