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Who Is That Girl?

It's been awhile since I've written a fun post like this and seeing as how there are a few new faces around here {to you, I say, WELCOME!}, I thought you might enjoy getting to know the girl behind the blog a little, too.

- I am the oldest child in my family, and the only girl. I have a brother who is five and a half years younger than I am. I've always wanted a sister! I do have two sister in-laws, but am not nearly as close as I wish we were.

- I cannot stand Jennifer Hudson. She's a good singer but all of her stuff sounds the same and she's way too dramatic. You won't often hear me mention people I dislike, but she's an exception.

- My dream European vacation would be to spend weeks upon weeks in Greece, Italy, and France. I've been to France once, and greatly under appreciated the trip - I'd love to go back someday!

- My decorating style around our house is casual-traditional. I love me a gorgeous, clean-lined, comfortable living room.

- I am allergic to just about everything - including tattoos, printing inks, piercings, and cockroaches. I'm pretty sure I have a never-ending watery nose, my contacts rarely feel comfortable when I am wearing them because my allergies often manifest in my eyelids, and my daily dose of Claritin often times hardly touches the itch.

- I am always looking forward - to the next big event in my life, the next week, the next season. I'm trying hard to learn how to live in the moment but it's so tough!

- You can often find me in skirts and sundresses if the weather is warm enough. I LOVE pretty dresses and skirts!

- Broadway shows are one of my weaknesses.

- If I could change one thing about my physical appearance, it would be my hair. It's always so flat and hard to style!

- Nursing is one of the last careers I ever thought I'd be doing when I was young. I couldn't stand the thought of blood, vomit, or needles. Slowly, it has developed into a love and a passion.

- On a similar note, I never thought I'd be married so young and I never thought I'd marry someone like Trevor. He is my complete opposite in almost every single way, yet here we are, so in love, married, and happy together.

- If I wasn't married, I'd be living in a big city {Chicago!} and enjoying single life. In high school, I never felt like I needed a boyfriend to make me feel whole and I often times liked being unattached. I think that if Trevor and I wouldn't have worked out, I'd be embracing life as a single lady.

- Yet, on the flip side, I am so happy to be married and thankful that I have a great husband who will make an even better father to his kids.

- I'm a pearls kind of girl. Diamonds, eh. Rhinestones, nah. But pearls and lace? YOU BETCHA!

- I am a thrifty, thrifty lady. I watch every single penny of our money and don't indulge often. Trevor and I have student loan debt, but we flat-out own both of our cars, his two motorcycles, and we don't have any credit cards. I'm proud of that fact!

So, are we alike? Different? Do we share the same likes and passions?
Tell me more about YOU!

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Project: Do You #3

Please note that this is a link up that focuses on individual self discovery goals. The goals you see below were set by me and for me only. If you choose to link up with us, please create your own goals to work toward and to update us on. If you are unfamiliar with Project: Do You, check out this post that introduces it before proceeding.

#1 - Read one book per month. I finished my financial book by Suze Orman this week so I'm right on track. I already have Safe Haven {March's book} on my nightstand ready to go! I'm hoping to soon find my book for April but I don't even know what kind of book I am looking for. Any suggestions in the comments below would be much appreciated!

#2 - Work out on a regular basis. Again, I'm right on track with this one. Last Sunday I worked out with a great friend who will also be running in The Color Run with me in August and we got pedicures afterwards to celebrate our February birthdays. The idea of a pedi after our workout made it hard to focus on the gym but I made sure to mix it up by alternating each mile (or 10 minutes) on the elliptical with a circuit of weights and strength training.

#9 - Travel more. We have some fun plans brewing for this summer. We won't be traveling too far from Wisconsin, but a trip is a trip! We'll be popping up all over the Badger State, in Chicago, and also Indiana. I love traveling!

#10 - Learn to say no more often. I was put in a tough spot at work yesterday where I had no chance to say no to something I desperately didn't want to do. However, even in the crappy situation, I made my intentions clear and didn't allow myself to be walked all over by my coworkers. A discussion at the end of my shift with our House Supervisor confirmed that I made the right decision and was in the right to stand by that decision for today's schedule as well. Cross your fingers that I'm not working in a department I dislike being sent to and that I'm able to be on my own unit with my own patients.

