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Just thought you should know...

...that there are going to be a lot more "nursing school updates" in the future...


I was at the mall, leaving Ulta and heading to Target when my phone chimed to tell me I had an email. I was expecting more junk mail: maybe a advertisement for a sale or a coupon. When I opened the email and read that first line, I just about dropped my phone. I started crying and called Trevor and my mom right away.

So there I was, walking through the mall - alone - just running some errands, crying on the phone. I'm sure it was quite the sight!

It's been a few days, and my whole family knows. My coworkers know. My Facebook friends know. So it was also time to tell you!

The program is going to be a lot of hard work. It's a 12 month long program to earn my BSN. We complete about a credit a week and I already have a couple of classes I need to finish before orientation in September. It's going to be a crazy year but I am so grateful to have been one of the 30 chosen out of the 500 applicants. Oh, I am SO grateful!

Everything happens for a reason, and I am glad everything has brought me to this place. It's meant to be.

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Easy Mexican Slow Cooker Chicken

Now that Trevor's working again, dinner doesn't always get on the table as quickly as I'd like it to. To say that my Crock Pot has been working overtime would be an understatement simply because it's so easy to fill it with the ingredients the night before, pop it in the fridge, and plug it in before work the next day. Getting home after a long shift is infinitely better when your house smells like a scrumptious meal, am I right?

Here's one of our recent favorites - Mexican Slow Cooker Chicken

You'll need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (frozen is OK)
2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans (we've also found that Great Northern beans are yummy, too!)
1 jar salsa
1/2 block cream cheese
optional: 1 cup water

Combine the first four ingredients in your slow cooker. If it looks dry, add a cup of water. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Ten minutes before serving, add the cream cheese and stir. I also like to shred my chicken at this point, but you could definitely serve the chicken breasts whole.
Our favorite way to eat this is shredded with saffron rice and some plain Greek yogurt as garnish on top!


Friday Letters

Dear Friday, thanks for finally showing up. What took you so long? Dear holiday weekend, please feel free to take your time once you get here - you could stand to take a note from Friday, please. Dear Trevor, I'm so happy you're loving your new job and we'll both be even happier when you get your first paycheck next Friday! Dear blogging, you've been pretty darn enjoyable this week so thanks for reminding me why I started this chapter of my life. Plus, the friends I've made along the way aren't half bad either. Dear work, that 8 day stretch of being off was amazing. Now, let's see if we can make that happen again a few more times this summer - but this time with less funeral leave, please. Dear Mom, I hope you're ready to take Chicago by storm. Ready or not, here we come! And also, on a more serious note, I'm so glad we're able to take these mother-daughter trips. I always come away from them with a deeper love and greater appreciation for you.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! What are you doing to celebrate?

Summer Bucket List 2013

Last summer, Trevor and I had a bucket list of everything we wanted to do during the summer. {here's last year's list and here's the recap} It was fun to work on it together and find opportunities to complete our bucket list activities  This summer is no different - we have lots of ideas of things to do and want to have them written down so we can easily access the list when we look at each other and say "So, what do you want to do today?"

-- Visit Kelley Country Creamery in FDL (look how many ice cream flavors they offer here!!!)

-- Madison Farmer's Market (link)

-- Drive in movie

-- Paint guest room dresser

-- Redo guest room bookcase

-- Door County wine tour (link)

-- Take a motorcycle ride to Lake Michigan

-- Visit Trempealeau, WI (link)

-- Enjoy a concert in the park (offered once a week in our city)

-- Put down the technology and spend time together: talking walks, bike rides, cuddling on the couch, eating dinner, etc.

Do you have a summer bucket list? What's on it?


I feel like it's been far too long since I've done a light-hearted fun post and since we all know Tuesday is the hardest day of the week to get through, today's a good day to share our current obsessions.

So, currently, I'm obsessed with:

- Researching my family history. My love of genealogy is nothing new but I'm loving how easy it is to use to keep everything organized!

- Summer dresses. It's like a sickness how much I love summer dresses! I'm currently loving this beauty from LOFT. If I could wear it every day, I would. 

