Stop Waiting for Perfection

Like I’ve mentioned previously, I had wanted to start a personal blog years before I had the courage to do so. Even in my freshman year of college, I put it off because I was trying to think of the perfect blog name, capture the best pictures, etc. If I’ve learned anything post-college it’s that you’re not going to get any better at anything without trying. Yes, failing is hard. Rejection sucks. But we won’t know how great we can be at something until we get out there and just try.

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something, Now you know something about yourself. ” -Amy Poehler

For some reason, we stop ourselves from accepting that new challenge or trying that new thing until we feel fully prepared. Especially as women, we can feel like we need to think through every scenario and be overly cautious (or maybe that’s just me). Amy has a point y’all! Think about it, if you truly try to wait for something until you’re fully ready, you’ll never start.

My blog still has a long way to go but I love looking back on old posts and seeing how much I have improved over the years! We have this anticipation that everyone has it figured out except for us. The truth is that we’re all figuring it out as we go. To be honest, I have had a pretty rough season personally and professionally that I might open up about at a later time. It’s so easy to think that everyone has it together except for yourself but it’s just not true.

We have to stop saying “I’ll be happy when __ happens”. Whether it’s getting x relationship, x career, x car, you get the idea. We have to choose happiness. That means here and now by accepting your life for what it is. If you are not happy with that picture then the beauty of it is we all have the ability to make change.

Below are a few ideas from my own life I’ve accumulated to do if you feel like you’re in a rut or are too contempt with being comfortable.

-Join an Organization

Okay, I know not everyone self-identifies as the Leslie Knope of organizations like me but I feel that there is so much to gain. Is it obvious how much I love Amy Poehler, yet? I loved that I was constantly meeting with like-minded peers in college with similar interests that were striving for something more. I found that I was really missing that recently so I joined the Junior League of Dallas. If you are a woman in your 20’s-30’s I would definitely check it out and they have them in almost every major city. I will write more about this experience later since I just joined but it’s a great way to give back to the community and network with women in your area. Meetup.com is also a great way to meet with people who have similar interests as you. You might be surprised at all the groups they offer (plus you can always create your own). As well as networking and a wide variety of events you can find on Event Brite!

-Continue Learning

I feel like no matter what industry you work in or what your hobbies are there is always more to learn. I’ve been pushing myself recently to stay updated on industry news. If you work in Marketing as well or are interested in learning more this is a wonderful list I found of the 15 Best Free Digital Marketing Certifications Online. I just received my Certificate of Completion for Google Analytics for Beginners and I plan on tackling a few more from the list. They are free, right? Nothing to lose!

-Reach Out to Your Network

Yes, it’s important to keep up with connections for obvious networking reasons but you may also be surprised at who is going through similar struggles that you are (or just a fear of failure). I’m trying to be better about transparency- pretending to be perfect benefits no one and I’m happy to see that others are letting their walls down as well. Life isn’t easy and we all have that in common. You never know who you might be able to help by opening up about your own story.

-Accept That Nothing Stays the Same

As humans, we are (hopefully) always evolving by meeting new people and learning new things. Sometimes we can beat ourselves up about changing our mind and taking a new path. The truth is that is the only way we are going to grow! Sure, we all like to have our five or even ten-year plan but we rob gratitude from the present when we expect that we are guaranteed that much time. I’m aware this is really deep for a blog post, but none of us truly know what the next day will hold. That’s why we just have to try the best we can, be as kind as possible, and dream big for what the rest of our lives may hold.

So, whether you’re in high school, just graduated from college, or are in your forties, I hope that you have the courage to try for whatever it is your heart longs for. I believe we are all capable of great things. I’m in the middle of figuring this thing called life myself and am happy to grab a coffee and try to figure it out with you. Thanks for reading!

Until next time!

-Lauren

photo courtesy of stocksnap.io

Let’s Talk About Mondays

Can we really, though? Can we talk about the day no one wants to talk about? Everyone dreads it, pushes it back, but we all experience it.

“I’m having a terrible day but it’s okay because it’s Monday.”

