Tag Archives: Hillcrest Farms

Sommer Time

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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.


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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.

Being Busy Is Okay

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I know I’ve mentioned this a couple times, but I’m the kind of person that needs a lot of reassurance, at least about somethings.. It’s okay to be busy! When it comes to priorities, my blog, while in the top 10, isn’t that important right now. So here’s a little update on what I’ve been doing. Things are really moving along in our house. We have a spare room on our main floor that is half my glamifying spot, and eventually the other half will be a sort of workout area. This weekend my sweet Dad helped me set up make-up station/Mirrorland. We hung my full length mirror, my beautiful circle mirror, a small magnifying mirror from Ikea, and a chandelier also from Ikea. Yeah, it’s amazing. I still want to change out a couple pieces of furniture, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. I’ve already been able to spend more time doing my hair and makeup, which is one of my favorite ways de-stress, and gives me more confidence throughout the day.

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The weekend before last I went down to Iowa City with Peas and Carrot. It was the last PnC show for a while as they are starting to record their EP this week. Also in music news, one of my absolute favorite bands played at Octopus this weekend, Gloom Balloon. If you ever get a chance to see them, be ready to dance. Patrick and Chris make the coolest music, and are so much fun to watch. They dance through the crowd, climb all over each other, and have awesome visuals to go along with every song. It’s basically one big sing-a-long dance party. I can’t get enough of them!

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Audrey and I have been going strong with eating healthy! We are just finishing up week 2.. I think? I am so bad at keeping track of time (hence the blog). We did have some pizza this weekend, but I mean.. I have a slice of pizza tattooed on my body.. I have to eat pizza or I will die. We’ve been eating a lot of chicken salads. Now that I’m feeling more energized and actually enjoying healthier foods, I’m starting to add a little cheese and starch back into my diet. I bought a couple different kinds of Laughing Cow cheese, and reduced fat Wheat Thins. Those with a slice of tomato or peach on top is my new favorite snack.

I’ve also been doing yoga! My best friend Anna has been partaking in month long challenges on Instagram, and really inspired me to give it a go this month. If you want to see my progress check out other instagram, HannahsHealthEats. It is a bit odd to put pictures of yourself doing yoga on the internet, but it really holds you accountable. I’ve also received so much support from the other participants in the challenge, it’s a great feeling. Next weekend Anna is coming to town and we are going to go out into the world and take some better quality pictures of each other in the upcoming poses. There’s just not a lot you can do with your girlfriend’s laptop camera and the self timer in terms of quality.

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School is still going well, at least I think it is. I’ve yet to actually have to turn anything in, or take any quizzes or tests. I guess other than my gut feeling that I’m doing it right, I don’t actually know, but hey, no tests, not complaining.

Now that I’m getting more into the swing of things, such as my new job on campus, and a homework schedule, I should be able to blog more. I know social media is not as important as some things, but I really love it! So keep checking back for updates!

1. A bouquet from Hillcrest Farms that Audrey gave me
2. Peas and Carrot at The Yatch Club in Iowa City
3, 4. A couple chicken salads
5. A burrito in a bowl from Pablo’s
6, 7. The last Scratch Cupcake I might ever eat (yeah, right). This one was the Bangerang, read all about it here!

Sweet Hannah Pea

Weekend Wrap-Up: Sommer's Birthday Party

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What an absolutely perfect weekend. I’m not sure this is the worst thing to happen, but I was having such a great time I didn’t get too many pictures. On Friday night I stayed home and rested for the big weekend ahead. Audrey and I shared some pizza and she was off to work. I watched Maya Rudolph’s special on the NBC App. That woman is hilarious!

On Saturday I rounded up all the necessary supplies, did a little laundry, and hung out with Audrey at the bar until 7. Then we were off to Hillcrest Farms to celebrate the birthday of the ever wonderful Sommer. The list of bands goes on and on; Emily Otis, God Don’t Make No Trash, Twins, Peas and Carrot, and Dylan Sires & Neighbors, to name a few. Almost all of my favorite people were in attendance. I danced and danced with everyone, especially Audrey. It was SO nice to be able to just enjoy her company while listening to live music. She often has work at shows because so much of the music we go to see is played at the bar she manages. I really appreciated this weekend with her. We stayed up late into the night as people passed acoustic guitars around and enjoyed the camp fire.

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Many of the guest spent the night on the farm,; this is just a section of the tents that were set up. It was a gorgeous morning in Iowa. Sommer made french toast, bacon, and eggs to order for all of her guests. Audrey, Jessica, and I fixed trays of breakfast potatoes. After the big meal I snuck off to tear down the tent. I was eventually joined by Audrey. We lounged on our pile of pillows and blankets and watched wispy white clouds fly by. It was just an absolutely perfect party, filled with lots of laughs, happy tears, and fireworks!

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On Sunday night after a good long nap and a delicious dinner at Ena’s open house, I sat down for a very long session with one of my favorite guys, Ziggy. While he still has some highlights to add, I am absolutely THRILLED with how beautiful my gypsy lady turned out. She is still very swollen, and sore, but so worth it.

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I was also feautured over on Nicole’s blog again for Spiffy Sunday! Check it out here!