Saturday Thoughts

Some thoughts (& ideas I’m trying to implement in my life) for the Holiday Season.

1. Spend less time on your phone. I’m working on this (hard). I’m trying to listen to the music, give Peanut & Winnie an extra scratch, snuggle a little closer to Dave, and actually WATCH the movie. Being away from my family this year, I realized that time is precious and I want to be completely focused on the people I love during the time I get to spend with them.

2. It’s never too late or ‘not the right time’ to start something new. I tend to put myself on a schedule for everything! Including life. Married by a certain age, kids before 30, making a certain amount of money by 35, etc. I’ve recently crossed paths with a few individuals who are doing things slightly ‘unconventional’. But guess what? There are so many more people doing it the ‘unconventional’ way-there is no normal anymore! People switch careers 3-4 times in their lifetime, have kids later in life (or not at all!) and some people don’t EVER get married. And that is okay. Millennials are more likely to push back getting married or having kids, they take more career risks and are more focused on doing things they enjoy rather then how much money they could make. It’s what works for them. And it could work for you. Or me. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I ‘grow up’. Some days I want to blog full-time, other days I’ve considered going to medical school. So if you have a dream, or an idea or a goal-try it out. See where it goes.

3. Moisturize! Your 70 year old self will thank you. Especially since the it is cold outside, it will cause your skin to be more dry. Also I’m trying to drink more water-this is an ongoing battle.

4. All the Christmas music! iTunes has a ton of great holiday playlists! Won’t stop until December 26th. Plus I’m really loving ‘Smoke Clears’ by Andy Grammer.

Happy Saturday!

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8 Healthy Habits To Commit To During Your Engagement

Hey Friends! I’m really excited for this post today.  As you may have seen on social media, I got engaged in August.  Dave and I have been looking at venues, updating my Pinterest board, talking about flower arrangements, and dreaming about a honeymoon!  We signed our contract and picked a date for next year! We have a photographer and I’ve picked out my colors.  Next on the list? Getting in wedding ready shape!

Every bride wants to feel and look her best on her wedding day.  I’m writing this post to hold myself accountable (and hopefully you too!) and stick to some healthy habits to get me ready for the big day! Here are some healthy habits I’m sticking too during our engagement.  Dave and I have different goals as far as how we want to look and feel on the wedding day.  He wants to put on size and I want to tone up a bit.  However these habits are something we can both implement into our healthy wedding routines.

10 Healthy Habits To Commit To During Your Engagement

healthy habits

1. Sleep More

I’m so guilty of ignoring this age-old rule.  Working night shift is not super conducive with a normal sleep schedule.  However, in November I’m switching to day shift-hoping that will allow me to have a more regular bedtime and get those eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Sleep helps in all areas-weight loss, the health of your skin and an overall wellness feeling.

2. Drink More Water

Again, something I really need to work on.  Keeping hydrated helps with sugar cravings, your skin and to flush out any extra water weight your holding onto.  I bought myself a large water bottle (like this cute one from H&M for under $8!) and try to take it with me everywhere so I hit my goal by the end of the day.

healthy habits

3. Eat 5 Servings of Vegetables A Day

This one is hard for most people but I actually really love how I feel when I eat more veggies.  Dave laughs at me because I insist we have at least one green vegetable with dinner every night (this is the only time he eats any veggies!).  Throw some spinach in your omelette, have some carrots and hummus for a snack, broccoli with dinner and a Salad for lunch.  Boom thats 4-5 servings right there! Plus all the fiber, antioxidants and health benefits.  You really cannot feel bad when you eat like this!

4. Exercise 5 Days Per Week

This is a goal I have every week.  Some weeks I hit it and others its a miss.  Working full time-it can be difficult to make it to the gym that often, especially with other responsibilities, kids or other obligations (I’m so inspired by the Moms who seem to be able to do it all!).  I just know that this engagement season, I’m going to be more intentional with my gym sessions and try to not skip just because I don’t feel like going.  Plus changing up my workouts and grabbing some new workout clothes always makes me a little more motivated! I’ve added in more resistance band work.

healthy habits

5. Commit To Stress Reduction Techniques

Yoga, meditation, massage, devotionals, stretching-whatever gives you a few quiet minutes to yourself.  It’s good for the soul and the mind.  Plus it will definitely help your sanity during this busy time of your life.  Planning a wedding is no easy feat, so taking a few minutes for yourself will help in the long run.

6.Spend Time With Family

Spend some intentional time with family (and refrain from wedding talk).  This is a wonderfully exciting time for you and your family-but wedding planning can take over the conversation (guilty!).  Be present and enjoy time with family.

healthy habits

7. Cook More Meals at Home

This is a double tip! Save money and eat better! Save some extra money by not eating out and put it towards your wedding fund.  Eating more meals at home means you have more control over what’s in your food and what you are consuming! Plus it can be a fun date night in with the fiancé to cook together! All positives in my mind. Dave and I already eat a majority of our meals at home-but we can definitely get better at this, and reduce our intake of frozen pizza!

