This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea: June 2013

June 27, 2013

Life Lately - June in Review

June is coming to a close and what a wonderful month it has been. It’s crazy to think about all the places we’ve been, and all the things we’ve seen, eaten and done. It felt like one gigantic celebration. There were parties, and birthdays, and so many goodbyes and new beginnings. June has probably been my favorite month so far this year. It will forever be known as the month of ‘adult summer vacation’ and the month I moved to Wisconsin. Despite being a bit sad at times, overall June was a friggin’ blast and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

June 24, 2013

First Week in MKE

One week. I’ve lived in Milwaukee for one full week. It feels very surreal to even think about that. It’s been the longest and the quickest week I can remember.

The actual move was pretty easy. We had a simple drive over, and the cat even slept the entire time. Surprisingly, we unpacked the U-haul fairly quickly with just the two of us. We even missed the impending thunderstorm by unloading our last box about two minutes before the torrential downpour hit.

June 20, 2013

Kitchen Staple - Easy Open-Faced Tuna Melt

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Truthfully, I didn’t have an actual ‘tuna melt’ until sometime in my early 20’s. I’m not sure why, but it was always something I steered away from when I saw it on menus.

Basic tuna salad, however, was something I grew up eating regularly, whether it was in sandwich form or with crackers. My mom is a tuna queen. We always had a few cans in the cupboard, and when in doubt a good tuna sandwich was always an easy and delicious meal.

June 17, 2013

Goodbye DSM

I waited all week to write this. I have been putting it off for a number of reasons, the biggest being that I know that once I write this, it will really be goodbye. I've been thinking about writing this letter since the day I found out we weren’t going to be able to live in Des Moines anymore. I didn't have this blog then but at that point I had even contemplated taking out a letter to the editor. Anyway, it's been a long time coming. I wanted a proper way to say thank you to Des Moines and officially say goodbye.

I remember the first time I drove down Fleur Avenue and looked over to downtown Des Moines. I never thought of myself as a country girl but apparently my Idaho roots were showing because I remember being so overwhelmed by how big the city outside my window seemed.

Four years later it's funny to think about how giant Des Moines once felt. Now, I feel like it seems just right. It’s got that big city feel with a small town mentality. Everyone here wants to lend you a hand. That “Iowa Nice” business, well yeah, it really does exist.

As mentioned before, I fell hard for Des Moines. I never expected to. I never thought I could love a place so much but I do. It’s treated me very well these last four years. I believe I have become a better version of myself since living in Des Moines and much of it has to do with the people I've met here. Because the thing that really makes Des Moines special is the people. And I know that there are great people everywhere but the people in Des Moines are exceptional. They are one of a kind.

Last week I was reading an article that said something like, “you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with.” After reading that, I kept thinking, well if I am anything like the five people I spend the most time with then I am pretty damn lucky. I realize this sounds corny, but the thing is, it’s true.

There are so many people that I want to thank. So many letters I want to write expressing my gratitude and appreciation. It's hard to even know where to begin. Finding the words to express how I feel is even harder.

There have been so many people that have impacted my life in Des Moines and don't even know it. They've taught me about leadership, the arts in all forms - from physical to musical to performing, being involved, music festivals, friendship, women’s leadership, hair, networking, fashion, karaoke, building relationships, science, throwing parties, food, event planning, friendship, politics, giving back and I feel like the list could go on.

Des Moines is a remarkable place filled with the most exceptional people. I feel so grateful to have been able to be a part of it all. I have learned so much. Des Moines brought out the best in me, and I can only hope that it prepared me for this next journey.

So thank you Des Moines, thank you for being the most wonderful home for the last four years. I really love you DSM. I will miss you and your amazing people everyday.

Wish me luck on this great, new and grand adventure!

A picture of me lighting off sparklers (one of my top 10 favorite things) seemed like the only proper way to officially say goodbye. 

June 14, 2013

Kitchen Utensil Essentials

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Since cooking and baking are such a big part of my life, I thought I would share with you the basic kitchen utensils that I just cannot live without. Cooking doesn't have to be complicated. You don't need a lot but the right equipment can make a big difference. I find that if you have the right tools you can pretty much make anything.