“My day is okay for a Monday, I guess.”

“I’m so ready for Monday to be over.”

There are 53 Mondays in a year. Do you see where I am going with this? Why is it socially acceptable for us to mentally throw away 53 days this year? We’ve got to stop.

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Isn’t it funny how we don’t realize how much we want to do something until we can’t do it. I could be laying in bed bored on a Sunday and only want to watch tv but the moment I’m at a required event I can’t stop thinking about how much I want to write X blog post, need to reach out to X, or should’ve cleaned X.

So why do we do this to ourselves?

We live in a society where we compete to see who is the busiest. Somewhere along the way being busy started to equate to being successful and we’re all thrown in the race. Yes, it’s important to be productive but we shouldn’t be saying “yes” to everything for the sake of having a full to-do list.

This leaves little left for the time we need to re-charge and hobbies that inspire us. When we take too much on our plate we tend to over-think situations that lead to the worst results. Sunday scaries are real, and a lot of us have experienced them whether we know it or not.

“The Sunday scaries are the anxieties one experiences on Sunday when thinking about the impending workweek, school week, or other obligations that await in the week ahead. They are especially bad when accompanied by an end-of-the-weekend hangover,” according to dictionary.com.

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Of course, we’re all going to have bad days. I’m not sure what season you’re in, but I wrote out a list that has been beneficial for me. Below are some tips that have helped me ease into the work week a little easier and possibly even enjoy that oh so dreaded day.

-Have Something To Look Forward To

One of my life mantras, in general, is to always have something to look forward to, especially when trying to prevent max burnout from the best trip ever. Post-trip blues are definitely a thing for a travel bug like me and Mondays can be that way for a lot of people. Why save all the fun for the weekend? Whether it’s something small like dinner with a good friend on a weeknight or having tickets for a big concert the next weekend having a countdown will mentally get you through those tough times.

-Be Present

I promise I’m not trying to be like Ghandi over here but there is so much beauty in unplugging and taking in our surroundings and just being somewhere. Part of why Mondays get us down is because it’s the start of what may be a hectic workweek and we wonder if we are ever going to measure up. When our brains do that we are not living in the now and instead worrying about what lies ahead. As a Type A person to the core, I’m always trying to plan ahead but there is so much to be missed when only looking forward. Don’t worry about what’s due next week and just accomplish what you can. Worrying does nothing but rob the joy of right now.

-Rediscover Lost Talents

Personally, I used to love crafting. Almost all of my gifts to close friends would be something I handmade. Honestly, I stopped doing it. I didn’t even realize until one of my sweet friends, was asking why I don’t craft anymore. A little surprised, I looked at her and shrugged “I don’t know” but I plan on picking it up again soon. Whether it’s cycling, reading, or cooking find something that makes you lose track of time because you enjoy it so much. Then do keep doing that. I have a few projects I’m ready to start that have me looking forward to next Monday! This way you have something that you’re excited to do once you get home instead of mindlessly scrolling on your phone.

-Get a New Job

This is super dramatic, I know. But if the Sunday scaries are more like fright fests, you are due for a big life change. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sure, it could be something as serious as needing a career change but sometimes the solution can be as small as working out before work (not that I have any experience with that whatsoever). Basically, if this is a reoccurring obstacle you face then something needs to change about your Monday. No one knows what that change needs to be except for you. Looking inward is the first step and from here you will find what you need to change and can start having a better start to your week. Don’t get me wrong, I am NO SAINT here. But I’m trying and improving a lot and that’s what matters. Sunday scaries? Not here!

After all, life is about so much more than waiting for the perfect day to come, it’s about creating it.

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Thanks for reading!

-Lauren

photos courtesy of stocksnap.io

Ditching the Idea of Getting Bikini “Ready”

Let’s face it, being a woman is hard.

I feel like there is no other way to start this post. It’s a truth that for some women gets easier over time but never quite goes away. Scrolling through Instagram, I’ve trained myself to think.

StockSnap_E1WZHWID6J“I love her edgy rocky looker but not for me.”

“Dang, she is rocking those stiletto heels, but I’m not going to bother because I’m sure I would trip.”

