August 8, 2011

Weekend Recap:Children of the Iowa Corn

This past weekend started slightly early, due to a team bonding celebration at a local fave:
We were there to have a Good-bye celebration for a beloved team member who's moving back home to Nebraska. During the course of the night, my boss told the team that that morning I accepted a promotion! Yes, I am OFFICIALLY a MANAGER! I'm super super excited and feel so blessed and honored to be asked. I'm not sure when my official duties start, but I have so many ideas.
A couple of co-workers and myself at the Lounge.
The boys all got beer flights, some for the first time. It was a fun little bonding session
 This past weekend I had been planning to go visit my good friend and sorority sister J.M. out in Iowa. She's in law school at Drake, and about to enter her final year (I think in lawyer-y terms it's called 'second year', but that just seems too Hogwarts for me).
I haven't gotten to go on any long trips lately. Ever since I've moved to Chicago, and post-college, I've never really had a need to drive more than an hour & a half any where (but obvi that doesn't include midwest traffic). When I used to drive to and from Atlanta & Purdue (all 9 hours) I used to survive on Romantic Audio Books from Cracker Barrel. For those of you who are unaware of this amazingness, basically you can go buy an audio book from any Cracker Barrel for full price, listen to it and return it to another Cracker Barrel for only $3-$5 in cost. It pretty much rocked. Especially because my mom kind of scared me into thinking that the only acceptable bathrooms to stop at were cracker barrel, I'd just pick up new books at each and return them once i got to my destination. Well, with the traffic in Chicago being what it is, I've revisited using these as a time-waster tool. Buying audio books on itunes tends to be somewhat pricey, so I've been getting them from my local library. This is what I did for this 10 hour round trip!
It made things go by so quickly! 

PS: You would never know our country was going through a drought with all the corn and soybeans I saw driving on 80/88...

I was able to take advantage of my company's amazing summer hours and get to J.M's by 5pm. Just in time for our other sorority sister C.B. (formerly C.S.) to pick us up to head down town for some fun & dinner!
C.B. has been living in the Des Moines area for about 3-4 years working for John Deere and has a BEAUTIFUL new baby. A friend of hers was having a shop party, so we all headed down.
Her friend's shop is Eden.
This was a lovely French soaps and scents store with tons of awesome goodies. One of my faves that I found was from The Laundress. I purchased their Wash & Stain bar because it so much reminds me of what my bathroom smelled like at the Farm. I had to get it! I also got a few other things that just smelled fabu, but I tried not to go too crazy. C.B. was trying to introduce me to this shaving soap she had gotten her husband from there. I love the idea of guys using shaving bar soaps and a brush and she apparently just got that for her husband! I managed to refrain only because I know how particular BF is about his beauty products ;)
Afterward, for dinner we walked just down the street to Lucca's. It was a wonderful new Italian restaurant that provided a prix fix menu with great portioned, tasty items! I purposefully didn't take pictures because I'm actively trying to move away from focusing on food (sorry). But suffice it to say it was REALLY good!
The next day, we all made our way down to the Farmers Market.
Largest Zucchini I've EVER SEEN!
Awesome coffee table made out of an old door! And it worked! And it was only $325!!
After the Farmers Market & Breakfast at one of the local booths, we walked around the lovely city of Des Moines. It's really a quaint town that is reminiscent of an older Indianapolis. There are quite a few major insurance corporations based out of Des Moines and some major agricultural companies. It has a lot of art work, parks, pedestrian walk ways, and just beautiful architecture. We had a nice time just walking around and shopping.
After a morning in the city, we made our way back to C.B.'s to assist in Corn preparation for the winter (basically 'canning', except it was getting frozen in zip-locks after blanching and shucking). After mucho cooking and glasses of Limonchello (a new recipe I will DEFINITELY be making and posting about!), we had a lovely dinner of Steaks and Corn.
 Sunday morning J.M. & me got up to meet C.B. for Brunch at a local restaurant: Radish
They had a wonderful buffet that was quite enjoyable.
I was able to help C.B. with a bit of a company discount on some recent purchases then headed back East (that sounds so much like a western... 'I'm heading back East').
After some much needed work on Junior League projects, I got organized for the week and here we are!

What'd y'all do this weekend? Anything fun?

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