Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Awkward and Awesome


A W K W A R D
+ Having my neighbor knock on our door to let me know that I left my keys hanging in the lock outside.  For someone that is super paranoid about locked doors and security in general, I can't believe I did that!

+ Spending 10+ minutes trying to pick out a new razor at the store for my husband.  Why are there so many options?  And what do things like "Hybrid Advanced Blades" or "Pivot Plus with Lubricating Strips" even mean?

+ The fact that I've been married for 10 months now and I still can't sign my name properly.  My first name looks beautiful and then it all goes downhill with my last name scribbles.

+ Holding up traffic to parallel park.  I must say, living in Chicago has made me a professional parallel parker but it's still awkward when you've got cars lined up waiting on you to squeeze your car in the tiniest spot known to man.  Talk about pressure.

+ I always keep a travel size bottle of Tylenol in my purse.  Sometimes I'll be walking down the street and the pills will be rattling around in the bottle SO loudly.  Love it when people give me the side eye trying to figure out what drugs I've got in there.

+ I love the ladies at my nail salon but I feel terrible that I can never understand what they're saying.  I always feel like the biggest jerk saying "what?" after everything they say to me.

+ Lease negotiations with your landlord are not that fun.  More info about that coming soon!

+ Allergies make me just want to stay holed up in my apartment.  My nose is bright red and sniffly, my eyes are bloodshot and I've got a sinus headache pretty much 24/7.  Not a pretty look.

+ So I'm still driving my car from high school and for the most part, it's still holding up really well.  Living downtown, I rarely drive so there is no point in spending the money on a new car right now.  However, for the last year I've had to deal with the little problem of my windows not staying rolled up.  Yes, they actually fall down.  Every couple of days I have to go and manually pull the windows back up with my hands.


A W E S O M E
+ Our plans for our Charleston anniversary trip are coming along!  It's hard to believe we'll be celebrating our first anniversary in only a couple of months.  I'll be sharing more info about our trip soon.

+ Eating this cake for breakfast.  It has fruit in it so it's basically healthy.  No shame.

+ There are few things better than freshly washed sheets.  Clean sheets and rain on the roof made for the best nights sleep ever last night.

+ The fact that there is finally no snow in the 10 day forecast.  FINALLY.  Bring it on spring.

+ I'm so terrible about reading.  I love it but never make the time for it.  The last two days, I have made a point to sit down and read and it was so nice.  It was fun to get into a book again!

+ Have I been living in a cave?  I just discovered Warby Parker and I'll take one of each pair of sunglasses, please.

+ I take a hot shower every night and it might be my favorite part of the day.  I'm not a big bath person but I'll stand in the shower for an hour if you let me.  Thank goodness we live in a building with unlimited hot water.

+ Instagram.  I just love it.  I've always liked taking pictures so it's definitely my favorite form of social media.  Follow me here :)

+ Cute red shorts from Forever 21 for only $8.80.  On their way to me now!

Happy Tuesday!  Linking up with Khala and friends for Tuesday Tea.
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Meal Monday: Strawberry Yogurt Cake


We had such a nice weekend!  Nick's parents were in town and we did lots of touristy Chicago things.  Friday was such a beautiful day so after they arrived, we headed to our favorite neighborhood bar and were able to sit outside for dinner and watch the Blackhawks game.  Saturday was a sunny but freeeezing cold day.  When is it ever going to warm up?!  We went to the top of the Sears Tower (can't bring myself to call it the Willis Tower!), 103 floors up.  The views are amazing and they have a full glass box that jets out from the building that you can stand on - a little freaky but really cool.  We had lunch at Greek Islands and then watched the Red Wings get eliminated from the playoffs :(  That night we went on a ghost tour!  Sadly, we didn't see any ghosts but it was pretty funny and interesting to learn more Chicago history.  Sunday was just a lazy day, exactly what I needed after this crazy week.

