Tag Archives: flowers

Sommer Time


Typically, I write much like I talk. If you know me personally, you know the only difference being, I talk a lot more than I write. The reason is clear to me, I’m thinking about what I’m writing. In ‘real life,’ I do a lot of word vomiting, rambling, etc. I am a classic story-teller, and I love to listen to stories just as much. When I ask someone else how their weekend was, and they say “good”.. I could punch them. I want every detail, like your weekend translated into a gossip magazine article, even if you just went shopping and got drinks with your friends. TELL ME EVERYTHING! So, in honor of Sommer, who literally said she was so happy I was at her party so I could blog about it, I will attempt to write as much as I talk.

Firstly, The Darland Farm, or Hillcrest Farm, is pretty much every girls dream farm turned practical. There are no horses or cows, but there are kittens and TONS of flowers. I will start with kittens. Almost as soon as we arrived, Sommer directed me towards the barn where I could find a fresh batch of minx kittens. I found them chewing on a dead swallow. Ew. But the swallows are everywhere, and they fly dangerously low and close to anything they want, so who’s fault is that?! The cutest kitten is a little fat gray guy, but he had zero interest in being the subject of my pictures, so you’ll just have to imagine. Think Toulouse from Aristocats, only gray. The kittens lost interest in the birds and soon moved on to my toes, basically the best thing ever for me.

After kitten time, and whatever everyone else was doing, we moved inside to eat brunch. Sommer’s Dad cooked us up eggs and bacon, while we drank screwdrivers and bloodies. We dined on the delicious feast and swapped stories of some not so smart things we had done in our youth. Lately, there’s been a lot of reminiscing going on around me. Is this a sign of growing older? In just a few years, these years will be the times I reflect on, college and my part time job. “Sommer, remember your birthday party when there were all those baby kittens and we picked flowers?”

Of course, some time was spent with the usual animal suspects at the Hillcrest Farm, Arie and Casper. Arie is my dream cat. She LOVES to be held. Between Audrey and I, we probably carried her around for a good 2 hours. Casper is just a youngin’. He’s wild and rambunctious, but you can tell he’s a lover. I’m sure in a couple years he will mellow out a bit, and then I would like to cuddle up in his fur for a good long dog snuggle session.

The flowers. The freakin’ flowers. As a person who is mildly obsessed with flower pictures, like I might actually consider taking pictures of flowers a hobby of mine, Hillcrest farm is one of the best places on earth. The Darland Family runs a small business that grows and sells the most beautiful flowers. (If you need flowers for your next event, check out their Facebook) I wandered through the rows of different varieties, snapping pictures of almost every single one. I paired down the selection a lot for the sake of not having to make yet another post that is exclusively plant pictures.

Sommer and her boyfriend, Nick, had to run into town to get Sommer’s dog, so Audrey and I hung out under a big awning and watched a storm roll through. My Dad grew up and farmed just a few rural blocks away from Hillcrest Farm. He has always told me stories of the amazing storms that would come in when he lived there. It was a neat experience to be in his shoes for an afternoon, even if the storm wasn’t too exciting.


Sommer invited me to join her in picking flowers and putting together a bouquet. Um, YES. Potential new hobby. We found vases on shelves covered in dust, and gave them a quick bath under the faucets that her Dad installed throughout the flower garden. She told me the names of almost all of the flowers I picked, and told me the rules her Mom has for arranging flowers. Sommer doesn’t always abide by the rules, but a bouquet is of these flowers is beautiful, no matter if it’s in groupings of three.

Also happening the day of Sommer’s birthday was my dear friend’s Dara and Ethan’s Going Away Party. I had chosen to spend the afternoon at Sommer’s, the evening at Dara and Ethan’s, and then return to Sommer’s when the bar closed. Let’s be honest, I didn’t make it back to Sommer’s or to bar close. I got tired and went to bed, Classic Hannah. Dara and Ethan’s party appeared to be everything they had hoped for. A few of their favorite Iowa musicians played, and they got to have one last hurrah at Octopus. They have since moved to sunny California. I wish them all the best, and hope to visit them soon!!

The following morning, Audrey and I headed back out to the farm. We had to pick up music equipment that the bands at Sommer’s party had used the night before. Sunday was Father’s Day, and Sommer’s Dad had fired up his gift from his family, a flat top grill! He was churning out all sorts of breakfast staples. I found myself in he kitchen making toast, and chatting with some of my favorite gals. I spent the remainder of my day with my dear ole Dad. We grilled all sorts of different things, even watermelon (total fail).

Summer, and Sommer, have treated me pretty good this year.

Sweet Spring


In the last few weeks I have been slightly obsessed with plants. Everyday I’m deadheading petunias, cutting the ends of fresh flowers, and spritzing my succulents. I have anxiety about drunks damaging my tomato plants or traipsing through the peonies. While I haven’t named any of my plants, it seems like a reasonable thing to do.



In my last post I shared my 25 goals to complete before I turn 26. Without knowing what my goals were, or even seeing the post, that very afternoon my Mom stopped over to my house and put a bird feeder stand and bird feeder (which she made) in my backyard. How freakin’ weird is that? Mother-Daughter ESP, I tell yah. Thanks Mom! That night we stopped at CVS to complete my stand. She bought me this beautiful Estrella Voodoo Red Verbena plant. Best color name ever. Double thanks Mom!
The feeder is now full of seed, and well hidden from drunks, but perfectly seen out the dining room window.


