Friday, May 24, 2019


Hey there, friends!  Welcome back and Happy Friday!  Today I'm bringing you a little something different as well as a few Friday Favorites at the end.  I'm starting a new series called Amanda Answers where I'll answer some questions you girls have on pretty much anything.  (Not saying I'll answer ALL questions...but as long as they are blog appropriate, we're good.  😉)

A few weeks ago, I asked you to send in any question you had in my Instastories and honestly, I was hoping to even get one!  But I got so many!!  I had a total Sally Field moment, let me tell you.  #youlikeme
(If you have no idea what I'm referring to google "Sally Field you like me".)

Since there were quite a few good ones, I wanted to spread them out a little or we'd be here forever.  And some need a little more attention than others.  So today, I'm starting off with a just a few that I picked at random and next week, I'll answer some more.  And if you ever have any questions you'd like for me to add to the series, feel free to DM on Instagram!

Sidenote:  I blocked out names/pictures in case you didn't want your question splashed all over the internet.  Wasn't really sure on the protocol with that. :)

First up.
How did you know I would LOVE this question?!  Pretty much as soon as I got married, I started naming my future babies.  And let me tell you.  Girls names were so much harder for me than boys names.  Probably because I'm pretty traditional when it comes to boys names.  We picked Matthew because that's Craig's middle name and Jay because that's my dad's middle name.  And I wanted our first born to be named after the two men I loved most in the world, knowing this little baby would be joining that group.

Mason was a little harder.  We weren't even set on having another M name but when I was reading a baby name book one day, the not-so-trendy (at the time) name of Mason popped up and as soon as I said "Matthew and Mason" it was a done deal.  Little did I know that Kourtney Kardashian would give birth to a little boy before me and announce the name.  Mason.  Sigh.  I spent a lot of time convincing people I had the name first and that I did NOT "copy" off a Kardashian.  Heaven help me.

For Mason's middle name, I wanted James.  I thought Mason James sounded strong and solid and my grandfather's name was James.  But since we'd already named one kid after my side of the family, we went with a name (sort of) from Craig's side.  Craig's dad's name is Malcolm Howell so that wasn't going to work but his dad LOVES Elvis Presley.  And Craig was almost named Elvis.  ;)  (Can you imagine?!  He could not be farther from an Elvis.)  So, as an ode to Craig's dad, we decided on Mason Presley.  Still cute.  Kind of a mouthful as one doctor in the hospital told us, which really hurt in my hormonal state and something I still remember exactly to this day...but still cute.

But as for girls...

If Matthew would have been a girl, I remember loving Kaylee Grace and Isabella Grace so dang much.  But at the time, there were Bellas EVERYWHERE.  Most likely from Twilight.  The first book came out in 2005 and a new one was published every year so by 2008, Bella was a hot name.  Darn it.  I also had a handful of friends and acquaintances with Bellas (including a few Isabella Graces) so I was definitely feeling some stress over what to do.  Lucky for me, we found out that Matthew was a boy at around 12 weeks.  It wasn't 100% but the nurse told me she was 99% sure.  So I let it go and Matthew Jay was born.

And for baby #2, I still loved those names above but had a much longer list this time.  The hard thing was finding a name that goes with Nall.  :(  (If you're wondering, Nall rhymes with ball.  Some people pronounce it Nail for some reason. 🤷‍♀️)

My List

Natalee.  How cute is the name Natalee Nall?!  My cousin had just had a little girl they named Natalie though so that kind of squashed that.  And Natalie's mom is also named Amanda.  That could all get confusing.
Molly.  Loved this name and it went so well with Matthew but Molly Nall? Would that have been too much? I was very unsure about how it rolled off the tongue.
Cara.  I don't know why but I thought this was the prettiest name.
Amalie. (Pronounced "AH-muh-lee").  There was a girl on TV one day named that and I thought it was so pretty and different.  Craig squashed it though.
Madison.  I thought this sounded so good with Matthew but it was one of the most popular names of 2008.
Olivia.  I would have loved to have a little Livy.
Nora.  This was a hot contender too.  I loved the alliteration of Nora Nall (and Natalee Nall) but Nora was one of those timeless names that was kind of wild card I couldn't let go of.

But again, I found out Mason was most likely a boy at our NT scan around 12-13 weeks so I didn't have to stress too long.  :)

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Don't y'all LOVE the Revlon Hair Dryer!?! (Currently 20% off!) I'm pretty sure 75% of my Facebook group has one now that I've gone on and on and on about my love for it over the past 6 months.  Seriously one of the BEST hair tools ever invented.

If you aren't familiar with this, it's a blowdryer and round brush all in one.  So instead of using one hand to blow out your hair with the round brush and one hand to hold the blowdryer to that section of hair, it does it all in one.  The blowdryer IS a round brush.  The air blows out from the middle of the brush and helps smooth your hair and add volume, just like a real blowout would.  Except you can do it with one hand.  Amazing.

