Friday, December 16, 2011

High Five Friday!

Guess what, it's Friday!  Here's five great things about my week that deserve a high five! And... it's Friday, so you get one anyway.  Please share your own high five in comments!

1. END OF FINALS.  So, I still have one more in about an hour, but that's okay because one more final, two more choir performances and it's Christmas Break!

2. 360 Chocolate Flavored Vodka.  Wow. Got to try it last night and YUM.  That could be dangerous for me this holiday season.

3. I got some presents wrapped, finally.  Boyfriend is going home for Christmas so I let him start a little early... he got to open one last night and he loved it :) My family has a tradition of Hallmark ornaments every year so I got him an Indiana Jones figurine.

4.  I got to the gym three times this week! YAY it feels so good. Can't wait for a little break time so I can whip myself back into shape!

Me and my better half :) It was cold!

5. Christmas lights :)  More and more going up around the city and I love them!  Also got to go to Botanica for Illuminations last weekend and it was so beautiful.  Reminded me almost of Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. Almost.

Give me your high fives! Happy Friday and Merry Christmas :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My hair savior - The Small Things Blog

Sometimes you just find a blog that is fantastic.  I've got to share this one with you!  While browsing through Pinterest the other day, I stumbled upon The Small Things Blog and I am absolutely IN LOVE!

Kate, the author of The Small Things Blog offers loads of great hair tips and style ideas. I watched one of her videos and used what I learned the next morning.  I haven't had so many compliments on my hair in awhile!

The number one tip I found through her site (this is going to blow your mind) is that you're supposed to put bobby pins in zig-zag side DOWN.

I simply do not understand how I made it through 21 years of doing my hair and never learned this little thing.  This little thing makes a BIG difference!  I've never before been able to get my hair to stay up in a messy bun using just pins.  By simply turning them over, I got it to stay all day with just FOUR!

Find her latest post here.  I found out about the bobby pin trick through reading some comments on a previous post, and then ironically a couple days later she wrote a post about it! Take time to read some hair posts and watch a couple videos, she really has some great ideas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Party Survival Guide... for holiday fat prevention

There's sugar everywhere.  Cake in the office.  Chocolate in class.  Cookies on the counter because of that night I had a craving to bake... and made a double batch.  Good thing there is a boyfriend to eat all those up...

Sugar sugar sugar, it's holiday time and I can't get away from it.  This week I have five (yes, five) holiday parties to attend.  How am I going to keep from wrecking my my whole Don't-Gain-Weight-In-December plan?

Here's some hints, for me AND you!

1. Eat before you go - always works.  Even if I cannot resist the goodies completely, if I have a good meal before I head out to a party I know I've already had as many calories and proteins as I need.  Anything else I eat (or drink) is just extra to burn off.

2. Get up in the morning (or sometime) for some exercise!  The last think I feel like doing is pulling early mornings when I know there are going to be some late nights, but it makes a difference.  Even if all I'm accomplishing is maintaining my weight where it's at, that's better than gaining the average 2 or 3 holiday pounds!

3. Stop and evaluate before you put it in your mouth.  Look the whole table over. Pick three things you really want to try and forget the rest (and make it reasonable portion sizes).

4. Bring your own healthy snack to the party that you know is a go-to when you have a craving.  Every time you really feel like you should be munching on something, there's your low calorie healthy snack waiting to occupy your hands and mouth instead of the Oreo bon-bons and chocolate-by-death cake.

5. Drink a lot of water, and cut down on everything else.  Not only will it make you eat less, it will make you drink less worthless calories.

6. When all else fails, gum.  If you keep some minty gum in your purse for emergencies, you won't be tempted just to grab something from the table when you're walking by or just take a sip of someones eggnog.

