Changes!

I am SO sorry for not posting in over a week! The last two weeks have been complete insane. Last week every second I wasn’t studying for finals I was packing to move as soon as I get back to Iowa, and on Friday May 16th my two best friends came with me to CALGARY! The week could not have been a better time, if you’re friends with me on Facebook (private so only if ya know me, sooorry) or follow me on Instagram you’ll be flooded with pictures over the next couple days. I’ll get some up here I am sure!

And, obviously, the blog has gotten a facelift! I’m in love with the new design and can’t thank Mo Ollivander enough for her help and her patience while I worked through the process! I’ve got to get some Widgets in order and make a decision on how I want to organize pages and such, but it’s always a work in progress and the #1 goal is still very present- writing.

Any who, I know this is an incredibly short post but I wanted to send out a quick note saying I AM still around and will be posting again over the weekend and next week! I’m still at home for the ten days and cannot wait to get back into some form of a routine before the awesome hectic summer I’m about to go through- details coming soon :)

Advertisements

Blog {Tour}

Something that I’ve loved about blogging has been the interactions with other bloggers- the community we find ourselves in is always so supportive, there’s always someone to talk to, ask advice, etc! Last week I was spotlighted by Lindsay at More Awesomer as part of a Blog Tour- basically a way to share your writing process and pass along a couple links of other blogs to check out! Check out her post here. I’ve been a big fan of More Awesomer for a while now; Lindsay has a great writing style and does a beautiful job with her photos and content. Definitely a lifestyle blog I would recommend checking out!

What am I working on?
Right now I’m working on just producing quality content and finding my focus. I want to be writing posts that I get excited about, and I’ve learned that the posts I get nervous about publishing are the ones that get the most response! My blog right now involves just loving the writing process, loving the learning curve, and enjoying the interactions and connections blogging has given me. I’m also collaborating on some new design things, so stay tuned! This summer is going to be insanely busy, so I’m brainstorming things for the fall (when I have more time) that involve more scheduled posts, organized pages, etc.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I’m not really sure if lauren elyse CAN has a genre quite yet! It started off as a “student-athlete” blog which is probably the tiniest niche I could possibly try and fit into. It’s evolved into very much into a healthy living blog, with a focus on college. I’ve been trying to write under the principle of “living healthy, staying sane,” which to me means writing about the typical health subjects like recipes and workout recaps, but I also try to include posts about mental health, inspiration, stress reducers, time savers, etc. Almost like I’m a health blogger than focuses on wellness and competitive sport at the same time. A health blogger who loves to compete? A college girl lifestyle blog who is just really, really busy?

Why do I write what I do?
Primarily I write what I do because I love it. That’s why I started a blog in the first place- I simply loved to write and wanted to find a platform. I find myself excited to try new healthy recipes because I want to share the process and the finished product, and writing about running has held me more accountable! I write when I accomplish big goals (Back Squat Max Squat), when I want to share what has impacted my life (like my Freshman 15 post), when I finish something I’ve been working towards (Nationals, Warrior Challenge, River Run), and when I feel like I’ve written something that might really make an impact (The College Advice I Wish I Knew <– this post has gone borderline viral!)

How does my writing process work?
Before I started the blog, I started a list on my phone of everything I could write about. Since starting the blog, I’ve never looked at it. Primarily I write about personal current events, like what I’m eating, where I’m traveling, where I’m competing. For the most part I keep all my post ideas in my head, or I write a basic draft on a Word Document. The longer posts I try to write ahead and schedule, but most of the time I sit down to write something and post it the same day! Currently I don’t plan ahead much- while I’d like to, I find I write best when the mood strikes and I find the time. Like mentioned above, when the fall rolls around and I can dedicate a little more time to blogging, I’d love to implement a slightly more organized system.

Who I am spotlighting? Check out their Blog Tour posts Monday, May 12th!

