October 15, 2016

October Goals Progress!

I didn't post on Friday, so here's a BONUS post to count towards my challenge haha.

It's pretty much exactly halfway through the month and I never shared my October goals... Oops.  Well, here they are and some of my progress towards some of them.

October Goals

  1. Work: Pick up extra hours.  I'm able to sub a bunch of times over the next couple of weeks!  Success.
  2. Gym: 3-4x/week.  So far, so good...
  3. Stick to dat good food.  This week I didn't go food shopping, so I didn't meal plan well at all.  There's still a couple of weeks to redeem myself.
  4. REALLY apply to [colleges].  I applied to two today! - whew.  Both are online programs in the computer/information science field.
  5. Practice ukulele more.  I've played around a few times, but I haven't learned anything new this month.
  6. Tithe.  I tithed my first paycheck this month, and plan to tithe when I get my next one in a week.
  7. Open a savings account.  Haven't done this yet.
  8. Look for another PT job. (?)  May or may not get on this, depending on how school plans look for next semester.
  9. Be brave and meet someone new.  I don't think I have yet...
  10. Go apple/pumpkin picking.  I've gone apple picking already!  Pumpkins are next.
  11. Paint bedroom/closet doors and trim white.  The side of the doors that face into my room are unpainted!  It bugs me so much.  :P
  12. Watch Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part II.  Yes, this made it to my October Goals list because it's been like a month since I watched the other seven movies... I started to watch it but got bored and returned the DVD to the library.
  13. Get on a good sleep schedule.  Hahahhahahahdfsal.dsfalkj
  14. Do 1 unexpected thing that would surprise Past Lauren to hear about.  Well I mean I accepted a very casual sort-of date for the first time in a while.  So.  That would probably have surprised me.  I have Thoughts on dating in general that I'd like to get to in an upcoming post...
  15. Run a 5k.  In two weeks I'll run a 5k!  I am already anxious about it.  I just want to finish in under 50 minutes and with my dignity mostly intact.

Let's see what the rest of the  month brings!

My Week in Pictures

You're going to learn fast that I am a HUGE fan of the sky and take pictures of it often!  This was on Sunday.

October 12, 2016

Alicia Keys and Skydiving

Hello again!

I first want to say that I have changed my blog's address - it's now www.laurenmcroke.blogspot.com.  I think making it my own name reflects how this blog is going to become more of a ~regular thing~ and maybe one day I'll come up with a REALLY GREAT NAME, but this will work for now.  I also changed the title, which is also definitely subject to change again.

October 10, 2016

Happy Monday! | | Small Plants

Welcome to the first day of my 2-week blogging challenge! Today I have decided to highlight my love for small plants!

October 9, 2016

"All I can do is run"

Here's my pathetic attempt to make up for missing my first installment of "Food & Fitness Friday."  I guess the point of this segment is to talk about my progress and discoveries as far as health and exercise goes, so that's where I'll start!

4 Blog Posts/Wk. Challenge?

I want to write more.  And I'm encouraged by how my 2-week ~gym challenge~ went.  I'm now beginning week FIVE!  I'm following the "Couch to 5k" running plan, so today I walked five minutes, ran 9 minutes, and walked five minutes.  For a healthy 21 year old, I am way outta shape, but I'm proud of the progress I've made so far.
Anyway, what if I was to do a 2-week blogging challenge?  Maybe on the days that my running plan says "Relax!" I can spend some time writing a blog post for the next two weeks.

I'm partially inspired by Kelli Taylor (her blog is Currently Kelli) and other blogs that I read to do a theme for certain days of the week.  Maybe that would make it slightly less daunting looking ahead at writing eight posts in two weeks. But I have to make them things I'm excited about and that I can see having something to say about every week.

Obviously I'm writing this today, so I guess there will be an extra post this week, but I'm really starting the challenge tomorrow.  I hope this is a successful and fun two weeks of blogging!

October 5, 2016

September: Goals Review & Discoveries

Oh, it' is October.  When did that happen?

I'm honestly always super bummed out by summer turning into fall (as much as I like to think I'm an adaptable, spontaneous person, I've learned I am pretty resistant to change).  To help myself transition, rather than become sad and wish it was still summer, I've learned to embrace the changing of seasons a little better by going into all-out autumn mode once September 22nd arrives!

I pulled out all my sweaters from the top shelf of my closet, sorted through summer clothes and pared down my wardrobe... I added a fun fall twist to my room's decor... I am appreciating the gorgeous foliage while its at its peak autumn colors (upstate NY is the place to be this time of year!)... I'm going to soccer games while it's still nice out... I am partaking in quintessential fall activities, like visiting a pick-your-own orchard, making an apple crisp, and drinking a salted caramel latte.

