Lemon Crinkle Cookies

For all the lemon lovers out there.

Makes 2-3 dozen

Ingredients:
½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*If using a non-stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

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How to be a Successful College Freshman

So, I started college two years ago this fall, which first of all blows my mind. And secondly reminds me of how absolutely nervous I was as my parents helped me to move into my room. (And I even knew my roommate from high school!) So I thought I’d send this out there to all those terrified new college kids or maybe just the ones who have questions about the basics. So maybe I’ll start with roommates.1-16

1. Roommates. No, it will not matter if you room with your best friend, a stranger, or an acquaintance. In the end, you’ll either have a really good friend, or someone you never talk to again. And that’s okay. College is about being you. Not pleasing someone else. So, if you find someone to room with great. If not, that’s okay too. Most colleges match you to someone they think you’ll get along with.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

2. Respect. On that note….respect your roommate! If you’re a poor roommate chances are your roomie will retaliate in unpleasant ways (like hiding the toilet paper or locking everything up). So be nice, establish rules and boundaries, and don’t do anything that could be offensive to someone else. Honestly, not everyone grew up like you did. And that must be remembered.

3. Move-in Day. My recommendation is to ask at least a couple family members to help. And definitely use the trolleys and helpers provided to speed the process up.move in day

4. STUFF. Make sure to know ahead of time what room amenities are. And yes you really will want a microwave and fridge and probably a TV. If they aren’t provided, contact your roomie and set up who brings what. Chances are you’ll have an extra of everything lying around for you two to share in your new dorm room. I could talk forever about this, but everyone one has their own personal taste.

5. Meal Plans. Unless you’re an athlete with a huge appetite, you probably don’t need 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. So, start small and take into account eating off campus and in your room. Or maybe you aren’t a breakfast person. You can always add more meals later.

6. Books. GO ONLINE FIRST. Bookstores on campus are outrageously expensive and you’ll never get the full price back. So be sure to buy and sell you’re books online through places like Amazon as much as possible. Additionally, look for downloadable books for your computer/ Kindle/ Nook/ Ipad/ etc.

7. Classes. Print off your schedule and map or use your phone app if your school has one. A few days before classes, preferable not a weekend in case they lock buildings, go find your classrooms. Trust me on this one. It’s pretty different from high school. You only have so much time to get to classes. So know where they are. If you need a bike or skate board to get there on time, now you’ll know. But that’s not to say that there are some very lost people on day one of classes so you won’t be the only lost sole. And you can always ask for directions. 9/10 times someone will help you.2-14 snow

8. Be open. Meeting new people can be so hard. But, it’s actually pretty easy at college. There are always people around. And if you’re in a dorm or have roommates you are already half way there. If not, talk to people in your classes or that you randomly run into. The best time to meet new people is the first week of classes. Talk to whoever you sit down next to and be chatty. Take numbers and emails for homework.

9. Get involved. Now, I am NEVER the one to get involved in too many things. However, in college there are many clubs and groups and living communities….you’re bound to find something. Personally, I lived in a dorm where you went to classes about service and volunteering and learned to make a difference. And we also did community service together. It was some of the most fun I’ve had in college thus far. Usually there are involvement fairs at the beginning of every semester!SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

10. Professors. Suck up to them. Email them with questions. Go talk to them. It can be about a reading assignment, for help on something, or just because you’re interested in their work. You don’t have to be that person who talks all the time in class but it definitely helps if your prof knows your name. For example, I once disagreed with a grade on a paper…and talked the TA into giving me so many points back that a C became an A. They are human and make mistakes. Show them. And 9/10 times you’ll get a grade boosted.

11. Parents. Call them. Let them know you haven’t died. What your classes are like. What you did for your weekend. They want to know you’re safe and having fun. But even if you don’t think so, they miss you. Besides you might just need their washer and dryer one of these weekends. Also, your siblings appreciate the calls as well.

