Monday, September 30, 2013

LAST WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER

Ah, pumpkin beer.  The sure fire way to tell it's fall.  I'm not a huge fan of coffee, so this whole pumpkin spice craze is limited to candles and beer for me.  Oh, but wait.  I just found this recipe for pumpkin lasagna, so that's another item I can add to my list.

Is anyone else having a hard time believing September is over?  It feels like I was just saying that about August, and now here we are.  Better get cracking on all those fun fall things I've been wanting to do.  We have to make it to the pumpkin patch this year.  Or at least buy some gourds at the grocery store and pass them off as freshly picked from the patch.  No one will be the wiser;)

This weekend was a great way to say goodbye to September, though.  We celebrated me starting a new job with pumpkin beer on special and lasagna on special.  Seriously, nothing makes me happier than delicious food that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  The only thing that could have made it better would have been if the lasagna was pumpkin flavored.


The next day we continued taking pictures at restaurants, but this time with my nephew.  Don't let the normal clothes fool you.  He really is a superhero.  He evidenced this by drinking his red creme soda from not one, but three straws, and never spilling a drop on his white sweatshirt.  I can't even do that.
  We continued eating our way through the weekend and went to the most beautiful dinner party thrown by our good friends (more pictures to come).  All the details were so lovely, the food was delicious, and the night air was perfect for sitting outside.
Then my brother and sister-in-law met us for an after party, which was awesome.  They are both so sweet and fun, and I wish they lived just around the corner so we could hang out with them bug them all the time.
The next day was spent taking it easy and doing something I had been putting off for way too long.  I finally cleaned and organized my craft room.  I wanted to work on a project, but I suddenly got so annoyed with how unkempt everything was that I went on a cleaning frenzy.  And by frenzy, I mean I leisurely put things away over several hours while I watched TV.  
Anyone else have a hard time organizing things?  For the past few months, I was just picking up and stuffing things in every nook and cranny I could find until I reached my clutter limit.  That's usually how I work.  I can put up with things not being super clean or put away, but then all of a sudden I freak out.  If anyone has a good way to store fabric, I'm all ears.  At least for now, things are somewhat put away.

I do feel better that it's cleaned up.  It makes me feel like I can finally work on a new project and even has me wanting to organize other rooms.  We'll see, though.  Baby steps.

The weekend culminated with the return of a few of my favorite shows.  Fall premiers beat out anything pumpkin in my book.

How was your weekend?  What are you looking forward to about October?
 

Friday, September 27, 2013

WILD AND FREE

I'm a girl who loves my routine.  I really do.  Sometimes, though, the best days are when we have all the time in the world to do nothing...or anything that strikes our fancy.  I caught this sunset the other night when we were going down to the art fair.  Seeing the sky turn into a pinky orange and blue dream instantly transported me back to when we were on our honeymoon in Jamaica and witnessed a similar sunset.  I remember wondering at the time if we'd ever see the sky lit up that way again at home or if it was just the magic of that island.

It was like a hello from a long lost friend who made me feel that we are still able to do and be anything we want.  To live without abandon and wake up to an uncharted day that is wide open for adventure.

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So live wild and free and check out this amazing giveaway I'm participating in to honor Betsy's one year blogiversary over at the ever entertaining Musings of  a Museum Fanatic .  You can win a spot on my sidebar, as well as a custom necklace from my shop, in addition to other great prizes from these lovely ladies.  Giveaway runs through October 2nd.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OUT AND ABOUT IN KANSAS CITY: PLAZA ART FAIR

Every year around this time, Kansas Citians break out their fall wardrobe and head to the Plaza Art Fair.  It's a weekend full of live bands, great food, and beautiful art.  The art may be a bit pricey, but it is a gorgeous backdrop for the people watching and festivities that make the area come alive.

The Country Club Plaza was built in the 1920s as the first shopping center to accommodate shoppers arriving by car.  The architecture is modeled after Seville, Spain and is home to cool restaurants and shops.


We headed there on Friday night.  The area was aglow.  One of the coolest parts of the fair is that the local restaurants on the Plaza each have their own food stand.  You can try a steak sandwich from one of the nicest steak places in town and wash it down with a frozen sangria.  Doesn't that sound delicious?
   
