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MommyCon Minneapolis Tickets Giveaway

Let’s have another giveaway!!! 🙂

I will be giving away 2 FREE tickets to 2 separate winners to MommyCon Minneapolis!

MommyCon Minneapolis is Saturday, April 18th.

Here are some blog posts, I have already posted with some great information about what you can expect!

MommyCon Minneapolis 2015 – What is MommyCon?
MommyCon Chicago 2015 – Chicago Schedule announced!
Cloth Diapering Resource Center
Great Cloth Diaper Change: MommyCon Minneapolis

Update: MommyCon Minneapolis has changed venue! It is now being held at the Marriott City Center. Check out here for information on booking a discounted room.


I will announce a winner on Saturday, February 28th!

Small Business Sunday Holiday Shopping Extravaganza

It’s the holiday season and one event to kick off the holiday shopping season is Small Business Saturday! Remember my post last year of all the awesome places to shop local in Des Moines? Well, Small Business Saturday is happening again this year on Saturday, November 29th!

In celebration of Small Business Saturday another great event is taking place on Sunday, November 30th … The Small Business Sunday Holiday Shopping Extravaganza.

This event is specifically for local vendors to showcase all their art and businesses. Shannon Stimple, a local artist in Des Moines, participated in a Small Business Saturday event and there was such a great turn out that she decided to host one herself, this year on Sunday, November 30th from 12 pm – 5 pm at Z’s Bar and Grill/Legion Hall.

There are so many participants signed up representing so many realms of art including: cooking spices, airbrush, photography, fibers, jewelry, pottery, gift baskets, body art, and tons more!

Vendors include :

  1. Shannon Stimple with SMS Custom Designs–jewelry and not your typical Tie Dye
  2. Lynsi Pasutti with Turtle Star Studio–functional & decorative slab pottery
  3. Gayle Curtis with herbal delights
  4. Karla Risius-Schumacher and Angela Perez with Gift Baskets and other Handmade Giftables
  5.  SkeieScapes (Cindy Skeie) with bright, wonderful Photography
  6. Veronica Deitrick and Fuku Wonwon with Dog Hats and Accessories
  7. Steve Baier with Air Brushed Masterpieces
  8. Maggie Howe with Girl With A Sword Productions- Fibers and Scarves
  9. John Gibney with JAG Photography
  10. Sarah Norman with Alternative Artistry Body Art
  11. Spice Shed has delicious, organic, salt free spice mixes
  12. Joy Hockensmith with funky, cool Jewelry
  13. Danèlle Stamps with savory kitchen must-haves from her family farm
  14. Betsy Hemping with Deep Rooted Fine Beaded Art
  15. Kim Bat Kreatures with Spooky Art
  16. Kaitlin Flury with fantastical paintings
  17. Anne Llewellyn with Shaded Tree Bakery will have scrumptious treats
  18. Annie Wood-Long with her fashion-forward hair accessories for teens and kids
  19. Meagan Tron of Trondo airbrush/spray paint art
  20. D.Ryan Allen with his captivating and curious illustrations
  21. Michael Lundberg with Meeka Mouse –painting
  22. And perhaps a few more still to come!

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Why is it important to shop local?  When you buy local  you are doing four important things:

  1. Supporting entrepreneurship
  2. Building a strong community
  3. Helping create local jobs in the community
  4. Keeping money in the local economy

Spend your Black Friday cuddled up at home, digesting that wonderful turkey feast and go out to shop Saturday & Sunday to help your local community!

For more information about the Small Business Sunday Holiday Shopping Extravaganza please check out the official event page on Facebook.

Hike It Baby

I want to share an awesome group, I learned about these past couple of weeks …

Hike It Baby!

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I learned about Hike It Baby from another local babywearer in the Babywearing of Central Iowa group.

