September 22, 2014

A Note About Starting College...

My youngest sister is now in her first year of college. I feel so nostalgic, but it is so fast how that happened!
Now as the older sister, I am obligated to give her some advice whether she wants it or not.
This pretty much applies to any first year college student.

Here goes...

Never skip a class two days in a row, that’s all it takes.

Go on spring break. Convince mom you are not going to die, tell dad there will be adults there. I guess mom and dad have eased up since me...

Put in an effort to make it to every home football game; you only get 4 years to experience the student section, after that you’re just a regular old fan. I know the team sucks but it is still an experience.

It’s always better to sleep a few hours and blow off a chapter then pull an all-nighter and be brain dead when you take the test.

Expect the walk to class to be a haul. Prepare accordingly.

Keep a picture of your family in your room.

You’re absolutely going to gain some weight. Dorm food, cheap liquor and 12 hour Netflix binges have a tendency to do that, don’t be surprised.

Don’t pose with booze. Everyone knows your drinking, it’s college.

Know how to properly ignore the people handing out flyers. A fake phone call usually does the trick.

Don’t get a false sense of security on campus at night, bad things can still happen.

Don’t be the reason your group does poorly on a project. Pull your weight plus a little extra.

Turn your cell phone on silent before every class.

Start behaving like an adult. This means making your own appointments, taking yourself to the doctor, emailing people in a professional manner, it takes practice so start now.

Take pictures of everything.

When you get in trouble and have to call your parents, be brave and just call me or Tess instead.

Keep up with your room key. They’re expensive when you lose them and you are already paying enough to go to school.

Be kind always. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Also, people are just plain crazy.

Keep your phone charged.

People are going to be better than you, smarter than you, faster than you, funnier than you, and better looking than you. Work harder.

Acting like you “don’t care” is not cool anymore, start giving a shit.

Make goals for the day, week, month, year, and entire college career. It’ll help when you get lost along the way.

Just go ahead and order the pizza. You deserve it.

What other advice do you have for someone starting college?

September 19, 2014

Flank Steak

If anything runs in my blood, it is red meat. 
My dad instilled that into my sisters and I from the beginning.
Nights grilling out were pinnacle to our summer.

Dad always made sure the recipes were as simple as possible. It was the cut and the time on the grill that had to be precise. I think I knew how to make an edible steak at age ten but to this day I still can't sew.

You win some, you lose some I guess...

So after all these years, I have used by baseline steak knowledge and have tried many creative avenues. Flank Steak is the only one where the marinade is ALMOST more crucial than the grill time. 

Flank steak obviously isn't the best cut of steak (haha funny article about that here), but another pearl of knowledge my dad gave us girls: Waste not, want not.


1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 cup soy sauce
lime juice
cilantro to taste
2 tsp brown sugar
2 lbs flank steak
salt and pepper to taste


Mix together all ingredients in bowl until smooth. Place flank steak into ziplock bag and add all the mixed marinade.

Let marinade sit for at least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight if possible.

Take steak out and dispose of left over marinade.

Grill for 1-3 minutes each side.

Serve and enjoy immediately! Pair with a beautiful bottle of red wine and you my friends have yourself an evening!!

September 18, 2014

Striking the Balance

I have written a lot about balance here and here on the good ol blog.
Right now. I am truly happy. 

I think I am almost at the right amount of balance for my life right now. I have a job I love, a steady and decent paycheck, stimulating hobbies, a social life, and my husband.

My job is one I never thought I would have before. It is more of the same of what I was doing before, but much harder. I love what I do, I love helping people, I love connecting people to resources. I am so thankful for my position. I have had to adjust to a position in which I put in overtime every week; with an increased volume of crisis situations, it has really taken a toll on my wellness. I am slowly working on that. It took a while for me to adjust since when I first started, I would get home and be so tired, feel like it's already night time and just get ready for bed. No blogging, no social times. I felt like I need to spend as much time possible winding down and re-energizing for the next day.

Will balance ever be totally achieved? Probably not, but happiness, that can be achieved.

