Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hot Spot: Heartland Tire & Auto Center in Ankeny

This week's Hot Spot is Heartland Tire & Auto Center in Ankeny! Located at 3455 N Ankeny Blvd, Heartland is your one-stop auto service headquarters. With 5 locations in central Iowa, Heartland prides itself with the latest products and unprecedented service for everything they sell. And, they offer Fun Money!

Interested in new tires? Check out their online tire catalog!

Why should you buy Heartland's tires? Heartland's tire prices have no hidden fees. They include everything you need to get back on the road: professional mounting, computer spin balance, disposal of your old tire, free lifetime tire rotation, and a free road hazard warranty. Not sold yet? Wait, there's more. Heartland offers CFNA Bridgestone financing, giving you up to 6 months to pay on purchase over $299.

That's Ryan. He's the Manager. 
He and his team will help you with all of your auto needs. 
He'll even throw in a coupon here.

Heartland Services
  • Air conditioning
  • Batteries, Belts, Brakes
  • Commercial service calls
  • Computerized alignment
  • Computerized engine analysis
  • Cooling system maintenance
  • CV & drive axle
  • Engine service
  • Exhaust
  • Farm service calls
  • Front end
  • National accounts
  • Oil change
  • Shocks & struts
  • Tire repair & rotation
  • Towing
  • Transmission maintenance 
  • Wheel balance 
  • Windshield

Stop in today to receive the excellent auto service you deserve.
(And to say hello!)

Monday, December 30, 2013

20 New Year's Resolutions for the Twenty-Something

I must start off by saying, don't overcommit yourself in 2014. Overcommitment ends in stress, disappointment, and usually a headache. These next 20 things are meant for inspiration and motivation to kick off your new year (not to trigger an anxiety attack). Take them in slowly and lightly. I repeat, take them in slowly, breathe, and realize that Rome wasn't built in a day. Most people can't make a 180 degree change to their lifestyle overnight, so don't. Pick one or two and breathe.

1. Start your day with a great breakfast. Ideally, all meals should be well rounded but this is not realistic. We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so use real butter, large eggs, fresh mushrooms, cheese, and whatever else you have in your fridge to throw into an omelet. You'll thank me when you aren't starving at 9:00 am.

2. Ask yourself. Before you update your status, Tweet, Tumble or Instagram, pause and ask yourself, “Is it necessary that I share this bit of thought with my entire social network?” If the answer is no, then step away from the Internet. If the answer is yes, ask yourself again.

3. Stop the juicing. These 7-day juice cleanses sound pretty, but they just spiral into an 8th, 9th, and 10th day all-you-can-eat pizza binge. If you want to lose a little weight quickly, eat less and exercise like crazy. Juice is great, but it's also a ton of sugar and our waistlines hate that.

4. Learn to hold a conversation. Whether the person you’re talking to is eight or 80, you should be able to hold a meaningful, intentional conversation with them. If you don't have much to say, ask them a question about themselves. People love talking about themselves. Don't you?

5. Learn to parallel park. For goodness sake, it's time to face the music and take control of your shortcoming. Stop driving around the block in search of an easier spot. Take a friend, practice when you can, become an expert, and dazzle your friends with your impressive parking skills.

6. Save up. Find a way to save around 300 dollars for a flight to see a friend or family member. It may sound like a lot right now, but if you put $20 in a jar every week starting now, you could be enjoying some new scenery and unfamiliar faces by April. 

7. Dial. See how I didn't say Text? Give your thumbs a break and call someone on the phone at least once a week. Nice, old fashioned conversation is good for the soul and the souls of others.

8. Brace yourself. Start mentally preparing yourself to get over the fact that Facebook is probably going to change again in six months. You’re going to think about it, but you're not going to deactivate your account. You're going to think about it, but you're not going to write a vicious email to Mark Zuckerberg proclaiming your disgust with the new layout. Just relax and tell yourself that change is good. 

