December 31, 2012

au revoir, 2012

image via weheartit

2012 will always be a year of silver linings in my book. We rang in 2012 in Des Moines, with sparkles and party hats. Winter months came and went, and I did alot of growing up and learning. I spent alot of time working and enjoying moments with the boyfriend, friends and family. Spring into Summer gave us time to make some big decisions, celebrate with many dear friends and in the Fall, we bought a house together. And as we move back into the Winter season, I do feel older. I feel stronger and wiser and ready to start a new year.

Saturday night, Boyfriend and I got struck with a bout of food poisoning. We spent our Sunday curled up on separate couches, covered in blankets and trying to hold down liquids and crackers. We watched football, slowly ate applesauce and tried to enjoy the sick day together. This morning, we both woke up feeling a lot better. Maybe not 100% but ready to give solid foods a try and get out of the house. We might not ring in 2013 in style, sparkles and loud music, but we'll still ring it in with good friends, a champagne toast and together. Together is key. 

Cheers to being stronger, healthier, more organized and even more curious. I resolve to travel more, date Joe regularly, train harder and more often, continue this process of being a homeowner and make smart choices, personally and professionally. So here's to 2013 and whatever you may bring! 

December 28, 2012

all that glitters

New Year's Eve plans have yet to be solidified but the hunt for the perfect sparkly dress is on! 

NYE 2013
Top Row: 1 2 3
Bottom Row:  1 2 3 4

December 27, 2012

oh hello

I've been a bit MIA as a of late. Birthdays and holidays seem to slip by way to quickly and I cannot believe it's almost 2013! We've been celebrating and brunching and celebrating some more! We threw a party for my birthday, dined at Saffron in Minneapolis, ate lots of cake, saw a movie for Christmas, spent time with friends and family, enjoyed some much needed time off and it was all fabulous. Hope your holidays were just as wonderful! 

December 17, 2012

gift guide :: your super smart sister who is returning home from her first semester at law school

My younger sister is returning from her first semester of UCLA law this week and our whole family is beyond excited! I think for my parents, 5 months is far too long to go without seeing her (even though she did go abroad to London for a semester).

When I asked about her gift list she said she needed to think about it some. But in the midst of Contracts finals and 8-hour take homes, I found a few items that I think she'll love and use during her next semester.

Grad Student Gift Guide

1 /  Michael Kors watch: perfect "watch out world" watch
2 / Kate Spade laptop bag: going to the library and back in style
3 / Coffee/Tea french press: coffee seems like a necessity in law school
4/ UCLA sweatpants: for those late night study sessions
5 / Ticket stub binder: she's a big movie and theater lover
6 / Bicycle glasses: fun glassware for her apartment
7 / Make your own sushi kit: for her to show off her sushi skills

December 14, 2012

it's that time of year!

Holiday parties are in full swing! Whether you're attending a cookie swap, bad santa or ugly sweater party, you'll want to arrived decked out in holiday spirit. Here are two outfits that I've been considering for my own holiday parties coming up.

Holiday Party Outfits

Look 1:  Sweater / Leggings / Flats 
Look 2: Dress / Vest / Booties 

December 10, 2012

Sweet Treats :: Pecan Pie Bars

This weekend was a great weekend for baking.The holidays are coming up, snow started to fall Saturday evening and continued all day Sunday and sweet treats were the perfect way to keep the oven on and warm up the whole house. This is an old recipe from my mom and I've kept it in my back pocket for quite some time now. Everything you love about Pecan Pie in one (or two!) quick bites.

Pecan Pie Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups pecans, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp baking powder
1-2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350

Blend 1 1/4 cups of flour, white sugar and butter together.
Form a crust and press into a 9x13 pan.
Bake crust for 15 minutes.
Mix all other ingredients together.
When crust is browned, pour the mixture into the crust.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool before serving.

The pan I used was a little bit smaller than a 9x13 so my bars came out pretty tall -- normally they would be a little shorter but they still tasted delicious!

December 2, 2012

our first date of christmas!

was a surf and turf date night in.

we cooked, we laughed and we ate. 
and it was delicious.

cheers to our 12 upcoming dates of Christmas.
thanks for an awesome first date! 

November 28, 2012

good eats: our thanksgiving meal

thought i'd share what was at our table on Thanksgiving. 

