Friday, February 28, 2014


Man, I wish this was current me right now.  Sitting on the beach and just soaking up some rays.

Alas, it is not.

I'm trying to wait as long as possible to write that post we all know is coming.  The one where I complain about this never ending winter and how it's going to be March 1st soon, which means it should immediately be warm out.

But I'm not going to write about that today.  Today I'm going to travel back in time to four years ago (man, has it really been that long?) to when we went to Florida.  It's a win-win since I didn't know what to write about today, and I can look at pretty pictures that aren't just snowscapes.

It was about this time of year when we ventured to Florida.  It wasn't warm enough to get in the water, but it was just the right temperature to wear shorts and let my pasty skin see the light of day.  It sure was humid, though!  We were seriously contemplating moving there at the time.  We wanted to live on the beach and be near the ocean.  Being landlocked all our lives had given us the itch for beach dwelling.

I was all into film photography at the time and paid extra to have a Diana+ shipped to me so I could take it on our trip.  I wanted to take those dreamy old timey pictures and at the time Lomography was all the rage.

Luckily Wade pretty much took a duplicate shot of everything I took a picture of with his digital camera, or we wouldn't have any pictures from this trip, save for the one or two where I just got the top of Wade's head.

After all my frustrated attempts with slide film, needless to say, I'm on the digital bandwagon now.

 I want to feel the sand between my toes right now.  In fact, I just want it to be warm enough to walk around barefoot.

While we were staring off into the distance, I swore to myself that I would keep this image in my mind and always be able to go back to it, to bring myself back to this place when I needed to find my happy place.

It gets harder and harder to do that, though, as time goes by.

I need a refresher.

I need some salty air in my lungs.


While driving home today I was wondering how much it would cost to put a pool in our backyard.  It would be worth it, right?  (Mom, don't worry.  It's too expensive, so maybe we'll just buy a kiddie pool to put our feet in:)

More than anything, I want to see the horizon.  I want to see the sun set and witness that green flash of light before the sea consumes the day.  There is nothing more magical to me than staring into the setting sun where the ocean meets the sky.

Yeah.  The picture I'm taking in this shot did not turn out.  Luckily I had a second shooter to capture this moment, though.

Ultimately, the pros of staying in Kansas outweighed the pros of going to Florida, but I do miss this view.  I need a vacation, stat:)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


A few weeks ago we celebrated my brother's birthday.  One of my favorite traditions is having family birthday parties.  My mom always makes something delicious, and it's a great reason to hang out together.  It was also the perfect opportunity to give my niece and nephew their valentine poppers.  This was definitely not my easiest project, but I had high hopes of the candy and stickers bursting from the tube and raining down on the kids as they squealed with delight and amazement at how crafty I was.  Well, not all projects work out just like you imagine.  They didn't have the gusto I imagined, but the kiddos didn't seem to mind, and I think they liked the outcome.
You could kind of see the candy shooting out, and it was so fun to watch him collect his bounty.

My niece figured out a new way to use her popper pretty quick.  I should have just given her the cardboard roll and saved myself a lot of time decorating it:)

Look at all those special badges made from the sweetest kid.

I've been really into making handmade cards for people the past year.  I like making it extra personal and adding some old photos of us.

With that perfect little curl hanging down, my brother sure looks like that caped crusader in a red cape, doesn't he?  Happy birthday, to the best big brother!

Monday, February 24, 2014


 On Saturday, it was warm.  At least it felt warm compared to the frigid temperatures we've been experiencing.  I checked the extended forecast and found out this was going to be the last nice day for a while so we better use it. 

I yelled down the stairs to put on your shoes, because we were going to take a walk today to enjoy this weather.  You said you should clean out the garage, but I forced you to take a stroll instead.   I think I saw you smile as you went to grab your sweatshirt.

We started off hand in hand with you playing Van Morrison over your phone, but when I asked two minutes later for you to hand me my cell phone that you were holding for me in your fanny pack (yes, fanny pack), you rolled your eyes and said you didn't want your picture taken. 

I told you to just take a picture of me so that we could document this beautiful walk we were going on.  You half heartedly took a picture, which I didn't think turned out well, and said that was it. 
Always the stubborn one, I tried to take pictures of myself with my arm extended as we were walking.  Those never turn out well, though.  In fact, you were the primary focus in all of them.
You got more annoyed and stopped walking.  You said I was ruining the walk by having to take a picture of it.  I said you were ruining the walk, because you weren't being supportive for 30 seconds.  We stared at each other.  I said just take one decent photo.  You did, and I put the cell phone back in your fanny pack. 
We continued walking hand in hand.

