Five Things

Five of Our Favorite Things To Do in Omaha in the Spring & Summer

We love living in Omaha. It’s a great city that is very family friendly. There are so many fun things to do here when the weather warms up. Here is a list of a few of our favorite activities and festivals that we attend every year. If you are ever traveling to Omaha, you have to check these out!

Henry Doorly Zoo

Our zoo was voted best zoo in the country by Family Fun Magazine for the second year in a row. It was also named best zoo by TripAdvisor. We are very proud of our zoo.  I may be biased, but it is the best! We have a membership, so we spend a lot of time at the zoo all year round. Our kids love it. Especially the aquarium. Learn more about our awesome zoo here.

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Omaha Farmer’s Market

Our farmer’s market starts May 2 and we’re super excited. There are actually a few different markets in town every weekend. The ones we go to most often are the Old Market market on Saturdays and the Aksarben market on Sundays. Sometimes we go to both! I bought my basil plants at the farmer’s market last year and they were awesome, so I plan on buying all of the herbs and veggie plants for our garden there this year. Less than two weeks to go! Learn more about the Farmer’s Market here.

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Lee G Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari

This place is so fun! It’s great all year round, but really fantastic in the fall. It’s located on    I-80 just outside of Omaha. It’s a drive-thru safari, but there are some opportunities to get out of the car and explore. There is hiking trails, a pond (Frog Pond), wolf, bear and Bald Eagle viewing areas, a small petting zoo and a cute little gift shop/cafe that includes some small indoor exhibits, as well as, some bird exhibits outside the shop. We actually had one of our best autumn days on record here last November. We hiked all the trails and explored the pond. I took a ton of photos. I have not been through it in the Spring, so I look forward to going again soon. Find out more about the safari here.

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Fontenelle Forest

Fontenelle is our go-to for hiking and outdoor exploration. It’s one of my husband’s favorite places. They have miles of boardwalk that weave through the forest or you can hike the dirt trails. They also have a fun outdoor exploration area for kids and an indoor exhibit area and gift shop. I’m hoping to take photos of the kids here this spring. There is a trail that leads down to the river and photos down there would be amazing!

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The Old Market

The Old Market is one of the entertainment districts in downtown Omaha. It’s filled with restaurants, shops, cute coffee shops and bakeries and art galleries. We like to go down to just stroll around, grab some coffee, lunch or dinner and basically just check out what’s going on. There are festivals held here in the summertime that we usually attend too.

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So there you have it. Our five favorite things to do in Omaha. Of course there are tons of great things to do here and this is just a snippet, but I couldn’t possibly include them all!

 

Five Things

Spring Favorites (so far)

1. Asparagus | We love fresh asparagus. Our favorite way to cook it is on the grill, but for those times that we can’t grill it, we opt for roasting it. If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. Simply wash your asparagus and break the ends off. Then place it in a single layer on your baking sheet. Drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle it with Kosher salt and pepper (this is also how we prep it for grilling). Then put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. We like ours roasted until the tips start to crisp just a little, so it may need to stay in longer depending on how you like it. After you take it out of the oven, you can also grate some Parmesan cheese on top. Delicious.

2. Sandals | I love sandals and flip-flops. I’m in the market for some new ones this Spring and really like these metallic flip-flops in gold from Target. They would work for casual outfits and when I get a little more dressed up, which if I’m being honest, isn’t all that often! Ha ha I will probably buy myself some this weekend!

3. Our Spring Bucket List | We love our bucket lists. They help us remember all of the fun things we say we want to do when the weather gets warm again and also help with boredom on those long summer days. And this year I created a Spring Bucket List for the first time and we are working to cross everything off before we move on to our Summer Bucket List. Get yours here.

4. Midwest Living Magazine | I think this magazine is on every one of my favorites lists. It’s such a great magazine. I look forward to every issue and this Spring issue is awesome. There is an article all about Custer State Park in the Black Hills, which just so happens to be where we are taking the kids on vacation this summer. Lots of good info that we’re using to plan our trip. Plus, they always have awesome recipes and seasonal decorating ideas, not to mention beautiful photography.

5. Garden Planning | As you know, I started my first mini garden last Spring, but this year I’m planning on going much bigger. I’ve been making plans, but it’s still been a little too chilly here to really get started planting yet. Soon though. Very soon. We’re thinking about a raised bed, however, I might stick with some big galvanized steel tubs this year before venturing into anything bigger. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew and I am still very much a beginner at the whole gardening thing. I definitely plan on planting a few tomato plants and lots of basil again, but I also want to grow some other veggies too (any suggestions for a beginner?). I can’t wait to get started! I will for sure be writing much more about this topic as it gets closer.

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I have big plans for you Spring! I’m so glad you’re finally here and I can get a move on!

Do you have any big plans for Spring? A garden? A fun spring break vacation?

 

Happening Now

Listening to Twin Forks.

