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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Weekends

Now that I've been back into the swing of things and posting regularly again, it's time to share a few fun things that we've been up to this summer. This year it's been hard to balance things like we used to since Trent's been working more. We haven't been able to work on the house much like I was hoping, or even go to the store to get materials. 

It seems like summer is already going by fast...it's almost July already! (What!??) We've both been working like crazy so of course we're exhausted most nights, but during the weekends (when Trent's not working), we do have some time to do fun things like go out, and visit new places and old favorites.

When we have gone out, it's usually because we need to go to town to go shopping, but we've eaten out at a few cool places so far this summer. Like Bier Stube in Le Claire, IA. There is also a Moline location, but we really like the one on the Iowa side, because it's right by the river. It was really buggy the night we went, so instead of eating out in the patio like we did the first time we came here, we sat inside this time.


The food here was really good, and they have a huge beer selection, which you can probably tell by the name! I got a Summer Shandy and had a salad and some broccoli cheese soup!

We've also tried a new place downtown Moline, called Barley & Rye Bistro. It was delicious! Neither of us had been there before, and they were actually trying out a new dinner menu for the first time that night. It was more pricey than what we usually like to spend, but we ate on the lighter side so it wasn't too bad. The restaurant is all self sustainable, natural and local foods which is pretty awesome. Everything tasted really fresh, like it came straight from the source.



Trent got a burger with a side of asparagus, and one of their many beers. I got a strawberry almond salad with a honey dressing that tasted amazing. To drink I had a strawberry mint julep, again super fresh and yummy. We ate on the patio which was nice! I'd love to go there again sometime.

Another new place we checked out was Schweibert Park in Rock Island. It's a fairly new park but it's been there for quite a few years now, and we hadn't gone there before. It was really nice! They have a nice stage for concerts, so it would be cool to see an outdoor concert there by the river. And this was the view:


Nothing like the sun setting over the Mississippi! You can see that there was a Bandits game going on across the river in Davenport, too. So far this summer we haven't made it to any River Bandits games yet, although I really want to go to one this year and ride the new ferris wheel for the first time!

We have, however, gone back to the drive-in in Galva for another double feature. I love this place. It's a great way to spend a summer evening relaxing outside and watching a couple of movies.


This time we saw Godzilla and Transcendence. They were both pretty good, although not being as much of an action fan as Trent is, I kind of enjoyed Transcendence a little better! I just wish it hadn't been so late so I could actually stay awake through the whole thing! :)

 

I really wish we had more time to do fun things like this and go out a little more this year. But this weekend has been more of a lazy weekend for me, since Trent's working most of it. (I've been home watching all of the Step Up movies. Haha)

Trent has been working on his bedroom shelves a little more, trying to get them finished. Still not there yet, but I'm hoping to have an update on his shelves for you soon!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Engaged Life: So Far, So Great

It's been well over a month now since we got engaged in Texas. So I thought I'd do kind of an update post on how the planning is coming so far, and what I've been busy doing since we've been "back to reality"!

When it comes to wedding planning, we don't have much finalized as of yet. All I have now is lots and lots of ideas. Pinterest is my best friend right now! I've started a wedding binder and have collected tons of ideas. I've even started my registries and have a guest list down. I've ordered samples of Save the Dates and Invitations, and tomorrow we are planning to visit one of our possible ceremony/reception venues. We've decided that we want it around August of next year, but don't have a definite date yet.

We want a pretty small wedding with just family and close friends, and I don't want a big wedding party. We want an outdoor wedding in the QC area, and I would like the ceremony and reception to be at the same place. My colors are going to be pink, peach, coral, and mint, and I love big blooms for flowers. Here are a few images I've found on Pinterest that I love:

(find these on my Pinterest here, here, and here)

Even though I love peonies, they will pretty much be out of the question in late summer, so it will most likely be English roses instead, which I am ok with! And I want a cupcake tower rather than a big cake. So...I definitely have a clear idea of what I want. I just have to put it all together. :)

With Haley's wedding coming up in less than a month, we're kind of waiting on finalizing things until hers is over, since we're still finishing up all the details for her wedding. I've been helping out on a lot of things along the way for her wedding and can't believe it's almost here - in just a few weeks! After hers is over, I think we'll really start kicking our wedding planning into gear.

We just had her shower last weekend which turned out really well! Her "cupcake cake" was really cute, and I think she loved the present I got her! It was this monogram burlap wedding date print from Etsy, customized with Haley and Dan's names and wedding date. I just got a frame for it at Michael's.


July 19th is the big day!  Then I have a feeling I'm going to be busy planning Trent and I's wedding for the next year or so! But I am still really excited to dive into things. The first month has been pretty much stress-free as far as planning goes! We'll see what I'll be saying 10 months from now... :)

Travel Posts

This is for all my fellow travel lovers out there. This post will serve as a collection of all of my travel-related posts, sorted roughly by location. It will be updated as I visit and blog about more places. Click the links below to read about the places I've been and see photos from each place! Hope you enjoy!

