So many new things

So I am excited to announce that on August 30th I will officially be unemployed. Well sort of. It’s more like, I will be self-employed! Turns out – there’s a great possibility that I will be busier in my new rolls then I was when I was employed full-time!

I’m sure I have mentioned it before, but I have an amazing life partner. The hubs is not only one of the hardest working people I have ever met, but he has a great passion for his work and his family (and his Tigers). I know that he would be over the moon happy if I was working for someone and happy. It would settle him, if I was… settled. But that’s just not ever happened for me. I am a bit of a dreamer (no, really.. !!), and probably a tad unrealistic about somethings – but when I am happy and feeling challenged and in an environment that is healthy and creative – I am also a hard worker with great passion. The Hubs has noticed how unhappy I have been – and has simply said, “make a plan, and do it… just do it”

So.. 2 years after he started saying that – I am happy to announce that I have done it.

Made a plan.

And did it!

I will get to spend more time with my Captain. He is my world – and watching him discover his world is the most inspiring thing of all time. I have so many plans! I can’t hardly wait.

I have been working with a good friend on a design business, we call it jo&co designs, and hope that our website will up and running in a matter of time! We have been so busy designing lots of pretty things for weddings and baby showers, that we have not had the time to finish our site!

I also have had this amazing opportunity to work with and learn from one of the best photographers in the city. If you don’t know Nicki Griffith and her amazing skill – you need to. I am getting the opportunity to work for her and help her with marketing and selling – and learn a ton! I so so love it!

The best news of all I will have more time to dedicate to you all too!!

“Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”  ― E.A. Bucchianeri

m

Being artfully inspired

I go to Dean and Deluca once or twice a month… always in the morning, when it’s not busy, there’s a hum of people preparing for the day. Today, I stood and waited for my coffee – and took in the sites and smells. From the white subway tiled walls to the beautifully designed desserts and packages all around, and the giant photos of the most amazing looking cheeses and breads — I was artfully inspired.

Olive and Sinclair ChocolateThe store at Town Center Plaza is never terribly busy in the morning hours before I have to be in the office – it’s the perfect time to go, and today, a Monday, it was a nice beginning to my week. I decided while standing there that a beautiful box of artisan chocolates would be the perfect gift for me.. someone tell the hubs please! Dark Chocolate with sea salt.. sounds heavingly (why isn’t that a word?).. but more so – the packaging was awesome! It’s like a designers porn.. I swear!

Right then and there I decided I needed more of that in my life. I needed to be inspired by the beauty around me, taking trips to World Market and Paper Source, not to buy something but to be inspired by the everyday. I don’t need special trips to the museums, although I would love a few of those as well.

For years I have heard about the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden, seen hundreds of images from inside the gardens – and have never been. I recently decided to focus more on passions and picked up my camera again, and chose the Kauffman Gardens as my first spot for portraits. It’s such a lovely place. I absolutely LOVE the grounds, the fountains — even the bathrooms were super clean!

Even if you are not a “designer” or think you are creative, I challenge each of my readers to look around and see inspiration in the everyday. Inspire yourself to do, see, create or just be. Inspiration can come from just about anything — just open yourself up to it!

xoxo

m

I love talking about restaurants.

Seriously, it’s my favorite subject.

  1. I love to eat
  2. I love to drink
  3. I love to be social
  4. and most importantly, I love to be in the “know”

My favorite restaurants in KC:

  1. Blue Bird Bistro
  2. Waldo Pizza
  3. Margarita’s
  4. Garrozo’s
  5. Carmen’s
  6. Californo’s
  7. Oklahoma Joes
  8. Osteria Il Centro
  9. J.Gilberts

My favorite coffee shops in KC (I LOVE COFFEE): 

  1. Mildred’s Coffee House
  2. The Roasterie Cafe (B-Side is the best)
  3. Coffee Girls in Waldo
  4. Broadway Cafe

My favorite downtown/midtown lunch spots (oh, how I miss these):

  1. Westport Flea Market
  2. Lulu’s Noodles
  3. Anthony’s
  4. Margarita’s
  5. Room 39
  6. Saigon 39 (I might miss you the most)

Places I’d most like to go:

  1. Bluestem
  2. The American Restaurant (can you believe I’ve never been??)
  3. Nara
  4. Anton’s
  5. Piropo’s
  6. Aixois
  7. Captial Grill (yep..it’s a chain)
  8. EBT (I hear there’s a good happy hour)
  9. Justus Drugstore

