Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Funday {Pinterest Inspiration}

I am OBSESSED with Pinterest....
I just really needed to get that out there and admit my problem! Although, I honestly don't see it as a problem. I love Pinterest and am not entirely sure what I did without it before. From trying new recipes to decorating my home to making fun crafts to planning my wedding - it literally has it all!
That is why each Monday I wanted to start a Pinterest inspiration blog post! Each week will be something different - this week is allllll about theee food! The pictures and descriptions of the foods on Pinterest are amazing, like jaw-droppingly (not a word, don't care) amazing! I hope someday I can take as good of pictures of my recipes as these people do!
Without further ado - here are some of my most recent foodie finds on Pinterest that have left my jaw on the floor! Just simply click on the title of the food to take you to the source!
1) Gooey Red Velvet Brownie Cake - With Valentine's Day coming up, all I can think is how perfect this dessert would be!

2) Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna Rolls - Maybe it's the insane, skin drying weather we have had lately in Iowa, but this comfort food dish is calling my name. I will be making it SOON! I even bought a butternut squash at the store to be all set for it!
3) Cheeseburger Wraps - I know I'm dreaming of BBQ's, sitting outside all day, and basking in the sun when I pinned these. I love me some cheeseburgers (farm-raised girl right here)! I am picky though and sincerely prefer a fresh grilled burger - so these are a close crowd pleaser when the weather isn't so hot (literally)!
So there you have it - some of the current culprits to my drooling while perusing Pinterest as of late! What are your current faves? Share in the comments -

Monday, January 20, 2014

Quest Bars {My Review}

*This is not a paid post. I am just very passionate about this product and wanted to share my experience with it!*

About a year ago, I heard a friend of mine talking about Quest Bars. I had never heard of these so-called "healthiest protein bar". A few months later, I decided to check them out for myself.

I'm one of those people that you could call a health nut, but I also eat in moderation and am not always perfect. I think it is boring to be perfect..#yolo right? When I hear of a healthy food, I immediately want to try it! So, I went to their website and read more about these bars. The nutritional stats were phenomenal.
  • 20g protein
  • 3g net carbs (holy cow that's low)
  • 17g fiber
  • 1g sugar (this is where I really got interested!)
Not to mention the flavors...there were so many to choose from! I wasn't sure how to pick! Thankfully, Quest offers variety packs with several different flavors included.

Picture courtesy of this site:

The variety pack I chose included 12 different flavors for $25.99. Yes, it is fairly expensive, but I thought it would be worth a shot. If I wasn't impressed, I wouldn't buy again. No biggy.

A few short long days later, I finally got my package in the mail. I was so excited to try them! I decided to incorporate them as my afternoon snack. Afternoon snack time the next day couldn't come soon enough! My friend had told me they are best if you microwave them for 15-20 seconds, so I did just that. They were warm and gooey - just like a fresh baked bar. I couldn't wait to dig in!

HOLY COW! I was so impressed with these! Sure, I was hoping they'd be tasty and had heard good things but I never thought they would be this impressive! It seriously tasted like a sinful dessert, yet it left me feeling full and healthy! I also never got bored with the flavors - there was such a variety! It was actually hard to choose which one I'd try for the day!

Ever since then, I have been hooked! They are a bit pricey, but I just make sure the price is in my budget each month and I'm set. They are so worth it to me. I may be spending more, but at least I'm getting a much healthier/more satisfying bar than what you can buy at the store. Seriously, NOTHING compares to these - on any level!

It is hard to pick my "favorite" flavors as I have honestly liked each one I've tried so far. Here are some on the top of my list:
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - who doesn't love cookie dough, right?
  • White Chocolate Raspberry - probably my ultimate favorite, if I had to pick! ;)
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
Go ahead, give them a try. I swear you won't be sorry! Order here:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

First Comes Love...Then Comes Marriage!

{Warning: This is a LONG post..grab a cup of tea and get comfortable!}

Tyler finally popped the question! For those of you that know us well, you know how much Tyler has been teased the last year or so on when he was going to finally ask me to marry him. Just over a month ago, he asked and we both couldn't be happier to share our excitement with you all! Enjoy the story!

On Monday, December 9, 2013, I told Tyler "goodbye" as he headed to the airport with his bosses and their wives for an Agricultural Aviation Conference in Reno, Nevada. It was the week of my finals and last semester of my Bachelor's Degree. I was focused on finishing strong! I only had a few finals and most of them were projects I had already completed, so I wasn't stressed. I enjoyed the week and felt overjoyed to have completed my Bachelor's from the best college I could have ever been in! To top it all off, I had been offered my first full-time "big girl" job in Indianola the Friday before! I had been praying and praying I could find a job that I would enjoy and use my knowledge in somewhere near Indianola. I love Des Moines, but man is it nice to not have to drive there every day!

