We were making such good progress on the list!

Friday night, after happy hour on the deck, Ben and I headed downtown for the Italian-American Festival. It was a beautiful, hot summer evening, and the party was hoppin’!

Singing and traditional dancing were part of the entertainment, and singer Moreno Fruzzetti held nothing back. ;)


The sounds of his lively tunes and commentary filled the entire festival and set a fun tone as we strolled through the crowds with a couple cold ones in hand.

We stopped to watch a few games of bocce ball,

Can I play?

before digging into the real highlight of the festival – THE FOOD! :D

There were over 20 restaurants selling their delicious, authentic Italian food at the festival – I wish you could’ve smelled the place – but we chose Des Moines’ legendary Tumea & Sons as our pick.

One savory spiral roll and an order of Chicken Diablo – a mixture of red sauce, white sauce and chicken with a kick – down the hatch! :D

Italian Fest – check!

The next morning I woke up to find IGE down for the count. I kept getting an error page when trying to access it. I talked to my web hosting company who told me my shared server was down, and there was nothing I could really do about it until they got it back up and running. Sigh.

No sense in sitting at home on a beautiful Saturday morning waiting for someone else though, so Ben and I headed out the door to keep chipping away at our summer-fun list. Next stop – the Farmers’ Market!

Oh boy – it was a HOT one, but never so crowded despite the heat! We only got there with an hour left and it. was. nuts!

This was Ben’s first visit this summer (I know, right?) so we made sure to end our visit with a Pupusa.

They actually ran out of the spinach & cheese mixture we usually get, because it was so late, so we ended up with a half spinach, half zucchini/veggie medley Pupusa, topped with slaw and hot & mild sauce mix.

Ok, not going to lie, Ben was a little…miffed. This was his first Pupusa of the summer and he wanted his Spinach & Cheese Pupusa, PURE, damnit! He doesn’t usually get upset about things like this, so it was kind of comical/weird to see him all flustered. ;)

That frown quickly turned upside down, as running out of spinach filling turned out to be the best thing that could’ve ever happened. He went crazy for this pupu! “I’m going to ask them for the zucchini filling every time!” he raved! ;)

Then my world came crashing down, like the cheese string down Ben’s chin.

I checked my email on my phone as we were leaving the market, and noticed I had a new message from my web hosting company…


“Earlier today a procedural error committed by one of our staff caused data loss on Web207, the shared server that hosts your site. We were able to restore most of the customer data, but unfortunately we were not able to restore your data.

We deeply regret any inconvenience caused by the data loss. As compensation, I have credited two months of service to your account.

Please let us know if you have any questions.”

Translation: We accidently deleted your entire website, BUT we’re going to give you 2 months free hosting of the new, non-existent one!

I’ll spare you the details as to what happened next, but confusion, sadness, helplessness, rage then…tears…were all part of the mix. :( Everything I had worked on for 2+ years was gone, and my web hosting company clearly didn’t give a damn. They had even put up a fun little message on my now-blank homepage that said, “Welcome to the NEW Iowagirleats.com!

My vision turned red after seeing that one…

Anyways, due to another error they made, that actually ended up being a blessing in disguise, somehow 1 single, solitary back-up of my site had been made on Thursday night. God only knows how they found it, but they put it into place and my data was restored about 3 hours later. All images from June 24th to the present were still missing though, so I had to spend most of my afternoon, summer-fun-list free, manually inserting them back into each post.

Not ideal, but HALLE-freaking-LUJAH!!!

Of all the things that went wrong, I cannot, in any way shape or form, understand how a company can send someone an email that basically says,

“Whoops! Accidently deleted your entire website – so-rry! But hey, don’t worry about it ’cause we’re going to give you 2 months hosting of a blank page for free, mmkay? Are we cool now? Bye!”

What if IGE had been my livelihood? What if my family depended on the income from this blog to survive? This company wasn’t even going to try and do anything about restoring it – I had to stalk them via email and Twitter (they won’t talk to you on the phone) to get any sort of action.

I know things like this happen in the server world, so I need to be responsible on my end and make sure I’m covering my butt by making daily back-ups of the site myself. Still, I just can’t get over the customer service I received from this company.

After the trails of smoke stop wafting from my ears, I’m officially joining the ranks of letter writers. Actually, maybe I’ll have my Mom write one for me. She’s the expert!

ANYWAYS, thanks for listening reading, it always helps to rant to someone else besides your husband, Mom and developer friend (thank you Michael for being the calm voice in my storm of fury!)


I didn’t want to tie up Ben’s entire Saturday afternoon with waiting on me while I re-inserted images into the past month’s blog posts, so I took a break about half way through so we could get out to clear our heads.

A quick trip to Brown’s Woods for a 10 minute hike helped…

but then we saw a snake, and bugs were dive bombing Ben’s head so we promptly skidaddled. Yes, we still want to live in the wilderness, we were just NOT in the mood – know what I mean? ;)

A stop at World Market afterwards left us smiling, as we found Zapps potato chips in our favorite flavah! We fell in love with these kettle-cooked delicacies while in NOLA, and they were a site for sore eyes. :)


After a quick trip to the Mexican grocery next, we headed home to make a festive feast for dinner – Chicken Flautas!


Ben came home from work the other day going on and on about how he wanted to make these spiced chicken & cheese stuffed tortillas, so we decided to give it a go.


I poured us a couple chilled glasses of Cellar No 8 Pinot Grigio while he got started.


‘Twas was light and delicious.

DSC_0011 DSC_0013

PG is my favorite white wine!


First he poached 2 large chicken breasts in water, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid before draining and shredding the chicken. He returned the shredded chicken back to the pot along with the reserved cooking liquid, and stirred in the following spices before letting it simmer together for a few minutes:

  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder & garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano & onion powder
  • salt, to taste


Next he laid out a flour tortilla and filled the center with shredded oaxaca cheese.


The seasoned, shredded chicken was added next, before rolling the tortilla up tight.




Finally he placed the flautas on a baking sheet and baked them for about 15 minutes, at 425 degrees, flipping half way through.


Flautas are traditionally deep fried, but baking them made them healthier and super light & crisp!


We served the flautas with some dunkin’ sauces.


Homemade cheese sauce, and salsaaa. :)


I helped by making the cheese sauce!


I used the recipe I found on Pinterest which combined shredded cheese (I used oaxaca,) evaporated skim milk, cornstarch and a little hot sauce.


Heated and whisked until smooth and creamy.


It was…ok. Kind of grainy, which is how any cheese dip made with milk seems to always turn out for me!


Delicious nonetheless!!!!


After dinner I sat down with my glass of wine and finished inserting all the missing images into the blog posts in need, while Ben watched the X-games (and scared me half to death with a whoop you could hear in Arkansas when Shaun White apparently made a huge comeback?!) Yesterday started out with no access to my site, then I didn’t have a site, and now it’s as if nothing happened. I guess you could say the day definitely ended on a high note!

Hopefully today goes much smoother. I have a to-do list a mile long, but I’m hoping to get through it fairly quickly so we have time to get to some fun things this afternoon.

The National Balloon Classic is calling my name! :)

Have a great afternoon!