A day on vacay

Last week Joe, Charlie and I went on an epic Midwest road trip for our 2nd Annual Summer Family Vacation (last year we headed west!). On Monday, we found ourselves in the Dells of Wisconsin. If you’ve never been, I’m here to tell you: that place is cuckoo! I’d never heard of it until about a month before we left, and I wasn’t prepared for all the craziness! As a friend said, “It’s like Vegas mixed with Branson plus a bunch of water parks.” Love!

We had a jam-packed day: mini golf, a deer park, a ride on an army boat (called a duck!), and lots and lots of swimming. Luckily Joe snapped some pics of me during mini golf, and I’m also sharing some other photos taken that day.

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Looking at these photos again makes me wish I was still on vacay! Our whole trip was just super fun, and this day was one of the best.

Packing for a week long trip is always a little bit of an exciting challenge. Here are my tips for vacation packing:

1. Write down/draw out the outfits you want to wear each day, and tuck it into your suitcase. Sometimes I feel inspired on the trip to mix and match, but I like knowing I have planned outfits since you don’t want to spend 45 minutes getting dressed when adventures await!

2. Try packing outfits that you know you feel good in and are comfortable. I’ve packed crazy outfits that I’ve never worn before the day of vacation, and then I’m uncomfortable all day and regret it. Juxtapose those crazy fun outfits for a normal weekend!

3. Plan for weird weather. One day on our trip we hit a cold front and downpour and it was in the mid 60s. This led to the whole family getting new hoodies at a mad dash to Target, when we could have just packed them!

4. Always remember to bring at least one extra outfit. You will look at what you wrote down to wear one day and think, “Nope. Not feeling it.” It’s nice to have another option all ready picked out!

I want to know your tips, since I am definitely no expert (see #3)!

outfit details: sunglasses :: Forever 21 | dress :: an epic garage sale! | belt :: my mom’s | shoes :: Charlotte Russe (super old)
on Charlie :: long-sleeved tee :: gift | basketball shorts :: Children’s Place | Air Jordans :: gift, Nike Store | Batman hoodie :: Target (similar)

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City Museum fun times

So this isn’t going to be a traditional outfit post this week for me. Instead I’m also going to share some of my favorite photos from our day at the City Museum in Saint Louis. If you live in the area, you probably know all about this place, but basically it’s an old shoe factory that an artist by the name of Bob Cassilly bought and turned into this zany, crazy fun place.

My mom is such a great photographer, so I have to give her credit for all of these fun photos. Thanks for letting me share!

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So much fun! I actually do love my outfit here, too. Except that running around with Charlie made me all sweaty and I was wishing my sweater was a t-shirt instead!

Outfit details: Sweater :: Old Navy (kids section.. that’s why the sleeves are too short, haha) | shorts :: Urban Outfitters | basketweave tights :: Gift from aunt Lori, Kohl’s | Oxfords :: Aldo | Armadillo necklace :: gift from Joe, Modcloth

Charlie’s outfit details: striped henley and cargo pants :: Target | Air Jordans :: gift from his uncle Dustin, Foot Locker

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Favorites: Podcasts!

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Fun fact: Jessi and I love podcasts! Jessi told me about them eons ago and I finally listened to her and I’m so glad I did! So today we are bringing you our favorites that we listen to, and if you know what’s good for you, you will start listening to them too! All you have to do is search for the podcast names in iTunes, click subscribe, and you’re well on your way to being a happier person. You’re welcome!

