Friday, November 19, 2010

Travel Tips

I know many of you will be traveling over the holidays so I thought I would share some of my favorite traveling ideas.

10 Traveling Tips!
(we have done a lot of traveling in the car but most of these would be great on an airplane. Keep in mind my kids are 2 and 3, if you have a baby just pray they sleep.)

1. Red box- portable DVD players are a must when traveling long distances with kids, Red box allows you to watch new movies without purchasing them and then you can drop them off at any Red box you see along the way.

2. Crayola Color Wonders
Use a 40% off coupon at Michaels and they cost about 5.00. Totally worth the money.

 3. Button Candies. Great because they aren't messy and it takes kids a long time to eat them. 
 Try them and thank me later.
(You can get them at Johann's, you'll see them as you check out or I think sometimes Dahls.)

(sorry about photo)

3. Wear comfortable Gym Shoes!
Silly as it sounds, it's nice to be able to get out of the car during stops and run around with your kids.

4. Candy Necklaces
Any candy that isn't messy and takes awhile to eat is awesome!

5. Glow Sticks
I know you are all hoping that once it gets dark that the kids will quietly fall asleep. Well this may or may not happen so be prepared. Glow sticks are a great option for when it gets dark.
 (you can buy them at the dollar store.)

6. Check out The Idea Room for some great Traveling games.
My boys loved these, worth the 3.00.
(you will find games in The Idea Room Store)

7. Stickers! Who doesn't love stickers!

8. Tire Name Game- Write every ones name in white chalk on one of the car tires. When you stop to fill up with gas whomever name is on the bottom gets a prize or a dollar or a quarter.

9. Prize box. Take a box filled with little prizes from the dollar store. Every hour let kids pick out a prize from the prize box.

10. Have Fun! Traveling with kids is stressful but it can also be fun.
Expect the worst and you'll be pleasantly surprised!

What is your favorite traveling tip? Please tell.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I was going through the WDM newspaper and found an add for 1$ off admission to a new bouncy place called Monkey Joe's. I kept reading and found out it just opened right across the street from Valley West Mall. Mitch and I decided to take advantage of his day off and take Hallie. It was a blast!!! The place is so nice and new, and wasn't even crowded (you can tell by my pics. There is only one person in any of my pics). I guess most people still don't know about it. It cost 5$ for kids 2 and under on the weekdays and parents are always free. For more info and pricing click here. The nice thing about this place vs. the other bouncy place nearby is that parents are allowed to go on the toys with their children and help them (I got to slide down several times ;). They also have a lounge area with nice recliners and a flat screen TV. Here are some pics I took while we were there.

The above and below picture are their 3 and under toy area.

The "parent's" area with free wi-fi, flat screen TV and a bunch of recliner chairs.

Their refreshment bar.

They have a huge pirate ship that you can kind of see. If anyone ends up going, give me a call we would love to go with some friends next time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanksgiving Week


November 24 - 28, 2010
Polk County Convention Complex
501 Grand Avenue, Downtown Des Moines

I have never been before but will probably go this year. Here is the info!

Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday, Thanksgiving Day: 1 to 7 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets Purchased at Event: $5
Children 2 and younger: FREE

Here are a few pics that were online of years in the past....

Looks like Santa will even be there.
For more information on the festival of trees click here.
*Thanksgiving Dinner at DMU*
Thurs November 25th 12:30-2:30
It is actually really really good! And you get everything you would at a normal Thanksgiving Dinner! Best thing about it is that it is free to students and their families!! We went our second year here and plan on going this year!

*Black Friday*
Friday November 26th

For those that want to brave the crowds and save a few bucks. They have great sales and deals all around here. I have heard the mall is particularly crazy and fun.

Shop early and enjoy exclusive deals, live music, prizes, giveaways and free hot chocolate and coffee.

Jordan Creek Town Center opens at 12:01am on Friday, November 26.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Because I love you all so very much...

here are some fairly exciting deals.

*If you don't know about this one, you must not own a computer. (or look at any blogs.) But I thought I would post it in case either of the previous statements are true.
Go HERE to get $55 off an 8 x 10 canvas print. That makes it FREE! (You do pay s&h - don't you always?)

*While we're on the subject of pictures, Snapfish gives you 20 free prints with your first upload.

*Ever heard of Artscow? No amazing deals right now, but keep your eye on this site if you're thinking personalized photo presents are the way to go for gifts this year. They have some slammin' deals if you stay on top of it.

