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Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is fast approaching and I love that this day has become so well-known and supported. American Express designated that the first Saturday, after Thanksgiving, would be Small Business Saturday a few years ago. They did this as the United States was experiencing a recession. The goal of Small Business Saturday is to well … shop local and support small businesses.

One thing to remember when you are shopping local, you may be paying a bit more, but you are supporting your community. You also cannot find the creativity, you may find from local businesses, in big brand names such as Toys R Us, Target, Walmart, etc.

I will admit that I tend to fall for the GREAT deals that big brand names offer and turn to that route, instead of buying locally. This holiday season, I am setting a goal for myself … I will purchase 1-2 items locally or even MORE! I think that everyone else should set themselves a goal, to help support small businesses and the local community!

Here is a list, I created, of some small business and areas to shop at this holiday season. If you have more ideas you want to share or own a small business yourself, please share!


1. East Village 

The East Village is a great place to start! Not only are there several shops such as Allspice for the culinary person, East Village Spa for the one that needs some pampering, Founds Things for the creative individual, but there are also great places to eat while you shop! 🙂 There is also Jett and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe for your furry critter on your list! Check out the link above for the complete list of shops, places to eats, and events that may be going on this holiday season.

2. Historic Valley Junction 

Valley Junction is full of antiques, gifts & collectibles, jewelry, services, and specialty stores. You can purchase a bottle of wine from Wines of Iowa, or some unique gifts at Wicker & the Works. Not only are there several shops to shop at, but there are also great places to wine and dine 🙂 Check out the link above for a complete list!

3. Shops at Roosevelt

The Shops on Roosevelt are located right off of 42nd Street near Roosevelt High School. There are several local, specialty shops including The Cheese Shop, the WORN Store, Bella Salon & Day Spa, The Juice Company, La Mie, and more. A lot of these places you can purchase gift certificates or make your own little gift basket using items from one or several of these stores!

4.  Etsy

Are you not really in the mood to get off your couch and get caught up in all of the people shopping? Well, you can still support small businesses online! I absolutely LOVE Etsy! I have purchased several things off their for my son, our wedding, and gifts for others. You can find about anything on Etsy and you can also have things customized if you like. Check out the link above and look around.


Where do YOU plan to shop local this holiday season?


East Village Holiday Promenade & First Snow!

Yesterday it snowed our first “big” snow! Meaning snow stuck on the ground and is still on the ground!

I am so happy it did snow, because now I feel a little bit more comfortable listening to Christmas music and doing holiday festivities 🙂

Monte was ready for the big snow!

Even though we may not be completely finished with our 2013 Fall Bucket List, we did cross the first thing off our 2013 Holiday Bucket List last night … the East Village Promenade. It was a bit chilly, but it was a fun evening to get us in the spirit!

The East Village was decked out in lights all the way down the street. Monte thought those were awesome!

Our first stop was the State Historical Building where Santa, a DJ, and a chili supper was being held for Toys for Tots. I was not sure how well Monte would respond to Santa this year. Last year, he was a little young and I don’t think he really understood what was going on. This year, he smiled at him, but as soon as we got him on Santa’s lap, he was not a fan.

He did give Santa a high-five and “pounded it” with him. I’m glad it was not such a horrific experience!

After visiting with Santa, we headed to dinner at Quinton’s! Oh my goodness, if you have not been there, it is defiantly one place to check out! It’s a sports bar, but the various burgers and sandwiches they offer … are amazing!

While we were waiting for our food, chatting and some were playing foosball … a group of carolers came in!

After we stuffed ourselves with good beer, sandwiches, and burgers … we headed out to enjoy more lights and do a little window shopping. I have never really shopped in the East Village before and was surprised by all of the unique, local stores! Jett and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe was a fun dog  bakery and supply store. They had a few small dogs, that Monte enjoyed seeing. Raygun where they offer t-shirts, local labels, and vintage merchandise. Sticks! I love all of the unique items available. My dad purchased a basset coffee cup for himself 🙂

Overall, the East Village Promenade was a hit! It was the perfect way to kick off this 2013 holiday season. I am excited!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Friday evening and has an awesome weekend! Enjoy this snow and some hot cocoa!

DSM Activities & Events 11/21 – 11/27


There are lots of holiday events going on this weekend! Make sure to check everything out, by clicking on the calendar on the right hand side of the page! Have a wonderful weekend!

1. East Village Promenade

When: Friday 5 – 9 pm

Where and What: Come kick off the Holiday season in the East Village! Visit Santa at the Historical building and at Brenton Plaza. There will be caroling, ice skating, holiday lights, lots of restaurants to eat at, free horse drawn hay rack ride, and much more!

2. Winter Market 

When: Friday 11 am – 2 pm & Saturday 9 am – 1 pm

Where and What: Miss the weekly downtown farmers market? You do not want to miss this then! This market will be located at Capital Square and there will be more then 120 vendors to shop from. Wine, jams, honey, turkeys, crafts and much more will be available for purchase. Check out the Downtown Farmers Market for more information and scheduled entertainment!

3. Tour De Lights

When: Family Night – Saturday at 4:30 pm & Fitness Night – Sunday at 4:30 pm

Where and What: This 2-day event is a chance to preview the Jolly Holiday Lights before it is open to the general public! Saturday evening is family night where you can walk, run, bike, or stroll! Sunday evening is fitness night where you can run or ride 1.5 or 3.5 miles from Water Works Park OR a 11 mile round trip route from El Bait Shop! Check out the event page for more information!

4. Jordan Creek Town Center Tree Lighting 

When: Friday 6 pm – 7 pm

What: Bring the whole family to the Jordan Creek Town Center where Santa will arrive, they will light the large tree and sing songs! There will also be a fire works show! Check out the Jordan Creek Town Center Events Page for more information!

5. Elf on the Shelf Pajama Party 

When: Friday at 7 pm

Where and What: If you will be celebrating Santa’s arrival at Jordan Creek Town Center, you need to check out this event also! Do you do the Elf on the Shelf every holiday season? This is the perfect event for your kiddos to get dressed in their pj’s and join others for the Elf on the Shelf story time. There will be activities and refreshments provided! For ages 3-10. FREE for all!!! For more information check out Barnes & Noble website.

6. Ugly Sweater Run 5k 

When: Saturday at 11 am

Where and What: The original Ugly Sweater Run 5k held at Principal Park. You can walk and/or run! Find your ugliest sweater and join thousands of others for this fun race! Enjoy hot chocolate and/or some beers after the run. There will be some fun festivities after the race also! $44 for a solo runner, children ages 8 and under are FREE! Register ahead of time at Ugly Sweater Run.

7. Disney On Ice: Passport to Adventure

When: Wednesday, November 27th – Sunday, December 1st

Where and What: Is your kiddo a fan of the Disney gang? Or are you even a fan of the Disney gang? You have to see everyone at Disney on Ice at the Wells Fargo Arena. This is a fun event for the whole family! To purchase tickets and to see show times check out the Iowa Events Center site.

8. Jolly Holiday Lights 

When: Tuesday, November 26th – Wednesday, December 4th

Where and What: Get a picture with Santa and enjoy a cookie & hot cocoa at Santa’s Wish Shop until December 4th.  A classic Des Moines event, that goes on everyday until the New Year. Grab your family, jump in a car and drive through to check out all the holiday light displays! All proceeds go to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation!$10 per car load,$20 per limo load, $45 per bus load.