We traveled over the river (the Mississippi that is) for Thanksgiving to visit my sister. When we tell people Em moved to Iowa the automatic response is “What’s in Iowa?”. We spent the day exploring Des Moines and had a great time!

Here’s what we found…

Small Business Saturday was the perfect day to visit some of the 85 small shops in this area downtown.  www.eastvillagedesmoines.com

Porch Light

Loved this quote on the giant chalkboard at a shop called Porch Light


This little shop called Seed was one of my favorites. The inside looked like a well loved garden shed and the shelves were filled with tiny plants and terrarium supplies.

found things

In this shop called “Found Things” we found a little bit of Ohio, lovely antiques, and neat architectural salvage. Had to chuckle at the collection of brass hose nozzles—something my dad likes to pick up where ever we go.

Can someone open a spice shop like this in Hartville...oil, vinegar, pepper, mushrooms...is it strange that I enjoy looking at weird foods?

Can someone open a spice shop like this in Hartville, pretty please? Oil, vinegar, peppers, mushrooms, and spices I’ve never seen!




The lemongrass pork might be the best taco I’ve ever eaten.

A SCULPTURE GARDEN that makes you say hmmm...

Des Moines sculpture garden

Someone needs to explain that last one to me


bulb blowing

Fire+molten glass…. blowing glass ornaments is an adrenaline rush..who knew?

glass blowing

We wore special glasses that blocked out most of the bright orange and yellow flames (right photo).

making ornament hangers

Studio owner, Rachel, gave great instructions, taught Emily how to make an ornament holder, and showed us how she makes glass beads.

cooling bulbs

The bulbs took about 20 minutes to cool.

Not too shabby for a first try! My green one has a good side and a wonky side.

Not too shabby for a first try! My green one has a good side and a wonky side.

People don’t give the midwest enough credit.  Like Iowa, Ohio has so many towns with great attractions big and small. We love finding those one of a kind places wherever we travel and strive to bring a bit of that fun to our shop in Hartville.

Thanks for the fun visit Des Moines. Expectations far exceeded 😉

iowa raygun

Great midwest t-shirts, stickers, etc at Raygun in the East Village