Wednesday, August 24, 2016

5 Cheap & Easy Potted Succulents

Succulents Cover Need a special little something to bring your apartment to life? Succulents are an easy plant to care for and a great way to add style to your living space! Be creative with what you plant them in. We’ve laid out everything you need to know to get an adorable potted succulent while sticking to a low budget!5 Cheap & Easy Succulents
  1. Paint a ceramic mug to turn a cheap option into something cute and personal! If you’re feeling crafty, clay pots can also be painted and decorated. Ours cost $0.88 from Wal Mart.
  2. Browse second hand stores to find a small container for your succulent. Look for a vintage tea cup or funky mug to match your style. Ours cost $0.59 from Salvation Army.
  3. Pick out a baking ramekin to plant your tiny, baby plant in. Ours cost $1.92 from Wal Mart.
  4. Find an adorable pot at a nearby craft store. Use a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to save some extra pennies! Ours cost $3.59 from Hobby Lobby.
  5. Fill a jar with rocks and soil to create an extra earthy vibe for your plant. A succulent can live in a variety of different sized jars. Use an old jar from your grandma's pantry or find one to purchase at a nearby store. Ours cost $1.14 from Hobby Lobby.
Succulents-1Succulents can be purchased at many different stores! We found the cheapest option at Lowe’s for just $2.99 a piece. Earl May sells them for $3.99 and will pot them for free if you purchase either a plant or container from their store! If you’ve already purchased your pot and plant elsewhere, it will only cost you around $1.00 to have it potted at Earl May. It is important for succulents to have well draining soil, so be sure to buy cactus potting mix if you are potting the plant yourself.5 SucculentsTo care for your potted plant, water it about once a week. Soak the dirt around the root and avoid spraying the leaves with water. Give your succulent lots and lots of sunlight to keep it alive and growing happily! These tiny plants do great sitting in a window sill, and they look pretty cute there, too. One potted succulent can cost less than $5.00 total. Spend some time exploring what your cheapest options are and let your creativity be your guide! It is simply hard to go wrong with these trendy plants. Succulents-16

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Trending // Rose Gold

Trending // Rose Gold
You may have noticed an increase in both the jewelry and decorating world with rose gold on the rise, but it's definitely one of those trends that can be overdone or difficult to mix in with your average gender-neutral decor. So lets take a look at some of our favorite tasteful ways to incorporate rose gold into your home without overdoing it.
1 // Accent with Rose Gold
The simplest, budget-friendly way to incorporate this pretty trend is to find accent pieces that will coordinate across the room in small, yet tasteful ways. This clock, pillow, painting and rose quartz candles are perfect examples.
2 // Mix with Complementing Hues
Blush, Cream and White with deep wood stains (try Walnut) and brown leathers complement and accent rose gold well while balancing the feel of the room with a masculine aesthetic. This white pouf, blush pillow, pink and faux fur blanket complement the rose gold accents and this leather couch and walnut coffee table bring that balance between feminine and masculine.
3 // Go Bold with a Feature Piece
Sometimes you just have to play it up and add in a strong feature piece of furniture to make a bold statement! This arm chair, wire frame chair and steel frame chair all fit the bill perfectly!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Weekend Fun in Iowa - Des Moines Arts Festival

Surely you've heard of The Des Moines Arts Festival! It's a huge, FREE, event that takes place each year in the summer. Here's some background info according to The Des Moines Arts Festival on Facebook:

"The Des Moines Arts Festival® traces its beginnings to 1958, when the Des Moines Art Center hosted its inaugural Art in the Park on the grounds of Des Moines’ fine art museum. In June 1997, with the advent of revitalized downtown urban energy, momentum grew to reinvigorate the 40-year-old event. Armed with a new name, new leadership, and a new location, the 1998 Des Moines Arts Festival® splashed onto the downtown bridges that span the Des Moines River, showcasing the nation’s premiere artists and creating an opportunity for people of all ages to embrace the arts. The Festival takes place in the heart of Des Moines surrounding the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Western Gateway Park."

There is tons of stuff to do! Check out awesome artwork, grab some food, attend one of the concerts, walk through the sculpture garden, and more!

The dates/times for the festival are as follows:

Friday, June 24 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday, June 25 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday, June 26 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

@ Western Gateway Park, Downtown Des Moines, Iowa

For more info, including a schedule and printable map, visit:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Last-Minute Father's Day Gift Guide

Last-Minute Father's Day Gift Guide 2016

Let's face it - all those "days" of the year (there's a day for everything now) so easily sneak up on us and by the time we realize it, we may not have time for that 5-10 day shipping.