“She’s so cute in that nautical print, even though I don’t own many preppy clothes.”

We need to accept that other women who have completely different body types, sense of style and ways of thinking are perfectly unique and worth being celebrated.

“‘Good for her! Not for me.’ That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”
― Amy Poehler, Yes Please

I was inspired to write this blog post after a very dear friend in my life recently opened up to me about experiencing body image issues. The truth is, we rarely ever see ourselves the way others see us. Instead, we are so quick to cut down our intelligence, beauty, or brains after believing lies society tells us. I know this is a different type of post for my site but I think it’s a message that needs to be repeated again and again.

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Even some of the skinniest girls I know say their size doesn’t make them any happier. NO ONE has a perfect body. And if you think they do, they won’t believe you. That’s the twisted game from the beauty and fashion industry with toxic messaging where no one wins. There is SO much more to us than our jean size.

But here’s the thing about being nervous at the pool or class or even your workspace. No one else is looking at you as much as you think they are. We truly are our own worst critics! Your cellulite or stretch marks should have absolutely no control over how hard you laugh or how big you smile. We all deserve happiness and a number on the scale should be the last thing holding us back from living our best life. Whether you’ve been told you’re too big or too small there is always a spot for you at my imaginary pool party!

People’s reaction to me is sometimes “Uch, I just don’t like her. I hate how she thinks she is so great.” But it’s not that I think I’m so great. I just don’t hate myself. I do idiotic things all the time and I say crazy stuff I regret, but I don’t let everything traumatize me. And the scary thing I have noticed is that some people really feel uncomfortable around women who don’t hate themselves. So that’s why you need to be a little bit brave.

― Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?

IMG_3395True Life: I am a recovering people pleaser

If I’m being totally honest with all of you, I am guilty of being a people pleaser. I have improved by leaps and bounds but I still suffer from sometimes caring too much about what other people think about me.  I have been a size 8 for as long as I can remember. My friend Hannah and I joke that we skipped the Justice phase altogether and went straight to juniors clothing. Therefore, I have never ever ever been a size zero *or anything close. But now, I really don’t care. I’m not going to lie when I say that really bothered middle school me. In fact, I don’t think I could have written a blog post this transparent anytime before college.

However, I have learned that I am not the only one and that by letting others hold me back from my goals, I am just giving in to their power. I once read a quote that went something like “instead of walking into a room and wondering if anyone likes you, question whether you like any of them.” Yes, it’s blunt but it was mind changing for a freshman in college like me that went through life trying to get perfect grades, fit in with any crowd, and just follow the rules. I hope the following tips can help you no matter where you are on your self-love journey.

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Tips to cut negativity out of your life

  • Unfollow toxic people

If there is a certain someone whose posts always make you feel down about yourself then you have no reason to be reminded of them on the daily! This applies to celebrities you follow on the gram or people IRL. It could be anything from bikini pics of an unattainable body image or negative talk about others. If there is someone that does nothing but bring you down maybe cut your time with them and see if your mental health improves. By surrounding yourself with truly happy and motivated people (or who are at least trying) on and offline you will see yourself become challenged to grow.

  • Start making positive change

What are some of your biggest dreams? Who or what has been holding you back from tackling those projects? Sure, face masks are great! Like, really I love a good cucumber mask. But self-care is about more than taking time to pamper yourself. Sometimes, it can be really hard. We will never achieve our biggest goals without first pushing ourselves to fight on. What would you chase after if you know you couldn’t fail? Whatever fuels your fire, go after that.

  • Set an example

It’s true that you attract your tribe. If you don’t want to be around people that judge others for trying, then stop doing it yourself! We are all guilty at times but the only one in charge of your own happiness is you. Own who you are and don’t let anyone try to belittle you by making you think you are too short, too loud, or too anything. Set an example for those who come after you that they can win by being themselves too.

