40 Iowans Reveal Their All-Time Favorite Things, Moments, And Memories In Life

40 Iowans Reveal Their All-Time Favorite Things, Moments, And Memories In Life

You really learn a lot about a person by letting them describe what makes them the happiest.
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Fa-vor-ite

(noun)

  1. a thing that is especially popular or particularly well-liked by someone.

Everyone has favorites. Favorite movies, flavors of ice cream, shoes, songs. But this is your favorite. Like, favorite thing ever.

Just think about it: what makes your heart soar—what gives you that big, warm feeling inside your chest? When are you completely yourself, or completely overwhelmed by the sweetness of a moment?

I think you can really learn a lot about a person by letting them describe what makes them the happiest, so I asked some of the coolest people I know. It's incredible to me how each person has been created to find joy in different things.

There's so much beauty in a simple "favorite." So without further adieu, here are real favorites from real people:

“Standing in worship at the biggest part of a song and just looking around at how different people worship Jesus.”

“Probably when you and your friends start laughing at something and find it so funny you just can’t stop.”

“Sitting outside in the middle of nowhere in the pitch black stargazing with my favorite people!”

“Jumping into a cold lake from a hot sauna.”

“Looking at books full of your own writing in pen.”

“The smell of freshly cut grass.”

“I think it’s when you’re driving with friends and switch back and forth between karaoke jamming and having great conversations.”

“Mine would be reading a new book while it’s raining, and drinking a hot chocolate.”

“Watching the sunrise from a tree stand and getting to watch the wildlife and smell the forest.”

“Walking or biking in the woods while listening to music.”

“Finally summiting a mountain, seeing the view for the first time, and eating a packed sandwich at the top...Oooo, or riding my horse in the early morning when the grass is still dewy and everything is foggy-golden!”

“Sitting at the beach watching all my kids play together peacefully and reading a good book.”

“Falling into a warm embrace.”

“Sleeping in after finishing the last final of the year, finally free from all stress.”

“Waking up on a spring morning to open windows, birds chirping, and the heavy, earthy smell of rain.”

“The smell of freshly-brewed coffee.”

“Stepping on crunchy leaves!”

“Sitting on my grandma’s couch listening to her make supper, with the smell of food and the sound of her chatting with my parents.”

"I think it's is when all my family is home, and joking around with my siblings when I'm with them."

“Twinkly lights, windows open, and playing some guitar.”

“I think my favorite is a humid summer night driving in my car with all the windows down and the sunroof open, the sticky breeze tangling my hair, and the hum of the radio in the background… taking random backroads and not having a worry in the world.”

“Early mornings in a coffee shop in the mountains.”

"Entering the gates of Disney World!"

“Noodling in a river on a hot summer night, lol.”

“The first morning camping and going on a walk with long socks, shorts, and a hoodie.”

“Practice on the first day of a sports season.”

“Taking pictures of the silhouette of people or things or nature with the sunset in the background.”

“On our porch (with no bugs!) watching all our kids playing peacefully in the yard and having nowhere to be!”

"Reading outside when it's really nice and sunny out - preferably in spring, when it smells like lavender."

“Almost every morning at camp. Especially when I wake up before my alarm and it’s a good temp—not too hot or too cold—and I get to wake my campers up and the birds are singing, and even the earth looks happy. And there’s dew on the ground, and you just know it’s going to be a great day.”

“It’s gotta be late at night when all the humans and motors are hushed and resting, and nature pipes up to sing me a song, before I too lay my weary head down.”

“Sitting around a bonfire on a summer night teaching my nieces how to make s’mores.”

“Those moments when time seems to freeze and you look around and just want to savor that exact scenario for all time.”

"Running along a trail. The air has a touch of humidity in it, just enough to make me enjoy sweating. The sun is peeking through the trees, so I feel its warmth on my skin. The breeze is the only thing keeping me going. It's like a fresh burst of energy every time it blows through."

"Taking a walk (OR rollerblading) on a summer night with a breeze; it feels like there's magic in the air, it makes you feel alive."

"The first real spring day when the air is crisp and cool but not cold, and the birds are chirping for the first time, and the sun is shining."

"I am partial to weekend mornings spent in the garden, especially when flowers are in bloom and the pollinators are making their rounds."

"Recapping the day with my wife after all the kids are put to bed."

"Early morning cup of coffee, sitting in chairs outside and listening to the woods come alive. Probably with some rhubarb desert, too."

"Coming home from a long day of school to be greeted with a huge hug from my sister while she’s screaming “PICKLES!” (My nickname). And then just sitting down with her to talk about her day at school is something I’ll treasure forever! "

“It’s gotta be late at night when all the humans and motors are hushed and resting, and nature pipes up to sing me a song, before I too lay my weary head down.”

“Almost every morning at camp. Especially when I wake up before my alarm….(cont.)”

"Reading outside when it's really nice and sunny out - preferably in spring, when it smells like lavender.”

"I think it's is when all my family is home, and joking around with my siblings when I'm with them.”

Cover Image Credit: Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

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10 Things You'll Recognize If You Grew Up In A Small Town

Those stop signs were more like suggestions.
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Whether you're from the Northwest or Southeast, all small towns share basically the same characteristics.