I would love to start a restaurant blog, I’d call it. EAT! or  Go Forth and EAT! or A girl, A boy & A cow (walk into a restaurant..).. I don’t know what I’d call it – but it’s fun to think about. We just don’t go out as much anymore, and I’d want to s. But there are some really great ones that I read, religiously. Here are my top reads:

  1. Eat it KC is the newest that I have found. I really love her pics of meals, and restaurants – and the blog is beautifully designed.
  2. I have been reading, Making of a Foodie, for a few years. She’s lovely and explores her pallet and gives her suggestions on where to eat.
  3. I still “follow”, KC Napkins, however he hasn’t updated it since early last year – so I am thinking after a few years of him writing, he’s done. But it’s still a good resource for reviews on restaurants – old and new.
  4. The Kansas City Star started a new blog called, Chow Town, it’s a blog by a newspaper – but still an interesting read.
  5. Missy Roe’s, The Perfect Bite: KC, is also a great read. She travels and blogs about great restaurants she eats at when she’s not in KC. But for the most part she tries an eclectic array of restaurants around town – and talks about them like she’s talking to her best friends. It’s very easy to read, and I find that I agree with a lot of her reviews.

Are there restaurants that you love, that you want to try? Know any food blogs that we JUST have to check out? Let us know!

xoxo

m

Marian Hope Center

Spring into Hope - Kansas CityOne of the blogs that I follow, Scout-a Mom’s guide to stylish living, posted this – and I think it’s a great cause – so I thought I would re-post. This is from her blog – I have nothing to do with organizing the event.. actually – I don’t even know her (although I’d love too.. great style, and a good read) – I read her blog, and that’s about it!

Spring into Hope, a shopping event to benefit the Marian Hope Center for Children’s Therapy located in Independence, Missouri.  If you are not familiar, the Marian Hope Center is a non-profit organization servicing children with Autism, Down syndrome and other special needs throughout the metro Kansas City area.  The center offers a variety of therapeutic programs and consultative services to meet the array of needs of children in our community. With 1 in 6 children being diagnosed with special needs, it is important for our community to come together to embrace our children and families.  Having a booth at an event like this is a great way to expose your business/shop/items to a large group of women (WHO LOVE TO SHOP!) and most importantly it is to support an incredible cause!
If you would like more information, please click the link above that will go to her blog – her contact information is on there!

What other organizations around Kansas City are you interested in? I think having a list of important orgs in KC would be a great idea. Have a suggestion?

xoxo,
m

Oh, the places I’ve been..

For some reason, I have always prided myself on the fact that I can tell you ANYTHING about the great city of Kansas City (and really.. neighboring cities).. I am not kidding – where to eat, where to shop, where to stay, where to happy hour, where to poop.. well.. maybe not that one.  But still. I am a vast resource of pretty useless knowledge.. and I kind of love it. It’s one of those quirks that I am pretty sure The Hubs loves and hates about me all at the same time. The look on his face when people talk about a restaurant that, ” I JUST LOVE,” especially if he’s never been there.. always kind of amuses me. I’d like to think he’s in awe of my useless information, but I think more times than not.. it kind of annoys him… especially when I can’t tell him important dates or amounts of checks..

Just one of those things that keeps our marriage so spicy!

I’d really like to pull my resources together, and do something with my knowledge… and it doesn’t stop at the Kansas City metro area (although that’s what I know best and love the mostest) .. Any place I’ve been and love (and hate), I have made a mental note – and can tell someone, no, WANT to tell you about my experiences. I’m not sure where to start, or how to get started. Do I start a blog, write some articles, start a tour company (boo.)? I’m just not sure. This currently haunts my dreams at night, a desire to be more creative in my day and do something that I love, not just like, or am fine with. Something that fulfills a need and desire that is not currently being met. I am creative person, I design, I write (or try to write), I take pictures, I cook. I love doing things with the Captain that will spark excitement and creativity within him.

Is it fear, again, that is holding me back? I am just not sure.

Don’t forget that this week is KC Restaurant week! This is such a great way to try out restaurants you have always wanted to try, or go back and visit a favorite. $15 lunches and $30 dinners – most are 2, 3 or 4 course meals – and samples the restaurants best dishes. This week, I’d like to try just a couple, I think I did something like 4 lunches and 2 dinners last year – which got pretty pricey!