Since we were so busy last week, I didn't cook one single night!  I'm not going to lie - it was kind of a nice break.  The only thing I did make was this fabulous Strawberry Yogurt Cake.  So delicious.  The original recipe comes from A Spicy Perspective and is perfect for spring + summer.  The only thing I changed was that I added more strawberries, a full pound.  You guys have to try this one!

Shopping List
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tbsp lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
2 ½ cups flour, divided
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
8 oz plain Greek yogurt
16 oz fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup powdered sugar



Directions
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour (VERY well) your Bundt pan.

2) Sift together 2 ¼ cups of flour, the baking soda and salt.  Mix in lemon zest and set aside.

3) With an electric mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

4) Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Mix in 1 tbsp of lemon juice.

5) Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the greek yogurt.

6) Toss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cups of flour.  

7) Gently stir in the strawberries to the batter.

8) Pour the batter into your bundt pan.  It should fill a little over ½ of your pan.

9) Place your cake in the oven and REDUCE the temperature to 325 degrees.  Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  

10) Allow cake to cool 20 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a wire rack to let finish cooling.

11) Whisk together the remaining 2 tbsp of lemon juice and powdered sugar.

12) Once cake is completely cooled, drizzle over the top of the cake.  I did this by pouring my icing into a sandwich bag and cut off the tip of a corner.

For directions with pictures, make sure to check out the original recipe at A Spicy Perspective.  Enjoy!

Linking up with LeeannCarly and Kate
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday 4/25

Happy Friday!  Nick's parents are coming to visit us here in Chicago so it should be a fun weekend! I have the day off today so I'll be spending it cleaning our apartment, getting my nails done and baking this extremely delicious looking Strawberry Yogurt Cake.


My mind is pretty much consumed with all things spring but of course, the weather is really not cooperating.  It's only supposed to be a high of 45 degrees tomorrow, blahhh.  To make myself feel better, I've put together a short spring wish list!

+ Olivia and Joy Philly Top Handle bag
Last week, I heard that O&J was having a 30% off sale and I was meaning to get this bag but it completely slipped my mind!!  Really regretting that.  I love the white + black for the warmer months and the price point is pretty reasonable.  You can also get this bag at Macy's so I'm going to be keeping my eye out for another sale!


+ Nasty Gal Floral Romper
I'm obsessed with rompers because they make getting dressed so easy and I'm all about easy.  I love the floral pattern and just think this is so pretty for spring!  Add some wedges and this is my idea of a perfect outfit.


+ Ash Mascara Fringe Sandal
I want these sandals soooo bad!  I keep putting them in my "shopping cart" but can't bring myself to fork over $200 for them. The suede, the buckles, the fringe, the perfect neutral color.. I would wear these things with everything.  I'm just going to keep praying that they go on sale ASAP!


+ White Maxi Skirt
There are tons of white maxi skirt outfits all over Pinterest and I want to recreate them all!  I've been on the hunt for the perfect skirt and found this one.. sadly a lot bit out of my price range.  This Karen Kane skirt (pictured) is almost an exact match with a much better price tag.. if you can get past how terrible the model is wearing it!  Seriously, WHY?  That outfit is not helping sell the skirt!


+ Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses
I never, ever buy expensive sunglasses because I tend to lose them or break them within a few weeks of having them. However, I've had two pairs that I've kept safe for over a year now so I think that deserves a reward!  These gold/blue aviators are on sale right now and calling my name.  If we're being honest though, I'll probably just buy these exact Forever 21 knock offs for only $5.80.. yeah that's definitely what I'm going to do.  That way I can buy them in every color :)


What's on your spring wish list?!  If you need some fun spring accessories, Bauble Bar is having their Spring Clearance Sale and tons of stuff is priced between $10-15!  It's safe to say I want one of everything.  Have a great weekend!

Linking up with AprilLaurenJennieRebecca and Casey 
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Week 17


This week has been craaaazy so far!  I've been going nonstop and feel like a bad blogger friend because I've barely had any time to respond to emails or catch up on my favorite blogs.  The busy-ness is going to continue through the weekend and is it terrible that I'm already looking forward to next Monday, my day off, to just do nothing?!  Probably.

