Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mini-golf date night

My boyfriend Adam and I have been together for almost a year now, and we try to go out at least once a week on a date. But with our jobs and busy schedules, sometimes even just dinner and a movie turns into dinner and asleep by 10 p.m. We're too young for this!

But tonight we decided to forego dinner and try out mini-golf at a new place called GlowGolf that opened in West Des Moines this summer. And it was so much fun!

My one and only experience with mini-golf was on a family vacation when I was about 6 years old and my dad put my ball two inches away from every hole so I could hit it in. And as it turns out, I haven't improved very much...

These little loops were my nightmare. I always hit it too hard and nearly made the ball come back through it. Adam got a few holes-in-one, because he's really good at sports, but I did still manage to beat him at a few of them :)

This was such a cute, fun way to spend date night. We had a great time; it was so relaxing and a nice change of pace for us. We'll definitely be going back again — and hopefully I'll learn how to aim a little better :)

What are your favorite date night ideas? Ever tried mini-golf before?

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Get Away With Murder

Have you guys seen How to Get Away With Murder? Even if you didn't watch the premier last Thursday, I'm sure you've seen the previews or read about it in the news. It's made quite a splash on the entertainment scene already...

The show got a rolling start thanks, in part, to having Shonda Rhimes' name in the credits. She's the executive producer, and she's also the creator and writer of Scandal and Grey's Anatomy.

Rhimes is clearly doing her job(s) right, because every one of her shows is a major hit, but some people have taken some issue with her.

A couple weeks ago, The New York Times published an article in which the opening line is, "When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called 'How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.'" Vulture didn't waste time in calling out the "racist" and "inaccurate" statements made in the article.

And I have to agree: Just because Rhimes is really good at writing (sometimes) angry female leads doesn't make her the same. Oh, and she isn't even the creator of Murder. That's Peter Nowalk. Vulture dissected several paragraphs in the article, and it's a really interesting read.

And as for How to Get Away With Murder...

Nowalk hit it out of the park. It's enticing and shrouded in mystery and gasp-worthy foreshadowing. And Viola Davis just nailed it. She's proven her talent for intensity before, but she takes it to a whole new level as the rockstar defense attorney/adored law professor who terrifies every student sitting in her classroom.

In short, it might just take priority over Thursday Night Football in my house.

(Image via The Daily Beast and HitFix)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wish List: Fall accessories

As you already know, I love fall — especially the chilly weather fashions (I've got a whole Pinterest board dedicated to exactly that). So I thought I'd share some of the accessories on my wish list this season.

1. Statement necklace: Style this up or down with an elegant dress or a graphic tee for multiple looks  2. Headphones  3. Statement ring  4. Knit scarf  5. Oxblood lipstick: I love the deep red color of this NARS Audacious lipstick in Jeanne for the holiday season...very festive and sexy  6. Stacking rings  7. Sunglasses  8. Tiered necklace: This one from Gucci is WAY out of my budget, but I still love it  9. Black ankle bootsThe gold detail and the open design on this style are so versatile  10. Purple infinity scarf  11. Layered necklace  12. Nail polish: These navy bluedark cherry and nude colors are absolutely gorgeous for fall  13. Tan booties  14. Berry lipstick  15. Clutch: The soft leather and shape make this a perfect accessory for any outfit, from cozy sweaters to date-night dresses

What's on your wish list this season? Anything like mine? :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

10 shows Netflix needs to add to its streaming services

Does this really need any explanation? It's arguably the best long-running TV show ever made. My sister and I have proven that there is an episode relevant to just about every life situation. Even throughout 10 seasons, the writing stayed strong and the jokes kept on rolling, which is proving harder and harder to do in modern TV. And the finale still gets me after all these years.

Full House
I grew up watching this show more than any other, and I still stand by my belief that it taught me everything I needed to know about life. For instance, how to get your whole family on-stage with the Beach Boys. But seriously, Full House is the original Modern Family.

Modern Family
And speaking of which... I've never laughed so hard as I have at so many episodes of this show. All the characters are great, which is hard to find in a lot of shows. The writing for Modern Family is so good; they can take the most mundane, normal situations and turn them into brilliant plots. As Phil Dunphy would say, "When life gives you lemonade, make lemons."

Family Matters
One of the best things to come out of the '80s is probably Steve Urkel from Family Matters. Much like Full House, it's one of the great shows about family values. It goes about half and half on serious issues (racial profiling, gang violence) and comedic relief (how many times can Steve crash into various rooms of their house???). But I still wonder whatever happened to the little Winslow sister...