Hike It Baby all began in July of 2013 and has EXPLODED since then. It all started when one mother, Shanti Hodges, from Portland, Oregon, asked a group of other women if they wanted to go hiking with her. Week after week, more and more women joined. As the numbers increased, Shanti decided to create a website and newsletter to keep everyone in touch with each another.

Shanti created this group with the main focus to get moms (even dads) and babies out into nature. The hikes also help minimize postpartum depression, allows you to learn more about your city, meet other people who have the same interests as you, and give you some exercise.

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By word of mouth, and social media, several moms AND dads volunteered to lead hikes. The number of hikes that were lead weekly and daily, grew and grew! At this time, there are 40-80 Hike It Baby lead hikes across America. Each location has their own Facebook group, where leaders plan hikes and everyone who is in that area can talk and plan.

I absolutely love babywearing and to hear that an activity like Hike It Baby exists, makes me so happy!

Hike It Baby is completely free. It’s free to lead and it’s free to hike. It does not take much to become a leader. You can wear your baby, you can push them in a stroller, or if they want to hike along with you, they can do that too!

Right now, the Hike It Baby 30 challenge is taking place during the month of November. The challenge is to hike 30 miles in the month of November. Every 10 miles you hike, you are entered into a giveaway and there are some AWESOME prizes to be won! You can register for $10 to be officially part of the Hike It Baby 30 challenge and have a chance to win prizes OR  you can do it on your own, without registering, but you will not win prizes.

There are several levels of the challenge if you really want to challenge yourself even more. Such as hiking on only dirt trails all 30 miles, or you can walk around anywhere in your city as long as you hit the 30 miles. Amelia and I signed up for this challenge. Since it has been getting colder, it has been hard to get out and hike/walk, but there is still time! I know we can do it!

There is still time to sign up for the Hike It Baby 30 Challenge and if you belong to the Babywearing of Central Iowa Group, there are a group of women who are planning some hikes to meet this challenge. If you have not joined Babywearing of Central Iowa, read this to find out how!

As of now, there is no official Hike It Baby group in the Des Moines area. After the Hike It Baby 30 challenge, there has been talk of one being created! So, keep your eyes and ears open!

Des Moines Beyond 4 Walls

Let’s talk about an AWESOME free resource that keeps you up to date with fun events and activities going on in the Des Moines area … Des Moines Beyond 4 Walls.

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I wish I could take credit for all the fun events and activities we go to, but I cannot. Des Moines Beyond 4 Walls is an open Facebook group ran by two great ladies. They spend a lot of time and work creating documents for each season, holiday, etc. of things going on in the Des Moines area.

Each week a thread is started for events going on for that specific week and a thread for events going on for that specific weekend coming up. It’s great because not only do the administrators put what they have found on the thread, anyone who is a member of the group can add an event and/or activity they would like others to know about.

This group is also a great place to announce anywhere you have been and that you have enjoyed, such as a park.  You can also announce if you really love a place your child is taking gymnastics or violin lessons. It’s a great place to get recommendations from people who may be involved in something, you are looking into!

Please click here and request to join!


You can search for Des Moines Beyond 4 Walls on Facebook.


Blank Park Zoo Night Eyes 2014 & Giveaway!

We made it out to the Blank Park Zoo Night Eyes again this year! Monte really enjoyed himself last year, so we made sure to check it out this year.

He went as a minion this year! It was hard to get a picture of him with the entire costume on (classic 2 year old), hopefully, before the end of the season, I will get one. I bought it off Etsy … I seriously have an Etsy addiction. Everything is so unique on that site!

I tried to get some good pictures of the event, but as the night went on, it got darker and darker and my pictures did not turn out the greatest 🙁

There were a lot of the same themes as last year like the Wizard of Oz, Pirates, When I Grow Up; but they did a great job of setting it up differently and adding some new things!

