Be thankful

This past (almost) year, I have been blessed beyond belief to have welcomed Everett into the world. Getting to watch this little being grow before my very eyes confirms something I have always known – God is good.

Happy Thanksgiving from my little butterball.

TurkeyPardoning2014[Everett experienced his first turkey pardoning this week]



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Gift guide 2014: TOP 10 UNDER $20

It’s that time of year again, and with Thanksgiving being late, there are even fewer days to shop before Christmas. So as you pull together your lists, let me help in the gift giving idea department. It’s officially gift guide time!


goat cheese baker / monogram tray / feather bottle opener / mug
water bottle / copper lantern / plaid scarf / fair isle mittens



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Obsessed: wine time


Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Wine Stock: My sister Morgan just introduced me to this product and I’m totally smitten. This color is perfect for winter!

William Harrison Vineyards & Winery: We first visited this winery years ago and fell madly in love. If you ever make it out to the Silverado Trail, be sure to put this one on your list. And tell Shelly HELLO from us!

Pottery Barn Caterer’s Wine Glass set: These are great to have on hand for when you have gatherings. Nice glasses that are sturdy,durable and not so expensive. That way you won’t be too bummed if one breaks.

Vacu Vin Wine & Champagne Chiller: My mother-in-law’s freezer is full of these, and I just snagged one of my own at Target. This would make a great host/ess gift this holiday season.

Pop Chart Lab California wineries print: This one is on my husband’s gift wish list. Wine not your thing? No biggie. They have a ton of other visually awesome prints for you to choose from.

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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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