Friday, November 28, 2014

Wandering the Web: Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Are you all pleasantly stuffed with delicious turkey and pumpkin pie? I am. Our two dinners yesterday both had such amazing food, but I actually did a pretty good job at not letting myself eat all the food ;)

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? It's supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow here! We're going to tailgate, so I'm extremely happy by that forecast. But first, I have to get through a day of work (yes, on Black Friday). So here are some fun links from around the web this week:

1. Right now I'm loving these interchangeable Kate Spade watches. They're the perfect transition from work to party. (Nordstrom)

2. A Thanksgiving dinner made out of balloons, because why not? It's adorable. (The Kitchn)

3. If you need something to do besides shopping this weekend, check out one of the many new movies in theaters now. I just saw Hunger Games and loved it, and I really want to see The Imitation Game. (Vulture)

4. Jimmy Fallon and Rashida Jones sang a holiday medley of 2014's most popular songs on The Tonight Show last night, and it. Was. Epic. (Today)

5. Have you seen these Polaroid instant digital cameras? I would love to have one of these for scrapbooking! (Anthropologie)

6. Thanksgiving has now become "Gray Thursday," because people can't wait to hit those great sales... Even when there's 8 inches of snow. (New York Times)

Have a lovely (and warmer!) weekend :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday gifts for every guy

Part two of the Gift Guide is dedicated to all the special men in your life. Because, if you're like me, you know all too well how stressful it is to shop for guys. Whether brothers, dads, boyfriends or just friends, it can seem like a daunting task to try to find just the right gift.

1. Wireless speaker (Urban Outfitters) 2. Cards Against Humanity (Amazon) 3. Fossil travel kit (Nordstrom) 4. Whiskey stones (Thrillist) 5. LIVE cologne (American Eagle) 6. Notebook (Raygun) 7. Under Armor gloves (Scheels) 8. Earbuds (Urban Outfitters) 9. Four-cup French press (Thrillist) 10. Checkered underwear (American Eagle) 11. Printed Matchbook (High Street Market) 12. 22 Jump Street (Amazon) 13. Navy watch (Thrillist) 14. Faux fur winter hat (Express) 15. Beer maker's guide (Urban Outfitters) 16. Stripe sweater (American Eagle)

With this list I tried to find items for every type of guy: the athlete, the party guy, the stylish guy and the funny guy. And they all come at a varying range of prices, so you'll find something for every budget.

What are some of your ideas for guy gifts? Leave your comments below :) I'd love some help!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday gifts she'll love

With Black Friday only a few days away, I'm sure all of you go-getters are probably ready to start your holiday shopping. So what do you buy for all the special ladies in your life? Gift cards are great, but if you really want to impress them, a thoughtful and personal present is the way to go. In case you're scrambling for creative ideas, I've done a little research to make your life a little bit easier this holiday season.

No matter who you're shopping for or what her style is, these gifts are perfect for a variety of women (I personally think those glitter studs would be a lovely addition to every girl's jewelry box). And the prices range from $2 to $39, so you won't break the bank — you might even have enough extra dough to get a little something for yourself ;)

1. State necklaces (Fifth and Mae) 2. Geometric terrarium (Urban Outfitters) 3. Slippers (Victoria's Secret 4. French print matches (Design Darling) 5. Over-the-knee socks (Forever 21) 6. Astrology candle (Anthropologie) 7. Elephant hook (Francesca's) 8. Gwen Stefani nail polish set (Ulta) 9. USB wall charger (Urban Outfitters) 10. Today notepad (Anthropologie) 11. Minimalist rings (Fifth and Mae) 12. Glass water bottle (Amazon) 13. Birdcage candle holder (Target) 14. Fashion bobby pins (Anthropologie) 15. Kate Spade glitter studs (Nordstrom) 16. Wool blend baseball hat (Express)

Do you have any favorites on this list? What items would you add? Leave your comments in the section below... I'd love to hear :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wandering the Web: Have a beautiful weekend

What are you doing this weekend? I think we're going to check out the Christmas light setup for Make-a-Wish on Saturday, and then hopefully the rest of the weekend will be pretty laid back and relaxing. I'm so excited to have a break from classes next week, but I've got a lot of work to do on final projects and exams, so I can't let myself spend too much time lounging around.

I should probably get ahead on my workouts since this year we have two dinners on Thanksgiving day (yes, two!) — but I'm about to win a record for longest time away from the gym, and I wouldn't want to ruin my streak ;)

Hopefully you're gearing up to relax for a day or two yourself over the holiday, and here are a few links to help with your Internet-surfing:

1. Kristen Bell teamed up with Straight No Chaser to make a new generation-relevant Christmas song called "Text Me Merry Christmas," and you have to listen to it. (Refinery 29)

2. A look inside the closets of six L.A. fashion bloggers. (Refinery 29)

3. How beautiful is this cork board world map? Would be fun to fill with photos of your travels. (Anthropologie)

4. Obama (kind of) talks about his plan for immigration and how "we were once strangers, too." (New York Magazine)

5. A new eyeliner trend that's not actually eyeliner... Say what? (Refinery 29)

6. How to get ready for a party in five minutes, how to look great even with a hangover, and how to look fresh after a long flight. (A Cup of Jo)

Have a wonderful (and tasty) Thanksgiving week!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A new restaurant in Des Moines

A few new restaurants have opened recently in downtown Des Moines, so Adam and I have been trying visit some of them. I love all the new trendy hangouts coming to the area; they all have such great styles, and each has its own unique feel to it. Last week we went to RoCA (short for Restaurant on Court Avenue) and Eatery A (details coming soon!). 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The key to healthy lips

Lipstick is my favorite beauty product and accessory (clearly). I wear it almost daily, and I'm always on the hunt for new colors and brands. The key to getting your lipstick to look just right is...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Small towns, bigger city

I moved to the Des Moines area earlier this year from a much smaller town about an hour and a half away — and I immediately fell in love with this city.

