Don't be a Sourpuss

Lemon recipe
Bad day
Funny vids of kids eating lemons...like this one (hehe)

My newest love in the kitchen

With hopes of pan searing some steaks for the Boyfriend and I, I bought my first iron skillet a couple of weeks ago. It was just a 12" Lodge skillet from Target, and I got it for less than $20. But it's quickly becoming my new favorite kitchen tool. I've used it to brown beef for lasagna, cook stirfry (see the delicious-looking photo below), and even found a yummy skillet cookie recipe I plan on trying soon.

If you don't have an iron skillet, I definitely recommend getting one. They can be used in so many ways, and there are tons of "one skillet" recipes out there. My dishwasher isn't working quite right, so the less dishes I have to wash by hand the better! Plus once your skillet has been used a couple of times,  you don't have to use extra oil to cook in it because the surface is naturally nonstick. 
Less fat  = healthier = happy Lauren

A couple of things to remember, though: 
*Skillets get super hot...even the handles. So don't touch them directly (use potholders or a glove!) - I learned this one the hard way, unfortunately. :P
*There are a bunch of different opinions out there about how to care for your skillet. Take the time to Google it and read a little bit about your new piece of kitchen equipment.

Happy cooking! 


Makeover Monday

I would definitely classify myself as a "t-shirt girl". They're inexpensive, can be worn in different ways, and come in every color imaginable. Needless to say I've stockpiled quite a few, and get quite attached to them. Then I came to college. And when you're in college, it seems like your t-shirt collection grows exponentially. They give t-shirts out for everything! Two drawers in my dresser at home are dedicated to this clothing staple, and that's after I went through them and donated a bunch to Goodwill. 

So what to do with all of these t-shirts? Make them over with some ideas I found on Pinterest!

T-shirt quilt (this one was made from sorority t-shirts)

T-shirt grocery/produce bags

The famous T-shirt infinity scarf

T-shirt pom poms to decorate the door

An ombre dip-dyed T-shirt

Watermark T-shirt

Now go and do something crafty for me. I'll live vicariously through you since I'm at school for at least another 3 more hours. Oh, Mondays...


Weekend Recap

Wow this weekend flew by! It was filled with friends, food, and lots of relaxation. No seriously, I didn't do any homework. Until right now at 9pm on Sunday night of course. Thank goodness I don't have as much going on this week as usual. But to recap:

How do I always manage to cut most of myself out of every photo? Seriously.

I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't feeling this weekend at first. Financial issues, school stress, and some grumpiness between me and the boyfriend put a damper on my early Friday afternoon. Add to that lots of frustration trying to get to Dallas for a hockey game, and neither of us were really in the mood for fun. But once we got there, the whole weekend went uphill. The Stars won their 3rd game in a row, our section got picked to receive $20 casino vouchers (for the record, neither of us gamble...it was just cool to be in the winning section!), and some girl got proposed to on the kiss cam! It was the first time either me or the Boyfriend had actually seen it live, and of course she said yes. It was so cute. Not sure if that's how I would want to be proposed to, but the girl seemed to really like it. Plus the Boyfriend bought a soda cup with one of my favorite players on it!

Baby-faced Kari Lehtonen

Yay for a 4-1 win despite horrible calls by the refs...ha.

Saturday afternoon the Boyfriend and I went shopping so he could buy a dress shirt. He has a big group presentation tomorrow in his speech class and wanted to look spiffy. The new mens' clothes out at Dillards are quite lovely, by the way. I wanted to buy him half of the store! Then after a quick stop by the mall's pet store to drool over precious puppies, we grabbed lunch at Freebirds yummmm.

That night was dinner and singing with our church family. It was definitely a splurge night for me. BBQ, cobbler, corn casserole, salad, fruit, homemade rolls...We had so much food. And of course, I had to eat a little bit of everything. I brought fruit to try and be healthy, but did I eat any of it? Of course not haha. Thankfully there was some of it left so I took it home and ate it.

Today after morning worship I just came back to the apartment and fell asleep. Then after my nap I stayed in bed for the rest of the afternoon and played around on my laptop. After worship tonight, the Boyfriend and I stopped by Zoes (does anyone have a Zoes near them?) for dinner, then I came home and made a lasagna for the freezer.

our number at Zoes

cooking beef for my lasagna

I'm currently trying to decide between baking a batch of cookies for a baking challenge hosted by 20 Going on 80 or calling it a (very) early night. 

