dsmWeekly: October 5, 2021
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October 5, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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The Traveling Basket has a number of fall picnic setups on sale through their website.


Just because the kids are back in school and the calendar says it’s officially fall doesn’t mean that all al fresco fetes are off the table. Two local women-owned brands, Sister Sister Picnics and the Traveling Basket, are on a mission to persuade us all to extend the picnic season. Both launched in May, and since then have designed dozens of Instagrammable vignettes for birthday parties, showers, engagements and more.

Sister Sister Picnics, co-owned by Akilah Anders and Tasha Canada, hosts luxury picnics, fit for a small gathering. They got the idea during the pandemic, realizing the importance of celebrating life's special moments safely outdoors. When thinking through picnic designs, Sister Sister Picnics enjoys adding elements from nature, such as florals, grasses and greenery.

"We are also inspired by color. We put a lot of thought into what colors will provide an eye-catching aesthetic, while still being cozy and inviting,” Anders says.

The Traveling Basket, co-owned by Kelly King and Tanner Nygren, specializes in boho-style setups decked out with local delights. They recently partnered with Get on Board DSM, which specializes in charcuterie, for a picnic paired with a charcuterie board-building class. They also offer picnic and "glamping" (short for glamorous camping) parties with Wanderlust Glamping Co. The Traveling Basket’s fall picnic packages, which include a movie night option, are available through Nov. 1, when holiday versions will launch.

Check out previous picnics from these women-owned companies on Instagram @sistersisterpicnics and @the_travelingbasket, and learn more or book at and Sister Sister Picnics will give any readers a 10% discount (excluding vendor add-ons like food and drink) if you mention “dsm magazine.”
Entertaining season is coming. And all tables, chairs, stools and servers are on sale at BY DESIGN.
"Hangin' With Winners" by Ray Cole with Rob Gray (left) and "Our Friend Sitting Bull" by Mary R. Christopher are two new books by Iowa authors.


Two newly published books that have landed on our to-read list:

"Hangin' With Winners" by Ray Cole with Rob Gray (WriteBrain): This book, published by dsm's sister division WriteBrain, features titans in all kinds of industries, including television, politics and philanthropy, to find the answer to "What makes a winner?" People in the book include nationally recognized figures, such as Dick Vitale, Jake Tapper, Jimmy Kimmel and more, as well as Iowans such as real estate developer William Knapp and former governors Robert Ray and Terry Branstad. "Hangin' With Winners" was recently featured on "Good Morning America."

“Our Friend Sitting Bull” by Mary R. Christopher (Ice Cube Press): This true story chronicles the unlikely friendship between the author’s great-grandparents, Lizze and George Dell, and Lakota Chief Sitting Bull. The Dells, who each came from Iowa farming families, married in 1883 in Cresco and moved to the western part of the Dakota Territory to start a cattle ranch. Several years later, the homesteaders met Sitting Bull, becoming friends with the famous leader even though they spoke different languages and came from different cultures—and despite the U.S. government’s efforts at the time to oust Native Americans from their homelands. Christopher, a fifth-generation Iowan, lives in Des Moines. This is her first book.
Honey-dusted fried chicken is one of the many Southern-inspired menu items at Tupelo Honey Cafe, coming to Des Moines in 2022. Photo: Tupelo Honey Cafe


This story was published by the Business Record, our sister publication. Find the full story here.

Writer: Kathy Bolten
Business Record

Two years ago, a North Carolina-based restaurant chain that serves Southern-style food announced plans to open an eatery in downtown Des Moines. The pandemic stalled those plans.

Now, however, Tupelo Honey Cafe is moving forward with its expansion and plans to open a restaurant in February or March of 2022 in the Miesblock building, located at 665 Grand Ave. The restaurant will have inside seating for about 174 people; a patio will seat 44, according to plans filed with the building permit. Christin Prince, senior vice president of marketing for Tupelo Honey, wrote in an email that the interior design of the restaurant is still being finalized. "We try to find design and art elements that pay homage to their new hometowns and incorporate that into our overall aesthetic," she wrote.

Tupelo Honey, which typically serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, has restaurants in 11 states. The downtown Des Moines restaurant will be the group’s first Iowa location.
More than 150 year-round and 600 event-based volunteers contribute to the Planned Parenthood Book Sale, which starts Thursday. Photo: Planned Parenthood Book Sale


One of the largest book sales in the country is back. The Planned Parenthood Book Sale returns on Thursday after last year's cancellation. Located at the 4-H Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, the five-day event will offer thousands of used and collectible books, records, CDs, DVDs, puzzles and artwork. Proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood’s education and outreach programs in Iowa.

On Thursday, the sale will be open from 3 to 9 p.m. with $20 admission. Admission is free Friday through Monday, with varying hours. On Sunday all items will be 50% off, and on Monday 75% off. Masks are required inside the venue. See some of the items for sale and more information online.
The cast of "Escaping the Labyrinth," which opens on Oct. the Des Moines Playhouse. Photo: Des Moines Playhouse


The second show in the Des Moines Community Playhouse's 2021-22 season, "Escaping the Labyrinth," opens as a world premiere on Oct. 15. The romantic comedy tells the story of Bud Schlieman, a young American fueled by a passion for mythology. He discovers that all Greek gods and goddesses exist and live undercover throughout the world. He later falls in love with Dee, a waitress who is secretly the goddess Artemis. Bud spends the rest of his life "searching for the one who got, well, ran away," organizers say.

The Playhouse cast includes Clifton Antoine, Nick Cornelison and Madison Ray, among others. The opening night show begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets start at $29. Masks are required to attend the show, which runs through Oct. 24. You can also purchase a livestream for opening night here or watch the video on demand starting Oct. 20.

This Urbandale home from Kimberley Development will be on display this weekend and next. Photo: Home Builders Association of Des Moines


The Home Builders Association of Des Moines will host tours of 18 newly constructed homes throughout Des Moines on Oct. 9-10 and Oct. 16-17. Prices and sizes of the houses vary, with a few around $300,000 and 1,000 square feet up to almost $1 million and 3,000 square feet. Locations include Cumming, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale and Waukee, among others. Homes will be open for anyone to tour. View a map of the showcase here.
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