Raise your hand if you have no idea what to get your Dad for Father's Day this year!

Well - we're here for you. We've put together a little last-minute gift guide including items that you can pick up in Ames or Des Moines or can be shipped with 2-day or overnight shipping. (Pro Tip: You may want to order today to guarantee on-time delivery!!)

 When you're on a budget, it can be hard to find those thoughtful or useful items that will be appreciated by a man who may not "need" anything. This is where you can think outside the box and consider what Dad might not even know would be useful or just plain cool to have.

 Check out our last-minute Father's Day ideas below for any price range!


$3.50 - Vintage Map Print For the Dad who loves a good piece of art or just plain likes maps, download this printable piece from Etsy, have it printed at Alpha Copies and grab a frame and mat from Hobby Lobby to complete the look!

$4.00 - $22.00 - Amber Glass Beer Growler Whether for his latest endeavor into home brewing or just some man cave decor, these amber beer growlers make a great gift! Pro Tip: Olde Main in Ames sells FILLED growlers for just $9.00 on Thursdays!

$9.99 - Moscow Mule Copper Mug Snag one or a few of these trendy copper mugs at Target (they're in stock!) and share a super simple Moscow Mule recipe to top it off! All you need is ice, vodka, lime juice, ginger beer and sliced lime!

$18.99 - Beatles Abbey Road Vinyl  With that nifty 2-day Amazon Prime shipping, you can get this digitally remastered vinyl before Sunday to send Dad back in time to those "good ole days." Dad's not a Beatles fan? No problem! Just browse the other titles Amazon Prime offers for one of his favorites!

$20.00 - Brown Tinted Aviator Sunglasses Everyone loves a good pair of shades, right? They also seem to be one of the most commonly misplaced items - so it never hurts to have an extra pair or two! If you can't get these ones delivered for Sunday - check out your local Target for comparable options!


$25.00 - Patterned Navy Tie Does your Dad love a good tie and classy attire? Snag this one at your local Target! They're in stock!

$26.00 - Belkin 4ft Lightning to USB Cable Does your Dad travel a lot? Maybe he often complains about his phone charger cord being too short or fraying from all the use. This super strong cable is sleek, affordable and available for pickup at the Apple Store in Jordan Creek Mall! Can't make it to Des Moines? Best Buy has them in stock and...Pro Tip: did you know that they price match?!

$30.00 - Google Chromecast Help bring your Dad up-to-date on the latest way to follow your favorite shows with a Chromecast, on SALE and IN STOCK at Target! If your Dad is more of an Apple-aficionado, see if your siblings want to go in on the newest Apple TV together. The new system features Apple's powerful tvOS, which feels like using your iPhone with tons of apps!

$33.10 - The John Wayne Film Collection Those Baby Boomer Dads loved a good Western and what could be more classic than John Wayne himself? Treat your Dad to TEN of "the Duke's" most iconic films in this set, available TODAY at Walmart!


$100.00 - FitBit Blaze Leather Band & Frame If your Dad already has the FitBit Blaze - add some style to his look with a leather band! Want to introduce him to the FitBit world? Check out the FitBit website to see all the latest options.

$127.84 - Beats Solo2 Hunter Green Headphones Add some form and function to your Dad's desk with these on-ear wired Beats headphones. Other colors available at the Ames Best Buy TODAY (just don't forget about price matching!)

If you have a budget of zero dollars - just remember that fun memories and kind words mean more than most "things" to our parents! Take some time to share a meal, play some yard games or write your Dad a heartfelt note to thank him for putting up with you over the years. At a minimum - take a few minutes to give him a quick call on Sunday to wish him a Happy Father's Day and thank him for being your Dad.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Get Some Culture - Museum Day!

Yep, today is International Museum Day! Our great state has some awesome destinations to visit--believe it or not, museums are some of them. We've spared you a long description, and instead, created a list of some of the art museums and historical places in and around central Iowa. Check them out some time!

