Tiny dancers

We are beyond blessed to get to call seven special ladies our nieces. They more than make up for what we are lacking in the glitter and pink department around House Branstad.

Growing up with two sisters, our lives were filled with many activities and dancing was one of them. I even spent a few years traveling with a competition team. So when the annual recital time comes around I get very nostalgic about sequins and tutus. So much so that I can’t make it to the intermission without tearing up a time or two.

I absolutely LOVE getting to see my nieces all dressed up, on stage performing their little hearts out. #proudauntiemoment

Everett dressed up at Terrace Hill[all dressed up for his cousins’ recital day]
Everett dressed up at Terrace Hill 2[cute even when he makes goofy faces]Branstad Family dance recital 2015  [where did all the babies go?]Haas grandkids 2015[between Ev’s hands on his knees and Brookie’s rolls…it’s all just too much]

Sidney Dance Recital 2015[Aunt Mo nailed it with this amazing photo of Sidney. I want to cry every time I see it]Family photo dance recital 2015[Marcus loves dance recitals ;)]

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How does your garden grow?

We will soon find out…

With a newly acquired acreage, we figured why the heck not plant a massive garden. Thanks to some serious help from my dad, we decided to go big or go home. Our plants include tomatoes, two types of lettuce, beans and all sorts of herbs.

Here is the evolution of the log home garden build in photos:

And a garden wouldn’t be complete without some beautiful blooms on the property as well!

IMG_9635 IMG_9633

Now, if you ask Marcus, I will probably kill this garden and all the pretty flowers within a few weeks, but I swear I’m turning over a new leaf (puns FTW).

Do you have a garden? If so, what kind of stuff did you plant this season?

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Mother’s Day weekend

We stayed quite busy this past weekend packing as much as we could into Mother’s Day weekend.  It kicked off with a BBQ with friends on Friday night where we enjoyed morel mushrooms the size of our head. Marcus likes to fry up his fungus finds in crushed saltines and a stick of butter. So bad but soooooo good!

Morel mushroomsOn Saturday morning I got motivated and went out for a run. It didn’t last as long as I hoped, but baby steps. I still have the goal to run a 5k at some point this year…

I got home just in time to open up a card from my mom, have a cup of my favorite Zanzibar coffee and get ready before we took off to a Mother’s Day Tea at Terrace Hill.Mother's Day card from momAfter another lovely tea, we packed up the car and headed out on the open road to Pella, Iowa for their annual Tulip Time festival. The weather was perfect and the kids loved the almond-filled pastries and Dutch dancers complete with wooden shoes!

Marcus and Evie at Tulip Time 2015Jaarsma BakeryMother’s Day morning started perfectly with a cup of coffee, a Dutch letter and card from my boys. Shortly after, we were off again for family brunch – mimosas included! I spent most of my time running around outside with Everett as he checked out the garden at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They have the most gorgeous peonies in bloom right now!

Running around Terrace HillEvie and a peonywhite peony

After filling up on egg bake and fresh fruit, I got my real gift of the day, a trip to my happy place (Target) without my kid in tow. It was glorious.

After picking up “the essentials” I headed to my parents’ house to celebrate my dad’s birthday. The festivities included drinking some rose from William Harrison, smooching on baby Brookie and an amazing meal around the harvest table.Brookie and MarissaKiki and SidneyPacked to the gills and with family. Exactly how I wanted to spend my Mother’s Day weekend!

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Insta stuff

We’ve been keeping busy lately, so I’m going to do a little photo dump. Like what you see? Come join the party on Instagram.

Zanzibar[I swear by local coffee from Zanzibar’s]

WannaHoldYourHand[Ev asking to hold my hand/my heart almost exploding out of my chest]

Cousins[cousin time at a family barbecue]

HomeSweetLogHome[my creation from a ladies night with Wine & Canvas Des Moines]

RhubarbBundt[if you have fresh rhubarb you must make this bundt cake from Honey & Jam]

ArmParty[arm party for my Stella&Dot ladies brunch last weekend]

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Mother may I?

Woah, where did April go?! We are already into the lovely month of May and with all the new blooms and sunshine comes a day to celebrate moms. Yippee!

Do you have a special lady that deserves a little lovin’ this year? Be sure to show her how much you appreciate all that she does every day, but especially on Sunday, May 10.

Gift guide: Mothers Day 2015

robe / reversible tote / necklace / workout gear / blo gift card / local coffee

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First day in May

I can’t wait to hear that door bell ringing and the sound of children giggling as they run from your front porch to dive into their mom’s car. May Day is tomorrow!

This is one of those traditions I grew up with and will be forcing on my own children. I put together some cute sand pails that I snagged from the post-Easter sale at Target. Filled to the brim with summer goodies, I know the nieces will love them!

May Day 2015 - basket 1

Another great idea is to make some homemade bread and wrap the loaves in a dish towel. Voila! The perfect May Day treat!May Day 2015 - basket 2

Still pulling together your May Day baskets? Need a last minute idea? Tie one of these tags to a candy bar and you’re good to go!


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Table for two

We acquired a darling little bistro table set when we moved into our old town home. After a mini update to the seat cushions it mostly gathered dust in our screened in porch.

Old bistro set

Fast forward to present day and that little set just got another makeover. I picked up 3/4 a yard of outdoor fabric from Jo-Ann’s and made a trip to my local Ace Hardware for a can of Rustoleum hammered spray paint.

Fabric and spray paint

With a glass (or two) of wine and the help of a little staple gun, this project was finished before it had even started.

Staple gun

The newly refreshed set is now taking up residence on the deck off of our master bedroom. Not sure if it’ll get much use there, but darn does it look cute!

Updated bistro set

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