We got to the store, and I said we should return the movie before we go in.  You said you didn't want to then and we would do it on the way out.  We walked by the produce section to get some lettuce.  I said I read about people making kale chips and we should eat it since it would be good for us.  You replied that we've tried those super foods before and they weren't good so you didn't want to try this new fangled trend.  You were so adamant about it.  I watched you walk to the meat counter with your fanny pack on, and I laughed really hard.  I thought about how hilarious and endearing you are to me.  I felt my heart swell.

As we were walking home, I looked at the ice cream shop and you steered straight for it.  You said we should get an afternoon treat.  You wanted to share mine, so I got two scoops.  It was fun until you shoved the whole cone into your mouth to push the ice cream down with your tongue and then handed it proudly back to me to take a lick.  But then I looked at your fanny pack and laughed.

You make every walk, every moment more interesting.  You are maddening, endearing, hilarious, exasperating, lovely to me all at the same time.  You are mine, and I love you.  Even if you do wear a fanny pack (after I offer to bring a purse).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Last week I attended the sweetest Valentine's Day card making party at Anthropologie.  The event was hosted by the lovely lady duo who make up Ampersand Design Studio, a Kansas City-based full-service design studio that specializes in adding fun color and pattern to everything you can imagine.  They have even released their own fabric line and designed these signature plates that really pop.  I love it all!

So I was really excited I was able to meet these ladies in person (they are even sweeter than that huge plate of v-day cookies on the table) and also make Wade's Valentine's Day card.  A win-win if you ask me.  Everything was so cute and well decorated.  The tables were full of craft supplies to spur our imagination.  There were so many fun things to use, it was hard to get started so I just drank some more of the delicious drink they were serving.
I love how my card turned out.  Simple, but saying everything it needed to.  I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for another event that these ladies plan, because I definitely don't want to miss it.  Thank you to the Ampersand girls and Anthropologie for making it such a great night!

Monday, February 17, 2014


I'm always looking for a good deal.  Why spend more than you have to on something?  I learned a valuable lesson last week, though.

I was doing some grocery shopping and needed more light mayo.  I noticed the brand we don't usually get was on sale for a whole $1 cheaper than the brand we normally use.  I compared the nutrition, ingredients, etc. and figured it looked to be pretty much the same.  I mean, how different could different brands of light mayo be?

Cut to a few days ago when I pulled out my sandwich for lunch.  I took that first bite and expected the same flavoring that I have been enjoying for the past few years (yes, I bring my lunch to work every day and it's the same thing:)  I quickly realized this sandwich was atypical and did not taste quite right.  At first I thought it was the questionable lettuce I had used, but after removing that I figured out it was the new brand of mayo.

Good thing I bought the humongous family size to enjoy for months to come.  This was one of those instances when spending that extra dollar was worth it.  Now if I would have saved $2, I wouldn't be complaining.

Ever try to switch up the brands you use/eat to save money and realize they just aren't up to snuff?


Also, I'm participating in a great giveaway over at Treasure Tromp today.  You could win $50 in cold hard cash and a rosette necklace from yours truly.  There are a lot of great bloggers going in on it, so check it out!

February Giveaway Treasure Tromp || This, Too || Quaintrelle || Found Love Now What Eat, See, Do || Deliciously Active || Rainy Days & Rubber Ducks
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I'm back with one last cheesy valentine (see more here and here).  You may have noticed I've been gearing my creations to the littler folks.  With three nieces and a nephew, I wanted to pass along the valentine fun to them.  Plus, they're less likely to notice flaws or if a popper doesn't have the zest I intended.  Two of my nieces live out of state, so what better way to send them a big kiss than with a stuffed heart for each...with huge lips:) 

You'll need:

This project is much simpler than the popper I attempted last week and you can customize it any way you like.

Step 1:  Cut out two hearts.  I chose to do the front in purple and the back in pink. 

Step 2:  Now get creative and cut eyes, lips, etc. out of felt and hand sew onto the front heart.  I added some eyelashes in black embroidery thread.

