Vancouver, Seattle- why not?

D and I have been together for a year now- it’s crazy how time flies. We decided that for our anniversary were would take a trip, and we finally set the dates and location. Starting off in Vancouver, we’ll see museums, eat great food and explore the Sky Bridge. Halfway through the week we will rent a car and drive down the coast of Washington state to Seattle. We’ll finish off the week with an orchestra concert.

I seriously can’t wait to get out of the Midwest for a bit. Both my job and D’s has been very stressful, to the point of both of us almost quitting simultaneously. Thankfully (I think) the worst is over. And what better way to celebrate getting through all that than to travel together?

What are your spring break plans? Any suggestions for places to visit in Vancouver or Seattle?

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FLORIDA: DISNEY DAYS

After having a relaxing day in Sarasota for my first day in Florida, we headed to Disney for my first Disney World experience EVER. And it was for sure something I’ll never forget. The parks were huge, parking was an experience, and the transportation to the parks made it seem like you were in a city instead of a theme park. It was quite convenient to park and then jump on a train to whichever park you wanted.

On the first day we went to three of the four parks: Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.

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PicMonkey Collage2Favorite ride of the day: Tower of Terror. Seriously amazing. Least favorite ride: It’s a Small World. Seriously creepy.

On the second day we went to Epcot which was awesome. I drank around the world and really enjoyed seeing all the different countries. Norway was of course my favorite (yay vikings!).

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Favorite drink: Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush in France. Delicious, and a perfect icy drink to cool you down.

On the third and final day we spent all of our time at Magic Kingdom. One of my friends was having her birthday there so we rode a few of the classic rides, had delicious food at the Wilderness Lodge, and celebrated her birthday.

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All in all, a magical experience. Well done, Disney. Well done.
Have you been to Disney? What’s your favorite ride? Let me know in the comments below!

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Have a great day!

FLORIDA: DAY ONE

    First day in Florida and I’m already having a blast! Here’s a few photos of my adventures! Enjoy!

It started with a 7:00am flight…early, but beautiful views:

10551841_10151892256169567_1868311083_nThen I had a layover at O’Hare, jumped on another plane, and experienced fluffy clouds:

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Landed in Sarasota around 12:30pm and met my first palm tree of the trip- I named him Fred:

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I went straight from the airport to an Indian Buffet called India Palace with my friend A who I am staying with. The food was AMAZING:

10570012_739319179463922_1560260956_nWe then got a manicure/pedicure for the trip- MUCH NEEDED. By the time we were done walking around the mall, it was dinner time. BLACK BEAN BURGERS at a really cool place called S’macks:

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And a close up pic of my nail color- kind of a Barbie watermelon color. Very summery! And a yummy peach iced tea:

10567956_10151892252864567_1247191154_nAfter dinner we rushed to the nearest beach for the sunset. One word: gorgeous: 10432163_10151892252824567_1470723430_nPretty flowers, pretty nails, pretty beaches:

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Stay tuned for more pictures from the trip! Tomorrow I’ll be at Disney for the first time. Pretty excited! Thanks for reading and if you’re interested please follow me on Instagram & Twitter to keep up with what I’m up to.

Have a great day!

GORDMAN’S: FLORIDA ON MY MIND

I’m getting so excited for my trip to Florida! I can’t wait to see one of my best friends from college- plus I’m going to Disney for three days! For the first time! Oh my goodness! I’ve been shopping around for items that I might need on my trip, and at Gordmans I seemed to find quite a few things that will be great additions to my luggage!


 

IMG_3704I’m quite picky about sunglasses, and I’m still not 100% sold on these particular ones. But I really like the gold detail. My favorite pair of sunglasses that I’ve had for years probably will break soon (NOOOOOOOOOOO! 😦 ), so I’ve been looking for a replacement just in case it happens in Florida. I like really big frames (bigger the better, right?) and these are definitely smaller than my current favorites. We’ll see if I keep them or find a more similar pair to my oldies but goodies.


 

IMG_3705I’m a sucker for gold earrings- especially in geometric shapes. These seemed so beautiful and inexpensive I had to pick them up. They are a bit bohemian looking which I do like, but they can also be super classy. I love items that can work double duty. I’m also planning to wear dangly earrings in Florida (because why not) and these are a great addition to my collection.

