Make Sure to Stop at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Labeled the most popular tourist attraction in Iowa by Time Magazine and TripAdvisor The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum is a fun stop if you’re driving across Iowa on Interstate 80, or happen to be in the area. It’s also a free museum (donations happily accepted), so there’s no reason to skip it!

old concrete truck at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Make Sure to Stop at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

I was happy for the diversion earlier in the week at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum in Walcott, Iowa! We drive by this place all the time and I never even knew it was there.  But it was really quite neat. Not at all what I expected, but very neat nonetheless.

Let me give you a quick tour of some of the things we enjoyed most.electric milk truck at iowa 80 trucking museumAn electric milk truck from the turn of the century – it delivered fresh milk in Chicago for many years. Why could they succeed with electric trucks in the early 1900s but we can’t figure it out today??

mail truck on skiis at the Iowa 80 trucking museumA US Mail truck on skis… ūüėČ I love to ski. This really cracked me up.

THE wrecker from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes! I don’t really remember the movie much, but it’s still pretty cool, eh?

Wooden peg truck wheels at the Iowa 80 Trucking MuseumPeg wheels made out of wood, anyone? Eh, no thanks…

my 3 cute kids at the Iowa 80 Trucking MuseumThree of my super cute children. I can’t resist an opportunity to show them off! I can’t believe how big they’re all getting!!

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Worth a Visit –¬†Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

If you’d like to pop in to the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, their summer hours (from Memorial Day through Labor Day) are Monday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, and Sundays noon – 5pm. In the winter, they’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, otherwise the hours are the same.

I appreciate museums like the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum. My small children enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, and it is free if you can’t give a donation. I’m sure everyone has times in their lives when they could use a little free entertainment. This is a fun place to go. Make sure you stop by.

Looking for more attractions in Iowa? Here are some of our favorite places to visit.

American Gothic House Center

Wild Cat Den

Buddy Holly Crash Site

Central Discount Grocery in Kalona

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

If you’re trying to eat local, in-season food, make sure to include these top ten plants for early spring harvest. They will yield the first food in the spring so you can have farm fresh produce as soon as possible.

top 10 plants for early spring harvest

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission from your purchase.*

One of my long term life dreams is to eat only locally grown and produced food, like Barbara Kingsolver did in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle¬†{one of my most favorite books of all times}. At first thought, it sounds kind of doable, right? I mean, I have a big garden, and I have egg and meat chickens. I’ve also found a source for local pastured pork and organic, local, grassfed beef. But the logistics are really a lot more complicated than my pea-brain can handle. And it would take a REALLY REALLY REALLY big garden to produce enough food to feed my family of six. Maybe some day.

For now, I will be content to do what I can, and that means maximizing every growing season, and this post starts with spring! Enjoy my list of the top 10 plants to consider if you want to get the earliest possible harvest out of your garden.

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

bowl of strawberries and asparagus in the grass

Early Spring Perennials

I love perennials because I can plant them once, and reap the rewards for years! It’s also a bonus that a few garden perennials produce some of the earliest food in the spring, so make sure to include them in your garden.

Rhubarb – it seems a lot of people have a love/hate relationship with rhubarb, but I love it. It’s also ready for picking sooner than most other fruits and is delicious in crisps, scones, and made into syrup too!

Strawberries – strawberries are the first berries to ripen, usually late May or early June in my area. Nothing beats a fresh strawberry right out of the garden! And since conventionally grown strawberries are some of the most pesticide laden fruits grown, we prefer to grow our own.

asparagus on a sheet pan for roasting

Asparagus – asparagus is ready for a full harvest the third year after it’s planted. It’s one of the earliest¬†crops of spring – so delicious!! We look forward to fresh asparagus every year.

Spring Veggies to Plant before the Last Frost

Spring Onions / Potatoes – can be directly sown from seed six weeks before the last frost if the ground is workable. Onions grow quickly and the greens can be cut pretty soon after they start growing. If you leave the bulb in the ground and just cut the greens, they will even grow new greens for you!

Potatoes are generally ready for harvest a little later, but you can carefully collect new potatoes without disturbing the plant ten weeks after the potatoes were planted. We use the no-dig planting method to grow potatoes. Learn more here.

Spinach /¬†Kohlrabi / Kale¬†– can be directly sown from seed five weeks before the last frost date. It’s especially important to plant spinach early as it needs six cool weeks to reach maturity and bolts quickly in hot weather.

Peas /¬†Radish / Carrots – can be directly sown from seed four weeks before last frost date. Peas also don’t do well in hot weather, so make sure to plant them as quickly as possible. Every year I have volunteer radish crops in my garden because I let some go to seed in the summer. They are some of the first fresh veggies we eat!