12. Supplies. Welcome to college, you can now take notes however you want. Whether it’s on the computer, or in a notebook, or completely and utterly disorganized. Do it your way. Now is the time to find out what works for you. I do recommend if you use a computer… remember that you can’t really draw those chalk board diagrams with this. And, turn off your wi-fi in class for your grade’s sake. Anyway, use what you want and do what you want. Just do what works for you. On a side note, it is basically a necessity to own a lap top in college. You can find them used or for cheap. But definitely be sure to invest in one. It will be your life in college. Homework assignments, grades, papers, research, books, quizzes…..they’ll all end up online.IMG_20130824_1354201-16 reading for school

13. Papers. Be prepared to write a lot of them. Especially as a freshman. Your intro classes will require it a lot. In order to get a good grade, I recommend following the directions exactly, writing a 5 paragraph essay, and editing it more times than you think necessary. I find that most teachers grade grammar more than content. So long as your content is relatively logical.2-4 computer and coffee and museum

Ask me for additional advice on anything you want to know about college!Boulder campus

Summer Favorites

Considering I have a wide range of things I love to do in life, this blog is going to be rather random it would seem. But I thought I would show everyone my Summer Favorites as traditional of any obsessed beauty guru. So….

No. 1: Sanuk yoga mat flip flops

These shoes are so comfortable for walking in. I have worn them literally every day since I bought them. And even though they oddly act like I put soap in them when they get wet, they are awesome. They are the only shoes not to give me blisters or sore heels all summer long.

Sanuk flip flops

No. 2: TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Leave-in Spray

I love this leave in heat protection spray. I find that the smell isn’t unpleasant. And that is does the job. An unusually coupling in cheap hair styling products.

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No. 3: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser with Aveeno ultra-calming daily moisturizer

With my overly sensitive and yet acne prone skin, these two products are amazing. They clean and moisturize without drying out or breaking out my skin. The cleanser washes away all the sweat and makeup and dirt and oil and pollution. And the moisturizer includes SPF 15 without smelling of it. I use both of these morning and night and love them.

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No. 4: Rimmel London BB Cream in the shade Light

So this BB Cream is a 9 in 1 combo including priming, moisturizing, minimizing pores, concealing, covering, smoothing, mattifying, brightening, and protecting. It has SPF 25. This is one of the ones in drugstore makeup that has a high SPF which I was looking for for this ridiculously hot summer in Colorado. I love the way it completely covers up my under eye circles and red cheeks while letting my tan and freckles show through. I will say that it tends to melt of the face a little if you use too much, as with any primer or BB cream. But all in all I love it. Great base.

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No. 5: Rimmel London Stay Matte long lasting pressed powder in the shade Creamy

Natural

So, this powder, referenced by Tanya Burr on YouTube nonstop, IS AMAZING. Whether you are using this to set, as a foundation, mattifying powder, anything….it works and stays. As you can see I used a lot of this since I bought it in June….definitely a re-purchase.

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No. 6: e.l.f. Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder in Sun Kissed (I think)

So, I love e.l.f. products in general. And I bought this ages ago and didn’t really like how glittery it was. But, as the summer went into August, I really enjoyed it and found that it makes a gorgeous blush as well.

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No. 7: e.l.f. Eyelid Primer in Sheer

I have oily eyelids. Now add 95 degree weather and forget about eyeshadow….unless you have an amazing primer. And this little tube is AMAZING. My make up doesn’t budge all day.

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No. 8: Wet n Wild eyeliner in Bronzed

This pencil was an impulse buy at Walgreens one day in July. And it makes me amazingly happy. It is the perfect water line eyeliner. and looks pretty under the last line as well.

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No. 9: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain (favorite shade is Rendezvous)

I have been purchasing these over time as they came out. My first one was in a nudey pink shade that I’m not really fond of because it doesn’t cover the color of my dark lips. But the reds and dark pinks are amazing! I love how they are slightly glossy at first. Then as they fade off they leave a lovely stain. They look lovely alone or with a gloss. And the purpley pink shade has been gorgeous this summer with my tan and with my bright colors I love to wear.

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No. 10: Revlon Colorstay  Longwear Nail Enemel in Marmalade

I think I actually bought this in May before I went to Hawaii. i wore it to Hawaii. And when I got back after 9 days, the nail polish hadn’t even chipped. It looked a bit dull but hadn’t chipped! All summer this has been my go to color and it is absolutely amazing and the perfect summer orange.