9. Be alone. Alone time does not have to be synonymous with loneliness. Be able to sit quietly—reading, writing, pondering or just listening to the silence—and use that time to just breathe. Do it regularly, but avoid doing it too much. Balance the alone time with social time; balance is key.

10. Don’t buy what you can’t afford. Repeat after me: If I must charge it, I can’t afford it. If I must charge it, I can’t afford it. If I must charge it, I can't afford it. This is the number one rule for combating debt. It’s definitely easier said than done, but one way to break the habit of unnecessary spending is to delay the purchase. Set the item down, take a walk (heck, take a nap first), and then come back to the item. Give yourself a chance to make sense of it all, instead of giving in to impulse. You'll thank me later.

11. Hold on to a good friend. This time in our lives, as twenty-somethings, is full of transition. Job to job and location to location. Saying goodbye is inevitable, but holding onto good friendships is what will make those goodbyes not so bad. Stay in touch through your choice of social media outlet.

12. Wait 30 seconds. Before consulting your phone on every occasion, try using your brain first. It may sound shocking, but give yourself a chance to draw on the information you already know. Sure, Google does know nearly everything, but if you never give yourself a chance, you'll slowly become dangerously reliant.

13. Try new food. Brussels sprouts really aren't that bad. If you don't believe me, that's okay, I'm lying. At least take your vitamins. To learn more about the vitamins important to your health, click here.

14. Try yoga. You don't have to be a pretzel to be a yogi. It's simple: If you like feeling good, you should try yoga. It will improve your flexibility, relieve stress, and may alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

15. Stop smoking. You've tried several times, but how about on January 1, 2014? And by January 31st, be able to say, "For the whole month of January, I didn't give in." Your lungs will breathe easier, your teeth will be whiter, your breath will be sweeter, and your loved ones will be proud of you. Everyone wins!

16. Wave to other drivers. This is not creepy, it is friendly. The fact that, "Oh, that might be kind of creepy" crossed my mind is very sad. Spread some love, even if it's simply from behind your steering wheel.

17. Tip generously. Coming from a server myself, I would personally appreciate you doing this. An extra few bucks can make a server’s day. Tipping generously encourages servers to continue giving great service. When a server gives great service, they deserve a great tip. It's a cycle that has the potential to work wonderfully if we all tap into our generosity banks (literally).

18. Volunteer. Take a vow to volunteer some of your time. It could be once a month, once every 3 months, or once a week this summer. You’ll feel really good about it, and probably end up volunteering over and over. Although the benefits may not be financial, you may gain a connection with your community, learn a new skill, make new friends, and boost your social skills.

19. Back yourself up. Back up your entire online life onto an external hard drive, especially your photos. Computers have bad days (just like us) and crash. They just do. Sometimes we don't know why and this is enough reason to just do it. You will thank yourself later.

20. Recycle. Last, but certainly not least, recycle. Take a vow to reduce, reuse, recycle. Donate your used electronics, use reusable bags for groceries, redeem cash for your cans. The environment is nice to us, let's be nice back.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Etsy Gift Guide

Gift giving seems like fun but when you really want to get the perfect gift for someone special it can be hard to choose.  Or if you're just completely lost with the whole gifting thing let us help you out.  We recommend you take a look at Etsy, an online artisan marketplace.  You can find unique, well crafted gifts that you just can't find at department stores. They have a wide range of items and price ranges so you'll always be able to find the perfect gift.  

Grace - Long White Bezel Stone Necklace on Gold Filled Chain - Simple Sweet Everyday Jewelry from Theplaincanvass - $37.00

If you were thinking about getting jewelry but just couldn't find the right fit for your someone Etsy's the place to look.  There are hundreds of handcrafted options that make for a personal gift.  

Beard Wax - ORIGINAL - 100 % Natural and Organic by Honest Amish - $12.95

This is a fun gift for any man with a fair amount of facial hair.  It keeps your guys beard soft and smelling fresh! 

Knuckle Ring Chevron Arrow from FunnyPeopleCo - $5.00!!

