Pacific Coast Highway Big Sur
Life

Seven Must-Sees From Our Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway Weekend

Ever since I read Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur in college, I’ve wanted to travel down the winding Pacific Coast Highway and see the redwoods and majestic views. During my 20s, I lived in California for almost two years and never made the trip, which I’ve always regretted. Well, earlier this summer,

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Summer Reading List

I have been reading a ton this summer and loving every minute of it. I’ve been really fortunate to discover some wonderful books and new-to-me authors that embody everything I love about reading. And, after taking a little hiatus, I’ve resumed reading non-fiction in the morning, saving fiction for before

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Master Bathroom Remodel - Photo by Cassandra Monroe
Our House

My Master Bathroom Before and After

I’m very excited to finally share our master bathroom before and after photos. We have enjoyed every minute of using the new space for the past year. It was a tough decision to pull the trigger on such a big project because we’ve put quite a bit of money into our

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Des Moines Botanical Gardens
Life

Touring the Des Moines Botanical Gardens

On Saturday, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday with a trip to the Des Moines Botanical Gardens. I’ve lived in Des Moines for almost eight years and driven by the large dome visible from 235 countless times, but I’ve never visited until now. Everyone in my husband’s family loves plants and

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Books and Reading

Six Historical Fiction Audiobooks I’ve Listened to and Loved

Lately, I’ve been using audiobooks as a way to motivate myself to take long walks after work. Listening to a good book while walking on the bike trails in our neighborhood makes an hour go by in what seems like a few minutes. It’s a wonderful way to escape and unwind

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Life

Pretty Blooms Out On the Trails

One of the things I most love about where I live is the easy access to an extensive system of biking and walking trails. The trail that we use is a short five-minute walk away and follows Walnut Creek. I have been enjoying my early evening walks so much now

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Life

FitBit Alta Review and 10,000 Steps Per Day

When school ended a few weeks ago, I began to worry about not getting enough activity during the day. At school and in most of my classes, I’m not sitting very much or at all. Or if I am sitting, then I’m up and moving pretty frequently to talk with

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Repeatable pattern from doodles
Life

Pattern Play Doodles

Yesterday, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw a post by Justina Blakeney leading to a blog post tutorial she had written on how to turn your doodles into a repeatable pattern. I thought, I could do that! So, often when I have that kind of thought, I

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Books and Reading

What I’ve Been Reading Lately and My 2016 Reading Goals

Last year, I had a pretty ambitious goal to read 100 books. Around halfway through the year, I realized that this goal was somewhat silly because I was reading more for quantity than for comprehension. I was also avoiding re-reading books because I had arbitrarily decided that they “didn’t count”

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Spring Wish List and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

One of my big goals for the first quarter of this year was to purge my wardrobe using the Marie Kondo method. If you haven’t yet read The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up, the basic principle is that you gather all items of a certain category in one place.

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Five Petite Fashion Bloggers to Follow

Fashion and clothes have always been a challenge for me. I attended Catholic school from 6th grade to 12th grade. Getting dressed involved picking my skirt up off the floor, selecting a clean shirt, and trying to find a pair of knee socks or tights without holes in them. I

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Life Lately and What I’ve Been Into

My posting has been pretty sporadic over the past few years. When I first started this blog, I posted pretty regularly about whatever I was doing – making jewelry, hiking with the dogs in the prairie, trying out new recipes. Somewhere along the way, I started to feel that blogger

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Jillian Lare Des Moines Interior Designer

About Jillian

Welcome! I’m a Des Moines based interior designer, boy mom to one, avid reader and always aspiring artist. I started this blog when I moved to Iowa in 2008. Currently, I write about life in Iowa, personal development, and my creative journey.

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