April 30, 2014

10 things I wish someone told me before my wedding day

I think my wedding planning experience started out like every other new bride to be, with a proposal. Once the elation and phone calls calmed down, there I was going right into wedding planning. It isn't easy. There is a lot of great information out there, but none of that information seemed to focus on real people having real problems. You would always get the line: "things may go wrong, but it will still be the best day of your life and afterwards you won't sweat the things that went wrong." To all of those blogs, forums, magazines, etc...who told me that. BOO.

Not to say that my wedding wasn't fantastic, but I wish there was more out there to reflect some honesty on things that can go wrong, the taboo subjects, the uncomfortable bits of advice that no one talks about or you were told and didn't believe. Hopefully this will help another bride to be. Here are my 10 things:

1. During the ceremony you may not be able to get the ring on your spouses finger. Stress, nervousness, heat...they all ensure you have swollen fingers. Play it off. Oh and ladies, my advice: I wore my engagement ring on my other finger so that my left ring finger could be less swollen and easier for the band to go on. Oh and speaking of the ceremony, there may be weather if you are having it outside. Thank gosh I had my hair up! I only wish my girls did too. (I had wind)

2. You really won't care about the little things. Really, but Lauren didn't you just say BOO to the people who told you that you won't care?!?" Yeah I did! But I say that to after you are married. Not during. Surprisingly there will be a moment where you are in the moment and there's no longer anything you can do to change the things that have gone wrong and therefore it no longer matters. I was surprised at how little I cared about the things when they didn't work out on my wedding day.

3. But after you will care about the big stuff. And something will go wrong. Mine was my poor mom getting sick, the hotel flooding, the flowers being small, and my photographer being a bitch. Yep I just said that word FOR SURE. Still a little sad/mad to this day.

4. You won't look good the next morning. I didn't even drink except for to toast two sips and I looked like murder! You stay up late and don't get a lot of sleep and therefore you will look it. I wish I didn't have to rush off to the honeymoon, because you will be filled with emotion and wanting to stay and spend more time guiltily with people that have flown from everywhere to see you. Plus there is the stress of making sure you were an organized packer!

5. Things you would think are no brainers, may not be no brainers. Write these things down and give them to, well in my case not my photographer because I did and she just failed....but write down and tell people if you want them to be in pictures, because what is obvious to you may not be obvious to them and they might just take off. Thankfully my wedding and reception was all in the same place so getting people wasn't too hard. Oh and all that craziness is another reason I highly recommend a first look!

6. Your future husband may not get your stress. The man you are supposed to count on to be your rock, may not get why you are so stressed out when setting up, at your rehearsal dealing with last minute things, etc...Don't pick a fight, because it won't come out pretty when you are stressed. Just say okay and move on with what you need to do. The grrom isn't expected to care about the wedding. It is a standard for a reason, just get used to it.

7. After the wedding, the spending doesn't stop. There is still the wedding dress cleaning and preserving that costs about $200-$300, there is all the postage for thank you notes, oh and the honeymoon!

8. Give yourself more than enough time on the big day. Things will run behind schedule no matter how punctual a person you are. You are also counting on other people and that is another piece to the puzzle. Basically there are too many pieces that need to fall into place for you to ever be on time. I felt way frazzled and rushed during the makeup, get dressed, and take pictures, that I really didn't get any reflection time, or time to hang out with my bridesmaids. This was because the hotel got flooded and my hair took longer than expected. Just remember if you are running late, don't freak too much. They can't start without you!
If that isn't a look of stress....

9. I didn't do a receiving line because personally I couldn't find the time and secondly, they remind me of funerals, yeah I know weird...but just remember it is a crazy busy night and you may want to consider it because the night goes by so fast and it is rude and you may regret not saying hi, thank you for coming, to every one personally.

10. Embrace everything. You will probably not be this skinny again in your life. Milk it, take lots of pictures. Embrace the less than perfect pictures. You will have no idea what you were doing, or what was going on, but you will have to imagine it was pretty awesome!
Neither of us remember this and I have no idea what we are doing....