How was your weekend? Tell me all about it! :)


It's Ok Thursday

It's that time of the week again!
{It's Ok...}

...to hit snooze 3 times before deciding to actually get up (hey, I was still out of bed by 6am!)
...to leave the dishes in the sink after baking 5 dozen cookies at 11pm
...to get out of bed and immediately stumble to the coffeepot first
...to pretend like you're racing Nascar on the way to school in the morning (because sometimes I feel like people are actually trying to race me)
...to put off cleaning your living room "until tomorrow", because you know no one will see it but you
...to go look at the puppies for sale/adoption online every. single. day
...to be burnt out on school. like, seriously ready to be finished
...to feel an odd sense of accomplishment when you can go one whole day without coffee
...to not shave your legs for multiple weeks because "no one's gonna see them anyway"
...to strongly consider ditching the Boyfriend and the morning workout you both have planned
...to decide that you really should work off the 2 pieces of apple pie you ate yesterday and go. 
...to pout the entire car ride to the rec center at school

Hey guess what? It's Thursday! One more day till the weekend! :)
Now I leave y'all with the cutest 6 seconds of puppies EVER. I just wanna snuggle them!


Sometimes, Love Stinks...

Little Sister got broken up with this week...over text message. I know, I know. Boys are dumb right? (Oh not you, Boyfriend...just in case you're reading this)
So to help heal her teenage heart, I put together a little "breakup survival kit" and will be putting it in the mail pretty soon. Everything fits in a small padded envelope from the post office, and will usually mail for less than $5. If you want to make your own breakup survival kit for a sister or friend, consider some of these things:
breakup survival kit
(clockwise from top left)
1. Girly movies - Princess movies or chick flicks...whatever she can just veg out to
2. Her favorite candy/food - Just make sure that it's not gonna melt...not really a problem during the Winter though
3. Friendship bracelet - To remind her that you'll always be there for her...Target has a lot of cute ones right now, or you can make your own!
4. Coloring books/other fun things - My sister LOVES to color, so this would cheer her up instantly. Pick something that your friend likes to do and include it
5. Nailpolish - Include something that she can use to pamper herself, whether that be some cute new makeup or a trial-sized version of her favorite lotion
6. Cute bandages - To remind her that even though her heart is broken, those wounds will heal
7. Breakup songs CD - Include some scorned love songs from Adele and the like, but end your mix CD on a positive note with some dance tunes and upbeat "moving on" songs
And obviously, don't forget to include a sweet note to let her know how awesome she is!

Breakups are usually rough, but soon she'll be back to herself in no time. And remember, even though it feels like this is the end of the world...
...it's gonna be okay. :)


Makeover Monday

Today, I'm making over the Boyfriend. Just kidding! But I am a sucker for a well-dressed man. And the Boyfriend does a pretty good job. But being a college student obviously has an effect on his personal style. If I had an unlimited amount of money and he would actually wear the clothes I bought, I'd choose some of these looks for him in a heartbeat. 

PS...did anyone see The Vow? I saw it twice this weekend, and can't wait until it comes out on DVD. Channing Tatum has fantastic style in this movie (as evidenced by the photo above), and the chemistry between him and Rachel McAdams is so great. One of the best chick flicks I've ever seen...even the Boyfriend enjoyed it. Don't tell him I told y'all that, though. ;)

Happy Monday!



Up (too) early with a cup of coffee 
Chick-fil-A for the Boyfriend's breakfast
Campus visit for grad school stuff
Surprise visit to his parents
Tacos at Freebirds
The Vow (sigh)
Quick grocery stop at Sprouts
Pizza rolls and salad for dinner...
...while watching "The Blind Side"
There is an apple pie cake baking in my oven

And now, watching Holes (woah Shia Labeouf was young!) and some of this:

Busy (but wonderful) Saturday. Potluck after worship tomorrow and some quality time with my textbook. Hope your weekend is going as wonderfully as mine! What have you been up to?


It's Ok Thursday

You know the drill...time for "It's Ok Thursday"

{It's Ok...}

...to not be in the mood to post today. Then feel guilty that you haven't posted
...to tell people that your Boyfriend is the best in the world, and actually argue with anyone who disagrees
...to be way nervous about going to a grad school open house this weekend
...to be way nervous about grad school in general
...to mess up and make mistakes. But you've gotta learn from them
...to be proud of your school even when a few students are giving it a bad name (lay off, haters!)
...to already be looking for summer jobs, but wishing that you could spend those months by the pool, or the beach, or any body of water with the sun shining
...to tell yourself that it's time to start eating healthier, then find yourself on Pinterest looking at desserts an hour later
...to find yourself not paying attention in class. again.

Happy Thursday...We've almost made it to the weekend!


