Why I Started Lilly Lane

Hi, its Lindsay! This is how I feel after blogging at Lilly Lane for two amazing weeks! Follow me for more fun!

Hi! This is me, Lindsay! This is how I feel after blogging at Lilly Lane for two amazing weeks! Thanks to all of my supporters!

Whenever anyone starts a blog, they most likely have a target audience they want to read their posts. This audience could come in the form of a certain niche of people, active individuals that give feedback, or maybe even just their friends on WordPress. Today, I have been reflecting on who I want to read this blog and why I am writing the way I am.

I have always wanted to be able to share my opinions on issues and experiences in my life with others. My blog is my outlet to doing so in a more consistent fashion. It also keeps me honest in my feelings and thoughts about what goes on in my life. I hope to gain an audience of readers who also want to share honest opinions about life and are not afraid to engage in conversation about their opinions on issues that are benign or signifiant. Additionally, I want to write blogs for an audience that is engaged in the blogging community. I have always been willing to share my thoughts but have been overcome by my shy personality and relatively quiet voice compared to my friends and peers. Lilly Lane gives me the outlet to speak my mind and be creative without fear of being overshadowed by more outgoing or competitive people. My blog is a great opportunity for me to grow as a person and I hope that blogging will teach me about how to share the value of my voice and thoughts confidently with both friends and new acquaintances.

As my blog has only existed for a few weeks and I am the first one to say that I am still extremely new to the whole blogging routine and climate. What I hope to gain from my readers is an insight into what they want to read about from me as well as what posts work and what doesn’t so I can improve my blog and follow the learning curve. Originally, I wanted to create a space for women to come together and talk about their lives and experiences, but I have noticed recently that I have been having a male audience reading as well and I hope to expand my writing to encompass their interests as well.

I realize that blogs evolve over time based on personal change and new directions in life. I want Lilly Lane to evolve as I do, and this may include name and stylistic changes to the blog, but I hope to keep the content, post subjects and writing consistent in order to retain a reader base. With 28 followers in two weeks, I am considering my blog a success so far and I want to keep going with it. Lilly Lane is motivating me to stay to a schedule to post effectively and also to commit to this decision and learn more about myself and how to navigate blogging and internet realms better.

No blog is perfect, and I didn’t expect mine to be. Lilly Lane is a continuous work in progress, much like I am during my life. I hope that my readers understand that I look forward to any comments, be it criticism or encouragement, to develop a better blog for my readers. I blog for myself, but I also blog for my audience and will always strive to write the best posts I can to keep everyone interested and engaged in my life and opinions first. I want to take this opportunity to thank my 28 followers and loyal readers for being so supportive of me and my blog from the start and I look forward to learning more about each and every one of you! If you see something you like on here, please feel free to comment about it or reblog and share it around! The more, the merrier! Also, the more people engaging on my blog will make it a better blog community for all of you readers as well as me!

Lilly Lane is a community for growth, sharing opinion, and life experiences, and my goal is to keep it that way!

xoxo,

Lindsay

How a Bedazzled Mason Jar Perfectly Describes My Life

Today I decided to let my inner creative side show and went to my university’s “Kickin’ It with University Program Board” crafting event this afternoon as part of their Spring welcome week. Little did I know that bedazzling these mason jars would teach me more about patience and relationship building. The ability to be innately creative has always alluded me, but today I was helped with designing the beautiful mason jar below by one of my sorority sisters who absolutely loves graphic design and anything artistic. After talking with her about what ideas I could use to create the perfect design, I began working on it and realized how much this mason jar artwork mirrored my life this year so far.

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Since this week was the first week of my spring semester, I have definitely been feeling a lot of emotions like stress, anxiety, and excitement (of course). On my mason jar, I decorated one side with colorful gems in an “ombre” style array in size order starting at the bottom of the jar. I think that the bottom of the jar represents the stability I have in my life in regard to my family and friendships as well as with my boyfriend. The gems are large and close together, reminding me of close relationships, strength and stability, as well as a firm foundation for my life.