- Summer.
Seriously, Wisconsin summers are gorgeous, aren't they?!

- A vacation. Seriously, Jamaica is calling my name again.
On our honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

- Veterans, but especially elderly ones. So many of my patients at work are veterans from WWII or Korean War and they have such wisdom to share. Their stories never fail to touch my heart, I swear.

What are you currently obsessing over?

Project: Do You #11

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 the project before proceeding.

#2 - Work out on a regular basis. The YMCA membership has been great but so far we've only used it for cardio. I'd love to start using some of their weight machines and getting back into swimming. I mentioned two weeks ago that I had signed up for classes but life hasn't allowed me to get to any of the classes I signed up for yet! This Wednesday it will happen, I swear.

#3 - Run a 5K. My mom and I walked a 5K about a week ago. It was cold and wet and cold. Did I mention it was cold? Even though the weather sucked, we had a great time and finished strong. I walked in honor of my Oma who was still fighting leukemia at that point. It was my first organized race/walk and I had a great time. I can't wait for The Color Run coming up in August!

#9 - Travel more. My mom and I are getting geared up for our trip to Chicago! Thanks to my good blog friend, Steph, we have lists of places to eat, drink, and shop while we're there. It's going to be a quick 3-day, 2-night trip but I am so looking forward to it! Pictures and stories to come, I promise.

#15 - See a Broadway show. This is happening while we're in Chicago. Book of Mormon, here we come! I've heard great things - plus, we have phenomenal seats, so I can't wait!

And that's all - it's been a low key couple of weeks. Last week was spent studying for finals {Turns out I got an A in biochemistry, so take note, College of Nursing!} and mourning the death of my Oma. It was more about time spent with family than working on my goals list. I hope to have more crossed off next time I update in two weeks!

How are your personal goals coming along?

sadness in my heart

It's been a couple of days since I've update you on the happenings around here... and you're going to have to wait a little while longer for anything with much content, and I'm sorry about that.

Why my lack of posting? At first it was because it's finals week and I have a killer biochem exam to take tomorrow morning so I've been focusing on that. But then we got a text message in the middle of the night on Monday morning. My Oma passed away. And hearing news like that doesn't exactly inspire me to hop on Blogger and type up a handful of posts. So instead, you got silence... until I could figure out what I wanted to say that would do her justice.

She was a beautiful soul. Born and married in Germany, she and my Opa come to Wisconsin right before my dad was born. They raised their family here, began a handful of their own businesses, and enjoyed life. Then I came along. And after me, two grandsons.

We're a small family - only nine of us total, including spouses - but that doesn't mean my Oma was loved any less. In fact, she was special to me in a way that none of my other family members are.

You see, when I was younger, I felt out of place and like I didn't belong. My little brother looked exactly like my mom did as a kid and you could see my mom's dad and my mom's brother in him. When you looked at him you could tell he belonged to my mom's family. On the other hand, I didn't have features that gave me the same sense of belonging. I didn't look like my mom OR my dad.
Once I hit my teen years and started growing into my body a bit more, I realized that I was becoming my Oma. I always wondered why both of my parents were taller than me and I got stuck being short. Turns out I got my height from Oma. And my build. And my boobs. And my round face. And some of my facial features.
We were looking at old photos of hers from Germany and I kept seeing resemblances of me in photos. Every time I'd ask who it was in the photo, it was my Oma. That experience gave me such a sense of belonging and only brought me closer to her. We would giggle about our commonalities during the weekly phone call I made to her and it was a wonderful feeling of knowing where I came from - very comforting.

She had been sick with leukemia for years leading up to this, but that doesn't mean her death weighs any less on my heart. She will be missed dearly.

I hope you understand why You.And.Me.Are.We has been quiet this week and I hope you will return when my posts return to normal in a few days. While I usually work on blog posts on the weekend, this weekend will be filled with memorial services, family, and love. My posts will return next week with happier content, and I hope you'll be back then, too.

Until then...

A Month's Worth of Free or Cheap Dates for You & Your Spouse

Trevor and I try to keep things fresh. You know, we try not to get in the habit of throwing on sweats as soon as we get home and plopping down in front of the TV barely noticing each other for the remainder of the evening.

