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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!
After 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!
Seriously–the light fixtures are on. point. And the hallway carpeting? Why is my apartment not carpeted in that?!
The weather was marvelous on Sunday, perfect to enjoy their burgeoning apple orchard and welcoming outdoor seating.
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!
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.
It 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).
I LOVE In My Bag posts. Seriously, I can’t get enough of them. I don’t even really know why I love them some much, maybe it’s just my creeper side coming out–wanting to know what other people carry and use day-to-day. And since I just got a new bag that I love and I’ve gathered and replaced a few fun things inside of it I though I’d share a fall version of In My Bag–heck, maybe I’ll do this every season!
Okay, let’s start with the bag. First I wanted this bag. Like really wanted it. It’s adorable and would probably last until the end of time. But it costs almost as much as my rent. Not practical or even possible really. Then I found this bag. Classic, simple and great quality. Half the price of the first bag, but still quite a splurge. So when I came across this cross-body satchel for a reasonable $54 I was sold! Well actually I left the mall empty-handed and decided if I still wanted it the next day I would come back. So I went on a little mall run pre-Zumba last week. Then spent the entire Zumba class worried that someone stole it out of my car–sometimes I have irrational thoughts like that. But if local newscasters in Des Moines like to talk about anything, they like to talk about theft in gym parking lots.
Earlier this year I found Un-Fancy and was introduced to capsule wardrobes. I took a soft-core approach to the idea with my summer wardrobe and thinned it down to around 40 items–give or take a few–I never really did an official count. And only purchased a pair of shorts and few tank tops all summer long. I loved it! I got rid of a ton of clutter, either donating or tossing several bags of unworn clothes and accessories. I still have a few bags of off-season maybes and items I love but, don’t fit they way they used to (perhaps they will soon with my new gym membership). I’m hoping to either incorporate or eliminate them over the next year.
So for the fall season I’m in the midst of creating a true capsule wardrobe. I’d been moving along swimmingly with the purchase of a few pairs of (great fitting) skinnies, a cozy cardi, a new pair of flats and the like. Last weekend I packed away the last of my summer clothes and ruthlessly weeded through the cold-weather wear I pulled out and hung everything that made the cut.
And now I’ve realized this may be a little harder than I though. Barely a week into my wardrobe I’m already a little bored with it. It leaves a bit to be desired. BUT the good news is, after the ruthless weeding mentioned above, I still have room for a few more items. So in favor of creating a truly satisfying capsule wardrobe that I love and feel good in without any useless clutter, I set to some serious work (my life is so hard right!?). I printed out the Un-Fancy Capsule Wardrobe Planner and started to define and refine my “style vision”.
As much as I love wearing all black and gray, especially in the colder months, I realized that my wardrobe needed some color. I already had a berry sweater dress and flowy dark green top in my closet, so I thought I’d round out my wardrobe with a few more items in those shades. I’d like a few more tops–that can be worn alone, without layering–and a skirt perhaps. I’ve been pinning possibilities to my Fall Fashion board.
Hopefully I’ll be able to share my complete wardrobe in a few weeks! Do you plan out your seasonal wardrobes? Or just wing it?
Happy (unofficial) First Day of Fall!! If I’m being realistic here fall is still several weeks away in the Midwest, but that didn’t stop me from pulling out all my pumpkin candles and buying a bushel of apples yesterday. BUT before I get ahead of myself and enter into full-on fall frenzy mode, I thought I’d recap my summer. Summer is by no means my favorite season (it might actually be my least fave. I don’t cope well with heat) but I did have a pretty darn good season.
stopped by the farmer’s market (early-on before it was too hot) a few times
visited Nashville with those two lovely ladies
met in the middle (of Tennessee and Iowa) with my family in Grafton
tried a few new summer brews
moved to a fantastic new apartment
had a wonderful long weekend at the lake
spent plenty of weekends relaxing in my hometown
and drank my way through Labor Day Weekend.
Almost everyday I immerse myself in new information on the web–most often in the form of Pinterest and food blogs filled with the most inventive triple-chocolate-nutella-drizzled-secret-ingredient-best-ever-recipes. With all of these new and exciting dishes floating around my noggin it’s easy to lose sight of the recipes that I know and love, the recipes I can make by memory, the recipes that come from my mom, my aunt, my grandma’s recipe box.
I tend to get more gratification from making recipes I’ve made before than I do making new ones. It might have something to do with that fact that I know they will turn out. But there’s something else too. While a beautiful Girl Scout Cookie-inspired cheesecake is sure wow your friends with its rich, decadent deliciousness, a 40-year-old cookie recipe from your grandma’s collection feeds the soul. There’s something special about going through the same motions, mixing together the same ingredients that your mom did when you were a kid and your grandma did years before you were born. Now, by no means am I abandoning the 779 recipes I have pinned to my Yummies I must try Pinterest board. I will always love trying new recipes and experimenting with creative ideas, and I encourage you all to do the same. Afterall if everyone always just made the same dessert their mom made we’d still be eating snow candies. But next time you’re craving a little treat call your mom or your best friend and ask for one her old favorites.