Ames - Christian Peterson Art Museum, University Museums (in the Scheman Building)

Ankeny - Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum

Johnston - Iowa Gold Star Military Museum

Des Moines - State Historical Museum of Iowa, Hoyt Sherman Place, Iowa Hall of Pride, Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines Art Center, Salisbury House, Hubbell Historical Center, Living History Farms

Cedar Rapids - The History Center, The Grant Wood Studio and Visitor Center, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, African American Museum of Iowa, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Seminole Valley Farm, Ushers Ferry Historic Vintage, Brucemore Cultural Center

Mason City - The Music Man Square, Stockman House Museum, Charles H. Macnider Art Museum

Clear Lake - Surf Ballroom and Museum, Clear Lake Fire Museum, Clear Lake Arts Center

And of course just about every town has a historical society or museum that is worth checking into if you want to learn more about where you live!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Weekend Fun in Iowa - Des Moines Farmer's Market


If you're looking for something to do on a nice warm weekend, look no further than the Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market! It started back in 1976, and, according to their Facebook page; "Des Moines connects nearly 300 vendors from 58 Iowa counties." These vendors include everything from arts & crafts, to music & food. It's located in the Historic Court District in Downtown Des Moines.



The farmer's market lasts from May 7th - October 29th. The hours are 7am - 12:00pm. The market sees an average of 20,000 visitors each Saturday during May – October. Crazy!



Be sure and check out for more info, including directions and parking!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What's New To Netflix This Month?

Since finals are among us, students, do the right thing: save your binge watching till after you finish out the week by acing your projects and knocking your tests out of the park! As school ends and spring comes in full bloom, why not check out a few of the new arrivals to Netflix this month?

  • May 1
  • A Study in Sherlock
  • Admiral 
  • Ava's Possessions
  • Bring It On 
  • Bring It On: All or Nothing 
  • Easy Living: Seasons 1-3
  • El Crítico 
  • FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue 
  • Finger of God
  • Gary Gulman: It's About Time
  • Great Expectations
  • I Am Road Comic 
  • Jesus Town, USA 
  • Just Friends 
  • Kevin Hart Presents Keith Robinson: Back of The Bus Funny 
  • Kevin Hart Presents Lil Rel: RELevent 
  • Kevin Hart Presents: Plastic Cup Boyz 
  • LoliRock: Season 1
  • My Last Day Without You 
  • The Nutty Professor
  • Off the Map 
  • Palm Trees in the Snow 
  • Pleasantville 
  • Shark Lake 
  • She's Beautiful When She's Angry 
  • Sixteen Candles 
  • Sugar Coated 
  • Terra 
  • Things We Lost in the Fire 
  • To Catch a Thief 
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream 
  • Who's Driving Doug
  • May 2
  • The Replacements
  • May 3
  • Submerged
  • May 4
  • The Keeping Room 
  • Shanghai Knights
  • May 5
  • Fourth Man Out 
  • Marseille
  • May 6
  • Ali Wong: Baby Cobra
  • Baby Daddy: Season 5
  • Grace and Frankie: Season 2
  • Young & Hungry: Season 3
  • May 8
  • The Chosen Ones
  • May 9
  • A Stand Up Guy
  • May 10
  • Eisenstein in Guanajuato
  • May 11
  • Chelsea
  • Goosebumps 
  • They Look Like People
  • May 12
  • Bleeding Heart
  • May 15
  • We Are Still Here 
  • Yo Soy la Salsa
  • May 17
  • American Dad!: Season 10
  • Kindergarten Cop 2
  • Slasher: Season 1
  • May 18
  • A Girl Like Her
  • May 19
  • Benders, season 1 (2015)
  • May 20
  • Lady Dynamite: Season 1
  • May 22
  • David and Goliath 
  • The Letters 
  • The Ouija Experiment 2: Theatre of Death
  • May 23
  • Electricity
  • May 26
  • Graceland, season 3 The Last Man on the Moon
  • May 27
  • Bloodline: Season 2
  • Chef's Table: Season 2, Part 1
  • The Do-Over 
  • Mako Mermaids: Season 4
  • Hell on Wheels: Season 5
(List from:

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Colors of Spring

Hey guys, a few months back, Pantone released their top 10 colors for this spring! Check it out here: Top 10 Colors: Spring 2016 For you non-designers out there, Pantone is a company that makes colors that translate across multiple platforms as accurately as possible. Basically, when you print at your ink jet printer at home, chances are that a color will look differently than that same one does on a website, or on a phone, etc. This is because each technology uses different techniques to display that same color, so inevitably, there will be differences in hue/tone of that color on each platform. Pantone seeks to solve that issue. So, in effect, they are a reliable source when it comes to any news about colors. And this season, Pantone has billed the trending color palette as transformative; one that isn't tied to "masculine" or "feminine" colors. As you can clearly see, there are brights, neutrals, and pastel colors that all seem to work together.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sweet 16