Anyway, back to the story...

A few months before, Tyler's bosses and their wives had brought up the idea of going to Las Vegas after their conference. I obviously couldn't attend the conference, but I was all for Las Vegas! What a perfect way to celebrate my graduation! I ordered my plane tickets and booked Tyler and I a hotel room. We were going to Las Vegas for the first time and were so excited to experience it!

Thursday, December 12, 2013, came around and it was time for me to head off to the airport in route to Vegas, baby! My mom was kind enough to come up to Indianola to drive me to the airport so I didn't have to leave my car there. My flight left right around noon, so we left my house around 10 to get there early. After going through everything at the airport, I was finally on the plane. I was so anxious to see Tyler and hear all about his trip to Reno!

I landed in Vegas at 1:10pm, their time. It was so nice to get that time back since in Iowa it would've been 3:10! Tyler and the rest of the crew were landing at 1:30. I went over and found their terminal and grabbed a coffee since a Starbucks was just across the hall. I needed some caffeine to get through the night since we were planning to hit the town! Tyler landed, we greeted each other, got all of their bags and went to get a ride to our hotel! We decided to be fun and get a limo to take us to our hotel!

Once we got checked in, we went just outside our hotel to an outdoor bar and concert area. They had a band playing and we all relaxed and ordered a few drinks. It was so nice to just chill - that darn jetlag wears you out! After a few hours, we decided it was time to go get ready for our dinner. We had made reservations to go out to a fun restaurant!

I soon found out that Tyler and I's plans had changed...

He told me I needed to dress more formal than what I had on. Luckily, I had packed a dress just in case I needed it..phew! Honestly, I kind of got cranky at Tyler because he was basically telling me what I was wearing wasn't good enough. The rest of our crew was wearing casual business like clothes so it kind of pissed me off! Haha! We left our hotel around 6pm to walk down to the Bellagio to watch a fountain show. I was excited because it was something I had told Tyler I wanted to do while we were down there. After the fountain show, I assumed they would be meeting up with the rest of the group for dinner, but this is when Tyler directed me otherwise. We turned around behind us and walked to the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, a mini version of the Eiffel Tower that had a restaurant overlooking the Bellagio about 3/4 of the way up the building. It was gorgeous! We got up to the restaurant and sat down at the table Tyler had reserved - it was seated facing the windows so that the entire dinner we could overlook the Bellagio and the beauty of the lights of Las Vegas. It was the fanciest restaurant either of us had ever been to! I kept asking Tyler why we were here instead of with our friends and he just kept saying that he wanted to treat me to a nice night out since we don't get to do that often and being in Vegas is a rare thing. It was very sweet, but kind of made me nervous, haha!

We ordered our meals, enjoyed fancy glasses of beer and wine, and enjoyed talking in the dimly lit restaurant - so romantic! Tyler had filet mignon and I had red snapper - both were amazing!

At this point, I honestly had no suspicions. I was actually asking Tyler if he was ready to leave because I figured we should meet up with our friends. I also had drank my glass of wine before I ate and having not eaten much the entire day before this meal, I didn't feel the best. That's when Tyler started getting nervous because I wasn't acting myself! It's kind of very funny looking back on it now. I kept asking him if was okay and he just tried to ignore my questions. Then, he grabbed my right hand and began saying all of these sentimental things and I could tell he was nervous: he was stuttering his words, sweating, and shaking. I finally asked, "Do you want my left hand?" He grabbed it, got down on one knee, and popped the question while pulling out a beautiful ring from his coat pocket! I was absolutely stunned that he had brought the ring down to Nevada with him and had it this whole time! The ring was a perfect fit (thank goodness, because I'm not patient and wouldn't have wanted to wait!)

We were so ecstatic and ran off to go find our friends and tell them! They obviously all knew it was going to happen since Tyler had been talking about it with them that entire week - what a sneak! He also had told my entire family, all of his close friends, his family, and even asked my dad one-on-one the week before he left! He seriously did ALL the things! What a guy!

Now, for the fun! I'm still so giddy and have butterflies just thinking about all of this!

Our view from our table at dinner! So stunning!

Theeee ring! You guys, he couldn't have done better! He said he was nervous when he went shopping because he was worried it wouldn't be what I wanted, but boy did he nail it! It's that simple, classic look that I love!

Bellagio Fountains view from our table! They have shows every 15 minutes so we got to watch this a lot!

Our table + the Bellagio!

Our wine and beer glasses - fancy pants!

The day after shopping at the forum - there sure is a glow around us!
So there you have it. All in about a week I got my first job, graduated college, and got engaged! I don't think anything can top this - except maybe our wedding day!
Save The Date: January 10, 2015!