Friday Faves

Happy Friday loves! This post somehow got deleted in the middle of me writing it, so this is my second attempt...let's hope Blogger cooperates this time!
Hope you've had an easy week, and if not, at least the weekend is right around the corner!
{1} My New Car
I know I shared this yesterday but it's obviously the biggest news of the week. After several weeks of researching and test-driving cars (and negotiating, ugh), I finally decided on the 2016 Nissan Rogue. It has basically every feature I could ever want (including that kick *** sunroof I shared on my snapchat Wednesday), so I'm super happy. And after Jonas the other weekend, the AWD option definitely has me feeling safer if we get anymore snow!
Not to mention, my parking skills have gotten much better, too!
(yes, that is the pile of snow I park next to in the left view of my car...)

{2} Snow Days
I've now had 7 days off from school due to snow. Luckily we've been able to get out and about, but the buses can't get through single-lane roads and kids have nowhere to walk to school than in the street which just isn't safe. I've enjoyed the time off to get some doctor's appointments taken care of, catching up on DVR (and other shows I never needed to watch) and reading, and getting in some snuggles with Cooper.
(my very own pillow pet :)
 Plus, MG had off 2.5 of those days which was the best part of the blizzard--some extra QT with my husband!

{3} Favorite TV show (this week)
This week, I looooooved watching Teen Mom OG with Caitlynn and Tyler's wedding. I feel like Ive watched them grow up through the tv series, and it was so touching to get to watch them say their vows. And speaking of vows...Tyler's were incredible-he gets major brownie points!

{4} Favorite Video
You may have seen this between yesterday and today, but if you haven't, you're in for a treat. If you didn't love Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell before, you probably will after this amazing video they made when they went to Africa (and have this awesome song stuck in your head like I've had all day).
Stephanie, this totally made me think of you on your recent Africa travels!

{5} Funnies

When you're off work for a week, you run out of tv shows on your DVR and all that's left to watch is Real Housewives of Potomac
When your entire neighborhood is outside trying to help one another shovel out, and one family (of all adults) chooses to only dig themselves out:
When you have to go back to work on Monday after a week of puppy snuggles
How it feels peeling off all of the layers of clothes when you come in from shoveling or playing in the snow
Hope your weekend is awesome! 

Currently....{the one with the new car}

I'm linking up with Christy today for a round of 'Currently.'
Reading ...
Thanks to the recommendation from Sarah, I downloaded The 5th Wave which is one of those kind of post-apocalyptic novels, but it's different because it's what happens if aliens invaded and took over. Sounds a little weird, but it's kept me entertained so far! I heard the movie isn't that good tho...womp womp

Listening to...
the guys from Home Depot FINALLY installing our storm/screen doors. After 2.5 months, it was about freaking time! (this pretty much guarantees that we won't have any more nice weather for a long time tho now that we have the screens to use haha)

Watching ...

Oh my gosh, so much stuff on my DVR. This week I've watched Bachelor and Bachelor Live, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Girlfriend's Guide, Married at First Sight....the list goes on and on haha.
P.S. Olivia is still a nut job. You can't be in love with someone you haven't even gone on a date with. The end.

I finally got to get back to cooking last night after a few days of scrounging together meals since the weekend. We tried going to get groceries on Monday but the stores still looked like there was a zombie apocalypse so, we missed out there. Luckily the store was almost fully stocked again yesterday (minus milk), so I'm gonna make my Sriracha Meatball Rice Bowl tonight and it will be ahhhhh-mazing!

Looking forward to ... 
MG's best friend and fiance coming down from NY this weekend! Can't wait to see them and spend some time together--last time we saw them was right after Christmas so it'll be nice to see them again so soon!

my dad a very happy birthday!! I'm so happy we get to celebrate another year together, and I'm glad that his health is stable right now!

Enjoying ...
all of the snow days we've had off this week (MG works for the federal govt and they had off through Tuesday)--and we just got word yesterday that we're out today and Friday as well. Luckily we've been able to get out since Monday morning so we haven't been stuck in the house, but the roads where buses have to go haven't been plowed well enough to get buses through, or have kids not walking in the streets to get to buses or school. Winter Break Part 2 has been awesome!