8. Reduce Alcohol and Soda Consumption

Let’s be honest, we can all work on this one.  I don’t consume a ton of alcohol but I do love a glass of red wine a few nights a week.  Soda is also not a huge problem, but I tend to grab a Diet Coke late in the shift when I work overnight.  These are habits I’ll be more conscious of, and try to reduce as much as possible.  Plus, looking for healthy alternatives can make this a little easier.  I really love these new Bai sparking infusion drinks-they have some caffeine in them and are only 5 calories!



Well that’s it! Let me know any other tips you have for staying healthy or trimming down during your engagement!

healthy habits


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5 Tips For Succeeding in Your First Full-Time Job + Red Lush Dress

I remember landing my first full-time job fresh out of nursing school.  I was bright-eyed, nervous and ready to finally start my profession! Sure, I had had a few (try a bunch!) of jobs throughout high-school and college but waitressing and having a career are little different! Getting up at 4:30am, packing my lunch, making the commute, learning to navigate downtown Chicago and working for a large employer were just a few things I had to navigate as a young professional.  I like to think I did it with only a few hiccups along the way and became a pretty savvy (hard-working) professional.

After a few years and a job/relocation change later, I was reflecting on my first (big-girl!) job and thought of a few tips I could share with you on how to kick-butt at your first career! If you like this, see my other post about the 9 lessons I learned in my first year after college.

I’m sharing 5 tips for succeeding in your first Full-Time job and this super work appropriate, red dress (that is an amazing Fall color!).


5 Tips for Succeeding In Your First Full-Time Job

1. Work HARD

This should go without saying, but it is the most important tip.  This is your first full-time job-show them what you’ve got! Work and work hard.  Be ready to put in the work and the time.  Show your employer you are committed-to the job, to the company, to your team or your unit.  Whatever it is, your work ethic in the beginning is going to set the standard for how your employers views you-for your performance review, any promotions in the future and just overall as an employee.

full-time job red dress

2. Be On Time

Punctuality is something that is important to every company in every job field.  No one likes (or tolerates) an employee that cannot show up on time.  Punctuality shows your commitment and your prioritization.  Now life happens, weather is unpredictable, accidents occur and kids get sick.  Employers usually understand these life circumstances, however, if you make being late a habit-they are not always as forgiving.  In fact, at almost every job I interviewed, they asked about my punctuality record and made it known to me (in the interview) that being on time was important to them! A late employee makes the department and company suffer.

Most employers have a warning system in place-late once, its a verbal warning, late again, a written and so on.  Being late can actually get you fired if it happens often enough! So make being on time a priority, your top priority! Research traffic times, have a form of reliable transportation, and give yourself extra time (I give myself 30 minutes of extra travel time) to account for car accidents, construction (that time you want to stop at Starbucks) or anything else that can cause extra traffic.

full-time job red dress

3. Be A Student

The first year at your full-time job, you should think like a student! Be a sponge and absorb everything! You are learning new systems, new skills, names of co-workers, and where the break room is.  Accept that, at times, it will be uncomfortable and you won’t know everything right away.  Accept the fact that you are new and learning and take advantage-ask questions! Everyone will know you are just starting out and questions will be expected of you.

Tip: Employers actually love when you ask questions-they would rather you ask then pretend you know.  Asking questions shows you are fully committed to learning the best way to practice your new job.  As a nurse, we learn something new, every single shift.  However, in all job fields-there is always something you can learn, practice or better yourself on.  Take the initiative, ask questions and show your employer you are committed to developing your skills and being a great employee!

full-time job red dress

4. Be A Good Team Player

This is a skill that many employers are putting emphasis on when hiring new employees.  I like to think of it as one of the flashy words you can highlight you do well on your resume.  Right after critical thinking, being a good team player (and communicating efficiently!) is high on the must-have list to be a new employee.  Almost every job application will mention something similar to this as an important skill the applicant must be able to do.

Being a good team player (or working well within a group) is a requirement of almost every job.  Unless you have no interaction with other people in your job, you are most likely going to be working with others.  Being able to communication with others, lend a helping hand and work within a group are essential to being a stellar new employee! Plus your boss will take notice when you work well with others.

full-time job red dress

5.Time Management

Time management is going to be your best friend in this new journey.  With work commitments, a new work schedule and your social/family life, your schedule is bulging a little more at the seams.  Buy a functional planner, use iCalendar or develop a system to keep track of commitments.  Keeping an organizational system will help with your punctuality (see tip #2!) and your life outside of work.  Additionally, it will keep any work due dates at the front of your mind.

I put my entire life in my planner so I invest in an Erin Condren.  I like the layout and the functionality (plus it’s pretty!).  However, I have also used and loved Day Designer and this planner from Target!

Extra Tip: Have Fun!