MARLENA

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Totally Laime
Cutie pie Elizabeth Laime hosts this weekly podcast usually with her husband Andy and a fun comedian every week. It includes a fun game called “Totally/Lame Rapid Fire” which is also fun to play with your friends! Bonus: they have two other solid podcasts, Totally Married and Totally Mommy, where they answer listener questions about anything from dating a stripper to circumcision.
Fav episodes: Doug Mand, Gillian Vigman, and Dave Holmes

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Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia
I found out about these two girls randomly (or not randomly at all?) through their show on the Cooking Channel, Trippin’ Out with Alie and Georgia. Girl crush commenced and then I found out they have a fun podcast too, slumber party style! They are super funny and I find I always learn something when I listen. Bonus: they like to talk about midnight snacks, one of my favorite questions of all time!
Fav episodes: Randy Liedtke, Joselyn Hughes, Joy the Baker

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Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast
This high-energy podcast can be bizarre in both good and bad ways. I find that I will binge listen a few days in a row, and then go a couple of weeks before I listen again. Host Scott Aukerman is absolutely hilarious and I catch myself saying things he says all the time. He also has Paul F. Tompkins on a lot, and simply put: they are just really funny together. I will admit it took me a few listens to start appreciating it, because they always have a “guest” on that is a comedian doing a character. Depending on who the character is can either make or break the show, but I have to say it usually makes it!
Fav episodes: Amy Poehler, Bob Odenkirk & the Birthday Boys, Ben Schwartz

JESSI

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I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman
This podcast is different than most others since Ms. Kirkman flies totally solo for every podcast. This is hard to pull off but she is so captivating and funny that it doesn’t take long to get used to. She talks about everything from current events to music to weird encounters from her life. She even dips her toe into the pool of her personal life and tells stories that are often poignant and make the podcast so very worth it. She’s a funny, super smart lady and I look forward to new episodes from her every week!
Fav episodes: I’m a Wanderer…I go round round around, Headphones Healing, Feel the Love Buzz

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This Feels Terrible
Erin McGathy hosts this candid and heartfelt podcast about love sex and romance. Each week she welcomes a guest (typically from the LA comedy community) to share tales of heartbreak and woe. It’s funny and relatable and basically like listening to advice from your older sister. My only complaint is that the podcast isn’t updated regularly, which means I can’t consistently get my fix. But, if you’re just starting out there are plenty to get caught up on, and the episodes are always worth the wait!
Fav episodes: Kimberly Hall, Duncan Trussell, Dan Harmon

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How Did This Get Made
This podcast examines some of the very worst movies ever made! Hosted by Paul Sheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas, it’s full of comedy and sometimes even compassion for the best of the worst movies of our time. Bonus if you’re able to watch the movie they discuss before listening to the podcast, but they are entertaining enough on their own that its not totally necessary. Super fun and Funny!
Fav episodes: The Room, Birdemic, From Justin to Kelly

Podcast tip! One of our favorite things to do is to find a good guest and then listen to random podcasts they’ve been on. Some fun guests (and hosts are good too!) we’ve stalked in the past: Natasha Legerro, Jenny Slate, Casey Wilson, Chris Gethard. Elizabeth Laime, Erin McGathy, Melissa Stephens, Jen Kirkman, June Diane Raphael, Ken Marino, Emily Gordon, and Jenny Mollen. Whew! You have a lot of listening to do!

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It’s our blogiversary!

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It’s true, pretty kitties! It’s our one year blogiversary! I still remember Jessi and I deciding over dessert and drinks to start our little corner of the world. And to celebrate, we’ve rounded up our favorite 5 outfits! I also had too much fun making it look like we are having stare downs in our pictures. Enjoy.

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A Lovely Little Number in February | Arghhhh! I’m a kitty pirate

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Ice Cream Dress on an Ice Cream Day | I’m With the Band

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Spring, please? | Chicago Road Trip!

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My Holiday Outfit Post Holidays | Feelin’ Nautical

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I Don’t Like Ice Cream…I Love Love Love It!
| My Favorite Dress in a Butterfly Garden

We can’t wait to bring you more outfit inspiration in year number 2!

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Marshmallow Pops!

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Happy new year pretty kitties!

We are back in action after a little winter break, and we come bearing a wonderfully easy treat just perfect for a little soiree! Or a big soiree, since you can make a lot in a small amount of time. Have you ever heard of marshmallow pops? Wellllll they are a tasty and dare I say sorta healthy? dessert treat. And a cinch to make! You can find plenty of recipes on the web for these, but why do that when you’re reading this one?