However, as the gemstones move up the rest of the jar, they begin to decrease in size and in their order and placement. In hindsight, I realized that the more spread out and haphazard gems represent events in my life that have caused a lot of emotional outpourings, both positive and negative. Since I am an optimist, I consider the bigger gemstones to be representative of events that have brought me joy and excitement. I have been given an amazing opportunity to become a leader in my sorority as well as in the Panhellenic council at my university in the past few months and had my first official meeting on both of those executive boards earlier this week. They are more unstructured in comparison to my foundation gemstones, but this is how emotional events affect me during my life – they appear on their own and stand out in my memories.

The smaller gems towards the top of the mason jar represent things that have caused me to have anxiety or stress in my life. This past week I have had four new classes and professors to get acquainted with, and I am anxious about the future of the semester and making sure I can juggle everything while maintaining good grades and being a successful group member in my extra curricular activities. I tend to think of these stress-inducing events to be smaller and less significant because they shouldn’t have as large of an impact on my life as I sometimes allow them to have. The fact that these stressful events are closest to the top opening of the mason jar show that I want to let those events pass by me and not hold onto their effects for as long as I have in the past when I bottled my stress until it controlled my emotions and livelihood.

This past year I have been really diligent about making sure I have control over how situations that arise in my life affect me to make sure I am keeping myself in check emotionally and physically. Making this mason jar has given me a perspective on my life and showed me that when I take a step back and reflect on my life, I have come a long way in terms of dealing with stressful situations and knowing how to make the best of any situation and fight through tough times to succeed in what I want to do. This is the perfect time for me to put my new outlook on life to work as I am striving to achieve great things in my new officer positions for this year.

This afternoon I wanted to create a fun and decorative mason jar to relieve stress and have some fun bonding with friends. Little did I know that it would put my life and my current outlook on it into perspective and inspire an amazing reflection on changes I have made so far in 2014.

Thank You Shout Out to Paulette at Totally Inspired Mind!

Thank You Shout Out to Paulette at Totally Inspired Mind!

Paulette has offered so much insight and feedback on my posts today and I am returning the favor! Thank you Paulette for encouraging me to blog more and enrich my posts with my personal experiences and opinions! 

Her blog is fantastic also, I encourage you to check it out! Click the title to see her blog!

-Lindsay 

Monday Moxie

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Mondays should not be a cause for dread or a type of depressing disease caught after having a very enjoyable and relaxing weekend. I see each Monday as the beginning of a new week and a chance to make strides towards achieving whatever goals you have set. Today was an amazing day for me because although I was exhausted from my first day of spring classes, I finally started my year of serving as a delegate for my sorority on my college’s Panhellenic Council. Even though I lie awake last night stressing about what the first day of spring semester would bring, I took it all in stride and had a very successful day!

My schedule looked like this:

8am: Wake up, breakfast, news

9am: get ready for school

11am: Get to school for classes

5:15pm: Go home after classes for quick dinner

7pm: Back to school for Panhellenic Meeting

8:30pm: Return from meeting, get cozy, and finish that homework for Marketing Strategy

11-12midnight: bed time!

Though my schedule was pretty jam packed, I still had fun doing everything on my schedule and am full of energy and excitement about the week ahead and my new schedule that I’m going to get used to this semester!

Take Monday as a time to reflect on what you plan on doing in the next week and how it will affect your goals, happiness, and life in general. It should be a day for understanding your exact place in life and preparing to take on the week ahead. I always use Mondays for scheduling out my planner, making sure I know what I need to do and when so I can also plan fun outings, hanging out with friends and extra-curriculars outside of my academic and sorority life.

Motivate yourself this Monday. Even though you may feel like crawling back into that warm cozy bed and dreaming the week away until Friday afternoon rolls around, challenge yourself to make Monday even more fun than a weekend – and much more successful!

