about me


I’m Amber. I live in Park City, Utah with my mountain man husband, John. We met on New Year’s Eve 1999, spent a decade as friends, then fell in love and said, “I do” in the fall of 2012. The journey from friends to husband and wife is far more complicated than that sentence implies, but it was meant to be. We have a German Shepard/Chocolate Lab named Cholula who is on the constant hunt for snuggles and cheese. She has crooked ears and she thinks she’s human. We welcomed a bouncing baby boy named Oden in March of 2016, and his brother, Morrison, joined the party in December of 2018. We waited a long time to be parents and every day is an adventure as a family of five!


I strive to live a simple and optimistic life- it’s just too short to allow it to be filled with negativity (whether it be my own or from others). My desire for solid roots and a comfortable, welcoming home is countered by a restless side that fuels the travel bug in me. My life continues to surprise me, and it’s far from perfect…but I know that every day is a gift, and I’m grateful. This blog started as a way for me to remember that there is always something blissful to smile about, even during times of struggle. Since that first post, there have been a LOT of struggles: friendships ending, infertility, miscarriages, trials of marriage, spousal substance abuse and recovery, postpartum depression. It hasn’t been easy to always find the bright side, and that’s ok. I’m learning it’s still there when I’m able to finally lift my chin again and look for it. My hope is that I inspire you to do the same.


Here, you’ll get a taste of the mostly-blissful mountain life: delicious food, photography, how we entertain, travel adventures (near and far), and a healthy dose of mama life. I share the big and little bits of joy (as well as some tears). Thanks for being here!

Here are a few good places to start:

A blissful life (and keeping it real).

On bravery and fairy tales.

Adventures in motherhood.

We love to travel!

If you’re hungry, I’ve got you covered.

And take a peek at my work, elsewhere on the web. 


I’d love to hear from you! Contact me at amber@theusualbliss.com. To view or inquire about my freelance work, visit this page.

You can follow The Usual Bliss on FacebookPinterest, Instagram and Twitter(@mrshowiepc)

Content/photos are the property of The Usual Bliss. Please do not use without permission.


  1. I found you! And I’m so excited to read more! I adore your blog and blog name. I also love your positive outlook and enthusiasm for life! Come visit me, I think we have a lot in common 🙂
    XO, Tobi

  2. Roscoe sleeps in our bed too. I mean, he’s probably half the size of Cholula, but still!! He takes up a lot of room haha. We’ve actually been trying to get him to sleep on his bed on the floor lately, so far so good, but I have to admit I miss him snuggling on my legs…however I DON’T miss not being able to move lol

  3. Hi Amber!
    Thanks so much for the visit to my blog! I definitely agree…we are on the same page for sure!
    It’s great to ‘meet’ someone else who loves doing the photo challenge too! It really gets you thinking, doesn’t it?
    Anyway, you have a new follower now! 🙂

  4. Thanks for stopping by Mother Sugar. Our dog sleeps on the bed too. It’s bad, I know. But it’s addictive to have her furry mass there (she’s a belgian shephard), that if this is the big sin of one’s life, I happily live with it.

    1. She’s 47 lbs now. This summer, she’s started jumping down and sleeping in the bathroom- the tile must be cooler. But every morning, it’s as if she’s saying, “Guys! Here I am! I’m still here!” Little munchkin.

  5. My name is Amber too. Haphazard comment, I know. Just wanted to say thanks for representing it well!

    But seriously, thanks for visiting my blog! I enjoy reading yours as well. 😀

  6. Hey Amber, just read your blog and I love it! It’s great that you left it quite personal but so ‘welcoming’… it is so full of life, joy for life and this all-american directness… you really brought a smile on my face just noW!


    1. I am so excited! Thank you for reading, and for the awesome award. It always makes me feel so special~ please excuse me if I don’t recognize it publicly until post-wedding, but THANK YOU for now! 🙂

  7. Hi Yulia! I’m so glad we’ve discovered each other’s blogs! I LOVE your blog! I can completely relate to your feelings about being restless to travel while simultaneously craving a stable “home”. That’s the paradox we’ll always have to struggle with, and I think the key is finding a good balance- which we both seem to be striving towards! We can do it! I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, which you can read about and accept here: http://thetraveluster.com/2013/05/02/versatile-blogger-award-celebrating-bloggers/

    1. You’re AMBER- not Yulia! (haha- sorry! I was looking at a comment from “Yulia” and got momentarily confused). The rest of my message was definitely meant for you, though!!

  8. i LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog’s tone and everything! Just followed you and can’t wait to read more!

    <3, Charlotte

  9. Hey there! I was wondering if you’d mind me referencing something hilarious you said in the comments section of my “about me” page? I’ll link to your blog, of course 🙂 Let me know!

  10. Hi Amber! I have nominated your blog for the “Super Sweet Blogger Award.” Please visit my post to view the rules and responsibilities for accepting. Keep up your super sweet blogging!

  11. Amen to not letting life be filled with negativity! I have resolved to work on that this year by visiting and commenting on a positive blog every day. I’m glad I came across your site — its cheerful outlook is very refreshing! I keep a list of my discoveries on my own blog, and have added yours as today’s entry. 🙂

  12. Hi – would you consider selling a copy of your photo of the ski fence? I love it and would like to print & frame. Thx for letting me know!!! Great site!

  13. Amber,

    I found your blog while trying to identify the boat in the water (Nemo) outside the Boathouse on Orcas island. My husband and I spent a fantastic week there in 2013 and are retiring to WA later this year. I have to say that I adore Park City — have stayed at/skied from the Old Miner’s Lodge eons ago.

    I got pulled into your post about the birth of your son; it made me weep — in a good way! I know it’s cliche, and folks feel like they have to say it, but truly — a beautiful baby!

    Wishing you and your family (all 4 of you, with the pooch) all the best, and continued grace in handling the curve balls of life!


    1. Hi, Jennifer! I’m so glad you found me. How FABULOUS was the Boathouse? We tried to return for our 2nd anniversary and were heartbroken to learn the family no longer rents it out. What a magical place!
      Thanks for the reminder that Park City is pretty special, too! It’s easy to forget when you live there.
      Thank you so much for your well wishes and sweet comments about Oden and this site. I hope you’ll continue to visit and comment! 🙂

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