MY NEW CAR!!!!!!!! MG and I took advantage of the snow day for schools and the federal govt on Tuesday and pulled the trigger on my beautiful 2016 Nissan Rogue. I know a bunch of you told me you have them and love the Rogues which was even more reassuring. I'm absolutely smitten with my car...and it has AWD so the snow is no longer an issue for me in the future!

Wanting ...
to drive my car...all the time...everywhere---isn't it funny how that's the case when you get a new car?

Wearing ...
what I've called my "snow day attire" which include leggings (my Zella ones here are so amazingly comfortable) and warm, comfy tops. Sensing a theme of comfort here? :)
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Feeling ... 
glad that MG and I were able to make it over to our friends' house on Tuesday morning. They're a couple of days away from the birth of their twins, so we went over to help them move some things around and get their tv mounted on the wall. It was great getting to see them just days before their two little loves arrive (and was crazy saying bye to them, knowing the next time we see them will be as a family of 4)!

Grateful For...
so many things! I've been keeping a gratitude journal which has really given me some time each day to reflect on all of the blessings and positive things from that day.

Don't forget to link up what you're up to currently!

What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday {#26}

Happy Wednesday, friends! We are going on day 5 of no school over here, so things have been pretty low-key which hasn't been bad at all! 
Let's also take a moment and realize that Jessi and I have been doing this link up for 6 months already! Crazy how quickly time flies, isn't it?
Let's get to what's hap-"pinning" lately. Remember, you can link up about anything that's going on, it doesn't have to be Pinterest related!

Since I've had a lot of some downtime over the last few days, I've spent a decent amount of time on Pinterest. I figured I'd show you some of the highlights I found along my way:

Food Find: you know I love a good crock pot meal
Craft Find: a cute Valentine's Day idea
House Inspiration: I mean...I wouldn't be mad if someone came into our house and put this kitchen in ours! :)
Clothing Inspiration: definitely need to re-create this one
A Good Quote:
And 2 Funnies for good measure:
Luckily, with the snow days, there haven't been any emails from THAT parent #thankyousnowdays
What's Hap-"pinning" with you lately? Link up with us below and share!

{Recipe Files}: One Pot Lasagna Soup

I promised I'd share this recipe with you all when I talked about it last week and boy are you in for a treat!
This lasagna soup is delicious, decadent, hearty and downright EASY. Perfect for these Winter nights! It looks like a long list, but it's not that bad and you probably have a few of these items at home. I promise, it's worth it!
What You Need:

-1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
-1 small yellow onion, diced
-4-5 garlic cloves (I did 4)
-1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-24 oz jar pasta sauce
-6-8 cups low sodium chicken broth
-14 oz can crushed tomatoes
-2 tablespoons tomato paste
-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
-1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
-1 tablespoon dried basil
-1 teaspoon dried parsley
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-1 whole bay leaf
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-10 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into approx. 1-2 inch pieces*
-1/2 cup heavy cream (optional--I recommend it)
*Toppings: mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, ricotta (I used parm and mozzarella because I hate ricotta cheese)
What You Do:
1. Heat a large pot over medium heat; add the beef (or turkey) and onion, and cook until browned. Drain excess fat. 

2. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.

3. Add in the pasta sauce, 6 cups of chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic, sugar, basil, parsley, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper and lasagna noodles. Cook until pasta noodles are cooked through (about 20-30 minutes).
4. Discard the bay leaf. Add in the heavy cream if you're using it (I recommend it). 
5. Dole out the servings and top each with desired cheese toppings. I chose mozzarella and parmesan!

Weekending Highlights: SnOMG

Happy Monday friends! Did you have the snowzilla storm hit you? If so, I hope you survived, stayed warm, and kept your power. We made it through just fine and have been getting our exercise with shoveling!
Schools have already canceled in the area through Tuesday, so that tells you just how much we got!