This is such an exciting time of your life! You finally made it! You got the job you wanted, so enjoy it.  Realize your blessings and be grateful for your new position.  At the same time, have some fun.  Get to know your co-workers, take part in the company Christmas party, or volunteer for that new project your boss is starting.  Invest your time and yourself into your new job and you will reap the rewards-and feel the gratification in knowing you are doing a good job!


This dress is super functional and flattering! It’s a great deep red that is perfect for the Fall season.  Add some nude heels like I did here or some brown knee-high boots.

This clutch is old but I linked a similar one!


Hope you enjoyed the post! Share some of your tips below!

Pin Me!

full time job

This post is not sponsored.  All opinions are my own.  There are affiliate links within Lauren Em that may help support my site.

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How To Make Friends In A New City + Ruffle OTS Top

Hey Friends!

One of my biggest fears before moving to Nashville was leaving all my friends behind and having to make new ones.  As a twenty-something, making new friends is hard! Raise your hand if you agree!! Moving to a new city where I knew no one was a little intimidating and I was not sure how I was going to meet new people.  A few months later, Dave and I have met some really amazing people.  This place is starting to feel like home, and a lot of that has to do with the really great friends we have made so far.  Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to put yourself out there and get to know people.

1. Make The First Move.

This was hard for me.  I’m an outgoing person, once I get a little comfortable.  I’m not one to be shy in a social situation but starting the conversation is a little nerve-wrecking.  However, I made it a priority to make the first move when I arrived in Nashville.  This meant saying hello to EVERYONE.  Everyone at work, I started a conversation.  I asked them about themselves, how long they had worked there and made an effort to get to know them.  If I was going to be in the city for awhile, I was going to make it feel like home and that meant getting to know people.  I met women at orientation and asked for their phone number.  I added people on Facebook.  I did whatever I could to make human connection.  Do it.  It works and it pays off.  I’m known as friendly, helpful and cheerful at work-just because I made the first move.

ruffle OTS top

2. Go Out With Work Friends

Your job is probably going to be the easiest and first place you are exposed to a large group of new people.  You have something in common with these people-use this to your advantage.  When your co-workers are going out for after-work drinks, go with!  Talk to people outside of the four walls you see them 9-5.  For night shift nurses, we do brunch after work-this is the perfect place to get to know people outside of their job.  Discover who these people are outside of their work-you might find a really great friend in the group.  And it makes going to work so much easier when you have some friends!

ruffle OTS top

3. Bumble BFF

Where was this app like 5 years ago?? I am always on the hunt for good girlfriends-they are few and far between.  There is nothing that makes my heart happier then having a good girlfriend who I can confide in, someone to call to go out for drinks and some girl talk.  It is just good for the soul loves! Bumble is the women-oriented dating app, that let women decide who they wanted to talk to.  They saw a gap in the market and created Bumble BFF-an app for you to find your new best friend! Looking for a new best friend, workout buddy, or just someone to go shopping with-Bumble BFF is for you! I think this is the greatest invention and perfect for millennials who tend to move around a lot or land jobs in new cities.

ruffle OTS top

4. Join A Hobby Group

If you work from home or are not really into technology, joining a hobby group can be a good option for you.  If you like to run, join a running group.  If photography is your thing- find others whose passion is photography.  Use Facebook, Google Search, or local communities boards to find groups of people who have the same interests as you do.  Nothing brings people together like common interests (and food!).  Living near an Army base, there are a ton of online groups and communities filled with people who are transplants (like me!) looking for other people to connect with.

ruffle OTS top

5. Volunteer

I really wanted to do this once I moved to Nashville.  I’ve always wanted to coach an elementary girls volleyball team (weird desire? haha).  I loved playing volleyball in high school.   Combine that with my love of teaching (and inspiring young women!) and I though coaching would be an awesome experience.  However my work schedule is not predictable at all so I was not able to commit to it.  Maybe one day! Always, volunteering is always such a rewarding experience and it exposes you to new people-two for one people! Sign up to volunteer at a local hospital, military base, food bank, church or school.  You will get to know your neighbors and the people in your community and start to feel more apart of this new place you are living.

ruffle OTS top

6. Join A Church

If you are spiritual or religious at all, church communities are part of the foundation of a community.  They tend to be the most welcoming to newcomers! This is usually the first stop for people in a new place.  It is a great option if you practice any sort of religion.  Plus they have events planned all the time!!

ruffle OTS top

I wore this top when I got engaged and I got so many compliments on it! It is possibly my favorite OTS top I own (for both sentimental and actual reasons).  This one actually stays on your shoulders which is big for me (maybe I have weird shaped shoulders?).  The color is beautiful! And I will be wearing this into the Fall season (just add some boots and dark wash jeans!).  These jeans are also the most amazing wash.  They are first petite pair I’ve ordered from ASOS and I was not disappointed! This entire look is one of my favorites I’ve shared with you.

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