My hair used to always need to be straightened after I blowdried it or it would look frizzy and dry.  But this (below) is what it looked like as soon as I was done with my new blowdryer.

(I also use the Aquage Uplifting Foam on my roots!  That plus the blowdryer is a great combo if you're looking for volume!)

As for a tutorial.  I'm going to leave that to the beauty vloggers.  But fear not.  Here is my favorite beauty vlogger who also happens to look like a Disney princess and is the coolest chick ever.  I mean, from what I can tell through her social media.  haha  But she's also a hairstylist so you can trust everything that comes out of her mouth.  She has my dream hair.

I also use the Aveda products she uses sometimes too and they are great.  I'll link those below. (Also, I love that she says "volumptious". 😂)

Yes, it's a lot of products but she's a stylist so she's a product girl.  Even if you just get one to add to your hair routine, it could help.  I just ordered the Damage Remedy yesterday because I need a good leave-in conditioner to protect my hair from all the chemicals, the heat, the chlorine...  The Kenra Platinum Blow Dry Spray is also a great option for a heat protectant and is what I currently use.  It smells like a pina colada.  Yum.

And last but not least, I wanted to show you the clips I have been using for 6 months to section off my hair while I blow dry.  They are strong, they last and you get 12 of them in case they start disappearing.  ;)

I don't suggest you leave the house with one of these in your hair but for pulling it up out of the way after a shower, when you need to get it out of your face or to section your hair off when you blow dry or straighten, they are great.   And cheap.

This is a good question!  I'd say the easiest/best thing about being a boy mom is that it fits my personality so well.  I hate drama (unless it's on TV and then I'm all for it) and my boys are very low drama.  They are also super low maintenance which is me as well.  I can buy their clothes from Target and Walmart because all they wear are athletic shorts and t-shirts.  All of which they will get holes in and stains on within days.  But since they are cheap, it doesn't bother me all that much and they couldn't care less.  And no one cares if they don't match or if they wore that shirt 2 days ago.

Since I'm pretty casual with my wardrobe too (minus the holes and stains, hopefully) this works well for me.  If I'd had a girl, I'd absolutely be dressing her up though because I'm sure it's so fun!  So my wallet is thanking me right now for only having to dress dirty boys.  Boys are cheaper.  I have no doubt about this!

Also, no hair issues.  They get it cut once every 6 weeks or so and there's no blowdrying, combing, braiding, or ponytailing involved.  This makes leaving the house so easy for them which means I only have to worry about myself.  It is funny when they stand in front of the mirror fussing over it sometimes though.  So cute.

And my favorite thing.  They love their mama and really are grateful for all the ways I take care of them, the house, their school stuff, sports schedules, etc.  They know they'd be lost without me. (Pretty sure that goes for Craig too.)

The worst part?  THEY STINK.  THEY ARE MESSY.  THEY ARE GROSS.  THEY ARE ALWAYS DIRTY. THEY TELL RIDICULOUS JOKES AND THINK FARTING IS HYSTERICAL.  And did I mention they stink?  😂😂😂  Their bathroom always smells like pee, their feet always stink and I have to tell them daily to "remember your deodorant and go brush your teeth."  I'm sure some of that is just kids being kids but they also have the worst habit of flinging their dirty socks all over the house and yard and it DRIVES ME CRAZY.  They can't just take off their socks while they sit on the couch.  They have to take them off and throw each one across the room as far as it'll go.  Just because.  And then not give it a second thought.

On a more serious note, there are times when I do feel a little left out being the only girl in the house.  Craig is the best dad and he's like a mix between dad and friend.  He's also still got plenty of fart jokes in his arsenal so they think he's hilarious.  I, on the other hand, tend to wander into the bedroom when they get going on "dude stuff".  Since I'm an introvert and love being alone, it's not so bad but sometimes I do feel a little left out.  Not that I want to join in on that but it would be nice to have a little girl who would want to go shopping, get a mani/pedi, or watch Frozen with me.  ;)  I will always be sad that I'll never get that mother/daughter bond or have my daughter grow up to be my best friend someday.  But such is life.

Being a boy mom has its frustrations. You find pee everywhere except in the toilet. In the past, William has walked out of the bathroom saying, "I sorry mommy." "Why Wheels?" "I peed on your wall." Once I walked into the bathroom to find the toilet paper roll that was on the holder was soaking…
So in a few words.

Easier, cheaper, smellier. #bam

I'll answer a few more of your questions next week!  But now for a little Friday Favorites with Erika, Narciand Andrea.

Anyone following a Keto or low carb diet?  If you are then you must try this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole recipe!  Oh my YUM!!

Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole - #recipe by #eatwell101
Source:  Eat Well 101

I had a couple of friends who have been following a Keto diet and they look amazing.  Although I'm not big on complicated diets or anything that requires too much thinking, I kind of wanted to try this.  Plus I could stand to lose 10 pounds.  Like for real.  My back problems over the past year have slowed me down a lot and it has not helped my self-esteem or my looks.  So I figured why not give it a shot. At the very least, it puts me back in gear of being mindful of what I'm eating.

