ORLANDO VACATION

We still technically have a couple more weeks of summer, but it does feel like it’s rapidly coming to a close. Honestly, I’m perfectly okay with that! While it’s been nice to slow down some this summer, try and process life post-graduate school, and adjust to full-time work, I absolutely love fall.

FALL IS MY FAVORITE.

Burnt orange colors, the crisp feeling in the air, the changing of the leaves. Fall in Colorado is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to experience it for the second year. This summer has felt more full than times past – from our trip to California, celebrating my graduation, getting settled into our new home, A’s trip to Africa, and hosting several people in our home. Goodness, I’m looking forward to the fresh routine the fall typically brings.

BUT BEFORE FALL, WE HAD ONE LAST TRIP – A FAMILY REUNION + VACATION!

Orlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.com

This trip has been on the books for about a year, a time for my dad’s side of the family to gather in Florida. My last remaining grandparent, my paternal grandmother, passed away somewhat suddenly last November. My dad and his two siblings chose to use some of their inheritance to pay for the family to come together for a long weekend at the beach for quality time, rest, and celebrating my grandmother’s life.

Orlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.comOrlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.comOrlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.com

IT WAS PERFECT.

The weekend was full of sunshine, a little too much humidity (especially compared to life in Colorado!), tons of laughter and good stories, late nights and early morning sunrises, and delicious food.

Orlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.com
A little family competition game of croquet (with matching t-shirts – I know, don’t be jealous!)Orlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.comOrlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.comOrlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.com

Everyone else in the family started to return home on Monday (Labor Day), but A and I extended our stay an extra day. We woke up early Tuesday morning and spent all day exploring and hanging out at Epcot at Walt Disney World. It was a dream. We absolutely love travel, learning about different cultures, and eating good food – and all of that done in Disney style? Perfection. It also happened to be the Food & Wine Festival, which meant there were dozens of booths set up around the World Showcase with food and beverages from all over the world. Apple strudel from Germany, specialized pita “nachos” from Greece, cool udon noodles and tempura from Japan, and creme brûlée from France. If you’re a foodie, I would highly recommend planning a visit during the Food & Wine Festival.

Orlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.comOrlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.comOrlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.comOrlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.com

No rest for the weary though! Shortly after we landed at the airport, A had to jump into work, the to do list grew rapidly, and we’re quickly trying to recover and get back into the swing of things. Which leads me to this question…

HOW DO YOU HANDLE RE-ENTRY INTO “NORMAL” LIFE AFTER VACATION? DO YOU EASE BACK INTO YOUR ROUTINE OR TAKE A COUPLE OF DAYS OFF?

Orlando Family Vacation | amandabixler.com

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27 Ways to Overhaul Your Day | amandabixler.com

27 WAYS TO OVERHAUL YOUR DAY

This is a post from the archives.

If we aren’t careful, life can get away from us. Culture can demand that we are constantly connected, always say “yes” when asked for another commitment, and run ourselves ragged. But what if that wasn’t how we had to live? What if there was a better way to intentionally organize our days that allow more breathing room and opportunities to hear and respond to God? Today I’m sharing twenty-seven simple and tried-and-true tips that I regularly use to break the cycle of busy and overhaul my day.
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August Favorites | amandambixler.com

FAVORITES: AUGUST 2017

What a month August was! I’m serious when I say I’m not sure where the month went – did I take a two week nap? It’s been a whirlwind of a month with extra work events, transitioning to full-time, NOT preparing to start school (for the first time basically since I was 5 years old), and a couple of small trips. But today, before we jump into a new month and new season (HELLO FOOTBALL!), I’m kicking off a new series where each month we’ll recap favorite moments, items, media, and food from the month.
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Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

MY FAVORITE PODCASTS

Is anyone else absolutely obsessed with podcasts? I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with actively listening to podcasts over the past several years. There are seasons where I feel like I’m driving a lot (hello 2 hour commute to school!) where I listen frequently but then summertimes or other seasons where I tend to listen more to music or devote my attention to other things. However, since graduating from school a couple of months ago and adjusting to full-time work at my church with higher leadership expectations, I have found myself desperate to digest as much extra information as I can. It also doesn’t help that I’m a nerd and love learning new things 😉 Read More »

5 Things Every College Student Needs

5 THINGS EVERY NEW COLLEGE STUDENT NEEDS

This is a post from the archives, but is still very much applicable!

