Monday, February 17, 2014

21 Ways You Know You're Not in College Anymore

 A list of the steps to a slow realization that we are now adults...

21.  You are in bed by 11 PM.



20.  Weeknights are strictly for eating dinner and catching up on prime time television.




19.  You are still living at home or are struggling to make ends meet if you have moved out.






18.  You have rediscovered the joy of reading for pleasure.







17.  Your exciting landmark birthdays are over and with each passing year you realize you are far less accomplished at your age than you had anticipated.







16.  You realize that obesity is a real thing that will happen to you if you continue your college diet.






15.  You realize you now have more in common with your mom than with your high school aged neighbor.







14.  Your wardrobe has cycled out Converse sneakers and graphic t-shirts and has cycled in blazers and blouses.







13.  You buy wine in a bottle (instead of a box) and bring it to your friends' houses when they have "girls' nights" or "pot lucks."







12.  Committed relationships are accompanied by the assumption of marriage.







11.  Being single leads you (and those around you) to question if you will ever find the right person.







10.  Drinking more than 2 beers leads to an all-day hangover.







9.  Your friends are getting engaged and getting pregnant (on purpose).







8.  You have started a retirement fund.







7.  You have multiple planning, weight loss, and productivity apps in your phone to keep you on track.







6.  You wake up on your own at 9 AM on weekends.







5.  You are expected to get nice gifts for your family members on holidays and birthdays.







4.  You find yourself getting more excited about a 24 hour Law and Order: SVU marathon than a night out at the club.







3.  Your "Year in Review" on Facebook went from weekly photos of partying to photos of #tbts, homecoming, and family weddings.







2.  You realize that your dream job is not something that will fall into your lap, but is something you need to work towards and make sacrifices for.





1.  You love reading lists about life in your 20s, because it makes you feel normal and somewhat excited about what your life has become (and where it is going).




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Last Minute DIY Valentine's Day Gifts



Waiting til the very last minute to find that perfect gift your loved one?  Well, you're not alone!  Valentine's Day always seems to sneak up out of nowhere, so don't feel bad that you haven't gotten your pride and joy something incredibly thoughtful yet.  There's still time!  And with these very loving and personal ideas...it will seem like you spent months (okay, days...) thinking about it!

1.  Valentine's Day Coupons


Though this may seem childish at first (I remember making coupons for my mom when I was growing up... '1 free room cleaning' , but for your significant other, you can put any spin on these you want!  Make them flirty, fun, adventurous, sexy, or just plain courteous (or a mix of all of these) and make your valentine very happy!  Visit my Etsy store for an inexpensive printable of some Valentine's coupons here:

2.  Scrapbook / Photo Collage Canvas

Okay, so a scrapbook may be a bit ambitious, but a photo collage is just as good (and can be more original if you really commit).  Print some photos of you and your honey at home or at a local photo kiosk and Mod Podge them onto a canvas.  If you want to get really fancy you can: paint the canvas, design the background of the canvas, make the collage in the shape of a heart, and much more.  Personalize it as much as you can and it is sure to be a hit!

3.  DIY Photo Canvas

We've all seen these and many have succumbed to purchasing multiple for our homes (guilty).  But, did you know these are also incredibly to make on your own?  Check out this amazing site with an incredibly easy DIY tutorial to find out how you can make your own beautiful photo canvas.

4.  52 Reasons I Love You Deck of Cards

image via papervinenz.com

Have a deck of cards, a printer, scissors, and a glue stick (and 52 reasons you love someone)?  Well then this is just the gift for you!  Create a personalized "book" of all the reasons you love your honey and it is sure to be a hit.  This thoughtful gift will be something that can be cherished and looked back on forever.  Also, if you can't think of 52 reasons (in the time given, of course), then replace some of the reasons with adorable pictures.  

5.  Personalized CD & Letter

So I know that the mixed tape is dead, but CDs are still alive (for those of us without auxiliary cables for our cars at least...).  Even if your love only listens to music on their phone, CDs are completely transferable to MP3s.  Choose songs that either have meaning in your relationship or song with lyrics that represent something in your relationship (I'd say about 10-15).  Instead of a plain track list, write the track title and about a paragraph that goes with each song.  When your valentine listens to the CD, they will be able to read your notes and recall a lot of wonderful memories or reflect on your wonderful love together. 

All of these ideas are incredibly thoughtful, inexpensive, and easy (and can be done within the next two days).  Do you have any quick and easy Valentine's Day ideas?
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Diet vs. Healthy Lifestyle


Diet vs. Healthy Lifestyle

Dieting is a fad that is long gone.  Diets are temporary and short lived, and quite frankly --torture.  Robbing yourself of all treats and indulgences to the point of giving up is not a way to maintain a healthy and desirable weight.  By making small changes and incorporating small positive changes and choices into your everyday routines, you will be able to create habits for yourself which will eventually be hard to break.  A healthy lifestyle will lead you to look and feel better in a way that lasts and makes you feel great.  

Check back for some manageable tips to keep you healthy every day.

What's your favorite healthy lifestyle tip?
Sunday, February 9, 2014

DIY Printable Valentine's Day Coupons


Give your loved one the gift of date nights, free massages, home cooked meals, and all their other favorite things with these printable Valentine's Coupons!  

