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Friday Feature

Friday Feature

FRIDAY FEATURE: My New Year’s Resolutions

I cannot believe we are already wrapping up 2016. For some odd reason, I still think it’s October!

You may remember I launched this blog about this time last year with the goal of improving my cooking in 2016. I can confidently say my knowledge of the kitchen has improved, but there is still a ways to go.

As we’re wrapping up the year, I’m asking myself what sort of resolutions I have for the year a head. I’ve compiled a short list below. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Lauren’s Top 15 New Year’s Resolutions 

  1. Cook Seafood
  2. Try new foods
  3. See a movie with my mom once a month.
  4. Eat Healthy
  5. Hit the Gym 3-4 times a week
  6. Be more grateful
  7. Spend more time in the kitchen
  8. Take more time to myself.
  9. Geocache More (Have you tried it? It’s a blast!)
  10. Continue taking photos
  11. Plan a date night once a month with my husband.
  12. Keep our office CLEAN! (We all have that one room!)
  13. Spend more time with my girlfriends.
  14. Stop beating myself up (a.k.a. “Don’t sweat the small stuff”)
  15. Go on an adventure.
Friday Feature

Friday Feature: CatLadyBox Review

As you’ve seen from my previous posts, I’m a CRAZY cat lady.

Up until October, I had been a crazy cat lady without a cat. You may be thinking that’s not possible, but I can assure you it is.

I LOVE CATS. There is no doubt about that.

Even when I didn’t have cats, my Facebook news feed was filled with cats (and cat products) galore and I dreamed of buying it all for the cat I would *one day* get.

When that day arrived, I was in heaven. Much to my husbands dismay, I began buying everything and anything for my beautiful boy, Sully.

So when Christmas came around I wanted to go all out for my little guy. So, I ordered the CatLadyBox “Meowy Holidays Box.”

If you’re not familiar with CatLadyBox it is a monthly subscription box service where cat themed items are delivered right to your doorstep. The coolest thing about the service is it features products for both yourself and your furry friend! (depending on the box you choose). The company has two different boxes to choose from “CRAZY CatLadyBox” and “CatLadyBox.” The Crazy CatLadyBox features one of a kind items for yourself and a couple for your fur baby, while the CatLadyBox features items just for yourself.

Once my order was complete, I anxiously waited for the box to arrive.

Let me just say – The box did not disappoint.

The box featured two toys for little Sully – a floppy elf catnip toy and catnip champagne cheer toy. While for me, it featured a pair of Soft Kitty Winter Gloves, an Amber Silver Cat Ring and an amazing Feline Lux Cat Clutch.

I was in love. Sully instantly got in the CatLadyBox and began playing with his new toys. To be honest, the box is still under our Christmas tree because it’s his new favorite hang out place. On my end, I’ve been using the Amber Silver Cat Ring and Clutch on a daily basis – they’re just so cute!

If you’re a crazy cat lady like myself, I would HIGHLY recommend subscribing to this box! It’s awesome in the fact that it’s not only your cat that gets the fun toys, you do too!

*No sponsored post/compensation here. This is my own personal review because I love this product so much.

Friday Feature

Friday Feature: Why you won’t find my work email on my Phone


It might be hard to believe, but I remember the days (if not weeks) I spent trying to convince my parents to upgrade my cell phone to a “smartphone.”

It was my sophomore year of college and my current cell phone was on the fritz. I distinctly remember my strongest argument to my parents, “I’m going to need it for my internship so I can check my work emails on the go.”

It was a true statement. At the time, I was studying broadcast journalism and public relations. I had a knack for broadcast journalism and had landed a couple of really good internships during the school year. Being “connected” with a smartphone would give me the upper hand in finding news stories and learning about breaking news. Not to mention it would make life easier when communicating outside of the newsroom.

That argument must have worked. The next time my parents were in town we headed down to the Verizon store and I purchased my first iPhone. From that point on, I was never “unplugged.”

After graduating college, I was fortune enough to land a job as a multimedia journalist at a local television station. With the job, came an overwhelming need to stay connected ALL THE TIME. I was constantly checking emails, social media, news websites, etc. to make sure I knew what was happening and where. (If you’ve seen the movie Morning Glory – the scene first scene when she’s checking her phone the whole time. Yup, that was me.) 

It was the source of numerous fights between my (now husband) when he was in town visiting (we were dating long distance at the time). When those fight happened I had my stock response of, “This is my job.”

That line worked….Until I left the news business and was still connected to my phone 24/7. Fast forward to today, I’m currently a social media and marketing coordinator. With the title, I thought I could use the same line when my (now husband) would say you’re always on your phone. I’d simply respond, “I’m checking Facebook – it’s my job.” To be honest, I was lying. I was checking much more than just Facebook. I was checking and responding to my work emails as well.

I am extremely fortunate to work for a company where checking my email outside of work is not a necessity. Enough so, those late nights when I would stay up emailing my manager back I would often get emails back saying “Ok, stop checking your email and go to bed” and get a stern talking to the next day about the importance of unplugging. Still I couldn’t unplug…Call it habit I guess.

I finally hid my work email from my phone the week of my wedding and mini-moon. I should clarify and say my manager nearly forced me to hide my work email from my phone the week of my wedding and mini-moon.It was the most liberating/anxiety-filled feeling in the world. Don’t get me wrong – everyone knew what they were supposed to do when I left the office and my “out of office” email was set up, but I still asked myself “what’s going on in the company?””What am I going to walk into when I get back in the office?”

The answer: I missed nothing. NOTHING. Business carried on as usually with or WITHOUT my email on my phone.

After my mini-moon, I came back to work and immediately enabled my work email on my phone and fell right back into the swing of things. Just last week, I decided I enjoyed the feeling of not being so readily available and deleted my work email off my phone. Do I still get anxious at night wondering what I’m going to walk into the next day? Sure. I also still get anxious knowing someone might not get an answer to their email until the next time I’m in the office – crazy, I know. But when you’re used to being so “plugged in” these are the thoughts you have! Now I’m back to teaching myself that emails can wait until I’m back in the office. Let’s be honest and say no one really expects you to email them back at 10:30 at night to confirm an ad size. 

Even though it’s only been about two weeks, I’ve already noticed a huge change in my mood as well my relationship. I’m much more attentive to my husband, friends, and I’ve also noticed my anxiety and stress levels have gone down. The best part – I’m now able to FULLY leave work at work and concentrate on being a newlywed instead!

As we’re getting closer to the new year, I would challenge you to see if you can “unplug” for a short amount of time. You can think of it as an experiment. Who knows you might find you like being “unplugged” and stick with it!