November 22, 2012


Just wanted to pop in for a quick hello. Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful. I spent most of the day cooking and preparing to showcase my skills to my parents and was really excited when my mom said my turkey was better than hers! We sat around our dining table, watching the football game, looking at black Friday ads and drinking wine. My dad even did the dishes for me (I told him a million times he didn't have to but he insisted).
I have so much to be thankful for this year. An amazing family. My brilliant little sister (miss you!). A wonderful boyfriend. Our mischievous cat. Our little home. Good friends. Having work + good health. Silver linings. and everything in between. It warmed up this week but now it's cooling down and there was even a little snowfall. So thankful for snow (and scarves and mittens and boots!)

Time to turn on the Christmas music, string up those icicle lights + let the holiday season begin!

November 21, 2012

thanksgiving options

Why does Thanksgiving turkey need to be so complicated? There are so many options (too many options!). I have lists upon lists of things I need to do... or could do! Do I need to brine the turkey or not? Cook the stuffing inside the bird? Beforehand? Can I do it the day before? Need to tie the turkey? First timer? do this... no, do that! Good thing I'm planning plenty of side dishes in case my turkey does not pan out.

but hey, at least there will be wine!

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2012


that's what's been going on lately.

I'm taking a big step this year and cooking my family Thanksgiving dinner. It's just the four of us (sister is stuck in LA) so hopefully it'll be easy. Or as easy as the Thanksgiving meal can really be. But I have the day off tomorrow + the plan is to start prepwork, get Christmas lights up and hopefully gather with some friends who have been out of town. and maybe freak out a little.

November 9, 2012

its the weekend

Here's to a weekend after the craziness of this week. I think I'm still playing sleep-catch up from staying up during the elections! Planning to spend my weekend painting our bathroom, enjoying some cupcakes with friends and perhaps a night out on the town. We'll see. Wishing you a little warmth, late nights and sweet treats too!


November 8, 2012

jalapeno popper dip

this is one of those dips that I've had in my back pocket and just hadn't found the right party to bring it to... up until a few weeks ago. we were celebrating a friend's birthday and although we weren't asked to bring food, i had a bag of tortilla chips and knew i had to make this dip. it's got a bit of a kick to it, but i knew these guys could handle the spiciness. 

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
6 tablespoons of bacon bits & pieces (i used a whole bag of this)
1 4oz can chopped green chilies, drained
1 4oz can diced jalapeno peppers, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded 

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, bacon bits, green chilies, jalapeno peppers, garlic and cheese. Stir well. Pour mixture into a baking dish.
2. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
3. While dip is baking, mix together topping ingredients. 
4. After 20 mins, remove from oven and sprinkle the Panko mixture on top. Bake again for 10 minutes.
5. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or vegetables. 

when the dip is all gone by the end of the night, i think that means dip success! 

November 5, 2012

over the weekend

here's some weekend tidbits! these weekends need to slow themselves down. 

a quick trip to atlanta and back \\ a shoe dilemma 
getting pretty for birthday celebrations at blowdry
all ready for friday night \\ black, white and wine wedding decor set up
a cozy saturday afternoon with wiz \\ homemade mac n cheese pizza 


October 31, 2012

happy halloween

carved myself this awesome pumpkin last night. 
super pumped about it. 
if the squirrels eat this one while i'm away at work, i think i may cry. 

Happy Halloween!

October 29, 2012

over the weekend: halloween edition

i think this halloween weekend might actually take the cake. not only did we get to celebrate halloween but also two birthdays! even last night, we realized that all weekend long we stayed pretty busy and we got so many things done. and had so much fun doing them. it was glorious. 

i also learned that mustaches are very hard to manage. serious props to any man participating in movember.

enjoying a cool walk to work \\ celebrating this lady's birthday!

more birthday celebrations \\ dressing up as hipster disney princesses 

casual saturday breakfast at home \\ taking care of our backyard 


ghost cookies! \\ gearing up to save princess peach

mario + luigi! 

we topped off the weekend with some good ol' fashioned pumpkin carving and some sunday evening drinks with friends. 

how was your halloween weekend? 

October 26, 2012

happy halloween weekend!

it's by far one of my favorite weekends of the year! so thankful that the weekend is (almost) here! boyfriend and I are dressing up as the fantastic duo Mario and Luigi. 

Cheers + Happy Halloween! 

October 24, 2012

the last

*hands kleenex*


October 22, 2012

up late

image via london dream

It hasn't happened in a long while but J + I had one of those nights where we stayed up late, laid in bed and just had a long conversation. Our intentions were to fall alseep but instead we talked about family, our friends, our goals, new pets, this new home and other things to fill the quietness of the night. The next thing we knew it was five a.m.

October 17, 2012

lately, according to my iphone



apple pies, bonfires, red leaves and zombies. you know its october.