2013 in Review

2013 was an AMAZING year! This week, I’ve seen some of my favorite bloggers writing their year in review, and I really liked that idea. 2013 was full of weddings, and parties, changes and trips, and overall it was a wonderful year! So without further adieu, here are some of my favorite moments from 2013!

  • In February I started my new blog, Our Little Ivory Tower! I wrote 47 posts in 2013, and I’m excited to see how I can grow my blog in 2014. I absolutely love having a writing outlet and a way to keep in touch with my family and friends. It has also been a great way for me to document my life and it serves as a “live” scrapbook.
  • In March my sissy moved to Colorado, which was incredibly sad, but also so exciting for her! She got a promotion working for Victoria Secret, and shortly after moving she got ANOTHER promotion and was given her OWN STORE to manage. She is doing an awesome job and loving being out in Denver!

Mar  VS

  • Also in March, G & I did some fundraising for the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight. So many of our family and friends helped by donating and we were able to raise $250 for the local organization to help send veterans to Washington D.C. to see the WWII Memorial.
  • In April my bestie Megan invited me to be her +1 for a work trip she earned to Austin, TX! All expenses paid, we spend a long weekend exploring Austin with an awesome group of people, as well as a couple days at an amazing resort. We were pampered, ate like queens, and had an awesome #palsweekend overall. The trip was definitely a top highlight of 2013!


  • At the end of April, I helped to host my dear friend Tiffany’s bachelorette party in Des Moines, which was a blast with old and new friends.

bachelorette party

  • In May I celebrated another bachelorette, my roommate from college Katie, in Nashville! It was my first time to ‘Music City’ and I loved every minute of it. We danced to country music, bought cowboy boots, and drank till the sun came up. It was another amazing girlfriends trip!


  • In June I got to stand up as a bridesmaid in Tiffany and Nick’s wedding. It was one of the most fun bridal parties I’ve ever been a part of and the wedding was beautiful and classy and SO much fun.

Malcom Wedding

  • In July G & I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary! He posted this on Facebook which absolutely melted my heart 🙂 He’s not a big “sharer” on Facebook, so that made it all the more special. It’s good to be me, too!



  • Also in July, I was a bridesmaid in Katie and Sean’s wedding in the Quad Cities. It was a gorgeous wedding and incredibly special and truly a wedding I will never forget.

Laird Sisters

  • In August we attended my 10 year class reunion. I rode in our class float, watched old class videos from elementary and high school days, and enjoyed catching up with my classmates, some of whom I hadn’t seen in 10 years!

Class of 2003

  • In September we went out to Colorado with my parents to visit Marlee and Andrew. We went to a Reds/Rockies game, hiking in the mountains, exploring Denver and Boulder, and had a lot of family fun time.

Mountains Family

  • Also in September, we traveled to Missouri for our friends Stephanie and Horacio’s wedding. So many of our friends who G grew up with were there, and we had a great time dancing the night away and catching up with old friends.

Wedding fun

  • In October I got to go to Las Vegas for work to exhibit at the NBWA Tradeshow. Not only was it beautiful weather while we were there, I learned a lot and even had some time to explore the city.

Las Vegas

  • In November I participated in NaBloPoMo and blogged {almost} every day in the month of November. We also spent Thanksgiving in Fort Dodge with the Ivorys, and went to G’s cousin’s wedding.


  • In December my sister got engaged!!! Her fiance Andrew took her up into the mountains for a relaxing weekend, and ended it by putting a beautiful ring on her finger. We are looking forward to the wedding planning to come in 2014, and a wedding in 2015! I’m so excited for them and excited for Andrew to become a part of our family.

Future Newbergs

  • Also in December, I decorated for Christmas  and we went to Chicago to celebrate the holiday with my mom’s side of the family. We also got together in Cedar Falls with G’s family to open presents and enjoy a really fun lunch at a Japanese steakhouse.

Christmas Tree

As you can see, 2013 was a really exciting and eventful year. We’re expecting another fun and and crazy year in 2014, and I can’t wait to share it all with you again. My goal for 2013 is to take one picture everyday to document the year {thanks for the idea, Mix and Match Mama!}, and to take time to enjoy my family and friends, because life is too short to not be around those you love.

