Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bringing Home The Gold

The USA women's gymnastics team won the gold! And, apparently, I ruined a lot of people's days by posting about it to Facebook.  Seriously, if you don't want to know about what's going on in the world, it's probably a good idea to NOT read Facebook updates...

Here's my favorite picture from the day.  Gabby looks like she's on cloud nine!

Thanks, Huffington Post!

And then here is Jordyn Wieber with her medal.  If I had a gold medal, I would wear it every day.

Congrats, Jordyn!

And then, Michael Phelps made history today by becoming the most decorated Olympic athlete.  He won  gold and silver medals today, for a grand total of 19.  That's insane.  How wonderful for him!

Congrats on the win, Michael!

I didn't work out today because the Olympians worked so hard.  Maybe tomorrow I'll hit up the gym...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Persistence Pays Off

I've always believed that persistence pays off, but when I read this article, I couldn't help but think about it again.  This guy is 71, and still competing in the Olympics (This summer will be his third time competing in the Games, with his Olympics debut way back at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.).  That's kind of a big deal.

Hiroshi Hoketsu from Japan

Gymnast Eye Makeup

I've already mentioned my love of the Olympics.  But last night, I couldn't help but notice the amazing eye makeup on the gymnasts.  The Russians could get rid of their copious amounts of glitter sprayed in their hair, but I'm really appreciating these young girls' eye makeup skills.

Daniele Hypolito from Brazil sported a colorful look.
Jordyn Wieber from USA had a dramatic, smoky look.
Jordyn's eye makeup even withstood her heartbreaking news.
Gabby Douglas from USA had another smoky look.
Yamilet Pena Abreu of Dominican Republic sported light blue eyeshadow.
Overall, I'm a little jealous of their ability to use eyeliner and eye shadow.  It's an art I'm working on, but maybe I should have been a gymnast so I'd have that skill.  Or, maybe I'll be one of those crazy dance moms who lives vicariously through their children...and then I can learn how to do my eye makeup.  Or, maybe, I'll just visit Patrick a few more times to get a better grip on my makeup application skills.

Oh, and here's a look at the top view of the glittery hair from the Russian gymnasts.  It's a bit much, in my opinion.  It reminds me a little bit of my sophomore year formal.  It was a bit much then, too.

Glittery hair from the Russian gymnasts.
And then, for your viewing pleasure (and also mine), here's a clip of Aly Raisman's parents during her uneven bar routine from yesterday's event.  It's hilarious.  It's exactly what we all looked like (and I was running on an elliptical machine).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Key is Online!

I'm a huge Kappa Kappa Gamma fan.  I wasn't a huge fan of Kappa in college (probably because I was working about 40 hours a week, involved in way too many activities, and switched my major five times so I always had a full class load).  The fever hit me after graduation when I realized my best friends from college were Kappas, I got my foot in the door at work thanks to a Kappa connection, and I realized how many leadership and networking opportunities Kappa offers.  I have the same passion for Kappa as my high school yearbook teacher had.  McRoberts is the one who suggested I attend college...and be a Kappa at Iowa.  I got one of the details right.

Anyway, today Kappa launched their online version of The Key.  When I was a senior in college, I did my capstone magazine project on a redesign of The Key.  One thing I suggested improving was allowing online access of the publication.  Maybe my suggestion worked?

Olympic Obsession

I love the Olympics.  Gymnastics is my favorite event.  I love the opening ceremonies.  I love the news coverage.  And...I love Princess Kate...and she's bound to be at this year's Olympics in London (here she is prepping for the games).  How convenient for her, right?  She even has cute blue pants for the event!

Princess Kate and the princes greet the Olympic torch at Buckhingham Palace.

Anyway, tomorrow is the kickoff for the events, and I'm proud to watch fellow Iowans compete.  Gabby Douglas is competing in gymnastics and Lolo Jones is competing in track.  I hope the best for these two girls - bring home the gold!

Then, there are the Kappas who will be competing:  Jen Kessy and Evie Stevens.  Go Kappa!

And, of course, there's always Michael Phelps.  I don't even know how to swim, but I love watching him.  He's like a fish!  Hoping the best for him, as well!  Maybe one year, they'll need me to be an Olympic Flag Bearer...a girl can wish?

