Raise your hand if you’re slightly freaking out about the fact that we’re entering the last week in June tomorrow? Eek!

True to form, I decided to write a “summer bucket list” this weekend so I can stay focused on having fun these next couple of months. How’s that for an oxymoron?! ;) Anyways, here’s what I’ve got:

  1. Go berry picking (probably at Berry Patch Farms – my fave!)
  2. Walk to one of the 500 fro yo places around my house after dinner
  3. Go fishingDONE!
  4. Drinks/dinner at Mullets followed by an I-Cubs game
  5. Go swimming (I went approximately ZERO times last year!)
  6. Attend a Thursday night Jasper Winery music/wine event
  7. Go to the National Balloon Classic
  8. Ride bikes to the Cumming Tap
  9. Go to a Music Under the Stars concert
  10. Attend the Blank Park Zoo’s Zoo Brew

I’m feeling like this is totally doable, and Ben and I actually crossed off an item that would have made the list if it hadn’t just happened this weekend – attending the Des Moines Art Festival on Friday night!


This annual festival takes place in downtown Des Moines, surrounding the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, and is something I look forward to every year. Not only is it nice to wander around, checking out the travel photography (my favorite), paintings, and mixed media pieces, but it’s also just a really good time in a fun and festive atmosphere.


Plus there’s cold beer for sale. :)

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Ben and I thought we could beat the crowds and heat by going in the evening of opening day, and while it didn’t get too crowded while we were there, it was scorching! A cold bud light lime helped us stroll the festival (which I apparently took zero pictures of) in comfort.


The heat finally lifted on Saturday, with the threat of rain on the horizon. When it hadn’t come by noon, Ben and I said screw the clouds! and ventured out for a 5 mile walk on the trail.

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When the rain finally came later that afternoon, we spent some cozy time indoors watching the Olympic synchronized diving trials (seeeeeriously – how?!) before hanging out with some friends later that night.


Today we made our way over to my parent’s house for our weekly Sunday lunch. On the menu – Aunt Mary’s sausages!!


My aunt, whom we visited in Stuevenville last week, is the best Italian cook and for as long as I can remember has had her famous Italian sausages ready for us whenever we visit. They are slow cooked in her homemade tomato sauce with peppers and onions, and literally fall apart with the touch of a fork after simmering for hours and hours. She froze and sent us on our way with an extra batch last week to enjoy at home – which we seriously did. Immensely!


For the side, my Mom made her throw together Orzo Salad. All she does is cook 8oz orzo, then mixes it with pesto thinned out with a little Italian dressing, and combines it with whatever she’s got on hand in the fridge or freezer. Today it was tomatoes, corn, red onion, black olives, and capers. So yum.


Fresh fruit rounded out the meal. How good are grapes right now, btw?!


For dessert, my Mom made homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie which fresh rhubarb from her garden.


Sweet, tart and creamy. If I wasn’t so stuffed from lunch, I would have eaten 1/4 of it. Thanks Ma! ;)


Poor Evie slept through most of lunch, and thus, lost her slice of pie to her hungry Papa. ;) Not happy about it.


In other news, Ben and I are off to play in a fiercely competitive tennis match this evening.


Sorry, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face. First of all you have to be good at something to be competitive at it, and also competitive to want to win. I am neither, but we love playing together anyways. ;) Heading down to the courts in a bit to sweat, swing, and miss!

Hope you had a great weekend!


What’s at the top of your summer bucket list?