Five on Friday | 6.30.2017

Another crazy 5 days in the books.. I am 100% looking forward to a nice, short work week next week! Aside from having Tuesday off, I also took Friday off to enjoy an extra long weekend. It feels like summer is already flying by and I haven't really done anything "summery" which puts me into a slight panic.. so here's to hoping my long weekend is sunny and WARM!


ONE // Hallelujah I finally finished my last weekly paper for my Master's degree! Since August 2015, I've been writing 4-10 page papers every. single. week. I wrote so many papers that I could probably write one in my sleep and still get a decent grade.

Now all I have left is my 50-page capstone paper due in the middle of August. I've literally had to completely block out 5 days on my calendar in July so that I can force myself to go to Starbucks and get some of it written. It is going to be such a relief to finally get it done, and be done with school forever. 


TWO // Fourth of July plans are underway! I made out my grocery list last night, and found a few good recipes to make for our BBQ we're hosting on Monday evening. I love everything about this holiday, the simplicity of it, the celebrations, the FOOD - I mean, I can easily eat a full watermelon alone.





THREE // Veggie noodles, yay or nay? I've tried zucchini noodles before and couldn't stand them, or maybe I just made them wrong? This week I tried sweet potato noodles, sold at Target - and while I normally loooove sweet potatoes, these ones just did not taste right to me either. So that's 0 for 2 in the veggie-noodle department for me. Just trying to eat healthy here!





FOUR // Andy and I took a trip out to Wisconsin to visit his family last weekend, and we had the best time! Going out there is always something I look forward to. I didn't take a ton of pictures as I was just trying to enjoy being present, but we did manage to get a few snapshots.


It was Andy's step-father's birthday on Saturday. Here's a picture of him with all the kids/significant others/grandchildren



Andy's niece and nephew




Enjoy Fond du Lac's new rooftop patio with a strawberry-coconut mojito!


Andy's mom always sends me home with a pan of her homemade spice cake (my absolute favorite dessert she makes). We were extra spoiled because she also picked up some Gille's custard for us to take home and bought us some gorgeous chimes for our patio area at our new place. I cannot wait to get them hung up and hear their sweet music. What a lovely gift.



FIVE // Speaking of ourdoor patios, we're thinking of breaking out our DIY tools and making one of these pallet stands. I think it would be perfect for setting a beverage station on, or just decoration with pretty potted plants. It looks relatively easy, and Andy gets free pallet boards at work all the time. I'm thinking we might start this project come August :)

Here's the link that inspired me! https://www.1001pallets.com/2014/05/easy-diy-project-pallet-outdoor-bar/amp/


Have a happy fourth!
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Furniture Haul

We did something super grown-up last night and bought new furniture! This is the first time I've actually purchased a piece of furniture from a store that isn't Ikea, so it was kind of a big deal. We went into Ashley Furniture last night thinking we would take a look at a bedroom set that was on sale on their website. We fell in love with it the moment we saw it. It perfectly combines our style, isn't extremely masculine or feminine, and will look awesome with our grey walls. The set came with a queen bed, a large dresser with a vanity mirror attached, and a small nightstand. I keep imagining how lovely it's going to look with a big fluffy cream-colored down comforter!



We also tested some sectionals out, and found one in the exact color and size we wanted.. so we bought that too. We decided to finance this piece because they have 0% interest if you pay within 12 months. The only thing we are slightly worried about is our puppy chewing/destroying it, and alllllllllll the light colored dog hair on this dark grey couch. We will definitely have to set some boundaries as to when and if he can even be on the couch. We'll see how long that lasts though..

Now I can start looking for a couple of mismatched/kinda matching throw pillows. We're sticking to neutrals in many areas of our house - and I think this couch would look nice with some pillows in different shades and patterns of greys, whites, and tans. 



Ashley Furniture will also deliver, move our furniture in, and set it up for just $80 more so we definitely took advantage of that!

Now our next big purchase is a new coffee table (we have our eyes on one similar to this) and maybe some new lamps. Thank god for Pinterest!



I insisted that a selfie was 100% necessary.
So thrilled to finally have our furniture!!

