Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Survival Does Not Lie in the Heavens

The Des Moines Art Center restaurant is a commonplace for the Flood family, but what is usually less explored are the exhibits that make up most of the experience.  The art museum now features Dario Robleto's 'Survival Does Not Lie in the Heavens.' I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by his creativity and capacity to engage the viewer.

I was under the impression that much of the exhibit focused on the difference between life and death.  Though this piece is not currently in Des Moines, it seemed to fit the theme likewise.

I found lots of things to be ver intricate and detail oriented.  It could even be creepy the way he had humans tears and so much emphasis on death, but I chose not to see it that way.

This is only a preview, but I highly recommend visiting! Did I mention that the weekly restaurant feature was a Superfood Salad and Turkey Reuben ;)?

Restaurant Review: Luna Bistro

Trying new things can be my favorite.  So when I stumbled upon Luna Bistro + catering I was pleasantly surprised.  Located just North of the East Village in Des Moines it is a small space with a great menu and opportunity to catch up with old friends.

Afterwards I made a quick stop to the bathroom only to be led through an abandoned wooden bar and art museum? A little too cool for my own self. I stumbled upon these awesome things:

Love love love the wood floors here.

Such a nice space! It needs to be put to use!

So cool.

I think I really like these old seats as well.

Favorite parts about Luna: The chalkboard menu, that they have San Pelligrino, that they use rotisserie chicken for salads, and the hidden museum bathroom (obviously).

Monday, December 26, 2011

So so so scandalous (not really)

I don't know why I titled the post that. It has nothing to do with the actual post. Anyways, being on a budget can sometimes really force one to be creative and handmade.  Christmas this year was the perfect opportunity to get inspired! I also really like homemade gifts because they are so thoughtful and unique.

My sister Kate has dabbled into the weary morning hours to finish knitting masterpieces for us all. I was personally amazed by her skills while I struggle just to make a basic scarf...

For Katie I made this...

 into this:

It was actually fairly simple! I just inflated the photo, cut, traced, and painted onto canvas! The hardest part is being very careful when cutting the picture out or painting inside the lines. Most importantly don't rush those parts. Other than that it was easy!

And finally for Mama I just painted on canvas and modge podged some photos and a quote and Wa La!

I would say Christmas was a success! I hope this gifts could inspire you, but I would also love more ideas! And I will never complain about a couple purchased gifts either... food processor, smart wool socks, plane ticket to Seattle. Geesh how grateful I should be!

The letter S

Today I was making Squash while wearing Sweats, Stripes, and Smartwool and I then I had a realization that a lot of really awesome things start with the letter S, such as:

Siracha Sauce
Sweet potatoes

Okay well I've exhausted my brain muscle and realized maybe not all that many things start with s, but today was very full of S words!


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Principles of Uncertainity

My good friend Megan got me a wonderful book called "The Principles of Uncertainty." Today I read the book and I loved it.

My favorite pages:

I love this page because everyone gets depressed. Even Abraham Lincoln.

Honestly, who can walk in heels?

One of my favorites that the depiction of a couple is not one that is glamorous but one that has loved each other till the time.

Growing old is so beautiful!

I think my favorite part of the book is how the author made normalcy seem pretty awesome and wonderful.  A lot of illustrations of odd things or old people made me chuckle and also made me think. Reading over break is so nice! (Even if it's mostly pictures ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Cheer

A lot of times it's CRAZY to me how productive I can be when I am putting off doing something else.  For example.  Today the only thing I have to do is run before dark (which the time for leaving is nearing).  But before running I found it necessary to do about a hundred other things which did help me get a little more in the Christmas mode.

I cleaned the house, and grocery shopped to make these for Christmas:

THEN I decided to wrap presents, roast vegetables, and make these for my grandmas:

(Homemade chocolate dipped coconut macaroons)

Homemade christmas cards (Just cut out your favorite picture and PASTE),

Then, finally, I listened to new music from MEGAN RANEGAR, read the bible, and watched Katie make these awesome fingerless mits!


Minneapolis: Trip Advisor.

Breaks are always a nice time to take short road trips, visit friends, and exhaust your lungs while driving hundreds of miles.  The past weekend I went to Minneapolis to visit my good friends and was surprised at all the great things I got to do in the process!

Uptown was a really cool area near downtown with lots of awesome restaurants and shopping.  I saw my first ever comedy show and went to Chino Latino which was a really unique and surprising! 

I also got to get in some good runs at 3 (of the 10,000) lakes.  Lake Harriet and Lake of the Isles were my favorites.

And may I not forget the very beautiful lighted tree? It must've taken hours to put together but was just in someone's front yard. What a sight!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Caffeine Award Distributions.

Good Strong Coffee.

So it being finals week and all I've the had the chance to drinks lots of coffee as well as evaluate the finest of Iowa City and surrounding areas. The Top three picks are:

1. Wake Up Iowa City
The clear winner.  It doesn't get much better than $1 coffee, handpicked fairtrade coffee beans, and an atmosphere of community found friends in the best clothing store in town. I can even say I got the awesome "coffee feeling" that usually only first time drinkers experience. Thanks Jarrett Mitchell!