We got there just in time to hear an 80s cover band rock out as smoke billowed from the stage.  Nothing gets a crowd going quite like a cover band.  What's not to love?  You get to hear all those old favorites that make you want to dance around.


One of my favorite things about the Plaza is that a creek runs alongside it.  We used to live in this area, and it was so fun to take walks along the little river and then shoot up to a cool restaurant or bar.  Legend has it that Tom Pendergast, the allegedly corrupt mob boss in Kansas City, buried his adversaries in the concrete when his company paved the bottom of the creek.  Did you know Kansas City had a huge mob connection?  I'll have to save more detail on that for a later post, because I love that kind of stuff.  So intriguing.     
If you're ever in the area, be sure to stop by the Plaza.  It has beautiful architecture and a lot of history.  Oh, and the shopping and restaurants are also pretty nice.  Just 364 days to the next art fair.  Mark your calendars now.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

WHAT A DAY


Truth be told, after my last craft fair, I was pretty discouraged.  I only sold about five things last time, so I didn't even really want to do another craft fair.  I'm so glad I did, though, because yesterday was a surprising success!  I didn't sell out or anything, but I had more business than I expected.  My mom was my trusty sidekick, which I could never thank her enough for, and it was a beautiful day, which made sitting outside for 8+ hours pretty pleasant.

Yesterday renewed my joy of crafting and filled me with a sense of pride I want to bottle up and dip into whenever I'm feeling low.  Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and sweet comments.  I truly appreciate every one, and I think you guys sending me good thoughts is what really made yesterday great.

The cherry on top?  My mom and I bought matching scarves:)  I bought mine after hers and was going to pick another color, but what can I say?  She has great taste.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  I'm already looking forward to next weekend....

Friday, September 20, 2013

CRAFT FAIR WEEKEND


Hello friends!  I've working feverishly the past few weeks to get ready to sell my wares at a craft show this weekend.  If you're in the area, come on by.  This will be my third year doing this particular show.  The first year was interesting.  What I remember most was my mom and I hysterically laughing as we set up my tent for no other reason than the fact I was actually doing a craft show and me paying an extra $10 to get electricity to play my record player.  You know, to set the mood.  Not sure why I thought people would be more willing to by something if they heard a cool song playing.  It was cold and rainy the whole day and was definitely a learning experience.

This year I'm just renting a table in a bigger tent to save on the entrance cost.  I hope it goes ok and people can still see my stuff.  I always get competitive like that thinking that people would be clambering to buy my wares if only they could see them.  Not really true, but gets my craft fair juices flowing.

I get so nervous before these things, which makes me wonder why I do them at all.  I just have crazy unrealistically optimistic expectations.  Oh, well.  At least my mom will be there to buy me a snow cone if it doesn't go well.

Check out another craft show I did this summer here and my thoughts on success here.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  What are you up to?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A BIKE RIDE

We got cruiser bikes a few years ago to take leisurely bike rides around town.  I wanted something that looked vintage, but still had gears since, contrary to what some might think, we do have hills in Kansas (at least around where I live).  I love the chrome on this bike, but since the day I got it, I knew it was missing something.  A basket on the front, of course!  How else am I supposed to store a little boombox for music as we cruise around the block, a la the movie "Now and Then"?  For some reason, whenever I think about riding bikes, I picture those four girls going on fantastic adventures on their bikes singing along to a radio strapped to the front of one of the bikes.  Everybody needs their own soundtrack for adventures.

So for three years, I was complacent with not having a basket.  I thought surely Wade would pick up on the many hints I dropped and "surprise" me with one for an anniversary or birthday. Cut to this weekend when we planned on going on a bike ride with my parents to a local pizza place.  I determined a few hours beforehand that I would not go on another bike ride without a basket.  So I made Wade hunt down this wicker one at Target while I was working on things for my craft fair this weekend and forced asked him nicely to put it on my bike.  It may have made us run a little bit late, but I had a cool basket to hold all our stuff!  I proudly showed my parents and scoffed when my mom said things would probably fly out of it.  Just to show her how great it was, I offered to store her jacket in it until she was ready to wear it.

