October 30, 2011

Guest Post: Mrs. T, Naturally

Today Kristen from Mrs. T, Naturally, is guest posting for me, and I can't tell you how much I seriously adore this girl! She has such a strong heart and mind, and has a way of explaining or saying things that I am never good at. I love who she is as a person, and she has the most beautiful little girl, Emma! Thank you soo much Kristen! Everyone, enjoy... and please visit her blog - you will love her! :)


Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed.
Proverbs 19:17

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27

We have so much.
We want so much more.
Where is your heart?
What is it focused on?
Loving others?
Mass consumerism?
Giving to those in need?

Pure and genuine religion to God means caring for others, and not being consumed with the world...

Religion is not:

going to church 3 times a week
leading a bible study group
praying before every meal
waiting til marriage to kiss
waiting til marriage to have sex
not drinking alcohol
refraining from smoking
refraining from pleasures in general
wearing skirts below your knee
going on a mission trip with your youth group every year

I hear Christians say, "I hate religion." 
"I don't have a religion, I just believe what the Bible says." 
"I'm not 'religious' I just love Jesus." 

Religion is not a list of rules.
Religion is simple. It is love
Love your neighbors. Love your Creator.

October 29, 2011

Guest Post: Sweet and Sour Showers

Hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday! Today I am sooo excited to have Jac and Leah talk about their awesome party planning, mouth watering desserts and foods, and crafts! I am such a huge fan as I'm doing a lot of the planning as a Maid of Honor for my mother's wedding, and my little sister who is also Maid of Honor will be helping plan with her bachlorette festivities!! Absolutely LOVE these girls!! Show them some love! :-) *Thanks so much Jac an Leah!*


Hey everyone!  We are Jac and Leah from Sweet & Sour Showers.  We live in Austin like Amanda, and we love reading about all her goings-on.  We were so excited when she asked us to guest post! 

We have been friends since high school (although you won't see any 9th grade pics any time soon) and recently took the plunge into the blog world.  Since we're at the age where tons of our friends are getting married and having babies, we have had LOTS of practice planning showers.  What we noticed through all this practice, though, is that while there are tons of wedding and totally over-the-top party planning sites, there isn't a good resource to help girls our age throw a really special shower for our BFFs.

You know what else we noticed?  Sometimes planning showers sucks.  So, we thought it would be kind of fun to blog about that, too. 

To start, check out the pics from some of our favorites showers:

Monogram Themed Shower
Tapas & Sangria Shower - these are Mexican wedding cookies as party favors

Engagement Brunch - plus paper rosette tutorial

See more pics and read about our party themes here!

So like our Facebook page says, we strive to show you how you can create a memorable shower in an affordable and attainable way (and hopefully sell a few baked treats along the way...)

Did we mention we love to bake?   We thought that blogging about all our showers would be a great way to feature our baked treats, many of which we have customized specifically for wedding-related events.

Here's a look at some of our favorites:
Tropical sugar cookies (our friend was heading to Hawaii for her honeymoon)

Animal print cookies - perfect for any bachelorette party!

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes with Glitter - doesn't get any girlier than that!

Wedding Cake Pops - the ultimate shower treat/favor

You can check out more of our baked treats here, and feel free to contact us if you are in the Austin area.

Since Amanda's mom is about to get married, we can't wait to see what ideas she comes up with and how we can help her with the festivities.  In the meantime, we hope you'll come check out our blog or follow us on Twitter.  Be sure to say hi! 

Happy Planning,

Sweet & Sour Showers

October 28, 2011

Guest Post: Meet Mrs. Ruthie Hart :)

Hey everyone! I have a very special treat for you today as one of my favorite bloggers and amazing girls, Ruthie, will be guest posting while I'm away! I have grown so close to Ruthie personally within the last several months and you'll read below just how much we really have in common! She is the most fun, full hearted girl who I admire so much! Show her some love for me!! :) *Thank you Ruthie for your amazing post!!*


Hi there Maggiano Takes Austin Readers! 

My name is Ruthie Hart and I am a fellow Austin blogger and actually went to high school with Miss Amanda. I blog about my little newlywed life over here. Amanda has been such a blessing to me in the blog world. She is beautiful, positive and so supportive of her friends. I <3 her! 

So here I am....

& my two cute boys
(hubby-jon & frenchie-ernie)

Speaking of pups, how adorable is Huxley?!

I remember when Amanda sent me an email saying her and Scottie were getting a tiny little Boston Terrier...I was beyond excited. Although Ernie and Hux haven't met yet, I know they will be BFFs (playdate soon??).

So I know Amanda and I feel the same about our fur-babies.

We are obsessed. 

