Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Being Kind

As a blogger.. and as a millenial.. social media is a huge part of my life. Some of my slightly older (but still very good looking) audience might be nodding your head in approval and thinking "yes.. too much.. you millenials don't ever look up from a screen." While that's a post for another time, or you can read my "Hang Up to Hang Out" post, that's not totally why I'm here today. 
Today, we are here to discuss how to appropriately use social media, mainly twitter, because it is this platform that had me all riled up yesterday while I was in my house by myself. 

Here are a few examples of how Twitter should be used. 
Ha! That's funny Dirk. Dirk doesn't want 39 to be brought up.. he also made fun of himself the other day when a video game tweeted they were aware of the Dirk issues and trying to fix it... Dirk tweeted "I have enough issues in real life, I don't need more in a video game!" Funny. Appropriate usage of Twitter.

My favorite author tweeting about having one of my new favorite artists on her podcast!!! Thank you for tweeting this! I will listen to it today!! Appropriate usage of Twitter.
WHAT?! Breaking News! Gluten free buns at Chick Fil A?? My sisters both said they would probably just get the nuggets, but sometimes you are craving a sandwich and it's going to be awesome to have the possibility of getting one there!! Definite appropriate usage of Twitter!
College volleyball fills up 37% of my Twitter timeline. When I watched the USA Men's game vs Poland on Sunday I had to ban myself from Twitter because the TV viewing wasn't live. I saw who won the first set before the TV viewing even started. But y'all, Baylor volleyball.. coming off a season where they made it to the NCAA tournament and only graduated two seniors?! It's gonna be a good season. Appropriate usage of Twitter. 
By now are you wondering where the inappropriate usage of Twitter is going to come into play? It's now. I began my day Monday with scrolling through Twitter. It was one of the first things I saw and it's had me stewing these last couple days. Let me preface this with saying, this is not inappropriate as in don't let your children see.... this is inappropriate as in -- THIS is what is WRONG with the WORLD today. 
I'm just gonna let that sink in for a minute. 
I do not ever respond to people I don't know on Twitter.. but I had typed out 3 different responses that I was ready to hit "tweet" on, but I didn't. I just went back and checked the tweet.. 97 replies to this questions. Most of them talking about common courtesy and manners, a few of them telling this guy to shout "you're welcome." 
Out of the 97, there were 5 people who had the response that I wanted to tweet. What was your purpose for holding the door open? My hope would be that the answer to that question is kindness. 

But, is it still kindness when you expect something in return? I, truly, think the answer to this question is no. 
The other word that I cannot get out of my mind is grace. Let's be real, you do not know the person you are holding the door open for. What if, they just got the worst news ever? What if they don't feel well and are just trying to make it through the day? What if their momma did not teach them to say thank you? Can we give them grace instead of sub-tweeting about them? 
There's a popular phrase I see quite often now - "Throw kindness like confetti" I can definitely get behind that.. but let's make sure we're throwing true kindness. What's the purpose of your act? Is your end game recognition, or is it to subtly help someone out or be a bright spot in someone's day. 
One of my mom's friends is the kindest person I know. Since my mom is a preschool minister, her Sundays are crazy, and often very long. Ms. Jody brings my mom a diet coke and styrofoam cup with Sonic ice every single Sunday and leaves it in the same spot. Most Sundays they do not even see each other, but Ms. Jody brings it and it's there. This has been happening for year and I know my mom is thankful. It's a gift Ms. Jody has.. she is kind, considerate, and it's how she shows her love.
That's what ended my stewing over this one random person on twitter. I reflected back to my verse of 2017. 1 John 4:7 - "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God." 
We can show our love by being kind and opening a door for someone... even if they do not say thank you.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Sheet Pan Dinner

What’s better than quick and easy dinners in the summer? Nothing. This is one of those dinners that even though it’s technically cooked in the oven, it still taste so fresh and is simply meat and veggies! It can also be one of those meals where you just take what you have in your fridge and make it into something delicious! Substitute mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, steak, pork, shrimp…. You get my point? It can be made with anything! It also makes great leftovers.

My favorite part of this was the sweet potatoes. It added a little extra time (20 minutes or so), but it was well worth it. I also pre-chopped everything and then threw it on the pan, once I was ready to cook it! I seasoned the sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper, then I seasoned the chicken and vegetables with olive oil, herb seasoning, oregano, and garlic salt.

Set the oven at 400 and put the sweet potatoes in first for about 15-20 minutes. Then remove the tray, add the chicken and veggies and cook for another 20 minutes.

You can make this for one or for 10. What combination are you gonna try first?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Punta Cana 2017

Not too long ago, Trav asked me if I wanted to go on a vacation this summer. My response… uhh, heck yeah!!! A few weeks later we were booked for Punta Cana. We’ve been to Punta Cana before, the summer after we got engaged, and I was so excited to go back! We chose a different resort that was owned by the same people we went to previously. So Friday, June 9th, we were outta the USA and off to Breathless in Punta Cana!

When we got to the airport, they told us they had two seats left in 1st class for a very cheap upgrade. So, we said… uhh, heck yeah!!!! We watched movies and made the quick, direct flight down there! We got on our shuttle to the resort and met people from Gainesville, aka where the lake house is!! We questioned them about places and restaurants to go to while we’re at the lake house for family vacay. We made it to the room and I loved the tiles above our bed… it’s one of the 10 pictures I took. We just relaxed the whole time. There weren’t any excursions that jumped out at us, so we just decided to hang out at the beach and pool for our 5 days there.

Our resort had two pools: the party pool and the massive pool. After hanging out in the massive pool all day we ventured over to the party pool. Here is where we got an experience. I grew up in a house full of girls. We ran around naked all the time….. slash we still do. Butttt, before we knew it, tops were off everywhere and you couldn’t look 5 feet without seeing boobs of all kinds. While girls claimed “women’s rights”, there was another couple in the pool who did have their clothes on, so we obviously made friends with them.

Enter Max and Katie - a lovely couple from Surrey, England. After the bond we formed by being top wearing women, we decided to meet for dinner that night at the French restaurant. From then on, we were kind of inseparable. I recognized Katie from that morning, you see.. from being on vacation with Shop Mama you learn to save your chairs in the morning so you have the best seats. Only, no one would show up at either pool until at least 11. Katie was the only other person in the pool that morning with us at 9:30 reading a book that I recognized. We were literally the first in the pool in the morning and the last out of the pool at night!

We taught them how to play “pig” with the basketball hoop, they taught us new English phrases, we taught them about guns, and they taught us about hooligans and the Chelsea smile. We played water polo and crushed the other team, and we, literally, ran away from the stereotypical Boston MMA fighter that was a little too much. We invited them to Texas and they invited us to their wedding, which is in 2019. Max and Travis were basically the entertainment team, and Katie and I drank all of the lime daiquiris. We had some additional friends along the way, like Alan and Ashley, Mark and Rochelle, and Martini, who was a lifesaver (ask Trav if you want that story).

We got to watch the NBA finals on the beach and win some money in the casino, where they played “despacito” and “bailando” on repeat. We did what we set out to do – relax. And when we had to leave our new friends, we made sure to get all of their social media accounts – because are you really friends if you’re not friends on all your accounts?! It’s also made me social for social media because we’ve talked on messenger every day!

So, a big shout out to Punta Cana for never disappointing and a proper, good fun vacation!