Make sure to link up with Mia at Make Me Up MiaCarly at Carly Blogs HereKristal at The Strong Family and I and let us know what you were thankful for this week!  Here is a little bit of what has been going on...

Thursday, April 17


Yay for finally being able to open up the sunroof!  It's crazy how happy warm weather can make you in the spring.

Friday, April 18


Nick had the day off of work for Good Friday so we got to spend the entire day together!  We ran errands, did some shopping, went to the gym, made dinner and watched the Red Wings game.  It was a productive but fun day.

Saturday, April 19


On Saturday, I worked all.day.long.  A 12 hour shift.  It was totally worth doing because it meant that I was able to have Easter Sunday off!  The highlight of my day was getting to escape to Panera for lunch.

Sunday, April 20


After 40 days without cheese, this was the best sight in the world.

Monday, April 21


On Monday, I took over the Blog Baton!  It was a fun day and if you're interested in doing it for yourself, check it out here!

Tuesday, April 22


Tuesday night is volleyball night and since the Red Wings were playing before our game, we headed to the bar for dinner/drinks.  Going to the bar before a volleyball game could have been a very bad idea but we still managed to win all three games!  I can't say the same for the Red Wings, though.  Boo.

Wednesday, April 23


Love, love, love this place.  If you live in Chicago and are looking for someone to do your eyebrows, go see Emma at Arch Apothecary.  She will change your life!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Glam Series: Summer Favorites

I'm so happy the Glam Series is back!  With summer just around the corner (hopefully), I'll soon start changing up my makeup routine.  I tend to go a lot lighter with my makeup in the summer because it's amazing what a tan can hide (!) and I hate that feeling of your makeup literally melting off your face.  Besides my usual products, here are some additions you'll find in my summer makeup bag...

Summer Favorites



+ Bare Minerals Locked & Coated
This product is NOT a mascara, this is just a waterproof top coat.  I've never found a waterproof mascara that I really liked so this is a lifesaver.  Just add a swipe or two over your regular mascara and your mascara is now waterproof!

+ Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee
This creamy cheek gelee is perfect for summer because it looks so natural and not like you are actually wearing blush.  Lightly use your finger to apply before you hit the beach or at night before going out.  It's made from coconut water so it's really hydrating!

+ Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray
Who doesn't want to master the beachy, wavy hair?  I haven't gotten it completely figured out yet but I do know that this Surf Spray is pretty much amazing.  It adds waves to your hair without becoming crunchy (gross) or greasy.

+ Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
I got a sample of this in my Birchbox last summer and fell in love!  I hate wearing foundation in the summer and this is more of a tinted moisturizer.  Your face will feel like it has nothing on it because it's so light but it helps you give off a natural glow and looks really pretty with a tan! 

+ Benefit Sun Beam
Since I use a matte bronzer year-round (Too Faced Chocolate Soleil), I like to also use Sun Beam in the summer to provide that "sun kissed" look.  It's great on top of my bronzer as a highlighter - I put it on my cheekbones, hairline and tip of nose.

+ Essie Too Taboo and Serial Shopper
Bring on the neon nail colors!  I pretty much want every single polish from the Essie neon 2014 collection.  Every single one.

What products do you swear by in the summer?  Let me know because I'm always looking for new ones to try!

Linking up with Shanna and Jordon
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Wedding: 10 Things I Would Do All Over Again


It's so hard to believe that we're coming up on ONE YEAR of being married!  Where is the time going?!  I've already recapped our wedding but thought it would be fun to recap my favorite things about the day and what worked so well for me.  It was easy since our wedding day was pretty much perfection in my eyes!  Here are the top 10 things I would do all over again...

ONE | Night Before Sleep Over
A few of my bridesmaids and I kicked my family out and took over the house the night before the wedding only because of convenience - none of us live in the town I got married in, my hometown.  However, it ended up being one of my favorite parts of my wedding weekend!  After the rehearsal dinner, we changed into pajamas, drank wine and stayed up late talking.  It was nice to be 100% relaxed going into the biggest day of my life.


