Category Archives: MIsc.

Walt Disney World: The Happiest Place on Earth

Many people enjoy going to the Disney theme parks like Walt Disney World and Disneyland. But, a question that has baffled many through the ages is: which park is truly the “Happiest Place on Earth?” Well, according to the Huffington Post, Walt Disney World in Florida is the biggest park at more than 30,000 acres of land, and can hold the most guests; at least 100,000 of them in estimates. I have been to Walt Disney World five times, and it has been one of the most positive experiences of my life. I believe Walt Disney World truly is the happiest place on Earth. But, what is it about Walt Disney World that makes it so wonderful? Well, that’s what I am going to talk about today. Continue reading Walt Disney World: The Happiest Place on Earth

Top 5 bachelorettes according to Couchface

Couchface is a blog website run by three guys who are trying to make it big in this world like the rest of us. They blog and podcast about things such as Kevin Can Wait, Are You the Only One, and The Bachelor.

Like everyone, they have strong opinions on who is worthy of Nick’s Love and who should not receive a rose. Of course, this season is the “most dramatic season ever” according to Chris Harrison. To go along with that title and expectation is drama we have already seen within the first two episodes.

While debating over who the top five hopefuls are for Nick to get a chance at love with and down on one knee for they settled on these five hopeful bachelorettes.

  1. Corrine, 24, business owner, Miami, FL

Corrine has taken the villain for the season. She could be compared to Olivia from Ben’s season or Chad from Jojo’s season. She knows what she wants and she goes after it. Aside from being 24 and having a nanny, she is a business owner, which makes her a legitimate bachelorette for this show. She is clearly not there to make friends, as said in every show but she is part of the reason Chris Harrison said that this was “the most dramatic season ever.” She will not win, but deserves a spot in the top five.

  1. Lacey, 25, digital marketing manager, Manhattan, NY

Lacey made her entrance by riding on a camel and telling a hump joke, which automatically puts her on this list. She is confident that Nick is just the bachelor to get laid, and is obviously super bold. She is probably one whose friends signed her up as a joke, and isn’t taking this too seriously but will in the end have her heart severely broken or end up with a giant rock on her hand.

  1. Rachel, 31, attorney, Dallas, TX

Rachel got the first impression rose. As typically seen in all of the other bachelor seasons, the first impression rose never wins but always makes it far. Rachel is a powerful woman who is an attorney in Dallas, TX. She is not one to be messed with. She comes off as a real human and not your stereotypical bachelor contestant which makes her unique and stand out. Obviously Nick saw something in her or else she would not have received the first impression rose.

  1. Vanessa, 29, special education teacher, Montreal

Vanessa is the girl who knows a bunch of other languages. She has a unique vibe to her which will make her stand out. She seemed like someone who might come out of her shell throughout the show and definitely not a boring person to talk to. Nick called her a keeper, wow!

  1. Sarah, 26, grade school teacher, Newport Beach, CA

Sarah’s entrance to the mansion was a great runner-up joke, while she was running in running shoes. This all-time joke, leads to the inevitable conclusion that she will run away with a ring and Nick’s heart.

Stay tuned to find out who will steal Nick’s heart by watching the Bachelor on ABC Monday nights at 8/7c.

5 reasons why it’s not contradictory to be socially liberal and a Christian

It is easy to see why religions don’t logically make sense until you find one that speaks to you. I am a liberal who was raised Catholic, a religion that never spoke to me as it seemed to oppose everything I supported politically. There was a period of time that I thought I was an atheist, that there was no way anything or anyone could be out there greater than ourselves. Then I attended First Christian Church in Des Moines, IA and found myself enjoying every service, sermon, and person that I have come in contact with. Here’s why.

  1. It’s not about the money.

Never once have I been asked for money within this congregation. While they believe that finances are important, they believe that service towards others for the greater good is far more important than money. They have an offering at every service but the reverend has never once said anything about the financial situation of the church, welcoming those who would be disheartened to not contribute in other congregations.

  1. There is no gender.

I sing in the choir at First Christian Church and I frequently find myself crossing out and replacing lyrics. This is because the church believes that God transcends all gender. Though there are many illusions to God being the ‘Father’ within scripture, we often interchange this word with ‘Creator’ to show God’s gender neutrality. To make readings inclusive of all genders, the phrase ‘all of mankind’ is typically changed to something like ‘all of our kind’.

  1. All other religions are accepted and understood, no exceptions.

I attended Sunday mass the day after the mass shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando. It was possibly the most sorrowful sermon I have ever experienced. I asked the pastor, Reverend Ryan Arnold, for this final quote from his sermon and it was this, “We denounce hate and violence in a thoughtful manner so as to avoid inadvertently veering into another form of hate and violence… Islamophobia.” No one spoke for the remainder of the service in reverence to those that were lost as well as for the fear and hatred that was soon to follow.

  1. White privilege is recognized and discussed.

As a predominately white congregation, they work hard to find solutions to the problems that exist due to the carelessness of those that share their skin color. There have been many sermons regarding the violence used by white people to assert dominance over other races. Though it is acknowledged that it will take unsurmountable time and effort on all fronts, they know that when all people find peace, we will be equal as we were meant to be.

  1. Love always wins.

Have you ever been in a church that supports gay marriage and the LGBTQ community? There’s one right down the street! The reverends and members of the church are very open about their support and there are many members of the congregation who are open about their own sexuality and are fully accepted without judgement or criticism. The church is about building a strong community of faith and joy-filled love with those who wish to be a part of it, not a prestigious and exclusive entity with qualifications.