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INGREDIENTS

one bag of marshmallows
white melting chocolate discs
sprinkles
paper straws

sprinkles!

DIRECTIONS

Put down wax paper wherever you plan on resting your pops.
Using a knife, cut a little X in one end of each marshmallow before inserting the paper straw.
Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or on your stove, per the package directions.
Dip your marshmallow into the white chocolate, sort of twirling the excess chocolate off.
Before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle sprinkles!
Put the pop top side down on the wax paper to let dry.

INSIDER TIPS

At first I dipped the white chocolate-covered marshmallow into the bowl of sprinkles, but I quickly found that created a crazy amount of sprinkles on each pop, and let’s face it: sprinkles are pretty and festive, but they aren’t necessarily super fun to eat. Use sparingly by just dropping the sprinkles on.

I did these the night before my party, so I wrapped them in saran wrap in a 9 x 13 pan so they wouldn’t dry out. I ended up having some leftover and took them to a party 2 days later and they were still good to go!

Get creative! You can use almond bark, dark chocolate, or whatever as the melting part and really you could dip that in a slew of other things too, like crushed up peppermint, or crushed graham cracker for a s’mores take, etc.

Bonus: Kids love ’em!

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Have fun poppin’!

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Date Night : Omaha

All right guys, I see 2 things when I look at these here pictures:
1) The look on my face in the first picture says, “I know, I’m SORRY these pictures were taken in a hotel lobby, but I love this dress and was excited for the night out and it was ice storming outside. So this is what we’ve ended up with. And p.s. the hotel lobby patrons did not seem to understand…

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2) That belt! I’m not even gonna mention it anymore, but it ends up in most outfit pics (accidentally, mind you!) What can I say, it’s part of my fashion soul.

So, truth be told, long sleeved dresses are usually not my thing. I just don’t think they’re the right look for me and I’m not super comfortable in them. And, if we’re gonna get technical, this is a 3/4 sleeved dress, but you get the idea. This dress though, for some reason just works. I actually bought this as an Xmas gift for a friend last year but selfishly decided to keep it (I can’t help myself!) I abstained from taking scissors to the sleeves like I normally would and, as a bonus I don’t have to cover up with a sweater, which is an Iowa miracle!

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John and I took an overnight trip to Omaha to see Cults at The Slowdown, which is my favorite Omaha venue. Despite the poor weather we got some solid shopping in, a few yummy meals and a decadent hotel stay. We’re old and married now, so instead of going out for more drinks after the show we went back to the hotel, splurged on a few snacks from the lobby and watched Netflix in bed. And you know what? It was purrrrfect!

Outfit details: earrings, dress, shoes :: forever21 | belt :: thrifted

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Here, Pretty City: Des Moines Holiday Shopping Guide

We here at Here, Pretty Kitty try our very finest to shop local and shop often. So today we are bringing you our very first gift guide of the season (with plenty more to come!), dedicated to our pretty city of Des Moines! And since plenty of you don’t actually live in DM, we threw in a few favorite online shops just for you at the end. Happy shopping!

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kitchen collage
430 e. locust street | des moines | mykitchencollage.com
Kitchen Collage is that perfect little kitchen store for not only your foodie friends, but also the kind that loves little quirky gifts. I found Jessi a fabulous heart-shaped egg mold there one Christmas!
Perfect for: Your favorite foodie or hostess
Gift ideas: darling aprons, cute cupcake-centric gifts, and anything Bodum!