TWO | Hair & Makeup Done At Home
We skipped the salon and had two stylists come right to our house.  It was amazing to not have to worry about transportation and scheduling and all that hassle.  Instead, we just chilled out in our robes, mimosa's in hand!  We were actually ahead of schedule all day thanks to how smoothly the morning went.


THREE | Airbrush Makeup & Clip-In Extensions
I really can't say enough positive things about airbrush makeup.  I had my makeup done about 11am and it still looked flawless 14 hours later - honestly even when I woke up the next morning!  It looked amazing in photos and it didn't even feel like I had makeup on.  Sometimes layers of foundation can make your skin feel heavy but not this stuff.  

I also had a few clip-in extensions put in which I was hesitant about but ended up being SO thankful that I did!  They made my hair look fuller and by the end of the night, my own hair was stick straight but thank goodness it wasn't noticeable thanks to my extensions that still held a perfect curl!


FOUR | Doing a First Look
This is very much a personal choice but for Nick and I, it was the right one.  Seeing him before the ceremony calmed my nerves and made me feel way more comfortable.  It also allowed us to take upwards of 200+ group pictures beforehand and not have such a large gap between the ceremony and reception.  Our first look was such a special moment in itself and I really don't think it took a single emotion away from walking down the aisle.


FIVE | Picking Out Our Own Wedding Bands
I know lots of people like to surprise their spouse on their wedding day with their bands but Nick and I both wanted to pick ours out for ourselves.  I had absolutely no say in my engagement ring as we had never talked about rings before (thank goodness he did a good job!) so I was excited to pick out a band.  He was also very specific with what wedding band he wanted so it worked out for both of us and made for a fun day a few months before the wedding.


SIX | Master & Mistress of Ceremony
A Master & Mistress of Ceremony are two people that (you trust with your life) act as "day-of wedding coordinators".  We asked two family members and their job was to be the contact for all of our vendors that day, were at both the church and reception while everything was being set up and handled all those last minute details that allowed my family and I to have a stress-free day!  Having a M&M was honestly one of the best wedding decisions I made, hands down.


SEVEN | Wearing Wedges
I know, wedges are the last shoe you think of when you think of a bridal shoe.  BUT, I happen to think it's a very overlooked shoe option that is perfect for your big day!  It gives you a bit of a heel while still being extremely sturdy - at only 5'2", I need some height but did not want to be tripping down the aisle.  My BCBG wedges were extremely comfortable and even though I forgot to break them in, they didn't even need it!


EIGHT | Having A Family Friend Marry Us
I knew I wanted to get married in the church I attended growing up and I was hoping that our pastor whose been extremely close to my family would be willing to marry us.  Thankfully he was and it made the whole wedding weekend run smoother having someone my entire family felt comfortable with.  Our pastor actually had to go to the ER the night before our wedding after the rehearsal due to a food allergy and didn't even tell any of us until after the wedding ceremony -- he was such a trooper!


NINE | DJ Playlist
I know my friends and I know what songs we like - the ones that will get everyone going - "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey, "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond and "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks to name a few.  I created a playlist that was long enough for the entire wedding and while some people told me I was being a bit of a control freak ;), my DJ realized that everyone loved those songs and so he never strayed!


TEN | A Day Off
I thought I would always want to leave the morning after my wedding BUT I am so glad I did not!  Especially since we got married in Michigan and flew out for our honeymoon from Chicago, I could not imagine being ready to go the day after the wedding.  Sunday for us was reserved for saying goodbye to family and friends, driving back to Chicago (that sucked), packing (talk about last minute) and overall getting our lives together.  We left Monday morning for our Hawaiian honeymoon (read about that here!) and it was perfect timing.


