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Grand Finale. . .

From the time I was 4 years old, I participated in dance classes. Ballet, tap, jazz, it was a hobby that allowed me to express myself. Every year, I loved preparing for the annual dance recital.

There was so much hype and excitement to the big performance. We began practicing in January right after the holidays at the local dance studio. We learned our routines and for months we practiced the dance steps, designed the costumes, dreamed about how we would look on stage, listened to the music, and tap danced around the house until the hard wood floors were scuffed.

As the day got closer, the practices and rehearsals were more frequent, fatigue began to set in, and a bit of anxiety set in as well. Would I remember the dance routine? What if I got nervous on stage? As the years passed, the recitals brought up deeper questions. How did the year go for me? Was I content with the goals I had set for myself?

When the big day came, excitement and adrenaline kicked in. All of the practices had paid off and most years, the grand finale was better than I had envisioned in my mind. However, there were some years when I realized I had set too high of goals for myself and my body was tired from the technical dance steps or the amount of routines I had to memorize.

You are probably wondering how does this relate to 12 Days of Iler Woods? Well, today is the Grand Finale. We set some pretty lofty goals for our first year as a business. 12 days of deals, 12 days of blogs, 12 days of recipes, 12 different collections was a huge endeavor. I found myself the other night feeling fatigued and wondering if we bit off more than we could chew. Then, I realized it’s okay to pause and reflect.

Our Grand Finale of the holiday shop has amazing gifts to offer to each of you. Collaborations with other local businesses, deals, and solidifying our brand are some of the goals we have achieved! Iler Woods also has some incredible new ventures coming in the New Year as well! So we are graciously taking a bow and smiling at all of you.

And, the next 12 Days will have amazing gifts for me to pause with my own family. Balance between work life and home life. Scott reminded me the other night to celebrate all that we have achieved and take a moment to breathe. For now, we are relishing this culminating season and enjoying the small moments that are often the big moments with our family.

Iler Family enjoys the small moments.

Day 12 Recipe:

This was a Covid recipe developed by my mom during the 2020 pandemic. A mixture of yummy berries has turned into a favorite in the Iler Family. Scott gives it 10 stars!!!

Mixed Berry Crisp


½ cup flour

¾ cup brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

½ cup cold butter, cubed into small pieces

1 cup oats


5 cups mixed berries frozen or fresh

⅓ cup sugar

¼ cup flour

350 F

Spray a 9’ round pie plate

In large bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add in cold cubed butter with pastry cutter.

Stir in rolled oats.

Set aside.

In a large bowl, add berries, sugar, and flour until well coated. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate. Sprinkle the topping over fruit.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping golden brown.

Serve with whip cream or ice cream.

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