Well, I don't know if you've all noticed (or if you've visited any social media sites), but it was so damn cold outside in early January. It was so cold outside, I didn't leave my house unless it was necessary for my income or there was free food involved. I'm a small person, OK? I really do not do sub-zero.
What I'm getting at is that I've had to make my own fun in these wee days of 2015. My favorite pastime, as usual: my iPhone. Particularly Instagram. If one does not wish to leave one's home, one best creep on the fun and fantastical photo postings of those who are brave enough to do so.
Here are nine of the top Des Moines Instagram accounts that I've been enjoying in this time of hibernation. Start with these, and go from there. It will be spring soon. God, I hope it will be spring soon.
1. @forever_goldd — Photographer Michael Watson shares the best of now, then, and everything in between, which means much-needed reminders of summer. Enjoy at least one (usually several) new photos per day of iconic Des Moines locations and Boston terriers.
2. @vanholmgren — The Bachelor's favorite artist (who I would deem dreamier than the Iowa reality TV celebrity). You can score a free painting just by hitting up this account, plus check out artwork that you're sure to see plastered all over the city.
3. @xheart — Anna Frederick will keep you inspired and entertained with an endless stream of masterfully hand-lettered works of art. I'm so jealous. I took her class, and I've got a long way to go, so her stream gives me hope.
4. @alongcomesjones — If you're looking for a touch of humanity whilst shut away in your warm home, look no further than Anna Jones' collection of wedding, portrait and gorgeous travel porn. Anna's photos make me want to venture out and make friends, which is really saying something.
5. @juniorartteam — For a touch of the random, the bizarre, and yet, the domestic and adorable; sculptor, teacher, and nanny Rachel Buse is my next recommendation. Rachel is constantly sharing photos of her latest projects, and also her precocious artists-in-training.
6. @slakingfool — Like I said, the only time I'll leave my house is to eat. This account gives me plenty of ideas of where to do so. With several delicious-looking posts a day, this stream keeps me in pizza and beer heaven.
7. @jrcrimmings — One of my personal favorite shutterbugs in Des Moines: Joe Crimmings. He's got a great eye for the perfect moment. I'd be hard-pressed to find an ordinary everyday moment photographed more beautifully.
8. @emilysparklesdsm — Quirky, red-headed teacher Emily has a knack for hitting a hilarious party shot and an awesome selfie. (I may be biased by her love of television and dogs.) Plus, she's always great for a unique downtown Des Moines snap.
9. @acewilde — I'm a sucker for ink, and Ace's stream is a great way to see what's coming out of one of Des Moines' best tattoo shops: Yankee Doodle Dandy. Bonus: You can score a walk-in appointment if you watch closely. I'm totally gonna do it one of these days.