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2/9/2015
My friends mean the world to me. At the risk of sounding like a Hallmark card, these are ladies I’ve road-tripped, carpooled, celebrated and vented with. That deserves a little something! 1) Set up a GNO—a Girl’s Night Over. Invite your besties to your house for conversation and cocktails. Whip up a batch of drinks, settle on the couch and catch up! Top to Bottom:... More
2/6/2015
Want to grow some tasty obscure veggies to serve family and friends? Me, too. After all, why should tomatoes get all the garden love? After overplaying my tomato hand yet again last year, I ended up with more salsa than sense. So this year I’m saving some soil to try something new—or something so old that it seems new again. Fortunately, one of the most diverse resources for little... More
2/4/2015
In the dead of winter on the North Dakota prairie, I find beauty across the vast landscape. The crisp, cold air of winter provides a natural canvas for brilliant colors, especially at sunrise and sunset.  Each minute of daylight is precious. I like knowing that after the first day of winter, we have a little more sunlight to savor each day. Winters in... More
2/2/2015
Even though most of the Midwest got only a dusting of snow in January, our Instagrammers loved the beauty of frosty landscapes and the winter sky. The five most-liked photos of the month:  "This is why we endure our long, cold Michigan winters," wrote @tara12891 (http://instagram.com/p/yPX5ZAmzQn/). A spectacular shot of the South Haven, Michigan lighthouse!  We... More
1/21/2015
Our home has four sets of built-in shelves. Luckily, bookshelves are one of my favorite things to decorate because they offer a chance to display what you love in a way that adds character and depth to a space. I've picked up a few tricks along the way as I've carefully filled each nook and cranny with items that are beautiful, meaningful and functional. 1. Pick a color palette.... More
1/2/2015
Our Instagram fans loved both dazzling holiday lights and quiet country scenes in December. The five most-liked pictures of the month:  1) A magical barn capture in Batavia, Illinois, by @frenchlarkspur (http://instagram.com/p/wRGKl_mzVB/).  2) Wreaths adorn Lanterman's Mill in Youngstown, Ohio. By @bluemeadowmist (http://instagram.com/p/w907d8GzVL/). 3)... More
12/29/2014
Roll up your sleeves and get ready to finally reach that ever-popular New Year's resolution—must get organized! A chalkboard wall calendar, featured in our January/February issue, will help do the trick. You just need a free weekend, a few supplies (listed below) and a blank wall in a home office, mudroom or kitchen. We used: Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint in 1101 Fennel... More
12/24/2014
From Midwest Living's Reflections: Midwesterners on Their Region "Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles." From the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street, written by George Seaton, born in South Bend,... More
12/17/2014
I admit that I often wait until the last minute (aka Christmas Eve) to wrap presents. Sheets of red and green papers go flying. Tape gets stuck to the floor. Bows are slapped on haphazardly. Not this year. I'm vowing to get my wrap-a-thon done early—and to take the time to make packages look a little extra-special. If you're with me, try these pretty gift-decorating ideas using... More
12/10/2014
Festive poinsettias tug on our holiday heartstrings, but few of us still feel that love come January when those brightly colored foil pots are tossed out with the Christmas tree. If you’re looking for a less-expected plant gift with more staying power, here are five sure to thrive for months, if not years. 1. Christmas Cactus Named for its bloom time, this easy-care succulent... More