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6/26/2015
I love old barns.  They’re a way for me to feel connected to the generations before me—a window to the past. I’ve taken more than 200 photos of barns recently in my home state of North Dakota and other Midwest states. Some of my favorites: Double decker. This gem east of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, started out as a cattle sale barn and remains a working facility... More
6/19/2015
Jill Emmer never imagined that the rainbow-color umbrella she borrowed from her mother would end up traveling the world. The Minneapolis Instagrammer known as @shineonyoucraydiamond started posting whimsical pictures with the colorful prop, and followers soon developed umbrella envy. Photo by @shineonyoucraydiamond “People started asking where I got it from,” Emmer says.... More
6/11/2015
Is it just me, or is there a definite shift in the air come summer? Without fail, it makes me want to shake things up a bit. My white walls beg for color and texture. And as a mom to three young kiddos (and one big kid out on his own), the kick-off to summer has all of us pining for a little adventure. With that playful spirit in mind, I spent time this week tossing some unexpected fun... More
6/2/2015
In May, our Instagram followers loved sunsets and sunrises—silhouetting barns, highlighting a field of wildflowers and lighting the way for kayakers. The five most-liked photos of the month:  1) @hawkstar84 captured the sunrise in rural Hardin County, Iowa (https://instagram.com/p/3BfgkImzTu/).  2) Another Iowa farm scene made the second spot on our list. @... More
5/1/2015
Spring blooms and peaceful lake scenes captured the imagination of our Instagram followers in April. The five most-liked photos of the month:  1) A serene sunset over Clear Lake, Wisconsin, by @ahgilly (https://instagram.com/p/18CDKKGzZP/).  2) "Beautiful garden of tulips about to burst" in Geneva, Illinois, by @michelefairall (https://instagram.com/p/1v_sSaGzQI... More
4/28/2015
Take a cue from these Midwestern bloggers on how to decorate your home for spring. 1. Serene scene Play with color in a sweet and simple way. Cobalt glasses pop on Kelly Rinzema's (thelilypadcottage.com) all-white mantel. Vintage window frames and a chalkboard add architectural interest. Wildflowers complete the serene setting. 2. Engaging tablescape... More
4/22/2015
There is only one thing causing the size difference between these two clematis. Can you see what it is? Answer: The compost bin. The thriving plant was lucky enough to have my compost bin placed near it, so it has been reaping the benefits of nutrients seeping from the compost pile every day of its life. The other one gets just water out of a hose. Compost can help your... More
4/17/2015
My mom loved the the flourish of blooms that herald spring. Every year, the minute her magnolia bush flowered, I got a call. She would ooh and aah over the sculptural soft pink flowers and sweet scent. But I don’t think she ever cut a branch to take inside and enjoy. Pity. Don’t overlook the blooming branches in your yard. A few simple cuttings bring the color... More
4/15/2015
In the early 1900s, the definition of thrill ride was a 25-foot-tall roller coaster that reached the breakneck speed of 10 mph. Cedar Point had the thrill-seekers covered, but the park also had the priceless benefit of its location along Lake Erie. When Hugh and Helen Sullivan first visited the Sandusky, Ohio, park around 1918, they joined the throngs lounging on the... More
4/8/2015
I love adding pops of spring in my home. This year I wanted to create a happy spring arrangement to welcome both our guests and the new season. I decided to do a hanging basket instead of a traditional wreath to change things up. This project was truly so simple, and it would evenbe fun to do with little ones. Here is what you’ll need: Supplies - Four faux pussy willow... More