What if you have been given the circumstances you are facing because you have a gift to empathize with and help others going through a similar issue?IMG_3444

Wow, let that sink in. I know growing up I hated anything that made me different. Whether it was my bright red hair or that my cheeks turned rosy after anyone pointed me out. But as I’m growing up I’m realizing what makes me different sets me apart. Whether it’s that I perceive things differently than others, am trying to continue to see life with a creative lens, or that I’m striving for a life I love. But most of all that I show others they can do it too.

This is real, this is me, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, yeah? Just kidding, that’s a Demi Lovato tween anthem. But really, think about what lies society or people may have had you believe to try and knock you down. Then crush those thoughts and become the person you dreamed of.

Also, ditch the idea of ever getting “bikini ready” because you’re ready to tackle life right here, right now. And there are a lot more things to get ready for than what strangers think of you on a hot summer day.

Alexa, play Biscuits by Kacey Musgraves. Cheers!

6 Tips to Help Land a Job Interview

Hi there,

For those of you who keep up with my blog know that I started a new job last month! I am so grateful that I get to do what I love but finding the right role for me took months. Even though I did not post about this process at the time (for obvious reasons) it does not mean that this opportunity just fell into my lap. The truth is, like most other job seekers, I spent several months applying to different roles. I received several rejections but mostly did not hear back from companies other than that they had received my application.

So, from my experience, I wanted to share some tips that I learned helped during this tiring process. Hopefully, these are not the same old tips that you will see on other websites but is new information that will give you a boost of confidence in your search.

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  1. Find ANY way to can to stand out

Everyone will tell you to “use your connections” but even though I feel like I was someone who did a pretty darn good job networking in college it still didn’t seem to be enough. So, if your connections are not leading to success or you feel like you do not have enough connections to start with just find a place where you can stand out.

AKA Find a job application platform that is not open to everyone or where you have some kind of edge. For me, this was a website called Handshake that I found out about from my friend Karla, who works at the UNT career center (God bless her). Over 700 Universities use this platform apparently so if your alma mater is on the list hit up the career center and they can help you set up your account if you do not have one already. If you don’t have access to this site see what else your career center can do for you (most if not all are free of charge after graduating).

While I was on the site, I saw several job postings that weren’t posted on any other websites. The truth is that on platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed you are competing against so many other applicants it is flat out depressing. The next best thing to having a direct contact at a company is to find out some kind of leg up in the application process. Because this was a much smaller pool of users my resume was able to stand out and land me some interviews. For months I was only applying on the more popular websites to find I was being largely ignored.

It’s also a good idea to bookmark companies job boards that you would love to work for that you may miss on other sites. And if you want to be super organized about it then create a spreadsheet with the dates you applied, who you contacted, and all those annoying usernames and password combos you have to create.

  1. Don’t be scared to reach outStockSnap_CSY3W6JPKX

After a few months of my job search proving to be unsuccessful, I decided that I really needed to start reaching out to people. Speaking of connections, I had already e-mailed my mentors and had talked to close friends. However, desperate times call for desperate measures! I was nervous at first, but I ended up messaging several past classmates, other students that were in the same organizations as me, and everyone in between. These were people that were the same age as me, younger, and some older. It was very random in nature and I was scared that it might look desperate.

When it came down to it, nearly everyone responded and was glad to help. Even though it did not lead to my current job it helped me get further along in the process with other positions. Also, it solidified my networking with those people and I will be happy to return the favor down the road. Keep in mind that many companies offer incentives to current employees for referring new hires. So that is one more reason to not be as fearful when pressing the send button!

It’s also a good idea to reach out to other alumni on LinkedIn that work at a company you are in the running for. Even if you have never met them before it will make them feel special and chances are they will be happy to help. Who would turn down monetary rewards for helping someone out? Not me!

  1. See how your resume stacks up with ATS

I’m not going to lie when I tell you this might be an absolute mood killer when you first see how much your resume is torn apart. In college, I had several professors, mentors, and colleagues look over my resume and help me critique it through the years. However, it really doesn’t matter how highly us humans value it because when you’re in the first round of the job pool (especially for a large company) it’s only going to be AI judging if you pass the test.

What is ATS?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a program used by employers to screen applicants based on the contents of their resume before passing viable candidates on to the hiring manager.