If you’ve been following along for any amount of time, you’ll know I graduated with my masters degree two months ago. It was a long five-year program of juggling part-time work and part-time school, managing my energy and to do lists, and figuring out all of the things. It’s crazy to think that this has been my life for the past five years – juggling assignments, work, reading, research papers, group meetings, confusing homework, all of it.

I am currently in the process of figuring out what life looks like post-graduation. This fall is the first time in my whole life that I have not been preparing to go back to school, but I still love the thought of a fresh start in the fall and will still be falling back on some of these tools as I transition into full-time work. This list is certainly not exhaustive but as we kick off a new year and new semester of school, these are the five essentials I turn to.

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SUMMER RECAP

I can’t be the only one who keeps asking this question: How is it already August??…right?! Please don’t tell me I’m alone. It has been a whirlwind of a couple of months but I am trying to live in the tension of savoring the final days of summer while also craving the routine that fall and new seasons beg. In fact, I’m actually okay that summer is coming to a close. This fall will be the first time I won’t be going back to school, yet life right now is still offering some small fresh starts. And who doesn’t love a fresh start?
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LIFE LATELY, AN UPDATE

Hello sweet friends! Goodness, it’s been a long time. The first three months of this year were a little crazy and extra full, forcing me to really step back from some commitments or extra things to focus on what matters most. If ya’ll have been around for any extended amount of time, you know I’m passionate about living simpler, saying no to things I don’t have to do, and seeking rest over rush. While things aren’t technically slowing down over the next two months or so, I wanted to pop in, say hello, and give a little life update!
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Butternut Squash Pizza | amandabixler.com

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PIZZA

As much as I love the new year – a fresh start, an empty planner, a clean home after taking down all of the Christmas decorations – I still find myself craving the wonderful flavors of November and December. Pumpkin ravioli, roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberry crostini. Give them all to me. And maybe it’s because it’s been freezing in Colorado for the past week or we had our first official snow day last week, but I am seriously craving cozy comfort food. So when I started looking around my freezer this past weekend and found a bath of the Pioneer Woman’s homemade pizza dough (it makes two batches of dough and freezes really well so I almost always have some in my freezer) and some butternut squash cubes, I knew a simple fall pizza was in my future.
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Some of my favorite things to stay focused, productive and motivated in graduate school. | amandabixler.com

GRADUATE SCHOOL ESSENTIALS

I am in my fifth and FINAL year of graduate school. It’s crazy to think that this has been my life for the past five years – juggling assignments, work, reading, research papers, group meetings, confusing homework, all of it – and in under six months it will be over. And I will take a deep breath, a long nap and give thanks for making it through. But until then, focus and motivation is essential. And to do that I need some of my favorite tools to stay productive and get assignments done, little by little. This list is certainly not exhaustive but as we kick off a new year and new semester of school, these are the five essentials I turn to.

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Gratitude: Some of my most loved, read, watched, and cooked memories from December 2016 | amandabixler.com

GRATITUDE: DECEMBER 2016

Goodness, how is it already January?! How does this happen? But truly, as much as I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, the quiet that the week between Christmas and New Years brings is so calming, so peaceful, so lovely. Having time to pause and reflect on the past year and make plans for the new year is one of my most favorite things – remembering our big move, reflecting on how faithful God has been to us adjusting in Colorado, growing this blog and making amazing blogger friends (shout out to Grady at Grady Bird Blog who writes awesome inspiration, especially for any stepmoms out there) – it’s truly been a year for the record books.
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