11. There is simply no words to describe how truly fast your wedding will pass. It is like an entire day in fast forward and no matter what you do, there is no way to prepare for the speed. You will have a handful of clear moments you can call back on, and the rest of the memories you will gain from your photos and videos.



April 29, 2014

Healthy Habits Every Girl Should Have

Start fresh every single day
Put your phone down when you are out with people.
Understand that exercise doesn't have to be a big time commitment.
Practice safe sex always.
Use retinol if you are starting to get wrinkles.
Never grocery shop on an empty stomach.
Keep healthy snacks at home and at work.
Stop beating yourself up.
Don't do drugs. No smoking.
Don't skip your yearly gyno appointment.

Consolidate and pay off your debt ASAP.
Do not overdo booze.
Don't snack if you are not hungry.
Drink at least 8 ounces of fluids a day.
Use SPF and wear a hat in the sun.
Make your home a place you want to be.
Don't buy things you know you will only wear once.
Avoid tanning beds.
Do not skimp on sleep.
Prioritize stress management.
Always wear a seatbelt.
Wash your hands often.
Sneeze into your arm and not your palm.
Learn to take constructive criticism.
Never let Google diagnose you.


What are some healthy habits you have?


April 28, 2014

Does Easter Exist if you don't Blog About it?

Easter and Blogging, for some reason I am always slow on the update after the holiday. Last year I posted some of my favorite ways to eat all that leftover Easter ham TWENTY days after Easter. I hope all of your ham was gone by then! Last year was my first year I hosted Easter and I think it went well.

This year I am doing an Easter update EIGHT days late and I didn't even host!
Kevin and I took a quick trip back to NM.
You can always count on my mom to have a beautiful table and plenty of flowers!

Geez....squinty eyes in the sun much?!?







I bet you were all dying...good thing I did that update huh!

April 24, 2014

How to Find What is Pinned From Your Blog

I have this one little project that I did that is pretty much my only success in bringing in people from Pinterest. I never really use or think about Pinterest that much for numbers, but some of you might be surprised about what people are pinning off you and how many pins there are!


So first off let me mention today's post will be super short, because finding what people have pinned from you is SUPER easy.

All you do is type this into your browser:

http://www.pinterest.com/source/YOUR-BLOG-URL

Only type the domain name and the .com though! You will see something like this being pinned from my site!
Now if anyone has any tricks to ramp up that Pinterest traffic let me know and share below!!

Happy Pinning!

April 23, 2014

I am from New Mexico

Originally I am from New Mexico. I have written about my hometown, I got married there and I just took a quick trip there over Easter. Growing up I wanted nothing more to get out of New Mexico, but being away I have truly realized how many aspects I did like about New Mexico. 


But being from New Mexico there were things that truly made us different than the rest of the states....Here are some things you can learn about New Mexico:

uno: I do not live in Mexico
Some people forget the New part of New Mexico. No you do not need a passport to visit. We are right between Arizona and Texas. My cousin in Ohio even once told her class that her family was from Mexico. 

dos: The Land of Enchantment
Or Land of Entrapment. Because trust me, most of the reason I wanted to leave so much was because I did not understand why everyone stays in New Mexico. No one moves! I can go back to my hometown and most of my high school classmates still live there...

tres: We are the only ones that truly understand Chile
Red or Green is our state question and that refers to Chile. Not Chili. And green Chile on your pizza is the best. Ask for it in another state besides New Mexico...and you may get bell pepper. Totally not the same....

cuatro: No hablo concerts
Your favorite band will go to Phoenix then to Denver and then Texas. They forget about the New part I guess and skip Mexico.

cinco: Wind
You have not truly experienced wind until you have spent a spring in New Mexico. Dirt blows around everywhere. It can get miserable because it just never stops during the spring time. We occasionally get microbursts too. There was one at my home growing up and there was some pretty good damage.

seis: We have a second state flower
You do not ever want to step on a goat head....

siete: Oh you must be from Albuquerque?
Or Taos or Santa Fe? Las Cruces is the second biggest city but no one will think you are from there or heck any other city in the state. Breaking Bad brought light to Albuquerque.

ocho: Southern New Mexico snow days are the best
This does not count for northern New Mexico, but southern New Mexico loves themselves a good snow day.

