Two cutie homes in the Beav

Just a quick post because I’m blogging between cookie batches, but I wanted to share two charming Beaverdale-area homes my friends are selling. Maybe you’re in the market or just curious how reasonable real estate in Iowa can be. You should up-and-move here! 00S0S_kBmfV2yI5ag_600x450 4107 Forest Ave.  – A  Three-bedroom near Snookie’s Malt Shop, with closet space! Check it out. ISdkwmz3k839k31000000000 3407 50th St. –  This cute home features a fabulous finished basement and gigantic backyard (complete with hops growing on the deck!). Check it out. Both homes owned by great families who care about their communities, so they have excellent house vibes. Now, back to my batches of caramel chai spice cookies. I’m headed to a cookie exchange this afternoon! IMG_20141214_123249

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Filed under At home, I love Des Moines

NON-CON is in one month

I’m so excited! YNPN Des Moines is hosting our first mini conference and after party on Jan. 8, 2015 to celebrate our second programming year. We’ll be exploring topics in nonprofit management through the lens of art, a theme that was inspired by our hosts, the Des Moines Social Club, and a desire to have a Powerpoint-free conference.  NON-CON attendees will creatively address challenges in the nonprofit sector and enjoy a space to meet and learn from potential collaborators.

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Who’s it for? The event is open to professionals of all ages and experience levels. Whether you currently work at a charitable organization or have goals to be a change-maker in our community, you will come away excited and energized to fulfill your mission. It’s FREE for YNPN Des Moines members or $45 for the general public. (I’ll let you in on a secret – the membership is a steal!) Get tickets here.

The best thing about planning this is working with a team of our up-and coming leadership, and pulling in amazing artists and nonprofit pros to facilitate.

Laura of XO-LP will bring her nonprofit pro background and super illustrator skills together as part of a team going inside the mind of fundraising.

Emily, a nonprofit pro by day and yoga instructor by early morning/evening will drop some burnout prevention tactics.

Kristopher and Emily of RUN DSM will be there with all of their characteristic energetic reciprocity.

Nick Renkoski, a man of many talents, will facilitate an unconventional opening session.

I had to get out of my comfort zone to recruit sponsors and am so thankful to the companies who stepped up to support this event! We’re splitting our sponsor dollars with the Social Club, so it was cool to find a way to contribute to an organization I’ve appreciated for a long time. Please join us Jan. 8!

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Filed under I love Des Moines, Side projects

Little boy at the barbershop

Emmett turns 18 months old next week (!!!) and Joe starts his new job with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation tomorrow (!!!) so the gentlemen of the house decided to mark their milestones with a visit to the barber. There’s a fine line between shaggy chic and just plain scraggly and both were walking it.

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Joe goes to an old-school barber shop down the street from our house between my at-home haircuts, so we decided to forgo the whole kid haircut place and have them go together. Of course, I had to be there to document it. Dad went first while Emmett watched from a mount of bravery.

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The Roosevelt Barber Shop (Est. 1919) had board book about trucks, mounted taxidermy, Christmas decorations, a (broken?) horse ride and dum-dum suckers, which is really all a toddler needs to be enthralled.

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Booster seats, penguin capes and quick-fingered barbers kept things cool.

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And for mom, an envelope to save those sweet baby curls and an official first haircut certificate.

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Emmett was super well-behaved during the whole cut. He’s started talking up a storm these past few weeks and kept saying “wow” when he’d see the other guys get clippered and buzzed. I think he looks pretty darn handsome, but he’s definitely more little boy than baby, now!

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Now it’s my turn to make a hair appointment! (I’m more of a Salon Spa W girl, myself.)

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Filed under Baby, I love Des Moines

Toddler wish list

I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas with a toddler. Emmett’s at this magical age where I’m pretty sure he’ll love the boxes and wrapping paper just as much as anything that comes in them.

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Our holiday letter-writing tradition brings me such simple joy, and I want to try to keep the season sane as our family grows. We have adopted the four-present precedent some families set so I don’t go crazy getting Emmett All. The. Things.

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  • Joe found a Strider bike on Craigslist and now that Emmett is finally walking, I’m imagining there will be some indoor shenanigans with it before the spring thaw.
  • Poor kid still gets his lunch packed in my old breastmilk coolers, so when I saw this Skip Hop cutie on clearance at Target I knew he’d love having a zoo lunchbox like his cool older cousins.
  • I have a soft spot for a boy in Sambas. My dad, brother and Joe all default to this classic shoe, and it will be special for Emmett to follow in their footsteps, especially since Emmett will never meet his papa.
  • Oliver Jeffers books are so sweet, and I’ve had my eye on This Moose Belongs to Me since before Emmett was born.

We’ll probably also do a few little stocking-sized trucks (the kid is obsessed) and get some special Christmas jammies to wear on the Boone Scenic Railroad Santa Express (which I hope isn’t sold out yet!)

Pretty unrelated, but did you all see the Pretzel Parker House Rolls recipe on Smitten Kitchen the other day? All I want for Christmas are those.

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Filed under Baby, What I'm into

Music for a woodland clearing

My chic friend Julia hosted our last book club on the totally hygge* landing of her gorgeous A-frame home, complete with a wood stove. While we were sipping spiked ciders, all of the ladies commented on what a great mellow mix she had going on in the background.

Oh, that’s “Music for a Woodland Clearing,” she said, and then told us about Songza, a streaming service that helps you pick a playlist based on your mood/time of day/activity. I’m hooked.

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If you can’t read that small print, the other similar playlists include A Stiff Drink in a Dim Place, Sadcore Hibernation, etc. There are happy ones, too, obviously. “You Betta Work: ’90s Runway.” Fun.

*I just learned this terrific Danish word that expresses a kind of coziness that’s hard to fully capture in English.

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Filed under music, What I'm into

Gratitude list – Fall ’14

Sometimes a girl has to to catch her breath and send a great big ‘thank you’ to the Universe.

For:

Homemade Halloween costumes (Emmett’s mouse was my mother’s handiwork!) and events like Night Eyes and Scare Us Hill for kids.

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Picking beautifully green backyard broccoli for dinner.

Oak trees out my office window, and coming to a job that challenges me in all the best ways.

Snuggles from someone in super small Star Wars jammies.

Productive board meetings that involve Big Tomato Pizza and a bright future for YNPN DSM.

Apple cider and pulling out the sweater weather wardrobe.

A new season of Homeland and kick-back time to watch it with Joe.

Breaking in new running tights with my pup at my heels. (Or, really, with us both stopping by a tree to catch our breath every two blocks.)

Reading while baking. (Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl is our latest book club pick.)

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The way a carved pumpkin glows.

The bill for Emmett’s (third!) ER visit being not quite as awful as I’d hoped. Febrile seizure in the middle of the night. Apparently not a big deal, but terrifying.

A husband who speaks the love language of changing my oil and detailing my car instead of buying me flowers.

Getting to do Google hangouts with my grandpa.

All the Costco goat cheese.

My phone never really being lost/stolen and really just being on top of my car (parked!) or under the seat.

It’s the little things, people. 

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Year over year

October 23, 2014

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My dog, my boy and a leaf-crunching walk. Sixteen months in is my favorite point yet. This apple-munching toddler. He knows the names of so many things, is always climbing, gaining independence and strength. Ideas all his own. And jokes! He’s started feeding his toys, making little sucking and squeaking noises and running his little car along the edge of everything. Vrrroooom! Off we go. Time flashing by, yellow confetti ahead and behind. Thank you, October.  

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Filed under At home, Baby