Our editors and writers share their top picks for home, garden, life, and travel. Check out a new cozy wool-blend throw, a landmark exhibit at Ohio's Columbus Museum of Art, a brilliant lemon posset recipe and more.

Home + Garden

Feed and Foster shop
Feed and Foster
| Credit: Courtesy of Feed and Foster

1. ELEVATE EVERYDAY I grew up in Indianola, Iowa, a community south of Des Moines, and I’ve loved watching the town square evolve over the past few years. My latest fave: Feed and Foster. Owner Erin Freeberg already ran a gift shop a few doors down, and she opened this sister biz late last summer. The floor-to-ceiling shelves are stocked with provisions for get-togethers, plus other goodies for the home. There’s a steady rotation of versatile housewares (think colorful Smeg toasters and Staub cast-iron cookers, pinstripe aprons, and wooden serving trays), plus dozens of giftables (coffee-table books, gourmet spice rubs and cocktail kits). I can’t tell you how many times their grab-and-go section has saved my evening plans. Instead of running around from store to store trying to locate the perfect mix of food for a snack board or a crowd-pleasing drink, I can drop in to this one-stop shop for gifts and hostess essentials. — From Kylee Krizmanic, Editor in Chief

Sanborn and Faribault wool throw
Sanborn Canoe Throw
| Credit: Courtesy of Faribault Woolen Mill

2. GRAPHIC PUNCH Leave it to Minnesota’s Sanborn Canoe Company and Faribault Woolen Mill to collab on this cozy wool-blend throw. When it isn’t wrapped around your shoulders, you’ll love seeing it draped across the sofa. $195. faribaultmill.com

Midwest notebook
Dinara Mirtalipova notebook
| Credit: Jason Donnelly

3. ESSENTIALS: JOT IT DOWN The folkloric cover says it all: This notebook is meant to capture dreams, doodles, ideas and more. Ohio artist Dinara Mirtalipova’s whimsical style encourages your imagination to take flight. Check out her art prints and decor too. $36. mirdinara.com


ArtMix Indianapolis
| Credit: Courtesy of ArtMix

4. GOOD NEIGHBORS: CREATIVE CLASS Indianapolis nonprofit ArtMix seeks to fill a gap in artistic outlets and resources for students with disabilities. It’s run by Britt Sutton (top left), and programming includes classes, exhibits and artist-in-residence opportunities. Through its Urban Artisans vocational program, students ages 15–22 spend several hours weekly creating pottery and ceramic pieces for sale online and in the ArtMix Gallery. For 2021, ArtMix hopes to bring back community classes, where anyone can come to try a new medium and connect with the students. Sutton herself has epilepsy and says, “Working together with someone who experiences life differently than you to create a collaborative piece of art is truly life changing.” Artmixindiana.org

As part of our Good Neighbors program, highlighting unique midwest nonprofits and individuals making our communities stronger, Midwest Living has donated $500 to ArtMix.

Drink illustration
| Credit: Erin Keeffer

5. DRY RUN Karaoke, trivia, pool, safely distanced socializing: Unimpaired offers all the fun of a bar, minus the booze. A response to the sober-curious movement, the Davenport, Iowa, hangout is the first of its kind in the state. Order a nonalcoholic beer or martini, such as the Mint Condition, and enjoy what co-owner Amber Haines calls “a space where fun times aren’t foggy.” unimpaireddrybar.com

She Come By It Natural Book
She Come By It Natural
| Credit: Carson Downing

6. WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE HER Kansan Sarah Smarsh, who wrote the acclaimed memoir Heartland and hosted a related podcast, has penned a new book, She Come By It Natural, spotlighting Dolly Parton’s working-class roots and examining what it really means to be a woman. (Scribner, $22). — From Debbie Leckron Miller, MWL Writer


Aminah Robinson Big Annie
Aminah's Robinson's Big Annie Makin a Quilt for Baby Roy
| Credit: Courtesy of Columbus Museum of Art

7. CALENDAR: RAGGIN’ ON Through October 3, 2021. In 2015, Ohio artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson left most of her estate to the Columbus Museum of Art. Now open, this landmark exhibit features her work and journals, plus furniture she made and art she collected. Co-curator Deidre Hamlar says, “We want guests to see, feel and embrace the complex layers of meaning, materials, colors, stories, history and intensity embedded in her work.” columbusmuseum.org

Aminah Robinson Poindexter Village Ragmud
Aminah Robinson Poindexter Village Ragmud
| Credit: Courtesy of Columbus Museum of Art

In pieces such as Big Annie Makin’ a Quilt for Baby Roy and Poindexter Village Ragmud, Aminah Robinson used paint, beads, rags and words to capture “everyday lives and culture of Black people.”

Shedd Aquarium penguins
Shedd Aquarium
| Credit: Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium

8. HAPPY FEED Ever since last spring’s lockdown, the penguins at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium have become must-see TV on my Instagram, waddling all over during off-hours for visits to their neighbors. Follow @shedd_aquarium for regular doses of cute (and interesting science, too). — From Ginger Crichton, Senior Editor

Barn 8 Hermitage Farm
Barn8 restaurant
| Credit: Courtesy of Barn8

9. BLUEGRASS HIT Just across the Ohio River from Indiana in Kentucky, bucolic Hermitage Farm is a new enterprise from the creator of the 21c Museum Hotels brand. See the workings of a thoroughbred farm; sample bourbons from across the state; and feast on an ever-changing menu, with dishes like bison schnitzel, in the Barn8 restaurant. (One pandemicfriendly perk: Diners can reserve private tables in converted horse stalls.) hermitagefarm.com


Lemon Posset
Lemon Posset
| Credit: Blaine Moats

10. RECIPE: LEMON POSSET Zest and juice 3 lemons. Set juice (about 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) aside. In a 5-quart pot, bring 3 cups heavy cream, 3/4 cup sugar and the zest to a boil over medium-high, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, uncovered, 8 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly and adjusting heat to avoid boiling over. Remove from heat; whisk in the lemon juice. Cool 20 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a 4-cup glass measure. Divide evenly among six glasses or ramekins. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours before serving, garnished with berries or a wide strip of lemon zest.

Yazmin and Lily Martinez
Yazmin and Lily Martinez
| Credit: Courtesy of Chaski's Creations

11. SUGAR AND SPICE The Martínez sisters (Yazmin and Lily, above, plus Karen) grew up in Chicago but often visited Aguascalientes, Mexico. Those trips inspired Chaski’s Creations—candy apples and gummies in flavors like peach or mango with chamoy, a spicyfruity condiment. From $3.50. chaskiscreations.com

Revival almond butters
Revival almond butters
| Credit: Courtesy of Revival

12. MARKET WATCH: BUTTER UP Seriously, another nut butter? And yet … Indianapolis-made Revival almond butters are pretty spectacular. We’re partial to the Classic, seasoned with sea salt and vanilla and bursting with crunchy toasted almonds. $11. revivalfoodco.com

Biodegradable dishcloths
| Credit: Jason Donnelly

13. DISHCLOTHS These nubby dishcloths are from Stuart, Iowa. $10 each. doeadeerdesign.com “Fast-drying. Biodegradable. Reusable up to six months. Is your paper towel all that? — From Mary Beaumont, Deputy Editor