Leave of Absence

If it hasn’t been obvious since I’ve been MIA since December – yikes! – I’m officially on a blogging hiatus until after the wedding. As much as I miss having this as my creative outlet, the wedding is the focus of my creative energy these days and I don’t think I can give this project the attention it properly deserves.

But in less than 57 days I will be enjoying the best day of my life and celebrating so many blessings and I could not be more excited about that!


Until then, may your next few months be filled with love and happiness!

Image by Megan Dandeles Photography

Award Nomination…

For world’s worst blogger here! I’m horrified by how long it’s been since I’ve last posted. I really have little to no excuse other than it seems to be the busiest time of year (in a good way!) and I’ve been using extra time for wedding stuff.

So, as I slowly dip my toe back into the water, let’s start with a long list of awesome things you should check out:

Cyber Monday was dangerous for me. Particularly since I’m obsessed with all the jewelry at J Crew right now.

My massively stylish friend Christine was sporting a DIY “Creme de la Creme” sweatshirt similar to the more spendy Zoe Karssen version when I saw her in Minneapolis. Genius!

Maybe it’s the recent trip to Minnesota but I’m feeling an affinity for modern Scandanavian items like this awesome Herringbone Blanket.

We basically bought out the Wedding Chicks website on Monday when they had 50% off for Cyber Monday. Even if you’re not getting married, there are some festive gifts for the holidays:

Loving this Essie polish I treated myself to as a birthday gift!

Was in desperate need of a new iPhone case and was feeling the Kate Spade vibe.

I’m fighting the urge to make these and eat them all day long.

A bit out of season in the wintry months but I’m in love with these bath robes!

Feelin’ foxy. Even though I’m pretty sure I rocked a similar sweater with a duck as a child, I’m eye one of these bad boys.

These are awesome and perfect for the holidays.

What gems have you discovered recently??

Sandy Plans

We’re hunkered down in our apartment waiting for Hurricane Sandy to pass, watching the news and using computers while we can in anticipation of power loss when the worst of the storm hits.

Here is what our plans look like for the rest of the day:

Chris is pretty excited that being home from work means he has ample time to create a pumpkin masterpiece. I sent him to the store for some last-minute necessary items before everything closes and he returned with milk, caramel apples and a tool set for carving pumpkins. I love where his priorities lie.

Happy Camper

As my brave fiance recently discovered, camping doesn’t top of my list of favorite activities. My family went camping less than a handful of times while growing up (my poor father had three girls) and I’ve made little effort in my adult life to seek out the wilderness and pith a tent to commune with nature.

With that said, I’m not opposed to camping, as proven on our recent excursion to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. It typically involves friends, beer, s’mores, card games and beautiful scenery (if done outside of Iowa) — all of which I’m a big fan of.

(Images from our recent camping trip. This beauty I fully support.)

It’s more the bugs, hiding food from bears, sketchy bathrooms and sleeping on the ground that make me uncomfortable and inevitably crabby. However, I recently stumbled upon some nice little campers that would make all of that a little less painful…that is, if we win the lottery sometime soon.

The Austrian company Marchi Mobile designed this $3 million dollar luxury camper — 40 feet of ornate furnishings complete with rainfall shower, fireplace, underfloor heating and pop-out bar.

(Camping in space?)

If you’d like to be a little less conspicuous rolling up to the campsite, check out this 1978 Airstream renovation by Fitzsimmons Design+Build, known as MObi.

(Images via mocoloco)

OR…if you’re still insistent on something a little more rustic, Vanity Fair tipped me off to this little beauty from Orvis complete with convertible sleeping quarters, roof fan, freshwater tank and faucet, maple countertop and stainless-steel cooler. (And it’s just downright adorable!)


Now that’s my kind of camping! (Somewhere at this moment, Chris is shaking his head at me.)

Two If By Sea

For a girl who grew up in the flat lands of Iowa, I sure do feel like I was meant to live on the water. Chris and I always joke that the places I’ve chosen to call home have been driven by the need for more water in my life – first moving to Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes, then to Chicago and the shores of Lake Michigan, to finally reaching the shores of the ocean in Boston.

Luckily for me, I have an avid fisherman and sea captain for a future father-in-law to show me the ways of the water while I’m still earning my sea legs. This past weekend he treated us to an early morning deep-sea fishing expedition, a first for me, which was well worth rising before the sun.

I snagged the first catch of the day but was easily beat out for largest catch of the day by my future husband. (Which he reminded me a few times – we’re not competitive at all.)

An awesome new experience and great memories with my family-to-be that I will treasure for years to come!

If you’re ever in Cape Cod and looking to take a sportfishing charter, look up Captain John of Grey Dolphin Sportfishing Charters!