 

 


 

 

PicMonkey CollagePretty much all of my purses/handbags are camel in color which seems to match everything I wear but sometimes I wish I had different colors to choose from. I was originally looking for a black purse, but I didn’t like the designs they had in stock. And then I saw this gorgeous thing: taupe with gold hardware. PERFECTION. I also love crossbody purses, so the long strap is a definite plus. And as an added bonus: POLKA DOT LINING. SO BEAUTIFUL.


 

These were on sale, and I had to have them. I thoughIMG_3707t they would be perfect to bring along to slip into after the beach, walking around Disney, or working out (if I get a chance…) with my friend A. Comfy, stretchy, neutral, and easy to wear: not a lot to say about this purchase, but I thought I would tell you about it anyway! 🙂

 

 


 

IMG_3703You know how much I love flats (and if you don’t check out my recent post about my flats collection). I’ve been obsessed with pointy toe flats and these were too cheap not to purchase. Just a pair of standard, black shoes. But they’ll go with everything and can maybe be my nicer pair? It will be hard not to wear them daily, though!

 

 


 

PicMonkey Collage2To be completely honest, I only bought these rings for the gold ones, but I’ll give the silver rings away to one of my friends. I absolutely love the chevron-style rings: one bigger that fits on my ring finger and one smaller one which fits perfectly on one of my toes. I thought that being at the beach and all, it might be cute to bring toe-rings back into my life: and pedicures, of course! 🙂

 

 

 


 

So there you have it! I am a bit of a shopaholic, I know, but I always find good deals wherever I go: plus when I have an impending trip coming up I can’t help but get a few new items to show off in a new location! Thanks so much for reading!

IMG_3701aIf you aren’t already, please follow my on all my social media-ness to keep up with what I’m doing!

Instagram & Twitter

 

DRY SHAMPOOS- WHICH ONE ACTUALLY WORKED?

It seems that dry shampoos have become quite popular recently. Since I’m usually quite a busy person, I really wanted to give them a try to (hopefully) save some time in my morning routine. Also, as someone who used to wash their hair everyday, I know that every other day is much better for your hair’s health. I’ve tried out three products so far, and honestly only one has made it to my favorite’s list.

LAST PLACE: Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo 500

As much as I wanted to love this (especially because of the scent and the naturalness of the ingredients) I felt like it didn’t really do a lot for me. Also, after just a few uses the spraying device at the top broke, and therefore I haven’t been able to use the rest of the product to test it out further- frustrating. It does smell really nice and is reasonably affordable- I just wish I could use the rest of the product to see if it really doesn’t work for me. It also seemed to dry my hair out, and left it almost crunchy feeling.

 

 

450SECOND PLACE: Pantene Dry Shampoo Blowout

This was the only dry shampoo I could find at my local drugstore in travel size for my trip to Oregon this past month. It was certainly conveniently sized and seemed to work at first, but after about a half day of walking around and such it seemed to wear off and my hair would go right back to the way it was when I woke up. It has a decent smell (nothing memorable) and the can definitely needs to be shaken well before use.

 

 

FIRST PLACE: Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoohair_243x406_0016_dry-sh71-86824

Of all the dry shampoos I’ve tried (and believe me, I know there are more out there) this one was my favorite. It has a good smell, easy to use, and seems to really refresh my hair. I’ve also straightened bits of my hair after using this and it didn’t seem to interfere with the heat. My hair was left feeling soft and voluminous. I still have more testing to do on this one (new purchase) but so far, I really like how it reacts with my hair. I’ve also used it on first day hair to get the look of second day hair- it adds a bit of texture and volume that you only get from second day hair.

 

All in all I really enjoy using dry shampoo- it makes mornings where I want to sleep in and not redo my hair much more enjoyable, plus my hair gets to keep more of its natural oils and not strip the strands daily with wet shampoos. I also find that I can do more hairstyles and see more of what my hair can do when I don’t wet it down and style it the same way daily. It’s nice to see what else my hair is capable of!

Have you used dry shampoo? Which brands are you loving at the moment?

If you aren’t already, please follow my on all my social media-ness to keep up with what I’m doing! Instagram & Twitter

MY SUMMER TRIP TO FLORIDA

I’ve finally booked my trip to Sarasota, FL to visit one of my bestest friends and I couldn’t be more happy to get out of Iowa for a bit! I’ll be there for a week and I’m definitely going to Disney (FOR THE FIRST TIME) and Busch Gardens to get my roller coaster rides in, but any other suggestions of what to do in that area? I’ll be there from the 22nd-29th of July, so let me know some locations I can’t come home without seeing! Also, if you have some awesome workouts for getting a bikini body toned, I would love those ideas as well…I have one month to get buff!