*Also, Shutterfly will give you $10 off an order of $30 (if you're ordering Christmas cards for every single person you know, have ever met, heard of once, or are distantly related to - this is the way to go.) At checkout, just enter this code: 6F8A-EH8X-OJDC-3E1FXD. This ends Nov. 10th.

*And one last piece of very exciting business:
Lowe's is officially amazing.
Did you know they have "BUILD AND GROW" activities on Saturdays?
I have been told they are very excitement-worthy. (And could be a super fun Daddy-daughter date... just sayin'.)
Along with making a sweet craft with real nails and a hammer - seriously, your kid will die! - each kid gets a free apron, goggles, a project themed patch, and a certification of merit. They're building periscopes on the 13th, and a wooden snowman on the 20th.
Oh, and did I mention it's FREE?!
Does it get any cooler?
I think no.
You do have to sign up, but don't worry - I made it easy.
All you must do is click HERE.

you. are. welcome.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Heating Assistance!

Howdy y'all.

Just a reminder (in case you missed it earlier today in R.S.)


Trust me. If you don't know what this is, you'll want to.

Call or come by my house if you need more info.
It's too much to write and I want to go to sleep.

Good night!

Friday, October 29, 2010



Mills Civic Parkway West Des Moines (shopping complex that TJ Maxx is in)

I am a fan of Trader Joes and have been to a few of them across the USA. I have been so excited for them to come to West Des Moines ever since they announced it a year ago. I know a lot of you have never been there and don't know what all the fuss is about in getting one. So I thought I would explain a little. If you want to go to their direct website click here. They have such fun foods that you can't get anywhere else. They are also super CHEAP!!!! I wasn't sure if they took EBT but I have heard they do, so there is no reason to not check it out. I recently did a poll on facebook to ask my friends what their favorite items are that they sell. Here are some of the items people suggested;

*Savory crackers

* white cheddar puffs

*honey wheat pretzel sticks

*sweet potato soup

*pomegranite or blueberry sorbet

*mandarin chicken jasmine rice
*lemon pepper pappardalle pasta
*cilantro salad dressing
and I can't leave my faves out,
the creamy garlic ranch dressing and the balsamic vinegarette.
They also have gorgeous fresh flowers that are very cheap and cheap greeting cards. I hope you guys all go and check it out! You will probably see me there ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Out the Wazoo

Ready or not, here comes Halloween.
And if there's one place in the world that knows how to do Halloween... well, you live in it.

Here's what's going on:

-Living History Farms
October 21-24 and 28-31 from 5:30 – 8:30pm
Horse-drawn wagon rides, marshmallow roast, storytellers, scarecrow and jack-o-lantern displays delight all during this non-scary family event. Children aged 12 and under trick or treat through town, and free pop and popcorn for all. Prices: $5/person, $4.50 LHF members and pre-sold groups of 10 or more.

-Night Eyes (formerly known as "Boo at the Zoo")
October 21 - 24 & 28 - 31, 2010
Thursdays & Fridays from 5:30 pm to 8 pm

Saturdays & Sundays from 1 pm to 8 pm

Presale tickets may be purchased at Dahl's locations, metro area Hy-Vee locations or click here. Tickets at the door will be $5 and $4 for Zoo Members. Children under one are free.

Trick-or-treaters should keep an eye out for some special entertainment, including Curious George and Clifford! Also attending Night Eyes will be jugglers, clowns, some princesses, Star Wars characters and even a few surprise guests! Be sure to check out the Fun Zone (ZooPlex) full of inflatables, play equipment from Rainbow Play Systems, a hay maze and pumpkin bowling!

If you really want a treat, check out:

-Mickey's Magic Show
at the Well's Fargo Arena on October 23rd at 3 pm and 6 pm. (Tickets range in price from $18 to $72 - but you can always try Craigslist!!)

-Pump It Up Halloween Fest

October 22nd and 29th from 7:45 - 9:15 pm.

$11 at the door, $10 if pre-purchased.
Inflatables, fun, costumes, and a treat bag and the end of the night.

-West Des Moines Library Halloween Party
Oct. 26-28 at 10:30, Oct. 28th at 6:45.
Put on your favorite costume and join us for not-too-spooky stories and Halloween fun at the library. For ages 2-6 plus an adult.
Free; registration required.

