May 2014 archive

Summer Spots- The Pool

Summer Spots- The Pool

Now here’s a place my kids have been dreaming about all winter.  And I have to admit, I enjoy it almost as much.  Are you ready for a dip in the pool?

Can you smell that combination of sunscreen and chlorine?  I’m ready for some long afternoons sitting poolside!


Summer Spots- The Pool by stylefromthesticks featuring outdoors patio furniture

Sky beach towel

Havaianas green sandals

Canvas purse

Summer Spots- The Picnic

Summer Spots- The Picnic

In the summer, there is nothing I enjoy more than eating outside.  Sure there are bugs and heat and occasionally the wind blows your stuff all around.  After a long winter, being cooped up inside, it feels so liberating to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors.

My kids and I often picnic, especially at the park.  It doesn’t always involve a meal; sometimes the kids are better at snacks than a real meal.  We love spreading the blanket on the ground, even if there is a picnic table available, and lounging in the sun.  Sometimes we take a book, sometimes it’s baseball or tennis equipment.  Or we just play in the sand on the playground.

No matter how you picnic, doing it is so much fun.  And if your kids are like mine, they will ask to picnic again and again.  And I know one day, these days will be some of mine and their most treasured memories.


Summer Spots- The Picnic by stylefromthesticks featuring a cotton bedding

Metal home decor
$67 –

Summer Spots- The Porch

Summer Spots- The Porch

I apologize.  I must be still in vacation mode.  All I wanna do is spend some nights on my porch, sitting in my chair, sipping on something cold on a hot night.  I wanna turn on the twinkle lights, light some candles and listen to some country music.

Are you ready?  I’m so ready!


Summer Spots- The Porch by stylefromthesticks featuring outdoor party lights

Garden Trading outdoor wall light
$100 –

Summer Bucket List

I had a wonderful weekend!  I hope you did too.  We had a family graduation to celebrate. And had to travel across state lines.  Since we were already traveling so far, we decided to make a vacation out of our trip.  The next day we visited my hometown when I was small.  We ran into a few special people including my old baseball coach and a former VBS teacher whose daughter used to babysit me.  Being there was proof that nothing and everything changes.

And our last day, we visited De Smet and the Laura Ingalls Wilder museums and homestead.  I’m reading the book series to my two oldests right now and thought it would be a good history lesson brought to life.  Mom enjoyed it as well.

Going back to school after this long weekend was rough.  My kids and I are so ready to be done.  Which brings me to today’s topic, my summer bucket list.  I made one last year for the kids but today I want to try to make mine.

Summer Time

Summer Time

Photo credit: via Winnond

Here goes:

Holly’s Grown Up Summer Bucket List

10) Read a book.  I so miss reading.  It has been three years since I read a book simply because instead I have this blog!  And I really do enjoy and miss it.

9) Sit on the beach and relax with my toes in the sand.  This has to be on everyone’s summer bucket list.

8) Go somewhere I’ve never been.  I love a good adventure and don’t go often enough.

7) Take a year off from my annual garage sale.  I just need a break this year.

6) Try not to kill my flowers.  Last year even my planted hostas dried up.  This year I’m determined to water daily.

5) Host a get together for friends.  It seems like this long, long winter I haven’t seen many of them lately.  It’s time for a party!

4) Go to a baseball game and have a hotdog.  Yes, I’m sure they not sanitary but they are a tradition.  Go ahead and judge.

3) Spend a day on a boat with family.  It’s time to get out on the water.

2) Attend an outdoor concert.  Or any concert for that matter.  It has been a very long time since I’ve purchased a ticket to see anyone sing.

1) Finish some uncompleted projects.  Get some of that weight off my shoulders before school starts again.

I can’t wait to get started!  I challenge you to make a bucket list, just for yourself this summer.  It is so fun to watch the checklist get shorter!

Destination Inspiration- Field Trip

Destination Inspiration- Field Trip

This may seem redundant to the farm post from Monday, but in case you don’t have access to the farm, taking a “field” trip is an excellent excursion.

Take a little trip exploring and seek out nature.  Put on your rain boots to avoid all types of unpleasantries- ticks, snakes, chiggers, manure, mud, whatever may be out there.  But don’t forget to bring your camera to snap some shots of the beautiful, secret places you’ll see.

Whatever you get a chance to do this weekend, I hope that you have a great time.  I am taking the weekend off to enjoy my family and our destinations!  I’ll see you again next week.  Happy Memorial Day weekend!


Destination Inspiration- Field Trip by stylefromthesticks featuring iphone cases

Hunter white boots

Ted Baker iphone case
$49 –

Destination Inspiration- The Lake

Destination Inspiration- The Lake

Part of my life I spent living close to a lake.  And after many years of being away from the lake, one visit to the water reminds me of so much.

