Sunday, March 29, 2009

Deep Dish Challenge

With the warmer weather and the end of football season comes a disconnecting of cable in our house. I love this time of minimal t.v. I have to admit we are all going to miss the food network channel. Even Jasper.

The other night was a Deep Dish Pizza Throw Down with Bobby Flay. Apparently Joe loves this style of pizza, while I prefer a thin crispy crust with minimal toppings and lots of sauce. By the end of the show though, I was intrigued enough to give it a shot.
It was pretty fun to make. The crust has a much higher fat content than regular pizza, making it more flaky and rich. I put half of the dough into a spring form cake pan and one into my cast iron skillet (thanks to Brandy for helping me bring my skillet back to life). On Joe's I put a layer of mozzarella, a layer of browned graziano's sausage, mushrooms,garlic,onions, then another layer of cheese and finally I put the sauce on. On mine I put mushrooms, raw garlic, a little cheese and a lot of sauce.
After they baked I topped them both with Parmesan cheese as is supposedly the traditional way of serving a deep dish pizza. The end result was an awesome pizza that Joe said was better than any other deep dish he'd had including his favorite at Felix and Oscar's. And that is the reason I cook.
Have you finished your treasure maps?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Treasure Maps

I am going to do something called Treasure Mapping this year and I think you should too!
I learned about this from a women named Tracy Cook . She is an astrologer who uses this technique to harness the energy of Aries(new beginnings) with the power of intention.
The first part of this process is something you can do today. Clear out your clutter. Clean your house and your mind; get rid of all the junk that has been holding you down. Be it a closet of ill fitting clothes, a drawer of miscellaneous bills or a bad habit or negative thought patterns. Tie up lose ends, finish projects or toss them out. Till the garden that is your life in preparation for a new season of growth.
You can think of this like Einstein's theory that two things can not occupy the same space. You are getting rid of the things you don't want which will create an opening for new energy to enter. This is where the Treasure Map comes in. You are in charge of what new energy you want to enter.

On March 26th at 12:06pm Aries enters her moon cycle. (currently the moon is in Pisces). With this Aries new moon comes a chance to envision and co-create what this next year will hold for you.
It is best to do the following activity on or within 3 days after March 26th. Don't even think about what you will put on your map before then, just get your stuff cleaned up and out! :)

You will need poster board, scissors,magazines and glue. You might also want markers,paints,glitter, creative it's your Treasure!

You will essentially be making a collage that will map out your year. Don't worry about having concrete well thought out ideas. What images or words are you drawn to? How do they make you feel? How do you want to feel this next year? There really are no what feels good and see what you manifest.

If you need more structure though here is an idea for making your map utilizing the Feng Shui Bagua Map. Divide your board into 9 grids and place the images in one of the sections or overlapping.


1 is wealth, prosperity, abundance visuals
2 is fame, how you are known in the world
3 is love and relationships
4 is family
5 is health and vitality
6 is creativity/children (to a certain extent)
7 is knowledge
8 is work, career
9 is spirituality, angels, helpful people

Or not! It could look like a tree or a game of Life or intersecting circles. Do this alone, or with friends, or with your family. Just think of the conversations that could come from such a family project. Have fun!
BTW: The link to Tracy Cook's site now has a wonderful post about Treasure Maps. You should check it out too!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Natural Living Expo

I will be doing Reiki at the Des Moines Natural Living Expo this coming weekend. It's free to get in and there is lots of workshops and booths to explore. I will be doing Reiki at 15min sessions for $15 a piece. It should be a blast! I'm using this event as a launching for my Reiki business. I'm pretty excited at the prospect of doing energy work again. I have a great space to work out of in West Des Moines. It's in a business called Healing Journey's, which also offers spiritual counseling and tarot.

I will also be selling my hand painted canvas bags at the expo. Here is a sampling of my new stuff:

Saturday, March 21, 2009


These are my first pair of socks. They don't really match. I didn't really follow a pattern though I used one as a general guide. They fit Jasper's foot and I accomplished something I was afraid of doing, so it was, in some ways atleast, a success!