Mug Half Empty – My Starbucks Drive-Thru Experience

Between dropping off my February rent and heading out to my 12pm meeting I decided to cave into my craving for some amazing Starbucks sweet iced tea. Instead of going to my normal brick and mortar store where the baristas know me and my order is always right, I thought I would try out the newest drive through Starbucks location down the street from my college. “Oh this will be great – much quicker than standing in line and waiting for my drink and I get to enjoy the radio while making it to my meeting on time!” – I thought as I was driving there. Boy did I make a mistake.

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Upon getting to the Starbucks drive thru, I was SHOCKED at how full the line was at 11:50am! This is surely not peak hour for coffee connoisseur’s! How could there be this many people wanting coffee right now!

Still, I was being an optimist and expecting to breeze through the drive-through line in 10 minutes or less, allowing me to make it to my meeting A-OK. Alas, I was unfortunately blessed with the misfortune of being stuck behind a truck full of people who ordered four complex drinks that took them over 2 minutes just to order at the drive through menu! I mumbled to myself – This can’t be good, how unlucky can I be! Still, I was trying to convince myself that as with most drive through restaurants, Starbucks will be able to make the orders on the fly and made-to-order with as much success as they do in their traditional stores.

Finally, I was one car away from getting my thirst-quenching iced tea to get me through my meeting and afternoon off! I was anticipating that first refreshing sip of ice cold tea and the sweetness to follow. However, the truck in front of me sat at the pick up window for over five minutes! FIVE MINUTES. This was perplexing at first but I soon realized that they were passing all of their drinks back to the quick serve staff barista and their orders were ALL WRONG. Then, after another five minutes, they finally accepted the drinks they were expecting and left the drive through.

As I pulled up to the pick up window, I reassured myself that I ordered such a simple order (Venti Iced Black Tea, Sweetened) that it was virtually foolproof and unable to be misheard. However, I was not given my total immediately after ordering and wasn’t really paying much attention with the barista let me know that my total was $4.45 for a simple venti black tea. It seemed like a bit much, but I hadn’t been to Starbucks in a while so I might just have forgotten how much it was.

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However, to my surprise, the Venti drink I was given after paying was a Venti Hot Skinny Syrup Latte. Immediately I knew it was wrong, and switched it out with a Venti Iced Tea that the baristas made on the fly. I was confused as to how ordering a Venti Iced Black Tea with Sweetener sounded anything like a hot skinny syrup latte and figured it must have been the drink belonging to the woman behind me in line. How can a Starbucks store, which I have always known to be great at order satisfaction and correctness, get five orders wrong in a row?! This has made me vow never to go to that store again, and I was so excited to have that option near my school if I was ever in a hurry for class or meetings. Especially since I wasn’t offered any type of refund or perk to come back again even though I paid an amount I wasn’t charged for unknowingly and for the incorrect product!

My apologies to Starbucks aficionados, because even though this experience was subpar, I am in LOVE with Starbucks products! This may actually prove useful to Starbucks addicts so they know where to go to make sure their addition is fed correctly and in a timely manner. I think that after this I am going to stick to the traditional coffee environment, because let’s be honest, Starbucks is such a fine product that it shouldn’t need to be served in a drive-through, no matter how immediate your need for its caffeinated goodness is! Thankfully this annoyance only deterred me from one location, my addiction is still wildly active.

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For more Starbucks news, check out Starbucks Melody, a great source for all things Starbucks and I love all of the posts on the site!

5 Simple Rules to Meet your Exercise Goals this Year!

Exercise is one of the most common subjects related to resolutions, goal-setting, and health maintenance. Like most humans, I too struggle with making time for my daily exercise requirements even when my schedule has plenty of time for it. The hardest part of getting started with exercise routines is taking that first step – just doing it. Along with that Nike phrase that signifies the epitome of grit, grind and elbow-greasing your way to supreme fitness, here are five mantras I have learned to live by in pursuit of a healthier, stronger body, mind and soul.

