Daddy mind: happy hunter

[Editor’s note: I asked my husband, Marcus, if he’d like to write a blog post for me. You know, to give me a break from writing. To my surprise, he agreed. He has written on here before, and it’s usually related to a subject that he is very passionate about – the great outdoors. Hunting is something that I did not grow up with, but since being with Marcus, have been immersed in. I love my hunter and the deer chili I get to enjoy from his harvest.]

This season in the deer woods was very different in comparison to previous years. Surprisingly to no one, having a child certainly limits the hours you can spend afield. Nevertheless, with the permission of a far-too-understanding wife, I was able to embark on a five day “rutcation” that paid off at 5:15 p.m. on November 8.

This day, my favorite of the year to be in a tree stand, I was lucky enough to harvest a whitetail buck with my bow. I owe a great deal of thanks to my wife, Nicole, and little boy, Everett, for allowing me to pursue my passion of all things outdoors. And I’d also like to give a shout out to my good friend, Alex Randall, for all of his help in getting this guy on the ground and in the freezer.

That’s right. I’m the cook in this family and the deer that I harvest get prepared into delicious meals for my loved ones. Here is one of my favorite ways to serve up venison:

RedWineDeerChili[downloadable Red Wine Deer Chili recipe]

For those of you who are wondering, the buck will be immortalized on my wall, by my good friend at All That’s Wild Taxidermy in Granger, Iowa. Here is some of the gear I trust to take into the field:

happyhunter1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8


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Eleven months


Evie’s faves:

dancing to music
saying Karl (instead of mama and dada)
smooching his baby cousin, Brooklyn


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Speaking of spirits

All of this holiday talk has me in the mood to sip some wine while blasting the Bing Crosby holiday Pandora station. Which is exactly what my sister and I did tonight while whipping up a batch of my mother-in-law’s Homemade Bailey’s.

Wine and Harry Connick[vino and Connick]

Homemade Bailey's[the good stuff]

With family and friend get-togethers looming, this is a great make ahead recipe to have on hand for after dinner drinks. It is so good served alone, over ice or in your coffee. Um, yum!

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Getting in the spirit

It’s no secret that I love this time of year. So as soon as the costumes are put away I am in full on holiday mode. Mannheim in the car, pinning all sorts of delicious recipes (that I’m sure I’ll never get around to make) and Hallmark Channel movies on 24/7. Yes, I’m that crazy lady.

So with that in mind, here is a little glimpse into what was going on in my world this past weekend.

Starbucks red cup[picked up my first red cup of the season]

Jingle bells[sang Jingle Bells while Everett shook these]

Christmas wrapping paper[picked up (more) festive wrapping paper]

Everett Polar Express invitation[designed Everett's first birthday party invites - can't wait to share more about this soon!]

Old Navy plaid[went on a plaid binge at Old Navy]

If you are local to Des Moines and are interested in getting a head start on your holiday shopping, then look no further than these two open houses this week:

Accents & Interiors: I always hit this store up for their annual holiday open house and hardly ever walk away empty handed. This eclectic local specialty store has something for everyone on your list. Literally, everyone. 20% off almost everything store wide November 12-15. Get those lists ready.

Boxwoods Fine Furnishings: I was able to do a quick run through (squirmy kid in my arms) of this new store over the weekend and I can’t wait to return for their grand opening event this Saturday. I pretty much ended up drooling over every single beautifully curated piece. I have a feeling I will be pulling all sorts of inspiration (and items) from this new gem for decorating our new log home. Oh, and 10% off during the event – score!

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Go Grandpa

Our family had a big night this past Tuesday as my father-in-law was elected to his sixth term as the governor of our state. I am so blessed to have such amazing in-laws in my life and I know that Everett thinks the same thing too!

Here are a few photos from the big day (and even a sweet shot from the morning after):

IMG_8028[didn’t have time to do my own hair (thanks Ev), so Blo did it for me over lunch!]

IMG_8032[a behind-the-scenes shot watching returns come in]

IMG_8033[it's official]

IMG_8039[grandpa victory smooches in his mustache jammies]

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Bird, bird, bird

Let the holidays begin! Now that November is here, it’s time to get festive. It all started this weekend with our annual Turducken family dinner. We usually celebrate this three bird feast closer to Thanksgiving, but this year we decided to space out our indulging!

Once again my husband did an amazing job crafting this masterpiece. Each year seems to taste better than the last!

Terrace Hill swingingEverett slide[a little pre-feast play time]

Turducken 2014[the birds are all ready for the oven]

Chef Marcus Turducken 2014[chef marcus does it again]

Girls Turducken 2014[the little ladies with their turkey cupcakes]

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Grease is the word

I’ve been super busy all week getting prepared for Terrace Hill’s annual Halloween event, Scare Us Hill. Last minute craziness made my first cocktail of the evening taste that much better!

The family loves to go all out with the group costumes (past themes: Star Wars & Ghostbusters), and this year did not disappoint. “Isn’t that the most? To say the least?”

Halloween 2014 - Grease Family Halloween 2014 - Sandy selfieHope you all had a happy (and haunted) Halloween!


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