Beach_2I can’t wait to share my adventures with you guys!

If you aren’t already, please follow my on all my social media-ness to keep up with what I’m doing!

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25th BIRTHDAY WEEKEND GETAWAY

I am freaking out. Literally. I just found out that the weekend of my birthday (which is May 19th) I will be traveling to Oregon! Oregon has been on the top of my list of places to visit, and a friend of mine said she’s going up there for an interview and wondered if I wanted to come along- and of course I said YES. I’ve never been west of Iowa before, and for some reason the Pacific Northwest seems like somewhere I would love to live- and now I get to check it out and see what I think! BRING ON THE SCARF WEATHER! ❤

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I can’t wait to take pictures, see new things, and spend my birthday somewhere new. And I can’t wait to share my adventures with you guys!

If you aren’t already, please follow my on all my social media-ness to keep up with what I’m doing!

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Question of the day: if you could be anywhere on your birthday, where would it be?

Also, if you’ve been to the Oregon/Washington border area, where would you suggest I go? Help me plan my Birthday Weekend Getaway!

MY CHICAGO TRIP

I recently came back from a wonderful weekend trip to Chicago- here are a few pictures of my adventures!

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The view outside my hotel room- 20 floors up!
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“Cloud Gate” aka THE BEAN- one of my favorite spots in Chicago, right off of Michigan Ave.
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The Greening of the river- done every year for St. Patrick’s day- right outside the hotel.
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The view of the newly green river from my hotel room.
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I went on an Architecture Boat Tour where I got a lot of great shots from the river of some beautiful buildings in Chicago. This building in particular is so big that it used to have its own zip-code!
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Beautiful beach, near the Navy Pier where the boat tour ended- would be lovely to see in the summer time!
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Random bagpipe group set up camp in the middle of the Navy Pier- got serenaded by some classic Irish tunes.
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Night time in Chicago- many buildings getting in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with green lights.

All in all an amazing trip. And, as I predicted, I’m even more in love with the city. I am now making it a goal of mine to try and move there by then end of the year- and also try and visit the city in the summer. More details on that soon! I hope you enjoyed a few of my pictures from the trip, and have a splendid day!

Hotel I stayed at:

Club Quarters: Wacker at Michigan: I would highly recommend this hotel. I booked early and got a great price, and you can’t beat the location. Friendly staff- ask for Tim, he will take care of you. *****

Some food places I ate at:

La Cantina: Italian Village Restaurant: Delicious, authentic Italian food. I got the Manicotti- OMG CHEESE. ****

Bella Bacinos of Wacker: Restaurant literally in my hotel- authentic Chicago pizza and super friendly staff. I got a Chicago style cheese pizza- and the cheese went on for MILES. Delicious. *****

If you’re interested in more pictures from my trip, check out my Instagram.

ST PATRICK’S DAY IN CHICAGO | OOTD #3

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Super simple, sophisticated green outfit for St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Sorry about the lack of pictures in the outfit- I was busy roaming the streets of Chicago and had a coat on most of the day (a bit chilly). But here’s my outfit I wore to the festivities in Chicago:

Sweater: Lane Bryant- Yes, most people would think of Lane Bryant as a store I might not shop at, but they actually had this great, emerald green-colored sweater in their smallest size which made for a loose, comfortable fit that kept me warm all day. I loved the button detail on the end of the 3/4 sleeves, and a subtle fabric change where it goes from regular knit to more of a ribbed-knit look along the sides of the sweater. All in all, a perfect top for the day.

Scarf: Target- You might be able to tell more from my last blog post, but this is one of my most neutral scarves- it’s a tan/cream color with a few stripes of silver. I find it to be very versatile and perfect for a more colorful top to keep warm but add an accessory and a bit of sparkle.

Charcoal skinny jeans: American Eagle- No surprise there. You know how much I love my American Eagle jeans. Went for a charcoal color instead of regular blue jeans just for a bit of a different look.

I also painted my nails with Essie’s gold color and Sally Hansen’s jade green on one nail on each hand.

I hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!