5 Of My Favorite Things: Iowa State Fair Edition

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Iowa State Fair. The crowds and hot weather can be overwhelming and really make or break a trip to the fair. With that in mind I kept my outfit cool, casual, comfy and country. At the fair I’m a little out of my element and I want to dress for the occasion and still be me. Mission accomplished I think!
There’s comfort in the routine my hubs and I have developed over the years when tackling the fair and the novelty of this once-a-year occurrence is enough to drag my butt away from the pool for awhile and experience the greatness that is The Iowa State Fair. In no particular order here are my top 5 favorite things about the fair:

1) The Food
Once we walk through the gates and into the fairgrounds John and I typically hit up the fried veggie stand immediately. We especially love the veggie corn dogs and deep-friend pickles, cheese curds and mushrooms. This year we made two visits and on the second time around scarfed Tenderloins and a fried cupcake. Ummmmm yum! Also disgusting. But yum.

2) The People Watching
All kinds of people go to the fair. All. Kinds. Once we get our food we stuff our faces and observe everyone walking around. The fair fashion is incredible! I also try to spy on what other people are eating. Since I have tunnel vision about my favorite food I don’t often branch out, so there’s lots I haven’t tried.

3) The Sky Ride
It’s just a colorful ski-lift but it’s a nice reprieve from the crowds and walking.

4) The Photo Ops
There are many cardboard cut-outs peppered around the fairgrounds and are 100% my favorite pictures to take every year. Check out our pic below to see what I’m talking about. The cow barn is where it’s at!

5) The Midway At Night
I am a total sucker for brightly lit carnival rides, so the midway at night is basically a dream come true. I know carnival rides can be controversial but sorry, I love em! Pretty much the whole reason we went the second time was to experience the midway after dark. We always end the fair with a spin on the ferris wheel and it’s just ten times better at night!

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Outfit details: dress :: Hill Vintage | shoes :: Wet Seal | scarf :: gift from Marlena | belt, pin :: thrifted

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Road Trip + Family Fun

Last weekend John and I took some time off from our regular lives for a good ole family vacation! We drove up to a lake house in Wisconsin to hang with my brother and his better half as well as my mom, aunt and grandma. I grew up on road trips so the five hour trip it took to get to  our destination was no big deal. As a kid my family often drove to Colorado and we made several trips to Florida and even drove to New York once. Throughout the years John and I have taken many mini road trips to Omaha, Minneapolis and Chicago so by now we pretty much have road tripping down to a science. We stockpiled music and podcasts (check out our Podcast post to see what we’re in to!), got our requisite bagel and tea breakfast on our way out of town and stopped once or twice for road snacks and to stretch John’s long legs.

Side note: my fav road snack hands down is a Whatchamacallit candy bar. I can’t believe they still make those! So delish.

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We took these photos at a rest stop that was downright beautiful! It was tucked into the woods a bit and perfect for a photo op. When traveling in the car I like to dress for comfort, of course, but don’t ever want to get caught looking too schlubby. This outfit here has been my summer go-to of late. The top is actually a stretchy dress that I could not personally pass as a dress (too tight! too short!) but it works just fine tucked into a skirt or high-waisted jeans. I’ve really been in to scoop-back tanks or anything that reveals my tattoo. I almost forget about Gus in the middle of winter! I’ve gotta show him off when I can. I bought this denim skirt very recently from a store in the mall that I would not normally shop at (check out my outfit details at the end to reveal the mystery store!). I’m typically very into thrifting or spending as little as possible on anything, with the exception of dresses from Modcloth, my total weakness! I usually stay away from slightly higher end stores because of the price tag, but this denim is quality and it’s nice to own something that I know won’t fall apart any time soon. Oh the luxury! Don’t get me wrong though, I will thrift-shop until the end of time, I’m in no way fully converted. But this skirt is so comfortable and fits into my wardrobe really nicely. And it withstood the road trip test!

I spent the next few days in my swimsuit by day and leggings and boots by night around the camp fire. It was nice to get away and I 100% do not want to go back to work, right?!

outfit details: Top, seashell ring :: forever 21 | shoes :: urban outfitters | skirt :: Ann Taylor Loft (similar) | necklace :: Domestica | belt :: thrifted | sunglasses :: Ray-Ban

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Green Acres

A few weeks ago I visited my mom in Mt.Vernon, a couple of hours away from Des Moines. She recently moved back into the farm house she grew up in, a home that’s been in our family for over a 100 years. It’s not a working farm anymore but is pretty gorgeous in the summer. The yard is huge, and I would know, I used to have to mow it back in high school! The light was so nice when I pulled up to the farm that I made my mom take pictures of me right away. When your friend or family member is a fashion blogger you never know when you’ll get pulled into and bossed around for an impromptu photo shoot!

Anytime I go back home for a visit I try to make a stop in Iowa City for a quick shopping trip. I was short on time but managed to run into White Rabbit and pick up a few things. Yay! I’d been eyeing this necklace via White Rabbit’s Instagram account (@whiterabbitgalleryic). Since I’m prone to breaking/losing jewelry I don’t usually invest too much in it but I decided to splurge slightly and I’m so glad I did, I’ve worn it nearly every day since I got it. I also picked up this tank on my stop. It’s lightweight and the print is super cute! I don’t have much else like it in my closet, which is a new shopping rule for me. There have been too many times that I’ve come home from thrifting only to realize I had nearly identical dresses or tops just waiting to be worn. I’m gonna take a moment here to say I think that Cher from Clueless was spot on in terms of archiving all her outfits via Polaroid pictures. The girl is brilliant, obviously! New summer project, perhaps???

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The first order of business once I made it to the farm was to play with my mom’s new kitten, Thomasina. She was about 8 weeks old when I met her and just toooooooo cute! I’ve tried to talk my mom into getting another cat for awhile now and I’m excited she finally did! Suffice to say most of the evening was taken up with kitten time, much to the dog’s chagrin. But we did manage to take a break and visit Palisades Cafe in town (shout out Palisades Cafe!!) The food was super delicious and, even better, is owned by a friend of mine from childhood. We had a brandy cheese dip to start and I had a black bean and beet veggie burger… Yum yum! Highly recommended if you happen to be passing through Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Outfit details: tank, skirt, necklace :: White Rabbit | Shoes :: Worishofer

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