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Once a month here on the blog, we play a fun game called “Let’s Play Oprah” where we share our current top 3 “Favorite Things” with each other and then at the end of the month I give away one of those items to a lucky subscriber.

Because giveaways are fun! And we just so happen to be fun-havers!

Every once in a while I’ll pick a theme for my Favorite Things but this month I didn’t even choose one on purpose- I just looked at my list and realized they all had one thing in common: Coconut.

I prefer clean, light, earthy scents over heavier floral scents any day, and Coconut happens to be one of my favorite scents of all, so I guess it’s no surprise that it appears in so many of my beauty and household products. The smell reminds me of summer vacation and all things beachy, and who doesn’t want to be reminded of that?

Okay, are you ready?

🎵 Lets Play Oprah! 🎵

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  1. The Copper Coconut 3 wick candle by White Barn. 

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I have a *bit* of an obsession with candles. I have no problem telling people about my book-buying obsession because it makes me sound quirky and brainy, but I’ll never publicly cop to the number of candles I own. It’s a lot. Enough to be ashamed about. My candle cabinet is in the last place in my house that anyone would look because no one needs to be knowing about my dirty little candle hoarding secret. Read More…

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While our kids played in the next room, my friend and I stood in her kitchen, sipping coffee and talking about our dreams- in hushed tones peppered with nervous laughter, as if the very topic was somehow taboo.

Frivolous.

Indulgent.

Maybe even selfish?

“I feel like I’ve lost pieces of myself since having kids…” She spoke quietly, almost to herself, but her words echoed loudly inside my own heart.

I knew exactly what she meant.

I think in an honest moment, many of us would admit we do.

Motherhood, especially in those early years, can be an engulfing experience. It’s a deeply beautiful, life-giving (literally), and fulfilling role that some of us have always dreamt of, but there can be moments when it feels as if motherhood and the minutia of the day might swallow our identity whole. Like we’re constantly needed yet rarely seen.

We’re busy doing those million and one little things that we worry don’t matter, even while knowing, deep in our hearts they do. We teach, we train, we pray, we worry, we kiss, we rock, we soothe, we comfort, we’re filled up and emptied clear out 100 times in a day. We lose sleep and gain access to chambers of our hearts we never knew existed. We’re driven to the edge of our sanity and then pulled back again in one suddenly tender moment.

We ride that rollercoaster of fear and worry, pride and dismay, wonder and bafflement, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We love our life.

And yet…

We wonder about those pieces of ourselves that seem to have disappeared. Our audacity, our playfulness, our ability to dream. They don’t call. They don’t send flowers. They just slipped unceremoniously out the back door.

Will they ever come back? Read More…

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Did you know that it’s National Honesty Day? Apparently it is. Apparently that’s a thing.

Is there like, a National Burrito Day that I don’t know about? National Don’t Do Your Hair Day? (Otherwise known as HairDOn’t Day)?

I just feel like if we’re going to give everything it’s own DAY, then we should be starting with burritos and ignoring our hair. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love honesty too. Real big fan over here.

Huge fan.

In fact, in the spirit of honesty, I thought I’d share a few *potentially* embarrassing things you might not know about me:

1) I have two recurring dreams:

* In the first one, my friend Poopie picks me up from the airport (because I’m a traveler, obviously. I fly places and do things and it’s all very glamorous) and when she pulls up to get me, she yells, “Surprise!” and points to the back seat where Amy Poehler is sitting. Then they both yell “Get in!” and I do, and then we all laugh hysterically the whole way home, just like I always knew we would.

* In the second one, I’m sitting at the dinner table across from my husband, when he casually tells me that he’s leaving me for Angelina Jolie. I am equal parts enraged and destroyed by this news so I try to speak or cry or yell, but no sound comes out. He is nonplussed and asks me to pass the potatoes.

I just now realized that both of my recurring dreams involve celebrities. Maybe I need to quit reading People magazine. P.S. My husband would never really leave me for Angelina Jolie. MAYBE Carrie Underwood… or that chick who played Rogue on X Men (why? I just don’t see it?), but definitely not for Angelina. P.S.S. He wouldn’t really leave me for any of them.

2) The only famous people I’ve ever been told I resemble are Mayim Biyalik and Jerry Seinfeld. So…that sucks. And okay, fine, Blossom is my doppelgänger, but I’d like to think that I have more of a Jerry essence than appearance.

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3) I answer to an array of nicknames including, but not limited to, “Poopie”, “Ambergesa”, “LadyBeauFontaine”, “Craig Tippie”, “Google Search Bar”, “Amberuski”, and  “Bombie”. I’m not sure if this says more about me or the people I’m close to.

4) I don’t have a sweet tooth, I have a carb tooth. NO ONE SEEMS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS AS A REAL PROBLEM.

5) I like to use old-timey phrases and my friends always make fun of me for it. I like to slip the occasional “hide nor hair” or “willynilly” into a conversation and see where it lands. One time at a BBQ we were all joking around and sipping cocktails when I used the phrase “don’t darken my door” and they all turned on me faster than a dog on a bone. They nearly ate me alive for that one. It’s been 5 years and I still get random texts baiting me into saying it again just so they can make fun of me for it at the next BBQ. My friends are nice people, its just not in our nature to let things slide.