Trying to love my coffee with vanilla almond milk instead of creamer.

Reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.

Focusing on my One Little Word a lot.

Loving a new Nate Berkus basket I got at Target for 50% off.

Making quinoa this weekend for the first time ever. Baby steps to eating more healthy.

Planning to slowly redo our master bedroom. It’s in desperate need of a makeover.

Running again three times a week and it feels good.

Wishing for Spring. It’s been so cold here. Insert sad face.

Admiring a few couches in West Elm that I would love to buy…someday.

Watering my plants (often it seems) and wishing I had shelves so I could get some more.

Wondering what I can create using my husband’s new Dremel tool.

Appreciating the little quiet moments throughout the days.

Working on my cover page for this year’s Project Life album.

Searching for some new, inexpensive artwork for our living room.

Drawing an owl for our son’s room. He’s obsessed with owls.

Looking forward to a date with my husband tomorrow. We’re touring a brewery.

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Have a great weekend!

Five Things

Five of my favorite things right now.

1. Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Tea

2. Pumpkin recipes. I am going pumpkin crazy this year and I love it.

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3. The Blacklist. A new show on NBC starring Steph from Pretty In Pink…I mean James Spader. Oops.

4. Pumpkins. All shapes and colors. Everywhere.

5. My new throw pillow from Ikea. It’s so soft and squishy.

What are you guys loving right now? Any really good new shows I should check out? Or maybe a pumpkin recipe that you love?! I can’t get enough!

Five Things

As I mentioned on Monday, I’m ready to flip the calendar over to September and get this autumn started, so in the spirit of the new season rapidly approaching, I want to share five things I l love about fall.

1. The food! I love summer grilling, but I adore the comfort food of fall. I love using my crock pot and the simplicity of it. I also love to cozy up on the couch to watch football with a warm bowl of chili and a glass of red wine. Perfection.

2. Pumpkin candles and  just lighting candles in general. I find candlelight to be so much more romantic and cozy in the fall and winter. But that pumpkin scent is my all-time favorite. It warms my soul. Too cheesy?

3. The colors. We have a lot of colors here in Nebraska and there’s something about all that color that is so inspiring. I usually have a ton of projects that I get excited about tackling, and this year is no exception!

4. The new season of shows start back. I have a few favorites that I can’t wait to watch this fall. The shows at the top of my list are Parenthood, The Walking Dead and Modern Family. Oh man I’m I excited for The Walking Dead! Hurry up October!

5. The holidays. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. It’s just too much fun! Costumes and free candy. Enough said. And who doesn’t love a holiday that involves celebrating what we’re thankful for while eating a gorgeous homemade meal?!

Is anyone else ready for fall’s arrival? Are you obsessed with pumpkin candles too or is that just me?!

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Oh, and I love pumpkins. All varieties. If I could be a pumpkin farmer I would.

See you tomorrow!

Five Things

Is it Monday already? We had a very busy weekend that included a visit from my parents, some major tree trimming and a trip to a lavender farm. It was a good weekend, but it went by much too quickly.

I thought I’d start the week by sharing five things I’m loving right now.

1. Hanging out in the backyard with the kids. They swim and play in the pool while I read and relax.

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2. These vintage v-neck tees from Old Navy. They’re light weight and I love the deep v-neck.

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3. My new hat. I’ve wanted one of these since last summer, but had a hard time finding one I really liked. I finally found this one at Old Navy. Yay for cute hats in the summer!

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4. Stove top popped popcorn. I don’t like microwave popcorn. I never really have. It tastes very chemically to me; just my opinion. So, instead of microwave popcorn, I take a few extra minutes and make it on the stove with a little vegetable oil and then salt when it’s done. I can’t seem to get enough of it lately. It’s so light and fluffy! Perfect for a summer snack attack.

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5. The Killing. I had heard over and over about how good this show was and then it got cancelled before I could check it out. Well, the fans were so upset that AMC brought it back this Spring with a new season. I was so excited to start catching up on Netflix, so as soon as we finished Arrested Development we started watching it. It’s SO good. And what’s not to love about Netflix and being able to watch as many episodes in a row as you want?! Somebody stop me. Seriously.

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So there you have it. Just a few of the things I’m loving right now.

Do yourself a favor and start watching The Killing. Like right now.

See you tomorrow!

 

Five Things

Now that it’s officially summer, well on Friday that is, I thought I would share my five favorite things about this awesome season.

1. Swimming. I grew up with a pool in my backyard and was a little fish my entire childhood. I loved swimming more than anything, and often times my parents had a hard time getting me out of the pool at the end of the day. My dream is to someday have a pool in our backyard for our kids. Someday.

2. Watermelon. Oh how I love watermelon. It’s the greatest fruit on Earth. I could literally eat an entire watermelon in one sitting. My husband just laughs at me.

3. All That Green. I love looking out the window and seeing all that green on the trees and the lawns. And the flowers! I crave that in the winter.