I used to think Iowa was boring and didn't have much to offer (I grew up in a small town where the only places open after 10 p.m. were the gas stations and the 24-hour gym). But there's a surprising amount of unique, fun things to do and see here. You just have to go to the right place.

Des Moines has been ranked one of the top up-and-coming cities on several occasions and for different reasons. And there are even lists that say it's one of the best cities for young adults. It's really an exciting time to live in this area, with all the growth and change happening. Apartments are sprouting up on just about every empty corner, new bars and restaurants are opening all the time.

This summer Adam and I went to wineries, explored the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, scouted new restaurants and played mini-golf. And there's still so much more. I never thought I'd fall in love with Iowa, but there's something kind of magical about it — especially its capital city.

Can you relate? Have you ever discovered a "new" old place that changed your mind about your home state? Or somewhere new altogether?

(Photo via Iowa House Republicans)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wandering the Web: Celebration weekend

Happy Friday, everyone! Do you have any big plans for the weekend? Adam and I will be dating for a year on Sunday, so we are celebrating by going to dinner at this new restaurant tonight and throwing a party with our friends on Saturday night. Maybe it's cheesy, but I love celebrating these milestones, especially with someone as wonderful as Adam :)

1. This bike trail was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night," and it's so beautiful. (My Modern Met)

2. "Why I can't wait to be a fat bride," really makes you think about society's beliefs and the strong people who can actually overcome them. (The Guardian)

3. I bought these black flats a few weeks ago, and I am in love! I wear them all the time, and they go with almost everything. Now I'm thinking the blue ones look gorgeous too... (Kohl's)

4. I love wine. This list of Trader Joe's wines will be very helpful in deciding which one to take to my family's Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house. (The Kitchn)

5. I'm obsessing over these gorgeous black and white grid pants from ASOS. I'll be ordering mine after work tonight — while they are still 20 percent off! (ASOS)

6. Last night Adam and I had an argument about... New Balance sneakers, of all things. He thinks they are all awful and better left to the 1980s, while I think they can be really stylish. I especially like these and this look. Do you have a strong opinion about New Balance?

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Winter-ready accessories

Well, the first snow finally made its way to Iowa. I was the tiniest bit happy about it when I first looked out my window...but that all went away when I stepped outside and the wind whipped my freshly curled hair in a mess around my face while I was brushing the snow off my car windows. It's too early for snow!

But since I can't really fight it, I decided to look at new gloves and hats. Here are a few of my favorite combinations from the items above.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pet names: yes or no?

I've always used pet names (like "baby" and "love") in relationships, and even with my friends (doll, girlie). But I got to thinking about it the other day, and the more I did the more I felt like using pet names sort of takes something away from that person. It's almost like they lose a sense of their individuality when we replace their real names with generic nicknames.

Of course, there's the argument that pet names are special between two people, and it adds another level of intimacy. (And to be clear, I do agree with that viewpoint and still like using them.) But doesn't it also feel intimate to hear your significant other whisper your name after "I love you"?

Since paying attention to it, I realized I almost never call Adam by his name when I'm talking to him. But I also noticed he does the same with me. Then the other day he sent me an email and started it with "Eleni," and my first thought was, "Oh my gosh, is he upset with me?" He wasn't actually upset; it was just so odd to see him write out my name when addressing me, because we do that so rarely. But I've been trying to use his name a little more in conversation, and it actually does feel kind of romantic.

What do you think? Do you use pet names with your S.O. or friends? I'd love to hear...

(Image via Ruffled)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wandering the Web: Have a wonderful weekend

Do you have any fun plans for this chilly weekend? Every day the weather seems more and more wintery (which I don't love), but it also means bigger, warmer scarves (which I do love), so at least there's a silver lining! Adam and I are going to a wedding on Saturday, and I'm actually pretty excited; it seems like forever since I've been to a wedding (and I got a new dress for it, so I'm excited to get dolled up after being sick most of the week:).

Have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few links I found around the web this week:

1. A beautiful new way to wear scarves that I hadn't thought of before but absolutely want to try. (Who What Wear)

2. The talented Hollywood director whose masterpieces are less than three minutes long. (Vulture)

3. The life and times of Taylor Swift, in infographics. (Vulture)

4. This girl tried vinotherapy, aka a wine bath. I love drinking wine, but swimming in it? Hmm... (The Cut)

5. Gorgeous mason jar sleeve hand-made with leather. (A Beautiful Mess)

6. Adults tell how they learned about sex, and it's hilarious. (Buzzfeed)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Holiday dresses for every occasion

Now that Halloween is over and the holiday season is upon us (I think we can thank all the department stores for filling our minds with Christmas thoughts before we've even had time to plan the Thanksgiving menu...), it's time to start thinking about holiday parties — which means holiday dresses. Here are some of my favorites for every occasion, from cooking the turkey to opening presents with your S.O.'s family to ringing in the new year.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

9 movies for a rainy (or sick) day

Rain seemed to be the theme of 2014 here in Central Iowa for a while. And even though it's been relatively dry for the last week or so, it's still cloudy and chilly — aka, Perfect Movie Marathon Weather.

Plus, I've been sick for the last week so laying on the couch watching movies in my pajamas sounds like heaven to me, regardless of the weather. Here are my marathon picks, with a variety of genres for every taste.

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