From hanging out at car washes to eating endless meals at that Mexican restaurant, if you're from a small town, you'll probably relate to one (if not all) of these things:

1. Yes, that Mexican restaurant.

Whether you came here to eat after ball games or simply came because there was nothing better to do, you probably spent way to much money on burritos and cheese dip. (For real though, cheese dip was so worth that extra $3).

2. Churches. Churches everywhere.

There seemed to be more churches than people, and everywhere you went one of them was staring you in the face. At least you knew that the whole town was covered on seats when it came to Sunday services.

3. Yep, you hung out at the car wash.

For some odd reason, teenagers like to hang out at the car wash. We don't know why we did, we just did. No car every got cleaned. We just sat on our hoods or tailgates and talked or listened the music. What a wild night.

4. Quick stops.

Gas stations were called quick stops and thank God for those quick stops. You could fill up your tank and get a snack without having to drive 30 minutes to the nearest city. Plus their boiled peanuts were always the bomb. #blessed

5. "Stop" signs.

Those stop signs were more like suggestions. No cop, no stop, right? Same thing with speed limits - merely suggestions.

6. The football field.

Fall Friday nights were made for football games, and there was no getting out of it. Do any of you small town girls really remember going on a Friday night date? Yeah, me neither. Football games were the closest you were going to get to a date on Fridays. You either waited for Saturday or the end of the season. Honestly though, those Friday nights hold some of you and your friends' favorite memories.

7. The good ole grocery store.

Sorry bud, Walmart, Costo, and Kroger were 30 minutes away, and driving to the city was not about to happen. You either went to Shop and Save or Piggly Wiggly for your groceries.

8. "The park."

You either played as a kid, coached a peewee team, refereed as a teenager, or simply watched your siblings play here. No matter the case, you've been to the park, and you're lying if you say you haven't.

9. Those white welcome signs.

Literal *cringe* just looking at it. Passing this sign after coming home from the city meant you were once again stuck in this little town with nothing to do, but you honestly kind of love having nothing to do sometimes.

10. This view.

Sure, there's not a whole lot going on in your small town, but with views like this you can't complain. #NatureIsCool #SoAreSmallTowns

Cover Image Credit: Myself

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12 Ways To Save Money During The Summer When All You Want Is To Spend It

Saving is important year round, but it's most important in the summer

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Over the summer, everyone normally has more free time than during the year, and that means more time to spend more money. Saving money over the summer is important, not only so you can be prepared to pay for things in the future, but also so you can enjoy your summer and no be stressed about how much money you've spent. Saving money is something that should happen year round, but it's especially important to do in the summer.

1. Create a budget

Starting the summer off on the right foot is super important to stay on track throughout the rest of the summer. A budget is something that you should have year round, but it's important to adjust it for your summer plans.

2. And stick to it

Not only do you have to make a budget, but you have to stick to it. If you don't follow your budget, you're wasting time and money, and it's hard to keep on top of finances.

3. Take advantage of student discounts

During the summer, college students find themselves with a lot more free time than in the school year. When you're planning what to do with your extra time, make sure to look if the place offers student discounts or not. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

4. Don't always go out to eat

College students tend to spend time with their friends going out for food or for drinks, and that adds up fast. If you have friends over to cook dinner, it can be healthier and cheaper to do.

5. Sublet

If you have an apartment you're not going to be staying in, or need to stay in Columbus, it's beneficial both ways to sublet. Neither way do you have to pay full price on an apartment, and any discount, no matter how small, saves you money

6. Take day trips

Obviously, no one wants to stay in one place the whole summer, but travel is super expensive. By going on day trips you get to see more of the state or city, but you don't have to pay for lodging overnight. It's a good way to get out without eating into your budget.

7. Walk around

Columbus has great parks and trails that not enough people think about using when they're planning what they want to do. If you walk around outside, you can spend as much time you want there and you don't have to pay anything.

8. Split costs with friend

Do both of you need a Hulu and a Netflix account? Why not share the costs and the passwords with each other, so that you both can save some extra cash in the future. This doesn't just have to be with streaming services, but it can apply to food and parking costs as well.

9. Don't impulsively buy big items

Maybe you've worked a ton recently to start saving for summer, or you have graduation money flowing in. You feel like it doesn't matter how much you spend, but it does. If you hold off on those purchases, and you save your money, you'll be in a better spot financially at the end of the summer.

10. Get a job

The obvious one. If you're doing an unpaid internship or your normal job isn't offering you many hours, then getting a second job where you can work to have a little more money can help you achieve your savings goal.

11. Don't be too hard on yourself

The hardest part of setting goals is when you don't achieve them. Even if you haven't saved exactly as much as you wanted, making even a small change can help your financial wellbeing and can be enough to make small changes in the future.

12. Don't force yourself to make big changes

Everyone's saving tips to Millennials are to stop getting coffee every single day from places like Starbucks. While cutting down on spending in these ways will greatly help you save money, it's not the only thing that will help. There's no reason to make yourself miserable in order to follow the rules of someone else for a small change financially.

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