Kriselle, at Livin’ and Lovin’! Kriselle’s blog is 1. A beautiful design and 2. Packed with awesome content! Kriselle writes about what she loves about life (hence the name), including fashion, beauty, religion, college life, her friends and boyfriend, and travel. Make sure to check out her stunning photos with basically every post! She’s got a super friendly writing style and her site is very easy to explore to find what you’re looking for.

Vanessa, at A City Girl’s Guide to Life! I’m a massive fan of Vanessa’s blog, as her main focus is the life of a young professional and how to look the part. Her posts always include great advice and can recommend the latest products and trends a recent grad should pay attention to.. She’s incredibly fashion-savy, which I am not, and is a prominent Boston blogger- a city I’ve never been to but am rapidly wanting to visit soon!

Jennifer, at Fashionista Jenn! Have I mentioned I’m not a fashion blogger? Jenn’s blog is bright, fun, and full of amazing outfits and fashion advice. Something that differs about Jenn’s fashion blog is that she doesn’t just focus on clothes and where to buy them, she includes DIY fashion posts, writes about budget, and puts a big focus on personal style!

The College Advice I Wish I Learned Four Years Ago

I am a college senior. While I am not graduating right now, I have gone through the past four years like every other college senior- experiencing the greatest moments of your entire life, with the friends you didn’t even believe were possible, while having those moments where the world feels like a standstill and you are in a whole realm of hurt. College is, it’s true, the greatest years of your life. And they are the hardest. And you grow the most, and change the most, and it’s like one of those paintings where it’s so beautiful at the end but sometimes during the process it looks like a hot mess that can’t be saved.

You hear the same college advice time and time again when you’re a freshman or soon to be freshman- branch out. Get involved. Meet new people, put yourself out there. The academics are harder than high school. Go to office hours. You will find your niche. Call home every now and then. Be a good room-mate. Volunteer. Find internships. Network. All of those make perfect sense, but none of it was what I needed.

I wish someone had told me that I mattered. I wish a senior had sat me down and said, “Hey you’re important.” Not the volunteer experiences, the internships, your GPA, or your student organizations. You matter. You health and mental well-being MATTER. You deserve to feel good about yourself, every day. College is so pressurized- it’s this condensed period of your life where you know you’re going to grow as a person and then then you kind of explode in a manner you may never have pictured. You will find things you love, and experience things you hate. This is where you can start making the healthiest or unhealthiest choices of your life- not just in terms of diet and exercise but in terms of relationships and stress and confidence.

There have been so many times where I had to tell myself, “You matter.” I’ve had to remind myself through tears after boy drama, and through the aftermath of a failed healthy meal attempt. Your health matters. Your body matters. Your privacy matters. All of these things need to be a priority. If you don’t give a crap about your body and how you’re treating it and talking to it, who will? If you choose a hold-nothing-back approach when it comes to privacy and secrecy, who will care for you? Your career experiences are important, but not more important that you are. Make you a priority. Save your mental health. I had a girl tell me the other day her life was over if she got a C. I wanted to pull her aside, remind her that she is important, and how she loves herself is more important than her GPA.

The haters do not matter. People will gossip about you, good or bad, and you can’t stop them. Do not try to fight them, and do not stoop to their level. They do not matter. You matter. The truth you know and understand and accept is more important than the “truth” they believe to be true about a life that isn’t theirs.

Your professors want you to succeed, but will not search you out. They will not find you to encourage you to step up. The initiative is on you. Respect your education.

Maybe sit out on Happy Hour this week; your liver will thank you. Go for a walk on a nice day. Call your mother. Give up that awful exercise class you hate going to and find a fitness activity you love. Try a new vegetable every week, and for goodness sakes learn how to cook as early as possible.

If you do not make you a priority, no one else will. It’s very simple. At times, I felt like I had to do everything possible to build my resume, to make new connections, be a better friend, have the most fun at a party. You can surround yourself with the greatest network and support system anyone could possibly want, but don’t rely on them. You need to be able to stand on your own, chin up, hands on your hips. If you do not do make yourself a priority, you are telling others that you do not matter.

