the week in photos: special edition.

we’ve been back home for four days. and they’ve flown by. filled with unpacking, laundry, grocery shopping, 100’s of emails, and settling back into our ‘routine’. as much as I loved our escape, it’s nice to be home. plus there are so many fun things on the horizon, to keep us busy & not sitting still.

[J] & I both have birthdays at the end of the month. a day apart actually. [I’m the 27th & he’s the 28th]. that’s always fun. two jam-packed days of celebration.

my favorite time of year is quickly approaching: autumn FOOTBALL SEASON. you can guarantee I’m already planning a couple trips back to our college town to relive our glory days tailgate! we did, after all, receive the “award” of {#1 party school this year}. but don’t judge us, because des moines, IA was ranked {#1 best place for business & careers}. this practically says: iowans know how to work hard, play hard.

and ..

J & I are engaged //

which is incredibly exciting. and means, we have a wedding to begin planning!

on that note, let’s do the week in photos: special proposal edition.

it all happened on DAY ONE of our trip.

we set up our campsite. and headed to mount rushmore, for the nightly lighting ceremony.

engagement edition //

the sun set. the moon came out. and the ceremony began.

engagement edition //

a lady spoke, they played a 20 minute video, and everyone in attendance stood to sing the national anthem ..

engagement edition //

then the spotlights came on.

and simultaneously, [J] got down on one knee ..

I immediately began crying. the happiest cry I’ve ever cried. I was speechless. [excluding a couple “are you serious?”]. after a really long hug, a kiss, & a crazy amount of tears ..

I said “yes”!!

and the family sitting next to us insisted they take our picture, to capture the moment. so generous. and sadly, such poor photography skills ..

engagement edition //

it’s the thought that counts.

another girl offered to take our picture later. and by later, I mean, after about 15 minutes of more tears. my eyes were so red, blotchy, & puffy ..

engagement edition //

engagement edition //

the next morning, we had breakfast at our campsite. [breakfast burritos over the fire, and french press iced coffee].

engagement edition //

and we went back to mount rushmore. to re-capture the moment. 

engagement edition //

engagement edition //

engagement edition //

engagement edition //

and then we took off to our next destination ..

as an engaged couple.

woo hoo!


sorry we party.

on saturday, we woke up stress-free [the event had been a success …& was over!!].. to coffee & bagels. clearly knowing it was destine to be a great day. what was our plan? to party. I don’t know if you’ve met a hawkeye football fan before, but we take our game days very seriously. and regardless of the outcome, we will enjoy ourselves.

the game: the university of iowa vs the university of northern iowa.

two places close to my heart. one being where I attended college [go hawkeyes]. the other in the town I grew up in [when you’re not playing iowa, go panthers]. so [J]’s parents, my mom, my friend [ash], [J], & I headed over to a neighborhood bar & grill.. all decked out in our black & gold.

[he was forced into rolling his pants legs up for this].

[like mother, like daughter].

we drank. we ate. we cheered. & we won.

the party didn’t stop there.

it was a gorgeous night, so… we continued the party in the tree house.

[until it got dark].

then the night was still too young to quit, so… we played drinking games. while my mother acted as DJ; of some of the finest 70’s music.

sunday was a tad on the rough side. but sometimes you just have to be responsibly irresponsible. & celebrate the win to the fullest, because you don’t know when the next one will be. [just kidding. I’m a hawkeye through it all].

cannot wait to see what next saturday brings :)

happy tuesday.

Fall: defined.


I could not be more excited to welcome fall. I love this time of year – the weather, the activities, the food & drinks ..all perfection. When I think of fall, I think of …

Tailgating …

Can you say amazingly, delicious finger food, an insane assortment of alcoholic beverages, and entertaining company! :)

Football …

Obviously I root for my alma mater – the University of Iowa. Go Hawkeyes!

[Absolute fall perfection] – the atmosphere of being at a football game, or at a bar cheerin’ for your team, or laying on the couch on a NFL football Sunday.

Road trips …

I love, love, love a good fall road trip <3.

chicago – the magic bean.
But the absolute best fall road trip – Galena, IL. In my family, when fall rolls around a trip to Galena is essential. The historic, little town is a destination all year ..but it is really beautiful when outlined by the fall-shaded leaves! [Yup, just made up “fall-shaded“. Defined by – the crazy, bright reds and oranges the leaves change only in the fall]. Say hello to great restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops, pretty riverwalk, breweries, and my mom & I’s favorite ..the wineries! [To be specific: the wine tasting at Galena Cellars on Main Street. Try the Oktoberfest. Yum!]
Galena, IL

Halloween …

What is more fun than a holiday that incoporates dressing up, carving pumpkins, and eating too much candy?

stencils are a must for me.

Loofah or cotton candy? The question of the decade, really.


Now that I am no longer in college and living on the East coast, my definition of fall will need to be updated a bit. You better believe I am flying home [in TEN days] to get my Hawkeye tailgating fix. And since I’m not making the millions [yet] and can’t fly back for every single game ..I will be rootin’ for the Hawks from NY. I am also wearing green this season, rootin’ for the NY Jets – what, what!! :) And I can’t get in my car & drive to Galena this fall ..(I don’t have a car & Galena is approximately 960 miles away) but I am planning some road trips [ie. Boston, Philly]. I’m ready for the change’s not better, just different.

Happy Fall :)