October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

I love Halloween. It is such a fun holiday. This Halloween will be a little unconventional for me as I attend a wedding. I get to watch my husband stand next to his best friend. It should shape up to be a nice night. 

I personally wouldn't want to get married on Halloween as much as I love the holiday. I like to have as many holidays as possible and I don't want to spend my anniversary trick or treating with my future kids.

There are just so many great Halloween traditions I love.

There is the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Truly a classic.

Holiday decorations. Pumpkins, lights, fall, I just love it all!

Handing out candy (and having an excuse to eat some yourself)

Getting all dressed up because you are never too old!


Off to celebrate for me!
What are your favorite things about Halloween?

October 30, 2014

You Must Not Know About Me...

This is me.

Yo.
I see some new faces, which excites me to no end!! (I may or may have not done a happy dance to Shake it Off...)
So I thought I would share some things about me. For those of you who aren't new, you may not know some of these things either.


I have a new found love for hiking.

I reject anything that involves malted anything.

My husband loves Star Wars. I don't. The force isn't with me. 
Harry Potter is with me.

My go-to drink is a glass of wine (preferably chardonnay). 

I rarely sleep past 7am.

Two things I can't live without? Chapstick and mascara. 

I truly believe in making wishes at 10:10, 11:11, etc...

I don't own cable.

I don't own a red shirt. Or orange. Or yellow. I think I need a shopping trip.

I have never had a beer or soda in my life.

I cannot braid my own hair.

I wear sunglasses to avoid makeup, not to look chic.

It is hard for me to embrace the selfie.

I cannot take outfit photos. It is just awkward.

Fall and Football Season. The best. That is all.


Tell me something I don't know about you!

October 28, 2014

Out and About

My weekends have been consumed in October!
Basically New Mexico and Football are keeping me busy!

I have been back to New Mexico a couple of weekends to visit family and since Kevin is preparing for his best friends wedding. I got to visit with one of my friends who came back from Africa. Sadly due to Ebola and all that...but I am happy to have her back!
I am sometimes surprised that I write a blog because I am sometimes a wacko friend over emails and texts. I feel bad for anyone that has to read my emails or texts because they are just completely what rolls off the top of my head...and my head is completely nuts.

But I love having friends like her that I can talk to about anything. I don't have edit any of those thoughts that roll out.

This weekend her and my other best girlfriend got together we had a total girls day. It was amazing!

I wanna do it again!
They both just need to move one state over to me!

I also got to see my sweet littlest sister. We were just missing our middle!

My girlfriends and I:


My sister and I:



Kevin and I cheering on our football teams:


And how bout them Broncos!
Football season is my favorite season.

All of these were on my insta.
lifelovelauren7

October 27, 2014

Things That Make me a Happier Woman

You can never have too much happy!!
Lilly Pulitzer Quotes for Bel's Bathroom
via

A go to drink: 
Glass of Chardonnay. It is classy and fun and wasn't something I have overdone in terms of all my hard alcohol day.

An Exercise Routine: 
I don't think I have found the perfect one yet, but I would love to get back into swimming. For now I am trying running and biking.

An Awesome Haircut: 
Here is looking for my perfect stylist here in Tucson. I think I finally found mine!

A Hobby: 
Blogging. I love having a space to call my own where I can write and share what I want. I also like shopping, organizing, reading, browsing the internet, etc...It is important to settle our minds every now and then. It is a good feeling!

Girlfriends: 
They are an awesome team of people that keep me going.

A Healthy Sense of Self: 
I am a work in progress in terms of becoming the healthy woman I want to be diet and exercise wise. Other than that I am doing what makes me happy at this point in my life and I love putting the focus on me. (I didn't mean for that to sound conceded...)

Chocolate:
It is what I function on. That and cheese...


What makes you happier?
Halloween Friday also makes me happy!

October 24, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Salad

I love football season and after a day of non-stop football on Sunday I will always need something easy to make. And healthy. Because lord knows that for one, football food has a reputation of being, albeit good, FATTY. And two, after a day of sitting, you can only hope to have something healthy to eat. 