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Five on Friday | 6.22.17

I haven't logged into Blogger one day this entire week... one day!!!!!!!!!! Despite feeling like I haven't taken my eyes off my computer at all. This week has been extremely busy busy busy with work, grad school, and other important things like financial meetings and starbucks runs and nail appointments. So for today, you just get what I find digging into my iPhone camera roll.. sorry not sorry.

All I can say is, bring on the weekend!


ONE // I mentioned above that I had a nail appointment this week and I wanted to go with something a little brighter for summer. The color I got just screams summer.. it is so blindingly bright!! It practically glows outside. I also got my nails shaped into the "coffin" shape which I am loving.



TWO // Recipe of the week.. jalapeno cheddar chicken burgers.. ! Andy mixed some ground chicken with chopped jalapeno and green onion and we grilled them with some extra sharp cheddar melted on top. We had them on wheat buns with thinly sliced green apples, chopped spinach, and BBQ sauce. It was extra yummy with some roasted sweet potatoes on the side.





THREE // I tried the new Starbucks Prickly Pear Frap.. and I have to say that I am just not a fan. The berry sauce they put in is way too syrupy and mixed with the mango cream it just tasted really funky and off. Maybe my lady just made it wrong?? Anyone else come to a verdict on them?


At least it was pretty!


FOUR // I found a super great recipe for a mango salsa that we had over some baked chicken the other night. It is so simple too! I will probably dedicate a whole post to this as soon as I can take some decent pictures of a new batch, but all it is - cucumber, mango, cilantro, lime juice, chopped jalapeno, salt, and pepper. Almost too easy!

It's awesome with chicken or just with tortilla chips!




FIVE // Picking out paint colors is really, really hard. Like I never thought I would sit and stew this long between colors like "centered grey" and "sultry grey" and "balanced grey", I didn't even know they made this many greys?! Our new place doesn't have too many windows in the kitchen, so we want a grey for it that doesn't make it too dark! Also we still need to find a nice, light, creamish-brown (??? do they make that?) that lightens up a bathroom that does not have a window.

What are your experiences with paint colors?? Is there a brand you prefer? I need all the help.


Happy weekend! xx 
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Father's Day Weekend 2017

I was thrilled to be able to kick my weekend off early on Friday after my work meeting. I was able to be out of the gym by 4:45 and then spent one whole hour aimlessly wandering Hobby Lobby! It was fantastic. 

Andy and I spent the night relaxing with some Parks and Rec, a large take and bake pizza, and some cocktails he mixed up that were delicious but pretty dangerous. 




Saturday I drove up to my parent's neck of the woods and ran some errands before heading over. I scored two cute tops and this casual black dress for work at Old Navy with my total being under $30, and two pairs of shorts from Loft that were $9.99 each! I also couldn't resist Bath and Body's huge sale they had going on so I bought a Mahogany Coconut candle, some new lotion, and some bridal shower goodies too. Their $11 three wick candle sale is what dreams are made of.

Myself and my family, my friends, and their parents all attended the Hairball concert in our hometown that night. If you haven't heard of Hairball before, they are an 80's rock cover band. They are so so fun to see live, and really put on a show with all of their impersonations and costumes. We had VIP tickets which got us front row standing area, 4 drinks, and unlimited appetizers! We stayed out until midnight, and had a complete blast despite the weather being less than ideal.




Sunday we spent Father's Day having omelettes and coffee on the patio, doing some shopping, washing cars, and having a fabulous summer dinner - complete with Dilly Bars. 


Happy Monday friends!
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Five on Friday | 6.16.2017

ONE // We met with our friends Emily, Chelsea, and Michael on Wednesday night to go to an event in Northeast for the debut of a new food truck - one that sells cookie dough! It was parked at a new distillery, Twin Spirits Distillery. We enjoyed some drinks and deliciously rich cookie dough (salted caramel and chocolate chip flavors - yum!), and then took the party over to Betty Dangers. The weather was beautiful and it was a fun change to our weekly schedule!





TWO // I ordered another LipSense color - this time in Aussie Rose which I am SO PUMPED to try! I've had my eye on this color for the last week and finally ordered it. It is the perfect shade of pink for summer.


THREE // Andy made some fabulous chicken tacos this week - he sure knows the way to my heart. I LOVE mexican food! He used the gas stove to blacken some corn tortillas, and we topped them with grilled chicken, homemade avocado cream sauce, diced avocado, pickled jalapenos, and pico. It was a perfectly fresh dinner for these warm temperatures we have going on here!