SNOW DAY TODAY IN NM :-) WHOOT WHOOT

This is in Mesilla, a town that essentially is a part of Las Cruces. No one is out there in this picture cause truly this frightens the drivers. So sad...

nueve: Running out of Green Chile is a sin!
Ya, your's truly talking again about green Chile, but trust me, I know how good it is since I am from New Mexico. Running out in July is the worst having to wait the long wait for roasting season!

dies: We have Horny Toads, biscochos and Las Vegas
Their technical name is Horned Toads but they are the most friendliest looking things we have in our desert. Biscochos are Mexican wedding cookies and a staple around Christmas time and a smaller way less Las Vegas city.


Have any of you ever been to New Mexico?

April 21, 2014

Fried Honey Banana

This season I don't know why but I am not into American Idol. I really used to be. I do have 20 episodes on the DVR (behind much?!) but eh will I watch them? Jury is out. Anyway I made a quick, healthy dessert one night since I was out of chocolate (ahhhhh!!!!) and Kevin said that Fried Honey Banana sounds like something Nicki Minaj would call one of the contestants. 

Never mind she is not on there anymore honey....fired banana. 

Ingredients:
Cook­ing Spray
1/4 tea­spoon of cin­na­mon
1 banana
1 table­spoon of honey
1/2 table­spoon of water

Directions:
Cut the banana into thinish slices. (Real accurate with the measurements here...)
Mix together some honey and water in a bowl and set aside.
Place a frying pan on the stove top under medium heat and spray lots with cooking spray.
Add the bananas and once browned (about 1–2 min­utes) flip over.
Once you flip the pieces of banana over, turn off the stove and add the honey/water mix­ture all over the top and watch it bubble.
Sprin­kle the cin­na­mon on top and enjoy.
(if you like less or more cin­na­mon, it is up to you and your taste buds)

Enjoy your non-chocolate dessert!
But go get chocolate tomorrow. It is on sale after all!
Thanks Easter holiday!

April 18, 2014

Being a Christian

So I really never really like to talk religion on this blog, but why not try it once?

A lot of the music I listened to in high school was Christian bands. I realized some people thought I was weird but then I would just open their eyes to the fact that it does not mean they are singing about God and some of their mainstream artists are/were signed by Christian labels.

In 2004 (when I was in high school) Jon Foreman the lead singer for Switchfoot gave the best answer ever for the question: why doesn't Switchfoot strictly play Christian songs? Here is what he said:

“To be honest, this question grieves me because I feel that it represents a much bigger issue than simply a couple SF tunes. In true Socratic form, let me ask you a few questions: Does Lewis or Tolkien mention Christ in any of their fictional series?  Are Bach’s sonata’s Christian?
What is more Christ-like, feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset? There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds. The view that a pastor is more ‘Christian’ than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical.
The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty. Many songs are worthy of being written. Switchfoot will write some, Keith Green, Bach, and perhaps yourself have written others.
Some of these songs are about redemption, others about the sunrise, others about nothing in particular: written for the simple joy of music. None of these songs has been born again, and to that end there is no such thing as Christian music. No. Christ didn’t come and die for my songs, he came for me. Yes. My songs are a part of my life. But judging from scripture I can only conclude that our God is much more interested in how I treat the poor and the broken and the hungry than the personal pronouns I use when I sing.
I am a believer.
Many of these songs talk about this belief.
An obligation to say this or do that does not sound like the glorious freedom that Christ died to afford me. I do have an obligation, however, a debt that cannot be settled by my lyrical decisions. My life will be judged by my obedience, not my ability to confine my lyrics to this box or that.
We all have a different calling; Switchfoot is trying to be obedient to who we are called to be. We’re not trying to be Audio A or U2 or POD or Bach: we’re trying to be Switchfoot. You see, a song that has the words: ‘Jesus Christ’ is no more or less ‘Christian’ than an instrumental piece. (I’ve heard lots of people say Jesus Christ and they weren’t talking about their redeemer.)”
Perfect.

