As You Graduate

Though you’re not leaving the nest immediately, I still wanted to type up some words of wisdom.  Some life lessons, as one would say.

1 Find your joy.  Hold tight to it.  If it can make you money at it, even better.
2 Find your people, your tribe.  This will morph and change through the years.  And that’s okay.  Know who your real friends are, and treat those people like you want to be treated.
3 Always have a houseplant.  Or two.  Or ten.  They’ll help clean and purify your indoor air.  They improve your mood.  And if you can keep them alive, you can for sure move onto step two.
4 When you’re ready for a pet, get one.  It’s great responsibility.  But pets can be such a big, wonderful part of life.  If you can keep a pet alive, step three is typically next.
5 But don’t make me a grandma until I’m in my 50’s!  No joke!  I’ll wring your neck.  But then, when I’m ready 😉, I hope I’ve equipped you to be an amazing, patient, fun, strict, caring, understanding, wonderful, and involved (but of course, imperfect) parent.
6 Don’t be an a**.  Or a know-it-all.  A jerk.  No one likes those guys.  Except other a**holes.
7 But don’t be a pushover.  There’s a sweet spot in-between, where you’ll find those real friends, be respected by peers, be invaluable to your bosses.
8 You know the jist of laundry.  Hooray for having that chore taken off my plate years ago.  Dishes are pretty straight forward.  Just keep up with them.  Piles get stinky and gross.  So can trash and recycling.  Stay on top of those.  And please recycle!  Make it a goal to be kinder to our planet than generations before you.
9 Did you know you should be cleaning the shower, sink, and toilet?  Yep.  Surprise!  They don’t clean themselves.
10 Clean out the fridge regularly too.  Old fruits, veggies, and leftovers can get rank.
11 If cooking becomes a chore, just cook four or five big meals a week.  Leftovers for lunches and a couple of dinners can be a lifesaver.
12 Have and know where your fire extinguishers are.
13 Don’t speed.  Drive carefully.  Always be alert.  Any kind of collision at high speeds can be life-changing.  And never drink and drive!
14 But have a great playlist.  For the car, for life.  Let songs bring up emotions, memories, air guitar, and drumming on the steering wheel.
15 Discover your favorite places, and visit them often.  Let them reset your soul.
16 Travel.  Don’t regret not taking trips, visiting museums, seeing the sites, exploring this great nation (and beautiful planet) of ours.
17 Have a credit card.  Use it.  You’ll be building up good credit.  But pay it off as quickly as you spend with it, so it doesn’t get out of control.
18 Be careful with social media.  Screenshots can easily be taken by anyone.  And future bosses could easily get access.  Don’t let stupid posts come back to haunt you.
19 There are all kinds of love languages.  We can show people we love them through words, touch, food, time, or gifts.  Somehow, find ways to let people you love know that you love them.
20 Find time to exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep.
21 Your thoughts are powerful.  Make them positive.  Find the good things, find the blessings, in every day.
22 Be kind.  Open doors, show respect, give back, help someone.
23 Use the HEB app, to look for coupons, before you shop.  Over the last few years I’ve saved $610!!!
24 And while we’re on the subject of HEB, remember to shop the outside of the store.  That’s where your fresher, unprocessed foods are.  Fewer preservatives, chemicals, salt, sugar.  So much better for you!
25 A lot of life can be found in the grey.  Keep an open mind, try to see both sides, don’t be so quick to judge.
26 No advice on relationships.  I’ve only really dated/loved two people in my life.  And there was no secret to their success (while it lasted) or exact reasons for why they fell apart.  I’m definitely no expert.  But now, after watching way too many romantic comedies, I know what I want, how I want to be treated.
27 CALL YOUR MOTHER!  Is what most people would say.  But you know me.  Text.  Or much better, let’s sit and talk.  I’m always here for you.

And I thought I’d pull together some of our favorite recipes.  Now, I’m not sure that I follow any of the meals exactly.  But you’ll soon start playing with ingredients, being able to leave one out or add one in.  You’ll figure out what you like.

tres leches cake
red enchilada sauce
chicken fried steak
green onion chicken
mac & cheese
birthday cake pancakes
loaded baked potato soup
pizza crust
breakfast sausage casserole
s’mores cupcakes
sugar cookie waffles
southwestern chopped salad
Luby’s copycat fried fish
pan-seared ribeye
chocolate syrup
Rudy’s copycat creamed corn
roasted pork tenderloin
death by chocolate cupcakes
hot cocoa cupcakes
chicken pot pie
chocolate muffins
churro waffles
steelhead trout with lemon parmesan sauce
cinnamon rolls
snickerdoodle cupcakes
avocado butter
fish & chips
french fries
chocolate chip cookie dough frosting
sweet & sour chicken
whole wheat blueberry waffles
garlic herb flatbread
succotash salad
slow cooker cocktail sausages
Jamaican jerk chicken
bacon green beans
no-bake cheesecake
Philly cheesesteak
curry chicken
chicken piccata
bacon & cheese quiche
pumpkin pie
cinnamon roll pancakes
soft pretzels
pumpkin pancakes
snickerdoodle muffins
fudgy brownies
apple pie
french loaves
honey cupcakes
mint chocolate chip pancakes
hamburger buns
BLT chopped salad


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