4. Farmer’s Markets. I like being able to buy fresh picked fruits and veggies from local farmers, but I also like just being around all the people and feeling like a part of the community. It’s awesome.

5. Long Days. Summertime is so magical with its long days. I just love that the sun stays up so late into the evening. I love dusk. It’s so gorgeous with colorful sunsets. I always so much more energy because of all the daylight.

Summer seems to fly by too fast, so I try my hardest to soak up every last second of it. We take lots of pictures, enjoy some long, lazy days just lounging around and also get out  and about doing all the things that we can’t do in the winter. There is nothing like summer and all its magic.

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Five Things

I finally got a new phone this weekend. I say finally because my iPhone 4 has had a broken screen for almost 2 years. The only reason it didn’t completely fall apart was because I had a screen cover on it that held the glass in place making it so that it still functioned properly. And since it still worked, I had a hard time parting with the $200 to buy a new one. Well, I’ve been due for an upgrade for a couple of months, so my Mother’s Day gift was an iPhone 5. Yep, I love it already. In honor of my new, non-broken phone, I thought I would share my five favorite apps of the moment.

1. Instagram-This one is pretty obvious.

2. PicTapGo-I’m really loving this app and it’s editing options. It’s fun and easy.

3. ABeautifulMess-This one is super fun for adding text, doodles and borders to pictures.

4. Wunderlist-This recently became my new way of keeping everyday lists that I can cross off as I go. I love crossing things off lists. It makes me feel like I actually accomplish things during the day.

5. 10k Runner-I use this app every time I run. I like that there is an end goal, which is being able to run a 10k.

So, there you have it. The five apps that I use the most often right now. Smart phones are awesome, aren’t they?!

Is anyone else tired today?  Oh, Monday. You always come too soon.

Five Things

1. I’m getting close to being caught up on my Project Life after getting way behind due to running out of photo paper and just being too lazy or too busy to go buy more. But I remembered that I had a bunch of 8.5×11 sized sheets, so I’ve been using that.

**Note to self: Must go buy 4×6 photo paper ASAP**

2.  I’ve been coming across a ton of diy projects on Pinterest that I’m dying to try like this and this. Now all I need to do it buy the supplies and find some kid-free time to work on them. That’s much more difficult than it sounds.

3.  I haven’t had soda for 80 days. I gave it up for Lent. Not because I’m Catholic, but because I wanted an excuse to do it and see how long I could go. I’m happy to say that I don’t miss it at all. But I didn’t drink much of it before anyway. Now my plan is to start cutting more things from my diet that are bad for me one at a time. I love knowing that I have the willpower to do it!

4.  What the h*** is going on with this weather?! I mean seriously. It’s May 1st and the temperature is feeling much more like February 1st. Why? Why? Every time I think I can start planting a garden and flowers, the weather changes and I have to put if off for another week.

5.  I need a vacation.

Because I can’t afford a vacation at the moment, I’ll just post a photo taken by my husband on our trip to Big Sur last year.

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Happy May everyone!

Five Things-About Me

Because this is a new blog for me, even though I’ve been blogging for almost five years, I thought I would share a few things about me so that you can get to know me a little bit better.

1. I have some weird quirks. But one that I’ve had forever seriously determines whether or not I get a good nights sleep. Ok, here it is. I have to have a pillow at the end of the bed on my feet or I have a REALLY hard time falling asleep. I know! It’s totally weird! Well, it all started when I was pretty little. My mom didn’t want me to put the decorative pillows from my bed on the floor, so she would put them at the end of the bed. I got so used to having those pillows there that even when I didn’t have to have them there, I couldn’t sleep without one! I hold my mom responsible for my weirdness.

2. My absolute favorite food of all time is pizza. I could literally eat pizza every day of the week. I never get tired of it.

3. I’ve been scrapbooking for 17 years, so I guess that means I’ve been some what of a photographer that long too considering my scrapbooks are filled with all the pictures I’ve taken over the years. But I’m just finally turning my love for photography into my career. It sure took me long enough.

4. If I could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, I would choose my grandma in a heartbeat. She died four years ago after a long and devastating battle with Alzheimer’s. We were really close. I feel cheated that she didn’t get to see me get married or meet my kids. She did get to meet Jeremy, but was already really gone by that point, so she didn’t even know who he was or why he was hanging around.

5. My dream vacation, other than a trip to the Maldives, is a trip to Alaska. We thought about going for our honeymoon, but decided that it would be too expensive considering we just got engaged in Hawaii eight months before buying a house and paying for part of a wedding. I still wish we would’ve just gone for it! Maybe we’ll get there for our ten-year anniversary. Fingers crossed.

So, that’s just a few things to help you to get to know me better.

If you have any weird quirks, I would love to hear about them so that I don’t feel like the only weirdo.

It’s almost officially Spring! I’m so excited I could do a happy dance! Yay!

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I hope you have a great weekend!