Tuesday, June 28, 2016

transitional fitness clothes

Transitional pieces to take you from the gym to the street in style.

As you probably know by now, one of my favorite motivators for a good sweat sesh is a killer outfit. But one thing I look for especially in workout gear is a transitional element that I can take from the gym to the street. Two pieces I can't get enough of right now are cute tights and strappy sports bras — the perfect duo in any athleisure look, if you ask me.

I've been doing a little shopping around (natch) for some great transitional pieces and had to share some of my finds with you today. I've had my eye on these tie-dye leggings by Free People for weeks; they went on sale for 40% off over the weekend and sold out yesterday (go figure) — I'll keep watching for a restock and post an update.

I hope you're all having a great week so far! Yesterday was the most Monday-ish Monday, so I'm extra happy that we're one day closer to a 3-day weekend!

What kind of workout gear do you wear most? How do you like to transition your gym clothes? 

P.S. affordable workout gear and how to work out anywhere

Friday, June 24, 2016

wandering the web: have a fun weekend

Fourth of July outfit inspo, how to start your own succulent garden and fiction for feminists.

Another week is in the books, and I have to say this one really flew by. After falling off the workout wagon a little bit toward the beginning of the month, my body is feeling refreshed and strong after a week of solid exercise — and it really is the best feeling. It's just like Elle Woods said, you know?

On that note, here's to a fun, healthy weekend!

1. How to start a succulent garden — the only plants I'd actually consider! (The Everygirl)

2. Fiction for feminists. (Daily Worth)

3. Chic Fourth of July outfit inspiration. (Hello Fashion)

4. Drooling over these pretzel chocolate chip bars. (Just A Taste)

5. Getting major kitchen inspiration. (Pinterest)

6. I'm loving the new Cupcakes and Cashmere bedroom collection. (Nordstrom)

7. How to improve your mental health. (Man Repeller)

8. I don't like pink, but I love this room. (Refinery29)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

summer to do list

9 things to do this summer, wherever you live

Summer is officially here — though if you ask anyone around here, we've been sweating it out in 90+ degree temps for weeks now — and with it comes our bucket lists of everything we want to do before the snow comes again. I mentioned last year that even after a year in Des Moines, there's still so much that I haven't done or seen in this city, and the same is true this year.

Of course, I was able to venture out and find some new things to do in the last 12 months (exhibit a and exhibit b), but this year I want to keep adding to the list. Some of my goals are Des Moines-specific, but many of them can be done wherever you live.

1. Rent bikes to ride by the river.

2. Take a tour of the botanical gardens.

3. Go on a hiking trip.

4. Join an outdoor pop-up yoga event.

5. (Try to) learn how to golf. ;)

6. Plant my own succulent garden.

7. Picnic at a winery.

8. Read a classic novel.

9. Make a fun summer cocktail treat.

What's on your bucket list this summer? Would you try any of these things? I'd love to know!

P.S. here's to new adventures and my travel guide to Des Moines

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

lipstick review vol. 6

Two of my favorite lip looks, plus a warning to never put this one on your lips!

Well hello again, lovelies! I hope everyone had a good weekend! We had such a fun time taking the boat out for Father's Day, and I even made chocolate chip cookies for the occasion. (Still proud of myself for not overcooking them!) Anyway, on to today's topic: lipstick. This edition is a fun one because it contains two options that I absolutely love, one that was disappointing and the WORST lipstick I've ever tried in my life. So, let's get to it!

1. Bite Beauty in Dragonfruit — I had been researching new pink lipsticks for summer a few months ago, and I decided I wanted to give Bite Beauty a try because I've been following their Instagram and loved their whole Amuse Bouche line. Once I got to Sephora, I tested a few different pinks and fell head over heels for Dragonfruit and its magenta, purplish tones. The hue feels a bit more sophisticated than traditional hot pinks, and it seems to go with every color. I also love the formula — it's soft and creamy and makes your lips feel hydrated and healthy all day. Rating: 5 stars.

