Lake life faves 2017


Since we live in the “no coast” region, many Iowans spend their hot summers cooling off at local lakes around the state. We are lucky enough to have access to a lake house located just 45 minutes away from our house – Lake Panorama in Panora, Iowa.

On weekends throughout the summer, we will head up there after work on Friday and spend our time tubing, fishing and just enjoying a slower pace. Well, as slow as you can have it with two young boys + the rest of the family.

As we head into one of the busiest weekends at the lake, I thought I wouldΒ round-up a few of my must haves that always make it into my overnight bag.

baseball hat // tanks // tumbler // Okabashi flip flops
swimsuit // denim shorts
outdoor wine glasses // stripe dress

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A little housewarming

This past weekend my sister celebrated her new digs by hosting a darling housewarming party. Located in Beaverdale, a little neighborhood in northern Des Moines known for its beautiful brick homes, my sister’s house was the perfect setting for an amazing summer night.

Since throwing parties is something I love to do, I helped out with getting the home in tip-top shape for the shindig.


I was most definitely a florist in my former life! I woke up the morning of the party and realized I needed to whip up a quick housewarming gift, and this was the result. I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out.


These two loved hanging out in Aunt Mo’s yard and were busy checking out her grapes. Future wine makers? Their moms can only hope!Housewarming4Housewarming7Housewarming6

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Friday faves

GrandpaHAAS[grandpas are the BEST]

I just snagged this hat yesterday from Old Navy and have a feeling I will be wearing it all Fourth of July weekend while boating on the lake. Totally reminds me of Harding-Lane but at a fraction of the cost.

If you are local, you should definitely make plans to head down to the Western Gateway Park this weekend for the annual Des Moines Arts Festival. I checked out the artist bios already and can’t wait to see Cat Tesla and Jodi Perry in person.

I’m really loving pretty much everything from Sunnylife these days – especially all of their Fourth of July gear. I think this speaker+radio would come in quite handy poolside this summer!

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Little looks: Fourth of July 2017

Happy official first day of summer! It’s hard to believe we are already over half way through June, but the days are just flying by.

One of my favorite holidays is right around the corner, the Fourth of July, so you know I’m putting together my patriotic outfits for the boys. And due to some serious oversupply, it looks like the festive frocks will be lasting a full week – if not longer. Shocking, I know.

Here is my annual round-up of all things patriotic for your littles.

LittleLooks_FourthofJuly2017.jpgone // two // three // four
five // six // seven // eight

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Camp Branstad 2017

Another year, another successful (and crazy tiring) Camp Branstad is in the books. The campers arrived on Saturday afternoon shortly after camp counselor Marcus returned from his Canadian bear hunt full of stories for the kiddos.

We got soaked during a water balloon fight, played red rover (for like three seconds) painted canvases and scarfed down s’mores before the campers retreated to our upgraded 10-person tent. And, of course, the Camp Branstad experience wouldn’t be complete without a late-night broken glow stick freakout (complete with a frantic Google search about possibly ingestive glow stick goo) and a 5AM wake up call.


Can’t wait to do it all over again….in 364 days!


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Friday faves

LittleSluggers[Ev started Little Sluggers this week…it has been an “experience”]

I’ve talked about this brand many times here on the blog, but I can not express how much I love June & January and their basics. Well, their line up is growing starting tonight during their summer release. Guys, it’s all soooooo good! New to J+J? Then use this link to get 15% off your first purchase of $50+.

Something about this new line of NASA inspired bags from COACH just speaks to me. That backpack with the T-Rex is ah-mazing! Price tag too high for you, then check out Target’s collab with NASA. Here are a few of my faves: astronaut tee, old school logo and blue logo tank.

“We’re expected to do our jobs as if we don’t have children β€” and then raise our children as if we don’t have jobs.” Not really sure what the answer is for this one, but being a full-time mom and holding down a full-time office gig can sometimes be freakin’ exhausting. This article takes a closer look at the dreaded #momguilt.

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Gift guide: Father’s Day 2017

Hard to believe that we are almost half way through June already! The summer is just flying by and the Fourth is right around the corner. But sandwiched in there is the upcoming day dedicated all dads – Father’s Day.

Marcus will be going on a bear hunt here soon, so that is kind of counting as his ‘Father’s Day gift’ in my books. I mean, a week in Canada in the wilderness with no kids and wide open spaces? Sign me up! Well, minus the hunting part and add in spa and wine time. Ha!

I pulled together a few of my fave items from around the internet that would make the perfect gift for any dad. How stinkin’ cute are those Top Gun tees?!

GiftGuide_FathersDay2017.jpgone // two // three // four // five // six

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