alex beadon

These 6 Tips Made me MORE Productive

Anyone who is close to me knows that I am a "busy bee". Buzzzzz Buzzz... I remember my friend asked, "How on Earth did you manage to find time to do that?" Well, my friend..... I'll tell you how. I hate to break it to ya but the answer isn't magical powers. Although, it would be awesome if it was! The real answers may surprise you! All you need to do is to follow these six simple tips:

ORGANIZE

Organization is my specialty. My work space is very neat (majority of the time). When my surroundings are clean, I focus much better. Clear your desk and you will have a clear mind.

PLANNING/TIME BLOCK

Blocking out time for specific events and activities is super important if you want to be more productive. I am a visual person so I like to see the gaps of free time. I put everything and everyone in my calendar. Dinner with my parents? It's scheduled. Gym time? Scheduled. Date Night? Scheduled. Reminder/Follow-Up Calls? Scheduled. Get the idea? Having a clear knowledge of your schedule can ultimately lead to a more productive day.

WRITE IT DOWN

I am more productive when I have a physical list in front of me. This goes back to the above, I like to see it. This way I know what I have to do and won't forget :P Also, the action of crossing things out is rewarding and makes me more excited to finish the rest of my list. Toss this girl a cookie!

PRIORITIZE

Sometimes I have really long To-Do Lists and I get overwhelmed. The best thing to do in this situation is to focus on one task at a time. Knock off the quick & easy stuff so your list gets shorter faster ;) If a task has a deadline or is high priority, take care of those items first. You can always get back to the small tasks.

TIME IT

Turn your phone on airplane mode and set a timer for 25 minutes. You will be AMAZED at how much work you can accomplish without your phone distracting you. So often I get distracted when I see notifications from social media. I go to check my notifications, then I see a cute picture on my newsfeed, then I see who posted, hey what are they up to?... and then I am really off-task. Break-up with your phone for 25 minutes, I dare you to try it!!

CLEAR & POSITIVE MIND

Don't allow your mind to rear you off the path of being productive. Take a few deep breaths, empty your mind, and focus on one task at a time. If your mind is racing, I find it easier to write down all my thoughts on a piece of paper and go back to work without my mind distracting me. After I finish, I revisit the paper with all my thoughts on it.

Stay positive! You can do this!! Be your own cheerleader. You can't accomplish something if you keep telling yourself, "I can't". Change your words and your actions will follow.

I hope you have found these tips helpful and can apply them to your own busy life :) Please comment below and let me know which tip was your favorite. I would love to hear from you!

Go get em' tiger! Rawr!

- Amanda M. Amato

DIY Mason Jar Terrariums

Living in Jersey during the winter months is pretty grey everyday. The gloomy skies made me itch for some plant life.... hence why I made these easy terrariums! I needed some greenery to add to my desk and cheer me up since looking out the window is uninspiring (unless it snows then its pretty out).

FullSizeRender-2 MATERIALS:

  • Large Mason Jar
  • Sand
  • Stones or River rocks
  • Faux Succulents
  • Faux Fern Plant

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This DIY project is very simple! First, pour the sand into the jar. Second, add a layer of river rocks. Next, cut the stem off of your plants and place them inside of your jar until you think it looks good. Last, put the cap back on. Ta-daaaaaa! You've finished your awesome terrarium. :)

Do More of What You Makes You Happy

"Do more of what makes you happy." Sounds familiar right? But do we all follow that wise old saying? As I laid in bed last night, I had an A-ha! moment. I truly feel that I live a balanced life. I make sure to designate time for my family, boyfriend, friends, and myself. There used to be a time in my life where I consumed myself with only work. Although, I love my job - it definitely was not healthy for me to submerge myself in projects over my head.

Since then, my life has changed. I have one good job and a business. I allow myself to work a certain amount of hours. With the remainder, I make sure I spend a fair amount of quality time with the people who matter most to me plus personal time. Finding a balance between family, work, and personal time has made my quality of life much better and less stressed.

It is okay to LOVE what you do but don't make that the only thing you do. I enjoy working but I also don't want life to fly by without fully "living" it. It is easy to get caught up in the mix of things. Start living in the present. Enjoy every moment. Ultimately, do more of what makes you happy with the people who make you happy. :)

As we approach the holidays, I wanted to wish you all a very merry holiday and a happy New year! Embrace time with your family and friends. Eat big, love big, and laugh bigger :) If you loved this positive post and want more, please follow me on instagram @amatox3 or @byamadesigns <3

Yours truly,

Amanda M. Amato

Dollar Store DIY: Gold Dipped Glass Holders

Hello beautiful friends! I am a little delayed on the my usual blog schedule because my first attempt failed.  I sprayed my glass holders and then added a clear acrylic coating to protect the paint from chipping. I guess my paint wasn't completely dry and the clear coat actually removed all of the metallic paint. So I had to recreate my project and fell short from my posting deadline. Sorry, folks!

If you haven't noticed, I love to DIY and I love gold. I actually love metallic paint so much that I purchased all the metallic paint from the hardware store. They know me by name. They also love all my crazy ideas - like my spray painted heels but that's another DIY project ;)

Ok, so on to my dollar store find! I purchased these babies at my local dollar store. You can apply this technique to wine glasses, candle holders, even tin cans. Let's get crafting!

