Tag Archives: TEDxWomen

Talks from TEDxDesMoinesWomen are live

I’m excited to share the talks from our December TEDxDesMoinesWomen event!

That's me at our lunchtime screening sesh

That’s me at our lunchtime screening sesh

The evening live talks were all fabulous people who I’m so glad I had the pleasure of meeting. TEDxDesMoines is a completely volunteer thing, and I’m always amazed at the preparation and poise our speakers possess.

Renee Cramer, Drake University professor of Law, Politics, and Society, explores our cultural fascination with the celebrity baby bump, and how cheeky media headlines actually hint at a surveillance of womens’ bodies with darker implications. (Renee had a huge Drake student fan club turn out. She’s probably one of the most popular faculty members on campus. It’s obvious why.)
Iowa State University Computer Science major Cassidy Williams was often the only girl in the room. She shares her story of pursuing her passion as a model for encouraging women in STEM. (Cassidy is an incredible go-getter. I want to show her talk to all high school seniors as a model for being proactive about pursuing a career. I feel like we’re going to see her on the cover of Forbes someday.)
Author and baker Beth Howard explains how a simple slice of homemade pie can serve as a catalyst for healing. After suffering a personal tragedy, Howard discovered a new sense of purpose and hope with her elbows deep in flour. For her, giving away pie is a metaphor for giving of yourself. (Beth is as sweet and thoughtful as the pies she bakes up in he American Gothic House. She has a new cookbook you can pre-order, too!)
Lacy Howard’s career as a magazine professional positions her as an expert on the trend toward handmade and personalized projects. Howard takes us beyond the glossy pages to show that real-life creativity is messy and caution women against getting caught up in Pinterest-inspired “vignette living.” (Lacey collaborates professionally with lots of my friends, and her talk probably hit home the most for me. I’m guilty of getting caught up in striving for Pinterest-style perfection and only showing the bright side on this blog.)

Check out the talks:

Click on the “Playlist” tab in the upper left of the talk to see all four.

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Filed under Side projects

Two things!

Back to reality after a wonderful, friends-and-family filled Thanksgiving in Chicago. We also survived my 10-year reunion, despite leaving my purse/ID in my diaper bag in the suburbs. (I was able to sweet talk the bouncer, or my gray hairs are finally giving me a more mature look.) My brother hooked us up with a hotel room right on State Street and my mom and aunt watched Emmett overnight, so Joe and I enjoyed an evening out and got to sleep in. Blissful.

Now it’s go time for two events I’ve been helping put together: 

TEDxDesMoinesWomen is this Thursday, Dec. 5, and you can still snag tickets here!


I’m always super inspired by the people I meet and hang out with at TEDx events. I hope you can make it. If the ticket cost has you opting out, let me know and I can make sure you can go!

The other event I’ve been working on are free screenings of the documentary “American Promise” on Monday, Dec. 9 at the Fleur. (Facebook event details here.) It was one of those things where three different organizations were interested in bringing this movie to Des Moines and we connected, collaborated and are making it happen.


American Promise is a documentary journey following two African-American boys from kindergarten through high school graduation at one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. The film puts human faces to the unique social and emotional needs of black boys and calls into question commonly held assumptions about education access and what really influences achievement.

Movie Times: 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. Dec. 9, with panel discussion between the showings

Where: Fleur Cinema & Cafe, 4545 Fleur Dr.

Panel Discussion: A panels discussion featuring education administrators and local youth will take place from 6:30-7 p.m. between screenings.

Cost: No admission fee, thanks to support from the United Way of Central Iowa and donated theater space from Fleur Cinema & Cafe.

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Filed under I love Des Moines, Side projects

Ladies, unite!

No offense to the guys, but sometimes a girl has to kick back with her ladyfriends. I had an awesome time last Friday getting together with my new book club. It took us an hour of chatting and munching on appetizers before we even sat down to discuss the book (“The Age of Miracles”). Once we did, the conversation swung between smart commentary and good laughs. Plus, there was pizza and homemade apple hand pies. Our next book is Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things” in case you’d like to read along! (I wanted to read “My Notorious Life,” and hopefully I’ll have time over the holidays to dig into that next.)


If I didn’t feel so guilty about always leaving Joe and Emmett to go to various meetings and whatnot, I would totally sign up for knitXmidwest. Hopefully there will be a next year! The awesome women behind Hill Vintage & Knits and the totally rad Jen Geigley of makeXdo are putting on this two-day knitting and crochet retreat.

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 8.40.31 PM

If I were to go, I might try to have someone walk me through making some ridiculous baby head gear. My friend Gina sent me a link to this Cabbage Patch Kids inspired hat and as a child of the late ’80s, I got a good laugh out of it.


Emmett might need a baby beard beanie.

Last ladything: The TEDxDesMoines TEDxWomen event is on December 5! We’ve got some fun speakers lined up. I’ll leak two of them here:

Beth Howard, the pie ambassador who also lives in the American Gothic House, will give a talk. It sounds like she might also do a pie-prep demo, too!


Drake Professor Renee Cramer will give a talk that addresses the celebrity baby bump in a way US Weekly never would. You can read her thoughtful convocation address from this fall here. There are some good thoughts about striving to impress and intentions that are meaningful for non-students, too.


We haven’t made ticketing live or anything, but will soon! This is just a sneak peek because I like you all best. Hop over to “like” the TEDxDesMoines page to stay up to date on everything!


Filed under Books, Getting crafty, I love Des Moines

TEDxDesMoinesWomen is coming!

Hey loyal readerfriends!

Next stop on the TEDxDesMoines train is a TEDxDesMoinesWomen event, which will happen December 2 at the lovely Sticks Studio event space. (That was our dream venue for this event, because it’s woman-owned and a unique spot outside the city.) I’m so excited.

Featured speakers for the event are respected pollster J. Ann Selzer and up-and-coming Latina leader Esperanza Pintor Martinez. Plus, we’ll be streaming session six from the national TEDxWomen event. Read all about it and buy your $12 ticket here.

If I see you there, I will probably hug you. And dudes are welcome, too!

Also, Alice from Beaverdale Books will be there with a table selling some awesome titles. I’ve given her a shortlist of items. Any must-reads you’d recommend?

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Filed under I love Des Moines