#15 - See a Broadway show. My birthday gift from my parents is/was a trip to Chicago this summer. I am IN LOVE with the city - I try to go at least once a year (preferably when the weather's nice because it's a great city to walk around in!) - and enjoy all the city has to offer. From Oak Street Beach to the Loop, to the shopping, and the people... I love it all. Part of my gift is tickets to The Book of Mormon at the Bank of America Theater and I can't wait! I've heard great things about the show so it will be a treat. This will be crossed off the list in a matter of months!

#16 - Get hearing tested again/look into surgery. I have always had hearing problems. It's a long story but it results in my eardrums disintegrating and basically dissolving over time. The last time I was checked, each ear drum was about half left. This means I have in both ears what normal people have in only one and my hearing is severely impacted. (Fun fact: Because of my hearing loss, I have to watch movies with the captions on - TV not as much because I usually just turn it up, but movies are a caption must-have!) I was supposed to have both ears surgically fixed in high school but lost insurance coverage before I had a chance to act on it. Plus, I may be a baby when it comes to surgery. Maybe. Either way, doctors have always instructed me to get my hearing tested every 6 months... but my new insurance only covers once every three years. It has now been three years since my last test and I can finally call to get a test scheduled!

The weekly questions don't pertain to my past week much. I've been stuck in a never ending cycle of school, homework, and getting called into covering shifts at work. I'm just trying to make it till tomorrow (and the tomorrow after that, and after that)... so I can't say what made me happy or blue. I'm simply just "floating" along.

Looking to see how much progress I've made throughout this journey? You can always check here!

Come link up your Project: Do You posts with us!

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Saturday Inspiration

I'm hoping to elaborate on this idea in a much longer post soon. But there's a reason you haven't heard from me much lately... and sadly, it's not going to be much different in the coming days. Simply put, the current season of my life is not easily allowing me to blog (at all, much less on a regular basis). I recognize that I have some fantastic readers who will read whatever I put out there and will respond with amazing, kind words and I don't want you to think I am abandoning my post here at You.And.Me.Are.We! I have some fun post ideas to share with you soon - posts won't be coming as often as they had been, but I am making a huge effort to write what I can, when I can.

I'm just embracing the current season of my life!

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Have You Met Lauren?

Have you met Lauren?

She blogs over at Tennessee Honey and is one of the most down to earth bloggers out there.

Here's what she wants you to know about her --

I'm Lauren and I blog over at Tennessee Honey. I have two children, unless you count my husband, and I'm a Doxie mom. I'm random, sarcastic, and usually speak my mind. I'm Southern born, but I'm FAR from "country". In fact, I'm probably the only girl in the south that doesn't like country music. I'm addicted to coffee, books, Harry Potter, and laughing. I blog mostly about my thoughts, vents, randoms, and occasionally about the little people I gave birth to.

Like so many of us, Lauren made goals and resolutions for 2013... and also like so many of us, she decided that making time to read for pleasure needed to be near the top of the list. She is pledging to read 30 books this year and is taking her readers along for the ride. The list of books she's reading looks pretty darn good if I do say so! When she's not reading, Lauren is a student and a mom to two. She may not have a full time job, but she's considering buying stock in her local hospital. Any guesses as to why?
And finally, if she hasn't won your heart yet, you need to check out these HILARIOUS videos - she'll win over your funny bone for sure!

Lucky for you, Lauren is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card and a month of medium ad space on her blog to one lucky reader {enter below}.

Head over to Tennessee Honey to read everything she has to say and if that's not your style, make sure you at least follower her on Twitter or Pinterest!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Just a little deal for you...

I heard about Melissa's new adventure and I knew I wanted to help her get the word out. I co-hosted last week's Valentine's Day link up with her, so it's safe to say she's pretty darn fantastic! If you are looking for new design elements for your blog, take a few minutes to check out her work. Plus, if you keep reading, you just may find a promo code for a discount!