Therefore, I have a great healthy game day recipe to share with you! I made these for Kevin and I for dinner during the Sunday night game and boy were they a success! Super easy to put together. Best of all, they can be a meal or an appetizer!

I meant to make these as Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps for easy eat while watching the game, but I was so excited with my fantasy football game that I ended up shredding my lettuce before I knew what I was doing. OOPS. 

So Buffalo Chicken Salad or wrap. Your choice. 
You can double this recipe for a good amount of food for a game day appetizer. As soon as I realized I shredded my lettuce, I made my measurements for a two person night of salad.



Ingredients:

1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup of Frank's Wing Sauce
1/2 teaspoon of celery seed
1/4 cup of chopped celery
blue cheese or mozzerella crumbles
ranch dressing
lettuce

Directions:

In a pan, fill bottom with water and put your chicken in the pan. Then put in your chicken breasts and shred the meat as it cooks. The water cooks out during this process. If not completely than drain water when done cooking your chicken.

Add butter and olive oil and stir into meat on medium heat. Add the Frank's sauce and celery seed and stir. Once sauce becomes bubbly, remove from heat.

Add the celery and assemble. Spoon onto bed of lettuce or in lettuce leaves. Sprinkle cheese and drizzle with ranch dressing and serve immediately while warm.

Enjoy!

Plus the chicken is orange for my two teams! Denver and Cleveland.
Flashback:

Have a great weekend!

October 22, 2014

Things I Will Never Understand

Admittedly, sometimes I get competitive. I consider myself a relatively laid back person, but we all have a little competitive in us and sometimes it comes out at the most random times.

For instance, right now, I am kicking myself in the head for not posting this ages ago. I randomly think of things and just let them sit there as drafts for a while.

So now when I post this, it looks like I am jumping on the bandwagon, instead of having most of this as a draft since July of 2013.

Doesn't matter bandwagon or not I have decided...so therefore, here are some things I will never understand...
'I will never understand rich people with messed up teeth'.

Why people are still confusing too and to, your and you're, etc...
Just learn English and grammar people! Not saying I am princess perfect in this area, but it has gotta stop.

How people can drive for hours not realizing their turn signal is on.
Okay maybe that is an exaggeration but boy self explanatory right, this bothers us all right?!

Mode.
I get mean, median, and range. But what the heck mode??!

Advanced calculus and physics and chemistry.
I get that it is very important and some people understand it and thank God for them!

Not vaccinating your kids.
You can see my rant and reasoning behind that here.
I also think everyone should watch this.

How someone could not like Cards Against Humanity.
A dirty apples to apples!? Count me in! This is when me being a horrible person is an advantage!

Boxed Wine.
Maybe I am a wine snob...if a wine snob can be someone who rarely spends over $10 on a bottle of wine. I just wanna stick with my bottles and not some orangy looking stuff that comes out of a bag/box. #notclassy

Why anyone still uses Internet Explorer.
Are you also using Windows XP?!


Google Plus.
Stop trying to make Google Plus happen...


Why I can't just me F***ing skinny.
Come on pants. Just button...please!

Disclaimer. For these last ones, some of you bloggers may want to beat me up.
Bring it on....

Why people think Apple is superior to Android.
I like to have things my way and not proprietary thank you very much.

The mustache trend.
I mustache you why this is so amusing?!? I don't even like mustaches on men!

The bacon trend.
I mean don't get me wrong, I love bacon, but it is not God's nectar. Why are we so obsessed with bacon?!?


Anyone feel me?
What are some things you have trouble understanding?

October 20, 2014

I Sometimes Don't Sleep Well at Night

The other day, myself and another nurse were sitting thinking about our patient who was dying. We knew it, but we didn't want to say it. We went home and I knew before I was falling asleep that I would miss something. That very night I woke up in sweats having a terrible dream that my sister died. My patient was the one that died that night.

This patient didn't have family. I truly believe she is in a better place. Sometimes it helps me when they don't have big families. What I mean by that, is that nurses don’t enjoy being the “bad guy.” I don’t enjoy having to break the bad news that their loved one has just passed on. The truth is, every one of us would love nothing more than to see you get that miracle you are praying for. But we would rather be the bearers of bad news that the encouragers of false hopes.