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MATERIALS:

Metallic Gold Spray Paint

Glass Holders (in whatever shape or size you wish)

Blue Painter's tape

DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 - Clean the glass containors and remove any price tags from the bottom. To get the tags off, soak in very hot soapy water. It usually comes off easily but for those stickers that won't budge, use Gooby-Gone to take off the excess.

Step 2 - Tape the top half of your glass holder and fold over the top edges. Make sure tape is sealed tight so the paint does not seap underneath.

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Step 3 - Spray paint ! Don't forget to spread out newspaper.

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Step 4 - Let your holders dry

Step 5 - Remove the tape

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Ta- daaaaaa!!! You are finished. Great job! ;) Be sure to tag @byamadesigns on twitter or instagram so I could see your recreations. I would love to see your work. All my favorites will be reposted! :)

Yours truly,

Amanda M. Amato

AMA DESIGNS

The Inner Struggle

As you may now, I have been participating in Alex Beadon's "Feel Good Blogging Challenge" this week. I am approaching the end stretch with today being DAY 6. UNDERVALUE

In middle school, I never really felt comfortable being who I was. Middle school was definitely the worst stage for me growing up. Think about it - you are going through that "awkward stage", you have no idea how to apply makeup or style your hair, and boys suddenly don't have "cooties" anymore. On top of that, you have the evil "cliques" that you have to deal with.

I was very outgoing and friendly in school. Regardless of the amount of people that I seemingly got along with, I was still bullied. When a group of kids are calling you names, of course you will question if is true. You start to question who you are and then you become insecure. The voice inside my head was worse then the voice of those girls.

But I broke free ..

One day, I woke up a NEW person. It was the day I found my voice. Surprisingly, my voice was so strong that it stopped all the bullying. It was that day that I realized who I was. It was the same year that I ran for Student Council President and won!

I managed to master middle school, but I haven't mastered self-doubt. Tell me if you can relate to some of these --- "Am I good enough? Can I handle it? Do I deserve this? I'm not smart enough. I'm not creative enough. I'm not skinny enough. Why aren't I more successful?"

It is time to start mastering the negative voice inside. I feel that we can be our worse critique! Our mind makes up excuses and reasons for not doing something and we end up holding ourself back. We skip out on opportunities to grow because of the voice of fear. It's time to listen to your "inner cheerleader" and start believing in yourself. If you don't believe in you, WHO will?

I have realized that these negative thoughts and feelings no longer serve me and they are NOT who I am. Sometimes it is best to do things in spite of our mind. I recently was in a "funk" and lacked passion and creativity. I was torturing myself inside. One day, I said "THAT'S ENOUGH." I took all my paint brushes, all of my drawing tools, all of my sketch pads, and got to work!! That day I surrounded myself with creativity and all the things that make me happy. I proved to myself, "Hey, I really am creative. I can do this".

A few months back, I was preparing to film an episode on how to create a home office. The night before I began to psych myself out. You're not confident enough. You're not exciting enough. You don't know what your talking about. You don't have enough experience. You aren't talented enough.

What did I do? I kept repeating in my mind the opposite: You ARE confident. You ARE talented. You ARE enough. You ARE creative. You ARE exciting! You ARE awesome and you can handle anything that is thrown at you !!

It was these affirmations that validated who I was. Not to mention, it helped me tremendously with my stage presence, performance, and confidence.

This is still a learning process for me. It is all about acknowledging your thoughts when they come in and letting them go if they do not serve you. I can tell you that bringing out your inner-cheerleader truly does help! Start looking at yourself in the mirror and say how wonderful you are. Start to appreciate and embrace everything about yourself!

If you haven't heard it today, I want to tell you that you ARE awesome and hope your day is as bright as you are.

Much love,

Amanda

10 Fun Facts About Me

1. Surprisingly, I don't have a favorite color. As a designer, I LOVE every color. My color changes upon my mood and the season. Right now, I am totally loving all shades of purple, especially deep eggplant tones. 2. I have an obsession with animal print. I own way too much leopard clothing and accessories than I can count. Typical jersey girl stereotype? mmm maybe.

3. I am pretty athletic. I was on the Varsity Field Hockey team in High School. I was a left wing most of the time but I played every forward position. I was also a member of the track team. I ran all the sprinting events, 100, 200, 400 and sometimes 800. As a member of the Top 5, I competed in Regional and State events. During my childhood I was a competitive figure skater. I also like to snowboard in the winter and have taught all my friends how to snowboard as well.

4. I'm not the best dancer however I like to go out and enjoy myself. Who cares what anyone thinks of my moves? I feel good and that's all that matters :)

5. I love the outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking. Although, I wouldn't go camping again.

6. I am very good at giving advice but not that good at taking my own. I'm working on it!

7. I am a foodie <3 For the most part, I eat healthy but I do believe in indulging here and there :)

8. I am very organized EVERYWHERE but my room. For some reason, I just can't keep up with my clothes/laundry. I have a tiny bedroom, so if something is left out, it looks sloppy.

9. My favorite season is Fall. I love the colors of the leaves changing. I love the warmth during the day and the brisk cold nights. I love baking during this time of year.

10. I am at a stage in my life where I finally feel comfortable being myself. Middle school was the worst age for me. I lacked confidence and really felt uncomfortable with who I was. Girls were mean! As I grew up, I realized that my happiness is much more important than other peoples opinions. I learned to let go of everything and started to believe in myself. I know who I am as a person and I am digging it :)

I hope you enjoyed this post which was inspired by Alex Beadon's "Feel Good Blogging Challenge: Day 4".

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