Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Vegas Recap

Over the weekend we celebrated a friend's Dirty Thirty in Las Vegas. It was my first time going and it was a lot of fun. I'm glad she did something big for her 30th and gave everyone an excuse to have a good time and a vacation.

The hubs and I flew in Thursday night. A storm delayed our flight so we didn't end up leaving Houston until around 10:30pm. Good thing Vegas is the city that never sleeps :P The group stayed at Planet Hollywood (reviewed here). Not the best customer service, but the atmosphere was very fitting for a Dirty Thirty weekend. Since it was late we grabbed a quick dinner and went to sleep.

The rest of the group arrived Friday. It was a pretty relaxed day since everyone had spent the majority of their morning traveling. The hubs and I walked over to the Bellagio to see their lobby, casino, and conservatory which included a custom fish tank by the company featured on Tanked. Afterwards, the hubs hung out at the casino and the birthday girl and I played slot machines. I lost everything I played :( I am not the person to take to Vegas. We finished up the night with dinner at Gordon Ramsay's Burgr (located in Plant Hollywood). The food was amazing, especially the gooey fries (hand cut fries + vintage white cheddar + smoked gouda cheese + toscano salami + over easy egg). Totally worth the wait to be seated! After dinner the group ventured over to Fremont Street...never.ever.again. would I go there. To say it was an experience is an understatement. 

Saturday was the birthday girl's big day! Partyyyyyy! We got a cabana at the Planet Hollywood pool which ended up being a fantastic idea and we stayed there for about 5 hours before heading in to get ready for dinner. We ate at Gordon Ramsay (see a theme here lol) Steak which was next door at Paris. I had their famous Roasted Beef Wellington and a Caesar Salad. Everyone ordered a different side dish and we got to taste them all. The favorited by the group was the Potato Puree (yukon gold potato, creme fraiche). I would highly recommend this restaurant for a special occasion.

After dinner we took a party bus (Highly recommend! Get Lacy Long to book everything for you and Ian to be your guide.) to the Las Vegas sign and two Vegas clubs; Ghostbar at the Palms and Light Nightclub at Mandalay Bay. By hiring the party bus it got us into both clubs without waiting in the long lines. Our favorite was Ghostbar. The view was fantastic, the energy was great, good music, and not overly crowded. Light was a little overwhelming, but I pictured it as your quintessential Vegas club. After Light the group split up to do different things. The birthday girl, the hubs, and I ventured off the strip to Count's Vamp'd. That night they were home to KISS Night in Las Vegas (Started in 2012, KISS Night in Las Vegas is a non-profit project founded to raise awareness and funding for struggling public school music departments. All proceeds from this event go to the Imagine Foundation, which supplies musical equipment to Las Vegas area public schools.)

Sunday everyone headed home except for the hubs and I. We rested, walked over to Caesar's Palace, had a buffet dinner, watching the Bellagio Fountains and called it a day.

Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School, College Advice

Can it really be that time of year already? Seems like a few weeks ago I was seeing Facebook posts from my teacher friends saying school's out for summer (currently playing Alice Cooper's version in my head). Growing up I was always excited for school. I enjoyed learning and liked being with  friends. As an adult I still like learning, hence the master's degree.

Back to school means new clothes, new school supplies, more organization to make sure all the homework and projects get done. Ohhhh how I love a well organized calendar :) p.s. I already bought my 2017 planner and I am over the moon excited to fill it up! Nerd alert! This shirt would be perfect for me!

The start of a fall semester on campus is my favorite. The energy, the new students so cute and lost. I remember calling home after my first couple of classes ended and telling my parents I was walking to the bookstore to get the books I needed. I remember exactly where I was, what bookstore I went to, and how excited it made me to be in college. That's my hope for all the students starting their first year of college in the coming weeks. Stay excited! It's hard to keep that enthusiasm when you are bogged down with projects and finals and organization obligations. As someone who isn't 18 anymore, but still remembers college vividly, when your parents (and other "old" people) say it is the best four years of your life...it's true. Make the most of it. Study hard, but play hard too. Get to know people all over campus; other students, faculty, staff. Those relationships you build come with memories and maybe some connections down the road.

Of all the students I have worked with and all the situations I have seen I could write a book about surviving college. This experience is about finding out who you are, growing up, and making choices that will lead you to goals. If I had to sum it up I would simply say "stay excited."

Good luck to all the freshman as you go off on this adventure. To the parents, let them go, let them explore, and let them make mistakes. They will learn. Sure it might feel terrible letting them fail, but I saw a quote recently that said a lot in few words. It said, "Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo."

Let the first day of school pics on facebook begin!!! Until next post...xoxo Becca

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Friday Favorites: Workout Plan

Yes yes I know, another Friday Favorites posted on a Saturday. To be honest I'm not sure where the week went. I thought I had another day to put this post together, but turns out my days were mixed up. Better late than never right? By the way, huge thanks to everyone who shared and read Monday's post about life as a police wife. I had no idea how much of a response I would get with that post, but I am thankful I wrote it and I hope it helps others.