If you're just looking to get a little something your gal will treasure without dropping money on expensive jewelry this is the way to go. Mid finger rings are really popular and best of all you don't need to know her ring size.  These rings are adjustable so they'll be the perfect fit every time.  At $5.00 this stocking stuffer can't be beat. 

Geometric Pattern and Wood iPhone cover from BasementTwentytwo - $12.72

Trendy iPhone covers are a great option for your Apple loving other.  They have options for both men and women and come at a great price.  No one can ever have too many phone covers. 

 Leather Watch from WatchGraceful - $18.99

This watch has a unique leather band that adds a rustic touch, perfect for an outdoor enthusiast.  They have plenty of options for any style.  Take a look through the WatchGraceful collection to find the perfect watch to gift this season.

2014 wall calendar from Dozi - $22.00

When you're shopping for someone with unique style you can't just pick something out at the department store.  They need a gift as quirky as they are! Try this unique wall calendar or other awesome handmade prints on Etsy.  

Cabled cup cozy from CampKitschyKnits - $10.00

This is a perfect gift for virtually anyone, if you've ever had a hot beverage this cable knit cozy has your name on it.  Any knit items are great holiday gifts for that matter, socks, laptop sleeves, scarves, sweaters, mittens, the list is endless. 

Macbook pro 15" Retina Macbook leather from iLeatherStore - $38.00

To all you Macbook fanatics out there, this one's for you.  If you have someone on your list whose Macbook is basically a shinny extension of themselves this classic case is the perfect gift.  Not only does it look flawless, it also protects your best buddy from unwanted bumps and bruises.  

Manly Man - MAN SOAP Approved - Vegan & Gluten Free Handmade soap from BellCedarFarm - $6.50

Have your man smelling like Cedar, Applewood and Bourbon with this handmade vegan soap.  Perfect for the man and or vegan in your life.  Personally I thought this packaging is too good to pass up! Check out BellCedarFarm for more handcrafted soaps for all genders.  

iPad stand, tablet stand, recipe holder, metal iPad stand, dock from Petrifieddesign - $48.00

Custom iPad stands are a great gift for any iPad owner.  This stand doubles as a recipe holder, keep your tablet propped upright for quick and easy recipe reading.  This dock from Petrifieddesign is one of my favorites but if $48.00 is a little out of your price range, Etsy has loads of simpler dock options, some as low as $12.00.  

Pyramid Orb Air Plant Planter with Bevel Accent from OriskanyGlass - $35.00

This geometric planter will brighten up any space and look fantastic in home offices.  This plantar is hand crafted and a make a charming gift for nature enthusiasts. Air plant and gravel come included so there's no fuss over finding a plant! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hot Spot: Perkins Restaurant & Bakery in Ankeny

This week's hot spot is Perkins Restaurant & Bakery in Ankeny. Located at 714 SE Oralabor Road, Perkins offers a widespread mean that features breakfast, lunch, and dinner all day! Whether you're craving a tall stack of gooey pancakes, the BBQ Bacon Supreme Burger, or a warm French Dip on a grilled hoagie roll, Perkins has it all. 
Snuggle up at Perkins for a slice of pie and FREE WIFI! And while you're at it, give them a Like on Facebook. It is the holidays, after all.

"Holiday Happiness In Every Bite"

Give your holiday dinner a sweet ending with a fresh baked pie from Perkins. I mean, the holidays are around the corner and we're all about to start living off of muffins, brownies, chocolate pretzels, sugar cookies, peppermint mochas. The list could go on for days.

Perkins has the best pies. Check out all the different kinds!* 

Homestyle Apple

Banana Cream

Caramel Apple


Chocolate French Silk

Coconut Cream

Double Chocolate Fudge Silk 

Lemon Meringue

Peanut Butter Silk



Red Velvet Silk Cake

(sugar free, but who has time for that?)

And check out the fresh baked holiday loaves and Jingle Jangle Basket for an assortment of cheerful goodies!