2. MAC lipstick in Viva Glam II and Ellie Goulding Plushglass in Explosion — This combo holds a special place in my makeup bag because they're my first nude lipsticks and I bought them at the Fifth Avenue MAC store in New York. The picture doesn't do it justice, but this duo is definitely my favorite nude lip look. The lipstick is a little darker toned, but it compliments fair to light skin tones so well. The gloss adds just the right amount of shimmer without looking like a cheap throwback to 2002 and without feeling sticky. This is what I wear when I want more of a sultry pout. Rating: 5 stars.

3. NARS Dolce Vita — I've been a NARS devotee since the first time I tried their lip pencil in Dragon Girl. So far, I haven't been nearly as impressed with their lipsticks. This is one I got in a nude lipstick sample set from Sephora and I've only worn it probably two or three times. The formula is super light and feels like a balm, but it takes about 10 coats just to make the color come out and then it comes off after one sip of coffee. Long story short: I would not pay the $28 retail price for this glorified lip balm. Rating: 2 stars.

4. NYX Lip Lingerie in Embellishment — And finally, the most terrible thing I have ever put on my lips. I know that sounds dramatic, but I have to be completely honest. I was so excited to try this new line by NYX after I saw this Instagram post. Gorgeous, right? And now look back at my photo. Not even close. In fact, the day I wore this, I felt insecure and paranoid that I looked dead because of the purple-gray color. Not only was the color totally different than its photo, the formula was awful. It's a gloss that turns matte, but it was so drying that I felt like I had left a face mask on for too long. And THEN, when I tried to take it off, it. did. not. budge. There's something to be said for long-lasting lipsticks obviously, but not when you're scrubbing and scrubbing with a damp wash cloth until your lips are practically raw — aka, what actually happened. Rating: 0 stars and a warning to save your money (and your lips!)

P.S. check out my last five lipstick reviews — which ones have been your favorites so far? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, June 17, 2016

wandering the web: have a great (hot) weekend

The perfect summer treat, deciding what music to play for your kids and an honest bracelet.

We made it — happy Friday, dolls! Anyone got any fun plans for the weekend? I'm doing a 5k with a friend bright and early tomorrow (hopefully before the thermometer hits 95 degrees!) and tomorrow night I'm going to Shakespeare on the Lawn with my sister. They're doing "King Lear," which I've never seen before. Then we're heading out to the lake for a little pontoon fun on Father's Day! Very excited for a fun-filled weekend ahead :)

I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are some fun links to prep you for summer (which starts officially on Monday!)...

1. I loved this piece on choosing what music to play for your kids. (Cup of Jo)

2. Nine tips to walk for weight loss — love the first one! (Pop Sugar)

3. Where to find "Old Paris." (World of Wanderlust)

4. Only the most perfect summer treat ever! (I Heart Naptime)

5. Found — the best nail color for toes! (Essie)

6. Hacks for finding cheap flights — definitely bookmarking this! (Refinery29)

7. Pretty sure I need this bracelet in my life. (Gage Huntley)

8. A great article on how to beat "imposter syndrome." (The Everygirl)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

book review: 'Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures'

Emma Straub does it again, weaving together themes of love, loss, family and work, in a beautiful story of reinvention.

Congratulations! We made it to Thursday! Trust me, there were several moments this week when I didn't think it was going to happen. (hashtag adulting, am I right?) But here we are, so close to the glorious weekend.

After much research and indecision, I finally bought and took this book with me to Florida for road trip and beach reading last week. I wanted something light and summer-y, and every time I thought of those two traits I kept coming back to the first book I read by Emma Straub, The Vacationers. I read it last summer and enjoyed it, for the story but mostly for Straub's writing.

Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures had been on my list for a while, and it did not disappoint. The book was different than I expected — but in a good way. It follows Elsa Emerson, the youngest of three daughters whose parents run a theater company in small-town Wisconsin in the 1920s. Elsa loves living in her small town, but she gets married and leaves for California in search of a bigger stage when she's only 18. Once she gets there, her acting career doesn't happen quite like she had imagined, and a series of events — her "discovery" by a famous Hollywood producer that comes with a name change, her husband's drinking problem, and two unexpected children — each changes her life in different ways.