Depressing right?

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image courtesy of JobScan Blog

Like most people, I knew I should be switching out a few keywords to fit each job description, but I had NO IDEA there were free websites to see how you stack up compared to others. For years, I thought it was something on the other side of the curtain that I was not able to see without working in HR. *insert mind-blown emoji Once I got over the initial shock of seeing how weak mine was, it was extremely helpful in showing me where I could make adjustments. I used TopResume because the initial test is free and it’s optional to pay for the other packages. Just the initial results were enough for me to see concrete changes I needed to make to get past the first screening. There are tons of other websites to choose from though!

I am just the messenger to tell you that these free tests are out there for you to use and I wish someone would have told me this in college. Who knows how many more job interviews I could have landed?! Just search and you will see there are countless websites and advice for just this category of job searching. A good place to start is this article from JobScan Blog.

  1. Use social media to your advantage

In my own experience, I was taught by professors and superiors that (to an extent) my social media platforms can do nothing but hurt me in my job hunt and professional career. On the contrary, there are so many ways we can utilize social media in ways to help us land our dream role.

I am a bit biased because with my major in PR it’s essentially necessary to understand the branding and online presence of a company to even land an interview with them. But following industry leaders or CEO’s of companies you admire will keep you up to date on what’s going on.

Everyone will tell you to research a brand before your interview but what exactly should you be looking for? I felt most confident when I followed the brand on every social media channel including LinkedIn and could speak to recent news and updates. If you’re not currently in college or actively seeking a new role I recommend discovering what your dream 10 companies to work for are and follow them on every platform you can.

Of course, keep your social media clean. But consistently keeping up with these platforms can prove you are media literate, a good communicator, content creator, etc. A lot of college students turn all of their channels on private around this time but I can argue that mine have helped me land past internships and jobs.

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  1. Take Initiative

What is your dream job? What are you doing to get yourself closer to that goal? Think of projects you can do in your free time to not only help you stand out but probably give you a leg up once you start in that position. This could be filming YouTube tutorials on graphic design, tutoring a student in your desired field, or completing a Skillshare course online.

For myself, having a blog really helped me stand out in the crowd. It’s basically an industry standard to have some kind of online portfolio or website. So, I’m glad I started this space when I was in college and even though it wasn’t always easy to maintain it has proven to be worth it.

For example, if there is a common skill you are seeing throughout several job postings you are not confident in then find an online course on the subject. If you can’t earn accreditation without a university or money then do everything else in your power to at least become literate about the topic and get you closer to your goal. No excuses here!

  1. Kill them with kindness – even if it seems like you’re being annoying

There were several times I would want to follow up with someone in HR or thank someone along the process but I would question myself. Am I being bothersome? Or before sending ANOTHER e-mail just checking in, am I being a pest? But the hard truth is that you’re competing against oodles of other applicants and you are not able to see what they’re doing.

And even though some of these unwritten rules may seem unnecessary or outdated it can be the difference between landing a job or not. At the end of the day, we’re all just trying our hardest. These HR people don’t know that you took care of your grandma after surgery or have never forgotten your best friends birthday. You have to show them in a short time span that you’re capable of being that thoughtful and kind person they want on their team.

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That’s it, folks!

I know that job hunting can be daunting and especially difficult if you have been searching for a while. I’ve been there and I hope that my experience can maybe spark some new ideas or help you in any way. Do you have any unconventional tips to share yourself? I truly hope this helps you!

All of this advice is geared towards landing a job interview but I can post job interview tips and tricks at a later time if you are interested!

Best,

Lauren

Trip Recap: Denver & Colorado Springs

Hi lovely readers,

Chase and I got back from our (delayed) honeymoon last week! We had an absolutely amazing time exploring Denver and Colorado Springs. We got to get away for a whole week and came back home so well rested.

A video recap of our trip is below for those of you interested in watching!

OR if you would like to watch it in fullscreen click here. I tried a new platform and edited this video with “Clips” from the App Store on my iPhone but I do not recommend. As you will see, the quality is much lower than some of my other videos in the past. I really miss having free access to Final Cut Pro like I did in high school in college. I should have better videos going forward. That’s what experimenting is all about, right?