*Variety may vary by location. Available only at participating locations. Check your local Perkins for details.

Monday, December 16, 2013

20 Snow Day Activities

It's that time of the year when, if you're lucky, you may find yourself snowed in for the day.  We'll you don't want to waste that glorious day doing nothing. To aid in your snow day fun we've compiled a list of 20 snow day activities! Some may be fun new ideas, others...#2, 4, 14, and 18...you're probably doing right now.
  1. Have an indoor picnic
  2. Cyber stalk your high school friends
  3. Beef up your resume
  4. Create fictional Pinterest wedding, ladies..you know what I mean
  5. Movie marathon...we recommend Harry Potter, Star Wars, Toy Story, Batman..the possibilities are endless
  6. Make some serious Hot Coco - Check out this recipe
  7. Build a snow fort...that's obvious
  8. Spend the day baking - 
  9. Plan out that diet you've been meaning to get on...
  10. DIY CRAFTS!!! 
  11. Jigsaw puzzles 
  12. Learn to knit
  13. Listen to your Holiday playlist on repeat
  14. Consume the latest releases on Netflix
  15. Write your significant other a love letter
  16. Make a bucket list
  17. Start a blog
  18. Find hilarious cat videos on Youtube - Here's one to start you off
  19. Begin learning a new language 
  20. Find a local charity to volunteer for 
Do you have any great ideas for snow day activities? Email them to us at allysonm@haverkamp-properties.com. 

7 Ways to Stay Snug


It's December, it's freezing. So how will you stay warm?

1. Drink.
Warm beverages will raise your core temperature. Relax with a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. When does a peppermint latte or chai tea ever not sound good?
2. Layers.
Hats, gloves, long socks, and more long socks. A good way to hide layers is to wear a pair or two of tights underneath your pants. They trap in that warm air and we love them for that. Just remember: Layer up on all limbs!
3. Exercise.
Most of us are cringing, or even debating whether to continue reading after seeing "exercise." In this cold weather? No way. But seriously, just 20 minutes of intense exercise can keep you warm during and after your workout. Get that blood flowing, you won't be sorry.
4. Snuggle.
Find a human friend or a furry friend to cozy up to. Body heat is the best heat. Plus, it's a little more personal that rubbing your face on the furnace itself.
5. Plug in.
A hair dryer. That's right, a hair dryer. Hey, desperate times call for desperate electronics. Quickly spot-heat your cold shoes or scarf before throwing them on. You could even shoot it under your covers for a few seconds to heat up your bed before hopping in. (Only for a few seconds, though. Fire hazard!)
6. Find fluff.
Whether it's a fluffy bathrobe to slip into after your shower, or a super soft blanket to wrap up in, find your fluff. Other fluffy stuff could be: wool socks, shag area rug, knitted infinity scarf, long cotton underwear, or a beanie!
7. Shower.
This seems like a no-brainer. But if you're feeling cold, a shower doesn't have to be strictly for cleanliness. Take a hot shower because it feels good and warms you up in no time. Apply oil or lotion when you get out; it's almost like putting on another thin layer of clothing.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Making Spirits Bright

Here at Haverkamp Properties, we believe in the magic and miracle of Christmas giving.  So in the spirit of the season, we're doing something extra special for the month of December.  Each of our Haverkamp Office locations have pledged to raise $200 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  

How To Help:
1. Stop by your Haverkamp Office
2. Makea donation by December 31st
Please write out checks to Haverkamp Properties - Memo line 'Make A Wish'
(We'll be issuing the funds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Iowa in one big check)
3. "Like" your Haverkamp Properties on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our fundraising progress! 

Can't make it in during office hours? 
No problem! Just drop off your donation in one of our dropbox locations at any one of our properties.  
Please write in the memo line 'Make A Wish'

Haverkamp will be matching your donation dollar for dollar! 