Onto this week's Friday Favorite! My gym buddy and I have been using this workout plan I found on Pinterest for the last two weeks. Let me say...I have been sore. That's a good thing! A lot of times in the gym I can't focus long enough to have a "plan" so having this picture saved in my phone is a start. I can tackle these items and add or take away as needed. Having a plan means I get more out of my workout. There are SO many options out there for fitness plans. Find a few you like and get to it!

Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, August 15, 2016

5 Tips for Life as a Police Wife

The hubs and I have been together 10 years now and he has been part of the law enforcement community for 6. What no one tells you when your significant other says they want to be law enforcement is the sacrifice you will make too. People tell me all the time, "I don't know how you do it" and I tell them it takes a special person to be a cop wife, but it takes an even more dedicated person to be a military wife. That I could not do! Major shout out to military wives. At least for me I will see the hubs every day or every few days.

If you are thinking long term with someone who wants to enter law enforcement or who is already in the profession just know it's a commitment. I want to take a second to write this post to give you an idea of what to expect.
  1. Flexibility. Be ready for shift changes and having to adapt your life to a new schedule. As hard as it is for your significant other to change sleep patterns, the time frame in which you will see each other will also change. For us, there have been times we would go four days without seeing one another. We relied on text and a shared calendar app to make sure we kept in touch. Be understanding when their shift was supposed to end 2 or 3 hours ago, but they are still not able to come home. Listen...they're tired too! Dinner can be reheated! Get comfortable with missed holidays, birthdays, and special events. You will often go alone to family functions or events like weddings. Especially if your significant other is a rookie or low on the seniority list. It makes the days and events together even more special.
  2. Support. Support is in the top two most important on this list. Especially in today's world with negative media swirling your significant other's profession will be questioned which means you will be questioned. Remember, their long days are sometimes even longer than yours. A police wife once told me to always listen. Regardless of how much you can or cannot stomach the details...listen, because sometimes he or she has seen or heard horrific things and in order to sleep at night they need to share the details.
  3. Independence. While you are in a relationship with someone (and that could even mean married to) and (hopefully) dream of spending a lot of time together, the reality of it is that can change frequently (re-read #1). Establishing a schedule and social life outside your marriage/relationship is healthy. Spending time with your own friends, planning weekend getaways, eating out, going shopping, enjoying hobbies is normal. If your significant other is in law enforcement chances are you will need to occupy your free time.
  4. Make the most of time off. Time off...a rare thing. If you know a free weekend is coming up or you are able to take time off to match your significant other's time off do it! Plan ahead and spend the time together. Family and friends will likely want to monopolize that time, but don't forget how important your relationship is. Even though I am a huge supporter of having your own identity and independence it is also noteworthy that being there for your significant other is equally as important.
  5. Community. Remember to surround yourself with a positive, helpful community. This includes other police wives/girlfriends. They understand your story because they share a similar one. Also build a community of non-law enforcement individuals. They may not be able to understand your life as a police wife, but positive people breed positivity. These are the people you will share your free time with so pick wisely. 
I hope this provides some insight on what it is like to be in a relationship with someone in law enforcement. I started writing this post weeks ago and have struggled to say the right things and get my message across clearly. I felt it was important to convey this to those who are considering a long term relationship with someone in law enforcement or wants to pursue a career in the field. It's not for the faint of heart.

Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Favorites: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm

Hello everyone! Can we take a minute to recognize that Monday marks the halfway point in August! Are you kidding me!? Where did the summer go? Students will be moving back to campus next weekend with school starting on the 24th. OMG! Insert crying emoji. I never thought I would admit this, but it has been nice to be an adult living in a college town in the summer. Places are going to be super packed when everyone moves back. I also admit the fall is my favorite time of year on a college campus; the energy on campus is so special and certainly makes me nostalgic.

Lately I have been sharing recipes, but today I wanted to share a recent makeup discovery. I am a traditional Chapstick user. Burts Bees was my go to for the longest, but all of a sudden my lips started peeling every time I put it on so I switched back to Chapstick. I like the look of lipstick, but it dries out my lips (even if it contains Vitamin E) and ends up looking terrible. I am always on the hunt for a tinted balm that gives me that "my lips but better look." That's how I found Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm. A random item I picked up at Target. I selected up the Natural Rose to test it out and ended up loving it. Now I need to get the other shades!

What are your go to balms?

Monday's post has taken me a lot of time to put together (hence the lack of Monday posts lately). It's something I felt needed to be written, but the writing process was a hard one for me because I wanted the information to be clear and concise. Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Favorites: Easy Pepper Steak

TGIF! This week was a busy one for me. My department received new furniture so there was a lot of coordinating of old furniture haul off, IT unhooking and reinstalling computers and telephones, etc. Hopefully next week will give me a chance to organize my new desk space. Think I will hit up Target and The Container Store for some cute desk accessories.

Now onto Friday Favorites! Gotta love good friends that pass along good recipes! You know you're old when...you swap recipes :) This recipe is even hubby approved. Enjoy!

Easy Pepper Steak from Gimme Some Oven

 Until next post...xoxo Becca