Do you have funny quirks that you love about yourself? Favorite restaurants or any you want to try? Let us know!

xoxo,

m

What does your perfect 12 hours look like? An exercise

Have you heard of Danielle LaPorte and her White Hot Truth? Or better yet, The Fire Starter Sessions? I’ve just subscribed to her blog and am currently reading (the actual book) The Fire Starter Sessions. It makes me feel like it’s ok to have my dreams, no matter how silly or unattainable they might be.

Isn’t that crazy, I have dreams that I KNOW are unattainable – but have never been able to let go of. I know I have spoken of this dream before. Unattainable based on our current financial situation, or risk taking tendencies. If you know me well enough my dream, professionally, has always been to own my own… Sometimes it’s a coffee shop, a store, a design business, a bookstore.

But honestly, my dream has always been, and will always be to own a store with a lovely window, that’s decorated seasonally, that when you come in you instantly feel like you’ve come home. There’s coffee brewing, lovely things to purchase for your home, and in the back a little area to sit and plan a party or wedding or design fantasical pieces of stationary. With wood shelves, and nooks to sit and look at a book or two. A whole wall of candles, and lovely napkin rings and bird dishes. Random, I know! This unnamed store is my elusive diamond.

My ambition is not be extremely wealthy, but to be able to provide for my family financially, creatively and spiritually, and honestly, I don’t feel like I’m doing any of these very well right now. So I read a review of this book, The Fire Starter Sessions, and it started a fire back up of wanting this perfect store, to go along with my lovely husband and generally perfect, terrifying, hilarious little Captain.

So, I decided to sit, in a quiet room for a little bit, and think about what my perfect 12 hours would be. Ms. LaPorte askes that you think about 12 hours at home (or realistic) and 12 hours away (or fantasy). I immediately began wondering what other peoples ideas were.. But I resisted .. So here we go. 

Realistic (part fantasy.. Yes I’ve already started cheating..) My morning would start off with everyone home and waking up in good moods. Making coffee, feeding the pup, making breakfast – waffles and turkey sausage for Hubs and the Cap, oatmeal and turkey saus for me. It’s fall. Showering, getting ready, and heading into the store (that’s what I’d call it, the store.. As in, going to my store, or oh.. Yeah – come by the store..), opening it up- turning on the star that hangs in the corner, flipping on the coffee pot and turning the sign that says open. I’d work and dust and tulle around  while ringing customers, having some creative sessions with a bride and mom, or helping to plan a 1st birthday for a friend (my customers are friends, sure!). Lunch would be lovely with PB&J in the back with Hubs and the Cap. Home for dinner, something cooked perfectly in the crock pot and Hubs loved it. Served with Red wine (or white.. Or rum & diets, whatever). Bath time for Alex, and bedtime was EASY.PEASY.. (this never happens.. Fantasy)… the day would end with Hubs and me on the deck talking about nothing but something all at the same time, laughing, listening to the Scarlet Pimpernel or Wicked or something broadway. I picture us on our old deck – I think because some of my favorite nights happened on that deck.. And bc we need speakers on our “new” deck.

So the realistic part that’s not fantasy based (owning my store). My morning would start off with everyone home and waking up in good moods. Making coffee, feeding the pup, making breakfast – waffles and turkey sausage for Hubs and the Cap, oatmeal and turkey saus for me. It’s fall. Showering, getting ready, and heading to Columbia for football with everyone! The St. Louis and Indy Clarke’s all come, we tailgate, eat dinner at Murray’s and all stay at a hotel where the Cap is up super late and we all are sitting around watching the kids play.. Lovely!

Fantasy. Breakfast on a beach with eggs and fresh oj. Taking Alex to the Beach. Some spa time. Lunch somewhere yummy. Playing at the pool with Alex, nap time for everyone! Reading Alex books and snuggle time. Babysitter comes. The Hubs and I go to dinner dressed to the nines – drink wine, have apps, perfectly cooked scallops or salmon, dessert.. Yum chocolate! Stroll on the beach. Kissing.

Home to Alex.

So what do your Perfect 12 hours look like? Do you have dreams that you can’t let go of??

xoxo,

Mindy’s cause..

Ray and Mindy ClarkeWe recently had our family pictures taken.. and although I totally hated my hair in them – I loved the pictures so much. This one, of the hubs and I makes me smile, ear to ear.

If you are needing someone to take pics of you or your littles, you should check out Nicki Griffith. She’s a doll. Seriously, coolest lady, coolest job, mega talent!  There are LOTS of amazing ladies (and some gents) right here in KC that do amazing work… we are so fortunate to have so much talent in our little cow town.