Tonight G & I are going to ring in the New Year together by going out for a fancy dinner at 350 First and possibly to a movie, then probably home to watch the ball drop on TV. I’m really looking forward to it! Tomorrow we will spend Jan 1 relaxing and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes play LSU in the Outback Bowl! GOOOOO HAWKS!

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year, and look forward to seeing you all in 2014!


2nd Anniversary!

G & I celebrated our 2nd anniversary today! I can’t believe it has been 2 whole years since the best day of my life. Last year on our 1st anniversary, G had just had major sugery on his throat, and couldn’t eat or talk, or stay awake for that matter! So this year more than made up for last year being a bust. I got flowers at work today and G took me out to a nice dinner at A Class Act in the Hotel Kirkwood. We both decided to try something different at dinner, so I got grilled swordfish and G tried bison steak. They were both amazing–we were really glad we tried something new. Highly recommend this unique and special restaurant!

Since the traditional gift for the 2nd anniversary is cotton, G is getting me new throw pillows for our couch, and I got him a new suitcase since his is broken (while the suitcase isn’t cotton, it’ll hold many cotten items in there!) I first met G in 2007, the day before my birthday–and I knew he was special right away. Now, he is truely my best friend and my partner in crime, and I feel so lucky to have him as my husband. He has helped me keep a sense of humor in life, and taught me a lot about unconditional love. I especially love knowing that no matter what, I always have this one person on my team. It was a wonderful anniversary and I can’t wait for many many more!1001000_828177379071_2086037533_n-1

The Best and Worst of Pinterest Recipes

Like every other woman in America, I am in love {obsessed} with Pinterest. I definitely think it is a good thing that the addictive site was not around when I was planning my wedding. I mean, I would have been so indecisive and utterly obsessed with trying to recreate Pinterest weddings, G and my parents might have cancelled the whole thing. Plus I think Kelly at Bella Flora did an amazing job, even without Pinterest, don’t you? <Lets look back>

Pink Wedding Reception Table

Wedding Reception Tables

Ahhhh, if only we could go back to that day!

BUT since I don’t use Pinterest for planning a wedding, I pretty much spend my time between recipes and DIY crafts. And I want to share with you the BEST recipe and WORST recipe I’ve encountered so far.

First–the BEST. For Lent I decided to give up red meat, so I have been pouring through chicken and fish recipes to find deliciousness to make for meals. BY FAR THE BEST RECIPE I’ve tried has been Jalapeno Popper Chicken. Oh my gosh it is amazing. G even said it is in his top 10 of favorite meals ever made. That’s a direct quote. It basically tastes like a jalapeno popper, but the chicken part makes you feel like you’re eating healthy–not some fried appetizer {plus it’s not fried!–but I can’t promise it’s healthy} Cheesy, creamy, and a little crunchy from the toasted Panko crumbs. AND EASY! I can’t wait to make it again. The best part is it REALLY DOES look and taste as amazing as this picture.

*photo from http://jujugoodnews.com/jalapeno-popper-chicken/ -- it is not my own*

*Photo from http://jujugoodnews.com/jalapeno-popper-chicken/ — it is not my own*

And the worst. The worst recipe I’ve ever made from Pinterest was “Easy and Yummy Candied Popcorn.” Lets just go ahead and say not only did it not turn out looking ANYTHING remotely like recipe, it also tasted horrible. I very may well have messed something up with the recipe to make it turn out so bad, but for something that has “Easy” and “Yummy” in the title….it was neither of those. I wish I would have taken a picture so I could show you exactly how bad it turned out. It was soggy, sticky, and the popcorn basically melted when I poured the candied part on there. SICK. I thought perhaps it would get better as I let it dry, but that didn’t help either. My recommendation is to stay far away from this one. Any suggestions about where I might have gone wrong? I’m scared to try again….

So those are my best and worst Pinterest recipes of the moment. What are your favorite Pinterest recipes? Do you have any amazing “red meat-less” recipes that you can share to help get me through Lent without having to eat tuna and noodles or mac and cheese every day?