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Happy Gal/Valentine's Day!

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Happy Gal/Valentine's Day!

From Leslie Knope and me… to you. I’m always down for a celebration with waffles (see example A from last year’s Galentine’s Party).

Of course, we will start it off with this…

Indeed it is. Galentine’s is the best day because it’s about celebrating other ladies! And valentine’s is about celebrating love (sacrificial love, if you know the history).

Ok. I’mma be real. I’m just here because Parks and Rec is the greatest sitcom ever created…and I wanted to share lots of gifs. The following gif applies to you if you happen to disagree.

Last year’s party was pretty great…

And this year was very chill. No party, just a normal day and evening. But! Cupcakes from Little Blackbird Bakery.

Anyway, just wanted to leave you all a little love note on this internet corner. With lots of Leslie Knope enthusiasm and hugs!

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2018 Year in Review // Personal

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2018 Year in Review // Personal

2018 has been a wild ride. Tumultuous emotionally, in many ways, but also such a year of sweet moments. Isn’t that just normal life?! Perhaps I’m just adjusting to life as an adult. I believe that reflecting on the past, planning for the future, and living in the present can add such insight for wise living. With that, this is my Personal post on 2018! Mainly for my processing, but you’re welcome to join me. ;)

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Winter Wanderings

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Winter Wanderings

I’m sitting here, emotionally bursting with quiet joy, as snow falls quietly outside. It’s the perfect storm— a January weekend in Des Moines, as Friday evening traffic moves hesitantly down the interstate just blocks from where I sit. A mug of mostly-drunk chamomile tea sits next to me on the warm, black radiator. I’m curled up on it, my seat warm and my back cool against the attic windows. In-between sentences in my new library book, I watch the snow accumulate and my neighbor back his car off the street and on to his lawn. The city will go into snow ordinance mode, something I’ve never had to learn about until this winter.

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The 12 Dates of Christmas (Des Moines, Iowa)

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The 12 Dates of Christmas (Des Moines, Iowa)

One of my favorite instagrammer/bloggers in NYC posts her & her husband’s “12 Dates of Christmas” each year on her blog. I thought that this year, I’d join in! You can do these with a significant other, a group of friends, or just by yourself. Some of these activities cost a little cash, others are free or cheap. You can pick an choose which Christmas events you’d like to join in on over the month of December. All of these are things taking place around Christmastime in the greater Des Moines area! Please feel welcome to comment any suggestions of your own on this blog post. Enjoy!

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Shop Local for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday in Iowa

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Shop Local for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday in Iowa

If, like me, you’ll be doing some shopping online as the turkey and mashed potatoes settle this evening and into the weekend, I’ve got some great tips for you to look into! Besides finding great deals to help me stretch my bank account, I’m a huge advocate of shopping local and supporting small businesses. I have collected quite the resume of local shops in Iowa (mainly in Cedar Falls, Ames, and Des Moines) so pull out your legal pad of paper (or iPad!) and let’s get planning!

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fall mood board

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fall mood board

moving into a historic neighborhood in Des Moines (the drake neighborhood) brought about all the mood city feels this autumn. after living in smaller towns and cities in iowa, it’s exciting to live in a place that hustles and bustles just a little bit more! everything is new here, including living smack dab in the middle of every wal-mart and aldi in the metro. hahaha.

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What An Iowa Wedding Photographer Learned About Weddings From Being A Bridesmaid

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What An Iowa Wedding Photographer Learned About Weddings From Being A Bridesmaid

As an Iowa wedding photographer, I’ve photographed over 50 midwestern weddings and attended 20-30 more! However, I’ve only been in a bridal party a few times in my life. Two years ago, my best friend got married and I had the honor of standing up with her as one of her maids-of-honors. It was a wonderful day, and I also learned quite a bit! Here are a few lessons from my day in Erin’s wedding.

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A Sneak Peek of our Des Moines Apartment

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A Sneak Peek of our Des Moines Apartment

Des Moines is a happenin' city. People continue to ask me (as happens when you move!) "Why Des Moines?". And I'll tell you why: because it's a fun place to live! It has the perks of a large city (lots of amazing restaurants, parks, social events, and shopping of course) with the advantage of a midwest town. Seriously-- I bump into people I know at the store or downtown. What are the odds!?

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My Summer So Far

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My Summer So Far

It’s been a busy summer of fun and travel. I can’t believe that we’re almost halfway through it already! Clarissa (the sister) and I traveled to Chi-Town, I camp counseled High School girls for a week, and we celebrated the 4th of July. What else could you ask for?! :)

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My Goals for 2018

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My Goals for 2018

It's wild to hear that 2018 is almost here, isn't it?! Being a 90's kid, I can't imagine that we are almost in the 2020's!!! But, crazy as it is, I'm also so excited. 2017 was such a growing, stretching year for me...and I have no doubt that 2018 will be even bigger and better.

So, what are my goals and dreams for this year?

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When God Says No

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When God Says No

One of the key things I learned about prayer growing up is that God always answers. It may just be that answer isn't the one you were hoping for. (The three options are no, wait, and yes. Just in case you wondered.) However, in all the Sunday School wisdom passed on to me, the one thing that never really stuck was that regardless of the answer, it is all God's grace for my life, and His absolute best answer for me. "No" isn't a secondhand, answer-for-the-sake-of-answering from God. A "wait" or "no" just may mean a better "yes".

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Slow: a reflection on film photography

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Slow: a reflection on film photography

"I'm so busy."

This simple phrase appears in almost every conversation I have these days. Every person I encounter seems to be overwhelmed by their every-growing "to do" list, running around from work to errands to events with hardly a glance to their bank teller or grocery clerk. And when we do have a free minute (or hour), they are quickly swallowed up by scrolling through social media, playing mindless games on a smartphone, or watching another episode of the latest TV show.

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Des Moines Christkindlmarket

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Des Moines Christkindlmarket

The Des Moines Christkindlmarket is a German/European inspired Christmas Market! I grew up in Germany, and have distant memories of the real deal. This winter, I finally made the time to hit up this winter extravaganza. Although smaller than the market I've visited in Chicago, Des Moines' Christmas Market warmed my soul and stomach. 

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