6) 👆🏼This works out well enough, because teasing is basically how I show affection. (You should see how I make out 😉)

7) Everyone close to me knows me knows that I’m a bad driver. What they don’t know is that I’m actually a really good driver when I’m by myself. Unfortunately I have no way of ever proving this.

8) My mom thinks I’m a hussy. I wear a lot of V neck shirts. My sister wears a lot of crew neck shirts. This makes her the more appropriately clad daughter. Its fine. I know my own truth.

9) I have zero chill. I wreck myself all the time. You know those quieter, peripheral types of people? The ones who can read a room, rarely embarrass themselves, and tend to take it all in more than let it all out? I will never be one of those people.

If you are one of those people and you’re looking to be LESS chill, I wrote this for you 👇🏼

How To Have Zero Chill

10) I’m working on my first book proposal. This one falls more under the category of Potentially Embarrassing rather than Already Embarrassing. I’m proud of myself for going for it, but I’ve never done anything like this before. At this point I really can’t tell if I’m hatching brilliance or polishing a turd, but I’m almost done and I guess we’ll find out soon enough. It’s probably not smart to talk about it because what if it goes nowhere? But it doesn’t matter because I’m incapable of keeping things in. Refer to #9-👆🏼 Classic Blurter over here 🙋🏼. I know no other way. Wish me luck, though?

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I’d love nothing more than to hear a confession from you!

Give me a juicy tidbit! Tell me an embarrassing story!

Come on! It’s National Honesty Day! Do it for your country?

 

*this post was sent from my computer and my heart*

 

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It’s giveaway time, y’all!

You know what this means… It means it’s time to talk Favorite Things.

Are you ready?!

Let’s 🎵

Play 🎵

Oprah! 🎵

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I like to make each work a staccato so you can really feel my vibrato, there. Is it working? Are you silently singing in your best Oprah voice too? Sweet. Now let’s get down to business.

I’m so utterly, completely, gleefully obsessed with all three things that I’m about to share with you, that I’m physically thisclose to losing my mind Kristin-Wiig-Surprise-Party-Sketch-Style.

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So before I go jumping through a plate-glass window, I’ll just tell you all about my things instead.

1: Schitt’s Creek:

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This morning as I was scrolling and sipping coffee (as one does on a Thursday morning) FB showed me this piece I wrote for my friend, Steve Weins last year. I chuckled into my coffee cup as I read it again, not because my words were particularly clever, but because the whole piece was about editing, about sacrificing our most precious and self-indulgent pieces for the overall good of our work (metaphor for life somewhere in there, I think?) and as I read it, the irony of how much I have yet to learn about “killing my darlings” was not lost on me.

It’s a process, yes?

Speaking of processes, the whole piece made me think of you guys. Of how you’re doing over there on the other side of this screen.

We’ve talked a lot about the “creative process” lately. I wonder what you think of when you hear those words?

Do you think of paintbrushes on canvas, words on a page, music notes being played, scenes being rehearsed? Do you think of art as some kind of bold and intimidating word?

🙋🏼 I used to.

I used to think that I wasn’t a creative person at all. I wasn’t even mad about it, really. I just always put art in a box and when I didn’t see myself fitting into that box, I assumed I didn’t have anything to offer in the creative arena. (Sometimes I am not very smart.)

But if there’s anything I’m learning, it’s that our whole lives are a creative process.

It’s that “art” can look like a keen sense of humor, like food arranged on a plate, like bringing order to chaos in our homes, like the rare ability to make people feel included, welcome, and seen.

It can look anything and nothing like what you expected.

But at the end of the day, your art is your art. My art is my art. I can’t do yours for you and you can’t do mine for me.

Yet the world waits, desperately needing all of it.

I wonder what creative process you find yourself in right now?

Whatever it is, I hope you find the courage to kill your darlings along the way. And I hope you have the audacity to enjoy the process too, because the process is your actual life. 

If you’d like to read the piece that made me think of you this morning, click the photo or link below!👇🏼

Love you guys.imageKill Your Darlings

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about blooming.

I know, how deep, right?

Thinking about blooming in the springtime?

Call someone call Oprah! Tell her to get out the overstuffed chairs and place them in the forest! It’s time to sit down and talk about how deep and unique I am for having a revelation basic to the human existence! (Btw, I never planned on referencing Oprah so much in my writing. It just happens sometimes so I’m rolling with it.)

Anyway, blooming- I’ve been thinking a lot about it.

Which is sort of new, because I don’t exactly have a green thumb- In fact, I’ve killed every plant that I’ve ever owned. Every single one. Even the succulents on my front porch, which I assumed were basically indestructible. After 15 years of attempting to have greenery in my home, the plant-killing became too much for my conscience to bear so I finally gave up.

I’ve never even been one to notice flowers, much less learn their names, how to care for them, or appreciate their unique beauty. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not some kind of cold, cynical monster who landscapes her front yard with exposed aggregate instead of grass, I guess you could say I’ve just never exactly stopped to smell the roses.