April 17, 2014

First Run

Let me start off by saying, I am not a runner. I don't wake up in the mornings craving a run, and I certainly don't look forward to running. I'm a squatter, a lifter, a pull up-er, a spinner. (well over a runner that is, doesn't mean I am doing those either...) But runner? Not really. I will admit though, there is a certain feeling of accomplishment and empowerment after finishing a good run.


 I have been really loving the balance I have found when it comes to eating better and working out. I feel like the biggest thing for me is just being CONSISTENT. If I don't do good one day, I don't need to throw everything out the window the next day. I can just start now. Getting over that has been my biggest challenge. And I have found that if you just commit to doing something every day, you will make so much more progress.



Yesterday I had my first "real" run of the year. I say "real" with quotations because, I have actually been running but nothing over a mile...


So anyway, back to yesterday. I decided I wanted to actually run. To go from point A to point B. To feel my feet on the asphalt and to actually go somewhere. I didn't go far... just 1.5 miles (I'm starting slow here) but I plan on building up to about 4 miles so maybe I can run a 5 K.

Even though it was a slow run and wasn't an awesome distance, I'm still proud of my self for actually getting out there (in 90 degree weather, mind you at 7:15pm) and doing it. Best of all I am doing this in my neighborhood cutting down on extraneous time getting to and from a place to work out. That forces me to take the excuse of "I don't have time" out of the picture. I'm pretty excited about it. I don't really have any goals except to finish. Maybe finish without walking. I'm not going to worry about it yet. I just want to be fit and healthy.


Who knows, maybe in a few weeks I'll be an actual runner. You know, the kind that actually enjoys it.

April 15, 2014

The places you will work...

All I have been doing lately is working, so naturally...my mind most often is on work.
Eh...just kidding, it is still work!

This has really got me thinking about how I feel like I am an adult with my real job.
Got me thinking about all my jobs.
And I have had quite a few. 
Some more random than others, let me list a few...

1. Babysitter
This was my very first "job".
I baby sat for family friends who needed me to at very low rates. ie. $3 a kid.
Character building right there folks.
I think this first job made me the tightwad I am today.

2. Administrative Assistant (aka. secretary/filing girl)
I worked for a telecommunications company and did their filing and invoices. It was fun and I liked the business world. Hated the skirts though!

3. Lifeguard
Too many jobs at one time, but being a lifeguard made sense for me and it was the same pool I practiced at all through high school. I knew the people, made some good friends, they worked around my schedule, and I had a good time there!
I sweated my boobs off on the hot days and loved the rainy/lighting days where I got paid to watch it rain! (IT would be totally cooler if it rained money....we were not that kind of establishment people!)

4. Swim Instructor
Oh boy, this was a good job.
So by being a lifeguard, you had to do one summer of swim lessons.
I had a lot of swim experience and actually had a knack for teaching all levels of swimming.
A lot of mommies were happy and wanted me all to their own for their kid.
So I did private swim lessons. That was fun, easy, and good money.
I also never got in trouble with my boss (me!).

5. Crimson Scholar Residential Mentor
Say that five times fast.
Yeah and this was a job Kevin and I held together.
We got free room and board and paid to help honors kids have social lives and live through college.
Wee!
It was really fun and we only did it for one year, but it was a time consuming job which is ultimately why we both stopped.

Funny side note: you were not allowed to date each other or your residents. Kevin and I were dating when we applied but didn't know that rule. We found out after the interviews were all said and done. We had decided it wouldn't matter because the probability of us both landing the gig was slim. I don't even know how many people applied, but only 30 were chosen for interviews and then 6 were given the job. We were two of them! They didn't know we were dating until we told them, but they played it off and said it would be fine. :-)

6. Veterinary Assistant
I worked for my mother-in-law back in college.
I assisted her when she had surgeries, which was usually once a week in the morning when I didn't have school or clinicals.
I love puppies!