More Love Letters

I wrote my first love letter this morning. No, not the mushy gushy ones like we all wrote to our crushes (but never sent). Not one to the Boyfriend. Not even one to my first love, coffee. ;) I'm talking about a love letter to a complete stranger.
I stumbled across this website the other day 
If you want to know all of the details, it would probably be easier for you to just visit the site. But the general idea is this: you sign up to be on the email list. Each month, the people behind this movement send out the name and story of one person who really needs love letters. You write a letter to this person and send it to More Love Letters (they give you their address), then MLL collects and sends a huge bundle of letters to the person for that month. 
They also encourage writing love letters and leaving them in random places, like taped to a bathroom mirror or on a park bench. These love letters aren't pushing the fickle, over-exaggerated, showy "love" that we so often see nowadays. It's a simple love for the people around you. A love that God's Word encourages all of us to have.

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us."
{1 John 4:7-12 }

Even if you choose to not believe in God, showing love to those around you each day is without a doubt the best way to live your life. Besides, leaving all of these secret notes and knowing that I'm putting a smile on someone's face today is giving me a rush. I think I'm off to write a couple more...but before I go here's one for whoever reads this:

Dear Reader,
I may or may not know you, but you're reading this blog post right now. And believe it or not, I check my blog at least 3-4 times a day to see if anyone has read or commented on what I posted. And every time I see that someone has, my heart leaps a bit. I love each and every person who takes the time to read this blog. You seriously make my day. You're beautiful, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 


Makeover Monday

Last night brought a small snow flurry and some pretty cold weather for North Texas (no worries though, our high for Wednesday is supposed to be 70...crazy weather can't decide what it wants). On this chilly Monday afternoon, I'd rather be curled up in bed with some hot coffee and a good book than dealing with the very long day ahead of me. I'm hoping to even slip a workout in there at the end of the afternoon, but I'm definitely going to need some motivation. So today's Makeover Monday is dedicated to making over your workout. It's easy to get into the same workout routine time and time again, but that can get boring pretty quickly. Plus, your body gets used to the movements and learns to not work as hard. Here are a few things to help shake up your workout:
{PS: I'm not a professional...just a regular girl who likes to work out. So take my advice at your own risk, and don't blame me for your pulled muscles or any injuries sustained from falling off a treadmill, kay?}

Currently loving this interval run...I can't do it for the whole time, and it definitely kicks my butt, but I'm adding it into my weekly routine until I complete it!
I like the 100 (and all of its variations), because it's a quick whole-body workout that is actually realistic. I definitely need those 5 breathing minutes at the end, though.

I used to do yoga classes at school, and this was my favorite. I love how I feel less tense afterwards.

And now I'll end with a little bit of workout humor...enjoy! :)

How are you making over your workout? New music, cute gym clothes, changing up your routine? Let me know! 



Love doesn't depend on the job they have or the money they make. It doesn't depend on the degree they get or the talents they possess. Or the number of friends they have, or what you can get from them. None of that matters. What matters is when you're with them for a long time and still get sad when you have to say goodnight. When you pray for them. When you pray WITH them. When they are hurting and you actually feel your heart hurting too. When you will do anything, ANYTHING to help them become even better than before. When their dream matters just as much as yours, but you accept them whether they are able to achieve it or not. When sometimes, they are the sole reason you get up in the morning. When you can actually, realistically see yourself waking up with them beside you and you ache for that day to come. <3


Sweaters & Bib Necklaces

"Little Girl in the Big World" is having a givewaway for a lovely bracelet from Stelladot, and that led me to check the website out. The pieces are way out of budget for me (over $100 for a necklace doesn't work for a college student), but they are gorgeous. I whipped up a couple of outfits on Polyvore that feature my favorite necklaces on the website:
looking class-y
{Marrakesh Bib Necklace}
I think this necklace is perfect for dressing up a plain sweater on those rainy days when you don't want to go to class but know you have to. This outfit is both cute and comfy!

casual date(ing)
{Alexandria Necklace}
This outfit would work for a casual date with the Boyfriend, or for a girls movie night. I love the flared jeans trend (note: go jeans shopping again soon!), and the soft pinks and neutrals complement this layered silver necklace perfectly.

Playing Dressup
{Bamboleo Necklace}
Oh man, I love this outfit. It would be perfect for a party, fancy family dinner, or work function. The teal in the necklace is brought out in the heels, and I must have that glittery clutch.

There are my 3 outfits...which necklace is your favorite?


It's Ok Thursday

{It's ok...}

...to silently feel superior because you can lift more than the pretty girl next to you in the gym
...to envy that same girl's cute workout clothes
...to take a minute just to close your eyes and breathe
...to be a little bit excited when your FB status update gets a lot of likes
...to stand by your firm belief that leggings are not pants (put some pants on please I don't want to see that!)
...to want to go to bed at 9 tonight instead of going out
...to feel blue. Some days are just like that
...to dread going to your leadership seminar so you're blogging outside instead of going into the classroom (maybe that's just me...)

On that note I'm off to my last class of the day. One and a half hours to freedom!