I'll be parked on my sofa tomorrow at 6:30 PM with my channel set to 813 (the high-def version of NBC) watching the opening ceremony (seriously, why is Ryan Seacrest hosting this?).  If you call, I won't answer - I have very important things to watch.  If you can't tell, this girl is pumped!  GO TEAM USA!

Fab Finds: Statement Necklaces

I've been wanting a statement necklace for a while now, but didn't know if I could pull it off.  I'm not really into trends - I love a classic cut and rarely fall for patterns (I'm a solids kind of girl).  Anyway, I feel confident I could branch out in my accessory department, and I'm falling in love with some of these awesome finds.

Bauble Neccklaces
Aqua Bubble Necklace
Neon Pink Statement Necklace
Two Color Statement Necklace
Layered Teardrop Necklace
Waterfall Necklace
Interlocking Love Necklace
So many possibilities!  With my ultra-boring classic wardrobe, one of these babies is bound to jazz up my outfits!

Office Supplies

I love office supplies.  I get giddy every time I walk in an office supply store.  The feeling is amplified when walking in a stationary or custom office supply store.  I adore pretty stationary and office supplies.  Here's a little look in my drawer at work.  I have an obsession with Sharpies and sticky notes.

Love the Russell+Hazel sticky notes and colorful Sharpies!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baby J's Birthday

Baby J turns one on August 1.  I can't believe she's growing up so fast!  When she was born, I wanted to make a little birth announcement wall hanging, but I ran out of time.  So, one year later, I'm getting around to it.  I hope Jessica and Baby J like it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Wedding

It's been almost two weeks since Blake and Danielle's wedding, so I'm a little behind on this post.  The wedding ceremony was in Boone, and then the reception was on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.  Looking back on it, we realized that of the thirteen girls from my sorority pledge class, this is the only wedding we had in Ames.  It was great to be back in Ames, as always.  I love that place.  Maybe because it was the first place I ever moved where I felt like I belonged and I could really make a name for myself.  I wasn't Dina's little sister, Mick or Darcy's daughter, or the yearbook editor.  I was me.  And it was great.  I digress...

The wedding ceremony was lovely and in Dani's home church.  The weather after the ceremony was a bit stormy and rainy, so we stayed for a bit afterward to wait out the rain.  It reminded me a lot of my wedding...without the whole staying in the basement to avoid tornadoes for two hours detail...  Again, I digress...

I love Baby T!

They're going to be BFFs, I'm sure of it!

One of my favorite families!

Josh took this.  He thinks it's the funniest picture ever.

The reception was at the Scheman Building, just north of the Iowa State football field (where many good times have been had).  Catching up with the Kappas is always a delight!  Rachael flew in from Florida; Jesslyn drove in from Indianapolis; Michaun, Karissa, and Amy came in from Chicago; Heather drove up from St. Louis; Annie and Cassie drove down from Minneapolis; Brittany drove in from Omaha...and the rest of us still live in the Des Moines area.  

Catching up with Jessica (and Baby J), Michaun, and Rachael

First Dance

Love you girls!

Iowa State's KKG '03

No wedding is complete without a round of "Oh, Pat"

The happy couple!
Jessica, Cassie, Heather and Annie brought their adorable babies.  We got to see Rachael's little bun in the oven.  And, meeting Amy's new boyfriend was also a highlight of the night.  It's always great to see my friends from college.  I wish we could all go back to 120 Lynn Avenue and live it up once more.  But, alas, we cannot.  However, that won't stop us from having a great time and rocking out to our pledge class song's version of Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me.  Here's a clip if you need a reminder.  Just imagine a dozen or so girls classy ladies rocking out to a raunchy version of this song.  It's a classic.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wedding Invites

Tiff came over tonight and we worked on her invites.  I like where we're at (here's where we were last week).  What do you think?  I like how they've evolved.  I think I like the ivory background best, but the charcoal is nice, too.  I'm going to test out how they print tomorrow.  I'm guessing the dark is too dark and the colors won't contrast enough, but we'll see.