We all owe ourselves happiness. You know what else I owe myself? Brunch with the girls. Going out for drinks after work. Date night. Just because I leave work when it's dark outside doesn't mean I can't go play for a few hours and enjoy the company of good friends. Kevin sees me in scrubs or PJs all the time. I want to get all dressed up and go out to dinner! So I have to find a way to fit that in. Right now I am doing a better job of that and I couldn't be happier!

Do you have any master time management tips? 
What are you focusing on to contribute to your happiness?

September 17, 2014

Dear Annoying People,

I have been pretty happy go lucky these past couple of posts.
 Here comes the cynical side of Lauren for ya!

Dear Annoying Drivers of the world, Just a few tips to make life easier on the rest of us:

If you have your blinker on, turn it off once it’s fulfilled its purpose. We get that you might turn again eventually, but for now you're all set.

On that note, turn right on red. I think you will try it and it will be liberating.
seriously, some people just should not drive

Light snow or rain in the Southwest region of the United States, does not equal death, if you happen to drive on the "snow" at a normal speed rate you may actually get somewhere in a timely manner and probably will do so safely.

Right lane= slow drivers. Left lane= faster drivers. SIMPLE.

Dear Annoying Pedestrians of the world, Just a few tips to make life easier on the rest of us:

This is really going to blow your mind, but when I am going to cross the street and have already pushed the button to cross, there is no need to push it again fellow pedestrian. Shocking, I know.

Why are you walking so closely behind me? Just why? Just DON'T. 

Dear Annoying People of the world, Just a few tips to make life easier on the rest of us:

I thought people stopped asking this, but then I went grocery shopping on Sunday...

When you’re done microwaving something, go ahead and press “clear.” CLEAR. I don’t need to see how much time you didn't use. (cough cough KEVIN)

Along these same lines, guys, please put the toilet seat down. Just do it. Don’t explain to us how annoying it is. You know what is annoying? Cleaning your pee off the toilet...

Can we have just one day on Facebook without inspirational quotes? Just one day without having to read about why today is going to be such a great day because we have been given the power to lift ourselves up and blah blah blah.
Sorry that your blatant attention-seeking facebook status didn't receive a single comment.
If you would like to show me your amazing new tattoo, please do not be offended when I judge what you have deemed amazing enough to put on your body. No offense to tattoos, but some are way cooler than others.
haha Idk why I found this so funny lol

Unfortunately, this list could go on too long today so I’ll stop now. Now go have a wonderful day because today is a new day full of new opportunities and life is short and possibilities are endless and sunshine and sprinkles and cupcakes and cake.

September 16, 2014

My Favorite Things About Amazon

If I haven't made it clear here, I love Amazon. It really is one of my favorite places to go online and shop. My husband is an even bigger fan. There are a couple of great programs that Amazon that you should be trying! The best part is signing up with all of these or one of these will get you free shipping!

Amazon Student
Try a free Trial here! With your yearly subscription you also get one free Kindle book rental per month, access to movies and TV episodes, music streaming, and the best thing is FREE TWO DAY SHIPPING! Yeah! All you need is your valid .edu email address. You can also save on school necessities for the first six months!

Amazon Prime
All of the perks of Amazon Student for those of us who are not longer students! Start your Free Trial Now!  
Amazon Mom
Amazon Mom is free and you get the same free shipping with deals and subscriptions for diapers and wipes and such. All those things you mommas out there need.

Weddings and babies alike are all ready for you to register for your needs there! I did one for my wedding and one day my baby will get the same!

Shop Amazon - Create an Amazon Wedding Registry
Shop Amazon - Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Amazon Smile
This is my newest and most favorite one so far. You can support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop. Shopping and giving back. Two of the best things to do! Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to your organization of your choice. There are a lot of organizations to choose from! Some of my faves:

The Ronald McDonald House (which ever is close/local to you)
Pulmonary Hypertension
Leukemia Lymphoma Society

This house was critical to my family during a very hard time and to many other families during hard times. An amazing charity!

Do you use any or have used any of these great services Amazon offers?

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