Forellensuss Lettuce

Lettuce / Swiss Chard – can be directly sown from seed two weeks before last frost date. I also have volunteer lettuce in my garden from time to time and love it! Fresh lettuce is just delicious.

Check your seed packets to see which varieties mature the quickest. Some radishes are ready within 25 days! And lettuce is very quick growing too.

A collage of  pictures including strawberries in a bowl, forelenschuss lettuce, and a basket of eggs and lettuce harvest.

What plants do you look forward to most in spring?

30+ Valentine’s Day Books for Kids of All Ages!

¬† Looking for a few new Valentine’s Day books this year? This list includes Valentine books for toddlers, Valentine books for preschoolers, and Valentine books for older elementary children as well! Enjoy sharing these lovely books with¬† your kiddos this Valentine’s Day.
Looking for a few new Valentine's Day books this year? This list includes Valentine books for toddlers, Valentine books for preschoolers, and Valentine books for older elementary children as well! Enjoy sharing these lovely books with  your kiddos this Valentine's Day!

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase. Thank you for supporting my site.*

Valentine’s Day Books

Here’s a collection of Valentine’s Day Books for kids of all ages. Check them out from the local library or add a few to your personal library. Do you have a favorite we didn’t share? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list! Enjoy these books with your kids!

Valentine's Day Books to Read with Kids featured

Valentine Books for Toddlers

You will love this collection of¬† Valentine books for toddlers. They’re all board books so you don’t have to worry about destructive kiddos harming the books, but I’m sure you toddlers are model children and not destructive at all, right? ūüėČ

Llama Llama I Love You

Ollie’s Valentine

Where Is Baby’s Valentine?: A Lift-the-Flap Book¬†

I Spy Little Hearts

Snuggle Puppy! 

Baby Touch and Feel I Love You

How Many Do I Love You: A Valentine Counting Book 

My Fuzzy Valentine (Sesame Street)

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!

Valentine’s: Lift-a-Flap Board Book

Click, Clack, Moo I Love You!

more Valentine's Day books for kids

Valentine Books for Preschool

From Fancy Nancy to Pete the Cat to Berenstain Bears and Curious George, these books include some of my kids most favorite literary characters. You and your preschool age children (and early elementary as well!) will love the Valentine books for preschool on this list!

A Valentine for Ms. Vanilla

Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day Is Cool

The Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Blessings

Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Curious George

Pinkalicious: Pink of Hearts

Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Love

Froggy’s First Kiss

Clifford’s Valentines (Scholastic Reader, Level 1)

Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine

Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine

Star Wars: A Very Vader Valentine’s Day

Wrecking Valentine’s Day!

Valentine Books for Older Elementary Kids

Valentine’s Day is not just for young kids. My older elementary kiddos love to read about Valentine’s Day too! Here are a few books that are more appropriate for older children. I’d love to hear if you have ideas not included on this list!

A Short History of Valentine’s Day (Holiday Histories)

The Story of Valentine’s Day

Saint Valentine

Valentine’s Day (Holiday Histories)

Valentine’s Day Jokes for Kids

200+ Valentine’s Day : Knock Knock Jokes, Tongue Twisters, Riddles, & Short Stories for Kids

Spot the Differences: Valentine’s (Puzzle Books for Kids Book 3)

If you liked this post on Valentine’s day books, check out these posts as well:

Fun Learning Activities for Valentine’s Day

Real Food Treats for Valentine’s Day

Red Berry Yogurt Cake for Valentine’s Day

Chocolate Chip Raspberry Scones

Looking for a few new Valentine's Day books this year? This list includes Valentine books for toddlers, Valentine books for preschoolers, and Valentine books for older elementary children as well! Enjoy sharing these lovely books with  your kiddos this Valentine's Day!

Beautiful & Useful Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Moms Who Garden {& free printable!}

If you’re wondering what to give for Mother’s Day, make sure you check out this list of beautiful and useful Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Moms Who Garden! ¬†We also made you free printable gardening coupons for gardening chores! Give them to your mom or have your kids give them to you {hint hint}…*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site and my Amazon Prime addiction.*

Beautiful & Useful Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Moms Who Garden

Today’s installment of Tuesdays in Garden is all about helping you find the right gift to celebrate your Mom. Whether you want to handcraft a beautiful Mother’s Day gift or buy one, we’ve got you covered. This post contains so many great ideas for Mother’s Day, you’re sure to find the perfect gift idea. And¬†at the end of the post, you’ll also find the link to free printable garden coupons, my gift to you, loyal readers. Thank you for being here.