FOUR // I had a meeting with a financial adviser this week which was a completely eye-opening and slightly scary if I'm being honest. I had to complete a budget and it really put my spending habits into perspective. He had me come up with several short-term goals and a couple long-term goals, and when I would like to complete these by. I've never actually thought about my goals this hard and how I plan to accomplish them. Needless to say, I felt very "adult-ish". I have another meeting next week to talk about investing - yikes! I don't even know the first thing about finances.


FIVE // And one more beauty-themed comment for good measure.. I recently ordered the Rodan & Fields Triple Defense Treatment with SPF 30 and I'm loving it. It made my face feel perfectly smooth today and it's comforting knowing I'm protecting it from the harsh sunshine we've been having. On that note...


Bonus SIX // I have found the motherload of all fake tanning products or services.. Fake Bake tanning spray has been a complete life saver this summer so far! I get the Flawless Liquid Tan Spray and it works sooooo good. It comes with a spray bottle of the product and a little mitten sort of thing, and you simply spray the product onto the mit and blend all over your body. It's my favorite *new* product of this year yet. Just trying to preserve my skin here! ;)


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The Craziness that is My Life

Guys, there have been lots of craziness around here this past month. Sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode with all the thoughts and ideas it's trying to store up there. Fortunately it's all happy and exciting things though! But that's not to say it doesn't get a little stressful..



Firstly, we have a date to pick up our newest little family member! Yes, our corgi puppy has been born! We pick Bosco up on August 7th and we couldn't be more excited. I think I have officially transformed into the stereotype of "dog mom", as we have already been picking up things for him and I find myself wondering about how we are going to care for such a little puppy those first weeks with us both having full time jobs. Thankfully my coworkers and boss are pretty flexible, and the days Andy cannot run home to take him out, I can take an hour lunch to do so. We cannot wait to bring our little Bosco Boy home!

Secondly, we put a security deposit in to rent a place. And we move in less than one week before we get our puppy. We are in no hurry to buy anything quite yet. It will likely be another two years before we can save enough for hefty down payment. But.. we found the cutest little townhome in Shoreview that we couldn't pass up on. It is a two bedroom, one bathroom house with an attached garage (hallelujah!) and a lovely little patio. Also it comes with a fireplace that I just can't stop thinking about how perfect it will be come fall. I can already imagine snuggling up next to it with a cup of hot chocolate and a good movie. 

Our landlord will be paying us to paint the interior.. so I've been pinteresting away for some ideas. We're thinking of going with Sherwin Williams "Agreeable Grey" for the livingroom, kitchen, and our bedroom as it practically has a cult following and looks immaculate in every picture. For our bathroom we are looking into some light blues, and I love Sherwin William's "Sea Salt" or Benjamin Moore's "Pale Smoke". We are also considering doing some backsplash adhesive in our kitchen. 




Butttttt we have a ton of stuff to purchase before we move in.. we are in desperate need of a bedroom set. We checked out some sets last night, and decided on a budget. Fingers crossed we can get something picked out before we move in.. 

Thirdly, my work hours have changed from 7am-3:30pm instead of 8am-4:30pm. I was the one to initiate the change for myself, as traffic is absolutely crazy around the metro around that time. I am really happy with this change and getting out at 3:30 is going to give me a lot more time to get things done.

On top of all this, I am starting my 50-60 page Dissertation to complete my Master's degree, and I'm co-hosting both a Bridal shower and Bachelorette Party in August.


BRING IT ON. 
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Werkin' in The Peach State

I took a business trip out to Buckhead, Georgia all of last week, which explains my complete lack of blogging. We were so busy from 7am to 6pm that by the time I was back to my hotel, all I wanted to do was either explore the area or eat takeout in bed with a movie - which I did do. A lot.

I wanted to add a little fun to this week-long work trip. The Buckhead area is absolutely gorgeous! It's actually where Real Housewives of Atlanta was filmed, so it was filled with lots of expensive (window) shopping opportunities and had tons of great restaurant options. 


Myself and another girl from my group hit it off so we spent Tuesday at the Lenox Square Mall, where Sugarfina once again tempted me into buying some alcohol-infused gummies. I also bought a Vineyard Vines baseball hat! Which I have wanted for a looooong time. 