At 10pm March 20th a very courageous dad embarked on a journey. A journey to fulfill a daughters biggest wish. He gathered 3 girls together and ventured to the mall, to the weirdest store of all. Darkly dressed teenagers swarmed the store, while parents gathered in the hall and waited.
Luckily no one was bitten and all the girls made it home safe. To stay up until 3am watching teenager vampire romance.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We killed some time at Jordan Creek Mall the other day. The Barnes and Nobles there has a great kids area with a Thomas the Train table. Jasper gets some train time and some social lessons, like don't hoard all of the trains, don't grab the trains from other kids hands,share... you get the drift. Sylvia can read teen magazines and drool over Robert Pattison ,who apparently does not like all the media attention but still finds himself in Teen Beat and Nickelodeon mag all the time. I always think I'm going to enjoy sitting there and looking at books and magazines myself, but alas, I ended up playing referee at the train table and convincing Sylvia that she is not bored and ready to go.

Aren't they cute?!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just because.....

Apparently I have to update my blog. While I'm flattered, I really don't have much to say. So I'll tell you about our day yesterday. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. Sylvia,Jasper and I a went to a new (to us) park with our good friends and played and snacked. I discovered a new hummus to love(thanks Sarah!). It's Raspberry Chipolte by Wild Wood . They have an Indian Spice one to that is suppose to be delicious too.
After we left the park we went home and cleaned. This is the time that everyone needs to be getting rid of all the stuff that clutters up their lives. Be it clothing , unused dishes, old journals, broken relationships, bad habits, harmful thoughts. Get rid of it all. Soon.....Wednesday March 26th at 12:06 pm to be need to sit down with a poster board, scissors, magazines, pens and glue. This will be the time to set your intention for this next year. Out with the old, in with the new.
I'll post more about this later. What you need to do know is not think about what you want, but what you don't want.
After cleaning we went to Jester Park for their first Night Walk of the season. We learned about owls and bats and then walked a trail. The trail was pretty muddy but the kids where troopers. It's so awesome to be outside at night outside of the city limits. The sky is so vast and clear, I tend to forget about the stars in the city. I'm excited to be able to get out and be active this year!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Let's do lunch....

or breakfast....or stop off for a pastry....

Joe,Jasper and I went to Florene's Bakery for breakfast Sunday morning. We were able to support a local business, see my good friend Brandy and enjoy an awesome breakfast all in one fell swoop.

Florene's Bakery
This quaint bakery and restaurant is located on the South side of Des Moines. They offer a small breakfast menu with items rich in real butter. Seriously it says so right on their menu.
We started our breakfast with a nice cup of coffee and orange juice. The coffee was pretty good which was a pleasant suprise.
I asked our server (my friend Brandy) what she would eat if she was going to have breakfast. She was no help in narrowing down the options, it seems everything was worth trying.
Joe went with the biscuits and gravy. I was going for the pancakes before I changed my mind at the last minute and ordered 3 eggs with freshly made toast( I choose pumpernickel onion),a sausage patty, and hash browns. If I wanted to I could have substituted my toast for something from the pastry counter for only a $1.00 more.
The biscuits and gravy where hands down the best we've ever had. The biscuits were rich and soft and the gravy was thick and flavorful. I wasn't that impressed with the scrambled eggs or the hash browns, the eggs were a little to moist for my taste and the hash browns could have been cooked longer. The sausage patty was tasty though and the bread...well it is a bakery...the bread was dense and moist and flavorful. Delicious!
After breakfast we decided to take a few things with us for later. I got 4 dutch letter 'toes', a bag of 2 ginger cookies with icing, and 2 sticky buns.
The sticky buns were good, but for the amount of butter they use in everything, I expected them to be a bit softer. The 'goo' had light molasses flavor and was well caramelized.
The ginger cookies were awesome. They were the real deal as far as ginger goes. I'm guessing they use real ginger extract or even crystallized ginger that they've blending to a pulp in these as the flavor was intense, almost hot on some bites. The cookie itself was perfect, soft and chewy on the inside, with a hard crunchy icing top. In fact I wish I had another one right now!
All in all, I would say that Florene's is definitely worth a trip to the South side.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Attack and Destroy

Amidst the clutter of clean clothes, he creates his castles and knocks them down.

Notice him in mid clap....not only is he proud of himself but he's making sure there is nothing else to 'bonk' down.
Beware......for he is