the week in photos.

hello friday.

I am happy to see the weekend upon us, but I can’t complain much about how the week went. it was a great week.

it all began with a trip to [my home state] iowa. for a good friend’s wedding. [we worked together in college, so I was reunited with people I haven’t seen in years.]

say hello to theĀ beautiful bride & groom [+ our good friend/old boss, lindsay].

the wedding was purple + silver. and the reception was gorgeous. our group of friends were at table 1, aka the table nearest the bar. holler to the bride for the best seat in the house. [kind of a joke.]

we tore up the dance floor.

[the couple on the left: it’s their wedding next. cannot wait!]

on our way back to illinois, we stumbled upon antique archaeology. ya know, the home of history channel’s american pickers? I knew they were from iowa, but I didn’t know where exactly. well, we were in search of a gas station ..so we got off the highway and stopped at our first option. I looked up and BAM: antique archaeology. what a pleasant surprise :)

like I said on instagram: “there are few things better than retrieving your loved one at the airport. even if its only been a weekend.”

[J] & I took the train into the city. [which resorts to random photos].

on wednesday night, we made drinks [pomegranate vodka + white peach sparkling water] in red solo cups, sat outside, and watched the storm roll in.

if that is not the epitome of a country song, I don’t know what is?

[‘the thunder rolls‘ garth brooks + ‘red solo cup‘ toby keith].

noodles & company had pop-up picnics scattered around the country yesterday. they were handing out their new summer salads. [J] & I found the nearest one to us, and we were off. he got: spinach & fresh fruit. [I usually don’t go for salads with sweet + savory toppings, but my oh my that salad is scrumptious. topped with: strawberries, blue cheese, bacon, balsamic]. I had: chili-lime & ginger. [equally as delicious]. they have one more out: the backyard bbq chicken salad, which we didn’t get to try. BUT they gave us two free salad coupons for our next visit. speaking of, I’m kind of hungry now …

[J] & I had a mini celebration last night. accompanied by bbq & cocktails [from famous daves]. what were we celebrating? visit on monday, I’ll divulge then!

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have an amazing weekend.

give the people around you a big hug. and for those far & dear send them an “I love you“. every moment of every single day & every person we get to share this life with are so precious. & meant to be cherished.

[a couple of the recent tragedies have hit really close to home for me. the two missing little girls from right outside my hometown. and the theater shooting right down the street from my brother’s house. in my thoughts & prayers].

only in louisiana.

[J] & I flew to NOLA on Friday morning for my gorgeous friend, Rachelle’s wedding. {see engagement pictures here}. Neither of us had ever been, so we wanted to get a little sight-seeing in before the two-hour drive to the wedding location.

we walked down bourbon street. and stopped for lunch at the famous Pat O’Briens. where we got hurricanes. obviously!

plus I had GRITS for the first time in my life, shrimp & grits to be exact. at first I was more than confused where the grits were …oh they’re the potato pancake things on top. thanks for clarifying [J] :)

we then wandered toward another new orleans staple: cafe du monde. [famous for their coffee & beignets]. we split 3 beignets & an iced cafe au lait. absolutely delicious. ask the sidewalk, we shared A LOT of our powder sugar with it. THEN:

CRAZY DOWNPOUR.

If it’s raining in NOLA, do not wear flip flops. we had such a long walk back down bourbon street and I was slip sliding everywhere. [please note: I did not fall once. but approx. 7 “almosts”].

grateful to be back at the car. ready to drive to the wedding location. looking like HOT MESSES. [this is what happens when you walk through a downpour ..w/o an umbrella].

finally at the hotel and cleaned up ..I was REUNITED with my beautiful friends [we haven’t all been together since oct. ’10].

the wedding was at 6PM on saturday. so 3 of us girls + [J] had the day for mischief. #ONLYINLOUISIANA: drive thru daiquiri stands. [not a joke].

the menu: 40+ frozen alcoholic concoctions. I got a strawberry margarita [32 oz/the size of my head]. all we could say was: “how is this legal?“. we arrived safely back at the hotel before indulging. [minus a sip or two ..I had to test it out!].

it took me two hours to drink it. plus about two more hours to recover. then one hour to get ready for the wedding. I must say: we clean up well. [even after drinking too much, whoops].

the wedding was gorgeous. the reception was a blast. and more importantly…

I loved every single second of being with my friends again!

after the wedding, [J] & I slept ONE HOUR. drove two hours back to the new orleans airport. boarded the plane at 5:30AM. and arrived safely back in chicago at 8AM on mother’s day. we were a tad a lot exhausted, but it was worth it. [thank you for having us rachelle & bryce. your wedding was beautiful]. til we see each other again .. <3

happy monday all, let the week begin :)