-Waukee Library Spook-tacular Movie & Costume Party
Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Come dressed in your Halloween Costume!
Have Halloween treats (popcorn, cupcakes, and candy corn!) and enjoy the movie "Monsters Inc."

-Kids Eat Free At Chili's
Oct. 30th & 31st
Bring the kids dressed in their costumes, and they eat free!
(With purchase of adult meal.)

-Haunting in the Heights
(This is JUST for adults!!
Unless you hate your children.)
$10 with food donation.
This is sooo not my thing, but if it's yours - well... enjoy yourself.

-DMU Halloween Carnival

If your husband is anything like mine, he will not tell you about this.
But it is definitely one to not miss!
Does anyone know when it is?
I'm thinking it's Friday the 29th - is that right?

-Winterset Merchant's Night
Again, not sure when this is - does anyone know?!
We went last year and it was a blast!!

-Trick or Treat at Valley West Mall

Tuesday, October 26th from 5:30 to 8pm!

Beggars Night and Family Night at Valley West Mall are Tuesday, October 26th! Bring the kids in costume and trick or treat from store to store from 5;30-8pm. Enjoy inflatable rides, crafts, balloons, temporary tattoos. All activities are located on the lower level and are free to Valley West Mall customers.


So much to do - let me know if there's any other exciting Halloween activities you know about!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some Stuff You Should Know.

Valley West Mall does Family Night on the last Tuesday of every month.
They have free inflatables, contests, crafts, balloons, and all kinds of fun.
And in October, they even have Trick-or-Treating from store to store.
You know this is going to be good.
Tuesday, October 26th
Trick-or-Treating from 6-8; Inflatables, etc. from 5:30-8.

Thrift stores.
Welcome to Medical School. Welcome to thrift stores.
Love them or hate them - they are everywhere out here.
Some thrift stores are sick.
Some are pretty awesome.
Here are some you might want to check out.

-Once Upon A Child
located (sort of) at the corner of University and 100th (Valley West Dr.)

-Kiddin' Around
right next to Kohl's shopping center on University.

-Not New Shop
1140 Pennsylvania Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50316

-The Bargain Basket
522 E. Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50309

-Plato's Closet
in the Target shopping center on Mills Civic Pkwy.

-Fashion Junction
click here.

-Repeat Boutique
3913 Ingersoll Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50312

click here.
They accept ONLY designer (like real designer) brands and are pretty reasonable.

If you are looking for kid's school/learning supply stores, try here:

The Learning Post
2761 - 100th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322
United States

This place is amazing.
Oh, and right next door is another quaint little kid's thrift store, that I totally can't remember the name of, but is so worth going into.

If you like interior design/decorating/vintage/eclectic/antiques/or just really unique finds, try these:

-West End Architectural Salvage
Such a cool store, but go with a friend. And without kids. Some really cool stuff, but when I was there alone I felt like I was on the set of a horror movie.

-Found Things
Amazing finds. But you have to dig...
And that is what makes shopping fun, right?!

Also, Design Sponge did THIS article on all the great stores/shops/restaurants/etc. around Des Moines.
Definitely worth checking out....

Any cool/unique/interesting stores you love?
PLEASE post them!!

Happy Thrifting.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

FREE Ice Cream

Seriously, who doesn't love FREE ice cream
and from Cold Stone??
So mark your calenders for the......

See you there...
ok maybe I wont but you better
believe i'll be at a Cold Stone in Wyoming!
Sure miss all you Iowans!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


It's time for another present party!!!! It's a fun way to get a gift and chat with other girls. This party has been a tradition for at least 5 years now and is still going strong! Last year we had a great turnout of over 25 girls. So please come and join the fun again!!
When: Saturday October 16th @1:30pm
Where: Maple Grove Villas Lounge
Theme: Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving

Please bring a fall themed gift that is 10-15$ and be sure to wrap it. We will then do a gift exchange and go home with something cute or fun. Also please bring a small treat to share with everyone (doesn't have to be a dessert). Just remember NO kiddos, unless they are tiny babies. I hope everyone can come. If you know of anyone who didn't get this email let them know. The more people the better!! If you have any questions please feel free to email me !! Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pumpkin Patches

Sadly girls,
I have decided that summer is at an end.
I'm heartbroken.

So, to cheer myself up, I want to know what your favorite "Fall in Iowa" activity is.

I'll go first.