Of course, there are nights that that happens. Usually after a particularly rough day at work for me or a long day of hard intellectual hurdles for Trevor.  But nights like that are few and far between because we make a point of mixing things up!

I know we can't be the only couple who has struggled to find ideas for new and exciting date night activities so we've compiled a list for you {30 ideas to exact - one for every day of the month}... and even better, most of them are low-cost or NO-cost!

1.) Create playlists for each other {don't let your spouse see what you're putting on it!} and take turns playing your chosen songs for both of you to listen to. Share a bottle of wine, and you're good! Don't forget to turn the lights down and enjoy a slow dance.

2) Similar to the idea above, make a playlist that is the soundtrack of your life together. Include songs from your past {when you first met & your first dance song} and any songs that represent your future {for us it would be songs that represent our future family and growing old together}. Share your hopes and dreams for the coming years!

3) Break out a deck of cards and play Go-Fish, poker, or any other game. Spice things up with a gamble of kisses or even items of clothing. Strip poker, anyone?

4) Go on a scavenger hunt. Google and Pinterest are full of lists for you to print off. Otherwise, make your own and enjoy!

5) Choose a recipe you've never made before out of a cookbook you own or from the internet. Try something you wouldn't otherwise pick! Go grocery shopping for the ingredients together, then come home, roll up your sleeves and get to work!

6) Go to a thrift store or a dollar store with $5 each. You have 10 minutes to pick out the best gift or outfit for the other person within your budget. Get creative!

7) Cloud watch.

8) Test drive cars. Even better? Test drive your dream car!

9) Pack a picnic basket and head outside to stargaze after dark. Bring a flashlight, a star chart and try to find as many constellations as you can!

10) Create a small buffet of desserts. Take turns blindfolding and feeding each other. No peeking!

11) Attend local open houses and start a "dream home" list based on what you see.

12) Even if you aren't looking for a new pet, visit an animal shelter. Your heart will melt when you see your spouse fawn over cute puppies.

13) Volunteer together. 

14) Get outside and go on a hike together! Bring a few snacks and stop halfway for an impromptu picnic.

15) Have a snowball fight! The winner gets to pick his/her reward: 100 kisses or a foot rub.

16) Check out two copies of the same book from the library. Read each chapter together and discuss - it's a book club for two!

17) Did you know the Dollar Tree has puzzles? You'll love a low-key night at home with your favorite TV show and a new puzzle. It'll only set you back a buck!

18) Work out together. Maybe you'll go on a run, maybe you'll do an at-home video, or maybe you'll lift some weights at the gym. Any way you choose, get those post-workout endorphins flowing!

19) Be tourists in your town or state. Don't forget your camera!

20) Get all dolled up {heels, tie, your good underwear!} and go out for ice cream.

21) Teach each other something. Maybe you're good at soccer and he's good at video games. You each get an hour to teach the other all of your tips and tricks.

22) Climb the tallest tree you can find! Teamwork, baby, teamwork!

23) Have a dance party! Remember the dorm life when your whole floor would break into song and dance instead of studying? Oh, that was only me? Get your dance on and - BONUS for a dance party with your spouse: a little dirty dancing never hurt!

24) Make wishes together and throw pennies in fountains. 

25) Go to your local bookstore and pick out books for each other. First round, pick a book the other would love. Meet up and share your finds. Second round, pick a book about something you think the other would like to learn about. Meet up and share your finds. Third round, pick a book about something you like to do together. Meet up and share!

26) Just take an evening walk together and tell each other about your day. 

27) Ask each other these questions. When it's your turn to talk, talk. When it's your turn to listen, listen.

28) Search for local festivals. Usually you can find free music, cheap food, and lots of fun!

29) Check out your nearest zoo or aquarium. 

And, if all else fails

30) Stay in, light candles, get naked, and cuddle up in bed. 

Now - get out there and get your date on!

What's your idea of a night with your spouse?

Blog Button Design Battle

BreAnna from Peacoats & Plaid has started a Blog Button Design Battle and mine was picked to be part of Round 1! Scroll down and you'll see ten different blog buttons... just click on your favorite to vote for it. Don't forget I'm #10!

