Life in the Real World

Real life experiences after college

I’m an AUNT! August 31, 2007

Filed under: Family,Life,Travel — jenncollins @ 4:06 pm

I’m a first-time AUNT! I’m so excited! Joel’s brother, Dave and his wife Connie just had their little girl, Taylor Renee Collins! She weighs 8 lbs 9 oz. I couldn’t be happier! Now if we could only get up to Michigan to see them….:)


Recipe fun August 29, 2007

Filed under: Food Network,Fun stuff — jenncollins @ 9:20 pm

food-network.jpgI’m always looking for new recipes. I have a repertoire of my own, but I usually circulate through them and get bored. Most of the time, I figure out what we are going to eat 20 minutes before I make it. Some people can’t do that, but I love it…I love the spontaneity.

I get criticized quite a bit for watching the Food Network. Why is it OK for guys to be obsessed with watching football and golf? Well, I’m not obsessed with the Food Network. I just enjoy watching people make incredible things out of a few ingredients. I’ve learned to eat many new foods by watching the Food Network…I used to be a really picky eater! Plus, I’m not gonna lie…Joel has eaten pretty darn well from recipes I’ve made watching the shows. I don’t hear him complaining then…:)

Anyway, for those of you who need some more ideas, go to the Food Network website. I find all of my ideas there. No need for cookbooks, just search for what you want. I always look in my frig to see what kind of meat I have or if I have potatoes or tomatoes…and I go from there. I can usually make a recipe with just 2-3 ingredients. Or, if I don’t have the ingredients called for, I use my own and do a twist on the recipe. It’s fun! Try it tonight! 🙂 Here are a few that I’ve done lately…enjoy!


Top 10 places I’ve been and top 10 places I want to go August 24, 2007

Filed under: Life,Travel — jenncollins @ 9:52 pm

Top 10 places I’ve been:

  • Grand Canyon
  • Cozumel
  • Grand Cayman
  • Ocho Rios
  • Dry Tortugas (west of Key West)
  • New York, NY
  • Chicago
  • Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  • Washington D.C.
  • Bar Harbor, Maine

Top 10 places I want to go:

  • Hawaii
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Canada (Prince Edward Island, more specifically)
  • Alaska
  • Italy (Venice, Rome, Sicily, Naples…all of it, really)
  • The UK (England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland)
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • Suriname, South America (where my husband grew up on the mission field)

One day I want to say that I’ve been to all 50 states. That would be cool! I love traveling, bring it on 🙂


The videos and pictures August 23, 2007

Filed under: American Idol,Fun stuff,Music — jenncollins @ 7:40 pm

Unfortunately I can’t post all the videos we have because we will get in big trouble! So…yeah…here’s what I have. If you do more searching for videos from the Miami auditions, you will find a bunch more! Enjoy!

yeah, didn’t knock em dead…oh well! Check out my pictures here.


A Word on Customer Service

Filed under: Chick-fil-A,Church,Customer service,Panda Express,Starbucks — jenncollins @ 2:07 pm

Pictures of yesterday at American Idol are coming…I promise!

Today I went to lunch at Chick-fil-A with Joel. As always, it was a wonderful experience. They always know to make the customer happy. They are great at what they do. Not only do they make incredible chicken sandwiches and killer waffle fries, they have mastered the art of customer service. There is a man in the store we go to where his only job (it seems like his only job, but it’s probably not) is to walk around the store, take people’s trays and refill their drinks! That is completely unnecessary, but so nice! He even responds to “thank you” by saying “my pleasure“. I love that.

Another great fast food experience is at Panda Express (the free-standing ones, not the ones in the mall). They are very well-spoken and polite. Some of them even greet you in Chinese! How refreshing to get customer service from people who want to be there and like their jobs. I know people can be obnoxious and it’s easier to retaliate than kill them with kindness; I’ve worked in the food industry and retail, I know how it is. But it’s so great when companies train their employees to be different.

Same goes for Starbucks, but we all knew that!

We can definitely apply this to the church. By just changing our attitudes, we can make someone else’s church-going experience a better one!


The last AI update.. August 22, 2007

Filed under: American Idol,Fun stuff,Music — jenncollins @ 7:36 pm

Yes, sadly, my American Idol adventures were cut short! But it’s all good…it was a fun experience and one I will never forget!! What a freak show! It was funny just to people-watch!

There’s stuff I want to share that I can’t yet and I have pictures and video to put up! I’ll probably get to that tomorrow. I’ve been up since 3:45 a.m. so I’m going to bed.

One thing before I leave…I must’ve sent out 50+ text messages to all my friends between Monday and today keeping them updated about what’s been going on with my audition. One of my dear friends replied with this:

“aw sorry Jenn. I guess you’ll just have to stay at church and sing instead of becoming a star! :)”

There’s nothing wrong with that statement. I would be perfectly fine to sing at church for the rest of my life. My gift is from God; who better to use it for than the church?? However (in no way am I mad at this person for saying that comment…she is an amazing person in my life and I didn’t take it personally!), I don’t want to limit myself. Just because I didn’t make American Idol doesn’t mean a thing. Sure, it would’ve been a lot easier to get myself out there, but that doesn’t matter. If God wants me to share my gift to the world, He’ll make it happen. I have no doubts. I’m always open to opportunities and that’s how I saw American Idol: an opportunity to sing and let God use me! And that’s exactly what it was. I’m so thankful for the chance and the memories with great friends and an awesome husband who stuck by me through the ungodly hours and Miami heat!! 🙂 Look for me on TV when the show starts in January…I should at least be shown in the clips for the group song and cheers we did!!

p.s. I’ve gotta be honest with you guys…I sang “Anyway” by Martina McBride for my audition and when I started singing in front of the producers, my mind went absolutely blank. It was a miserable experience. I’m still trying to get over how I embarassed myself!


AI Adventure #3 August 21, 2007

Filed under: American Idol,Fun stuff,Music — jenncollins @ 8:14 pm

Tomorrow’s audition day!! AHHHHHHH!!

I’ve finally picked my songs…post more later. Look for pics and video sometime tomorrow!!!