Well...obsessed is the wrong word. We are in love!

Jon and I picked up Ernie from the breeder in Dallas 2 days after returning from our honeymoon, and it happened to be Valentine's Day. You know how people talk about love at first sight? That is how it was with Ernie. Jon got to meet him a couple weeks before but I had only seen pictures. 

How could you not fall in love with this precious chunk?
 (my first picture with Ernie)

Everyday when I come home from work at 5pm, Ernie is waiting for me (in fact I get more kisses from him than my hubby!). Jon will tell me that if I have somewhere to go after work, Ernie will stress and pace wondering where mama is. 

We play together. We walk together. I talk to him. I spoon him at night. He is somewhere between my baby son and the greatest friend I've ever had. He keeps me company when Jon travels for work. And he always has the funniest expression on his flat little face. 

Ernie brings so much joy into my life. 

Some people have dogs to have a pet. Ernie is more than that. He is my family. 

My family

So enough of the sappy stuff (and yes I sometimes tear up when thinking about how much I love Ernie...can you imagine when I have kids?!), I do blog about fun things too!

I recapped my February 5th wedding in a total of 16 posts.

I've tried my hand at being a domestic diva in the kitchen

And I consider my self pretty crafty :-)

I'd love for you to stop by my blog and say hello!

October 27, 2011

Guest Post: Heather from Finding Beauty in the Ordinary

Today, Heather, from Finding Beauty in the Ordinary, will be guest posting for me as I'm headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a week! I've grown really close to Heather and she is just so amazing, honest, and so sweet! Please give her a warm welcome and enjoy!! Love y'all! :-) *and thank you Heather for this awesome post!* 
Show her some love!

 Hi! My name is Heather and I blog over at Finding Beauty in the Ordinary.
I'm a 26 year old, happily married, adventure seeking blog lover :) My
little blog is a place to share what's on my heart, what God is
teaching me, and what my husband and I are up to as we have recently
relocated to a new city for his new job.  I love capturing a moment by
camera and simply finding beauty in the ordinary moment of life. 

The past couple of months, I've started blogging actively, using social media, and have been trying to keep up with it all. Most days, I feel like I'm drowning in information. I get burnt out easily and often feel completely drained from technology! There are days where I feel like I go to bed with my laptop and wake up with it. Oh, and how can I forget my iPhone? That thing is my own personal little companion. I'm addicted.

Have you seen this video before?


Some of my favorites points for staying creative were these:
  • Carry a notebook everywhere
  • Get away from the computer
  • Take breaks
  • Go somewhere new
  • Get lots of rest
  • Stop trying to be someone else's perfect

Wowzers! Ummm... I need to watch this again. How often do I take a true break from technology? As in, literally LEAVE the computer, the phone, the emails... and get away? Whether that's going on a long drive somewhere beautiful, or sitting on the beach near the ocean, hiking to the highest peak of a mountain, or going on an evening walk? Or simply doing the mundane things of life like doing the dishes and folding laundry without being interrupted constantly by the ding of the iPhone notifying me of emails?  When was the last time I gave my husband my 100% attention? Not just the "Oh yeah, really, babe? What happened at work today?" question while I'm skimming through my BlogLovin' feed and diverting my attention elsewhere. I'm guilty.

God has blessed us with so much beauty around us. Let's get out there and enjoy it. There's a time and a place for everything, including our blog, email and technology time. Don't get me wrong, I love it all :) But when it all comes down to it, people are the most important things in life... let's invest in them,  and really be with them when we're with them. And take breaks from technology consistently, using our creative talents for His glory, and really live.

October 26, 2011

Sweet Finds and Intro to Guest Post Week!

Today I'm linking up with Michelle from The Vintage Apple for "Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday" and decided to just post some randoms that I thought were pretty interesting/fun!


This first one is a 30 day challenge for Homemade Lunches which you can read up on [here]. For a workin' gal like me - I prefer a little variety with my lunch because as soon as I get bored - I race to the nearest cafeteria with my debit card! These are super helpful and delicious looking recipes!

 Is this not the coolest thing?? Now, I know I have no artistic abilities, but I am going to try to make this!!! My family is a bunch of wine-ohsssss and this would be such a cute gift for my mom, grandma, etc! And for myself, duhh! I need to jump on the craft wagon and practice until I AM good. lol!

 HA! How hilarious is that?


This pin takes you to a link - a website full of jello shot recipes! Most of them are pretty darn creative! Will be using this for planning mi madre's bachlorette party later in the year!

Bahaha! Cute.

How cool is this? Again, I am horrible at crafts... but this would be so neat to try! I promise to post about what crafts I attempt to complete or do good or bad! :P

Holy YUM I am making this!!!!

