Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Everything's Coming Up Roses // Summertime Layers

I bought this dress back in February (!) and I just loved it. The only problem is that it is extremely low cut. But, I loved the colors and the pattern so I had to get it. I considered turning it into a skirt or wearing it with a cardigan, but one day this combo jumped out at me and I LOVE it. 

Tee: Aerie, $10 or less - Old
Dress: Goodwill, $6 
Flats: Payless, $15 - BOGO price 
Earrings: Renaissance Festival, $32 - old

Outfit Total: $63

I think the flowers on the skirt perfectly match this tissue thin tee and layer really nicely! I never tie my tees, but I think that for this skirt it helps to tie the it up and define the waist. 

Since the tee is so thin I added an ivory bandeau underneath the dress so that no one got a show out in the sunshine! Haha

I ended up wearing this outfit to my surprise birthday game night, here.

Linking up with Jana and Maegan at The Creative Closet for Backyard BBQ style. This outfit is breezy and simple. Perfect for a hot day outdoors!

What are your favorite ways to layer in the summer?

Thank you for Reading!



Monday, July 14, 2014

24. // Birthday Details

This post should really be called 'One of the Many Reasons Why KC is the Very, Very Best,' because he is. He knew how down I was feeling about summer, and about my birthday in general (friends being out of town, moved away, and perpetually sharing my day with the 4th) and he went out of his way to make sure I had a great birthday. :) Thank you love!

First (two weeks before my birthday), we went on the mystery train ride, post here. Which was our fun, fancy, celebratory date.

Then, the next weekend (1 week before my birthday), he planned a surprise game night with our friends. I thought we were having another date night, and then our friend Michael walked into the backyard.... to which I said, 'Are we having a date with Michael?' More people came after that and we had a yummy, KC made dinner of kabobs, pico de gayo, PW fruit salad, and roasted potatoes! It was all delicious, and took a lot of work... I appreciated it SO much. Then we had s'mores (my favorite) and drinks while we played board games. I got to see so many people, and I won a game of 5 player Ticket to Ride! It was a fun night! -Thanks to everyone who came over and contributed! 

The photo above is of my birthday outfit, KC suggested I wear it to the party since I hadn't had the chance yet. :)

The next week, (the week of my actual birthday), I got together with two of my former roommates for our weekly get-together, and we decided to watch a movie and have ice cream. This really wasn't a birthday gathering, but it felt like one! We watched Waitress, one of my favorites!

The day of my birthday I worked a half-day at work and then got to go shopping with my sisters and mom. We haven't been shopping together in a really, really long time. It was really fun to visit our favorite stores and spend the afternoon together. Jess wanted to get me a present that I really wanted so she bought me this great S'mores Cookbook at World Market! It was on super-sale and I am so psyched about it! I will have to share the recipe that I tried on the 4th, delicious! I ended up picking out a package of thank you cards (addicted to stationary), another set of reusable sauce containers (for our lunches) and a bag full of thrifted goodies at Goodwill and a bag at the Salvation Army, which my mom and OE decided to gift me for my birthday as well! It was fun, and sweet of them to buy me little treasures. I only spent $6 and came away with quite a bit of fun stuff. :)

Duchess really enjoyed the embroidered straw bag! :)

The night of my birthday KC took me to Genovese, a local Italian restaurant, because we decided that it would be fun to eat Italian and then watch Roman Holiday (from my Summer Bucket List, here) on my actual birthday. We had a groupon for Genovese where you spent $30 for two entrees and an antipasti (usually $55+), which was a pretty great deal!

The dinner was really good. For our antipasti we got fried Rissoto with aioli, which was AMAZING. I also had a glass of sangria, which was equally delicious. Yum! Then we got our entrees. KC had pork loin, with grilled broccoli and mashed potatoes, while I opted for the seafood risotto. Both were great! My risotto had SO much seafood in it though, that I think I will have filled my quota until about November. :) I got to try mussels and octopus for the first time though, which is exciting in my book! Lastly, we had dessert. Kyle ordered cheesecake with an orange berry syrup, and I ordered tiramisu, we shared both. Each was really good, but being coffee lovers, we favored the tiramisu.