The Best Dog Ever

I love spending time with Sophie.  She's the best dog in the world.  She has perfect manners (what dog do you know who can eat off a fork?), adores me (gets CRAZY excited when I get home), and has the ability to make me happy when everything else sucks.  Here are some pictures I took yesterday.  She's adorable and I can't get enough of her.

Exploring Local

This weekend, I stayed in Ankeny and took advantage of some fun things to do locally.  Normally, I like to spend every weekend in the summer (or any season, really) away from home.  I love to visit friends (especially in Minneapolis), but with Josh leaving for law school, I'm trying to stay home more than "normal" to take advantage of any extra time we can spend together.

Anyway, on Friday night, Minna invited me to White Oaks Vineyards for her birthday.  The winery is in Cambridge, which is about a 20-minute drive from my house.  Josh and I went there last year, but we didn't know about the free music Fridays.  I think I might have to take advantage of this more often!  Together, our group bought one bottle of each wine, and two of Celebrate, since it was delicious and seemed appropriate for Minna's birthday celebration.

On Saturday, we  headed across the street from Minna's house to the Des Moines Home Show Expo.  We toured eight of the 12 homes.  My favorite was this one.  I loved the Cape Cod style, however the spiral staircase in the turret was a little much.  I prefer a more direct route between my floors.  One special touch I felt was very appropriate for an Iowa home show, was a feature of Templeton Rye.

Here's a little video about the history of Templeton Rye, if you're curious.

Then, we headed over to West Des Moines to check out the new Whole Foods.  Sometimes, I don't understand why people think Whole Foods is a "high-end" grocery store.  Twenty-one of their vendors are local.  It's not like these things are imported from Europe, folks.  Plus, the prices of many of the "mainstream" gluten-free products were lower than HyVee...so I think I'm probably going to become a loyal customer. 

I didn't want to get caught up in the excitement yesterday, so I only bought a couple of things.  I couldn't resist the chipolte ranch (it's g-free!), honey nut rice cakes (also g-free), and chocolate milk from Picket Fence Creamery.  I think I have quite a few trips to Whole Foods in my future.

Summer Reads Update

Last night I finished The Art of Racing In The Rain, one of my Summer Reads books.  I cried.  I am now sure it's my job to make sure I raise Sophie right so when her spirit comes back as a human, she will be a good person.  Holy cow, Enzo.  I love you (and I don't even like big dogs).  Tear jerker.

I also read all of my magazines for July.  This is a big deal.  I'm trying to watch less TV.  I'd really love to cancel our cable.  Maybe once Josh moves to Iowa City, I'll do it.  HGTV is on at Anytime Fitness, so if I really need to watch something, I can coordinate it with my cardio workouts.  Plus, I have about as much to watch with cable as I did without cable.  I'm a simple girl.  Give me a newscast, and I'm hooked.  I grew up with three TV stations and seemed to find entertainment then; I'm sure I could handle it as an adult.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fab Finds: Etsy Love

I have a new favorite blog, The Proper Pinwheel, and decided to read as many posts tonight as I could.  In my reading, I found an amazing post about an etsy seller, January Jones Prints.  She makes super cute posters, and this one in particular reminded me of my high school friend, Jaime, who took a year off work to travel the world and enjoy life.  However, her world map would need more than 10 destinations. 

The roadtrip world edition map

Wedding Invites

I've been working on the invites for Tiff and Cody's wedding, and this is where I am so far.  I'm not sure if it's too heavy - the background is quite dark.  Maybe I should go lighter.  Any thoughts?

Tasty Garden

Tonight I made my first caprese salad using a tomato from my garden.  It was fabulous.  Sophie also enjoyed it.  I used fresh basil and my first tomato...and a little oil and balsamic from Allspice.

My first tomato ripening on the vine for one last day.
Caprese salad with basil and tomato from my garden.
Manzanillo Olive Oil
18 Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

A few weeks back, I was sure all my tomatoes were going to be a flop when I discovered the bottom of ALL of my tomatoes were brown...and looked rotten.  It was heartbreaking.  I picked them and was sure my garden was ruined.  However, it obviously wasn't, and I'm so glad it all worked out.

My rotten tomatoes.  Bummer.