Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So.. LOTS of people have been asking for pictures and updated about my surgery.. I got so busy with all the wedding plan and everything I pretty much forgot it even happened! BUT I LOVE the outcome! The whole thing really wasn't to bad! Not much pain at all! The worst part was just getting sick from the pain meds other than that it was pretty easy! Dan took such good care of me! I was so excited about wedding stuff (remember the surgery was only 2 days after I got engaged!) that I pretty much just did wedding planning my whole recovery- I even went dress shopping with my cast still on!! I about passed out- pain killers+no food+tight dresses= BAD IDEA!! The after picture I've posted below was taken about a month and half ago and more swelling has gone down since. It normally takes about 6-12 month for it fully recover and for all of swelling to go away. I can definitely feel and see the swelling still, especially at the tip. But that should all be gone before to long! Anyway hope everyone is doing great!! Can't wait to see everyone in September or October ((whichever reception you can make it to))!! Hopefully by then more of the swelling will have gone down! LOTS of Loves!!

This is me with "Dr. Dan" - he proved again on Saturday how great he really is!!


This is me with my actual doctor, Dr. Lawton!! She's the BEST!! I would refer ANYONE to her anyday!! (I look hot in my little cap I know..)


This me right after I got home!! Fun right?


Alright and here's the before and after!!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm still here!!

Wow.. We have been SO busy with wedding plans, every weekend seems packed with more and more things to do! The good thing is soon we will have all of the big stuff done and be able to just worry about the small stuff.. Last weekend we checked out rings and did one of our registrys.. After that we went to a dinner at one of Dan's old friends house. We were asked to bring a salad, and I was thinking how boring.. I LOVE to cook and try new things.. so anyway I was trying to think of a good salad to make and I remembered this salad I get from Ruby's down on the pier and it's call and APB salad (apple pecans and blue cheese) well I know a lot of people don't like blue cheese so I left that out.. but made my own version of it and it turned out SOOO good.. ((better than Ruby's I have to say!!)) So here's how I made it if you want to try it ((it's SUPER easy!!))

I used the spring mix salad from the store, then topped with chopped up Fuji apples, craisens, golden raisins, and chopped up praline pecans, and then I used a pomegranate blueberry vinaigrette for the topping..

It was OHHH sooo good!!
okay.. back to more wedding planning ;)
hope everyone is having a great week!! XOXO

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Damanda Wedding Blog!

Dan and I put together a new wedding blog, providing information and details about our big day! Please check it out at damandasmith.blogspot.com! Thanks for checking it out!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

*the best day yet!!..

So as most everyone knows now, Dan and I are getting Married.. here's the little inside scoop on how it all went down :)
So after Dan and I had been dating for about a month, I had told him that I didn't want to know when whoever I marry purposes, I want it to be a complete surprise.. so 'just in case' I sent him a picture of a ring I found that I loved! I figured I would get something LIKE it.. not the EXACT one.. ((we'll get to that soon)) so, I didn't know this but he bought the ring 5 WEEKS ago!! I guess he went online looking for this ring I sent him a picture of and searched for the designer and then where you could buy the ring.. So he found this all out, he made some calls and found out it wasn't usually in the store but gave him the skew number for it and then he went to Robbins Brothers. He walked in and the woman (Marianne, Who I will soon meet, that's how Dan told the story) asked if she could help him, he said I'm here to get a ring, she went on to ask what does he think I would like, and he said well this ring actually, gives her a picture, says here's the skew, size 4 and half. haha well after a while at the store and looking at diamonds he found out it would be about 6-8 weeks, but Marianne put a rush on it to get it here sooner.. he really wanted to do it before my surgery. So 5 weeks later I am driving home from work talking to my mom, ((it was on speaker, don't worry)) and she goes, I gotta go I'll call you back CLICK.. then NEVER called me back.. I thought that was pretty weird.. Well a few days ago Dan and I had already planned on going to Fred's for dinner and it's just a few blocks up from my house and so we decided to walk along the beach. So he gets to my house and we start walking in the sand and he starts saying some stuff, like remember the first time we went to the beach, and that was your first time at the beach. and I am like what are you getting at??? hahaha well then we get down by the ocean and he says: I have a pre-surgery surprise for you!! remember when we went to the beach that first time and you wrote amanda and dan in sand? well I'm going to write something for you.. so he positioned me perfectly and I covered my eyes.. I had an IDEA what was going on.. but there has been a few times when I wondered if today was the day and it never was so I figured today wasn't either.. so then he keeps asking are they still closed don't peek then I open my eyes and see...
((only minus the hand)) and I am trying to figure out what it says and he's standing there next to it and then he said I had this look like I was starting to get it he got down on one knee and said "Amanda Lynn Hillman, Will you Marry me forever?" I just said NO WAY!! and then I was shaking my head yes and he was crying and I was crying, and then he put the ring on and we were hugging.. and then I remembered people saying they forgot to say yes and when I remembered that I started saying yes! hahaha and then I just kept smiling and I was jumping up and down and looking at my hand and kissing him.. hahaha I was SHOCKED! it was perfect.. then I look at this ring and I'm like, this is the EXACT ring I wanted!!
It was all so perfect, then I found out he had text my mom earlier and told her he was calling to ask a top secret question and he called while we were talking and that was why she never called me back because she was afraid she would spill the beans!! So.. there it is!! I am luckiest girl about to marry the most amazing, sweet, caring, giving, (oh man I'm getting choked up) most perfect man in the whole world. I really couldn't ask for anything more. He is everything I've ever dreamed of having and more.. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with such an amazing person. I am truly so blessed!! I love you DAN SMITH!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

