Author Archives: Becca Baldwin

ByBecca Baldwin

5 Reasons Getting Outside Can Cure the Wintertime Blues

My name is Becca Baldwin. I’m a old graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. I graduated with a double major of Global Marketing and Organizational Leadership Management. After graduation, I continued my studies at the ESC Rennes School of Business in Rennes, France. I completed a one-year master’s program in International Business while living in France from August 2014 to May 2015. While in France I was able to travel and experience a bit of European culture. I currently live in Des Moines and work at Principal Financial Group. My hobbies include traveling, being with friends & family, exercising, and volunteering. I decided to get involved with the Des Moines European Heritage Association and Christkindlmarket Des Moines planning because I am very much interested in European culture. I want to experience as much as I can of what the world has to offer, and plan on accomplishing this by being involved in my community and traveling as much as possible!

It’s no secret winters are cold here in Iowa. But that doesn’t mean we should spend three full months cooped up inside! There are many activities that can be done in outside in the winter to cure those Wintertime Blues. Here are my top five reasons to get outside:

  1. Vitamin D. Studies have shown the main cause of the wintertime blues is the lack of proper sunlight. What better way to boost your mood than to get outside and feel the crisp air and sun on your face? Getting outside in the sunlight can be an instant fix to a seasonally caused bad mood!
  2. Seeing your surroundings in a whole new light. Another great reason to get outside is to see how the Earth transforms in the winter. I took the below picture while home for Christmas this past December. When there are leaves on the trees and grass on the ground, it’s easy to see how beautiful nature can be, but I was struck by the beauty of the leafless trees covered in a layer of snow. Not everyone gets to experience true beauty first-hand!
  3. Becca Baldwin Woods PhotoYou can act like a kid again. Nothing brings back some of my favorite childhood memories like a good snowball fight or a sledding marathon. Some of the best times spent growing up in Iowa were spent flying down a hill on a saucer sled or getting in an intense snowball fight with your friends. Being able to do some of these cherished winter activities only brings a smile to my face and an appreciation for Iowa winters!
  4. For a great workout. Because your body has to work harder to warm itself in the cold winter months, physical activity done in the cold can burn more calories than the warmer seasons of the year. Your heart gets a better workout too! Working out in the winter means you’re in better shape for spring, and beach season!
  5. Last but not least – Christmas Markets! As Iowans, we sure do love our Farmer’s Markets in the summer. What could be better than a European-style Christmas Market in the winter?! For those of you who haven’t had the chance to experience a Christmas Market firsthand, think: hand-craft goods, European sweets and desserts, mulled wine, seasonal activities, and full holiday spirit. Christmas Markets give us a chance to get out, get active, and enjoy a special occasion with friends and family during the winter, and definitely give us a boost to fight those wintertime blues.

Be sure to keep an eye out for more information and mark your calendar’s for Christkindlmarket Des Moines coming to you December 2016!

As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

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ByBecca Baldwin

Christkindlmarket | Rennes, France

My name is Becca Baldwin. I’m a old graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. I graduated with a double major of Global Marketing and Organizational Leadership Management. After graduation, I continued my studies at the ESC Rennes School of Business in Rennes, France. I completed a one-year master’s program in International Business while living in France from August 2014 to May 2015. While in France I was able to travel and experience a bit of European culture. I currently live in Des Moines and work at Principal Financial Group. My hobbies include traveling, being with friends & family, exercising, and volunteering. I decided to get involved with the Des Moines European Heritage Association and Christkindlmarket Des Moines planning because I am very much interested in European culture. I want to experience as much as I can of what the world has to offer, and plan on accomplishing this by being involved in my community and traveling as much as possible!

About a year ago, I had returned to Iowa to visit for the holidays. I had just completed half of my year abroad, living in Rennes, France, for about 4.5 months. This was my first long-term stay in Europe. While I learned a lot about European culture, one of the things I found fascinating was the tradition of Christmas Markets.

I had never heard of them before, but I gathered they were immensely popular in most of Europe and had German origins. What’s a Christmas Market, you may ask? It’s an open-air event where you can browse booths full of hand-crafted goods, seasonal treats, sip on mulled wine, and take in all the beauty.

My first trip to a Christmas Market was in December 2014, in Rennes, France, and I fell in love with the atmosphere. A couple of my friends and I walked around (on more than one occasion) and took in all the beautiful crafts and items for sale. I purchased a bracelet and scarf for a couple friends back home, and we sipped on some spiced wine and ate a few different holiday desserts. It really brought the feeling of Christmas back to me, while I was missing my friends and family back home. The booths were lined up, decorated in lights, garland, and different seasonal decorations. There were wooden cut-out boards for children to put their heads in and pretend they were Santa & Mrs. Claus; there was a booth with puppies to play with, and numerous booths with homemade pralines, churros, and macaroons for sale. The Christmas Market had a European feel, but it also reminded me of the Christmas spirit at home.

Now that I’m back living in Iowa, I was sad I couldn’t experience another Christmas Market similar to my first magical experience in France. That being said, I am more than excited to partake in helping organize Des Moines’ own Christkindlmarket in 2016! It can be hard to express in words how amazing a Christmas Market experience is, so it looks like everyone will have to find out for themselves next December. For now, I’ll leave you with a couple pictures of the market in Rennes, France, and hope everyone is excited for next year!

Becca

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As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

Support[1]

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