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Four Things Friday | 5

Dress: Old Navy | Shirt + Tights + Boots: Target | Necklace: Gift

Happpppy Friday!  I'm so glad it's Friday...this week has been utterly insane at work, and I'm in need of a weekend!

This outfit was a little bit outside of my comfort zone, since I layered a turtleneck underneath my dress.  I was inspired by my girl Nicole, who does the shirt-under-a-dress thing like a boss.  I felt a little insecure about it at the beginning of the day (as I typically do when I try something new), but I got some great compliments on the outfit, so I felt much better about it eventually.

Alright, after a little break in my Four Things Friday series last week (ugh, dumb computer problems still), I'm back this week with four places I have lived...

St. Louis Park, Minnesota | Good old SLP is my home.  There are about 45,000 people living in St. Louis Park, but it's also directly next to Minneapolis.  It was the best of both worlds.  I got to experience the tight-knit community of St. Louis Park and went to a smaller high school (I graduated in a class of 287 - way smaller than most of the other suburban high schools around us!).  However, I was able to have many cultural experiences that the city offers as well, because my mom and dad's house is a brief 10-15 minute drive into downtown Minneapolis.  I loved growing up in my community - it was very diverse then (and is even more so now!!), so I grew up with all kinds of people who were different from me.  Fun fact: my entire extended family on both my mom's side and my dad's side (with the exception of one aunt/uncle who live about 30 minutes away) lives in St. Louis Park...within a mile of my mom and dad's house.

St. Paul, Minnesota | I went to college at Hamline University, which is located in St. Paul (right by the MN State Fairgrounds!).  It's a smaller college (2,000 students!) and the campus is pretty compact.  I absolutely loved my time at Hamline, though!  I lived on campus all four years of college and loved being in such a diverse neighborhood.  We would walk to restaurants right near campus to try all kinds of different ethnic foods - my favorite restaurant was called Black Sea, which had all kinds of authentic (and delicious) Turkish foods.  The owners were so sweet and would close the restaurant occasionally so they could visit their family in Turkey.  I also loved taking walks around campus with Kevin and my friends.  The old houses in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul are huge and beautiful, and I love that every house has its own character!

Decorah, Iowa | After graduating from Hamline, Kevin and I got married, and I moved to Iowa (Kevin graduated a year before me so the year we were engaged, he was living and working in Iowa).  Kevin worked in Residence Life at Luther College in Decorah, so we actually lived on campus there!  People often make jokes about how Iowa is boring and there's nothing but cornfields there, which I definitely know is the case for much of the state, but we were lucky enough to live in the pretty part of Iowa.  Decorah is a small town - 12,000 students when the college students are there - in northeast Iowa.  There are huge, beautiful bluffs and a river running through the town.  We used to go tubing down the river right near campus and spent lots of time exploring the bluffs and springs tucked away Decorah.  Don't believe me that it's beautiful?  This was the view outside of one of our apartments...

St. Peter, Minnesota | We moved back to Minnesota for grad school.  Kevin found a job working in Residence Life at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter (again, we lived in the residence halls in an apartment!), which was about 15-20 minutes from the university we attended in Mankato, MN.  We didn't love living in St. Peter since there was not much to do there, but I liked that we were closer to Mankato, which had a mall, a Target, a Chipotle, a know, the essentials :)  It was while we were living in St. Peter that we really decided that eventually, we'd like to end up in the Twin Cities again...we're just not small town people.

Have you lived anywhere more exciting than me?!  ;)

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