You matter. You are important. Treat yourself with respect- your body, your dignity, your education, your saving grace. Treat others around with respect too- if they are important to you, they deserve it. Love them, and let them know.

I wouldn’t change a second of my entire college career, the good or the very bad, and could not be more thankful it’s not over yet. I am thankful for the moments where I thought I simply could not feel more- where I was so happy that I felt like I would spill over; that I would burst. There were also the moments where I felt alone, and sad, and scared, and had to admit through tears that either I screwed up or got screwed over. These past four years have experienced the worst of me and the best, and the ever changing ever flowing contents of my mind with all it’s hopes and dreams.

These four years (or five!) are a part of you, but you do not have to become them. You matter. You matter more than what is dragging you down. Don’t be afraid to let go. Don’t be afraid to say no, but pay attention to new opportunities. Don’t be afraid to say yes.

Easter Weekend {Photo} Recap

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend! Raise your hand if you ate too much. Despite it being a long weekend back home, with Good Friday and Easter Monday and all that, the weekend was still jam-packed. Despite only being gone for two nights, it felt like a mini-spring break. For the past couple weeks school has been crazy stressful, which is weird because I never really get too stressed out about school. It’s just been busy. And boring. Trust me, it is definitely possible to be busy and boring at the same time. BUT I only have one exam this week and I got it done this morning, so the rest of the semester is smooth sailing besides finals! And with still three weeks of classes left before finals week, I feel okay with where I am at.

Anyways, the weekend kicked off Friday with a road trip to Des Moines, with three of my best friends and team mates! We went to Zombie Burger just outside of downtown, and honestly if you live anywhere within a three hour drive of Des Moines, GO! This place has the greatest burgers of all time. The buns are so perfectly done and soft and sweet and they have all kinds of awesome fixings, milkshakes, and even poutine! Okay it wasn’t the healthiest meal of all time, but Zombie Burger is my favorite and I was absolutely going to enjoy myself.

After that David and company and myself went to the George Strait Cowboy Rides Away Tour! And it was an AWESOME show! Our seats were unreal, right down by the stage through the “Coors Light Lounge.”

It was such an amazing night, knowing it was his last tour and it was a full house and he played non-stop! It was one of the longest concerts I’ve ever been to, and while we didn’t get back until around 2am it was completely worth it. It was great to hear some tunes I knew, and some I didn’t. The diamond shaped stage was a perfect set up- he just kept switching angles and there were these massive screens to check out when he wasn’t facing your way!

Saturday I slept in WAY later than I have in months, and didn’t roll out of bed until 10:30am. David and I headed into Waterloo for his baseball practice while I studied in the grass wearing SHORTS. The wind was a bit cool but it felt great to be wearing shorts again!

I love spending time outside (does anyone not…??) and this time of year is no exception. I just got my Iowa fishing license so this is where I’ve been spending some time on the weekends when I go up and see David!

This area is just outside of Steamboat Rock, Iowa. We’ve been going up there to look for turkeys now that it’s turkey season, but I call it hiking. Hunting isn’t really my thing (hahahaha obvious to anyone who knows me). I enjoy the warm winds, the scenery, the little bit of physical activity, and leave the actual scouting to David.

And yes, I was treating the fallen tree like an balance beam which I haven’t been on in like years. After scouting we laid low that night and went to bed early before Easter church on Sunday! I’m not much of regular at church, aka I’ve been ten times or fewer in my entire life. But, it’s been a nice way to spend time with David’s fam and hometown, and Easter was a perfect opportunity! After Easter dinner we ended up playing soccer in the backyard for goodness knows how long- my feet were proof of the liveliness of the game. Covered in blisters and bruises and dirt…don’t play soccer in ballet flats. Classic I’ve got 5+ photos of me standing on a tree, but none from when we were all done up Sunday!

And finally, because it’s Monday, I can post my #mcm (that’s “man crush Monday” mom and dad) from one of our hikes! So happy I was able to squeeze in quality time with this guy over the weekend- staying active and eating obnoxious amounts of chocolate! Happy Easter Monday everyone!