I have really started trying to make more of an effort to support local businesses. I feel like it’s so important to help our community thrive. I pledged to help our community by eating local as much as possible this holiday season. There is a great website, Eat Local KC, that can lead you in the direction of great local Farmer’s Markets, Grocery and Healthy Food Stores, Meat Purveyors, and my personal favorite – Kansas City Restaurants! 2 of my favorite restaurants in KC are listed, Aixios and Blue Bird Bistro.. but sooo many are not…  Do you have favorite local hangouts? Beers? Wines? Meats? We would love to hear what your favorite businesses and restaurants in Kansas City are.

Here is a short list of some of my favorites!

That’s all she wrote folks. I know I have often shared my favorites with you. But I would LOVE to hear some of yours. Won’t you please share them with me!
One place, I’d really love to go is up to Smithville to The Justice Drugstore, I have heard it’s so good.

Here’s a little picture that Nicki let Alex take of his mom and dad.. it’s not the best picture of me.. but I think it’s so cute. I am having one printed and put on a shelf in his room!
Mommy and Daddy by Alex

Bunheads and other thoughts…

Has anyone been watching Bunheads on ABC Family? I really loved this show. The part of me that’s been missing Gilmore Girls really loved this show. There is a lovely airy feeling – Amy Sherman-Palladino (who created both) created a lovely cast of characters — many are her Gilmore Girls alums. There is a sadness that only Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore/Fannie Flowers) can play and still have such a wonderful tone. Alan Ruck plays Fannie’s son and Michelle’s (the wonderfully quirky Sutton Foster) new husband.. But as swiftly as they marry – he passes. The first and second episodes are sad but important for the story. We watch as these 2 women realize they are more alike then they thought, and need each other more then they ever would have imagined. It’s cute, not terribly thought provoking (which lets face it… sometimes that exactly what we need), and a good watch.

If you are watching then you will understand my review of the season finale: if you are not, you should check it out.

Alan Ruck’s appearance in the summer finale made me wish he’d show up more often — a la the dead-but-still-kicking Lynda on Providence? (anyone remember that great show??) And how tempted are you to put together your own “zombie apocalypse Vegas slut bag” — minus the pretty mace? Oh yeah.. And the ballet.. It’s awesome too!

 

 

For those of you that want to poke your eyes out because you had to just read the above.. I thought I would share this as well. I have decided that most people would think I have terrible taste in music, movies and TV shows, and if not terrible – then kind of nerdy taste…. and I am totally ok with that. I enjoy sitcoms, bad rom-com movies, chick-lit books that don’t make me think. General Hospital and Gossip Girl. No, I am not a 25 year old girl (although from that description you might wonder).. My taste just hasn’t gotten older even though I have. There are some aspects in my life that have improved with age – my selection of wine has matured (no more 2 Buck Chuck for me), my idea of a great night has matured (although playing some cards with Kim and Rob still sounds like a good time), my love of cooking (very little Mac and Cheese gets made anymore) as well as my ideas on life and loves.

But the important stuff, music, tv, movies.. still a 25 year old at heart! Chew on that for awhile.

xoxo, Gossip.. .er..

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar…

But what can you clean more with.. Vinegar! Why am I just now discovering the many wonderful uses of vinegar. It amazes me. I am buying this stuff in bulk lately, honestly. The other day, I added a cup of vinegar to a cup of water in a glass measuring cup, and microwaved it.. MY MICROWAVE HAS NEVER BEEN CLEANER! I swear. So this prompted me to make a list of all the wonderful things you can do with Vinegar.. this is what I have come up with..

