Indiana State Fair

I kind of forgot how much I love going to the fair. It was a summer staple growing up – I was a 4-H farm kid and showed my mini lop rabbits for 10 years at the Gibson County Fair. A few of my other projects made it to the state fair and we came up a few times to see them, but other than working at the library’s booth, I don’t think I’d really had the fair experience for about five years.

Hanson played on the free stage Friday night and a bunch of my Kentucky crew came up for it, so we decided to make an afternoon/evening out of it and had so much fun!

I tried the lemonade strawberry boba first thing and it was kind of like an elevated lemon shake-up. It’s supposedly new to the fair this year. The bobas at the bottom of the drink are squish liquid filled creations that didn’t really dissolve, so I had to fish them out at the end to get them all.

I also had the best funnel cake known to man. This booth is over by the midway area and has a bunch of different flavors like red velvet and mint chocolate chip. It was by far the best thing I ate at the fair and I almost finished the whole thing off by myself.

The fair also has an upscale beer/wine garden of sorts this year. Maybe it was there last year too, but for those who enjoy an adult beverage, there are moonshine lemon shake ups, alcohol infused ice cream and sangria along with local Indiana brews to choose from.

Also new to the fair this year: the Subaru skyride. I couldn’t get anyone on it with me but enjoyed my solo ride from one end of the fair to the other.

I also got some fried okra, so I wasn’t just eating sweet foods. Verdict on that: not great. My homemade okra is way better. Should have gone with something else, like the inside out grilled cheese, which was on my list to try but I got too full before I found it.

Then it was time for the main event: Hanson! It was SO NICE to not have to travel very far to see my favorite band. I don’t think they had played in Indy since 2011 and it was long overdue. Hanson, if you’re reading this, us Hoosiers are tired of fighting Chicago traffic to see you at the House of Blues.

The place was really full – the usual crowd was there at 3 p.m. waiting out in the hot sun (not doing that anymore) and there was actually some seating, which is rare at a Hanson show. We however, did not get to sit down because by the time we were done doing fair things, all seats were taken and it was standing room only.

Great show, great set list and lots of energy from my favorite band. Come back next year!!

Transitioning to Fall

Fall is right around the corner so it’s probably time to start cleaning out your closet and taking a look at what you don’t wear anymore and what you might be lacking in your fall wardrobe. I just did a major closet purge myself and tend to do them right before each season starts.

Most of the pieces I buy for fall also transition with me into winter and things like basic v-neck tees get worn year round. I’ve rounded up a few favorites that I’m thinking about adding into my fall wardrobe, because it’s always good to freshen your closet up from time to time.

Striped Tops
You really can’t go wrong with a basic striped tee. I already have a long sleeve black and white version, but this tan and black version from Nordstrom would give some variety to what I already have in my closet.

I also really love this tie front button up top for work. It’s from Magnolia Boutique and fully stocked!


Overalls
I’m so excited this trend is back! I lived in overalls in high school and love how they are a little more feminine this time around. The shorter, skirt version on the left would look really cute paired with leggings and boots in the winter and the longer version on the right could even be worn into spring.

 


Military Inspired

 

In my opinion, camo never really goes out of style. I have these ankle zip leggings from Express that I got last year and love. They are super soft and have a frayed hem and just look really trendy. They’re still available, so be sure to snag you a pair! I also have the skirt version (linked).

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Also back from the 90s are cargo pants, but in a less baggy way. These super cute jeggings from Grace and Lace are on my fall must-have list.

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I also adore military inspired military jackets and hats.


Cardigans
Technically I wear cardigans year round because it gets cold at work, but I’ve been looking for a great mustard colored cardigan to add to my closet because I have next to nothing in that color and I’ve recently decided I really like it. This knit cardigan from Dottie Couture is perfect and I’m patiently waiting on them to restock it!

 

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Weekend Trip to Washington D.C.

Back in the spring, Hanson announced two special concert dates that had them playing with symphony orchestras. I’d just finished complaining about the lack of a new album (it’s been FIVE YEARS) and saying that I was tired of them touring on the old stuff and would rather forfeit a couple years of concerts in favor of getting some new songs. But you know how it goes – even though you’re slightly irritated with your favorite band, you just can’t quit them.