March Madness is soon to be reaching it's peak! The NCAA College Basketball Tournament has been underway for a while now.. are you watching your bracket? Well it's time for those 16 teams to go head to head to see who will advance to the "Elite Eight", then the "Final Four" and ultimately, the Championship Game, which is set for April 4th. Here's what a simple Google search will give you if you haven't been keeping up (I think it goes without saying that our money will be on Iowa State to take down Virginia in their game tomorrow night!):

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How To: Tackle Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning may seem like a daunting task. Or maybe you don't do "spring" cleaning, but rather keep things as clean as possible weekly/monthly. There are a ton of resources out there that provide a complete checklist for you to print out and go through, so a little bit of Googling will find you many options. But most of them are for home owners, i.e. this list from You can glean which elements apply to you. If you live in an apartment, there's an easy way to go about it.

Just think of it as cleaning for move out. That way, you'll know what lies ahead of you and can plan accordingly by working on one room at a time. Talk to your roommates and figure out who will take on what responsibilities. Make sure to grab any missing cleaning supplies you will need from the store beforehand. You can never have too many paper towels! If your roommates happen to be leaving over spring break, and you stay behind for whatever reason, this is a chance for you to take a couple hours here and there to get some major cleaning done. Then you've got some leeway for when everyone else gets to cleaning (might not be till move-out), but at least you can say, "yeah I cleaned all that last time, and that, and that too...". Important parts to clean during spring:
  • Bathroom(s) - mirrors, toilets, showers, floor, counters, rugs, and even vents & drawers. If you clean out the drawers, you can throw away anything old and used, and when you put stuff back in you can decide how to arrange each drawer to make things more organized. Maybe your (or your roommates') toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving stuff, etc. always get left on the counter. Well, this is a good time to talk with them about their habits -- make it clear that it will make everyone's lives easier, especially down the road when the next major cleaning will need to be done.
  • Kitchen - counters, sink, stove/oven, fridge (inside, behind), floor, cupboards/pantry, microwave
  • Living Room - vacuum, dust furniture/decor/shades/light fixtures, move furniture out and vacuum those areas, vacuum between chair/couch cushions
  • Your Room - dust all furniture/shades, vacuum, change bedding, pick up/organize closet, desk, etc.
  • Anything else, like taking out the trash, dusting fans/ceiling fans, picking up clutter, washing hand towels, walls, etc.
Again, it's no reason to get overwhelmed, especially if you have a free weekend or two, roommates to help, and/or a couple days of your break. After all is said and done, your place will look better, be more organized, and will give you more of a reason to love where you live :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Modern Architecture in Iowa

Since spring is around the corner, what better time to plan a road trip than now? If you're interested in art or architecture at all, or just want to take a nice drive through our lovely state of Iowa, here are some neat places to look at! We've compiled some of the most interesting modern buildings/architecture throughout Iowa. Most are still around to our knowledge. They are certainly a blast from the past, and include some awesome Frank Lloyd Wright designs.

A couple notable ones:

Stockman House - Mason City, IA
from Karen M. Carr on Pinterest

Info on the Stockman house can be found here:!stockman-house/c1xp8 You can schedule a tour of it in Mason City!

Frank Lloyd Wright Hotel - Mason City, IA

Info here: Recently restored, you can now stay in an historic landmark in the middle of Iowa.

Dahl House - Des Moines, IA

Designed by architect Ray Crites, known for his work on C.Y. Stephens auditorium, and McFarland Clinic in Ames, IA, this house is like a time capsule to the 1960s. It was built for the owner of Dahl's grocery stores. (unfortunately, the Dahl's chain declared bankruptcy in 2015) The house sold most recently in 2008... but who knows, maybe it will be for sale once more. You know what they say; "everything old becomes new again".

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Recipe: Simple & Delicious One-Pan Pasta


Here's a deliciously simple recipe from Spoon University. Only takes about 20 minutes or so to make. It's tomato, onion, and basil one-pan pasta, and it looks mighty tasty.

Servings: about 4


12-oz linguini
12-oz cherry tomatoes
1 yellow onion, (about 2 cups sliced)
5 cloves garlic
¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 sprigs basil, + torn leaves for garnish
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, + more for serving
4 ½ cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper for serving


1. Thinly slice onion and garlic cloves. Cut tomatoes in half or in quarters if large and set aside.
2. Measure pasta, About 12-oz (¾ box).
3. In a large skillet or pot, combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 4 ½ cups water.
4. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, uncovered. Stir frequently once the pasta softens.
5. Cook until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated (~9 minutes).
6. Then you can choose to drizzle with olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, and/or garnish with some fresh basil!