 

Almond Butter Chocolate Coconut Bars

So did you know Hy-Vee has this machine where you make your own almond butter RIGHT THERE?? I didn’t until last week! Apparently it’s a thing! I took pictures! Which, in hindsight, was embarrassing. But you know what you can do with $6 worth of fresh almond butter? Turn into bars that taste like dessert and breakfast and heaven all rolled into one.

These recipes have been 3-time US National Champ approved. Aka my best friend Deidre Freeman and I really like to eat.

These were made the same night we made the Sweet Potato Brownies. So we had TWO chocolate fixes for the weekend! And in case you can’t tell by now, I’m a tad obsessed with coconut. I add to everything I bake, to oatmeal, to smoothies, you name it I’ll do it. I’m constantly getting bags of coconut because it goes so well with everything I find ways to add it ALL the time!

Anyways! Onto the chocolate. And did I mention these are no-bake?!

This recipe has been adapted from Holistically Engineered! You’ll need

  • 3/4 flour (the original says almond flour, but you could use coconut or whole wheat!)
  • 3/4 shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • + 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 ounces of dark chocolate

In a large bowl, mix the flour, coconut, and sugar. Melt the coconut oil in a small sauce pan, and then add the almond butter. Melt the two together over medium-low heat. Once mixed well, add the almond butter to the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.

In the same or another small saucepan, melt the 3 tablespoons of almond butter with the chocolate. Once completely melted and combined, pour over top of the original almond butter mixture and smooth with a spatula till even. Place in freezer to set, and serve! We had ours in for about an hour to an hour and a half before we sampled, and it was just about perfect. I ended up keeping the rest of them in the freezer all weekend!

Img_0327

Img_0328

Img_0355

I am a BIG fan of these! Not only were they incredible easy, they were sooo good straight from the freezer. As you can see from the photos, we had to use a larger pan (brownies were taking up my larger one), but to honest next time I’d probably just double it and fill the pan! If you’re keeping them in the freezer, why not? You could individual wrap some of them and think about how perfect that would be lunch? Mmmm. They also made for a perfect post-Saturday practice treat, with lattes of course.

e050adbdc099ec8f8d11c72077cc0b2a

In case you’re wondering what making two different desserts at once look like…oh the state of my kitchen…

3 Pinterest Boards to Follow Right Now and Why

Pinterest is my #1 time waster, recipe collector, inspiration finder, and location of my online hoarding addiction. I could spend hours on the site- literally- and getting the app on my phone was the worst thing to happen to productivity since “snacking.” Here’s what I’ve been following and re-pining like crazy recently (click on the title to see the board!):

1. Strength is Beautiful- I stumbled on this board just a few days ago and LOVE what I came across. The board showcases women with MUSCLE. WOMEN. Beautiful, strong women ACTUALLY lifting heavy things. Yes, while some of the pins may be considered “sexy,” it shows the beauty that comes with strength, not bikini-clad women in figure competitions, cited so often as the reason women don’t lift weights because they they don’t want to get bulky. Seriously, it takes YEARS and training and some hardcore supplements for women to get “bulky.” Pick up heavy things and squat them.

2. #MotivationMondayThis board is run by Quest Nutrition, the makers of my faaaavorite new bar, the Quest protein bars (my favorites are cookies and cream and cookie dough…big surprise). Their quotes will not only inspire you to the ends of the earth, but recently they’ve been set on beautiful graphics and gorgeous text. By far my favorite quote board!

3. Yogi In Training Sigh, yes, I am recommending my own board. But it has been getting a lot of love lately! In an effort to establish a regular yoga practice, aka several times a month as opposed to a couple times a semester, I’ve been collecting the best tips and tricks. Visit for various yoga routines for different times of day and moods, tips for hot yoga (my favorite!), and poses to strive for!

Want more? Follow me on Pinterest here

Disclaimer, this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.