I loved this book for many reasons, one being its detail in the Golden Age of movies, which I've always found fascinating. It was such an interesting time period to read about, especially thinking of how different things are from today and with the fictional characters she created for it. The other reasons I enjoyed this are mainly tied to Emma Straub and her talent. She took a simple outline of a young woman reinventing herself and made it into a beautiful story of love, loss and choices. Laura Lamont reminds you how the people we are and the people we want to be can be so different.

Straub covered so many themes in this book — family, heartbreak, work/life balance, aging in the public eye — but it never felt overwhelming or like it was too much for one story. Everything flowed seamlessly, even the timeline, which jumped years ahead from chapter to chapter and spanned more than 50 years.

If you're looking for a great summer read, or even a light historical fiction, Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures is the one. Honestly, it's the first book I've had a hard time putting down all year and it's only got me more excited to read her other books.

Have you read any of Emma Straub's books? What are your favorites? If you pick up this one, let me know what you think!

P.S. reviews of Saint Anything, Looking for Alaska and The Vacationers

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

palm print paradise

palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back
palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back
palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back

palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back

palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back

palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back

palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back

palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back

palm print v-neck dress with strappy open back

Happy Wednesday loves! So I've been waiting to share this dress with you all for months because I bought it specifically for my trip — like I said, still obsessing over palm trees in every shape and form! I fell in love with this dress immediately when I saw it, even thought it's pretty different from my normal style. First, it's pink, which I never wear but I loved how it looked against the green palm leaves. I also loved the flowy, asymmetrical hem — it made me feel like I was ready to go salsa dancing!

The cut of this dress is extremely flattering and perfect for a date night or even girls night out. It might be a little harder finding a place to wear it here in Iowa, but it's one of those outfits that just makes you feel good no matter where you are, so you can bet I won't hesitate to break it out again!

P.S. summer leather, statement earrings and dress fever 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Florida vacation recap

Good morning babes! How have you all been? I feel like I've been away from the blog forever, which I kind of have in blogosphere time. I came back from Florida last week and it's been a little crazy with unpacking and working and Adam's birthday (happy birthday boo!) but I'm finally adjusted to being home and I thought I'd start things off with a few photos from my trip!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

a fascinating new show

The best food show is a docu-series called Chef's Table, and you won't be sorry you started watching.

Have you guys seen the Netflix docu-series Chef's Table? It was created by David Gelb, and each episode tells the story of a distinguished chef and his or her restaurants. It has interviews from the chef, their cooks, critics, family and friends, and it shows the intricacies of their restaurants.

I typically don't care much for cooking and food shows, but Adam started watching this one and when I saw it I was instantly hooked. The production is so good, and it's amazing to see how intensely passionate and creative each chef is. Their food isn't just food, it's art. They think about every element — taste, texture, smell, presentation — and put them together in ways you could never imagine.

We started watching the second season last night and the first episode featured Grant Achatz of the restaurant Alinea in Chicago. His story is incredible; Achatz overcame stage four cancer and the loss of his ability to taste(!) and created a restaurant that is all about the experience, using foods to create illusions that trick the guests and make the meal feel like an actual show. Every single episode is captivating, and the shots are so beautifully done. The show was just renewed a couple months ago for two more seasons, and I can't wait to watch all of them.

What are you watching right now? Have you watched Chef's Table yet? Will you? If you have, which episode/chef is your favorite? I'd love to know!

P.S. another great show on Netflix and six movies to see now

Image via.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

instagram roundup no. 16

Favorite outfits, restaurants, drinks and places from May.

Long weekends are the best, aren't they? All day yesterday, I kept thinking it was Monday only to happily remember it's actually Tuesday! And now we're already starting a new month, which seems impossible, so today I'm doing a little look back at May. Starting with this beautiful view of the Iowa capitol building from the Des Moines Farmers Market (aka the actual best farmers market).

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