Monday, February 15, 2016

Presidents' Day

It's Presidents' Day today! It's a day when we celebrate all US presidents, past and present. Originally meant to honor George Washington's birthday, it became a federal holiday in the 1870s, and now serves as a reminder of the virtuous leadership that our great nation has held!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fun Money Spotlight: Brick City Grill

Brick City Grill is an upscale sports bar and restaurant located in North Ames and also happens to be one of our Fun Money vendors! Today we wanted to spotlight all that the Grill has to offer, so we took it upon ourselves to stop in for a bite to eat.

Located on Stange Rd, Brick City Grill has an atmosphere perfect for watching the game or visiting for family dining. The bar offers a selection of beers on tap and top shelf mixed drinks, and those going just to eat can find a menu full of burgers, wings, sandwiches and more.

Brick City offers specials every day of the week for drinks and appetizers, but they also heavily advertise their Triple Double Food Challenge. The challenge, you ask? It’s finishing six beef patties, twelve pieces of cheese, twelve pieces of bacon, a toasted brioche bun, and a double order of fries in 30 minutes or less by yourself.

The Grill has lots of other perks (in case you don’t feel like stuffing yourself on hamburger patties and fries) like their gluten free menu and a loyalty membership program that offers a free birthday meal and other yearly offers. So if you’re looking for a casual, welcoming atmosphere for lunch or just a place to grab a beer and catch the game, we recommend Brick City Grill. You can find a full list of all of the Ames (and other) locations’ Fun Money vendors at!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

DIY Desks

Tired of your old second hand desk you've used for the past five years?

Here are some places you can check out for inspiration to create your own desk, and have a workstation that you are proud of!

brit+co always has tons of great DIY projects. This page links you to some ideas you can try yourself -- some are simple and straightforward, and some are more ingenuitive (just wait till you see the "books desk").
This slideshow will get you inspired. A growing theme is to incorporate storage under, or even within desk top space.
And here is a list of 20 DIY desks that are meant to be used in a home office. Again, just a nice variety of projects to get the gears in your brain turning so you can turn out your own awesome desk.

Hopefully this post left you with some bursts of creativity just waiting to be expanded upon!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows

Sometimes you don’t want to leave your couch, let alone your house.’s freezing outside! Thankfully, Netflix has made it possible for you to justify your laziness by providing a variety of binge-worthy television shows. So in case you’re feeling like a marathon this weekend, we’ve rounded up the best offerings that Netflix has to keep you entertained for hours on end.

House of Cards
One of Netflix’s best and first original series, this political drama focuses on the despicable Frank Underwood and takes a look behind the scenes of American government with a special interest in political greed and corruption.

Parks & Recreation
In case you’re looking for a more light-hearted take on government dealings, look no further than Parks & Rec, whose final seventh season was just added to stream. You really can’t go wrong with Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt or Nick Offerman. Added bonus: the half hour episodes are incredibly easy to binge.

American Horror Story
Maybe you’re feeling something darker and scarier; or maybe you’re already a diehard fan and need a horror fix after the latest season ended. American Horror Story offers such a variety of weird, creepy episodes that vary in theme and location each season that you won’t be disappointed OR bored...just really creeped out.

Making a Murderer
Another of Netflix’s insanely popular original titles, this documentary has gone viral both online and off. See what everyone’s talking about in this chilling look at an alleged staged murder case and weigh the controversial evidence for yourself.

Planet Earth
If you’re feeling like a documentary that doesn’t focus on serial killers, you should check out the acclaimed Planet Earth series. Sure, it’s been around for a while- but the production is top notch and the one and only David Attenborough narrates. Journey from the depths of the ocean to snow-capped mountains, and learn about our planet and its inhabitants along the way. Planet Earth is simply a must watch and a great choice for an educational and entertaining marathon.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Today we honor a man that lived his life under the principles of love, non-violence, and equality. Find out more about how his legacy of service lives on, and be a part of #MLKDay.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Winter Decorating

Here's a quick post showcasing some sweet ideas to get your place looking fresh as new fallen snow this winter!

1. Gold Leaf Pinecone Garland
Incorporating nature for the win


2. Mini Rosemary Wreath Garland
This will look good all winter, whether Christmas is over or not


3. Sweater Pillow
Too cozy

4. Pinecone Hanging Wreath
More nature!


5. Birch Bark Wrapped Candles
Save some money, make something awesome from