It is physically and emotionally draining being a nurse. Often times I go to work, drive home, eat, shower, and then go directly to sleep. No other time to unwind.

You see, we may leave our charting at work. But we bring our worries home with us.

“Did I miss anything?” “Was there anything else I could have done for her today?” And at 2 a.m., when we wake up for a moment in the night, our thoughts immediately as we look at the clock return to your loved one – “Gosh, I wonder how she’s doing tonight.”

We know our patients very well. We know how they respond to each one of their family members and know how they will respond to their medications. We watch people go in and out of the rooms, and we very protectively question them – “Who are you?” “Did you need something?” We turn them, tuck them in with soft pillows, rub their feet with lotion, reassure them, caress their forehead, and tell them it’s going to be okay.

And we tell them goodbye.

I may not cry, I may be laughing with another patient five minutes later, but it is how I cope. I promise, I really do care for your loved ones. But I have to cope too. I know what a breaking heart feels like, and when your loved one is dying, and we have had the privilege of caring for them – Our heart gets another ache in it, and it often causes us to recall loved ones we miss dearly.

I missed saying goodbye to my patient the other day, because I was off-shift when she left. It hurts to say goodbye but it sometimes is worse to have not said goodbye.

We nurses care for ALL of our patients. But sometimes, there are just some who we will never, ever forget.

#3  When you’re a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours. – Author Unknown
via

October 17, 2014

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I am an expert eater. I really am. Unfortunately too, I am starting to look like it. Operation weight loss is going slowly at this point...

But I have to share one of my favorite desserts today. It combines everything I am at an expert of: eating, dessert, and Mexican food.

In case those of you don't know, a sopapilla, is a fried pastry of yummy-ness. You can do many things with a sopapilla non-dessert related, but for dessert you either eat it with honey or covered in cinnamon-sugar.


Ingredients:

2 cans of crescent rolls
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 table spoon of ground cinnamon
Honey to drizzle

Directions:

Unroll one can of crescent rolls and place at the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Cover the dish pressing together all the perforations.

Beat together the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar. Then beat in the vanilla. Spread over the dough in the dish.

Unroll the last can of crescent rolls and place over the cream cheese mixture carefully pressing the perforations together.

Pour melted butter over the dough and mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon and pour evenly over the melted butter.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the center is set at 350 degrees.

When out, let cool for 20 minutes after drizzling honey over the top. Then dig in an enjoy! I love eating it warm. Store in the fridge (since it has the cheesecake and all) but then you can remove from the fridge and place a square in the microwave to zap 10 seconds and enjoy!

What is a dessert that makes you lose all your will power?

October 15, 2014

10 Things I Wish I'd Known About Decorating my First Home

I was talking to a friend who's about to decorate her first home. She asked me if there was anything I wish I'd known when I went to decorate my first place that would have saved me time or money.  Absolutely there are a few things...

1. Buy your big pieces of furniture secondhand/at lowest cost: This is not just about saving money, it's also about how your style will change as you learn what you like and don't like. Don't spend a lot on a piece by justifying that it's a piece you've always wanted and an investment in your future. The likelihood is that your style will likely change until it reaches a point where it slowly evolves.

2. Reconsider before you reject: When you move into your first place, people will be so excited for you that they may want to gift you with some of their old stuff (or they may just be trying to get rid of it!). Before you immediately reject it, make a list of inexpensive changes you might make to it. You might reupholster an old couch or paint its frame, remove a skirt or add a pillow or six. Not only will this save you money, it will hone your ability to look at a piece in a flea market or antique shop or Craig's List and see its potential.

3. Inspiration boards are not always good for decorating your first space: I've found that trying to recreate someone else's room in your first space, a space that will go through a lot of transitions, ends up costing you a lot in time and money. #ThanksAlotPinterest

4. Paint is your best friend: You can paint a wall or a piece of furniture, dip the legs of your mismatched chairs in paint to unify them or paint a block of color behind your bed to act as a faux headboard. Stencils are also an inexpensive way to bring a space from drab to fab!

