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9/3/2014
In the last full month of summer, Instagram photographers captured the bright colors of the season in Midwest fields, flowers, sunsets and lakes. Here are our five most-liked Instagram photos for August: #1: Lavender Hill Farms in Boyne City, Michigan, by @wanderingz (http://instagram.com/p/rX2oxyGzZ8/). "I just can't get enough of this place,” she wrote. “I... More
8/25/2014
I agree completely with North Dakota’s designation as the happiest state in the United States. As a fifth-generation North Dakotan, I wouldn't live anywhere else. There's a history as rich as the railroad is long (we're celebrating 125 years of statehood this year) and a future as bright as a sunflower field. The following are just seven of the many... More
8/22/2014
The start of football season and shorter summer days have me hankering for a classic picnic in the park before the chill of fall hits. When I was a kid, that meant heading to Arbuckle Acres park in Brownsburg, Indiana, with my parents and brother for grilled hot dogs and time on the playground. As an adult, I prefer to dress up my alfresco dining a bit: spread colorful blankets on picnic tables,... More
8/8/2014
We know Midwesterners love their pets, so when we stumbled across this adorable Instagram feed of a Wisconsin border collie named Cricket, we just had to share. Cricket's owner Jennifer Luedtke, who works for her family's logging business, says the 2-year-old dog is a natural ham. Jennifer takes her camera—and Cricket—on everyday adventures around... More
8/1/2014
The summer sun—filtered through the forest, hovering just on the edge of the horizon or lighting a soft afternoon sky—captivated our Instagram fans in July. Here are the five most-liked photos for the month: #1: “Beauty in the silence” by @littlecoal (http://instagram.com/p/q2YXoGGzWx/), taken at Sidecut Park in Maumee, Ohio. #2: Sunset through the dandelions in... More
7/9/2014
Fueled by a local craft brew and an overflowing gyro from a food stand, I wandered from tent to art-filled tent at the downtown 2014 Des Moines Arts Festival. Pastel paintings of gorgous florals, curvy glass-blown vases and, yes, even sculptures of copper wire rabbits on bikes caught my attention as I weaved through the laid-back crowd. (I could picture the painting and vase in my living room;... More
7/2/2014
Stormy skies and fog formed the backdrop for our most popular Instagram photos in June. Here are the five most-liked photos last month:  #1: Clouds building over Lawrence, Kansas, photographed by @joshuaholland (http://instagram.com/p/pZpbW8GzY8/). #2: Striking barn and silo in Stuart, Iowa, by @j_nutterbutter (http://instagram.com/p/pjAZvYGzXD/). #3: "Flying... More
6/25/2014
Have a blast this Fourth of July decorating your table using either of these easy, patriotic tabletop ideas. If you’re like me and are a member of the ultimate procrastinators club, you will love how quickly either table can be pulled together.  Carnation flag centerpiece Delight your guests with this striking focal piece. You will need two dozen red, two dozen... More
6/23/2014
Who would you rank as Hollywood’s greatest best-friend pairings? Butch & Sundance? Thelma & Louise? It doesn’t take long to reach Woody & Buzz. Pixar’s Toy Story franchise has now enchanted a couple of generations with the angsty cowboy and his idealistic astronaut pal. And it turns out that the Grammy-winning musical soundtrack to their partnership springs from a... More
6/20/2014
Digging, planting, building: Julie Schnedler’s sixth-grade students in Mediapolis, Iowa, were busy last month in their school’s outdoor classroom. The Mediapolis Education Foundation won $5,000 for the project from Midwest Living's Dream-It Do-It Community Challenge. The money was used to buy plants, mulch, soil, tools, a weather station, wood for planters and a watering system... More