can i get a fry with that SHAKE!?..

The best purchase of the Month:

Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender!!
A girl I worked with at Caribou spent her spring break with her friend here in California, and I let her stay at my place so as a thank you they gave me a gift card to Target!
Well I've been wanting a Magic Bullet for a while and they are like $55 almost so I just never brought myself to spending the money for one. Well I was at target and just wanted to see if they had something similar.. and they had this bad boy!!
It was only $15 but only come with one cup that's the only down side.. but I use it like at least twice a day! I usually make a breakfast smoothie and then a protein shake after my work out!
One of my new favorites I discovered today was like 1-2 tablespoons yogurt ((I like dannon lite vanilla)) then about 8 oz pure pineapple juice (( I am drinking pineapple juice like crazy right now- i was told it helps with swelling and bruising to help prepare for the surgery I have in 2 weeks)) and then a whole banana and about 1/3 a cup of spinach.. I know that sounds weird but you don't really even taste it!! but it's really good!!
Then for my protein shakes I do about 8-10 oz of either soy, skim or almond milk ((ps if you haven't had almond milk yet.. you should!! it's sooo yummy.. try the vanilla)) a scoop of protein ( I use chocolate Nu-Tek Pro 5) then I add a banana and about 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter.. soooo good!!
Hope everyone is doing well!! I haven't posted for a while but maybe I will again after my surgery.. I have had a lot of people want to see some before and afters!! I went to my pre-op yesterday and it made me SUPER excited and SUPER nervous at the same time!!
For those who don't know, I'm getting Rhinoplasty. I have wanted to for a long time and I am FINALLY able to do it! I found a great Dr. I really trust, her name is Dr. Tenley Lawton and her office in Newport Beach. She is shrinking my turbinates to help my breathing and then shaving off my little bump and narrowing the top and then taking the ball off the end and rotating it up so it doesn't droop anymore! So I will definitely update everyone after I am all healed!
Hope everyone has a good week!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My week in a nutshell..

No, this is me in a nutshell: "Help! I'm in a nutshell! How did I get into this bloody great big nutshell? What kind of shell has a nut like this?" ((austin powers)) ha!

*THURSDAY-Dan and I went to Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my new job.. he got the shepard's pie.. I got the chicken bow tie pasta w/ broccoli instead of peas and we got the ghirardelli brownie for dessert.. YUM!!

*FRIDAY- I started my new job, which went really well.. I totally love it!!..

* SATURDAY- Went to breakfast at this cute little place in Costa Mesa then.. Tom was in SO CAL working and stopped by for the day.. we took him to the beach and down to the pier and up main street.. had bar-b-q for lunch and Mo's and then he installed my car stereo ((which him and my mom got me for christmas and has been sitting in my closet..)) then we went to Fred's Mexican for dinner... SOOOOO good!!.. BEST Mexican salad ever!! YUM.. and it over looks the beach and ocean it's great!!

*SUNDAY- went to church and finished the blanket I started on thursday for Dan ((yup did it in THREE days.. don't even ask why I thought to attempt that.. but it all worked out and he loved it!!)) Dan brought me some beautiful orchids gave me some other sweet gifts and then we laid at the beach and then went to Outback -Fillet Mignon & Crab Legs.. DELISH!! and then a huge amazingly good cake ((we don't normally eat out this much i swear!!)) and then watched Love Happens.. good Valentine's Day movie

*MONDAY- worked again- Dan had the day off and made me a great Chicken Chow Mien dinner.. and watched the kite runner, I had just finished reading it so I did a lot of comparing but it was still really good

*TUESDAY- worked and then hung out with Dan.. watched figure skating for the Olympics and then received a Valentines massage it was FABULOUS!!. would have thought he was a professional if I didn't know any better

*TODAY- had the day off so I did some cleaning, walked to the beach with my roommate (AMANDA!) went to Jamba.. laid out for a few hours.. went shopping up main street and then later get to go watch Dan play in a basketball game...