And off we went!  Wade and I rode our bikes along the streets to the trail head, while my parents drove with their bikes.  About 30 seconds after leaving, I hit a bump and my mom's jacket flew out of the basket.  At that moment, my parents were just passing by me in their car, and I could see my mom's face mouthing "I told you so" as I ran after her jacket that had landed on the ground a few feet away.  I guess mothers do know best.  Oh, well.  There are always a few kinks to work out with anything new.

Without further incident, we made it to the trail and started our epic journey.  The trail is the site of Kansas City's last streetcar line.  After the streetcar was no longer in operation, the tracks were removed and the city built up a great trail.  I love it because parts are surrounded by a lot of trees, while other parts back up to cute shopping areas.  We took our time and enjoyed the perfect fall air.  There aren't many really perfect nights that aren't too hot or too cold, so we really lucked out.

We made it to our favorite pizza place, parked our bikes, and ordered a pitcher of beer to celebrate our harrowing journey.
We probably sat there a bit too long, because it was pretty dark when we started riding again.  Not too dark to stop for some ice cream on the way back, though.
I swear we didn't plan to all wear a yellow shirt
Oh, and on the way back, we also noticed some "birds" flying around.  Nope, it was just a huge swarm of bats.  We had heard this area had a bat problem. I'll say.  Not sure if you can really see them in this picture, but look really closely.  See all those black blob things in the sky?  Yep, those are just a ton of bats, and you all know how I feel about bats.

We will definitely be doing this again soon.  It was a great time and made my heart happy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

WHAT I'LL MISS MOST ABOUT SUMMER...

It won't be the warm evening walks, the sunshine-filled days, or the outdoor concerts.  Nope.  While I love all those things about summer, what I'll miss most is being able to wear skirts to work every day.

Now, to some, that may not seem like a big deal.  Tell me, though, that you don't love putting on a a billowy piece of fabric during the sweatiest of days and feeling oh so free as you twirl about.  Ok.  No to the twirling, but yes to feeling fancy free.  This fact seemed to really hit home with me as I attempted to pull on my suddenly terribly restrictive jeans for the first time in months.  Wait a minute....I didn't lose weight like I thought during the summer since I wasn't constantly reminded of how much I ate the night before by how big of an indent the button on my jeans left in my belly?  What, what?  

It feels like my legs are confined to two metal barrels that are not stretching, no matter how many times I do that hilarious looking deep squat move to stretch them out. (You know what I'm talking about.)  I know it's more in my mind, and I just have to get used to them again, but this is my least favorite part of fall--the transition back to jeans.  Why aren't yoga pants an acceptable garment to wear to work?

source


And tights?  They are ok for a night out or a few hours, but I can't sit through the day with them on.  At least you get some wiggle room with jeans.

Oh, wait.  No need to panic, people.  I just looked at the forecast for tomorrow.  Apparently today was just a bit of a cold fluke.  Tomorrow's a skirt day again, and all is right with the world.  I'll deal with this whole jeans thing later.

What is the weird thing you'll miss about summer?

Friday, September 13, 2013

CARNIVAL ATTIRE

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Fall brings about a lot of festivals and carnivals.  There seems like there's something fun to do every weekend.  I really want to make sure we hit up a fair or carnival before the colder weather gets here, and this is the outfit I wish I could do it in!  I've been eyeing this dress for months now.  Wouldn't it make the cutest little festival dress?  Paired with a cute headband, matching shoes, and a ferris wheel necklace, this outfit would be perfect for a fun day playing some carni games and eating a funnel cake.  And last but not least, make sure you wear a ring pop to tie it all together.  Nothing says fun accessory like one you can eat.

Even if I don't have this adorable outfit, to wear I still want to go to the carnival.  It's probably for the best I don't have this dress since I'm prone to spilling food on  my nice things.  Maybe the stripes would hide the stains, though.  That would make this dress priceless.  Or I could throw out all this carnival talk, and we might just stay in and watch a movie.  That sounds nice, too.  And I could still wear my ring pop.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend with whatever you do!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

PEICD (PROJECTS EVEN I CAN DO): YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE OPTICAL ILLUSION MESSAGE

Who doesn't like a little magic in their lives, a little intrigue?  I was thinking about a toy I had when I was younger and it made me want to try to make something similar myself.  I'm an adult now, so I should be able to perform some sleight of hand, right?

