In vibrant Santa-suit red, these boots by Steve Madden are carried locally by Von Maur. Photographer: Duane Tinkey.


We love these stunning red boots so much we had to share them with you. We’ll even boldly claim that red is the hottest boot color of the season, creating a statement piece you can wear with almost any style. dsm’s own Jordan Croft, who alerted us to the trend, says red boots "were everywhere during fall fashion week, which is when I fell in love and knew I had to have them. … Red boots make you feel cool, powerful and like you can take on the world." Look out, world.

Our design+build home remodeling projects always benefit from talented and innovative designers. This week, Silent Rivers is pleased to introduce two new additions to our design staff. Don’t miss our video interview with Design Assistants Amie and Caitlin. ... Read more »

The vocal group Spectrum takes center stage with the Des Moines Symphony when they present the music of Motown Dec. 31.


Ring in the new year by recalling some old ones. In a New Year's Eve pops concert, with some vocal assistance, the Des Moines Symphony pays tribute to the music of Motown at the Des Moines Civic Center. Spectrum, an award-winning Las Vegas vocal group that specializes in R&B and the songs of the Motown era, joins the symphony for this performance. You’ll hear all your favorite Motown hits – from "Under the Boardwalk" to "Soul Man" and more – backed by the full orchestral power of the symphony.

The Dec. 31 performance starts at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased here. All seats are $5 higher if purchased at the Civic Center on the day of the performance.

By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —
Chef David Baruthio casts a bit of magic over preparations for another great meal at Baru 66.


By Wini Moranville

Ring in the New Year with great food from local chefs. I asked around and found out about the following festivities. While it’s definitely not too early to make reservations (get on it, people!), in some cases, it was too early (as of deadline) for chefs to tell me exactly what they’ll be featuring. Check each venue’s Facebook page or website for updates.

New Year’s Eve is a great time to try a new-this-year restaurant, so consider Harbinger, where chef Joe Tripp says they’re going "all out" for their New Year’s celebration dinner. They will offer two six-course tasting menus, one with meat ($85) and the other vegetarian ($65). The menus will be offered on Dec. 30 and 31.

If the recent "Murder on the Orient Express" film had you dreaming of the opulence of a more gilded age, consider going to Baru 66: The evening’s grand gala tasting menu will take its theme from the classic luxury train. Three courses, available from 5 to 6:30 p.m., cost $85; six courses, available all evening, cost $150.

The three-course dinner at Le Jardin in Beaverdale will go for $65; it includes a festive Champagne cocktail and an amuse-bouche to start. Main dish choices include Peacetree "Red Rambler" beer-braised short ribs, shrimp and sausage ziti, truffle chicken and acorn squash gnocchi.

"Wild" is the theme for the New Year’s Eve tasting menu at Reed’s Hollow, where chef Zach Gutweiler’s six-course menu ($65) will feature game and wild plants.

If your pockets aren’t quite that deep, head to St. Kilda for a three-course menu including a Champagne cocktail for $45, with a vegetarian menu as an option.

If set menus aren’t your thing, consider Bubba—Southern Comforts. In addition to serving the full menu, the restaurant will offer its New Year’s Eve specials à la carte. These include crayfish corn chowder ($6), orange bourbon-glazed duck breast ($29), Cajun lobster tail ($34) and red velvet cheesecake ($9), among other great-sounding dishes.

Table 128 will be offering a special à la carte New Year’s Eve menu, which will include some of this venue’s long-standing favorites (e.g., the Brussels sprouts salad and the angry doughnuts) as well as chef Lynn Pritchard’s visionary ways with duck, pork chops, a vegetarian carbonara-style dish, sturgeon and short ribs (entrees cost $24 to $32).

This year, chef Jake Demars made Marlene’s a must-try destination for aficionados of artistic, experimental cuisine. For New Year’s Eve, his à la carte menu, featuring such multilayered dishes as a beef short rib with hollandaise, preserved cherry and roasted parsnip, will make a great way to experience this daring chef’s culinary style.

If you, like me, love dining late on New Year’s Eve, consider Splash Seafood Bar & Grill, where the late-night menu (after 9 p.m.) includes steak and lobster ($50), cold-water lobster tail ($30) and filet mignon ($30). A three-course prix-fixe menu for $40, with a choice of options in each course, will also be available that evening.

O Christmas Tree
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year…it’s the day we pick out our Christmas tree! We had artificial trees for years when our kids were little, but when we moved into this great older house, I decided we needed a real tree. ...
Read more »

To create the collages "Holy Man" (left) and "Venus Trace," artist Judith Shea used the photo-merge function in Photoshop.


East Village art dealer Steven Vail recently contacted us with news he says "is a pretty big deal." That may be an understatement. Vail is now representing prints created by Judith Shea, a prominent New York artist best known here for her haunting cast bronze sculpture Post Balzac, in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

Vail, owner of Steven Vail Fine Arts—Project Room, says Shea started making collages in 2005. The work "developed out of the use of photo-merge in the Photoshop program," he explains. Shea prints her work on an archival Epson printer.

The manipulated photos "are very fluid for her because they were, and still are, studies for what she wants to make in 3-D," Vail says. "So it’s something she’s developing all the time, though she hasn’t done much about promoting them."

Until now, that is, with the help of Vail. To find out more, call 515-309-2763 or visit

Sure, focus on others when preparing your gift list, but you might deserve to treat yourself, too.


Like the music of the season, aromas can boost your holiday spirit. It's no wonder: Science has shown a close connection between scent, memory and emotion. With that in mind, we’re intrigued by Oojra, a home fragrance brand that specializes in aromatic essential oil reed diffusers and soy wax candles. Candles are a fine holiday tradition, too. What's more, Oojra claims its French Provence Lavender and Thai Jasmine Bamboo scents create an ambiance for romance rather than caroling. That can be a nice part of the holiday season too. To view Oojra’s full collection, click here.


The Central Iowa Well Kids Coalition launched Monday as a public-private partnership among 30 organizations committed to promoting healthy habits with kids and families. The coalition also launched 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count as a unified message with easy-to-implement ideas that encourage healthy habits in the places where kids live, learn and play.

"This is the first time our community has come together around one message that offers an easy and fun way for families to live healthy every day," says Elisabeth Buck, president of United Way of Central Iowa, which is leading the Well Kids initiative in Central Iowa. "Improving the health of our kids starts by making healthy choices count in our schools, health care clinics, child-serving programs and neighborhoods. 5-2-1-0 offers small and creative strategies that can make a big impact."

Improving child well-being has become a challenging issue as family habits have changed.

  • 41.5 percent of Iowa kids watch T.V. or play video games one to four hours per day.
  • Only one-third of American high school kids regularly attend physical education classes.
  • Iowa ranks 47th of 50 states in the percentage of residents who say they regularly eat fruits and vegetables.
5-2-1-0 promotes these guidelines for families to make healthy choices every day:
  • Five servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Two hours or less of screen time.
  • One hour of exercise.
  • No sugary drinks and more water.

The campaign's—offers tips and resources to help meet the 5-2-1-0 guidelines.

Among future concert temptations are the Temptations, coming to Des Moines next summer. Tickets are on sale now.


Tickets went on sale Friday for the legendary R&B vocal group the Temptations, performing June 16 at Hoyt Sherman Place. Ranging from $50 to $85, tickets can be purchased here. Explore the future of other arts and cultural events with a pair of easy-to-use online calendars. We at dsm magazine and the Business Record maintain this calendar with handy filters so you can see just the types of events you're searching for. Looking for even more categories? Check Catch Des Moines.

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