About Fabulous Iowa

FabulousIowa.com (FabIA) is one of Iowa’s premier online lifestyle publications. Founded in 2020 by Cynthia Sassi, the website has become the go-to for travelers wishing to visit or locals yearning to learn more about where to eat, stay, play and give back in The Hawkeye State. From restaurants, resorts and events to unique and successful individuals, the publication is devoted to showcasing all that makes Iowa exceptional.


Cynthia Sassi

Founder, President

Cynthia Sassi has been a force in online publishing for over a decade, working with some of the nation’s most respected brands and publications along the way. The President and Founder of Fabulous Arizona (and its parent company Fabulous Media Group), Cynthia has a passion for helping local business owners and being a resource for readers. She is an authority on the subjects of online publishing, social media, digital marketing, web design, and entrepreneurship. In her spare time, Cynthia works with over a dozen local charities and frequently gives speeches on subjects ranging from digital media to female entrepreneurship in the 21st Century.

Melissa Larsen

Editor In Chief

Melissa Larsen is an Arizona-based writer and veteran editor with 16 years of experience in print and online luxury lifestyle publications. Originally from New York, Melissa graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has written about culinary, travel, nightlife, fashion, fitness, beauty, nonprofits, real estate and the Valley’s most high-profile events, including Waste Management Phoenix Open, Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale and Super Bowl XLIX. Melissa is a mom of two and loves to spend her free time cheering on her sons on the field or the court, visiting the best local breweries and coffee shops, seeing live music and comedy acts, baking all the carbs and traveling with her family.

Kenzie Barrena

Senior Writer & Marketing Coordinator

Kenzie Barrena is a marketing coordinator and writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. With over four years of experience in digital and print publications, Kenzie continues to focus and grow her love for luxury lifestyle writing and digital marketing. When she’s not working, she is spending time with loved ones, playing video games and traveling. 

Christiana McCarthy


Christiana McCarthy is a creative individual with an entrepreneurial spirit. She has owned her own photography business since she was just 15 years old. She enjoys using her photography for both portraits and small business branding, and has extended her creative spirit into the social media world.

Carissa Johnson

Carissa Johnson

Account Manager & Contributor 

Carissa Johnson lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she is a regional director of an international nonprofit organization. Carissa sits on numerous local boards and councils to assist with the growth of Eastern Iowa. Besides her love and dedication to her community, Carissa enjoys writing about (and eating!) at all the local restaurants, exercising, biking and being with friends and family. Her favorite thing about Iowa is the sense of community and the ability to have a voice and make change happen.

Lauren Wright


Lauren Wright is a marketing assistant and writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After recently graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BA in Consumer Behavior & Marketplace Studies, Lauren plans to explore creative writing and online marketing to blend the physical and digital worlds. On the side, Lauren also works as an event coordinator at her family’s wedding venue, helping to oversee and bring to life visions. When she’s not working, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outdoors and exploring all that Wisconsin has to offer.

Kyley Warren


Kyley Warren is an award-winning writer, editor and multimedia architect who specializes in lifestyle and entertainment reporting. Her versatility has allowed her to maintain impactful roles within a number of prominent publications and PR agencies. Kyley earned her journalism degree from Arizona State University and has since had bylines featured in USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report and the Miami Herald, among others. She’s a fierce champion of female storytelling and is passionate about helping connect young women to their greater purpose. In her free time, Kyley enjoys traveling, working in her garden, aimlessly strolling through antique stores and finding any opportunity to channel her inner Martha Stewart in the kitchen. 

Morgan Zebuhr

Morgan Elgersma


Morgan Zebuhr was born and raised in Eastern Iowa but started her career and resides in Des Moines. A highly energetic, motivated and adventurous person, Morgan loves to try new experiences, food and drinks.

Jessica  Pleggenkuhle


Jessica Pleggenkuhler is a born-and-raised Cedar Rapid-ian and radiates passion for her beloved community. Jessica is often the go-to for local restaurant recommendations among friends and colleagues. In addition to the culinary scene, Jessica is also passionate about the vibrant and rich arts and culture attractions that Cedar Rapids has to offer. Jessica’s cup is filled with quality friend and family time, whether it’s at a local spot in town or with her two beloved fur babies at a local dog park.