Month : October 2010

photographer logo

There's a new photographer in the Des Moines area! Here's a peek at the process of her logo creation, starting with some initial mockup ideas. Julie has a big thing for the number 8 (her lucky number) and is a lover of anything to do with daisies. You can see the references to both her number and her flower in the logo ideas below.

Just Julie

 So which direction did she choose to go in? With a couple slight modifications – the bottom right! (And my personal fave!) 🙂 Check out Julie's work!

lunch a la office.


Some work weeks are busier than others. Often, I have a blissful hour to myself to run a couple of errands, get out for a walk in the sunshine, or treat myself to a "real" lunch out. Other weeks are crazed, and I'm lucky if I have five minutes to get up and nuke something in the microwave. The past couple of weeks have been this way, so I've been doing much more lunch-packing. I'm not complaining – this is good for both the butt and the budget! 🙂

There's nothing new or earth-shattering about this little "recipe" if one can even call it that. But it's sure hitting the spot with me lately, and it's super quick to pack the night before. I present to you…


Mini Bean Burrito Bowl!

Super simple and you can add or leave out anything you please. I start with about 1/2 cup of fat-free Old El Paso refried beans. Scoop those into a microwaveable bowl. Then I sprinkle some reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese and layer a half-slice of Kraft's jalapeno cheese on top of that. To polish it off, I add a spoonful or two of my favorite salsa (I love Target's corn, black bean, and roasted pepper version!), and finally, some chopped jalapenos. If we have some leftover chicken from a previous dinner, I shred a little of that in there as well. Stick in the fridge for the a.m.

Take a tortilla (or 1.5 if you're extra hungry come lunchtime!) and cut it into quarters. Pack these in a ziploc bag and stash with your lunch. Come lunchtime at the office, heat your bean burrito bowl for about 1.5 minutes (stir halfway through) and wrap your tortilla quarters in a paper towel and heat for 20 secs or so.

Enjoy any way you like – spread the bean mix on each tortilla and wrap into mini burritos, or roll up the tortillas on their own and dip away. This will fill you up fast and keep you full all day. For me, it's a cheaper and healthier way to avoid my calorie nemesis, Pancheros. 🙂 Whether or not I have time for a lunch hour that day!



(PS – I also recently discovered a Weight Watchers recipe for pumpkin cream cheese – excellent on a toasted cinnamon bagel for your fall breakfast! Click here for the recipe!)

Iowa Homecoming – Go Hawks!







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Goooooo Hawkeyes!!!


(I could feel the first touchdown about to happen, so I had my camera ready! I actually got the shot!)


What a game!!!


Here are some quick videos….I tear up every time the National Anthem is played live. This was pretty awesome – my little camera microphone doesn't do the crazy cheering justice!


And after the first touchdown, here's the crowd chanting the famous four corners "I-O-W-A"!


anniversary italiano!


For something different this year, we decided to stay in and cook ourselves an Italian anniversary meal!


We poured a big glass of wine and got to work. We had seen some recipes prepared just that week on the Food Network and we were salivating. We printed out the ingredients and I’m proud to say it was all DELICIOUS…Penne with Vodka Sauce (from scratch thankyouverymuch!) and amazing garlic bread (it gave Vinny’s a run for their money!!) Click the dishes above for links to the recipes.


My marinara in progress!


*Note!! The sauce has to go into the oven to bake for an hour and a half. I didn’t read this the first time through, so when we realized we had to wait that long, it was a very hungry hour and a half (with lots of wine and no food to absorb it! haha)


During our wait, we decided to open gifts. I am always so impressed with Page’s ability to wrap!


We saw Beatles Love in Vegas on our first anniversary and for lack of a better word LOVED it!! The plan is to back very soon – maybe on our fourth anniversary. Page has been ALL about vinyl lately so I bought him the soundtrack, and a ball marker from Etsy with the famous Happy Gilmore quote, “Just TAP It In”.


So funny, but little did I know Page had bought something for me from the SAME Etsy seller – a calendar necklace I’ve been eyeing forever. I LOVE this – each one is hand-stamped with the month of your choice (mine is Sept 2007) and the 29th is circled. Love, love, love it. I’ve also been dropping some not-so-subtle hints about Coach’s new “Poppy” fragrance. MMM smells so good!


Page is not known for playing by the rules or sticking to a spending limit, even though I try and set one at every occasion. He surprised me with tix to Passion Pit next Monday (yay!) and then the big surprise…tix to the Iowa/Penn State Homecoming game today!! (YAY!!!) What a lucky girl I am (the tickets, yes, but more so for that fun dude I get to call a hubby!)


As for the food? After a LONG wait…we got to taste test….delish!!!



Cheers! Here’s to many more to come! 🙂