DSM Blogger Brunch at Hotel Renovo

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I spent last Sunday morning at Hotel Renovo enjoying delicious food with a handful of other Des Moines bloggers. Its always nice to get together with other bloggers as we usually online interact online and it great to meet new faces and discover new reads! And any time there’s brunch–I’m there!

2015-08-23After brunch they gave us a tour of the hotel which just went under a huge renovation. It’s a beautiful space with a modern-farmhouse feel. The light fixtures through the entire hotel are fantastic! And those chairs around the fire place – love!

IMG_0534-001The rooms are simple, spacious and beautifully decorated.
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Seriously–the light fixtures are on. point. And the hallway carpeting? Why is my apartment not carpeted in that?!
IMG_0545The weather was marvelous on Sunday, perfect to enjoy their burgeoning apple orchard and welcoming outdoor seating.

 

Reading Lately

 

The Fair FightThe Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

This was one of those awesome times when I picked up a random book at the library and it was actually good! Most of the time I pick books out based on recommendation from a friend/the internet/wherever, then put them on hold at my local library. When I stray from my usual book selection process, I tend to end up with books that have FANTASTIC covers, but are really terrible. This book was not that!  It was excellent. And I polished it off in just a few sittings. Did you know that lady-boxers were a thing in 18th century France? Yeah I didn’t either. Its like Total Divas circa 1754.  Find it. Read it. Thank me.

Couverture Crocos US

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol 

Speaking of France, apparently this book was a HUGE sensation there. I read the English translation as I only last two weeks in an elective college French class. I do believe there is sequel, but I’m not seeing any English translation of it yet. Fingers crossed. The book is based on two sisters and a risky scheme they get into together. The story branches off in alot of directions with the sisters’ parents, children and spouses. And man do I love a good, twisty story.

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In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume 

I was shocked when I told people I was reading the new Judy Blume book and they looked at me like they’d never heard of Judy Blume. How have you not heard of Judy Blume?!? Um, hello–Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? Forever? I mean she is a staple on every preteen girls’ bookshelf. And I’ve devoured her adult books years ago. So when I heard rumblings of her new book, I was sure to get on the top of the library’s hold list. And it did not disappoint. She’s just such a good story teller, and knows how to write women.

Theresa’s Bridal Shower

Last weekend I helped host a bridal shower for my dear friend Theresa, who is getting married this fall. And it turned out wonderfully–much to the credit of MOH, Kate and her mom, Linda!Desktop13
The day before the shower we all went to an adorable flower farm to cut our own flowers. With lots of help from the very friendly farm cats we filled a bucket full with pretty blooms for the shower. If you find yourself in rural eastern Iowa, you really must stop! In addition to the abundance of blooms, there’s a coop full of hens with a very cocky rooster and tiny little cottage filled with homemade jams and hand embroidered tea towels.

Desktop12It was a brunch shower–and I’ve decided all showers should be brunch showers, because it was delicious! Kate and her mom made mini quiches and Theresa’s family supplied homemade pastries. I was tasked with the mimosa bar (thank you Pinterest) and we stamped coffee sleeves with the bride and groom’s names (not sure how I missed getting pic of them).

Pillow Talk

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I’ve been working on my pillow game. And it’s just not there yet.

I purchased new furniture last month (Happy Birthday to Me!!) and I love it! But the living room as a whole still needs some work. In the past I’ve decorated based on a color scheme and put everything together at one time. Which sort of worked, but also made everything look very matchy-matchy and just not that interesting. So this time around I’m taking it slow with the intent to end up with a more curated look that will–hopefully–better reflect my style and tastes.

007So, back to the pillows. Throw pillows are easily my favorite decor item. They’re affordable, easy to change and comfy! And I have about a million of them. I’ve even started pawning them off on other people. So I knew–at least to start with–that I didn’t need to purchase any new ones (even though I’m DYING for this one). I pulled out all my pillows from the back of the closet and under the bed and picked out a new combo to make it feel fresh. I don’t LOVE them all together, but they’re doing the job for now.