Print them, mount them on scrapbook paper, punch a hole, and tie them together with ribbon to create a simple and meaningful Valentine's gift!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Must Read: The Fault in Our Stars

image via wikimedia
This is one of those books that I absolutely had to read before the movie came out.  I had heard so many things about it from friends, and it's been on my "list" for about a year now.  Once I got into this book, I was so emotionally invested in the characters that I just had to finish it within a few days.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a tremendous work of fiction for young adults and adults alike.  This is one of those books that defies age, though it revolves around a young high school aged girl and boy.  If you've heard anything about it (which if you are a reader, you most certainly have), you may have heard, "OMG it's sooo sad." I kind of resent diving into a book under the pretense that it's going to make me "sob for days," because then if I don't "sob for days" I feel like I have no soul.  And in fact, no, I did not sob, though there were a few tears that gently streamed down my face during an emotional moment or two.  Is that because it was over the top dramatic?  Most certainly not, which I was very happy about.  John Green does an excellent job of making characters with severe illness and disability as relate-able as the girl and boy next door.  Is this a cancer novel?  In the way that its main characters have cancer, yes.  The characters, however, must conquer life beyond their inevitable downfalls and truly live.  That is the beauty in The Fault in Our Stars.  Though life for Hazel and Augustus provides very little hope, it does provide happiness, dreams, and love.  I hope the movie can do justice to this awe-inspiring story!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza


I made this amazing (and incredibly easy) buffalo chicken pizza for my family last night and it was a total hit!  I must admit, I was just wingin' it (no pun intended), and it came out great.  Once you have the right ingredients on hand, this dish practically makes itself!

Ingredients

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 pre-made pizza crust
Buffalo sauce ( I like Frank's )
Ranch dressing
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Olive oil cooking spray

Recipe

1.  Pre-heat oven based on dough's package directions and grease pan with olive oil cooking spray
2.  Pre-cook crust for 5 minutes to firm up 


3.  Mix about 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce and 1/2 cup Ranch dressing (or any combination to your liking...mine was a bit spicy) in a bowl and spread on pizza as the sauce


4.  Sprinkle some cheese over the sauce


5.  Shred the chicken and mix in some more of the buffalo mixture

6.  Spread it evenly over the pizza


7.  Spread the mozzarella cheese over the chicken and bake for 15 minutes (or until cheese is melted and crush is browned and crispy!)


Almost ready to eat :)


Soooo delicious!


Enjoy!
Monday, February 3, 2014

Must Read: The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

              "Try Grammarly's plagiarism checker free of charge because writing is an art defined uniquely by you.
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image via www.goodreads.com
As I browsed through Barnes & Noble's mystery section, I found cliche after cliche of who dun it stories.  Then I came across a few different books by Jussi Adler-Olsen from a series of "Department Q" novels.  The first in this series is The Keeper of Lost Causes. The title intrigued me at first.  Who are the lost causes?  What are the lost causes?  Who is the keeper of these aforementioned causes?  
I decided to pick it up and once I did, I could not put it down.

Soon after you start reading you find out that the keeper of lost causes is in fact the protagonist, Detective Carl Morck.  Morck had recently been "promoted" to Department Q, a department made just for him in order to get his arrogant personality away from everyone else in the department.  The so-called "lost causes" are the cases that have gone cold in the police department over the years.  Morck is the only one in Department Q besides his assistant, Assad.

The book is told from multiple points of view, which is confusing at first, but eventually filled me with a sense of eagerness that kept the pages turning.  Each chapter jumps back and forth between Morck in the present day and Merete, a young female political figure whose case remained unsolved from five years earlier.  As Merete's story progresses, Morck slowly begins to piece it together, though half a decade later.  Eventually the past catches up with the present, leading to a chain of events you will never see coming.

If you love books that keep you on the edge of your seat and turning pages vigorously, then I would definitely recommend The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen.  I look forward to the next installment in the "Department Q" series.  I'll keep you posted!

Baked Beef Empanadas


Though last night's big game was a total flop sports wise, it was a complete success food wise!  Check out these awesome (and easy) baked empanadas.  Cut some calories with these delicious snacks that will be gone in seconds.

Ingredients:

12 empanada wrappers (I used GOYA)
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion
4 tbsp sofrito (I used GOYA)
GOYA Adobo seasoning, to taste
Olive oil
1 egg, whisked, for egg wash

Recipe:



1 . Coat large skillet with olive oil.  Saute onions and add in ground beef.  Make sure all ground beef is thoroughly cooked through and browned on all sides.


2.  Add in 4 tbsp of sofrito seasoning to coat beef and let simmer.

3.  Generously sprinkle GOYA Adobo seasoning on all of meat and mix in thoroughly.  Add more or less to taste.



4.  Once meat is cooked and seasoned, take an empanada wrapper and fill one half with beef mixture.  Fold it over and press and seal with a fork.

5.  Crack and whisk one egg.  With a pastry brush, coat both sides of each empanada with the egg wash to help it crisp up in the oven.

6.  Baked on an ungreased baking sheet at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, or until empanada wrappers look cooked and crispy.

7.  Serve and enjoy!! 





These seriously went so fast.  Next time, I will definitely make two batches!!
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