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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Instagram Roundup

The blog world is such an interesting place. Does anyone else ever feel like everyone else seems to live in some sort of fairy tale? Maybe it's just me but I've noticed that a lot of people tend to portray their lives as beautiful, peaceful, and calm 100% of the time... at least through what they post online. They take pictures of their warm coffee in a cutesy mug, talk about the romantic things that their boyfriends/spouses did for them, never post a picture of themselves that hasn't been taken professionaly, and tell tales of spending all day curled up in a cozy blanket by the fire. All of these things are good and dandy but I mean... seriously??

My life must be REALLY hectic and discheveled compared to the majority of the world. Either that or I'm being misled. I enjoy calm moments as much as the next girl and am glad that people like to be positive, but I also like it when people share their frustrations and shortcomings from time to time because that's real life.

That being said, I've been seeing a lot of Best of Instagram posts. Most of them are filled with the aforementioned heartwarming photos. I looked through my phone and had to laugh about how silly most of my photos are in comparison. But... it's my life!

Right after I truly made this car my own by adding the Double T emblem. I had to send this picture to 3 different people because I was absolutely certain that I had put it on crooked.

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting are my #1 dessert weakness. Oh mylanta those were good.

Day one of puppy school. Last night we finished week 3. Not before he knocked over a shelf full of dog treats in PetsMart though. :)

 Testing out a new coffee table arrangement.

 Social networking on a Friday afternoon after my motivation had straight up evaporated.

Kitchen Hibiscus.

 
 One lonely afternoon when I was the only person on the entire hallway that was at work.

 When it rains, we bust out all of the toys.

 Dilated eyes.

Walking on campus. Mine and Jake's favorite Sunday afternoon pastime.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pallet Ninjas

Andrea & I dressed up for an important mission: Operation Wooden Pallets. 
Apparently taking pallets from behind stores like Walmart or United is considered theft. Who knew? Don't worry - we found an establishment where they have been littered by the dumpsters for years. Freeing the world of clutter. :) 
It's called making things happen. Pallet craft obsessions, here I come!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Recipe for Morning Disaster

Today has been one of THOSE mornings. A domino effect of unfortunate events all due to one tiny mishap in my morning routine. Sometimes that's all it takes.

6:26am - My alarm goes off. I note that my throat is, indeed, still sore after 6 consecutive days straight and really just want to go back to sleep. Tell myself that there are only 3 more days after this one of getting up freakishly early. Get out of bed.

6:36am - Get in the shower. My mood has drastically improved over the past 10 minutes. Although I hate those few minutes after my alarm goes off, I'm always good to go shortly thereafter.

7:20am - Running a little behind on my schedule but that's typical. T-minus 15 minutes until I need to be out the door and I still have to get dressed and fix my hair.

7:22am - Go in the closet and grab the clothes that I picked out last night. I get to wear a new shirt today! Consider trying on the outfit before cutting off the tags, but decide against it because I really don't have any extra time and I tried the shirt on at the store.

7:24am - Quickly realize that the shirt really doesn't look cute with leggings like I had imagined. Uh oh. This might not be good.

7:25am - Forced to start doing my hair because I only have 10 minutes til I need to leave. All the while trying to figure out what in the world I'm going to wear now.

7:35am - Go time. But now I have to pick out a new outfit. And I don't just pick out my outfits at the drop of a hat. Shoot. This is not good not good not good.

7:39am - Throwing on all sorts of things. Everything is hideous. Tears start coming.

7:42am - Taken this too far. Will have to settle for whatever I try on next, which ends up being a shirt that I haven't worn in a good 3 or 4 years.

7:43am - Have to hang up 7 shirts that are strewn all over the closet because I've never been the type to allow myself to leave without cleaning up a mess first.

7:48am - Get in the car. Still crying. Makeup is now ruined.

8:11am - Arrive at work 11 minutes late. Makeup has big streaks. Notice that this shirt is really not long enough to be wearing with leggings. (Serious question: Do the majority of people consider leggings to be pants? Or do people think leggings are merely tights?)

8:30am - Walk to cafeteria for my coke. Pull down my shirt a thousand times in the process. People in line at the ice machine are slow as Christmas. Everyone walking down the hall seems to have nothing on their mind but to see how slow they can walk. Pull down shirt again.

... You get the picture. You probably got the picture a million hours ago.

Moral of the story? I should never dream up a cute outfit in my head again without trying it on the night before. I'm just not that talented.

I will now go live with my punishment of uncomfortableness and self-consciousness.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Five Faithful Pinterest Recipes

Have we talked before about how much I don't enjoy cooking? I lovvvvve eating but hate the labor involved in creating a good meal. The actual cooking part is pretty fun... it's the cleanup that completely ruins it for me. If I could just hire someone to pick up the kitchen after me I'd be golden.