Click the below button to linkup with Michelle and see what others are pinning today!


In other news, tomorrow will start my GUEST POST week as I will be leaving town to Southern Lousiiana to visit family (most importantly my dad being that Oct 31st is the ONE year mark of his passing away..), eat some great food, and introduce my man of 4 years to everyone!

Check out these AMAZING beautiful ladies that will be posting while I'm gone.... [click on the pics to view their blogs!!]

Oct 27th - Heather from Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
Oct 28th - Ruthie from The Chronicles of Ruthie Hart


Oct 29th - Leah&Jac from Sweet and Sour Showers
Oct 30th - Kristen from Mrs. T, Naturally


Nov 1st - Mallorie from Home Is With You
Nov 2nd - Alana from Mrs. Alana's Miscellany
Mrs. Alana’s Miscellany
Nov 3rd - Ashley Marie from La Luce

[Note: Oct 31st, I will be doing a tribute post dedicated to my dad.]

I am so excited and blessed to have so many influencial, wonderful women to be entertaining you while I'm gone! Stay tuned, and have a great week loves!!!!!

October 25, 2011

The Helper

Something you may know about me is that I work in the Computer Industry at Dell selling workstations and servers to small and medium businesses around the US. Something you may NOT know is that I am working my way through college to become a Registured Nurse.

 Ever since I was little, I've been a helper. I always tried to play "mom" and help my little brother when I was a kid and raise my baby sister. With friends, I was always the listener and loved to be there for them. I'm sure a lot/most of you can say you've been the same growing up, putting others before you and just thriving off of others being happy. That's what makes me happy.

I found out I wanted to be a nurse early on when I was babysitting. I know it sounds crazy, but there was an experience that really stood out to me, and ever since then I've always felt like helping others was my calling from God.

I was about 13 years old, babysitting my next door neighbors two kids who were about 2 and 5 yrs old. They had two dogs, and their grandmother lived upstairs, but was older and wasn't able to watch the kids while the parents went out at night. So we did crafts, and all the fun things babysitters do - watch silly TV shows etc.

Well, one day the dogs were running around and their grandmother was trying to make it down the stairs. We were in the kitchen for snacks, and I heard a huge crash. I ran over immediately to see what was going on, and sure enough their grandmother fell when the dogs rushed past her on the stairs. She was sitting there on the ground holding her arm that had a major cut in it, one that most people's stomach would hurt to see. 

 As my heart practically dropped, I didn't think twice and got the kids into another room so they wouldn't see her, and grabbed a damp towel to place on her arm and put pressure on it. I helped their grandmother up and sat her down on the chair, and called 911 & the parents. They came quickly and took her to the hospital. As the kids were freaking out and upset about their grandma, we sat down and made get well cards and decorated them, and it kept them busy for the few hours their parents were gone at the hospital with their grandma. 

 It may sound silly, but I knew from then I wanted to be the nurse that got to take care of her. I want to make everyone happy and feel better. I feel like I have a gift to care for others and calm people. I am the mediator in my wide range of siblings as the middle child, and I love it that way. 

 It's memories like these, and being able to be that listener and that helper of my friends and family that keeps me encouraged to continue this RN degree and become that special person others can count on to help and be there for them. It's in my nature, and I love it! 

Today, I want to encourage everyone to take that extra few minutes to help someone out with something, even if it's something small. Maybe call up your siblings or parents and tell them you're thinking about them, or if they're having an issue with something, be a listener for them. :)   


Today I am linking up with two beautiful ladies, Mrs. T from Mrs. T, Naturally, and Jami from Call Me Blessed.


October 24, 2011

Weekend Recap

Well it's official. Huxley LOVES people. We took him to Third Base (a local Sports Bar about 2 minutes away from mi casa) on Saturday night to watch the Rangers play. Of course he was the most well behaved dog, seriously - he just slept in my lap or cuddled and kissed people the whole time! So cute!

We also got to visit his favorite Cousin, Dottee, who he LOVES playing with! Dottee is a Shitzu-Bichon mix and is about just under two years old. She is the same size and just as hyper as Huxley - so let's just say they both got a FULL nights rest afterwards!

We also had friends over yesterday to watch football (GEAUX SAINTS!) and I whipped up some more of those Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies (recipe here). It was so much fun, Scott even busted out his guitar! I may or may not have a few vids to post later! hehe

Unfortunately 7am Monday morning came quickly this week, so I'm stocked up with coffee, a diet coke, a breakfast taco, banana, and plenty of water to jump start my day! :) Here are some random pictures throughout our weekend!

What did you do this past weekend??????

[linking up here and here]