Life in the Real World

Real life experiences after college

New blog, new location December 7, 2009

Filed under: 1 — jenncollins @ 2:09 pm

I no longer use this blog. I am now the author of a food blog called “For the Love…of Food“. Please visit me there and subscribe via RSS feed! Thanks for reading!



I voted! November 5, 2008

Filed under: 1 — jenncollins @ 4:20 pm


Well I did another American civil duty (did jury duty when I was 18)…I voted for the first time! I know what you’re thinking…you’re 25…how could this be your first time? Well, in ’04 I was at college and busy w/ tests, papers, writing a thesis, planning my wedding, among other things…and well I just didn’t get it together and ask for an absentee ballot. Oh well.

This election, I really wanted to vote. Then I found out I was registered under my maiden name still. I thought there was no way they would let me vote…the government is usually so strict about stuff, right? Wrong. I brought my marriage license, driver’s license and my old SS card and my new one for proof. All they wanted was my driver’s license. Within 5 minutes, I was cleared to vote under my married name and new address. Unbelievable.

Isn’t it amazing how everything else government-related requires you to have 50 forms of ID but voting requires almost nothing?! I don’t get it.

Anyway, I watched in awe last night while history was made. The first African-American president. That’s pretty cool. Especially considering I have family members in the deep south who are still very prejudiced. It is very sad. I think everyone, no matter who you voted for, can agree that history was made and can see how our country has progressed positively.

I will not tell you who I voted for. I’m not a huge fan of politics or the government. I honestly didn’t care for either candidate. I don’t trust man, I trust God to lead our country through the man He has put there. Regardless of who is president, we should pray for them and support them…especially as Christians.

End of my political soapbox. That’s probably all you will hear from me about politics ever. I don’t think there’s any point in arguing with others about it because we just end up going around in circles.

It was great to be a part of the voting process this week. I was proud as I scanned my ballot and wore my sticker. I can’t wait to do it again!


24 days & counting… October 27, 2008

Filed under: Blogging,Family,Fun stuff,pregnancy — jenncollins @ 12:17 pm

Hello blog world, I know it’s been a while. I have been busy with birthday parties, weddings and baby showers non-stop for the entire month of October! It’s been a lot of fun.

We’re 24 days away from the predicted due date! I can’t believe how fast the pregnancy has been. I can’t believe she will be here in just 3 weeks or so! Here’s some pics to enjoy from October.


“Where have I been” Wednesday October 1, 2008

Filed under: Blogging,Christmas,Fun stuff,pregnancy — jenncollins @ 3:26 pm

Yes, I know I’ve been AWOL lately. I’m not gonna apologize because, well, this is my blog and I usually just update it whenever I’m inspired or have something to say! Here’s what’s been happening w/ me since we last spoke :):

  • I’m 33 weeks pregnant now!
  • The hubby and I went to an all-day childbirth training class last weekend at the hospital. It consisted of lots of breathing, relaxing, watching a birth of not only a baby but the placenta as well (!), a tour of the maternity ward, looking at beautiful babies just minutes old, and way more. It was a great experience. I hope I remember everything when the moment comes!
  • I got to be in a TV commercial! My OB/GYN’s office called me at the last minute and needed me to be in a commercial for their office to play their “maternity patient”. I was super excited! While I waited for my big debut, I was in the waiting room for about an hour sitting around 5 doctors and listening them to talk about…medical stuff. I felt kinda dumb sitting around all of these professionals and it also felt a little surreal to listen to my own doctor talk like a normal person. I know this makes me sound even dumber but all he and I talk about are pregnancy-related things: is the baby moving? any pain? To hear him talk to his colleagues was just weird. Whatever. Back to the commercial. All I did was pretend to talk to one of the doctors in his office and rub my belly! It was really cool. If you live in Hollywood, Pembroke Pines or Miramar, keep a look out for me and record it if you can!!
  • Along those lines, Sadie may have another opportunity to be in the spotlight. There’s a very small chance that she could play baby Jesus in a very large Christmas pageant in this area (I’ll let you all take your guesses as to what pageant that is!). We’ll see!
  • Ok so the biggest news is that we went to my doctor and got a 4D ultrasound of our baby girl! You can see it below. Isn’t she precious? Every time I look at this picture, reality sinks in that we’re actually having a baby. It is the strangest feeling but amazing at the same time. I can’t wait to actually see her!
  • I have a very big birthday coming up next week on Oct 9. Anyone care to take a guess what age I will be? I’m not happy about it!!!