7. Nursing Student
I just didn't get paid for this job!
And it took more hours than a job!
But getting out into the real world after college, it was totally on my resume!

7. RN Charge Nurse
This job and I just didn't vibe.
Hence why I left, but it was a good lesson in getting my first adult job after school.

8. Agency Nurse
It was hard, but I enjoyed the challenge of doing something totally different every day for work. There was a lot of unpredictability so financially I had more to plan (see here) but it was good for me.

9. Unit Manager
My current job that I love and could see myself doing for a long time.
Stressful.
But I guess I thrive on that...since this has been me lately:
I actually got excited after the time change because I could ACTUALLY SEE the sun!! This semester sure was tough for its long days!!


All and all I think the most important thing I have learned being a big girl nurse is....

Never pass up an opportunity to pee.
Word.

April 14, 2014

Weekend Update and Goals

||  Friday ||
1. Spent my day at work per the usual. There was something in the air and everyone was just really on edge and rude. Kill them with kindness was all I could do.
2. My Friday night? Minor League Baseball of course! Two Tucson reject teams: Reno Aces and El Paso Chihuahuas. Yep you heard right on that last one...



 || Saturday ||
3. Market on the Move (MOM) in the morning. I love that the Tucson/Phx area does this! I love supporting and knowing that I am taking things that would otherwise go to waste.
4. I convinced Kevin to go on some errands with me the rest of the morning after MOM. HomeGoods, Marshalls, Sam's Club, to name a few...
5. After that some lunch, blogging for me, and a nap for Kevin, we (I use that term loosely) continued to tackle Kevin's shelves project in the garage. I can't wait to have all the storage space!! Organization for the win!!
6.  The remainder of the night was spent making dinner together and enjoying a nice glass of wine and some Dominion! A perfect day/night together! I have a pretty darn good husband if I do say so myself!!



|| Sunday ||
7.  Enjoyed a slow morning of sleeping in and breakfast.
8. Finished my morning right with a work out! Gotta get to it before it gets too hot here in AZ. It has been well into the 90s as of late. Yuck!
9. Had a lazy day followed by dinner and a movie of Kevin's choosing (Jurassic Park)

Here are my goals for the week: 
hoping this will help keep me accountable
Gah, I can't believe we are already halfway done with April!!



+ Work out Monday-Friday. Hopefully run a whole mile straight without stopping.
+ Give myself a mani/pedi. 
+ Blog everyday this week.
+ Drink more water.
+ Finish my current book this week.

April 10, 2014

Two Ingredient Cookies

When my family came to visit the other weekend and it was so nice to see them, but it was most full I have ever had my home. When company comes over, food is important (shoot it is always important, lets be real). I don't want to be slaving away in the kitchen the whole darn time.

So the first night I had Kevin grill some steaks and I made a salad and garlic bread. Yum and easy.

Then my sister asked what is for dessert?!
Uhhh...

I look in my pantry and find canned pumpkin. My brain knows that I have seen people use it as a supplement in baking on Pinterest but I couldn't remember how and didn't look. Lame, but true.

I mixed a can with a spice cake mix and made cookies. The dough is a weird consistency and the cookies didn't seem like they were done ever, but trust me I have found 15 min at 350 to be good! I also calculated 72 calories in each cookie since I had 27 cookies in my batch. I thought by looking at them and feeling them that I had really messed up this little kitchen, dessert experiment. But then I bit into them and all thoughts of error went out the window.

But to be fair, I consulted the internet AFTER I made the cookies and this is not something of my own invention. In fact other people who have their claim to fame on the interweb with this recipe recommend a cream cheese frosting. But I am all about mix two ingredients and be done...ain't no one got time for frosting. (Unless you do. Then bring me some!)

Drats and Enjoy!

April 9, 2014

Life Lately

Instagram has been the home of most of my updates during my blog break. I have found I really love Instagram. I want to be better about posting to it more though. I find it is like blogs for me where I end up being way better at reading/looking than actually writing/posting. Oh well...