June 12, 2013

Road Trip to Omaha

Since graduation, my husband and I have been on what I like to call "adult summer vacation". We basically sleep in every morning, exercise, eat and drink whatever we want and try to go on daily adventures. It's pretty much as awesome as it sounds. I decided to take this time off in order to prepare for our move and just so the two of us could spend some quality time together before our lives go back to being crazy.

Last week we were in the mood for a road trip, and since we’ve heard so many great things about the Omaha Zoo since living in Des Moines, we decided to find out if they were true.

June 10, 2013

Barbequed Beer Can Chicken

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Given the circumstances the day I made this chicken, it would seem more fitting if I were to call it ‘tornado chicken’. No, it’s not because of the ingredients I used, or the way the chicken turned out. But, because the night I decided to make this chicken and shoot these photos, we spent the majority of the time hiding out in the basement of our apartment waiting out tornadoes.

June 7, 2013

Summer Style Inspiration

The June gloom has set in, in Iowa. Although the temperature outside is tolerable, the consistent overcast weather sure makes me want to curl up in sweat pants rather than getting ready for a fun night on the patio. In the mean time, I’ve been scouring Pinterest looking for cute and inspirational ideas for once the sun finally decides to come out.

For me, this summer is all about bright colored and patterned shorts, denim shirts and shorts, cute crew neck pullovers, throw and go dresses, and stripes, stripes, stripes! The weather looks to turn around in a few days and hopefully by then I’ll be able to try and pull off some of these cute outfits.

What’s inspiring your style this summer?

June 5, 2013

Back to Blogging

In the spring of 2009, I felt like there was a emptiness in my life. I had a stable job, and a wonderful fiancĂ©, but it still felt like something was missing. Like many bloggers, I started because I felt like my life was lacking creativity. I needed an outlet to express myself, and share with the world my aesthetic and point of view. The blogging world was so new back then. FTC regulations didn’t exist. Anonymous blogging was more of the norm and no one even realized the potential influence bloggers had on brands, fashion and social media. It was exciting and different and it felt like the landscape of the blogging world was changing everyday. I loved blogging. It was such a fun outlet and a great way to connect with so many different people. I had an amazing community of followers and a fantastic support group of other blogging friends.

Then, my husband got into graduate school and we decided to pack our bags and move across the country to Iowa. My blog came with me. But, once we got to Iowa, something changed. Something shifted. And, all of a sudden blogging wasn’t the center of my world anymore. I was setting up a home, finding new friends, connecting to the community and succeeding in a job I really loved.

I tried to write new and exciting content. I tried to stay on top of posting, and taking pictures and everything else that goes into having a full time blog and full time job. But I wasn’t just changing. The blogging world was, too. The landscape of blogging was shifting, and I just couldn’t seem to keep up. I came to the conclusion that it was time to let go. So, in early 2011, I took my blog down and closed up my computer.

As much as I thought it would, blogging never really left my life. The people and connection I made through it have continued with me the last two years. Although I was not writing, and admittedly, not commenting, I was reading blogs everyday and keeping up with how quickly the blogging world was transforming. Despite not having my own space, I secretly felt as though I was a part of all that has happened over the last two and a half years. Watching it all change and evolve.

For a while, I felt a sense of relief not having to worry about all that comes with having a blog. I’m not sure when, but at some point I started to miss it. I started to miss having my own space and sharing it with the world. After many discussions with friends, family, coworkers and my wonderful husband, I decided to take the leap and put myself out there again. The last few months, I’ve been working on putting together this site. Making it something special and something I can be proud to share. I’m excited to be back here, and although I have no idea where this will take me, I think it’s time to be back in the blogosphere.

4 years later, I’m ready to let blogging back into my world again. So, here I am, embarking on the next grand adventure. I hope you enjoy sharing this with me.

June 3, 2013

French Style Breakfast Tartine

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I have fallen hard for Des Moines. I never expected to, but I did. I didn’t know someone could love living somewhere so much. Needless to say, leaving Des Moines for Milwaukee is not going to be easy. There have already been many tearful nights spent whaling over all the people, places and things I am going to miss.