Good Luck! Don't be too hard on yourself, just remember it's about having fun, not being sick of sugar and too much to drink!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Finals Wisdom (a beer to relax is usually a bad idea while cramming)

Finals week. A time of late nights, terrible junk food, procrastination, and finally relief.  Having spent hours on papers and projects, pressing the submit button on my Philosophy final felt fantastic. I can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Funny how I've had more time in the past two days to get to the gym than the whole semester!  Yep, I went two days in a row.  I can see a wonderful picture of me in a little black dress on New Year's Eve already...


For those of you still in the midst of finals, here are my best cramming tips I've learned throughout the years.  They do not involve alcohol, so don't look for it (these are for if you actually want to do well on your tests) ...

1. Keep healthy snacks near you.  You are going to want food, and munching on carrots, nuts, or grapes will keep your mind much more focused than sugar or worthless carbs.
2. Do it in sections, and take a lot of breaks.  There's only so much time you can stare at one page or computer screen.  Taking little breaks can actually cut down on your time because you are more productive when you come back.
3. If you can, move around during those breaks!  Go to the gym for half an hour, take a walk, or just do jumping jacks in your bedroom if nothing else. Moving will help you think clearer and memorize material more quickly.
4. Sleep as much as you can... then get a good breakfast and a lot of coffee.
5. Do not, under any circumstances, log onto Facebook.

Good luck! 
P.S. I just joined Pinterest and I'm obsessed.  More to come.

I've spent hours trying to find a new blog template/background that I like, and so far I just haven't.  You might see some changes and experimentation... I want something better!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

well that was easy - How to Follow Me

Hey readers, did you know you can follow me from my blog so that updates are sent to you and you don't have to spend time looking for them? 

1. Look to the right, under the "About Me" section. 
2. See the button that says Join This Site? It's blue. 
3. Become a follower by signing in with either your Gmail, Twitter, or Yahoo accounts.
4. YAY get updates delivered to you

Don't have a Gmail, Twitter, or Yahoo account?  You can also follow me by email.  Just type it in the box a bit farther down and press submit!

well that was easy

Monday, December 5, 2011

Shopping Sobriety

Money Saving Monday - (This was supposed to go out yesterday so sorry it did not get published!)

This blog entry by Lafemmeroar called Five Money Saving Tips This Holiday Season cracks me up.  Check it out!

My favorite is...

2. Tell people that you’re in the 12-Step Program for shopaholics. Shopping would not be conducive to your sobriety.

Thanks to Lafemmeroar!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Get Fit Friday - Just One Morning!

Because this is how I feel right now. Damn you Christmas goodies!
 I live five minutes from the gym, and it's still hard to get there.  I'm paying for a membership, but when was the last time I used it?  Probably about a month ago. Don't judge. When was the last time YOU got there?

While a month is better than four months, or six months, it's still too long for me.  So here is Get Fit Friday Challenge!

I'm challenging myself, and you, to get to the gym at least one time by next Friday.  Can we do it?  Yes, it will be the week before finals.  Yes, Christmas is in 24 days (as my room mate was kind enough to point out to me around 12:30 am).

24 Days. I haven't started any shopping, planning, or even crash dieting to look better in pictures.  I haven't even had time to decorate a tree! But next week, I'm picking a morning to get up early, and I will get myself to the gym!

If I never start, I'll never get there. One step at a time back into a fitness routine!  Who's with me?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Happy late Thanksgiving!  As we fly into Christmas season, my hungry boyfriend and roommates start requesting more sugar filled baked goods. I was only too happy to come through for them last night with Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip cookies! Yummmm thank you for this awesome recipe!  I usually have trouble getting cookies to come out right from scratch but these were perfect!  A great treat for the holiday season and easy to make.

Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, & Chocolate Chip Cookies

My cookies actually turned out like the picture!

What You Need

1 cup flour
1 cup  old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/2 tsp. baking Powder
1/2 tsp.  baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup  butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup  packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1   egg
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

Make It

HEAT oven to 375°F. (I used 350 and they were great. If you use 375 don't keep them in more than 10 minutes!)
MIX first 5 ingredients until well blended Beat butter, sugars and peanut butter in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate.
DROP heaping tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.
BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool 1 min. on baking sheet; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

While looking for a dish to take to my family Thanksgiving, I came across a fantastic site! has just about any recipe you could possibly be looking for, and hundreds a great themed and holiday ideas.  Every recipe has easy to follow instructions and beautiful pictures.

