Friday, June 28, 2013

Hot Spot: The Des Moines Art Festival

Don’t miss The Des Moines Art Festival is this weekend, June 28th -30th.  They offer visual, preforming, and interactive art as well as live music and film.  They have activities for all ages, so bring family and friends to experience the best of Des Moines.

The Des Moines Art Festival began in 1958 when the Des Moines Art Center held their first Art in the Park.  In 1997 with a bustling downtown district came a new and improved event, complete with a new name: The Des Moines Art Festival.  The Art Festival gives Iowans of all ages the chance to see talented local artists and craftsman.  This is a great opportunity to experience some of the nation's best artists and have a fun family weekend. 

The Des Moines Arts Festival® features 185 of the nation’s top professional artists and 22 emerging Iowa artists in a juried exhibition of artwork in a variety of mediums. Providing guests with the unique opportunity to meet artists from around the world and purchase their artwork, the Des Moines Arts Festival® has become a signature event for the community.

Get a look at some of the stunning work featured at The Des Moines Art Festival!

Hot Spot: Brick City Grill

This week’s hot spot and our newest addition to the Ames Fun Money program is Brick City Grill! Located on 2704 Stange Rd Brick City took over the old Brewers building, but with some great new additions! Brick City is the perfect combination on sports bar and casual family dining. Take a look at their Facebook page to keep up with they’re daily deals.
If you’re looking to try a new restaurant in Ames look no further than Brick City Grill! They serve new and traditional American style food, all types of barbeque, burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. This is the perfect place to bring your friends for a Friday night outing and still catch that ball game you’ve been dying to see.  With its welcoming atmosphere and fantastic food Brick City is sure to satisfy!
Check out what Haley R. had to say about the new place!

The food is good - really good. The menu is solid but not overwhelming with options. I had a crispy chicken sandwich, and my boyfriend had a Farmer Brown burger topped with egg, ham, and hash browns. Both were terrific. The fries were good. The service was great. We were there at lunch and it wasn't busy, but I have no reason to expect that it wouldn't be that good all the time. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Need to Know: Fire Safety

An apartment fire is one of those things you never think will happen to you. Most apartment fires are caused by kitchen fires, heating equipment (space heaters), smoking materials, and arson (like kids playing with matches).  These are mostly accidental and can happen to anyone.  Fires can get out of control fast so know how to prevent them and react quickly.  There are lots of easy things you can do to help prevent a fire from happening at your apartment.    

Prevention Tips

Don’t Overload Your Circuits

Instead use a power strip, they’re made with a safety mechanism that will automatically shut off in case of an electrical surge.  Remember to replace worn electrical cords and unplug small appliances when they aren't in use.

Light Bulbs

Be sure you’re using the correct wattage.  Don’t use a 100 watt bulb in a 40 watt socket, it leads to dangerous over heating.

Auto Shut Off

Make sure your hot appliances are set for automatic shut off.  Items like straighteners, coffee pots, and irons should always be turned off when you leave your home.  Auto shut off will give you peace of mind on busy mornings.

Clear the Clutter

When you’re using hot appliances be sure there’s plenty of space for it.  Keep tangled cords and stacks of paper away from hot surfaces.

Cooking 101

Don’t leave cooking food unattended and don’t throw water on a grease fire! The best thing to do is turn the appliance off and let it cool down.  If it’s in the oven keep the door shut to smoother the flame. You can also throw baking soda on the fire to help put it out. 

Clean Cooking Appliances 

Take the time to keep your oven, stovetop, and toaster clean.  Food build up can lead to fires, and nobody wants that.

Regular Testing

Make sure to check your fire and carbon monoxide alarms regularly as well as change the batteries.  If you're just moving in to your apartment double check the fire extinguisher is full and mark down its expiration date.

Smoking Material

If the apartment in non-smoking, DON’T SMOKE INSIDE! Otherwise be sure that you have a deep ashtray nearby whenever you smoke inside.  Be careful to properly extinguish the cigarette before throwing it away and NEVER smoke in bed. 


Don’t use your balcony for storage or grilling food if it’s not permitted.  Never store flammable liquids or compressed gasses (propane) in your apartment or on a balcony.  Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children. 

What if there is a fire?

1.     Stay calm. Calmly make your way to the nearest exit and check to make sure the door isn’t hot.  If the door is hot use a secondary exit, like a window.  If it’s cool, leave through the nearest exit. 
2.     Never use an elevator.  You don’t want to get stuck in the elevator of a burning building.  Be safe and take the stairs.
3.     Do not go back in.  Don’t try to go back in for your possessions.  Call 911 and let the professionals handle the rest.  
4.     Stop, Drop, and Roll.  If your clothing catches fire remember the first rule of fire safety: Stop, Drop, and Roll! Don’t run around the apartment in a panic.  Put it out quickly by rolling on the ground. 
5.     Cool burns quickly.  If you or someone you know does get burned, it’s important to cool the burn as soon as you can.  The wound holds in heat that can continue to damage flesh even after the flame is out. 

Do you have any fire safety tips? Share them with us at

Monday, June 24, 2013

Style Spotlight: Modern

Modern design is known for its clean lines and geometric style.  It comes from the designers of the Bauhaus School of Design in Germany around 1930.  Bauhaus Designers believed that form should follow function; in other words design should be simplified.  This is why modern interiors appear clean and uncluttered.  There are no ornate details just simple, sophisticated designs. 

When you’re putting together a modern room it’s important to think of the emptiness as an element.  It’s the opposite of what we tend to do.  We see a bare room and we want to fill it.  Resist the urge! To achieve a clean look it’s important not to clutter the space with too much furniture or personal trinkets.  using light neutral colors will help keep the room looking open and spacious.


When deciding on furniture it’s important to keep modern design principles in mind. Geometrical pieces work well for these spaces.  Try contrasting straight rectangular couches with circular coffee tables or accessories. Don’t use over stuffed chairs or too many throw pillows remember to keep it simple.


Modern interiors favor a neutral color palette.  White walls are typical and give the room a very spacious and clean feeling.  It’s common for the furnishings and accessories to be neutrals colors as well.  Using neutrals doesn’t make the space boring, but if you’re a fan of color try using an accent.  Primary colors (red, yellow, blue) are the colors found most often in modern design.  Keep it simple and you can’t go wrong!

Art Work

Art and accessories are important in a modern interior.  Any piece you put in the room should make a statement.  Try using accessories that also follow modern design principles.  Look for sleek form and striking geometrical shapes.  The pieces you pick should complement the space without cluttering it.  Think minimal!