So my friend Lacy and I decided to make a weekend trip out of it – she’d never been to D.C. before and it had been about seventeen years (getting old!) since I’d last visited the nation’s capitol. I decided to drive out and fly back, which enabled me to get the West Virginia, Maryland and Virgina state signs.

I left Indiana around 7:30 a.m. and made it to our hotel in VA by 6 p.m. Lacy and I didn’t do much that evening other than eat at a nearby thai/Chinese place called Big Bowl. It was really good, with big portions and I’d definitely eat there again!

Friday morning, we were up super early to catch the Metro for the 45 min. ride to downtown D.C. Our day started with a tour of the White House, which seemed fairly short compared to the amount of time we spent waiting in the security line to get in. Once inside, we toured the East Wing, which has lots of historical artifacts and presidential portraits for visitors to see.

Following the White House tour, we grabbed a quick snack, then headed to the Holocaust Museum for a few hours. This museum is definitely not for the feint of heart – it’s a very sobering place and you will leave with a heavy heart.

From there, we quickly took in the Library of Congress (amazing!) and met up with the intern from Todd Young’s office for our tour of the Capitol building.

By the end of the tour, we were starving and took an Uber to Founding Farmers, a restaurant owned by the North Dakota Farmers Union. All ingredients for their dishes are locally sourced and the money goes back to family farms. The food was outstanding – I had cornbread, chicken fried steak, green beans and macaroni and cheese. Lacy had a french dip type of sandwich. We both said we could have eaten there every meal. Highly recommended if you find yourself in the D.C. area!

After lunch, we went back down to the National Mall to visit the remaining memorials we hadn’t really had time to thoroughly see, starting with the WWII Memorial. We hadn’t been there very long when it started to pour down rain, so we tried to take cover under the trees and started walking up to the Lincoln Memorial where we waited the rain storm out. I had changed into my rain boots that I’d been lugging around in my backpack all day, but Lacy’s feet were soaked so instead of walking around the Tidal Basin, we decided to call it a day.

Saturday we slept in a little, then took the scenic, toll-free route to Arlington National Cemetery. We spent about three hours there, visiting John and Jackie Kennedy’s graves and watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. That was an amazing experience that I don’t think you fully appreciate as a kid.

From there, we drove down to National Harbor to eat at Succotash, which was underwhelming. Both Lacy and I agreed that we should have just eaten at Founding Farmers again!

Then it was time for the REAL reason we were there – Hanson at Wolf Trap for their String Theory show with the National Symphony Orchestra. I personally am not a classical music person, so I really had no idea what to expect but I was sonically overwhelmed by how beautiful the arrangements were. It was also a much more relaxed atmosphere – the show was seated, which almost never happens at a Hanson concert – and people weren’t fighting to get front row or crowding each other to get closer. After 32 shows, I needed a break from all that and it was so nice to just sit back and enjoy the music.

The concert lasted about two hours with a short intermission in the middle. My favorite was Yearbook, but I also really loved how Siren Call and You Can’t Stop Us sounded with orchestral arrangements. A few songs seemed out of place to me (Where’s the Love) but I understand why they included them.

Sunday morning I had to be up bright and early to catch my 6:30 flight back to Indy. Such a great weekend in D.C. and I can’t wait to see the guys play at the Indiana State Fair this weekend!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Items Review

There’s still time to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary sale! The sale ends on Aug. 5th and there are still things in stock and restocking. I finally got all my orders and here’s a review of the products I purchased, as well as the few that I returned.

Keepers

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BP Waffle Knit Cardigan.
This is probably my favorite item from the sale. It’s going to be great for fall and winter and I love the buttons! I can wear it to work or as a casual thrown on sweater. It does fit slightly oversized, but the small was a great fit for me.

Socialite Henley
This is a great layering piece that will look pretty by itself and then with a warmer outer later as it gets colder. Unfortunately, this sold out almost immediately. I bought the blush color but also wanted the camo pattern too. It might restock after the sale, so if you had your eye on it, keep checking!

Ugg Daley Tall Boot
I am not a fan of classic Uggs. I’ve always thought they were, well, ugly. My mom got me a super cute pair last year that look nothing like the classic style and they were so comfortable and warm, so I decided to invest in this black suede tall boot for winter. The fit is very true to size and I think they will still be comfortable with boot socks. Very well made and hit just below the knee, which is perfect for me.