I thought this looked delicious and fairly easy to make, so I'm going to give it a try!  But I might leave out the coconut...

Maple Leaf Oatmeal Pie

If you like pecan pie, you'll love this rich maple and coconut pie. Top it with cinnamon-spiked whipped cream for a Thanksgiving spectacular.

Prep Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: Makes 8 servings

  • 2   eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup  pure maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup
  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  milk
  • 1/2 cup  butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1 cup  flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup  rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup  chopped walnuts
  •   Pastry for Single-Crust Pie*
  •   Cinnamon Whipped Cream Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For filling: In a large bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir in coconut, rolled oats, and walnuts. Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell

2. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of pie comes out clean.

3. Cool on a wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate within 2 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (do not freeze). If desired, serve with Cinnamon Whipped Cream.

Makes 8 servings

Cinnamon Whipped Cream (optional): In a chilled medium bowl, combine 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and dash ground nutmeg. Beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).

*Note: Or, use a refrigerated piecrust, piecrust mix, or a deep-dish frozen pie shell.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


So, I FINALLY got my license renewed this morning at the DMV.  After getting up at the crack of dawn and still waiting over an hour, I was ecstatic to actually get it done.  Something else that made me happy?  I could tell the lady to lower my weight and be honest about it!

I was very happy to note that I weigh less than I did five years ago, but sad to realize the number was more than six months ago!

So, I'm starting a weekly GET FIT! tip for myself.  More of a goal, but whatever.

Doesn't that look good?!
This week..... DRINK WATER!  In the past few months I have started drinking WAY more soda than I ever have before.  Late homework nights and 60 hour weeks will drive you to the caffeine.  While I used to carry a water bottle around with me, I now have a liter of Diet Mountain Dew.  A combo of less water, more junk, and a LOT more sugar made the scale go up.

So, for the next week I'm going to focus on drinking water.  A glass when I wake up, a glass before every meal, and certainly a glass before I touch the caffeine!  The cold is drying me out anyway, so hopefully this will be good for my health, skin, and voice!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011


You know me, always looking for new shopping sites to troll. Today I found one! It's called WOOT!    WOOT: One Day, One Deal

This site is neat.  It has one featured daily deal like so many others, but it also has subsections like home, wine, kids, local areas... In addition, it has a "Daily Deals" section that even includes coupons!  Today I found one for $10 off $25 purchase at JCP.  That's awesome!

ALSO, just found 25 free prints from Walgreens! WOOT!
Enjoy your new bookmark, shopping addicts.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

21st fun!

What a weekend!  My 21st birthday came and went, and I sure had some fun!

Although I had to work all day at the bridal shop, my roommates, boyfriend and I went out that night to the club.  What did I find?  The bar lines where we went were rididulously long and not worth the wait.

We had fun dancing and I enjoyed a few free drinks on other people, but it wasn't a "crazy night" which is just fine.  What I had been looking forward to the most about turning 21, and now have thoroughly been taking advantage of, is being able to have a glass of wine with dinner or a nice cocktail or beer (ever tried Pumpkin Beer? It's interesting.) after a long day... legally.
This did not happen, although it is very amusing.

Over the weekend we came up with a drink we now call The Green Hulk:

- Green coolaid
- mountain dew
- touch of sprite
- rum!

It was delicious.  I'm so looking forward to exploring new drinks and letting you know what I find!

Got any ideas for me? What's your favorite drink? Let me know!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

For the Sale Obsessed

I admit it. I'm a sale-a-holic.  If it's 75% off, I'm interested.  Sometimes this means I score super low prices and fabulous boots... other times it gets me in trouble because I go over budget (in order to save money later!).