But if I can eat stuff like this and still lose weight, I may end up being a lifer.  This casserole was SO GOOD.  You obviously don't have to be doing the Keto or low carb diet to enjoy this but for those of you who count carbs, try it out!

In other news, I'm currently waiting on this to arrive! Jane picks are my favorite because everything is so cute and on (limited time only) sales.

 I just ordered this yesterday so I guess I have a few days at the very least to wait but I couldn't pass it up.  Especially since it was just $13.99!  Find it HERE along with several others that are oh so cute!

And this pretty tank comes in both green and yellow and looks like it's straight off the J.Crew runway.  But it's half the price of what you'd find there.  Love this one!

And this is my second time to see these on Jane and I just couldn't resist.  Look how cute these little sandals are!  Reviews say to size up if between sizes!  (Did I mention they are only $17.99!?!)

For more Favorites and great deals, you can always find me over in my Deals FB Group!  Come JOIN US!!  You'll be glad you did, I promise!

I'll also be pumping out Etsy orders all day today but wanted to show you a few new additions that I'm loving this week!

I recently added coozies to the shop and y'all seem to be loving them!  I just got a new design in and they are sassy and fun!  You can find them HERE for just $9 personalized!

I also sent out this beauty!  I love these confetti cups so much!

And for you brides or friends of brides-to-be, you might want to snag this wine glass!  For starters, its pretty with gold lettering and an iridescent shimmer.  

And it's also BIG.  Like 30oz big.  As in, it holds a FULL BOTTLE OF WINE.  So go ahead and have just one glass of wine, brides.  We won't tell. ;)  These are also great for a bachelorette party!

Find them HERE!

That's all for today, friends!  See you next week!



  1. I love that hair tutorial! you should dona makeup tutorial on how you did your makeup on that vid. So pretty! Checking out your channel now😄

    1. Oh gosh, that wasn't me! I WISH!! That was one of my favorite beauty vloggers, Harmony. She's amazing and has tons of other videos including makeup tutorials! Go check her out!

  2. Since I am nosy...I loved this question and answer post! Can't wait to read others. You also made my day mentioning "Cara" was a beautiful name. Even though mine is with a "K" same smell right!!?
    Amalie...I can hear a male voice saying the name on a show but can't place it-Help me out! :)

    1. Kara or Cara...both so pretty! I flip flopped a lot between how to spell it and may have ended up with a K! We'll never know. haha And I have no idea where I heard it but I feel like it was a news channel? It was so long ago!

    2. Actually I remembered a lady name Amalie was on America's got talent. It is a beautiful name as well

  3. Anonymous9:18 AM

    I am subscribed to your blog, but I have not been getting any email notifications that you updated?? I checked and they are not going to my spam folder or anything.

    1. Hey! I'm so sorry!! I've heard that before but I have no way to control it. It's all done through blogger's system somehow. Maybe try subscribing again to see if that helps! (You may have to unsubscribe first and then re-subscribe? I have no idea!) Thank you for reading though!

  4. All right- I bit the bullet and ordered the Revlon hair dryer. I've read so much good about it! I trust your recommendations especially. Like your new series, too :).

    1. Yay! I'm sure you'll love it! If you are part of the FB group you can search "revlon hair dryer" or something along those lines and read dozens and dozens and dozens of comments from the members who are raving about it too! And thank you!

  5. Love your insight into being a "boy mom". I have two daughters, a step-daughter and grew up with a sister and girl cousins - a very "girly" family! My husband and I are done having children and I absolutely love and adore my daughters, but sometimes I get that pang of wanting and realizing I'll never have a son (and, of course, my sister and cousins all had boys - ha!). Thanks for being "real"!

  6. Another boy mom here! I have 4 sons, ages: 16, 14, 11, 8. The worst part is sharing a bathroom with them. uggh. I loved it when they were little when it was all about Thomas trains and superheroes. Now that they bigger, I feel a bit more left out. We still find our common ground but it takes a little more effort. I love your Q&A post and hope you continue it soon :)

  7. Loved this post Amanda! So fun to discuss names! I used to teach elementary school and about the time your boys were born there were so many Isabellas and Olivias. Love your choices for your boys names. Matthew was a top contender but we have a Luke, so if we had a second son it would be weird to pick Matthew as people would joke, "What about Mark and John!- lol" Love your realism about loving your sons, but also partially wishing for a girl. I think that is a normal feeling for single sex families. And finally, your hair looks great with that Revlon dryer!

  8. Fellow boymom, but mine are tiny babies (2 &1). I ALWAYS tell people how someone above was saving me $$$ not shopping for a girl! ...I 100% validate your feelings on the sadness of not getting the daughter bond, and how sad it makes me as well, but my boys are LOVIES.


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