012My biggest challenge (yeah, throw pillow problems #firstworld) is how many pillows to have out. The thing is–I love pillows. The more the better. Sometimes I actually tuck them around myself when I’m lounging on the couch the create a custom cushy nest for myself. But I’ve noticed that the pillows I find so inviting have an opposite effect on guests. Sometimes people seem afraid to move or sit on the pillows, like they don’t want to mess them up or something. And ultimately I want my furniture to be inviting to all! So I’m trying to find a happy medium that satisfies my pillow preferences without scaring my visitors.

009I put the black and white Euro pillows away and moved my fuzzy guy over to the couch. I do like that I can see a little more of my furniture that way. But it might seem a little bare? And I’m still not crazy about the combo.

Have you found the right pillow formula?

 

 

 

Balcony Life

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A few weeks ago my dad and I hauled every last one of my belongings up two very long flights of stairs to a new unit on the top floor. And (after the trauma of moving passed) it was totally worth it for this beaut! I have no idea how I lived without any outdoor space for two years. The balcony life is the best life!

unnamed (1)Morning coffee with a good read, a stack of magazine in the sunshine. I mean seriously–everything is better on a balcony. I picked this chair up at World Market on sale and its surprisingly comfortable for a wrought iron chair–I owe it to the deep seat and curved back. Pretty sure its out of stock now :(

unnamedThere’s not really room for two chairs and 90% of the time its just me. My solution–this stool/table/foot rest! It’s actually a pretty comfy seat when leaning on the railing and its great for drinks or kicking me feet up on.

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Black + White

black and white

Every season I get closer to entirely eliminating color in my wardrobe.Life is just so much easier when all of your clothes go together. And man, I feel so put together when I wear black and white.

When I started thinking about what I wanted for my warm weather wear this year I had in mind a loose, white top–flowy, but with a touch of structure. And a few weeks ago I found just that at Gap! Pair with black skinnies, pointed flats, giant sunnies and feel French (until you get to the office and remember you work in insurance).

Maxi dresses make me feel like a goddess and the extra-long full skirt on this one is wonderful.

I missed out on the spring version of this stripped swing dress, so when the summer one popped up a few days ago straight to my shopping cart it went!

I’ve been wearing the same cut of jeans for a couple years now from Gap, but when I started looking for a white pair earlier this season I tried Gap’s girlfriend jeans and I LOVE them. I’m thinking about a blue pair for fall.

I love a good swing dress. Trying to decide if I can get away with this one at work.

Clever Tees

tees

Raygun | Home T | Hello Apparel 
I’ve had SUCH a hankering for graphic tees lately. I’ve been living in my Home T in public and in a two-sizes-two-small Raygun tee from freshman year in private lately. I want more. so. bad. But I need to stop wearing pithy tees to work and I’m working on the whole being happy with what I have, not spending unnecessary money thing lately. Because I want to buy a couch and maybe condo sometime in the foreseeable (and less foreseeable in regards to the condo) future.

My solution is to blog about all the adorable tees I want to buy instead of actually buying them. Good solution right?! The likelihood of this working is slim…but I’ll keep you updated.

As I mentioned before I seriously heart my Home T. Its so soft, and fits perfect and is long enough to make leggings work appropriate. (Yes–I wear leggings and tees to work and yes–it is questionable, unless I do it on Fridays-Fridays are free-for-alls. Dress Codes are a strong point for me) I want their new home print, because clearly no one yet knows what state I call home.

Raygun is the bom dot com when it comes to being a hip and trendy Des Moines citizen. They’re so darn clever. I saw a little girl wearing the umberella tee at Starbucks a couple Saturdays ago and I was seriously envious. The entire family was sporting Raygun–it was pretty precious.

Even though I’m no longer an Ames resident :(  I can totally vouch for that shirt. The water is the best. I do miss it.

I’m a sucker for the changing of season and spring blooms and fireflies are singing the tune of warmer days to come. And come on–they’re just too cute.