They also had the Fun Zone set up this year, which includes bouncy, inflatable houses, kettle corn, hot dogs, and more. We did not make it to this area in time. The Fun Zone closes at 7:30 pm

Monte enjoyed receiving candy from all of the different characters dressed up such as Woody from Toy Story and a Princess! He was a little shy when he met the princess. He wanted to go over, but never got enough courage to go and take a picture.

Monte also enjoyed riding the train, riding the carousel, and seeing some of the animals. While we were there the lion’s were super active and we saw the male lion get up and run! We also saw the tortisus’s up close.

I would definitely recommend putting Night Eye’s on your list of Halloween things to do! I love how the kids receive more then just candy, such as coupons, and how it can become a learning experience by viewing the animals and seeing some different, kid-friendly characters!

This weekend is the last chance to check it out.

It will be open Thursday – Sunday

Thursday & Friday 5:30pm – 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm

If you go Thursday or Friday I would recommend being there right at 5:30 so you have a chance to check out the Fun Zone!


I am giving away TWO free tickets to Night Eyes. All you have to do is go to my Facebook page and like, share and comment “done” on the pinned post at the top of the page. If the page gets to 120 “likes” by Wednesday, I will randomly announce a winner! Good Luck!

What is your favorite thing at the Blank Park Zoo Night Eyes?

Babywearing International of Central Iowa

Last week was International Babywearing week. I thought I would share with you, my experiences with babywearing and about an awesome support group, here, in Central Iowa!

I have been a lover of babywearing since Monte was little. I didn’t actually start wearing him until about 4-5 months old. I was not really sure about the whole thing. I finally decided I would give it a try. I started with an Ergo. Which is still my favorite carrier to this day. I also received a mei tai for my birthday, the year Monte was born. I wore it a few times. Below is a picture of me wearing him at the pumpkin patch in the mei tai.

A mei tai is a bit more wrapping and I was a little discouraged with this carrier so I did not use it much with Monte.

The Ergo is also great because it can be used for a back carry too! We used it just recently for Monte when we flew to Dallas in May. Travis snapped him on and went all the way through security to the gate, without having to take him off.

When I became pregnant with Amelia, I told myself I would start babywearing much earlier. For many reasons …

  1. Skin to skin contact is important for babies
  2. It makes my life easier to wear her while chasing around a 2 year old
  3. She usually falls asleep immediately when I wear her

I started off with the NuRoo Pocket. Which is not a carrier BUT it’s a shirt wrap and has the same benefits as many carriers. With the NuRoo Pocket, it can only be used for  babies up to 15 lbs. I think it’s one of the greatest items to practice skin-to-skin contact, while wearing. It allowed me to get things done around the house and play with Monte and still have skin-to-skin contact.

I keep mentioning skin-to-skin contact. It is so important to have skin-to-skin contact with newborns and babies in general!

  1. Helps establish the breastfeeding relationship
  2. Helps stable and create normal body temperatures for baby
  3. Helps stable blood pressure and heart rates for baby
  4. Less likely to cry
  5. More likely to exclusively breastfeed longer
  6. And it’s just super convenient 🙂

I decided to purchase another mei tai, which I LOVE. It’s a Baby SaBye Wrap which you can purchase from Etsy. It is handwoven, beautiful and so comfortable! If I am not using the Ergo I am using this.

With the help from our local babywearing group, I feel so much more comfortable using a mei tai!

If you are interested in babywearing and want to learn more OR try out different wraps/carriers …

“Like” the Central Iowa Babywearing group on Facebook.

“Follow” the Central Iowa Babywearing blog

Request to join the Babywearing International of Central Iowa group on Facebook

They hold meetings once a month in different locations through out Des Moines. You can check out dates and locations on their Facebook page.

You can also become a member for $30 a year! When you become a member, you have access to check out a babycarrier or wrap for an entire month. This is GREAT if you are new to babywearing and not really sure what will work best for you, before purchasing your own.

 To become a member e-mail centraliowaBWI@gmail.com

What is your favorite babywearing carrier/wrap?