EXCELLENT week if you ask me!! (I think we probably won't eat out again for a month or so tho haha)

Hope everyone else had wonderful week and an extra special Valentine's

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

*and the search is finally over!!..

My new job!!..
So after months of searching and some crazy boring temp jobs, and lots of stress.. I got a job!!.. It was definitely worth the wait!
I interviewed last Tuesday at Orange Coast Orthodontics/ Jungle of Smiles- Pediatric Dentistry and was invited back for a working interview on Wednesday afternoon. It went really well and loved the place.. It's decorated like a Jungle with monkeys and the big tree you see in the picture, paintings on the walls of zebras and tigers and elephants.. it's really cute. Also I really like everyone that worked there. It seems like such a great environment.. it's kind of in an upscale area of Orange County and they describe it as the 'Nordstoms' of dental offices ((meaning there are a lot of really rich patients)) :) I really really wanted the job and he emailed me Sunday saying I would hear from him on or before Wednesday.. Then I got home and had an email offering me the position!! I am sooo excited!!
I don't know a lot of information yet I should be talking to the Dr. tomorrow and hopefully meeting with him this week sometime to discuss the details!
The coolest thing about it is I worked really hard to get this job and it all totally paid off in the end!!
I can't wait to start and update on how it is actually working there but I am sure I will love it!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

*it's a beautiful life!!..

Last Monday I received a phone call from the employment agency I am working with to find a job. I am working with their perm and temp departments to find something permanent, while doing a few temporary jobs here and there. The call was for a temporary 3 day job (Monday-Wednesday) to cover for a receptionist at an Advertising/PR firm in Newport Beach. I was very excited to get back into working and the company and all of the people are very great!
On my last day (Wednesday) they asked me if I could stay a little longer, the woman I was covering for's husband was very ill, and has been for the past few months. So I am now working here until the end of this week. (My 3 day project turned into a 2 week project) She came in on Friday and looked very sad. Someone I worked with mentioned that she looked like she had lost a lot of weight in her face. Someone asked her how she was doing and she responded, "My husband is dying." It broke my heart! I can't even imagine how that must feel. They took him off all of his meds and put him on morphine and they were pretty much just waiting.. I received a call this morning from her family saying her husband had passed away this morning. My prayers are with this sweet lady and her family at this time.
Sitting here at her desk I noticed a little quote she has posted up:
Practice noticing the beauty in your life. Start now. Wherever you are, look around and make a mental note of what you find beautiful in this very moment. Do this 3 times a day until it becomes a habit.
Last Tuesday, my second day on the job, I woke a little early just to be safe and I had a little extra time, so I found out what time the sun rises and went the patio on the roof of my house and watched the sunrise. I took a picture to send to my mom and dad. I can't even remember the last time I did that. It's been way to long. But I loved that little quote she has sitting here. I look around sometime and am amazed by the beautiful things that God has given us. Some we see and some we don't. I have challenged myself to follow that quote and 3 times a day find the beauty in the world around me until it's a habit. We are so lucky and so blessed to live in such a beautiful world.
I hope everyone has a good week, and god bless the Astarabadi family at this time.
The rest of the pictures are all ones I have taken on my phone over the past few months of living in California..
It is definitely very easy to find beauty here!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

*and so the seach continues..

Can I just tell everyone how much FUN job searching is.. It feels like your running in a circle really REALLY fast.. the problem is with running in a circle.. you don't get ANYWHERE..
I found this and thought it was pretty funny.. maybe I should take some tips from this kid.. only problem is that McDonald's probably IS the only place that actually would hire someone that filled out an app this way..
This is an actual job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's fast-food establishment in Florida... and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!
NAME: Greg Bulmash
SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.
DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.
DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.
LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.
SALARY: Less than I'm worth.
MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.
PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.
MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?
DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"
HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes.
DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.
Anyway.. I know most of you that look at my blog didn't live IN or even AROUND Orange County.. but if you know of anyone out here hiring.. that would be awesome to let me know!!.. Til then.. the search continues..

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010