5. Know Your Whites: I ended up buying a good amount of really expensive paint in a beautiful grey color. This grey goes really well with a cool white and not a warm white. And I am sure that you can surmise that my trim was a warm white....The grey made my trim look dirty instead of warm white.

6. Move Things Around:  Take the time to try out different configurations to get to the best one to live it. This even and maybe especially goes for your kitchen and where you place things in your cabinets. It can be a lot of work to move this stuff, but I think well worth it.
7. Chill out With the Color:  Neutral walls can help you do more with color without overdoing it or being too tied down to it. It gives you more room to decorate with color in a space and change your mind again, again, and again.
8. Be Patient:  Like I mentioned above with the color, I ended up painting my guest bath a neutral color. I did not know what color palate I wanted in there. Then I decided coral was going to be my color. I was excited but could never find the things I needed to decorate the space in my coral color scheme. WTH?! So then I got impatient and went with blue. Moral of this story...I still want coral.
9. Let your home annoy you: It's tempting, after a day of looking at decor mags and blogs, to want to fix everything in your space, especially when it comes to storage issues. But instead of trying to solve it immediately (which usually involves buying a lot of storage containers), live with the problem for a while. I am living with the blue in my guest bath right now. Often you'll happen upon a better solution that will end up being cheaper and simpler. Which brings me to the biggest lesson:

10. Live with as little as you can: It's tempting, when you first live alone to want to get all that stuff you've been eyeing for ages. Yes, you may be a home decor junkie but, instead of buying every pillow and flowerpot you see, take a picture of it, pin it to your Pinterest board or post it on your blog. Just wait a few months and your home will have accumulated plenty and you won't want clutter. Embrace the minimalism and ensure that you love something before you drop the cash for it. 
What do you wish you would have done the first time around?
What are some of your tips for first time home/apartment decorators?

October 14, 2014

I Was a Unique Kid

Kids are funny.
There always seem to be some unique things we all do as kids and it is totally funny to look back on it all.
I am sorry mom for all you put up with from me. :-)

For instance...

I ate butter. Yep, just would get a spoon or take a bite off the ol stick. I won't say anymore...

I hit, bit, kicked, and screamed. Bad attitude kid over here.
(I have gotten better guys! I promise, be my friend!)

I spoke my own language.
Conkey=Candy for example...

My mom didn't cut my hair for the longest time because she loved my curls. I went from having a tender head to NOT.

I learned to crawl backwards before I crawled forward.

I smiled weird as a kid. Think Lilly from Modern Family.

I have never liked sleeping alone.


What are some funny things you did as a kid or your kid does now?

October 13, 2014

Slow Cooked Pulled Elk

I love my game recipes. I have previously shared a recipe making Dove. Now I am sharing an elk recipe. Those who aren't used to game meat will like this. Very mild.

If you like pulled pork, you will like this recipe. This was the perfect recipe since in the fall I fall in love with my slow cooker all over again!

Plus you can freeze some for later!

Ingredients:

2 pounds elk
1 cup of original barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon ketchup
2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Directions:

Turn on the slow cooker to high. Rinse the elk under cold water and place into the slow cooker.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and pour over the elk.

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

When it is done, place it on a plate and shred it with two forks. Then return the elk to the sauce and mix well. Serve on a hamburger bun.

Enjoy!

Have you ever tried elk?

October 7, 2014

Views from Napa Valley

As I sat down to write a recap of my awesome vacation to Napa Valley, I realized how much of a great time I had...

I cannot remember all the wineries we visited. 
One day if I can sit down and remember real hard, I will write a post detailing specifics on places to go in Napa. Until then, you guys get a picture dump.

This was truly an amazing vacation. Kevin and I went with two of our friends. I seriously thought that going to Napa once was fine. Kind of a one and done place, but it is not. There are places I didn't get a chance to go to and places I would want to go to again. 

Can I just be rich enough to fly anywhere whenever I want?!? 

