Sunday, May 23, 2021

Spring Loft Haul

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I LOVE the Loft. I would say almost half of my closet is LOFT, partially because the quality of their clothing is so good and it lasts forever. Once I had my "colors done" and finding out that I am a House of Colour Spring it was time to refresh my wardrobe. 

I loved these two outfits. One of the best things about Loft is that they also offer petite sizes. I am 5'2" so going with the petite in the coral dress made it the perfect length. See all the items I tried on in the LTK app or click on the photos below to be taken to each item.

I could have come home with a whole closet full of tops. I love these because they will be perfect for summer, but then I can easily layer them under a jacket or cardigan in the fall and winter. 

You can see the entire Loft try on here. Make sure you don't miss any tips and finds by subscribing to my weekly newsletter

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Small Business Gift Guide for Spring

This post is sponsored by Travel Iowa. All opinions are my own. 

Between year-end teacher's gifts, graduations, bridal showers and even Father's Day you are going to need to keep your gift closet stocked. This winter I was introduced to the Shop Iowa online marketplace. A one-shop stop to find hundreds of unique products from small business owners that makes gift giving easy.

I've pulled together a few of my favorite gift ideas, but you'll definitely want to check out the site yourself. I promised you'll find the perfect items to treat your friends, family, or even yourself. 

1. DIY Crossstitch Kit: I LOVE these kits. Either spend some time creating this work of art for your favorite person or send them the DIY and they can create the masterpiece themselves. 

2. Iowa 319 Ballcap: I am a 319 girl. Your favorite new grad, mom or dad can be repping in this hat all summer long. 

3. Almost Famous Popcorn: I LOVE visiting Almost Famous in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but it is even easier to order online. I am a sucker for lemon desserts so Lemon Cookie was an obvious choice for me, but they have some great sampler packs. 

4. Personalize Cookbook Holder: One of my favorite wedding gifts was a cookbook holder. It is the handiest thing while whipping up my favorite recipes, but it also looks super pretty on my kitchen counter. This one from Blossoming Creation can be customized with your favorite chef's name. 

5. Greeting Cards: You know one of my love languages is notecards so I made sure I grabbed a couple from Iron Leaf Cards.

6. Handmade Pottery: support local artists through the DKW Art Gallery in Marion, Iowa. Each mug is one of a kind and they offer free shipping. 

If there is anything that came out of a LONG 2020 it was an emphasis on supporting small businesses. The Shop Iowa website has made it super simple and FUN to find unique items. And if you are an Iowa small business owner reach out so you can get your items included! I can't wait to shop more goodies.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Iowa Best Burger Tour

This blog post was sponsored by the Iowa Beef Council. All opinions are my own. 

When you are a self-proclaimed foodie, and you get asked to try the best burgers in your state you instantly say yes! Each year Iowa Cattlemen's Association and Iowa Beef Council crown one restaurant as having the best burger in the Iowa. However, it is up to a secret group of individuals to taste test the Top 10 Burgers in Iowa. So while the secret judges were tasting and casting their votes I got to drive across the state and back and share my findings. 

My Top 3 Picks (in no particular order)

1. The Map Room, 416 3rd St. SE Cedar Rapids, IA
There is something about the seasoning that they use on their burgers that makes that beef flavor pop. The Map Room is a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant that will surprise you with its internationally inspired burger recipes. Consider visiting on a Tuesday as once a month The Map Room participates in Cheeseburgers for Charity and donates 10% of their proceeds to a non-profit or fundraising effort. 

2. Bambinos, 102 N Lydia St., Ossian, IA
When small-town bar and hole in the wall collide you get Bambinos. You aren't going to find them on social media, but what you will find is the most AMAZING burger. So good that Bambinos ended up being named the 2021 Iowa's Best Burger. Sue, the cook and co-owner, has a heart of gold and is a true scratch-cook. We are already planning on making a trip back and getting in some golf at the Silver Springs Golf Course while in town. 

3. The Saucy Foccacia, 5100 Foundations Dr. NE #100, Cedar Rapids, IA
Eastern Iowa really brought it with their burgers! What started as a food truck has grown into two Cedar Rapids locations. Their burger has been named a Top 10 Best Burger five different years and I could taste why. I LOVED the buns they use for their burgers and they were so juicy without being greasy. You'll also want to grab some of their pickle fries. 

On our tour, I thought a lot about how hard these small business owners have worked to stay afloat this past year. Each day they work to grow their business by serving a product that my husband and I raise. Whether you order a burger from a restaurant like these or a fast-food joint, buy beef at a grocery store or directly from a farmer you support the beef industry and that means supporting farms like us

You can see a complete list of the 2021 Top 10 Burgers here. And if you want more behind the scenes of my tour make sure you check out my Burger Highlight on IG. Don't forget to follow @IowaBeefCouncil so you can have the opportunity to nominate your favorite burger joint for the 2022 Iowa's Best Burger Contest. 

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