vitae design collective
400 e. locust street | des moines | vitaedesigncollective.blogspot.com
Here you can get original, amazing dresses for a reasonable price, plus they stock a Here, Pretty Kitty favorite: Dear Creatures! Also they have some of the absolute best hair accessories in town.
Perfect for: anyone who loves the finer things in life
Gift ideas: hair bows, dog bow ties (really!), unique jewelry, original vintage inspired dresses

hill vintage
432 e. locust street | des moines | hillvintageandknits.com
This vintage shop is a favorite of ours at Here, Pretty Kitty. Jessica and Erica are top notch ladies and (bonus) they LOVE kitties!
Perfect for: shopping for your BFF
Gift ideas: dresses, handmade cowls, vintage purses, cute jewelry

domestica
321 e. walnut street | des moines | ilovedomestica.com
When the Hubs doesn’t know what to get  me as a gift I always tell him to head here and get me anything! It’s all so adorable and original I’m guaranteed to love it.
Perfect for: your significant other
Gift ideas: original artwork and awesome band prints, super cute earrings and necklaces
bonus! they have an online shop at domestica.bigcartel.com

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green goods for the home 
333 e. grand avenue | des moines | greengoodsforthehome.com
Sharon, the owner, is a super sweet woman and I always find something not only eco-friendly, but also darling and perfect.
Perfect for: your favorite environmentalist 
Gift ideas: pretty earrings, cute totes, nice beauty products

raygun
400 e. locust | des moines | raygunsite.com <— they have an online shop too!
This store is known for their punny shirts mostly about the Midwest, but they also have cute jewelry, stickers, and more in their store. They have a lot of cute cat-themed items, too, so you know we love it!
Perfect for: your ironic midwesterner friend
Gift ideas: Iowa native shirts, cute buttons, cool onesies (for babies, not for you)

dorothea’s closet
1733 grand avenue | des moines | dorotheas-closet-vintage.myshopify.com
This lovely store has high end vintage dresses but also a sure to please sale rack always stocked full. Be sure to check out the jewelry cabinet up front, drawers filled with scarves and the lingerie section upstairs. Ooh la la!
Perfect for: the hard core vintage lover
Gift ideas: costume jewelry, scarves, or a vintage nightie

zzz records
2200 ingersoll avenue | des moines | zzzrecords.com
This local record store may be small but it’s jammed full with gems. It’s the best place in town to find new and used vinyl. And if you purchase a gift certificate they use old 45s in place of a boring old gift card. Fun and original!
Perfect for: your favorite music snob
Gift ideas: a ZZZ Records t-shirt, local music cds, box sets, gift certificate for anyone especially hard to buy for

tandem brick
2722 ingersoll avenue | des moines | tandembrick.com
This cutie pie shop is first and foremost a framing place, but they also have some really cute gifts, too. Everything is really bright and cheerful, and they have light-up stars for sale that are super sweet.
Perfect for: your fun coworker
Gift ideas: unique laptop cases, quirky stocking stuffers like keychain games, funny cards

winter market
downtown des moines |  december 13-14 | desmoinesfarmersmarket.com
The winter market is the perfect place to go for a little holiday spirit. Carolers, an ice sculptor, and a giant Christmas tree await, along with yummy local goodies galore!
Perfect for: your mom (no, i didn’t step back and make a joke in 1998. your mom would love some of the cute, locally made stuff from here!)
Gift ideas: Christmas decorations, homemade pasta, awesome cheese

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ONLINE SHOPPING

Okay, so maybe you aren’t anywhere near Des Moines. We didn’t forget you! Here are a few of our favorite online shops to buy gifts:

This online retailer features over 100 different artists, so check it out if you want some awesome variety.
Perfect for: anyone who likes cute, quirky and original!

Gift ideas: amazing artwork, mugs, t-shirts, bumper stickers and more!

I just discovered this online shop this season when searching for a nice cutting board. Local artisans are featured that sell anything from bamboo sunglasses to art prints.
Perfect for: pretty much everyone, especially those that love their city

Gift ideas: personalized city ornaments, tons of fun food & drink kits, so many things!

popdeluxe.net
This is one of my go-to websites when Christmas comes around. They have some unique things I don’t see anywhere else, and they have an array of stuff from kitchen & entertaining finds to orla kiely bags to random baby stuff.
Perfect for: the girl who has everything!
Gift ideas: pantone mugs, kitschy salt and pepper shakers, lomo cameras

We hope we’ve inspired you! xoxo

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