If you're a sale-a-holic like me, here are some sites you should be following.  Lots of them have their own apps too!

1. HauteLook - I love this site!  I recently purchased a pair of boots and a new straightener, and I use both almost every day!  New designer deals are posted daily at 10 am central time.  They feature shoes, clothes, beauty supplies, home decor, and even getaway deals.  I can't help myself, I'm on my tablet every morning at 10:05 just to see what's up.  And a fun thing, when you purchase something it comes delivered to your door wrapped up like a present inside!  How fun is that?

2. Groupon - Tried and true!  This site is huge and has lots of great deals.  They offer local discounts on all sorts of services.  Check in every day because you never know what might be up!  It could be food, clothes, or even maid service.

3. Living Social - I admit, I literally just purchased two deals from this site before posting this blog.  It's pretty similar to Groupon, except in my opinion is more food and activity oriented.

4. Daily Deals - I've heard a lot about this site but am not super familiar with it.  Have any of you made purchases from here?

5. WichitaPerks (only if you're from anywhere around the middle of Kansas) - This site is local based, but great. They'll send you a text with their daily deal so you don't even have to go looking for the info.

Do you have any other sites you check daily or that have great discounts?  I can always use more to feed my slight obsession. :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All Day Macaroni and Cheese

As a busy girl, my slow cooker is my best friend.  Every Wednesday my boyfriend and I try a new recipe, and today's was fantastic!  If you don't have a slow cooker, you should really consider investing in one.  With just a few short ingredients and a couple minutes to throw it together, you could have a hot tasty meal waiting for you when you get home!

Today's Menu: All Day Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces (I guessed about 2 cups) elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
16 ounces (4 cups) shredded sharp Chedder Cheese
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

The hardest part about this mix is that you have to cook the pasta before you put it in the slow cooker.  One you get that done it's a piece of cake. Just coat the cooker with non-stick spray, put in the pasta and mix with all the other ingredients.  Keep 1 cup cheese to put on top of mix.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Do not remove the cover or stir until it has finished cooking, or it might take longer and get messed up!

How easy is that?  Did you read--DO NOT CHECK IT??  Put it in and forget about it for 5-6 hours!  That's my kind of cooking, and tasty!

Just for my man, I put ground beef in ours as an addition.  It really added something!  But, be careful.  I accidentally bought sweetened evaporated milk and you could tell.  We had sweetened macaroni, but it was still good.  Paired with some veggies it would be perfect.

So give it a try tonight, you might be pleasantly surprised.  Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes?  It's that time of year again!

Welcome to Kansas Born, New York Bound!

Welcome readers, to my brand new blog Kansas Born, New York Bound!  If you're young, crazy busy, and always struggling to manage your time... you've come to the right place!  If you love easy recipes, money saving tips, and short laughs or life lessons, you should follow now.  If you simply have a dream to some day be a New Yorker, welcome to my life.

I'm brand new to the blogging world.  I would love to read any welcome or introduction comments!  Tips and suggestions for a beginner blogger would be appreciated too!

A little about myself, as an introduction.  Obviously, as my title states, I'm from Kansas with big dreams to make it in New York.  I go to school and work full time, and plan to graduate college in December 2012.  An interesting fact is that I actually work as a bridal consultant!  I see and talk to hundreds of girls and help them find "the perfect dress."  This means I could probably plan a wedding for any time of the month, anywhere, and could have some very helpful info to any brides out there.

At school I major in Communication and minor in Spanish.  I'm looking for something to do after graduation.  Applying for a masters program in Public Relations in (you guessed, NYC) is certainly in the plans.  I would love any other suggestions in the Public Relations field.  Do you know of any great agencies I should look to apply for?

Thanks for visiting, stay tuned.  I'll be updating with helpful tips on life, food, money, and probably fashion.  What do you want to see or read about?  Give me feedback, I'd love to see it!

~ Rachel