Brianne Sanchez is a writer and community engagement professional who calls herself an “Iowan by Choice.” A transplant from Chicagoland, she moved to Des Moines in 2007 and acquired a house, husband, dog, son Emmett (June 2013) and Eileen (October 2015), which means she now has deep roots in this place. Brianne blogs at and is a frequent contributor at DSM Magazine. When she finds free time, she spends it crafting, reading, hiking, biking and volunteering, but never cleaning.
Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge

Outdoor Adventure at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

Have you been to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge? Where in Central Iowa can you hike through one of the rarest ecosystems on the planet, encounter bison and elk on a safari in your...
Forest Library Des Moines

Guide to Forest Avenue Library (DMPL)

Forest Avenue Library 1326 Forest Ave, Des Moines   When I was first planning to move to Des Moines to start my post-college adult life (12 years ago!), I made sure to research the library system. I...
clothing swap

How to Host a Successful Clothing Swap

We all have that pile. You know, the one with “maybe by next summer” shorts and “before baby” designer jeans and “back when I had a nightlife that didn’t involve pumping” tops. Toss in...
infant loss and miscarriage

Making Space for Miscarriage

When I was young, my mother told me about her experience of having a miscarriage with twins at 21 weeks. It was a snippet of a story, a footnote in my childhood. I was...
mom night out

Late Night Happy Hour: The New Moms Night Out

Anyone else feel like making plans with your mom friends is more difficult than scheduling a summit of world leaders? Bless the Facebook poll feature and the doodle scheduling app, but once you finally...
favorite toddler games

Our Favorite Toddler Board Games

There are many nights when the handful of hours between preschool pickup and bedtime don’t feel like nearly enough. But there are also weeks when the after-dinner dark seemed to stretch forever. So, I...
schedule a physical

5 Reasons You Should Schedule a Physical Today

Moms, here are five reasons you should schedule a physical, and a recommendation for who to see at the Des Moines University Clinic.
kids sharing a room toddler bedroom

Two’s Company: Toddler Room Sharing

“Wait, is he singing to her?” My husband and I exchanged an intrigued glance from our exhausted places on the couch, as we strained to listen. Sure enough, we heard a wavering little voice rise...
Pelvic Physical Therapy

I Tried It: Pelvic Physical Therapy at Des Moines University Clinic

Let’s just put this out there: I don’t want to buy my underwear in the same aisle where I pick up my kids’ pullups. But since becoming a mother, I’ve quoted the line from...
body composition screening assessing my mom bod

Assessing my Mom Bod

In the weeks and months and now years since having my children, I’ve tried to accept my new “mom bod” with grace and even positivity. I’ve grown and birthed two humans, for goodness sakes....