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Lite Cardigan
I ordered this fully expecting to return it. $70 for a cardigan…ON SALE? People raved so I gave it a chance and it’s probably the most luxurious cardigan I will own. I sized up to a medium and it fits great (reviews said the arms were tight in a small). I will most definitely wear it to work, but it would also be cozy for lounging around the house. An investment piece but sure to last for years to come.

Edwardian Ear Crawlers
This gives you the look of multiple holes in your ears without actually having to pierce them again. I’m wearing these today and they’re very pretty – just enough sparkle to jazz any outfit up.

Thread and Supply Brandon Fleece Jacket
I ordered this on day one and it sat in my pending orders for about a week, then promptly got canceled. On a whim, I checked a few days later and it had restocked in my size, so I tried again. It’s a heavy fleece jacket and will keep you toasty and warm in the winter. It does run big – I probably could have used an XS, but it doesn’t come in anything smaller than a S.

Misses

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1State Studded Bootie

This is a gorgeous bootie that gives off a rocker vibe. I ordered in the black and while I loved it, it was just too flashy for me. I really wanted to keep it but I couldn’t see myself wearing it much and at a $100 price point, felt it would be a waste of money. I do really like the gray version – it seems more subtle but since I bought the tall Ugg boots, I can’t really spend anymore on shoes or I will go over my budget that I set.

Madewell Jeans

All the bloggers were raving about these jeans but I sent mine back. They ran very large, bagged out in the legs and just weren’t flattering on me.

Things I Wasn’t Fast Enough to Snag

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Caslon Draped Front Jacket

This was in-stock for a few days and I just didn’t pull the trigger on it. I definitely regret that, because it would be a flattering fall staple. Oh well, can’t buy everything!

Lucky Brand Wedge Bootie

This one was  in my cart for a while, then sold out in the two colors I liked. I have other wedges, so I didn’t really need them but they were cute.

Caslon Cardigan

I didn’t see as part of the sale until it was sold out of my size. It never restocked in anything smaller than a medium and reviews said it was huge, so I didn’t want to chance it.

What items did you get? Let me know in the comments!

 

Condado: Indy’s Newest Taco Spot

My brother-in-law came up for the day on Saturday and we always like to try new places, so when I heard that Condado was opening up in Broad Ripple, I texted him right away and suggested we eat there.

It wasn’t too crowded when we got there, so we didn’t have to wait for a seat – surprising since the place had only been open a few days. A lot of the seating is shared seating at open tables with bar stools but there are a few more private tables which seemed to be seating larger parties.

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The menu has a great variety, especially for vegetarians and ordering process is pretty fun. Remember scantron tests back in grade school? The menu is like that – you fill in the little bubbles next to what you want, then the wait staff scans it with a machine and it sends your order to the kitchen.

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We split an order of chips, queso and salsa verde. The chips, in my opinion, were lacking – they were more like Taco Bell chips than authentic, homemade from tortillas. The queso and salsa verde were very good though, however I think Bakersfield downtown beats them on both. (Condado is opening another location on Mass Ave next year, so we’ll see how they fare with Bakersfield as competition)

It took a little while for the tacos to get there, so I took a few photos of the fun decor inside. It seems like they tried to give it a local vibe and painted the murals inside to reflect the Broad Ripple neighborhood influence.

On to the main event: the tacos! I had read other bloggers experience were not great on opening day. Some of their entrees were skimpy portions but I did not have that experience. Perhaps the bugs got worked out a little by the time I got there?

My first taco was chicken, cheese, salsa verde and chimichurri on a flour tortilla. Pretty basic but I think I liked it the best! The second taco I got was the ju-ju shell, which was a combination of hard and soft with chorizo and queso. I added more chorizo as a protein, along with cheddar, salsa roja and cilantro-lime aioli. I also added on beans and rice, which I threw on top of the tacos and ate altogether. Yum!

So in conclusion, my experience at Condado was great. I will be going back. They aren’t the best tacos ever (Torchy’s takes that prize) or even in Indy (I still love Bakersfield) but they do have their own vibe that I really liked.