Hello Everyone! I am Melissa from The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife and I am so exited to be guest posting today.
I have had some really exciting things happening lately and I can't wait to share it with the world, well at least the blogging world!
I have over 10 years experience with graphic and web design and do it for a living, so when I started designing some blog layouts for myself and some friends it came really natural for me and was actually super fun! I have been doing some designs under the radar for the past year and thought maybe it was time I made a small business out of it! What's that? A Business that I LOVE? SIGN ME UP!
So... I am happy to introduce to you...
Not So Ordinary Designs is a place where YOU and I can come together as a team and create something FABULOUS!! 
I will work with you to design an amazing fully custom layout, 
social media backgrounds, shop banners and so much more!
Click here to check out my portfolio, packages and prices.
Use the promocode 25OFF to get 25% off any package.

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Project: Do You #2

Please note that this is a link up that focuses on individual self discovery goals. The goals you see below were set by me and for me only. If you choose to link up with us, please create your own goals to work toward and to update us on. If you are unfamiliar with Project: Do You, check out this post that introduces it before proceeding.

#1 - Read one book per month. Still reading my financial book: The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke by Suze Orman. Last week, I mentioned a retirement plan. Well, I am proud to tell you that I talked with my HR people, made a lot of emails, got frustrated, felt stupid, asked for help, and managed to enroll in a Roth IRA and in mutual funds all by Friday morning.

#2 - Work out on a regular basis. My workout last Sunday was the best I've had in a long, long time. I don't know if it was the music or what, but I ran almost 5 miles in 35 minutes... I blew my own expectations out of the water on that one!

#5 - Plan a date night ahead of time for each month. Part of my Valentine's Day gift to Trevor was a pre-planned, pre-paid-for date day. We haven't picked out a day to go, but I'm looking forward to it already. However, if we don't get to it until March, I can still say that I planned a date ahead of time for February because our Valentine's Day evening was wonderful - heart shaped pizza, moscato, movies, popcorn, candy, and lots of cuddles.
Our Valentine's Day dinner
#10 - Learn to say no more often. I picked up a partial shift in the ER on Friday afternoon/evening. Part of the way into the shift, the girl that was replacing me on the next shift called and said she wouldn't make it in on time and asked me to stay until 9pm. While we could have used the money, we already had plans to meet Trevor's parents for dinner. Plus, I wanted to get home at a decent time so I could primp for my birthday on Saturday. I felt pressured into saying yes but I put my foot down and told her that I couldn't stay any later. Even though I was harassed a little afterwards, I still felt my decision was the right one and I would have regretted staying late and not going to dinner.

And now for the questions:

What did I do this week to indulge in my passions?
I took some time for myself on Friday night - did my nails, read a book, etc. and 

What did I do this week to get my body moving?
Worked out with a friend as planned. Sunday's workout rocked!

What did I learn about myself this week?
I have a guilty conscience when saying no - I will be working on that in the future.

What made me happy this week?
The first set of exams I took this semester really had me bummed and worried about my grades. An announcement from an instructor on Wednesday helped turn that around. Also, yesterday was my birthday and spent hours with loved ones. First, we attended a funeral visitation for one of Trevor's great aunts. While it was somber, it was still nice to see family. We also had lunch with my immediate family, grandparents and aunts. It was a great time! And of course, Trevor and I got to spend a lot of time together which was so wonderful.

Join us on our year-long self-discovery journey! Grab a button if you'd like, link up with us, and tell us how your Project: Do You is coming along!

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Saturday Inspiration

Today is my birthday! And you know what that means? I have a new year ahead of me! Three hundred sixty five days to make an impact on myself, my family, my community, and my world.

Here's to hoping for a year full of nursing school, trying new things, and going on adventures.

This year, I'm going to let my faith be bigger than my fear. I am going to grow. I am going to experience. I am going to get out of my comfort zone.

I am going to rock it!

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DIY Hair Ties

These no-kink hair ties have been all over Pinterest lately and I was very intrigued to say the least.

I decided that I'd like to try and make my own before buying them because they're usually so expensive. Turns out, the hardest part of the whole project was picking out what colors of elastic I wanted to buy! The rest was a piece of cake.

Follow along and you'll see just how easy it is to make a set of these for yourself!

To make, you'll need elastic {the technical term is fold over elastic, or FOE}, scissors, and a small flame {I used a candle}.