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1. Use Exercise as Your Daily Moment of Zen 

Exercise is one of the best natural remedies for stress and clearing your mind. Activities like running and yoga cause your body to increase your breathing rate and focus on that instead of any stressors you have encountered during your day. Yoga also employs use of meditative states, allowing you to focus what is weighing you down that day and clear the negative thoughts out of your mind while replacing them with serenity and relaxing thoughts and emotions.

2. Realize Why You Exercise in the First Place 

Most people do not realize that while any exercise can benefit the body, straying from your routine can do more harm than good. In fact, taking more than one rest day off in between exercise days can actually cause your body to revert back to a lower fitness level and lose all of your progress. Additionally, exercise regimens have various health benefits such as preventing diabetes and obesity, and maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels too.

3. Grin and Bear it

Motivation is one of the hardest things to gain momentum with when you are starting any new routine. If you start out your new routine too strong, it can often lead to “burning out” and you will inevitably fail at your goal of fitness and health. Instead, I have focused on the small things, such as finishing a new work out each day and celebrating after each full week of exercise by gifting myself with a rest day. Often times, setting mini goals helps a lot in the beginning stages of starting anything new because they are more easily and quickly attainable leading to feelings of success and increasing motivation. Grinning and bearing through the annoyance, struggle, or loss of motivation to stick to working out may hurt at the time, but when you reflect on your progress a few months down the road, it will be so worth it!

4. Switch it Up

When people set fitness goals such as “running 6 miles every day on the treadmill,” the goals are often proven hard to stick to. The reason why? THEY ARE BORING! Make sure to switch up your workout routines often enough that you don’t get bored during them to encourage sticking to your work out schedule. Try doing a HIIT cardio routine like Betty Rocker’s HIIT Circuits every other day instead of constantly running on the treadmill – you will save your knees a bit of wear and tear too! Switching up routines consistently doesn’t give your body and muscles any time to get complacent and used to the workouts. New routines keep your body working hard and gaining strength, tone and stamina while holding your interest too. If all else fails, any work out can be jazzed up by switching inside workouts to outside or by adding a pump-up workout playlist to your iPod!

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5. Make it a Part of Your Social Routine

One of the easiest ways to motivate yourself to exercise is to do it with friends! Creating workout routines that fit around multiple friends’ schedules makes it easy to motivate each other and hold your friends accountable for each time you plan to get together. Being held accountable by your friends will make you more likely to stick to the routine because – let’s be completely honest – your friends will know if you skip out, and it will probably the hot topic of your next ladies night or lunch date. Easy ways to work out with friends while making time for social lives are through taking classes like Zumba or weight training at local or campus gyms, meeting up for a mid morning walk after dropping off kids at school, or even meet up at a friend’s house and do a group work out along to a fun or quirky work out DVD!

I know that #5 is super easy to get you motivated – I work out daily with my boyfriend along to Tony Horton’s P90 Workout circa the 2000’s and during it we constantly keep the mood light and muscle through the routines by laughing at the terrible music tracks, funny quips Tony says, and the flubs in the filming of each routine. He also keeps me honest when I have rough days, and I return that honesty to him, especially on days when he is exhausted from work and his course-load and could really use the workout time to de-stress instead of just sleeping it off!

 

What’s in a Name?

I have been blogging under the blot title of Lilly Lane for the last few weeks. However, I am starting to wonder if I should stick to this name. I want my blog to be a mix of my opinions and a place for others to create a community to share ideas and experiences. Lilly Lane to me is a destination and serves both of these purposes, but I am conflicted about the lack of personal connection I have to the title itself.

I have written extensively about why I chose my blog name in the About section of this blog site. There, you can find some true insight into me and what I wish to embody as an online presence in the greater blogging community. Please visit it to understand the background of my site and give me any feedback, whether positive or criticism! I thrive off of feedback!

Does anyone out there have any feedback as to if my blog name would be effective as a brand in the long run? I am going to buy a domain name and want to be completely sure of my blog title before that to keep all of my social media accounts consistent with it. I am looking forward to becoming more influential and experienced in the blogging realm and am ready to dive in headfirst!