Friday, March 28, 2014

Five Things Friday 3.28.14

It's Friday!!

Hi Friends! Tell me...what do you have going on this weekend? We have a few things planned. I'm really hoping the weather comes through!

8 Day Forecast

Sunday it's supposed to be in the low 70's! I don't even remember what that feels like. Sure, I was in the hot Caribbean temps just recently but that was 87 degrees and hot! I hope you find yourself soaking up some sunny spring weather wherever you are, too!

Let's jump into a few other things I can update you on for this Five Things Friday:

1. Back to reality. After spending last week in the 85 degree temps and lounging on the sandy beach, I made it back home to Iowa to be thrown back into the reality of a reluctant spring and five day work week. It's always nice to get away because I love to travel, but actually, I'm one for routine. Vacations are great and always welcome but so is my home life. I missed my two sidekicks too much! :)

2. Blend. I finally booked my flights! Now it's even more real, I'm definitely going! :) Because of crappy schedules and high fares, I decided to go in on Thursday after reaching out to my Blend, Becky, who is also planning to come in Thursday.

I'm Attending Blend

3. Iowa State Sweet 16 game. Like the rest of the state I'll be watching our Cyclones take on UConn tonight in the Sweet 16 game. So excited to get home, put some comfies on and watch them hopefully come out with a win!

4. Softball. This year I am one of the coaches for Kaydin's T-ball team and tomorrow is our first practice. I'm so excited it's ball field season again. I'm not sure how much longer she'll stick with the sport as she's much more into dance and gymnastics so I'm gonna try and savor this season.

5. New Asics.  I found a great deal on that I couldn't pass up. The Kayano 19's were on sale for almost 50% off! I was needing a new pair since my 18's are almost two years old so I jumped on the deal. You can too! It's still going on! Plus, with you get free shipping!

That's all for today! I hope you have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday {Dominican Republic Edition}

So, I made it back to reality! Back to the cold, stubborn Iowa winter. Yes, the calendar may say that it's finally spring, but Mother Nature sure did not get the memo to bring sunshine, green grass, and warmer temps to Iowa.

I'm grateful I was able to escape even for a few days to attend a beautiful wedding with some fun people! I'll get to more details of our trip soon, but thought I'd start off sharing some the things I ate last week while linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons, who hosts What I Ate Wednesday every week.

Peas and Crayons

Head on over to Peas and Crayons to see what all the other bloggers linking up are eating lately!

In no particular ordered of consumption I...

...sipped on some champagne that was promptly put in our hands after walking into the lobby...and at almost every other meal we sat down for. I'm not complaining, but I'm not a huge fan of champagne. I did, however, find a new variation that I love, The David's Especial, aka, apple juice and champagne. Much better than mixed with orange juice in my opinion.

...ate lots of fruit and tried glazed pineapple for the first time. Sugary but definitely worth a recreation!

...tried a dish that mixed grapes, raisins, peanuts and Cornish hen. I'm not usually a fan of mixing those types of things together but this dish that was served at the French themed restaurant really worked!

...stole a couple pieces of duck from Allie, the bride's, plate. She ordered the duck confit salad but wasn't feeling well so left the table for the appetizer course. I took advantage of the empty seat next to me and dug in to try a couple pieces. 

...tried several variations of cake. Many dessert offerings at both lunch and dinner means you put a few on your plate and try them all!

...took advantage of my break in Meatless March and picked through the bacon container at the breakfast buffet to find the super crispy ones. Those are the only ones worth eating. Most mornings I also added a poached egg to my plate for a least a little protein to start the day. Waffles made a daily appearance, too. The batter tasted like cream puff batter. So good!

...took advantage of the lunchtime fresh guacamole and chips! Not the best I've had, but hey, it's guac!

...ordered this Nicoise salad at the French restaurant. The seared tuna was perfect. I would really like to have this waiting for me at home tonight! Any takers?!? :)

...picked out all the olives from the pasta dish. It was good but I was already stuffed from the bread, olive tapenade, capers, and blue cheese I filled my first plate with.

...tried fresh passion fruit for the first time. I've had it in the passion fruit flavor Chobani yogurt but never fresh. I'm happy to report I'm a fan! 

...loved the sushi. They only offered basic rolls as an appetizer for our hibachi dinner but I was glad to get a fix! I didn't get a pic of the other food we had that night but it was all really good. Might have been some of my favorite fried rice I've ever had.

...had another morning staple- yogurt with walnuts and some fruit! This time I found some plain yogurt and mixed in a little strawberry and pineapple jam.

...ordered room service! You can't visit an all-inclusive resort and not order room service at least once! For lunch on the wedding day I ordered a tuna sandwich, tomato basil soup, and cheesecake for an easy lunch while getting ready for the later afternoon nuptials. 

...regret only having one piece of this amazing wedding cake. It was my favorite type of frosting, light and whipped and not too much sugar. And marble cake, the best of both worlds! I can never choose between vanilla and chocolate cake.

I'll be back to show all the amazing views I saw all week. You will all definitely be jealous! Here's a sneak peak :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kaydin's 7th Birthday

My baby turned 7 this January!! :( Only a sad face because time is flying by so fast! She is gonna be heading to college soon. Then that sad face will be filled with tears, too!

But for now we'll focus on the fun and happy times. I could just stare at her for hours. She's so beautiful, smart and just all around amazing. All mothers gush about their kids and I'm definitely one of them!

My mom came to town the weekend of her birthday and brought her a birthday cake. She dug right into the middle not waiting for a single piece to be cut.

 This year for her birthday we decided on a small party to head to the nail salon for manicures and then visit cherry berry for some frozen yogurt.

After the party, we opened presents at home and made our way to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner at Kaydin's request.

Her 8th birthday is already around the corner I'm afraid. And soon I'll be sobbing because she's moving out and leaving for college. Although, she does tell me all the time that she doesn't wanna ever leave me and she'll live with me while going to college. But I remember saying that, too, so I'm not countin' on it! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Washington DC {(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday}

This past summer I was in Washington, D.C. for a conference through work. It was my first time visiting the city and I seriously loved it! I cannot wait to go back again see even more.

One of the nights I was there I went on a bus tour organized by NCURA, the organization that was putting on the meeting I was attending. It was free and so awesome! I expected to just drive past some of the sites around the city but we saw many of the prominent places around town and got out and walked a bunch, too. Our tour guide was super knowledgeable and enthusiastic which, of course, made it that much more fun. I'm so glad I ventured out and did this.

Another night I went to Georgetown with a couple girls I met at the meeting (Hi Ashley!!). We shopped, ate a great dinner, and stood in line to try the very famous Georgetown Cupcakes. One hundred percent serious when I say they were the best cupcakes I've ever eaten! 

I spent one whole afternoon by myself just being a tourist. When the three day meeting concluded I had a free afternoon since I had to stay in town for a workshop the following day. I hit the streets, did a ton of walking, but also saw so many great things. I went to the National Archive, Holocaust Museum, saw Ford's Theater, walked along the mall, and then walked all the way back to my hotel in the DuPont Circle Area. I didn't plan on walking it all but once I was out there I just kept going! It was actually really fun to just get out there and explore on my own. 


What other U.S. destinations are must-see? What is your favorite city you've visited?