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No. 11: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Creme in Coralberry

This shade is the perfect coral! It is sheer and pretty and matches more than I anticipated it would. I love it. As I love all things coral…

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And those are all my favorites! I hope you enjoy reading these reviews!

Recipe of the Day: Chicken Basic Tomato Pasta

Sometimes you just have to make up a recipe if you’re down to few ingredients. So here’s what I did tonight for the Broncos game! Sorry there aren’t very many photos. I wasn’t sure how it would actually turn out.

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Ingredients:

1 package of pasta (I used penne)

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 onion

tsp garlic

1 Tbs butter

1 Tbs flour

3/4 cup milk/ cream

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup parmesan/ feta cheese (optional)

S & P to taste

1 tomato

1/4 cup basil

1 can of chicken (or any kind of chicken available)

Directions:

First things first start the pasta and cook according to directions until al dente. (If frying chicken, do this in same pan as everything else and just set aside until the end once it is finished cooking.) Then, chop up your onions and saute them with garlic in olive oil. While this is going, cut tomato into bite size pieces and chop basil. Once soft, remove from pan and set aside. Melt butter in same pan until browning. Once hot, whisk in flour. When it starts to brown, pour in milk while continuously whisking. Season sauce with red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Allow to simmer until it begins to thicken. Add in cheese and melt on low heat. Once melted, add back in onion and garlic, as well as tomato, basil, and chicken. Once everything is heated through, drain your pasta and toss sauce with pasta.

Note: This would also be good with asparagus, broccoli, peas, mushrooms, or any veggie really.

I hope you enjoy this ten minute pasta dish as much as i did for a made up recipe!

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Daily Prompt: These Boots Were Made for Walking

Our Daily Prompt asks us to tell the world where our favorite shoes have taken us. Daily Prompt: These Boots Were Made for Walking. So, first things first, my favorite shoes are my Sanuk yoga mat flip flops. These shoes are INCREDIBLY comfortable to walk around in. They are the only flip flops I can wear while out and about without having sore heels or arches at the end of it. Also, apparently I must walk funny because all flip flops give me blisters on the inside of my foot where the strap rubs….except for my Sanuk’s. I’ve worn these shoes quite a few places this summer. But their main purpose was for Hawaii back in May. (Which is ironic, because anyone who owns a pair of these knows that they can’t be wet or they sud up.) Anyway, they served me well in Hawaii despite their lack of water abilities. They were the only pair of flip flops I took with me. So I wore them almost daily. They went all over Honolulu and to many beaches all around Oahu. Aside from Hawaii, they have been my companions this summer everywhere from concerts, to the zoo, to a throw them on and run to the store kinda shoe. Perfect comfort.

Sanuk flip flops

Sanuk flip flops

Hawaii on the way to Manoa Falls

Hawaii on the way to Manoa Falls

Leaving Manoa Falls

Leaving Manoa Falls

Oh look... Manoa Falls!

Oh look… Manoa Falls!

Natural Tanning Tips

So you decided to be tan this summer… now what is the best way to go about it? So the following steps are my personal routine for tanning plus a few extra things you can try if you are interested.

Step One: Gather what you need

  • A beach towel or chair on which to be comfy!
  • Sunscreen (preferably at least 15 spf). Tanning and burning are two different things. One is healthy and one is not. A tan is just the melatonin in your skin reacting to protect you. A burn is what happens when your melatonin doesn’t have a chance to protect you leading to skin damage or cancer. And yes, this can still happen if you are already dark skinned. Fun fact: they make sunscreen for the scalp as well! And don’t forget your face and lips!
  • Sunnies! Sunglasses are an absolute must in order to protect your eyes as well as your skin.
  • Water! Because we all know that we sweat when we tan and all that sweat is lost water.
  • A timer. Whether it is a kitchen timer or your phone or iPod, use it. It is useful to make yourself flip over and tan the other side, as well as for keeping you from sleeping too long and burning.
  • Optional things that you might like to bring: iPod and speakers, book, fan, chapstick, snacks, spray bottle or mister, face cover, or whatever keeps you occupied that you like to do.

