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Dear College Freshmen,


In many ways, I envy you.  You are so young.  You have so much to look forward to.  You are entering one of the best phases in life.

And yet, I worry about you.  You are so young.  You have so much to learn.  You are entering a defining phase in life.

I was in your shoes 12 years ago, and the last thing I wanted was some 30 year old giving me advice.  But, that’s exactly what I’m about to do… (because I’ll sleep better at night knowing I tried to help you.)

So here it goes, my advice for college freshmen:

1.  It's okay to change your mind. Change your major. Dump your boyfriend. Set a new course. Now is the time to do it!

2.  Don't get caught up in the petty behavior that seems to follow groups of girls. Judging, gossiping, backstabbing - the sooner you quit doing those things, the better friends you’ll have and the happier you’ll be.

3.  Surround yourself by people you want to be like. If you see yourself taking on attitudes or habits or behaviors that remind you of someone else, ask yourself if that’s who you want to be.

4.  Others will make mistakes.  Forgive them.  Others have faults.  Love them anyway.  It’s no fun being mad all the time.

5.  You have faults. Love yourself anyway.  You will make mistakes.  Forgive yourself.  You will make more mistakes drunk than sober. Remember that.

6. Find an older woman you can identify with, and listen to her advice. Your boss, your coach, your advisor…she’s been there and can be your tour guide. In every phase of my life, I’ve had amazing women show me the way, and I am so thankful for that.

7. Don’t aim for perfection.  Perfection is psychotic.  Decide what’s important to you and do your best at those things.  Decide what’s not important to you, and lower your expectations in those areas.

8. Learn how to use tools.  Google how to fix your washing machine. Change your own oil.  You don’t need a man to do things for you.

9. Parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever have.  Think hard about whether or not you want to be a parent, and if you do, take that into consideration when you choose a career path.  Because when you have a full-time, stressful job, and your children are a full-time, stressful job…well, it’s a lot to handle.

10. Do things that are good for your soul, not your ego.  When you feel overwhelmed or overcommitted, make your soul a priority.

I could go on and on, and the lessons you learn on your own will be endless.  When you emerge from this place four years from now, you will be a better woman.  You will have had your share of struggles and joys and you will be ready for the rest of your life’s journey. 

Carpe diem, my friends!


*Photo courtesy From my Front Porch.*

10 Favorite Turkey Recipes


The Iowa Food and Family Project is talking all about turkey this month! 

Turkey JMJ -Subway-32

I got to be a part of the fun in June when Iowa Girl Eats went behind the scenes at a local Subway.  Kristin (Iowa Girl Eats) is an amazing food blogger here in central Iowa.  She works with the Iowa Food and Family Project through Join My Journey.  We farmers would love to have everyone out to our farms to visit, but it’s just not feasible.  So, Kristin has visited farms and shared her “journey” through her blog on the IFFP website.

Kristin toured a turkey farm in Iowa last summer, but I just met her for the first time when we on live tv together in June.  Our favorite local morning show, Great Day, invited us in to talk about Iowa Food and Family Project, turkey and Subway!

Why Subway? Well, Iowa turkey farms supply all of Subway’s turkey nationally!

I have to say, Kristin was just as cute and sweet in person as she appears on her blog!  We had a great time talking blogging, food and kids at the Great Day studio and at Subway the next day. 

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At Subway, we all got to meet the franchise owner, Joe Fisher, Kristin made her own sandwich, and then Kristin signed (and gave away) cookbooks!

The Join my Journey blog on the Iowa Food and Family Project website has more videos and information about the Subway “Journey,” including Kristin’s perspective.

But I wanted in on the action, so I submitted a blog post to their website, too!  My post showcases my Top 10 Turkey Recipes, so click over to find out what they are!

top 10 turkey recipes

Peek at Recent DIY Decorating

I’ve sort of been on a roll lately, working on my house.

But, I seem to go through periods of “doing” and periods of blogging.

This, apparently, is a period of “doing” because although I’ve done a lot of projects, I haven’t blogged about them.

So here’s a sneak peek at some of the projects, and when life slows down, I’ll (maybe) do some more in-depth blog posts about it all.

Nesting tables for The HomeShed

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China cabinet (in progress) for The HomeShed

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Nightstand for The HomeShed using my new favorite: General Finishes Milk Paint

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New wall color in the play room

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Canvas-Sticker-Paint art for Adam’s Room

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Barn Wood Leaning Mirror for The HomeShed

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Antique Door Coffee Table for The HomeShed

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Shelves that fell off the wall in the play room. Oops.

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New paint in Isaac’s room

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So I guess I DID get something done this summer, huh?