High Five for Friday!

It is Friday! Hooray! To switch things up around here, I decided to link up with Lauren and start a weekly recap. Here are some of my highlights of the week...


1. New Martha Stewart organizer. Gosh I love planners so much, and this one is no exception! I will be blogging about organization later this week.

2. Weddings, weddings, weddings! This week I got to meet with one of my July couples and attend a bridal shower of another! I love getting to be a part of the lives of these bride-to-be's!

3. Spicy Korean Pork...I won't go any further. This attempt at korean cuisine was a success and yummy!

4. Girls day at Lone Pine State Park. I have been so thrilled to reconnect with all of my sweet friends this summer!  I realize how much God has blessed me with such amazing women in my life.

5. Bangs! I got a new haircut to switch things up and I am loving it!

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. Ever.

This is no ordinary chocolate chip cookie. This is a chocolate chip cookie with nutella, brown butter and sea salt. It also happens to be the best recipe I have found for chocolate chip cookies. ever. 

With this knowledge, you can now end your search for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe because this is all you need!


There are 3 basic categories that make up the most delicious cookies: texture, flavor and appearance

Texture: 

These cookies are soft in the middle, yet have a chewy outer crunch. The nutella in the center gives an irresistible ooey, gooey, chocolate experience.

Flavor: 

The brown butter is absolutely intoxicating and pairs perfectly with the nutella. A final touch of sea salt evens out the sweetness.

Appearance: 

These are no wimpy cookies. They plump up nice and well and look picture perfect right of the oven! Tips for magazine worthy cookies below :)



Now for the recipe!
Ingredients:

Chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella), about ½ cup
1 cup (16 tbsp.) unsalted butter
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. coarse sea salt, plus more sprinkling
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. greek yogurt or sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup dark chocolate chips





Directions:

If I could have a candle, body scrub and hand lotion made out of this beautiful combination...then I would!


Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Annie's Eats
Food styling: Daniella

A Breath of Fresh Air

Today my best girlfriend and I went for a hike up Big Mountain in Whitefish. It was exactly what I needed! I enjoy this sweet girl's company and laughter.

We were tempted to take a gondola ride on the way down
Loved the magical forest, and the shade of course!

We didn't quite make it to the top...we wanted to take it easy today. But it is on our to do list this summer to conquer that mountain! The rest of the day was spent eating New York - style pizza and perusing downtown Whitefish. It couldn't have been more perfect!

Dealing with Failure

This post is something that has been on my heart for a while and I have been contemplating whether to write about it or not. However, in my effort to stay genuine and true, I feel that it is necessary to get it out; not only for my blog but in dealing with my emotions as well.

For the past 4 years, I have been in school pursuing my dental hygiene degree. This has been the most difficult and challenging period of my life. This journey has lead me to move to a new town by myself, work part time and scramble to find patients who would fulfill hygiene requirements. Not to mention, studying for and taking 6 board exams to earn my license!


Fortunately, despite the struggle, I was making progress. I managed to always find a patient, passed 5 of my board exams and even landed a job before I graduated, what a blessing!

So that brings me to the events that occured over the past week. On the weekend of the 7th-9th of June, I took my last clinical boards. I passed the local anesthesia exam and could not be happier.  The following Sunday, I took my clinical exam. My board patient qualified and the exam went as smooth as possible. 

I felt confident that I had passed and waited patiently for my results. Finally, 5 days after an email came saying that they had been posted. With butterflies in my stomach, I looked up the results online. After scrolling through the letter, I found in bold letters: FAIL. I could not believe that this was happening. I quietly left work to go home and process all that had taken place.

I cried thinking about the pain, suffering and hard work that I had invested over the past 4 years. I had never experienced failure like this before, and in such a big way. Making the phone call to my employer was the most difficult and uncomfortable conversation in my life. 

And it does not stop there. That day, I was told that my employer would hire another hygienist and that they could no longer keep me. My heart was broken. I felt as though everything I knew and felt proud of was taken away from me. 



Fotunately, I have a loving and supportive family who have been by my side throughout the whole process. My fiance has been incredibly helpful and encouraging. It hurts me that we have had to alter our wedding plans due to the situation.

For now, I will hold my head high and know that God has a plan for me; that there is a reason for this struggle. I will retake the exam in September and leave the rest up to God. Dan and I have decided that we will postpone the wedding until next summer so we can have time to figure everything out. 

It is my hope that anyone who has ever experienced struggle would find comfort in this post. I know that God uses these trials to shape and mold us into the people that we are to become; and that we are not defined by our failures. I pray that you find comfort in Him just as I have. We can make it through together!

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."

- Galatians 6:4-5 MSG


Photos courtesy of Pinterest

New Beginnings


Today marks the first day of a new chapter for me. I havn't had much of an opportunity to commit time to the little things I enjoy (such as blogging) due to the intense demand of dental hygiene school. Fortunately, all that hard work has paid off and I have finally graduated! Hooray!


This summer and rest of the year has so many exciting adventures that I cannot help but document.

1. I am engaged! Bring on the wedding planning
2. Graduated dental hygiene school and taking my final board exam in September
3. A summer full of weddings to photograph


Although the road to get to this point has not been easy, I am looking forward to the future and all that God has before me. I can't wait to bring you along this journey with me!


Life According to Instagram

Wow! It has been f.o.r.e.v.e.r. since I have posted anything and for that I am sorry. Dental hygiene school has pretty much taken over my life and many of my hobbies have been pushed aside. However, I am almost about to graduate! 3 more months! I am hoping to dust off this little blog of mine and start over again as I can already tell that many exciting things are about to happen this year! For now, here is a little hint of my life recently. If you don't follow me already, my instagram name is @mstylernicole


Found these lovelies at Target!


My inspiration to blog again!


 Real life "Pinspiration" board I created


Danny started student teaching this spring!


Outfit of the day


Homemade smoothies are the best.


Yellow...my new love!

My Life in iPhone Pictures...

Hello blogland! Sorry my lack of updates, things have been getting cray cray up in here! In between clinic, work and studying, I have been barely able to keep up on everything! But on a good note, I have finally jumped on the iphone bandwagon and thus have proof of my existence over the last 3 weeks. :)

Here are some of my fav instagram pics. You can follow me at @mstylernicole!


Polka dot love


Spring snow showers


Hunger Gamesss



Check out more of this beautiful belly on my Photography blog!


Can't get enough of the 60-70 degree weather!


Loved this recipe for Greek Quesadillas.


How lucky am I that I get to run on this trail that follows the Missouri River?! Only 5 minutes from my house none the less :)


Spring fever :)