Welcome to Round 1 of the Blog Button Design Battle. This week's participants include:

April from Hearts on Guard
Ashley from Wannabe Green
Kelly from The No Drama Mama
Chels from Red Velvet Rooster
Kayla from Kouponing Kayla
Joanne from Creative Mess
Hollie from Blog-o-hollic
Krystal from My Life of Travels and Adventures
Rebecca from Caravan Sonnet
Sara from You.And.Me.Are.We

Vote for your favorite and most eye-catching button by clicking on the thumbnail below. Make sure you're voting solely on eye appeal. You can only vote once, so make it count.

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Friday Letters

Dear work, please stop calling me and asking me to pick up shifts. I get that you're understaffed but it's finals week and I'd love to pass biochemistry - your guilt-tripping isn't helping! Dear Trevor, thank you for being such a wonderful husband. I'm so excited for you to return to the working world in a week but I sure am going to miss coming home to clean dishes every day. Dear Mom, I'm blessed that I can spend Mother's Day weekend with you walking an American Cancer Society 5K in honor of our loved ones. You are truly my hero and you've set such a great example. I love you to the moon and back and can only strive to one day be an amazing mother to my little ones like you have been to our family. Dear weather, these 40-degree days suck. Bring back the 70s. I won't even say please and thank you because it's almost the middle of May and I'm sick of your antics. My manners have run out, just like my patience. Dear nursing school, I'm not going to have any fingernails left at the rate we're going here. I'm so ready to find out what my future holds! Dear readers, thanks for being patient as I've only been able to post a couple times this week. School will be over soon and I hope to be re-inspired and full of things to share with you!

Happy weekend! What do you have planned?

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Beauty Finds {Part Four}

I can't keep these products to myself any longer so I figured another Beauty Finds post was in order.

It's no secret that I love The Gnarly Whale products so this first beauty find should come as no surprise to you. If you choose to buy nothing except The Gnarly Whale Lip Balm in Chocolate Strawberry you will still be livin' large! It glides on like buttah, it leaves your lips with a nice moisturized look, and it smells like heaven. Plus, you can't beat the fact that you're supporting a small business that's vegan and only tests their products on humans. Just sayin'...
Cost: $3.50 for one from The Gnarly Whale (or you could buy 3 for $9 or 5 for $12)
I mentioned one of my favorite concealers in my last Beauty Finds post, but here's another one I love just as much and use even more often! NYX Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand is amazing. It comes in a handful of colors so you can find one that matches your skin tone nicely. Plus, they have color correcting shades as well - green, purple, and yellow. It covers well and I use it daily to hide my under eye circles. It doesn't get thick or noticeable throughout the day like so many other under eye concealers do. Pimples are no match for this guy, let me tell you!
Cost: $4.99 at Ulta, but it's rare to find it NOT on sale (usually BOGO 1/2 off).

Vaseline makes timeless products. My Grandma has used Vaseline Intensive Care Total Moisture Body Lotion for years upon years. I can still remember getting baths at her house and then slathering on Vaseline lotion afterwards... and the smell of it still takes me back to that 20+ years ago. I love it! It's not greasy and it lasts for a long time. I love rubbing it on my legs after I've just shaved them - it keeps them smooth.
And, if you don't like the scent of the yellow bottle, try the brown bottle (Cocoa Butter) or the green bottle (Aloe Vera).
Cost: Depending on the size of the bottle it can be anywhere from $2 to $8. Check out Target, Walgreens, or any other drugstore for decent prices.
Catch up on all of my other beauty finds in {part one}, {part two}, and {part three}!

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Project: Do You #10

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 the project before proceeding.

#2 - Work out on a regular basis. I mentioned last time that I was waiting to go to the doctor before running outside again. Well, turns out that I have exercise-induced asthma... but only outdoors and we're not sure why because most of my allergies are topical and indoors. I've used my inhaler {man, those puppies are expensive!} before running and it did seem to help. Win! Also, Trevor and I now have a Y membership and have gone once together so far. I think it's going to be difficult to align our schedules so we can do cardio next to each other, but we will make it work. Six months are already paid for so we have no reason not to go! I am taking a SimplyFit class for the next month or so and then starting a Zumba class in June. I have to look at my schedule a little closer but I'm also planning on signing up for a spin class somewhere in there, too.