You can find FOE at Hobby Lobby {though, they only have a thick white verison} and at other craft stores, but I found the best value and the most variety of colors on Etsy - more specifically, I ordered from ShekhinahPalace and was very satisfied.

Cut strips of your elastic about 8 inches long. Feel free to customize length for thicker hair or if you would prefer to make a headband rather than a hair tie. If you do choose to make a headband, I suggest wrapping it around your head where you want it to sit and adding a couple inches so you can tie a knot in it.

Cut the ends at an angle to make them look pretty.

Then quickly pass the angled end over your flame. No need to hold it over the flame for a long period of time, you just need to melt the elastic enough so that it won't unravel.

Next, fold the elastic over and tie a knot in the end. Pull tight!

Repeat, repeat, repeat to make a full set.


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Husband vs Wife

To celebrate my favorite holiday, I'm co-hosting a Valentine's Day link up with The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife. We introduced it last week, in case you want to see details, but I'm here today revealing our juicy answers! Won't you please join us?

My answers are in pink, my husband's answers are in blue.

How long have you been married? Four days shy of 20 months. About 20 months.
Where was your first date? His parent's basement. We watched a few movies. We went to see a movie at the theater.
Where was your first kiss? In my parent's driveway when he dropped me off after my junior prom. That's easy! Right by your parent's door after prom. You claim it was a peck, I think it was longer than that!
Who first said, "I love you"? He did. I did.
What were your wedding colors? It's complicated: various shades of lighter pink, with grays and ivories, topped off with navy blue! (Someday you'll all see pictures of our wedding here, I promise!) It wasn't the blue and the pink was it?
What is her most commonly used phrase? Hm, this is tough! I don't think I have a phrase that I use all of the time. I don't think you have one!
Who is her celebrity crush? Channing! You never admitted it to me, I don't think. Channing Tatum?
If she was ordering drinks for both of you what would you each get? With a casual dinner: water. If we were out specifically for drinks, I'd get him a beer or a rum drink, and I'd get me a daiquiri or a margarita. You'd get me a beer and you'd get yourself a margarita.
What is the best meal she has ever cooked you? I'm not sure what he's going to say, but I do know for sure he's going to suck up! All of them (said with a cheesy smile).
What is the worst meal she has ever cooked you? I have no idea, but I'm curious to see what he says! None of them (again, cue the smile).
What is the most-played song on her iPod? Make You Feel My Love - Adele We Are Young.
What would she say is your most annoying habit? Oh, sometimes he just won't stop sniffling. I offer tissues and he doesn't take them... he just keeps sniffling. Laziness.
What is the last thing she does before she goes to bed? Brush my teeth. Wash your face, brush your teeth.
If you could throw out one item of her clothing what would it be? Gotta be the period underwear! But that ish is necessary! Either your period underwear or all of the jeans that don't fit you and you complain about them being too big when you wear them.
What would you say is your favorite thing about her? I think he may suck up here, too, but in case he doesn't, then I think he'll say that he loves how we can be crazy and silly together. The way you work hard at everything; especially our marriage.
What's her go-to drink at Starbucks? Tall skinny vanilla latte. Pumpkin Spice.
What's her blog's name?! You.And.Me.Are.We You.And.Me.Are.We

Happy Valentine's Day! Trevor and I are spending the night in - eating heart shaped pizza and drinking moscato. Classy? You bet!

What are you doing to celebrate?

Link up your posts here:

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I recently revamped my sponsorship options and lowered the prices so that there's a category of ad space for every blogger and every budget!

Please note that I am continuing to do swaps, but am reserving the right to decline your ad if I don't feel that your blog meshes well with mine. I also will decline your ads if I feel you are abusing and/or overusing my swap option. I love {and encourage} repeat swappers but I sometimes have to draw the line to be fair to others!

You'll see that I offer a swap ad {free with promo code} and ad spaces ranging in price from $5 to $15 and in width from 125 pixels to 600 pixels. There's something for everyone!

Sponsorships and ads on this blog are not taken lightly. I spend hours working to promote your space and to get results for you. I honestly feel that my past sponsors say it best - they have loved working with me, found that sponsoring You.And.Me.Are.We encouraged new traffic to their blogs, and was an overall great decision for blog growth.