A lake provides such an added level of richness to a kid’s life.  It is an education of water safety and primal learning.  Days spent exploring on the beach, stick in hand, sitting around beach campfires, collecting shells and telling stories…that’s a great day for a kid.  That’s not taking into account all of the swimming and canoeing and if you’re one of the lucky ones, time on jet skis, pontoons and speed boats, skiing and tubing until you are burnt to a crisp.

Style for the lake doesn’t have to be fussy.  Pack a pair of flip flops and throw your hair into a ponytail.  Most likely it won’t look this beautiful but no one will care.  90% of the time, it’ll be a wet mess anyway.

The smells of the sun and the water, the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, these are things that will live in your child’s memories forever.


Destination Inspiration- The Lake by stylefromthesticks featuring red strap shoes

Old Navy red strap shoes


Destination Inspiration- Garden of Eden

Destination Inspiration- Garden of Eden

Okay, so maybe it’s just your backyard and it really isn’t as perfect as we imagine the Garden of Eden.  But wherever your garden, make it an equal oasis- a place of bliss and relaxation.

I love this little retreat.  Notice how your eye looks beyond the stairs to the focal point, the gazebo.  It makes this backyard seem larger than perhaps it is.  That frame of plants around the steps creates intrigue and drama.  And the privacy.  Ahhh.

What to pack, a big floppy hat.  I love floppy hats.  Not only do they help protect your face from the sun but they are so fun to wear!

Don’t forget a pretty pink nail polish.  This one by Essie is called, Tea and Crumpets.  Perfect.

Pour me a glass of that lemonade and it’s time for a garden party!


Destination Inspiration- Garden of Eden by stylefromthesticks featuring a floppy hat

Floppy hat

Essie nail polish
$18 –

Destination Inspiration- The Farm

Destination Inspiration- The Farm

This week, I’m inspired by the kickstart of summer travel.  Oh the places we’ll go!

Today’s destination inspiration, the farm.  Possibly you live on one, so this isn’t a destination for you.  (Unless home is the destination.)  Chances are, especially if you live in Iowa but not on the farm, you may be one generation removed from it.  Sometimes it’s just good to go out and get back to your roots.  Or perhaps you just want to explore some beautiful old barns.

Throw on a pair of pretty boots (these are not chore boots) and wear your hair in a messy braid. Take a walk down a gravel road.  Stop and pick some wildflowers.  Listen to the birds and the quiet.

Take the time to enjoy the country.


Destination Inspiration- The Farm by stylefromthesticks featuring leather boots

Leather boots

BSS- The Hair College

Earlier this week I took the time to go get my hair done.  This is a major deal in this mom’s life.  Mainly because of the time it takes.  I don’t typically have half a day to waste in the salon chair.

I have to admit that I’m a serial salon visiter.  I don’t really have one salon that I’m loyal to.  I’m one of those hair clients that doesn’t fuss too much about the results of my day at the salon.  You can’t really screw this hair up.  Unless it turns out purple or falls out, we’re good.

So many of the time I like to stop in at the hair college.  If people like me don’t go there, how will those budding hair stylists learn how to do hair?  You cannot beat the price.  And I appreciate that you have someone who has to “check” someone else’s work.  What other stylist gets critiqued?  By a professional?

My visit to the salon involves highlights, lowlights (usually just half a head), a cut and occasionally an eyebrow wax.  I have to admit, on this trip in, I was in the salon chair from 1:00 to after 5:00.  I think my butt fell asleep at one point.  THAT’S A LONG TIME.  One would think I was prepping for the Oscar’s.

I think it took so long because my stylist was very cautious.  Perhaps she had just been through classes and I was one of her first experiments?  I tried to reassure her that I am not too picky.  But at least she wasn’t whacking away at my hair and it turned into a nightmare like it has before at some of those low-cost hair chains.  Whoa.

I can’t complain now.  My hair is done and I won’t have to do it for another three months. And at $65, it was worth it.

Cemetery Service

Cemetery Service

No Memorial Day weekend is complete without visiting a cemetery.  Many have special services just for the weekend.  Remembering those in military service who have died for their country is the whole point of the holiday.  But many of us also extend it to remember those in our own families who have passed on.

Whatever your reason, be sure to include a trip to the cemetery this weekend.  I’ve packed you an easy outfit to wear.

Start with a maxi dress.  You may be sitting in a lawn chair or standing for a while and you’ll want to feel comfortable.  I would normally add a pair of sandals to this outfit, but at the cemetery, the grass may be wet or you may encounter a critter or two (read snakes) that rarely sees visitors.  And an easy pair of tennies might be the better choice.  Last of all, don’t forget your shades.  It may be sunny, but you may be emotional as well.  For either purpose, they’ll serve their job.

I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend next week!  And now you know what to pack!


Cemetery Service by stylefromthesticks featuring gold tone earrings

H M rayon dress
$50 –

Dorothy Perkins laced shoes

Gold tone earrings

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