I also spotted a Cupcake ATM (wait, what?) and treated myself to a deliciously overpriced coconut cream vanilla cupcake - and it was worth every penny!








I got a nice workout in on Wednesday evening, and rewarded myself with Neapolitan pizza from Varasano's and a spinach salad complete with raspberry vinaigrette and Gorgonzola cheese - all about the balance, right? It was my favorite meal of the week, and yes - I ate it right on my comfy king-sized bed.




Oh, and I had some fabulous cheap chinese on Monday ;)


Thursday we toured the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. On Thursdays they have an "adult night" there where they serve fun cocktails, wine, and beer in the main garden and have lawn games and a DJ. This was a complete blast! The flowers and grounds were so gorgeous, and nothing beats experiencing all of it with a delicious peach cocktail in your hand!









Back to the office and normality again, which is A-OK by me :) I'm picking Andy up from the Airport tonight as he was in Denver all weekend on a guy's trip. 



Hope ya'll had a great weekend, xx. 
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MIA


I've been MIA all week because I had to attend a work-training in Georgia, so no Five on Friday post this week! But I have thoroughly been enjoying exploring some parts of the city, spoiling myself with some delicious food, and relaxing in an amazingly comfortable hotel bed with movies every night - oh, and I did do eight hours of work everyday too ;) 

I return to Minneapolis tonight at 6:30, so I'll be back Monday with a recap!


Enjoy your weekend!
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Five on Friday | 6.1.17

Cheeers to the weekend! This week went by super fast - and I completely contribute that to the short week. Having Monday off was phenomenal and I snuck out a little early on Tuesday for a long overdo hair appointment.

Also, PSA - today is National Donut Day aka one of the best holidays ever invented! Tons of places are giving them out for free. 



Of course I couldn't not participate in this glorious holiday... :)


Let's get to it!


ONE // Once again, Andy nailed dinner for us this week. He grilled some deliciously marinated chicken, topped each with a slice of mozzarella cheese, avocado, and tomato - and then drizzled it with some balsamic. Healthy - yet satisfying!


TWO // Okay, how am I just getting onto the Parks and Rec train?? This show had me in actual tears last night from laughing too hard. I just can't get enough of Amy Poehler and her expressions. 



THREE // I tried a new workout class this week and celebrated with Jamba Juice after - although the protein smoothie I got sort of tasted like amoxicillin (remember that pink liquid medicine from when you were younger?!) so it was in the trash before I even finished and I swapped it out for some chips and salsa.. fair trade, right?




FOUR // On monday I prepped 6 salads for lunch, cut 6 kiwis and 1 cantaloupe, and made 6 graham cracker sandwiches (the best snack before a workout). So we were set for the week! I decided to make a sort of Asian themed salad, complete with peppers, onions, cucumbers, chicken, slivered almonds, and Trader Joe's spicy peanut vinaigrette. They were fantastic! And this dressing is a must-try for anyone who loves that Thai peanut flavor.  



FIVE // This weekend I'm going to a baby shower with my mom, having a BBQ with some of our friends, and prepping to go to Atlanta for work on Monday. Also, Andy leaves for Denver next Friday so I won't see him until the following week - thank God for facetime! ;)



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Oatmeal Iced Cookies

These cookies are so easy, so delicious, and kind of "grandma-ish"? At least that's what my mom told me when I said I was making oatmeal cookies - ha! But honestly, they are dense and chewy and everything a cookie should be. The icing makes them even better!



Oatmeal Iced Cookies


For the cookies:
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons warm water
2 cups powdered sugar
(if needed, add more cream to make a thinner consistency)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Add rolled oats to a food processor and pulse a couple times. Don't over process because you will want a variety of textures. In a large mixing bowl combine oats, flour, baking powder, salt, soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine and set aside.

In another large sized bowl, beat butter until fluffy and add brown and white sugars. Mix to combine. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until fully combined. Slowly add oat mixture and mix until fully incorporated.

Roll into 2 inch balls and bake for 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake!! I gently flattened mine with my spatula when they came out so they weren't so puffy.

Let cool. Mix together icing ingredients. Dip the tops slightly into the icing and let dry.

I hope you enjoy these grandma cookies as much as I did! :)


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