I Love Lucy
Oh, Lucy. She always had so much 'splainin' to do. I am a long way from seeing all the episodes in the series, so if Netflix were to actually add it I would be binge-watching for days. So many good episodes, but the one in the chocolate factory always comes to mind.

Lizzie McGuire
Hilary Duff was every 9- to 12-year-old's favorite actress in the early 2000s, right? If you were born in the '90s, don't pretend you didn't schedule your evening around new episodes of Lizzie McGuire, own every one of Duff's CDs and beg your parents to buy you The Lizzie McGuire Movie.

Three's Company
This show was big in my mom's generation, and I don't remember how I even came to watch it because I was so young, but I instantly loved it. It's one of the goofiest sitcoms I've ever seen, and I always watched when TV Land used to air reruns at night. Now I'm counting on Netflix to bring it back and remind the world of John Ritters' talent.

Green Acres
I'm really going old school with this one. I'm willing to bet most of my generation has never heard of "Green Acres," which is a cryin' shame in my opinion. The whole show is just one shenanigan after another. Since it aired in the late '60s, it's all cute, wholesome fun, and I miss that in TV today.

Pawn Stars
Not only is this one good for a laugh (mostly at the expense of Chumlee), it's really interesting and filled with history. There's always something to learn, and I'm always down for a contest to see who can guess what the guys will offer and who will cave first. I could (and have) watch this for hours.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
It's "Fresh Prince." Need I say more? Will's crazy patterned pants, Hilary's multitude of hats, Carlton's dancing... I would love to watch the whole series from beginning to end. It's six seasons, so that should only take about... four days?

What shows do you think Netflix should get? What are you watching now? I'd love to hear :)

(Photos via HelloGiggles, Radar Online, Gold Derby, Huffington Post, Evergreen, Disney Channel Wiki, Three's Company, The Red List, Deadline and The Independent)

Monday, September 22, 2014

No-closet storage solutions

No-closet storage solutions

If you've ever lived in a small apartment or college dorm, you know the struggles of having too much stuff for your closet — if you're lucky enough to even have a closet, that is.

I've seen a ton of improvised closets on Pinterest, and I absolutely love them. Even having my own closet, I'd love to get one of these clothing racks to showcase new pieces or to plan out the week's outfits.

No-closet storage solutions

I especially love the ones with shoe racks — when you splurge on a pair of gorgeous shoes, you don't want to hide them under your bed or behind a door, right?

No-closet storage solutions

The one above looks so modern and sleek; it's perfect for someone with a minimalist style and simple apartment.

No-closet storage solutions

No-closet storage solutions

No-closet storage solutions

The one above isn't exactly a closet, but it's definitely a beautiful way to create some wall storage if your closets are already full. The large round hooks are adorable.

P.S. Would love to have a closet big enough to have a vanity inside!

(Images via Glitter Guide, Urban Outfitters, Nordic Days, The Jew in J.Crew, Refinery29, and Muuto)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

6 reasons Jimmy Fallon is the king of late night

6 reasons Jimmy Fallon is the king of late night

Last night's lip sync battle with Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani is just one more reason to love Jimmy Fallon (as if there weren't enough already). The dude just rocks. I'd never watched him before he took over The Tonight Show, and apparently I was missing out.

The best part about Fallon's show is that it's more of a variety show than a talk show, His skits and games are the best part, although he also does some pretty great interviews as well.

So, here are six reasons why Jimmy Fallon is Late Night King:

1. Emma Stone conquers lip sync.

2. Box of Lies with Tina Fey (part one and two) and Jennifer Lawrence.

3. J-Lo's tight pants.

4. That time when Will Ferrell and Chad Smith switched places and then had a drum off.

5. Wiz Khalifa is actually pretty good at Pictionary.

6. Jimmy does "Ew!" with the nerdiest Taylor Swift and the girliest Seth Rogen and Zac Efron.

(Photo via Fallon Tonight Tumblr)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall is finally upon us

There are so many reasons fall is my favorite season. Memories of picking pumpkins at my uncle's pumpkin patch, looking for the crunchiest leaves to stomp on the sidewalk, opening the tub of sweaters and scarves I've been hiding all summer, eating far too much candy corn...

This year I'm looking forward to those, plus a few more old favorites (hot tea, football, ankle boots, and dark lipsticks), and a few new things I hope to do (picking and stomping grapes at a local vineyard and discovering all the fun cool-weather things to do in Des Moines). 

Oh, and enjoying a good campfire in the crisp fall air if I can convince my dad to bring out his new fire pit before it gets too cold :)

This checklist would be a fun way to spend the season:

What are you looking forward to this fall? 

(Images via Pinterest and A Subtle Revelry)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Inspiring quote

Found this the other day and thought it sounded like a great new motto. There are so many people who try to be just like someone else, or do everything they can to change themselves into what they think other people want them to be. 