2. Fuel 
This independent (and again fair-trade) niche is hard to beat during finals week. Mount Vernon,  though a bit of a drive, was worth it to escape the craziness of Iowa city during finals week and find a wonderful community!  And what a treat I was in for! Settled in an antique gift shop you are surrounding by an old fashioned feel, but even better are served actual outstanding coffee.  This dive is an awesome secret and far surpassed my expectations.

3. The Java House
I could never leave out the local tradition that I spend so much of my time studying at.  With several Iowa City locations and reliable coffee and staff you always know you are in for something good.  Java house boasts a full brew bar and lots of extra seating.  A community and personal favorite!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Manly Man

If you're at all like me than you know that the hardest person to buy a gift for is your dad (or any man for that matter).  For the past few days I have been contemplating what I ever could get my dad for Christmas that he would want and does not already have.  I went from homemade golf covers, to homemade flies for fishing, to homemade beer (which must be done sometime)!! But all of these included too many supplies for making one single gift.  Thankfully I found some great gifts for the "Man's Man."

Grandpa's pine tar soap

Moonshine (or moonshine cologne at the least!)

The Art of manliness stationery

Other ideas:
Ultimate squat guide- sooo "MANLY". Dads would look good doing this in public....
a coupon book for dad
a quote book of "manly sayings"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November Restaurant Reviews

Need some awesome Midwest Eats?

Check these out:

Red (Des Moines, IA)
*An awesome array of Chinese features with a much fresher feel that won't make you regretful you ate there. Might I say they have elegant decor and free chocolate fortunes?

The Girl and the Goat (Chicago, Ill)

- A great array of drink and tapas with a loud atmosphere. I think my favorite thing may have been the fact you could share a large goat's leg or that the bathrooms had individual stalls...

Bluephies (Madison, WI)
 -An awesome fusion restaurant with a huge menu ranging from quiche to meatloaf to quesidillas. Only complaints? Too much to choose from!!

Any other ideas?

Reasons Ann is awesome.

Ann Flood is awesome and the best because:

She gifted me with a cross necklace that doesn't bump around or get in the way ever.

She said I can have her Bodum French press. O hot dayum.

She takes me on road trips to Terre Haute, Indiana (dream big.) and Chicago, Illinois
She appreciates French food and culture
Even if I cried every single day she would still answer her phone
She understands good humor
Never too cool
She is so active, and supports reasonable laziness at times!

Reasons Ann can tone it down a bit:
Sometimes I think my friends like her more than they like me
It is impossible to give her a gift as awesome as she is
I always want to come home and never grow up
It's a lot to live up to.

Don't you agree??

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The good ol' days.

Books and excerpts from childhood that are so awesome and I definitely did not understand at the age of 5...
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
-The Velveteen Rabbit

Other Classics:

The Giving Tree 

Goodnight Moon

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Blog! I have abandoned you for far too long!
Since it's Thanksgiving week I thought I would blog about what I'm thankful for....

Free christmas lights 

Free statues from homeless people in the ped mall :)

Asian slaw recipe that I just tried!!

new boots!


roadtrips to Indiana and Chicago with my mom and sister
having a good run that enlightens your whole day
really strong americanos
awesome friends


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Old Man Drinks

So, I'm not often one to go for lots of hard drinks, but today I saw a book called "Old Man Drinks," and I decided if I do decide to let lose it will be the way an old man does.

Some old man drink recipes:

"Satan's Whiskers"
-1 ounce gin, 1/2 ounce grand mariner, 1 ounce of vermouth, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, 1 ounce of orange juice, 2 dashes of orange bitters

"Rusty Nail"
1.5 ounce of scotch whiskey, 1/2 ounce of dramboie scotch whiskey, 1 twist of lemon peel

"Perfect Manhattan" 
 three parts rye (whatever that means), half part of dry vermouth, half part of sweet vermouth, dash of bitters, and drunken cherry "on the rocks"

These men look like they could definitely go for an old man drink! The ingredient "vermouth" seemed to be very popular in old man drinks so maybe once I learn what this is I can get to business!

Life is not that Important.

So today I was thinking.  WEIRD. But I started to think about a bunch of different situations.  Like what if I was a waitress forever, or a runner forever, or a teacher, or a coach.  And then I realized life would pretty much be the same.  I would still every day come home and find happiness and try to serve.  There will never be a big red sign that says, "Hey Betsy,  this is exactly what you should do with your life." And so then I realized this was good.  We are all just a spoke in the wheel and together the world will function.  No matter what I choose to do or where I am led or how long I spend in certain places it will still be possible to find little amounts of joy every day and the majority of the good stuff in life is made up by encounters with others and making the best of what you have and just being content. So... that's pretty cool.

See. No matter what happens I can always do things like this! I think I really wanna make these tea container herb growing pots.

Monday, November 7, 2011