i’ve been MIA!
it’s been quite the busy couple of weeks.

last monday, my dad and brother flew in from a fighting game tournament in las vegas and then last wednesday, ben, emery and i went to chicago for the weekend to celebrate my gran’s 88th birthday.
it was more for “business” than pleasure, but we still had a wonderful time. most of the weekend was spent in the car bouncing between family functions, but saturday night we had some free time and spent the evening walking around the city…
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my summer playlist

i am a HUGE fan of the mixtape.
my car doesn’t have an aux cable so i can’t plug my phone in and i get sick of the radio VERY quickly.
my solution? CDs.
my center console is packed to capacity with mix CDs that i’ve made over the past 10(!) years.
ben calls me a baby hoarder. i get really sentimental.

every summer i put together a playlist that becomes my go-to for the car or cleaning dance parties at home.
as i discover new music, it gets added in and by the fall, i have one huge, awesome playlist that takes me back when i’m feeling nostalgic.

here’s what i have so far this summer…
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hi july

happy july!

i started writing this post on the first but never finished… typical.

i hope everyone had a happy fourth! we had our first as a family and our first in phoenix.

we went to lunch, walked around the waterfront and then mall where it was air-conditioned. for dinner, made brats at home and relaxed. the resort by our complex had fireworks so we didn’t even have to leave the apartment to see them.

next year we’re planning to get out of town for the holiday like everyone else in phoenix. this year, the holiday kind of snuck up on me and i didn’t have time to craft, bake and decorate like i had originally planned. next year emery will be able to help!


dress by baby gap, ruffle tank onesie by carter’s

how did everyone celebrate the fourth of july? and what does everyone have going on this month?

i’m gonna post again a little bit later assuming emery is still asleep!

xo, a


i woke up this morning to so many new followers and favorites! thank you all so much, i’m so flattered.

thank you for reading and i hope you continue to read as i find my footing as a blogger.

i’m trying to carve a little time out of every day to post and it makes me feel better to know that there are people reading.

if you get a second, be sure to follow me on instagram @amandadarlingggg (4 g’s) and twitter @amandadarling and i’m also on tumblr darlingful.tumblr.com

comment with your instagram/twitter/tumblr and i’ll be sure to follow.

thank you again! ❤ 

xo, a

my beauty top 5

i love makeup.

and i love making lists.

so this is the beginning of a series of top 5 things that i love.

let’s start with makeup.

my top 5 beauty picks – makeup edition

5. too faced chocolate soleil bronzer in milk chocolate ($30, sephora)


i’m really pale. i’ve been through a lot of bronzers. my previous favorite was sugar cosmetics tropic tan bronzer. it was perfect… and then i couldn’t find it. i used to hit pan every. time… the only thing i loved more was the pink-tipped kabuki brush that came with it.
ahh, high school.
but ANYWAY. when sephora and ulta stopped carrying sugar cosmetics (RIP), i switched to too faced chocolate soleil bronzer. it’s matte. and it smells like chocolate.
it’s awesome. i searched a very long time for a matte bronzer, and this one is my favorite. if i’m looking for shimmer, i use NARS bronzer in laguna. but for everyday, i like matte.
it also comes in a darker shade.
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the day my boyfriend became my fiancé.

i never understood those couples who got engaged and made the decision to wait to get married…
until ben and i became one of those couples.

ben proposed on july 23, 2013.
i was 11 weeks pregnant.
before we found out that we were expecting emery, we had discussed marriage and decided that we wanted to wait a few years before we considered getting engaged, but it was definitely what we both wanted. when that little pink line showed up on the pregnancy test, we had the conversation again and, again, decided to wait.


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crafting mama

hello! happy monday!

so, while i was pregnant, i decided that i was going to make my own fabric hair ties because the store-bought ones are SO expensive and i go through them too quickly to rationalize spending $2.50+ a piece.
i spent ~$60 on fold-over elastic on etsy and got busy. in two days, i made over 300 (!!!!!) fabric hair ties. it was easy and i enjoyed sitting there, watching netflix and tying knots.
my mom suggested i sell them on etsy, but i decided to keep them for myself.

i had some leftover hello kitty elastic and decided to turn it into a headband for emery. it wound up being the most adorable thing i’ve ever seen, so i decided to buy more elastic and take a stab at making adjustable baby headbands (adjustable so i don’t have to keep making new ones every time her head grows).
the plan so far is to just make them for emmy, but maybe if it goes well and i have enough left over, i’ll sell some on etsy. can’t hurt, right?

i’m also planning on buying a bunch of bows and making a bow-holder from a picture frame and ribbon that can double as a wall decoration for her nursery. i actually got the idea from a wedding i assisted on last summer. we took an old picture frame and stapled ribbon in the wedding colors from top to bottom. then, we used glue dots to stick the escort cards to the ribbon. it turned out SO cute and it was super easy. it wound up being a little windy that night so we had a hard time keeping the escort cards stuck to the ribbon, but it stayed long enough for a few pictures… which is all that matters.

i’m also working on some art for emmy’s nursery. i’ve scoured tumblr, pinterest and all of the picture folders on my computer and i’ve started printing out pictures for the wall above her crib. i’m planning to use a variety of white frames in all shapes and sizes. i’m planning to fill the frames with whatever i can find, including hand-painted lettering by me, quotes and pictures of ben and i. i’m even sneaking in pictures of daft punk and lana del rey. here are a few of my favorites…

wall collage


since her entire room is going to be gray and white, i’ll be using the images in the frames to inject a little color. i’m also considering red and pink heart wall decals for the wall across from her crib and the inside of the door that i found at urban outfitters.

my life is a series of unfinished DIY projects, i swear. i’m so determined to make her real nursery as cute as the one i’m picturing in my head.

what do you have going on? i wanna see those projects!

xo, a

lactation cookies

so, before i took my trip to chicago, the stress of traveling took a toll on my supply and i felt like i was running a little low. i had been meaning to make lactation cookies for awhile, but packing demanded all of my attention.
while i was at home, i ate oatmeal every morning and drank milk maid tea (yuck) and i still didn’t have time to make lactation cookies. i was a little hesitant knowing that they had flax and yeast in them, but i found a recipe for some with m&ms so i figured they couldn’t be terrible.

they turned out AWESOME! and they work so well. ben thinks that it’s all in my head, but he isn’t the one waking up in the middle of the night to pump. i eat two in the morning and 2-3 at night before bed and if emery doesn’t wake up to eat during the night, i wake up engorged and leaky. i’ve started waking up in the middle of the night to pump. i still eat oatmeal every morning, so that could be helping too.

i found the recipe on pinterest, but i changed it a little bit to fit my needs. you can find the original below.

here’s my adaptation…

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