I'm a low-key fan of autumn now, I guess.  Once I learned to embrace change a little more I found myself a lot happier.

ANYWAY.  September goals.  I had a few of them.  Let's see how I did:

September Goals 2016


  • Pick up more days at work.  I was able to fill in twice for coworkers, but other than that I wasn't able to pick up as many days as I hoped I could.  In the summer we're always switching around and substituting, but now that vacations are over and stuff, I guess we're all settled back into our regular schedules.
  • Save and tithe more/spend less.  This was a HUGE fail.  I spent pretty much as much as I made this month.
  • Take more walks.  I far surpassed my goal here: I joined a gym and have walked/ran on the treadmill at least 3 times a week!  I'm very proud of myself for sticking to it so far.
  • Practice ukulele more. I learned a couple of new Dodie Clark songs and began a little structured practice through the Yousician app.  So this was alright.
  • Finish HTML/CSS course on CodeAcademy. I kind of let this peter out... Not a win.


  • Complete website for my mom's homeschool sports organization.  I canceled this one.
  • Apply for an online college.  I didn't do this.
  • Get involved with a ministry. I tried!  My church announced a need for volunteers in a couple of areas and I made an effort to contact the office so I could get involved, but I haven't gotten a response back.  I hope to follow up soon.
  • Make an appointment for a new fall haircut.  Check!  I like it.
  • Take inventory of fall/winter clothes and go shopping for what I'm missing.  I went through my clothes the first day of fall and switched out seasonal clothing, and found out what I needed.  My list was 1) A high-quality fall jacket, 2) Tall black boots, 3) A couple of pull over sweaters, 4) New slippers.  I got a beautiful burnt sienna-colored fall jacket that I am SO happy with, but other than that the only money I spent on clothes was a few gym outfits and fancy new running shoes.

So I mean, this month went alright I think as far as the goals I set.  But the month was definitely a win in other ways that aren't reflected by this list.

Other September Events/Discoveries


  • I completed my two-week gym/healthy eating challenge!  I loosened up on it a little bit, but I am spending almost nothing on fast food (a couple of iced coffees a week) and I am learning how to meal plan/grocery shop.
  • I tried to be less hermit-y lol: I went to a Labor Day bonfire at my sister's friend's house and had fun playing volleyball and enjoying a little jam session, I went to Community Day in the village I work in (and caught a runaway dog! Exciting times), I went to a couple of soccer games (trying to spend time outside while it's nice out), and I visited my brother at college in PA overnight (an ordeal for me since I am anxious during long car rides due to anxiety BUT it was a good time seeing him).
  • My car broke down a few miles from home... Not fun but an experience I can say I've had.  I am thankful that God gave me peace when it happened and I was just chillin right off the road rather than being an anxious mess.
  • I actually met someone new this month - it's kind of crazy, but in my routine I don't meet a lot of new people, especially people my age.  The fact that I am adding this to a list of Things That Happened shows you how pathetic my social life is.  ;)
  • We put our family dog in a kennel for a few days while we were away visiting my brother at college.  It was traumatizing for her and for us - she is spoiled and it was SO HARD to leave her there.  NEVER AGAIN.


  • Air for Free by Relient K came out this summer, but I only discovered it at the end of August.  Relient K is one of only a couple of artists I am loyal to (I usually appreciate music on a strictly song-by-song basis lol) and I was a little thrown off by their 2013 album Collapsible Lung, so to listen to Air for Free all the way through once... And then again... And then again and again and enjoy it every single time was such a great experience!
  • I also discovered the Christian "WORKOUT" Spotify playlist.  Yaaaasss.

Other Media

  • I watched Stranger Things.  I was a little late to the party by getting into this show a couple of months after it was released on Netflix.  But I am always excited to find a new TV show that I can binge watch.  In fact, I loved it so much that I introduced my family to it, and we've been watching it every night this past week.  We're all hooked.  I especially like it as a way to kind of get into the spooky mood even though I don't celebrate Halloween and I don't watch horror movies - binge watching Stranger Things is as festive as I'll get this month lol.
  • I played Tuber Simulator.  This is PewDiePie's new game and I'm slightly addicted to it right now.  That's a huge feat, since I don't usually care for iPhone games. (Add me if you play too: my username is saxonprotestor)

It's a beautiful day and I'm not trying to waste it indoors, so bye for now...