Jody Halsted

Writer and photographer of captivating travel escapades, family foibles and objective critiques. Well, that's what it says on my business card.... It's difficult to sum up a work-at-home mom in so few words. I am a homeschooling mom to my two daughters, Brenna and Caelan, wife to a very hard working husband, Doug, freelance writer, social media educator, public speaker, and unrepentant travel junkie. I'm living the dream in Iowa, and dreaming of living in Ireland. Sharing Our Ireland travel tales at Ireland with Kids.
To Train Up a Child: A DMMB Series on Motherhood's Toughest Topics

Welcome to the Drama, Momma! Parenting a Dramatic Tween without Losing Your Sanity. Mostly.

This post is part 5 of 5 in the series To Train Up a Child. I truly thought I had a few more years before this kind of drama began. And I kind of expected it...
Elwood, the World's Largest Concrete Garden Gnome, at Reiman gardens, Ames, Iowa. Photo by Jody Halsted

InTREEguing Tree Houses at Reiman Gardens

Each spring my girls and I plan a field trip to Reiman Gardens in Ames. Beyond the natural beauty of the flowers, gardens, and butterflies, each spring brings something different to the gardens. This year...

Patriotic Ideas for Celebrating Memorial Day

Memorial Day isn't just the unofficial beginning of summer or an extended weekend. In 1968 the last Monday in May was created as a federal holiday to remember the men and women who died...
Iowa travel. Visit the Amana Colonies

Family Fun in the Amana Colonies

This post is part 4 of 5 in the series Quick Trips from Des Moines. Whenever my family has an urge to get away but we don’t want to go too far, we load into...
A Weekend Getaway in Kansas City

A Weekend Getaway in Kansas City + Giveaway

This post is part 2 of 5 in the series Quick Trips from Des Moines. When it comes to weekend getaways, we take a lot of them (oh, the downfalls of being a travel writer!)...
best marriage advice

Third Time Is the Charm: How I Met Your Father

This post is part 3 of 5 in the series How I Met Your Father. Flashback 1987 I first met the man who would become my husband when we were in high school. It was during a...
Family Winter Getaway in Mankato, Minnesota

Family Winter Getaway in Mankato, Minnesota

I’m not fond of winter, though I am resigned to it. Growing up in Iowa, moving to Minnesota, then returning to Iowa, it’s obvious I’ve made my choice to deal with the harshest season. But...

Backyard Bird Watching

Visiting my grandmother’s farm when she was alive was like walking into an aviary. She loved the birds that would visit her feeders. From the return of her spring robins, on to the bright summer...
The Gifts We Are Giving This Year

The Gifts We Are Giving This Year + a Giveaway for under Your Tree

We’re rather minimalist Christmas gift givers in our house. You can see the floor under our tree as Christmas approaches, with only a few gifts tucked under its branches. And the majority of those...

Baby’s First Flight

I’m just going to run a scenario by you. You’re heading across town to visit friends. Everyone loads into the car, safely buckled in. You sit down, fasten your seatbelt, and your husband hands you...