oh bacon.

you fill + fill your weekend with plans, and the next time you open your eyes ..it’s monday. shoot! thankfully, the underestimated snow storm that made its way through iowa this weekend has caused my office to delay opening until noon today. [I think I can drink enough coffee + ready myself to take on monday by noon].

so back to the jam-packed weekend ..

a snow storm was rumored to hit des moines at 5PM on saturday, continuing through sunday. and leaving behind it over a foot of snow. but we would not let it ruin our plans ..the show must go on! 

we had tickets for the blue ribbon bacon festival. it is exactly what it sounds + quite the spectacle in des moines. they had so much to see + do, but more importantly ..restaurants from all over the metro serving their finest bacon creations. I could not believe my eyes + ears. the creativity was impressive. and although, I’m not the most adventurous foodie ..when in rome.

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

above: grilled cheese on a stick with bacon + spicy chili, made by the cheese shop of des moines. below: bacon banana scotcharoos, made by gusto pizza.

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

above: bacon ice cream, made by the machine shed. below: a handmade ice cream sandwich molasses bacon cookies + vanilla ice cream, made by thelma’s treats.

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

above: bacon-wrapped pork wings, made by big city burgers & greens. below: bacon nutz [bacon-wrapped bacon sausage], made by big fork brands.

blue ribbon bacon festival in des moines, IA c/o LLinaBC.com

we had so much fun and will certainly be going again next year. this is a must-attend in my book.

I hope all of your weekends went by at a much slower than mine. and were filled with fun, friends, entirely too much food grazing, a little super bowl action, and A LOT less snow.

happy monday.

 

the love hunt: vol. 3

we are in the process of making best date history. just to recap ..

we’re taking your date on a scavenger hunt of sorts, to all of their favorite places. as you can imagine, a lot of planning takes place behind the scenes. don’t look at it like that. just take it one step at a time. I’d start with plotting where you two are going to go. truly, pick your favorite places. need inspiration? you can see mine here. after you’ve decided on the plan, you need clever clues to get your date to guess where you’re taking them. don’t let this part intimidate you. you can do it! inside jokes are appreciated. make ‘em think. for help, you can read my clues here.

[side note: we have a restaurant called django here in des moines. and I thought it’d be so clever to reference the movie “django unchained” in my clue. bad idea. my husband is a movie buff. he got it instantly. this is where I tell myself: know your audience].

once you’ve planned your route + cleverly created clues, it’s time to have fun!

the love hunt.

the love hunt [aka: the best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

our first stop: el bait shop. for a beer. [if you ever find yourself in des moines, put this place on your list. especially if you like craft beer].

the love hunt [aka: the best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

our second stop: the hessen haus. this german bier hall, housed in an old train station downtown des moines happens to be one of our favorites. and because they’re so healthy, we love the armadillo eggs. so I figured that should be our first food item ..

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

our third stop: malo. it’s a fairly new latin-inspired restaurant, that we’ve been to a few times and really love. the food is fun + delicious. I prompted the husband to order an appetizer of his choice and 4 tacos. [side note: we order tater tots. they came with a jalapeno ketchup that I’ve been dreaming about since. and saying ‘I like ketchup’ is a stretch].

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

our fourth stop: django. for my husband’s dirty martini. I have zero evidence we were there. it was so crowded. which is why I recommend beginning early in the day, or getting reservations for those places you’re hitting at peak times. [I didn’t get a reservation at django, because we only wanted to grab one drink]. onto the next ..

our fifth stop: up-down. an arcade bar, that truly resembles your grandparent’s basement. minus the large bar strategically placed right in the center of it all. this was our first time there, but I thought it’d be a fun. I brought a stack of quarters for us. and we played ninja turtles until our quarters ran out.

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: best date ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

do not let the date end there. hand them a clue that leads them back home. once there, ask them to wait outside for a second. I purchased two cupcakes, chilled a bottle of wine, and set out fresh flowers ..right next to a little note I wrote my husband. see all of that here.

I hope you didn’t even get to the bottom of this post, because you were so excited to start planning your own love hunt date. believe me, they will appreciate it + have so much fun.

if you need any help + inspiration, just ask. I’d love to help.

the love hunt: vol. 2

so, yesterday I introduced you to the best date idea ever. I shared with you how to begin the planning process. just to recap ..

it’s a scavenger hunt date. to get started, you should jot down your favorite places + your favorite things to order/do there. the goal is to eat, drink, and do something fun. and if, at all, possible have it make geographical sense! you can see my list here. once you have the places sorted out & what you’ll order at each place ..

the next step is creating the clues.

write down clues that will make your date think, but eventually point them in the right direction. inside jokes are appreciated. don’t tell them what to order in the clue, it may give it away. save that information for the back of the clue, and don’t let them flip it over until they’ve correctly identified the location. it’s also about timing – consider that too.

I planned our date for a saturday. I intended to begin the date around 2:00PM [in order to miss the saturday evening craziness], but sometimes plans change. the husband had to work until 3:00PM. we made adjustments.

here are my clues ..

clue #1: grab your keys – we’re taking a trip. get on 235 east. take exit 8A. and pull over .. [on the back: it’s time for clue #2].

clue #2: if you’re going on a fishing trip, you must stop here first .. [on the back: order a draught. enjoy! we have a lot more to see!]. answer: el bait shop.

clue #3: if I was a mammal with a leathery armor shell, you could find my eggs here .. [on the back: order a plate + a .5 liter]. answer: the hessen haus. [a plate of armadillo eggs].

clue #4: if it was translated to english, it’d be called “bad” .. [on the back: time to really eat! order an appetizer of your choice + 4 tacos]. answer: malo.

clue #5: this place is unchained. and directed by a man who is known for his over-exaggerated violence .. [on the back: go for it – order ocean water up]. answer: django. [ocean water up is our code for dirty martini. that’s how I think it tastes].

clue #6: go east and satisfy the kid in you. if you see pac-man, you’re in the right place .. [on the back: I have something you’ll need, just say “please!”]. answer: up-down. [I brought along a stack of quarters].

clue #7: the road doesn’t end here – go to where you lay your head at night ..

do not let the fun end there.

the love hunt [aka: the best date idea ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: the best date idea ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

the love hunt [aka: the best date idea ever] c/o LLinaBC.com

chill a bottle of wine, or champagne. arrange fresh flowers. ensure you have your favorite indulgent treat. and end on a sweet love note.

meet me back here tomorrow.