My snowy weekend highlights included:

~Grabbing breakfast with my friend Friday morning at La Madeleine before the snow
~Testing driving the Nissan Rogue (again), and potentially working out a deal

~Hunkering down by noon with snow flurries starting around 2pm

~a cozy night in with MG and Cooper snuggles
~MG shoveling off the walkway twice before bed (got about 4-6" before we went to sleep)

~waking up to a bunch of snowy landscape, doors packed with snow, snow-covered cars and blustery wind
~shoveling, and attempt #1 to get Cooper to go to the bathroom outside (fail)

~a day spent in PJ's (minus when we put on snow gear), getting a puzzle started, and getting caught up on some tv
~mid afternoon shovel session--MG was the good guy he is and helped the neighbors shovel out their places.
 ~a walk around the neighborhood (of course, during the height of the windy/snowy time); walked into the middle of the normally busy road by our house...but we were able to run around and play in it without fear of getting run over
~made my mediterranean pasta bake for a hearty and absolutely delicious dinner (with leftovers!)
~finally watched The Intern, while enjoying a bowl of moose tracks ice cream (yum!!)--really enjoyed the feel-good nature of the movie. And the ice cream :)
~got Cooper to go to the bathroom outside after 3 separate attempts (his face: "why are you doing this to me????")
~night time shovel session: MG taking a rest in his "snow chair"
~Digging out both of our cars...mine had significantly more snow drift than MG's car
Got our workouts in with all of the shoveling
~much-deserved morning coffee

~shoveled off the last layer of snow from the deck...which was over the bench level of our deck (plus 5 more inches that were shoveled Friday night)
~MG was helping neighbors shovel out for about 4 hours and I was out for 2...omg were we sore!

~veggie-packed black bean soup in the crock pot for another yummy dinner

~lots of time for Kindle reading, puzzle-doing, and closet clean outs

~cozy couch time

As you can tell, our weekend involved a lot of snow lol. Luckily everyone was safe and we made it through which was the important part. Getting some extra time with MG and Coop was icicles on our snow-cake (get it? icicles instead of icing? Oh man...maybe I've been stuck inside too long! lol)
Linking up with Biana and Meghan today for Weekending

Friday Faves

Happy end of the week! This one has been pretty easy for me and I'm not complaining, especially before this blizzard that we're supposed to get tonight and tomorrow.
My favorites this week are...

{1}-Snow Day Shopping and Hangouts
Thursday off was unexpected, but I wasn't complaining. Today's makes sense due to the potential problems with the afternoon commutes for kids. With the day off yesterday, my friend and I were able to meet up and do some shopping at Target, where I picked up candy and this fun workout shirt:
And this morning I'm meeting up with another friend from work for a pre-snowstorm breakfast before we're holed up in our places for the weekend. Not a bad start :)

{2} Our Bedroom
I know I mentioned it on Wednesday, but I'm still so in love with the color of our bedroom since we painted--it feels so serene now. Cooper's also taken advantage of his new dog bed when we're out of the house during the day, too. Everyone's happy!

{3} New Show
Did anyone catch the premiere of Just Jillian on E! earlier this week? I DVR'd it because I really like Jillian and do a lot of her dvd's at home. I thought it was really interesting, and loved seeing her personality (when she's not yelling at people to work harder or move faster) and sarcasm come through. Definitely will keep watching!
{4}Favorite Blog Post
Kat had such a great post yesterday about friends...having the great ones, losing some, and moving on past those losses. I thought it was a wonderfully written, heart-felt post and I could totally relate to all of the feelings she mentioned. 
It's not always easy when people leave your life, but most of the time, it's for the absolute best. Especially when the relationship is one-sided, hurtful, drama-filled, or just down-right draining.
{5} Funnies: snow inspired
When the school system you work for calls a cancellation early, so you don't have to get up throughout the night to check:
What I do with my schedule when I've set up 800 meetings with parents and school gets canceled:
When people complain about teachers' excitement over having a snow day--like you wouldn't be happy, too? 
How you feel when you get everything you need to be prepared for Snow-mageddon before the crazies come out and the first flurry falls:
Hopefully anyone in the path of the snow storm coming stays safe, warm and cozy! And if you're not, enjoy your weekend not being stuck in the house! :)