Free printable garden chore coupons. The perfect Gift Idea for Gardening Moms

Garden Harvest Baskets

A beautiful garden harvest basket is something I have wanted for a long time, but have never bought for myself. I know that any one of these baskets would make a great gift for a mom who loves gardening. These are the top three that caught my eye on Amazon, but there are certainly other beautiful options as well. If you’d like to make your mom an extra special garden themed gift, grab one of these baskets and then fill it up with a few of the other items on my list. I’m sure a garden bounty basket filled with useful garden items would be a huge hit!

¬†Pike’s Original Maine Garden Hod¬†Set of 3 Sussex Trugs¬†Metal Harvest Basket

Unique Garden Plant Markers

Garden plant markers are another fun gardening gift, and also something I never bother to buy for myself. I don’t have garden markers, but I really love the classic metal markers included in this list of ideas and would absolutely love it if someone gave them to me!

 Chalkboard Look Vegetable Markers Slate Artisan Plant Markers Classic Metal Garden Markers

Fun Indoor Gardening Kits

If your mom likes gardening kits, these kits might fit the bill! Not only are the lovely to look at, but they’re practical too! I think the cans of herbs or the indoor cilantro jar would look lovely on the kitchen window sill. I’ve never grown my own mushrooms, but have always thought it would be fun to try.

 Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Farm Back to the Roots Organic Herbs in a Can Indoor Cilantro Herb in Jar

Items that Help Attract Pollinators to the Garden

Every gardening mom knows that pollinators are essential to successful gardens. If you’d like to gift your mom something to help her attract pollinators to her garden, here are a few useful and beautiful items. I actually have the bee house and the hummingbird feeder and love them both.


 Bee House and Insect Home Mason Jar Hummingbird Feeder Pollinator Friendly Gardening

My Favorite Organic Gardening Books

Gardening books are not only useful, but fun as well. Make sure to add a gardening book to the harvest basket gift! Your favorite gardener would appreciate any of these¬†gardening books. ūüėÄ

¬†The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!¬†Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden¬†Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening

Useful Gardening Tools

Beautiful and practical gardening tools are always a hit in my book. I love my steel watering cans and garden knife. They’re useful for so many reasons. Admittedly, I don’t wear my garden gloves as often as I should, but maybe this year will be the year I actually start. ūüôā


 2-1/2-Gallon Steel Watering Can Leather Gardening Gloves Hori Hori Garden Knife

Fun Gardening T-Shirts

So these gifts aren’t necessarily practical, but they are awfully cute. If your mom loves gardening and t-shrits, maybe one of these fun t-shirts would be right up her alley.

¬†Work In My Garden & Drink Wine T-Shirt¬†Crazy Garden Lady T-Shrit¬†Women’s Worms Dig My Garden T-Shirt

Fun Gardening Signs

Also not practical, but a fun gift nonetheless, here are a few of my favorite garden related signs. ūüėÄ These are decor, obviously, not for use in your garden. But they could make for cute displays in a gardening shed or on a front porch.

 Dirty Hoe Garden Vintage Metal Sign Pull Weeds Sign Funny Wooden Garden Sign

Tuesdays in the Garden

Tuesdays in the Garden 2017

I’ve shared a few beautiful and useful gift ideas you can buy, but my gardening friends also have a few DIY options today too! If you’d rather make your mom a homemade gift, check out these wonderful ideas from the Tuesdays in the Garden Gang. ūüôā

frugal family homeFrom Shelly @Frugal Family Home – Mason Jar Herb Garden

hearth and vineFrom Patti @Hearth & Vine – How to Make an Herb Garden in a Burlap Sack

 An Oregon Cottage

From Jami @An Oregon Cottage – Easy DIY Gardener’s Hand Cream

Angie freckled rose

From Angie @The Freckled Rose – Gifts for Your Gardener

homemade food junkieFrom Diane @Homemade Food Junkie РContainer Garden Tips 

Bren Haas

From Bren @Bren Hass – Kid Friendly Way to Say Happy Earth Day

6 Easy Mother's Day Planter Ideas

Also from me: 6 Easy Planter Ideas for Mother’s Day

 Printable Mother's Day Garden chore coupons

If you’d like to download the free printable coupons, just click the link and a PDF file will ,¬†Mother’s Day Coupons – ¬†from Simplify Live Love. You can print the coupons on 8 1/2 x 11″ card stock, cut them out, and give to your beloved gardener. Or in my case, I’d print them out, cut them, and then beg my kids to give them to me. LOL!

Happy Mother’s Day to you!!¬†