Jenna: Taco Club

A few months ago, I was feeling the itch to get a big group together and connect. A lot of my friends are involved in book clubs or other social activities with structure and I felt that was missing from my life. With so much going on, I make it a point to connect with others but it tends to be one-on-one.

I looked into playing a few intramural sports, but none of the times or locations worked with my schedule. I also sent out some feelers about starting a book club, and everyone seemed hesitant to commit to reading a book each month. I was feeling a little defeated, and wasn’t sure what to do.

Then the idea struck me: TACO CLUB.

Who doesn’t love Tacos? I ran it by a few friends, then set up a Facebook group with 10-11 people. Here’s the intro I posted:

Hello everyone, and welcome to Taco Club! Sure, we could have started an intramural dodge ball team or read books and talked about them but where’s the fun in that?
In all honesty, everyone was really busy and freaked out by the commitment of reading books so we will get together and share in each others awesomeness over tacos once a month.
And honestly, I just can’t wait to use the phrase, “Sorry I can’t make it…I have taco club”.

Each month, someone hosts. Hosting involves picking the location, date, time and filling in the group.  Since I started the group, I set our first meeting for Tuesday at Lolita.

I was surprised and so happy at how excited everyone was for Taco Club. It brought together a lot of people that I love that never usually interact with each other. We even went around the room and talked about our favorite taco we’d ever eaten.

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The food was amazing and delicious. I also felt extra awesome, because I got to order “one of every kind of taco you have, please” from the waitress. Awesome.

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The first Taco Club meeting was better than I could have imagined. We even got gelato and hung out after. There were some great conversations, too. I love my friends.

Rose: DIY Distressed Mason Jars

I’m working on remodeling my bathroom. It’s been long overdue. I’ve been using the same towels, bathmats and shower curtain for quite a while now … and I just don’t feel like it fits my personality anymore. I began simply .. witha Pinterest board of ideas! It helped that I was off work last week because I was sick with a cold. This is the perfect activity for when you’re stuck in bed.

As you can see, I’m going with a teal-yellow-gray scheme. I wanted vintage meets farmhouse. And, thanks to a bunch of birthday gifts, I’m able to do this remodel at a much lower cost.

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One idea I grasped on to quickly were the distressed mason jars. They are beautiful! The crafter was selling the set for around $40, plus $20 shipping. Eek. I knew I could do that cheaper myself, and so I went to the Internet to figure out how to do it. I found this video and followed the instructions to a T. It took several days to complete this project but, in the end, they turned out quite well. They are a little brighter blue than I had hoped, but it was pretty difficult to find the right shade of teal at Michael’s.

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I can’t wait to show you the full reveal of the bathroom. I’ve been working hard on making this space feel more like mine — and have a little more personality. Baby steps!

Jenna: Ways to Treat Yo Self

If you hang out with me for any considerable amount of time, you’ll pick up on the fact that I say some odd (yet funny) things. Most of them were probably featured on an episode of Parks and Recreation. I love that show. A lot. If you don’t watch it, there’s an epsiode where Tom and Donna spend a day treating themselves to the finer things in life. AKA TREAT YO SELF.

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Treating yourself is really important. This means something different for everyone (as the show goes on to highlight in a pretty hilarious way) and doesn’t have to be lavish or costly. Whether you are just taking some time to relax, or giving yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, hopefully this will give you some ideas.

Buy yourself coffee : The free crap your office provides in an attempt to make you feel better about showing up doesn’t always cut it. Splurge on a delicious cup of coffee on the way into the office and your day will automatically get a bit brighter.

Get a new group fitness class on the calendar : If you feel better after a good sweat session, check out sites like Groupon or Living Social for a new group fitness class deal. Many of these (like spin, Pure Barre, fancy yoga) will give you a first class free to get you hooked. Schedule it and have something new to look forward to.

Get a polish change : Time and budget doesn’t always allow for a full manicure or pedicure. As for a polish change; they will still buff and file your nails, and for a fraction of the cost.

Turn your phone on airplane mode : Treat your self to some unplugged relaxation time. Schedule a few hours Saturday morning to turn your phone on airplane mode. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or incoming messages. Just you and whatever you need to clear your mind. No one needs all that clutter, all the time.

Watch Netflix or your favorite lighthearted comedy for 2 hours and don’t beat yourself up about it: I have trouble justifying TV time, but sometimes you just need it. It gives your brain a chance to focus on some fictitious “problems” that usually end in a solution. That’s a beautiful thing.

Rose: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Sometimes you just need a muffin. A banana-chocolate-chip muffin to be exact. These are great if you’ve let bananas sit far too long on your counter like me. I usually freeze my ‘naners, but I was in the making mood. These got devoured within about 10 minutes at the office, too.

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I tried to make these a wee bit more healthy by reducing the amount of sugar and chocolate chips. I thought it still had a wonderful sweetness to it. Give the recipe a try for yourself, and let me know what you think.

Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins
Yield: 16-20 muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1.5 cups quick oats
  • 1/4 cups chocolate chips

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Add the bananas and stir. Then add the eggs.
  • Add the soda, powder and salt. Stir.
  • Add the flour and quick oats.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Bake for around 18-22 minutes, depending on your oven.

Take them to work. They’ll be gone in an instant!

Rose & Jenna: The Balancing Act – Your Social Life

We received the following question from a reader. Today, we’ll aim to answer it!

Q. I liked your post on time management for work and social life. My problem, however, is not knowing what to choose! I am often interested in many different new things at once. Sometimes I have trouble prioritizing, and I don’t really meet the goals I set for myself (making a DIY project, for example, or learning to speak a different language). How do you decide which hobby outside of work is the most important to you? Is that even something you can do?

- Overly Committed

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Rose: For starters, don’t be so hard on yourself. Hobbies and interests can wax and wane. Mine change constantly! Some months I’m obsessed with DIY projects and crafts. Other months, all I care about is fitness. There have been projects I’ve started and left on the table, unfinished. This is just life — it happens! I try and remember that I am choosing to do these for fun and that the process is sometimes more important than the outcome.

However, if for some reason it does come down to prioritizing, I sort of think of myself in three areas. Throughout my life, I’ve always seemed to gravitate toward food, fitness, and creativity. I aim to do a combination each week. I let what’s moving me take charge. If I’m really into something, there is probably a reason for it. So I immerse myself fully. And I try to block out the other things that cause me stress. For example: If going to Happy Hour isn’t productive to me, and I’d rather go home and be creative, that’s what I do. In the end, it’s all about choices and letting your heart have a say in that.

Jenna: This has been a struggle for me lately. Between balancing work being super hectic, work travel, personal commitments and a longish distance relationship my normal routine can get really messy and crowded. I try to prioritize, but sometimes you just have to say no. It doesn’t always feel good but I know mentally I will feel better.
It often does come down to prioritizing. I try to focus on what brings me joy. I’ve gotten to a place  where I realize that it may feel crappy at the time to decline, but my overall well being will be better for it. I try to also be present. Ever spent time with a friend that wasn’t fully there or committed to the situation? That feels crappy too.
Give yourself a break, and listen to your heart. It usually guides you in the right direction.