Midwest Living

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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
In South Dakota’s Black Hills, mica and quartz sparkle along trails and thick stands of pines decorate granite peaks and distinctive spires seen from scenic overlooks. Here are some of our favorite Black Hills adventures: 1) Harney Peak A majestic four-state view unfurls from the highest point in South Dakota at 7,242 feet above sea level. Pack a lunch for this 4- or 5-mile (... More
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
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
A gnome’s watching me as I sip Vienna cinnamon tea in the lobby of the West Baden Springs Hotel. He seems a little out of place in the elegant domed atrium. But, I find out later, he’s right at home. The gnome is Sprudel, the unofficial hotel mascot. Sprudel is German for mineral water. And mineral water is why the hotel is here. That’s just a tiny part of the story... More
The boundary-pushing one-upmanship of water-park-centric Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, stirs up a circus of superlatives. Biggest! Scariest! Longest! Fastest! It's a wonderland of engineering innovation—a bull’s-eye for travelers seeking big thrills and bragging rights. And if you’re more like me—only willing to try a few—it’s still fun to gawk at, laugh... More
This month, my book club’s pick was The Fault in Our Stars, the staggeringly popular young adult novel (and now film) about a pair of teens with cancer by Indy resident John Green. In the book, snarky protagonist Hazel rants about how illogical it is that some foods are arbitrarily relegated to breakfast. “It is embarrassing,” she declares, “that we all just walk through... More
I’m no radish expert, but I am a sucker for these crunchy, water-packed little veggies that taste like the first days of summer. They remind me of my childhood, when I'd help my dad pull dirt-covered cherry red radishes from the garden and then taste their crispness at dinner that evening. So now, 20 years later, they've become a staple in my own garden. After a little... More
The 13-year-old boy made swinging from the trapeze bar set up outside St. Louis’ Union Station look easy. Through the Circus Harmony Flying Trapeze Center, Yair Kadan of St. Louis swung a few times—at least 25 feet above the parking lot—then dropped into the net with an easy bounce. Each time he added a new skill, including a flip dismount, hanging by his knees and the... More
Sitting on my back deck each evening, I ponder the amount of brown in my garden. Are my yews ever going to green up or am I going to have to take a hedge trimmer to the front half of the entire row? And how could my supposedly invincible Rugosa roses be half dead? I know fellow gardeners are lamenting the same look: Everywhere I drive, the evergreens are brown, and woody plants like roses and... More