Step Two: What to wear

Now personally, I like to just wear a string bikini since that is comfortable for me. And some women choose to tan in the nude to avoid all tan lines. But other options include Brazilian styles, bandeau bikini tops, or microkinis. Here are some links to places that sell these types of styles:

http://www.sanlorenzobikinis.com/

http://www.victoriassecret.com/

http://www.bellabeachwear.com/

Step Three: Set Up

Now it’s time to lay everything out and apply sunscreen! Choose your spot and time of day carefully. If you want optimal sunlight lay outside between noon and 2 pm. If you burn easily go before or after this time. If you are tanning nude choose a very private place you are certain no one can see to avoid awkward talks with neighbors or peeping toms! If you’re tanning in a bikini, choose a place with direct light like the lawn or a deck or the roof. And definitely try to keep your body facing the sun to tan your front and back evenly. If needed lie on your sides as well. Now plug in that iPod or crack that book spine and set your timer for 5-30 minutes per side, starting with less time for fairer skin.

Step Four: Clean up and moisturize

            After an hour max, go inside and at least take a break from the sun and the heat. Give yourself a chance to cool off and reapply sunscreen. Or if you are just starting out tanning, just pick everything up and be done for the day.

Whenever you are done, it is important to shower in cool (but not cold!) water. You don’t want to pass out or anything. When you get out MOISTURIZE! This will make your tan last longer. Especially if you use a body oil like baby oil first before your lotion or an after tanning lotion. For sensitive skin use an aloe vera based lotion.

Other Options:

  • Stickers! Stickers or a piece of paper and tape can give tantoos or sun tattoos! This can be a fun way to add a non permanent body alteration. Just put the sticker on and tan and take it off after. You will have the outline of the sticker in that shape. If it doesn’t show as much as you’d like, reapply it in the same place the next time you tan.
  • Lemon juice! Lemon juice is a way to lighten your hair naturally at home. See the tutorial on my previous post!

Now I hope this was helpful information about tanning at home. Happy tanning everyone!

How to Lighten Hair with Lemon Juice

Sometimes it’s just fun to change your hair and a way to do this without using chemicals is with lemon juice! The citric acid in the lemon juice reacts with the sun to bleach your hair in a less harmful way. This can be a fun thing to do at home, or before heading out to the beach or pool or anywhere sunny. Plus you get to smell like lemons. J

How to:

  1. Mix about ½ cup water and ½ fresh lemon juice for normal hair. Mix ½ cup conditioner and ½ cup fresh lemon juice for dry hair. This half and half mixture can be adjusted to fit the amount you need.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. If you are going to apply all over your hair, put mixture into a spray bottle. If you want to highlight it, put into a small bowl.
  3. Spray all over hair for a dyed look. Spray on ends, for an “ombre” or natural summery look. Dip a cotton ball or tissue into mixture and apply to specific strands from root to tip for highlights. Really just put it where ever you want it. I tend to highlight it then run my hands over it to rub the excess into my ends. Note that if you follow your natural highlights, such as around the temples, and take smaller pieces the highlights look more natural.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA
  4. Put on some sunscreen and sunglasses and head outside.
  5. Let hair sit in the sun for roughly an hour to take effect.20130722_143953
  6. When your time is up, head home and wash the lemon out. I recommend using a strong conditioner or even a leave in conditioner after this as lemon juice and sun can be very drying to the hair.
  7. SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAOnce your hair is dry you should see the lightening. However, if you have dark hair it might take a few goes to get the effect you want.beforeafter

I hope this explains the process well enough! Enjoy the sunshine!

Cities and Places I’ve Seen

I thought I would for my first post tell a  little about my life. I grew up an army brat and have had plenty of opportunity to travel for that and many other reasons. As a result my life has led me to many cities. Here is a chronological overview of where I have been. These are major places I have spent time with pictures included if I had them available to me. So here we go…

Colorado Springs, CO

Born here in 1992.

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Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Baumholder, Germany

Moved here in 1995 I believe. My dad was army. Baumholder is possibly the smallest American military base in Germany.

 

Fort Knox/Radcliff, KY

Moved here in 1997 ish. It’s hard to remember exactly. Lived here until I was 9.

 

Baumholder, Germany

Re-stationed here around 2001 for another few years. During that time we traveled to:

 

Garmich, Austria on a ski trip; the border of France on accident; and the Netherlands for believe it or not, furniture.