Read more details about what some of my past sponsors have said and check out specific ad space details on my sponsor page.

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Project: Do You #1

Edit: Please note that this is a link up that focuses on individual self discovery goals. The goals you see below were set by me and for me only. If you choose to link up with us, please create your own goals to work toward and to update us on. If you are unfamiliar with Project: Do You, check out this post that introduces it before proceeding. 

I've had a busy week! I worked last weekend and had an exam in every class I'm taking right now which meant I focused on studying and trying to make it through the day rather than on myself and my needs.

Not a phenomenal start to Project: Do You, but I have to accept that this is the reality of working {at least 25 hours} every third weekend. For some reason, shifts on the weekend always seem so much more hectic and I come home completely exhausted. I'm guessing it will take a little while to find a sweet spot of compromise between crazy busy at work, and making myself a priority.
The reality is, I can't be my top priority all of the time and I'm OK with it. However, I need to learn to make myself a priority when I can. 
When I'm at work being crazy busy trying to help a patient with intractable vomiting, a patient who needs to get to the bathroom, and a patient who is short of breath I shouldn't be thinking about myself. That would make me a bad nurse. On the flip side, I can learn to take an evening to light some candles, put on a mud mask, and curl up with a good book.

So, the goals. I've actually made quite a bit of progress!

#1 - Read one book per month. I've been reading a financial book - to some it may be boring, but this specific book was written for young adults {like us!} and is enjoyable to read. I'm planning on implementing some of the tips {hello retirement plan!} in the near future. I've also decided which book I will be reading in March {Safe Haven} and just bought it the other day.
#2 - Work out on a regular basis. I've been looking forward to the past few Saturday mornings because I get to head to the gym with one of my oldest friends. But yesterday was even better because I downloaded a fast-paced fitness playlist from iTunes. Seeing that I only spent $12 and now have over 40 songs on my iPod, I am a happy camper. Plus, listening to Gangnam Style while on the treadmill is just plain fun!
#3 - Run a 5K. I am so excited to tell you all that I signed up for The Color Run in Milwaukee on August 11th! In fact, I didn't just sign up, I am a team captain! I've heard that The Color Run is a great starting 5K because there's a little bit of walking thrown in. You better believe I'll be running that baby as much as possible and rocking my white-clothes-turned-rainbow'ed!
#12 - Get out of my comfort zone more often. Remember those exams I took last week? I struggled with them. Science has always come easy to me {heck, I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a science minor!} but biochemistry is really kicking my butt. I thought I understood everything when I was studying but as soon as that exam was in front of me, I panicked. Maybe his exams are just that hard, but maybe I need to learn that nursing school is tough and I need to learn to be satisfied with Bs and Cs rather than As. It's weird and disappointing and uncomfortable all in one. I have a lot of work ahead of me - both with this goal and with biochem!

Grab a button if you'd like, link up with us, and tell us how your Project: Do You is coming along!

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Saturday Inspiration

In honor of the upcoming holiday - my favorite day of all! - Valentine's Day.

Love one another in deed and in truth.

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get ready for a link up!

Here are the instructions:
  1. Fill out the questions below with your answers
  2. Hand over the same set of questions to your spouse and see if they can answer the questions about you. 
  3. Write your post and compare both of your answers
  4. Link up here on February 14th
I am so excited to read all the fun answers, should be interesting to say the least.

Here are the questions: Feel free to add or take away any questions you want.
How long have you been married?
Where was your first date?
Where was your first kiss?
Who first said, "I love you"?
What were your wedding colors?
What is her most commonly used phrase?
Who is her celebrity crush?
If she was ordering drinks for both of you what would you each get?
What is the best meal she has ever cooked you?
What is the worst meal she has ever cooked you?
What is the most-played song on her iPod?
What would she say is your most annoying habit?
What is the last thing she does before she goes to bed?
If you could throw out one item of her clothing what would it be?
What would you say is your favorite thing about her?
What's her go-to drink at Starbucks?
What's her blog's name?!