We left the restaurant full and content, glad to pay less for an excellent meal.

We got home and decided that we didn't feel like watching a movie. -Though I am happy to report, that we did watch Roman Holiday this week, and it was adorable!

Now I am considering making a 101 things in 1,001 days list like my friend Sarah, here! Or a 30 by 30 list! Or both! What do you think? Either way, I officially started this 5-year journal on my birthday!

I hope that you have an adventure this week!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Early Birthday Date on the Mystery Train // June 2014

For a while I had been hearing good things about the Kansas Belle Dining Train, so for my birthday Kyle booked a table for the murder mystery and dinner!

I was so excited because it's not the kind of thing that we get to do a lot. We rarely have a reason to dress up and eat fancy meals... so this was a lot of fun for me!

I chose a dress that I've had for a year or so, but never had the chance to wear, and a scarf to make it feel extra fancy. I threw on my black peep-toe wedges and grabbed my newest vintage black clutch and we headed off to the train.

The day was hot as always as we drove out to Baldwin, Kansas to the train depot. We waited in the lobby of the depot with the other passengers before boarding the train. We were quite a bit younger than the average person in the group, but there were probably three other younger couples on the trip as well.

We all fit in one car, and we were seated at the end of the car. We sat down and I was I in love with the train. It was decorated patriotically for the holidays, but it was like we were in another time. The 1940's to be exact, because that is when these particular train cars were used for travel.

It was so neat to see all of the fun details that pulled the feel of the train together, from old lamps on the tables, to curtains on the windows and the big band music playing in the background.

Not long after getting seated our host explained the evening to us; we (the passengers) were to be the characters in the murder mystery skit, and during the halfway point we would eat our five course meal. We were personally a little thrown off. We had read that the train employed actors from The New Lawrence Theatre, and were expecting more of a production. On top of that, I am just not one who desires to act in front of others. I mean, I was the girl involved in the high school plays and musicals every year, but never had more than a few lines, by choice. So this was something that I really wasn't expecting or prepared for. Luckily, only one person from each table had to take a part, so KC (who is such a great sport!) decided to take one instead. He's the BEST.

We started eating our appetizer plate while the parts were assigned and the information given out. KC ended up getting the part of Boris, a possible Russian spy. It turned out that there were somewhere between fifteen and twenty parts... all but two were to be acted out by the passengers. The appetizer plate was filled with grapes, peppers, celery, sausage, cheese etc. It was all pretty good, I don't eat cold cheese so I didn't attempt it, but they were huge hunks! I'm not sure how one would eat a piece in an elegant way.

The waitresses seemed to be taking drink orders (in mass quantity) from everyone in the car besides us... but we finally got someone's attention and got to order. I decided to try an old fashioned sounding one called the 'Yankee Clipper'. It was apple Schnaaps and gingerale. It was very, very good!

Soon enough we were taking off toward Ottawa. It was so fun to be on a train again! The last time was probably about 10 years ago when my family and I took the train from KS to Chicago. This was more fun overall though, because of the theme and because it was much shorter, and there was definitely more to see out the windows. We passed corn fields and little was rural KS at it's best and greenest!

The mystery began with our hosts acting out their parts, and eventually the passengers had lines to join in. It started out pretty fun, there were quite a few passengers who seemed to enjoy acting! One problem though, was that it was very hard to hear a lot of the diologue from the passengers in the front of the car. Another thing, is that some of the middle aged passengers doing a lot of the acting were about four drinks ahead of us... and getting really loud, and of course making adjustments to their lines to add periodic dirty jokes. This wasn't so much annoying as it was really hard to keep track of who was speaking, what they were saying, what they actually meant to say etc... doesn't really make it possible to solve a mystery! Eventually one of the characters 'died' and so we started our meal.