Since I'm now blessed enough to be off work in the evenings I've been doing my best to make several meals at home every week. I'm not the fastest cook so even a really simple meal can take me over an hour to prepare. I also get tired of eating the same go-to recipes over and over. Oh and I'm really picky. Hence, I'm always looking for relatively quick and yummy new recipes.

Enter Pinterest (as always). I've seen hundreds of delicious looking pictures of food but just because 1,252 people have pinned a recipe doesn't exactly mean that the meal is going to be decent. It just means that someone knew how to take a good picture. I've taken some gambles and tried my fair share of these recipes anyway though. I'm such a risk-taker.

Here are a few of my favorites. Now you'll have at least one positive critique should you decide to try one of them out for yourself...

Absolutely delicious. I make them pretty regularly... sans the poppy seeds. :)

Hands down one of my favorite recipes ever. I consider them to be quite a bit of work but they're totally worth it. I usually double the recipe so I can freeze a dozen of them.

Made this one a couple of weeks ago. Super simple to throw together and is a great comfort food. I added half a packet of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix and some garlic powder to the crockpot to help with the flavor. I served the chicken over white rice.

Penne and shrimp in a tomato cream sauce. I need to make this again asap.

Amazing. Had it twice last week. End of story.

And this week I'm going to be trying out some Parmesan Crusted Chicken.  
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I'll let you know if it turns out to be another winner!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Time has taught me...

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*That I love the idea of days like Valentine's Day (and all other holidays), but things never go the way I planned and I crumble under the pressure. So sometimes it's better for my sanity to just treat every special day like it's just another day.

*You can be 26 years old and still think you're 22. And that feeling might be eternal. And that's okay.

*Reaching your goal hair length might take an entire decade.

*Smiles are contagious. Put on your biggest smile (even if you aren't all that excited to be doing what you're doing) and everyone around you will appreciate you for it.

*Just because your house will never look as beautiful as your boards on Pinterest doesn't mean you can't pin dozens of new ideas every day anyway.

*Drinking a coke in the morning and in the evening may not be healthy, but it's okay to have a few guilty pleasures if they bring you happiness.

*Try living your life for you instead of living it for everyone else. Even if it's just for a day.

*If you spend every single day dreading going to work the next day, it's time to move on. Even if it means taking a drastic pay cut. No amount of money is worth losing your spunk in life.

*Your values and beliefs don't have to be identical to everyone else's around you. Stay true to yourself and you might be surprised about how much you can grow.

*You will find a way to have the kind of life that you want to live.

*If shopping at Walmart makes you in a bad mood, find somewhere else to shop.

*Uggs might not be the cutest things in the world. In fact, they might even be ugly. But they keep my feet warm and that's really all that matters.

*I'm always sure until I doubt.

*It's okay to have a plan for everything, but try not to have a complete meltdown when it doesn't go the way you planned it.

*Summer will always come around again.

*It's okay to be tough on yourself sometimes. Just because you hate cooking and running doesn't mean you shouldn't make yourself cook or run every once in a while.

*Flowers die. Cars get dents. The floors will only stay clean for .5 seconds.

*Real, true friendships don't happen every day. When they do, never let them go.

*Jam out to Taylor Swift if you want. Let them judge.

*If it's worth fighting for, keep fighting.

*If you don't like where the ending of a book is headed, you don't HAVE to finish it. Book endings are one of the only things you can control.

*Be open with people and they will be open with you. You might be surprised at how quickly your relationships will deepen.

*Go ahead, eat that extra cupcake. But don't be surprised if you have to do crunches later.

*The lifespan of a beloved pet is way shorter than that of a man. And it will always be one of the cruelest realities in life.

*People change.

*Some of the best days of your life are yet to come.

*Love the people in your life deeply. They were given to you for a reason.

Monday, February 13, 2012

This weekend...

It snowed!! Quite a bit!


And I got the car that I've been eyeing for the past couple of years - a Toyota Highlander!


Despite the fact that I meant to do some painting inside the house and it didn't happen, I'm chalking it up to a successful one! Hope everyone else had a super fab weekend too. Be safe on those snowy roads out there!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bachelor Auto-Tuned Music Video

As a follow-up to my post from a couple of days ago, I just had to share this video featuring the infamous Courtney Robertson for any Bachelor fans out there who may not have seen it yet...

 

Hahahhahaha!!!! CLASSIC!!! I've watched it 7 or 8 times already!!

Things were so much easier when he didn't weigh 85 pounds.


On Tuesday evening (in polar-like temperatures mind you) I decided to attempt to use my tri-pod to get some cute updated pictures of Jake and I together...


Yeah. Turns out that didn't go over very well. I wish I could say these pictures were a joke. Love this dog but bless his heart (I love the "bless so-and-so's heart" phrase. I laugh every time). 

To Jake's credit his maturity level is improving every day. I'm 100% certain that once he reaches that coveted 18 month mark he's going to be the most wonderful dog in the world.