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Single-Serve Chocolate Chip Muffin

I love mug cupcakes and other pint-sized recipes because Trevor and I have different tastes when it comes to desserts. I respect the fact that he doesn't always like the healthy-versioned stuff that I make by whipping up smaller batches of baked goods. This recipe was inspired by those small batches.

A little bit of browsing online led to me being overwhelmed with the amount of variations of single-serve cupcakes and muffins. I combined suggestions from a handful of recipes and came up with this sweet treat!

Make it for a yummy breakfast or as a dessert for after dinner - it's up to you!


Here's what you need to do:

Preheat your oven to 340 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with one cupcake liner {yes, just a single liner}.

Grab a cereal bowl. Add the following to it: 1 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt, 1/3 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips, anywhere from half to one whole packet of stevia depending on your tastes {or one packet of Splenda or other sugar sub}, 1 1/2 tablespoons milk {I used unsweetened almond milk, but you could use skim, too}, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 tablespoon butter {I used a light butter}.

Mix everything together until moist, then transfer into the cupcake liner. Bake for 15-20 minutes.


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Project: Do You

Change is inevitable. In fact, I look forward to change. So that's why, just in time for the start of a new year {my birthday is in less than two weeks}, I am focusing on me for a change.

Maybe it's because I work in a field where the focus is on everyone except myself. Maybe it's because when I'm working, I make it a priority to take care of the needs of my patients but never have time to even take a second for me to pee. Maybe it's just that I enjoy making others feel loved and important so I put myself last.
Whatever the reason, I have to stop it before it's too late. Before I put myself on the back burner and can't find a way to make time for me anymore.

So when Meagan asked me to team up for Project: Do Me, I knew I could only stand to gain from this adventure.

I'm making this year about me and I'm doing what makes me happy. I don't have any kids who's needs should be put before my needs, I have a husband who is perfectly capable of making his own dinner, and I have to learn how to put myself first sometimes.

Here's what I will be doing this year for me:

From here on out, I'll be posting every Sunday about Project: Do Me. I'll be answering a few of the following questions each week:

What did I do this week to indulge in my passions?
What did I do this week to get my body moving?
What did I learn about myself this week?
What did I do to become more independent this week?
What is something new that I tried this week?
What made me happy this week?
What made me blue this week?
Who did I meet this week and how can I further my relationship with them?
Who is someone I helped and loved this week?
How do I feel today after my experiences this past week?

Meagan and I are inviting you to join us! If we have enough interest, we'll be making this a weekly link up and we want to know if you're in! If you need to "do you" because you're bogged down at work or with the kids or you've gotten  in a rut, now is the time to change that. Join us on our year to self improvement - you can only gain from this experience and you may just find that it's pretty darn enjoyable to take care of yourself!

Source: via Sara on Pinterest

What are you doing to take care of yourself this year and make YOU a priority?

grab a button and join in!

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Saturday Inspiration

Just a reminder that you CAN. Whatever it is that you're struggling with, you CAN do it!

Happy Saturday!

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High Five For Friday

On Tuesday nights, we try to watch New Girl... and since the beginning I've been waiting for this to happen. It finally did this past week! THANK YOU, NEW GIRL WRITERS!

About time, am I right or am I right?

And in case the above gifs aren't enough, here's the real thing!

It just may be better than Ross and Rachel's first kiss...

Ok, enough of that.

This week was pretty darn snowy. I get that I live in Wisconsin and I should be used to these horrible winters by now, but the two blizzards we got hit with, just days apart, have really taken a toll on my "I love Wisconsin" attitude. Maybe it's all the shoveling, or maybe it's driving on the crappy roads, but whatever it is, I am ready to sit on a beach 9 months out of the year. Am I too young to become a "snow bird" - live in Wisconsin in the summer and somewhere much warmer in the winter?

Along with the snow came plenty of hot chocolate. Yum!

Tried out a new hair tutorial from Kate at The Small Things Blog. Trevor liked it, I liked it, and it was easy, so it has been added to my hair repertoire!

Today ushers in my BIRTHDAY MONTH! Meaning, I've been getting some fantastic things in the mail {thanks, DSW!} and will be gearing up for my birthday on the 16th with a little bit of shopping in the coming days.

How was your week?

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