The dinner began with a sort of spicy/bitter cabbage soup, that was interesting. It wasn't my favorite, but KC really liked it; which surprised me as he isn't much of a soup guy! :)

After that we had our ceasar salads, which were good.

Then the entree came, which in our case was prime rib, a baked potato and green beans. The prime rib was excellent! And, I'm not much of a carnivore. The green beans were nice and fresh but very garlicky... and the baked potato was just ok. Overall it was just a lot of food, a pretty tasty meal, but probably not quite worth what we paid.

After the entrees were gone the mystery started back up, and I think everyone had about three more drinks with dinner. It was so crazy that it was hard to follow what was happening. Too many characters, too much booze and everything made it even harder to hear and solve the mystery. Plus people continued to change their lines, which only made the host exclaim over and over, 'That's not what I wrote!', in good fun, but without relent. By the time we got our cheesecake and the most alcoholic coffee in the world, my head was so overwhelmed I didn't even know how to go about determining the killer.

When the skit was over we were each given a few written clues and were told to trade over and over to get the most information to solve the mystery. We ended up trading with about half of the tables before our 'time was up' and none of our clues were very helpful. We just ended up choosing someone, though as soon as we turned in our paper, KC figured it out and it was too late. Oh, well! Though it would have been fun to be the only team to guess correctly. :)

Overall, this particular trip didn't make us feel that the extra money for the murder mystery part was worth it. The food was more reasonbable, and going back to enjoy just a dinner and music could be very nice. I really did enjoy eating on a train and getting dressed up for a new adventure with KC! I think that going back for the mystery again would only happen with a larger group of people, or when they are definitely having actors from the theatre there. I feel that would make it more worth the price!

Thank you Kyle, for the sweet birthday date. It was great to try something new with you!

Have you guys ever been to a murder mystery party, dinner or train ride?

I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Thank you for Reading!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Fourth of July, 2014!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! 

My birthday is the 3rd, so every year we go to my family's house for a cookout and to set off fireworks where it's legal, as well as celebrate my birthday.

On our way to see my family this year we saw a dog running across the sidewalk near the highway without any people around. I had posted something on facebook earlier that morning about thinking about pets on the 4th, (more get lost then than any other day!), but never expected to need to use that information. We followed the dog, tracked her down and eventually got a hold of her owner. I was so glad that we were able to help her get home! For more information on summer pet safety click here.

Here are the pictures from this year, and one video of a rogue firework caught in slow motion.

Actually from a few weeks ago, but I had to include it!

Vintage sheet music I've been holding onto.

Vintage Jewelry for the day!

All my parent's kids. Olivia is actually smiling!!

Jess is adorable.

Enjoying the nice weather (rare!).

Dad and Kalor.

Olivia's pinwheel.

Dad roasting marshmallows.

Sisters. Finally got one with Olivia smiling, sheer joy right there. :)

Just me and Jess.

Aftermath of the daytime Fireworks.

It's finally dark!

We love fireworks, and generally aren't too afraid of them, but every once in a while... one gets away. I happened to be taking a slow motion video at the time.. good catch! Luckily, it didn't actually hit anyone!

Crazy huh?!

I hope that you all had a lovely holiday and are having a great summer so far! Excited to catch up with you guys and post more of what we've been up to!

Thank You for Reading!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hey There, July

How are you all doing?

Time flies when you are having fun. (and sometimes you're having too much fun to blog about it).

KC and I had June off in between our old jobs ending and our new ones starting, so we spent the month organizing our apartment, working on projects, cooking together, playing board games and watching lots of television from the '90's. It has been really nice to have so much time to de-stress and spend time together!
Now we have both started our new jobs, and are getting into the swing of a new schedule, which means I'll have a time to catch up on summer blogging!

So, happy July everyone!

Coming up soon: 
Summer Recipes
A few DIYs