And obviously, the one thing I would do a billion times over is marry Nick :)  So sappy.  A wedding lasts for a day but a marriage is for a lifetime so don't stress too much over planning for the 'perfect' day - it'll be perfect no matter what happens!
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Meal Monday: Lemon Chicken Pasta

**I'm taking over The Blog Baton instagram today!  Come follow along @ theblogbaton!**


Ahhh Monday, we meet again.  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  It was just Nick and I this year in Chicago and it was a beautiful day.  We did church, Nick made breakfast, we went for two! walks, watched an unfortunate Red Wings playoff game and had a delicious dinner of pizza and brownies.  It's an Easter miracle I survived without cheese for a full 40 days!

One happy girl

Now that Easter is behind us and the weather is finally warming up, it's time for simpler, lighter meals.  This lemon chicken pasta was one of those dinners that I just kind of threw together with ingredients I had in my house and hoped it would be edible.  Turns out not only was it edible, but it was really good!  Make enough for two meals because Nick and I both thought this pasta was even better the second day after the flavors had really soaked into the noodles!

Shopping List
1 lb pasta - I used rotini
1 lb cooked, shredded chicken
1 8.5 oz can of peas, drained
1/2 chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
1 lemon squeezed for the juice
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions
1) Boil a pot of water and cook noodles according to the package.

2) Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan.

3) Add your shredded chicken, chopped onion and salt and pepper to the pan and fry until onions are translucent.

4) Stir in your chicken stock, lemon juice and drained peas.  Heat through.

5) Once noodles are finished cooking, drain and stir into your mixture in the frying pan.

Serve on individual plates and top with Parmesan cheese and, if you want an extra kick, red pepper flakes.  Enjoy!

Linking up with LeeannCarly and Kate
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Five on Friday 4/18



It's Friday again!  Nick and I both have the day off work today and it's nice to have an early start to the weekend (let's just pretend I won't be working a 12 hour shift tomorrow).  I absolutely love Easter weekend and can hardly believe it's already here.  I've stocked up on Easter candy, carefully chosen my outfit, planned our brunch menu and am SO ready to welcome cheese back into my life!!!  But most of all, we are excited to celebrate the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the best thing to ever happen to our world.  Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope it's a wonderful one!  Here's what's been going on this week....

+ I really never thought I'd say this after using Benefit's They're Real for the last two years buuuut I have a new favorite mascara!  I tried Bare Mineral's Lash Domination on a whim (it was part of a package I bought) and I am officially obsessed.  It thickens, volumizes and lengthens my lashes and I haven't had any problem with smudging.  I haven't even picked up my tube of They're Real since trying Lash Domination.  Actually, I've been trying out a bunch of Bare Minerals products recently and have nothing but good things to say... but that deserves it's own post!



+ If you aren't watching Chrisley Knows Best, do yourself a favor and start.  I binge watched all of the episodes this past week and I was laughing out loud through each one.  Todd is so ridiculous!  


+ I've always had problems with my old Twitter account working on my phone so I went ahead and made a new one for the blog!  Follow along with me @ ktelizabethblog!


+ I need your advice.  I've been wanting to try a couple products from the Kerastase haircare line but woof, are they expensive.  I've heard that people buy Kerastase on Amazon to save money and I've also seen it at my local Nordstrom Rack for a discounted price.  What I'm wondering is.. why are they cheaper?  Is it because they're expired - do haircare products even expire? - or are these counterfeit products?  Let me know if you have any experience/advice with this.  Being that the "discounted" prices are still in the $30 range, I don't want to just throw my money down the drain - I'd rather spend the few extra dollars and get the real thing.  BUT, if these discounted prices are legit, obviously I'd rather save the money!  You see my dilemma here... so tell me what you know.

 
+ I loved sharing and learning lots of new tips and tricks for meal planning this past Monday!  If you missed it check the post out HERE and make sure to stop back this coming Monday for a light spring recipe - Lemon Chicken Pasta.