It's so refreshing to meet someone who is unapologetically herself (or himself). A person who is comfortable showing people their true self is so much more attractive than the person trying to fit into society's mold. 

Let's just be who we really are.

(Image via Pure Daily Style)  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fashion baseball caps

Fashion baseball caps

Sport chic has been hot for a while, but the glamorized baseball cap is pretty big this year. And I have to say — I love it. 

I haven't tried this style yet, but I could definitely get on board with the glam sports cap. It's chic but laid back. And it gets a bonus for fixing bad hair days. It's so versatile and comes in so many styles that you can pair it with just about anything.

I also really like this style. If you're looking for inspiration and tips for making a baseball cap look chic, try this site.

P.S. Loving this look as well.

(Photo via The Trend Boutique)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In the kitchen: Roasted garlic alfredo tortellini

So now that I'm transitioning into the Wonderful World of Grown-Ups, I decided to try this thing called Learning How to Cook.

Roasted garlic alfredo tortellini

Okay, so I have a basic understanding of cooking, and I can bake chicken and salmon to a temperature that doesn't kill or infect. But eating barbecue chicken breast and mashed potatoes every night can get pretty old. Hence, I'm finally diving into my food boards on Pinterest.

Roasted garlic alfredo tortellini

That's where I came across this yummy tortellini recipe. It's actually pretty simple to make, and I only had to use my training wheels (aka my mom) a few times throughout the process.

Roasted garlic alfredo tortelliniThe flavor was so rich I didn't even eat a full serving of it. I would definitely use less or no butter if I ever make it again — and I probably will because it was boyfriend- and mom-approved. Success!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Family names: Mom's or Dad's?

I recently came across this article about a couple who gave their daughter the wife's last name rather than the husband's. It's definitely a bold statement for feminism and against patriarchy. But then the old-fashioned part of me thought, "What's wrong with tradition?"

There's something romantic about taking on the name of your new spouse. As girls, I think more than a few of us used to fantasize about being Mrs. Johnson or Mrs. Smith—we all wrote out the possibilities with our crush's name back in grade school, right?

Until reading this I've never seriously considered passing my own name along. I have thought about hyphenating my name with my future husband's or just keeping mine, but it never occurred to me that I could choose my child's last name.

The writer addresses quite a few things I've never considered: preserving a family name, preserving patriarchal lineage, a child's perspective growing up with a differently structured name than his or her peers.

What do you think? Would you ever consider giving your children your a last name other than your husband's?

(Image via Cara Loren)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall nail polish

I've been looking for some new dark colors for fall and winter, and when I saw this green I couldn't resist. It's called Stylenomics from the 2012 fall collection, and I can't wait to try it. 

Also... I'm dying to try out a navy blue if I can find a good one. I really like this one

Monday, September 8, 2014

The greatest football highlight ever

I was out for lunch with my mom and sister yesterday, happy to be with them but sad to be missing Sunday football. Lucky for me, we ended up going to Applebee's and I happened to see the greatest play by none other than my favorite team: the Steelers.

Did you see Antonio Brown go full ninja on this guy? It was amazing. Of course, he was trying to hurdle and failed, but the results were hilarious.

I've seen memes and gifs about it all over, and I'm so happy I got to see it firsthand. And then today Spencer Lanning tweeted the best response. Definitely made my day. Check out the ESPN video here, with slow-motion replays.

Antonio Brown best football highlight

(Image via SBNation)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sometimes fiction is better than reality

I heard that quote once—in a TV show or movie probably, but I can't remember for sure—and thought of it today after seeing "If I Stay." I read the book several years ago, and the previews practically had me grasping for tissues already. It was so good. Heartbreaking and devastating, but also incredibly beautiful.

I won't give away any spoilers, but I have to talk about how the characters and their relationships in the story. Chloe Grace Moretz plays Mia, who has these amazing punk-rock, hippy-esque parents who encourage her to chase her dreams and live her life, even when it gets scary. And then she has this incredible boyfriend Adam, played by Jamie Blackley, who has his own band, a huge following and isn't afraid to show his emotional side. The family dynamic is so free and supportive, it's impossible to not want be a part of it. Her parents are the most understanding, fun and unselfish people. And Mia's relationship with Adam is beautiful to watch, even through the hard parts.

I love living through stories like this in books, but watching it unfold on-screen makes it seem so much more human—like someone really is out in the world living that life right now. Mia's relationships with her parents and boyfriend are so precious, you can't help but wish reality was a little bit as poetic as it is in fiction.

(Image via That's Normal)
Back to Top