When to throw out last week’s casserole… September 3, 2008

Filed under: Blogging,Food,Fun stuff — jenncollins @ 3:47 pm


I love Real Simple Magazine. I don’t subscribe or anything, I just like to buy one every now and then when I have a few extra bucks. I was so happy today when I found out that Real Simple blogs! I subscribed to all of them and I am so excited to get little tidbits of advice, tips and common sense answers to my unorganization.

I was reading the “food” blog earlier and found a link to a great chart that tells you how long you can keep food in your fridge and your freezer. This is priceless to me because I never know what is right (hence, the bugs in my potatoes a few weeks back!). I’m always calling my Mom and asking “If I bought this ground turkey on Monday, is it OK to eat it today (Thursday)?” The answer is no.

I usually find myself bending down in my fridge with the garbage can next to me throwing food (and $$) away because of my carelessness. I hate it about myself, but maybe the chart will help me! I want to print out a copy and stick on my fridge so I always know what is safe to eat.

Do you have any horror stories of leftover food in your fridge? Tell me about it!


A bit of family history August 26, 2008

Filed under: Family,Food,Random — jenncollins @ 9:40 am

I don’t know a ton about my ancestors but I do know that my great grandmother arrived at Ellis Island at 14 years old. She didn’t know any English and was put in a kindergarten class. She met my great grandfather later, who had also arrived at Ellis Island from Sweden (not sure of dates).

On another side of the family, my great grandfather came to the U.S. from Sicily (hence my maiden name, Rizzo) and met my great grandmother later who had come over from Lithouania.

Other family members came from England, France and there’s even some Cherokee Indian in me somewhere. Most of my family either settled in Chicago, Miami and Alabama. I’m a melting pot in and of myself.

All of these wonderful people were in the U.S. at the time of the Great Depression. I’ve heard many stories about the way they lived. They were all broke. It’s funny to see now how their kids (my grandparents) are still affected by the Depression. For the most part, they are very conservative. They wash plastic plates and utensils. No food goes to waste; even if it’s one piece of bread left over. Food never gets thrown away. They had to be creative. It’s admirable.

I almost feel like I could be like them sometimes with the economy the way it is. I often wonder if history will repeat itself in our generation or the next.

What do you know about your great grandparents? I love hearing family histories and how people survived the Depression. Share it in a comment!


My creation… August 20, 2008

Filed under: Food,Food Network,Fun stuff,pregnancy — jenncollins @ 7:35 pm

Well dinner tonight was interesting. Because half my brain isn’t functioning (thank you, pregnancy), I thought I had laid out a pork loin for dinner. I was planning on pork with roasted potatoes and onions. When I got home, I saw chicken in the sink. Somehow I thought pork and laid out chicken instead…weird! So, I had to change my plans. I still wanted to use the potatoes but when I opened the bag, there were bugs in it!! Ugh it was disgusting. I guess the potatoes were a little too old.

I looked on for a little inspiration and saw a recipe for lemon chicken w/ pasta. It sounded good to me but I didn’t have all the ingredients and thought I would try to make it on my own. So I made a recipe from scratch with stuff in my pantry and fridge that I wanted to get rid of. The result? Deliciousness. It was actually very good!! The recipe is below. Some of the measurements are approximate because I ended up not measuring anything but just threw stuff in. If you know me at all, you know that I like to follow a recipe to the “T”, so this is very unlike me, but I am proud of me!🙂 Let me know if you make it!


Lemon Pepper Chicken in a Sherry Vinegar Sauce with Roasted Onions

1 medium onion
Olive oil
3-4 chicken breasts pounded thin
1 egg
1 T water
1 T Dijon mustard
Flour to dredge chicken
3 T lemon pepper seasoning
1 C chicken stock
1 C sherry vinegar
3 cloves garlic minced
1 T honey
¼ C lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley

Cut onion up into half moons. Place on baking sheet. Season with salt & pepper and drizzle w/ olive oil. Roast in a 450 degree oven until translucent and browned.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat with olive oil to coat the pan. Pound chicken breasts very thin. In a small dish, combine 1 egg, a little water and the mustard. In another dish, combine flour with lemon pepper seasoning. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then flour mixture. Sauté each chicken breast…just brown it on both sides, you don’t have to cook all the way through. Set aside and keep warm.

After sautéing, pour chicken stock in the same pan and use a wooden spoon to get all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add sherry vinegar, garlic, honey, lemon juice, thyme, and parsley. Heat to boiling. Add chicken back in and cook on low covered for about 10 minutes or so.

Serve with couscous, pasta, or rice and whatever else. Put chicken on a serving dish and pour sauce over it. Top it with the roasted onions. Serve and enjoy!