Last weekend, I headed to the great state of Iowa to spend quality time with my best girl. If I trekked across an ocean to visit her while she was studying abroad in college, I certainly owed her this, right?

Well let me tell you...midwestern weather is a fickle bitch in the summer months. Anyone from the midwest laughing at me yet? Yes, this California girl has begun to adjust to New York winters, but midwest summers are going to take substantially more getting used to.

Friday morning I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 3:15am to finish packing, shower, and catch my 6am flight. It was not nearly as painful as I expected it to be, and even the 45 minute Starbucks line at the airport didn't get me down (and was actually kind of amusing).

And then.

And then.


As if Chicago couldn't be enough on my shit list this week, a killer electrical storm rolled through town, about 30 minutes after arrival and an hour before my flight to Cedar Rapids. At first, I was feeling ok. The fact is, flying makes me neurotic enough without getting onto a prop jet in sideways rain and lightning storms. So I was game to wait it out. But then, all flights were grounded. For an hour and a half. Just enough time for it to wreak havoc on every unfortunate O'Hare traveler. Flight to Cedar Rapids: cancelled.

Storm & airport sustenance:

I won't bother launching into the next frantic few hours, but it ends with me on a plane to Waterloo, Iowa. Haven't heard of an airport there? Neither had I. Neither did a guy re-booked on it, too - and he's FROM IOWA. Basically, I am convinced that it is the smallest commercial airport in the US, with one solitary gate.

Once I got there, though, it was best friend weekend extraordinaire, and a wonderful - if not way too short - 3 days.

All of Iowa summed up in 2 pictures:


You have no idea how funny this sign is until you stumble upon it at 2am after a night of drinking:

I had to do one supremely nerdy thing. Obviously:

(It was behind this random "shop." Riverside, Iowa...you're an oddball):

Thanks for the hospitality, Iowa!


New Digs Update.

Has it really been a month since we moved into the new place? Time it is a-flying. We've been working hard (aka spending our hard earned cash) organizing, buying new furniture; basically, trying to turn our new space into a home. It's a process. Patience has never been a virtue of mine.

I am addicted to home decor blogs and especially home tours, but one thing I'm always perplexed by is how feminine some spaces are for a married couple. I admit while there are certain pieces I drool over big time, I wouldn't feel right bringing pink walls or many overly delicate pieces into our place. It always makes me think of Big and Natasha and their beige apartment. So I'm constantly on the lookout for fun middle-of-the-road pieces that aren't too masculine or feminine. A couple new faves...Crate & Barrel bedroom furniture, and this rug that I'd been drooling over for ages. Most rooms are starting to feel pretty pulled together (minus our bedroom, which needs a lot of work). A major thing I have not done, though, is dealt with our big empty walls.

Art has always been a struggle of mine - I feel like what people have up on their walls tells a story about them, and I've always been picky and fickle on what I put up. While we have a few great pieces, overall this is definitely an area I need to work on. Our most recent investment is a huge canvas photo of the sun setting over the mountains in Palm Springs (above) - a gorgeous shot from our wedding photographers taken on our wedding day. As of right now, it's literally the only item up, hung above the sofa.

Time to start brainstorming some more fun investment pieces!

(photo via Stone Crandall Photography)



Last Friday was my 29th birthday. Not too monumental, so I didn't really plan anything in advance. But then as it got closer I realized I'd be missing a Friday birthday opportunity, so I pulled a few things together. It ended up being the most perfect weekend and one of my best birthdays! The highlights:

This picture, taken by my buddy Nicole on her Parisian travels last week. So fun!

// took the day off work, slept in, worked out, got a massage.

// our dear friend Dane took us out for the night - dinner at Wilshire, which was so incredibly good. Much love to Dane for this amazing treat! Dinner turned into one too many drinks. No regrets!

// Saturday afternoon champagne brunch at Sonoma Wine Garden with some girlfriends, which turned into crashing the pool scene at The Fairmont, which turned into too much sun for me and a night in with said girlfriends and some thai food.

// Sunday dinner at our new casa with my parents. Mama baked me a cake!

The weekend ended with champagne sipping while watching Joan being a badass on Mad Men, and the most dramatic* Game of Thrones ever. Unless you read the books. But still, kind of dramatic, eh?

Also still enjoying these beautiful birthday peonies from the lovely B over at live-to-the-point-of-tears. I've never been good about keeping flowers around (mainly because in our old place, there was no good place to put them out of cat reach), but I'm thinking I'm going to start making this a weekly treat. Really does brighten things up!

*said in a Chris Harrison rose ceremony voice