But if you aren't following me (shameless plug...follow me!) here is what I have been up to!

I have done some concert going. Anyone into Volbeat?! My girlfriend and her fiance, son, Kevin, and I all went. But me and my girlfriend took enough of the allotted amount of selfies that night. Which is apparently four. #hahayeahright #itwasmore #shh #whyamitalkinginhashtags


I also relieved some stress painting with some girlfriends. If you are in the Tucson area I highly recommend Bottle and Brush and if you aren't find a local BYOB painting place near you, cause it is FUN!


My family visited and I met my family's new dog Jax. Jax is part Doberman, German Shepard, and Great Dane. Yeah he will be a pretty good sized dog. This is him at 8 weeks and already 25lbs!



Sadly he thinks he is a  lap dog! Haha! I also spent time cheering on my Wildcats. Now I really could care less about basketball that they are out.

Fresh blooms have been a happy occurrence around these parts. 


I especially love this time of year when the desert shows rare signs of being alive.


Speaking of the desert, I did post the obligitory sunset picture. Painted skies against mountains are a cool sight to see!

Oh and food. Cause every blogger/Instagrammer has to have a picture of food right?!?
Yelp sure does know how to do a good job of stuffing my face full!

Follow @laurenw250 
Who else is a fan of IG?

April 8, 2014

It got Crazy!

So I last mentioned that I took a blog break without even wanting to. Well I made it sound like all I did was work (almost), but I did get in three ski trips. The first one was to Winter Park, Colorado and boy oh boy...did it get crazy!

We had planned a vacation with a bunch of friends and I was stressed because I knew I had to be at work if some people call surveyors stop by. Well they had been toying with us and not stopping by! (No worries, they did, hence why I am back to having a life and blogging!!) We were on a week by week basis waiting for them. So there I am the week of the trip, tickets booked stressing whether they would show up, which in and of itself is stressful, but also stressing about the booked everything that would be all money down the tubes!
Skier Sport Funny When Life Gets Complicated I Ski Post Card
Well then we get to the airport. We went with 7 other people and met in all about 25 people the whole weekend. Coordinating that many people is just too much! Thankfully I did none of that and remained pretty laid back for the weekend.

But...

We got there and our rental car was booked for the wrong weekend. Setting us back which means I didn't stop to buy the skis I wanted. Which meant I had to rent which was a nightmare. We had to walk to the ski shop and ended up walking the wrong way. So we decided we would rent my skis at the base. Wow. Over 20 dollars more for crappier skis and a LONG ass line. So we go all the way back to the other ski shop. A lot of huffing and puffing later, we are finally on the mountain enjoying they day!

But...

I had a headache the whole day. A light one. Nothing I was worried about. I thought for some reason maybe it was my goggles being too tight. Did I mention we were skiing with sustained wind gusts of like 40 MPH?!?! Ugh!

Then we walked us and our equipment all the way home and I just felt horrible! I had such a headache, nausea, etc...I will spare you. I finally knocked myself out with some drugs. Terrible night. 

I woke up the next morning weak. But I had already bought ski tickets!? What is a cheapo to do? Well go out on the mountain late and ski a light day. Pushing myself after what I think was altitude sickness. Then I want to go to bed early after expending my energy on another windy day of skiing.

But...

That night the room next to us was a couple. They had a blow out of a fight. I kept saying prayers for them and holding my husband tight. This was a fight like I had never heard. The worst things that two people could possibly say to each other. So it was a late night listening to them.

All and all it was like a frat house of crazy. I was really happy to get back from the ski town to Denver and meet one of my best girlfriends and her husband and spend the day with them. We had so many laughs and good eats. I love being with people that it is natural with. These two are def the best! And the girls name is Andrea and I am totally calling her out right now on this space to tell her she NEEDS to start a blog! ;-)

We got out of Denver late due to weather, I got three hours of sleep and turned back into a work-a-holic. Was this the best weekend I have ever had? No. But I learned that I love my great friends and my husband more than anything! 


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