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Denver Zoo

I consider myself to be a professional Yelp researcher and food critic at this point ;). We had no shortage of amazing meals and fun things to do so I listed some of our favorite experiences below! These are in the same order that we visited them as well.

Denver

Food

Linger- This is the first place we drove to after getting settled in our Airbnb. The building used to be a mortuary so you will see little hints about it throughout the restaurant like “Denver’s finest Eatuary”. I wouldn’t recommend Linger for picky eaters, but if you are one of my readers that probably doesn’t include you. There are no basic chicken strips and friends here! It is an international food menu split into categories by continent/ type of food. We ordered Indian, Asian, and the Caribbean. They are small portions so order a few!

Snooze- There are quite a few locations, there is even one in Dallas! But it took for us to fly to Denver to get around to trying it. Breakfast food connoisseurs, this place is for you! They have a large menu that has something for everyone, so if you live near a Snooze definitely try it for brunch sometime.

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Nashville Hot Chicken at The Post Brewing Co.

Denver Biscuit Co.- Exactly what it sounds like here. Chase and I had the honor of eating at three restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (one of his family’s favorite shows). You can watch their part of the episode here.  All you need to know is that if you love big, flaky, and buttery biscuits you’re in for a treat.

Voodoo Doughnuts- I have been a big fan of Voodoo ever since I got my first donut from the Austin, TX location on 6th street at 2 a.m. one summer. Yes, this place is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You can find almost any flavor donut you can dream of! Need I say more?

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Little Man Ice Cream in Denver

Little Man Ice Cream- All of the food research I did for Denver led me here. It’s true that people in Denver will order it rain or shine. There would still be a line at 8 o’clock at night! Well, I’m happy to say it was worth the hype! They had lots of interesting flavors like brownie ice cream and red velvet to try.

The Post Brewing Co.- Contrary to the name, you’re going to be visiting for the “Nashville Hot” fried chicken, even though their award-winning brews don’t hurt either. Chase was obsessed with this place! Even though we were absolutely stuffed from the chicken he insisted we ordered the warm waffle sundae. They were featured on Food Network as well.

Fun Things to Do

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Glass Art by Dale Chihuly featured at the Denver Botanical Garden

Denver Botanical Garden- To be fair, April is not the best time of year to visit because the flowers were not in bloom yet but we still had a great time taking in the scenery.

Denver Zoo- Some people might roll their eyes and think “zoos are for kids” but we truly had so much fun. The Denver Zoo is definitely larger than most so we spent a good four hours here with walking at a pretty quick pace.

Red Rock Amphitheater- I had no idea that music legends like The Beatles and Willie Nelson as well as current artists like Snoop Dogg perform here. Not only is this natural amphitheater a great place to see some of your favorite artists perform but it is an awesome place to work out. Unfortunately, no artists were there while we were in town but the rock formations are so beautiful it did not matter. Locals come here to jog on the steps but with the altitude change, it was hard for us to come back up the arena!

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Red Rock Amphitheater

Colorado Springs

Food

The Penrose Room- Our one big splurge of the week was to have a celebratory dinner at The Penrose Room within the Broadmoor. This is Colorado’s only five-star, AAA five-diamond restaurant. Chase and I have had the luxury of getting to experience quite a bit of fine dining over the years but this was the nicest restaurant I have ever been to in my life. Chase almost shed tears his steak was so delicious.

For those of you who are not familiar, The Broadmoor is a staple of luxury in Colorado. The resort has received a Forbes Five-Star rating (58 years in 2018) and AAA Five-Diamond rating (42 years in 2018). Although we could not afford to stay there (even for one night) we made a point to explore the property after our dinner. I highly recommend walking around the resort as there is no shortage of things to do (and rich people to watch). Hopefully, one day we can come back as proud residents for the weekend. A girl can dream, right?