  1. There is no limit to community

Here are some other reasons why I have come to embrace the community of First Christian Church that are less relevant to social liberalism:

  • They have a Fellowship Hall which is used after Sunday service for members of the church to gather and enjoy a cup of coffee while talking to all of their friends
  • Baptisms aren’t done until the sixth grade so the children have some kind of say as to if they want to be a part of the church or not
  • Music is a large part of the service. Whether it be the band, the choir, the organist, or a dance troupe, music is always celebrated
  • They believe in evolution! Yay science!
  • As someone who isn’t a very social being, everyone wants to be your friend and is genuinely interested in your wellbeing

If you’re at all like I was before I found this community, you would be skeptical of this post. All it takes is one Sunday at 10:30 AM to see if this is where you belong as well. If you’re still hesitant and are looking for more information on the First Christian Church and what they stand for, please follow one of the links below:

Top Tips, Tricks, & 5 Best Winter Trails to Run Near Des Moines

New Year’s Resolution

Did you make the Classic New Year’s Resolution to hit the gym every day or lose 15 pounds this year? Are you already bored, overwhelmed, or just sick of being stuck inside at the gym? Get outside, hit the trails, Winter doesn’t have to stop you from making your goals.

Three Christmas’ ago my family got me a little and energetic black lab for Christmas. Like the energizer bunny, she had unlimited energy always begging for a walk or to go play fetch outside. As she learned quickly, I’m a big pushover and became desperate to find a way to tire her out in the frozen tundra that is Minnesota in January. To get back into the warmth ASAP, the walks became runs real quickly. In a strange turn of unpredictable events, running other (warmer) seasons of the year became a lot more enjoyable and quickly became a hobby of mine.

Moving to Des Moines to finish college, the following year has gave me the quest of finding the top tips and tricks for winter running. That starts with finding a place other than the slushy sidewalks of the Drake Neighborhood to pound the pavement. Below are a few of my favorite spots along with tidbits of advice from an interview with the local, Jacob Nelson.

Jacob Nelson– Boston Marathon Qualifier, Sub 3-hour marathoner & college track athlete

  1. Great western trail 16.5 miles of old railroad bed trails. “Nice and long, and you can get out of the city…includes wooded patches that are really beautiful.” Jacob added “Less trafficked than most trails, but well kept and even good enough for consistent bikers.”
  1. Clive-greenbelt 8.5 miles of connections to other trails in the metro area that brings together WIndsor Heights and Clive to Des Moines. This is my personal go-to as I can hop down to Waterworks or run the side trails in clive near some prairie and along creeks. My only complaint is that it is routed across one or two busy intersections that don’t seem necessary, but don’t let that scare you away! I recommend hopping on near the Rose Gardens for parking and a great starting point.
  1. Waterworks Park– Sure bet the that every local keeps stored as a hidden gem!
  1. Gray’s lake-Quick downtown Access, 2 mile loop, 4 parking lots. Lots of fluffy dogs being walked to provide distractions,
  1. Brown’s woods-The reality here is that Polk County has an outstanding Conservation board and park system, any of their parks will have ample paved or groomed trails to have more classic runs. This particular park still has many beautiful old, Iowan Oaks left to fly by in your neon synthetic gear.

Extra: South of Grand Ave. (the whole area) For the hills amongst the neighborhoods. This street actually about marks the line where the last glaciation period stretched South, so there is naturally more topography occuring here to help the diversify the training sessions.

How to stop slipping:

  • Yak traks– Almost like winter cleats that fit over your shoes, without slowing you down.

I personally don’t use them but as Jacob jabbed:

“If you are the other 98% of us that didn’t grow up on pond hockey in MN it’ll save your butt, literally!”

  • Newtons– Jacob’s go to shoe brand for winter terrain.

Conditions to look for:

  • Snow removal
  • Traffic level
  • Distance
  • Many entry points
  • Scenery

5 Final Tips:

  • No such thing as too cold, just not the right apparel check out this local running store
  • Try a running buddy to push each other and stay safe
  • Carry identification, in case you freeze your brain and forget who you are
  • Run aerobically, listen to your body.
  • The rule of thumb is if illness strikes below the neck, in the respiratory system, avoid running and limit outdoor activity

Finally, be sure if any of these tips or tricks run you to your goals, if so give it a share to save a friend from falling out there!

Not a Painter? No Worries, a Drink Could Fix That

For those attending, it is completely acceptable to get a little messy, and possible for your hands to get just as much paint on them as the canvas. With El Arte Uncorked, you can enjoy a relaxing evening with a drink of your choice and an array of paints in which you will use to create your very own masterpiece.

Don’t fret, artist or not, everyone can participate in this sip and paint class. Whether it is at your own home or a public painting session, releasing your inner Picasso or Van Gough is highly encouraged. And if you need a little extra encouragement, instructor Katie Black is there every step of the way.

“I have owned the company since May,” Black said. “The company was started about five years ago by a friend of mine, we are both art teachers at Johnston School District. She was in need of another instructor so about three years ago I began instructing painting classes for her.”

Individuals or groups can take part every month during public paint classes at Felix & Oscar’s Restaurant on Merle Hay where a full menu and bar are offered during painting hours. To make the experience even better, Groupons are offered for up to four people.

Where Can You Paint?

  • Public Painting classes at Felix and Oscar’s Restaurant
  • A private class in your own home
  • At your business
  • Birthday parties
  • A venue of your choice

What Can You Paint?

  • Monograms
  • Holiday themed paintings
  • Season themed painting
  • An idea of your own

The greatest part about el Arte Uncorked is that you don’t have to be a painter or have any artistic experience at all to partake. Each class is led by an instructor who guides you through every step.

“It’s fun to see people try painting for the first time, especially people who aren’t painters. This is supposed to be a non-threatening, fun way to try something new to paint.”

Make sure to follow El arte Uncorked on Facebook to see the upcoming schedule of public classes or more information on how to book your own private event.