Have a blessed weekend!
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Linking up with AprilLaurenJennieRebecca and Casey 
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Week 16


We're back for another round of Thankful Thursday!  I missed this little link up while I was in Florida last week.  You know how this works by now.. share some of the things you're thankful for and link up with my 3 cohosts  - Mia at Make Me Up MiaCarly at Carly Blogs Here and Kristal at The Strong Family - and I!  Happy Thursday!  :)

Thursday, April 10


I'm thankful for a wonderful week in Florida and for getting home safely!
*Lots of you commented on my beach cover up and thank you!!! You can find it here at J Crew!

Friday, April 11


Being home from vacation is always a little depressing but at least the weather in Chicago made up for it.  We had a weekend of 70 degree temps and were able to grill for the first time this year.  It was so nice!

Saturday, April 12


We went to our favorite sushi restaurant in our neighborhood for dinner and were given a complimentary dessert!  The top was cheesecake so I had to scrape that off.  3 more days until cheese is back in my life!!

Sunday, April 13


This is such a random picture but Nick plays in a fantasy hockey league and he won first place this year!  The prize was a few hundred bucks which made me so excited until I found it the money is just going to pay for the three hockey league's he is playing in this spring haha

Monday, April 14


The solution to a crappy Monday is fun earrings.  And why was it so crappy?  Because this was happening.. in the middle of April..


Tuesday, April 15
 



Ohhh, the selfies.  This is my new go-to hairstyle for when I'm super lazy aka my days off work.  I feel like it's borderline looking like I just rolled out of bed/sloppy.. but then again, I'm too lazy to care.

Wednesday, April 16


A Target trip + a Sephora package = a good day!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

{Guest Post} Google Analytics Problems

**I'm so excited to have one of my favorite bloggers guest posting today!  Amanda from Meet @ the Barre makes me laugh every.single.time I read her blog.  This post is no exception.. girl is just straight up funny.  Hope you enjoy and make sure to link up tomorrow for our weekly Thankful Thursday!**

Happy Wednesday.  I am so excited to be guest posting for Katie!  I love Katie's blog and was so honored when she asked me to take over.  I currently reside at a little place I call Meet @ the Barre.  I am a Pure Barre instructor with a love for fitness, fashion (bargain hunting), recipes and other random musings.  I love trying to keep people motivated to stay healthy like this post about getting bathing suit season ready.  Finally, my absolute favorite thing to do is make people laugh.  My latest funnies post will guarantee lift you out of any mood I promise!

So today I thought I would share with you some of my random musings.  I am not the most tech savvy but I do have google analytics and the other day I was clicking all the little tabs on the left hand side. The majority of them I have no clue what they mean but one of them caught my eye.

So I clicked that and discovered some pure gold.  Apparently these are keywords are associated with the blog. The majority are pretty self explanatory "Pure Barre" "Barre" "Meet at the Barre blog" but then here is where it get's fun.

"Bony Back"
Alright I guess I get that one.  It was from this post where I did mention that.  However it was in very small print and you would have thought Lululemon would have been the highlight of this post.
"CND Vinylux"
Clearly I do have an obsession.  
Here is where it starts to get good.

"Confession I'm black"
"Meet the Crazy Girl"
I mean........that is probably 100% accurate right?
"Golden Girls Wine Glasses"
I don't know where those exist but please show me the proof and I will buy those immediately!
"Ways to Make Your Husband Happy"
I don't have one of those yet but I'm sure Mark will be happy to hear about that one.

"Muffin Top Killer Legs"
Well that kinda seems like a backhanded compliment?

Then there seems to be an awful lot with "wine" in there.  I have no clue why.
Finally here is my absolute most favorite one.

"Every Time I Paint My Nails I Wonder How People Trust Me With Anything" 
Not only is that the longest keyword search.  It is quite specific right?  Also it was like in my top 10. I can't even try to piece that one together.

Well I hope you enjoyed that middle of the week random musing!  If want to follow along with this crazy gal over here I'd love if you would come and stop by my blog over at Meet @ the Barre.  Or you can hit me up at all those fun social media links down below!  Big thanks again to Katie for letting me take over!  xoxoxo

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