Pure Vermont Goodness

Last weekend we put the city in our rearview mirror and took off for the Vermont mountains for three days of relaxation and fresh air. It was the perfect way to unwind with no cell phone service, cable or Internet around and the opportunity to get our hands dirty cleaning up the cabin.

We drank beer at dive bars, played arcade games and pool, strolled through the town fair and roasted about a hundred marshmallows.

On our way back home on Sunday we stopped by one of Chris’s favorite places in New England, Sugarbush Farm, for a brief visit with the cute farm animals and to pick up our favorite cheese in the world.

He chose the Hickory and Maple Smoked Cheese and Mountain Jack, I chose the Sage Cheese, a mellow cheddar with flecks of the yummy herb. Tonight I mixed a few slices of Mountain Jack with a few slices of Sage Cheese and grilled it on rye for one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve ever tasted.

Even though they can’t send the cute farm animals or the fresh mountain air, they can ship the cheese and the pure Vermont Maple Syrup, so check out their site!

Photos by me

Ready, Aim, Fire!

The best part of living in New England is the endless towns, islands, resorts, campsites or port cities to explore on the weekends. I still get awe-struck each time I stop to take in that the ocean is just a few blocks from work and a 90-minute car drive can take me to any number of charming towns in Rhode Island, New Hampshire or Maine. New Englanders have no idea how lucky they are!

This weekend we ventured about an hour to Fairhaven, Mass., to visit our friends Kim and Jeremiah and check out one of the events they participate in as part of Fairhaven Village Militia — i.e. Jeremiah dresses like Mel Gibson in The Patriot and gets to shoot a musket. (What more can a man ask for?)

Fairhaven is a quaint little town right on the ocean with no shortage of New England charm. Fort Phoenix, where the reenactment was held, overlooks the ocean as it did when it was used to protect the town from British invasion in the 18th century.

As part of the celebration this weekend the fort was host to a food truck selling clam cakes and frozen lemonade and a sea chantey band singing tunes about life on the sea. There was a boat parade in the harbor (a first for me!) and a cannon demonstration where I – yes, ME – got to fire one of the cannons!

Can’t say it was anything I ever put on my bucket list but once the opportunity came up to shoot 18 oz of gun powder out a cannon, I couldn’t turn it down. My ears rang for about 5 minutes after but it was a pretty great way to round out my first 4th of July as a New-Englander-in-training.

Making Minnesota Memories

We spent four days of the last week in the great state of Minnesota, celebrating the wedding of a dear friend and catching up with loved ones we haven’t seen in a while. It was so good to be among old friends and people who order “pop” instead of “soda” and play pull-tabs, even if only for a few days!

The wedding venue was amazing, the bride was stunning, and the time with friends was precious. We had brunches, dinners and strolls in the park with kiddos while chatting about wedding plans, pregnancies and our favorite college stories.

If only I could rearrange the States, Minnesota would be much closer to Massachusetts, and Iowa would be next door…

5.5 Days of Wonderful Fun

First off, thank you to the fabulous ladies behind Confetti in Her Hair and i am chasing baby for the recent blog shout-outs. Both ladies I am lucky to consider friends, both extremely talented women. Read their blogs!

I’m catching up on the HUNDREDS of photos I took during the 5.5 days my parents were in town this past week. True Midwesterners on their first visit to the East Coast and it was every bit as fun and memorable as I hoped it would be.

Since most of our explorations were in the city where I’ve taken lots of photos before, I traded my SLR for Instagram most of the trip and love the fun little photo collection that resulted.

There were lots of tourist hot spots…

…reading of historical plaques…

…delicious sweets…

…old buildings and old gardens…


…fresh lobstah…

…fresh oysters…

…neighborhood treasures…

…a VERY long baseball game…

…and a night on the town that is now one of my new favorite memories of all time.

Memories I’ll definitely treasure!

A Very Lucky Girl

A lot has happened since I last logged on here!

I spent four insanely fun days with some awesome ladies in Vegas…

…and I got ENGAGED!

This Saturday Chris surprised me with a day adventure around Boston, hitting all the classic landmarks and our favorite stops along the way. He based our trek on a “Bostonopoly” game we own and play often, and when we got outside the bar where we met, I pulled the “Advance to Old North Church” card which asked me to marry him! Such a creative man! (He also very wisely started the game with a stop at Starbucks – a man who knows the way to my heart.)

Not only did we have the best day, I couldn’t be more excited about marrying this man. Sharing the news with all of our loved ones was more fun that I could have imagined and and I feel so blessed to have all these wonderful people in my life.

My parents arrive in less than 48 hours for their five-day visit…this month can’t get any better!