Do you remember that optical illusion where there was a bird on one side of a circle and a cage on the other and when you spun the circle, it looked like the bird was inside the cage?  That was what I was going for, but with a slightly different twist.  This was my first attempt.  The drawings didn't turn out as great as I had envisioned, but I'm too lazy to attempt again tonight and really wanted to share.

What you'll need:

--Paint in any color you want
--Paint brushes
--Hand drill (or use a regular drill to make a few holes in the wood circle)
--Paint pen
--Wood circles
--String

Step 1:  First things first, drill a hole on each side of your wood circle.

Step 2:  Then tie a piece of string through each hole.  Length isn't a big deal, so just do about 10 inches on each side.

Step 3:  On one side of the circle write your phrase.  I chose "you are my", because on the other side I drew a sun.  Get it?  You are my sunshine.  Tell me that song isn't stuck in your head now, because I can't stop singing it since I started this project.  The key here is to make sure the words stand out enough.  I started with a gold paint pen, but had to add a darker color over it.

Step 4:  Next, paint the sun on the other side of the circle.  I chose yellow paint, but it didn't end up standing out enough, so I traced a sun with my gold paint pen so that you can see the object when it flips around.

Step 5:  You're almost done!  All that's left to do is wind the strings by holding each end of the string and flipping it like a jump rope.  When you think you've wound it enough, pull both ends of the string tight and see the circle spin around, revealing your secret message.  Check out the video below.  Can you see the message?

video

I've got a few other ideas I wanted to try with this method.  What a fun toy to give a kid with a special message, or even a fun addition to a gift.  What are some phrases you'd add to one?

Monday, September 9, 2013

SPONTANEITY...AND HOW TO PLAN FOR IT

I'm a creature of habit, but sometimes it's nice to break away and do something we wouldn't normally do.  Wade and I had been talking about taking a small weekend adventure for a while now, but hadn't made any definite plans.  If you look up day trips from Kansas City, we've probably done them all.  St. Louis used to be our go to place to visit for a weekend, but we were looking for something a little closer that we hadn't been to together before.

Then I found out that Katie from Skunkboy is in a 90s cover band who was playing in Springfield, MO.  Cute place we've never been to before?  Check.  Fun band to see?  Check.  So we decided to be spontaneous.  Besides getting the date wrong and realizing the day of that the band was playing that night, things went pretty well.  It was nice to just get away for a night and explore a new place together.

It gets better, though.  The bar turned into a mecca of amazing bloggers.  I got to meet Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess, which is a blog I've been following for years now.  They are just as sweet in person as they are on their blog. Then I even got to meet a few new to me bloggers who I will definitely be following now-- Katie from Katie Day, and Michelle (aka super nice girl) from The Skinny Luv.  It was a great night surrounded by really talented people.


This trip made me think about how big this whole blogging world actually is and how it can also be discouraging at times.  It's hard to put yourself out there as you're trying to carve out a piece of the world wide web for yourself.  You know what makes it all worth it, though?  The connections I've made with readers and fellow bloggers.  Whoever is reading this, you make the unknown a bit less scary, and I love connecting with you.  Thanks for reading along, and I'm happy that we "met".

Thursday, September 5, 2013

MY SUMMER IN IPHONE PHOTOS


Went to Chicago with my mom to visit my sister and got to see She and Him play//Took this terrible picture of Zooey
Had a barbecue for 4th of July with homemade sparklers
Went to a park I used to go to when I was a kid and Wade bet me $100 that I would fall in trying to walk over the lake//Then we went on a trail run and found ticks all over us
Went to Lawrence and got to see Griffin House play at The Bottleneck
Went to my favorite bar of ALL TIME and drank a few shark attacks
I did a craft show//Wade wore a Teenage Mutant Ninjas t-shirt//Tried to make our own Shark attack and failed
Went to the lake but it wasn't as fun as it looked in this picture//Came home to find bats in our house
My mom and I dressed like twins (not on purpose)//Went back to Lawrence for a lady date//Rode the zip line at a superhero party
Then I capped off the summer by drinking from the world's tiniest mug

All in all, it was a great summer that went by way too fast.  Here's one last toast to summer...where's a tiny mug when you need one?