Step 3:  Now sew the two hearts together.  The best thing about working with felt is that you can do right sides out and don't have to worry about flipping the shape inside out.  I used a blanket stitch with contrasting embroidery thread.  There's a great tutorial here for that type of stitch.  Once you've sewn nearly around the entire heart, fill the heart with stuffing and sew up the remaining ends.  (I forgot to include stuffing in the supplies picture, but you already got the idea, right?)

You're done!  A fun little way to send love across the miles. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Last weekend when we were exploring our city, I decided to wear this pink dress.  I'm not sure what we'll be doing for Valentine's Day, but this would be the perfect outfit (so I just may wear it again this weekend:). 
The dress actually belonged to Wade's mom.  She was so tiny that this is the only dress that fit me. Sheath dresses are very forgiving.  It's really comfortable, though, and I love the eyelet fabric and little white buttons. 
I wore this dress a few Halloweens ago when we went as Sam and Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom.  That will always be my all time favorite Halloween costume.  At the time someone had said they would be wearing this dress as a normal outfit and that got me thinking as I was looking through my closet trying to come up with an outfit that didn't involve leggings and a huge sweater.
I wanted to tone down the pink, so I added pops of blue and stayed up late hand stitching my hair clip.
Outfit Details:  Dress, Vintage // Blouse, Ann Taylor Loft // Tights, Target // Shoes, Old Navy // Hair Clip, Made by me

 Got any fun ideas for a Valentine's Day outfit this year?  Will you be braving the crowds or opting for a night in, whether it be with your main man or galentines?  We usually cook dinner at home.  And by "we", I mean Wade.  His cooking is way better than most restaurants, and I like being the taste tester.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


The lovely Nicole of Treasure Tromp let me share my thoughts about being a tourist in your own city last week on her blog.  I wanted to also share the post here in case you missed it.
If you're like me, then your world has succumbed to the polar vortex.  I wish I could throw off my parka and head to the nearest island to sip on tropical cocktails and lounge around in the sand.  Alas, a trip is not in the cards for me right now.  I have the next best thing for you to beat cabin fever and get out and about, though--becoming a tourist in your own town. 

I don't know about you, but my husband and I have our routines that we rarely stray from.  Our weekends consist of eating at the same restaurants and visiting the same stores.  I'm a creature of habit, so I love it, but sometimes you just need to change your perspective a little and open your eyes around you to see what amazing things the city you live in already offers.  Below I've listed some ways I've attempted to be a tourist in my own city and beat these winter blues. 

#1: Check out your city's tourist website--The first thing I usually do when I want to find a new place to visit in my hometown of Kansas City is Google "Kansas City + Visit".  The city's tourism site will pop up with a list of all the museums, historical spots, and events around town that I may have missed.  If you've lived here a while, then chances are that you will have already visited some of these places, but this is also a good way for you to find out what you've been missing.  Wade and I used to live literally down the street from the Nelson Atkins museum (one of the biggest museums in the city), but hadn't visited in 10+ years.  It was like I had forgotten all about this place, but once I saw it pop up it proved to be a great way to spend a day.

#2: Google your favorite things and see what pops up--When I really want to get off the beaten path, I just start Googling my favorite things and see what pops up.  Making sure you're well versed in all your town's historical sites is nice, but sometimes I want to go to those places that only the locals know about.  To find these places, you'll need to do a little bit more research, because they're probably not as publicized.  You do feel like you're on a treasure hunt, though, which is always fun.

I'm a sucker for a good vintage/antique store but had felt I had seen the majority of places around the city.  I also love candy, so when I typed in "candy store", Bitterman's Eye Candy store popped up.  A candy store and a vintage market?!  How had I never heard of this place before? 

#3: Get up close and personal to those places you pass by everyday from a distance-- Is there a shop or restaurant you pass by all the time and wonder what it would be like inside?  Seize the day and go check it out!  Whenever we go downtown, I see this statue in the distance.  It's called The Scout and is a fairly well known statue, but even though I've lived here all my life I've never actually gone to see it up close.  After visiting the candy/antique store, we drove around until we found the statue.  It was more amazing up close than I had imagined, and the views of the city were unbeatable.  It's one of those items to check off my list and one that I would suggest to anyone else visiting Kansas City. 

Even though these tips and tricks were pretty self-explanatory, I hope they inspired you to see where that street leads or visit that little shop that always has the cutest window displays.  Just driving around new neighborhoods can seem like you're visiting a completely new city.  I know we had fun treating today like we were in a new city scouting out new shops and landmarks.  Happy exploring!