Jamaica

Colorado
 

Las Vegas

Texas 
Austin  |  San Antonio  |  Corpus Christi  |  Galveston & Houston

East Coast
Washington, D.C.  |  Virginia Beach  |  The Outer Banks  |  Wilmington, NC  |  Southport, NC  |  Myrtle Beach, SC  |  Pittsburgh, PA

West Coast
 

Midwest
Michigan, Part 1  |  Michigan, Part 2  |  The Found Cottage - Hudsonville, MI  |  Missouri, Part 1  |  Missouri, Part 2  |  Missouri Trip June 2016  |  Antiquing in IL and MO  |  Lake Geneva, WI  |  Prairie du Chien and Potosi, WI  |  Summerfest and New Glarus, WI  |  La Crosse, WI - 2015  |  La Crosse, WI - 2016  |  La Crosse, WI - 2017  |  Antiquing in South Beloit, IL  |  Chicago Trip 2012  |  Chicago - June 2017  |  Chicago - July 2017  |  Cubs Game at Wrigley 2013  |  Chicago World Series Trip  |  Geneva, IL  |  Antiquing near Columbus, OH  |  Columbus Area 1  |  Columbus Area 2  |  Rock on the Range - Columbus  |  Cincinnati, OH  |  Flowers around Illinois  |  Omaha, Nebraska  |  Midwestern Breweries We've Visited


Family Vacations and Travel Flashbacks

Branson, MO  |  Chicago & Milwaukee  |  Tennessee  |  Florida  |  Canada  |  Misc. Travel Thoughts  |  The Stories Told By Traveling


Local (Quad Cities Area - IA-IL)


LeClaire and Niabi Zoo  |  Downtown Galesburg, Illinois  |  Weekend Fun in Galesburg  |  Antiquing in Galesburg  |  Day Out and Antiquing in Galesburg Part 2  |  More Antiquing in Galesburg  |  Antiquing in Geneseo, Illinois  |  Antiquing in the Quad Cities  |  The Habitat ReStore and More  |  Putnam Museum  |  River Bandits Game 1  |  River Bandits Game 2  |  Downtown Moline and Le Claire  |  Muscatine Riverfront  |  Knox County Scenic Drive  |  Scenic Drive 2016  |  Furniture Shopping at Good's | Dining at The J Bar in Davenport  |  Fun in Bishop Hill and Moline, IL  |  Weekend in Iowa City  |  Iowa City and Davenport Fun


Burlington, Iowa Day Trip  |  Kayaking on Lake George  |  Kayaking on Lake Storey  |  Kayaking on Lake George & Lake MacBride  |  Fun by the River  |  Flowers at the Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House  |  Concert at The Adler Theater  | Night Out Downtown Davenport, Iowa  |  Christmas Lights by the River  |  Shopping in Peoria  |  More Shopping in Peoria  |  John Deere Classic and More Local Places

Travel Tuesdays
10 Fun Things to Do In Chicago  |  10 Fun Things to Do In the Quad Cities  |  10 Fun Things to Do In Colorado  |  5 Places on My U.S. Travel Bucket List  |  10 U.S. Cities and Fun Things to Do There  |  Lighthouses We've Visited

Come back to this post by clicking on the Travel Posts button on the sidebar!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pretzel Kisses Recipe

Hello and Happy Friday! Mixing it up a little today. Last weekend was my sister Haley's bridal shower, and I made a plate of Pretzel kisses for all the guests to share. These are super easy to make, and they went over really well! I thought they would be perfect, since they're colorful and bite-size, and therefore great for grabbing a bite at parties. Plus, I think they are one of the quickest desserts you can make!

Here's the recipe for anyone who's never made these before!


 Ingredients:

  • Hershey's kisses (you can also use Hugs)
  • Small pretzels (round or square)
  • M&Ms (in whatever seasonal color you'd like!)

Directions:
Again I can't stress enough how easy these are to make. Just cover some cookie sheets with aluminum foil, and line up your pretzels. Then unwrap your Hershey's kisses and set one in the middle of each pretzel. The unwrapping part might take the longest of the whole shabang.



Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. And bake - for just a few minutes! I don't think it took longer than 4 minutes, tops. Just stand by the stove and keep checking. The kisses should mostly retain their shape, just be soft enough that you can squish them down.


Then just plop down an M&M on each pretzel kiss! I used multi-colored springy looking ones for the shower (and they were white chocolate which I thought was extra yummy). But I've seen red and green ones for Christmas, pink and red for Valentine's Day, etc. Also - I put all the M's face-down, but that's just my preference. :)


I let them cool and harden in the fridge overnight, but you'd probably be good after a couple of hours. I just didn't want them to be too melty. But then again, you can't really go wrong with pretzels and chocolate together! Sweet and salty - it's a perfect mix. Have a great weekend everyone! 
P.S. - For more recipes - Check out my Puppy Chow recipe, or my Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies recipe. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth? :)

Linked to: The Pin Junkie, Liz Marie Blog, Tatertots & Jello, Natasha in Oz, The Best Blog Recipes, Artsy Fartsy Mama, The Answer is Chocolate, The Cards We Drew, Pin Me Party, The 36th Avenue, Someday Crafts, Eat. Create. Party!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cancer: Decor Inspired by the Crab

Like Pisces, the astrological sign Cancer (June 22 - July 22) is also a Water sign. But instead of the fish, Cancer's symbol is the Crab. Appropriately enough for this post, Astrology.com says that Cancers are all about the comforts of home. They're nurturing and care most about keeping a happy and comfortable home and family. Like a crab, they tend to retreat to their shell at times and hide their feelings, and they can also be quite moody. Their great strength though, is that they are nurturing protectors - all they need is a comfortable home filled with the ones they love.

When it comes to decor, I drew from silvers and whites inspired by Cancer's ruling planet, the Moon, as well as its Water qualities - Traditional, beachy items, crabs, and calm blues also inspired me when it came to this sign of the Zodiac. Here are my decor picks for the astrological sign Cancer (sources at the bottom):




And here's a coastal-like room I think Cancers would appreciate:



Doesn't it make you want to take a little getaway to some beach house by the coast? I could go for some of that right now. :)

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