Until lately.

Last week flowers made me cry.

They weren’t even flowers that someone picked or bought or presented me with. They were just out in the wild. And by “the wild”, I mean that one island of trees in the middle of the parking lot at my kid’s elementary school; the one that runs the length of the carpool lane.

There were cherry blossom trees in full bloom there, in the middle of all that asphalt, bursting with so many pink petals that they covered the entire surface of the ground below.

It probably feels like I’m about to ramp up here into some metaphor about life springing up out of dead places or something, but that’s actually not where I’m headed. (Although, maybe it should be a post for another day? 🤷🏼‍♀️Please mark yes or no and put in locker #7.) Read More…

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People of the Internet! Are you ready to play our favorite game?

Because it’s time.

And I, for one, am VERY excited about this round.

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Once a month here on the blog we get to kick off our shoes, relax, and settle in for some fun. (Because of all the things I want us to be, Fun-Havers is at an even tie with Big Dreamers). How it works is, we all get to Play Oprah by sharing our top 3 “Favorite Things” at the moment, and then end of the month, I give one of those things away!

Maybe to you!

It’s quickly becoming my favorite post each month, because I get to hear from you guys and find out all the latest scoop on what you love. I love getting to know you guys on a more personal level, and I especially love packaging up the giveaways, writing a little note, and sending real, actual mail to you.

There’s nothing like finding a package with your name on it in your mailbox, amiright? Does it even get more fun than that?

Maybe if we were all sipping a glass of wine together.

So without further ado,

🎵 Let’s Play Oprahhhhhh! 🎵

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My Top 3 Most Favorite Things this month are: Read More…

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This is a safe place, right?

I mean, we’ve talked about everything from sex, to mothering, to bikini-waxing, and beyond. We all know each other pretty well by know, don’t we?

Actually, now that I think about it, it does seem like you guys know a lot more about me than I know about you.

So if you could each go ahead and email me a short essay revealing your deepest desires and most embarrassing moments, that’d be great.
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Cool, now that we’ve agreed on that, there’s something else I’ve been wanting to talk to you about. Come close and huddle in, because this one is, how shall we say….one of my “less delicate” posts.

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I should start by telling you that I recently turned 35.

On the one hand, life is beautiful. I have a husband who’s loved me well for 15 years and he knows the exact movie quote that will communicate his feelings to me in any given situation (because, priorities! 🙌🏽).

I have two healthy, spunky kids who fill me up and empty me clear out 10 100 times in a day.

I have a local community of friends, a dream I’m working towards, and Jesus by my side.

Great. Grand. Wonderful.

Nothing to complain about here.

Unless you count the totally unexpected and seriously WHACK things that are starting to happen to my mid-30’s body. 

Things are changing y’all, and they’re changing fast.

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Read More…

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Last week my friend, Melissa Blair, invited me up onto her blog porch and I am not lying when I tell you it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

For the latest installment of her “Barefoot Sessions” Mel asked me all kinds of personal questions and I gave her all kinds of honest and unfiltered answers, which is how most of our interactions go, really.

We met on the Internet (as one does nowadays), which led to Voxing each other (or is it Voxering?), then we met in real life at the Hope*Writers Conference in North Carolina and over the course of the weekend we bonded as we shared our inner monologues, snacks, and a rented car.

I knew I liked her from the start, but there is always one defining moment in a new friendship. The one where your fate becomes sealed and you know in your knower that this is one of your people.

For me, that moment came on the second day of the conference, as we pulled into the parking lot right next to one of the keynote speakers, Emily Freeman, as she was innocently exiting her car.

We parked, and while I was searching the cup holder for the ridiculous, fancy key FOB (why don’t they just go in the ignition anymore? it makes no sense) Mel reached over and honked loud and long at a startled Emily, quickly pulling her arm back so it would look like I did it.

We both started laughing hysterically and I knew she’d be a friend for life.

Because obviously we are two extremely mature adults who naturally gravitated towards each other.

But really, it’s because she just so happens to be a fun-haver and I, much like a 5th grade boy, just so happen to regard teasing as the highest form of affection.

ANYWAY. I’m over on her blog this week and things are getting real personal.

It’s a quick, interview-style read, so click the link below and come join the fun!

The Barefoot Sessions With Amber Salhus 

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P.S. If you happen to live in Arkansas, please drive by Mel’s house and honk loudly. She’ll love it. Promise.

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Well I’ll be darned if isn’t my favorite time of the month!

It’s time to talk Favorite Things and then to give one away!

Are you ready?

🎵 Let’s Play Oprah! 🎵

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Before we get started I do need to make a confession.

Remember a couple of months ago when one of my Favorite Things was my Erin Condren personalized planner?

WELL.

I have a whole new paper love in my life.

This new love runs deep. It happened slowly and all at once and now my heart cannot deny it. I want to shout it from the rooftops, I want to monogram our initials together on bathroom towels. I want to get weird like Tom Cruise and jump on Oprah’s couch. The flames of this fire cannot be quenched.

I’m talking about my new Bullet Journal. 

Startup Stock Photos

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