  • Ames office at 4720 Mortensen Rd #105, Ames, IA 50014
  • Prairie Pointe office at 1351 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy, Ankeny, IA 50023
  • Cedar Rapids office - 205 Kirkwood Court Southwest Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
  • Des Moines office - 10305 Providence Drive | Johnston, IA 50131
  • Ankeny office - 170 NE 41st St  |  Ankeny, IA 50021

Holiday Treats

It's that wonderful time of year again - the holidays! And you know what that means, time for festive treats. And cuddling. But mostly treats and drinks.

I'm going to share 3 easy appetizers and 3 easy drink recipes to wow your guests this year.

  • (photo courtesy of CookingLight.com)
    Chocolate Bruschetta

    10 (1-ounce) slices diagonally cut French bread (about 1/4-inch thick
    Cooking spray
    5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60-70 percent cocoa), finely chopped
    1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
    Grated orange rind (optional)
  • 1. Preheat broiler.
  • 2. Lightly coat bread with cooking spray. Place bread on a baking sheet; broil 3 minutes on each side or until toasted. Remove bread from oven.
  • 3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  • 4. Sprinkle each bread slice with about 1 1/2 tablespoons chocolate. Bake 5 minutes or until chocolate melts. Sprinkle evenly with salt; garnish with orange rind, if desired. Serve warm. 
  • (10 servings)

  • (photo courtesy of CookingLight.com)
  • Honey-Glazed Almonds

    1 1/2 cups raw, unblanched almonds
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons honey
    1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the almonds in a medium nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted, shaking pan frequently. Combine the remaining ingredients in a 2-cup glass measure. Microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds. 
3. Add honey mixture to pan, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 
4. Arrange almond mixture on prepared baking sheet in a single layer; let stand 10 minutes. Break apart any clusters. 

(10 servings)
(photo courtesy of CookingLight.com)
Artichoke and Fennel Caponata

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons capers
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
2. Add onion, celery, fennel, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. 
3. Stir in raisins and next 8 ingredients (through artichokes). 
4. Bring to a simmer; cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
(14 servings)
    (photo courtesy of CookingLight.com)
    Gingered Pear and Brandy Cocktail

    1/4 cup water
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/4 cup peeled & chopped fresh ginger
    3 cups pear juice
    1 cup cognac
    10 lemon rind twists

    1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add ginger. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Strain sugar mixture through a fine sieve. Discard solids. Chill sugar mixture 30 minutes or until ready to use.
    2. Fill a large martini shaker half full with ice. Add sugar mixture, juice, and cognac; shake until chilled. Strain 1/2 cup mixture into each of 10 martini glasses. Garnish each serving with 1 lemon twist. 
    (10 servings)

    (photo courtesy of CookingLight.com)

    Spicy Rum Punch

    • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
    • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
    • 6 star anise seasoning
    • 4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
    • 2 (64-ounce) bottles cranberry-pineapple juice
    • 2 cups dark rum
    • 4 (12-ounce) bottles any ginger beer

    • 1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large Dutch over; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; let stand 30 minutes.
    • 2. Strain cranberry mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Chill thoroughly. Stir in rum and ginger beer just before serving. 
    • (20 servings)
      (photo courtesy of CookingLight.com)
      • Mock Tea Sangria

      • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed
      • 1/3 cup sugar
      • 1 family-size tea bag
      • 2 cups red grape juice
      • 1 lemon, sliced
      • 1 lime, sliced
      • 1 (16-ounce) bottle orange soft drink, chilled*

      • 1. Process raspberries in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Pour puree through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large container, discarding raspberry seeds.
      • 2. Bring sugar and 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring often. Remove from heat; add tea bag. Cover and steep 5 minutes.
      • 3. Remove tea bag with a slotted spoon, squeezing gently; cool tea mixture slightly. Stir together raspberry puree, tea mixture, grape juice, and lemon and lime slices. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Stir in orange soft drink, and serve immediately over ice. 
      • (9 servings)

      • *Note: You can substitute 1 cup orange juice and 1 cup lemon-lime soft drink for orange soft drink.
      (All recipes courtesy of Recipes.com)