 

Colorado Springs, CO

If forced to name a hometown this is what I say. I lived in Colorado Springs from 2004 until graduation in 2011. But I do have other places I could call home.

Pike's Peak

Pike’s Peak

Denver, CO

My mother’s side of the family is from here. And my dad and mom grew up here and went to school together. So over the years, Denver was kind of a base home for us.

Broncos at Mile High

Broncos at Mile High

Oakatie/Bluffton, SC

My dad’s side of the family is southern. So I spent a lot of time here as a kid too. And I love it except for the humidity and the GIANT bugs.

The dock

The dock

The river

The river

front yard

front yard

London/Greenwich/Dover, England

It really does pay to be a band geek… the summer of 2010 I was invited on a band group tour for all of Colorado. Only talented and good students were invited and my band director chose me. By no means was this a free trip. But it was incredibly affordable. So much so, that both my parents came too! And we started in London, and ended in Germany. A total of about 7 countries in 3 weeks. And in 5 countries we gave concerts. The band size was 500. 500 high school students in music. We also went to:

Paris/Calais, France; Crans-Montana/Zermatt, Switzerland, Liechtenstein; Innsbruck. Austria, Frankfurt/Rothenburg, Germany, Athens/Poros/Hydra/Aegina, Greece.

Needless to say, this was the most impactful summer of my life thus far. It reinforced my desire to travel and explore and experience the world. And it drove home my love of ancient history. Parents, if you can manage to afford something like this, do it. It will change your child’s life.

The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn

in front of the matterhorn

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Castle of Chillon

Castle of Chillon

Arc de Triumph

Arc de Triumph

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Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

The Eye

The Eye

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

St. Paul's

St. Paul’s

White Cliffs of Dover

White Cliffs of Dover

Athens

Athens

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

Hydra

Hydra

Hydra port

Hydra port

Rothenburg wall

Rothenburg wall

Rothenburg town square

Rothenburg town square

Rothenburg

Rothenburg

Venice

Venice

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San Marco Piazza

San Marco Piazza

Concert set in Austria

Concert set in Austria

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Schnitzel and pommes

Schnitzel and pommes

Wilton Basilica

Wilton Basilica

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Seattle/ Olympia/ Tacoma, WA

I went on a weeklong trip to Washington with my best friend the summer after we graduated. Her sister lived here at the time and it was the perfect rest stop for us before we tore off to separate schools for the first time since we met. It was a lot of fun and very different from Colorado.

At Mount Vernon

At Mount Vernon

Seattle skyline

Seattle skyline

Gum Wall

Gum Wall

 

Fort Collins, CO

After high school, I was accepted into Colorado State University at Fort Collins. Here, I studied anthropology, the holistic study of humans in the past and present. My concentration was archaeology. While I was looking into study abroad programs, I found a major that was better suited for my desired field of expertise called Classics or Ancient History depending on the university. I also found that the major is not widely offered. Actually, I was fortunate enough to have one of the only Midwestern universities hosting Classics in my own home state. But before I left Fort Collins I made some of the best friends ever!

My dorm room with friends

My dorm room with friends

On the Oval with the roomie

On the Oval with the roomie

Boulder, CO

Now I may not study Classics and Anthropology at the University of Colorado, but I don’t live in Boulder. For if anyone has ever been to Boulder, you will discover that the cost of living is similar to that in Hawaii. And in case you were wondering… no, Boulder doesn’t have snow days!

Fall on campus

Fall on campus

Snow Storm

Snow Storm

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Arvada, CO

So, I live at home with my parents at their house. It’s just makes more sense. And it’s only a half hour drive!

Honolulu, Oahu, HI

The cost of living of Boulder and Hawaii really is similar. See, my best friend, the crazy lucky person, went to the University of Hawaii. So, naturally I had to go visit this last May.

At the tide pools

At the tide pools

Wikiki, HI

Wikiki, HI

walking home along the shore

walking home along the shore

wading in the ocean

wading in the ocean

On the beach at sunset

On the beach at sunset

Manoa Falls with the bestie

Manoa Falls with the bestie

Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls

 

Well now that was just a time consuming post. But I feel like it really helps to tell the story of who I am. So, if you have any questions or would like me to post something more specified about one of these trips. I am more than willing to provide farther information. Just ask!