  1. Adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water when poaching eggs helps the whites stay formed. Add a few tablespoons to the water when boiling eggs, and if any shells crack, the whites won’t leak out.
  2. If your leafy veggies are wilted, soaking them in cold water with a little vinegar can perk them right up.
  3. After chopping an onion, you can eliminate the odor from your hands by rubbing them with a bit of white vinegar.
  4. When cooking any vegetables from the cabbage family (like broccoli or cauliflower), adding a little vinegar to the water will perk up the taste and reduce the gassiness.
  5. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal by mixing equal parts vinegar and baking soda and putting it down the drain. After letting this fizzing mixture sit for a few minutes, flush out the drain with warm water for a clean and stink-free sink.
  6. One of my favorite vinegar remedies and my personal weapon against fruit flies is to set out a small dish of white vinegar and some smashed fruit, covered with plastic wrap with some holes in it–the flies crawl into the trap, but can’t get out.
  7. If your stemware is cloudy from the dishwasher, wrap the glasses in paper towels soaked in vinegar, let them sit, and the cloudy deposits will rinse right off.
  8. There’s no need to use bleach on tile grouting when you can let vinegar soak on it and then scrub with a toothbrush.
  9. Bring lightly scuffed or dirty DVDs back to life by wiping them down with some vinegar on a soft cloth
  10. If you have water condensation marks on your wood, just rub the piece of furniture with equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil to remove them. Make sure to rub with the grain, and then invest in a set of coasters.
  11. If a child has an “accident” on a mattress, clean it with a solution of vinegar and water. Afterwards, pour some baking soda onto the mattress, and brush or vacuum the residue once it’s dry.
  12. Spraying vinegar onto deodorant-stained shirts before the wash can remove the discoloration. It’s also great for fighting mustard, tomato sauce, or ketchup stains.
  13. Adding a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine can freshen up bright colors and give you cleaner laundry. Acetic acid won’t harm fabrics, but it dissolves the soap residue that can dull dark clothing. It also acts as a fabric softener, a static reducer, and a mildew-inhibitor.Vinegar will also loosen chewing gum stuck to car upholstery, rugs, and carpeting

The list can LITERALLY go on and on.. It’s an amazing substance. Recently I mixed it with a little Dawn dish soap and some warm water and cleaned the Captains crib.. it cleaned it, deodorized it and didn’t leave a film behind. AWESOME!

When I googled sayings about vinegar – the first one that came up was Full of piss and vinegar.. and although it made me laugh out loud, I didn’t find it terribly appropriate for the title of my post. However, when I went back to see what it exactly meant – I thought it sounded a bit like me: Rowdy, boisterous, full of youthful energy. And because I am a big ol nerd.. here’s the history of the term, Full of piss and vinegar:

Origin

The earliest citation I’ve found is from 1938 in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath:

Grampa walked up and slapped Tom on the chest, and his eyes grinned with affection and pride. “How are ya, Tommy?”
“O.K.,” said Tom. “How ya keepin’ yaself?”
“Full a piss an’ vinegar,” said Grampa.

There are other similar phrases that came before that which may be the source.

In 1922 Joyce has this in Ulysses – “All wind and piss like a tanyard cat.”

As far back as 1602, in Return from Parnassas – “They are pestilent fellowes, they speake nothing but bodkins, and pisse vinegar.”

Those earlier citations appear to indicate a more negative meaning to the phrase. ‘Wind and piss’, or as it is more often given ‘piss and wind’ is usually taken to mean empty talk, full of bombast. Vinegar is associated with sourness and acidity in many other citations. Peter B. Kyne’s 1922 novel They Also Serve includes what seems to be a straightforward polite alternative to ‘piss and vinegar’:

“He’s full of pep and vinegar and wild for exercise.”

Vinegar has been in the language as the name of the familiar liquid since the 12th century. During the 1920s vinegar was used to mean vitality and energy and that’s the meaning in ‘piss and vinegar’ and ‘pep and vinegar’. At that time many phrases indicating a general perkiness and vitality entered the language, often for no other reason than linguistic exuberance. It’s most likely that the phrase originated around then, possibly as an adaptation of the existing ‘vig and vigour’, which means much the same.

man, I am a nerd.

xoxox

Girly stuff..

So this weekend while the hubs has been working out of town, I have spent some time watching girly movies, and doing girly things that I wouldn’t normally do when he’s around. So last night I was over the moon happy when I found The Holiday on the tube! Do you know the movie?? It’s the one with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet with Jack Black and Jude Law. I love this flick — it so cute and moves rather quickly — and I love all the actors.. it’s just good.

Tonight! Alex and I started the night off watching Beauty and the Beast – although he tired of it fairly quickly – I loved it. Then after he went to bed I watched You’ve Got Mail 1.5 times – it started again, but I turned to It’s Complicated – and am now watching that.

So, You’ve Got Mail.. I love this movie. By far one of my favorites, I love Kathleen Kelly’s style, and the language in the movie. However, it’s one of those movies that I wish was like 15 minutes longer. You know she had to have so many questions — I don’t doubt they lived happily ever after – as Meg Ryan and Tom Hank’s character always do – and should always.. I don’t know – I’ve watched this movie a thousand times.. but I am always left with wanting more.

Know what I mean?

xoxo,