So Chase was so thoughtful and set-up reservations for us to go on a foodie tour! Through this experience, we got to try several different restaurants in the area with our amazing tour leader, Roger! I’ve listed a few of our favorites below.

Spice Island Grill- Authentic Jamaican cuisine to the max! This was the third place we got to go to that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We tried the plantains, jerk chicken, and steamed rice.

The Rabbit Hole- A neat restaurant tucked away underground (hence the name rabbit hole) is such a fun find. They also have fun cocktails and a nightlife scene.

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Garden of the Gods

 

Fun Things to Do

Garden of the Gods- Some of our sweet friends got engaged there so we knew it would be worth visiting. We were surprised that is was only a short 15-minute drive from where we were staying. Even though there are a lot of hiking trails they have different routes to accommodate almost everyone. We could not get over the vast beauty that is so close to town!

Shopping in Manitou Springs- Only a few minutes away from Colorado Springs this quaint town is full of adorable mom and pop shops in the downtown area. We spent half of our last day exploring all of the different shops and buying gifts to take back home.

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Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs

Penny Arcade- I am not kidding when I say Chase’s dreams came true here! Somehow, this hidden arcade in a small town has almost any game you can imagine including vintage as well as modern. They keep the original prices on antique games so you can spend quite a few hours here without breaking the bank. This was an unexpected find that kept us entertained for a while.

We are already wanting to plan another trip to Colorado! What is your favorite city there?

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Announcement: Exciting Career Change

Hi there,
I am so excited to announce that I will be working as an Influencer Marketing Coordinator at VizSense in Dallas! Even though today is my very first day, wish me luck! I wanted to take a jab at explaining my exciting new gig.
What does an Influencer Marketing Coordinator even do?
I get excitement from the fact that essentially all of my internships and jobs are roles that did not even EXIST 10 years ago. Heck, I would argue even five years ago. I will be responsible for the identification and management of influencers, brand research, assistance in creating deliverables and limited travel as required by

customers. So I will be working with social media, marketing, and making client presentations. In the most basic explanation, I will be the point of contact with micro-influencers.
Wait, a micro-what you may ask?
Microinfluencers are non-celebrity influencers who curate passionate and specific online communities and set in motion the next trend. The data on who they are and the composition of their communities inform marketers on the strength and context of a brand conversation.” -Jon Iadonisi, Founder and CEO of VizSense
Your favorite beauty blogger, Youtube fitness junkie, and Instagram travel account will fall in this category. The above quote is pulled from an article on Adweek that explains a lot of what my job will entail.
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What is VizSense
“We are a company that provides influencer intelligence, strategy, and campaign coordination for brands, talent and creators. VizSense collects and analyzes unique insights, giving brands tools to identify, validate and measure the impact of influencer campaigns. In addition to these ventures, we are constantly innovating in-house and work at the cutting-edge of technology in the booming influencer marketing industry.”
Why did you decide to make a career change?
I was that nerd in college that was OBSESSED with my major. Once I chose Public Relations as my desired field, I never went back. I was that student that was leading student organizations, mentoring, working internships during the semester (two unpaid ones to be clear), and anything else I could do to still be involved and still have a life. The truth is that I missed all of the creativity, drafts, and social media that I used to get such a rush from. I am so excited to start working in a collaborative environment where I’m pushed to learn new things.
Will you keep us updated on your new career journey? 
Absolutely!
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Thanks for reading,
Lauren

Why Multitasking is a Myth

I’m here to warn you about something that might be ruining your daily life and up until now you may have considered it a good thing or even a skill, but not one that improves with practice. I’m talking about how Multitasking is a myth.

I’m that old-fashioned person that (for the most part) works on one task at a time. Not surprisingly, this is a habit that has sparked some questions from my co-workers and past classmates or friends in college. The truth is, the majority of millennials would work on an assignment on their laptop while watching Netflix on a tv, texting a friend, and eating ramen. I have a headache just thinking about it.

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Work

Constantly switching tasks at work is kind of like red light, green light for your brain. This is better known as “serial tasking” instead of multitasking by psychologists (American Psychological Association). Therefore, instead of seamlessly changing responsibilities the brain is having to forgo a few seconds delay every time there is a new goal.