Without a doubt:
it's the Pumpkin Patches.

I'm pretty sure there are a few of them in the general vicinity, but our favorite is
Howell's Pumpkin Patch

In case you've never been, here's the rundown.
They have:

Goats, rabbits, sheep, and more.
(And they are roaming free.)
Gift shops,

Amazing fall beauty,
Horse swings,
Picture opportunities,
Cars, slides, tiny tractors,
Big fat tire swings,
Funny signs,
A corn pit,
and of course...

There is a small fee for the pumpkin patch (I think $6... maybe.)
Check out the website and start celebrating fall!

(And post your favorite fall activity - I need some ideas!!)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are you ready for a party?

If you answered yes, keep reading.
Because this is going to be a party...

Saturday, September 25th
A Fall Festival of Light
(you better believe it.)

This will be located at the water/grass area right by the WDM library/city hall on Mills Civic.

The evening kicks off at 5 pm with FREE (no typo - yes Free!) carnival rides, FREE hot air balloon rides (what?!?), FREE Ferris Wheel rides, FREE paddle boat rides, FREE lantern making craft, and a whole lot of vendors/activities/cool stuff to see.

At 7:30 the outdoor movie "Up" (love it...) will begin.

And at 9:00 the fireworks will light up the sky.

Don't you love Iowa?
Me too.

Click here for the website.

Thanks for the info Nicole!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Now that summer is almost over...

I plan on eating all the ice cream I possibly can.
Coldstone has a 2 for $5 coupon you can print here.

Go eat some icecream!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Figure 8 Races and Fun Friday

Ever been to a Figure 8 Race?
Me neither.

But if you want to, you could hit up this one this weekend.
It's only on Saturday the 21st at 6:30 in Adel and it's $10 for adults.
(directions are on the website)
If you have little boys,
you like seeing mullets,
you own some white trash clothing and have always wanted to have the perfect excuse to wear it,
well, here you go.

Also, Fun Friday this week will be at the Union Park Carousel at 11 am.
Go here to print off your buy one get one free coupon.
Bring a lunch and a swimsuit.

See you there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


If you didn't get the email, here it is:

Fun Friday is back!!
(And hopefully here to stay for a little while!)

The Details:

When: Friday (naturally...)
Where: Raccoon River Park
What: A beach/park play date.
Time: 10:30 am.
Bring: Yourselves, you kids (don't forget them...), your swimsuits (please don't make me be the only one in a swimsuit. again.), your beach toys, and your lunch (if you want to.)

See you there!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The YMCA, the Divas, and the Junction.

Hey everyone! I just thought I would give you all a "head's up" about the YMCA.
The registration for all their fall classes (swimming lessons, gymnastics, cooking classes, fun with music, etc.) opens TOMORROW!! (Wednesday)
Those classes fill up fast, so if you want in - get on it!!

Also, the blog Dating Divas (that we talked about at the fireside for those of you who attended) is awesome. Having regular scheduled date nights while in Med School is a must. This blog has some awesome ideas to spice things up a little.

One more thing. When we first moved here (2 years ago) I heard people throwing around the term "Valley Junction" a lot. It took me a few months to learn what it was, so I thought I would help you newcomers out. Valley Junction is a little street in West Des Moines that has some historic shops, an old train car, and is commonly the site for farmer's markets, and various celebrations. It is also where one of the Human Service's Building is located. (Hint, hint.) They have a little candy shop/bakery that my kids like, a toy story that's pretty awesome, and some vintage antique/collectibles shops.
It's worth visiting once or twice.

That's all I got.

Don't forget about all the fun and excitement going on this weekend!
(Check the post below if you are confused...)

Now go have some fun!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's Been A While, Girls.

And I apologize.
But I'm back now and ready to have some fun.
So, here's what's going on in the greater Des Moines area.
(By the way, welcome to all the new families - I'm so excited to get to play with you all!)

August 2-6th is Safari Splash at the Des Moines Zoo (from 1 - 4 pm).
They have inflatables water slides, splash pads, free treats and of course - animals.
We went last year.
Fun times.

-Tax free shopping on Aug. 6th and 7th.
-Merle Hay Mall has kid's inflatables and cotton candy on Sat. Aug. 7th from 11 - 3.