#3 - Run a 5K. Next Saturday is my first 5K of the year, though this one I'll be walking in with a very large group of my mom's coworkers. I'm walking in honor of my Oma who is currently in the last stage of life due to her leukemia.

#4 Add another 2K to the vacation fund. Now that Trevor has a job, we'll be able to start saving again soon!

#13 Share our wedding on the blog. I've been thinking of ways to share pictures, ideas, and details from our wedding in this space lately. Next month is our two year anniversary so expect to see posts in about six weeks. I want to highlight our ceremony, our reception, attire, decor {maybe some tutorials?}, and my regrets/dos and don'ts. What else would you like to see? Would you like an entire week devoted to wedding posts or would you rather read them more spaced out?

#17 Bake someone a birthday cake. You may have seen a picture on Friday of the cake I made for Trevor's birthday last weekend but if not, here's a look:
I'm pretty proud that I could cross another goal off my list!

Join me on my journey of self fulfillment! 

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Welcome to another week's recap! While you're here, don't forget to enter to win a Starbucks gift card and some ad space - there's still time left!

This week has been pretty darn good compared to so many of the past recaps. Wanna see why?

1) Holy amazeballs. Trevor got a job offer this week. I don't have too many details to share at this point, but we know that he'll be working just a short commute from where we live now {yay - we don't have to move!} and he's working for a company that likes to promote from within. He really likes the company and this job is the best out of all of the places he had applied to the past nine months. I am so relieved that he has a job and that we can finally be a two income household again for a little while until school {possibly} starts up for me again in October.

2)Trevor's birthday was last Sunday. I ended up having the day off of work and we had a great day! I baked him a chocolate cake {from scratch!} and frosted it with peanut butter chocolate frosting {also from scratch!} and gave him a few gifts. I love planning little things like that for him... it's how I show my love.

3) We signed up for YMCA memberships this week and I am so excited! I've already signed up for a SimplyFit class on Wednesdays and a Saturday morning Zumba class that starts in June. I'm thinking of signing up for a spin class, too, but am a little nervous. Do you recommend a spin class or am I digging my own grave by signing up?

4) On Monday I went out for sushi with two lovely local bloggers - Whit and Maya. I've actually known Maya since I was a little tot {remember this post?} and Monday was my first time meeting Whit. Maya now lives and works in Chicago - as of TODAY! - but Whit and I will definitely get together again soon and add a few more bloggers into the mix as well. Who can say no to sushi and blogging?!

5) Hi, I'm Sara and I am addicted to The Gnarly Whale's Chocolate Strawberry Lip Balm. Oh, it's divine!

How was your week?

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Have You Met LB?

Have you met LB?

She blogs at LB in Wonderland and is new to the blogging scene. She has jumped in with both feet, ready to get 'em wet!

Here's what she wants you to know about her --
I'm LB and you can find me over at LB in Wonderland. I blog about being a new city gal, my adventures with life and love, appreciating the little things in life and bunch of other fun stuff. I am a fun loving, optimistic and generally hot mess of a person. You can often find me eating way too many sweets, being an awkward photo poser & dancing around (often to no music). My goal in life is to make people smile as much as I can. Hope you stop by Wonderland-I'd love for you to follow along!

Before you go much further, you should learn five new things about LB. As she mentioned, she's a recent transplant to Boston and has written a lovely ode to the events that happened during the Boston Marathon. She's not always so somber! Take the post where she talked about what she finds sexy in a man {be still my Ryan Gossling loving heart!} or her latest "What I Wore" post featuring a mint blazer. She's also well rounded, reflecting on what she wishes she'd known in college and about her time in New York City.

Today's your lucky day, readers! She's giving away a $10 gift card to Starbucks and a large ad space on her blog.

You're sorely missing out if you don't head over to LB in Wonderland! If that's not your style you can always follow her on Bloglovin, InstagramTwitter and Facebook.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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