It did start out a little rocky though. The airport terminal we were in was shut down. Turns out a man had a drug deal gone bad and shot a man then came into my terminal with his gun. Thankfully he didn't shoot anyone else. They evacuated many people in the terminal but couldn't us, so we were held "hostage" in an area. They used that word, but I wouldn't agree. We were just sitting tight because the suspect was in our immediate area. 

I hope to never have that much excitement though again.

Anyway,

We went during harvest so it was perfect! Lots of commotion getting grapes and some wonderful sampling of grapes!


And gosh, this girl from the desert loves seeing things that require water in nature. So pretty!


Of course we had to take a picture in front of THE sign.


Seriously it was so picturesque there. And the weather was perfect the entire time!


Oh and a lot of the wineries had birds there that were absolutely not afraid of people. A change from the usual winery dog I guess...



I think I got myself a cutie!


Verdict on the hat? I tried to take the weekend to wear some nicer clothes. It was such a welcome change to be out of scrubs!




I'll go back anytime. We closed out our weekend trip in San Fran, decked out in Denver shirts and watching the game at the airport bar. 

All and all a pretty amazing trip and like I said, one day I will type out all the must-sees and goes to do Napa right.

October 6, 2014

Things You Didn't Know About New Mexico

I just got back from a weekend with my family in New Mexico. It is nice to go back every now and then! We celebrated my mom and sister's birthday. 

I have talked about New Mexico a lot here on this blog. New Mexico is a state that no one knows a lot about. But I do!

Did you know...

The enchilada made at the Whole Enchilada Festival is the world record holder for largest enchilada. Tastes like crap I am sure...

According the the Washington Times, New Mexico has more PhDs per capita than any other state.

Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto and he was a New Mexican! His daughter was my 5th grade teacher!

More chile peppers are born in New Mexico than all other states COMBINED. We know our chile!
New Mexican

I have always wanted to watch the World Shovel Race Championship in Angel Fire, NM. Looks like a fun time (for a spectator) :-)

I am a poor New Mexican as I still have never seen Albuquerque during the Hot Air Balloon Festival. The city has more local hot air balloons than any other city in America.

Averaging about 12 people per square mile, New Mexicans are greatly outnumbered by livestock in their state.

Carlsbad Caverns is massive with one chamber alone being over 3,000 feet and at a height of 22 stories!

Remember that guy Felix Baumgartner? No? He attempted the world's longest skydive without engine powered assistance and became the first human to break the sound barrier. He did this over New Mexican airspace.
New Mexico

I love my Denver Broncos but Santa Fe is the highest capital (probably in pot too) at 7,000 feet above sea level.

Around 75% of roads in New Mexico are not paved.

We have two state flowers. The Yucca and the Goat Head.

New Mexico is exactly the place where the Wild West happened. Outlaws like Billy the Kid called NM home.

Neil Patrick Harris is from New Mexico. As is Conrad Hilton (founder of the hotel chain), the guy who invented the polaroid, Adrian Grenier, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Adrianne Maloof among others.

Too many people drink and drive in New Mexico. It ranks first in alcohol related crashes. GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE!

The White Sands National Monument is one of the coolest things you will ever see! Go if you get the chance! But it isn't actually sand at all. It is gypsum crystals.

According to New Mexico law, idiots are not allowed to vote. True story! Unfortunately it is the most violated law in all of the state.

All of us as children are told the story of La Llorona/Weeping Woman. It keeps us away from ditches and rivers as it is a story of a female spirit who will leap out of the water and pull children in to drown.


It is good to be back in Arizona though! I think there is just something about sleeping in your own bed! It is a pretty good feeling.

What is something people don't know about the state you live in or are from?

October 3, 2014

Etiquette Reminders

I found the cutest little blog that reminds me of all the etiquette rules one should know. 
I am hooked for more!

For instance....

Everyday Etiquette No. 24 by Emily McCarthy

Everyday Etiquette No. 23 by Emily McCarthy

Everyday Etiquette No. 18 by Emily McCarthy

Everyday Etiquette No. 12 | www.EmilyMcCarthy.com


A good reminder on this Friday morning. Bring on the weekend! Follow me on Instagram because weekends are where it is at!

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