This is classic Iowa. A party for air balloons. I love it.
-Balloon flights, live music, arts and crafts shows, fireworks, etc.
Located at Memorial Balloon Field (between 118th and 113th in Indianola.)
(Morning admission is free; evenings are $3 adults/$10 carload.)
Hurry thought, this ends soon!! (July 30th - Aug. 7th)

What's more Iowan than corn?
That's why you should go to the Adel Sweet Corn Festival
(No, I'm not joking. There really is a corn festival. Really.)
-Aug. 13 (5pm - midnight) and Aug. 14 (9:30 am - midnight).

This one is still a little ways off, but there's no harm in getting excited, right?!
You. must. go. here.
Open August 12 - 22.
It's a little pricey, but I can fix that.
Monday - Thursday, 5-10 p.m. is half price! $5 (adults), $2 (ages 6-11)
Also, parking is $10. (Sheesh...) However, they do have busses that shuttle you over from free parking for $2/adult round trip. (This could be the way to go...)

Raccoon River Park. This Saturday. 5:00. Bring food to BBQ, dishes, and a side to share.
See you all there!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Do You Like Pictures?

Because a special girl in Idaho Falls is having a give away on her blog. Her stuff is amazing - I love her kid's photos.
Be one of the first 11 to leave a comment on her blog and link and you'll get a $25 gift certificate in the mail.

I think so.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let Freedom Ring...

Let's celebrate America!!

Things going on:

1.) July 3rd
Independence Day parade starts at 5:30 p.m. from 39th Street and Ashworth Road.
This year's theme is "Patriots On Parade!" From 39th Street the parade will proceed east to Vine Street, then south on Vine to Fourth Street, and then south on Fourth Street, ending at Maple Street.

2.) July 3rd

Prairie Meadow's fireworks at 10 p.m.

3.) July 4th
Fireworks at Centennial Park at 9:45 p.m.

4.) July 4th
Fireworks at Raccoon River Park at dusk (around 9:30ish)

5.) July 1st
Iowa State Symphony
between Capitol and East Village at 8:30pm. Free (but they encourage you bring a food item.)
Fireworks to follow.

6.) Branch Party at the Pence's Place from 10-12.
The kids will be having their own "parade" so please bring bikes/push toys/wagons/etc. and decorate them in festive decor! There will be food and games.

If you know of anything else, please add it!
Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Godiva Chocolate

Do you LOVE these?? Would you love them more if they were FREE??

If you go into the Godiva Chocolate at Jordan Creek Mall, you can give them your e-mail address, and they will send you a coupon once a month for free chocolate :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Did you know...?

(on Hickman)
has 1/2 off Happy Meals every Wednesday?
Well, now you do.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Granite City Food and Brewery

My mom and I went to Granite City restaurant today for lunch and I LOVED IT!!! I have driven by this restaurant so many times only glancing at it thinking it was a tiling or countertop store because of the name. It is located on University in Clive. Well a few weeks ago Mitch was doing one of his rotations and they had their lunch catered by Granite City and he told me it was delicious. My mom and I ordered these yummy salads which were gigantic and they also have a relatively inexpensive kids menu. The entrees are gorgeous and as I looked around at everyone else's plates I thought everything looked delicious! It is kind of pricey but would make a fun date night if you are looking for a yummy place to eat. It was also very busy so that tells you it is well liked!

Click here for the Granite City Website, with their menus.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Now that the weather is beautiful, we have found ourselves ending up at the park.
A lot.
Which can get old when you go to the same 3 every time.
So, if you are like me at all, THIS might be helpful.
It's a list of all the parks in West Des Moines with info. about restrooms, tables, grills, shelters, play equipment, dogs, etc.

THIS link is way less exciting but has more parks located in Waukee.

THIS link is even less exciting and has info. for Clive parks.

THIS link has all the info. for all 59 of the parks that are located in Des Moines.

Also, for anyone who has not heard...
there will be a Memorial Day BBQ at Wild Rose Park at 5 pm on Monday.
Please bring your own meat to BBQ and a side dish to share with everyone.
See you there!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

South Union Bread Cafe

If you like Focaccia bread, this place is a must!!
And if you don't, you will after you taste it here

This is such a fun, delicious place to grab a bite for lunch.
Their sandwiches are to die for and I hear their spicy potato soup is too.

And the bread, seriously.... I don't understand how they make it so good! 

Open Monday- Friday
Located right next to Centro Restaurant
1007 Locust Street
Downtown Des Moines 

Hope you love it as much as we did!!