Until then... I probably won't be attempting another photo shoot. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Confession.


I don't watch very much TV, but I do become shamelessly emotionally involved in three shows:

1) Gossip Girl.

2) Keeping Up with the Kardashians/KKTNY/Khloe & Lamar.

3) The Bachelor(ette)/Bachelor Pad.

The latter two are some of the most criticized reality shows on TV right now, but I will argue to the death that they are completely true and not staged whatsoever.

Okay, maybe like 15% of the content is staged. :)

I want to be just like Kourtney Kardashian when I grow up. I think Scott Disick is the most hilarious man on the planet. I think Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries' 72 day marriage was totally legit. I want to be a hardcore Mavs fan now all because Lamar Odom is on the team. I follow every single Kardashian on Twitter and they completely hog my feeds... but I still want to read every tweet.

See what I mean? Shameless.

But I am even MORE obsessed with The Bachelor. Every season. The drama is just too enticing. Courtney Robertson has had my friend Andrea and I nearly rolling every single Monday night.

{Yep. Took a picture of the tv. Try hitting the pause button every time she's on the screen and see how many ridiculous faces you can capture. I dare you.}

I really have to hand it to this girl. She has completely mastered the art of being a villain. Not to mention she makes some of the best facial expressions I have ever seen. Oh how I will miss her when this season is over.

Back in 2007 I had every intention of filling out an application to try to be on the show - until I saw how much work was actually involved in the application. Oh what I wouldn't give to know what goes on behind the scenes of this show. Is it all real (please oh please)? Or 100% staged? Does the show provide all of their cute clothes or are they all just super stylish naturally? How do they always know to what to wear for their surprise dates? Do they ever get to leave the house without the cameras? All such riveting questions.

Hi. My name is Jenna and I'm addicted to shallow television shows.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Awkward/Awesome Thursday

AWKWARD

+ Walking down the hall next to someone you don't know who is walking the EXACT same speed as you. You try to slow down in hopes that they'll move on ahead, but you still can't get rid of them. So you have to suddenly start walking lightening speed. I mean really? Why do people like to make things so awkward? Let's all collaborate to solve this problem. 

+ Deciding for the first time in a few months that I was going to be a good person and walk both dogs because I'm a terrible person and only walk one of them. I got two houses away from home before they pulled me down and successfully drug me for a few inches (apparently I'm not wise enough to let go). This resulted in my first skinned knee of the century and a couple of gross palms.

+ Spending four hours of my Tuesday in a "fun" hands-on training course filled with lots of group work and presentations with a table full of strangers. Yep, I sure did dread it for a good 3 or 4 days beforehand. And it was just as awkward as I had imagined.

{It's probably also considered awkward to nonchalantly take a picture of another group.}

+ Whenever you're in a salad line and you're minding your own business as you pick out your toppings. But then some rushy rushy person gets in line behind you and is all up in your personal space trying to rush you through it. You try to speed things up but get super awkward and start spilling more than you actually get onto your salad. Which inevitably results in several annoyed looks.

AWESOME

+ The fact that at least 75% of my awkwards have something to do with interacting with strangers and/or strangers invading my personal space.

+ Jotting down license numbers with vehicle descriptions in my phone of anyone who seems suspicious when I get out of my car. As if everyone in this world has major plans to break into my car and steal my iPod from 2006. Or follow me and beat me to death. Completely casual.

+ Drinking my fruits and veggies every single day so I won't actually feel required to eat them in solid form ever again.
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+ This weekend I'm going on a little (well, long) road trip so I can see my best friend and FINALLY meet her baby for the first time!!!! I can't wait to see them!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Obsession: Pallet Crafts


On Saturday night I was browsing around Pinterest (because I lead a very exciting life) and ran across these shelves made out of pallets...

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So naturally I clicked on the embedded link to find out how they were made. And that's when I learned that you can get your hands on pallets for FREE if you ask for them at places like Lowe's and the grocery store. Umm... free?! Nothing's free! 

Before I knew it, I was Googling "pallet crafts" and pinning like there was no tomorrow. 

Pallet daybeds...
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Pallet headboards (one of these WILL be happening - I think it would go perfectly with the fireplace screen)...

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And pallet tables...

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{This one is happening also. No doubt in my mind. (Think Uncle Rico.)}

On my way to work this morning a saw an enormous 18-wheeler just hauling hundreds of pallets away. I wanted to flag him down and ask him to toss me a few. He probably just stole all of the free pallets from every store in town and is going to go burn them somewhere for "research". 

I HAVE to get my hands on some of these. Somehow.

But who are we kidding? As if I'm ever going to have the nerve to go ask any stores for free pallets anyways. Lets not forget who we're talking about. Instead I'll be recruiting extroverted friends and family members to gather them for me as free gifts. Easiest and cheapest gift you've ever given me. Not a bad deal, am I right?