As a millennial, I am part of the “multitasking generation,” who grew up with video games, smartphones, and e-readers can somehow concentrate on several things at once. In fact, research indicates that frequent multitaskers are often the worst at it, according to Scientific American. This is a skill that does not improve with practice.

Relationships

Have you ever been sharing vulnerable news with someone to look up (to your dismay) that they are totally engrossed in their cell phone? No one wants to be this person. Thus, their attempt at completing several tasks at once leads you to believe that they are not listening to you because they are too busy responding to someone else. It turns out, multitasking is only possible if the activities involve different brain processes. If you are doing two things that activate the language center of the brain, you’re only retaining one channel.

I’m not saying you should never try to complete 2+ tasks at a time. Let’s be real, a lot of situations in life require you to do so. One kind of multitasking that is proven to work is listening to music. Multitasking is only possible if one or more tasks are like second nature or if they involved different brain processes, according to Entrepreneur.

Driving

Yes, we are all warned about texting and driving but as drivers, we need to take this information very seriously. In the most serious of situations, our confidence in being able to juggle several situations can result in someone losing their life.

 “When Strayer and his colleagues observed fifty-six thousand drivers approaching an intersection, they found that those on their cell phones were more than twice as likely to fail to heed the stop signs. In 2010, the National Safety Council estimated that twenty-eight per cent of all deaths and accidents on highways were the result of drivers on their phones. “Our brain can’t handle the overload,” Strayer told me. “It’s just not made that way.”” – The New Yorker

I know this is one of my more serious blog topics, but it is so disheartening to look around at a red light and see that almost every driver has their eyes glued to their phone.

The Challenge

If multitasking truly does work for you then don’t let me slow you down! However, if you are finding that certain parts of your life are lacking attention or are never being completed then look no further than the statistics! In these busy lives we lead, it can be easy to feel like we are never getting anything done. At the end of the day, if we are thoughtful and have intentions of completing tasks they will eventually be done. If you consider your self a multitasker who is open to change… keep reading.

The next step: I challenge you to try transitioning to focusing on one task at a time. Do you find that you are more productive at the end of the day? Do you feel less frantic? You will most likely see a boost in your overall productivity, as counter-intuitive as it might seem.

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Why I Reject Valentine’s Day

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I actually (kind of) HATE Valentine’s Day.
This always confuses people because I’ve been in a long-standing relationship, and to be clear, a healthy and happy relationship. So, why would I of all people be one to dread this holiday? Heck, one time when I shared this viewpoint with a past co-worker she gasped “How could you!??” Oops…

To be blunt: a lot of this day brings out the worst in us. It makes us feel like we have to show off what gifts we received like that somehow equates to how worthy we are of love. And if our significant other doesn’t purchase something for us then that means they aren’t a suitable partner?.. okay.

I know this may sound dramatic. To be clear, I would never ever turn down a gift from Chase on this special Thursday. BUT I will never ever be upset if he does not purchase an item for me on a day when society tells him he HAS to. Let’s be real, what is romantic about someone doing something for you because they feel like they have to. Um, not much in my opinion! At the end of the day, coming home to a freshly cooked dinner or chocolates on a random Monday means x100 more than mass commercial goods on a day when marketers sell us on a false idea of love.

At its core, the message behind Valentine’s Day is great! Love and celebrate those in your life you mean the most right?? I’m not trying to sway people into disliking this day meant for love. Instead, I want to tell people that you are special whether you’re single or not. Don’t let a relationship define you. Don’t let others opinions of you define you. And most importantly, realize that you are the only one in charge of your own happiness. And if your boyfriend didn’t buy you roses at the last minute he’s not a terrible partner. I have seen too many girls caught up in the comparison game of he got me this, etc. The truth is that you are beautiful, unique, and worthy even if you receive nothing at all on this day.

So, have fun getting dressed up and boujee for no reason! Remember, don’t let anyone dull your shine.

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Do you find yourself questioning long-standing traditions too? Even if they are in your favor?

Xo,
Lauren