I sprouted myself a tiny herb garden with parsley, basil, rosemary, and mint. I thought my mint was never going to grow, but it finally poked it’s little head out of the soil yesterday! Last week Sweet Marie let me take some full grown mint plants from her yard just in case mine never grew, which now have their own spot towards the front of the house. My friend Emily dropped off a baby dill plant on my doorstep, so now all the little babes are in pots outside and looking very healthy. Unfortunately, some stupid squirrels were digging in the pots, so I had to put chicken wire around them. It looks like crap. I think after a couple weeks when the plants have time to grow a bit more, I might replant them in a larger container, or right into the ground. Either way I am going to need to invest in more chicken wire so I can better protect them without it looking like a 6-year-olds handy work.





Inside I’ve been trying to always keep some fresh cut flowers. I love how they add a little something to each room. Makes me feel fancy. I have a small army of succulents as well. Turns out a plant I got for my birthday, pictured above, is this crazy awesome plant that grows baby succulents. As soon as I get it all sorted, I’m going to share a post about propagating both from this plant, and the more commonly known succulents.

Happy Weekend!

Weekend Wrap-Up: Memorial Day





Friday at work we celebrated our seniors last day. Sarah brought sweet little Evelyn in. She just keeps getting cuter! I found out that Sarah and her husband put in an offer on a house a block up from ours. I would love to be able to just walk up the street to hang out with her, especially as I won’t be seeing her every day at work anymore.

After work Audrey and I went over to The Hoecker’s. Matt had been smoking pork all day long, what a treat! After dinner I went home and gave myself a much needed mani/pedi. Later I met The Hoeckers and Ethan at The Broken Record.














Saturday morning Audrey made us stop by a used car lot so she could swoon over this 1987 El Camino. She really wanted it, but is holding out for a ’58. We had lunch at La Calle; Salchipapa is probably my new favorite dish there. We took a nice little break in our busy day to let Audrey’s boss’s dog, Monk, out. After an open house and errands we got ready for the Bob Dylan Tribute Show at Octopus. Audrey played a couple covers both by herself and with her boss’s band. It was an evening of absolutely phenomenal music. I can honestly say it was some of the best music I’ve heard in a while. When Audrey sang “All I Really Want To Do” with The Plaid Shirts, I could have cried. Her voice with Al’s slide guitar was the perfect combination. I wish I had recorded it but per usual my memory card was full up. Lesson learned, deleting some photos.

On Sunday I hung out with my dear old Dad. I always feel a little wiser after our time together. In the next couple months he will be teaching both Audrey and I to sail. We are thrilled to be learning something that could potentially become a family activity for us. He even told us that once we learn we can take the boat out on our own. Not that we wouldn’t want Dad to always come with us, but he’s a busy guy. The two of us went and saw The Railway Man. We both really enjoyed. It was a bit of a history lesson, and a romantic drama. Jeremy Irvine, who plays the main character during his youth, was breath taking. Later that evening we saw several of our friend’s band’s play at 220 East, which was also the opening of Valerie’s art show. I stupidly left my phone on the charger.








On Memorial Day we met up with most of the Octopus staff for a massive cleaning day. While they filled the bar with bleach fumes, I organize their extremely extensive vinyl collection. Audrey and I had made a rum melon. You shove a bottle of rum in the top of a watermelon, let it soak in for a couple days, and then enjoy! We made smoothies with melon, ice, and sugar. After hours of cleaning Audrey grilled up some Juicy Lucy’s. I don’t even eat beef but these patties have somehow made their way onto my list of likes. How cute is our neighbor dog, Louie. And the peonies are almost blooming, my favorite! We ended our evening at The Broken Record to christen their new kegerator.

This was one of the best weekends I’ve had so far this year. We’ve got a great group of friends, and the next several weekends are full of spending time with them. Not to mention lot’s of live music, parties, camping, and SUMMER VACATION!

24 Before 25


Today is my birthday! I already celebrated with my friends, but today I showered with sweets and treats at work. I will be leaving the high school I work at as a secretary in June, and it’s days like this that are going to make leaving hard.


I made a list of 24 things to do before I turn 25.

1. Not lose this list
2. Blog weekly
3. Get a 3.0 or higher at UNI
4. Go camping
5. Volunteer – I have 3 oportunities lined up already; College Hill Arts Festival, Sturgis Fall Car Show, College Hill Music Festival
6. Eat 1 meal at home a week
7. Make a make-up station in our room
8. Visit the Upper Penninsula
9. Attend the Galande Quaff in Jackson
10. Participate in Blog Life
11. Go to a baseball game
12. Go on a mother/daughter adventure – Minneapolis.. Ikea!
13. Make-over my blog
14. Purchase and use a disposible camera
15. Organize a clothing swap
16. Go to the botanical garden in Des Moines
17. Build a woodworking project
18. Read 10 books
19. Design a phone case collection
20. Craft more!
21. Work towards eating majority local
22. Do 1 random act of kindness a week
23. Take a dance class
24. Host trivia again


I will be visiting this list again on my half birthday, which seems like forever away but will probably come in a flash. The number 1 goal is not lose the list.

Thank you to everyone that has made my birthDAY so special! Especially Tina, Erin, Ryan and Justin, Ena, Lori, J’Kalein, Ben, Anthony, Emma, Marcy, and Colleen. I am stuffed, and so happy with all my gifts. Audrey and I are on our way to a wedding in Grinnell tonight. We are camping at Rock Creek State tonight. Please keep your fingers crossed it doesn’t rain on us!