ART IN MOTION: Starting tomorrow, Sept. 23, you can get your tickets to the sixth season of Des Moines Performing Arts' The Dance Series. This year's exciting lineup includes Philobolus, Nov. 10; Jessica Lang Dance (pictured), Feb. 11, 2016; and BodyTraffic, April 21, 2016. Tickets start at $15; buy them and find out more at
Project in Progress: A New Deck Built for Views and Visitors
We designed this new deck and pergola to give the homeowners an ideal space for relaxing, entertaining and optimizing a great back-of-the-house view... Read More »
Find Southwestern-inspired clothing and accessories at Preservation.

By Lacy Brunnette

The much-anticipated grand opening of Preservation drew a crowd of about 100 eager shoppers to the East Village last Friday. Owned by Nicole Lorenson, the boutique offers vintage and modern merchandise. Guests enjoyed Southwestern cuisine as they browsed Preservation's clothing, accessories and lifestyle products.
Southwestern textiles, planted succulents and framed photography add an adventurous aura to the white walls and original tiled flooring in the space at 321 E. Walnut St. The carefully curated merchandise includes impeccable vintage garments as well as creations by new designers, such as locals Dallas Dawes and Fontanelle Supply Co. Lorenson's focus on sustainability and ethically produced goods is infused into every corner of the open, airy space.
Also tying in her professional photography background, Lorenson is offering complimentary mini photo sessions at Preservation for customers with purchases of more than $100. For more information, go to the store's website or Facebook page.
Sharon Krause and her sheep dog, Bo, take a break from checking pastures at Dalla Terra Ranch, an organic sheep operation near Earlham. Photo by Marji Guyler-Alaniz.

By Larry Erickson

The current photo exhibit at the Polk County Heritage Gallery will have you rethinking the traditional image of farmers. The focus of FarmHer is the vital role of women in agriculture, a passion of local photographer Marji Guyler-Alaniz. The project is both a growing online gallery and a brand for supportive merchandise at

"By infusing images of women in agriculture into farm imagery, we can change the way people perceive a farmer," Guyler-Alaniz recently told ia magazine, dsm's statewide sister publication. Guyler-Alaniz and the FarmHer project will be featured in the next issue of ia, which will be published Oct. 6.

Heritage Gallery's exhibit continues through Oct. 1. A public reception honoring Guyler-Alaniz is this Thursday, Sept. 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery, 111 Court Ave. in the Polk County Administration Building.
Spice up your autumn cooking with these ideas.

By Wini Moranville

I recently popped into Allspice to up my autumn cooking game. I grabbed two longtime favorites and a new find:
  • Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar ($10 for a 5-ounce bottle): I know--it sounds gimmicky. But I love adding about a tablespoon to the braising liquid for beef recipes (pot roast, stews, short ribs, etc.).
    It doesn't necessarily add a pronounced chocolate flavor, but
    simply more depth, intrigue, and a little bit of perkiness from the vinegar itself.
  • Fleur de Sel ($8.50 for a 2.5-ounce jar): This one's for roasting. Sprinkle this crème de la crème of salt sparingly atop chicken, pork roasts or beef tenderloin before you pop it in the oven. The flakes won't melt into the roast like most salt; rather, they remain perceptible on the finished dish, adding little flecks of "yum" here and there.
  • Espresso Brava Salt ($7.50 for a 2-ounce jar): I recently took frosted buttermilk brownies (aka Texas sheet cake) to a potluck gathering. Another cook clued me into how a light sprinkle of this specialty salt can really make those brownies take off.
Allspice Culinarium is at 400 E. Locust St.; 868-0808;


Chances are you've seen this video, which recently went viral and showed up on our Facebook feed. But we were so charmed by it that we couldn't resist sharing it here. Our Italian is very rusty (despite the dsm editor's decidedly Calabrese heritage), so we're left guessing why this pooch is feeling so evidently abashed. Maybe the pup got into the garbage or went on a midnight joyride. But whatever the offense, all surely must be forgiven. What humorous or heartwarming videos have ended up on your Facebook feed? Send the link to

Larry Erickson is contributing editor of dsm.
Lacy Brunnette is a Des Moines fashion and style writer who also owns a public relations company. Follow her on Twitter @LacyBrunnette.
Wini Moranville is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville.



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