The Madness of March

March is definitely a month of madness. For majority of the nation, March is full of filling out brackets, followed by highlighters and red pens indicating their wins & losses. Working with the Iowa women’s basketball team, I was living in the madness. On top of that, I had a birthday, my sister’s bachelorette party, and two mini road trips.

Are you ready for the ride?

CARBS & CHEESE

I wasn’t home that often, so when I was - Marquee was on my mind - event more specifically the starch

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

In the short time I was home, a new taco place had their grand opening and Trisha & I decided to go. Quick & dirty review: it was good, but nothing to write home about. The tacos had good flavor, but a little pricey for what you’re getting. I got a fun cocktail, but based off of everyone’s reviews their margs are fire. I’ll have to give them another chance when they’ve had a little more time to operate.

CHI TOWN

Our staff headed out to Chicago for Big Ten Marketing meetings. The meetings were actually very insightful, we were lucky enough to hear from a woman who formerly worked with Gatorade and currently works with the Cubs. Her insight on branding and content was beyond insightful.

Since I was flying out to Miami in a few days, I was lucky enough to stay in Chicago and catch up with some family & friends - of course over some great drinks & grub.
First was an aperol spritz from Highline, I ordered a za - which was…well fine.
Next up was Doc' B’s and boy oh boy, I HIGHLY recommend this place. For starters, get yourself a friend that will go splitskies with you. This place’s house salad had cornbread croutons (yall- so damn good). Plus two Sammies: a turkey burger & fried buffalo chicken sandwich. Just trust me and go.
Lastly was my go to place when I’m in the area, Left Coast - which is a super fresh, healthy and SUPER trendy spot. I ordered the Robust Rosa with Salmon.

DOWN TO FIESTA

I was off to Miami…but Chicago had some other plans. I ended up spending half of my day in the airport with an 8 hour delay. However, I built up the courage to order my fist on-plane drink and got to FO FREE!! Plus the hotel’s coffee machine the next

Next up, Brunch at Upland Miami. YALL. I can’t explain this place. First off, their bottomless brunch was GENIUS. It was about 26 bucks, but you could rotate from a bloody, mimosa & rosé. Even better - they brought the mimosa deconstructed so you could mix yourself. Don’t even get me started on this breakfast sandwich, I mean just look at those eggs…LOOK AT THEM!

TIME FOR SOME SUN! We chilled by the beach to get some rays (the first touch of sun I had seen in…way too long). Unfortunately I got the weirdest tan lines,
but I will take it.

This pizza (and views) gave me life - literally. The za was from Mistero1 , the ricotta stuffed crusts were to die for, plus they gave us two Nutella pizzas!! I was ready to hit the hay, however I got a little extra kick to prepare for the clubs…the multiple Red Bulls may have helped too.

I mean, you didn’t think I’d leave out the club did you? I didn’t end up drinking ($23 vodwads no thank you), but the DJ was amazing and we all had a blast…up to 3 AM 😳.

MY FAVORITE MURDER

Now, if you know me then you probably know that I LOVE Karen & Georgia on My Favorite Murder - a murder comedy podcast. When my friends and I found out they were coming to Des Moines we JUMPED on it.

Of course, we stopped for some drinks & grub before hand at the Republic on Grand… this place was amazing. Little rooftop bar on the top of a hotel. we ordered wine & bruschetta flights, followed up by tacos. our bruschetta picks were:

LAQUERCIA PROSCIUTTO: four-cheese spread, truffle oil
RICOTTA: rosemary, honey
SOPRESSATA : housemade fruit mostarda
*Prosciutto was the showstopper with that truffle oil.

THE MADNESS

I don’t know if there was a better way to explain all of this. For starters, we planned on having an open to the public watch party to see where the women would be ranked on the bracket. Welp, the women’s bracket was released 4 hours prior to the event and they decided to launch the selection show TWO HOURS EARLY. With all that said, everything still went well but it was NUTS. Then we were full force into planning hosting the 1st and 2nd round of the NCAA - where we broke the NCAA attendance record , I got to run into an old friend AND cut down a piece of the net.

Since we won both rounds, we were headed to the sweet sixteen to Greensboro, North Carolina.

We were staying at a castle of a hotel, which had amazing food inside the hotel - but limited us to getting out since it was so far from everything else. Things could have been worse - they had Yuengling and a fire pit!

As I mentioned the food inside of the hotel - Bridget & I ventured there twice. They had a wide array of options on their charcuterie board, including nutmeg carrots that totally threw me for a loop. My two orders were:
cornmeal breaded catfish, mashed sweet potatoes & okra /
Ahi Tuna with mango salsa, Brussels & okra
The okra was by far the winner of both plates - gotta love the south.

When we did decide to venture out, we were NOT disappointed. From buffalo chicken Mac & cheese from 913 Whiskey, to probably the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had (goat cheese, pepper jelly & onion strings) accompanied by drool worthy brussels from M’Coul’s Pub and of course had some hush puppies from Stamey’s BBQ.

TURNING 27

The birthday - best part about March is I always get to cap it on a high note! Started off with a pretty stellar egg biscuit sandwich and ended with being serenaded over some wine and cheesecake. I felt very lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of people and made me feel very loved on my birthday. Of course, had some amazing friends & family that reached out and made the day even more special.

Oh and Duke happened to lose on my bday, but Bray (our staff photographer) snagged this photo of me channeling my inner devil watching the game.

MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL

Actually new items on all of these - bought my first real crop top, snagged a free NCAA shirt, and can we talk about this AMAZING Ninja Turtles shirt?! Shout out to Courtney Johnson who literally took it off her back and gave to me when I said how much I loved it.

APRIL WILL BE FULL OF SPRING SHOWERS, SUNSHINE & SCRIPTURE SCRIBBLES.